I’m way late to this, I know, just like I know the Beeb’s leftward tilt is so acute as to be the stuff of punchlines. But have they really sunk so low?

Politicians reacted in disbelief to the revelation that for over two hours yesterday, the BBC News website carried a request for people in Iraq to report on troop movements…

[A]ccording to accounts last night, a story on a major operation by US and Iraqi troops against al-Qa’eda somewhere north of Baghdad contained an extraordinary request for information about the movement of troops.

Last night the BBC confirmed the wording of the request was: “Are you in Iraq? Have you seen any troop movements? If you have any information you would like to share with the BBC, you can do so using the form below.”…

The Ministry of Defence was not aware of the affair yesterday until alerted by The Daily Telegraph.

However, a spokesman said: “We would take this incredibly seriously if it’s true. We are checking this with our guys out in Iraq.”…

Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, voiced his shock at what he claimed was a “bizarre” request for information about army movements.

“I am appalled because it shows either a wilful disregard for the safety of our Armed Forces or a shocking lack of understanding about their safety.

Supposedly the tip request appeared at the end of this article. You’ll find friends, family, and British vets themselves ripping the Beeb to shreds in this military bulletin board thread, but pay attention to what the people are saying about their comments on the BBC piece not being published. It sounds like the tips were being moderated instead of appearing instantly on the site. In which case, is this really as bad as it was made out to be? It sounds like maybe they simply wanted to know where the action was so they could relay the info to their people in Iraq and send them to the scene. Or am I missing something?