Thursday, April 12, 2007

Official Secrets, whatever next?

It is getting more obvious that there is a mismatch between discussion on Iraq in the US and UK. Dan Froomkin continues to report about what appears to me to be a sensible view on the White House. He recently linked to an article by Peter Baker and Thomas E. Ricks. This claims that few people are interested in a possible new job to run the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile in the UK there is concern about the permission for serving navy staff to talk to the Sun. The Official Secrets Act was dropped for the occasion but is now back again. Some people think the original incident is worth more discussion. But a background issue seems to be that relatives of servicemen who have died are asking the question why their story is not valued. The army and navy are aware that there is little public support for the wars and continuing doubts about the case made for starting the war in Iraq.

So far as I know there is no recent update on news that Peter Kilfoyle MP may be charged in connection with the leak of the Al Jazeera memo. There could also soon be a trial, mostly held in secret but again there is not any news about this.

Al Jazeera are supporting a BBC discussion about the dangers for journalists working in the Middle East, currently concentrating on a BBC journalist. They are also concerned when bombs drop on their own offices and a journalist is killed. Al Jazeera has asked for more information about the memo and about the remarks by David Blunkett on Channel 4 that appeared to confirm that "taking out" Al Jazeera had been discussed. These are genuine concerns and it would be reasonable for the UK government to offer a response.

For some reason the UK media are not covering these issues at this time. It is possible that the changes in the US scope for discussion will influence the UK before long.


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