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Military/political translation lost

link Rube Render

Local columnist

What follows are some examples of language as it is used in today’s military/political environment.

Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, in a recent letter sent to ISIS leader Ameer Mujahid Dr. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has requested to “formally and humbly become a citizen of the Islamic State.” Whatever else this may tell you about Hasan, you know one thing for sure. He doesn’t watch television on Wednesday nights. If he did he would be cognizant of the fact that not only is ISIS not Islamic, it is likewise not a state. What ISIS does seem to be is a large group of Islamic terrorists who control a swath of land across Syria and Iraq that if overlaid on a map of the U.S. would stretch from Illinois to Virginia.

When Hasan was Maj. Hasan, U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, he killed 13 people and wounded many others. Hasan was heard to shout “Allahu akbar” during the incident and his business cards contained the initials SoA, which means “Soldier of Allah.” After a thorough investigation, the Army determined that Hasan was not an Islamic terrorist, but rather a violent employee and classified the events as workplace violence.

Fox News broadcast a one-hour program that covered 13 hours of the Benghazi raid. The program interviewed three civilian contractors hired by the Central Intelligence Agency to provide security at both the diplomatic compound and the annex. All three stated they were armored up and ready to go support those engaged in a fire fight at the consulate when they were ordered by their CIA supervisor to “stand down.” After some delay and discussion, they went anyway. When asked about the incident, a state department spokeswoman replied that no “stand down” order had been issued and further, there is a great deal of difference in “don’t go help the guys at the consulate,” and “stand down.” The first is an order to remain in place and not go help the guys at the consulate while the “stand down” order means to remain in place and not go help the guys at the consulate, take your gear off and go back to the barracks. Either way, four Americans died that night.

The basic problem with this scenario is that two of the three contractors were former Marines and the third was a former Army Ranger. They are combat infantrymen, not cognitive linguists. CIA should have thought of that before it hired them.

Rube Render is the Curry County Republican chairman. Contact him at:

[email protected]

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