Napolitano Newspeak to congress: We have no enemies, we were never attacked

Rep. Peter King: “This can’t be the evil we don’t speak about”

In George Orwell’s novel “1984,”  the fictional language of Newspeak was glowingly described as the “only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year.” The virtue of the simplified vocabulary was that it well suited the totalitarian regime of the controlling Party, which sought to criminalize alternative thinking or speech by removing any words relating to the concepts of freedom or rebellion. The shrinking volume of the new dictionary was validated this way: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

In Newspeak the term for the English language as we know it, is Oldspeak, which was to be completely obliterated by 2050. It appears we have reached that marker 41 years earlier than Orwell envisioned.

What a classic example of Orwellianism we see with Janet Napolitano’s avoidance of the terms “terrorism” or “Sept. 11″ in remarks prepared for her first congressional testimony. AP describes it as signaling a sharp change in tone from her predecessors and Napolitano as the first homeland security secretary to drop the term “terror” and “vulnerability” from remarks prepared for delivery to the House Homeland Security Committee.

Tom Ridge, who headed the agency when it was launched in 2003, mentioned terrorism 11 times in his initial presentation. In 2005 Michael Chertoff, the second secretary, mentioned terrorism seven times.

Napolitano uses the word “attacks” less than her predecessors. Instead she talks about hurricanes and disasters, a sign of the department’s evolving mission following Hurricane Katrina — emulating President Barack Obama who has avoided using the term “war on terror.”

Democrat Bennie Thompson, (D-MS) the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee does not mention terrorism or Sept. 11 at today’s hearing either.

The committee’s ranking Republican Peter King (R-NY) said he was struck that Napolitano does not mention terrorism, Sept. 11, new threats or a formula for distributing counterterrorism grants to states and cities. “This can’t be the evil we don’t speak about. Any testimony on homeland security should be centered around the threat of terrorism and what we’re doing to combat it.”

When reporters asked Napolitano why she avoids the terms, she said terrorism fits into what she calls “action directives” that she has issued. Yet in those directives, she mentions terrorism only once, speaking about a law that contains the word in its title. Instead, she speaks of reviewing the Gulf Coast recovery from Hurricane Katrina, information sharing, and immigration and border security programs.

Pressed further on the absence of terror vernacular, she said she has been working with members of Obama’s national security team since the November election, and she is briefed regularly on “incidents around the world.” She does not single out terrorism “because it’s almost become part and parcel of what we do every day.” The department’s mission is straightforward: “To protect the American people from threats both foreign and domestic, both natural and manmade; to do all that we can to prevent threats from materializing, respond to them if they do and recover with resiliency.”

That’s our Janet — inspiring confidence once again.

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15 Responses to Napolitano Newspeak to congress: We have no enemies, we were never attacked

  1. Joe Evans says:

    So Napolitano’s focus is as Homeland Security chief is Gulf Coast recovery from Hurricane Katrina?

    Natural disasters should not fall under her purview. How were they handled prior to the creation of the department which she now heads?

    The Department of Homeland Security was formed after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and was intended to address the terrorism (yes, TERRORISM) that has been fomenting and being executed by Muslim extremists. (Can we utter that truth?)

    As to her involvement with border security, anyone who lives in Arizona knows full well what a joke that is. She did nothing during her administration to address the problems associated with this colossal and continual crime wave — which have only escalated while she was governor.

    Napolitano was rewarded with the Homeland Security position because she was an early supporter of Barack Obama. Unfortunately for the rest of us, she is unwilling to do anything about illegal immigration. The illegals provide a fine base on which to increase the democrat party membership rosters.

  2. Alice says:

    Janet destroyed the financial security of our state and fought against national security on our Mexican border, why would we expect her to change course once she got to D.C.? She deceived with the language she used with the National Guard on the border. She now deceives with her new language for terrorism. Look for the new Napolitano dictionary coming soon.

  3. Vince L. says:

    With Napolitano at the helm Arizona became the kidnapping capitol of the country. And now she is going to “keep us safe” as Homeland Security Secretary? No wonder sales in the U.S. firearms industry are at an all time high. More and more, Americans are taking it upon themselves to provide their own security and plan their own survival.

    Border insecurity and bowing down to terrorists, this government cannot be trusted to provide the security of its own people as it once could.

  4. MacBeth says:

    With this ineffective but very partisan woman heading up this vital national security agency, all Americans should be concerned. We Arizonans know her well, and were happy to be rid of her and her grand spending sprees which put us in a massive budgetary abyss. But when weighed against being unprepared for terrorist attacks and being unable to even mention the possibility of such events, her lack of leadership as AZ Governor seems inconsequential.

    It’s all a matter of perspective.

  5. Kent says:

    The newspaper’s “brilliant Janet” is clearly in over her head. The problem is, that we are all in the perilous stew with her. This job is too important to be political payback.

  6. Sam says:

    Regardless of one’s perspective on George W. Bush’s presidency, under his watch we did not have any other such incidents on American soil. VP Joe Biden now warns us that such attacks may be imminent. Is that to prepare us for the pathetically abysmal leadership we are now experiencing?

  7. Nelson says:

    A friend sent me this post over the lunch hour. I have never visited this site before, but will be back. If this article is an indication of what is carried here, the writer should be syndicated. Using Orwell as the explanation of Napolitano’s lack of will to address our nation’s most horrific homeland security issue is a perfect analogy.

    I live in Idaho and was pretty much unaware of your former Governor.

  8. Jana Simmons says:

    I thought FEMA dealt with national disasters.

    And how do you prepare in advance for acts of nature such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods? I want to know that the government is doing all it can to protect this homeland from terrorist attacks. Isn’t that where the term “Homeland Security” originated?

  9. Eager One says:

    Nelson: Welcome to our conservative arena. There are usually excellent posts worth reading here and although my wife tells me I’m a smart guy, I’ve even learned a thing or two!
    Enough about me.

    I hope you learn all you can about Janet Napolitano. We in Arizona learned the hard way. She left us in a world of hurt when she made her way to the national stage working for BHO. But as bad as things are, they are repairable with our new Republican governor, Jan Brewer in charge — putting the brakes on spending.

    But America needs to fear having Janet Napolitano in charge of Homeland Security. She is an open borders/amnesty proponent, who is not at all concerned about who or what enters our country illegally. Being at her mercy on a national level should strike fear in the heart of every American citizen.

  10. Maggie says:

    FEMA is not adverse to using the word TERRORISM:
    http://www.fema.gov/hazard/terrorism/index.shtm

  11. RA says:

    The only bright side of this is that WHEN the terrorists DO come, it’s going to be Janet’s funeral.

  12. Night Owl says:

    Napolitano’s obvious retooling of Homeland Security puts us all at risk. To reconfigure the vernacular to accommodate her leftward lurch as well as that of the Obama administration is irresponsible. She advocated for illegal immigration when she was AZ governor. Having her in this federal position will be even worse. I do what I can to make preparedness efforts on behalf my own family, but we are in the minority and there is only so much a single family can do. But one doesn’t have to be a wizard to envision calamity.

  13. [...] governor, Janet Napolitano did nothing to provide border security. As Homeland Security chief, she rejects the words “terrorist” and “vulnerability,” placing natural distasters at the top of her list of [...]

  14. [...] month Seeing Red AZ reported on the fact that the Obama administration is sharply revising the use of language as related to references of “terrorism” or even “September [...]

  15. [...] 1984 Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm asserted that the elderly, if very ill, have “a duty to [...]

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