Sun defence editor Tom Newton Dunn (pictured) said it is a “victory for common sense” that the Ministry of Defence has not launched an internal inquiry to find out who leaked a US military cockpit video to him. The tape revealed the US military blunders that led to the death of Lance Corporal Matty Hull.
An MoD spokesman confirmed to Press Gazette there was only an inquiry into “what lessons could be learned” from the whole experience.
Newton Dunn said: “As far as I know, the whistle blower, from whatever side of the Atlantic they may come from, is in the clear. It is a victory for common sense not to go after our source on this, despite a serious breach of the US or UK’s Official Secrets Act and waste a lot of time, money and energy on what would clearly be a prosecution not at all in the public interest.”
He added that he was surprised the MoD had not carried out its threat to injunct The Sun to prevent publication of the video on Tuesday last week.
He said: “We were surprised there was no injunction. We were told that an injunction would be sought. It was a game of brinkmanship and we didn’t blink. We had a nervous Monday afternoon waiting for the fax to come through, but it never did. It was another victory for common sense.”
Before The Sun went public with the videos, 10 journalists were dispatched to ensure family members, colleagues and the coroner were first able to see a copy.
Newton Dunn said: “Matty’s widow Susan said to me, ‘this is the first time anybody has ever done anything proactive for us in four years’. It was an amazingly satisfying experience.”
Sun Online received over one million hits on the day the video was released, making it the second most visited story ever.