“Politicians reacted in disbelief to the revelation that for over two hours yesterday, the BBC News website carried a request for people in Iraq to report on troop movements. The request was removed from the website after it sparked furious protests that the corporation was endangering the lives of British servicemen and women. But according to accounts last night, a story on a major operation by US and Iraqi troops against al-Qa’eda somewhere north of Baghdad contained an extraordinary request for information about the movement of troops. Last night the BBC confirmed the wording of the request was: “Are you in Iraq? Have you seen any troop movements? If you have any information you would like to share with the BBC, you can do so using the form below.” The BBC confirmed last night that this form of words had appeared on the website from “late morning” until early afternoon.”
Telegraph, BBC ‘risked safety of troops’
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said,
We would take this incredibly seriously if it’s true. We are checking this with our guys out in Iraq.
The BBC’s response is ridiculous:
However, yesterday we used the phrase “have you seen any troop movements” in this request for information. The Telegraph and some others wrongly interpreted this as an attempt on our part to seek out military detail.
The BBC, Bad Phrase
How could asking for details of troop movements – Are you in Iraq? Have you seen any troop movements? not be seeking out military detail?