Saturday, October 22, 2005

Track Changes Scandal? Why not Hide Changes Scandal?

Lebanese blogger Ramzi has written a few words on the "track changes scandal" that revealed the unedited version of Mehlis' report. I would like to complement his work, and if the pundits don't mind, rename this fiasco into the "hide changes scandal"
I've used "track changes" before, and I have to say that it is a somewhat troublesome tool. For example, once you've edited a paper, you can click on the option: "hide changes". The problem I find with this option is that it is somewhat inconsistent. On more than one occassion, I have clicked "hide changes", saved a document, and sent it by e-mail to a friend, only to realize that when he or she opened the file, they saw all my changes because their "hide changes" tool was turned off.
I speculate that this is exactly what happened with Mehlis. Of course, the conspiracy theories might be right... But I am 100% sure about the "hide changes" option. In case you guys are wondering, the way I remedy it is by copying everything I wrote (edits included) in the original Word document and pasting it on a new document. The new document won't even recognize that you made any edits, instead it will assume that the edited draft is the only draft.


Lazarus said...

One thing that I can't wrap my mind about is why the word document was released. Does Mehlis personally send it out? Or does it go through some UN press office? If it goes through some official way, wouldn't they know enough not to release a word file?

May said...


In my opinion you raise a good question. Do you know if Mehlis said anything about how the report was sent to the media?

Hassan said...


I think the right choice to go for is “Accept Changes” rather than just hiding them. And it’s easier than copying the whole thing, especially with big formatted texts.

Apparently the report was the first draft sent to some embassies and UN reps, one of whom "leaked" it on the assumption that it was final. This doesn't explain the "changes", as a final report wouldn’t have them marked.

In my opinion, there is another possibility, albeit slim. Maybe the original leaked word file was not marked with the changes, but after the official document was released, someone who had the word file simply compared the two. It’s fairly easy if you had the word file and then read the second version.

Raja said...


as is plain for everyone to see, I am an expert on Word! ;) thanks for the heads up.

by the way, check out Beirut to Beltway's weblog. It seems like the ISF are after a non-lebanese fugitive called Hassan M.! :)

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Mehlis will use linux open office next time...

Anonymous said...

loved the sherlock stuff so much i just went over the .doc file word for word, even tried to hack into older "changes" in the file. nothing there. on the other hand, i now think i know mr x could be kandil.

re-read paragraph 105, and then ghazali telling him to use the street against him. only problem with this idea is that mehlis seems to call kandil "a politician" while mr x is "a prominent lebanese official" (unless "prominent" relates to the date of the conversation).

having just written this, i think it still makes more sense if it is murr father or son.

but definetely the kind of language and the tone of voice you of mr x make me immediately imagine either kandil or berri or murr senior. (you can bet the "to hell with him" was in reality "ayri fi" or at least "khara 3leh"!!)


also, i think the "we can name Botros Harb" by ghazaleh totally blows away any integrity harb still had. on another hand, i am not sure i understand the "we can name him as head of government" (as this is obviously the issue here, not the presidency) - was the scenario a major demonstration in the street a la 1996 that would overthrow the government, create a vaccuum and install a christian interim PM to send the message to the sunnis not to mess with syria?

also to be noted in the corrected report, two mentions of bank al madina were ommitted.

vox p said...

It's either Berri, or more probably Murr who survived an assassination attempt not long ago. Look like somebody is still trying to clean up the crime scene.

Doha said...

Do you think that Murr senior has the authority or invested power to tell Hariri, "resign goddammit."? And if Mr. X was Kandil, then why hide his name as it was mentioned several times in the report?

Things to think about...