Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prince Hal and King Drudge?

I woke up to the story about Britain's prince Harry, the third in line for the throne, serving in Afghanistan. The plot of this revelation was most confusing, because if his presence there had been kept a secret for security reasons so far, why come out with the news now? You don't wave a shish kebab in the face of a predator, after all, and it's pretty clear that getting Hal would be a feather to the cap of all those warlords and Talibanites over there. Perhaps more importantly, this knowledge will endanger everyone in Hal's unit more, too.

At first I thought that someone had decided it was more important to show how the upper classes of Britain walk their talk than to keep the prince's unit safe. But the real answer turns out to be much simpler: There was a secret agreement between the press and the British government that Harry's presence in Afghanistan would not be discussed.

The king of all things Republican and salacious, one Matt Drudge, decided that the safety of those soldiers mattered less than publishing the story. Or that is what this British Telegraph article argues.