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Saturday, 13 July 2019

Leaked Diptels - leaker must be jailed

Diptels are official secrets for a good reason. They allow our ambassadors to write freely, openly and without constraint to our government, informing our complex web of foreign policy and furthering the interests of the United Kingdom. Ambassadors are not hauled before select committees to justify their views, or subjected to deep personal scrutiny by the mainstream media. In return they keep a low profile, don't Tweet, don't snort lines of marching powder at nightclubs and generally act .. diplomatically.

Leaking Diptels is neither in the interests of the nation or even of Brexit. Once you start to make exceptions based on the degree of commitment of a leaker to their cause you open a Pandora's box. A Polaris submariner who opposes nuclear weapons? An SIS field operative who abjures subterfuge? A Home Office staffer who disagrees with telephone taps on Islamists? Exposing illegal State activity is one thing - but leaking perfectly proper, legitimate, lawful Diptels is not whistle blowing. It is a breach both of trust and of the criminal law.

Warning newspapers in advance, as the Met have done, that if they publish more stolen Diptels that they will be guilty of criminal complicity is also right. The MoS is not publishing these from the good of its heart but because it increases sales and profits for its owners. The Mail was quick enough to drop Brexit like a hot coal when their global corporate advertisers put the squeeze on - they are hardly motivated by virtue or altruism.

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press is not the issue here. The system that helps preserve our national security is.

24 comments:

DeeDee99 said...

I suspect that if the inquiry points the finger towards an Establishment Remainer, it will all go very quiet and the leaker "will never be identified."

Oldrightie said...

My money is on a finger pointed at a senior leave supporter with probably reported "close" links to Boris. I feel (Lady Macbeth's) Tess May's hand in all this! "Help me out Kim and I'll guarantee you're top of my peerage nomination's resignation list.

right-writes said...

I have a friend who used to work for the BBC as a "backroom boy", such people often hear stuff that the speaker would not want to repeated publicly.

Years ago he told me that one of the most repellent creatures in politics that he had ever come across was that Duncan bloke, who is shouting very loud about Boris at the moment.

Just sayin...

... no smoke without fire... etc. etc..

DiscoveredJoys said...

I hope that the police investigation proceeds without fear or favour.

That I feel obliged to say 'hope' rather than 'expect' is because I worry that the gap between the Global Corporates (plus their Establishment lackeys) and ordinary people has widened to an alarming extent. Everything is the fault of Brexit (which hasn't happened yet), or will be the fault of Boris (who hasn't been elected yet), or the Boris Brexit (which hasn't happened yet). Farage has been monstered (but not convincingly). Perhaps even Corbyn (who has not yet been found to be anti-semitic (but probably should be)) will be monstered for the sake of appointing a pro-Global Corporate replacement stooge.

Brexit is a rebellion, perhaps a relatively bloodless and slow moving one, but a rebellion none-the-less.

RAC said...

Craig Murray who I think has a definite leaning to the left (think he probably was a Bernie supporter), the replies on his blog are mostly leftist.Has this to say,in a post titled "Kim Darroch – the Simple Explanation"
You have to take every thing with a pinch of salt, having said that he once was an ambassador.

"The media is full of over-complicated theories as to who might have leaked Kim Darroch’s diplomatic telegrams giving his candid view on the Trump administration. I should start by explaining the FCO telegram system. The communications are nowadays effectively encrypted emails, though still known as “telegrams”: to the Americans “cables”. They are widely distributed. These Darroch telegrams would be addressed formally to the Foreign Secretary but have hundreds of other recipients, in the FCO, No.10, Cabinet Office, MOD, DFID, other government departments, MI6, GCHQ, and in scores of other British Embassies abroad. The field of suspects is therefore immense."

Cheerful Edward said...

Yes, it's hard to see how a country could function, if all that its key operatives need fear is a feather-thrashing, should they betray the trust placed in them.

This is nothing like the Assange case.

John Downes said...

Right-Writes... "Years ago he told me that one of the most repellent creatures in politics that he had ever come across was that Duncan bloke,"

A lot of us had worked out for ourselves that Duncan was a wrong'un, needing no help at all from anybody!

Raedwald said...

Indeed. There's something about Duncan that makes one's flesh crawl.
Glad it's not just me.

right-writes said...

@John Downes:

It's only an opinion, I was expressing the view that despite Raedwald's contention that these things are secret, that the leak had emanated from the establishment remainer side, rather than the Trump/Farage camp.

Still, good of you to write in to tell me my comment was pointless.

Thanks.

Cheerful Edward said...

The leak has served a useful purpose, however wrongful its commission.

That is, it has exploded the myth that the UK is in some way dear and precious to the US, and could expect favourable concessions in trade negotiations. That is now plainly nonsense, as the cancelling of talks with Fox over this point of vanity shows clearly.

It has also demonstrated, yet again, Johnson's spineless opportunism and egoism.

Not that it will make one bit of difference to much.

RAC said...

@ 10:47
Tearful ted you are almost beyond help. Please allow me to present you with this screen saver/wallpaper as a token of my sympathy.
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/peanuts/images/d/d1/LucyBooth.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20180802125938

RAC said...

If I may beg R's indulgence for posting another link,(OK the first one was unnecessary),this one here is an interesting facet that hasn't been discussed yet and could explain the distaste shown for Darroch and May.

https://quodverum.com/2019/07/191/trump-s-revenge-panic-on-the-streets-of-london-.html

Cheerful Edward said...

The litany of bilious insults, piled upon senior EU figures by eminent Tories, including by the next claimed PM, triggered nothing but patient understanding, on the other hand.

You know who your real friends are, and the UK administration has chosen to turn its backs on twenty-seven of them.

Span Ows said...

RAC's 2nd link has taken the sting out of my comment, which was going to be that this is all in preparation for the release of very damaging information about our involvent in the dodgy dossier (yes another one) for Clinton and her friends against Donald Trump. It was the UK playing a more than minor roll in trying to affect the POTUS election. May and even Boris are not innocent in this.

The scapegoats are being lined up.

Cascadian said...

I would be sympathetic to Raedwalds view if serious diplomatic business was being conducted, what Darroch was messaging was little more than Clinton/Obama crime families official line of tittle-tattle.
Still why not give up press freedoms on the same week that a "high court judge" imprisons a citizen for doing basically nothing. yUK!

Michael said...

I heard an interesting interview with Josh Rogin of the Washington Post being asked all sorts of questions by the host (Calum MacDonald I think), on R5-Up all night.

While the R5 chap was trying to sex up the chat and make the whole issue an atomic attack, the Wapo bloke - funnily enough, disagreed with the enormity of the stirring up process, and just kept saying that everyone in Washington was poking around in the anti- Presiodent Trump pond; it was mandatory!

It seemed that as a journo, he saw no reason to get out of one's pram, as the whole 'story' was uninteresting!

I reckon I'd look closer to home to find the real reason Kimboy was advised not to leave his LP on the turntable, and forget buying green bananas.

Cheerful Edward said...

Well, Cascadian, Darroch would not have kept his job to within a few weeks of retirement age, if he had failed to build up a track record of making observations for his employer, which generally turned out to be useful, that means true, implicitly.

That is not conclusive, as to the correctness of his remarks about the Trump administration, logically, but time might make that so for us, might it not?

The other chap, to whom I assume you refer, appears quite simply to have committed an offence, if you read its definition. We've all seen the videos of him doing it too, haven't we?

So he should do his time, just as did Fiona Onasanya, Jonathan Aitken etc. quite rightly.

Cascadian said...

Well Cheerful Ed

My response to you has disappeared into the great internet void.

Somebody or something in the yUK quasi-legal universe does not like opposing opinions. And with plod and the home office now actively lecturing us how we can think, I think I know who to blame.

I fear yUK is now a star-chamber governed country.

Raedwald said...

No, we've just got a ban on naming Voldemort here ;)

Cheerful Edward said...

Re offences, I see that Thatcher's 1989 Official Secrets Act, which replaced the 1911 one - which served us through two World Wars - removes the public interest defence. I think that that tells us a lot about her government's thinking.

I can't see how the leaker could have used that anyway in this case, but it's interesting that anti-terrorist police, GCHQ and others are involved, in what is neither a terrorist nor national security matter.

So the critics of the relevant laws and services, who feared that they would also be used for no more than saving governments and parties from embarrassment appear to be spot-on.

The Old Bill lecturing the media under these circumstances seems ultra vires too.

Jack the dog said...

Radders, best article I have seen on this is here:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/uk-ambassador-kim-darroch-trump-comments-resignation/

John Vasc said...

If the emails an Ambassador sends are now forwarded freely to hundreds of recipients worldwide who can decrypt, read and easily leak them without being identified, then clearly such communications are in no way 'confidential'.
The FCO Head Simon McDonald did not address this vulnerability in his recent appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee. Nor did any MP ask how he would reform this dysfunctional communications system - which is obviously an urgent priority.
Instead, McDonald rather wimpishly said there would need to be 'soul-searching', and even used the phrase 'whether there is a criminal offence'. MPs had to remind him of the existence of the Official Secrets Act.
There's one Head that clearly needs to roll.

Cascadian said...

Ahhh, I see. You subscribe to the editorial standards of Pravda Raedwald.

Any comments that deviate from the one truth as prescribed by the compromised law lords will be disappeared, indeed people will be disappeared.

Free speech in yUK is certainly in a very tenuous position. Strange that you would support such efforts.

Raedwald said...

Cascadian stop writing bollocks. You are quite free to stsrt your own blog and post, write, moderate and edit whatever you like on it. No one is stopping you. However, I draw the line here at comments promoting kiddy fiddling, terrorism, illegality, violence, racism, bigotry and intolerance. Not unreasonably, I think.