Cameron emphasised that he had backed the rescue operation, and believed that it was the right thing to do. "The best chance of saving Linda's life was to go ahead," he said. You can expect that claim to be probed and questioned with fresh intensity over the next few days. Indeed, a joint US-UK investigation into Ms Norgrove's death will now be conducted. But today isn't – and during the press conference, wasn't – the time for fierce argument and counterargument. Straightforward politics fades into the background when it comes to what Cameron rightly called a "deeply distressing development".
And so it was for the rest of the press conference. Other issues came up: tuition fees, the fairness of the spending cuts, the strength of the economy. And they were all met with low-key, straightforward answers from the PM. Later today, William Hague will deliver a statement on Linda Norgrove to the Commons. Everyone, on all sides, would wish that he had no cause to.