m a r k a n d e y a

Fan Death vs. WMD’s

Posted by Brian on August 9, 2006

In light of what half of all Americans believe, perhaps it’s time to go easy on Koreans for believing the fan death myth:

Do you believe in Iraqi “WMD”? Did Saddam Hussein’s government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

The reality in this case is that after a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq.

The experts are “flabbergasted”:

“I’m flabbergasted,” said Michael Massing, a media critic whose writings dissected the largely unquestioning U.S. news reporting on the Bush administration’s shaky WMD claims in 2002-03.

“This finding just has to cause despair among those of us who hope for an informed public able to draw reasonable conclusions based on evidence,” Massing said.

God bless America… and God help America. We’re going to need it.

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8 Responses to “Fan Death vs. WMD’s”

  1. Ian said

    Welcome back to dum-dum land. Are you still in Seattle?

  2. Richardson said

    This from WaPo and this from Fox News may have something to do with that.

    According to the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), via WaPo:

    “Yes, these certainly are munitions,” Skelton added, “but they are not the evidence of prewar assertions made by the administration.”

    The classified overview of chemical munitions says that U.S. forces have found about 500 shells, canisters or other munitions containing the chemical weapons. Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the committee the shells were produced in the 1980s for the Iran-Iraq war but were not used. (emphasis added)

    The problem is with the question, which as worded is actually true in the letter but not the intent (probably) of the polster. In fact the timing of the poll likely was influence by the discovery of the 20-year-old munitions that do qualify as WMD and were in Iraq in 2003.

    Ask the question wrong and get bad data. Seems like an amateurish mistake.

  3. ron said

    Fox news is run by the current adinistration (propaganda). Just another step on the road to fascism.

  4. Richardson said

    The Washington Post had the same story – are you suggesting the same about them, Ron?

    Do you even know anything about NGIC?

  5. […] Pointing to an AP story on the results of a recent poll, Half of U.S. still believes Iraq had WMD, Cathartidae comments that, “In light of what half of all Americans believe, perhaps it’s time to go easy on Koreans for believing the fan death myth.” However I believe that comment is rather unfair the poll results are due to the very poorly worded question that resulted in an amateurish mistake by the pollsters: Do you believe in Iraqi “WMD”? Did Saddam Hussein’s government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003? […]

  6. iheartblueballs said

    WMD’s were found. Unfortunately, they were Weapons of Minor Discomfort. The degraded munitions found were described as being capable of causing a rash if rubbed directly against the skin.

    Which reminds me of Bush’s speech in early 2003.

    “I pledge to you, my fellow Americans, that we will not stand by as the world’s worst dictators sit on a few hundred degraded munitions built 15 years ago, that are capable of making your skin itch. Because freedom means being free of itchy skin, and we will fight to the death to keep our American skin smooth, silky, and free of minor discomfort.”

    It brought tears to my eyes, and made me want to join the Army.

  7. partypooper said

    blueballs…you rock. start a blog already.

  8. Pelagius said

    Hey, I thought he told us “We don’t want the smoking gun to be in the shape of an undemocratic Iraq”. The thought of all those Iraqis not being able to vote was what got my ire up.

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