Friday, November 20, 2009

Anonymously attributed direct quotes of indirect quotes of paraphrased presumed translations taken out of context: Great American journalism!

Today, instead of mocking rank amateurs such as the indefatigable Pastor Grant Swank and the lowest-tier digital rags such as WorldNetDaily, I am focusing my wrath attention on this update from ABC News The Blotter From Brian Ross, both for its suspiciously diced-and-sliced quote-in-title and its astonishing lack of detail.

In Major Hasan’s E-Mail: “I Can’t Wait to Join You” in Afterlife, Ross’ source is identified as “an American official” who claims he has top secret access (even though he blabs things to ABC News’ Brian Ross) to 18 e-mails exchanged between Hasan and cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The scuttlebutt, you see, is that "Hasan told Awlaki he couldn't wait to join him in the discussions they would having [sic] over non-alcoholic wine in the afterlife.”

I don’t know, isn’t that a semi-standard Islamic e-mail closing?

At least Brian Ross & the ABC Investigative Team got a great quote from Lt Col Tony Shaffer, who I’m guessing is retired from the military because Ross doesn’t bother to say. Ross identifies him as a “military analyst” with the nonmilitary, nongovernmental, nonprofit (I had to look it up because Ross didn’t say) Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Shaffer’s got quite an impressive google trail, but it’s unclear whether he’s actually seen the e-mails themselves because, of course, Ross doesn’t say. We’ll assume Shaffer is responding to Ross’ iteration of the anonymously attributed direct quote of the indirect quote of the paraphrased presumed translation taken out of context. And this is what Lt Col Shaffer says:

“It sounds like code words.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brim over I agree but I think the collection should secure more info then it has.