Ever since Watergate, whenever a political scandal came to light—a politician embezzling funds, or one caught in an extra-marital affair (and driving drunk with a stripper, who ran from his car and the police into the Tidal Basin)—his ultimate undoing, the thinking went, wasn’t the actual illegality or indiscretion, but the denials and attempts to cover up any trace of the offense. If the politician had fessed up to the offense and apologized for it, he could’ve outlasted the ordeal and survived politically.
The rule applied to state policy too. When a cargo plane was shot down over Nicaragua in October 1986, the sole survivor, pilot Eugene Hasenfus, told his captors that he’d been transporting weapons for the C.I.A. to the Contra rebels in the country. The administration denied any connection to the flight, but investigations revealed a wider policy of aiding the Contras (in violation of a law forbidding aid to the rebels) and of secret sales of weapons to Iran, for the release of American hostages in Lebanon. Again, the view prevailed that the Iran-Contra scandal tainted President Reagan mainly because of the denials and attempts to hide the White House’s links to the activities, and that had Reagan found a fall guy, he could’ve skated.
Recently, the crimes have been so monstrous, that admitting to them was unthinkable, and the perpetrators had no choice but to cover them up. Among the many and varied crimes and offenses:
—Politicians treating the public purse and the economy as their personal ATMs and money-printing machine.
—Know-nothings and done-nothings getting into politics to get rich, create dynasties, and suck the nation dry, by, among other things, shaking down corrupt countries and oligarchs around the world, including our chief enemies.
—Governing against the will of the public and shoving it down their throat.
—Thoroughly politicizing, corrupting, and weaponizing the government, at all levels, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., and the courts, and unleashing the immense firepower of the state against American citizens to obliterate their civil, political, and First Amendment rights.
—The F.B.I., C.I.A., and other government agencies intentionally deceiving and lying to the president, high government officials, and citizens, to frame them and concoct elaborate tales of terrorism and treason.
—Government officials (army, intelligence, and bureaucrats) sabotaging the government, cooperating with our enemies, and lying and suppressing information, for political purposes.
—Killing unarmed, defenseless protesters.
—Proscribing certain views, and blackballing, bankrupting, persecuting, and prosecuting those who hold them.
—Eradicating habeas corpus and due process, eviscerating the rights to representation and a fair and speedy trial, shattering attorney-client privilege, turning American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights into political prisoners.
—Eroding the independent judiciary, a central pillar of a free society.
—In the manner of tin-pot dictatorships, criminalizing opposition and dissent, putting on Hollywood-produced Stalinist show trials, and locking up dissidents and the last leader.
—Abolishing the country’s sovereignty and rolling out the red carpet for a chemical-weapons attack and millions of violent criminals, terrorists, foreign agents, cartels, and traffickers, to brutalize, rape, and kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.
—Conscripting foreign governments to spy on American citizens.
—Instigating a futile war of mass slaughter, as rulers have throughout history, to distract citizens from domestic troubles.
—Abandoning our troops and allies, turning over resources, material, technology, countries, and strategic bases to our enemies, humiliating and weakening the country before the world, opening the floodgates for aggressors around the world.
—Devaluing and destroying the dollar, causing the world to run away from it.
—News media’s abdicating their duty to vet political candidates, and becoming slobbering pom-pom girls for certain players and attack dogs against their opponents.
—Censoring speech and co-opting the main pillars of society (the media, education, the courts, and the culture) to carry out the assault.
—Vilifying and marginalizing a majority of the country, whipping people into a frenzy, and poisoning society and the body politic.
—Keeping the country in constant panic mode and emergency rule.
—Trashing and targeting the police, spitting on the flag, and provoking and enabling citizens to set the country ablaze, unleash rampant theft and violence, gut and rot cities, terrorize the populace, and destroy lives.
—Politicians, regulators, drug-makers, and medical professionals deliberately misleading and deceiving the world about a biological weapon (its origins, transmission, treatments, risks, and funding), assisting lethal experiments in an enemy country, parroting that murderous dictatorship’s lies, and mimicking its cruel and inhuman measures—creating mass panic and hysteria; depriving people, especially the elderly, the sick, and the dying, from the companionship of their loved ones; placing people under house arrest; murdering seniors by sending contagious individuals to their facilities; ravaging the sanity of hundreds of millions of children and adults; smashing social cohesion and trust in public institutions and professions; crippling education and social development; illegally changing voting and vote-counting procedures; laying waste to entire sections of society and daily life; designating the majority of people as not essential; wiping out people’s livelihoods and futures; killing life itself.
With such extraordinary crimes against American citizens, against the nation’s laws and principles, and against world peace and life itself, admitting to such crimes is unimaginable, leaving the perpetrators with no choice but to cover them up. And mere denials and burying evidence were no longer enough. With such crimes, each crime requires a cover-up, and the cover-ups themselves are often major crimes, which then necessitate more cover-ups and more crimes.