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by
Patrick Poole

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August 27, 2012 - 5:35 pm

The UK-based News Sniffer is following a developing story at the New York Times. No, the story isn’t progressing, but the Times’ reporting of it.

The story in question is an article published in today’s Times by Steven Erlanger, “France Urges Syrian Opposition to Form New Government“. Since earlier today, the article has undergone at least eight different revisions.

Most notably was a mention in an earlier version that stated the CIA was funneling arms to the Syrian rebels:

The statement by the French president, François Hollande, represented the furthest any Western leader had gone in pressuring the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. While the United States, Britain and other Western countries have called on Mr. Assad to resign and have supported the opposition with nonlethal aid — and American intelligence agents have helped funnel arms to rebel groups — they have not explicitly stated they would recognize a provisional government formed by Mr. Assad’s array of political enemies.

But 35 minutes later any mention of funneling arms by the CIA had been removed and the statement reworked:

The statement by the French president, François Hollande, represented the furthest any Western leader had gone in pressuring the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. While the United States, Britain and other Western countries have called on Mr. Assad to resign and have supported the opposition with nonlethal aid — and American intelligence agents have helped to identify the rebel groups that receive arms — they have not explicitly stated they would recognize a provisional government formed by Mr. Assad’s array of political enemies.

And now it reads (at the time I published this, but no guarantee it won’t change again):

The statements by Mr. Hollande represented the most forceful attempt by the group of Western nations calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster to nudge Syria’s marginalized and often squabbling opposition groupings toward unity.

My, how the Times they are a-changin’.

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Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia. Follow me on Twitter.
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