Still the spinning, some of it flagrantly dishonest, continues about what the deeply subversive Guardian published, or what it did not publish, but instead sent out of the UK, from the trove of material provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Of those who matter – that means those other than wannabe Fox News pundits with time on their hands, Louise Mensch – are MPs like Julian Smith.
Sadly, Smith, as I pointed out previously, is singularly stupid, so much so that he believes Ms Mensch, to the extent of agreeing that she has found evidence where it does not exist. The Guardian has not shown, and neither has anyone else shown, the first sign of sending information identifying members of the security forces out of the country, or as Ms Mensch likes to call it, “muling across borders”.
So let’s cut to the chase, and examine the latest statement from the paper. “On the issue of staff names, you will be aware that over 850,000 people worldwide have access to not only the Snowden documents but to a whole range of information on GCHQ. Neither we nor any of our journalistic partners have published the identities of any personnel from the intelligence community, a point accepted and welcomed by the relevant agencies”.
This has been leapt on by the Guardian hating fringe, those credulous enough to believe the ranting of the right, as meaning that this is a confession to sending details of names and other identifying information out of the UK, because the specific question is not answered. That would be laughed out of court.
That is like saying that, as the Guardian’s editor has not denied being Fred West’s mystery accomplice in body disposal via patio building, he must be bang to rights and on his way to Gloucester to assist the rozzers with their enquiries. This, of course, sounds stupid, but the likes of Julian Smith cannot see that his own position is more or less the same – stupid.
He then tries to suggest he is drawing cross-party support, as he has a Lib Dem peer and a Labour MP on side. That these are, respectively, Alex Carlile, a known conduit for GCHQ, and Jack Straw, who would believe black was white if the spooks told him it in an official briefing, does not occur to him as making his position look worse. And he won’t get anywhere whining at the Scott Trust about the Guardian.
All that Liz Forgan will do with his snotty letters is pass them on to Alan Rusbridger to put in the pile with all the rest. Smith wants the Trust to receive his “all party delegation”, but for what? Editorial decisions are not their call, and neither is interference their metier. The spooks will love all the free attention and publicity. But Smith’s goal of seeing Rusbridger hauled off to the Tower will remain elusive.
Of course, he could try serving his constituents instead. Just a thought.