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News :: Police State

Captain Ward Boston Blows Lid off USS Liberty Cover-up

Ward Boston is right about Liberty attack

Regarding "Ex-officer alleges cover-up in probe of spy ship attack,"
News, Feb. 17:

You can call it an "allegation" if you want, but it certainly happened exactly as retired Navy Capt. Ward Boston said it did.I can assure you that Israel not only attacked the U.S. Naval Security Group ship and killed American sailors, but attacked again and again and again in a failed effort to sink the vessel, which was clearly flying the American flag. Why? To cover up an ongoing massacre of Egyptian soldiers upon which the ship was eavesdropping.It was a futile effort and useless slaughter of American lives on the Israelis' part because everything was also being recorded by a U.S. Air Force spy plane flying above. Commander William L. McGonagle, the ship's captain, was later awarded the Medal of Honor, the only recipient in history to receive it in a private, secret ceremony.To play the apologist and claim that it was a "mistake," as Judge Jay Cristol does in "The Liberty Incident," is a disgrace to the memory of the many American sailors who died that day. As usual, given enough time, the truth will normally out.

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News :: Police State

US officials knew in May Iraq possessed no WMD

Sunday February 1, 2004: (The Observer) Senior American officials concluded at the beginning of last May that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, The Observer has learnt. Intelligence sources, policy makers and weapons inspectors familiar with the details of the hunt for WMD told The Observer it was widely known that Iraq had no WMD within three weeks of Baghdad falling, despite the assertions of senior Bush administration figures and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

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News :: Alternative Media

BBC Chairman Resigns

It's a sad day for the press. Chairman Gavyn Davies resigns over Lord Hutton's findings.

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News :: Environment & Food

JOIN CALIFORNIA SAFE SCHOOLS WWW.CALISAFE.ORG AT BERKELEY PESTICIDE FORUM!

Unite for Change: New Approaches to Pesticides and Environmental Health
The 22nd National Pesticide Forum
University of California, Berkeley
April 2-4, 2004

Unite for Change: New Approaches to Pesticides and Environmental Health will be held April 2-4, 2004 at the Clark Kerr Conference Center on the University of California, Berkeley campus, 10 miles from downtown San Francisco. This national environmental conference will be co-convened by Beyond Pesticides, Californians for Pesticide Reform and Pesticide Action Network North America.

Speakers for this year's event include: Sandra Steingraber, ecologist and author of Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood and Living Downstream; Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkeley biologist that linked atrazine exposure to hermaphraditic frogs; Robin Whyatt, professor of public health at Columbia University currently studying evironmental impacts on women and children; Warren Porter, University of Wisconsin zoologist currently studying the impact of lawn chemicals on agression and the immune system; Ignacio Chapela, UC Berkeley microbial ecologist who discovered GE corn in Chipas, Mexico had possibly contaminated the last reserve of biodiverse maize. See the speaker page for brief bios and more information.

Californians for Pesticide Reform is a coalition of over 170 public interest groups dedicated to protecting human health and the environment from the dangers of pesticide use.

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, PANNA links local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network.

For more information on the National Pesticide Forum, please contact John Kepner at jkepner@beyondpesticides.org or 202-543-5450

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News :: Education & Youth : Resistance & Tactics

Cornel West was at Watsonville High

The following article sucks but what the f' I missed this completely.


January 24, 2004


Odd couple urges tax hike to protect school spending
By JONDI GUMZ
Sentinel staff writer
WATSONVILLE — About 400 Watsonville High School students skipped class Friday afternoon to get a lesson in real-life politics, crowding the cafeteria to hear state Treasurer Phil Angelides and Princeton University professor Cornel West, who wrote the bestseller "Race Matters."

The two men made an odd couple, Angelides looking like he belonged on Wall Street and West sporting a big, throwback Afro. Both grew up in Sacramento and met as freshmen at Harvard; they have kept in touch for 34 years.

Their visit to Watsonville is part of Angelides’ ongoing campaign to reshape the state-budget discussion. This week he made stops throughout the state, from UCLA to Chico State University and San Diego City College, urging lawmakers to consider a tax increase to avoid education-spending cuts.

So far, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has stuck with his position of no new taxes, but Angelides is convinced legislators, who must approve the budget, will change their minds once they hear from students like Eder Tostado, Jenny Gama and Oscar Flores.

The three seniors are among dozens of students at Watsonville High coached by UC counselors on how to get into college. The UC outreach programs cost about $2 million statewide. They involve tutoring in algebra, explaining college requirements, reviewing for college entrance exams and paying the exam fees.

Since UC counselor Tania Soria began keeping track of potential UC applicants at Watsonville High three years ago, the number of students enrolling at UC has doubled, from 14 to 30. Soria, a Watsonville alum, said she is willing to pay higher taxes for outreach because "you’ll have more college graduates and more money coming back into the economy."

Tostado, one of the county’s top high school runners, hadn’t considered college until last year. UC counselor Rico Dominguez, 28, told him about the outreach services, and explained it was not too late.

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"It turned my whole world around," said Tostado, who has applied to seven colleges, including UC Davis.

Gama plays soccer and has given up TV to focus on academics. She’s already been accepted at San Jose State and is waiting to hear from UC Davis, UCLA and UC Berkeley.

"I’m proud of her," said her mom, who learned English to help her daughter in school. "She’ll be the first (in our family) to go to college. We all deserve the same opportunity."

Flores said Watsonville High’s six counselors are responsible for 3,100 students and are always busy.

"The UC counselors make our dreams come true," he said, explaining how he called Rico at 10 p.m. for help meeting a scholarship deadline. "When I graduate, I’ll come back to help."

Angelides complimented Flores on his remarks, encouraging him to come to Sacramento to speak with legislators.

"You’re very eloquent," he said. "I couldn’t have done it at your age."

The charismatic West mesmerized students, dropping the names of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, playwright Nilo Cruz and activist Cesar Chavez.

"You must define who you are," he said. "You all are the future."

And he didn’t speak down to them, but tossed around such words as "bequeath," "proclivities" and "self-lacerating."

Lizette Bedolla, a senior who had a friend take her photo with West, said she was inspired.

"We could organize ourselves," she said. "We could go to the state and fight for these programs. We could win this."

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News :: Peace & War

Iraqis Want Saddam's Old U.S. Friends on Trial

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - If Iraqis ever see Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) on trial, they want his former American allies shackled beside him.

"Saddam should not be the only one who is put on trial. The Americans backed him when he was killing Iraqis so they should be prosecuted," said Ali Mahdi, a builder.


"If the Americans escape justice they will face God's justice. They must be stoned in hell."


The United States continued to feel the backlash of its move to give Saddam prisoner of war status Tuesday as thousands of Iraqi protesters called for his execution.


Washington's move has thrown some doubt over his fate after Iraq (news - web sites)'s U.S.-backed Governing Council had said Saddam would be tried in a special tribunal by Iraqi judges.


His POW status means the former dictator, accused of sending thousands of Iraqis to mass graves, could have more rights than a war criminal.


In street interviews, Iraqis said Saddam must be tried by an Iraqi court prepared to hand down the death penalty and examine his ties to past U.S. governments.


The United States backed Saddam in his war with Iran in the 1980s. During that time, he also gassed an estimated 5,000 Kurds to death in the village of Halabja.


A few years later Washington began branding Saddam a tyrant and an enemy after his troops invaded oil-rich Kuwait in 1990.


"Saddam was a top graduate of the American school of politics," said Assad al-Saadi, standing with friends in the slum of Sadr city, formerly called Saddam City, a Shi'ite Muslim area oppressed by Saddam's security agents.


"My brother was an army officer who was executed. Saddam is a criminal and the Americans were his friends. We need justice so that we can forget the past."


Saddam was captured on December 13 hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit. A month later the United States declared him a prisoner of war.


But his new POW status has only added to skepticism about American promises after toppling Saddam in April.


"The Americans and Saddam should face justice. Do you really think the Americans are going to put themselves on trial?" said Ali, a U.S.-trained policeman.


"Of course we hope the Americans and Saddam will face trial. But will it ever happen? I doubt it."




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News :: Health & Drugs

Good Times Article About Failing Emergency Rooms in Santa Cruz County

Real good article. Check it out. I've included it here because the URL below probably won't be good for more than a week.




Code Red
Too often, Santa Cruz County´s two emergency rooms become overwhelmed and close their doors to ambulances. Are lives at risk?
By Deanna Zachary


On a Sunday last October, all 12 Watsonville Community Hospital emergency room beds were filled. Four of those patients were over the age of 80. One had a broken hip, one was vomiting blood, another had fallen down and the fourth was having a heart attack. Another dozen patients packed the waiting room. The emergency room was reaching its breaking point and Dr. Stanley Hajduk, chief of emergency medicine at Watsonville Community Hospital, was considering closing the ER to ambulances.
“We were overwhelmed, and it gets so chaotic at that point that the possibility for me making a big error looms high,? Hajduk says. “And we were starting to talk about calling Terry Lapid and his gang up at Dominican and saying, ‘Hey, we can´t make it, we´re going down.´?
Fortunately for Dr. Hajduk and his patients, the doctors and nurses in the Watsonville ER were able to handle the situation, and did not immediately shut down. But two hours later, when their CAT scan machine broke, patients needing scans were diverted to Dominican.
This scenario is becoming far too common in local emergency rooms, and some local doctors and nurses are saying that Santa Cruz County is facing an emergency room crisis. That crisis could potentially cost lives.
Dominican Hospital and Watsonville Community Hospital run the only two emergency rooms in Santa Cruz County, and they have been overwhelmed for some time. From September 2001 to August 2002, the two ERs were closed for 1,488 hours—the equivalent of 62 days.
Emergency rooms close to ambulance traffic for many reasons: housing too many patients, severity of illness, too few doctors or nurses, and broken equipment. When the emergency room closes, it´s called a “code red.? According to Dr. Terry Lapid, the director of emergency medicine at Dominican, emergency rooms close frequently, but not necessarily for long periods, “It may sound like a lot of hours when you put it in the 62-days aspect, but usually these diversions are only for one to four hours, and it´s just to get the mess cleaned up so they can re-open.?
Ambulances are generally called in the most severe medical emergencies, but when one ER goes “code red,? ambulances travel the additional 15 miles to the other hospital. If people get to the emergency room on their own, the hospital must receive and treat them, even if the hospital is closed to ambulance emergencies.
What happens when both hospitals are overwhelmed and both are forced to close their emergency rooms? Dr. Hajduk tells a story of calling Dr. Lapid at Dominican and saying, “I´ve got four [patients] waiting for admissions and I´m thinking about going code red, and (Dr. Lapid) says, ‘Look, I´ve got seven waiting for admissions here and you better not do that!´?
The two hospitals had to negotiate their closures.
When emergency rooms are full, some times patients are shuttled to hospitals in Santa Clara County or farther. In early October, Dr. Hajduk had a horribly sick 9-year-old boy in his emergency room who appeared to have an abscess in his brain. He called Packard/Stanford Children´s Hospital, and doctors there informed him they could not take the patient because their emergency room was full. “They said, ‘We can´t take him, we´re full, we can´t do it.´? Hajduk says.
Stanford gave him “several hints? for other hospitals that might accept the child, and he called several places in San Francisco that did not have any availability either. “We ended up flying him to Oakland Children´s Hospital,? Hajduk recalls. “So there is always another option, but all of these options require a delay of care.?
But the helicopter solution is not always available. Foggy weather forces the helicopter to remain on the landing pad 20 percent of the time. When it cannot travel due to poor weather, the patient is loaded into an ambulance for the long drive over Highway 17.
Overwhelmed emergency rooms aren´t the only reason patients are turned away. Many high-level trauma cases must be diverted out of Santa Cruz County to nearby counties with higher-level trauma centers. According to Larry DeGhetaldi, CEO of Sutter/Santa Cruz Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Association, gunshot wounds and serious car accident victims are typically sent to hospitals in surrounding counties. Local emergency room doctors appear reluctant to acknowledge other kinds of serious illnesses or accidents that cannot be treated within Santa Cruz County due to a lack of medical specialists. But a year ago, according to DeGhetaldi, “We did not have neurosurgical coverage for approximately six months. Patients that needed neurosurgical evaluation were flown or transferred to another facility over the hill.?

The Perfect Storm
The commonly accepted term among doctors for the emergency room is the “pit.? Now a veteran of the pit, DeGhetaldi describes the lives of his colleagues who are still there.
“The Kafka world that Stan and Terry live in,? he says, “it´s really a microcosm of what´s happening nationally, and we use the metaphor ‘the perfect storm´ for what´s happening in health care.?
Over the last several years, 500 emergency rooms have been closed across the nation. But according to DeGhetaldi, Santa Cruz faces the worst health care crisis of any county in the United States. The trouble begins with the federal government and Medicare for seniors, and it spirals downward and impacts all aspects of local health care.
In 1967, Medicare designated Santa Cruz as a rural county and reimbursed local doctors at a rate of 20 percent less than doctors in urban counties. Thirty years ago, Santa Cruz County was rural but now, most of the farmland, apple orchards and timber industry have been replaced by small businesses, other services and tourism. Nonetheless, Medicare continues to pay Santa Cruz County doctors 20 percent less than doctors in surrounding counties, such as Santa Clara or San Mateo. The biggest difficulty with Medicare´s designation is that most health care providers, including Medi-Cal, health maintenance organizations (HMO´s) and insurance carriers follow suit and pay doctors 20 percent less for services.
With lower reimbursement rates for doctors in Santa Cruz County and the high cost of housing, it´s difficult to recruit doctors or surgeons to the area, DeGhetaldi says. It is especially difficult to recruit doctors who have just graduated from medical school and typically owe $150,000 to $200,000 in student loans. DeGhetaldi traveled to Washington D.C. to talk to Rep. Sam Farr about the lower Medicare reimbursements and the resulting shortage of doctors. DeGhetaldi told Farr, “After the Loma Prieta earthquake 14 years ago, there were 12 general surgeons backing up Terry (Lapid) at Dominican Hospital. After 9/11, there were four.?
In addition to the difficulty in recruiting new doctors or surgeons, it´s also difficult to recruit nurses. Approximately 200 nursing jobs are vacant in the county, and the number is growing. This month, new state legislation goes into effect requiring one nurse for every six emergency room patients and one nurse for every five patients in the rest of the hospital. The new law may be better for patient care, but there are not enough nurses in California to fill the positions. Most nursing programs at community and state colleges have three-year waiting lists, and the University of California has stopped taking nursing undergraduates because the programs are too expensive to run. The nursing shortage feeds the emergency room crisis because patients in the ER can´t be moved into hospital beds unless there´s a nurse available to care for the patient.
Dr. Hajduk explains, “We have somebody who needs admission to critical care or a medical bed and we have the beds, but we don´t have the nurses to take care of the patient. Therefore, he or she stays in the ER room for 10, 12, 14 hours, and that´s not ideal care.?

The Health Insurance Connection
Nationally, there are about 44 million people in the United States who do not have health insurance. According to Dr. Hajduk, 40,000 people in Santa Cruz County are uninsured and many of them end up in the emergency rooms. “They can try the county clinics but, yeah, they can get an appointment in two weeks,? he says. Some homeless people, he says, show up at the emergency room as often as five times a month. In Santa Cruz County, inebriates are taken to the emergency room to sober up. Some counties have special facilities for inebriates, but Santa Cruz does not.
The uninsured, the homeless and inebriates who use the emergency room cause huge financial pressures for the county, the hospitals and the doctors. According to Lapid, there is typically a bad debt ratio in the emergency room of about 50 percent. Lapid explains that Medi-Cal and Medicare pay about 20 to 30 cents on the dollar, while HMO´s and insurance companies typically pay 60 to 70 cents on the dollar of charges. On the whole, only half of the costs are covered. As a result, a lot of care is provided for free from local doctors and hospitals.
The uninsured, however, are not the biggest threat to the emergency rooms. It´s the insured.
“Five years ago, when the studies came out, it was the uninsured. Now, it´s the insured patients,? Lapid says.
Some insured people cannot get convenient appointments with their doctors so they choose to go to the emergency room instead. Some people forget to get their prescriptions refilled during the week and will visit the emergency room over the weekend for their medication.
More and more people are using emergency rooms when they do not have an emergency. According to Lapid, “Studies have shown that true emergencies are about 30 percent of the volume that we see across the nation in the emergency department.? Hajduk and Lapid understand that many people don´t have insurance or health care options, but the doctors recommend that people use alternatives to the emergency room whenever possible.
Santa Cruz County has been working on several solutions to help ease the crisis. For instance, there are partnerships between Sutter, Dominican and Watsonville hospitals, and some innovative projects are proving successful, including the Central Coast Alliance for Health, for example, which provides Medi-Cal patients with a managed care style of coverage. Medi-Cal serves low-income children, seniors, single-parent families and the permanently disabled. According to DeGhetaldi and Lapid, the Alliance has been very successful at providing Medi-Cal coverage to county residents. It does, however, face huge financial cuts due to the California budget crisis. DeGhetaldi warns that the alliance has only one year of finances left. In spite of budget cuts, the Alliance plans later this year to extend health care coverage to every child under the age of 18 in Santa Cruz County.
Santa Cruz County also has the Medi-Cruz program, which is designed to provide a safety net for low-income people who do not qualify for Medi-Cal. Santa Cruz unveiled a new program in September called Project Connect for homeless people who have used the emergency room more than five times in a year. The goal is to track heavy users of the emergency room and link them to social services that can address their needs and help them to avoid a trip to the emergency room.
Cabrillo College is trying to help to alleviate the nursing shortage with a training program for nurses as well as a radiology technician program. Both programs are working to recruit more students, with special outreach to ethnic communities.
Finally, DeGhetaldi and others are working with the federal government to change the Medicare reimbursement policy of paying Santa Cruz County doctors 20 percent less for services. They have had several talks with Bush administration officials, and DeGhetaldi believes there may be a 50-50 chance of seeing a Medicare change in the next several years.
Bending, Not Breaking
Despite its problems, Dr. Lapid argues that emergency medical services in Santa Cruz County are outstanding. “Our EMS system in this county has been phenomenal,? he says. “The problems that we are discussing today have been rampant and present in California and the rest of the United States for five to seven years, far worse than what we are seeing here, and that´s really because of the collaborative effort of the whole EMS system.?
DeGhetaldi argues that the local emergency room situation is bending, not breaking. Lapid says it´s somewhere in between, a place that lacks an appropriate word to describe it.
Dr. Hajduk has a bleaker view that extends beyond the emergency room. He believes the whole American health care system is broken.
“The World Health Organization says the United States is 36th in the world in health care,? he says. “Right above us is Costa Rica and right below us is Slovenia. It seems to me, we could do better.?
Nonetheless, Hajduk acknowledges that Santa Cruz County isn´t the worst off. Patients at Watsonville Community Hospital wait an average of two hours and 40 minutes for emergency care. This may seem like a long wait, but according to Hajduk it´s far better than at Natividad Hospital in Salinas, or at Los Angeles County Hospital, where the wait is 10 to 12 hours. “We´re still doing very good in Santa Cruz County compared to the state averages,? he says.
Despite his concerns, Hajduk loves being an emergency room doctor. “It´s instant intimacy when you see the doctor in the emergency room, you talk the truth real quick so I get to hear a lot of truth and I see a much broader picture of what life is about. I get the wide angle vision of all of humanity.?

Deanna Zachary is a host of AccessHealth on Community Television of Santa Cruz County, and of KUSP Radio´s Talk of the Bay. AccessHealth is a series of five television programs sponsored by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County. The programs air at 1 p.m on Thursdays and 6 p.m Fridays on Channel 25.

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News :: Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

David Kelly Report Due

Five questions for Lord Hutton

Simon Jeffery
Thursday January 15, 2004

Lord Hutton is due to publish his report into the "circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly" on January 28. Its impact will be immense. The futures of Tony Blair, the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, and BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan hang on his judgment.

We do not have to wait, however, to examine the inquiry's evidence - the majority of it is on the web. So to help you come to your own conclusions Guardian Unlimited has identified the five key questions Lord Hutton needs to answer.

Please let us know what you decide, either by participating in the talk threads below or by emailing us your conclusions to politics.editor@guardianunlimited.co.uk (please write "Hutton" in the subject field). We will publish the best replies.

1. Was Dr Kelly mistreated by the MoD?
Tony Blair told Lord Hutton he needed to be able to say that he had "handled this by the book" when the prime minister was asked why so many senior officials were involved in government deliberations over David Kelly. The MoD's personnel director, Richard Hatfield, said he had given "outstanding support" to Dr Kelly but that the scientist's contacts with Andrew Gilligan represented a "fundamental failing". He was questioned over the "outstanding" wisdom of not informing Dr Kelly that a decision had been taken that was likely to see him named while Bryan Wells, Dr Kelly's line manager, was questioned on the 46-second phone call in which the scientist learned his identity had been confirmed. Dr Kelly himself told Nick Rufford, a journalist friend, that he had been put "through the wringer" in interviews with Mr Hatfield and other MoD officials. Mr Hatfield said that if he had known then what Dr Kelly had disclosed to the media he would have been "forced to suspend him".

Since Lord Hutton's inquiry was into the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death, the behaviour of his employers, if they acted in a callous manner or failed to offer enough support, will be sure to inform his verdict. MoD civil servants, and even Geoff Hoon, the secretary of state for defence, could all face criticism.


2. Who took the decision to name him, and why?
Alastair Campbell's diaries revealed that he and Mr Hoon were keen to reveal the source to strike back at Gilligan, or "fuck" him in communication chief's own words. But Dr Kelly remained anonymous after Mr Blair expressed concerns over the plan. However, Sir Kevin Tebbit, the MoD's most senior civil servant, told the inquiry that the prime minister agreed the strategy that led to the eventual "outing" of Dr Kelly - confirming his name to journalists who guessed correctly - and chaired the meeting that approved it. Mr Blair said he took "full responsibility" for the government's decisions. He explained that it was important to reveal a source had come forward so as to inform the Commons foreign affairs select committee, who would regard Dr Kelly as an important witness in their inquiry into intelligence ahead of the Iraq war. He added that it was then necessary to confirm the name to journalists who knew it to avoid a "great scrabble" where people who were not the source were identified as such.

Lord Hutton may conclude that it was the naming of Dr Kelly that led him to take his own life. Psychiatrist Professor Keith Hawton, a suicide expert, told the inquiry it would be "anathema to him to be exposed ... I think he would have seen it as being publicly disgraced". If the report accepts this, the question of who named him - and why - becomes of crucial importance. A few days after Dr Kelly's suicide, Mr Blair denied he had authorised his naming.


3. Did Campbell sex up the dossier?
Mr Campbell's influence on the dossier, and his relationship with John Scarlett, the chairman of the joint intelligence committee, was a recurring theme of the inquiry. Mr Blair said the dossier was "produced and done through the processes of the JIC" and Mr Scarlett agreed. But a memo from a September 18 2002 JIC meeting said that "ownership" lay not with it but with No 10. Mr Campbell admitted to "presentational" influence over the document (he said he wanted it to be drier), though an email to Dr Kelly from Mr A, an intelligence officer who gave evidence anonymously, discussed the influence of the "spin merchants of this administration". In his testimony he said the dossier's writers were searching for a "form of words which would strengthen certain political objectives" and Brian Jones, a colleague, said certain parts of the dossier were "over-egged".

Mr Campbell has resigned, so criticism from Lord Hutton could not end his Downing Street career. But it would still tarnish the government that employed him - above all, it suggests that intelligence was manipulated to make a case for war against Iraq. Other scalps could include senior intelligence officers who, if the dossier was sexed up, allowed it to happen.


4. Was Gilligan's story accurate?
He admitted an early report - at 6.07am - was mistaken to say that the government included the 45-minute claim in the dossier knowing it to be wrong. He also said he was wrong to describe Dr Kelly as an "intelligence source" on a later Radio Five broadcast. The part of his story that said there was disquiet in the intelligence services was, however, borne out by the comments of Dr Jones and Mr A. But the specific claim that No 10 ordered a "sexing-up" in the week before publication is more contentious.

Susan Watts, the Newsnight science editor, said Dr Kelly had mentioned Mr Campbell in connection with the 45-minute claim to her, and Gavin Hewitt, also a BBC journalist, said Dr Kelly had talked of "No 10 spin". But while Gilligan may have accurately reported what Dr Kelly told him, as Watts and Hewitt suggest, it is possible that Dr Kelly may have unintentionally misled him based on a partial understanding of the facts. Government and intelligence officials said the 45-minute claim appeared in a September 10 or 11 draft (13 to 14 days before publication). They attributed its relatively late appearance to it not surfacing as a piece of raw intelligence until late August rather than last minute sexing-up. A September 10 email to intelligence services did however put out a last call for information, saying that "No 10 through the chairman [Mr Scarlett] want the document to be as strong as possible".

If Gilligan's story is accurate, the government is guilty as he charged and it follows that the dossier must have been sexed up. But if it isn't, Gilligan either misquoted his source (Dr Kelly told Rufford: "I talked to him about the factual stuff, the rest is bullshit") or put too much trust in someone who was not in a position to give him a complete account. Gilligan will in all probability need to be fully vindicated in Lord Hutton's report if he is to return to the Today programme.


5. Was the BBC in anyway to blame?
The BBC could face criticism for Gilligan's reporting. The corporation's director of news said he was "extremely good at finding out information but questions of nuance and subtlety in how he presents it are not all that they should be" and two-way interviews, such as Gilligan used to deliver his report, could have exasperated them. The decision of Gavyn Davies, chairman of the BBC, to tell the board it "should stand up and be counted" whatever the "precise details" of the 45-minute claim may also be seen as the point that the row between the BBC and government took on new life. Mr Davies however said it was the board's "legitimate public duty" to speak up against what he described as Mr Campbell's "unprecedented attack on the BBC".

Finding fault with the BBC would take some of the heat off the government. But too much criticism could damage the corporation when its charter comes under review under 2006.

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