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Tuesday, September 30, 2003


The lie that will not die

FAIR is on the case - On December 15, 1998, the head of the U.N. weapons inspection team in Iraq, Richard Butler, released a report accusing Iraq of not fully cooperating with inspections. The next day, Butler withdrew his inspectors from Iraq, in anticipation of a U.S.-British bombing campaign, and that evening, a four-day bombing campaign (using targets specified by some of the inspectors, whose role as spies was later revealed) began, under orders from President Bill Clinton. This history is absolutely undisputable, simple historical fact, easily established by contemporary accounts.

Undisputable, but not undisputed. As noted by FAIR, on ABC's This Week (9/27/03), "Colin Powell explained that the Clinton administration 'conducted a four-day bombing campaign in late 1998 based on the intelligence that he had. That resulted in the weapons inspectors being thrown out.' Neither George Stephanopoulos nor George Will, who conducted ABC's interview, corrected Powell's false assertion. " Compounding the problem, on 9/29 the New York Times "merely repeated Powell's charge: 'Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in a television appearance today, noted that the Iraqi leader threw weapons inspectors out in 1998'." Even more amazingly, FAIR notes that the Times had been forced to run a correction on exactly this subject more than three years ago! As hard as it may be to believe, it appears that the accuracy level of the Times has actually gone down since the firing of Jayson Blair. :-)

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