The story of the human shredders used by Saddam has been conveniently forgotten by those who still insist that “everyone thought Saddam had WMD”. Even John Howard cynically used it to create a case for supporting the invasion. Like the bogus story about newly born babies in Kuwait being pulled out of incubators by Iraqi troops and left to die, this story convinced many to support the invasion of Iraq.
The story began with British Labour MP Ann Clwyd.
Three days before the invasion, Clwyd spoke in the House of Commons and described how male prisoners in Iraq were dropped into a machine “designed for shredding plastic,” and their minced remains were “placed in plastic bags” and later used as “fish food.” She alleged that sometimes, the victims were dropped in the machines feet-first so they could briefly view their own mutilation before death.
Like all the propaganda that was used to sell the war, the story fell apart under scrutiny. Fortunately for Clwyd, this was another occasion where the mainstream media failed to do their job and investigate this report.
When Ann Clwyd was asked about her sources of information, she said that she had interviewed an Iraqi in northern Iraq. She was eventually asked who the person was and if he was telling the truth. Clwyd told journalist Brendan O’Neill of The Spectator, “We heard it from a victim; we heard it and we believed it.” When O’Neill asked her if anything was done to check the victim’s statement against other witness statements or other evidence for a shredding machine, she replied, “Well, no.”
Like the missing WMD’s, the story was subsequently exposed as a fraud, but as with all the lies that were used to sell the war, no one was held accountable and most importantly (as far as the war party is concerned), the lie produced the desired result and has been largely forgotten by the public.