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by Michael Rivero
Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2003 at 3:02 AM
The latest joke making the rounds on the internet is that truth has become so valuable that the government has embarked on a conservation program.
An Age Of Lies
By Michael Rivero
The latest joke making the rounds on the internet is that truth has become so valuable that the government has embarked on a conservation program.
Lying is something we normally take very seriously. Certainly we ourselves are exhorted by schools and clergy to always be truthful. We demand truthfulness of those around us and those we employ, and while we may wink tolerantly at the "white" lie, most of us realize that society as a whole cannot function smoothly without a certain assurance of honesty. We therefore punish children who lie. We fire employees who lie. We choose to not associate with, listen to, or trust people who lie. We are most demanding for the truth in the matter of commerce. We demand that products and services we spend our hard-earned money on function exactly as promised by the salesperson. We generally tolerate nothing less.
For most Americans, government is the single largest expense in our lives. Combined taxes and fees for all levels of government devour roughly half of all that we ever earn. Most Americans spend more money on the government than on their homes. Yet for this particular "product" and these particular "salespeople", we the consumers seem strangely reluctant to demand the same honesty we expect of, for example, the people we buy our cars from. Somehow, We The People have been lured into accepting a double standard; that the government which takes so much of our money is exempt from the normal requirement for truth upon which at least in part our civilization is built.
I don't know where this acceptance of lies by the government came from. It is certainly not in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution lays out exactly what the government is allowed to do. The Tenth Amendment makes it very clear that the government may not assume a right or power. If something isn't in the Constitution, then the government may not legally do it. Now, I've read the Constitution, many times. Nowhere in that document is the government explicitly given the right and power to lie to the people. It isn't in there. That means that when a government official does lie, he or she is acting unconstitutionally and exceeding the legal limits of their office. When a government official, ANY official, lies, they cease to be legally a part of the government of the United States. And just as the Constitution does not authorize the government to lie to the people, the Constitution does not bind the people to accept ay lies by the government, or to follow any dictates by the government built on that lie. In short, the Constitution mirrors the values of the society. Truth is required of the government. Nothing less will serve.
While we have all grown up more or less used to the idea that politicians lie to us, never before in US history have the lies been as bold, in-our-faces, arrogant, or unrepentant. The American people can no longer pretend that lying politicians are just a joke. It is real. The government has been caught lying to us, and lying to us on a matter of utmost seriousness, a war of conquest.
Those who would defend the liars when they are caught lying usually resort to one of three arguments. The first is that we must assume that the lie is for our own good. This is nonsense. If it is for our own good then tell us the truth and we will likely agree with anything that is for our own good. The use of a lie by a government official is an open admission a priori that the official is up to something the people would NOT agree with, such as spending our tax money for things that benefit the official but not the people.
The second argument used by those trying to defend the liars is that so many others have lied who were not caught and punished that it would "be unfair" to single out the one who was caught lying. But do we stop arresting muggers because of all the muggers who were never caught? Or do we catch and punish those that we can to deter others from a life of crime?
The third argument used by those who defend the liars is to claim that it was "only one lie" and to consider all the times the official told the truth. But again, do we free the murderer for all those whom he or she did not kill, or do we jail the murderer for the one victim that died?
A lot of people, afraid of the government, found comfort in the illusion that government lies happened long ago, or far away, or somehow didn't really impact them and therefore require no response. No more. The present morass of lies regarding the wars in the Mideast touches us all, impoverishes us all, and has brought death to many Americans who would otherwise be alive today.
Current headlines surround the claim made in George Bush's State of the Union Speech that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Niger. CIA Director George Tenet has fallen on his sword for the President, but only for not trying hard enough to remove the claim from the speech. Left unexplained is just how the claim was put into Bush's speech in the first place, and why if the CIA did in fact remove the claim from a previous Bush speech in October of 2002, the White House felt justified in using the same claim again three months later. The claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger was based solely on documents since revealed to be forgeries, and clumsy ones at that, laundered through Italy and Great Britain before arriving at the US. Iraq hardly needs to buy uranium ore from Niger, having naturally occurring uranium mines of its own. This claim was not only a lie, it was an obvious one.
But while the present focus is on this one lie, the fact is that most, indeed maybe ALL, of the claims made to justify the invasion and conquest of Iraq have failed to withstand close scrutiny. Prudence demands that we not forget these other examples of mendacity, because the war in Iraq was not built on just one lie, but on a great many lies, deceptions, and falsehoods.
Let us be clear, there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. Many Americans may not be aware of that fact because of a little game the US mainstream media played, in which suspected WMDs were given constant play throughout the day, with the retraction and admission of a benign explanation issued late at night when few people would see it. The swindle worked like this. All day long barrels of white powder "suspected" of being chemicals used for biological weapons would be the lead story on all the news shows. Then late at night, there would be a single report on how the barrels turned out to be pesticide. The media could claim to have reported the facts truthfully, yet most viewers were left with the impression that weapons of mass destruction had indeed been found in Iraq, thereby justifying the war.
Perhaps the most egregious example of this media spin involved the trailers claimed by Colin Powell to be mobile biological weapons labs in photos shown to the United Nations. When the actual trailers were captured by US Forces, photos, captioned as suspected mobile biological weapons labs, were omnipresent no the network news and major newspapers. When experts studying the photos pointed out that the trailers lacked essential components needed to be biological weapons labs, the Bush administration then claimed that the trailers were used on conjunction with other, not-yet-discovered trailers, to form the weapons labs. This too was given a great deal of play on the networks and major newspapers. But when the trailers were positively identified as part of a weather balloon system sold to Iraq by Great Britain, the network news barely noticed!
A major portion of the case for invading Iraq were the two "Dossiers" provide by Great Britain. The second Dossier, and more recently the first, have both been revealed to have been assembled from material collected from the internet, including a plagiarized student paper based on 12 year old data! The revisions history contained in the original Word Document of the second Dossier confirms that it was being edited and revised by Tony Blair's staff.
Why was Blair's staff writing their own dossier from 12 year old material? Because the intelligence Blair was getting from British Intelligence, just like the intelligence that Bush was getting from the CIA, did not support the need for immediate war. Blair went back to 12 year old data, and so did Rumsfeld, because there was no current data that supported the claim that Iraq posed a threat to the United States of America.
That claim, that Iraq posed any kind of threat to the United States, is also a lie. Iraq has never posed a threat to the United States, which is why the United States had no problems PROVIDING weapons of mass destruction to Iraq in the first place. Iraq had no missiles able to reach across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. And even if it had, Iraq would not have used them.
You see, the thing the US Government and the media is hoping you have forgotten is that trillion dollar "investment" your parents were forced to make in nuclear weapons, and the silo-launched missiles, nuclear subs, and bombers to deliver them anywhere on Earth. The promise was that this horrific assemblage of monster weapons would deter an attack.
That has to apply to Iraq. Saddam was many things, but he wasn't crazy, and he had an ego of the huge size one finds in a head-of-state. He wasn't going to attack the US when such an attack would destroy Iraq and all those Iraqis Saddam expected to revere his memory after he was gone. So, if the US nuclear deterrent works, then neither Saddam nor anyone else is going to attack us. The cost is too high. If, on the other hand, the nuclear deterrent does not work, then the taxpayers have all been the victims of a trillion dollar swindle by the US Government.
In fact, given the existence of the US Nuclear deterrent, it only makes sense to attack the United States if the attacker plans to plant the blame for the attack on an innocent nation, for the express purpose of bringing down the military wrath of the US on that innocent nation.
Which brings us to those anthrax letters sent out just after 9-11.
For weeks after the anthrax letters appeared, the media focused on Arab Muslims as the prime suspect, based on the letters included with the anthrax, written to appear to be from semi-literate Arab Muslims. But this too turned out to be a lie. The letters contained a strain of Anthrax that traced back to a US Government laboratory! As of now, there are only two real suspects in the anthrax letters case. One is Dr. Stephen Hatfill, famed by constant TV reportage of his being a "person of interest" to the FBI. The other suspect is Dr. Philip Zack, who was caught by the security system entering the storage area where the anthrax was kept, after being fired from his job.
The key point is that neither of these men are Arab, or Muslim. Therefore, the letters enclosed with the anthrax, written to appear to be from Arab Muslims, are incontrovertible proof of a plan to frame Arab Muslims for terror attacks in the United States. Just how far that plan to frame Arabs may reach is still unknown. But that it exists is beyond doubt.
Lie after lie after lie. It's probably simpler to wonder what if anything we have been told about Iraq is the truth. But now that the government has been caught in multiple lies, only a fool and idiot would assume that anything we have been told by the US Government or the media is true. The burden of proof is not on We The People to prove the government lies from this point on, the burden of proof is on the government and media to prove that they are telling the truth.
The US Government lied to justify an invasion of Iraq and its oil fields. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Had there been, Saddam would have used them to save himself during the invasion. All the lies about WMDs fail on this point, that at the time and place where Saddam had everything to gain and nothing left to use by employing such weapons, he clearly had none to use.
Trust is a delicate thing. It can take decades to build and a single careless moment to destroy. To judge by the current polls, the people of the United States have lost all trust in the government. And that is a fatal affliction for a government, because were a real emergency to occur now, the government would be unable to lead the people who, wary of being made fools of yet again, will not accept what the government says at face value.
Just think what it means knowing that the government lies to you. Is that tax really legal, or necessary? The government says so, but now you know that this does not mean it is true. Maybe that tax you pay isn't really legal at all. How do you know that a leader you liked really died because of an accident, or a "crazed lone assassin"? You don't know it. You cannot know it. Not when you live under a government and media that lies, as this government and this media provably do.
Science fiction movies portray mind control as a zombie like state involving drugs and flashing lights and lots of special effects. But in truth all mind control means is controlling the brain by controlling what it knows, by lying, by feeding the brain of the citizen only those bits and pieces of information that would cause that brain to decide to do what the government wants it to decide, and of its own supposed free will. In a nation of total information control, one could be a slave and not even realize it.
How did we get into this mess? Yes, because officials lie and the media has abandoned their role to watch for lies. But in the end, WE THE PEOPLE must share the blame for the degeneration of our government, because we saw the lies and chose not to act. Because as long as We The People tolerate lies in government, we will live under a government that lies to us. But when we decide to have the courage to make the cost of a single lie immediate expulsion from office, when we have the will to make the cost of a lie outweigh its benefit by throwing the liars into the streets in the most humiliating manner possible, then officials will discover that truth is a virtue.
It's still out country. The government is our employee, and we have caught our employee lying to us. What happens next is up to you.
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