peace and hotep,
InfoTrac Web: InfoTrac Newspapers.
AT GOVERNMENT'S PANTS ON FIRE.(Editorial)(Column)
CT Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA)
DP March 26, 2002 pB7
RM COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA), March 26, 2002
Title: GOVERNMENT'S PANTS ON FIRE.(Editorial)(Column)
Electronic Collection: CJ84207003
Full Text COPYRIGHT 2002 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights
Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.
Byline: SEAN GONSALVES Syndicated columnist
Did you hear about what the federal government's top lawyer told the
Court a week ago? Solicitor General Theodore Olson testified that U.S.
officials have the right to lie to American citizens.
Why? Because, he said, misleading statements sometimes are needed to
foreign policy interests. "It's easy to imagine an infinite number of
situations where the government might legitimately give out false
information," Olson said.
Even if you're a Bible-believing fundamentalist who thinks Robert Bork
William Bennett are the true guardians of Western morality, you don't
necessarily have to get your prayer beads in a knot over this one.
According to the first chapter of Exodus, the Egyptian midwives,
Pu'ah, were blessed by the Lord despite their lying.
In their case, they didn't lie to the people, but to Pharaoh, who had
instituted a policy of male infanticide. Bottom line: The midwives'
misinformation move was an act of moral courage that saved Moses' life
could lead the Israelites out of bondage.
But unless, or until, Bush can spontaneously combust and burn without
consumed, I'm not comfortable swallowing whole Olson's notion of Uncle
having the right to lie.
If he had said, "Government officials have a tendency to lie, if they
telling the truth will unnecessarily harm foreign policy interests,"
about his testimony probably wouldn't have made me give it a second
After all, even the most cursory review of Cold War history will reveal
the feds lying to cover their foreign policy tracks is nothing new. But
right to lie?
If our government has a right to lie, then we citizens have a duty to
skeptical about official statements.
Just don't tell Attorney General John Ashcroft I said that. I don't
end up a "detainee" in this war on terrorism for suggesting that
citizens actually question policy pronouncements because, after all,
government has the right to lie, especially when it comes to war.
Consider the recent release of more Richard Nixon Oval Office tapes.
commentators have focused on what the former president had to say about
theVietnam War. But the researchers at Common Sense for Drug Policy
a major root of another war - the war on drugs (see www.csdp.org
In 1971, Nixon appointed a National Commission on Marijuana and Drug
aka the Shafer Commission, whose charge it was to do extensive weed
and then make some policy recommendations.
"You know, it's a funny thing: Every one of the bastards that are out
legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the
Bob? ... I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists," Nixon
in a May 1971 meeting.
He went on to explain that people drink alcohol "to have fun" but
light up just "to get high." Little wonder Washington Post staff writer
Weingarten wrote a piece recently asking: "Just what was he smoking?"
In another meeting, Nixon met with then-Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond
the commission's work. "You're enough of a pro to know that for you to
out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels
what we're planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as
Nixon told Shafer, when he learned that the commission was about to
marijuana be legalized.
Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, reports that
commission issued its recommendation that marijuana offenses not be a
15 million people have been arrested on marijuana charges.
"Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no. Not if they catch
they send them up. You see, homosexuality, dope, uh, immorality in
These are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists
left-wingers are pushing it. They're trying to destroy us," Nixon said,
explaining his justification for the "all-out war" on marijuana use.
As Weingarten observes, the "Jew-homo-doper-Commie-shrink-lefty cabal
to date, destroyed us." What Weingarten didn't say was: The war on
shrouded in misinformation, covering up the destruction it has wrought
foreign and domestic places.
In a 1999 campaign speech, President Bush noted that "America has
prison population in the last 15 years," which has resulted in "a
problem - an
estimated 1.3 million children who have one or both parents in prison."
Time for another commission to review our national drug laws. But this
ought to demand a truth and reconciliation commission to counter the
lie and affirm our right to truth and justice.
Sean Gonsalves is a columnist with the Cape Cod Times. E-mail:
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