The Daily Show had two good segments on the US policy of using drones to kill people. It looks at the so-called legal rationale that the Obama administration created to justify its own actions and how the language in it is designed to deceive rather than clarify. The memo is a deliberate exercise in the cynical use of language and reveals the utter hypocrisy of the Obama administration on this issue.
In his excellent essay Politics and the English Language George Orwell gave examples of how political leaders distort language, saying “Political language-and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists-is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” If Orwell were alive today, he would have been impressed with the Obama administration’s skill in this area and would have found much better examples of the point he was making.
(These clips were aired on February 4, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)