Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Manning’

Today (Tuesday) is the birthday of British essayist and novelist George Orwell, who would be 110, if he were alive. What would the author of 1984, a novel about a totalitarian society that monitors its citizens’ every move, think about the massive spying apparatus of the US and British governments revealed by whistle blower Edward Snowden? I think he would not be surprised, though I hope he would be as outraged as he was in 1948, dying of tuberculosis and writing his classic novel while coughing up pieces of his lungs.
I’m not sure where that anger is today. Most of the outrage seems to be directed against Edward Snowden, just as it was against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, and Bradley Manning, the army private who is in federal prison for passing along government secrets about the ways in which governments, including our own, really work. Assange is trapped in a foreign embassy in London. Snowden is on the run. But the truth is out there, if we care to look at it.
All of the focus seems to be on the leakers, not on the information leaked. It’s as if Woodward and Bernstein had been the ones who were the defendants in the Watergate hearings instead of Richard Nixon and his gang of petty thugs.
If George Orwell were still alive, he would hear the clock striking thirteen, as it does in the opening line of 1984. Things are out of kilter in the novel, and they are out of kilter still.

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