A Shocking Hutton Report

I’m pretty amazed with the result of the Hutton Report. At the same time, I wouldn’t be suprised if most people who read this haven’t a clue what that is. Alas, American focus. I don’t really feel like taking the time at this juncture to delve into the many facets of the fascinating and disturbing chain of events surrounding a BBC report about a British intelligence dossier, the suicide of the source for said report, the incredible public debate about the whole mess, and the eventual quasi-resolution, today, with the release of a 700-odd page report by an investigator who exonerates almost completely 10 Downing Street and places a heap of blame right on the doorstep of the BBC. And now the head of the Beeb has fallen on his sword. But will one resignation be enough?

You won’t hear it on the US nightly news. Here is a report on the report (IHT), some other coverage (Al Jazeera), a political analysis (Guardian), and some angry opinion (Telegraph). What surprises me the most is the amount of respect all sides place in Hutton. I don’t know the story on this guy or really much at all about the process of the inquiry and how the British treat their judiciary, but I’m amazed at how muted the criticism is of a report that came out much more one-sided then anyone expected.

Why is this especially bad? The BBC is quite possibly the best source of journalism on Earth. And in 2006, it’s charter is up for renewal. And there are not a few people who would really like to see that organization given it’s due (what said due is is left as an exercise for the reader). Looks like they now have more ammo then they ever dreamed of for this upcoming fight. And does is surprise anyone that Rupert Murdoch (owner of the Sky network, among other media holdings in Britain) is helping lead the charge?

6 replies on “A Shocking Hutton Report”

  1. While it sucks for the BBC, I think it will recover – the resignation of the Chairman should go a long way towards that. As for Blair, good for him – while I may be skeptical of the Iraq claims in question, I doubt that the PM caused Dr. Kelley’s identity to be revealed (unlike, say, a certain American President…)

  2. I don’t blame Blair for the poor guy’s death, but I do think that, despite what Hutton concluded, there is fairly strong evidence that the Iraq intelligence dossier was indeed “sexed up” in much the same way that US intelligence was modified by Rumsfield and others to provide a very unclear, lopsided picture.

  3. Hey Danny,
    hate to spam your personal blog, but BJ’s been problematic. Tried commenting to zenot, got:

    [Error: Can’t locate object method “new” via package “HTML::FormatText” (perhaps you forgot to load “HTML::FormatText”?) at /home/lj/cgi-bin/talklib.pl line 2054. @ dilithium.brancog.org] .

    And that’s what it looks like every time I try commenting. Any solutions?

  4. I can’t resolve Lord Huttons opinion with what I’ve seen of the evidence that was presented to him. And yes I am from the UK, and there are quite a few of pissed off people with one word on the minds, Whitewash.

    I do hold Mr Blair responsible in that it he was the leader of a meeting that made the decision to go through a convoluted process to name Dr Kelly. Mr Blair should learn to take responsibility for his actions and more importantly failures.

  5. As another Brit, I find the whole Hutton affair distasteful. Yes, the BBC made some errors in its reporting and, for that, the top two men in the BBC fell on their swords. Even Hutton himself cast some doubt on the accuracy of the “sexed up document” by saying that the intelligence chiefs may have been “subconsciously” affected by the Prime Minister’s views. For anyone with eyes, it’s plain to see that the Government DID strengthen strategic parts of the report. Will anyone in the Government fall on their swords? I think not! Meanwhile, we are now faced with the prospect of the BBC being run by Government lackeys. A sad and frightening prospect for balanced news reporting.

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