Government Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption Media Articles from Major Media


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


Government Corruption Media Articles


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

Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas
2014-05-19, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/05/19/data-pirates-caribbean-...

The National Security Agency is secretly intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation on the island nation of the Bahamas. According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the surveillance is part of a top-secret system – code-named SOMALGET – that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government. SOMALGET is part of a broader NSA program called MYSTIC, which ... is being used to secretly monitor the telecommunications systems of the Bahamas and several other countries, including Mexico, the Philippines, and Kenya. But while MYSTIC scrapes mobile networks for so-called “metadata” – information that reveals the time, source, and destination of calls – SOMALGET is a cutting-edge tool that enables the NSA to vacuum up and store the actual content of every conversation in an entire country. The program raises profound questions about the nature and extent of American surveillance abroad. The U.S. intelligence community routinely justifies its massive spying efforts by citing the threats to national security posed by global terrorism and unpredictable rival nations like Russia and Iran. But the NSA documents indicate that SOMALGET has been deployed in the Bahamas to locate “international narcotics traffickers and special-interest alien smugglers” – traditional law-enforcement concerns, but a far cry from derailing terror plots or intercepting weapons of mass destruction.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




CIA: No more vaccination campaigns in spy operations
2014-05-19, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-no-more-vaccination...

Three years after the CIA used an immunization survey as a cover in its hunt for Osama bin Laden, the White House has promised that the agency will never again use a vaccination campaign in its operations. Responding to a letter from the deans of 12 U.S. public health schools, Lisa Monaco, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, informed them last week that the CIA will no longer conduct such campaigns, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. The deans wrote to President Obama in January 2013 to protest the precedent set when the CIA used Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani surgeon, to seek information ... under the guise of conducting a hepatitis immunization survey. “This disguising of an intelligence-gathering effort as a humanitarian public health service has resulted in serious collateral consequences that affect the public health community,” the deans wrote. International aid organizations were forced to move some of their staff members out of Pakistan, and some health workers were killed in a backlash against a polio vaccination effort. Attacks have continued sporadically. Last year, 83 new polio cases were reported in Pakistan, more than in Afghanistan or Nigeria, the other countries where it is endemic.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA
2014-05-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/17/government-lies-nsa-just...

Just before Edward Snowden became a household name, the ACLU argued before the supreme court that the FISA Amendments Act – one of the two main laws used by the NSA to conduct mass surveillance – was unconstitutional. In a sharply divided opinion, the Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs didn't have "standing". The court relied on two claims by the Justice Department to support their ruling: 1) that the NSA would only get the content of Americans' communications without a warrant when they are targeting a foreigner abroad for surveillance, and 2) that the Justice Department would notify criminal defendants who have been spied on under the Fisa Amendments Act, so there exists some way to challenge the law in court. It turns out that neither of those statements were true. One of the most explosive Snowden revelations exposed a then-secret technique known as "about" surveillance. As the New York Times first reported, the NSA "is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance." In other words, the NSA doesn't just target a contact overseas – it sweeps up everyone's international communications into a dragnet and searches them for keywords. The Snowden leaks also pushed the Justice Department to admit ... that the government hadn't been notifying any defendants they were being charged based on NSA surveillance.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Left-right alliance can get divisive issues on the table
2014-05-17, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Left-right-alliance-can-get-divisive-is...

Tired of Washington gridlock? Want to see ways to get things done for the American people? Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State [presents the] thesis of an unstoppable left-right alliance, [which] can apply operationally in 24 areas of needed change ... including strengthening civil liberties and reform prison policy. Progressives and libertarians - already in verbal agreement over the outrageous violations of privacy and other civil liberties by the national security state - can band together in a powerful alliance to correct the invasive parts of the so-called Patriot Act when it comes up for congressional review in 2015. Under this act and its abuses, librarians have to turn over information about what books you have borrowed. Librarians who merely tell their patrons about receiving these national security letters can be criminally prosecuted. Your home can be searched without you being told until 72 hours transpire. Your medical and financial records can be accessed without real probable cause. Earlier this month, more major technology companies declared their noncompliance with government's confidential demands for e-mail records and other online information. Twitter and Yahoo went earlier on this defiance, followed by Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google, who say they routinely will notify users about government data seizures, unless enjoined by the courts. If this left-right alliance approaches Congress with a visible, cogent set of demands, the legislators will be more likely to deliberate in public hearings and not rubber-stamp renewal next year of the 12-year-old Patriot Act.

Note: Check out tireless activist Ralph Nader's new book at the link above. For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




London’s silver price fix dies after nearly 120 years
2014-05-14, Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/db3188b8-db46-11e3-94ad-00144feabdc0.html

It was born in the late 19th century when a handful of London bullion dealers agreed to meet daily under a cloud of cigar smoke to set the price for the “devil’s metal”. But now, after 117 years of operation, the London silver fix – an integral part of the city’s $1.6tn-a-year silver market – is on its deathbed. The three banks that arrange silver’s global benchmark said on [May 14] that prices would be “fixed” for the final time at noon on August 14. The move comes on the heels of increased scrutiny by European and US regulators into precious metals price-setting following the Libor scandal and probe into possible forex market abuse. Deutsche Bank last month resigned its seats on the silver and gold fixes, after failing to find buyers, leaving just HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia on the silver fix. The three banks said there would be discussions “to explore whether the market wishes to develop an alternative” to the benchmark. The regulatory attention has removed the lustre from the once-prestigious precious metals fixes, while legal action in the US has been an additional deterrent for potential new members. US lawyers have filed at least 20 class lawsuits alleging manipulation by the banks responsible for the gold fix. The demise of the silver fix will raise questions about the future of the other precious metals benchmarks – platinum, palladium and, especially, gold. Following Deutsche Bank’s withdrawal, the gold fix can continue to operate effectively with four member banks, but critics say the process is old-fashioned and opaque, and needs to be overhauled.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




U.S. alone in West on lack of paid maternity leave
2014-05-13, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/U-S-alone-in-West-on-lack-of-paid-matern...

The United States is the only Western country - and one of only three in the world - that does not provide some kind of monetary payment to new mothers who have taken maternity leave from their jobs, a new U.N. study reports. Two other countries share the U.S. position of providing "no cash benefits during maternity leave," according to the report, which was released ... by the International Labor Organization: Oman, an absolute monarchy in the Persian Gulf; and Papua New Guinea, a South Pacific nation where the U.S. State Department says violence against women is so common that 60 percent of men in a U.N. study acknowledged having committed a rape. The other 182 countries surveyed provide either a Social Security-like government payment to women who have recently given birth or adopted a child or require employers to continue at least a percentage of the worker's pay. In 70 countries, paid leave is also provided for fathers, the report said, including Australia, which introduced 14 days of paid paternity leave last year, and Norway, which expanded its paternity leave from 12 to 14 weeks. The United States also provides for fewer weeks of maternity leave than what other Western countries mandate, the report said. Under U.S. law, businesses are required to allow a new mother to take as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In New Zealand, the leave is 14 weeks; in Australia, it's 18 weeks. Switzerland has allowed women workers to take 18 weeks off since 2005; they're paid 80 percent of their salaries under a government program similar to Social Security in the United States.

Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Dr. Andres Carrasco, 67, neuroscientist fought Monsanto over Roundup
2014-05-13, Chicago Sun-Times/Associated Press
http://www.suntimes.com/news/obituaries/27372174-418/dr-andres-carrasco-67-ne...

Dr. Andres Carrasco, an Argentine neuroscientist who challenged pesticide regulators to re-examine one of the world’s most widely used weed killers, has died. He was 67. Dr. Carrasco, a molecular biologist at the University of Buenos Aires and past-president of Argentina’s CONICET science council, was a widely published expert in embryonic development. His 2010 study on glyphosate [became] a major public relations challenge for the ... Monsanto Company. Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup brand of pesticides, which have combined with genetically modified “Roundup-Ready” plants to dramatically increase the spread of industrial agriculture around the world. [The technology's] spread has increasingly exposed people to glyphosate and other chemicals. Dr. Carrasco, principal investigator at his university’s Cellular Biology and Neuroscience Institute, told The Associated Press in a 2013 interview that he had heard reports of increasing birth defects in farming communities after genetically modified crops were approved for use in Argentina, and so decided to test the impact of glyphosate on frog and chicken embryos in his laboratory. His team’s study, published in the peer-reviewed Chemical Research in Toxicology journal, found that injecting very low doses of glyphosate into embryos can change levels of retinoic acid, causing the same sort of spinal defects that doctors are increasingly registering in communities where farm chemicals are ubiquitous. “If it’s possible to reproduce this in a laboratory, surely what is happening in the field is much worse,” Dr. Carrasco told the AP.

Note: For further studies showing the grave dangers of Roundup and Glyphosate, see this article.




Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous, the state targets dissenters not just "bad guys"
2014-05-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/glenn-greenwald-anonymous-mass-s...

The opportunity those in power have to characterise political opponents as "national security threats" or even "terrorists" has repeatedly proven irresistible. In the past decade, the government ... has formally so designated environmental activists, broad swaths of anti-government rightwing groups, anti-war activists, and associations organised around Palestinian rights. One document from the Snowden files, dated 3 October 2012, chillingly underscores the point. It revealed that the agency has been monitoring the online activities of individuals it believes express "radical" ideas and who have a "radicalising" influence on others. Among the information collected about the individuals, at least one of whom is a "US person", are details of their online sex activities and "online promiscuity." The agency discusses ways to exploit this information to destroy their reputations and credibility. The record is suffused with examples of groups and individuals being placed under government surveillance by virtue of their dissenting views and activism – Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement, anti-war activists, environmentalists. The NSA's treatment of Anonymous ... is especially troubling and extreme. Gabriella Coleman, a specialist on Anonymous at McGill University, said that [Anonymous] "is not a defined" entity but rather "an idea that mobilises activists to take collective action and voice political discontent. It is a broad-based global social movement with no centralised or official organised leadership structure. Some have rallied around the name to engage in digital civil disobedience, but nothing remotely resembling terrorism."

Note: This excerpt is from the new book No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald. For more on government surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




United States Of Secrets
2014-05-12, KPBS.org
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/may/12/frontline-united-states-secrets/

When NSA contractor Edward Snowden downloaded tens of thousands of top-secret documents from a highly secure government network, it led to the largest leak of classified information in history — and sparked a fierce debate over privacy, technology and democracy in the post-9/11 world. Now, in "United States Of Secrets," FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to reveal the dramatic inside story of how the U.S. government came to monitor and collect the communications of millions of people around the world—including ordinary Americans—and the lengths they went to trying to hide the massive surveillance program from the public. “This is as close to the complete picture as anyone has yet put together — and it’s bigger and more pervasive than we thought,” says veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk. In part one ... Kirk [pieces] together the secret history of the unprecedented surveillance program that began in the wake of September 11 and continues today – even after the revelations of its existence by Edward Snowden. Then, in part two, premiering Tuesday, May 20 ..., veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Martin Smith continues the story, exploring the secret relationship between Silicon Valley and the National Security Agency, and investigating how the government and tech companies have worked together to gather and warehouse your data. “Through in-depth interviews with more than 60 whistleblowers, elected officials, journalists, intelligence insiders and cabinet officials, we have woven together the secret narrative that reveals the scale and scope of the government’s spying program,” says Kirk.

Note: Don't miss this engaging program, available at this link. For more on government surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
2014-05-12, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-couple-fined-threatened-jail-feed...

A Florida couple who retired from their management jobs to care for the poor vowed ... to wage a tenacious legal fight days after being fined more than $300 each for violating a local law. Debbie and Chico Jimenez openly admit committing the act that earned them two citations apiece: feeding more than 100 people who are homeless in Daytona Beach. Police in Daytona Beach also threatened them with arrest and incarceration, if they offer any more of their home-cooked meals at Manatee Island Park, a gathering the Jimenezes say they’ve hosted every Wednesday for the past year. Debbie Jimenez, 52, a retired auto parts store manager ... and her husband, 60, a retired construction manager, operate [the] New Smyrna Beach-based ministry called Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word. “We were given 10 days to either pay the fine or tell them we're going to court. We’re going to court. The police don’t like it. But how can we turn our backs on the hungry? We can’t,” [Debbie Jimenez said]. In all, police officers ticketed six people, including four volunteers who helped the Jimenezes on Wednesday – one of them, a man in a wheelchair who recently escaped homelessness and participated “to pay it forward,” Debbie Jimenez said. The fines levied by authorities total $2,238. Daytona Beach is not alone among cities that formally and legally restrict non-governmental individuals who seek to share food with homeless people in public or private spaces, according to a report co-released by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Trying to Salvage Remains of Blackwater Case
2014-05-12, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/us/trying-to-salvage-remains-of-blackwater-...

Whether it concerns bankers after the crisis in 2008 or the shooting of innocent civilians by American contractors in Iraq, the prosecution does not seem to be up to the task. [The fatal] shooting [of 17 people by Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries] in Nisour Square [Baghdad in Oct. 2007] became a signature moment in the Iraq war. Five Blackwater security guards were indicted on manslaughter and weapons charges, and a sixth entered a plea deal to testify against his former colleagues. But over the years, a case that once seemed so clear-cut has been repeatedly undermined by the government’s own mistakes. Prosecutors are trying to hold together what is left of it. But charges against one contractor were dropped last year because of a lack of evidence. And the government suffered another self-inflicted setback in April when a federal appeals court ruled that the prosecution had missed a deadline and allowed the statute of limitations to expire against a second contractor. The [episode inflamed] anti-American sentiment abroad and helped cement the image of Blackwater, whose security guards were involved in scores of shootings, as a trigger-happy company that operated with impunity because of its lucrative contracts with the American government. “As citizens, we need to ask why our government fails to achieve any accountability for such blatant wrongdoing,” said Susan Burke, a lawyer who represented Iraqi victims of the Nisour Square shooting in a lawsuit that Blackwater settled by paying an undisclosed amount. “The ongoing delays and mistakes undermine any confidence in the system.”

Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Glenn Greenwald: the explosive day we revealed Edward Snowden's identity to the world
2014-05-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/11/glenn-greenwald-nsa-whistleblowe...

On Sunday 9 June 2013, the Guardian published the story that revealed [Edward] Snowden to the world. The article told Snowden's story, conveyed his motives, and proclaimed that "Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley [now Chelsea] Manning." We quoted [a note from Snowden that said:] "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions … but I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." The reaction to the article and the video was more intense than anything I had experienced as a writer. Ellsberg himself, writing the following day in the Guardian, proclaimed that "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago". Several hundred thousand people posted the link to their Facebook accounts in the first several days alone. Almost three million people watched the interview on YouTube. Many more saw it on the Guardian's website. The overwhelming response was shock and inspiration at Snowden's courage.

Note: Don't miss the full, exciting story of how Snowden originally came to leak his stunning information at the link above. This excerpt is from the new book No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald. For more on government surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Keith Alexander Unplugged: on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents
2014-05-08, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/05/08/keith-alexander-unplugged-busho...

Back in December, 60 Minutes broadcast a now-notorious segment of pure access journalism in which they gullibly disseminated one false NSA claim after the next. The program claimed that Snowden “is believed to still have access to 1.5 million classified documents he has not leaked”. Ever since then, that Snowden “stole” 1.7 or 1.8 million documents from the NSA has been repeated over and over again by US media outlets as verified fact. The Washington Post‘s Walter Pincus, citing an anonymous official source, purported to tell readers that “among the roughly 1.7 million documents he walked away with — the vast majority of which have not been made public — are highly sensitive, specific intelligence reports”. Reuters frequently includes in its reports the unchallenged assertion that “Snowden was believed to have taken 1.7 million computerized documents.” In fact, that number is and always has been a pure fabrication, as even Keith Alexander admits. The claimed number has changed more times than one can count: always magically morphing into randomly chosen higher and scarier numbers. The reality, in the words of the General, is that the US Government ”really [doesn't know] what he actually took with him” and they ”don’t have an accurate way of counting”. All they know is how many documents he accessed in his entire career at NSA, which is a radically different question from how many documents he took. But that hasn’t stopped American media outlets from repeatedly affirming the inflammatory evidence-free claim that Snowden took 1.7 million documents.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Why both sides of the political aisle are turning against Wall Street
2014-05-07, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2014/0507/Why-both-sides-of-th...

More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five years into a so-called recovery that’s been a bonanza for the rich but a bust for the middle class. “The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren. Which is fueling a new populism on both the left and the right. While still far apart, neo-populists on both sides are bending toward one another and against the establishment. And it’s not only the rhetoric that’s converging. Populists on the right and left are also coming together around six principles: 1. Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they’re no longer too big to fail. 2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking and thereby preventing companies from gambling with their depositors’ money. 3. End corporate welfare – including subsidies to big oil, big agribusiness, big pharma, Wall Street, and the Ex-Im Bank. 5. Scale back American interventions overseas. 6. Oppose trade agreements crafted by big corporations. Two decades ago Democrats and Republicans enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since then populists in both parties have mounted increasing opposition to such agreements. Left and right-wing populists remain deeply divided over the role of government. Even so, the major fault line in American politics seems to be shifting, from Democrat versus Republican, to populist versus establishment — those who think the game is rigged versus those who do the rigging.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Snowden: Why hasn’t the Director of National Intelligence been punished for lying to Congress
2014-05-01, Washington Post blog
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/05/01/snowden-why-hasn...

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and one of the reporters who first broke the news of Snowden's documents, Laura Poitras, received a Ridenhour Truth-Teller prize [on April 30] to a standing ovation at the National Press Club. Snowden leaked classified documents that exposed the NSA's massive global surveillance programs. Snowden ... compared his actions with that of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, who denied that the NSA was "wittingly" collecting data on millions of Americans in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last spring -- a claim at odds with revelations about domestic phone records collection as a result of documents provided by Snowden. "The oath that I remember is James Clapper raising his hand, swearing to tell the truth and then lying to the American public," Snowden said. "I also swore an oath, but that oath was not to secrecy, but to defend the American Constitution." While Clapper has accused Snowden of perpetrating the most "massive and damaging theft of intelligence" in U.S. history, Snowden argues his actions were serving a larger public interest that superseded the national intelligence need for secrecy. Later in the speech, he described Clapper as having "committed a crime by lying under oath to the American people," and questioned why charges were never brought against the director. By contrast, Snowden said, charges were brought against him soon after he revealed himself as the source of the leaks.

Note: For more on the construction of a total surveillance state, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




More secret 9/11 documents identified, but FBI has yet to turn them over to judge
2014-04-30, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/30/4090497/more-secret-911-documents-ident...

Contradicting an earlier assertion made under oath by a senior FBI official, an attorney for the Justice Department said [on April 30] that the FBI has identified four more boxes of “classified” 9/11 documents held by its Tampa field office. The government, however, has yet to comply with a federal judge’s orders ... that it turn over copies of that massive 9/11 file — now said to total 27 boxes — for his personal inspection. U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch issued those orders in a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by BrowardBulldog.org seeking records about the FBI’s investigation into apparent pre-9/11 terrorist activity in Sarasota. Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, has said that the FBI did not disclose the existence of the Sarasota investigation to either the Joint Inquiry or the subsequent 9/11 Commission. The documents state that the Sarasota Saudis had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.” One document lists three individuals, with names blacked out, and ties them to the Venice, Fla., flight school where suicide hijackers Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained.

Note: For solid evidence that many more were involved in 9/11 than is generally admitted, see the revealing newspaper article at this link. For an excellent documentary focused on the Venice, Florida flight school which all but proves a major cover-up involving US citizens involved in the planning of 9/11, click here. And for a treasure trove of reliable information showing a major cover-up around 9/11, click here.




British Spy Chiefs Secretly Begged to Play in NSA’s Data Pools
2014-04-30, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/04/30/gchq-prism-nsa-fisa-uns...

Britain’s electronic surveillance agency, Government Communications Headquarters [GCHQ], has long presented its collaboration with the National Security Agency’s massive electronic spying efforts as proportionate, carefully monitored, and well within the bounds of privacy laws. But according to a top-secret document in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, GCHQ secretly coveted the NSA’s vast troves of private communications and sought “unsupervised access” to its data as recently as last year. The document, dated April 2013, reveals that GCHQ requested broad new authority to tap into data collected under a law that authorizes a variety of controversial NSA surveillance initiatives, including the PRISM program. PRISM is a system used by the NSA and the FBI to obtain the content of personal emails, chats, photos, videos, and other data processed by nine of the world’s largest internet companies, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Skype. The arrangement GCHQ proposed would also have provided the British agency with greater access to millions of international phone calls and emails that the NSA siphons directly from phone networks and the internet. The Snowden files do not indicate whether NSA granted GCHQ’s request, but they do show that the NSA was “supportive” of the idea, and that GCHQ was permitted extensive access to PRISM during the London Olympics in 2012. The request for the broad access was communicated at “leadership” level.

Note: For more on the construction of a total surveillance state, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Hundreds of U.S. inmates sentenced to death are innocent, researchers say
2014-04-29, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-29/news/sns-rt-us-usa-crime-death-...

As many as 300 people who were sentenced to death in the United States over a three-decade period were likely innocent. Dozens of defendants sentenced to death in recent years have been exonerated before their sentences could be carried out, but many more were probably falsely convicted, said University of Michigan professor Samuel Gross, the study's lead author. "Our research adds the disturbing news that most innocent defendants who have been sentenced to death have not been exonerated," Gross wrote in the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In their research, Gross and his colleagues examined the 7,482 U.S. death sentence convictions between 1973 and 2004. Of those, 117 had been exonerated in recent years, thanks to the efforts of numerous groups and a tide of public attention to issues surrounding the death penalty. Gross and his co-authors ... estimated that about 4 percent of those sentenced to death were actually innocent, nearly three times the number exonerated during that period. Once inmates' sentences are commuted to life, they are far less likely to be exonerated, mostly because there are fewer legal resources given to their cases, Gross said. "If you were never sentenced to death, you never had the benefit - if you call it a benefit - of that process," he said. Although the study focuses on a period ending 10 years ago, the percentage of false death sentence convictions likely holds true today, Gross said.

Note: For more on the terrible injustices within the corrupt prison-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The Koch Attack on Solar Energy
2014-04-27, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/opinion/sunday/the-koch-attack-on-solar-ene...

At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels. For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive. Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved such a surcharge at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs. [The] group is trying to repeal or freeze Ohio’s requirement that 12.5 percent of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. Twenty-nine states have established similar standards that call for 10 percent or more in renewable power. These states can now anticipate well-financed campaigns to eliminate these targets or scale them back. The coal producers’ motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to their businesses.

Note: For more on the growth of the solar energy industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Elizabeth Warren’s ‘A Fighting Chance’: An exclusive excerpt on the foreclosure crisis
2014-04-26, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/04/26/elizabeth-warren-new-memoir-ex...

In fall 2009, Secretary Timothy Geithner invited people working on TARP oversight to a meeting. After we had listened to the secretary go on and on about his department’s cheery projections for recovery, I finally interrupted with a question about a new topic. Why, I asked, had Treasury’s response to the flood of foreclosures been so small? The Congressional Oversight Panel had been sharply critical of Treasury’s foreclosure plan. We thought that the program was poorly designed and poorly managed and provided little permanent help, and we worried that it would reach too few people to make any real difference. The secretary ... quickly launched into a general discussion of his approach to dealing with foreclosures, rehashing the plan that the Congressional Oversight Panel had already reviewed. Next, he explained why Treasury’s efforts were perfectly adequate. Then he hit his key point: The banks could manage only so many foreclosures at a time, and Treasury wanted to slow down the pace so the banks wouldn’t be overwhelmed. And this was where the new foreclosure program came in: It was just big enough to “foam the runway” for them. There it was: The Treasury foreclosure program was intended to foam the runway to protect against a crash landing by the banks. Millions of people were getting tossed out on the street, but the secretary of the Treasury believed the government’s most important job was to provide a soft landing for the tender fannies of the banks.

Note: Adapted from A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren. For more on the government's collusion with the big banks before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis brought about by fraudulent mortgage sales, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





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