Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Is the U.K. Independent on the reservation?

Posted by Charles II on August 23, 2013

(crossposted with minor revisions at DK)

It’s an odd question, to be sure, but one in response to a very odd event. The Independent is a newspaper that I have traditionally regarded as off the reservation in the very best sense of the term. That is, I have always regarded them as a left-wing newspaper refusing to be marginalized and demanding that issues of importance to the left receive the same attention as those of interest to the rest of the corporate media.

But Glenn Greenwald has published a piece in The Guardian in which he says (to distill it down) that the Independent has published an article which could, perhaps, endanger lives based, according to The Independent, on “documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden” but which, according to Greenwald “clearly did not come from Snowden or any of the journalists with whom he has directly worked.”

For both of those statements to be true, the documents would have to have come from the government based on a list of the documents that Snowden obtained but has not published. They could, for example, have been based on documents supplied from the government based on the (apparently ineffectual) audit of Snowden’s actions or based on decrypts of the materials obtained from Miranda. Once in the public domain, the government could easily use them against Miranda to allege that the materials he has are being used to aid the enemies of Britain.

Greenwald quotes Snowden as saying that:

“It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post’s disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others.

The Independent’s Oliver Wright has said,

“For the record: The Independent was not leaked or ‘duped’ into publishing today’s front page story by the Government.”

He is receiving a torrent of well-deserved abuse for publishing dodgy material from dodgy sources for dodgy purposes.

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The relevant phrases from the Independent are these. They either could serve to identify the site and therefore endanger the lives of personnel or provide information about sourcing for the article:

Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt.

The Independent is not revealing the precise location of the station but information on its activities was contained in the leaked documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden.

installation is regarded as particularly valuable by the British and Americans because it can access submarine cables passing through the region

Many of them came from an internal Wikipedia-style information site called GC-Wiki

The Independent understands that The Guardian agreed to the Government’s request not to publish any material contained in the Snowden documents that could damage national security.

A senior Whitehall source said: “We agreed with The Guardian that our discussions with them would remain confidential”.

It [the intercept station] is part of the surveillance and monitoring system, code-named “Tempora”,

Across three sites, communications – including telephone calls – are tracked both by satellite dishes and by tapping into underwater fibre-optic cables.

The Middle East station was set up under a warrant signed by the then Foreign Secretary David Miliband

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One Response to “Is the U.K. Independent on the reservation?”

  1. The Indy can be a bit dodgy, even as they are more likely to go where others fear to tread.

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