A couple of years ago I wrote a piece for Cif looking at how Con Coughlin – a senior executive at the Daily Telegraph – had written a number of articles over many years consistently aiming to scaremonger about Iran’s alleged quest for nuclear weapons and containing barely veiled demands that Western powers act immediately to forestall that possibility. I said that I had no idea whether the Iranians were intent on acquiring nukes but Coughlin’s output was so riddled with inaccuracies and bullshit, that it appeared that he was acting as a conduit for mischief-making for the spooks. Indeed, Nick Davies’s excellent book, Flat Earth News, contains a chapter in which he discusses how Coughlin had written a story sourced directly from MI6 officers – a story that was proven in court to be totally bogus.
In today’s edition of the Telegraph, Coughlin warns against talk of British soldiers speeding up their exit from Afghanistan because he says it will encourage the Taliban. He argues that stronger military resolve must be shown in order to have ‘a realistic chance of persuading the Taliban to lay down its weapons, and take its seat at the negotiating table.’ But back in 2003, Coughlin was arguing that the Taliban had been ‘decisively defeated’. Nice to see Coughlin continuing to support the warmongers so loyally.