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Orwellian Tactics At Homeland Security

by @ 8:02 am on March 25, 2009. Filed under Politics, War On Terror

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is playing games with words:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has an explanation about why she never mentioned the word “terrorism” during her first testimony on Capitol Hill.

Napolitano tells the German news site Spiegel Online that while she presumes there is always a threat from terrorism: “I referred to “man-caused” disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”

So terrorism is now a “man-caused disaster.”

I guess that means that murder is a “man-caused interruption in life”, that arson is “man-caused carbonization”, and that, you know, freedom is slavery.

When she does something like this, I can’t help but think that Napolitano either doesn’t take terrorism seriously as a threat or that she’s just incompetent.

In either case, she doesn’t belong in charge of American domestic security.

9 Responses to “Orwellian Tactics At Homeland Security”

  1. When she does something like this, I can’t help but think that Napolitano either doesn’t take terrorism seriously as a threat or that she’s just incompetent.

    Describing something with more nuance instead of throwing the blanket of “terrorism” over it is now incompetent or weak?

    Come on…

    We all knew that this administration was going to try and reframe the terrorism term since it has been so grossly misused over the past 8 years.

    And to jump to the opinion that she shouldn’t be in charge of DHS because of this? Seriously, what is going on with you? This is ridiculously reactionary.

  2. Also, for something to be Orwellian, it would have to become more sinister so politicians could take advantage of it.

    You know, like a “War on Terror.”

  3. Justin,

    Why in the hell do you need to use nuance when you’re talking about people who strap explosives to their chest, walk into a pizza place, and blow themselves up along with dozens of innocent people ?

    How about when they hijack airplanes and ram them into skyscrapers ?

    I didn’t like much of what the Bush Administration did in response to 9/11, but sometimes, you’ve just got to call something what it is.

  4. It is Orwellian in the sense that Napolitano is using language to mask the reality of a situation

  5. I answered that question in my first response, but, again…because the term has been completely perverted for political gain over the past 8 years. And both you and I have said as much.

    Listen, I’ve come to realize that you’re not going to be happy with hardly anything that this administration does. That’s fine. But to suggest that this is a reason why she shouldn’t be in charge of DHS? It just strikes me as not just overly harsh, but also logically unsound. And that’s not what I’ve come to expect from your posts.

    But hey, fair enough. I’m not trying to change your mind. This just really surprised me.

  6. Justin,

    If she wants to change the term used then why something as meaningless as “man caused disaster”

    9/11 wasn’t a “man caused disaster” it was cold-blooded murder and I really don’t see what’s wrong with calling it what is.

    And, to be frank, I’d be as critical of McCain if he one as I am of Obama. I’m certainly not going to ignore mistakes when I see them.

  7. [...] As I noted earlier today, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano recently decided that terrorism would now be referred to as a “man-caused disaster.” [...]

  8. [...] the Beltway nabbed a couple fine examples of Newspeak coming out of the White [...]

  9. Chris says:

    A man-caused disaster could be something like a bridge falling when a barge hits it. Or ot could be a dust-bowl caused by inappropriate farming practices in a dry spell.

    Generally we use different terms for such accidental or unintentional happenings, and mass murder quite openly executed with the declared intent of terrifying the USA into bowing to the Islamist demands. There’s no nuance to be had here.

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