Mr. Saeed Shabazz, International Staff Writer for The Final Call newspaper, wrote an article in our March 23, 2004 edition, which falsely reported an interview that he did not conduct, invented facts not in existence, and plagiarized another writer’s work. In Vol. 23, Number 25, with the front page cover: “Iraq One Year Later, Resistance continues,” we ran on pages 3 and 31 a lead story entitled “Iraq a year later: A constitution signed”, written by Mr. Shabazz. The story’s subject was an analysis of the issues surrounding the signing of the Iraqi Interim Constitution.
The basis of the writer’s analysis was an extensive interview with a Mr. James Conachy, who he reported was in attendance at a Socialist Scholars Conference in New York City, March 12-14, 2004. The writer also reported that Mr. Conachy was affiliated with a Canada-based Center for Research on Globalization. The writer then begins to give several quotes in the article regarding the Iraqi Interim Constitution that he reported were made by Mr. Conachy during the interview. All of this was an invention and fabrication by the writer.
We have learned that Mr. Conachy was not at the conference, nor did he conduct an interview with the writer for this story. We have also learned that Mr. Conachy, according to a World Socialist Website (“WSWS”) representative is not affiliated with the Canada-based Center for Research on Globalization. Mr. Conachy is in fact a member of the WSWS editorial staff.
As a result of a communication we received from the WSWS representative, we investigated their assertion that our writer had engaged in an unauthorized copying of material from the World Socialist Website without giving proper attribution to WSWS or its writer Mr. Conachy as the sources. We found that their assertions were true.
Our writer copied several passages from an article written by Mr. James Conachy dated March 13, 2004 entitled, “Iraq’s Illegitimate Interim Constitution,” which was posted on the World Socialist Website at
We apologize to the World Socialist Website and the author, Mr. James Conachy, and to our readers for this deception. The Final Call, for over 25 years, has built and established a reputation for being an Organ of Truth that all who read it can rely on the truthfulness of its contents.
Our news organ was established on the principle that our writers will search for the truth and print the truth. This principle and policy of our newspaper has been violated. For this reason, the writer has been suspended pending further investigation.
We will continue to work stridently to ensure that the principles of truth in reporting will be upheld in our newspaper.