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Why do you use plurals when "referring indefinitely"?

Look at this:

The chief CIA officer in Islamabad, who ran the operations directly, put the main point simply: The goal was to kill Russian soldiers — to give Russia their Vietnam, as proclaimed by high U.S. officials, revealing the colossal inability to understand anything about Indochina that was the hallmark of U.S. policy for decades of slaughter and destruction.

I'm pretty sure that "officials" here is supposed to allow for it being just one person (namely this guy: But wouldn't this seem to be downright misleading or dishonest? You wouldn't say "I went to the store with some friends" if you only went with one friend, since the plural would deceive your interlocutor.

And similarly, is the plural noun "journals" supposed to allow for there being just one journal (in this case, the WSJ)?

There are discussions in purportedly serious journals about how the U.S. can win a nuclear war with Russia.

Once again, this seems misleading or dishonest, since the plural noun makes it seem like you have more than one example in mind.

Thanks so much!

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