Government Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
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The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'
2015-02-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-03-02 11:51:28
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound. The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Police practices at Homan Square [allegedly] include: Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases; Beating by police, resulting in head wounds; Shackling for prolonged periods; Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility; Holding people [as young as 15] without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours. Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. After serving two and a half years in prison, Church ... and his co-defendants were found not guilty in 2014 of terrorism-related offenses. Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations. “The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they ... creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”
Note: Church was one of three young activists charged with 'terrorism' after police manufactured evidence against peaceful Occupy Wall St protesters in Chicago in 2012. For more, read about the increasing militarization of police in the U.S. after 9/11, or see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles.
Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?
2015-02-26, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-03-02 11:48:34
The FBI and major media outlets yesterday trumpeted the ... latest counterterrorism triumph: the arrest of three Brooklyn men, ages 19 to 30, on charges of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS. It appears that none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant. One of the frightening terrorist villains told the FBI informant that, beyond having no money, he had encountered a significant problem in following through on the FBI’s plot: his mom had taken away his passport. In this regard, this latest arrest appears to be quite similar to the overwhelming majority of terrorism arrests the FBI has proudly touted over the last decade. These cases ... end up sending young people to prison for decades for “crimes” which even their sentencing judges acknowledge they never would have seriously considered, let alone committed, in the absence of FBI trickery. We’re constantly bombarded with dire warnings about the grave threat of [terrorism]. But how serious of a threat can all of this be, at least domestically, if the FBI continually has to resort to manufacturing its own plots by trolling the Internet in search of young drifters and/or the mentally ill whom they target? Shouldn’t there be actual plots, ones that are created and fueled without the help of the FBI? The Justice Department is aggressively pressuring U.S. allies to employ these same entrapment tactics in order to create their own terrorists, who can then be paraded around as proof of the grave threat. The FBI’s terrorism strategy — keep fear alive — drives everything they do.
Note: Human Rights Watch has documented the government manufacture of fake "terrorism" plots being used to keep fear alive in war on terror. There is even evidence that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was an F.B.I. entrapment plan gone awry. In 2012, the New York Times exposed the pattern of F.B.I. entrapment used to produce these fake "terrorism" plots. How can corrupt intelligence agencies continue to blatantly manipulate public perception like this?
How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle
2015-02-19, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-03-02 11:44:10
American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data. The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands. With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted.
Note: In an article that updates the story above, The Intercept reports that Gemalto has now acknowledged this security breach, but is misrepresenting its significance to prevent client and investor fears from harming the company's profitability. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in intelligence agencies and government.
Research misconduct often unreported in published studies
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:25:10
When U.S. health regulators find serious problems with how medical researchers collect their data, the researchers’ final reports often don’t mention it, a new analysis suggests. Out of 78 published papers reporting on clinical trials in which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found very serious issues, only three mentioned any violations, the new report says. “These are major things,” said Charles Seife, a journalism professor and the study’s author. Using documents and data from 1998 to 2013, Seife and his students at New York University in New York City identified 57 clinical trials that received an “official action indicated” violation - the most serious type of violation for trials - for reasons including poor record keeping, false information and poor patient safety. The problems that weren't reported were sometimes egregious. One paper, for example, said all patients reported improvement, but in fact, the FDA found that one patient had a foot amputated two weeks after receiving the treatment. In another case, the entire clinical trial was considered unreliable by the FDA - but the published paper didn't mention that. In another, researchers falsified data, which led to one patient’s death. Data on these violations are not readily available. So it's impossible to say how often tainted data are published and how often the violations are noted, Seife said.
Note: Read an informative article with much more detail about the egregious conduct of the FDA. This article raises the question, "Why does the FDA stay silent about fraud and misconduct in scientific studies of medicine?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Spy agencies could be funding geo-engineering research in pursuit of weaponising the weather, scientists claims
2015-02-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:20:41
A senior American climate scientist has spoken of the fear he experienced when US intelligence services apparently asked him about the possibility of weaponising the weather as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week. During a debate on the use of geo-engineering to combat climate change ... Prof Robock said: “I got a phone call from two men who said we work as consultants for the CIA and we'd like to know if some other country was controlling our climate, would we know about it? ”I told them, after thinking a little bit, that we probably would because if you put enough material in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight we would be able to detect it and see the equipment that was putting it up there. “At the same time I thought they were probably also interested in if we could control somebody else's climate, could they detect it?” Professor Robock, who has investigated the potential risks and benefits of using stratospheric particles to simulate the climate-changing effects of volcanic eruptions, said he felt “scared” when the approach was made. “I'd learned of lots of other things the CIA had done that haven't followed the rules and I thought that wasn't how I wanted my tax money spent. Professor Robock’s concerns come as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week by the US National Academy of Sciences. Among the report’s list of sponsors is the “US intelligence community." The professor alleges that ... the US government had a proven history of using the weather in a hostile way.
Note: The National Academy of Science's two-part report says that geoengineering technologies "present serious known and possible unknown environmental, social, and political risks, including the possibility of being deployed unilaterally." With a deeply corrupt scientific establishment being guided by corrupt intelligence agencies to meddle with the planet's total ecology, and with low public awareness about the messy history of mysterious atmospheric experiments over cities in the U.S. and elsewhere, what could possibly go wrong? For solid evidence the military has used the weather as a weapon, read about HAARP.
Swiss prosecutors are shocked by HSBC's tax scandal
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:14:05
A scandal implicating HSBC in alleged tax evasion widened further Wednesday, as Swiss prosecutors raided the Geneva headquarters of its private bank in Switzerland. The raid, in connection with an investigation into ‘aggravated money-laundering’, marks the latest twist in a saga that dates back 10 years. Materials leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ... indicated that HSBC aggressively marketed schemes suitable for tax evasion to rich clients across the world. The materials come from a stash of files stolen from HSBC by Hervé Falciani, a former employee and whistleblower. Falciani was indicted in Switzerland in December for industrial espionage and for breaking the law on banking secrecy. Falciani’s files have already led to criminal investigations in France, Belgium and Argentina. The Swiss authorities’ action Wednesday, however, is the first to suggest that they regard tax evasion itself as a bigger crime than exposing it. [HSBC has also recently] been found guilty of manipulating benchmark interest and foreign exchange rates, [and] desperately needs to be able to prove that it has not aided or abetted tax evasion or money-laundering since December 2012. That was when it signed a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. after admitting to helping Iran get round sanctions and laundering the profits of Mexican drug trafficking gangs. Any evidence that it has broken that DPA could lead to it losing its all-important license to bank in the U.S., destroying its status as a global bank overnight.
Note: Read lots more on HSBC's sweetheart deal with U.S. officials in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. US Senator Elizabeth Warren is working hard to bring justice in this case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in government and the financial industry.
A Whistleblower's Horror Story
2015-02-18, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:11:49
One man's story in particular highlights just about everything that can go wrong when you give evidence against your bosses in America: former Countrywide/Bank of America whistleblower Michael Winston. Two years ago this month, Winston was being celebrated in the news as a hero. He'd blown the whistle on Countrywide Financial, the bent mortgage lender that ... nearly blew up the global economy. Today, Winston [has] spent over a million dollars fighting Countrywide (and the firm that acquired it, Bank of America) in court. At first, that fight proved a good gamble, as a jury granted him a multi-million-dollar award for retaliation and wrongful termination. But after Winston won that case, an appellate judge not only wiped out that jury verdict, but allowed Bank of America to counterattack him. The bank eventually beat him for nearly $98,000 in court costs. That single transaction means a good guy in the crisis drama, Winston, had by the end of 2014 paid a larger individual penalty than virtually every wrongdoer connected with the financial collapse of 2008. When Winston protested his preposterous punishment on the grounds that a trillion-dollar company recouping legal fees from an unemployed whistleblower was unreasonable and unnecessary, a California Superior Court judge denied his argument — get this — on the grounds that Winston failed to prove a disparity in resources between himself and Bank of America! Four years later, we're still waiting for the first criminal conviction against any individual for crisis-era corruption. There's been no significant reform. What we've seen instead is a series of cash deals with the most corrupt companies.
Note: Countrywide bought political influence to more effectively defraud institutional investors and taxpayers. Thanks to Winston, they were caught and proven guilty. But Bank of America purchased Countrywide, and has been paying off officials in secret deals to continue skirting the law without admitting wrongdoing. And Michael Winston now has to pay Bank of America for their trouble.
APS authored Congressional letter to feds asking to crack down on solar industry
2015-01-16, ABC's Arizona Affiliate
Posted: 2015-02-23 14:59:05
Arizona’s largest utility company has been at odds with the solar panel industry for years. Now, APS [Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest utility] is asking the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on solar companies. But they didn’t ask them directly. Six Arizona Congressmen sent letters to federal regulators asking them to investigate solar leasing companies. Reporter Evan Wyloge ... has the original letter and proves it’s actually APS spearheading the effort. Arizona Public Service [is] one of the largest campaign donors for the group of lawmakers. The APS-authored, congressmen-signed letter comes as the latest in an ongoing effort to stymie third-party solar panel companies, whose business has grown tenfold over the past half-decade, presenting a challenge to the long-term business model of traditional utilities like APS. The high-profile fight between the traditional utility and newer rooftop solar panel companies is not unique to Arizona. Similar struggles have emerged in other states. On Nov. 19, Democratic Reps. Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema asked [regulators] in a joint letter to ... look into solar panel leasing practices. Then, on Dec. 12, Republican Reps. Trent Franks, Paul Gosar and Matt Salmon sent a similar letter to the FTC. After both letters were sent, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted late in 2014 to open a docket on consumer complaints about solar companies. Initial hearings are expected to begin this spring.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and energy news articles from reliable major media sources.
CEO of Gallup calls jobless rate 'big lie' created by White House, Wall Street, media
2015-02-05, Fox News
Posted: 2015-02-16 14:07:26
The chairman of the venerable Gallup research and polling firm says the official U.S. unemployment rate is really an underestimation and a “big lie" perpetuated by the White House, Wall Street and the media. What CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton revealed in his blog Tuesday about how the Labor Department arrives at the monthly unemployment rate is no secret -- including that Americans who have quit looking for work after four weeks are not included in the survey. The department's current rate of 5.6 percent unemployment is the lowest since June 2008, with President Obama using his State of the Union address and campaign-style stops across the country to tout an economic recovery. “There's no other way to say this,” Clifton says. “The official unemployment rate … amounts to a big lie.” His arguments are similar to those made by Washington Republicans after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the rate each month during the height of the recession. However, Gallup is an 80-year-old, nonpartisan firm. Clifton suggests the biggest misconception about the official rate is that it doesn’t denote “good” full-time jobs. “When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't ‘feeling’ something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class,” he said.
Note: Read the article by Gallup CEO Jim Clifton showing that the US official unemployment rate of 5.6% is very misleading. Gallup research finds 44% of US citizens available to work are not getting enough work. Fox News was the only media source to report on this story without attacking Clifton for his comments.
The 'Real Unemployment Rate' Vs. The Spin: Where's The News Here?
Posted: 2015-02-16 14:05:16
Jim Clifton, longtime CEO of Gallup ... penned an op-ed on the company website referring to the “big lie” of the official Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly unemployment rate. The 5.7% rate for January he says is woefully inadequate and does not take into account part-time workers, those earning $20 a week, those underemployed, and the hundreds of thousands of others who have simply given up looking for work. The real unemployment is much larger. In all of this, Clifton is absolutely right. The published rate is not only woefully inadequate, it is misleading and dishonest. In a follow up interview on CNBC ... he notes that he fears that telling the truth will endanger his life. So he backed off the “big lie” headline by telling CNBC: “I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.”
Note: Read the article by Gallup CEO Jim Clifton showing that the US official unemployment rate of 5.6% is very misleading. Gallup research finds 44% of US citizens available to work are not getting enough work. Then watch the video where he admits he fears for his life for reporting on this. Notably, the Forbes article summarized above confirms that Clifton's statements are accurate, but criticizes him for revealing that mass media is manipulated by the financial and political elite.
Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling convicted in leak case
2015-01-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-02-16 14:00:10
Former CIA officer [Jeffrey Sterling] was convicted Monday of providing classified information about his work to a New York Times reporter. Guilty verdicts were read on all nine criminal counts. The prosecution ... spawned a First Amendment confrontation between a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the Justice Department. It might be one of the greatest courtroom successes of a presidential administration that has pursued more leak cases than all of its predecessors combined. Other leak cases have resulted in pleas, at least one with terms favorable to the defendant. Sterling ... faced charges under the Espionage Act. [He] was first accused in 2010 of giving classified information to New York Times reporter and author James Risen for his 2006 book, “State of War.” Sterling, who was fired in the early 2000s, had sued the agency over alleged discrimination and also sparred with officials about publishing a memoir describing some of his work. The trial itself was something of a spectacle, with CIA officers testifying behind a retractable gray screen. The case against Sterling was largely circumstantial. There were no recorded phone conversations or captured e-mail exchanges that show that he leaked classified information to Risen. Defense attorneys posited several people other than Sterling who could have served as Risen’s sources, and ... argued that some information in the book could not have come from Sterling, because it addressed things that happened after he left the CIA.
Note: James Risen tried to help Jeffrey Sterling expose CIA racism, and later wrote an unrelated book exposing some questionable government practices. Now Sterling is going to prison for what Risen wrote then. Risen's journalistic courage remains intact, and his latest book exposes major government corruption related to the war on terror.
Prince Andrew 'victim' accuses US authorities of covering up video evidence of her abuse
2015-02-08, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-02-16 13:58:02
Virginia Roberts was so badly assaulted during the attacks by friends of billionaire convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein that she feared for her life, a court in Florida was told. “There were times when I was physically abused to the point that I remember fearfully thinking that I didn’t know whether I was going to survive,” Ms Roberts, now 31, alleged. She accused US authorities of withholding taped evidence showing her engaging in sexual activity against her will in an affidavit filed on Friday. “Based on my knowledge of Epstein and his organisation, as well as discussions with the FBI, it is my belief that federal prosecutors likely possess videotapes and photographic images of me as an underage girl having sex with Epstein and some of his powerful friends,” she said. Ms Roberts said she had only recently dared to come forward because of the “physical abuse that I suffered when Epstein forced me to have sex with other people. By standing up for what is right, I’m worried that Epstein, or others named here, will come after me.” Ms Roberts said she believed the video evidence could be being withheld for future use as blackmail. And she detailed interactions with FBI staff she believed indicated she was the victim of a ‘cover up’ orchestrated by friends of Mr Epstein. The new affidavit was submitted under oath and understood to be part of Ms Roberts’ attempt to have her case joined to another long-running law suit against the Brooklyn-born tycoon filed in a Florida federal court.
Note: Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been called "the most dangerous sexual predator America has ever seen." He got caught orchestrating a massive international child sex trafficking ring. He then used his connections to cover it up and silence all but a few of his 40+ victims. For more, watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government, or read deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Rotherham abuse: Researcher's warning 'ignored in 2002'
2015-02-09, BBC News
Posted: 2015-02-16 13:55:18
A former Home Office researcher says a bullying culture at Rotherham Council led to her warnings of child sexual exploitation being suppressed in 2002, years before action was finally taken. A report this month by government official Louise Casey concluded the council was not "fit for purpose". The council says it is investigating researcher Adele Gladman's claims. Previously, she has only spoken anonymously. "What I didn't realise was just how many whistle-blowers there had been over the years and how many opportunities to change poor practice," she said. "That has cost young people their health, their happiness and in some cases their lives." Ms Gladman was based at Rotherham Council when she carried out the work for the Home Office. She describes being subjected to bullying and intimidation after her research found a small number of men, mainly of Pakistani heritage, were sexually exploiting a significant number of young people. She says the council sent her on race awareness training and effectively suppressed her report. "I had every aspect of my professionalism questioned," she said. "I had every aspect of my work questioned. I had data removed over a weekend so that I couldn't substantiate my findings." She says the bullying she faced went beyond the local authority and remembers a police officer approaching her outside her office. "He and a colleague said words along the lines of 'Wouldn't it be a shame if these perpetrators found out where you and your family lived'. "And I took that as a direct threat to my personal safety. The message was very clear."
Note: By 'conservative estimates' detailed in a 2014 report, over 1400 children as young as 12 were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham. Police and elected officials actively helped the perpetrators, covered up the crimes, and systematically prevented the victims from getting help. For more, watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government, or read deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
We dream about drones, said 13-year-old Yemeni before his death in a CIA strike
2015-02-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-02-16 13:53:29
A 13-year-old boy killed in Yemen last month by a CIA drone strike had told the Guardian just months earlier that he lived in constant fear of the “death machines” in the sky that had already killed his father and brother. “I see them every day and we are scared of them,” said Mohammed Tuaiman. He died two weeks ago. In 2011 an unmanned combat drone killed his father and teenage brother as they were out herding the family’s camels. The drone that would kill Mohammed struck on 26 January in Hareeb, about an hour from his home. The drone hit the car carrying the teenager, his brother-in-law Abdullah Khalid al-Zindani and a third man. “I saw all the bodies completely burned, like charcoal,” Mohammed’s older brother Maqded said. US government officials told Reuters that the strike had been carried out by the CIA and had killed “three men believed to be al-Qaida militants”. Maqdad said the family had been wrongly associated with al-Qaida. Speaking from al-Zur the day after his brother’s death, Meqdad said: “After our father died, al-Qaida came to us to offer support. But we are not with them. We will do anything – go to court, whatever – in order to prove that [Mohammed] was not with al-Qaida.” When the Guardian interviewed Mohammed last September, he spoke of his anger towards the US government: “They tell us that these drones come from bases in Saudi Arabia and also from bases in the Yemeni seas and America sends them to kill terrorists, but they always kill innocent people. We don’t know why they are killing us."
Note: How is it that the US gets away with killing so many innocent civilians and there is not an uproar? For a possible answer, read what a top US general had to say in this article . For more, read a summary of the revealing Los Angeles Times report "Living with death by drone".
Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for 'merely linking to hacked material'
2015-01-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-02-16 13:49:54
Journalist and former Anonymous member ... Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $890,000 in restitution and fines. An investigative journalist, essayist and satirist who has written for the Onion, Vanity Fair and the Huffington Post, as well as for the Guardian, Brown claims to have split with Anonymous in 2011. Brown also founded Project PM, a crowdsourced investigative thinktank dedicated to looking into abuses by companies in the area of surveillance. In September 2012, Brown was arrested by the FBI. In October 2012, after being held for two weeks without charge, he was indicted on charges of making an online threat, retaliating against a federal officer and conspiring to release personal information about a government employee. Two months later, he was indicted on 12 further charges related to the hacking of private intelligence contractor Stratfor in 2011. Jeremy Hammond, the hacker who actually carried out the Stratfor breach, was sentenced to the maximum possible 10 years. Brown, who was accused of sharing a link to the data Hammond obtained from the breach ... at one point faced a possible sentence of 105 years. He will reportedly be eligible for supervised release after one year, and once released will have his computer equipment monitored. The $890,250 in restitution payments will go to Stratfor and other companies targeted by Anonymous.
Note: Even after being targeted by a high level conspiracy, jailed on spurious charges, and forced to pay nearly a million dollars to Stratfor for merely writing about the hack of their private spy agency, Brown states that he remains committed to exposing corruption as a journalist from within the US prison system.
HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions
2015-02-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-02-16 13:41:34
HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, according to a huge cache of leaked secret bank account files. HSBC was headed during the period covered in the files by Stephen Green – now Lord Green – who served as the global bank’s chief executive, then group chairman until 2010 when he left to become a trade minister in the House of Lords for David Cameron’s new government. The files show how HSBC in Switzerland keenly marketed tax avoidance strategies to its wealthy clients. The bank proactively contacted clients in 2005 to suggest ways to avoid a new tax levied on the Swiss savings accounts of EU citizens, a measure brought in through a treaty between Switzerland and the EU to tackle secret offshore accounts. The documents also show HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary providing banking services to relatives of dictators, people implicated in African corruption scandals, arms industry figures and others. HSBC is already facing criminal investigations and charges in France, Belgium, the US and Argentina as a result of the leak of the files, but no legal action has been taken against it in Britain.
Note: Read lots more excellent information in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. US Senator Elizabeth Warren is working hard to bring justice in this case. HSBC was founded to service the international drug trade following the 19th century opium war, and continues to launder money for drug cartels and terrorists on a massive scale. Now we learn that HSBC also provides financial services related to conflict diamonds, weapons trafficking, political corruption, and other organized criminal activities. Perhaps these criminal bankers are tolerated because the global economy might collapse without their cash.
The Opium War's Secret History
1997-06-28, New York Times
Posted: 2015-02-16 13:38:52
In 1823 a 24-year-old Yankee, Warren Delano, sailed to Canton. Within seven years he was a senior partner in Russell & Company. Delano's problem, as with all traders, European and American, was that China had much to sell but declined to buy. The British struck upon an ingenious way to reduce a huge trade deficit. Their merchants bribed Chinese officials to allow entry of chests of opium from British-ruled India, though its importation had long been banned by imperial decree. Nearly every American company followed suit. As addiction became epidemic, and as the Chinese began paying with precious silver for the drug, their Emperor finally in 1839 named an Imperial Commissioner to end the trade. Commissioner Lin Tse-hsu proceeded to Canton, seized vast stocks of opium and dumped the chests in the sea. This ... furnished the spark for the Opium War, initiated by Lord Palmerston, the British Prime Minister, and waged with determination to obtain full compensation for the opium. The Celestial Empire was humbled, forced to open five ports to foreign traders and to permit a British colony at Hong Kong. Warren Delano returned to America rich. He eventually gave his daughter Sara in marriage to ... the father of Franklin Roosevelt. The old China trader was close-mouthed about opium, as were his partners in Russell & Company. It is not clear how much F.D.R. knew about this source of his grandfather's wealth.
Note: So FDR's grandfather struck it rich by dealing opium in China. Note that Samuel Russell, who founded Russell & Company, the most powerful opium trader of the time, was the cousin of William Russell, who founded Yale's Skull and Bones society, which counted among its members Presidents William Howard Taft, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
Don't Trade Away Our Health
2015-01-30, New York Times
Posted: 2015-02-09 04:28:41
A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world. Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries. Among the topics negotiators have considered are some of the most contentious T.P.P. provisions — those relating to intellectual property rights. These rules could help big pharmaceutical companies maintain or increase their monopoly profits on brand-name drugs [and] block cheaper generic drugs from the market. Big Pharma’s profits would rise, at the expense of the health of patients and the budgets of consumers and governments. Of course, pharmaceutical companies claim they need to charge high prices to fund their research and development. This just isn’t so. For one thing, drug companies spend more on marketing and advertising than on new ideas. Overly restrictive intellectual property rights actually slow new discoveries. As it is, most of the important innovations come out of our universities and research centers, like the National Institutes of Health, funded by government and foundations.
Note: Read what a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Health has to say about the egregious profiteering of Big Pharma. Watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
Why does Obama keep trade deal details secret?
2015-02-05, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-02-09 04:26:12
The trade rules of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership ... would cover nearly 40 percent of the world economy. Access to the text of the proposed deal is highly restricted. At last month’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the ... refusal to release the full text of the proposed trade pact. “It is incomprehensible to me that leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge of what’s in it,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt., in a letter to Froman last month. Congressional lawmakers are permitted to view the text of the agreement only in the U.S. trade representative’s office, without their own staff members or experts present. They are not allowed to take copies of the agreement back to Capitol Hill for deeper, independent evaluation. Despite those restrictions, specific details of the agreement’s text have surfaced from unauthorized leaks. One of the leaks showed the U.S. proposing to empower corporations to attempt to overturn domestic regulations, while ... another leaked provision would help the pharmaceutical industry inflate the price of medicines.
Note: For more, watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership won't deliver jobs or curb China's power
2015-01-22, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2015-02-09 04:23:05
What President Obama called for in his State of the Union: completion and adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, or TPP, for the Asia-Pacific region. The president [and other TPP supporters] make two major arguments. One is that the trade pact would create lots of new jobs and raise American incomes and living standards. The other is that it would strengthen U.S. alliances in Asia while curbing Chinese influence. Over the last 35 years, the U.S. has ... concluded many free-trade agreements. In advance of each, U.S. leaders promised the deals would create high-paying jobs, reduce the trade deficit, increase GDP and raise living standards. None of these [promises] came true. In fact, the U.S. non-oil trade deficit continued to grow, millions of jobs were offshored and mean household income has hardly risen since 2000. And economists overwhelmingly agree that rising U.S. income inequality is being driven in part by international trade. The ever-closer linking of the U.S. economy to those of the TPP countries over the last 35 years has not ... deterred U.S. trade partners and allies from developing ever closer ties with China. The TPP is not going to bring together nations such as Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei to gang up against China. That is just not going to happen. Thus the TPP fails on both economic and political grounds.
Note: Read an excellent Washington Post article showing how the claim of 65,000 jobs created with the TPP is a blatant lie and manipulation. Then watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
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