Ethics Quote of the Week: Sen. Lindsey Graham

“If you can give nothing but bad information, isn’t it better to give no information?”

—- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), during a press conference on Nov. 27th, during which he reiterated his position that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had knowingly and intentionally misled the American public regarding the fatal attack on the Benghazi compound on 9/11, in her appearances on multiple news shows five days later repeating “talking points” to the effect that the attacks had been spontaneous and sparked by an anti-Muslim video.

Apparently.

Even many liberal commentators are now conceding that Rice was being a “good soldier” on September 16, carrying a technically accurate but intentionally misleading message that seems to have been designed by Obama campaign strategists to make sure the death of an American ambassador in Libya wasn’t seen as a refutation of Obama’s claims to a successful handling of that nation’s struggles or a contradiction of the argument that “his” killing of Bin Laden had Al Qida on life support. After all the attacks on Republicans Senators McCain, Graham and Kelly Ayotte for their condemnation of Rice for her part in the Obama campaign’s spinning, including accusations of racism from Congressional Black Caucus members and the affirmatively weird complaint by President Obama (which seems to be that as long as Rice was repeating what she had been programmed to say by others she shouldn’t be held personally responsible for the content of her own public statements),Graham in particular has refused to back off his criticism, and cheers to him for that.

Deceit is so commonplace in Washington and public figures lie so carefully, often, shamelessly and well that it has apparently come to be considered subversive when an elected official argues that the public has a right not to be deceived to serve partisan political ends. We know now that by September 16 the CIA had told the Administration that the Benghazi attack was probably not spontaneous, probably not really inspired by the video, probably planned by terrorists and probably by Al Qida. We know that the intelligence community was not willing to state these conclusions with certainty, and thus Rice was told (that is, asked) to go on television and give the media and the public an intentionally incomplete version of events, using the word “extremists” rather than ” terrorists.” The risible defense of Rice’s performance that Sunday has devolved into arguing that the term “extremists” wasn’t misleading, because it left the possibility of terrorism in play.  For example, she told “Face the Nation, “Soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in.” What Rice knew at the time, we now know, is that the “spontaneous protest” was probably not spontaneous, that it was an attack organized by a terrorist faction, and that the terrorists didn’t join the party in progress, but planned it.  Her words suggested otherwise. They didn’t clearly state otherwise, but they allowed listeners to form a false impression. That is deceit. Deceit, much as its habitual users would have us think otherwise, is still lying.

We can get mired, as Rice’s defenders are trying manfully to do, in rhetorical nit-picking over whether a word like “extremists” fairly suggests terrorists or intentionally points listeners away from that conclusion (I vote the latter), and rationalizations like the argument that since Rice said that everything was still subject to investigation and new conclusions, she was never technically being untruthful. Sen Graham’s words plainly and clearly put all of that aside. If you are not trying to mislead, why make a misleading statement? If Rice couldn’t tell the whole truth, why was it necessary to tell half-truths? And if there was a reason other than campaign politics—that is to say, a legitimate reason that would justify a high-ranking American diplomat risking her credibility and integrity to misinform the American people, what was it?

The ethical answer to Sen. Graham’s question is beyond debate. “If you can give nothing but bad information, isn’t it better to give no information?”

Yes.

And public officials that don’t believe that cannot and should not be trusted.

_________________________________________

Facts: CBS News, Think Progress, ABC News, Washington Post

Graphic: Joe Albertan

42 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of the Week: Sen. Lindsey Graham

  1. I hate the quote.

    It suggests that unless you are 100% sure, you shouldn’t be giving out information. By that standard, we can’t even say that gravity exists. I’d say that appropriate caveats should be put on truthfully given incomplete information, but that’s it.

    Your discussion is also horrible.

    It’s all about how Rice was lying. If Rice was lying though, the quote doesn’t apply to her. Your points are valid, but they don’t tie to the quote at all.

    • When is it ever good to give out bad information? You’re reading of the quote is peculiar, to say the least. “Not 100% sure” isn’t bad information. Bad information is wrong information, which is what Rice knowingly gave out. The excuse that bad information is the best we had/best we were allowed to reveal doesn’t counter Graham’s point. Why say anything at all? In fact, I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. The quote isn’t about UNcertainty, it’s about certainty—when you know the best information you can give out is wrong, shut up. What’s so controversial about that? And that’s where Rice was. If she had any integrity and a proper regard for the public, she would have refused to repeat “talking points” she knew with 100% certainty were inconsistent with the information as it was then understood. How can you argue with that?

      • Bad, in this case, is incorrect information, not lies. Here’s a link to the full transcript: http://www.whatthefolly.com/2012/11/27/transcript-sen-lindsey-grahams-remarks-after-meeting-with-u-n-ambassador-susan-rice-and-acting-cia-director-michael-morell-on-benghazi/

        And here’s what came right before your selected quote: And at the end of the day, we’re going to get to the bottom of this. We have to have a system we can trust. And if you don’t know what happened, just say you don’t know what happened. People can push you to give explanations and you can say, “I don’t want to give bad information.”

        Translation: If you don’t know what happened, don’t say what is thought to have happened, as it might be wrong. Graham claims she should have known the information was wrong, but that part comes out as an amalgamation of hindsight bias and confirmation bias.

        If she had any integrity and a proper regard for the public, she would have refused to repeat “talking points” she knew with 100% certainty were inconsistent with the information as it was then understood. How can you argue with that?

        I didn’t argue with that. I explicitly said I was not arguing with your points: “Your points are valid, but they don’t tie to the quote at all.”

        —–

        I agree that lying is bad, I just don’t agree that giving apparently (at the time) correct information with proper caveats is a negative. If it is, then (1) there’s no difference between honestly being mistaken and lying, and (2) no conclusions can ever be given, as nothing is ever 100% certain.

    • She knew at the time she made those statements that they were incorrect. The classified talking points which she had access too contradicted what she said on the talk shows, but she was not allowed to use those.

      • In which case, she should have refused to appear. Easy call. What was the objective of sending her out to the Sunday shows if she was unable to tell the truth? If it was something other than “because we wanted to mislead,” then I’d like to hear it. If it was “bad information is better than no information,” I’m with Sen. Graham. Never.

        • I agree, the objective appears to be to mislead. Which is why Graham’s quote is important, each attempt to explain the administrations actions leads to more and more questions.

          • “If you don’t know the truth, don’t pretend to” is fine, but doesn’t apply to Rice. “If you think X is false, don’t suggest X is true” is also fine, but isn’t what Graham said.

            • What Graham said was in response to Susan Rice’s explanation that it was the best she knew at the time. If so, then why give information so bad that your entire story is shown latter to be false. It’s not like she got a little detail wrong here.

              There is a difference between, this is the best we got and we have some level of certainty in the story, versus this is the best we got and we are just guessing here. Susan Rice implied she was doing the former while she was doing it, and now is trying to sell her actions as the latter.

              I think the Graham quote is reasonable when someone is trying to sell you the, it’s the best we got but we were just guessing.

              • What Graham said was in response to Susan Rice’s explanation that it was the best she knew at the time. If so, then why give information so bad that your entire story is shown latter to be false. It’s not like she got a little detail wrong here.

                So if I’m 95% sure of something, and tell you it’s not definite, and it turns out to be wrong, I’m incorrect for telling you it? That’s stupid post-hoc rationalization.

                There is a difference between, this is the best we got and we have some level of certainty in the story, versus this is the best we got and we are just guessing here. Susan Rice implied she was doing the former while she was doing it, and now is trying to sell her actions as the latter.

                That was the best they had and they had a level of certainty about it that was mentioned. That it turned out to be incorrect information does not mean that they were “just guessing”.

                I think the Graham quote is reasonable when someone is trying to sell you the, it’s the best we got but we were just guessing.

                As noted by Jack, Graham’s quote doesn’t say anything about certainty, so your argument is vacuous.

                • No, what they knew was that this was probably a planned terrorist attack. That was their best information at the time. If she had said “Our preliminary analysis strongly suggests this was a planned terrorist attack, but information is still coming in” she wouldn’t be facing this scrutiny. Even if it turned out to be wrong, she wouldn’t be facing this scrutiny (scrutiny on competence, maybe, but not trustworthiness) The level of certainty has nothing to with it. She did not report what we knew, she reported something else, and that is deception. It is the definition of deception.

                  • As previously noted, I agree that deception is bad, but Graham’s statement didn’t allege lying about the information. It claimed that turning out to be wrong was the problem.

                    • If that’s what he said, I’d be in complete agreement. But it isn’t. Where do you get “turned out to be wrong”? I read “bad” to mean “bad at the moment it was passed on,” which is the case at issue. The point is that Rice knew that what she was saying wasn’t completely or fairly accurate (that is, “bad”), and still said it as if it were.

                    • Jack, see my previous quotation of Graham’s words:

                      And at the end of the day, we’re going to get to the bottom of this. We have to have a system we can trust. And if you don’t know what happened, just say you don’t know what happened. People can push you to give explanations and you can say, “I don’t want to give bad information.”

                      The point is that Graham is saying that if something’s not definite, then, if it turns out it was wrong, it’s bad information

    • Must we go down this road again?

      I’ve already shown you about timely and accurate reporting.

      All given information must be 100% accurate before given.

      If it cannot be 100% accurate, it must be abstracted to a point of 100% certainty prior to reporting.

      Here’s yet another analogy for you:

      Take this message:
      “At 6 am this morning, a teenager on the run after witnesses saw him murder his mother lost control of a vehicle during a car chase and slammed into a bridge pillar at 95 mph. The police officer pursuing him attempted to pull him out of his burning car as several bystanders witnessed. The teenager died shortly after.”

      That’s a pretty detailed report. However, in the moments immediately following, prior to bringing several sources of information together and verifying it, an authority may only have enough to say with 100% accuracy: “after a police chase, a suspect was killed after losing control of his vehicle”.

      By further analogy, applying the administration’s jump-the-gun fill-in-the-missing-info spin machine (such as was during the Benghazi lie), the above message could be rendered:

      “Early this morning a police officer harassed a young teenager who, distraught and panicked, drove away in confusion. The aggressive officer pursued and the inexperienced young driver then lost control and damaged his vehicle. Witnesses on the scene describe the officer violently attempting to wrestle the injured youth from his car.”

      • First, we’ve never been down this road.

        Second, Rice isn’t a journalist.

        Third, it’s absolutely fine to say what appeared to occur or what is thought to have occurred, so long as that caveat is included. Your example doesn’t work because there aren’t the parallel caveats. You imparted a false sense of definitiveness.

        Fourth, accounts are wrong all the time. It’s only a problem if they aren’t corrected when more information becomes available.

        • “First”…yes we have. 28 October, you chimed in on this same topic in support of someone else who was just as wrong then as you are now.

          “Second”…reporting information isn’t the duty unique to journalists. This is merely a diversionary statement. ALL people report information ALL the time. And incorrect information is always dishonest, regardless of the sincerity of the giver (however, in this case, we know the information givers to have known they were giving inaccurate / false information)

          “Third”…no it isn’t. It is right to give information with 100% accuracy, and until that information is 100% confirmed, it should be abstracted to a point of certainty. As information is confirmed that increases the detail of of the abstracts, then and only then should it be reported. Speculation that is not clearly identified as speculation (which the administration did not do and its spin doctors are frantically trying to make appear so) is wrong.

          “Fourth”…also known as “Everybody does it”….isn’t that Jack’s Golden Rationalization? The problem in the Benghazi fiasco is that the administration knew the right answer and continued to foist the lie on America. Therefore they didn’t correct any speculation (which they didn’t even call speculation, they stated with unconfirmed certainty). And worse, they didn’t even correct their jump-the-gun make-up-the-details explanation until political pressure was building.

          • First:

            I see you didn’t link the thread from October 28th. The closest I can find is this: https://ethicsalarms.com/2012/10/28/the-benghazi-express-its-hard-to-hide-an-ethics-train-wreck/.

            You don’t even have a comment in it.

            Second:

            Rice was speaking as a spokesperson, not a journalist. It’s completely different.

            Second part 2:

            And incorrect information is always dishonest, regardless of the sincerity of the giver[.]

            You just redefined ‘dishonest’ to be a synonym of ‘incorrect’. It isn’t.

            Section part 3:

            Graham’s statement didn’t accuse Rice of lying. Whether she lied or not is irrelevant to the ethics of the comment.

            Third

            As noted, nothing is ever 100% certain. Even laws of physics aren’t 100% certain. If you demand 100% certainty, nothing about reality can ever be discussed.

            Fourth

            No, that’s not an everyone does it rationalization. I wasn’t saying it’s right because other people do it. I was saying that it’s already been determined that this is okay and when it becomes a problem.

            Fourth part 2

            What you claim about what the administration knew or didn’t know is still completely irrelevant to whether Graham’s quote is good or not. Have you read this thread? Twice previously I have stipulated that Jack’s logic about Rice is solid.

            • Your whole reply cued Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” again.

              “You don’t even have a comment in it.”

              Yes I did. I see however how you are confused. I made the mistake of assuming you can put 2 and 2 together. I won’t make that error again. I am Michael, with the puppy avatar. When I sign in from different computers sometimes my name is texagg04, sometimes Michael, sometimes I get the puppies, sometimes the funky shape, haven’t figured out how to resolve this.

              “Rice was speaking as a spokesperson, not a journalist. It’s completely different.”

              So she gets a pass on dishonesty for knowingly communicating a false narrative? You live in moral bizarro world. Again, EVERYONE who passes information is REPORTING. It is all communicating a message. This isn’t the realm solely of journalism.

              “You just redefined ‘dishonest’ to be a synonym of ‘incorrect’. It isn’t.”

              It is when it is knowingly incorrect or when it is not stipulated as speculation (which it wasn’t, despite the apologists of the administration desperately trying to spin it as such. Again, you’re pretending like the definition doesn’t exist and then claming I redefined the word. Tap dance tap dance.

              “Graham’s statement didn’t accuse Rice of lying. Whether she lied or not is irrelevant to the ethics of the comment.”

              Diversion.

              “As noted, nothing is ever 100% certain. Even laws of physics aren’t 100% certain. If you demand 100% certainty, nothing about reality can ever be discussed.”

              Ok. 99% certainty then. Which the youtube narrative failed miserably at when the jump-the-gun fill-in-the-blanks-with-straw-men administration spin doctors did.

              “No, that’s not an everyone does it rationalization.”

              Yes it is, since they failed to correct themselves even after more information came in DISPROVING the administration’s false narrative and only doubled down, until finally political pressure and truth finally necessitated such.

              • First

                Now that I know texagg04 is Michael, I can see your previous statements. It was not stupid of me to not realize you were the same person. I don’t look at hovercards normally, and your icon for me is just colored shapes, not a dog. I don’t remember what colored shapes everyone is, and the colors repeat for people.

                That said, the 100% certainty comments are stupid in both locations.

                Second

                I never claimed that Rice gets a pass for dishonesty. That’s a strawman. I was differentiating spokespeople from journalists because journalists have a responsibility to actively collecting information. Spokespeople do not.

                Section part 2
                Your statement: “And incorrect information is always dishonest, regardless of the sincerity of the giver (however, in this case, we know the information givers to have known they were giving inaccurate / false information)”

                You said that it doesn’t matter if someone believes they are telling the truth, if the information is false, it’s dishonest. Saying “It is [dishonest] when [the information] is knowingly incorrect” does not save you. If you did not intend to redefine dishonesty to being incorrect, what were you saying in your original statement before the parentheses?

                Second Part 3

                Project much? If Graham didn’t accuse Rice of lying, then his statement wasn’t based on whether or not Rice lied. I’m not talking about the greater issue here. I’m attacking Graham specifically. Whether Rice lied or not is just as irrelevant (to this subdiscusion) as whether Rice went to public school or private school.

                Third

                99% certain is, similarly ridiculous. Are you saying journalists should be held to a higher standard than criminal prosecutions? Saying “this is what we believe happened” is perfectly fine.

                Also, I understand your jump the gun comment, but I don’t see where the strawman part comes in.

                Fourth

                Not correctly themselves would be an issue, but the issue is then with NOT CORRECTING THEMSELVES, not with the original statements.

                Also, the “yes it is [an everyone does it rationalization]” is not close to supported. Maybe you mean “yes, what they did was bad”, which I covered above.

                Fourth part 2
                You made the claim I attacked here again in your last post (the diversion statement). Can you tell me what’s wrong with my logic before future repeats?

                • “It was not stupid of me” I never said it was. This is beside the point.

                  “the 100% certainty comments are stupid” Again, incorrect, as you have failed to learn from the simple analogy I put forward. ANYONE who attempts to convey information in a message had better ensure the symbols they use (WORDS, PICTURES, whatever) are abstracted enough to ensure certainty while being detailed enough to communicate as much as possible without going into UNIDENTIFIED speculation. (which the administration failed to do)

                  “I was differentiating spokespeople from journalists because journalists have a responsibility to actively collecting information. Spokespeople do not.”

                  this isn’t a discussion about journalists, I don’t know why you keep bringing up this diversion. Spokespeople can get something wrong, sure. Unfortunately Rice was a spokesperson STILL AFTER it was clear she was communicating the administrations false narrative.

                  “You said that it doesn’t matter if someone believes they are telling the truth, if the information is false, it’s dishonest. Saying “It is [dishonest] when [the information] is knowingly incorrect” does not save you. If you did not intend to redefine dishonesty to being incorrect, what were you saying in your original statement before the parentheses?”

                  That drivel needs rewording, otherwise it just cues some happy Maple Leaf Rag.

                  “Whether Rice lied or not is just as irrelevant (to this subdiscusion) as whether Rice went to public school or private school.”

                  Paraphrased as “Rice’s knowingly continuing a false narrative is a problem in the logic of my defense of her, therefore I’m going to declare it off limits”

                  “99% certain is, similarly ridiculous. Are you saying journalists should be held to a higher standard than criminal prosecutions? Saying “this is what we believe happened” is perfectly fine.”

                  Nothing wrong with adding a caveat to speculation that is speculation. The administration and its spokespeople did not. They presented it as fact, and continued so even after evidence showed otherwise, only recanting after political pressure built and it became APPARENT to everyone that it could not be misconstrued any further.

                  • “It was not stupid of me” I never said it was. This is beside the point.

                    “I see however how you are confused. I made the mistake of assuming you can put 2 and 2 together. I won’t make that error again.” That’s saying it was stupid of me to not be able to make the connection. Own your statements.

                    Yes, it’s irrelevant to the topic under discussion, but it was an illogical false accusation about me. I have an interest in clearing it up.

                    “the 100% certainty comments are stupid” Again, incorrect, as you have failed to learn from the simple analogy I put forward. ANYONE who attempts to convey information in a message had better ensure the symbols they use (WORDS, PICTURES, whatever) are abstracted enough to ensure certainty while being detailed enough to communicate as much as possible without going into UNIDENTIFIED speculation. (which the administration failed to do)

                    Repeating a statement does not make it true.

                    “I was differentiating spokespeople from journalists because journalists have a responsibility to actively collecting information. Spokespeople do not.”

                    this isn’t a discussion about journalists, I don’t know why you keep bringing up this diversion. Spokespeople can get something wrong, sure. Unfortunately Rice was a spokesperson STILL AFTER it was clear she was communicating the administrations false narrative.

                    You’re the one who brought up journalistic standards. Sheesh. And again, lying was not suggested in Graham’s statement. I’m not saying Rice was in the right here. I’m saying Graham’s statement was crap.

                    “You said that it doesn’t matter if someone believes they are telling the truth, if the information is false, it’s dishonest. Saying “It is [dishonest] when [the information] is knowingly incorrect” does not save you. If you did not intend to redefine dishonesty to being incorrect, what were you saying in your original statement before the parentheses?”

                    That drivel needs rewording, otherwise it just cues some happy Maple Leaf Rag.

                    Welcome to SMP territory. I asked a clear question, and you tell me my statement is drivel.

                    “Whether Rice lied or not is just as irrelevant (to this subdiscusion) as whether Rice went to public school or private school.”

                    Paraphrased as “Rice’s knowingly continuing a false narrative is a problem in the logic of my defense of her, therefore I’m going to declare it off limits”

                    How many times can I stipulate to Rice not being in the right here? I’m not defending Rice generally. I’m attacking Graham’s stupid statement.

                    “99% certain is, similarly ridiculous. Are you saying journalists should be held to a higher standard than criminal prosecutions? Saying “this is what we believe happened” is perfectly fine.”

                    Nothing wrong with adding a caveat to speculation that is speculation. The administration and its spokespeople did not. They presented it as fact, and continued so even after evidence showed otherwise, only recanting after political pressure built and it became APPARENT to everyone that it could not be misconstrued any further.

                    They did present it with caveats. That those caveats were ignored at the time does not mean they didn’t exist. Sheesh.

                    • “false accusation about me.”

                      -I never accused you of anything. I said I made a mistake not being clear enough. Own your self-consciousness.

                      “Repeating a statement does not make it true.”

                      -No, the inherent truth of a statement makes it true. The repetition is painfully necessary when one refuses to hear the truth.

                      “You’re the one who brought up journalistic standards.”

                      -Truth is a jounralistic standard…ok. It’s also an ‘EVERYBODY’ standard. More bizarro world comments from you and cue some more Maple Leaf Rag.

                      “I asked a clear question, and you tell me my statement is drivel.”

                      -Yes, you asked a ‘clear’ question after a string of muddled comments. It doesn’t work.

                      “How many times can I stipulate to Rice not being in the right here? I’m not defending Rice generally. I’m attacking Graham’s stupid statement.”

                      -Yet Graham’s statement is not stupid. Graham’s ‘statement’ (actually a question) is based entirely on what I’ve been saying about abstracting information until it is 100% certain, otherwise, don’t give details. I see why you consider it stupid. After reading all your tap-dance justifications for dishonesty, I can understand why you think his question is stupid. Betrays the bizarro world standards you believe are right.

                      “They did present it with caveats.”

                      -No they didn’t.

                    • Your accusation:

                      You are claiming that the following doesn’t call me stupid? “I made the mistake of assuming you can put 2 and 2 together. I won’t make that error again.”

                      I’m sorry, when I explained that previously I thought you understood basic communication skills. I won’t make that mistake again.

                      Journalism:

                      You are wrong. Individuals do not the have the same responsibilities as journalists. Your word salad and equivocation don’t change that. Your attempts to change the subject also don’t change the fact that you were the one that brought it up.

                      Your nonresponse:

                      This is what you thought was muddled:

                      You said that it doesn’t matter if someone believes they are telling the truth, if the information is false, it’s dishonest. Saying “It is [dishonest] when [the information] is knowingly incorrect” does not save you. If you did not intend to redefine dishonesty to being incorrect, what were you saying in your original statement before the parentheses?

                      The first sentence is a paraphrase of a quote from you. The second sentence is pointing out that a second quote is directly contrary to previous comments. The question in the third sentence asked what, if my paraphrase was wrong, you actually had meant. I didn’t repeat the quote itself, because I had written it in the previous comment in this thread. Since you had a problem parsing my statement, I’ll produce it here: “And incorrect information is always dishonest, regardless of the sincerity of the giver (however, in this case, we know the information givers to have known they were giving inaccurate / false information)”. The part in parenthesis was an aside and not relevant. If you didn’t mean to say that incorrect information is always dishonest, no matter if it’s believed, then what did you mean to say?

                      Relevancy of things Graham has not accused Rice of doing:

                      You dropped this on the table by starting over on discussing why you think Graham’s statement is okay. You ignored the actual issue in that subthread again. I’ll give you a few possibilities: (1) you agree that the comments were irrelevant, (2) your reading comprehension skills failed you spectacularly, (3) your logic skill failed you (you think ignoring an argument you don’t like is fine), or (4) you are arguing in bad faith.

                      Your rehash of your argument:

                      I have to quote this in full:

                      -Yet Graham’s statement is not stupid. Graham’s ‘statement’ (actually a question) is based entirely on what I’ve been saying about abstracting information until it is 100% certain, otherwise, don’t give details. I see why you consider it stupid. After reading all your tap-dance justifications for dishonesty, I can understand why you think his question is stupid. Betrays the bizarro world standards you believe are right.

                      You repeat your claim that we need 100% certainty to present information, but with an additional accusation that denying your position is bizarro world standards. There’s still no defense of the 100% certainty position. Hell, you had already agreed that 100% wasn’t required. Repeating claims you have already agreed are false is bad faith (or stupidity). Arguing that anyone who disagrees with your claims is in bizarro world, while you have agreed that the claim was incorrect, also shows bad faith (or incredible stupidity).

                      You also accuse me of trying to justify dishonesty, but I have still not done such anywhere. If Rice lied, she was wrong. If you misled on how solid the information was, she was wrong. Graham accused Rice of neither of those things. Graham accused Rice of saying things that turned out later to be false. There’s no dishonesty in being honestly mistaken.

                    • This discussion is too convoluted to continue.

                      You are only justifying dishonesty, specifically bureaucratic dishonesty. To be expected from a guy who drinks the state-mind kool-aid.

                      Does TGT stand for “The Government Tap-dancer”?

                      Get your last shots in. This is my last post regarding your defense of dishonesty.

                    • This discussion is too convoluted to continue.

                      I was very clear in my comments. I even explained everything the last time through. This looks like an attempt to duck out of the conversation when you’re called on your bad behavior.

                      You are only justifying dishonesty, specifically bureaucratic dishonesty. To be expected from a guy who drinks the state-mind kool-aid.

                      If you redefine dishonesty to being honestly mistaken, then the first sentence would be true. For the second sentence, if “state-mind kool-aid” was supposed to be “state of mind kool-aid”, then you’re ridiculous to think state of mind doesn’t factor into whether something is honest or not. If you are saying that I believe the state’s kool-aid, you’re idiotic.

                      Does TGT stand for “The Government Tap-dancer”?

                      Denying a bad argument does not mean I’m backing the Government. I’ve already said that Rice was in the wrong here. Sheesh.

                      Get your last shots in. This is my last post regarding your defense of dishonesty.

                      If I’d defended dishonesty somewhere, I’d be offended.

    • It’s not the worst thing in the world but it destroys any foundation for open communication between the parties. It is not just Rice but any government official who can claim they were just being a good soldier. It sets the precedent that Democrats will face worse consequences for being a “bad solider” for the administration rather than lying.

      I suspect that the only reason so many Democrats are willing to turn a blind eye to Rice’s deceptions is because they truly believe Conservatives/Republicans are evil. When you are dealing with evil you aren’t required to keep promises, tell the truth or even behave decently to them. That way you can be totally consistent saying it is just when Democrats lie to Republicans and unjust when Republicans lie to Democrats. See its not the worst thing.

  2. Being as you’re a white male from the former Confederacy the Washington Post editorial staff thinks you need to “take care not to propagate any falsehoods.”

    • Actually, anyone who is a white male from the former Confederacy would be at least 147 years old, and would deserve a lot of credit for being able to navigate the internet, a technology invented when he was over the century mark.

      😉

      I live in North Carolina. Does that make me a ‘white male from the former Confederacy’? I was also born in Nebraska, raised by parents from Nebraska and New Jersey. I happen to think that the CSA was born of and based upon evil. I also enjoy studying and playing war games about Civil War battles.

      Can we please keep the stereotyping to a minimum here? For heaven’s sakes, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were absolutely ‘white males from the former Confederacy’. Sheesh!

    • I love random character assassination in the evening. What does that have to do with Senator Graham’s quote?

      At least it’s an entertaining example of hindsight bias.

      • @tgt;

        Random? tell me again to whom Lindsay was referring?

        My point is it seems this isn’t the first time Rice has stepped in it.

        If you want to overanalyze something, howse about playing “what if” she’d not had Clinton’s ear 18 years ago.

        • Actions and positions of Rice in the 90s have no bearing on whether or not it is appropriate for a government official to give the press information that is provisional but believed to be true.

          As for playing “what if”, see my comment about hindsight bias.

          Also, what am I over analyzing?

  3. I heard Susan Rice speak on the radio yesterday. This was the first time I heard her voice. Reminded me of Colin Powell when he was acting as George Bush’s puppet telling the UN that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction.

    Rice, speaking on NPR about how the Palestinians won UN recognition against their own best interests… it was more her voice than her words that told me she is a puppet of the US administration, incapable of independent critical thought, and definitely NOT deserving appointment as Secretary of State.

    • The same bells go off for me. But I am also influenced, I suspect, by what I hear from friends in the diplomatic community, where she is not held in high regard at all. They are rooting for someone else to get the call.

  4. They didn’t clearly state otherwise, but they allowed listeners to form a false impression. That is deceit. Deceit, much as its habitual users would have us think otherwise, is still lying.

    What makes this especially egregious is that this incident was used to argue in favor of curtailing our First Amendment protected rights. Some even argued that Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), which would obviate an unlawful homicide conviction solely on the basis of producing the film, should be reconsidered.

    The false narrative was a threat to our freedoms.

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