The idea that the US government was previously more honest than lately has been a popular idea… for centuries. It is based of course on a particular perception about past honesty.
Those who independently study the nature of government may encounter some simple facts about all governments. (Note that in order to distract the masses from independent research, governments often make it a high priority to program the masses with pro-government propaganda through indoctrination systems of schools which may be government-regulated, or even government-funded or, in the most extreme cases, even operated by governments.)
The mainstream media is similar (though in the US, the media is not as socialized as the primary school system). If you care to research the history of US government pro-war propaganda, two good sources are War is a Racket by USMC Major General Smedley Butler (1935)
Throughout the years various men of military service have spoken up and….
There is also this book from 1928 in which the nephew of Sigmund Freud (who was also the founder of the PR industry) details how he invented inflammatory anti-German propaganda in order to incite antagonism in the US public so as to reduce the resistance to the first US invasion of Europe (what later became known as “World War One”)
The myth of “declining government honesty”