Category Archives: Terrorism

No, “Enhanced Interrogation” Is Worse, Not Better

Several times this month, I’ve heard news stories such as this one  use the phrase enhanced interrogation to describe painful treatment of terrorism suspects.

This expression has no place in objective journalism because it is biased in favor of inflicting pain. After all, enhanced means improved.

And the claim that inflicting pain gets better results is questionable at best. For example, Joe Navarro, former FBI special agent and author of a book about effective interrogation, says that what is called enhanced interrogation does not work.

Inflicting pain on purpose is torture, but if that word seems too harsh, journalists trying to objective could use the phrase “painful interrogation methods” instead. That’s accurate and removes the assumption that the painful methods must be better than standard methods.

How do you think Framologists should respond to enhanced interrogation?

Can We Escape the War on Terror Through Political Violence?

Especially since 9/11, terrorism has been used to justify so many questionable things that Framologists have to fearlessly face it. I mean the word.

Among other benefits, reframing terrorism as political violence avoids the cliché. Political violence is violence, no matter who does it.
Photo Credit: Kaptain Kobold via Compfight cc

What does it mean? It’s been abused to mean almost any dissent. And as the cliché says, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” (The cliché was never taught non-sexist language.)

I see terrorism as violence meant to achieve political goals. Except when committed by governments or armies, terrorist acts are crimes, not acts of war. They deserve a law-enforcement response, not a military one.

Violence is the problem, not the solution.
What difference do you think it would make if we talked about political violence instead of terrorism?
Photo Credit: ˇberd via Compfight cc

What if instead of talking about terrorism, Framologists turned the debate to political violence? An advantage to this is that, while terrorism is usually used to mean violence by opponents of a government, the phrase political violence can apply the other way: to government violence against dissenters.

Because of the vagueness of terrorism, reasonable people can disagree about whether, e.g., the Egyptian military is using terrorism to silence its opposition. But it would hard to deny that it is using political violence.

With the issue reframed as violence, it’s a small step to the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict. As I’ve written before, I believe this is the way out the war on terror.

What do you think? Is political violence an adequate reframe of terrorism?