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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This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week
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Report: CIA spied on Senate committee staff
2014-03-05, CBS News
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:38:55
As staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee gathered information to conduct oversight of the CIA, the CIA was secretly monitoring them, according to reports from McClatchy [News] and the New York Times. The committee staff was reviewing documents in a secure room at CIA headquarters as part of its investigation into the CIA's now-defunct detention and interrogation program, but the agency was secretly monitoring their work, according to reports. Complaints about the spying have reportedly prompted the CIA inspector general -- the agency's internal watchdog -- to look into the agency's behavior. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., seemed to reference the surveillance in a letter to President Obama ... in which he urged the president to support the fullest declassification of the committee's CIA report. "As you are aware, the C.I.A. has recently taken unprecedented action against the committee in relation to the internal C.I.A. review, and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the committee's oversight responsibilities and for our democracy," Udall wrote. "It is essential that the Committee be able to do its oversight work -- consistent with our constitutional principle of the separation of powers -- without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today." Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., another member of the intelligence committee, declared in a statement Wednesday, "The Senate Intelligence Committee oversees the CIA, not the other way around."
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Renting Judges for Secret Rulings
2014-03-01, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:37:22
Should wealthy litigants be able to rent state judges and courthouses to decide cases in private and keep the results secret? The answer should be an easy no, but if the judges of Delaware’s Chancery Court persuade the United States Supreme Court to take their case and reverse lower federal court rulings outlawing that practice, corporations will, in Delaware, be able to do just that. The state has long been a magnet for corporate litigation because of its welcoming tax structures and the court’s business expertise. Yet the State Legislature became concerned that Delaware was losing its “pre-eminence” in corporate litigation to a growing market in private dispute resolution. To compete, Delaware passed a law in 2009 offering new privileges to well-heeled businesses. If litigants had at least $1 million at stake and were willing to pay $12,000 in filing fees and $6,000 a day thereafter, they could use Delaware’s chancery judges and courtrooms for what was called an “arbitration” that produced enforceable legal judgments. Instead of open proceedings, filings would not be docketed, the courtroom would be closed to the public and the outcome would be secret. The Delaware Supreme Court could review judgments, but that court has not indicated whether appeals would also be confidential. A group called the Coalition for Open Government, including news and civic organizations, objected that Delaware’s legislation was unconstitutional. In 2012, a federal judge agreed that the law violated the public’s right of access to civil proceedings under the First Amendment.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Genetically Modified Babies
2014-02-23, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:49:17
An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to begin two days of meetings tomorrow to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step. These techniques would change every cell in the bodies of children born as a result of their use, and these alterations would be passed down to future generations. The F.D.A. calls them mitochondrial manipulation technologies. The procedures involve removing the nuclear material either from the egg or embryo of a woman with inheritable mitochondrial disease and inserting it into a healthy egg or embryo of a donor whose own nuclear material has been discarded. Any offspring would carry genetic material from three people — the nuclear DNA of the mother and father, and the mitochondrial DNA of the donor. Developers of these modification techniques say they are a way for women with mitochondrial disease to give birth to healthy children to whom they are related genetically. Some are also promoting their use for age-related infertility. These procedures are deeply problematic in terms of their medical risks and societal implications. Will the child be born healthy, or will the cellular disruptions created by this eggs-as-Lego-pieces approach lead to problems later on? What about subsequent generations? And how far will we go in our efforts to engineer humans? Unfortunately, there are now worrisome signs that opposition to inheritable genetic modifications, written into law by dozens of countries, according to our count, may be weakening. British regulators are also considering mitochondrial manipulations, and proponents there, like their counterparts in the United States, want to move quickly to clinical trials.
Note: For more on the dangers to society of genetic engineering, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Fed knew about Libor rigging in 2008
2014-02-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:46:10
The US Federal Reserve knew about Libor rigging three years before the financial scandal exploded but did not take any firm action, documents have revealed. According to newly published transcripts of the central bank’s meetings in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a senior Fed official first flagged the issue at a policy meeting in April 2008. William Dudley expressed fears that banks were being dishonest in the way they were calculating the London interbank offered rate – a global benchmark interest rate used as the basis for trillions of pounds of loans and financial contracts. Three years after his remarks, it emerged that traders at more than a dozen banks, including Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, had routinely been trying to fix the official Libor rate in order to boost their own bonuses and profits. The transcript of the Fed’s April 2008 meeting raises questions about why the central bank did not move to properly tackle the scandal. There was no official regulator for Libor at the time, and officials at the US Federal Reserve tried to blame British authorities for allowing the benchmark interest rate to get out of control in the first place. The Fed declined to comment on the transcripts or why it had not taken firm action..
Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
2014-02-24, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:44:41
Western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. Today, [The Intercept is] publishing [a document from GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group], entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups. Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government.
Note: To see a guidebook developed by intelligence agencies full of charts and information on how to infiltrate and deceive the public, click here. The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for their independence. Note that Greenwald fails to mention that Sunstein's almost exclusive focus was on "conspiracy theories" advocated by the 9/11 truth movement. For more on his call for what amounts to a new COINTELPRO, see David Ray Griffin's book Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.
Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ
2014-02-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:42:51
Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally. Yahoo ... denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy". Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012. The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ's existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest. Such searches could be used to try to find terror suspects or criminals making use of multiple, anonymous user IDs.
Rather than collecting webcam chats in their entirety, the program saved one image every five minutes from the users' feeds ... to avoid overloading GCHQ's servers. The documents describe these users as "unselected" – intelligence agency parlance for bulk rather than targeted collection.
Note: For more on government surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
2014-02-12, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:39:39
It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years. Wall Street had spent much of that era arguing that America's banks needed to become bigger and badder, in order to compete globally with the German and Japanese-style financial giants. Bank lobbyists were pushing a new law designed to wipe out 60-plus years of bedrock financial regulation. The key was repealing – or "modifying," as bill proponents put it – the famed Glass-Steagall Act separating bankers and broker. Now, commercial banks would be allowed to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, creating financial megafirms potentially far more powerful than had ever existed in America. The [bill] additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally." Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and ... aluminum.
Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Trans-Pacific Partnership: a guide to the most contentious issues
2013-12-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:38:05
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is being negotiated in Singapore this week between Australia, New Zealand, the US, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. The countries have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$28,136bn on 2012 figures, which represents almost 40% of the world’s GDP. There have been many contentious issues around the TPP: critics are particularly concerned about the secrecy around the agreement given it has the capacity to change many local laws and regulations. The majority of public criticism has centred on arguments relating to intellectual property and the cost of medicines, though many have concerns about environmental issues including climate change, investment, e-commerce and labour laws. The US has been rigid in its demands for stronger intellectual property protection to champion the rights of its global giants such as IT companies and its film and music industries. The US position on [the] investor-state dispute settlement provision ... grants foreign companies the right to sue [a] government under international law. All countries accepted there needed to be agreement on privacy obligations with regard to information-sharing, apart from the US, which reserved its position on privacy. The US position has left people wondering whether the TPP will undermine privacy, particularly in the wake of the NSA revelations from the Snowden documents. There appear to be deep divisions on environment and climate change, with the US and Australia opposing any extension of the text on climate matters.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
2014-02-14, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:45:27
The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays. The U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. They issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses. For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years. The bank also ... aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash. That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."
Note: For more on the collusion of government with the biggest, most corrupt banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Finland No. 1, US sinks to 46th in global press freedom rankings
2014-02-12, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:44:05
The United States did not live up to the promise of the First Amendment last year, “far from it,” sinking to 46th in global press freedom rankings, a respected international nonprofit group said. The U.S. plummeted 13 slots to 46th overall “amid increased efforts to track down whistle-blowers and the sources of leaks,” Reporters Without Borders warned in an annual report. “The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest,” the organization said. The group ... also cited the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press telephone records and a court’s pressure on New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a CIA staffer accused of leaking classified information. “The whistle-blower is clearly the enemy in the U.S.,” Delphine Halgand, who heads the RSF outpost in Washington, told Yahoo News. “Eight whistle-blowers have been charged under the Obama administration, the highest number of any administration, of all other administrations combined.” Overall, RSF said in its report, “countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it.” “Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result,” the group said.
Note: As if to underscore the sad state of US press freedom, we couldn't find any major media who reported this sad news, other than a Washington Post blog at this link, which simply downplays the news and tries to explain it away. To read how the media censors some of the biggest stories never reported, click here.
The David Miranda judgment has chilling implications for press freedom, race relations and basic justice
2014-02-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:41:47
One person's freedom fighter may be another's terrorist, but David Miranda is very clearly neither. Yet he was detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. That the high court has now found his detention to be lawful is disappointing, to say the least. If someone travelling as part of journalistic work can be lawfully detained like this – questioned for hours without a lawyer present, his electronic equipment confiscated and cloned and all without the merest suspicion of wrongdoing required – then clearly something has gone wrong with the law. Schedule 7 suffers the same glaring flaws as the old section 44 counter-terrorism power that also allowed stop and search without suspicion. Such laws leave themselves wide open to discriminatory misuse: section 44 never once led to a terrorism conviction but was used to stop people like journalist Pennie Quinton. In a significant victory, Liberty took her case to the European court of human rights and the power was declared unlawful. Liberty and other organisations intervened in [Miranda's] case on just this point, arguing that the detention violated article 10 of the European convention, the right to freedom of expression. Our riled security services' transparent intimidation and interference with Miranda is shocking. But it's also important that we use his case to shed light on the murky everyday reality of schedule 7.
Note: For more on threats to civil liberties, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Journalist Sues Police Who Questioned Drone Use
2014-02-18, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:40:17
A journalist filed a lawsuit [on February 18] alleging that Hartford [Connecticut] police officers violated his free-speech rights by questioning his use of a remote-controlled aircraft to record images of a car wreck. Pedro Rivera['s] complaint says that officers demanded that Rivera stop flying the remote-controlled aircraft, asked him to leave the area and told his employer that he had interfered with a police investigation. "I told them I was there on my personal time," said Rivera, who was suspended for a week from his on-call job with a Connecticut television station. "They went to my employer and caused a lot of problems for me and my job." The lawsuit ... seeks damages for Rivera but also asks the court to declare that he did not break any laws by operating the 2 1/2-pound, four-rotor aircraft above the scene of the fatal Feb. 1 wreck. It says that Rivera made clear he was not working for the television station, WFSB-TV, although he acknowledged that he occasionally sent the video feed from his drone to the station. "The suit is as much about trying to make sure police officers don't legislate from the beat as it is about getting a court to weigh in and say what the standards are," said Norm Pattis, the attorney for Rivera. Rivera, 29, of Hartford, argues in the lawsuit that police violated his First Amendment right to free expression as well as his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures.
Note: This could be a key case which determines who has the right to use drones. Do we really want only the military and government to have the right to use them?
Judge Tosses Muslim Spying Suit Against NYPD, Says Any Damage Was Caused by Reporters Who Exposed It
2014-02-21, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:38:45
A federal judge in Newark has thrown out a lawsuit against the New York Police Department for spying on New Jersey Muslims, saying if anyone was at fault, it was the Associated Press for telling people about it. In his ruling ... U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini simultaneously demonstrated the willingness of the judiciary to give law enforcement alarming latitude in the name of fighting terror, greenlighted the targeting of Muslims based solely on their religious beliefs, and blamed the media for upsetting people by telling them what their government was doing. The NYPD’s clandestine spying on daily life in Muslim communities in the region — with no probable cause, and nothing to show for it — was exposed in a Pulitzer-Prize winning series of stories by the AP. The stories described infiltration and surveillance of at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools, and two Muslim student associations in New Jersey alone. In a cursory, 10-page ruling issued before even hearing oral arguments, Martini essentially said that what the targets didn’t know didn’t hurt them: "None of the Plaintiffs’ injuries arose until after the Associated Press released unredacted, confidential NYPD documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents. Nowhere in the Complaint do Plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of the documents by the Associated Press. This confirms that Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press’s unauthorized disclosure of the documents. The harms are not “fairly traceable” to any act of surveillance."
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Email shows effort to shield bin Laden photos
2014-02-10, Boston Globe/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:25:08
A newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the U.S. military’s top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaida founder’s corpse or turn them over to the CIA. The email was obtained under a freedom of information request by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. The document ... shows that Adm. William McRaven, who heads the U.S. Special Operations Command, told military officers on May 13, 2011 that photos of bin Laden’s remains should have been sent to the CIA or already destroyed. McRaven’s order to purge the bin Laden material came 10 days after The Associated Press asked for the photos and other documents under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Typically, when a freedom of information request is filed to a government agency ... the agency is obliged to preserve the material sought — even if the agency later denies the request. The Special Operations Command ... manual requires that records about military operations and planning are to be considered permanent and after 25 years, following a declassification review, transferred to the National Archives. Last July, a draft report by the Pentagon’s inspector general first disclosed McRaven’s secret order. Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said Monday that the email ‘‘is a smoking gun, revealing both contempt for the rule of law and the American people’s right to know.’’
Note: Why would a top military commander order all photos of bin Laden's dead body destroyed? For powerful evidence that the dead body was not, in fact, bin Laden's, click here and here. For other solid evidence that the official story of 9/11 is riddles with holes, see our 9/11 Information Center available here.
What Nazis Taught the CIA
2014-02-11, Yahoo! News/Daily Beast
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:21:13
In the years after the end of WWII, CIA and US intelligence operatives tested LSD and other interrogation techniques on captured Soviet spies—all with the help of former Nazi doctors. It was 1946. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing for ‘total war’ with the Soviets. They even set an estimated start date of 1952. U.S. military officers had been capturing and then hiring Hitler’s weapons makers in a Top Secret program that would become known as Operation Paperclip. Soon, more than 1,600 of these men and their families would be living the American dream, right here in the United States. In 1948, Operation Paperclip’s Brigadier General Charles E. Loucks ... was working with Hitler’s former chemists when one of the scientists [shared] information about a drug with military potential ... LSD. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that the U.S. developed its post-war enhanced interrogation techniques ... under the CIA code name Operation Bluebird. The CIA teamed up with the Army Chemical Corps at Camp Detrick, in Maryland, to conduct further research and development on the chemistry of mind-altering drugs. One [Detrick agent was] Dr. Frank Olson, a former army officer and bacteriologist turned agency operative whose sudden demise—by covert LSD poisoning—in 1953 would nearly bring down the CIA. In one of the rare, surviving official documents from the program, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles sent a secret memo to Richard Helms: “In our conversation of 9 February 1951, I outlined to you the possibilities of augmenting the usual interrogation methods by the use of drugs, hypnosis, shock, etc., and emphasized the defensive aspects as well as the offensive opportunities.”
Note: To read excerpts from incredibly revealing declassified CIA documents on these programs, click here. For more on secret government mind control programs which have had a powerful hidden influence on global politics, see our Mind Control Information Center available here.
James Clapper might as well be called director of US fearmongering
2014-02-06, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:17:45
James Clapper is very worried. It's not the first time. Last week the man who serves as America's Director of National Intelligence [told] assembled members of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that the annual worldwide threat assessment ... has filled him with dread. Last year he appeared before Congress for a similar purpose. He was very, very concerned then too. [And the same] in 2012. Of course, one must consider the possibility that over the past five decades the world has never been as dangerous, complex and challenging as it's been over the past three years, [even though the] whole "threat of nuclear holocaust" ... defined much of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Clapper's alarmist tone is hardly matched by the threats he cites. Significantly more Americans die each year from falling furniture [than from terrorist acts]. To listen to Clapper and others in the intelligence community one might never know that inter-state war has largely disappeared and that wars in general are in the midst of a multi-decade decline. 2013 was a landmark year for non-proliferation with important progress made in slowing down Iran's nuclear aspirations and enforcing the norm on chemical weapons usage. There are real threats to the US, but Clapper should be able to talk about them in sober, evidence-based, non-hysterical terms. It's almost as if Clapper and the intelligence community that he helms are playing up foreign threats in order to justify bloated post-9/11 budgets. [Remember that] he allegedly lied to Congress over the extent to which the National Security Agency was collecting phone and e-mail records of individual Americans. [Sadly,] threat mongering and exaggeration is the norm rather than the exception.
Note: For a dramatic BBC documentary showing how many politicians literally promote fear for their own self benefit, watch Power of Nightmares at this link. For more on intense deception perpetrated by the intelligence community, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Bank of England 'knew about' forex markets price fixing
2014-02-07, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:15:47
The Bank of England has been dragged into the mounting controversy over allegations of price fixing in the £3tn-a-day foreign exchange markets after it emerged that a group of traders had told the Bank they were exchanging information about their clients' position. The latest twist in the unfolding saga ... puts the focus on a meeting between key officials at the central bank and leading foreign exchange dealers in April 2012, when they discussed the way they handled trades ahead of the crucial setting of a benchmark in the prices of major currencies. This benchmark is used to price a wide variety of financial products and is the subject of regulators' attention amid allegations that traders at rival banks were sharing information about their orders from clients to manipulate the price. The Bank of England has previously released brief details of the April 2012 meeting, but Bloomberg reported that a senior trader who attended the meeting had made notes showing that officials did not believe it was improper to share customer orders. There had been a 15-minute conversation on currency benchmarks during which traders said they used chatrooms ... to trade ahead of the volatile period when the benchmarks were set. The Bank would not provide any additional information. Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA, told MPs on the Treasury select committee ... that the allegations were "every bit as bad" as those surrounding Libor. The chairman of that committee ... said the allegations were "extremely serious". The scrutiny of the foreign exchange markets has put a fresh focus on dealers leaving banks. More than 20 traders at banks around the world are said to have been suspended or left roles in connection with the forex investigations.
Note: For more on huge financial manipulations and corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Philippines Recovers $29M From Marcos Accounts
2014-02-14, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:09:39
The Philippine government has recovered more than $29 million from the Swiss accounts of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and is still searching for more of his hidden wealth 28 years after he was toppled. The money, recovered over the last week, is part of the more than $712 million from Marcos' secret Swiss accounts now in government hands. The government won ownership of the funds after several years of litigation in Singapore courts over claims by victims of human rights violations under Marcos' rule and private foundations representing the Marcoses. Authorities have already recovered more than $4 billion from an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion amassed by the Marcoses during the dictator's 20-year rule. The Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the Marcoses wealth in excess of their total legal income of around $304,000 from 1965 to 1986 was presumed to be ill-gotten. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 without admitting any wrongdoing during his presidency. Imelda Marcos is a member of the House of Representatives. Her eldest child, daughter Imee, is governor of their northern home province of Ilocos Norte, while her son, Ferdinand Jr., is a senator. Her other daughter, Irene, has kept away from politics.
Note: This article fails to mention that Marcos was considered a strong ally and propped up by the US, which supported his strong-arm rule with financial support. For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program
2014-02-10, The Intercept (With Glenn Greenwald)
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:07:45
The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people. According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone. The former JSOC drone operator ... states that innocent people have “absolutely” been killed as a result. Some top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA’s targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike. The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that its operations kill terrorists with the utmost precision. Within the NSA ... a motto quickly caught on at Geo Cell: ‘We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.’” In December 2009, utilizing the NSA’s metadata collection programs, the Obama administration dramatically escalated U.S. drone and cruise missile strikes in Yemen. The first strike in the country known to be authorized by Obama targeted an alleged Al Qaeda camp in the southern village of al-Majala. The strike, which included the use of cluster bombs, resulted in the deaths of 14 women and 21 children.
Note: For an in-depth interview on this important topic, click here. Would anyone in a developed country tolerate their citizens being killed by the drones of a foreign government? Note also that The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for the their independence.
NSA monitored US law firm and overseas client
2014-02-16, Boston Globe/New York Times
Posted: 2014-02-16 16:05:14
The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: US lawyers. A top-secret document, obtained by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that a US law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance of Americans ensnared by the eavesdroppers and is of particular interest because US lawyers with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance. The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. The NSA’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the US law firm, and offered to share information. The NSA is banned from targeting Americans, including businesses, law firms, and other organizations based in the United States, for surveillance without warrants, and intelligence officials have repeatedly said the NSA does not use spy services of its partners in the so-called Five Eyes alliance — Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand — to skirt the law. The Australians told officials at an NSA liaison office in Canberra, that “information covered by attorney-client privilege may be included” in the intelligence gathering. Most attorney-client conversations do not get special protections under US law from NSA eavesdropping.
Note: For more on intense deception perpetrated by the intelligence community, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.