Culture, Society and Praxis

Document Type

Main Theme / Tema Central


The White House administration of George W. Bush faced a crisis when an attack was committed on United States territory in September of 2001. As a result, the administration has initiated a "War on Terror" in which they have disregarded the Geneva Conventions and placed a huge amount of authority in the role of the president in determining who is classified as an "enemy combatant." This paper specifically addresses the use of the term "enemy combatant" as a rhetorical device which the administration has used to make a moral statement about prisoners of war. Using George Lakoff's concept of frames, the paper shows how this phrase communicates a moral value to convince the U.S. public that these "combatants" deserve whatever punishment the U.S. might choose to impose, up to and including torture.