Today's Thought Experiment
Here are two ledes. Can you tell which one represents the real news article -- and which is bogus?
1 A top Iraqi General revealed there were no WMDs in Iraq prior to the war:
|The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in the years prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Because he was, "responsible for the inventory of all major weapons systems," the official had intimate knowledge of Iraqi military capabilities.|
The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Bush's Secrets," released this week. He detailed Saddam Hussein's insistence that the Iraqi military "come clean" to UN inspectors and also charged that Bush "misled the U.S. into a terrible mistake of a war."
"There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the war, and therefore they could not be found by the US or anyone else," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident that further investigation will prove this."
2 A top Iraqi General reported that Iraq airlifted WMDs into Syria just before the invasion of Iraq:
|The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.|
The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over." Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."
Here's the answer to today's thought experiment: if the first article were true, you'd have seen it plastered on the front page of the New York Times -- and dozens of other major daily papers -- for weeks on end (remember Al Qaqaa?). The second article, however, really happened. Since it doesn't portray the Bush administration in an unflattering light, however, you won't see it anywhere near the the front page of most American dailies.
Thank you for participating in today's thought experiment.
p.s., And if you're wondering why Hussein ordered Sada to move the WMD's, just ask Jay Rockefeller. I sincerely hope Rockefeller is prosecuted to the maximum extent allowed by law if those allegations are true.