Friday, September 22, 2006

The truth about lying

* kathleen reardon:
"The truth about lying is that people do it so long as it works. Often what appears a tolerance for lies stems from not learning to reliably detect and deal with them. It's a science - one too many of us don't adequately study. In his book, Telling Lies, Paul Ekman wrote, "In many deceits the victim overlooks the liar's mistakes (leaks), giving ambiguous behavior the best reading, collusively helping to maintain the lie."

Some Democrats have been gifting their opposition in this way, allowing liars to bamboozle the electorate. Kerry let the swift boat lies pass largely unaddressed as if they'd be detected by any thinking person and look what happened. Unchallenged lies have a way of building upon each other a deceptive, sturdy edifice. Early stone by stone intervention is the best antidote. But first, you have to know how to detect lies. So here are a few of the less benign forms from my study of pathological politics and Ekman's excellent work:
As we approach a very important election, we'd better have our dissembling antennae up and expect a lot more from a largely immune-to-lies or scared-of-their-shadows press that just can't or won't challenge, "Was that a bit of blame diffusion, Dr. Rice?" "Can you answer the question I asked, Secretary Rumsfeld?" "Isn't this just gratuitous emotional diversion, Mr. President?" "You shifted the context there didn't you, Mr. Vice President?" "Your 'compassion' sure looks a lot like anger, Sir," "Leaving grieving mothers out of this Senator, what's your plan?" Then maybe Frank Rich will have much needed company on political liars' tails and they might just have to resort to some semblance of the truth."
Read the rest.

* kathleen reardon:
"Bloodless Coup Attempt at the U.N. -- A Lesson In Power
As I've written before, being predictable is the kiss of death in negotiation and in most relationships. It allows others to manage you. Only a naïve leader shows the same power hand repeatedly, because adversaries will surely attempt to take advantage. A planted target is always easier to hit than a moving one. Ahmadinejad showed yesterday that he understands this well. We witnessed the U.S., the most powerful country on earth and beacon of liberty and justice, lectured on those subjects.
Yesterday Ahmadinejad's speech exemplified how less glorified forms of power work in consort, among them reason, ingratiation, assertiveness, reaching out for coalition, appeals to a higher authority (references to shared, single God), expressed altruism (concern for all people) and charisma. Any of these can be used to counter a dependence on a single primary form like coercion, but together they pose a significant threat.

We saw a shrewd politician who studies his adversaries and detractors while also seeking among theirs his new friends. No matter his purpose or prevarications, Ahmadinejad enacted a calm, backdoor, offensive at the U.N. yesterday at what he must have rightly perceived as a rare, propitious moment in time.

This man understands the value of small wins over time and is patient enough to wait for their accrual. Ahmadinejad understands the impact of the unexpected. With his words and gestures he provides a wake-up call on the use of power for those who see and hear it. The alarm is ringing loudly for one-trick ponies around the world."

* meanwhile, don't miss demnow's piece on Chavez at the UN:
"AMY GOODMAN: Your assessment of President Chavez's speech at the UN and the message he was putting out?

GREG GRANDIN: Well, I think he was speaking on a number of levels. The most immediate level, he was trying to change the script that was being set up by the press as a confrontation between Iran and the United States, as exemplified by the two speeches of the respective leaders the day before. And what I think Chavez did was he diversified the struggle, and this speaks to what he is, I think, trying to do on a larger global scale. It no longer became about Iran and the U.S., but all of a sudden there was a kind of -- he provided a cover fire, I think, for Iran in some ways by breaking through the tedium of the General Assembly and giving us an image that I think will go down in the history of the UN, along with Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium.

AMY GOODMAN: The response in the General Assembly?

GREG GRANDIN: From what I read in the New York Times is that applause -- the UN organizers of the event had to quiet the crowd down, that the applause had gone on for so long that he received the longest ovation of any other speech at the event."
listen to the whole thing.


emptywheel said...

One other factor which I suspect is not lost on Ahmedinejad (or his ally Chavez--mark my word, their alliance will hurt us before this is through) is that, not long before we overthrew him in a coup, Mossadegh came to the US to much acclaim. IIRC, he was on the cover of the weekly news magazines. I'm sure a good Persian would love the opportunity to repeat Mossaqgh's feat, to come to the US and dominate it's attention.

lukery said...


Ahmedinejad and Chavez's approach in terms of changing the nature of the debate was classic Kathleen Reardon - particularly juxtaposed against Blinky's applause-lines-sans-applause

of course, the stupid american press could barely raise themselves beyond the 'devil' quote, calling Ahmedinejad 'dimunitive' and quoting bolton(!) deriding the cartoon-ness of it all.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get: They say Iran "could" obtain the "capability" to build nukes in 10 "could" Surinam or Mongolia or my Uncle Bob.


"The Iranians may have an atom bomb within two years, the authoritative Jane’s Defense Weekly warned. That was in 1984, two decades ago.

Four years later, the world was again put on notice, this time by Iraq, that Tehran was at the nuclear threshold, and in 1992 the CIA foresaw atomic arms in Iranian hands by 2000. Then U.S. officials pushed that back to 2003. And in 1997 the Israelis confidently predicted a new date: 2005….”

SOURCE: AP February 27, 2006 – Ever a ‘threat,’ never an atomic power…”

Late 1991: In congressional reports and CIA assessments, the United States estimates that there is a ‘high degree of certainty that the government of Iran has acquired all or virtually all of the components required for the construction of two to three nuclear weapons.’ A February 1992 report by the U.S. House of Representatives suggests that these two or three nuclear weapons will be operational between February and April 1992.”

“February 24, 1993: CIA director James Woolsey says that Iran is still 8 to 10 years away from being able to produce its own nuclear weapon, but with assistance from abroad it could become a nuclear power earlier.”

“January 1995: The director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, John Holum, testifies that Iran could have the bomb by 2003.”

“January 5, 1995: U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry says that Iran may be less than five years from building an atomic bomb, although ‘how soon…depends how they go about getting it.’”

“April 29, 1996: Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres says ‘he believes that in four years, they [Iran] may reach nuclear weapons.’”

“October 21, 1998: General Anthony Zinni, head of U.S. Central Command, says Iran could have the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons within five years. ‘If I were a betting man,’ he said, ‘I would say they are on track within five years, they would have the capability.’”

“January 17, 2000: A new CIA assessment on Iran’s nuclear capabilities says that the CIA cannot rule out the possibility that Iran may possess nuclear weapons. The assessment is based on the CIA’s admission that it cannot monitor Iran’s nuclear activities with any precision and hence cannot exclude the prospect that Iran may have nuclear weapons.”

SOURCE: Cordesman and al-Rodhan

LeeB said...

"They say Iran 'could' obtain the 'capability' to build nukes in 10 'could' Surinam or Mongolia or my Uncle Bob." LOL!

Yup! And if we had an actual, real, MSM that did its gawddamm job, maybe the general public would be laughing and pointing at these boys crying wolf instead of swallowing whole every damned scam they come up with. If we have to stand by and watch all those smart (?) folk in DeeCee put on worried faces and wring their hands while these criminals invade another country instead of recognizing the entire thing is all about stealing yet another country's oil . . . well . . . I seem to have come up short on finding a word that adequately describes the level of stupidity. |:-(

rimone said...

LeeB: I seem to have come up short on finding a word that adequately describes the level of stupidity.

sometimes i call them TV droolers. and worse.

ps, luke, i'm so stealing your KR stuff. nyah. :-)

Kathleen said...

Aren't they going to whip out another Yellowake from Niger caper? They've got all that stolen Niger Embassy stationary they can use.

As I watched Hugo Chavez, standing at the podium, before the UN General Assembly, looking around for the source of the sulphur smell, I couldn't help but remember the last time a world leader stood at a podium and made a mock search. I think this is Das Bush' karma for his joke about looking for WMD's.

lukery said...

thnx anon

kathleen - that performance by Bush ought to be in campaign ads. forever.

rimone said...

that performance by Bush ought to be in campaign ads. forever.

DEFINITELY. Dems, off your goddamn asses already.

lukery said...

Dems, off your goddamn asses already.