Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Elucidate and Illustrate, do not Obfuscate

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Monday, July 18, 2005

Elucidate and Illustrate, do not Obfuscate

Mehlman was on lots of Sunday talk shows including Press the Meat and as usual the Republican Mantra of Message Management and Media Obfuscation (or R MOMMAMO) was in full effect. Lie, Obfuscate, Repeat. Mostly, though not necessarily, in that order. The neato words used repeatedly were exonerate, implicate, and vindicate (or EIV). Namely Mehlman's oft used quote was:
...The information exonerates and vindicates, it does not implicate...

Let's see:

exonerate v : pronounce not guilty of criminal charges

implicate - v 1: bring into intimate and incriminating connection

vin·di·cate - 1. To clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proof: “Our society permits people to sue for libel so that they may vindicate their reputations” (Irving R. Kaufman).
2. To provide justification or support for: vindicate one's claim.
3. To justify or prove the worth of, especially in light of later developments.
4. To defend, maintain, or insist on the recognition of (one's rights, for example).
5. To exact revenge for; avenge.

The information Mehlman is talking about is this report whose source is "someone who has been officially briefed on the matter." Lots of chatter about who may be leaking all this info to the press in the first place. Not that it matters what information Mehlman is reffering to because him and all the Republican operatives, accolites, appologists, and servants in the blogosphere, are the only ones who will believe it. The rest of us know that if a Republican is Obfuscating, Smearing/Lieing and Repeating, know that this is only something you do when you don't have enough evidence to support your claims (see Republicans on Sunday Talk the months leading to Invasion of Iraq for more examples). This tactic has worked for quite sometime, it has won President War Criminal a second term, it helped forge a case for war, and even helped laud Bush for every positive acheivement in the history of the world including events that have yet to occur.

However, the defense of Rove has more holes in it than a Hum V in the Green Zone. For one, Matt Cooper himself has said that Karl knew the info was classified. OK Republicans will say he said no such thing. They are right, Karl said "the information will be declassified soon." Which in no way means that he knew the information was classified. He just knew the information would be declassified soon.

This is an important thing to pan out. Just because you expect something to be declassified does not mean that you know for sure that it indeed is classified. Take a dog for example. You can say he will be neutered in a week, that doesn't mean that he isn't already neutered. You just know that the dog in question will be considered neutered within a weeks time. He may already be neutered, you just don't know about it until someone tells you for sure.

So classified information is a lot like a dog's scrotum.

The other problem facing operatives in charge of exonerating and vindicating and not implicating Rove, is that pesky fact that he called Cooper before Novak published the evil column. So before the idea that Val was CIA was made public and as such declassified, Rove had actually passed that info to Matt Cooper, presumeably someone who does not have security clearance for classified information. Otherwise, Matt Cooper could have easily just looked up Valerie's name his damned self and figured out that she was CIA. Besides that if Matt Cooper or Bob Novak had access to classified info to begin with, then perhaps this case would have been closed by now. But these were lowly journalists. And if they did have security clearance and access to classified documents, perhaps an even larger question of national security should be asked.

In conclusion, I don't know what information Ken Mehlman has that exonerates and vindicates yet does not implicate Karl Rove. However when it comes to questions from the press, it would be nice if Republicans would Elucidate and Illustrate, not Obfuscate.