Tuesday, July 12, 2005

DOES GEORGE BUSH LIE?

DOES GEORGE BUSH LIE?

By Peter Fredson

July 12, 2005

If the words someone speaks do not match reality, are they lies? If a person sincerely believes what he is saying but the words are not true, is that still a lie? If a person suffers from megalomania and announces that he is Napoleon or Jesus or a deity, is it a lie from his standpoint? If we strongly disbelieve someone saying they are Napoleon or Jesus or a deity doesn’t that make them a liar?

When we examine a person’s credibility do we categorize lies into big dark ones and little bitty white ones? Should we distinguish between playful evasions and outrageous untruth?? Should we distinguish between lies, falsehoods, fabrications, deceit, fibs, prevarications, misinformation, mendacity, dishonesty, mendacity, untruthfulness, perversion, misconduct, equivocation, dodging the truth, spinning the truth, evading the truth, knavery, and half-truths?

Should we overlook that fact that everybody, at one time or another, has lied consciously in order to escape some consequence of their actions, or to obtain some advantage? Is there anyone who has never said a phrase like, “No, I never saw it’ or “Not me” or “I have no idea of how that happened” when you did something. Even examining the history of Church saints one realizes that prevarication was in general use.

About half of the U.S. general population has lived through a period when President Bill Clinton presented a fascinating display and classification of lying to protect him from the consequences of at least one blow-job. In case you have forgotten, or somehow missed this presentation, it created a National fire-storm of moral indignation, high dudgeon, string-him-up rhetoric, and endless prying into sordid detail of pleasures supposedly forbidden to politicians. Preachers wrung their hands in anguish at such goings-on, supposedly never seen before by civilized men, and thundered that the world was at the point of collapse into some sort of divine destruction.

Senators pressed their avid noses into the metaphorical crotch of a buxom intern, and reveled in details of kneeling pads, cigars, and positions taken. Drooling seemed to occur daily with calls for ever more details. Some of the sex-repressed senators must have come close to sexual climax with juicy details of how stains got on a dress. Clinton responded with a definition of what IS is, and several distinguished senators came close to apoplexy before and after terms of impeachment. Certainly nearly half of Congress decided that lying merited impeachment, if not castration. Their wrath, their fuming and fulminating were high theater for people glued to their television screen. And, it is reported, that several adventurous souls tried variations of the missionary position by reading the Kama Sutra.

We have no idea how many yards of cloth were ruined by moist stains after this debauchery.

When does lying become treason? Is it not when lives are lost on the basis of deliberate misinformation, and wars fought on the basis of some pretended intention or Napoleonic-like dream of world conquest?
Is it not when national reputation, morals and morale is damaged by deliberate misinformation?

But here again we face the megalomania part of the scheme. Is it treason if people suffering some form of mania believe their own lies? Is it lying when a leader is told that he is really above the law, and by finding clever definitions evades the law? Is it lying when someone has been brain-washed from their alcoholic stupor by religious devotees into thinking they are selected by some deity to legislate quotations from their sacred book?

Half of Congress, about the same half and people that vociferously demanded the impeachment of Bill Clinton, are remarkably uninterested in any details of any sort of shenanigans the President has perpetuated. Lies, for them, seem to be relative to party discipline, and irrelevant to any sort of legalistic inquiry. All the corruption, missing billions, corporate criminality, sycophant chorus lies of a venal overly-aggressive True Believer cabinet, civil repression, etc., are too frivolous to be noticed.
All the failures, the unfulfilled promises, the misuse of public funds, are simply minor details to be quickly forgotten in the pursuit of corporate profit. After all, Bush did get that dangerous felon, Martha Steward, even if Ken Lay is walking about free as a swallow.

Lies, for many people, are worthwhile if the ends to be gained are worthwhile. To pronounce someone EVIL and then declare war is a perfectly good way to make air-bases, start a plan for world conquest, and get scarce resources. Having several thousand soldiers die for lies is no big deal when the stakes are set by Almighty God himself whispering into the ear of a President. It was worth-while for Julius Caesar, so it should be good enough for our Saint George. Golly, he would gladly have sacrificed many times that number of lives, U.S. and Iraqi, for his vision of world domination and apocalypse. At least he says it was worthwhile, and that’s all that counts. Right?

It may all be relative, but we must ask: Does George W. Bush lie? Does he lie habitually or only incidentally? Does he lie from some mania or psychosis? And, finally, do his lies add up to an impeacheable offense?

Republicans will be obliged to say NO or their party may go down the drain. But, can the Democrats get up enough energy to force some investigations into whatever G.W.B. has been saying?

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