Monday, 22 September 2003

9/11, Terror, Saddam, ad nauseum

Steven Taylor of PoliBlog notes a Wall Street Journal editorial on Iraq’s al-Qaeda ties and the capture of Abu Abbas on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, my friend Scott Huffmon forwards a collection of quotes from administration officials that juxtapose 9/11 with Iraq (Scott therefore wins the longstanding Signifying Nothing “no-prize” for forwarding evidence of the adminstration linking Saddam and 9/11). Perhaps more interesting is the associated article discussing how the public’s belief in a 9/11-Saddam connection came about. Key graf:

A number of public-opinion experts agreed that the public automatically blamed Iraq, just as they would have blamed Libya if a similar attack had occurred in the 1980s. There is good evidence for this: On Sept. 13, 2001, a Time/CNN poll found that 78 percent suspected Hussein’s involvement—even though the administration had not made a connection. The belief remained consistent even as evidence to the contrary emerged.

Or, as I am fond of saying, when it comes to politics, it’s all heuristics.