Government beneficence is mostly a myth based on the following assumptions::
- It is necessary.
- It is good.
- It makes outcomes better than they otherwise would be.
Point number one, the necessity of government, is true up to a point. There are arguably some limited set of functions that might better be performed jointly rather than separately. Extreme libertarians believe otherwise, suggesting there is virtually no role for government. Our Founders disagreed and provided for a quite limited role in the founding documents.
The second two conditions, at least given what our government does today, are increasingly disputed by those who look at government objectively. If these latter two become widely accepted as untrue, then the role of government will be reduced dramatically. Government will do anything it can to prevent its reduction. It is this risk which leads to government desperation. It will do whatever it can to protect its privilege and plunder.
Government Integrity — An Oxymoron
What does government do when it is failing? Why it lies, of course, just like any other criminal enterprise. It lies about anything it believes it needs to and can get away with. When you have the media running interference for you and an opposition party too cowardly to blow the whistle, that means you can lie just about anything and get away with it.
Even under normal conditions government fudges numbers to support its actions and policies. Government always benefits from making conditions look better than they are. A true understanding of what government does as opposed to what it pretends to do would mean its end, at least in any form resembling its current size, configuration and responsibilities.
Allowing government to report its own performance is worse than allowing the fox in charge of the chicken coop to report on the number and health of the chickens. Strict auditing requirements are imposed on private firms. Criminal penalties are levied for mis-reporting. In the absence of such requirements and laws, market forces would provide some discipline and deterrent on the private sector. Reasonable people disagree as to whether market forces should be supplemented with governmental penalties and to what degree. Government, however, is exempt from market forces or any meaningful legal oversight. As a result, duplicity, fraud and failures are natural and inevitable outcomes for government. Those most sanctimonious and quick to impose rules on others exempt themselves from meaningful oversight.
As government desperation increases, the quantity and boldness of government lies increase. For those paying attention and not blindly rooting for a particular team (political party), the deceit is readily apparent. The fact that so many voters believe their party can do no wrong, or at least will do less wrong than their opponents, contributes to the electorate’s apparent willingness to tolerate government abuses, excesses and theft from the productive. H. L. Mencken understood the game at least as well as the politicians playing it:
No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
Integrity and a desire to truly serve the public are noble objectives for young idealists. However, once office is obtained, adherence to such ideals puts the officeholder at a disadvantage to his fellow competitors. Survival is all that matters and the rules to prevent harmful behavior are practically nonexistent. Politics becomes a race to the bottom as the means to remain on top.
Khorasan — Government Desperation
A recent post pointed out government desperation in the economic sphere. It dealt with the easily refuted claim regarding the annual fiscal operating deficit. For government to make phony deficit claims when the numbers are both definitive and readily available is a sign of desperation.
Now a more egregious claim has been made in the geo-political realm regarding the Khorasan group. How does anyone expect the American public to believe that this new group, never before heard of, developed overnight? The claim is incredible, but a sign of how desperate our government or some of its officials must be. In this case, the claim appears to be motivated purely by politics.
President Obama’s decision to attack ISIS (ISIL?), after calling them the “JV team,” is embarrassing for the president. Even when they revealed themselves as “varsity” players, the feckless Obama claimed that he had no strategy to deal with them. That was amazing and disingenuous. Be assured that the military had multiple strategies/recommendations available long before Obama upgraded ISIS’s status from junior varsity. Note also that Obama’s claims that intelligence let him down were lies. He was warned of ISIS, its growing strength and the threat it presented, at least as early as January of 2014 and some say more than a year ago.
Obama was truthful when he said he had no strategy. His world is political and he had no strategy because he had no way to avoid looking ineffective and bad politically. He had multiple military options, but not a good political one. He needed a strategy that could save his failing presidency and extricate him and his floundering party from his previously declared statements and positions. The strategy had to solve both his “JV” comments and his oft-repeated claim that Al Qaeda had been destroyed, a pillar of his re-election campaign.
From out of no-where sprung this never-before-heard-of threat — Khorasan! Obama must believe he is dealing with six-year olds and can tell them anything. Apparently he confuses his base with the entire American population.
These comments should not be interpreted as minimizing the threat of ISIS or the now conveniently termed Khorasan. Both are dangerous and must be stopped and preferably eradicated. They deserve whatever is headed in their direction except the phony name provided by our government. Khorasan is Al Queda and/or its sub-groups!
Obama’s incompetence in this and other matters is only exceeded by his willingness to blatantly lie and blame others. What opinion must he hold of the American public to expect them to believe him? The recognition and willingness to speak out against our “Emperor has no brain” is increasing. Apparently, some of the media now find him indefensible. Here are a few relevant observations:
1. Greenwald and Hussein described the new creation of this supposed new threat as
… the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat – too radical even for Al Qaeda! – administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.
Greenwald and Hussein also described the near-total complicity in the lie by the propaganda arm of big government, the mainstream media.
2. Aron Lund provided his interpretation of what was happening:
The “Khorasan Group” is a term that gained currency only in the past two weeks. It was first discussed in a September 13 dispatch by the Associated Press, but reporting didn’t really take off until after September 20, when the New York Timesquoted U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying that “in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.” This set off a minor tsunami of headlines in U.S. and international media, typically presenting this “Khorasan” as a hitherto unknown but incredibly lethal new terrorist group in Syria.
A closer reading of the actual statements by U.S. officials to the New York Times, Associated Press, and other media paints a different picture. What is being discussed is not a “new terrorist group,” but rather a specialized cell that has gradually been established within, or on, the fringes of an already existing al-Qaeda franchise, the so-called Nusra Front. What this seems to be about is a jihadi cell consisting of veteran al-Qaeda members who have arrived to the Nusra Front in Syria from abroad, mainly via Iran, and who are in direct contact with al-Qaeda’s international leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, himself believed to be based in Pakistan.
There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.
You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian–Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.
Khorosan is a group not even known to the Syrians.
Options for covering up prior lies are running out. That is as true for the economic lies as the geo-political ones. Matters have deteriorated so far in both areas that credible explanations are no longer possible. We have entered the “Khorosan phase” of duplicity. That is an advanced state of Orwell’s modification of the language to mean whatever the government wants it to be. The Khorosan phase represents that degree of lying necessary to try to not lose control by government. It is so extreme now that it is doubtful that credibility can be maintained much longer. Our current Fraud-In-Chief has necessitated this result.
A version of this post originally appeared on American Thinker today.