If governments want to avoid unwarranted accusations of cover-ups and conspiracies then they should come clean immediately in those areas where the public has good reason to be suspicious. When governments go to war they should expect to be called to account, especially when events have not turned out as expected. But there is a lesson in this for critics as well. The processes of decision-making are always fascinating and often illuminating. But attempts to prove that policies were shaped by hidden agendas tend to be futile and distracting, interfering with the development of credible critiques and neglecting the wealth of material that is readily accessible. Reading the record usually gets you closer to the truth than digging for scandal (Lawrence Freedman, The unbelievable truth, FT 28 July).
(Lawrence Freedman: A reversal in Iraq will not protect us from terrorists, FT 3 August).