Imagine There's No President: The Rhetorical Secret and the Exposure of Valerie Plame

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Abstract

Covering a wide range of public discourse from 2003 to 2010 about CIA agent Valerie Plame,this essay contributes a novel rhetorical theory of secrets. By contrast to other critiques of the Bush-era secrecy that focus on policies the administration kept concealed from the public, I suggest that rhetoric is the means by which subjects figure the secret, to be understood as knowledge in the fact that the subject cannot know. To make this argument, I draw on the theoretical tools of psychoanalysis and the rhetorical tropes of repetition, caesura, and synecdoche.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-378
Number of pages25
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Volume101
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2015,National Communication Association.

Copyright:
Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Caesura
  • Repetition
  • Secret
  • Synecdoche
  • Valerie Plame

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