See! See! Told you so. (Phew!)

The late Dr Kelly, reports the BBC with an audible sigh of relief,

… said it would take Iraq “days or weeks” to deploy weapons of mass destruction.

Whole days, eh? Sheesh, what’s all the fuss about then? No one cares about what happens days or weeks from now.

His view, at odds with the claim Iraq could launch weapons in 45 minutes, is in a previously unbroadcast interview to be shown in a BBC Panorama special.

And with those words “at odds with” the BBC is vindicated. Isn’t it?

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12 Responses to See! See! Told you so. (Phew!)

  1. Henry says:

    Some stealth editing has been undertaken between the 12.41 and 2.30 versions of this story. The earlier one says that Kelly “said it would take Iraq ‘days or weeks’ to deploy” WMD; the later one says that he said that it “could” take days or weeks to “mobilise” them. The later version also includes a new sentence: “In the interview Dr Kelly also made it clear that he did regard Saddam as an ‘immediate’ threat.” In other words: someone has bent over backwards to turn the report into a balanced, neutral and accurate one – if only Gilligan had taken that trouble in the first place.


  2. ben says:

    I wonder how Kelly expected this TV interview to be broadcast. Was he going to be anonomised? Or did he think he was authorised to give such interviews?


  3. Eamonn says:

    I suspect tonight’s programme is an attempt by the BBC to appear to be on the level and more open than the Government. However, is there any more reason to believe anything tonight as opposed to statements by the Government or the MOD?

    The difference is that if we don’t like Tony Blair we can vote him out, but if we don’t like the BBC we still have to pay the licence fee.


  4. lee moore says:

    OT : I rather like this story. I doubt it’s deliberately skewed but it’s classic illustration of why the Beeb is constantly astonished by happenings in the US. They just don’t get out much.

    “Big speech, few ideas, say pundits”

    So which pundits did they ask ?

    National Public Radio’s Daniel Schorr • the Beeb’s lead pundit and an enthusiastic and long standing Bush critic, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN • all lefty organisations. Nope, no comment from any of the hundreds of conservative commentators they could have asked, no comment from right wing organisations like Fox and the Wall Street Journal. We do get a comment from the New York Post but it’s not about the speech.

    It’s like sampling British opinion on the EU by going to Christopher Booker’s birthday party. Memo to Auntie • you need to widen your circle of acquaintances.


  5. Frank says:

    all sounds a bit like agenda setting to me.


  6. Rot says:

    What is realy interesting is that the Left (over here and over there)has been using the Kelly tragedy as proof no WMD’s existed.

    Instead, we have someone who believed they did exist, but was at odd with the 45 minute claim.

    BTW, I saw in one of your papers that the source of the 45 minute claim has popped up in Baghdad. He was an air defense officer who says he though they could be fired in 30 minutes, but were not because the Iraqi military decided not to use them.


  7. mark adams says:

    Hang on a second. Wasn’t this from a suppressed BBC interview ?

    Was it suppressed because :

    A. it didn’t fit the BBC party line ?

    B. it would have contradicted the essential liberal point that the war was based on a manufactured assessment of the threat ?

    Did Hutton have a copy of this tape. If no, what about the duty of full disclosure? If yes, why was it not on the public record ?


  8. rob says:

    The BBC are still spinning Kelly’s words.
    Both the linked BBCi page & ceefax claim that Kelly stated that WMD were days or weeks from use, and that this was at odds with the 45 minute claim.

    But Kelly’s filmed interview has him saying “Even if they are not actually filled & deployed today, … within a matter of days or weeks.”

    So he did not rule out that they were immediately available


  9. Patrick B says:

    OT, sort of

    The Beeb’s quite sure the US is at it again:

    A US expert says N. Korea doesn’t have any bombs, and didn’t show him any. It’s all a bluff to get the advantage in negotiations. Oh, they have made plutonium, but they don’t have the brains to make a bomb.


  10. ed says:

    Re: Rob’s comment- ‘So he did not rule out that they were immediately available.’

    No, and nor could he, because he didn’t have a close involvement with the intelligence assessment that was being made. He was a WMD expert, but not an intelligence operative. Rob’s right: even now the BBC are spinning Dr Kelly’s words.

    Incidentallly, I suppose many people saw last night’s documentary for what it was: a dramatised attempt to make the Government look sinister (emphasising ambiguous language with heavy intonation, raised eyebrows and cynical political glances) and the BBC merely look a touch inept. It’s all spin I’m afraid, right down to the personal appearances made by Marr, Dyke and Davies. One and a half hours on BBC1 wasn’t given up for no reason, whatever they say about Panorama’s ‘fierce’ independence.


  11. dan says:

    Panorama found another grumpy old man to further the BBC case. A former head of the JIC badmouthed Scarlett without any evidence advanced of his poodle status.
    This oldy follows the defence analyst Jones, who was probably the person that wound up crumbly Kelly.

    Seems to me that the government brought all this down on their head by being pleased about the sensational newspaper items on the day following the dossier’s publication. Those newspaper stories “45 minutes away from WMD attack on Cyprus” cannot be supported by a full reading of the dossier. The (then)current unready state of any remaining long range missiles is buried back in the report. But the newspaper reports were based on reading only the summary & looking at the pictures.

    Panorama said at least once that the dossier stated that Cyprus could be hit in 45 minutes. The dossier does not say so.

    Blair & Campbell are f****d by not putting the press right in September 2002.


  12. Anthony says:

    The BBC are not the only ones misusing the Kelly interview