British Intelligence Insider Who Leaked Secrets Escapes Jail
- From The Insider - Information
(February 25, 2004)
Gun, an insider at GCHQ, the nerve-centre of the UK's world-wide spying
operations, knew she risked imprisonment or worse when she made the difficult
decision to tell the public that the US and UK were breaking law in their
deceitful campaign to win support for the war on Iraq.
Thanks to Katherine's outstanding courage, the world learned that the American
and British intelligence services monitored the personal and official phones of
foreign diplomats at the UN to gather information that could be used against
them to obtain their compliance.
Katherine narrowly escaped a trial today when the British government dropped
their case against her at the last minute. The court would have found her
guilty, because she did reveal official secrets. Her
for telling the truth about a crime she witnessed would have been a long prison
sentence. The government suddenly dropped the case today after Katherine's
council, Ben Emmerson QC, demanded that the court should see secret documents
about the legality and motives for the war. The obvious conclusion is that the
government acted to conceal the fact that they knew the war was illegal and the
true motive was oil.
A talented bilingual, Katherine's responsibilities included translating material
obtained by agents spying on the Chinese government. Now she has lost the job
she loved for betraying the Establishment, but outside the court she urged
others to speak out if their conscience demanded it. "I understands that people
fear for their jobs or their lives," she added.
That last statement was broadcast live on BBC News 24 today but has not been
reported since. It seems to strike a chord with the case of Dr David Kelly, the
government weapons expert who was found dead after he told the public that the
US and UK were lying about WMD to justify the war on Iraq.
The illegal plot exposed by Katherine ultimately failed, perhaps in part because
the world knew the truth. Of all the nations represented at the UN Security
Council, only one voted to support the US and UK with their new UN resolution.
Thus, the allies failed to obtain legal authorization for the war with Iraq. In
the end the allies did what they always do. They went ahead regardless of
anybody else, and invaded and conquered Iraq, killing at least 10,000 innocent
civilians, in order to take over the Iraqi oil industry and install a puppet
Tapping the phones of foreign diplomats is a serious breach of International
Law, but the governments of the US and UK have no regard for the law. They are
an axis of power that no Earthly power dares to stand up against.
This story will go down in history as one of the great political scandals of the
new era, and Katherine Gun will be remembered as one courageous woman who risked
everything because she truly believed in truth, justice, and the law.
BBC News, "GCHQ translator cleared over leak", 25 February 2004.
Evening Standard (UK), "Whistleblower walks free from court", West End Final
edition, front page, 25 February 2004.
A former intelligence officer turned whistleblower walked free from the Old
Bailey, triggering fresh embarrassment for the Government over the Iraq war.
Katharine Gun, a 29-year-old translator for the Government Communications
Headquarters (GCHQ), had been charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act
after leaking a top secret email.
The memo revealed US plans to bug delegates at the UN Security Council ahead of
a crucial vote in the run-up to the conflict.
Mrs Gun admitted leaking the email, which she said "horrified" her, but the case
against her was dramatically dropped with prosecutors refusing, despite
concerted pressure, to say why.
Her lawyers speculated it was because they had demanded the Government disclose
advice it received from the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC on the legality
of going to war in Iraq - ministers have repeatedly refused to make the advice
Disclosing it to Mrs Gun's legal team could have led to the Government facing
fresh public scrutiny of the case for war but withholding it would have allowed
Mrs Gun to argue she could not receive a fair trial.
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell said:
"The dropping of these charges will avoid severe Government embarrassment.
"There is little doubt that Mrs Gun and her legal advisers would have been bound
to put the legality of military action in Iraq at the very centre of their
"It is even possible that the full text of the Attorney General's advice to the
Cabinet might have been published at last. This is a Government retreat."
Shadow Foreign secretary Michael Ancram is to ask whether the Government had
discussions with the Attorney General or the Director of Public Prosecutions
ahead of the Crown Prosecution Service decision to offer no evidence. Downing
Street refused to comment on the case and Prime Minister Tony Blair's official
spokesman said: "This is a matter for the CPS."
BBC News, "Translator turns 'whistleblower'", 25 February 2004.
The daughter of a university lecturer, Katharine Gun was thrust into the
limelight after being accused of leaking top secret information.
The 29-year-old from the Regency Cotswold town of Cheltenham was a little-known
translator working at the government's communications headquarters GCHQ.
But in March last year she was arrested, accused of breaching the Official
Secrets Act by leaking an e-mail to the Observer newspaper from US spies asking
British counterparts to tap the telephones of UN Security Council members.
In June 2003 she was sacked from her post.
She always admitted leaking the e-mail but argued she had "only ever followed
her conscience" to prevent an "illegal war against Iraq".
The revelations contained in the leaked memo made her a cause celebre in the US.
The Debate - Iraq War True Motives
[ http://www.thedebate.org ]
Wednesday, February 25, 2004 20:44:19 -0800