Friday, April 3, 2009

CIA Encouraged by Latest Edition of Terrorist Style and Usage Manual

In recent weeks, President Obama’s Administration has instituted new rules regarding the use of language in official federal government communications. The program, in the words of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, is designed to show “we want to move away from a politics of fear.”

To that end, official government statements have replaced the phrase “war on terror” with “overseas contingency operations,” and the term “terrorism” with “man-caused disasters.”

Critics ridiculed the changes. But intelligence officials announced yesterday they had solid evidence the new language policies were yielding concrete results.

“Years ago,” an intelligence spokesperson told reporters, “we discovered an al-Qaida training document in England that contained extensive descriptions of how to wage war against infidels.” He then described how intelligence agents, just last week, intercepted a new edition of the same training manual that contains no such descriptions. Instead, encouraged officials said, the new manual indicates an entirely new direction for terrorist organizations.

The spokesperson said the new manual contains an updated chapter on style and usage that disfavors references to “beheading” infidels. “Instead,” he said, “the manual recommends inducing ‘cerebral separation anxiety,’” which, he added, “sounds a heckuvalot better to us.”

The officials also noted that nowhere in the new manual is there any reference to the goal of inflicting mass casualties. “Rather, what we see in the new manual is an emphasis on the production of something called ‘body confetti.’" While acknowledging that precise translation is always difficult, the spokesman said, "we’re feeling a lot warmer and fuzzier about that prospect.”

The new style manual also appears to pick up on Secretary Napolitano’s use of the term “man-caused disasters” by referring to its reading audience as “man-causes” rather than “terrorists.” The manual even includes a chapter on fashion that encourages "man-causes" to carry explosives in “manbags” instead of backpacks, adding manbags “have longer straps, are lighter on the shoulder, and more conducive to good posture.”

Associated articles: National Review;;