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Yawn – Another day, another lie.

June 7, 2014

What do you think is the most damaging outcome of this administration’s tenure to date?

It could be the total loss of the public trust in government in general, and in the presidency in particular. It’s almost become boring, because it’s so predictable.

Americans tend to expect a certain level of competency and commitment to America and Americans from their leaders. They don’t always get all of what they want, but they deal with that without letting it affect their view of the institution of government.

What they don’t deal with and won’t accept is a obviously deliberate and calculated pattern of deception for personal political gain, and a total disregard for their intelligence.

The most recent example of that, among far too many, is the administration’s handling of the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl incident. Whether he turns out to be just a psychologically unfit soldier who broke under combat pressure, jumped naively from the frying pan into the fire and then did what he had to do to survive, or he intentionally planned on becoming a jihadist, or some combination of those scenarios remains to be seen.

The motivation influencing the sergeant’s decision to leave his unit has yet to be revealed. No matter how the media spins the story no one seems to dispute that he did walk away voluntarily.

It does seem odd that the New York Times published an editorial that seems to suggest that it is OK to walk away from your unit in an active combat zone because lots of people have done it, and that if you do, it must be because your unit was at fault.

The NYT editorial echoes the administration’s assertion that the man served “honorably and with distinction”. Whatever the truth may turn out to be, in some ways it may be irrelevant.

No matter what the outcome or judgment of Sgt. Bergdahl’s conduct becomes, if the result is reported from the White House, no one is going to believe it. Many people figure that it just now became convenient for this President to use him to fulfill a campaign promise to empty Gitmo.

 That’s too bad for the sergeant, and far worse at every level for the country.

The official narrative on the story stretches credulity. Some news reports allege the sergeant was under U.S. surveillance at various times in 2009 and 2010 and even escaped for five days. That indicates that we did know exactly where he was, and there may have been at least a window of opportunity to go get him fairly early in his captivity. Maybe there was a nonpolitical reason why we didn’t, and maybe not.

The real point seems to be that it doesn’t seem that anyone really believes the White House spin. That’s hardly surprising in light of the many times they have been caught out when trying to sell something to the public.

For a group that is supposed to be so intelligent, this administration has the world’s worst research skills and is apparently completely deaf and blind when it comes to reading public opinion.

Even a cursory review of the news archives would have reminded them that very early on, the sergeant was reported to have voluntarily walked out on his duty and his fellow soldiers. The public takes a dim view of that, so what made the administration  think they could have Susan Rice push that “bringing a hero home” narrative to the country?

There are dozens of lines that would have rung more true. Even if they had just stuck to saying that it is our duty to leave no soldier behind, at least that would have been accurate, palatable and believable. Why say something that is so obviously inaccurate?

Because for some unfathomable reason, this President and his advisers think that if they say something is so, the country will just wag its collective tail and take the chew toy being offered, in this case, the sergeant.

For such a smart bunch, they don’t even do propaganda very well. Manipulating public opinion is a political skill. Lying is just lying. Lying poorly is the ultimate political faux pas.

When 50% or more of the country’s population distrusts its president, and 3 out 4 distrusts its other elected leaders, you have more than a polling problem.

Perhaps in another two or three generations, and assuming that we elect some principled people that believe in America , the memories of 2008-2016 will fade. We can only hope.

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