News Release

Ellsberg on Whistleblower Arrest in U.S. Spying on U.N. Scandal


A 28-year-old woman working at the British Government Communications Headquarters has been arrested on suspicion of contravening the Official Secrets Act.

The arrest came shortly after the Observer newspaper in London revealed a top-secret memo from the U.S. National Security Agency outlining plans for spying on U.N. delegates, part of U.S. efforts to gain approval for a new Security Council resolution on Iraq.

The Observer reported yesterday that “a top-secret memo from the National Security Agency, which monitors communications around the world, was passed to this newspaper by British security sources who objected to being asked to aid the American operation. The leak marks a serious breach between the Blair government and elements of the intelligence community opposed to using British security resources to help the U.S. drive towards war.”

The NSA memo stated that the Agency “is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council members” for “dependencies” and “the whole gamut of information that could give U.S. policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to U.S. goals…” The Observer reports that the U.N. has begun a top-level inquiry into the NSA document.

Daniel Ellsberg, who authored the new book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, said today: “This leak is potentially more significant than the release of the Pentagon Papers, since it is extraordinarily timely. More officials who know — as I did in 1964-65 — that the president, and their bosses, are lying us into a wrongful, reckless, unnecessary war should consider doing right now, before the bombs are falling, what I wish I had done at a comparable point, in the months before the onset of the Rolling Thunder bombing [in Vietnam]: going to Congress and the press with documents that undercut official lies. There is still time to avert this invasion with sufficiently comprehensive truth-telling.”

[Media Advisory: Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, will speak at a news conference about the recently leaked NSA memo and related issues, in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Building in the Murrow Room at noon on Tuesday, March 11.]

In addition, for a limited number of interviews, Ellsberg can be reached at:


Also available for interviews are Observer reporters who broke the NSA story:
More Information

The latest story from the Observer is at:,12239,910648,00.html

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