Three Years On: Survey Shows Misinformation on Iraq Endures

By E&P Staff
Published: March 17, 2006 10:15 AM ET

NEW YORK Despite one official finding after another, debunking the involvement of Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, nearly one in four Americans continue to embrace that notion. And nearly 6 in 10 are fairly certain, contrary to most evidence, that Iraq did have WMDs before the war started.

A Gallup poll released today, conducted March 10-12 on a wide range of war-related issues, found that 39% still believe Saddam was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. Shortly before the war began, 51% held that view, but that was before the many official, and media, reports to the contrary. Yet a high number still cling to the view.

Previous surveys have revealed that about the same number or more falsely believe that some of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis.

In a similar vein, Gallup reports today, "Though no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq after the invasion, today 57% of Americans express some degree of certainty that such weapons or programs to develop them were in Iraq just before the fighting began -- 29% feel definite about it, and another 28% think the weapons were there, though they have some doubt." Another 22% say Iraq "might have had" WMDs.

Nevertheless, three years on, the same poll finds that 54% want U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq within a year -- either immediate withdrawal (19%), or withdrawal by March 2007 (35%).

Six in 10 Americans now say going to war was "not worth it." Exactly 50% say the war is not "morally justified," with 47% saying that it is.