home > archive > 2003 > this article
The BBC gets its man
By Murray Soupcoff
Now let's see if we can put the whole Tony Blair 'sexed-up-intelligence' scandal in perspective. On May 29, the British Broadcasting Corporation's senior anti-war correspondent, Andrew Gilligan, broke an inside story that Tony Blair's government had "sexed up" an intelligence report to Parliament documenting Saddam Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (exaggerating the evidence against Saddam). The damning leak was attributed to an anonymous "senior" intellegence source in the British government.
A storm of outrage descended upon Prime Minister Blair and his alleged American-loving administration for having the audacity to "sex up" an intelligence report."Did they or did they not sex up that intelligence report?" the outraged British left-wing press then demanded, always opposed to any action by the British government that might be interpreted as pro-American or helpful to George W. Bush. "Let us hear the truth from the source."
Well, okay, responded the Blair government. The source was David Kelly, a mid-level government scientist who was not an employee of the intelligence service, nor a senior member of the British bureaucracy, but was a scientific expert on verifying the efforts of dictators like Saddam Hussein to create biological weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Kelly was in turn summoned before a British Parliamentary committee and asked whether he had said what the BBC said he said. And according to Mr. Kelly, he had indeed talked with the BBC reporter in question, but it was impossible for the BBC's Andrew Gilligan to have to made the charge he did, about the Blair government requesting an exaggerated ("sexed-up") intelligence report on Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction, based on the information Mr. Kelly had passed onto the BBC reporter.
Not only that, but friends of Kelly say he strongly believed that Saddam did indeed possess an arsenal of dangerous biological weapons before the Iraq war, but the Americans' tardy post-war efforts to unearth them probably allowed Saddam's minions time to hide them, move them, or destroy them.
In other words, if Andrew Gilligan indeed based his bombshell TV report on the information supplied by David Kelly, Mr. Gilligan was a liar -- the equivalent of the Jayson Blair of the BBC.
However, the BBC would not confirm that Mr. Kelly was indeed the source for their anti-war correspondent's sensational report, although top BBC executives did later imply that David Kelly had failed to be entirely open when he appeared before the Parliamentary subcommittee. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge...say no more.
So Mr. Kelly was left hanging there in limbo land, pilloried by both sides in this tawdry political scandal. And tragically, the pressure got so great, the "betrayed" scientist committed suicide by slashing his wrists.
Only belatedly, after Mr. Kelly had tragically departed this vale of tears, did the BBC reluctantly reveal that its own reporter may well have been the one who sexed up the whole Saddam/Blair intelligence story to portray the Blair government in the worst light possible -- which would be no surprise to anyone who watched the BBC's outrageously biased overage of the Iraq War.
The much-lauded (by Europhile lefties) BBC propaganda authority has now officially confirmed that David Kelly "was the principal source for its controversial report," in the words of the Beeb as it's known to British media aficionados (or the British Pravda as it's referred to by more informed Brits). And some London media sources (including the left-wing Guardian ) are now reporting that Tom Mangold, a former BBC correspondent who was also a very close friend of David Kelly, has accused BBC correspondent Gilligan of "taking the apple Kelly gave him and mixing it with an orange from another source." Further, according to Tom Mangold and other sources close to him, Gilligan's final BBC report "appalled' David Kelly.
Mr. Kelly was indeed "betrayed" as originally charged by the world's hysterical left-wing media. But it seems it was the BBC that did most of the betraying.
So what has the elite media chorus in the U.S. (led by the New York Times) concluded from this sorry tale. Well, that Tony Blair -- the alleged Pinnochio of British politics and brother-in-arms of that lying warmonger George W. Bush -- should resign in disgrace. Just as George W. Bush should be impeached for believing anything that Pinnochio Blair told him.
And what of the BBC and their senior anti-war correspondent? Well, it seems that the American media elite believes that kudos should be passed on to the wretched Brit broadcaster, and its anti-war fantasyist, for having the courage to exaggerate and distort in the name of bringing down that warmonging America lover, Tony Blair (and in the service of indirectly besmirching the reputation of America's commander-in-chief while they were at it). After all, Andrew Gilligan and the BBC were only following in the well-worn 'propaganda-as-journalism' path pioneered by the New York Times and its many superstar fiction writers such as Walter Duranty and Jayson Blair.
Murray Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984'. He also was Executive
Editor of We Compute Magazine for many years, and is now the publisher and
editor of the popular conservative Web site, The
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.