Anorak News | Morgan’s Organ

Morgan’s Organ

by | 13th, May 2004

‘THE Ministry Of Defence is expected to confirm today what we have suspected all along, namely that the Mirror’s photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners are fake.

The jammed gun and melting boots were dead giveaways

Whether or not they represent what has really been going on in Iraq is another matter.

The fact remains that, by publishing the pictures without doing proper checks to prove their authenticity, the Mirror has perpetrated one of the greatest journalistic blunders of recent times – and editor Piers Morgan should start clearing his desk now.

We rather suspect he will try to hold on, arguing (as he has done up to now) that he still believes the pictures are genuine and anyway the main point about British abuse of Iraqi detainees remains.

However, the Telegraph also pins blame on the Government, which it says has known since last Monday that the pictures were in fact “mocked up” in the back of a Bedford four-ton lorry by members of the TA Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers.

It says the announcement of the findings of the inquiry was delayed “in what appears to be an attempt to divert media attention from the controversy over when the Government knew about allegations of mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners”.

What is not in doubt is the impact the pictures of abuse – real in the case of the Americans; fake in the case of the British – have had in Iraq.

The Times says the country’s new leaders are demanding that the US surrender control of all prisons and detainees in Iraq when it hands over power to the interim authority on June 30.

“Such a sweeping demand,” the paper says, “will be unacceptable to the Pentagon and will leave Tony Blair in a position of acute discomfort, testing his loyalty to President Bush to the limit.”

It also provides Blair with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the UK’s independence from America, a move that will also help Blair’s standing at home.

The Guardian reports that Gordon Brown has seen media tycoon Rupert Murdoch twice this week, giving rise to rumours that the chancellor is growing more restless in his desire to succeed his erstwhile friend.

And some commentators suggest that Blair is nearing his Geoffrey Howe moment, when a senior member of his Government like John Prescott tells him it is time to go.

If Prescott is chosen as the messenger, the fear is that Blair will not understand the message.’

Posted: 13th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink