July 21, 2021

Scott Adams deploys his 4-point test for lying.

ADDED: If you click through to Weinstein's series of tweets, you'll read a very sensible interpretation that seems right to me:

My read on this is different. Fauci is a system creature which entails responsibilities that may take him into biowarfare. I see him as saying “You’re outside the system. This is some set of super complicated relationships I have to manage. And I act properly within that sphere.”

I hear Rand Paul saying “I don’t don’t bow down to the system you live within. I am here to call it into question: did NIH do something as psychotic as fund GoFR in our strategic rival’s Wuhan Lab??”

I hear Fauci saying “This is part of a large strategy. You can’t break it out!”

Then I hear RP saying: “I’m a US Senator & MD who doesn’t believe in your system’s grand strategy of funding Gain of Function through the CCP as part of 12D chess. Answer the F’ing Question, Doctor.”

Fauci says “I don’t have to take this sh-t. We evaded this issue technically.” 

Paul insinuates “You may have a lot of blood on your hands Dr. As SARS CoV-2 most likely came from the lab you and NIH funded.”

Fauci: “There are MANY things that would HAVE to be true for that wild of an accusation to tie me and NIH to COVID-19, and you don’t have them. F off.”

Essentially, Paul is outraged by the 12D chess official system and wants to break out one question. Fauci wants to protect that system which probably believes that it’s safer to be in bed w/ CCP than to be shut out. Fauci is playing dumb on GoFR and Rand is insinuating too much.


Ann Althouse said...

Tim writes:

"It's worth noting that Weistein's sensible interpretation is fully compatible with Sen. Paul doggedly trying to pry the truth out of a lying Dr. Fauci."

Ann Althouse said...

Assistant Village Idiot writes:

"I think your interpretation sums up the two sides well.

"I actually see Fauci's point of view, but come down eventually on Paul's. In this 12D chess game there is an opponent, which is important. It's not a complicated videogame where the enemies are ultimately a fixed target, however disguised. Taking risks has real meaning. You don't get another life and get to start again. The system is taking a calculated risk and at minimum, lost this round very badly. Paul is insisting that simpler strategies that say "These people are our enemies and that should inform every decision" are superior. I agree. But once we have framed it so clearly we see the rot underneath. The system does not think China is an enemy in any percentage of its interaction. It sees it as a combination of rival and friend.

"And that's why they shouldn't be playing 12D chess. They aren't even getting regular 2d chess correct."

Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

"If people would read the emails between Fauci, Peter Daszak and others, you will see that they were indeed working on Gain of Function Research with the explicit purpose of manipulating a bat coronavirus that would attack human cells. I would say that they succeeded. Fauci knew this type of research would not be allowed to be funded in a foreign lab. Obama's administration put a stop to that. So Fauci used Daszak's EchoHealth Alliance to fund with taxpayer dollars and Daszak oversaw the work in Wuhan.

"Back in 2012 the Chinese stumbled on a long closed copper mine located in Mojiang- a thousand miles from Wuhan- filled with bats and years of a bad mixture of bat guano, bacteria, viruses, and other otherworldly things. It was to them, a treasure trove of potential weaponry. They surrounded the cave with military police and sent 6 miners in to recover a large amount of the virus-laden bat guano. In knee high piles of guano, those men secured huge amounts of this 'stuff'. Within three weeks, 3 of the men died. Again, this was back in 2012.

"This turned into a multi-year project to make this virus usable for...for what? Has anybody asked Dr. Fauci exactly what the endgame was in this research.

"Fauci's and Daszak's own emails and words describe the project as Gain of Function on a Sars Coronavirus. It's in his own words. Sen. Rand is not only correct, he appears to be the only one in the Federal Government working to get to the bottom of this, and not play politics with it. This IS the story of the century (so far). And Dr. Fauci, instead of being gushed at, and paraded around as a hero, should be standing in front of the country apologizing non-stop, begging for forgiveness. Millions of people died from this (including my own mom). The entire world was halted. And the governments of the world used this as a Gain of Function for their own overstepping growth.

"I have nothing but contempt for the arrogance and smugness of Dr. Fauci. What was the purpose of creating a virus that would kill millions of humans? Who does that? What kind of arrogance does that take?"

Ann Althouse said...

Lyle writes:

"Does anyone trust the competency of Federal bureaucrats to manage a "12D chess official system" especially against a well financed (by our very selves) authoritarian state like the CCP or even a poorly financed authoritarian state like Russia led by Vladimir Putin?

"And if by playing "12D chess" our Federal bureaucrats gave the world Covid, who shoulders the blame, the Federal bureaucrats or the American people? "

Let me say:

I hate the phrase "12D chess" and would like to disconnect myself from it. It's hyperbole. I think it's enough to say that the relationship between us is a chess game. I wouldn't even exaggerate to 3D chess, let alone 4D or any of the other numbers.

Ann Althouse said...

the relationship between us" means the relationship between the U.S. and China.

Ann Althouse said...

LA_Bob writes:

"To be sure, a very complicated and contentious network of tweets over a very complicated and contentious exchange!

"I agree with you Weinstein's analysis is reasonable. The controversy reminds me of the years when the Vietnam War became a quagmire, and there was increasing tension between the Administration -- two administrations, really -- and Congress over the conduct of the war.

"In Weinstein's analysis, Fauci claims the right and the wisdom to conduct a kind of foreign policy in secret in the nation's best interest. Paul insists essentially if obliquely on the need for congressional oversight. I believe Paul has the better argument, but I wish he'd change his approach. He'd do better to shut up, let Fauci finish, and then skewer him with the facts at hand. Paul's aggressive moral indignation looks painfully like political theater.

"This is a very dangerous situation. Like the Vietnam War decades ago, COVID has caused huge casualties and terrible pain in our lives. How much is due to secret research gone wrong -- and "deadly embrace" with an enemy -- remains unknown. But, if Anthony Fauci lives long enough, and it appears he could, he might well write a mea culpa someday, something like Rober McNamara's "The Fog of War.""

Ann Althouse said...

For me, the question isn't so much did Fauci commit perjury or even did Fauci lie, but what exactly is the truth and what exactly did Fauci do to obscure the truth or to fail to uncover the truth.

Ann Althouse said...

TreeJoe writes:

"That exchange was fascinating. Fauci is simply extremely evasive. He accuses Paul of creating inferences, yet he continues to make the inference that Paul is saying the published GoF virus research included the specific SARS-COV-2 virus. But Paul repeatedly says I'm not saying that. Yet Fauci sticks to that talking point because he knows he can defend it, whereas he can't defend Paul's specific question: Did NIH basically sub-grant, with a single layer proxy, GoF research at the specific lab conducting such research on Coronavirii in China that appears to have been the source of this virus.

"The inability to directly answer that question is basically saying at best Fauci looks terrible and at worst his support of such research helped create the virus at the very lab it most likely leaked from...."

Ann Althouse said...

TommyEsq writes:

"It is also worth noting that, if Weinstein is correct, Fauci was, on behalf of NIH and presumably some or all military/intelligence agencies and branches, took action to develop biological weapons in conjunction with one of our country’s (and freedom’s) greatest enemies, behind the backs of the President, Senate, and Congress. Yet we are told there is no such thing as the “Deep State.” Only one of these things can be true."

Ann Althouse said...

Denever writes:

"When I first saw the clip, I agreed with those saying Paul should have stopped interrupting and let Fauci speak. But each senator has only limited time in which to ask questions before the chair bangs the gavel, and the chair is usually quick to do so when there are hostile questions coming from the minority party.

"Why do witnesses faced with a hostile questioner often start with a lengthy explanatory preamble? Why do they try to answer a related question, which forces their examiner to say, "That's not what I asked" and repeat the question? Because they're trying to run out the senator's time. I think that's what Fauci -- a very practiced witness -- was doing with Paul."

Ann Althouse said...

John Mosby writes:

"Prof: One of the best outcomes for a post-covid investigation would be for the US and PRC to shoulder equal blame. “Hey, we tried to cooperate on a matter of mutual safety (virus research), and it failed spectacularly.” Kind of like if Apollo-Soyuz had fallen out of the sky and taken out London back in the day.

"If both superpowers are at fault, then there’s no risk of a superpower conflict over this. And together we have enough resources to help the rest of the world recover.

"The CCP could make some of their officials disappear; we could put some of ours thru years of court; and call it even.

"I doubt either the CCP or the major US parties would really go for this solution, though. Too much of a chance for things to spinout of control and have real repercussions to powerful people."

Ann Althouse said...

JPS writes:

Thank you for your post on the exchanges between Fauci and Paul. I don't think I would have seen Weinstein's excellent take otherwise.

I'm always interested in what Temujin has to say, but I see this somewhat differently. He states, "they were indeed working on Gain of Function Research with the explicit purpose of manipulating a bat coronavirus that would attack human cells," and asks, "What was the purpose of creating a virus that would kill millions of humans?" The more I think about an answer to this question, the more I'm reminded how fuzzy and shifting is the line dividing offense and defense in biological warfare.

I yield to no one in my disapproval of the CCP. I'm more Fauci-tolerant than most on the right but he has enjoyed his star turn too much and too long. He has given politicized answers when unadorned truth would have served him and us better (e.g. on herd immunity), and he has played institutional defense on the question of a lab leak.

What might a reasonable government or infectious disease honcho do in this situation? What would the US government do if there were some cave in, say, Missouri with bat-borne viruses: we know they're infectious, we know they can be quite harmful. Besides that we know jack. We would sure as hell gather them and study them.

Might we screw up sooner or later? I don't know. Did Dugway Proving Ground accidentally ship out samples of live anthrax to labs around the country? And why do we have live anthrax, aren't we signatories to the Biological Weapons Convention? Perhaps naively, I believe we actually do keep the stuff for defensive study. But there's nothing intrinsic to the possession or the research that makes it offensive or defensive. The difference lies in intentions.

Come back to China and bat coronaviruses. Of course they bring them to their institute of virology. Then some bright, motivated scientists want to tinker with them. What's the difference between doing so *for the purpose* of making them more infectious, versus doing so to understand how they *might* become more infectious, so we won't be caught by surprise if/when they do? Intentions.

Then we, the US, get wind that they're doing this. We can demand they stop, in which case they'll politely tell us to fuck off; or we can offer collaboration, even support, and in return we get some visibility on what they're doing, even some modest influence over how they carry out their experiments. Might a reasonable infectious disease research bureaucrat open the collaborations, even work around prohibitions, judging that the benefits outweighed the risks?

So maybe the CCP decided to unleash a bioweapon on the world, because they're bastards and stood to gain. I don't rule that out. Or maybe they screwed up, about as badly as they possibly could have, and from that point on everybody involved acted pretty much exactly as you would expect them to. China: Wasn't us! We're pretty sure you guys brought it here. Biological research collaborators: Hey, guys, let's get our stories straight. There is NO WAY this resulted from a lab leak, and anyone who says otherwise is a raving loon or an unscrupulous politician or both. China: [Twists arms in the WHO]. WHO: Hey, we've looked into this and there's no way this thing leaked from a lab. Fauci: We never funded gain of function research. What, that? That wasn't gain of function research. What do you know about infectious disease, anyway?

None of this is a defense of any of these guys! Honestly, I'd find it all less scary if the pandemic had resulted from an evil plan – you can kind of deter those – rather than self-serving incompetence from a bunch of highly intelligent, not actually malicious, even semi-well-intentioned people.

Ann Althouse said...

David writes:

"Dr. Fauci reminds me both in appearance and career with Hyman Rickover, the head of Navy Nuclear power. Both have lasted in office far longer than they were productive. Rickover was propped up by Congress who allowed him to remain on active duty past legal retirement age. Congress eventually had to fire him when he became a loose cannon. Both have egos far bigger than their physical stature. Right now Fauci is a star for the left, but he’s rapidly running out of support I suspect from younger rivals."

Ann Althouse said...

Roz C. writes:

"I now understand how the “experts” were able to issue dire warnings to our leaders
when the epidemic started. At the time I had thought, if this virus is “novel” and no one
has ever seen it before then how do they know what it is capable of?

"Obviously Fauci and others knew exactly what the Chinese were working on. I had
read elsewhere that the purpose of the grant money was to improve the infamously
poor security system at the Wuhan Lab. I might have asked Fauci if that was the
intent of the grant, if not for GoF.

"I would also have asked Fauci if there had been any benefit in being involved with the
research lab which could have justified our contributions and our policy? Presumably we
should have been better prepared to deal with any potential outbreak. We weren’t.

"On a side note, is the Biden/Obama regime using the same misguided policy (AKA 12D
chess) to assist the Iranians in developing their nuclear bomb, drones, and long range missiles?
And will the world be just as shocked when Iran uses these?"

Ann Althouse said...

Dave Begley writes:

"It was insane and wrong that *any* taxpayer money – directly or indirectly – was sent to Wuhan for research. Only an academic globalist would think that is okay. And to make it even worse, the research was about creating a virus that could kill Americans.

"I firmly believe the CCP decided to stay quiet and lie once the virus was out of the lab. China is the only one who has come out okay during the pandemic. China got rid of Trump. That was surely worth 1-2m dead Chinese in the eyes of the CCP.

"China owes us $30 trillion and Biden does nothing."

Ann Althouse said...

Ed writes:

"The motte was that Covid-19 was a natural evolution, and the US never supported GoFR in Wuhan. The barbarians have crossed the motte, at least from the point of view of credibility. The bailey is that the US didn't fund creation of Covid-19 (specifically) via GoFR.

"I think Paul wouldn't have much interest in making the rubble of the motte bounce, nor Fauci in defending it. Has there been anything more lately about the defecting Chinese official with her bushel of documents? Perhaps Fauci and Paul are doing some positioning prior to the release of News (such as it is these days)."

Ann Althouse said...

Wilbur writes:

"I felt bad for Senator Paul trying to question Dr. Fauci. It would've been like him watching me trying to do a proper eye examination.

"Examination of a witness, particularly an adverse witness, is a skill developed through years of experience. Paul was floundering and sinking. I'd liked to have seen Trey Gowdy have a go at it."

Ann Althouse said...

Jeffrey writes:

“Weinstein overestimates the strength of Fauci's position, IMO. He seems to think that Fauci is like Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men ("You want me doing gain of function research, you NEED me doing gain of function research!"). But Fauci's actual response was more Assistant to the Regional Manager than Marine Colonel: "You want the truth? Well here it is...our entire staff worked tirelessly to reinterpret the plain meaning of 'gain of function' so you don't know what you're talking about, Lieutenant, er, Senator!"

“The yes-or-no of "did we fund it" isn't 12D chess. Maybe the why's and wherefore's are complex, but Fauci is just being evasive on the facts.”