The zeal of former officials in defending bad behavior, whether it be torture or errant policies, is an embarrassment to us all. Even worse, however, is the tortured logic used by deceivers in the media and apologists who define failure as success and turn commonly understood terminology into meaningless Orwellian chatter.  We found it absurd that in Orwell’s 1984, a government claimed that “war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.” Yet former VP Cheney and others tell us invading Iraq “saved lives.” Acceptance of such unlikely rationales ensures that we will continue to be plagued by ignorance, our most pernicious national failing.

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