Worst Predictions

#4

Tommy Franks on Saddam’s WMD

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Franks before the Senate Armed Services committee

Franks before the Senate Armed Services committee

‘There is no doubt.’
Gen. Tommy Franks on the presence of WMD in Iraq, March 22, 2003

I have faith in my government—not in politicians, but in the vast nameless institution that comes to my aid when called, be it for snowplowing or national security. Call me naive, but when Gen. Tommy Franks used the words “there is no doubt” in asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, I believed him. Silly me, I know, but, I was still very much shaken after the events of 9/11 in my beloved New York City. I needed to feel safe and secure. I wanted to believe that the American government could still carry a big stick. But there weren’t any WMDs. It wasn’t that Franks was wrong that bothered me so much, but the fact that we, allegedly the world’s sole superpower, were running a war like a half-assed beauty pageant. And shouldn’t Franks have been worried about that too? Instead, we saw him on Fox News, insisting that “No one was more surprised than I that we didn’t find [WMD].” He’s kidding, right? How on earth can a general speak so blithely of a state of affairs that caused thousands of U.S. soldiers to lose their lives? I still rely on my government, but I will never trust it as much as I did in 2001.

Kelley is a staff writer for NEWSWEEK. Follow her on Twitter

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