When crisis looms, go on the attack. This is exactly what the PR aides did to counter the publication of the shocking pictures printed in the Daily Mirror of British troops apparently urinating on Iraqi prisoners in custody.
The Army’s heaviest hitter, Chief of the General Staff General Sir Michael Jackson, was quickly wheeled out to comment and underline his disgust .In doing so he created a winning soundbite: “They’re not fit to wear the Queen’s uniform.” Always useful for friendly search engines and lazy broadcasters. Sir Mike also declared a probe was underway into the claims, and promised immediate action if any soldier should be found guilty. Any PR pro would applaud this fast action. Let’s see what happens next.
The damage the images might inflict could be terminal for the Army’s useful involvement in Iraq and possibly its reputation as a whole. But at least this prompt action gives the aides time to spin out the old line that the Army should not be judged on the behaviour of a few soldiers who had let down the good work of tens of thousands of others.