Monday, June 16, 2008
Melanie Phillips hints at the sheer oddity of the all these secret files being lost and then found by the media. This has puzzled me. Were I to leave some papers on a train I would assume they would be thrown away by the cleaners or, if I was very very lucky, they might turn up as lost property. Say one thousand documents are left on trains, I would guess 900 of them would never been found and the remainder might be successfully retrieved. But all these documents are found, recognised and passed on to the media. Or, of course, these found documents are just a small proportion of the thousands lost every year. Given these these appear to be obviously secret and important, the actual proportion recognised might be more than 10 per cent. But say it is twenty per cent. That still suggests officials are routinely losing telephone director-sized volumes of sensitive material. If this is not the case and all the secret documents that are being lost are being found and not by the loser, then, I'm afraid, something funny must be going on. Or not funny at all in view of the fact that our allies would now be crazy to trust us with anything.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:45 am