The Coward Rusbridger 45

The actions of the Guardian in complying with the demands of the security services to destroy the computers containing Snowden’s revelations were cowardly in the extreme.  There was a principle at stake here.  The existence of other copies elsewhere is not the point.  That does not make the hard drive destruction better, any more than  Nazi book-burning was made OK by the existence of other copies of the books.

Freedom of the press has only ever been won by extremely brave journalists willing to be beaten, imprisoned or jailed for it.  If editors had always given in to legal threat, there would be no freedom of the press now.  That is why the Guardian’s pathetic excuse that it was legally compelled to destroy the hard drives is of the essence. States always have the sanction of law: standing to advance freedom has always meant not being intimidated by law.

I was threatened with the Official Secrets Act if I insisted on exposing the use of intelligence from torture.  I considered and decided it was worth going to jail for.  I published.  Jack Straw backed down.  The difference between Alan Rusbridger and I is that one of us is not an abject sniveling coward.*

The Guardian not only destroyed the Snowden hard drives, but spent an entire month hiding the fact from the public.  They only came clean and published after the arrest of David Miranda led Glenn Greenwald to refuse to keep it quiet any longer.  Remember this is the same newspaper which sent the  young and extremely brave whistleblower Sarah Tisdall to prison rather than protect their source.

Now Rusbridger p0ses as though smashing the computers was an act of defiance.  I couldn’t resist a comment on this appalling piece of hypocrisy in the Guardian thread below that link.

Then something extraordinary happened.  A reply defending the Guardian was posted to my comment, and this reply extremely quickly gathered 232 recommends.  Now the next highest number of recommends for any comment on that thread is just 57.  That 57 recommend comment is on the main subject of the article – the fall in the UK’s rating for freedom of the press.  My comment is tangential to the article, and the reply to it is somewhat banal.  The vastly disproportionate “recommends”  for that reply are as believable as the 97% vote in the Crimea!

There was a time when the Guardian was something more than just another neo-con mouthpiece.  Now its business model depends entirely on racking up internet clicks in the United States and this influences its content.  It has run, for example, over two dozen extremely one-sided articles in praise of the vicious American murderess Amanda Knox.  It seems increasingly devoted to Israel.  I was at the time genuinely shocked by The Guardian’s refusal to publish the true facts of all the meetings between Liam Fox, Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty.

I understand now that Rusbridger is entirely a neo-con tool, and that their efforts with Assange, Snowden and Greenwald were no more than control and channeling, and broke down when that became obvious.


*There are other differences.  I don’t wear a wig, and I was not implicated in promoting and defending Tony Blair.


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45 thoughts on “The Coward Rusbridger

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  • Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    That bit about the wig was just bloody mean.


  • Phil

    “I understand now that Rusbridger is entirely a neo-con tool, and that their efforts with Assange, Snowden and Greenwald were no more than control and channeling”

    And at some point you might come to understand that Greenwald is just a conman who hoards secrets for his own profit.

  • Mark D.

    I’ve followed the Amanda Knox case in detail, and I’ve been totally disgusted by the Guardian’s coverage.

    Andrew Gumbel, who seems to be the only person currently writing articles on the case for the Guardian, co-authored Raffaele Sollecito’s book for him, so he is hardly objective. Yet his blatant and obvious lies are repeatedly printed in the Guardian, without any opposing views.

    In the UK or US courts, Knox would have been convicted long ago. The Italian justice system grinds very slowly, but fortunately it grinds exceeding fine, and I hope that Knox and Sollecito will be brought to justice yet.

    For those unfamiliar with the case, the detailed evidence, as well as summaries, can be found at

  • Abe Rene

    How do we know he didn’t make copies, pass them to sympathetic lefties and THEN destroy whatever the KGB wanted to see destroyed? 🙂

  • Abe Rene

    PS. Ah, I didn’t read the first para carefully enough – my apologies. If I understand correctly, Rusbridger should have done the equivalent of openly taking a stand and refusing to take the mark of the beast. Fair enough. I hope we all might, if a real “antichrist” shows up and real martyrdom is the alternative to betraying the truth.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    And don’t forget The Guardian publishing the Afghan Log unredacted – what got Gareth Williams et al. murdered – and its never explaining why Edward Snowden was afraid of being assassinated, like others unnamed.

  • Roderick Russell

    Re Craig’s comment – “The actions of the Guardian in complying with the demands of the security services …… were cowardly in extreme“.

    I wonder – are these actions of the Guardian due to cowardliness, or are they a subtle form of propaganda? I think this is an important question because back in 2001 I read in the American press that the Guardian was “rapidly acquiring cult status in the United States”. This had contrasted with my own experiences of the Guardian where following a meeting in Manchester, in which we blew the whistle on irregularities within the security services and the Home Office, my wife and I were threatened and the Guardian “lost” our documentation (which were letters from a Home Office Minister to a Member of Parliament containing provable written lies).

    So attempting to answer the question is it cowardice or propaganda, last year I wrote this article in the Daily Kos: “The Guardian in America – Icon of the left, or too close to British Intelligence?”

  • Je

    I got my posts pre-vetted by the Guardian for suggesting there was Zionist lobbying for the Iraq invasion. They even deleted a post containing nothing other than a mention of and link to one of their own historic articles about it. “The spies who pushed for war” one.
    It was arbitrary and inconsistent with their published moderation rules.

    As far as the “recommends” marking up/down whatevers. They’re the equivalent of blowing a raspberry. I worry about being accurate, not popular.

  • Mary

    Thank you Kempe. What a nice photo. RIP Bob, Tony and not forgetting that brave man Brian Haw who died in 2011.

  • larry Levin

    Didn’t rusbridger also help cameron escape culpability in the Murdoch hacking case?

    Gordon Brown during a parliamentary speech alluded to this.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Newspapers have definitely lost their flavour over the years.There is hardly any difference between them any longer.What is striking is all the big news that never reaches print.Censorship by ommission.
    The war of the 24 hr news channels is reaching fever pitch with the Ukraine story.RT releasing private calls of Ambassadors and Cath. Ashton were classic, and yet largely ignored.It is a shame that the Guardian has also gone over to the dark side… but money has also talked.
    Just noticed that Channel 5 has been bought by a US company..
    Things won’t be better any time soon.

  • Mary

    Some of us missed the chance of an online chat today with Charles Crawford courtesy of the Guardian. He is well in at Kings Place. He was running a teach yourself negotiation skills day course there on one recent Saturday. £250 a pop from memory.

    Live Q&A: how to improve your negotiation skills
    Want a payrise, a new job or just to close the deal? Our panel of experts are here to help. They’ll be answering your questions from midday on Thursday 1 May

    Anything to make a few more shekels. Journalism? What’s that?


    Extraordinary events for extraordinary people. Courses on everything from journalism and creative writing to business, food and photography.

  • septicisle

    Come on now Craig – regardless of the Graun’s preoccupation with Amanda Knox, which is basically down to how hack Simon Hattenstone befriended her not long after she was first arrested, the idea she and Sollecito are guilty is laughable, and anyone taking the word of the site linked above at face value needs to read more widely. Only one person killed Meredith Kercher, and he’s already in prison.

  • Keith Crosby

    Have a heart, he took in the wig after it ran away from Elton John.


    Really. Can we trust Washington Post either, or for that matter Ebay? The Intercept has gone cold on the trail, insisting that they must evaluate the data (I’m thinking about how the Media bangs on the ‘difficult and vast search area’ drum, making the Natives restless.) to make sure they aren’t endangering lives. Maybe so, but it is very suspicious, especially since Intercept hasn’t bothered to contact Craig Murray with his whistleblower bona fides

    If Snowden doesn’t have the data after entrusting it, who will we trust in the future?


    Speak of the Devil. Here are some crumbs for Ebay’s table.

    “Britain’s electronic surveillance agency, Government Communications Headquarters, has long presented its collaboration with the National Security Agency’s massive electronic spying efforts as proportionate, carefully monitored, and well within the bounds of privacy laws. But according to a top-secret document in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, GCHQ secretly coveted the NSA’s vast troves of private communications and sought “unsupervised access” to its data as recently as last year – essentially begging to feast at the NSA’s table while insisting that it only nibbles on the occasional crumb.”

  • Jives

    Rusbridger was probably too scared to face the inevitable Targeted Individual,Gang Stalking,Psychotronic action had he not rolled over.

  • N_

    Why is the Nazi book burning so common a reference? The Allied occupiers banned 30,000 titles in Germany in 1946. They ordered the confiscation of all copies and made possession a crime.

  • guano

    The press is now so accustomed to its muzzle, especially about current UK war activity such as Syria, that it is more like a frightened greyhound than a watchdog. It wouldn’t know what to do with a rabbit if one popped out its burrow in front of it, apart from considering the possibility of the burrow as a place to hide its eyes.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Lion-Hearted Defender of Stuff)

    “The actions of the Guardian in complying with the demands of the security services …… were cowardly in extreme“.

    OTOH, the Guardian wasn’t shy about publishing what happened there. And that blew back, as Freedom House’s review of Press freedom in 2013 clearly states:

    The United Kingdom registered both positive and negative trends in 2013, leading to a net decline from 21 to 23 points. A long-awaited reform of the libel laws raised the threshold for initiating cases and has the potential to curb “libel tourism.” However, a number of negative developments stemmed from the government’s response to the revelations of surveillance by the NSA and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Authorities used the Terrorism Act to detain the partner of investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story; raided the offices of the Guardian newspaper and destroyed hard drives containing potentially sensitive source materials; and subsequently threatened the Guardian with further action. In the wake of the 2011 News of the World phone-hacking scandal and the Leveson inquiry that followed, the establishment of a new regulatory body to oversee print media also raised concerns among some observers.

    While I fully appreciate that the Grauniad censors CiF – (and two outstanding reasons suggest themselves for this; (a) moderation is by interns and (b) the very vocal and apparently influential CiFWatch* squeals ‘antisemitism’ when any realistic criticism of Israel is offered,) – and that Rusbridger is not as brave as he might ideally be, I think the paper has to steer a very careful course between legislation and commercial viability, and that it is by a long way the most consistent questioner of statism in the UK.

    *Not unconnected to BICOM, of which, relevantly to other recent threads:

  • Ba'al Zevul (Lion-Hearted Defender of Stuff)

    Pursuing the above…The US likes the (adopted) candidate for Stoke North:

    Perhaps most damaging of all, however, Smeargate effectively ended what may have been Brown’s plan to call a general election this spring, based on the rise in the polls he received following his solid performance at the G-20. Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Burton Ruth Smeeth (strictly protect) told us April 20 that Brown had intended to announce the elections on May 12, and hold them after a very short (matter of weeks) campaign season. Labour had been “just” 7 points behind the Conservatives in some polls taken right after the G-20 Summit, which other Labour contacts had told us was close to an acceptable standing from which to launch a campaign, but the drop in Labour’s poll numbers following Smeargate forced Brown to abandon his plan, a despondent Smeeth said. (Note: This information has not been reported in the press. End note.)

    Don’t knock the cables.

    THIS is a Labour candidate?

    Sorry, darling. I’m sure the good folk of Stoke want you to represent them, not bloody Tel Aviv…

  • Mary

    They do not like her or it, ie the parachuting in.

    Safe seat holds back our city
    April 11, 2014


    Ever since I signed a 38Degrees petition about the gagging law which involved sending a letter to ‘Ed Mil(l)ipede (and got a smarmy letter back from him in which he promised to repeal the legislation) I have been plagued by Liebour Partei e-mails signed by an Iain McNicol pledging this, that and the other if Liebour is returned to government. I cannot get rid even though I keep unsubscribing.

  • Yossi

    Given that in order to run a newspaper or other media outlet you need lots of dosh. Further given that the only people able to provide that kind of dosh are the oligarchs, zillionaires, and advertisers of the world, how can we ever have truly free media?
    How on earth can you be so convinced that Amanda Knox is guilty?

  • John Goss

    I have some sympathy for Rusbridger and remember that when Peter Oborne interviewed him he virtually said The Guardian gets taken to task when its writers call Israel an apartheid state (starts at about 27 minutes 20 seconds). And the programme makes the point that Comments Are Free is run by a pro-Israeli individual called Hawkeye.

  • Carlyle Moulton

    “It has run, for example, over two dozen extremely one-sided articles in praise of the vicious American murderess Amanda Knox.”

    Craig I am surprised at you, usually you are capable of seeing through great clouds of bovine fecal matter stirred up by unscrupulous authorities to the truth hidden behind them, but this time you fail.

    The decision at the very beginning by the Perugian authorities to choose Amanda Knox as the prime suspect was crazy. Of course she should have been considered as a suspect but pretty soon they should have started to look elsewhere. Why the Italian law became so fixated on Knox as evil is a mystery, both corruption and incompetence are obviously involved but that can’t be all of it, perhaps it is a matter of certain people being unable to admit that they were wrong especially when that implies that they did improper things such as coercing confession.

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