CORRUPTION WATCH-The idea of “Truth, Justice and the American Way” is dead, dead, dead.The phrase is from the 1930's when Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegal created Superman.
Truth, Justice and the American Way were in contrast to the Pre-WW War II Nazi propaganda and in contrast to the Communists during the Cold War. For the 1950's Baby Boomers who heard the phrase each week with the Superman TV series, “Truth, Justice and the American Way” were synonymous with “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Truth and Justice defined our American self-image.
Today, lies, lies and more lies fill our daily lives. People will complain about the lies from people whom they dislike while readily promoting lies from people they do like. The GOP condemns “Lame Street media,” while Democrats rail against “Alt News,” but neither finds any fault with their own lies and distortions.
The institution where lies have become most entrenched is the judiciary. The oath, “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” itself is a lie. If a witness tries to tell the whole truth, he can be thrown in jail for contempt of court. Witnesses may tell only the truth which the judge finds acceptable and no witness may tell any more truth.
Judges themselves habitually lie and encourage prosecutors and civil attorneys to lie. Truth, Justice and the American Way have no home in today’s courts.
Let’s look at how the ascent of lying has become our national modus operandus.
To justify the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration lied that Saddam Hussein had or was about to obtain nuclear weapons. In March 2003, 72% of Americans supported the invasion. Years later, a huge percentage of these same people blamed Hillary Clinton for voting for the invasion, while implicitly lying about their own support.
The Crash of 2008 was the culmination of years of criminal frauds committed by Wall Street firms to cheat investors out of billions of dollars. The big lie was that a few Wall Street executives had “gambled,” i.e., they had taken risks and then oops, they lost money. The Obama Administration used its Too Important to Prosecute Doctrine to steadfastly protect the liars who had crashed the economy.
The GOP was happy to go along with this policy since many of the Wall Street executives were GOP bigwigs.Over $16 trillion was lost but almost no one cared that gargantuan losses were covered-up by the grandiose lie that a few guys had become too adventuresome. Regular Joe’s lost their homes, families went bankrupt, people died from the stress, and it precipitated the opioid epidemic -- all of which lay the ground work for Trump to become President.
In 2010, Los Angeles had its criminal Hollywood Sign Bait and Switch Scam. Hollywood Councilmembers Eric Garcetti [CD13] and Tom LaBonge [CD4] published worldwide that $12 million was needed to protect the Hollywood Sign from developers. The City draped huge SAVE the PEAK letters over the Hollywood Sign and raised money from all around the world.
It was a Bait and Switch scam since there was no danger to the Hollywood Sign. The City wanted to pay a real estate firm $12 million for the Cahuenga Peak, which is the ridge northwest of Mt. Lee where the Hollywood Sign is located, but the world would not pay millions to buy Cahuenga Peak. The criminal H Sign Bait and Switch Scam was like advertising a Mercedes and delivering a Chevy with the justification, “I wanted the money.”
When the State abolished the Community Redevelopment Agencies in 2012, it pointed to Garcetti’s project at 1601 N. Vine as the poster child for the corruption. At the heart of that criminal enterprise was Garcetti’s real estate appraisal fraud to justify the City’s paying $5.4 million for the land that was worth only $4 million.
Two years later in January 2014, Judge Allan Goodman ruled that Garcetti’s update to the Hollywood Community Plan had been intentionally based on “fatally flawed data” and “wishful thinking” to the extent that it subverted the law (Lies and Myths). Judge Goodman was soon off the bench. The State Bar is now knowingly relying on perjury and falsified evidence to try to disbar the attorney who brought the City’s fraudulent data to Judge Goodman’s attention.
The concept that a “Lie Told Thousand Times becomes the Truth”has been attributed to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Whether Goebbels coined the phrase or not is not as important as the fact that it describes how the City of Los Angeles treats the truth. Lies and Myths are pushed on people until the public comes to believe the lies to be true.
The current Big Lie thatGarcetti and other crooks have been shoving at Angelenos is that there is a shortage of housing due to a lack of construction. Canon Nolan repeats this lie almost every week on Channel 4 NewsConference. The LA Times constantly supports the lie. Adam Fowler from Beacon Economics claims that the solution to homelessness is to construct more apartments for the wealthy. Most famously, we have State Senator Scott Wiener’s hoax that all of California near any transit route should be massively up-zoned to become five- to eight-story apartments. The only reason that such a ludicrously absurd claim has not been laughed out of the public forum is that people believe the developer lie which has been repeated a thousand times.
What becomes of a society that replaces “Truth, Justice and the American Way” with “Lie, Lie, Lies”?
(Disclosure: author involved with Hollywood Community Plan case)
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.