It looks like Newspeak is alive and well in George
In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.
The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.
To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
But it’s not just about subverting public opinion — it’s also about money, honey.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.
You really need to read the whole article in order to truly appreciate how complex and diabolical this is. And then you need to ask yourself how the fuck this could ever happen in a supposedly enlightened and democratic society.
I can't decide if Orwell would be proud ... or scared shitless.
"...proud, or scared shirtless..."
Closest to the latter, but probably not too surprised.
Unlike Machiavelli, Orwell's ideas were presented as cautionary, not prescriptive.
I wish I could say this shit surprises me, but alas, it does not.
Look on your southern neighbor, O Canada, and despair! Stephen Harper's trying very hard to outdo the shitbag my fellow Americans didn't quite elect twice. Should this become your future as well, you're welcome to join me in my island nation, which I'll be founding if McCain gets his addled self elected.
Mrs. Cake... would that be Mrs. Cake as in THE Mrs. Cake from Terry Pratchett?
Yes, Evadne Cake herself, complete with orthopedic gravel. Don't look in the cellar.
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