Memory hole: a hole in a small chute leading to an incinerator. In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, information — printed evidence of history — that contradicted the ruling party’s official version of events from the past was sent down the memory hole.
Winston Smith, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four protagonist, worked in the Ministry of Truth and typically, Smith would scour newspapers for articles that needed to be altered or destroyed to suit the administration’s propaganda needs. The offending articles were "unceremoniously" sent down the funnel of forgetfulness.
Today, the minions at the Ministry of Truth apparently spend their days scrubbing inconvenient bytes of history from Big Brother’s websites.
Sunlight Foundation reports that over the last month, the change.gov website created by the Obama presidential transition team in 2008 has “effectively disappeared.”
Specifically, in its analysis, Sunlight noticed:
While the front splash page for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama's performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.
That all changed on June 8. What might have motivated the minions to erase part of Change.gov and shove some of that five-year-old data down the memory hole?
Sunlight suggests that this artifact from the website might hold the key:
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
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