so which "officials" do we believe?
March 7, 2002 2:31 PM   Subscribe

so which "officials" do we believe? is this a final salvo from the "now disbanded" office of military misinformation? i don't know which is spookier the thought of the threat, or the folks in charge getting their "credible" info from some clown in las vegas??
posted by specialk420 (4 comments total)
You got me specialk420... I dunno which is truth or fiction or an actual "credible source" anymore.
posted by dabitch at 3:16 PM on March 7, 2002

Is there any way to answer this question that won't automatically result in further pointless baiting? Just wondering.
posted by clevershark at 3:25 PM on March 7, 2002

Maybe there is....but you don't maybe there isn't
posted by Settle at 3:39 PM on March 7, 2002

If it really were considered credible, it wouldn't have been reported in TIME five months later. What TIME was reporting on was the investigation that was required to determine whether or not the information was credible. TIME was not reporting that there was a nuke. TIME was not reporting that the investigation relied solely on this non-credible source to do anything more than ... investigate it to determine its credibility.

The report by TIME was important because it gives us insight into the mindset of officials last fall. Obviously this report was ultimately discounted. But the process by which such reports are investigated, escalated, and treated at the highest levels is of interest to the public, especially with a suitable distance from the events.

Clearly the time to release this information if you are bent on using it politically to keep the people in fear is at the height of concerns about terror activities, when September 11 is still fresh in the mind, and anthrax is out and about, and the political and diplomatic push for war is on. To release it five months later, after several major public events (New Year's, Superbowl, Olympics...) have passed without incident, after the war has achieved many of its primary objectives, after it is clear that the majority of the public supported and continues to support the war, and especially after investigations on the ground in Afghanistan have been widely reported as indicating that al Qaeda did not actually have anything close to an operational nuke in their arsenal, negates most of its impact. Either we may believe that this was in fact something which briefly concerend those whose jobs it is to be concerned about such matters, and take that at face value (because it is something important to consider); or we are forced to conclude that we employ the most incompetent propagandists since the Soviets airbrushed Trotsky off Lenin's podium.

If you choose to continue to interpret history through the lens of conspiracy, be my guest. But you'll have to put up with my snickering.
posted by dhartung at 4:39 PM on March 7, 2002

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