Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

London’s Top Cop Resigns, Rebekah Brooks Arrested In Murdoch Phone Hack Scandal

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 17, 2011

The implosion of News International continues apace.

Exhibit A:

Rebekah Brooks has been arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World and allegations that police officers were bribed to leak sensitive information.

Exhibit B:

7.33pm: Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has just announced his resignation.

In a press conference he said his position was “in danger of being eclipsed by the ongoing debate by senior officers and the media. And this can never be right.”

And a possible Exhibit C:

7.17pm: Channel 4 News has now has posted its report on the Serious Fraud Office examining News International’s books

Channel 4 News has learnt that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is making preliminary inquiries into News International.

Investigators are looking at many cases involving News International to establish whether a full formal investigation is required.

The former minister Tom Watson, wrote to the SFO’s Director urging him to investigate alleged breaches of Company Law at News International, relating to payments made after the phone hacking scandal. He said the payments were a “gross misuse of shareholders’ money”.


Meanwhile, for comedy relief, I give you Senator James DeMint (R-Nutjob) from South Carolina:

Tea party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) Sunday dismissed calls for Congress to hold hearings to find out if Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. had broken U.S. law by hacking phones or bribing police.

Heh. Too late, Jimmers.

11 Responses to “London’s Top Cop Resigns, Rebekah Brooks Arrested In Murdoch Phone Hack Scandal”

  1. Charles II said

    Yeah, that horse looks like it’s down the lane and over the dale.

    What’s increasingly clear is that the crazy is just there to distract from the corrupt.
    Oh, and here’s a bonus tidbit from the Mail:

    And London Mayor Boris Johnson added: ‘It is with great sadness and reluctance that I have tonight accepted the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.

    ‘I would like to stress that I have absolutely no reason to doubt the complete integrity of Sir Paul and I believe him to be a fine, passionate and committed public servant who has done a huge amount of good for our city.

    And, of course, we have no reason to doubt the complete integrity of Boris Johnson. (I’m not saying he’s the worst guy ever, just not the sort of person whose character reference one would take without checking into it.)

  2. Up to this point Rupert’s been trying to insulate his TV fiefdom from his doomed print-media fiefdom.

    But that strategy may be about to collapse, as longstanding allegations that Murdoch employee (and former Nixonite and former RNC chair) Roger Ailes phone hacked US citizens for FOX News are coming to the fore:

    “Has Roger Ailes been keeping tabs on your phone calls?”

    That’s how began a post back in 2008, when a former Fox News executive charged that Ailes had outfitted a highly secured “brain room” in Fox’s New York headquarters for “counterintelligence” and may have used it to hack into private phone records.


    But rumors have floated in the press and on the Internet about possible phone hacking in that special-security-clearance-only bunker at Fox HQ for years.

    Dan Cooper was one of the people who helped create the Fox News channel with Roger Ailes, and was fired in 1996. In 2008, Cooper wrote on his website that David Brock [who later walked totally away from the conservative movement and is now head of Media Matters — PW] had used him as an anonymous, on-background-only source for an Ailes profile he was writing for New York magazine. Before the piece was published, on November 17, 1997, Cooper claims that his talent agent, Richard Leibner, told him he had received a call from Ailes, who identified Cooper as a source, and insisted that Leibner drop him as a client–or any client reels Leibner sent Fox would pile up in a corner and gather dust. Cooper continued: 

    “I made the connections. Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview. Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”

  3. MEC said

    I’m adding another layer of tinfoil to my beanie and wondering about the timing of Rebekah Brooks’ arrest. It’s two days before she was scheduled to testify before a Parliamentary panel. Now, I presume, she won’t be able to testify. Hmmm.

    • Charles II said

      Right you are, first time, MEC. No tinfoil required. There’s very little doubt that she will not testify. Are the police still covering for Murdoch? Or did a prosecutor decide that he wanted to make sure of a conviction?

      I’d guess the former, since the onus to assert privilege is on the accused.

      • MEC said

        I immediately connected this arrest to the “bungled” initial investigation of the hacking charges.

        But I’m also thinking of how Ollie North got out of a prison sentence because he’d testified before Congress under immunity, and that invalidated the information prosecutors used against him. Maybe the British prosecutors don’t want something similar happening to their case.

        It all depends on whether there’s enough outrage that taking Murdoch’s minions down is more politically advantageous than protecting them. (I’m not cynical, just experienced.)

      • Phoenix Woman said

        She’s been released so she will be able to testify. Heheheheh.

  4. Charles II said

    And the apples keep falling. Assistant Met Police Commissioner John Yates resigns.

    Dave Hill of The Guardian calls for Boris Johnson’s role in failing to pursue the hacking scandal (he called it “codswallop” last September). Mayor Johnson not only has legal responsibility for oversight, cleaning up the Met was a major campaign issue for him. His timidity may arise because he was a phone hacking victim as well.

    • Phoenix Woman said

      Yup, and it’ll be interesting to see Yates points the finger at Cameron the same way Stephenson did yesterday.

      It’s going to be a scandal trifecta: Murdoch, much of the Yard, and Cameron for sure. In fact, bet on Cameron to be forced out by the Tories sooner rather than later as his poll numbers have tank while the party’s numbers are still unaffected (so far).

    • MEC said

      Aha. You make me realize the blackmail potential from the phone hacking. How many Persons With Influence were targeted, and what kind of dirt did Murdoch’s minions collect that could be useful to keeping those people in line?

      • Charles II said

        This has always been the principal issue with wiretapping and other forms of surveillance, whether governmental or corporate, MEC. A free society must allow people to have their secrets, whether they be the cerebral palsy of a child or a prostitute on the side. Otherwise the potential for blackmail or simply ruining people’s lives could paralyze a democracy and make a free society very unfree.

        We make a limited exception for law enforcement to wiretap/surveille. We used to have a thing called the Fourth Amendment to draw a bright line: only if there were convincing allegations of breaking a specific law were they allowed to proceed. Anything other than this is tyranny in one form or another.

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