Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 24 October 2006

Sounds like a cover-up to me ...

... I am no great lover of ITN news reporting, but they have been providing news reports recently of the ways in which wounded military personnel are treated, showing some of the good along with the bad. The MoD and the government have now apparently issued an edict that all future cooperation with ITN is being withdrawn and although the MoD expresses dismay at some of the coverage as being a "hatchet job" does not provide any specific rebuttal of any item reported by the news channel. Instead the Government and the MoD resort to the, in my view, weasel option of suggesting that the families of those depicted without 'permission' having been obtained "may have been caused distress", without, naturally enough, providing any evidence (never mind credible facts) to back up their allegations that what 'may' have happened actually has occurred.

Frankly I am somewhat amazed at the conclusion reached in this Samizdata article. Nothing in The Times article indicates that it is military personnel who are objecting to the ITN coverage (and the only person they do refer to in this category indicates his own concern at the way soldiers are being cared for); the criticism of ITN seems to originate entirely from the political leadership of the MoD. The MSM, in the form of ITN may indeed be at fault here, but if it is then the Government and the MoD should have the decency to state clearly the facts behind their dismay, not resort to wild assertions. Coming on top of the recent statement by the army's top person that it risks being 'broken' by what is being asked of it in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere on resources which are severely stretched and, according to many who seem to know a lot more about it than me, either inadequate or non-existent, this leaves rather a sour taste in the mouth. A successful military, which is what I would like to see us have, unfortunately costs a great deal both in terms of money and the human resources required to carry out some of our national policies [*] and politicians need to realise that; so do we as citizens.

[*] ... and I readily accept that many of my fellow citizens question the basic involvement of our military in places such as Iraq and/or Afghanistan, but in a democracy (and however much I may dislike the present crowd of shysters that rules us) the way we express our views is ultimately through the ballot box; we do not undermine our military by under-resourcing them once we have committed them and our country to a course of action.

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