William Safire wrote one really great book and a number that are not shabby. (The great book is the one no one reads, “Before The Fall,” his account of the Nixon White House.) Hard to believe it's the same guy who wrote this column, Sarin? What Sarin?.
The column contains the following gem of illogic, purporting to criticize Iraq war defeatists:
… no stockpiles of W.M.D., used to justify the war, were found. With the qualifier “so far” left out, the absence of evidence is taken to be evidence of absence.
Get that? It's wrong to say “no WMD were found”. You have to say, “so far”. Because we know they are out there. And since we KNOW they are out there, it would be quite wrong to take the failure to find them as “evidence” of their not being there at all. Given the intensity of the search, that's almost as illogical as saying 'finding a big stash of WMDs should not be taken as evidence of their presence.”
Although, by this stage, I'd want evidence of provenance if a big stash turned up.