NPR's All Things Considered asked a number of people around the country "whether it matter if weapons of mass destruction are found in Iraq". Reporter Tom Goldman in Portland, OR interviewed fantasy novelist Ursula LeGuin and a group of her friends, whom Goldman described as "against the war in Iraq, well-read and politically aware".
Leguin: If it was a lie, if it was a lie of exaggeration, if it was wishful thinking, all that, that's very bad news for our democracy.(an aside: Ursula Leguin recently spoke out against the Patriotic Act
What do attacks on freedom of speech and writing mean to a writer? It means that somebody's there with a big plug they're trying to fit in your mouth and big plugs they're trying to fit in the ears of the people. Bad news again.Was that a lie of exaggeration about the Patriotic Act? You be the judge).
Back to the NPR interview with LeGuin and her guests. There are no "if"s for book publisher Ruth Gundle. She says the administration already has lied about the weapons.
Gundle: We were not just told that they believed they were there. We were told that they knew for a fact that they were there.It's interesting that this was the only example NPR came up with to support Gundle's claim. Rumsfeld's statement was not before the war while the administration was trying to build public and congressional support. It was made while the war was already underway. It's also an uncharacteristic mistake for Rumsfeld, who was normally more guarded about possible weapons discoveries. And there is absolutely no evidence that this or any other administration statement was a "lie" and not due to, say, faulty intelligence, or even correct but dated intelligence.
Several others interrupting: That's right
Gundle: In fact Rumsfeld actually said where they were.
Goldman: On March 30 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said [on ABC's This Week] there were weapons of mass destruction in the areas around Tikrit and Baghdad.
UPDATE Another example of Ursula LeGuin's own exaggerations in the service of, uh, democracy: In a statement opposing Oregon's Measure 87 (Nov. 2000) which would have permitted local governments to zone (but not censor) sexually oriented businesses, LeGuin wrote:
If Measure 87 is approved, instead of deciding for ourselves what we want to read, see and hear, the politicians will make those decisions for us.Now that's what I call fantasy.