"Because our coalition acted, Saddam's torture chambers are closed." - George W. Bush

"I think that -- I'm not a lawyer. My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture. Just a minute. I don't know if the -- it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the "torture" word." - Donald Rumsfeld

If this weren't such a horrible thing, it'd almost be funny to see Teh Administration scrambling to cover their arses and put a positive spin on things. You can always rely on good old Rummy, and there he is, popping up right on cue, being incredibly insensitive and inappropriate, and mangling the English language once again. Let's have a look at his fatuous statement, checking the definitions with Webster.

abuse - ignoring the "put to a wrong use" meaning, which we're not referring to here, Webster says abuse is "To use ill; to maltreat; to act injuriously to; to punish or to tax excessively; to hurt; as, to abuse prisoners, to abuse one's powers, one's patience."

torture - again, there's a "pain; anguish of body or mind" definition, but the one we're talking about is "Especially, severe pain inflicted judicially, either as punishment for a crime, or for the purpose of extorting a confession from an accused person, as by water or fire, by the boot or thumbkin, or by the rack or wheel."

Sure, Webster is ancient and full of silly words - "thumbkin"? - but even using Teh Internet gives the same results. Dictionary.com says abuse is "to hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use", and torture is "infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion". Same thing, but one is just motiveless.

So, abuse is punishing or hurting, and torture is inflicting pain to punish for a crime or to get information. Okay then, technically, no, torture is not the same as abuse - torture is for a reason (even if the reason is wrong or invented), abuse is just for shits and giggles. So that's all right, then.

New! Torture chambers reopening, under NEW management!! You don't have to have done anything, just come on in, we'll treat you right! Free kick in the nuts with every breach of the Geneva Convention! And remember: it's abuse, not torture!

Yeah, I know, war is hell, blah blah, terrorists, blah blah blah, September 11th, I don't understand the fine details, be realistic, blah blah, can't expect miracles, blah, they're building schools, not a quagmire, blah blah, Saddam was worse (yeah, cause he should always be our barometer of excellence), etc etc etc. Listen: If you're going to msg me and you're a conservative/republican/pro-war/whatever, that's cool, but please, watch your fucking manners. I get the most rude, violent, angry msgs from you people, and I'm not going to be patient with you anymore. I'm capable of arguing with you without insulting you or belittling your intelligence, please do me the same fucking courtesy. Any abusive msgs will be reported to them what's in charge, and copied into the catbox for a laugh.