Archive for the 'CYA-talk' Category

Spinning the Syrian Debate

Friday, September 6th, 2013

proportional = military rubberspeak for we will do whatever we have to do to look as if we know what we are doing.

limited = military calmspeak for not-to-worry.

redline = dipspeak for pseudobackbone doctrine.

reset =   spinspeak for “overcharge” in Russian.

no boots on the ground = Trojanhorsetalk for lite war (fully organic, 99.9 percent fat free).

Spooks’ “Estimate” Language: A Spyspin Dictionary

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

The new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) may not have made a major contribution to public faith in the reliability of  America’s
spy network but it has made a major contribution to the National Spinspeak Vocabulary (NSV).

The NIE report, recognizing the dumbing down of  voters, helpfully
provides a special NIE dictionary of what it calls “estimate language.”  This special spyspin language is designed to “convey” to the unwashed “the probability” that anything in the report is true; also, “the level of confidence” the spooks have
in their “judgment” of “the probability.”

Here is a  synopsis of the latest spyspin along with translations:

probably, likely, very likely, almost certainlyhopetalk for “there is a greater than even” chance that we know what we are talking about even considering our earlier opinion which was the opposite.

unlikely, remoteCYA-talk for less than a 50-50 chance something will happen but who knows, right?

we cannot dismiss, rule out, discount = hyperCYA-talk for we don’t think the worst will happen but consider yourself warned.

might, may = plastertalk for we really don’t know because someone decapitated our agent while he was on the phone.

high confidence = hopetalk for our information is “high quality” but you never know, do you?

moderate confidence = CYA-talk for our information is
“credibly sourced and plausible” but you have to hedge your bets when dealing with these ragheads.

low confidence =hyperCYA-talk for  it’s OK for you  to
believe this garbage a little bit but we’re supposed to be professionals.

And Now for Our Next Extraordinary Rendition…

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

No, Virginia, “extraordinary rendition” is not a description of how the Boston Symphony performed Beethoven’s Fourth.

As it turns out, “extraordinary rendition” is how the CIA describes in comforting legalspeak the shipping off a captured Muslim terrorist assassin to some ally for “aggressive” interrogation: the kind of questioning that highly sensitive congressmen far from the killing fields find shocking, shocking! Presumably the ally lives in a country that prefers survival to white-hat rules when dealing with people who think blowing up Mom and the kids and decapitating Christians and Jews is okey-dokey.

Lexicographical research shows that this official spinspeak derives quite legitimately from legal usage: to render is to hand over.

There may also be a close connection with culinary usage: to render is to melt fat over low heat.