Rupert Murdoch empire has to retract anti-Edward Snowden smear

This 21 August 2013 video from Britain is called David Miranda on his nine-hour terror detention ordeal.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Sunday Times drops claim that Miranda met Snowden before UK detention

Allegation repeated one made in Daily Mail in September 2014, which was removed on Monday pending inquiries

Jane Martinson

Monday 15 June 2015 13.13 BST

An allegation that the partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald met Edward Snowden in Moscow before being detained at Heathrow carrying classified documents has been quietly deleted from a report in the Sunday Times.

In Sunday’s front-page story claiming Russian and Chinese authorities had gained access to the NSA files leaked by Snowden, the paper reported that David Miranda “was seized at Heathrow in 2013 in possession of 58,000 ‘highly classified’ intelligence documents after visiting Snowden in Moscow”.

Those last five words were deleted from the online version by Monday morning without explanation.

The allegation repeated one made in the Daily Mail in September 2014 which was removed on Monday “pending inquiries”, an executive at the newspaper said.

Miranda was returning from Berlin, where he had visited the film-maker Laura Poitras, when he was detained at Heathrow for nine hours.

Greenwald was the first to point out that the falsity had been dropped without any clarification. He wrote:

UPDATE: The Sunday Times has now quietly deleted one of the central, glaring lies in its story: that David Miranda had just met with Snowden in Moscow when he was detained at Heathrow carrying classified documents. By ‘quietly deleted’, I mean just that: they just removed it from their story without any indication or note to their readers that they’ve done so (though it remains in the print edition and thus requires a retraction). That’s indicative of the standard of ‘journalism’ for the article itself. Multiple other falsehoods, and all sorts of shoddy journalistic practices, remain thus far unchanged.

The Sunday Times report quoted anonymous senior officials in No 10, the Home Office and security services who said agents had to be moved because Moscow had gained access to classified information that revealed how they operate.

The erroneous allegation about Miranda visiting Snowden was first made in the Daily Mail last September. The newspaper’s website carried the allegation until 24 hours after the Sunday Times published its story.

The editors’ code of practice enforced by Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) states: “A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published.”

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, handed over tens of thousands of leaked documents to the Guardian in Hong Kong two years ago. He left Hong Kong with flights booked to Latin America but was stopped in Russia when the US revoked his passport, and has been living in Moscow in exile since.

He has repeatedly said he handed over all the documents to journalists in Hong Kong and no longer has access to them, making it impossible for either China or Russia to get to them through him. The Sunday Times do not say where China or Russia allegedly gained access to the files.

Privacy campaigners questioned the timing of the Sunday Times report, coming days after the publication of a 373-page report by the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, which was commissioned by David Cameron. Anderson was highly critical of the existing system of oversight of the surveillance agencies and set out a series of recommendations for reform.

Sunday Times‘ legal threat to Glenn Greenwald is no way to stop criticism, by Jane Martinson. News UK’s attempt to prevent the Intercept founder using an image of its front page is a weak response to his attack on the paper’s Edward Snowden story: here.

UK government, Murdoch press smear of Edward Snowden unravels: here.

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