Wednesday, October 11, 2006

go paxman

... it's not a final report ... it's the first step in the research process ... they're just research notes ...

are they bolloxs. luckily paxman is on the case, take that Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely. has he ever done research before? do you write notes in the form of a report then pass them to newsnight? i don't think so. no way out general, you're just a cock working for a bunch of cocks and defending utter cock.

go paxman!

the content of the "notes" is about the war in afghanistan, the failure of strategy, the whys and wherefores of al qaeda ideology taking hold in the region... in short pretty much what everyone has worked out but the government and mod still deny.

watch it on bbc


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir John Kiszely has indeed done research before several times for decades and has a very large number of publications. The paper that was leaked was not leaked in the form of a report and the man concerned did not pass them on to newsnight, but a member of staff did.

While I do like Paxman's style, I have worked for this general a few years ago in his tenure in London. He is a highly respected man and is no way a "yes man"

12/10/06 10:21 pm  
Blogger paul said...

OK, I stand corrected. I certainly didn't look into this story beyond the interview, so I have no knowledge of John Kiszely beyond that of not finding his arguments with Paxman very persuasive or cogent.

It does seem to me, from what I have seen, that the 'notes' in question don't sound very much like notes. Obviously I take the point that working notes feed into a final report and may or may not fully reflect the content of that report, and that neither would a full report necessarily be a policy document. However, the context here seemed to imply that a full report would have anything controversial (truthful? unpopular?) stripped from it, hence the power of said 'notes'. The argument that this was not a policy document or final report in any way is thus perfectly reasonable, but in my mind it does not mitigate the fact that these notes do exist, in whatever form they were passed to Newsnight, and therefore represent some section of the researcher's findings and analysis.

Still, as you've probably gather from my liberal use of 'cock' in the original post I'm no great fan of the military, government or recent wars, so while there may be an ethical/moral/security debate about the reasons why a staff member passed on the notes, and the use that Newsnight/BBC has made of them, I frankly love to see the shit hit the fan...

Thanks for your comments though, it's nice to be able to have reasoned debate. I will try and look into the story and surrounding characters a little more if i get time more to clarify some of my thoughts.

13/10/06 8:37 am  
Blogger paul said...

Oh, and there's more comments on the program on the Newsnight site.

Amazing how people can be so polarised on the same interview!

13/10/06 8:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Kiszely won a military cross in the Falklands war after leading a bayonet charge up Mt. Tumbledown and I think that was his first claim to fame. He later served in N.I, the Balkans and he led the cover for the Fire brigade strike and then went to Iraq then took his current post. Militarily, he is a remarkable man but I think you will find that he is intellectually a remarkable man as well.

The general took a very defensive approach which I think undermined what he was trying to say but the fact remains that Paxman kept asking the same question for the whole length of the interview trying to get the answer that he wanted to hear. If you go to the Defence Academy's website and just briefly look at some of the research papers, you will be amazed by the varying points of view (all with a disclaimer that the content is the author's own thought and does not represent the MOD). I don't think the general was arguing that these things did not exist (there are tens of papers produced there that can back it up) but he was arguing that they are not what the government and the military as a whole think not because of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, I don't think, but because of the friction with the Pakistani president who gave ammunition to the story (interestingly enough, you will find that Musharraf was a former student of one of the colleges that now fall under the umbrella of the defence academy)

I doubt very much that a full report will be modified judging by the nature of the rest of their publications and if it's not open for public access, then surely it's something for the Chief of the Defence Staff to see.

I am not a fan of the government either and I understand and respect that you are not a fan of either the government and the military but I'm sure you agree that the latter has a lot more use than the first. ;)

13/10/06 11:50 pm  

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