Lying Loquacious Liars

LiarIt has been interesting for me to watch the various categories of liars that our political system seems to produce.

Politicians are always expected to have “the answer”, 24/7.  You ask them a question and they have the answer.  Problem is, they too often don’t understand the problem, do not understand the question, have never heard of the incident that you are asking about, or know what you want to hear as the answer and are more then willing to provide it.  They need votes they need money — so they have to quickly decide “what do you WANT the answer to be”.

Politicians have always been a bit loose with the facts.  I remember years ago when President Reagan was giving a speech about the liberation of the concentration camps and how he felt when his unit entered one of them.  It was a very moving speech.  Indeed he was in the Army during World War II, but he served in Hollywood making training films.  He has never been in combat.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It may be that his films saved hundreds of soldier’s lives.  But he didn’t liberate a concentration camp.  He was asked about this “misstatement” by the press.  I don’t remember what the answer was, but as far as I know he never repeated it again.  Other political leaders have done similar things.

OK, this is our baseline: a politician says something that he knows to not be true.  He is caught on it and, while not exactly apologizing, does not use that again.  It is harmless anyway.

Coming HomeHere is something worse: lies that get people killed.  During the Bush administration we remember the “weapons of mass destruction” lies.  It seemed that every nation that has any sort of intelligence service was telling us that the United Nations weapons inspectors (which included a number of Americans) had done their job very well and it was clear that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.  Further, President Bush and Vice President Chaney were continually telling the American people that Saddam was in on the 9/11 attack on the United States.  Again the administration was told many times that Saddam had nothing to do with it.

The administration was called on those lies by the press many times but continued to repeat them, even though it was known that they were lies.  Further, the administration acted on it by starting a war.  Over 4,000 Americans as well as tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead because of the American people ignoring a criminally dishonest administration.

Do you remember Scott Ritter?  He was an American Marine — a registered Republican — who was assigned to the UN weapons team.  He was so disgusted with what the US was doing that he started giving lectures about the lies of the administration and even wrote a book about it.

What the Bush administration did was certainly criminal and way beyond Ronald Reagan and his concentration camp story.

Now, we have people like Michelle Bachman.  Since she has dropped out of the race, maybe the issue should be dropped — but , if nothing else, she is a good example (or would that be a bad one).  She was a candidate who continually misrepresented the founding of the United States, continually misrepresented our founders views, and continually misrepresented our handling of the slavery problem.  She was asked about her “unique” view of American history on TV as well as by the press many times.  She would provide an answer which generally had nothing to do with the question.  Right to the end, she provided a rather unique and rather bazaar view of the history of our country.  If what she was saying was really what she learned in high school, that does not say much for her education.

Whatever one thinks of her political views, it saddens me that there are so many Americans who probably had no idea that she did not know what she was talking about and had no interest in learning.  She wasn’t trying to cover up anything like Bush, she was simply wrong and refused to correct herself.  Do we call her a liar?  Since she has been asked many times about the same statements and refused to correct them, yes, I would say that she was knowingly telling a lie and, hence, she is a liar.

Our political leaders are getting of lower and lower quality — and it is our fault!  Remember, we ridiculed Al Gore – a man with a Nobel Prize.  We ridiculed John Kerry, a war hero with a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts because some slime group in Texas made disparaging remarks that were clearly lies.  We are not smart enough to know when we are being lied to.  We have a serious problem.  We need to reverse this trend.  If we don’t, I think that the Americans in their late 30s and below are in for a bad time as they get older.  Our young are already in for a bad time paying for George W. Bush’s mistakes.  They will feel this for the rest of their lives — either through higher taxes or inflation that will serve to make our money worthless. We can’t afford ths!

So what is the solution?  Well, like so many other problems, it all hinges on our educational system.  It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out.  Our schools are graduating people who are functionally illiterate.  That is a national disgrace.  We need to be teaching more critical thinking.  Students should be able to analyze statements whether they came from politicians or The Bible and have the mental tools to determine fact from fiction.  We are not doing it. and this country has a huge population who seems to be very interested in making sure that we don’t start.


4 comments on “Lying Loquacious Liars

  1. Well said. —Politicians are often ignorant of the facts or outright lie or misrepresent the truth and this deeply affects democracy because democracy too often works with the lowest common denominator which makes Obama and JFK an anomaly. More often than not democracy elevates to high office morons like G. W. Bush who would get us into Iraq based on lies and a very simplistic view of the world. And for this over 4,000 U.S. military had to die in a war that even top generals said did not have to happen.

  2. So very true. Everything depends on a strong foundation of education. Almost every day I am confounded by college student’s ignorance about history, politics, etc. I once heard a girl state that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1792! It gets worse… In a 300 level history class, we had a difficult exam and so the professor added on a “bonus” point which was essentially given to us, asking who the current Vice President is; when this professor returned the exams he was almost near tears, for a third of the class didn’t know the answer. I have other recollections of students not knowing of Roe vs. Wade or the Bill of Rights, etc. I believe these seemingly harmless anecdotes highlight a serious danger for our future. Education is taken lightly, seen as unimportant. And with this, comes a maninpulatable and unaware public willing to elect someone perhaps even far worse than George W. Bush. I hope this is all hyperbolic, but seeing that someone like Michele Bachmann could even be CONSIDERED for the position of president really is telling and prophetic.

  3. “Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.”

    State Senator Barack Obama (Democrat, Illinois)
    Speech at Federal Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
    October 2, 2002



    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members…

    It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, effects American security.

    This is a very difficult vote, this is probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. Any vote that might lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction.”

    Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
    Addressing the US Senate
    October 10, 2002



    “People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

    Former President Clinton
    During an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live”
    July 22, 2003



    “Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”

    Madeleine Albright, President Clinton’s Secretary of State
    Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University
    February 18, 1998



    “Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There’s no question about that.”

    Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
    During an interview on “Meet The Press”
    November 17, 2002



    “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.

    We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”

    Senator Edward Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts)
    Speech at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
    September 27, 2002



    “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.

    We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”

    Al Gore, Former Clinton Vice-President
    Speech to San Francisco Commonwealth Club
    September 23, 2002



    Source: http://www.freedomagenda.com/iraq/wmd_quotes.html

    “It’s not that liberals aren’t smart, it’s just that so much of what they know isn’t so.” – Ronald Reagan

    • Roy, I feel the need to put my 2-cents into this. First of all notice the dates of the quotes. All except Madeline Albright’s were made in 2002 and after — Two years after George W. Bush became president (I’ll get to Albright in a moment). None of those people quoted had their own intelligence services. They were all dependent on the President for their information. All of our intelligence services are under the Executive Branch of the government — directly in the case of the CIA, and indirectly in the case of NSA and DIA. NSA and DIA are under the Department of Defense which, in turn is under the executive branch.

      In the case of Albright, it was clear that she was not trying to drum-up a case for war. She was justifying that the inspections needed to continue. I remember that talk. The students were critical of the inspections and she was trying to justify them. I had and have no problem with that.

      We are all used to politicians running their mouths without being in command of the facts. In this particular case, the politicians that you referred to were definitely dependent on the information released by President Bush. As it is now known, he had ample information that Saddam had nothing. He edited the information released for his own reasons.

      People on the left were supportive of Bush initially and then distanced themselves as time progressed. I was one of those people. As time progressed and you realized that you were lied to, it became necessary to reassess your position.

      When you invade another country under dishonest pretenses it is an illegal war. In the case of President Bush, he lied to Congress to get a Declaration of War. He lied to Congress to get the funding to pursue the war. He lied to the American people, and, indeed the world, to get their support.

      Whether we had won or lost, President Bush’s name would always be associated with that war just as George H.W. Bush is associated with the 1st Gulf war, Johnson with Vietnam, Roosevelt with WWII, Wilson with WWI, and Lincoln with the Civil War. This was Bush’s war and he hurt the United States very greatly by his pursuit of it..

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