Update: ABC pulls then revises story saying US could stay in Iraq up to ten more years
ABC News pulled a story alleging that they had discovered US plans to keep troops in Iraq beyond 2009 Saturday, then replaced it later in the day with an article emphasizing a plan to begin pullout in early 2008.
The original story, "ABC News Learns of Plans to Keep Troops in Iraq Beyond 2009," posted around 8 pm Friday, was gone by Saturday morning. The link listed in Google News took users to a default page not found.
Sometime on Saturday, however, ABC replaced the story with a second revised piece, "Troop Drawdown by February 2008? Two Plans Set Forth."
Both versions contained much of the same language. However, the piece posted Saturday seems to have changed the focus of the story from a planned pullout to a planned attempt to keep troops in the region for another five to ten years.
According to both articles, officials said 50,000 troops could remain for '5 to 10 years' beyond 2009.
The original article began, "U.S. officials tell ABC News that the troop levels in Iraq cannot be maintained at the present level, either politically or practically, with the military stretched so thin."
The new article begins, "The current U.S. emphasis may be on the surge in Iraq, but there are plans to start drawing down U.S. forces by the beginning of 2008, according to senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the planning."
The original headline remains in Google News as: "ABC News Learns of Plans to Keep Troops in Iraq Beyond 2009."
Also of note is that the section dealing with a plan to keep troops in Iraq for up to a decade is now six paragraphs down as opposed to four, and continues onto a second page.
ABC could not immediately be reached for comment.
The reframed ABC article can be accessed at this link. The original article can be read at AMERICAblog. A photo of the cache file is here.