allowed to pass

Quantz

Senior Member
French
That pushing at the envelope of newly established congressional oversight, allowed to pass at the time, became characteristic of the system.

Meaning the law has been allowed to pass — or the at the envelope ?
 
  • nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    the thing that was "allowed to pass at the time" is the "newly established congressional oversight".

    To me this means that a bill (the congressional oversight) was passed (made into law) at the time, but it now considered to be odd or wrong.

    I'm not American, so I'm not sure if i'm using terms correctly here.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    That pushing at the envelope of newly established congressional oversight, allowed to pass at the time, became characteristic of the system.

    We are missing context that should make this sentence clear.
    I guess that just before this sentence the text has been explaining some particular behaviour that was on the edge of propriety - pushing at the envelope etc.
    This behaviour did not attract any adverse comment when it began - it was allowed to pass (without criticism or comment).
    It must have served its purpose, because it then became a characteristic of the system.

    A lot of speculation based on very little information - and therefore quite likely to be completely wrong.
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    @panjandrum, hope that helps :

    "Otherwise diplomatic efforts were of no avail. On January 29, 1980, when the Canadians smuggled six Americans out of their embassy in Teheran, Director Turner gave no prior notice to the intelligence committees, who were briefed hours after the Americans were out of the country.
    That pushing at the envelope of newly established congressional oversight, allowed to pass at the time, became characteristic of the system."
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    @panjandrum, hope that helps :

    "Otherwise diplomatic efforts were of no avail. On January 29, 1980, when the Canadians smuggled six Americans out of their embassy in Teheran, Director Turner gave no prior notice to the intelligence committees, who were briefed hours after the Americans were out of the country.
    That pushing at the envelope of newly established congressional oversight, allowed to pass at the time, became characteristic of the system."
    I totally agree with Panjandrum's analysis. Clearly it is the "pushing of the envelope" which was allowed to pass without proper scrutiny, and such undesirable behaviour has become entrenched in the system.
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Ah, i see what it means now...

    The thing that was allowed to pass at the time was the "pushing the envelope" bit (i.e. the "not informing intel agencies" bit), which was, even at the time, viewed as "pushing the envelope" (=pushing the boundaries/stretching what is allowed to an extent where it almost becomes illegal/inappropriate).

    You could rewrite this sentence as:

    "This kind of stretching/abuse of the new system of oversight by the congress, which was permitted in this instance, became characteristic of the system."

    N.B. oversight = an professional body's guardianship of all of the workings of a company, organisation, system etc. They can see everything that goes on in that company, and may have over-arching powers over that company.
     
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