A Special BOGUS Award

The Doc Gurley BOGUS Award is traditionally given to a Bonehead, Overhyped, Groundless, Unverified Study. This week, however, we’re awarding a special Bogus Award, to a case in the news of supremely flawed reasoning. Our BOGUS award this week is given for Bombastic Obfuscating and Grandstanding Under Scrutiny. The winner is America’s CIA chief, Michael Hayden.

Director Hayden was in the news because he was asked to explain the CIA’s new practice of snatching a person walking down the street, and then, without evidence, warrant, police, judge, or jury involvement, secretly shoving that person onto a plane, flying them captive to the other side of the world and then leaving them—without a trace—as a prisoner in a foreign state. Apparently, the parting words “Here, do what you want with him, and, please, take your time,” is believed to be part of the process.

This practice, in pretty much any civilized person’s eyes, is considered bad. Very bad.

So how does Director Hayden defend this act, called a rendition? The fact that “less than a hundred,” were done is the cornerstone of his justification. The headline, “CIA Chief defends renditions, less than 100 done,” was the mainstay of news outlets on the day of his testimony.

To see just how flawed Director Hayden’s reasoning is, let’s try a tool in our scientific arsenal. We’ll just use the same rationale and apply it to other hypothetical settings and see how well it stands up, shall we? Here is the Bogus-award-winning Director Hayden’s rationale, applied to other possible headline news stories:

1) Hospital defends botched amputations: less than a hundred this year!

2) Disturbed teen defends ritual puppy slaughter: less than a hundred. So far.

3) Serial rapist defends track record: less than a hundred. He thinks.

And, my favorite,

4) John Wilkes Booth defends assassination: just the one!

Doesn’t seem to work so well, now does it? Sorry, Director Hayden, it’s back to the drawing board for that justification…good luck with that.

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