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.

F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic
2014-04-24, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html

The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead. The Federal Communications Commission said on [April 23] that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers. The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose. The proposal comes three months after a federal appeals court struck down, for the second time, agency rules intended to guarantee a free and open Internet. The regulations could radically reshape how Internet content is delivered to consumers. The rules are also likely to eventually raise prices as the likes of Disney and Netflix pass on to customers whatever they pay for the speedier lanes, which are the digital equivalent of an uncongested car pool lane on a busy freeway. Consumer groups immediately attacked the proposal, saying that not only would costs rise, but also that big, rich companies with the money to pay large fees to Internet service providers would be favored over small start-ups with innovative business models.

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




IG: Agency didn’t report polygraph admissions of child molestations
2014-04-22, Washington Post blog
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/04/22/ig-agency-didnt...

The federal government’s spy-satellite agency failed to alert authorities after some of its employees and contractors admitted during polygraph tests to crimes including child molestation and lying on security-clearance questionnaires, according to a watchdog. The intelligence community’s inspector general released two reports ... saying the National Reconnaissance Office did not refer some of the cases because of confusion about reporting expectations and requirements. According to one of the reports, an Air Force lieutenant colonel admitted during a 2010 lie-detector test to touching a child in a sexual way and downloading child pornography on his work computer. The NRO only reported that case to the Air Force division that oversees security clearances instead of the Justice Department or the Air Force’s special-investigations office, the inspector general said. The NRO is not legally required to report certain state crimes such as child molestation. Thirty individuals who took NRO lie-detector tests from 2009 through 2012 admitted to child abuse or using child pornography, according to the report. The NRO failed to report three of those cases. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who requested the review after a McClatchy news investigation raised concerns about the matter in 2012, said the NRO showed a “complete lack of common sense in failing to require reporting of serious state crimes of this sort.”

Note: The NRO is the agency that was running a drill on the morning of 9/11 of an airplane crashing into one of its Washington, DC buildings, as reported in this USA Today article. It has also allegedly been involved in the UFO cover-up, as reported in this testimony.




Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts
2014-04-22, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/22/us/politics/intelligence-chief-issues-limit...

The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive. The directive, issued by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, also requires the agencies’ employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists. Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired, the directive says. The directive prohibits unauthorized “contact with the media about intelligence-related information, including intelligence sources, methods, activities and judgments,” without regard to whether it is classified. It says that employees who violate the policy “may be subject to administrative actions that may include revocation of security clearances or termination of employment.” At a minimum, the directive adds, any violation of the policy “will be handled in the same manner as a security violation.” Mr. Clapper signed the directive on March 20, and it was quietly posted on the office’s website last week. The directive limiting contact with reporters was reported Monday by Steve Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist for the Federation of American Scientists. In a blog post, Mr. Aftergood portrayed the directive as seeking to ensure that “the only news about intelligence is to be authorized news.” He criticized the policy as going too far, arguing that routine interactions between agency employees and reporters about unclassified matters did not pose a threat to national security, but that limiting them would hurt the public.

Note: Yet another major effort to muzzle whistleblowers. For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies
2014-04-19, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-solar-kochs-20140420,0,7412286.story#axzz...

The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states. Alarmed environmentalists and their allies in the solar industry have fought back, battling the other side to a draw so far. Both sides say the fight is growing more intense as new states, including Ohio, South Carolina and Washington, enter the fray. At the nub of the dispute are two policies found in dozens of states. One requires utilities to get a certain share of power from renewable sources. The other, known as net metering, guarantees homeowners or businesses with solar panels on their roofs the right to sell any excess electricity back into the power grid at attractive rates. Net metering forms the linchpin of the solar-energy business model. Without it, firms say, solar power would be prohibitively expensive. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates. The group's campaign in [Kansas] compared the green energy mandate to Obamacare, featuring ominous images of Kathleen Sebelius, the outgoing secretary of Health and Human Services, who was Kansas' governor when the state adopted the requirement.

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




Covert Inquiry by F.B.I. Rattles 9/11 Tribunals
2014-04-19, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/19/us/politics/covert-inquiry-by-fbi-rattles-9...

Two weeks ago, a pair of F.B.I. agents appeared unannounced at the door of a member of the defense team for one of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a contractor working with the defense team at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the man was bound by the same confidentiality rules as a lawyer. But the agents wanted to talk. They asked questions, lawyers say, about the legal teams for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists who will eventually stand trial before a military tribunal at Guantánamo. Before they left, the agents asked the contractor to sign an agreement promising not to tell anyone about the conversation. With that signature, Mr. bin al-Shibh’s lawyers say, the government turned a member of their team into an F.B.I. informant. The F.B.I.’s inquiry became the focus of the pretrial hearings at Guantánamo this week, after the contractor disclosed it to the defense team. It was a reminder that, no matter how much the proceedings at the island military prison resemble a familiar American trial, the invisible hand of the United States government is at work there in ways unlike anything seen in typical courtrooms. “It’s a courtroom with three benches,” said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School. “There’s one person pretending to be the judge, and two other agencies behind the scenes exerting at least as much influence.” Thirteen years after 9/11, nobody has been convicted in connection with the attacks.

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




Gag Order From Israeli Court Raises Questions
2014-04-18, New York Times
http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/gag-order-from-israeli-court...

The [New York] Times published an article [on April 17] about an Arab citizen of Israel – a 23-year-old journalist and Palestinian rights advocate – who was detained by Israeli authorities last weekend. The man, Majd Kayyal, was not allowed a lawyer until Wednesday night, and he was interrogated for five days on suspicion that he was being recruited by a “hostile organization” after he visited Lebanon. He was released on Thursday but ordered to be kept under house arrest. The Times article mentions a court-imposed gag order that was lifted on [April 17]. What it doesn’t mention is that The Times, too, is subject to such gag orders. According to its bureau chief in Jerusalem, Jodi Rudoren, that is true. The Times is “indeed, bound by gag orders,” Ms. Rudoren said. She said that the situation is analogous to abiding by traffic rules or any other laws of the land, and that two of her predecessors in the bureau chief position affirmed to her this week that The Times has been subject to gag orders in the past. The Times’s newsroom lawyer, David McCraw, [said] that he was consulted by Times journalists this week as they considered publishing an article about Mr. Kayyal’s arrest. Although the situation is somewhat murky, he said, “the general understanding among legal counsel in other countries is that local law would apply to foreign media.” “I’ve never seen us actually challenge it,” Mr. McCraw said. Meanwhile, an online publication called The Electronic Intifada published a number of articles about Mr. Kayyal’s detention over the past several days. The author of those articles, Ali Abunimah, said in an email that “readers have a right to know when [the New York Times] is complying with government-imposed censorship.”

Note: For more on mainstream media cover-ups, see the deeply revealing reports available here.




Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
2014-04-17, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted. "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time." When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it. They conclude: "We believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."

Note: For more on the antidemocratic impacts of income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




9/11 conspiracy theorist and investigative journalist 'commits suicide'
2014-04-15, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605429/9-11-conspiracy-theorist-inve...

9/11 [activist] and investigative journalist Michael Ruppert has reportedly committed suicide. The 63-year-old former narcotics investigator with the LAPD shot himself after his radio show, according to an announcement by author Carolyn Baker who was a guest on his final broadcast on [April 13]. Mr Ruppert was famous for his litany of conspiracy theories which encompassed the CIA to drugs, international politics, the oil industry, Wall Street and 9/11. On her Facebook page, Ms Baker wrote: 'This was not a ''fake'' suicide. It was very well planned by Mike who gave us few clues but elaborate instructions for how to proceed without him.' After leaving the LAPD, Mr Ruppert started a website From The Wilderness which claimed to expose government corruption. It included his claims that he had seen drug-dealing at the CIA. Mr Ruppert gained notoriety by confronting then-CIA Director John Deutch during a meeting in 1995 and telling him that he had seen CIA officers involved in drug-dealing. He later claimed on his website that the CIA and American government was involved in 9/11. In 2004, he published Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. The book alleged that former VP Dick Cheney had conspired with Wall Street and other government officials over the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. In 2009, he starred in a documentary called Collapse where he spoke about his theories involving the demise of mankind following the economic and energy crises.

Note: Mike Ruppert was a great hero who courageously reported reliable information the mainstream media would not touch. For a five-minute video of his public testimony on CIA drug running, click here. For a 10-minute video showing his great despair about the condition of the world, click here. Thank you, Mike, for opening the eyes of so many to the deeper realities in our world. Another courageous hero of the 9/11 movement, John Judge, also died, from complications of a stroke, on April 15. For more on his great work, click here. For a great 8-minute video of his revealing powerful information you may not know, click here.




Stories about NSA surveillance, Snowden leaks win Pulitzers for two news groups
2014-04-14, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/us/pulitzer-prizes-journalism

Two news organizations' stories about National Security Agency surveillance, based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden, have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service, often described as the highest prize in American journalism. The Washington Post and ... The Guardian each received the prize on [April 14]. The recognition of the NSA reporting was most significant because of the questions raised by Snowden's leaks and the reaction to them. Snowden, who has been living in Russia while seeking asylum from U.S. prosecution, said in a statement that the Pulitzer board's recognition of the coverage was "vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government." "We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance." While Snowden provided a trove of documents, reporters including Glenn Greenwald, working for the Guardian; Barton Gellman, working for The Post; and Laura Poitras, who worked with both, pored over the raw information, decided with their editors what parts were ethical to publish, and turned the information into stories that stunned readers around the world.

Note: For more on the historic Snowden revelations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Window Opens on Secret Camp Within Guantanamo
2014-04-13, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/window-opens-secret-camp-guanta...

Attorney James Connell has visited his client inside the secret Guantanamo prison complex known as Camp 7 only once, taken in a van with covered windows on a circuitous trek to disguise the route on the scrub brush-and-cactus covered military base. Connell is allowed to say virtually nothing about what he saw in the secret camp where the most notorious terror suspects in U.S. custody are held except that it is unlike any detention facility he's encountered. "It's much more isolating than any other facility that I have known," the lawyer says. "I've done cases from the Virginia death row and Texas death row and these pretrial conditions are much more isolating." The Camp 7 prison unit is so shrouded in secrecy that its location on the U.S. base in Cuba is classified and officials refuse to discuss it. Camp 7 has never been part of the scripted tours of Guantanamo offered to journalists and there are no published photos. It's not even mentioned on a military media handout about the detention center. Military officials, while insisting that they adhere to international human rights standards, refuse to describe Camp 7. A few facts have come out through government reports and court testimony. It apparently holds 15 of the 154 prisoners at Guantanamo. The men are apparently held in solid-walled cells — as opposed to the cage-like structures used soon after the U.S. began using Guantanamo as a prison in 2002 — that are intended to limit their ability to communicate with each other. The secret camp also is apparently falling apart.

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




Stockpiles of Roche Tamiflu Drug are Waste of Money, Report Finds
2014-04-10, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/10/us-roche-hldg-novartis-search-idUSB...

Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche's flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt. In a review of trial data on Tamiflu, and on GlaxoSmithKline's flu drug Relenza, scientists from the respected research network the Cochrane Review said that the medicines had few if any beneficial effects, but did have adverse side effects. "Remember, the idea of a drug is that the benefits should exceed the harms," Heneghan said. "So if you can't find any benefits, that accentuates the harm." Tamiflu sales hit almost $3 billion in 2009 - mostly due to its use in the H1N1 flu pandemic. The drug, one of a class of medicines known as neuraminidase inhibitors, is approved by regulators worldwide and is stockpiled in preparation for a potential global flu outbreak. It is also on the World Health Organization's "essential medicines" list. The United States has spent more than $1.3 billion buying a strategic reserve of antivirals including Tamiflu, while the British government has spent almost 424 million pounds ($703 million) on a stockpile of some 40 million Tamiflu doses. There was no evidence of a reduction in hospitalizations or in flu complications ... and Tamiflu also increased the risk of nausea and vomiting in adults by around 4 percent and in children by 5 percent.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.




Tamiflu: drugs given for swine flu 'were waste of £500m'
2014-04-10, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/swine-flu/10756200/Tamiflu-drugs-given-for-...

The drug Tamiflu, given to tens of thousands of people during the swine flu pandemic, does nothing to halt the spread of influenza and the [UK] Government wasted nearly £500 million stockpiling it, a major study has found. The review, authored by Oxford University, claims that Roche, the drug’s Swiss manufacturer, gave a “false impression” of its effectiveness and accuses the company of “sloppy science”. The study found that Tamiflu, which was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week, has been linked to suicides of children in Japan and suggested that, far from easing flu symptoms, it could actually worsen them. Roche claimed at the time of the 2009 swine flu outbreak that trials had shown that it would reduce hospital admissions and complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis or sinusitis. Based on [these claims], the Department of Health bought around 40 million doses of Tamiflu at a cost of £424 million and prescribed it to around 240,000 people. In 2009, 0.5 per cent of the entire NHS budget was spent on the drug. However, researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, a not-for-profit organisation which carries out reviews of health data, found that Tamiflu only cut flu-like symptoms from seven days to 6.3 days and there was no evidence of a reduction in hospital admissions. Eight children who took the drug in Japan ended up committing suicide after suffering psychotic episodes. Other side effects included kidney problems, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Many people reported feeling anxious or depressed when taking the drug.

Note: We sent out numerous messages at the time of all the fear-mongering around the avian and swine flu scares that this was wasting huge amounts of money. Of course the money wasn't just wasted, much of it went into the pockets of Donald Rumsfeld and others, as reported in this newspaper article. For the revealing news articles we compiled showing the blatant greed and corruption involved, click here.




Why aren't we putting US agencies on trial for financing El Chapo's drug war?
2014-04-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/10/us-agencies-financing-el...

Since [the days of Al Capone,] Chicago officials have awarded "Public Enemy No 1" status to only one other person: cartel billionaire Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known – now to the world over – as "El Chapo". But nearly seven weeks before [his February] capture at a beach resort, the Mexican newspaper El Universal reported how US agencies had armed and financed El Chapo's Sinaloa criminal empire for at least 12 years. That link has been substantiated by DEA and Justice Department court testimonies, and even US agents confirmed the financing had been approved by high-ranking officials and federal prosecutors. But the American media barely reported how entrenched the American government has become in the Mexican drug trade. The latest installment of the "war on drugs" has killed 100,000 people since its official declaration by Mexican President Filipe Calderon and US President George W Bush in 2006. During this period, the US-El Chapo partnership was reportedly never closer: under the deal, Washington allowed El Chapo's Sinaloa cartel to carry on business as usual while top Sinaola members, for their part, provided information on their rivals. DEA agents met with their informants more than 50 times, El Universal reported, as the agents offered their whisperers immunity. American patronage goes well beyond stoking the largest and most powerful of the Mexican cartels (Sinaloa), as well as the most heinous (Golfo and Los Zetas). Drug arrests of cartel associates amounted to less than 2% of over 50,000 arrests made in the first four years of the Bush-Calderon partnership.

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




Inside the FBI’s secret relationship with the military’s special operations
2014-04-10, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/inside-the-fbis-secret-...

The FBI’s transformation from a crime-fighting agency to a counterterrorism organization in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been well documented. Less widely known has been the bureau’s role in secret operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other locations around the world. With the war in Afghanistan ending, FBI officials have become more willing to discuss a little-known alliance between the bureau and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that allowed agents to participate in hundreds of raids in Iraq and Afghanistan. The relationship benefited both sides. JSOC used the FBI’s expertise in exploiting digital media and other materials to locate insurgents and detect plots, including any against the United States. The bureau’s agents, in turn, could preserve evidence and maintain a chain of custody should any suspect be transferred to the United States for trial. In early 2003, two senior FBI counterterrorism officials traveled to Afghanistan to meet with the Joint Special Operations Command’s deputy commander at Bagram air base. The pace of activity in Afghanistan was slow at first. An FBI official said there was less than a handful of [Hostage and Rescue Team] deployments to Afghanistan in those early months; the units primarily worked with the SEALs as they hunted top al-Qaeda targets. The tempo quickened with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. At first, the HRT’s mission was mainly to protect other FBI agents when they left the Green Zone, former FBI officials said. In 2005, all of the HRT members in Iraq began to work under JSOC.

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




Data uncover nation’s top Medicare billers
2014-04-06, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/data-uncover-nations-top-medic...

The Medicare program is the source of a small fortune for many U.S. doctors, according to a trove of government records that reveal unprecedented details about physician billing practices nationwide. The government insurance program for older people paid nearly 4,000 physicians in excess of $1 million each in 2012, according to the new data. The release of the information gives the public access for the first time to the billing practices of individual doctors nationwide. Consumer groups and news outlets have pressured Medicare to release the data for years. The American Medical Association and other physician groups have resisted the data release, arguing that the information violates doctor privacy and that the public may misconstrue details about individual doctors. Among the highest billers were: a cardiologist in Ocala, Fla., who took in $18.1 million, mainly putting in stents; a New Jersey pathologist who received $12.6 million performing tissue exams and other tests; and a Michigan vascular surgeon who got $10.1 million. In some instances, the extremely high billing totals could signal fraudulent doctor behavior, as government inspectors have previously found. Indeed, three of the top 10 earners already had drawn scrutiny from the federal government, and one of them is awaiting trial on federal fraud charges. The greatest tallies also may signal that the Medicare payments for some procedures are too high for the amount of work involved or that perverse incentives lead doctors to overuse a procedure. The specialties most common at the top ranks of the Medicare payments were ophthalmologists, oncologists and pathologists.

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




Ruling Spurs Rush for Cash in Both Parties
2014-04-05, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/05/us/politics/ruling-sets-off-a-bipartisan-ru...

As constitutional scholars digest the [Supreme Court’s latest decision freeing donors to spend more money on campaigns], it has already set off a bipartisan scramble for campaign cash, thrusting party leaders, lawmakers with leadership PACs, and candidates into a fierce competition. The ruling allows donors to make the maximum contribution to an unlimited number of campaigns, freeing donors from caps that required them to pick and prioritize from among each party’s candidates and national committees. And while the decision could inject tens of millions of additional dollars into the 2014 races, it has also left some candidates and party leaders with a new concern: that the biggest donors will get tired of writing new checks. Fund-raisers and donors in both parties said they had begun to get a wave of tentative and not-so-tentative requests for new checks or future commitments, as the leaders of the parties’ congressional wings compete with each other and with the Republican and Democratic National Committees. All are focusing on a relatively limited group of donors in both parties who appeared to have given the maximum allowed or come close to the old cap — the people most likely to write additional checks after [the court’s] decision.

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




The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket
2014-04-04, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/04/04/cuban-twitter-scam-social-media...

This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create “a Twitter-like Cuban communications network” run through “secret shell companies” in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the service’s Cuban users was the fact that “American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes”–specifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government. This sort of operation is frequently discussed at western intelligence agencies, which have plotted ways to covertly use social media for ”propaganda,” “deception,” “mass messaging,” and “pushing stories.” One previously undisclosed top-secret document–prepared by GCHQ for the 2010 annual “SIGDEV” gathering of the “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance comprising the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.–explicitly discusses ways to exploit Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media as secret platforms for propaganda. Those programs, carried out in secrecy and with little accountability ... threaten the integrity of the internet itself, as state-disseminated propaganda masquerades as free online speech and organizing. There is thus little or no ability for an internet user to know when they are being covertly propagandized by their government, which is precisely what makes it so appealing to intelligence agencies, so powerful, and so dangerous.

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




White House Defends 'Cuban Twitter' to Stir Unrest
2014-04-04, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/white-house-defends-cuban-twitter-st...

The Obama administration on [April 3] defended its creation of a Twitter-like Cuban communications network [called ZunZuneo] to undermine the Communist government, declaring the secret program was "invested and debated" by Congress and wasn't a covert operation that required White House approval. But two senior Democrats on congressional intelligence and judiciary committees said they had known nothing about the effort. An Associated Press investigation found that the network was built with secret shell companies and financed through a foreign bank. The project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba's stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. First, the network was to build a Cuban audience, mostly young people. Then, the plan was to push them toward dissent. Yet its users were neither aware it was created by [USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development] with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes. Josefina Vidal, director of U.S. affairs at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, said ... that the ZunZuneo program "shows once again that the United States government has not renounced its plans of subversion against Cuba, which have as their aim the creation of situations of destabilization in our country to create changes in the public order and toward which it continues to devote multimillion-dollar budgets each year."

Note: If any other country did this to the U.S., how do you think the U.S. government would respond?




The Unemployment Puzzle: Where Have All the Workers Gone?
2014-04-04, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579477341062142388

A big puzzle looms over the U.S. economy: Only 63.2% of Americans 16 or older are participating in the labor force, which ... is down substantially since 2000. As recently as the late 1990s, the U.S. was a nation in which employment, job creation and labor force participation went hand in hand. That is no longer the case. The unemployment rate, the figure that dominates reporting on the economy, is the fraction of the labor force (those working or seeking work) that is unemployed. This rate has declined slowly since the end of the Great Recession. What hasn't recovered over that same period is the labor force participation rate, which today stands roughly where it did in 1977. Labor force participation rates increased from the mid-1960s through the 1990s, driven by more women entering the workforce, baby boomers entering prime working years in the 1970s and 1980s, and increasing pay for skilled laborers. But over the past decade, these trends have leveled off. At the same time, the participation rate has fallen, particularly in the aftermath of the recession. The drop is a function of various factors, including simple discouragement, poor work incentives created by public policies, inadequate schooling and training, and a greater propensity to seek disability insurance. Globalization and technological change have also reduced employment and wage growth for low-skilled workers—which raises questions about whether current policy is focused enough on helping workers to achieve the skills necessary to work productively and earn decent incomes.

Note: For more on the devastating impact of financial power and government policy on US workers, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Slouching toward oligarchy
2014-04-02, Baltimore Sun
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-04-02/news/bal-slouching-toward-oligarc...

America is not yet an oligarchy, but that's where Charles and David Koch and a few other billionaires are taking us. Around a quarter century ago, as income and wealth began concentrating at the top, the Republican and Democratic parties started to morph into mechanisms for extracting money, mostly from wealthy people. Finally, after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010, billionaires began creating their own political mechanisms, separate from the political parties. They now give big money directly to political candidates of their choice, and mount their own media campaigns to sway public opinion toward their own views. So far in the 2014 election cycle, Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers' political front group, has aired more than 17,000 broadcast TV commercials, compared with only 2,100 aired by Republican Party groups. Americans for Prosperity has also been outspending top Democratic super PACs in nearly all of the Senate races Republicans are targeting this year. In seven of the nine races, the difference in total spending is at least 2-to-1, and Democratic super PACs have had virtually no air presence in five of the nine states. Four of the top five contributors to 2014 super PACs are now giving money to political operations they themselves created, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Billionaires squaring off against each other isn't remotely a democracy. When billionaires supplant political parties, candidates are beholden directly to the billionaires. And if and when those candidates win election, the billionaires will be completely in charge.

Note: For more on the systemic control of money in US elections, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





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