Phone Hacking 89


I think we are all truly shocked by the revelations about the Murdoch press hacking Milly Dowler’s telephone. Probably I was like most people, in that the hacking of celeb phones looking for scandal seemed to me criminal, but less of a worry than other aspects of the Murdoch press. The most interesting aspect of the story until now had been the collusion within Scotland Yard in covering up the criminal activities of the Murdoch empire. The part played by Andy Hayman looks particularly interesting in this respect, particularly given his role as chief retailer of lies to the Murdoch media about the War of Terror, notably but by no means only over the murder of Jean Charles De Menezes.

But both in terms of sheer sickening behaviour, and in terms of endangering an urgent search, the Milly Dowler business is worse. Ed Miliband is quoted by the Guardian as saying that Rebekah Brooks “should consider her conscience and consider her position”.

No. Anyone working for Murdoch sold their conscience long ago, and she should have no choice about her position, which should be behind bars, alongside Coulson and sundry Murdochs. News International must be stripped of all its media outlets, as being demonstrably unfit to own any media in this country.


89 thoughts on “Phone Hacking

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  • Stevie

    For those wishing to put pressure on NotW regarding this affair, there are a number of campaigns on Twitter, including this link that offers a very easy way of tweeting all the major advertisers at NotW: http://www.pint.org.uk/notw.html

    It seems to be working as Channel 4’s Alex Thompson has just tweeted that ‘At least 1 major company says it wil no longer advertise with NOTW’.

  • Marverde

    Yes. You don’t treat cancer with a plaster. You remove it. Completely.

  • Jon

    I’m in a cafe at the moment, and BBC News have had Cable on. Their news scroll-text bore a subheading reading “Cable: hacking is unrelated to media plurality case”. If Cable did say that, and is of that view, then that’s an enormous reverse ferret. How can a plurality investigation not take into account whether a corporation is fit and proper to run a media outlet?
    .
    Behind bars. Indeed, but chance would be a fine thing.

  • Beeston Regis

    Nothing of any consequence is likely to happen, especially with the Murdoch Party running the show.
    Not that the sniveling Blair or Faux Labour would have done anything either.

  • JimmyGiro

    “Ed Miliband is quoted by the Guardian as saying that Rebekah Brooks “should consider her conscience and consider her position”.”

    Oh no!… safe us!!… run for the hills!!!… GONZO’S ANGRY!!!!

  • Paul Johnston

    If deleting texts allowed Bellfield to get away to commit two other murders her position should be staring at a prison door for a hell of a long time!

  • glenn

    Of course this is abominable behaviour, and a lot of us will be disgusted. But is anyone really surprised? This is par for the course with Murdoch’s filthy empire. The real problem is that the majority of British people continue to buy his wretched papers, watch Fox, Sky, and so paying Murdoch’s crew to go around behaving like this. If they didn’t sell, they wouldn’t run stories that involved such methods. It does show how contemptible Hunt is for wanting to hand Murdoch an even bigger share of the UK media. But mostly it shows the British public has an salacious appetite for lurid detail of the most degenerate nature. Not just occasionally, but day after day for generations. How can anyone seriously criticise the nature of a product, when it happens to be the best seller?

  • Azra

    Glenn, totally agree with you! but for those who want to stop Murdoch to take over even more of the media there are various campaigns, one from an organization called Avaaz, (which has over 9 million members). http://www.Avaaz.org and three are more out there, sign as many petition as possible.. they cannot toally ignore will of people. Campaigner stopped F1 going ahead in Bahrain, so pressure pays off every now and again.

  • Eddie-G

    I think your point about the role of the police is perhaps the most important comment in this post. And it has been throughout the phone-hacking expose.

    Throw whatever derogatory epithet you want in the direction of the NOTW gang, but I put this out there… What’s more likely? That there was someone at the NOTW so stupid and evil to start tampering with the Millie Dowler investigation; or they’d gotten a nod, maybe even some help, from the police to do what they did.

    This whole story has however achieved something unthinkable – it has made John Prescott into a voice of wisdom and prescience.

  • Jon

    Agree with what has been said, but ordinary support for NI is still omnipresent, and of course this episode will likely soon be forgotten. Brits are still buying Sky services, subscribing to pay-per-view channels, and buying the Murdoch press – mostly in ignorance of what they are supporting. What we need is a boycott like in Liverpool, but by a wider British public. Sadly I don’t think that even the highly-charged nature of this case is enough to swing it.

  • mark_golding

    ‘Andy Hayman looks particularly interesting in this respect, particularly given his role as chief retailer of lies to the Murdoch media about the War of Terror…’
    .
    Hayman got the CBE for keeping his mouth shut about the role of Rashid Rauf, the double agent working for the CIA according to a reliable source. Rauf was the facilitator in a Bojinka-style ‘Liquid Bomb’ plot to bring down planes leaving British airports destined for America.
    .
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6825262.ece
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    Despite Blair/Bush telecon updates a complete break-down of US and British intelligence sharing and panic by the Whitehouse (Cheney) that their man would be exposed, Jose Rodriguez, head of the National Clandestine Service at the CIA, travelled to Pakistan to order local authorities there to arrest Rashid Rauf. He later ‘escaped’ was followed and picked up by CIA agents and taken to Bagram prison in Afghanistan and ‘disappeared.’ I also suspect Rauf was involved in the London bombings of 7th July 2005 when I believe Israeli agents planted bombs on underground trains and a London bus.

  • Jon

    @glenn, apologies, I seem to have said what you said!
    .
    The other items I meant to mention: it is very odd that a newspaper journo or freelancer would delete voicemail messages if they were investigating something. What good would it do them, other than to be responsible for deleting evidence AND increasing their chances of being detected?
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    Also: when a voicemail is deleted in a mobile phone menu, it may not actually be irretrievable by the phone company. It may just mark the message as deleted. Or, even if the digital file is removed when a subscriber deletes a voicemail, it may still be available on a backup system. I don’t know what the import of this is, but it is just worth remembering that in the digital world, “deleted” doesn’t always mean what it sounds like. Certainly, the police would be glad of a way to deflect competence accusations onto someone else!

  • glenn

    @Jon: No worries mate! But to answer your question, the scum at News International would have deleted messages in order to free up space. If the voicemail was already full of desperate, hysterical messages from friends/relatives, our brave news-hounds wouldn’t be able to obtain even more of the same without deleting messages they’d already heard.
    .
    Notice that the plod have been more than keen to plant stories about the cost of these ‘phone-hacking investigations, how manpower is being diverted, and so on. Sounds like they are just as keen as NI to get everyone to forget about the whole thing. Wonder why that might be.

  • mary

    Spot on Craig.
    .
    Another petition –
    http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/murdoch
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    The last I heard Jeremy (C)unt was looking into imposing ‘tighter controls’ on News Corp’s control of Sky News if the takeover happens, as seems most likely with the ghastly lot in power at the moment not much different to the previous crowd. They are ALL friends of Rupert of course.

  • mary

    @Azra http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_rupert_murdoch_3/
    .
    373,546 have signed already! Help us get to 500,000
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    In 48 hours, nearly half the British mass media could be bought by one of the world’s worst media moguls.
    .
    Rupert Murdoch has exploited his vast media empire to push war in Iraq, elect George W Bush, spread resentment of muslims and immigrants, and block global action on climate change. He undermines democratic government across the world by threatening elected leaders with vicious and often false media coverage unless they do his bidding.
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    Britain plays a key role in Europe and the world. If Murdoch has a lock on British media, he will use it to undermine UK, EU and UN support for human rights and democracy. The UK is up in arms over the Murdoch bid, and even the government, elected with Murdoch’s help, is split down the middle as it makes a decision this week. Global solidarity bolstered Egypt’s pro-democracy protesters — it can help Britain’s. Let’s build an urgent global outcry to stop Rupert Murdoch. Sign the petition to Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Clegg!

  • Jon

    @Glenn. Another theory might be that, once a message is listened to, it becomes “saved” rather than “new” i.e. it is obvious that someone has listened to them. On the other hand, if messages are deleted by the hacker, there is no immediate evidence available to the phone owner that someone has collected and deleted.
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    Perhaps answer services should use a “you called last time on [date] at [time]” as internet bank services do, so people can check to see if their VM has been tampered with. But then I suppose if people start taking security seriously, they would be changing their default PINs in the first place!

  • mark_golding

    Sjb,

    No! In an attempt to deceive the British public in supporting British actions in Afghanistan and to heighten the War of Terror/War on Islam, Khan, Tanweer, Lindsay & Hussein were patsies under the impression they were taking part in a counter-terrorism exercise, part of a plan devised by Efraim Halevi.
    .
    Blair already subverted by the U2 plot:
    .
    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/the+white+house+memo/161410.html
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    stuck his head in the sand, left town for Gleneagles and prayed his judgement was for the greater good. Blair has been praying and lying ever since.

  • mary

    Only to be expected from the biographer and toady of the well known war criminal, Bliar.
    .
    John Rentoul on Twitter
    Don’t see how the Dowler hacking has anything to do with Murdochs’ bid to take over Sky, as Sky News, the journalism bit, is to be separated
    55 minutes ago
    ~~~~
    Smooth tongued lawyer for News International, Simon Greenberg, on Sky News at the moment talking a lot but saying nothing.

  • gyges

    I wonder if we will ever find the name of the police officer who handed Milly Dowler’s ‘phone number over to the NotW?

    (Anticipate one of Milly Dowler’s friends being set-up as a patsy for this as I type).

    So far we’ve seen industrial scale law breaking which involved as victims celebrities, politicians and members of the public; we’ve seen an ineffectual police response and the strong suggestion that the police are part of the problem.

    And now the Dowler ‘phone hack but why did it take such a long time for the news to surface?

  • Azra

    @Well done Mary, I have posted that on my FB page, and have sent it to every address in my address book, with a message to stop Murdoch. Our present media is bad enough, all we need is more power for Murdoch and we are really doomed.

  • ingo

    To drag the Dowler family though more anguish by continuously showing their dead child on TV is outrageous. Is this a form of psychological torture? Andy Hayman was once Chief constable for Norfolk, for a year or so, his antics are well known here.

    Rupert Murdoch and the whole goddamn media should apologise to the Dowler family for this post court hurt and continuous anguish they cause, sod the lot of them.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    It really is troubling to see the depth of the connections between the police and the media. But there is another dimension-the depths of the connections of government to the ‘media’.
    Reading the Guardian( Andrew Sparrow) updates of the story, I noticed that Blunkett had said that there was no proof that Wade/Brooks had any personal involvement.
    The disingenuous quality f this comment is inescapable.

    I had the thought, is it possible that all the time certain people such as Prescott were being hacked, certain other people in government were perfectly aware of the practice and turned a blind eye to it for political favour. Did Blunkett know?

    Well the nature of his reaction suggests to me that he did. Of course there is no proof- but the attempt to hide behind the ‘no proof’ argument has something of the playground about it. (It reminds me of the standard playground response to an accusation of ‘teacher snitching’- ‘oh well -prove it’ . Of course in those days, summary justice was applied anyway.

    Nevertheless it is very illustrative of the depths of idiocy, and the extent of moral decay that our leaders and the democracy they ‘represent’ has reached.

    It is difficult to see how this joke of representation can continue. It must eventually ‘implode’.

    Are we being

  • mary

    How disgraceful of Hunt in spite of the fact that there is a three hour emergency debate tomorrow on the hacking scandal.

    A message from Avaaz just in
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    Dear friends across the UK,
    .
    Jeremy Hunt just said he’ll let Rupert Murdoch own all of BSkyB. We have three days to flood the public consultation with requests to stop the deal, and call on the government to initiate a public inquiry into the hacking scandals. Let’s save our media and democracy. Send a message now.
    .
    Jeremy Hunt has just said he’ll allow Murdoch to own all of BSkyB. We have just three days to flood the government’s public consultation with requests to stop the deal.
    .
    We’ve done it before — in the last consultation Hunt said our avalanche of 40,000 messages delayed the deal as his officials had to read each email carefully, fearing a legal challenge. But the government is pushing the deal through despite the hacking scandal of murdered Milly Dowler — the latest grim episode that shows how Murdoch’s media tramples standards and ignores ethics.
    .
    Murdoch already controls more of our media than is legal in many countries – and is notorious for using his power to skew our politics. The official consultation ends this Friday — let’s tell the government we don’t want his media empire to control our largest commercial broadcaster. Send a message now calling on Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron to refuse Murdoch’s BSkyB deal until there’s a full Competition Commission review and a full public inquiry into phone hacking. And tell your friends to do the same.
    .
    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation already owns 40% of British newspapers and 40% of BSkyB, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster. In the US, Australia and elsewhere this degree of media dominance would not be allowed. News Corporation has admitted responsibility for hacking the phones of politicians and celebrities, and now stands accused of listening to messages of a murdered 13 year old girl. But our government wants to give Murdoch power over half of our media, allowing him to then squeeze out his rivals one by one.

    Since November we’ve repeatedly rallied to stop Murdoch. We’ve sent messages, phoned ministers, done stunts, and funded adverts and legal challenges. Jeremy Hunt says our actions have delayed the deal and persuaded him to make changes to how Sky News will be treated if Murdoch takes over BSkyB. He’s had to hire extra lawyers and is nervous about a battle in the courts. We’re making an impact, but the conditions Hunt plans to put on the takeover won’t work, as Murdoch regularly runs rings round regulators.

    Now is the moment to stand up for our media and our democracy and build pressure on the government. Let’s send messages calling on Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron to refuse Murdoch’s BSkyB deal until the deal has been reviewed by the Competition Commission and a full judge led public inquiry into the hacking scandal is conducted and completed. Send a message now, and encourage your friends to do so.

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/murdoch_messages_2/?vl

  • mike

    The police have been keen to play down the hacking scandal from the outset. It’s probably because a bigger investigation would expose their links with the Murdoch rags. But it might also be possible that an investigation of phone hacking might raise some interesting questions about electronic surveillance in general – how it’s done, who are the targets, and who sanctions its use. Answering all that might tell us quite a bit about the shadowy world of the burgeoning military/surveillance state that Bliar did so much to enlarge.
    As I’ve said before, fascism in the UK probably isn’t going to march up to our doorsteps. It’ll arrive, if it hasn’t already done so, through the signing of Security Ministry contracts.

  • ingo

    Indeed Mike and Mary, the police are probably up to their neck in it, the reporter who hacked into some celebs addresses said so, he clearly made out that the police was getting paid for information.
    Emergency services and police are in a unique position to inform the press on happenings and they frequently do, but this is going deeper, not just some plod getting money for identifying number plates, this goes into the realm of news management.
    Would not be surprised if the CPS decides that it is ‘not in the public interest’ to investigate.

    If Mssrs. Clegg and Cable let this happen without challenging the take over by this crims outfit, then they will have to justify this at the next elections.

    Who knows,Rupert probably has promised them to ‘win it for them’ at the next elections, using his media monopoly, one cannot regard the BBC as a levelling or balanced influence anymore, he’s done that before, remeber Balirs trip to Ruperts abode?

  • Ed Davies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14032287

    News International boss Rebekah Brooks has promised the “strongest possible action” if claims that the phone of Milly Dowler was hacked are proven.

    Since the strongest possible action (at least legally) is a prison sentence I’m rather confused: is she claiming to be in control of the judiciary (in addition to the police and CPS, presumably)?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    i a speechless. Went to the link provided by Ed Davies above and Ed Milliband is quoted as saying that the revelations are a stain on the character of British Journalism. Well this may be a blot of some distinction, but one has to wonder where Ed Mliliband has been for the last 20 years. Is he the Rip van winkle of politics?
    British journalism is simply a serialized stain upon stain upon stain to the point where it now looks like stain is the very design of the thing- where everything just merges into the colour of shit.The stink of this decomposing compost is becoming even harder to tolerate.

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