adhok (melbimc voluteer) | 29.06.2003 15:05 | Indymedia
Michael Keaney, an online commentator and Finnish based economist, was heavily quoted in the article. He contacted Melbourne Indymedia a few days ago asking that the article be removed, because he believes the article to be misleading, and that some of its assertions are demonstrably false.
On March 11 of this year, London’s Independent newspaper seemed to be putting to rest earlier allegations made by Scotland’s Sunday Herald on January 19th that the police investigation into child pornography known as Operation Ore (which was also responsible for the arrest of Pete Townsend) had implicated two prominent British Labour politicians. The Independent said that, “earlier reports that suggested two MPs were on the list now seem wrong.”
The problem was the earlier Sunday Herald article had sounded quite authorative:
“The Sunday Herald has also had confirmed by a very senior source in British intelligence that at least one high-profile former Labour Cabinet minister is among Operation Ore suspects. The Sunday Herald has been given the politician's name but, for legal reasons, can not identify the person.
“There are still unconfirmed rumours that another senior Labour politician is among the suspects. The intelligence officer said that a 'rolling' Cabinet committee had been set up to work out how to deal with the potentially ruinous fall-out for both Tony Blair and the government if arrests occur.”
Michael Keaney used the above assertions in January (before the retraction) to speculate on an email list as to who indeed the culprits might be. These musings were quoted in the Propaganda Matrix article. However, following the publication of the Independent article in March, Keaney says it is quite possible that Sunday Herald readers, and even journalists, may have been 'duped,' and that the intelligence leak may have been "deliberately calculated to smear prominent politicians."
“If that is indeed the case,” wrote Keaney, “there is still a serious case to answer. What is going on inside UK intelligence? Why are stories deliberately calculated to smear prominent politicians making their way into the press? Have we returned to the 1970s? Did the 1970s ever go away -- i.e., have the security services continued their fun and games and proxy wars in the news media? If so, to what end?”
I asked Michael Keaney why it was he believed this was more likely a case of a smear campaign than a cover-up:
“There is a long tradition of smear in the British press, in which different factions of the intelligence community conduct proxy wars and in which there is inevitable collateral damage. Now I am hardly one to defend the likes of Peter Mandelson, and it may well be that he or another former cabinet colleague is on a list of suspects somewhere, but the manner in which this story has been treated is disturbing for reasons relating to the use of newspaper journalists by intelligence officers as urinals (as E.P. Thompson aptly described Chapman Pincher). By any stretch of the imagination all of this is scandalous, but the real scandal, given all that we know at present, is that unsubstantiated allegations of this kind, complete with the utmost reassurance from anonymous intelligence sources, make it into the newspapers in order for inquiring minds like mine to connect the dots and draw the conclusion. In doing that it is quite possible that I was duped. Or maybe not. Whatever, I think we are on much stronger ground if we focus on the smear job itself, asking for further substantiation of what are incredibly serious allegations that have miraculously appeared and then equally miraculously been swept under the carpet. In other words, we have to try to read between the lines in this wilderness of mirrors, to mix metaphors. The alternative is that we risk losing credibility because we have been led into a trap designed to make us reach conclusions which are thereafter demonstrably falsifiable (which is not to say false).”
Another person quoted in the Propaganda Matrix article, WP , was also moved to withdraw the comments he made years earlier in an internet chat room. WP now believes the suggestion that Roberston and Hamilton were jointly involved in a paedophile ring was merely a rumour he may have “naively” been involved in starting. Despite the inference in the PM article, Michael Keaney made clear that he had not made comments regarding any connections to the Dunblane massacre in his writings on Robertson.
The Propaganda Matrix article referred to WP as a “correspondent of Keaney”, however both assert that they were not known to each other until the article was published.
Rumours regarding Lord Robertson’s connection to the Hamilton, the Dunblane killer, were born out of the suspicion surrounding the largely unprecedented use of a 100 year secrecy act imposed on some documents seen by the inquiry into the Dunblane killings. Robertson reportedly withdrew his son from a club run by Hamilton amid concern about its militaristic nature in 1983.
In March, Lord Robertson threatened to sue the Sunday Herald over particular allegations made on the newspaper’s online public forum regarding his involvement with the Hamilton. The paper removed the allegations from its “un-policed” forum within half an hour of being contacted by Robertson. As an international figure Robertson may have been able to file defamation cases against the paper in several countries, sending the paper into financial ruin. Although it may be coincidence, Robertson announced he would step down from his position as NATO Secretary General four days after the original article appeared in the paper.
In December last year Australian businessman Joseph Gutnick successfully won the right to sue the US based Dow Jones corporation in a Victorian court over an article published on their US website. http://melbarchive.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=38097
Propaganda Matrix http://www.propagandamatrix.com/blair_protection.html
adhok (melbimc voluteer)