Honor, Dishonor, and Outright Lies

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Into the midst of the sea of lies swirling around the primaries strolls one Elliott Abrams, the first assailant who is actually a convicted liar. Unsurprisingly, it looks like he’s lying again.

Long ago Mark Steyn told the story of another long-lost disgraced foreign policy type — John Profumo. As British Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan’s cabinet in the 1960s, Profumo had a brief affair with a “swan” — one Christine Keeler, a model who was also intimate with a Soviet General. He lied about it to the House of Commons, and was eventually exposed. He was finished.

Profumo was no chickenhawk, having landed at Normandy on D-Day. Nor was he chicken after the fact. Instead of whining about how unfair his critics were, as Abrams did for years, Profumo resigned in disgrace, left public life, and headed off for Toynbee Hall, a charity on London’s East End, and cleaned toilets there for forty years, his loyal wife working beside him until she died.

Abrams, on the other hand, somehow got security clearances again and became George W. Bush’s point man on the Middle East at the NSC (where he did not require Senate confirmation — that never could have happened: he had lied to the Senate, more than once. A couple of old-fashioned senators still resent that kind of stuff ). Apparently he’s still lying around: There he goes again!

The Honorable John Profumo died in 2006. His redemptive work sets a standard that should serve as a model for all lying pols. Perhaps you could tell your congressman about him. Senators, governors, speakers, and executive branch liars  might also benefit.

4:22 pm on January 27, 2012