How to sell a lie

On July 21, 2003, the Post published a front-page gut-wrencher penned by Finn about an Iraqi woman, Jumana Hanna, detailing the tortures and rapes she endured at the hands of Saddam Hussein's evil security forces. The powerful 2,800 word feature, "A Lone Woman Testifies to Iraq's Order of Terror," detailed her ordeal with a mix of heavy pathos and steamy S&M. According to Finn's article, Hanna was arrested for marrying her outside-of-the-tribe lover without state permission, a supposedly serious violation in the evil world of Saddamite misogyny. One torture led to another, and soon, our damsel in distress, a Christian virgin no less, was presented as a gift to none other than Uday Hussein for a violent defloweringt.

This harlequin cliche should have raised doubts, but Finn seemed to relish it, Indeed Finn even describes Uday as "a psychopath and serial rapist" - just in case you didn't catch how neatly his story was coming togther. Uday raped Hanna; her husband eventually arrested, tortured and shot; and Hanna suffered an array of medieval tortures from a variety of instruments in a variety of orifices.

The point was obvious: America had liberated women from misogynist tyranny. As Finn wrote, "Hanna, who agreed to the use of her full name, is just one of hundreds and possibly thousands of women who were tortured and sexually assaulted by the agents of the last government." In response,, proclaimed it "justification alone for Bush's Operation Iraqi Freedom." Who the hell in their right mind ... conservative or liberal, man or woman ... could argue against the morality of the war now?

There was only one problem. Jumana Hanna made the whole thing up.

Read it all here

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