It was fascinating to watch John Brennan lie through his teeth with a straight face as he explained to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday how well the “system” worked to thwart Faisal Shazad’s attempt to set people and things on fire in Times Square recently. It wasn’t a pithy lie, but one adorned with accolades for all of the agencies involved, embellished with commendations for the street vendors who saw something and said something when Faisal’s bombmobile began to hiss and smoke. When pressed by Chris Wallace to admit that “the system” had nothing to do with thwarting disaster, but that it was simple comedic incompetence on the part of Faisal that prevented mayhem and possible carnage, Brennan began to extemporize without finesse or skill, huffing and puffing, hemming and hawing, and generally looking and acting like a small child caught in an obvious and transparent lie. He did everything but look at the ground and shuffle his feet. And guess what? It was a lie. All of it, stem to stern.
Janet Napolitano was slightly more effective telling the same lies, but only because her delivery seemed drug-induced (Prozac, maybe?) and probably put most listeners to sleep before they could grasp the absurdity of pumped-up government corruptocrats taking credit for the clownish failure of the dumbest terrorist in New York City. Besides, she had the advantage of getting in front of the microphones and cameras earlier, before the details of Faisal’s hilarious escapade were fully known or understood.
Still, one has to ask: Why do they lie when the truth would serve them better? When the truth is self evident, obvious to everyone? It’s like they can’t help themselves. A compulsion?
The simple fact is that Faisal Shazad was no better at terrorism than he had been at life in general prior to his inspired goofiness in Times Square. Out of work, home in foreclosure, marriage in failure…is it any wonder that this boob would think that a handful of firecrackers less powerful than the ladyfingers we used to throw at one another as kids could be used to ignite an odd assortment of incendiary and potentially explosive items placed nearby? The rest of Faisal’s logistics and planning were even more pathetic and juvenile. He had pre-placed an escape vehicle nearby, but when he went to it, he realized that the keys for it were on the same ring as the ones for his smokemobile, and that ring was still in the ignition of the now hissing and popping SUV blocks away. So he had to take a TRAIN home, and prevail upon his landlord to let him into his own apartment because his keys were “lost” on the same ring as those that would have enabled him to use his getaway car. Oh, boy. And true to form, Faisal expected his incriminating terror wagon to be vaporized in the explosion, and was too lazy to (1) steal a car that couldn’t be traced directly back to him and (2) too lazy to remove all VIN numbers and other identifying artifacts from it. So it was fairly easy for lawmen to trace the vehicle directly to him, and to begin their hot pursuit. Clearly, Faisal Shazad is no Jason Bourne. And yet this rodeo clown was able to actually get through airport security and board a flight bound for Dubai, before finally being captured by the skin of his teeth when the plane was ordered to return to the gate while taxiing for takeoff.
Nietzche observed that “Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has is stolen.” And that was a long, long, time ago. So apparently, the questionable quality and character of public servants is nothing new. Still, I wonder if it ever even occurs to our leaders that there is a distinction between the truth and the lie, or that we are entitled to have the former whenever national security would not be clearly threatened by it.
We all know that the government must conduct certain operations in secret. But once the truth is known, what can be gained by lying? This behavior simply validates Nietzsche’s axiom, and reinforces our distrust of those whom we have elected to govern us and those whom we have employed to serve the nation’s interests. It demeans us; the implication being that we are not sophisticated enough or important enough to deserve the truth, nor smart enough to make our own judgments based upon it. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. And it pisses me off. I want nothing more than to see such chronic and psychopathic liars swept from public service.