David Letterman points out major flaw in U.S. Syria strategy

Letterman presents Romney lies

Points taken, Mr. Letterman…

The Raw Story

Friday night on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” host David Letterman devoted a portion of his opening monologue to the unfolding crisis in Syria under the leadership of “evil weasel” Bashar al-Assad. Letterman did note one glaring flaw in the current U.S. plan, however.

“So now they’re having Senate hearings on whether we attack Syria,” he said. “Day five. Don’t you think we have lost, at this point, the element of surprise?”

Furthermore, Letterman said, there are some issues with Secretary of State John Kerry’s comportment during the hearings.


Watch the video, embedded below via News of the World:

James Murdoch Accused Of Misleading Parliament Over Phone Hacking

Is anyone surprised at this new “revelation”?

Huffington Post

James Murdoch was accused on Thursday of misleading Parliament about his knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World by the paper’s former editor and top lawyer.

Colin Myler, the former editor, and Tom Crone, the former lawyer, issued a statement on Thursday contradicting one of Murdoch’s key claims in histestimony before Parliament on Tuesday: that he had signed off on huge payments to footballer Gordon Taylor without knowing why he was doing so.

Murdoch said that his lawyers had simply advised him that News Corp. was likely to lose if the Taylor lawsuit—which accused the paper of hacking his phone—went to court, and that he had authorized the company to pay Taylor hundreds of thousands of pounds as a way to end the suit, even though he did not know why, exactly, News Corp. was in such a compromised position.

Continue reading here…  

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LulzSec claims to have obtained trove of News Corp. emails

Raw Story

Online hacking group LulzSec said Monday night it had obtained a large cache of emails from the servers of News International, the News Corp. subsidiary which oversees global media baron Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers.

Along with the emails, LulzSec said it had unearthed the email logins and passwords for News International executives, including former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, who was arrested recently in connection to the paper’s phone hacking schemes.

A Twitter account connected with the hackers said they planned to release the emails online tomorrow. Also unearthed were phone numbers for News International officials, along with personal information about an online content editor.

News International, which hosts The Sun, responded by taking their mail servers offline. Hackers also took down the News International website, forcing it to redirect to a Twitter account for LulzSec.

One hacker going under the name “Sabu” — thought to be a co-founder of LulzSec — told The Independent that other publications which traffic in “bullshit reporting” will be targeted next.

“New York Times, Forbes, LA Times, we’re going in,” Sabu reportedly said.

LulzSec made a bit of a comeback last night after allegedly retiring, going active again to hack Murdoch newspaper The Sun, redirecting readers to a fake story about the media mogul’s untimely suicide.

At the same time, hackers launched a successful Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack againstThe Times and RupertMurdoch.com, which they called a “fan site.”

In June, LulzSec described The Sun as “the shittest UK publication in existence,” adding, “if you don’t kick, hit or throw some kind of sports-related object at least thirty-five times a week, you are a filthy recluse to The Sun.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice have launched their own investigations into whether News Corp. participated in the hacking of 9/11 victims or U.S. officials.

So far, 10 people have been arrested in connection with a British investigation into the News Corp. hacking scandals.

The FBI also said Tuesday that it was serving search warrants across the U.S., in search of members of Anonymous.

News Corp. scandal: A timeline of arrests and resignations

National Post

April 5
Neville Thurlbeck, 50, a chief reporter at the paper is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and unlawful interception of voicemail messages

Police also arrest Ian Edmondson, 42 who was fired from his post as assistant editor in January following an internal inquiry.

April 14
James Wetherup
, 55, a senior reporter at the the News of the World, is arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications and unlawful interception of mobile phones. Mr. Weatherup also served as news editor at the British tabloid between 2004 and 2006 while Andy Coulson was editor.

June 8
Lawrence Jacobs, worldwide corporate general counsel for News Corp., resigns to pursue “new challenges,” according to a press release.

June 20
News international turns over documents that contain “information relating to alleged inappropriate payments to a small number of MPS officers,” Paul Stephenson, former head of the Metropolitan wrote in a statement. British police launch Operation Elveden in response to the new allegations.

June 24
Police arrest an unidentified 39-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications. The BBC and national British newspapers say they believe the woman is Terenia Taras, a freelance journalist who contributed to the News of the World until 2006, and used to date a former assistant editor at the paper.

June 27
Laura Elston, 34, a reporter for the British Press Association news agency is the first person arrested who has not worked for News of the World. Police arrest her on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages.

July 7
News Corp. announces plans to close Britain’s best selling Sunday newspaper.

July 8
Andy Coulson, 43, is arrested on suspicion of corruption and attempting to intercept communications, and released on bail. After serving as editor for four years, he resigned in 2007 when the paper’s royal reporter and a private investigator were jailed for hacking cellphone voicemails. He went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron’s media chief, but quit that position in January.

Clive Goodman, 53, the former royal editor at the News of the World, is arrestedfollowing allegations that he bribed police for stories. He served four months in jail back in 2007 for writing stories that made use of information gleaned from phone hacking by private detective Glen Mulcaire.

In Surrey, police arrest an unidentified 63-year-old man on suspicion of corruption. Media reports describe him as a private detective.

July 10
The News of the World – founded in 1843 – publishes its last ever issue.
“After 168 years, we finally say a sad but very proud farewell to our 7.5 [million] loyal readers,” the paper said.

July 13
News Corp. drops their bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting.

Tom Crone, a legal advisor with News International – the publishing division of News Corp. – for the past 20 years, resigns over his involvement with the phone hacking scandal. Mr. Crone told parliament in 2009 that he advised News International to pay £700,000 (CDN $1.1 million) to Gordon Taylor, a soccer executive, and victim of phone hacking.

July 14
The FBI announces they have launched an inquiry into the alleged hacking of the cellphones of victims of 9/11 by News Corp. reporters.

Neil Wallis, 60, who served as deputy editor under Andy Coulson between 2003 and 2007, and as executive editor since then, is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.

July 15
Les Hinton, 67, announces his immediate resignation as publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and chief executive of Dow Jones & Co. after 52 years working for Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp. He was chairman of News International from 1995 to 2007, during which time, News of the World employees allegedly hacked phones.
“That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World,” he said in his resignation letter.

July 17
Paul Stephenson – head of the Metropolitan Police since 2009 – resigns over his ties to Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor at News of the World. A media company owned by Mr. Wallis provided “strategic communication advice and support to the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service),” from 2009 to 2010, while the deputy director of public affairs was on sick leave, the Guardian reported. Earlier this year, Mr. Stephenson allegedly accepted a five-week stay at a luxury health spa where Mr. Wallis worked as a public relations consultant.
“I may wish we had done some things differently, but I will not lose sleep over my personal integrity,” he said in a statement.

British police arrest Rebekah Brooks, 43, two days after she resigned as chief executive of News International, a position she has held since 2009. Ms. Brooks went from secretary to CEO in 22 years at News Corp. She became editor of News of the World in 2000, and The Sun‘s first female editor in 2003. She is also a friend and neighbour to British Prime Minister David

July 18
John Yates – assistant commissioner at London’s Metropolitan Police Authority, and Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief – resigns amid the phone hacking scandal. In 2009, Mr. Yates decided not to re-open investigations into alleged phone hacking by journalists at the News of the World, but a probe launched in January this year, revealed that the police had 11,000 pages of evidence that detectives did not thoroughly examine.

July 19
Rupert Murdoch, his son James, and Rebekah Brooks will testify before the Culture, Media and Sport committee. The three of them will be questioned about allegations of phone hacking and police bribery, as well as reports that News International misled parliament during earlier hearings. At her last committee appearance in 2003 Ms. Brooks admitted: “We have paid the police for information in the past,” though she later said she was referring to the industry in general.


Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Sir Paul Stephenson And John Yates All To Appear Before Parliament

The hearings should  produce some interesting facts about the Murdoch newspaper empire and the people behind the hacking scandal…

Huffington Post UK

Westminster is bracing itself for one of the biggest days in recent parliamentary history, as two select committees prepare to quiz some of the key players in the News of the World phone hacking and police corruption scandals.

At stake is the reputation of the police, News International and the abilities of two dozen MPs, who’ll seek answers from those at the centre of a conspiracy which has rocked both the British government and one of the world’s largest companies. Eyes across the globe will be watching the evidence.

Click Here For Live Updates.

At midday the Home Affairs Committee will quiz two men who, until 48 hours ago, were among the most senior police officers in Britain. Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates have both resigned from the Metropolitan Police in connection with the scandals.

Continue reading here…

Murdoch Under Seige


Undoubtedly the devil is in the details…

Huffington Post

To his many enemies, Rupert Murdoch is getting his comeuppance.

Murdoch’s tabloid newspapers long have reveled in the misdeeds of others with salacious photos and pun-packed headlines. Now, one of the world’s most powerful media executives is learning what it’s like to be enveloped in his own scandal.

“There is a feeling that Murdoch has been king of the world for too long and it’s about time that somebody brought him back to Earth,” says Mungo MacCallum, a political journalist and commentator who once worked for a Murdoch-owned newspaper, The Australian.

But no one is calling press conferences to gloat about Murdoch’s troubles. Even his bitterest media rivals are keeping quiet.

Liberty Media chief John Malone, who engaged in media-mogul head butting with Murdoch over his stake in Murdoch’s News Corp and other issues, did not return a message seeking comment that was left with a spokeswoman.

CNN founder Ted Turner, who once challenged Murdoch to a boxing match in Las Vegas, was unavailable, according to a spokesman.

New York Daily News Publisher Mort Zuckerman, whose newspaper fights every day for front page dominance with the Post for New York’s tabloid audience also did not return a message seeking comment.

It’s hardly surprising, of course. Despite a scandal that has claimed two of his top executives and led him to close one of his British tabloids, Murdoch still runs News Corp., one of the world’s most imposing media empires. There’s no percentage in gloating publicly about the scandal if you still have to compete – and perhaps do business – with the 80-year-old Murdoch.

But others aren’t as charitable. In recent days, Murdoch has drawn comparisons to a cruel monarch, Richard Nixon, even the devil.

Continue reading here…

Lawmakers split on Murdoch scandal


Reacting to the arrest of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s former deputy, Rebekah Brooks, in the ongoing scandal over potentially illegal activity by executives at the British tabloid, News of the World, two members of Congress disagreed on Sunday about whether they should pursue an investigation into the actions of Murdoch’s American papers.

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he would like to see congressional hearings to investigate whether there was any wrongdoing in Murdoch’s domestic news organizations, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)  said, “Yes, I would.”

“What’s going on in England is startling to think of the extent that they went to to break the law to try to report a story,” Durbin said. “We need to follow through with the FBI investigation and also with Congressional investigation.”

But Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), appearing on the same program, said that Congress has more pressing tasks in front of it.

“We need to let law enforcement work here,” DeMint said. “Congress has got a big issue in front of us. We need to handle our own business for a change.

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Rebekah Brooks Arrested In Connection With Phone Hacking Scandal

This isn’t looking good for the Murdoch empire…

Huffington Post

Rebekah Brooks has been arrested, the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Sunday.

The former News International chief executive went to a London police station by appointment and was arrested on suspicion of corruption and phone hacking.

Brooks is the 10th person to be arrested in connection to the new investigation into allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World.

In a statement, police said: “The MPS has this afternoon, Sunday 17 July, arrested a female in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking.

“At approximately 12.00 hrs a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting together with officers from Operation Elveden and is currently in custody.

“She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

“The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.

“Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the IPCC.

“It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding these cases at this time.”

Brooks is due to appear before Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday afternoon. The Chairman of that committee, John Whittingdale, says he doesn’t know at this stage how the arrest of Mrs. Brooks will affect her planned evidence.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said police were trying to get a grip on the scandal. He told Sky News: “I think the police are trying to move pretty quickly… One of those areas of concern is the suggestion that officers at all levels may have been the subject of receiving money as Rebekah Brooks told parliament when she last appeared before them.”

Rebekah Brooks has released a statement saying she is assisting police with her inquiries, and this was a pre-arranged appointment.

Live updates here…


Murdoch ‘Sorry For Serious Wrongdoing’ In Newspaper Ad Campaign

Huffington Post

New Corp chief Rupert Murdoch has published a signed apology for “serious wrongdoing” by the News of the World in a series of full-page newspaper adverts.

The ads appear in Saturday’s Daily Mail, Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Sun and Times.

Murdoch says in the advert: “We are sorry. The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself.”

A second advert is expected to appear in tomorrow’s newspapers in which Murdoch will outline the steps that News International will take to try and win back the public’s trust.

The advert says:

“We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out.”

“I realise that simply apologising is not enough. Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.”

“In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us. Sincerely, Rupert Murdoch.”

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International and former editor of the News of the World, resigned from Murdoch’s company on Friday. So too did Les Hinton, a senior News Corp executive.

Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal becomes U.S. political issue

It appears to me that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in the News International/News Corp scandal.  With the Obama administration’s FBI and Department of Justice poised to investigate the American side of any possible breaking of the law by Murdoch’s publications here, one can only imagine the blow-back from Fox News’ conservative commentators during this protracted election season.  Or, will they hold back on the usual vitriol tossed at Obama and his administration?  I certain it will be the former.


The spiraling crisis at News Corp.’s London tabloids, which on Friday claimed its first American scalp, is threatening increasingly to spill over into American politics.

The scandal has handed talking points to Democrats and a political cudgel to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, which is bracing for what’s become the usual battle with Fox News, whose evening lineup features some of the most powerful voices of conservative opposition, but whose corporate cousin is now being investigated by the Obama administration.

For News Corp., Friday seemed to mark a watershed moment in its position as a dominant – and often intimidating – media conglomerate.

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed the “ongoing investigation” into allegations that reporters for its defunct News of the World hacked into the telephone of September 11 victims in the United States. And a day after chairman Rupert Murdoch downplayed the scandal in an interview with his own newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, two of his top lieutenants, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton – the paper’s publisher and a naturalized American citizen — were forced to resign, as the company pivoted from defiance to contrition.

Mainstream American politicians of both parties have generally avoided open combat with Murdoch, with Bill and then Hillary Clinton famously seeking to court him and reach an accommodation. Even Obama, who has warred openly with Fox at times, has more recently pulled back, even after seven-figure contributions to groups tied to the Republican Party were reported last year.

But Murdoch, wounded, suddenly appears mortal, and his enemies are emboldened.

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes “is going to be hamstrung,” said Murdoch biographer and AdWeek editor Michael Wolff. Ailes “operates independently, but in this context he will not be able to operate independently: This is going to be in the hands of lawyers and higher PR officials, and it will not be about what’s good for Fox, it’ll be what’s good for News Corp. and for an ultimate settlement.”

A Fox spokesperson dismissed Wolff as a “gadfly” and didn’t respond to a question about the News Corp.’s scandal’s impact on the network. A New York Post spokesman referred questions to a News Corp. spokeswoman, who didn’t respond to an inquiry on the topic.

Read more here… 

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