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David Guyatt
02-24-2010, 01:18 PM
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/24/phone-hacking-scandal-mps-report?CMP=AFCYAH



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."

Jan Klimkowski
02-24-2010, 08:47 PM
My emphasis in bold:


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.

Jan Klimkowski
02-24-2010, 10:41 PM
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:


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/24/andy-coulson-news-of-the-world

Jan Klimkowski
04-25-2010, 02:41 PM
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.


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/25/andy-coulson-phone-bug-claim

Jan Klimkowski
09-04-2010, 06:05 PM
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):


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/03/andy-coulson-phone-hacking

Jan Klimkowski
09-04-2010, 07:53 PM
Excerpts from the New York Times piece:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05hacking-t.html?_r=3&ref=magazine


AS OF THIS SUMMER, five people have filed lawsuits accusing News Group Newspapers, a division of Rupert Murdochs 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 Yards 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 Britains revered police agency failed to pursue leads suggesting that one of the countrys most powerful newspapers was routinely listening in on its citizens.

The police had seized files from Mulcaires 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 officials 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 didnt 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 didnt 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 Yards 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.


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 players 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 papers 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. Ive 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, Weve pulled the phone records or Ive listened to the phone messages.

Sean Hoare, a former reporter and onetime close friend of Coulsons, 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.


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 papers 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 departments press office, who was waving his arms up in the air, saying, Wait a minute lets talk about this. The investigator, who has since left Scotland Yard, added that Webb stressed the departments long-term relationship with News International. The investigator recalled becoming furious at the suggestion, responding, Theres illegality here, and well 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 Mulcaires 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 didnt 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 dont 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.


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 Englands 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 Mulcaires 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. Goodmans 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 Murdochs influential media empire, whose support the Tories were trying to wrest from Labour and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.


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 Cliffords phone. The names discovered in Mulcaires 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, Cliffords 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. Its 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 Mulcaires testimony. But when The Guardian published details of Cliffords 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 didnt. One of Harriss 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 Mulcaires 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 Mulcaires records, she added. I think I could have been spared a lot of angst about who I could trust and who I couldnt trust had they told me, she said.

Three plaintiffs are jointly seeking a judicial inquiry into Scotland Yards 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 Mulcaires documents. The former official, Brian Paddick, scoffed at Scotland Yards explanation that the appearance of his name didnt necessarily mean that he was hacked. Its a mealy-mouthed way of saying, Were not telling you any more, that maybe something happened but we cant 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 Internationals 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 Browns a Clown. Browns strategists assumed that Murdochs motives were not purely ideological. They drew up a campaign document conjuring Murdochs wish list should David Cameron become prime minister. Among the top items they identified was the weakening of the government-financed BBC, one of Murdochs 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. Camerons 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.

Keith Millea
09-05-2010, 05:26 PM
And don't you think this is also happening in many other countries besides Britain????????

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

Peter Lemkin
09-05-2010, 05:35 PM
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.

Jan Klimkowski
09-06-2010, 04:00 PM
Where are the cops?

Um. Ask Rupert Murdoch.


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/05/phone-hacking-metropolitan-police

Jan Klimkowski
09-06-2010, 07:51 PM
A couple of points worth highlighting from the information above:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Paul Rigby
09-06-2010, 08:55 PM
Where are the cops?

More to the point, where was MI5 and GCHQ when all this was going on? Thousands of prominent figures targeted and not a trace of this feverish NoW activity picked up by either of the aforementioned?

Now that really isn't credible.

Jan Klimkowski
09-07-2010, 03:49 PM
The real answer to the question Where are the cops? can be found in my post #10.

The cops, at least some of them, are working for Murdoch.

Jan Klimkowski
09-09-2010, 05:12 PM
"How can Coulson possibly say he didn't know what was going on with the private investigators?" former features executive McMullan asked.

Indeed, as a national and international journalist I regard it is absolutely inconceivable that NOTW editor Coulson did not know the type of evidence being used to support investigations which risked potentially multi-million pound libel suits if they were not evidentially robust.


Phone hacking was rife at News of the World, claims new witness

Ex-NoW journalist says Andy Coulson 'must have known'

Speaker paves way for second committee to investigate

Poll finds 52% think PM's communications chief must go

September 8, 2010

A former senior News of the World journalist has gone public to corroborate claims that phone-hacking and other illegal reporting techniques were rife at the tabloid while the prime minister's media adviser, Andy Coulson, was deputy editor and then editor of the paper.

Paul McMullan, a former features executive and then member of the newspaper's investigations team, says that he personally commissioned private investigators to commit several hundred acts which could be regarded as unlawful, that use of illegal techniques was no secret at the paper, and that senior editors, including Coulson, were aware this was going on.

"How can Coulson possibly say he didn't know what was going on with the private investigators?" he asked.

Coulson has always said he had no knowledge of any such activity. News International has maintained that royal reporter Clive Goodman, jailed for hacking phones belonging to members of the royal household, was the only journalist involved in the practice.

McMullan is one of six former News of the World journalists who have independently told the Guardian that Coulson, who was deputy editor from 2000 and editor from January 2003 to January 2007, knew that his reporters were engaging in unlawful acts.

McMullan's decision to speak publicly about illegal techniques at the paper came as the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, paved the way for a second, powerful committee of MPs to investigate the scandal.

The cross-party standards and privileges committee has more powers to summon witnesses than the culture committee which has already reported on the affair, and the home affairs committee which announced on Tuesday that it would examine phone-hacking.

Coulson also faced mounting pressure to step down from his 140,000 post as David Cameron's communications chief as a YouGov poll found that 52% of voters thought he should quit with just 24% saying he should stay in the job.

All six of the former journalists who worked for Coulson at the News of the World paint the same picture of a newsroom where private investigators were used routinely to gather information by illegal means and where some reporters did so themselves. They say senior editors knew about this, because reporters could not commission private investigators without going through their desk editor; because editors routinely demanded to know the source of information in stories; and because executives kept tight control of their budgets.

McMullan, who is now landlord of the Castle pub in Dover, was deputy features editor when Coulson arrived at the paper as deputy editor in 2000 and says he [McMullan] spoke regularly to Steve Whittamore, the Hampshire private investigator who ran a network which specialised in selling confidential information to newspapers from phone companies and government databases, among other services.

"I would speak to Steve nearly every day when I was deputy features editor, and we'd chat about what he'd done and if his bill was too big. Getting information from confidential records, we did that regularly, time and time again. I always hid behind the journalist's fundamental get-out clause that, if it's in the public interest, you can do what you like. Some of what Steve did was legal, like using the electoral register, but if he went a step further, I would not have given a second thought to whether that was illegal, because that's part of your job," said McMullan.

He believes Coulson was right to allow his reporters to invade privacy in order to nail wrongdoers: "Investigative journalism is a noble profession but we have to do ignoble things." He says that at the time, reporters did not believe it was illegal to hack voicemail and were quite open about it. "Most reporters did it themselves, sitting at their desk. It was something that people would do when they were bored sitting outside somebody's house. I don't think at the time senior editors at the paper thought it was an issue. Everybody was doing it.

"Coulson would certainly be well aware that the practice was pretty widespread. He is conceivably telling the truth when he says he didn't specifically know every time a reporter would do it. I wouldn't have told him. It wasn't of significance for me to say I just rang up David Beckham and listened to his messages. In general terms, he would have known that reporters were doing it."

McMullan argues that these techniques are essential to investigative work. "How can Coulson possibly say he didn't know what was going on with [private investigators]? He was the brains behind the investigations department [to which McMullan was transferred by Coulson]. How can he say he had no idea about how it works? It's just a shame that you are not awarded prizes for it. Instead, you are regulated so that wrongdoers can carry on with their corruption."

The New York Times last week quoted another former News of the World journalist, Sean Hoare, who said he had played illegally hacked voicemail messages to Coulson when they worked at the Sun and that Coulson had "actively encouraged" him to hack messages at the News of the World. In a BBC radio interview, Hoare accused Coulson of lying. Coulson has continued to deny all knowledge of illegal activity.

None of the former News of the World staffers who have spoken to the Guardian claim to have direct evidence of Coulson's involvement in law-breaking. All of them say that illegal activity, including phone hacking, was so widespread it is inconceivable senior editors did not know.

One former desk editor, who was working for Coulson in August 2006 when police arrested the paper's contracted private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, and the royal correspondent, Goodman, said: "The hacking was so routine that people didn't realise they were doing anything wrong. They were just doing what was expected of them. People were obsessed with getting celebs' phone numbers. There were senior people who were really scared when the Mulcaire story came out. Everyone was surprised that Clive Goodman was the only one who went down."

Former reporters say the newsroom was run with a heavy hand. One veteran who worked for Coulson, said: "Andy Coulson absolutely knew. They all knew. He sat in the newsroom, often on the backbench on Friday and Saturday. It was a regular daily joke in conference: 'say no more'. Andy would ask questions in conference. And he'd be told, 'nudge, nudge'."

Former staff say that tapes and transcripts of voicemail were common in the office but concealed from the outside world. "The News of the World are always very very careful not to use anything that was taped from a phone. We could use it as raw information. You listen to their phone, you know they're going to meet a lover at such a place and such a time, and you're there with the photographer."

One former reporter claimed that Mulcaire was used on almost every story, if not for hacking into voicemail then for accessing confidential databases: "The paper was paying Glenn Mulcaire 2,000 a week, and they wanted their money's worth. For just about every story, they rang Glenn. It wasn't just tapping. It was routine. "Even if it was just a car crash or a house fire on a Saturday, they'd call Glenn, and he'd come back with ex-directory phone numbers, the BT list of friends and family and their addresses, lists of numbers called from their mobile phones. This was just commonplace. He was hacking masses of phones.We reckoned David Beckham had 13 different sim cards, and Glenn could hack every one of them. How could senior editors not know that they are spending 2,000 a week on this guy, and using him on just about every story that goes into the paper?"

The claims by former staff contradict an internal inquiry at the News of the World. Les Hinton, former chair of News International, told the media select committee he had conducted "a full and rigorous internal inquiry" and was "absolutely convinced" Goodman was the only person who knew about the hacking. Scotland Yard and the Press Complaints Commission also found no evidence of the involvement in hacking of anybody at the paper other than Goodman. It has emerged neither the police nor the PCC interviewed any reporter or editor or manager from the paper other than Goodman.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/sep/08/phone-hacking-news-of-the-world-witness

Jan Klimkowski
09-09-2010, 05:15 PM
Comedy gold hypocritical nonsense from Murdoch's lackeys: "As we have always made clear, we have a zero-tolerance approach to wrongdoing and will take swift and decisive action if we have proof."


Phone-hacking row: government backs new inquiry

Pressure mounts on Andy Coulson, as MPs call on the powerful standards and privileges committee to summon witnesses such as Rupert Murdoch to give evidence

September 9, 2010

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch should be called to give evidence to a new inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking row, MPs were told today as they agreed to refer the issue to the Commons' most powerful committee.

Amid calls from MPs of all parties for parliament to stand up to the "red topped assassins" of the media, the government backed a motion for hacking to be investigated by the standards and privileges committee.

Tom Watson, a former Labour minister, told MPs that Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, should both be called as witnesses by the committee following their refusal to appear at a previous inquiry held by the culture committee on the same issue.

The decision to launch the new inquiry piles pressure on David Cameron's director of communications, Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor, who has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the illegal eavesdropping for which ex-royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in 2007.

Labour's Chris Bryant, who tabled the motion after discovering his own phone had been hacked, urged MPs not to be "supine" in the face of allegations that their voicemails were illegally intercepted.

Earlier this week, the home affairs select committee launched its own inquiry into the practice of phone hacking. But Bryant said a separate investigation should be held by the standards and privileges committee because of the power it wields to subpoena witnesses to attend.

The committee should use that power and refuse to let witnesses get away without answering questions, said Bryant.

Earlier this year, the culture, media and sport select committee published a highly critical 167-page report condemning the "collective amnesia" and "deliberate obfuscation" of News of the World executives who gave evidence to them.

The report said it was inconceivable that only a few people at the paper knew about the practice of illegally hacking the phones of public figures.

Watson told MPs said the committee should call the "DCMS select committee refuseniks the people associated with News International who flatly rejected our invitations to give evidence to our own inquiry."

He issued a critique of the media and urged MPs to stand up against it.

"There is one more tiny little shame that we all share the truth is that we, all of us in this house, are scared," he said.

"If you fear passing this resolution, think of this: it's almost laughable. Here we sit in parliament, the central institution of our sacred democracy, between us some of the most powerful people of the land, and we are scared...

"They, the barons of the media with their red-topped assassins, are the biggest beasts in the modern jungle. They have no predators, they are untouchable, they laugh at the law, they sneer at parliament, they have the power to hurt us and they do with gusto and precision."

He went on: "We are afraid, and if we oppose this resolution it is our shame. That is the tawdry secret that dare not speak its name.

"The most powerful people in the land prime ministers, ministers and MPs of every party are guilty in their own way of perpetuating a media culture that allows the characters of the decent to be traduced out of casual malice, for money, for spite, for sport, for any reason they like. "

Today's motion received the backing of the government, after Sir George Young, the leader of the Commons, told MPs in a brief statement that the government accepted that the issue was a matter for the Commons.

Bryant, who was told by police he was on Mulcaire's list, said that hacking into MPs' phones was "a contempt of parliament, a severe breach of parliamentary privilege" which could compromise their right to speak freely, which "stems in essence from the 1689 Bill of Rights".

New material has come to light over the past two weeks by former members of Coulson's staff, whose allegations have cast doubt on Coulson's repeated claim that he was completely unaware that the practice was going on during his tenure.

Today, the Guardian revealed that another former News of the World journalist has come forward to say that phone hacking was rife at the paper when Coulson was editor.

Paul McMullan, a former features executive and then member of the newspaper's investigations team, says that he personally commissioned private investigators to commit several hundred acts which could be regarded as unlawful, that use of illegal techniques was no secret at the paper, and that senior editors, including Coulson, were aware this was going on.

Downing Street has stood firmly behind Cameron's most senior aide.

But today, the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, failed to give Coulson his full backing by ducking a question of whether he should resign.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "If there are claims and counter-claims everyone is entitled to both ask questions and make inquiries."

"I believe that the most important thing of all is that the police now, since new allegations have been made, should look now as quickly and thoroughly as possible at these new allegations."

Though the row centres on the period Coulson edited the Sunday tabloid newspaper, Bryant insisted that his call for the committee to investigate was "not about one man".

"This is not about the one honourable member whose case has already been to court," he told MPs. "It is, however, about what kind of investigative journalism we want in this country. Searching, yes. Critical, caustic, aggressive and cynical, maybe, but not illegal. And it is about whether this house will be supine when its members phones are hacked, or about whether it will take action when the democratic right of MPs to do their job without illegal let, hindrance or interception has been traduced. We have taken action before as a house. We should take action today."

Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, said he hoped for "full cooperation from Downing Street, not least because the lesson of Watergate is that the cover-up is worse than the crime".

News International has issued a statement in response to the debate, which read: "This matter, which largely relates to alleged behaviour five years ago, has become intensely partisan.

"Amidst a swirl of untethered allegations, there should be no doubt that the News of the World will investigate any allegation of wrongdoing when presented with evidence. As we have always made clear, we have a zero-tolerance approach to wrongdoing and will take swift and decisive action if we have proof."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/sep/09/phone-hacking-row-new-inquiry

Paul Rigby
09-09-2010, 07:32 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2010/sep/09/kay-burley-chris-bryant

We pick up the transcript as Bryant, who led today's Commons debate on the News of the World phone hacking story, tells Burley that phone hacking and other illegal techniques were "endemic" in the newspaper industry in the past.


Burley: Do you have evidence for that?

Bryant: Sorry, for what?

Burley: Do you have evidence that it is endemic not only at the News of the World but other newspapers? Pretty strong claim if you don't.

Bryant: Well, the Information Commissioner produced a report which if you had listened to the debate earlier yourself then you would know, or if you had read that report then you would see that he referred to more than 1,000 cases in various different newspapers. I think it was something like 800 I've not got the figures with me now 800 incidences in the Mail alone.

Burley: So you are in a position to have listened to the debate and read the report and as a result you are content to say that on telly.

Bryant: I have just said that. You seem to be a bit dim, if you don't mind me saying so.

Understatement makes come-back.

Jan Klimkowski
09-09-2010, 07:47 PM
Bryant also calls Burley a liar in the grabbed YouTube clip here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDYalpZhG_8

"Don't lie, madam."

He should have gone for a full house and described her as a dim, lying, Murdoch lackey.

Jan Klimkowski
09-10-2010, 06:06 PM
Democracy in action.

With Murdoch's lackey Coulson now Director of Communications for the British government.


MPs 'backed off' over phone-hacking probe

By Cathy Newman
Updated on 10 September 2010

Exclusive: Channel 4 News has learned that members of the committee set up to investigate the phone hacking scandal shied away from forcing News International chief executive and former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks to attend a meeting with them.

After Mrs Brooks had repeatedly avoided being interviewed, four MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport committee wanted to ask the Serjeant at Arms, the Commons official in charge of security, to issue a warrant forcing her to attend.

In an exclusive interview, former Plaid Cymru MP, and a member of the committee, Adam Price says he was warned by a senior Conservative committee member that if the committee pursued this plan, the tabloids might punish him by looking into his personal life.

"We could have used the nuclear option. We decided not to, I think to some extent because of what I was told at the time by a senior Conservative member of the committee, who I know was in direct contact with NI execs, that if we went for her, called her back, subpoenaed her, they would go for us - which meant effectively that they would delve into our personal lives in order to punish them and I think that's part of the reason we didn't do it. In retrospect I think that's regrettable," price said.

"It's important now that the new inquiry stands firm where we didn't. Politicians aren't above the law but neither are journalists including Rupert Murdoch's bovver boys with biros."

Another MP on the committee makes similar claims, who also sat on the committee, talked of being intimidated.

He told Channel 4 News: "A former Labour cabinet minister has confirmed to me this week that News International talked to my former colleagues in No. 10 Downing St to ask them whether I would withdraw my aggressive line of questioning and their lawyer tried to have me removed from the committee on the grounds that I was suing them for libel and may have a potential interest so yes they did try and stop me conducting my enquiries.

"I felt it was undue influence, yes. I felt very frightened and intimidated."

In a statement to Channel 4 News, the committee chairman John Whittingdale, said: "When it was suggested by Labour members to force Rebekah Brooks to attend, I recall a conversation with Adam Price in which the repercussions for members' personal lives were mentioned.

"But that had no bearing on my own decision to oppose bringing in the Serjeant at Arms. Nor do I have any reason to think there was any suggestion that News International would target our private lives."

MPs have this week approved a new parliamentary inquiry into the phone hacking scandal following fresh allegations that the News of the World repeatedly hacked into celebrities' phones when the prime minister's communications director Andy Coulson was editor.

Mr Coulson has repeatedly denied he was aware of the practice.

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/mps+aposbacked+offapos+over+news+of+the+world+inve stigation/3764177

Jan Klimkowski
09-11-2010, 05:52 PM
Strong evidence in the article below that the "radio hams bugged Diana" story is complete tosh.

However, Tina Brown's interpretation that Murdoch's hacks may have been responsible, is probably misdirection.

The most likely primary buggers, and primary leakers, of the "Squidgygate" tapes of Diana are surely British intelligence.

My working hypothesis would be that British SIS taped Diana, created the cover story of the radio hams, and certain newspaper journalists - witting or unwitting - then "laundered" the material into the public domain.


Did Murdoch's Hacks Bug Diana, Too?
By Tina Brown
The Daily Beast
September 6, 2010


The New York Times revelations about phone-tapping at Rupert Murdochs News of the World sound eerily reminiscent of a phone scandal involving Princess Di.

Im shocked, shocked to learn from yesterday's New York Times Sunday magazine that the voice mail messages of celebrities have been bugged for tidbits of gossipcan you believe it?by the Murdoch press in London. And that the bugging wasnt, as previously thought, the activity of one lone hack, Clive Goodman, the royal snoop for Murdochs scandal sheet, the News of the World. Goodman, known by his colleagues as The Eternal Flame because he never left the office, went to jail in January 2007 for hacking into Prince Harrys voice mail. The NOWs congenial editor at the time, Andy Coulson, who insisted he knew nothing of his reporters disgraceful tactics, resigned in January 2007 but is currently riding high as PM David Camerons communications director. For how long?

Thanks to The New York Times sending in a heavy mob of Pulitzer Prize-winners for their story, a stone has been lifted on a whole squirming zoo of low life in the News of the Screws (as it is known in the U.K.).

The Times story tallies with the outrageous antics chronicled in one of my favorite memoirs of Fleet Street, the 2005 Piers Morgan diaries covering his era as editor of the News of the World from 1994 to 1995. Piers, soon to take Larry Kings seat as CNNs prime-time celebrity interviewer, recalls dispatching a reporter, Rebekah Wade, disguised as a cleaning lady in a uniform white hat, to steal for the News of the World all of the scoops in the serial extract of Jonathan Dimblebys 1994 biography of Prince Charles appearing in that Sunday's more respectable sister paper, The Sunday Times. She headed down to the room where the Sunday Times inserts their sections into the main paper," Morgan wrote, "and hid in the loo for two hours waiting for the presses to start. The plan worked like a charm. As the Sunday Times started clicking off the press, Rebekah emerged from her hideaway, ran over, helped herself to a copy, then raced back to the NOW, with her hat falling off to reveal she may not be who they thought she was. Dimblebys serial was ripped off wholesale for NOW, copyright be damned.

All fun and games, this anarchic, backstabbing behavior, except it wasnt
.
The New York Times expos shows Coulson, the News of the Worlds editor from 2003 to 2007, was fully cognizant of what his newsroom was doing at the time of the Goodman phone-tapping incident and has found to corroborate it many shamefaced hacks who were inside the paper and now feel bad that Goodman took the fall. But its also clear to me that bugging at Murdoch newsrooms probably went further back even than Coulsons era, back as far as the febrile coverage of Princess Di, when things went really vicious, in the early '90s.
The princess, you recall, kept insisting she was being bugged, a refrain that got her portrayed as loony and paranoid. She had all kinds of theories about who was doing the tapping and who was listening to her, her American boyfriend, Theodore Forstmann, told me when I was researching my biography, The Diana Chronicles, in 2006.

Dianas New York girlfriend, the late Harpers Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis, told her husband Andrew that she was often aware of an intrusive click and seashell noise on the line that suggested an eavesdropper. Diana would say, Its the Secret Service, dont worry, Andrew told me. I heard examples of it myself. Id pick up the phone and hear the line being opened. So convinced was Di of eavesdroppers that she twice had her rooms at Kensington Palace swept for bugs. She was convinced she was being spied on by the enemies in her husbands camp, but it now seems more likely it was the Murdoch press whod figured out how to tap her private line, or paid off one of those awful whispering butlers to do so.

It would explain, for instance, a mystery I spent much time trying to nail down in the chapter in The Diana Chronicles titled Sex, Lies and Audiotapes. The chapter discussed the provenance of the notorious phone callknown thereafter as the "Squidgygate" tapesbetween Diana on her private line at Sandringham and James Gilbey, the man who tenderly called her Squidgy, and emerged clearly from the call as her lover. The conversation took place on New Years Eve 1989 and was published to scandalous uproar and princessly mortification. I never bought the explanation of how the Squidgygate tape came out from a pair of nosy radio hams and having read the New York Times I believe it even less today.

The two supposed eavesdroppers on Diana and Gilbey were Cyril Reenan, a 70-year-old retired bank manager in the country town of Abingdon in Oxfordshire, and Janet Norgrove, a 25-year-old typist from Oxford. Their stories were uncannily similar. They both said theyd bought scanners and just by chance happened to tune in to one of 220 million calls and out of the dozen British papers theyd both chosen to offer their tapes to The Sun.

Reenan was the first to go to the Sun. The story is that the paper responded to a tip from Reenan. He said he was highly nervous on hearing the voices and his impulse was to warn Diana. His second impulse, as a good upstanding Englishman, was to sell all rights to The Sun for 6,000.

The Sun is said to have responded by dispatching Stuart Higgins, then the royal correspondent, later the papers editor, to meet the eavesdropper at Didcot train station, 10 miles south of Oxford. Higgins recalls that he put the cassette in and listened to it almost mesmerized for 20 minutes. The content was so explosive. (Diana: "I dont want to get pregnant." Gilbey: "Darling, thats not going to happen, alright? [The Sun, 24 August 1992]) We knew we had a major, major story, Higgins told Tim Clayton and Phil Craig in Diana: Story of a Princess.

The Sun got cold feet. Apparently it decided that printing Reenans tape might expose the paper to prosecution and that it could be commercially risky to reveal to the British public that their sweetheart was not all she seemed in the virtue department.

So how did the explosive tape get out? In a brown paper envelope with a Central London postmark, distributed by its possessor first to the Daily Mail, which did not publish, and to the National Enquirer which didin August 1992. Thus laundered by the American press, it was then considered safe for The Sun to publish. But the story of the two eavesdroppers doesnt make any sense. Mobile phone company Cellnet has said that its base site in Abingdon Town, the only one from which Reenan might have picked up Gilbeys mobile signal, was not commissioned until March 1990, six weeks after this conversation.
Communications expert John Nelson of Crew Green Consulting Ltd. in Shrewsbury analyzed the tape and independently confirmed to me Cellnets claim that Reenan could not have recorded the call. Nelson told me he was so puzzled that he went to Reenans home in Abingdonand ended up even more bemused. I concluded his receiver could not have handled some of the frequency content on the recording, he said.

Jane Norgrove, the other eavesdropper, would not allow Nelson or anyone else to examine her bedroom scanning setup, but Nelsons conclusion also applies to her. The recording could not have been made by Mr. Reenans scanning receiver or any other scanning receiver tuned to the output frequency of a cellular base station. (This quote comes from his report A Technical Analysis of the Dianagate Tape, January 22, 1993.) Inexorably, Nelson told me, The truth is, Dianas phone was bugged. That call had to have been recorded off a landline. The tape, he added, also had telltale marks of having been clumsily doctored to make it sound to an unprofessional ear like a cellular recording. Nelson found it mildly surprising that the media missed that at the time. Perhaps," he wrote me in an email, "the image of retired bank manager huddled over a scanning receiver and listening in to royal misbehavior was too appealing to abandon. [All Nelson quotes, bar one highlighted above, come from his email to me November 24, 2006, and one quote from my telephone interview with him on Nov. 20, 2006.]

Or perhaps it was because the British media had their own reasons to believe the accidental ham story. Reenan was most likely just a cut-out for the real snoop in the tabloid wars. Whatever the truth, in 1993, before Reenan died, he said he deeply regretted his role in the whole nefarious business. I think I was set up part of a sinister conspiracy. By the way, the reporter who posed as the cleaning lady, Rebekah Wade, is now chief executive of Murdochs News International.

Tina Brown is the founder and editor in chief of The Daily Beast. She is the author of the 2007 New York Times best seller The Diana Chronicles. Brown is the former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk magazines and host of CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown.

Jan Klimkowski
10-13-2010, 06:52 PM
Scotland Yard's finest still dodging the issues, seeking to bury the copious evidence already in their possession, and intimidating potential whistle-blowers by proposing to interview them under criminal caution.

Murdoch and his hacks still protected.


Police ask Guardian for phone-hacking evidence

Paper's editor, Alan Rusbridger, points out that police already have access to material on practices at the News of the World

October 13, 2010

The Metropolitan police have written to the Guardian asking for any new material the paper holds about phone hacking at the News of the World.

The request follows a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary last week that contained further evidence that the practice was widespread at the tabloid paper.

The programme featured an anonymous ex-News of the World journalist who said the then editor Andy Coulson listened to recordings of voicemails that had been illegally obtained.

Coulson, who is now David Cameron's director of communications, has always insisted he did not know about the practice.

Detective Superintendent Dean Haydon, who is leading the Met's review of the phone-hacking case, has written to the Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, asking for any new material that may have come to light.

In his reply, Rusbridger points out that police already have access to evidence that would help with their inquiry, including transcripts of voicemail messages that were intercepted by News of the World employees from a mobile phone belonging to the PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor.

"[The Guardian journalist] Nick Davies was able to reveal incontrovertible evidence of the involvement in phone hacking of other NoW reporters and executives: the material is sitting in your own files, and was obtained by lawyers acting for Gordon Taylor," Rusbridger wrote.

The Guardian revealed in July last year that the News of the World had paid 1m in out-of-court settlements to three people, including Taylor, after messages left on their mobile phones were intercepted by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator on the News of the World payroll.

Mulcaire and the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman were jailed for listening to phone messages belonging to members of the royal household in January 2007.

Rusbridger said that Davies had been able to publish fresh revelations about the extent of the practice over the past year by "taking the trouble to interview a large number of people who were working at the News of the World at the relevant time". He suggested the police do the same.

"That, it seems to us, would be a more productive route than seeking to interview other journalists who have looked into the story," he said.

"It has been open to the MPS to [interview News of the World journalists] since your colleagues arrested Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman in 2006," Rusbridger pointed out. "But the MPS decided at the time that they would interview no other NoW journalists than Mr Goodman himself."

Rusbridger also criticised the Met for interviewing under caution ex-News of the World journalists who have come forward this year to talk about phone hacking at the paper.

"Many external observers are troubled that the MPS is adopting the intimidatory approach of seeking to interview these whistleblowers under caution ie treating them as potential defendants as opposed to potential witnesses," he said.

Since the Guardian published its initial revelations last year, a huge amount of new evidence has come to light about the number of journalists who were involved in the practice, and dozens of public figures have spoken out about being targeted by the paper.

Its publisher, News Group Newspapers, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, is facing a raft of expensive legal cases.

There have also been several parliamentary inquiries into how much News International executives knew about the practice. One former journalist, Sean Hoare, has said Coulson "actively encouraged" phone hacking and an executive, Paul McMullan, claimed that the former editor must have been aware of it.

The New York Times ran a lengthy expos into phone hacking at the News of the World in July. A Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on the issue was broadcast last week.

"The fact that three separate news organisations have been able to uncover this story must give you hope that you, too, could got to the bottom of it without too much trouble," Rusbridger told Haydon.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/oct/13/metropolitan-police-guardian-phone-hacking

Text of Guardian editor Rusbridger's letter to Det Supt Haydon as pdf:

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Media/documents/2010/10/13/Haydonreply.pdf

David Guyatt
10-14-2010, 10:21 AM
It's nice to know that the Boys in Blue are so "flexible" when it comes to matters of outright media criminality.

After all they wouldn't want to inhibit the comfy tax-free river of "folding readies" destined for the concealed truncheon pocket courtesy of the Fleet-Street-Inspector-Knacker-of-the-Yard tip-off machine now would they...

Jan Klimkowski
10-14-2010, 04:38 PM
It's nice to know that the Boys in Blue are so "flexible" when it comes to matters of outright media criminality.

After all they wouldn't want to inhibit the comfy tax-free river of "folding readies" destined for the concealed truncheon pocket courtesy of the Fleet-Street-Inspector-Knacker-of-the-Yard tip-off machine now would they...

Yup. I posted the below earlier in this thread from the NYT article.


Scotland Yard also had a symbiotic relationship with News of the World. The police sometimes built high-profile cases out of the papers 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 departments press office, who was waving his arms up in the air, saying, Wait a minute lets talk about this. The investigator, who has since left Scotland Yard, added that Webb stressed the departments long-term relationship with News International. The investigator recalled becoming furious at the suggestion, responding, Theres illegality here, and well 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.

At the footsoldier level, it's about "nice little earners", most often likely in cash or freebies such as, ahem, hospitality.

At the supervisory level, there's the potential for "fitting up" - both by police off the record briefings and by News International "undercover investigations" which have frequently been exposed as evidentially flimsy.

At the strategic level, this is institutional corruption, and leads into the claims by several MPs that they were, in essence, warned off pursuing News International.

Jan Klimkowski
12-10-2010, 07:20 PM
Sometimes, only a cascading bellylaugh is appropriate....

:party:



Andy Coulson denies knowledge of criminal activity at News of the World

Tommy Sheridan trial hears No 10 media chief reject claims he knew of widespread phone hacking
Scotland Yard finds insufficient evidence for fresh prosecutions in hacking case

Nick Davies and Severin Carrell guardian.co.uk, Friday 10 December 2010 16.56 GMT

The prime minister's director of communications, Andy Coulson, was today accused of lying to a court and suffering from amnesia in his account of the phone-hacking affair at the News of the World. Coulson repeatedly denied all knowledge of criminal activity at the paper, where he was formerly the editor.

Giving evidence at Glasgow high court, Coulson said it was "nonsense" to suggest that the relationship between News International and the senior Scotland Yard officer who investigated the affair "stinks of corruption". He denied that the paper had known that former assistant commissioner Andy Hayman was having an affair and that this might have compromised the independence of the investigation.

Coulson was confronted with detailed notes of alleged phone hacking made by Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World private investigator at the centre of the affair. He said: "I'm saying that I had absolutely no knowledge of it. I certainly didn't instruct anyone to do anything at the time or anything else which was untoward."

Coulson was giving evidence in the trial of Tommy Sheridan, the Scottish socialist politician who is accused of committing perjury in order to win a 2006 libel trial over News of the World stories that accused him of illicit affairs and visits to a sex club. Sheridan is presenting his own defence.

In more than three hours in the witness box, Coulson endured a barrage of claims that he variously:

supervised a newsroom in which more than half of the reporters used a private investigator to gain illegal access to confidential data;

asked Clive Goodman, the reporter at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World, to "take the blame for the sake of the paper";

was responsible for recruiting a feature writer named Dan Evans who has since been suspended by the paper in relation to new allegations of phone hacking;

had a history of social contact with Andy Hayman, who then led the inquiry into the the paper and subsequently went to work for another newspaper from the same company.

Meanwhile in London, the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, announced that a renewed Scotland Yard investigation into phone-hacking allegations at the newspaper had produced insufficient evidence to mount any prosecutions.

In court, Coulson denied all of the allegations and at one point suggested that Sheridan lived in "a parallel universe". He said: "I like to think I was professional. I like to think I applied certain standards. I like to think we worked hard at the News of the World."

In a series of tense exchanges, Sheridan asked him: "Is it collective amnesia you have got, Mr Coulson, or are you just lying?" Coulson replied: "I'm not lying to you, Mr Sheridan. No. I'm doing my very best to answer your questions."

Sheridan asked Coulson about his relationship with Andy Hayman. He said that he had been an assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard and he believed Hayman had headed the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal at the paper. Coulson said he had been on '"not unfriendly terms" with Hayman during his time at the News of the World: "I may have seen him socially, but we were not pals. I may have had a meal with him. I certainly had a cup of tea with him."

Sheridan asked whether at the time that Andy Hayman was supervising the inquiry into phone hacking at the paper, Coulson had been in possession of personal information about him "which might have prevented yourself being thoroughly investigated". Coulson said this was not true.

Sheridan said: "You're under oath, Mr Coulson."

"I know I'm under oath," Coulson replied. "My answer is still no."

Later, Sheridan suggested that the paper had been aware at the time of the investigation that Hayman had been having an affair with a press officer from the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Coulson denied this. Sheridan added that Hayman had later resigned and taken work with The Times, part of News International which also owns the News of the World. Coulson replied: "If you're insinuating there was some kind of a deal done, it's utter nonsense."

Sheridan asked him if he agreed that Hayman's move from Scotland Yard to News International "stinks of corruption".

"I absolutely disagree with you, Mr Sheridan. I think it's nonsense."

Sheridan confronted Coulson with extracts from Glenn Mulcaire's paperwork, seized by Scotland Yard in August 2006, which contained notes made by the investigator of Sheridan's mobile phone number, address and PIN code. Coulson said he knew nothing about it: "I know what I have read. And as I understand it, he would seek to access people's voicemail either by inputting the PIN code, I assume, or through some other means. I just don't know exactly how Mr Mulcaire worked."

He said he had never met, spoken to or emailed him: "I hadn't heard of Glenn Mulcaire until after the court case."

He agreed that he was aware that the News of the World had a contract worth more than 100,000 a year with Glenn Mulcaire's company, Nine Consultancy, but he said he had never asked what the contract was for and could not remember if the company had provided any particular facts for the paper. "Whatever work Nine Consultancy carried out under this legitimate contract I would have expected to be legitimate, legal work."

Sheridan asked Coulson if he was aware that the information commissioner's office had run an inquiry known as Operation Motorman which found that, during his time at the News of the World, 21 of his reporters had used a private investigator named Steve Whittamore to gain illegal access to confidential data. Coulson agreed that the paper employed about 40 news reporters but suggested that it was unfair to say that more than half of them had used Whittamore, since the evidence collected by Operation Motorman covered a period of some years and that some of the 21 reporters could have been freelancers.

Asked if he was aware that Whittamore had been convicted of criminal access to data in April 2005 "under your watch", Coulson said: "I was aware that there was a case. I didn't know what the charge was or what it resulted in. I could be wrong, I don't believe it resulted in charges against News of the World reporters."

In relation to Whittamore, he added: "I wasn't involved in that in any way, shape or form. I hadn't heard of the guy until after Motorman. I never met him. I never spoke to him. I never dealt with him."

Sheridan suggested it was "hard to understand how it could be that, while all this illegal activity was going on under your nose, you didn't know anything about it". Coulson conceded that things had gone badly wrong under his editorship but repeated that he had known nothing about it. He said he did not micromanage his staff and trusted them to do their jobs.

Asked about the police inquiry that led to the arrest of Mulcaire and Goodman in August 2006, Coulson said that he could not remember whether police had searched his desk at the newspaper's Wapping headquarters. "I think not," he added. He could not remember whether police had searched the desk of any reporter other than Goodman.

Sheridan put it to Coulson that he had emailed Goodman asking him "to take the blame for the phone-hacking scandal for the good of the paper". Coulson replied: "No. I did not." He asked Sheridan whether he had such an email. Sheridan replied that Clive Goodman was being "cited" as a witness, the Scottish term for being called to give evidence.

Sheridan asked whether he was aware that a recent police inquiry had led to the suspension from the News of the World of a reporter named Dan Evans. He suggested that this undermined the News of the World's claim that Goodman, the paper's former royal reporter who was jailed for phone hacking in January 2007, was a "rogue reporter".

Coulson agreed that Evans had been recruited as a feature writer during his time as editor but said that his supension had happened long after he had left the paper: "I'm not aware of the details of the Dan Evans case. I may have seen something about it in the paper."

Asked about claims by the former News of the World reporter Sean Hoare that he had been "fully aware" of illegal activities at the paper, Coulson said he had volunteered to talk to police about these allegations. "I sat down with them voluntarily as a witness. I answered all their questions and I'm confident and remain confident that there is no evidence to support the accusations. That's my position."

The trial continues.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/10/andy-coulson-tommy-sheridan-trial

Jan Klimkowski
12-12-2010, 08:58 PM
Scotland Yard's finest rozzers, News International and the Tory Spin Machine are covering their filthy tracks:


Phone-hacking scandal: Yard move may hide journalists' spy roles

Scotland Yard says that public figures must supply evidence of a crime before material is handed over

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Sunday 12 December 2010 16.55 GMT

The Metropolitan police have moved to close off the supply of information which could identify senior journalists at the News of the World who commissioned illegal phone hacking.

In a change of policy which has significant implications for the prime minister's media adviser, Andy Coulson, who used to edit the paper, police have said they will no longer provide all public figures with a summary of potentially relevant phone-hacking evidence in their possession.

The move relates to a mass of paperwork, computer records and audio tapes that police seized from the paper's private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, in August 2006.

This material is believed to include the names of senior journalists who worked for Coulson and who instructed Mulcaire to target named public figures including politicians, sports personalities and showbusiness figures.

Police now admit privately that they failed to fully analyse this material during their original inquiry.

More recently, they have refused repeatedly to go back and investigate it and, when judges have ordered them to release particular portions of the material for court cases, they have blacked out large sections, including most of the references to the journalists who instructed Mulcaire.

However, until now, they have been willing to give public figures who contacted them a brief summary of references to them in the seized material.

According to Scotland Yard, 194 people have contacted them for these summaries since last July when the Guardian revealed the scale of phone hacking at the News of the World.

Scotland Yard has now changed its policy and their lawyers are replying to requests from public figures by telling them that they will hand over a summary of the material that was held on them by Mulcaire only if the public figure can persuade them that there are "reasonable grounds" for believing that their voicemail was intercepted.

One of the lawyers acting for suspected victims, Mark Lewis, from Taylor Hampton solicitors, said: "It's a bit like the police discovering that your house has been burgled, but you don't know that it's happened and they won't tell you anything about it unless you can come up with your own evidence to show you've been a victim of the crime.

"It's a transparent attempt to stifle legal claims by concealing evidence. The police are obstructing justice."

On Friday Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions, announced that Coulson would not face prosecution after the crown prosecution service spent four weeks studying material from a renewed Scotland Yard investigation.

He said new witnesses had refused to co-operate with the police and there was "no admissible evidence upon which the CPS could properly advise the police to bring criminal charges".

The evidence seized by Scotland Yard includes nearly 3,000 mobile phone numbers. Some of them are included in detailed notes kept by Mulcaire as he recorded his attempts to intercept his targets' voicemail.

Routinely, he used the top left-hand corner of the notes to write the name of the journalist who had chosen each target. On some, he wrote the name 'Clive', referring to Clive Goodman, the News of the World's royal correspondent, who was jailed in January 2007. Other notes are believed to include the first names of other senior journalists who have never even been interviewed by police.

Lawyers for some public figures have complained that they have received misleading information from Scotland Yard. A globally famous actress whose lawyer asked a series of specific questions about Mulcaire and her mobile phones was told that police had no evidence on the points but they failed to tell her that her name showed up as a target of the investigator. Others received letters, which acknowledged Mulcaire had held information about them, but added that "there is no evidence that your voicemail was intercepted", without explaining that the police had not investigated or attempted to find any evidence on the point.

Senior Yard sources say they are worried about the outcome of a judicial review of their performance which is being sought by the former deputy prime minister John Prescott and others.

In preparation for that case, the Yard's lawyers recently wrote to several dozen public figures offering to review their earlier answer to questions, to ensure they were correct.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/12/phone-hacking-scandal-information-move

David Guyatt
12-13-2010, 09:25 AM
The Yard has become so thoroughly politicized now that, as many ordinary people know to their cost, "policing" has been consigned to a lower rung on the ladder -- often the bottom one.

This latest episode is simply another disgrace and complete distortion of justice. And we all know that Cameron must be giving the orders here, because if his buddy Coulson is forced to resign for his part in the hacking scandal - it will reflect very badly on Cameron.

And who knows what else it might lever open then?

Jan Klimkowski
12-15-2010, 08:07 PM
New evidence:


Phone hacking approved by top News of the World executive new files

High court papers lodged by Sienna Miller's lawyers contradict paper's insistence that a single 'rogue' journalist was involved

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 15 December 2010 14.05 GMT

Lawyers have secured explosive new evidence linking one of the News of the World's most senior editorial executives to the hacking of voicemail messages from the phones of Sienna Miller, Jude Law and their friends and employees.

In a document lodged in the high court, the lawyers also disclose evidence that the hacking of phones of the royal household was part of a scheme commissioned by the News of the World and not simply the unauthorised work of its former royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, acting as a "rogue reporter", as the paper has previously claimed.

The 20-page document, written by Sienna Miller's solicitor Mark Thomson and barrister Hugh Tomlinson, cites extracts from paperwork and other records that were seized by police from the News of the World's private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, in August 2006. The material has now been released to the lawyers on the orders of a high court judge.

The document claims Mulcaire's handwritten notes imply that the news editor of the News of the World, Ian Edmondson, instructed him to intercept Sienna Miller's voicemail and that the operation also involved targeting her mother, her publicist and one of her closest friends as well as her former partner, Jude Law, and his personal assistant. During the operation Mulcaire obtained confidential data held by mobile phone companies in relation to nine different phone numbers, the notes reveal.

The document, which has been released to the Guardian by the high court, suggests that the hacking of the two actors was part of a wider scheme, hatched early in 2005, when Mulcaire agreed to use "electronic intelligence and eavesdropping" to supply the paper with daily transcripts of the messages of a list of named targets from the worlds of politics, royalty and entertainment.

The new evidence explicitly contradicts the account of the News of the World and its former editor, Andy Coulson, who is now chief media adviser to the prime minister. The paper and Coulson have always claimed that the only journalist involved in phone hacking was Clive Goodman, who was jailed with Mulcaire in January 2007. Ian Edmondson is the fourth of Coulson's journalists to be implicated in the affair since Goodman was convicted.

The disclosure is gravely embarrassing for Scotland Yard, which has held the information about the two actors in a large cache of evidence for more than four years and repeatedly failed to investigate it. Last week the Crown Prosecution Service announced that there was no evidence to justify further charges after a Yard inquiry that was specifically tasked not to look at the material gathered in 2006.

Sienna Miller is suing the News of the World's parent company, News Group, and Glenn Mulcaire, accusing them of breaching her privacy and of harassing her "solely for the commercial purpose of profiting from obtaining private information about her and to satisfy the prurient curiosity of members of the public regarding the private life of a well-known individual".

The high court paperwork suggests that a sequence of 11 articles published by the News of the World in 2005-2006 about Sienna Miller and Jude Law used information that had been obtained illegally from their voicemail, exposing their thoughts about having children, their travel plans, an argument between the two of them and their discussions about their relationships with other people. This caused her "extreme concern about her privacy and safety as well as enormous anxiety and distress".

The document says that Sienna Miller suspected her mobile phone was not secure and changed it twice, but Mulcaire's handwritten notes show that he succeeded in obtaining the new number, account number, PIN code and password for all three phones. He obtained similar details that would be necessary for hacking the phone of her close friend Archie Keswick; for three phones belonging to her publicist Ciara Parkes; for Jude Law; and for Law's personal assistant, Ben Jackson. The notes show that Mulcaire gathered other data on Sienna Miller's mother and on Archie Keswick's girlfriend.

The document records that at the trial of Clive Goodman it was revealed that Mulcaire wrote the word 'Clive' in the top left-hand corner of his notes of hacking undertaken on Goodman's behalf. According to the high court document Mulcaire's notes for the hacking of Sienna Miller "in several cases were marked 'Ian' in the top left-hand corner, which the claimant infers to be Ian Edmondson". Edmondson was appointed news editor of the News of the World by Andy Coulson and still holds the job.

The new evidence implies that the targeting of the royal household, which led to the original police inquiry, was specifically commissioned by the News of the World. "In or about January 2005 the News of the World agreed a scheme with Glenn Mulcaire whereby he would, on their behalf, obtain information on individuals relating to the following: 'political, royal and showbiz/entertainment'; and that he would use electronic intelligence and eavesdropping in order to obtain this information. He also agreed to provide daily transcripts."

The News of the World and Scotland Yard have previously claimed that Clive Goodman acted alone, as a "rogue reporter", in hacking the royal phones and that they knew nothing about the interception of any voicemail.

Among those named as targets of this wider scheme are six of the victims identified in the original court case in January 2007 and also Sienna Miller's friend, Archie Keswick. Mulcaire is said to have used "deception or other unlawful means" to obtain confidential data from mobile phone companies, to have intercepted the targets' voicemail and to have provided "transcripts and other details" to the News of the World's journalists.

Scotland Yard will have to explain why it failed to inform Sienna Miller and the other targets of evidence it held about them. The Yard had agreed with the Crown Prosecution Service that it would approach and warn all "potential victims". It will also have to explain why it failed to interview Ian Edmondson, who was also named last month in a separate phone hacking case brought by Nicola Phillips, former assistant to the celebrity PR agent Max Clifford. The judge in that case has ordered Glenn Mulcaire to say whether it was Edmondson who instructed him to intercept her voicemail. Mulcaire has appealed against the order.

Scotland Yard also failed to interview three other journalists who have now been implicated. In the perjury trial in Glasgow of the socialist politician Tommy Sheridan, the jury has been shown handwritten notes in which Glenn Mulcaire recorded Sheridan's mobile phone number and PIN code and wrote the word "Greg" in the top left-hand corner. The court has been told that refers to Greg Miskiw, who was an assistant editor at the News of the World under Andy Coulson.

Last year documents revealed by the Guardian showed that Miskiw had signed a contract with Mulcaire, using an alias, offering him 7,000 to bring in a story about the chief executive of the professional footballers' association, Gordon Taylor, whose voicemail was then intercepted; and that one of Coulson's news reporters, Ross Hindley, had emailed transcripts of 35 intercepted voicemails involving Gordon Taylor for the attention of the chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck. Neither Miskiw, Hindley or Thurlbeck was interviewed by the original inquiry.

The new evidence discloses that it was Neville Thurlbeck who signed the formal contract paying Mulcaire 2,019 a week to work exclusively for the News of the World, and that Ian Edmondson subsequently exchanged emails with Mulcaire about extending it. Questioned at Tommy Sheridan's trial last week, Coulson said that this was "a legitimate contract for legitimate, legal work".

The high court material raises questions about the security of data held by mobile phone companies, whose staff may be tricked or bribed into disclosing it. The lawyers have obtained records from Sienna Miller's phone company, Vodafone, which suggest that in November 2005 Glenn Mulcaire, posing as "John from credit control", tricked staff into changing her PIN code. Vodafone will have to explain why it failed to warn her that her voicemail had been accessed. The company has previously claimed that it warned victims among its customers "as appropriate".

A total of more than 20 journalists who worked for the News of the World have told the Guardian, the New York Times and Channel Four's Dispatches that illegal activity assisted by private investigators was commonplace and well known to executives including Coulson. Coulson has always denied this.

More than 20 public figures are now in the early stages of suing the News of the World and Glenn Mulcaire for breach of privacy. The former deputy prime minister John Prescott and others are seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard's handling of the case, which may lead to a new inquiry.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/15/phone-hacking-sienna-miller-evidence

David Guyatt
12-16-2010, 09:09 AM
I wonder if this is going to end up along the lines of Jonathan' Aitken's "sword of truth" speech he made in court before evidence was submitted showing him to be an outright liar -- followed by time in an open prison.

One can only hope so. :wavey:

PS, nice to see Inspector Knacker of the Yard doing his best to pervert justice eh...

Jan Klimkowski
01-05-2011, 10:14 PM
Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks (Wade) know nothing m'lud.

Phone hacking is not systemic and institutional at Murdoch organs m'lud. :sherlock:


Yet again, Murdoch editors are caught with their pants down, and desperately attempt to cover their tracks by blaming some "rogue" hack. Their defence is, of course, complete rubbish.


News of the World suspends assistant editor over phone-hacking claims

Pressure on No 10 press chief mounts as senior NoW executive suspended over alleged role in Sienna Miller case

James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 5 January 2011 21.36 GMT

A senior News of the World executive has been suspended by the paper following a "serious allegation" that he was involved with phone hacking when the paper was edited by Andy Coulson, now the prime minister's director of communications.

It was revealed today that Ian Edmondson, the title's assistant editor, was "suspended from active duties" before Christmas, shortly after the Guardian obtained court documents which apparently showed that he had asked private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to hack into phones belonging to Sienna Miller and her staff in 2005.

The News of the World confirmed in a statement today that Edmondson had been suspended. It said it had launched an internal investigation into the claims and that "appropriate action" would be taken if they were found to be true.

The paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman was jailed along with Mulcaire in January 2007 after the two men were found guilty of illegally intercepting phone messages left on mobile phones belonging to members of the royal household. Coulson resigned when the men were sentenced, but he has always insisted that Goodman acted alone and that he and other executives knew nothing about their activities.

If it is proved Edmondson also used Mulcaire's services it would destroy the paper's carefully constructed public defence that Goodman was a rogue reporter. His suspension puts fresh pressure on Coulson, who has consistently maintained that he was unaware of any hacking while editor of the paper between 2003 and 2007. Edmondson was hired by Coulson and was part of the former editor's inner circle.

It also raises embarrassing questions for the Metropolitan police, who failed to interview any News of the World executive during the Goodman/Mulcaire investigation despite the fact that the name "Ian" appears on a number of documents seized from Mulcaire.

The Guardian first revealed in July 2009 that the paper's owner, News Group Newspapers, part of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, had paid £1m in out-of-court settlements to phone hacking victims. Since then, several people, including Miller, the Sky Sports presenter Andy Gray, former deputy assistant commissioner of the Met Brian Paddick, and Nicola Phillips, a former assistant to publicist Max Clifford, have launched legal actions against either the paper or the Met.

Miller is suing News Group, the subsidiary that publishes the News of the World, and Mulcaire, accusing them of breaching her privacy and of harassing her "solely for the commercial purpose of profiting from obtaining private information about her and to satisfy the prurient curiosity of members of the public regarding the private life of a well-known individual".

In a 20-page document lodged with the high court, the actor's solicitor, Mark Thomson, and barrister, Hugh Tomlinson, cite extracts from paperwork and other records that were seized by police from Mulcaire in August 2006. The material has been released to the lawyers on the orders of a high court judge.

The document claims Mulcaire's handwritten notes imply Edmondson instructed him to intercept Miller's voicemail and that the operation also involved targeting her mother, her publicist and one of her closest friends as well as Jude Law, her former partner, and his personal assistant. During the operation Mulcaire obtained confidential data held by mobile phone companies in relation to nine different phone numbers, the notes reveal.

The document, released to the Guardian by the high court, suggests the hacking of the two actors' phones was part of a wider scheme, hatched early in 2005, when Mulcaire agreed to use "electronic intelligence and eavesdropping" to supply the paper with daily transcripts of the messages of a list of named targets from the worlds of politics, royalty and entertainment.

It also records that at the 2007 trial of Goodman it was revealed that Mulcaire wrote the word "Clive" in the top left-hand corner of his notes of hacking undertaken on Goodman's behalf. According to the high court document, Mulcaire's notes for the hacking of Miller "in several cases were marked 'Ian' in the top left-hand corner, which the claimant infers to be Ian Edmondson". Last night, Labour MP Tom Watson said: "News International's pathetic 'it was only a rogue reporter' defence is imploding. There is now a senior executive appointed by Andy Coulson suspended on allegations of phone hacking. It is time we heard from Rupert Murdoch himself."

In its statement, the News of the World said: "The News of the World has a zero-tolerance approach to any wrongdoing."

Last night the Guardian was unable to reach Edmondson for comment.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/05/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking-pressandpublishing

Jan Klimkowski
01-06-2011, 10:35 PM
So much for Cameron Spinmeister Coulson knowing nothing of Edmondson's activities.

Murdoch's goons are attempting to paint Edmondson as a lone rogue hack. Edmondson should be looking to blow the whistle on Murdoch's rotten empire:


Ian Edmondson was at heart of News of the World's operations

Former colleagues paint picture of Ian Edmondson as trusted attack dog under Andy Coulson's reign at News of the World

James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Thursday 6 January 2011 20.34

Ian Edmondson, who has been suspended from active duties after allegations that he was linked to phone hacking at the News of the World, was one of Andy Coulson's inner circle of executives when David Cameron's director of communications was editor of the paper, according to a former reporter on the tabloid.

As assistant editor (news), he was one of a handful of senior employees who would discuss sensitive stories privately after editorial meetings had taken place.

"You had an elite and Edmondson was definitely in on that and enjoyed being in on that," the former reporter said. "There would be [the editorial] conference in the morning, then the news desk would be back in [to Coulson's office] and it was discussed in privacy. Then the stories would be dished out [to reporters]."

Edmondson was hired by Neil Wallis, then Coulson's deputy editor at the paper, in November 2004 as a news executive although, according to the former News of the World source, "Edmondson reported directly to Andy because he was the editor. Wallis had a nice title and a bit of power ... but Andy was in charge of that paper."

He remembers Coulson buying his senior editorial team, including Edmondson, replica England shirts with their names emblazoned on the back.

Edmondson had been a reporter at the News of the World but left to take up a more senior role at the Sunday People in early 2000, before Coulson became editor in 2003. Coulson promoted Edmondson to assistant editor (news) in October 2005.

From his place at the heart of the news operation, he would have been privy to the big scoops the paper published each week. In the case of Edmondson's ex-colleague Clive Goodman, the paper's former royal editor, some of those scoops involved paying the private detective Glenn Mulcaire to hack into phone messages left on mobile phones belonging to public figures.

Goodman and Mulcaire were jailed in 2007. Coulson resigned and has always maintained Goodman was a rogue reporter acting alone. It is now alleged by lawyers acting for Sienna Miller, who is suing the News of the World for breach of privacy, that Edmondson was aware of that practice.

The paper's owner, News Group, has suspended Edmondson until the outcomes of Miller's legal action and a separate case being brought by Nicola Phillips, a former assistant to the publicist Max Clifford, are known.

Fleet Street sources claim Coulson and Edmondson knew each other professionally before he joined the paper, although they were not close. "I don't think they were particularly big buddies," said one journalist who worked with Edmondson and knew him well. "But Edmondson was a good attack dog in a nice suit – a Coulson sort of person. He was very tough and reporters feared him."

That is not unusual for a news executive at a Sunday tabloid whose reputation rests on breaking stories – although the former News of the World reporter insisted Edmondson was "universally loathed".

The former Fleet Street colleague said: "He was not well liked because he was so ambitious, but he was bright. He was dealing with tabloid stuff … but he could just as easily have made it on a broadsheet."

A keen runner and a boxing fanatic, Edmondson took part in at least one "white-collar" boxing bout and idolised boxers. The key question now is whether he knew that widespread phone-hacking was taking place and, if so, which other senior executives at the paper, including Coulson himself, might also have been aware of it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/06/news-world-ian-edmondson-profile

David Guyatt
01-09-2011, 02:49 PM
Fresh phone-hacking document to increase pressure on News of t (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/08/phone-hacking-police-murdoch-coulson)he World


Fresh phone-hacking document to increase pressure on News of the World
• Police to release previously undisclosed records
• Details may put pressure on Andy Coulson

Jamie Doward
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 9 January 2011 00.05 GMT

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/15/1292451863788/Andy-Coulson-007.jpg
The documents are expected to trigger fresh allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World, formerly edited by Andy Coulson. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian
The scandal threatening to engulf the News of the World will intensify this week when the Metropolitan police hands over previously undisclosed documents relating to the hacking of celebrities' mobile phones while the paper was edited by Andy Coulson, David Cameron's communications director.

The documents are expected to trigger fresh allegations that phone hacking at the paper was extensive and not the work of "one rogue reporter" as it has maintained. The fear for News International, the parent company of the News of the World, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is that the documents may contain the names of commissioning journalists.

Scotland Yard has until Wednesday to comply with a court order obliging it to provide lawyers representing the sports agent Skylet Andrew with material relating to the hacking of his phone which was recovered by police from the offices of Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator in the pay of the newspaper.

Andrew, who represents Ashes hero James Anderson, the former England footballer Sol Campbell and the Stoke City player Jermaine Pennant, is one of the leading sports agents in the UK.

The imminent disclosure comes as the News of the World defends itself against a legal action brought by the actor Sienna Miller. Ian Edmondson, the News of the World assistant editor, has been suspended amid allegations he sanctioned the hacking of Miller's phones. His suspension triggered a request from Scotland Yard for the newspaper to share any new information it had on the scandal.

Disclosure of Andrew's files is viewed by lawyers as of equal significance to the Miller revelations. The documents relate to the original 2006 hacking case involving the interception of royal aides' phones that resulted in the jailing of Mulcaire and the paper's former royal editor and gossip columnist Clive Goodman. During the trial, Mulcaire also pleaded guilty to intercepting the phones of Andrew and four other high-profile figures.

At the time the News of the World denied knowing anything about this additional hacking which, along with Andrew, involved the supermodel Elle Macpherson, the MP Simon Hughes, the publicist Max Clifford, and the former head of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor.

Clifford, however, sued the newspaper, dropping his case only after accepting a reported £1m to settle out of court, a move that meant all the files taken from Mulcaire's office by the Met and disclosed to the publicist's legal team never made it into court. Taylor also settled for a substantial sum, a decision that again meant potentially damaging files never entered the public domain.

But Andrew has pursued a low-profile legal action, and the release of the Met's files relating to his case, which must also be shared with lawyers representing the News of the World, means the newspaper could yet be forced to defend itself in court.

Andrew's legal team will be keen to discover to what extent, if any, the files refer to Goodman, Edmondson, Greg Miskiw, the paper's former assistant editor, and its chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, who all face allegations they knew phone hacking was taking place. Rupert Murdoch, when questioned about the affair last year, said: "There was one incident more than five years ago ... the person who bought the bugged conversation was immediately fired. If anything was to come to light, and we have challenged those people who have made allegations to provide evidence ... we would take immediate action."

Coulson, who resigned as editor of the News of the World after Goodman and Mulcaire were sentenced, has denied knowing hacking was taking place on his watch. David Cameron has staunchly defended his director of communications. But investigations by the Guardian suggested phone hacking was widespread on the newspaper under Coulson.

News International faces questions about whether it will offer Edmondson a pay-off to leave the paper or whether it will itself take legal action against its senior employee. Further pressure on News International will come this week when a cross-party parliamentary committee again discusses the scandal. The Observer understands that in the past few days several more celebrities whose phones were also allegedly hacked, have signed up with law firms to bring actions against the newspaper.

Today a spokesman for News International said it had no comment. A spokeswoman for the News of the World also declined to speak.

David Guyatt
01-15-2011, 12:16 PM
Things are growing more and more interesting in the phone-hacking affair. It seems there is blood in the water.

Inspector Knacker of the Yard (i.e., political ADC, John Yates), has written a CYA letter to DPP, putting the onus on the pols on how to proceed -- or not. And if not, the buck stops with you...

[The conclusions should be provided to you in the first instance for you to then advise me as to what, if any, further action may be required.[/quote]

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=46552&c=1


DPP to revisit case for phone-hack prosecution

14 January 2011
By PA Media Lawyer

Prosecutors are to conduct a "comprehensive assessment" of all material collected by Scotland Yard linked to the phone hacking scandal.

Director of Prosecutions Keir Starmer said the move will ascertain whether there is any material which could spark a fresh prosecution.

A senior QC will re-examine all material collected as part of the original inquiry and any new evidence that has come to light.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has today agreed that the Crown Prosecution Service will conduct a comprehensive assessment of all material in the possession of the Metropolitan Police Service relating to phone hacking, following developments in the civil courts.

"The exercise will involve an examination of all material considered as part of the original investigation into Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire and any material which has subsequently come to light.

"The assessment will be carried out by the principal legal adviser, Alison Levitt QC.

"The purpose of this assessment is to ascertain whether there is any material which could now form evidence in any future criminal prosecution relating to phone hacking."

Mulcaire and former News of the World reporter Goodman were jailed at the Old Bailey in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting messages.

The latest development came after actress Sienna Miller lodged documents in the High Court linking a third person with the scandal.

Miller is suing the News of the World's parent company and Mulcaire, accusing them of breaching her privacy and of harassment.

It emerged earlier this month that News of the World executive Ian Edmondson has been suspended as a result of her claims.

Scotland Yard detectives subsequently wrote to the Sunday newspaper asking for any new evidence staff had on the case.

Metropolitan Police Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates discussed the decision with Mr Starmer earlier today.

In a letter to the DPP, he said there "remain outstanding public, legal and political concerns" about the scandal.

"As a result, I consider it would be wise to invite you to further re-examine all the material collected in this matter.

"This would also enable you to advise me and assure yourself as to whether there is any existing material which could now form evidence in any future criminal prosecution relating to phone hacking.

"The conclusions should be provided to you in the first instance for you to then advise me as to what, if any, further action may be required.

"We both understand that any future action will always be for the police to consider independently."

A News of the World spokeswoman said: "We will, of course, co-operate fully with any inquiries relating to the assessment by the CPS."

Jan Klimkowski
01-18-2011, 11:15 PM
The Murdoch empire's "rogue reporter" defence has always been an untenable joke, but it's a pleasure to see it disintegrating:


NoW phone-hacking scandal: News Corp's 'rogue reporter' defence unravels

Glenn Mulcaire tells high court that News of the World's head of news asked him to hack voicemail messages

James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Monday 17 January 2011 20.48 GMT

News Corporation's defence that phone hacking at the News of the World was the work of a single "rogue reporter" was on the verge of collapse tonight after Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective at the centre of the case, said the paper's head of news commissioned him to access voicemail messages.

Mulcaire is understood to have submitted a statement to the high court this afternoon confirming that Ian Edmondson, the paper's assistant editor (news) asked him to hack into voicemail messages left on a mobile phone belonging to Sky Andrew, a football agent. Andrew is suing the paper for breach of privacy.

It is also understood that Mulcaire said in the court statement that several other executives at the News of the World were aware that phone hacking was taking place, although he does not name them.

A spokesman for the News of the World said: "This is a serious allegation that will form part of our internal investigation."

Edmondson was suspended by the paper before Christmas after he was named in court documents in a separate case against the News of the World brought by the actor Sienna Miller.

His computer has been impounded as part of the paper's internal investigation and the company is trawling through his emails. He is expected to be questioned after colleagues have been interviewed.

Mulcaire's decision to name Edmondson helps to explains why News Group acted so quickly to suspend him.

Mulcaire's lawyer, Sarah Webb, said: "It's in court documents. I'm not prepared to comment."

The admission by Mulcaire, whose legal fees are believed to be met by News of the World publisher, News Group, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, contradicts the paper's repeated claim that only a single journalist – the former royal editor Clive Goodman – knew about his activities. Executives at the paper, including its former editor Andy Coulson, now David Cameron's director of communications – have stuck to that version of events since Goodman and Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 for illegally intercepting voicemails left on mobile phones belonging to members of the royal household.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "We have nothing further to add."

Files seized by police in a 2006 raid on Mulcaire's home show that Mulcaire wrote "Ian" in the margins of a transcript he made of messages left on Miller's phone.

Miller's lawyers had contended that "Ian" referred to Edmondson, an executive at the paper who was hired by Coulson and worked closely with the former editor during his time at the paper.

Mulcaire had a habit of writing the first name of whoever had asked him to conduct hacking in the top left corner of his paperwork. His conviction in 2006 along with Goodman rested partly on the fact he had written "Clive" on his files.

Lawyers acting for Nicola Phillips, a publicist suing the paper for breach of privacy, won a high court ruling in November ordering Mulcaire to name the executives who ordered him to hack into phones.

He appealed against that ruling, however, on the grounds that he could incriminate himself by doing so, and the court of appeal has yet to hear his case.

It is unclear why Mulcaire has decided to name Edmondson now, although it is thought lawyers acting for several other litigants, including the comedian Steve Coogan and the Sky Sports commentator Andy Gray are preparing to make the same request. Murdoch has pledged "immediate action" against anyone found hacking again. News Corporation had fought a long battle to prevent details of the phone-hacking affair becoming public.

The Guardian revealed in July 2009 that News Corp had paid the PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor, and two others a total of £1m in a secret out-of -court settlement in exchange for dropping a hacking case. The documents relating to the case were then sealed by the court. The celebrity publicist Max Clifford received £1m last year in a similar settlement.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/17/phone-hacking-news-of-the-world

Jan Klimkowski
01-18-2011, 11:22 PM
Ah. Pawn to King 7.

Murdoch's creatures make the only logical move available to them - dump on their News Editor, and move from ONE rogue reporter to TWO rogue reporters.

:angeldevil:


News of the World shifts away from 'one-rogue' phone-hacking response

Tabloid publisher is battling to regain credibility by gradually distancing itself from Ian Edmondson

Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 18 January 2011 22.09 GMT

Mired in a deluge of slow-moving celebrity phone-hacking lawsuits, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is battling to regain credibility by gradually distancing itself from Ian Edmondson, the senior News of the World editor at the heart of the latest round of court allegations.

The tabloid publisher was quick to recognise the gravity of today's courtroom claim by Glenn Mulcaire – the private investigator previously jailed for his part in hacking the mobile phones of members of the royal household at the behest of royal editor Clive Goodman – who claimed that Edmondson, No 3 at the newspaper, had instructed him to hack into the mobile phone of the football agent Sky Andrew.

Meanwhile, Edmondson, under investigation by his own newspaper, is already feeling the heat. The gaggle of lawyers acting for the celebrities suing the newspaper argue that all News Corp has done is move from the "one rogue" – referring to the already jailed Goodman – to a "two rogue" strategy. News Corp continues to concede as little as possible – they argue – only suspending journalists where there is a prima facie case for one individual reporter to answer.

News Corp insists, though, that its approach has changed. It wants litigants to see what evidence they can put in the public domain, to see what information emerges from Mulcaire's notebooks, which are gradually being released by the Metropolitan police. It says it is prepared to act – and has been for months if "new information is put before us".

It is a high-risk approach. News Corp knows there is the potential for one of the phone hacking cases to develop each week. The news story continues to run on, damaging the company's credibility at a time when senior Labour sources believe Rupert and James Murdoch are trying to negotiate a behind- the-scenes deal to get the News Corporation buyout of BSkyB waved through by Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary.


Meanwhile, the evidence provided by the Met to claimants such as ex-footballer Andy Gray remains sketchy with large parts of key documentation, phone records and notes redacted. It is not clear what will come out if the Met is forced to provide more information to litigants – and, indeed, if any cases come to trial. But for now any journalist from the News of the World named in the fashion of Edmondson will have to be immediately suspended.

This, perhaps, could help insulate past and present senior executives – Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, and Rebekah Brooks, another former editor, who moved to the Sun, then became the chief executive of News International, News Corp's UK newspaper arm. There is no evidence to suggest either any direct contact with Mulcaire or any other phone hacking.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/18/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking

David Guyatt
01-19-2011, 12:03 PM
Although it is not a precise parallel, this affair reminds me a bit of the Guinness buyout of Distillers Plc., which resulted in the "Guinness four" being charged, found guilty and all but one (for health reasons) imprisoned.

Fingers crossed... http://www.myemoticons.com/images/work-school/civil/policeman.gif

Magda Hassan
01-20-2011, 12:30 PM
News of the World hacking scandal throws spotlight on Murdoch media empire

By Julie Hyland
20 January 2011

The private investigator at the centre of allegations of widespread phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World (NoW) has reportedly admitted that executives at the newspaper were aware of the practice.
According to the Guardian, Glen Muclaire has made the admission in a statement given to the high court. The document is also said to confirm that Ian Edmondson, NoW’s assistant editor (news), asked Muclaire to hack into voice mail messages left on a mobile belonging to Sky Andrew, a football agent. Two weeks ago, the NoW announced it had suspended Edmondson before Christmas pending a separate legal action by actress Sienna Miller against the newspaper, in which he was named.
Muclaire and Clive Goodman, NoW’sroyal correspondent, were jailed in 2007 for six and four months, respectively, after they were found guilty of illegally accessing the mobile phone messages of members of the royal family. The royals had called in police to investigate, after a number of stories appeared in the NoW on Princes Harry and William.
Despite evidence that the potential victims of the phone hacking ran to the hundreds, if not thousands, and involved government ministers, police and defence chiefs, the case was confined solely to the royals and Goodman was the only NoW journalist to be charged.
The NoW claimed throughout that Goodman was a rogue reporter, and Mulcaire an out-of-control investigator. Andy Coulson, then editor of the NoW, resigned his post when the two were jailed. He vigorously denied any knowledge of the phone hacking, but said he took responsibility, as it had happened on his watch. Not long after, Coulson went to work for Conservative leader David Cameron, then in opposition. He is now employed as Cameron’s director of communications.
It is not clear why Mulcaire has named Edmondson now, after years of denying the involvement of anyone other than Goodman, or how Edmondson will respond to his claim. There is speculation that the NoW was forced to move against Edmondson because its rogue reporter defence had become untenable. He may be sacrificed, it has been suggested, to draw a line under the scandal and protect Coulson and others.
Mulcaire and Goodman received payoffs for unfair dismissal from the NoW—with Muclaire receiving £80,000 and Goodman an undisclosed amount rumoured to be as much as £1 million. As both settlements were subject to confidentiality agreements, it has never been explained why the NoW would make payouts to those found guilty of criminal offences. There are also claims that Mulcaire’s legal fees, thought to be running at some £500,000 so far, are being paid by News International, which publishes the NoW.
The scandal raises questions about relations between Murdoch’s corporation and the police, and reaches right into the heart of the political establishment.
For several years, it appeared that the allegations of extensive phone hacking by the NoW had been laid to rest, after the Metropolitan Police ruled out further charges. Declining to publish the evidence it had collected from Mulcaire, the Met said it would instead inform those thought to be victims privately.
In July 2009, however, the Guardian alleged that the list of potential targets was far wider than previously assumed, including John Prescott, former deputy prime minister, and then minister Tessa Jowell. Prescott challenged why police had never informed him that he could have been a target, but Andy Hayman, then assistant commissioner at the Met, repeatedly insisted that there was no evidence that Prescott’s phone had been hacked.
Further investigation by the Guardian revealed that the police had recovered 4,000 full or partial names and nearly 3,000 full or partial telephone numbers at the time of the 2007 trial, but had named just eight individuals.
In March 2010, the NoW settled with publicist Max Clifford for intercepting his voice mail, agreeing to pay legal costs and an undisclosed personal payment that has been reported to be as high as £1 million. Clifford had won a court ruling that the NoW must disclose secret information of the journalists involved in the hacking. The deal meant that this information could not be made public.
The Clifford settlement was in addition to some £1.5 million reportedly paid in other out-of-court settlements. An investigation by the New York Times in September 2009 quoted lawyer Mark Lewis stating, “Getting a letter from Scotland Yard that your phone has been hacked is rather like getting a Willy Wonka golden ticket. Time to queue up at Murdoch Towers to get paid.”
At least six lawsuits are thought to be under way, with many more being prepared against the NoW. In addition, 11 people are taking legal action against Muclaire. Prescott and former deputy Met Police commissioner Brian Paddick—subsequently identified as a potential victim—are seeking a judicial review into the police handling of the investigation.
The Times investigation cited several former NoW journalists stating that Coulson had “actively encouraged” phone hacking. “In fact”, the newspaper continued, “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.”
This was followed by a Channel 4 “Dispatches”programme, in which it was alleged that Coulson had personally listened to hacked messages.
Two parliamentary select committees are involved in inquiries concerning the hacking, and the House of Commons voted to refer allegations of hacking against politicians to the Standards and Privileges Committee.
In February, the cross-party culture, media and sport select committee reported that the exact number of victims of this criminal activity “will never be known”, not least due to the silence of Goodman and Mulcaire and the “collective amnesia” at the newspaper group. But it was certainly more than “a handful”, it said.
It was “inconceivable” that no one else at the NoW knew of the hacking, the committee stated. It registered its concern about the “readiness of all of those involved: News International, the police and the PCC [Press Complaints Commission] to leave Mr. Goodman as the sole scapegoat without carrying out a full investigation at the time.”
It added that while no details had been forthcoming on any payoffs to Goodman or Mulcaire, the committee was “left with a strong impression that silence has been bought.”
Despite such reports, in December the Crown Prosecution Service said police had failed to find “admissible evidence” to purse legal action, and the case was closed.
In response to the allegations now made against Edmondson, it was announced that a panel of prosecutors and police will be set up to review any fresh evidence—although it is considered unlikely that the case will be reopened.
As Henry Porter noted in the Observer, “Imagine these allegations being made about any other organisation…and you realise that this kind of cover-up, involving the payment of so much money to so many people, is unprecedented…. The truth is that no other organisation in Britain could have acted in this way and come so far without suffering serious penalties and public humiliation.”
It has been suggested that the Met police were reluctant to investigate lest it damage its relations with News International. What precisely these relations consist of has never been spelt out.
Andy Hayman, who led the investigation into Goodman and Mulcaire, is now employed by Murdoch’s Times (of London) as a columnist.
A 1999 police investigation into corruption within the force revealed a detective agency run by former officers acting as intermediary between police and the tabloids. In 2004, further arrests were made as the result of investigations into the links between police and “several media” organisations, involving the handing over of criminal records.
In 2003, Rebekah Brooks, then editor of Murdoch’s Sun tabloid, told a parliamentary committee that the newspaper paid police for information. News International immediately issued a denial.
As for the political establishment, the close relations between Tony Blair and Murdoch are legendary. The multibillionaire’s access to government has certainly not been diminished by the change from Labour to the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, as Coulson’s appointment signifies.
It is Conservative Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who is currently looking into Murdoch’s News Corporation’s planned £8 billion buyout of BSkyB. The acquisition is opposed by many other media outlets, including the Guardian. If cleared, Murdoch would control half of Britain’s TV revenues and half its newspapers’ revenues by the middle of the next decade, according to Will Hutton.
The Guardian noted that in December, the corporation “was handed a gift when the hostile business secretary, Vince Cable, was stripped of his role in judging whether to allow the takeover after saying that he had ‘declared war on Murdoch’ to two undercover Daily Telegraph reporters.”
That is something of an understatement. Cable was due to decide whether Murdoch’s bid should be passed onto the Competition Commission. As a result of the undercover sting, the decision passed to Hunt.
Hunt is on record as stating that he is not opposed to the takeover. It has subsequently emerged that he held a private meeting with Murdoch’s son, James, absent civil servants last June, just after the BSkyB bid was made public.
Only last week, the Financial Times reported that Hunt had been warned by lawyers to be careful to avoid legal challenges, after he sent Murdoch’s company a key document concerning the bid. “Three competition experts”, had said this “could give News Corp [Murdoch’s international media operation] the ability to offer pre-emptive ‘remedies’ that would cut out the need” for investigation by the Competition Commission, the FT reported. “News Corp pursued this tactic when the European Commission was considering the bid, which was eventually passed unconditionally.”
http://wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/murd-j20.shtml

David Guyatt
01-20-2011, 01:41 PM
As Henry Porter noted in the Observer, “Imagine these allegations being made about any other organisation…and you realise that this kind of cover-up, involving the payment of so much money to so many people, is unprecedented…. The truth is that no other organisation in Britain could have acted in this way and come so far without suffering serious penalties and public humiliation.”


The foregoing alone speaks volumes about the power of Murdoch as it presently stands.

And of course, the wholesale corruption of the HM Police Force Plc, a full time for profit organization. I wonder if bribes are accounted for under the heading of "Force SOX" (i.e., social expenses)? This used to be the accounting code in my day.

Jan Klimkowski
01-20-2011, 06:19 PM
Mulcaire is the private eye, and Goodman the NoW royal correspondent:


Mulcaire and Goodman received payoffs for unfair dismissal from the NoW—with Muclaire receiving £80,000 and Goodman an undisclosed amount rumoured to be as much as £1 million. As both settlements were subject to confidentiality agreements, it has never been explained why the NoW would make payouts to those found guilty of criminal offences. There are also claims that Mulcaire’s legal fees, thought to be running at some £500,000 so far, are being paid by News International, which publishes the NoW.
The scandal raises questions about relations between Murdoch’s corporation and the police, and reaches right into the heart of the political establishment.
For several years, it appeared that the allegations of extensive phone hacking by the NoW had been laid to rest, after the Metropolitan Police ruled out further charges. Declining to publish the evidence it had collected from Mulcaire, the Met said it would instead inform those thought to be victims privately.

So, the Murdoch empire claims that Goodman was a "rogue reporter" who was acting unilaterally and without management permission, and Mulcaire was not told to hack phones by Murdoch management.

And yet Murdoch lawyers pay the pair over a milion quid for false dismissal and may have paid over half a million quid's worth of Mulcaire's legal fees.

To a "rogue" employee and a "rogue" private eye?!?!? :monkeypiss:

Perhaps the Murdoch empire should commission a new soap entitled "The Price of Omerta"....

David Guyatt
01-21-2011, 11:02 AM
The plot thickens.

Is it smoke filled rooms or smoked salmon and iced champagne? The result is probably the same in any case.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/20/david-cameron-rebekah-brooks-bskyb


David Cameron met Rebekah Brooks after Vince Cable lost BSkyB power
PM visited News International chief's home over Christmas amid storm over Rupert Murdoch's bid to take full control of BSkyB

Nicholas Watt and Dan Sabbagh
The Guardian, Thursday 20 January 2011

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/1/19/1295472205651/Rebekah-Brooks-007.jpg
Rebekah Brooks lives near to David Cameron's consistuency home.

David Cameron was a guest of Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International, at her Oxfordshire home over the Christmas period – just days after he transferred ministerial responsibility over Rupert Murdoch's bid to take full control of BSkyB.

Shortly before Christmas, Cameron stripped Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary, of his powers on media takeovers after Cable was recorded telling undercover journalists that he had "declared war" on Murdoch. Cameron handed the responsibility to the Tory culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Hunt is due to decide soon whether to refer the company's bid for BSkyB to the competition commission after receiving a report by the media regulator Ofcom. News Corp is making a £7.5bn bid to buy the 61% of BSkyB it does not own.

Shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis last night described Cameron's decision to meet Brooks as "extraordinary".

"People will question his judgment at a time when ministers are making a quasi-judicial decision about News Corp's bid for BSkyB," Lewis said. "The prime minister may be in breach of his own ministerial code, which requires openness and transparency. There is an arrogance about this prime minister that is slowly coming to the surface."

A Downing Street source played down the significance of the social engagement and pointed out that Brooks is one of the prime minister's constituents. The source said: "To suggest some kind of impropriety is laughable. The prime minister regularly meets newspaper executives from lots of different companies."

Cameron visited Brooks and her husband, the racehorse trainer and writer Charlie Brooks, at their Oxfordshire home over the Christmas period. Cameron is MP for Witney and his constituency home is near the couple's house.

The disclosure of the meeting comes as News International faces pressure over allegations of illegal phone hacking at the News of the World. Andy Coulson, Cameron's communications director, resigned as editor of the News of the World in 2007 shortly after the jailing of the paper's former royal editor, Clive Goodman, and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire for phone hacking. Coulson has always denied knowledge of illegal phone hacking.

Ian Edmondson, the paper's assistant editor (news), was suspended last month after the News of the World was alerted that Mulcaire would say in evidence that the executive had instructed him to hack the phone of the football agent Sky Andrew.

One senior Tory said that News International's central defence – that a "rogue reporter" was responsible – appeared to be crumbling. "This all appears to be closing in. It has always been obvious there were others. People just didn't know the names."

Cameron, who declined to say on the Today programme earlier this week whether Coulson had offered to resign, said that his communications director was embarrassed by the revelations. "Of course he, as anyone who is human would be, is extremely embarrassed by the endless publicity and speculation about what happened many years ago when he was editor of the News of the World. Of course he is embarrassed about that."

David Guyatt
01-21-2011, 11:41 AM
Andy Coulson has resigned!

Cameron's spin doctor quits!

Bye bye.

Magda Hassan
01-21-2011, 11:56 AM
Beat me to it!
Jan, any thoughts of applying?

David Guyatt
01-21-2011, 12:07 PM
Coulson's resignation is currently putting Blair's testimony at Chilcott in the shade - even though our beloved MSM keep repeating that Coulson choose today - Blair's big day - to slip the news out quietly.

It currently looks like its the other way around though.

Jan Klimkowski
01-22-2011, 01:43 PM
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/21/rupert-murdoch-news-corp-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.





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/2011/jan/21/andy-coulson-departure-just-the-start

David Guyatt
01-22-2011, 06:50 PM
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.

Jan Klimkowski
01-22-2011, 07:48 PM
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......

Paul Rigby
01-23-2011, 10:20 AM
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.

David Guyatt
01-23-2011, 11:39 AM
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/politics/exclusive-brown-asks-scotland-yard-to-investigate-if-he-was-hacked-2192041.html#disqus_thread


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/dynamic/00540/hacking_540048t.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.

Paul Rigby
01-23-2011, 11:57 AM
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.)

David Guyatt
01-23-2011, 12:06 PM
I agree entirely Paul. It explains the complicity precisely - including the continuing lack of the Met's investigation into the phone hacking scandal.

Paul Rigby
01-23-2011, 12:36 PM
Is this the first operation of the new Tory spin team? The CIA?


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-1349717/Lord-Strathclyde-affair-Notorious-Green-Party-activist-Birgit-Cunningham-seduced.html

Expect much more of the same in the next couple of weeks.

David Guyatt
01-24-2011, 03:03 PM
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-police-under-pressure-to-reopen-hack-dba1618.html


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.

Jan Klimkowski
01-25-2011, 08:05 PM
Rupert Murdoch - his family (nepotism - always a sign of overweenng arrogance), his apparatchiks (entirely disposable), his board (rather interesting):


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/24/rupert-murdoch-news-international-wapping-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:


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/24/news-of-the-world-claimants-phone-hacking

And to think that Greenslade teaches journalism.... :moon2:

Jan Klimkowski
01-26-2011, 10:11 PM
Lookie here - Rupert flies in, fires a "rogue reporter", and the famed Murdoch lackeys start feeding selective evidence - "a few emails" - to the rozzers.

It was him, guv. Honest.

Rook to King 8.

Whilst the goon squads slide through the shadows, provoking a shiver here, a shock there.....


Met police reopen investigation into phone hacking at News of the World

Murdoch tabloid gives 'significant new evidence' to Scotland Yard as senior newsman Ian Edmondson is sacked

Vikram Dodd, James Robinson and Nicholas Watt guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 26 January 2011 21.46 GMT

Scotland Yard reopened its investigation into phone hacking today – four years after the only convictions in the case – after the News of the World passed on "significant new information" alleged to implicate one of the paper's top executives in the practice.

Shortly afterwards the paper announced that it had sacked its assistant editor (news), Ian Edmondson. This came hard on the heels of the arrival in London of its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, said to be in town to deal with both the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed the paper and his corporation's bid to take complete control of BSkyB.

The sacking, and the new police investigation, come after 18 months of Guardian reports into allegations of widespread phone hacking at the News of the World.

Until shortly before Christmas the paper had always alleged that only one rogue reporter and a private investigator were involved in the practice, and the police had repeatedly insisted that there was no evidence available to link any other News Corporation employees with hacking.

Tonight a source close to the new police investigation said the latest evidence passed to the Metropolitan police so far amounted to only a small number of emails, although detectives believe there may be many more.

"It's hard to believe these are the only ones. There may be a shedload of shit still to come," said one source.

Part of the fresh police inquiry will look at whether this new evidence should have been uncovered by the original investigation, undertaken by the Met's former assistant commissioner Andy Hayman. Some officers are understood to feel that Hayman's team did not investigate sufficiently thoroughly at the time.

Last night a senior Tory launched a strong attack on the police for failing to carry out a proper investigation of the phone-hacking allegations the first time around.

John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons culture select committee – which last year accused News International of "collective amnesia" over the allegations – expressed astonishment that the Yard had finally decided to act, given the evidence in a range of documents in its possession for the last five years.

"I find it utterly extraordinary that the police have been sitting on these documents for five years and did absolutely nothing about them," Whittingdale said.

"I think they generally accepted News International's excuse that there was just one rogue reporter. But the police were sitting on documents that implicate Ian Edmondson and they did not question him."

Whittingdale said today's dramatic developments also raised questions for Andy Coulson, who announced his resignation as the Downing Street communications director last week, and Rebekah Brooks, the News International chief executive.

The announcement by the Yard came just a few hours after David Cameron endorsed the director of public prosecutions' separate decision earlier this week to widen inquiries.

The prime minister told MPs: "Let me be absolutely clear: phone hacking is wrong and illegal, and it is quite right that the director of public prosecutions is reviewing all the evidence, which should be followed wherever it leads.

"I do not think it is necessarily fair to say the police have not been active – after all, there have been prosecutions, convictions, and indeed imprisonments – but the law is quite clear and the prosecuting authorities should follow it wherever it leads."

News International indicated that it had acted after an internal investigation, which involved a trawl through Edmondson's emails, allegedly revealed correspondence relating to hacking.

A source close to the investigation said the emails could be interpreted as showing Edmondson was aware of phone hacking and came in evidence from Burton Copeland, a firm of solicitors hired to carry out the investigation, on Monday morning.

The new police investigation will be lead by deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers, who is a specialist in tackling organised criminal gangs. Scotland Yard has decided to transfer the investigation from the specialist operations division, led by John Yates, to the specialist crime directorate.

Yard insiders say Yates's replacement is not a sign of his having failed. Rather, he is acting as deputy commissioner and heads the Yard's counter-terrorism operation at a time when the threat level is severe – roles more deserving of his time than chasing a tabloid over allegations of phone hacking.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/26/phone-hacking-investigation-reopened-by-police

Luv that desperate spin attempting to save Yates' trashed reputation...

Paul Rigby
01-26-2011, 10:22 PM
Sky has done-in its own leading faces of football, Andy Gray and Richard Keys. The former, by sheerest coincidence, was among those who had launched legal action against the News of the World's industrial-scale phone-hacking:


SO, WAS SKY PUNDIT ANDY GRAY THE TARGET OF A CONSPIRACY?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350449/Richard-Keys-resigns-dark-forces-stitched-Andy-Gray-apologises.html

Conspiracy theorists are having a field day trying to piece together the extraordinary chain of events in which Andy Gray became embroiled.

Many of those who regularly saw him on their TV screens will be unaware that the 55-year-old pundit for Sky Sports (owned by BSkyB) is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the News Of The World (owned by News International).

And this connection has been seized upon on Twitter and the blogosphere. One Tweet reads ‘Andy Gray sues New (sic) of the World for phone tapping. Sexist tapes (mostly recorded by Sky) leaked. Coincidence?’ while a blog has been written entitled ‘Rupert Murdoch, phone-tapping and revenge against Gray’.

The current dilemma the presenter found himself in comes against a background of heavyweight political and financial interests.

For the News Of The World is a subsidiary of 79-year-old Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation which has a 39 per cent stake in BSkyB and is currently trying to buy the rest.

This is clearly a sensitive issue politically and in the week Mr Murdoch flew into London the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is considering whether to refer the deal to the Competition Commission because it might threaten ‘media plurality’.

But that is not Mr Gray’s concern. His anger is because, he claims, his phone was hacked by the News Of The World and, along with the comedian and actor Steve Coogan, he is trying to find out who was involved.

Both he and Coogan want Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective at the centre of the case, to name those at the Sunday newspaper who allegedly accessed their mobile phone voicemail and to whom the information was passed.

Mulcaire, who was jailed for six months for hacking into the phones of members of the Royal household. A full hearing for the case is scheduled for November this year.

To some, it seems a tad suspicious that just as the phone hacking story reaches a crescendo - with the resignation of David Cameron’s spokesman Andy Coulson - these TV recordings should mysteriously find their way into the public domain. What makes the leaks all the more surprising is that News Corp is known for its corporate discipline.

In the initial tapes, leaked to the Mail on Sunday, Gray and fellow presenter Richard Keys were recorded agreeing that a female football official would need the offside rule explaining to her because she was a woman.

Then came footage released by Sky showing Gray making disparaging remarks about a female match official. The fact it was put out by his own broadcaster begs the question of who, if anyone, high up gave the nod that this should happen.

But being targeted by his ‘own side’ should come as no surprise to the former Scotland player.

Four years ago The Sun (owned by News International) ran a piece about the ‘drunken antics’ of ‘love rat Gray, 50 - who last year got engaged to a friend’s wife’ in La Manga, Spain. Just in case readers were in any doubt as to which Andy Gray this may be the piece helpfully added ‘Gray, paid a whopping £20,000 a week by Sky Sports’.

They also brought up the former player’s past and the fact that he ‘bedded ex-model Rachel Lewis even though her hubby Michael, 57, had been his friend for more than 30 years. Gray then asked Rachel to marry him’.

Time will tell as to what further twists and turns lie ahead in this bewildering tale.

David Guyatt
01-27-2011, 09:24 AM
Bloody good point Paul.

I had wondered who was responsible in the Sky studio for accidentally on purpose recording both their off-air comments and then releasing them to the hyenas to immediately hit number 1 spot in the Scottish album charts. And why.

That's cleared that puzzle up then.

David Guyatt
01-27-2011, 03:33 PM
Met say "no stone will be left unturned" in new "robust" phone hacking investigation that "will restore confidence".

:pointlaugh::pointlaugh::pointlaugh:

So, it is a PR exercise.

Rendered out of newspeak into common parlance it simply means that yes, heads will roll. But the "governing mind" is home free. Once again the Dirty Digger escapes the "short-reach" of the Rozzers Plc.


Phone hacking: police promise 'robust' investigation
Met chief says 'no stone will be left unturned' as he defends decision not to reopen News of the World inquiry 18 months ago

James Robinson and Vikram Dodd
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 January 2011 14.52 GMT

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Media/Pix/pictures/2011/1/27/1296139484962/New-Scotland-Yard-007.jpg
Phone-hacking inquiry: Scotland Yard said it would 'leave no stone unturned'.

The head of the Metropolitan police said today that "no stone will be left unturned" in the fresh investigation into the News of the World phone-hacking allegations announced yesterday, four years after the initial convictions in the case.

Speaking at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority in London's City Hall this morning, acting commissioner Tim Godwin promised a "robust investigation" that "will restore the confidence for those victims who feel we have not given them the service (they deserve)".

Godwin was forced to defend the Met's decision not to reopen the case 18 months ago, however, in the face of criticism from MPA members.

Scotland Yard announced a new criminal inquiry yesterday after the paper passed it "significant new information".

The new information passed by the News of the World to the police is believed to consist of four emails retrieved from a computer belonging to Ian Edmondson, the News of the World's assistant editor (news), who was sacked by the paper on Tuesday following an internal inquiry.

Scotland Yard previously rejected repeated demands to re-examine evidence and reopen the case, however, despite a series of revelations in the Guardian and the New York Times about the extent of the practice at the paper.

MPA member Jenny Jones, a Green party member of the London Assembly, told acting assistant commissioner John Yates – who also at City Hall today – he had "got quite tetchy" at a previous hearing when asked why he had decided not reopen the case sooner.

Yates reviewed the phone-hacking evidence in July 2009 after the Guardian revealed the paper's owner, News Group, had paid about £1m in out-of-court settlements to victims of hacking, including PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, to settle privacy cases. He decided the case should remain closed.

Jones accused Yates of having a "disregard for our questions" and characterised his response to criticisms levelled at the police as: "Don't worry your pretty little heads about that. We are the experts."

Yates responded: "If I did appear tetchy it was because I was expected to act on facts that were not in any way able to be developed into evidence. I was being asked to act on rumour, innuendo and gossip."

He concluded in less than 24 hours that there was not sufficient evidence to reopen the phone-hacking case, which resulted in jail terms in 2007 for Clive Goodman, a former royal editor at the News of the World, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed by the paper.

Both men pleaded guilty to illegally intercepting voicemails belonging to members of the royal household. The paper said they had acted alone and without the knowledge of executives at the paper, including Andy Coulson, who resigned as editor when Goodman was jailed.

Coulson resigned as David Cameron's director of communications last week saying coverage of phone hacking made it impossible for him to do his job.

"I have always said we will respond to any new evidence and that is exactly what we have done today. This is the first significant new evidence that may have a chance of being admissible. We have set up a new team to deal with that and we need to let them get on with it," Yates said today.

"This is the first time we have announced a new investigation with new material where there is a prospect of developing some promising lines of inquiry," he added.

Yates said "the original investigation was constructed with the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service]", prosecutors had "access to all the material" and the scale of the prosecution was a matter for the CPS.

The emails sent by Edmondson are rumoured to contain the names of other News of the World executives, although the paper has not confirmed this.

Jones also questioned Godwin and Yates about the close ties between the police and News of the World journalists and demanded to know how often senior officers and reporters at the paper were in contact.

"Coffee, lunch, dinner, dance – it would be useful to have that [information]," Jones said.

"We need to understand your motives," she added. "How can we be sure there is no fear or favour in the way the investigation is moving?"

Godwin replied: "I haven't had any meetings with the News of the World. I would be the last person to bow to pressure to drop the case."

Yates said: "News International is a big beast and we have a lot of dealings with them every week, so don't be surprised if there are meetings."

Godwin said the new investigation, which will be carried out by deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers, will leave "no stone unturned".

Akers is a specialist in tackling organised criminal gangs. The commissioner said that this decision was "not a reflection" of Yates's personal performance, but a reflection of the need to keep the division focused on counter-terrorism activities at a time of increased threats.

Executives at the paper's owner, Rupert Murdoch's News International, are struggling to contain a crisis that now threatens to engulf the whole of Fleet Street.

A number of public figures are threatening to sue other red-top papers over the actions of reporters who allegedly hacked into their voicemails, according to Mark Lewis, a solicitor acting for several claimants.

Murdoch is in London this week and is understood to have taken charge of the group's handling of the affair at a sensitive time. He is also in town as the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, considers whether to approve a bid by Murdoch's global media conglomerate News Corp to take full control of BSkyB.

The prime minister's official spokesman said today that David Cameron will not be meeting with or speaking to Murdoch while he is in the country.

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Fowler, who chairs the House of Lords communications committee, today called for "a full-scale inquiry" into the phone-hacking affair.

A report into phone hacking published by the Commons culture select committee in February 2010 concluded that News International was guilty of "collective amnesia" over the affair.

Jan Klimkowski
01-27-2011, 05:36 PM
Fixed the rancid cliches:


The head of the Metropolitan Police said today that "all stones left unturned have been buried in the foundations of London's Olympic stadium and will remain there" as the non-investigation into the News of the World phone-hacking allegations was passed to some fresh, young, destined for the top, lackey yesterday, four years after the Met first failed to act.

Speaking at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority in London's City Hall this morning, acting commissioner Tim Godwin promised a "robust whitewash" that "will protect the rights of News International to hack anyone they bloody well like", and denied that Murdoch journos held compromising evidence on the extra-curricular activities of Scotland Yard's finest and leading Westminster politicians.

Paul Rigby
01-27-2011, 07:06 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlVtZfgc4cU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlVtZfgc4cU)

David Guyatt
01-27-2011, 07:26 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlVtZfgc4cU

"Verdammt ausgezeichnetes!"

Overheard on this forum.

Magda Hassan
01-29-2011, 11:25 AM
Phone hacking: the next turn of the screw

Senior executive sacked as police launch new inquiry
By Cahal Milmo and Oliver Wright

Thursday, 27 January 2011


(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/phone-hacking-the-next-turn-of-the-screw-2195607.html?action=Popup) AP
The News of the World yesterday fired senior executive Ian Edmondson after an internal investigation into phone hacking

Rupert Murdoch's News International yesterday conceded that the phone-hacking scandal went to the heart of Britain's top-selling newspaper, announcing that it had sacked a senior editor at the News of the World and passed to police what investigators described as "significant new information". The fresh evidence is thought to include emails which could implicate other executives.
Scotland Yard immediately announced a new investigation into the damaging allegations, which have seen NOTW journalists accused of systematically accessing the voicemails of public figures and sparked criticism of police for their failure to question key staff at the newspaper, including the former editor Andy Coulson, during four years of supposed inquiries. Mr Coulson resigned as David Cameron's spokesman on Friday because of the clamour surrounding the hacking claims. In a move that will be seen as the start of a new attempt by News International to draw a line under the affair, the company said it had dismissed Ian Edmondson, the paper's assistant editor (news) and part of Mr Coulson's inner circle, who was suspended in December after he was linked to the activities of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective jailed for hacking the phones of Prince William's aides.
Sources said a trawl of Mr Edmondson's emails dating back nearly six years had found a dossier of "highly damaging evidence" which has been passed to the Yard. The Independent understands that detectives will scrutinise the information from thousands of messages found on the machine for any indication that Mr Edmondson or other figures at the newspaper were responsible for instructing Mr Mulcaire to target the phones of celebrities and politicians prior to 2006.
Related articles



Police promise 'no stone unturned' in hacking inquiry (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-promise-no-stone-unturned-in-hacking-inquiry-2195827.html)
Ian Burrell: So much for the theory of a 'rogue reporter' (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ian-burrell-so-much-for-the-theory-of-a-rogue-reporter-2195608.html)
Oliver Wright: New light is shed on the timing of Coulson's exit (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/oliver-wright-new-light-is-shed-on-the-timing-of-coulsons-exit-2195609.html)
BSkyB profits leap by 26% to £520m (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bskyb-profits-leap-by-26-to-520m-2195808.html)


Last night lawyers representing Mr Edmondson did not respond to requests for a comment, but it is believed that he may have evidence implicating other executives on the paper.
In a statement, News International said: "The News of the World has terminated the employment of Ian Edmondson... Material evidence found during the course of the subsequent investigation has led to [his] dismissal. News International has informed the police [and] handed over the material it has found."
The sacking of one of Mr Coulson's most trusted tabloid attack dogs represents a dramatic change in the stance of News International, which as recently as this month was maintaining its stance that the hacking was restricted to a single "rogue reporter" in the shape of the former royal editor Clive Goodman, who was imprisoned along with Mr Mulcaire. Both men were paid money by the NOTW after their convictions, and neither has spoken out.
Downing Street insisted last night that the new police inquiry was a "complete surprise" to Mr Cameron. It was unclear whether Mr Coulson, who has always denied knowledge of the phone hacking, had been aware of developments at his former employer.
Mr Edmondson, who was hired by the newspaper in November 2004 under Mr Coulson's editorship, was effectively No 3 on the newspaper and part of a select group who would discuss the most sensitive stories with the editor.
Mr Murdoch is said to be furious at the failure of his managers to end the hacking scandal. His company's volte-face comes just days after he cancelled his trip to the Davos World Economic Forum and arrived at News International's Wapping headquarters to hold crisis talks with senior staff, including the chief executive and former NOTW editor Rebekah Brooks.
The meeting coincided with the drawing up of a strategy to end the damage being caused by the affair, which has led to at least 20 alleged hacking victims – from the comedian Steve Coogan to the former deputy prime minister John Prescott – bringing proceedings in the High Court. Legal experts have said they expect News International to seek rapid settlement in many of the cases, which have seen payouts as high as seven figures to the publicist Max Clifford and Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.
The new Yard investigation will be subjected to fierce external scrutiny after strong criticism of its original inquiry in 2006, during which detectives seized thousands of documents from Mulcaire's home detailing his hacking operations against at least 91 people.
Subsequent disclosure of some of these documents in civil cases has revealed the names of at least two NOTW editors, including Mr Edmondson, who commissioned the private detective. But officers failed to question anyone at the paper apart from Mr Goodman.
The Labour MP Tom Watson urged the Director of Public Prosecutions to order an "urgent investigation" by an outside force into the Yard's handling of the affair, saying evidence against the police could amount to "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice". A CPS review of existing evidence in the case is expected to be completed in March.
In a move interpreted as a tacit admission that the investigation had been mishandled, the Yard said the inquiry would no longer be overseen by its counter-terrorism command, headed by acting deputy commissioner John Yates. It will be handled instead by the specialist crime directorate.
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition, said: "I think it would be good for the journalism profession if this is sorted out and people get to the bottom of who did what and anybody who's done something wrong gets punished."
Yates removed from case
The announcement of the third police investigation into phone hacking will cause as much discomfort in New Scotland Yard as it will in Wapping.
It will be seized on as evidence that the Met did not want to destroy a mutually beneficial relationship with the News of the World. A number of the paper's scoops have led to investigations and convictions by the Yard.
The decision to take responsibility for the inquiry away from John Yates and hand it to Sue Akers, a deputy assistant commissioner of the Met's specialist crime directorate, was being seen as an admission of failure.
But senior officers say this is unfair. The force obtained convictions against Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire at a time when Mr Yates and the counter-terrorism command which he headed were tied up dealing with Islamic extremism.
Last night, the Yard said it was this consideration rather than any rebuke of Mr Yates or his officers that had prompted the change.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/phone-hacking-the-next-turn-of-the-screw-2195607.html

David Guyatt
01-29-2011, 12:28 PM
The anticipated "Night of the Long Knives" has begun as the Dirty Digger plays CYA.

Jan Klimkowski
01-29-2011, 03:03 PM
Sources said a trawl of Mr Edmondson's emails dating back nearly six years had found a dossier of "highly damaging evidence" which has been passed to the Yard. The Independent understands that detectives will scrutinise the information from thousands of messages found on the machine for any indication that Mr Edmondson or other figures at the newspaper were responsible for instructing Mr Mulcaire to target the phones of celebrities and politicians prior to 2006.


Last night lawyers representing Mr Edmondson did not respond to requests for a comment, but it is believed that he may have evidence implicating other executives on the paper.

In a statement, News International said: "The News of the World has terminated the employment of Ian Edmondson... Material evidence found during the course of the subsequent investigation has led to [his] dismissal. News International has informed the police [and] handed over the material it has found."

The sacking of one of Mr Coulson's most trusted tabloid attack dogs represents a dramatic change in the stance of News International, which as recently as this month was maintaining its stance that the hacking was restricted to a single "rogue reporter" in the shape of the former royal editor Clive Goodman, who was imprisoned along with Mr Mulcaire. Both men were paid money by the NOTW after their convictions, and neither has spoken out.

Black Knight to Queen 6 - Murdoch lackeys send a pile of "highly damaging" emails incriminating Edmondson alone to the Met Police.

White Rook to Bishop 7 - Edmondson reveals existence of "devastating material" in his possession, proving senior Murdoch executives were always in the loop.

Black Queen to Rook 8 Check - Edmondson is found dressed in latex, hanging from from a beam with a noose round his neck, a tangerine in his mouth - a smiling death rictus through smeared purple lipgloss. The rozzers declare it accidental suicide, but they'd quite like to speak to an albino couple with an interest in bondage if that isn't too much trouble.

:whip:

If Mr Edmondson is a wise man, he should be making multiple copies of his evidence and scattering them across both the real and virtual worlds....

David Guyatt
01-29-2011, 03:36 PM
Black Queen to Rook 8 Check - Edmondson is found dressed in latex, hanging from from a beam with a noose round his neck, a tangerine in his mouth - a smiling death rictus through smeared purple lipgloss. The rozzers declare it accidental suicide, but they'd quite like to speak to an albino couple with an interest in bondage if that isn't too much trouble.

:whip:



The Sicilian defence?

Paul Rigby
01-29-2011, 08:26 PM
Black Queen to Rook 8 Check - Edmondson is found dressed in latex, hanging from from a beam with a noose round his neck, a tangerine in his mouth - a smiling death rictus through smeared purple lipgloss. The rozzers declare it accidental suicide, but they'd quite like to speak to an albino couple with an interest in bondage if that isn't too much trouble.

:whip:



The Sicilian defence?

The Milligan Manoeuver

David Guyatt
01-30-2011, 02:08 PM
Rupe on ropes?

I doubt it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/29/phone-hacking-rupert-murdoch-news-corp


Phone-hacking scandal hits Murdoch business as investors grow restless
Storm surrounding News of the World threatens to engulf global empire, with investors worrying row is threat to BSkyB deal

Jamie Doward and Paul Harris in New York
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 29 January 2011 20.31 GMT

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2011/1/29/1296323259661/Rupert-Murdoch-007.jpg
Rupert Murdoch has extended his stay in London to deal with the phone-hacking crisis. Photograph: Richard Clement/Reuters

Many people in the UK will not have heard of Prince al-Waleed bin Talal. But perhaps they should have done. The prince has a lot of money invested in the UK and wields considerable, albeit discreet, influence.

The 55-year-old nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is a multibillionaire who, through his investment company, Kingdom Holdings, has taken large chunks of companies as diverse as the Savoy Hotel Group and London's Canary Wharf.

Bin Talal's power stems from his unique position. He is one of the few people who can tap the giant Saudi sovereign funds for money, so his every word is analysed forensically by the markets.

Last week, though, it is likely that the prince, described by Time magazine as "the Arabian Warren Buffett", was devoting more than a passing interest to his almost 7% share in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, quietly accumulated over several years.

The prince cannot have liked what he saw. What had started out as a very British row over phone hacking by reporters working on Murdoch's News of the World had become infectious and was in danger of going global.

As scores of new victims emerged to allege they had been hacked by the newspaper, MPs voiced fresh concerns at the police handling of the affair and the role played by senior executives at News International, News Corp's UK subsidiary and the ultimate parent company of the News of the World, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Meanwhile, back across the Atlantic, it emerged that News Corp was facing another problem. Last week 400 rabbis from all the main branches of Judaism in the US bought a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, calling on Murdoch to take sanctions against News Corp's Fox News subsidiary. The rabbis were incensed at the way that Fox commentators regularly referred to those with whom they disagreed as "Nazis".

"You diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organisation you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks," the ad read.

The placement of the ad was even more poignant and shocking as it was published on Holocaust Remembrance Day. It came partly in response to comments by Murdoch's brash Fox News leader, Roger Ailes, who had compared executives at National Public Radio to Nazis after they sacked a commentator who made ill-advised remarks about being scared of flying with Muslims.

But it also focused on the most controversial figure in the pantheon of Fox News personalities: Glenn Beck. Fox's biggest star repeatedly uses Nazi and Hitler references to describe figures he does not like.

Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Holocaust studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, has been especially vocal in attacking Beck's tactics. "I haven't heard anything like this on television or radio – and I've been following this kind of stuff. I've been in the sewers of antisemitism and Holocaust denial more often than I've wanted," she said.

Those familiar with bin Talal, who has given tens of millions of dollars to charities seeking to bridge gaps between western and Islamic communities, say he will have been dismayed by any whiff of controversy threatening his business interests.

"He is an incredibly intelligent man and deeply honourable; you can only speculate about what he must be thinking now," said an acquaintance.

Coming at a time when News Corp wants regulatory approval to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, both the phone-hacking scandal and the row with the rabbis are damaging not only to the company's reputation but its bottom line.

Liberal commentators have used both to question whether Murdoch should be allowed to own more of the British media landscape.

Murdoch must have hoped the BSkyB deal would have been waved through by now, but the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has postponed making a decision to see if remedies can be found to avoid a long Competition Commission inquiry.

Hunt is in an invidious position, having previously expressed a view that the deal would not make a substantial difference to the plurality of the British media. An approval is likely to see Labour scream blue murder but, even before a decision has been reached, it is having political consequences.

Andy Coulson, the News of the World's former editor, resigned this month as the prime minister's director of communications, saying that persistent allegations of mobile-phone hacking occurring on his watch made it impossible for him to do his job.

His resignation was interpreted in some quarters as an attempt to take the heat off Murdoch at a crucial time in News Corp's bid for BSkyB.

Further revelations that Cameron and James Murdoch, the Europe and Asia chief of News Corp, had been dinner guests at the Cotswolds home of News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks over Christmas provided ammunition to those who claim No 10 is too close to the media empire.

That relationship looked set to become more apparent last week when Murdoch flew into the UK to hold urgent meetings with senior executives at News International.

There were rumours that Cameron and Murdoch were due to hold a brief, informal meeting later in the week in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, home to the World Economic Forum, but that this was called off when the News Corp boss decided to stay in London to deal with the phone-hacking scandal.

"He will be thinking all of this should have been sorted out long ago," said someone familiar with the thinking of the News Corp board. "He'll want to know why Rebekah has not closed this down."

Why News Corp is so eager to bag BSkyB was plain to see last week, when the broadcaster reported pre-tax profits of £467m, up a stunning 26% on the previous year.

But for Murdoch, BSkyB's profits came with a sting attached. As analysts at City brokers Charles Stanley Research note: "Our best guess is that clearance [for the News Corp takeover of BSkyB] will be granted, although perhaps only after a lengthy further investigation by the Competition Commission and/or the implementation of certain 'remedies'.

"We would expect a formal offer to subsequently be forthcoming from News Corp, although the continued strong financial performance of the business means the board of BSkyB may feel obliged to demand a price well in excess of its previously stated minimum acceptable level of 800p."

This demand is inevitable unless Crispin Odey, the powerful hedge fund manager who owns 3% of BSkyB and is often referred to as the "David Beckham of the City" because of his winning investments strategies, has dramatically changed his mind. Odey, whose views will be listened to closely by members of the BSkyB board, told analysts last June that "even at 800p [the price BSkyB has been demanding] this company is undervalued. We should hold out against this bid. This is a company I want to own."

He added: "I've loved the Sky story for five years and now, just as the cash-flow and growth is coming through, we shouldn't sell it. If shareholders sell at this level, in two years' time we are going to look back and say 'Rupert got this for a steal'."

Just to add piquancy to Odey's comments, it should be remembered that he was once married to Murdoch's daughter, Prudence.

As Murdoch waits in regulatory purgatory and hedge fund managers push BSkyB's share price north – a move that could see News Corp having to stump up as much as £1bn more than it expected – the media giant's investors are said to be growing restless.

A full News Corporation board meeting is believed to have been scheduled for Wednesday. The phone-hacking scandal and the BSkyB deal are expected to be high on the agenda. Bin Talal, who simply "does not lose money" according to someone who knows him well, is likely to pay very close attention to what is discussed.

Worryingly for Murdoch, who is used to his investors taking a back seat, the prince is a far from passive backer. As a sizable investor in bombed-out banking giant Citigroup, bin Talal has been vocal in calling for its management to improve the firm's fortunes, warning its chief executive last year that the "honeymoon was over".

Murdoch may soon find himself receiving similar encouragement if the BSkyB bid falters. It is an unpalatable prospect for an autocrat.

David Guyatt
01-30-2011, 02:35 PM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/1/23/1295807901365/24.01.11-Martin-Rowson-on-005.jpg
Martin Rowson

Jan Klimkowski
01-31-2011, 09:58 PM
Hmmm. :smallprint:

Call me a cynic, but I can scarcely believe a word...


News International finds 'lost' emails that could provide evidence in phone-hacking case

By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter, and Martin Hickman
Monday, 31 January 2011

A "lost" hoard of emails sent by senior executives in Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire at the height of the phone-hacking scandal has been found, The Independent has learnt.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police are now expected to examine the database of emails in their renewed search for News of the World journalists who may have hacked into mobile phone messages or hired private detectives to do so in breach of privacy laws.

A senior editor at News International, the UK newspaper arm of Mr Murdoch's News Corporation media empire, claimed in a high-profile criminal trial last year that "lots of emails" from editors and other staff had gone missing in a botched data transfer to India.

However, The Independent has established that not only is the database intact but it apparently contains a full record of email traffic between the company's senior staff.

The archive, covering 2005 and 2006 when the News of the World was illegally listening to the messages of aides to Prince William and other public figures, will open a window onto the Sunday paper's newsgathering operations and those of Mr Murdoch's other titles.

Scotland Yard last week promised it would leave "no stone unturned" in its new inquiry into allegations that phone hacking at the News of the World spread far beyond its Royal Editor, Clive Goodman, whose snooping on Prince William led to him being jailed for four months in 2007. A raid on the offices of the private eye Glen Mulcaire, also jailed, uncovered several thousand phone numbers of potential hacking victims and 91 PIN codes, but detectives limited their inquiries to Goodman and Mulcaire.

Confirmation that the UK database of all emails does, in fact, exist will give the new police team no excuses for ignoring a data trail that may yield fresh clues to the investigation.

Saying it was determined to root out wrongdoing, News International last week passed detectives significant new evidence about the NOTW's sacked head of news Ian Edmondson, prompting the Met to launch a new inquiry. It is being run by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers.

The claim that emails had been lost was made by the News of the World's Scotland editor Bob Bird during the perjury trial of the former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan in November. Giving evidence on oath, he said that many emails sought by the defence had gone missing while being transferred to India.

The claim prompted the Information Commissioner's Office to launch an inquiry into whether the apparent loss of the emails broke the law governing the handling of sensitive data and its transfer abroad. If News International had broken the Data Protection Act it would have faced a fresh civil case, alongside civil actions brought by individuals who suspect their phones were hacked, and a £500,000 fine.

However, in a letter to the Information Commissioner's Office, lawyers at News International's Wapping headquarters told the ICO's investigation team that it had archived emails and that none had been transferred to India.

As well as confirming the presence of a potentially vast data store, the disclosure – confirmed by the newspaper group to The Independent – has other potentially serious consequences.

Mr Sheridan's team is expected to use the disclosure as part of an appeal against Mr Sheridan's conviction for lying on oath in his earlier defamation case against the NOTW which led to him being jailed for three years.

Secondly, if, as expected the ICO confirms News International is telling the truth, it could forward the transcript of Mr Bird's testimony and its inquiry to its lawyers who will decide whether "in the public interest" to contact other prosecuting authorities.

A source at News International said Mr Bird had unintentionally given the court inaccurate evidence, but insisted the defence team had received all the relevant documents. In a brief official statement, the news group said: "Like many companies, we have an email archiving system in place." Mr Bird, who joined News International in 2000, did not respond to a request for comment.

Aamer Anwar, Sheridan's solicitor, said: "This is unacceptable. We were told repeatedly by Mr Bird in these proceedings that this material was lost in Mumbai. Now we are told it is in the UK. My client would not accept an explanation that there was a misunderstanding. We will look closely at any response from News International and are considering a complaint to the police and the Crown Office. If there is evidence information was intentionally not supplied we would expect criminal proceedings."

Labour MP Tom Watson, who has campaigned for a new police force to look into hacking, said: "If the jury in the Sheridan trial was misled then there should be an urgent review of the case. This week the Prime Minister told the Commons that the inquiry should 'follow the evidence wherever it leads'. We now know it leads to a data warehouse in London containing all News International emails from 2005 onwards."

Information overload

* The digital age has brought with it an unforeseen dilemma for commercial companies, from banks to media giants: just what do they do with the unimaginably vast quantities of data that they produce and receive each year? According to one estimate, 35 zettabytes of information – equivalent to the storage capacity of 2,625 billion iPads – will be generated worldwide in 2011.

Commercial lawyers say this avalanche of data presents the commercial sector with particular problems because of the thicket of legislation – from the Data Protection Act to rules governing the financial sector – that means nearly all of it must be kept and archived in an accessible manner.

The dangers of failing to properly store information such as internal emails was highlighted in 2009 when Barclays Bank was heavily criticised for allowing key documents in a dispute with a customer, including emails, to be destroyed. Although the banking giant ultimately won the case, the judge ordered the amount of costs it could claim to be halved.

Companies have traditionally relied on "taping" technology or hard discs, often housed in basement computer rooms, to back up their data. But increasingly companies are moving to online storage, which allows information to be transmitted in vast quantities via the internet to remote servers around the world.

Tracey Stretton, legal consultant for Kroll Ontrack, a data management and recovery company, said: "It is increasingly vital that companies not only store the information they generate, but that they do so in a manner that allows that data to be searched effectively should the need arise.

"If, for example, legal proceedings arise a number of years after an event, then there will be a reasonable expectation that any relevant information should be readily accessible.

"The quantity of information that technology allows to be stored is extraordinary – a single USB data stick can hold the equivalent of 20 tonnes of printed paper."

According to one estimate, the electronically stored information (ESI) industry is now worth £150bn a year.

       Cahal Milmo and Martin Hickman

Mystery of missing emails

* What Bob Bird, editor of the Scottish News of the World, told a pre-trial hearing on 30 June 2010

"I did have a look at the email system but it is, frankly, a mess, our system. Our archived emails have been shipped to Mumbai and it's difficult to get anything that is more than six months old. I searched out emails regarding the police, which I'm still trying to discover where they actually are and how you open the things. I've had IT at it for a few weeks now..."

"... As I say, unfortunately, our emails get automatically deleted and archived after about six months now and our archive is in Mumbai, so I couldn't have searched [those] emails..."

"...I've been having a look trying to find anything that might be relevant. As I say, we've had a problem..."

During the trial in November, he told the High Court that "many emails had been lost when they were being moved to an archive in India".


* What News International subsequently told the Information Commissioner's data inquiry

As a result of Mr Bird's comments, the Information Commissioner's Office launched an investigation into whether News International's apparent archiving of emails abroad and their supposed loss breached the Data Protection Act. The ICO contacted News International and asked it to explain its position. Lawyers for News International then wrote to the headquarters of the Information Commissioner's Office in Wilmslow, Cheshire, stating that it archived emails in the UK and had not sent any to India.

News International has confirmed to The Independent that this is the case.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/news-international-finds-lost-emails-that-could-provide-evidence-in-phonehacking-case-2198996.html#

David Guyatt
02-03-2011, 09:38 AM
Rupert Murdoch silent on phone hacking as News Corp profits rise (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/03/rupert-murdoch-hacking-news-corp)


Rupert Murdoch silent on phone hacking as News Corp profits rise
News Corp chief refuses to talk about issue at press launch for the Daily, and misses quarterly reports Q&A

Dominic Rushe
The Guardian, Thursday 3 February 2011

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/2/3/1296697479349/Rupert-Murdoch-007.jpg
Rupert Murdoch arrives at a press conference in New York to unveil News Corp's iPad news service the Daily. Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

Rupert Murdoch dodged questions about the widening phone-hacking scandal yesterday. The chairman and chief executive of News Corp, owner of the News of the World, refused to talk about the issue at the press launch of the Daily, his iPad news service, and later missed the Q&A session for News Corp's quarterly reports. Executives said he was still briefing media about the launch of the Daily.

Investigations into allegations of widespread phone hacking at the News of the World are complicating the company's attempts to gain full control of the satellite broadcaster BSkyB, in which it already has a 39.1% stake. It has offered £7.8bn for the remainder, but the hacking scandal has added to tight regulatory scrutiny.

Murdoch usually attends the quarterly briefing for analysts in New York, but this time he left the questions to Chase Carey, News Corp's chief operating officer.

Carey said: "We believe we made a full and fair offer … Our focus is on the regulatory process and we are trying to move forward with that."

News Corp's assets include the Times newspapers, Fox News, movie studios and Myspace. Its fiscal second-quarter profit more than doubled as advertising at its cable TV networks and TV stations bounced back. The company earned $642m (£396m) for the quarter, against $254m in the same period a year earlier.

Carey confirmed Myspace was now up for sale. It lost $156m for the quarter, $31m more than last year. "Now is the right time for News Corp to consider strategic options for the business," he said.

David Guyatt
02-05-2011, 03:44 PM
The Dirty Digger has decided who is to be put to the sword.

It would be really interesting if Coulson had a "security blanket" that he can leak. Telling PLod Plc would, obviously, be a waste of time for him, due to the fact that the Digger owns Rozzer-land lock, stock and stinking barrel.

I Just had a though. Imagine Coulson going to Max Clifford for advice on how to proceed. Wot a laugh that would be.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/04/andy-coulson-phone-hacking


Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking, ex-colleague told MPs
Former News of the World executive said ex-editor probably told others to use illegal technique

James Robinson and Nicholas Watt
guardian.co.uk, Friday 4 February 2011 20.30 GMT

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/2/4/1296851111479/Andy-Coulson-2412011-005.jpg
Andy Coulson quit as the Tories' director of communications because of continuing phone hacking allegations about his former job. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Andy Coulson was aware that phone hacking was taking place at Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire and "told others to do it", a former executive at the News of the World told MPs.

In written evidence given to the home affairs select committee and published for the first time today, Paul McMullan, a former features executive and investigative journalist at the title, said former editor Coulson "knew a lot of people" used the technique when Coulson worked at sister paper the Sun. He joined the News of the World in 2003, where he worked alongside McMullan for 18 months.

McMullan said: "As he sat a few feet from me in the [News of the World] newsroom he probably heard me doing it, laughing about it … and told others to do it".

Coulson, who last month quit as David Cameron's director of communications, worked at the Sun for more than a decade before joining the News of the World.

"Andy Coulson knew a lot of people did it at the Sun on his Bizarre [showbiz] column and after that at the NOTW," McMullan claimed.

McMullan, who is now a pub landlord, also described a flourishing trade in private information at the News of the World, which he said was regularly supplied with details of celebrities' medical records and mobile phone pin numbers.

"People who worked for Vodaphone [sic] etc would sometimes ring up the newsdesk offering to sell numbers and codes of stars' phones," he said, "as indeed people at the tax office, people in doctors' receptions."

In separate evidence also published today, Vodafone told the committee: "A small minority of customers were targeted by unscrupulous individuals."

The company said it had passed all evidence to the police during their 2006 investigation into phone hacking carried out by former News of the World journalist Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

McMullan told the Guardian last year that Coulson must have been well aware the practice was "pretty widespread".

Coulson has continued to deny this.

The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, also confirmed in written evidence to MPs he has instructed the Crown Prosecution Service to adopt a far broader definition of what constitutes illegal phone hacking. This decision makes fresh prosecutions more likely. The CPS announced a new investigation into phone hacking last month. News International says McMullan's evidence is unreliable and will demand evidence is withdrawn or corrected.

The home affairs committee will publish its report into unauthorised phone hacking in the spring.

David Cameron was, meanwhile, accused tonight of "breathtaking arrogance" for refusing to answer questions about his links to Murdoch's media empire, which owns the Sun and News of the World.

[quote]

Jan Klimkowski
02-05-2011, 05:07 PM
From The Guardian piece above (my emphasis in bold):


Andy Coulson, the News of the World's former editor, resigned this month as the prime minister's director of communications, saying that persistent allegations of mobile-phone hacking occurring on his watch made it impossible for him to do his job.

His resignation was interpreted in some quarters as an attempt to take the heat off Murdoch at a crucial time in News Corp's bid for BSkyB.

Further revelations that Cameron and James Murdoch, the Europe and Asia chief of News Corp, had been dinner guests at the Cotswolds home of News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks over Christmas provided ammunition to those who claim No 10 is too close to the media empire.

That relationship looked set to become more apparent last week when Murdoch flew into the UK to hold urgent meetings with senior executives at News International.

There were rumours that Cameron and Murdoch were due to hold a brief, informal meeting later in the week in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, home to the World Economic Forum, but that this was called off when the News Corp boss decided to stay in London to deal with the phone-hacking scandal.

"He will be thinking all of this should have been sorted out long ago," said someone familiar with the thinking of the News Corp board. "He'll want to know why Rebekah has not closed this down."


Anyone who knows anything about newspaper working practices understands that former NOTW editor, and former Cameron Propaganda Chief Andy Coulson, was either incompetent or a liar.

If he did not know that the corroborating evidence for stories that put the NOTW at risk of millions of pounds of libel damage came from hacked phones, then as editor of the newspaper he surely should have known. Since Coulson has always maintained he did not know this, then his only defence is incompetence.

If Coulson is demonstrably incompetent, then why did PM Cameron appoint him as his Chief Spin Doktor.

So, the notion in the article above that Rupert Murdoch is asking Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) why "she didn't close this story down" earlier is a fabricated narrative. The Murdoch empire has chucked millions of pounds at former and fired employees, some now in prison, in what looks like an attempt to buy their silence.

It increasingly looks as if cash will not be enough.

It looks likely that this story of corruption, blackmail and the illegal gathering and use of political leverage will only be closed down through the black arts....

Jan Klimkowski
02-05-2011, 06:45 PM
Here we go. New Labour Spinmeister-in-Chief has told the shadow cabinet to stop attacking Murdoch and suggesting phone hacking is at all relevant to anything much really......

Specifically "to avoid linking hacking with the BSkyB bid, to accept ministerial assurances that meetings with Rupert Murdoch are not influencing that process, and to ensure that complaints about tapping are made in a personal, not shadow ministerial, capacity."

Doubtless Murdoch's grubby hacks have plenty of unpublished dirt on opposition politicians and the New Labour machine wants to continue working hand in hand with the Murdoch machine as it did during Blair's regime.

The end result is a total lack of political accountability.


Leaked Labour email: lay off Murdoch

Posted by Dan Hodges - 02 February 2011 11:07

Opposition leader attempts to turn down the heat on the phone-hacking scandal.

An email, forwarded on behalf of Ed Miliband's director of strategy, Tom Baldwin, to all shadow cabinet teams warns Labour spokespeople to avoid linking hacking with the BSkyB bid, to accept ministerial assurances that meetings with Rupert Murdoch are not influencing that process, and to ensure that complaints about tapping are made in a personal, not shadow ministerial, capacity.

The circular, sent by a Labour press officer on 27 January, states: "Tom Baldwin has requested that any front-bench spokespeople use the following line when questioned on phone-hacking. BSkyB bid and phone-tapping . . . these issues should not be linked. One is a competition issue, the other an allegation of criminal activity."

It goes on: "Downing Street says that Cameron's dinners with Murdoch will not affect Hunt's judgement. We have to take them at their word."

Referring separately to the phone-hacking allegations, the memo states: "We believe the police should thoroughly investigate all allegations. But this is not just an issue about News International. Almost every media organisation in the country may end up becoming embroiled in these allegations."

It adds: "Front-bench spokespeople who want to talk about their personal experiences of being tapped should make it clear they are doing just that – speaking from personal experience."

The guidance concludes with the warning, "We must guard against anything which appears to be attacking a particular newspaper group out of spite."

The memo follows a number of recent high-profile interventions from Ed Miliband in the phone-hacking issue. In the wake of the resignation of Andy Coulson, the Labour leader criticised David Cameron, stating that the affair raised "questions about David Cameron's judgment about hanging on to him as long as he did".

Miliband also raised Coulson's impending departure at last Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions.

Here's the full text of the email:


From: xxxx | Sent: 27 January 2011 To: xxxx
Subject: Important: Phone hacking

Dear all,

Tom Baldwin has requested that any front bench spokespeople use the following line when questioned on phone hacking.

BSkyB bid and phone tapping
These issues should not be linked. One is a competition issue, the other an allegation of criminal activity.

On BSkyB, we have been consistent in calling for fair play. We believe ministers should conduct themselves properly in what is a quasi-judicial process. We said Vince Cable showed he was incapable of behaving fairly towards News Corp. We have since raised questions about whether Jeremy Hunt can be fully impartial given his record of past statements. We do believe the bid should be referred to the Competition Commission and think Hunt should get on with it. Downing Street says that Cameron's dinners with Murdoch will not affect Hunt's judgement. We have to take them at their word.

On phone hacking, we believe the police should thoroughly investigate all allegations. But this is not just an issue about News International. Almost every media organisation in the country may end up becoming embroiled in these allegations. This goes to the root of a wider problem in public life. MPs are taking a hard look at themselves in the mirror over expenses. It is time the media did so too over the way it conducts itself.

Frontbench spokespeople who want to talk about their personal experiences of being tapped should make it clear they are doing just that – speaking from personal experience.

We must guard against anything which appears to be attacking a particular newspaper group out of spite.

Thanks,

xxxx

Labour Party Press Office

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/dan-hodges/2011/02/phone-hacking-personal

David Guyatt
02-06-2011, 10:45 AM
:lol::lol::lol:


One is a competition issue, the other an allegation of criminal activity."

And never the twain shall meet eh.

BskyB slam dunk.

Jan Klimkowski
02-06-2011, 01:38 PM
:lol::lol::lol:


One is a competition issue, the other an allegation of criminal activity."

And never the twain shall meet eh.

BskyB slam dunk.

According to New Labour Spinmeisters, one is blue colllar and therefore poo, the other is white collar and therefore fragrant.

Never the twain shall meet indeed....

And, yes, a slam dunk for Murdoch.

Jan Klimkowski
02-07-2011, 11:01 PM
Murdoch and Cameron will both shortly be, ahem, dissociating themselves from NOTW editor and Tory Propaganda Chief Andy Coulson.


Phone hacking: Coulson taped backing sacked News of the World executive

Former No 10 PR chief Andy Coulson caught on tape saying Ian Edmondson was 'a great operator' who was 'doing a brilliant job'

James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 February 2011 10.44 GMT

Andy Coulson told a reporter at the News of the World he had "total and complete faith in" Ian Edmondson, the news executive sacked by the paper last month for ordering a private investigator to hack into mobile phones.

Coulson describes Edmondson as "a great operator" who is "doing a brilliant job" in a conversation with an unnamed reporter at the title, a recording of which has been obtained by Channel 4's Dispatches, to be shown tonight.

Coulson edited the News of the World for four years until January 2007. He resigned after the paper's royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed for illegally intercepting voicemails left on mobile phones belonging to members of the royal household. Glenn Mulcaire, an investigator on the paper's books, was also sent to prison.

The tape, made by a former journalist without Coulson's knowledge at some point during his editorship, also records Coulson telling the reporter: "I need more stories. I need more exclusives and I need it to be self-generated stuff." The two men do not discuss phone hacking, but Dispatches says other recordings exist which "might provide damning evidence".

Coulson stepped down as David Cameron's communications director last month, saying coverage of the phone-hacking affair had made it impossible to do his job. He maintains he knew nothing about phone hacking at the paper.

The News of the World last month gave emails retrieved from Edmondson's computer to the Metropolitan police, which reopened an investigation into alleged phone hacking at the title the same day.

Separately, the News of the World's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, has been named in evidence submitted to parliament as an executive who organised "endemic" phone hacking at the paper.

Max Mosley, former president of the FIA, the motor racing governing body, told the home affairs select committee that Thurlbeck was one of several senior journalists at the title who issued "instructions to hack phones". He told MPs that Thurlbeck, who is still employed by the paper, "commissioned potentially illegal investigations" by Mulcaire.

In written evidence published on the committee's website, Mosley said the Metropolitan police had recovered documents from Mulcaire's home in the course of the 2006 investigation leading to his arrest and that they proved Thurlbeck had instructed the private investigator to hack into phones belonging to public figures.

"Even a cursory examination of these papers will have identified a number of NoW journalists who had commissioned potentially illegal investigations by Mulcaire," Mosley said.

"There appears to be endemic criminality on a significant scale within the News Group organisation."

He added: "It must have been clear to [the police] on the face of the papers seized from Mulcaire, that instructions to hack phones came from journalists other than Goodman, including the NoW news editor, Ian Edmondson, and the NoW chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck."

A growing number of well-known figures are suing the paper's owner News Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire. They include actor Sienna Miller, comedian Steve Coogan, former Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray and sports agent Sky Andrew.

Evidence of Thurlbeck's involvement in the practice has emerged previously. The Guardian published an email 18 months ago that was sent to Mulcaire by a reporter on the News of the World which contained a transcript of hacked voicemails and the message: "Hello, this is the transcript for Neville."

A spokesman for News International said: "If presented with any evidence of further wrongdoing, we will act quickly and decisively on it."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/07/andy-coulson-news-of-the-world-phone-hacking

I've worked and got drunk with many tabloid journalists, including some who've worked for Murdoch's News of the World.

The recorded quote from Coulson - "I need more stories. I need more exclusives and I need it to be self-generated stuff." - rings absolutely true.

Huge pressure is put on all Fleet Street journalists to get exclusive stories. Self-generation is "code" for getting a story by hook or by crook.

Phone hacking is but one way to get the evidence necessary to run a story with legal protection. Manipulation or manufacturing of a situation to provoke a target emotionally, and then tape or record the ensuing carnage to create supposedly "objective" legal evidence, is another means.

The only thing that may provide Coulson with some leverage is that he knows some of the nasty secrets of both the Conservative government and the Murdoch empire.

As a footnote, according to the Channel 4 Dispatches programme this evening, Murdoch journalists were routinely taping conversations with each other and their bosses in both The Sun and NOTW newsrooms. :piethrow:

Magda Hassan
03-11-2011, 01:02 AM
Senior police officer 'misled parliament' over phone hacking

Labour MP Chris Bryant says John Yates wrongly claimed it was difficult to secure phone-hacking conviction.











James Robinson (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/jamesrobinson) and Nick Davies (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/nickdavies)
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian), Friday 11 March 2011 John Yates, who has been accused by a Labour MP of misleading parliament over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA One of Scotland Yard's most senior officers was accused of misleading parliament in evidence he gave to a select committee about the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/newsoftheworld).
Labour MP Chris Bryant told the House of Commons that assistant commissioner John Yates wrongly claimed it was difficult to secure phone-hacking convictions because the Crown Prosecution Service adopted a narrow definition of the legislation outlawing the practice.
Speaking during a Commons debate on phone hacking (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/phone-hacking), Bryant said the CPS told the Met five months ago that Yates's evidence was misleading and warned it against relying on that interpretation of the law. Bryant said he could name eight MPs who have been told by Scotland Yard they were targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed by the News of the World, but didn't identify them.
Yates told the home affairs select committee in September 2009 the CPS relied on a narrow interpretation of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which meant a crime was only committed if a voicemail is intercepted by a third party before it has been listened to.
"It was on that basis and only on that basis that Yates was asserting there were only really eight to 12 victims," Bryant said. "Yates maintained time and time again there were 'very few victims'. We now know that to be completely and utterly untrue."
The CPS has since made it clear that a criminal offence may have been committed whenever a voicemail is intercepted, even if it has already been listened to by its intended recipient.
Bryant said Yates' claim about the CPS advice "was the very reason, and the only reason, why the Metropolitan police (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/police) refused point blank to reopen the case until January this year. Yates misled the committee, whether deliberately or inadvertently. He knew the number of potential victims is and was substantial."
The shadow Europe minister added that Yates wrongly told MPs in September last year there was no evidence that former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott had his phone hacked.
Prescott was told by the Met in January that his phone messages may have been intercepted by Mulcaire, following its decision to reopen its investigation into phone-hacking. He claimed that further evidence would shortly emerge proving that a journalist at the Sunday Times, another Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, was hacking into mobile phone messages.
Bryant alleged that the practice of hacking was rife when Rebekah Brooks, now chief executive of the titles' parent company, News International (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/newsinternational), was editor of the News of the World. News International denies this.

Jan Klimkowski
03-12-2011, 07:54 PM
Magda - yes. Top cop John Yates either has appalling investigative skills or is guilty as charged under parliamentary privilege.

Meanwhile, the chronology below of a man with proven and repeated links to Murdoch's empire and convictions for bribing corrupt coppers and perverting the course of justice is most revealing:


Jonathan Rees and the News of the World

Journalist has contacts with Fleet Street going back more than a decade

Sandra Laville guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 March 2011 18.26 GMT Article historyKey Events

Late 1990s
Jonathan Rees works regularly for national newspapers, particularly for the News of the World, the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror, specialising in paying police for information. Steve Whittamore and John Boyall work for the News of the World, specialising in sale of confidential data.

April 1999
Scotland Yard places covert listening device in Rees's south London office.

September 1999
Rees arrested for plotting to frame innocent woman for possession of cocaine.

January 2000
Andy Coulson becomes deputy to NoW editor Rebekah Wade.

December 2000
Rees convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Sentenced to six years, increased to seven after an appeal.

September 2002
Guardian runs lengthy expose of Rees's involvement with corrupt police officers and illegal newsgathering for the News of the World and other papers.

January 2003
Coulson promoted to editor of News of the World.

March 2003
The Information Commissioner's Office raids Whittamore's home. Boyall later arrested.

March 2003
In evidence to a select committee, Coulson and Wade acknowledge payment of money to police officers.

April 2005
Whittamore, Boyall and two others convicted of buying information from the police computer for NoW and other papers.

2005
After being released from prison, Rees resumes work for NoW.

August 2006
Police arrest NoW royal correspondent Clive Goodman.

January 2007
Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire jailed for phone hacking. Coulson resigns as NoW editor, claiming to have no knowledge of illegal activity at the paper.

January 2011
Coulson resigns as David Cameron's communications director, claiming to have no knowledge of illegal activity during his time at NoW.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/11/jonathan-rees-timeline?INTCMP=SRCH

Jan Klimkowski
03-12-2011, 08:50 PM
The grisly detail which can now be published as the murder trial has collapsed.

I'm sure Prime Ministers and newspaper barons will continue to take the high moral ground with their voters and readers....


Murder trial collapse exposes News of the World links to police corruption

David Cameron hired Andy Coulson despite knowing that as editor he employed Jonathan Rees, who paid police for stories

Nick Davies and Vikram Dodd guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 March 2011 18.17 GMT

A man cleared of murder can be named as a private investigator with links to corrupt police officers who earned £150,000 a year from the News of the World for supplying illegally obtained information on people in the public eye.

Jonathan Rees was acquitted of the murder of his former business partner, Daniel Morgan, who was found in a south London car park in 1987 with an axe in the back of his head. The case collapsed after 18 months of legal argument, during which it has been impossible for media to write about Rees's Fleet Street connections.

The ending of the trial means it is now possible for the first time to tell how Rees went to prison in December 2000 after a period of earning six-figure sums from the News of the World.

Rees, who had worked for the paper for seven years, was jailed for planting cocaine on a woman in order to discredit her during divorce proceedings. After his release from prison Rees, who had been bugged for six months by Scotland Yard because of his links with corrupt police officers, was rehired by the News of the World, which was being edited by Andy Coulson.

The revelations call into question David Cameron's judgment in choosing Coulson as director of communications at 10 Downing Street in May 2010. Both he and the deputy prime minister had been warned in March 2010 about Coulson's responsibility for rehiring Rees after his prison sentence.

Nick Clegg had been informed in detail about Jonathan Rees's murder charge, his prison sentence and his involvement with police corruption – and that he and three other private investigators had committed crimes for the News of the World while Coulson was deputy editor or editor.

In September 2002 the Guardian published a lengthy exposé of Rees's involvement with police corruption and illegal newsgathering. But since April 2008 the press have been prevented from revealing Rees's connections with the News of the World, or placing it in the context of News International's denials about any knowledge of illegal activity on behalf of the company.

News International had until recently claimed there was just one "rotten apple" at the company and that the paper had no knowledge of the illegal activities of another private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, who was paid £100,000 before being sent to jail in 2007.

Rebekah Wade, now chief executive of News International, was deputy editor of the News of the World from 1998-2000 and editor from 2000 to 2003. Coulson was deputy editor of the News of the World from 2000 and editor from 2003 to 2007. Rees worked for the paper until 2000, when he was jailed for seven years, and then again after his release from prison in 2005.

Rees, now aged 56, worked regularly for the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror as well as for the News of the World. His numerous targets included members of the royal family whose bank accounts he penetrated; political figures including Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell; rock stars such as Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and George Michael; the Olympic athlete Linford Christie and former England footballer Gary Lineker; TV presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan; and people associated with tabloid story topics, including the daughter of the former miners leader Arthur Scargill and the family of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

Jonathan Rees paid a network of corrupt police officers who sold him confidential records. He boasted of other corrupt contacts in banks and government organisations; hired specialists to "blag" confidential data from targets' current accounts, phone records and car registration; allegedly used "Trojan horse" emails to extract information from computers; and – according to two sources – commissioned burglaries to obtain material for journalists.

On Friday the crown said it could offer no evidence against Rees and two other men accused of Morgan's murder. An Old Bailey judge ordered the acquittal of Rees and his co-defendants.

The prosecutor, Nicholas Hilliard QC, said the weight of paperwork – about 750,000 pages going back over 24 years – made it impossible to guarantee that defence lawyers would be able to see everything they may need for the trial to be fair.

Morgan's family has called for an inquiry into the case. Scotland Yard admitted that corruption in the first murder investigation had shielded the killers of Rees's one-time business partner.

The Rees case raises new questions about the failure of Scotland Yard's 2006 inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World. For more than a decade Scotland Yard has been holding detailed evidence of Rees's corrupt activities for the News of the World and other titles, including many hours of taped conversations from a listening device that was planted in Rees's office for six months from April 1999. Despite this the Met in 2006 accepted the News of the World's claim that its royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, who had been caught hacking voicemail, was a "rogue reporter". Detectives decided not to interview any other journalist or executive from the paper. They also decided not to seek a court order to force the paper to disclose internal paperwork.

In February 2010 the Guardian wrote to Coulson asking him to comment on his responsibility for hiring Rees. The Guardian's letter also asked about three other private investigators who were convicted of crimes committed on behalf of the News of the World. Steve Whittamore and John Boyall admitted buying confidential data from the police national computer, and Glenn Mulcaire was convicted of hacking voicemail messages. Coulson has always maintained he knew nothing of any of this activity.

He was also asked to comment on the fact that Scotland Yard was believed to have arrested and questioned Coulson's former assistant editor, Greg Miskiw, in 2005 and questioned him about the alleged payment of bribes to serving police officers and the employees of mobile phone companies. Miskiw declined to respond to Guardian questions about this.

Along with Rees, Glenn and Garry Vian were also acquitted yesterday in the Daniel Morgan murder case.

The police case involved a series of supergrasses and the crown dropped some of them during some of the longest legal argument ever seen in an English criminal court.

After his acquittal Rees said: "I want a judicial inquiry, ideally a public inquiry."

In a statement read on his behalf, Rees's solicitor said: "When Daniel Morgan was killed it was an awful shock to me and to our business.

Whatever anyone may say on 10th March 1987 I lost a friend and business partner."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/11/news-of-the-world-police-corruption

Magda Hassan
03-18-2011, 06:19 AM
News of the World scandal looms as company’s Watergate

by Guy Rundle (http://www.crikey.com.au/author/guyrundle/)
“Detective accused in axe murder case of former partner hired by Murdoch editor despite conviction for planting drugs in model’s car brings phone hacker scandal closer to top of News Corp”, would be the headline for this story, New York Times style. Yet it still wouldn’t express the full baroque complexity of the ever-developing News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Last Friday, the trial of corrupt private detective Jonathan Rees for murder, collapsed after the prosecution offered no evidence. In 2009, Rees was charged with the 1987 axe-murder of his former business partner, a case that has seen six inquiries, massive police corruption and bungling, which eventually made the case untenable.
But for the 18 months of the pre-trial process, Rees’s name could not be mentioned in connection with the News of the World scandal, leaving the picture seriously skewed.
Now revelations that he had worked for the NOW before and after his 2000 conviction for planting evidence — cocaine placed in a car during a messy divorce — fills out the picture. For seven years through the 1990s Rees had bribed (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/11/jonathan-rees-private-investigator-tabloid) cops to obtain confidential information that he then sold on to the NOW. In 1999, Scotland Yard placed a bug in his office as part of an anti-corruption push.
The bug turned up evidence of a constant supply of illegally obtained personal information — none of it with a whiff of public interest — for the NOW, the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror, but it was the evidence-planting for which Rees was sent down.
Following his release in 2005, Rees was rehired as an information source by News of the World editor Andy Coulson.
Coulson, who quit the NOW editorship after royal reporter Clive Goodman went to prison for phone hacking in 2006, has always maintained that he had resigned as a noble gesture — falling on his sword as penance for allowing a “rogue” reporter to run riot.
He was then hired by then-opposition leader David Cameron as his press secretary, before the revival of the phone-hacking scandal forced him to resign once more in January this year, five days before a new police inquiry began.
The story that Goodman was a rogue reporter was believed by no one, but it allowed News Corp to explain away the involvement of another “detective” (really, a fixer) Glenn Mulcaire, who had done the phone hacking for Goodman — and, as it turned out, for many other NOW journalists. The police accepted this story, claiming at the time that they had record of only eight phone numbers being hacked into.
However in early 2010, the scandal broke afresh (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb/01/now-phone-hacking-scandal)when FOI requests by the Guardian turned up another hundred or so numbers, and a separate New York Times investigation established that thousands of numbers may have been hacked.
The NYT managed to get former NOW staffer Sean Hoare to go on the record, saying that Coulson had obviously known about the hacking, and that it was standard practice. It also became clear that News Corp was now making out-of-court settlements, with confidentiality agreements attached, and had been doing so as far back as 2008.
By now, the scandal had drawn in the police, whose initial investigation was universally seen as laughable and deliberately negligent, with the former head of the inquiry, Andy Hayman, leaving the force to take a job as a News Corp columnist.
But the 2010 revelations gave them no choice but to re-open the inquiry in late January of this year, in parallel with the Crown Prosecution Service, which is running a review of its decision not to proceed with a prosecution on Coulson, on grounds of “insufficient evidence”. Together with a parliamentary sub-committee on the matter, there are thus now three separate inquiries into the matter running concurrently.
Revelations about Rees’s ongoing employment by Andy Coulson, and predecessor and Murdoch supremo Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade), have come at a bad time for the group, for the people themselves, and for David Cameron, whose decision to hire Coulson — and then be deprived of his influence and connection — may well come back to haunt him.
The scandal has already taken fresh scalps — with NOW assistant editor Ian Edmondson “resigning” on the day a new police inquiry was announced. The only question now is how far it will go. On Monday, the BBC ‘s Panorama screened a fantastic sting (http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=46824&c=1) in which a former fixer talked on a hidden camera about hacking phones for the editor of the News of the World Alex Marunchak. The Times responded with a rather desperate attack on the BBC for occasionally using detectives.
News has managed to stay clear of the scandal to date because most celebs have been happy to take a payment from News as compo. Now some, such as George Galloway and John Prescott are keen to push the matter politically. Others, such as Labour MP Tom Watson, have used Parliament to denounce the bullying power of News, and to move the inquiry forward more aggressively.
Should the parliamentary or police inquiry finally have teeth, there is some possibility that Coulson, Wade and others will end up in the dock charged with a serious ticket of crimes (and, of course, innocent until proven guilty).
Rees, after all, was only one detective/fixer working for the NOW. Others, according to a Guardian report (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/11/jonathan-rees-private-investigator-tabloid), included an information broker, Steve Whittamore, who ran a string of con-men, expert at gaining confidential info from phone companies; and John Boyall, who worked with him, gaining police info. Boyall’s assistant was Glenn Mulcaire, who replaced him as NOW’s go-to guy, after Boyall and Whittamore were convicted in 2005 (a NOW editor was charged but not prosecuted at the time).
Coulson and Brooks continue to claim innocence of all illegal practices — yet Brooks has already admitted to a 2003 parliamentary committee that the paper paid police for information. Asked if it would do so in future, Coulson (also giving evidence) blundered in and gave the impression that they would, although they would “operate within the law”. He was then informed that paying police for information was always against the law.
The answer may come to haunt him, since he is claiming ignorance of what was clearly a mass practice in his newsroom (Whittamore’s records showed that he had dealt with 27 NOW journalists — as well, it must be said, as many from other papers). For years, apparently, the business of the paper went on, without him ever asking a journalist how they got some A-grade info. He will have to hope to hell that everyone else on the hook corroborates that story — and those above him may well be feeling their collars. The scandal has already damaged — without derailing — Murdoch’s attempt to take a majority share in Sky Broadcasting, forcing him to hive off Sky News. He was perhaps lucky that this case did not collapse a fortnight earlier. News Corp will need more of it, in what may be shaping up to be its Watergate.
http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/16/rundle-news-of-the-world-scandal-looms-as-companys-watergate/

Jan Klimkowski
03-21-2011, 09:24 PM
The following article is a deep political whirlpool, whose swirling currents are to be navigated with care.

"Ingram" is an important and highly controversial figure involved in the revelations about the FRU, a British military intelligence assassination operation during Northern Ireland's "Troubles".

However, I've posted it in this thread as it is clearly relevant to the deeper political levels of the Murdoch phone hacking business.


Unsurprisingly, Monday's Panorama on phone-hacking meant that its revelations about illegal news-gathering activities got major attention.

But there was a real scoop in that programme that only the Irish Times appeared to spot - the breaking from cover of a former British army intelligence officer.

According to the paper, it was the first time that the man previously known by the pseudonym 'Martin Ingram' had revealed himself to be Ian Hurst.

Ingram/Hurst was involved in exposing a senior IRA figure, Freddie Scappaticci, as an informer. His codename was alleged to be Stakeknife.

In 2004, Hurst (as Ingram) wrote a book with the Irish journalist Greg Harkin, Stakeknife: Britain's secret agents in Ireland, which alleged that British intelligence officers had orchestrated assassinations in Northern Ireland.

Hurst served in the army's intelligence corps and the covert military intelligence unit known as the Force Research Unit (FRU). He served in Northern Ireland in two tours between 1981 and 1990.

He is regarded as a controversial figure, within both the British army and within Sinn Féin. He married a woman from Co Donegal, from a republican family, and says he now favours a united Ireland.

A lengthy Wikipedia entry on Ingram reflects suspicion about him and his claims from both sides.

Hurst decided to reveal himself because he believes the threat to his life has diminished. He told me: "It was an open secret for a long time because my name has been widely disseminated on the internet.

"Frankly, the IRA know where I am. There are no secrets from the IRA. I really don't perceive any meaningful threat from them."

Though he was filmed in France, Hurst no longer lives there. He is said to be "somewhere in England."

There appears to be some confusion about whether or not Panorama should have broadcast a picture of Scappaticci, and whether there were legal problems if it had chosen to do so.

This led to the publication of his picture in today's issue of the Irish-language newspaper Foinse, which is distributed across Ireland with the Irish Independent, with a claim that Panorama was prevented from using it.

In the programme itself, there was a bizarre scene in which Hurst was seen interviewing a computer expert (who was unidentified, with a pixelled face), who was allegedly hired by a private investigator to hack into Hurst's computer.

The expert, who was not named because he is said to be facing several charges, admitted placing a so-called Trojan virus on the hard-drive of Hurst's computer.

Hurst told the Irish Times that the now-dormant virus was discovered after Panorama sent it for technical examination.

It is claimed that the information allegedly gleaned was faxed to the News of the World's Dublin office. It was later shared with MI5, which implies - says the Irish Times - that the source for the programme's information about the newspaper's conduct came from MI5.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/mar/16/bbc-ireland

Magda Hassan
03-21-2011, 11:23 PM
Very murky. Sounds like NoW is a branch of MI5. Or vis-a-versa. A la Mosely's dominatrix. Now, is MI5 trying to squeeze Murdoch or is Murdoch trying to pressure the government. And who's winning?:angeldevil:

Jan Klimkowski
04-07-2011, 08:35 PM
Former Murdoch newspaper editor and PM Cameron spin doktor, Andy Coulson, has been revealed as either incompetent or a liar.

Now, Scotland Yard's top cop, John Yates, has been exposed as either incompetent or a liar.


Phone-hacking case policeman John Yates under pressure to resign

Director of public prosecutions directly challenges account senior officer repeatedly gave MPs about scope of investigation

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 5 April 2011 17.58 BST

The senior police officer at the centre of the phone-hacking affair is under intense pressure, with a House of Commons select committee hearing new evidence suggesting he may have repeatedly misled parliament.

In a special session of the House of Commons home affairs committee, the previous evidence of the Metropolitan police's acting deputy assistant commissioner, John Yates, was directly challenged by the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer.

The chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz, said the DPP's evidence was "astonishing", that it clearly contradicted earlier evidence Yates had given, and that he would be writing to Yates to ask for an explanation.

Chris Bryant said the DPP had vindicated the position he took in the House of Commons last month when he accused Yates of misleading parliament. Bryant said Yates should now "consider his position'' at Scotland Yard.

Tom Watson, a member of the culture, media and sport committee, which has twice investigated the hacking affair, said Yates had "some big questions to answer".

Yates has claimed repeatedly that police found only 10 or 12 people whose voicemail had been intercepted by the News of the World. Evidence has since emerged, however, that police knew of "a vast number" of victims.

Yates has told parliament on four occasions that he quoted the lower figure because prosecutors had told police they needed to prove not only that voicemail had been intercepted but also that this had been done before the messages had been heard by the intended recipient.

In written evidence, Starmer listed a series of claims that directly contradict Yates's account of the legal advice the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) gave to police during their original inquiry, in 2006. Starmer said that:

• Police had been advised that phone hacking was an offence under the 1990 Computer Misuse Act regardless of whether messages had or had not been heard by their intended recipient.

• In the early stages of the inquiry, an in-house lawyer at the CPS had raised the possibility that under the 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) it might be necessary to show that messages had not been heard by the intended recipient; but an email sent by the CPS to police in April 2006 had warned that this view was "very much untested and further consideration will need to be given to this".

• This early, provisional advice had then been set aside by David Perry QC, who was appointed as prosecuting counsel in July 2006. He had advised that they should take no position on the issue unless the defence raised it – "He is clear that he did not at any stage give a definitive view that the narrow interpretation was the only possible interpretation."

• The charges that were eventually brought against the NoW journalist Clive Goodman and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire included counts where there was no evidence about whether messages had already been heard.

In evidence to the home affairs committee and to the culture, media and sport committee, Yates last month cited the early advice from the CPS in-house lawyer. In contrast to the DPP, he claimed this was "unequivocal", and he made no reference to any advice provided by Perry when he took over, nor to the Computer Misuse Act, which was clearer on the issue.

Vaz asked the DPP whether he accepted Yates's claim that a narrow interpretation of Ripa had restricted the scope of the police investigation. Starmer said: "They were not given advice that limited the scope of their investigation."

Vaz told him his evidence had been "very open and clear and transparent", and his written evidence had been "astonishing". He said: "It does, in our view, contradict what was told to this committee by Mr Yates last week."

Dr Julian Huppert described Starmer's evidence as "one of the most compelling pieces of legal literature I have ever read", and suggested that Yates's previous account to the committee "was clearly not what happened".

Starmer said he had given Yates an advance draft of his evidence and invited him to correct any factual inaccuracies, and that while Yates had sent him some comments, he had not wanted to correct the facts.

Questioned by MPs, Starmer said police had certainly been aware that Ripa was not the only law available to them. They had been told that a conspiracy charge or a charge under the Computer Misuse Act would raise no question about whether voicemail had been heard: "They were aware of, advised of and proceeded on the basis that other offences were available," he said.

He repeated that Goodman and Mulcaire had been charged with offences where there was no evidence whether intercepted messages had been heard: "The way that the charges were set out in the final indictment demonstrates that no definitive view had ever been taken that the narrow interpretation was the only interpretation."

Tom Watson said the framing of the indictment was a "killer point". In a blog post, he wrote: "The police must have known in 2006 that prosecutors were not working with the narrow version of the law ... Had the police thought at the time that the only messages which counted were those which had not been listened to, they would certainly have queried the indictment as soon as they saw it. The indictment is clear, contemporaneous evidence of the state of mind of the police and counsel at the time of the prosecution, namely that before/after did not matter."

In a statement, Chris Bryant said: "His evidence makes it abundantly clear that, contrary to the evidence given by John Yates, there was absolutely no legal reason why the Metropolitan police should have restricted their investigation in 2006."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/05/phone-hacking-john-yates-police?INTCMP=SRCH


Phone hacking: Mobile companies challenge John Yates's evidence

Four phone companies dispute that police 'ensured' they warn potential News of the World phone-hacking victims

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 April 2011 19.48 BST

John Yates, the senior police officer at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal, faces a new set of allegations that he has misled parliament.

A Guardian investigation has found that all four leading mobile phone companies dispute evidence that Yates has given to a select committee about police efforts to warn public figures whose voicemails were intercepted by the News of the World.

During the original police inquiry in 2006 phone companies identified a total of at least 120 politicians, police officers, members of the royal household and others whose voicemail had been accessed by Glenn Mulcaire, the NoW's private investigator. Yates told the home affairs select committee last September that police had "ensured" the phone companies warned all of their suspected victims. But all four companies have told the Guardian police made no such move and that most of the victims were never warned by them.

Two of the companies, Orange and Vodafone, wrote to Scotland Yard last autumn, spelling out the fact that they had told none of their customers that they had been hacked and that police had never asked them to. The home affairs committee on Thursday said that more than four months after those letters were sent to the Yard, it was unaware of Yates having made any attempt to tell it that there might be a problem with the evidence he gave.

The committee chairman, Keith Vaz, said he would write to Yates and to the phone companies to clarify the position.

The latest allegations come after a public dispute in which Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, has challenged Yates's account to parliament of the advice that police were given by prosecutors and the impact this had on the original investigation of the affair and the number of victims who were identified. At a session of the committee on Tuesday, Vaz said the DPP's evidence clearly contradicted the account which Yates had given to the committee the previous week and that he would be writing to Yates to ask for an explanation. Yates is currently acting deputy commissioner of the Met.

In relation to the phone companies, the key evidence from Yates was given to the committee in September last year when Vaz asked him whether police had warned all the public figures whose pin codes had been found in Glenn Mulcaire's paperwork.

Yates said: "We have taken what I consider to be all reasonable steps in conjunction with the major service providers – the Oranges, Vodafones – to ensure where we had even the minutest possibility they may have been the subject of an attempt to hack or hacking, we have taken all reasonable steps."

MP Mary Macleod asked what he meant by "reasonable steps", and Yates replied: "Speaking to them or ensuring the phone company has spoken to them."

The four leading mobile phone companies all say that this is not correct and that the police did not ask them to warn any victims among their customers. All of them searched their call data as part of the police inquiry in 2006 and all initially followed the standard procedure, which is to keep such inquiries confidential.

Vodafone found about 40 customers whose voicemail had been intercepted. They told none of them that they had been victims but warned a small number in particularly sensitive positions to check their security. A spokesman said: "We were not asked by the Met police to contact any customers but believed it was important that we inform as many as we could. As it was a live investigation, however, we were very limited in the information we could pass on to customers. We were only able to remind customers, where we believed it was appropriate, of the importance of voicemail security."

Orange identified about 45 customers whose voicemail had been dialled from Mulcaire's phone numbers. It said it warned none of them but passed the customers' details to Scotland Yard. A spokesman for Orange said: "At no point during the investigations were we asked, nor did we feel it right, to take further action in relation to these customers. The Metropolitan police are fully aware of our position on this."

T-Mobile gave police information from its call records but says it never finally identified customers who were victims and therefore warned none. A spokesman said: "We have never been supplied with a list of names or telephone numbers by the police of customers who may have been compromised, nor were we asked by the police to contact any of them."

O2 identified about 40 customers whose voicemail had been successfully accessed. It is the only company to have taken a corporate decision to approach and warn all of them. Asked about Yates's evidence, a spokesman for O2 said: "We weren't contacted by the police and asked proactively to get in touch with customers to warn them if they had been victims."

It is now clear that police failed to inform not only those victims who were identified by the phone companies but a large number of others whose details were found in notebooks, computer records and audiotapes seized from Mulcaire in August 2006 but never properly investigated until the Yard began its third investigation into the affair in January.

The failure means that police broke an agreement with the DPP that they would contact "all potential victims". It also means many of the victims were deprived of the chance to check the call data, which is kept by the phone companies for only 12 months, and that they had no opportunity to change their pin codes or to assess the damage done by the interception of their messages.

The immediate problem for Scotland Yard is that the phone companies, like the DPP, are now challenging the evidence given to the public and parliament by the most senior officer in the affair, John Yates.

In July 2009, he made a public statement: "Where there was clear evidence that people had potentially been the subject of tapping, they were all contacted by police." In February 2010 he wrote to the culture, media and sport committee: "Where information exists to suggest some form of interception of an individual's phone was or may have been attempted by Goodman and Mulcaire, the Metropolitan police has been diligent and taken all proper steps to ensure those individuals have been informed."

Yates's evidence about the phone companies last September prompted an exchange of letters. According to one senior police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, Detective Chief Superintendent Philip Williams, who works directly under John Yates, wrote to mobile phone companies in October, claiming that he believed that the companies had contacted "all of the people potentially identified as being victims."

On November 2, Orange wrote back to DCS Williams. The company is understood to have told him that police had never asked them to contact victims and that they had not done so. On November 22 Vodafone also wrote to DCS Williams. It is understood that the company expressed surprise that he was claiming to believe that it had contacted victims in 2006; it pointed out that it was for the police, not for the phone companies, to establish who had been victims of crime; and indicated it had no record of the police ever asking it to contact customers.


Last month – more than four months after that exchange of letters – Yates gave evidence on phone-hacking to the home affairs committee and to the culture, media and sport committee. He made no reference to the letters. Nor did he tell the committee that the two companies had challenged his previous account. However, in evidence to the media committe, he did indicate some awareness of a problem. He said: "I think there is some confusion with some of the mobile phone companies as to who was doing what, and we need to get some clarity around that … I am not sure that the follow-up was as thorough as it could have been."

In a statement on Thursday night, Scotland Yard said Yates had told the home affairs select committee in September 2010: "We think we have done all that is reasonable but we will continue to review it as we go along." A spokesman said the correspondence with the phone companies was part of that review and Yates had acknowledged in recent evidence to both select committees that more should have been done for victims. A spokesman said the current inquiry was reviewing the victim strategy.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/07/phone-hacking-john-yates-evidence?INTCMP=SRCH

Jan Klimkowski
04-08-2011, 05:34 PM
Rupert Murdoch and his mendacious managers make a weasal confession in a desperate attempt to buy silence and avoid evidential legal discovery:


Phone hacking: NI to apologise to victims including Sienna Miller

NoW publisher admits liability for hacking into phones of eight public figures and offers to set up compensation fund

James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Friday 8 April 2011 15.25 BST

News International is to apologise and offer to pay damages to eight News of the World phone-hacking victims who are currently suing the paper, including actor Sienna Miller, former culture secretary Tessa Jowell and former Sky Sports commentator Andy Gray.

In one of the most dramatic apologies in the history of Fleet Street, Rupert Murdoch's News International said its previous inquiries into phone hacking were "not sufficiently robust" and issued an "unreserved apology" for the fact hacking took place at the News of the World.

The others who will be offered apologies and damages are Jowell's former husband David Mills, football agent Sky Andrew, publicist Nicola Phillips, Joan Hammell, an former aide to former deputy prime minister John Prescott, and interior designer Kelly Hoppen. News International will offer to pay damages and legal fees.

In the Hoppen case, News International is admitting her phone was hacked on several occasions from 2004 to 2006. It still contests her claim that her phone was hacked in 2009.

News International is likely to offer to settle more cases. A total of 24 people have begun legal actions but the company believes that in many of the cases too little evidence has so far been produced to judge whether or not it was culpable. Others taking legal action including actors Steve Coogan and Leslie Ash.

It will propose next week to Justice Vos, the high court judge in charge of all the hacking cases, that all the cases should be heard together.

The publisher said: "Following an extensive internal investigation and disclosures through civil legal cases, News International has decided to approach some civil litigants with an unreserved apology and an admission of liability in cases meeting specific criteria.

"We have also asked our lawyers to establish a compensation scheme with a view to dealing with justifiable claims fairly and efficiently."

It added: "We will, however, continue to contest cases that we believe are without merit or where we are not responsible."

No executives are expected to resign as a result of the apology.

Charlotte Harris, a media lawyer at Mischon de Reya, which represents agent Sky Andrew, said her firm will be considering whether to accept News International's offer of damages after taking advice from clients. She added: "An admission from the News of the World is something we've been working towards for years now. They persisted with their 'one rogue' defence for far too long.

"It was clear for a very long time that the practice of phone hacking was rife and that the News of the World should take responsibility. I hope these apologies do not come at the cost of finding out precisely what happened and who was responsible for covering it up."

The Guardian revealed in July 2009 that News International had made secret payments totalling £1m to settle cases involving three people including Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA.

News International claimed hacking at the paper was carried out by a "rogue reporter", former royal editor Clive Goodman. He was jailed in January 2007 along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire for illegally intercepting voicemail messages left on mobile phones belonging to members of the royal household.

Andrew Neil, a former Murdoch executive and former Sunday Times editor, told BBC News: "This is one of the most embarrassing apologies I've ever seen from a major British corporation.

"I don't think NI had anywhere else to go. The evidence was piling up against them. It may cost them a lot more than they think. There are plenty of other people involved. They are trying to close it down with their chequebook but I don't think they're going to succeed."

He added that settling civil actions would have no bearing on the criminal investigation currently being carried out by the Metropolitan police.

Solicitor Mark Lewis said none of the clients he represents have heard from News International. "No deals have been done and no apologies have been received yet."

He described News International's admission as "a responsible step in the right direction ... But it's a step that [they] have been forced to take ... It's still early days to work out what will be paid ... and who the victims are. It will improve tabloid journalism and it will stop people using cheap tricks to find things out."

Tom Watson, the Labour MP for West Bromwich East, said: "One of the biggest media organisations in the world has been brought to its knees in the courts." But he added: "I think we need all the facts out there."

The only reason they are offering to apologise now is because 14 civil litigant cases are currently going though the courts."

They should apologise to their readers. I would like to hear from Rupert Murdoch".

He said Murdoch should apologise for the manner in which the News of the World obtained their stories and root out the executives and reporters who were responsible for phone hacking."

Referring to the new police inquiry which began in January, Watson added: "The new investigation team are clearly doing a more thorough job [than the original 2006 inquiry] but there are still lots of loose ends in this."

He said: "News International won newspaper on the year in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, when we know that phone hacking was going on. They subverted journalist. They undermined out democracy."

Keith Vaz MP, who chairs the home affairs select committee, said: "This is a step forward by those who don't want to spend entire days and months of their lives in court." He added that it would not prevent the police investigation continuing, however.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/08/news-corp-phone-hacking

Jan Klimkowski
04-10-2011, 10:05 PM
Murdoch editor and Cameron spin doktor Coulson - incompetent or lying for his bosses?

Scotland Yard top cop Yates - incompetent or lying for his bosses?

Hmm - what have we here?

Rupert Murdoch telling the British Prime Minister to control his MPs and back the fuck off or else...


Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch 'urged Gordon Brown' to halt Labour attacks

• Former PM was asked to 'defuse' NoW row, says ex-minister

• Ed Miliband calls for full details of 'criminal behaviour'

Toby Helm and James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Saturday 9 April 2011 22.16 BST

Rupert Murdoch used his political influence and contacts at the highest levels to try to get Labour MPs and peers to back away from investigations into phone hacking at the News of the World, a former minister in Gordon Brown's government has told the Observer.

The ex-minister, who does not want to be named, says he is aware of evidence that Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation, relayed messages to Brown last year via a third party, urging him to help take the political heat out of the row, which he felt was in danger of damaging his company.

Brown, who stepped down as prime minister after last May's general election defeat for Labour, has refused to comment on the claim, but has not denied it. It is believed that contacts were made before he left No 10. The minister said: "What I know is that Murdoch got in touch with a good friend who then got in touch with Brown. The intention was to get him to cool things down. That is what I was told."

Brown, who became increasingly concerned at allegations of phone hacking and asked the police to investigate, had claimed that he was a victim of hacking when chancellor. He made Murdoch's views known to a select few in the Labour party.

In January, it was revealed Brown had written at least one letter to the Metropolitan police over concerns that his phone was targeted when he was still at the Treasury.

Suggestions that Murdoch involved Tony Blair in a chain of phone calls that led to Brown have been denied by the former prime minister. A spokesman for Blair said the claim was "categorically untrue", adding "no such calls ever took place". The allegation will, however, add to concerns about the influence Murdoch wielded over key political figures at Westminster and in Downing Street.

It will also raise further questions over the decision by David Cameron to appoint Andy Coulson, a former NoW editor who resigned over phone hacking, as his director of communications.

A spokesman for News International, the paper's owner, rebuted the claim, saying: "This is total rubbish."

Labour leader Ed Miliband weighed in on the hacking scandal , saying it was important to establish who knew what about "criminal behaviour" – and when. "What we have seen is a serious admission of wrongdoing by News International," he said during a visit to Swindon. "We have now got to get to the bottom of any criminal behaviour, which is a matter for the police. We need to know who knew about these actions and when. We also need to know how far across the organisation knowledge of these actions went."

On Friday, News International issued a public apology to eight victims of phone hacking, including the actress Sienna Miller and Tessa Jowell, the former culture secretary in Tony Blair's government. It was the first time the company had admitted the practice was common at the News of the World.

However, questions remain over whether the victims will settle. Miller's solicitor, Mark Thomson, of law firm Atkins Thomson, said: "She is awaiting information and disclosure from the News of the World which has been ordered by the court and will consider her next steps once this is provided."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said a decision on the planned takeover of BSkyB by News Corp would not be influenced by the controversy. A spokesman said: "The culture secretary has to make a quasi-judicial decision about the impact of the proposed merger on media plurality issues alone. Legally the culture secretary cannot consider other factors as part of this process and under law phone hacking is not seen as relevant to media plurality."

The scandal has focused attention on senior executives at News International, including its chief executive Rebekah Brooks, formerly Wade. Former MP George Galloway, who said he had been shown proof his phone had been hacked, claimed the NoW's apology was a "cynical attempt to protect the company's chief executive Rebekah Wade … Wade delivered the statement on Friday which sought to put an end to the controversy. However, by attempting to limit the admission of liability to the two years between 2004 and 2006 – and by so doing effectively sacrificing two senior executives and former editor Andy Coulson – she appears to be trying to exculpate herself from the scandal."

The publicist Max Clifford, who brought a private case against NoW that ended with a reported £1m settlement, said the newspaper had been forced into the apology. "It's now acknowledged this was widespread at News International."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/09/phone-hacking-rupert-murdoch-gordon-brown

Jan Klimkowski
04-10-2011, 10:11 PM
And, now, subsequent to that highly damaging leak in my post above, we have what are doubtless sources close to Brown claiming Britain's top civil servant told the British PM to back the fuck off.

On truly ridiculous grounds.

And the coward Brown agreed to back off.


Gordon Brown phone-hacking inquiry halted by civil service

Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, blocked attempt by former PM to hold judicial inquiry into phone-hacking allegations

Nicholas Watt, Patrick Wintour and Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Sunday 10 April 2011 22.15 BST

Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, blocked an attempt by Gordon Brown before the general election to hold a judicial inquiry into allegations that the News of the World had hacked into the phones of cabinet ministers and other high-profile figures.

As News International prepares to pay compensation to victims of the illegal practice, the Guardian understands that Britain's most senior civil servant took steps to prevent an inquiry on the grounds that it would be too sensitive before last year's general election.

The then prime minister, who warned Peter Mandelson in 2009 that his phone had been hacked on behalf of the News of the World, wanted a judicial inquiry after new evidence of the illegal practice emerged that summer.

The Guardian revealed in July 2009 that Rupert Murdoch's News Group newspapers had paid more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal illegal phone hacking by private investigators on behalf of News of the World.

The revelations were of acute political sensitivity because Andy Coulson, editor of the News of the World between 2003 and 2007, was by then David Cameron's communications director. Coulson was asked to appear before the Commons culture select committee after the publication of the Guardian disclosures.

O'Donnell told Brown, who lost the support of the News of the World and its sister paper, the Sun, in the autumn of 2009, that it would be inappropriate to hold a judicial inquiry so soon before the election. Coulson was by then one of the most senior members of Cameron's inner circle and was appointed as the Downing Street director of communications after the general election. He has consistently denied any knowledge of wrongdoing, and resigned from No 10 in January saying coverage of phone hacking had made his job impossible.

The disclosure that O'Donnell blocked an inquiry came as Boris Johnson called for a "truth and reconciliation" commission to establish the full facts about phone hacking. In an interview on Sky News, the mayor of London said: "Plainly the police need to get on with it. But I would like to see the entire newspaper industry, what we used to call Fleet Street and indeed the media generally, have a general truth and reconciliation commission about all this. I think all the editors and all the proprietors should come forward, put their hands up, say whether they know of any of their reporters or employees who may or may not have been engaged in these practices which have now been exposed at the News of the World. I think that would be a very healthy development."

Johnson spoke out after News International issued a public apology on Friday to eight victims of phone hacking. These included the actor Sienna Miller, the former Labour culture secretary Tessa Jowell, the football agent Sky Andrew and the publicist Nicola Phillips.

Charlotte Harris of Mishcon de Reya, which represents Andrew, said she was advising her client not to accept compensation until he sees all the documentation in the possession of News International. Harris told Radio 4's The World This Weekend: "Sky Andrew has been finally offered an apology and we are thinking about what to do. There isn't actually a particular figure they have offered us for anything. The position Sky is taking is not disimilar to that of Sienna Miller and Nicola Phillips. It is: isn't this a bit early, we are just about to have disclosure of the documents, we need to have a look and see what has happened and get to the bottom of it and then we'll see where it goes from there."

Asked if she would advise her clients not to settle without disclosure of notes and emails, Harris said: "Yes. What we have at the moment is an apology and an admission, having been working on this for a very long time. We haven't even got near the truth yet. We have got orders that mean we are now going to be able to have a chance at getting to the bottom of it, so we need to find out. How are we meant to know what to accept if we don't know the full extent of what has happened?"

Harris added that thousands of phones could have been monitored. "If you consider that if you hack into one person's phone, you have access to everyone who has left a message for them. And then, if you go into the person who has left a message, you get all of theirs. You have got to be running into several thousand, just from that methodology. To put a figure on it, it is certainly not a handful - maybe 4,000, 6,000, 7,000 - a huge amount of people."The Guardian understands Gordon Brown was so concerned that News of the World was targeting Labour figures that he warned Peter Mandelson his phone had been hacked. Mandelson approached the information commissioner, but he did not confirm that his phone had been hacked.

Critics of Murdoch have urged the government not to decide on his bid to take control of BSkyB until the allegations have been fully investigated. But advisers to the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, say he is prevented by law from taking the scandal into account when he considers whether it is appropriate for News Corporation to be allowed to buy all of BSkyB. The £8bn merger, which the minister has already said he is minded to approve, is being examined on its impact on "media plurality". However, Hunt's lawyers say that phone hacking cannot be considered in an inquiry as regards plurality. They say it could only form part of a "suitability of persons" test into whether Murdoch and the bosses of News Corporation were appropriate individuals to own BSkyB. That test was designed to prevent pornographers, for example, becoming media owners - but it cannot now be invoked in the case of the Murdoch merger. The Enterprise Act that covers the UK's merger rules only allows one referral on one set of grounds, which means £8bn deal could only ever have been referred for political approval on either media plurality or suitability of persons grounds, but not both.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: "We never comment about any advice from a cabinet secretary to a prime minister on any issue."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/10/gordon-brown-hacking-inquiry-civil-service

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: "We never comment about any advice from a cabinet secretary to a prime minister on any issue."

The archetypal British deep state response when caught committing nefarious deeds. :finger:

Magda Hassan
04-10-2011, 11:16 PM
That test was designed to prevent pornographers, for example, becoming media owners - but it cannot now be invoked in the case of the Murdoch merger. But Murdoch is if nothing else a pornographer? Surely?

Jim Hacker could surely have handled this scandal better than Brown has.

Magda Hassan
04-10-2011, 11:21 PM
Nothing from MI5 on any of this? They must be central to it in all sorts of ways?

Peter Lemkin
04-11-2011, 06:39 AM
This scandal [as most others] clearly shows the chain of 'command' Big Business==> Pols [who grovel at their every request....or is that every command...]:pirate: The EXACT same things [and more than just newspapers looking for stories and dirt] are going on in most every country now. :dance:

Magda Hassan
04-11-2011, 10:49 AM
Why did News International retreat on phone hacking?

10Apr11 – 10:01 am
by Brian Cathcart (http://blog.indexoncensorship.org/author/brian-cathcart/)
James Murdoch was quoted this weekend (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/08/phone-hacking-victims-apology-news) as saying in New York that his father’s company has now put the phone hacking problem “in a box” so that everybody would not be “sucked into it”, causing the whole business to “sputter”.
Well maybe. News International has always had a cultish, us-against-the-rest character, so its mind is hard to read, but the truth surely is that the company’s lawyers have known for weeks if not months that they could not win most or perhaps any of the private cases brought by people who believe they were victims of News of the World hacking.
It may be that the decisive moment came a month or so ago, when the judicial authorities made a simple and for them almost routine decision. About 25 separate legal actions were in the works and it was no secret that papers were being prepared for more, so it was thought sensible and efficient to direct all of them towards one judge, who would then be versed in all the common factors and issues. The chosen judge was Mr Justice Vos, who had until then been hearing the preliminaries in the combined cases of Andy Gray and Steve Coogan. For News International this was surely a disaster, because in those preliminary hearings they had road tested some of their most important defences and found Vos unsympathetic to the point of dismissiveness.
Perhaps the most significant moment came during a court hearing in January, when Vos was briskly reviewing matters before ruling on a particular point of procedure. He said this:

The main point argued in Mr Gray’s case was that none of the 12 calls known to have actually been made from Mr Mulcaire’s landlines to Mr Gray’s voicemail box number was long enough to allow interception of Mr Gray’s voicemail messages. The Defendants relied in this regard on the evidence that . . . it normally takes nine seconds to access any real messages when a call is made to a voicemail direct dial number.
Here, in other words was one of the central pillars of the News International case. Glenn Mulcaire had, by whatever nefarious means, acquired all the numbers and codes required to access Andy Gray’s voicemails, but did he actually listen to them? Yes, he had called the relevant number, but the company argued that no proof had been provided of him actually hearing a message; on the contrary, what evidence there was suggested he had failed to do so. By implication, it could not be shown that Mulcaire had breached Gray’s privacy. Here is what Mr Justice Vos had to say about that:

. . .it seems to me that, in Mr Gray’s case, there is abundant evidence that Mr Gray’s voicemails were intercepted, and a strong inference that some misuse will have been made of the confidential information thereby obtained. The 12 calls that have already been proved may well not be the whole story. And at least three of them were long enough for some information to have been obtained …
He added that there was every reason to expect much more data on the telephone traffic to emerge, both from the police and the company, and that in any case he saw no reason to rely on telephone traffic data alone.

. . . the documents from Mr Mulcaire’s own handwritten notes are more than enough to satisfy me that interception of Mr Gray’s voicemails was something that Mr Mulcaire was undertaking regularly.
Vos was equally sceptical about the company’s argument that it could not be proved that Mulcaire, if he really did hack Gray’s messages, was doing it for the News of the World.

. . . since Mr Mulcaire was contracted to NGN, I disagree. Moreover, Mr Mulcaire’s own notes and the reference to “Greg” therein supports that case, even though it remains to be proved that “Greg” was Greg Miskiw, a NotW journalist.
(NGN, by the way, is News Group Newspapers, the arm of News International which operates the News of the World and the Sun.)
If, at the turn of the year, Murdoch’s people thought they could fight their cases against people in Andy Gray’s position with a reasonably chance of success, this sort of rubbishing from a leading judge must have brought them up short. Then, when they learned that all the cases would be heard by the same judge, the outlook must have been transformed. A chance of success became a serious risk of expensive and serial humiliation.
And worse still was the prospect that Glenn Mulcaire would lose the case he is due to bring to court, perhaps as early as next month (and not before Vos), in which he was set to argue that he should not be obliged to reveal whom he dealt with on these matters at the News of the World on the ground that he risked incriminating himself. With Vos already kicking them around, they apparently decided not to wait.
That said, it should be noted that the company’s statement (http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2011/04/08/news-international-statement-with-regard-to-voicemail-interception-at-the-news-of-the-world-during-2004-2006/) contains some vaguely defiant language suggesting they are not giving up entirely. On the one hand, this is natural: they want to drive hard bargains on compensation and send a signal that they won’t pay out in frivolous, unfounded claims. On the other hand, they may yet take some cases to court to try and define the limits of their liability, because there are a lot of loose ends here. A final note: while Andy Gray is said to be on the list for a compensation offer, Steve Coogan is not. What does this mean? Only that Coogan’s case is less well advanced than Gray’s. His lawyers are gathering information, and Vos appears to believe that they will make it stack up.
Brian Cathcart teaches journalism at Kingston University London. He tweets at @BrianCathcart ENDS
http://blog.indexoncensorship.org/2011/04/10/why-did-news-international-retreat-on-phone-hacking/

Jan Klimkowski
04-11-2011, 06:55 PM
Murdoch manager Rebekah Brooks/Wade squirms, and attempts to rewrite history.

Of course Mr Murdoch's editors don't get involved in anything as tawdry and sordid as bribing police officers m'lud, despite my admission of such payments back in 2003 which led to Andy Coulson telling me to shut up.... :nosmilie:


Rebekah Brooks: I have no knowledge of actual payments to police

News International chief clarifies 2003 statement that 'we have paid the police for information in the past'

James Robinson guardian.co.uk, Monday 11 April 2011 15.42 BST

The former Sun editor, Rebekah Brooks, told a powerful group of MPs on Monday she has no knowledge of any actual payments the paper might have made to police offers in exchange for information.

In a letter to the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, Brooks, who is now chief executive of the paper's parent company News International, said she had no "knowledge of any specific cases" in which payments to police might have been made.

Brooks was responding to a request from the committee made last month to detail how many police officers received money from the Sun, which she edited from 2003 to 2009, and when the practice ceased.

Brooks, who edited the Sun's sister title the News of the World before moving to the daily in early 2003, told MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee eight years ago:"We have paid the police for information in the past."

In her letter to the home affairs select committee chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz, Brooks said she was grateful for the opportunity to clarify the evidence she gave in March 2003.

She added that she was talking in general terms about the newspaper industry and its relationship with the police, rather than the paper she edited specifically, when she appeared before the culture media and sport committee in 2003.

"As can be seen from the transcript, I was responding to a specific line of questioning on how newspapers get information," Brooks wrote. "My intention was simply to comment generally on the widely-held belief that payments had been made in the past to police officers.

"If, in doing so, I gave the impression that I had knowledge of any specific cases, I can assure you that this was not my intention."

According to the transcript of 11 March 2003 on the culture select committee website, Labour MP Chris Bryant asked both Brooks and Andy Coulson, then editor of the News of the World, whether "either of your newspapers ever use private detectives, ever bug or pay the police?".

A long answer from Brooks followed about the use of private detectives and listening devices in the public interest, in which she gave a specific example of where a News of the World reporter recorded a conversation to establish that a woman was "selling her daughters" to local "paedophiles", but which did not address the question of whether the police had been paid for news stories.

Bryant then followed up, asking specifically: "And on the element of whether you ever pay the police for information?"

Brooks replied: "We have paid the police for information in the past." Bryant then asked her "will you do it in the future?", to which she answered: "It depends."

At that point Coulson cut in, saying: "We operate within the code and within the law and if there is a clear public interest then we will. The same holds for private detectives, subterfuge, a video bag – whatever you want to talk about."

Vaz wrote to Brooks at the end of last month following evidence given to the home affairs select committee in March by John Yates, the acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police, in which he said Scotland Yard was undertaking "research" on whether police officers had received payments from newspapers.

The Labour MP for Leicester East also wrote to Yates in March on behalf of the home affairs select committee asking for more details about this research.

In the same evidence session Yates reiterated his claim that the Crown Prosecution Service had initially advised the Met to adopt a narrow interpretation of the law relating to phone hacking during its initial investigation into allegations of widespread hacking at the News of the World.

He said that advice "permeated the whole investigation/inquiry" and helped explain why the police had only identified a small number of victims.

The committee has asked Yates to supply a copy of the legal advice the Met received from the CPS when Yates reviewed the hacking evidence last autumn.

Yates said its advice changed after a case conference held in October 2010, during which the CPS made it clear that a wider definition of what constitutes a hacking offence should be adopted.

MPs have asked for copies of the legal advice supplied before and after that October meeting. A spokeswoman for Vaz said he had received a reply from Yates and the committee is likely to make it public in due course.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, contradicted Yates's claims about the CPS advice when he appeared before the home affairs committee earlier this month.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/11/rebekah-brooks

Jan Klimkowski
05-12-2011, 05:18 PM
The Met clearly conducted a non-investigation.

I wonder why (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/12/phone-hacking-messages-prescott)? :smileymad:

This is not incompetence. It is far more sinister.

If Mulcaire was the Mechanic, and the likes of Coulson and Rupert Murdoch the Facilitators, who were the Sponsors?

I have a pretty good working hypothesis.


Phone hacking: 45 messages from John Prescott were intercepted, court hears

The former deputy prime minister is seeking permission for a judicial review into police handling of the phone-hacking affair

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Thursday 12 May 2011 14.20 BST

The private investigator at the centre of the phone-hacking affair intercepted 45 voicemail messages from the then deputy prime minister John Prescott and emailed them to the News of the World, the high court has heard.

Lord Prescott's lawyers told the court that he had been the victim of "an unfortunate history of misinformation" by the Metropolitan police, who had told him repeatedly that he was not a victim of hacking.

But the court heard that the investigator Glenn Mulcaire had targeted Prescott by listening to messages which he left on the phone of his chief of staff, Joan Hammell.

Mulcaire had then sent a News of the World executive an email containing 45 messages as well as instructions about how to continue accessing Hammell's phone.

The new evidence emerged in a hearing in which Prescott, the former Europe minister Chris Bryant and the Met's former deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick are seeking permission for a judicial review of police handling of the affair.

They say police failed to conduct an effective inquiry and failed to inform them they were victims.

Lawyers for the Met conceded there had been "some operational shortcomings" and that there had been cases where some victims had not been informed even though the evidence was clear.

But they said the evidence in the claimants' cases had not been clear. They revealed that, having seized 10,000 pages of notes from Mulcaire, the original inquiry in 2006 had failed to enter the material on a computer system.

In 2009, after the Guardian revived the affair, Scotland Yard had finally started transferring the material to a database but had overlooked numerous documents and scanned others in a form that was not searchable.

The result for the police, according to James Lewis QC, was that:

• Prescott was told there was no evidence that he was a target of Mulcaire, even though his name was listed on notes the investigator had kept about the hacking of Hammell.

• Bryant was told only that his name and number had been found in Mulcaire's notes, whereas in fact his name was linked to a list of 23 phone numbers that could only have been obtained by hacking his voicemail, according to Hugh Tomlinson QC.

• Paddick was told there was no evidence he was a victim even though a print-out from Mulcaire's computer named him as "a project" and handwritten notes included phone details for him, his partner, his former partner and numerous associates.

The court heard that the email containing Prescott's 45 messages had been handed to police by the News of the World in January this year.

Mr Justice Foskett said he would deliver a judgment as to whether the judicial review should continue in the near future.

Magda Hassan
05-14-2011, 01:58 AM
Hackees made an offer they can't refuse...

Sienna Miller awarded £100,000 over phone hacking

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/52179000/jpg/_52179880_011729404-1.jpg Actress Sienna Miller is one of several celebrities accusing the News of the World of breach of privacy
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13390991#story_continues_1) Related Stories



Phone-hacking probe: Key people (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12296392)
'Police payment' probe considered (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13092045)
Hacking row 'legal can of worms' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13092573)


Sienna Miller is set to accept £100,000 in damages from the News of the World, after the paper admitted liability over the hacking of the actress's phone.
The newspaper will make a full disclosure in private to her legal team to show the extent of all wrongdoing.
Lawyers for Ms Miller said there had been a full admission of liability and that she had been vindicated.
The News of the World said it was "pleased we have managed to bring this case to a satisfactory conclusion".
"Several weeks ago we admitted liability in certain cases and offered a genuine and unreserved apology. We hope to resolve other cases swiftly," the newspaper's statement said.
8,000 e-mails

"For the record, reports that we have been ordered to disclose 8,000 e-mails to Ms Miller are inaccurate.
"The error stems from a reference in court to the fact that a total of 8,000 e-mails were being searched to ascertain whether any Sienna Miller-related material was amongst them."
Following a two-day hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice Vos indicated he would give his full judgment next week.
Four alleged victims have already reached out-of-court settlements with the newspaper, including celebrity publicist Max Clifford, who received a reported £1m.
On Thursday News Group's QC, Michael Silverleaf, told Mr Justice Vos at the High Court it admitted liability unconditionally for all the wrongs alleged by the actress and accepted responsibility for compensating her.
Ms Miller's counsel, Hugh Tomlinson QC, said the proposed settlement would include the provision of information by the News of the World "concerning the extent of the wrongdoing".
'Harassment'
Mr Tomlinson said: "I make the position clear that Ms Miller is proceeding in this way precisely because Mr Silverleaf indicated yesterday all her claims have been admitted - misuse of private information, breach of confidence, publication of articles derived from voicemail hacking and a course of conduct of harassment over a period of more than 12 months.

"In those circumstances, her primary concern is not how much money is awarded by way of compensation but to know exactly what the extent was of the hacking which took place and, having obtained an order which will enable her to know that - so far as it is knowable - that meets all her requirements from this action."
The settlement is likely to be formalised by the court next Friday.
The News of the World's admission to Ms Miller marks a new chapter in a scandal which dates back to 2006, when the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking into the mobile phone voicemails of royal aides.
Since then, a series of inquiries and legal cases have been exploring just how widespread the practice was, with implications for the police, celebrities and politicians.
More and more celebrities and public figures have alleged their phones have been hacked and some have launched legal actions against the paper or the police for allegedly failing to investigate.
News International, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, has offered to co-operate fully with a Metropolitan Police inquiry.
The News of the World's chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, 50, and former news editor Ian Edmondson, 42, were arrested last month on suspicion of having unlawfully intercepted voicemail messages. They were released on bail until September.
Speaking to the BBC's Newsnight programme, actor Hugh Grant described the invasion of privacy by tabloid newspapers as a "massive scandal".
Mr Grant said police had told him he had been a victim of phone hacking although he did not specify which publication was involved.
He said: "To me there is no distinction between mugging someone for their wallet and watch and selling it on the street and mugging them for their privacy and selling it in a newspaper."
Mr Grant added: "It doesn't feel right that just because you've had a bit of success, one of the most basic human rights is in this country is effectively removed from you."

Jan Klimkowski
06-08-2011, 07:04 PM
See post #77 in this thread here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?3260-Phone-hacking-scandal-deepens/page8) for more details of the Murdoch Empire hacking of a "rogue" or "double rogue" British military intelligence agent with knowledge of some of the filthiest secrets of Britain's dirty war in the island of Ireland.

Then this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/13/phone-hacking-panorama-names-journalist) from March this year:


The News of the World phone-hacking scandal is set to reach a new peak of embarrassment for the paper and for Scotland Yard with the naming of the sixth and most senior journalist yet to be implicated in illegal news-gathering.

A BBC Panorama programme claims that Alex Marunchak, formerly the paper's senior executive editor, commissioned a specialist snooper who illegally intercepted email messages from a target's computer and faxed copies of them to Marunchak's News of the World office.

The embarrassment is heightened by the fact that the target was a former British army intelligence officer who had served in Northern Ireland and was in possession of secrets which were deemed so sensitive that they had been suppressed by a court order.

Rupert Murdoch's News International, which owns the News of the World, has claimed repeatedly that only one of its journalists – the former royal correspondent, Clive Goodman – was involved in illegal news-gathering. When Goodman was jailed in January 2007, Scotland Yard chose not to interview any other journalist or executive on the paper.

And Panorama reports that the illegal interception of emails happened in July 2006, when the prime minister's former media adviser Andy Coulson was editing the paper.

Coulson has given evidence to a parliamentary select committee and on oath at a criminal trial, denying that he knew anything of any illegal activity during his seven years at the News of the World.

Panorama obtained details of a fax sent to the office of Marunchak on 5 July 2006, apparently containing copies of emails which had been written by Ian Hurst, a former army intelligence officer. Marunchak was then based in the News of the World's Dublin office, editing the Irish edition. Hurst was believed to be involved in writing a book titled Stakeknife, eventually published under the pseudonym Martin Ingram, which details the alleged involvement of British intelligence in assassinations in Northern Ireland. Hurst had been the subject of court orders obtained by the Ministry of Defence.

Panorama traced Hurst and showed him the fax. He confirmed on camera that the emails had come from his computer. "The hairs on the back of my head are up," he told them. Hurst then contacted a specialist hacker who he suspected was responsible, met him in a local hotel and confronted him, while the BBC secretly filmed the exchange.

The hacker – whose name cannot be revealed for separate legal reasons – confessed his role and added: "It weren't that hard. I sent you an email that you opened, and that's it ... I sent it from a bogus address ... Now it's gone. It shouldn't even remain on the hard drive ... I think I programmed it to stay on for three months."

Hurst then asked the hacker who had commissioned him to do this. The hacker replied: "The faxes would go to Dublin ... He was the editor of the News of the World for Ireland. A Slovak-type name. I can't remember his fucking name. Alex, his name is. Marunchak." Marunchak declined to answer questions when the BBC confronted him.

The BBC claim that Marunchak was introduced to the specialist hacker by Jonathan Rees, the private investigator whose involvement with corrupt police officers was detailed by the Guardian on Saturday. Internal News International records show that Marunchak regularly employed Rees from the late 1990s, and that during 2006, the News of the World paid Rees more than £4,000 for research relating to Stakeknife, the codename for the British intelligence mole inside the IRA whose activities were known to Ian Hurst.

Marunchak is the sixth News of the World journalist to be implicated in the affair. Documents published by the Guardian in 2009 include an email containing the transcripts of 35 illegally intercepted voicemail messages, sent by a junior reporter, Ross Hindley, for the chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck. Paperwork disclosed in court cases suggests that Clive Goodman, Ian Edmondson and Greg Miskiw commissioned phone-hacking. Goodman was jailed; Edmondson has been sacked but not charged with any offence; Miskiw is believed to have been interviewed by police in 2005 but never charged with any offence.

And here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/08/phone-hacking-kate-middleton-tony-blair) it is suggested that Murdoch Empire contractors hacked Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, top cops Stevens & Yates, and the governor and deputy governor of the Bank of England.

Firstly, they all deserve to be hacked, each and every one, so :monkeypiss:


Secondly, and more seriously, hacking the PM and senior politocos, two of the most senior police officers in the land, and the country's top central bankers MUST be a national security matter.

And yet it is not being so treated.

In the thread here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?7311-British-govt-to-extend-quot-War-on-Terror-quot-to-non-violent-protest-groups), the British govt is effectively declaring non-violent protest and strike action against austerity cuts as national security matters. And yet Murdoch editors can hire PIs to hack the messages of some of the most powerful people in the country and not even be asked to account for their actions!!!!!

I call :moon2:

I further note that Murdoch hack Andy Coulson, NOTW editor during some of these incidents, was subsequently hired by Prime Minister David Cameron, who knew all this history, as his top spin doktor.

Or Head of the Tory Propaganda Ministry.


According to journalists and investigators who worked with him, Rees exploited his position as a freemason to make links with masonic police officers who illegally sold him information on targets chosen by the News of the World, the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror. One close contact, Det Sgt Sid Fillery, left the Metropolitan police to become Rees's business partner and added more officers to their network. Fillery was subsequently convicted of possession of indecent images of children.

Some police contacts are said to have been blackmailed into providing confidential information. One of Rees's former associates claims that Rees had compromising photographs of serving officers, including one who was caught in a drunken coma with a couple of prostitutes and with a toilet seat around his neck. Rees claimed to be in touch with corrupt Customs officers, a corrupt VAT inspector and two corrupt bank employees.

An investigator who worked for Rees claims he was commissioning burglaries of public figures to steal material for newspapers. Southern Investigations has previously been implicated in handling paperwork which was stolen by a professional burglar from the safe of Paddy Ashdown's lawyer, when Ashdown was leader of the Liberal Democrats. The paperwork, which was eventually obtained by the News of the World, recorded Ashdown discussing his fears that newspapers might expose an affair with his secretary.

The Guardian has confirmed that Rees also used two specialist "blaggers" who would telephone the Inland Revenue, the DVLA, banks and phone companies and trick them into handing over private data to be sold to Fleet Street.

One of the blaggers who regularly worked for him, John Gunning, was responsible for obtaining details of bank accounts belonging to Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, which were then sold to the Sunday Mirror. Gunning was later convicted of illegally obtaining confidential data from British Telecom. Rees also obtained details of accounts at Coutts bank belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Kent. The bank accounts of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, are also thought to have been compromised.

The Guardian has been told that Rees spoke openly about obtaining confidential data belonging to senior politicians and recorded their names in his paperwork. One source close to Rees claims that apart from Tony Blair, Straw, Mandelson and Campbell, he also targeted Gaynor Regan, who became the second wife of the foreign secretary, Robin Cook, the former shadow home secretary, Gerald Kaufman; and the former Tory minister David Mellor.

It is not yet known precisley what Rees was doing with these political targets, although in the case of Peter Mandelson, it appears that Rees obtained confidential details of two bank accounts which he held at Coutts, and his building society account at Britannia. Rees is also said to have targeted his brother, Miles Mandelson.

Separately, for the News of the World, Glenn Mulcaire was hacking the voicemail of the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, Straw's successor as home secretary, David Blunkett, the media secretary, Tessa Jowell, and the Europe minister, Chris Bryant. Scotland Yard has repeatedly refused to reveal how many politicians were victims of phone hacking, although Simon Hughes, Boris Johnson and George Galloway have all been named.

The succesful hacking of a computer belonging to the former British intelligence officer Ian Hurst was achieved in July 2006 by sending Hurst an email containing a Trojan program which copied Hurst's emails and relayed them to the hacker. This included messages he had exchanged with at least two agents who informed on the Provisional IRA – Freddie Scappaticci, codenamed Stakeknife; and a second informant known as Kevin Fulton. Both men were regarded as high-risk targets for assassination. Hurst was one of the very few people who knew their whereabouts. The hacker cannot be named for legal reasons.

There would be further security concern if Rees's paperwork confirmed strong claims by those close to him that he claimed to have targeted the then Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir John Stevens, who would have had regular access to highly sensitive intelligence. Sir John's successor, Sir Ian Blair, is believed to have been targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, although it has not been confirmed that Mulcaire succeeded in listening to his voicemail. Assistant commissioner John Yates was targeted by Rees when Yates was running inquiries into police corruption in the late 1990s. It appears that Yates did not realise that he himself had been a target when he was responsible for the policing of the phone-hacking affair between July 2009 and January 2011.

Targeting the Bank of England, Rees is believed to have earned thousands of pounds by penetrating the past or present mortgage accounts of the then governor, Eddie George, his deputy, Mervyn King, who is now governor, and half-a-dozen other members of the monetary policy committee.

According to police information provided to the Guardian in September 2002, an internal Scotland Yard report recorded that Rees and his network were engaged in long-term penetration of police intelligence and that "their thirst for knowledge is driven by profit to be accrued from the media".

Operation Weeting has been investigating phone hacking by the News of the World since January. The paper's assistant editor, Ian Edmondson, chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, and former news editor James Weatherup have been arrested and released on police bail.

So, after all that, Scotland Yard's finest rozzers come up with the lame motive that all this hacking was simply driven by the profit motive.

That might be the case with some of the celebrity hacking, which demonstrably led to salacious scoops designed to sell more papers.

The notion that hacking prime ministers, police commanders and central bank governors was driven by the profit motive is risible.

Unless profit motive is used as a synonym for political and commercial leverage, aka blackmail.

I think we should be told.

I know we won't be.

So, :monkeypiss::monkeypiss::monkeypiss: on all their houses.

Jan Klimkowski
06-30-2011, 06:43 PM
On the day that Murdoch lackey hackette Rebekah Wade/Brooks announces an "ethics committee" for their rags (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/30/phone-hacking-legal-firm)....


News International said on Thursday it has asked leading legal firm Olswang to draw up a new code of practice for the company in an effort to prevent a repeat of the phone-hacking affair at the News of the World.

In an email to staff the News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, said Olswang had been hired "to examine in great detail what can be learnt from the past".

Brooks added that Olswang "will recommend a series of policies, practices and systems to create a more robust governance, compliance and legal structure for our papers that we hope over time can become a standard for the industry".

...the Tory government, until recently employers of Murdoch hack Andy Coulson as Head of Propaganda, allow News Corp (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/30/news-corp-bskyb-bid-terms)to take over BSkyB with token conditions in place:


Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and BSkyB could agree the terms of a £9.3bn takeover bid as early as 29 July, when the satellite broadcaster is due to announce its full-year results.

The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, gave News Corp the green light to acquire the 60.9% of BSkyB it does not already own on Thursday – subject to a short public consultation that ends midday 8 July – on the proviso that Sky News is spun off as a separate company to allay plurality concerns.

Hacks at Murdoch's Sun are instructed to write in language which is engaging and comprehensible to a 9-year-old.

Of course most 9-year-olds don't know how filthy the worlds of commerce and politics are....

Jan Klimkowski
07-04-2011, 05:12 PM
Milly Dowler was a 13-year-old schoolgirl who, it is now known, was abducted and brutally murdered by a serial killer.

It is alleged that in the days immediately following Milly's disppearance, Rupert Murdoch's News of the World hired Private Investigators to hack into missing Milly's mobile phone and DELETED messages to make room for more.

At the time, the News of the World was edited by Rebekah Wade/Brooks (now Rupert Murdoch's female representative on planet earth) and deputy-edited by Andy Coulson (until recently Head of Propaganda and Chief SpinDoktor for UK Prime Minister David Cameron).


Missing Milly Dowler's voicemail was hacked by News of the World

• Deleted voicemails gave family false hope
• Hacking interfered with police hunt
• Family lawyer: actions 'heinous and despicable'

Nick Davies and Amelia Hill guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/04/milly-dowler-voicemail-hacked-news-of-world), Monday 4 July 2011 16.29 BST

The News of the World illegally targeted the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family in March 2002, interfering with police inquiries into her disappearance, an investigation by the Guardian has established.

Scotland Yard is investigating the episode, which is likely to put new pressure on the then editor of the paper, Rebekah Brooks, now Rupert Murdoch's chief executive in the UK; and the then deputy editor, Andy Coulson, who resigned in January as the prime minister's media adviser.

Milly's family lawyer this afternoon issued a statement in which he described the News of the World's activities as "heinous" and "despicable". Milly Dowler, then aged 13, disappeared on her way home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey on 21 March 2002.

Detectives from Scotland Yard's new inquiry into the phone hacking, Operation Weeting, are believed to have found evidence of the targeting of the Dowlers in a collection of 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for phone hacking on behalf of the News of the World.

In the last four weeks the Met officers have approached Surrey police and taken formal statements from some of those involved in the original inquiry, who were concerned about how News of the World journalists intercepted – and deleted – the voicemail messages of Milly Dowler.

The messages were deleted by journalists in the first few days after Milly's disappearance so as to free up space for more messages. As a result friends and relatives of Milly concluded wrongly that she might still be alive. Police feared evidence may have been destroyed.

The Guardian investigation has shown that, within a very short time of Milly vanishing, News of the World journalists reacted by engaging in what was then standard practice in their newsroom: they hired private investigators to get them a story.

Their first step was simple, albeit illegal. Paperwork seen by the Guardian reveals that they paid a Hampshire private investigator, Steve Whittamore, to obtain home addresses and, where necessary, ex-directory phone numbers for any families called Dowler in the Walton area. The three addresses that Whittamore found could be obtained lawfully, using the electoral register. The two ex-directory numbers, however, were "blagged" illegally from British Telecom's confidential records by one of Whittamore's associates, John Gunning, who works from a base in Wiltshire. One of the ex-directory numbers was attributed by Whittamore to Milly's family home.

Then, with the help of its own full-time private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World started illegally intercepting mobile phone messages. Scotland Yard is now investigating evidence that the paper hacked directly into the voicemail of the missing girl's own phone. As her friends and parents called and left messages imploring Milly to get in touch with them, the News of the World was listening and recording their every private word.

But the journalists at the News of the World then encountered a problem. Milly's voicemail box filled up and would accept no more messages. Apparently thirsty for more information from more voicemails, the News of the World intervened – and deleted the messages that had been left in the first few days after her disappearance.

According to one source, this had a devastating effect: when her friends and family called again and discovered that her voicemail had been cleared, they concluded that this must have been done by Milly herself and, therefore, that she must still be alive. But she was not. The interference created false hope and extra agony for those who were misled by it.

The Dowler family then granted an exclusive interview to the News of the World in which they talked about their hope, quite unaware that it had been falsely kindled by the newspaper's own intervention. Sally Dowler told the paper: "If Milly walked through the door, I don't think we'd be able to speak. We'd just weep tears of joy and give her a great big hug."

The deletion of the messages also caused difficulties for the police. It confused the picture at a time when they had few real leads to pursue. It also potentially destroyed valuable evidence. According to one senior source familiar with the Surrey police investigation: "It can happen with abduction murders that the perpetrator will leave messages, asking the missing person to get in touch, as part of their efforts at concealment. We need those messages as evidence. Anybody who destroys that evidence is seriously interfering with the course of a police investigation."

The newspaper made little effort to conceal the hacking from its readers. On 14 April 2002, it published a story about a woman who was allegedly pretending to be Milly Dowler and who had applied for a job with a recruitment agency: "It is thought the hoaxer even gave the agency Milly's real mobile phone number … The agency used the number to contact Milly when a job vacancy arose and left a message on her voicemail … It was on March 27, six days after Milly went missing, that the employment agency appears to have phoned her mobile."

The newspaper also made no effort to conceal its activity from Surrey police. After it had hacked the message from the recruitment agency on Milly's phone, the paper informed police about it. It was Surrey detectives who established that the call was not intended for Milly Dowler. At the time, Surrey police suspected that phones belonging to detectives and to Milly's parents also were being targeted.

One of those who was involved in the original inquiry said: "We'd arrange landline calls. We didn't trust our mobiles."

However, they took no action against the News of the World, partly because their main focus was to find the missing schoolgirl and partly because this was only one example of tabloid misbehaviour. As one source close to the inquiry put it: "There was a hell of a lot of dirty stuff going on."

Two earlier Yard inquiries had failed to investigate the relevant notes in Mulcaire's logs.

In a statement today, the family's lawyer, Mark Lewis of Taylor Hampton, said the Dowlers were distressed at the revelation. "It is distress heaped upon tragedy to learn that the News of the World had no humanity at such a terrible time. The fact that they were prepared to act in such a heinous way that could have jeopardised the police investigation and give them false hope is despicable," he said.

The News of the World's investigation was part of a long-running campaign against paedophiles championed by the then editor, Rebekah Brooks. The Labour MP Tom Watson last week told the House of Commons that four months after Milly Dowler's disappearance the News of the World had targeted one of the parents of the two 10-year-old Soham girls, Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, who were abducted and murdered on 4 August 2002.

The behaviour of tabloid newspapers became an issue in the trial of Levi Bellfield, who last month was jailed for life for murdering Milly Dowler. A second charge, that he had attempted to abduct another Surrey schoolgirl, Rachel Cowles, had to be left on file after premature publicity by tabloids was held to have made it impossible for the jury to reach a fair verdict. The tabloids, however, focused their anger on Bellfield's defence lawyer, complaining that the questioning had caused unnecessary pain to Milly Dowler's parents.

Surrey police referred all questions on the subject to Scotland Yard, who said they could not discuss it.

Murdoch and his shameless lackeys are clearly familiar with the number of the beast.....

Jan Klimkowski
07-05-2011, 04:38 PM
Murdoch hirelings have been dialling 666 again.

This time over a horrific double murder of children:


Phone hacking: Soham families contacted by police

Parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman contacted by detectives investigating phone hacking at the News of the World

Sandra Laville, James Robinson and Mark Sweney guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/05/phone-hacking-soham-families-police), Tuesday 5 July 2011 16.12 BST

The parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the two children murdered by Ian Huntley, were contacted by Scotland Yard detectives investigating phone hacking at the News of the World, it emerged on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said they were aware that the families of Wells and Chapman were contacted by the Metropolitan police about two months ago.

It is believed the families were warned there was evidence to suggest they were targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was formerly employed by the paper.

The families are thought to be seeking further clarification from the Met but are not currently commenting. Scotland Yard is conducting an investigation, Operating Weeting, into the News of the World phone-hacking allegations.

Pressure is growing on Rebekah Brooks, who was editing the News of the World at the time and is now chief executive of its parent company News International, following the Guardian's revelations on Monday that Mulcaire hacked into a mobile phone belonging to Milly Dowler in 2002, the same year as the Soham murders.

Schoolgirl Dowler went missing from her home in March 2002 and her body was found six months after she disappeared. The Soham murders took place in August that year.

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said earlier on Tuesday that Brooks should "consider her conscience and consider her position" as he called for a public inquiry into the hacking allegations and the conduct of the tabloid press as a whole.

Brooks insisted in an email to staff on Tuesday afternoon that she knew nothing about the allegations that Dowler's phone had been hacked by the paper she edited.

She said she was "sickened" by the events and added she was "determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues".

News International executives insisted Brooks had the full backing of Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News International's owner News Corporation.

Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Press Complaints Commission, Baroness Peta Buscombe, which concluded in November 2009 there was "no new evidence" of widespread hacking at the News of the World following earlier Guardian revelations, admitted she had been "misled" by the News International paper.

Buscome said: "There's only so much we can do when people are lying to us. We know now that I was not being given the truth by the News of the World."

The home secretary, Theresa May, also added her voice to the growing chorus of politicians condemning the News of the World, including prime minister David Cameron.

May used stronger language than Cameron, who described the hacking of Dowler's phone as a "dreadful act" while visiting troops in Afghanistan. The home secretary told a committee of MPs on Tuesday afternoon: "I think it's totally shocking; frankly, it's disgusting. The mindset of somebody who thinks it's appropriate to do that is totally sick."

James Harding, the editor of the News of the World's News International stablemate the Times, also publicly condemned the behaviour, telling an audience of advertising executives that if "it [the Dowler allegation] is true, it seems to me what has happened is disgusting and indefensible and for us as journalists it is profoundly depressing".

Harding added: "My concern is, the shame is not just on the people involved, not just on that particular newspaper, but journalists in general."

The Labour MP, Tom Watson, said in the House of Commons earlier this year that the parents of the two girls killed by Huntley in Soham may have been hacked.

The public reaction to news that Dowler's phone was hacked has also been one of anger. Several hundred people have joined a Facebook site calling on readers to boycott the News of the World and some customers have cancelled their subscriptions to the Times and the Sunday Times, according to people close to News International.

The number of people cancelling is not thought to be high but it is regarded as symbolic internally. Members of the public have also been calling the News of the World's offices in London to complain about the paper's behaviour.

A senior News International executive said the atmosphere at the company was "subdued".

Jan Klimkowski
07-05-2011, 04:49 PM
The position is very clear.

As editor of the News of the World, either Rebekah Brooks/Wade knew the evidence on which her newspaper published contentious stories (and the editor and corporate lawyer are the two people who, along with the journalist, have the right, nay duty, to know the nature of evidential sources), in which case she is morally culpable.

Or she didn't know the source of stories printed under her editorship, in which case she is incompetent.


Rebekah Brooks: 'It's inconceivable I knew of Milly Dowler phone hacking'

• News International chief executive tells staff she will not quit
• Press complaints boss says News of the World lied to inquiry
• Miliband calls on Brooks to consider 'her position'

James Robinson, Adam Gabbatt, Sandra Laville, Nick Davies and Amelia Hill guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/05/rebekah-brooks-milly-dowler-phone-hacking), Tuesday 5 July 2011 14.32 BST

Rebekah Brooks has told employees it is "inconceivable" she knew that the News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler's mobile phone.

The News International chief executive said she was "sickened" by the events, but insisted she was "determined to lead the company" – despite calls for her to resign.

Ed Miliband said Brooks should "consider her position" and has called for a public inquiry after the Guardian revealed the News of the World illegally accessed Dowler's voicemail messages under Brooks's editorship. David Cameron earlier described the hacking as a "truly dreadful act" and urged police to "pursue this in the most vigorous way", while the home secretary, Theresa May, said anyone who could commit such hacking was "sick".

Brooks, who was editing the paper at the time, emailed employees today to tell them: "It is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations. I am aware of the speculation about my position. Therefore it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues."

Brooks said she has written to Milly Dowler's parents on Tuesday morning "to assure them News International will vigorously pursue the truth and that they will be the first to be informed of the outcome of our investigation".

She added: "I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened. Not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect on Milly Dowler's family is unforgivable."

Senior executives at News International discussed the Dowler revelations at a meeting with police this morning to talk about Scotland Yard's ongoing investigation into phone hacking. News International said Rebekah Brooks was not present at the meeting.

A senior source at the News of the World's owner said it was a pre-arranged meeting with officers from Operation Weeting, the Met's investigation into phone hacking that began at the start of the year.

Brooks said in her email: "This morning, in our regular Operation Weeting meeting, we have offered the MPS our full co-operation to establish the veracity of these fresh allegations."

Miliband had earlier called for a public inquiry and said Brooks should "consider her conscience and consider her position", as pressure mounts on the chief executive.


Meanwhile, the Press Complaints Commission chairwoman Peta Buscombe said she was lied to by the News of the World over phone hacking.

Buscombe had said in 2009 that the PCC was not misled by the News of the World during its own inquiry into phone hacking. However, on the BBC's Daily Politics show, she admitted she had been "misled by the News of the World".

"There's only so much we can do when people are lying to us. We know now that I was not being given the truth by the News of the World," Buscombe said. She denied having sided with the newspaper.

Miliband said the latest revelations in the News of the World phone-hacking saga were a "stain" on news reporting in the country. He added that the hacking "represents one of the darkest days in British journalism".

Earlier Cameron, currently in Afghanistan, said of the Guardian's revelation that the News of the World illegally targeted Milly Dowler and her family: "If they are true this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation."

He added: "There is a police investigation into hacking allegations … they should investigate this without any fear, without any favour, without any worry about where the evidence should lead them.

"They should pursue this in the most vigorous way that they can in order to get to the truth of what happened. That is the absolute priority as a police investigation."

The home secretary told the home affairs select committee the revelations were "totally shocking" but said she did not know if the News of the World used hacking in relation to the Soham murders.

May was asked if there should be a public inquiry into the affair, but said the ongoing police investigation should be allowed to run.

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, whose force is accused of not investigating phone hacking properly in the first place, said on Tuesday: "My heart goes out to the Dowler family."

He told BBC London: "I have to be very careful to say nothing that could prejudice our live investigation but if it is proved to be true, then irrespective of the legality or illegality of it, I'm not sure there is anyone who wouldn't be appalled and repulsed by such behaviour."

Former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott said on Twitter that he would write to the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, demanding he block News Corp's bid to take full control of pay-TV company BSkyB following the revelations about Dowler.

However, John Whittingdale, the chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that phone hacking at the News of the World should not taint the rest of Rupert Murdoch's empire. "You cannot necessarily condemn the entire of News Corp just because of the actions of some individuals in another part of the organisation," he said.

"News International is a part of News Corp but it's a different part. News Corp is a global enterprise and I don't think one should condemn the entire organisation because something very clearly was going wrong in the News of the World."

Detectives from Operation Weeting are believed to have found evidence of the targeting of the Dowlers in a collection of 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for phone hacking on behalf of the News of the World.

In the past four weeks Met officers have approached Surrey police and taken formal statements from some of those involved in the original inquiry, who were concerned about how News of the World journalists intercepted – and deleted – the voicemail messages of Milly Dowler.

The messages were deleted by journalists in the first few days after Milly's disappearance to create space for more messages. As a result friends and relatives of Milly concluded wrongly she might still be alive. Police also feared evidence may have been destroyed.






Rebekah Brooks's survival strategy

News Corporation's ownership structure means its chief executive feels no need to answer questions about its conduct in the way a normal plc might

Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 5 July 2011 17.03 BST

So much of News International's strategy to cope with the phone hacking issue looks as if it can be explained by one thing: its perceived need to protect Rebekah Brooks. No doubt that is the right thing to do; back in 2009 when this writer worked for the Times even the merest reference to Brooks's editorship of the News of the World was stripped out of the copy that made it into the newspaper. It was as if Andy Coulson had been the only editor of the red-top before Colin Myler took over.

News International's first strategy, of course, was deny, deny, deny all the allegations. That formed the heart of Wapping's initial response to the hacking allegations as raised by the Guardian two years ago (just as Brooks was being elevated from the Sun to be chief executive). It was Brooks who said that the Guardian "has substantially and likely deliberately misled the British public" – a statement NI later tried to deny she had made when the number of hacking cases mounted up.

Since then Brooks has been careful about her public appearances. She does not give interviews on the subject of hacking, while working on the people that matter (well, David Cameron) over dinner. Recall, too, that she declined to appear before the MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee back in 2009, writing in January 2010 that it would be "pointless and a waste of the committee's time" because members were asking questions that did not relate to her time as editor of News of the World. There may be some more pertinent questions now.

Then there are today's events. In effect, Brooks, in her email to staff, has announced an inquiry into her own editorship of the News of the World. Here is what she said in that note:


I am determined that News International does everything it can to co-operate fully and proactively with the MPS, as we have been doing for some time, to verify the facts so we can respond in a robust and proper way.

It is almost too horrific to believe that a professional journalist or even a freelance inquiry agent working on behalf of a member of the News of the World staff could behave in this way.

If the allegations are proved to be true then I can promise the strongest possible action will be taken as this company will not tolerate such disgraceful behaviour.

I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.

Fair enough, but would the public, politicians and shareholders have accepted an inquiry led by Sir Fred Goodwin into the doomed takeover of ABN Amro, or by Tony Hayward examining how he handled the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?

Jan Klimkowski
07-05-2011, 04:59 PM
Methinks there's already too much public domain evidence for the Brooks/Wade "I didn't know, honest, guv" defence to succeed.

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/04/milly-dowler-voicemail-hacked-news-of-world)


The deletion of the messages also caused difficulties for the police by confusing the picture when they had few leads to pursue. It also potentially destroyed valuable evidence.

According to one senior source familiar with the Surrey police investigation: "It can happen with abduction murders that the perpetrator will leave messages, asking the missing person to get in touch, as part of their efforts at concealment. We need those messages as evidence. Anybody who destroys that evidence is seriously interfering with the course of a police investigation."

The paper made little effort to conceal the hacking from its readers. On 14 April 2002 it published a story about a woman allegedly pretending to be Milly Dowler who had applied for a job with a recruitment agency: "It is thought the hoaxer even gave the agency Milly's real mobile number … the agency used the number to contact Milly when a job vacancy arose and left a message on her voicemail … it was on March 27, six days after Milly went missing, that the employment agency appears to have phoned her mobile."

The newspaper also made no effort to conceal its activity from Surrey police. After it had hacked the message from the recruitment agency on Milly's phone, the paper informed police about it.

It was Surrey detectives who established that the call was not intended for Milly Dowler. At the time, Surrey police suspected that phones belonging to detectives and to Milly's parents also were being targeted.

One of those who was involved in the original inquiry said: "We'd arrange landline calls. We didn't trust our mobiles."

However, they took no action against the News of the World, partly because their main focus was to find the missing schoolgirl and partly because this was only one example of tabloid misbehaviour. As one source close to the inquiry put it: "There was a hell of a lot of dirty stuff going on." Two earlier Yard inquiries had failed to investigate the relevant notes in Mulcaire's logs.

Perhaps editors have no duty to read what they print in their papers.

They undoubtedly have a duty to be responsible for what is printed in the papers they edit.

Jan Klimkowski
07-05-2011, 07:36 PM
And thus the lies are exposed (http://www.channel4.com/news/news-of-the-world-targets-met-police-detective):


News of the World targets Met Police detective

Tuesday 05 July 2011

Exclusive: Channel 4 News learns that a Metropolitan Police detective was put under surveillance by News of the World journalists and his personal details targetted

The surveillance operation came during a crucial murder investigation which implicated private investigators who had alleged links to News International.

Channel 4 News understands Rebekah Brooks, then editor of the News of the World, was informed of the allegations by Scotland Yard at the time.

It was at a time when Rebekah Brooks - now one of the most powerful figures in the media industry - ran the tabloid News of the World and it was just three months after the alleged hacking into Millie Dowler's phone.

This is a story about a claim that Brooks was confronted by the police over allegations of her journalists targetting a murder detective. An astonishing story which at one point, we've been told, had the police secretly watching the News of the World watching the police.

Channel 4 News can reveal the story for the first time tonight.

At 9PM, 25th June 2002, BBC Crimewatch was about to announce yet another investigation into a notorious, unsolved murder.

The case involved the murder of Daniel Morgan, a private investigator who was found in the car park of a south London pub 24 years ago with an axe buried in his head.

The case collapsed again recently - for the fifth time - undermined hugely by police corruption in the early years. But it's what happened after this Crimewatch broadcast to the senior detective in charge, Dave Cook, which has never been told before.

Alastair Morgan, the brother of Daniel Morgan, the murdered private investigator spoke to Detective Dave Cook often during the investigation.

He told Channel 4 News: "Dave told me about it, he told me about it then but I didn't realise who the newspaper was at that point."

Within days of the Crimewatch broadcast, it's understood that Dave Cook had been told by colleagues he was being targetted by the News of the World.

Alastair Morgan describes what is supposed to have happened next: "I learned about the surveillance and then I learned that it was the News of the World that was carrying out the surveillance.

"Dave told me that he was out walking his dog, he was taking his dog for a walk one evening when he noticed a van in an odd location. I think he said behind some trees near his house. The following morning he noticed he was being followed."

It's alleged that the police discovered one of the vans was leased to the News of the World. So concerned were the police that a witness protection unit was mobilised - as well as a police counter surveillance team.

When finally confronted, the News of the World apparently said they were interested in whether Dave Cook was having an affair with a Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames. They were in fact married at the time. Jacqui Hames has told Channel 4 News she has been contacted by Operation Weeting Detectives investigating the phone hacking scandal.

What is so disturbing about this allegation is the timing of the targeting of Dave Cook. Because in the murder investigation he was leading, suspects in the case were private investigators who, it's alleged, had close links to the News of the World.

Channel 4 News also understands that Rebekah Brooks - now CEO of News International - knows all about this.

Because, it's claimed, there was a meeting at Scotland Yard in December 2002, in which the police challenged her over this.

We still do not know what the outcome of that meeting was, but both the News of the World and the Metropolitan Police appear never to have spoken about it publicly.

Tonight the News of the World told Channel 4 News: "News International has not been previously aware of these claims but will investigate any allegations that are put to them.

They say they are not in a position to confirm or deny whether any meeting took place or what may have been said if indeed a meeting did take place.

Magda Hassan
07-06-2011, 12:53 AM
Why is Brooks/Wade being protected in all this? Who will she bring down with her if she goes? :pirate:

Jan Klimkowski
07-06-2011, 05:01 PM
Why is Brooks/Wade being protected in all this? Who will she bring down with her if she goes? :pirate:

There's a copyrighted photo of lovebirds Reb 'n Rupe here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/06/rupert-murdoch-rebekah-brooks-phone-hacking).

I made a BBC4 documentary about Rebekah Wade/Brooks several years ago. I was told about several incidents during the course of researching that film which we could not broadcast as we did not have sufficient evidence. Those stories mainly went to character flaws, and lack of a functioning moral conscience.

Her ambition and deference to power are legendary.

None of the above is a reason for Murdoch to protect her so zealously when her position is clearly utterly untenable. Last night on telly, a News International senior manager was defending the integrity of a NewsInt investigation into NewsInt practices led by.... Rebekah Wade/Brooks. He was laughed down by the interviewer but stuck to the Murdoch party line.

Why is Murdoch protecting Wade/Brooks? is a very good question.

Indeed, last night, the Murdoch Empire threw Andy Coulson and the Metropolitan Police to the wolves, which can be interpreted as a clear and major warning to PM David Cameron that the Tory government should not take on Murdoch's Empire.



E-mails have emerged of alleged payments to the police by the News of the World (NoW), triggering fresh calls to investigate the relationship between officers and Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire.

As each twist and turn of the phone hacking scandal is played out, amid ever more serious claims, pressure mounts on the NoW.

Yet news that the Sunday tabloid's publisher, News International, has uncovered e-mails indicating tens of thousands of pounds were paid over the years to police also places the Met and other forces at the centre of the inquiry.

Celebrities and politicians whose phones may have been hacked have long criticised police for failing to properly investigate, not following up evidence and for being too close to the media.

But the e-mails have led to wider questions about the way the NoW may have obtained its stories and the motivation of the police.

Met Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has confirmed Scotland Yard was handed documents last month indicating "inappropriate" payments were made to officers, and said an investigation had begun.

'Cynical cover-ups'

Paul Farrelly MP, a member of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee which has investigated hacking, has now called for an independent inquiry.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Nothing surprises me about the News of the World's behaviour; they've been getting away with cynical cover-ups over a long period of time.

"But what really disturbed us in the committee when we were investigating was the approach and evidence given by the police.

Click to play

Brooks: "We have paid police for information in the past"
"They closed the inquiry down; they clearly didn't investigate fully. And it's the question of the motivation behind that, whether it goes beyond normal press relations, that really is the justification for having an independent inquiry."

He said the overall police investigation - Operation Weeting - was not investigating the conduct of the Met Police and its relationship with the NoW, therefore an inquiry was needed, and one where evidence could be given on oath.

The e-mails have also thrust David Cameron's former spokesman Andy Coulson back at the centre of the scandal, as they date from his editorship of the NoW from 2003-7.

It was in 2003, as he sat next to Rebekah Brooks (then Rebekah Wade), as the pair gave evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the press and privacy, that the question of police payments by journalists first hit the headlines.

Sun editor Ms Wade, formerly editor of the NoW, admitted "We have paid the police for information in the past".

At that point, Mr Coulson quickly interjected, saying they adhered to the editors' code and the law which forbids payment to the police for information.

Mr Coulson stood down as NoW editor in 2007 after royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking. He said he knew nothing of the offence but took responsibility as he was editor.

He has not commented on the latest allegations, although it has been reported he has told friends he suspects he is being used to deflect attention from News International.

'Abuse of process'

In a letter to Keith Vaz MP in April, Mrs Brooks - now News International's chief executive - said her answer in 2003 had been in response "to a specific line of questioning on how newspapers get information".

Mr Murdoch's key lieutenant denied she had any "knowledge of any specific cases".

The e-mails raise questions about which policemen were paid, which newspaper executives knew money was paid and who handed the payments over.

BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said that, if payments were made to officers, it also raised questions about which cases they related to, whether court cases followed and whether people may have the right to appeal based on an "abuse of process".

He said the public would want to know whether any officers named in the e-mails were now under suspicion, and if they were, whether they were involved in the current hacking investigation.

Media commentators have long suspected Fleet Street of practising "dark arts" when it came to gathering information.

But Roy Greenslade, professor of journalism at City University and Guardian commentator, said he never heard of any such payments when he was a senior executive and editor on the Sun and Daily Mirror in the 1980s and 90s.

"Of course, it might have happened without my knowledge. But, on those papers at least, there was no slush fund and any single payment over, say £100, would have raised questions from the managing editor," he said.

"So I very much doubt that any large payments were ever made. I may be guilty of naivety, however."

Roy Ramm, a former head of the Met's Specialist Operations, as well as the Flying Squad, said he was never offered money and had never heard of it happening in his 27 years' service.

"Policemen will always go for a drink and bite to eat with journalists... the relationship can be productive for both sides," he said.

"But I was never offered money. I can't describe that as anything other than corruption."

In September last year, the Met's assistant commissioner John Yates, who has conducted inquiries into hacking, denied any officers had made money out of the NoW.

"There's no evidence of that whatsoever," he told the Today programme.

"Of course, I'm not denying that there's a relationship between the Met Police, other police and the entire police service and the media, but to suggest it's improper you'd have to produce some evidence of that."

News International (NI) has issued its own statement about the alleged payment of police by the News of the World.

It said former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald QC had been appointed by News Corp's board to advise NI on the "extensive cooperation" with the Met over police payments at the NoW.

"The appointment, which was made in May, is one of a series of measures to address these issues since January 2011, when information was voluntarily disclosed by News International that reopened the investigation into illegal voicemail interception known as Operation Weeting."

The statement said NI could not comment on the details of the information for fear of prejudicing any ongoing inquiries.

NI was determined to deal "responsibly and correctly" with the issues that had arisen, it added.

Source. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14043770)

Jan Klimkowski
07-06-2011, 05:29 PM
News International originally claimed the phone hacking was the work of a "rogue reporter".

John Yates, a very senior Metropolitan Police officer, told Parliament there were only ten or twelve victims of News of the World phone hacking.

In March 2003, the following exchange (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/mar/12/sun.pressandpublishing) took place before a Parliamentary committe:


Ms Wade made her admission in response to a question from Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda. "We have paid the police for information in the past," she said. The MP asked if it would happen in the future; Andy Coulson, editor of the News of the World, interjected and said: "We have always operated within the code and within the law."

Mr Bryant said he believed it was illegal for police to be paid for information. Mr Coulson replied: "As I said, we have always operated within the code and within the law."

After the hearing, Alison Clark, the director of corporate affairs at News International, called reporters to clarify Ms Wade's evidence. She said: "It is not company practice to pay police for information."

The Met Police investigation, which involved John Yates, seized Private Investigator Glenn Mulcaire's notebooks in 2006. These notebooks allegedly contained detailed notes of:

Targeted individual
Phone number
PIN
Commissioning journalist

If this is true, the claim by the police that there were only ten or twelve victims of NOTW phone hacking, and no evidence of other offences, is revealed as complete and utter rubbish.

And then we have the the Chief of the Metropolitan Police admitting that the evidence strongly suggests that Met police officers were paid by News Int journalists:


Met chief: phone-hacking documents point to 'inappropriate payments'

Sir Paul Stephenson confirms News International documents appear to include information on payments to police officers

Haroon Siddique guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/06/met-chief-phone-hacking-payments), Wednesday 6 July 2011 13.40 BST

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, has said that documents provided by News International as part of the investigation into phone hacking appear to include information on "inappropriate payments" to police officers.

His comments came after it was reported on Tuesday night that News International had given his force details of payments made by the News of the World to senior police officers between 2003 and 2007, the period when Andy Coulson was the paper's editor.

Stephenson said on Wednesday he was taking the "unusual step" of issuing a statement because of widespread media coverage and public interest surrounding Operation Weeting, the investigation into phone hacking.

He said: "I can confirm that on 20 June 2011 the MPS [Metropolitan police service] was handed a number of documents by News International, through their barrister, Lord Macdonald QC. Our initial assessment shows that these documents include information relating to alleged inappropriate payments to a small number of MPS officers."

He said the matter had been discussed with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which concluded that it should continue to be investigated by Operation Elveden, led by the Met deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers, in partnership with the force's Directorate of Professional Standards.

Stephenson added: "At this time we have not seen any evidence requiring a referral to the Metropolitan Police Authority in respect of any senior officer. Whilst I am deeply concerned by recent developments surrounding phone hacking they are a product of the meticulous and thorough work of Operation Weeting, which will continue. Operation Elveden will be equally thorough and robust. Anyone identified of wrongdoing can expect the full weight of disciplinary measures and if appropriate action through the criminal courts."

There have been suggestions from some quarters that the story relating to Coulson allegedly paying police officers, featured prominently in the Times, also part of the News International stable, on Tuesday, was a distraction exercise.

Labour MP Tom Watson told BBC News: "This is desperation from News International. They are trying to protect Rebekah Brooks [chief executive of News International], who rightly faces the ire of the nation today."

Jan Klimkowski
07-06-2011, 06:07 PM
Tom Watson MP in today's Parliamentary debate.

Disclosing Wade/Brooks' being informed in 2002 of NOTW interference with a police investigation and used "surveillance" on serving police officers:


I want to inform the House of further evidence that suggests Rebekah Brooks knew about the unlawful tactics of News of the World as early as 2002, despite all her denials yesterday. Rebekah Brooks was present at a meeting with Scotland Yard when police officers pursing a murder investigation provided her with evidence that her newspaper was interfering with the pursuit of justice. They gave her the name of another executive at News International, Alex Marunchak. The meeting, which included Dick Fedorcio of the Metropolitan police, told her that News of the World staff were guilty of interference and party to using unlawful means to attempt to discredit a police officer and his wife. She was told of actions by people she paid to expose and discredit David Cook and his wife Jackie Haines so that Mr Cook would be prevented from completing an investigation into a murder. News International were paying people to interfer with police officers and were doing so on behalf of known criminals. We know now that News International had entered the criminal underworld.

She cannot deny being present at this meeting when the actions of people she was paying were exposed. She cannot deny now being warned that under her auspices unlawful tactics were being used with the purpose of interfering with the pursuit of justice. She cannot deny that one of her staff, Alex Marunchak, was named and involved. She cannot deny either that she was told by the police that her own paper was using unlawful tactics, in this case to help one of her law-breaking investigators. This in my views shows her culpability goes beyond taking the blame as head of the organisation. It is about direct knowledge of unlawful behaviour.

And was Mr Marunchak dismissed. No. He was promoted.

Calling for James Murdoch's head:


The whole board of News International is responsible for this company. I believe Mr James Murdoch should be suspended from office while the police now investigate what I believe is his personal authorisation of the cover-up of this scandal. Mr James Murdoch is the chairman. It is clear now that he personally and without board approval authorised money to be paid by his company to silence people who have been hacked and to cover up criminal behaviour within his organisation. This is nothing short of an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

Jan Klimkowski
07-06-2011, 06:55 PM
Before phone-hacking PI Glenn Mulcaire, there was long time News International "fixer", Jonathan Rees, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Rees was acquitted because, as Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell admitted to victim Daniel Morgan's family: "It is quite apparent that police corruption was a debilitating factor in that investigation. This was wholly unacceptable.’


Police have admitted corruption in the Met was a ‘debilitating factor’ in the £50million collapse of one of Britain’s most horrific unsolved murder cases.
The latest attempt to gain justice for the killing 24 years ago of private investigator Daniel Morgan fell apart in farce yesterday after evidence from supergrasses was discredited.
Mr Morgan, 37, was hacked to death with an axe outside a pub. There have been five separate investigations at a cost to the taxpayer of £50million.
After prosecutors offered no evidence against three men yesterday, a Scotland Yard officer ‘sincerely’ apologised to Mr Morgan’s family. He said police corruption during the initial investigation in 1987 was a key reason that no one had ever been convicted.
The first investigation is feared to have seen the real killers shielded by corrupt officers.

(snip)

Police alleged Glenn Vian was the axeman and that Mr Morgan was murdered because he discovered his business partner Jonathan Rees was using their company to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking. Mr Rees was also said to have obtained information from corrupt serving police officers about operations.

Source (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365355/Daniel-Morgan-murder-Family-cover-case-collapses.html).

Below is an outline of the criminal and corrupt career of Jonathan Rees, funded in part by News International.


Jonathan Rees worked from a dingy office in south London. He lived in a cramped flat upstairs. He was divorced, overweight and foul-mouthed but his business was golden: he traded information. His sources may have been corrupt. His actions may have been illegal. But the money kept coming – from one golden source in particular. As Rees himself put it: "No one pays like the News of the World do."

(snip)

Rees was jailed for a conspiracy to frame an innocent woman and then accused of conspiracy to murder.

And yet the man who became the prime minister's media adviser, Andy Coulson, has always maintained in evidence to parliament and on oath in court that he knew nothing of any illegal activity during the seven years he spent at the top of the News of the World. The entire story unfolded without ever catching his eye. In the same way, the prime minister and his deputy were happy to appoint Coulson last May to oversee the communication between the British government and its people, even though they were already fully aware of all the essential facts.

It begins with the bug. It is commonplace for journalists to interview police officers, but the listening device recorded Rees routinely paying cash directly or indirectly to serving officers, a serious criminal offence. By April 1999, Rees had been working for Fleet Street for several years, and he had created a vibrant network of corrupt sources.

The bug recorded the sound of Detective Constable Tom Kingston from the south-east regional crime squad collecting cash for himself and for his mate who was an intelligence officer involved in the protection of the royal family and other VIPs. DC Kingston sold Jonathan Rees a Special Branch report disclosing police knowledge of an Albanian crime gang in London, Police Gazette bulletins which listed suspects who were wanted for arrest, and threat assessments in relation to the terrorist targets his mate was supposed to be protecting. Rees sold them to newspapers – primarily the News of the World, the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror.

DC Kingston eventually ended up in prison for selling a huge quantity of amphetamine which he had stolen from a dealer. But Rees had other links to other corrupt officers. His partner, Sid Fillery, was a former officer who had connections all over the force. The bug recorded their relationship with Duncan Hanrahan and Martin King, who had left the Metropolitan police to work as private investigators and who were similarly well connected until both were jailed in relation to police corruption. Hanrahan also admitted conspiring to rob a courier of £1m at Heathrow airport.

Some of what they sold was tittle-tattle: a disparaging remark made by Tony Blair about John Prescott within earshot of a bent officer; gossip about the sex lives of Buckingham Palace servants. But some of it was highly sensitive. When one of Britain's most notorious criminals, Kenneth Noye, was finally arrested, Rees bought and sold details of the secret intelligence which had led to his capture as well as the precise time and route by which he would be driven from prison to court. When the TV journalist Jill Dando was murdered on her doorstep, Rees procured a police source so that he could sell live details of the investigation.

And the corruption did not stop with the police. The listening device caught Rees boasting that he was in touch with: two former police officers working for Customs and Excise who would accept bribes; a corrupt VAT inspector who had access to business records; and two corrupt bank employees who would hand over details of targets' accounts. (One of them had the first name Robert and was wittily referred to as Rob the Bank. The other was simply Fat Bob.)

(snip)

One person who is familiar with Rees's operations claims that he or one of his associates started using Trojan Horse software, which allowed them to email a target's computer and copy the contents of its hard disk. This source claims that they used this tactic when they were hired by the News of the World to gather background on Freddy Scapaticci, a former IRA man who had been exposed as an MI6 informer codenamed Stakeknife.

Two other sources claim that Rees was commissioning burglaries. One is a private investigator who was told directly by Rees's network that they had broken into targets' home on behalf of a Fleet Street newspaper. The other is a lawyer who claims to have evidence that a high-profile client was the target of an attempted burglary by Rees's associates in search of embarrassing information. There is no independent confirmation of this.

The bug betrayed the sheer speed and ease with which Rees was able to penetrate the flimsy fence of privacy that shields the vast reservoir of personal information now held on the databases controlled by the police and the DVLA, the phone companies and banks. On one occasion, he was asked to find out about the owner of a Porsche. Armed with the registration number, it took him a grand total of 34 minutes to come up with the owner's name and home address from the DVLA and his criminal record from the police computer.

When the Daily Mirror wanted the private mortgage details of all the governors of the Bank of England, Rees delivered.

When the Sunday Mirror wanted to get inside the bank accounts of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, it was equally easy, as the bug recorded:

Reporter: "Do you remember a couple of months ago, you got me some details on Edward's business and Sophie's business and how well they were doing?"

Rees: "Yeah."

Reporter: "And you did a check on Sophie's bank account."

Rees: "Yeah."

Reporter: "Is it possible to do that again? I'm not exactly sure what they're after but they seem to be under the impression that, you know, she was in the paper the other day for appearing in Hello magazine. They think she's had some kind of payment off them."

Rees: "What? Off Hello?"

Reporter: "Um, yeah."

Rees: "… find out how much."

Reporter: "Well, we just want to see if there's been any change to her bank account. "

This would be a breach of the Data Protection Act unless the courts held there was a clear public interest in establishing the health of the countess's business or her deal with Hello magazine. The payment of bribes would be a criminal offence regardless of any public interest. Rees made no secret of his criminality. At one point the police bug caught Rees telling a Daily Mirror journalist that they must be careful what they wrote down "because what we're doing is illegal, isn't it? I don't want people coming in and nicking us for a criminal offence, you know."

But Rees did get nicked – and for a serious criminal offence. The listening device caught him being hired by a man who was getting divorced and wanted to stop his wife getting custody of their children. Rees came up with a plan. Aided and abetted by yet another corrupt police officer, DC Austin Warnes, he arranged to plant cocaine in the car of the unsuspecting woman, so that she could be charged, convicted and smeared as an unreliable parent.

In order to stop that plot, in September 1999, Scotland Yard raided Rees and charged him with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Fifteen months later, he was taken off Fleet Street's payroll when he was sentenced to six years in prison, increased to seven years on appeal. DC Warnes was sentenced to four years.

And none of this was secret. Apart from the case itself, which was held in open court, the Guardian two years later, in September 2002, ran a three-part series on invasion of privacy and devoted some 3,000 words to a detailed account of Rees's dealings with corrupt police officers and of his use generally of illegal methods to acquire information for the News of the World and other papers.

Based on an authorised briefing by Scotland Yard, the Guardian story made repeated references to the News of the World's involvement and quoted an internal police report to the effect that Rees and his network were involved in the long-term penetration of police intelligence and that "their thirst for knowledge is driven by profit to be accrued from the media". The Crown Prosecution Service found that there was no evidence that the reporters involved knew that Rees was acquiring the material by corrupt means.

A year later, in August 2003, Sid Fillery, who was still running the agency and working for Fleet Street, also got himself arrested and charged with 15 counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing indecent images. This was reported in national media. He was later convicted.

All of this extraordinary and well-publicised activity around the News of the World nevertheless apparently escaped the attention of Andy Coulson, even though he had been hired early in 2000 to be deputy editor of the paper under his close friend, Rebekah Wade. And Jonathan Rees was not the only private investigator who was routinely breaking the law for the News of the World without Coulson knowing anything at all about it.

All through the late 1990s, the paper had been hiring an investigator called John Boyall, who, among other services, specialised in acquiring information from confidential databases. He had a wiry young man working as his assistant, named Glenn Mulcaire. In the autumn of 2001, John Boyall fell out with the News of the World's assistant editor, Greg Miskiw, who had been responsible for handling him. Miskiw replaced him by poaching Glenn Mulcaire and giving him a full-time contract.

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/11/jonathan-rees-private-investigator-tabloid)

Jan Klimkowski
07-06-2011, 09:29 PM
Rebekah knew nothing..... :rofl:

Murdoch must have slipped into senile megalomania if he thinks Wade/Brooks can keep her job.

Or he has some deeply ugly material on senior politicians in his files.


News of the World surveillance of detective: what Rebekah Brooks knew

Brooks summoned to meeting with Scotland Yard to be told her journalists had spied on behalf of murder suspects

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/06/news-of-the-world-rebekah-brooks), Wednesday 6 July 2011 19.47 BST

As editor of the News of the World Rebekah Brooks was confronted with evidence that her paper's resources had been used on behalf of two murder suspects to spy on the senior detective who was investigating their alleged crime.

Brooks was summoned to a meeting at Scotland Yard where she was told that one of her most senior journalists, Alex Marunchak, had apparently agreed to use photographers and vans leased to the paper to run surveillance on behalf of Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery, two private investigators who were suspected of murdering their former partner, Daniel Morgan. The Yard saw this as a possible attempt to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks was also told of evidence that Marunchak had a corrupt relationship with Rees, who had been earning up to £150,000 a year selling confidential data to the News of the World. Police told her that a former employee of Rees had given them a statement alleging that some of these payments were diverted to Marunchak, who had been able to pay off his credit card and pay his child's private school fees.

A Guardian investigation suggests that surveillance of Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook involved the News of the World physically following him and his young children, "blagging" his personal details from police databases, attempting to access his voicemail and that of his wife, and possibly sending a "Trojan horse" email in an attempt to steal information from his computer.

The targeting of Cook began following his appearance on BBC Crimewatch on 26 June 2002, when he appealed for information to solve the murder of Morgan, who had been found dead in south London 15 years earlier. Rees and Fillery were among the suspects. The following day, Cook was warned by the Yard that they had picked up intelligence that Fillery had been in touch with Marunchak and that Marunchak agreed to "sort Cook out".

A few days later, Cook was contacted by Surrey police, where he had worked as a senior detective from 1996 to 2001, and was told that somebody claiming to work for the Inland Revenue had contacted their finance department, asking for Cook's home address so that they could send him a cheque with a tax refund. The finance department had been suspicious and refused to give out the information.

It is now known that at that time, the News of the World's investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, succeeded in obtaining Cook's home address, his internal payroll number at the Metropolitan police, his date of birth and figures for the amount that he and his wife were paying for their mortgage. All of this appears to have been blagged by Mulcaire from confidential databases, apparently including the Met's own records.

Mulcaire obtained the mobile phone number for Cook's wife and the password she used for her mobile phone account.

Paperwork in the possession of the Yard's Operation Weeting is believed to show that Mulcaire did this on the instructions of Greg Miskiw, the paper's assistant editor and a close friend of Marunchak.

About a week later, a van was seen parked outside Cook's home. The following day, two vans were seen there. Both of them attempted to follow Cook as he took his two-year-old son to nursery. Cook alerted Scotland Yard, who sent a uniformed officer to stop one of the vans on the grounds that its rear brake light was broken. The driver proved to be a photojournalist working for the News of the World. Both vans were leased to the paper. During the same week, there were signs of an attempt to open letters which had been left in Cook's external postbox.

Scotland Yard chose not to mount a formal inquiry. Instead a senior press officer contacted Brooks to ask for an explanation. She is understood to have told them they were investigating a report that Cook was having an affair with another officer, Jacqui Hames, the presenter of BBC Crimewatch. Yard sources say they rejected this explanation, because Cook had been married to Hames for some years; the couple had two children, then aged two and five; and they had previously appeared together as a married couple in published stories."The story was complete rubbish," according to one source.

For four months, the Yard took no action, raising questions about whether they were willing to pursue what appeared to be an attempt to interfere with a murder inquiry. However, in November 2002, at a press social event at Scotland Yard, Brooks was asked to come into a side room for a meeting. She was confronted by Cook, his boss, Commander Andre Baker, and Dick Fedorcio, the head of media relations. According to a Yard source, Cook described the surveillance on his home and the apparent involvement of Marunchak, and evidence of Marunchak's suspect financial relationship with Rees. Brooks is said to have defended Marunchak on the grounds that he did his job well.

Scotland Yard took no further action, apparently reflecting the desire of Fedorcio, who has had a close working relationship with Brooks, to avoid unnecessary friction with the News of the World. In March Marunchak was named by BBC Panorama as the News of the World executive who hired a specialist to plant a Trojan on the computer of a former British intelligence officer, Ian Hurst.

Rees and Fillery were eventually arrested and charged in relation to the murder of Morgan. Charges against both men were later dropped, although Rees was convicted of plotting to plant cocaine on a woman so that her ex-husband would get custody of their children, and Fillery was convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

Cook and his wife are believed to be preparing a legal action against the News of the World, Marunchak, Miskiw and Mulcaire. Operation Weeting is also understood to be investigating.

Peter Lemkin
07-07-2011, 05:44 AM
The whole ever expanding episode shows the high moral fabric of the rich and powerful. Morality is for the 'little people' only. The ubermensch only concern themselves with profit, profit, power and control. The tabloids have long been used for social and political control - and now we see exposed some of the puppet strings and mechanisms....only a part. The MSM is controlled, as well, for the same ends and by the same people. The whole thing is disgusting, and I hope will wake up the sleeping UK Sheeple. :spy: I hope this exposes Murdoch for what he really is - an intelligence-related ultra-right Oligarch pied piper of propaganda.

Magda Hassan
07-07-2011, 12:10 PM
Arrests, plural, imminent. 'High' profile NotW staff 'likely' to be arrested. Bet it is not Wade or Murdoch nor Coulson.

Corrupt Met police received more than £100,000 in unlawful payments from senior journalists and executives at the News of the World, the Evening Standard can reveal.
The bribes were made to officers in "sensitive" positions in return for confidential information. Sources say several "high-profile" NoW staff and the officers concerned are likely to be arrested within days and that "serious crimes" have been committed.
The new revelations about the scale of corruption inside Scotland Yard (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-11000-metropolitan-police-authority.do) came amid other dramatic developments in the phone hacking controversy today. The Royal British Legion (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-47273-the-royal-british-legion.do) severed its links with the newspaper after claims that even war widows' phones have been hacked.
David Cameron (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-152-david-cameron.do) faced calls to appoint a judge to head the public inquiry and start the investigation now.
The commercial backlash against NoW owner Rupert Murdoch (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-15625-rupert-murdoch.do) also grew as Sainsbury's and npower became the latest companies to withdraw their advertising.
But the extent of corruption involving Scotland Yard and the paper is among the most damaging revelations so far. TheStandard has been told that unlawful payments to police have been made over several years. "They were very large sums, coming to more than six figures," said the source.
"They were running a criminal enterprise at the News of the World. Serious crimes have been found. The question now is about the scalps. There will be high-profile arrests at the paper."
The corrupt payments were discovered after News International began a trawl of internal emails earlier this year in a bid to discover the full extent of the paper's involvement in hacking.
All the emails are believed to relate to the period after Andy Coulson (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-36781-andy-coulson.do) became editor in January 2003 and not to the preceding years when the current News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-101923-rebekah-brooks.do) ran the paper.
The firm is believed to have uncovered a significant number of emails indicating payments were made to police for tip-offs about criminal investigations and other confidential information.
The newspaper's accounts were also checked and it was confirmed that payments involving "large amounts" had been made. The officers who received the payments are understood to have been in jobs which gave them access to highly confidential information.
Although the emails and payments had no connection with the hacking inquiry, bosses passed the evidence to police. It was handed to Met Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-43090-cressida-dick.do) at a Scotland Yard meeting last month.
Sources say the information caused deep shock at the Met as senior officers realised the severity of the scandal that would hit the force as the investigation proceeded and arrests were made.
"Colour drained from people's faces when they realised what had been happening," said one insider with knowledge of the investigation. "This is as bad for the Met as it is for the paper."
Pseudonyms were used to hide corrupt officers' identities, with payments authorised as going to "informants", although it is understood that police investigations have since identified at least some of the potential culprits.
The areas in which the corrupt officers worked are not known at this stage, but those with access to particularly sensitive information include police in the Met's royal and diplomatic protection squad and detectives in murder and organised crime investigations.
Today's developments follow an announcement by Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-36051-paul-stephenson.do) of a new investigation into the corrupt payments. He said the probe, codename Operation Elveden, will be "thorough and robust" and added: "Anyone identified of wrongdoing can expect the full weight of disciplinary measures and, if appropriate, action in the criminal courts."
The Prime Minister yesterday announced a public inquiry into the Met's conduct would be held once criminal probes were over, as MPs accused the force of failing to act properly.
Former home secretary Alan Johnson (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-17941-alan-johnson.do) today said the Met was guilty of "lethargy" in the hacking probe and had decided that with ex-NoW journalist Clive Goodman (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-61749-clive-goodman.do) and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/related-92411-glenn-mulcaire.do) "banged up" it was not necessary to pursue the case.

Jan Klimkowski
07-07-2011, 05:46 PM
News of the World axed by News International

Sunday edition of Murdoch's tabloid to be last in the aftermath of political and commercial fallout from phone-hacking scandal

News International announced on Thursday that it is closing the News of the World after this Sunday's edition, with no end in sight to the political and commercial fallout from the phone-hacking scandal after 72 hours of mounting crisis.

Sunday's edition of the paper will be the last, News International chairman James Murdoch told News of the World staff on Thursday afternoon.

Murdoch told employees at the 168-year-old title: "The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed to when it came to itself".

Murdoch said in a statement: "Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued."

Murdoch also conceded the company had "made statements to parliament without being in full possession of the facts. This was wrong".

He said "the News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter" and that the company had passed information to the police which would demonstrate this.

"Those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences," he said.

Murdoch also said in his statement to staff that he had authorised out-of-court payments to victims of hacking: "I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so."

He added: "That was wrong and is a matter of serious regret."

It is the first national newspaper to close since Rupert Murdoch shut News International mid-market tabloid Today in 1995.

The News of the World was Rupert Murdoch's first UK newspaper acquisition in 1968 and its profits helped him build his publishing and broadcasting empire in this country and the US.

The title remains the UK's biggest-selling paper, with a circulation of 2.66m in May this year. In 1962, when the Audit Bureau of Circulations began publishing regular newspaper sales figures, the News of the World was selling 6.66m.

A spokesman for the company would not comment on whether News International will continue to publish a tabloid title on a Sunday.

The News of the World has been NI's most profitable title for many years.

There are already industry rumours that the News of the World's stablemate the Sun could be turned into a seven-day operation. News International has already announced plans to move to seven-day working across its four titles – the Sun, News of the World, the Times and Sunday Times – and the internet domain name thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered two days ago, although the purchaser's identity is unclear.

Murdoch told staff some of them would be leaving the company and said that was a matter of regret. He paid tribute to their "good work".

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/07/news-of-the-world-to-close)

We have three parties who have been exposed as involved in criminal or grossly negligent behaviour:

i) the Murdoch empire and its immoral and criminal journalism;

ii) police officers who have conducted a complete non-investigation of criminal behaviour, and police officers who, according to a paper trail including News International documentation, are likely to face criminal prosecution for corruption;

iii) PM Cameron who hired Andy Coulson, after he had resigned from the NOTW over royal hacking, as the Tory Head of Propaganda, their version of Alistair "I'm telling the troof, honest" Campbell.

Now, Murdoch minor thinks he can manage the news agenda by closing down the NOTW, firing ordinary journalists and keeping senior managers who were in charge during the criminality (eg Rebekah Wade/Brooks) employed.

The closure of the NOTW shows the complete contempt of the Murdoch empire for the rest of the world. It will simply be replaced by a Sunday edition of The Sun (or some such variant), and it will be Murdoch business as usual.

The investigation of the criminal behaviour of the Murdoch empire, corrupt police officers and PM Cameron's relationship with Andy Coulson needs to continue robustly and rapidly.

Jan Klimkowski
07-07-2011, 06:35 PM
Last night, watching BBC2's Newsnight, I briefly stirred from slumber when their film used first hand insider sources (unidentified) to reveal how Met Police corruption went down.

The problem for any rozzer seeking to sell information to a hack is the electronic audit trail. Every key stroke on a police computer is recorded and can be accessed retrospectively by Professional Standards/Internal Affairs cops.

So, how did these corrupt cops get round the electronic audit trail?

Allegedly, they set the NOTW hacks up as Confidential Informants. This automatically took all activity outside all standard electronic audit.

If this allegation is true - again, that Met Police officers set up NOTW journalists as Confidential Informants (ie protected intelligence sources) - then the Met is in deep deep trouble.

The more humorous colour is that the payments would often take place in a drive-thru McDonalds near Wapping, where the cash would be handed over in a brown paper bag over a Royale with Cheese.

Some things change.

Some things stay the same.

Magda Hassan
07-08-2011, 09:04 AM
Rebekah Brooks is Keyser Söze


http://newsthump.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Rebekah-Brooks-NOTW-investigation.jpgRebekah Brooks is legendary underworld kingpin Keyser Söze, the mythical crime figure who garners unrivalled influence amongst law enforcement and billionaire media moguls alike, it was confirmed this morning.
Suspicions were raised when ruthless megalomaniac Rupert Murdoch chose to shut the world’s most popular profit-making newspaper, rather than have her exposed in her true identity.
Media analyst Deborah Matthews told us, “I knew it! I’ve been saying for years that Brooks was pulling the strings all along, but no-one believed me. There is only one possible reason she’s not been fired, and that’s that she’s the real mastermind behind the whole News Corp crime syndicate.”
“You only have to look into her eyes to see the machiavellian heart that marked her out as more than just a mere ‘newspaper editor’. I bet Murdoch is nothing more than her puppet.”
“Plus she sometimes walks with a bit of a limp, have you noticed that?”
“I heard she’s got some nuclear shit on everyone from David Cameron down to the guy who puts the books back at Westminster library. So I guess we’ll now see how much influence a genuine crime lord really has.”
Rebekah Brooks uncovered

It is expected that now Keyser Söze’s true identity is known to the public, she will use whatever is in her eyeline to concoct an elaborate back-story to ensure that everyone believes she was an innocent party.
As one former News International worker said, “I’ve seen her do it at parties, it’s a pretty impressive trick.”
“But the greatest trick Brooks ever pulled was convincing people she wasn’t at the very heart of all this.”http://newsthump.com/2011/07/08/rebekah-brooks-is-keyser-soze/

Magda Hassan
07-08-2011, 09:40 AM
The Guardian are doing a live blog of the unfolding events. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2011/jul/08/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking-scandal)And they are moving fast now as everyone tries to cover their arse.

Shares in News International plummet. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/07/shares-rupert-murdoch-companies?intcmp=239)

Coulsen to be arrested (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/07/andy-coulson-arrest-phone-hacking?intcmp=239). Plus a second arrest of a senior journalist from The News of the World.

Magda Hassan
07-08-2011, 12:33 PM
Owen Bowcott has been looking into claims from the media lawyer Mark Stephens that the News of the World closure might enable a liquidator to shred a backlog of potentially incriminating emails and documents.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/11/23/1290510243806/Owen-Bowcott.-001.jpg"Why would the liquidator want to keep [the records]?" Stephens told the news service Reuters (http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/New_York/News/2011/07_-_July/Is_Murdoch_free_to_destroy_News_of_the_World_s_rec ords_/). "Minimizing liability is the liquidator's job."
But the London insolvency solicitor Rodney Hylton-Potts dismissed the idea as legally implausible. "In a liquidation, a liquidator takes over all the books and records but that does not affect the obligations of a liquidator or a director to bear in mind any criminal inquiry," he said.
"The leading case in this is Enron, where the accountants, Arthur Anderson, sent around an email saying that they should shred things. They were severely criticised for that and it finished the [accountancy] firm.
"We know there are police inquiries going on into the News of the World and anybody who removed records now would be personally liable. It would be perverting the course of justice and a crime. I don't think liquidation will make any difference [to the firms records].
"Indeed, the News of the World policy since January has been to cooperate with the police and in a solvent liquidation [like the NoW], the liquidator has a duty to follow the company's policy."


From the Guardian live blog.

Peter Lemkin
07-08-2011, 02:43 PM
It seems to be spreading to other newspapers and pols, as well as the police.....may it destroy Murdoch!...and all his ilk and puppets. It is really ironic, the Brits have an image....of propriety and reserve...but it is just a false front. I forget what famous British Politician said 'Gentlemen do NOT read other gentleman's mail!' HA! :lol:

Good overview of the whole several year story on DemocracyNow! (http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/8/media_mogul_rupert_murdoch_shuts_down)

By the bye....ever see a photo of his wife....there is hope for me still....if I could only find a few spare billion...

Jan Klimkowski
07-08-2011, 04:33 PM
The Murdoch empire is in serious trouble.

PM Cameron said at his morning news conference that he would have accepted Rebekah Brooks' resignation.

This afternoon Brooks spoke to staff at Wapping, (who had arrived at work to find security staff on the newsroom floor and their internet access restricted), and told them she felt "betrayed" by the hackers.

She did not offer to resign, despite her position being totally untenable.

The line about "betrayal" by the hackers reveals that Murdoch senior management remain deluded, and unwilling to take responsibility for the criminal behaviour that took place on their watch.

PM Cameron also said that he had received "assurances" from Coulson before hiring him as Head of Propaganda for the Tories, and that he believed everyone "deserved a second chance".

Meanwhile, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has publicly stated that he warned Cameron's people that Coulson's alleged hiring of PI Jonathan Rees (see earlier in thread) and other matters meant that Coulson was unfit to work at the heart of the Tory party and government. PM Cameron even said Coulson was a "friend" at today's press conference.

One has to wonder what kind of dirt exists on senior Tory politicians.

It is also the case that the Metropolitan Police, to rescue their reputation after their initial truly pathetic investigations, and all the payments their officers allegedly received, need to draw blood with their investigation.

Coulson has been thrown to the wolves by the Murdoch Empire.

Cameron is standing by him.

How will this play out?

Rebekah Brooks allegedly told News International (sacked) staff that the News of the World was a "toxic brand" and that there are "two more years of trouble" for the Murdoch empire.

Jan Klimkowski
07-08-2011, 04:41 PM
The News International takeover of BSkyB is being challenged on the grounds that the Murdoch empire is not "fit and proper".

Their share price has dropped by over 5% this afternoon.




Fri, 08 Jul 2011

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes MP, has written to Ofcom calling on the regulator to investigate whether BSkyB is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a broadcasting licence.

BSkyB and the ‘fit and proper person’ test

I write to ask for you to investigate and rule on whether BSkyB is a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a broadcasting licence and whether this will remain the case if there was to be a takeover of the company by News International.

I am aware that, under the Broadcasting Acts of 1990 and 1996 section 3(3) Ofcom:

(a) “shall not grant a licence to any person unless satisfied that the person is “a fit and proper person to hold it”; and

(b) “shall do all that they can to secure that, if they cease to be so satisfied in the case of any person holding a licence, that person does not remain the holder of the licence”.

BSkyB

James Murdoch is the chairman of BSkyB and News International. Rebekah Brooks is currently the chief executive of News International which owns 40% of BSkyB. James Murdoch was, on Wednesday 6 July, accused on the floor of the House of Commons of seeking to pervert the course of justice. Tom Watson MP, speaking in the debate on phone hacking said ‘It is clear now that he personally [James Murdoch], without board approval, authorised money to be paid by his company to silence people who had been hacked, and to cover up criminal behaviour within his organisation. That is nothing short of an attempt to pervert the course of justice’. On Thursday 7 July James Murdoch confirmed in a statement that he had approved out of court settlements with hacking victims which prevented the public disclosure of documents which have now led to the arrest of senior journalists at the News of the World on criminal charges.

News International

As James Murdoch is the chairman of News International, and Rebekah Brooks is the Chief Executive of News International, the activities of News International are also relevant to the ‘fit and proper’ test in relation to BSkyB.

It is now clear that in order to cover up the allegations of criminal behaviour News International has been untruthful in its dealings with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). It was reported in the Financial Times on July 7 2011 that Baroness Buscombe, the chair of the Press Complaints Commission, had said that the PCC had been lied to by News International. She also said that ‘The corporate culture was clearly there to mislead us’.

News of the World

You will be aware of the ongoing allegations of illegal activity at the ‘News of the World’ newspaper, currently owned by News International. These accusations were originally made against one reporter and one agent of the newspaper. These two people have been convicted and imprisoned, on evidence which included the evidence I gave relating to the hacking of my phone. Other employees of the ’News of the World’ have subsequently been arrested.

It has now become apparent that people working directly or indirectly for the ‘News of the World’ were engaged in very extensive criminal activity. There is increasing evidence to suggest that this criminal activity was known about, condoned and encouraged at the highest level of the organisation. I highlight in particular the testimony in 2003 of Rebekah Wade (now Rebekah Brooks), the then editor of the ‘News of the World’, to the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport. Ms Brooks said ‘we have paid the police for information in the past’. With this statement Ms Brooks admitted to knowledge of a serious criminal offence or offences being carried out by the newspaper she was in charge of. In addition, there are now allegations that Andy Coulson, who was editor of the ‘News of the World’ from 2003 to 2007 illegally paid the police for information which they had obtained in the course of their duty.

Given the very serious accusations levelled at James Murdoch, the chairman of BSkyB, and the accusations levelled against News International, which he also chairs, I would like you to make a judgement as to whether BSkyB can still be considered to be fit and proper to hold a broadcasting licence as long as James Murdoch continues to act as chairman of the company. The admissions made by and the allegations made against the Chairman of BSkyB must directly reflect on and influence the reputation of BSkyB, and its fitness and propriety to continue to hold a broadcasting licence.

News International is currently seeking to acquire BSkyB. Ahead of any decision that the acquisition were to be approved, and without prejudice to the separate consideration of the merits of this, I ask that you consider the history and reputation of News International in deciding whether it is or would be a ‘fit and proper’ person to have a broadcasting licence. Certain elements in the history of the ‘News of the Word’ are relevant to this.

Fit and proper

It is my view that the fit and proper test cannot be taken only to mean the absence of criminal convictions or financial impropriety. Broadcast licence holders have a wider public duty to act with decency, honesty and truthfulness. It must be the case that regardless of criminal convictions, if there is evidence and admission of wrongdoing by organisations or individuals which would impact on their conduct or reputation as responsible broadcasters or publishers, this should be acted on.

In the case of James Murdoch I do not believe that it would be acceptable for a person who led an organisation which has a corporate culture of misleading the watchdog for its print media and has admitted to making payments to stop information coming out about his company which will now lead to criminal convictions to be in charge of a company which holds a broadcast licence.

In the case of Rebekah Brooks we have a Chief Executive of a company who has admitted to her newspaper committing criminal acts under her leadership in making payments to police to acquire information. She was also editor of the newspaper over the period when some of the worst cases of phone hacking took place, incidents which have shocked and disgusted the nation. As CEO of News International she presided over a company which repeatedly failed to uncover the truth, and which misled the PCC and others to stop them from discovering the truth. This company is now seeking to take over one of the largest broadcasters in the UK.

I hope that you will be able to consider my request and that you will able to come to a view on these matters quickly. This is a matter of great public interest, and as you may know the investigation against the ‘News of the World’ and News International is currently one of the largest criminal investigations in the country. The accusations which have been made against News International executives are a scandal which is being followed in the media around the world.

Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP

Mark Stapleton
07-08-2011, 04:48 PM
Shit this a great thread.

Rupert Murdoch is in trouble. I like it.

Jan Klimkowski
07-08-2011, 05:32 PM
Fit and proper company, eh? :mexican:


Phone hacking: Police probe suspected deletion of emails by NI executive

• 'Massive quantities' of archive allegedly deleted
• Emails believed to be between News of the World editors

Nick Davies and Amelia Hill guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/08/phone-hacking-emails-news-international), Friday 8 July 2011 14.18 BST

Police are investigating evidence that a News International executive may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive, in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard's inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

The archive is believed to have reached back to January 2005 revealing daily contact between News of the World editors, reporters and outsiders, including private investigators. The messages are potentially highly valuable both for the police and for the numerous public figures who are suing News International.

According to legal sources close to the police inquiry, a senior executive is believed to have deleted 'massive quantities' of the archive on two separate occasions, leaving only a small fraction to be disclosed. One of the alleged deletions is said to have been made at the end of January this year, just as Scotland Yard was launching Operation Weeting, its new inquiry into the affair.

The allegation directly contradicts repeated claims from News International that it is co-operating fully with police in order to expose its history of illegal news-gathering. It is likely to be seen as evidence that the company could not pass a 'fit and proper person' test for its proposed purchase of BSkyB.

A Guardian investigation has found that, in addition to deleting emails, the company has also:

• infuriated police by leaking sensitive information in spite of an undertaking to police that it would keep it confidential; and

• risked prosecution for perverting the course of justice by trying to hide the contents of a senior reporter's desk after he was arrested by Weeting detectives in earlier this year.

News International originally claimed that the archive of emails did not exist. Last December, its Scottish editor, Bob Bird, told the trial of Tommy Sheridan in Glasgow that the emails had been lost en route to Mumbai. Also in December, the company's solicitor Julian Pike from Farrer and Co provided the high court with a statement claiming that it was unable to retrieve emails which were more than six months old.

The first hint that this was not true came in late January when News International handed Scotland Yard evidence which led to the immediate sacking of its news editor Ian Edmondson and to the launch of Operation Weeting. It was reported at the time that this evidence consisted of three old emails.

Three months later, on 23 March this year, Pike formally apologised to the high court and acknowledged that News International could locate emails as far back as 2005 and that no emails had ever been lost en route to Mumbai or anywhere else in India. In a signed statement seen by the Guardian, Pike said he had been misinformed by the News of the World's in-house lawyer, Tom Crone, who had told him that he, too, had been misled. He offered no explanation for the misleading evidence given by Bob Bird.

The original archive was said to contain half a terabyte of data - equivalent to 500 editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica. But police now believe that there was an effort to substantially destroy the archive before News International handed over their new evidence in January. They believe they have identified the executive responsible by following an electronic audit trail. They have attempted to retrieve the data which they fear was lost. The Crown Prosecution Service is believed to have been asked whether the executive can be charged with perverting the course of justice.

At the heart of the affair is a specialist data company, Essential Computing, based in Clevedon, near Bristol. Staff there have been interviewed by Operation Weeting. One source speculated that it was this company which had compelled News International to admit that the archive existed.

The Guardian understands that Essential Computing has co-operated with police and has provided evidence about an alleged attempt by the News International executive to destroy part of the archive while they were working with it. This is said to have happened after the executive discovered that the company retained material of which News International was unaware.

The alleged deletion has caused tension between News International and Scotland Yard, who are also angry over recent leaks. When the Murdoch company handed over evidence of their journalists' involvement in bribing police officers in late June, they wanted to make a public announcement, claiming credit for their assistance to police. They were warned that this would interfere with inquiries and finally agreed that they would keep the entire matter confidential until early August, to allow police to make arrests. In the event, this week, a series of leaks has led Scotland Yard to conclude that News International breached the agreement.

There was friction too earlier this year when Weeting detectives arrested a senior journalist. When they went to the News of the World's office to search his desk, they found that all of its contents had been removed and lodged with a firm of solicitors, who initially refused to hand it over. The solicitors eventually complied. A file is believed to have been sent to the Crown Prosecution service seeking advice on whether anybody connected with the incident should be charged.

Jan Klimkowski
07-09-2011, 01:19 PM
Breaking news: News Of The World Wapping office set to become crime scene.


http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/News-Of-The-World-Wapping-Office-Set-To-Become-Crime-Scene-As-Journalists-Prepare-Final-Edition/Article/201107216027197?f=rss

What a fantastic metaphor for Murdoch's empire.

:lol::lol::lol:

Meanwhile Murdoch minor may soon be reluctant to bend down and pick up the soap:


James Murdoch could face criminal charges on both sides of the Atlantic

As phone hacking scandal leaves News Corp open to prosecution, James Murdoch looks less likely to inherit empire

Dominic Rushe and Jill Treanor guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/08/james-murdoch-criminal-charges-phone-hacking), Friday 8 July 2011 20.18 BST

James Murdoch and News Corp could face corporate legal battles on both sides of the Atlantic that involve criminal charges, fines and forfeiture of assets as the escalating phone-hacking scandal risks damaging his chances of taking control of Rupert Murdoch's US-based media empire.

As deputy chief operating officer of News Corp – the US-listed company that is the ultimate owner of News International (NI), which in turn owns the News of the World, the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun – the younger Murdoch has admitted he misled parliament over phone hacking, although he has stated he did not have the complete picture at the time. There have also been reports that employees routinely made payments to police officers, believed to total more than £100,000, in return for information.

The payments could leave News Corp – and possibly James Murdoch himself – facing the possibility of prosecution in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) – legislation designed to stamp out bad corporate behaviour that carries severe penalties for anyone found guilty of breaching it – and in the UK under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 which outlaws the interception of communications.

Tony Woodcock, a partner at the City law firm Stephenson Harwood, said section 79 of the 2000 Act enabled criminal proceedings to be brought against not only a company, but also a director or similar officer where the offence was committed with their "consent or connivance" or was "attributable to any neglect on their part". Woodcock said: "This could embrace a wide number of people at the highest level within an organisation, such as a chief executive – not just the individual who 'pushed the button' allowing the intercept to take place or someone (perhaps less senior) who encouraged or was otherwise an accessory to the offence, such as an editor."

While the UK phone-hacking scandal has been met with outrage in the US, the hacking itself is unlikely to prompt Washington officials into action. But because NI is a subsidiary of the US company, any payments to UK police officers could trigger a justice department inquiry under the FCPA.

The 1977 Act generally prohibits American companies and citizens from corruptly paying – or offering to pay – foreign officials to obtain or retain business.

The Butler University law professor Mike Koehler, an FCPA expert, said: "I would be very surprised if the US authorities don't become involved in this [NI] conduct."

He said the scandal appeared to qualify as an FCPA case on two counts. First, News Corp is a US-listed company, giving the US authorities jurisdiction to investigate allegations. "Second, perhaps more importantly, the act requires that payments to government officials need to be in the furtherance of 'obtaining or retaining' business. If money is being paid to officials, in this case the police, in order to get information to write sensational stories to sell newspapers, that would qualify," he said.

Koehler said the US justice department was increasingly keen to bring cases against individuals as well as companies, because prosecuting people brought "maximum deterrence". He added: "Companies just pay out shareholders' money. There's not much deterrence there." Tom Fox, a Houston-based lawyer who specialises in FCPA cases and anti-corruption law, said most corporate cases were settled before going to court. But for individuals who are successfully prosecuted the penalties are severe.

In 2009 the former Hollywood movie producer Gerald Green and his wife, Patricia, were jailed for six months in the first criminal case under the FCPA. The Greens, whose credits included Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn, were convicted of paying $1.8m in bribes to a government official in Thailand in exchange for contracts to manage the Bangkok international film festival.

FCPA charges can carry up to five years in jail for each charge but the Greens' short prison sentence was not the harshest element of their sentencing. The "biggest hammer" prosecutors hold is forfeiture of assets, said Fox. "The Greens lost everything. Their house, savings, retirement plan. They are destitute now."

Bringing an FCPA case against the company would be far easier than bringing an action against James Murdoch. As yet there appears to be no evidence that he was directly linked to authorising the police payments. "If you don't know about it, that is a valid defence for an individual," said Koehler. In New York, media executives believe that with or without an FCPA case James Murdoch has already fatally damaged his chances of taking his father's crown.

One said: "There has been a sense of unravelling at News Corp for a while. The Daily, MySpace, Project Alesia – they look like News is chasing rainbows. [Rupert] Murdoch is looking old. It affects his ability to appoint an heir and I don't think James even has the backing of his family any more." Speculation is that Chase Carey, the chief operating officer, is most likely to take the top slot when and if the media mogul steps aside. "He is the ultimate Murdoch operative. He is not interested in the trappings of the media business. What would he do? Close the New York Post, sell the Times. Why not? It's a rational thing to do."

Jan Klimkowski
07-09-2011, 03:50 PM
For those who have absorbed the details of this thread, a smoking gun just exploded in the faces of Andy Coulson (onetime Murdoch editor and Tory Head of Propaganda) and David Cameron (who employed him despite the below).

:viking:


Guardian statement on information it gave the government regarding Andy Coulson

Before the general election the Guardian contacted all three party leaders to tell them of certain facts about Andy Coulson which the Guardian could not at that stage report

guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/09/phone-hacking-andy-coulson), Saturday 9 July 2011 14.27 BST

In a telephone call around February 25th, Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz told the prime minister's director of strategy Steve Hilton a number of details about the case of Jonathan Rees, a private detective who had worked for the News of the World, which the paper had been unable to publish due to ongoing legal proceedings. These included:

• Rees's name – he had been described in a Guardian report published online on February 24th and in the paper edition of February 25th only as "Mr A"

• The fact that he was awaiting trial for a murder in which the victim was found in a pub car park with an axe in his head

• The fact that Rees had been jailed for seven years for conspiring to frame a woman by placing cocaine in her car, after which he had been rehired by Coulson's News of the World.

• The fact that Rees's illegal activities on behalf of the News of the World had been prominently reported in the Guardian before he was rehired under Coulson.

None of these details was included in any report for several months until after the collapse of Rees's trial in March 2011. The thrust of the conversation was that Rees was a murder suspect who had been involved in massive corruption on behalf of the News of the World of which Coulson could not have been unaware. The Guardian understands No 10 chief of staff Edward Llewelyn was informed of this conversation.

Downing Street's reference to the private detective working for Panorama is baffling and irrelevant to how the Rees information was handled. There was no suggestion that Rees ever had any connection with Panorama until March 2011, many months after No 10 was told the details of the Rees case

Magda Hassan
07-10-2011, 02:38 AM
:dancingman::popcorn::jumpingjoy:

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2011, 07:10 AM
As the gun continues to smoke, top LibDems, Deputy PM Clegg and Ashdown, admit they were briefed about Coulson and warned Cameron, who ignored their warnings.


Phone hacking: I warned No 10 over Coulson appointment, says Ashdown

Lib Dem peer advised that decision would cause 'terrible damage' after being briefed about NoW former editor's past

Toby Helm and Daniel Boffey guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/09/phone-hacking-andy-coulson-paddy-ashdown), Saturday 9 July 2011 19.22 BST

The crisis engulfing David Cameron over phone hacking deepened on Saturday as Paddy Ashdown revealed that he had warned No 10 only days after the general election of "terrible damage" to the coalition if he employed Andy Coulson in Downing Street.

The former Liberal Democrat leader, who had been extensively briefed on details that had not been made public for legal reasons, was so convinced that the truth would eventually emerge that he contacted the prime minister's office.

Ashdown, a key player as the Liberal Democrats agonised over whether to join in a coalition with the Tories, told the Observer that, based on what he had been told, it was obvious Coulson's appointment as Cameron's director of communications would be a disaster.

"I warned No 10 within days of the election that they would suffer terrible damage if they did not get rid of Coulson, when these things came out, as it was inevitable they would," he said.

Cameron, who will meet Milly Dowler's parents to discuss the government's response to phone hacking, refused to heed the advice and recruited the former News of the World editor to be his right-hand man in charge of the media at No 10.

It has also emerged that Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, received similar briefings to those given to Ashdown before the election, which he raised with Cameron – only to be rebuffed by the prime minister, who insisted that it was right to give Coulson a "second chance".

Senior Whitehall sources say that Clegg was stunned by what he was told but concluded, after the coalition deal was struck, that he was powerless to change Cameron's mind. "Clegg said: 'It is not up to me to tell the prime minister who to appoint as his director of communications'," said a source.

Downing Street also faces fresh questions about why it failed to act on information passed by the Guardian to Cameron's director of strategy, Steve Hilton, about Coulson's professional relationship with the private detective Jonathan Rees.

Downing Street appeared to alter its story from claiming that the information passed to it was merely that which appeared in the newspaper to claiming that "much" of it was. The Guardian insists that Hilton was given information it had been unable to publish owing to legal proceedings, including the fact that Rees was awaiting trial for murder and that he had been jailed for seven years for conspiring to frame a woman by placing cocaine in her car.

Coulson, arrested by police on Friday over his role in the scandal, went on to be cleared by the security vetting team at Downing Street after three in-depth interviews about his professional and personal life. He was given "strap one" status, which allowed him the highest access to top-secret material.

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2011, 07:19 AM
Meanwhile, slimeball Tony Blair was allegedly doing the bidding of his "gangster" masters at NI, telling key MPs to "back off".

The quotes below suggest that the Murdoch empire truly was run in gangster fashion, with demands of omerta and biblical vengeance against anyone who broke the Murdoch code and told the truth.


Blair 'tried' to hush up hacking scandal as whistleblower MP told: 'Rebekah Brooks will pursue you for the rest of your life'

By Simon Walters
Last updated at 11:58 PM on 9th July 2011

Tom Watson claims Rebekah Brooks was not only responsible for wrongdoing, but knew about it

MP said in Commons that James Murdoch personally authorised money to be paid to silence hacking victims – an attempt to pervert the course of justice

Fellow MP Chris Bryant, a phone-hack victim, brands newspaper company ‘gangsters’

Tony Blair urged Gordon Brown to persuade the Labour MP who led the campaign to expose News of the World phone-hacking to back off, friends of Mr Brown said last night.

Well-placed sources said Mr Blair, who has close links with the paper’s owner Rupert Murdoch, wanted Mr Brown to get his ally Tom Watson to lay off the News International (NI) title, but Mr Brown refused.

Mr Watson’s two-year crusade played a major part in Mr Murdoch’s shock decision to close the paper after today’s edition.

The MP used Commons legal protection to make damning allegations against NI chief executive Rebekah Brooks and chairman James Murdoch.

The assertion that Mr Blair tried to help Mr Murdoch came amid claims that:

Mr Watson was told Mrs Brooks ‘will pursue you for the rest of your life’ over his stance.

Mrs Brooks begged Blairite ex-Cabinet Minister Tessa Jowell to help ‘stop this madman Tom Watson’ – and also sought help from her friend, Mr Blair.

A NI executive threatened to take revenge on Ed Miliband for saying Mrs Brooks should quit.

Meanwhile, David Cameron came under fire from his own party for attacking Press regulators. In today’s Mail on Sunday, MP David Davis writes: ‘The primary failure has not been of newspaper regulation, but of the criminal law.’

Mr Blair’s attempt to persuade Mr Brown to put pressure on Mr Watson is likely to bring his links with Mr Murdoch under fresh scrutiny.

On becoming Labour leader in 1994, Mr Blair flew to a conference hosted by Mr Murdoch to end Labour’s feud with him. The alliance continued throughout Mr Blair’s ten years in office as Mr Murdoch’s papers – The Times, The Sun and the News of the World – supported him.

In contrast, Mr Brown was accused of orchestrating the campaign against NI after The Sun pulled its support for him at the last Election.

Mr Brown’s office declined to comment on whether Mr Blair had intervened, saying: ‘We never comment on private conversations.’

But a friend of Mr Brown said: ‘There is no doubt about it, Tony wanted Gordon to intervene.’

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ‘The allegation is categorically untrue.’ He declined to elaborate on which aspect was untrue.

Mr Watson was reportedly threatened by NI in the early stages of the phone-hacking dispute. He was said to have been told by someone from the company: ‘Rebekah Brooks will pursue you for the rest of your life. She will never forgive you for this.’

As the MP homed in on his prey, the pressure from NI – who believed he was being egged on by Mr Brown – became increasingly menacing.

One source said the MP was given an extraordinary message as he called for ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson to resign as Mr Cameron’s communications director: ‘The word from Wapping [NI’s HQ] was that Watson can have Coulson but not Rebekah.’

The allegations Mr Watson made under Commons protection from libel action include that:

‘Rebekah Brooks was not only responsible for wrongdoing, but knew about it.’
‘NI paid people to interfere with police officers on behalf of known criminals.’
‘James Murdoch personally authorised money to be paid to silence hacking victims – an attempt to pervert the course of justice.’

Labour MP Chris Bryant also says he was ‘warned off’ about highlighting phone hacking.

He said: ‘A friend said someone very close to the highest level of NI had told him that my actions would never be forgotten by the company.

'NI behave like gangsters. They operate by a combination of fear and favour.’

Sources close to Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was also threatened after attacking NI.

A Labour official said: ‘An NI executive told one of Ed’s aides, “If you are making it personal, so will we.” ’

An ally said: ‘That these people make threats shows they still don’t get it.’

Mr Miliband is to force a Commons vote on Wednesday calling for Mr Murdoch’s bid for total control of BSkyB to be postponed until police inquiries into hacking are complete. Labour thinks Lib Dems, and some rebel Tories, will back them, forcing Mr Cameron to order MPs to support Mr Murdoch.

Meanwhile, the 63-year-old man arrested on Friday over alleged corrupt payments to police officers has been released on police bail.

Last night, NI said: ‘We are co-operating fully with the police. When provided with concrete evidence, people will be held to account.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013027/News-World-Blair-tried-hush-hacking-scandal-whistleblower-MP-told-Rebekah-Brooks-pursue-rest-life.html#ixzz1RgTuaQjN

Peter Lemkin
07-10-2011, 07:44 AM
May all the Murdochs and their underlings get the fates, fines and prison sentences they deserve. Papa Murdoch has been a major part of the global Oligarchy's propaganda and 'circus' shock troops. :loco:

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2011, 08:17 AM
Scotland Yard's finest, Asst Commissioner John Yates, claims the pathetic police investigations were simply a "cock up".

Of course they were, John, of course, we believe you.... :noblesteed:

It took all of eight hours to close down one of the investigations. :rofl::rofl::rofl:


John Yates: Phone hacking investigation was a 'cock up'

John Yates, Assistant Commissioner of the Met police, has admitted letting down the victims of the News of the World phone hacking scandal

John Yates, if not quite squirming in his armchair, appears distinctly uncomfortable.

Seated in an office high up in Scotland Yard, with views over London, Assistant Commissioner Yates is finally making his apologies.

Two years ago, in July 2009, 'Yates of the Yard’ had the chance to reopen the Metropolitan police’s investigation into "industrial scale" phone hacking at the News of the World. He missed it.

Instead of re-examining 11,000 pages of material recovered from the home of the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, jailed in 2007 for hacking into the mobile phones of Royal aides, Yates decided after eight hours’ consideration, which included consulting the Crown Prosecution Service and investigating officers, that there was no likelihood of further convictions.

It was a decision he now admits was a “pretty crap one”.

More in the Sunday Telegraph article here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8627599/John-Yates-Phone-hacking-investigation-was-a-cock-up.html).

Peter Lemkin
07-10-2011, 10:04 AM
Un-fucking believable..."“I have regrettably said the initial inquiry was a success. Clearly now it looks very different.” - Understatement of the year! :D

Another great quote:"“If it has happened, those who have done it or received it will have to stand up and be counted. The alleged sums are large and it is a huge surprise even to me, that it is that still going on. The revolving doors of drugs, money in brown paper envelopes, I thought that had gone out the window. If it’s proven these officers will undoubtedly go to jail. If police officers have accepted money for information they will go to prison.”

Don't hold your breath!

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2011, 01:25 PM
Last night, watching BBC2's Newsnight, I briefly stirred from slumber when their film used first hand insider sources (unidentified) to reveal how Met Police corruption went down.

The problem for any rozzer seeking to sell information to a hack is the electronic audit trail. Every key stroke on a police computer is recorded and can be accessed retrospectively by Professional Standards/Internal Affairs cops.

So, how did these corrupt cops get round the electronic audit trail?

Allegedly, they set the NOTW hacks up as Confidential Informants. This automatically took all activity outside all standard electronic audit.

If this allegation is true - again, that Met Police officers set up NOTW journalists as Confidential Informants (ie protected intelligence sources) - then the Met is in deep deep trouble.

The more humorous colour is that the payments would often take place in a drive-thru McDonalds near Wapping, where the cash would be handed over in a brown paper bag over a Royale with Cheese.

Some things change.

Some things stay the same.

If it's true that Met Police officers set up NOTW hacks as Confidential Informants (ie protected intelligence sources), then Scotland Yard and British policing is in deep trouble.

Only officers with appropriate secruity & intelligence clearance can set up Confidential Informant (CI) accounts, and then run those CIs outside of senior officer and other oversight. Using such means to sell sensitive police information for money, and allegedly even obstruct active police investigations, would mean deliberate subversion of police systems by highly vetted officers.

This is not about a hack buying a pint for a neighbourhood bobby in exchange for a piece of information (as corrupt as that would be). It is several times more serious and pernicious.

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2011, 01:53 PM
Carl Bernstein writing in Newsweek - full article here (http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/10/murdoch-s-watergate.html?om_rid=Ci42oa&om):




News International, the British arm of Murdoch’s media empire, “has always worked on the principle of omertà: ‘Do not say anything to anybody outside the family, and we will look after you,’ ” notes a former Murdoch editor who knows the system well. “Now they are hanging people out to dry. The moment you do that, the omertà is gone, and people are going to talk. It looks like a circular firing squad.”

News of the World was always Murdoch’s “baby,” one of the largest newspapers in the English-speaking world, with 2.6 million readers. As anyone in the business will tell you, the standards and culture of a journalistic institution are set from the top down, by its owner, publisher, and top editors. Reporters and editors do not routinely break the law, bribe policemen, wiretap, and generally conduct themselves like thugs unless it is a matter of recognized and understood policy. Private detectives and phone hackers do not become the primary sources of a newspaper’s information without the tacit knowledge and approval of the people at the top, all the more so in the case of newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, according to those who know him best.

As one of his former top executives—once a close aide—told me, “This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else. Only in Murdoch’s orbit. The hacking at News of the World was done on an industrial scale. More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means.”

“In the end, what you sow is what you reap,” said this same executive. “Now Murdoch is a victim of the culture that he created. It is a logical conclusion, and it is his people at the top who encouraged lawbreaking and hacking phones and condoned it.”

Could Murdoch eventually be criminally charged? He has always surrounded himself with trusted subordinates and family members, so perhaps it is unlikely. Though Murdoch has strenuously denied any knowledge at all of the hacking and bribery, it’s hard to believe that his top deputies at the paper didn’t think they had a green light from him to use such untraditional reportorial methods. Investigators are already assembling voluminous records that demonstrate the systemic lawbreaking at News of the World, and Scotland Yard seems to believe what was happening in the newsroom was endemic at the highest levels at the paper and evident within the corporate structure. Checks have been found showing tens of thousands of dollars of payments at a time.

For this reporter, it is impossible not to consider these facts through the prism of Watergate. When Bob Woodward and I came up against difficult ethical questions, such as whether to approach grand jurors for information (which we did, and perhaps shouldn’t have), we sought executive editor Ben Bradlee’s counsel, and he in turn called in the company lawyers, who gave the go-ahead and outlined the legal issues in full. Publisher Katharine Graham was informed. Likewise, Bradlee was aware when I obtained private telephone and credit-card records of one of the Watergate figures.

All institutions have lapses, even great ones, especially by individual rogue employees—famously in recent years at The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the three original TV networks. But can anyone who knows and understands the journalistic process imagine the kind of tactics regularly employed by the Murdoch press, especially at News of the World, being condoned at the Post or the Times?

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2011, 02:17 PM
Sweeney Todd, Flying Squad.

Can we trust the cops to investigate themselves?



John O'Connor: The suspects are in charge of the case

News International and the Metropolitan Police are looking into corruption at Wapping. But face-saving is their priority

The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/john-oconnor-the-suspects-are-in-charge-of-the-case-2309778.html)Sunday, 10 July 2011

Scotland Yard is facing its worst corruption crisis since the 1970s, when senior police officers were found to be controlling London's pornography industry. The investigation and subsequent purge left many detectives out of a job and in some case serving prison sentences. The gloom that surrounded the Yard in those days is similar to the atmosphere that pervades it today.

Each day reveals more details of misconduct by the press and the police. The investigation is going to be looking for heads to roll, and the higher the rank the better. This extraordinary state of affairs has its roots back in the Eighties, in the days when News International was dependent on the police to protect its new premises in Wapping.

Violent demonstrations occurred each night and the police were able to assist News International in getting its product out on to the streets. This was a complete turnaround for The Times newspaper, which only a decade earlier had launched the huge inquiry into police corruption that shook Scotland Yard to its foundations. News International was now best friends with Scotland Yard, and senior executives and top policemen wined and dined together on a regular basis.

Nobody could see the potential problems of a free lunch. This mutual admiration society worked very well for a time. Information passed freely both ways. The police benefited from undercover operations run by the newspapers, and in return the papers got their exclusive stories. This comfortable arrangement was cemented by regular briefings from Scotland Yard's press bureau to the national press directly and sometimes through the Crime Writers Association.

The culture of police officers mixing with journalists was encouraged, and little thought was given to the potential of misconduct. Crime writers were expected to know lots of police officers, and there was great competition to get the inside story. If only things could have stayed the same.

The News of the World began to pursue a strategy of aggressively targeting celebrities. The use of "the Fake Sheikh", Mazher Mahmood, was very effective, and produced some exclusive exposés on the greed and stupidity of people who should have known better. They were able to obtain confidential information on individuals including criminal records but they were in too much of a hurry to research public records.

Some private detective agencies realised that there was money to be earned from celebrity stories and confidential crime stories. Some of these detective agencies were run by former Metropolitan Police officers who maintained good contacts with serving officers. Some ex-police officers set themselves up as stringers, and provided a conduit for confidential information supplied by officers directly to the press. Once the Rubicon had been crossed, it was comparatively easy for police officers to contravene the Data Protection Act and supply information from the Police National Computer.

Short cuts adopted by the News of the World put them closer to the coalface. The strategy of using several intermediaries was abandoned and they employed private detectives such as Jonathan Rees of Southern Investigations and Glenn Mulcaire. This was clearly cheaper but the drawback was that if the private detectives came unstuck so did those who hired them.

The Department of Professional Standards at Scotland Yard has not been standing idly by. A number of undercover operations were mounted against ex- and serving police officers who were suspected of receiving corrupt payments. Nobody in authority was prepared to recognise the endemic nature of this corruption and each case was dealt with as a stand-alone incident. Much the same attitude was adopted when Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman were convicted of hacking messages of members of the royal family.

At this stage, the number of police officers involved is unknown. News International's attempts to switch the focus of the inquiry onto the police by releasing details of payments to officers raised more questions than answers. The obvious questions are "What about payments to intermediaries?" and "What were the payments for?" Hospitality and gifts must also be probed.

The two organisations that are carrying out the investigations are... the Metropolitan Police and News International, both of whom are the subject of these allegations.

It is with breathtaking cheek that News International announced its own investigation. It is quite clear that getting to the truth is not a goal, its real objective is damage limitation and face-saving. It is quite clear that any number of junior staff will be sacrificed in order the save the skins of the real decision-makers. The News International investigation should be laughed out of court, not that it is ever likely to get there.

The new police investigation is even more curious. Everybody wants to know why the original hacking investigation was curtailed after the convictions of Mulcaire and Goodman. It seems unlikely that this decision was made solely by the police, but it is a possibility, and if so, why?

The suspicion must be that pressure was brought to bear by either News International, the Crown Prosecution Service or a very high-ranking police officer, or perhaps a combination of all three.

The new police investigation into hacking has been running since January 2011 and the police corruption enquiry has only just begun. It seems to me that this is a classic situation whereby an outside police force should be used, under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. There is clear precedent for using an outside force, and if the public are to be convinced that this is a fair and unbiased investigation then that should clearly point to using an independent force outside of London.

This is no reflection on the skill, determination or ability of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, but the pressure which killed off the first enquiry might still exist.

The Metropolitan Police had one go at this and fell very short. At risk is the reputation and integrity of the service. It cannot afford to get it wrong again. The problem is that senior officers did not recognise the extent of the corruption and were probably unwilling to upset their new found pals in the media.

They must accept their responsibility for what has happened. It is astonishing that with so many resources being spent on anti-corruption, they could not see it when it was right under their noses.

John O'Connor is former commander of the Flying Squad at Scotland Yard

Peter Lemkin
07-10-2011, 03:45 PM
One can't but watch in glee as Murdoch's house of cards begins to collapse in slow motion. The 'King Maker' might soon be dethroned hiimself.....maybe even the meetings between Murdoch and Blair to be in 'sync' and 'on the same page' about Iraq War et al....and who was telling whom what was what - will come out!!!! Could sink the current Govt. too....who brought a Murdoch chief in so as to be on Murdoch's good side, and have direct access to him...et al.

Filth! Political filth! Undemocratic Filth! :banghead:

Peter Lemkin
07-11-2011, 05:09 PM
:pointlaugh: With the new revelations starting again [Prince Charles the uncharming, Gordon Brown, and 911 Victims' families being today's news], and bound to come out in the VERY near future, I may be one of the few who didn't have their phones hacked by the Murdoch REICH :rofl: :spy: The Royals, all the main politicians, police, crime victims' families, and more.....much more....
:gossip:

Jan Klimkowski
07-11-2011, 05:41 PM
Today's sizzling update on the soaraway Sins of the Murdoch Empire includes (all alleged of course):

1) Bribing Royal Protection (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/11/phone-hacking-royal-contact-book)officers - surely a crime worthy of being hung, drawn and quartered by the House of Saxe-Coburg, before one's stinking remains are transported down under:


At least two Scotland Yard protection officers are alleged to have jeopardised the security of the royal family by selling the contact details of the Queen, Prince Charles and their friends and associates to the News of the World.

Sources have told the Guardian that a contacts book was sold for £1,000 to the paper by the officers who were assigned to protect the royal family.

A 2007 report for News International, prepared by a law firm, showed emails in which the purchase of the royals' details was discussed within the Sunday tabloid.

The Guardian understands from sources with knowledge of the 2007 report that a senior executive at the News of the World exchanged emails about the alleged illegal purchase of the contacts book with a senior reporter. It is believed the extensive details in the book allowed the News of the World to hack phones, helped by information passed on by at least two royal protection officers.

The information was only passed by News International to the police in June this year despite the emails and other documentation having been uncovered by an internal NI investigation in 2007.

2) Hacking (and attempting to hack) Gordon Brown's (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/11/phone-hacking-news-international-gordon-brown)phone and financial records, including the medical records of his severely ill infant son.


Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file as well as his family's medical records.

There is also evidence that a private investigator used a serving police officer to trawl the police national computer for information about him.

That investigator also targeted another Labour MP who was the subject of hostile inquiries by the News of the World, but it has not confirmed whether News International was specifically involved in trawling police computers for information on Brown.

Separately, Brown's tax paperwork was taken from his accountant's office apparently by hacking into the firm's computer. This was passed to another newspaper.

Brown was targeted during a period of more than 10 years, both as chancellor of the exchequer and as prime minister. Some of the activity clearly was illegal. Other incidents breached his privacy but not the law. An investigation by the Guardian has found that:

• Scotland Yard has discovered references to both Brown and his wife, Sarah, in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialised in phone hacking for the News of the World;

• Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a "blagger" acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account;

• Brown's London lawyers, Allen & Overy, were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times;

• Details from his infant son's medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child's serious illness.

Brown joins a long list of Labour politicians who are known to have been targeted by private investigators working for News International, including the former prime minister Tony Blair and his media adviser Alastair Campbell, the former deputy prime minister John Prescott and his political adviser Joan Hammell, Peter Mandelson as trade secretary, Jack Straw and David Blunkett as home secretaries, Tessa Jowell as media secretary and her special adviser Bill Bush, and Chris Bryant as minister for Europe.

The sheer scale of the data assault on Brown is unusual, with evidence of attempts to obtain his legal, financial, tax, medical and police records as well as to listen to his voicemail. All of these incidents are linked to media organisations. In many cases, there is evidence of a link to News International.

Scotland Yard recently wrote separately to Brown and to his wife to tell them that their details had been found in evidence collected by Operation Weeting, the special inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World. It is believed that this refers to handwritten notes kept by Mulcaire, which were seized by police in August 2006 and never previously investigated. Brown last year asked Scotland Yard if there was evidence that he had been targeted by the private investigator and was told there was none.

Journalists who have worked at News International say they believe that Brown's personal bank account was accessed on several occasions when he was chancellor of the exchequer. An internal inquiry by Abbey National's fraud department found that during January 2000, somebody acting on behalf of the Sunday Times contacted their Bradford call centre six times, posing as Brown, and succeeded in extracting details from his account.

Abbey National's senior lawyer sent a summary of their findings to the editor of the Sunday Times, John Witherow, concluding: "On the basis of these facts and inquiries, I am drawn to the conclusion that someone from the Sunday Times or acting on its behalf has masqueraded as Mr Brown for the purpose of obtaining information from Abbey National by deception."

Hmm - the part of News International alleged to have engaged in much of this activity is the Sunday Times. Presumably this means the NOTW thought there was no sex or sport in Brown's life.

However, if it was the Sunday Times, and not NOTW, that hacked Brown, then surely this provides huge additional evidence that NI is fundamentally out of control and cannot be considered "fit and proper" to own major parts of the world's media.

Jan Klimkowski
07-11-2011, 06:55 PM
The Murdoch empire is trying to sabotage the police investigation by selectively leaking material.

Sez who? Sez Scotland Yard.

I increasingly suspect that Rupert Murdoch is infected by senile megalomania, and has totally lost the plot.


Police: Leaks on UK scandal hurt probe

LONDON (AP) (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110711/D9ODG2J03.html) - British police say media leaks relating to a phone-hacking scandal are part of a "deliberate campaign" to undermined a corruption investigation.

Scotland Yard says the release of certain information - known to only a select few - could have a "significant impact" on the investigation.

The police force said it is "extremely concerned and disappointed" over the leaks.

Jan Klimkowski
07-11-2011, 07:22 PM
Murdoch accused of nepotism?

How very un-Australian of him. Perhaps he secretly wants to be a toff.

Whatever -this is an attack from major shareholders on the Murdoch empire, kneeing the Dirty Digger in the most sensitive part of his anatomy: his wallet.

The serious points are well made: "It is inconceivable that [James] Murdoch and his fellow board members would not have been aware of the illicit news gathering practices. And yet, the board took no real action to investigate the allegations until 7 July 2011, when Murdoch selected two of his co-directors to deal with the imbroglio,".

Precisely.


News Corp investors attack Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch accused of 'egregious' behaviour for using firm as 'family candy jar' in lawsuit that claims it is 'inconceivable' he was unaware of phone hacking at News of the World

Rupert Neate guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/11/news-corp-shareholders-attack-murdoch), Monday 11 July 2011 17.28 BST

A powerful group of News Corp's shareholders have accused Rupert Murdoch of "egregious" behaviour and treating his media empire like a "family candy jar".

The shareholder group, which includes banks and pension funds, accused Murdoch of "rampant nepotism" and using News Corp resources for "his own personal and political objectives".

The institutional shareholders, led by the Amalgamated Bank, said it was "inconceivable" that Murdoch would not have been aware of rampant phone hacking at the News of the World.

"It is inconceivable that [James] Murdoch and his fellow board members would not have been aware of the illicit news gathering practices. And yet, the board took no real action to investigate the allegations until 7 July 2011, when Murdoch selected two of his co-directors to deal with the imbroglio," the shareholders said in a legal filing in Delaware, where News Corp is registered.

"These revelations should not have taken years to uncover and stop," the filing adds. "[They] show a culture run amuck within News Corp and a board that provides no effective review or oversight."

The shareholders noted that Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International and editor of the News of the World at the time of the hacking, was "consistently promoted even while the scandal was unfolding".

The legal filing is an update to an earlier lawsuit against the appointment of Elisabeth Murdoch to News Corp's board following the $615m (£383m) acquisition of her Shine Group production company.

"News Corp's behaviour has become an egregious collection of nepotism and corporate governance failures, with a board completely unwilling to provide even the slightest level of adult supervision," said Jay Eisenhofer, a Grant & Eisenhofer lawyer representing the shareholder group.

"The result has been a piling on of questionable deals, a waste of corporate resources, a starring role in a blockbuster scandal, and a gigantic public relations disaster. It is way past time that the News Corp board step in and initiate serious changes to the company's corporate governance."

The legal complaint filed in Delaware chancery court said: "Murdoch has treated News Corp like a family candy jar, which he raids whenever his appetite strikes. Ignoring the distinction between public and family business, the board has repeatedly permitted Murdoch to: intertwine rampant nepotism in the conduct of company business; undertake actions designed to maintain his control over News Corp; use News Corp resources for his own personal and political objectives; and reward himself handsomely with excessive compensation."

The shareholders complain that Murdoch's personal interference with good corporate governance has led to a so-called "Murdoch discount" that has depressed the value of the shares below those of other similar media companies.

"The fact that the board has been so passive despite years of misconduct is a testament to how lacking in independence its members are from the Murdoch family, shareholders allege. This has led to a 'Murdoch discount' in the marketplace," the complaint adds.

The shares were down 5% at $16.50 in New York trading at 3.45pm London time. The shareholder lobby group owns less than 1% of News Corp stock.

Peter Lemkin
07-11-2011, 08:31 PM
Despite the last issue of News of the World being published yesterday, the phone hacking scandal haunting Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid -- and his whole News Corp. empire -- is only getting scarier, with new allegations continuing to surface. Over the weekend, another grain-of-salt-required British gossip rag, The Mirror, came out with one of the most startling revelations yet -- at least for the majority of New Yorkers who may have never read an edition of the News. In addition to kidnap and murder victim Milly Dowling, war veterans and victims of the 7/7 British terrorist attacks, the Mirror reports that journalists from News of the World tried to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims. Cue non-media-obsessed Americans paying attention.


Murdoch arrived in London yesterday to address his staff on the occasion of the embattled paper's end, "But he flew straight into another storm as it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters," reports the Mirror.

Their claims come from an anonymous former New York cop via another anonymous source who says the officer was contacted by News journalists "who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead," presumably to use the same dirty voicemail tricks they pulled with the royals and other innocent people.

The paper, he claims, was looking for calls to and from victims and their families just before the attacks. British victims were especially prized by the snooping News people, supposedly.

But if the News scandal has reminded us of anything, it's that these papers -- the Mirror included -- probably deserve a skeptical eye every day. There's nothing like a thinly sourced, unsubstantiated 9/11-related accusation to grab some attention, so the Mirror report should be considered with that in mind. This specific accusation has not been reported independently by any other source. :pirate:

That said, if Murdoch incurs the wrath of the American government in addition to the already-angry Brits, this News Corp. madness becomes something else altogether. :plane:

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

Jan Klimkowski
07-11-2011, 08:59 PM
If true, NI hacking of 9/11 victim and family phones will have the same impact on the other side of the Pond that hacking into the phones of murder victims Milly Dowler and the Soham schoolgirls had in Britain: it will cut through to the mass of ordinary Americans who don't know or care who Rupert Murdoch is or what he owns.

It will cause popular revulsion, shock and fury.

NI will likely no longer be a credible organisation.

If so, it may have to follow a well established corporate tradition: when truly fucked, reinvent and rebrand.

In the best tradition of Union Carbide (after Bhopal), Arthur Andersen (after Enron), Blackwater (after you name it) etc.....

Maybe the new corporate slogan could be: "Naked Propaganda: Don't Believe A Word!"

Pursuing their sex 'n sport formula, maybe their new presenters could be topless female olympians who giggle a lot*.

*Damn - I think Berlusconi's already copyrighted that in Italy...

Peter Lemkin
07-12-2011, 03:31 AM
Maybe the new corporate slogan could be: "Naked Propaganda: Don't Believe A Word!"

Pursuing their sex 'n sport formula, maybe their new presenters could be topless female olympians who giggle a lot*.

*Damn - I think Berlusconi's already copyrighted that in Italy...

.....you just made me shudder, with the thought that two Right-Wing Media Reich's [Murdockh & Berlusconni's] that are on the ropes and in need of rebranding might think to become one!.....they do use about the same ...ur...'techniques' on the 'news' and 'journalism'.

I'd remind in light of this scandal, since no one has yet done a great film on Murdoch, to watch by hook or crook - and ASAP - the GREAT, GREAT film of our time on all of this - The War You Don't See, by John Pilger!!!!! Info Here (http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/the-war-you-don-t-see-now-available-online-worldwide-following-us-ban)

Keith Millea
07-12-2011, 03:59 AM
I've not seen it,but Robert Greenwald has a Documentary called "Outfoxed".

Trailor:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w39FnpuMRfo&feature=player_detailpage

Peter Lemkin
07-12-2011, 05:46 AM
Tony Blair accused of trying to silence Rupert Murdoch critic

By Martin Hickman and Cahal Milmo
Monday, 11 July 2011

Tony Blair urged Gordon Brown to persuade the Labour MP who led the campaign to expose the phone-hacking scandal to fall silent, according to a report yesterday.

The Mail on Sunday stated that "well-placed" sources said Mr Blair had sought to encourage Mr Brown to ask his supporter Tom Watson to back off. A "friend of Mr Brown" was quoted as saying: "There is no doubt about it, Tony wanted Gordon to intervene." Mr Watson, who claimed last week that News International had entered "the criminal underworld", was reported to have been told that Rebekah Brooks, News International's chief executive, "will pursue you for the rest of your life".

Earlier this year, another Labour MP, Chris Bryant, said in a Commons speech that a senior figure allied to Mr Murdoch had warned his friends that speaking out about the scandal would not be forgotten.

Magda Hassan
07-12-2011, 12:37 PM
Shareholder Lawsuit: Phone-Hacking Scandal Caused 'Immeasurable Damage To News Corp.'s Goodwill'

July 11, 2011 3:38 pm ET by Joe Strupp
A group of News Corp. shareholders led by Amalgamated Bank has sued the media company claiming several of its business decisions, as well as the recent phone-hacking scandal at News of the World, have adversely affected shareholder interests.
The lawsuit (http://mediamatters.org/rd?to=http%3A%2F%2Fcloudfront.mediamatters.org%2Fs tatic%2Fpdf%2FNewsCorpComplaint.pdf) claims, among other things, that "News Corp executives are ... grossly overpaid, ensuring their loyalty to Murdoch and his personal initiatives," later stating that Murdoch is "larding the executive ranks of the Company with his offspring."
Among the lawsuit's complaints: the company's purchase of Elisabeth Murodoch's Shine Group has harmed the shareholder value; the board as it is comprised has numerous conflicts of interest; and the phone-hacking scandal has hurt the company's reputation and investor value.
"In sum, these acts will cause a direct harm to News Corp shareholders by diluting their ability to influence the Company through the exercise of the shareholder franchise because a greater percentage of the Board will be completely beholden to Rupert Murdoch's wishes," the lawsuit, filed Friday, stated in part. "In contemplating, planning, and/or affecting the foregoing conduct, Murdoch and the other Defendants were not acting in good faith toward News Corp shareholders, and breached or will breach their fiduciary duties owed to them. As a result of these actions, News Corp shareholders have been and will be damaged."
The 94-page lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, a determination that News Corp. board members "breached their fiduciary duties to the Company," and to block the appointment of Elisabeth Murdoch to the News Corp. board, claiming that would also be a violation of fiduciary responsibilities.
"News Corp.'s behavior has become an egregious collection of nepotism and corporate governance failures, with a board completely unwilling to provide even the slightest level of adult supervision," Jay Eisenhofer, co-managing director of Grant & Eisenhofer and co-lead counsel on the lawsuit, said in a statement.
The lawsuit specifically cites the recent phone-hacking scandal as a major element in the dilution of shareholder value, stating:

The egregious conduct triggering this stunning turn of events was not limited to reporters. Former News Of The World employees involved in the phone hacking have indicated that at least two editors-in-chief of the paper were aware of and condoned the hacking in order to obtain news stories that would drive readership.
Rebekah Brooks ("Brooks"), a very close friend of Murdoch and his family who has repeatedly been promoted by Murdoch (most recently to the position of Chief Executive Officer of News International), and Andy Coulson ("Coulson"), a Murdoch political ally and a close friend of Brooks who became an aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron, both were editor-in chief of the paper while the illegal hacking was on-going and have been linked to explicit knowledge of the practice. Coulson, in fact, has been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and making payments to police and faces criminal indictment for his conduct.
These revelations should not have taken years to uncover and stop. These revelations show a culture run amuck within News Corp and a Board that provides no effective review or oversight.
The suit also cites various business decisions by the News Corp. board of directors as being harmful to investors, including the takeover of Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group:

The Transaction made little or no business sense for News Corp, and is far above a price any independent, disinterested third-party would have paid for Shine.
Further, even if the pricing was proper or there was some business justification for News Corp to acquire a start-up, niche television production company, there was no reason for News Corp to acquire Shine specifically, except to enrich the Murdoch family, perpetuate the family's involvement in the senior management of News Corp, and further tighten Murdoch's control over the Company. Nevertheless, the Transaction was rubberstamped by News Corp's Board at Murdoch's urging. That is how Murdoch and the Board have interacted for years.
The Board's acquiescence to Murdoch's desire to benefit his daughter, and the Company' willingness to overlook transgressions on the part of Murdoch protégés is nothing new. Throughout his tenure, Murdoch has treated News Corp like a family candy jar, which he raids whenever his appetite strikes.
The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Chancery of Delaware, is being done on behalf of Amalgamated Bank and several pension funds it represents, according to plaintiff attorneys. The plaintiffs own 835,000 News Corp. shares.
The filing is a continuation of a complaint filed in May that initially targeted News Corp.'s purchase of Shine Group, according to a release from the plaintiffs' attorney.News Corp. declined comment to Media Matters on Monday.
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201107110018

Peter Lemkin
07-12-2011, 03:30 PM
Murdoch and his two top deputies have been 'invited' to submit to questions in British Parliament on Tuesday, I believe it is. If they show [unlikely!], they'd be asked searing questions - but if they don't come [likely, they do not legally have to!], the World will view it almost as an admission of guilt and further guilt, as of yet undisclosed. The noose is tightening...!:D

Update - apparently they WILL show.....will be quite a scene! :dancingman:

Jan Klimkowski
07-12-2011, 05:10 PM
The top cops were before Parliament today.

Scotland Yard Asst Commissioner John Yates' performance was described the committee chair as "unconvincing".

Which is a generous interpretation.


Met officer John Yates's evidence on phone-hacking inquiry 'unconvincing'

Sue Akers, officer in charge of current investigation, admits police have contacted only 170 of 3,870 suspected victims

Hélène Mulholland, Alan Travis and Vikram Dodd guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/12/john-yates-metropolitan-police), Tuesday 12 July 2011 14.47 BST

The Scotland Yard officer who oversaw the review of phone hacking has been accused of giving "unconvincing" evidence to a committee of MPs reviewing the police investigation.

Assistant commissioner John Yates insisted he has no intention of quitting over the affair, despite admitting that it had been "damaging" to the reputation of the police.

Scotland Yard officers carrying out the phone-hacking inquiry, known as Operation Weeting, are examining 11,000 pages of material containing nearly 4,000 names of possible hacking victims. But Yates conceded he had not seen the 11,000 pages and did not know what was in them.

Later in the session, Sue Akers, the Met's deputy assistant commissioner in charge of the current investigation, admitted that her officers had so far contacted only 170 of the 3,870 suspected hacking victims whose details were found in notes seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was jailed in 2007.

The gruelling session began with a stern warning from Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, that witnesses who give false evidence and "persistently mislead a committee may be considered guilty of contempt of the House of Commons".

Yates strongly denied allegations in the New York Times that he was put under pressure not to investigate phone hacking at the News of the World because of fears that the Sunday tabloid would publish details about his personal life.

"I categorically state that was not the case to each and every one of you. I think it's despicable, I think it's cowardly," he told the MPs.

Yates said he had "never, ever, ever" received payment from journalists for information but admitted it was "highly probable" that some of his officers did.

Despite a session that ran over by 20 minutes following a volley of tough questions from MPs, Vaz concluded that Yates's evidence had been "unconvincing" and that he may be called back.

Yates appeared before MPs as Britain's biggest police force attempted to salvage its reputation after it emerged it missed numerous allegedly criminal acts of phone hacking by the News of the World, and that some of its officers allegedly sold information to the paper, which facilitated the hacking of the royal family.

Yates, who became involved in 2009 as the assistant commissioner in charge of specialist operations, acknowledged in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph that his decision not to reopen an investigation in 2009 was "pretty crap".

Appearing before MPs, he expressed regret for errors that had been made, but blamed the failure to reopen the investigation on the News of the World's failure to co-operate at the time.

He admitted he did not take fresh legal advice when reviewing the evidence in 2009, and said he had not conducted a review of the original investigation conducted in 2006, but had merely tried to establish whether action was needed in light of revelations made in a Guardian article in 2009. He said the conclusion at the time was that there was no new evidence the police were not previously aware of.

Asked by Vaz if he had considered his position, Yates told him: "If you are suggesting that I should resign for what News of the World has done, I think that is probably unfair."

Pressed again later on whether he thought he would keep his job, Yates insisted this was "not a resignation matter".

In a brief opening statement, he did however tell the committee: "Had I known then what I know now, I would have made different decisions."

He said the Sunday Telegraph article fairly reflected his views on the matter, and he admitted "more could have been done" on his part when he took up the baton.

"I can assure you all that I have never lied and all the information that I've provided to this committee has been given in good faith," he said.

"It is a matter of great concern that, for whatever reason, the News of the World appears to have failed to co-operate in the way that we now know they should have with the relevant police inquiries up until January of this year.

"They have only recently supplied information and evidence that would clearly have had a significant impact on the decisions that I took in 2009 had it been provided to us."

Yates said he was asked to see if there was anything in the Guardian article that merited further investigation. He had just a day to do this.

He conceded in hindsight it was "a poor decision". "But we didn't have the information we should have done."

Yates also admitted he had attended social events with News International executives, but stressed that no investigation was going on at the time.

"I have been absolutely open about that, but the investigation was not open at that time. It was closed ... so I have not been in contact during a live investigation under my oversight, no I haven't."

He was ridiculed by Labour's Steve McCabe, who told him he was not the "dogged, determined sleuth" the MPs were expecting.

Yates had earlier received the backing of the home secretary, Theresa May, who said she had confidence in him and that he was doing a "very good job" as the Metropolitan police's assistant commissioner in charge of counter-terrorism.

Speaking before Yates gave evidence to MPs, May said: "John Yates is in charge of counter-terrorism. He is doing a very good job in that role. I have confidence in John Yates."

She also told a Home Office press briefing that she took any suggestion of corruption in the police very seriously. She had spoken to Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met commissioner, as soon as the allegations emerged last week to satisfy herself that they were being dealt with properly, she said.

"Any officer who is involved in corruption or illegal activity of any sort in any way should be identified and dealt with according to the law," May said.

MPs also heard from Lord Blair, the former Met chief, who said his home and mobile phones were found on lists obtained by detectives investigating phone hacking at the News of the World. Blair, who stood down as Met police commissioner in late 2008, made the revelation as he gave evidence on the separate issue of the police response to antisocial behaviour.

But he said he had "no evidence" that this phone had been hacked.

Blair told the committee: "What I am aware of is that my mobile and home telephone numbers were within the files that have been examined. I have no evidence and nor, as far I am aware, does Operation Weeting have any evidence to suggest that those phones were hacked."

The former police officer also said an earlier inquiry into phone hacking by the tabloid paper while he was head of Scotland Yard was "not a major issue at the time".

"Never during my period of office, which ended in 2008, did it become a major issue," he said

Jan Klimkowski
07-12-2011, 05:13 PM
Former top rozzer Andy Hayman, who led one of the pathetic police investigations, faced even more direct questions from the parliamentary committee:


Andy Hayman, the officer in charge of the original investigation into phone hacking, told MPs that that operation now looks "very lame" but rejected suggestions that he was in the "back pocket" of News International as "unfounded".

Hayman, who served as assistant commissioner for specialist operations at the Metropolitan police during the first investigation in 2006, gave a combative performance in front of the committee as he faced accusations of coming across as "dogdy geezer".

Hayman, who became a columnist for the Times, owned by News International, two months after retiring from the Met police, also rejected claims made in the New York Times that he made a deal with NI because they held damaging information on his personal life.

Confronted with an article he wrote for the Times in 2009 in which he claimed he "left no stone unturned" in the original investigation, Hayman told MPs his detectives were "the best team that I ever had".

But Hayman said he had had "no involvement at all" in the decision not to trawl through the 11,000 documents.

He added: "At the time everything possible that they were able to do, given the resources and the parameters they set, was done and I stand by that and Peter [Clarke, the former deputy assistant commissioner] has as well.

"What we look like now, it's very lame … I think we've had more time to do it, more revelations have come out, the News of the World have given us material that we didn't have at the time."

Giving evidence earlier, Clarke said he had not trawled the 11,000 pages of material because he could not justify the resources that would have been needed.

The documents were seized by police after the arrest of the News of the World's then royal reporter Clive Goodman and Mulcaire, but Clarke and his senior colleagues decided against an "exhaustive analysis" of the documents, he told the committee.

"In the wider context of counter-terrorist operations that posed an immediate threat to the British public, when set against the criminal course of conduct that involved gross breaches of privacy but no apparent threat of physical harm to the public, I could not justify the huge expenditure of resources this would entail over an inevitably protracted period," he said.

Source (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/12/thousands-phone-hacking-victims-contacted-met-sue-akers).

Jan Klimkowski
07-12-2011, 05:42 PM
Meanwhile, via Zero Hedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/over-past-4-years-news-corp-generated-104-billion-profits-and-received-48-billion-taxes-irs):


Over The Past 4 Years News Corp Generated $10.4 Billion In Profits And Received $4.8 Billion In "Taxes" From The IRS

Call it the gift that keeps on giving (if one is a corporation that is): the US Tax system, so effective at extracting income tax from America's working class, is just as "effective" at redistributing said income tax at the corporate level.

Case in point: News Corp, which after generating $10.4 billion in profits over the past 4 years, and which would have been expected to pay the IRS $3.6 billion at the statutory corporate tax rate, instead received $4.6 billion back from Uncle Sam.

Bottom line: Murdoch's corporation had a cash paid tax rate of -46% between 2007 and 2010. The culrpit: two little somethings called Deferred Tax Assets and Net Operating Loss Carry-forwards.

Jan Klimkowski
07-12-2011, 05:58 PM
The top cops accuse the Murdoch empire of prevarication, lies and obstruction.

A "fit and proper" company? Clearly not.

However, surely if a detective suspects that their investigation is being obstructed and they are being lied to, then the obstructive liars should be the focus of renewed questioning and investigation.

What did Scotland Yard do?

Top copper Andy Hayman declared that his investigative team had "left no stone unturned", and there was no evidence of widespread wrongdoing.

Hayman quit the Met in 2008, and shortly afterwards started writing articles for News International.


:smileymad::smileymad::smileymad:


Some quotes (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14126442):


Asst Commissioner John Yates:

The assistant commissioner said News International had "clearly misled us", meaning that police could not appreciate the "scope and scale" of the hacking.

"They simply did not provide us with evidence at the time," he said.

Asked if he had ever been paid by journalists, Mr Yates said: "That's an amazing question - and I have never, ever, ever received any payment of that sort."

But he said some corruption in the Metropolitan police was inevitable: "We're an organisation of 50,000 people, we have always said from time immemorial that some of those 50,000 people will be corrupt and accept payments."


Former Deputy Asst Commissioner Peter Clarke:

The retired officer also accused News International of "prevarication and lies" and said it "deliberately tried to thwart the criminal investigation".

"Very little material" was given to police by the company, said Mr Clarke.

"We were unable to spread the inquiry further with News International because of their refusal to co-operate more broadly."


Former Asst Commissioner Andy Hayman:

Mr Hayman, who was in overall command of the original inquiry, supported his colleagues and reiterated their view that the original hacking inquiry did all it could with the information it was able to obtain.

"Everything we could do within the resources and parameters of investigation was done", he said.

But he also admitted that in hindsight the decision not to spend more time on the case appeared "lame".

Mr Hayman also confirmed that he had gone for dinner with News International employees during the investigation, but denied he was ever in its "back pocket".

He said the meetings were "business-like" and that he was always accompanied by the Met's head of communications.

The dinners were before the arrests of News of the World journalists Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman, said Mr Hayman, who denied that he went into any operational details during the meetings.

Mr Hayman also defended himself against an assertion that the public would see him as a "dodgy geezer".

He quit the force in 2008 amid controversy over his expenses claims and started writing for the Sunday Times - another News International title - only two months later.

He told the committee he had always been interested in journalism and had been approached by several papers with offers of work. However, he admitted the decision to work for a Murdoch newspaper may have been "naive".

"Looking back at it, you might say they're part of the same stable", he said.

"But I just didn't see that. I was seen by the editor and deputy editor and I didn't know them from Adam."

Jan Klimkowski
07-12-2011, 06:21 PM
Since it is important and has been little reported due to historical sub judice issues, here is an American account of a key element of the Rees affair, which reveals criminality, corruption, the clear complicity of NI senior managers and the cowardice of Scotland Yard.



July 11, 2011

A Detective Alleges the News of the World Spied on Him With Impunity

The New York Times
By JO BECKER and SARAH LYALL

LONDON — On Jan. 9, 2003, Rebekah Wade, until recently the editor of The News of the World, was summoned to an unusual meeting at Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service here. Detective Superintendent David Cook, the lead investigator in a gruesome cold-case killing of a man found with an ax in his head, confronted Ms. Wade with a worrying accusation: He and his family were being followed and photographed, he said, by people hired by her newspaper.

Detective Cook said the police had evidence that one of The News of the World’s senior editors, Alex Marunchak, had ordered the illegal surveillance as a favor to two suspects in the case — Sid Fillery and Jonathan Rees, private investigators whose firm had done work for the paper. The lawyer for Mr. Cook, Mark Lewis, said in an interview that the detective believed that Mr. Fillery and Mr. Rees were seeking help in gathering evidence about Detective Cook to derail the murder inquiry.

What happened at the meeting, a less detailed account of which appeared in The Guardian, provides a window into the extraordinary coziness that long existed between the British police and The News of The World, as well as the relationship between the paper and unsavory characters in the criminal world.

None of the parties to this alliance has escaped the stain. The paper, at the center of a widening scandal over phone hacking and corruption, was shut last week by News International, its parent company, in an effort to limit the already extensive damage done to the reputation and business interests of Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation.

Scotland Yard has admitted that it accepted News International’s explanation that the hacking was the work of one rogue reporter, and that some police officers had accepted substantial payments in exchange for confidential information.

The News of the World remains the target of several criminal investigations. A number of its former editors and reporters have been arrested, including Andy Coulson, who most recently worked as the chief spokesman for Mr. Cameron, but no one has yet been formally charged. And Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he will appoint a judge to examine both the tabloid’s hacking and its close relationship with the police.

Also present for the meeting that day in 2003, said a spokesman for Scotland Yard, were Commander Andy Baker, who was Detective Cook’s boss, and Dick Fedorcio, Scotland Yard’s chief public relations officer. According to an account Detective Cook provided to Mr. Lewis and others, Ms. Wade excused the surveillance by saying that the paper’s action had been “in the public interest” — the argument British newspapers typically make to justify using underhanded or illegal methods to, say, expose affairs by public officials.

Ms. Wade said that the paper was tailing Detective Cook because it suspected him of having an affair with Jackie Haines, host of the Crimewatch television program on which he had recently appeared. In fact, the two were married to each other, as had been mentioned prominently in an article about them in the popular gossip magazine “Hello!”

Scotland Yard seems to have been satisfied with the explanation of Ms. Wade, now known as Rebekah Brooks and the chief executive of News International. Her paper’s editors and reporters had a long history with the police — paying for tips and sometimes even serving as quasi-police investigators themselves, in return for confidential information (many News of the World stories about criminal matters used to include a reference to the paper’s handing “a dossier” of its findings to Scotland Yard).

It is the closeness between the paper and the police that, it seems, led Scotland Yard to what officials have retrospectively admitted was a major misstep: the decision not to adequately pursue the initial phone-hacking investigation in 2006 and again in 2009. It was in 2006 that members of the royal household notified the police that they believed their cellphone messages were being intercepted by The News of the World.

The subsequent police “raid” at the paper consisted of rummaging through a single reporter’s desk and failing to question any other reporters or editors. Two people were subsequently jailed: Clive Goodman, The News of the World’s royal reporter, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator hired by the paper. Even when The Guardian reported that the hacking had extended far beyond the pair, and that thousands of victims might be involved, the police and the newspaper insisted repeatedly that the wrongdoing had been limited to a single “rogue” reporter.

This weekend, Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who was in charge of the initial inquiry and who in 2009 declined to reopen it, said that the police response had been inadequate. “I have regrettably said the initial inquiry was a success,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “Clearly, now it looks very different.”

After the meeting at Scotland Yard, Detective Cook left “with the impression that the meeting was arranged to placate him and let him get it off his chest, but that nothing else was going to happen,” Mr. Lewis said. “And nothing did.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that “the matter was raised at the meeting at a senior level with the relevant people, and it was dealt with.” When asked how it was dealt with, the spokesman added: “The response to those concerns was the meeting.”

But a former senior Scotland Yard official said that the tailing of Detective Cook should have prompted a full-scale inquiry. “I’m amazed that wasn’t done,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

A spokeswoman for News Corporation, the parent company of News International, said the company “had not been previously made aware of the allegation that Ms. Brooks had known about the matter but done nothing, but that they will investigate any allegations that are put to them.”

Mr. Rees and Mr. Fillery could not be reached for comment because their locations are unknown.

Through his lawyer, Paul Jonson, Mr. Marunchak denied any wrongdoing.

No one has ever been convicted in connection with Mr. Martin’s death, despite five police investigations in 24 years, in which Mr. Fillery and Mr. Rees have been repeatedly arrested and charged. The most recent case collapsed this spring.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Tom Watson, a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, said that the meeting showed the extent of the corrupt relationship between The News of the World on the one hand, and the police and the shady underworld of private investigators with criminal connections on the other.

“News International was paying people to interfere with police officers and was doing so on behalf of known criminals,” he said. (Mr. Fillery was convicted in 2003 of making indecent images of children; Mr. Rees of planting cocaine in a woman’s car to discredit her a child-custody case.)

Speaking of Ms. Brooks, he said: “Rebekah Brooks cannot deny being present at that meeting when the actions of people whom she paid were exposed. She cannot deny now being warned that under her auspices unlawful tactics were used for the purpose of interfering with the pursuit of justice.”

As for Detective Cook, it appears that he, too, was a victim of phone hacking around the same time that the paper had his house under surveillance. But Scotland Yard notified Mr. Cook only eight weeks ago that his name had been found among the papers seized in 2006 in Mr. Mulcaire’s home.

Peter Lemkin
07-12-2011, 06:52 PM
What will it take to get started a REAL and FULL investigation, with full subpeona authority, ability to compel witnesses to fully answer questions, and the ability to initiate criminal prosecutions?!?! There are SO many, MANY heads to roll....but they have [up to now] been protected or those who might investigate were so afraid or ingratiated to them, not a thing was done - oh, except looking the OTHER way! :rofl: :mexican:

Magda Hassan
07-12-2011, 09:59 PM
Meanwhile, via Zero Hedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/over-past-4-years-news-corp-generated-104-billion-profits-and-received-48-billion-taxes-irs):


Over The Past 4 Years News Corp Generated $10.4 Billion In Profits And Received $4.8 Billion In "Taxes" From The IRS

Call it the gift that keeps on giving (if one is a corporation that is): the US Tax system, so effective at extracting income tax from America's working class, is just as "effective" at redistributing said income tax at the corporate level.

Case in point: News Corp, which after generating $10.4 billion in profits over the past 4 years, and which would have been expected to pay the IRS $3.6 billion at the statutory corporate tax rate, instead received $4.6 billion back from Uncle Sam.

Bottom line: Murdoch's corporation had a cash paid tax rate of -46% between 2007 and 2010. The culrpit: two little somethings called Deferred Tax Assets and Net Operating Loss Carry-forwards.
As I write this NI accountants are writing off the loss of NOTW against the rest of the empire. Every cloud has a silver lining..... :monkeypiss:

Seamus Coogan
07-13-2011, 10:59 AM
Jan your knowledge of the Beeb and British Journalism is unmatched I'd love to get your take down on all of this and will it hit America in a big way. Oh and any body else with an opinion on it I'd love to here it.

I saw my cuz Steve Coogan going hard on it. Was inspired punditry and bloody good on him having a dig at the right wing media!

Peter Lemkin
07-13-2011, 11:19 AM
Jan's the Man on this...but I and others have already posted on this Forum how Murdoch seems to have been given his first big money and big 'start' by the CIA and their ilk. He was running a very small newspaper operation in Oz, when coincident in time with the disappearance of the Nugan-Hand Bank money, Murdoch became mysteriously rich and buying up media assets worldwide - with a noticeably Reich-Wing bent. :darthvader:

Magda Hassan
07-13-2011, 01:32 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14142307
The BSkyB bid is withdrawn by News International. So, we'll never know if Murdoch is a fit and proper person or not....:lol:

Keith Millea
07-13-2011, 04:56 PM
Finally starting to heat up in the US. :popcorn:

TAKE ACTION: Tell The Department of Justice To Investigate Rupert Murdoch (http://thinkprogress.org/media/2011/07/13/267681/take-action-tell-the-department-of-justice-to-investigate-rupert-murdoch/)

By ThinkProgress (http://thinkprogress.org/author/think-progress/) on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/rupert_murdoch_300x300.jpg

Allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation bribed police officers and tapped phones, both abroad and potentially in the U.S., may violate U.S. law. ThinkProgress has drafted a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and SEC Chair Mary L. Schapiro demanding a full and immediate investigation into any potential illegal acts by News Corporation and their subsidiaries.

You can sign onto the letter HERE (http://thinkprogress.org/murdoch-petition).

Last night, our effort was covered by Ed Schultz on MSNBC. Watch it:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=30PKhQfpCdM

The lawyer Schultz brought on to discuss the case, Mike Papantonio, said that the U.S. government had a legitimate case against News Corp under the Foreign Corrupt Practices act.


Elliot Spitzer, the former Attorney General of New York, said that it was not only possible that Murdoch’s News Corp violated U.S., the Department of Justice had an obligation to investigate (http://www.slate.com/id/2299038/):

Much more importantly, the facts already pretty well established in Britain indicate violations of American law, in particular a law called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Justice Department has been going out of its way to undertake FCPA prosecutions and investigations in recent years, and the News Corp. case presents a pretty simple test for Attorney General Eric Holder: If the department fails to open an immediate investigation into News Corp.’s violations of the FCPA, there will have been a major breach of enforcement at Justice.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has also called for an investigation (http://www.nationaljournal.com/news-corp-phone-hacking-scandal-reaches-congress-20110712).

Let the Department of Justice and the SEC know that you demand accountability for News Corp. Sign onto the letter HERE (http://thinkprogress.org/murdoch-petition).

http://thinkprogress.org/media/2011/07/13/267681/take-action-tell-the-department-of-justice-to-investigate-rupert-murdoch/

Jan Klimkowski
07-13-2011, 05:49 PM
Meanwhile, via Zero Hedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/over-past-4-years-news-corp-generated-104-billion-profits-and-received-48-billion-taxes-irs):


Over The Past 4 Years News Corp Generated $10.4 Billion In Profits And Received $4.8 Billion In "Taxes" From The IRS


As I write this NI accountants are writing off the loss of NOTW against the rest of the empire. Every cloud has a silver lining..... :monkeypiss:

A lil' more silver lining for us preterite folk:


Hedge funds have suffered one of their worst setbacks in years, losing tens of millions of pounds by betting that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation was on the verge of taking full control of BSkyB.

Short-term speculators expected to make a killing by investing in a company viewed as a prime bid target, but instead have seen shares in the satellite television company plunge.

One trader said: "It's a bloodbath out there. The hedgies have dumped their holdings and some of them will be nursing big losses."

With News Corp today bowing to political pressure by abandoning its plan to take full control of BSkyB, more selling is possible in the days ahead. Brokers estimate another 100m BSkyB shares are in the hands of "arbs," funds that specialise in opportunities presented by mergers and acquisitions.

(snip)

hedge fund Perry Capital owns a stake of 1.1% and could be sitting on paper losses that run into millions if it acquired the stock at above current levels.

Several big American hedge funds have reduced their positions in BSkyB, according to regulatory filings. Taconic Capital Advisors and Davidson Kempner European Partners LLP have been net sellers. Taconic has taken its stake down to 1.45%, while Davidson Kempner is left with 0.79%.

The British hedge fund millionaire Crispin Odey, who was once married to Rupert Murdoch's eldest daughter Prudence, sold some of his 2.4% holding last week, but has topped it up again. However, the continuing decline in BSkyB's share price means Odey's paper loss is estimated to exceed £3m.

A spokesman for Odey said the group had owned BSkyB stock for about 10 years, and described the share price fall as "nothing. It was 550p a year ago."

Hedge funds had expected their investments to rise in value, because they anticipated News Corp's bid for the 61% of BSkyB it does not already own would be cleared by ministers.

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/13/phone-hacking-scandal-hits-hedge-funds)

Jan Klimkowski
07-13-2011, 05:53 PM
Now we're Smokin' the Good Stuff.... :rasta:


News International accused of dealings with 'rogue' intelligence agents

Labour MP Tom Watson asks David Cameron if phone-hacking inquiry will examine alleged MI5 and MI6 links to scandal

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/13/news-international-rogue-intelligence-agents), Wednesday 13 July 2011 16.38 BST

MI6 and MI5 were drawn into the phone hacking scandal when News International executives were accused in parliament of having close dealings with "rogue" members of the intelligence services.

David Cameron said the inquiry into hacking would be free to examine the allegations made in the Commons by Tom Watson, the former Labour defence minister who has campaigned against phone hacking.

Watson said: "Can I ask the prime minister would he allow Lord Leveson [who will be leading the inquiry] access to the intelligence services as well? At the murkier ends of this scandal there are allegations that rogue elements in the intelligence services had very close dealings with executives at News International. We need to get to the bottom of that."

Cameron replied: "The judge can take the inquiry in any direction the evidence leads him. He [Watson], like others, is free to make submissions to this inquiry and to point out evidence and to point out conclusions from that evidence and ask the inquiry to follow that."

Watson praised Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg for agreeing the terms of the inquiry. He said: "If these measures are carried out, I think some good might come out of evil. I find myself in the slightly embarrassing position of being able to commend all three party leaders for coming together to make sure this happened. So thank you."

Earlier, he had asked the prime minister to investigate whether the phones of victims of the 9/11 attacks had been targeted by News International. He said: "The debate this afternoon will be vital because it shows the house will be united in its revulsion at what was done to Milly Dowler's family. But could I ask the prime minister to make urgent inquiries as to whether families of the victims of 9/11 were similarly targeted by the criminals of News International? If they were will he raise it with his counterparts in the United States?"

Cameron said: "I will certainly look at that."

Ed Jewett
07-13-2011, 06:02 PM
Is News Corp Finished - Senator Rockefeller Tells Feds to Investigate Fox Hacking of 9/11 Victims

July 13th, 2011


There are some crimes so universally offensive that even mentioning the suspected crime has devastating effects. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) raised just such a question yesterday. In a brief press statement, the Senator said:

"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals - including children - is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics. This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated. I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe." Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, July 12 (Image: NASA)

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has used voicemail hacking and other forms of privacy intrusion in the United Kingdom as far back as 2002. The goal is to get the most intimate insider information, stay ahead of the news cycle, and beat the competition. Where better to get information than the voicemails and other electronic data belonging to those in the news. The News of the World, Murdoch's flagship paper, hacked the voicemails of a kidnapped 12 year old, the widows of fallen soldiers, and even the powerful. In 2006, the Murdoch papers invaded the private medical records of former Labour Party leader Gordon Brown.

A July 4 article by Nick Davies of the Guardian ignited the most recent focus on illegal actions by the Murdoch papers with the revelation about the phone hack of the 12 year old kidnapping-murder victim, Milly Fowler. The outrage and subsequent revelations have laid waste to News Corporations plans for the total acquisition of a highly successful pay per view entertainment network, BSkyB.

Rockefeller’s statement comes just five days after reports by London’s Daily Mirror claiming that a Murdoch UK paper sought hacking services targeting the phone traffic and voicemails of 9/11 victims. Davida Collins of the Mirror wrote:

“This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their relatives.” Daily Mirror, July 7

The yet to be verified source said that the investigator making the inquires was particularly interested in the phone data on British 9/11 victims.

John Del Signore of The Gothamist said this of the Mirror’s reporting: “Of course, this has only been reported in The Mirror, which is reveling in its rival's downfall, and eager to see Murdoch's bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting go down in flames.”

Senator Rockefeller is a long standing member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and was its chairman from 2007 through 2009. It’s not likely that he relied on the Daily Mirror newspaper to form the basis for his concerns. It is highly unlikely that Rockefeller issued this brief but potent release without some evidence that the charges have merit. At this point, the Senator is just asking questions, in a public and very pointed way.

Rockefeller is not known for grandstanding or histrionics, although he can be very forthright at times. He chaired the Senate intelligence committee when it released a report on intelligence before the Iraq invasion, Rockefeller said:

“In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.” Senate Intelligence Committee Unveils Final Phase II Reports on Prewar Iraq Intelligence June 5, 2008

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse! Richard III

Murdoch will need more than a horse to retreat from the bloody battlefield that he created of his own free will. During the just ten days following the explosive Guardian report on phone hacking by Murdoch’s News of the World, he has sustained repeated attacks on his UK media properties, pending deals, and his personal integrity. Now a senior, well connected US Senator is questioning his integrity.

Last week, the man Murdoch helped elect Prime Minister, David Cameron, indirectly defended Murdoch, then abandon him yesterday. PM Cameron took just two days to agree with the July 7 motion in Parliament to oppose Murdoch’s “must have” acquisition of pay cable giant BSkyB. The PM’s surrender is all the more significant since it was put forward by his harshest critic, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.

All the while, the evidence of sleazy and scandalous behavior of the Murdoch papers has expanded geometrically.

Rockefeller’s statement is the harbinger of corporate death. Every time a real reporter is within shouting distance of Murdoch, the questions will be asked

"Mr. Murdoch, sir:"

Did you hack the phones or other media of 9/11 victims?

How many?

What possessed you to do that?

How many other invasions of privacy have the foot soldiers for your media empire conducted?

Is anyone safe from the spying of News Corporation?

Murdoch’s answers matter less than the fact that Senator Rockefeller's statement opens the door to devastating inquiries. Increasingly, Murdoch will be seen as a toxic entity, someone requiring great distance, a Uriah Heep of the corporate elite. He’s simply not bankable anymore or fit for civil company.

But at long last, Murdoch has no shame. That requires a moral center, a set of beliefs consistent with the importance and integrity of civil discourse and governance.

Murdoch has inflicted great pain on the world and never flinched, never apologized. He is, after all, the owner of Fox News. Murdoch worked hand in hand with former President George W. Bush to justify the invasion of Iraq. Many who believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks got that information from the drumbeat of misinformation provided by Murdoch’s US media outlets.

The war cost lives, caused suffering, and has a lot to do with bankrupting the nation. It also cost the lives of a million Iraqi civilians who died in the civil strife directly caused by the war.

Murdoch never apologized for his central role of supporting the Iraq invasion or for the needless death and carnage that followed. Why would he apologize for hacking phones to invade the lives of innocent citizens caught in a big news story or those at the top of society and politics. His character is now his destiny.

END

This article may be reproduced entirely or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/07/13/is-news-corp-finished-senator-rockefelle

Ed Jewett
07-13-2011, 06:16 PM
Why Would Rupert Murdoch Want Victims' Pre-9/11 Phone Records?

http://wtcdemolition.com/blog/node/3266

Jan Klimkowski
07-13-2011, 06:30 PM
There's wheat and there's chaff and there's geopolitics.....

It's possible that the Murdoch crime family, and its consigliere such as Les Hinton and Rebekah Wade/Brooks, may soon be sleeping with the fishes. Or at least smelling like them.

There are also intelligence and elite interests at play here.

The Murdoch crime family are hired guns. High profile Facilitators with access to newsrooms and garages and lockups full of Mechanics.

Who is turning the screw in the USofA?

Well, one Senator Jay Rockefeller.

This is a deep political signal.


Is News Corp Finished - Senator Rockefeller Tells Feds to Investigate Fox Hacking of 9/11 Victims

July 13th, 2011


There are some crimes so universally offensive that even mentioning the suspected crime has devastating effects. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) raised just such a question yesterday. In a brief press statement, the Senator said:

"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals - including children - is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics. This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated. I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe." Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, July 12 (Image: NASA)

Peter Lemkin
07-13-2011, 06:52 PM
Why would the photo of Sen. Rockefeller be by NASA....now that is deep?! :popworm:
News Corp has its hidden [not very] connections to the world of intel and things Deeply Political, for sure! This entire 'drama' is now going to be played by many hidden players as a poker game....with the 'stakes' the lives of, and propaganda lines dolled out to we plebs. :happydrinks:

I hear there were also calls for investigations of Murdoch holdings and goings-on in OZ! That makes three so far. Little known is that he has many in Asia too...as well as elsewhere.

Magda Hassan
07-14-2011, 01:32 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1P6KUyOhBc
Scouse = Some one from Liverpool. (for the non UK readers) And a reference to the appalling Murdoch press coverage of the Hillside football stadium disaster.

Seamus Coogan
07-14-2011, 06:46 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1P6KUyOhBc
Scouse = Some one from Liverpool. (for the non UK readers) And a reference to the appalling Murdoch press coverage of the Hillside football stadium disaster.

On yah digger being a huge Liverpool fan I had to appreiciate it. And despite the rivalry I freaking dig Everton as well. Just aint had as much luck but I cheer them on against anyone else bar the Pool. Excellent!!!

Magda Hassan
07-14-2011, 08:00 AM
I hear there were also calls for investigations of Murdoch holdings and goings-on in OZ! That makes three so far. Little known is that he has many in Asia too...as well as elsewhere.
Yes, there has been a call for an investigation into media relations and regulation here by Senator Bob Brown (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-14/bob-brown-on-murdoch-scandal-am/2794264). He is a from the Green Party and they along with some independents currently hold the balance of power. Also Julia Gillard the prime Minister, gave one of her best speeches today at the National Press Club. She told the journos that they "Stop writing crap it's not that hard" and got huge applause from all the journos in attendance.

It is big here not so much because of the hacking, which I am sure has happened here as well but because the shadow of Murdoch is so long here and it is hard to believe that his omnipotence and omnipresence may be about to come to an end. It is surreal. Unbelievable. And totally wonderful. :jumpingjoy:

Jan Klimkowski
07-14-2011, 04:14 PM
Look what the cat dragged in:


Phone hacking: former NoW executive editor Neil Wallis arrested in London

Neil Wallis taken for questioning at local police station, the ninth person to be arrested over phone hacking at News of the World

Neil Wallis (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/14/phone-hacking-60-year-old-arrested), the former News of the World executive editor, has become the ninth person to be arrested over alleged phone hacking and payments to police officers by the paper.

Detectives from Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan police investigation into mobile interceptions by News International, are understood to have raided an address in west London on Thursday.

Wallis was taken for questioning at a local police station on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

He is the ninth arrest Scotland Yard has made since the fresh investigation into phone hacking was launched in January.

A Scotland Yard statement confirmed the arrest was carried out at 6.30am. "The man is currently in custody at a west London police station," the Met said. "It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details at this time."

Wallis joined the News of the World from the People in 2003 as deputy to then editor Andy Coulson. In mid-2007 he became executive editor and left the News International title in 2009. He is now a senior consultant at PR firm Outside Organisation.

Coulson and former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman, who was jailed in January 2007 for intercepting the voicemail messages of members of the royal household, were arrested and bailed on Friday as part of Operation Weeting and Operation Elveden, the separate Scotland Yard investigation into alleged illegal payments to police officers.

Coulson resigned as NoW editor in January 2007 after Goodman was jailed, saying he accepted responsibility. He has always maintained that he was unaware of phone hacking at the paper.

On the same day a 63-year-old man, who has not been named, was arrested and bailed as part of the phone hacking and police payments investigations.

The others arrested and bailed as part of Operation Weeting are Laura Elston, Press Association's royal correspondent, freelance journalist Terenia Taras, senior News of the World journalists James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck, and former NoW assistant editor (news) Ian Edmondson.

Precisely who did Neil Wallis serve as a consultant to?

Metropolitan Police Chief Officers, including Asst Commissioner John Yates.


Scotland Yard have admitted they employed Neil Wallis, the former executive at the News of the World who was arrested today in the phone hacking inquiry, as an adviser to the commissioner until September of last year

Vikram Dodd, our crime correspondent, reports.

Wallis was employed to advise Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates on a part-time basis from October 2009 to September 2010. During this time Scotland Yard said there was no need to reopen the phone hacking investigation, a decision made by Yates, despite allegations in the Guardian that the first police investigation into the scandal had been inadequate.

Wallis joined the News of the World from in 2003 as deputy to then editor Andy Coulson. In mid-2007 he became executive editor and left the News International title in 2009.

Police say he supplied "strategic communications advice", and the Met said his company was chosen because it offered to do the work for the lowest price.

Relations between senior Met officers and the News of the World senior executives have been under scrutiny recently.

In September 2006, the then deputy commissioner, Paul Stephenson, accompanied by the Yard's head PR man, Dick Fedorcio, dined with Wallis, then the News of the World's deputy editor. This was only a month after Yard officers had arrested the paper's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and at a time when detectives were still attempting to investigate whether other journalists or executives were involved in the interception of voicemail messages. In theory, Mr Wallis was a potential suspect in the inquiry.

In a statement Scotland Yard said: "Chamy Media, owned by Neil Wallis, former Executive Editor of the News of the World, was appointed to provide strategic communication advice and support to the MPS, including advice on speech writing and PR activity, while the Met's
Deputy Director of Public Affairs was on extended sick leave recovering from a serious illness.

"In line with MPS/MPA procurement procedures, three relevant companies were invited to provide costings for this service on the basis of two days per month. Chamy Media were appointed as they were significantly cheaper than the others. The contract ran from October 2009 until September 2010, when it was terminated by mutual consent.

"The commissioner has made the chair of the police authority aware of this contract."

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2011/jul/14/phone-hacking-scandal-live-coverage)

Jan Klimkowski
07-14-2011, 05:08 PM
Last night, watching BBC2's Newsnight, I briefly stirred from slumber when their film used first hand insider sources (unidentified) to reveal how Met Police corruption went down.

The problem for any rozzer seeking to sell information to a hack is the electronic audit trail. Every key stroke on a police computer is recorded and can be accessed retrospectively by Professional Standards/Internal Affairs cops.

So, how did these corrupt cops get round the electronic audit trail?

Allegedly, they set the NOTW hacks up as Confidential Informants. This automatically took all activity outside all standard electronic audit.

If this allegation is true - again, that Met Police officers set up NOTW journalists as Confidential Informants (ie protected intelligence sources) - then the Met is in deep deep trouble.

The more humorous colour is that the payments would often take place in a drive-thru McDonalds near Wapping, where the cash would be handed over in a brown paper bag over a Royale with Cheese.

Some things change.

Some things stay the same.

I am reliably informed that, in most British police forces, approval to set up and run a Confidential Informant can only be granted by an officer of Detective Inspector rank or above.

If this is correct, the corruption must involve senior officers.

Jan Klimkowski
07-14-2011, 05:50 PM
Sniff... sniff sniff...

It smells rotten.... the corpse of an innocent being pecked... flayed... traduced... for deep political ends.


Here's the letter from the Menezes family to David Cameron and ccd to Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, and Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee. The letter calls upon the PM to extend the remit to the inquiry into the phone hacking scandal to scrutinise whether police officers involved in the Menezes investigation were leaking information to the press, either for financial benefit or in an effort to defend the reputation of the Metropolitan police.

In the letter, the family say the telephone number of a member of the Menezes family was found on the phone hacking list of the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. The family's legal team have now submitted the names and telephone numbers of others who may have been potential targets of illegal phone hacking by Mulcaire on behalf of News of the World, including other relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, representatives from the Justice4Jean campaign and members of their legal team.

The family say they have a "deep concern" about the relationship between Andy Hayman, the now-retired police officer in charge of the first phone hacking inquiry, and News International. Since leaving the police, Hayman has written for the Times, which is owned by NI.

The Menezes family point to the significant number of leaks relating to the Menezes case that appear to come from police sources and call on Cameron to do everything within his power to ensure that this issue is thoroughly investigated.

A spokesperson for Justice4Jean said:

The Menezes family are deeply pained and to find their phones may have been hacked at a time at which they were at their most vulnerable and bereaved. They are bewildered as to why the police did not approach them with this information earlier, and fear the police may be attempting to cover up their own wrongdoing once more relating to this case.

Here is the text of their letter:

Dear Mr Cameron,

Re: News International phone hacking and relationship with the police

We are writing to you to express our deep concern about reports exposing the relationship between Andy Hayman and News International and how this may relate to the media coverage and investigation into the death of our cousin, Jean Charles de Menezes, after his death on 22 July 2005.

Our lawyers have contacted officers involved in Operation Weeting who confirmed yesterday that the phone number of Alex Pereira, one of Jean Charles's cousins, was found on the phone hacking list of the private investigator Glen Mulcaire. Our legal team have now submitted the names and telephone numbers of others who may have been potential targets of illegal phone hacking by Mulcaire on behalf of News of the World, including other relatives, representatives from the Justice4Jean campaign and members of the legal team. We are currently awaiting information from the police to confirm whether any of these numbers appear on the list and whether there is evidence that their voicemail messages were hacked.

Should this be the case, it would present an egregious and unwarranted intrusion of privacy into the lives of our grieving family and a deliberate attempt to curtail our fundamental right to seek redress for the unlawful killing of our cousin. With the sixth anniversary of Jean's death approaching next week, we write to urge you to do everything within your power to ensure the police swiftly investigate this sensitive matter and report back to our legal team as quickly as possible.

We would also like to draw your attention to another aspect of the investigation of our cousin's death, which we believe warrants further attention. In the Independent Police Complaints Commission's 'Stockwell 2' investigation, the practice of police 'off the record briefings' to the media was scrutinised and the IPCC found that Andy Hayman had deliberately 'misled the public' over claims that person who had been shot dead by the police on 22 July 2005 was one of the four men who were being sought in connection with the attempted bombings of the previous day.

Recent coverage of the police's role in investigating allegations of phone hacking, including Mr Hayman's evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, have highlighted his close relationship with News International, including potential financial links. We are conscious that the newspapers owned by News International provided some of the most virulent and often misleading coverage around Jean's death and its aftermath.

Throughout the investigation, misinformation continued to be leaked to the press that attempted to besmirch Jean's character. The publication of these lies about his actions on the day of the shooting included false allegations that Jean Charles was wearing a bulky jacket, had failed to stop after a police warning, had jumped the ticket barriers or had acted suspiciously in the moments leading up to his shooting. They also related to untrue allegations about his immigration status and even attempts to link him to a rape allegation that could only have emanated from police sources.

There was also a conscious attempt to smear the Justice4Jean campaign by attacking individuals involved in supporting the Menezes family. Considering what is now known about Andy Hayman's relationship with News International, we would like the inquiry into this scandal to extend its remit to scrutinise whether police officers involved in the Menezes investigation were leaking information to the press, either for financial benefit or in a vain effort to deflect criticism from the actions of the Metropolitan Police which had led to Jeans death.

These issues are of extreme importance to our family, whilst the accountability of the police and how politically sensitive criminal investigations are reported in the media are clearly a matter of public interest. We hope you will take these issues forward on our behalf.

Yours sincerely

Patricia da Silva Armani, cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes
Vivian Figueiredo, cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes
Alessandro Pereira, cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes

Cc – Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Rt Hon, Keith Vaz MP

12.53pm: Yasmin Khan, a spokeswoman for the Justice4Jean campaign, told the Guardian's Sam Jones that they had recently discovered that Glenn Mulcaire's list included the phone number of Jean-Charles's cousin, Alex Pereira:

We were told yesterday. We approached police last week and they got back to us yesterday with Alex's number and told us to submit the numbers of family members and members of the campaign.

Jan Klimkowski
07-14-2011, 06:04 PM
Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch calls in PR firm Edelman (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/14/phone-hacking-rupert-murdoch)
PR company will report directly to general manager of News International

Sourcewatch (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Daniel_J._Edelman,_Inc.) on Edelman.

Peter Lemkin
07-14-2011, 06:31 PM
Edelman and the tobacco industry

In 1987, Daniel Edelman produced a plan for INFOTAB, the international tobacco industry group made up of the major worldwide tobacco companies and their associated trade organizations.

Perceiving a major threat from the secondhand smoke issue, the global tobacco companies realized that they lacked coordination among themselves, and that they would need to coordinate to uniformly fight public health efforts which were increasing around the world. Thus they formed INFOTAB. According to industry documents, the goals of INFOTAB were to establish an "early warning" system for anti-smoking initiatives worldwide, to "track activities of pressure groups and international consumer unions" and "to take industry programs to the grass roots and municipal levels" to help the industry to prevail over public health. Edelman prepared a presentation for INFOTAB on how the tobacco industry could mount a coordinated, international campaign to fight the secondhand smoke issue around the world. The document is titled INFOTAB ETS Project: The Overall Plan

A 1978 R.J. Reynolds document produced by Edelman Public Relations company, proposes Reynolds begin a comprehensive public relations effort to "slow or reverse the growing negative trends in public opinion regarding smoking." Edelman proposes a number of tactics including a "press event on the passive smoking issue," "a whimsical feature [publication] which seeks to bring out the humor of the smoker vs. non-smoker conflict," "excerpts from some leading civil libertarians and editorialists on the 'freedom' issue," a courteous-smoking appeal to smokers, a "Traveling Etiquette Spokesperson," production of a film on "Smoker and the Non-smoker" that would address "issues that divide them other than the primary health issue," and a Smokers' News Bureau based in New York that would "generate news stories...showing that smoking is not as annoying to the nonsmoker as is widely perceived." Edelman also proposes commissioning a survey by a "nationally famous research organization" that would poll people on the "degree of annoyance of a whole range of obnoxious habits--i.e., body odor, bad breath, whiskey breath, loud talkers, foul language, sneezing, uncurbed dogs, etc. " Edelman says, "The survey would include smoking, but our sense it that it will show that smoking is relatively insignificant as an annoyance compared with scores of other personal practices, against which there are no organized efforts."

Edelman notes that surveys done by both companies (RJR and Edelman) showed that "the smoker himself has no pride, feels guilty, ashamed, is not willing to defend or describe the pleasure he gets from smoking." Edelman seeks to correct this by undertaking a campaign to associate smokers with "elegance, style, class, and intellectual responsibility -- personality traits that can give him pride."

This document, titled Taking the Initiative on Smoking: A Total Program shows how the tobacco industry sought to minimize the health dangers associated with primary and secondhand smoke exposure, and reinforce the social acceptability of smoking, even as public health efforts were ongoing to discourage smoking.

Jan Klimkowski
07-15-2011, 06:46 PM
So today's sizzling soaraway sins of the Murdoch Empire include:

1) the resignation of Rebekah Wade/Brooks:

a) presumably she wrote her own resignation letter, without any help, 'cos the flame-haired one opined that "her desire to remain on the bridge.... is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past." Presumably she meant "distracting". Perhaps she could consider rehiring some of those sub-editors she fired;

b) Wade/Brooks still maintains she didn't know what was happening when it was happening, so her "apology" is heavily qualified:

"As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place,"

"what we now know" - disgraceful evasion;

c) followed by the truly delusional: "The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.... "

Press freedoms are at risk precisely because of the criminality and corruption of NI organs.

d) then the snivelling: "As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive."

No chance.


2) the senile megalomania of Rupert Murdoch continues to flourish in his onanistic interview with his own organ, the Wall Street Journal

a) Murdoch claimed the company has handled the crisis "extremely well in every possible way", making only "minor mistakes".

He must be taking PR company Edelman's advice that "Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie".

b) "When I hear something going wrong I insist on it being put right."

To which I can only respond :rofl::rofl::rofl:

c) Murdoch said he would use his appearance before the Commons culture, media and sport committee next Tuesday to challenge "some of the things that have been said in parliament, some of which are total lies".

The man's either a fool or incompetent. Senile megalomania in full bloom;


3) Murdoch has now met the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler

a)
Rupert Murdoch has made a "full and humble" apology to the family of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler at a private meeting held at a central London hotel.

The global head of News Corporation "held his head in his hands" and repeatedly told the family he was "very, very sorry", according to the Dowlers' lawyer Mark Lewis.

Milly Dowler died in 2002. Only this morning, Murdoch was playing with his WSJ organ and talking of only having made "minor mistakes" in the handling of the crisis;

b)
Murdoch had called the meeting at which Milly Dowler's parents Sally and Bob and her sister Gemma had told Murdoch his newspapers "should lead the way to set the standard of honesty and decency in the field and not what had gone on before".

Murdoch had replied that the News of the World's actions were "not the standard set by his father, a respected journalist, not the standard set by his mother".

Perhaps the old man is preparing to meet his maker.

At best, self-pitying tears years too late.

At worst, a cynical PR exercise as his empire continues to implode.

Peter Lemkin
07-15-2011, 07:19 PM
What she looses on morality, she makes up for with her hair...the only redeeming quality I've yet to see about her. I can't wait to hear how things go Tuesday...but fear it will be solicitors whispering in their ears and the trio saying how sorry they are they can't answer that question because of ....blah...blah....blah....

:pointlaugh::pointlaugh::pointlaugh: They were only signing off on BIG bucks to investigators/police/criminal hackers and who knows who else - without any idea what that was all about! Our hands and hearts are clean as a vestal virgin, honest Gov'!

Hang 'em high! :monkeypiss: Maybe a new tourist attraction at the Tower Of London...with some real prisoners, again.

Jan Klimkowski
07-15-2011, 07:49 PM
Oh my.

Scotland Yard's finest told The Guardian their story was wrong, investigative journalist Nick Davies was out of line, and the newspaper should back off.

Scotland Yard's finest failed to declare that they were being advised by former NOTW exec Neil "Wolfman" Wallis at the time. The rozzers were paying the Wolfman £1000 per day for his "PR advice". A ridiculous and disproportionate sum.

The Wolfman was arrested yesterday (see previous page in this thread).

The editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, has now written to Scotland Yard demanding answers. His letter can be seen in full here. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/interactive/2011/jul/15/letter-from-the-guardian-to-dick-fedorcio)



Phone hacking: Met police put pressure on Guardian over coverage

Top officers told the Guardian its stories were exaggerated without revealing they had hired former NoW deputy editor

Scotland Yard's most senior officers tried to convince the Guardian during two private meetings that its coverage of phone hacking was exaggerated and incorrect without revealing they had hired Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, as an adviser.

The first meeting in December 2009, which included the Metropolitan police commissioner Paul Stephenson, was two months after Wallis was employed by the Yard as a public relations consultant.

Wallis, 60, who was deputy to Andy Coulson, the NoW editor at the time of the phone hacking, was arrested on Thursday as part of Operation Weeting. Coulson has also been arrested and bailed.

Theresa May, the home secretary, has referred Scotland Yard's hiring of Wallis to the judicial inquiry on phone hacking which will be chaired by Lord Justice Leveson.

During the meetings in December 2009 and February 2010, which also involved the assistant commissioner John Yates and the force's director of public affairs, Dick Fedorcio, the senior officers said articles written by Nick Davies about phone hacking were incorrect, inaccurate and wrongly implied the force was "party to a conspiracy".

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, has written to Fedorcio about failing to mention that the Yard was being advised by Coulson's former deputy.

In the letter Rusbridger wrote: "Paul Stephenson and you came in to meet me and Paul Johnson [deputy editor] in my office on 10 December 2009. Among the things we discussed was the commissioner's strong feeling that Nick Davies's coverage of phone hacking was overegged and incorrect.


"In February 2010 you wrote to me complaining that another Nick Davies story 'once again presents an inaccurate position from our perspective and continues to imply this case has not been handled properly and we are party to a conspiracy' ... You suggested a follow-up meeting with Assistant Commissioner John Yates.

"That meeting took place on 19 February. John Yates also tried to persuade us that Nick's doggedness and persistence in pursuing the story was misplaced."

The letter ends with Rusbridger posing five questions to the Met: "Why did you not think it appropriate to tell me at the time of these meetings that you, Paul and John were being advised by Coulson's former deputy?

"What advice did he give you about the coverage of phone hacking?

"Was Wallis consulted in advance of these meetings or subsequently informed of the nature or contents of our discussions?

"Why did you think it was appropriate to hire Wallis, given his closeness to events which the Guardian and other media organisations were reporting at the time?

"What conversations – formal or informal – did you, Paul or John have with Wallis about the subject of the NoW and phone hacking during the period he was working?"

Fedorcio, who has held his post since 1997, has been invited to testify before MPs on the home affairs committee on Tuesday.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said it could not comment on why it did not mention Wallis's employment in the private meetings at the Guardian. Because of the judicial inquiry, it would not comment on why it was thought appropriate to hire Wallis, nor could it comment on any formal or informal conversations Stephenson or Yates had with the former Murdoch executive while he worked part-time at the Yard.

The spokesman denied that Wallis had been consulted about phone hacking or gave any advice about it, in their first on-the-record denial: "He was not involved in any operational activity and that includes giving any advice on phone hacking."

Source (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/15/phone-hacking-met-police-guardian).

Jan Klimkowski
07-15-2011, 08:32 PM
Now Les Hinton, known in the industry as "Rupert Murdoch's representative on earth", has resigned.

Hinton and Brooks, a pair of consigliere, gone on the same day!!!!

KAAAAAAAAAAABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! :dancingman::kraka:

Peter Lemkin
07-15-2011, 09:18 PM
Now Les Hinton, known in the industry as "Rupert Murdoch's representative on earth", has resigned.

Hinton and Brooks, a pair of consigliere, gone on the same day!!!!

KAAAAAAAAAAABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! :dancingman::kraka:

Amazing! Hinton was with him for something like 50 years....and did not give any reason why....must of felt guilty 'bout som'in :nono: The rats are leaving the sinking ship!

Ol Mr. MurDOCK now even has HOMELAND SECURITY doing an investigation of him and his Empire! :poketongue: Somehow, I just can't imagine he'll get on some no-fly list though......or have to have a grope-exam at airports...but if he DID spy on 911 victims - that man's in trouble...that starts with T, which rhymes with HeeHeeHee:danceing:

Magda Hassan
07-16-2011, 08:20 AM
Murdoch mouth piece tells us to shut up and get used to it and just move on, the mantra of the criminals.

Fox And Friends Defends News Corp’s Hacking Scandal: ‘We Should Move On’ (http://thinkprogress.org/media/2011/07/15/270344/fox-news-defends-news-corp/)

By Alex Seitz-Wald (http://thinkprogress.org/author/alex-seitz-wald/) on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:30 am
http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/FoxFriends.jpg Fox News finally addressed their parent company’s hacking scandal head on this morning, with Fox and Friends launching a comically sycophantic and pathetically inaccurate defense of News Corp. Host Steve Doocy and guest Robert Dilenschneider, a media consultant (http://www.dilenschneider.com/principals.php), agreed News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has done “all the right things” and argued that the scandal is way overblown. “For some reason, the public, the media, keep going over this, again, and again, and again” the guest said. “It’s too much,” he added, “We should move on.” Doocy agreed, scolding the media for not devoting its time to covering more important issues. (His show later featured a segment (http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-friends/index.html#/v/1056243375001/the-movie-star-and-the-marine/?playlist_id=86912) on actress Mila Kunis and a performance by second-tier boy band Lifehouse, popular in 2001.)
But their defense of News Corp. really got embarrassing when Dilenschneider and Doocy engaged in some stunning subject/object slight of hand, comparing News Corp. to companies that have been hacked, while failing to note it was News Corp. that did the hacking in this case. “We know it’s a hacking scandal, shouldn’t we get beyond it and deal with the issue of hacking? We have a serious hacking problem in this country,” Dilenschneider reminded us. Listing several companies like CitiGroup that “have been hacked into,” Dilenschneider asked, “Are they getting the same kind of attention for hacking that took place less than a year ago that News Corp is getting today?” “Right,” Doocy said, before noting the Pentagon was also recently hacked. Watch it:
Prior to this morning, Fox News has done a fairly decent job of covering its parent company’s hacking scandal, giving the story just enough (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2011/07/fox-news-has-only-mentioned-news-corps-scandal-four-times/39937/) coverage to avoid being accused of ignoring it. According to a Media Matters report, while the network mentioned the story far less than CNN or MSNBC (http://mediamatters.org/research/201107140013#.Th8Muj9HfI4.twitter), it did cover it 30 times in the past two weeks and has generally disclosed its relation to News Corp. But this seems to be the first time the network has offered a vigorous defense of the company.
“It’s really very, very scary, and I think we should be very concerned as a public about our privacy and about people getting access to what we have,” Dilenschneider added. Indeed, starting with News Corp.

Jan Klimkowski
07-16-2011, 10:13 AM
Murdoch mouth piece tells us to shut up and get used to it and just move on, the mantra of the criminals.


Absolutely. I've lost count of the times war criminals like Tony Blair told us to "move on" when he caught lying or cheating.

Good to see Faux News finally covering this in their patented "fair and balanced" fashion. :gossip:

Jan Klimkowski
07-16-2011, 10:37 AM
So, what precisely happened to the Murdoch empire on Friday July 15?

In an article published on Friday morning, Rupert intoned to his organ, the Wall Street Journal, that only "minor mistakes" had been made by his empire.

Then, suddenly, later on Friday morning, we saw a handbrake turn. A 180 degrees reversal.

Murdoch family lovechild and consigliere, Rebekah Brooks, for whom an entire newspaper and its staff were sacrificed, resigns.

Rupert meets the family of Milly Dowler and apologizes allegedly with "head in hands" in a hotel room.

Then, surrounded by suited goons on the steps of a hotel, the Don talks for a few seconds about how "he's the father of the company" and how it has fallen from the standards of integrity he demands.

Finally, the most senior Murdoch crime family consigliere, Les Hinton, resigns.

Murdoch empire organ, The Times, declares it a "day of atonement".

What happened? What caused this complete reversal of strategy?

On Thursday, Murdoch hired PR company Edelman, whose former clients include Big Tobacco.

Edelman's head honcho has been quoted (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Daniel_J._Edelman,_Inc.) as saying: "Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie."

I strongly suspect that Edelman told Murdoch that Brooks and Hinton had to resign or be fired as they either knew, or should have known, about the crimes and corruption. They were either guilty or incompetent and had to be sacrificed to protect Rupert and James.

I also suspect that Edelman told Murdoch that he was insane if he thought talk of "minor mistakes" was going to cut it. Instead, they sent Rupert out to apologize to the victims of Murdoch empire crimes.

The line about Rupert being "the father of the company" who will restore its values is precisely the kind of shit PR companies like Edelman are paid ridiculous sums of money to construct.

The "atonement" is all PR bullshit as the Don tries to ensure his family's empire doesn't crumble to dust.

-----------------

PS it has been reported that Rebekah Wade/Brooks received a payoff over £3 million....

Peter Lemkin
07-16-2011, 10:49 AM
PS it has been reported that Rebekah Wade/Brooks received a payoff over £3 million....

DAMN!, I'd resign and admit to all kinds of things I've never done for half of that! :what: But methinks that was less 'thanks' and more buying her silence and fidelity, when needed. [That will start Tuesday - and go on for a LONG time!...... :rofl:

Jan Klimkowski
07-16-2011, 06:04 PM
Some Murdoch family gossip in the Daily Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8641599/Phone-hacking-Rupert-Murdochs-media-empire-explodes.html).

Not to be taken at face value.

However, Rupert did look like "an old 80" in the brief clips I saw yesterday.

The sibling squabbling sounds plausible too.


The family's control over News Corporation, the world's second-biggest media company, can no longer be taken for granted. The fissures that have characterised relations between Murdoch and the three of his six children who have at different times aspired to succeed him are reopening.

"This is implosion time," says Michael Wolff, Murdoch's biographer. "Rupert has lost his way. He doesn't have any more friends. Rupert has run his business with a particular currency: that he could use his newspapers to reward you or punish you. He doesn't have that power any more, and without it he doesn't have any currency, so from a power point of view he is bankrupt."

(snip)

Sources in News Corporation say the game is up for James in terms of succeeding his father as its head. The lack of faith displayed by father in son was obvious in a leader in yesterday's edition of The Times, part of the News International stable. In an extraordinary attack on its own chairman, the newspaper criticised James's offer to give evidence before the select committee in mid August, during the parliamentary recess, as "unnecessarily provocative".

The leader is said to have been inspired by Rupert, whose initial refusal to attend is condemned in softer terms. Murdoch junior is also facing calls to step down as chairman of BSkyB. The scandal has scuttled a bid by News Corporation to buy up the 61 per cent of shares in the satellite broadcaster not under its control.

"James is essentially out of business," says Wolff. "He cannot run the company, he is no longer the heir."

(snip)

Elisabeth and her second husband, the public relations man Matthew Freud, have often been described as friends of Mrs Brooks, but it is understood that Miss Murdoch was less than happy at the attention lavished by her father on the executive. Mr Freud denies any such friction, describing a report that his wife railed against Mrs Brooks as having "f----- the company" as "untrue" and "placed with malicious intent".

Elisabeth is said by a source at News International to have resented her father's tendency to favour her brothers in business, despite her being older. Like Lachlan, James and Prudence, Mr Murdoch's daughter from his first marriage, Elisabeth was granted $150 million in cash and shares by her father. The four share voting rights in the family trust, a privilege not extended to their father's two young daughters by his third wife, Wendi Deng.

Elisabeth is now being touted as the new heir to the News Corporation throne. Asked how the Murdochs were bearing up, Mr Freud texted The Daily Telegraph: "They are bearing up pretty well. Tough time but they have always been attacked and always pushed through. This battle perhaps not as righteous as the others!"

In addition to the select committee hearing, the Murdochs' interests in Britain are threatened by a wide-ranging police investigation and a judicial inquiry. But the ultimate threat lies in America. Could the Murdochs be ousted from the company that controls the Fox Network, 20th Century Fox Studios and the Dow Jones group?

Sam Hart, media analyst at the brokerage Charles Stanley, says: "Obviously the Murdochs will take into consideration what their large shareholders say. Until 10 days ago everybody was assuming that Rupert Murdoch's successor was going to be James. Whether he does take control now depends on the criminal investigation, and whether there is evidence that criminality went further up News Corp than seems to be the case."

(snip)

"The opinion in the US is there's no way he (Murdoch) couldn't have known what these guys get up to because he knows what they're like," says Wolff. The world, he says, will have a surprise when Murdoch sits down in front of MPs on Tuesday. "Rupert is very good at campaigning when it's in a backroom. He's good at meeting power with power. He's good at making a deal. He's not good at this other thing, which is about perception, sensitivity, image, brand. These are things that he's incredibly bad at.

"Right now the difficulty is that Rupert is incredibly old. He is an old 80, which makes him seem like 100. I just don't think he is up to it any more. I've spent a lot of time with him and it was weird. Often he's fine, but it was very hard for him to follow the track of the conversation. He's an old guy. You think, 'Oh my god, this guy is old'."

Peter Lemkin
07-16-2011, 07:28 PM
The Bigger they are...the Harder they can [at times] Fall! :pirate:

IF he Falls, it couldn't happen to a more deserving person, IMHO. :captain:

Nick Davis Rules! :dance:

Jan Klimkowski
07-16-2011, 07:37 PM
Scotland Yard's top cop, Sir Paul Stephenson, is now in big trouble, after the latest revelations in the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/world/europe/17police.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1).

18 meals with NI, including 8 with Wolfman Wallis whilst he was still at NOTW.

Shameful.


Members of Parliament said in interviews that they were troubled by a “revolving door” between the police and News International, which included a former top editor at The News of the World at the time of the hacking who went on to work as a media strategist for Scotland Yard.

On Friday, The New York Times learned that the former editor, Neil Wallis, was reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case.

Executives and others at the company also enjoyed close social ties to Scotland Yard’s top officials. Since the hacking scandal began in 2006, Mr. Yates and others regularly dined with editors from News International papers, records show. Sir Paul Stephenson, the police commissioner, met for meals 18 times with company executives and editors during the investigation, including on eight occasions with Mr. Wallis while he was still working at The News of the World.

Senior police officials declined several requests to be interviewed for this article.

The police have continually asserted that the original investigation was limited because the counterterrorism unit, which was in charge of the case, was preoccupied with more pressing demands. At the parliamentary committee hearing last week, the three officials said they were working on 70 terrorist investigations.

Yet the Metropolitan Police unit that deals with special crimes, and which had more resources and time available, could have taken over the case, said four former senior investigators. One said it was “utter nonsense” to argue that the department did not have enough resources.

Peter Lemkin
07-16-2011, 07:56 PM
:pointlaugh: Oh, Great, this is now taking on Shakespearean proportions....:read: There REALLY is something highly ironic of a Tabloid Baron ending up the biggest story of the Tabloids :dance: But I won't truly feel I went to Nirvana unless I learn that someone has or is hacking RM's emails and/or phone. :flypig:.... and that Faux News is dead! - with a wooden stake through its heart. :happydrinks:

On a more serious note....this a quote from an internet post by Sterling Seagrave on another Forum....I think an interesting analysis...and one I share...

"Bill Casey was one of the key men in the acquisition of media after WW2. It was one of his proteges (a young German immigrant to the US) who was sent back to Germany after the war to take over Bertelsmann and build it up. Rupert Murdoch was very tight with Shackley, which is how he got launched on his global acquisitions and has now taken over the WSJ. Murdoch was running a failed national newspaper in Australia while Shackley was station chief in Oz. Then suddenly he becomes a US citizen literally overnight and goes on an endless buying spree. Shackley's pockets were infinitely deep. At the time, Murdoch was facing the likely closure of his newspaper THE AUSTRALIAN. His ticket out was Shackley. This also explains why Murdoch was allowed to break all the rules in acquisition of media in America." - Sterling Seagrave

Peter Lemkin
07-17-2011, 12:27 PM
Brooks was just arrested! :dancingman:

I want Rupert to be!

Lauren Johnson
07-17-2011, 02:54 PM
Brooks was just arrested!
I want Rupert to be!

Watch for a strategy of intentionally messing up the investigation. That's what happened in the Iran Contra scandal.

Dawn Meredith
07-17-2011, 03:03 PM
Brooks was just arrested!
I want Rupert to be!

Watch for a strategy of intentionally messing up the investigation. That's what happened in the Iran Contra scandal.

It's what happens in all investigations of the powerful. Remember we thought Rove, Cheney et al would be indicted in the outing of Valerie Plame. But just Libby whose sentence was later commuted.
Dawn

Peter Lemkin
07-17-2011, 04:01 PM
Help! We're prisoners in a rigged game!!! :joystick:

Keith Millea
07-17-2011, 05:12 PM
So why arrest her now?

Because,she is to testify Tuesday,and now she can claim "no comment"to questions because she is involved in an ongoing criminal investigation.........

The joke is on us. :what:

Peter Lemkin
07-17-2011, 05:22 PM
So why arrest her now?

Because,she is to testify Tuesday,and now she can claim "no comment"to questions because she is involved in an ongoing criminal investigation.........

The joke is on us. :what:

Its likely worse than that. Very likely soon will have proof that they told her in advance [about three days before] she'd be arrested, so best to 'resign' and get things settled up first.......cozy! :curtain: Cute!

Peter Lemkin
07-17-2011, 06:38 PM
Stephenson Resigns!...... :phone: The Sky is Falling!....:shock: Who will be left standing, when the 'music' stops?! :nono:

Jan Klimkowski
07-17-2011, 07:34 PM
Stephenson's position was untenable after this yesterday.


Scotland Yard's top cop, Sir Paul Stephenson, is now in big trouble, after the latest revelations in the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/world/europe/17police.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1).

18 meals with NI, including 8 with Wolfman Wallis whilst he was still at NOTW.

Shameful.


Members of Parliament said in interviews that they were troubled by a “revolving door” between the police and News International, which included a former top editor at The News of the World at the time of the hacking who went on to work as a media strategist for Scotland Yard.

On Friday, The New York Times learned that the former editor, Neil Wallis, was reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case.

Executives and others at the company also enjoyed close social ties to Scotland Yard’s top officials. Since the hacking scandal began in 2006, Mr. Yates and others regularly dined with editors from News International papers, records show. Sir Paul Stephenson, the police commissioner, met for meals 18 times with company executives and editors during the investigation, including on eight occasions with Mr. Wallis while he was still working at The News of the World.

Senior police officials declined several requests to be interviewed for this article.

The police have continually asserted that the original investigation was limited because the counterterrorism unit, which was in charge of the case, was preoccupied with more pressing demands. At the parliamentary committee hearing last week, the three officials said they were working on 70 terrorist investigations.

Yet the Metropolitan Police unit that deals with special crimes, and which had more resources and time available, could have taken over the case, said four former senior investigators. One said it was “utter nonsense” to argue that the department did not have enough resources.

Jan Klimkowski
07-17-2011, 07:39 PM
So why arrest her now?

Because,she is to testify Tuesday,and now she can claim "no comment"to questions because she is involved in an ongoing criminal investigation.........

The joke is on us. :what:

Keith - this is my suspicion too.

Another reason being put forward for Rebekah's arrest was for the police to protect the Metropolitan Chief Commissioner (the top top cop), Sir Paul Stephenson, by turning the attention back on Brooks. However, Stephenson has now resigned - so either he was out of the loop or simply decided his position was untenable.

NB Brooks/Wade was arrested not just on suspicion of knowledge of phone hacking, but on suspicion of having knowledge of corrupt payments to police officers.

Here's the relevant part of Scotland Yard's official statement.


"At approximately 12.00 a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting [phone hacking investigation] together with officers from Operation Elveden [bribing of police officers investigation]. She is currently in custody.

"She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

"The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.

"Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Jan Klimkowski
07-17-2011, 09:45 PM
This Sunday morning, The Observer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/17/brooks-rupert-james-murdoch-select-committee) (sister paper of The Guardian) published the suggested questions below for the Select Committee to ask Rupert & James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks.

That Committee has now been overtaken by events, but fwiw here are those suggested questions:


MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee are likely to follow two main tracks in their questioning on Tuesday of Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks: did you have knowledge of illegal activity; and are you now genuinely committed to exposing it? For the MPs, the task is not simply to ask questions, but to confront the witnesses with the evidence which is already available. Here are some possible questions.

Rupert Murdoch
In the apology you published in national newspapers on Friday, you said that you regretted not "sorting things out" faster. But you don't say why it took you so long. Are you saying that you didn't know that:


• In September 2002 the Guardian published a detailed 3,000-word story describing how the News of the World and other papers had been buying confidential information from a network of corrupt police officers run by a private investigator called Jonathan Rees.

• In March 2003, Rebekah Brooks, who had just spent three years editing the News of the World, told the culture committee that "we have paid the police for information in the past".

• In April 2005, the News of the World was identified in open court as a prime customer of the private investigator Steve Whittamore, when he pleaded guilty to paying a civilian police worker to illegally obtain confidential information from the police national computer.

• In December 2006, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) published What Price Privacy Now? in which it revealed that 23 journalists from the News of the World had been among the "customers driving the illegal trade in confidential personal information" by paying the network of "blaggers" run by Whittamore.

• In January 2007, at the trial of the NoW's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and the paper's full-time private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, counsel for the crown said explicitly that in hacking the voicemail of five non-royal victims who were named in court, Mulcaire's purpose was not to give the information to the royal correspondent but "to pass it on to the News of the World".

• During the same trial, that counsel for Mulcaire confirmed that "this information would have been passed on not to Mr Goodman – I stress the point – but to the same organisation. Any material would have gone to them."

• And, during the same trial, the prosecution disclosed that Mulcaire was not the only private investigator on the payroll of the News of the World and that the paper was paying other "research companies" even more than they were paying Mulcaire.

Did none of this alert you to the possibility that something might be wrong? Did you at any stage ask any questions about any of these public disclosures?

When the Guardian disclosed in July 2009 that News Group had paid more than £1m to settle legal actions brought by Gordon Taylor and two associates, you told Bloomberg News that the payments had not been made: "If that had happened, I would know about it."

Was that correct? If not, why did you say it? If it is correct that your son did not tell you that the company had made these payments, can you explain why he would choose to conceal that from you?

James Murdoch

In your statement of 7 July this year, you said: "The paper made statements to parliament without being in full possession of the facts." But isn't it also that the paper was in possession of some very significant facts which it failed to disclose to parliament?

For example, on 20 June this year, the company passed to police a collection of emails written by NoW journalists. The former director of public prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, has examined them and concluded that they contain evidence of indirect hacking of voicemail, breaches of national security and serious crime. Some of those messages were written by Goodman and Coulson, both of whom left the paper in January 2007.

Do you accept that in March 2007, when the then executive chairman of News International, Les Hinton, gave evidence to the culture committee, the company was certainly in possession of those messages and failed to mention anything at all about them? Can you explain why he failed to mention them? Could that failure reasonably be described as a "cover-up"?

Also in your statement of 7 July this year, you said: "The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret."

We know that you paid out-of-court settlements in the cases of Taylor and Max Clifford. Were there other settlements which you approved before News Group publicly admitted liability in April this year?

You say you "did not have a complete picture". Do you agree that in the case of Taylor, the judge had ordered that your company be shown various items of evidence, which led you to settle the case, including:

• Invoices submitted by Glenn Mulcaire to the NoW, which identified various public figures as his targets, including Tessa Jowell and John Prescott.

• An email from a NoW reporter sending transcripts of 35 intercepted voicemail messages to Mulcaire for the attention of the NoW's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck.

• Detailed records kept by Steve Whittamore of his dealings with the NoW, which identified 23 of the paper's journalists by name – that is more than half of those working for news and features – commissioning several hundred potentially illegal searches relating to named targets.

It was this evidence which persuaded your company to settle the case. Was this not enough of a picture to show you clearly that your claims that Goodman had acted as a "rogue reporter" were clearly untrue; that other identifiable reporters were involved in handling illegally intercepted voicemail; and that other identifiable reporters were involved in handling illegally obtained confidential data?

Why did you not make any attempt to go back to parliament, to the Press Complaints Commission and the public to warn them that your company's previous statements were clearly false? Note that it is no excuse to say that your settlement with Taylor was confidential. That would not have prevented you revealing that you now had unspecified evidence which proved that the "rogue reporter" story was untrue.

Doesn't this pattern of behaviour look like a cover-up?


The civil actions

Why is your company paying for Mulcaire to appeal against a court ruling that he should answer questions about the hacking he did for the NoW?

Why is your company spending millions of pounds settling the civil actions being brought by public figures before evidence can be used in open court? Why not allow the facts to be disclosed in the public domain before settling?


Rebekah Brooks
When you were editor of the News of the World, were you aware that more than half of your news and feature reporters were paying Whittamore to use his network of blaggers to obtain confidential information?

Were you aware that your news editor, your features editor and your Scottish news editor were among those using this network? Do you remember using him yourself? The paperwork seized from his office by the ICO records you asking him to "convert" a mobile phone number into an owner's name and address.

Were you aware that Whittamore was submitting invoices to the NoW which explicitly requested payment for apparently illegal acts?

When you were editor of the NoW were you aware that your news editor, Greg Miskiw, was authorised to give a full-time contract of employment to Mulcaire?

When you were editor of the NoW, what did you do when you were told by three senior officials at Scotland Yard that one of your executives, Alex Marunchak, had used the paper's resources on behalf of two murder suspects to spy on the senior detective investigating their alleged crime?

The Guardian has disclosed that the surveillance of Det Supt Dave Cook involved the NoW in physically following him and his young children, "blagging" his personal details from confidential police databases, attempting to access his voicemail and that of his wife, and possibly sending a Trojan horse email to steal information from his computer. Did any of this come as a surprise to you, or were you told this by the police while you were editor?


When you were editor of the NoW, you published a story which referred to a message left by a recruitment agency on the voicemail of Milly Dowler, the 13-year-old schoolgirl, who was then missing without explanation. Did you read that story? Did it occur to you to question how your reporter could have known about this message?

Surrey police, who were investigating Milly Dowler's disappearance, were provided with information about that voicemail by the NoW. Was that done without your authority? Are you confident that Surrey police have no record of your being involved in the decision to tell them about that voicemail?


When you were editor of the Sun, you published confidential medical information about the illness being suffered by Gordon Brown's infant son. Did the Sun obtain that information directly or indirectly from a health worker? Did the Sun pay a health worker or anybody related to a health worker for that information or for a story related to that information?

Lauren Johnson
07-18-2011, 12:43 AM
Could this scandal have connections with Princess Diana's death? Wasn't there something about spying going on in her case?

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 12:55 AM
Sir Paul wants to take some others down with him. Notably cameron.
Sir Paul Stephenson turns on David Cameron

Britain's top police officer has resigned and turned on the prime minister in a dramatic escalation of the phone hacking scandal




Vikram Dodd (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/vikramdodd) and Patrick Wintour (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/patrickwintour)
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian), Monday 18 July 2011



Britain's top police officer has resigned and turned on the prime minister in a dramatic escalation of the phone hacking scandal.
In a carefully-worded resignation speech that appeared aimed directly at Downing Street, Sir Paul Stephenson (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/sir-paul-stephenson), the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said the prime minister risked being "compromised" by his closeness to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.
Number 10 stressed that David Cameron (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/davidcameron) had not been pressing in private for Stephenson to stand aside. But he was caught by surprise by the attack, which came just while the prime minister was on a plane en route to South Africa.
Stephenson denied that he was resigning over allegations that he accepted £12,000 worth of hospitality from Champney's health spa, focusing instead on his decision not to inform the prime minister that the Met had employed Coulson's former deputy Neil Wallis as a strategic adviser.
"Once Mr Wallis's name did become associated with Operation Weeting [into phone hacking], I did not want to compromise the prime minister in any way by revealing or discussing a potential suspect who clearly had a close relationship with Mr Coulson," he said.
"I am aware of the many political exchanges in relation to Mr Coulson's previous employment. I believe it would have been extraordinarily clumsy of me to have exposed the prime minister, or by association the home secretary, to any accusation, however unfair, as a consequence of them being in possession of operational information in this regard."
To emphasise the point, Stephenson went on: "Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from the News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation."
The shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper seized on that issue saying: "People will wonder why different rules apply for the prime minister and the Met, especially as Sir Paul said that 'unlike Andy Coulson', Neil Wallis had not been forced to resign from the News of the World."
Senior police sources confirmed the attack had been intentional and showed the anger at Scotland Yard that Stephenson has been willing to resign over the scandal while the political class has failed to take responsibility in the same way. An ally of Stephenson said: "The commissioner thought if the prime minister is happy employing Andy Coulson, and Neil Wallis has bid the lowest price, what reason would we have not to employ him?"
Stephenson had been due to appear before the home affairs select committee tomorrow. His sudden exit increases the pressure on assistant commissioner John Yates, the officer who led the phone hacking inquiry, to quit.
The crisis over hacking engulfing News Corporation began to turn toxic for Stephenson on Thursday after the arrest of Wallis, who was the News of the World's deputy editor during the period when it is alleged phone hacking was widespread at the paper. Hours after Wallis was arrested, it emerged that he had worked for the Met.
The Guardian has learned that Scotland Yard chiefs invited Wallis to apply for a senior communications post with the force in 2009, a decision Stephenson was aware of. Wallis was approached to apply for the two day a month contract by the Met, following discussions involving the forces's most senior figures.
A source with close knowledge of the Yard's thinking at the time said part of Wallis's attraction was his connection to former News of the World editor Coulson, who was a leading aide to Cameron, then in opposition and expected to become prime minister.
Part of the Met's thinking was that Wallis's connections would help the force's relationship with Cameron: "One [Wallis] is a lot cheaper and gives you direct access into No 10," the source added.
Stephenson was facing the prospect of a difficult Commons statement by Theresa May, the home secretary, and anxiety expressed by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, about confidence in the Met because of the failure to tackle the scandal.
In his resignation statement , Stephenson stressed his integrity and dismissed weekend claims that it was compromised by accepting a free stay at a luxury health spa where Wallis had been hired as a PR consultant.
Stephenson said: "I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met's links with News International at a senior level and in particular in relation to Mr Neil Wallis who as you know was arrested in connection with Operation Weeting last week.
"I have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged involvement of Mr Wallis in phone hacking. Let me say unequivocally that I did not and had no reason to have done so. I do not occupy a position in the world of journalism; I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice and the repugnant nature of the selection of victims that is now emerging; nor of its apparent reach into senior levels."
John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister who had called for Stephenson to resign, wrote on Twitter: "I always thought the Met and News International were too close and now we see how close they were. Another green bottle has fallen – more to come."
Peter Smyth, chair of the Met Police Federation, said: "I think it is a sad day for Paul and a sad day for the Met. He is a very private man, I have never had any reason to question his integrity." He has come to a decision based on what he knows about himself."
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who last year described the hacking issue as a load of codswallop, was also furious that he had not been informed of the payments to Wallis until after his arrest last week. He was planning to launch an inquiry into the links between the Met and News International to examine whether the Met's refusal to pursue the phone -hacking saga, and the links with News International. "We need to turn over some of these big flat rocks and find out what is underneath," Johnson said last night.
He said he was sad about Sir Paul's resignation, but thought it was "the right call" since he was likely to be distracted by the speculation about his links with News International. Cameron said: "Sir Paul Stephenson has had a long and distinguished career in the police, and I would like to thank him for his service over many, many years. Under his leadership, the Metropolitan police made good progress in fighting crime, continued its vital work in combating terrorism, and scored notable successes such as the policing of the royal wedding."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/18/sir-paul-stephenson-turns-david-cameron

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 03:05 AM
I find it hilarious that to get any really good meaningful coverage on this subject one has to go to Russian media. :rofl:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2aGVp1Skys&feature=player_embedded#at=119

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 03:20 AM
Murdoch’s U.S. Tabloid Scandal

The media mogul is under fire over the London phone-hacking scandal, but here in America his New York Post has struggled with allegations that it rewarded friends and punished enemies. Howard Kurtz reports.

Jul 13, 2011 10:19 AM EDT

Print (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/13/rupert-murdoch-s-other-tabloid-scandal-at-the-new-york-post.print.html)
Email




Ian Spiegelman remembers how the culture of Rupert Murdoch (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/12/rupert-murdoch-will-he-be-arrested-for-news-of-the-world-hacking-scandal.html)’s New York Post (http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/10/murdoch-s-watergate.html) made him “pretty uncomfortable.”

http://s0.2mdn.net/dot.gif (http://ad.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh%3Dv8/3b48/3/0/%2a/k%3B243759508%3B0-0%3B1%3B64965087%3B4307-300/250%3B43060878/43078665/1%3B%3B%7Eaopt%3D2/1/6e02/1%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp://www.koreanair.com/)


“There were people you were not supposed to mess with,” says the former reporter for the gossipy Page Six (http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/10/murdoch-s-watergate.html), if they were “friends” of executives at the Post or its parent company, News Corp. At the same time, “word would come down through your editor, ‘This is someone we should get, should go after.’ The people high up had people they just didn’t like.”

Amid the mounting revelations of sleazy tactics at Murdoch’s London newspapers, media analysts are questioning whether comparable misconduct may have occurred at his American news outlets. There is no evidence of anything like the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked British politics and prompted Murdoch to shutter the News of the World (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/07/news-of-the-world-closure-and-the-ethical-limits-of-tabloid-journalism.html).

But a scandal that tarnished the Post five years ago carries echoes of a brass-knuckled style of journalism that resonates a bit louder today in the wake of the Murdoch mess (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/07/rupert-murdoch-scandal-business-debacle-as-coulson-faces-arrest.html) across the Atlantic.


“ The Post scandal carries echoes of a brass-knuckled style of journalism that resonates a bit louder today.
” http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2011/07/13/rupert-murdoch-s-other-tabloid-scandal-at-the-new-york-post/_jcr_content/body/inlineimage.img.jpg/1310576958890.jpg The front-page of the New York Daily News of Friday April 7, 2006, right, is juxtaposed with Page Six of the New York Post of Tuesday April 11, 2006., Richard Drew / AP Photo
“There was a kind of thuggishness,” says Jared Paul Stern (http://www.newsweek.com/2006/04/16/gossip-scandal-on-page-six.html), a former Page Six contributor at the center of the controversy. He says Murdoch was on the phone with Post Editor in Chief Col Allan (http://nymag.com/news/media/37257/) “all the time. He was down in the newsroom. I can’t imagine anything of that scale could go on and him not know about it.” Allan and a Post spokesman have not responded to requests for comment.

Neither Spiegelman nor Stern is a choir boy. Spiegelman was fired for sending a nasty email with antigay slurs to someone who had crossed him. Stern left after being caught asking a billionaire businessman for money in exchange for keeping negative information about him out of the paper.

But what they describe in interviews with The Daily Beast suggests that they were not just renegades but part of a newsroom environment in which some questionable practices may have been tacitly approved. And it’s worth recalling that News Corp. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/02/25/top-10-news-corp-scandals.html) initially tried to cover up the London hacking by blaming it on a rogue reporter acting on his own.

In a 2007 affidavit, Spiegelman said “accepting freebies, graft and other favors was not only condoned by the company but encouraged as a way to decrease the newspaper’s out-of-pocket expenses…and that News Corp. attorneys had been instructed to ‘look the other way.’” There was a policy of “favor banking,” the affidavit said, “practiced on a much larger scale by Rupert Murdoch.” In 2001, Spiegelman said in the document, “I was ordered to kill a Page Six story about a Chinese diplomat and a strip club that would have angered the Communist regime and endangered Murdoch’s broadcasting privileges” as he was trying to get Beijing’s approval for his satellite-television service.

At the time, Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the Post, called the allegations “a tissue of lies” and a “disgrace.”

The affidavit also said that in 1997 a local restaurant owner who was frequently mentioned in Page Six had $1,000 sent to Richard Johnson (http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2010/10/07/richard-johnson-leaves-page-six.html), then the gossip page’s editor. The Post confirmed this, with Allan quoted as saying that Johnson had made “a grave mistake” and had been reprimanded.

Joe Francis, producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” video series and a fixture on Page Six, also threw a bachelor party for Johnson at his Mexican estate estimated to cost $50,000.

In the Daily Beast interview, Spiegelman said Page Six staffers were showered with so many free gifts that the leftovers were put “on a cubicle shelf behind our backs for anyone to take away.” He said the money-losing Post “would go crazy” if reporters submitted expenses for, say, a visit to the Hamptons, so they would accept free trips: “Everyone knew, that was what you do.”

Allan, the editor at the time, “knew all about the culture. It was his paper,” Spiegelman said.

When celebrities criticized the Iraq War, Spiegelman added, he was told to remind readers of their show-business projects “in case they feel like boycotting.”

In similar fashion, Stern says the troops regularly received marching orders. “For a long time the Clintons were targets,” he said. “You couldn’t get enough dirt on the Clintons. Then Bill Clinton (http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/06/20/bill-clinton-s-14-global-initiatives.html) made a rapprochement with Murdoch, sucked up to him in the run-up to Hillary running” for the Senate in 2000.

“Then one day it was, ‘You can’t write anything bad about the Clintons.’ We had to kill stuff all the time. It filtered down from Murdoch. In the meetings we’d be told, ‘No way, mate.’”

Some Australians who were friendly with the Murdoch family, such as actress Nicole Kidman, “had a free pass,” Stern said.

It was Stern’s entanglement with supermarket magnate Ron Burkle (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/04/20/what-does-ron-burkle-want-with-miramax.html) that brought many of these allegations to light, and prompted Spiegelman’s affidavit.

Burkle, dubbed a “party-boy billionaire” by the tabloid, was concerned about what he regarded as unfair coverage, some of it by Stern. A meeting was arranged, Stern encouraged him to become a source for the column, and an associate bought $5,700 worth of shirts from Stern’s clothing line, a sideline he had developed. Stern later sent a Burkle staffer an email saying the mogul “certainly has the means” to stop unfavorable stories, which Burkle took as an extortion threat.

Sources later confirmed that Burkle, working with federal law enforcement, had secretly videotaped Stern in subsequent meetings demanding a $100,000 payment and $10,000 monthly stipend in return for ending negative mentions of him in Page Six. Stern said he’d been set up, the Post suspended him, and a News Corp. executive called the episode “highly aberrational.”

When prosecutors declined to bring charges, a spokesman for Burkle said he had “followed the government’s instructions” in an effort to “stop the publication of false reports” about him. Burkle did not respond to an email Tuesday.

“I walked into the trap that he set,” Stern says now. “He wanted to get back at Murdoch and the Post and found a way to do it through me. I kind of took a bullet for all this stuff.”

None of this, of course, reaches the level of hacking people’s phones. But with Sen. Jay Rockefeller now urging (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/12/murdoch-phone-hacking-scandal-senate-committee-chair-urges-probe.html) the FBI to investigate possible News Corp. misconduct in the United States, the spotlight is certain to fall on some of Murdoch’s American media properties.

Spiegelman offered a rumination about Murdoch’s company in a follow-up email:

“It's interesting that so many of Rupert's top editors and VPs are not citizens of the countries to which he dispatches them helter skelter. You need not be a xenophobe to pause at the fact that so many of his papers and cable news outlets in London, NY and, now, DC, are largely run and organized by strangers from strange lands—South Africa, Australia, New Zealand...

“News Corp VPs are nationless. It doesn't matter where you put them—they are plugged into their own, floating nation…namely News Corp. You don't always see them, but they are always hovering between the editor-in-chief and Rupert, and their loyalties remain not with any country or system of laws. Imagine the kind of pressure such a misty, loyalty-free menace could put on a reporter who actually lives where he lives and whose life is there. You want to know if this London poison is likely to have spread to New York? Yeah. But don't blame London.”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/13/rupert-murdoch-s-other-tabloid-scandal-at-the-new-york-post.html

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 03:52 AM
Former Fox News executive Dan Cooper has claimed that a special bunker, requiring security clearance for access was created at the company's headquarters to conduct “counterintelligence” including snooping on phone records. (http://www.thenation.com/blog/162016/has-roger-ailes-hacked-american-phones-fox-news)

Mmmmm.....all over red rover.





Fmr. Fox News Executive: Americans' Phones Were Hacked (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/17/995568/-Fmr-Fox-News-Executive:-Americans-Phones-Were-Hacked)





http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3707/rogeraileswithrupertm00.jpg (http://img829.imageshack.us/i/rogeraileswithrupertm00.jpg/)
Former Fox News executive Dan Cooper has claimed that a special bunker, requiring security clearance for access was created at the company's headquarters to conduct “counterintelligence” including snooping on phone records (http://www.thenation.com/blog/162016/has-roger-ailes-hacked-american-phones-fox-news):

“Has Roger Ailes been keeping tabs on your phone calls?”That’s how Portfolio.com began a post (http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/mixed-media/2008/01/10/fox-news-knocks-down-brain-room-claim) back in 2008, when a former Fox News executive charged that Ailes had outfitted a highly secured “brain room” in Fox’s New York headquarters for “counterintelligence” and may have used it to hack into private phone records.


After helping chairman Roger Ailes create the Fox News channel in 1996, Cooper was fired for doing an anonymous interview with New York Magazine (http://books.google.com/books?id=xOgCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=david+brock+published+%22new+york+magazine%22+1 997&source=bl&ots=mJjmrT4lZY&sig=AgbL7ikvsUmXFWzEpYZMtB35Fys&hl=en&ei=EvUcTqLVEvS30AHnsbnuBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CFIQ6A#v=onepage&q&f=false):

”I'm frightened right now,” said a former Fox employee, noting the vast array of powerful connections Ailes maintains throughout the political and media worlds. “I've been told that if Ailes figures out I talked to you, he'll hunt me down and kill me.”Negotiating the ground rules for an off-the-record meeting, Ailes came on like an Edward G. Robinson character in a B movie. “Three people in the world hate me,” he blustered. “You're not going to get to them, and everyone else is too scared.... Take your best shot at me, and I'll have the rest of my life to go after you.”
Cooper says that Ailes discovered he was the source by gaining access to his phone records (http://www.thenation.com/blog/162016/has-roger-ailes-hacked-american-phones-fox-news)through Fox's “brain room”.

Cooper claims that his talent agent, Richard Leibner, told him he had received a call from Ailes, who identified Cooper as a source, and insisted that Leibner drop him as a client--or any client reels Leibner sent Fox would pile up in a corner and gather dust. Cooper continued: “I made the connections. Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview. Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”
In a Rolling Stone piece (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-roger-ailes-built-the-fox-news-fear-factory-20110525?page=9), Tim Dickenson corroborates Cooper's account of a “black-ops” room deep within Fox HQ:

Befitting his siege mentality, Ailes also housed his newsroom in a bunker. Reporters and producers at Fox News work in a vast, windowless expanse below street level, a gloomy space lined with video-editing suites along one wall and an endless cube farm along the other. In a separate facility on the same subterranean floor, Ailes created an in-house research unit – known at Fox News as the “brain room” – that requires special security clearance to gain access. “The brain room is where Willie Horton comes from,” says Cooper, who helped design its specs. “It’s where the evil resides.”If that sounds paranoid, consider the man Ailes brought in to run the brain room: Scott Ehrlich, a top lieutenant from his political-*consulting firm. Ehrlich – referred to by some as “Baby Rush” – had taken over the lead on Big Tobacco’s campaign to crush health care reform when Ailes signed on with CNBC. According to documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Ehrlich gravitated to the dark side: In a strategy labeled “Underground Attack,” he advised the tobacco giants to “hit hard” at key lawmakers “through their soft underbelly” by quietly influencing local media – a tactic that would help the firms “stay under the radar of the national news media.”



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/17/995568/-Fmr-Fox-News-Executive:-Americans-Phones-Were-Hacked?via=siderec

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 05:07 AM
And it just keeps coming and coming.

Police investigate new computer hacking claims linked to News International

A police investigation is taking place into claims private investigators working for News International were involved in computer hacking.


http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00981/90-martin-mcguinnes_981289c.jpgThe probe was prompted by allegations that Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein MP, was a British spy Photo: PA





By Jason Lewis (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/jason-lewis/), Investigations Editor
9:00PM BST 16 Jul 2011

The investigation is being carried out by detectives from Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime Directorate. It is separate from the phone hacking investigation.

The team of officers from Operation Tuleta are looking at the activities of individuals who were paid by News International, including a firm of private detectives offering "ethical hacking".

Officers are understood to be collecting evidence about the activities of a former Army intelligence officer who is said to have offered hacking services to the journalists.

The probe was prompted by allegations that Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein MP, was a British spy. They first surfaced in Irish newspapers five years ago and were vehemently denied by Republicans.

Unpublished documents relating to the claims have now been unearthed by Scotland Yard.

The allegations focus on the use of "Trojan" emails. These involve a hacker sending a computer virus to the target's computer. The virus then allows full access to the computer's contents.
The investigation will examine allegations that information was then written up into memo form and faxed to the News of the World.
It is understood that some of this information was allegedly sent to the News International bureau in Dublin, although it is not known who it was sent to there. The private detectives, including a former member of the Force Research Unit (FRU) of the British Army, cannot be named for legal reasons.
Two of those targeted are believed to be Kevin Fulton, an alleged former British agent within the IRA, and Martin Ingram, a former British army intelligence officer. Mr Ingram, who was a member of the FRU, is the co-author of a book, Stakeknife, in which he disclosed details of the most highly placed British spy in the IRA, saying he was a man called Freddie Scappaticci. Mr Scappaticci denies he was an intelligence source.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that Mr Fulton met detectives last week and was asked if information from his computer had ever appeared in print without permission.
Mr Fulton told detectives of material relating to Mr McGuinness that had been stored on his computer.
Mr Fulton had believed that some of the information had been leaked by police who had seized his computer in a raid on this home in 2005. This alleged leak led Mr Fulton to complain to the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, but his complaint was rejected due to lack of evidence.
The new discoveries apparently exonerate the police and suggest the information may have been stolen from his computer by a hacker. Mr Fulton wrote to the police in April alleging that some of his emails had been intercepted in 2006 by people acting on behalf of News International. In response, the Metropolitan Police replied to him: "As a result of the new inquiry being conducted by the [Met] into the unlawful interception of voicemail messages (Operation Weeting) and the various court actions relating to News International, the [Met] has received a large number of inquiries and allegations relating to access to private data that are broader than voicemail interception ...
"The [Met] has set up a small team in order to assess the various allegations that have been made with a view to establishing whether there is available evidence and if it would be appropriate to conduct any further investigation into these activities."
The latest disclosures follow a BBC Panorama investigating into the computer hacking claims.
The programme named Alex Marunchak, a former News of the Worldexecutive, as having obtained the emails. He denies any involvement.
In the programme, Mr Ingram said: "The BBC has shown me documents which contained parts of emails exchanged between me and a number of other people while I was living in France and some of these were later faxed to the Dublin office of the News of the World.
"The irony of the illegal procurement of information from my computer is that it was obtained by someone who also once worked for the Force Research Unit in the British Army. This person was being paid by News International to hack into my computer."
It is understood that the officers investigating the computer hacking claims have had no contact with News International.
News International declined to comment.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8642649/Police-investigate-new-computer-hacking-claims-linked-to-News-International.html

Peter Lemkin
07-18-2011, 05:25 AM
What started out as the application of only a bandage/plaster - and then became the lancing of a boil - is one stop short of a full autopsy....love it! :lol: Let it all hang out now!....there is much more 'dirt' to ooze out, methinks!!!! I only hope this crosses the Pond effectively and we get some sunshine on the germs in the Heimat too. :smileymad:

Wade definitely deserved arrest, but the timing was choreographed to get her out of harms way in Parliament on Tuesday. One can expect LOTS more of that kind of deep political obstruction of Justice from the back rooms.

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 05:50 AM
Could this scandal have connections with Princess Diana's death? Wasn't there something about spying going on in her case?
Indeed there was spying on Diana and others in the Windsor family. The infamous tampon reference and squidgy.

Magda Hassan
07-18-2011, 05:59 AM
Non family members that is.

The current crop consists of: Natalie Bancroft, a 31-year-old opera singer inherited as part of the Dow Jones deal; Jose Maria Aznar, former president of Spain, Peter Barnes, a veteran of Big Tobacco with Philip Morris and now a very busy Australian-based NED, being chairman of Ansell, Metcash and Samuel Smith & Son; Viet Dinh, academic lawyer and former assistant US attorney general under George W Bush; John Thornton, former president of Goldman Sachs and now “Professor and Director of Global Leadership” at Tsinghua University in Beijing; Andrew Knight, a former journalist and editor of The Economist, now chairman of J Rothschild Capital Management, and the only independent director with media experience; and 79-year-old venture capitalist, Thomas J Perkins.
Rod Eddington also is a director, but it might be difficult to call him an independent, being a former Murdoch employee at Ansett. Eddington’s CV includes spells on other boards – Rio and Allco - that, in my opinion, tended to go along with strong executives on matters that didn’t end well for shareholders.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/worst-is-yet-to-come-for-murdoch-20110718-1hkve.html#ixzz1SQwngnTc

Bernice Moore
07-18-2011, 01:37 PM
Most people now paying attention to the practices of Rupert Murdoch’s papers have no idea what came before. Here’s an article I wrote 13 years ago for the Columbia Journalism Review that provides useful background as the News of the World scandal continues to widen….
http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/07/14/how-has-murdoch-improved-with-age/


Many thanks,
Russ Baker
www.WhoWhatWhy.com (http://www.whowhatwhy.com/)

Peter Lemkin
07-18-2011, 01:54 PM
And here is R. Baker a few days ago, briefly, on RM. (http://www.corbettreport.com/interview-359-russ-baker/)

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 02:58 PM
Around lunchtime today, Asst Commissioner John Yates learnt that he was to be suspended by the Met Police Professional Standards Committee. Within 30 minutes of receiving the news, Yates resigned as a police officer.

So, Scotland Yard's two top cops have both now resigned within 24 hours.

I note that it is accepted practice that a police officer who resigns from the force is no longer subject to Professional Standards discipline.

The key problems for Scotland Yard are:

i) that their investigations failed to examine the evidence, with Yates notoriously saying "I don't do bin bags" in connection with the 11,000 pages of notes from PI Mulcaire dumped by the Met into trash bags and left to moulder in some dusty corner. The evidence in the "bin bags" has now led to the arrest of senior NI figures such as consiglieres Brooks and Hinton;

ii) that senior officers had frequent (at least 18) meetings with NI execs whilst the investigation was live;

iii) that the Met hired Neil "Wolfman" Wallis on a £1k a day PR contract. According to the Daily Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8644774/Phone-Hacking-John-Yates-facing-questions-over-Neil-Wallis-links.html), citing the BBC, Yates was in ultimate charge of approving Wallis' police contract. During the period Wallis was working for the Met, senior officers, including Stephenson and Yates, told The Guardian their story was wrong and asked that they not pursue it.

See my post in this thread on July 15 (below).

Stephenson and Yates were right to resign.


Oh my.

Scotland Yard's finest told The Guardian their story was wrong, investigative journalist Nick Davies was out of line, and the newspaper should back off.

Scotland Yard's finest failed to declare that they were being advised by former NOTW exec Neil "Wolfman" Wallis at the time. The rozzers were paying the Wolfman £1000 per day for his "PR advice". A ridiculous and disproportionate sum.

The Wolfman was arrested yesterday (see previous page in this thread).

The editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, has now written to Scotland Yard demanding answers. His letter can be seen in full here. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/interactive/2011/jul/15/letter-from-the-guardian-to-dick-fedorcio)



Phone hacking: Met police put pressure on Guardian over coverage

Top officers told the Guardian its stories were exaggerated without revealing they had hired former NoW deputy editor

Scotland Yard's most senior officers tried to convince the Guardian during two private meetings that its coverage of phone hacking was exaggerated and incorrect without revealing they had hired Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, as an adviser.

The first meeting in December 2009, which included the Metropolitan police commissioner Paul Stephenson, was two months after Wallis was employed by the Yard as a public relations consultant.

Wallis, 60, who was deputy to Andy Coulson, the NoW editor at the time of the phone hacking, was arrested on Thursday as part of Operation Weeting. Coulson has also been arrested and bailed.

Theresa May, the home secretary, has referred Scotland Yard's hiring of Wallis to the judicial inquiry on phone hacking which will be chaired by Lord Justice Leveson.

During the meetings in December 2009 and February 2010, which also involved the assistant commissioner John Yates and the force's director of public affairs, Dick Fedorcio, the senior officers said articles written by Nick Davies about phone hacking were incorrect, inaccurate and wrongly implied the force was "party to a conspiracy".

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, has written to Fedorcio about failing to mention that the Yard was being advised by Coulson's former deputy.

In the letter Rusbridger wrote: "Paul Stephenson and you came in to meet me and Paul Johnson [deputy editor] in my office on 10 December 2009. Among the things we discussed was the commissioner's strong feeling that Nick Davies's coverage of phone hacking was overegged and incorrect.


"In February 2010 you wrote to me complaining that another Nick Davies story 'once again presents an inaccurate position from our perspective and continues to imply this case has not been handled properly and we are party to a conspiracy' ... You suggested a follow-up meeting with Assistant Commissioner John Yates.

"That meeting took place on 19 February. John Yates also tried to persuade us that Nick's doggedness and persistence in pursuing the story was misplaced."

The letter ends with Rusbridger posing five questions to the Met: "Why did you not think it appropriate to tell me at the time of these meetings that you, Paul and John were being advised by Coulson's former deputy?

"What advice did he give you about the coverage of phone hacking?

"Was Wallis consulted in advance of these meetings or subsequently informed of the nature or contents of our discussions?

"Why did you think it was appropriate to hire Wallis, given his closeness to events which the Guardian and other media organisations were reporting at the time?

"What conversations – formal or informal – did you, Paul or John have with Wallis about the subject of the NoW and phone hacking during the period he was working?"

Fedorcio, who has held his post since 1997, has been invited to testify before MPs on the home affairs committee on Tuesday.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said it could not comment on why it did not mention Wallis's employment in the private meetings at the Guardian. Because of the judicial inquiry, it would not comment on why it was thought appropriate to hire Wallis, nor could it comment on any formal or informal conversations Stephenson or Yates had with the former Murdoch executive while he worked part-time at the Yard.

The spokesman denied that Wallis had been consulted about phone hacking or gave any advice about it, in their first on-the-record denial: "He was not involved in any operational activity and that includes giving any advice on phone hacking."

Source (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/15/phone-hacking-met-police-guardian).

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 03:11 PM
Newspapers as organs delivering blackmail and leverage on behalf of their Sponsors - keeping the Mechanics, and the independently minded, scared and obedient.

The Murdoch empire bosses are Facilitators.

Now busted.

They'll be tossed out with the garbage by the Sponsors.

As I noted a few pages back, Sen Jay Rockefeller's intervention was a deep political signal.


In a Rolling Stone piece, Tim Dickenson corroborates Cooper's account of a “black-ops” room deep within Fox HQ:
Befitting his siege mentality, Ailes also housed his newsroom in a bunker. Reporters and producers at Fox News work in a vast, windowless expanse below street level, a gloomy space lined with video-editing suites along one wall and an endless cube farm along the other. In a separate facility on the same subterranean floor, Ailes created an in-house research unit – known at Fox News as the “brain room” – that requires special security clearance to gain access. “The brain room is where Willie Horton comes from,” says Cooper, who helped design its specs. “It’s where the evil resides.”If that sounds paranoid, consider the man Ailes brought in to run the brain room: Scott Ehrlich, a top lieutenant from his political-*consulting firm. Ehrlich – referred to by some as “Baby Rush” – had taken over the lead on Big Tobacco’s campaign to crush health care reform when Ailes signed on with CNBC. According to documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Ehrlich gravitated to the dark side: In a strategy labeled “Underground Attack,” he advised the tobacco giants to “hit hard” at key lawmakers “through their soft underbelly” by quietly influencing local media – a tactic that would help the firms “stay under the radar of the national news media.”

Faux News - Murdoch tried to copyright the tag line "fair and balanced".

"Fair and balanced"?

Naked Propaganda: Don't Believe a Word - is surely more appropriate.

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 03:38 PM
FRU Computer Hacking Claims Linked to Murdoch

And it just keeps coming and coming.

Police investigate new computer hacking claims linked to News International

A police investigation is taking place into claims private investigators working for News International were involved in computer hacking.



By Jason Lewis (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/jason-lewis/), Investigations Editor
9:00PM BST 16 Jul 2011

The investigation is being carried out by detectives from Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime Directorate. It is separate from the phone hacking investigation.

The team of officers from Operation Tuleta are looking at the activities of individuals who were paid by News International, including a firm of private detectives offering "ethical hacking".

Officers are understood to be collecting evidence about the activities of a former Army intelligence officer who is said to have offered hacking services to the journalists.

The probe was prompted by allegations that Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein MP, was a British spy. They first surfaced in Irish newspapers five years ago and were vehemently denied by Republicans.

Unpublished documents relating to the claims have now been unearthed by Scotland Yard.




Magda - important find.

I'm intrigued by the appearance of this material in the (hardcore Tory) Daily Telegraph.

As you know, these are not "new" claims suddenly "discovered" by detectives.

This is about British military intelligence's dirty war in Northern Ireland.

Specifically, it's about the established phone hacking of an Inquiry into Operation Motorman by a PI named Steve Whittamore who had been hired by journalists from several newspapers. For more on Motorman, see DPF thread here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?4432-Catholic-priest-s-involvement-in-bombing-covered-up-by-British-deep-state).

It's also about the "unmasking" of a British intelligence asset known as Stakeknife (various spellings) high up in the IRA. Ultimately, Freddie Scappaticci, head of the IRA's "nutting squad", was named as Stakeknife. However many Republicans believe the British spy was higher up in IRA, and the finger has been pointed at Martin McGuinness - who has denied the allegation.

The FRU (Force Research Unit) was a covert British military intelligence unit in Northern Ireland which allegedly commissioned and allowed assassinations and atrocities to occur during "The Troubles".

"Martin Ingram" is a former FRU agent turned whistleblower. "Kevin Fulton" is a Roman Catholic turned FRU agent turned whistleblower.

This is deep politics, and dirty secrets that the British state does not want in the public domain.

One of the allegations is that a Murdoch journalist was hiring a PI to send "trojans" to grab the contents of emails and other material on the computers of "Ingram" and "Fulton".

It begs the fundamental question: who wanted this information, and was it to be used as leverage?

The secondary question is: why is the Tory Telegraph raising this spectre now? Who is being sent a warning?

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 04:09 PM
And Now for Something Completely Different....

And very very Silly.....


Rebekah Brooks's arrest damaged her reputation, says her lawyer

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/rebekah-brooks-arrest-damaged-reputation)

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 04:33 PM
Below is the current list of known meetings between Scotland Yard's finest and the Murdoch Empire. Some details were obtained through Freedom of Information requests.

Sir Ian Blair was Met Police Commissioner before Stephenson.


News International meetings with senior Metropolitan Police officers

Date Occasion Attendees Source
SOURCE: DEE DOOCEY

.November 8, 2005. Dinner with News of the World Andy Hayman FOI request

.February 1, 2006. Lunch with Editorial Staff, The Times Andy Hayman Response to request from MPA

.February 1, 2006. Lunch with Editorial Staff, The Times Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner), Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.March 1, 2006. Meeting Editor, Sunday Times Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.April 25, 2006. Dinner with News of the World Andy Hayman FOI request

.June 1, 2006. Meeting Editor, The Sun Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.September 1, 2006. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.November 1, 2006. Lunch, Editor Sunday Times Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.December 1, 2006. Meeting Editor The Times Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.March 29, 2007. Lunch with News of the World Andy Hayman FOI request

.June 1, 2007. Lunch Editorial Staff, News of the World Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.July 1, 2007. Drinks Reception, The Times Andy Hayman Response to request from MPA

.September 1, 2007. Lunch Editor The Sun Sir Ian Blair (Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.September 5, 2007. Lunch with News of the World Andy Hayman FOI request

.November 1, 2007. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.November 16, 2007. Lunch with News of the World Andy Hayman FOI request
.February 1, 2008. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.April 1, 2008. Dinner Deputy Editor The Sun Sir Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commissioner) Response to request from MPA

.August 29, 2008. Lunch with The Times John Yates FOI request

.October 1, 2008. Meeting with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.October 1, 2008. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.January 6, 2009. Lunch with The Sun John Yates FOI request

.February 1, 2009. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.March 20, 2009. Lunch with The Sun John Yates FOI request

.April 1, 2009. Lunch Editor The Sun Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.May 1, 2009. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.June 1, 2009. News Corporation reception Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.June 1, 2009. Lunch Editor The Times Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.June 1, 2009. Dinner with Deputy Editor, News of the World Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.July 1, 2009. Lunch Editor Sunday Times Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.September 8, 2009. Dinner with The Sunday Times John Yates FOI request

.November 1, 2009. Lunch Head of News, Sky News Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.November 5, 2009. Dinner with Editor and Crime Editor News of the World John Yates FOI request

.April 1, 2010. Lunch Chief Executive News International Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.June 1, 2010. News Corporation reception Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

.November 1, 2010. Drinks Editor The Sun Paul Stephenson (Commisioner) Response to request from MPA

Source. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jul/13/john-yates-meeting-news-international)

Peter Lemkin
07-18-2011, 04:52 PM
Let me guess.....Murdoch paid for those meals and drinks...and more...much, MUCH more did he pay them for......:cheer: :mexican:

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 04:58 PM
Bejeezus....

The revelations keep on coming thick, fast and spectacular.


The Independent Police Complaints Commission has announced that it is investigating an allegation that John Yates helped the daughter of the former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis get a job in the Metropolitan police.

Reported by The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2011/jul/18/phone-hacking-scandal-live-coverage).

Yates has denied the allegation.

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 05:13 PM
Helter Skelter

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again



News of the World phone hacking whistleblower found dead

Death of Sean Hoare – who was first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson knew of hacking – not being treated as suspicious

Amelia Hill, James Robinson, Caroline Davies guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/news-of-the-world-sean-hoare), Monday 18 July 2011 18.04 BST

Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.

Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: "At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

Hoare first made his claims in a New York Times investigation into the phone-hacking allegations at the News of the World.

He told that newspaper that not only did Coulson know of the phone-hacking, but that he actively encouraged his staff to intercept the phone calls of celebrities in the pursuit of exclusives.

In a subsequent interview with the BBC he alleged that he was personally asked by his then-editor, Coulson, to tap into phones. In an interview with the PM programme he said Coulson's insistence that he didn't know about the practice was "a lie, it is simply a lie".

At the time a Downing Street spokeswoman said Coulson totally and utterly denied the allegations and said he had "never condoned the use of phone-hacking and nor do I have any recollection of incidences where phone-hacking took place".

Sean Hoare, a one-time close friend of Coulson's, told the New York Times the two men first worked together at the Sun, where, Hoare said, he played tape recordings of hacked messages for Coulson. At the News of the World, Hoare said he continued to inform Coulson of his activities. Coulson "actively encouraged me to do it," Hoare said.

In September last year he was interviewed under caution by police over his claims that the former Tory communications chief asked him to hack into phones when he was editor of the paper, but declined to make any comment.

Hoare emerged back into the spotlight last week, after he told the New York Times that reporters at the News of the World were able to use police technology to locate people using their mobile phone signals in exchange for payments to police officers.

He said journalists were able to use a technique called 'pinging' which measured the distance between mobile handsets and a number of phone masts to pinpoint its location. Hoare gave further details about the use of 'pinging' to the Guardian last week.

Speaking to a Guardian reporter last week, Hoare repeatedly expressed the hope that the hacking scandal would lead to journalism in general being cleaned up and said he had decided to blow the whistle on the activities of some of his former News of the World colleagues with that aim in mind.

He also said he has been injured at a party the previous weekend while taking down a marquee erected for a children's party. He said he had broken his nose and badly injured his foot when a relative accidentally struck him with a heavy pole from the marquee.

Hoare also emphasised that he was not making any money from telling his story. Hoare, who has been treated for drug and alcohol problems, reminisced about partying with former pop stars and said he missed the days when he was able to go out on the town.

Peter Lemkin
07-18-2011, 05:21 PM
Uh...Oh...when they start dying....then it REALLY is heating/hotting up! This is gonna be a rough ride. Please fasten seat belts! Those with Kevlar vests, this might be the time to put and keep them on! Passing the dead on the fast lane only. :mexican: ""The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."" Hmmmmm....I hope they are 'ongoing' at a more rigorous level than before!!! “There's nothing suspicious about the death of Sean Hoare, except the timing.”
:banghead:
Get a clue coppers! I'll wager ten quid it is not 'unexplained' - but directly, if not criminally, related to Rupertgate! The Met/Scotland Yard is so entangled in this, they may have to recuse themselves.....this is really turning weird and ugly fast. Expect many more unexplained deaths, sadly.
:gossip: Next!!!!!????????

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 05:56 PM
In anticipation of major US lawsuits, Murdoch has hired Oliver North's former attorney, who's been described as "the legal equivalent of a nuclear war".

Who is Rupert going to point his missile at?


Rupert Murdoch assembles US legal team over phone-hacking scandal

Appointment of litigation veteran Brendan Sullivan suggests News Corp boss is readying for bitter legal battle in America

Ed Pilkington in New York guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/rupert-murdoch-us-legal-team), Monday 18 July 2011 17.25 BST

Rupert Murdoch is assembling a team of US lawyers with expertise in fighting large federal criminal cases, suggesting he is readying himself for a bitter legal battle in America as a result of the phone-hacking scandal.

At the centre of the team is Brendan Sullivan, one of America's most experienced lawyers, who over 40 years in litigation has acquired a reputation for taking on difficult and sensitive cases. He represented Oliver North, the US marine corps officer, in congressional hearings over the Iran-Contra affair.

At the time of the hearings in 1987, Sullivan was described by the Washington Post as "the legal equivalent of nuclear war". A fellow lawyer said: "He asks no quarter and gives no quarter."

Sullivan describes himself as a specialist in "high-profile criminal litigation", whose typical clients include major companies involved in "criminal investigations, litigation or government regulatory matters". He is the author of Techniques for Dealing with Pending Criminal Charges or Criminal Investigations.

Sullivan was probably brought on board by Murdoch last week on the recommendation of Joel Klein, the former US assistant attorney general who the News Corporation chief has entrusted with leading its internal investigation into the phone-hacking scandal.

Klein's wife, Nicole Seligman, who is now the top lawyer at Sony, used to work for Sullivan's firm, Williams & Connolly, in Washington.

The appointment of Sullivan – revealed last week by the New York Times's Dealbook blog – is being seen as an indication that Murdoch is preparing for the worst. In the UK, News International has already set aside about £20m in preparation for compensation payments to victims of its phone-hacking activities, and pressure is now building in the US for criminal and civil legal action.

The FBI has already launched an investigation into allegations that News of the World journalists tried to obtain phone records of 9/11 victims, and several prominent members of Congress have called for an inquiry into News Corp under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that penalises US-based firms for bribery abroad.

News Corp, which is headquartered in the US, is considered vulnerable as employees at News of the World are accused of having bribed UK police officers.

The US securities and exchange commission could also bring civil charges if News Corp is found to have inaccurately prepared its accounts in an attempt to disguise bribery payments.

Eric Holder, the US attorney general, confirmed on Friday that federal investigations were under way into the 9/11 allegations. "There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate those same allegations. And we are progressing in that regard using the appropriate federal agencies in the United States."

Sidney Blumenthal, who reported on the North case for the Post and worked with the Kleins in the Clinton administration, said the message from Sullivan's appointment was clear. "He is a criminal attorney who works for high-profile public figures facing large federal prosecutions. That's why you hire Brendan Sullivan. It's not because you have a tax problem or a traffic ticket – you hire him because you think you are going to trial."

In one of the first specific allegations that the News of the World may have violated US privacy laws, it was claimed over the weekend that the film actor Jude Law had his phone hacked into by reporters for the newspaper while he was arriving at New York's JFK airport. Were the allegations found to be true, that would involve a breach of US phone networks which could carry serious consequences.

Among his recent cases, Sullivan represented Ted Stevens, the late former senator for Alaska, who was found guilty of federal corruption charges. Sullivan had the conviction dismissed on the grounds that the prosecution had withheld evidence.

He also represented Henry Cisneros in 1995 when he was investigated for having lied to the FBI in a background check before his appointment as Bill Clinton's housing secretary, as well as Richard Grasso, the then chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, in a 2004 lawsuit about his allegedly excessive pay package of $140m (£75m at the time) which was eventually dropped.

Sullivan was brought up outside Providence in Rhode Island. He is a keen sailor and owns a yacht called, appropriately, the Mistrial.

Peter Lemkin
07-18-2011, 06:17 PM
Rupert Murdoch donated $1m to a pro-business lobby in the US months before the group launched a high-profile campaign to alter the anti-bribery law – the same law that could potentially be brought to bear against News Corporation over the phone-hacking scandal.

News Corporation contributed $1m to the US Chamber of Commerce last summer. In October the chamber put forward a six-point programme for amending the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, a law that punishes US-based companies for engaging in the bribery of foreign officials.

Progressive groups in the US have speculated that there is no coincidence in the contemporaneous timing of the Murdoch donation and the launch of the chamber's FCPA campaign, which they claim is designed to weaken the anti-bribery legislation. "The timing certainly raises questions about who is bankrolling this campaign – if it's not News Corporation who is it?" said Joshua Dorner of the Centre for American Progress action fund.

Ilyse Hogue of the monitoring group Media Matters said the donation was in tune with Murdoch's track record. "Time and again we've seen News Corporation use their massive power and influence to change laws that don't suit them. The proximity of this contribution and the chamber's lobbying campaign at least should raise eyebrows."

The Chamber of Commerce dismissed the suggestions of a link between its campaign and the News of the World scandal as "preposterous" and "completely false". "Our efforts to modernise an outdated act have been ongoing for nearly a year," a spokesman said, adding that the aim of the proposals was to obtain clear rules of the road for American businesses.

The FCPA can imprison and fine individuals and companies. It was signed into law in 1977 as a means of clamping down on the bad behaviour of US companies abroad. In recent years it has been increasingly usesd. The 10 heaviest FCPA settlements have all occurred since 2007 and total $2.8bn.

News Corporation, which has its headquarters in the US, emphasises in its corporate literature that it has a global anti-bribery policy. "We don't offer, give, solicit or accept bribes or kickbacks, either in cash or in the form of any other thing or service of value," it says.

But evidence has come to light that News Corporation employees working for the News of the World bribed police officers in the UK. "What News of the World did would seem to fall squarely within the parameters of the FCPA," said Philip Raible, a media lawyer with Rayner Rowe LLP in New York.

The chorus of demands that News Corporation face an FCPA investigation has grown steadily louder in the US in the past two days. The former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, has called in Slate for an immediate investigation of the company for violation of the anti-bribery act.

Congressional representatives have added their voices to demands for an official investigation. Bruce Braley, a Democratic member of the powerful House oversight committee, told CNN that Congress itself should look into whether Murdoch's company broke anti-bribery laws.

A Republican representative in New York, Peter King, has called on the FBI to look into claims that News of the World was involved in phone-hacking activities in the US. And several members of Congress have written to the US attorney general, Eric Holder, asking him to see whether News Corporation has breached the FCPA.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which has the authority to investigate companies under the FCPA, said any civil prosecution it undertook would only be made public if it asked the courts for an injunction prohibiting further violations of the law.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/14/hacking-murdoch-paid-us-lobbyists

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 06:29 PM
Here's the text of the referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission:


IPCC receives referrals from the Metropolitan Police Authority regarding the actions of current and former senior Met Officers

18 July 2011

IPCC Commissioner Deborah Glass has today announced a number of referrals received from the Metropolitan Police Authority. She said: "We have today received referrals from the Metropolitan Police Authority about the conduct of four current or former senior Metropolitan Police officers.

"The matters referred involve:

The conduct of the Met Commissioner in carrying overall responsibility for the investigation into phone hacking;

The conduct of Assistant Commissioner John Yates:

- in his review in July 2009 and overall role in relation to the phone hacking investigation; and

- in his alleged involvement in inappropriately securing employment for the daughter of a friend;

"The conduct of two former senior officers in their role in the phone hacking investigation.

"The role of the Met Police in its original investigation into phone hacking has rightly come under huge public scrutiny. These matters are already the subject of a judge-led public inquiry announced on 13 July which is looking into the way in which police investigated allegations of conduct by persons connected to News International.

"I now need to assess these referrals carefully to determine what should be investigated at this stage, bearing in mind the judicial inquiry, and I will seek to liaise with Lord Justice Leveson as soon as possible. I will publish our terms of reference once I have carefully reviewed the material referred to us.

"To the extent that these referrals raise serious allegations about senior Met officers it is right that they be independently investigated – and I will ensure that our investigation follows the evidence without fear or favour.

"It must also be right that people do not rush to judgement until that work is done."

The Daily Mail states that the four senior officers referred are:

Sir Paul Stephenson

John Yates

Peter Clarke

Andy Hayman



John Yates 'secured employment for Neil Wallis's daughter' as IPCC instigates investigation into four senior officers

By Daily Mail (Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016134/John-Yates-secured-employment-Neil-Walliss-daughter.html#ixzz1SU08rBjA)Reporter

Last updated at 6:59 PM on 18th July 2011

John Yates allegedly secured work at Scotland Yard for the daughter of former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis a source claimed this evening.

On the day Yates resigned as assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, he was also referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over his alleged involved in helping a friend's daughter get a job.

It understood that this woman is Wallis's daughter but neither the Met or IPCC would confirm this.

The revelations come hours after the IPCC said it was launching an investigation into four former and serving senior Metropolitan Police officers over their handling of the phone hacking scandal.

Five issues have been referred to the IPCC, including questions about the conduct of both Yates and Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned last night

The IPCC has been asked to look into Sir Paul's actions as the officer with overall responsibility for Scotland Yard's investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.

As well as the revelation he employed Wallis's daughter, the inquiry will also considering Yates's decision in 2009 that there was no need to re-open the hacking inquiry.

The IPCC refused to give any more details about the details of the referral.
The Metropolitan Police Authority has also asked the watchdog to examine the conduct of two former senior Met officers involved in the original phone-hacking investigation.

It is understood they are ex-assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, who was in ultimate charge of the 2006 inquiry and later become a columnist with News International title The Times, and ex-deputy assistant commissioner Peter Clarke, who oversaw the investigation.

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 06:53 PM
Nick Davies, the key Guardian reporter in this story, has just written the following about dead whistleblower Sean Hoare.

From my own journalistic experience, Hoare is precisely right about the culture of the NOTW newsroom:


Explaining why he had spoken out, he told me: "I want to right a wrong, lift the lid on it, the whole culture. I know, we all know, that the hacking and other stuff is endemic. Because there is so much intimidation. In the newsroom, you have people being fired, breaking down in tears, hitting the bottle."

However, as a reporter specializing in stories aobut celebrities and sports stars, Hoare has clearly missed any deeper political significance in the value of the information gained by the Murdoch empire through the means that he and his bosses employed.


Full article below.


Sean Hoare knew how destructive the News of the World could be

The courageous whistleblower who claimed Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking had a powerful motive for speaking out

Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Monday 18 July 2011 18.46 BST

At a time when the reputation of News of the World journalists is at rock bottom, it needs to be said that the paper's former showbusiness correspondent Sean Hoare, who died on Monday, was a lovely man.

In the saga of the phone-hacking scandal, he distinguished himself by being the first former NoW journalist to come out on the record, telling the New York Times last year that his former friend and editor, Andy Coulson, had actively encouraged him to hack into voicemail.

That took courage. But he had a particularly powerful motive for speaking. He knew how destructive the News of the World could be, not just for the targets of its exposés, but also for the ordinary journalists who worked there, who got caught up in its remorseless drive for headlines.

Explaining why he had spoken out, he told me: "I want to right a wrong, lift the lid on it, the whole culture. I know, we all know, that the hacking and other stuff is endemic. Because there is so much intimidation. In the newsroom, you have people being fired, breaking down in tears, hitting the bottle."

He knew this very well, because he was himself a victim of the News of the World. As a showbusiness reporter, he had lived what he was happy to call a privileged life. But the reality had ruined his physical health: "I was paid to go out and take drugs with rock stars – get drunk with them, take pills with them, take cocaine with them. It was so competitive. You are going to go beyond the call of duty. You are going to do things that no sane man would do. You're in a machine."

While it was happening, he loved it. He came from a working-class background of solid Arsenal supporters, always voted Labour, defined himself specifically as a "clause IV" socialist who still believed in public ownership of the means of production. But, working as a reporter, he suddenly found himself up to his elbows in drugs and delirium.

He rapidly arrived at the Sun's Bizarre column, then run by Coulson. He recalled: "There was a system on the Sun. We broke good stories. I had a good relationship with Andy. He would let me do what I wanted as long as I brought in a story. The brief was, 'I don't give a fuck'."

He was a born reporter. He could always find stories. And, unlike some of his nastier tabloid colleagues, he did not play the bully with his sources. He was naturally a warm, kind man, who could light up a lamp-post with his talk. From Bizarre, he moved to the Sunday People, under Neil Wallis, and then to the News of the World, where Andy Coulson had become deputy editor. And, persistently, he did as he was told and went out on the road with rock stars, befriending them, bingeing with them, pausing only to file his copy.

He made no secret of his massive ingestion of drugs. He told me how he used to start the day with "a rock star's breakfast" – a line of cocaine and a Jack Daniels – usually in the company of a journalist who now occupies a senior position at the Sun. He reckoned he was using three grammes of cocaine a day, spending about £1,000 a week. Plus endless alcohol. Looking back, he could see it had done him enormous damage. But at the time, as he recalled, most of his colleagues were doing it, too.

"Everyone got overconfident. We thought we could do coke, go to Brown's, sit in the Red Room with Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence. Everyone got a bit carried away."

It must have scared the rest of Fleet Street when he started talking – he had bought, sold and snorted cocaine with some of the most powerful names in tabloid journalism. One retains a senior position on the Daily Mirror. "I last saw him in Little Havana," he recalled, "at three in the morning, on his hands and knees. He had lost his cocaine wrap. I said to him, 'This is not really the behaviour we expect of a senior journalist from a great Labour paper.' He said, 'Have you got any fucking drugs?'"

And the voicemail hacking was all part of the great game. The idea that it was a secret, or the work of some "rogue reporter", had him rocking in his chair: "Everyone was doing it. Everybody got a bit carried away with this power that they had. No one came close to catching us." He would hack messages and delete them so the competition could not hear them, or hack messages and swap them with mates on other papers.

In the end, his body would not take it any more. He said he started to have fits, that his liver was in such a terrible state that a doctor told him he must be dead. And, as his health collapsed, he was sacked by the News of the World – by his old friend Coulson.

When he spoke out about the voicemail hacking, some Conservative MPs were quick to smear him, spreading tales of his drug use as though that meant he was dishonest. He was genuinely offended by the lies being told by News International and always willing to help me and other reporters who were trying to expose the truth. He was equally offended when Scotland Yard's former assistant commissioner, John Yates, assigned officers to interview him, not as a witness but as a suspect. They told him anything he said could be used against him, and, to his credit, he refused to have anything to do with them.

His health never recovered. He liked to say that he had stopped drinking, but he would treat himself to some red wine. He liked to say he didn't smoke any more, but he would stop for a cigarette on his way home. For better and worse, he was a Fleet Street man.

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 06:59 PM
And now a story of News Corp and its high standard of ethics in the US of A.

The unspoken motto seems to be: If you can't beat 'em into silence, buy 'em.

:viking: :viking: :viking:


Rupert will be needing his "nuclear war" lawyer:


Troubles That Money Can’t Dispel

The New York Times
July 18, 2011
By DAVID CARR

“Bury your mistakes,” Rupert Murdoch is fond of saying. But some mistakes don’t stay buried, no matter how much money you throw at them.

Time and again in the United States and elsewhere, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation has used blunt force spending to skate past judgment, agreeing to payments to settle legal cases and, undoubtedly more important, silence its critics. In the case of News America Marketing, its obscure but profitable in-store and newspaper insert marketing business, the News Corporation has paid out about $655 million to make embarrassing charges of corporate espionage and anticompetitive behavior go away.

That kind of strategy provides a useful window into the larger corporate culture at a company that is now engulfed by a wildfire burning out of control in London, sparked by the hacking of a murdered young girl’s phone and fed by a steady stream of revelations about seedy, unethical and sometimes criminal behavior at the company’s newspapers.

So far, 10 people have been arrested, including, on Sunday, Rebekah Brooks, the head of News International. Les Hinton, who ran News International before her and most recently was the head of Dow Jones, resigned on Friday. Now we are left to wonder whether Mr. Murdoch will be forced to make an Abraham-like sacrifice and abandon his son James, the former heir apparent.

The News Corporation may be hoping that it can get back to business now that some of the responsible parties have been held to account — and that people will see the incident as an aberrant byproduct of the world of British tabloids. But that seems like a stretch. The damage is likely to continue to mount, perhaps because the underlying pathology is hardly restricted to those who have taken the fall.

As Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the family of the murdered girl, Milly Dowler, said after Ms. Brooks resigned, “This is not just about one individual but about the culture of an organization.”

Well put. That organization has used strategic acumen to assemble a vast and lucrative string of media properties, but there is also a long history of rounded-off corners. It has skated on regulatory issues, treated an editorial oversight committee as if it were a potted plant (at The Wall Street Journal), and made common cause with restrictive governments (China) and suspect businesses — all in the relentless pursuit of More. In the process, Mr. Murdoch has always been frank in his impatience with the rules of others.

According to The Guardian, whose bulldog reporting pulled back the curtain on the phone-hacking scandal, the News Corporation paid out $1.6 million in 2009 to settle claims related to the scandal. While expedient, and inexpensive — the company still has gobs of money on hand — it was probably not a good strategy in the long run. If some of those cases had gone to trial, it would have had the effect of lancing the wound.

Litigation can have an annealing effect on companies, forcing them to re-examine the way they do business. But as it was, the full extent and villainy of the hacking was never known because the News Corporation paid serious money to make sure it stayed that way.

And the money the company reportedly paid out to hacking victims is chicken feed compared with what it has spent trying to paper over the tactics of News America in a series of lawsuits filed by smaller competitors in the United States.

In 2006 the state of Minnesota accused News America of engaging in unfair trade practices, and the company settled by agreeing to pay costs and not to falsely disparage its competitors.

In 2009, a federal case in New Jersey brought by a company called Floorgraphics went to trial, accusing News America of, wait for it, hacking its way into Floorgraphics’s password protected computer system.

The complaint summed up the ethos of News America nicely, saying it had “illegally accessed plaintiff’s computer system and obtained proprietary information” and “disseminated false, misleading and malicious information about the plaintiff.”

The complaint stated that the breach was traced to an I.P. address registered to News America and that after the break-in, Floorgraphics lost contracts from Safeway, Winn-Dixie and Piggly Wiggly.

Much of the lawsuit was based on the testimony of Robert Emmel, a former News America executive who had become a whistle-blower. After a few days of testimony, the News Corporation had heard enough. It settled with Floorgraphics for $29.5 million and then, days later, bought it, even though it reportedly had sales of less than $1 million.

But the problems continued, and keeping a lid on News America turned out to be a busy and expensive exercise. At the beginning of this year, it paid out $125 million to Insignia Systems to settle allegations of anticompetitive behavior and violations of antitrust laws. And in the most costly payout, it spent half a billion dollars in 2010 on another settlement, just days before the case was scheduled to go to trial. The plaintiff, Valassis Communications, had already won a $300 million verdict in Michigan, but dropped the lawsuit in exchange for $500 million and an agreement to cooperate on certain ventures going forward.

The News Corporation is a very large, well-capitalized company, but that single payout to Valassis represented one-fifth of the company’s net income in 2010 and matched the earnings of the entire newspaper and information division that News America was a part of.

Because consumers (and journalists) don’t much care who owns the coupon machine in the snack aisle, the cases have not received much attention. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a useful window into the broader culture at the News Corporation.

News America was led by Paul V. Carlucci, who, according to Forbes, used to show the sales staff the scene in “The Untouchables” in which Al Capone beats a man to death with a baseball bat. Mr. Emmel testified that Mr. Carlucci was clear about the guiding corporate philosophy.

According to Mr. Emmel’s testimony, Mr. Carlucci said that if there were employees uncomfortable with the company’s philosophy — “bed-wetting liberals in particular was the description he used” Mr. Emmel testified — then he could arrange to have those employees “outplaced from the company.”

Clearly, given the size of the payouts, along with the evidence and testimony in the lawsuits, the News Corporation must have known it had another rogue on its hands, one who needed to be dealt with. After all, Mr. Carlucci, who became chairman and chief executive of News America in 1997, had overseen a division that had drawn the scrutiny of government investigators and set off lawsuits that chipped away at the bottom line.

And while Mr. Murdoch might reasonably maintain that he did not have knowledge of the culture of permission created by Mr. Hinton and Ms. Brooks, by now he has 655 million reasons to know that Mr. Carlucci colored outside the lines.

So what became of him? Mr. Carlucci, as it happens, became the publisher of The New York Post in 2005 and continues to serve as head of News America, which doesn’t exactly square with Mr. Murdoch’s recently stated desire to “absolutely establish our integrity in the eyes of the public.”

A representative for the News Corporation did not respond to a request for comment.

Even as the flames of the scandal begin to edge closer to Mr. Murdoch’s door, anybody betting against his business survival will most likely come away disappointed. He has been in deep trouble before and not only survived, but prospered. The News Corporation’s reputation may be under water, but the company itself is very liquid, with $11.8 billion in cash on hand and more than $2.5 billion of annual free cash flow.

Still, money will fix a lot of things, but not everything. When you throw money onto a burning fire, it becomes fuel and nothing more.

Peter Lemkin
07-18-2011, 07:46 PM
Davies almost makes it sound as if he things the death is temporally coincident. If it is, there is sure a LOT of temporal coincident Dark Energy in this part of the Universe at the moment. The timing, alone, would make any detective worth his salt think twice and many more times that.......

...anyway, I predict Tuesday [tomorrow] will be an interesting new day in this gift that keeps on giving!.....:mexican: Popcorn anyone? :popcorn:

Jan Klimkowski
07-18-2011, 09:09 PM
Another NYT piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/world/europe/19tactics.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&hp).

Some excerpts.

Rupert 'n Rebekah desperately trying to "share" the filth around:


Ms. Brooks and others first made the case, widely believed to be true, that other newspapers had also hacked phones and sought to dig up evidence to prove it, interviews show. At a private meeting, Rupert Murdoch warned Paul Dacre, the editor of the rival Daily Mail newspaper and one of the most powerful men on Fleet Street, that “we are not going to be only bad dog on the street,” according to an account that Mr. Dacre gave to his management team. Mr. Murdoch’s spokesman did not respond to questions about his private conversations.

Former company executives and political aides assert that News International executives carried out a campaign of selective leaks implicating previous management and the police. Company officials deny that. The Metropolitan Police responded with a statement alleging a “deliberate campaign to undermine the investigation into the alleged payments by corrupt journalists to corrupt police officers.”


Over the last several months, Ms. Brooks spearheaded a strategy that seemed designed to spread the blame across Fleet Street, interviews show. Several former News of the World journalists said that she asked them to dig up evidence of hacking. One said in an interview that Ms. Brooks’s target was not her own newspapers, but her rivals.

Mr. Dacre, The Daily Mail editor, told his senior managers that he had received several reports from businesspeople, soccer stars and public relations agencies that the News International executives Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg had encouraged them to investigate whether their phones had been hacked by Daily Mail newspapers . “They thought it was unfair that all the focus was on The News of the World,” said one News International official with knowledge of the effort. The two men have told colleagues they did not make such calls, but two company officials disputed that.

Mr. Dacre confronted Ms. Brooks over breakfast at the plush Brown’s hotel. “You are trying to tear down the entire industry,” Mr. Dacre told her, according to an account he relayed to his management team.

Ms. Brooks, whose tenacity is legendary, was not deterred. At a dinner party, Lady Claudia Rothermere, the wife of the billionaire owner of The Daily Mail, overheard Ms. Brooks saying that The Mail was just as culpable as The News of the World. “We didn’t break the law,” Lady Rothermere said, according to two sources with knowledge of the exchange. Ms. Brooks asked who Lady Rothermere thought she was, “Mother Teresa?”



Allegations of a strategy of selective leaking to dump on Andy "I used to be a made man" Coulson and the police:



In the last two weeks, a series of leaks landed in other British news media that appeared intended to shift blame from News International’s current leadership and onto Mr. Coulson and the Metropolitan Police. According to political aides and News Corporation executives, the leaks most likely came from within the company.

Leaks to The Sunday Times, the BBC, and to outlets like Mr. Greenberg’s former employer, The London Evening Standard, gave details of Mr. Coulson’s alleged payments to the police and blamed previous News International management.

Mr. Greenberg did not respond directly to messages seeking comment. But a News International spokeswoman referred reporters to a statement from Ms. Akers, the head of the police investigation, praising him and Mr. Lewis for their cooperation with the police.

The Metropolitan Police said it was “extremely concerned” that the release of selected information “known by a small number of people” present at meetings between News International and the police “could have a significant impact on the corruption investigation.”

Omerta and "resist resist resist":


More recently, as lawsuits and arrests mounted, dissension grew inside News International, interviews show.

After Mr. Edmondson was fired and arrested, Ms. Brooks pressed to pay him a monthly stipend, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. After an internal disagreement, the payments were moved from the newsroom budget to News International’s. The company put other journalists on paid leave after their arrests, reasoning that they were innocent until proven guilty, a company spokesperson confirmed.

By the middle of last year, News International’s lawyers and some executives were urging that the company accept some responsibility, said two officials with direct knowledge. Ms. Brooks disagreed, according to three people who described the internal debate. “Her behavior all along has been resist, resist, resist,” said one company official.

Ed Jewett
07-18-2011, 09:21 PM
July 18, 2011

A Domain of Personal Tyranny

A Real History of Rupert Murdoch

By BRUCE PAGE

Rupert’s father, Sir Keith, founded the dynasty during World War I as a dirty-tricks minion for “Billy” Hughes, probably Australia’s nastiest prime minister. His cover myth as a heroic war reporter has been so thoroughly dismantled that now it impresses none but family retainers.

At Versailles, Keith was Billy’s ever-present aide in striving to make the Peace Conference into a vicious cock-up, rich in racist and imperialist content. Curiously, the pair would have had zero leverage but for the failure of a plot of Keith’s, which sought in 1918 to remove Australia’s battlefield commander on the Western Front, John Monash, for being an unheroic Jew. (Monash wrote home that it was a bore having to fight a “pogrom” at the same time as fight Ludendorff.) The overall commander, General Douglas Haig, wouldn’t play: and Monash’s divisions led the British breakthrough at Amiens which, ruining Ludendorff, put Germany – suddenly, unexpectedly– at the Allies’ mercy.

Haig and other soldiers hoped there might be space for a decent peace. But politicians of various brands thought otherwise and none outdid Keith’s boss in vengeful demagoguery, destroying at last all the credit Monash had gained for Australia. Billy and Keith weren’t prime authors of the Versailles debacle in 1919. But none toiled harder in its cause.

This ironic history yields two items of present relevance. One, we see the core of the Murdoch business: offering political propaganda services, disguised thinly as journalism. Two, there’s the stunning Murdoch talent for seizing the wrong end of any available political or military stick. Keith’s estimate of Monash and Rupert’s of the pseudo-warrior Bush Jr. were reciprocals, to be sure, but identically crass.

Not that we’ve seen, over the years, any Murdoch disquiet with the results of serving as an uncritical understrapper to power. Implausible as it may now seem, Rupert began with an honorable path before him, and even took some steps along it. In 1950s Australia, he inherited a small but prospering newspaper, run by people who were his friends and admirers. Stirring issues were to hand : notably, the liberation of Australia’s indigenous people and the rescue of its white majority from a perilous racist quarrel with its Asian neighbors. These have developed into serious popular movements – but were repugnant for decades to the politicians of orthodoxy. And they, Rupert saw, were the ones dishing out television licenses.

Thus his first, pattern-setting editorial defenestration: of a close, loyal friend who was engaged with him in saving from execution a black man framed for rape and murder. The campaign might have given Murdoch, authentically, the outsider status he always pretends to. But true to subsequent form, he raised what can only be called the white flag. Still, by then the ex-editor, Rohan Rivett, had uncovered sufficient malpractice that the supposed murderer could not be hanged, and only jailed for life. This incomplete act of selfless courage remains unique on Murdoch’s record.

Possession of television licenses (well, state monopolies) in South Australia and New South Wales gave him resources enough to mount the world stage, and he arrived in London just as Britain’s huge popular newspapers began to realize (belatedly) that they were sick, often mortally so. Here, in the 1970s, was Murdoch’s indispensable breakthrough – a complex event, which Wolff totally misunderstands.

British daily papers in the first part of the last century were chiefly a middle-class habit, but by the time of World War II nearly everyone was joining up. Causes were manifold: new populist methods in journalism and advertising, astonishing socio-political drama, and overdue consummation of the long drive for working-class literacy.

In 1960, the Daily Mirror’s circulation was five million. But by the end of the Sixties every popular paper was in trouble. For instance , the News of the World, which Murdoch acquired in 1969 with a six-million circulation, had been at eight million 10 years earlier.

Essentially, the popular press (not then “tabloid”) had been caught unaware by new postwar waves of education and social advance. Though sneered at by left and right, these were quite real, and meant that popular journalism’s audience was split. About half wanted a new, more intelligent product. The other half wanted more of the old one.

Only one proprietor solved this classic media-management problem creatively, and it wasn’t Rupert. Vere Harmsworth, while absorbing financial setbacks at his flagship Daily Mail, invested heavily in the skills of brilliant, strong-minded editors. The Mail raised its sale 50 per cent between 1970 and 2000 – and by organic growth, not transfer from other titles. Pardonably repelled by its berserk politics, liberals often miss the Mail’s populist intelligence. It is formidable nonetheless.

Murdoch did otherwise. His target was the behemoth Mirror, whose bosses treated the Seventies crisis as an exercise in felo-de-se. Having sprinkled some flimsy upmarket features over the old paper, they cut its size and simultaneously raised its price. Murdoch, acquiring the derelict Sun, relaunched it as a crude clone of the old Mirror – but fatter, cheaper and a tad raunchier. The Mirror’s sales collapsed: the Sun’s soared, as its lockstep reciprocal. Media economics contains no neater (or better deserved) instance of parasitic symbiosis.

Today the Sun (three million) and Mirror together sell about four million, as against the Mirror’s 1960s five-million peak: a secular decline of 25 per cent (continuing still), while Britain’s population grew 25 per cent. The News of the World, finding no parasite-host in its Sunday marketplace, declined more simply, sales having halved under Murdoch control. Rupert the circulation mastermind is a myth as frail as Keith the upright war reporter.

Mostly, his newspapers are a sad pack of dogs, especially the New York Post and The Times of London – absurd vanity sheets by any defensible rules, much as Newscorp’s accounts veil their losses. Sentimentally, perhaps, having served it in pre-Murdoch days, I still see journalism flickering in the London Sunday Times. (We owe to it the Downing Street Memorandum, proving intelligence fraud in the Iraq preliminaries – overall, though, it sustained Newscorp’s aim of tedious servility to Bush Jr.)

But dogs have their functions. First, even in decline, the British tabloids generate vast cash flow, essential to Newscorp’s financial vitality. Second, all the papers, profitable or not, are business accessories of a unique type. They have always been politically deliverable: enabling Murdoch to extract from governments in Australia, America and Britain free passes against regulation, designed to sustain media diversity and independence — printed and electronic. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair were his best-known playmates, but leaders of the Australian Labor Party, (specially inclined to fancy that they were exploiting Murdoch) must not be forgotten.
Newscorp’s rise to television power was a major subplot in the four-decade deregulation epic, now tardily recognized as an unshackling of Caliban. Its dynamics explain Murdoch’s unremitting circulation losses. To be deliverable,a newspaper (or TV show) must be predictable. Then you may manage (even stabilize) its decline, but you mustn’t expect organic growth. If you’re doing fealty to a bunch of politicians, nothing sucks worse than your staff exposing their misdemeanors – even accidentally – however beguiling for the readers.

There are some rib-tickling instances in Harry Evans’ account of editing The Times while Boss Rupert courted the Thatcher administration. Papers actually were selling fast – but numerous editions agonized Downing Street. Agony communicated itself to Rupert, and firing Harry was the only cure.

The extent to which the powerful could rely on other media bosses predictably to deliver their assets is often exaggerated. Certainly, the old monsters like Hearst, Northcliffe and Beaverbrook were driven by unpredictable – indeed, barmy – passions of their own. But Rupert is the supreme pragmatist. Barking right is the default state of his own politics: however, these can be readily overwritten any time there’s a deal to do. It may be worth discussing whether he really likes running moribund newspapers. But the commercial point is that politicians love them.

Their production requires editors whose curiosity-quotient addresses itself to thinking what the boss might think, and never to seeking stories which may penetrate unknown territory. Such people may be kind to dogs and beggars – though many of Rupert’s retainers are visibly feral – but they produce few exclusives, which impact the real world. Thus, their journalistic product centers on stings, checkbook scoops, antique scandals reheated and celebrity gossip. (Murdoch’s alleged desire to abolish Britain’s royal family would darken the Sun if implemented. But his own dynasty never has done irony.)

Operationally, all this requires a grotesque machinery of bullying, conformity, manipulation and toadyism. Mainly, it is staffed by people who have no exit, as Murdoch service at senior level has always severely dented a resume. Now and then able people became involved: some find havens where they can work decently and inconspicuously, but most are ejected, or self-eject. (The latter option is disliked. When The Times caught tabloid fever and self-trashed its image, Simon Jenkins was hired to do cosmetic repairs but would only sign for two years. Murdoch said he preferred to fire editors himself, but had to accept: of course, he then beat Jenkins to the punch.)

When I wrote The Murdoch Archipelago with Elaine Potter, we justified our title by saying that the Murdochs had built a domain as close to personal tyranny as the legal framework of the liberal West will allow. Most observers agree on this, and so do ex-denizens unless they hope for renewed Newscorp favors.

Predictably, dad’s admiration involves that smelly old-class warhorse, the Establishment. The critter exists only to be abjured by ruling-class members, determined to escape whatever obligations of law or honor such status might yet attract. Then actions, which would be greedy and irresponsible in a confessed kingpin, become innocent rebellion, undertaken to toss off oppression by invisible elites. Murdoch’s acolytes routinely use such hocus-pocus to obscure the true nature of the boss – often from themselves. If you can see Murdoch, power’s long-term toady, in that light, nothing’s beyond your belief, and envisioning the Post as a palladium of journalism presents no difficulty. And his long support of it, against disastrous market performance (and by now, surely, a thinned-out political value), indicates that Murdoch feels that way himself.

It is, after all, his own creation as nothing else is. Fox News was the work of Roger Ailes; the Sun – of Larry Lamb and Kelvin McKenzie; the Newscorp (as against original) Sunday Times – of Andrew Neil; the Sky satellite network – of the ravening Sam Chisholm. To be sure, they all accepted him as overlord, with sad consequences for their products (and often their ambitions). But, Murdoch myth apart, all of them were hardened pros, doing the hands-on stuff themselves (and fending Rupert off wherever possible).

Their products are not much good, but there is a certain professional gleam: disproof, indeed, of the claim that you can’t polish shit. The Post, however, is the product unrefined. It represents Rupert doing a complicated, difficult job as best as he can: something, which should make us think hard about the perils which oppress democracy.

It’s insufficiently realized that neither Rupert nor his father had any serious training in journalism. Keith, quite late in life, confessed that he might have made a better reporter had things been otherwise; in fact, he came up as freelance scrabbling for lineage in Melbourne’s Edwardian suburbs and was, as he said, “sweated.” There are few worse starts, as income depends on writing-up uncritically whatever your sources might offer, and developing habits of independent judgment carries serious prospects of hunger.

By the 1950s, metropolitan newspapers in Australia and America (some in Britain) had quite detailed training procedures. Indeed, Keith had assisted their creation. But he created also the dynastic channel through which Rupert passed them by: inheriting straightaway on his father’s death the Adelaide News business, which Keith had deftly extracted from the public company, of which he was managing director.

Very likely Keith anticipated a few more years, but death looked in while Rupert was still at Oxford – and no more equipped to command a newspaper than command a small warship or run a middle-sized lawsuit. The trust arrangements required his mother, with co-trustees, to certify Rupert’s professional readiness, and that pantomime was duly staged.

It’s worth looking back to the Rohan Rivett betrayal, to ask whether Rupert, having seen a few years of hard reporting practice, might have been less daunted by the ridiculous – now forgotten – Pooh-Bahs who were running South Australia just then. But the real question is about maintaining liberty: something, which requires (among other things) regular performance of the arduous, intricate work of journalism.

From many roles of similar complexity we debar the unqualified. Your family may bequeath you an airliner but can’t bequeath you the right to fly it. And similarly with a pharmacy – though, as Kipling said, there are no drugs so dangerous as words, where we leave the traffic unrestricted. As we have to.

The right to build a noxious empire like Newscorp is an indispensable consequence of freedom of speech. No society, says Rosa Luxemburg, can be healthy without it. (She is the most reliable libertarian: on consulting the right, such as Hayek, one gleans some admirable sentiments. But then he starts driveling about authoritarian governments being maybe liberal after all.)

Clearly, this freedom cannot be protected by proscriptive law (although some modest regulations may help, and none of those evaded by Newscorp were or are barriers to freedom, any more than are the rules of libel). It is a matter of conscience, as Luxemburg makes clear with her principle that “freedom is for the other fellow”: one that applies even when the other fellow is Murdoch.

And, thus, it costs something: a price to be paid by those who believe in it.

It takes various forms, and first comes the effort of keeping your mind from decaying, (like chroniclers of Murdoch such as Michael Wolff), until you start disseminating nonsense about Rupert, the anti-establishment radical. There may be hard, rainy days when someone needs to work for Newscorp. But nobody should do it under the illusion (or pretence) of doing society a favor, or learning how to practice journalism.

Murdoch now controls enough of the market for English-language journalism that anyone resolved to keep clear loses some competitive advantage. People – already adequately fixed – should accept the limitation and let Murdoch find his servants elsewhere. We must retire the argument that “if I don’t do it, someone else will.”

Politicians may find it hardest to break the Newscorp habit. Real journalists, in any medium, may ask awkward questions: it’s not only paladins of the right who have found ease with Rupert. And, as a rule, his wants are humble – just deep-sixing a bit of monopoly law the voters know nothing of.

Centrally, Newscorp is just one among the malignancies generated by four decades of upper-crust self-indulgence, disguised as libertarianism. Possibly there’s no cure. But if there is, it will come with a moral climate quite unlike the one Murdoch has so far found propitious.

Bruce Page is the author (with Elaine Potter) of The Murdoch Archipelago, Pocket Books: 2004, 592pp. He can be reached at bruce@pages2.adsl24.co.uk.

This essay first ran on this site on May 15, 2009, with some reflections, omitted here, on Michael Wolff’s sycophantic The Man Who Owns the News. Page can be reached at bruce@pages2.adsl24.co.uk

http://www.counterpunch.org/page07182011.html

Ed Jewett
07-18-2011, 09:23 PM
Weekend Edition
July 15 - 17, 2011

Selling Wars

The Blood on Murdoch's Hands

By DAVID SWANSON

Nailing Rupert Murdoch for his employees' phone tapping or bribery would be a little like bringing down Al Capone for tax fraud, or George W. Bush for torture. I'd be glad to see it happen but there'd still be something perverse about it.

I remember how outraged Americans were in 2005 learning about our government's warrantless spying, or for that matter how furious some of my compatriots become when a census form expects them to reveal how many bathrooms are in their home.

I'm entirely supportive of outrage. I just have larger crimes in mind. Specifically this:

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
Article 20
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
The Fox News Channel is endless propaganda for war, and various other deadly policies. As Robin Beste points out,

"Rupert Murdoch's newspapers and TV channels have supported all the US-UK wars over the past 30 years, from Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands war in 1982, through George Bush Senior and the first Gulf War in 1990-91, Bill Clinton's war in Yugoslavia in 1999 and his undeclared war on Iraq in 1998, George W. Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Tony Blair on his coat tails, and up to the present, with Barack Obama continuing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and now adding Libya to his tally of seven wars."

In this video, Murdoch confesses to having used his media outlets to support the Iraq War and to having tried to shape public opinion in favor of the war. That is the very definition of propaganda for war.

The propaganda is, also by definition, part of the public record. Although that record speaks for itself, Murdoch has not been shy about adding his commentary. The week before the world's largest anti-war protests ever and the United Nation's rejection of the Iraq War in mid-February 2003, Murdoch told a reporter that in launching a war Bush was acting "morally" and "correctly" while Blair was "full of guts" and "extraordinarily courageous." Murdoch promoted the looming war as a path to cheap oil and a healthy economy. He said he had no doubt that Bush would be "reelected" if he "won" the war and the U.S. economy stayed healthy. That's not an idle statement from the owner of the television network responsible for baselessly prompting all of the other networks to call the 2000 election in Bush's favor during a tight race in Florida that Bush actually lost.

Murdoch's support for the Iraq War extended to producing support for that war from every one of his editors and talking heads. It would be interesting to know what Murdoch and Blair discussed in the days leading up to the war. But knowing that would add little, if anything, to the open-and-shut case against Murdoch as war propagandist. Murdoch had known the war was coming long before February 2003, and had long since put his media machine behind it.

Murdoch has been close to Blair and has now published his book -- a book that Blair has had difficulty promoting in London thanks to the protest organizing of the Stop the War Coalition. Yet Murdoch allowed Mick Smith to publish the Downing Street Memos in his Sunday Times. Murdoch's loyalty really seems to be to his wars, not his warmakers.

John Nichols describes three of those warmakers:

"When the war in Iraq began, the three international leaders who were most ardently committed to the project were US President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. On paper, they seemed like three very different political players: Bush was a bumbling and inexperienced son of a former president who mixed unwarranted bravado with born-again moralizing to hold together an increasingly conservative Republican Party; Blair was the urbane 'modernizer' who had transformed a once proudly socialist party into the centrist 'New Labour' project; Howard was the veteran political fixer who came up through the ranks of a coalition that mingled traditional conservatives and swashbuckling corporatists.

"But they had one thing in common. They were all favorites of Rupert Murdoch and his sprawling media empire, which began in Australia, extended to the 'mother country' of Britain and finally conquered the United States. Murdoch's media outlets had helped all three secure electoral victories. And the Murdoch empire gave the Bush-Blair-Howard troika courage and coverage as preparations were made for the Iraq invasion. Murdoch-owned media outlets in the United States, Britain and Australia enthusiastically cheered on the rush to war and the news that it was a 'Mission Accomplished.'"

Bribery is dirty stuff. So is sneaking a peak at the private messages of murder victims. But there's something even dirtier: murder, murder on the largest scale, murder coldly calculated and played out from behind a desk, in other words: war.

Murdoch is a major crime boss being threatened with parking tickets.

I hope he's brought down, but wish it were for the right reasons.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee chased Richard Nixon out of town for the wrong reasons. The full House impeached Bill Clinton for the wrong reasons. And the worst thing the U.S. government has done in recent years, just like the worst thing News Corp. has done in recent years, has not been spying on us.

It's no secret what drove public anger at Nixon or what drives public anger at Murdoch. But, for the sake of historical precedent, it would be good for us to formally get it right.

Charge the man with selling wars!

David Swanson is a writer in Charlottesville, Va.

http://www.counterpunch.org/swanson07152011.html

Ed Jewett
07-18-2011, 10:34 PM
July 14-15, 2011 --Murdoch intelligence-gathering network extended to U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressional sources have confirmed to WMR that the U.S. Capitol Police and other congressional officials shared sensitive information on members of Congress with Rupert Murdoch's media outlets in Washington, including Fox News, in a manner similar to the situation in the United Kingdom where reporters for Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World bribed British law enforcement officials for sensitive information on public officials and private citizens.

Representative Peter King (R-NY) has already leveled charges that News of the World reporters tried to bribe U.S. law enforcement officials for phone records and transcripts of wiretaps of victims of the 9/11 attack. King did not elaborate on why law enforcement would have found it necessary, in the first place, to wiretap the conversations of 9/11 victims and their surviving next-of-kin.

On March 28, 2007, WMR first reported the relationship between the newly-appointed U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, who was formerly the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Fox News in three highly-publicized incidents involving only Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The three incidents involved Fox News receiving information directly from Gainer on incidents involving then-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), then-Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), and an aide to Senator Jim Webb (D-VA).

After a highly-publicized scuffle involving McKinney and an aggressive U.S. Capitol Police officer, one in which McKinney was physically assaulted by the officer, Fox News was the first to report the incident. The media hype resulting from the incident resulted in a criminal referral to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia. Shortly after Gainer resigned as chief and his being appointed by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, Representative Kennedy was involved in a minor automobile accident on Capitol Hill. Again, Fox News was the first to receive the information about the incident and Gainer stated publicly that Kennedy should have been given a sobriety test by the Capitol cops.

The third incident involved Phillip Thompson, the executive assistant to Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, who was arrested by the Capitol Police at the Russell Senate Office Building for carrying a loaded pistol allegedly given to him by Webb. The Capitol Police enforced a DC law in force at the time that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement officers from carrying weapons in the District. Webb said he has a license to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia and Thompson, an ex-Marine, inadvertently carried the weapon into the building after dropping Webb off at the airport. WMR's March 2007 report stated: "Details of the [Thompson] incident were leaked by the cops to Fox News and other neo-con outlets." WMR also reported that the leaks by US Capitol Police and Sergeant-at-Arms staff also occurred in the cases of McKinney and Kennedy.

Gainer is a long-time Republican who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Richard M. Daley, Jr. as the Republican candidate for Cook County (Illinois) State's Attorney in 1988. Gainer got his start in law enforcement as a rookie Chicago cop in 1968 where he helped put down riots at the Democratic National Comvention, a melee that saw Chicago cops clubbing anti-Vietnam War protesters.

As U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, Gainer is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the Senate's telecommunications networks and computer and other equipment, including those that handle Senators' e-mail, phone calls, faxes, Blackberry tweets, and photocopies of documents.

Some members of Congress have indicated the investigation of Murdoch's News Corporation's information-gathering practices warrant a full-scale investigation in the United States. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told CNN, "My bet is we'll find some criminal stuff . . . This is going to be a huge issue." Rockefeller said he may launch his own investigation. Perhaps he might want to start with the Senate's Sergeant-at-Arms and ask Harry Reid why he chose to appoint Gainer, a Republican, to the post after evidence surfaced that tied Gainer to leaks of law enforcement information to Fox News.

In Britain, law enforcement officials, including royal guards, reportedly asked the News of the World for money in exchange for personal information about the Royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, and others. While he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was also subjected to private communication surveillance by private detectives who had a close relationship with law enforcement agencies, including Scotland Yard.

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20110714

Ed Jewett
07-18-2011, 10:39 PM
Wayne Madsen (Washington)

Murdoch was caught spying on his chums and others for red meat. He crossed the line. Only the rich and powerful, after all, are entitled to privacy. In the backwash of all this, a disgusting propaganda mouthpiece for the neocons and Israel takes a major hit

However, the official inquiry set up by Cameron is rigged. It is headed by Judge Brian Leveson. His Wikipedia entry for "personal life" is short and sweet, which says it all. A Judge Richard Goldstone redux is in the works.

July 14-15, 2011 -- ON-TOPIC DAILY CHAT Blog
http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20110714_1

Magda Hassan
07-19-2011, 12:43 AM
http://fastcache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2011/07/antisecsun.jpg
HACKERS (http://gizmodo.com/hackers/)Share



#AntiSec Hackers Spill News of the World Chief Rebekah Brooks’ Email Login to Entire Internet (Updated)

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/commenter/2070000/2075412_32.jpg (http://gizmodo.com/people/SamBiddle/)Sam Biddle (http://gizmodo.com/people/SamBiddle/) — The fruits of today's Sun UK hack (http://gizmodo.com/5822392/anonymous-hacks-the-sun-with-brutal-murdoch-death-notice) are starting to dangle down: LulzSec (out of retirement?) and Anon are tweeting logins of some serious British media brass. Foremost? Rebekah Brooks, the epicenter of England's voicemail hacking scandal.Update: phone numbers!
The tweet divulged the email and password info for one Rebekah Wade—Brooks' maiden name—along with many others from Murdoch's tabloid upper crust:

Harvey Shaw—Publishing Operations Team Manager, News International—Phone number
Pete Picton—Sun Online Editor—Phone number
Lee Wells—Editorial Support Manager at News International—Email and Password
Bill Akass—Managing Editor, News of the World—Email and password
Chris Hampartsoumian—Former Online Editor at timeonline.co.uk—Phone number
Danny Rogers—Sun Online Editorial Manager—Email and password
This trickle is probably only the start. LulzSec appears to be hard at work (https://twitter.com/#%21/LulzSec/status/93081041132195841) squeezing more logins out of The Sun's servers:

We are battling with The Sun admins right now - I think they are losing. The boat has landed... >:]
In other words, expect more—though the only login fish bigger than Brooks would be Murdoch's.
Update: AntiSec operators have tweeted phone numbers for The Sun's online editor, Pete Picton, along with two other (lesser) Sun editorial figures.
http://gizmodo.com/5822416/antisec-hackers-release-news-of-the-world-chief-rebekah-brooks-email-login

Magda Hassan
07-19-2011, 02:42 AM
LulzSec hacks scandal-hit News International websites
http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image/images/afp/photo_1311031387580-1-0.jpg (http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image_lightbox/images/afp/photo_1311031387580-1-0.jpg?1311043058)Lulz Security hacker group on Monday attacked the website of the Rupert Murdoch owned Sun newspaper, replacing the online version with a fake story pronouncing the mogul's death.


AFP - Lulz Security hacker group on Monday attacked the website of the Rupert Murdoch owned Sun newspaper, replacing the online version with a fake story pronouncing the mogul's death.
The tabloid quickly took down reports that the 80-year-old had been found dead in his garden after ingesting palladium but visitors to the site were redirected to LulzSec's Twitter feed, which celebrated the high-profile attack.
The group also claimed to have hacked the homepage of the phone-hack scandal hit News International, the Sun's parent company, and the webpage of sister paper The Times was also inaccessible.
"We have owned Sun/News of the World - that story is simply phase 1 - expect the lulz to flow in coming days," a message from the group warned.
Another message taunted "We have joy we have fun, we have messed up Murdoch's Sun"
A News International spokeswoman said the company was "aware" of the attack.
The hacker collective said it was "sitting on their (the Sun's) emails" and was prepared to publicise them on Tuesday.
Lulz has been in the spotlight after taking credit for cyberattacks on high-profile companies including Sony and Nintendo.
http://www.france24.com/en/20110719-lulzsec-hacks-scandal-hit-news-international-websites

Magda Hassan
07-19-2011, 02:47 AM
In a recent interview with Russia Today, Afshin Rattansi, a Middle Eastern affairs journalist who’s appeared on the BBC, CNN and Bloomberg, said that he believes “Fox News is finished” if U.S. authorities can prove that News Corporation employees attempted to hack into the voicemails of terror attack victims (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jul/15/usa-rupert-murdoch) killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
“The Democrats have nothing much to do, but they all hate one influential cable channel: Fox News,” he said. “I’m hearing, if the 9/11 victims have been hacked by subsidiaries of News Corp., then Fox News is finished.”
This video is from Russia Today, broadcast Sunday, July 17, 2011.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLxvNUTAxG4&feature=player_embedded

Keith Millea
07-19-2011, 03:21 AM
I still don't trust LulzSec

It's just a feeling..........:popworm:

Magda Hassan
07-19-2011, 04:15 AM
Nor should you trust them Keith. They are a motley crew :mexican: Some have joined freely to sail the seven seas fight sea monsters and rescue mermaids and to stop Japanese whaling while others are on secondment from their day jobs with the agency, Volksland Zekurity and opeating drones in Pakistan from their California offices.

Magda Hassan
07-19-2011, 04:33 AM
Amelia Hill (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/ameliahill)
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Monday 18 July 2011 20.54 BSTArticle history (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/mystery-bag-bin-rebekah-brooks#history-link-box)http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Media/Pix/pictures/2011/5/3/1304421486808/Charlie-and-Rebekah-Brook-007.jpgCharlie and Rebekah Brooks. Photograph: Tom Jenkins

Detectives are examining a computer, paperwork and a phone found in a bin near the riverside London home of Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International.
The Guardian has learned that a bag containing the items was found in an underground car park in the Design Centre at the exclusive Chelsea Harbour development on Monday afternoon.
The car park, under a shopping centre, is yards from the gated apartment block where Brooks lives with her husband, a former racehorse trainer and close friend of David Cameron.
It is understood the bag was handed in to security at around 3pm, and that shortly afterwards Brooks's husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it.
Instead, it is understood that the security guard called the police (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/police). In less than half an hour, two marked police cars and an unmarked forensics car are said to have arrived at the scene.
Police are now examining CCTV footage taken in the car park to uncover who dropped the bag. Initial suspicions that there had been a break-in at the Brooks's flat have been dismissed.
David Wilson, Charlie Brooks's official spokesman, told the Guardian that Charlie Brooks denies that the bag belonged to his wife. "Charlie has a bag which contains a laptop and papers which were private to him," said Wilson.
"They were nothing to do with Rebekah or the [phone-hacking] case."
Wilson said Charlie Brooks had left the bag with a friend who was returning it, but dropped it in the wrong part of the garage. When asked how the bag ended up in a bin he replied: "The suggestion is that a cleaner thought it was rubbish and put it in the bin." Wilson added: "Charlie was looking for it together with a couple of the building staff.
"Charlie was told it had gone to security, by which stage they [security] had already called the police to say they had found something.
"The police took it away. Charlie's lawyers got in touch with the police to say they could take a look at the computer but they'd see there was nothing relevant to them on it. He's expecting the stuff back forthwith."
Rebekah Brooks was arrested on Sunday under suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, and of corrupting police officers. She is due to appear before the Commons culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday afternoon.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/mystery-bag-bin-rebekah-brooks

Magda Hassan
07-19-2011, 08:08 AM
Some one had to do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFufrqhp0eE

Bernice Moore
07-19-2011, 01:06 PM
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/uk-phone-hacking-whistleblower-found-dead-reports-071011948.html

LONDON (Reuters) - A former journalist who told the New York Times that phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World was more extensive than the paper had acknowledged at the time, has been found dead, media reported on Monday.
Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.

Bernice Moore
07-19-2011, 01:31 PM
One neighbour said last night: "He was physically going down hill. He was yellow in colour and wasn't looking well for the last month and was off sorts and I was really worrying about him.


Full article: http://www.theaustra...6-1226097373281 (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/sudden-death-of-news-of-the-world-whistleblower-shocks-colleagues/story-e6frg996-1226097373281)

Dawn Meredith
07-19-2011, 02:22 PM
One neighbour said last night: "He was physically going down hill. He was yellow in colour and wasn't looking well for the last month and was off sorts and I was really worrying about him.


Full article: http://www.theaustra...6-1226097373281 (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/sudden-death-of-news-of-the-world-whistleblower-shocks-colleagues/story-e6frg996-1226097373281)

Someone always says this. I think he was murdered. The press is being very coy about this story.

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2011, 03:48 PM
Have been living for 2.5 hours to this tripe from Murdoch and Murdoch. They were thrown the weakest of punches and stonewalled or crocodile teared them away. Nothing learned. A waste of time IMO. :loo:

Keith Millea
07-19-2011, 03:54 PM
Have been living for 2.5 hours to this tripe from Murdoch and Murdoch. They were thrown the weakest of punches and stonewalled or crocodile teared them away. Nothing learned. A waste of time IMO. :loo:

Yep,I was bored to death.If anyone wants to watch,there is a live stream at Democracy Now!

www.democracynow.org (http://www.democracynow.org)

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2011, 04:00 PM
It just livened up. Someone tried to hit and/or throw something at RM. His wife Wendy hit him with a right hook~! :rocker:

Rebecca the Red is next!....:spy::santa:

Tabloid is as tabloid does...... Poeple couldn't remember why people were given million L hush money. Et al. Yawn!

My gut feeling - the Murdock Reich one of the tentacles of World Oligarchy's ongoing Bread and Circus Show! Bring on the Gladiators to distract from real news!

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 04:15 PM
It just livened up. Someone tried to hit and/or throw something at RM. His wife Wendy hit him with a right hook~! :rocker:



Sorry but this is a disaster.

Those who don't know the true nature of the Murdoch empire will now have sympathy for this old man and his (third?) wife springing to rescue the geriatric old fool from a foam pie.

Unfortunately, from the few minutes I've seen of the Parliamentary Committee, they were crap, and didn't even manage to land a custard pie on him.

I'm off to have a nose around.

However, throwing a foam pie in Rupert's face achieved nothing other than generating misplaced sympathy for "his courage in facing his interrrogators". So much so that I am suspicious of the motives of the pie thrower. angryfire

Lauren Johnson
07-19-2011, 04:23 PM
It just livened up. Someone tried to hit and/or throw something at RM. His wife Wendy hit him with a right hook~! :rocker:




However, throwing a foam pie in Rupert's face achieved nothing other than generating misplaced sympathy for "his courage in facing his interrrogators". So much so that I am suspicious of the motives of the pie thrower. angryfire

Wendy seemed very ready for the attack. She get's to play a role as well. Great opportunity to change the subject.

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 04:36 PM
Murdoch has always prided himself on "news management".

The headlines will now focus on the foam attack, and Wendy "leaping to the rescue" of her old man.

The grisly details of the Murdoch interrogation, which are considered "too boring" for "ordinary people", can be shifted off the front pages.

Ffs. :thumbsdown:

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2011, 05:20 PM
It just livened up. Someone tried to hit and/or throw something at RM. His wife Wendy hit him with a right hook~! :rocker:



Sorry but this is a disaster.

Those who don't know the true nature of the Murdoch empire will now have sympathy for this old man and his (third?) wife springing to rescue the geriatric old fool from a foam pie.

Unfortunately, from the few minutes I've seen of the Parliamentary Committee, they were crap, and didn't even manage to land a custard pie on him.

I'm off to have a nose around.

However, throwing a foam pie in Rupert's face achieved nothing other than generating misplaced sympathy for "his courage in facing his interrrogators". So much so that I am suspicious of the motives of the pie thrower. angryfire


It is early days. However, there were images of [no sound] of the police with the pie thrower. They were suspiciously gentle and kind with him, even delicately wiping off the foam from his face and whispering in his ear by one officer.......just say'n,

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 05:47 PM
For the record, The Guardian's analysis of the new evidence of Stephenson, Yates, and Head of PR Fedorcio.

Senior police officers are professional investigators, adept at framing interview stategies, asking seemingly innocent questions to entrap their interviewee at a later time etc. Given this, it is not surprising that their testimony was tight.

However, even reading between the lines, it is clear that the Scotland Yard hierarchy was (to steal a phrase) entirely relaxed about continuing a close relationship with NI despite the fact the force was supposed to be investigating the Murdoch empire on serious allegations of criminality and corruption.

There's also some buck passing and ass protecting in the testimony below.


10 things we learned from the Met police at the phone-hacking hearing

Sir Paul Stephenson, John Yates and Dick Fedorcio provided some illuminating moments in front of the select committee

Peter Walker guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/19/phone-hacking-select-committee-met), Tuesday 19 July 2011 16.07 BST

1. David Cameron's chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, turned down the opportunity for the prime minister to be briefed on the fact that Neil Wallis was giving PR advice to the Metropolitan police, according to the force. The outgoing Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson first alluded to an unnamed "No 10 official" who briefed the force that Cameron should not be "compromised" over the issue. The outgoing assistant commissioner John Yates subsequently named the official as Llewellyn.

2. The buck does not always stop at the top in the Met. Stephenson deflected a number of tough questions by telling MPs this was a matter for Yates, giving evidence later.

3. No one properly checked Wallis before he began work for Scotland Yard. The force's head of PR, Dick Fedorcio, told MPs that "due diligence" was carried out by Yates, even though Yates and Wallis were friends. Not so, said Yates: all he did was make a single phone call to Wallis to ask whether anything he had done could "embarrass" the force.

4. Stephenson resigned despite, he believed, still having the full support of Theresa May, the home secretary, London's mayor, Boris Johnson, and the bulk of the force. He told MPs: "It was against the advice of many, many colleagues – and, indeed, my wife." He added: "I'm not leaving because I was pushed or threatened."

5. Yates passed on the CV of Wallis's daughter within the force, thus possibly assisting her to get a job with the Met. He insisted he had done nothing wrong but "simply acted as a postbox".

6. The Metropolitan police has 45 press officers, 10 of whom previously worked for News International, figures revealed by Stephenson.

7. Corporate PR consultancy can be a lucrative business. The Met received three tenders for a two-day-a-month contract to advise senior officers on press matters. The winning bid and "by far the cheapest", came from Wallis's company, at £1,000 a day.

8. Stephenson is not a fan of ex-colleague Andy Hayman's new career as a journalist. Asked whether he reads Hayman's Times column, the response was: "No, I do not."

9. Stephenson was determined to go out with a bang. He began quoting (inexactly) Macbeth on his resignation – "If it's done then best it's done quickly" – before vehemently defending his £12,000 free stay at Champneys health spa. He signed off with a clearly pre-prepared statement of defiance, describing his resignation as "an act of leadership".

10. We are living in strange times: there have been very few previous select committee hearings at which a Conservative MP (Mark Reckless) and a commissioner of the Metropolitan police go out of their way to praise the Guardian.

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 05:58 PM
Rupert at his most feeble:


Mr Watson pointed out that former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks admitted in 2003 that police were paid for information.

Mr Murdoch senior said: "I am now aware of that, I was not aware at the time. I'm also aware that she amended that considerably very quickly afterwards."

Mr Watson said: "I think she amended it seven or eight years afterwards but did you or anyone else in your organisation investigate it at the time?"

Mr Murdoch replied: "No. I didn't know of it.

"I'm sorry, if I can just say something and this is not as an excuse, maybe it's an explanation of my laxity.

"The News of the World is less than 1% of our company. I employ 53,000 people around the world who are proud and great and ethical and distinguished people, professionals in their work.

"I'm spread watching and appointing people whom I trust to run those divisions."

Source (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8647802/Rupert-Murdoch-I-do-not-accept-responsibility-for-wrongdoing-at-News-of-the-World.html).


Murdoch said he was also not informed about out-of-court payments sanctioned by his son James to settle phone-hacking cases involving Gordon Taylor and PR consultant Max Clifford. The News Corp chief said he had "never heard" of Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of footballers' union the PFA.

James Murdoch said his father had only become aware of the payments after they were made public by a newspaper (the Guardian, although he pointedly declined to refer to it directly). He said the level of the payments were "below the approval thresholds that would have to go to my father as chairman and chief executive of a global company".

Rupert Murdoch also said he had "never heard" of the News of the World's former chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, who was arrested and bailed earlier this year on suspicion of phone hacking. "That is the first I have heard of that," said Murdoch. "I can't answer. I don't know."

He also said he had not been aware that the culture select committee, in 2009, had accused News International executives of "collective amnesia" about the extent of phone hacking at the News of the World.

"I don't know who made that particular charge. I haven't heard that," he said. "You're really not saying amnesia, you're really saying lying," he told the committee.

Murdoch's performance before MPs today was being seen as a key test of his authority at the head of his global empire amid speculation that independent directors were weighing up the possibility of replacing him as chief executive.

Watson, who turned down successive offers by James Murdoch to take over answering questions on his father's behalf, said he wanted to put the questions to Rupert because he was ultimately responsible for corporate governance at News Corporation.

Source (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/19/rupert-murdoch-phone-hacking).

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 06:15 PM
Guardian investigative journalist Nick Davies on Scotland Yard's PR Chief.

Oh what a tangled web we weave....


Phone-hacking spotlight falls on Met PR man, Dick Fedorcio

Director of public affairs faces heavy scrutiny by MPs at select committee over links between Scotland Yard and NI

Nick Davies The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/19/phone-hacking-spotlight-dick-fedorcio), Tuesday 19 July 2011

The search for the truth about the ties that bind Scotland Yard to News International is now likely to focus on the role of one man: Dick Fedorcio, director of public affairs for the Metropolitan police.

Normally in the wings, Fedorcio will enter the bright lights of the home affairs select committee on Tuesday to answer questions about his role in the background to the phone-hacking scandal.

Guardian inquiries suggest that his 14 years at the head of the Yard's media operation made him a powerful figure, able to intervene in policy decisions; and that he has a history of particular closeness with the News of the World.

There is no evidence Fedorcio has done anything wrong, but there are troubling questions on which MPs want his help:

• Was Scotland Yard's failure to get to the truth in the original investigation in 2006 simply a case of incompetence (which is, in effect, their defence), or did the Yard deliberately cut short that inquiry as a favour to powerful friends at News International? MPs will want to know whether Fedorcio formally or informally had any influence over the decision.

• Was Scotland Yard's rapid decision to refuse to reopen the case in July 2009 influenced in any way by its close links with the News of the World? In relation to that controversial decision, was there any form of contact between Fedorcio and anyone at News International?

• Did Fedorcio play any role at all in the subsequent police statements to parliament, press and public which, we now know, included falsehoods, half-truths and evasions?

Fedorcio, 58, is a conservative figure, with a rugby player's chest and a businessman's suit, who was given an OBE in 2006. He rose through the ranks of local government PR (at the Greater London council, West Sussex, and Kent) and took over as head of public affairs at the Yard in September 1997, shortly before the arrival as deputy commissioner of John Stevens, who became a close ally. When Stevens became commissioner in 2000, the two men set out to find allies in Fleet Street, particularly among the conservative tabloids and the Daily Mail.

Fedorcio was far less close to Stevens's successor, Ian Blair. Indeed, several Yard sources claim that Fedorcio disliked the new commissioner. But his job gave him power: specifically, a seat on the elite senior management team which oversees major operational decisions and where Fedorcio's voice is said to be highly influential.

The fact of his link to Fleet Street reinforced that power. Like the PR heads of other organisations, he is said to have freely intervened on policy issues, changing strategy in search of better press coverage. One source recalls him sitting in with the July Review Group dealing with the aftermath of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, and effectively chairing a meeting, even though he had no operational standing.

Those who have worked closely with Fedorcio all agree he is particularly close to Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the News of the World and then of the Sun; and to Lucy Panton, the News of the World's crime correspondent. They say Fedorcio sometimes has caused friction with his press officers by providing the News of the World with information in preference to other newspapers.

MPs will want to know whether Fedorcio's close working link with Brooks influenced the Yard's decision to take no action when they discovered that a News of the World executive, Alex Marunchak, had apparently used the paper's resources to mount surveillance on a senior officer, DCS Dave Cook, acting on behalf of two men who were suspects in a murder investigation being led by Cook.

Fedorcio was present at a meeting when DCS Cook and his commander, Andre Baker, confronted Brooks with details of the surveillance, which could have been regarded as an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

The surveillance included following DCS Cook and his children; "blagging" personal data from confidential police databases; and attempting to access his voicemail and that of his wife.

Cook subsequently suspected that "Trojan horse" emails may have been sent to his computer, though no confirmation was ever found.

Fedorcio's personal links with the News of the World are part of a wider picture of close alliance. When John Stevens stepped down as commissioner in 2005 he was given a job as a columnist at the News of the World (a post that was secured, according to Yard sources, by Fedorcio).

When Ian Blair took over as commissioner his son was allowed to go on work experience at News International.

When Andy Hayman, the assistant commissioner in charge of the original phone-hacking inquiry, left under a cloud, he was given a job as a columnist on the Times, who also bought the serial rights to his memoirs.

Fedorcio is believed to have approved the highly controversial decision in September 2009 to hire the News of the World's former deputy editor, Neil Wallis, as a part-time media consultant at the same time as the paper was being publicly accused of crimes committed when Wallis worked there. It is still not clear whether Wallis had any influence over the Yard's handling of the affair.

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2011, 06:21 PM
From what I've seen THUS FAR, the UK is as structurally unable to do an investigation of this type as is the USA. The same 'cover-your-ass and the asses of the rich and powerful' applies over the truth in both systems.....the details differ.....the results are the same. :wirlitzer: Today's 'investigations' = ZERO, IMO.

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 06:26 PM
Hmmmm - the whispering corridors of power and squabbling over whose head is next on the block to save PM Cameron.

My money is on Fedorcio being next to get a big cheque to fuck off and keep quiet.

I don't find any of this testimony particularly credible.


Phone hacking: Cameron chief of staff 'turned down' Met police briefing

John Yates names Ed Llewellyn as senior official who asked police not to tell PM in 2010 about decision to hire Neil Wallis

Adam Gabbatt and Matthew Taylor guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/19/phone-hacking-cameron-chief-staff), Tuesday 19 July 2011 16.21 BST

David Cameron's chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, turned down the opportunity to be briefed on phone hacking, according to former Metropolitan police assistant commissioner John Yates.

Yates, who resigned on Monday, reviewed the phone-hacking evidence in 2009. He told the home affairs select committee that he offered to brief Llewellyn in September 2010, but Llewellyn said he would be "grateful" if the matter was not raised.

It came as Yates clashed with the director of public affairs at the Met, Dick Fedorcio, over who was responsible for the appointment of the former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis.

Llewellyn now appears to be under pressure after Yates revealed he was the "senior official" who asked the Met not to brief the prime minister on the hacking scandal in September 2010.

The Met police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, giving evidence before Yates, said a senior official in No 10 had advised the Met not to inform the prime minister about the police's decision to hire Wallis.

Yates then confirmed Llewellyn was the adviser in question. He said Llewellyn told him it was not appropriate for him to brief the PM on the phone-hacking investigation, adding "and I'd be grateful if it wasn't raised".

Last week it emerged Llewellyn also failed to pass to Cameron the Guardian's warnings about the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson over hacking and his connections to Jonathan Rees, a private detective who was then facing charges for conspiracy to murder. Despite the warnings Llewellyn took the judgment that the information was already substantially contained in news reports in the public domain.

Separately Yates disputed the evidence given to the committee by Fedorcio, who had suggested Yates was responsible for screening Wallis before his appointment to the Met.

Fedorcio said Yates conducted "due diligence" on Wallis before his appointment, but Yates told the committee that would be "slightly over-egging the pudding".

He said he had sought personal assurances from Wallis before his appointment, but said that was not due diligence.

Yates also denied helping Wallis's daughter get a job at the Met, saying he "simply acted as a postbox" by forwarding on her CV by email, and said while he was "friends" with Wallis, this relationship mainly revolved around sport.

Bernice Moore
07-19-2011, 06:53 PM
http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110719/rupert-murdoch-lawmakers-britain-police-phone-hacking-scandal-110719/20110719/?hub=OttawaHome

Murdoch has no plans to step down

Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2011, 09:12 PM
You can't make this stuff up.

For our international friends, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the part of the criminal justice system that the police formally approach, with the evidence gathered during their investigation, to learn whether charges should be pressed or not.

So, in 2006-7, when Lord Macdonald was the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), head of the CPS, the body he led did not pursue the phone hacking investigation.

Now, in June 2011, when the Murdoch empire called him in to "examine" evidence, it took him 3-5 minutes to identify "blindingly obvious" evidence of corrupt payments to police officers.

Oh the tangled games the British deep state plays. :angeldevil:



News Corp board shocked at evidence of payments to police, says former DPP

Lord Macdonald tells committee it took him 'three to five minutes' to decide NoW emails had to be passed to police

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/19/news-corp-police-payments-macdonald), Tuesday 19 July 2011 21.26 BST

"Blindingly obvious" evidence of corrupt payments to police officers was found by the former director of public prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, when he inspected News of the World emails, the home affairs select committee was told.

Explaining how he had been called in by solicitors acting for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation board, Lord Macdonald said that when he inspected the messages it took him between "three to five minutes" to decide that the material had to be passed to police.

"The material I saw was so blindingly obvious that trying to argue that it should not be given to the police would have been a hard task. It was evidence of serious criminal offences."

He first showed it to the News Corp board in June this year. "There was no dissent," he recalled. "They were stunned. They were shocked. I said it was my unequivocal advice that it should be handed to the police. They accepted that."

That board meeting, the former DPP said, was chaired by Rupert Murdoch.

Lord Macdonald shortly afterwards gave the material to Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick at the Metropolitan police. The nine or 10 emails passed over led to the launch of Operation Elveden, the police investigation into corrupt payments to officers for information.

Lord Macdonald, who had been in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service when the phone-hacking prosecution of the NoW's royal correspondent took place, said he had only been alerted to the case due to the convention that the DPP is always notified of crimes involving the royal family.

Members of the committee were highly critical of the CPS's narrow definition of what constituted phone hacking, claiming that it was at odds with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2011, 11:20 PM
Yes, but why was the committee today playing such softball with them and not asking the hard questions....even, as you pointed out, the pie that was not a pie incident was constructed to give Murdoch sympathy, not a hard time. This whole thing looks rigged in their favor. :mexican: :rofl:

Peter Lemkin
07-20-2011, 05:16 AM
AMY GOODMAN: Rupert Murdoch and his son and chosen successor, James Murdoch, appear before the British Parliament today as the phone-hacking scandal engulfing their media empire continues to grow. On Monday, Sean Hoare, a former reporter who helped blow the whistle on the Murdoch-owned News of the World, was found dead in his home in Britain. Hoare had been the source for a New York Times story tying the phone hacking to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who would later become chief of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson was arrested as the scandal broke open earlier this month.

Sean Hoare discussed his allegations against Coulson in an interview last September.

SEAN HOARE: I have stood by Andy and been requested to tap phones, OK, or hack into them and so on. He was well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie, is simply a lie.

AMY GOODMAN: Police say Sean Hoare appears to have died of natural causes, but that hasn’t lessened suspicion of foul play. Hoare not only talked about phone hacking, but phone tracking, as well—or as he said, they called it in the newsroom "pinging," where he said News of the World would pay, he believed, police to track individuals’ locations. These revelations have made the link between the phone-hacking scandal and police, with allegations of illegal payments for news tips and disclosures of close ties between top police officials and News International executives.

On Monday, John Yates, the third-ranking official at Britain’s Metropolitan Police Service, announced his resignation. Two years ago, Yates made the now-infamous decision not to reopen an investigation into the phone hacking.

JOHN YATES: This case has been subject of the most careful investigation by very experienced detectives. It has also been scrutinized in detail by both the CPS and leading counsel. They have carefully examined all the evidence and prepared indictments that they considered appropriate. No additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded. I therefore consider that no further investigation is required.

AMY GOODMAN: That was John Yates speaking in July 2009. Announcing his resignation Monday, Yates maintained he’s innocent of wrongdoing.

JOHN YATES: I simply cannot let this—the situation continue. It is a matter of great personal frustration that despite my efforts on a number of occasions to explain the true facts surrounding my role in these matters since 2009, there remains confusion about what exactly took place. I have acted with complete integrity, and my conscience is clear. I look forward to the future judge-led inquiry where my role will be examined in a proper and calmer environment and where my actions will be judged on the evidence rather than on innuendo and speculation, as they are at present.

AMY GOODMAN: The Independent Police Complaints Commission is now investigating Yates both for his handling of the phone-hacking case and for allegations he helped the daughter of former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis get a job with the British police. Yates’ resignation comes one day after Britain’s top cop—Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Paul Stephenson—also stepped down.

Pressure is also growing on Murdoch across the Atlantic. The FBI has launched a probe into allegations News Corp. employees tried to bribe police and hack into the voicemails of people killed in the 9/11 attacks. On Monday, the families of 9/11 victims asked to meet with the FBI and top Obama administration officials about the hacking allegations. Under U.S. law, News Corp. could face penalties even if the alleged bribery was committed entirely overseas.

The intense scrutiny on News Corp.'s practices is also widening the spotlight on its vast holdings in the U.S. media landscape. News Corp. owns a number of outlets, including Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, the National Geographic Channel, HarperCollins, TV Guide, The Weekly Standard, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, as well as the film studios 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight. News Corp.'s dominant standing in the U.S. media received a major boost in the early 1990s when the FCC waived a regulation meant to curb media consolidation.

For more, we’re joined in Washington, D.C., by Matt Wood. He is the policy director at the media reform group Free Press.

Matt, welcome to Democracy Now! Let’s talk about the Murdoch empire here in the United States.

MATT WOOD: Sure. Thanks, Amy. Great to be here.

That’s an impressive list that you just rattled off, in terms of the number of properties that Mr. Murdoch owns. The one thing that was not on that list was 28 TV station licenses for local TV stations around the country. And that’s really the part that the Federal Communications Commission has the most extensive oversight over, thanks to the special bargain that broadcasters have to serve the public interest in return for their use of the public airwaves. So those are the kinds of rules that it’s—it’s not fair to say that Fox or News Corp. alone has been pushing for their eradication over the last couple decades, but it is fair to say that they’ve been among the most aggressive lobbyists on that score and succeeded in not only trying to eradicate or reduce those rules, but also to seek waivers of them and obtain those waivers when they can’t change the rules that underlie the media ownership limitation you just mentioned.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain exactly how Rupert Murdoch came to own television and newspaper in the same town. In New York, he owns the New York Post, he owns the Wall Street Journal, and he owns Fox.

MATT WOOD: Sure. Well, that’s actually a two-part story, at least, although it’s probably easier to break it into several components, but for present purposes I’ll talk about two, and we can go deeper on either of these.

Murdoch owns TV stations, in the first place, in the United States thanks to a series of steps he took to first buy TV stations in the mid-’80s. And at that time, he was required to become a U.S. citizen, or I should say he became a U.S. citizen himself in an attempt to get around restrictions that the FCC and statute places on foreign ownership of broadcast licenses. So, in 1985 he becomes a U.S. citizen and is allowed to purchase these TV stations that today, as I mentioned, number 28 in 13 of the top 15 markets and that cover basically the entire United States in those large metropolitan markets.

The story becomes a little more complicated with the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban, a piece of regulation that prevents a newspaper from being owned by a television station. And that has been on the books since 1975. Murdoch again sought a waiver and obtained a waiver for those rules in the early ’90s, when he both had WNYW, the Fox affiliate in New York, and the New York Post in his holdings. That waiver was later expanded to include a second television station in New York. And he has, to this day, as you mentioned, controlled two TV stations, also the New York Post, a local paper in New York, the Wall Street Journal, several other properties in New York. Obviously, you mentioned Fox News Channel, as well.

And so, it really is a sprawling and multifaceted media empire, controlled in large part thanks to these waivers at the FCC issue not only of foreign ownership requirements, in the first place—and eventually those problems were resolved as Mr. Murdoch and his lawyers worked through the process with the FCC. But it’s not just the foreign ownership limitations that were overcome in the first place; it is these newspaper and broadcast cross-ownership bans that they have also worked to, again, eradicate, but when they can’t eradicate them, to obtain waivers for those rules that apply only to News Corporation and to its holdings.

AMY GOODMAN: How did Rupert Murdoch get American—U.S. citizenship?

MATT WOOD: Well, I’m not an expert on citizenship matters. He applied for citizenship and was naturalized in the mid-'80s. The problem with that was that News Corp. itself was still a foreign corporation headquartered outside the United States. And so, in the mid-'90s, despite the fact that Mr. Murdoch was a U.S. citizen, the FCC had reason to reopen that decision and to basically conclude that the allowance of him buying the TV stations in the first place was not proper, yet they allowed it to continue because of the perceived need for increased competition amongst network television stations, both locally and nationally. And so, despite the fact that in the mid-'90s the FCC revisited that decision and said that Murdoch's personal citizenship was not enough to satisfy the requirement and to eliminate the problem of foreign ownership of broadcast licenses, they, in the ’90s, concluded, well, there was a problem here, and News Corp. is not a U.S. corporation, it is in fact foreign-controlled, but they allowed him to continue owning the stations at that point in time. Eventually, that issue became moot because News Corp. moved its headquarters to the United States, but it was only after really two decades of wrangling and citizenship maneuvers to ensure that Mr. Murdoch and then his company were not running afoul of very clear prohibitions in U.S. law on foreign ownership of broadcast properties.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Wood, can you talk about the larger issue of how the Murdoch empire here fits into, furthers media consolidation and the problems you see with that?

MATT WOOD: Sure. Thank you. I mean, that’s really what we’re hoping to look at in more detail here. Obviously, the phone-hacking scandal, all the other headlines you reported on this morning, are very newsworthy, and it’s something that we have joined in calls for investigation of, along with many other groups here in the United States and representatives in the legislature, senators and representatives alike calling for investigation. Those are serious charges, and those will be investigated in due course, I’m sure. And those could play into the media ownership issue, as well, because there are FCC limitations and character requirements for licensees of television stations. So those could play into an eventual determination of whether or not Fox is fit to hold licenses for broadcast stations. But the larger issues you mentioned are just as important here, and we hope that this helps to shine a spotlight on media consolidation more generally.

We see at least two problems with media consolidation, and we could probably list several more. But again, at a high level, media consolidation and massive concentration in the hands of a single owner allows for that single media spokesperson, that single voice, to control the political debate in ways that probably weren’t imagined 10 or 20 years ago, before Mr. Murdoch became so expert at it. So we have politicians not just beholden to a company based on campaign contributions—that can be the case sometimes—but really beholden to them because of the need for positive coverage and the fact that the newspapers, the television stations, the cable news channel, all the news properties put together can have so much sway over the election and on the policy debates occurring here in Washington, D.C., and around the country after that.

I think a second point to mention here is that massive consolidation and concentration of media properties eliminates independent voices, like The Guardian, for instance, in the United Kingdom, which brought to light a lot of these charges in the first place, like programs that in the United States might have been able to bring charges to light or shine a brighter spotlight on media concentration in the past, if it were not for the fact that the media is so concentrated to begin with and really doesn’t do a terribly good job of reporting on itself and on the aspects of media concentration and consolidation that drown out independent voices and prevent people from talking about these very important policy issues. So we think that it both affects the—a lack of diversity of viewpoints on the air and a lack of diversity of viewpoints in government and can contribute to an unwillingness to investigate these kinds of practices that we’re seeing come to light now.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Wood, what about the issue of newscasters having responsibilities to cover the issues? A lot of people, of course, have been noting that Fox has not been covering itself. The news during the day, they will mention, you know, some of the facts, but when it comes to the evening shows, there is a noticeable lack of coverage. What is the significance of that, if any?

MATT WOOD: Well, it’s significant, but I’m not sure that there’s regulation that should be designed to overcome that. You’re sort of referring to the Fairness Doctrine, which is a doctrine that the FCC abolished back in the '80s and actually just recently took off the books officially. That was an obligation that was placed on broadcasters, and broadcasters alone. And again, that's because of the special relationship that broadcasters have with the Federal Communications Commission. They are licensed to use the public airwaves and so have a special duty to serve the public interest and serve the communities that they’re licensed to serve. That’s something that Free Press is not calling for the revival of at this point. It’s something that is very controversial because of the First Amendment implications.

Really, Fox News, when it comes to the cable channel, would never have been subject to that regulation in the first place, although some people have called for reviving it and extending it. That’s not something that we see as a solution. We think the solution is better media ownership rules to prevent massive consolidation, to increase the number of voices out there. It’s long been said that the cure for a lack of the coverage of issues is more voices and more speech, and we think that these media ownership rules we were discussing a moment ago are just absolutely critical to ensuring that there are multiple viewpoints on the air, but whether it’s on broadcast or cable platforms, and also to ensure that there are independent voices and investigative journalists out there talking about these issues. So if Fox News doesn’t want to cover itself, that’s understandable, perhaps. The solution should be more and better journalism from other outlets and from other investigative reporters and other sources that can report on Fox and report on Mr. Murdoch and his doings.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Wood, I want to thank you for being with us, policy director at Free Press, which you can find online at freepress.net. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. At 10:00—at 9:30, after the Democracy Now! broadcast, online at democracynow.org we will be broadcasting the parliamentary hearings, where James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch, and as well as Rebekah Brooks, will be testifying. You can go to democracynow.org. We’ll be back in a minute.

Peter Lemkin
07-20-2011, 05:50 AM
News International 'deliberately' blocked investigation

All-party home affairs committee report into phone hacking to be published in time for David Cameron's statement

Vikram Dodd
The Guardian, Wednesday 20 July 2011

Rupert Murdoch's News International company has been found by a parliamentary committee to have "deliberately" tried to block a Scotland Yard criminal investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.

The report from MPs on the all-party home affairs committee will be released on Wednesday morning and its publication has been moved forward in time for today's statement by prime minister David Cameron on the scandal.

The report's central finding comes a day after Rupert and James Murdoch testified before the culture, media and sport committee. The home affairs committee report marks an official damning judgment on News International's actions.

It finds the company "deliberately" tried to "thwart" the 2005-6 Metropolitan police investigation into phone hacking carried out by the News of the World.

The police investigation came at a time when Andy Coulson was editor. Coulson went in to be chosen by Cameron to be his director of communications, before resigning.

The full report will be published Wednesday morning. Among its findings are:

• Police failed to examine a vast amount of material that could have identified others involved in the phone hacking conspiracy and victims.

• John Yates made a "serious misjudgement" in deciding in July 2009 that the Met's criminal investigation should not be reopened. He resigned on Monday.

• The new phone hacking investigation should receive more money, from government if necessary, so it can contact potential victims more speedily. A fraction have been contacted so far.

• The Information Commissioner should be given new powers to deal with phone hacking and blagging.

The central conclusion about NI's hampering of the police investigation comes after the home affairs committee heard evidence from senior Met officers who were involved in the case that News International obstructed justice.

Last week the man who oversaw the first Metropolitan police investigation into phone hacking, Peter Clarke, damned News International: "If at any time News International had offered some meaningful co-operation instead of prevarication and what we now know to be lies, we would not be here today."

The first police inquiry led to the conviction in January 2007 of one journalist, Clive Goodman, and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

But subsequent developments, and the handing over of documents by News International, are alleged to show the practice of phone hacking was much more widespread than the company ever admitted. NI claimed for years it was the work of one rogue reporter, a defence the company has now abandoned, at least in part because of a Guardian investigation, which eventually led to the Met to reopen their inquiry.

The committee heard on Tuesday that "blindingly obvious" evidence of corrupt payments to police officers was found by the former director of public prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, when he inspected News of the World emails. Lord Macdonald said that when he inspected the messages from NI, it took him between "three to five minutes" to decide that the material had to be passed to police.

The emails and other material has been in the possession of NI or their lawyers for years.

MacDonald said: "The material I saw was so blindingly obvious that trying to argue that it should not be given to the police would have been a hard task. It was evidence of serious criminal offences."

Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron's chief of staff, was also dragged into the phone-hacking scandal on Tuesday when two of the country's most senior police officers revealed he had urged them not to brief the prime minister on developments.

Llewellyn sought to stop information about the scandal being passed on to the prime minister in September, just days after the New York Times ran an article which claimed Coulson had been aware of the use of the illegal practice when he edited the News of the World.

Former Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson – who resigned on Sunday – and former assistant commissioner John Yates – who followed on Monday – told the House of Commons home affairs select committee that they believed Llewellyn was keen to avoid "compromising" the prime minister.

Yates told the committee he was offering to discuss only police protocol – not operational matters.

Committee Chair Right Hon Keith Vaz MP said:
"There has been a catalogue of failures by the Metropolitan Police, and deliberate attempts by News International to thwart the various investigations. Police and prosecutors have been arguing over the interpretation of the law.

"The new inquiry requires additional resources and if these are not forthcoming, it will take years to inform all the potential victims. The victims of hacking should have come first and I am shocked that this has not happened."

Peter Lemkin
07-20-2011, 02:38 PM
repeat post deleted.

Keith Millea
07-20-2011, 03:29 PM
The first headline I read is,"Murdock attacked at hearing".Great work Jonnie Fucking Marbles......

Published on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by The Guardian/UK (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/20/why-i-foam-pied-rupert-murdoch)

Why I Foam-Pied Rupert Murdoch


Some people might think my action played into Murdoch's hands, but I did it for all the people who couldn't

by Jonnie Marbles (http://www.commondreams.org/author/jonnie-marbles)


First things first: I don't hate octogenarians. I don't have a vendetta against anyone over 80 who likes to begrudgingly give evidence to parliamentary committees. Nor am I in the habit of attacking media moguls on international television (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/video/2011/jul/19/rupert-murdoch-jamesmurdoch?intcmp=239). Yesterday was, hopefully, a one off.

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/resize/imce-images/jonnie-marbles-pie-007-350x210.jpg
The moment Jonnie Marbles attempted to hit Rupert Murdoch in the face with a foam pie. (Photograph: PA)

If you're of sound mind, you might quite reasonably ask what possessed me to smuggle a shaving-foam pie into Portcullis House and throw it at (though, alas, not into) the face of one of the world's richest and most powerful men. I didn't do it because I wanted more Twitter followers. Simply put, I did it for all the people who couldn't.

It's not difficult to find reasons to dislike Rupert Murdoch. His reach is one of the most insidious and toxic forces in global politics today. The phone-hacking scandal, despicable though it is, barely scratches the surface of the damage done by News International. It is a media empire built on deceit and bile, that trades vitriol for debate and thinks nothing of greasing the wheels of power until they turn in its favour. What's more, no matter what the grievances he wreaks on those he has never met, his power and money keep him forever safely out of their reach.

Yes it's true that Murdoch's power is waning. But it's also true that he will never face real justice. Yesterday's select committee hearing was a farce before the foam ever left my fingers: a toothless panel confronting men too slippery to be caught between their gums.

I was filled with hope as Tom Watson questioned Murdoch Sr relentlessly with the passion and vigour we might expect to be the norm when our elected representatives face down the perpetrators of a modern Watergate. For a few bright moments I thought I might see justice done, keep the pie in my bag and spare myself a night in jail. Those moments were short lived: as committee member after committee member feebly prodded around the issues and Murdoch Jr began to dominate, I knew I was going to have to make a massive tit of myself.

To be honest, I had not expected to get so far, but parliamentary security, with its machine-gun toting cops and scatter X-rays, is apparently no match for a man with some shaving-foam covered plates in his bag. Then, once inside the committee room, I was helped along by some unwelcome luck. I had always intended to wait until the end of the hearings anyway before I launched my circus crusade, and as the penultimate speaker finished several people made their way out, leaving me a clear path to Murdoch. It was a horrible feeling: I had a plan, a pie and no excuses left.

I had intended to unleash a wave of polemic as I made my move. As it turned out, the whole thing was far too weird for me to string two thoughts together, particularly as Murdoch's wife rose from the chair to prevent and avenge her husband's humiliation. As it went, I'm glad I was even able to make the accurate understatement that he was a "naughty billionaire".

As I languished predictably in a prison cell later that evening, I contemplated whether people would understand why I'd done it. I knew it was a tall order: a surreal act aimed at exposing a surreal process was never going to be an easy sell. I worried, too, that my clowning would detract from the scandal, or provide sympathy for Murdoch.

Believe it or not, I even worried about Rupert Murdoch's feelings. You see, I really don't hate 80-year-olds and, at the end of the day, Rupert Murdoch is just an old man. Maybe what I was trying to do was remind everyone of that – that he is not all powerful, he's not Sauron or Beelzebub, just a human being, like the rest of us, but one who has got far too big for his boots.

© 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/20-3
http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imagecache/author_photo/jonnie-marbles.jpg (http://www.commondreams.org/author/jonnie-marbles)
Jonnie Marbles is a comedian and activist who campaigns on a variety of social issues

Peter Lemkin
07-20-2011, 04:24 PM
The first headline I read is,"Murdock attacked at hearing".Great work Jonnie Fucking Marbles......


Some people might think my action played into Murdoch's hands,


Yeah, Johnny, I think it played right into Murdoch's hands, and was also perhaps an advertisement for yourself. Go away....far, far away. :pirate:

Jan Klimkowski
07-20-2011, 05:57 PM
Cameron opined in Parliament:


"On the decision to hire him, I believe I have answered every question about this. It was my decision. I take responsibility. People will, of course, make judgments about it.

"Of course I regret [it] and I am extremely sorry about the furore it has caused.

"With 20:20 hindsight – and all that has followed – I would not have offered him the job and I expect that he wouldn't have taken it.

"But you don't make decisions in hindsight; you make them in the present. You live and you learn – and believe you me, I have learnt."

Complete rubbish.

Cameron hired Coulson first as Tory Party Propaganda Chief, then as Government Propaganda Chief, precisely because of his specific skillset: Coulson's ability to deliver by hook or by crook.

Cameron also hired Coulson because of his intimate relationship with the Murdoch empire.

If Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton are Murdoch consigliere, then Andy Coulson was a made man.

A couple of weeks ago, the Murdoch empire declared that Andy Coulson was no longer a made man: it was OK to hit him again.

This was both a cynical act to distance themselves from the evidence about Coulson's alleged knowledge of criminal and corrupt acts by NOTW, and a signal to Cameron that his boy was no longer their boy.

Peter Lemkin
07-20-2011, 08:53 PM
The Wall Street Journal - a News Corporation outlet - is again engaging in aggressive damage control for the Murdoch empire by attacking Wikileaks. WL Central addresses the mendacity. (http://http://wlcentral.org/node/2056)
It appears that the Wall Street Journal - which publishes from News Corp's Celanese Building headquarters in New York city - is suing for the title of "Murdoch's Bulldog." Thinly veiled and deceptive attempts to control the message on the escalating News of the World scandal have been issuing from the once-respected news outlet. And the tactic seems to be diversionary. The second article in two days to defend News Corp by attacking Wikileaks was published today, penned by Bret Stephens.
Trevor Timm has already written here at WL Central about yesterday's clumsy WSJ editorial, which alleged hypocrisy at the Guardian, in that it criticized News of the World while publishing material from Wikileaks. Today's article belaboured the same spurious argument even further, as the air of desperation at News Corp intensified in advance of the Murdoch hearing today. Keen to deny his motives preemptively, Stephens notes:
It's probably inevitable that this column will be read in some quarters as shilling for Rupert Murdoch. Not at all: I have nothing but contempt for the hack journalism practiced by some of the Murdoch titles.
But the entire thrust of his argument undermines this claim. Stephens is either exceptionally ignorant of the facts on which his article touches, or he is very clearly shilling for Rupert Murdoch. These are the only two possible explanations for the deceitfulness on evidence here.
How Damage Control Is Done
The article is a collection of timeworn rhetorical swindles. Stephens' basic argument is a tu quoque fallacy: he attempts to distract attention from criminal activity in News Corp ranks by arguing that the rest of the press is just as deceitful. Even if this were true, it would be nothing more than a distraction from what is, without a doubt, a scandal very worthy of scrutiny.
To substantiate his argument-by-hypocrisy, Stephens raises a false equivalence between, on the one hand, Wikileaks' facilitation of conscientious whistleblowing by corporate and government employees and, on the other hand, criminal interception of private voicemail messages by powerful news organizations.
This false equivalence is only sustainable by lying outright, or by passing on the lies of others. There is simply no comparison between these two activities. To support his case, Stephens therefore marshals various demonstrable falsehoods about Wikileaks. The usual suspects make their appearance - the same old zombie lies, already discredited countless times.
Straightforward Falsehoods
Consider Stephens' initial claims of false equivalence:
In both cases, secret information, initially obtained by illegal means, was disseminated publicly by news organizations that believed the value of the information superseded the letter of the law, as well as the personal interests of those whom it would most directly affect.
There is little doubt that News of the World was engaged in mass criminality, at this point. But it is false to assert that Wikileaks obtained its information by illegal means. It is probably true to say that, when whistleblowers leak evidence of wrongdoing from centres of state and corporate power, they do so in violation of the law. This is often what necessitates the confidentiality of sources in the exposure of such activity. But it is misleading to claim that in passively receiving such information, Wikileaks violates any law.
Wikileaks has, to date, successfully defended all legal challenges to its activities. And if Wikileaks does not obtain its information by illegal means, it is all the more deceitful to claim that the news organizations who publish information from Wikileaks - a list of organizations which includes the Wall Street Journal - are thereby obtaining information by illegal means. It is perfectly consistent with normal press freedoms to be in receipt of classified information. While this has been challenged by states hungry for more secrecy, the courts have thus far protected the practice.
Stephens next relies on the myth that Wikileaks has caused demonstrable harm:
In both cases, a dreadful human toll has been exacted: The British parents of murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler, led to the false hope that their child might be alive because some of her voice mails were deleted after her abduction; Afghan citizens, fearful of Taliban reprisals after being exposed by WikiLeaks as U.S. informants.
It is worth noting in passing that the phrase "a dreadful human toll" conjures images more of mass graves than fearful informants. But the central falsehood here - that the lives of Afghan informants were substantially endangered - has been discredited multiple times as a piece of straightforward US government spin. To date, Wikileaks does not have "blood on its hands," as has been so often cited. Furthermore, the controversy over the endangerment of Afghan lives rests on the allegation that Wikileaks was careless about harm minimization in its release of the Afghanistan War Logs. This too is a piece of government spin, calculated to conceal the US government's own negligence in helping with harm minimization.
Stephens, however, presumes damage on the part of Wikileaks, and quotes obediently from official government statements, presumably relying on trust that a faction which has a clear vested interest in seeing Wikileaks discredited would not fabricate harm to this end:
Seen in this light, the damage caused by WikiLeaks almost certainly exceeded what was done by News of the World, precisely because Mr. Assange and his media enablers were targeting bigger—if often more vulnerable—game. The Obama administration went so far as to insist last year that WikiLeaks "[placed] at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals—from journalists to human rights activists to soldiers." Shouldn't there be some accountability, or at least soul-searching, about this, too??
Elsewhere, Stephens raises another zombie lie from its umpteenth grave. Yesterday, it became known to the world, through the Zimbabwean press, that a treason investigation into Morgan Tzvangirai had collapsed. Wikileaks was blamed in January when journalists at the Guardian failed to redact some of Tzvangirai's comments from a published cable, which were then seized upon by Robert Mugabe's faction in the Zimbabwean government. Ironically, the most strident criticism of Wikileaks issued from the pages of the Guardian itself, although, after a week of criticism, the paper published a retraction, and recognized that it bore the responsibility. The falsehood that it was Wikileaks, and not the Guardian, which was responsible, was nevertheless invulnerable to the facts, and propogated freely elsewhere, as it has clearly done in Stephens' piece:
Was it in the higher public interest to know, as we learned from WikiLeaks, that Zimbabwe's prime minister and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was privately urging U.S. diplomats to hold firm on sanctions even as he was saying the opposite in public? No. Did the public want to know about it? No. What did this particular WikiLeak achieve? Nothing, except to put Mr. Tsvangirai at material risk of being charged with treason and hanged.
When these words were published it was already common knowledge that Tzvangirai is no longer to be prosecuted. While critics of Wikileaks, like Stephens, are happy to wax righteous about the endangerment of Tzvangirai's life, the discovery that he is no longer in any danger will likely be a substantial disappointment to them. Distortion though it was to blame Wikileaks for someone else's negligence - it was the closest thing to a point they had. It is for this reason that Tzvangirai's vindication is likely to be ignored by dissimulators like Stephens.
Mentioning Rape
In his attempt to tamp down controversy over the worst abuses of the tabloid press, Stephens scruples little from its tactics, indulging in a brief diversion through Assange's ongoing legal trouble - which has nothing to do with anything here - to throw in a specious association between public interest journalism and the word "rape."
You can see the attraction of this argument—particularly if, like Mr. Assange, you are trying to fight extradition to Sweden on pending rape charges that you consider unworthy of public notice.
The voluminous reservations that are to be had with the investigation in question are well documented, at WL Central and elsewhere. And in fact, it is to his credit that Assange has endured relentless scrutiny of this case so that the irregularities here can be exposed. Those have been - sadly - very worthy of public notice. But put this aside; Stephens isn't just being partial here. He is lying, whether intentionally or carelessly. In order for this not to be a casual libel, Stephens would have had to say that Assange is "trying to fight extradition to Sweden for questioning in connection with rape allegations." Doubtless, the mere mention of sex offences in this context - completely irrelevant though they are - would still have had the desired effect. But fidelity to the facts would not appear to be a priority for the Wall Street Journal, which just happens to share a building with Rupert Murdoch.
Failing to Understand Journalism
The crux of Stephens' false equivalence is an apparently formidable ignorance of the difference between personal privacy and state/corporate secrecy - an ignorance that is doubly repugnant in someone who claims to be a journalist. Taking issue with stringent criticism of Murdoch's News Corp by the rest of the press, he accuses them of "a piece of rhetorical legerdemain that masks a raw assertion of privilege." There is no difference between Wikileaks and phone-hacking, he tells us, except for the self-righteous prejudice of journalistic do-gooders:
The easy answer is that the news revealed by WikiLeaks was in the public interest, whereas what was disclosed by News of the World was merely of interest to the public. By this reckoning, if it's a great matter of state, and especially if it's a government secret, it's fair game. Not so if it's just so much tittle-tattle about essentially private affairs.
As Julian Assange told media partner Bivol, "I believe in the right to communicate and the inviolability of history, privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful." It is a basic jurisprudential principle of civic democracy that the private individual must be protected from the abuses of arbitrary power. There are rigorous legal restraints on the exercise of state power to ensure that the necessary evil of strong government does not become harmful to the people it is supposed to serve. The concept of privacy is one such restraint, as is the concept of due process. When powerful organizations are able to breach the secrecy of private individuals, they are given an almost total power over them, and there is nothing to prevent them from committing injustices.
Likewise, when powerful organizations and individuals are given the right to pervasive secrecy, they can shield abuses, and commit unaccountable injustices against private individuals. This is why there is a need for public interest whistleblowing, and it is why a press that focuses on the wrongdoing of the powerful is a crucial asset of a just society.
If Stephens had a proper grasp of the principles behind public interest journalism he would realize that News of the World - a hitherto unaccountable organization exploiting vulnerable individuals - is exactly the sort of entity Wikileaks would insist could beneficially become more transparent. By criticizing voicemail interception, publications like The Guardian are acting entirely consistently with the principles that led them to publish stories by Wikileaks.
There is therefore no moral equivalence between News of the World and Wikileaks. Instead, two different analogies are worth bearing in mind. A similarity between Wikileaks' public interest motives and those of The Guardian in the tireless exposure of News of the World. And that between News of the World and a U.S. government which availed of the prerogative of state secrecy to lie and dissemble, mislead its public, spy and violate civil liberties on the domestic front, and commit acts of state terrorism and the crimes of aggression abroad.
If Bret Stephens was a journalist, all of this would be clear to him. But he cannot be that. To appropriate the term 'journalist' as one who engages in clamorous apologism for state and corporate criminality, and for the abuse of the vulnerable, is to offend against the language we speak. His attacks on Wikileaks are merely the incidental symptoms of a general malady: the inversion of the function of the press by corporate monopolies and incestuous loyalties. At best, Stephens has negligently misstated the facts. At worst, he is a liar for hire. And either way, it is abundantly clear which payroll he is on.

Magda Hassan
07-21-2011, 06:03 AM
Wikileaks exposes criminal acts by the state (and corporations) in the public interest and for no profit. Murdoch spies on private citizens to mine their private life for product for his sleazy rags which he sells to make a profit suitable to keep a billionaire and a stable of parasites in the comfort to which he and they have become accustomed to. He also uses some of the information mined from some as leverage to black mail and personally advance his own agenda which is far from the interests of the majority of society.

Anthony Thorne
07-21-2011, 10:56 AM
Sean Hoare, departed whistleblower, was found dead Monday morning after friends became anxious that they hadn't seen him for a few days. Circa the same timeframe, (and easy to miss, as a commenter on a busy Guardian blog posted the link), the following incident occurred 'less than two minutes drive' from Hoare's premises on the Saturday, two days before the Monday, and quite possibly on the day that he died:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-14178114

Three men flee scene of fatal crash in Hertfordshire

Three young men who fled the scene of a fatal road crash in Hertfordshire are wanted for questioning by police.

The crash took place at 1320 BST on Saturday on the A41 Tylers Way in Watford.

The men walked away from a silver Audi which was in collision with a white van.

Police believe the men, all wearing jeans, walked up the hard shoulder of the A41 towards the A411 Elstree Road, near The Fisheries pub.

Officers believe one of them sustained an injury in the crash.

Insp Andy Piper of Hertfordshire Police said: "We are also appealing to anyone who may have seen these three young men moving away from the scene, possibly in a hurry.

"If you are one of those three, then we would urge you to get in touch."

....

Posting the above on the Xymphora blog drew the following response:

"Too much of a coincidence - the murderers of Sean Hoare were in a hurry to get away (it is easier to fake a suicide with an alleged drug addict than it is with someone like, say, David Kelly). It reminds me of the CIA's attempted extraction of Raymond Allen Davis from Pakistan. The CIA boobs were in such a hurry, and so full of their omnipotence, that they managed to run over and kill a bystander. The combination of testosterone and extremely low IQ and unlimited state power leads inevitably to these kind of snafus."

A Silver Audi is a nice looking vehicle - most owners wouldn't be so quick to abandon it at the scene. This last link is for amusement but I think it makes its point - the Silver Audi is the car of choice for the characters in the UK drama SPOOKS.

http://www.spooksforum.co.uk/archive/index.php/thread-905-5.html

Things I Learned From Watching Spooks - "That you could cross London faster in a Silver Audi with no emergency lights, than a fully-marked police car with bells and whistles!"

Says it all really. I'm sure an unmarked vehicle comes in handy when you're in a big, big hurry.