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Yet another Murdoch diary

by ceebs Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 08:35:41 AM EST

Over the last two years this side of the Atlantic has been providing piece after piece of evidence of irregular practices between journalists and private eyes employed on behalf of the newspaper arm of News Corp in the UK, News International. These activities have been detailed in past diaries here, and have allegedly consisted of phone hacking, bribery of public officials, bribery of police officers and military figures. This has resulted in a stream of files being handed by the Metropolitan Police to the UK's Crown Prosecution Service.

News Corp for its part started by insisting that this was just the work of "one rogue journalist", a claim that stretched credulity seeing as the original rogue was a royal reporter, and one of the victims was a football agent. As the scandal has rolled on, it has become clear that it wasn't just one rogue reporter, but rather one rogue newspaper, and from there as the investigation progressed, other print arms of the UK business have gradually had their own range of skeletons exposed.

So far the problems have all been confined to one national newspaper group, but it looks like the company's crisis may be at the point of getting its feet wet and leaping across the Atlantic.


The Daily Beast has an article in which it says it has learned of a corrupt payment made by The Sun 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."

Online rumor suggests that the man chosen to do the deal is known to the authorities, and his entry and exit from the country will be visible in US Immigration records (someone's push for paranoia after 9/11 via Fox News will be coming back to haunt him). Payment details may also be visible, as the amount rumored to have been paid is much larger than that admitted by the paper's editor. Sources say that privately News International journalists were crowing about how bad a negotiator the US official involved was and the fact that they managed to lay their hands on the pictures for half the amount of cash that they had for the deal.

Further to this the suggestion is that the simultaneous publication on both sides of the Atlantic implies a controlling knowledge at a level above that of the UK News International high-level figures where the rogue accusations usually stop. Could it be that the 30,000 emails passed by the Metropolitan Police to the DOJ contain the fingerprints of the highest member of the News Corp board, arranging the story between the two sides of the Atlantic's presses?

Now the election is over, there is no real excuse for the DOJ to stall on their investigation any further. Grand juries really must be called and the investigation of those up the chain at News Corp must proceed now apace.

There are several questions that need answers

  1. Was the DOJ or FBI aware that the editor of The Sun had admitted that he had made illegal payments to a US government official on the record?

  2. Was the DOJ or FBI aware that the payments were considerably larger than was admitted on the record?

  3. Was the DOJ or FBI aware that there must have been communications between London and New York, incurring liability to both News International and News Corp, as the photos were published simultaneously in The Sun and the New York Post?

  4. Has the DOJ or FBI been in contact with the News Corp MSC for information about correspondence relating to this, or is this something that is planned in the near future?

If rumors flying amongst the UK media and Leveson watchers at present are correct then expect major announcements from the US authorities in the next two or three days.

What charges are possible? Well apart from bribery or other corrupt payments legislation, it's possible, although only a slim chance that war crimes charges may be deployed. It depends on how the appropriate pieces of US legislation are worded. The US has an obligation to obey the Geneva Convention, and Article 13 and 14 of the Third Geneva Convention are things that would cover this:

Art 13. Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

Art 14. Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour.

Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men.

Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.

War crimes charges were suggested at the time the article was published, but nothing came of it then.

The media landscape is different now.

This may be the week to start opening that popcorn you've been saving.

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produced in orange late last night and frontpaged to many whiney comments.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:55:02 AM EST
I only skimmed it; seems like they didn't like the suggestion that DOJ stalled its investigations until the elections?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 09:27:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yep, and they also thought the original title over there was misleading (anything to get eyes looking at a diary) :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:17:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh, Armando is still around? Years ago, that obnoxious guy was one of the reasons I didn't stick around at dKos.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:49:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Up to his usual obnoxious rep there. What purpose does all that serve?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:13:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well someone has to make sure all the punctuation is stored in the correct pots

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:29:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What was the original title? Not that it matters much: I saw that in the end Armando attacked the substance of the diary, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
was originally Murdochgate: US Grand Jury Set to Pinch Rupert for Bribery?, but that turned into arrested as I didn't think piched was right for US, then laughingly put breaking: in at the beginning. unfortunately that was the point the peoples house I was visiting had their network fail, and it's a case of rebooting the link, then rebooting the pc to get the software working from the caravan where they live.

By the time I got back online Armageddon was in progress with people being in full on arsehole mode.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 01:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Learned the very hard way that it's not a good idea to post anything controversial -- or poorly phrased -- right before leaving for a few hours.  At least you didn't get banned as I was after being there for almost ten years.  Only lost my TU status a couple of times.  First way back in late 2003 when Armando's gang of Clarkies were the site bullies.  Then briefly in 2004 when I had a dust-up with MSOC.  The ring-leaders in getting me banned have since been banned, but to the dKos powers that be that is as irrelevant to my status as being one of the earliest reader/commentators.  
by Marie2 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 08:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jinkies, Scooby!
Sounds worse than (allegedly) wikipedia [citation needed].


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 04:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeebus, just read some of the comments. What a tempest in a teapot.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there may be a better synonym for Armando than 'teapot.'

Can't quite think of it right now though.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 01:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well I might toss one out...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 01:41:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crapsack?
by rifek on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 12:33:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crackpot?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 02:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... in Australian English, is "bloody wanker".

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 12:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there may be a better synonym for Armando than 'teapot.'
ROTFLMAO over the image of Armando singing I'm a little teapot.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 02:58:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are several people over there who made me conclude some time ago that dKos is not worth my time, particularly a set of Russophones who firmly believe no one gets to comment on anything east of Poland without their permission.  The worst offenders are exactly what you would expect: programmers who are overgrown 13-year-olds with a penchant for clinging to the most Randian elements of the Gospels of St. Heinlein and St. Pournelle.
by rifek on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 12:30:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

(Couldn't finish the orange comments section. "People's Front or Popular Front?")


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 09:51:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha! I successfully finished it! Last comment!

I did, however, skip some hundred comments are so in the middle.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 01:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have the whiney comments been hidden?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 03:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And just pointed out back in the day, when things were happening the Sun appeared to think that they had bought the copyright to the photos.

Bidding war for Sun's Saddam pics | Media | MediaGuardian

A bidding war has kicked off for the rights to the Sun's pictures of Saddam Hussein in his prison cell, with News International demanding around £20,000 a photo.

According to sources, News International is demanding "tens of thousands" for the photographs, which show the former Iraqi dictator in his underwear and washing clothes.

Many newspapers were today weighing up the ethical as well as the financial considerations of publishing the photographs, but there is likely to be strong demand from American as well as UK media organisations.

The US military has said the photographs are in breach of the Geneva convention and has launched a mole hunt to find out who took them.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:04:44 AM EST
Pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underpants could spell trouble for News Corporation - Telegraph

News Corporation, the parent company of News International, could face an investigation in the US over its payment to a US soldier for pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underpants.

In 2005 The Sun published a series of photographs of the deposed dictator in prison in Iraq, under the front page headline "The Tyrant's In His Pants".

The newspaper made no secret of the fact that it had paid a US military source for the photographs, but the US website The Daily Beast has now reported that the money was handed over on American soil, meaning an offence could have been committed in the US.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:42:44 AM EST
Did The Sun pay bribes to get famous picture of Saddam in his pants? - Press - Media - The Independent

Wearing a pair of white Y-fronts, Saddam Hussein was splashed across The Sun  and the New York Post in 2005, a global scoop by Rupert Murdoch's voracious news empire.

At the time the US President, George W Bush, announced an inquiry into how the papers had acquired the image of the "Beast of Baghdad" while he was in the custody of US troops in Iraq.

Now the picture is again a matter of controversy, following a claim that Mr Murdoch's holding company, News Corporation, obtained it by bribing a member of the US military. The American news website The Daily Beast asked: "Did News Corp illegally purchase Saddam Hussein picture from US officials?" It reported: "Sources close to the story have told The Daily Beast that the payment was significantly greater [than £500] and was made to a US official on American soil."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:46:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Saddam Hussein underpants photos defended by News Corp | Media | guardian.co.uk

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has aggressively defended the publication of pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underpants by the Sun and the New York Post in 2005, following suggestions that the publisher of the tabloids could face investigation in the US over payments made to obtain them.

The picture was run on the front pages of both newspapers in May 2005 -- prompting a complaint from President Bush's spokesperson -- and the Sun's managing editor Graham Dudman admitted paying for pictures of the late Iraqi dictator in captivity that were alleged to have come from the US military.

"The Tyrant's In His Pants," said the Sun's headline -- while the New York Post opted for "Butcher of Sagdad" against an image of Hussein wearing nothing more than a pair of white Y-fronts.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Twitter / Brown_Moses: #Murdocalypse - The Saddam ...
#Murdocalypse - The Saddam in his pants photo story has now reached the Arab press http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/11/20/250728.html ... cc @peterjukes @mr_ceebs


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 02:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and another over there, which I can do as a diary here

Daily Kos: Murdoch: More leveson documents

In the last few days there was a sudden burst of Leveson related activity when several Journalists noted that a  final statement by DAC Sue Akers had been posted on the Leveson website.  A statement that was packed with interesting details, from the fact that there are still twelve police officers still full time informing people that they have been hacked to the fact that police are considering action under "bribery contrary to s1 Bribery Act 2010". Interesting because this act didn't come into effect until three days before the Guardians Millie Dowler front page.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:44:46 AM EST
The understanding of, let alone the respect for, the niceties of international law by a substantial majority of US citizens may be a reason for DOJ hesitancy. Most would likely respond:

"What? you are prosecuting Fox for publishing a picture of Saddam Hussein in his underwear! He doesn't deserve any civil rights!"

And, from the right:

"They are just piling on Fox News. Part of Obama's Kenyan-Communist-Islamist agenda!" Some on Fox may even say this or something very close to it.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:33:40 PM EST
yes definitely, and for that reason any activity wasn't possible till after the election, no supression of own vote and firing up the repub base.

however have had my arm ripped off for suggesting that the US legal system might submit to such base desires.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 01:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I answered one of those to the effect of, quite right the DOJ is not the kind of postpone an inconvenient investigation until after an election, they are more the kind to simply quash an inconvenient investigation entirely.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 01:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
News Corp exposed to growing legal threat following charges for tabloid duo | Media | guardian.co.uk

The new round of criminal charges brought in the UK against former senior News International editors has once raised again the prospect that Rupert Murdoch's New York-based parent company may be prosecuted under US anti-bribery laws, and complicates the rehabilitation of his son James as a possible successor to lead the global media empire.

The charges brought against Rebekah Brooks, who ran Murdoch's newspaper holdings in Britain, Andy Coulson, former editor of the now defunct News of the World, and two other former News International employees exposes the parent News Corporation to possible action under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA exists to prosecute US-domiciled companies for acts of bribery and corruption that they might commit abroad.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 05:31:41 PM EST
Advanced Warning.

Leveson report published on Thursday 29th (a birthday present for me, The Universe Laughs)

Then Monday 3rd December there's a House of Commons debate on the report.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 12:21:53 PM EST
Expect many interpretations of the chicken bones. Political voodoo is essentially: "Fake it up as you go along."

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 03:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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