Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, November 17, 2004



So let's say, for the sake of argument, that I think that green grass is better than brown grass. Imagine that I write something like, "I think green grass is better than brown grass."

Now imagine that a newspaper sees this and publishes a story titled "Jahrling likes green grass." (I know, all you journalism experts, it's a crappy title. Work with me here.) I see the article, read it, and angrily say that I do not in fact like green grass, but rather that I like all kinds of grass and that no one type is better than the other and in FACT, maybe brown grass IS better.

In that spirit, I present tonight's "What the hell?" link, to a CNN story featuring Porter Goss's denials that his CIA memo says that the CIA will back the President. They QUOTE THE MEMO in the article: "We support the administration, and its policies in our work as agency employees. We do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies."

Now, that first sentence can be interpreted as stating that the role of the CIA is to support the work of the administration--in other words, not that it "backs" the President, necessarily, but that the Agency's work is vital to the nation. I'll grant that. But that second sentence is, in my opinion, pretty unambiguous: don't challenge the President.

Also scary? Goss goes on to say that they will "let the facts alone speak to the policymaker". That's policymaker, singular. And since when has "the policymaker" ever been interested in facts? ("No, it's Sweden.")

The article is just chock full of people claiming that the memo does not say what it very clearly says. You know, like when Rumsfeld said, "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," when speaking about Iran and Al Qaeda. He claimed he was "misunderstood."

Yeah, right.


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