Socialist Worker has defied a D Notice to the media — a state instruction to remain silent
By Charlie KIMBER
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Along with other newspapers, Socialist Worker received an instruction on Saturday morning from the state to cover up its military manoeuvres. Specifically this “D notice” concerned British special forces operating in the Middle East.
The email was an “advisory notice from the Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Committee”. It said, “Reports have started to appear in some publications claiming that UK Special Forces have deployed to sensitive areas of the Middle East and then linking that deployment to hostage rescue/evacuation operations.”
The Daily Mail newspaper, which has the right sort of contacts for such a story, had reported, “UK’s elite SAS on ‘standby in Cyprus’ to rescue British hostages held captive in Gaza by Hamas.”
The D Notice continued, “May I take this opportunity to remind editors that publication of such information contravenes the DSMA notice code. I therefore advise that claims of such deployments should not be published nor broadcast without first seeking Defence and Security Media advice”
Socialist Worker has not sought such advice, but we are publishing it anyway. Everyone should know what is happening in their name. D Notices are generally deployed to protect MI5 and MI6 spies, state secrets and the military.
The instruction from Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds, DSMA secretary, continued, “This Notice aims to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of classified information about Special Forces and other MOD units engaged in security, intelligence and counter-terrorist operations, including their methods, techniques and activities.
“Such disclosure could reveal details of operations or operating methods and techniques before, during and after their execution which would bestow an advantage on an adversary which could endanger national security and increase the risk to UK lives.
“Should any editor currently be considering publishing or broadcasting information on these operations, may I ask you to seek my advice beforehand?”
You can ask and we can say no. British forces out of the Middle East—victory to Palestine.