Friday, August 2, 2013

Newspeak

Once upon a time, "espionage" was a real word with a specific meaning:  obtaining and supplying classified information on behalf of a state.  Obtaining and supplying classified information on behalf of the public was something else entirely - it got names like "whistle-blowing" or "investigative journalism."

The current US administration seems to find the meaning of the word "espionage" far too real and specific and has extended it to cover people releasing information to the public.  I guess if you believe that governments have the power to declare words mean what they actually don't, it's reasonable.  Still, I'm almost surprised the court didn't find Bradley Manning guilty of "doubleplus ungood crimethink" - it would have been so much more appropriate.

4 comments:

Random Punter said...

"...if you believe that governments have the power to declare words mean what they actually don't, it's reasonable."

I know I'll get into trouble for saying this, but isn't that exactly what the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 did?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

It's espionage when the means of transmitting the information to the enemy is publication, using 'public interest' as a weasel excuse for the real intent.

Keller, Rizen and Lichtbau should have been taken out and shot.

Noel said...

Whilst an offence against the Espionage Act was included the fact remains that Pfc. Bradley Manning was found guilty of 20 offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

At his own free will he joined the military and then chose to commit offences against that institution's laws.

Evidenced by the guilty verdict.





Psycho Milt said...

Sure, he's guilty of something that carries a prison sentence - he's just fairly obviously not guilty of espionage. The Obama administration's doing itself no favours by pretending he is (and that Snowden is, for that matter).

I know I'll get into trouble for saying this, but isn't that exactly what the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 did?

I'd care more about that if marriage got you a fat gaol term or the death penalty...