WOULD EVERYBODY STOP GETTING SHOT!?!
Downing Street was last night plunged into acute international embarrassment after it emerged that large parts of the British government's latest dossier on Iraq - allegedly based on "intelligence material" - were taken from published academic articles, some of them several years old.
Amid charges of "scandalous" plagiarism on the night when Tony Blair attempted to rally support for the US-led campaign against Saddam Hussein, Whitehall's dismay was compounded by the knowledge that the disputed document was singled out for praise by the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, in his speech to the UN security council on Wednesday.
Citing the British dossier, entitled Iraq - its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation in front of a worldwide television audience Mr Powell said: "I would call my colleagues' attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed... which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities."
But on Channel 4 News last night it was revealed that four of the report's 19 pages had been copied - with only minor editing and a few insertions - from the internet version of an article by Ibrahim al-Marashi which appeared in the Middle East Review of International Affairs last September.
Though that was not the only textual embarrassment No 10 seemed determined to tough it out last night.
The British Government Dossier cited by Colin Powell
One of the articles the dossier is plagiarized from, complete with typos and grammatical errors.