Tuesday, October 26, 2004

1984 Revisted

The New York Times' Paul Krugman opines that the Bush Administration has created "A culture of cover-ups". I've read elsewhere that this administration has edit environmental reports that were released to the public. The explanation was that the administration wanted to present a consistent message, and a similar practice was in place under the Clinton administration. Fair enough, I'd say. However, the consistent modification and suppression of information is more akin to the superpower that George Orwell describes in his novel, _1984_.

A scene from that novel that has always lingered with me is the political rally where the main character takes note that enemy has changed IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RALLY! It seemed pretty absurd to me when I read the book about 15 years ago. I didn't doubt that a dictator could get away with that sort of nonsense. When you rule by fear, you can subjugate the truth to your means. But in a "free" country, it couldn't happen, right? Well, the more the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney spoke of Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida in the same breath, the more people were willing to accept the new enemy, unaware. Even as information has shown that there was no link, people continued to make the connection. Amazing. Maybe the "Aw, shucks", Gomer Pyle act is the perfect cover for deception.

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