Friday February 06, 2004
Lord Hutton struck me as an honorable man, but the moment he presented his report on the Kelly suicide I knew there was something fishy about him. We already know that Blair and Bush invented, exaggerated and misinterpreted nearly all their evidence against Iraq, that the "imminent threat" was a gigantic scam, directed by sinister neo-conservative string-pullers in secretive Washington think-tanks with connections to Israel. And the BBC was one of few Western media organizations brave enough to point this out. So why did Hutton choose to put all blame on the BBC, and absolve the Blair administration?
Clearly there's much we don't know here, but we can speculate. Perhaps Blair threatened Hutton. Perhaps he was bought and paid from the start. Or perhaps, as a member of the morally corrupt British aristocracy, he didn't need to be bought. It's not difficult to think of explanations that are more likely than that the BBC made a mistake, and then refused to admit it. This is the lighthouse of European journalism we're talking about, not just any commercial tabloid.
With all this corruption in the air, the sweet smell of integrity is more refreshing than ever. John le Carre, one of my favourite authors, (who I intend to read very soon), is out with a new novel, Absolute Friends, a brave and thrilling expose of the inner workings of the Blair and Bush administrations. It deals quite openly with the Kelly case, and the question, as NRK points out, is which account is closer to the truth, Hutton's or le Carre's?
The BBC was harshly criticized while Tony Blair was absolved in Lord Hutton's report on the Kelly case last week. The accusations that Downing Street had sexed up the intelligence reports were groundless, claimed Hutton. In John le Carre's latest novel, this is exactly what happens.
What sources does le Carre have access to? We can only speculate - perhaps a high ranking intelligence officer or a disillusioned Labor politician - but the fact alone that he blames the scandal on "neo-conservative theologists" gives his story credibility Lord Hutton's lack. Novelists often se further and clearer than the rest of us. George Orwell foresaw the credit card society in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The X-Files asked tough questions about the clandestine black projects of the US government. Babylon 5 gave us an accurate prediction of George W. Bush's rise to power. Now le Carre is presenting his alternative Hutton report. Written without pressure from any interested parties, it is almost certainly more reliable - and definitely better written.
As NRK points out, le Carre is a former intelligence officer known for his reliability. Lord Hutton is a British aristocrat with a clear anti-BBC bias. Who would you trust to carry out an honest investigation against the lying scumbags in Downing Street? Yeah, that's what I thought.