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enhanced interrogation

American English

Meaning: torture

For example:

  • Terrorism suspects we found in the villages were taken to secret prisons for enhanced interrogation.

  • The U.S. government calls it "enhanced interrogation", but what they did to us was torture.

Note: This well-known example of doublespeak was created by the U.S. government to describe the systematic torture of detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the U.S. Armed Forces that began soon after the 9/11 attacks on the USA.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

People who carry out "enhanced interrogation" are

a. interviewers

b. terrorists

c. torturers

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Contributor: Matt Errey