Mass graves: yet more lies (ho hum)

A few months ago, this would have been shocking; now it seems barely newsworthy. But here you go:

Bush also repeated this one, with added details:

Does this matter? Of course it matters. It matters in two ways:

  1. Once again, it’s a lie. And not about what they expected to find, but a lie about what they had already found. Either you’ve found the remains of hundreds of thousands of bodies, or you haven’t. But to turn the discovery of a few thousand bodies into that of a few hundred thousand bodies…OK, we can’t trust you. Again.

  2. Nobody’s claiming that Saddam wasn’t a ruthless, evil dictator. He was. But the scale of that depravity matters, in terms of justifying our intervention on humanitarian grounds. Everybody knows the US isn’t going to invade any country whose head of state has the blood of a few thousand of his citizens on his hands. So it’s important to get the facts right.

This ‘it’s OK to exaggerate how evil this week’s Evilbadguy is, because he’s evil and we’ve got to rally America to act against him’ is for the birds. How many people Evilbadguy can be expected to kill next year if we don’t invade, is indeed part of the equation. And we’re going to have ‘collateral damage’ (our nice word for killing innocent civilians) when we invade, so there’s got to be a significant amount of daylight between the numbers of people we’re rescuing, and the numbers of people we’re accidentally killing, otherwise there’s no humanitarian argument.

Lies. I’m just tired of all the lies.

At least Blair’s owned up to what he said. Bush hasn’t yet, and Scotty’s been doing his usual fancy footwork there to avoid having to say diddly about it, no matter how the question’s phrased.

I would say unfuckingbelievable but to be honest this shit just doesn’t really surprise me anymore.

Pack of lying weasling cunts.

Just yesterday on television I heard a legislator say “almost a million” bodies had been found. Here on the SDMB, someone said "over a million Iraqis had been killed.

Of course the slaughter is horrible no matter what the number. I am grateful that the number may be so much lower.

Wouldn’t it be horrible if we have been responsible for more deaths than Saddam Hussein?

No, it really doesn’t. Both Bush and Blair’s governments have been built on a foundation of spin, deceit and outright lies. We can’t expect them to tell the truth about anything anymore.

I wonder how long it’ll be before they start telling us about production of shoelaces exceeding expectations?

Yes it would, but given George and Tony’s hamfisted “tactics”, it really wouldn’t surprise me.

Fuck’s sake.



This should be HUGE but it will be overlooked by the vast majority of people.

I also hope it doesn’t make people think Saddam was less of an ogre, but just perhaps not as genocidal as has been made out.


Somehow, “lie” became redefined while I wasn’t looking.

From the linked article:

I mean, did Lorentz uncover a lie by Newton? Is every untrue assertion a lie nowadays?

When someone who knows that a “fact” is actually supposition, speculation or estimation, yet presents is as a solid truth (45 minutes, anyone?) in order to further their aims, I believe it’s reasonable to call them a liar.

But then isn’t it the “local people” mentioned in RT’s article who lied?

The “local people” weren’t advancing a war, Liberal. Also, they were possibly traumatised by the deaths of loved ones. Stop being so obtuse - spin is spin.

Obtuse? Well, right back atcha. I’m not defending Blair. I’m tyring to ascertain whether by “lie”, we mean any and all untrue statements. Spin indeed.

Tyring indeed :wink:

Dammit! That means I lied! :smack: :smiley:

Depends if on is called Monty or not. :wink:

Lib, pardon me for saying so, but you’re the epitome of the egghead who’s too dumb to tie his shoelaces.

All of your quoted stuff comes down to: Blair took ‘estimates of estimates of circumstantial information’ and turned them into “We’ve already discovered…the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.”

How is that not a lie?

If you can’t see the enormous difference between one and the other, I feel sorry for you.

So do people really expect politicians to use error bars when speaking publicly?

I mean I’d like it, but I might be in the minority.

for those of us south of the border, what’s an ‘error bar’?

While I’m aware that politicians routinely shade the truth for their advantage, I expect what they say to at least bear some casual resemblance to the truth. And if they took locals’ stories, turned them into estimates, and added up the estimates without any real checking, that’s as big a difference from saying “We found…” as 400,000 is from 5,000.

And Bush, with his “children clutching their little toys” remark which makes it sound like our people - reliable people - observed the mass graves in question with their own eyes, shouldn’t get off scot-free either.

Why, thank you! That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me. :slight_smile:

Error bars are used in the physical sciences to take into account that you can never measure precisely.

For instance say there were 100 +/- 20 sites (80-120 would be the estimate)
Now say that people tell you anywhere between 1000-9000 people are buried in each site. Lets call that 5000+/- 4000

See the range of potentials here?
120 sites at 9,000 give 1.08 million
80 sites at 9,000 give 720,000
120 sites at 1,000 give 120,000
80 sites at 1,000 give 80,000

If you take the 100 sites at 5000 dead you wind up with 500,000 dead in mass murder graves.

Now try to phrase that for a news conference where you’re trying to justify a war. You’d hope that the person would say “To date we estimate anywhere between 80,000 and 1.08 million dead in mass graves with the actual number likely near 500,000.” The press (and public) doesn’t really seem to like nuanced answers. They’d flay the guy alive for not knowing.

Let me see if I have this straight…

Bush and Blair on reasons to go to war and kill tens of thousands of people: “Untrue assertions”

Michael Moore on, well, just about everything: “Lie”
Ok, got it.
Equi (beginning to suffer outrage fatigue)

You’ve got something, I guess, but it isn’t a good memory. In that thread, I cited the fact that there were two definitions for “lie”, and that Moore fits the one that says, “To convey a false image or impression”.