Murdoch Henchman Responsible for Climate-Gate?

By Keith Olbermann

July 21, 2011 "Current TV" --  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.

Today, bobbing up to the surface through this vast ocean of ethical filth, comes Neil Wallis's role ... in "Climate-Gate."

On November 20th, 2009, somebody broke into a computer server at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, and stole thousands of emails and computer files. The documents were leaked to Climate Change Deniers, and although exhaustive analysis later proved that the emails merely revealed scientists' anxiety that Climate Data and Research were being properly handled and studied, the Deniers have treated those emails as if they were a kind of Holy Grail of fraud. They claim the emails not only disproved all of climate change, but also that they proved that scientists had doctored data in order to exaggerate the urgency of an international conference on climate change coming up the next month in Copenhagen in Denmark.

As the corporations and lobbyists who sought to feed the myth that there is no man-made climate change disseminated, exploited and deliberately misinterpreted the stolen e-mails - and used Fox News and other Murdoch enterprises as their principle venues - the victims, the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, decided they'd better hire a public relations pro to help them fight back. They hired ... Neil Wallis.

The Murdoch editor who had supervised electronic hacking at "The News Of The World," but then went to work for Scotland Yard, but then spied on the Scotland Yard hacking investigation for Murdoch's men, but then tried to suppress media coverage of the Scotland Yard hacking investigation, now found himself in exactly the same kind of candy store over climate change denial. And he was the chief kid!

As it was phrased in a gushing review last year in "Music Week Magazine" of Neil Wallis and his PR firm "Outside Organization": "Wallis led on the University of East Anglia's 'Climategate' job, when Outside was drafted in to help the university's Climatic Research Unit defend itself against charges of scientific misconduct."

Climate change scientists and outside experts agree that, with Neil Wallis at the helm, the Climatic Research Unit couldn't have done a worse job defending itself. The myth that its emails "disprove" Global Warming persists today.

In the Murdoch Hacking Scandal, Wallis has already been shown to have been undermining the efforts of the people for whom he'd been hired to work - the police. In the Murdoch Hacking Scandal, Wallis has already been shown to have been feeding information from the investigators, to those being investigated. In the Murdoch Hacking Scandal, Wallis has already been shown to have been working for Rupert Murdoch, long after he claimed he wasn't working for Rupert Murdoch. And in the Murdoch Hacking Scandal, Wallis was an executive editor in charge of having people illegally hack phones, voicemails, and other electronic communications, and then publicizing the data and details that the hacking had produced.

And yet it was to him that climate scientists turned ... to defend themselves against hackers.

What, if anything, Neil Wallis had to do with the original hacking of the climate emails at the University of East Anglia, is still speculative ... just as whether or not he was a double-agent for Murdoch in this hacking case, just as he had been a double-agent for Murdoch during Scotland Yard's hacking investigation. But it may not be speculative for long. There is the news from The Financial Times: a possible FBI/DOJ investigation of a Murdoch subsidiary hacking the computers of a business rival. And earlier today, PC World Magazine reported that while we've all been working with a number of 3,870 hacking victims in the Murdoch Scandal, data released by Britain's Home Affairs Committee suggests the number may actually be as high as 12,800.

Only 170 of the victims have yet been notified. If any of the others among the "Hacked Twelve Thousand" turn out to be scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, Rupert Murdoch may be in a lot bigger trouble than he is, even tonight.

He may be the man ultimately responsible for the illegal and inaccurate attempt to dismiss climate change as a scientific fraud.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann/Current TV