News Release

New Support for British Whistleblower Katharine Gun


Members of Congress today released an open letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of Katharine Gun, the former British intelligence employee who faces two years in prison for leaking a memo to the press that exposed a U.S. surveillance “surge” against countries on the U.N. Security Council aimed at securing authorization for war on Iraq.

The Congressional letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI). It was initiated by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) and also signed by Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL) and Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA).

The letter to Blair states: “We cannot conceive of a scenario in which Ms. Gun’s actions would present a national security threat to the United States…. The British and American public deserved to know all the elements involved in the buildup to the war. Whistleblowers play an essential role in a democracy. What they say may not please the powers that be, but that is the public service of the whistleblower. A democracy must protect the whistleblower from reprisal.”

Rep. Woolsey commented: “Katharine Gun shouldn’t be facing two years in jail when she deserves a hero’s welcome. We have the right to know what our government is doing in our name, and it appears we must count on people like Katharine to tell the real story.”

The full text of the Congressional letter [PDF format] is posted at:

Other new developments:

On Tuesday (Feb. 10), the Chilean government asserted that when technicians checked its phones at the U.N. mission in the wake of the story alleging pre-war spying, they found that most had been bugged.
“Chile Says Its U.N. Mission Was Spied On” (AP, 2/10/04)

On Sunday (Feb. 8), the Observer in London reported, based on unnamed sources, that British intelligence had joined the U.S. in the spying surge on U.N. delegations.
“Britain Spied on UN Allies over War Vote”

For more background:

IPA Executive Director Norman Solomon and IPA’s Gun Project coordinator Jeff Cohen are available to discuss solidarity for Katharine Gun that is gaining ground on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. effort is being led by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

See: “Prominent Americans Support British Whistleblower”

Solomon’s Baltimore Sun op-ed piece on Dec. 14 first publicized the Gun case in the U.S. press: “For Telling the Truth”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 421-6858; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167