Why Would Rupert Murdoch Want Victims' Pre-9/11 Phone Records?

gretavo's picture

This has me puzzled, or at least intrigued. First, what did they hope to find out by "hacking into" the victims' and their relatives' voicemails? Second, why is their nothing in these articles about just how they would go about accessing those voicemails? The former NYPD turned private investigator was apparently asked to get them the relevant phone numbers, suggesting the papers could then use those to obtain the phone records themselves--through whom exactly?

Interestingly, it was Murdoch's Fox News that shortly after 9/11 ran a four part series by reporter Carl Cameron on the role played by Israeli company AmDocs in the access of phone records by the subjects of criminal investigations. Could it be that Murdoch has been basically blackmailing the real 9/11 perps for personal gain by showing that he could expose them if he wanted to? Would information about who the 9/11 victims called before 9/11 expose the role some of them may have played, or be playing (if they for example weren't really on planes as claimed) in the crime?

Curiouser and curiouser...


Phone hacking: 9/11 victims 'may have had mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters'
by David Collins, Daily Mirror 11/07/2011

DESPERATE Rupert Murdoch yesterday flew to London to try to save his ­crumbling empire.

He arrived in a cowboy-style hat to be hit by claims News of the World reporters hacked the phones of 9/11 victims.

Murdoch held talks with News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, amid fears nine staff and three cops may face jail.


HIS media empire is crashing around him, he’s just shut down a scandal-hit newspaper and his BSkyB bid is in tatters, but Rupert Murdoch still came out grinning yesterday.

And this cosy picture of him giving his backing to smiling Rebekah Brooks will no doubt infuriate the 200 loyal staff at the defunct News of the World who were ­sacrificed while she clung to her job.

As Labour leader Ed Miliband vowed to scupper Mr Murdoch’s bid to own all of BSkyB, the News Corp boss seemed to brush off his troubles to joke with the under-fire News International chief executive – who was editor when murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked. Asked what his first priority was, he gestured at Mrs Brooks and said: “This one.”
Rebekah Brooks (Pic: Reuters)

Mr Murdoch arrived in London yesterday, wearing a Panama hat and clutching a final copy of the News of the World, in a bid to save his crumbling organisation after the phone-hacking scandal saw the 168-year-old paper axed.

But he flew straight into another storm as it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters. And there was more bad news when it was revealed nine reporters ­allegedly at the centre of the phone scandal and claims of police corruption could face jail, along with three officers.

After he spent time at News International’s Wapping HQ in East London, 80-year-old Mr Murdoch held crisis talks with Mrs Brooks, 43 - who denies any knowledge of the Milly phone tapping - at his home in Mayfair.

The pair chatted behind closed doors as a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.

Now working as a private ­investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.

A source said: “This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their ­relatives.

“His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the ­relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.

“The investigator said the ­journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks.”

The News of the World was shut after 11,000 documents seized from a private investigator revealed the ugly truth behind many of its scoops.

One police source said: “These documents show the hacking was not just one or two attempts at accessing voicemails. More than 4,000 people had their phone hacked. This was hacking on an industrial scale.”

Mr Murdoch’s son James, who is chairman of News International, admitted to approving out of court settlements to hacking victims and misleading Parliament – which he claims was not deliberate.

The fresh tapping claims prompted Mr Miliband to declare war on Mr Murdoch’s bid to control BSkyB.

In his most outspoken attack on the media mogul yet, he said yesterday: “The idea that this organisation, which has engaged in these terrible ­practices, should be allowed to take over BSkyB... without that criminal investigation having been completed, and on the basis of assurances from that self-same ­organisation… frankly that won’t wash with the public.”

Labour will table a motion on Wednesday calling on Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to delay signing off the takeover deal until the criminal investigation into the hacking allegations is wrapped up. Lib Dem ­ministers are thought to be prepared to back the Labour leader.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable are said to be “totally united” against the bid.

Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes lent his support yesterday. He said: “I will be suggesting to my colleagues that we as a party, a party that’s never been close to Murdoch, should make clear that we think there should be a postponement of the decision.”

Mr Murdoch also owns the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, 43, was arrested on Friday over phone hacking and police corruption ­allegations.

Ex-royal editor Clive Goodman, 53, was also held along with a unnamed 63-year-old man. All three were freed on police bail after being quizzed by officers.

Mr Coulson was hired as David Cameron’s press aide, despite warnings to the PM over his possible knowledge of the hacking while at the News of the World.

And last night criticism of Mr Cameron’s judgment grew louder as senior political figures lined up to reveal they had urged him not to take Mr Coulson into government.

Lib Dem Lord Paddy Ashdown and Energy ­Secretary Chris Huhne claimed they warned the PM after the election - but were ignored.

Mr Huhne said: “Well I raised it with Nick and Nick raised it with the Prime Minister and it was made clear to us that this was a personal appointment to the Prime Minister.

“It wasn’t a Government appointment and therefore we didn’t have any standing to object to it, but it was very clear from what I had said previously that I think there were big reputational risks.

“The Prime Minister has said that he wanted to give Andy Coulson a second chance and that’s very commendable. The reality is that there were very serious risks being run there. We knew with Andy Coulson that anybody in charge of a ­newspaper needs to know what’s going on and at the very least either Andy Coulson was complicit in criminal acts or, alternatively, he was a very incompetent editor by the ­standards of Fleet Street.”

Milly Dowler’s parents Sally and Bob and sister Gemma are due to meet Mr Clegg today. They will also see Mr Cameron later in the week, Downing Street has said.


US senator demands investigation into possible 9/11 phone-hacking

A HIGHLY-REGARDED US senator has demanded an investigation into whether News Corporation broke American laws in its British phone-hacking – and whether its US operations targeted victims of the September 11 attacks.

Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the Senate’s influential committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, says reports of how the July 7 bombing victims were targets of voicemail hacking raise questions about whether 9/11 victims were also targeted.

“I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans,” Rockefeller said in a statement given to the Daily Telegraph.

“I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate, to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated.”

He added:

If they did, the consequences will be severe.

Even if phone-hacking was not pursued by US-based titles, News Corp could still be prosecuted under American laws which forbid any US company’s foreign operations from bribing police or officials.

News Corp’s US operations include the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the TV news network Fox News.

Calls for a US probe came after the Daily Mirror claimed that a former NYPD officer, who since worked as a private detective, was contacted by the News of the World about a potential phone-hacking operation targeting the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

It said the detective had turned the offer down, believing the operation was insensitive and fearing that it would eventually become public.

Plans for News Corp to complete a full takeover of the British TV broadcaster BSkyB appear dead in the water, as all three major political parties in the UK are set to back a motion calling on News Corp and its founder Rupert Murdoch to drop their bid.

Shares in News Corp had dropped around 15 per cent of their value in the last week, as the firm’s largest selling newspaper closes and the bid for BSkyB flounders – prompting shareholders to sue the company for the lost value of their investments.

This morning The Sun has posted a video purporting to feature its source for the story that Gordon Brown’s son Fraser had cystic fibrosis – a story which led the former British Prime Minister to believe that he had also been a victim of phone-hacking.

Yesterday in the Dáil, Kerry South deputy Michael Healy-Rae called for an Irish investigation into the extent of any illegal activity by News International’s Irish titles.