Sixty-four years ago this Saturday, George Orwell’s novel “1984” was published.
Orwell didn’t know the half of it.
The National Security Agency, operating under a secret court order granted on April 5, has been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon users indiscriminately and without any evidence of wrongdoing.
But that’s not the best part.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein says the order is no big deal because this program has been going on for seven years and the recent order revealed by the Guardian newspaper was just a renewal.
“It’s called protecting America,” the San Fascist, er, San Francisco politician growled.
Actually, Di, it’s called condoning criminal government actions that violate constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, no matter how long the program’s been in effect or who started it.
Don’t think this is just a Democrat thing. Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the program had helped prevent a terrorist attack — a few years ago.
Well that’s good to know we only had to violate the rights of millions of Americans to catch the one plot. … Of course, it didn’t help much in Boston, did it?
Just to up the irony level on the anniversary of the novel that gave us the term “Orwellian,” the Associated Press — which itself has been the target of rogue government agencies of late — revealed an internal Department of Homeland Security report that defends the Obama Administration’s policy of searching, copying or confiscating electronic devices from travelers based on nothing stronger than a hunch.
This policy, too, has been longstanding, but the recent report, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, recommends maintaining the controversial program.
Not to be left out, the FBI is making waves on Capitol Hill about demanding that a backdoor be built into all software that would allow federal agents to monitor (and possibly control) the computer activity of just about anyone.
When Orwell was writing his novel, he meant it as a warning to the world. He probably never imagined that the U.S. government would use it as an instruction manual.