I've interviewed a lot of old DC politicos and sometimes, they use the word 'Negro.' It was a shock to my young ears to hear someone casually use a long outdated term. But I knew these men are the furthest thing from racists.
With the exception of one poorly-chosen word, it seems to me to fit the classic definition of a "Washington gaffe" -- accidentally speaking a bald truth, and having to immediately apologize for such unseemliness.
It still amazes me how after seven years, the U.S. media is still suckered by what al-Qaeda leaders have to say or preach. Hardly anyone in the Middle East these days pays close attention to their speeches.