This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor.
The first victim of war is the truth. Was it Rudyard Kipling who first said that? He usually gets credit for it.
In any war, be it one fought with guns or money or ideas, the victor usually gets the spoils. And the higher the stakes, the more ruthless the fighting, and the more apt the combatants are to try to mask their motives to camouflage their maneuvers.
That's why there was a degree of shock when Charlie Black, 's chief strategist said to an interviewer in fortune magazine that a terrorist attack would be a "big advantage" to McCain's campaign. It was a candid and unguarded remark, which is not only probably true, but also unbelievably rare.
There has been a to and fro about it between the campaigns and Black has apologized. But, don't hold your breath if you are waiting for the next moment of candor. This may be the last one this year.
By Harry Smith
Copyright 2008 CBS. All rights reserved.