Sunday, August 15, 2010

Errata and omission by design

In a story on Israel's intent to purchase 20 F-35 fighter jets from the US, Reuters correspondent Dan Williams downplays the Iranian nuclear threat:
Israeli leaders have spoken of arch-foe Iran potentially developing a nuclear weapon by mid-decade, suggesting that the F-35s would not be used for any preventive action, but rather to bolster the country's deterrence...
The F-35 is designed to avoid detection by radar and could play a role in any Israeli effort to knock out what it regards as the threat to its existence posed by Iran's nuclear program. Tehran denies Western and Israeli allegations that it is trying to produce atomic weapons.
Er, even by US estimates, which are considerably more conservative than those of Israel, Iran is only one to three years away from building a nuclear weapon.

For accuracy sake, let's rewrite that last sentence for Williams:
Tehran denies Western, Israeli, and UN allegations that it is trying to produce atomic weapons.
There, that's better.

1 comment:

  1. Actually the word "allegation" is a problem.

    The definition is

    unproved assertion: an assertion, especially relating to wrongdoing or misconduct on somebody's part, that has yet to be proved or supported by evidence
    alleging: the alleging of something, especially wrongdoing
    declaration: an assertion made as a plea or excuse

    Reuters is using the word as in definition 1. However, Israel, the U.S. and even the U.N. (which would prefer to deny it) are stating this based on evidence. Thus, it is a proven accusation.