Monday, January 24, 2005

Iraq - BBC Phishing for Photos

What does the BBC do when it only has a paltry 22 prisoner abuse photographs. It "finds" more.

A woman who claimed she saw photos that may show soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners has contacted police.

She told BBC One's Question Time programme she had seen the pictures while working in a photo lab in 2003, but had not told anyone.

There is an accompanying photograph with this caption "The woman was a member of the Question Time audience".

So who is this woman?

The unidentified woman told Question Time in Manchester on Thursday night that she had seen a series of photos that looked like an officer with an Iraqi prisoner in a corner.

If her story is true I can understand why she wants anonymity but it sure is convenient for the BBC.

Bishop Hill has some concerns.

So this woman just happened to get a ticket for Question Time and just happened to be one of the audience members selected to speak and just happened to have seen these photos? It doesn't feel right to me.

I have my suspicions too, especially since I've caught the BBC using anti-war activists to fabricate anti-American stories concerning Iraq. See here and here.

Seymour Hersh claimed to have thousands more photographs of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. To this day none have ever been produced.

Why is this woman speaking up after nearly two years?

She said when pictures of US soldiers abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad emerged, she began to tell people about the photographs she had seen.

Who? Obviously not the UK press. The UK press would have loved to have had photographs showing Iraqi prisoner abuse by British soldiers. One paper, The Mirror, wanted them so bad they used fake ones back in May 2004, shortly after this woman claims to have seen her photographs. Given the uproar that created, The Mirror editor resigned, one would have thought she would have contacted officials then.

If that wasn't enough to spur her civic mindedness then the Sun should have done the trick.

The Sun newspaper had offered a £50,000 reward for "information about the fake Mirror photos" but withdrew the offer following the sacking of Morgan.

How much do you think they would have paid for "real" photographs? The piranha press would have paid many times that amount for the real thing.

The Mirror had fake photographs; what does the BBC have? Even less. An unidentified woman who may have seen photographs that may show prisoner abuse taken by someone unknown.

These stories inflame passions in the Middle East, endanger our troops in Iraq and Western civilians around the world.

A responsible news organization would not publish such a tenuous story but the BBC would.

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