I found quite a few things from a cursory reading of it interesting. Here's an example:
How important is it to label a reality accurately—to call it what it is? Some commentators believe that by avoiding the use of certain terms in discussions of disturbing social realities, we actually avoid dealing with these realities themselves.
The use of “sanitized” or “evasive” terminology and “skewed definitions” in discussions of the handling of prisoners in the current combat against terrorism has a way of keeping torture itself from coming into full view, the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition suggested, in a 2006 submission to the U.N. Committee Against Torture. TASSC called it “highly deceptive” for government officials to use such language.
Father Bryan Massingale, a Catholic moral theologian who teaches at Jesuit-run Marquette University in Milwaukee, also has called attention to the terminology sometimes used in discussions of major social realities, including torture. In a July 2007 speech to the Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors, Father Massingale said, “Consider some contemporary euphemisms, that is, how we describe social reality in ways that disguise and misrepresent it to dull our awareness of injustice. We speak of ethnic cleansing instead of genocide; of gated communities instead of racially segregated neighborhoods; of neutralizing the enemy instead of killing; of downsizing instead of unemployment; of domestic surveillance instead of spying; of corporate restructuring instead of profit maximization; of enhanced interrogation techniques instead of torture.”
Enhanced interrogation techniques: This terminology, cited above by Father Massingale, undoubtedly represents the euphemism most frequently cited by commentators on the contemporary use of torture. And the second most frequently cited euphemism for torture is surely “the extraordinary rendition” of prisoners, meaning that the United States or its allies sends a prisoner into another nation’s custody for interrogation. Often, commentators point out, it is well known that these other nations practice torture.
But any terminology that waters down the reality of torture, or that masks its reality, may be a euphemism. Thus, “sleep management” might replace “sleep deprivation,” forcing prisoners to sit or stand in “stress positions” might mean forcing them to assume cruelly punishing postures for long periods.Sometimes severe forms of interrogation are labeled “abuse,” rather than “torture”—apparently out of a sense that “abuse” somehow sounds less cruel. Some might say that a certain interrogation technique is “tantamount” to torture, as if to suggest that it is almost, but not quite, torture. And some commentators consider even the term “waterboarding” euphemistic—a term that they say does not fully call to mind the reality of a simulated drowning.
How much of Catholic support for torture really depends on the uses of euphemisms for torture which deny that torture is really taking place? How are these euphemisms like those used to justify abortion: product of conception, termination of pregnancy, choice, etc.?