Scotland Yard Protected Phone Hackers, Abuse Persisting in Catholic Church, Fake Vaccinations
Revealing News Articles
July 19, 2011
Below are key excerpts of important news articles on Scotland Yard's involvement in protecting News Corp phone hackers, persisting sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, a fake vaccination program allegedly used prior to a US raid in Pakistan, 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 for those with limited time. And don't miss the "What you can do" box below the summaries. 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
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Stain From Tabloids Rubs Off on a Cozy Scotland Yard
July 17, 2011, New York Times
For nearly four years they lay piled in a Scotland Yard evidence room, six overstuffed plastic bags gathering dust and little else. Inside was a treasure-trove of evidence: 11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid newspaper. Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page. During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid. After the past week, that assertion has been reduced to tatters, torn apart by a spectacular avalanche of contradictory evidence. The testimony and evidence that emerged last week, as well as interviews with current and former officials, indicate that the police agency and News International, the British subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the publisher of The News of the World, became so intertwined that they wound up sharing the goal of containing the investigation. Members of Parliament said in interviews that they were troubled by a “revolving door” between the police and News International.
Note: Media and government corruption could hardly get worse than seen in this case of the Murdoch phone hacking scandal. Scotland Yard's primary responsibility is to protect the UK public from criminal activity; instead it enabled the activity to continue and shared high-level information and personnel with News Corporation. For lots more on media and government corruption click here and here.
Scotland Yard Chief Quits Over Hacking in Britain
July 18, 2011, New York Times
Britain’s top police official resigned on [July 17], the latest casualty of the phone-hacking scandal engulfing British public life, just hours after Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, was arrested on suspicion of illegally intercepting phone calls and bribing the police. The official, Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly known as the Met or Scotland Yard, said that he had decided to step down [but] that he had done nothing wrong and that he would not “lose sleep over my personal integrity.” The commissioner’s resignation came as the London political establishment was still digesting the stunning news about the arrest of Ms. Brooks — who apparently was surprised herself. A consummate networker who has always been assiduously courted by politicians and whose friends include Prime Minister David Cameron, Ms. Brooks, 43, is the 10th and by far the most powerful person to be arrested so far in the phone-hacking scandal. The arrest was a shock to the News Corporation, the parent company of News International, and the other properties in Mr. Murdoch’s media empire, which is reeling from the traumas of last week: the forced withdrawal of its cherished $12 billion takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting and the resignations not only of Ms. Brooks but also of Les Hinton, a longtime Murdoch ally and friend who was the chairman of Dow Jones and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
Note: For lots more on media and government corruption click here and here.
Another Top Police Official Resigns in British Scandal
July 19, 2011, New York Times
The phone hacking scandal in Britain claimed another high-profile casualty on [July 18] when John Yates, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London, resigned his post. His departure comes a day after the country’s top police officer quit and Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, was arrested on suspicion of illegally intercepting phone calls and bribing the police. Such is the severity of the crisis swirling around the Murdoch empire and Britain’s public life that Prime Minister David Cameron cut short an African trip on Monday and, bowing to opposition pressure, called a special parliamentary session on Wednesday to debate the widening scandal. Mr. Murdoch, his son James and Ms. Brooks are set to testify before a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal on Tuesday. The home secretary, Theresa May, said on Monday that the country’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, a police oversight body that reports to her, would investigate possible corruption in the links between the police and journalists. Mr. Yates has been criticized for his decision not to reopen the investigation even though the police under his command possessed some 11,000 pages of largely unexamined evidence. “I’m not going to go down and look at bin bags,” Mr. Yates said.
Note: For lots more on media and government corruption click here and here.
Irish Report Finds Abuse Persisting in Catholic Church
July 14, 2011, New York Times
The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, long after it issued guidelines meant to protect children, and the Vatican tacitly encouraged the cover-up by ignoring the guidelines, according to a scathing report issued Wednesday by the Irish government. Abuse victims called the report more evidence that the church sought to protect priests rather than children. The Cloyne Report, as it is known, drafted by an independent investigative committee headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, found that the clergy in the Diocese of Cloyne, a rural area of County Cork, did not act on complaints against 19 priests from 1996 to 2009. The Cloyne Report is the Irish government’s fourth in recent years on aspects of the scandal. It shows that abuses were still occurring and being covered up 13 years after the church in Ireland issued child protection guidelines in 1996, and that civil officials were failing to investigate allegations. The report warned that other dioceses might have similar failings. Most damaging, the report said that the Congregation for the Clergy, an arm of the Vatican that oversees the priesthood, had not recognized the 1996 guidelines. That “effectively gave individual Irish bishops the freedom to ignore the procedures” and “gave comfort and support” to priests who “dissented from the stated Irish church policy,” the report said.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on institutional secrecy, click here.
Vaccination Ruse Used in Pursuit of Bin Laden
July 12, 2011, New York Times
In the months before Osama bin Laden was [allegedly] killed, the Central Intelligence Agency ran a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as a ruse to obtain DNA evidence from members of Bin Laden’s family thought to be holed up in an expansive compound there, according to an American official. The vaccination program ... adds a new twist to the months of spy games that preceded the nighttime raid in early May. It has also aggravated already strained tensions between the United States and Pakistan. The operation was run by a Pakistan doctor, Shakil Afridi, whom Pakistani spies have since arrested for his suspected collaboration with the Americans. Dr. Afridi remains in Pakistani custody, the American official said. Obama administration officials have said publicly they were not sure whether Bin Laden was in Abbottabad when dozens of Navy Seals commandos stormed the house in May. Pakistani military and intelligence operatives were furious about the American raid ... and relations between the United States and Pakistan have only plummeted since. Pakistani officials have suggested that they might use troops to repel another incursion into Pakistan.
Note: For WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book, Osama bin Laden: Dead of Alive?, demonstrating the high likelihood that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001, click here. For a four-minute leaked Pentagon video revealing plans to use vaccines to secretly modify behavior, click here.
To Track Militants, U.S. Has System That Never Forgets a Face
July 14, 2011, New York Times
With little notice and only occasional complaints, the American military and local authorities have been engaged in an ambitious effort to record biometric identifying information on a remarkable number of people in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly men of fighting age. Information about more than 1.5 million Afghans has been put in databases operated by American, NATO and local forces. In Iraq, an even larger number of people, and a larger percentage of the population, have been registered. Data have been gathered on roughly 2.2 million Iraqis. A citizen in Afghanistan or Iraq would almost have to spend every minute in a home village and never seek government services to avoid ever crossing paths with a biometric system. What is different from traditional fingerprinting is that the government can scan through millions of digital files in a matter of seconds. While the systems are attractive to American law enforcement agencies, there is serious legal and political opposition to imposing routine collection on American citizens. Various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have discussed biometric scanning, and many have even spent money on hand-held devices. But the proposed uses are much more limited, with questions being raised about constitutional rights of privacy and protection from warrantless searches.
Note: Many new technologies for domestic population control are developed, deployed, and tested by the US military in war theaters abroad, and then shared with police agencies in the US. For many examples see our "Non-lethal" Weapons article archive available here.
Hemingway, Hounded by the Feds
July 2, 2011, New York Times
Early one morning, 50 years ago today, while his wife, Mary, slept upstairs, Ernest Hemingway went into the vestibule of his Ketchum, Idaho, house, selected his favorite shotgun from the rack, inserted shells into its chambers and ended his life. There were many differing explanations at the time: that he had terminal cancer or money problems, that it was an accident, that he’d quarreled with Mary. None were true. As his friends knew, he’d been suffering from depression and paranoia for the last year of his life. This man, who had stood his ground against charging water buffaloes, who had flown missions over Germany, who had refused to accept the prevailing style of writing but, enduring rejection and poverty, had insisted on writing in his own unique way, this man, my deepest friend, was afraid — afraid that the F.B.I. was after him. Decades later, in response to a Freedom of Information petition, the F.B.I. released its Hemingway file. It revealed that beginning in the 1940s J. Edgar Hoover had placed Ernest under surveillance because he was suspicious of Ernest’s activities in Cuba. Over the following years, agents filed reports on him and tapped his phones. In the years since, I have tried to reconcile Ernest’s fear of the F.B.I., which I regretfully misjudged, with the reality of the F.B.I. file. I now believe he truly sensed the surveillance, and that it substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide.
Note: The view that FBI harassment contributed to Hemingway's suicide is similar to the conclusion of many observers that the FBI hounded microbiologist Bruce Ivins to death by investigating him for involvement in the anthrax attacks that occurred just after 9/11. For an important analysis of the reality of the anthrax attacks by Prof. Graeme MacQueen of McMaster University, which makes it clear they could not have been carried out by a "lone nut" as claimed by the FBI, click here.
Industries lobby against voluntary nutrition guidelines for food marketed to kids
July 9, 2011, Washington Post
The food and advertising industries have launched a multi-pronged campaign to squash government efforts to create voluntary nutritional guidelines for foods marketed to children. Calling themselves the Sensible Food Policy Coalition, the nation’s biggest foodmakers, fast-food chains and media companies, including Viacom and Time Warner, are trying to derail standards proposed by four federal agencies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also lent its lobbying muscle to the effort. The guidelines are designed to encourage foodmakers to reduce salt, added sugars and fats in foods and drinks targeted to children. Public-health experts say children, many of whom may lack the critical-thinking skills to understand advertising, are bombarded daily by television ads, Web sites, toy giveaways and cartoon characters promoting junk food. The food and beverage industry spends about $2 billion a year marketing directly to children. The business community has portrayed the government’s guidelines as job-killing government overreach. “We allow companies into our homes to manipulate children to want food that will make them sick,” said Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Note: The "Sensible Food Policy Coalition" is arguing against voluntary guidelines designed to help our children eat more nutritious food. Is that Orwellian doublespeak or what?
Dad Gives Toddler Battling Brain Cancer Medical Marijuana
April 28, 2011, KXLY-TV (Spokane, WA)
To call what the Hyde family has been through a "parent's worst nightmare" sounds like a horrible cliche. But, it's hard to imagine what else you could call it. Their two-year-old son Cash was diagnosed last year with a stage 4 brain tumor; he nearly died more times than they can count. He was miserable from the chemotherapy coursing through his body until his dad made a controversial decision to give cannabis to his young son. The doctors had no answers, so Mike found his own. It was relief for Cashy in the form of cannabis oil. It's illegal to possess without authorization from a medical professional. It's something doctors wouldn't even discuss. Mike got authorization to give Cashy the oil and, without telling them why, told the doctors to wean Cashy off the anti-nausea cocktail. Inserted through Cashy's feeding tube, a tiny amount of oil replaced all those drugs. The result, Mike said, was almost immediate. Mike Hyde, though, doesn't care about the controversy or the political battle over this drug. He cares that his son survived and is convinced not only did the cannabis help Cashy feel better, it prevented long-term damage to his organs. For Mike, the proof is in his vibrant two-year old boy. "It's very controversial, it's very scary. But, there's nothing more scary than losing your child." A few weeks ago, Cashy was back in Salt Lake City for scans and found out he's cancer-free.
Key Articles From Years Past
Military Covering Up Fireballs From Space
June 11, 2009, Fox News
For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere — but no longer. A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released. The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists. The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified. Scientists say not only will research into the threat from space be hampered, but public understanding of sometimes dramatic sky explosions will be diminished, perhaps leading to hype and fear of the unknown. "The fireball data from military or surveillance assets have been of critical importance for assessing the impact hazard," said David Morrison, a Near Earth Object (NEO) scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center. He noted that his views are his own, not as a NASA spokesperson. "These fireball data together with astronomical observations of larger near-Earth asteroids define the nature of the impact hazard and allow rational planning to deal with this issue," Morrison said.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
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