Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:11 PM
kpete (52,777 posts)
MURDOCH's "Corrupt/Illegal Payment To A US Official On American Soil---For Saddam In His Underwear
Did News Corp. Illegally Purchase Saddam Hussein Photos from U.S. Officials?
Nov 18, 2012 7:00 PM EST
The May 20th, 2005 cover of The New York Post shows Saddam Hussein in his underwear. (Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / Getty Images)
.....The Daily Beast has learned that The Sun may have made another potentially corrupt payment, to a U.S. official on American soil.
On Friday, May 20, 2005, two Murdoch-owned tabloids, The Sun and the New York Post, ran front-page pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underwear, and inside the papers, more photos of the former Iraqi leader in U.S. captivity. According to Fox News, the Multinational Forces spokeswoman in Baghdad said the images could have been taken between January and April 2004, “based on the background of the photos and appearance of him.” Given the context of the Abu Ghraib revelations and ongoing, violent insurgency in Iraq at the time, multiple sources reported that President George W. Bush was upset about the leak. “There will be a thorough investigation into this instance,” deputy White House spokesman Trent Duffy told The New York Times, “The president wants to get to the bottom of it immediately.”
No investigation has ever found the source of the leaked pictures, but buried in the contemporary reports is a glaring admission. The Sun’s then-managing editor, Graham Dudman, told the Associated Press that his newspaper paid “a small sum” for the photos. Dudman would not elaborate “except to say it was more than 500 British pounds, which is about $900.”
Sources close to the story have told The Daily Beast that the payment was significantly greater, and was made to a U.S. official on American soil. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard detectives arrested Dudman in January of this year on suspicion of making corrupt payments involving British officials. He has yet to be charged with any criminal offense in the U.K.
The problem for Murdoch and the board of News Corp. may be that these pictures were published on both sides of the Atlantic on the same day, perhaps suggesting some kind of advance co-operation between the American parent company and the British News International subsidiary. If there is any evidence that there was prior knowledge by senior executives of payment for the pictures, this could bring the possibility of a U.S. investigation and charges with stiff penalties for illegal payments to public officials.
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