The new programs implemented by President Bush in order to protect Americans and discourage terrorist behavior have made evident the similarities between modern American society and Orwellian socialism as described in 1984. The Patriot Act has been the most significant of these post-9/11 measures. Americans' fear of economic decline and terrorist activity has allowed the government nearly free reign to disrupt the delicate system of checks and balances, expand their powers of surveillance and to declare war.
With the swift enactment of the Patriot Act, the government took the first significant step towards an Orwellian society. On October 6th, 2001 assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh proposed an act that would make sweeping changes to over 15 different statutes (EFF1); allow for an extreme expansion of surveillance of the American public (ACLU 3), increase the authority of the executive branch (Herman 4), and a grant of never before seen war powers.
Originally, many congressmen were weary of such a bill, but after Attorney General Ashcroft warned that "terrorist attacks are imminent" and that Congress would be blamed if the bill was not passed immediately the bill was passed within a week (Center for National Security Studies 2). By the 12th of October both houses of Congress had passed nearly identical, unchanged versions of the bill. Bush maintains, however, that the programs were based on "the latest intelligence and how best to protect our country (Gerstenzang A3)."While Savage claims that The Act's
objective is to "lower the wall between intelligence gathering and criminal investigations (Savage A16)," the EFF disagrees, saying that there is "no evidence that our previous civil liberties posed barrier to effective tracking or prosecution of terrorists (EFF 2)" The Patriot Act, like 1984's MiniTrue, has a name designed to gloss over the project's true meaning. In...