by John Hawkins | February 6, 2003 4:37 pm
What’s Next? Will They Title A Report In Crayon?: I cannot believe that the Blair administration made this sort of boneheaded mistake…
“Channel Four News has learnt that the bulk of the nineteen page document (link goes to word document) was copied from three different articles – one written by a graduate student.
On Monday, the day before the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell addressed the UN, Downing Street published its latest paper on Iraq.
It gives the impression of being an up to the minute intelligence-based analysis – and Mr Powell was fulsome in his praise.”
First off, I imagine that the Brits gave some lone agent the responsibility of writing this dossier and he spent all of his time playing Solitaire or Tetris until 2 hours before the document was due. Then he cribbed together a bunch of excerpts from resource material he had sitting around, tossed in a few snippets from British intelligence material and handed it in and nobody looked over his work.
As far as the consequences go, they’re not as severe as they might appear at first glance. Just because large portions of the dossier are plagiarized, doesn’t mean that they’re incorrect. Furthermore, none of the IMPORTANT information that was used in Powell’s speech to the UN came from this dossier although he did mention some things from the report.
That being said, this does give the anti-war people a chance to try to discredit Powell’s devastating presentation by claiming that it was all based on a plagiarized dossier. Sure that’s not true, but do you think that’s going to matter to a bunch of anti-war people who are so out of it that they think Bush is worse than Hitler? It also makes Tony Blair look VERY amateurish and I’m sure this will inspire more than a few pieces of satire and editorial cartoons which isn’t really convenient since we’re weeks away from war. All I can say at this point is, “bad form Tony, bad form.”
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