"Those who refer our tragedies today to the United Nations so that they can be resolved are hypocrites who deceive God, His Prophet and the believers. … Under no circumstances should any Muslim or sane person resort to the United Nations. The United Nations is nothing but a tool of crime."
— Osama Bin Laden in his second post-9/11 propaganda videotape, aired by Al-Jazeera on Nov. 3. Text courtesy of the BBC.
"The Afghan Islamic Press, often the voice of the Taliban, reported that some of the [al-Qaida] fighters were demanding that they be turned over to the United Nations [italics Chatterbox's], with diplomats from their home countries present."
—John Kifner, "Heavy Bombing Resumes After Second Cease-Fire Breakdown," in the Dec. 13 New York Times.
Discussion: Chatterbox will concede that "the United Nations is nothing but a tool of crime," however vile and wrong-headed a statement, constitutes opinion rather than fact. Surely, though, there is a point at which a person's actions contradict his stated opinion so cravenly that the opinion becomes a lie. It's true that Bin Laden himself hasn't yet begged to be turned over to the U.N., but Chatterbox considers those fighting his last battle to be appropriate proxies.
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Dec. 7, 2001: Henry Kissinger
Nov. 30, 2001: Council on American-Islamic Relations
Nov. 23, 2001: Bud Selig
Nov. 16, 2001: Sara Jane Olson
Nov. 9, 2001: Donald Rumsfeld (item includes retraction)
Nov. 2, 2001: Dick Armey
Oct. 26, 2001: Gale Norton
Oct. 19, 2001: State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker
Oct. 12, 2001: Clarence Thomas
Oct. 5, 2001: Abdul Salam Zaeef
Sept. 27, 2001: Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and Dick Cheney
Sept. 20, 2001: Larry C. Johnson
Sept. 13, 2001: Yasser Arafat
Sept. 7, 2001: Tommy Thompson
Aug. 30, 2001: HHS spokesman Bill Pierce
Aug. 23, 2001: Variety Editor Peter Bart
Aug. 17, 2001: Tom Daschle
Aug 10, 2001: Robert Mueller
Aug. 3, 2001: Barbara Olson
July 27, 2001: Jeffrey Archer
July 20, 2001: George W. Bush
July 13, 2001: George W. Bush
July 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone
June 29, 2001: David Brock
June 22, 2001: Edmund Morris
June 15, 2001: George W. Bush
June 8, 2001: Nepali Prince Regent (subsequently, King) Gyanendra
June 1, 2001: Mary McGrory
May 25, 2001: Ari Fleischer
May 18, 2001: York, Pa., Mayor Charles Robertson
May 11, 2001: Ted Olson
May 4, 2001: Rear Adm. Craig Quigley
April 27, 2001: Ben Affleck
April 20, 2001: South Carolina state legislator Chip Limehouse
April 13, 2001: Gray Davis
April 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone
March 30, 2001: Spencer Abraham
March 23, 2001: George W. Bush, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and/or the Treasury Department
March 16, 2001: George W. Bush
March 9, 2001: Russ Freyman, spokesman, National Association of Manufacturers
March 2, 2001: Paul O'Neill
Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik
Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney
Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson
Jan. 26, 2001: Denise Rich
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Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.