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Dispatches Quotables


(John Moore/AP)

‘We became a self-licking ice cream cone.’

Bob Crowley, a U.S. Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, on the military altering “every data point” about the war in Afghanistan “to present the best picture possible” to the public. He made the comment in government interviews revealed in The Washington Post’s “Afghanistan Papers.” The interviews show the government—going back to the Bush administration—deeply misled the public about the war.


Stewart F. House/Getty Images

Jeoff Williams (Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

‘The citizens who were inside that church undoubtedly saved 242 other parishioners.’

Jeoff Williams, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, after armed members (and security volunteers) of West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, shot and killed a gunman who attacked the congregation during a worship service on Dec. 29.



J. Scott Applewhite/AP

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

‘Like a steady drumbeat getting louder each year.’

Elizabeth Nash, state trend analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, on the increase in pro-life policies in the past decade. “It’s been a rough decade for those that support abortion rights,” she said.




Imagine China/Newscom

Imagine China/Newscom

‘Each person’s data forms a trail. It can be used by the government and it can be used by bosses at the big companies to track us. Our lives are worth about as much as dirt.’

Agnes Ouyang, a technology worker in the city of Shenzhen, on Chinese government surveillance in the country’s cities.


‘Woe to you, for you see evil as kindness and see kindness as evil. You are not sending a criminal to prison, you are crowning a righteous man!’

Human rights lawyer Zhang Peihong after pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to nine years in prison. Wang had originally appointed Zhang as his lawyer, but Chinese officials would not allow him to represent Wang.