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No Doubt

January 27, 2006

Haven’t done one of these in a while…

Bush Confident Warrantless Wiretaps Legal

President Bush again defended his program of warrantless surveillance Thursday, saying “there’s no doubt in my mind it is legal.” [Emphasis added.]

No Doubt This is No Doubt. But this is not what OFFAL is talking about when he says “no doubt.” No. He isn’t talking about an American alternative rock band whose music was initially influenced heavily by ska, punk and New Wave [Wikipedia.]
No. He means something else altogether. He must. “No doubt” is no uncertain term. But there is a good deal of uncertainty surrounding the issue of the legality of warrantless surveillance. (You know, if you really think about it.)

Let’s try and draw a bead on what OFFAL was driving at when he said “no doubt.” (And, just for grins, let’s not type “no doubt” again. We’ll go for a children’s picture book feel.)

When else have our leaders been able to present their case with such certainty?

“There can be No Doubt at all that those weapons existed, absolutely No Doubt because that is said not just by this government or the United States government, it was set out in detail over 12 years by the United Nations and by United Nations inspectors.” —Blair

“There is No Doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction.” —General Tommy Franks

“Before the war, there’s No Doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical.” —General Michael Hagee

“Simply stated, there is No Doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is No Doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” —Dick

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves No Doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”OFFAL

“And even though we have No Doubt in our mind that the Iraqi regime is pursuing programs to develop weapons of mass destruction — chemical, biological and nuclear — I think the best intelligence estimates suggest that they have not been terribly successful.” —Colin Powell

Oops. Forget the last part of that last one, that Powell character never was quite on the right page, was he?

Whatever became of all that pre-war lack of doubt, anyways?


Here is what OFFAL had to say about it in an interview with Tim Russert in 2004. (Remember, by February of ’04 all the not-finding of WMD going on in Iraq was starting to get old.)

Transcript for Feb. 8 – Meet the Press

Russert: Mr. President, the Director of the CIA said that his briefings had qualifiers and caveats, but when you spoke to the country, you said “there is No Doubt.” When Vice President Cheney spoke to the country, he said “there is No Doubt.” Secretary Powell, “No Doubt.” Secretary Rumsfeld, “No Doubt, we know where the weapons are.” You said, quote, “The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency.” “Saddam Hussein is a threat that we must deal with as quickly as possible.”

You gave the clear sense that this was an immediate threat that must be dealt with.

President Bush: I think, if I might remind you that in my language I called it a grave and gathering threat, but I don’t want to get into word contests. But what I do want to share with you is my sentiment at the time. There was No Doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a danger to America. No Doubt.

Russert: In what way?

President Bush: Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon. We thought he had weapons. The international community thought he had weapons. But he had the capacity to make a weapon and then let that weapon fall into the hands of a shadowy terrorist network. [Emphasis added.]

Ok, so the lack of uncertainty, pre-war, about WMD would— after the fact —become the lack of uncertainty of their thoughts about Saddam’s WMD capabilities. In other words, there was No Doubt we thought Saddam possessed WMD.

So by now we’re zeroing in on a new workable definition of No Doubt. There’s not much we can do about the “no” part. It’s just there. Let us work on “doubt.”

This was a difficult one, but as far as I can tell, this is what we’re now working with:

doubt (dout)

1. A lack of certainty conviction that often leads to irresolution impiety. See Synonyms at uncertainty heresy.
2. A lack of trust faith.
3. A point about which one is uncertain insecure or skeptical disquieted: reassured assuaged me by answering exorcising my doubts.
4. The condition of being unsettled undecided or unresolved irresolute: an outcome election still in doubt.

(Original definition found at

It gets a little convoluted when you throw the “no” up in front of it, but it seems to workable.

After all that, what does it mean when OFFAL says— about his warrantless surveillance program —“there’s No Doubt in my mind it is legal” ?

First of all, it tells us that the “in my mind” part is unnecessary. Perhaps that’s just a bit of playful hyperbole on OFFAL‘s part. Mostly, it tells us that our leaders live in a fucking schizophrenic fantasy land where they make up shit up and then start fucking hammering on reality to stuff it into the mold they created.

Hmm. I guess that isn’t exactly a ‘new’ revelation, is it?

  1. January 27, 2006 1:47 AM

    I’m not going to get into any ‘word contests’. You people are all so fond of your ‘word contests’! There’s no doubt that I said no doubt, but you obviously weren’t listening to me.

  2. January 27, 2006 10:33 AM

    Yeah, the “I don’t want to get into word contests” move was probably a wise one. The last thing we need is a confused proletariat thinking about the meaning of words and shit.

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