Mail Online, which has just overtaken The Huffington Post to become the second most popular newspaper website in the world, reports on a story that the BBC is also running near the top of its news agenda today – but their take on the story could hardly be more different to the BBC’s:

‘We will unleash a nuclear hellstorm if Osama is killed’: Wikileaks releases chilling interrogation files of Guantanamo suspects
Top-secret files detailing the interrogations of more than 700 terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp have been obtained by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
They include claims that Al Qaeda terrorists threatened to unleash a ‘nuclear hellstorm’ if Osama Bin Laden is caught or killed – and that the interrogations uncovered plots to attack Britain.
Thousands of pages of sensitive documents relate to a decade of interviews in which extremists also admit to plotting attacks against America and across the world.

They go on:

The documents detail the background to the capture of each of the 780 people who have passed through the Cuban facility, along with their medical condition and the information they have provided during interrogations.
Around 220 of those detained are assessed to be dangerous international terrorists, while around 380 are judged to be lower-level foot-soldiers.
At least a further 150 people, including innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, were held and assessed at the U.S. camp, but later released due to lack of evidence, according to the files.

The BBC’s take, on its radio news bulletins and online, has a very different focus:

Wikileaks: Many at Guantanamo ‘not dangerous’
Files obtained by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks have revealed that the US believed many of those held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent or only low-level operatives.
The files, published in US and European newspapers, are assessments of all 780 people ever held at the facility.
They show that about 220 were classed as dangerous terrorists, but 150 were innocent Afghans and Pakistanis.

The bulk of the article then concentrates in considerable detail on the innocent rather than on the dangerous ones.

Both the Mail Online and the BBC Online articles are biased in their own way. One, however, is a private newspaper, privately funded. The other is a public corporation funded by a compulsory licence fee and legally bound to be impartial.

An incident bias, which David Preiser has highlighted in the past, is that the BBC was very enthusiastic about Wikileaks when the Guardian were publishing them around the turn of the year. Since ‘Wikileaks’ moved to the Telegraph, however, the BBC has shown a lot less enthusiasm for reporting the leaks. Taking that into account, isn’t it revealing that The Mail report says of the source of its story, “The documents seen by the Washington Post and Daily Telegraph confirm that the Americans have seized more than 100 Al Qaeda terrorists…” while the BBC Online article says “The latest documents have been published on Wikileaks,the Guardian, the New York Times and in other newspapers…”? Hmm.

The Telegraph itself takes a more even-handed approach that either the BBC or the Mail:

WikiLeaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed
Guantanamo Bay has been used to incarcerate dozens of terrorists who have admitted plotting terrifying attacks against the West – while imprisoning more than 150 totally innocent people, top-secret files disclose.

The Guardian, however, unsurprisingly takes the same line as the BBC:

Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world’s most controversial prison
• Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts
• Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held
• 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release

By their friends shall ye know them!

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  1. As I See It says:

    This highlights the crux of the problem with the BBC. the Guardian and the Daily Mail can be said to cater for audiences with certain world views.

    The BBC just ain’t supposed to do that. It has established a very powerful and trusted position as a publicly funded institution and frankly it is now consistently warping the political debate in this country.


  2. cjhartnett says:

    What a fantasticlly concise article.
    Could not be clearer what the bigger agenda is. The  culprits are outed in a way so comprehensive-an self selecting- that I need hear no more on the story.
    The two camps revealed-and when I thank the Telegraph for the MPs expenses-the Mail for staying vigilant on my behalf( with all the usual caveats)-I see the odious BBC and the Guardian smugfest of self righteous hypocrites on the other.
    The English-indeed the British-really need to abandon tally taxes and ban postal votes from Tuscany. I wouls swap Polly for 100 Tunisians if that is allowed under Schengen!


  3. Natsman says:

    That was the Grand Plan, wasn’t it?  And now the knowledge of this biased attempt to sway just about everything from public opinion to government (Labour, of course) policy has blatantly entered the public domain (rather than merely being suspected), and the public have finally woken up to it all, what’s going to happen?  Nothing, that’s what, because it has been allowed to go too far too quickly, and the present bunch of multi-coloured, shifty, and squabbling wankers supposedly “running” the country won’t have the bollocks to do anything about it.

    The BBC appears to be untouchable.  I shouldn’t be at all surprised if they are surreptitiously forming the next government already.

    I wonder if they could do a worse job…


  4. sue says:

    The left aren’t doing themselves any favours by disparaging “Daily Mail Readers” if they’ll soon amount to “everyone but us”.
    You could tell what was up as soon as you  heard the BBC news bulletin this morning, even before looking at the other papers. On the whole, the inbuilt bias detector becomes more and more hair-triggered, but this is definitely a good illustration of the BBC’s singular glass half empty approach.

    I assume the BBC will be lobbying for setting the remaining 180 Guantanamo detainees free. Perhaps they could organise a tunnel?
    I bet Orla’s good with a shovel.  Or do you think we’re brainwashing each other into thinking like suspicious paranoid doubting Thomases? *DONT_KNOW*


  5. Cassandra King says:

    Nice work indeed Craig, puts the BBC to shame and exposes their agenda perfectly but the BBC also does its level best to protect the commander in chief Obama.

    I suppose in the mentally retarded world of planet beeboid the islamists are innocent and it is the Americam Satan which is to blame for all things apart from the POTUS who is bravely fighting against the forces of right wing republicanism that even now exerts some kind of invisible force on the chosen one which prevents him from spreading his socialist principles around like fairy dust.

    If only we were nice to islamist terror all would be well, if only we gave in to every islamist demand all would be well, if only we didnt force the islamists to murder civilians and hack heads off, if only the islamists ruled eh?

    The BBC is a mental illness and unless we find a cure we are all f*cked. BTW I bleeding well miss Martin, I wish he would come back to grace these pages.


    • Graham Evans says:

      If we dont get rid of that wanker Cameron, he’ll have Turkey inside the EU, then it will get even worse! wake up Uk citizens these treacherous bastards have us sleepwalking to disaster!


  6. hippiepooter says:

    Fantastic stuff Craig.  Yet more compelling evidence that Gramscians have critical mass at the BBC to make it the propaganda ally of the global Jihad.  It is long, long overdue that the BBC is investigated by MI5.


  7. RCE says:

    I had the time on my hands today to read the Guardian coverage in some depth. I didn’t read all of it, but certainly most, and didn’t find any contextual reference to the number of bad guys that Guantanamo had both kept off the streets and illicited intelligence from.

    I then made the mistake of reading the comments thread to an article by Julian Glover. Sheesh! All I can say is I’m glad the Guardian has such a low circulation, which means there can’t be many people like that out there; but if you want to be both alarmed and amused at how deranged some folk are, have a look – it’s a showcase for useful idiocy.

    I could go on, but my biggest observation was the complete failure of so many people to acknowledge that ‘those who abjure violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf’.

    If the Guardian is your primary source of information you’ve got no chance.


    • RCE says:


      Elicited not illicited.

      That’s what reading the Guardian does to you…


  8. It's all too much says:

    Why am I not surprised….

    BBC acts as propaganda arm for nasties?….

    “The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).” Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service.
    The assessment continues that US forces uncovered many “extremist links” to this number, suggesting that extremists could have made contact with BBC employees who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on “ACM [anti-Coalition Militia] operations”.