Skip to comments.Rorschach test for political thought
Posted on 01/02/2004 8:23:39 AM PST by Gritty
In my last column, I referenced a memo prepared by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, in which he listed 50 items of connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The memo was prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and was leaked to The Weekly Standard. The column prompted the usual responses, including an agitated letter to the editor linking me to Goebbels. But, I also received a more rational e-mail demanding a retraction and apology.
The demand was based on a quote from the Defense Department, issued just after publication of the Feith memo, stating "News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate."
That statement can serve as an inkblot in our Rorschach test. In a standard Rorschach test, the inkblot can mean anything -- there is no incorrect answer -- but in this inkblot, there is definitely an incorrect answer.
Read the inkblot within quotes again. If you think the Defense Department says that the Feith memo is inaccurate, or that The Weekly Standard transcribed the memo inaccurately, then you are seeing something that is not there. Immediately after publication of the Feith memo, apparently, someone falsely reported the Defense Department had confirmed the memo. While the Defense Department acknowledges that Feith wrote the memo, most of the data came from other agencies, such as the CIA, and the Defense Department did not confirm that data.
Even though my correspondent was articulate and well-read, it took three e-mails to convince him that his understanding of the sentence was incorrect. Analyzing the sentence, "news reports" is the subject, and "are inaccurate" is the predicate. Which news reports? Well, the ones reporting that the Defense Department had confirmed the memo.
Therein lies the lesson. It is quite possible for a generally rational person to lose rationality concerning certain topics.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, who holds an MD from Harvard Medical School, termed this disorder "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (BDS) in a column that recently appeared on these pages. I can think of other terms, such as "Just Plain Nuts," but I'll defer to Krauthammer.
It may be BDS that causes Howard Dean to assert that the capture of Saddam Hussein does not improve the safety of Americans.
A large number of Democrats, including Sen. Lieberman and the Democratic Leadership Council, find this utterly absurd.
For starters, Saddam's capture should prompt those Iraqis who know what happened to the WMDs to come forward without fear of being fed into a wood chipper.
Further, it appears that Saddam's capture has his former trading partners wondering whether he will crack during interrogation, and reveal violations of U.N. sanctions. That could be the reason the French have suddenly become generous regarding Iraqi debts.
The capture of Saddam also pushed Col. Gadhafi to hastily conclude negotiations with the United States and the United Kingdom and agree to abandon his WMD program. Does anybody really believe that this doesn't make America safer? Operation Iraqi Freedom, of course, initiated the negotiations in the first place. As reported in the London Telegraph (www.telegraph.co. uk) last September, Gadhafi told the Prime Minister of Italy, "I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid."
Sen. Kerry (D-MA), also running for the Democratic presidential nomination, remarked that the Gadhafi deal indicates the power of "multilateral" diplomacy, as opposed to "unilateral" action in Iraq. For the record, the negotiations with Gadhafi involved only the United States and the United Kingdom, while the Iraq war involves the United States, the United Kingdom and more than 50 other countries. Democrats should either avoid multi-syllabic words or buy a dictionary.
Finally, the previous column referenced 50 points of connection between Saddam and Osama, but since then another point has surfaced, and was reported in the Dec. 14 Telegraph. A handwritten memo from the former head of Iraqi Intelligence to Saddam, dated July 1, 2001, describes the three-day training visit of Mohammed Atta with Abu Nidal in Baghdad a few months before 9/11. Abu Nidal is a well-known terrorist, active in the 1980s, and Mohammed Atta piloted one of the planes on 9/11.
In keeping with Saddam's policy of exterminating anyone with damaging knowledge, Abu Nidal "committed suicide" in August 2002, by shooting himself in the head four times.
So, in his final act, Abu Nidal cemented his reputation as a professional assassin. An amateur can shoot himself in the head only once.
Run into this a lot here on FR.
For reference, the Weekly Standard Story on the memo in question can be found at the link below:
That's for sure!
Just mention Rush, Microsoft [Bill Gates], or Wal-Mart.
Then, of course, we have the "non-confrontational" Freepers who get their shorts in a bunch if you say anything derogatory about Dean, or that ilk, [like "he's a nut case"]. They call it "rhetoric", and claim it won't help win any elections.
Isn't love grand?
I don't know if that can be asserted as a prime cause. For example, I have a government education and I don't think that way.
Now, if you had said a recent government education, you may have a point!
Getting this information is not tough, but it is obviously overwhelmingly difficult for the Media.