Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lies and Lying Liars

It's those damn emails again.  If it wasn't the emails, it would be Benghazi.

Let me take a moment to be politically incorrect.  Just because you had a son who was killed serving his country does not mean you have a handle on the truth.  It turns out that Patricia Smith, who was one of the premier speakers at the republican hate-fest in July, had help from the republican party in composing her barn-burner of a speech, that accused Hillary Clinton of killing her son -- in those words -- and lying to the families about the attack.  Also turns out that the speech writer, Richard Cross, has come around to realizing that he cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, and may end up voting for Hillary.

So Cross is able to walk away from a speech wherein he called the Democratic nominee for president a liar and a "killer."  Nice that he was able to at least make the public statement I guess.  How many republicans are going to make that switch, knowing just what damage a Donald Trump presidency would do to our democracy, and yet keep it a secret so as not to jeopardize their place in the party?  Isn't that a lie, a most egregious lie?

That brings me to Colin Powell, who has just covered his ass by denying that he advised Clinton to use a private server for her emails.  You may recall Colin Powell.  He is the much respected republican in whom Americans placed their trust by bringing out charts and graphs to justify our war in Iraq.

It was a dramatic presentation, that included an actual vial of something that we believed could wipe us all out, and leaving us quaking and convinced.

What we knew about Powell was that he was a smart man, and a moral man.  He could not possible lie to us.  But his very belief in his own goodness has made him vulnerable.  He may not have consciously lied about WMD, but he sure as hell convinced himself of things that were not facts.

Colin Powell, whose testimony may have been the most persuasive argument for the war in Iraq, ten years later, apologized for getting it wrong.  And despite the agony the nation has endured because of his goof, we all said, "How about that honesty?  What a good guy."  And he was off the hook. 

So when he steps up to deny that he had advised Hillary to use a personal email server, I would like us all to take this with a grain of salt.  Because although he has made comments indicating that he is opposed to Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric, he continues to protest that he is still a republican.  He is a man who is tormented by his own belief that he must always do the right and moral thing.  Meaning that if he does something, it must be right and moral.  You see, I can get tangled up just trying to explain poor Colin Powell's moral pretzel.

If we were to wander into the dark, dark days of the Bush administration, we would find lies buried under lies, lies of omission, lies of self-deceit, outright lies.  All committed in the name of patriotism and keeping the homeland safe.  And there is Colin Powell, trying to keep up with the evil Cheney and his minions, and the gullible and persistent Bush.  How does a moral person live in these twisted corridors of power?  Apparently, he convinced himself that because they were so certain, they were right.  And the proof of how powerful was that self-deception is in the power of the false presentation Powell made to the United Nations, and the world.

So as far as emails go, I would wonder about something like this:    

while former Secretary Powell used a personal email account during his tenure as Secretary of State, he did not retain those emails or make printed copies.”

I would imagine that there is a great deal that Powell is not telling us about his email practices, and much that we have not been privy to regarding those actual emails.  A lot has been buried about the Bush/Cheney administration.  Based on what we do know, a lot was covered up under the smoke and destruction of two towers.

Unlike a Congress that did not want to make waves and a subsequent administration that wanted to put a very bad eight years behind us, republicans realize that they gain power by making war.  The symbols, the chants, the repeated accusations, they have all made for a very successful republican party.  Trump appears to be planning his next enterprise from the ruins of his presidential race, just as each failure in his life has led to greater profit.  But the republicans have their sights set on keeping Congress and controlling the states, and they can only do that by minimizing the very powerful Clinton candidacy.

So while whatever oversights Colin Powell may have made, whatever lies he may have told, or truths he may have omitted, will never be questioned, Hillary Clinton continues to be stuck under a magnifying glass turned up so high that flaws become facts.  Meanwhile, Trump courts Vladimir Putin, his lies about every business dealing he has ever had are glossed over, and he polishes a debate style that amounts to, "No, YOU are!"  And the dirtbags on the right continue to raise questions that have already been answered, and that have never been asked of a person holding public office before.

Bush and Cheney's neglect led to the loss of 3,000 lives, and 6,000 injured.  Their bad judgment led to 4,500 American deaths in Iraq (as of 2014).  Trump mocks Obama for saying "ISIL" instead of "ISIS."  Rudy Giuliani, whose neglect of recommended safety implementations after the Twin Tower bombing in 1993 left the towers more vulnerable and harder to evacuate, and police and firefighters with inadequate communication networks -- yes, THAT Rudy Giuliani -- incredibly, unbelievably, is now saying that in the eight years prior to Obama's presidency, we "didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States."  Well, except for the one.

And even though Donald Trump, under new management, is only just learning how to say hateful things without having to own them, the republican party continues their drumbeat of lies and attacks.  And Colin Powell, not having had the experience of being under that magnifying glass, treated with respect after making the case for the costliest mistake in American history, is standing with his party, denying any wrongdoing, and denying any part in Hillary's email fiasco.  Did he do what she said?  I'm going to guess that between the two accounts, there is the truth, and that in the end it is no more important than any of this email nonsense.  Powell could help by saying he doesn't recall, but there is the need to cover his ass, and to justify his own behavior.

Let us not give credence to someone who was part of the most deceitful and destructive administration since Richard Nixon.  And let us demand that attention is paid to the lies and the liars that would see Donald Trump be president in order to maintain their own grip on power at the risk of the country. 

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