There are two basic techniques to hide a "needle" that occur to me:
- Pretend there is no needle.
- Heap enormous quantities of "hay" under, over and around the needle so that the chances of finding it are negligibly small
Option 1. wasn't available to Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair and Charlie Falconer. The disappearance and death of David Kelly was too publicly visible.
Option 2. was the Hutton Inquiry. Detail was heaped upon detail in oral testimony. Inconsistency upon inconsistency. Document was piled upon document.
In real time, the press release processors of Fleet Street and the broadcast media didn't have a hope of identifying the gaps in the evidence.
The volume of information was overwhelming. And remains almost overwhelming even with much more time to process it than journalists had during the Hutton Inquiry.
Heaping copious quantities of "hay" on the "needle" almost succeeded as a cover-up strategy.