The People of the Lie

people-of-the-lie1.jpgThese three stories have resonated with me lately:

— Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is now admitting — no, boasting — that he lied to Congress when he claimed a few weeks ago that the new Constitution-trashing FISA legislation helped thwart a terrorist plot.

— ABC correspondent Alexis Debat, much in demand in Beltway media circles as an expert on the Middle East, has been exposed as a fake who used lies (and bogus interviews-that-never-happened with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Kofi Annan) to do things such as promote the Bush White House’s planned attacks on Iran.

— The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen tries to pretend that major right-wing player and zampolit Ted Olson is just this innocent widdle bunny rabbit being picked on by those mean ole partisan donkeyheads: “Olson is the latest in an array of potential candidates, including Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who have drawn early objections from Democrats. The Washington Post reported last week that Olson had emerged as a leading contender, but many Democrats view him as a sharply partisan figure with alleged ties to a conservative magazine’s investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the 1990s.”

As TeddySanFran said when he passed this one by e-mail: “ALLEGED TIES?” Olson was in fact one of the key players in the Arkansas Project, though he would later lie his ass off before Congress and deny it. But giving bogus testimony seems to be a habit with Olson: He did so before Congress in the 1980s to try and block the probe into the Superfund scandal that occurred when he was Ronald Reagan’s assistant attorney general, and he did so again before the Supreme Court in November of 2000 in order to stop the Florida vote count and give George W. Bush the White House. (Oh, and who’s Olson supposed to be replacing as attorney general? Why, that world-class liar Alberto Gonzales.)

Our illustrious Beltway press spent the last two years of the 1990s calling Bill Clinton a liar — and never hesitated to use the word in reference to him — because of an affair he’d had with a woman. Yet George W. Bush and his buddies — many of them in the media — lie like rugs, and their lies are about matters of national and deadly importance. Yet, as Paul Krugman pointed out ages ago, the lords of the press just find it so hard to say this.

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