Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.”     Milton Friedman

January 10, 2008

Double-Speak Definition Of The Day

by UCrawford

Today’s double-speak is: “Al-Qaeda’s Number 3 Man”

A hierarchical description applied to a member of an organization that has no clearly defined hierarchy beyond the top two members.  This term is popular with the current administration whenever they kill a probable terrorist whose body the military was able to identify in a timely fashion and who had enough of a profile with the media so that his death was notable (i.e. “The death of (insert deceased’s name) represents a turning point in our efforts here in (insert country name) because he was al-Qaeda’s number 3 man.”) despite the tendency of said individual’s death to have little to no meaningful impact on our efforts in the Global War On Terror.  Also used to diffuse criticism of human rights violations committed by the U.S. government against detainees by attaching a superficial sense of importance or urgency to the information said interrogation suspect possesses (e.g. Sheikh Khalid Mohammad), despite a continuing inability of the government to demonstrate that said human rights abuses provided any tangible benefits in regards to the Global War on Terror beyond getting people off the President’s back.

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