David Rothkopf

The 14 Biggest Lies of 2011

I live in Washington where lying is an art form. Actually, that suggests an artist’s intent and here in D.C., lying is more reflexive, like breathing or taking cash from fat cats. But when you live in a place like this — if you can call it living — where somehow we have managed to ...

I live in Washington where lying is an art form. Actually, that suggests an artist’s intent and here in D.C., lying is more reflexive, like breathing or taking cash from fat cats.

But when you live in a place like this — if you can call it living — where somehow we have managed to train moral mice to produce the shit of bulls, you really get an appreciation for a fine lie. Some stand out for their subtlety — they almost feel true. (President Obama wants to get special interests out of American politics.) Some are noteworthy because of their audacity (Newt Gingrich brought down communism.) Some capture our attention because of the ability of their authors to deliver them with a straight face (Mitt Romney says he has deeply held political convictions).

But every year there are a select few lies offered here and out on the world stage that stand out. They are the big lies that have defined our times.

Let me offer a few examples from just the world of U.S. foreign policy and then, if you have more suggestions, please, send them in. Someday soon we plan to build a Museum of Lying right out on the Mall so there is finally a monument that captures the essence of this festering swamp.

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