Monday, November 28, 2005

 

a mess of memos, a wealth of whistle-blowers

28/29th November 2005 ~ David Keogh and Leo O'Connor will appear before Bow Street magistrates on Tuesday.

They are charged with leaking the secret 5-page FCO government memo. Iraq in the Medium Term - (which has been on warmwell via the Sunday Times since May 23 2004)

Like the excellent Blairwatch, we are confused as to why the names of Mr Keogh and Mr O'Connor have been linked (in this BBC report, for example) to the 5-page Downing St "Al Jazeera" memo about which the Attorney General has issued his threat of the OSA - in which it appears that George Bush, during a face-to-face meeting with Mr Blair at the White House on April 16 2004,talked about bombing al-Jazeera's building in Doha.

Blairwatch says that the Mirror

But the threat of prosecution under the OSA is surely not based on the May 23 memo - for which there are at least 25 Google link pages (including that of warmwell).

Blairwatch asks,


We wait and may see - can Keogh and O'Connor really be thought to have threatened "the country's security or to its international relations" by blowing the whistle on the FCO document?

Michel Berlins in the Guardian has

28th November 2005 ~Attorney General. "Me, of all people, gag the press? Heaven forfend." Michel Berlins in the Guardian

True, but only (Lord Goldsmith omitted to say) if the prosecution can prove that what was disclosed was damaging (I summarise) to the country's security or to its international relations and - an important "and" - that the newspaper knew (or had cause to believe) that it was damaging."



28th November 2005 ~ Sir Ian Blair is to be investigated by the police complaints commission over his role in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Mr de Menezes. See Reuters


Sunday, November 27, 2005

 

The notion that you can make the world a better place by making it illegal to say nasty and dangerous things has the intellectual sloppiness....

....the headline-seeking shallowness, the philosophical carelessness and the creepy mix of the sinister with the sanctimonious, that marks it out as absolutely characteristic of our Prime Minister’s mind..." wrote Matthew Parris in The Times on September 17th.

Now we have the extraordinary spectacle of Peter Goldsmith, the Attorney General, (or Witchfinder General, brandishing the Official Secrets Act) threatening all and sundry that if they publish the leaked Foreign Office memo, already referred to by the Mirror, they will be damned.

Simon Jenkins is not impressed.

27th November 2005 ~ "The Official Secrets Act is a reasonable tool of internal Whitehall discipline. But it cannot be an appropriate punishment for members of the public or reporters, once a secret is out. ..." Simon Jenkins in the Sunday Times

(and see Lord Goldsmith pages at warmwell.com)

"I'll go to jail to print the truth about Bush and al-Jazeera" says Boris Johnson Blairwatch asks "Would any other bloggers like to join us in this pledge? Please let us know by comment or trackback or email if you're with us." (We are.)
Peter Kifoyle's EDMs are EDM 1084 and EDM1117


Is your MP among Friday evening's list of those supporting Douglas Hogg's Early Day Motion?

( EDM 1088 : CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY IN RELATION TO THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ Hogg, Douglas

Simpson, Alan

Campbell, Menzies

Llwyd, Elfyn

Salmond, Alex

Clarke, Kenneth

Price, Adam

Shepherd, Richard

Short, Clare

Holmes, Paul

Hopkins, Kelvin

Jackson, Glenda

Jones, Lynne

Marshall-Andrews, Robert

McDonnell, John

Mitchell, Austin

Browning, Angela

Corbyn, Jeremy

Cryer, Ann

Evans, Nigel

George, Andrew

Gibson, Ian

Austin, John

Bottomley, Peter

Wallace, Ben

Wareing, Robert N

Weir, Mike

Whittingdale, John

Williams, Hywel

Wishart, Pete

Jackson, Stewart

Pugh, John

Smith, Robert

Harvey, Nick

Keetch, Paul

Lilley, Peter

Moore, Michael

Brake, Tom

Hancock, Mike

Tapsell, Peter

Browne, Jeremy

Harper, Mark

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, David

MacNeil, Angus
If not, and you wonder why not, trying faxing your MP online (new window). It is simple.



Many of al-Jazeera's employees have long been privately convinced that their offices in Kabul and Baghdad were deliberately targeted by the Pentagon in 2001 and 2003.

Gagging the press "It is time for the media and lawyers to view the current gag in light of Gun's case. It is time for an editor to challenge the political process and force the issue to be put before a politically unbiased court of law.


To the extent that the attorney general may choose to threaten the UK press, the press should robustly rebut such threat with reference to the European convention on human rights. Under Article 10 of the convention the freedom to receive and impart information can only be constrained if it is prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society..." Guardian



On the 24th November 2005 ~Radio 4's Today interviewed Ambassador Joseph Wilson
(Mr Blair )"... will have to explain exactly how that happened but certainly, as an outsider, it looks like he was double crossed and had no choice but to go along with it." (written extracts from the Today Interview with Ambassador Wilson : warmwell transcript)



Plame Scandal On the Today Programme Ambassador Joseph Wilson spoke to James Naughtie (extracts: warmwell transcript)
BBC: "The husband of the CIA agent whose identity was revealed by the White House, says that Tony Blair was double crossed by those in the Bush administration who wanted to go to war with Iraq regardless of the situation on weapons of mass destruction." Listen Again And the interview with Mr Wilson himself: Listen Again
See also Valerie Plame pages and the Niger pages on warmwell.

(written extracts from the Today Interview with Ambassador Wilson.)

24th November 2005 ~Sending a signal to others?. Richard Norton-Taylor and Michael White in the Guardian - Secrecy gag prompted by fear of new Blair-Bush revelations today talk of , "this week's unprecedented threat by the attorney general to use the Official Secrets Act against national newspapers."

(What one finds odd about this "unprecedented threat" by Lord Goldsmith in gagging details of a conversation that happened 18 months ago, is that if a transcript were published openly it could justify those criticised by Sir Christopher Meyer. Sir Christopher's criticism that Britain never complains to Washington over what happens in Iraq caused an uproar. Why not refute it? Is there something more in the memo that could cause even more dismay if it came to light? )

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