Just take a look at James Arbuthnot’s forensic examination of Liam Fox’s position on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan:
I don’t want to deal….with the timescale for withdrawal because people are getting rather obsessed about that.
I don’t think it is in the interests of the country frankly to try to drive wedges between yourself and the prime minister over whether there is a timescale and what it might be.
KAPOW! No fear or favour there.
Now Arbuthnot may well believe that some information is too dangerous for the public to handle.
And he is right to point out that there is a genuine debate about the political and military significance of setting a timetable.
But all of that is surely no excuse for Arbuthnot failing to ask the question.