Gilligan hits back

by Richard on August 28, 2004

Andrew Gilligan, the journalist who sparked off the controversy over whether the British government’s intelligence dossier on the threat posed by Iraq was wholly accurate has hit back.

“The dossier was sexed up, the intelligence services were unhappy about it… and Alistair Campbell was at the heart of the process,” he said. “If the aim was to disprove the BBC’s story and restore faith in Tony Blair, it simply could not have been more counter productive.”

This has taken longer than I thought it would. It is now very clear that the “information” with which the British parliament was persuaded to support the war on Iraq was deeply flawed. If a journalist has to resign over one ill-judged (and unscripted) sentence in an early morning radio broadcast, if the Director General of the BBC has to resign because of that journalist’s mistake — how is it that no government ministers are being held to account for this much more grievous blunder?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Steve 08.29.04 at 12:32 pm

I would say he resigned, and the story was huge, becasue he said, with no evidence that teh Gpvernment deliberatly lied. He seems to be coming back into fashion now, despite the fact that he tried to cover up his dodgy reporting and one of his witnesses had to engage lawyers to substa=ntiate what she actually di, and more to the point did not say to him.

Sorry - this is a little aggressive - but it annoys me that Gilligan still believes he did no wrong.

2

Richard 08.29.04 at 6:07 pm

It isn’t true that Gilligan believes he did *no* wrong. He admits his errors. His report said that the government had “sexed up” the intelligence dossier, not on “no evidence”, but on the evidence of Dr David Kelly who later committed suicide. It later turned out that the intelligence information was manipulated as he said it had been.

That’s how it went, isn’t it?

3

Steve 08.29.04 at 10:04 pm

Hi Richard

Its not that he said that the evidence was manipulated, althogh i think manipulated is a strong word, but that he said that the Government, more particually Tony Blair deliberatly chose to insert something he knew was not true - whcih is something that was never given to him as evidence (could it be that he was sexing up his story ;) - and no-one who he spoke to could be in a position to confirm - which is what I meant by no evidence. Although he said at the time that he had made errors - under immmense public pressure, - his various statements since have nothing if not taken that back, even if not explicity, and he clearly belives that he did no wrong. Certainly he misled the enquiry in order to prove his version of events, and only admitted errors when he was caught out. That’s my take on it anyway.

4

Richard 08.29.04 at 10:56 pm

I think we’ll have to agree to differ on this one Steve.

5

Steve 08.30.04 at 10:20 pm

indeed. :)

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