Ron Rosenbaum

Best C.I.A. Euphemism for Lying Denial

In declining to comment about the explosive New York Times story that the CIA had been paying off the brother of the Afghan president to time off from his opium trade to run errand for us, which he apparently interpreted to mean steal the election for his brother, thus further delegitimizing the U.S. presence there, this is what our “intelligence” agency spokesman had to say:

“A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment for this article. ‘No intelligence organization worth the name would ever entertain these kind of allegations,’ said Paul Gimigliano, the spokesman.

Brilliant! They screw up all over the world, get suckered, misinform the American people and president (remember the “slam dunk” on Iraq) and then tell us they won’t “entertain” such allegations. What does that mean? You won’t buy them a drink or a lapdance?

You just did “entertain” them in the primary meaning of the word. You considered them–and then refused to respond to them in any coherent way, although it sounded more like a denial than a confirmation. But a “non denial denial”. As in if they were true we couldn’t tell you.

But the key phrase here is “any intelligence agency worth its name:. Je seems to be asserting–contrary to all available evidence over the past half century that the CIA is “an intelligence agency worth its name”. That is it has or exhibits intelligence. I’m not willing to “entertain” that. What they’re good at is not “intelligence” but coining new euphemisms for the lack of it.