Romm and Olbermann – Did NewsCorp Hack Climate Scientists?
July 22, 2011
The Murdoch Phone-Hacking Scandal may have just metastasized. The so-called “Climate-Gate” controversy — in which e-mails about global warming were stolen from researchers at Britain’s University of East Anglia in November, 2009 — now turns out to bear the stamp of Neil Wallis, one of the key figures in Murdoch’s hacking of the phones, voicemails, and other electronic communications of thousands of people.
Wallis is unique in this scandal. He had been the Executive Editor of Murdoch’s News Of The World when hacking was at its peak. Yet in 2009 he wound up being hired by the police as a public relations consultant while the police investigated the hacking scandal. And he wound up spying for Murdoch’s people on what Scotland Yard was investigating.
Wallis was, as the New York Times put it, “reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case.”
Moreover, while Wallis was keeping Murdoch’s organization apprised of what and whom the police were investigating, the police were trying to convince other news organizations not to cover the story — a suppression of evidence that benefited both the police and Rupert Murdoch. As the British newspaper The Guardian reported last Friday: “Scotland Yard’s most senior officers tried to convince the Guardian during two private meetings that its coverage of phone hacking was exaggerated and incorrect without revealing they had hired Neil Wallis…”
It was neither exaggerated nor incorrect. Last Thursday, Neil Wallis was arrested. Last night, it was revealed that while acting as a double-agent for Scotland Yard and Murdoch, Wallis was also consulting Conservative Party Leader David Cameron during the 2010 election that saw Cameron rise to become the nation’s Prime Minister.
Neil Wallis — the former News of the World executive editor — became a “£1,000 a day” consultant to Scotland Yard inOctober 2009. Last week he became the ninth person arrested in the metastasizing News Corp scandal “on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to section 1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977.”
Certainly Wallis had plenty of motive to join Scotland Yard just to keep an eye on the investigation into the phone-hacking scandal. Indeed, the NY Times reports Wallis “was reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case.” But this also suggests how corrupt Wallis was — and how corrupted Scotland Yard was.
In the light of the News Corp phone-hacking scandal, it is clear that Murdoch’s outfit had means, motive, and opportunity for the Climategate email hacking. News Corp certainly has a history of defaming climate scientists and a penchant for hacking.
So News Corp would obviously now be on the top of anybody’s short list for possible suspects in the Climategate hacking. At the same time, we now know things were so cozy between News Corp, Wallis, and Scotland Yard that it is hard to believe News Corp would have been thoroughly investigated for Climategate, if they were investigated at all.