» Monday, September 25, 2006

Michael Stone

Asked for a reaction to the Michael Stone verdict, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Department of Health were putting out a statement. Rosie Winterton would say that there were lessons to be learned. We had always regarded it as a very serious report and would treat it as such.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked to what extent the Prime Minister would raise the fact that the Taleban and Al Qaeda used Northern Pakistan as a stronghold, the PMOS said that journalists could take it as read that all aspects of the war against terrorism would be covered in their discussion. This would include the very real efforts made by the Pakistani Government to fight terrorism as witnessed by their success in operations down through the years. Other matters would be discussed in private. Asked how it could be described as successful when part of the country had been ceded to terrorists, the PMOS said that that was the journalist's own assertion and he would not be drawn into discussing assertions.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

CIA Report

Asked if there was a response to the CIA report on terrorism, the PMOS said that as the Prime Minister had pointed out yesterday it was worth taking a step back and recalling that Afghanistan and 9/11 were before Iraq. There was also a long list of Al Qaeda attacks that had preceded 9/11 and Iraq. The idea that Iraq had been the source of terrorism was factually wrong. Was Iraq and Afghanistan being used as an excuse: answer yes. The Prime Minister himself had said it was being used as an excuse. This argument did not follow through its logic, which was that if you accepted that line of argument you stopped supporting democratic governments. We now had democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Prime Minister's view was that we needed to be supportive. If you indulged that other line of thinking you ended up walking away from democracy.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

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