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Shared Values in Aleppo
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A quick, completely un-professional and non-systematic survey of some of my former CIA colleagues about how one goes about identifying the Syrian insurgents “who share our values,” per the Mitt Romney formula to overthrow the Assad regime, produced the following responses:

  • “Ask them if they share our values. Explain what our values are if they seem confused. If you are confused regarding our values ask the Chief of Station what they are.”
  • “Make up a values checklist. If you can plausibly check three boxes they’re okay, particularly if they can carry a gun.”
  • “Should we ask for their high school transcripts and start calling references?”
  • “Ask the village cop if they are good people and go to Mosque on Fridays.”
  • “Have them fill out a questionnaire with trick questions that reveal their innermost thoughts.”
  • “Waterboard them until they confess.”
  • “Polygraph them and since Arabs are good liars assume that every answer is a deliberate deception.”
  • “Say something nice about Osama bin Laden and note how they react.”
  • “Have a Mormon missionary knock on their door saying ‘Mitt sent me’ and see how they respond.”
(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Syria 
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  1. Slightly off topic but you know that actually used to be part of a decent background check. Now, a US “village cop” would need to consult a computer since the only time US cops speak to people is during traffic stops.

  2. tbraton says:

    How would a “village cop” who is undoubtedly an Irish Catholic, if Syria is anything like the U.S., have any idea who goes to Mosque on Fridays? Boy, being in the CIA for any length of time must make you really cynical–not to mention funny. Those responses were all pretty hilarious.

  3. is Aleppo a red state or a blue state? Fox News or MSNBC? Ginger or Marianne? Coke or Pepsi? Less Filling or Tastes Great? kidding aside; the sad, ironic truth is; Romney doesn’t even have ‘shared values’ when it comes to things like abortion, taxes/economic policy, or even his “47%” comments.

  4. cka2nd says:

    Thomas O. Meehan says: “the only time US cops speak to people is during traffic stops.”

    Color me skeptical, but I know folks who swear by community policing and getting to know their beat cop.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Lock them all in a soccer stadium and loop the Whiffenpoof Song through the loudspeakers at 600 decibels for 48 hours. The ones who come out humming it are our guys.

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