9/11 Families, Phone Hacking, News Corp’s Bush Documentary
This Wednesday, August 24, US Attorney General Eric Holder met for over an hour with families of 9/11 victims whose voicemails have allegedly been hacked. The allegations have only been reported in the Daily Mirror, the Guardian notes. Further evidence regarding the allegations has yet to surface and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporations has vigorously denied them, saying that they are “anonymous speculation” with “no substantiation.”
“Speculation” about topics without solid “substantiation” is, of course, the sort of report we’ve come to expect from News Corp.’s Fox News. Not Fox, but another News Corp. subsidiary, National Geographic, will be airing a News Corp.- made a one-hour documentary about George Bush’s leadership during 9/11 in which the former president is, according to early reviews, depicted as “a hero who discarded politics and his right-wing agenda once the planes hit the towers,” determined to capture Osama Bin Laden.
Think Progress points out a slightly different story:
In reality, within hours of the 9/11 plane hijackings, Bush’s Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld began drawing up plans to launch a war in Iraq “even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.” Indeed, Bush aides quickly went to work undercutting the proposed commission to study the events leading up the 9/11, and despite the growing evidence linking the terrorist act with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda group, Bush never made bin Laden a priority. By January 2002, Dick Cheney told the press that bin Laden “isn’t that big a threat.” The next month, Bush said bin Laden was “not the issue.”
Aside from News Corp. “promoting the Bush political agenda for two terms on Fox News,” two former Bush staffers, Karl Rove and Dana Perino, appear daily on Fox now. Bush’s assistant attorney general Viet Dinh, author of the Patriot Act, is now a member of News Corp.’s board and oversees nothing less than the phone hacking scandal.
The hacking scandal has revealed quite close connections between key political and media figures in the UK, including that between former News of the World editor Andy Coulson and Prime Minister David Cameron, who hired Coulson as his director of communications. Not only was Coulson not given a sufficient security clearance for his access to 10 Dowling Street. The Guardian reports that it seems that Coulson broke House of Commons rules when he failed to declare payments and benefits he received from News International, the UK subsidiary of News Corp., while holding a parliamentary pass sponsored by Cameron. Coulson continued to receive health insurance, company car and severance payments from News International three months into working at his new post under Cameron.
Furthermore, for at least two months after he had resigned, Coulson still had a parliamentary pass allowing him access to parliament, a new revelation that “will raise new questions about whether Coulson – who Cameron has admitted seeing on a social basis since his resignation – continued to perform an unofficial role for the Tories after he had left.” The last point is still speculation but, it seems, has some increasingly substantive evidence to back it up.
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