Dead Men Left

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Who dares, issues writs

...not a single post for a whole week, and then all you get is snippet from the Worst Paper in All England (arguably), the Sunday Telegraph. (Actually, scrub that: it's not even the worst Sunday paper; that honour belongs to the Sunday Times, which I wouldn't use to wipe my arse with. I really wouldn't, actually, horrid semi-glossy paper last time I checked, not absorbent.) Between irksome work and less irksome elections, blogging has slipped down the priority list somewhere. Very poor. Will try harder in future.

Ben Griffin followed his storming speech to the international peace conference in November with an interview for the Telegraph, during which the ex-SAS soldier declared the invasion of Iraq to be "illegal". Cue repercussions:

Ben Griffin, who left the Special Air Service in June last year after spending three months on operations in Baghdad, has been informed that the Government is considering "civil proceedings" against him after he described the war as "illegal" in a Sunday Telegraph interview...

In a letter to this newspaper, however, the Treasury Solicitors, who act as the Government's legal representatives, claimed that Mr Griffin had breached a binding and life-long "solemn undertaking" not to disclose any events of his career in the SAS without first informing the Ministry of Defence.

The letter states that to breach the confidentiality contract, which all members of the special forces have to sign before they are allowed to join the elite units, is an "actionable civil wrong"

There's a lot of this low-grade intimidation taking place around various bits of the UK state, sometimes creeping over into slightly higher-grade and more unpleasant proceedings. Quite what whoever is making the decision hopes to gain in Griffin's case is hard to judge, especially given the failure of previous legal warning shots to produce the salutary lesson desired. Ours not to reason why, etc.