While the 10-part 2013/1984 miniseries is now in the rear view mirror, it is not like I plan never to make reference to Orwell again! I have spent the past few days ruminating about how the rhetoric from the NSA apologists during the brief debate about the Amash amendment in the US House last week reminded me of the chief function of Oceania's Ministry of Truth: Rewriting history.
The centerpiece for those who sought defeat of said amendment was that putting a halt to the NSA's indiscriminate vacuuming up of telephonic metadata -- particularly the data of millions of innocent Americans -- would leave the US open to another terrorist attack like 9/11. Without this valuable tool, they argued, we would once again become sitting ducks.
It sounds like a plausible argument...IF you neglect the facts concerning the months before the 2001 attack. As it turns out, both the FBI and CIA -- using intelligence methods already in place -- had tried to warn the Bush administration of the growing threat. Both agencies had picked up quite a bit of intelligence that indicated that an attack -- utilizing airplanes as weapons -- was in the offing, possibly within the borders of the US itself.
The problem was NOT that these spy agency were hamstrung because they lacked the necessary tools to figure out what was going on -- the problem was the lack of political will to act on the intelligence information already gathered! In other words, even though the program being debated in the US House last week [supposedly] did not exist at that time, our intelligence community still was close to being on top of the situation.
But these facts did not undergird the position of the naysayers, so they threw them aside. They sought to rewrite history so that it bolstered their political agenda. The mainstream media played its trusty role by amplifying this historical rewrite by not pointing out that the history involved pointed in the other direction.
In the coming weeks and months, the NSA apologists will utilize this historical rewrite again and again. In time, if we don't challenge them, history itself may become rewritten. If we allow them to lie long and loud enough, it won't matter what is true because most people will come to accept the falsehood as a historical fact and today's Ministry of Truth will have accomplished its main objective.