Yesterday I heard the terrible news that Number Ten Downing Street had released a dossier designed to drum up public support for the forthcoming (? i hope not) war on Iraq. The document contained a detailed description of Saddam Hussain's deception and arsenal and many other Iraqi domestic affairs.

All well and good?

No, not really. Of the 19 page dossier, pages 6 to 16 were plagiarised from a published article by postgraduate student, Ibrahim al-Marashi.

So they researched a bit, so what?

So what???!!!! This wasn't a bit of research. This was cut and pasted from the paper to the dossier. This included typographic errors. I can't begin to get across how angry this makes me feel. A few points though will help

  • Plagiarism is 'intellectual theft'. Using someone else's work and passing it off as your own. As an academic, this is annoying on a moral level.
  • The information contained within the dossier is 12 years old. When the paper was written by Ibrahim al-Marashi, it was a historical document. Now it is being passed off as up-to-the-minute, cutting edge of British intelligence.
  • This document exists as a propaganda tool to increase public support for a war.

    Plagiarism to increase support for killing people. This is wrong on just about every level I can think of.

    Before this, I did have some semblance of trust for the New Labour government, but now i have no trust

    What to do?