The furor over Trump’s tweet regarding being wiretapped lives on. His detractors characterize everything that comes out of his mouth as either annoying, destructive or an outright lie. Since these people cannot be used as a gauge of his veracity, I decided it was important to do my own analysis.
My interest started after I wrote a column about factors surrounding the issue of his tweet stating he was wiretapped. I took the position that you had to analyze his statement and not take it literally. He really meant he and his people were having their activities and communications surveilled and the word “wiretapping” was a catchall. A friend queried me, asking “since when should we not take what a president says literally?” The simple reply: “Obama.”
This is not a disguised attack on Obama, simply because he was not the first president to lie to the American people. When I say a “lie,” I mean a misstatement of fact that was intentionally designed to mislead the American people. That would rule out the misstatement by George W. Bush regarding WMDs in Iraq. That is because there was legitimate worldwide intelligence that Hussein had WMDs. Also, he had used WMDs many times on his own people. Additionally, there was clear evidence – way after the fact -- of WMDs found buried in Iraq.
Lies by a president need to be of a significant nature. Little lies are told all the time to mislead us. We should focus only on the big ones which really impact our lives or cost lives. A perfect example was the lie President Lyndon Johnson told about the action in the Gulf of Tonkin which was used to escalate our involvement in the Vietnam War. Another that comes to mind is “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” That one is not nearly as important as LBJ’s, but came at the wrong time and caused a constitutional crisis.
President Obama had two humongous lies which were of great significance. First, there was Benghazi. This lie came at a critical time in 2012, just two short months before the presidential election. The incumbent did not want his Middle East policy described day after day in the press as a failure nor did he want four American deaths hung around his neck. That is when he sent out Susan Rice to execute the myth of the internet documentary causing an uproar across the Muslim world. This was an outright lie and was a centerpiece of a PR campaign to engineer his reelection.
The second major lie, which is far more reaching, is the lie about the crimes done by Lois Lerner and her crew of crooks at the IRS. Mr. Obama told Bill O’Reilly there wasn’t a “smidgen” of evidence that there was corruption at the IRS. Obama’s Justice Department buried the prosecution which was dictated by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s report. The after effects have been massive as the agency has been largely neutered by Congress. The budget for next year will be a 21% reduction in real terms and a 30% reduction in cost-adjusted terms from six years ago. The agency is a mess and everyone is baffled why the current Commissioner of the IRS has not been fired because he perpetuated the crimes and has not cleaned house. The recent report that the IRS has stolen money from innocent citizens because of the nature of their legal cash deposits just expedites the nosedive in terms of creditability for the IRS, all engineered under Obama.
We are now facing another Obama lie that has cost lives, has endangered Americans and could endanger American military members in the near future. In 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry said the State Department “got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out” of Syria. Susan Rice was still furthering that statement even this January.
We now know that was also a lie. There are only three scenarios here that could have happened, and two make the Obama administration statement a lie. First, they did not get all the chemical weapons. Second, they did not destroy all the chemical weapons manufacturing capability. Third, the only possible salvation for the Obama administration on this issue is that the chemicals were provided to Assad by the Russians or the Iranians. Personally, I am picking one of the first two scenarios and that makes it another major lie.
And we have not even confronted the lies by Obama about our health care that helped to catapult the ACA into law and control over our national health care system.
I may be wrong, but I cannot think of one lie from Trump that has had any major consequences. There is no question that, at times, Trump paints pictures that are different than reality. Trump haters think everything he says is a lie. Until he says something that seriously affects our public policy or actually costs Americans lives, his “lies” are pedestrian political pabulum.