Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The False Claims Department

Reading the papers this morning, two headlines catch my eye.
In Libya, Seif al-Islam, Muammar Qaddafi's son, the one who the rebels claimed they had captured? He made an appearance in public at a hotel in Tripoli.
Looks like he wasn't captured after all.
In New York, the district attorney has asked the judge in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case to drop the charges. The woman who accused DSK of the sexual assault was deemed to have lied repeatedly to law enforcement officials. The NYT quotes prosecutors as saying, "the nature and number of the complainant's falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter."
And then there's the headline about the rise in allegations of cheating in New York public schools--complaints of test-tampering and grade-changing have tripled. With bonuses, jobs, and reputations all on the line based on student test scores, the incentive to lie, cheat, and cover up have all grown.
So here's the headline I didn't read.
There are no secrets any more.
And if you think you have a secret, you won't have it for long.
Every since satellites detected the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, it's gotten harder and harder to lie.
The second headline I didn't read is the one every politician has heard since Watergate. It's not the crime that will get you, it's the cover up.
No secrets, no cover ups.
Or as Mark Twain once wrote, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
It's worth a try, right?

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