you want to find out the dirt from “insiders”,
this is not the place! BUT...
is, however, the place for observations from seasoned ex insiders
with concerns about the lack of accountability for and possible
implications from actions or non-actions taken, laws enacted
or abandoned, and changes being considered or made to the
Ultimate Responsibility, Does The White House Lie?
What makes the false statements in the state of the Union
address so damaging:
1.) Intention: The President used known miss-facts
to make a case for war in Iraq.
2.) Credibility: Using false facts to justify going
to war is pure manipulation.
3.) Responsibility: The President said it. He owns
Loyal readers of The Inner Bottom Line have asked the same
questions over and over in the past few weeks regarding the
state of the Union address and the erroneous facts:
"He's in charge. Don't you think he's responsible
for what he says? What is going on?
Inner Bottom Line" column of July 27, 2003, entitled
"Ultimate Responsibility," had this to say:
Inner Bottom Line does not make political statements, the
questions focus upon issues clearly ethical and not partisan,
thus putting them directly and appropriately on the line.
most succinct and accurate response starts with a quote from
President Harry S. Truman, "The buck stops here."
is no doubt that in the end there will be a number of people
blamed for this mess, from an ethical perspective, the President
said it. Therefore, he owns it. At the end of the day, bottom
line on The Inner Bottom Line, he's responsible.
reaction and subsequent behavior?? Let's apply an impartial
definition of leadership and its primary responsibility to
those being led to the office of President. This primary leader,
whose office was intended by our founding fathers to represent
the essence of our country's will, heart and soul, has the
gravest responsibility of anyone to be credible, accountable
and above reproach to those who gave him the privilege and
power of that office.
leader not only gives commands; a good leader listens to the
response to those commands. A real leader doesn't desert his
people and hang them out to dry when mistakes are made. He
steps to the front of the line and takes the bullet rather
than hanging back in the safety of shadows while others take
current climate of corporate scandals and sleaze, arrogance
has now exceeded its own definition. Tawdry, dishonest, even
criminal behavior is rewarded with national media attention
and often huge, financial gains. And to have questionable
motives once again extend into the White House has renewed
and raised a public level of mistrust and unease.
not taking responsibility for what was said, the President's
actions raise another even more disturbing issue. Intention.
On The Inner Bottom Line, everything comes down to power,
control, and fear. And intention. Behind your actions and
words, what you intend determines whether or not people trust
you. If your intentions aren't pure, if you're manipulating,
you'll eventually get back exactly what you don't want. Is
this is the beginning of that comeuppance?
President had made an erroneous statement in the State of
the Union address that misquoted numbers, statistics, or trends,
for instance, on a minor policy issue, it might be more easily
written off to very sloppy research, writing or delivery.
Though equally not acceptable, he's done it before and will
probably do it again. But this misinformation was part of
a serious declaration designed with one deadly purpose: to
convince the American public to support the need and this
administration's determination to go to war. Given the critical
nature of that mission, there is simply no ethical excuse
that can be made why every single word in that document was
not vetted for as long as necessary until not a shred of doubt
remained about the validity and proof of each and every syllable.
brings us to another key issue. The importance and impact
of this particular speech. While the mistake would not have
been acceptable in any speech, the State of the Union address
is the single most important speech the President of our country
makes to the American people and the world, except perhaps
for the Inaugural Address. Every word, every nuance, is listened
to, analyzed and pondered. There is simply no room for error.
And certainly no room for error when the issue of war is at
stake. So beyond the alleged botched forgery and erroneous
facts, the evidence and depth of the unprofessional sloppiness
of this whole affair is deeply troubling and problematic.
it all gone wrong in general? Since there isn't room in my
new book, "A Simple Path to The Good Life" to completely
deal with that question, I can only state, in the most simplistic
terms, that our culture has very screwed up values today.
we do in the face of this kind of blatant hypocrisy? The only
things we have complete power, control and choice to do. Use
our voices, resources and right to vote to be heard. And stand
on and honor our own Inner Bottom Line. In the end, that's
all that matters. When you know what you value, there are
no doubts how to vote. If every single person in this world
took responsibility for their own actions and words and treated
themselves and others with respect and integrity, the world
would be a much better place. But when power, control and
fear, abetted by money, gets into the brew, we end up with
what we are have today.
feeling depressed that no voice seems to be rising up to say
something? It is oddly, even phenomenally quiet out there.
And the silence is eerie and a bit scary. While the cock-eyed
optimist in me keeps believing that a fresh, new voice will
find the power and support to rise above the silence, I keep
hoping that if and when it comes, we'll be able to hear and
recognize it when it speaks. So keep questioning, keep listening
and remain hopeful and proactive. Get others involved, don't
be hesitant to voice your opinions, and stand by what you
value most. We've prevailed before. We must again.