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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Orwell’

Is Orwell’s Ministry Of Truth Alive? Why Don’t We Hear Much About Julian Assange?

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2019

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/orwells-ministry-truth-alive-why-dont-we-hear-much-about-julian-assange

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Michelle Wood via Medium.com,

In Orwell’s dystopian fiction 1984, the government’s mission through the Ministry of Truth is to supply its people with news, entertainment, books, films, plays and songs, packed with the information it wants the people to know. It constructs lies to fit the narrative it wishes to establish and sets about rewriting historical documents so they match the constantly changing current party line.

From the time Wikileaks published Collateral Murder in 2010, exposing the slaying of Iraqi civilians at the hands of merciless US Apache soldiers, in what became the biggest news story of its time, the United States has wanted Julian Assange silenced and forgotten.

He has lived in a state of confinement since May 2010 when he was arrested and jailed in the United Kingdom, lived under house arrest for a further 18 months in England and then sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy from June 2012 .Yet many people think Assange was in a position where he could simply walk free.

Has there been a well crafted smear campaign to dehumanise Assange and coax the public into forgetting him? How else could he have been detained within two tiny rooms devoid of sunlight for more than six years without public commentary and concern? The apparent dismantling of Assange’s character and disinformation has been thorough. Most people do not know the specifics of his case, but “believe” he is an arrogant rapist and an ungrateful, badly behaved houseguest, smearing faeces on the embassy walls and being cruel to his cat. These disputed claims are now so well accepted it’s inconceivable that they could actually be lies.

The one surety about Assange was that he did publish secret State documents and videos. Embarrassing yes, but surely not indictable in a country that protects freedom of speech in its constitution. Never mind the fact that Assange is an Australian citizen, but far from protecting him against being tried for espionage in America, the Morrison government’s public statements have been limited to assurances that he is being treated like any other citizen with ongoing consular assistance.

It appears the news media is choosing not to report much of Assange’s ongoing plight. Strange, given he was once feted for his courage and innovation, winning the Sydney Peace Prize and one of Australian journalism’s coveted Walkley awards. The case against Assange concerns the criminalisation of journalism at a time when media organisations in his own country are under siege. Federal Police raided the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in June for reporting alleged warcrimes by Australian forces in Afghanistan. This followed search warrants being executed at the home of Murdoch media journalist Annika Smethhurst over a leaked plan to allow government spying on its citizens. The coverage included detailed reporting of detectives rifling through her underwear drawer.

Contrast this with the lack of reportage on some important aspects of the Assange case.

In May, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer visited Assange in Belmarsh Prison producing a damning report which was widely circulated, but surprisingly had little impact.

“It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years. Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

Mr Melzer’s report included this extraordinary claim:

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law. The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”

How could such a grave statement not have triggered further investigation and commentary other than by independent journalists? Melzer’s horrific diagnosis involves the life of a western journalist going to a western jail for doing his job.

UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer discussing Julian Assange

In July 2019 US Federal District Judge John Koeltl dismissed a DNC lawsuit against Wikileaks, emphasizing the “newsworthiness” of Wikileaks publishing activities describing them as “plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”

“If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” — Judge Koeltl

Even today an online search of reportage of this Federal court judgement appears to show an absence by Australia’s main media outlets such as the ABC, Nine news media and News Corporation. Would it influence the public perception of Julian Assange if more knew a US Judge considered his work to be worthy?

Recently multi-awarding winning journalist Mark Davis gave an eyewitness account refuting claims Assange was reckless and that he carelessly dumped documents endangering the lives of many. Instead he reported the Wikileaks founder took great care to redact and protect innocent people named in the trove of documents released as part of the Afghan war logs. Davis said he considered Assange acted with journalistic integrity…

This means the majority of people wont know how shocked veteran Australian journalist John Pilger was after seeing Assange in prison last month. They wont know his health is said to be deteriorating while confined to his single cell for almost 21 hours a day. Nor will they know that he gets just two social visits a month and is denied the opportunity to prepare with his US lawyers for his upcoming extradition trial.

John Pilger joined with musician Roger Waters to organise a rally this week in London to honour their friend, calling for the UK government to resist the US extradition request…

At a recent press freedom conference in England, Special Envoy for Media Freedom, Amal Clooney, spoke of the alarm felt by journalists around the world at the Assange US indictments which “criminalises common practices in journalism that have long served the public interest.” If this is true who are the concerned journalists and why aren’t we hearing from them?

Not only has the UK government silenced Assange in prison, but the last decade of his life appears to have been censored. Who is steering the narrative in a near vacuum of information and repeated disinformation? Is there are a modern day “Ministry of Truth” behind the ongoing media blackout of one of the most influential and controversial people of our times?

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they rebelled they cannot become conscious” — George Orwell

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Assange

 

 

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Doug Casey: Orwell’s Worst Nightmare Is Coming True – Casey Research

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2019

Oddly, it’s only whites, males, and Christians that have to be careful using “hate speech” or non-PC speech today. Members of so-called “historically oppressed” minorities can say whatever they want. Which is pretty rich, since they’re actually majorities in many parts of the US today. And their native cultures allow for about zero freedom of speech – or any other kind of freedom, for that matter.

https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-orwells-worst-nightmare-is-coming-true/

Justin’s note: Stop saying offensive words.

That’s what the Associated Press (AP), the world’s largest news agency, is telling reporters.

The AP puts out a stylebook every year that includes universal guidelines for stylistic matters like punctuation, capitalization, and even word choice. In a recent version, it encouraged writers to not use words such as “pro-life,” “migrant,” “refugee,” “Islamist,” and “terrorist.”

It’s completely ludicrous… and another example of the “politically correct” culture getting out of hand.

Our founder Doug Casey agrees. And today, he tells us what this disturbing trend really means…


Justin: Doug, what do you think of the AP censoring writers? Are you surprised at all?

Doug: There was once a time when journalists often had intelligence, integrity, and competence. Many did their jobs – reporting the news accurately, openly disclosing their bias (if any). H.L. Mencken was a model of what a journalist should be. He wasn’t just a reporter. He was a literary maven who had immense stores of knowledge and well-thought-out, fact-based opinions on nearly everything. In addition to a myriad of newspaper and magazine articles, he even wrote a definitive book on the English language and the correct way to use it.

Today, reporters have none of these qualifications. Their only qualification appears to be a BA degree in English, or Journalism.

Maybe it’s just that giants walked the earth in the days before Political Correctness. If Mencken was alive today, he would be shocked and appalled at the midgets who pass for reporters and editors today. He’d be rolling in laughter and disgust at how much the profession has been degraded.

It’s like Orwell’s worst nightmare is coming true. In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the idea behind “doublethink” is to alter the nature of language. Big Brother wants to reduce the number of words that exist, eliminating those that describe non-PC thoughts and actions. They seem to want to institute Newspeak – complete with thoughtcrime, goodthink, bellyfeel, and prolefeed.

Justin: And why is that such a big deal?

Doug: Words enable thought. So if you corrupt words, you can alter and corrupt people’s thoughts. Words are the parents of thought. And thought is the father to action. There’s a reason the Bible speaks of “the word” with such respect.

If you don’t have a word for something, it makes it hard to think about it. And it’s worse if you have the wrong word. They’re trying to corrupt the language to limit what people think and do.

Justin: Why are they trying to alter how people think?

Doug: They say it’s to help make people “better.” Of course their idea of what’s good, and my idea of what’s good differ radically. The Nazis and Soviets tried to make people “better” by using propaganda – propaganda is actually fake news. They say they’re trying to reduce friction in society, or make the “underprivileged” feel good about themselves. But in fact they’re doing the opposite. They’re quite happy to use the violence of the State to enforce their views on society…

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TECHNOLOGY: DISTRACTING, DISTURBING, DECEIVING & DELUDING OURSELVES TO DEATH – The Burning Platform

Posted by M. C. on January 29, 2019

Technology is wasted on people who haven’t been taught to think critically, have been indoctrinated by government run schools to be subservient cogs in the machine, and believe feelings and emotions are more important than knowledge and understanding.

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2019/01/29/technology-distracting-disturbing-deceiving-deluding-ourselves-to-death/

“What Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth.

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” ― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

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