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Weighing Powell's Evidence


Despite the photos and documents that Secretary of State Colin Powell unveiled at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5, BusinessWeek Online readers continue to be divided over the question of whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction -- and whether the U.S. should attack that country to unseat dictator Saddam Hussein. Those are the findings of our Feb. 6 Reader Survey.

Of the nearly 900 readers who participated in the survey, 96% said they're aware of the evidence Secretary Powell presented.

Even so, a large percentage of those who responded weren't entirely swayed by his presentation. In fact, 43% of those who replied remain unconvinced that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, vs. the 33% who are totally convinced that he does. About 20% are somewhat convinced, now that Secretary Powell has spoken.

The majority of those who participated -- 60% -- think the Bush Administration still hasn't made a persuasive case that the U.S. should attack Iraq, vs. the 31% who think it has. Here are the detailed results of the survey, which as always was unscientific since anyone who wished to could participate:

Are you aware of what Colin Powell said at the U.N.?

Option

Total

%

Yes

835

95.98 %

No

35

4.02 %

Based on the tape recordings and photos Secretary Powell cited, plus his own comments, are you:

Option

Total

%

Totally convinced that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction

289

33.07 %

Somewhat convinced

171

19.57 %

Unconvinced

375

42.91 %

Not sure

39

4.46 %

Based on the evidence that Secretary Powell provided, do you think that the U.S. should attack Iraq?

Option

Total

%

Yes

273

31.31 %

No

523

59.98 %

Not sure

76

8.72 %


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