Our Orwellian reality: Drone wars, surveillance, a lapdog media — and you

Our Orwellian reality: Drone wars, surveillance, a lapdog media — and you

Our government lies to itself — and to us. Like Edward Snowden, it is time for us all to stand up for our values

This column is not another look back, another of those tedious end-of-year rituals the very best hacks, the hacks truly committed to sheer hackery, never tire of. By the time Salon posts this piece, the low, dishonest year known as 2013 will have passed. This is a look forward, suitably enough for its date. It asks, “So what are we going to do?”

The query comes verbatim from a man named Ray McGovern. And this column is written in praise of Ray McGovern. It is an accolade, of all things, to a spook, for the simple reason he gives us a clean, honest idea of what is becoming of a nation wholly committed to fooling itself.

McGovern, who is in his early 70s now, posed his question in a speech delivered in Seattle as last year drew to a close. So you might think he had in mind yet another American-supported coup and all the murders and arrests that continue as we speak, or the reckless diplomacy that makes us praise the ineptitude of our president and his secretaries of state and defense, or the surveillance masters whose constitutional breaches we will soon — watch for it — be asked to accept as fixtures in our lives, or the drones that kill innocents more or less indiscriminately, even as they may be on their way to a wedding.

Yes, that 2013. It was part of McGovern’s thinking, but only part.

We have in McGovern a former CIA man who watched from within, close up and personal over nearly three decades, how our government systematically lies to itself by corrupting what its professional analysts tell it and then systematically lies to its citizens. McGovern’s fundamental topic is language, language deployed as lethal weapon — lethal because it takes life, if not lives. At bottom, he is into the consequences of a pervasive culture of misinformation and disinformation.

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