Whopper of the Week: President Bush

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
July 18 2003 4:11 PM

Whopper of the Week: President Bush

Mr. President, it wasn't Saddam who kicked out the U.N. inspectors this last time. It was … um … nevermind.

"[W]e gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region."

President Bush, in a Q and A with reporters after an Oval Office meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, July 14.

"Yesterday [the U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission], the [International] Atomic [Energy] Agency, and myself got information from the United States authorities that it would be prudent not to leave our staff in the [Iraq] region. I have just informed the Council that we will withdraw the UNMOVIC and Atomic Agency inspectors. …"

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U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a Q and A with reporters, announcing the reluctant withdrawal of U.N. inspectors from Iraq, as necessitated by the imminent U.S. invasion, March 17. The inspections had gone on since November 2002, when Saddam Hussein, in deference to the just-passed U.N. Resolution 1441 (and to the United States' quite visible preparations for war) allowed the U.N. inspectors back in. Saddam had kicked U.N. inspectors out--or rather (to be more precise), refused to allow them back in after they'd withdrawn in protest against Iraqi interference--in 1998.

Got a whopper? Send it to chatterbox@slate.com. 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.

Whopper Archive:
July 10, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld
June 27, 2003: Remembering Strom
June 20, 2003: Billy Bulger
May 30, 2003: Ari Fleischer
May 23, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld
May 19, 2003: Un-Whopper: Ari Fleischer Tells Truth!
May 2, 2003: Peggy Cooper Cafritz
April 17, 2003: Eason Jordan
March 7, 2003: John Kerry
Feb. 28, 2003: Ari Fleischer
Feb. 14, 2003: Bill O'Reilly
Feb. 7, 2003: Saddam Hussein
Jan. 31, 2003: Karl Rove
Jan. 23, 2003: Bill Frist
Jan. 17, 2003: Naji Sabri
Jan. 10, 2003: Rod Paige

(Click here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2002 and here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

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