Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: Lies the Government Told You by Judge Andrew Napolitano

Lies the Government Told You
By Judge Andrew Napolitano
****4 Stars

           In the Forward, Congressman Ron Paul writes this of Judge Napolitano, “…he does not pull his punches or excuse any Constitutional violations in order to support any group or political interest” (ix). As a regular viewer of the Fox News Channel, I have found this to be true in his legal analysis for that network. It is definitely true of this book.

            In his own Introduction, the Judge admits to having a “chip” on his shoulder. That he has an ax to grind, so to speak, against the government comes through loud and clear.  He leaves no era unscathed. Our founders Washington and Jefferson; our heroes Lincoln and FDR; our recent and current leaders George W. Bush and Barack Obama—all are subject to Judge Napolitano’s ire. 

            Lie #1 is All Men are Created Equal. Lie #2 is All Men…are Endowed by Their Creator With Certain Inalienable Rights. These two statements are as true as any ever were. They were true when Jefferson wrote them; they remain true today. In these chapters Judge Napolitano discusses America’s experience with slavery and racism, (proof that the government has never seen all men as equal) and several cases in which the U.S. government succeeded at alienating its citizens from their rights.  

            Most of the Judge’s assertions had me standing up to cheer. Lie #5 Congress Shall Make No Law…Abridging the Freedom of Speech, Lie #6 The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not be Infringed, Lie #12 Everyone is Innocent Until Proven Guilty; all these topics hit the very heart of patriotism and the common American identity.

            Some chapters taught me something. Lie #4 (Every Vote Counts) discusses the Seventeenth Amendment and Lie #8 (The Federal Reserve Shall Be Controlled by Congress) is obviously about the Federal Reserve.  Both presented information I never learned in school. Somehow this does not surprise me.  Lie #14’s (Your Boys Are Not Going to Be Sent into Any Foreign Wars) covers the United States’ entry into both World Wars and was very enlightening. Lie #17 (America Has a Free Market) covers topics like big city rent-controlled apartments, government bailouts of businesses deemed “too big to fail,” government domination of the railroad and shipping industries (Amtrak and the Postal Service).

            I confess, some chapters made me squirm. Lie #11 (We Are Winning the War on Drugs) and Lie #15 (We Don’t Torture) convicted me of my own acceptance, even support, of the government’s trampling of liberty.  I can admit the Constitution protects people’s right to use harmful drugs, but I chafe at the idea of legalizing them. I can reluctantly agree that the Constitution makes the detainment of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay illegal, but I still fear letting those men go free. I supported and continue to admire President George W. Bush. I admit to falling for Lie #15. So I had my feathers ruffled by some of Judge Napolitano’s statements about President Bush. His assertions about these topics brought me face to face with my own hypocrisy and made me realize that I don’t know the answers to these hard questions. And I am glad I don’t have to make those decisions.

            We like to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, and we have the greatest government in the world. Judge Napolitano proves to us in Lies the Government Told You that what we have is the greatest Constitution in the world. But when “we the people” fail to uphold that Constitution, we subject ourselves to the whims of leaders whose only motive is “libido dominande” the lust to dominate.

            The closing sentence of Lies the Government Told You is both a warning and a call to action. “If we fear our own government, if we accept its deception, its lies to us, if we take no action to redress them, our freedoms are doomed.”

            I’ll warn you, if you read this book, you’ll probably want to throw it across the room at some point. If you do throw it, give it some time, then pick it up and finish it. If you do this with a thick skin and an open mind, you just might learn something.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Great review, this sounds like an interesting book, thanks for sharing:)

  2. Thanks, Toyin. It really is. I'm so glad to see a new face in my comments too. I hope you'll be back.