Retailing and Retelling

(July 2013)

CSIS to lecture assembled scholars on the correct usage of language associated with all things Islamic. Any politician who aspires to cook the rhetorical books does well to start with the academy and government subsidized think tanks. Sympathetic Press coverage helps too. Redundancy is reinforcement.

At CSIS, Brennan sought to sever any linkage between Muslims, terror, and jihad in Washington – and elsewhere. The then White House advisor actually argued that the very term jihad had many meanings, including ritual “cleansing.” There was more than a grain of literal truth to the Brennan claim: the Arab attack on New York was indeed a bath, a bloodbath. The Brennan spin on the word “Islamist” was a kind of housecleaning too, an attempt to alter history and minimize future threats.


Thought police understand the value of consistency and repetition. Any lie repeated often enough, as Joseph Goebbels was fond of saying, assumes a life of its own. When President Obama was asked subsequently about jihad in Mumbai, he almost quoted the Brennan CSIS pitch verbatim. Truth is a function of retailing and retelling.

Inquisition or absolving German, French, and Scandinavian quislings for the Holocaust.

Never underestimate the power of persistent political spin and the capacity of fearful journalists to forget and conform.

Rhetorical acumen is not without rewards. Brennan is now the Director of CIA, a position from which he may become Chef de Cuisine in the analytical kitchen too. Brennan is cut from the same cloth as his predecessor, David Petraeus. The erstwhile general was a reliable soldier in the appeasement wars until he literally stepped on his crank. Before Paula, there were hijabs, instead of helmets, on US soldiers in Afghanistan.

The rot begins with rhetoric.

G Murphy Donovan is a former USAF Intelligence officer.


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