Junior officials, start your engines…

This entry was posted on
Friday, January 6th, 2006
10:55 am and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

Guardian – Whitehall unconfidential: the censors are on the run: But a document has fallen into the Guardian’s hands that seems to explain why ministers have become so bankrupt in these failures to stem a tide of disclosures (most revolve in one way or another around Iraq and allegations of our craven relationship with the US)… We have obtained one of Ms Yasamee’s private Whitehall letters, written last October. But publication of its contents here does not make it likely that the Guardian is in turn due for a knock on the door by Special Branch. She writes that the government is entitled to ask for alterations to passages in Murray’s book that “might damage national security, international relations or confidential relationships”. But this “depends on the willingness of the author to make changes”. She warns: “To succeed with any legal action, we would have to demonstrate clearly to a court that real damage would result from publication. From previous experience and advice … we know that the damage threshold is very high for successful court action. It is questionable whether this book falls into that category.” And she gives the game away by saying that it is questionable if “more public airing of Craig’s alleged grievances is in anybody’s interest”. In other words, attempts to censor unwelcome memoirs are largely bluff.

(Via Craig.)

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