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Phone hacking scandal deepens
#41
Fwiw - Andrew Neil, former Murdoch editor, said last night on BBC's Newsnight (I paraphrase) that PM Cameron and the Tory High Command had decided upon the resignation of Coulson months ago, and that only the timing was undecided. The decision for Coulson to resign yesterday morning was because it was anticipated that Blair's Iraq Inquiry testimony would be the lead story for national and breaking news.

In other words, yesterday was considered "a good day to bury bad news" - which was my first response when I heard the news. That spindoctor gambit failed, and Coulson's resignation did lead most UK TV news outlets. However, Fleet Street has largely attempted to ignore the story.

Meanwhile, as the article below outlines, a lot of "holding lines" held by Murdoch empire executives and the Metropolitan Police have now collapsed.

Big Daddy Rupert Murdoch is reportedly flying into London personally, and his apparatchiks must know that they may be disowned as "rogues" at any time if the Murdoch Empire needs protecting and the evidence against them is damning:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan...orp-crisis

The Metropolitan Police investigation has been revealed as a non-investigation. The evidence that is now becoming public domain has been with the rozzers all the time. But instead of investigating, Met Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates and his officers decided to investigate whistleblowing witnesses under criminal caution.

Natural justice demands that it is members of the Murdoch empire and the Metropolitan Police who will soon be interviewed under criminal caution.




Quote:Andy Coulson's resignation is just the start

The fall-out from the resignation of David Cameron's PR chief will reach far into our political culture

Brian Cathcart guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 January 2011 19.35 GMT

It should not end here. Andy Coulson had to go and the miracle is that it took him and David Cameron so long to recognise it, but the ramifications of the phone-hacking scandal now stretch so far and so deep into our political culture that it is possible to see him as a secondary figure.

To illustrate the point, look at the position of James Murdoch, one of most powerful people in the British media and bidding to be more powerful. Back in 2008, Murdoch received a visit from the News of the World editor, Colin Myler, and his legal chief Tom Crone. They told him they were about to settle a case brought by Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers' Association alleging that NoW reporters had hacked his voicemails, and that it was going to cost more than £500,000.

If Murdoch asked him, Crone was there to say that Taylor's lawyers had a transcript of his hacked voicemails with the names of two NoW journalists all over it, and a dubious contract with the name of a third. Again if asked, Crone would have explained (I guess) that in the eyes of a court this was the equivalent of being caught red-handed. Now Murdoch was their boss and £500,000 is a lot of money; do we think he asked? If he did, then he knew about the infamous transcript, and in particular he knew how damaging it was. That in turn means he had a damn good idea that the NoW phone hacking scandal was far, far worse than it had been portrayed. Why didn't he do something about it? And if he didn't ask, then his best defence now is the Coulson one: "I'm a boss who was kept in the dark."

At least half a dozen News International executives are equally compromised. Myler, for example, has assured MPs, the public and the Press Complaints Commission that after taking over from Coulson he conducted a thorough investigation of phone hacking and found nothing. Sooner or later somebody must ask him how he defines "thorough", because lawyers for the lengthening queue of celebrities now suing his paper are turning up evidence almost by the day.

But it doesn't stop at News International, indeed for the Metropolitan police this is if anything worse. That evidence for example transcripts of Sienna Miller's voicemails with the name of a NoW journalist written in the corner is all coming, in bits and scraps, from files the police have been sitting on since 2006, and which they are guarding with an almost fanatical zeal. Why? And why, for that matter, did the Yard's finest fail to investigate the Gordon Taylor and Sienna Miller material themselves? Not to mention the Jim Sheridan, Andy Gray and Sky Andrews material.

One of the enduring characteristics of this scandal is that people keep saying things that are very difficult to believe. The Met says it looked at the hacking documents it was holding and there was nothing suspicious. News International used to tell us, until a week ago, that it had had one rogue journalist and that was the end of it. When the Commons media committee heard these things it snorted with derision, so why haven't these people been called to account?

One reason is that the tabloid press has ignored the story. Miller must be amazed: she has finally found something she can do in her private life that red-tops won't feast on. But for most of the newspaper-reading public this story does not exist: they have never been confronted with the strange claims of the Met and News International.

Editors who routinely invoke the public interest when it suits them have in this case systematically abused the public interest. One leading player in the story has been in Downing Street for nine months; another dominates our media landscape; a third is our most powerful police force. If their conduct is not a matter of public interest, what is?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...-the-start
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#42
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:Fwiw - Andrew Neil, former Murdoch editor, said last night on BBC's Newsnight (I paraphrase) that PM Cameron and the Tory High Command had decided upon the resignation of Coulson months ago, and that only the timing was undecided.

Yeah right. Cameron really needed all the months of exposure about his tainted spin doctor.

I have yet to see the words "Andrew Neil" and "honest journalist" joined together in the same sentence. I suspect, but don't know, that they never will be either.

But Neil does have a lovely crop of not even the slightest bit grey hair for a 61 year old Fleet Street gabber.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#43
The logical play for the Murdoch empire now is to identify a couple of executives for sacrificial prosecution by the Metropolitan Police, to offer fresh evidence from their own NoW "investigation" of executive complicity to the prosecution, and then to spin that they have "cleaned their house" and expect other parts of Fleet Street to do the same.

Such a strategy, if spun vehemently, would also enable the Met Police to save a little face by successfully prosecuting the "phone hackers".

However, it appears that they've already paid over a million pounds in various "fees" and "settlements" to the likes of Mulcaire and Goodman, and still Mulcaire is naming names.

Given the financial and political reputations at risk here, only a cynic could claim that both a private and a public goon squad may soon be asked to, ahem, help resolve matters once and for all......
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#44
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:Given the financial and political reputations at risk here, only a cynic could claim that both a private and a public goon squad may soon be asked to, ahem, help resolve matters once and for all......

I couldn't agree more. And why? Because this scandal reaches way beyond the 2Ms (Met & Murdoch) - just where were MI5 and GCHQ while this industrial-scale intercept programme was going on? Are we seriously expected to believe that none of this was picked up by both organisations' massive, routine monitoring of the country's politico-financial elite? No one within the NI circles involved on MI5's books?

And what exactly is News International if not a joint CIA-MI6 construct?

Expect a rash of "suicides" any time soon.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#45
I offer the opinion that no one -outside a charmed circle of players - was ruled off a target list of phone hackers.

But let's be clear what we're speaking of here. Pure and simple it is espionage.

And that reveals the absolute power of Murdoch. British Prime Ministers and British governments are playthings to him.

But then I continue to believe he is, and always has been, an asset of the CIA.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/pol...qus_thread

Quote:Exclusive: Brown asks Scotland Yard to investigate if he was hacked
Murdoch flies in for high-level meetings as Yard faces new questions about its conduct

By James Hanning and Matt Chorley
Sunday, 23 January 2011

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/...40048t.jpg
Andy Coulson leaves No 10 after resigning as David Cameron's director of communications on Friday

Gordon Brown has asked the police to investigate whether he was the victim of phone hacking, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. Mr Brown has written at least one letter to the Metropolitan Police over concerns that his phone was targeted when he was Chancellor, during the latter stages of Andy Coulson's reign as editor of the News of the World. Mr Brown's aides last night declined to comment. It is understood that Scotland Yard sought clarification from the former prime minister after his request.

Sources have told The IoS that Tony Blair, his predecessor as prime minister, had also asked police some months ago to investigate whether messages left by him had been the subject of hacking (he did not have his own mobile phone until after he left No 10). Mr Blair and his wife, Cherie Booth, were notably keen to preserve their privacy during their time in Downing Street. Blair's solicitor, Graham Atkins, of Atkins Thomson, declined to comment yesterday, but late last night the former PM's official spokesman denied the story.

The news comes as growing criticism of the Met's investigation into widespread mobile phone message interception by the News of the World is mounting. This week, senior Scotland Yard officers are expected to come under fire when they are questioned about the hacking row by London's police authority. MPs will separately take evidence for a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal and the DPP is to meet top Met officers to discuss existing and new evidence.

Demands will also be made for the force to face questions about its use of undercover officers, the policing of violent student-fee demonstrations and the suspension of a bodyguard for an alleged affair with the wife of former shadow chancellor Alan Johnson.

Two days ago, Mr Coulson said he was quitting as David Cameron's director of communications after allegations about his time as NoW editor threatened to overshadow the Government's work. He denies having any knowledge of illegal practices during his time in charge, but said continued coverage made it "difficult for me to give the 110 per cent needed in this role".

Downing Street strenuously denies claims that his resignation was demanded by Rupert Murdoch, who owns the NoW. Mr Murdoch's arrival in London is expected imminently.

Mr Brown and Mr Blair are the most senior political figures to be linked to the phone-hacking scandal. In September, The IoS revealed that Lord Mandelson's mobile-phone details and an invoice for research on him were among files seized by police investigating illegal activity by NoW reporters when Mr Coulson was editor. Other Labour figures understood to have been targeted include Lord Prescott, David Blunkett, Tessa Jowell and Chris Bryant.

Alastair Campbell, the former Labour spin-doctor, told the BBC the controversy had now gone beyond the issue of Mr Coulson's future and "the role of the police in this is now going to become centre stage".

The lawyer Mark Lewis yesterday revealed he was acting for four people who believe they were targeted by newspapers other than the NoW, which has been under intense scrutiny since its royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed in 2007 for plotting to intercept messages left for aides to Prince William. Mr Lewis successfully represented Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers' Association, in a damages claim against the NoW. There are at least five other lawyers bringing similar cases.

Scotland Yard today faces serious criticism from Chris Huhne for its handling of the case and its "astonishing" use of undercover officers to target eco-activists. Mr Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, told The IoS that the recent suspension of the NoW executive Ian Edmondson had "dramatically changed the situation, and clearly the police and the Met in particular need to get to the bottom of this".

Mr Huhne also said he and Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, will write to the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, after being told they were added to a secret police database of criminal suspects after speaking at a green protest. He also suggested that the police have "invented" the threat posed by green campaigners to justify ongoing resources.

Scotland Yard is also still trying to contain the fallout from the revelation that Mr Johnson's surprise resignation from the Labour front bench was triggered by his wife's alleged affair with his former police bodyguard.

Labour targets

Tony Blair

The most senior political figure named in the scandal so far, involved in headline-grabbing controversies including the Iraq war and "cash-for-honours".

Gordon Brown

Suspicions that he was targeted while he was chancellor, at a time when his fraught relationship with Blair was a major political issue.

John Prescott

Acting against Scotland Yard over failure to tell him Glenn Mulcaire had listed his name. Demanded judicial review into the Met's "incompetence".

Tessa Jowell

Former minister in running Olympics, whose husband was involved in a high-profile Berlusconi case, was told her phone had been hacked.

Lord Mandelson

The IoS revealed his details were among lists of data seized by police investigating phone hacking during Andy Coulson's time as editor.

Peter Kilfoyle

Ex-Liverpool MP said he had been given confirmation his name was on a list of numbers uncovered by police investigating phone hacking.

Chris Bryant

Former Foreign Office minister who learnt police had found his details when they raided Mulcaire's office. Bringing his own case against the News of the World.

David Blunkett

The former home secretary feared his phone had been hacked after reports of his affair with Kimberly Quinn appeared in the News of the World.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#46
David Guyatt Wrote:I offer the opinion that no one -outside a charmed circle of players - was ruled off a target list of phone hackers.

But let's be clear what we're speaking of here. Pure and simple it is espionage.

And that reveals the absolute power of Murdoch. British Prime Ministers and British governments are playthings to him.

But then I continue to believe he is, and always has been, an asset of the CIA.

That would explain the complicity of the domestics (MI5, GCHQ etc.)
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#47
I agree entirely Paul. It explains the complicity precisely - including the continuing lack of the Met's investigation into the phone hacking scandal.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#48
Is this the first operation of the new Tory spin team? The CIA?

Quote:The Lord and a very posh single mum: Lords leader had affair with notorious Green Party activist

By Simon Walters

Last updated at 12:16 PM on 23rd January 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...duced.html

Expect much more of the same in the next couple of weeks.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#49
Imagine the pressure that is already on the Met NOT to investigate...

That's real power at work, when even the former Prime MInister and both sides of the House of Parliament have to repeatedly call for an investigation.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20110123/tuk-...a1618.html

Quote:Scotland Yard is under intense pressure to reopen its investigation into phone hacking by journalists amid claims that Gordon Brown may have been among the victims.

Senior politicians from both Government and opposition combined to demand that police investigate fully the latest allegations that the mobile phones of prominent public figures had been illegally targeted.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said the law must be enforced while the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said it was "implausible" to claim the practice was confined to "one rogue reporter" at the News of the World.

Their comments came as it was reported that Mr Brown had written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner expressing concern his that voicemail messages may have been broken into.

The former prime minister is the most senior public figure to be drawn into the controversy, which last week saw Andy Coulson resign as David Cameron's director of communications amid continuing allegations of phone hacking by reporters at the News of the World when he was editor of the paper.

Mr Brown's office would not comment on the reports, while Scotland Yard also declined to respond to the latest allegations. However Ms Harman said that the police had a clear duty to uphold the law.

Scotland Yard formally closed its investigation into the allegations against the News of the World last month. However a number of public figures are continuing to pursue civil legal actions against both the newspaper and the police, prompting a series of fresh disclosures.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#50
Rupert Murdoch - his family (nepotism - always a sign of overweenng arrogance), his apparatchiks (entirely disposable), his board (rather interesting):

Quote:Rupert Murdoch flies in to UK as News Corp stays silent on phone hacking

Company not divulging what tycoon's son James was told when he signed off £700,000 payment to football chief Gordon Taylor


Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Monday 24 January 2011 20.36 GMT

News Corporation refused to say today what Rupert Murdoch's son James was told about evidence of phone hacking by News of the World (NoW) journalists when he signed off a £700,000 settlement with the football chief Gordon Taylor.

The company declined to comment on any of the of questions asked by the Guardian about which board members were made aware of the fact that the practice of phone hacking extended beyond the former royal editor Clive Goodman, and the reasons for payouts to Taylor and the public relations specialist Max Clifford.

News Corp also refused to reply to further questions about what was discussed at a social meeting between David Cameron, James Murdoch and its UK chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, over the Christmas period.

Rupert Murdoch today spent the day at News International's Wapping offices in east London, where he had lunch in the company canteen with his son, Brooks, Dominic Mohan, the editor of the Sun, and James Harding, the editor of the Times.

There has so far been no explanation as to why James Murdoch, the chief executive of News Corp's operations in Europe and Asia, decided to sign off the payment to Taylor. One friend of Rupert Murdoch's younger son said he had failed to appreciate the significance of the hacking allegations until recently.

The source said: "He had been slow to get on top of the issue until recently, because he's been so focused on getting News Corp's bid for Sky through. He's now done so, but the problem is that it's a bit late."

Back in 2009 Colin Myler, then editor of the NoW, told MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee that it was James Murdoch who had agreed to settle in the Taylor case, on the advice of himself, the newspaper's chief lawyer, Tom Crone, and their legal team.

At the time Myler said: "Mr Crone advised me, as the editor, what the legal advice was and it was to settle. Myself and Mr Crone then went to see James Murdoch and told him where we were with the situation. Mr Crone then continued with our outside lawyers the negotiation with Mr Taylor. Eventually a settlement was agreed. That was it."

There has been internal criticism of James Murdoch's handling of the row, with a second source close to the company asking why he thought it wise to attend the Cameron dinner at a time when his presence would invite controversy, given that News Corp is trying to win political approval for its £8bn bid for Sky in the teeth of opposition from rival newspapers including the owners of the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror and the Guardian.


Key News Corporation players
Executive

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive (CEO); Chase Carey, News Corp; David DeVoe, chief financial officer; James Murdoch, chairman and CEO, Europe and Asia; Joel Klein, executive vice-president


Non-executive

José María Aznar, former prime minister of Spain; Natalie Bancroft, singer, Bancroft family represntative; Peter Barnes, chairman, Ansell; Kenneth Cowley, chairman, RM Williams Holdings; Viet Dinh, professor of law, Georgetown University; Rod Eddington, former BA CEO, now at JP Morgan; Andrew Knight, chairman, J Rothschild Capital Management Ltd; Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman, Illyria; Thomas J Perkins, partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; John L Thornton, professor and director of Global Leadership, Tsinghua, University of Beijing; Stanley S Shuman (director emeritus), managing director, Allen & Company; Arthur Siskind, senior adviser to the chairman

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan...ing-london

Meanwhile the terminally deluded multiple Fleet Street editor and Professor of Journalism, Roy Greenslade, reveals either a deep political naivete (or much worse) as he utterly contradicts himself in the space of a couple of paragraphs:

Quote:But the phone-hacking scandal was never really a political story. It is about journalistic ethics, in particular at the News of the World, and, in general, about the rest of the national press. It is helping to shine a light on Fleet Street's dark arts.

It also hinges on the questionable relationship between the Met and the paper. There is a further political aspect to consider the relationship between News International's ultimate owner, Rupert Murdoch, and No 10. How will that fare in future?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan...ne-hacking

And to think that Greenslade teaches journalism.... :moon2:
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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