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The Back Story

"An official British investigation into two trailers found in northern Iraq has concluded they are not mobile germ-warfare labs, as was claimed by Tony Blair and President George Bush. . . . Instead, a British scientist and biological-weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq, told The Observer last week: ‘You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were — facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.’”

Another report finds no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. From The Observer.

“Only a minority of Americans — mostly Democrats and independents — believe the Bush administration has deliberately misled the American public about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. In part, this is related to the fact that most Americans continue to think it is likely that Iraq indeed did have weapons of mass destruction before the war began in March. . . . These issues have become more important as the weeks have gone by since the end of the major fighting in Iraq and there continues to be no evidence that Iraq has either weapons of mass destruction or the facilities to create them.”

The latest Gallup Poll: Americans believe their leaders, not the news.

“Edward L. Bernays took the ideas of his famous uncle Sigmund Freud and applied them to the emerging science of mass persuasion. The only difference was that instead of using these principles to uncover hidden themes in the human unconscious, the way Freudian psychology does, Bernays studied these same ideas in order to learn how to mask agendas and to create illusions that deceive and misrepresent, for marketing purposes. . . .

“As a neophyte with the Committee on Public Information, one of Bernays’ first assignments was to help sell the First World War to the American public with the idea to ‘Make the World Safe for Democracy.’”

“Why Americans Will Believe Almost Anything,” by Tim O’Shea. Via randomWalks.com.

“When Gentiles in Hitler’s Germany . . . saw their Jewish neighbors being trucked off, or else in Soviet Ukraine saw the Kulaks sing before their eyes, the common reaction, even among those unsympathetic to Nazism or Communism, was quite naturally to turn away in fear of being identified with the condemned. As I learned from non-Jewish refugees, however, there was often a despairing pity mixed with ‘Well, they must have done something.’ Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.”

Arthur Miller’s “Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist’s Answer to Politics.

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