Battlepanda: The implied lie


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The implied lie

This doesn't even qualify as "truthiness":
Cheney: …I hark back to testimony by George Tenet when he was Director of the CIA. He went up before the Senate Intel Committee in open session — this is on public record — and said there was a relationship there [between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda] that went back 10 years. What was never established was that there was — that — a link between Iraq and the attacks of 9/11.

Tony Snow: Right, and I've heard you and the President say that many times.

Cheney: That's right.

Tony Snow: And you correct it any time somebody tries to raise it.

Cheney: That's right. And so what some people have done is gotten very sloppy and said, well, there was no link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, and then jumped to the conclusion that there was no relationship at all with respect to al Qaeda.
Note how this whole conversation is calculated to suggest the idea "there are strong ties between Saddam and Al Qaida" without actually saying it. And hey, it works. At least with 41% of Americans.

It reminds me of that drawing exercise high school art teachers are so fond of where students are asked to depict a bunch of chairs without drawing the chairs themselves, but the spaces between the legs and around the chairs. This is supposed to teach students the concept of negative space. It seems like Cheney is a past-master at manipulating negative spaces to imply the lie without the inconvenience of saying straight.

Just as drawing all the negative spaces around a chair still results in the depiction of a chair, drawing a bunch of insinuations around the shape of an untruth still results in a lie.