The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Am I the Only One...

Who doesn't get how the apparent contradiction in this case can be reconciled?

Suspects in court over 'Jazeera bombing' leak - Yahoo! News:

"LONDON (Reuters) - Two men appeared in a British court on Tuesday accused of leaking a secret document which a newspaper said showed that U.S. President George W. Bush wanted to bomb Arabic television station Al Jazeera.

The hearing came a week after the Daily Mirror reported that a British government memo said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked Bush out of bombing the broadcaster's headquarters in Qatar in April last year.

The White House has dismissed the report as 'outlandish' and on Monday Blair denied receiving any details of a reported U.S. proposal to bomb Al Jazeera.

Defendant David Keogh, a civil servant who used to work at the Cabinet Office, was charged with making a 'damaging disclosure of a document relating to international relations.'

His co-defendant Leo O'Connor, once a researcher for a former member of parliament, was charged with receiving a document which he knew, or had reason to believe, was protected against disclosure by Britain's Official Secrets Act."

How can it simultaneously be the case that the report is outlandish and Blair claims he never received any reported US proposal to bomb Al Jazeera while at the same time the two men in question are in court for having breach official secrets? Wouldn't a libel claim (something emminently prosecutable in the UK) seem a more reasonable charge? I mean, if the documents in question do show this and they are official secrets then how can they not be true?


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