Paul Krugman lies about William Krar.
In Tuesday’s New York Times, Paul Krugman rants like a mad lunatic about a guy named William Krar who plead guilty in November, 2003 to one count of Possessing a Dangerous Chemical Weapon.
Krugman wants you to think that there is some kind of big cover-up, and that John Ashcroft is ignoring the huge problem of domestic terrorism and only focusing on the much smaller problem of Islamic terrorism.
The problem is that there isn’t any evidence that this guy is anything but a nutty survivalist who likes to stockpile a bunch of weapons just in case the country goes into civil disorder. According to CNN.com, “investigators said they were unable to determine exactly what he intended to do with the arsenal.” (link) For the guy to be a “terrorist,” he has to be part of an organization and have actual plans to commit terrorist acts. There is none of that in this story. No plans, and no organization except one friend he had in New Jersey.
Apparently, the FBI did an extensive investigation and didn’t find anything. The article at CNN says, “The findings led to one of the most extensive investigations of domestic terrorism since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.” After this big extensive investigation, the only people convicted of any crimes are William Klar, his friend form New Jersey, and his common-law wife.
Meanwhile Krugman’s article contains an outright lie. Krugman writes:
In April 2003, John Ashcroft's Justice Department disrupted what appears to have been a horrifying terrorist plot. In the small town of Noonday, Tex., F.B.I. agents discovered a weapons cache containing fully automatic machine guns, remote-controlled explosive devices disguised as briefcases, 60 pipe bombs and a chemical weapon — a cyanide bomb — big enough to kill everyone in a 30,000-square-foot building.”
As I said, there was no evidence of any “horrifying plot,” but that I’ll just call puffing. The lie is that Paul Krugman says the FBI found a “chemical weapon—a cyanide bomb”. According to the actual DOJ/FBI press release, there was no cyanide bomb. What was found was sodium cyanide, plus other chemicals that might be mixed with it to create cyanide gas. According to CNN, there were “nearly two pounds of almost pure sodium cyanide.” By itself, powdered sodium cyanide just sits there and isn’t that deadly unless you eat it. Sodium cyanide by itself is not a bomb. When chemical precursors to bombs were found in Iraq, liberals like Krugman laughed and said “ha ha this doesn’t count as chemical weapons.” What hypocrisy from the liberal left!
I sent the following email to the New York Times asking for a correction:
To Whom It May Concern:
In Paul Krugman's column of June 22, Paul Krugman writes that the FBI discovered a "cyanide bomb" in the possession of a William Klar. He mentions this "bomb" three times in his column.
But based on the press release from the Department of Justice, Klar had in his posession the compound sodium cyanide, as well as other chemicals that could have been used to create dangerous cyanide gas with it, but there is nothing about him having an actual cyanide bomb in his possession.
This is the URL of the Department of Justice press release:
And according to news reports I've read in other news publications, Klar had 800 grams of pure sodium cyanide, but there is nothing in these reports about there being a cyanide or other chemical bomb. Sodium cyanide by itself doesn't explode.
I think that this is an extremely important distinction that should be corrected.
posted Thursday, June 24, 2004