Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

An encomium to Katharine Gun

Posted by Charles II on October 14, 2008

Heros and heroines never get enough recognition. They place their fortunes, their liberty, even their lives on the Divine altar, offering them on our behalf. They are almost always forgotten.

BBC image of Katharine Gun, who tried to stop the Iraq War
[Image from the BBC]

Katharine Gun was one such heroine. A junior intelligence officer in the Blair Administration, she released a memo from the NSA to GCHQ that requested assistance in a “surge” to spy on members of the UN Security Council to blackmail them into voting for an invasion. The document showed that the US was not sincerely seeking to avoid war with Iraq. I wrote on her behalf to the British Ambassador to ask that she not be prosecuted for a violation of the Official Secrets Act. She did escape jail, but is struggling financially. Here, at 33 minutes, is an interview of her. There’s also about 25 minutes of Robert Fisk.

Let us remember a great lady who tried “to prevent imminent harm and death to innocent lives.”

3 Responses to “An encomium to Katharine Gun”

  1. Thanks for this, Charles.

    More background on her and her role can be found here.

  2. Mitch Guthman said

    I remember this incident well. What she did took considerable courage and showed great integrity. I am sorry to hear that she’s fallen on hard times. Is there something specific you think should be done to aid her?

  3. Charles II said

    I think the most important thing is keeping alive the memory of the brave thing she did, Mitch.

    What she most needs, from what I can tell from the interview, is work. There are whistleblower assistance programs and they might know how to contact her if you have the means to do so. Supporting those programs is another way of providing assistance. Many people can afford to kick in $50. It only takes a few hundred likeminded people to provide what it takes to support a whistleblower during the years they are blacklisted. Since there are very few whistleblowers of the class of Katharine Gun, it would only take a network of a few thousand of us to provide a safety net for all major whistleblowers.

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