Words Have Actual Meanings

What's that you say? Words have meanings? Yeah, whatever...don't give me any of that crap!

The Fast and Furious documents released by the White House last Friday reveal that Attorney General Eric Holder received at least two memos in 2010 relating to the misbegotten operation. (If you don’t know what Fast and Furious is, welcome back to Earth! How was Mars?)

This would seem to be in direct conflict with his testimony before Congress on May 3rd, 2011, which included the following exchange.

Rep. Darrell Issa: When did you first know about the program, officially, I believe, called Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge, what date?

Eric Holder: I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.

Now the Department of Justice is saying that Holder didn’t understand what was being asked and was, in fact, answering a different question, “When did you first know the sordid details about this program.”

Maybe it’s just me, but if I were testifying before Congress, I’d be paying careful attention to the questions and asking for clarification if I was uncertain about what was being asked. When I answered, I’d be picking my words pretty carefully.

“When did you first know about the program…” doesn’t mean, “When did you learn the details.” I know that because words have meanings and, over the years, I’ve learned the meanings for quite a few of them. Now I’m just a stoopid teabagger with a high school education, so I’d imagine that Attorney General Holder, with his fancy college education, must know the meanings for even more. That leaves me wondering how he could misunderstand a rather simple question, plainly stated, especially when his answer appears to be a direct response.

Moreover, if you take a closer look at the second part of that response, “…I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,” you have to question his command of the English language if his intention was to indicate that he’d only recently learned all the details about the program. He clearly says he’d just heard about it “for the first time.”

I don’t care what line of bull Holder the the DOJ try to tell us about this response. Words. Have. Meanings.  Most of us say we’ve just “heard” about something when we mean the absolute first mention of it, ever. And we all know what “for the first time” means.

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