Nondenial denials

Holden at Eschaton is obsessed with the White House press corps’ daily gaggle:

Q Why don’t you answer the question? Do we have secret detainees and is it possible that they could be subjected to the same treatment as in Baghdad prisons?
MR. McCLELLAN: We work to address these issues that the Red Cross raises directly with the Red Cross. And any issues that they have, we respond directly to the —
Q That’s not the answer to the question.
MR. McCLELLAN: — Red Cross. We meet with them on a regular basis at a variety of levels, and we stay in close and constant contact with them. And I really don’t have anything else to add to this issue.
Q You don’t know whether we have secret detainees —
MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, Helen, I don’t have anything else to add to this issue.
Q Why?






One response to “Nondenial denials”

  1. David Kolodney Avatar
    David Kolodney

    There was an odd counterpoint during Watergate about deniability, because the Mission Impossible assignment-tape promised disavowal before it self-destructed, and we mostly thought that was pretty cool. The episode that followed showed something we approved of, and the secrecy seemed understandable, in a winking sort of way. The really deep, corrosive distrust of America’s leadership hadn’t yet set in.
    Now, definitively with the Iraq prisoner scandal, we tend to think rather that the government’s secret episodes are shameful and the secrecy itself craven.