Both parties in the dispute were pretty repellent, and yet both seemed to tell plausible stories. The Telegraph journalist was said to be reputable and honourable (for example by journalists at the Guardian) and he claimed that he had literally stumbled accidentally on the papers that proved the case in a safe in a bombed out building. If his story was true it did appear that the find was too fortuitous to have been planned by propagandists. How could they have predicted what building he would enter, what safe he would open?
On the other hand one's immediate reaction, and the defence offered by George Galloway's supporters, was that it was just toofortuitous. Of all the bombed out buildings, of all the secret papers, to stumble on a file implicating a prominent (if repellent) political opponent of the war in a heinous treason...?
George finally filed suit the week before last against the Telegraph. There was a lot of suspicion going round earlier that he wasn’t going to; Telegraph editor Charles Moore has certainly been talking a bit of smack to this effect. My guess is that what has happened is that Galloway has reached a point where he is reasonably confident that he will be able to finance the Telegraph suit out of the proceeds of a settlement with the Christian Science Monitor.
Even if there is a trial, will we ever know the truth?
More in this blog.