Evan Davis pulled a fast one this morning (08:23) trying to make it look as if Nick Clegg supported the Guardian’s publication of Snowden’s material….when he clearly does not.
Davis was interviewing Vince Cable about the Royal Mail sell off when he slipped in a question about the Guardian.
Davis asked (abridged) ‘Has the Guardian done the Public a service by its revelations, which it maintains are true, whilst Nick Clegg has suggested we need more control of the surveillance industry, or has the Guardian done enormous harm by its revelations?’
Davis has run Clegg’s statement into his question about the Guardian, a question which suggests that the Guardian was merely revealing the extent of the surveillance possible….and that Clegg therefore supports the Guardian by saying we may need more control of that.
What Davis doesn’t reveal is the true nature of the concerns about the Guardian’s revelations which revealed so much about surveillance techniques that it may allow terrorists to evade surveillance.
‘…. while he accepted that there was a “legitimate debate to be had” about the data gathering practices of the security services, The Guardian had gone too far.
He told his Call Clegg phone in show on LBC Radio: “I’ve got no doubt that there were some parts of what were published, which would have passed most Guardian readers completely by because they were very technical, but would have been immensely interesting for people who want to do us harm,”
So no he doesn’t think the Guardian has done the Public a service. Evan Davis took his quote out of context to support his own defence of the BBC’s stable mate.
The BBC may have had comments about that little bit of trickery as later we get this on the web:
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and his cabinet colleague Vince Cable appear at odds about the Guardian’s disclosure of secret surveillance.
Mr Cable said the newspaper performed a “very considerable public service” by publishing details of documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
But Mr Clegg reaffirmed his belief it was “not good at all” and said the information could “help terrorists”.
Curiously in a sidebar on the same article we get Frank Gardner also defending the Guardian:
Vince Cable is right to draw a distinction between the actions of Edward Snowden and those of the Guardian, because the two often get conflated.
Well…no…there wasn’t an ill-judged conflation as Gardner claims…Snowden stole intelligence data and the Guardian has published it….both obviously intended the same outcome. The Guardian is just as guilty if it published material that is gifting information to terrorists.
Gardner goes on:
[One] side of the argument is that had it not been for the Guardian publishing some of Snowden’s revelations we might never have known the extraordinary extent to which our governments can hoover up private information, something that is prompting some to question whether, in this digital age, the current oversight of Britain’s intelligence agencies is adequate.
So…that’s Evan Davis’ defence of the Guardian, and Gardner’s, and presumably the line of defence as approved by the BBC editorial team…that no one had any idea of the extent of the Intelligence Service’s capabilities and therefore now we know this we can arrange proper oversight of the system….thanks to the Guardian.
Except….we already knew just how all seeing the spooks are…and have been for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Imagine a global spying network that can eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet.
It sounds like science fiction, but it’s true.
Two of the chief protagonists – Britain and America – officially deny its existence. But the BBC has confirmation from the Australian Government that such a network really does exist and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for an inquiry.
the NSA of conducting a broad “dragnet” of communications, and “invading the privacy of American citizens.”
The Echelon spy system, whose existence has only recently been acknowledged by US officials, is capable of hoovering up millions of phone calls, faxes and emails a minute.
Notice that phrase ‘hoovering up’ again ….nothing changes….and nothing’s really new..so why all the fuss?
The BBC is smoothing over the Guardian’s massive problem…if it is seen to be aiding and abetting terrorists…the end result of which could be carnage on our streets….a different order of scale when compared to the Mail’s ‘The Man who hated Britain’ headline….and yet absolutely no barrage of outrage from the BBC or any on the Left as they blitzed us with over the Mail’s attack on their Marxist hero.
Once again the BBC’s coverage of events has serious consequences…..here allowing the Guardian’s dangerous revelations to go unchallenged, not just that, but Davis went so far as to make a false claim by implication about a senior politician and his views for political gain…..and so continuing the BBC’s playing down of MI5′s ‘scathing condemnation’ of the Guardian’s treachery.