Daily Archives: July 24, 2011

Shine a Light

Long Live Labor

Mired in Murdoch

We first saw this in the LUV Newsletter (email libertyuv@hotmail.com with “join” for a subject to subscribe), with a link to the story on the Intrepid Report, originally from the Wayne Madsen Report:

Murdoch intelligence-gathering network extended to U.S. Congress
By Wayne Madsen

U.S. congressional sources have confirmed to WMR that the U.S. Capitol Police and other congressional officials shared sensitive information on members of Congress with Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets in Washington, including Fox News, in a manner similar to the situation in the United Kingdom where reporters for Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World bribed British law enforcement officials for sensitive information on public officials and private citizens.

Representative Peter King (R-NY) has already leveled charges that News of the World reporters tried to bribe U.S. law enforcement officials for phone records and transcripts of wiretaps of victims of the 9/11 attack. King did not elaborate on why law enforcement would have found it necessary, in the first place, to wiretap the conversations of 9/11 victims and their surviving next-of-kin.

On March 28, 2007, WMR first reported the relationship between the newly-appointed U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, who was formerly the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Fox News in three highly-publicized incidents involving only Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The three incidents involved Fox News receiving information directly from Gainer on incidents involving then-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), then-Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), and an aide to Senator Jim Webb (D-VA).

After a highly-publicized scuffle involving McKinney and an aggressive U.S. Capitol Police officer, one in which McKinney was physically assaulted by the officer, Fox News was the first to report the incident. The media hype resulting from the incident resulted in a criminal referral to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia. Shortly after Gainer resigned as chief and his being appointed by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, Representative Kennedy was involved in a minor automobile accident on Capitol Hill. Again, Fox News was the first to receive the information about the incident and Gainer stated publicly that Kennedy should have been given a sobriety test by the Capitol cops.

The third incident involved Phillip Thompson, the executive assistant to Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, who was arrested by the Capitol Police at the Russell Senate Office Building for carrying a loaded pistol allegedly given to him by Webb. The Capitol Police enforced a DC law in force at the time that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement officers from carrying weapons in the District. Webb said he has a license to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia and Thompson, an ex-Marine, inadvertently carried the weapon into the building after dropping Webb off at the airport. WMR’s March 2007 report stated: “Details of the [Thompson] incident were leaked by the cops to Fox News and other neocon outlets.” WMR also reported that the leaks by US Capitol Police and Sergeant-at-Arms staff also occurred in the cases of McKinney and Kennedy.

Gainer is a long-time Republican who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Richard M. Daley, Jr., as the Republican candidate for Cook County (Illinois) State’s Attorney in 1988. Gainer got his start in law enforcement as a rookie Chicago cop in 1968 where he helped put down riots at the Democratic National Convention, a melee that saw Chicago cops clubbing anti-Vietnam War protesters.

As U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, Gainer is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the Senate’s telecommunications networks and computer and other equipment, including those that handle senators’ e-mail, phone calls, faxes, Blackberry tweets, and photocopies of documents.

Some members of Congress have indicated the investigation of Murdoch’s News Corporation’s information-gathering practices warrant a full-scale investigation in the United States. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told CNN, “My bet is we’ll find some criminal stuff . . . This is going to be a huge issue.” Rockefeller said he may launch his own investigation. Perhaps he might want to start with the Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms and ask Harry Reid why he chose to appoint Gainer, a Republican, to the post after evidence surfaced that tied Gainer to leaks of law enforcement information to Fox News.

In Britain, law enforcement officials, including royal guards, reportedly asked the News of the World for money in exchange for personal information about the Royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, and others. While he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was also subjected to private communication surveillance by private detectives who had a close relationship with law enforcement agencies, including Scotland Yard.