Friday, February 29, 2008

Prince Harry's Excellent Adventure

His grandmother sent him there, and the Drudge Report is bringing him back. For ten weeks, the young man who is third in line for the throne has been soldiering in Afghanistan as the British press honored what used to be called a gentlemen's agreement not to tell the world about it.

But the web site that outed Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinsky adventure has done the same for Prince Harry by citing an article in an obscure Australian magazine, “Prince Harry Fights on Front Lines in Afghanistan.”

So much for the Prince's war. The headline in today's Guardian reports: "Army prepares to evacuate Harry after news blackout fails."

Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, the British chief of staff, said he was “very disappointed” that “foreign Web sites” had posted the story without asking for permission “in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the U.K. print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.”

In ten weeks of combat duty, the royal lieutenant has apparently been serving as a spotter to direct air strikes against the Taliban and, now that the secrecy lid is off, the excitable British press is picturing him behind machine guns and babbling such news as "The 23-year-old Household Cavalry lieutenant killed up to 30 of the enemy on his frontline tour by directing at least THREE air strikes."

In a pre-departure interview, Prince Harry told the UK Times that the Queen, his grandmother, "told me I’m off to Afghanistan...and she was very pro me going."

Now Drudge is bringing him back.

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