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Government Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media

Below are highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These government corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

Video shows the absurdity of the war in Syria in one single blown-up Humvee
2015-11-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-11-30 15:21:05

The above video [see video at link above], reportedly recorded outside of Aleppo, Syria and posted online Tuesday, features rebels from the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army firing a U.S.-supplied anti-tank guided missile at what it is clearly a U.S.-made Humvee. Rarely do the weapons and equipment of a conflict come together in a single video to highlight how America now fights its wars, but there it is. According to the caption on the video, the strike killed one occupant. The now-destroyed Humvee was mounted with a 14.5mm anti-aircraft gun. It is unclear if the U.S. Humvee is one that the Islamic State might have captured from Iraqi security forces during its blitz across parts of northern Iraq last year, or if it’s from U.S.-supplied Iraqi militias who have since entered Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad’s fledging forces. One thing is for certain: that truck was built in the U.S.A. As the war enter its fifth year ... the number of deaths crest well over 250,000.

Note: Isn't it interesting that many of the weapons used by both sides in the Syrian conflict come from the US. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. Then read this New York Times article which shows how the FBI aids and abets terrorism on a regular basis to keep us in fear. The evidence is overwhelming that the war on terror is a manipulated fraud to keep the public in fear and keep certain factions of the power elite in power and control.

Watchdog: IRS should spend less time auditing rich, more time on super-rich
2015-11-20, USA Today
Posted: 2015-11-30 15:11:25

Every hour spent auditing a taxpayer with more than $5 million in income nets the government $4,545, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found in a report released Friday. Auditing taxpayers in the $200,000 to $399,999 income bracket was less fruitful, generating just $605 in revenue per audit-hour. And yet the IRS spent more than four times as many hours examining taxpayers in the $200,000 to $399,999 income bracket than the $5 million-plus. That's especially important as congressional budget cuts have forced the IRS to pare back its taxpayer audits. The percentage of individual taxpayers audited each year has reached the lowest point in a decade, and is now just 0.84%. The highest-income taxpayers have seen the biggest decline in audit rates. In 2011, 30% of tax returns from taxpayers making more than $10 million got a second look by the IRS. In 2014, it was just 16%. The IRS already gives special attention to tax returns with an income above $200,000. But the inspector general recommends that the IRS increase that threshold. The agency will consider changing those thresholds, said Douglas O'Donnell, the commissioner of the IRS's Large Business and International Division. But he also said the IRS does not target groups of taxpayers based just on how much revenue an audit will generate.

Note: In the US in recent years, the super-rich have been taxed less and less while companies like General Electric sometimes pay no taxes at all. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and government corruption news articles.

Death From Above: Confessions of a Killer Drone Operator
2015-11-19, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-11-30 15:09:12

In 2009, not long after his historic election and seven years after the first U.S. drone strike, President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, however, deadly U.S. drone strikes have increased sharply, as have doubts about the program’s reliability and effectiveness. The latest criticism comes from Drone, a new documentary about the CIA’s covert drone war. To help promote the film and inveigh against the agency’s drone program ... four former operators - Stephen Lewis, Michael Haas, Cian Westmoreland and Brandon Bryant - appeared at a press conference. Speaking out can lead to veiled threats and prosecution. Which is why for years Bryant was the only drone veteran who openly rebuked the drone war. But his persistence and his appearance in the film, the other three say, inspired them to come forward. On multiple occasions, the men say they complained to their superiors about their concerns to no avail. Drone strikes kill far more civilians than the government admits. These deaths, they argue, wind up helping militant groups recruit new members and hurt the U.S.’s long-term security. By distancing soldiers from the battlefield, the operators suggest the people carrying out strikes may become even more desensitized to killing than their counterparts on the front lines. On some occasions, Haas says operators referred to children as “fun-sized terrorists” or “TITS,” terrorists in training.

Note: A human rights attorney has stated the four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers mentioned above have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen. How many more have not spoken out against these abuses for fear of retaliation like this? Read more about the major failings of US drone attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.

CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism
2015-11-20, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-11-30 15:03:18

CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to ban Syrian refugees. Whether by compulsion or choice, she then groveled in apology. Labott’s crime wasn’t that she expressed an opinion. It’s that she expressed the wrong opinion: After Paris, defending Muslims, even refugees, is strictly forbidden. I’ve spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air. When it comes to the Paris attacks, CNN has basically become state TV. Labott’s punishment comes just five days after two CNN anchors spent six straight minutes lecturing French Muslim civil rights activist Yasser Louati that he and all other French Muslims bear “responsibility” for the attack. In the wake of Paris, an already ugly and quite dangerous anti-Muslim climate has exploded. The leading GOP presidential candidate is speaking openly of forcing Muslims to register in databases, closing mosques, and requiring Muslims to carry special ID cards. Others are advocating exclusion of Muslim refugees (Cruz) and religious tests to allow in only “proven Christians” (Bush). That, by any measure, is a crisis of authoritarianism. And journalists have historically not only been permitted, but required, to raise their voice against such dangers.

Note: The New York Times recently reported that a Syrian passport found at a Paris bombing site was planted as part of a false evidence trail "to turn public opinion against Syrian refugees." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.

How trustworthy are electronic voting systems in the US?
2015-06-05, Significance (An official magazine of the American Statistical Association)
Posted: 2015-11-30 15:00:09

When you ... cast your vote for the various candidates and public propositions at an electronic voting machine, how confident are you that the results will be tabulated honestly? If you feel less than sanguine about it and do a bit of the research to assuage your doubts, be prepared to feel even less confident afterwards. My statistical analysis shows patterns indicative of vote manipulation in machines. These results form a pattern that goes across the nation and back a number of election cycles. The data reveals multiple (at least two) agents working independently to successfully alter voting results. The official report from the congressional hearing on [the 2004 Ohio presidential] election describes it as 'the abuse and manipulation of electronic voting machines and the arbitrary and illegal behavior of a number of elected and election officials which effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in order to change the outcome of an election.' For a thorough assessment, [read] 'Post-Election Audits: Restoring Trust in Elections' published by the Brennan Center for Justice. Voting machine software ... is proprietary and even the election officials are not allowed to inspect it. This is termed Black Box Voting and combined with Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting, which permits touchscreen machines and does not require a paper trail allows a situation ripe for exploitation. We have a serious pervasive and systematic problem with electronic voting machines.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Spain ‘issues arrest warrant’ for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over 2010 Gaza flotilla attack
2015-11-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-30 14:57:50

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current government officials are at risk of arrest if they set foot in Spain, after a Spanish judge effectively issued an arrest warrant for the group. Spanish national court judge Jose de la Mata ordered the police and civil guard to notify him if Mr Netanyahu and the six other individuals enter the country, as their actions could see a case against them regarding the Freedom Flotilla attack of 2010 reopened. The other men named in the issue are former defence minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Avigdor Leiberman, former minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon, former interior minister Eli Yishai, minister without portfolio Benny Begin and vice admiral Maron Eliezer, who was in charge of the operation. The case – which was put on hold by Judge de la Mata last year – was brought against the men following an attack by Israeli security forces against the Freedom Flotilla aid ships in 2010, which was trying to reach Gaza. It concerns the Mavi Marmara ship, the main civilian vessel in a fleet of six that were attempting to break an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The six ships were carrying around 500 passengers, humanitarian aid and construction materials. The Israeli Defence Force stormed the ship in a raid that left nine human rights activists dead.

Note: A spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry commented, "We consider it to be a provocation." Autopsies of the activists killed were reported by The Guardian to contradict Israeli reports of the incident.

Paedophile ring used boys home
2013-09-23, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-30 14:51:09

An "organised ring" of paedophiles believed to include Anglican and Catholic clergy used a Sunday afternoon "children's Christian program" in the 1970s to sexually abuse boys at a church-run Wallsend boys home. The United Protestant Association has issued an unreserved apology. "These men changed from week to week, suggesting a larger, organised ring," UPA general manager Steve Walkerden and after-care support worker Graham Hercus said on Friday. "We are aware of a group of men who did come to the home in the 1970s for a number of years ... who routinely took smaller boys into downstairs rooms in the building and abused them." Anglican priest Peter Rushton - acknowledged by the church in 2010 as a sexual abuser of children - and "volunteer carer" and convicted child sex offender Robert Holland, are believed to have taken boys from the home. A third "volunteer carer" at Woodlands was quietly convicted of child sex offences more than a decade ago. Another "volunteer carer" from Germany sexually abused about 10 boys in the 1970s before leaving Australia. The UPA has [also] paid compensation and provided support to a woman for repeated sexual assault over a six-year period at its girls home, Ellimatta. Many children were placed in the homes by court order; others were placed there voluntarily by parents, usually because of marriage breakup or the death of a partner.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.

Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism
2015-11-17, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-23 14:04:00

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low ... after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129. Mr. Brennan complained about ... the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says. Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did. In 2011 ... he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility aside, it’s not clear what extra powers Mr. Brennan is seeking. Most of the men who carried out the Paris attacks were already on the radar of intelligence officials in France and Belgium, where several of the attackers lived. The problem in this case was not a lack of data. In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful.

Note: The above is an excellent article by the New York Times editorial board. Yet the role of the largely subservient media, which strongly supported Bush's campaign to go to war in Iraq is ignored. Read this analysis to go even deeper. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.

How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror?
2014-11-06, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-11-23 14:00:56

How can ISIS, cut off from the rest of the world by financial and trade sanctions, and under daily aerial and land bombardment by some of the richest countries in the world, afford to maintain a well-armed military and pay other bills? The terrorist group relies on ... cash, crude oil and contraband. The ISIS economy and its fighters predominantly rely on the production and sale of seized energy assets - Iraq has the fifth-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. ISIS also depends on the steady income it extracts from private donors, the heavy taxation and extortion it levies on its captive population, the seizure of bank accounts and private assets in the lands it occupies, ransoms from kidnappings and the plundering of antiquities excavated from ancient palaces and archaeological sites. Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait - and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families. Only after widespread criticism ... did Saudi Arabia pass legislation in 2013 criminalizing financial support of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and ISIS. The lootings, ransoms and extortion ... provide a steady cash flow. But this is nothing compared to what oil trafficking provides.

Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. And isn't it interesting that Saudi Arabia has been chosen to a UN panel on human rights? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.

Years After 9/11, the War on Terror Is Accomplishing Everything bin Laden Hoped It Would
2015-09-08, The Nation
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:58:21

Fourteen years later, thanks a heap, Osama bin Laden. With a small number of supporters, $400,000-$500,000, and 19 suicidal hijackers, most of them Saudis, you ... goaded us into doing what you had neither the resources nor the ability to do. George W. Bush and company used those murderous acts and the nearly 3,000 resulting deaths as an excuse to try to make the world theirs. It took them no time at all to decide to launch a “Global War on Terror” in up to 60 countries. Don’t you find it strange, looking back, just how quickly 9/11 set their brains aflame? Don’t you still find it eerie that, amid the wreckage of the Pentagon, the initial orders our secretary of defense gave his aides were to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though he was already convinced that Al Qaeda had launched the attack? Washington’s post-9/11 policies in the Middle East helped lead to the establishment of the Islamic State’s “caliphate” in parts of fractured Iraq and Syria. The United States has gone into the business of robotic assassination big time, [and] Washington has regularly knocked off women and children while searching for militant leaders. Fourteen years later, don’t you find it improbable that our “war on terror” has so regularly devolved into a war of and for terror; that our methods ... have visibly promoted, not blunted, the spread of Islamic extremism; and that, despite this, Washington has generally not recalibrated its actions in any meaningful way? Fourteen years later, how improbable is that?

Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.

After Paris, there will be no stopping the surveillance state now
2015-11-19, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:55:17

The tools European security agencies now have at their disposal ... would make any American or Canadian intelligence officer drool. Britain has literally created a surveillance state. The British Security Industry Authority estimated three years ago the government has installed about six million closed-circuit TV cameras in the public square; one for every 10 citizens. The French, too, have vastly expanded public video surveillance in recent years. And it's all been done with overwhelming support from the general public, which feels safer for the presence of the surveillance, never mind the lack of objective proof that they are more protected against outrages, which keep on occurring. Both England and France are former colonial powers that ... long ago subordinated individual rights to collective security. Canada and America more dearly cherish individual rights. Still, a surveillance state is growing here, too. David Lyon, a professor of surveillance studies at Queen's University, has identified several public surveillance trends, all of which he says are "increasing at an accelerating rate." Canada is not about to become Western Europe, he says, but "it is incumbent upon us as a society to think about the ethical consequences" of mass surveillance. [Some] would argue that the cameras are desperately needed tools, and that anyone who isn't doing anything wrong has nothing to worry about. That of course is the police state justification. They hate us because we are free, we are told. The fact that we've responded by giving up ever more freedom doesn't seem to matter.

Note: Many of the politicians publicly defending the surveillance state receive huge sums of money from private security companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.
2015-11-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:52:45

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice ... near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. “What’s going on?” I asked. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?” I had no idea what was happening, but I saw [that] something about me - a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman - frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening. I again asked what was going on. I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come. Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color - Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray - to be written off as an outlier. What happened to them did not happen to me, but it easily could have.

Note: For more along these lines, read about the increasing militarization of police, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties.

Bolts from the blue
2015-11-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:49:56

While deadly police shootings in the United States have gained international attention this year, [Calvon] Reid is one of 47 lesser-known people who lost their lives after law enforcement officers deployed a Taser, according to The Counted, an ongoing Guardian investigation documenting fatalities that follow police encounters. Reid died following shocks administered seemingly in violation of national guidelines. These rules ... acknowledge the lethal potential of electronic control weapons (ECW) deployed for more than three standard shock cycles of five seconds each. Many police departments are still not regulating the use of Tasers in accordance with these nationally accepted standards. Taser International, which sells ECWs to 17,800 of the United States’ roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies and commands an overwhelming monopoly on the market, has ... sued medical examiners in the past, in one case leading to the examiners’ representative body to state that Taser International’s actions were “dangerously close to intimidation”. The weapons are likely responsible for many more deaths than coroners can easily record. An epidemiological study on the in-custody death rates of 50 California police departments ... found a startling 600% increase in sudden-death incidents in the year after Taser introduction, and then a 40% increase over pre-Taser rates for the next four years.

Note: Taser International operates a virtual monopoly in the US by trading luxury vacations and cushy retirement jobs to police chiefs in exchange for lucrative no-bid contracts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about "non-lethal weapons", or read about how sophisticated and deadly some of these weapons technologies can be.

Feds fighting to keep cash seized from person never charged with crime
2015-08-29, Fox News
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:47:59

Federal prosecutors are battling in court to keep $167,000 in cash seized in a 2013 traffic stop, despite the motorist never being charged in the incident. The case ... highlights the ongoing concerns about the government unjustly seizing money and property. A Nevada state trooper pulled over ... Straughn Gorman’s motor-home in January 2013 for allegedly going too slow along Interstate 80. The trooper released Gorman but not before requesting the county sheriff’s office stop him again ... this time with a drug-sniffing dog. No drugs were found [when] Gorman was pulled over for two alleged traffic violations. But his vehicle, computer, cellphone and the cash ... were seized. In June, a federal judge in Nevada ordered Gorman’s cash be returned. In his ruling, District Judge Larry Hicks cited Gorman’s “prolonged detention” for the alleged traffic violations and criticized federal authorities for failing to disclose that the first officer requested the second stop. Hicks [wrote], “The two stops were for minor traffic violations, and they both were extended beyond the legitimate purposes for such traffic stops.” Hicks also said in his ruling the second stop never would have happened if the first officer had not relayed information about the first stop. The federal government earlier this month appealed Hicks' ruling in the 9th Circuit Court. Federal attorneys did not submit a reason for the appeal. The court is expected to also decide whether Gorman should be reimbursed $153,000 in legal fees, which federal lawyers don’t want to pay.

Note: A recent Washington Post investigation found that the theft of private property by police and other government officials has dramatically increased in recent years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.

EPA Used Monsanto’s Research to Give Roundup a Pass
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:42:55

The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in June that there was “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor. The decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force. Of the small minority of independently funded studies that the agency considered in determining whether the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system, three of five found that it did. One, for instance, found that exposure to glyphosate-Roundup “may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats.” Another concluded that “low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity.” And a review of the literature turns up many more peer-reviewed studies finding glyphosate can interfere with hormones. Many of the industry-funded studies contained data that suggested that exposure to glyphosate had serious effects. Yet in each case, sometimes even after animals died, the scientists found reasons to discount the findings — or to simply dismiss them. Having companies fund and perform studies that affect them financially [is] the standard practice at EPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in March.

Note: Read an excellent article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.

Genetically modified pigs raise concerns about food regulation
2015-11-03, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:36:37

Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming ... dinner. But consumers are wary and lack confidence in governments' readiness to regulate this new class of food product. The African swine fever resistant pig has an immune gene that is slightly more like a warthog's. The double-muscle pig has a mutation similar to one produced by normal breeding in a muscly cow breed called the Belgian blue. Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator for the Canadian Biotechnology Network, said a major reason why consumers are wary is because of the way genetically modified foods are regulated in Canada. Health Canada doesn't do its own testing of the foods, relying instead on data generated by the companies trying to put the foods on the market, which is kept secret. It doesn't disclose what it's assessing. Nor does it consult with farmers or consumers, or require labelling of genetically modified foods after the fact. In the U.S., safety information about genetically modified foods is also kept secret.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.

In tough times, police start seizing a lot more stuff from people
2015-11-10, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-11-15 22:10:41

Civil asset forfeiture ... lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted - and in many cases, even charged - with wrongdoing. The past decade has seen a "meteoric, exponential increase" in the use of the practice. In 2008, there were less than $1.5 billion in the combined asset forfeiture funds of the Justice Department and the U.S. Treasury. But by 2014, that number had tripled, to roughly $4.5 billion. Critics ... say that the increase in forfeiture activity is due largely to the profit motive created by laws which allow police to keep some or all of the assets they seize. In one case represented by the Institute [for Justice], a drug task force seized $11,000 from a college student at an airport. They lacked evidence to charge him with any crime, but they kept the money and planned to divvy it up between 13 different law enforcement agencies. Asset forfeiture's defenders say that the practice is instrumental in dismantling large-scale criminal enterprises. But evidence suggests that forfeiture proceedings are often initiated against small time criminals or people who aren't criminals at all. An [ACLU] report earlier this year found that the median amount seized in forfeiture actions in Philadelphia amounted to $192. These forfeiture actions were concentrated in the city's poorest neighborhoods. In most states the typical forfeiture amount is very small. The median forfeiture case in Illinois is worth $530. In Minnesota, $451. Those are hardly kingpin-level hauls.

Note: Some police decide what property to seize based on departmental "wish lists". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.

Defense Department assailed for "paid patriotism" in pro sports
2015-11-05, CBS News
Posted: 2015-11-15 22:05:51

The NFL is considering giving back taxpayer money to the Defense Department, as both of Arizona's senators accuse the Pentagon of paying pro teams to stage events honoring the military. They uncovered nearly $7 million in contracts with items they called "paid patriotism." From an Army reservist singing the national anthem to National Guard members unfurling the American flag, honoring the military is commonplace in professional sports, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford. But some of these events are little more than marketing gimmicks, said Sen. Jeff Flake. "Fans assume when they see these tributes that it's being done because of patriotism," Flake said. "To find out that the taxpayers are paying for some of these, it just kind of cheapens the whole thing." According to Flake and fellow Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Defense Department has 122 marketing deals with pro sports teams worth $10.4 million. Seventy-two of those deals had items the two Republicans called "paid patriotism." The Baltimore Ravens, the fifth biggest recipient of military marketing dollars, got more than half a million dollars from the Maryland Army National Guard for patriotic events at their games. In fact, NFL franchises are pocketing the most money from the government."The Department of Defense is always saying we're strapped for funds, then we find out that in some cases they're paying for these paid tributes on the field," Flake said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Let’s Finally Close Guantánamo
2015-11-05, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-15 22:03:20

Simply put, Guantánamo is one of the best propaganda tools that terrorists have today. It’s no coincidence that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, dresses its victims in the same orange prisoner suits used in Guantánamo before conducting their ghastly beheadings. Our policies have allowed terrorists to cloud who holds the moral high ground. President George W. Bush said that he wanted Guantánamo to be closed. So did the former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Colin L. Powell, as well as the former secretaries of defense Robert M. Gates and Leon E. Panetta, among others. In addition to being a terrorist recruiting tool, Guantánamo is a huge drain on taxpayer dollars. The cost per detainee at Guantánamo is 30 times more than that of the most secure detention facilities in the United States. It’s hard to justify spending more than $2.5 million per detainee when it costs just $86,374 to hold an inmate in the so-called Supermax federal penitentiary in Colorado. During the Bush administration, 779 people were brought to Guantánamo, all without charge. Over time we’ve learned that many were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and shouldn’t have been detained in the first place. Most detainees — 532 to be exact — were released by the Bush administration. Of the 112 detainees who remain today, only about 10 have been convicted or charged with a crime. One thing has become clear: Keeping detainees at Guantánamo indefinitely hasn’t worked.

Note: The above was written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, vice chairwoman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2013, a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee heard that "Guantanamo is a terrorist-creating organization". A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite.

The Steady Trickle-Up From the Poor to the Rich
2015-11-02, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-11-15 21:58:44

Much of the national debate about widening inequality ... ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market. The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market. For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation. This costs you and me an estimated $3.5 billion a year - a hidden upward redistribution of our incomes to Pfizer, Merck and other big proprietary drug companies. Likewise, the interest we pay on ... loans is higher than it would be if the big banks ... had to work harder to get our business. As recently as 2000, America’s five largest banks held 25 percent of all U.S. banking assets. Now they hold 44 percent — which gives them a lock on many such loans. The net result: another hidden upward redistribution. Why have food prices been rising faster than inflation, while crop prices are now at a six-year low? Because the giant corporations that process food have the power to raise prices. Result: a redistribution from average consumers to Big Agriculture. Why do you suppose health insurance is costing us more? Health insurers are hiking rates 20 to 40 percent next year, and their stock values are skyrocketing. Add it up - the extra money we’re paying for pharmaceuticals, Internet communications, home mortgages, student loans, airline tickets, food and health insurance - and you get a hefty portion of the average family’s budget.

Note: This essay was written by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.

Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.