UK: whistleblowers jailed for disclosures on war crimes in Fallujah, Iraq

Iraqi child, victim of US attack on FallujaFrom British daily The Guardian:

Pair jailed over Bush-Blair memo leak

Staff and agencies

Thursday May 10, 2007

A civil servant and an MP’s researcher were today jailed for leaking a secret memo about a meeting on Iraq between Tony Blair and George Bush.

David Keogh, 50, who worked in Whitehall’s communications centre, was jailed for six months at the Old Bailey for breaching the Official Secrets Act.

The researcher to whom he gave the memo, Leo O’Connor, was jailed for three months on a similar charge for passing the document to his employer, the anti-war Labour MP for Northampton South, Anthony Clarke. …

Mr Aikens made it clear he regarded the content as being so sensitive that the press could not report what Keogh said when he was asked in open court what preyed on his mind when he first saw the document.

Keogh was said to have described the contents as “abhorrent” and “illegal”.

According to O’Connor’s statements to police, Keogh believed the memo exposed the US president as a “madman”. …

The court heard that April 2004 was a particularly delicate period in Iraq.

It is known, and was widely reported at the time, that British officials and military commanders were already expressing concern about US tactics.

The British were concerned in particular about the US assault on Falluja, including the use of white phosphorous, which causes severe burns.

Peter Kilfoyle, the former defence minister, said yesterday: “There remain unanswered questions about the discussions [between Mr Blair and Mr Bush] about the attack on Falluja and the subsequent deaths of many hundreds of civilians.”

British military chiefs at the time were urging Mr Blair to send extra forces only on British terms, not those of the US, whose tactics they privately damned as brutal and counterproductive.

See also here.

And here.

Update: here.

13 thoughts on “UK: whistleblowers jailed for disclosures on war crimes in Fallujah, Iraq

  1. Brits convicted for exposing Bush’s plot to bomb Al-Jazeera
    Posted by: “Compañero” chocoano05
    Mon May 14, 2007 5:43 am (PST)

    May 11, 2007
    Brits convicted for exposing Bush’s plot to bomb Al-Jazeera

    Larisa on how the assassination of journalists was protected by state secrets–two British men were convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act for leaking a memo that recounted a conversation in which George W. Bush proposes bombing Al Jazeera in Qatar.

    You can read Larisa’s story about the contents of the leaked memo here

    According to sources familiar with the case, the classified government memo, consisting of minutes of an April, 2004 meeting between UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush, described a disagreement between the two leaders over plans to silence anti-US sentiments in the middle-east.

    The memo alleges that President Bush expressed his frustration with al-Jazeera, which is the equivalent of a large broadcast news company such as CNN and has a viewership of 50 million, and wanted to bomb their headquarters using US bombers stationed nearby.

    Blair, according to the memo, dissuaded the President from this action because Qatar is an ally of the US and such an action would result in severe backlash. [Raw Story]

    Now, the civil servant and the legislator’s aide who leaked the memo have been found guilty of violating the Official Secrets Act
    –following a largely secret trial.


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