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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show
"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket
"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming
April 28, 2005
And When I Say None, I Mean There Is A Certain Amount, More Than We Are Prepared To Admit
As the British elections approach, Tony Blair is getting irritated by claims that he lied about Iraq, and recently went on TV to say this:
"I have never told a lie. No. I don't intend to go telling lies to people. I did not lie over Iraq."
Blair then added:
"... may I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none."
Ah, so funny! Seriously, though, Blair of course lied about Iraq approximately seven million times. For instance, here he is on March 2, 2003:
As I have said, the UN inspectors found no trace at all of Saddam's offensive biological weapons programmeÃ¢â‚¬â€which, of course, he claimed didn't existÃ¢â‚¬â€until his lies were revealed by his own son-in-law. Only then did the inspectors find over 8,000 litres of concentrated anthrax and other biological weapons and a factory to make more.
This is a particularly impressive effort on Blair's part because it includes more lies than there are sentences.
1. UNSCOM had suspected Iraq had an offensive biological weapons program almost from the day inspectors arrived in Iraq. Under pressure from UNSCOM, Iraq admitted to this on July 1, 1995. Hussein Kamel, the Saddam son-in-law to which Blair refers, defected on August 8, 1995. (These dates are available on a State Department timeline.)
Blair told this lie because he wanted people to think inspections could only be effective with help from defectors like Kamel.
2. Inspectors never found "over 8,000 litres of concentrated anthrax and other biological weapons"Ã¢â‚¬â€because Iraq had secretly destroyed them in 1991.
Blair told this lie because he wanted people to think Iraq could successfully hide WMD from UNSCOM, when in fact it never had. (Amusingly, on an earlier occasion Blair angrily denounced Saddam for not providing proof Iraq had destroyed the anthrax he now said had been found by UNSCOM.)
3. UNSCOM had long been aware of the factory (at Al-Hakam) to which Blair refers. The first inspection of Al-Hakam took place in September, 1991. Because of UNSCOM's suspicions, it was placed under continuous monitoring. While it had been used in Iraq's biological weapons program before the Gulf War, since 1991 it had been used only for civilian purposes.
Blair told this lie because he wanted people to think Iraq could successfully hide an entire weapons factory from UN inspections.