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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 should fail to function, click here. These government corruption articles are listed by article date. For the same list by order of importance, click here. For the list by date posted, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.



Note: For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

The hidden history of the CIA’s prison in Poland
2014-01-23, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-hidden-history-of-t...

In early 2003, two senior CIA officers arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to pick up a pair of large cardboard boxes. Inside were bundles of cash totaling $15 million that had been flown from Germany via diplomatic pouch. The Americans and Poles then sealed an agreement that over the previous weeks had allowed the CIA the use of a secret prison — a remote villa in the Polish lake district — to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects. The Polish intelligence service received the money, and the CIA had a solid location for its newest covert operation, according to former agency officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the interrogation program, including previously unreported details about the creation of the CIA’s “black sites,” or secret prisons. The CIA prison in Poland was arguably the most important of all the black sites created by the agency after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It was the first of a trio in Europe that housed the initial wave of accused Sept. 11 conspirators, and it was where Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-declared mastermind of the attacks, was waterboarded 183 times after his capture. In December, the European Court of Human Rights heard arguments that Poland violated international law and participated in torture by accommodating its American ally. “In the face of Polish and United States efforts to draw a veil over these abuses, the European Court of Human Rights now has an opportunity to break this conspiracy of silence and uphold the rule of law,” said Amrit Singh, a lawyer with the Open Society Justice Initiative.

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




China's princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven
2014-01-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/jan/21/china-british-vir...

More than a dozen family members of China's top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal. The brother-in-law of China's current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show. The documents also disclose the central role of major Western banks and accountancy firms ... in the offshore world, acting as middlemen in the establishing of companies. The Hong Kong office of Credit Suisse, for example, established the BVI company Trend Gold Consultants for Wen Yunsong, the son of Wen Jiabao, during his father's premiership — while PwC and UBS performed similar services for hundreds of other wealthy Chinese individuals. The disclosure of China's use of secretive financial structures is the latest revelation from "Offshore Secrets", a two-year reporting effort led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which obtained more than 200 gigabytes of leaked financial data from two companies in the British Virgin Islands, and shared the information with the Guardian and other international news outlets. In all, the ICIJ data reveals more than 21,000 clients from mainland China and Hong Kong have made use of offshore havens in the Caribbean. Between $1tn and $4tn in untraced assets have left China since 2000, according to estimates.

Note: Read the ICIJ's full report of the latest offshore links. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




For the Love of Money
2014-01-19, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.html

In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted. It was actually my absurdly wealthy bosses who helped me see the limitations of unlimited wealth. I was in a meeting with one of them, and a few other traders, and they were talking about the new hedge-fund regulations. Most everyone on Wall Street thought they were a bad idea. “But isn’t it better for the system as a whole?” I asked. The room went quiet, and my boss shot me a withering look. I remember his saying, “I don’t have the brain capacity to think about the system as a whole. All I’m concerned with is how this affects our company.” I felt as if I’d been punched in the gut. He was afraid of losing money, despite all that he had. From that moment on, I started to see Wall Street with new eyes. I noticed the vitriol that traders directed at the government for limiting bonuses after the crash. I heard the fury in their voices at the mention of higher taxes. These traders despised anything or anyone that threatened their bonuses. Wealth addiction was described by the late sociologist and playwright Philip Slater in a 1980 book, but addiction researchers have paid the concept little attention. Like alcoholics driving drunk, wealth addiction imperils everyone. Wealth addicts are, more than anybody, specifically responsible for the ever widening rift that is tearing apart our once great country.

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




Cheating Alleged in US Nuclear Missile Force
2014-01-16, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/air-force-34-missile-officers-cheati...

In what may be the biggest such scandal in Air Force history, 34 officers entrusted with land-based nuclear missiles have been pulled off the job for alleged involvement in a cheating ring that officials say was uncovered during a drug probe. The 34 are suspected of cheating several months ago on a routine proficiency test that includes checking missile launch officers' knowledge of how to handle an "emergency war order," which is the term for the authorization required to launch a nuclear weapon. The cheating scandal is the latest in a series of Air Force nuclear stumbles ... including deliberate violations of safety rules, failures of inspections, breakdowns in training and evidence that the men and women who operate the missiles from underground command posts are suffering burnout. In October the general who commands the nuclear missile force was fired for engaging in embarrassing behavior, including drunkenness, while leading a U.S. delegation to a nuclear exercise in Russia. The AP disclosed in May an internal Air Force email in which a missile operations officer complained that his force was infested with "rot" — bad attitudes and disregard for discipline. The Air Force's nuclear mission includes operation of 450 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Malmstrom unit failed a nuclear safety and security inspection in August but succeeded on a redo in October.

Note: Some are speculating about a purge of high-level U.S. military officers. For evidence of this, click here. And is it just a coincidence that the Malmstrom unit is mentioned? That is the base where several officers testified that a UFO shut down all nuclear warheads several decades ago. For more, click here. And for more on military corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep
2014-01-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/16/nsa-collects-millions-text-messa...

The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents. The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets. The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity. On average, each day the NSA was able to extract: • More than 5 million missed-call alerts, for use in contact-chaining analysis (working out someone’s social network from who they contact and when) • Details of 1.6 million border crossings a day, from network roaming alerts • More than 110,000 names, from electronic business cards, which also included the ability to extract and save images. • Over 800,000 financial transactions, either through text-to-text payments or linking credit cards to phone users The agency was also able to extract geolocation data from more than 76,000 text messages a day, including from “requests by people for route info” and “setting up meetings”.

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




Keep the focus on facts about NSA spying
2014-01-16, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Keep-the-focus-on-facts-about-NSA-spyin...

To have a genuinely constructive debate, data must be compiled, evidence must be amassed and verifiable truths must be presented. This truism is particularly significant when it comes to debates about security and liberty. Without facts, we get the counterproductive discourse we are being treated to right now - the one hijacked by National Security Administration defenders throwing temper tantrums, tossing out fear-mongering platitudes and trying to prevent any scrutiny of the agency. Tune into a national news program and you inevitably will hear pundits who have spent the last decade mindlessly cheering on wars and warrantless wiretapping now echoing the talking points emanating from surveillance-state apparatchiks like Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md. This week, these two lawmakers, who head the House Intelligence Committee, summarized all the bluster in a press release that should be enshrined for posterity. In an attempt to defend the NSA, the bipartisan duo breathlessly claimed that whistle-blower Edward Snowden ended up "endangering each and every American" by exposing the government's mass surveillance (i.e., metadata) programs. They indicted Snowden's patriotism and said his disclosures of the NSA's unlawful and unconstitutional programs "aligned him with our enemy." But the facts now leaking out of the government's national security apparatus are doing the opposite. They are debunking - rather than confirming - the NSA defenders' platitudes.

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




9/11 Fraud Scandal 'Probably' More Widespread, Top Official Says
2014-01-16, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/911-fraud-scandal-widespread-top-official/story...

Lawmakers pressed Social Security Administration officials ... over a massive fraud scandal involving New York City cops and firefighters who allegedly bilked the government out of millions by falsely claiming disability from working at Ground Zero after 9/11. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the House's Ways and Means subcommittee that oversees the agency ... convened the hearing following the stunning arrests last week of more than 100 in New York from vaunted public safety agencies known in the city as the "Finest" and the "Bravest," who stand accused of filing phony disability claims. Many allegedly faked mental disabilities they claimed were as a result of the [attacks] that reduced the World Trade Center into a smoldering wasteland of rubble. Johnson demanded accountability from the acting chief of the Social Security Administration, Carolyn Colvin and agency Inspector General Patrick O'Carroll. Workers labored for months to retrieve remains of hundreds who perished in the twin towers on 9/11 and were sickened by toxic air that the feds had said was safe to breathe without respirator masks. The alleged New York scam was lucrative for the perpetrators and is estimated to have cost the Social security pension fund at least $22 million so far, with more arrests to come, according to testimony from Edward Ryan, New York SSA IG Special Agent in Charge. "When we executed search warrants we found large amounts of cash in safes……and gold bars" Ryan testified.

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




N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers
2014-01-15, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-conn...

The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks. While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials. The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target. In most cases, the radio frequency hardware must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user. Among the most frequent targets of the N.S.A. and its Pentagon partner, United States Cyber Command, have been units of the Chinese Army, which the United States has accused of launching regular digital probes and attacks on American industrial and military targets, usually to steal secrets or intellectual property. But the program, code-named Quantum, has also been successful in inserting software into Russian military networks and systems used by the Mexican police and drug cartels, trade institutions inside the European Union, and sometime partners against terrorism like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.

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




$18M Settlement for RNC Arrests Lawsuits
2014-01-15, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/18m-settlement-rnc-arrests-lawsuits-...

New York City has agreed to pay $18 million to settle dozens of lawsuits filed by protesters, journalists and bystanders who said they were wrongly arrested at the 2004 Republican National Convention and held for hours in makeshift holding cells. The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge, would end nearly a decade of legal wrangling over more than 1,800 arrests, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct or parading without a permit. Hundreds sued, saying they were illegally arrested by an overzealous police department. Nearly all the arrests were dismissed by the court or the defendants acquitted. Lawyers with the New York Civil Liberties Union had previously asked the judge hearing case to conclude that police didn't have probable cause to make mass arrests during the convention, at which President George W. Bush was nominated for another term. "This historic settlement sends a clear message," said NYCLU attorney Chris Dunn. "We will not allow the police to trample on the First Amendment rights of protesters." Sarah Coburn, 30, said her arrest at the convention inspired her to become an attorney to fight for the civil rights of others. She was 20 at the time, and was held for 30 hours before she was released. She's now a public defender. "It was awful to be subjected to those conditions," she said. "I want to make sure no one else has to be."

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




New analysis of rocket used in Syria chemical attack undercuts U.S. claims
2014-01-15, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/15/3873228/new-analysis-of-rocket-used-in....

A series of revelations about the rocket believed to have delivered poison sarin gas to a Damascus suburb last summer are challenging American intelligence assumptions about that attack and suggest that the case U.S. officials initially made for retaliatory military action was flawed. A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated. The authors of a report released Wednesday said that their study of the rocket’s design, its likely payload and its possible trajectories show that it would have been impossible for the rocket to have been fired from inside areas controlled by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In the report, titled “Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former United Nations weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that the question about the rocket’s range indicates a major weakness in the case for military action initially pressed by Obama administration officials. Postol said that a basic analysis of the weapon ... would have shown that it wasn’t capable of flying the 6 miles from the center of the Syrian government-controlled part of Damascus to the point of impact in the suburbs, or even the 3.6 miles from the edges of government-controlled ground.

Note: For more on government lies designed to start wars, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




'Transparent' detention at Guantanamo? Not anymore
2014-01-09, MSN
http://news.msn.com/in-depth/transparent-detention-at-guantanamo-not-anymore

After a tumultuous year at the war-on-terror detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the U.S. military's motto is "Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent," operations are cloaked in secrecy. The prison approaches the start of its 13th year next week with a new reclusive regime that no longer discloses what was once routinely released information. The daily tally of hunger striking detainees — the protest that engulfed more than 100 prisoners at its peak this summer — stopped in December. Guards and other prison camp troops are under orders to withhold their names when talking to reporters. On the witness stand in the war court recently, a lawyer in the uniform of an Air Force officer gave sworn testimony under a curious, unexplained fake name — "Major Krueger." Guantanamo is remote, and what is happening there in this new era has mostly gone unnoticed. The government controls access to everything pertaining to Guantanamo. Journalists have to get the military's permission to go there, navigate censorship of their pictures, wait 40 seconds to hear what happens in court and then wait weeks to see court filings. The current crackdown on information can range from the mildly curious to the outright comedic. At times it seems to signify a gratuitous use of power by troops on rotation with sudden power to [wield] a censor's scissors. At times, it suggests a government bureaucracy whose default is knee-jerk secrecy.

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




Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows
2014-01-07, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/burglars-who-took-on-fbi-abandon-shadows...

On a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside. They were never caught, and the stolen documents that they mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters ... would become a flood of revelations about extensive spying and dirty-tricks operations by the F.B.I. against dissident groups. Perhaps the most damning document from the cache [was] a 1970 memorandum that ... urged agents to step up their interviews of antiwar activists and members of dissident student groups. “It will enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles and will further serve to get the point across there is an F.B.I. agent behind every mailbox.” Another document, signed by Hoover himself, revealed widespread F.B.I. surveillance of black student groups on college campuses. But the document that would have the biggest impact on reining in the F.B.I.’s domestic spying activities [included] a mysterious word: Cointelpro ... shorthand for Counterintelligence Program. Since 1956, the F.B.I. had carried out an expansive campaign to spy on civil rights leaders, political organizers and suspected Communists, and had tried to sow distrust among protest groups. Among the grim litany of revelations was a blackmail letter F.B.I. agents had sent anonymously to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., threatening to expose his extramarital affairs if he did not commit suicide. The intent of Cointelpro was to destroy lives and ruin reputations.

Note: To learn about the brave citizen burglars who have now revealed themselves and watch the engaging video covering this story, click on the link given above. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The WikiLeaks Mole
2014-01-06, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-wikileaks-mole-20140106

Sigurdur "Siggi" Thordarson, [is a] cherubic, blond 21-year-old who has been called everything in the [Icelandic] press from "attention seeker" to "traitor" to "psychopath". Four years ago, just as WikiLeaks was winning international notoriety, the then-17-year-old hacking prodigy became Assange's youngest and most trusted sidekick. But as Assange became more embattled and besieged, the protégé turned on his mentor in the most shocking of ways: becoming the first FBI informant inside the group. His tale reveals not only the paranoia and strife within WikiLeaks, but just how far the feds were willing to go to get Assange. The revelation of Siggi's role as an FBI snitch has polarized WikiLeaks insiders. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson [dismissed] Siggi as "a pathological liar." While other WikiLeaks insiders also question Siggi's credibility, they insist that his story can't be discounted, and there's more to it than the organization is letting on. The truth, it seems, may be held in the leaks. Siggi has provided Rolling Stone with more than a terabyte of secret files he claims to have taken from WikiLeaks before he left in November 2011 and gave to the FBI: thousands of pages of chat logs, videos, tapped phone calls, government documents and more than a few bombshells from the organization's most heated years. Whatever their origins, the SiggiLeaks are a deep and revealing portal into one of the most guarded and influential organizations of the 21st century – and the extreme measures its embattled leader is willing to take.

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




Even After Volcker, Banks Aren't Safe Enough
2013-12-30, Time Magazine
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2160950,00.html

Despite the hoopla over the approval of the Volcker rule, which restricts banks from making certain types of speculative investments, our financial system isn't much safer than it was before 2008. A major reason for the continued complexity and risk in the financial system is lobbying power. The Volcker rule as it stands now has been turned into Swiss cheese by bank lobbyists, who represent the second biggest corporate special-interest bloc after the health care complex, spending nearly half a billion dollars a year on lobbying, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So while the rule limits federally insured banks from trading for its own sake, they are still allowed to hedge their portfolios, which opens up a lot of gray territory for trading. Certainly having more lenders rather than fewer would help other kinds of businesses, and having trading walled off from lending would encourage that. The fact that the five largest U.S. financial holding companies control 55% of industry assets--compared with 20% in 1990--keeps competition low and credit constrained. In the next two to five years, there will likely be another crisis or trading loss of the kind that reignites the debate over closing trading loopholes and creating a truly safer financial system. Right now, banks complain about rules that would require them to hold a mere 5% of their assets in high-quality, low-risk capital (known as Tier 1 capital), despite the fact that in any other industry, doing business with less than 50% of your own cash would be considered extreme.

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




I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on
2013-12-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/29/drones-us-military

Whenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them a few questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" Few of these politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue of what actually goes on. I, on the other hand, have seen these awful sights first hand. What the public needs to understand is that the video provided by a drone is not usually clear enough to detect someone carrying a weapon, even on a crystal-clear day. This makes it incredibly difficult for the best analysts to identify if someone has weapons for sure. One example comes to mind: "The feed is so pixelated, what if it's a shovel, and not a weapon?" I felt this confusion constantly, as did my fellow UAV analysts. We always wonder if ... we destroyed an innocent civilian's life all because of a bad image or angle. I know the feeling you experience when you see someone die. Horrifying barely covers it. When you are exposed to it over and over again it becomes like a small video, embedded in your head, forever on repeat, causing psychological pain and suffering. UAV troops are victim to not only the haunting memories of this work that they carry with them, but also the guilt of always being a little unsure of how accurate their confirmations of weapons or identification of hostile individuals were. The UAVs in the Middle East are used as a weapon, not as protection, and as long as our public remains ignorant to this, this serious threat to the sanctity of human life – at home and abroad – will continue.

Note: For more on war crimes committed by the US and UK in the illegal "global war on terror", see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Agent: FBI key in border agent Terry slaying
2013-12-26, Arizona Republic (AZ's leading newspaper)
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/20131226fast-furious-agent-terry-killi...

A federal agent who exposed the Justice Department’s flawed gun-trafficking investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious says the FBI played a key role in events leading to the 2010 murder near Nogales, Ariz., of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. John Dodson, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, contends that the bandits who killed Terry were working for FBI operatives and were sent to the border to do a drug rip-off using intelligence from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. “I don’t think the (FBI) assets were part of the rip-off crew,” Dodson said. “I think they were directing the rip crew.” Dodson’s comments to The Arizona Republic amplify assertions he made in his recently released book, The Unarmed Truth, about his role as a whistle-blower in the Fast and Furious debacle. In his book, Dodson uses cautious language to characterize his account of circumstances surrounding Terry’s death, saying the information is based on firsthand knowledge, personal opinion and press reports. He asserts that the DEA had information about, and may have orchestrated, a large drug shipment through Peck Canyon that December night. He alleges that DEA agents shared that intelligence with FBI counterparts, who advised criminal informants from another cartel that the load would be “theirs for the taking.” “Stealing such a shipment would increase the clout of the FBI informants in the cartel organization they had penetrated,” Dodson wrote, “and thus lead to better intel for them in the future.”

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




Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished
2013-12-23, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/edward-snowden-after-mo...

Taken together, the [Edward Snowden] revelations have brought to light a global surveillance system that cast off many of its historical restraints after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Secret legal authorities empowered the NSA to sweep in the telephone, Internet and location records of whole populations. Six months after the first revelations ... Snowden agreed to reflect at length on the roots and repercussions of his choice. He was relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation. Snowden offered vignettes from his intelligence career and from his recent life as “an indoor cat” in Russia. But he consistently steered the conversation back to surveillance, democracy and the meaning of the documents he exposed. “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” he said. “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed,” he said. Snowden ... had come to believe that a dangerous machine of mass surveillance was growing unchecked. Closed-door oversight by Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was a “graveyard of judgment,” he said, manipulated by the agency it was supposed to keep in check. The NSA’s business is “information dominance,” the use of other people’s secrets to shape events. At 29, Snowden upended the agency on its own turf.

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




100 Years Later, The Federal Reserve Has Failed At Everything It's Tried
2013-12-20, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2013/12/20/100-years-later-the-fe...

On Dec. 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Owen Glass Act, creating the Federal Reserve. As we note its centennial, what has the Fed accomplished during the last 100 years? The stated original purposes were to protect the soundness of the dollar and banks and also to lessen the jarring ups and downs of the business cycle. Oops. Under the Fed’s supervision, boom and bust cycles have continued. Three of them have been severe: the Great Depression, the stagflationary period of 1974-82, and the current “Great Recession.” Bank failures have occurred in alarmingly high numbers. Depending on what measurements are used, the dollar has lost between 95 and 98 percent of its purchasing power. (Amazingly, the Fed’s official position today is that inflation is not high enough, so the erosion of the dollar continues as a matter of policy.) Having failed to achieve its original goals, the Fed also has had a miserable record in accomplishing later goals. The 1970 amendments to the Federal Reserve Act stipulated that the Fed should “promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” In baseball parlance, the Fed has been “0-for-three.” So, what has the Fed accomplished during its century of existence? Well, it has become adept at bailing out mismanaged banks. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed orchestrated the big bailout of Wall Street. Politically, the Fed is repugnant. Its chairman is commonly referred to as the second most powerful person in the country. In a democratic republic, should the second most powerful policymaker be unelected?

Note: How remarkable for Forbes to publish an article chastising the Fed! The times are a changin'! For an essay by noted financial researcher Ellen Brown on this occasion, click here. For more on the collusion between government and the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Stealth Surprises in NSA Report Take on Non-NSA Spying
2013-12-20, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/stealth-surprises-nsa-report-nsa-spying/story?i...

The White House's expert NSA panel may have made headlines ... for telling President Barack Obama to knock off the collection of Americans' meta-data, but surveillance experts said they were surprised that the panel also took to task some controversial non-NSA-related spy tactics as well. One recommendation was to impose much stricter oversight on the FBI's ability to issue National Security Letters (NSLs), which have been used to obtain telephone call records and credit reports in terrorism and espionage cases. Another even more peculiar recommendation by the five national security experts ... was their advice that "governments" shouldn't hack into bank accounts and drain funds. "Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems," the unanimous Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies report warned Obama. "That was a strangely specific recommendation for something nobody was talking about," Kel McClanahan, executive director of government transparency group National Security Counselors, told ABC News. Michelle Richardson, the American Civil Liberties Union's legislative council in Washington, also said the findings on "NSLs" and government hacking were unexpected -- but welcomed.

Note: The fact that this expert panel would even mention governments manipulating financial accounts suggests that if it hasn't already happened, some were seriously considering this. For lots more on this strange news, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer
2013-12-20, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101290438

As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry. Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products. Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year. The RSA deal shows one way the NSA carried out what Snowden's documents describe as a key strategy for enhancing surveillance: the systematic erosion of security tools. NSA documents released in recent months called for using "commercial relationships" to advance that goal, but did not name any security companies as collaborators.

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





 

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