June 23, 2003
THE TELEGRAPH is standing by its Galloway story. It also notes -- as Tapped and others did not -- that the same experts who pronounced the Christian Science Monitor's Galloway documents probable forgeries said that the Telegraph's documents appeared genuine.
The Guardian adds:
"We were offered the Monitor story before it appeared and we didn't like the look of it because it involved taking an unknown source on trust," said Charles Moore, the editor of the Telegraph.
Although the authenticity of the documents may ultimately have to be tested in court, America's Christian Monitor newspaper, which also alleged he was in the pay of the Saddam regime, said its expert also looked at the Telegraph's document and judged it to be genuine.
Despite threats of legal action, Mr Galloway has not yet issued a writ against the Telegraph.
"We've had a lot of bluster but we haven't had the writ," Moore said.
"We feel there are many questions that Mr Galloway hasn't answered and it's in his interests to create a general atmosphere in which all accusations against him are lumped together," he added.
That's obviously true for Galloway. It's to the Guardian's credit that it is distinguishing the two stories.
It remains, of course, an open question which is worse: If Galloway was defending Saddam's interests because he was being paid off, or if he was doing so out of genuine sympathy for a mass-murdering dictator. Either way, Galloway seems unfit to hold office in a civilized country, and it surprises me that anyone on the left would feel moved to defend him.