Could it have anything to do with Maj. General (Ret'd.) Lewis Mackenzie's appearance on MDL this evening, not to mention the PM's dismissal of it this afternoon?
What is the responsibility of the press concerning 'anonymous' leads and fact-checking?
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Update: Reader Greg has advised me that the Globe has updated this morning's story under a different headline. There is some mention of Harper's dismissal of the telephone conversation, but they still seem to be sticking by their 'anonymous' source.
Reality Check: Some of Maj. General Mackenzie's inteview has been posted here, but CTV conveniently omitted the following:
"...the media has got to start treating these phony leaks with a little more journalistic integrity and start checking on the facts..."
"...The phone call never happened. The Chief at the time the phone call was alleged to have happened was into about his third rum and coke on the beach in the Dominican Republic..."
"...How far does this guy (Gen. Rick Hillier) have to go from the centre of Ottawa before people stop issuing these phony trial balloons to try and create some tension between the government and the CDS? I don't get it. I've never seen anything like it before in my life!"
Duffy asks about the detainees - "...Why so much secrecy about what's going on in Afghanistan with the Canadian troops?"
"...Because I venture to say that back in the Netherlands as an example, the people in the government and the opposition aren't hanging onto every word the commander says. If I was the commander in Kandahar right now, in southern Afghanistan, I'd just tell my people to SHUT UP. Why? Because no matter how the sentence comes out, no matter how it's explained to an embedded journalist or a media representative in Kandahar. . . the entrails are going to be dragged out in Ottawa, every word will be analyzed; it will become a Cause Célèbre in Question Period. Commanders have a lot better things to do than that".
"...There are detainees being taken obviously; they're being detained somewhere - and you don't want to get involved in telling the Taliban where or necessarily how many you picked up in a particular operation because that relates to success or failure and all those evaluations..."
"... So I think commanders are getting somewhat pee'd (?) off about how they're being micromanaged and micro-analyzed, and I have a lot of sympathy for them. So the answer was - Don't say anything."
Now compare all that to the little snippet from the CTV report:
"There are detainees being taken, they are being taken somewhere. I think commanders are getting somewhat teed off about how they're being micromanaged and micro-analyzed.
You see how that paragraph was edited with cut and paste methods that almost alter the tone of what Mackenzie was trying to convey? No ellipses to show missing parts of the conversation. And it wasn't even exactly what he said!
You just can't trust MSM.
Please also see The Torch - Afghan detainee delirium.
Wednesday Update: Hillier 'not furious' with PM.
NATO says it will meet Canada's Afghanistan demands - Globe.
CP - MacKay raised prisoner abuse claims with Kandahar governor.
Ivison - Liberal refight the convention.
Friday update - Kandahar mission impossible without combat: Hillier. CTV