I am pleased that Peter Oborne concedes that his co-author David Morrison was ‘foolish’ and ‘clumsy’ in his statements. Perhaps Morrison was indeed attempting ‘to be as accurate as he could about what he understood to be the facts’. But that is a statement about the understanding of Mr Oborne’s co-author, not a statement about the facts.
I still cannot see how anybody who accepts that President Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier could have said what Mr Oborne’s co-author said last week. To recap, over at the Telegraph last week David Morrison said:
‘I have never come across a statement from Ahmadinejad saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen. He’s said other things that question the Holocaust and the numbers killed in the Holocaust, yes, but I’ve never come across an absolute denial of it.’
The fact that Mr Oborne this week assures us that his co-author now ‘fully accepts’ and finds ‘utterly odious’ comments which last week he had ‘never come across’ is, I suppose, progress of a kind.
And that makes me even more delighted to accept Mr Oborne’s offer to debate ‘any time, any place.’ I have already accepted a third party’s invitation to arrange this. After all, if the Oborne-Morrison case can move so swiftly after just one blog, what might be achievable over an hour or two of public debate?
In the meantime, one thought. The title for Mr Oborne’s riposte is, ‘No, Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.’ In his post he says ‘not one of our critics have even tried to deal with the central, factual points of our short book: that Iran isn’t in possession of nuclear weapons and isn’t building them.’
If these are indeed the ‘central, factual points’ of the book then customers should ask for a refund. I do not know of anybody who claims that Iran is already in possession of nuclear weapons. As to whether Iran seeks to acquire nuclear weaponry, I look forward to our meeting to set things right on that matter as well.