The latest unspeak – “apparent suicide”

The ABC news tonight had more on the deaths at Guantanamo. The piece talked about an investigation into the “apparent suicides”. Let’s be blunt. 3 prisoners are dead. Either they killed themselves – suicide – or else someone killed them – murder.

If the investigation is looking at confusion on the cause of death, and the possibility that the status might changed from suicide to murder, then “apparent” is warranted. However, if the word is used as a means to try and make the three appear to be guilty of terrorism, without examination of any charges through use of the legal system, then the use of the word is unwarranted.

It’s also interesting to see that there’s some confusion – and suspected foul play on behalf of the US military – over Al-Zachawi’s death. Was he killed outright, or died later? Did the US beat him in an attempt to confirm his identity or were they attempting to save his life, as the military contends? Knowing the military’s track record, I am going to believe that something dodgy happened.

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  1. Steven Poole
    Steven Poole at |

    I write about this on my blog, specifically the bizarre way the suicides have been termed “an act of asymmetric warfare”.

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