Confirmed: There are Two Memos.
UPDATE - Go HERE for the latest on this, and for further explanation of the points we are making.
There are two memos.
We have had our suspicions (argued below) that the Times memo and the Mirror memo citing Bush's plans to bomb al-Jazeera are entirely different documents confirmed by Peter Kilfoyle MP, who has seen both documents.
He was naturally reticent, but when we aked Peter if the source for the Mirror article was related to the 'prosecution' of and Keogh and O'Connor over last years leak to the Times he said:
The Times used 'official' leaks; the current document remains top secret - they are livid it is out.
We have also had it confirmed that Keogh and O'Connor are only facing one set of charges, over one document.
Update 29/11 12:30: Thanks to an eagle-eyed commenter - we have had it re-confirmed in a Court Report:
O'Connor, of Peveril Road, Old Duston, Northampton, is accused of "receiving a document through its disclosure without lawful authority from a Crown Servant."
If what was reported by the BBC on 17th November, prior to the Mirror story is correct; That Keogh and O'Connor are being prosecuted over the leak of the document 'Iraq in The Medium Term' as published in the Times [May 2004], and not for leaking the source of the Mirror article then the Bliar and his official spokesman would be leaving themselves wide open by describing the Mirror story as 'sub-judice'.
If the Mirror is correct in it's assertion that Keogh and O'Connor are being charged over the source of their story [the transcript], the
n the story reported by the BBC about them being charged over the leaking of the 'Iraq in the Medium Term' memo was a construct, a 'beard' to cover up the existence of the document refered by the Mirror.
This means our government must have pre planned and disseminated the lie [or spin if you prefer]; that Keogh and O'connor were being prosecuted over the leaking of the 'Iraq in the medium term' memo.
To cover up the existance of the 'Lets bomb Al-Jazeera' transcript?
A plan derailed by the Mirror obtaining a copy and publishing it's story.
The BBC ran the story about Keogh and O'Connor's prosecution on the 17th of November.
The Mirror state they approached the Government with their story about Bush wanting to Bomb al-Jazeera 24 hours before publication, on the 22nd of November.
This was four days after we 'learned' via the BBC that Keogh and O'Connor were to be charged with the leak of the 'Iraq in the Medium Term' memo.
If this is the case, the Mirror story did not precipitate the lie [spin] that was reported either wittingly or unwittingly by the BBC on the 17th November, it exposed it.
If we accept Peter Killfoyle's word (and I do) that the Times article and the Mirror article are from different sources, then Keogh and O'Connor cannot be facing charges over both leaks.
Either way we are being told lies by our government, and either wittingly or unwittingly by the mainstream media.
Firstly, from The Raw Story:
"A source familiar with the case told RAW STORY that while individual publications have been targeted by the Blair administration in the past, this case is particularly extraordinary because journalists by and large are allowed the public interest defense. Central to this case and series of events is the question of why The Mirror and other news organizations would accept this gag order.
"One key thing to remember is you don't have to have signed anything saying you would stick by the rules and not disclose or receive stuff," the source said. "If you knowingly received it you could be charged. But charging journalists would fall foul of the public interest defense, so although journalists are as liable to arrest as anyone else, the case would almost certainly fail if it could be shown to be in the public interest that the information be made public."
Secondly, from the Guardian article:
"A QC specialising in media law said: "If the material has already been published it's pretty hard to see how the subsequent publication of the same material will either amount to a disclosure - because how can you disclose something that's already been circulated? - or satisfy the test that the publication is damaging."
And as Christopher Reed says in a Counter Punch article:
"There is one more likely outcome in this outrageous affair. It is that the Blair government, in trying to banish from public consumption the ill-timed and appallingly judged remark of the world's most powerful commander-in-chief, will prolong its life -- or even give it a new one.
Older commenators are recalling the absurdities of Britain's Spycatcher scandal of 20 years ago. In that case, a British ex-spy from MI5 called Peter Wright sought to publish a book in which he revealed embarrassing secrets of his former employers, who in turned sought urgently to prevent exactly that. To silence two newspapers that were revealing some of Wright's spicier stories, the attorney general invoked the Official Secrets Act. He spent much time, energy -- and public money -- in vain. The book was not only published but became a best-seller because of the publicity. Finally, the British government lost its case before the European Court of Human Rights.
Going back to the 1980s, official British brandishing of its oppressive Official Secrets Act has almost always ended in humiliation for its champions. The present case of Bush and the Arab TV Bombing seems likely to add to these fiascoes."
We should hopefully know more tomorrow, when the case starts: if nowt else that the government prefers to keep
digging deceiving when in a hole...
Scaryduck went to the meeting yesterday and Reports Here. Salient points include:
* The memo also contains details of a conversation between George W Bush, and his London spokesman Tony Blair, in which the Leader of the Free World reveals plans to attack Al Jazeera TV, a civilian broadcaster financed by the government of Qatar. Mr Blair, for all his faults, tells him that this may not be a particularly good idea, and other, unnamed officials tend to concur with Tony's line of thinking.
* The Mirror, out of courtesy, informs Downing Street that they will be publishing details of this memo. Downing Street has a hissy fit, and the White House, according to Maguire "went beserk", leading to threats of the Official Secrets Act against anybody who is even considering publishing the document.
* Of course," said Maguire, "the government wouldn't be using the Official Secrets Act if the reports weren't true. This government will go to great lengths to keep this memo secret."
To date NOT ONE mainstream news outfit has picked up on the two memos story and the implications. Perhaps the future of news is in blogging.