Bush Lied. So Did Obama.

Dishonesty is the order of the day at the White House.

According to an exhaustive Senate Intelligence Committee report that might be declassified someday—and sources speaking on condition of anonymity confirm that timeline is "pretty doggone solid"—the CIA might have told a tiny fib or two about its conduct in the War on Terror.

Among other things, the CIA reportedly was a lot rougher on alleged enemy combatants than it admitted. Also, it suggested harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding produced valuable intel — which is sort of, well, not true. And it appears to have exaggerated—just a little bit, mind you—the importance of certain detainees. Abu Zubaida, for instance, turns out not to have been a senior al-Qaida leader, as was claimed while he was being repeatedly waterboarded. The U.S. government now concedes he was never even an al-Qaida member. Oopsies.

Of course, the investigation of events that occurred during the administration of Republican president George W. Bush was conducted by Senate Democrats. This could mean either that it was a rigorously honest inquiry unhindered by partisan loyalties—or that it also exaggerates and misrepresents, to paint the opposing team in the worst possible light. Nevertheless, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein found its contents "shocking"—a sentiment shared by good Democrats everywhere.

Democrats have exhibited much less skepticism—let alone consternation—about the current administration's claims regarding the number of people who have signed up for health insurance. The White House says Obamacare hit its target of 7 million people. So far as Democratic cheerleaders are concerned, that's a slam-dunk refutation of all the naysaying from conservative Republicans. As The New York Times’ Paul Krugman put it, Democrats should "feel free to ridicule right-wingers" who predicted otherwise.

Yet as Shikha Dalmia pointed out Friday at Reason.com, the 7 million figure looks awfully sketchy. Roughly 20 percent of those who sign up through the ACA’s exchanges drop out without paying. And "out of the remaining 5.6 million, only about half were likely previously uninsured."

Likewise, many of those who signed up for Medicaid represent the normal churn in that program, which has seen hefty growth for years even without the ACA. And then there are all the Americans who have lost coverage as a result of Obamacare. In Maryland, for example, 60,000 people gained coverage through the ACA—while 75,000 lost it. Oopsies.

This isn't a one-off. Obama earned PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" award for repeatedly promising you could keep you insurance if you liked it.

Fact-checkers also slapped his hand for claiming pre-kindergarten brings a 700 percent return on its investment. And again recently for claiming Obamacare opponents have spent "billions" opposing the law (they haven't).

The administration has inflated the number of unlawful immigrants it deports by counting some "returns"—people turned back at the border—as deportations. And then there was James Clapper's now-infamous lie to Congress. Asked if the NSA were collecting "any type of data at all" on millions of Americans, Obama's director of National Intelligence responded, "No, sir."

Not all lies are quite so baldfaced. Recently Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe "announced" 40 new jobs in Nottoway County, and said the state "is partnering" with the Trout River kiln company to build nine new lumber kilns.
Virginia's end of the "partnership" consists of a one-time grant of $100,000, but you're left with the impression that the jobs wouldn't have been created if not for the governor's personal intercession.

McAuliffe's predecessor, Republican Bob McDonnell, also tried—time after time—to hog the glory from new business ventures he had little or nothing to do with. So did his predecessor, Tim Kaine. It’s S.O.P. But notice how they never "announce" layoffs.

These days McAuliffe asserts that failing to expand Medicaid means other states will get Virginia's share of federal funding for expansion. They won’t: Total appropriations depend on the number of enrollees, so if Virginia enrolls no one, Virginia's share of the money will not be allocated elsewhere—it will not be allocated, period.

McAuliffe professes total ignorance of an email setting price points for access to him and the Executive Mansion—just as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie professes total ignorance of the manipulations that led to Bridgegate. Just as Bill Clinton professed not to have had sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

Back during the Vietnam War, the Pentagon's PR guy, Arthur Sylvester, told a group of reporters: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid." Sylvester was being too harsh. Americans are pretty sharp when it comes to picking up on lies told by the other side. If they believe the lies told by their own side, it’s not because they’re imbeciles. It’s because they want to.

This article originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • sarcasmic||

    Boosh lied with bad intentions and Obama lied with good intentions! Now get the fuck out! We're busy paving a road here!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, the left is puzzled by accusations of lying.

    They expect their heroes to lie. It's part of their strategy.

    They don't care about the facts of what they want to do. They just want to do it.

    And they're not about to let the truth get in the way. Now, lean forward!

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think they are puzzled as much as they are amused.

  • MJBinAL||

    "The ends justifies the means"

  • craiginmass||

    Well, should we expect our Generals to tell their enemies exactly what they have, what they are planning, etc?

    Silly article. Of course high positions entail deceit. Do you think CEO's and other bosses mislead, hold back info and/or lie?

    Of course! In fact, the ability to deceive is largely the reason each of you are here writing today. That is, your ancestors who thought "libertarian/honest" were killed off long ago.

    It may be sad - but it's true. Accusing pols or high leaders of lying seems to be a last resort.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Want to reduce corruption and dishonesty in government? One way to do that is to hold them all to extremely high standards, regardless of whether the politician in question plays for your team or the other team. If you catch them doing anything dishonest, toss them out as soon as possible. Don't rationalize and make excuses, expel. Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.

    Another way is to reduce the power of government to such an extent that it's not able to advance the lusts of the power-hungry.

  • Sudden||

    I opt for #2. I'm willing to forgive a white lie from someone who shares my general values. For instance, I won't hold it against Rand that he pretends to be a devout Christian eventhough I know he only worships at the alter of the Aqua Buddha.

  • JW||

    I thought we can reduce corruption by voting for the candidate with the right letter behind their name and later, plugging our ears with our fingers, squeezing our eyes shut and singing LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-ICANTHEARYOU when presented with contra evidence.

    Incredibly, that didn't work.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Strange, isn't it? I'm going to close my eyes and wish harder next election!

  • Tim||

    I saw Captain America the Winter Soldier yesterday and it was great. The bad guy explains about halfway through that he has the same goals as the US Government: peace, order control.

  • Tim||

    It posits that all this surveillance coupled with computer power will allow the Government to eventually predict who will be a threat or a resource or a liability in the future. Amazing. What government wouldn't want a magic eight ball that could (for one example) sift through all college students and give an accurate list of future senators, congressmen and presidents- and what their agendas will be.

  • JW||

    Bush Lied. So Did Obama.

    That's odd. There's no indication of any OBAMA LIED. PEOPLE DIED. signs anywhere in the People's Republic of Takoma Park.

    There were so many BUSH LIED signs up in front yards, before Obama was elected, that you could have walked from one of town to the other without ever actually touching the ground.

    This must be just one great big misunderstanding. The very well educated citizens of PRoTP couldn't possibly be in error on this issue.

  • SugarFree||

    OBAMA LIED. PEOPLE DIED.

    This means you are in the KKK.

  • JW||

    Kochs Kooky Korporation?

  • SugarFree||

    That's why the KKK now wears a suit and tie. And Hawaiian shirts on Casual Friday.

  • Tim||

    Hail Hyda

  • Juice||

    Have you seen that big purple house in Takoma Park? The "healing center" with women walking around in purple looking like nuns of the Church of Barney? What the hell is that all about? Here's its website: http://wisdompath.net/

  • wwhorton||

    In Takoma Park it snows granola.

    I briefly dated a girl who lived in Takoma Park about ten years ago, before the smoking bans started to really kick in. We'd gone out to eat in what passes for a downtown/entertainment area.

    We ate shitty pizza at some crap-ass pizza place, following which I went out to smoke a cigarette. She told me with some chagrin that in Takoma Park you weren't allowed to smoke in public places within range of the door--effectively nowhere but the middle of the street. I was like, "Man, that really sucks. Well, let's go grab a beer. At least you can smoke in bars, right?"

    "There aren't really any bars in Takoma Park," she replied, ashamed.

    It was like that scene at the end of Planet of the Apes. And Soylent Green. Every moment of Charleton Heston's amazed indignation and despair, really.

    I now make it a point to not go north of Arnold until the day I can finally leave this state and move south.

  • ||

    With Regards to what ProL said above, it just popped in my head that the power-lusters are generally incompetent bumblefucks. If they were driven out of govt., they would not disappear, but instead would be forced into the private sector.

    Would it be worse to have them wrecking the private sector from the inside than to have them assaulting it from behind a govt. desk?

  • triclops||

    They would not have high responsibility in the private world. They would be community organizers and hack lawyers.

  • ||

    Some yes, but there are not enough slots for them there. Some would have to get ....oh never mind. I just pictured a guy in a ratty stovepipe hat with a swayback horse and a covered wagon selling cure-all linaments.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We've got plenty of scumbags and incompetent types in the private sector as it is. But they lack the power there to do as much harm, as bullshit only works so far when results actually matter.

  • sarcasmic||

    The other day John commented on how electronic documents don't work because most people don't know how to use them.

    That right there told me that John has spent very little time in the private sector, or he'd know that if your boss tells you to learn how to edit the documents electronically without printing them out, you fucking learn or you no longer have a job.

    Then it dawned on me. The people who don't learn end up behind government desks.

  • prolefeed||

    If they were driven out of govt., they would not disappear, but instead would be forced into the private sector.

    Would it be worse to have them wrecking the private sector from the inside than to have them assaulting it from behind a govt. desk?

    I agree it's a huge risk to have such a person ruining my life by improperly stocking lettuce on shelves at WalMart, since I am forcibly compelled to shop there, rather than offering their services behind a government desk if I choose to purchase those services.

  • Vampire||

    (^_^)# you get a waffle with ice cream and mrs butter worth syrup for that post. /:0P

  • Firstname||

    U.S. government consistently lies to the public, suppresses the truth, controls media and harshly oppresses their citizens without consequence. These are further examples of the complete transformation from a democracy into the United Police States of America.

  • craiginmass||

    Sorta like when G. Washington put down rebels with the full might of the military - in the late 1700's as I remember.

  • poppavein||

    This is journalistic malpractice. The headline states Bush lied, but there is nothing in the article about him lying, only about the CIA.

    Yet, there are countless examples of Comedian Mom Pants lying over and over ...

  • TheJohnnyAppleseedOfCrack||

    "When Bush lied, no one lost their health insurance.
    Obama lied, millions lost their health insurance."

  • craiginmass||

    Actually, according to the CBO and others, an "extra" 12 million will be insured at the end of one year.

    Bush lies caused many millions to be displaced, killed or wounded and entire economies to be destroyed.

    Which of these things is not like the other?

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    Where's Mr. Buttplug? I fully expect at least a little Team Blue apologism and some Boooooosh!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Fat RUSH, BOYS!

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