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Phone hacking scandal deepens
#1
Notice the comment below by Cabinet Minister, Ben Bradshaw the media secretary, said the report raised "extremely serious questions" for the Murdoch empire.

I wonder if Murdoch was still supporting Brown and the Labour Party, rather than having switched his allegiance to Cameron and the Conservative Party, such a scathing Parliamentary report would have been made?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb...CMP=AFCYAH

Quote:MPs' verdict on News of the World phone-hacking scandal: Amnesia, obfuscation and hush money
• News of the World hacked phones 'on industrial scale'
• Scotland Yard and press body failed properly to investigate
• Report rejects executives' lone 'rogue reporter' defence

David Leigh, Patrick Wintour, Caroline Davies
The Guardian, Wednesday 24 February 2010

News International chief Rupert Murdoch, right, with former executive chairman Les Hinton and, behind, former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Wade in 2005. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch's media giant News International could face a judicial inquiry after a highly critical parliamentary report today accuses senior executives at its top-selling newspaper of concealing the truth about the extent of illegal phone hacking by its journalists.

The 167-page report by a cross-party select committee is withering about the conduct of the News of the World, with one MP saying its crimes "went to the heart of the British establishment, in which police, military royals and government ministers were hacked on a near industrial scale".

MPs condemned the "collective amnesia" and "deliberate obfuscation" by NoW executives who gave evidence to them, and said it was inconceivable that only a few people at the paper knew about the practice.

The culture, media and sport select committee was also damning of the police, saying Scotland Yard should have broadened its original investigation in 2006, and not just focused on Clive Goodman, the NoW's royal reporter.

The findings provoked calls by the Liberal Democrats for a judicial inquiry, and an unusually strong reaction from a cabinet minister, Ben Bradshaw, and Downing Street. Bradshaw, the media secretary, said the report raised "extremely serious questions" for the Murdoch empire.

"This report … says lawbreaking was condoned and that the company sought to conceal the truth. We welcome the report and are considering what further action may be needed to be taken."

No 10 also issued a statement, saying: "The scale of this is absolutely breathtaking and an extreme cause for concern."

Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, said: "The only alternative to get to the bottom of what actually went on at the News of the World is a judicial inquiry so that a judge can insist on information and can draw out the lessons if we are to avoid such wholesale abuse of privacy again."

News International questioned the credibility of the committee and accused it of pursuing a "party political agenda".

The committee has been investigating phone hacking by the News of the World as part of a wide-ranging inquiry that also looked at issues of libel law reform, privacy and regulation of the press.

Today's report makes sweeping criticisms of press self-regulation, describing the Press Complaints Commission as "toothless"; decries the reporting of the Madeleine McCann story, saying there was an inexcusable lowering of standards; and recommends changes to libel law and limits on the use of superinjunctions.

But it is the section relating to phone-hacking that could yet have the most impact. The MPs' inquiry into the practice was reopened after the Guardian's revelation last July that the News of the World had secretly paid out £1m in costs and in settlements to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and two others, over phone hacking allegations.

The committee, which took evidence from executives from News International, said financial settlements paid by the News Group newspapers left them with "a strong impression silence has been bought".

The report condemned the paper's own inquiry into how widespread the practice was "far from 'full' or 'rigorous'," as it had assured MPs and the Press Complaints Commission.

MPs were scornful of the newspaper's repeated insistence that Goodman, who was jailed for hacking into the private voicemails of royal aides, was a "rogue reporter", acting alone and that no one else on the newspaper knew about or condoned phone hacking.

Today's report makes a nonsense of the claim, saying it was "inconceivable" that Goodman was alone in knowing about phone hacking.

It details contradictory testimony by New International executives, and what it termed "collective amnesia" and "deliberate obfuscation" by witnesses.

The organisation's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, repeatedly refused to give evidence to the MPs.

In a unanimous finding, the cross-party committee said: "We strongly condemn this behaviour which reinforces the widely held impression that the press generally regard themselves as unaccountable and that News International in particular has sought to conceal the truth about what really occurred."

The report states that it is now likely the number of phone-hacking victims "will never be known".

The MPs vindicate the disclosures originally published by Guardian writer Nick Davies, and said that the committee had found new evidence confirming them.

The committee avoids making accusations against the most politically sensitive figure involved, Andy Coulson, the editor of the News of the World at the time and now the director of communications at Tory HQ.

The report says there was no evidence that he knew of phone hacking. However, the MPs said he was right to quit over phone hacking.

"That such hacking took place reveals a serious management failure for which as editor he bore ultimate responsibility, and we believe that he was correct to accept this and resign," the MPs say.

Today's report is also unsparing about the behaviour of two bodies whose original duty it had been to investigate the evidence against the News of the World.

It says the Metropolitan police were wrong not to broaden their investigation into the Mulcaire case in 2006.

The MPs reject testimony by assistant commissioner John Yates that there had only been "a handful" of hacking victims of the News of the World. Former minister Tom Watson, a member of the committee, said at the press conference at the Commons: "Scotland Yard are sitting on a whole bank of information and data about very senior people in public life who were hacked, that the public don't know about." He called for the information commissioner to access all the police files and see if any legal breaches had occurred.

Watson, added that the phone-hacking scandal had "gone to the very heart of the British establishment".

"The police, the military, the royals, the government ministers have been hacked on a near industrial scale," he said.

The other body which failed in its task was the Press Complaints Commission, the committee report says. The PCC had rushed out a report purporting to exonerate the News of the World that took the paper's claims of innocence at face value. "We find the conclusions in the PCC's November report simplistic and surprising. It has certainly not fully, or forensically, considered all the evidence."

The Murdoch organisation reacted by issuing a wholesale attack on the good faith of the committee, which has a Conservative chairman, John Whittingdale.

A statement issued on behalf of News International claimed members were in a political conspiracy with the Guardian, which had originally published new evidence of the hacking, and whose editor, Alan Rusbridger, testified in public at the committee hearings.

The statement said that News International "strongly rejected" the findings.

A statement from the Guardian described the report as "insightful and wide-ranging".

It said: "The press has a proud record of shining a light into the darkest corners of our public institutions. As an industry we need to show we are willing to accept the same level of scrutiny and accountability. We are therefore pleased that the committee has recommended improving the self-regulatory system.

"Also encouraging are the committee's comments on libel, excessive legal costs and superinjunctions, all of which are being used by corporations and wealthy individuals to suppress free speech both here and abroad. However, there remains a great deal of work to be done to convert concerns and recommendations into meaningful actions."

The statement added: "We are surprised that News International has questioned the integrity of a cross-party committee, with a Conservative MP in the chair, carrying out an independent inquiry as is its historic parliamentary right.

"Observers will draw their own conclusions about why they have chosen to make this attack.

"According to the report, the MPs took a vote on only four clauses, unanimously agreeing on more than 570 paragraphs. It is insulting to the committee to question their work in this way."
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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#2
My emphasis in bold:

Quote:But it is the section relating to phone-hacking that could yet have the most impact. The MPs' inquiry into the practice was reopened after the Guardian's revelation last July that the News of the World had secretly paid out £1m in costs and in settlements to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and two others, over phone hacking allegations.

The committee, which took evidence from executives from News International, said financial settlements paid by the News Group newspapers left them with "a strong impression silence has been bought".

The report condemned the paper's own inquiry into how widespread the practice was "far from 'full' or 'rigorous'," as it had assured MPs and the Press Complaints Commission.

MPs were scornful of the newspaper's repeated insistence that Goodman, who was jailed for hacking into the private voicemails of royal aides, was a "rogue reporter", acting alone and that no one else on the newspaper knew about or condoned phone hacking.

Today's report makes a nonsense of the claim, saying it was "inconceivable" that Goodman was alone in knowing about phone hacking.

It details contradictory testimony by New International executives, and what it termed "collective amnesia" and "deliberate obfuscation" by witnesses.

The organisation's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, repeatedly refused to give evidence to the MPs.

In a unanimous finding, the cross-party committee said: "We strongly condemn this behaviour which reinforces the widely held impression that the press generally regard themselves as unaccountable and that News International in particular has sought to conceal the truth about what really occurred."

The report states that it is now likely the number of phone-hacking victims "will never be known".

The reality is that Murdoch's mob were using private investigators and their knowledge/technology to bug unknown numbers of private individuals.

The information gathered ostensibly resulted in "scoop" stories.

However, the Select Committe missed the elephant in the room, which is that some of the information, covertly gathered, could be used to exert leverage over the rich or politically powerful.

This undermines the political fabric of the nation, and so, naturally, has been swept under the proverbial carpet.

In passing, I note that the Rebekah Brooks who "repeatedly refused to give evidence to the MPs" is of course Rebekah Wade, now Murdoch's female representative on Earth, and about whom I once made a film for BBC4.

Rebekah gets down on her knees and pays obeisance to the Dirty Digger, Rupert Murdoch, alone. She knows he is more powerful than a bunch of backbench MPs.
"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
#3
The lead Murdoch editor behind this scandal was the News of the Screws' Andy Coulson, who resigned in disgrace, and was then appointed as David Cameron's Propaganda Chief.

The Tory version of Alastair Campbell.

The Guardian has just published the following additional expose on his methods:

Quote:Andy Coulson hit by new tabloid trick charges

Exclusive: Paper hired convicted private eye while Tory PR chief was in charge

David Cameron's communications director, Andy Coulson, will come under fresh pressure to defend his editorship of the News of the World and his knowledge about the illegal activities of his journalists amid new allegations about the paper's involvement with private detectives who broke the law.

The Guardian has learned that while Coulson was still editor of the tabloid, the newspaper employed a freelance private investigator even though he had been accused of corrupting police officers and had just been released from a seven-year prison sentence for blackmail.

The private eye was well known to the News of the World, having worked for the paper for several years before he was jailed, when Coulson was deputy editor. He was rehired when he was freed.

Evidence seen by the Guardian shows that Mr A, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was blagging bank accounts, bribing police officers, procuring confidential data from the DVLA and phone companies, and trading sensitive material from live police inquiries.

Coulson has always insisted he knew nothing about the illegal activity which took place in the News of the World newsroom, telling MPs last year: "I have never had any involvement in it at all."

Mr A cannot be named now because he is facing trial for a violent crime, but his details will emerge once he has been dealt with by the courts. Coulson tonight refused to say whether he was aware of Mr A's criminal background, or of his return to the paper following his prison term. He said: "I have nothing to add to the evidence I gave to the select committee."

The latest disclosures bring to four the number of investigators known to have worked for the NoW while Coulson was either editor or deputy editor of the paper. All four have since received or had criminal convictions. All four are known to have used illegal methods to gather information.

The new details emerged on the day a committee of MPs criticised the "collective amnesia" and "deliberate obfuscation" of News International executives over their attempts to cover up the phone-hacking scandal. The committee found that Coulson was right to have resigned as editor but said it had seen no evidence that he knew hacking was taking place.

The Guardian can name three more people whose voicemail messages were intercepted by the News of the World's private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, during Coulson's editorship.

George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green, has been approached by Scotland Yard and told that, in material which they seized from Mulcaire, they found evidence to suggest that his voicemail had been intercepted. In March 2006, Galloway was the target of an apparent attempt to entrap him into making anti-semitic remarks.

David Davies, former executive director of the Football Association, has also had a similar approach from police relating to a period in early 2006 when he was preparing for the World Cup in Germany.

Brendan Montague, a freelance journalist, whose mobile phone company, T- Mobile, confirmed that his voicemail had been accessed when he was in the midst of selling a story to the Sunday Mirror. He had offered the same story to Clive Goodman, the News of the World reporter who was jailed in January 2007 for intercepting voicemail messages.

This means that a total of 19 people have now been positively identified as victims, while mobile phone companies say they found more than 100 customers whose voicemail was accessed, and Scotland Yard has conceded that, in material seized from Mulcaire, it found 91 pin codes which are needed to access voicemail if the target has changed the factory settings on his or her phone.

Scotland Yard originally claimed that there were only eight victims and has been criticised by a parliamentary report for failing to investigate more thoroughly.

Coulson and the News of the World have always insisted that they had no knowledge of voicemail hacking by Goodman and Mulcaire. Coulson tonight refused to comment on the criminal activities of any of the four private investigators who are now known to have worked for the paper when he was either deputy editor or editor.

Mr A, whose identity is known to the Guardian, was hired by the News of the World even though his involvement in blackmail and police corruption had been the subject of national news reports.

A second investigator, John Boyall, worked regularly for the paper when Coulson was deputy editor and was subsequently convicted of illegally procuring information from the police national computer.

A third, Steve Whittamore, was also convicted of illegally obtaining police data after running an extensive network of specialists who extracted confidential information from banks and phone companies for the News of the World and other newspapers, including the Observer.

The activities of the fourth investigator, Mulcaire, who was jailed in January 2007 for hacking voicemail, continue to emerge although Scotland Yard is refusing to release basic information about the case.

Assistant commissioner John Yates was criticised by the Conservative chairman of the Commons' culture and media select committee, John Whittingdale, for failing to disclose information to MPs, but the Yard continues to refuse to say how many victims it has warned, and how many members of the royal household, military, police and government have been warned of evidence that Mulcaire intercepted their voicemail.

The police resisted a freedom of information request from the Guardian for so long that they were compelled to provide a written apology for breaching the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.

They also broke an agreement with the director of public prosecutions to warn all potential victims of Mulcaire's hacking. Today, they disclosed that they would not be approaching all those whose pin codes were found in the material seized from Mulcaire.

Lawyers for public figures are increasingly angry that their clients are having to pay legal costs to discover whether or not they have been the victims of crime.

The Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne, has tabled a series of parliamentary questions asking for more information and is demanding a judicial inquiry into the whole affair.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb...-the-world
"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
#4
The piece below is almost certainly the result of a New Labour leak in the run-up to the British general election.

Murdoch tabloid hack and phone hacker Andy Coulson is currently the Tory Party's Propaganda Chief and dirty tricks maestro, their Alastair Campbell.

I therefore note that the leak is limited primarily to football agents, rather than the numerous political figures Murdoch's hired private eyes are alleged to have hacked.

However, as previous posts in this thread show, the eavesdropping, leverage and blackmail potential appears to have been extensive.

Quote:New claims of phone hacking put pressure on Andy Coulson

Tory media chief in spotlight as football agent begins action against private investigators working for News of the World

The Tories' chief spin doctor, Andy Coulson, faces more awkward questions about a phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World during his time as editor. The Observer understands that a leading football agent has launched a legal action alleging that his phone was hacked by private investigators working with the newspaper's journalists while Coulson was in charge.

More than 10 MPs and at least one former football star, ex-England midfielder Paul Gascoigne, are also in discussions with lawyers looking to bring similar cases against the newspaper's owner, News Group Newspapers (NGN), part of Rupert Murdoch's empire. The pending legal action will severely embarrass Coulson who, as director of communications and planning for the Conservative party, will wield significant influence if it comes to power after the election.

Sky Andrew, who represents Arsenal defender Sol Campbell and has acted on behalf of former Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant and Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, issued proceedings last week. Andrew's move comes just weeks after the newspaper agreed to pay more than £1m to PR agent Max Clifford, who dropped an action in which he alleged that his voicemail messages had been intercepted.

A similar case involving Gordon Taylor, the former chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, was settled out of court in 2008 with a £700,000 payout.

Labour has been quick to use Coulson's past to embarrass David Cameron. Last week Lord Mandelson, Labour's election strategist, blamed Coulson for a "dirty tricks" campaign waged in some newspapers against the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.

"This is pure Andy Coulson-style News of the World territory turned into political form," Mandelson said. "It is cheap and rather squalid. If a Tory campaign is subcontracted to someone like Andy Coulson, it is no surprise that things like this are going to appear on the front pages of our newspapers."

Andrew's decision to launch a legal action means the phone-hacking allegations will continue to dog Coulson after the election, storing up headaches for Cameron, who has defended his spin doctor, saying: "I believe in giving people a second chance."

Gascoigne's solicitor, Gerald Shamash, confirmed that he was in correspondence with NGN on behalf of his client. "I am advising him in relation to a potential claim," he said. The Observer also understands that three law firms are in discussion with at least 14 MPs, including several cabinet ministers, with a view to taking legal action.

Victims whose phones were hacked by private investigators reportedly include Prince William, Prince Harry, model Elle Macpherson, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, London mayor Boris Johnson, MP George Galloway and a former executive director of the Football Association, David Davies.

Andrew's claim is believed to be almost identical to the one made by Clifford. This raises the possibility that if the case goes to court, potentially explosive evidence similar to that which was never disclosed following the settlement of Clifford's action will be made public. Clifford said he knew others were looking at taking legal action against the paper. "When someone had to fight, there were a lot of people who wanted to get on board but didn't have the balls to stand up and be counted. I've heard all kinds of names."

Coulson has denied knowing that phone hacking went on under his watch and has blamed one "rogue reporter". In January 2007, Clive Goodman, the News of the World's royal reporter, was sentenced to four months in jail for hacking into the phones of members of the royal family. A private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, was sentenced to six months for hacking into the phones of several royal family members and a number of celebrities and sports stars.

Coulson, who resigned within hours of the verdicts being handed down, told parliament's culture, media and sport select committee last year that during his time running the paper he had "neither condoned the use of phone hacking nor do I have any recollection of instances when phone hacking took place".

However, Coulson's critics have questioned whether his position is tenable if the Tories come to power. During the select committee hearing, Labour MP Paul Farrelly told Coulson: "If the leader of the Conservative party becomes prime minister you will have to deal with spokesmen at the Palace, for example. Do you think it is sustainable to have a relationship with the Palace when you were the editor while journalists on your watch hacked into the phones of the private and personal secretaries to the princes and future king of England?"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/apr...-bug-claim
"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
#5
Murdoch hacks and Number Ten Downing Street are screaming "it's a conspiracy" as they desperately try and defend Andy Coulson.

Coulson is the former News of the Screws chief hack who is PM Cameron's propaganda chief (aka Alistair Campbell):

Quote:Andy Coulson 'lied' over News of the World phone-hacking – reporter

• Pressure mounts as No 10 spin doctor's ex-colleague speaks
• Tessa Jowell says phone was hacked 28 times
• Prominent figures to sue Met for lack of warning

September 3, 2010

Andy Coulson, the No 10 communications chief, found himself in the direct line of fire in the News of the World phone hacking scandal tonight when a former colleague alleged that he issued direct orders to journalists to carry out the illegal practice.

As the former cabinet minister Tessa Jowell revealed that her phone had been targeted on 28 occasions, Coulson stood accused of presiding over a "culture of dark arts" which encouraged phone hacking.

The hacking scandal blew up again this week after the New York Times published a lengthy article including the claim that Coulson freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques during his time as editor of the tabloid. Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World after its royal reporter and a private investigator were jailed. He denies any knowledge of phone hacking.

Downing Street and Scotland Yard, which is facing criticism for failing to investigate the allegations properly, were facing pressure last night as:

• Tessa Jowell, the former culture secretary, told the Independent that her phone had been hacked into on 28 occasions.

• Lord Prescott, who is joining forces with three other public figures to sue police over a failure to warn them they had been targeted by the private investigator at the heart of the scandal, said he has evidence that Glenn Mulcaire targeted him on behalf of News International.

• Alan Johnson, the former home secretary, is to invoke his rights as a former cabinet minister to review official papers relating to the case from his time in office.

• Brian Paddick, a former deputy assistant commissioner with the Met who is seeking a judicial review of the alleged failure of his former force to tell him his name had been found on a list of public figures whose phones may have been targeted, called for Coulson to be interviewed by police.

The figures spoke out as a former News of the World journalist quoted by the New York Times repeated his claim tonight that he had been ordered by the former editor to hack phones. Sean Hoare told BBC Radio 4's PM: "There is an expression called the culture of dark arts. You were given a remit: just get the story. Phone tapping hadn't just existed on the News of the World … I have gone on the record in the New York Times and said I have stood by Andy and been requested to tap phones, OK, or hack into them. He was well aware the practice existed. To deny it is simply a lie."

The government last night commented on Hoare's admission that he was sacked from the title at a time when he was struggling with problems with drugs and alcohol. Alan Duncan, the international development minister, told Radio 4's Any Questions: "What they are seizing on today are the words of someone who had an alcohol and drug problem who was sacked by the paper."

No 10 is standing by Coulson. Sources close to him said that Hoare had contradicted himself in the interview.

But Labour piled pressure on the government and Scotland Yard in the wake of the New York Times investigation. Alan Johnson is to review government papers from his time in office in the wake of quotes in the New York Times article from unnamed detectives alleging that their investigation had been cut short because of Scotland Yard's close relationship with the News of the World.

Johnson said that he considered summoning the police inspectorate because he felt "uncomfortable" with the investigation's progress. He decided against this after "reassuring conversations" with senior officers at Scotland Yard.

The government, which has been rattled by the renewed focus on Coulson, last night blamed Labour for stoking the saga. Alan Duncan said: "The Labour party, in a concerted campaign through Lord Prescott and Alan Johnson, has piled in to attack Andy Coulson about something that happened years ago in order to try to attack the government. This was looked at by News International lawyers, by a parliamentary select committee, by the police and the CPS. All of them concluded there was no case to answer."

Ed Miliband, the Labour leadership contender, said: "These are very serious allegations. If I was prime minister and Andy Coulson was working for me I would demand to know from Andy Coulson the truth. I don't see how he can stay working in Downing Street unless he clears this up and says whether his former colleagues are telling the truth or not."

The News of the World said: "The New York Times story contains no new evidence – it relies on unsubstantiated allegations from unnamed sources or claims from disgruntled former employees that should be treated with extreme scepticism given the reasons for their departures from this newspaper. We reject absolutely any suggestion there was a widespread culture of wrongdoing at the News of the World."

A Met police spokesperson responded to Johnson's statement:. "In July 2009, the [Met Police Service] examined whether any new evidence had emerged in the media or elsewhere that justified reopening the investigation. The clear view, subsequently endorsed by the director of public prosecutions with leading counsels' advice, was that there was no new evidence and consequently the investigation remains closed."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/sep...ne-hacking
"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
#6
Excerpts from the New York Times piece:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazi...f=magazine

Quote:AS OF THIS SUMMER, five people have filed lawsuits accusing News Group Newspapers, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s publishing empire that includes News of the World, of breaking into their voice mail. Additional cases are being prepared, including one seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard’s handling of the investigation. The litigation is beginning to expose just how far the hacking went, something that Scotland Yard did not do. In fact, an examination based on police records, court documents and interviews with investigators and reporters shows that Britain’s revered police agency failed to pursue leads suggesting that one of the country’s most powerful newspapers was routinely listening in on its citizens.

The police had seized files from Mulcaire’s home in 2006 that contained several thousand mobile phone numbers of potential hacking victims and 91 mobile phone PIN codes. Scotland Yard even had a recording of Mulcaire walking one journalist — who may have worked at yet another tabloid — step by step through the hacking of a soccer official’s voice mail, according to a copy of the tape. But Scotland Yard focused almost exclusively on the royals case, which culminated with the imprisonment of Mulcaire and Goodman. When police officials presented evidence to prosecutors, they didn’t discuss crucial clues that the two men may not have been alone in hacking the voice mail messages of story targets.

“There was simply no enthusiasm among Scotland Yard to go beyond the cases involving Mulcaire and Goodman,” said John Whittingdale, the chairman of a parliamentary committee that has twice investigated the phone hacking. “To start exposing widespread tawdry practices in that newsroom was a heavy stone that they didn’t want to try to lift.” Several investigators said in interviews that Scotland Yard was reluctant to conduct a wider inquiry in part because of its close relationship with News of the World. Police officials have defended their investigation, noting that their duties did not extend to monitoring the media. In a statement, the police said they followed the lines of inquiry “likely to produce the best evidence” and that the charges that were brought “appropriately represented the criminality uncovered.” The statement added, “This was a complex inquiry and led to one of the first prosecutions of its kind.” Officials also have noted that the department had more pressing priorities at the time, including several terrorism cases.

Scotland Yard’s narrow focus has allowed News of the World and its parent company, News International, to continue to assert that the hacking was limited to one reporter. During testimony before the parliamentary committee in September 2009, Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News International who now heads Dow Jones, said, “There was never any evidence delivered to me suggesting that the conduct of Clive Goodman spread beyond him.”

But interviews with more than a dozen former reporters and editors at News of the World present a different picture of the newsroom. They described a frantic, sometimes degrading atmosphere in which some reporters openly pursued hacking or other improper tactics to satisfy demanding editors. Andy Coulson, the top editor at the time, had imposed a hypercompetitive ethos, even by tabloid standards. One former reporter called it a “do whatever it takes” mentality. The reporter was one of two people who said Coulson was present during discussions about phone hacking. Coulson ultimately resigned but denied any knowledge of hacking.

Quote:Despite the earlier arrest of the private investigator Steve Whittamore, the dark arts were still widely in use. Former reporters said both the news and features desks employed their own investigators to uncover medical records, unlisted addresses, phone bills and so on. Matt Driscoll, a former sports reporter, recalled chasing a story about the soccer star Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand claimed he had inadvertently turned off his phone and missed a message alerting him to a drug test. Driscoll had hit a dead end, he said, when an editor showed up at his desk with the player’s private phone records. They showed Ferdinand had made numerous calls during the time his phone was supposedly off. Driscoll was disciplined for supposed inaccuracies and later dismissed; he proceeded to win 800,000 pounds in court, which found he had been bullied by Coulson and other editors.

Around the newsroom, some reporters were getting stories by surreptitiously accessing phone messages, according to former editors and reporters. Often, all it took was a standard four-digit security code, like 1111 or 4444, which many users did not bother to change after buying their mobile phones. If they did, the paper’s private investigators found ways to trick phone companies into revealing personal codes. Reporters called one method of hacking “double screwing” because it required two simultaneous calls to the same number. The first would engage the phone line, forcing the second call into voice mail. A reporter then punched in the code to hear messages, often deleting them to prevent access by rival papers. A dozen former reporters said in interviews that hacking was pervasive at News of the World. “Everyone knew,” one longtime reporter said. “The office cat knew.”

One former editor said Coulson talked freely with colleagues about the dark arts, including hacking. “I’ve been to dozens if not hundreds of meetings with Andy” when the subject came up, said the former editor, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The editor added that when Coulson would ask where a story came from, editors would reply, “We’ve pulled the phone records” or “I’ve listened to the phone messages.”

Sean Hoare, a former reporter and onetime close friend of Coulson’s, also recalled discussing hacking. The two men first worked together at The Sun, where, Hoare said, he played tape recordings of hacked messages for Coulson. At News of the World, Hoare said he continued to inform Coulson of his pursuits. Coulson “actively encouraged me to do it,” Hoare said.

Hoare said he was fired during a period when he was struggling with drugs and alcohol. He said he was now revealing his own use of the dark arts — which included breaking into the messages of celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham — because it was unfair for the paper to pin the blame solely on Goodman. Coulson declined to comment for this article but has maintained that he was unaware of the hacking.

Quote:At Scotland Yard, the task of investigating the case fell to the counter*terrorism branch, which was responsible for the security of the royal family. It was an extraordinarily busy time for the unit, which was dealing with the aftermath of the 2005 London transit bombings and was now involved in a complex surveillance operation of two dozen men believed to be plotting to bomb transoceanic airliners. Several former senior investigators said the department was dubious about diverting resources. “We were distracted, obviously,” one former senior Scotland Yard investigator said. Scotland Yard also had a symbiotic relationship with News of the World. The police sometimes built high-profile cases out of the paper’s exclusives, and News of the World reciprocated with fawning stories of arrests.

Within days of the raids, several senior detectives said they began feeling internal pressure. One senior investigator said he was approached by Chris Webb, from the department’s press office, who was “waving his arms up in the air, saying, ‘Wait a minute — let’s talk about this.’ ” The investigator, who has since left Scotland Yard, added that Webb stressed the department’s “long-term relationship with News International.” The investigator recalled becoming furious at the suggestion, responding, “There’s illegality here, and we’ll pursue it like we do any other case.” In a statement, Webb said: ‘‘I cannot recall these events. Police officers make operational decisions, not press officers. That is the policy of the Metropolitan Police Service and the policy that I and all police press officers follow.’’

That fall, Andy Hayman, the head of the counterterrorism branch, was in his office when a senior investigator brought him 8 to 10 pages of a single-spaced “target list” of names and mobile phone numbers taken from Mulcaire’s home. It read like a British society directory. Scotland Yard officials consulted with the Crown Prosecution Service on how broadly to investigate. But the officials didn’t discuss certain evidence with senior prosecutors, including the notes suggesting the involvement of other reporters, according to a senior prosecutor on the case. The prosecutor was stunned to discover later that the police had not shared everything. “I would have said we need to see how far this goes” and “whether we have a serious problem of criminality on this news desk,” said the former prosecutor, who declined to speak on the record.

Scotland Yard officials ultimately decided the inquiry would stop with Mulcaire and Goodman. “We were not going to set off on a cleanup of the British media,” a senior investigator said. In fact, investigators never questioned any other reporters or editors at News of the World about the hacking, interviews and records show. A police spokesman rejected assertions that officials failed to fully investigate. He said the department had worked closely with prosecutors, who had “full access to all the evidence.” A former senior Scotland Yard official also denied that the department was influenced by any alliance with News of the World. “I don’t think there was any love lost between people inside the investigation and people in the press,” the former official said.

In addition to the royal household, Scotland Yard alerted five other victims whose names would appear in the indictment of Mulcaire. Of the remaining hundreds who potentially had their phones broken into, the police said they notified only select individuals with national-security concerns: members of the government, the police and the military.

On Aug. 24, 2006, George Galloway, a member of Parliament, was alerted by a detective that his messages had been hacked. Galloway said the detective urged him to change his PIN code. But when Galloway asked who had accessed his phone, the man from Scotland Yard “refused to tell me anything.”

Quote:WITH THEIR HEADS bowed, the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and the reporter Clive Goodman stood in a London courtroom on Jan. 26, 2007, and apologized to the princes and their aides for the “gross invasion of privacy.” The men were awaiting sentencing after having each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to intercept communications of the royal aides. But there was no pretense that the abuse was confined to that single count. Mulcaire admitted to hacking the messages of the five other victims: Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association; Simon Hughes, a member of Parliament; the model Elle Macpherson; Max Clifford, a powerful public-relations agent; and Sky Andrew, who represented some of England’s biggest soccer stars.

The judge concluded from this that Mulcaire had not just worked with Goodman, who wrote exclusively about the royal family, but also with “others at News International.” In Mulcaire’s defense, his lawyer told the judge that his client thought others were hacking, “which for him was one of the reasons why he did not believe it was illegal.” Goodman’s lawyer noted that his client, too, “lived his life in a world where ethical lines are not always so clearly defined or at least observed.” Both men were sentenced to several months in prison and were dismissed by News of the World. Andy Coulson resigned, accepting “ultimate responsibility” for the hacking during his watch.

Not long after, the parliamentary committee opened hearings on the matter. On March 6, Les Hinton, then the executive chairman of News International, told members that as far as he was aware, Goodman was “the only person” at the paper who knew about the hacking. “I believe absolutely that Andy did not have knowledge of what was going on,” Hinton said. Goodman and Mulcaire proceeded to sue the paper for wrongful dismissal. Court records show that News International paid 80,000 pounds to Mulcaire. Goodman received an undisclosed amount. Both men, who signed confidentiality agreements, declined to be interviewed for this article.

That May, Coulson was hired to head the communications team of the Conservative Party. The position was colloquially known as chief spin doctor, and filling it with a tabloid editor was not without precedent. Years before, Tony Blair had chosen a former political editor at The Mirror to perform the job for the Labour Party. In Coulson, the Tories also got someone with inside connections to Rupert Murdoch’s influential media empire, whose support the Tories were trying to wrest from Labour and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Quote:THAT SAME MONTH, a judge hearing the lawsuit by the public-relations executive Max Clifford ordered Mulcaire to name any journalist for whom he hacked into Clifford’s phone. The names discovered in Mulcaire’s files had been redacted by the police. The lawsuit was something of a professional twist for Clifford, who often brokered stories between the tabloids and people looking to capitalize on their exploits with celebrities, earning him a reputation as the master of the “kiss and tell.” He had a particularly productive relationship with News of the World until 2005, he said, when he had a falling out with Coulson over a story about a client using cocaine. Not long after, Clifford’s phone was hacked by Mulcaire. “I was the source of many of their biggest stories, and suddenly that source was gone,” Clifford said. “So I was a prime candidate. It’s common sense. Night follows day.” But before Mulcaire could obey the order to testify, Clifford dropped his lawsuit. Clifford declined to comment on details of his decision, except to say that his feelings changed after a meeting with Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor who became chief executive of News International. “We sat down and we had lunch,” Clifford said, “and it took us no time to sort it all out.”

News International agreed to pay Clifford one million pounds in exchange for feeding the paper exclusive stories over the next several years.

The company had been able to prevent Mulcaire’s testimony. But when The Guardian published details of Clifford’s lucrative deal, the litigation floodgates opened. More than three years after Scotland Yard closed the official investigation, solicitors and barristers now scrambled to bring new cases against News International and the police. Charlotte Harris, who represented Clifford, said that because of the way Scotland Yard handled the cases, “it has fallen upon the potential victims to make their own inquiries.” As a first step, potential plaintiffs needed to get confirmation from Scotland Yard on whether their names or phone numbers were found among the evidence. Scotland Yard initially promised prosecutors it would alert everyone named in the files, but it didn’t. One of Harris’s other clients, the victim in a high-profile sexual-assault investigation seven years ago, wrote to the police in January to see if her name was in the files. The woman suspected her phone may have been hacked because details about her life appeared in News of the World and other tabloids during coverage of her ordeal. She had been convinced the police or her friends were selling the information. Two months after writing to the police, she received a letter confirming that her number had been found among Mulcaire’s records. The letter said the evidence did not necessarily mean her messages had been accessed and suggested she contact her phone-service provider, “who may be able to assist further.” The woman and other potential hacking victims said that by sitting on the evidence for so long, the police have made it impossible to get information from phone companies, which do not permanently keep records. “It was disingenuous, to say the least, for Scotland Yard to say that,” the woman said. The police recently confirmed that the phone numbers of two friends were also found in Mulcaire’s records, she added. “I think I could have been spared a lot of angst about who I could trust and who I couldn’t trust had they told me,” she said.

Three plaintiffs are jointly seeking a judicial inquiry into Scotland Yard’s handling of the hacking case. The plaintiffs, who include a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, say their rights were violated when the police failed to inform them that their names were found in Mulcaire’s documents. The former official, Brian Paddick, scoffed at Scotland Yard’s explanation that the appearance of his name didn’t necessarily mean that he was hacked. “It’s a mealy-mouthed way of saying, ‘We’re not telling you any more, that maybe something happened but we can’t be bothered to investigate,’ ” he said. A police spokesman said the department has been “as open as possible whilst maintaining and protecting individuals’ personal information and respecting privacy.”Andy Hayman, who ran the case for Scotland Yard, has since retired. He declined to comment for this article. He is currently a columnist for The Times of London, where he has written in defense of the police investigation and maintained there were “perhaps a handful” of hacking victims. The paper is owned by News International.

BY THE SPRING of this year, News International’s papers had firmly switched their support from Labour to the Tories. An avalanche of unforgiving coverage culminated on April 8, one month before the general election, in a Sun story headlined “Brown’s a Clown.” Brown’s strategists assumed that Murdoch’s motives were not purely ideological. They drew up a campaign document conjuring Murdoch’s wish list should David Cameron become prime minister. Among the top items they identified was the weakening of the government-financed BBC, one of Murdoch’s biggest competitors and long a target of criticism from News International executives. On May 11, David Cameron officially assumed the position and elevated Coulson to the head of communications. Within the week, Rupert Murdoch arrived at 10 Downing Street for a private meeting with the new prime minister. Cameron’s administration criticized the BBC in July for “extraordinary and outrageous waste” during difficult financial times and proposed cutting its budget.

At News of the World, editors said they had imposed a policy of zero tolerance of hacking. Whittingdale, the head of the select committee, said he was also assured by News International executives that hacking would not be permitted. “We have seen no evidence to suggest that it is still continuing,” he said. But in recent months, News of the World executives were notified of another suspicious episode. A phone company had alerted a television personality that someone called her mobile phone in a possible unauthorized attempt to access her voice mail, according to two people with knowledge of the incident. A court order ensued, compelling the phone company to divulge the source of the call. The number was traced to a reporter at News of the World. The paper said the journalist “has been suspended from reporting duties” while it conducts an investigation.
"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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#7
And don't you think this is also happening in many other countries besides Britain????????

I'd say most definetly.........:flute:
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#8
Keith Millea Wrote:And don't you think this is also happening in many other countries besides Britain????????

I'd say most definetly.........:flute:


I'd agree! I also wonder how/if this dovetails with the Williams murder....even if tangantially. Just a thought.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#9
Where are the cops?

Um. Ask Rupert Murdoch.

Quote:Phone hacking: Met police put on spot by ignored leads and discreet omissions

Papers on the News of the World phone hacking scandal seen by the Guardian show how detectives tried to limit inquiry and failed to notify potential victims

September 6, 2010

Somewhere in the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service, there is a file that will be of great interest to any independent inquiry that attempts to tell the truth about the behaviour of the Metropolitan police in the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World. The Guardian has read it.

The police were dragged into the centre of the scandal last week when the New York Times quoted unnamed detectives claiming that Scotland Yard's "close relationship" with the News of the World had hampered the inquiry. Essentially, the Met is charged on two counts: first, that it cut short its investigation; second, that it then failed to tell the truth to the press, public and parliament. The police insist that they are innocent on both counts.

The unpublished CPS file shows the inquiry started well. In December 2005, Buckingham Palace complained that someone seemed to be listening to royal household voicemails. Five months later, detectives had tracked the activity to the News of the World's royal reporter, Clive Goodman, and, beyond, to the paper's contracted private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire. The detectives had analysed a mass of telephone data and, in a briefing paper dated 30 May 2006, they presented the results to prosecutors.

They wrote: "A vast number of unique voicemail numbers belonging to high-profile individuals (politicians, celebrities) have been identified as being accessed without authority. These may be the subject of a wider investigation in due course. A number of the targets of this unauthorised access have been informed."

That day, there was a case conference between prosecutors and police, and a file note records an interesting suggestion: "The appropriate strategy is to ringfence the case to minimise the risk of extraneous matters being included." The file makes it clear that this was a reference to suppressing the names of particularly "sensitive" hacking victims, and that it was the police who were suggesting this unusual tactic.

We still do not know which victims were to be concealed. We do now know that Prince William and Prince Harry had their voicemail intercepted, and that this was never mentioned when the case came to court. We now know that members of the military, the government and the police also were victims.

None of those was mentioned in court. Scotland Yard has refused to name them, or even to say how many there were in each category.

None of the military victims has been identified. Among government victims, we now know that Tessa Jowell, the minister then responsible for news media, had her voicemail intercepted; and, unofficially, it is said that David Blunkett, at the time the home secretary and directly responsible for the police, also had his messages compromised, although this has not been confirmed.

Other ministers, including the then deputy prime minister, John Prescott and the former business secretary, Peter Mandelson, show up in Mulcaire's paperwork without any clear evidence on whether their messages were hacked.

Among the police targets whose names were suppressed, we now know that the then commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir Ian Blair, and two other former senior officers, Brian Paddick and Mike Fuller, showed up as targets of the News of the World's private investigator, although it is not known whether their voicemail was accessed. And last week, one police source suggested that senior detectives who were involved in the hacking inquiry may have discovered that they themselves had been targeted. That has not been confirmed.

Six weeks later, on 14 July 2006, the file again records the police pushing prosecutors to suppress the results of their analysis of mobile phone records: "The police have requested initial advice about the data produced and whether the case as it stands could be ringfenced to ensure that extraneous matters will not be dragged into the prosecution arena."

By August, prosecutors had agreed not only to suppress the names of "sensitive" victims but also to focus the court case on a limited sample of victims, including two members of the royal staff, Jamie Lee Pinkerton and Helen Asprey, who were later identified in court with one other colleague, Paddy Harverson. A file note dated 8 August 2006 says: "It was recognised early in this case that the investigation was likely to reveal a vast array of offending behaviour. However, the CPS and the police concluded that aspects of the investigation could be focused on a discrete area of offending relating to JLP and HA." The director of public prosecutions has since said this was done to make the case manageable.

On that same day, police arrested Goodman and Mulcaire. They seized a mass of paperwork, computer records and other material from the homes and offices of both men. The Guardian eventually established that this included the mobile phone numbers of 2,978 people as well as 30 audiotapes of voicemail messages and 91 secret PINs for accessing voicemail for the minority of people who change their factory-set PIN.

It was at this point, according to the New York Times, that one senior investigator on the case was approached by a Scotland Yard press officer who was "waving his arms in the air, saying: 'Wait a minute, let's talk about this,'" and who went on to stress the value of the Met's long-term relationship with News International, which owns the News of the World. According to the New York Times, "the investigator recalled becoming furious at the suggestion, responding: 'There's illegality here, and we'll pursue it like we do any other case.'"

Any independent inquiry will want to understand the reasons for a series of decisions that were taken at Scotland Yard around this time and which have since been uncovered by the House of Commons's media select committee, the Guardian and the New York Times:

• When they raided the offices of the News of the World, police limited their search warrant to the desk of Goodman. A journalist who was in the building at the time has given the Guardian the names of two senior staff members who that day removed black bin bags full of paperwork from their office desks.

• When they wanted internal paperwork from the News of the World, police chose not to go to court to obtain a production order to require its disclosure, but instead simply wrote to the paper asking for a list of documents, all of which it refused to supply.

• The paperwork seized from Mulcaire included an email that had been sent from the News of the World's office to the paper's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, containing the transcript of 35 voicemail messages that had been left for the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, and his legal adviser, Jo Armstrong. Police did not pass the email to the Crown Prosecution Service, even though Taylor was one of only five non-royal victims who were to be named in court.

• The paperwork also included a contract signed by an assistant news editor, Greg Miskiw, agreeing to pay the private investigator an extra £7,000 if he brought in a specified story about Gordon Taylor, in the course of which the investigator hacked Taylor's voicemail. Police did pass this to prosecutors but chose not to interview Miskiw about this contract. Nor did they interview Thurlbeck about the email that he had been sent, nor the junior reporter who had sent it to him. Nor did they interview any other reporter, editor or manager apart from Goodman.

• Although it is clear that police looked at the material they had seized from Goodman and Mulcaire, they have now conceded that they did not fully analyse it until two years later, after Guardian stories revived interest in the affair. It was only then, for example, that they found the 91 secret PINs.

• They chose not to warn the vast majority of those whose names and details had been collected by Goodman and Mulcaire, despite a formal agreement with the DPP that they would warn "all potential victims".

Scotland Yard last week denied all wrongdoing and said specifically: "The case was the subject of the most careful investigation," and "the CPS had full access to all the evidence gathered".

In January 2007 Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded guilty in court. The News of the World said both men had acted without their knowledge or authority. A total of eight victims were named in court. There was no mention by police or prosecutors of the "vast number" of victims recorded in the CPS file. The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) said it could find no evidence of any further wrongdoing. The case ended.

Then, two and a half years later, it began to unravel. The Guardian disclosed that one of the victims named in court, Taylor, had sued the News of the World and obtained a court order which forced police to disclose paperwork that showed that, contrary to the official version, other journalists had been involved in handling intercepted voicemails. The Guardian disclosed that, having denied all knowledge of this hacking, the News of the World had paid more than £1m in costs and damages to persuade Taylor and two associates to settle the case and to seal the file. Sources at Scotland Yard told us there were "thousands" of victims.


News International accused the Guardian of "lying to the British people". The PCC held a second inquiry and again found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Within 24 hours, the Met's assistant commissioner, John Yates, said he had been asked by the commissioner to "establish the facts". Any independent inquiry will want to understand:

• Why Yates suggested that he had "established the facts around our inquiry" when, as he later conceded, Scotland Yard had not yet fully analysed the mass of material seized from Goodman and Mulcaire. Following his statement, Yates ordered officers to do so, and after several months of work they produced a spreadsheet listing more than 4,000 names or partial names, together with a summary of the material held on each one.

• Why he made no reference to the Met's internal report of "a vast number" of victims and said: "Potential targets may have run into hundreds of people but our inquiries showed that they only used the tactic against a far smaller number of individuals."

• Why he made no reference to Scotland Yard's strategy, accepted by prosecutors, to "ringfence" evidence to suppress the names of "sensitive" victims.

• Why he said: "This investigation has not uncovered any evidence to suggest that John Prescott's phone had been tapped," but did not disclose that invoices submitted by Mulcaire to the News of the World identified Prescott as a target.

• Why he said: "Where there was clear evidence that people had potentially been the subject of tapping, they were all contacted by the police," but did not say the Met had breached its agreement with the DPP to warn "all potential victims".

Yates has denied anything in his statement was misleading. He says he did not claim to have read every line of evidence. In particular, he has said it is wrong to suggest he was misleading in his comments on the low numbers of victims, as police succeeded in finding full legal proof of interception in only one case.

The former assistant commissioner who had headed the original inquiry, Andy Hayman, by now had left Scotland Yard and gone to work for the organisation that he had been investigating, News International.

As a regular columnist for the Times, he wrote about the Guardian's disclosures, claiming: "We put our best detectives on the case and left no stone unturned," and that, while there may have been hundreds of potential victims, "There was a small number – perhaps only a handful – where there was evidence they had actually been tampered with."

Since then, senior officers from Scotland Yard have used press briefings to repeat the claim that there were "only a handful of victims". Those briefings have also continued to include denials about the targeting of John Prescott. In February this year – two months after Scotland Yard finally wrote to Prescott, confirming that his name showed up on Mulcaire's invoices – a senior Met officer told journalists: "He doesn't appear anywhere in Goodman's material or in Mulcaire's material."

In private, Scotland Yard has begun to tell a different tale. In February, as the Met prepared for publication of the media select committee's report, which criticised its failure to investigate all leads, Yates's staff officer, Dean Haydon, wrote a briefing note for ministers in which he acknowledged that the material seized in police raids had not been properly examined – "Minimal work was done on the vast personal data where no criminal offences were apparent."

The briefing note, dated 18 February 2010, went on to repeat a new claim that Scotland Yard had started to use in press briefings. Attempting to explain the discrepancy between its claims about "a handful of victims" and the emerging evidence of "a vast number" of victims, it had started to claim that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 regarded someone as a victim only if it could be proved that he or she had not listened to their messages before they were hacked. Specialist lawyers say that this is a contentious interpretation, and that, in any event, the Computer Misuse Act 1990 states that it is an offence to intercept voicemail without authority, regardless of whether the intended recipient has listened to the message.

The truth remains unclear. Senior officers concede privately that they have evidence of "gross" and "systemic" interception of voicemail. They concede, too, that more could have been done to investigate at the time. However, they say their failure to follow all leads was simply caused by a shortage of resources at a time when their detectives were stretched to breaking point dealing with terrorism plots.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/sep...tan-police
"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
#10
A couple of points worth highlighting from the information above:

Quote:We now know that members of the military, the government and the police also were victims.

This makes it prima facie a national security matter.

Quote:When they raided the offices of the News of the World, police limited their search warrant to the desk of Goodman. A journalist who was in the building at the time has given the Guardian the names of two senior staff members who that day removed black bin bags full of paperwork from their office desks.

So much for meticulously investigating a matter of vital national security.

Quote:Since then, senior officers from Scotland Yard have used press briefings to repeat the claim that there were "only a handful of victims".

A handful of victims, eh?

The Guardian claimed there were more, and Murdoch's News International vented its spleen.

Quote:News International accused the Guardian of "lying to the British people". The PCC held a second inquiry and again found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Within 24 hours, the Met's assistant commissioner, John Yates, said he had been asked by the commissioner to "establish the facts". Any independent inquiry will want to understand:

• Why Yates suggested that he had "established the facts around our inquiry" when, as he later conceded, Scotland Yard had not yet fully analysed the mass of material seized from Goodman and Mulcaire. Following his statement, Yates ordered officers to do so, and after several months of work they produced a spreadsheet listing more than 4,000 names or partial names, together with a summary of the material held on each one.

At least 4000 individuals targetted, eh?

Meanwhile, the original investigation was led by Asst Commissioner Andy Hayman, then counter-terrorism chief at the Metropolitan Police.

Quote:The former assistant commissioner who had headed the original inquiry, Andy Hayman, by now had left Scotland Yard and gone to work for the organisation that he had been investigating, News International.

As a regular columnist for the Times, he wrote about the Guardian's disclosures, claiming: "We put our best detectives on the case and left no stone unturned," and that, while there may have been hundreds of potential victims, "There was a small number – perhaps only a handful – where there was evidence they had actually been tampered with."

Hayman, who was criticized by the inquiry into the fatal shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes, was awarded a CBE in 2006, apparently for his handling of the investigation into the July 7 2005 London bombings.

Finally, and crucially, as editor of the News of the World, Coulson had to have knowledge of the nature of the evidence obtained by his journalists which was being used to run key, and potentially libellous, stories.

If he had no knowledge, then Coulson was - quite simply - failing to do his job.
"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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