“There’s nothing new here. There might be some weapons left over from ’91, but there’s nothing else here.” So went my last conversation with Boston Globe reporter Elizabeth Neuffer when she called from Iraq a few days before her death 10 years ago today. Those words are haunting, not just because she was right, but because she was drowned out by those louder reporters who believed what they didn’t see, who were led by those who wanted a war, and who didn’t question the motives of their sources.
Before she even left for Iraq, Elizabeth was writing furiously about how uncertain the reporting was and how there was no reason to be in Iraq. She had covered the first Iraq war, so knew the lay of the land. In the most ironic gesture, she promised her family she would not to go until the war was over; “Mission Accomplished” became the reason she could go. As we know the mission was hardly accomplished, nor was it even the right mission.