Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Noted in passing

"Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president's policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time and hamper efforts in the Centcom region," [suddenly retiring Centcom CINC Admiral William] Fallon said in a statement Tuesday in which he announced his resignation as head of U.S. Central Command, arguably the most important in the U.S. military....

"I don't believe there have ever been any differences about the objectives of our policy in the Central Command area of responsibility," Fallon said in his statement Tuesday, and he regretted "the simple perception that there is."

In keeping with one of my own pet peeves here, I would point out that their having the same objectives, doesn't mean they necessarily share views on how to achieve those objectives. The statement as is still leaves that possibility wide open, and military commanders don't really have any business choosing (big picture) objectives anyway; they're supposed to be figuring out how to achieve those objectives handed down to them. What we call the means to an end. So he's really not denying what he's trying to give the appearance of denying, here.

Furthermore, the second quoted paragraph there leaves open the possibility that there are differences in other areas. Not that I think there's likely much to that, but it does strike me as rather odd that he would specify and limit the policy in question that way. Why?

All told, he certainly seems to exude the air of somebody going out of his way to give the appearance of denying something, without actually denying it. Lying without lying, one might say.

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