The following is another chapter from my disinformation book, 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know: Volume 2, published in 2004. For more on me go to The Memory Hole or follow me @RussKick on Twitter.
We typically imagine George Washington to be as pure as driven snow, a demigod who won the Revolutionary War, then assumed the mantle of President to flawlessly lead a fledgling country.
The reality is vastly different. Besides being borderline incompetent on the battlefield (during the first four years of the Revolution, he lost every major engagement), the man who could not tell a lie started the tradition of presidential corruption.
The whistle was blown by the Clerk of Congress — writing under the nom de plume “A Calm Observer” — in the Philadelphia Aurora, a muckraking anti-federalist newspaper founded, edited, and published by Benjamin Franklin’s grandson. In 1795, the Aurora published the Clerk’s detailed breakdown of how much loot Washington had taken from the Treasury beyond his Constitutionally-sanctioned $25,000 annual salary.… Read the rest