2003-08-02 15:57:03 UTC
advisors lied to him about WMDs for fear of their lives.
That is, they told him what he wanted to hear.
Let's assume that's true. It certainly seems plausible.
By all recent accounts, it sounds like the US had a mole in
Saddam's inner circle. This mole would have heard from these
advisors about the WMDs, but almost certainly could not have
known these reports were all/mostly lies. He dutifully
reports this information back to the US government and
eventually Bush gets ahold of it. He takes it at face value
and uses it to make the case, but obviously can't reveal the
source for fear of compromising such a highly placed spy.
Would it be wrong for Bush to accept such information at
If it does end up that there are no WMDs because these
advisors lied to Saddam, was the war still wrong given
that the mole had no way of knowing these reports were
Is it improper to act upon what you believe to be highly
reliable data, even if, after the fact, it is finally
discovered that data was, in fact, wrong?
Is it better to err on the side of caution and act
decisively, or continue to wait even though waiting
could potentially be deadly (since you don't know in
advance that the information was incorrect)?
To put it another way:
You have what you deem reliable information that says
a lot of people may die soon if you do nothing.
You have the power to stop the threat, assuming it is real.
What do you do?