About that spying…

A few days ago, I linked to this story about the US spying on UN Security Council members, which inspired some of you to express your doubts as to its validity. Forcefully, in some cases.

Well, not that this will come as any great revelation to the members of this audience who are, shall we say, less idealistic when it comes to the Bush Administration, but the story has been confirmed, albeit in a kind of backhanded way:

An employee at the top-secret Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been arrested following revelations in The Observer last weekend about an American ‘dirty tricks’ surveillance operation to win votes at the United Nations in favour of a tough new resolution on Iraq.

Gloucestershire police confirmed last night that a 28-year-old woman was arrested last week on suspicion of contravening the Official Secrets Act. The woman, from the Cheltenham area, has been released on police bail pending further inquiries. More arrests are expected.

To put this as clearly as possible for our more slow-witted friends: if the story’s a fake, why are people being arrested for leaking the information?