Итак, правительство быстро осознало масштабы PR disaster. И несмотря на выходной (и более того - праздничный) вчерашний день министр обороны (Defence Secretary) Дэс Браун (Des Browne) сделал официальное заявление. Он признал, что решение разрешить морякам общаться с прессой за плату было ошибочным, сообщил, что уроки из этого дела будут извлечены и соответствующие регулирующие документы будут пересмотрены, и объявил, что пока новые правила не введены, он запрещает военнослужащим получать от СМИ деньги в принципе. Цитирую с сайта минобороны:
1) "A very tough call" - Des Browne makes statement on media payments to Service personnel
"I recognise the dilemma that faced the Royal Navy last week.</p>
"The Naval officers who had the responsibility of looking after the young people detained in Iran saw that the pressure on them and their families made it inevitable that some of them would accept media offers to tell their story in return for payment.
"The dilemma facing the Navy was this; should they refuse to give them permission to accept payment, recognising that some of them would find ways to tell their experiences anyway, without the support and advice of their service, and therefore with greater risk to themselves and crucially also at risk to operational security? Or should the Navy accept that in this particular and exceptional case, and in the modern media environment, they should give permission for these young people to tell their story precisely in order to stay close to them but accepting the consequence of the potential payment involved?
"Many strong views on this have been expressed but I hope people will understand that this was a very tough call, and that the Navy had a duty to support its people.
"Nevertheless all of us who have been involved over the last few days recognise we have not reached a satisfactory outcome. We must learn from this.
"This morning we announced a review of the regulations governing this area, looking at, among other things, the consistency of the regulations across the services, their clarity and, more broadly, whether the regulations are right for the modern media environment. I want to be sure those charged with these difficult decisions have clear guidance for the future.
"Until that time, no further service personnel will be allowed to talk to the media about their experiences in return for payment."
2) Редакционная статья в сегодняшней The Times:
Shot to Pieces
Ministers cannot escape blame for this military fiasco
If the Iranian regime had any concerns about the wisdom of releasing the 15 British Service personnel last week, those doubts have surely disappeared by now. Tehran sought to extract every propaganda advantage it could out of their captivity and must have been surprised but pleased by the level of co-operation received from some of those captured. Absolutely nothing that Iran could have done, however, comes anywhere close to the catastrophe that has resulted from allowing the released sailors and Marines to sell their stories to the media.
Six days ago it was possible to argue which of Britain and Iran had “won” or “lost” more from this episode. Today there can be no debate. Britain has lost, and all its potential foes have been the victors.
Some of the words published yesterday beggared belief. To have a serving member of the military declare in print that he was “crying like a baby” after being imprisoned will hardly serve as a disincentive to kidnapping British troops. Nor, for that matter, would it offer a foreign army or terrorist unit any reason to fear encountering British forces in combat. For a short period in solitary confinement to be regarded as an excuse for engaging in what older generations would have deemed collaboration with an enemy is not impressive either. Nor for that matter is folding after being threatened with the prospect of being put on trial for spying.
The Iranians behaved in a manner that was deeply unpleasant. Nothing they did, though, was unprecedented or unpredictable. It is bad enough that these basic intimidation techniques worked so well. For those who fell for them to admit it so openly and then to ask for public sympathy is appalling. The 14 men and one woman were serving in the Armed Forces, not in the Big Brother house.
The contrast between this orgy of introspection and the admirable dignity of the families of the four soldiers who died in southern Iraq last week is striking. It is the latter who represent the real spirit of the British military, yet it is not their stoical stand that will be reported in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The blunt reality is that the lives of those left behind in the Basra area will have been endangered by a display of self-pity for profit, which will only encourage Iran and insurgents alike. It is hard to imagine how the aftermath of the release of the 15 hostages could have worked out worse.
And for that ministers as well as senior military figures must shoulder the blame. One of the reasons provided for allowing the ex-captives to hawk their stories was that the Ministry of Defence would at least be able to “control” what became public. If this is “control”, then what outright anarchy might be is beyond comprehension.
Admirals are not trained to have an expertise in the arts of popular television and newspapers; politicians, however, should have known that they were sanctioning sensationalism that could do immense harm to the reputation of the Armed Forces. There are profound questions to be asked of Des Browne, the Secretary for Defence, and his colleagues. An awful situation is being made worse as sections of the senior military seem to be almost desperate to distance themselves from this fiasco.
Mr Browne now appears to be in full retreat, but the battle is already lost.
3) Материал из Daily Telegraph "Военные истории: продавать или не продавать"?
Military stories: To sell or not to sell?
The MoD has restored its ban on military personnel selling their stories to the media, after a public outcry. But why was the exception granted in the first place, and what prompted such a wave of anger? Matthew Moore looks at the arguments:
Rules are rule . Other military personnel are forbidden from selling their stories. Making an exception for Iran's captives would undermine morale.
Наконец, привлеку внимание к небольшому обмену мнениями с юзером ign, который не согласился с моими оценками, ибо полагает, что "Современное западное общество устроено так, что человек, получивший свои 5 минут славы - по любой причине - имеет возможность извлечь из этого материальную выгоду.