I sent this letter to all Democratic Senators, Senator Jeffords (VT, I), and Senator Allard – since I am priviledged to have one of TIMES’ 5 Worst Senators represent me. When I got to a Senator whose name begins with W, he had a notice to the effect that the senate email system doesn’t allow them to consider out of state mail… I can’t bend my morals to go back and email them with a fake state and zip code. Pamela suggested this post. If you want to send it to your senator, feel free. You can even borrow large junks for your own letter.
James Pfiffner, professor of political science at George Mason Univ, addressed presidential lying in a ‘99 essay (Presidential Studies Quarterly) He identified a hierarchy of presidential lying, some of which he considers justifiable.
-Lying about personal matters [that do not affect national policy or security].
-Lying to foreign governments can be a necessary element of diplomacy.
-Lying about matters of national security (Eisenhower denying U-2 flights over USSR)
National security is where Pfiffner finds the worst errors because they are “lies of policy deception”. The president says he is doing one thing; while in fact, the military, CIA, NSA or other agencies are doing something else.
This is where Pfiffner nails the issue for me:
These lies are inexcusable because they deceive “the public about the direction of government policy” and **DENY** voters the opportunity “to make an informed choice [which] undermines the premise of the democratic process.”
His examples are Johnson’s escalation of the VN war and the Gulf of Tonkin deceptions, Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia (14 months), and Reagan’s lies about Iran/Contra.
George W Bush appears to be the all time leader of policy deception lying.
However, as Stephen Kinzer (”Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.”) explained in an Amy Goodman “Democracy Now” radio interview, it goes back decades and centuries. Using the 1953 example: the US [gov], alarmed that the then DEMOCRATIC government of Iran had nationalized the oil industry, got rid of them and installed the Shah. I fully agree with his comment:
“..had we not intervened in 1953 and crushed Iranian democracy, we might have had a thriving democracy in the heart of the Muslim Middle East all these 50 years. I can hardly wrap my mind around how different the Middle East might be now. This regime that’s now in power in Iran would never have come to power, and the current nuclear crisis would never have emerged.”
That covert action is probably what contributed more than anything else to the death, destruction, violence; tragedy, loss and waste of human lives, in the Middle East since.
Let me say this as clearly as I can:
I am an AMERICAN. I VOTE. I Willingly PAY TAXES. When the American Government does something, it does it IN My NAME and with my financial support. If it is based on lies and deceit, when avoidable harm comes from it; it is still on MY CONSCIENCE. When it comes to the government doing things that I never had a chance to vote on or contact my representatives about voting on it, I want to say “NOT in MY name” do you use undisclosed and unsupported policy to overthrow other governments, start wars and promote violence. Overtly or covertly. I refuse to exculpate any leader, Democrat or Republican, for intentional policy deception with misinformation, disinformation, or any other form of prevarication; either by comission or omission.
Policy deception was Bush’s FIRST resort, rather than going to Congress for more leniency, on wiretapping. He knew you wouldn’t vote for it, so he just did it covertly.
This was a denial of your responsiblity and right to be informed and vote on the issue.
I think we have a new level of presidential lying. Lies of policy deception to covertly advance or act on your own religious beliefs.
I want to personally thank all of you for being where you are, for making the efforts that you do in the mega stress environment of US national politics. I do not fault decisions to refrain from some fights when the only thing you are likely to end up with is an inaccurately tainted credibility. I deeply respect the degree to which you all put your names and reputations on the line. I openly fight the lack of objectivity and civility in criticism within the party and in all politics, especially in the blogosphere. The whole IWR situation was a damned if you did and damned if you didn’t series of votes.
There is ONE fight that needs to be at the TOP of the priorities.
It is not oil prices, Iran, immigration, eavesdropping or any of many urgent issues.
***** It is Stopping the sacrifice of American soldiers in Iraq.*****
I want to disclose my full support for Senator Kerry in ’04 and that I will support him in a nanosecond if he chooses to run in ’08. I am part of a large number of ’04 supporters who still have his back. If he runs, we aren’t going to give up without giving the kind of effort he puts into being a US Senator and presidential candidate. Bet on it.
This issue is Not about that campaign. Regardless of any plans or preferences you may have about ’08, I am asking you to support Senator Kerry’s call for a deadline to Iraq and the redeployment and withdrawal of our troops over a limited time. I have no problem with tweaking this plan, however it can best be implemented, and as Senator Kerry has advocated.
My reasons for considering this the most important issue include:
Lt Richard Vandegeer KIA May 15, 1975
‘The Last Man’
The ~ 14,000 who died in Vietnam after 4/22/71
The 20 + thousand who should have lived after our leaders realized it was a mistake.
The others who died after Johnson’s escalation of the war and Gulf of Tonkin deception.
The 50,000+ who committed suicide after they came home.
The hundreds of thousands who will live with PTSD until they die
The other maimed and injured Vietnam veterans
Their children, familes and friends.
The Vietnamese casusalties of that war.
My father in law, Lt Col Kenneth Boggs, USAF (d.1979), WWII POW.
The veterans of WWII (my father, Ronald and uncle, Arthur Cotts),
The veterans of Korea, Kosovo, the Gulf War and Afghanistan.
The maimed and injured,
The thousands who will live with PTSD until they die.
Their children, families and friends.
The civilian casualties of those wars.
The maimed, injured and dead from this Iraq war.
The 210 + who have committed suicide.
The tens of thousands who will live with PTSD until they die.
The families, children, and friends of these veterans.
The Iraqi casualties of this war.
Especially, all casualties from May 15, 2006 on.
I am an RN. Over 30 years, I have worked with vets from every war since WWI. Those that suffer from PTSD are in a class of their own. The only other equivalent group are the Holocaust survivors.
Please, bring this unjust and inhuman tragedy to an end, quickly.
In my name,
Virginia Claire Cotts RN BSN