Everybody expects governments to lie, especially about military matters in a failing war. You have to wonder, however, whether or not there is a point at which relentless fabrication becomes self-defeating. What we have here is not an instance of rhetorical tactic of casting doubt on the witness’ testimony because he lied about an affair with his uncle’s second wife. The problem is quite real for those of us who, whatever our own propagandistic intentions, also want to know what eigentlich gewesen ist. At this point, nothing the administration says counts as evidence, except, perhaps, evidence of the state of mind of the administration. I haven’t a clue who killed Berg or why. I don’t know to what extent Chalabi and therefore the American government was effectively working for the Iranians all along. I don’t know how much various officers and civilian DOD administrators knew about the specifics of the torture and murder of prisoners. And I certainly do not expect any official investigation to clear things up. Why credit any proceeding controlled by the same military careerists and right wing ideologues who created the problem in the first place? Legalities and procedures only work where people with integrity make them work—in its cruder versions, faith in the rule of law is simply animism—and the one thing we have no reason to have any doubts about is the integrity of Bush, Rumsfeld, and the others.