Monday, December 06, 2004

"We will provide knowledge and take action to ensure the national security of the United States and the preservation of American life and ideals."

Can we trust the CIA to translate this poster?

Mondale host Alex and I opperate a rather fab lending library of sorts, sharing books with each other that we know will tickle our specific quirks and interests. Alex sent me a book in the last round, Pretty Straight Guys by Nick Cohen, that has put in a very foul mood and has me disgruntled in no small measure with western representative politics. Its an interpretation of Britain's New Labour government's policies since gaining power in 1997 and it is an unrelenting indictment of power seeking over public interest. Uggh. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I've always resisted my Dad's highly cynical approach to politics and now I'm finding myself following in his shoes.

Still, the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News project emailed this illuminating story to me that has helped distract me from my depression:


Following months of quiet diplomacy as well as public controversy,
the Central Intelligence Agency has yielded to persistent demands
from the Republic of Korea that the Agency change the way it spells
the name of the South Korean president.

Let no one say that the CIA is incapable of reform.

"The Web site of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) corrected the
name of the South Korean president to Roh Moo-hyun from previously
spelled No Mu-hyun," the Yonhap News Agency in Seoul reported this
week, referring to the latest revision of the CIA World Factbook.

(See "South Korea to CIA: It's Roh Not No," Secrecy News, 07/14/04;
and "A Lesson in Korean Linguistics," Secrecy News, 07/19/04).

But no matter how many concessions the CIA makes, there are some
critics who will never be satisfied.

"Many references [in the CIA World Factbook] still remain wrong,"
the Yonhap article stated. "The CIA site spells the name of the
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as 'Kim Chong-il' and still applies
the McCune-Reischauer system of romanization to spell South Korean
provinces, such as 'Cheju' and 'Cholla,' rather than the
government's official spelling, 'Jeju' and 'Jeolla'."

See "CIA Factbook Corrects Spelling of S. Korean President," Yonhap
News Agency, November 30, 2004:

Secrecy News: The Federation of American Scientists

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