Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Additional Words" Example in Analysis

Earlier this year, President Trump ordered an attack on Syrian forces because chemical weapons were used against Syrians, including women and children. 

  Chemical weapons are illegal according to international law and were supposed to have been, by now, removed and destroyed.  

In 2014, John Kerry declared "100%" of the chemical weapons were removed, with most destroyed or in the process of destruction.  He specified another number:  

   the "last 8%" were removed, subtracting from 100% equaling 92%.   These are specific numbers. 

We always note the use of percentages in statements, not only to understand the subjective language of a subject, but their use in persuasion.  

This made for a great public relations congratulatory statement, but was it true?

Question for analysis:  Did he believe his own words?

Did he suspect that chemical weapons still existed in Syria?  They take years and expense to develop.  

Here are some principles:

Unnecessary words are very important. 
Unnecessary information is only unnecessary until we understand the subject.  
Additional wording is always important. 
Repetition of a word increases importance. 
Repetition of an additional word is even more important. 
Repetition of an additional, unnecessary word is extremely sensitive to the subject.   

When we can remove a word from the sentence and it remain a complete sentence, the additional word should always be flagged for sensitivity or importance.  

John Kerry 
June 23, 2014

Today, the international maritime task force completed the critical mission of removing the last 8 percent of declared chemical weapons precursors from Syria. With this step, 100 percent of the declared chemicals are out of war-torn Syria. We congratulate the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and the entire international coalition, which operated under dangerous conditions to remove more than 1,000 tons of declared chemical weapons materials, a daunting undertaking that grew out of the agreement we reached last year between the United States and Russia.
Let's look at the statement again.  Did you notice an additional word that is repeated?

Today, the international maritime task force completed the critical mission of removing the last 8 percent of declared chemical weapons precursors from Syria. With this step, 100 percent of the declared chemicals are out of war-torn Syria. We congratulate the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and the entire international coalition, which operated under dangerous conditions to remove more than 1,000 tons of declared chemical weapons materials, a daunting undertaking that grew out of the agreement we reached last year between the United States and Russia. 
Did you notice the word "declared", which qualifies (modifies)  "chemical weapons" in the statement?
He could have said, "...100% of the chemical weapons are out of war-torn Syria..." but he added the word "declared."  He specified "the" chemical weapons as those that were "declared." 
He did not say who was responsible for such a declaration.  This is a use of passivity which is used when no responsibility of identity is made.  It is an "inappropriate use of passivity" in context.  Why?
Because of the use of specific numeric (percentage) assigned.  
He then repeated it. 
He repeated it yet again.  
This increases the importance (sensitivity) of the word. 
The analyst must acknowledge:  
*An unnecessary additional word is used three times in conjunction with passivity and specific numeric.*
Analysis Conclusion:   Deception Indicated. 
The subject  knew that chemical weapons existed that were not declared had not been removed or destroyed.  
Let's consider two objections to this conclusion: 
Objection:  Couldn't this be "the subject knew or suspected that chemical weapons existed that were not declared"?
Answer:  Yes, it could.  This is a valid point and the conclusion often comes down to the experience of the analyst.  If an analyst had written, "the subject knew or suspected" the analysis would be correct.  
Why go further and exclude "suspected"?
There are three reasons: 
1.  Had he used it once, I would have concluded "the subject knew or suspected" but three times used, so very close together, increases the sensitivity which must be acknowledged.  
2.  The use of passivity in a statement with numeric;
3.  The fact that after the first usage of "declared", the 2nd and 3rd use is both unnecessary and goes against the law of economy.   
Objection:  These were, perhaps, new chemical weapons. 
Answer:  Besides the length of time known for development, production and engagement, we consider only the statement for the answer.  Had he had no current knowledge (as of the date of the statement), we would not have the extreme sensitivity we see in the employment of 
a.  unnecessary 
b.  repetition 
c.  passivity 
The language guides us to the truth. 
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Anonymous said...

"With this step, 100 percent of the declared chemicals are out of war-torn Syria."
"a daunting undertaking that grew out of the agreement we reached last year between the United States and Russia."

...are also very unnecessary. Here's how it could have read had it been truthful:

Today, the international maritime task force completed the mission of removing the last 8 percent of chemical weapons precursors from Syria. We congratulate the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and the entire international coalition which operated under dangerous conditions to remove more than 1,000 tons of chemical weapons materials.


Unknown said...

Anonymous Anonymous said..

KC if he had said that he would have changed the meaning and possibly made an outright lie. even professional frauds avoid outright lies. I think lying is standard operating procedure for kerry yet he still hedges.

Anonymous said...

Kerry's statement was consumed not only by American citizens, but also people living in Syria: aid workers, NGOs, and Syrian citizens.

While I would like to think that all of the above never believed a word of it, what of those who did and as a result stayed in an at-risk location?

Did Kerry ever consider that his congratulatory statement would give innocent civilians a false sense of security?

This would be an interesting question for a journalist to ask the former Secretary.

Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic.
It is interesting how often water is mentioned.

Scott Peterson told police he was heading out to the golf course for a quick round with his father and brother when he was pulled over and arrested for the murder of his wife Laci back in 2003 just three days after authorities discovered her body.

A search of the car he was in at the time turned up everything but golf clubs, and left police convinced that he had been trying to flee before he could be thrown behind bars.

Investigators found six pairs of shoes and enough socks and underwear for weeks, along with over $300 of recently purchased camping equipment from REI including a tent and a water purifier.

There were also 15 laminated missing flyers for his wife Laci that had never been passed out or put on display.

The contents of that car can be seen in evidence photos taken by the Modesto Police Department, which will be featured this Thursday on the ABC News special 'Truth and Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson' airing at 9pm on the network.

Police had been tailing Scott for some time before he pulled over and they were anle to pick him up in a parking lot where he claimed to be meeting his father and half-brother John for a round of golf at Torrey Pines in La Jolla.

At the time he was in possession of three cell phones, $15,000 in cash, 200 sleeping pills, his brother John's ID, a dagger and a gun.

Scott, who was 30 at the time, also had a map to the workplace of his mistress and approximately 10 Viagra tablets.

In addition to the large amount of clothing in the car there were also credit cards belonging to his mother and sister.

Prior to being stopped Scott was also leading police on a fast and furious chase that could have very well turned fatal.

'He was driving 80 miles an hour on a freeway and he would slam his breaks on, pull over,' said lead investigator Allen Brocchini.

'It got to the point where we had a helicopter, lost him ... either he’s going to kill somebody or one of these agents that are trying to follow him are going to get killed or kill somebody.'

Brocchini said that he knew that the department needed to find Scott quick given the fact that the bodies of Laci and the couple's unborn son Conner turned up not too far from the spot where he claimed to have been fishing on Christmas Eve when Laci went missing.

'First thing he says is, "Tell me it wasn’t Laci and Conner,"' said Brocchini.

'I mean, you know, he already knew but I mean, that’s how he was.'

Scott said after his arrest that he was only driving erratically because he though the media was following him and not investigators.

As for the contents of the car he said it was because he was avoiding Modesto and spending his time with family and friends in San Diego.

'The guy had like, I don’t know, $14,000, $15,000, cash, he had his brother’s ID,' said Brocchini.

'Hiking boots and... a shovel and [a] fishing pole.'

The car he was driving in meanwhile was registered to his mother Jacqueline.

Conner's body was discovered first, almost four months after his mother went missing when it washed up on the shoreline just north of Berkley in April of the following year.

There was a nylon rope around the fetus' neck and a large cut on the body.

One day later, Laci's body washed ashore a mile away with tape wrapped around her torso.

Both bodies were too decomposed to determine cause of death, which created a big hurdle given the lack of forensic evidence in the case.

Tania Cadogan said...


The two had also not yet been identified at the time Scott was arrested, and only a few days later did lab results confirm that it was Lacey and Conner who had washed ashore.

'I suspected Scott when I first met him,' said Jon Buehler, the former detective who headed up the case with Brocchini.

'Didn't mean he did it, but I was a little bit thrown off by his calm, cool demeanor and his lack of questioning ... he wasn't, "Will you call me back? Can I have one of your cards? What are you guys doing now?"'

As for the contents of Scott's car, Buehler said: 'This guy is like James Bond without the secret agent mission.'

The premiere episode of the A&E docuseries 'The Murder of Laci Peterson' recounted the final moments between Scott and his wife, as well as his last phone call to his wife on Christmas Eve back in 2002.

'Hey beautiful, I just left a message at home. Uh, it’s 2:15 I’m leaving Berkeley I won’t be able to get to Vella Farms to get that basket for papa I was hoping you would get this message and go on out there,' Scott said in the never-before-heard audio from Laci's voice mail.

He then told his eight-months pregnant wife: 'I’ll see you in a bit sweetie. Love ya, bye.'

The day had started off much like any other according to Scott, who almost 14 years later recapped that day from death row.

'I don’t know what time we got up, probably Laci got up and went in the shower, she had some cereal for breakfast,' explained Scott, speaking from the San Quentin State Prison.

'Eats right when she wakes up otherwise she gets sick because she’s pregnant.'

He went on to say: 'I laid in bed a little longer and got up at eight o’clock probably or so. We were watching her favorite show Martha Stewart. She was gonna finish cleaning up, she was mopping the kitchen floor and then she was going to take the dog for a walk.'

Scott then started laughing to himself as he recalls his plan for the day, saying: 'Just decided it seems too cold to play golf at the club so I just decided, you know, to go fishing.'

He left Laci shortly after 10am and never saw her again, and had an alibi for all times after that, heading first to his warehouse and then driving two hours to Berkeley for an hour of fishing before returning home.

Scott did not catch any fish that day, but a receipt proved he was in Berkeley at the dock.

It was while returning home at 2:15pm that he made his last call to Laci, and when he got home he still did not think anything was amiss at around 5pm on Christmas Eve.

'The only unusual things were the leash [on the dog] and the door being unlocked. I assumed she was at her moms,' said Scott, who was speaking with his sister-in-law Janey in a prison phone call for the A&E series.

'Put my clothes in the washer grabbed some pizza from the fridge. Got milk and after I get out of the shower and put clothes on I call Sharon.'

That was at 5:17pm, and 30 minutes later Laci's stepfather called 911 to report that they were concerned something might have happened to the 27-year-old, who was eight-months pregnant.

That was the first time Scott has spoken publicly about the case since 2004, when he was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of Laci as well as second-degree murder for the death of Conner Peterson, his unborn son.

'I wasn't the last one to see Laci that day. There were so many witnesses that saw her walking in the neighborhood after I left,' Scott said in the interview.

That claim was supported by over 11 witnesses, who say they spotted Laci out walking her dog after the time in which the prosecution later argued she had gone missing.

Tania Cadogan said...


Prosecutors successfully argued however that Laci was killed some time between the evening of December 23 and the following morning during Scott's murder trial.

'There was no biological evidence, no forensic evidence, that pointed to the guilt of Scott Peterson whatsoever,' argued a member of Scott's legal team.

Scott went even further, stating: 'The police failed to find my family.'

The trial began in the summer of 2004 and Scott was sentenced to death by lethal injection in March of the following year.

An appeal of that decision was filed by his legal counsel soon after and is still pending after over a decade.

Scott recalled the moment he heard the verdict being read to Janey, saying: 'It was just like this amazing, horrible, physical reaction that I had. I couldn’t feel my feet on the floor. I couldn’t feel the chair I was sitting in. My vision was even a little blurry.'

He went on to state: 'And I just had this weird sensation that I was falling forward — and forward and down and there was going to be no end to this falling forward and down, like there was no floor to land on.

'I, I was staggered by it. I had no idea it was coming.'

The only forensic evidence that was found by police was a single strand of hair in a pair of pliers on his boat, which Scott had been on in the hours before he returned home to report his wife missing to police.

Witnesses claimed however that he spoke of his wife in the past tense and questioned his jovial and joking nature during the proceedings, where hecould often be seen smiling and joking with his team.

Scott's decision to dye his hair blond in the weeks before his wife's body was found also perplexed many, who questioned how bereaved he really was for the missing woman.

The defense argued however that Laci's death was likely connected to a burglary that occurred across the street from the house she shared with Scott.


Interesting that he doesn't say he was shocked because he didn't do it on hearing the verdict which would be the expected response of an innocent man.
Instead, it sounds almost as if he was shocked he got caught because he thought he had committed the perfect murder.

Tania Cadogan said...

Another off topic

An Ohio man has admitted to hiding his daughter's body at his Chinese restaurant after his wife allegedly beat her to death.

Liang Zhao and his wife, Mingming Chen, called the cops in January to report their five-year-old daughter Ashley Zhao had gone missing from the back room at their restaurant, Ang's Asian Cuisine, in North Canton.

The report sparked a state-wide manhunt and police combed the nearby area looking for her.

Ang's body was eventually discovered the next day, still inside the restaurant, near the kitchen's freezer, Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Investigators say she was struck in the head several times, causing fatal brain injury. Both her parents were arrested after the grisly find.

Now Liang Zhao has agreed to testify against his wife who he claims beat the little girl to death.

Zhao will serve 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Monday obstructing justice, corpse-abuse, tampering with evidence and endangering children.

Authorities said he'd attempted to revive his daughter before helping his wife hide her body.

Chen, who is charged with murder and felonious assault, is due back in court October 16 for her trial.


The 911 call makes for interesting listening, there is no urgency, he seems to forget his story, he has to be prompted for his daughters name.
12 years is not long enough

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Tania,

Peter done analysis on the
911 call, im on my phone and
dont know how to post link. Haha

John Mc Gowan said...

If this works


Anonymous said...

Anyone know how to get Dr Phil episodes? I want to see Sinead OConnor interview from yesterday. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Try you tube

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I found it...I looked last night on youtube & I couldnt find it & couldnt figure out how to get it on Dr Phil's site....

Malene Jessen said...

He doesn't actually say that the last 8% was removed.

"Today, the international maritime task force completed the critical mission of removing the last 8 percent of declared chemical weapons precursors from Syria. With this step, 100 percent of the declared chemicals are out of war-torn Syria."

He said, the mission, with the intent of removing the last 8 percent, was completed. The completion of the mission is more important to him than the intent. Could it be, that the mission was completed without succeeding with the attempt?

Also, "With this step" suggests it's an initiative that has been (or indeed, will be) taken. One step does not equal a destination. It appears to be a declaration of intent.

E.g. "I have completed my mission of creating an online dating profile. With this step, 100% of the single guys out there are mine."
This does not suggest, that I have dated every single guy, or even one guy. It is simply my projection of a future possibility.

John Jasper said...

In hindsight, Kerry probably knew that the US would fake chemical attacks to be blamed on the Syrian government so setup the ambiguity deliberately. These people spend millions planning every move which is how they respond so quickly when their initial attack is thwarted.