Media Criticism

The Latest Edition in My Correction Column for New York Times Editorials

By Benjamin Wittes
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 9:43 PM

From my piece Friday on Shaker Aamer: "Aamer was 'cleared for transfer,' after all, and that translates in a lot of people's minds and in a lot of news stories to 'cleared,' which translates in turn in a lot of people's minds to 'innocent.'"

From today's New York Times editorial on Aamer's transfer: "Mr. Aamer has been cleared for release since 2007."

In my capacity as the Times editorial board's unpaid fact checker on national security legal matters, I feel obliged to point out that, as the paper's estimable news staff correctly reported, Mr. Aamer was cleared for transfer in 2009, not 2007: "When the Obama administration took office in 2009, it convened a six-agency task force to review the remaining detainees. It unanimously recommended Mr. Aamer’s transfer."

Don't thank me.