Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Wikinews: Bush-Blair Transcript Details Stopped

Further details about Bush-Blair memo stopped


From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Further_details_about_Bush-Blair_memo_stopped
November 26, 2005

The U.K. attorney general Lord Goldsmith has warned British media that further reporting of details from an allegedly leaked memo about a dispute between Tony Blair and George Bush "could be in breach of section 5 of the Official Secrets Act." The Guardian quoted an unnamed Downing Street source as saying that the decision whether to prosecute was "entirely up to the attorney general", who intended to "draw a line in the sand" to stop further leaks.

Jeremy Dear, secretary of National Union of Journalists, called it "a heavy-handed attempt to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is a double attack on the freedom of the press and freedom of information." Mr Dear continued "These sort of attempts to stifle uncomfortable revelations printed in a newspaper, which is only carrying out its proper duty to inform the British public, does the government of what is supposed to be a democracy no credit whatsoever."

According to The Guardian this "is believed to be the first time the Blair government has threatened newspapers in this way". The British government has before obtained court injunctions against newspapers, but never prosecuted editors for publishing contents of leaked documents.

Former British defence minister Peter Kilfoyle earlier called for the full text of the memo to be published. "I believe that Downing Street ought to publish this memo in the interests of transparency, given that much of the detail appears to be in the public domain". He added "If it was the case that President Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in what is after all a friendly country, it speaks volumes and it raises questions about subsequent attacks that took place on the press that wasn't embedded with coalition forces."

Tuesday, the Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, ran a front page story under the headline "Bush plot to bomb his ally", citing the memo in question (see previous story). In response to the attorney general, the Daily Mirror said it had "essentially agreed to comply". Boris Johnson, MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator magazine, has condemned the Attorney General's actions and offered to risk jail by printing the memo if he receives it within the next few days.

The Washington Post cited an unnamed senior Washington diplomat saying that the Bush remark as reported by the Daily Mirror "sounds like one of the president's one-liners that is meant as a joke." But, the diplomat said, "it was foolish for someone to write it down, and now it will be a story for days."

The meeting between Bush and Blair occured on April 16, 2004, at the height of the US assault on Fallujah. According to some reports, al-Jazeera was the only major news organisation providing eyewitness reports and video footage from within the city at the time.

There is a history of enmity between senior U.S. officials and al-Jazeera. Vice President Dick Cheney has said that the network ran the risk of being labeled "Osama [bin Laden]'s outlet to the world", and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld has called its coverage "outrageous" and "inexcusably biased".

Al-Jazeera's news bureau in Kabul was destroyed by a U.S. missile during the aerial assault on the Taliban. The Pentagon later stated it did not know that the network's offices were in the building. Al-Jazeera's Baghdad bureau was also hit by US forces, resulting in the death of an al-Jazeera journalist during the April 2003 assault on Baghdad. The Pentagon claimed U.S. troops were responding to enemy fire from the building.

Related news


Sources

*************
All content of Wikinews Beta is in the public domain. See the original version of this article for details

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>

ALSO: