Politico’s Mike Allen — in the same article where he granted anonymity to a cowardly “top Bush official” to do nothing other than smear Obama as a friend of Al Qaeda (and marvel at Allen’s pathetic “justification” for doing that) — proceeded to describe conduct authorized by the OLC memos this way: “aggressive interrogation practices critics decried as torture.” I think I know how to speak Politicoese: the attack on Iraq was “aggressive diplomatic outreach critics decried as an invasion”; Lewis Libby’s lying was “spirited and inventive story-telling critics decried as obstruction of justice”; and a super-important, extremely influential and profoundly brilliant person with intimate knowledge of many, many important things told me last night: “Politico is a trashy gossip rag with only one governing principle: What will Drudge like?” Another top, key insider added: “they should hand out Mike Allen columns to journalism school students as a guide to what they should avoid at all costs.”
George Orwell mistakenly assumed that obfuscating language designed to glorify criminal acts would be invented and normalized by government. At least in the U.S., that function is outsourced to government’s most loyal and eager servants: establishment journalists. A principal reason why the government has been able to engage with impunity in the extremism and lawlessness of the last decade is because most journalists refuse even to describe it as what it is.
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