Derek Pasquill

Derek Pasquill (born 11 January 1959, Osterode am Harz, Germany) was a British Foreign Office civil servant who came to public attention after his arrest and acquittal for leaking sensitive government material to the press. He was dismissed for gross misconduct in August 2008.
A graduate of the University of East Anglia, in January 2006 Pasquill was arrested and suspended from his job for allegedly breaching the Official Secrets Act by leaking letters and memos about the government's attitude to secret CIA rendition flights and contacts with radical Muslim groups. These documents were used as the basis for articles by Martin Bright in The Observer and the New Statesman between August 2005 and January 2006, as well as the pamphlet When Progressives Treat with Reactionaries: The British State's Flirtation with Radical Islamism for the think-tank Policy Exchange.
He was cleared of these charges in January 2008 after the Crown prosecutor told an Old Bailey judge that documents to be disclosed as part of legal proceedings would have undermined its case that the leaks were damaging to national security.
Of ephemeral interest, the origin of the family name "Pasquill" may be traced to Pasquino (Lat. Pasquillus), one of the talking statues of Rome, and subsequent literary history of the word as a synonym and designator for an anonymous lampoon or squib. See Thomas Nashe and the Marprelate Controversy for an example of pasquil usage in sixteenth-century England.
The name 'Derek' is, of course, contained in the Dutch term for rhetorician, Rederijker, and, as pasquils were often proclaimed at late medieval Rederijkerskamers (Chamber of rhetoric), insertion of the imaginary nickname 'Red' into "Derek 'Red' Pasquill" produces a macaronic language device accentuating this historical connection.(1)
(1) Veldman, Ilja M. Maarten van Heemskerck and Dutch humanism in the sixteenth century. Amsterdam, Meulenhoff, 1977.
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