Monday, January 28, 2008

A thousand lies

The Bush Administration lied 935 times in a "carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation" in the runup to the invasion of Iraq, a new investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has concluded.

I'll save the rant.

But while we're on the topic, 60 Minutes had an interview with the guy who debriefed the captive Saddam Hussein before he was turned over to the Iraqis (and executed). Saddam said there were no WMDs, of course. But what I found troubling is that the FBI agent lied to Saddam on a daily basis for months to get the information. Not only did he pretend to be his friend, but he presented himself not as an FBI agent but as someone who was reporting directly to the president, and held charades to reinforce this impression. The FBI has touted the debriefing as among the top achievements in the agency's 100-year history. Sorry, but isn't it immoral to lie to a man you know will be put to death? But what I found particularly repugnant was that the FBI agent feigned admiration for Saddam's poetry in order to win his confidence. To lie is low, but to lie about literature is a sin.

A long time ago in a land far away, there was a long-held standard that the FBI did not operate overseas and that CIA did not operate domestically. The principle was to keep the FBI from meddling in foreign affairs and the CIA from spying on our own people. Well, we've crossed that Rubicon.