June 27, 2005 11:46 PM   Subscribe

“It is important to the future of our Nation to recognize that there is a problem of credibility today.” Government has an obligation to present information to the public promptly and accurately so that the public’s evaluation of Government activities is not distorted. “The administration should clarify its intent … People lack confidence in the credibility of our government. Even our allies are beginning to suspect what we say. It’s a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy”
posted by growabrain (19 comments total)
Personal rule of thumb: gov't sez it: some form of the opposite is true. And Ronald WIlson Reagan was the biggest gov't falsifier of them all, even compared to his bastard step-child GWB.
posted by telstar at 11:51 PM on June 27, 2005

Wierd. Telling.
posted by bardic at 12:28 AM on June 28, 2005

Even our allies are beginning to suspect what we say...
I'm not sure the parallel holds today.
Nobody I know is beginning to suspect what you say.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:29 AM on June 28, 2005

Wow, that is the longest, biggest, hugest, most engorged package of polictical irony..........

Great post, brain guy.
posted by joedharma at 12:31 AM on June 28, 2005

> gov't sez it: some form of the opposite is true.

It's the principal virus of being an officeholder--you grovel through all the complex, self-contradictory information available to you, boil it down to your own satisfaction, arrive at a conclusion and a policy, and then don't let the electorate to the same. Instead you give them only the peeled, manicured, boiled-down version so they'll come to the same conclusion and support the same policy. For those with short or selective memories, Clinton, Nixon and Lyndon Johnson all had raging infections just like Bush and Reagan.

Is there any escape from the disease? The few examples of unexpected truth-telling (e.g. Eisenhower's "beware the military-industrial complex" speech) seem to occur just as the officeholder is about to retire. But not necessarily even then: Nixon continued to spin and twist the history of his administration through book after book right up until his death.
posted by jfuller at 3:44 AM on June 28, 2005

Hellllloooo...in 1966 there was a Democrat in office. Totally different stadard of credibility. Let's not forget, this is the guy who toed the company line post-Watergate with Cheney and Scalia in opposing the strengthening of the FOIA during the Ford Administration.
posted by rzklkng at 4:00 AM on June 28, 2005

> in 1966 there was a Democrat in office. Totally different stadard of credibility.

Johnson's opposition from the left didn't think so. They thought (and said, loudly and at every opportunity) that he was just another highly-placed liar, just another instance of the Man.
posted by jfuller at 4:36 AM on June 28, 2005

My favorite is "Oliver North is a true patriot."
posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:17 AM on June 28, 2005

"I find your lack of faith disturbing." - Darth Vader

"I sense something. A presence I've not felt since..." - Darth Vader
posted by password at 6:12 AM on June 28, 2005

... the people of the United States must know not only how their country became involved but where we are heading. ...

Let's take bets on whether or not Bush does any of this tonight in his "speech." I'd bet not.
posted by amberglow at 6:38 AM on June 28, 2005

more Rummy here, including this gem: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

The American people don't like losing, and this crowd in power now is learning that, if they're at all paying attention.
posted by amberglow at 6:47 AM on June 28, 2005

weapons-grade pandemonium writes "Nobody I know is beginning to suspect what you say."

Well, by now they all know he's full of sh*t, so there's no "suspecting" involved.
posted by clevershark at 6:52 AM on June 28, 2005

But he was so much older then. He's younger than that now...
posted by Jon-o at 7:11 AM on June 28, 2005

Well, you gotta admit, he was spot-on in doubting the six-month estimate.
posted by soyjoy at 7:17 AM on June 28, 2005

Why did they hate America? --roundup of quotes during Kossovo, including this, from our favorite exterminator: "I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

posted by amberglow at 7:57 AM on June 28, 2005

The problem is that, under the US Constitution and the Constitutions of comparable nations, office-holders are not explicitly deprived of any right to lie to the public, and no censure for doing so is provided for. These documents were largely drafted by idealists of two centuries ago, who would have been horrified at the idea of unethical behavior by an elected representative. It simply did not occur to them that their seats in parliaments would some day be filled by persons of ordinary morality, let alone the kind of repulsive scum with which we are presently afflicted.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:06 PM on June 28, 2005

There is censure and impeachment. There's revolution and the calling for a new continental congress. There are the courts.
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2005

> There's revolution

How many guns y'all own, amber?
posted by jfuller at 4:45 PM on June 28, 2005

Eh, I bet one could stage a revolution with no guns, if one had enough of the population behind it, willing to be machine-gunned by the millions.
posted by hattifattener at 12:26 AM on June 29, 2005

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