Dead Men Left

Thursday, April 28, 2005

D-noticed: government block ricin story

Via the wonderful, a site that does one of the jobs Indymedia always promised to (but never did), here's this story:

The British government has ordered a D-notice clampdown on details relating to the ricin terror ring story which was exposed as being fake last week...

"Government pressure" forced the Guardian to pull the article says the source, and that a Ministry of Defence directive was in order that forbade naming of any Porton Down scientists.

(You'll have to ignore the slightly hysterical tone in the link.) D-notices are pretty widely used, dependent - like much else in the peculiar informalities of the British constitution - not on legal authority but on a cosy relationship between central government, the military and various arms of the mass media. I hadn't linked to the story by Duncan Campbell, witness for the defence in the "ricin trials", but most of its details are assembled here; for the time being, Campbell's blocked original report is mirrored over here. Suffice to say, there was no "al-Qaida ricin plot" and anybody who tells you otherwise is a dupe or a liar. Since D-notices lack legal authority, it may well be worth hassling the Guardian's readers editor ( a bit about the story being pulled - the D-notice is clearly unworkable, anyway, with the original mirrored and its details widely circulated.

Bloody hell, though. Those nasty manipulative bastards. Don't even think about voting New Labour.