Monday, May 13, 2013

The Truth Sets Free

"The truth shall set you free." This famous line has an important context. Jesus of Nazareth declared this at the end of an insightful description of his true followers: "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. will know the truth..."

Truth is liberating for all that decide character and integrity must trump expedience and power. Admitting our personal failures and offering proper credit to others for our successes are both part of truthfulness that liberates the soul and earns the respect of others now and forever.

The Benghazi fiasco is compounded by an Administration unwilling to admit its foreign-policy failures. The terrorist attacks on 9-11-12 were not a spontaneous reaction to an obscure and obscene film produced months before. They were the deliberate actions of groups bent on the destruction of Israel, the USA and any other powers impeding a global caliphate. These attacks undermine the mythology that recent "outreach" to radical Islamicists has been successful. The hubris emanating from the Bin Laden assassination has obscured judgment and promulgated increased self-deception and public resistance to investigation.

If the President and Secretary of State had forthrightly declared, "We were ill-prepared and will correct our policies" the day after the attack, Benghazi would still be a tragedy. But it would also fade from public memory and we would not be subject to the current polemics that only increase the cynicism on the Left and skepticism on the Right.

The Watergate scandals of 1972-1974 were quite similar. If Nixon had fired the responsible parties and cleaned house, he still could have won the election. But paranoia won the day and two years later our nation had a new President they did not elect to that office.

Free the film maker. Admit the failure. Apologize to the families of the dead. Restore the positions of the whistle blowers. Come clean with no excuses and many Americans will offer a second chance - we love stories of redemption for those that repent. Continued defiance may preserve a public myth, but it subverts private and public morality and erodes of national character. Do the Republicans have political hay to harvest? Yes. But any such schemes have no fuel when humility triumphs over hubris.