February 25, 2004

I was pretty horrified and I felt that the British intelligence services were being asked to do something that would undermine the whole UN democratic processes.

Lord Hutton failed to do justice to the death of Dr. Kelly, BUT Britain smoking Gun is just too hot to handle...Further evidence that the tide has turned against the Bush cabal and its vassals...Of course, there are other indications...For example, the _resident reduced in stature to debating "gay marriage" with the Mayor of San Francisco, while the war hero Sen. John F. Kerry barnstorms across the country, speaking out on national security and economic security...

BBC: She told a news conference: "Obviously I'm not prone to leak secrets left, right and center... but this needed to get out, the public deserved to know what was going on at the time. I was pretty horrified and I felt that the British intelligence services were being asked to do something that would undermine the whole UN democratic processes."

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0225-02.htm

Published on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 by the BBC
GCHQ Translator Cleared Over Leak


LONDON - A GCHQ translator sacked for revealing a
secret e-mail has been cleared of a charge under the
Official Secrets Act.

Katharine Gun, 29, from Cheltenham, claimed the e-mail
was from US spies asking British officers to tap
phones of nations voting on war against Iraq.


She walked free on Wednesday when the prosecution
offered no evidence.

Mrs Gun had always said she had acted in an effort to
prevent the war, and outside court said: "I have no
regrets and I would do it again."

The leaking of the e-mail to the Observer newspaper
generated a row and saw Mrs Gun's case become a cause
celebre in the US, with civil rights activist Jesse
Jackson and actor Sean Penn lending their support.

Human rights group Liberty, which supported Mrs Gun
throughout her trial, said it was possible the
prosecution's decision followed political
intervention.

There has been speculation the government was worried
about the disclosure of secret documents during the
trial, particularly the advice by Attorney General
Lord Goldsmith about the legality of war.

Under the Official Secrets Act, the attorney general
has the final decision on whether or not to prosecute.


But the attorney general's office told the BBC the
decision to drop the charge had nothing to do with
Lord Goldsmith's advice.

Mrs Gun, who was sacked from GCHQ in June and charged
on 13 November, thanked her family and friends for
helping her through the case.

She told a news conference: "Obviously I'm not prone
to leak secrets left, right and center... but this
needed to get out, the public deserved to know what
was going on at the time. I was pretty horrified and I
felt that the British intelligence services were being
asked to do something that would undermine the whole
UN democratic processes."

Mrs Gun revealed she was strongly anti-war but said
she had not been looking for a piece of information to
leak and embarrass the government.

"I'm just baffled in the 21st century we as human
beings are still dropping bombs on each other as a
means to resolve issues."

The memo, leaked to a newspaper, from January last
year reportedly said the National Security Agency had
begun a "surge" in eavesdropping on UN Security
Council countries crucial to the vote on a second
resolution for action in Iraq.

Officials from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria,
Guinea and Pakistan all had their phones tapped in
what the Observer described as a "dirty tricks"
operation.

'Political charges'

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said managers
within the intelligence service might now be thinking
about talking to members of staff about their concerns
to prevent future whistleblowing.

Shami Chakrabarti, of Liberty, said the decision to
charge her in the first place had been political.

She said: "One wonders whether disclosure in this
criminal trial might have been a little too
embarrassing."

The Liberal Democrats' foreign affairs spokesman Sir
Menzies Campbell said: "It is possible the attorney
general's legal advice might have been published at
last. This is a government retreat.''

Mrs Gun pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, after which
the prosecution announced it would not be going ahead
with its case.

Mark Ellison, for the prosecution, said: "There is no
longer sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of
conviction.

"It would not be appropriate to go into the reasons
for this decision."

No explanation

The judge, the Recorder of London Michael Hyam,
recorded a formal verdict of not guilty.

The defense inquired why it took until Wednesday for
the case to be dropped, but the prosecution offered no
explanation.

They also want to know why news of the charges being
dropped was apparently leaked to the Guardian
newspaper last week.

All that is needed for a successful prosecution under
the Official Secrets Act is for the prosecution to
demonstrate the accused is covered by it, which Mrs
Gun was, and they have revealed information covered by
it, which she also admitted.

Her solicitor James Welch described the prosecution's
excuse as "rather lame".

Former spy David Shayler, jailed for revealing
secrets, said a blanket of secrecy was used to protect
intelligence matters that did not affect national
security.

"If the intelligence services are going to do things
that are illegal they have to expect people to
whistleblow."

Copyright 2004 BBC

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Posted by richard at February 25, 2004 03:01 PM