For libertarians – and even many non-libertarians – it’s not shocking to discover that a U.S. administration lies and deceives the electorate. For government on all levels, lying to the American people is as American as apple pie. Sometimes the liars are held to account for their deception, but most often they are not.
Watching these early months of the Biden Administration, it’s hard not to think that lying, deceiving, and manipulation is rising to a whole new level.
Take “ending the endless war” in Afghanistan. President Biden was cheered for achieving what even Donald Trump could not deliver: an end to the pointless 20-year – and several trillion dollar – war in Afghanistan. By the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we were told, the war would be over.
The only people furious about this decision were the bombmakers at Raytheon and the rest of the military-industrial complex and the laptop warriors in the Beltway think tanks. It turns out, they really didn’t need to worry.
The U.S. is not finally leaving the Afghan people alone to run their country as they see fit. In late July, Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that the US is increasing – not ending - its airstrikes on Afghanistan. The U.S. would be pulling regular military troops out of the country (though likely keeping CIA, Special Forces, and mercenaries on the ground), but it would continue to bomb Afghanistan using “over the horizon” facilities from the Persian Gulf.
I’m sure that makes Afghan victims of U.S. bombs feel much better.
A little earlier, Biden announced an “end of the U.S. combat mission” in Iraq by the end of the year. While we’ve heard that line before, still it seemed like good news. However, as usual, the devil was in the details. While the “mission” was over, the U.S. troops would remain in-country in an “advisory role.” This is despite the fact that the Iraqi Parliament formally requested in 2020 that U.S. troops leave the country.
Biden has bombed anti-ISIS militias supported by the Iraqi government twice in 2021 (so far).
The 900 U.S. troops illegally occupying Syrian territory would also remain in-country, the Biden Administration announced last week.
Also in July, President Biden told us that if we got the vaccine we would not get COVID. Then a few days later, his own CDC released data from a Massachusetts study showing that 78 percent of the people who caught COVID were fully vaccinated. Is it any wonder Americans have lost all faith in “the science” as it pours forth from the politicized “scientists” in charge of U.S. public health institutions?
The U.S. mainstream media has morphed into a de-facto arm of the Biden Administration, however, covering up for all of these lies and word-games and holding precisely no one in government accountable. So much for a free media acting as a check on government power.
In fact, any “enemy” country overseas with such a subservient press would be targeted for a State Department color revolution.
Governments lie. We understand that. It is the nature of politics and power. In the absence of independent institutions to hold government accountable, however, such lies become indistinguishable from facts, and soon “freedom” itself becomes slavery, as Orwell wrote. Let’s hope more of America wakes up soon.
Ron Paul served as a Texas U.S. representative for more than two decades, also running for the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988 and a Republican candidate in 2008 and 2012.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.