Even while Brian Leveson was investigating the phone hacking scandal in the U.K., Rupert Murdoch was launching a brazen bid to buy the U.S. presidency. Rodney E. Lever reports.
It’s hard to believe — but it’s true. While the British government was debating and investigating Rupert Murdoch’s personal interference in the both the private lives of that country’s citizens, and in their democratic governance ‒ and while the Brian Leveson Inquiry was being established ‒ Murdoch was already launching a scheme to torpedo the US 2012 presidential election.
The story has just been revealed by Watergate investigator, Bob Woodward, in the Washington Post. Woodward’s former associate and fellow Watergate reporter, Carl Bernstein, has unleashed a stinging criticism of the US media for its timidity in suppressing the story.
The revelation comes at a time when Australia is about to enter a new election period.
Another plot exists, perhaps, to make Tony Abbott our next prime minister?
Certainly, the Murdoch papers in Australia have indicated a fierce determination to bring down the present Federal Government — without explaining why? Except, perhaps, that it is what Rupert wants?
In 2011, the first stage of the Murdoch U.S. plot was set by Roger Ailes ‒ chairman of the Murdoch owned Fox News channel ‒ that reaches major areas of the United States, and extends out across the globe. Bob Woodward reports that Ailes asked a woman friend, named Kathleen McFarland – a former aide to Henry Kissinger – to contact General David H. Petraeus, then commander of the U.S., Australian and other Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
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McFarland telephoned the general in Kabul and made him a clear offer that he should resign from the army and run for president against Barack Obama. She told him if he agreed Rupert Murdoch “might” finance his election campaign. Petraeus told McFarland, “Rupert’s after me as well.” Their conversation went on for an hour and a half while Petraeus considered the offer.
Petraeus finally declined. His army service ended and Obama appointed him director of the CIA. A year later an extra-marital affair led to Petraeus’s resignation from the CIA and ended any presidential ambitions he might once have had.
In the British newspaper The Guardian, the former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein calls the Petraeus affair
...hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch’s ultimate and most audacious attempt to hijack America’s democratic institutions on a scale equal to his success in kidnapping and corrupting the essential democratic institutions of Great Britain through money, influence and wholesale abuse of the privileges of a free press.
'Murdoch’s goal,' Bernstein writes, 'seems to have been nothing less than using his media empire - notably Fox News - to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support' his personal choice for the presidency.
Bernstein goes on to lambast Murdoch’s disdain for an independent and truly free and honest press. He also criticises the US media, including the Washington Post, for burying the story as mere gossip instead of using front page headlines.
He writes about the hypocrisy of the Murdoch press:
Bob had a great scoop. If the president of NBC news, or the editor of the New York Times were ever caught on tape promising what Ailes and Murdoch were promising Petraeus, the hue and cry would be deafening and there would be a congressional investigation.
The tape of the conversation is an amazing document, Bernstein says — a testament to the willingness of Murdoch to run roughshod over the American civic and political landscape.
Like the revelations of the (UK) hacking scandal, it establishes beyond any doubt Murdoch’s ability to capture and corrupt three essential elements: the press, the police and the politicians.
Murdoch’s goals have always been insidious and nefarious.
In this instance, Murdoch was attempting to buy the presidency, Bernstein concludes.
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