So the U.S. government did not intended to deceive the American public with its phony tales of Kadafi's stepped-up terrorist activities. How sweet! And what a shock it must have been for the men in the White House to find out that the only ones buying the story were their own citizens.
Europeans are brought up to instinctively assume that the opposite of what a politician says is closer to the truth. West German papers generally expressed surprise over the appearance of Reagan's envoy Vernon A. Walters and incredulity at his claims of Libya's involvement in all things evil. Certainly the Libyans couldn't be expected to lend any credence to utterances from Washington.
Faced with this unexpected outcome of their disinformation campaign, some of our deeply moral officials most likely felt that they owed the public an apology, and their bad consciences led them to leak the story to the Washington Post.
When will American citizens learn to see the pattern of lies that they are fed on a daily basis, ranging in magnitude from the government's economic forecasts to President Nixon's denial of the bombardment of Cambodia?