Jeffrey LewisSafire is a total hack

William Safire is a hack:

Bin Laden was the second outsider to try to influence our election in an ‘October surprise.’ I suspect the first was Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief U.N. arms inspector, said to be miffed at the Bush administration’s refusal to support his bid for an unprecedented third term.

Apart from slandering Dr. ElBaradei, Safire’s claim is simply false. ElBaradei’s immediate predecessors, Hans Blix and Sigvard Eklund, served four and five terms, respectively.

IAEA Directors-General
Name Nationality Term of Office Number of Terms
Mr. Sterling Cole USA 1957-1961 1 term
Dr. Sigvard Eklund Sweden 1961-1981 5 terms
Dr. Hans Blix Sweden 1981-1997 4 terms
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei Egypt 1997-present 2 terms
Source: IAEA

Update/Note: Readers who check sources will note this little nugget about Hans Blix: “Dr. Blix guided the IAEA through several crises — including the temporary withdrawal of the USA from the IAEA at the end of 1982 ….”

Me neither. Looks like a long story involving Israel and the aftermath of the Osiraq bombing. Maybe a post in a couple of days …


  1. dan (History)

    Safire’s right, there’s absolutely no precedent for El Baradei getting a third term. Others have gotten them, but not El Baradei.