Date: June 7th. 2005
Sent to but unpublished in New York Times & [later] to Boston Globe

Who could have imagined in 1984 that many of the predictions in George Orwell's 1948 masterpiece, "1984," would have come to pass 20 years later in George Bush's America.

To be sure we do not have the three mega-countries in a state of continuing open warfare with shifting alliances; but much else is on track

The virtual Ministry of Truth is hard at work spinning the Administration's views. Propaganda pieces developed by the hired hands of the Administration are presented by news organizations as if they were produced by independent organizations.

The administration in the words of Colin Powell, rules a country that is the most accountable in the world. Such is that accountability that no senior level administration official has been held to account for the widespread breakdown in the laws of war that has disgraced America in the eyes of the world. The failure to hold senior officials accountable has exacerbated the problem.

Then there is the way in which language has been distorted to suit the purposes of the speakers, and the use of slogans to hide the reality (the first is from Orwell, the rest from Bush):

And then there is the worst thing in the world. For Winston Smith in 1984 that was a room containing a rat; that rodent caused Smith to break and affirm his love of Big Brother. For the Moslems in Guantanamo Bay, the worst thing in the world was the desecration of the Koran. That was to soften them up so that they would betray their comrades. What an exquisite and subtle form of torture for the devout Moslem!