Friday, 5 November 2010

The Death of David Kelly - Andrew Gilligan parrotting mistakes by Nicholas Hunt

To those who've studied the Hutton Inquiry web site in detail, the recent article by Andrew Gilligan, David Kelly: case closed, shows how easy it is for a careless journalist to parrot an error as if it's fact.

Gilligan uncritically states this, quoting from Nicholas Hunt's postmortem report,

"There was heavy bloodstaining over the left arm." There was blood on the front right side of his shirt beneath the left hand, the palm of which was bloodstained.

Gilligan fails to notice that elsewhere in Nicholas Hunt's report the left arm is said to be in this position, "His left, upper arm was in a line with the shoulder, with his elbow flexed and his left hand pointing towards his feet".

So, taken at face value, David Kelly has two left hands.

I mention it simply to demonstrate how poor some journalists can be at spotting glaring mistakes in something they quote.

If Andrew Gilligan can't spot such simple mistakes in the postmortem report, it becomes obvious why the title of his article, David Kelly: case closed, expresses an erroroneous conclusion.

Gilligan also uncritically quotes Nicholas Hunt here,

"There was bloodstaining and a pool of blood in an area running from the left arm of the deceased for a total distance in the order of two to three feet," said Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist.

seemingly unaware of the kinds of questions I raise about the "pool of blood" here: The Death of Dr. David Kelly - the mysterious "pool of blood" seen only by Dr. Nicholas Hunt.

It's ironic that Gilligan claims that the detail is indicative that the Kelly case should be closed, when it's careful analysis of the detail that makes it clear that there is no credible basis to be confident in Lord Hutton's conclusions.


  1. Apologies for the seemingly duplicate post, which is the more complete version.

    The earlier draft seemed to publish when my browser crashed.

  2. Andrew - We touched on the curious timing of the ejection of Dr Kelly from Kuwait on 19/20 May vis a vis the meeting with Gilligan on 22 May. The FAC transcript of 15 July is here and I am still quite mystified why or how the came to meet on May 22nd. When asked,Dr Kelly goes back to the reason for meeting in February and I am left quite perplexed.
    In Richard Hadfield's displinary note, Hadfield too adduces the February reason for the May meeting. (which seems to be Gilligan, having visited Iraq,wishing to put his (Gilligan's) observations into context)
    Why does all this mean?
    Gilligan's post Inquiry (Oct 8th) legal submission throws up even more (date) implausible curiosities relating a the date of 21 May on his personal Organiser for commencing notes on the meeting!