gagging the media.....

grokit23

God mintsmak
It's interesting reading the stuff that was going on in the background compared to what was let out to the public at the time.
 

zeromonkey

Monkey
U.K. Official Charged Over Al-Jazeera Leak

By Robert Barr
The Associated Press
LONDON -- A British civil servant has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that, according to a newspaper report Tuesday, suggests British Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded U.S. President George W. Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite television station Al-Jazeera.

According to the Daily Mirror, Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Blair at the White House on April 16, 2004. The U.S. government has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.

The Daily Mirror attributed its information to unidentified sources. It quoted one source, which it said was in the government, as saying that the alleged threat was "humorous, not serious," but it quoted another as saying "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair."

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response." Blair's Downing Street office declined to comment on the report, stressing it never discussed leaked documents.

In Qatar, Al-Jazeera said it was aware of the report, but did not wish to comment at this stage. The U.S. Embassy in London said it was making no comment.

The document was described as a transcript of a conversation between the two leaders.

Cabinet Office civil servant David Keogh is accused of passing it to Leo O'Connor, who worked for former British lawmaker Tony Clarke. Both Keogh and O'Connor are scheduled to appear at London's Bow Street Magistrates Court next week.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Keogh was charged with an offense under section 3 of the Official Secrets Act relating to "a damaging disclosure" by a servant of the crown of information relating to international relations or information obtained from a state other than the United Kingdom. O'Connor was charged under section 5, which relates to receiving and disclosing illegally disclosed information.

According to the newspaper, Clarke returned the memo to Blair's office. Clarke did not respond to calls seeking comment. Press Association, the British news agency, said Clarke refused to discuss the contents of the comment. PA quoted Clarke as saying his priority was to support O'Connor who did "exactly the right thing" in bringing it to his attention.

In April 2003, an Al-Jazeera reporter died when the channel's Baghdad office was struck during a U.S. bombing campaign. Nabil Khoury, a U.S. State Department spokesman in Doha, said the strike was a mistake.

In November 2002, Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a U.S. missile. None of the crew was at the office at the time. U.S. officials said they believed the target was a terrorist site and did not know it was Al-Jazeera's office.

Source: The Moscow Times
 
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dave arc-i

Guest
normally with something like this the governement would issue a "D" notice to prevent publication - to threatenthe use of the official secrets act gives the story a lot of support otherwise WHY use the big stick?

gaaging the media from reporting on proposed violent miliatary action against the media seems to me two wrongs definitely don't make a right!!!
 

grokit23

God mintsmak
It's been tickling away at me that this may have been one of those leaks which was actually allowed to happen (even though it looks like it shouldn't have been and is being swept under the carpet again in a very noisy look at me fashion) specifically because the reports mention our "dear leader" Mr Bliar objecting to Bushs policies, the American military behaviour in and around Fallujah and their threats to bomb Al Jazeerah. It's kind of getting it all out in the open and allowing for them to distance themselves a bit from the ragingly psychotic behaviour being shown by Bush and his cronies. Maybe I just smoke too much though. :Wink3:
 
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dave arc-i

Guest
grokit23 said:
It's kind of getting it all out in the open and allowing for them to distance themselves a bit from the ragingly psychotic behaviour being shown by Bush and his cronies. Maybe I just smoke too much though. :Wink3:

somehow i dont think your smoking is adversley affecting your mental process - from where i am sat nail head on hit - B Liar is first and foremost a lawyer - a shyster to the end eh!

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761581337/Blair_Tony.html

of course the 2 researchers have been charged under the official secrets act - allows the CPS to pull the prosecution on the basis that hearing the case in open court in front of a jury ISNT in the public interest - if i were one of the researchers i would screaming for my rights under european human rights to be heard in open court - now there's a thought! :icool:
 
Yes, agreed Dave.

I'm sure the CPS will be using the argument that an open jury trial isn't in the public interest. Of course my view is that it's absolutely in the public interest. The public have an absolute right to know what our closest ally is doing, because our association with the US makes us complicit in anything they do re Iraq and the "war on terror".

The Guardian article goes on to say :-

"Andrew Nicol QC, a media law expert, said he was unaware of any case going to trial where a newspaper or journalist had been prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. He said Lord Goldsmith appeared to be trying to "put down a marker" to prevent further leaks or publication of further disclosures from the document already allegedly leaked."

My analysis would go futher. It's an attempt to stop *any* further leak, whether on this matter, or on any other. The fact has to be that this govt. has many "secrets" it would prefer never to be known. By using such a big stick they're hoping that they'll dissuade, or preferably stop altogether any more revelations.

It's just another notch in the process of limiting freedom. As such, this gagging attempt leaves a very bad taste, and is also totally unacceptable.

We're told we're fighting a war for freedom. But whilst we decimate human rights and freedoms, we're got absolutely no right to say so. Why would anyone listen to a govt. that condones murder, torture, kidnap, aggressive and pre-emptive war, and which displays such a total disregard for all the basic freedoms.

Hugs,

Barclay
 
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dave arc-i

Guest
Barclay (Dark Angel) said:
Why would anyone listen to a govt. that condones murder, torture, kidnap, aggressive and pre-emptive war, and which displays such a total disregard for all the basic freedoms.

Hugs,

Barclay

you know full well what i am up to in the background here (a thread will be put up when i win the last little bit i am currently on!!!) - and you cannot claim it isnt a freedom/rights issue i have taken a stand on

if ONLY everyone in this country were to take the same approach - but hey most would rather pay lip service to effecting change and rights for the deprived and less able somewhere else in the world - i was always bought up to believe that charity begins at home albeit spouted from the mouths a of a pair of hipocrites!!!
 

sqoo

˙˙˙ƃuoɹʍ ǝuoƃ ǝlʞɔıʇ ɹɯ
Well last time this happened, I just went to an Austrlian website and read stuff I wasnt allowed to.

Have been waiting for the thought police ever since!

But then we have always been like this as a nation you will do as you are told, think what you are told, know only what we tell you!!!

I have just read an article about a parade in New York where a hot air balloon hit a lamppost and then two sisters injuring them. NBC television (owned by Micro$oft) cut to last years foottage, where the balloon did as it was meant, and the announcer got on with thier script as if nothing was wrong. Smacks of Soviet era reporting such as Ceausescu's last day alive. And of course every US report on the Iraq war.

 
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