by PAT MURPHY
for President Bush and those around him: They’ve mastered the use of
doublespeak babble that says one thing while meaning something else.
naïve believe this is clumsy political syntax rather than genuine
passage between Lewis Carroll’s Alice and Humpty Dumpty in "Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland" says a lot:
I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone,
"it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more or
question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so
many different things."
question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that’s
President Bush and Republicans as a group have railed against big,
intrusive and overreaching government power for years—yet the Bush
plan for America includes a $200 million "Total Information
Awareness" agency in the name of war on terrorism with power to
seize personal Internet mail, telephone records, credit card data,
banking transactions and travel documents without a search warrant. The
Big Brother in charge of this bureau is the ominous retired Navy Vice
Adm. John Poindexter, who masterminded Ronald Reagan’s Iran-contras
arms deal, persuaded Col. Ollie North to lie to Congress and was himself
convicted of perjury (an appeals court nullified the conviction because
of congressional immunity). The logo designed by Poindexter for his
agency—a Cyclops-like Big Brother eye atop a pyramid with the slogan
"Scientia Est Potentia" ("Knowledge Is Power").
that add Attorney General John Ashcroft’s vow that he won’t violate
the privacy of Americans with sweeping new wiretap powers not requiring
court approval. Can Ashcroft be believed, since he was the man who
dreamed up the controversial and discredited Operation Terrorism
Information and Prevention System (TIPS) to encourage letter carriers,
household service workers, neighbors and others to report suspicious
U.S. intelligence agencies complain the war on terrorism is hindered by
a lack of Arabic-speaking specialists to intercept and decipher the
flood of foreign communications in their hunt for Osama bin Laden—then
the Army dismisses six Army linguists trained in Arabic because they’re
While acting horrified by North Korean and Iraqi nuclear weapons
development and the menacing possibility of nuclear war between India
and Pakistan, President Bush lays the groundwork for developing new
nuclear weapons, including $15 million for the National Nuclear Security
Administration to study modifying nuclear weapons capable of destroying
underground factories or laboratories.
source provides an eerie parallel with Bush & Company’s
manipulation of words and deeds.
Orwell’s dark novel, "1984," a chilling study of
totalitarianism that obliterates privacy and distorts truth, Big Brother
conditions the submissive populous to accept convoluted logic that
"war is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength."
dismayed by the Nov. 5 election should buck up: there’s good news in
dreams of the party’s clumsy architects of defeat—former Vice
President Al Gore, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Joe
Lieberman and Rep. Richard Gephardt—have just about been ended for
Bush and his political Rasputin, the ruthless,
take-no-prisoners-shoot-the-wounded Karl Rove, would chew up any of them
like beef jerky in 2004: Gore is still searching for himself; Daschle
seems in a perpetual state of somnolence; Lieberman’s cracking voice
leaves the feeling he’s on the verge of tears; and Gephardt’s
droning would put voters into deep sleep.
need thick-skinned thinkers with the backbone and moxie to confront the
Bush plan for converting America into a feedlot for big contributors.