08/19/2005 02:12 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Buried Lede, Redux

It seemed so impressive: the London Met Police, smart and well-equipped with surveillance photos, swept around Europe to arrest suspects in the London bombings, and even shot to death an alleged terrorist they found on the tube. The initial reports were, to be Tenetian, slam-dunk: the dead man was wearing a heavy coat in hot mid-summer London, he ran onto a tube train when police spotted him.

Only trouble, as we now know: none of it was true. The Financial Times story is most exhaustive on the embarassing, tragic mess. But from an American perspective it buries the lede, since we've been having an ongoing debate over anonymous sources and leaked information:

Sky News reported on Thursday evening that the IPCC had suspended one of its staff, apparently after learning the employee was responsible for the leak of preliminary witness statements and shooting-scene photos in the de Menezes case to ITV

Does this prove that without anonymous sources we might never have learned about the Met Police's disastrous error? Or does it prove that, in a bureaucracy bent on keeping its secrets, even anonymity won't save a whistleblower? Or both?