Top 10 Political Lies of All Time

Script written by John Patlakas. Some political lies are commonplace, but others can cause wars and genocides. Considering how many political lies have been told throughout history, we’re sure we’ve missed a few. After all, these are just the ones we know about: many other politicians might have been smart enough to keep their transgressions secret. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 political lies of all time. For this list, we’ve chosen famous, memorable or impactful political lies that have been told throughout history, and have tried to keep it spread out throughout the globe – after all, dishonesty isn't restricted to region.
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Top 10 Political Lies of All Time


Some political lies are commonplace, but others can cause wars and genocides. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 political lies of all time.

For this list, we’ve chosen famous, memorable or impactful political lies that have been told throughout history, and have tried to keep it spread out throughout the globe – after all, dishonesty isn’t restricted to region.

#10: The Trojan Horse

Homer’s epic poem “The Iliad” describes the 10-year Trojan War, and facts suggest the tale isn’t fictional. So how big was this lie? As big as the Trojan Horse; the giant wooden structure the Greeks offered to the Trojans to admit their loss. The catch? Ulysses, the plan’s inventor, hid inside with some soldiers and following the Trojans’ celebration, the Greeks exited the horse and torched the town.

#9: The Lewinsky Scandal

Bill Clinton spoke those infamous words when accused of an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. While this may not have been the biggest political lie in terms of importance, it did hold the attention of the American public for months, and led to the President’s impeachment and apology.

#8: The Dreyfus Affair

In November 1894, Alfred Dreyfus – a French military man of Jewish descent – was convicted of treason for communicating French military secrets to the Germans. After serving five-years in prison, he was convicted on more charges. The French population was divided, with some citing not proof but anti-Semitism as the reason for his conviction. Eventually, the documents against Dreyfus were proven as forgeries, and he was reinstated to the Army in 1906.

#7: USS Liberty Incident

On June 8th, 1967, during the Six-Day War between Israel, Jordan, Syria and Egypt, the Israeli Air Force attacked an American spy ship, the USS Liberty. While Israel apologized and claimed they’d mistaken it for an Egyptian ship, analysts suggest the attack was planned to force the U.S. to join the war by blaming the Egyptians, and that the entire thing was covered up by the Israeli and U.S. governments.

#6: Berlusconi’s Bunga Bunga Parties

It’s not exactly news that a 70+-year-old Italian Prime Minister held parties at his home. But the fact that underage prostitutes were apparently guests of these “bunga-bunga” parties is. In 2011, this self-made media baron and controversial Italian politician was accused of paying young prostitute Ruby Heartstealer for sex, then using his influence to cover it up. Silvio Berlusconi was found guilty of the crime in 2013, but was expected to appeal.

#5: USA Helps Saddam Gas Iran

Many consider it a lie to say the U.S. is against the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially since they used them in WWII. According to documents recently declassified by the CIA, the Americans helped Saddam Hussein create such weapons and pointed him to potential targets in his war with Iran. It has been speculated that the Reagan administration at this time considered Iran the far greater threat, and thus welcomed an Iraq victory in this battle.

#4: Watergate

Those are the famous last words spoken by President Richard Nixon, when he denied any involvement in the June 17th, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. However, the resulting investigation found proof that the Nixon administration had spied on the Democrats’ campaign, forcing Nixon to become the first and only U.S. president to resign the office.

#3: Fukushima Meltdown

A major earthquake hit Japan on March 11th, 2011, resulting in a destructive tsunami. However, that was the country’s second-biggest concern when two reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant failed. Initially, the Japanese government and managing company TEPCO rated the destruction at level 4. However, that was eventually raised to 7 – or equivalent to Chernobyl – with many criticizing both the government and TEPCO for their miscommunications with the public.

#2: Iraq and WMDs

It was 2002 and the U.S. government was trying to convince the public that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which would have been a huge threat to national security. Both George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld clearly stated this as fact, and supported the claim; however, following the War in Iraq this was proven to be false as WMDs were never found.

#1: Nazi Propaganda Against Jews

No matter how big the lie, people will believe it if you repeat it enough, and this is called the “Big Lie” for a reason: Nazi propaganda blamed Jews for almost everything wrong in the world, and this resulted in their mass extermination in concentration camps. Anti-Semitism was nothing new, but Adolf Hitler and his minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels used that prejudice to justify genocide.

Considering how many political lies have been told throughout history, we’re sure we’ve missed a few – and these are the only we know about. For more informative top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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