Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, March 13, 2015

Orwell’s Rolling In His Grave

You know how the NSA has been spying on American citizens? Turns out it’s not “mass surveillance.” It’s really “bulk collection”!
Just as the Bush administration and the U.S. media re-labelled “torture” with the Orwellian euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques” to make it more palatable, the governments and media of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance are now attempting to re-brand “mass surveillance” as “bulk collection” in order to make it less menacing (and less illegal). In the past several weeks, this is the clearly coordinated theme that has arisen in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as the last defense against the Snowden revelations, as those governments seek to further enhance their surveillance and detention powers under the guise of terrorism.

This manipulative language distortion can be seen perfectly in yesterday’s white-washing report of GCHQ mass surveillance from the servile rubber-stamp calling itself “The Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK Parliament (ISC)”(see this great Guardian Editorial this morning on what a “slumbering” joke that “oversight” body is). As Committee Member MP Hazel Blears explained yesterday (photo above), the Parliamentary Committee officially invoked this euphemism to justify the collection of billions of electronic communications events every day.

The Committee actually acknowledged for the first time (which Snowden documents log ago proved) that GCHQ maintains what it calls “Bulk Personal Datasets” that contain “millions of records,” and even said about pro-privacy witnesses who testified before it: “we recognise their concerns as to the intrusive nature of bulk collection.” That is the very definition of “mass surveillance,” yet the Committee simply re-labelled it “bulk collection,” purported to distinguish it from “mass surveillance,” and thus insist that it was all perfectly legal.
Seems like the government wouldn’t have been able to get away with half of the crap it’s pulled over the last decade without white-washing their deeds through flowery language.

It’s not torture: they’re “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

They're not dead children assassinated by drones: they’re “collateral damage" from "signature strikes."

It’s not corporate handouts being funneled to special interest groups: it’s “economic stimulus” being provided to “job creators.”

It’s not police brutality as a result of police militarization: it’s just the cops being “tough on crime.”

It’s not federal bureaucracy or standardized testing needlessly complicating the educational system: they’re just ensuring that “no child is left behind.”

Obamacare isn’t forcing you to buy healthcare from insurance companies: it’s just going to fine you—er, I mean, tax you if you don’t

War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Ignorance is strength. Orwellian doublespeak is truth.

Explain away, George: