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British Prime Minister: Murdoch wiretap and bribery scandal will reveal "how politics works too."

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 09:28 AM
Original message
British Prime Minister: Murdoch wiretap and bribery scandal will reveal "how politics works too."
Edited on Sun Jul-10-11 10:07 AM by leveymg
Earlier this week, a UK newspaper, The Daily Mail, reported a notable quote from Prime Minister David Cameron. He made the extraordinary observation that the Murdoch wiretapping and police bribery case is part of much wider problems of corruption in government, and it points to the criminal partnership of private corporations and government agencies. That article quoted Cameron's statement:

"He also promised action to 'get to the bottom' of the phone hacking scandal but said it was not just about the press but about the police and 'about how politics works too'.

Meanwhile, Cameron's Administration is also engulfed in this scandal. The Mail also reports:

Meanwhile, David Cameron came under fire from his own party for attacking Press regulators. In todays Mail on Sunday, MP David Davis writes: The primary failure has not been of newspaper regulation, but of the criminal law.

Read more:

That comments "about how politics works too", and that this scandal is about a "failure (of) the criminal law" to prosecute political corruption is particularly notable in the context of the underreported investigations in the UK and the US of the role of the Saudi "Yamamah" slush fund. Inquiries made public show that since the mid-1980s leading politicians in both countries have been heavily compromised by al-Yamamah, the $80 billion Saudi-BAE slush fund. That is essentially a pile of unaccounted for kickback money from arms for oil deals that is used by the KSA and western defense contractors and corporations they have ownership interests in (or contracts with) to buy political candidates, elections and policy outcomes.

Like most countries, the Saudis do what they can to influence foreign governments and the outcome of elections in other countries, and the rulers of the Oil Kingdom have a particularly large amount of money to do it with. Nowhere is Saudi influence more strongly felt in the west than in the UK and the US. Some of this influence buying is perfectly legal, provided that the contributions are funneled through western-registered corporations and holdings. For instance, the major investor in Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp -- a particularly politically active entity -- is Prince Talal (with Murdoch in 2010, below) and the Saudi Royal family's Kingdom Holdings. See, "Bandar Bush" was running "Yamamah" slush fund that was used to buy US and UK politicians,

It should not come as a surprise that NewsCorp is, in effect, being run as an agent of influence for the Saudis. But, this scandal points out how Murdoch's holdings have been engaged in a very organized, very far-ranging war of dirty tricks, including massive propaganda, political wiretapping and bribery of police, intelligence and top elected officials. See this article about Murdoch's relationship with Blair, and Blair's efforts to thwart the investigation. Murdoch isn't the only pet shark in the pond, but he's a very big fish, more like Moby Dick.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation into Yamamah-BAE was never resolved on either side of the shark-infested pond. We can only hope the phone-hacking scandal is the harpoon they'll finally use to lance the Great White.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. I wonder if they will get into James R. Bath?
Bandar Bush is one link but the Bath link is better documented, IIRC.

I wonder if a new improved BCCI will be uncovered.

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. AIG and Goldman = "new improved BCCI"
Edited on Sun Jul-10-11 11:41 AM by leveymg
The role of the Bush clan and their Saudi partners in the S&L ripoff of the 1980s is another of those great undertold stories of history.

The same faces, the same names, the same MO pops up over and over again. The only thing that changes is that they get richer and we get poorer because there is no police to police the police. The lack of accountability during these last three years confirms that.

Also, the apparent lack of interest around here these days in "big picture" diaries. Tells me that all hope that anything will ever be done about the banksters has been beaten out of us. Obama has been a phenomenal success at that.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. As to beaten out of us...
Until a champion investigator has enough power to turn the investigation into a prosecution, there is little more that can be done than documentation.

The phrase making hay is indeed apropos here. A hayfield is sown and the first year generally looks awful infested with vetch and other weeds. The second year (generally after the second cut)the grass crop has usually taken over the field and can be cut again and again for years producing fine hay.

Substitute S&L for alfalfa, or BCCI for clover...

Usually there is some crisis that ruins a field, or it's a rotation so some other crop is planted that a new field is set up.

Same MO indeed. A crisis spoils one field by perhaps getting to close to an actual elite and it is plowed under with operations shifting to another field that has been prepared.

Until we have a prosecutor with leverage, even if some one were to publish the collected notes of Jack Anderson I doubt that the ubiquitous John Q. Public will pay any heed.

Thanks for your persistence, Mark.

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Murdoch's crime?
He wasn't part of the government. Government can legally wiretap and spread disinformation.

As far as prosecutors go, RFK was a kick ass prosecutor.
So was Kerry.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It's NewsCorp that's accused of wiretapping, bribery of officials, and disinformation. Crimes, yes?
RFK was an aggressive Senate investigator and AG. At least, organized crime and corrupted union officials thought so.

Kerry's Senate investigation of BCCI is a classic - nothing nearly so probing of the international crime and espionage network has been carried out or released since. Too bad that Kerry didn't have the power to convene a Grand Jury, and that no Administration since has been willing to take on this same criminal network that gave us the Safari Club deal between Bush Sr. and Saudi intel, the Pakistani nuclear program, the creation of a Saudi-controlled Jihadist global paramilitary, the looting of several major American banks, and the Bush family S&L ripoff.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I propose Murdoch knew
He condoned the wiretapping. My point is that only governments are allowed to wiretap.
They shouldn't be allowed, but they don't listen to me. Well, they do, but they don't take it as something that they shouldn't be doing. Constitution be damned!
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. There's reference in the reports that NewsCorp worked w/ "private detective agencies,"
Edited on Sun Jul-10-11 03:43 PM by leveymg
It'll be interesting to see which ones. Privatization of surveillance and intelligence collection is a big business in both the US and UK. Many of them have close ties with Right-wing organizations, law firms and media. This brings to mind the security company HBGary and two others, and the law firm named in this article:

By IBTimes February 16, 2011 8:08 AM EST

Anonymous, the hacker collective known for its attacks on WikiLeaks detractors, has crossed swords with HBGary and two other private security firms in what has come to seen as the latest retaliation to the HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr's plan to hand over the identity details of the faceless hackers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In the latest reports, Anonymous claims to have uncovered proposals by a group of data intelligence companies to attack WikiLeaks ahead of reportedly planned disclosures on Bank of America (BoA). Besides HBGary Federal, two other security firms accused of planning to attack the whistleblower site are Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies. Emails leaked by the hackers suggest the three private security firms outlined a plan to attack Wikileaks upon request from Hunton and Williams, a law firm working for BoA.

And, the Wiki entry detailing HBGary's dirty tricks plans:

Some of the documents taken by Anonymous show HBGary Federal was working on behalf of Bank of America to respond to Wikileaks' planned release of the bank's internal documents.<4> The plan included "disrupting" reporter Glenn Greenwald in his support of Wikileaks.<14> Emails detail a supposed business proposal by HBGary to assist Bank of America's law firm, Hunton & Williams, in a "dirty tricks campaign" that included proposals to fabricate "false documents".<21> "Potential proactive tactics against WikiLeaks include feeding the fuel between the feuding groups, disinformation, creating messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization, and submitting fake documents to WikiLeaks and then calling out the error."<22>

Emails indicate Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies, and the law firm Hunton & Williams (recommended to Bank of America by the US Justice Department)<14> all cooperated on the project.<22> Other e-mails appear to show the U.S. Chamber of Commerce contracted the firms to spy on and discredit unions and progressive groups.<23><24>

And this revelation that HBGary claimed to be a USG Intelligence Community contractor:

There are threads aplenty to pull on here: Who is HBGary Federal? Who are its clients? What have they done for them in the past? Whats the connection with Hunton & Williams? Why did the Justice Department recommend Hunton & Williams to Bank of America?

A look through Factiva shows only one media hit for HBGary Federal in the last two years before the flurry of the past week. And its a very interesting one. This from SC Magazine, which covers IT security (emphasis mine):

HBGary Federal, provider of classified security services to the U.S. Department of Defense and the intelligence community, has partnered with Palantir Technologies, maker of analytics platforms. HBGarys team of researchers will leverage Palantirs analysis tool suite to provide enhanced threat intelligence.

Finally, what do we know the private investigators under contract to Murdoch's News of the World were actually doing? Among others, they wiretapped politicians and public figures, including members of the British Royal Family:

(T)he findings of Mr Justice Gross, the judge who sentenced (NOTW investigator) Glenn Mulcaire at the Old Bailey in January 2007, who said that he was satisfied that Mulcaire has dealt with "others at News International" beyond Goodman when he listened to the voicemails of public figures including Max Clifford, the Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes and supermodel Elle Macpherson.

In a sample chapter titled "The Approach", Mulcaire recounts receiving the telephone call which instructed him to tap the phones of members of the Royal Family. He writes: "It was just one of those normal calls. I'd get around 10 or 20 each year. 'We've got information we want you to look at, get yourself here as soon as you can.' It was from the News of the World. Never the politest of people. But I was under contract so there was little choice to get over there..."

In the following chapter, "The Operation", Mulcaire adds: "I didn't want to do the assignment. Anything that involves the Royals or the Establishment has me twitchy straight away, but I was under contract and you just have to switch off about the specifics and be professional. That's what you have to be to be a good private investigator and I considered myself to be among the best."

Mulcaire's phone-tapping exploits began to unravel in November 2005 after the publication of a News of the World story, written by Goodman, which revealed that Prince William had "pulled a tendon in his knee" something only a handful of people knew.

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Wow
They are gonna have a hard time covering this up.

I recall the faux news -fn story during the Weiner thingee....

An fn reporter was at a girls house before the police came to ask some questions. And all along it may have been a private investigator wiretapping the girl's phone and feeding fn?
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. The Murdoch Ailes Rove Brightbart Keefe YAF nexus is worth a very close look. Thanks.
Edited on Sun Jul-10-11 08:53 PM by leveymg
There most certainly was both a GOP operative and a "private investigator" running that scam.

The GOP dirty-tricks Old Guard never really go away, they just get better pay. Murdoch=unlimited Saudi money for dirty-tricks.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. Such corruption would bring down an Eastern European nation. Or South American.
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. Hell, Cameron would know. He was right in the middle of it!!
The radio stations have been blasting him for the last 3 days about it.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. I want to see some criminal law working
against these scumbags
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