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Gilligan damned by evidence of colleagues (Lying BBC Bastard NAILED! MUST READ!)
Financial Times ^ | August 12, 2003 | Bob Sherwood

Posted on 08/13/2003 8:40:23 AM PDT by Timesink

Gilligan damned by evidence of colleagues

By Bob Sherwood, Legal Correspondent
Published: August 12 2003 20:55 | Last Updated: August 12 2003 20:55


Andrew Gilligan has long been under no illusion that he has critics. But when he appeared before Lord Hutton on Tuesday could not have expected to be damned, not by a practitioner of the Downing Street black arts, but by his BBC colleagues.

Initially the journalist appeared to be surviving the scrutiny. He mounted a calm defence of his reporting on the second day of the judicial inquiry into why David Kelly, the weapons expert, apparently committed suicide after being named as the source for Mr Gilligan's story that the government exaggerated its case for war with Iraq.

But as the hearing wore on, it became clear that he was becoming increasingly damned by the words of others on the corporation payroll. And as it did so his initially confident if muted response to questioning descended into a mumble.

Swamped by his sober blue suit after having lost weight since the affair erupted, Mr Gilligan began his four hours of evidence in a quiet, hesitant manner unlike his radio persona.

He had met David Kelly twice before the encounter at London's Charing Cross Hotel on May 22 that was to spark his report, which claimed Downing Street had "sexed up" its dossier on Iraq's military capability in the week before publication last September. He later indicated that came at the behest of Alastair Campbell, the prime minister's director of communications.

In particular, he alleged the government had inserted a claim that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes against the wishes of intelligence officials and probably knowing it was inaccurate.

Mr Gilligan produced interview notes from the meeting, taken on his personal organiser, to back up his story. They read (including misspellings and abbreviations): "Transformed wk before pub to make it sexier.

"The classic was the 45 mins. Most things indossier were dbl sc but that was single-source. One source said it took 4[5] minutes to set up mobile assembly. That was misinterpreted.

"Most people in intel werent happy with it because it didn't reflect the considereview they were putting forward.

"Campbell."

Examined by James Dingemans QC, the inquiry's counsel, Mr Gilligan explained his questions to Mr Kelly about why the dossier was changed. "I said: 'To make it sexier?' He said: 'Yes, to make it sexier'."

Asked how it came to be transformed: "The answer was that one word [Campbell]."

To try to corroborate his story, Mr Gilligan contacted two "senior contacts in government" who neither confirmed nor denied it, although one suggested he should "keep digging".

He said he examined the language in the document and believed it showed clear signs of being "hardened". He also said the 45-minute claim had hardly been mentioned in parliament after the dossier was released, which seemed strange if it was so important.

But then things began to get harder for Mr Gilligan.

He admitted the words he used in his first broadcast on May 29, that the government "probably knew the 45-minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in" were "not perfect".

Mr Dingemans said: "There is no doubt, is there, that part of the reason that the dispute between No 10 and the BBC became so heated was because of the perception of conscious wrongdoing?" Mr Gilligan said it was not a perception that he had intended to "come across as strongly as it did in that 6.07 two-way", and he did not use the same words in later broadcasts.

Then it got tougher still. The inquiry heard an e-mail written by Kevin Marsh, Today programme editor, to Stephen Mitchell, head of radio news at the BBC, on June 27 describing Mr Gilligan's story. It said: "Our biggest millstone has been his loose use of language and lack of judgment in his phraseology" and suggested Mr Gilligans's "distant" relationship with the programme, often working from home, should be more carefully controlled.

Next came a minute from a BBC governors' meeting on July 6, noting that Mr Gilligan had not always used "careful" language.

After the lunch break, Mr Gilligan disputed Mr Kelly's evidence to the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee and the intelligence and security committee about their meeting. The weapons expert denied bringing up the name of Mr Campbell and told them the words used by Mr Gilligan "did not sound like something I would say".

But Mr Gilligan insisted Mr Kelly knew what he intended to report because he checked the quotes with him.

The inquiry was also told of the "frosty" relationship between Mr Campbell and Mr Gilligan. Although the two have never met, Mr Campbell sent letters to the BBC complaining about Mr Gilligan's choice of words in a number of his reports during the Iraq war.

That, Mr Gilligan insisted, was why he did not name Mr Campbell in his Today reports, lest it seem like a personal attack. Only once The Guardian had named Mr Campbell, he said, he felt free to do the same in an article for the Mail on Sunday, which was approved in theory but not vetted by BBC managers.

The revelation from Susan Watts, science editor of Newsnight, that Mr Kelly mentioned Mr Campbell's name to her in connection with the 45-minute claim in the dossier appeared to establish the veracity of Mr Gilligan's story.

But despite considering Mr Kelly an authoritative source, she considered the remark to be "gossipy".


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: andrewgillian; bbc; bbcschadenfreude; bias; davidkelly; falsification; liberalmedia; mediabias; mediafraud; schadenfreude; sexedup
Sometimes the wheel turns slowly, but it turns.
1 posted on 08/13/2003 8:40:24 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times BBC Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.


This is the nascent Mainstream Media Shenanigans ping list. Please freepmail me to be added or dropped.
Please note this will likely become a high-volume list.
Also feel free to ping me if you come across a thread you would think worthy of the ping list. I can't catch them all!


2 posted on 08/13/2003 8:42:06 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
I've already published an article that nails Gilligan, the BBC's reporter already exposed as lying about his whereabouts in "reporting" from Baghdad, that "the Americans are not at the airport." Another BBC reporter reported that the Americans WERE at the airport, but Gilligan was NOT there.

Can someone more computer adept than I make a link in this thread to my article, "Death by Typewriter," which was posted on FreeRepublic?

My conclusion is simple. This reporter, by his dishonesty, caused the weapons' expert's suicide.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Nuts and Bolts in California" posted on FR, also published in San Francisco.

3 posted on 08/13/2003 8:50:04 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob ("Don't just stand there. Run for Congress." www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Timesink
I am utterly convinced that Gilligan fabricated the lion's share if not 100% of the story. I believe his notes to be a fraud, created in the comfort of his drawing room. The only question is, was Gilligan being driven by others and if so who were they? While I am not overly fond of Blair et al, overt undermining of a Western government using fraudulent material is warfare by other means. That would imply that Mr. Gilligan might have commited treason.
4 posted on 08/13/2003 8:53:43 AM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: Timesink
Did the Skipper turn him in?
5 posted on 08/13/2003 8:54:47 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Congressman Billybob
Gilligan damned by evidence of colleagues

Heck, the stuff the Skipper and the Professor had on him alone was enough to screw him.

6 posted on 08/13/2003 8:55:31 AM PDT by Lazamataz (PROUDLY POSTING WITHOUT READING THE ARTICLE SINCE 1999!)
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To: Timesink
The revelation from Susan Watts, science editor of Newsnight, that Mr Kelly mentioned Mr Campbell's name to her in connection with the 45-minute claim in the dossier appeared to establish the veracity of Mr Gilligan's story.

Ms. Watts does not support Mr. Gilligan. See her story in today's Guardian. I hesitate to speak autoritatively since every nuance is important - so read the article.

7 posted on 08/13/2003 8:55:40 AM PDT by liberallarry
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To: Congressman Billybob
My conclusion is simple. This reporter, by his dishonesty, caused the weapons' expert's suicide.

If this man had a conscience he might feel bad about his actions. But, he obviously doesn't have a conscience, otherwise this never would have happened.
8 posted on 08/13/2003 8:55:45 AM PDT by baseballmom
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To: dfwgator
Did the Skipper turn him in?

I hate you.

9 posted on 08/13/2003 8:55:51 AM PDT by Lazamataz (PROUDLY POSTING WITHOUT READING THE ARTICLE SINCE 1999!)
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To: Congressman Billybob
This bastard needs to lose more than a little weight...

Perhaps a few years of his life behind bars, receiving undivided and affectionate attention from "Sidney", would be appropriate.

Semper Fi
10 posted on 08/13/2003 8:56:16 AM PDT by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: Lazamataz
Snooze you lose. ;)
11 posted on 08/13/2003 8:56:51 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Timesink
Thank you!

What I don't understand is that there is an implication here that the leading media in Britain would lie, fabricate or put forth an agenda against the war. How can that be? Isn't that akin to saying that mainstream American media also slants news stories to undermine support for American interests? (Early morning sarcasm before coffee.)

Is it also true that this isn't the first Gilligan article that has stirred this type of controversy? I daresay we are witnessing a man not only with an agenda but with what I call WBS:Woodward-Bernstein Syndrome. It seems journalism schools are spewing out "journalists" all looking for the moment they will be lauded by the Left as the new Woodward or Bernstein.
12 posted on 08/13/2003 9:07:17 AM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: BlessedByLiberty
Your post was after 9am and you haven't had coffee yet? I'm about to leave for lunch. You must work in a bank, or be a goverment employee.
13 posted on 08/13/2003 9:23:01 AM PDT by azsportsterman
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To: azsportsterman
LOL!

Nope, Mr. Blessed by Liberty promised a Machiotto (sp) and hasn't yet delivered it.


14 posted on 08/13/2003 9:38:41 AM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: belmont_mark
What's preplexing is why Mr. Kelly "committed suicide" instead of defending himself against these so-called "fabrications". I don't doubt that Gilligan fudged heavily, but I still don't understand why on earth this would drive the libeled party to suicide.
15 posted on 08/13/2003 9:54:14 AM PDT by Dirk McQuickly
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To: Timesink
Charge the fella with libel, slander, etc... and cut funding from the BBC for allowing Gilligan to spout his garbage even though they KNEW he was doing it.
16 posted on 08/13/2003 10:11:41 AM PDT by Tamzee (I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight...... Rita Rudner)
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To: Timesink
Lord Hawhaw on BBC - shocking!
17 posted on 08/13/2003 10:16:58 AM PDT by .cnI redruM ("Magna cum laude, summa cum laude, the radio's too laude." - Johnny Dangerously)
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To: Congressman Billybob
There's no article "Death by Typewriter" in the news/activism archives. Does it have another title or on another forum? I'll link it if I can find it.
18 posted on 08/13/2003 10:18:51 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty ( 2003, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: Cyber Liberty
"Congressman Billybob: Death by Typewriter"
19 posted on 08/13/2003 10:35:28 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: Dirk McQuickly
Indeed, from my own investigation of this case, I am increasingly of a belief that Mr. Kelly was neither suicidal at the time, nor, in any way a man who would ever accept suicide as morally acceptable. Other notable items: EKG pads were still attached to his chest, he had been in a safe house but left because he valued spending time with his family in Oxfordshire more than he worried about being in harm's way, and, he was well hated by the Iraqi intelligence agencies and no doubt by their brethren in such far flung places as Pakistan, Russia and the PRC.
20 posted on 08/13/2003 10:41:15 AM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: gcruse; Congressman Billybob
Hey, I remember that one! It's a good 'un.
21 posted on 08/13/2003 10:46:33 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty ( 2003, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: Dirk McQuickly
Given that there are serious inconsistencies between what Kelly told the Parliamentary Committee and what's on Watts' tape, and given also that he was taped by Watts just after Gilligan's story had gone public, Kelly may just have been backtracking a little bit with her and then a lot more with the committee. That way his suicide might make more sense.

(On the inconsistencies point e.g. Kelly is talking on the tape about speaking with the BBCs Gavin Hewitt, which he explicitly denied doing in front of the select committee)

A bigger problem is that all this stuff confirms that Kelly and at least some other UK intelligence and technical professionals, believed and said to journalists, that Blair's people had at least to some extent distorted the contents of the dossier for PR purposes.

That hasn't been refuted at all. It's just been confirmed, not least by the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence on day one.

Sure, Gilligan has been badly damaged and even the BBC management have been fingered as putting pressure on Watts to help Gilligan. Blair's hatchet man Campbell is probably breathing a sigh of relief that Kelly avoided naming him on Watts' tape. The long-term PR damage is pretty severe though and Blair's crew have no real answer but more spin.

Have a look at this poll data, you can see what the UK people think of Blair right now

http://www.yougov.com/yougov_website/asp_besPollArchives/pdf/DBD020101010.pdf.
22 posted on 08/13/2003 11:19:10 AM PDT by bernie_g
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To: bernie_g
Hmm URL didn't work. Try this one, which works in preview:

http://www.yougov.com/yougov_website/asp_besPollArchives/bes_arcMain.asp?sID=3&rID=2&wID=0&uID=

It's the pdf with David Kelly in the title four down from the top. Some highlights,

Conservative ahead of Labour
68% think Blair's Government is dishonest and untrustworthy
70% think there is a culture of deceit and spin in govt
41% blame the government for Kelly's death and 9% the BBC

Of course, this was done a few days before the Inquiry started. It'll be interesting to see how it changes.
23 posted on 08/13/2003 11:32:14 AM PDT by bernie_g
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To: Timesink
Kelly also strongly denounced Susan Watts at the hearings. Both Watts and Gillian sandbagged Kelly. They also made their reports sound like they had multiple sources, not just Kelly. Typical jounalistic trix.
24 posted on 08/13/2003 11:40:32 AM PDT by Deb (My Tag Skies to Gotham & Con-Fabs With Net Prexies)
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To: bernie_g; Timesink; Congressman Billybob
Why couldn't Saddam mix precursor chems and fill the reservoir of a missile in 45 minutes? Clinton's SOD William Cohen - report released 10 days before leaving office - gave Saddam a few weeks to a month to start up the chem production:

Iraq Rebuilt Weapons Factories, Officials Say 

Source: New York Times
Published: 1/22/01

 
By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ERIC SCHMITT

ASHINGTON, Jan. 21 — Iraq has rebuilt a series of factories that the United States has long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons, according to senior government officials. The new intelligence estimate could confront President Bush with an early test of his pledge to take a tougher stance against President Saddam Hussein than the Clinton administration did.

The factories — in an industrial complex in Falluja, west of Baghdad — include two that were bombed and badly damaged by American and British air raids in December 1998 to punish Mr. Hussein for his refusal to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors, the government officials said.

The new intelligence estimates were mentioned, but without any such specific details, in a report on weapons threats released on Jan. 10 by the outgoing secretary of defense, William S. Cohen. It warned that Iraq had rebuilt at least its weapons infrastructure and may have begun covertly producing some chemical or biological agents.

Last week, the officials provided details on what they said was the reconstruction of the two factories, and the resumption of the production of chlorine at a third in the same complex.

The factories have ostensibly commercial purposes, but all three were previously involved in producing chemical or biological agents and were among those closely monitored by the United Nations inspectors, the officials said. One of the rebuilt factories, for example, is making castor oil used in brake fluid, the Iraqis say, but the mash from castor beans contains a deadly biological toxin called ricin, the officials said.

~~~~

While officials have previously disclosed that Iraq had rebuilt missile plants destroyed in the 1998 strikes, the Jan. 10 report released by Mr. Cohen was the first public acknowledgment of the resumption of work at suspected chemical and biological plants.

"Some of Iraq's facilities could be converted fairly quickly to production of chemical weapons," the report said at one point. It went on to warn, "Iraq retains the expertise, once a decision is made, to resume chemical agent production within a few weeks or months, depending on the type of agent."


25 posted on 08/13/2003 2:35:14 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (149,998 US troops won hearts and kicked butt w/ their 2 lost brothers yesterday: www.centcom.mil)
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To: Cyber Liberty
Good evening, Cyber,

I thought I put "Death by Typewriter" up on FreeRepublic. But it certainly appeared on ChronWatch, the conservative (believe it or not) website that's attached to the San Francisco Chronicle. Here's the address of that article, published there. I gather you know how to make this an operating link:

http://www.chronwatch.com/featured/contentDisplay.asp?aid=3649

Cheers,

Billybob

26 posted on 08/13/2003 2:47:48 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob ("Don't just stand there. Run for Congress." www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Thanks, BB..

gcruse fixed us up on the link.

27 posted on 08/13/2003 5:59:14 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty ( 2003, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: Timesink
bump
28 posted on 08/13/2003 6:02:38 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Congressman Billybob
Dr. Kelly should have kept his mouth shut. He sowed the seeds of this outrageous story and then this slime Gilligan was off and away.

Gilligan: The big lie

Excerpt:

But if Gilligan is in trouble, Dr David Kelly’s reputation is also being hurt by the inquiry.

There is no doubt that this distinguished scientist lied to his bosses, lied to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and lied to the Intelligence and Security Committee.

~snip~

I have also posted extensive excerpts on two other threads from Kelly's testimony to the committee showing how deceptive he was regarding his meeting and communication with Susan Watts.

The BBC is disgusting, but Dr. Kelly was not a victim.

29 posted on 08/13/2003 8:52:18 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: belmont_mark
See my post #29.

Kelly was talking to these reporters and told them things that undermined his own government. He then lied to the committee. His conscience must have hurt after the hearing, or he feared all of the facts were about to come out and he might be charged with a crime.

What has your "investigation" uncovered? Mine shows Kelly started the ball rolling with his statements to reporters. Gilligan in particular then embellished his reports in an effort to bring down Blair. We know that was the goal from the tone of reports and the fact that the talking point didn't vary even after Kelly's death uncovered the depth of treachery that had gone on.
30 posted on 08/13/2003 8:56:33 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: bernie_g
A bigger problem is that all this stuff confirms that Kelly and at least some other UK intelligence and technical professionals, believed and said to journalists

No, Kelly said there were questions from other professionals. That's what he told these reporters. He denied that to the committee, perhaps knowing there were no names to name.

31 posted on 08/13/2003 8:59:26 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: bernie_g
I tried your link but didn't get the poll.

Blair's been stabbed in the back by Kelly, from my pov, and the BBC eagerly latched on to this line and "sexed it up" as they like to say.

The fact that poll numbers may be down because the media has relentlessly, even now, still insisted that Blair has much to answer for when it looks like he and others have been lied about, does not move me to think he's in the wrong. I have seen nothing to support that, but plenty to show his enemies were willing to lie to try to bring him down.
32 posted on 08/13/2003 9:02:28 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Deb
Kelly also strongly denounced Susan Watts at the hearings.

Actually, he did not, but he was very deceptive in his representation of his communications with her. I posted about it on another thread and provide a link to his entire testimony.

Kelly's testimony pertaining to Watts

33 posted on 08/13/2003 9:05:43 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper
Sure, but the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence had also confirmed that at least some other members of his staff had (internally) documented their unease about the way Downing Street had spun their work.

Ref: Martin Howard's evidence, day one: http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/

This is not IMHO just a straight black/white liberals vs conservatives issue. From the point of view of UK-based Conservatives it's fantastic that Blair is in trouble, especially that the electorate is losing trust in him.

From the point of view of Rupert Murdoch (owns Times, Sun, Fox and Sky TV among many other media) and Conrad Black (owns Telegraph), it's great that the BBC is in trouble.

Just because Murdoch supports Blair and because, for perfectly understandable commercial reasons, he wants to see the BBC's reputation tarnished and it's special status ended, doesn't mean that Blair is automatically the innocent party in this situation.
34 posted on 08/13/2003 11:55:16 PM PDT by bernie_g
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