Movies are art. They portray messages and themes that reflect our upbringing just to get ignored by audiences who can not see the so-called “big picture”. Official Secrets, a recently released film tells the true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation. An hour and forty-five minute movie on a historical British moment, but the thing is, what does it have to do with Americans, and the answer is simple. The NSA spy operation was designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The Iraq War is the defining moment of where we are in today’s society. President George W. Bush was involved in the war in Iraq in 2003, and it is interesting how this was a direct response to what happened in the USA with the bombing of the twin towers on 9/11, and contributed to changing politics in America for the following years. The purpose was to locate “Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD),” but none were found in Iraq. This leads to the question being asked of what was the point of a war that resulted in unnecessary casualties. The answer seems personal, and the only person who took action to stop this from occurring was a British whistleblower named “Katharine Gunn.”
This movie explores the story of Katharine Gunn and what she did in her efforts to stop the 2003 war in Iraq. Her story was never publicized due to the invasion of Iraq taking over, and this movie brings her story to life. She blew a government secret and was put on trial for breaking the Official Secrets Act, hence the reason for the title being Official Secrets.
She violated a government regulation, to prevent the loss of thousands of innocent lives, which raises the ethical question if what she was doing was just. Katharine had the courage to do the right thing, an ordinary person at work spoke up for her integrity, disregarding her career when something that would just be disregarded by others came to her. Every time she is tested she chooses to do the right thing and chooses her integrity over a paycheck.
When it came to the trial the case was dropped and Katharine was found not guilty, and the reason to this day was never fully discussed. It was believed that Katharine’s team had enough information to free her, but what they had would hurt the NSA, so the charges were dropped. This movie reminds us of how important it is to hold onto our fundamental values and the impact it can make on our society. Katharine took action, and even though it didn’t work out for her way she made a difference in showing the integrity an individual should have.
An ordinary person spoke up for what is right and inspired a change. America is a land divided on different ideals and opinions on what is right, but all we hear are the conversations and never see action. This movie reminds us of how important it is to hold on to our fundamental values and make a change no matter how small it can be. Voting is a right American citizen has, and most choose not to take advantage of this right, but what if that one vote can impact the rest of our government in the United States. Next time if it comes to a right to vote and it is our choice to exercise that precious right, as we are given the opportunity to make a change in the USA, are we going to sit back or let our actions produce a positive reaction.
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