I recently came across what can only be described as one of the greatest PR disasters of our age. It happened in the U.S. on May Day in 2003 when George W Bush gave a speech aboard the USS Lincoln declaring that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”. He stood in front of a banner with the slogan “Mission Accomplished”. Bush landed in a fighter jet on the deck of the aircraft carrier. The events of that day were praised at the time, but have come to be regarded as a very embarrassing publicity stunt and premature declaration of victory when, as we know now, the war had only just begun. But on November 6, 2006 a blogger posted a video clip on You Tube entitled “white house caught doctoring Mission Accomplished video” The video takes the viewer on a journey through the process of discovering how the White House has rewritten history, or at least tried to! Even the White House photo gallery for May 1st 2003 no longer includes the “Mission Accomplished” in the banner. This isn’t Soviet Russia and we are not in the habit of airbrushing out pictures of deceased generals from the halls of the Kremlin simply because they’re out of favour now. In this digital age, it’s harder to rub out the memory of someone or something. The Mission Accomplished picture just goes to show that we certainly can’t try to web scrub as that makes it worse. It was a premature and rushed publicity stunt that made the White House and George W look extremely foolish, but by trying to doctor the historical evidence, it made the story much bigger. The internet keeps memory alive, it doesn’t delete it.