Tomorrow the president will address the nation. He is said to be outlining a new strategy for Iraq. It is also said he is going to escalate (surge) the troops there. Sounds a lot like "stay the course" to me.
Now, it should be no surprise to anyone that Bush still wants to follow the same prescription for Iraq that he has had all along. The man is a pathological liar. He was caught bold faced in the lie regarding Don Rumsfeld. He passed it off as a tool to move reporters on to another subject.
So, is it O.K. then to outright lie to the American public if it serves the presidents interest? I don't know about you, but that is really not cool to me. I guess it may be true that to expect honesty from the leadership of the free world is a little naive. Free certainly includes being free to lie. You are free to lie, I am free to lie and the president is free to lie.
It does not follow, however that lying is therefore something with any value. Just because it remains a freedom does not give it any intrinsic value as such. We do not need a law just to point out that something is not good. In fact, it is EXACTLY because freedom is the higher level of enlightenment that lying must be allowed.
Freedom means without coercion. freedom means that one does not get to judge for another what is the right action to take. Freedom puts the onus of responsibility on the individual rather than the mass. freedom means that the responsibility for ones deeds lay with the doer. Freedom also demands tolerance on the part of other individuals to the actions of one, and therefore less security for the masses.
Thomas Jefferson once said something about giving up freedom for security and "soon finding that you have neither". He was pointing out the opposing nature of the ideals of freedom and security. The drafters of our constitution knew this. Those who risked their lives and the lives of their families by signing the declaration of independence knew this. the popular saying "freedom isn't free" knows this. Freedom costs, and what it costs is security.
This then is the essence of our great experiment. True democracy is very risky. This is the real "America, love it or leave it!". If you are not willing to take a chance on the inherent nature of mankind, then go find yourself a nice, safe autocracy somewhere. Might I suggest North Korea?