British captives gave more than classic â€śname, rank, serial numberâ€?
The 15 British sailors and marines returned home from the Iranian hostage crisis to face scrutiny concerning just how much information they gave during their 13 days of captivity. The (UK) Sunday Times said the British Ministry of Defence is happy with the way the returning crewmembers handled themselves. He pointed out that since they were not technically prisoners of war, then the werenâ€™t limited to respond to interrogation to simply reply with their â€śname, rank, serial number and date of birthâ€? â€“ the â€śbig fourâ€? as Britain knows them and as made famous in war movies.
Instead the crewmembers were considered to be merely â€ścapturedâ€? and therefore under British rules they would follow the â€śconduct in captureâ€? where they can tell their captors anything they want to hear as long as they donâ€™t give away classified information or put anyoneâ€™s life in danger or breach operational security.
This article highlights the media debate that the crewmembers may have been â€śtoo cooperativeâ€? with the Iranians, hinting that Britain has been humiliated by their actions.
Thursdayâ€™s New York Times said in a London byline the freed Britonsâ€™ safe return has been tarnished as they face questions about their capture and behavior. This article references, Stephen Glover, a columnist in The (UK) Daily Mail who compared negatively the British captives with those from previous conflicts. Glover said in no previous era would British servicemen taken hostage have been so willing to confess and apologize.
Sundayâ€™s New York Times:
1. An article last Sunday about a class-action lawsuit over mortgage lending practices referred incorrectly to the loan-to-value ratio that is considered prudent for mortgages. It is a maximum of 80 percent, not a minimum of 80 percent. (The loan-to-value ratio is a measure of risk that compares the size of the total loan on a property to the underlying collateral.)
MY COMMENT: Iâ€™m surprised this â€śmaximum/minimumâ€? mistake wasnâ€™t caught. If carefully read then each choice would be a big difference from each other, completely changing the storyâ€™s meaning.
2. A brief report in the Suits column on March 25, about the inaugural flight of the super jumbo A380 to Kennedy International Airport, misstated the planeâ€™s maximum weight on takeoff. It is more than 1.2 million pounds, not 1.3 million tons.
MY COMMENT: I suppose that it would be difficult to know the difference between how heavy a plane weighing 1.2 million pounds or 1.3 million tons is, so this mistake might not be so obvious. But I also suppose that the writer should have double-checked with his/her source and asked for clarification for anything that isnâ€™t obvious to him/her and not taken the information as it stood, unclear and unverified.
MY OWN CORRECTION:
The New York Times article spells the Daily Mail writer's name differently, as "Steven" instead of "Stephen."