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kiwi_the_iwik
Jul 18, 2003, 09:10 AM
A high ranking advisor to the Government regarding the recent Iraq War went missing yesterday - today, apparently Dr. Kelly's body was found in parkland a mile from his home - although it is yet to be formally identified.

Currently, there's an enquiry into the so-called "Dodgy Dossier" - a paper aimed at justifying the UK's involvement in the war, siting Iraq's (unproven) evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Government's primary "Spin Doctor" and Chief Advisor to Tony Blair, Allistair Campbell, was accused by the BBC Journalist, Andrew Gilligan, of "Sexing up" the document to gain public support for the war action.

The accusations were made after the journalist quoted a Government insider's off-the-record comments to him - these are now likely to have come from Dr. Kelly, previously cleared by the enquiry as being the source of the statement.

This comes after proven allegations that the Ministry of Defence dossier had plagiarised whole sections from a student's thesis from a few years back, citing Iraq's potential to manufacture WMD.

Even the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, when questioned by the enquiry into the UK's involvement into the war, told them of his belief that evidence of a Weapons of Mass Destruction programme will be found (Ed: which, you may agree, is a little different than finding evidence of WMD's themselves...).

The implications of these events could, theoretically, bring down the Labour Government - still reeling from lack of popular support in the UK. This could be, indeed, the straw that breaks the camel's back.

At the very least, Allistair Campbell (a very prominent figure in the Government, and - some say - the REAL force behind Prime Minister Blair) will be set to resign over the whole debacle.

Link:
http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1097399,00.html

hvfsl
Jul 18, 2003, 09:51 AM
I wonder if the family will want a full look into the mans past, it will probably turn up lots of stuff I expectt the family would want ot keep hidern. The man must have been very depressed in the first place to contemplate killing himself. I have to say that I think the UK media is going a bit overboard on this since the people that were asking the man the questions gave Tony Blair a much harder time and he has not comtemplated killing himself or even quiting. I do think the people could have been a bit nicer to him, but I don't think they blame is totally with them, I think the BBC has to also take its share of the blame (if there is any) as well.

But what scares me is that the BBC has now become more powerful than the gov. Most people in the UK get their news from the BBC and it is being very biased on this (compare its coverage to other news companies like Sky) and other news about the gov and its policies.

kiwi_the_iwik
Jul 18, 2003, 10:10 AM
I think the Government would think it were Christmas if Dr. Kelly had a chequered past. Unfortunately for them, I severely doubt whether he's even had a parking ticket.

The man was a Chemical Weapons specialist - and served on many UN Inspection teams to Iraq. His opinions were highly regarded, and perhaps his depression was due to the war playing on his conscience - with the Government wanting any way possible to invade Iraq, the dossier was an avenue exploited by them.

Dr. Kelly knew the document for what it really was, and was why it is speculated that he told Andrew Gilligan that the Iraqi arms dossier was "sexed up" to begin with. The pressure of testifying, and being unneccessarily grilled by the committee (which was quite ruthless, in hindsight) was obviously too much for a chemical boffin to deal with.

It was blatantly obvious that the extremely Labour-biased committee needed a scapegoat, and had targeted Dr. Kelly as the sacrificial lamb.

Perhaps with a truly INDEPENDANT judicial enquiry into the sequence of events, the truth will surface - whether the Government wants it or not.

dabirdwell
Jul 18, 2003, 10:31 AM
I wouldn't be too quick to place a bias on the BBC, it's actually far more "objective" than if it were corporate media like in the US. The profit motivation always lends a pro-establishment bias to US media.

hvfsl
Jul 18, 2003, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik
I think the Government would think it were Christmas if Dr. Kelly had a chequered past. Unfortunately for them, I severely doubt whether he's even had a parking ticket.

The man was a Chemical Weapons specialist - and served on many UN Inspection teams to Iraq. His opinions were highly regarded, and perhaps his depression was due to the war playing on his conscience - with the Government wanting any way possible to invade Iraq, the dossier was an avenue exploited by them.

Dr. Kelly knew the document for what it really was, and was why it is speculated that he told Andrew Gilligan that the Iraqi arms dossier was "sexed up" to begin with. The pressure of testifying, and being unneccessarily grilled by the committee (which was quite ruthless, in hindsight) was obviously too much for a chemical boffin to deal with.

It was blatantly obvious that the extremely Labour-biased committee needed a scapegoat, and had targeted Dr. Kelly as the sacrificial lamb.

Perhaps with a truly INDEPENDANT judicial enquiry into the sequence of events, the truth will surface - whether the Government wants it or not.

My point was someone does not just kill themselves after one grilling. He must of have already had problems and the grilling was the final straw. I was saying that his family may not want this all exposed in the media (as well as the gov and posibly the BBC depending on if he was the real source).

There can never be a totally independant enquiry since they will also have there own person views. The only way to get a proper independant one would be do get people in from another country. Anyway if the enquiry vindicates the gov then the BBC will complain and if it vindicates the BBC, the gov will complain, so this story will go on for a long time until a bigger one comes up.

There is one good thing to come out of this (if you can call it that). There will probably not be any terror attacks on western interests for a while (not including Iraq of course) because the media and to some extent other political parties are doing a good enough job of bringing down governments without any help from the terrorists.

hvfsl
Jul 18, 2003, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by dabirdwell
I wouldn't be too quick to place a bias on the BBC, it's actually far more "objective" than if it were corporate media like in the US. The profit motivation always lends a pro-establishment bias to US media.

I do media studies and computing at Uni and did a research paper on TV news recently and found the BBC to be very biased, they are very clever at spinning a story so the audience sees what they want them to see.

The BBC is controlled by the UK gov because they decide on how much moeny they get (from the tax payers). Recently the UK gov has wanted to stop the licence fee that people in the UK have to pay. This would mean people would choose whether they got the BBC or not and since a lot of what is on the BBC has already been on cable/satelite. A lot of people would stop getting the BBC. I think the BBC is just using this to bring down the gov so that they can't take away the tax we have to pay the BBC.

pinks
Jul 18, 2003, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by hvfsl
I do media studies and computing at Uni and did a research paper on TV news recently and found the BBC to be very biased, they are very clever at spinning a story so the audience sees what they want them to see.

The BBC is controlled by the UK gov because they decide on how much moeny they get (from the tax payers). Recently the UK gov has wanted to stop the licence fee that people in the UK have to pay. This would mean people would choose whether they got the BBC or not and since a lot of what is on the BBC has already been on cable/satelite. A lot of people would stop getting the BBC. I think the BBC is just using this to bring down the gov so that they can't take away the tax we have to pay the BBC.

As someone half way through a PhD studying the BBC and its news output, I must say that this statement is nonsensical: based on inaccurate information and loaded with misconception and malassumptions.

It really doesn't take must investigation of the history of the BBC, or its current output, to see the evidence of objectivity in its reporting - indeed it is the very neutrality of its political allegience that is at the roots of claims of bias from both sides of the political divide: Labour and Conservative. Just because the corporation asks hard questions, doesn't mean the BBC takes a stance on the answers to these questions. That is the essence of objective and thorough journalism, and at no point have the BBC breached this position of trust and objectivity during this situation or any other period of conflict.

- Al

kiwi_the_iwik
Jul 18, 2003, 09:24 PM
As a member of an international news organisation, I pride myself and my company on its unbiased approach to news gathering. Working side-by-side with other news companies - including the BBC - I can see that our approach is not isolated: that as news gatherers, we ALL strive to attain a high level of accuracy and truthfulness in our bulletins. It's what makes our viewers return to us time and again.

We are NOT made up of tabloid journalists - but are professionals, directed at primarily giving the public enough facts as to draw their OWN conclusions. I think the BBC - and Andrew Gilligan - acted correctly. It would have been wrong for a journalist to divulge their source of information. The blame falls squarely on the Government enquiry - and their foolhardy and hap-hazard method of getting the answers they demanded.

If you want to talk about bias, then ask yourself these questions:

1. Who instigated the enquiry in the first place?
2. What political persuasion were the MP's on the Committee?
3. For what reason did the MoD put forward a candidate to answer questions over the dossier who was completely unprepared for a rigorous and unneccessarily ruthless cross-examination?

Answers:

1. Labour
2. Labour
3. As a "patsy" for Labour

I'm not biased towards Labour at all. I just think they handled things ineptly, and their actions cost the life of an innocent man.

kettle
Jul 18, 2003, 10:01 PM
the spin hasn't finished spinning.

I think it's just getting some rpm momentum in order to strike at the British secret services. Britain with a ruined substructure would make for a much softer opponent in the European invasion.

Bias in the british media can not be measured accurately by people who believe that Phd wins over the "lowly" studying Media Studies at Uni.
Having a drivers licence does not make a good driver, it just makes them legal. Further, driving a car badly for a number of years makes for a relatively experienced bad driver.
Also, I think that the Administration of British Academia has the same political leanings as the BBC because they are populated by the same Gravytrain hangers on.

As far as the BBC being unbiased because of their continued attacks against a Labour Government, please look more closely, what we have here is Old Labour vs New Labour.

p.s. how am I to know if a person believes that Phd wins over the "lowly" studying Media Studies at Uni.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 12:20 AM
Sure the BBC is biased. However, it's not a matter of being for or against one party. Look at the way they have treated the government on Zimbabwe. There's a lot of bias there against Mugabe (now, I happen to agree with their anti Mugabe bias, but I can see it for the bias that it is). Not all bias is a bad thing.

Bias is inevitable to a large degree, but one can put balance and fairness in a news story with a little effort. It will still be biased, but it will be more fair. When a journalist sees his or her job as one of informing, it makes for a different style of journalism than one who sees his or her job as persuading. If a journalist can write a story that all the stakeholders agree reflects their views accurately, then people can decide for themselves.

It is a real tragedy that this man has (apparently?) been driven to suicide by some public issue. While it's not likely that he was 100 percent OK before, certain events can push people over the edge. There was an admiral in the US a few years back who killed himself after it was learned that he had inadvertantly worn a combat medal for something that he thought he wasn't entitled to. It was scheduled to come out in the press.

kiwi_the_iwik, I'm very glad to see you are in one piece.

hvfsl
Jul 19, 2003, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by pinks
As someone half way through a PhD studying the BBC and its news output, I must say that this statement is nonsensical: based on inaccurate information and loaded with misconception and malassumptions.

It really doesn't take must investigation of the history of the BBC, or its current output, to see the evidence of objectivity in its reporting - indeed it is the very neutrality of its political allegience that is at the roots of claims of bias from both sides of the political divide: Labour and Conservative. Just because the corporation asks hard questions, doesn't mean the BBC takes a stance on the answers to these questions. That is the essence of objective and thorough journalism, and at no point have the BBC breached this position of trust and objectivity during this situation or any other period of conflict.

- Al

I am not saying they are totally biased or unobjective, but they are very clever in giving their views and making them seem fact. They can actually be very unbias and objective when they want to be. It is just their politic call news bits are filled with assumptions and views of the BBC employees which are often wrong. Also they can ask all the hard questions they want, I have no problems with that, it is when they spin a story or twist it. Well I will just have to disagree with you because all my research into the subject shows the BBC to be biased and unobjective (although not totally), this was especially noticable in the Iraq war where the BBC often reported gov spin.

As for the bit about the BBC trying to take down the gov, that was just my own comspiracy theory.

I suggest you read Fiske on TV News as just one example that believes TV news is biases and unobjective. There have also been numerous studies on the subject in the UK that have also found the same thing.

caveman_uk
Jul 19, 2003, 04:56 AM
As someone that was and is still against the war in Iraq my take on the BBC bias thing is that before the war the BBC was anti-war, during pro-war in that it reported as fact whatever it was told (How many times was Umm Qasr in coallition hands before it actually was?). And after has swung round to being a bit anti again.

Some media outlets have been consistently pro (The Sun for example that yesterday referred to Coalition troops as 'allied peacekeepers' which sounds a lot nicer that 'occupying force') and some like The Independent which is very anti. The BBC seems to try to find a middle line that most of the UK population occupies.

Before the war there was a generally anti-feeling in the country and Blair was under a lot of pressure and could have failed. During the war, the country got behind the troops and so did the BBC to a large extent. It didn't show images of the dead Iraqi children. It still was accused of being anti-war by the government though

iGav
Jul 19, 2003, 05:47 AM
Originally posted by hvfsl
I am not saying they are totally biased or unobjective, but they are very clever in giving their views and making them seem fact. They can actually be very unbias and objective when they want to be. It is just their politic call news bits are filled with assumptions and views of the BBC employees which are often wrong.

I have to agree, I noticed this throughout the recent conflict and it's annoying as hell... But it's not just limited to their war reporting though.... I found Sky to be more neutral with it's reporting.

And that Omar dude on BBC was really, really irritating!! :rolleyes:

It's about time the BBC were made to finance themselves though, rather than the current license system.... they advertise enough of their own products to warrant it!! :rolleyes:

NavyIntel007
Jul 19, 2003, 08:24 AM
Who said it was suicide?

edit: upon reading an article, I stil wonder who said it's suicide? It's the perfect murder. Painkillers, a knife and a slash to the wrist certainly denote suicide but how can you really be sure? I mean he went for a walk (I believe with is dog). He could have offed himself in his car, his house, his office, a public restroom... and better yet, he didn't even leave a note for his wife and kids...

I find it hard to believe that you guys are very critical of any government actions and are all about a conspiracy theory, yet you'll believe the media when it can validate your point.

This man was murdered.

cyberddot
Jul 19, 2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
Who said it was suicide?...

This man was murdered.

Call me a paranoid American, but that was my FIRST thought, even knowing that there is evidence that it was a suicide. Why would ANY government want there to be a chance it could be interpreted as otherwise?
We'll probably never know, inquiry or not. Seems that administrations in the US and the UK are going to lose some ground on this one when it comes time to select new leaders, but at least we're not living in Iraq.
Wait...being from the US and knowing the attention span of OUR average voter...evidence that the war was justified isn't necessary for GWB to get re-elected.

dot

kiwi_the_iwik
Jul 19, 2003, 05:01 PM
I think you might want to look into this man's state of mind - he had become very depressed since the grilling in front of the committee. Henceforth, he had the inclination to commit suicide.

However, it makes for a decent conspiricy theory, nes pas?

It was interesting to gauge Blair's reaction whilst in a press conference with the Japanese PM. One journalist called from the back of the room:

"Do you have blood on your hands, Mr. Blair? Are you set to resign?"

Nothing in return, but a stoic glare.

This may be the end for the UK Prime Minister - an excellent ambassador, yet ignorant of home issues.

P.S. Thanks Macfan. Glad to be here...

NavyIntel007
Jul 19, 2003, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik
I think you might want to look into this man's state of mind - he had become very depressed since the grilling in front of the committee. Henceforth, he had the inclination to commit suicide.

However, it makes for a decent conspiricy theory, nes pas?

It was interesting to gauge Blair's reaction whilst in a press conference with the Japanese PM. One journalist called from the back of the room:

"Do you have blood on your hands, Mr. Blair? Are you set to resign?"

Nothing in return, but a stoic glare.

This may be the end for the UK Prime Minister - an excellent ambassador, yet ignorant of home issues.

P.S. Thanks Macfan. Glad to be here...

I'd like to know how you know this man's state of mind. He left NO suicide note for his wife and kids, no goodbyes, no nothing. And wasn't he walking his dog? If he was committing suicide... why would he bring his dog? He was leaving his family for the rest of their lives... the last thing he said to his family was "I'm going for a walk", no note no goodbyes... that doesn't sit well with me.

You assume his state of mind was depressed. His wife has said NOTHING about him acting strange, him being depressed, NOTHING. She seemed just as shocked as everyone else.

<conspiracy theory> This man was murdered. Opponents of Blair hired someone to assasinate Dr. Kelly in such a way to make it look like a suicide. The black cloud of apparent lies would surround Tony Blair. His hands are bloodied with the deaths of the British Troops in Iraq and Dr. Kelly. People will start demanding for his resignation or removal.

To add to this, suppose Iraq has active intelligence operations in Europe, particularly England (remember, all the UN offices had phone taps in them that were linked to paperwork found in Iraq). What if the underground Iraqi leadership is not only afraid of what Dr. Kelly knew but figured it would the best way to curb public opinion on the war. With Tony Blair on the chopping block, Bush would not be too far behind. Both countries new leaders under the pressure of public opinion will hastily pull our militaries out of iraq. And who decides to pop his head out of the Rabbit hole? Saddam, back in power.</conspiracy theory>

There are people in this world that are trained to kill people and make it look like an accident, suicide, or random mugging. Hell, the US Marines are taught 250 ways to kill a person. Random crime and accident would be too obvious. Even BBC couldn't spin that into the "truth." Suicide, after a rough grilling by parliment and under tremendous amounts of stress, would fly way low on the radar. Public opinion is already low, so no one would even question it.

kiwi_the_iwik
Jul 20, 2003, 12:46 PM
Interesting approach, navy...

I think perhaps you may be reading into it a little too deeply.

His wife DID state that he had been disturbed since the hearing, and getting "progressively worse".

Added to this, the knowledge that the dossier was "sexed up" may have been more than he could bear - not acting in a more positive way to avert the war on unjust grounds, may have caused the unneccessary deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - the invasion made on the premise that there WERE Weapons Of Mass Destruction ready to unleash terror and mayhem on the world.

As leader of many incursions into Iraq as a UN Chief Weapons Inspector, his understanding of the region and it's people would be unmatched by many. I'm sure this understanding may have contributed to his depression.

Also, it could be that the repercussions of his statement to the committee, and subsequent character assassination by them, may have greatly contributed to his deteriorated state of mind.

I cannot see the opposition - i.e. Ian Duncan Smith - planning a hit on this man, in order to undermine the government. And as far as the suggestion of Al Quaeda operatives, I doubt whether they'd have the audacity OR the mentality to drum up an assassination such as this in such a short period of time - after all, it was just 2 days after his committee statement that he was found dead.

At any rate, they'd prefer the loud-and-dirty frontal assault, just to let you know who did it...

iGav
Jul 22, 2003, 04:45 AM
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik
I cannot see the opposition - i.e. Ian Duncan Smith - planning a hit on this man, in order to undermine the government.


IDS couldn;t arrange a p*ss up in a brewery, never mind a hit... :p

Although it could b the leader of the Lib Dem's... he's ginger, so that would put him straight at the top of any suspect list!! :D :p :p