As the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to US national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.
Aware that much of the story was out of his hands, he tried to exercise what control he could: he hovered around the reporters' typewriters as they wrote, passed them questions as they talked on the phone to sources, demanded to be briefed after they hung up or returned from a meeting. Now, gulping down antacid tablets, Rosenfeld grilled Bernstein and Woodward to find out how solid this latest story was.
it had been briefed that when Culture people didn't speak Marain for a long time and did speak another language, they were liable to change; they acted differently, they started to think in that other language, they lost the carefully balanced interpretative structure of the Culture language, left its subtle shifts of cadence, tone and rhythm behind for, in virtually every case, something much cruder.
Iain M. Banks
No, it was simply that I was uninterested in making, as I saw it, a Xerox of some old emotional state. I was in my mid-thirties, with a marriage more or less behind me. I was no longer vulnerable to curiosity's enormous momentum. I had nothing new to murmur to another on the subject of myself and not the smallest eagerness about being briefed on Danielle's supposedly unique trajectory-a curve described under the action, one could safely guess, of the usual material and maternal and soulful longings, a few thwarting tics of character, and luck good and bad. A life seemed like an old story.
Sami and I had exactly one day together in the old world. On Tuesday the jihadists came to our front door and knocked down our buildings. Our new world was hijacked planes, anthrax, and Afghanistan. Then we had snipers inside the Beltway. Then came Iraq. With every military action we were told reprisals were not just probable, but a foregone conclusion. An intelligence officer with a fancy PowerPoint briefed teachers on 'our new reality.' He called us 'targets.' He said 'get used to it.' He told our Webmaster 'get off your ass' and remove bus routes/stops from the school's website. Johnny Jihad would find that information especially helpful if he decided to plow through our kids one morning as they stood half-asleep waiting for the school bus.
Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland. For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city. When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "I really can't believe it, " Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. "It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left." In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers, and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.