Host Ira Glass tells the story of a report by the U.S. intelligence community back in October 2002 that declared that the likelihood of Saddam Hussein using weapons of massive destruction was very low for the "foreseeable future"...unless the U.S. were to launch a military attack on Iraq. In other words, the war to stop him from using weapons of mass destruction would probably cause the thing it was designed to prevent.
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Ira speaks with Gordon Jondroe of the newly-created Department of Homeland Security, trying to get answers to Senator Graham's questions. It doesn't go so well.
It's possible that the most compelling arguments against the war with Iraq, and the most compelling arguments for the war with Iraq, are arguments you've never heard. Ira talks with journalist Nicholas Lemann from The New Yorker magazine about two ways of seeing the war: The so-called Hawks' view, and the so-called Realists' view.
While we all may have nagging fears about the war against terror or the war against Iraq, we all have a lot of other things on our minds. We hear 19 eighth-graders' letters to the President, as collected by their teacher, Britt Honeycutt, in rural North Carolina.
Sal Princiatta is a New York fireman whose unit lost a lot of men on September 11th. Beth Landau was a friend of Sal's, and a couple months ago, she orchestrated a trip to Memphis for Sal and the other guys at the firehouse.
Reporter Jon Ronson tells the story of how, in the immediate wake of September 11, he became convinced that a man he'd done a story on was responsible for the Anthrax attacks in America. So he did something he'd never done before, he ratted out his source to the FBI.
Alex Blumberg talks with sailor Prevon Scott, who stocks vending machines on the Stennis.