“Strongly urge that any speculative language as to the legality of given activities or, more precisely, judgment calls as to their legality vis-à-vis operational guidelines for this activity agreed upon and vetted at the most senior levels of the agency, be refrained from in written traffic (email or cable traffic),” wrote Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center.Or in plain language: Don’t put questions in writing.
“Given activities,” “operational guidelines for this activity”: the Agency man writes in abstractions. “Strongly urge,” “be refrained from”: the Agency man writes without a sense of agency. It’s as if he’s read George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” backwards.
A related post
Getting the truth (WWII, and a different way to interrogate prisoners)