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Monday, August 7, 2006
Speaking of Being Independent From Reality ...
Topic: NewsBusters

In using an Aug. 7 NewsBusters post to bash the Associated Press for reporting that the 50 percent of Americans who still believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction had become "independent of reality," Noel Sheppard demonstrates why that's the case. He complained that "AP didn’t offer the possibility that many of these believers feel Saddam moved his weapons to Syria or elsewhere before the invasion began" (then again, neither has the Bush administration in any significant manner).

While Sheppard copies segments of the AP article -- only the parts that support his argument, of course -- a couple segments are notable by their absence:

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 Pentagon and outside experts stressed that these abandoned shells [delared to be WMDs by congressmen Rick Santorum and Peter Hoekstra], many found in ones and twos, were 15 years old or more, their chemical contents were degraded, and they were unusable as artillery ordnance. Since the 1990s, such "orphan" munitions, from among 160,000 made by Iraq and destroyed, have turned up on old battlefields and elsewhere in Iraq, ex-inspectors say. In other words, this was no surprise.

Sheppard also fails to acknowledge these facts in his own writing.

Who, exactly, is "independent of reality" here?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:54 PM EDT

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