Dead Men Left

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Failed attempts at mud-slinging

Blood and Treasure pick up on David Aaronovitch's further attempts to smear Galloway in last Sunday's Liberal Bomber:

"As it happens, the authenticity of the documents was never discussed in court."
“As it happens”, my arse. As it happens, the reason that the authenticity of the documents was never disputed in court was that the Telegraph could not demonstrate that they were true and therefore had to construct a defence that publishing them anyway was in the public interest. As it happens, it failed to do this because the lynch mob journalism that it chose to indulge in rested on the assumption that the documents were true. As it happens, it was the Telegraph that chose to avoid the issue, not Galloway. As it happens, it had to avoid the issue to have any chance of winning the case.

Johann Hari, in his own inimitable fashion, has attempted to claim Galloway supported a military dictatorship in Pakistan. He has, however, left the comments boxes open on his site, allowing alternately Lenin and someone called Duncan the chance to wipe the floor with him. I feel a bit sorry for Hari; not only does he have a cold at the moment, he gives the impression of generally maintaining a certain intellectual honesty about his support for the invasion of Iraq. The disaster that the occupation has become has given him cause for some hand-wringing doubts. Unfortunately, his usual honesty deserted him when it came to reviewing Galloway's book, leading him to make a series of outrageous claims and in some cases simply invent quotes. I don't think there's another public figure out there who any competent, vaguely credible journalist would feel able to do this to; still, you can best judge someone by their enemies - and on this count, Galloway comes out very well indeed.