Has anyone ever said to you, "to tell the truth..." or "to be perfectly honest..."? I generally interpret this to mean "there's a whopper coming, look out!" It kinda makes you wonder what they've been saying before qualified it with that. What really irritates me, though, is when a public official tells blatant lies.
I heard on the radio recently that the space station Mir had lost its oxygen generator, main power supply, and main computer. The official report: "The astronauts are in no danger." Now, let me think about this... If there's no danger, why do they remove all people within 2 miles of a Shuttle lift off? How can you be in space, orbiting the earth, without danger, even when everything's working right???? "No danger" is a blatant lie. "No immediate danger" would be correct and accurate. They chose to lie about it.
More recently, a technician at the Kansas City Air Traffic Control Center accidentally shut off all the computers, leaving hundreds of planes without radar service for while. The Kansas City Center controls flights over several states, from airliners to piper cubs. "Safety was not compromised," according to the FAA. Hmm... if no flights were in danger, then why do we spend the money on air traffic control in the first place?
These are not isolated items from the news. You can pick up any day's paper and read a blatant lie on page one, from the "good guys" as well as the "bad guys." President Clinton has no problem whatsoever lying to the public, as do most Washington politicians. It's gotten to the point that when a politician says something, I have to ask myself why he's saying it do understand the situation, because he'll never say what he thinks. What he's saying is meant to influence me rather than inform me. (Yes, women politicians are the same. I'm just too lazy to type "he or she.")
But all these liars are not new. I think it was Will Rogers (who lived down the road a few miles from here) who said you can always tell when a politician is lying -- his mouth moves."
My proposal is to keep track of some of the more blatant lies told by public figures and other officials. Email me some and I'll put them in this page. (You can find plenty daily in usatoday.com)I just went there, in fact, and got good one in about 45 seconds:
Attorney General Janet Reno declined Tuesday to seek an independent counsel investigation of telephone fund raising by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, concluding they did not violate election laws. Her long-expected decision drew jeers from Republicans.
Under strong pressure for months from all sides, Reno told a news conference, "The decision was mine and it was based on the facts and the law, not pressure, politics or any other factor."
Believe this? (1-7-98):
After the Joneses received a letter in September saying their 1995 tax returns would be audited by the Internal Revenue Service, the White House denied it had singled them out for an audit.
The notice arrived in the mail four days after her previous attorneys withdrew from the sexual harassment case because she refused to accept a reported $700,000 settlement.
Clinton (an easy target) 1-21-98:
"I did not do that. I did not do that." This was regarding a sex affair with a 23-year old white house aide. He has a history of lying about his sex life. In addition to the current sex harrassment lawsuit (Paula Jones), remember Jennifer Flowers?
WASHINGTON - President Clinton acknowledged for the first time last Saturday that he had an affair with Gennifer Flowers during the 1970s, The Washington Post reported in Thursday's editions. The statement came during the president's six-hour deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, the Post quoted unidentified sources familiar with his testimony as saying. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Clinton denied Flowers' statements that he was romantically involved with her but admitted having caused pain in his marriage. (USA Today)