Friday, November 03, 2006

Find Stupid.

Atrios discusses an important article in the New York Times. It shows that irresponsible Republicans who can't hide the fact that they care more about winning debating points than national security are idiots (as well as being moral idiots). That they thought that Feith based intelligence analysis was not aggressive enough and they want to use web based conspiracy theorys to cloud the gross intelligence failure and grosser deliberate distortions in the run up to the invasion of Iraq.

Click the link and read the whole thing. They are always worse than you imagine possible even after you take into account the fact that they are worse than you imagine possible.

Atrios also has an amusing closing line "...and it's even funnier because of this. Our discourse is truly controlled by the stupidest people on the planet."

The link leads to Instapundit quoting a commenter

JIM GERAGHTY writes: "I'm sorry, did the New York Times just put on the front page that IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB?"


There is some 200 proof idiocy here. Before reading the New York Times article, I thought that Mr Geraghty was a grade A idiot. It is universally agreed that Iraq had an actice nuclear weapons program in the 80s. After the gulf war, it was discovered that the program was much more advanced than expected. It was universally agreed during the run up to the invasion that, if Iraq obtained purified Plutonium or highly enriched uranium, Iraq could make a bomb quickly. It is now (almost? ) universally agreed that Iraq did not reactivate its nuclear weapons project after 1991 and that Iraq made no (significant?) further efforts to obtain nuclear weapons after the Gulf War. The question "did the New York Times just put on the front page that IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB" ? demonstrates that there is some highly enriched idiocy going around. It is not news that before 91 "IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB," there is no evidence that after 1991 "IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB." Did the new York Times assert that after 1991 "IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB."

Yes it did.

If anyone has actually read the article, as instructed, that person will know that the idiocy is right there in the New York Times and I quote

"Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away."

This is, for one thing, grammatically incorrect. At least two dates are listed 2002 and an unspecified number of dates between January 1 1990 and December 31 1999, the the article goes on the refer to "THE time" in THE singular. A good faith effort to interpert this mangled sentence would be to pick one of the 11 years in the interval (with gap for 2000 and 2001) as the year of "THE time". The only semi specific time mentioned is 2002 and the only reasonable grammatical correction of the garbled sentence is

"Experts say that in 2002, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away."

Major error in English communication in the New York Times. It's going on my refrigerator door.

As far as I know JIM GERAGHTY's comment might just be a complaint about sloppy writing in the NY Times. If so I agree completely. I don't see why he felt the need to waste 10 seconds of his time pointing it out, and I certainly don't see why I felt the need to waste 10 minutes of my time exploring the non issue.

Yep you just found stupid. He is named Robert James Waldmann and he has better things to do with his time.

update: by the way, I commented on the badly written sentence before finishing the article which I just finished reading. When I posted, I had already read the very clear sentence
In September, the Web site began posting the nuclear documents, and some soon raised concerns. On Sept. 12, it posted a document it called “Progress of Iraqi nuclear program circa 1995.” That description is potentially misleading since the research occurred years earlier.


Which undoes the not really possible honest confusion due to the badly written sentence and makes it clear, again, that Iraqi efforts to construct the bomb ceased years before 1995 and, thus, years before 2003.


Clicking on the link to instapundit I notice an update. It is clear that Reynolds can't stand the idea that the New York Times has outdone him in idiocy even for one day and concludes

Kind of undercuts that whole "Bush lied about WMD" thing. Reader Eric Anondson emails: "It surely must have been a Rovian plot to somehow get the Times to admit that Iraq has a nuclear weapons program on the verge of an atomic bomb by as early as 2003... and right before an election where the Iraq War is listed as the top election concern among likely voters."

TigerHawk: "Seems that the New York Times owes Judith Miller an apology. Or at least a hat tip."


Dear Prof. How about, just once, reading the whole article before discussing what it means ? It will be a new experience for you. Try it, you might like it.

Try as I might, I just can't keep up with Reynolds in the quest for the ultimate abyss of idiocy.

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