by Ray Fleming
THE WikiLeaks from US diplomatic communications traffic are fascinating for any number of reasons, not least for the evidence they provide of the often poor quality of the information they carried. For instance, a secret memorandum from the American Embassy in Paris passed on a French government explanation of why the leaders of Germany and other European countries had not been invited to the lavish 65th anniversary celebrations of D-Day held in Normandy. The author of the memo wrote that he had been told by a reliable source close to President Sarkozy that tne number of invitations had to be kept low in order to avoid the ceremony becoming too long. However, the memo continued, Britain and Canada had probably been invited as “exceptional cases” because both their leaders -- Gordon Brown and Stephen Harper -- were in serious political trouble at home and would be helped by being present at the ceremony. “Exceptional cases” indeed! It does not seem to have crossed this American diplomat's mind that the reason for the invitations to Britain and Canada was most probably that troops from those two nations were prominent in the landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944 -- the Americas on the western beaches and the British and Canadians on the eastern. It is remarkable that an American diplomat, no matter how young and wet behind the ears, would not have thought of this consideration.

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