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Thursday 28 October 2010

Sarah McDermott | 12:58 UK time, Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tonight we have an exclusive interview with one of the first soldiers on the scene of the now infamous "Crazyhorse" helicopter attack in Iraq, cockpit video footage of which became the first major leak of Iraq war material on the Wikileaks website.

In a moving interview, Ethan McCord - who has now left the army - describes how he saved a child from the wreckage of the vehicle, and the lasting effect the events have had on his life.

And we'll hear what one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, David Kilcullen, who served as an adviser to General David Petraeus, thinks about the phenomenon of Wikileaks.

Head of MI6 Sir John Sawers has become the first serving MI6 chief to make a televised speech. We'll be joined by a former senior intelligence chief to discuss its significance.

And, as the 50th anniversary of the end of the Lady Chatterley obscenity trial at the Old Bailey approaches, we get exclusive access to unpublished documents from the case against Penguin Books - who published the uncensored version of the controversial novel. And we'll debate the impact the novel had on the way authors write explicit material.

Do we have D H Lawrence to thank for the Bad Sex Awards?

Join Kirsty at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

    Just to let you know that I myself shall be publishing something, i'n one form or another, about sexual torture, having had direct access to multiple files on the subject. It's only the question now how to preserve the security and safety of the absolute majority of the Brits.

    Congratulations to Mr Sean Connery, aka 007, for receiving the honour of the Commander of the British Empire!!!!!!! It's a lovely photo taken during the Ceremony.

    Monika xxxx

  • Comment number 3.

    there is nothing secret about overcoming evil, except that if you imitate it whatever lame excuse is given, you perpetuate and make the evil worse. Most people across the World would fight evil, but we have allowed blood lust to cloud our judgment and so it goes on.
    also Sun Tzu years ago said that if you give a enemy no way out, they will fight to the bitter end, so what do we do, (!!) we take away any hope they have, treat them despicably, torture people, bomb indescrimately, and so on
    the best way to beat this lot is to return to our core values and prosecute those on our side who have committed war crimes (please do not reply with the obvious that we have committed less war crimes and tortured less people than the enemy, we seem to have lost our direction, and this is not least to people like Bush and Blair

  • Comment number 4.


    Returns to the 'seas' and drown in tears mixed with aqua?

  • Comment number 5.

    housing benefit should be cut when there is the social housing to move them to. Housing benefit has been used instead of a housing policy.

    as for Sawyers FO neocon world war on terror narrative tub thumping anti iran propaganda speech don't get me started. It shows there were some rational people in SIS when some said they would resign if he became head?
    When will the neocon occupation of uk foreign policy and defence strategy end?

  • Comment number 6.


    Do you have any internal or external knowledge, jaunty, how many have actually resigned already and how many are likely to resign within the next few weeks?

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Tracey Emin forger jailed


    Another case of someone making-it-up as they went along....hang on a minute, surely that’s both of ‘em!

  • Comment number 9.

    Ha ha ha! Just looked up an article on "The Bad Sex Awards"

    Hadn't realised Auberon Waugh and Rhoda Koenig in started the awards in 1993!
    :P of course Tony Blair's description of (what can only be described as hideous) life between the sheets with Cherie is cringeworthy...... :o(

  • Comment number 10.

    so the bbc unions want to vote to perpetuate a ponzi pension scheme funded out of the licence fee? with 'thinking' like that it sort of dismisses the claim that this is 'talent' that needs high wages? reminds one of the MPs ? The people the yapparazzi hounded for being 'greedy'?

    6. i did post a link a while back when the story originally came up however you say you don't read the posts so probably missed it?

    for more recent news about the dire state of morale in mi6 as usual one has to go abroad to find it as the uk media are too uriah heep.

    ..MORE than 50 spies at MI6 have responded to a recruitment drive by the intelligence agency's Australian counterpart.

    British spies are in high demand. Last year there were anecdotal reports that the CIA in Washington was seeking to headhunt some of its MI6 counterparts.

    Glenmore Trenear-Harvey, an intelligence analyst, said news of the brain drain did not surprise him.

    "There are good reasons why there would be an exodus, although it is unusual to see it at this level. There is a pay freeze. But there is also a lot of unhappiness about being associated with the torture allegations," he said.

  • Comment number 11.

  • Comment number 12.

    Tonight on Newsnight we'll hear how US troops heroically saved children that they'd just moments before filled full of bullets. God Bless America, Freedom & Democracy.

    It is a far, far better thing that I do when I kill kids, than Saddam ever done. Honest.

  • Comment number 13.

    Prospective Editorial Guidelines .

    Live Interviews/Broadcasts.

    1. All ‘live’ broadcasts can only be broadcast ‘live’ four hours after the ‘live’ interview.

    2. All ‘live’ broadcasts must be re-shot, preferably with the original interviewee present, ten minutes before broadcast of ‘live’ broadcasts. Point 1 above must be fully and effectively applied for all proposed ‘live’ broadcasts.

    3. Where a ‘live’ broadcast is ‘ broadcast live’ it must be accompanied a rolling banner explanation of what the interviewee had actually meant to say during the ‘live’ broadcast. If what the interviewee actually said during the ‘live’ broadcast is actually what the interviewee intended to actually say then a transcript of the ‘live’ broadcast needs to be annotated and authorised by the interviewee. This transcript must then be formally witnessed by several representatives of several representative groups. Three copies of the transcript should then be provided to the BBC “Live Broadcast Intent and Meanings Evaluation Review Department” (LBIMERT)for permission to broadcast the ‘live’ broadcast before the ‘live’ broadcast.

    4. If what the interviewee had intended to say varies in any way from what the interviewee actually said then the rolling banner must emphasise that what the interviewee had intended to say is actually more accurate than what the interviewee actually said. Additionally a senior LBIMERT official must issue a formal apology - prior to ‘live’ broadcast - explaining the error in understanding between what was said and what was intended to be said. (Same official should immediately prepare a formal letter of resignation to comply with “Formal Rejection of Resignation Letters following Internal Review” Policy 1952 ( Rev. 3). )

    5. ALL ‘live’ broadcasts must be absolutely clear in explanation - written, verbal and visual - as to what the interviewee actually said, intended to say, was supposed to say and what CCO says the interviewee actually said, intended to say, and was supposed to say in accordance with CCO policies. CCO written approval must be retained by a senior LBIMERT official prior to ‘live’ broadcast.

    PLEASE NOTE ....

    Points 2,3,4, and 5 must apply - in full - prior to application of Point 1.

    N.B. This is NOT a discussion document.

  • Comment number 14.

    @3 WhenTheMouseIsAwayTheCatCanPla

    The problem is that you'd have to prosecute the entire government, MPs, civil servants and the military, that will never happen, instead they are engaged in what can could be described as a murder-suicide with the rest of the country, just as the Nazis did in Germany taking us to ultimate destruction, I think it's nearly time to get out of Das Bunker and leave for good.

  • Comment number 15.

    The BBC take on Wikileaks is quite surreal. First they concentrate on the messenger:

    * This is controvertial and it puts 'our brave boys' in danger (even if there is not one ounce of evidence to substantiate this claim)
    * Assange is a weirdo
    * What is the agenda of these people?

    Then we have a round of minimising and deflection:

    We've heard all this before, this information is nothing new
    Iran are the bad guys
    Bad things happen in war, this was bound to happen anyway

    Now we see an odd version of reality:

    The US soldiers were heroes afterall (but they do make the odd mistake, although this is disputed).

    Trust in the BBC ebbs away with each passing day.

  • Comment number 16.


    Talking of the British Security Services, here's part of the analysis, quite accurate from what I gather, on the BBC News Front Page:

    'Others will say the rules are not tight enough and accepting intelligence from those who might torture will encourage them to continue.

    Pressure from the courts and lawyers to release information has forced British intelligence to reveal more than it would have liked and, with its defences breached, going on the offensive and speaking more publicly to defend itself has become a more urgent priority.

    But Sir John was also careful to make clear the limits of openness. MI6 depends on secret agents willing to betray secrets. Any suggestion their identities might be exposed would make them less willing to spy for Britain and work with MI6.

    Being able to tackle the threats the country faces depends on secrecy, Sir John argued. But just how much secrecy is required and where the boundaries should lie will remain a matter of debate inside MI6 as well as outside.'

    It seems to me that the question remains whether there are any double, or multiple, agents working against the best British interests within the MI6, or MI5 for that matter.


  • Comment number 17.


    I can definitely think of one male needing, desperately, to get out of the 'Das Bunker' and face the reality. Leaving for good will not help in this day and age whereby 'chosen' individuals can be tagged for 24/7 - 365 until the 'Maker' makes the final call.


  • Comment number 18.


    Apologies, I should have mentioned your name, turbojerry, whether you are Jerry or not.

  • Comment number 19.



    Luckily, as it is after all a democracy here in Great Britain, they do have the right to strike as long as they follow the right procedures currently in place.


  • Comment number 20.

    So NN has an American soldier, Ethan McCord, going on about his 'feelings', what about the 1 million dead Iraqis, the millions who have been injured and the 4 million forced out of their homes and are now refugees, do they count? No, only some Americans 'feelings' count! Oh and Ethan McCord claims there was an RPG and that he photographed the scene, so where are the pictures of this supposed RPG? Or is this 'RPG' just like Iraqs 'WMD', another lie to placate the masses? There is an Internet phrase which comes to mind 'pics or it didn't happen'.

    David Kilcullen going on about Iraqis blowing up children in a VBIED (vehicle borne IED), I have scanned the Wikileaks warlogs and found no such incident, perhaps he could provide some proof of his claims, or is evidence and fact now banned on NN?

    So the head of SIS says they are not colluding in torture, yet have refered a case to the attorney general only last year. As for rendition, well we know rendition flights passed through Britain, so to not be complicit they could'nt have known, so the intelligence service has no idea what is on the planes coming in and out of the country, could be people being illegally rendered or a nuclear weapon, either they don't know, inwhich case they are no use as an intelligence service or they are lying like about Iraqs WMD.

  • Comment number 21.

    Rap News does a better job on Wikileaks than NN ever could-

  • Comment number 22.

  • Comment number 23.


    Most 'encouraging' words, mr barnes

  • Comment number 24.


    So 'Can't tell, Won't tell Tony' remains whiter than white! I remember, so very clearly, in those Dossier Days, Tony telling us that HE KNEW SECRETS THAT MADE WAR UNAVOIDABLE FOR THE PRINCIPLED LEADER. 'Dirty' is far too small a word, yet now he struts the world. 'God' help us.

    Incidentally: I accept Sir John Sawars word that MI6 does not embrace torture. However, I presume MI6 might lie for the greater good?

    For my part, I am pledged NEVER to deplore the crass theatrical intrusions, inserted into Newsnight presentations, such as the Iraq package. I too have standards.

  • Comment number 25.


    I seem to remember, personally, begging for it to stop, whenever The Straw Man insisted that the UK had no complicity in rendition flights.

    For evil to flourish, all that is required is 'good men'.

  • Comment number 26.

    The The Daily Telegraph may be concerned about £100 being added to the cost of foreign trips, but appears it couldn't give a flying fig about the addition of up to £800 to our household fuel bills, to fuel the explosion in the number of worse-than-useless 'offshore' windmills and 'on-shore' 'solar' installations that we must brace ourselves for in the coming years. If only I had the opportunity to opt out of this 'climate change' lunacy, like I can forego a foreign trip.

    Strangely, despite this being the headline story and the paper having campaigned against Air Passenger Duty - this year, no less, and after the election - it appears to have disappeared from the paper's homepage. Has someone from the Conservatives had a discreet word in an editor’s ear? Do we have to keep up the pretence of ''climate' concern'; keep the LibDems happy; and accept that the cash could come in handy, anyway?

  • Comment number 27.

    @18 mim

    Jerry was a name a girl I knew would call me, and she said I must have a turbocharger attached to my brain because of my amusing quips, hence the birth of the moniker turbojerry. I am not really a Jerry, but don't mind being called Hun.

  • Comment number 28.


    'good' and 'clever', do you mean, singie & co??

  • Comment number 29.


    Turbocharged brain - Small End shot. (:o)

    (But it could have been disinformation - false intelligence.)

  • Comment number 30.


    hun for spam? I've always known, but am now having it confirmed that there are cleverer and much funier people than you and singie. Disappointed? Well, you should be although I know you are not going to draw any viable conclusions out of this and so I shall have to carry on more or less in the same vein as I have been recently until you either do or are made to understand that the world is not your oyster.

  • Comment number 31.

    A fascinating piece of news regarding a correlation between humans and birds though we only partly are animals, please remember those NN bloggers who keep claiming to be the case otherwise:


  • Comment number 32.

    Quite an amazing gift, wouldn't you say?:

    Best wishes both to Lloyd Dorfman and the NT


  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.

    Just would like to say that I'm completely disgusted by the level of pro-war propaganda on display in your take on the Wikileaks video. Absolutely no attempt to create a dialectic picture of what actually happened. Rather we where presented with a puff a piece about brave US servicemen.

    This was followed by an interview with Dr Kilcullen that began with a discussion about the motives that may have led to two young children being in a fire zone. Dr Kilcullen at first refuses to speculate on this then does so less than five seconds later, well spotted Kirsty oh hang on she introduced the topic. So at least 3 or 4 mentions of a RPG that may or may not have belonged to one of the murdered Iraqis but the Reuters cameraman carrying a camera that was mistaken for a weapon leading to the commencement of the incident is only referred to once.

    Then accusations about Wikileaks being political, is this a bad thing when there are recorded cases of complicity by military personal in torture. Was the creation of the Geneva conventions not political.

    Then we had unsubstantiated drivel worthy of the ''unamed government officials'' that so often appear in the NY Times about what might happen to Afghans when in the last week or so the pentagon on CNN said that no such incidents have occurred. Well done BBC standards dropping below that of CNN and matching the mouthpiece of the US foreign policy establishment.

    I guess along with our intelligence services and British Aerospace who are an extension of their respective American counterparts the BBC appears to has given up any pretence of impartiality to become an extension of theirs. I suppose if someone at the BBC is trying to keep the new Tory government happy, job well done.

    I though am a well informed citizen who does not appreciate my licence fee being wasted on lies and propaganda. If you are going to screen this types of content I demand that the other side of the argument is given just as much time.

    The amount of jingoism on Newsnight has generally not been as bad as the other UK television news but tonight the lack of freedom that Newsnight enjoys when it comes to reporting the foreign adventures of the UK has been revealed.

    Keep up the good work guys maybe you can get Glen Beck in one day I hear he's got a good line in Hitler comparisons.

  • Comment number 35.


    One wonders what kind of schism has for us proposed at 34
    though admittedly I may be quite wrong

    mim who does hold her firm self worth esteem

  • Comment number 36.

    would you let your wife or your servant read this book'? Sorry, QT won last night...buck up NN...

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    #37 mademoiselle_h wrote:

    'I was very moved by Ethan McCord`s interview. He`s a hero for saving those children from the wreckage of a RPG.'

    Just a slight correction - McCord rescued them from the wreckage of the vehicle that was attacked with 30mm (armour piercing) cannon fire from a US Apache attack helicoptor (aka Crazyhorse).

  • Comment number 39.

    SIX Speech

    'a speech a foreign secretary might of made' [said on NN]

    is that a plus? The FO is the bastion of neocon war on terror storytelling. [see his Iraq Inquiry evidence] Wasn't that a reason for the objections to his parachuted appointment as head? along with ignoring the convention of promoting from within?

    The australian press article suggests a crisis of morale under Sawers due to the direction he is taking it? He might feel honoured to lead them but the feeling doesn't seem mutual as the most experienced rush for the exit? Is finding a key rare internet security expert asset zipped up in a bag in the bath a symptom of the new regime? Seems hardly credible that such rare assets are unprotected?

    The Government seems more interested in giving money to protect rotten wooden huts at Bletchley as a heritage theme park rather than using the cash in training and protecting people who actually do the job?

    Sawers has spent most of his time in diplomatic corps not in spycraft. No wonder he looks like he is messing it up?

    from what i understood [from reports] six doesn't use torture [whatever that word means] but they would sit with notebooks in an adjoining room as other people did? What is torture? Is giving people the minimal calories and fluids for survival torture? Making them stand on cold floors barefoot torture? Is telling them they will be handed over to Eygptians or the USA torture? etc?

    Why did torture ever come into it? Because of the neocon narrative of war on terror. Its a negative psychology. It doesn't say what it is for. It says what it is against. If it was 'FOR' human rights any suggestion of torture would immediatley be seen as incongruous? Abu Gharaib and dark prisons would be seen to be incongruous . In a war on terror narrative they don't.

    A FOR statement is much stronger in the human mind than an ''AGAINST' statement. Churchill uses that positive by saying we were fighting FOR freedom, FOR Western civilisation etc. AQ have a For statement [For caliphate etc]. So their people are motivated. Ours with their 'Against' narrative are easily demotivated, confused and directionless. The war on terror is a bad energy statement.

    So why did the neocons not choose a For statement? Because any 'For Human rights for all', 'For Rule of Law for all' would look hypocritical when one views other western foreign policy and the States that they call 'friends' that do not share or implement those values for all their people?

    Neocons have wrecked whatever they have touched with their poisonous storytelling. They can only exist because of the poverty of philosophy in the uk that relies on people not seeing through the obvious tricks. Neocons do not take the good as the highest idea of the mind. Their language is a mask behind which hides something that is violent and irrational and small minded.

    As the Rand report showed a counter terrorist strategy is a civil not military matter. The academic evidence is that foreign troops on islamic soil increase the risks to uk not decreases them. There is no doubt the trend for uk threats will rise. As the model of medieval Spain shows where they tried to live with an islamic insurgency for 300 years the islamic model of statehood isn't one of compromise among equals in a moral relativist society but one of submission. The Spanish solution would be illegal today.

    So what is or should be our edge? Ignorant philosophy is essentially a mental blindness which means such people can be outwitted. Unless we are the people with the ignorant philosophy [like the neocon storytelling]. Then we are the outwitted.

  • Comment number 40.


    Despite your boisterous texts and 'actions', it seems to me, jaunty, that you are now on the look out for protection. Perhaps it might do you good to go to Australia and receive some training i'n the art of being from the Aborigines.

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 addendum

    It seems to me that you are getting better and better at outwitting yourself, yellowy.

  • Comment number 42.


    I should have really said that you are getting 'better' and 'better' by being outwitted by nobody else but yourself, sixy.

  • Comment number 43.

    mim do you ever get embarrased when you look back over a days posts? Looking at Thursdays, you have posted 16 out of 41 posts, in some you say nothing at all.

    I know I sometimes look over the days and think bu**er, I've said too much today, doesn't that sometimes occur to you?

    Look at post 40 here it says nothing, what the dickens are you talking about? : )

    By the way he's Jaunty, not Jaundice!

  • Comment number 44.


    As much as I have felt embarrassed on more than one occasion in the past, Ecolizzy, no, I am not embarrassed all that much these days and to be honest I feel rather happy to be posting quite a bit which could be a sign, I suppose, that I do have a living brain, and if the Mods and their advisors think and feel that they seem fine to them, I shall most likely carry on the way I have been recently.



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