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June 21, 2004

Please Put More Effort Into Your Lies

I'm a grown up. I realize that having a government that doesn't lie constantly may be too much to ask for. But... couldn't the lies at least make sense?

Telling lies that make sense is just a mark of respect for the people you're lying to. For instance, when I'm housesitting for my friends and I sell their most valuable possessions on Ebay, when they get back I tell them their house was robbed. I don't tell them the Pope came over and ate their TV, stereo, and jewelry.

My friends appreciate it when I tell the first lie. It allows them to pretend they're not complete idiots for asking me to housesit for them. (Plus, it makes me feel good, because in a certain sense it's not even a lie. After all, their house was robbed.) But if I told them the second lie, it would show I have such contempt for them I think they'll swallow anything. Then they'd be forced to do something about the fact I sold all their furniture, and nobody wants that.

I was thinking about this recently when I read this story about Condoleezza Rice. Rice was recently sent out to do damage control after the 9-11 commission reported Iraq didn't have a collaborative relationship with Al Qaeda, and she said this to NPR:

"What I believe the 9-11 commission was opining on was operational control, an operational relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq which we never alleged."

Now, this is obviously a lie. The 9-11 commission was not opining about whether Iraq had operational control over al Qaeda.

But it's also a lie that makes no sense whatsoever. Because... why would the 9-11 commission opine on something the Bush administration NEVER ALLEGED? If no one had alleged that something might be true, why would the commission investigate it? It's like saying, "What I believe the 9-11 commission was opining on was whether Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden got married in Vermont, which we never alleged."

This is why it's imperative that George Bush be defeated. We need people in the White House who will put more effort into their lies.

Posted at June 21, 2004 08:19 PM | TrackBack

Well, at least Rice put a little bit of imagination into her lie. You gotta respect that a little bit. As contrasted with Darth Cheney, who flat-out lied, in such a bald-faced way that the poor CNBC reporter didn't even know how to deal with it:

Transcript, CNBC’s “Capital Report,” June 17, 2004

Gloria Borger: “Well, let’s get to Mohammed Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was quote, “pretty well confirmed.”

Vice President Cheney: No, I never said that.


Vice Pres. CHENEY: Never said that.

BORGER: I think that is...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely not.

Transcript, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” December 9, 2001.

Vice-President Cheney: “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April.”

Posted by: Ted at June 22, 2004 09:27 PM

"opining"....Anyone who uses this word in an answer to a question is, well, obfuscating...

Posted by: trulib at June 23, 2004 12:00 AM

Ted -- if that really is your name -- I agree with you. Lying to reporters like that makes them feel cheap. They need a little romance before they can feel right going along with the government's lies.

trulib -- I am opining that you are correct.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 23, 2004 03:26 PM