Friday, April 16, 2004

Just how non-literate can one human being be?

Over at Political Animal, Kevin Drum has a short note clarifying the beast that is known as the PDB, or Presidential Daily Briefing. According to former CIA officer Larry Johnson, the notorious Aug 6 2001 PDB was unusual in its length -- a whole page and a half -- given that the typical PDB was, perhaps, one or two paragraphs.

Nothing curious there, until you read Sidney Blumenthal here, where Blumenthal writes:

Bush, in fact, does not read his President's Daily Briefs, but has them orally summarised every morning by the CIA director, George Tenet. President Clinton, by contrast, read them closely and alone, preventing any aides from interpreting what he wanted to know first-hand. He extensively marked up his PDBs, demanding action on this or that, which is almost certainly the likely reason the Bush administration withheld his memoranda from the 9/11 commission.".

Jeezus, man, how illiterate do you have to be to need someone to summarize one to two paragraphs for you? Words fail me.

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