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June 12, 2003
It's History, But It's Not Dead

Lies matter, okay? And everyone, conservative or liberal, should agree on that. It matters that the information the press is giving us from Washington reflects what's really going on and not what a reporter thinks will gain them notoriety or what an editor thinks will boost sales.

The unconstitutional impeachment proceedings against Clinton mattered then and they matter now. Not to defend Clinton, but as evidence that a slack-jawed, sensationalistic press and a determined group of partisans can mislead a nation drastically.

I don't care if the partisans are right or left, okay? It's not the job of the media of take sides, it's their job to report facts. There's been a disgraceful abandonment of facts in political coverage in the last few years and a disheartening reliance on rumors and unnamed sources.

Even today, very few people would be able to tell you exactly what charges were actually brought against Clinton. They'd also find it impossible to tell you what happened, in the end, with the Vince Foster suicide investigation, Whitewater, that "stained dress," and other, more brief-lived "scandals" tossed about. Nor do most of them know if, after over $70,000,000 of taxpayer dollars were spent on investigations, anyone in the Clinton Administration was proven guilty of anything at all.

(Yes, I know. No, I'm not telling you. I'm aggravated at you that, after pouring all of that money into newspaper coffers so that you could read the latest sex-and-money scandal every day, you didn't have enough interest in the truth to follow the stories to the end. By letting the newspapers get away with blatant scandal-mongering and not demanding that they follow through their accusations to the end, you encourage the worst in yellow journalism.)

(Okay. Because it's germane to the issue at hand, I'll tell you one thing. Clinton got nailed, not for having extramarital sex, but for lying about it. That lie, and an obstruction charge, were all they had against him in the end. No financial scandal, no murders, nothing like that. For telling a lie.)

Lies matter today, too.

Having learned from their own activities just what can be brought against a President in an attempt to bring him down, Bush's advisors have him wrapped in cotton wool and hidden behind smoke and mirrors.

I don't blame them. If anyone attacked, for instance, Bush's history the way the Right went after every detail of Clinton's past, we'd be in the middle of another four years of scandal.

Lies about why we went to war matter, if such lies exist. Not because, as liberals have been forced to say again and again, Hussein should have been left in peace, but because the ends do not justify the means.

If we're commencing with pre-emptive invasions to insure our access to oil, then say so.

If we're undertaking a series of wars with an eye to bringing freedom to the third world, then say so.

If we're just sick and tired of the turmoil in the Middle East and the way it threatens to destabilize the West, then say so.

You might be surprised at how many people in the USofA and elsewhere would agree with any of those motives. I'm not saying that I would, but there are millions who would.

It's not the war, tragic as it is that so many have died. It's the lies that matter.

If an Administration isn't open with us about why we're invading a country before said invasion, then why should be believe anything they say after the fact?

Posted by AnneZook at 10:11 AM