Archive for the ‘It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!’ Category

The Sun newspaper, in case you’re not aware, is the British Murdoch-owned tabloid that helped Blair’s government push the 45-minute WMD lie (even suggesting at one stage that they could have been deployed in 30 minutes), dedicated more column inches to a Labrador puppy thrown off an overpass than they did to the Abu Ghraib scandal, and endorsed Tony Blair on the eve of the post-Iraq general election by declaring that he had quite an enormous penis.

One thing not a lot of people have noticed about the Sun newspaper is how editor Rebekah Wade has, since mid-2003, integrated editorial content into the topless-model feature on Page 3.

An article I wrote about this a few years ago provides some background, and there are many, many recent examples listed here in this category at Bloggerheads, but the short version is as follows:

For many years before 2003, there used to be a short bio alongside each model; just enough information to allow the reader potential masturbator to become (ahem) familiar with the model. Now, there is an editorial on most days that comes from the editor of the newspaper but is presented as the model’s own opinion; the upshot of this is that the reader potential masturbator – on a conscious or subconscious level – needs to align himself with a political view before he can imagine shagging the model (unless of course he opts for the masturbatory version of a grudge-fuck).

My entry for the 5-years-on Iraq War blogstorm is a run-down of the most audacious war-related editorials to be fed to the public via these topless models in the 18 months following the invasion of Iraq.

The post would be too top-heavy if I included scans for all of these examples, but rest assured that they are all entirely genuine and unaltered. All of the text below in red has been quoted verbatim, and each example was published/presented as the opinion of a topless model:

– | –

Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

Circumstances: The opening hearings of The Hutton Inquiry have just taken place.

Nicola T has been following the Hutton Inquiry into the death of government scientist David Kelly. She says: “The only clear thing about the inquiry is that someone is lying. Whether it’s politicians or the BBC, it is very worrying. I just hope we get to the bottom of it soon and find out the truth.”

– | –

Date: Friday, October 24, 2003

Circumstances: George Galloway has just been expelled from the Labour Party following his criticism of the Iraq war.

Joanne reckons George Galloway deserved to get the boot from Labour yesterday. She said: “He’s a disgrace. I couldn’t believe how he betrayed Our Boys during the war. They were laying down their lives and he was urging the Iraqis to rise up and kill them. He’s a traitor. I’d boot him out of the country, too.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Circumstances: George W Bush makes his controversial visit to the UK. The only British newspaper to get an interview is the Sun. The Washington Post reports that this was done “on the recommendation of Tony Blair” and that “officials at the White House acknowledge that it was a reward to the Sun for its unstinting support of the United States regarding the war in Iraq.” The interview appears on Monday the 17th, in a rare edition that does not include a topless model on Page 3. The next day, Page 3 is back… and backing Bush.

Page 3 Idol Krystle says President Bush’s visit is a boost for Britain. She adds: “He is the most powerful man in the world and it’s nice to welcome him to this country. I think his first state visit will symbolise America’s special relationship with us. I hope he enjoys Britain.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Circumstances: It is the week after Bush’s visit and the fallout continues after Blair’s use of a US-style ‘free speech zone’ in Sedgefield. On Monday (24th) Tony Blair hosts an Anglo-French summit. As part of his visit, French President Jacques Chirac inspects a guard of honour by the first Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. The Sun is notably “appalled”.

Anna, 22, saw footage of Jacques Chirac inspecting the Grenadier Guards yesterday and took this pop at the French President: “It was about time he was introduced to Our Boys – real soldiers. He shied away from Iraq. Maybe he took notes yesterday to pass on to French troops.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Circumstances: Following Operation Red Dawn, the US announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Krystle says of the capture of Saddam Hussein: “It was the news we have all waited for. That terrible man tried to crush the Iraqi people. Now they can celebrate their freedom and rebuild their country. I really hope this is the beginning of the end of the troubles in Iraq.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Circumstances: It is the peak of the aftermath of the leak (to the Sun) then release of The Hutton Report. Later this same day, the government announces The Butler Review, an inquiry into the intelligence relating to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

Zoe is certain Tony Blair was right to take Britain into the war with Iraq. She said: “You don’t need to be an international diplomat to realise the world is better off without Saddam. We should be proud of what has been achieved.”

Zoe on Iraq

– | –

You may need a few minutes to get over that one. I still do. Take your time.

(calm blue ocean)
(calm blue ocean)
(calm blue ocean)

OK, all done? Let’s carry on…

– | –

Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Circumstances: The insurgency in Iraq is expanding. It is one week since Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah ambushed a convoy containing four American private military contractors and a mob set their bodies ablaze and dragged their bodies through the streets. It is 3 days since the resulting First Battle of Fallujah began. The message from the White House is; “Our resolve is firm… and we will prevail.”

Natasha believes it’s vital that our troops remain in Iraq. She said: “Our boys are doing a fantastic job peacekeeping. To give in to a minority of extremists would be an insult to the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting to free Iraq from its evil regime.”

– | –

Date: Friday, July 2, 2004

Circumstances: Saddam Hussein appears in court for the first time and describes Bush as “the real criminal”

Ruth hailed yesterday’s court appearance by Saddam Hussein as a triumph for Iraqis. She said: “This was a great moment for the people of Iraq. Yet many will feel a proper trial seems too good for a man who denied the same right to millions of victims.”

– | –

Date: Friday, December 10, 2004

Circumstances: It is one month since Bush secured a second term as US president. The conduct of the Bush administration in/over Iraq has been a hot topic on both sides of the Atlantic for months now following that election campaign and the Abu Ghraib scandal. In the US, it has just been declared that evidence gained through use of torture would be used against the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. In the UK, there are calls for an inquiry into civilian deaths in Iraq following the release of the first Lancet survey of Iraq War casualties. In Iraq, Rumsfeld has just faced a grilling from his own troops over equipment shortages and responded with the now-infamous “You go to war with the army you have” remark. In short, it is a week where you will struggle to find an editorial in favour of the Bush administration in any newspaper bar one…

Nicola T thinks people are too keen to forget the help given to Britain by the US. She says: “People are too quick to condemn America. We’re indebted to them for the help they gave us in the war. Imagine if they had decided not to support us.”

– | –

Gosh, can you just imagine it? Without the Americans we might have been up to our necks in war-mongering fascists and their xenophobic propaganda.

(ahem)

Well, we’ve skirted far too close to fulfilment of Godwin’s Law for my liking, so I think we’ll pull up *right* there, thank you very much.

– | –

Epilogue:

Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Circumstances: It is the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Most newspapers are running features on what has come to pass and what has come to light (and have been for days now). But the Sun does not mention Iraq today. At all. I’ve checked today’s edition from cover to cover, and cannot find a single article about it. No praise for Our Boys, no mention of how jolly good it is that we took out a brutal dictator. Nothing. The nearest we get is a headline in a puff piece for chocolatier Paul A Young; “Choc and awe”. The good people at the Sun do, however, dedicate eight pages to telling us what a nasty liar Heather Mills is. Yes, Page 3 gets in on the act, too… and today’s tit-tastic editorial seems as good a note as any to go out on:

Peta on Heather Mills








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 18, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

Independent – Opposition push for immediate Iraq inquiry faces defeat: MPs will vote next week on whether there should be a full-scale inquiry into the Iraq war to ensure that lessons are learnt from the mistakes made. The Tories will stage a Commons debate on Iraq a week today in an attempt to force Gordon Brown to honour his pledge to hold an investigation. The Prime Minister committed himself to calling an inquiry in a letter to the Labour-affiliated Fabian Society. But he insisted the time is not yet right because the situation in Iraq remains “fragile”. The Liberal Democrats and some Labour MPs who opposed the war will join the Tories in voting for an inquiry into the “origins and conduct” to be set up now. But the Government is likely to defeat the Opposition’s proposal. Many Labour MPs privately want an investigation, but are reluctant to support a Tory motion.

1. Funny how things can be hunky-dory one minute and “fragile” the next, isn’t it?

2. The solution is simple; the inquiry should – amongst other things – look into how, when and why Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition failed us before, during and after the invasion.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 13, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

A major reason why our government isn’t rushing to rescue former employees in Iraq: it would involve admitting that all is not well in that country.

But the mission to protect the world from WMDs bring democracy to Iraq must be seen as a success, otherwise (*gasp*) the political careers of dozens of people could die overnight.

And now we can add a further human cost to the maintenance of this narrative.

Time to start clapping for Tinkerbell again. Here’s something to put you in the mood.

UPDATE – How’s about that, then….

1. The government is to be credited for some limited action (at last) on the Iraqi employees front. More on this soon.

2. Anyway, getting back to that point about the precious, precious narrative….

Independent – Iraq: teachers told to rewrite history… MoD accused of sending propaganda to schools








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 11, 2008

Category: Anne Milton, Humanity, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, The Political Weblog Movement

Bloggerheads – “Answer my questions, or the puppy gets it.”: I’m as appalled as Justin is… but not quite as shocked. The death of an innocent puppy doesn’t involve any tricky politics, so it’s an easy win.

Short version

Number of MPs who stood up for the notion that “the bearskin hats worn by the five guards regiments have no military significance and involve unnecessary cruelty”: 207

Number of MPs who stood up for the notion that “the Prime Minister [should] meet the UK’s moral obligations by offering resettlement to all Iraqis who are threatened with death for the “crime” of helping British troops and diplomats”: 79

Long version

Iain Dale:

Iain has gone in to bat for his old chum Ann Widdecombe and plugged her campaign “to persuade the MoD to stop buying black bearskins from Canada.”

You may recall that this is the same Iain Dale who, rather than join the campaign to protect/rescue Iraqi employees, instead decided to deliver this patronising lecture (as part of his ongoing mission to rewrite blogging history with himself at the forefront).

[Psst! The issue here for the government appears to be the lack of viable alternatives to bearskin. Perhaps Iain will be bold enough to suggest the use of fox skins instead. I’m sure they’d stitch together real nice, and the red will go well with the uniforms.]

Ann Widdecombe:

Ann is leading the charge on saving big cuddly bears, but has somehow failed to find the time to say or do anything about the human beings we have chewed up, spat out, and left to the mercy of roaming death squads in Iraq.

(Yes, I’m sure it’s terrible to be shot and then skinned while your corpse is subjected to “crude sexist comments”… but it’s equally unpleasant to be tortured with a power drill or simply gunned down in the street when the death squads are too short on time for such pleasantries.)

And while this campaign of Ann’s makes much of the “more than 200 MPs [who] signed a recent Early Day Motion calling on the government to switch to a modern and humane synthetic fabric,” here, she describes EDMs as a huge waste of time;

“I shall not miss the late nights and above all I shall not miss the EDMs. For the uninitiated that stands for early day motions which number thousands in the course of a parliament and have no more impact than a feather landing on a mattress, but which constituents take seriously and wish me to sign. Most of them call for open-ended funding for everything from varicose veins to hedgehog refuges.” – Ann Widdecombe

What a grizzled and bitter old hypocrite she is; no wonder she and Dale get on like a house on fire.

[Psst! That said, Iain Dale might want to consider Ann’s voting record on equal rights for homosexuals before committing to a post-opportunity friendship with ‘Widdy’.]

Anne Milton:

Milton signed the EDM to do away with bearskin hats. In fact, her Wikipedia entry once bragged that she was the first Conservative MP to sign this motion.

But Milton stalled on signing an earlier EDM in support of Iraqi employees until it was too late to sign (she actually had the cheek to claim the expiry of that EDM as her reason for not signing it) and – despite many reassuring noises – *still* hasn’t found the time to sign the latest EDM in support of Iraqi employees.

Again, I’m not shocked… just appalled.

UPDATE – Justin informs us that we can add Celia Barlow to the list, and offers this insight into Ann Widdecombe’s pick ‘n’ mix approach to humanity…

Chicken Yoghurt – Number crunching: And if you’re an ickle baby foetus, Ann’s got your back. If you’re an ickle baby foetus who grows up to be drilled to death by an Iraqi death squad or executed for being an Iranian homosexual, well, sorry but Ann’s got bears to worry about.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 4, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, Teh Interwebs, Video

While we’re waiting for Tom… here’s a US marine throwing a puppy off a cliff (maybe):

News.com.au – Military investigates puppy-throwing video: The US military is investigating a YouTube video that apparently shows a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff. Major Chris Perrine from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii said the man appears to be based with a unit in the islands. The video has caused an internet backlash after footage of the incident was uploaded onto YouTube – even though it could be fake.

It looks fake to me. Judge for yourself.

Typically, the Sun is outraged (Rebekah Wade has a thing for puppies… and horses).

UPDATE (9pm) – The Times – Puppy-toss video makes Marine figure of hate: A US Marine has become the target of a massive internet hate campaign after a mobile phone video appearing to show him throwing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq became a viral hit… A number of US websites named the perpetrator as David Motari, a 22-year-old from Washington state who has recently returned from Iraq and is based in Hawaii. Mr Motari’s profile on the social networking site Bebo was closed down yesterday. Some sites posted his personal details, phone numbers and even a picture of his car, while other bloggers called for him to be ostracised.

Valleywag expands on the theme.

Meanwhile…
Meanwhile…
Meanwhile…

I’m as appalled as Justin is… but not quite as shocked. The death of an innocent* puppy doesn’t involve any tricky politics, so it’s an easy win.

[*”Tonight on FOX News: the truth about puppies and why they hate America!”]

UPDATE (11:30pm) – I couldn’t sleep, so I made you a picture. Inspired by Justin and posted to B3ta. Enjoy:

Abu

UPDATE (11:45pm) – For me the audio is the most suspicious element, and there’s a lot of speculation about the dead/alive status of the dog before it was thrown; that reminds me of this.

And on that note, I retire to bed. Pleasant dreams.

UPDATE (05 Mar): Doggy go ‘boom’ | Doggies go ‘boom’ | Kitty go ‘boom’… just while you’re in the mood. Oh, and for the sake of balance, here is a report of Al-Qaeda killing doggies and here is a report of an abused Iraqi doggy saved by a U.S. Marine.

Also, the comments under the Sun article are worth a browse, not least because of the many, many anti-American sentiments expressed over this.

Tch. Looks like playing to xenophobia wins over pro-Bush/anti-peacenik propaganda every time… at least when puppies are involved. Other highlights include:

“perhaps, just perhaps, that the dog would of died anyway? In the heat, no food, no water, and the marines are not there to puppysit!” – CactusJoe

This just in: the RSPCA is opening a new rescue centre at Beachy Head.

“You know what – What goes around, comes around. They will get their day, and I hope someone posts it on youtube for us all to see!” – xKellyx

Hmmm. Live mob justice on YouTube. An intriguing idea. All we’ll need then is free bread via Teh Interwebs and we’ll be set.

“Did that poor puppy live? If so that marine should pay the vet bill’s and go and throw himself of a cliff before some one else does!” – sweetkaz

Yeah! Right on! *And* he should pay the doctor’s bills if he survives the fall. That’ll learn him.

“Sick!! It would’ve been OK if it was a Iraqi terrorist they were throwing about, but a poor puppy! Sick!” – UltraNationalist

Hm. There’s all sorts of things wrong with that, but – just for starters – the majority of terrorists in Iraq are not from Iraq. JHL has more on the terrorist/puppy angle here.

“Just remember what DOG spells backwards you stupid American Idiots. You will be thrown over the edge in to hell for that.” – flynn04

(speechless)

OK, so some of these may be trolls… but it’s very hard to tell in some neighbourhoods.

UPDATE – OK, so now can we get on with the impeaching? (Image posted to B3ta):

U.S. Marines watching George W. Bush throwing a puppy in Iraq - THIS REALLY HAPPENED, PEOPLE!








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 29, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement

By now you’re all aware that Prince Harry has been fighting in Afghanistan (gunning down other human beings in much the same way that most normal people do) and that there was an agreement for it not be reported by the media. You are probably also aware that the carrot that was dangled to ensure the integrity of the embargo was an appeal to media owners and editors not to complicate military operations by needlessly endangering Harry’s life and those of his fellow soldiers a steady feed of photos and interviews that they would be allowed to use at a later date.

This morning, there is an undignified rush to use that material in almost every newspaper. Classy.

The Independent, by contrast, uses a single image on page 3 alongside this article:

Independent – Prince’s cover in Afghanistan blown by Drudge Report: An American website, the Drudge Report, broke a news blackout yesterday by revealing that Prince Harry has been serving in Afghanistan for more than two months. To the fury of the Ministry of Defence and condemnation from the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, the website announced a “world exclusive” and proclaimed: “They’re calling him ‘Harry the Hero!”… It is thought the source for the Drudge Report article was a story printed last month in an Australian women’s magazine, New Idea.

Back-pats to the Indy for this, and for not falsely describing Drudge as a ‘blogger’.

Brick-bats to New Idea and Matt Drudge… oh, and well-known Drudge-wannabe Paul Staines*.

What Drudge did was take something that had been previously reported by regional ragsters who claimed to be unaware of the embargo, and used that to knowingly break the embargo… while screaming ‘EXCLUSIVE’.

And now the eyes of the world are upon him, Matt Drudge is getting greedy. Below is the article published by Drudge yesterday. The text in bold is the paragraph that he has since deleted:

PRINCE HARRY FIGHTS ON FRONTLINES IN AFGHANISTAN; 3 MONTH TOUR
Thu Feb 28 2008 11:37:52 ET

They’re calling him “Harry the Hero!”

British Royal Prince Harry has been fighting in Afghanistan since late December–and has been directly involved in battle.

Australian magazine NEW IDEA and the German daily BILD have broken world embargoes on the development. CNN has debated internally on the merits of reporting Harry at war.

The prince, a junior officer in the Blues and Royals, and third in line to the throne, has been a “magnificent soldier” and an “inspiration to all of Briton.”

Prince Harry is talking part in a new offensive against the Taliban.

Ministry of Defense and Clarence House refuse all comment. Army chiefs have managed to keep the prince away from media and have encourage fellow soldiers in his squadron to stay quiet.

Developing…

Not that the people at New Idea have any complaints; they themselves are busy rewriting history today…. and here’s why:

The Australian – New Idea, no idea of Harry embargo: New Idea had no idea it was breaking an embargo when it revealed on its website that Prince Harry was fighting in Afghanistan. The weekly magazine has been criticised by a British army chief for leaking the news of the young royal’s frontline deployment, which was subject to a strict media blackout. A German newspaper and then US website the Drudge report picked up the story this week. With the ban broken, the story has received intensive coverage in Britain and around the world. The story was published on New Idea’s website on January 7, said editor-in-chief Robyn Foyster.

SMH – No idea: New Idea in the dark about Harry blackout: An Australian women’s magazine has denied deliberately breaching a media news blackout about Prince Harry’s deployment to Afghanistan. New Idea is at the centre of a storm in Britain, accused of leaking the news the 23-year-old prince is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and potentially putting his life in danger. The magazine published a story about Harry’s secret tour of duty on its website in January in an apparent breach of a strict media blackout on the story. It appears few noticed the story. It was only after US website the Drudge Report picked up the story and broadcast it around the world, after a German newspaper ran a piece yesterday, that the storm blew up.

[Psst! “Woman’s magazine” is putting it kindly; New Idea (nicknamed ‘No Idea’ long before this debacle) is a trashy supermarket tabloid.]

Now, while everyone else is revelling in their ability to use material that was previously embargoed until April, New Idea has decided to ‘disappear’ the items in question. If you visit either of these URLs, the original teaser and article will not appear; instead, on both pages, you’ll get a bog-standard bio of Prince Harry (that’s been put together so hurriedly that the picture fails to load)…
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/new-idea/8771/prince-harry-goes-to-war-in-afghanistan/
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/new-idea/9210/prince-harry-war-lord/

So now, +++ EXCLUSIVELY +++ at Bloggerheads (via the cached pages stored by Google and Live Search), I present the two original items in full:

NEW IDEA: Prince Harry Goes to War in Afghanistan
Originally published by New Idea on Jan 07 at 04:33pm EDT at:
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/new-idea/8771/prince-harry-goes-to-war-in-afghanistan/

Prince Harry has joined his regiment on a covert mission to Afghanistan and his unit has already seen front line action.

Not seen in public since the middle of December, New Idea can exclusively reveal that despite opposition from senior members of the British government and the royal family itself, Harry now joins his uncle Prince Andrew as a royal who has been to war.

‘At first there was a lot of resistance’ said a friend ‘but Harry threatened to resign his commission and serve as a private if he was kept from the battlefield – and that proved to be the final straw’.

Full details on this breaking story in this week’s New Idea

No idea there was an embargo? What does the word ‘covert’ mean to these people?

Here’s the article that followed that teaser a week later:

NEW IDEA: Prince Harry: War Lord
Originally published by New Idea on Jan 15 at 12:07pm EDT at:
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/new-idea/8771/prince-harry-goes-to-war-in-afghanistan/

Maverick Prince Harry has joined his regiment on a covert mission to Afghanistan and his unit has already seen front line action.

New Idea can exclusively reveal that despite opposition from senior members of the British government and the royal family itself, Harry flew out with his regiment and joined the troops on the front line. He spent Christmas with his men at the sharp end of the action.

‘Harry found members of his unit were to be posted in Afghanistan for a four-month tour of duty over Christmas and the New Year,’ a close friend tells New Idea.

‘He had already begrudgingly accepted the decision to keep him off the front line in Iraq, but when he heard about the mission in Afghanistan he was insistent he would not stay at home eating Christmas dinner and living it up at the palace while his men were on the front line.

‘At first there was a lot of resistance, but Harry even threatened to resign his commission and serve as a private if he was kept from the battlefield – and that proved to be the final straw,’ the friend says.

‘He wants to be a real soldier who gets the same treatment as any other officer of his rank – and that means going to war just like everybody else.’

Prince Charles was said to be against the idea of Harry seeing active service, but sources say that with the support of his elder brother William, and uncle Prince Andrew, who flew helicopters during the Falklands war, Harry convinced Charles not to take action to prevent him from going.

The Queen is said to have sent Harry a card with her best wishes and a gift with sentimental value that he has kept private.

Before he left, Harry invited William and some of his close friends to a secret ‘godspeed’ party at Boujis nightclub in London.

Guests were under strict instruction that there was to be no mention of the real reason for the party and no toasts or public discussion of Harry’s imminent departure.

The British government is said to strongly oppose Harry’s deployment to Afghanistan. Their official reason is that his presence may put his fellow soldiers at risk, but defence commentators have been quick to suggest it may be more to do with their fear that Harry could be killed or injured fighting George Bush’s ‘war on terror’. This would doom Gordon Brown’s Labour government in the next election.

But Harry has always been insistent that he wanted to see active duty and he hated the idea of being wrapped in cotton wool while his men put their lives on the line.

He famously said: ‘There’s no way I’m going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my a*** back home while my boys are out fighting for their country.’

For more Royal Watch, check out the latest issue of New Idea – on sale now!

Again, reading what has been published (and since ‘disappeared’), one might get the impression that – even if New Idea didn’t know of the embargo – they certainly should have noticed the alarm bells in their own damn article!

Which might be why that article and the teaser have been removed; New Idea’s statement on the matter reads as follows:

“New Idea was not issued with a press embargo and was unaware of the existence of one… The story was published on Monday, January 7. Since then New Idea has received no comment from the British Ministry of Defence. We take these matters very seriously and would never knowingly break an embargo. We regret any issues the revelation of this story in America has caused today.”

Scroll up and read the article again. Try to work out how it was planned for at least a week, researched, penned and published without anyone involved becoming aware of the merest possibility of a hint of an embargo.

And, if you’re of the opinion that New Idea knowingly breached the embargo and find yourself wondering why, there’s a subtle hint in the closing line of each item…

Full details on this breaking story in this week’s New Idea

For more Royal Watch, check out the latest issue of New Idea – on sale now!

So now it’s New Idea with a secret they’d rather the media didn’t report.

Share at will.

[*Paul Staines happily ran with the outing and there are suggestions from anonymous readers (or from Staines himself; sometimes it’s hard to tell) that Staines knew all about it, and even dropped hints. What a guy. He inspires me to drop hints myself from time to time because, as Staines notes here, if you dish it out…]

UPDATE – Hahahahahaha! Great input from Anorak.

UPDATE – Many comments under this ABC article. New Idea gets a repeated kicking.

UPDATE – Staines nearly trips over himself trying to get in on the action.

UPDATE – PM on Radio 4 this afternoon (from 5pm); “Tonight on the programme, we’ll trace the origins of the story. “ Top stuff.

UPDATE – That programme tracked the earliest press mention back to the ever-reliable News Of The World (on June 3, 2007 IIRC). Indigo Red has documented some of the reports that followed that, and it would appear that The Observer also carried an item on that same day. I don’t have confirmation on this, but my gut is telling me that this early coverage (published long before Harry went to Afghanistan) is pre-embargo, and may even have triggered the embargo.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 26, 2008

Category: Gordon Brown, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

As you’re probably aware from watching the latest WMD and torture developments, the Brown government is becoming increasingly convinced of its ability to sweep some outstanding matters under the rug after a perfunctory dusting.

In fact, they appear to think that they can also let the small matter of Iraqi employees slip by without anyone at home making too much fuss…

Dan Hardie – Iraqi Employees: Fine words, shabby deeds: A small number of Iraqis – fewer than a dozen, according to people close to the operation who are in contact with me- were removed from Iraq in the early autumn of 2007. Since the Prime Minister’s admirable declaration of October, how many Iraqi ex-employees have been evacuated from Iraq? According to all the Iraqis that I am in contact with: none.

I’ve tried to get something more than words out of my MP, with little luck.

You may do better:
Please try. Then please share.

Cheers all.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 21, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

Guardian – Miliband admits US rendition flights stopped on UK soil: Britain acknowledged today for the first time that US planes on “extraordinary rendition” flights stopped on British soil twice. The admission came from the foreign secretary, David Miliband, who apologised to MPs for wrong information given by his predecessor Jack Straw and former prime minister Tony Blair.

Some homegrown background if you need it:
Bloggerheads – Torture: Brown and the boy Miliband each need to grow a pair

More here on another honest mistake:
Bloggerheads – Smells like… election victory

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Brown can go stuff himself while Straw’s in the cabinet and the torture issue remains largely in the closet.

UPDATE (22 Feb) – More from Justin, Garry and Beau Bo d’Or.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 14, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

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Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2008

Category: Gordon Brown, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

David Miliband: “There’s absolutely no question about the UK Government’s commitments in respect of torture, which is illegal, and our definition of what torture is.”

Liar.
Liar.
Pants on fire.

Even if we take his statement as the position of a new administration, one has to consider that Jack Straw is a senior member of Brown’s cabinet (unless of course they ask him to leave the room whenever torture policy is discussed) and the best we’ve seen out of them so far is this pissweak effort.

UPDATE – And now, a musical number especially for Jack Straw:








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