Record-Setting US Poverty, Atrocities by US-Funded Militias, 9/11 Secrecy and Truth
Revealing News Articles
September 20, 2011
Below are key excerpts of important news articles which include revealing information on record-setting poverty in the US, a Human Rights Watch report on atrocities by US-funded Afghan militias, the ongoing battle between 9/11 truth and official secrecy about the attacks, 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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Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade’
September 14, 2011, New York Times
Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported [on Sep. 13], and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it. And in new signs of distress among the middle class, median household incomes fell last year to levels last seen in 1996. Economists pointed to a telling statistic: It was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, had not risen over such a long period, said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard. “This is truly a lost decade,” Mr. Katz said. The bureau’s findings were worse than many economists expected, and brought into sharp relief the toll the past decade — including the painful declines of the financial crisis and recession — had taken on Americans at the middle and lower parts of the income ladder. It is also fresh evidence that the disappointing economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens. The report said the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1 percent, was the highest level since 1993. (The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314.)
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on income inequality, click here.
Militias funded by US accused of rights abuses
September 13, 2011, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Militias in Afghanistan funded by the United States are terrorising the communities they were supposed to protect, murdering, raping and torturing civilians, including children, extorting illegal taxes and smuggling contraband, according to a damning new report from Human Rights Watch. In a 102-page report entitled 'Just Don't Call It a Militia' the group documents how the Afghan government and the US military have provided guns and money to paramilitary groups without adequate oversight or accountability. Because of their links to senior Afghan officials, many of these groups operate with impunity. Under US General David Petraeus, who recently left Afghanistan to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, Nato aggressively pursued a strategy of raising militias as a security quick-fix ahead of its departure in 2014. Because US law makes it illegal to finance groups facing credible allegations of human rights abuses, the report's findings could, potentially, put at risk a central plank of Nato's exit strategy if US lawmakers would have it so. The report follows an investigation earlier this year by The Independent that found US special forces were bankrolling an Afghan mercenary called Commander Azizullah in Afghanistan's south-eastern Paktika province. Under their patronage Azizullah had embarked on a spate of rights abuses including murders, rape, theft, torture, the mutilation of corpses and the desecration of a mosque.
Note: To read the HRW report on US-funded atrocities in Afghanistan, click here.
The Terrible Missed Chance
September 4, 2011, Newsweek Magazine
It was early afternoon on Friday, Aug. 17, 2001. Special Agent Harry Samit of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office [sat] across from ... Zacarias Moussaoui, a 33-year-old French-born student arrested the day before for overstaying his visa. Samit, a former intelligence officer at the Navy’s celebrated Top Gun flight school, felt sure the man across the desk from him was a Muslim extremist who was part of a plot to hijack a commercial jetliner filled with passengers. That same day [at] FBI headquarters ... in Washington, counterterrorism supervisors were treating Samit’s first reports about Moussaoui with skepticism, even contempt. New disclosures about Samit’s story suggest that FBI agents in Minneapolis were much closer to unraveling the 9/11 plot than previously known. The officials directly involved in the case were denied access to a key internal memo —- prepared for outgoing FBI Director Louis Freeh —- that could have allowed the Minneapolis field office to connect the dots and possibly preempt the attacks. Their efforts were thwarted by a group of arrogant, slow-moving supervisors at FBI headquarters. There is no clear reference to the Freeh memo in the 9/11 commission’s report.
Note: For questions raised about the official story of 9/11 by hundreds of highly-respected citizens from all walks of life, click here and here.
National Archives sits on 9/11 Commission records
September 8, 2011, Reuters News
Ten years after [the 9/11 attacks], the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission's investigative records remain sealed at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed the archives to make most of the material public in 2009. The National Archives' failure to release the material presents a hurdle for historians and others seeking to plumb one of the most dramatic events in modern American history. Matt Fulgham, assistant director of the archives' center for legislative affairs..., said that more than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release. But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the released material includes documents that already were in the public domain, such as press articles. Commission items still not public include a 30-page summary of an April 29, 2004 interview by all 10 commissioners with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, conducted in the White House's Oval Office. This was the only time the two were formally questioned about the events surrounding the attacks. The information could shed light on public accounts the two men have given in recent weeks of their actions around the time of the attacks. The still-sealed documents contain source material on subjects ranging from actions by President Bush on the day of the attacks to ... vast amounts of information on al Qaeda and U.S. intelligence efforts in the years preceding the attacks.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
How the world changed after 9/11
September 12, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
I found myself at a conference on Walker Street called 'How The World Changed After 9/11'. It was packed, but I managed to slide in at the back, to hear a guy called Webster Tarpley chant his own list of names. The names of the 46 military exercises and hijack drills ... that were actually taking place on the morning of September 11. "The greatest density of drills in US military history," Tarpley said. The drills, said Tarpley, were important, because not only did they weaken and confuse US air defence, but there was also a military drill for each major component of the 9/11 attacks. The drills were cover, and the dummy threats were made real. September 11, he argues, was a coup carried out by a rogue network within the US military and government. A cabal of fascists, working with (and for) a banking oligarchy, "the old boys of Wall Street". "You want to blame Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or Pakistan? You can't. There isn't the evidence." The evidence, Tarpley says, points towards 9/11 as a false flag attack, carried out by a high level clique, that forced a shocked and awestruck US public into a vast and still ongoing war. It was America's very own Reichstag fire. What I heard, from speaker after speaker, was a heartfelt desire to turn away from the path of destruction, militarism and lies that America has been set upon after 9/11.
Note: For questions raised about the official story of 9/11 by hundreds of highly-respected citizens from all walks of life, click here and here. For a four-minute invited commentary at PressTV (Iran) by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow on the falsity of the official account of 9/11, click here.
Newly Published Audio Provides Real-Time View of 9/11 Attacks
September 8, 2011, New York Times
[A] chronicle of the civil and military aviation responses to the [9/11] hijackings that originally had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but never completed or released, [is about to be published]. Though some of the audio has emerged over the years, mainly through public hearings and a federal criminal trial, the ... complete document, with recordings, is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review. Most of the work on the document — which commission staff members called an “audio monograph” — was finished in 2004, not in time to go through a long legal review before the commission was shut down that August. At hearings in 2003 and 2004, the 9/11 Commission played some of the recordings and said civil and military controllers improvised responses to attacks they had never trained for. The account published this week is missing two essential pieces that remain restricted or classified. One is about 30 minutes of the cockpit recording of United Airlines Flight 93. The other still-secret recording is of a high-level conference call that ... grew, over the course of the morning, to include ... Mr. Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers. The recording was turned over to the National Security Council. The 9/11 Commission was not permitted to keep a copy of it or of the transcript ... and investigators were closely monitored when they listened to it.
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin has analyzed the use made by the 9/11 Commission of the audiotapes described in this article, in "9/11 Live or Fabricated: Do the NORAD Tapes Verify The 9/11 Commission Report?", concluding that they may well have been faked by the Pentagon to provide a basis for the Commission's otherwise unsupported claim that the FAA did not notify NORAD of the hijackings in time for an air-defense response. Prof. Griffin developed his argument further in Chapter One of his seminal book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking.
Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages to train missile launch officers
August 2, 2011, Washington Post
The Air Force has suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery to teach them about the ethics of war. The course had apparently been taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for more than 20 years, but officials pulled the plug after an article from the liberal Web site Truthout.org appeared online last week. The group obtained a PowerPoint presentation used in the course that referenced religious figures including Abraham, John the Baptist and Saint Augustine. The presentation also said that there are “many examples of believers engaged in wars in the Old Testament” and “no pacifistic sentiment in mainstream Jewish history.” The reversal marks a victory for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group that provided the documents to Truthout and that has waged a series of battles, legal and otherwise, to preserve the separation of church and state in the services. Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the foundation, said his group was approached late last month by about 30 officers, most of them Protestant or Roman Catholic, who said they objected to the presentation. He said he saw the PowerPoint and was astonished by documents that appeared to be using a religious justification for missile launches.
Note: Why was this important news only reported in a blog and not on the front page of the newspaper?
CIA defends running vaccine program to find bin Laden
July 13, 2011, Washington Post
U.S. officials ... defended a tactic used by the CIA to attempt to verify the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden — the covert creation of a vaccine program in Abbottabad, the town in Pakistan where he was later killed in a U.S. raid. The vaccine drive was conducted shortly before the raid in early May ... and was overseen by a Pakistani doctor who traveled to Abbottabad. A senior U.S. official said the campaign involved actual hepatitis vaccine and should not be construed as a “fake public health effort. The vaccination campaign was part of the hunt for the world’s top terrorist, and nothing else.” The doctor who oversaw the effort has since been arrested by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency for cooperating with the CIA. U.S. officials have said they are seeking to have him released. The senior U.S. official declined to say whether DNA from bin Laden’s relatives was collected as part of the vaccine program. Officials have previously said, however, that they used DNA analysis to confirm bin Laden’s identify after he was killed. In doing so, they used samples taken from known relatives.
Note: For information about a disturbing Pentagon program using vaccinations to combat religious fundamentalism, click here.
Cuba Announces Release of the World's First Lung Cancer Vaccine
September 8, 2011, Popular Science Magazine
From the island nation known for the quality of its cigars comes some pretty big news today: Cuban medical authorities have released the first therapeutic vaccine for lung cancer. CimaVax-EGF is the result of a 25-year research project at Havana’s Center for Molecular Immunology, and it could make a life or death difference for those facing late-stage lung cancers. CimaVax-EGF isn’t a vaccine in the preventative sense--that is, it doesn’t prevent lung cancer from taking hold in new patients. It’s based on a protein related to uncontrolled cell proliferation--that is, it doesn’t prevent cancer from existing in the first place but attacks the mechanism by which it does harm. As such it can turn aggressive later-stage lung cancer into a manageable chronic disease by creating antibodies that do battle with the proteins that cause uncontrolled cell proliferation, researchers say. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are still recommended as a primary means of destroying cancerous tissue, but for those showing no improvement the new vaccine could be a literal lifesaver. The vaccine has already been tested in 1,000 patients in Cuba and is being distributed at hospitals there free of charge. That’s a big deal for a country where smoking is part of the national culture and a leading cause of death. If it proves as successful as researchers say it is, it should give those suffering from lung cancer reason to celebrate--just not with a Cohiba.
Note: For lots more on important health issues from reliable sources, click here.
Oil boom poses environmental challenge to U.S.
September 4, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Step aside, Saudi Arabia and Alaska. A major oil boom is under way in the U.S. lower 48 states and Canada. Oil rigs are sprouting across American corn fields and backyards, bringing a surge in greenhouse gas emissions and new public worries about local environmental effects. Oil companies and their supporters are grandly predicting a new age of North American petroleum, and it's no lie. U.S. reserves of oil that is ultra-heavy ... add up to more than 2 trillion barrels, with 2.4 trillion more in Canada - far greater than the conventional Middle Eastern and North African reserves of 1.2 trillion barrels. For decades, these supplies of ultra-heavy oil were viewed as exorbitantly expensive to extract. But in the past few years, a revolution in oil-field technology has made a significant portion of these reserves accessible at competitive costs. [In] 2005 the country's net petroleum imports peaked at 60.3 percent of total consumption. Net imports [shrank] to 49.3 percent by 2010. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the [US] is eight times greater than a decade ago. Already, the price gap between the international oil benchmark ... and the U.S. standard ... has grown in the past year alone to about $20 per barrel. Peak oil ... may be in the offing internationally but is nowhere to be seen in North America. Beckoning are two visions of our future. On one side is a surge of dirty oil that is likely to embolden a new crop of business-as-usual politicians. On the other is the emerging gamut of technologies for energy efficiency and renewable power that have already made California a clean-tech leader. Can America go beyond oil, or will it embrace the old status quo?
Note: Though it may be encouraging that peak oil is not an imminent threat, let us hope that clean energy technologies replace oil-based energy generation before too long.
Ron Paul Leaps Past Bachmann in Latest Poll
August 24, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Ignored by the media and dismissed by the Republican Party in general, liberty-minded Congressman Ron Paul leaped into third place today in the Gallup Presidential Nomination preference poll. Paul jumped over Michele Bachmann, relegating her to fourth-place in the current poll. Apparently the American people are starting to take notice, too. According to the most recent Rasmussen survey of likely voters, Ron Paul is a mere one point behind President Obama in a head-to-head matchup - a better result than any of the other GOP contenders received. This is despite the media blackout around Ron Paul's campaign, and despite the media's insistence that Ron Paul can't beat Obama. This poll suggests he can.
Note: We have seen and consistent and systematic campaign to block news reportage of candidates who are exposing the deeper political agenda like Congress members Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. For how the media is controlled to make this happen, click here.
Rick Perry battles charges of 'crony capitalism'
September 15, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The political tempest created by Rick Perry's response to questions about his 2007 executive order requiring immunization of young girls is the wrong debate at the wrong time for the Texas governor's front-running presidential campaign. The heated political exchange over Perry's program to vaccinate all Texas school girls to protect them from cervical cancer caused by a sexually transmitted disease opens the door for critics to declare it an example of intrusive, big government to require such immunization, particularly for a sexually transmitted virus, even if, as Perry says, there was an opt-out provision for parents. The fact that Perry tried to implement the policy with an executive order, rather than proposing legislation mandating the vaccinations, spooks libertarians who don't want to see another president implementing policy through executive orders, as George W. Bush and Barack Obama have done on a wide range of social and security issues. The issue also highlights what [has been] dubbed "crony capitalism" - how big contributors and longtime friends of the Texas governor have been named to key state positions and won important policy victories in Rick Perry's Texas. Perry's former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, was a lobbyist for Merck, the manufacturer of the drug Gardasil, the vaccine that Perry sought to require for girls.
Note: Another media article points out that Perry grossly underestimated the amount of political contributions he received from Merck, the manufacturer of the drug Gardasil, the vaccine that Perry required for young girls.
Want to Live Longer? Turn Off Your TV
August 17, 2011, Time Magazine
Sitting in front of the television may be a relaxing way to pass an evening, but spending too much time in front of the tube may take years off your life. That's what Australian researchers found when they generated life-expectancy tables for people based on mortality information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as well as participants' survey responses about how much TV they had watched in the past week.
The TV-viewing data from more than 11,000 participants older than 25 years showed that Australian adults watched an estimated 9.8 billion hours of television in 2008. People who watched an average six hours of TV a day lived an average 4.8 years fewer than those who didn't watch any television, the study found. Even more humbling: every hour of TV that participants watched after age 25 was associated with a 22-minute reduction in their life expectancy. The findings suggest that watching too much TV is as detrimental to longevity as smoking and lack of exercise.
Note: How about the health impacts of hours daily online or working at a computer screen? Might they be similar to the health effects of watching TV? For lots more on important health issues from reliable sources, click here.
5 ways your TV is slowly killing you
March 5, 2010, MSNBC
You’ve accepted the idea that TV makes you dumber. And unless you’re working out to an exercise video, you know those hours sprawled out in front of the screen are going to make you fatter — not to mention the impact of all that junk food you’ve been tempted to scarf down during the commercial breaks. But you’ll be surprised to learn the host of other bad things TV can do to you. 1. TV makes you deader. TV-viewing is a pretty deadly pastime, research suggests. No matter how much time you spend in the gym, every hour you spend in front of the TV increases your risk of dying from heart disease, according to a recent report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. 2. TV may make you drink more. When it comes to drinking, we’re apparently very susceptible to what we see on TV, according to a report published in Alcohol and Alcoholism. 3. TV can make your kid pregnant. Teens who watched a lot of TV that included sexual content were twice as likely to get pregnant, according to a study published in Pediatrics. 4. TV weakens your bones. Hours spent watching TV can set a kid up for later problems with brittle bones, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. 5. TV makes you less engaging. A recent study found that when the TV is on — even if it’s just in the background — parents interact less with their kids. To learn more about TV’s effects, researchers brought 51 infants and toddlers, each accompanied by a parent, to a university child study center, according to the report published in Child Development.
Note: For lots more on important health issues from reliable sources, click here.
Mary's Meals: feeding the world from a garden shed
January 21, 2009, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
To Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, his father's shed in Dalmally, Argyll, has acquired a talismanic significance. It's where he stockpiled food and clothes for Bosnian refugees in the 1990s – an amateurish humanitarian mission that eventually led him to sell his house, give up his job and concentrate on the much bigger project of feeding poor children in Third World countries. Mary's Meals ... now provides a daily school meal for 350,000 children across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. In Malawi, it feeds 10 per cent of the primary-school population. That one meal – provided for as little as £8.50 a year – is a passport to education and a way out of poverty. The idea of providing school-age children with one good meal a day sprang from the simple wish of a 14-year-old boy in Malawi. Edward was one of five children whose mother was dying of Aids. He told MacFarlane-Barrow that his twin ambitions were to have enough to eat and to go to school. The Scotsman grasped immediately that if the promise of a meal could lure a child to school, then education could offer an escape from dependence. "It is ridiculous", he says, "that people are hungry when you can feed them for so little. There are dangers to growing, but we wouldn't want to put a limit on it, because there is such a momentum. There are millions of children out there who need this desperately. I don't think we could stop it now, even if we wanted to."
Key Articles From Years Past
Perry off to secret forum in Turkey
May 31, 2007, Dallas Morning News
Gov. Rick Perry is flying to Istanbul, Turkey, today to speak at the super-secret Bilderberg Conference, a meeting of about 130 international leaders in business, media and politics. The invitation-only conference was started in 1954 and named for the Dutch hotel where the conference was first held. Those who attend promise not to reveal what was discussed, security is tight, and the press and public are barred. The conference has been the subject of conspiracy theorists and even Christian groups who wonder about its influence. Robert Black, the governor's press secretary, said the governor was invited to attend and speak about state-federal relations. Mr. Black dismissed the conspiracy theories. "He's looking forward to learning the secret handshake," Mr. Black joked. He said that Mr. Perry is paying for the trip and host hotel, usually among the top in the world, out of campaign contributions from his Texans for Rick Perry committee. Previous speakers at the conference have included such GOP stalwarts as outgoing World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz and former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Last year, the conference was held in Ottawa, and the Toronto Star reported that it had received an unsigned press release saying that the 2006 group included David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Queen Beatrix of Holland, New York Gov. George Pataki, media moguls, high-level officials from Spain and Greece, and the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse and the Royal Bank of Canada.
Note: Bill Clinton and Tony Blair both attended the Bilderberg Gathering before they became world famous. For more on this and other secret societies of the power elite, click here. If this group of most powerful global elites has favored Perry, it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the coming elections. This article has been removed from the Dallas News website, but you can still view it online at this link.
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