Whistleblower tales offer drama, intrigue, good guys and bad guys. So, it’s no wonder Hollywood loves them. The web is filled with lists of whistleblower movies. They include classics like “On the Waterfront” and recent films like “The Post.” They range from documentaries to thrillers to based-on-a-true story bio pics. Now, add a new one to the intelligence whistleblower genre.
This summer look for “Officials Secrets,” a feature film about British intelligence translator Katharine Gun. A dour, dressed-down Keira Knightley walks through a gauntlet of reporters and mics in the promo shot. The film premiered at the Sundance film festival in January.
From the Hollywood Reporter review:
While railing at TV news coverage of Tony Blair’s double-speak concerning his position on the George W. Bush government’s intention to invade Iraq in 2003, British intelligence translator Katharine Gun, played with the requisite impassioned principles by Keira Knightley, fumes, “Just because you’re the prime minister doesn’t mean you get to make up your own facts.”
Gun, an intelligence agency translator, was charged under the Official Secrets Act for passing an email to a reporter. She said the note was from US spies asking British officers to tap phones of nations voting on war against Iraq, according to a BBC report.
The memo, from January last year, reportedly said the National Security Agency had begun a “surge” in eavesdropping on UN Security Council countries crucial to the vote on a second resolution for action in Iraq.
Officials from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan all had their phones tapped in what the Observer described as a “dirty tricks” operation…
The charges were dropped in 2004 with little explanation.
(Gun) told a news conference after: “Obviously I’m not prone to leak secrets left, right and centre… but this needed to get out, the public deserved to know what was going on at the time.
Here, Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg talks about the Gun case.