Government Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The High Plains dairy complex reflects the new scale of the U.S. organic industry: It is big. The complex is home to more than 15,000 cows, making it more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of Aurora Organic Dairy, a company that produces enough milk to supply the house brands of Walmart, Costco and other major retailers. But a closer look at Aurora and other large operations highlights critical weaknesses in the unorthodox inspection system that the Agriculture Department uses to ensure that “organic” food is really organic. The critical issue is grazing. Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season. The cows are supposed to be grass-fed, not confined to barns and feedlots. But during visits by The Washington Post to Aurora’s High Plains complex across eight days last year, signs of grazing were sparse, at best. During most Post visits the number of cows seen on pasture numbered only in the hundreds. The milk from Aurora also indicates that its cows may not graze as required by organic rules. Testing ... by Virginia Tech scientists shows that on a key indicator of grass-feeding, the Aurora milk matched conventional milk, not organic. The inspectors who visited Aurora’s High Plains dairy and certified it as “USDA Organic” ... conducted the annual audit well after grazing season, [and] would not have seen whether the cows were grazing as required, a breach of USDA inspection policy.
A decade-old internet scourge called ransomware went mainstream on Friday when cybercriminals seized control of computers around the world, from the delivery giant FedEx in the United States to Britain’s public health system, universities in China and even Russia’s powerful Interior Ministry. Ransomware is nothing new. For years, there have been stories of individuals or companies horrified that they have been locked out of their computers and that the only way back in is to pay a ransom to someone, somewhere who has managed to take control. But computer criminals are discovering that ransomware is the most effective way to make money in the shortest amount of time. Friday’s attacks were a powerful escalation of earlier, much smaller episodes. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft servers that was first discovered by the National Security Agency and then leaked online. It allowed the ransomware to spread [to] more than 70,000 organizations. There is even now a concept of “ransomware as a service” - a play on the Silicon Valley jargon “software as a service,” which describes the delivery of software over the internet. Now anyone can visit a web page, generate a ransomware file with the click of a mouse, encrypt someone’s systems and demand a ransom to restore access to the files. If the victim pays, the ransomware provider takes a cut of the payment. Ransomware criminals also have customer service lines that victims can call to get help paying a ransom.
Note: In 2014, it was reported that the NSA was developing tools to make it relatively easy to hack millions of computers at once. Two years later, a large collection of NSA hacking tools was leaked. Now, these tools are being used by criminals against people all over the world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
A handful of military personnel from the 4th Psychological Operations Group, based at Fort Bragg, NC, have until recently been working in CNN's headquarters in Atlanta. [A] Dutch journalist named Abe de Vries came up with this important story ... and remains properly astounded that no mainstream news medium in the US has evinced any interest in it. De Vries ... originally [came] upon the story [following] a military symposium in Arlington, VA that discussed the use of the press in military operations. De Vries saw a good story, picked up the phone, and finally reached Maj. Thomas Collins of the US Army Information Service, who duly confirmed the presence of these Army psy-ops experts at CNN. "Psy-ops personnel, soldiers, and officers," De Vries quoted Collins as telling him, "have been working in CNN's headquarters ... through our program, training with industry. They helped in the production of news." Eason Jordan, who identified himself as CNN's president of news-gathering and international networks, [confirmed] that CNN had hosted a total of five interns from US Army psy-ops. Jordan said the program began ... just before the end of the war against Serbia and only recently terminated. Executives at CNN now describe the Army psy-ops intern tours at CNN as having been insignificant. The commanding officer of the psy-ops group certainly thought them of sufficient significance to mention at that high-level Pentagon powwow in Arlington about propaganda and psychological warfare.
Note: This article strangely has been removed from the Los Angeles Times archives. The link above shows a scanned image of the actual newspaper. The article was first published in the San Jose Mercury News on March 23, 2000, though the article is also strangely not available in their archives. U.S. Congressional testimony in the 1970s revealed that the CIA paid employees of major media networks to influence public opinion. The CIA's Operation Mockingbird revealed blatant efforts by the CIA to manipulate public opinion in the U.S., thus violating its charter.
A cybersecurity taskforce chief turned child pornography collector seems poised to dodge prison. Before agents arrived at his house across from Ballard’s West Woodland Elementary School ... Brian Haller led the Seattle chapter of an FBI/private-sector group tasked with fighting computer crime. Haller had access to a secure FBI online platform and email system, though he is not alleged to have used either to collect child porn. Haller was one of the smaller fish caught in an expansive FBI sting last year. Agents found the law enforcement insider used a “dark web” service – a Tor network site – to collect 600 files capturing the sexual abuse and exploitation of countless children. Usually, Haller’s crimes could carry a five-year prison term. Instead, federal prosecutors have asked that Haller, 40, be spared even jail time when he is sentenced Friday for possession of child pornography. The standard sentencing range for a defendant like Haller is four to five years in federal prison. [Haller] was identified through a wide-ranging, controversial sting operation [that] has prompted charges against more than 130 others, including a Vancouver special education worker and a Fort Lewis soldier.
Note: It was reported in 2012 that two US states appeared to be "running state-protected child trafficking rings, with evidence of cops, judges, lawyers, clergy and government employees covering for each other." Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.
More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a move that UN experts have branded “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law”. The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest. The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild have said many of the bills are likely unconstitutional. The flurry of legislation has prompted UN experts to intervene, with two special rapporteurs from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – the UN body which works to promote and protect human rights – to complain to the US state department at the end of March. In a recent letter to the government, David Kaye and Maina Kiai, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), listed specific pieces of legislation which they said were “criminalizing peaceful protests”. Kaye and Kiai ... said the bills represent “a worrying trend that could result in a detrimental impact on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the country”.
A US Central Command investigation found that a March US airstrike in northern Syria did in fact strike a building that was part of a "mosque complex." For days following the March 16 strike, the Pentagon adamantly rejected the notion that a mosque was hit and that there were civilian casualties - even as numerous social media reports showed images of bodies being taken out of the rubble. Instead, in the initial hours following the strike by US drones and aircraft, the Pentagon insisted that it hit only a building some 40 feet away from the mosque, where it said al Qaeda members were holding a meeting. Typically any religious structure would be on a so-called no-strike list, along with hospitals and schools. There are procedures to move structures off the no-strike list if it is clear they have lost their protected status because terrorists are using them and there are no civilians present. It is ... not clear if the building was listed as a religious site on a database that the mission planners were unaware of. One official said the investigation found that "religious use" was a primary function of the building at times. The day after the strike, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters: "We do not currently assess there were any civilian casualties."
Note: Record numbers of civilians have reportedly been killed by US-led strikes in recent months. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently misreported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Decades later, it's hard to grasp what the federal government did to hundreds of black men in rural Alabama. For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward. Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, then President Bill Clinton apologized for the U.S. government. But it did not mark the end of the study's ugly legacy. Relatives of the men still struggle with the stigma of being linked to the experiment, what's commonly known as the "Tuskegee Syphilis Study." In 1929, government doctors ... recruited 600 black men into a health program with the promise of free medical checks, free food, free transportation and burial insurance. Health workers told syphilitic fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers and uncles only that they had "bad blood." None of the men was asked to consent to take part in a medical study, [or] told that "bad blood" actually was a euphemism for syphilis. Instead, doctors purposely hid the study's purpose from the men, subjecting them ... to painful spinal taps and blood tests. Medical workers periodically provided men with pills and tonic that made them believe they were being treated, but they weren't. And doctors never provided them with penicillin after it became the standard treatment for syphilis in the mid-1940s.
The story of Cambridge Analytica is one of the most profoundly unsettling of our time. SCL/Cambridge Analytica [is] effectively part of the ... defence establishment. This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics. It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. David Miller, a professor of sociology ... and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy.” David, [an] ex-Cambridge Analytica employee, [was] working at the firm when it introduced mass data-harvesting to its psychological warfare techniques. “It brought psychology, propaganda and technology together in this powerful new way,” David [said]. Facebook was the source of the psychological insights that enabled Cambridge Analytica to target individuals. The company ... bought consumer datasets – on everything from magazine subscriptions to airline travel – and uniquely it appended these with the psych data to voter files. “The goal is to capture every single aspect of every voter’s information environment,” said David. “And the personality data enabled Cambridge Analytica to craft individual messages.” Cambridge Analytica could target people high in neuroticism, for example, with images of immigrants “swamping” the country. Brexit came down to ... just over 1% of registered voters. It’s not a stretch to believe that ... the global 1% found a way to influence this crucial 1% of British voters.
Note: Another Guardian article recently exposed how billionaire Robert Mercer used new technology to build a corporate empire capable of swinging elections. The above article further details how mass media is being combined with Big Data to produce powerful new forms of mind control.
[The CIA] has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders, but was forced to cut back after a Senate investigation in the 1970s. Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies. But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has ... succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents. On Friday, [North Korea accused] the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of being behind an alleged recent assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un. Such a claim cannot be dismissed as totally outlandish – given the long list of US involvement in coups and assassinations worldwide. The agency was forced to cut back on such killings after ... then president Gerald Ford signed in 1976 an executive order stating: “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.” In spite of this, the US never totally abandoned the strategy, simply changing the terminology from assassination to targeted killings. A leaked document obtained by WikiLeaks and released earlier this year showed the CIA in October 2014 looking at hacking into car control systems, [potentially allowing] an agent to stage a car crash.
Note: Strong evidence suggests that courageous journalist Michael Hastings was killed when his car controls were hacked causing him to crash head on into a tree. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on verified or suspected assassinations from reliable major media sources.
There was once a time - before the investigations, before the sexual abuse conviction - when rich and famous men loved to hang around with Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire money manager who loved to party. President Trump called Epstein a “terrific guy” back in 2002, saying that “he’s a lot of fun to be with. He likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” Now, Trump is on the witness list in a Florida court battle over how federal prosecutors handled allegations that Epstein, 64, sexually abused more than 40 minor girls, most of them between the ages of 13 and 17. The lawsuit questions why Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta ... cut a non-prosecution deal with Epstein a decade ago rather than pursuing a federal indictment that Acosta’s staff had advocated. Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida state charge of felony solicitation of underage girls in 2008 and served a 13-month jail sentence. Epstein’s unusually light punishment - he was facing up to a life sentence had he been convicted on federal charges - has raised questions about how Acosta handled the case. In [a] 2011 letter explaining his decision in the Epstein case, Acosta said he backed off from pressing charges after “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars” who represented Epstein.
A Florida mother first brought billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s peculiar caprices to the attention of Palm Beach police in 2005. Eventually, federal investigators and prosecutors built a case against Epstein ... that involved 17 witnesses and five other underaged women. But in September 2007, a Florida federal prosecutor named R. Alexander Acosta cut a secret plea deal with Epstein’s lawyers giving him ... an unusually lenient part-time, eight-hours a day county jail sentence, rather than the ten years or more in prison that a less powerful person might have gotten for repeated sex with minors. Acosta also deviated from legal norms when he granted the deal without first notifying the young women who had spoken to investigators about their experiences with the billionaire. Details of the deal were not made public until a federal judge unsealed it as part of a civil lawsuit brought by four women in 2015. Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14. He ultimately served only 13 months in prison. On Wednesday, Acosta ... testified in front of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee as Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of Labor. Asked about the Epstein deal, he characterized it as within the bounds of normal prosecutorial behavior. “Acosta is pretending the failure to prosecute was routine,” [a] former prosecutor told Newsweek, asking for anonymity. “But that’s bullshit. What happened here was completely and totally out of the main.”
Residents in North Carolina are fighting back against one of the state's most prominent industries: hog farming. But the legislation may not be on their side - a group of lawmakers in the state passed House Bill 467 last week, legislation that limits how much residents can collect in damages from hog farms. Hog farms in North Carolina dispose of pig feces and urine by spraying it, untreated, into the air where residents live. In response, nearly 500 of those residents ... from eastern North Carolina, brought a class action suit against Murphy-Brown, the state's largest producer of hogs. The lawsuit has now made its way to federal court. Residents have said the process of waste disposal has caused health problems. Much of the waste disposal affects low-income residents and black communities. "It can, I think, very correctly be called environmental racism or environmental injustice that people of color, low-income people bear the brunt of these practices," [University of North Carolina professor] Steve Wing ... said. "I shut my hog operation down, and I got out of it. And I ... just couldn't do another person that way, to make them smell that," Don Webb, a former pig factory farm owner, told Democracy Now. "You get stories like, 'I can't hang my clothes out.' Feces and urine odor comes by and attaches itself to your clothes." HB 467 ... was passed by both houses of the North Carolina Legislature. The bill would prevent people from recovering damages like those for healthcare bills and pain and suffering.
Note: In 2014, video footage of toxic cesspools around North Carolina farms exposed shockingly lax agricultural waste disposal standards. In response, the North Carolina Legislature passed a law to prevent whistle-blowers from exposing corporate wrongdoing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Public appeals by families or individuals for help paying basic medical bills seem to be on the rise in the United States. Crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.com report that medical expenses rank as their largest single category of appeals; other sites such as HelpHopeLive have sprung up specifically for medical expense appeals. [This points] to a crisis in the American healthcare system in two ways. One involves the gaps and other problems with U.S. healthcare that make crowdfunding campaigns necessary. Lawmakers who support policies that drive people to expose their personal lives in order to obtain desperately needed care should be ashamed of themselves. The other crisis underscored by the rise of crowdfunding concerns the ethical issues raised by public appeals for medical care itself. Those are addressed in a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.. Crowdfunding for expenses that should be met by private insurers or government healthcare programs ... can make the delivery of healthcare fundamentally unfair. They can direct resources away from patients who need them the most toward those whose campaigns are merely “more vocal, photogenic, or emotionally appealing.”
Spain’s National Court is summoning the former heads of Spain’s central bank and the stock market watchdog to be questioned for failing to stop the disastrous flotation of a savings bank that had to be bailed out. Eight officials, including former Bank of Spain governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez and Julio Seguro, the former president of market regulator CNMV, allegedly failed to stop Bankia’s listing in 2011 despite “repeated warnings” the bank was “unviable,” according to an investigation led by the court’s magistrates. Created by merging the assets of seven struggling Spanish banks, Bankia offered shares in an initial public offering in July 2011 and initially reported a profit for the year of 309 million euro ($327 million.) Months later, it amended its statements to show a 3 billion euro loss. The lender was nationalized in 2012 after a rescue that cost Spanish taxpayers around 22 billion euros ($23 billion). Former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato stepped down as chairman of Bankia at the time of the IPO. Rato since has been investigated in separate, but related cases of alleged corruption. Internal central bank reports made clear the savings bank’s “severe and growing problems of profitability, liquidity and solvency,” a court order issued Monday stated.
Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper says in his book To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America's Police that policing is in crisis. He says more emphasis needs to be put on community policing. "Policing is broken. Tragically, it has been broken from the very beginning of the institution. It has evolved as a paramilitary, bureaucratic, organizational arrangement that distances police officers from the communities they've been sworn to protect and serve," [said Stamper]. "We've got to find a way to build trust. And that's not going to happen as a result of some cosmetic public relations approach. The ... problem, I think, is that police officers in the United States believe that they must maintain control from beginning to end of every single contact they make. They're taught that by their culture. In some cases, they're taught that in the police academy. We've also militarized American law enforcement beyond all measure. The drug [war] has contributed dramatically to the militarization of policing. If you're engaged in a war, you have to have an enemy. You also have to have propaganda. You don't fight wars without enemies and propaganda. And so we've taught our cops that they're on the front lines of an occupational force. And I would argue that they lose control when they embrace that attitude.
Note: Watch an inspiring four-minute video of this courageous man. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Public money and public universities boost Big Pharma’s profits, so shouldn’t the public be able to afford the drugs? Almost 1 in 2 people used a prescription drug in the past month, and more than 1 in 5 used three or more. As the population ages and deals with more chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression, the percentage of people needing prescription medicines is growing. But what really sets us apart is how much they cost. Medicines in the US cost 2 to 6 times more than the rest of the world. 1 in 5 Americans - 35 million people - do not get their prescriptions filled because they don't have enough money. Big Pharma says high prices are necessary to invest in breakthrough research. But corporations don't actually do much of that, [and] have shifted money away from new-drug research to quick-profit minor variations on proven moneymakers. So who funds new-drug and breakthrough-drug research? Taxpayers. 84% of new-drug research is funded by the government. The public also subsidizes drug research through generous R&D tax credits. Using public research (plus charging high prices) gives corporations big profits. Drug companies' annual stock returns are twice the standard.
Note: A comprehensive infographic showing Big Pharma's preferential treatment by US regulators can be found at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.
Just over a week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. “We’re sending an armada,” Mr. Trump said to Fox News last Tuesday afternoon. The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy ... 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events ... which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea. By the time the White House was asked about the Carl Vinson, its imminent arrival had been emblazoned on front pages across East Asia, fanning fears that Mr. Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike. In South Korea ... fears of a full-blown war erupted. The government rushed to reassure the public that the Carl Vinson was coming only to deter North Korean provocations. After a week of war drums, fueled by the reports of the oncoming armada, tensions subsided when the weekend passed with only a military parade in Pyongyang and a failed missile test, [while] the Carl Vinson ... was thousands of miles from where most of the world thought it was.
A leading weapons academic has claimed that the Khan Sheikhoun nerve agent attack in Syria was staged. Theodore Postol, a [former scientific advisor at the Department of Defense (DoD)], issued a series of three reports in response to the White House's finding that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad perpetrated the attack on 4 April. Postol said: "I have reviewed the [White House's] document carefully, and [it] does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. "In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document point to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of 4 April. "My own assessment is that the source [of the sarin release] was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House." The image Postol refers to is that of a crater containing a shell inside, which is said to have contained the sarin gas. His analysis of the shell suggests that it could not have been dropped from an airplane as the damage of the casing is inconsistent from an aerial explosion. Instead, Postol said it was more likely that an explosive charge was laid upon the shell containing sarin, before being detonated. The implication of Postol's analysis is that [the attack] was carried out by anti-government insurgents as Khan Sheikhoun is in militant-controlled territory of Syria.
Note: See an excellent list of 10 points with strong evidence Assad was not behind the chemical attacks the media has pinned on him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.
Residues of many types of insecticides, fungicides and weed killing chemicals have been found in roughly 85 percent of thousands of foods tested. Data released ... by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows varying levels of pesticide residues in everything from mushrooms to potatoes and grapes to green beans. One sample of strawberries contained residues of 20 pesticides. Notably, the agency said only 15 percent of the 10,187 samples tested were free from any detectable pesticide residues. That’s a marked difference from 2014, when the USDA found that over 41 percent of samples were “clean” or showed no detectable pesticide residues. Prior years also showed roughly 40-50 percent of samples as free of detectable residues. Absent from the USDA data was any information on glyphosate residues, even though glyphosate has long been the most widely used herbicide in the world. The Food and Drug Administration also annually samples foods for residues of pesticides. The most recent public residue report issued by the FDA shows that violation rates for pesticide residues have been climbing in recent years.
Concerns about the world’s most widely used herbicide are taking a new twist. Researchers looking at exposure to the herbicide known as glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup-branded herbicides, said they tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. Glyphosate ... has become the subject of hot debate over the last few years because of research that links the herbicide to types of cancer and other health ailments. Monsanto is being sued by hundreds of people who claim they or their loved ones developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of exposure to glyphosate-based Roundup. Documents discovered in the course of the litigation indicate the company may have manipulated scientific research to hide evidence of harm. The team that presented their report Wednesday ... collected the data over two years, from 2015-2016, and found that higher glyphosate levels in women correlated with significantly shorter pregnancies and with lower adjusted birth weights. [Paul Winchester, who led the study], said he was surprised to see such a high percentage of women tested showing glyphosate in their urine. He was sharply critical of the U.S. government, which routinely skips testing for glyphosate residues in food.
Note: Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.