Spooks’ “Estimate” Language: A Spyspin Dictionary

The new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) may not have made a major contribution to public faith in the reliability of  America’s
spy network but it has made a major contribution to the National Spinspeak Vocabulary (NSV).

The NIE report, recognizing the dumbing down of  voters, helpfully
provides a special NIE dictionary of what it calls “estimate language.”  This special spyspin language is designed to “convey” to the unwashed “the probability” that anything in the report is true; also, “the level of confidence” the spooks have
in their “judgment” of “the probability.”

Here is a  synopsis of the latest spyspin along with translations:

probably, likely, very likely, almost certainlyhopetalk for “there is a greater than even” chance that we know what we are talking about even considering our earlier opinion which was the opposite.

unlikely, remoteCYA-talk for less than a 50-50 chance something will happen but who knows, right?

we cannot dismiss, rule out, discount = hyperCYA-talk for we don’t think the worst will happen but consider yourself warned.

might, may = plastertalk for we really don’t know because someone decapitated our agent while he was on the phone.

high confidence = hopetalk for our information is “high quality” but you never know, do you?

moderate confidence = CYA-talk for our information is
“credibly sourced and plausible” but you have to hedge your bets when dealing with these ragheads.

low confidence =hyperCYA-talk for  it’s OK for you  to
believe this garbage a little bit but we’re supposed to be professionals.

Explore posts in the same categories: CYA-talk


You must be logged in to post a comment.