Sunday, October 23, 2005

Repeat the lie enough and people will think it is the truth

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - U.S. envoy Karen Hughes on Friday defended Washington's decision to go to war against Iraq in front of a skeptical audience, saying Saddam Hussein had gassed to death "hundreds of thousands" of his own people. A State Department official later said she misspoke about the number.

Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, made the comment before a group of Indonesian students who repeatedly attacked her about Washington's original rationale for the war, Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. No such arms were ever discovered.

"The consensus of the world intelligence community was that Saddam was a very dangerous threat," Hughes said days after the ousted dictator went on trial in Baghdad on charges of murder and torture in a 1982 massacre of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail.

"After all, he had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people," she told a small auditorium with around 100 students. "He had murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people using poison gas."

Hughes twice repeated the statement after being challenged by journalists. A State Department official later called The Associated Press to say she misspoke. The official, who was traveling with Hughes, spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to talk publicly to the media.

Hughes, a longtime adviser to President Bush, was visiting the world's most populous Muslim nation as part of Washington's effort to enhance the U.S. image abroad.

Students from Indonesia's oldest Muslim university pounded her with questions on U.S. foreign policy, in particular the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and Washington's support of Israel.

One said the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks should be taken as a warning to America for interfering in the affairs of other countries.

"Your policies are creating hostilities among Muslims," a female student, Lailatul Qadar, told Hughes. "It's Bush in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and maybe it's going to be in Indonesia, I don't know. Who's the terrorist? Bush or us Muslims?"

Hughes, who has also faced tough questions in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey since taking up her post two months ago, said she was not surprised by the level of hostility.

"I understand that there are a lot of young people around the world, and a lot of people in our own country, who don't agree with what we did in Iraq," she told reporters. "We have to engage in the debate. That is what America is all about."

Anybody still wonder why 75 % of americans thought saddam was responsible for sept the 11th ? This is an adviser of the president and she believes Saddam gassed "hundreds of thousands" of his people !

for those of us that live in the real world the number is just under 5000

But what does the truth and evidence matter when you have a political agenda to hype up

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