DOD SNAFU  10:55 am November 30, 2010

Wonkette’s Own Wikileaks: Pentagon Says No To Acronyms

by Ken Layne

STFU Wikileaks.Did you enjoy the million new Wikileaks’ secret documents with your leftover turkey? Of course not. There are just too many documents! And that’s why Wonkette is launching its own version of Wikileaks, the Wonkileak — each release will consist of exactly one (1) document. And we guarantee that each release will completely shame every level of the U.S. Government, forever. Today, we present Wonkileak #1, this authentic DoD memo from this morning that outlaws acronyms. Somehow, we think the Pentagon is going to lose this war, too.

WAR ON SNAFU.
Here is the complete body text of the memo:

The use of acronyms by the Department of Defense is extensive. Many acronyms have multiple meanings and are not always well known outside a particular organization. Although using acronyms in written material is intended to make writing clearer, their misuse or abuse does the exact opposite.

Effective immediately, all written correspondence prepared for the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense will minimize the use of acronyms or include a comprehensive glossary as the last tab of the package. Particular attention should be given to Read-Aheads and slide presentations, which can contain a large number of acronyms.

Michael L Bruhn
Executive Secretary

So, the king of all the secretaries in the Pentagon has said ENOUGH! Will the other secretaries listen? Who knows! Here is the scan of the memo so you can enjoy the “TSC” thrill of seeing the original command document:


Thanks to our secret emailer buddy, “SEMB.”

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 92 comments }

freakishlywrong November 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

SNAFU.

Lascauxcaveman November 30, 2010 at 11:15 am

Agree. IMHO, FWIW, banning acronyms is the antithesis of Wonkiness; QED.

Katydid November 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

The follow-up memo says they have to tweet all their shit from now on, for clarity.

Fare la Volpe November 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

NKorea sux. US & SKorea = <3!!

DahBoner November 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

Read aheads?

hockeymom November 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

"Shit you should know before you walk into that meeting so you don't look stupid"

"SYSKBYWITMSYDLS" Also.

LocalGirlMakesGoo November 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

Mmmmm…. red heads.

Fare la Volpe November 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

Completely Useless Newspeak Traumatizes Secretary

DahBoner November 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

Slide presentations?

i_AM_ready November 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

I hate when the slides get jammed and you have to turn the lights on to fix it. RUINS the show. Only thing worse is when the bulb in the projector burns out, just when you have all your friends over to look at your vacation pictures…

An_Outhouse November 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Have you ever had one of your slides melt? That's a total cluster fuck. Try to clean melted emulsion in the middle of a technical presentation. Everyone looks annoyed at you like "what a retard".

prommie November 30, 2010 at 11:45 am

Its what us olds call this newfangled "Powerpoint" thingydoodle.

Beanball November 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Picture this: I used to produce slide shows for "review by Higher Authority," and for which I received a commendation.

Needless to say, nothing the military brass does can get a rise out of me any more, including getting involved in land wars in Asia.

Trust me when I tell you they are Fucked Up Beyond All Repair.

GOPCrusher November 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm

This Slide Intentionally Left Blank

Beanball November 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I wish I'd thought of that one, but my special trick was to slip in – between the "package zones" and the Post-SIOP patrol area boxes and CEPs – were schmaltzy and/or bucolic slides of the targets; you know, Red Square at Christmas, heroic machine workers in Nizhniy Vovgorod and such. Nobody ever said WTF? or even blinked. Pathetic.

rocktonsam November 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

At least they recycle, also.

ManchuCandidate November 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

BFD

sherriawilson November 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

OMG DOD WTF?

prommie November 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

The secdef is apparently acronym-illiterate. I imagine similar memos went out from the white house during the W reign; ""One-syllable words only, please."

Prizepig November 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

Bush was OK with multi-syllabic words as long as the memo had a simple narrative structure with a clearly defined protagonist and antagonist and an unambiguous moral.

Also, stories about courageous animals.

charlesdegoal November 30, 2010 at 11:27 am

Although he tended to confuse 'protagonist' with 'proctologist', thought that antagonists were against him and that everyone except the gays had unambiguous morals.

WarAndGee November 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

Bill O'Reilly says you must die.

DeeJayKitteh November 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

He was tired of receiving updates on Afghanastan that simply read "OMG, WTF!"

DahBoner November 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

So this SGoUoAiWM memo will provide the Supplemental Guidance of Use of Acroymns in Written Material?

Party on Garth…

Toomush_Infer November 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

War is Peace….

Katydid November 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

Much like us Wonketteers, they can't find him.

EDIT: Note, if this was the Old Wonkette, I would be in serious danger of a banhammering. Since this is the new kinder, gentler Wonkette, I'm safe, and I'm not at all sure I like it. The new, kinder, gentler Wonkette, that is.

DahBoner November 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

Her Executive Secretary can beat up the DoD Executive Secretary?

charlesdegoal November 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

The only ones who don't know what the acronyms stand for are the secretary of defense and the deputy secretary of defense. They only know what DoD means. They've been kept completely in the dark for all these years and, with the leaking of documents, they are now confronted with the fact that they have signed off on totally unwarranted stuff, such as the wars in Iraq (IrW) and in Afghanistan (AfW), which they blindly OKd.

prommie November 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

They also have apparently been embarrassed when giving presentations that were prepared for them, when someone, oh, say a President or someone like that, asked them what an acronym on the screen stood for, and they didn't know.

charlesdegoal November 30, 2010 at 11:38 am

Including WMD, obviously.

Beanball November 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

See my post above.

Terry November 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

The Mudflats has been doing a pretty good job of reading and summarizing the book: http://www.themudflats.net/2010/11/27/america-by-

muthalovin November 30, 2010 at 11:13 am

I Wonkileak after I have had too many Four Lokos.

Tundra Grifter November 30, 2010 at 11:31 am

One is too many.

And a thousand aren't enough.

horsedreamer_1 November 30, 2010 at 11:13 am

With Rand Paul going after the Pentagon's budget, the military is just being proactive: cut the supply of letters (it's a figleaf, but so are ear-mark bans) while saving the weapons systems & other high-tech.

donner_froh November 30, 2010 at 11:14 am

Stop using confusing acronyms so there will more room for meaningless agglomerations like "Read-Aheads".

They must be into phrenology at the Pentagon.

Lascauxcaveman November 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

Thought we just called 'em "gingers" around here.

mereoblivion November 30, 2010 at 11:15 am

How soon does SEMB flee to Ecuador?

DangerHelvetica November 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

I like how this memo includes several acronyms (DC, OSD, and of course DoD).

CablinasianDem November 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

ADHERE OR GTFO

HempDogbane November 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

DADT about the NAD (new acronym decree) responses.

weejee November 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

Would that be Alaska's Krazy Ungovernatored Nra Twittertwat Sarah in the DoD'z paleoparlence?

Radiotherapy November 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

Also, the movie MASH shall heretofore be called whatever the fuck it stands for.

chickensmack November 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

Does this make Wonkette a turrist? Layne can haz waterboard?

swizzard November 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

"1000 DEFENSE PENTAGON" is the lamest fake address ever.

MinAgain November 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

FWIW, I like acronyms. YMMV.

MildMidwesterner November 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn't we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? 'Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we'd all be put out in K.P.

natoslug November 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.

TakingAmes November 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Yah, the formaldehyde is for flavor.

mumbly_joe November 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

tl;dr

Oblios_Cap November 30, 2010 at 11:37 am

OMG! Obviously most of the high brass is suffering horribly with the DTs.

Serolf_Divad November 30, 2010 at 11:37 am

The use of acronyms by the Department of Defense is extensive. Many acronyms have multiple meanings and are not always well known outside a particular organization. Although using acronyms in written material is intended to make writing clearer, their misuse or abuse does the exact opposite.

Dollars to donuts this memo was occasioned by a PowerPoint presentation gone horribly awry on the threat posed by the Phillipine based Moro Islamic Liberation Front . I imagine a low level staffer being quite suprised when he was tasked with adding a few MILF pictures to Secretary Gates presentation before the Joint Cheifs.

BarryOPotter November 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm

"Son! I AM yer mama! Whoa! Hello! Maybe not…"

mumbly_joe November 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

Damn you, sir, for beating me to this. That's what I get for not refreshing, I suppose. -_-

WhatTheHeck November 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

Oh for fuck's sake, Ken. We already have twitter-speak. Palin-speak. And YouTube idiot-speak. Now you are unleashing Wonkileaks’ Acronyms on us. Where is this going to end? I know. I know. You’re going to tell me to STFU.

mavenmaven November 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

Acronyms are in the constitution (WTPOTUS). Banning them is Obama Socialism and this is the proof. Obamanyms!
Start making new protest signs, teabaggers! The gov is forcing whole words down people's throats!

Thurman Munster IV November 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

Back in the day in Subic Bay, I needed a shot to cure my Wonkileak

GOPCrusher November 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Those were simpler times, when all one needed was a blast of penicillin.

Monsieur_Grumpe November 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

I hate acronyms. Engineers use them profusely and seeing that I am one I must deal with what I call acronym hell in just about every meeting. One meeting where a telecomm manager type was speaking at about 150 APM (Acronyms per Minute) and going on and on how we needed to get the TSBs for us to succeed. I finally asked what a TSB was. He looked stunned and informed me that it was a Tall Shiny Building.

DustBowlBlues November 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm

So absurd it's completely believable. When is DOD going to do something really worthwhile and forbid the practice of turning nouns into gerunds to create non-existent words or just fucking misusing the original. As in, the "Republithugs are looking to 2012, so the military should be prepared with useless but very expensive shit stock piled. It's understood that the Rs are CALENDARING the next war."

If the infinitive form doesn't fit, then cut it.

Next up: "correcting the use of reflexive pronouns, eliminating random quotation marks and using apostrophes in the grammatically correct manner."

Katydid November 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I'm a brittle technical writer. I hate to tell you the acronyms we brittle tech writers use for engineers.

Monsieur_Grumpe November 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I'm so sorry.
(that you must work with engineers)

Katydid November 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm

And I'm so sorry that you must work with brittle technical writers! Some of us are really obnoxious, but I'm not (truly).

Sgt_Biyatch November 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

Inexplicable: I recently wrote a book titled "America by Heart" on sale now for $12.99 (available at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon), but Obama's Secretary of Defense can't stop its employees, who also work for Obama, from using acronyms?

TakingAmes November 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm

So you're the ghostwriter?

DustBowlBlues November 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm

?

DustBowlBlues November 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

True story from "Fiasco" by Thomas Ricks.

The Bush admin. would only accept reports in Power Point presentations. No more thick military reports. Drove the DOD crazy. One of those little things that no one notices about Hopey being in office is that the DOD told everyone to quit with the fucking slide show.

(Plus, they hired more auditors for the IRS and instead of going after Earned Income Tax abusers, starting auditing fucking rich people. So much good done, so little attention. PS Read it in the CS Monitor, so it's complete truth.)

ttommyunger November 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm

The Military will quit using acronyms when Privates quit pissing in the Officer's coffee.

TakingAmes November 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm

And copying millions of documents onto Lady Gaga cds.

ttommyunger November 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm

One can only hope.

Ducandy November 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm

DOD GFY

ShaveTheWhales November 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The official address name of the Pentagon is the "Defense Pentagon"? Ya learn something useless every day.

cheetojeebus November 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Ecuador should be nice. Do you think you'll hunt for a hovel in the jungle or perhaps a shanty on the outskirts of Quito? Do send a postcard.

zhubajie December 1, 2010 at 9:19 am

Someplace close to a border to flee across.

zhubajie December 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Lots of interesting drugs in those jungles, I hear.

Krugmanic Depressive November 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I don't know who "Michael L. Bruhn" is, but this document is an obvious forgery. The real author is one Liz Becton.

Sgt_Biyatch November 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Who is Liz? She does not go by Liz.
Where did you get your information?

WordSaladNation November 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Bruhn signs like a girl.

BarryOPotter November 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

"Inexcusable: Ifin i can use acrynms on the twttr, 'n rl Mrknz get it, thn y cn't Obama!?! Dsgrcfl!"
–Ignint frm AK

BarryOPotter November 30, 2010 at 12:47 pm

You didn't hear this from me, but I heard from a guy who knows a guy that Ken's moonlighting as a TSA agent.

zappadoo76 November 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Okay, sergeant, I will stop saying "cointelpro" and "fubar." But what's a "read-ahead"?

Beanball November 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Cliff Notes with pictures and/or graphics. What we would call background info, or shit that they should already fucking know going into the meeting because it's their fucking job but probably don't because, frankly, they're usually incompetent wankers.

e_z November 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

JUMAAFFA, DoD

genxr November 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I don't think they understand just how seriously we take our peanut butter

natoslug November 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Great. The pentagon's already a money pit, and now they have to start buying more vowels? Bring back the acronyms!

kenlayisalive November 30, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Cool, we'll finally find out what ARMY stands for.

chascates November 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

How about eliminating all these time-wasting memos while we're at it?

PublicLuxury November 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm

CYA ASAP

axmxz November 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Someone page Vaclav Havel. DoD is in dire need of Ptydepe.

BarackMyWorld November 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Never
Again
Volunteer
Yourself

mumbly_joe November 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Pentagon to acronyms: DIAF.

Attila_T_Hun December 1, 2010 at 2:52 am

ABCD terrorists?
L, MNO terrorists
OSAR!

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