February 28, 2013

"Strains credulity to think that ice releases thousands of illegals..."

"... and no one there ran it up the food chain. Not even a 'heads up?' Hmmm."

The old buzzword "deniability" popped into my head.

ME (out loud): "Deniability. Who do you associate with that word."

MEADE: "Nixon."

ME (having Googled, reading from Wikipedia): "Kennedy. 'Plausible deniability is a term coined by the CIA during the Kennedy administration to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge.'"

I love Wikipedia. I love that there's a whole long article on the topic "plausible deniability." The name Nixon comes up — in a list of 6 "major flaws" in the "doctrine." The Nixon-related flaw is:
It rarely worked when invoked; the denials made were rarely plausible and were generally seen through by both the media and the populace. One aspect of the Watergate crisis is the repeated failure of the doctrine of plausible deniability, which the administration repeatedly attempted to use to stop the scandal affecting President Richard Nixon and his aides.
Also at the article, under the heading "other examples":
The Murder of Thomas Becket

King Henry II of England is often said to have stated of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" Becket was indeed murdered, although the king denied that his plea was to be taken in such a way.
We don't live in a monarchy, and efforts to insulate a U.S. President from criticism should fail and will fail if we haven't lost track of our role as citizens.

(And, as noted a few posts ago, these Washington writers are nauseatingly dependent on clichés. The food chain, heads up. "Food chain" isn't even the right cliché. Perino meant the chain of command. That other chain. Django Unchained. Chain of Fools. Chains, my baby's got me locked up in chains. Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains. Ball and chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Chain smoking. Hey, I'm only yanking your chain.)

62 comments:

Nonapod said...

The question is: is the deniability plausible? In general do people believe Obama had nothing to do with ICE releasing all these criminals?

Did most people believe he had nothing to do with the manufacture Benghazi story. Did most people believe he had no knowledge of the events behind the Fast and Furious scandal? Did most people believe he spent years in a church not listening closely to the ranting anti-American vitriol of a certain Reverend?

ricpic said...

This is what demonic thugs like Ceausescu and Castro do when they open their prisons. Except it's worse. Ceausescu flooded western european countries with his released prisoners. Castro flooded the US with them: the Mariel boatlift. Obama is opening his prisons on Americans, ostensibly his own people; in reality the enemy, as he sees us.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Straining credulity makes sense if you think of a sieve.

St. George said...

At least Nixon was a seasoned statesman before he became President. He'd served in Congress for many years and taken on tough and controversial roles. Then as Vice President for eight years, he got international experience and showed that he could tough it out with the Soviets. Then he practiced corporate law.

Obama...how has he been tested, really? What crisis has he faced? So far he's shown himself to be an incompetent negotiator, and he bows to kings and dictators. Unlike Nixon who pulled a Chinese rabbit out of a hat and took surprising positions on environmental reform, Obama has shown no such ideological flexibility.

Worrisome.

EDH said...

"ice releases thousands of illegals..."

"Can't keep him in a cage for the rest of his life."

Lem said...

There is not enough iron in your chain.

John said...

Medieval England held their kings to higher standards of behavior than the media holds the Village Idiot in the White House. Lovely.

Lem said...

What illegals?

chickelit said...

*Chain reaction

*Base pair catenation as in DNA, RNA, etc. and inherency.

These also come to mind.

edutcher said...

If Choom didn't give the word himself, Jarrett knew all about it.

I don't doubt it was probably on one of his little checklists.

Ann Althouse said...

I love that there's a whole long article on the topic "plausible deniability."

Interesting they don't mention the Reichstag Fire. they're still trying to figure out that one.

(if it ever turns out it was Walter Schellenberg's first master stroke, I won't be surprised)

OnWisconsin1987 said...

Criminals have been trying this type of evasion for years. The law's answer was willful blindness or deliberate ignorance (or "ostrich" instruction). Why not apply this to politicians?

Jay said...

Look,

This President isn't responsible for anything!

Debt?
Bush

Unemployement?
No Republican jobs bills

Benghazi?
Video

So shut up, racists!

stutefish said...

I don't think the deniability is supposed to be plausible to the public, but to Congress and the courts.

I think the public rightly sees "plausible deniability" as a failure in leadership: How come you didn't know what your people were up to?

I think the real concern to politicians is, what story are they going to tell to a Congressional hearing or an impeachment committee. What story are they going to tell to a judge?

The purpose of plausible deniability is to uphold that story: Yes, it's embarassing that I didn't know what my people were up to, but by the same token, you can't impeach or convict me for stuff you can't prove I did.

Plausible deniability is about putting a gap in the paper trail, severing the chain of command.

Jay said...

Look,

This President isn't responsible for anything!

Fast & Furious?
Bush started it!

USS Truman Can't Move?
Republican sequester bill

So shut up, racists!

Bob Ellison said...

"Plausible deniability" describes lying. The POTUS runs his team. "The buck stops here" and all that. If his minions maintain "plausible deniability", then the POTUS is incompetent, because he has failed to run an effective, responsible administration.

Grounds for dismissal. I'd fire the guy.

Amy said...

I read this as 'ice' and thought it had to do with global warming/climate change. I thought "Are they blaming immigration problems on that now, too?"

sonicfrog said...

Hey... Don't blame me. I wrote in the chair!

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting question came up last night - how does a bureaucrat release people from a prison (usually requires a judge)?

sonicfrog said...

But... But... He killed Bin Laden!!!!

You people just don't know how hard it is to be President! He's busy! He can't know EVERYTHING!

sonicfrog said...

Is there such a thing as deniable plausibility? If not, I think this administration has invented it.

YoungHegelian said...

I believe that the WH & DHS didn't know that the illegal immigrant release was about to happen.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM! They didn't know!

This administration has no leadership from the top, so the secretaries & undersecretaries do the best they can to muddle through on general principles. Third & fourth tier management (e.g. DoJ) runs riot with their own agendas.

People talk about "civilian control" on the military. But the real issue is civilian control of the federal bureaucracy, and under this administration, we just don't have any. The ICE bureaucracy felt its interests threatened, and they acted to protect them. It was the federal equivalent of a wildcat strike by union labor.

Sam L. said...

Mariel boat lift, anyone?

Hagar said...

Jack Kennedy ran on a platform of economy in Government and strengthening the national defense, which Gen. Eisenhower had so sadly neglected.

So one of the first things the Kennedy Mafia did was to put through a Reduction in Force (RIF) in civilian Federal employment. The Corps of Engineers reacted by laying off their field engineers and construction inspectors. Their construction projects predictably went to hell, and the complaints came flooding in and got reported all over the media. So, Congress ran for cover and restored the Corp's funding, and the Corps went, "Heh, heh, I guess we taught those damn politicians a lesson, this time!"

This is not a new tactic.

Henry said...
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Henry said...

Like Amy, "ice" made me think global warming, but "illegals" was a dissonant component. But, aha, there's the "food-chain." One of these things is a metaphor I think. Is it "ice" or is it "food-chain" or is it "illegals"?

I had a vision of ice caps melting and releasing thousands of frozen ice-age animals (sharks? bears? cavemen?) who enter our ecosystem illegally and begin eating their way up the foodchain.

It didn't occur to me until I clicked through that "ice" was an acronym, not a metaphor.

SJ said...

For some reason, the phrase "Chain of command" reminds me of a quote from the TV show Firefly

"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!" (Jayne Cobb, episode The Train Job.)

The quote illustrates the character, and gives his distinct view of how to deal with problems.

And makes any other meaning for "chain of command" sound humorous.

sonicfrog said...

I don't know why anyone is surprised the President claims he wasn't involved. In retrospect, I can believe it. Look at his biggest legacy, the ACA, or what people call ObamaCare. It really should be called Reid-Pelosi Care, because they were the ones who crafted the bill... And it shows on every level. Except for signing it, Obama really didn't have much to do with it at all.

The Drill SGT said...

I posted on this yesterday. There are three parts to the lie. It is certainly believable that the WH didn't know. They wanted it that way. The Commander issued this guidance:
- make squester hurt
- make it visible
- I don't want to be told in advance or approve

The Career junior SES or GS-15, sure as hell didn't do this without checking with the ICE political SES Boss. So that part is a lie

The ICE Boss, sure as hell told Janet what was planned, but likely did it orally, as not to leave a paper trail...

sonicfrog said...

Drill.... Yep.

elkh1 said...

"We don't live in a monarchy, and efforts to insulate a U.S. President from criticism should fail..."

Ah, efforts to insulate an English king from criticism failed too. Hence Beckett became St. Thomas, and the King lived in infamy for the rest of his time.

Beckett, a crony of the king, was elevated by the king, but fought for his office's independence, as he should.

Can't say that about our Congress which, by the Constitution, is a co-equal of the Executive who can't even assassinate them. Yet they bend over to kiss his ass. Disgusting slime.

AllenS said...

ICE, not ice. There's a big difference.

Seeing Red said...

Sonic - Barry wants single payer, even if it took 20 years.

Give it a couple of decades.

DADvocate said...

Plausible deniability. I was just thinking about that. Obama instructs his captains to "take care of it" but tells them nothing specific. They know what to do, but Obama can deny he told them to do that.

EDH said...

Ron Fournier, National Journal (via Insta):

Why Bob Woodward's Fight With The White House Matters to You

And why I iced a senior Obama White House official.

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. . . . I changed the rules of our relationship, first, because it was a waste of my time (and the official’s government-funded salary) to engage in abusive conversations. Second, I didn’t want to condone behavior that might intimidate less-experienced reporters, a reaction I personally witnessed in journalists covering the Obama administration.”

Ann Althouse said...

"ICE, not ice."

It's a tweet. People don't take the trouble to use the shift key. Just like they don't bother to replace clichés with some fresh words or even to use the right clichés.

SGT Ted said...

Point of Trivia: We often referred to the Chain of Command as the 'food chain" in the Army. As in: Bigger Fish down to Smaller Fish.

gutless said...

This is so far from passing the smell test that it makes one's eyes water.

gutless said...

This is so far from passing the smell test that it makes one's eyes water.

Nathan Alexander said...

Orwell's 1984 was off by 3 decades.

The political media sphere has become completely surreal.

Calypso Facto said...

Something I keep coming back to as I read all of these doom and gloom consequences of the sequester is that these are "budget" cuts, NOT immediate cessation of payments. Most of these organizations will have a year to figure out how to reduce their expected growth or, in a very few cases, actually trim FUTURE spending. Not that there's ever a good reason to release detainees without court order, but to release them today because your agency might have to spend less IN THE COMING YEAR is obviously ludicrous.

EMD said...

Bound to happen sooner or later.

MarkW said...

Unfortunately, I don't think that analogy is really an error. In D.C. don't they think in those terms -- that important people are higher on the food chain and can eat the little people at will?

Rabel said...

They'e most worried that there's a Willie Horton among the releasees.

That would create a bit of a problem. So the lie becomes a necessity.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Different pundits would attribute different meanings to "the Obama Doctrine" , as it came to describe other elements, including the controversial policy of preventive surrender, which held that the United States should release foreign prisoners that represented a potential or perceived threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate; a policy of spreading fear around the political base, especially in the north of the Mexican border States, as a strategy for combating the republicans; and a willingness to unilaterally pursue the president’s budget priorities.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Absent a federal law giving a bureaucrat the discretion to order the release of federal prisoners, how can anybody be released from a federal prison without a court order?

mtrobertsattorney said...

Absent a federal law giving a bureaucrat the discretion to order the release of federal prisoners, how can anybody be released from a federal prison without a court order?

Amartel said...

Obama threatens to veto Senate bill that would allow him more flexibility in making spending cuts.
Wouldn't want that!

Lem said...

Its not abuse of power until somebody says it is.

Methadras said...

Fuck Urkel and anyone that supports that traitor. He's an enemy to this country and leftists are applauding him for executing the plan they could never carry out. He just doesn't hide it anymore.

SteveR said...

By giving flexibility in spending "cuts" it means secretaries could be called to testify as to why they chose one course vs another. The administration wants it to be unclear and unaccoutable.

Amartel said...

Exactly. O'Blamer will not accept blame. The buck stops somewhere else.

Lem said...

Chain Of Fools

furious_a said...

We don't live in a monarchy, and efforts to insulate a U.S. President from criticism should fail and will fail if we haven't lost track of our role as citizens.

Except that the media have lost track of their responsibility as a free press, so they might as well be palace heralds, down to the livery and trumpets.

n.n said...
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n.n said...
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n.n said...

Still, it's better than establishing Mexico as a de facto penal colony. Perhaps we should recognize and address the factors which motivate excessive immigration, and especially unmeasured illegal immigration.

Well, whatever they may be, the administration's decision to supply arms to criminal cartels, and the ensuing slaughter of innocents, did not improve the situation.

As for America, it seems that we have not yet suffered sufficient displacement and corruption. We remain complacent in a decadence induced dissociation from reality.

furious_a said...

Castro had the rationale of emptying his own prisons onto his American enemy's shores. Carter the admirable if naive motivation of humanitarianism.

What's Pres. Obama's excuse?

Jeff Teal said...

Just for clarification ICE "detains" undocumented or illegal aliens at Federal detention facilities.They do not have to have a judge release them as they have not not yet been convicted.And some of these Federal detention facilities are actually county and city jails which hold the detainees for the Feds because the Feds pay more for the bed space.

Jeff Teal said...

Plus do the math if you release 10-20 detainees from what are actually several thousand county jails you can really pump up your numbers.
and have a lot of new crime vectors.For example our local county jail is literally located out in the country.This is miles from any quasi-urban area. So all of a sudden you have say 20 wandering just released-i.e.-po'd in the middle of nowhere.Zombie Wars anyone?

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