Our Expose of Bumbling American Flatfoots? Never Mind

An August 13 front-page story by Philip Shenon and Neil Lewis about tensions between British and American investigators had some harsh criticism of ugly Americans overseas mucking up the investigation of the fatalLondon tube bombings:

"In one case in particular, last year after the London bombings when New York police officers traveled there to pitch in, the different working style created tension. British police and intelligence officials complained to the F.B.I., C.I.A. and State Department after the New York officers, used to speaking more openly, gave interviews to the press in London and sent information on to their headquarters in New York, where officials then held a news conference with some details about the investigation, according to one senior American official involved in the relationship with British agencies.

"While American officials say they do not believe there were any serious compromises of the investigation, the British were extremely upset. 'They don't want us to share so widely,' the senior American official said."

Well, today the Times corrects the story in a way that tears to shreds the paper's previous picture of the U.S. as bumbling loudmouths.

"A front-page article on Aug. 13 about the differences between the United States and Britain in dealing with terror plots referred incorrectly to the involvement by members of the New York City Police Department in the investigation into last year's subway bombings in London. Although four New York officers were sent after the bombings, and one New York officer was already in London as a liaison to Scotland Yard, their role was limited to looking for lessons that could be applied to protecting New York from a similar attack; they did not participate in the actual investigation into the subway bombings. Also, while the New York officers studying the bombings sent information about the investigation back to their New York headquarters, they did not give interviews to the media in London about those details. The police officials in New York who received that information allowed a group of reporters to attend a briefing for corporate security officers about the investigation; they did not hold a news conference. The article also referred incorrectly to a British law enforcement agency. The Metropolitan Police is the London police agency, not a national police agency."

In other words, never mind.