The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Sunday, February 22, 2004
A not-so-secret Pentagon document, a not-so-exclusive for the Sunday Times
Breathlessly bylined from Baghdad, one Stephen Grey, attempting to belie his name, is jumping up and down like a five year old:
A Pentagon intelligence guide to Iraq that was distributed to American troops six months before last year’s war indicated that they faced little danger from chemical weapons.
A copy of this tome, he avers,
the Iraq Country Handbook, marked “for official use only”, was bought last week for £5 by a Sunday Times reporter in a Baghdad market.
Does that mean that someone else bought it? Or that he bought it, but wants to add to the mystery?
He can scarcely contain his excitement:
The manual's publication date — September 2002 — suggests that the American military were making preparations to invade Iraq long before any debate at the United Nations.
Those sneaky Yanks!
Before those award noms go in, one might want to consider whether Brer Grey might have saved Rupert Murdoch five quid: would the volume he acquired have, by any chance, been this? Available since God knows when on the Global Security site at the cost of 4.2 MB worth of patience.
Of course, the DOD might have published two docs called Iraq Country Handbook in September 2002, the public one and the Top Secret one in Grey's hot little hands.
It might. Or this might be another example of BSJ - British Sunday journalism. (Or complete bollocks, as it is better known.)
I wonder what Con Coughlin has for us today...
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