Links, 7/22/11

Your Daily Murdoch

Tony Blair’s Attorney General–the guy who provided specious legal justification for the UK to go to war with us in Iraq–is catching some heat for not investigating the Murdoch hacking allegations more thoroughy.

The Telegraph hired one of the big private intelligence companies, Kroll, to figure out who leaked details of a recording they had of Britain’s Business secretary Vince Cable “declaring war” on News International (and its bid to acquire BSkyB). Kroll can’t be sure, but they think it was a former Telegraph exec who moved to News Corp.

The WSJ reports that DOJ is preparing subpoenas in an investigation of News Corp. Now, why woudl WSJ be the newspaper to report that, do yo suppose?

Some of the lawyers hacked by NotW–including Julian Assange’s, though the hack was almost certainly before he represented Assange–are just learning of that fact. This scandal resembles the illegal wiretap scandal here in the US in so many ways.

Someone just wrote a Firefox add-on to alert you if your browser is about to open a Murdoch-owned site.

Justice and Injustice

After firing the two women who did some of the most important early work on foreclosure fraud, FL AG Pam Bondi has now started trashing them publicly. I’m guessing Bondi figured out, after the fact, that firing two fairly low-level employees without cause could cause a whole lot of legal problems.

Remember the case against Joseph Adekeye I wrote about here? Ars Technica has a good profile on it.

There’s something very fishy about the custody discussions of Ali Mussa Daqduq–none of the stated excuses for the problem–the debate over whether to try terrorists in civilian or military courts–makes sense. Not least bc Daqduq is a member of Hezbollah, not al Qaeda, and we’re not at war against Hezbollah. So if we want to try him, it seems, it’s got to be in civilian courts. Which suggests the real problem is that we’re unwilling (I wonder whether we’re trying to hide ties between Hezbollah and Nuri-al-Maliki’s government) or unable (because we only have tainted evidence) to try him in civilian court. Or maybe we did something like waterboard him.

The War on Terror and Our Collapsing Empire

A bomb took out the Norwegian Prime Minister’s office today (though he was safe), followed by a shooting at a summer camp tied to the PM’s party. Norwegian police report that the attack was probably domestic–not Islamic–terrorism. In other news, bmaz’ compatriots would rather be slammed by dust storms than haboobs. See also Glenzilla on the degree to which Americans are stumped by an attack on “peaceful” Norway.

Spencer reports that the State Department refuses to allow the Inspector General for Iraq, Stuart Bowen, to have any oversight into the 5000-person mercenary army that will protect “diplomats” after our troops leave. The State Department says Bowen’s mandate only covers reconstruction. Of course, State doesn’t have a normal Inspector General–haven gotten rid of Howard “Cookie” Krongard (brother of Blackwater and CIA figure, “Buzzy”) back in 2007 in the aftermath of the Nissour Square incident.

The Saudis are considering a law that would make ordinary dissent–such as questioning the integrity of King Abdullah–a terrorist crime.

This is not the day to discuss this (I hope to return to it), but the Bulletin of Nuclear Scientists compares our response to terrorism, WMD, and banksters to our response to climate change. (h/t Grist) Even acknowledging that terrorism remains a big threat, climate change now rivals if not surpasses it in terms of death and destruction. The animation above, btw, comes from this NOAA discussion on the current heat wave.

15 replies
  1. Mary says:

    “Tony Blair’s Attorney General–the guy who provided specious legal justification for the UK to go to war with us in Iraq–is catching some heat for not investigating the Murdoch hacking allegations more thoroughy”

    I’m sure it’s only because national security was at risk (*cough*)

  2. Mary says:

    “Some of the lawyers hacked by NotW–including Julian Assange’s, though the hack was almost certainly before he represented Assange–are just learning of that fact. ”

    As opposed to the ones who were hacked by the NSA staffers without warrants, who are still not being told. Sigh.

  3. emptywheel says:


    At this point I think they can simply assume. Just like we can simply assume the govt hacked Wikileaks, the same crime they’re now prosecuting Anonymous for.

  4. DWBartoo says:

    In your “Justice and Injustice” section, your use of “we” is applauded for the truth which it conveys, EW.

    Even “good Americans” must realize the nature, at least, of what is being done in THEIR name, if not all of the specific “deeds” themselves.

    Pattens of ruthless disregard for humanity and of the rule of law are not defensible with claims of ignorance, the lack of knowing, or the willful inability to understand.

    Especially given that you, and others, but especially you, have placed such clear evidence and reasoned speculation before those American citizens and others who care to know and understand “what” is being done to “whom” and “why” it is being done, in these waning days of American Empire.


  5. Gitcheegumee says:

    US court rejects SEC rule on board nominees
    Source: AP/Yahoo Finance

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has struck down a rule adopted last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission that gave shareholders more power to nominate board directors.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the SEC was “arbitrary and capricious” in implementing the rule, which was widely supported by investor advocates. Judge Douglas Ginsburg said the SEC failed to estimate the cost to companies to campaign against investors’ nominations.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, a trade group of CEOs for the nation’s largest companies, had challenged the rule, which was mandated under the financial overhaul passed by Congress last year….

    Supporters of the rule said it was necessary because risky corporate behavior, particularly on Wall Street, was a leading cause of the 2008 financial crisis. Getting candidates on the board would give investors a better shot at influencing company policy.

    Read more:

    NOTE: That is worth reading a couple of times…

  6. P J Evans says:

    The corporations campaign against investor advocates and their nominations very cheaply: they recommend voting against them. Or they don’t recommend voting for them. Doesn’t cost them anything much at all, whereas (and Ginsburg is either ignorant or bought on this point) the advocates have to spend money to even be heard.

  7. emptywheel says:


    Thanks for that. I saw it and meant to include it but forgot.

    Significant, I think.

  8. Gitcheegumee says:


    pj: I was running around with my hair on fire when I read that crock about the cost of pushback by corporations.(Seems that million that Rupert Murdoch gave the chamber recently shoulda helped a little,no?)

    Geez, gimme a break,will ya, Judge Ginsburg?

  9. Gitcheegumee says:

    Teddy Partridge has a thread at MyFDL about Penny Pritzker and the anti-union “broiling” of Hyatt Hotel workers.(Pritzkers have major holdings in Hyatt.)
    I posted this PRIOR to the seeing SEC ruling upthread. Perfect timing and illustration for this excerpt:

    Gitcheegumee July 22nd, 2011 at 8:11 am «

    Hold on to your hats,folks:

    Deals: Goldman Sachs, the Waltons and a hotel money pit

    Hyatt got a $1 billion investment from Goldman Sachs and WalMart’s Walton family in 2007.

    By Allan Sloan
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Goldman and the Waltons put $1 billion into Hyatt hotels in a private deal a little more than two years ago — at a price per share more than double that contemplated by Hyatt in its forthcoming initial public offering.Hyatt filings reveal that in August 2007 — near the peak of the commercial-property bubble, though the documents don’t mention that — Goldman, some of its investment clients and a Walton family investment company bought a combined $1 billion of stock from Hyatt. This money — $575 million from Goldman, $425 million from the Waltons — gave Hyatt the cash it needed to buy back $1.1 billion of stock from members of the Pritzker family.

    It is clear that Goldman’s purchase of Hyatt stock is part of a longstanding Goldman-Pritzker relationship. Goldman stands to get an eight-figure fee as the lead underwriter of the Hyatt IPO, which makes its paper loss on Hyatt stock easier to bear.

    The Pritzkers have sold most of Marmon Group, a sprawling conglomerate, to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which is buying the rest in stages. And there’s Hyatt, which seems to be going public primarily to offer the Pritzkers a way to cash in their shares without the company having to raise money to redeem them.(excerpt)

  10. Gitcheegumee says:


    Agitation over corporate-governance aspects of this offering has come not from the usual goo-goo (as in good governance) types, but from Unite Here, a hotel and casino workers union that is trying to organize Hyatt employees. The union’s critique, posted weeks ago on a Web site called, had flown largely under the radar until Monday, when the union began publicizing the site.

    “This offering lacks accountability to public shareholders, and we think that’s bad for all stakeholders, workers and investors alike,” Matt Walker, a union vice president, told me last week. (Yes, I looked at the Hyatt offering because Walker got me interested in it. No, this article isn’t the union’s take. It’s my own….Allan Sloan)

    Allan Sloan – Deals: Goldman Sachs, the Waltons and a hotel money › BusinessSimilar
    Oct 27, 2009 – Goldman and the Waltons put $1 billion into Hyatt hotels in a private deal a little more than two years ago — at a price per share more …

  11. P J Evans says:

    Well, given that enough of my 401(k) is in company stock to get me ballots for the annual meeting, I’ve seen several stockholder moves that the board wasn’t happy with – even after they passed. And this is one of the better corporations around.

  12. dustbunny44 says:

    The GOP has been holding out against upping the debt ceiling. Recent articles about ALEC and the Kochs keep reminding us that there’s a lot of money helping them focus on their convictions. And there’s lots of other money in this game from many other warm humanitarians like Coors and Scaife. Why has no one suggested that these forces can profit handsomely from going into default and riding the waves of change? After all, if they have the congresscritters by the scruff, they know where we’re going and when we’ll pop out of it. Tell me they won’t use that info to double down in the markets.

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