The BBC’s Arrogance

The Guardian is asking if the BBC "sexed-up" its claims that the British government overstated the case against Iraq. It is ironic that the BBC was engaged in "sexing up" a report alleging that the British government "sexed up" their own Iraq dossier.

Despite all the negative publicity directed at the Blair government, it is the BBC that is losing credibility in this affair. The BBC clearly skewed their coverage of the war to match their own anti-war predisposition. It is clear that the BBC’s constant efforts to pressure Dr. David Kelly into embarrassing the British government is a direct cause of his suicide, despite the fact that Dr. Kelly believed that military action against Iraq was justified.

The arrogance of the BBC is the arrogance of a group that has been long been feeding off the mandatory fees of the British taxpayer. The BBC has begun to believe that it is a branch of government in itself, and it has the right to use biased and misleading reporting to influence the policy of the government. As John Keegan eloquently notes the Hutton Inquiry has found that the BBC believes it to be accountable to no one but itself – not to the marketplace nor to the people who pay for it. The BBC deserves to have its public charter revoked and its funding put to better uses than spreading lies and innuendo.

7 thoughts on “The BBC’s Arrogance

  1. if it wasn’t for the BBC, and what they have revealed, you would still be saying that Saddam has missiles able to reach california with nuclear-anthrax loads!!
    But maybe you’re one of those that think Nixon was the cool dude that invented tele-reality!!

  2. The 45 minutes figure was based on evidence that was believed to be true at the time – which is why coalition troops were trained to get into chemical warfare gear in a matter of seconds.

    The Nigerian uranium connection is being upheld by the British government.

    The Kay Report on Iraq’s WMD is due this month. Also, the United Nations, Germany, Italy, France, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and the Czech Republic all said that Saddam Hussein did possess weapons of mass destruction. If WMDS were a "lie" then the UN’s 1998 UNSCOM report was a lie, as was a report by August Manning of the German Federal Intelligence Service in the summer of 2001. So, if WMDs never existed as you argue, then every single government in the world was either wrong or lying about it. Furthermore, if Saddam Hussein had no WMDs he could have easily complied with UN Resolution 1441 and shown documentation that confirmed what he had and where, and proven that material had been destroyed. He did not do so, and therefore was in violation of 1441. Under 1441 if Iraq was found to be in material breach, then military action could be taken to disarm him. In fact, even if Saddam only had a WMD program he would be in violation of the Gulf War cease-fire (signed by France) and Resolution 1441 (also signed by France) and subject to military action.

    As for Korean missiles, there was no argument about a connection between Iraq and those missiles. However, if you’ll remember, US troops boarded and inspected a ship carrying Korean missiles to Yemen. The ship was allowed to continue on as there was no justification for confiscating the weapons, but if you believe that there is no threat of missile proliferation from North Korea than the UN and the IAEA says otherwise.

  3. “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.”
    — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance — not even today — of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.”
    — Dr. Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector
    January 27, 2003
    Addressing the UN Security Council

    “The nerve agent VX is one of the most toxic ever developed.
    13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1,000 tonnes. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.”
    — Dr. Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector
    January 27, 2003
    Addressing the UN Security Council

    “The recent inspection find in the private home of a scientist of a box of some 3,000 pages of documents, much of it relating to the laser enrichment of uranium support a concern that has long existed that documents might be distributed to the homes of private individuals. … we cannot help but think that the case might not be isolated and that such placements of documents is deliberate to make discovery difficult and to seek to shield documents by placing them in private homes.”
    — Dr. Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector
    January 27, 2003
    Addressing the UN Security Council

    “I have mentioned the issue of anthrax to the Council on previous occasions and I come back to it as it is an important one.
    Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 litres of this biological warfare agent, which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991. Iraq has provided little evidence for this production and no convincing evidence for its destruction.
    There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least some of this was retained after the declared destruction date. It might still exist. Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was, indeed, destroyed in 1991.”
    — Dr. Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector
    January 27, 2003
    Addressing the UN Security Council

    But of course, we know that WMDs were all a lie – a lie that was apparently shared by Jacques Chirac and the UN.

  4. we had this argument several times. this is worthless.

    “It might still exist”

    do you understand what “might” means?

    “The 45 minutes figure was based on evidence that was believed to be true at the time ”

    you’re not reading about Dr Kelly’s affair or what? It wasn’t believed to be true even at the time!!!

  5. you’re not reading about Dr Kelly’s affair or what? It wasn’t believed to be true even at the time!!!

    Obviously you haven’t been reading about the Hutton Inquiry, or you would have noticed this:

    The BBC, the world’s largest and best known public service broadcaster, sends out millions of words daily, but its long-nurtured reputation for accuracy, fairness and objectivity is being challenged for just 20 of them.

    On May 29, the defense correspondent of its morning radio news show, Andrew Gilligan, said that the government had inserted into its dossier of intelligence on Iraqi arms the claim that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons that were deployable within 45 minutes.

    Mr. Gilligan went on to say that “actually the government probably knew that that 45-minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in.” The phrase took only seconds to utter, at 6:07 a.m., but the effect has been long lasting.

    The results of Gilligan’s claim? He was fired from his position at the BBC for trying to influence the Hutton Inquiry.

    So we have a claim that has been proven to be false from someone who was trying to push his agenda above the truth. Yet you argue that PM Blair lied about the claim when there is no evidence that Blair knew the claim was false.

    You can’t lie about an unknown. You can be wrong, but that is not a lie.

    Under UN Resolution 1441 Saddam Hussein was called to prove that he had disarmed. He did not meet the terms of 1441, and he faced the consequences of that choice.

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