Katherine Gun, a translator for Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, was arrested last March after she revealed a classified document urging British intelligence to help the United States bug the phones of all the members of the U.N. Security Council. The scandal led to the collapse of a second resolution authorizing war with Iraq, which would have given the invasion much-needed legitimacy.
Gun, 29, has her first court appearance on Feb. 25 and is planning to plead not guilty. Facing up to two years in prison under Britain’s draconian Official Secrets Act, she is unapologetic. “I have only ever followed my conscience,” she said in her sole public statement about the case.
Sources have revealed to the London Observer, however, that the charges may be dropped due to government concerns over more secrets being revealed in the trial and the strong positive publicity that she might enjoy. A number of big-name supporters from across the Atlantic have come to her defense, including Sean Penn, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Daniel Ellsberg, the legendary whistleblower who leaked papers containing devastating details of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Says Ellsberg, “She did what she could, it time for it to make a difference, as indeed others should have done, and still can.”