Kalroy Was Here

Eighth man from Adam, an artificer of metals

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Spin Insanity?

Anyone ever read Spinsanity?


I've read a couple of there things and they seem to try to present things in an unbiased way, but I would caveat that by saying that some of their logic isn't very logical and the following is either spin, or a failure to think things through; a problem I have often.


In their article "More myths, misconceptions and unanswered questions about the war in Iraq" they attempt to answer the question of "Have weapons of mass destruction been found in Iraq?"  They address the existence of mobile biological weapons laboratories with this: "The administration has claimed that two trailers it has found in Iraq were mobile laboratories used to produce biological weapons, but, as the New York Times reported, experts reached this conclusion by ruling out other possible uses of the trucks rather than finding direct evidence of biological weapons or the production of them."


They seem to imply that a jackhammer may not be a jackhammer simply after all other possible uses have been ruled out.  If a biological weapon mobile laboratory has no other possible use then doesn't that show it to be a biological weapons mobile laboratory?  As to the failure to find biological agent on the surfaces of parts of the lab does not mean it wasn't used, or meant to be used, to create biological agent.  In fact when news reports say that labs had been cleaned and sterilized it makes sense that it once held agent, otherwise there would be no reason to decontaminate the laboratory with caustic.  According to Spinsanity's logic the thousands of VX shells sitting in a yard at one of America's chemical agent demil sites weren't once filled with VX since no trace of VX can be found on or in them.  All it takes is chlorine caustic, though in the US we also thermally decontaminate items after surface decon with caustic. 


The Iraqis claim that the labs were mobile hydrogen makers for weather balloons.  This sounds idiotic to me since hydrogen cylinders would be much more portable, far less dangerous and far more cheaper than trying to wheel around a hydrogen production facility.  I mean how many balloons can you fill with a single 2100psi hydrogen cylinder?  Ten cylinders strapped to a pallet on the back of a large pickup would fill more hydrogen balloons than anyone could possibly need.


So, with what I see as faulty logic that anyone who does "little hat, big shirt" work can see (such as myself) Spinsanity concludes that, "Nonetheless, the White House has seized on these findings to support its claims about Iraq's WMD programs before the war."  Okay, I've made it clear that I am not a deep thinker,  and I don't have a college degree, but it is clear to me that their summarizing sentence (on this particular part of the article) is written with bias/spin/attack.


I thought their addressing an Iraq/Al Qaeda connection was okay, but not great. "Nor has it been demonstrated, as we pointed out in a previous column, that Ansar Al-Islam, a extremist group based in Kurdish-controlled Iraq with alleged links to Al Qaeda, had any connection to Saddam Hussein." was a valid statement but they imply that they know for a fact that Ansar Al-Islam was only in Kurdish areas or that they existed at the suffrage of the Kurds.  Worldnet Daily reports that "Ansar al-Islam (Helpers of Islam) emerged shortly after Sept. 11 in northern Iraq and almost immediately declared war on the secular Kurdish parties opposing Saddam's regime." Mullah Krekar says they hate Saddam, but, as has been noted by Bj?rn St?rk he's perfectly willing to say anything to the western media to further his agenda, even when it conflicts with what he tells his Muslim followers (there's a lot of that going around in the world of Islam).  So if they hated Saddam so much why wage war on forces opposing Saddam's regime?  Seems to me their actions speak far louder then their words did.  Sarah Latham of the Telegraph reports  in April (the month before Spinsanity's article) members of Saddam's Republican guard were seen in two Ansar Al-Islam controlled towns and that war material from Jalawla was seen to be unloaded and she seems to think heavier weaponry such as SAMs have been transferred to the area.


So it seems they are correct when they say, "So far, there are tentative indications of contacts between Saddam's regime and representatives of Osama Bin Laden, but no conclusive documentation of direct, high-level Iraqi support of Al Qaeda has been produced."  And they're assertation that their is no connection between Ansar Al-Islam and Saddam Hussein ignores that there are some indication of a connection between Ansar Al-Islam and Saddam Hussein's regime.  So their statement is technically correct, but neglects the connection to Saddam's regime and government.


Kal