People in power like to portray a standard of morality, which they claim to be beacons of. However, governments and politicians are arguably some of the most hypocritical entities out there. Here are fifteen examples of extreme government hypocrisy that will leave you shaking your head.
15. The Law Apparently Doesn't Apply
Congress makes the laws, but apparently they don't think they have to follow them. In 2010, it was revealed that several members of congress had broken insider trading laws by looking at legislation to judge what stocks to place their money into. The Wall Street Journal identified a minimum of 72 people involved, including John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.
14. Why is it Different When it's Him?
Obama threw a fit when Russia refused to extradite Edward Snowden to the United States. This is despite the fact that the Obama White House sheltered a terrorist who killed 73 Cubans by bombing an airplane, as well as refusing to extradite former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez, who had dozens Bolivians murdered by government forces. Yet when it's someone the US wants to imprison, refusing to extradite becomes a mortal sin.
13. Funding Coups
The United States has a long history of meddling in other nations' politics. A recent example is the overthrow of the Morsi government in Egypt. The US helped to fund this coup of a democratically elected government, installing a military controlled one in its place. Despite it being illegal to offer aid to nations where a coup has clearly taken place, the Obama Administration continued to fund Egypt.
12. And Counter-Revolutions
Yet Obama was far from the first president to line the pockets of violent coups. In the 1980s, Reagan funded the Contras, a radical right-wing group in Nicaragua formed in response to the socialist revolution that had taken place in that country. The Contras were guilty of several human rights violations and generally solved what they perceived as problems with violence and terror mongering. Yet Reagan didn't care—better to keep the country falling in line with US interests.
11. Chemical Weapons are A-OK…if they're being used by America
The chemical white phosphorus is extremely deadly, burning through human skin and to the bone. Mangling its victims and burning their eyes, throats, and lungs, the use of white phosphorus as a weapon is considered criminal. Yet under the Bush administration, the US deployed it against the city of Falluja, Iraq, in 2004. This is particularly hypocritical, as the reason the US was concerned with Iraq is that it was believed its government was stock-piling chemical weapons.
10. Nukes are for US -and US Only
The United States tends to fly into a fury at the mere notion that a country may be harboring nuclear weaponry. Initially, that concern appears to be justified—nuclear weapons, were they ever to be used, would wipe out so much life and cause so much destruction. Yet between the US and close allies France, Israel, and the United Kingdom, nearly 8,000 nuclear warheads are stored. Which begs the question—why is it okay for them?
9. Land of the “Free”
The United States prides itself on sticking to core values of freedom of speech and thought. It doesn't matter whether you criticize the government—that's in your right, isn't it? Well, apparently not. From criminalizing Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed NSA spying to Chelsea Manning, who tipped off WikiLeaks to the US Army's illegal 2007 airstrike on Baghdad, America really doesn't like it when people call us out. Yet we harbor dictators.
8. An Interesting Shift…
Current Vice President Mike Pence initially opposed foreign intervention in US politics, calling it a “basic” expectation that outside nations should have no influence on our political process. Following the scandal around President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Ukraine, he has changed his tune: “I think the American people have a right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position as vice president during the last administration. … The president made it very clear that he believes other nations around the world should look into it as well.” Quite an interesting jump.
7. Meanwhile, Our Slate Isn't Exactly Clean, Either
Yet the United States isn't innocent of foreign intervention. The previously mentioned Contra in Nicaragua and overthrow of the Morsi in Egypt are only two examples of foreign governments the US has aided the collapse of. Be it for furthering capitalism in the guise of democracy, or for getting oil, America is all too eager to get its nose in other nations' business.
6. It's Only A War Crime If We Don't Benefit
The US likes to present itself as the guardian of the oppressed, quick to condemn any human rights abuses. In the 50s, it was the USSR. Today, it's China and Iran. Yet when countries we like have rulers that abuse and torment their people, we turn a blind eye. A good example of this is the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Since we liked Saddam Hussein at that time, we turned a blind eye to his inflicting of anthrax and sarin upon innocent civilians—which included his own people.
5. Return of the Contra
Remember the Nicaraguan Contra? Reagan found himself in another hypocrisy surrounding them and Iran in the 1980s. The US decided to illegally sell arms to Iran, which was under an embargo at the time. The profit from those weapons was what was used to fund the Contra…which, in addition to starting up drug cartels, had been openly murdering innocent Nicaraguans. This was despite the fact the US publicly condemned both groups.
4. Funding Supposed Foes
These aren't the only supposed enemies of freedom the US and friends have given funds to. The US has backed UK in its efforts to stop Assad, which picked up after an attack over Damascus-which the UK provided the rockets for. The US is not innocent of this behavior, either. The CIA trained Al-Qaeda pre-9/11, perhaps indirectly leading to the deadliest attack on the American people ever.
3. Big Brother Continues to Watch
The National Security Administration is quite controversial. Following the passing of Bush's Patriot Act, they have spied on millions of innocent Americans private lives, including their phone calls and internet usage. Despite Obama claiming to be against this when on the campaign trail, he did nothing to stop it.
2. And Very Party Line
When Bush pushed forward surveillance, Democrats were up in arms, where Bush's own party, the Republicans were all for it. Yet when Obama took office and little changed, the positions reversed:Democrats dialed their anger down into nothingness while Republicans suddenly had a problem with the NSA. This party line mind changing is just as concerning as the spying is.