At the Republican candidates' debate on June 5, White House contender Mitt Romney remarkably claimed that weapons inspectors were barred from entering Iraq before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. But Romney's error was little noted by the mainstream media.
Asked if he thought it was "a mistake for us to invade Iraq," Romney declared the question a "null set," and explained:
"If you're saying let's turn back the clock, and Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors, and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein, therefore, not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn't be in the conflict we're in. But he didn't do those things, and we knew what we knew at the point we made the decision to get in."
Romney's suggestion that weapons inspectors were not permitted into Iraq before the war started is, of course, incorrect. Weapons inspectors from UNMOVIC (the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) returned to Iraq on November 18, 2002. Led by Hans Blix, the inspectors spent months in Iraq, issuing reports on Iraqi compliance that were a crucial part of the debate over whether to invade Iraq.
-- From "Romney's Iraq Gaffe Ignored, GOP contender's bizarre pre-war history" 6/8/07, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting