Oct 7 2003

Times Corrects Iraq Inspections Myth

In the wake of a FAIR action alert, the New York Times printed the following correction on Saturday, October 4:

An article on Wednesday about renewed criticism of the Bush administration for its handling of intelligence before the Iraq war misstated the circumstances under which international weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998. They were withdrawn by the United Nations, not expelled by Saddam Hussein.

Hundreds of FAIR activists wrote to the Times after a recent report (9/29/03) repeated as fact a charge by Secretary of State Colin Powell that weapons inspectors were thrown out of the country in 1998. According to the Times, “Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in a television appearance today, noted that the Iraqi leader threw weapons inspectors out in 1998, making it more difficult for intelligence agencies to get hard information.” In fact, as FAIR’s action alert pointed out, the inspectors were not kicked out, but were removed by team leader Richard Butler right before an American bombing campaign. The Times had corrected the same error three years earlier (2/2/00).

The TV program on which Powell made the false statement, ABC‘s This Week (9/28/03), has yet to correct the error.

FAIR thanks the many activists who took the time to write to the Times about this matter.