On The Passive Voice and Nonexistent Agency

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Thomas J. Whitley is a Ph.D. Candidate in Religions of Western Antiquity at Florida State University where he studies sexual slander and identity formation in early Christianity. You can read more of his work on his blog and you can follow him on Twitter for the daily minutiae of his life @thomaswhitley.

“C.I.A. Funds Found Their Way Into Al Qaeda Coffers” — so read the New York Times notification I received Saturday. The circumlocution was amusing. “Found their way” — or “ended up” as this NYT article puts it — is about as neutral a way of stating this as possible. The article is careful not to assign blame in its telling of how the money from the C.I.A. was used to pay off Al Qaeda in 2010. Continue reading