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Re: Transcript

Dear all,
Having posted my non-academic thoughts, I found this and agree absolutely
with the points made - though Hadi did say he knew not the accuracy of the
posting - but by posting it, gave other researchers new avenues to explore.
However, it is intersting that the State Department - no stranger to spin -
wouldn't comment either way. One would have thought they would have been
lightning quick to rubbish it had there not been some serious impediment -
and at a time of mega-propoganda by all sides. just thoughts

Best, f.

> Dear all,
> I had initially decided not to send the message below, but actually it
> relates to Colin's message about un-backed up claims that do our cause
> more harm than good, so I will send it after all. It is a response to
> Hadi's message about having 'located the transcripts' of the April
> Glaspie/ SH meeting:
> I am often perturbed by the tendency on this list for some people to pay
> rather less attention than they might to the provenance of sources.
> The document referred to by Hadi is not straightforwardly a 'transcript'
> of the meeting, as he appears to suggest. Above the NY times article
> hosted at the site mentioned by Hadi is the following caveat:
>       Here are excerpts from a document described by Iraqi Government
>       officials as a transcript of the meeting, which also included the
>       Iraqi Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz. A copy was provided to The New
>       York Times by ABC News, which translated from the Arabic. The State
>       Department has declined to comment on its accuracy.
> I am not saying that the meeting transcript is necessarily a complete
> fabrication. BUT consider the following.
> The transcript has gone through the following stages between the original
> meeting and us reading it on the website: 1. Iraqi government, 2.
> arabic-english translator(s), 3.New York Times, 4.ABC News, 5.Web host
> Each of these parties had an impact on the final
> text. Thus:
>  1. the Iraqi government wants to prove that they had been given the green
> light to invade. Do they edit the transcript to make this seem more
> plausible? The fact that Hadi describes the transcript as 'relatively
> complete' is a key issue here. Editing is not a neutral process: what is
> missing and who did the editing?
>  2.The translator has considerable leeway regarding how to translate
> ambiguous sounding text. Who was the translator associated with? What was
> their interest?
>  3. The ABC News group have interest in a scoop.
>  4. have an interest in you picking up certain key
> points in the text - they have helpfully underlined them for you and put
> them into large red text.
>  5. The state department decline to comment on the accuracy of the text.
> Therefore the text of the meeting is a highly contested document. It can't
> simply be referred to as 'the transcript' as if was somehow a neutral
> transcript of what happened, agreed on by all concerned.
> In assessing ANY source and its accuracy, it is essential to ask certain
> questions - to be found in any GCSE history textbook: who wrote it? what
> was their interest in writing it? who was their intended audience? is it
> the original author you are reading, or is someone quoting them? etc etc
> This applies not just to reading the pronouncements of the British
> government, but also (and especially) to reading sources written
> or disseminated by people who hold kindred views to you.
> Sorry if this is patronising and simplistic to most (I'm sure it will be)
> but too many times on this list there are hints of people not asking
> themselves these questions. Just because something is written by a
> campaigning group or by a journalist with a kindred spirit does not mean
> it is true - the same standards of critical judgement need to be applied
> WHATEVER the source - whether the British government, the Iraqi
> government, CASI, or Omar El-Taher. As Colin suggests, unquestioningly
> accepting facts from dubious sources that are not backed up by serious
> research plays into the hands of our critics.
> Abi
> On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, HA wrote:
>> Dear list members, I could not find a full transcript of the SH and
>> April Glaspie meeting, but I have now got hold of a relatively
>> complete transcript of the key parts of the conversation from the 'THE
>> NEW YORK TIMES' dated Sun, Sept 23, 1990. If anyone else is interested
>> in having a copy, it can be found at:
>> Regards Hadi
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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For removal from list, email
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