Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

I GUESS "FURY" WAS CORRECT AFTER ALL....Holding out for the best bid backfires sometimes. Case in point: today the British Ministry of Defense reversed itself and said the former Iranian prisoners can't sell their stories after all. Tabloid editors everywhere are crying in their beers tonight.

Kevin Drum 2:53 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (13)

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They are government property, and any profit from their stories should go directly to the exchequer.

Posted by: AC on April 9, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Tabloid editors everywhere are crying in their beers tonight.

You mean "pints" right?

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 9, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

I support free speech and free markets, but it was kind of stupid for the MoD to make an ad hoc exception before thoroughly reviewing what the policy should be.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

You know what's making me crazy about this story?

"Ms Turney, a mother of one, said a woman had come into her cell and measured her from head to toe, while she could hear the sound of wood sawing and nails being hammered. Ms Turney said: 'She shouted the measurements to a man outside. I was convinced they were making my coffin.'"

This simply doesn't ring true.

Captors preparing a custom-made coffin for a hostage? And building such coffin right on the premises? The entire story sounds made up. There's something weird about these Royal Navy folks.

Posted by: G.Jones on April 9, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

A Guantanamo interrogator told a prisoner that his mother would be brought to Gitmo — with her being raped as an obvious threat hanging in the background — if he didn't start talking.


"Ms Turney, a mother of one, said a woman had come into her cell and measured her from head to toe, while she could hear the sound of wood sawing and nails being hammered. Ms Turney said: 'She shouted the measurements to a man outside. I was convinced they were making my coffin.'"

What's not to believe?

That the Chimps are morally superior to Orangs?
Or vice versa?

Listen friend: Both these simians claim to have God on their side.

So again: What's not to believe?

Posted by: One Solitary Human on April 9, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Captors preparing a custom-made coffin for a hostage? And building such coffin right on the premises? The entire story sounds made up.

Well of course it was made up -- it was made up by the Iranians in order to intimidate her.

Geez, folks, get a clue.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Tabloid editors everywhere are crying in their beers tonight.

They've just saved a ton of money, and can still get all the stories they want from the sailors; they just can't buy exclusives. It's like when athletes go on strike for more money -- you're never getting any money back, it's just a question of who would you rather see have the extra millions that David Ortiz brings in, him or John Henry? So who would you rather see get the money in this case -- Rupert Murdoch's paper, or some poor schmoe who just went through hell?

Posted by: DonBoy on April 9, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

The following analogy is a bit of a stretch, and nearly 50 years ago, but there was widespread unhappiness, at least in military circles, when Henry Luce signed the Mercury astronauts up for the exclusive rights to their "personal" stories.

Ike is said to have resisted. But what Henry Luce wanted, Henry Luce got.

Posted by: paxr55 on April 9, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry: should have added that the original seven were all active-duty military test pilots, and that exclusive and lucrative publishing contracts for military officers were unheard of--until the cold war became a space race and Luce wanted the story.

Posted by: paxr55 on April 9, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

NPR said that two of the sailors already met with magazine reporters, and the process had begun.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 9, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

The stories will get out. The books will get made. The money will be in other nations' banks.

If there's a juicy story, there's a tabloid willing to buy it. The only question is how plausible the plausible deniability will be.

Posted by: jon on April 9, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Since Tony Blair is a total control freak, the decision to allow the sailors and marines to sell their stories could only have come from Downing Street. Blair knew that anything that emanated from officials in the Ministry of Defence would be regarded as crap/spin and if they were economical with the truth it might turn out that the Iranians recorded every single minute of the sailors/marines captivity on CCTV. By allowing the sailors/marines to sell their stories direct to the Red Tops, the Ministry of Defence and Blair get the "story" out there while having deniability.

Posted by: blowback on April 10, 2007 at 5:21 AM | PERMALINK

"would you rather see David Ortiz...or John Henry?

You mean the old boy is going to leave Kentucky to gallop, er trot, around Fenway? Must be paying a ton of oats for that. Bet he will munch on several groundkeepers, as well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 10, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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