Recommending terminology: DHS and NCTC docs are available

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has the original Department of Homeland Security and National Counter Terrorism Center documents encouraging changing the terminology in the “War on Terror.” 

Here’s the DHS report, dated January 2008: Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims (searchable PDF, 5.5mb).

Here’s the NCTC report is an executive summary of the DHS report above, dated 14 March 2008: Words that Work and Words that Don’t: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication (searchable PDF, 1.4mb).

A long time ago I had a boss tell me something, pay attention to the listening you’re creating.  These recommendations follow that same dictum.  It’s not what you say, but what they hear that matters. 

I have only skimmed them, so no deep remarks now except that to repeat these are long overdo.  haven’t read them yet, so no remarks I haven’t had a chance to read yet.  I am, as always, interested in your observations and comments.

H/T Counterterrorism Blog

One Reply to “Recommending terminology: DHS and NCTC docs are available”

  1. I think that despite Jeffrey Imm’s objections to the whole endeavor, these documents provide some great guidelines. Together they seem like an effort to move back to the doctrine the FBI espoused for dealing with terrorists during the 1970s and 1980s. The key component was not to legitimize terrorists by publicly acknowledging their political demands. Basically by making them just groups of violent criminals they lost a significant amount of their power and appeal.Some of the points made in the DHS document are really interesting: avoiding the use of “moderate Muslims” because people might interpret that as meaning “pro-American” really stuck out, as did the suggestion to utilize the “takfiri” discourse to delegitimize terrorist agendas and methods.

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