Friday, February 02, 2007

Wait, Wait Don’t Lie to Me!

While Congress and Bush are grappling with what to do with Iraq, it’s time to remember some of the verbiage emitted from the White House in 2002 and 2003. Al Franken has a radio segment entitled Wait, Wait! Don’t Lie to Me! It’s a “quiz show” and the object is to listen to an audio clip (presented in context) and declare if what you hear is

The Truth
A Lie
A Weasel
A Weasel is defined to be technically true, but used in a way to intentionally mislead.

Today’s contest is well worth reviewing in that it uses quotations from late 2002 and early 2003 as the Bush Administration was making its case for a preemptive war in Iraq. Today’s contest is also much easier than the typical contest which tends to be subtle and nuanced. (In other words, you can associate the words “blatant” and “bold-face” with the following excerpts.)

Clip #1. Vice-President Cheney, August 26, 2002, VFW 103rd National Convention. “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” Correct Answer: Lie.

Clip #2. President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, September 8, 2002, CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer: “We do know that he [Saddam Hussein] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance -- into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to -- high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” Correct Answer: Lie.

Clip #3. President Bush, October 7, 2002. Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal Cincinnati, Ohio: “The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors.” Correct Answer: Lie.

Clip #4. President Bush, January 2003, State of the Union Address: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Correct Answer: Lie.

How did you fare?

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