Self-referential Lies

It’s them low-level officials acting up again. The Blaze reports another leak.  “The U.S. has apologized to Israel for leaking details of the attack in Syria. Senior administration officials said to their [Israeli] counterparts that they are examining the issue and that low-level [officials] were responsible for the leak. US officials told that they [will] review the matter. The leak forced Assad to react harshly.”


Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center, told TheBlaze, “It requires the Syrians to react officially rather than deny that it happened or that it was an accident. It forces Syria and Hezbollah and Iran to react officially and say they want to seek revenge, which makes things more dangerous for Israel.”

“Can you imagine if things were reversed and somebody did that to the U.S.?” he added.

There are no “somebodys” in the US, Barry. Only flunkeys who do the wrong things entirely on their own.

Israel was identified in a CNN article dated May 3. “The United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two U.S. officials first told CNN.”

U.S. and Western intelligence agencies are reviewing classified data showing Israel most likely conducted a strike in the Thursday-Friday time frame, according to both officials. This is the same time frame that the U.S. collected additional data showing Israel was flying a high number of warplanes over Lebanon.

One official said the United States had limited information so far and could not yet confirm those are the specific warplanes that conducted a strike. Based on initial indications, the U.S. does not believe Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace to conduct the strikes.

The New York Times also carried the story on the same day. “WASHINGTON — Israel aircraft bombed a target in Syria overnight Thursday, an Obama administration official said Friday night, as United States officials said they were considering military options, including carrying out their own airstrikes.”  The NYT story said the Israelis weren’t talking, but their American sources — peons to be sure  — had a great deal to say.


A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington declined on Friday night to comment on the Israeli attack, which was first reported by CNN, saying only in a statement, “Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, specially to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

The Israeli attack came as the Obama administration — as part of its examination of possible responses to obtaining conclusive proof that Mr. Assad has used chemical weapons — is considering military options with allies. Those options include attacking Syria’s antiaircraft systems, military aircraft and some of its missile fleet, according to senior officials from several countries.

Those officials say that attacking the chemical stockpiles directly has been all but ruled out. “You could cause exactly the disaster you are trying to prevent,” a senior Israeli military official said in an interview last week in Tel Aviv.

But attacking Mr. Assad’s main delivery systems, the officials say, would curtail his ability to transport those weapons any significant distance. “This wouldn’t stop him from using it on a village, or just releasing it on the ground, or handing something to Hezbollah,” said one European official who has been involved in the conversations. “But it would limit the damage greatly.”


A paranoid person might think that someone in the administration — low level of course — was simultaneously glad to report that Israel had enforced President Obama’s Red Line so he wouldn’t have to sweat bullets while simultaneously relieving him of the the remotest responsibility for it.

It’s like those scenes in police stations where the answer to every question is, “he did it”.

At any rate some beneficial purpose was served though who can say what. But we live in an age of marvels, where stuff just happens, where Presidents learn of their subordinate’s actions only after reading the newspapers and Libyan out for a walk attack embassies at the instigation of YouTube videos and yet people can’t recall nothing about nothing.

Of course the Syrians would have strongly suspected, if not outright known that someone like Israel was responsible for obliterating one of their top-secret military facilities. But as Barry Rubin pointed out, knowing and hearing someone fess up to it are two different things. Just ask Eric Holder or any of the administration’s spokespersons whose memory can alternate in an instant between photographic and completely amnesiac. It is apparently permissible to insult the intelligence of the listener for so long as the dishonesty is uttered in a solemn and lawyerly way, though perhaps that is a contradiction in terms or even worse a term of art.


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What is interesting to consider is whether things were always this way — only we are more aware of the evasions now — or whether Washington DC is now so saturated with spin doctors, communications consultants and attorneys that they’ve spun everything conceivable on general principle so that we’ve reached the point where they only completely factual thing on the front pages of the major newspapers is the date on the masthead.

That raises a peculiar problem, which can be phrased in this way: if one day the administration decided to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth how would we know?  Would we recognize it? How would a public accustomed to be lied to and spun finally regard a true fact? The first reaction to anything presenting itself as the truth would probably be suspicion.

“No it can’t be.”

And perhaps for that reason there’s no alternative but to keep telling fibs, planting questions in open forums, rigging polls, seminar calling TV shows, leaking secrets, parsing words, redacting memos, altering talking points.  This is how we talk to each other now in a world where there is no alternative to lying.  We are hoist by our petard. Doomed to pay each other in debased coinage. After all this time maybe even the truth would not recognize itself.


The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99

No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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