Thursday, March 12, 2009

Accuse Me Of Spying And I'll Have You Investigated!

The Spanish word of the week on South of Watford is "carpetazo". Despite apparently having everything under tight political control, the Partido Popular of Madrid (owner Mrs E. Aguirre) decided it was time to bring the commission of investigation into their own espionage scandal to an abrupt and very premature end. The commission took around a month to get started, “celebrated” only four sessions, made sure that none of those spied upon could be called to testify, and in the process ensured that no documentation which would help to clarify the affair might be inadvertently presented before the public eye.

So where did it go wrong? Well the start strategy for the commission was an attempt to try and demonstrate that the security department run by Espe’s sidekick, Francisco Granados, was no more than a continuation of the practices of previous administrations. Unfortunately the representatives of those administrations from both the PP and the PSOE made it very clear that they didn’t see the connection. Something had to be done, and help was on hand from a powerful media ally. El Mundo to the rescue and in their own inimitable style. Trawling through the documents originally published by El País recording the activities of those spying on prominent PP figures, El Mundo did their very best to give Aguirre a helping hand. It’s clear from their reports that they did this with selectively leaked information from the Comunidad, precisely the sort of information denied to the commission of investigation.

El Mundo declared, with typical weasel wording, that the documents published by El País were either incorrect or faked – then proceeding as if they had established that it was the latter. Their main case was based on a claim that the documents recording the movements of a former member of Aguirre’s government, Alfredo Prada, had him presiding over a meeting in Chinchón near Madrid when his agenda showed him to have been in León. Like most El Mundo exclusives, this one turned out to be constructed on very fragile foundations. The meeting in Chinchón took place, and there are photographs to prove it, all that had happened was that the El País article accompanying the publication of the documents got the date wrong – the original document had no such mistake.

No matter, the shabby reports by El Mundo allowed the PP in Madrid to make enough noise to justify the purpose of the operation, getting rid of this troublesome commission. Add to this the aborted investigation started by the national PP which was ended only when Aguirre agreed to set up her own. There are no signs that it will be restarted, the PP would have us believe that they are merely victims of relentless persecution by the media and left wing judges. Meanwhile, Granados recently threatened to “investigate” those who were criticising him, presumably a job to be carried out by the publicly paid team who he has handily equipped with powerful motorbikes and cameras. Of course, only so that they can ensure the safety of buildings belonging to the regional government. We’ll have none of that spying talk around here, if you don’t mind, it’s all been fully investigated.


Troy said...

Maybe El Mundo used the same reporters that did their fantastic work on the Madrid train bombs?

Seems similar doesn't it?

Graeme said...

Funnily enough Troy, their articles on the espionage affair did use some members of that top quality team. Then they had to leave all the 11-M anniversary stuff to Luis del Pino, so that he could campaign against the sentence of those convicted for murdering 191 people. Never mind, they still find time to lecture us all on terrorism.