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.
One of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides is at the centre of the new FBI investigation into the Democrat candidate's emails after it emerged the evidence was discovered during an investigation into her husband. Anthony Weiner is being investigated over allegations that he sent sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl. New York prosecutor [Preet Bharara] issued a subpoena for Mr Weiner's mobile phone and other electronic records after the “sexting” came to light in September. It is believed this sparked the reopening of the closed [Clinton] investigation. Mr Weiner [is] the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, 40, Mrs Clinton’s closest aide. Mrs Clinton thought that the issue of her email server – which has been a millstone round her neck since 2012 – was finally settled, with the FBI deciding in July not to charge her with any criminal offence. Mrs Clinton was supposed to have handed over all evidence relating to her use of a private email server – something she instigated in 2009, when she was appointed secretary of state. The Weiner investigation shows she did not. Critics claim there was a security risk if restricted government business was sent over personal email servers. They also say Clinton could skirt around freedom of information requests and have sole control of what information was handed over to interested parties – such as the congressional committee investigating 2012’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Note: The use of private servers for sending and receiving sensitive official emails is not unprecedented. Between 2003 and 2009, the George W. Bush White House 'Lost' 22 Million emails, which helped cover up its lies about WMDs in Iraq. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and the manipulation of public perception.
I was 29 and mowing the lawn at my mother’s house in Birmingham, Alabama, on a hot day in July 1985 when I looked up and saw two police officers. I asked the detective 50 times why I was being arrested. Eventually, he told me I was being arrested for a robbery. I told him, “You have the wrong man.” He said, “I don’t care whether you did it or not. You will be convicted.” At the station, it became clear I’d been at work when the robbery occurred. The detective verified this with my supervisor, but then told me they were going to charge me with two counts of first-degree murder from two other robberies. When I met my appointed lawyer, I told him I was innocent. He said, “All of y’all always say you didn’t do something.” I might have seen him three times in the two years I waited for trial. The only evidence linking me to the crime was the testimony of a ballistics expert who said the bullets from the murder weapon could be a match to my mother’s gun. They found me guilty. [In] 1986 I went to death row. Eventually, [in] 2015, the State of Alabama dropped all charges. I was released that same day. When you’ve been locked up for nearly 30 years, nothing is the same. It was like walking out on to another planet at the age of 58. Every night, I go outside and look up at the stars and moon, because for years I could not see either. Now, I am determined to go wherever I am asked to help end the death penalty. I am so thankful that I get to travel with Lifelines and [the Equal Justice Initiative], and share my story.
European and American doctors added new reports today to earlier descriptions of patients with an AIDS-like disease but no detectable evidence of infection with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. American health officials appealed to doctors today to report any similar cases to the Federal Centers for Disease Control. Dr. James Curran, an AIDS expert at the [CDC] in Atlanta, said here it was not clear whether the known cases represent a new syndrome or a variety of rare medical problems that pose no threat to the nation's health. The plea resulted from a ... meeting at which Dr. Jeffrey Laurence of Cornell University Medical Center in New York City described five such cases that are due to be reported soon in the Lancet, a British medical journal. At the C.D.C., Dr. Thomas J. Spira has collected reports of six patients over the last 3 years. Dr. Spira saw no pattern among them. The reports from Dr. Laurence and Dr. Curran were greeted by a parade of scientists who reported more than a dozen similar cases. By the time the [meeting] ended, Dr. Curran said he learned of more cases in a few minutes today than he had in the last three years. Reports of additional cases from doctors in Edinburgh and the Hague followed, [along with] criticism at the Centers for Disease Control for not having reported the six cases it knew about and for not issuing an earlier plea to doctors to report additional ones.
Note: Watch a C-SPAN video discussing this matter. For more on this, see this webpage and this one. And more resources can be found on this website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
New York City is an expensive place to live for just about everyone, including prisoners. The city paid $167,731 to feed, house and guard each inmate last year, according to a study the Independent Budget Office released this week. “It is troubling in both human terms and financial terms,” Doug Turetsky, the chief of staff for the budget office, said on Friday. With 12,287 inmates shuffling through city jails last year, he said, “it is a significant cost to the city.” by nearly any measure, New York City spends more than every other state or city. The Vera Institute of Justice released a study in 2012 that found the aggregate cost of prisons in 2010 in the 40 states that participated was $39 billion. The annual average taxpayer cost in these states was $31,286 per inmate. New York State was the most expensive, with an average cost of $60,000 per prison inmate. The cost of incarcerating people in New York City’s jails is nearly three times as much. 83 percent of the expense per prisoner came from wages, benefits for staff and pension costs. Some 76 percent of the inmates in the city were waiting for their cases to be disposed. The wait times have grown even as the number of felonies committed in the city has declined. Since 2002, the time spent waiting for cases to be disposed of has gone to 95 days, from 76 days, [former city correction and probation commissioner Michael] Jacobson said.
Note: This CNN chart shows that most states spend two to three times as much on their prison inmates than they do on students in school. What does that say about our priorities? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, is facing embarrassment over fresh revelations going back to the tax investigation that led to the collapse of Swiss banking secrecy. Two significant events are looming before UBS. The first is the possibility of a public trial in France, featuring UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, concerning historic tax evasion allegedly orchestrated by the bank. The other is the publication ... of Birkenfeld's scathing new book, Lucifer's Banker, which covers his time at UBS. The tax evasion controversy, which was first highlighted in 2005, subsequently involved the US Department of Justice, the State Department and Internal Revenue Service. It was prompted by disclosures made by Birkenfeld that UBS had helped wealthy US citizens evade taxes. In 2009, UBS paid $780m (Ł588m, €693m) to US authorities to avoid prosecution. Birkenfeld served 31 months in prison for one count of conspiracy to abet tax evasion by one of his clients. After he was released he was paid a record $104m by the IRS for helping recover unpaid taxes. However, Birkenfeld has since said that he was systematically prevented from giving testimony in open court – but this may be about to change thanks to the French authorities. Birkenfeld claims the UBS coverup stretches to the highest levels of the US establishment. He promises four big names will be exposed in his book, [and] claims there was a glaring conflict of interest involving then Senator Barack Obama, which essentially placed him on the UBS payroll.
Note: Read a New York Times article on how this courageous whistleblower managed to beat the system. As a result of Birkenfeld's disclosures, Obama's suspicious ties with UBS were reported in 2010. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.
US journalist Amy Goodman is facing charges of participating in a "riot" after filming Native American-led protests over an oil pipeline in North Dakota. The Democracy Now! reporter said she would surrender to authorities on Monday in response to the charge. District Judge John Grinsteiner will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to support the riot charge. Ms Goodman filmed the crackdown on protesters by authorities last month. "I wasn't trespassing, I wasn't engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters," Ms Goodman said. The charge relates to her Democracy Now! coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline on 3 September. Earlier this month US actress Shailene Woodley was arrested at a construction site for broadcasting the North Dakota protests on Facebook. The video by the Divergent star was viewed more than 2.4 million times on social media within hours of being posted. The Dakota Access oil pipeline project, which will cross four states, has drawn huge protests. Native Americans have halted its construction in North Dakota, saying it will desecrate sacred land and damage the environment.
Note: A judge later rejected the riot charge for Goodman, but the fact that she was even accused speaks volumes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
Two documentary film-makers are facing decades in prison for recording US oil pipeline protests, with serious felony charges that first amendment advocates say are part of a growing number of attacks on freedom of the press. The controversial prosecutions of Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel are moving forward after a judge in North Dakota rejected “riot” charges filed against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for her high-profile reporting at the Dakota Access pipeline protests. But authorities in other parts of North Dakota and in Washington state have continued to target other film-makers over their recent reporting on similar demonstrations. Schlosberg, a New York-based film-maker, is facing three felony conspiracy charges for filming protesters on 11 October at a TransCanada Keystone Pipeline site in Pembina County in North Dakota. The 36-year-old ... could face 45 years in prison. In Goodman’s case, a judge forced prosecutors to drop a serious “riot” charge. But prosecutors and sheriff’s officials said they may continue to pursue other charges against the critically acclaimed journalist. In Schlosberg’s charges, North Dakota prosecutors have alleged that she was part of a conspiracy, claiming she traveled with protesters “with the objective of diverting the flow of oil”. “I was surprised at the conspiracy charges. I never thought that would ever happen,” her attorney Robert Woods told the Guardian. “All she was doing was her job of being a journalist and covering the story.”
California voters faced a tough time at the polls [on June 7th], with many voters saying they have encountered broken machines, polling sites that opened late and incomplete voter rolls, particularly in Los Angeles County. Many California voters were handed the dreaded pink provisional ballot - which takes longer to fill out, longer for election officials to verify and which tends to leave voters wondering whether their votes will be counted. It’s difficult to get a sense for how widespread the problems are. Tuesday’s voting problems seems to be a confluence of factors - old voting machines, a competitive election that has drawn new voters, plus complex state voting laws that can be hard for poll volunteers and voters to follow. Albert Grey showed up at his polling site Tuesday morning to find that the vote-counting machine seemed to be jammed, and there didn’t seem to be a supervisor on site. So he left without voting. Many California voters reported showing up to their polling sites only to find that their names were not listed on the voting rolls, leaving them to cast a provisional ballot. Sanders supporter Jonathan Daniel Brown accused Democrats of “purging votes” when he discovered he was not on the voting rolls at his polling station despite being registered. Brown ... refused to take a provisional ballot, and his complaints drew the attention of Los Angeles County Registrar-County Clerk Dean Logan, who intervened. Eventually, Brown said he was allowed to cast a regular ballot - though not before Brown said a poll worker called the police on him.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
AT&T runs a secret program called Project Hemisphere that that searches millions and millions of call records and analyzes cellular data to help law enforcement spy on Americans, according to documents obtained by The Daily Beast. Police use the data to solve crimes by monitoring if specific cellular towers in the vicinity of wrongdoings picked up a known suspect’s cell phone. The surveillance project comes to light as the company is on the verge of acquiring Time Warner in one of the biggest media mergers in memory. Law enforcement agencies pay from $100,000 to over $1 million a year for Hemisphere access. Back in 2013, The New York Times called Hemisphere a partnership between AT&T and the government, but Daily Beast says it’s actually “a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers.” No warrant is required to access Hemisphere, but it does require a promise not to publicly disclose Hemisphere. AT&T owns significant shares in both the landline and cell phone space, which allows the company to possess information that is used by at least 28 intelligence centers. Documents show that AT&T wants to keep Hemisphere a secret, but suspects and anyone charged with a crime have the right to know the evidence against them. “The Government agency agrees not to use the data as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceedings unless there is no other available and admissible probative evidence,” documents obtained by the Beast said.
Atrazine [is] the second most commonly used herbicide in the United States. [It] is mainly used to control weeds in the corn blanketing much of the Midwest. The chemical also routinely turns up in streams and drinking water. And according to a new Environmental Protection Agency preliminary risk assessment, it may be doing serious harm to fish, animals, and amphibians, even at extremely low exposure levels. In the areas where it is most commonly used, mainly the Midwestern corn belt, atrazine turns up in the environment at rates that exceed established levels of concern "by as much as 22, 198, and 62 times for birds, mammals, and fish, respectively," the report concluded. The European Union banned atrazine in 2004, citing its potential to contaminate water and harm ecosystems. And this latest EPA report suggests the US government might also consider reining in use of the chemical. But probably not anytime soon. Back in 2011, the EPA released the final deliberations by a panel of independent scientists it had convened to address the topic. The panel found that atrazine had "suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential" for ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, hairy-cell leukemia, and thyroid cancer. A recent paper by Texas A&M and Iowa State University researchers looked at research published since 2000 and concluded that "higher concentrations of atrazine in drinking water" have been associated with a variety of birth defects in people.
Note: With US regulators in its pocket, agrichemical giant Syngenta did everything in its power to discredit atrazine researcher Tyrone Hayes after Hayes published science proving that Syngenta's products were poisonous. The New Yorker published a detailed article on Syngenta's smear campaign. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.
The Justice Department is moving forward with plans to collect data on how often law enforcement officers use force and how often civilians die during encounters with police or while in police custody. Demands for more complete data surfaced in particular in the last two years amid a series of high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police officers, with the federal government unable to say reliably how often fatal encounters occurred across the country. The FBI plans to begin a pilot program early next year that would gather more complete use-of-force data, including information on cases that don’t result in death. The earliest participants would be the largest law enforcement agencies, as well as major federal agencies such as the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The program would then be expanded to include additional agencies across the country, which would be expected to regularly disclose whether a use-of-force instance resulted in death, injury or a firearm discharge at or in the direction of a person. Though there’s no legal requirement for law enforcement agencies to provide information on police force that doesn’t result in death - the 2014 Death in Custody Reporting Act covered only interactions in which individuals died - the Justice Department said it’s requesting local agencies to disclose details on even nondeadly encounters. Reporting of nondeadly encounters would remain voluntary.
Note: This article was strangely removed from the Washington Post website, but it remains available from the Associated Press. The Guardian has counted nearly 900 killings by US police so far in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
It was a faustian bargain—and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. “My editors are uncomfortable with the condition that we cannot seek reaction,” NPR reporter Rob Stein wrote back to the government officials offering the deal. Stein asked for a little bit of leeway to do some independent reporting but was turned down flat. Take the deal or leave it. NPR took the deal – along with reporters from more than a dozen other top-tier media organizations, including CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. By using close-hold embargoes and other methods, the FDA, like other sources of scientific information, are gaining control of journalists who are supposed to keep an eye on those institutions. The watchdogs are being turned into lapdogs. It is hard to tell when a close-hold embargo is afoot because, by its very nature, it is a secret.
Note: And to see how the media is censored by big money and a corrupt judicial system, watch this incredible video of two crack reporters who had their major investigation into a public health threat shut down. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science and the manipulation of public perception.
By the time I started working at the Defense Department in the early years of the Obama administration, the Pentagon's 17.5 miles of corridors had sprouted dozens of shops and restaurants catering to the building's 23,000 employees. And, over time, the U.S. military has itself come to offer a similar one-stop shopping experience to the nation's top policymakers. As retired Army Lt. Gen. Dave Barno once put it to me, the relentlessly expanding U.S. military has become "a Super Walmart with everything under one roof" - and two successive presidential administrations have been eager consumers. The military's transformation into the world's biggest one-stop shopping outfit is ... at once the product and the driver of seismic changes in how we think about war, with consequent challenges both to our laws and to the military itself. We've gotten into the habit of viewing every new threat through the lens of "war," thus asking our military to take on an ever-expanding range of nontraditional tasks. But viewing more and more threats as "war" brings more and more spheres of human activity into the ambit of the law of war, with its greater tolerance of secrecy, violence, and coercion - and its reduced protections for basic rights. Meanwhile, asking the military to take on more and more new tasks requires higher military budgets, forcing us to look for savings elsewhere. As budget cuts cripple civilian agencies, their capabilities dwindle, and we look to the military to pick up the slack, further expanding its role.
Note: As the Tribune has strangely removed this article, here's an alternate link. Another cutting article shows that according to the latest report on public relations spending from the Government Accountability Office, the US government PR apparatus has spent over $1 billion annually — $626 million of which the Pentagon allots to employ a massive propaganda army. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The furore over the sexual antics of Donald Trump is preventing much attention being given to the latest batch of leaked emails to and from Hillary Clinton. Most fascinating of these is [a] memo, dated 17 August 2014. There is no ambivalence about who is backing Isis. The memo says: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” After 9/11, the US refused to confront these traditional Sunni allies and thereby ensured that the “War on Terror” would fail decisively; 15 years later, al-Qaeda in its different guises is much stronger than it used to be because shadowy state sponsors, without whom it could not have survived, were given a free pass. It is not as if Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State ... did not know what was happening. An earlier WikiLeaks release of a State Department cable sent under her name in December 2009 states that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan].” But Saudi complicity with these movements never became a central political issue in the US. Why not? The US did not think it was in its interests to cut its traditional Sunni allies loose and put a great deal of resources into making sure that this did not happen. They brought on side compliant journalists, academics and politicians willing to give overt or covert support to Saudi positions.
Note: Read a two-page summary of a highly decorated US general's book which exposes how war is a racket meant to benefit the big bankers and power elite. Then check out a very well-researched essay describing how the war on terror is a fraud. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
A US navy destroyer fired a barrage of cruise missiles at three radar sites controlled by the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen. This attack marked the first time the US has fought the rebels directly in Yemen’s devastating civil war. The Pentagon justified this attack as retaliation. Last week, missiles were fired on two separate occasions at another navy destroyer off of Yemen’s southern coast. Those missiles fell harmlessly into the water, but they were enough of a provocation that the navy responded with its own bombardment. Immediately prior to those incidents, on Saturday 8 October, a 500lb laser-guided US-made bomb was dropped on a funeral procession by the US-sponsored Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels. This bomb killed more than 140 people, mostly civilians, and wounded more than 525 people. Human Rights Watch called the incident “an apparent war crime”. The US ... has sold the Saudis $110bn worth of arms since President Obama assumed office. The US also supplies the Saudis with necessary intelligence and logistics to prosecute its war. The situation in Yemen is already catastrophic and largely out of view. Since the conflict began 18 months ago, more than 6,800 people have been killed. Both rebels and the regime have committed atrocities, though most of the dead are civilians and most have been killed by Saudi-led airstrikes. Almost 14.4 million people are now “food insecure”, according to the UN’s World Food Program, and 2.8 million people have been displaced.
Note: Read a two-page summary of a highly decorated US general's book which exposes how war is a racket meant to benefit the big bankers and power elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written ... when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Most troubling, researchers found a suspicious pattern in the White House email system blackouts, including periods when there were no emails available from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. In 1978, Congress passed the Presidential Records Act (PRA), which mandated that all presidential and vice presidential records ... be preserved and that the public, not the president, owned the records. Bush administration emails could have aided a special prosecutor’s investigation into a White House effort to discredit a diplomat who disagreed with the administration’s fabricated Iraq WMD evidence. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who was brought in to investigate that case, said ... potentially relevant emails sent by aides in Cheney's office were in the administration's system but he couldn’t get them. The supposedly lost emails also prevented Congress from fully investigating, in 2007, the politically motivated firing of nine U.S. attorneys. When the ... Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed related emails, Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, said many were inaccessible or lost on a nongovernmental private server run by the RNC.
Note: The Bush administration's lies about WMDs in Iraq were covered up, in part, by publicly revealing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and the manipulation of public perception.
An ongoing review shows the U.S. intelligence community has been debunking long-held myths about some of the “worst of the worst” at Guantánamo, some of them still held today. The retreat emerges in a series of unclassified prisoner profiles released by the Pentagon in recent years, snapshots of much larger dossiers the public cannot see, prepared for the Periodic Review Board examining the Pentagon’s “forever prisoner” population. “It was clear early on that the intelligence was grossly wrong,” said Mark Fallon, a retired 30-year federal officer who between 2002 and 2004 was Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Defense’s Criminal Investigation Task Force. Most “weren’t battlefield captives,” he said, calling many “bounty babies” - men captured by Afghan warlords or Pakistani security forces and sent to Guantánamo “on the sketchiest bit of intelligence with nothing to corroborate.” They ended up with “a lot of false information based on some pretty poor interrogations being done partly by military interrogators in that time frame.” Fallon ... is in the final stages of publishing a book of his criticisms and said in a recent interview that it’s no surprise that early prisoner profiles are imploding under Periodic Review Board scrutiny. In the early years, according to one analyst who worked there, Guantánamo’s Joint Intelligence Group was “looking for anything you can pin on these guys.” The intelligence unit was “picking up on one or two things and holding on to it tightly like it was gospel.”
Note: US officials have been aware for years that many Guantánamo detainees were innocent or only low-level operatives. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.
An alleged accomplice in the Sept. 11 terror attacks is to undergo surgery this week for decade-old damage from his “sodomy” in CIA custody, his attorney says. Defense attorney Walter Ruiz, a Navy Reserve officer, disclosed the upcoming surgery for his client, Mustafa al Hawsawi, 48, on the eve of pretrial hearings Tuesday in the case that accuses the Saudi Arabian Hawsawi and four other men of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Ruiz said a case prosecutor informed him of the procedure over the weekend. Defense lawyers have been litigating over conditions at the remote prison and, in the case of their client, have specifically sought medical intervention to treat a rectal prolapse that has caused Hawsawi to bleed for more than a decade. The disclosure comes days after The New York Times published a detailed account of former CIA and Guantánamo captives grappling with the aftereffects of torture. Hawsawi was denied a request to have a member of his legal team on standby near the surgery. He has sat gingerly on a pillow at the war court since his first appearance in 2008. But the reason was not publicly known until release of a portion of the so-called Senate Torture Report on the CIA program ... which described agents using quasi-medical techniques called “rectal rehydration” and “rectal re-feeding.” Former CIA captives like Hawsawi are segregated in a clandestine lockup called Camp 7 that has been described ... as having its own medical facility, the capabilities of which are not known.
Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.
Activists have no right to force public disclosure of the names of Latin American military leaders trained at a U.S. Army installation formerly known as the School of the Americas, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday. A federal judge had ruled in 2013 that the government must identify students and instructors at the school at Fort Benning, Ga., whose graduates have included Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega and Salvadoran death squad leader Roberto d’Aubuisson. But in a 2-1 ruling Friday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ... said the information had little public value, and that disclosure would invade the trainees’ privacy. “There are many groups in foreign countries that would seek to harm those who are publicly associated with the United States military,” Judge Sandra Ikuta said in the majority opinion. She also cited assurances by the Defense Department and an oversight board that the school ... is complying with a federal law that requires it to instruct students about human rights. Federal law additionally requires the department to deny enrollment to any member of a military unit that has committed a “gross violation of human rights,” Ikuta said. Dissenting Judge Paul Watford said the majority was taking the government’s word that everything was in order — a “fox-guarding-the-henhouse notion” — despite past revelations of abuses by School of the Americas graduates. He noted that past training materials disclosed by the Pentagon in 1996 included manuals providing “instruction on torturing and executing insurgents.”
Note: The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, graduated more than 500 human rights abusers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
For the past 288 days, Spain has plodded along without an elected national government. For some Spaniards, this is a wonderful thing. “No government, no thieves,” said Félix Pastor, a language teacher who, like many voters, is fed up with the corruption and scandals that tarnished the two previous governing parties. Mr. Pastor, a wiry, animated 59-year-old, said Spain could last without a government “until hell freezes over” because politicians were in no position to do more harm. More than anything, the crisis seems to have offered a glimpse of life if politicians simply stepped out of the way. For many here, it has not been all that bad. “Spain would be just fine if we got rid of most of the politicians,” Rafael Navarro, 71, said inside his tiny storefront pharmacy in Madrid. Too little government is better than too much, he said. Budget money is still flowing. Government ministries are functioning. Social service recipients and civil servants are being paid. Even if no new government has been formed when the 2016 national budget expires this fall, the old budget will simply become the new budget for 2017. But ... nobody is proposing legislation, debating international affairs or even rotating Spain’s ambassadors. Growth is forecast to be 2.9 percent this year, almost twice the 1.6 percent eurozone average. Interest and energy rates are at historic lows. Spain, a tourism superpower, expects 74 million visitors this year. But after trudging to the polls twice already in the last year, weary voters are in no mood to vote again.
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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.