Century Marks

Mea culpas: Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke’s apology for the government’s failure to stop the 9/11 attacks has brought mixed reactions: some family members of 9/11 victims were deeply moved, others thought the apology was opportunistic. Another kind of apology has come from Rick Mercier, a columnist for a small newspaper in Fredericksburg, Virginia (Free Lance-Star, March 28). Apologizing for the media’s complicity in the Iraq invasion, Mercier said: “Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell’s performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn’t bring ourselves to hold the administration’s feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered.


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