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From Homer to Harper: Great Lies Through History

You Don't Need Burger King If You Want a Whopper

(SNN) - There have been some huge lies throughout history. For example, who can forget this whopper from some Greek army general, “This great big hollow, wooden horse is a peace offering!” Of course, the Trojan horse was filled with soldiers who had snuck out under cover of night and slaughtered the residents of the fortified city.

Lies are often told in all kinds of spheres of influence, from finance, “Sure, I’ll invest your money wisely!” – Bernie Madoff, to sports; “We’re ready to be competitive this season!” Coaches Kavis Reed of the Edmonton Eskimos and Dallas Eakins of the Oilers.

For really big lies, of course, one needs to look at the world of politics. It seems the bigger the issue, the bigger the lie. Look at some of these great lies from U.S. presidents.

“I am not a crook,” said Richard Nixon, but had to be pardoned by Gerald Ford.  “Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction,” claimed George W. Bush, possibly because he still had the bill of sale, although after decimating the country, none were found. Let’s not forget, of course, Bill Clinton’s famous whopper, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” while the stains on Ms. Lewinski’s notoriously refrigerated dress indicated otherwise.

Canadian leaders are not exempt from stretching the truth to a degree, either. Prime Minister Mulroney’s nickname was, in fact, “Lyin’ Brian”.  “There’s nothing wrong with taking bags of cash in a hotel room,” said he, or words to that effect.

Before Brian, though, was Jean Drapeau and his famous lie, “The Montreal Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby.” The games lost $2 billion and forced Canada to relax their lottery laws to pay for it.  Quite the yarn, he told.

Then there was Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s great lie. He campaigned against Robert Stanfield saying “No wage and price controls,” a central tenet of Stanfield’s platform. Once in power, the first thing Trudeau did, unbelievably, was to institute wage and price controls. This may be the ballsiest lie in the collection.

Jean Chretien, too, was known for dissembling when he saw fit. Do you remember the homeless fellow Chretien claimed he would talk to for advice, who was eventually found to be a total fabrication? Even with his palsy, Chretien could still talk out of both sides of his mouth.

Add in former Stephen Harper’s Public Safety minister, Vic Toewes, who was telling the country, “People who fight Internet censorship are siding with pedophiles.” His concern for abused kids would have been a bit more heart-warming if he hadn't been found to be having sex with his kids' young babysitter.

Which brings us to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, himself. He too has told a lie but we’re not sure what it is. The lie is either, “Nigel Wright resigned.” or, “Nigel Wright was dismissed.” Harper issued both statements but only one can be true. Wright was either pushed, or he jumped. It can’t be both ways. Ergo, one of those statements is a lie, much like anything coming out of the PMO regarding the Duffy-gate affair. Tall tale fans take heart. There are lots more where these come from. Frankly, it’s a lying shame.

Photo by: Ged Carroll flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed

DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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