20.2.04

Politics at play as case against anti-war whistleblower dropped

It may be welcome news for the concept of free speech and for 29 year old Katharine Gun but at the end of the day its profoundly political.

Having been sacked from her job as a translator at GCHQ and then charged under the Official Secrets Act for disclosing a dirty tricks campaign by intelligence officials to discredit UN inspectors in the run up to the war with Iraq, Gun could potentially have faced a lengthy prison sentence. She based her decision to expose the spies on her opposition to the war in Iraq and the fact that a public who largely opposed such war had a right to know.

In light of recent developments and factual evidence that seriously calls into question the legitimacy of that war as well as accuracy about what the public were told, it would be asking for trouble to proceed with prosecuting Miss Gun.

Her defence would require the government to reveal or cover up another barrage of embarrasing questions and put more fuel on the fire of disquiet that rages following Hutton's fantastical findings.

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