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Betsy McCaughey
Liberty Belle
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Big Brother Obama


In his famous novel "1984," George Orwell warned that it doesn't take a military boot against your neck to oppress you. Government can do it by using talking points — what Orwell called "newspeak" — to hide truth, distort language and keep the public in the dark. Orwell cautioned that this manipulation poses the biggest threat to freedom, whether the government doing the manipulating is right wing or left wing.

President Obama seems to be taking a page from "1984." The novel's main character is a young bureaucrat living in a fictional totalitarian country and working in its Ministry of Truth — a bureaucracy that produces the opposite of truth. It creates "newspeak" to obscure the true state of things. The Obama administration has a comparable operation.

Manipulating the truth is precisely what the Obama administration did in the hours after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Draft talking points were shuttled among several intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA, as agency bureaucrats concocted a story blaming the attack on a video. These talking points were given to Congress and used by U. N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Sunday talk shows to deceive the public.

People on all sides of political issues want the truth. Last Friday, Comedy Central's Daily Show host Jon Stewart grilled Rice on the talking points. Rice indignantly dismissed the question: "We've spent all these months trying to figure out the origin of these talking points, which were cleared at the highest levels of the intelligence community, and not enough time doing the service that we owe to our fallen colleagues."

The studio audience erupted with applause, but Stewart wasn't bamboozled. He zeroed in on how the talking points were "passed up and down the chain of command to determine what should be said."

Why, asked Stewart, "is there a bureaucratic system in place that is so tenacious with the explanation, but yet seemingly abdicates responsibility for the initial situation?" In other words, why did the Obama administration give so much more attention to deceiving the country than defending it? We need to know.

Orwellian signs of danger also pervaded the president's State of the Union message on Feb.

12. It was crafted to conceal the state of the union and lull the public with mind numbing humbug. The address never once mentioned the biggest issue facing the nation, its $16.5 trillion debt. You could have been listening to Orwell's psycho-manipulator Big Brother.

The president pledged to the nation that in the future, his administration will be "even more transparent about its counterterrorism efforts."

Orwell warned that government bureaucracies will use words to mean their opposite. In the novel's oppressive state, war is peace. Freedom is slavery. In the Obama administration, transparent means secret.

The Obama administration is battling to keep its drone program secret and has actually gone to court to resist the American Civil Liberties Union's demand for drone documents. The president's nominee for CIA director, John Brennan, refused to answer California Senator Dianne Feinstein's question last week, whether the administration could conduct drone strikes inside the U.S., saying only "it did not intend to do so." No matter what your position on drones, the nation deserves a straight answer, not these weasel words.

Most of Obama's State of the Union was a catalogue of new spending projects — $50 billion to fix bridges and roads, $15 billion to refurbish vacant city properties, $1 billion for manufacturing hubs, as well as new solar, wind and geothermal energy projects without price tags. Then in a statement that Big Brother could have uttered, Obama announced, "nothing I am proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime."

Orwell shocked the world with his warnings that government would distort language and hide truth. But he was not a prophet of doom. In"1984," he suggested that the destruction of free political discourse would be gradual. And it doesn't have to happen at all if brave people persist in demanding the truth. That's what we want, Mr. Obama. The truth.

Betsy McCaughey is a former Lt. Governor of New York and author of the new book, "Beating Obamacare." To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Ma'am... So long as you look at the truth as some sort of abstraction, it will always appear as a club to those you choose to beat over the head with it... Clearly, the left liberal press and the American people must now suffer their patriotism which at the time was the most preposterous foolishness, of Letting Mr. George Bush the Lesser slide on any questions about 911... It was a massive failure of government compared to which this Bengazi attack was an oversight, and the press offered the people not a partical of truth...Out of that great failure which any where else in the world would have resulted in disgrace for the government, and a change of government, our president was empowered to the point where he could take us into two disasterous wars of choice at the cost of thousands more of our lives and trillions of dollars...
The hubris of you people is an insult to truth; and you dare ask for it... Let me tell you the truth... Your republicans and their wars of cupidice and avarice have broke this people and destabilized their government... Apart from the shame you should be made to bear, you triumph in the difficulty the government shows even to defend itself on foreign shores when your president did so much to earn the hate of Islam...It does not matter to me what brand of scum you are... The liberal press in their patriotism did serve this people worse damage than the damage you do out of intent...I trust that at least half the people can see you for what you are...There is a piece of the truth for you...
Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:29 AM
Ma'am;... The fight against Islam is a losing cause, first because they are not our natural enemies, or enemies of democracy... And there are a billion and a half of them, all comitted to their religion by their honor, and if their honor is made meaningless, no honorable peace can be had with them...
In the larger question of drones, which is only a question because it is clear they are being used against us, we can see that this an issue of economy, of deaths per dollar...
I would say that a war of economy has already been lost, and ultimately such a war will surrender victory to the hope of peace by threat and terror... The terrorism of Islam was based upon just this principal: Of having peace by being left to their business and religion and culture without Western influence that is thought pernicious and corrupting... Clearly such people are willing to turn the weapons of the West against the West, but for now, they have no drones, and for now this weapon of terror is in our hands...
The problem for America is that revolution is treated as crime, and it is the ultimate crime, though our founding document which is really a legal brief for revolution does as much as has ever been done to make revolution legal... And this people has not resolved whether we will be at peace, will be a nation, or will have liberty and equality; but we know we are not happy, and as a whole are not satisfied with the government...
Reason suggest that the basis of our nation should be reconsidered when any sizable majority is unhappy with the agreement, but it is the minority for the most part who are strong on the constitution though they do not understand it, and who are unhappy with the nation's people when that is the true constitution of a country...
When people begin to realize that the weapons used with such ruthless terror against Islam to bring them into line with our way of thinking might be used as well against any back yard barbeque or church picnic where side stream politics holds the floor, the solution to all their problems will be the main course...
We cannot have a democracy where the people must fear their government, but democracy was never granted in the constitution... Nor can we have lasting peace with foreign nations based upon fear, but only upon terms of mutual respect... And we cannot have a nation in any sense of the word based upon fear and hate, but only upon terms of mutual respect that has long been poisoned in this land...
A clear understanding of the problem is the solution...What if the economy as Danial Webster suggested was the cause of the Constitution as he said with the words: Commerce, credit, and confidence... Nothing here like the Preamble, but the true reason... And now that the economy and government support for the economy has ruined our commerce in goods as well as ideas, our credit is shot and over used, and confidence is nothing; what is the basis of our real constitution: We the People of the United States...We cannot have a nation built upon envy, hate, and fear; but these are the very ideas upon which elections are decided, and those who are funding such elections want no part of our accord or mutual affection...If I hate the stupidity with which the right is manipulated, still I concede that they are not much different from anyone else in their need and desires... If we are all angry and have no more understanding of what afflicts us than a dog understands a flea; whose fault is that???
People grow up with their societies unable to see them objectively or understand that societies die of affliction, of little bites and barbs that inevitably take their toll... People scratch like dogs over the insults and injuries they endure, but never grasp their objective meaning... The institutions and forms that are failing our society and failing with our society are responsible for our misunderstanding and miscommunication, but they are not in any better position to be objective than we are...The terror people are beginning to view their government with is absolutely correct and warranted... Even when government seeks to do good it will seize upon any weapon to preserve itself even against the pronounced feeling of the people...
I do not believe the government has reason to fear the people any more than the people need fear the people... I think the government is a house of cards, but there is no reason that the people need ever fear living without government which most people have in the form of morals...It takes the greatest courage in life to turn ones back on what one most fears, but the government will stand as long as people look to it as a solution when it is the problem...
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:02 AM
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