Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2003

Coverage lacking

March 13, 2003


To the editor:

The Saturday and Sunday editions of the Journal-World contained no mention of a very important part of the U.N. weapons inspectors' report on Friday. Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that the documents presented by Britain to show that Iraq had shopped for enriched uranium in Africa were fabricated. An unidentified U.S. official acknowledged, "We fell for it."

Further, ElBaradei concluded the Iraqi claim that the infamous aluminum tubes were acquired to make 81 mm conventional rockets was adequately backed up by documents. These tubes were a centerpiece of Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation on Iraqi noncompliance to the U.N. Security Council and have been mentioned in two speeches by President Bush. How do I know this? It was a front-page story in the Kansas City Star on Saturday, March 8.

Perhaps not many Lawrence readers would change their minds based on these developments. It is vital, however, that they have this information to better understand some decisions likely to be made in the Security Council and to judge the passionate recriminations against some of our staunchest allies that are likely to follow in both private and official circles.

It is perhaps more disturbing that I saw nothing on this part of the inspector's report in the evening news coverage on Friday. Is American public opinion being manipulated by selective news coverage?

Paul Enos


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