Lets call the whole thing off!
Published on March 13, 2005 By Larry Kuperman In Current Events
Oh, this is just TOO good!

A spelling mistake in the Congressional record, picked up by Al Jazeera and other media, heightened international tensions this week. The error led to the mistaken belief that the US had conducted atomic tests in the Sudan more than 40 years ago and was blamed for causing cancer in that troubled country.

The errant quote went as follows:

"The Sudan test displaced 12 million tons of earth and dug a crater 320 feet deep in (SIC) over 1,000 feet in diameter," reads the transcript, quoting representative Ellen Tauscher."

Except that Ms Tauscher was referring to an operation code-named "SEDAN" (with an "E" not a "U") that took place on July 6, 1962, in Nevada, not Africa! I have the feeling that spell-check was the guilty party. But regardless, it was picked up by the international press and protest lodged. The Sudanese demanded an investigation and blamed the atomic test for cancer rates in that country.

One of the first rules in journalism is to check your facts. Now I understand that the Sudan has many areas that are sparsely populated, but it seems to me that if an atomic bomb was set off in your country, creating a crater of the size referenced above and with an attendant mushroom cloud, SOMEONE might have noticed!


on Mar 14, 2005
While the author has egg on their face, when the truth came out, (as it always eventually will), so did all the scare mongers.  Guess Sudan will have to find another scapegoat for their 'skyrocketing' cancer rates.
on Mar 14, 2005
Wow, good thing Congress doesn't have access to the misspellings in most of the stuff I see each day! I can just hear my 6th grade English teacher saying "See! I told you how important proper grammar and spelling is!"