Euphamism

I’m sorta with George Carlin on this one; I’m not a huge fan of euphamisms.  Often times they water down the language, and a lot can be lost in translation.  Still, I understand their usage.  There are a lot of words that I can’t say in front of my daughters for obvious reasons, resulting in the usage of the phrase “bum bum” in my day-to-day lexicon.

That’s to say, I also understand the necessity of the White House’s cool new euphamism, “classified”.

I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

It’s an old joke, like, “I plead the fifth”, a way out of directly stating the facts, often time to save face.

But these jokes were born from our system of government, and when you actually hear them pop up in excuses for government officials to not level with the American people, they become increasingly less funny.

Not that saying something is confidential is new to this White House in terms of denying the public access to knowledge presumably to save its own skin.  In both the details of warrantless wiretapping, and strangely enough even a couple of times in regards to the firing of US Attorneys (a la Executive privelege et al).  We were starting to get a feel for the new euphamism.

But now it’s settled.  As General Patraeus is even right now talking to congress regarding the so called progress in Iraq, Josh Marshall reveals this about the information we are getting from the command centers in Iraq:

In other words, it’s not just a matter of getting the numbers from Petraeus and his staff and deciding whether you believe them or not. They won’t even tell us what the numbers are — let alone how they came up with them. All they’ll say is that they’re very good. Or in some cases that there’s X percentage drop over the course of the surge. Or an isolated number here or there.

But actual hard numbers? Going back over the last couple years? For some reason we’re not allowed to see those.

Ah, so both the numbers and methodology used to make the assertion that things are going great in Iraq are… um… classified?  So this means that we are to take Bush and Patraeus essentially that, on their word, everything is going great?

Fat chance.

As a result, it’s now settled, classified is the administration’s euphamism for, “We can’t give you any data to prove our assertions because we have none and the data we do have really doesn’t back us up, and we’d really just like you to trust us, even though you’ve pretty much gotten burned every single time we’ve asked you to trust us in the past.”

Hmm.  At least it saves column space.

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