George Orwell wrote the novel “1984” in 1949. This was before the internet, data mining, and GPS. It was both science and social fiction at the time. Sixty years later it is more science and less fiction. If you haven’t read it, you should.
Wikipedia describes the book as a dystopian novel about an oligarchical, collectivist society in a world of pervasive government surveillance and incessant public mind control. In “1984” the individual is always subordinated to the state, and it is in part, collectivist philosophy which allows the Big Brother Party, to manipulate and control humanity.
Random Thots found the following headlines all published in the same day:
CNN Reporter Put On Watch List After Criticizing TSA
Wave goodbye to Internet freedom
FCC crosses the Rubicon into online regulation
Government reports violations of limits on spying aimed at U.S. citizens
Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans’ Credit Cards in Real Time
No headlines surfaced that day relative to GPS, but we know that many cars have tracking transmitters openly placed for fleet control and clandestinely placed for marketing and research purposes. Credit card transactions are recorded enabling the tracking of our whereabouts when out of the car. The possibilities with cellphones are limited only by our imagination. The tools are all in place for Big Brother to employ when the time is ripe.
Wikileaks, interestingly enough, is actually a reversal of Orwell’s theme. Orwell had the Memory Hole down which truth was thrown so that only government claims would remain standing as truth. Government ‘truth’ was called Newspeak. Assange with his Wikileaks is revealing what might be called Realspeak and throwing government Diplomaspeak down the Memory Hole.
The problem from America’s point of view is Assange is only exposing only one country and that happens to be us. If the same degree of revelation were made for every nation we would come out looking pretty good. Just imagine what Russian secret memos would reveal!
Revenge of Wikileak Fans
Master Card and VISA disabled, PAY PAL and Amazon under attack. Palin and the Swedish government’s websites disabled. All of this was accomplished today by a cyber army of hackers in support of Assange and his Wikileaks.
In Berkeley California, the City Council prepared a resolution for a Tuesday vote to honor the soldier who is believed to have supplied Assange with access to the data being released. Only in Berkeley!
In Moscow the Kremlin urges the nomination of Julian Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize. It seems it is not only in Berkeley after all.
Automatic “doomsday release” is impossible to stop, claims its founder. The information will flow faster than the encryption code could possibly be broken.
Lines are in the process of being drawn. The hard Left is coming out in support of Assange. The Wikileak releases are enormously embarrassing to the United States. But the supporters are not focusing their attacks on the Right, other than Sarah Palin. Sweden and Amazon cannot be called Right Wing targets. Sen. Lieberman has come out with a strong condemnation few other Democrats (we know, Lieberman is technically not a Democrat) have expressed strong opinions.
And where is Obama? Much of the Press is saying he seems not to be taking the issue very seriously. But then, he has never been very concerned about embarrassing America, has he?
In the international world of diplomacy, the players have many faces. One is for the outer world and it’s rather mundane. It isn’t a real face; it’s only an appearance created for public display. It’s the only one we normally see. Only our innocence do we imagine that it’s real.
Secondly, there’s the nuanced face presented at the negotiating table. It’s another false face but one where the players know what each other is saying although neither ever says it. They know what each is thinking; we on the outside can only surmise.
And then there is the face presented to the inner world, exposed only to a peer or superior to see. This is the real face and in the diplomatic world it’s kept more secret than a mistress. Or it was…until Wikileaks. Naïveté has fallen to a loss of innocence.
If Julian Assange, the perpetrator behind Wikileaks, were an American citizen he could likely be found guilty at some level for treason and should be punished accordingly. We recognize the seriousness of his offense but we see a lighter side as well. Take for instance the revelations of “What America Really Thinks of World Leaders”.
To the outer world, diplomats appear to live in a nether land of obscuration, speaking a stilted language of hints and innuendo trying all the while to say something and nothing at the same time. It is refreshing indeed to see what diplomats have to say when even the bald among them let their hair down and speak their minds free from the perceived need for political correctness and diplotalk.
We hear Kim Jong Il described as “a flabby old chap suffering from physical and psychological trauma.” We knew that. But somehow we weren’t sure the State Department knew it because we never heard them say it before.
We are told Omar Gadaffi is strange and learn he travels accompanied by a voluptuous Ukrainian “nurse”. We always knew he was mentally mad. But now we know he must not be totally mad.
Our diplomats tell our other diplomats that Italian President Silvio Berlusconi parties so hard he can’t get enough sleep to function well at his daytime government job. Berlusconi laughs. Germany’s foreign minister is criticized. Merkel doesn’t laugh. The German sense of humor has been missing for as long as that first sock that never came back from the dryer.
So… Hillary ordered her diplomats to spy on some other diplomats at the UN. That revelation nearly put us to sleep. We have wondered at times if the UN was founded as a cost saving measure. Having all the spies and all the diplomats in one place all the time, cuts down on a lot of travel expense. And as anyone who has seen a James Bond movie knows, spies can rack up some huge expense accounts.
And then we learned things some of us really didn’t know. Hamid Karzai is “delusional” and “paranoid” when “off his meds.” But Nancy Pelosi comes out very well. She had the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) “scared to death” on the eve of her visit in 2009. Nancy has been an outspoken supporter of the Chinese freedom activists and of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Well done, Nancy!