Katharine Gun, British whistleblower, stresses the importance of truth, justice and government transparency


The British whistleblow Katharine Gun tried to stop the Iraq War. In 2003, Gun, who was working as a translator at the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, leaked a top secret memo revealing a US plot to share intelligence with the U.K. from a spying operation on the United Nations in exchange for authorization to invade Iraq. On “Salon Talks” Gun said that partisanship is distorting the pressing issues in the world of intelligence.

Gun used the notorious U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden as an example, “Snowden's argument was that the governments are lying to us,” she told Salon’s executive editor Andrew O’Hehir. “The U.S. government said, ‘We are not surveilling U.S. citizens,’ but that was a lie.” She stressed how important it is that government be held to a standard of truth all over the world. With American government plowed under by intense partisanship and a hostile presidential administration and the U.K. caught up in a divisive withdrawal from the European Union, Gun pointed out that partisanship is dangerous. “I'm really tired of all these partisan issues. I think the big issues are truth and justice and accountability in all sectors of society,” she said. “Those are incredibly important issues that need to be discussed and need a non-partisan type of answer.”

The film “Official Secrets” depicts Gun’s actions in 2003. Starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, it follows the thrilling story of the woman who tried to stop the Iraq War. “Official Secrets,” out in theaters August 30.

Watch the video above and learn Gun explain why it’s so important to put partisanship aside to fight for truth and justice. And watch the full episode to hear her describe what it’s like to see her story on the big screen.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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