I’m puzzled by the memo

I’m puzzled by the memo leaked to the Mirror a couple of days ago. This claims that Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera headquarters in Qatar, until he was talked out of it by Blair. It’s a crazy idea even for Bush, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. What I find hard to believe is the story of how the document came to light. According to the Mirror article:

The memo, which also included details of troop deployments, turned up in May last year at the Northampton constituency office of then Labour MP Tony Clarke.

Would something this damaging be handed out willy-nilly to MPs – especially to somebody like Tony Clarke, whose voting record shows that he was reasonably anti-war and anti-Blair in the first place.

But then, the government seems to be treating it as if it’s genuine – charging people and threatening editors under the Official Secrets Act. So I’m confused – I guess it’s possible that somebody leaked this to Tony Clarke in the past, and that he and his staff kept it secret until now. It might become clearer in a while – for now, I’ll just hope that the document turns up on Cryptome, which it will if it gets into the public domain.

[also covered by the Guardian, The Times, and probably a few others.]