Steve Perry has this interesting round-up: Bring ‘em on: The Bush administration’s top 40 lies about war and terrorism.
It’s a one-sided account, to be sure. Perry withholds the benefit of the doubt from Bush and his people at every turn, while extending it to any critical-of-Bush claim quoted in a major news outlet.
For myself, I’m satisfied that most, if not all, of these “top 40 lies” are, in fact, cases where Bush and his handlers were intentionally misleading people. But in counterspinning the Bush team’s own spin, Perry actually ends up losing me.
The truth is out there, but it’s delicate. It’s a snowflake; breathe on it and it melts. It’s a butterfly; catch it in a net, and its fragile body is torn apart. It’s a reflection in a still pool; lean too close and you break the surface, shattering the image with ripples.
Once you start applying your own spin, you can pretty much forget about knowing reality. True, the resulting illusions will be your illusions, and there’s a definite comfort in that, especially for those sick of having illusions fed to them by others.
And the alternative is, frankly, terrifying. How many people are willing to face up to how little they really know? Reality is a scary thing. What if the world actually makes no sense whatsoever? What if Bush is neither the capable, forthright leader, nor the bumbling, mean-spirited, serial failure? What if he’s just some guy, surrounded by a bunch of other guys, doing their honest best, but hampered by their own human failings and by a world that no one, really, can control?
Welcome to reality.