War, Journalism and Whistleblowers: 15 years after Katharine Gun's truth telling on the verge of the Iraq War
Fri 2 March 2018
18:00 – 20:00 GMT
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street, London, WC1A 7HX, United Kingdom
15 years ago, Katharine Gun leaked a GCHQ memo revealing US spying operations on UN security council members. This simple act of bravery helped to galvanise the mass movement of opposition to the Iraq War. It also served as a telling reminder of the essential role played by the press in speaking truth to power and upholding the fabric of democratic life. A generation on, the legacy of that leak is writ large in a resurgent politics of resistance to the warfare and surveillance state on both sides of the Atlantic. This unique event brings together a panel, including Katharine herself, to discuss the lessons of that leak, and ask: What can and should we be doing - journalists, scholars, activists, citizens, policymakers - to do justice to the immeasurable public service performed by whistleblowers?
Katharine Gun (former GCHQ translator responsible for the 2003 leak); Thomas Drake (former senior executive of the US National Security Agency); Duncan Campbell (award winning journalist, author and TV producer); Matthew Hoh (former US Marine and State Department official serving in Afghanistan and Iraq); Jesselyn Radack (national security and human rights attorney representing Ed Snowden among other whistleblowers); Silkie Carlo (Director of Big Brother Watch and leading voice in the campaign against the UK's repressive surveillance and official secrecy laws).