"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The formerly 5-word title of this post has been mysteriously deleted by Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich

That's right. Those "dark actors" are at it again.

Interesting, isn't it, how Andrew Gilligan's and Susan Watts' versions of things seem to be diverging, eh? While Watts is quoted in Sky News as now saying that Kelly "denied specifically that Alastair Campbell was involved in the conversation on May 30," her own transcript (can't tell if it's the same interview or a different one) says at the top of p. 3:
SW you were more specific than the source on the Today programme - not that that necessarily means that it's not one and the same person. but, um in fact you actually referred to Alastair Campbell in that conversation

DK err yep yep with you? .

SW yes
(Barring inadvertant errors, I've left punctuation, word-spacing, and spelling exactly as it appears in the document.) That transcript of Watts' interview with David Kelly is now available in PDF form (260 KB) via The Hutton Inquiry website. It's scanned text, so even though it's only 7 pages, it's kind of hard to read. I made it through the thing in about 20 minutes with it enlarged to 190% (as big as I could get to fit the text in the width of my screen). Only after doing that did I discover that it was, in fact, bitmapped scanned text, and I could've pasted it into a word processor document and read it a lot easier!

The strangest thing for me is at the bottom of page 3. It is precisely the stuff of which conspiracy theories are made. It reads:
SW but on the 45 minutes

DK oh that I knew because I knew the concern about the statement . it was a statement that was made and it just got out of all proportion . you know someone  They were desperate for information. they were pushing hard for information which could be released  that was one that popped up and it was seized on  and it was unfortunate that it was  which is why there is the argument between the intelligence services and cabinet office/number ten, because things were picked up on, and once they've picked up on it you can't pull it back, that's the problem

SW but it was against your advice that they publish it?

DK I wouldn't go as strongly as to say that particular bit, because I was not involved in the assessment of it. no. I can't say that it was against MY advice  I was uneasy with it  I mean my problem was I could give other explanations which I've indicated to you . that it was the time to erect something like a scud missile or it was the time to fill a 40-barrel, multi-barrel rocket launcher

    (Next 5 words physically removed from tape .not present on Monday 14/7/03  assume due to rubbing as tape constantly rewound)

.  ("all sorts of reasons why") 45 minutes might well be important and . I mean I have no idea who de-briefed this guy quite often it's someone who has no idea of the topic and the information comes through and people then use it as they see fit
(Red emphasis, mine.) Isn't it just a little too convenient for those 5 words which immediately precede the oh-so-important "45 minutes" to have just disappeared?!?

Be sure to read the 154+ painstakingly transcribed pages of Andrew Gilligan's testimony which you can compare and contrast with that of Susan Watts and others over at The Hutton Inquiry website. PDF documents of all the evidence in the case (for example, the infamous dossier in its various states of evolution) can be found here.
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