Katherine Gun

The NSA and Britain Spied on UN Members for Powell and Bush
Katherine Gun

"Britain helped America to conduct a secret and potentially illegal spying operation at the United Nations in the run-up to the Iraq war, The Observer can reveal. The operation, which targeted at least one permanent member of the UN Security Council, was almost certainly in breach of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations, which strictly outlaw espionage at the UN missions in New York. Translators and analysts at the Government's top-secret surveillance centre GCHQ were ordered to co-operate with an American espionage 'surge' on Security Council delegations after a request from the US National Security Agency at the end of January 2003. This was designed to help smooth the way for a second UN resolution authorising war in Iraq. The information was intended for... Colin Powell before his presentation on weapons of mass destruction to the Security Council on 5 February... Katherine Gun, 29... was hired by the surveillance centre as a Chinese language specialist."

Progressive Leaders Urge Support for UK Whistleblower Katherine Gun
Katherine Gun

Rev. Jesse Jackson, feminist Gloria Steinem, Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, leaders of the ACLU and the Newspaper Guild, and artists such as Sean Penn, Bonnie Raitt and Martin Sheen stated: "We honor Katharine Gun as a whistleblower who bravely risked her career and her very liberty to inform the public about illegal spying in support of a war based on deception. In a democracy, she should not be made a scapegoat for exposing the transgressions of others. We urge the U.S. media to inform the public about this important case involving fundamental issues of secrecy, freedom of the press and international law. We urge our elected officials to express their concerns over this prosecution to the British government. We urge Americans to express their solidarity with Katharine Gun directly to the government of Britain through the British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C. 20008. Phone: 202-588-7800. Fax: 202-588-7870."

Daniel Ellsberg Urges Support for UK Whistleblower Katherine Gun
Katherine Gun

Daniel Ellsberg writes, "I can only admire the more timely, courageous action of Katherine Gun, the GCHQ translator who risked her career and freedom to expose an illegal plan to win official and public support for an illegal war, before that war had started. Her revelation of a classified document urging British intelligence to help the US bug the phones of all the members of the UN security council to manipulate their votes on the war may have been critical in denying the invasion a false cloak of legitimacy. That did not prevent the aggression, but it was reasonable for her to hope that her country would not choose to act as an outlaw, thereby saving lives. She did what she could, in time for it to make a difference, as indeed others should have done, and still can... Exposing governmental lies carries a heavy personal risk, even in our democracies. But that risk can be worthwhile when a war's-worth of lives is at stake."

British Whistleblower Faces Trial for Exposing US Spying on UN Delegates
Katherine Gun

"Katherine Gun, an intelligence officer at the British government's secret surveillance headquarters, was arrested in March under the Official Secrets Act on charges of passing information to an unauthorised person. She admits she leaked a secret memo to a British newspaper about US-UK government surveillance of the United Nations before the war in Iraq... The leaked memo that appeared in the Observer newspaper was from US National Security Agency (NSA) official Frank Koza to his counterparts at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain where Gun worked as a translator. In the memo, Koza asked GCHQ to help with the secret surveillance of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegations that were considered to be wavering over the drive to war against Iraq. According to intelligence sources quoted by the Observer, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice would have initiated the memo or at least approved it."