Roger Whittaker

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Government 2: Media 0

Saturday 15th May 2004

The photos in the Mirror were clever fakes: the Mirror was "hoaxed". They were particularly clever fakes, because the evidence that they were fakes was within them. What happened here is interesting, particularly from the point of view of the timing: the Mirror had these photos before the photos of American abuse of prisoners was released, but at a time when certain people knew that this was about to happen. So the controversy about the Mirror photos turned out to be very nicely timed to take some heat off the British government and also to muddy the waters about the torture of Iraqis. And now that it has been accepted that the photos were a hoax, Piers Morgan has resigned, and another powerful opponent of government policy in the media has been silenced.

Once again, the question "who benefits" may help us to guess who was responsible for the hoax.

But of course as this article points out, the fact is that British troops did in fact carry out exactly the kind of actions which the photos purported to display (not to mention the killing of a large number of innocent civilians).

To quote the article:

To the best of anyone's knowledge (although the Sun might deny this) Piers Morgan hasn't tortured any Iraqis recently. And yet the morals of this story have been so thoroughly twisted about that you'd be forgiven for believing that the true malefactor in this whole torture scandal is the editor of a liberal tabloid newspaper.

So having already neutralised the BBC, the government has now silenced a second influential critic of its policies and at the same time diverted attention from the real issue: what they are doing in our name in Iraq.