In case anyone thought that the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre had decided that they had kicked the deeply subversive Guardian sufficiently for supposedly leaking “top secret” and “classified” information from the documents passed to them by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, they had thought too soon, as Mail Online has shown.
Yes, the bashing, in the name of “National Security” goes on, with a risibly amateurish attempt by Robert Verkaik, who tells “The Guardian newspaper sent top-secret files containing classified information to the United States by household courier FedEx, it was revealed last night”. That’s “last night” as in last Monday: they’re not too hot on this online searching at Northcliffe House.
So the next assertion, “The security risk is the latest to engulf the newspaper after the head of MI5 warned last week that publication of confidential data leaked by US fugitive Edward Snowden had caused huge ‘harm’ to the capability of Britain’s intelligence services” is doubly rubbish, as Andrew “Nosey” Parker did not name the Guardian, and he made his comments later than last Monday.
Worse, the Mail then admits it changed the timeline to suit its attack: “According to a report last week in The New Yorker, Mr Rusbridger sent a ‘Federal Express package containing a thumbnail drive of selected Snowden documents to an intermediary in the US’”. And the act of sending the information was much earlier, before the paper was compelled to destroy some of its computers by the spooks.
If that were not enough slanting of the story, it is only later in the piece that readers are told that the data was encrypted. So anyone intercepting it would have had to have the keys to access it, or rather more computer firepower than GCHQ, who have still not managed to crack the stuff they seized from David Miranda at Heathrow Airport – several weeks ago.
Nevertheless, the Mail manages to enlist the services of another of the seemingly interminable succession of “experts” to give his verdict. Former soldier Richard Kemp duly obliges by talking of “at the very least 58,000 secret and top secret British intelligence documents to the gaze of Chinese and Russian authorities”, a Snowden claim he cannot stand up. So more of the usual make-believe, then.
And what the Mail does not tell is that Kemp has not been averse to using his inside knowledge of the armed forces to co-author a book about a military deployment in Afghanistan. One hopes he didn’t let slip any operational knowledge that potential enemies could use. And he does little to convince anyone not gullible enough to swallow the Mail’s agenda, or gloss over the blatant distortion.
Very few converts will be made with this drivel. No change there, then.