Abandoned Oil Wells in Gulf, NSA Internet Surveillance, US-Israel Nuclear Partnership
Revealing News Articles
July 12, 2010
Below are key excerpts of important news articles which include revealing information on thousands of abandoned oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, a secret National Security Agency (NSA) Internet-surveillance contract with Raytheon, documents revealing a secret US-Israel nuclear partnership even though Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
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Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Special note: For a powerful, revealing article by well-connected BBC journalist Alan Hart revealing key evidence behind the 1967 sinking of the USS Liberty by the Israeli military and discussing the importance of distinguishing between Judaism and Zionism, click here. For a powerful, one-minute CNN News clip stating that "almost all those people who did work on the Exxon Valdez [spill] are now dead," click here.
27,000 Abandoned Gulf Oil Wells May Be Leaking
July 7, 2010, CBS News/Associated Press
More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one - not industry, not government - is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows. The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing. The AP investigation uncovered particular concern with 3,500 of the neglected wells - those characterized in federal government records as "temporarily abandoned."
More than 1,000 wells have lingered in that unfinished condition for more than a decade. About three-quarters of temporarily abandoned wells have been left in that status for more than a year, and many since the 1950s and 1960s - even though sealing procedures for temporary abandonment are not as stringent as those for permanent closures. As a forceful reminder of the potential harm, the well beneath BP's Deepwater Horizon rig was being sealed with cement for temporary abandonment when it blew April 20, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation's history. BP alone has abandoned about 600 wells in the Gulf, according to government data.
Note: For lots more on government and corporate corruption, click here and here.
U.S. Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies
July 8, 2010, Wall Street Journal
The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants. The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack.
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million. Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs. One internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal [said,] "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother." Raytheon declined to comment on this email. The information gathered by Perfect Citizen could also have applications beyond the critical infrastructure sector, officials said, serving as a data bank that would also help companies and agencies who call upon NSA for help with investigations of cyber attacks, as Google did when it sustained a major attack late last year.
Note: For key reports of government and corporate surveillance from reliable sources, click here.
Secret document affirms U.S.-Israel nuclear partnership
July 7, 2010, Ha'aretz (One of Israel's leading newspapers)
Israel's Army Radio reported on [July 7] that the United States has sent Israel a secret document committing to nuclear cooperation between the two countries. The U.S. has reportedly pledged to sell Israel materials used to produce electricity, as well as nuclear technology and other supplies, despite the fact that Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Other countries have refused to cooperate with Israel on nuclear matters because it has not signed the NPT, and there has been increasing international pressure for Israel to be more transparent about its nuclear arsenal. Army Radio's diplomatic correspondent said the reported offer could put Israel on a par with India, another NPT holdout which is openly nuclear-armed but in 2008 secured a U.S.-led deal granting it civilian nuclear imports. Israel neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons under an "ambiguity" strategy billed as warding off foes while avoiding public provocations that can spark regional arms races. The official reticence, and its toleration in Washington, has long aggrieved many Arabs and Iranians - especially given U.S.-led pressure on Tehran to rein in its nuclear program.
Note: For many key reports on the government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
Cases against soldiers have Israel wondering
July 7, 2010, Los Angeles Times
A short but growing list of criminal indictments and disciplinary actions stemming from Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip 18 months ago [supports] the conclusion last year by [a] United Nations-appointed panel that Israel committed war crimes, targeted civilians and used disproportionate force. The facts and findings were dismissed by the government as deeply flawed, and [UN] panel chairman Richard Goldstone, a Jewish jurist from South Africa, was reviled in Israel as a traitor and even anti-Semitic. But the military's own investigations during the last six months have now verified some of the panel's findings. In seven cases disclosed so far, the military found that a sniper "deliberately targeted" civilians; soldiers used Palestinians, including a 9-year-old boy, as human shields; and commanders authorized at least three separate bomb attacks that killed and injured several dozen civilians who were taking refuge in a family home, a U.N. compound and a mosque. "The military is finding out that some of what Goldstone said is true, even though no one wants to admit it," said Gershon Baskin, a political consultant and former Labor Party advisor. "This should indicate that there needs to be deeper investigation."
Note: For many key reports on the horrific realities of the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, click here.
Charges for Soldier Accused of Leak
July 7, 2010, New York Times
An American soldier in Iraq who was arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack [in Baghdad] in 2007 has also been charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world. The full contents of the cables remain unclear. The charges cited only one cable by name, "Reykjavik 13," which appeared to be one made public by WikiLeaks.org, a whistle-blowing Web site devoted to disclosing the secrets of governments and corporations. In the cable, dated Jan. 13, the American deputy chief of mission, Sam Watson, detailed private discussions he held with Iceland's leaders over a referendum on whether to repay losses from a bank failure, including a frank assessment that Iceland could default in 2011. WikiLeaks ... disclosed a second cable from the nation in March profiling its leaders, including Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. The cable [reveals] a complaint over the "alleged use of Icelandic airspace by C.I.A.-operated planes" by the Icelandic ambassador to the United States, Albert Jonsson.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
Insider Trading Inside the Beltway
July 2, 2010, UCLA School of Law
A 2004 study of the results of stock trading by United States Senators during the 1990s found that Senators on average beat the market by 12% a year. In sharp contrast, U.S. households on average underperformed the market by 1.4% a year and even corporate insiders on average beat the market by only about 6% a year during that period. A reasonable inference is that some Senators had access to – and were using – material nonpublic information about the companies in whose stock they trade. Under current law, it is unlikely that Members of Congress can be held liable for insider trading. The proposed Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act addresses that problem by instructing the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt rules intended to prohibit such trading. This article analyzes present law to determine whether Members of Congress, Congressional employees, and other federal government employees can be held liable for trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. It argues that there is no public policy rationale for permitting such trading and that doing so creates perverse legislative incentives and opens the door to corruption. The article explains that the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution is no barrier to legislative and regulatory restrictions on Congressional insider trading.
Note: Do you think that these highly successful investors in the US Senate might have a vested interest in protecting the existing financial and legal structure that makes their profits possible and protects them from criminal charges?
How Goldman gambled on starvation
July 2, 2010, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn't afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it "a silent mass murder", entirely due to "man-made actions." Through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations [controlling agricultural futures contracts] were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into "derivatives" that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in "food speculation" was born. The speculators drove the price through the roof.
Note: For an abundance of reports from major media sources detailing the many complex and hidden strategies employed by financial corporations to keep their hyper-profits flowing in, click here.
Army Drops 'Psy Ops' Name For Influence Operations
July 2, 2010, CBS News/Associated Press
The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name "psychological operations" for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous. The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: "Military Information Support Operations," or MISO. Fort Bragg is home to the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the Army's only active duty psychological operations unit. Psychological operations soldiers are trained at the post. The change was driven from the top, by Pentagon policymakers working for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It reflects unease with the Cold War echoes of the old terminology, and the implication that the work involved subterfuge. Psychological operations have been cast as spooky in movies and books over the years portraying the soldiers as master manipulators. The 2009 movie "The Men Who Stare at Goats," staring George Clooney, was about an army unit that trains psychic spies, based on Jon Ronson's nonfiction account of the U.S. military's hush-hush research into psychic warfare and espionage.
Note: For more on psychological operations and mind control, click here.
Iraq: Terror or corruption? Central Bank attack is probed
July 2, 2010, Los Angeles Times
Iraqi authorities are investigating a fire that destroyed sensitive documents during an apparent Al Qaeda in Iraq attack against the Central Bank of Iraq, amid suspicions that the fire may have been set to destroy evidence in a potentially huge corruption case, officials say. Investigators became suspicious ... after they discovered that the fire was not caused by [the attack] but rather appeared to have been started deliberately in a second-floor room that is used by the inspector general responsible for investigating corruption cases, said Sabah Saadi, who heads the Integrity Committee in Iraq's parliament, charged with monitoring corruption. According to Saadi, the fire destroyed documents stored in the room that pertained to a particularly sensitive case involving a series of fraudulent checks drawn against accounts held by different companies with state-owned banks. At least $711 million had been found to be missing in the scheme, and two bank managers had been detained as part of an investigation before the fire, he said. But Saadi suspects that the scam may have been much larger and could have involved many more people. The investigation into the fire raises tantalizing questions about the nature of the attack, the role of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the extent of corruption in the country.
Note: This highly visible attack by "terrorists" masking the destruction of evidence of government corruption parallels the attacks of 9/11, in which the destruction (likely by controlled demolition) of WTC 7 served to destroy massive evidence of government and corporate fraud in SEC cases under investigation.
20 people arrested at the G20 tell of ‘inhumane' treatment at the hands of police
June 28, 2010, Toronto Star (One of Toronto's leading newspapers)
*Lulu Maxwell, 17, Grade 12, Rosedale Heights: Maxwell and a friend were hanging around near Queen and Dufferin Sts. at a convergence centre for protesters on Sunday afternoon when police started making arrests. "My friend was blowing bubbles and I was scribbling peace signs on the sidewalk." Within minutes, her friend was grabbed and Lulu was put up against a wall. Her backpack was searched and Lulu says an officer said she could be charged with possession of dangerous weapons "because I had eyewash solution in my backpack." She was taken to the detention centre and almost 12 hours after her arrest was allowed to call her parents. She was released, without charges being laid, at 5 a. m. *Erin Boynton, 24, London, Ont. She was arrested at The Esplanade early Sunday morning after police boxed dozens of protesters in. "I was with a protest marching peacefully down Yonge from Dundas Square," she said. "When the cops came at us, many people scattered and those who were left in front of the (Novotel) got arrested." She said police came from all sides and "squished us in. They didn't give us a warning to leave…. just announced that we are arresting all of you." She said a lot of people at the detention centre were innocent bystanders. "The police violated all our rights . . . there was police brutality. Quite frankly, it was quite disgusting." Boynton wasn't charged.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on mounting threats to civil liberties, click here.
Documents Back Saudi Link to Extremists
June 24, 2010, New York Times
Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles. The case has put the Obama administration in the middle of a political and legal dispute, with the Justice Department siding with the Saudis in court last month in seeking to kill further legal action. Adding to the intrigue, classified American intelligence documents related to Saudi finances were leaked anonymously to lawyers for the families. The Justice Department had the lawyers' copies destroyed and now wants to prevent a judge from even looking at the material. Two federal judges and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals have already ruled against the 7,630 people represented in the lawsuit, made up of survivors of the attacks and family members of those killed, throwing out the suit on the ground that the families cannot bring legal action in the United States against a sovereign nation and its leaders. The Supreme Court is expected to decide this week whether to hear an appeal, but the families' prospects dimmed last month when the Justice Department sided with the Saudis in their immunity claim and urged the court not to consider the appeal.
Note: For many questions about the relationship between powerful Saudis, the US government and the events of 9/11, click here.
Goldman Sachs exec to advise central bank
June 29, 2010, Businessweek/Associated Press
The chief executive of Goldman Sachs Canada has been named a special adviser to the head of Canada's central bank. The Bank of Canada said [on June 29] that Timothy Hodgson will advise central bank head Mark Carney, a former Goldman Sachs executive, on financial reform. Carney says Hodgson is one of Canada's top investment bankers. Hodgson is leaving Goldman Sachs. The company has come under sharp criticism over civil fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and because of the high pay its executives and traders received during the financial crisis. Hodgson joined Goldman Sachs in 1990 and became CEO of its Canadian operations in 2005.
Note: So Canada's central bank head, a former Goldman Sachs exec, will now be advised by the chief executive of Goldman Sachs Canada. Hmmmmm.
The Anti-Lesbian Drug
July 2, 2010, Newsweek magazine
Genetic engineers, move over: the latest scheme for creating children to a parent's specifications requires no DNA tinkering, but merely giving mom a steroid while she's pregnant, and presto —- no chance that her daughters will be lesbians or (worse?) ‘uppity.'
Or so one might guess from the storm brewing over the prenatal use of that steroid, called dexamethasone. In February, bioethicist Alice Dreger of Northwestern University and two colleagues blew the whistle on the controversial practice of giving pregnant women dexamethasone to keep the female fetuses they are carrying from developing ambiguous genitalia. Dreger and her colleagues pluck numerous brow-raising statements from the writings of pediatric endocrinologist Maria New of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who has long promoted prenatal dexamethasone. New has indeed argued that prenatal androgens can affect a woman's sexual orientation, her interest in becoming a mother and housewife, her interest in traditionally masculine careers, and—in childhood—whether she plays with dolls or trucks. A book that Harvard University Press will publish in September, called Brain Storm: Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences, argues that studies claiming to find innate, sex-based brain differences are seriously flawed.
The Power of Positive Thinking
November 16, 2006, CNN Larry King Live
Want to find true love, make more money, have the life of your dreams? Then think about it. The power of your thoughts can improve your life. [JAMES] RAY: Science tells us that every single thing that appears to be solid is actually energy. You put it under a high-powered microscope [and] it's nothing more than a field of energy and a rate of vibration. Like vibrations are attracted to each other and dissimilar vibrations repel. JOE VITALE: Whatever you focus on you get more of. If you're focusing on lack, you're going to get more lack. If you focus on abundance, you ... get more abundance. RAY: If you want to create [something], your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions all need to be firing simultaneously. VITALE: You see yourself experiencing it as if it's right now. You feel it. You live it. When you do that you accelerate the manifestation process. RAY: The whole concept of soul mate is often inherently flawed because it says that your completion or your better half resides outside yourself. Intellectually we know better than that. Your completion resides inside yourself. VITALE: Find things to be grateful for right now. Out of that gratitude you will find more things to be grateful for. And out of that gratitude you will find happiness right now.
Note: To watch this highly inspiring, 45-minute program online, click here and scroll down to "Beyond the Power of Positive Thinking 2" on the right side. Read the entire transcript at the article link above and you may very well find tools to make your life richer and fuller all the time. For empowering ideas and suggestions on how to find and develop your life purpose, click here.
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