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

Friday, September 26, 2003

"Get" Gilligan

Heather Rogers, counsel for Andrew Gilligan, made her closing remarks to the Hutton Inquiry Thursday afternoon. The emphasis seemed to be on these items [transcript page numbers in brackets]:
* Andrew Gilligan was right to meet with and interview Dr. Kelly [125, 126, 127, 145]
* Gilligan was right to report what he learned [125, 128, 133, 145]
* Dr. Kelly knew that what he told Gilligan would be reported [129, 131-2, 145]
* Gilligan has acknowledged his mistakes [124, 131, 135, 145]
* These mistakes were "made inadvertantly and in good faith" [124, 131]
* Other reporters followed up the story and made similar allegations [138]
* Gilligan's reporting "fitted with other evidence ... from other sources" [138]
* Although the government "responded to Andrew Gilligan's story swiftly and as fully as it wanted," these particular mistakes were not questioned by the British government in either their May 29 or June 5 complaints [137, 143-4]
* The government's initial response was instead "a wholesale refutation of what he had reported." [136, 139, 145]
* The government later subjected "a small part of one broadcast," the "Today Programme" report of 6:07 AM May 29 to "elaborate forensic analysis" which "pick[ed] over a few words that were used once and were not repeated." [139]
* The process described above "is artificial and it is unreal. It diverts attention from the real issues of substance." [139]
* The response of Alastair Campbell to "get" Gilligan [Ms. Rogers' word] was "like that of a playground bully." [140]
Ms. Rogers' statement begins on p. 124 of the transcript and continues on through p. 145 if you'd care to go over it for yourself. More analysis to come later.
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