Thursday, July 21, 2005

THE PROBLEM WITH LIES




Lying is part of human nature. It is literally in our genes. Primates rely upon deception and misdirection as an important and oft practiced social and survival skill. So does the human primate. It is a fact.

You tell the bank clerk you forgot your pass book when in fact, you never bring it. You tell the beggar, sorry, I don't have anything, when you do have a thing but you'd really like to scream at him for being a bum. All matter of lies are part of avoiding conflict, avoiding attention, and avoiding blame. Getting support, getting attention, and getting praise.

Whether you believe deception and misdirection, or lying, is encoded in our nervous systems or if you believe it is a sin, invented by some malign god, i.e. the Devil, the effect is the same.


When the lies used to justify ourselves, become more numerous and more important than truth, when real communication becomes impossible because nothing and no one can be believed, political and social disorder are next on the menu.

We are in a strange state in America. Never before has 'morality' been a hotter and more frequently talked about subject. Yet, the superficial culture of lies, deception, misdirection, commercial seduction and enticement, and perception manipulation, has become the dominant social and moral culture of the United States. An empire that has lost it's moral centre.

Every lie creates a bodyguard of more lies, held in place by the need to hide the first lie.
I once knew a man who, for reasons I do not understand, would tell everyone he knew, really terrible, sometimes bizarre lies about his wife. At some point he would pull you aside or invite you to lunch and seemingly pour his heart out with some strange unpleasant story about his wife. A story in which he was the innocent victim.

Once you had heard the big story about the terrible thing the wife is and the thing she did, you would never get a chance to be alone with the woman again. The guy went to incredible lengths to keep people separate, always talking to each one individually. Then making sure his wife was absent or very guarded at social situations. A lot of work and a lot of lies went into to trying to maintain the original lies. Many of their friends actually believed the stories until finally, too many people compared notes.

Now, no one who knows him, believes anything he says, about anything at all.

I mention this because Blair, then Bush, Rove, and the whole White House gang, are becoming mired in the complexity of their own multi layered web of lies and supporting fabricated 'facts'. Lies explained away and justified, by yet more lies.

A couple of examples: Coming up to the last election, the Terrorist Alert index was raised to orange, in an obvious attempt by the White House to use the so called alert system as a political tool, to aid the President in the election. Bush came under a lot of criticism when it was discovered that the justification given for the orange alert, was based upon intelligence that was four years old. In other words, a couple of big old hairy lies involving the state security apparatus, used for purely political purposes.

Well, that was looking pretty bad. Desperate for something to justify the original lie,
the Bush White House revealed that a well placed Al Qaeda operative, a computer expert, had been arrested by the Pakistanis. Tom Ridge, then head of homeland security, did not name the agent but revealed enough about him that he was easy to identify. The White House gang justified their previous political actions, by revealing that Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan was a double agent. A young computer expert, important to communications. Khan had a plan for bombing the London subway in his computer.

He was arrested and 'turned' by Pakistani security agents. He was proving to be a valuable source for learning the locations of sleeper cells in various locations.

Mohammad Noor Khan represented a major intelligence coup. Turning a man, as well placed as Khan is a rare and lucky event. Numerous terror cells may have been rolled up. But, for purely political reasons, the White House, blew the cover and the usefulness of this rare variety of intelligence find. An active, well placed, Al Qaeda agent.

Oddly enough, MI5, in Britain had gotten leads, via this agent, regarding a cell that was beginning to form, in and around Leeds. The cell was planning to bomb the subway.
But, suddenly his fellow terrorists discover Mr. Khan has been arrested and given information. The British were forced to roll up the cell prematurely laying a dozen petty charges that only warned the cell that they were known.

For more information regarding Mr. Mohammed Khan, click here.

Now we are told that the young men who carried the bombs, in the recent London bombings, were mostly from Leeds. Obviously, it would appear that a new now undetected cell had formed and carried out the original plan.

That is, if we are to believe official reports. How many lies to you try to believe before you quit believing anything government officials say. Knowing that the story will change in a day or two and previous, obviously erroneous statements, will be dropped and forgotten.

The Valerie Plame outing is another clear case of persons in the White House, willfully damaging national security for short term domestic political reasons. Shameful.

Numerous lies have already been revealed from Rove and the White House press secretary. Previous strong statements, made by Scott McClellan will not be commented on. The President, who figured no one would get caught, once said he would fire anyone guilty of such a leak.

Now, Bush just can't go and fire his political brains, can he? Of course not. A couple of days ago, in his sternest stage voice, Bush declares that now he will fire anyone in his administration, guilty of a crime. Emphasis, mine. But really, the emphasis belongs to George, doesn't it?

Lies, to cover lies, with yet more lies. Creating the ground work for yes, more lies.

All of this to get revenge for some one telling the truth about Saddam's actual military capabilities. A web of lies, to cover previous lies and to provide a setting for lies to come.

A very important CIA asset, specializing in searching for weapons of mass destruction, is outed. Made invalid, useless, blown. Her various networks and international contacts, suddenly exposed. The harm can not be accurately assessed.

Lies and more lies to cover venal, short term, political goals, for the White House.

The problem with lies is that eventually, no one, friend or foe, can believe anything you say. No one can trust you. No one can trust your administrative or intelligence officials, at any level.

How can the CIA guarantee the safety of potential agents when they can't protect themselves from White House whims?

The security agencies from other countries can not rely on the Americans to be partners in sharing intelligence. Try to imagine, that if any country ever again turns an important Al Qaeda operative, the CIA, the Americans, will likely be the very last to know. You can't trust the Americans because you never know what their motives are. Everything in America has become politicized. The agenda is never completely on the table.

In the minds of the White House gang, it's all a political power game. A game played with so many lies, the truth becomes meaningless. It's all about what you can get away with. Bush has gotten away with a lot in his life time. Pretty well everything, judging by his protected, privileged existence.

Given the reality portrayed by the Downing Street Memos and related documents, the lies revealed by those memos, and even the lies that were planed re "Fixing the intelligence, to fit the policy", it is hard to even care what these people say. You know it is not the truth, before they even start talking.

For those who still want to believe in this criminal madness, I have got to ask. How many more lies are you prepared to swallow before you admit you've allowed your self to be duped?

Duped by an arrogant, down talking, fake cowboy of a billionaire, intent upon making the world free and easy for his own class. A class, to which, you do not belong. Though you do get to pay their taxes for them and fight for their further enrichment, and come back and work at Wal-Mart if you've been a good little drone and you aren't too crippled and don't mind shit pay, long hours, no respect, and no loyalty. Sort of like the Army only the pay is even worse. No benefits, at all.

Yep, that's America, the greatest country on earth if you happen to be very rich.

For the rest of us? Lies upon lies, covered by lies upon lies. It just sort of blends in with the commercials for some folks.

Check out this musical response to the same questions, How Many Lies? And a lot of other good stuff at Disenfranchised Music.

13 Comments:

At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom:
Profound in its directness and simplicity. You have struck at the heart of it all.

Salud!

Joe Bageant

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Thanks Joe, from you, that is big time encouragement.

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger iotm said...

This has inspired me to write a fairly lengthy post about why people are willing to believe these lies.

I'll be posting it tomorrow morning once I can give it a read through and make sure it's coherent.

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

For those not familiar with the above commenters blog, I strongly suggest you check it out. It's one of my favourites.
http://cecomment.blogspot.com/

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous napacwc said...

Speaking of lies, what about the media? I have tried to understand (or perhaps follow would be a better choice of words since a 3rd grader could understand the mindset of the neocons) the Plamegate affair through reading about it in numerous media outlets. The "smoking gun" story of the day notwithstanding, it appears that the editorial policies of the media are dictating what side of the story gets ink. While these "facts" and "sources" are reputed to be verifiable and knowledgeable, they still leave me at a loss to try to get a sense of what really happened. "If it bleeds, it leads..." is as much of a lie to reporting the facts as are the political motivations of the neocons.

Thanks Thomas and glad you're back.

Expat-to-be

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Yes, the corporate media certainly knows which side the bread is buttered on. Doesn't it?

Presenting carefully selected facts can be as dishonest as out right lies. Quoting lies, without questions, is just another lie.

Ergo, the great importance of alternative media sources, such as Democracy Now.

Soon, I think I shall post a list of the fact based alternative media sources that I am aware of and invite my readers to add what they know to the list.

That may be the subject of the next posting.

Thanks.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

The Thought % Humor post was deleted only because it was a meaningless auto genrated post, intended to draw traffic to a dumb joke site.

 
At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Jet said...

The price of these lies is the loss of the perception of honor. I have a hard time accepting that our President feels comfortable debasing our national pride for personal gain. To me, this is not what America is, nor should we settle for this loss of honor as the cost of doing business in the post 9/11 world.

 
At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Great post; great blog. I just discovered you through your comment at Bring It On!

Keep up the good work.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

For those not yet familiar with Bring It On, the url is

http://theunitedamerican.blogs.com/bring_it_on/

 

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