Mitt Romney’s recent attacks on President Barack Obama have started us wondering how many different kinds of liars there are. On September 11th, the US embassy in Cairo learned that a video mocking Mohamed had been produced in this country and was circulating globally, inflaming anti-American sentiment in Egypt. The video was being promoted by pastor Terry Jones, the same egocentric religious bigot who asserted his free-speech rights by threatening to burn 200 Korans in an anti-Muslim ceremony.
So the American embassy in Cairo issued this statement:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
That’s the statement that Mitt Romney says is an apology. The statement was posted online by the embassy, the people on the spot who knew best what was happening, and wasn’t passed on by people in Washington. It was an attempt by our people in Cairo to cool the situation on the ground in Cairo.
When news of this statement reached Mitt Romney, he swung into action — political campaign action — characterizing the statement as an “apology,” saying that it came essentially from the administration and that it was, in effect, an “apology” by Obama.
Now, you may recall that Romney has always enjoyed accusing Obama of apologizing for the United States. In fact, in 2010 he published a book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. According to Romney, Obama “began his presidency with an apology tour.” That never happened. It’s what we call a “simple straightforward lie.” Romney’s assertion that the US embassy statement was another “apology” is what we call a “complex twisted lie.”
The past several years have revealed other kinds of liars. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a liar with gravitas, was expert at the “selected evidence lie,” providing the bogus rational for the Iraq war and thousands died as a consequence. When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are finished campaigning we’ll have new categories of lies and liars. And if a man lies to get into office, he’ll use lies to govern, too. We’ve been there before.