Senator says News Corp. hacked 9/11 victims

London : News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch leaves his London home on July 11, 2011. (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)
A US Senator said on Tuesday that he expects to “find some criminal stuff” if the United States investigates phone hacks he alleges Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. carried out in the States.

And the target, he says, might have been victims of the September 11 terror attacks.

The recent scandal that has pinned News Corp. as the culprit in a series of illegal phone hacks across the pond might extend stateside, claims one top DC lawmaker. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller says that it is his “bet” that a domestic probe would turn up some wrong doings against Murdoch’s media empire.

"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals – including children – is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics,” Rockefeller says in a statement. “This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken US law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated.”

“I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans,” adds Rockefeller.

“If they did, the consequences will be severe."

Recent revelations have linked News Corp. to hacked voicemails of a kidnapped youth and widows of soldiers overseas. The US, however, has yet to see if Murdoch’s wing — which far extends west into the States — has done any related wrongdoing in America.

A reporter for London’s Daily Mirror said days earlier that a UK paper owned by Murdoch sought out to hack 9/11 victim’s voicemails and phone traffic. In a report, journalist Davida Collins writes in the Mirror that one investigator has made claims that News Corp. asked him to hack into private phone data belonging to victims and relatives of the September 11 attacks.

Rockefeller’s assumption comes a day after former Fox Sports employee Keith Olbermann says his old bosses at News Corp. blackmailed him while he worked for them.

“In short, they were threatening to work me into illness or into the hospital or both," Oldbermann said this week on the Countdown program.

“They were blackmailing me about my health, and Fox blackmail works,” he said. “And that’s the way it works. Lord only knows, if it works so well against someone with resources and a high profile like mine, how often was it used against lesser figures in the company?”