John Major's Recycled "Intelligence" Report (was Re: [LINK] fridge magnet pack)

Thu, 13 Feb 2003 08:42:57 +1100

At 02:17 +1100 13/2/03, Robin Whittle wrote (as part of a larger piece):
>Apparently last week his [Colin Powell's] big gung-ho war policy 
>speech referred to a
>fabulous "intelligence" document the Brits put on the Downing St web
>site, supposedly from Blighty's best and brightest terrorism
>intelligence analysts, but the whole thing was a cut-and-paste job,
>complete with typos and lousy expression, from a series of magazine
>articles by some US grad student.   This was apparently created hastily
>when MI5's report said the wrong thing: that Saddam Hussein was not
>connected with bin Laden.  Now our PM is sending troops to this looming
>war based on what is purportedly US wisdom and intelligence, but US
>wisdom and intelligence cites this flaky Downing St plagiarism as one of
>its reliable sources.

The British "intelligence" report did indeed contain plagiarism from 
a graduate student, and there was indeed recycling from magazines, 
though they're two different things. I've put "intelligence" in in 
quotes there because the report was issued by 10 Downing Street, not 
by the intelligence services.

The report can be found at:

A nice critique pointing out where it was lifted from -- 
typographical errors and all -- can be found at:

The critique purports to be from one Glen Rangwala, "an Iraq analyst 
at Cambridge University". I have no reason to doubt that, but let's 
be real: This is just text in a file on some website, and we all know 
how easy it is to fake or subtly change things -- on any side of a 
contentious political argument.

(alert but not alarmed)

Stilgherrian <>
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