Radical media, politics and culture.

Examining the 'Designated Liar'

Anonymous Comrade writes: "Much of the American public has come to expect or accept as a given the fact that US officials regularly lie and misinform, especially those working in the defense, national security, and diplomatic fields.

cryptome.org has posted ETHICAL DYNAMICS AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY PROCESS: PROFESSIONALISM, POWER, PERVERSION by Peter M. Leitner and Ronald J. Stupak. In this essay, originally published in the Journal of Power and Ethics, they ask why a culture of national security decision-making makes lying an acceptable form of behavior, and examine the implications to the nation.

An excerpt: 'Within the government, "designated liar" has become an unofficial title when
selecting an agency official to give the "company line" to, or craft the
"proper spin" for Congress or the public. In the case of Iran/Contra, North
was the designated liar. Pushed forward by his superiors to throw Congress
off the trail of an unauthorized covert operation, North acted as a good
foot soldier is supposed to act when instructed by his superiors. However,
such behavior within the context of national decision making debases the
very Constitution North had sworn to protect (Stupak, 1990: p. 5).

Perhaps the most frightening aspects of "official lies" or "true lies" are
their extent and that they are often aimed at the American public, not potential
foreign adversaries. Recently declassified data from the Department of Energy
concerning nuclear test effects on civilians clearly demonstrate this. The
secrecy of the Cambodia bombing is another example -- surely our adversaries
in Cambodia knew they were being bombed.'"