Six years after the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S., it seems the media still have some educational work to do. A new CBS/New York Times poll reveals that even today, 1 in 3 Americans believe that “Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.”
At first I suspected that the writers at Editor and Publisher were misrepresenting what the actual poll question was, but I found what appears to be the actual results at Polling Report, and apparently it was as quoted above. Here are the results:
I find this so amazing that I have trouble believing that it’s real. Seriously. I honestly don’t think I know one person who believes that Saddam Hussein was directly involved, at least not anyone who has said so. And I would say that, on average, the folks I know are no better or less informed than most other average folks.
I’m reminded of a Zogby poll of US troops in Iraq that I pointed out in early 2006 that included this:
85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”
This goes back to the old debate, and I’ve got to say that I don’t know a single serviceman or servicewoman who thinks we invaded Iraq to retaliate for Saddam’s role in 9/11. Now, I don’t know an awful lot of them, and maybe I know all of them who know that no one said Saddam was involved in 9/11. I find this to be a very, very curious result.
Here is how they got that 85% number, as noted on MO shortly after. It asked respondents to rate a number of possible reasons for invading Iraq:
12. To retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks
2.7%…..(26)….Not a reason
0.2%……(2)….Refused to Answer
This is, as I mentioned previously, quite curious. I know that MO has a fairly substantial number of regular readers who are in the military. While I realize that many are skeptical that Saddam’s Iraq had no ties to Al Qaeda, I’m not aware of any who believe that Iraq was involved (except maybe in the most tangential and incidental way) in 9/11 at all, let alone believe that retaliation for such involvement was a main or major reason for invading Iraq. If you or anyone you know really and truly believes this, I’d be interested in hearing from you. Not to argue. Just to know that there are, in fact, some in the military who feel this way. Because I’m really having trouble swallowing it.
The poll said that 85.3% of respondents thought retaliation against Saddam for 9/11 was a main or major reason for invading Iraq. To this day, no one in the military has told me that they believe this.
If someone out there, military or not, thinks that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks, will you please email me or leave a note in the comments? I’m really having trouble believing that these results are true.