One of the problems with blogging is that you can, sometimes, be rather hasty to publish things. It is a trap we here try hard to avoid with major events, keeping a silence for a while, but I am afraid I fell a cropper last week.
In the post on the high court verdict on George Galloway v The Daily Telegraph, entitled Now We Know, I may have given the impression, particularly with the title, that the judge in the case had made clear that the documents found in Baghdad by the Telegraph were faked or untrue in some other way.
A number of readers in the comments boxes pointed out that this was not in fact the case and David Aaronovitch today makes the same point.
As it happens, the authenticity of the documents was never discussed in court. Galloway didn’t dispute them, and the Telegraph said it didn’t have the capacity to investigate whether what was claimed in the papers was true. The account of the finding of the documents by the reporter David Blair was not challenged, he himself was praised by the judge, and it is pretty clear from his testimony that the papers were genuine. What we can’t know was whether they were truthful, or the accounts of Ba’athist officials who were themselves corrupt of covering up corruption.
One has to learn from one’s mistakes and I think that in this case I made the error of being influenced by the spin put out by Galloway and his supporters straight after the case. Far from Now We Know – we still don’t know.
My apologies to any readers who may have been misled by that post.
Yoos deserve better.