S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Trying to find the truth about governmental lies

This is it! I may be one of those suffering chronic deja vu.
I feel that I am having the same experience over and over again, i.e., a news story appears that another lie* has been discovered.
This is how the BBC describes the phenomenon,
Most people have the sensation they have done certain things before, but for some the feeling is constant. Trapped in their own 'Groundhog Day', they believe they have experienced unique events before. A
team at Leeds University was moved to investigate the phenomenon . . . researchers suggest the extreme deja vu is caused by a faulty memory process.
Adminstration misled the public: A recent Gallup poll shows that people feel a bit different about (OCP) our current president's lack of truthfulness than they did a year ago. Editor and Publisher (via Atrios ) notes that, "Over half (53%) now say the administration "deliberately misled the American public about whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction," with 46% disagreeing. Gallup notes that this finding is "essentially reversed" from one year ago."
Another "Downing Street Memo"? This BBC story quotes writer, Phillipe Sands, who feels that OCP and PM Blair actually discussed ways to go to war with Iraq in late January, 2002. Both leaders have claimed that decision was taken weeks later. BBC leads with this,
Tony Blair and George W Bush decided to invade Iraq weeks earlier than they have admitted, a new book by a human rights lawyer has claimed. The book by Philippe Sands says the two leaders discussed going to war regardless of any United Nations view.
Press corps part of the problem: Eric Alterman, writing for The Nation, entitled his essay, "Lies." Alterman concludes with these words that really capture the heart of the problem for me,
according to a NYT/CBS poll . . . about 64 percent of Americans believe the Bush Administration "generally misleads the American public on current issues to achieve its own ends...while fewer than a third of Americans believe the information provided by the Administration is generally accurate."
But the insider press corps cannot connect Bush's war lies to his unpopularity, because it has so much difficulty acknowledging either one. Nor have its members--so many of whom, not just Judy Miller, helped lay the groundwork for this Administration's criminal deception by parroting its lies and propaganda--seen fit to take responsibility for their role. Even today, Bush remains a far more respected and admired figure among insiders than Clinton, much less Al Gore, Ted Kennedy or any of our leaders who sought to save us from the Iraq catastrophe.
Clinton's 1998 State of the Union address was the most progressive of any President's in two decades, but it mattered little because, it turned out, he'd lied about his sex life. Eight years later Bush's State of the Union address will matter much more, because, after all, he only lies about everything.
Not confined to the national level: The Republican running for governor of New York, William Weld, is cited for lying in this Americablog post about campaign ads that lie: joe in DC says, "Truthfulness has never been an obstacle for the GOP -- and they despise the in their warped minds, this new approach probably makes sense."
Yes, I am "piling on."
*"Lie," according to Webster: prevaricate, equivocate, fib mean to tell an untruth. Lie is the blunt term, imputing dishonesty (to lie under oath is a serious crime). Prevaricate softens the bluntness of the lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue (during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate). Equivocate implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another (dodged questions and generally misled inquisitors). Fib applies to the telling of a trivial untruth.
Reference: Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," now in paperback at

My "creative" post today at Southwest Blogger is on stereotypical thinking about various peoples of the world.

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