The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Operation Rockingham - when will the misery end?
The medical profession  has a term referring to some of its charges as heartsink patients. Operation Rockingham is the journalistic equivalent.
Some duff stories - remember Lt-Col Dabbagh? - appear and are shot down, and make no attempt to rise from the dead. Rockingham is, it seems, capable of more refluxes than an unwise chicken vindaloo on a Friday night .
Rockingham  long remained in single-source hell - that peculiarly 2003 kind of place . That single source was erstwhile weapons inspector Scott Ritter.
A personal memoir of David Kelly appeared on January 25 in the London Sunday Times by, of all people, Nick Rufford. Rufford is the guy who doorstepped Kelly at his house as the leak of his name was in progress and caused him to go into hiding .
What is says about Rockingham is this:
In London, Kelly became a key figure in an MoD unit called Operation Rockingham. Set up by John Morrison, deputy head of the DIS, its aim was to gather intelligence on Iraq from a multitude of sources and try to make sense of it. Sitting at the centre of a complex web of British and US intelligence organisations, the Rockingham cell became pivotal in the efforts to disarm Iraq.
I infer from that lot that Ritter is still the only source. And that Rufford thinks Ritter's story is bollocks. (It's Sunday - no one believes British Sunday newspapers. So he doesn't mind putting it in.)
Ritter himself had a piece in the Guardian (January 30). It's the same old blather, so far as I can see. He talks about
Rockingham's penetration of Unscom at virtually every level
Now, bearing in mind just how hacked off a lot of those Unscom guys are likely to be (and Hans Blix was never exactly a happy bunny!), it's bizarre that there have been no leaks about this extraordinary venture.
And the story has negative press pack - as I've said before, not even the Guardian's own intelligence specialist, Richard Norton-Taylor, has touched the story .
Yet that paper has run several stories on the subject in addition to Ritter's. RNT thinks they're NBG, I'll be bound.
There are evidently a lot of conspiracy theorists out there - it would give me nothing but joy to confirm it. But, as of now...I feel the Parrot Sketch coming on...
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