Loose Lips Sink Ships. I’ve talked about this before. The famous WWII injunction to keep quiet about all matters military is, I think, Lie One. The first in a string of lies which led us to where we are today.
They are called – by the liars, naturally – Noble Lies. Lies which are for the cause. But, no: lies are just lies. They never are anything but self serving. Loose Lips Sink Ships wasn’t about protecting Allied shipping – it was about keeping everyone quiet about the massacre of shipping right off the American coast in 1942.
It was absolutely horrible: starting with a mere 5 U Boats, and never involving more than a dozen at any given time, the Germans were able to pick off merchant ships pretty much at will. One fourth of all allied merchant ship losses in the Atlantic came between January and August 1942. So weak and unprepared were we for this that Americans along the coast routinely saw, day and night, ships burning and sinking right off the coast. And it wasn’t just a matter of not having enough escorts for the merchant ships…it was that the Navy didn’t take the steps which could have immediately lowered the risk of attack. It was months before the United States got its act together.
And the guy in charge of this debacle – Admiral King – was given a 5th star as a Fleet Admiral.
In our Civil War, there were lies told: but not many and those that were got exposed pretty quick. The reason for this was the American news media – and the American people – were unafraid to speak out. The various errors which repeatedly nearly sank the Union effort were rapidly exposed and the Lincoln Administration responded quickly to correct failings. Generally, after mid 1863, the Union made no grave errors in prosecuting the war. And those who had failed the test were cast aside in favor of those who could meet the challenge. That’s what must always happen if you are to have long term success.
In WWII, instead of addressing the failure, the government cooked up Loose Lips Sink Ships and the MSM went along with it. Why? I don’t know why. Love for FDR, I guess. The editor of the New York Times, after all, could see the massacre of shipping from his house practically. And, yes, reports were written but clearly not in a manner which exposed the complete incompetence of US Naval leadership. The only person who got the axe in the Navy was Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii. And, sure, he was caught with his pants down and the Navy is always supposed to be instantly ready for action…but in his defense, he was fed a line of double talk from DC about Japanese intentions. Nobody paid for that, either.
The worst part of it was that it got the American government into the habit of lying to the American people. Lies which were told because, allegedly, the American people couldn’t handle the truth. Expose King’s incapacity and people will lose faith! So the theory appears to have gone. So, cook up a lie so people can retain faith…in a guy who failed. Not sure I see the long term benefit of that.
After the war, the next series of lies were to cover up Communist penetration of the American government and obscure responsibility for losing China to the Communists. Prior to McCarthy it was known to the President and senior aids that the Soviets had installed spies all through the United States government starting in the 1930s. It wasn’t a mystery. The various people at the head of affairs, starting with FDR, had lazily turned a blind eye to Leftwing Democrats hiring their Communist buddies. It was these various hires who played a huge role in convincing the Truman Administration to give up on Chiang, thus ensuring Mao’s victory. Now, Truman and his people could have just leveled with the American people (the fault was mostly FDR’s at that point, anyway), cleared out the Commies and moved on. But to do that would require admission of error. Can’t do that! People will lose faith in their government if they knew the full story.
Terrified the heck out of them, make no mistake about it, when McCarthy picked up the gauntlet and started demanding answers. And the American people, by and large loved McCarthy. He was their champion: the fighter against entrenched interests. Even after McCarthy was destroyed in a sordid political hit involving the government and MSM, the people still supported him and especially his goal of removing disloyal people from the government. Well, McCarthy was forced out…and a couple overt Commies were ejected. But the real housecleaning never happened. Would have disturbed the American people, after all, if everyone compromised was forced out.
On and on it went. One lie piled on top of another and nobody daring to question the underlying assumptions and, after a while, everyone deeply invested in keeping the lies going. Vietnam was a welter of lying, of course, with the obvious way to win the war – take the port of Haiphong – rejected out of hand because the lie we used to get out of Korea was that our move into North Korea triggered Chinese intervention and it would happen again if we moved into North Vietnam. The real reason for Chinese intervention in Korea, of course, was because we essentially promised China that we wouldn’t allow Chiang to attack mainland China from Taiwan. Once our fleet was in the Taiwan straights, Mao moved his army to North Korea. Now, might Mao have intervened had we taken Haiphong in 1965? Anything is possible – but it wasn’t a for sure thing; in other words, the fear that if we physically invaded North Vietnam we’d get another war with China was just a guess and not based upon any known intention by China or desire by North Vietnam. We precluded ourselves from the one thing which would have won the Vietnam War because we had to sustain a lie that unless we held back, we’d immediately get WWIII and nuclear war.
I think that over the decades lying has become a habit. It isn’t even really thought about any longer. Whatever lie is needed to sustain whatever policy the government wants is just cooked up to order and then fed into the MSM by the intelligence agencies. Trump’s problem is that his policy wasn’t to lie and it wasn’t to go along with the established order. It terrified the liars…and so they worked over time to lie Trump out of office. Trouble was, they had so little actual dirt on Trump (honestly, we don’t even have any evidence that he was some great womanizing playboy, even when young: we have rumors and suppositions which may, in the event, have been planted by Trump, himself, to burnish his showman image). The trouble they had here is that when your bad guy isn’t evil, the lies you have to say against him are ridiculous. This didn’t deter them, of course, but they went so far in their lies that the whole edifice of lies started to expose itself.
To be sure, they had skirted the absurd before: the 9/11 Commission managing to exonerate Bill and the Benghazi hearings giving Hillary a pass were an amazing example of dishonesty. We all watched those and stood there, amazed, as one expert after another told us to ignore the evidence of our lying eyes and trust them. But it didn’t reach breaking point. There was still a fig leaf of plausibility to their story line. Until Trump – once we got to the Democrats saying Trump was a Russian agent installed by Putin via vote-switching in Michigan, the game was rather up. You either wised up to the lies, or became a functional idiot still believing what was obviously untrue.
And it is amazing the number of people who will idiotically believe obvious falsehoods. I know a man who will assert stoutly that he heard Trump, live on TV, say that all Mexicans are rapists. If you point him to the video and transcripts which show nothing of the sort, he will reject this. He knows what he heard. Of course, what he heard was a carefully served up bit in the MSM which made it seem like that…and then the accusation was merely repeated enough until, in his own mind, what he remembers is what he was told rather than what he saw. There are millions of people like this – and I think it is because the confront the truth is too terrible for them. They have believed the lies so long – and personally invested their own honor in them – that to reject them is a step too far. They just can’t do it.
But lies cannot be sustained. The USSR tried mightily to do so and for many decades it seemed to work. Not only did they lie about everything, but they made living impossible unless you subscribed to the lies. It seemed a perfect machine: Lie, and then instruct everyone to repeat the lie on pain of losing home, job, liberty and (if really necessary) life. And the people for the most part did go along, braying like assess whatever was spoon fed into them. But not all and not all the time. After all, it was hard to believe Soviet reports of bumper crops while you stood in line for two hours just to get a loaf of bread. Lies eventually commit suicide because they cannot forever sustain themselves: they always need a new lie to back up the previous lie and eventually the web of lies becomes so large and unruly that its contradictions tear it apart.
That is what is happening now in the United States, I think. And the enormously funny thing is that it looks like the web of lies might finally unravel because of Joe Biden: a senile old crook installed via a fantastic web of lies culminating in voter fraud so obvious that only Blue Check Experts could straight faced say it was legit. The withdrawal from Afghanistan might have pulled out the last support for the lies. It is simply stunning that Team Pudding Brain is seriously trying to blame Trump (they even floated on social media the idea that Trump set a trap for Biden in Afghanistan). Sure, the very stupid and the very venal can go along with the idea that the guy who last gave an order seven months ago is responsible for something ordered today, but most people see right through it. And also see that the whole pack of Ruling Class Experts is simply wrong, wrong, wrong. They don’t know what they’re doing. Sure, Trump might have gone off half cocked and certainly wasn’t deeply versed in the intricacies of government…but, on the other hand, people didn’t fall off planes in a panic when Trump was President.
We’ll see what happens. And it could still get very much worse before it gets better. But right now we are the functional equivalent of a Soviet waiting in the bread line in 1989 as the MSM tells him that all is well and the Leaders are doing just swell. We no longer believe them. And we’re just waiting to figure out how we get rid of them and their Age of Lies.