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


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption articles reported in the media suggesting a major 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.

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.


The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it
2016-03-28, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/28/the-feds-have-resumed-...

The Justice Department has announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law. The "Equitable Sharing Program" gives police the option of prosecuting some asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize. Asset forfeiture is a contentious practice that lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted of wrongdoing - and in many cases, never charged. Use of the practice has exploded in recent years, prompting concern that, in some cases, police are motivated more by profit and less by justice. A wide-ranging Washington Post investigation in 2014 found that police had seized $2.5 billion in cash alone without warrants or indictments since 2001. In response, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced new restrictions on some federal asset forfeiture practices. Asset forfeiture is fast growing - in 2014, for instance, federal authorities seized more than $5 billion in assets. That's more than the value of assets lost in every single burglary that year. Reformers had hoped that the suspension of the program in December was a signal that the Justice Department was looking for ways to rein in the practice. But that no longer appears to be the case.

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


CIA photographed detainees naked before sending them to be tortured
2016-03-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/28/cia-photographed-naked-detainees

The CIA took naked photographs of people it sent to its foreign partners for torture. A former US official who had seen some of the photographs described them as “very gruesome”. In some of the photos, which remain classified, CIA captives are blindfolded, bound and show visible bruises. Some photographs also show people believed to be CIA officials or contractors alongside the naked detainees. It is not publicly known how many people ... were caught in the CIA’s web of so-called “extraordinary renditions”, extra-judicial transfers of detainees to foreign countries, many of which practised even more brutal forms of torture than the US came to adopt. Human rights groups over the years have identified at least 50 people the CIA rendered, going back to Bill Clinton’s presidency. “Is the naked photography a form of sexual assault? Yes. It’s a form of sexual humiliation,” said Dr Vincent Iacopino, the medical director of Physicians for Human Rights. “It’s cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment at a minimum and may constitute torture,” he said. International human rights law, to include the Geneva conventions, forbids photographing prisoners except in extremely limited circumstances related to their detention, to include anything that might compromise their dignity. The CIA is known to have employed nudity in other aspects of its custody of terrorism suspects. Often the nudity occurred in tandem with other torture techniques, such as shackling and frigid conditions, leading in at least one case to a detainee’s death.

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA
2016-03-27, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-stor...

Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border. The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo. Last year, the Pentagon helped create a new military coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces ... to take territory away from the Islamic State. The group is dominated by Kurdish outfits known as People's Protection Units or YPG. It has received air-drops of weapons and supplies and assistance from U.S. Special Forces. The U.S. backing for a heavily Kurdish armed force has been a point of tension with the Turkish government, which has a long history of crushing Kurdish rebellions. The CIA, meanwhile, has its own operations center inside Turkey from which it has been directing aid to rebel groups in Syria, providing them with TOW antitank missiles from Saudi Arabian weapons stockpiles. While the Pentagon's actions are part of an overt effort by the U.S. and its allies against Islamic State, the CIA's backing of militias is part of a separate covert U.S. effort aimed at keeping pressure on the Assad government. Over the last several months ... Kurdish-led groups [expanded] their zone of control to the outskirts of Aleppo, bringing them into more frequent conflict with the CIA-backed outfits.

Note: Explore powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence
2016-03-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/25/highlighting-western-victims-while-ignori...

For days now, American cable news has broadcast non-stop coverage of the horrific attack in Brussels. This type of coverage is accorded only to Western victims of violence, but almost never to the non-Western victims of the West’s own violence. A little more than a week ago ... fighter jets from a Saudi-led (U.S.– and U.K.-supported) coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah. The latest count indicates that about 120 people were killed, including more than 20 children, and 80 were wounded in the strikes. Over the past several years, the U.S. has launched hideous civilian-slaughtering strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq. You’ll almost never hear any of those victims’ names on CNN, NPR, or most other large U.S. media outlets. No famous American TV correspondents will be sent to the places where those people have their lives ended by the bombs of the U.S. and its allies. At most, you’ll hear small, clinical news stories briefly and coldly describing what happened - usually accompanied by a justifying claim from U.S. officials, uncritically conveyed, about why the bombing was noble - but, even in those rare cases where such attacks are covered at all, everything will be avoided that would cause you to have any visceral or emotional connection to the victims. You’ll never know anything about them - not even their names ... and will therefore have no ability to feel anything for them. As a result, their existence will barely register. That’s by design.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about war and the manipulation of public opinion.


Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further
2016-03-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/24/top-medical-experts-sa...

A group of 22 medical experts convened by Johns Hopkins University and The Lancet have called today for the decriminalization of all nonviolent drug use and possession. The experts further encourage countries and U.S. states to "move gradually toward regulated drug markets and apply the scientific method to their assessment." Their report comes ahead of a special UN General Assembly Session on drugs to be held next month. In a lengthy review of the state of global drug policy, the Hopkins-Lancet experts conclude that the prohibitionist anti-drug policies of the past 50 years "directly and indirectly contribute to lethal violence, disease, discrimination, forced displacement, injustice and the undermining of people’s right to health. "The goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs is the basis of many of our national drug laws, but these policies are based on ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded," said Commissioner Dr. Chris Beyrer. "The idea that all drug use is necessarily 'abuse' means that immediate and complete abstinence has been seen as the only acceptable approach," commissioner Adeeba Kamarulzaman ... said. But, she added, "continued criminalization of drug use fuels HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis transmission within prisons and the community at large. There is another way. Programmes and policies aimed at reducing harm should be central to future drug policies."

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.


War on drugs harmed public health: report
2016-03-24, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/drug-war-public-health-1.3504843

The war on drugs has failed, fuelling higher rates of infection and harming public health and human rights to such a degree that it's time to decriminalize non-violent minor drug offences, according to a new global report. The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for minor use, possession and petty use to be decriminalized following measurably worsened human health. "We've had three decades of the war on drugs, we've had decades of zero-tolerance policy," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the senior author of the report published Thursday in The Lancet. "It has had no measurable impact on supply or use, and so as a policy to control substance use it has arguably failed. It has evidently failed." Given that the goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs was to protect societies, the researchers evaluated the health effects and found they were overwhelmingly negative. For a role model, the authors point to Portugal, which decriminalized not only cannabis but also possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. HIV transmission, hepatitis C and incarcerations all decreased, Beyrer said, and there was about a 15 per cent decline in substance use by young people in Portugal.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.


‘The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World’, by Sally Denton
2016-03-24, Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/19d38076-f11b-11e5-9f20-c3a047354386.html#axzz4H4LU...

Bechtel - a behemoth among closely held companies - has been the world’s builder, benefiting from vast government contracts for engineering and infrastructure work in difficult places while it nurtured relationships with power brokers in Washington. In The Profiteers, journalist Sally Denton seeks to unravel the history of Bechtel. Her story is one of “how a dynastic line of rulers from the same American family conducts its business” and how its system of networking now pervades US capitalism. Anecdotes of Bohemian Grove, the secretive retreat that became an all-male “summer camp” for US corporate, political and military elites to toast marshmallows, skinny-dip in the river north of San Francisco and dress in drag for skits, elucidate the chummy nature of big business. As of 2014, [Bechtel's] reported revenue was $37bn, with projects and employees in 37 countries. The corporation’s embrace of Saudi Arabia as a lucrative client and its decades-long and contorted experience in Iraq also makes sense of some aspects of US foreign policy - as well as its intelligence-gathering operations. The life and times of John McCone, a former Bechtel executive who later served as CIA director in the US administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, is chronicled deftly here. It is worth noting: McCone was and is critical to Bechtel’s dominance today. He devised the idea of “cost-plus contracts” for the toughest jobs sought by government. Contractors are guaranteed a profit in such deals.

Note: Bechtel was at the center of a major Iraqi reconstruction scandal in 2007. More recently, major defense contractors have been publicly congratulating themselves for steering US policy towards militarism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Saudi Arabia Continues Hiring Spree of Lobbyists, Retains Former Washington Post Reporter
2016-03-21, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/21/saudi-arabia-continues-hiring-spree-of-lo...

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is adding more American lobbyists to its payroll by hiring BGR Government Affairs. The contract provides BGR with $500,000 annually to assist with U.S. media outreach for the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, a government entity. The retainer includes the services of Jeffrey Birnbaum, a former Washington Post reporter who once covered the lobbying industry and now works as a lobbyist, as well as Ed Rogers, a former Reagan administration official who now lobbies and writes a column for the Post. The Saudi government has brought on a dizzying array of American public relations experts and lobbyists to help spin reporters and influence policymakers, [including] the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm run by a top fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton campaign, [and] Norm Coleman, the former GOP senator who leads a major Republican Super PAC. The money spent on lobbying has been used to counter growing controversies surrounding the kingdom. When Nimr al-Nimr, a peaceful government critic, was executed in January, the Podesta Group helped the regime shape media coverage ... to smear Nimr as a “terrorist.” Other American consultants working for the Saudi Embassy used social media and other efforts to attack Nimr and justify the execution. The kingdom has relied on its media and lobbying apparatus to combat criticism of its human rights record, including the growing rate of executions and beheadings.

Note: Democracy for sale? Read more about Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


More high-ranking officers being charged with sex crimes against subordinates
2016-03-19, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/more-high-ranking-offi...

The U.S. military has stepped up investigations of high-ranking officers for sexual assault. The Defense Department ... has revamped its policies to prevent sexual assault and to hold perpetrators accountable. During the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 116 officers of all stripes were court-martialed, discharged or received some sort of punishment after they were criminally investigated for sexual assault. That was more than double the number from three years earlier. Of last year’s cases, eight were against senior officers holding a rank equivalent to colonel or Navy captain or higher. While that figure may seem small, it represented a fourfold increase from 2012. Overall, the vast majority of troops investigated for sexual assault are enlisted personnel, who accounted for 94 percent of all cases last year. Enlisted troops outnumber officers by a ratio of 4.6 to 1. Under the military justice system, senior officers are responsible for deciding whether individuals under their command should be prosecuted. Some lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing to strip commanders of that power and to give it instead to uniformed prosecutors. The Pentagon has resisted such proposals, saying they would undermine command authority. When senior officers themselves are charged with sexual assault, it “makes it appear as if the fox was guarding the henhouse,” said [Don] Christensen, the president of Protect Our Defenders, which has lobbied Congress to change the law.

Note: A 2015 Associated Press article states that: "the true scope of sex-related violence in the military communities is vastly underreported." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


How ‘ghost corporations’ are funding the 2016 election
2016-03-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-ghost-corporations-are-funding-th...

A trust called DE First Holdings was quietly formed in Delaware. A day later, the entity dropped $1 million into a super PAC. The trust, whose owner remains unknown, is part of a growing cadre of mystery outfits financing big-money super PACs. Many were formed just days or weeks before making six- or ­seven-figure contributions - an arrangement that ... violates a long-standing federal ban on straw donors. But the individuals behind the “ghost corporations” appear to face little risk of reprisal from [the] Federal Election Commission. The 2016 campaign has already seen the highest rate of corporate donations since the Supreme Court unleashed such spending with its 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision. One out of every eight dollars collected by super PACs this election cycle have come from corporate coffers, including millions flowing from opaque and hard-to-trace entities. Such groups, which can accept unlimited donations ... are on track to far exceed the $86 million they gave to super PACs in the entire 2012 presidential cycle. A significant share of the money is coming from newly formed LLCs. Several campaign finance watchdog groups have filed complaints with the FEC against the recent pop-up LLCs, but the chances of the agency’s looking into the cases appear slim. Last month, the agency closed a nearly five-year-old complaint about a limited liability company allegedly used to mask a donor’s identity — unable to even agree whether it merited investigation.

Note: The "Koch Empire" alone plans to spend $889 million on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Pentagon to try again at training Syrian rebels
2016-03-18, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-pentagon-syria-20160317-story.html

President Obama has authorized a limited new plan to train and arm rebel fighters to confront Islamic State militants in Syria, relaunching a Pentagon program that was suspended last fall after a series of embarrassing setbacks. The program is separate from a covert CIA-run training operation. The original plan involved selecting fighters from moderate Syrian rebel groups, taking them to Arab military bases outside Syria, and providing arms, equipment and six weeks of training. They then would [be] sent back to Syria. The first 54 recruits were ambushed in July by Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate. The second class of 71 surrendered much of their U.S.-issued ammunition and trucks to Nusra Front fighters in September in exchange for safe passage through northern Syria. The program initially was envisioned as a $500-million, three-year plan to recruit, train and equip fighters at bases in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Thousands of rebels applied. Many were ... ineligible. In addition, the prospective host countries and many of the fighters disagreed with the U.S. emphasis on fighting Islamic State, saying the training should focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Pentagon shut the program down in less than a year. In its place, the Pentagon began providing communications equipment, weapons and ammunition to rebel commanders. The equipment was dropped into Syria by U.S. aircraft and distributed among the units as they pushed into territory controlled by Islamic State.

Note: Explore powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


The U.S. Government Is Still Fighting to Bury the Senate Torture Report
2016-03-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/17/the-u-s-government-is-still-fighting-to-b...

Government lawyers on Thursday continued their fight to bury the Senate Torture Report, arguing before the D.C. District Court of Appeals that the 6,700-page text could not be released on procedural grounds. When the 500-page executive summary of the report was released more than a year ago, it prompted international outcry and renewed calls for prosecution. The summary describes not only the CIA’s rape and torture of detainees, but also how the agency consistently misrepresented the brutality and effectiveness of the torture program. But many of the most graphic details are in Volume III of the full report, which former Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein has said contains “excruciating” details on “each of the 119 known individuals who were held in CIA custody.” On the same day the executive summary was released, the Intelligence Committee sent copies of the full report to executive branch agencies with instructions ... that they be used “as broadly as appropriate to make sure that this experience is never repeated.” Last year, after succeeding Feinstein as chair, Sen. Richard Burr, R-Ga., requested that the copies distributed to federal agencies be returned to Congress, prompting a legal standoff. In the meantime ... the Justice Department has “refuse[d] to allow executive branch officials to review the full and final study.”

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Justice Department warns local courts about unlawful fines and fees
2016-03-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-war...

The Justice Department is asking local courts across the country to be wary of how they slap poor defendants with fines and fees. In a letter ... to the chief judges and court administrators in all 50 states, Vanita Gupta, the head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, and Lisa Foster, director of the Office for Access to Justice, wrote that illegal enforcement of fines and fees had been receiving increased attention. “Individuals may confront escalating debt; face repeated, unnecessary incarceration for nonpayment despite posing no danger to the community; lose their jobs; and become trapped in cycles of poverty that can be nearly impossible to escape,” Gupta and Foster wrote. “Furthermore, in addition to being unlawful, to the extent that these practices are geared ... toward raising revenue, they can cast doubt on the impartiality of the tribunal and erode trust between local governments and their constituents.” The White House and the department convened a summit on the issue in December. The Justice Department alleged in a recent lawsuit that officers in Ferguson, Mo., were violating citizens’ civil rights in part because their policing tactics were meant to generate revenue. The financial penalties - typically for minor misdemeanors, traffic infractions or violations of city code - disproportionately affect the poor, who cannot afford to pay immediately and are then hit with arrest warrants or additional penalties. Some towns [derive] 40 percent or more of their annual revenue from [these] petty fines and fees.

Note: Along with relying on municipal fines and fees that disproportionately impact the poor, some police departments simply steal from people when times get tough. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and income inequality.


The U.S.’s New Earthquake Capital: Oklahoma
2016-03-14, Time
http://time.com/4251385/oklahoma-earthquakes-oil-gas/

Oklahoma used to be a seismic afterthought, a place with so few earthquakes that in the 1990s it was one of three locations where the Soviets were allowed to monitor American nuclear testing. Today, however, Oklahoma is one of the most seismic places on the planet. In 2015, the state had 907 earthquakes that were 3-magnitude or greater compared with just one in 2007. Scientists say the growth in seismicity is directly related to the oil and gas industry, specifically the use of disposal wells that reinject back into the earth salty wastewater that comes up naturally during drilling. An estimated 3 billion barrels of water came out of the ground in 2015, and its reinjection has increased pressure on the state’s fault lines, triggering hundreds of tremors in western and central Oklahoma. The state, meanwhile, has been slow to respond. Critics say officials are too reliant on the industry to take any meaningful steps that would put real pressure on the industry, especially at a time when the price of oil has fallen by 70% since 2014. Many Oklahomans are ... concerned that a big one will hit a populated area like Oklahoma City. Of equal concern are the long-term consequences of disposing billions of barrels of water back underground. Some seismologists say that even if all disposal activity stopped in the state immediately, there could be earthquakes for decades.

Note: It's interesting to note that this entire article for some reason avoids using the term fracking. The fracking industry has tried and failed to prevent the public from understanding the cause of these earthquakes.


U.S. police escape federal charges in 96 percent of rights cases
2016-03-13, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-police-idUSKCN0WF0KM

Federal prosecutors declined to bring charges against law enforcement officers in the United States facing allegations of civil rights violations in 96 percent of such cases between 1995 and 2015, according to an investigation by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper. The newspaper examined nearly 3 million U.S. Justice Department records related to how the department's 94 U.S. attorney's offices across the country ... handled civil rights cases against officers. The data included cases referred to the Justice Department by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. Overall, prosecutors turned down 12,703 potential civil rights violations out of 13,233 total complaints. By contrast, prosecutors rejected only about 23 percent of referrals in all other types of criminal cases. The findings could bolster arguments by activists, such as those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, who claim police officers are rarely held criminally responsible for their misconduct. The report comes just days after the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, announced he would not press charges against a white officer who killed an unarmed black teenager inside his own apartment in 2012. The most common reasons that prosecutors cited for declining to bring civil rights cases against officers were weak or insufficient evidence, lack of criminal intent and orders from the Justice Department.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


U.S., Russia, Security Council Get A Share Of Blame For Syrian Violence In New Report
2016-03-11, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/11/470049269/u-s-russia-securi...

The fifth year of the Syrian conflict was the worst yet for civilians - and Russia, the U.S., France and Britain are partly to blame. That's according to a new report from 30 aid and human rights groups. Titled "Fuelling the Fire," the report says some 50,000 people have been killed since April 2014 and that nearly a million more have been forced to flee their homes. It also says that as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S., Britain, France and Russia could be doing much more to end the bloodshed. While fixing most of the blame on the Syrian regime and armed opposition groups, as well as violent extremists such as the Islamic State, the report says major world powers are undermining their own calls for peace through the weapons they provide to combatants, their own military strikes and what the report calls inadequate pressure on their allies to stop the killing. Jan Egeland with the Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the groups behind the report, said this week in Geneva that despite recent progress in aiding besieged areas, there are still seven places where they can't get aid to trapped people. "It's very clear that the seven areas where we have not reached, are [controlled] — six by the government, one by Islamic State," he said.

Note: The underlying reason for this war and most wars is the huge profits that are made, as clearly revealed by a top US general in his highly revealing book "War is a Racket." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism
2016-03-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/03/10/surprise-nsa-data...

The “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy. The ACLU of Massachusetts blog Privacy SOS explains [that] domestic law enforcement officials now have access to huge troves of American communications, obtained without warrants, that they can use to put people in cages. This basically formalizes what was already happening. We’ve known for a couple of years now that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS were getting information from the NSA. Because that information was obtained without a warrant, the agencies were instructed to engage in “parallel construction” when explaining to courts and defense attorneys how the information had been obtained. It certainly isn’t the only time that that national security apparatus has let law enforcement agencies benefit from policies that are supposed to be reserved for terrorism investigations in order to get around the Fourth Amendment, then instructed those law enforcement agencies to misdirect, fudge and outright lie about how they obtained incriminating information. This isn’t just a few rogue agents. The lying has been a matter of policy.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Former Economic Hit Man Returns to Take on the "Death Economy"
2016-03-10, TruthOut.org
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35161-john-perkins-the-former-economic-hit...

The pernicious influence of "economic hit men" has spread around the globe. John Perkins revealed his first-hand experience of this violent and coercive phenomenon. Now, in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, he brings this story of greed and corruption up to date. The treacherous cancer beneath the surface, which was revealed in the original Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, has ... spread from the economically developing countries to the United States and the rest of the world; it attacks the very foundations of democracy and the planet's life-support systems. Although this cancer has spread widely and deeply, most people still aren't aware of it; yet all of us are impacted by the collapse it has caused. It has become the dominant system of economics, government, and society today, [and] created a "death economy" - one based on wars or the threat of war, debt, and the rape of the earth's resources. Although the death economy is built on a form of capitalism, it is important to note that the word capitalism ... includes local farmers' markets as well as this very dangerous form of global corporate capitalism, controlled by the corporatocracy. Despite all the bad news and the attempts of modern-day robber barons to steal our democracy and our planet ... when enough of us perceive the true workings of this EHM system, we will take the individual and collective actions necessary to control the cancer and restore our health.

Note: Read a revealing seven-page summary of Economic Hit Man and spread the word!


Judicial errors take high toll on inmates, taxpayers, report says
2016-03-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Judicial-errors-take-high-toll-on-inmates...

692 felony convictions in California ... were thrown out between 1989 and 2012 based on errors or misconduct by police, prosecutors, defense lawyers or judges, according to a new study by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. The report ... didn’t include misdemeanor cases, which amount to about 80 percent of all prosecutions, or juvenile cases. And it also excluded the costs of jailing people who were later released without charges, which may amount to $70 million a year, the report said. The study examined only records from California and ... looked at cases in which felony convictions were overturned and the defendants were later cleared. More than half the cases involved prosecutors’ wrongful withholding of evidence. One example was that of former Black Panther Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt. Pratt was convicted in 1972 of murdering schoolteacher Carolyn Olson [in 1968] and was sentenced to life in prison, based in part on [witness] testimony. He was freed in 1999 after a judge found that prosecutors had withheld evidence that the witness was an informant for the FBI, which was then trying to discredit Pratt as part of its Cointelpro campaign. The authors questioned long-standing laws that shield prosecutors from lawsuits by criminal defendants. They said they knew of no other profession that received immunity for “intentional wrongdoing that gravely injures another.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the prison system.


Snowden: FBI's claim it can't unlock the San Bernardino iPhone is 'bullshit'
2016-03-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/09/edward-snowden-fbi-san-bern...

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower whose NSA revelations sparked a debate on mass surveillance, has waded into the arguments over the FBI’s attempt to force Apple to help it unlock the iPhone 5C of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI says that only Apple can deactivate certain passcode protections on the iPhone, which will allow law enforcement to guess the passcode by using brute-force. Talking via video link from Moscow to the Common Cause Blueprint for a Great Democracy conference, Snowden said: “The FBI says Apple has the ‘exclusive technical means’ to unlock the phone. Respectfully, that’s bullshit.” Snowden then went on to tweet his support for an American Civil Liberties Union report saying that the FBI’s claims in the case are fraudulent. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also spoke out against the FBI on the Conan O’Brien show on Monday, saying: “I side with Apple on this one. [The FBI] picked the lamest case you ever could.” Wozniak added: “Verizon turned over all the phone records and SMS messages. So they want to take this other phone that the two didn’t destroy, which was a work phone. It’s so lame and worthless to expect there’s something on it and to get Apple to expose it.” Apple’s clash with the FBI comes to a head in California this month when the two will meet in federal court to debate whether the smartphone manufacturer should be required to weaken security settings on the iPhone of the shooter.

Note: According to The New York Times, the FBI has been misleading the public about the San Bernadino attacks for months. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


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