to "stovepipe"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Apr 12 16:11:33 UTC 2005

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 09:04:31 -0400, Orin Hargraves <orinkh at CARR.ORG> wrote:

>>Fox News Live  just now, with intonation italics :
>>"A culture of 'stovepiping' information leading to important intelligence
>>being lost."
>>It seems to mean something like "to disseminate through classified and
>>exclusive channels."
>It's covered in the new NOAD (just out): the general notion is to
>disseminate effectively through vertical levels, without horizontal
spread. >The NOAD example (it might have come from OED incomings) is
"neocons who
>stovepipded lies straight up to the White House."

Bill Safire has been talking about "stovepiping" since at least 1995:

New York Times, Jul 3, 1995, p. 21
Instead of pooling information on the world underworld and sharing it with
police, the intelligence communities "stovepipe" what they find.
"Stovepiping" is espionage argot for sending compartmentalized data
directly up top. No foreign dissemination; no intracommunity vetting; no
coordination with law enforcement.

See also Seymour Hersh's 2003 _New Yorker_ article, "The Stovepipe":

--Ben Zimmer

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