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Leaks are endangering operations - anti-terror chief

#1
Guess who is leaking? Whitehall spinners, probably either Home Office or Cabinet Office.

It is blatantly obvious. There have been leak inquiries over everything from the wallpaper in Downing Street to embarrasing plots to bug the UN. So why not now? "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear". Right?

Yet another reason why nobody believes a word "they" say anymore, about war, terrorism or anything else. I believe that Bliar stands a very good chance of enduring a series of uncomfortable grillings during any future enquiries into Iraq (etc) set up by a future Tory or Tory/Lib Dem government - assuming he is not banged up over charges arising from any cash-for-honour trial.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6591793.stm

Blair rejects leak inquiry call

Tony Blair said he condemned any leaks

Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected demands for an independent inquiry into leaks of police anti-terrorism intelligence to the media.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have both asked the government for a formal investigation.

The UK's counter-terrorism chief has said leaks could "put lives at risk".

But Mr Blair said that "as far as he was aware" ministers and civil servants had not been responsible for any, and that he completely condemned all leaks.

On Tuesday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke of the Metropolitan Police said people who divulged sensitive information to the media were "beneath contempt".

Let me make it absolutely clear that I completely condemn any leaks of sensitive information from whatever quarter

Tony Blair


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But he did not specify where the leaks had come from.

Instead he used a recent anti-terror investigation in Birmingham as an example of when information had been leaked to the media.

Shadow home secretary David Davis has asked Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell to launch a formal inquiry into this operation.

During prime minister's questions in the Commons, Tory leader David Cameron called on Mr Blair to appoint an independent person to investigate leaks.

He asked for assurances that no minister, civil servant or special adviser had divulged information.

Mr Blair said: "The only guarantee that I can give is that, as far as I'm aware, they did not.

"But let me make it absolutely clear that I completely condemn any leaks of sensitive information from whatever quarter."

He criticised Mr Cameron for his suggestion that members of the government were responsible.

Confidential and tight

"I don't think it's right to leave an allegation suggesting that may be a minister who has done this, unless he's got actual evidence that that is so.

"But I would have thought that everyone would understand that when the police, particularly when they are conducting very sensitive operations - and where there's the potential for the significant loss of life - then it's incredibly important that that information is kept confidential and tight.

"And, as far as I'm concerned, that is the case."

A spokesman for the Conservative Party later told the BBC that they had "no evidence" that any minister or civil servant was involved in leaking details of the Birmingham investigation.

He said Mr Cameron, in bringing up the issue in the Commons, had not made any accusation, but wanted an inquiry to clear the issue.

In the Commons, Mr Blair agreed with DAC Clarke's stance that there was no justification for ever leaking such information.

'Misguided individuals'

DAC Clarke had said there were a "small number of misguided individuals who betray confidences".

By doing so, they had compromised investigations, revealed sources of life-saving intelligence and "put lives at risk" during major investigations.

He also warned of a damaging "lack of public trust" in intelligence.

The Liberal Democrats have also called for an investigation into any leaks.

Party leader Sir Menzies Campbell told the BBC: "It may be for all we know that there have been some breaches of the criminal law.

"There may even have been breaches of the Official Secrets Act. If that is so, then the proper investigating authority in the first instance would be the police themselves."
 
#2
This stinks.

No inquiry?
Why not? I wonder.

B'liar's 'troops' doing their best to look good - and bollox to the safety of the rest of us.

Image over substance, every fecking time.
 
#3
I heard his reply to Cameron in the Commons, basically "I'll only investigate if you can prove it". Horse some way behind cart, there, but then he always did have a very loose grasp on due process of law.

Personally, I'd like to see the Terrorism Act abused in his case the same way it was for Walter Wolfgang - "look, mate, we've decided to suspect you of something, so you don't have rights any more". Hoist by his own petard, kind of thing.




PS Wouldn't the Welsh Secretary be the ideal person to investigate?

I had a hat as well, you know...
 
#6
I can imagine the results of that inquiry

" . . . . . . could not find the source of the leaks"

Because the police aren't saying if one of theirs was leaking - just like they weren't saying who was leaking in the cash for peerages.

Just as the government wouldn't be able to tell if one of theirs was leaking the information
 
#7
During prime minister's questions in the Commons, Tory leader David Cameron called on Mr Blair to appoint an independent person to investigate leaks.

He asked for assurances that no minister, civil servant or special adviser had divulged information.

Mr Blair said: "The only guarantee that I can give is that, as far as I'm aware, they did not.

"But let me make it absolutely clear that I completely condemn any leaks of sensitive information from whatever quarter."

He criticised Mr Cameron for his suggestion that members of the government were responsible.
Oh I agree, an outrageous slur, because the members of this government have proven time and again how responsible and honourable they are... :roll:
 
#8
DozyBint said:
During prime minister's questions in the Commons, Tory leader David Cameron called on Mr Blair to appoint an independent person to investigate leaks.

He asked for assurances that no minister, civil servant or special adviser had divulged information.

Mr Blair said: "The only guarantee that I can give is that, as far as I'm aware, they did not.

"But let me make it absolutely clear that I completely condemn any leaks of sensitive information from whatever quarter."

He criticised Mr Cameron for his suggestion that members of the government were responsible.
Oh I agree, an outrageous slur, because the members of this government have proven time and again how responsible and honourable they are... :roll:
But no-one has given a source for the leaks, so it could just as easily be a member of Birminghams plod looking for an easy buck. Lets face it, they have a long history of selling information.

Until it is made plain to reporters that leaked documents and anonymous sources from wherever are not on we will continue to get this
 
#9
Sven said:
But no-one has given a source for the leaks, so it could just as easily be a member of Birminghams plod looking for an easy buck. Lets face it, they have a long history of selling information.
Granted, but what's laughable is Bliar's outrage that anyone might so much as think that his government might be responsible for leaks, given all that's been proved to have been done by members and former members of Bliar's cabinets, let alone what's alleged to have been done by them.
 
#10
DozyBint said:
Sven said:
But no-one has given a source for the leaks, so it could just as easily be a member of Birminghams plod looking for an easy buck. Lets face it, they have a long history of selling information.
Granted, but what's laughable is Bliar's outrage that anyone might so much as think that his government might be responsible for leaks, given all that's been proved to have been done by members and former members of Bliar's cabinets, let alone what's alleged to have been done by them.
I really would like to see that proof - doubt I will though eh? There are only two people that I know to have been found to be leaking "allegedly"and they are going to find out just what it is like in the big bad world of prison.

The David and Leo Show

Of course - some posters don't mind THESE leaks, they are - after all - anti governmental ones.
 
#11
Sven said:
I really would like to see that proof - doubt I will though eh? There are only two people that I know to have been found to be leaking "allegedly"and they are going to find out just what it is like in the big bad world of prison.
I wasn't referring to any leaks having been proved, I was merely stating that some Ministers of State have acted irresponsibly and dishonestly, therefore they are not above suspicion for anything and for that reason Bliar's outrage is ironically amusing.
 
#12
How much use would a 'leak enquiry' be?
I seem to remember 'Yes Minister' covering their use quite well when Sir Humphrey Appleby asked Jim Hacker how many leak enquiry reports, in round figures, he had ever seen. The answer, of course, was none - leak enquiries are for setting up - not for reporting. If one requires a leak report one calls in Special Branch.
Incidentally, wasn't this the series that gave us the famous 'the ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top?'
 
#13
radioactiveman said:
How much use would a 'leak enquiry' be?
I seem to remember 'Yes Minister' covering their use quite well when Sir Humphrey Appleby asked Jim Hacker how many leak enquiry reports, in round figures, he had ever seen. The answer, of course, was none - leak enquiries are for setting up - not for reporting. If one requires a leak report one calls in Special Branch.
Incidentally, wasn't this the series that gave us the famous 'the ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top?'
Yes, and the line "I don't want an internal inquiry, Humphrey, I want a real one".
 
#14
smartascarrots said:
radioactiveman said:
How much use would a 'leak enquiry' be?
I seem to remember 'Yes Minister' covering their use quite well when Sir Humphrey Appleby asked Jim Hacker how many leak enquiry reports, in round figures, he had ever seen. The answer, of course, was none - leak enquiries are for setting up - not for reporting. If one requires a leak report one calls in Special Branch.
Incidentally, wasn't this the series that gave us the famous 'the ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top?'
Yes, and the line "I don't want an internal inquiry, Humphrey, I want a real one".
As well as the irregular verb: I give confidential briefings; You leak; He has been charged under the OSA
 
#15
Sven said:
I can imagine the results of that inquiry

" . . . . . . could not find the source of the leaks"

Because the police aren't saying if one of theirs was leaking - just like they weren't saying who was leaking in the cash for peerages.

Just as the government wouldn't be able to tell if one of theirs was leaking the information
and up trundles Stevens the spin master ex-detective and his hugely expensive investigative consultants.
 
#16
western said:
Sven said:
I can imagine the results of that inquiry

" . . . . . . could not find the source of the leaks"

Because the police aren't saying if one of theirs was leaking - just like they weren't saying who was leaking in the cash for peerages.

Just as the government wouldn't be able to tell if one of theirs was leaking the information
and up trundles Stevens the spin master ex-detective and his hugely expensive investigative consultants.
Exactly so.

In this world of mirrors, smoke and once-twice-triple-spun matters, it is as unconvincing for very politicised policement to allege leaks as it is for "real" politicos to deny them, or refuse to investigate them.

Meanwhile, habeas corpus remains virtually suspeded, and people die . . .
 

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