Is GCHQ Embedded in Wikipedia? 169


Once upon a time, being a leader writer for the Times implied Jupiter like vision and magisterial judgement, thundering out opinions that changed events across the globe. Astonishing that now it is done by the empty, bombastic Murdoch lickspittle Oliver Kamm.

On 7 February I published an article calling out Kamm for publishing a blatant and deliberate lie about me. The very next day, 8 February, my Wikipedia page came under obsessive attack from somebody called Philip Cross who made an astonishing 107 changes over the course of the next three days. Many were very minor, but the overall effect was undoubtedly derogatory. He even removed my photo on the extraordinary grounds that it was “not typical” of me. Edits to Wikipedia articles can be seen by clicking the “view history” tab top right. Here is just a sample of the record of “Philip Cross'” obsession with me.

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I don’t look at my own Wikipedia page, but was told about it yesterday. I therefore googled Philip Cross and was amazed to discover that he is allegedly an alias for Oliver Kamm attacking people online. Furthermore that Kamm has employed lawyers to threaten those who claim that he is Philip Cross, and by Kamm’s own account the Metropolitan Police have even warned off Neil Clark from saying Kamm is Cross. The Kamm/Cross affair was discussed on George Galloway’s show on Saturday. It starts 12mins 30s in.

It could of course be an extraordinary coincidence that Philip Cross, who has been named as Oliver Kamm, launched this massive attack on my Wikipedia entry the day after I outed Kamm as a liar on this blog.

But here is another extraordinary coincidence for you. On 6 August 2015 Philip Cross had launched an initial edit attack on my Wikipedia entry, with only about two dozen edits. What was my last blog post before that attack? The revelation that Murdoch lackeys at the Times had tens of thousands of fake twitter followers purchased for them. I have only criticised Murdoch’s Times operation twice in two years, and each one has been followed immediately by attacks on my Wikipedia entry from Philip Cross. I wonder if Mr Kamm’s lawyers would care to explain this?

I am not alone by any means. The magnificent Stephen Sizer has suffered fearful attacks for his stalwart stand against the oppression of Palestinians, at great risk to his livelihood in the new neo-con Welby Church of England. Sizer has been a constant target for Oliver Kamm. On 22 August 2015 Oliver Kamm published an attack on Stephen Sizer in the Jewish Chronicle describing him as “an insanitary crackpot.” Of course, something published in the Jewish Chronicle on 22 August will have been written a couple of days earlier – around 20 August 2015. On 20 August 2015 we find that “Philip Cross” made six edits to Stephen Sizer’s Wikipedia page. These coincidences really do build up, don’t they?

And just in case you are not convinced, in early February 2015 Kamm was launching a series of twitter insults at Stephen Sizer, including Kamm’s remarkable claim that Veterans Today – for which several of my ex-CIA friends write – is an “anti-Semitic website”.

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And lo and behold! Up pops “Philip Cross” on 9 February 2015 making 32 more edits on Sizer’s Wikipedia page.

Now I really do not care whether or not “Philip Cross” is actually Oliver Kamm or whether he is just Oliver Kamm’s bitch. For Oliver Kamm’s lawyers, my address is 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. I should love to see Kamm explain all this in court.

Kamm has for years exhibited an absolute obsession with attacking John Pilger, the great Australian journalist. Just google “Oliver Kamm John Pilger” to see. And who has hundreds of edits on Jon Pilger’s Wikipedia page? Philip Cross. Cross has apparently his own twitter account. Here it is obvious that he shares Kamm’s precise views. Zionism, and accusing pro-Palestinians of anti-Semitism, is the single most dominant element along with attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, Julian Assange and Kamm’s other targets. Cross retweets the Jewish Chronicle, for which Kamm is a columnist, and notably Joan Smith, leading anti-Assange campaigner and former partner of convicted expenses fiddler and Israeli lobbyist Dennis McShane.

I genuinely had no idea that Kamm had an established reputation for years for weird internet trolling. For example he published readers’ reviews on Amazon of 19 of Noam Chomsky’s books, giving every one of them one star. That link is very well worth reading, incidentally. Did you know that Kamm has written that the invasion of Iraq was “the most far-sighted and noble act of British foreign policy since the founding of NATO”?

There are some very serious points to all of this. It is not just personal flim-flam. The first serious point is that it really is the most appalling comment on what Murdoch has done to the Times, that its leader-writer should be such a low creature as Kamm. A man who has not only written that the Iraq invasion was “great”, that Noam Chomsky is an “idiot” and that John Pilger is a “fraud”, but who genuinely appears to hold those views.

The second is a very serious point indeed about Wikipedia. “Philip Cross” is not just anybody who can, like you and me, make edits on Wikipedia. he is a senior editor with special administrative privileges. He uses this access on a continued basis to repeatedly and in enormous detail denigrate any individuals who hold anti-establishment views. Equally sinister, he bigs up and protects the reputation of those who promote the corporate media agenda. “Philip Cross” has not just edited, but according to Wikipedia “predominantly written” the hagiographic entries of

James Harding, Former Editor of the Times, now Head of BBC News
Katherine Viner, Editor of the Guardian
Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail
Amol Rajan, Editor of the Independent
and numerous other corporate media journalists.

Philip Cross may be Oliver Kamm. Or he may be someone who shares his views closely and echoes them in a synchronised way. Or he may be an identity which cloaks the activities of a group of people. But it is absolutely plain that “Philip Cross” is used systematically to attack the Wikipedia entries of prominent anti-establishment figures, and simultaneously to bolster the image of the corporate media. The purpose of “Philip Cross” is to ensure that an anti-establishment narrative does not take hold on Wikipedia.

The burning question is this. “Philip Cross'” activities and purpose are blindingly obvious. Actions such as the hundred edits to my page and removal of my photo, or the continued war on John Piger’s entry, are completely unjustifiable. Why then does Wikipedia continue to tolerate “Philip Cross” and grant him administrator privileges?

Oliver Kamm briefly held an internet admin account in his won name. It is particularly noteworthy that Kamm was contacted by email on 28 June 2007 at 17.25 in this guise by “slim virgin”, another Wikipedia admin account that has been widely reported to be a security services front. It ostensibly belongs to Canadian Oxbridge graduate Linda Mack, but impossibly high levels of activity (including once editing straight for 26 hours) have led many to conclude that Slim Virgin is a team – she averaged 100 articles a day, seven days a week, for a year! Linda Mack was believed by ABC News to have been acting on behalf of MI5 in monitoring their Lockerbie investigation while working for their London bureau. The admin page on which “slim virgin” contacted Oliver Kamm is specifically about his attacks on Neil Clark, which is where we came in.

There are just far too many coincidences and linkages for any reasonable person to conclude that nothing murky is happening on Wikipedia. We know for certain from the Snowden revelations that the government does carry out internet operations to promote its narrative and to degrade the image and reach of known opponents on the web. I know from personal professional experience that the security services work with trusties in the media. We have plainly uncovered something at the edge of one of these operations here.

UPDATE I have received twitter messages from “Philip Cross” that he is a person, not part of GCHQ, and that his activity on Wikipedia is often sparked by things he has read, including by Oliver Kamm. He also points out that I had blogged that I did not like my photo on Wikipedia (this is true). He states that Oliver Kamm’s influence on his Wikipedia activity is “not as great as it seems”. I have replied to “Philip Cross” asking if he knows Oliver Kamm, and why Kamm has any influence at all on his Wikpedia activity. I shall keep you posted.

FURTHER UPDATE “Philip Cross” has now replied that “occasionally, it is one of OK’s tweets that reminds me. There is no conspiracy here and I am not a paid editor.” No reply to if he knows Oliver Kamm.

Hat-Tips to Node, Clark and Squonk


169 thoughts on “Is GCHQ Embedded in Wikipedia?

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  • Whew

    Habbakuk’s last warning is heartening news. Disemvoweling at will by mods could curb his manipulative tendencies with basic operant conditioning. He strives obsessively to poison the community and should not be neglected.

  • Singh

    Kempe, thank you for your comment, it helped me a lot. You drew my attention to that great site Veterans Today, which has wonderful articles, podcasts, videos, etc.

    You Israeli idiots do do some good at times.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    The Professor Kershaw quotation – taken from a very long screed by Mr Hett, half of which is directed at rubbishing Professor Richard Evans – is hardly a ringing endorsement of Hett’s (and our Transatlantic Friend’s) belief that the Nazis were behind the Reichstag fire.

    So I think we shall have to agree to differ:

    our Transatlantic Friend believes – as does a handful of historians (some of whom no doubt hoing that their iconoclasism will boost their hitherto somewhat insubstantial reputations) – that the Nazis were behind the Reichstag fire

    and

    I – together with the majority of historians – believe that that the single agent explanation is the correct one. Which is not to say that the Nazis did not milk the event for all it was worth – perhaps our Transatlantic Friend is getting his points mixed up a little.

    Conclusion : this devate is now closed as far as I am concerned and I look forward to our Transatlantic Friend providing us with some valuable insights and opinions on American politics in 2016.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    “I look forward to our Transatlantic Friend providing us with some valuable insights and opinions on American politics in 2016.”
    ______________________

    On which he has remained curiously silent so far.

    Perhaps he finds German history of 80 years ago and telling us which impressive books he has “just read” more interesting.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    “Kempe, thank you for your comment, it helped me a lot. You drew my attention to that great site Veterans Today, which has wonderful articles, podcasts, videos, etc.

    You Israeli idiots do do some good at times.”
    _______________________

    I deplore the above “comment” from “Singh” (who he?), which is probably as inaccurate as it is silly (Kempe is probably not Israeli and he is certainly not silly).

    As Craig has said, such ad hominems are unwelcome and your posts would be more valuable (possibly) if you were to eschew them.

    Thank you.

  • John Goss

    “As Craig has said, such ad hominems are unwelcome and your posts would be more valuable (possibly) if you were to eschew them.”

    This is what Craig actually said to you< Habbabkuk, but it can be applied to all.

    "I have no problem with your robust arguments with commentators or indeed with me, but I dislike your occasional descent to the ad hominem and your frequent and perfectly deliberate attempts to inflame the less temperate."

    I am not Israeli but I can share the widespread disdain felt towards certain factions of apartheid Israeli authority when this kind of thing happens on a regular basis in Jerusalem.

    https://www.facebook.com/holyland24/videos/1044164588984790/

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Kamm’s irritated someone else:

    http://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2005/11/has_oliver_kamm.html

    Playing into my own area of interest, and you may not agree with this, but check the sting in the tail:

    To say that democracy is an ideal to be aimed at is to assume two things. First, that it is, indeed, “A Good Thing” which may be true, but one’s faith is tested severely watching the Western democracies slowly but surely disappearing into a mire of corruption, dissolution and licence. Second, that other countries are ready for democracy now! I am happy for better educated men than me to correct me if I propose that Iraqi society today is roughly where England was at the start of the Tudor regime. Similarly, Afghanistan is roughly where we were in medieval times. I can only ask what the England of those days would have thought of a foreign invader attempting to impose such democratic notions on their society? I suspect Oliver would object (along with several other highly intelligent and learned objections) that the difference is that the Muslims of Iraq and Afghanistan can see, through the wonders of modern communications, just how wonderful life is in the Western democracies, to which I can only reply, quite so!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I think we can say that (Andrew) Philip Cross is safely embedded in the Kammsphere. If he is Kamm (masquerading as a Black double-bassist is just possibly a gambit too far, even for Kamm), we have Kamm patting himself on the back here.

    https://twitter.com/philipcross63

    And undoubtedly reading this.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Here’s Cross editing the MediaLens entry…

    https://www.facebook.com/147079088662589/photos/a.511628708874290.1073741825.147079088662589/932905613413262/?type=1&theater

    On a stylistic note, here’s a Cross offering which has haunting overtones of a frequent poster on this blog:

    Oliver Kamm’s maternal grandfather (Adrian Bell) did not go to university. While his father (Anthony Kamm) is an Oxonian (he read Classics and English), his paternal grandfather was a German (Jewish?) refugee in the thirties, I believe. So ‘tenth generation Oxbridge’ is inaccurate. No doubt, at some point, Kamm’s German ancestory will give you, a follower of the ‘universal’ church, another oportunity to display your parochial and provincial inclinations.

    I find your commitment to the grammar schools, given your antipathy to IQ tests, rather curious. Incidentally, admissions to Oxbridge from the state sector were about a third in the 1950s, at the peak of the tripartite system, now they are slightly below half.

    Philip Cross (…)

    http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/2008/06/if-its-not-going-to-be-mackenzie.html

    It would be faintly surprising if someone whose dislike of Craig moved him to edit his Wiki entry prejudicially didn’t post here, in fact.

  • Old Mark

    Ba’al

    Thanks for the link to ‘Philip Cross’s’ twitter feed; with re tweets from Kamm himself, Joan Smith, and the JC, the similarity in outlook here with Kamm’s journalistic output is striking.

    FYI there is also an Aaronovitchesque odour to one of the Amazon reviews of Kamm’s magnum opus, Anti -Totalitarianism: The Left-wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy, namely, the sole 5* review received shortly after publication from a shy ‘Amazon Customer’ whose praise for it on occasion strays into cloying sycophancy, for example-

    ‘a clear, thoughful and unique contribution to the literature of the left and to politics as a discipline.’

    and

    ‘I know that the left as a progressive movement for change will be indebted to Mr Kamm and his like for generations to come.’

    Pass the sick bag Alice!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anti-Totalitarianism-Left-wing-Neoconservative-Foreign/dp/190486306X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

  • Ba'al Zevul

    And while we’re in a picking-up-inaccuracies mode (see 1155 am) Oliver’s paternal grandfather, George Kamm, was born in Liverpool in 1898. George’s wife was a first cousin of Viscount Samuel*. It may have been the great-grandfather who emigrated from Germany, he certainly didn’t do so in the thirties. This fact does not occur in Wikipedia. Yet.

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hJc8afOZV0QC&pg=PA502&lpg=PA502&dq=%22george+kamm%22+german&source=bl&ots=hNMyJHOypG&sig=JIy2UiHbIdn7nLj39bHXAgG9AhA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN_KKolsXLAhUFXRoKHcGfDykQ6AEINDAD#v=onepage&q=%22george%20kamm%22%20german&f=false

    * 1st Viscount (Herbert) Samuel. Unquestionably Jewish, if that matters, and when appointed High Commissioner to Palestine inspired this telegram, from the Muslim-Christian Association:

    ‘Sir Herbert Samuel regarded as a Zionist leader, and his appointment as first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people contrary to their wishes. Inhabitants cannot recognise him, and Muslim-Christian Society cannot accept responsibility for riots or other disturbances of peace’.

    That is in Wikipedia. For the moment…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    TY Old Mark. As you say, Aaronovitchesque. It’s probably best to regard Kamm in the same light as, say, Irving Kristol, whose socialist pretensions when young were swiftly erased by CIA funding for promulgating antiSoviet propaganda postwar, and who became a founding father of neoconservatism. (I have much more respect for Kristol. Unlike his successors at the time of Iraq, he served with the 12th Armored Division. At Herrlisheim, one of the most intense armoured engagements of the US invasion. Ok, so not very much like Kamm at all.)

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “* 1st Viscount (Herbert) Samuel. Unquestionably Jewish, if that matters,..”
    _____________________

    I fear it does rather matter to quite a few, Ba’al.

    Including, almost certainly, some on here.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Ba’al Zevul
    16/03/16 12:04pm

    Kamm tweets, and Cross retweets:

    “I’m going to enjoy watching Mr Murray try to row back from his latest fiasco.”

    You reckon they’re reading this? Let’s see if they’re not too cowardly to let my comment be posted up on their accounts:

    “Let’s see you row back from your blatant lying about Murray first, eh, Mr Kamm?”

    Think that will be allowed past their filters? What do you guys reckon?

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Ba’al

    “Irving Kristol, whose socialist pretensions when young were swiftly erased by CIA funding for promulgating antiSoviet propaganda postwar, and who became a founding father of neoconservatism.”
    ______________________

    Well, as you probably know, Baal, Kristol would by no means be the only person in and on the fringes of politics who has moved from an extreme left position to a right wing one.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “(I have much more respect for Kristol. Unlike his successors at the time of Iraq, he served with the 12th Armored Division. At Herrlisheim, one of the most intense armoured engagements of the US invasion. Ok, so not very much like Kamm at all.)”
    ___________________

    I have some sympathy with that point of view. But let’s be fair and not overdo it, eh?

    Kristol served at a time when national service (conscription)applied in the US (and when a major war was going on).

    His successors at the time of Iraq – and Oliver Kamm for that matter) – were not living under a system of nation service but under that of a volonteer, professional army.

    The most they can be accused of, therefore, is not volonteering to join one of the services.

    ****************

    BTW, can anyone remind me if the young Noam Chomsky did his military service?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Incidentally, admissions to Oxbridge from the state sector were about a third in the 1950s, at the peak of the tripartite system, now they are slightly below half.”
    _________________________

    Which means that the position has improved (even if insufficiently) for state sector pupils, doesn’t it?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Think that will be allowed past their filters? What do you guys reckon?

    My guess is no, but I’m not into social media. However, my guess is that Habbabkuk will shortly make an appearance on this thread,if it has not done so already. If he does, ask him about grammar schools… (11.55 am, above)

  • lysias

    Troll cannot admit it when he’s wrong. Instead, he wants to change the subject.

    Let me repeat my challenge: Who can name five historians who still support the lone nut theory about the Reichstag Fire that exonerates the Nazis? And no, citations from decades ago before the lone nut theory came under serious challenge as a result of the release of documents after the fall of Communism won’t do.

    Myself, I find Hett’s rebuttal of Evans’s review devastating. Let those who are interested follow the link I gave and judge for themselves.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Someone obviously can’t read. Or, if he can, he doesn’t understand. 🙂

  • lysias

    Troll insists again that the subject be dropped. He really has trouble admitting it when he’s wrong.

    I guess no one is taking up my challenge. So much for any claim that a big majority of historians supports the lone nut theory that exonerates the Nazis on the Reichstag Fire.

    Even if only a significant minority of historians rejects the lone nut theory, as I have surely demonstrated, doesn’t that show how outrageous it is to associate me with David Irving merely because I disagree with Richard Evans on the entirely different matter of the Reichstag Fire, where it is Evans who exonerates the Nazis? The troll would be well advised to read carefully the last paragraphs of the Hett piece to which I have linked, where Hett rightly insists on the moral importance of assigning the blame for the Reichstag Fire where it properly belongs, with the Nazis.

  • lysias

    There’s a lot of politics involved in academic fields like history. People are often afraid to publicly criticize previously accepted theories that are still defended by powerful professors (like in the case of the Reichstag Fire Hans Mommsen).

  • lysias

    It’s the troll who can’t read (or pretends not to be able to read) what Kershaw wrote.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Actually I did read the link to Professor Kershaw and came to the conclusion that one would have to be very committed in advance to a certain view if one found his review to be a ringing endorsement of Mr Hett’s thesis.

    But what can one expect from a commenter who feels that historians have a “moral duty” to reach certain conclusions irrespective of the evidence and/or balance of probabilities?

  • lysias

    How could Kershaw express agreement with Hett’s assignment of blame for the Reichstag Fire more clearly?

    “However, his [Hett’s] meticulous analysis, which goes a long way towards rehabilitating the line first advanced soon after the war by Hans Bernd Gisevius, is, for me, largely compelling, both in the balance of probabilities on the authorship of the fire, and in the elucidation of the postwar atmosphere in West Germany which made the ‘single authorship’ of van der Lubbe important for the Gestapists to establish.”

    (For those who may not be familiar with Hans Bernd Gisevius, this civil servant in the Nazi government and participant in the plots against Hitler advanced in his book To the Bitter End [Bis zum bitteren Ende], published right after World War Two, the thesis that Nazis had been responsible for the Reichstag Fire.)

    Not a ringing endorsement? Kershaw seems to have doubts about other things said by Hett in his book, but I see no doubt at all expressed about Hett’s thesis that Nazis authored the Reichstag Fire.

  • lysias

    Given the sordid history of how Tobias and his Nazi collaborators used blackmail, misrepresentation of sources, and other shabby techniques to push their lone nut theory about the Reichstag Fire exonerating the Nazis on the German historical establishment, I think there is as much of a moral duty to oppose that lone nut theory as there is to oppose David Irving’s whitewashing of the Nazis.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Any commenter who asserts that a historian has a “moral duty” to reach certain conclusions (with the implication of “never mind the evidence and/or the balance of probabilities”) must not be surprised if he is no longer taken seriously by other readers and his own judgements (insofar as he ever bothers to make any)begin to be treated as suspect.

    It is interesting to note that no one else has come out in support of that commenter’s profoundly shocking observation.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    As for Hans Bernd Gisevius:

    It is perhaps not altogether surprising that a high official in the Nazi govt would, after the defeat of Germany,wish to add to the Nazi chargesheet by suggesting that the Nazis were responsible for the Reichstag fire as a way of ingratiating himself with the victors and escaping possible sanction of one sort or another.

    This thought might well have occurred to other people and might explain why his story was correctly discounted before being resurrected by a couple of revisionist historians out to make a name for themselves.

  • lysias

    I’m not saying never mind the evidence. Any more than I would say that about David Irving.

    For both, the evidence happens to weigh in a certain direction.

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