Whopper of the Week: Hiro Ueki
What's your definition of "unannounced"?
"The inspectors arrive unannounced."
—Hiro Ueki, spokesman for the U.N. weapons inspection team in Baghdad, quoted in "UN Inspections Hit First Controversy; US Envoys Head To Europe," Agence France-Presse, Dec. 1.
"Um Al Maarik Company, which the [U.N. inspection team] visited today, was notified by the IAEA team in advance[italics Chatterbox's] that two of their technicians would review the status of the remaining video surveillance. Al Qa Qaa Company, which the IAEA team visited, was also requested on Thursday afternoon to provide assistance to facilitate removal of sampler. This type of advance notification [italics Chatterbox's] is sometimes given to facilitate their work on monitoring equipment. It happened to the above two cases. Except for these types of cases, our inspection teams do not provide advance warning to the Iraqi side, as we have emphasized time and again."
—Ueki's subsequent clarification, issued after an Iraqi official admitted the U.N. team had provided advance notice to the two inspection sites.
(Thanks to Eugene Volokh.)
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.
Nov. 29, 2002: Egan Acres Tree Farm
Nov. 22, 2002: Dr. Janet Travell
Nov. 16, 2002: Fox News
Nov. 15, 2002: Manhattan's 92nd Street Y
Nov. 8, 2002: William Webster
Nov. 1, 2002: Harvey Pitt
Oct. 25, 2002: George W. Bush
Oct. 18, 2002: North Korea
Oct. 11, 2002: Michael Bloomberg
Sept. 27, 2002: Rep. Tom Tancredo
Sept. 13, 2002: Al-Muhajiroun
Sept. 6, 2002: National Republican Congressional Committee
Aug. 29, 2002: Eddie Joe Lloyd
Aug. 22, 2002: Larry Klayman
Aug. 2, 2002: Al Gore
July 26, 2002: Princeton admissions dean Stephen LeMenager
July 19, 2002: James Traficant
July 12, 2002: Maryland Lt. Gov. candidate Michael S. Steele
July 5, 2002: Hesham Mohamed Hadayet
June 28, 2002: WorldCom
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June 14, 2002: Tom Ridge
June 7, 2002: Former FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy
May 31, 2002: Ari Fleischer
May 23, 2002: Condoleezza Rice
May 17, 2002: Robert Mueller
May 9, 2002: Karl Rove
May 3, 2002: Gen. Richard Myers
April 25, 2002: Donald Rumsfeld
April 18, 2002: George W. Bush
April 11, 2002: The Rev. Robert J. Banks, archdiocese of Boston
April 5, 2002: George W. Bush
March 29, 2002: Major League Baseball
March 21, 2002: Billy Graham
March 14, 2002: INS commissioner James W. Ziglar
March 8, 2002: Robert Zoellick and the U.S. steel industry
Feb. 28, 2002: Al Sharpton
Feb. 22, 2002: Olympic skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne
Feb. 14, 2002: Kenneth Lay
Feb. 8, 2002: Enron spokeswoman Peggy Mahoney
Jan. 31, 2002: Monsanto
Jan. 24, 2002: Linda Chavez
Jan. 17, 2002: George W. Bush
Jan. 10, 2002: Simon & Schuster
Jan. 4, 2002: The Associated Press
(Click here to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.