My recent weekdays have been given over to jury duty. So Iâve been a bit out of the news loop. But Iâd heard murmurings about Sy Hershâs new piece in The New Yorker. So I set aside some time tonight to read it.
My main reaction is: pitiful.
Not the article, mind you. That’s great. But the story it tells is truly pitiful. It would be funny if it werenât so serious and so sad.
As Iâve written many times before in TPM, Iâve always believed that this whole manipulated intelligence matter was at least as much a matter of self-deception as it was deception of others. There was plenty of mendacity, donât get me wrong. But in most cases it was willful dishonesty meant to sell the public on falsehoods which the purveyors of those falsehoods had actually gotten themselves to believe.
At heart this was an issue of people who had something they were just dying to find, just dying to believe in. By cutting themselves off from anybody who was a dissenting voice — which usually also meant anybody who knew what they were doing — they managed to isolate themselves with their own credulity and walk their country into a profound embarrassment and a potential disaster.
More later this evening on this must-read article.