stranger than fiction

Seems straight out of a John Le Carre novel: Dr. David Kelly, a British scientist and ex-UN inspector who was said to be the main source of the BBC’s reports that Tony Blair exaggerated/obsfuscated/lied about the Iraq threat, has been found dead. Elsewhere, we’re still in Animal House mode, as Bush says that the reason we went to war with Iraq was that “We gave [Saddam] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.”


2 Responses to “stranger than fiction”

  1. Dud Says:

    The Kelly story’s dominating the British media.

    Some time back, this started with a genuinely crucial debate. Did we buy Blair’s line that intelligence reports had informed the decision to back Bush? Or did the cause and effect run counter? Was that support a given far in advance of the actual conflict? And was intelligence used in a partial and selective fashion as a post hoc justification for that support? What was Alistair Campbell, the Labour Party Director of Communication Strategy’s role in all this and why was he involved at all?

    It was a smart tactic on his part to turn the whole thing into a bipartisan squabble between the BBC and the government. As an interested party, the BBC’s reputation for objectivity was undermined; the punters grew bored with line-by-line analysis of the ‘dodgy dossier’; more important issues were denied airtime.

    Now the focus has shifted to Kelly. Who’ll carry the can for his death? The BBC journalist for misrepresenting his source? Or the government/MOD for throwing him to the press? Whichever, the PR fallout may be worse than that incurred by the deaths of 4000+ Iraqi civilians.( see also ‘rate of exchange’ comments beneath the ‘Calling A Spade A Spade’ para).

  2. Dud Says:

    More developments:

    “The BBC has a tape of David Kelly expressing serious concern about how Downing Street made the case for war, the Guardian can reveal.

    Susan Watts, science editor of Newsnight, recorded her conversations with the weapons expert, who killed himself on Thursday.

    In her report she quoted a “source” – now known to be Dr Kelly – suggesting that No 10 was “desperate” for information and had exaggerated “out of all proportion” the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

    The BBC believes the tape is the “smoking gun” that will exonerate Andrew Gilligan, the Today programme correspondent who originally reported the suggestion that No 10 included the 45-minute claim in the September dossier on the case for war “to make it sexier”, against the wishes of the intelligence community.”

    More details at:,13747,1004165,00.html

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