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Brit Hume Vies with Pentagon Spokesman for Most Vile Statement of the Week (or Maybe the Year): Part Two

December 6, 2001

Yesterday I discussed a recent statement by Fox News anchor Brit Hume that was at once stupid, callous and disingenuous.

Here, in competition with Hume for the most vile statement award, is a recent assertion by Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, chief spokesman for the Central Command.  Admiral Quigley was denying widespread eyewitness reports that U.S. bombs had hit 3 towns near Tora Bora and killed scores, if not hundreds of people:

If we had hit a village causing widespread death that was unintended, we would have said so. 

We have been meticulous reporting whenever we have killed a single person.

There is no chance the village was targeted improperly.

As with the Hume statement, the utter odiousness of the Admiral's words will be quite apparent to anyone who has been following the course of the Afghan War.  But just for the record:

Stupid: The line of reasoning seems to be: we report every single (assumedly) civilian death.  We did not report hitting these villages.  Therefore, the fact must be, that we did not hit these villages.

Callous: We are asked to ignore the eyewitness reports of all the villagers and anti-Taliban local officials.  They are hallucinating.  When they report the death and maiming of loved ones, don't listen.  They are merely Afghans.  What could they know, compared to our modern technology that has established there was no such bombing attack on their villages.

Disingenuous: If there is anything this conflict is notable for, it's the paucity of information emanating from the Pentagon about what's happening on the battlefield.   Admiral Quigley deserves some credit for being able to keep a straight face while claiming that the Pentagon has been reporting civilian casualties, let alone been "meticulous" in reporting the death of even "a single person."

Indeed, the more I think about it, Admiral Quigley's statement crosses the line from mere disingenuousness into utter chutzpah.  Perhaps that element should make his statement the winner over Brit Hume's.

Still, there is that explicit denigration of the humanity of the Afghan people and the worth of their lives that Hume posits: I'd be reluctant to claim that anything of a worse nature could be said.

I'll think I'll just let each reader decide for him- or herself the winner of this sad contest.  (Feel free to make comments on which statement you think is worse.)

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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