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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Downing Street Memos: Fake But Accurate

The eight memos — all labeled "secret" or "confidential" — were first obtained by British reporter Michael Smith, who has written about them in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times.

Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals.

The AP obtained copies of six of the memos (the other two have circulated widely). A senior British official who reviewed the copies said their content appeared authentic. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secret nature of the material.

So this story is based on retyped copies of destroyed originals seen by one person? It's not even that I'm skeptical that they existed, but you'd have to imagine that with all of the people around who would be, it might be wise to keep the originals around in a safe deposit box or something. How are we to accept a story based on copies of alleged memos and confirmation from an anonymous "senior British official" after the whole National Guard Memo fiasco? Someone's gotta do better than this before this gains any more momentum.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will turn out to be like the CBS scandal. Look for this Michael Smith guy to go the way of Dan Rather.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The interesting thing is that no one is questioning the authenticity of the documents, even in the aftermath of RatherGate.

The story came out a while ago in the Telegraph and it was we bloggers who kept the story alive until it finally got reported here in the US in the NYTimes and WashingtonPost. And now that it's been reported, some bloggers (I saw a blurb of an article on GoogleNews) are calling for Bush to be impeached because of it...ain't gonna happen but maybe more bloggers like you can turn this into DowningGate! :)

2:44 PM  
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6:24 PM  

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