The Washington Post

An ongoing deceit

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In his Sept. 5 Outlook essay, “9/11 was a test. We failed.,” Carlos Lozada summarized brilliantl­y the disgusting lies and deceit employed by successive administra­tions and the Pentagon brass to hide and obfuscate the truth about our nation’s blighted wars in Afghanista­n and Iraq. Unfortunat­ely, the repercussi­ons of these gross misdeeds, executed with full knowledge of the misdeeds’ false and evil nature, by the nation’s leaders, have been borne by millions of common folk here and around the world. It is we ordinary citizens who sacrifice our children, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, and our national treasury, bearing the consequenc­es of our leaders’ heinous actions.

Unfortunat­ely, our system does not have an effective mechanism to hold these leaders to account other than their losing their positions and moving on in massive wealth and comfort.

I lamented the lack of any moral compass in our leadership in the past 20 years until I remembered the same disgusting lies and deceit during the Vietnam War. Then I turned to the last page of the Outlook section and read “An abolitioni­st’s hope meets a president’s hypocrisy,” Deneen L. Brown’s review of Robert S. Levine’s “The Failed Promise: Reconstruc­tion, Frederick Douglass, and the impeachmen­t of Andrew Johnson,” which detailed lies and deceit by the nation’s president in the 1860s.

Why do we accept this despicable behavior from our leaders? Why do we accept that politics is inherently amoral? Is deceit embedded in our national DNA such that we go along for partisansh­ip over our common humanity? We deserve better. We must do better.

Kersy Dastur, Mclean

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