Shorter Obama administration: We’re not at war with ISIS, we’re at war with the English language
— David A. Graham (@GrahamDavidA) September 11, 2014
David A. Graham’s timely tweet (
is that an original epigram, David? Update: he confirms it is) reminded me of this item from a few years ago, a reference to an ancient figure, before Reagan, before Clinton and Bush, even way back before Lyndon Johnson.
[Also see – John Kerry: America Isn’t at War with ISIS]
From a column by Roger Kimball…
March 27th, 2011, Roger Kimball writes:
…what Obama’s minions are calling our “kinetic military activity” in Libya, I noted that the folks presiding over Orwell’s Newspeak would have liked the phrase “kinetic military activity.” As a mendacious and evasive euphemism for “war” it is hard to beat. But Orwell is not the only important thinker the Obama administration’s assault on the English language brings to mind. There is also Confucius.
…Asked by a disciple how to rule a state properly, Confucius replies that it begins with rectifying the names:
“If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be conducted successfully. When affairs cannot be conducted successfully, propriety will not flourish. When propriety does not flourish, punishments will not be properly meted out. When punishments are not properly meted out, the people will not know how to conduct themselves.”
That was written about 475 B.C. When will we catch up with its wisdom?
The need for security is heightened given the Obama Administration’s aggressive prosecution of leakers under the Espionage act. Last Spring, for instance, the Justice Department seized the phone records of AP journalists involved in reporting a foiled bomb plot in Yemen.
“One of the reasons that the Obama administration has prosecuted so many whistleblowers is that there’s an easy way to find digital trails of how journalists meet sources and talk to them,” said Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director, Trevor Timm. “We need to figure out a way for journalists to talk to sources without that fear.”
SecureDrop was originally the project of fallen hacktivist, Aaron Swartz (then called DeadDrop). The project has since been updated to account for recent National Security Agency spying revelations, though the organization reminds reporters than nothing is 100% secure. The code base is open source and has been vetted by security experts from the University of Washington [PDF].
Freedom of the Press Foundation has even offered to help outlets install the rather complex encryption tool. Learn more about it here.