Oops! San Francisco Chronicle's Anti-Crocker Story Is a Crock

An Iraqi newspaper Aswat al-Iraq catches The San Francisco Chronicle publishing a bogus report on Ambassador Crocker!

The San Francisco Chronicle published a report Friday claiming that U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, pressured the United Nations to hold up on the release of a report critical of the situation in Iraq:

The first draft of the U.N. report was completed in August, but the United Nations delayed releasing the final version for more than a month following a request by the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, according to a senior U.N. official.

Crocker insisted that Iraq be given time to respond to the allegations, the account said; the United States then prepared critical assessments of the U.N. investigation that were included in the final report.

However… It took the Iraqi news service Aswat al-Iraq a phone call to find out the story was bogus:

Baghdad, Oct 13, (VOI) – A media spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) rejected a news report published by an American newspaper claiming interference from U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad Ryan Crocker to delay the release of a UN report warning of an “ever-deepening humanitarian crisis” in Iraq.

“News about the U.S. envoy’s interference to put off the release of the UNAMI’s periodic report is false,” Saeed Oraikat told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by phone, providing no further information, but indicating that a statement will be released later to explain the details.

Citing a senior UN official, the U.S. San Francisco Chronicle said in its Saturday issue that the United Nations delayed releasing the final version of the report for more than a month at Crocker’s request. The report outlined a serious humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country, “with thousands of people driven from their homes each month, continuing indiscriminate killings and ‘routine torture’ in Iraqi prisons,” the newspaper explained.

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