Here is her statement she made regarding Benghazi with analysis to follow. This is a good statement to learn some basic techniques from.
"Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated."
One of the things we consider is how might a shorter statement be made?
This is because of a pattern of complexity within deception.
Truth stands on its own and needs no persuasion. When not believed, or from a defensive posture, we sometimes see subject's seeking to buttress truth, which can weaken the assertion.
But when we see the need to firm up, or qualify, we see continued weakness.
Here, a deliberate Islamic attack took place but the Obama administration sought to blame a critic of Islam who made a video on you tube that was unknown instead.
The attack was well planned and warnings unheeded. Later, when the attack took place, calls for help went ignored resulting in death for Americans.
The Obama administration left it up to Susan Rice to deceive the American people about the deaths. This is her statement:
Our current best assessment,
The statement begins with "our", which is appropriate, as she was speaking for the Obama administration.
The first qualifier is "current", which is also appropriate which identifies the element of time. This suggests to the recipients that the assessment may change given more time. With any initial response, this is appropriate weakness.
The word "best" is the second qualifier of the assessment. It is unnecessary to use with "current", which already signaled that new assessments, or, specifically, subsequent (time) assessments may come.
By using the word "best", we now know that there are other assessments the subject is thinking of at this early point in the statement. This is a point of weakness.
based on the information that we have at present,
Here she introduces the element of time again. Since this was "current", the additional wording of "at present" is unnecessary to state.
This is where readers begin to sense deception: the unnecessary adding or "piling on" information, which reveals the need to persuade, rather than report.
"at present" now affirms that the subject is "very sensitive" about presenting information at this time and this sensitivity is causing a linguistic "stutter" where no such stutter should exist.
This is now the 3rd qualifier used, where one was sufficient. She is "hedging her bet" in an attempt to avoid an outright statement of assessment.
One hedge is appropriate for someone who does not fully trust the information to be accurate.
Two hedges indicates weakness. This subject is struggling to believe.
Three hedges suggests deception. This subject knows it is not true and we look for the rest of the statement to affirm this point for us so that we may discern deception.
We then receive confirmation:
is that, in fact,
Here, she calls upon the reader to accept that which she has hedged three times as "fact."
This is a point of incongruous in the statement. She has just finished convincing us that the information could be incorrect and would be updated by more information in time, but now demands it to be accepted without question as fact. By contradicting herself (3 qualifiers are now nullified) she has revealed why she had such need to persuade, rather than report what happened.
what this began as,
Here we have a broken sentence which is to show self-censoring. She has stopped herself from completing this sentence. We now seek to learn what she needed to "correct" or censor:
it was a spontaneous
By her introduction, we must now consider that the subject is deceptive about a specific point: spontaneity of the attack.
The self censoring followed a point of deception (incongruous declaration) which would now lead analysts to question if deception is indicated here, at this point of the statement: spontaneous.
The analyst should now consider that this is the alternate information that the author referenced in the word "best."
Like all assertions, we look for the statement to prove it for us. We are not made to wait:
– not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo.
here we have an elevation of importance as seen in the negative, she reports what it was not, however:
it is unnecessary to state.
"spontaneous" has already told us it was not premeditated. This indicates the need to persuade us, now by definition and emphasis, that it was not premeditated.
The analyst now knows:
the subject is lying and
the subject knew the attack was planned.
Note the attack is not mentioned. It is called "this" by the subject. This avoidance (distance) is, due to the extremity of the situation, is close (this) psychologically, to the subject.
It is as if she has reported someone breaking into a bank and robbing it, and then adding that breaking into a bank and robbing it is robbery. You might wonder why the person has the need to repeat this with emphasis.
She continues to speak in broken sentences. This is not only self censoring but a refusal to commit:
response to what had transpired in Cairo.
Note the missing article (or pronoun) within the broken sentence. This is an example of the internal stress of lying causing disruption to processing.
We now consider that the subject is either very nervous or is not a smooth pathological liar.
In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated."
"as you know" is, in Statement Analysis, the same as "of course", expect it is even weaker as it appeals to what "you know", which is a psychological ingratiation.
It attempts to "win you over" to the subject's side, by attempting to cause "you", the recipient, to acknowledge something you may not want to acknowledge.
Victim Blaming and Victim Shifting
Weighing the Language:
Which gives emphasis?
Which is stronger?
Which is used for effect?
Note there was a "violent" protest to a "very offensive" video.
Might you have said, "there was a very violent protest because of an offensive video"?
The subject places greater emphasis is placed upon the content of the video than upon the violence that took place in Cairo.
This is to say that the video was worse than the violence.
What was the video?
It was critical of Islam.
The author's viewpoint is that a you tube video critical of Islam is worse than the violence; hence, the subtle shifting of blame, or "victim blaming."
The deaths of Americans, and the violence in Cario are given a subordinated classification, while the criticism of Islam is elevated.
This represents the subject's position, whether it is her own, or her own in defense of her boss' ideology.
The awkwardness of self censoring indicates a disruption in the speed of transmission of the brain.
Islam, as an ideology, calls for death for anyone who criticizes it. The enforcement of this is called the Sharia Blasphemy Law, and it has kept Islam immune from reformation for 1400 years. Muslims who have sought reformation have been targeted with violence, including death,
The subject knows the attack was premeditated and the attack was not related to a you tube video.
The priority is deception and the protection of Islam's reputation, as well as cause the public to divert its attention from the deaths and violence, on to the video (and its maker).
In this lesson, I wrote that we ask ourselves how we might word something.
"Our current assessment is that this attack may have come due to protests over a video."
While some liars seek to say very little, most feel the need to go on and on because of the weakness of a lie. There is no psychological strength within it. When someone is lying and there is a minor point of truth, within the, lie, they often emphasize it because it provides some relief from the stress. The word "did" is often a signal of such.
"I did see the little girl at the store during the robbery..." instead of "I saw..."
This is because the thief is using sentence after sentence to deceive and feels a momentary flush of confidence in being able to assert something from experiential memory. It is often, within a deceptive statement, a reliable fact investigators can use.
To determine if the subject here, Susan Rice, is a habitual liar, we would need more sample. In this statement, it may be a combination of factors including her own personal reluctance to protect Islam, as well as the internal resistance to the stress of direct lying. In this short statement, she does not show a skilled habitual liar.
If you wish to be trained in deception detection, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services.
We offer both seminar and at-home training for a wide variety of professionals and law enforcement.
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