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 A key figure in Operation Mass Appeal was Sir Derek Plumbly, then director of the Middle East department at the Foreign Office and now Britain’s ambassador to Egypt. Plumbly worked closely with MI6 to help to promote Britain’s Middle East policy. The campaign was judged to be having a successful effect on public opinion. MI6 passed on intelligence that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction and rebuilding its arsenal. A senior official admitted that MI6 had been at the heart of a campaign launched in the late 1990s to spread information about Saddam’s development of nerve agents and other weapons, but denied that it had planted misinformation. “There were things about Saddam’s regime and his weapons that the public needed to know,” said the official. The admission followed claims by Scott Ritter, who led 14 inspection missions in Iraq, that MI6 had recruited him in 1997 to help with the propaganda effort. He described meetings where the senior officer and at least two other MI6 staff had discussed ways to manipulate intelligence material. “The aim was to convince the public that Iraq was a far greater threat than it actually was,” Ritter said last week.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-944831,00.html -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3827207.stm Greg Philo says that 80% of the British population depend overwhelmingly on television news programmes for their understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. But until they are given more context, he believes, they will remain ignorant of the realities of the conflict. A new survey has shown that many people in Britain think the Palestinians are occupying Israeli territory and not the other way round. Despite extensive media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, some Britons think Palestinians are refugees from Afghanistan. The findings come in a study by the Media Group at Glasgow University. It concludes that television news audiences in Britain are confused about international issues. And the study says this means it is impossible to have a sensible public debate in the UK about how such issues could be resolved. Journalists 'nervous' The bitter conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians receives hundreds of hours of coverage on British television news programmes. But when the Glasgow media group asked a sample of 300 young people what they knew about it, the response was quite shocking. Although many of those surveyed had a clear impression of the violence and tragedy involved, most had little understanding of the reasons for the conflict or its historic origins.
 
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This is Keith Richardson's alternative news site. The site aims to promote Truth, Justice, a green clean healthy environment and a wildlife friendly world. It is currently focused on Foreign News and particularly the Middle East.