"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2003

1 in 5 US citizens believe Iraq *used* WMD in the war

Disturbing stats for the state of democracy from the Miami Herald.

A third of the American public believes U.S. forces found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to a recent poll. And 22 percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons.

With amazingly misinformed statistics like this, how can the American population in general be concerned about "nuances" such as that either the CIA or the administration (or both) has "mishandled" evidence in support of the Iraq war?

What do statistics like this say about the "Information Age" or the potential contribution of weblogs to supplant the traditional press?

[The] poll's data showed that the mistaken belief that weapons of mass destruction had been found "is substantially greater among those who favored the war.''

...Before the war, the U.S. media often reported as fact the assertions by the Bush administration that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of illegal weapons. CBS News in December reported how Bush officials were "threatening war against Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction.''

Shouldn't supporters of the war be even more concerned than the detractors? Do we have to be "right" so badly, we're willing to be ignorant? How bad is it that these facts were "mishandled"? From MSNBC...

[A] senior CIA analyst said the case “is indicative of larger problems” involving the handling of intelligence about Iraq’s alleged chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and its links to al Qaeda, which the administration cited as justification for war. “Information not consistent with the administration agenda was discarded and information that was [consistent] was not seriously scrutinized,” the analyst said.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.