Your Innocence Cannot Be Tolerated

I dislike tawdry stories, so I've been ignoring the allegation that Paul Wolfowitz used his role as President of the World Bank to get a cushy job for his sweetheart. Turns out he's utterly innocent. As explained here and here. The paper trail shows he recused himself from the matter before he even signed his contract at the World Bank. As the WSJ link says:
the record clearly shows he acted only after he had tried to recuse himself but then wasn't allowed to do so by the ethics committee. And he acted only after that same committee advised him to compensate Ms. Riza for the damage to her career from a "conflict of interest" that was no fault of her own.
And the apt kicker.
Mr. Wolfowitz's only real mistake was in assuming that everyone else was acting in good faith.
This is a perennial topic here --how cynicism destroys the capacity to recognize the truth, and therefore charity is an essential component of reason. See the Pope's audience today, in this morning's potpourri. This take-down of conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists makes the same point in secular terms (curtsy: NLT)
Some people see the Moon Hoax, Kennedy, 9/11 conspiracies and all the rest of that garbage as separate little fiefdoms of harmless lunacy. But I do not.
They all have one element in common, and it is a deadly poison which we must address if we want to regain our social health.
If you believe the lunar landing was a hoax, then you believe that your government was willing and able to lie to you in order to gain prestige it did not earn. You are willing to believe that there are thousands and thousands of engineers, astronauts, technicians, and so on, who are willing to lie on government orders: lie to their friends and family, lie to the press, lie to you. And all of them – tens if not hundreds of thousands of them – take their secret to the grave.
I know a lot of engineers. They are some of the most scrupulously honest people I know. They have to be – their work depends on it. To believe that thousands of these people can lie again and again through their entire lives tells me a great deal about the person that holds such a belief.
Of course the credulous press who brought us the Wolfowitz scandal and the Duke rape case are not conspiracy theorists, they're partisans. Or hacks. But their laziness and cynicism contribute to the daily destruction of Reason.