13 May 04. The Armed Forces’ Minister told the House of Commons that allegations about the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, printed in the Daily Mirror on 1 May 04, were being investigated. The Minister said that the truck featured in the photos was in Lancashire at the time of the photos thus they were faked. The Defence Committee announced (5 May 04) that the Editor of the Daily Mirror was to be called to appear before the Committee, to give him a chance to substantiate his newspaper’s allegations. 930,000 individual items of unexploded ordnance have been cleared from the Multinational Division (South East) Area of Operations. (Written Answer (WA), 5 May 04.) The MoD has not employed private military companies in Iraq. (WA, 6 May 04.) There were reports (8 May 04) of fire fights in Basrah and Al Amarah, resulting in the wounding of four soldiers. Comment: Apart from the ‘torture’ allegations, the media have been obsessed with the number of extra troops about to be sent to Iraq. Depending on which newspaper and on which day, the numbers varied between 800 and 4,000. No official announcement was made, but that won’t stop silly speculation. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Issue 04/19, 10 May 04).
The Left wing media in the UK and the US is playing a very dangerous game in publishing these pictures to damn present coalition governments. The Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times, published a similar retraction yesterday, as reported in today’s Times. The paper printed fake photographs of US soldiers gang-raping Iraqi women.
Whilst Piers Morgan of the Mirror dismissed any chance of his resignation he should consider very carefully whether he publishes such photographs again. Not only has he besmirched the reputation of the Queen’s Royal Lancashire Regiment and the British Army. Mores seriously he has put the lives of all servicemen and women in greater danger in Iraq by these pictures. The Pentagon warned US agencies to be careful of publishing photos after the ghastly beheading video of the US contractor this week. These latest revelations of torture and maltreatment are ghastly and abhorrent but also take the spotlight away from the good which is going on in Iraq and the rehabilitation of this broken country
Media support of such photographs only gives al Qaeda and its followers a greater support network which, until now, was being systematically dismantled.
Perhaps Piers Morgan should take a sabbatical as the Mirror’s Iraq correspondent and see how he gets on!