AT the time of writing there seems to be total confusion between London and Washington over whether the cockpit video of the friendly fire death of a British soldier in Iraq will or will not be released.
As Downing Street was claiming that the US authorities believed they could make the video available, a statement was reported from the Pentagon that there were no plans to release the video. In one sense it has become academic whether or not the video is officially released by the Americans because the Sun newspaper has obtained a copy which is likely to be shown when the inquest on the death of Lance Corporal Matty Hull is resumed.
The Pentagon also said yesterday that in October 2003 it had provided a transcript of the conversation between the US pilots and their controllers to the Ministry of Defence together with an edited version for public release. Was this the full transcript that the Guardian also published yesterday? It made dreadful, sickening reading as the gung-ho pilots began to realise what they had done. Has it been published before?
No doubt all the confusionm will be cleared up in time. However, one comment seems appropriate now. Defence Secretary Des Browne said yesterday that it was good news the Americans would release the tape and that he was glad we have been able to resolve the problem. Who was we? Surely it was the Sun that did it?