The President Would Never Lie, Would He?
Posted 9/29/2008 3:29 PM EDT on democratandchronicle.com
Posted 9/29/2008 3:29 PM EDT on democratandchronicle.com
Considering the period from the end of WWII to today, there is plenty of evidence of presidential lies and ethical challenges that mare the records: Harry Truman concealed the truth about the Hiroshima and
Nagasaki bombings by claiming: “The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians.” 215,000 mostly civilians were killed by the two bombs. His administration suffered from corruption, including the firing or forced resignations of 166 appointees in IRS.
Dwight Eisenhower famously lied on national TV about the U2 over flights of the Soviet Union just as a U2 was shot down over the Soviet Union. He started the covert CIA actions against Cuba, including authorization to kill Fidel Castro using exploding cigars and other creative devices.
Eisenhower made a good start on the nuclear arms race by advocating the only war the US should fight be all out nuclear hydrogen annihilation - even though he knew very well that would kill most Americans as well as most Soviets. His war plan said simply required “the simultaneous use of over 3,000 nuclear warheads against all communist countries”. Of course, he never told the American people or the international allies about that little secret.
John F. Kennedy wildly exaggerated his wartime PT boat successes. In the early 1950s, he was quite close to, and supported the McCarthy madness, including the mighty Senator himself. He concealed a
major drug dependency. Kennedy was a major Communist fear monger: he lied about a nonexistent Soviet threat: “We are now threatened with a missile gap that leaves us in a position of potentially grave danger.”
He very much avoided discussing his support of, and interference in, the Bay of Pigs disaster, claiming “I have previously stated and I repeat now that the United States intends no military intervention in Cuba.” His administration continued to plan Operations Northwood and Moongoose, both consisting on faked Cuban terrorist attacks on the US, followed by US retaliation.
Kennedy sent the Green Berets to Guatemala, eventually killing some 20,000 up till 1976 - continuing the long standing US policy to violently meddle in Central and Latin American countries. He sent the first significant troops to Vietnam. His acts contributed to the assassination of Vietnamese president Diem - earlier he favored
assassinations of Prime Minister Lumumba of the Congo and Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. Continuously, ethical issues hurt his short presidency contradicting his cult status.
Lyndon Johnson, viewed as one of the most treacherous (or skilled as some view it) of politicians, misrepresented his WWII record, receiving a Silver Star for nothing. He claimed his great-great-grandfather died at the Alamo - although no doubt he had a great-great-grandfather, that person died nowhere close to the Alamo. He hid the frauds of his first election to the US Senate. He concealed the truth about the Kennedy assassination, altering key documents.
Johnson lied about the Tonkin Bay incident, using the fictitious event to escalate the Vietnam war dramatically: “As President and Commander in Chief it is my duty to the American people to report that renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply.” There were no hostile acts in the Tonkin Bay by North Vietnam at that time, much less renewed hostilities. Hard to believe, but his extramarital sex life apparently beat both JFK and Bill Clinton heads down. The standing DC joke was “How can you tell when Lyndon is lying?” The answer: “When his lips move.”
Richard Nixon - Tricky Dick - started his career by lying about campaign slush funds. Later, he concealed support to overthrowing a legal government in Chile, resulting in several thousand political killings and some 30,000 incidences of torture. He lied about tax evasion, campaign contributions, harassments and wire tabs. He concealed many aspects of the Vietnam War, including expanding it into Laos and Cambodia. The Watergate cover up is an American landmark of the worst kind. He
famously claimed not to be a crook. He did make a cocker spaniel named Checkers famous.
Jimmy Carter lied about the Iran hostage crisis and his earlier relationship with the Shah. In spite of his pious character, his administration was not as snow-white: his OMB chief, Bert Lance, had to resign; the Chief of Staff, Scott Hamilton, was scrutinized by a special prosecutor. His deranged brother Billy not only invented his own beer but acted as a paid agent of Libya. Add Debategate and Abscam to the record.
Gerald Ford, one of the more inoffensive presidents in recent memory, pardoned Richard Nixon which was legal although not very ethical. Known for tumbling down airport ramps, a murderous golf game and endless SNL jokes, his administration, not to mention himself, was the cleanest in ages.
Ronald Reagan like many others falsified his war record: He claimed he was an Army photographer filming Nazi death camps - that never happened; he spent that war in Hollywood. He presided over and lied about the Iran-Contra affair: “We did not - repeat - did not trade weapons or anything else for
hostages - nor will we.” Later, foolishly: “I’m afraid that I let myself be influenced by other’s recollections, not my own.” He was the president during most of the Nicaragua disaster where CIA and other US agencies went haywire, violating human rights and treaties, leading to a conviction in the International Court of Justice. He also reached fame for having 225 subordinates, such as Edward Meese, Michael Deaver, Samuel Pierce, James Watt and John Poindexter quitting in disgrace, being fired, arrested, indicted, convicted or in contempt of ethical standards.
Reagan also merrily stated: “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do” and “In England, if a criminal carried a gun, even though he didn’t use it, he was tried for first-degree murder and hung if he was found guilty”.
Reagan’s tax policy contributed to the Savings and Loans scandal at a cost of $150 billion to tax payers or as much as $500 billion as viewed by some. Over 1,000 savings and loan institutions failed, leading to the 1990-91 recession. Senators Cranston, Riegle and DeConcini lost their jobs due to their relationship
with Charles Keating - John Glenn and John McCain had close calls.
George Bush Sr. lied about taxes (”Read my lips”), the Iran-Contra affair (”Out of the loop”), political murders by Chilean assassins and Koreagate. He did not readily discuss his relationships with Saddam Hussein (”Not prudent”), the bin Laden family or controversial Sun Myung Moon, who incidentally also had relations with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Nor does he touch on the many rumors of his involvement in virtually hundreds of scandals during his long tenure with CIA. His pardon of six Iran-Contra figures did not go over well. His betrayal of the Shiite Intifada uprising against Hussein right after the first Gulf War is truly shameful even by the Bush family standards.
Other Bush Sr. lies include showing crack cocaine props on national TV, claiming they were seized across the street from the White House. DEA had set up a teenage drug dealer who voiced: “Where the f**k is the White House?” Also, Bush claimed the Patriot missiles saved Israel by blowing away 41 of 42 incoming Scud missiles during the first Gulf War. One Scud was hit.
Bill Clinton also fantasized about war records: “I wound up just going through the lottery, and it was just a pure fluke that I was never called”. He had important recollections from his childhood: “Since I was a little boy, I’ve heard about the Iowa caucuses.” and “I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child.” Clinton went to England to avoid the draft, among
other evasive tactics. There were no Iowa caucuses when Clinton was a little boy. No black churches were ever burnt in Arkansas.
Clinton got caught in Monica Lewinsky (”I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”). Then there were various other ladies of fortune, cigars, land holdings, campaign contributions, stock affairs, the White House travel firings and who knows what else. Impeachment and disbarment followed. The Lincoln Bedroom sales were not generally admired. The mystery of Vince Foster’s suicide and the investigations of Ron Brown, Commerce Secretary remain foggy items. Then there was Chinagate, Pardongate, Filegate and Whitewater.
The Eventual Legacy of George W. Bush
George W. Bush is likely the least ethical and the most incompetent president ever. He lies about, distorts or hides anything not promoting his distorted world view (Wars on Terror, Terrorists, Iraq, the UN, the international justice system; the Constitution, various laws and treaties, Civil Rights, Afghanistan, Islam, Gays, Pro Choice, Stem Cells, Mexicans, Climate, Environment, Social Entitlements, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China, the poor, the mentally ill, the disadvantaged, the middle class…..), self image (Decider, Commander Guy, Dictator, No Mistakes, Christian Crusader, War President….) and self interest (Power, Avoid War Criminal charges,
Financial…..). Stubborn, blind sided, intolerant, inflexible and lacking curiosity, he does not even tolerate the advice of his dwindling supply of supporters. Blurring the Constitution on State-Church separation, he apparently prefers a joint venture with God to one with humans: “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.” Modest, isn’t he.
His Vietnam (non)war record is hidden in deep smoke screens - joining the Texas National Guard was made possible by the power of his father, followed by a career in the Guard with illegally unfulfilled attendance. Later, he was accused of insider trading of Harken Energy stock. He is close to many implicated in the Enron scandal - Kenny Lay, for instance, was a major donor to Bush campaigns.
He misunderstands terrorism and how to fight it. He declared war on Islam believing Islam = Terrorism, successfully, as it turned out, in creating a spirited insurgent and terrorist response, killing thousands a month. As he said: “The United States of America is engaged in a war against an extremist group of folks”. Utterly failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan kill Americans on a daily basis, costing billions with zero benefit and a disastrous outlook. For example: “The British
Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”; “You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror”; and “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons.” All lies. No foundation in reality. Still mindlessly defended.
He is hard at work spreading nuclear arms all over the globe. Today, the issue is North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India and Israel. Tomorrow, it might be Lebanon, Syria, Alaska intuits, Congo, Parisian suburbs, Denmark and Ohio. He is destroying relations with China and Russia, losing long standing allies, insulting every one in the process. Every responsible leader wants the US out of Iraq, including his father, James Baker, most of Congress and the American people. He responds by increasing troop levels: “The solution to Iraq is more than a military mission. Precisely the reason why I sent more troops into Baghdad.”
He refuses to deal with Global Warming especially as his Supreme Court ordered him to do so and a united world demands it. He wants to drill for more oil domestically, increasing carbon emissions. He engages in a meaningless ethanol agreement with Brazil while keeping a huge tariff on Brazilian ethanol. His domestic ethanol policy is controversial indeed as ethanol production requires more energy than produced and causes more pollution than gained. His own Generals are concerned Global Warming is a national security issue, not to mention the warnings of thousands of scientists and the UN. He directed the EPA to break pollution laws. He ordered EPA scientists to falsify climate data and lie to the world, including Congress.
Bush continues his attempts to dismantle the Geneva Conventions in favor of water boarding and other forms of torture. He maintains illegal prisons all over the world, filled with illegally detained prisoners without legal representation, charges or trial. He ignores international laws and treaties, not to mention the US Constitution, Civil Rights and Privacy laws. He maintains support (so far) for a lawless Attorney General and Dirty Harry Karl Rove, just as he did with a megalomaniac Secretary of Defense.
On a positive note, it appears he is not contributing to the 137 count of known presidential mistresses over the last 218 years. It is not clear why that is the case.
This is a very brief discussion of the Bush White House and the man himself. Those interested in a more complete list might check out Wikipedia’s page on Bush “controversies”, listing about 250 specific entries. Happy reading. It’s not very funny.
This information was taken in it's entirety from: