The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
 

On Her Majesty's Illiterate Service?


Amongst the avalanche of Hutton stuff, there's a letter from no less a personage than the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, Martin Howard (dated July 8), which admits of only three possibilities:

  • the DCDI and his staff dealing with the letter are all illiterate;
  • he does not read what he signs (or in this case, Dear Johns); or
  • it's an elaborate code meant to foil meaner intelligences (which would certainly include me!).

For instance,
According to Dr Kelly, based on his extensive and authoritative knowledge of Iraq's WMD programme, notably it's biological programme...
and
The only other point that we have elicited from Dr Kelly...

Bearing in mind that this was a letter copied to the top echelon of No 10 advisers, and carries the handwritten note (to Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell)
The Prime Minister may find this of interest
one might suppose that a certain degree of care went into its production.

Which leads me to suppose that the letter is in fact in code, to which the errors noted constitute some kind of key. The other two conclusions are too dreadful to contemplate, surely? Sir Humphrey must be positively spinning right now....


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