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Government Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media

Below are highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These government corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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.

US overtakes Caymans and Singapore as haven for assets of super-rich
2015-11-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-08 20:44:42

The US has overtaken Singapore, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands as an attractive haven for super-rich individuals and businesses looking to shelter assets behind a veil of secrecy, according to a study by the Tax Justice Network (TJN). The US is ranked third, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong, in the financial secrecy index, produced every two years by TJN. But the study noted that if Britain and its affiliated tax havens such as Jersey were treated as one unit it would top the list. “Though the US has been a pioneer in defending itself from foreign secrecy jurisdictions it provides little information in return to other countries, making it a formidable, harmful and irresponsible secrecy jurisdiction,” the TJN report said. The scale of hidden offshore wealth around the world is difficult to assess. The economist Gabriel Zucman has put it at $7.6tn, while the TJN’s James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, estimated three years ago it could be more than $21tn. The US states of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada have for decades been operating as onshore secrecy havens, specialising in setting up shell companies catering to overseas individuals and companies seeking to hide assets. “The US has not seriously addressed its own role in attracting illicit financial flows and supporting tax evasion,” the TJN report found. Like the US, Britain too remains a central player in the vast financial secrecy industry despite championing corporate transparency on the international stage.

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

Why Can't We End Mass Incarceration?
2015-10-26, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2015-11-08 20:40:02

The U.S. federal-prison population swelled from 24,000 prisoners in 1980 to 219,000 in 2013. And federal prisons are just the tip of the iceberg — factor in state prisons and local jails, and there are 2.2 million people locked up in this country. The U.S. Sentencing Commission ... is charged with setting and adjusting the detailed schedule of penalties for those convicted of federal crimes. In April 2014, the commission approved a reduction in sentences for certain drug crimes going forward. In his final months in office, President Obama has focused more on the need for criminal-justice reform. He has used the executive power of clemency to commute some of the most egregiously unfair sentences of 89 federal drug convicts. But a handful of pardons don't amount to much when there are hundreds of thousands of federal prisoners. Nearly half of federal inmates are serving time for drug crimes. Of those, 60 percent were subject to mandatory minimums when they were sentenced. Stephanie George was a 26-year-old mother of three when she was convicted on drug-conspiracy charges because the man she was dating had kept drugs and money in her house. Under the federal three-strikes-and-you're-out law, she was sentenced to life in prison. George was locked up nearly 18 years before Obama commuted her sentence. One of her sons died shortly before her release. She says she doesn't think most politicians consider the costs a mandatory-minimum sentence brings.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Robert Fisk on Saudi Prince busted with 40 suitcases of drugs at Beirut airport
2015-10-30, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2015-11-08 20:38:00

Earlier this week, Saudi Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Walid bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud was arrested in Lebanon. According to reports, the prince and four other Saudis were attempting to fly out of the Beirut airport in a private jet - chock full of drugs. "Apparently most of it was called Captagon ... a kind of amphetamine," [said Robert Fisk], Middle East correspondent for the Independent newspaper. He says that a customs guard at Beirut airport became suspicious when the prince showed up with 40 suitcases. Fisk explains, "So he said, 'You put the baggage through the x-ray machine,' and the Saudi said, 'No, no, I have a diplomatic passport,' and he said, 'You have a diplomatic passport but the baggage does not have diplomatic clearance." The prince was immediately detained. "The photographs which have been leaked out, show boxes, very large boxes with the Saudi royal coat of arms on the front which is a bit unfortunate," Fisk quips. "I think what's actually happening is that the Lebanese do not want to embarrass the Saudis." According to Fisk, the story has already disappeared from the papers and it is still unclear where the drugs were intended to be delivered. "This after all, is a state that chops off the heads of drug traffickers usually from poor countries like Pakistan or Sri Lanka," Fisk adds. "They certainly don't want too much publicity when a Prince is suddenly found possessing all this stuff and trying to cheat his way through the airport."

Note: Despite being caught red-handed in what may be Lebanon's biggest drug bust ever, Fisk believes this royal prince will escape punishment. Remember Saudi Arabia is run by the royal family. How many other governments are secretly involved in drug running? Reports from 25-year veteran of the DEA turned best-selling author and journalist Michael Levine point towards a troubling answer.

Vatican Arrests 2 in Connection With Leaked Documents
2015-11-02, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-08 20:32:01

The Vatican announced Monday that two members of a commission set up by Pope Francis to study financial operations at the Holy See had been arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential documents to journalists. The arrests came days before the publication of two books - “Avarizia,” or “Avarice,” by Emiliano Fittipaldi, and “Merchants in the Temple,” by Gianluigi Nuzzi. Both books claim to offer glimpses of the turmoil surrounding Francis as he pursues his reforms of Vatican finances, the operations of the Curia and the Vatican bank. Those institutions had long been plagued by scandal and corruption that contributed to the resignation in 2013 of Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to step down in nearly 600 years. Divulging confidential documents has been considered a crime in the Vatican since July 2013, after the leak of a cache of Vatican documents ... which Mr. Nuzzi published. Besides reporting on the church’s vast financial holdings, Mr. Fittipaldi said he had also discovered that money given to the church for the poor was used for other purposes. Mr. Nuzzi’s book ... suggests that the Vatican’s finances were in such chaos that Benedict had no choice but to resign. “I am certainly surprised that the Vatican responds to the imminent publication of a book with handcuffs,” Mr. Nuzzi said ... particularly “when handcuffs aren’t used to stop the thieves in the Vatican.”

Note: In 2012, leaked documents revealed that the Vatican Bank was used for money laundering. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.

EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas
1990-11-16, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-08 20:29:16

A clandestine operation code-named Gladio [was] created decades ago to arm and train resistance fighters in case the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded. There have been disclosures of similar organizations in virtually all Western European countries. Gladio ... was originally an Italian creation [that] evolved into a branch of an extensive network, operated within NATO and abetted by a 1956 agreement between the United States and Italian secret services. 622 Italians belonged to the operation - civilians who were trained by intelligence operatives. Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Luxembourg have all acknowledged that they maintained Gladio-style networks to prepare guerrilla fighters to leap into action. Similar programs have also existed in Britain, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Turkey and Denmark, and even in neutral countries like Switzerland and Sweden. These would-be fighters had stockpiles of weapons and explosives. In [Italy], secret arms deposits were dismantled as far back as 1972 but ... the secret services could not find 12 of them. Their disappearance has fueled speculation here that the weapons ended up in terrorist hands. Some of the underground "gladiators," as they have been dubbed, had close links to neo-Fascist groups and to intelligence organizations. New "gladiators" are still recruited. The major unsolved acts of terrorism that rocked Italy in the 1970's are all presumed to be the work of people on the far right. Left-wing terrorists like the moribund Red Brigades somehow were caught and imprisoned.

Note: Following WWII, the US government actively recruited and protected former nazis. For an abundance of excellent, reliable information on Operation Gladio and its ongoing operations, read the excellent chapter on this in Lifting the Veil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and throughout intelligence agencies.

Spy vs. Spy: Inside the Fraying U.S.-Israel Ties
2015-10-23, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2015-11-01 21:22:31

The U.S. closely monitored Israel’s military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications in 2012, fearing its longtime ally might try to carry out a strike on Fordow, Iran’s most heavily fortified nuclear facility. Nerves frayed at the White House after senior officials learned Israeli aircraft had flown in and out of Iran in what some believed was a dry run for a commando raid on the site. Worried that Israel might ignite a regional war, the White House sent a second aircraft carrier to the region and readied attack aircraft, a senior U.S. official said, “in case all hell broke loose.” The two countries, nursing a mutual distrust, each had something to hide. Instead of talking to each other, the allies kept their intentions secret. To figure out what they weren’t being told, they turned to their spy agencies to fill gaps. They employed deception, not only against Iran, but against each other. After working in concert for nearly a decade to keep Iran from an atomic bomb, the U.S. and Israel split over the best means: diplomacy, covert action or military strikes. In 2010, the risk of covert action became clear. A computer virus dubbed Stuxnet, deployed jointly by the U.S. and Israel to destroy Iranian centrifuges ... had inadvertently spread across the Internet. The Israelis wanted to launch cyberattacks against a range of Iranian institutions, according to U.S. officials. But the breach made Mr. Obama more cautious, officials said, for fear of triggering Iranian retaliation, or damaging the global economy if a virus spread uncontrollably.

Note: This article is also available at this link. When the Stuxnet computer virus got loose, it began attacking European companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Saudi prince held after seizure of two tons of amphetamines at Beirut airport
2015-10-26, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-01 21:20:13

A Saudi prince has been detained at Beirut airport in Lebanon after two tons of an amphetamine drug popular with Syrian rebels was found on a private jet. Prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four other men were held after what was described as the biggest ever drugs bust at the city’s main Rafik Hariri International Airport. They were allegedly "attempting to smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine", a security source was quoted as saying. Captagon is a brand name for the widely used amphetamine phenethylline. Although this type of amphetamine has been prescribed in the past to treat childhood and other behavioural disorders, it is now used overwhelmingly as a stimulant in the Middle East. It has long been banned in the West. It is the drug of choice for front-line fighters on both sides in the Syrian war. It is unclear where the pills allegedly found in Beirut were ultimately to be sold, although the plane was said to be heading back to Saudi Arabia. That would fit one of the more unexpected side-effects noted of the Syrian war – the country’s growing role as an exporter of illegal drugs. There have been reports that Syrian suppliers to both sides of the conflict have become so successful in manufacturing Captagon that it is now an export product, smuggled through Lebanon to a broader Middle East market. The drugs were stuffed into 40 suitcases, according to reports.

Note: So the Saudi royals are caught red-handed in possibly Lebanon's biggest drug bust ever. Remember Saudi Arabia is run by the royal family. How many other governments are secretly involved in drug running? Reports from 25-year veteran of the DEA turned best-selling author and journalist Michael Levine point towards a troubling answer. Read this report to learn more about how Saudi crimes are covered up by powerful forces and why this prince will be freed.

Why putting bank bosses behind bars is still nigh on impossible
2015-05-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-01 21:14:16

Since the 2008 banking crisis led to multibillion-pound bailouts, some bankers have ended up behind bars. However, to many, the list seems short when compared with the $235bn of fines that Reuters calculates have been imposed on 20 major banks in the past seven years for market rigging, sanctions busting, money laundering and mis-selling mortgage bonds in the runup to the 2008 crisis. Robert Jenkins, a former Bank of England policymaker [says] one reason regulators backed away from proceedings against individuals is fear. This dates back to 2002, when accountancy firm Arthur Andersen was convicted of destroying documents related to its audits of Enron. The prosecution was overturned in 2005, too late to save what had been one of the world’s biggest accountants from collapse. There was, Jenkins said, “fear by the US authorities of a banking version of Arthur Andersen at a time of financial fragility”. But he lists other problems, [such as] lobbying by bankers and the naivete of regulators. Jenkins added the banks should ... face the threat of being broken up: “When it comes to the systematic wrongdoing on their watch, either the senior executives knew, did not know or cannot be expected to know. If they knew they are complicit. If they did not know they are incompetent. And if the banks are so large and complex that they cannot be expected to know, then they are a walking argument for breaking up the banks.”

Note: After the bailout in 2008, the percentage of US banking assets held by the big banks has almost doubled. Could this possibly have been planned? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.

Powerful admiral punishes suspected whistleblowers, still gets promotion
2015-10-21, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-11-01 21:06:54

The Navy is poised to promote the admiral in charge of its elite SEAL teams and other commando units even though Pentagon investigators determined that he illegally retaliated against staff members who he mistakenly suspected were whistleblowers. Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey was investigated five times by the Defense Department’s inspector general after subordinates complained that he had wrongly fired, demoted or punished them during a vengeful but fruitless hunt for the person who had anonymously reported him for a minor travel-policy infraction. After conducting separate, years-long investigations that involved more than 100 witnesses and 300,000 pages of e-mails, the inspector general upheld complaints from three of the five staff members. In each of those cases, it recommended that the Navy take action against Losey for violating whistleblower-protection laws, the documents show. The Navy, however, dismissed the findings this month and decided not to discipline Losey. He now leads the Naval Special Warfare Command. The previously undisclosed investigations into one of the Navy’s top SEALs underscore the weakness of the military’s whistleblower-protection law and how rarely violators are punished. Of the 1,196 whistleblower­cases closed by the Defense Department during the 12 months ending March 31, only 3 percent were upheld by investigators. The complaints against Losey also illustrate the Pentagon’s long-standing reluctance to discipline top brass for wrongdoing and how the military typically conceals misconduct investigations from public view.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Ex-Goldman Banker and Fed Employee Will Plead Guilty in Document Leak
2015-10-26, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-01 21:05:03

A former Goldman Sachs banker suspected of taking confidential documents from a source inside the government has agreed to plead guilty, a rare criminal action on Wall Street, where Goldman itself is facing an array of regulatory penalties over the leak. The banker and his source, who at the time of the leak was an employee at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, one of Goldman’s regulators, will accept a plea deal from federal prosecutors that could send them to prison for up to a year. Under a tentative deal ... Goldman would pay a fine of $50 million. For Goldman and the New York Fed, the case is likely to give new life to an embarrassing episode that illustrated the blurred lines between their institutions. Perhaps more than any other bank, Goldman swaps employees with the government, earning it the nickname “Government Sachs.” While the so-called revolving door is common on Wall Street, the investigation [affirms] the public’s concerns that regulators and bankers, when intermingled, occasionally form unholy alliances. The Goldman banker, Rohit Bansal, previously spent seven years as a regulator at the New York Fed.

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

Goldman pays $50M fine for Fed data leak
2015-10-28, USA Today
Posted: 2015-11-01 21:02:49

According to the New York Department of Financial Services, a banking regulator, Goldman hired Rohit Bansal from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in May 2014, "in large part for the regulatory experience and knowledge he had gained while working at the New York Fed." Goldman hired Bansal despite the fact that he had been forced to resign from the Fed for breaking the rules there. Once at Goldman, Bansal was instructed to work on a bank that he had supervised while at the Fed, despite explicit prohibitions against him doing so, NYDFS said. Bansal later used confidential information, some of which he obtained from his prior employment at the NY Fed and some of which he obtained from from a former NY Fed colleague, in his work on the bank. To resolve the matter, Goldman has agreed to pay $50 million and accept a three-year "voluntary abstention" from accepting new consulting engagements of NYDFS regulated entities. Goldman also agreed to admit that a former employee engaged in the criminal theft of confidential information and that Goldman management "failed to effectively supervise its employee to prevent this theft from occurring," NYDFS said. In September 2014, for example, Bansal attended the birthday dinner of a former Fed colleague at Peter Luger's. Immediately after the dinner, Bansal emailed his boss at Goldman "divulging confidential information concerning the regulated entity, specifically, the relevant component of the upcoming examination rating," NYDFS said.

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

Congress insiders: Above the law?
2011-11-11, CBS News
Posted: 2015-11-01 20:59:27

The same insider trading that can land a regular citizen in jail is perfectly legal for members of Congress. Steve Kroft reports on how America's lawmakers can legally make tidy profits on information only they know, simply because they won't pass a law against themselves. Among the revelations in Kroft's report: Members of Congress have bought stock in companies while laws that could affect those companies were being debated in the House or Senate. At least one representative made significant stock purchases the day after he and other members of Congress attended a secret meeting in September 2008, where the Fed chair and the treasury secretary informed them of the imminent global economic meltdown. The meeting was so confidential that cell phones and other digital devices were confiscated before it began. Efforts to make such insider trading off limits to Washington's lawmakers have never been able to get traction. Former Rep. Brian Baird says he spent half of his 12 years in Congress trying to get co-sponsors for a bill that would ban insider trading in Congress and also set some rules up to govern conflicts of interest. In 2004, he and Rep. Louise Slaughter introduced the "Stock Act" to stop the insider trading. How far did they get? "We didn't get anywhere. Just flat died," he tells Kroft.

Note: To better understand how the US Congress protects itself in insider trading, read this NPR article and this one from the Intercept.

WikiLeaks: US Should Retaliate Against EU for Genetically Modified Resistance
2010-12-20, Huffington Post
Posted: 2015-11-01 20:57:51

WikiLeaked cables released over the weekend revealed more about the US' role as a global bully. In a 2007 cable from Craig Stapleton, then US Ambassador to France, he encouraged the US government to "reinforce our negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list." A list, he added, that "causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility." The stated reason for their attack was that "Europe is moving backwards not forwards" on GMOs, with "France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the [EU] Commission." The Ambassador was concerned that France and others would put a ban on the cultivation of Monsanto's GM corn seeds. According to the cable, the Ambassador ... was also upset about France's draft biotech law that "would make farmers and seed companies legally liable for pollen drift." This concept that the "polluter pays" is a foundational principle of US law - except for GMOs. Offering consumers a choice on GMOs is not on the US government agenda. Stapleton's tone in the letter was insistent. "We should not be prepared to cede on cultivation because of our considerable planting seed business in Europe." He said, "Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices."

Note: For lots more showing US commitment to spread frankenfoods, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.

Is Money Corrupting Research?
2015-10-09, New York Times
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:38:08

The integrity of research and expert opinions in Washington came into question last week, prompting the resignation of Robert Litan, an economist, from his position as a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution. Senator Elizabeth Warren raised the issue of a conflict of interest in Mr. Litan’s testimony before a Senate committee. The testimony was based on a paper Mr. Litan had prepared for the Capital Group, a mutual fund company. Mr. Litan disclosed that the Capital Group, which has a stake in the debate, had funded his paper, but he did not disclose that it had also commissioned it. At stake is the integrity of the research process and the trust the nation puts in experts, who advise governments and testify in Congress. Had [Litan's] conclusions not pleased the Capital Group, it would probably have found a more compliant expert. And the reputation of not being “cooperative” would have haunted Mr. Litan’s career as a consultant. The practice of bending an opinion for money is so widespread as to be the norm. By shedding light on how funding of research can affect its content, Senator Warren increased the reputational penalty for experts who bend to special interests. But we need two more changes. Congressional testimony and policy papers should be posted online at least two weeks in advance of a hearing and open for comments. And all expert witnesses should be disclosed to the public, with a time delay if needed for confidentiality.

Note: Read more about how big money buys off institutions democracy depends on. Then see these concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

What to do about big banks?
2015-10-14, Baltimore Sun (One of Baltimore's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:35:34

Giant Wall Street banks continue to threaten the well-being of millions of Americans. Back in 2000, before they almost ruined the economy and had to be bailed out, the five biggest banks on Wall Street held about 25 percent of the nation's banking assets. Now they hold more than 45 percent. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank on Wall Street, lost $6.2 billion betting on credit default swaps - and then publicly lied about the losses. It later came out that the bank paid illegal bribes to get the business in the first place. In May, the Justice Department announced a settlement of the biggest criminal price-fixing conspiracy in modern history, in which the biggest banks manipulated the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market in a "brazen display of collusion," according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Wall Street's investment bankers, key traders, top executives, and hedge-fund and private-equity managers wield extraordinary power. They're major sources of campaign contributions to both parties. In addition, a lucrative revolving door connects the Street to Washington. Key members of Congress, especially those involved with enacting financial laws or overseeing financial regulators, have fat paychecks waiting for them on Wall Street when they retire. Which helps explain why no Wall Street executive has been indicted for the fraudulent behavior that led up to the 2008 crash. Or for the criminal price-fixing scheme settled in May. Or for other excesses since then.

Note: Does it at all seem strange that after the bailout in 2008, the percentage of US banking assets held by the big banks has almost doubled? Could this possibly have been planned? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Meanwhile, in Iceland, the 26th banker has been jailed for their role in the 2008 financial crisis
2015-10-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:33:32

While British and American bankers who brought the world's economy to its knees in 2008 have barely faced the consequences for their actions, in Iceland, it's a different story. The Nordic nation, which was one of the worst affected by the 2008 financial crisis, has sentenced 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison. In two separate rulings last week, the Supreme Court of Iceland and Reykjavik District Court sentenced six top managers of two national banks for crimes committed in the lead up to the banking sector's collapse, bringing the total number of people who have faced the music for their roles in the crash to 26. At the moment the maximum penalty for white collar crime in Iceland is six years. Iceland deregulated its financial sector in 2001, and manipulation of the markets by bankers led to a system-wide meltdown when the global economy tanked in 2008. Iceland's economy is now in comparatively [good] health since the country was forced to borrow heavily from the International Monetary Fund seven years ago. As Iceland's president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said when asked how the country recovered so quickly: "We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe." In the US and the UK, of course, we just bailed them out.

Note: According to the New York Times, the lines between Washington and Wall Street are blurred. Will US officials ever get serious about about financial industry corruption?

Confidential files on El Salvador human rights stolen after legal action against CIA
2015-10-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:31:01

Confidential files containing evidence of violations committed during El Salvador’s civil war have been stolen from a Washington-based human rights group days after it launched legal proceedings against the CIA over classified files on a former US-backed military commander implicated in massacres, death squads and forced disappearances. A computer and hard drive containing testimonies from survivors were stolen from the office of the director of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) last week. The director’s office was the only one raided, there were no signs of forced entry, and items of monetary value were left behind. The stolen files contained details of investigations related to the 1980-1992 civil war, which left at least 75,000 people dead, 8,000 missing and a million displaced. The vast majority of crimes were committed by US-backed military dictatorships against civilians ... suspected of supporting the leftist guerrillas, according to the UN. Perpetrators were granted immunity from prosecution by a 1993 amnesty law, which remains intact despite being ruled illegal by the Inter American Court of Human Rights. The UWCHR has uncovered previously unseen information held by federal agencies such as the CIA and DEA, which it has shared with relatives of victims. The group filed a freedom of information suit against the CIA on 2 October. The sensitive files were stolen two weeks later. Several rights groups in El Salvador investigating war crimes have suffered similarly suspicious robberies.

Note: Several military human rights abusers in El Salvador were trained by the US Army's School of the Americas, along with over 500 known human rights abusers.

OECD: leading countries spend $200bn a year subsidising fossil fuels
2015-09-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:28:24

Rich western countries and the world’s leading developing nations are spending up to $200bn (Ł130bn) a year subsidising fossil fuels, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The ... thinktank said its 34 members plus six of the biggest emerging economies – China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa – were spending money supporting the consumption and production of coal, oil and gas that should be used to tackle climate change. The OECD secretary general, Angel Gurría, [said] that governments were spending almost twice as much money subsidising fossil fuels as was needed to meet the climate-finance objectives set by the international community at climate change summits, which have set a target of mobilising $100bn a year by 2020. Although ... fossil fuel subsidies were on a downward trend since peaking in 2011-12, the thinktank said they remained high. “By distorting costs and prices, fossil-fuel subsidies create inefficiencies in the way we generate and use energy,” Gurría said. “But most importantly, fossil-fuel subsidies undermine efforts to make our economies less carbon-intensive while exacerbating the damage to human health caused by air pollution.”

Note: The International Monetary Fund recently estimated that fossil fuel companies globally receive $5.3 trillion in yearly subsidies. In the US, these subsidies are granted by politicians that receive significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

‘The Devil’s Chessboard,’ by David Talbot
2015-10-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:25:52

David Talbot despises Allen Dulles. As director of the CIA, Talbot declares, Dulles exemplified the “frightening amorality that prevailed at the pinnacle of American power” at the height of the Cold War. As a lawyer for Sullivan and Cromwell in the 1930s, Dulles protected and promoted Nazi-controlled cartels. He used his influence in the Office of Strategic Services and the CIA to shield former Nazis from prosecution for war crimes in the ’40s and ’50s. Dulles organized the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, [and was] willing to manipulate and undercut American presidents. In “The Devil’s Chessboard,” David Talbot, the founder and former editor in chief of Salon and former senior editor at Mother Jones, examines Dulles’ career and adds several more “achievements” to his dark resume. Talbot’s indictment is long. He suggests that had President Franklin D. Roosevelt lived, Dulles might well have faced criminal charges for hiding the U.S. assets of German corporations and destroying incriminating evidence. By 1963, Talbot insists, a clear consensus had emerged among corporate leaders “and within America’s deep state” that Kennedy was a threat to national security and had to be removed. Dulles, they concluded, “was the only man with the stature, connections, and decisive will to make something of this enormity happen." [Dulles] then lobbied Lyndon Johnson to appoint him to the Warren Commission, where he saw to it that Lee Harvey Oswald would take the fall as the “lone gunman.”

Note: Read another good article on Talbot's book revealing evidence in the JFK killing. And isn't it interesting that no other major media seemed to find this book worth a review, even though Talbot is well known as the founder of the website Salon.

Manhunting in the Hindu Kush
2015-10-15, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:23:50

From 2011 to 2013, the most elite forces in the U.S. military, supported by the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community, set out to destroy the Taliban and al Qaeda forces that remained hidden ... along Afghanistan’s northeastern border with Pakistan. Dubbed Operation Haymaker, the campaign has been described as a potential model for the future of American warfare. The military’s own analysis demonstrates that the Haymaker campaign was in many respects a failure. The vast majority of those killed in airstrikes were not the direct targets. Nor did the campaign succeed in significantly degrading al Qaeda’s operations in the region. The frequency with which “targeted killing” operations hit unnamed bystanders is among the more striking takeaways from the Haymaker slides. [Documents obtained by The Intercept] show that during a five-month stretch of the campaign, nearly nine out of 10 people who died in airstrikes were not the Americans’ direct targets. Larry Lewis, formerly a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, ... found that drone strikes in Afghanistan were 10 times more likely to kill civilians than conventional aircraft. This month, an American airstrike on a hospital run by the international organization Médecins Sans Frontičres ... killed at least a dozen members of the humanitarian group’s medical staff and 10 patients, including three children. A nurse on the scene recalled seeing six victims in the intensive care unit ablaze in their beds.

Note: Read more about the major failings of US drone attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.

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.