In a New York Times story about Iraq, I found this curious paragraph:
This weekend could see a surge in terrorist or guerrilla attacks, according to a spokeswoman for the American military, who spoke on condition of anonymity.(Emphasis added.)
An anonymous spokeswoman? How does that work.
Spokeswoman is defined as: A woman who speaks on behalf of another or others. In other words someone who is a "spokeswoman" (or for that matter spokesman, spokesperson, or totally rad spokesdud) is supposed to be conveying the views of someone else.
In some rare instances I can see the value of a public spokesperson speaking on behalf of an unidentified principle, but I can think of no legitimate reason for a spokeswoman of an identified principle (the military) who is acting in that capacity to hide her identity.
The only reason I can think of for an official spokesperson to act anonymously is to allow them to express their own views in a manner that borrows from the credibility of the principle while at the same refusing responsibility for what is being said. The odd thing is that I don't see anything in what she said that would require that type of obfuscation.
Maybe I'm just too cynical.