Katharine Gun, a British former government employee, faced two years imprisonment in England for the “crime” of telling the truth. She was charged with leaking an embarrassing U.S. intelligence memo indicating that the U.S. had mounted a spying “surge” against U.N. delegations in early 2003 in an effort to win approval of the Iraq war resolution. The leaked memo was big news in parts of the world.
England has no First Amendment that might have protected Ms. Gun. It does have a repressive Official Secrets Act, under which she was being prosecuted by the Blair government.
Background on the Gun case is provided below:
IPA News Releases
“Tough Questions for Bush on Iraq Tonight” (3/6/03)
“U.S. Spying on UN Delegates: Fallout” (3/4/03)
Selected News Reports
“Case Against Iraq Whistle-Blower Dropped,” Reuters, 2/25/04
“GCHQ Translator Cleared Over Leak,” BBC News, 2/25/04
“British Spy Op Wrecked Peace Move,” Observer, 2/15/04
“Mexico Asks Britain, United States for Answer to Spying Accusations,” Associated Press, 2/12/04
“Chile Says Its UN Mission was Spied On,” Associated Press, 2/10/04
“Britain Spied on UN Allies over War Vote, Observer, 2/8/04
“Official Secrets” by J.F.O. McAllister, Time, 2/2/04
“Ellsberg Backs British Leaker,” Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (from Baltimore Sun), 2/1/04
“Woman’s Lawyers Fight to Lift GCHQ Gag,” Guardian, 1/20/04
“U.S.Stars Hail Iraq War Whistleblower,” Observer, 1/18/04
“Under the Gun” by Molly Ivins, Creators Syndicate, 2/12/04
“Leak Against this War” by Daniel Ellsberg, Guardian, 1/27/04
“A Single Conscience v. the State” by Bob Herbert, New York Times, 1/19/04
“For Telling the Truth” by Norman Solomon, Baltimore Sun, 12/14/03
Letter from members of U.S. Congress to British Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of Katharine Gun (2/11/04)
(You will need Acrobat to view this PDF file. It can be downloaded free at Adobe’s website.)
Original Observer story: “Revealed: U.S. Dirty Tricks to Win Vote on Iraq War,”3/2/03
Download an audio file of a speech made by Ms. Gun in April 2004 at a hearing on the Iraq war in the Danish Parliament building. (You will need Windows Media to listen to this speech. It is available here.)
Progressive Portal has made it easy to take Internet action in solidarity with Katharine Gun:www.progressiveportal.org/updates/global/mideast/kgun.html
Letters of support for Katharine Gun can now be sent to: email@example.com.
More background from Liberty, the British civil liberties group defending Katharine.