Monday, November 03, 2003
September 29, 2003
(NOTE: Please see the update to the alert).
On a weekend when the Bush administration's pre-war intelligence on Iraq was a major topic on the Sunday talkshows, Secretary of State Colin Powell re-circulated a false story about United Nations weapons inspectors being kicked out of Iraq in 1998. Some major media outlets let Powell's comments pass without comment or correction.
On ABC's This Week (9/28/03), 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."
The actual history is much different. 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 that began that evening. Neither George Stephanopoulos nor George Will, who conducted ABC's interview, corrected Powell's false assertion...