The Al-Jazeera Memo - Keogh and O'Connor Sentenced

The shameful misuse of the Official Secrets act to protect the reputations of Messrs Bush and Blair:

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.

via email:


Al Jazeera Continues  to Seek Clarification on the Daily Mirror Report on the Alleged Memo Discussing Bombing Al Jazeera

Doha, Qatar – 10 May, 2007:

Al Jazeera continues to seek clarification on the Daily Mirror report of a leaked memo that alleged "President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station Al Jazeera" and reiterates its call to see a copy of the relevant section of the memo. 
Civil servant, David Keogh and MP researcher Leo O’Connor were jailed today for leaking the secret four-page memo.  Press and public were banned from the trial which has been heavily criticized by MPs and civil rights groups.
The memo is purported to have recorded discussions regarding the events in Falluja between Tony Blair and George Bush in the Oval office in 2004.  Former defence minister, Peter Kilfoyle, stated that “There remain unanswered questions about the discussions about the attack on Falluja and subsequent deaths of many hundreds of civilians”.

Al Jazeera submitted a Freedom of Information application early in 2006 requesting the disclosure of the contents of the memo but the request was denied.
Any substantiation of the contents of the memo would be extremely serious not only for Al Jazeera but for media organisations across the world.  It would cast significant doubts on the US administration's version of previous incidents involving Al Jazeera's journalists and offices. Both Al Jazeera’s Kabul Bureau and Iraq Bureau were bombed by the US resulting in the death of Al Jazeera journalist Tareq Ayoub.

Al Jazeera reiterates its request for clarity on the matter and urges Downing Street to clarify the Daily Mirror report on the contents of the memo.


More from Davide tomorrow.

Lets us all be glad we

Lets us all be glad we published the memo,and now call for the release of these two men.  This call could/should begin here as Blairwatch was key in the memo being published throughout the blogger sphere.

Free the Al Jazeera Memo Two.

We could do it.

It strikes me that the

It strikes me that the Internet is likely to make this situation look ridiculous, thanks to the judge. If you look here,,2077122,00.html , you will read: "allegations already in the public domain could not be repeated if there was any suggestion they related to the contents of the document... The judge suggested that the allegations could be 'recycled,' but only if they were published on a separate page of a newspaper from that containing references to the trial. Foreign newspapers, including those in the US, are not bound by the contempt orders."

Personally I'm more than a little baffled by what it is I might or might not be able to say, and when. Is it that Keogh felt the memo showed Bush to be a madman? Dunno, I wasn't in court.

As and when I DO have a clearer idea then obviously, the Reg being sufficiently big a target for them to shoot at (cripes, maybe shooting at the media's what I'm not supposed to say), I won't be able to say it. But I expect the blogosphere and non-UK press will have some sport with this crock, and won't be needing the memo text to do so. Not that I could encourage that sort of behaviour, of course... (-:

That's it - shoot the

That's it - shoot the messenger! Never mind if what the memo said was true...

"It would cast significant doubts on the US administration's version of previous incidents.."

Heaven forfend! Frankly, I'd be much more surprised to read something that substantiated their version of anything.

It must be a strange to inhabit a world where what these people say is trusted and anyone who might prove otherwise is criminalised. Oh, bugger - we already do...

Hi Leo OConnor is my


Leo OConnor is my brother.  The news over the last few days has been unreal.  My brother is an honest and good

man.  And as confirmed by tony clarke, his old boss, he did the right thing.

The whole thing is a joke and any sensible person can  see that.

Thanks for the support on this site!


K - please can you post the

K - please can you post the postal address of the jail your brother has been sent to? I'm sure there will be some net-heads who will actually get old-fashioned pen, paper & postage stamp out to send a message of support to Leo, and to David Keogh  (Has David Keogh gonr to the same jail?) 

The purpose (or at least the

The purpose (or at least the effect) of the gagging order seems to be to stifle protest rather than prevent publication of the memo's contents. The major newspapers have been strangly silent about this episode especially when compared to previous whistleblower cases that were front page news (cf Clive Ponting, Sarah Tisdall et al). I must say that I am extremely annoyed that the supposedly "progressive" newspapers such as the Independent and the Guardian have not made much more of this.

This whole issue is massively repressive:

  • Governments blowing up journalists that they do not like (the Americans have alrteady blown up two Al-Jazeera offices) and planned to blow up the Qatar office.
  • Prohibition on journalists to even discuss this in any authoratitive way.

David Keogh and Leo O'Connor are political prisoners and we should give them any support that we can. I hope Amnesty International will take up their case.

This really highlights the difference betweenthe progressive government people thought that they were getting in 1997 and the authoritarian, repressive bunch  that we see today.


The U.S. have an air base in

The U.S. have an air base in Quatar which was/is used as a command centre for air operations in the Gulf. Obviously, the plan was never to use a plane from this base to fly a couple of miles, drop a bomb on Al-Jazeera headquarters and then return. The "oops it was an accident" excuse used when the US bmbed Al-Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Iraq would not have been credible even to Bush supporters.

The plan can only have been to dress this up as a terrorist attack and blame it on someone else. Perhaps this gives us some insight into other black operations that are currently happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and perhaps this helps us understand the government's reaction to the leaking of the memo.

Hi K, I would like to write

Hi K,
I would like to write to both men, just give them something to help pass the time better and show some support. If you could get the address to Blairwatch or me at my blog,
either through comments or email-

According to the prison service website they will forward a letter but the sender needs to know the date of birth of the person they are writing too. So even just the birthdate would be enough. Either way could you pass on my support for Leo and tell him as far as I am concerned he is a hero, I think many others agree.

Has anyone set up a donation

Has anyone set up a donation site where we can offer to pay the £5k costs and any legal fees?

Hi I would don't really want


I would don't really want to post his details, as whilst the support on here is great i don't want his details on the web.

i did send a letter to Leo and have told him of the support from this site.

I read the comments every day.


I wish Bush had given the

I wish Bush had given the order & Blair had shut his mouth. I also think he should put a couple other Middle East Media Outlets on the list with Al-Jazeera. Then maybe the US could go back to sleep & let you idiots kill your selfs.