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* Admin scrambles to put US spin on British investigation/arrests?

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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:32 AM
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* Admin scrambles to put US spin on British investigation/arrests?
I happened to be up last night - insomnia - when the news of airline security clampdowns first broke from London. CNN went to its CNN International feed from London. The young CNNI team handled the breaking story with aplomb, adding details as they became available, and incorporating UK official quotes that seemed on point, free of hyperbole, broad assumptions or journalistic hysterics. They were refreshingly straightforward and calmly professional. Even the UK Home Secretary's press conference was brief, low key and to the point. "Arrests have been made, strict airline security measures put in place and the investigation continues. Thank you for your patience", was the gist of his statement.

No sooner had Washington awoke than Chertoff and Gonzales were run out for the press subtly inserting an American role in the operation that was never mentioned by UK officials, in any context. The Homeland Security chief and the Attorney General had their facts right, it seemed, but neglected to mention that all the info was British, the suspects were British, the arrests were carried out by the British and the airline security measures were determined by the British. It was a British operation, largely a fait accompli by 9AM East Coast time. The sole US connection mentioned publicly by UK officials was the flight destinations of targeted aircraft.

While I'm sure American intelligence was briefed on the situation, their apparent rush to appear "involved" was a little embarrassing.

I think a simple "here's what the British have done, we were kept informed along the way, we support their efforts and American airline security measures will reflect those put into place in the UK" would have sufficed.

It was an odd juxtaposition to watch unfold in the middle of a sleepless night.
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