(Sometimes the pill is a bit large)
I suppose you could characterize Foreign Policy as the clever art of deception. Much of ours in recent years has had a certain level of hypocrisy attached to it. Probably nothing exposed the level of that hypocrisy quite like the Iran-Contra scandal of the late 1980's. Although to be fair, there were numerous other occasions where the diplomacy and the covert actions ran high throughout our history. But it was the fact that the Iran-Contra case unfolded so publicly that most people were taken aback at just how ruthless a bunch we actually were/are.
In 1987, while Iran-Contra was grabbing headlines, CBS Radio as part of their Newsmark series aired a segment called "Diplomacy and Deception" and asked former CIA official George Carver, Senator Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.) and Harper's Editor Lewis Lapham about the recent revelations and our role in Diplomatic deception.
George Carver: “Covert action is regarded by the administrations of both parties as a marvelous substitute for thought. Covert action is a useful supplement to policy, but it is no substitute for it. In Central America, for example I don’t happen to think it’s in U.S. national interest for a Communist state to be established in Nicaragua and spread subversion Cuban-style throughout the rest of the uh……land area that eventually butts our own borders. But for the Government to do as Lewis (Lapham) said, recognize it, maintain open diplomatic relations, try to pretend at one level that everything is sweetness and light, while at the other level work to overthrow it is, to my mind, as the Frenchman (Talleyrand) said when he heard of the murder of the Duke of India back in the nineteenth century, ‘it’s worse than a crime, it’s a mistake’, and I think that we should go more intelligently about achieving what we want to do and not try to have too wide a divergence between our public stance and our covert actual actions.”
And in 2010 there seems to be no let-up.