Decoding NSA doublespeak


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The amazing thing about this stuff isn’t that the NSA tries it on, but that its nominal supervision doesn’t notice it.

We noticed it, but what are you going to do? Obviously they’re still lying, but only Congress and the Courts have the authority to put a stop to it and Congress doesn’t care and the Courts are slow.

Wait, you actually believed that whole independent press thing? /s

Once at a career fair in the 1990s I came across a CIA booth. There were two 20-something people in business suits there. We chatted for a bit, then one asked if I’d like to leave my resume. I declined, saying “I’m a really bad poker player. I was an Eagle scout. Sorry, but I don’t think it’d be a good fit, thanks!”

They just need to be called out on it at the time of query. A simple “Sir, that really didn’t answer the question” would go a long way…

I think everyone is done with this.

Fire the top guys and yank their clearance. No mercy. Keep wiping out leadership until the behavior changes. Layoff their man power too. Yank their clearance. No mercy. No funding. No jobs. No nothing.

Then maybe we can talk about fixing the DOJ and get some people in prison.

<It’s a rant but it’s good rant>

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Oh come on. Their ‘supervisors’ are aware of the lack of substance in these statements. Politicians specialize in not saying anything while sounding responsible and caring. This is all part of the game of politics. They know the vast majority of voters hear nothing but tone. So if they can satisfy that need, to hear the leaders muttering in oval tones about important things, they can get back to business out of the light of the media gaze.

What, so they can give the same non-answer again?

It’s not just the way the NSA communicates. That kind of doublespeak also comes politicians of all stripes, marketing staff, business leaders and smart alec teenagers.

“I didn’t say we saw a movie, dad, I said I was outside the movie theater when I called, so it wasn’t a lie.”

Someone that doesn’t want to be held accountable for their speech and actions can find a way of manipulating the language to make it sound like they said one thing, but technically said something else. It works a lot better on the press than it did on my folks, who have very robust bullshit detectors. Too bad bullshit detectors aren’t standard issue brain hardware, because if we all had them, it would be a different world.

Did you take a cookie from the cookie jar?

No, we did not.

(They put their lips past the cookie jar’s mouth and sucked one up and ate it from “within” the cookie jar.)

Perhaps. If so the Press really just needs to say "Thank you for not answering the question. Look, I know it won’t happen. I just know it’s kind of the Press’s responsibility to call them out and clarify to the audience that they didn’t answer the question.

Well, I should say it happens on occasion. I’ve watched many an episode of Frontline where clarity is made. It’s one of the reasons Frontline is such a great show…

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