On Kavanaugh and Lying (Under Oath)...

Here's a nice compilation:


I don't generally like to get into political crap, but I've been kind of obsessed with the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings. I guiltily admit some of it was just so I could be more entertained by the talk shows and SNL, but either way I am morbidly fascinated in what seems to be a huge stain on this country's history, no matter what the outcome is. Personally I don't see how even the pretense of non-partisanship could be maintained with a judge that has essentially threatened to get revenge on Democrats once he was confirmed.

Anyway, since it's such a multi-layered and multi-faceted can of worms, I thought I'd try to focus on just one aspect of it: Judge Kavanaugh's own testimony (under oath I believe) last Thursday. Forget momentarily about the politics or even the alleged assault itself, and just dive into his own testimony and the "evidence" he himself provided (the now infamous, and awesome, calendars).

Let's first look at a formal/traditional definition of lying:
To lie = to make a believed-false statement to another person with the intention that the other person believe that statement to be true. According to this, there are at least four necessary conditions for lying. First, lying requires that a person make a statement (statement condition). Second, lying requires that the person believe the statement to be false; that is, lying requires that the statement be untruthful (untruthfulness condition). Third, lying requires that the untruthful statement be made to another person (addressee condition). Fourth, lying requires that the person intend that that other person believe the untruthful statement to be true (intention to deceive the addressee condition).

Conditions 1 and 3 are not debatable, they are simple fact at this point during the hearing. 2 and 4 are more complicated. Kav (gonna abbreviate from now on) made so many misleading statements repeatedly that it's difficult to pinpoint whether he did each knowingly and with the intent to convince people that what he was saying was true.

Drinking Age. Kav seems to imply that he didn't break the law when he was drinking by saying the legal drinking age was 18. Unfortunately for him he was only 17 (and I believe that summer it was actually changed to 21). BUT... AFAIK he never flat out says he didn't break the law, he just implies it. To me this was more of a clever misdirection, and possibly he didn't know the age limit had changed that same year.

Never attended gathering like Ford described. This one he basically hurt himself because he supplied the calendar that lists a gathering EXACTLY like she described. But it's vague enough that perhaps people could argue it wasn't a flat out lie, and maybe he forgot about that particular gathering.

The others (including Leland)... refuted claims. From what I read, Ford's friend Leland said she believed her, but didn't recall the gathering and didn't know Kav, which is NOT a refuting of what Ford alleged. Some are calling that a lie but I'd guess you could argue it's simply how he chose to interpret or manipulate the statement and mislead people with it. Misdirection, but maybe not a lie.

No drinking blackouts, only fell asleep - well, what can you say here since he basically evaded the question? I have personally never drank to a blackout so I can't say what the experience is like or not. My partner said he had once, and he literally did not remember a thing about what he did, but his best friend was there and told him about it. More reports are coming that people who drank with him in Yale said he drank alot, and Mark Judge's book also implies it. But there is no flat out proof that I've heard, or any one person saying definitively he was so drunk he didn't remember what he did during that period. The problem is if someone had drank to that extent, how can you trust his memory of any events on those occasions? It certainly seems possible that he drank to excess multiple times during high school and did all sorts of things he doesn't remember. I guess that would make him more of an alcoholic than a liar.

Virgin choirboy - no one has offered any proof he wasn't a virgin, and honestly it makes just as much sense that a sexually frustrated boy would turn aggressive when drunk. And as above, who knows how many nights he may just not remember how he behaved?

Devil's Triangle - this was the big one for me, as Kav confidently claims it's a drinking game. I grew up around the same time but I had never heard this term one way or another. But of course I also never drank beer in high school. Everyone is saying it does not refer to a drinking game as Kav testifies, but to sex involving TWO MEN AND A WOMAN. Uhhhh, suspicious much? I think this satisfies all the requirements of lying, but it's impossible to prove. There's also a clear motive to lie because it just hits too close to home in terms of the allegations. Maybe Mark Judge could confirm or deny this, but if he chooses to stand by his man, there's not much anyone can do. I suspect all the high school kids are going to keep tight lipped and protect each other.

Other yearbook terms - there's a number of other things that Kav has alternate definitions for, which again seem like flat out lies to protect his virgin choirboy image, but how do you prove he is lying?

All in all, it's interesting because as much as I feel like he was constantly misleading and misdirecting, it doesn't seem possible to prove he was deliberately, flat out lying. Unless of course Mark Judge turns on him and then he is pretty much screwed, but it's hard to imagine Mark will want to implicate himself or turn on his beloved Bart who he (allegedly) jumped on top of in their attempted 3-way.

I guess in the end the only thing we know for certain Kav told the truth about is that he likes beer. ALOT. B)

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