In 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell held up a vial and used it as evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. His claim was quickly taken up by the media and became a truth upon which policy and war, was founded.
It was a lie, and acting on that lie had disastrous long-lasting consequences.
In July 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo kick-started a campaign about Xinjiang, basing his allegations on just one source — claims made in German researcher Adrian Zenz’s study of birth rates in Xinjiang. His claim was quickly taken up by the media and has become a truth on which policy is founded — most recently underpinning US sanctions against Xinjiang supply chains.