Bomb Al Jazeera Leak - chronology of our reports
See also Blairwatch (new window)
(and see Lord Goldsmith pages)
17th January 2006 ~ BBC Newsnight tonight reports a new Freedom of Information Request concerning the memo detailing the plan to bomb al-Jazeera. It is beginning to look as if the government is coming under pressure to release the memo . Peter Kilfoyle and co, the Keogh and O'Connor trial ("the first thing their lawyers are going to do when this gets to the Old Bailey, is to demand disclosure of the documents") and the FOIA requests.
See Transcript of tonight's Newnight Report on the al-Jazeera FOIA Request:
See also Daily Post Jan 11 2006 "Kilfoyle may face jail over Bush bomb threat leak"
( The media are reluctant to cover this. That vehicle increasingly known as the blogosphere, however, is prepared to seek out strange new developments, expose cover-ups , to boldly go where the mainstream press keeps silent - and, in the interests of openness and transparency, be damned to the consequences.)
11 January 2006 ~ Lawyer denies leak of al-Jazeera bomb plot harmed security Richard Norton-Taylor in the Guardian
2nd December 2005 ~ "stopping any further leaks should be our priority".
"How do I know this?" asks Martin Bright at the New Statesman, "Because their e-mail exchanges have - in the sweetest of ironies - now been leaked to me at the New Statesman. These missives demonstrate a growing panic at the heart of Whitehall over the increasingly porous nature of the civil service...
....Between the disclosures that tragically contributed to the death of the UN weapons inspector David Kelly in July 2003 and the revelations at the heart of the latest secrecy trial, there has been a regular alternative supply of information to counter the official narrative of the government.
Perhaps most important of part of this was the so-called "Downing Street memo"..... The full significance of this document has never really been recognised in this country....." Read in full
1st December 2005 ~ Al-Jazeera's quest for answers has been met with silence from both the White House and Downing Street ... Guardian
1st December 2005 ~ The Blairwatch Blog campaign had, by Wednesday evening, 178 bloggers willing to share a cell as a result of publishing the memo that has so upset both Downing St and the White House. (Not to be confused with the document David Keogh and Leo O'Connor are charged with leaking... which was, as far as we can tell from all the confusion, the memo Iraq in the Medium Term that has been on this website as well as many others, since May 2004 - see recent blog)
29th November 2005 ~ "..There is some confusion as to why the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith is taking such measures .." Snowmail today on David Keogh and Leo O'Connor's court appearance.
"They appeared briefly in court today, and were bailed to appear again in a few weeks. The related move by the attorney general reminding the media that they should not publish any of the content should they acquire it is curious - it remains a fact that the Official Secrets Act has never been used against the press in this way before - and there is some confusion as to why the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith is taking such measures.."Simon Jenkins said a couple of days ago that
"Goldsmith risks going down in history as the most miserable holder of his Janus-faced office. He is supposedly an “independent law officer” and adviser to the government (as over Iraq). Yet he also enjoys the patronage of the prime minister as his private legal counsel (as over Iraq). The conflict of interest is glaring. ..." Read in full
29th November 2005 ~ "Of course," said Maguire, "the government wouldn't be using the Official Secrets Act if the reports weren't true. This government will go to great lengths to keep this memo secret." The Robber Rabbit blog has a brief report from last night's discussion moderated by Martin Bell, at which Wadah Khanfar, the Director General of al-Jazeera Channel, and Kevin Maguire, Associate Editor of the Daily Mirror, spoke at the Frontine Club
"...... Al Jazeera is in town and they're cross. They are also not getting any answers from a government that once prided itself for its openness and honesty. And before you ask, no, they've never shown beheadings, referred to American forces as "the enemy", and waited until US networks showed the Bin Laden video before they aired it themselves. Such are urban myths, spread to good effect by certain, otherwise respectable news outlets...
......Maguire is certain from his sources that the tone of the memo shows Bush was indeed not joking... ." Read in full
28th November 2005 ~Attorney general. "Me, of all people, gag the press? Heaven forfend." Michel Berlins in the Guardian
" He was merely reminding papers, in the words of his note to them, "that to publish the contents of a document which is known to have been unlawfully disclosed by a crown servant is itself a breach of section 5 of the Official Secrets Act". 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.
I have been trying all weekend to think of ways in which disclosing the memo - even if, apart from the al-Jazeera bits, it also contains what Bush and Blair said about the US attack on Falluja - could cause the damage required by the act. I have failed..." Read in full
27th November 2005 ~ ".....why invoke the Official Secrets Act to ban such material? Here the plot thickens. ...." Simon Jenkins in the Sunday Times
(The Attorney General) "...... is dragging David Keogh, a former civil servant, and Leo O’Connor, a former political aide, before the Bow Street magistrates for allegedly leaking a memo to the Daily Mirror. As Tulkinghorn would intone, “The reputation of one of England’s noblest families is at stake.” The name of the Blairs must be protected at all costs.(and see Lord Goldsmith pages)
Goldsmith risks going down in history as the most miserable holder of his Janus-faced office. He is supposedly an “independent law officer” and adviser to the government (as over Iraq). Yet he also enjoys the patronage of the prime minister as his private legal counsel (as over Iraq). The conflict of interest is glaring. ..." Read in full