Big Brother News Stories
Excerpts of Key Big Brother News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important big brother news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
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Declassified Memorandum to FBI Director: Flying Saucers
1950-03-22, Website of FBI
Posted: 2011-04-12 10:06:37
An investigator for the Air Forces stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots. The saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers.
Note: Download this amazing document and view it on our website at this link. For an ABC news article discussing this, click here. Another FBI document shows FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover wanted "full access to discs recovered" at Roswell. For numerous highly revealing major media reports presenting strong evidence on UFOs, click here. For other reliable and inspiring information on this topic, visit our UFO Information Center.
Shock Doctrine, U.S.A.
2011-02-24, New York Times
Posted: 2011-03-08 11:36:25
The story of the privatization-obsessed Coalition Provisional Authority [created by Bush in Iraq in 2003] was the centerpiece of Naomi Klein’s best-selling book “The Shock Doctrine,” which argued that it was part of a broader pattern. From Chile in the 1970s onward, she suggested, right-wing ideologues have exploited crises to push through an agenda that has nothing to do with resolving those crises, and everything to do with imposing their vision of a harsher, more unequal, less democratic society. Which brings us to Wisconsin 2011, where the shock doctrine is on full display. In recent weeks, Madison has been the scene of large demonstrations against the governor’s budget bill, which would deny collective-bargaining rights to public-sector workers. Gov. Scott Walker claims that he needs to pass his bill to deal with the state’s fiscal problems. But his attack on unions has nothing to do with the budget. What’s happening in Wisconsin is, instead, a power grab — an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy. And the power grab goes beyond union-busting. The bill in question is 144 pages long, and there are some extraordinary things hidden deep inside. For example, the bill includes language that would allow officials appointed by the governor to make sweeping cuts in health coverage for low-income families without having to go through the normal legislative process. The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities. The language in the budget bill would ... let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses. And note that any such sale would, by definition, be “considered to be in the public interest.”
Note: For an abundance of major media articles revealing rampant government corruption, click here.
History in black and white
1997-01-26, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2011-03-07 23:44:56
[Review of] RHODES: The Race for Africa by Antony Thomas, BBC Books. The book is ... intelligent, detailed, well-researched and credibly nuanced. The book's aim is to kill off once and for all the public-schoolboy perception of [Cecil] Rhodes as the model Englishman who selflessly deployed his vast diamond wealth to the task of civilising Southern Africa while adding, virtually single-handedly, a chunk of territory the size of Europe to Her Majesty's imperial possessions. The picture that persuasively emerges in the book [is] of a man of immense charm and demonic single-mindedness. Rhodes ... tailored his rhetoric to suit an age when lust for acquisition had to be dressed in the garb of moral rectitude. Thus the famous lines from his precocious personal credo, drafted at the age of 23: "I contend that we are the finest race in the world, and the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race." Business ... was the medium he employed to pursue personal power. He beat his rivals not by fighting them but by seducing them. By bribery (Rhodes coined the expression "every man has his price") or sheer force of personality, or more often both, he submitted members of the British cabinet, Kruger's Boers and proud African chieftains to his colossal will. Such were his powers of persuasion that after a smallpox epidemic struck Kimberley in 1883, he prevailed upon local doctors to sign false documents declaring the outbreak to be a rare skin disease. Thus did he prevent the temporary closure of his diamond mines and thus did at least 751 people needlessly, hideously die. By the end of the book Thomas leaves us in no doubt as to Rhodes' greatness, but he concludes that it was a misdirected greatness, a story of talents squandered and opportunities lost.
Note: Often portrayed in history books as one of the most influential men of the 19th century, Rhodes not only believed his was the superior race, in his will he advocated "for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world." For major media reports revealing other secret societies with similar aims, click here. For more information on Rhodes and secret societies from Caroll Quigley's epic Tragedy and Hope, click here.
Google Comes Under Fire for 'Secret' Relationship with NSA
2011-01-25, Yahoo News/PC World
Posted: 2011-02-21 16:24:08
Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group largely focused in recent years on Google's privacy practices, has called [for] a congressional investigation into the Internet giant's "cozy" relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. In a letter sent [on January 24], Consumer Watchdog asked Representative Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate the relationship between Google and several government agencies. "We believe Google has inappropriately benefited from close ties to the administration," the letter said. "It should not get special treatment and access because of a special relationship with the administration." Consumer Watchdog's latest complaints about the relationship of Google and the Obama administration are outlined in a 32-page report [which] questions Google's relationship with the U.S. National Security Agency and calls for the company to be more open about what consumer information it shares with the spy agency.
CIA Director Leon Panetta Warns of Possible Cyber-Pearl Harbor
2011-02-11, ABC News
Posted: 2011-02-21 16:20:10
Top U.S. intelligence officials have raised concerns about the growing vulnerability the United States faces from cyberwarfare threats and malicious computer activity that CIA Director Leon Panetta said "represents the battleground for the future." "The potential for the next Pearl Harbor could very well be a cyber-attack," he testified on Capitol Hill [on February 10] before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Panetta provided a stark assessment for the intelligence committee. "If you have a cyber-attack that brings down our power-grid system, brings down our financial system, brings down our government systems, you could paralyze this country," he said. U.S officials from the National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have actively been working the emerging cybersecurity threats. The military activated U.S. Cyber Command last year to coordinate the military's cyberspace resources.
Note: For more articles from reliable sources on the construction of a total surveillance state, click here.
At CIA, Grave Mistakes, Then Promotions
2011-02-11, ABC News/AP
Posted: 2011-02-13 00:32:00
In December 2003, security forces boarded a bus in Macedonia and snatched a German citizen named Khaled el-Masri. For the next five months, el-Masri was a ghost. Only a select group of CIA officers knew he had been whisked to a secret prison for interrogation in Afghanistan. But he was the wrong guy. In the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, officers who committed serious mistakes that left people wrongly imprisoned or even dead have received only minor admonishments or no punishment at all. Many officers who made significant missteps are now the senior managers fighting the president's spy wars. The AP investigation of the CIA's actions revealed a disciplinary system that takes years to make decisions, hands down reprimands inconsistently and is viewed inside the agency as prone to favoritism and manipulation. When people are disciplined, the punishment seems to roll downhill, sparing senior managers even when they were directly involved in operations that go awry. Two officers involved in the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan, for instance, received no discipline and have advanced into Middle East leadership positions. Other officers were punished after participating in a mock execution in Poland and playing a role in the death of a prisoner in Iraq. Those officers retired, then rejoined the intelligence community as contractors. Since 9/11, retired CIA officers have published a variety of books opining on what ails the CIA. Their conclusions differ, but they are in nearly unanimous agreement that the system of accountability is broken.
Note: It is great news that the media is now revealing some of the craziness at the CIA, a topic that was almost taboo for the press in the past.
Critics question billions in aid routed back to US contractors
2011-02-03, Boston Globe
Posted: 2011-02-13 00:26:53
United States taxpayers have funneled more than $60 billion of aid into Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak came to power in 1981, but more than half of the money has been spent supplying weapons to the country’s military. About $34 billion of the aid to Egypt has come in the form of grants that Congress requires Egypt to spend on American military hardware. In recent years the large amount of aid earmarked for the military, and the relatively low sums supporting civilian aid, have attracted scathing criticism from Egyptians, some of whom argue that US aid has gone to entrench a military dictator at the expense of the fledgling democracy activists. During the early turmoil, protesters were the target of tear gas canisters that read "made in the USA," fueling debate about the aid. Last year, Egypt was the fifth-largest recipient of US aid, getting $1.6 billion. Congress ... authorized major aid packages to both [Egypt and Israel in 1979], using an informal formula — not enshrined in the peace treaty — that gave Egypt $2 for every $3 that Israel received. Israel quickly became the largest recipient of US aid, and Egypt the second-largest — rankings that were only recently overtaken by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and last year, the disaster in Haiti. The strong interest of US companies could help explain why US military assistance to Egypt has remained at $1.3 billion a year, while its civilian economic assistance has steadily shrunk, from $815 million a decade ago to $250 million requested for 2011. The decline began in 1998, when Israel arranged for a reduction in economic support and an increase military aid. As Israeli’s economic aid shrunk, so too did Egypt’s.
Note: Israel receives about $3 billion a year from the US, yet the population of the country is 8 million. If you do the math, the US is providing the equivalent of nearly $4,000 in aid per year to every man, woman and child in Israel, with $3,000 of that to buy US military hardware. For lots more reliable information on how the military/industrial complex manipulates world politics to support the war machine, click here and here.
Your life at your fingertips — courtesy of the Pentagon
2003-06-02, USA Today/Associated Press
Posted: 2011-01-31 12:33:27
Coming to you soon from the Pentagon: the diary to end all diaries — a multimedia, digital record of everywhere you go and everything you see, hear, read, say and touch. Known as LifeLog, the project has been put out for contractor bids by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the agency that helped build the Internet and that is now developing the next generation of [surveillance] tools. The agency ... [considers] LifeLog ... a tool to capture "one person's experience in and interactions with the world" through a camera, microphone and sensors worn by the user. Everything from heartbeats to travel to Internet chatting would be recorded.
The goal is to create breakthrough software that helps analyze behavior, habits and routines, according to Pentagon documents reviewed by The Associated Press. The products of the unclassified project would be available to both the private sector and other government agencies — a concern to privacy advocates. John Pike of Global Security.org, a defense analysis group, is dubious the project has military application. "I have a much easier time understanding how Big Brother would want this than how (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld would use it," Pike said. "They have not identified a military application."
Note: For more on this at Wired, click here.
2010-12-20, Washington Post
Posted: 2010-12-28 18:15:34
Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. The months-long investigation [by The Washington Post], based on nearly 100 interviews and 1,000 documents, found that: * Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America. * The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. * Law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies. * The Department of Homeland Security sends its state and local partners intelligence reports with little meaningful guidance, and state reports have sometimes inappropriately reported on lawful meetings.
Note: This report is part of a series, "Top Secret America," by The Washington Post. For more, click here.
A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives
2010-12-12, New York Times
Posted: 2010-12-20 17:57:28
On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan. The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential. Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk. In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks. The banks in this group ... have fought to block other banks from entering the market, and they are also trying to thwart efforts to make full information on prices and fees freely available. Banks’ influence over this market, and over clearinghouses like the one this select group advises, has costly implications for businesses large and small. The size and reach of this market has grown rapidly over the past two decades. Pension funds today use derivatives to hedge investments. States and cities use them to try to hold down borrowing costs. Airlines use them to secure steady fuel prices. Food companies use them to lock in prices of commodities like wheat or beef.
Note: To explore highly revealing news articles on the powerful secret societies which without doubt back these top bankers, click here. For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources detailing the amazing control of major banks over government and society, click here.
Houston Police Drone Aircraft
Posted: 2010-12-20 17:26:28
Transcript: [Suzanne] MALVEAUX: A Texas mystery solved -- at least partially. We now know Houston police are going to start using unmanned drone aircraft. But the question remains, well, for what? Stephen Dean of CNN affiliate KPRC has got an exclusive look. STEPHEN DEAN, KPRC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): HPD [Houston Police Dept.], the federal Department of Homeland Security and other invited guests all watching to see how this drone could be used for police work in and around Houston. We tracked that drone from News Chopper 2. And that drone was able to use a high-powered camera to track us. Those cameras can actually look into people's homes or even follow them in moving cars -- which raises all sorts of new questions. HPD quickly hustled together a news conference when it realized our cameras were there for the entire secret test. Executive Assistant Chief Martha Mantabo admits that could mean covert police action. But she says it's too early to tell what else HPD will do with the aircraft. We asked, are these drones headed for ticketing speeders from the sky? MONTALVO: I'm not ruling anything out. DEAN: Back at the secret test site, police helicopter pilots claimed the entire air space was restricted and even threatened our local 2 Investigates pilot with action from the FAA if we didn't leave. But we checked with FAA several times and there never was a flight restriction. That leaves some to wonder whether the police are now ready to use terrorism fears since 911 to push the envelope further into our private lives.
Note: To watch the video of secret police work in action, click here.
Every email and website to be stored
2010-10-20, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2010-12-06 11:40:46
Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans. It will allow security services and the police to spy on the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the internet. Moves to make every communications provider store details for at least a year will be unveiled later this year sparking fresh fears over a return of the surveillance state. It comes despite the Coalition Agreement promised to "end the storage of internet and email records without good reason". The plans are expected to involve service providers storing all users details for a set period of time. That will allow the security and police authorities to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public if they argue it is needed to tackle crime or terrorism. The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages. The move was buried in the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on increasing government and corporate threats to privacy, click here.
GPS tracker in car inflames privacy debate
2010-10-16, Seattle Times/Associated Press
Posted: 2010-10-24 20:36:10
Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old computer salesman and community-college student, took his car in for an oil change earlier this month and his mechanic spotted an odd wire hanging from the undercarriage. The wire was attached to a strange magnetic device that puzzled Afifi and the mechanic. They freed it from the car and posted images of it online, asking for help in identifying it. Two days later, FBI agents arrived at Afifi's Santa Clara apartment and demanded the return of their property — a global-positioning-system tracking device now at the center of a raging legal debate over privacy rights. One federal judge wrote that the widespread use of the device was straight out of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four." By holding that this kind of surveillance doesn't impair an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, the panel hands the government the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives," wrote Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a blistering dissent in which a three-judge panel from his court ruled that search warrants weren't necessary for GPS tracking. In his dissent, Chief Judge Kozinski noted that GPS technology is far different from tailing a suspect on a public road, which requires the active participation of investigators. "The devices create a permanent electronic record that can be compared, contrasted and coordinated to deduce all manner of private information about individuals," Kozinksi wrote.
Note: For an AP photo of this device, click here.
Secrets by the thousands
1946-10-01, Harper's magazine
Posted: 2010-10-17 17:48:53
Someone wrote to Wright Field recently, saying he understood this country had got together quite a collection of enemy war secrets, that many were now on public sale, and could he, please, be sent everything on German jet engines. 'The Army Air Forces' answered: "Sorry – but that would be fifty tons." Moreover, that fifty tons was just a small portion. Wright Field is working from a documents "mother lode" of fifteen hundred tons. It is estimated that over a million separate items ... very likely contain practically all the scientific, industrial, and military secrets of Germany. What did we find? The head of the communications unit ... showed me then what had been two of the most closely-guarded technical secrets of the war: the infra-red device which the Germans invented for seeing at night, and the remarkable diminutive generator which operated it. The diminutive generator – five inches across – stepped up current from an ordinary flashlight battery to 15,000 volts. It had a walnut-sized motor which spun a rotor at 10,000 rpm. The generator then ran 3,000 hours! "As for medical secrets in this collection," one Army-surgeon has remarked, "some of them will save American medicine years of research; some of them are revolutionary – like, for instance, the German technique for treatment after prolonged and usually fatal exposure to cold." This discovery ... reversed everything medical science thought about the subject. And in aeronautics and guided missiles [the secrets] proved to be downright alarming. Army Air Force experts declare publicly that in rocket power and guided missiles the Nazis were ahead of us by at least ten years.
Note: To read the entire fascinating article, click here. To verify this article on the Harper's Magazine website, click here. How can the Nazi technology have been so far superior to that of the allies? For the riveting testimony of numerous military officers on the back engineering of UFO technologies, click here.
U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet
2010-09-27, New York Times
Posted: 2010-10-04 11:31:09
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone. Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had “huge implications” and challenged “fundamental elements of the Internet revolution” — including its decentralized design. “They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet,” he said. “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.”
Note: For an analysis of this new government move to spy on US citizens, click here. For lots more from reliable sources on disturbing government threats to privacy and civil liberties, click here and here.
U.S. drones to watch entire Mexico border from September 1
Posted: 2010-09-06 11:30:00
The U.S. government will have unmanned surveillance aircraft monitoring the whole southwest border with Mexico from September 1, as it ramps up border security in this election year. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin flying a Predator B drone out of Corpus Christi, Texas, on [that date], extending the reach of the agency's unmanned surveillance aircraft across the length of the nearly 2,000 mile border with Mexico. "With the deployment of the Predator in Texas, we will now be able to cover the southwest border from the El Centro sector in California all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, providing critical aerial surveillance assistance to personnel on the ground," Napolitano said during a conference call. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed a $600 million bill that would fund some 1,500 new Border Patrol agents, customs inspectors and other law enforcement officials along the border, as well as paying for two more unmanned drones. The Predator B drones are made by defense contractor General Atomics. They carry equipment including sophisticated day and night vision cameras that operators use to detect drug and human smugglers, and can stay aloft for up to 30 hours at a time.
Note: How long will it be before aerial surveillance drones, now positioned over the southern border of the US, are deployed in other parts of the country?
Big Brother: Eye-scanners being installed across one Mexican city
2010-08-19, USA Today
Posted: 2010-08-31 10:11:59
Mexico's sixth-largest city, Leon, is on the road to ... a future in which everyone is tracked wherever they go. Fast Company reports that U.S. biometrics firm Global Rainmakers and its Mexican partner announced yesterday that they have begun installing iris-scanning technology in the city of more than 1 million in Guanajuato state. The companies aim ... to create "the most secure city in the world." The first phase concentrates on law enforcement and security checkpoints. Then the iris scanners, which the firms say can "identify humans in motion and at a distance while ensuring liveness," will fill malls, pharmacies, mass transit, medical centers and banks, "among other public and private locations," Fast Company writes. "In the future, whether it's entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Before coming to GRI, Carter headed a think tank partnership between Bank of America, Harvard, and MIT. "Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years," he says.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on threats to privacy, click here.
IMF blueprint for a global currency – yes really
2010-08-04, Financial Times
Posted: 2010-08-09 10:15:52
[An] IMF paper [that] first came out in April, 2010, [a]uthored by Reza Moghadam, director of the IMF’s strategy, policy and review department, ... discusses how the IMF sees the International Monetary System evolving after the financial crisis. In the eyes of the IMF ... the best way to ensure the stability of the international monetary system (post crisis) is actually by launching a global currency. And that, the IMF says, is largely because [sovereign nations] cannot be trusted to redistribute surplus reserves, or battle their deficits, themselves. The ongoing buildup of such imbalances, meanwhile, only makes the system increasingly vulnerable to shocks. It’s also a process that’s ultimately unsustainable for all, says the IMF. All in all, the IMF believes there has simply been too much reserve hoarding going on. A global currency makes the most sense, the paper concludes — especially since the SDR [Special Drawing Rights] is currently just an accounting tool that draws on the freely usable currencies of member states, not an actual currency itself.
Note: For key news articles on the global financial crisis to which this IMF report is responding, click here.
Raw-food raid highlights a hunger
2010-07-25, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2010-08-03 08:40:55
With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts. Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid's target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk. Cartons of raw goat and cow milk and blocks of unpasteurized goat cheese were among the groceries seized in the June 30 raid by federal, state and local authorities — the latest salvo in the heated food fight over what people can put in their mouths. On one side are government regulators, who say they are enforcing rules designed to protect consumers from unsafe foods and to provide a level playing field for producers. On the other side are " healthy food" consumers [who] seek food in its most pure form. "This is about control and profit, not our health," said Aajonus Vonderplanitz, co-founder of Rawesome Foods. "How can we not have the freedom to choose what we eat?" Demand for all manner of raw foods — including honey, nuts and meat — has been growing, spurred by heightened interest in the way food is produced. But raw milk in particular has drawn a lot of regulatory scrutiny, largely because the politically powerful dairy industry has pressed the government to act.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
America locks up too many people, some for acts that should not even be criminal
2010-07-22, The Economist magazine
Posted: 2010-07-27 08:48:46
America is different from the rest of the world in lots of ways, many of them good. One of the bad ones is its willingness to lock up its citizens. One American adult in 100 festers behind bars (with the rate rising to one in nine for young black men). Its imprisoned population, at 2.3m, exceeds that of 15 of its states. No other rich country is nearly as punitive as the Land of the Free. The rate of incarceration is a fifth of America’s level in Britain, a ninth in Germany and a twelfth in Japan. America’s incarceration rate has quadrupled since 1970. Similar things have happened elsewhere. The incarceration rate in Britain has more than doubled, and that in Japan increased by half, over the period. But the trend has been sharper in America than in most of the rich world, and the disparity has grown. It is explained neither by a difference in criminality (the English are slightly more criminal than Americans, though less murderous), nor by the success of the policy: America’s violent-crime rate is higher than it was 40 years ago. Many states have mandatory minimum sentences, which remove judges’ discretion to show mercy, even when the circumstances of a case cry out for it. “Three strikes” laws, which were at first used to put away persistently violent criminals for life, have in several states been applied to lesser offenders.
Note: For a recent report on the size of the US prison population in comparison with other countries, click here.
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.