Thursday, January 17, 2008

Media Disinformation regarding the Death of Dr. David Kelly?

It may or may not be disinformation, but it is a shabby attempt at a review.

Richard Norton-Taylor, author of a Guardian review of Norman Baker's book,"The Strange Death of David Kelly", quotes out of context to make it seem as though Baker concedes that Kelly's dismay at apparently being caught in a lie at the FAC (Foreign Affairs Committee) is a plausible reason for his suicide; this, however, is only a theory, and a tenuous one at that - as Baker goes on to explain.

Oddly, without saying why he thinks it important, Norton-Taylor then castigates Baker for not raising the role of Andrew Gilligan in priming David Chidgey, member of the FAC, about Kelly's risque comments to BBC reporter Susan Watts.

Finally, having raised no substantive objections to the book, he concludes his review by rubbishing it entirely with, 'There is no evidence supporting the many theories that Kelly was murdered and plenty of evidence supporting the conclusion that he was driven to suicide.' In actual fact, the book lays out a great deal of evidence to suggest Dr Kelly's death was not suicide.

Rather than pay false homage to Baker's "terrier-like persistence", then proceed to reinforce his own ill-founded beliefs, perhaps Norton-Taylor should, like a true journalist, investigate the subject for himself.

-- RT

In response to Norton-Taylor's review, Drs Christopher J Burns-Cox , C Stephen Frost, and David Halpin sent the following letter to the Guardian:

Dear Sir

Richard Norton-Taylor struggles mightily to discredit Norman Baker and his recently published book The Strange Death of David Kelly, in his review of that book (Guardian, 1 December 2007). The struggle is all the more confusing because Norton-Taylor does concede that "the inquiry [the Hutton Inquiry] into the circumstances surrounding Kelly's death, which also became a quasi-inquest, shed a bright light on the way Downing Street, with the help of intelligence chiefs who should have known better, conspired to draw up the disgraceful Iraqi weapons dossier."

Norton-Taylor entirely misses, and one has to wonder whether he does so deliberately, the central point made by the many reasonable people who are concerned that Dr David Kelly has been denied a proper inquest: that due process of law has not been followed, indeed it has been comprehensively subverted.

These two articles point unerringly to a Government cover-up. The importance of such a cover-up (in the context of the investigation of the suspicious death of the world expert on biological and chemical weapons who, at the time of his death, was perceived to be blowing the whistle on the Government which had taken the country to illegal war on a pack of lies) cannot be over-emphasised. That is the end of the argument. Richard Norton-Taylor (and others in his position) should be pressing for a proper investigation of Kelly's death, ie a proper inquest, rather than wasting his time attempting to rubbish Norman Baker's book, while claiming the moral high ground. Otherwise, there is a risk that he and other apparent apologists for the dreadful Blair and Brown governments are seen in the future as the shameless enablers that perhaps they are.

Yours faithfully

Dr Christopher J Burns-Cox FRCP MD

Dr C Stephen Frost BSc MBChB

David Halpin FRCS


Alan said...

This note and the linked letters by Drs. Christopher J Burns-Cox , C Stephen Frost, and David Halpin really put the Hutton inquiry under a spotlight and make the problem exceedingly clear.

Strange then that none of the major media want to touch this even with a barge pole.

I know in France the government manages to control the media quite a lot, but I didn't realize this happened to such an extent in the UK. I wonder how they do this. I suppose it must be the ripple effect from the unjustified reining in of the BBC? This is very alarming.

Keep up the good work.

gadfly said...

Whatever the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death, he died because he was let down by his country.

A failed state cannot protect its citizens and neither its honour, because there's no honour left.