Ho hum. Nothing to see here:
… Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney-General, informed newspapers editors including that of The Times that “publication of a document that has been unlawfully disclosed by a Crown servant could be in breach of Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act.”
Under a front-page headline “Bush plot to bomb his ally” in the Daily Mirror yesterday, a secret minute of the conversation in April 2004 records the President allegedly suggesting that he would like to bomb the channel’s studios in Doha, capital of Qatar. …
According to the Mirror, the transcript turned up in the office of former Labour MP Tony Clarke, who lost his Northampton South seat in May.
And guess what, two people have already been charged under the Official Secrets Act for leaking the document:
Last week, Leo O’Connor, a former researcher for Mr Clarke, was charged with receiving a document under section 5 of the act. David Keogh, a former Foreign Office official seconded to the Cabinet Office, was charged last week with making a “damaging disclosure of a document relating to international relations”. Mr Keogh, 49, is accused of sending the document to Mr O’Connor, 42, between April 16 and May 28 2004.
And CNN has the official denial:
“We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response,” a White House official told CNN. A Pentagon official called the Daily Mirror report “absolutely absurd.”
Al-Jazeera said it wanted to be “absolutely sure” the memo cited in the report is genuine and urged 10 Downing Street to confirm the information if true.
If the memo is accurate, the network’s statement said, “it would be incumbent on them to explain their positions on statements regarding the deliberate targeting of journalists and news organizations.”
Downing Street spokesman Ian Gleeson said Blair’s office would have no comment since the memo the Daily Mirror cited is the subject of court action.
It seems the contents of the document are “outlandish” enough to warrnet a very public prosecution a civil servant and a Parliamentary aide for leaking it.