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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.


Russian official wants to investigate whether U.S. moon landings actually happened
2015-06-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-06-29 10:43:30
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/06/17/russian-official...

The increasingly tense relationship between the United States and Russia might be about to face a new challenge: a Russian investigation into American moon landings. In an op-ed published by Russian newspaper Izvestia on Tuesday, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the government's official Investigative Committee, argued that such an investigation could reveal new insights into the historical space journeys. According to a translation by the Moscow Times, Markin would support an inquiry into the disappearance of original footage from the first moon landing in 1969 and the whereabouts of lunar rock, which was brought back to earth during several missions. "We are not contending that they did not fly [to the moon]. But all of these scientific – or perhaps cultural – artifacts are part of the legacy of humanity, and their disappearance without a trace is our common loss. An investigation will reveal what happened," Markin wrote, according to the Moscow Times translation. In 2009, NASA itself admitted that it had erased the original video recordings of the first moon landing among 200,000 other tapes in order to save money, according to Reuters. However, NASA has since restored copies of the landing, using recordings from other sources such as CBS News. The organization says that due to restoration efforts, the recordings' quality is superior to the original one that has gone missing.

Note: The New York Times has reported that the moon rock donated to the Dutch was a fake. And explore an intriguing article about the disappearance of the original lunar landing videos. How could NASA lose and/or erase what are among the most historic video recordings ever made? And how could it be possible to restore the quality of the original videos using major media sources? For an abundance of stunning, reliable information along these lines, see the excellent resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness
2015-05-06, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-06-29 10:15:41
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/06/meet-the-outsi...

Meet Sam Tsemberis. He's all but solved chronic homelessness. His research, which commands the support of most scholars, has inspired policies across the nation. The results have been staggering. Late last month, Utah, the latest laboratory for Tsemberis's models, reported it has nearly eradicated chronic homelessness. Phoenix, an earlier test case, eliminated chronic homelessness among veterans. Then New Orleans housed every homeless veteran. Homelessness has long seemed one of the most intractable of social problems. For decades, the number of homeless from New York City to San Francisco surged – and so did the costs. At one point around the turn of the millennium, New York was spending an annual $40,500 on every homeless person with mental issues. Tsemberis ...unfurled a model so simple children could grasp it, so cost-effective fiscal hawks loved it, so socially progressive liberals praised it. Give homes for the homeless, and you will solve chronic homelessness. Success begat success. The federal government tested the model on 734 homeless across 11 cities, finding the model dramatically reduced levels of addiction as well as shrank health related costs by half. "Adults who have experienced chronic homelessness may be successfully housed and can maintain their housing," the report declared. Utah's Gordon Walker, explain[s] how his state succeeded at eliminating homelessness – and saved millions, "It was costing us in state services, health-care costs, jail time, police time, about $20,000 per person. Now, we spend $12,000 per person."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Top officials charged with violating constitution with 9/11 detainee abuse
2015-06-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:50:16
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/17/john-ashcroft-911-detainee-abu...

A US appeals court on Wednesday reinstated a claim against former attorney general John Ashcroft and other Justice Department officials, stemming from the abuse of Arab and Muslim men and others detained for months ... after the September 11 attacks. The unusual decision cleared the way for once-anonymous plaintiffs to advance charges that the top officials in the Justice Department had violated their constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. Officials ... knew the abuse was happening and that they knew the detainees weren’t terrorism suspects. The court wrote, “The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy.” The case was first brought 13 years ago by the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit. The current complaint is joined by eight named plaintiffs, all of whom were caught up in law enforcement sweeps that netted hundreds of men after the 9/11 attacks. The “9/11 detainees” had in common an unresolved immigration status and a perceived Arab or Muslim background. The result, in some cases, was months of detention without charges, abuse at the hands of guards, solitary confinement and other punitive measures. The complaint details gratuitous strip searches, beatings, broken bones and verbal abuse. In one case, a Buddhist from Nepal ... was arrested for filming a Queens street, and held and abused in a Brooklyn detention center for three months. The appeals court found those measures to be “punitive and unconstitutional”.

Note: For more, read this New York Times article. Most of the "9/11 detainees" were deported after being cleared of any involvement in terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about investigations into 9/11 and its aftermath, or read the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Why we spend billions to keep half a million unconvicted people behind bars
2015-06-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:48:21
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/11/why-we-spend-billi...

At any given time, roughly 480,000 people sit in America's local jails awaiting their day in court, according to an estimate by the International Centre for Prison Studies. These are people who have been charged with a crime, but not convicted. They remain innocent in the eyes of the law. Three quarters of them ... are nonviolent offenders, arrested for traffic violations, or property crimes, or simple drug possession. Many will be found innocent and have their charges dropped completely. Defendants who [are] detained before trial [wait] a median of 68 days in jail. Many ... are forced to wait simply because they can't afford to post bail. A 2013 analysis by the Drug Policy Alliance ... found that nearly 40 percent of New Jersey's jail population fell into this category. People sit behind bars not because they're dangerous, or because they're a flight risk, but simply because they can't come up with the cash. A recent analysis by the Vera Institute ... found that 41 percent of New York City's inmates were sitting in jail on a misdemeanor charge because they couldn't meet a bail of $2,500 or less. For low income people, the consequences of a pre-trial detention, even a brief one, can be disastrous. And in many cases, these people will eventually be found to be innocent. Some civil rights reformers [argue] that bail policies are tantamount to locking people up for being poor. We spend somewhere in the ballpark of $17 billion dollars annually to keep innocent people locked up as they await trial.

Note: For more, read this New York Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about income inequality and systemic prison industry corruption.


Leaked trade deal terms prompt fears for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
2015-06-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:44:19
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/11/pacific-trade-deal-raises-fea...

The leak of new information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) shows the mega-trade deal could provide more ways for multinational corporations to influence Australia’s control of its pharmaceutical regulations. Revealed via Wikileaks, the annexe on “transparency and procedural fairness for pharmaceutical products and medical devices” uncovered the draft agreements regarding medicines between the 12 TPPA member countries [representing] 40% of the world’s economy. The leaked text, dated December 2014, laid out the draft rules for member countries regarding medicines under national health care programs, in Australia’s case, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This ‘transparency’ annexe seeks to erode the processes and decisions of agencies that decide which medicines and medical devices to subsidise the public money and by how much. That will mean fewer medicines are subsidised, or people will pay more as co-payments. However, [trade minister Andrew] Robb said ... that the government would not accept anything that would adversely affect the PBS. Parliamentarians were offered the chance to see the TPP draft by Robb [only] if they agreed to a four year non-disclosure agreement. Senator Peter Whish-Wilson ... who has not seen the draft as he refused to agree to the terms of the agreement, said the latest leak suggested the Australian PBS could be undermined.

Note: The Trans-Pacific Partnership may be a pending disaster. But we do not know for sure, because its contents remain secret. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Drug companies donated millions to California lawmakers before vaccine debate
2015-06-18, Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, California's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:42:02
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article24913978....

A subplot to the vociferous debate over the student vaccination bill moving through California’s Capitol is opponents’ allegations that the effort reflects the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. Critics of Senate Bill 277, which would eliminate the personal belief and religious exemptions for schoolchildren, accuse the measure’s supporters in the Legislature of doing the bidding of donors who make vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. The bill’s proponents and drug companies dismiss the charge. Pharmaceutical companies and their trade groups gave more than $2 million to current members of the Legislature in 2013-2014, about 2 percent of the total raised. Nine of the top 20 recipients are either legislative leaders or serve on either the Assembly or Senate health committees. Receiving more than $95,000, the top recipient of industry campaign cash is Sen. Richard Pan, a Sacramento Democrat and doctor who is carrying the vaccine bill. In addition, the industry donated more than $500,000 to outside campaign spending groups that helped elect some current members last year. Leading pharmaceutical companies also spent nearly $3 million more during the 2013-2014 legislative session lobbying the Legislature, the governor, the state pharmacists’ board and other agencies, according to state filings.

Note: Read powerful evidence that some vaccines are not safe nor effective. Remember that big Pharma makes billions in profit from vaccines.


Time for California to claim energy crisis refunds
2015-06-12, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:39:32
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Time-for-California-to-claim-energ...

Fifteen years ago, greedy traders plunged California into the energy crisis with its first supplier-caused blackout. That crisis almost bankrupted California. From 2000 through 2001, California overpaid for electricity by at least $20 billion. To prevent the utilities from going bankrupt and to keep the lights on, the state paid those overcharges by selling bonds. We will pay the costs of that fraud in our utility bills every month until 2022. In 2000, the PUC issued more than 120 subpoenas for information from all energy companies in the California market. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stymied California’s efforts to obtain critical information that would prove the energy sellers’ collusion. Those sellers, and the Wall Street banks that backed them and bet on them, ran to the FERC to quash California’s subpoenas. The federal commission accommodated the conspirators then, and continues to do their bidding now. California took the federal commission to court and, starting in 2004, the courts sided with California. FERC had to be ordered repeatedly by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to allow California to obtain and present evidence. At least two market-manipulation cases brought by California are still pending before the federal commission and haven’t yet been settled by the state PUC. Winning these cases could mean billions of dollars for California families and businesses.

Note: The above was written by Loretta M. Lynch, former president of the California Public Utilities Commission. Read undeniable proof that greedy traders caused the crisis in this CBS article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


How Many Die in Police Custody? We Should Know
2015-06-16, Bloomberg News Service
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:34:41
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-16/how-many-die-in-police-custo...

With every video that surfaces of questionable or shocking police conduct, at least two questions arise. The first is how exactly each incident happened. The second is how common such incidents are. The first question can be addressed though investigation, which can surprise both police and their critics, and eventually through better training. The second question is more straightforward - and the lack of an answer is unacceptable. The U.S. Department of Justice actually has two separate counts of deaths in police custody - one by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and one by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Each count misses half of all deaths; the department hoped that by combining them, it would get a reasonably accurate number. Its hope was misplaced. The department pretty much acknowledges that its number is unreliable. The Bureau of Justice Statistics suspended its data collection more than a year ago and has since been examining ways to improve the accuracy of its count. A law passed last December with strong bipartisan support allows the attorney general to withhold up to 10 percent of some federal grants to states if they fail to comply with reporting requirements. The law gives states 120 days to begin reporting deaths on a quarterly basis, but the department will not set any requirements for reporting until it completes an internal review of its own data collection. Better numbers won't solve the problem. But they can be a useful gauge through which to measure and focus any proposed solution.

Note: An article in the UK's Guardian newspaper, titled The Uncounted, describes why the U.S. government claims it is unable to keep track of killings by police, but does not mention that police shootings rise as crime falls. The Guardian now independently tracks killings by U.S. police.


America siding with 'terrorists' like al-Nusra? It's not a conspiracy theory
2015-06-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:32:45
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/america-siding-with-terrorists-li...

That inestimable French journal Le Monde Diplomatique this month carries a wodge of articles under the title “Did you say conspiracy?”, painfully dissecting how many false-flag stories turned out to be true. There’s the 1933 burning of the Reichstag which might have been started by the Nazis; the successful – and real – CIA-MI5 plot to overthrow Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh; Israel’s 1954 “Operation Susannah” in which Israeli-organised attacks on UK and US buildings in Cairo were blamed on Egyptian nationalists; and the 1964 Tonkin incident, when America reported totally imaginary North Vietnamese attacks on a US warship, which led to the very real launching of the Vietnam War. Intelligence reports to the French government have been recording US air strikes against Isis that have avoided endangering positions held by al-Nusra ... the “moderate” Jabhat al-Nusra rebels, the throat-cutters and executioners who are playing the anti-Isis card to woo the US. When Isis arrived in its thousands to assault Palmyra last month – for the most part, in broad daylight – not one US plane appeared in Syrian skies. You don’t have to be a reporter, let alone a conspiracy theorist, to see the warning lights around the “war on terror” story in Syria. Because some of the terrorists are soon going to be our terrorists – as long as they fight ... the Assad terrorists at the same time. All they need is more cash and more weapons. And I bet you they’ll get them, courtesy of the ol’ US of A. Just don’t mention the word conspiracy.

Note: Explore an excellent summary of false flag operations which shows how those in power will attach their own countries to gain a power advantage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on terrorism from reliable major media sources. For more on the war on terrorism, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Questions about arms deals for Clinton Foundation donors
2015-05-28, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:50:07
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Questions-about-arms-deals-for-Cli...

Federal law designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In practice, that meant that [Hillary] Clinton was charged with rejecting or approving weapons deals — and when it came to Clinton Foundation donors, Hillary Clinton’s State Department did a whole lot of approving. While Clinton was secretary of state, her department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors. That figure ... is almost double the value of arms sales to those countries during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term. The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation. That was a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period. American military contractors and their affiliates that donated to the Clinton Foundation — and in some cases, helped finance speaking fees to Bill Clinton — also got in on the action. Those firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of arms deals authorized by the Clinton State Department.

Note: If you can not access this article at the link above, it is also available here. If you look at war and global politics from the point of view of war profiteering, you can see why despite popular opposition to war, it never stops. Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket.


In the Fog of War, the U.S. Has Armed ISIS
2015-06-02, Reuters
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:47:38
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/02/van-buren-iraq-idUSL1N0YO25X20150602

Iraqi security forces lost 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles when Islamic State overran the northern city of Mosul in June 2014. Coupled with previous losses of American weapons, the conclusion is simple: The United States is effectively supplying Islamic State with tools of war the militant group cannot otherwise hope to acquire. Losses to Islamic State include at least 40 M1A1 main battle tanks ... 74,000 machine guns, and as many as 52 M198 howitzer mobile gun systems. To help replenish Iraq's motor pool, the U.S. State Department last year approved a sale to Iraq of 1,000 Humvees, along with their armor upgrades, machine guns and grenade launchers. The United States previously donated 250 Mine Resistant Armored Personnel carriers (MRAPs) to Iraq, plus unaccountable amounts of material left behind when American forces departed in 2011. The United States is currently in the process of moving to Iraq 175 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, 55,000 rounds of main tank-gun ammunition, $600 million in howitzers and trucks, $700 million worth of Hellfire missiles and 2,000 AT-4 rockets. The Hellfires and AT-4's, anti-tank weapons, are presumably going to be used to help destroy the American armor in the hands of Islamic State. It's a surreal state of affairs in which American weaponry is being sent into Iraq to destroy American weaponry previously sent into Iraq.

Note: Remember that many in power want perpetual war to keep the profits flowing. Read a verifiable and carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS. Explore a powerful article titled "Ex-US Intelligence Officials Confirm: Secret Pentagon Report Proves US Complicity In Creation Of ISIS." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Canada 'cultural genocide' against First Nation
2015-06-03, BBC News
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:45:49
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33000961

A study has found rules that required Canadian aboriginals to attend state-funded church schools were responsible for "cultural genocide". The report released on Tuesday found that First Nation children were often physically and sexually abused. "They were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity," said Murray Sinclair, one of the study's authors. More than 130 residential schools operated across Canada. The Canadian government forced more than 150,000 First Nation children to attend these schools from the 19th Century until the mid-1990s. The schools sought to integrate the children into mainstream Canadian society, but in doing so rid them of their native culture. The policies have been cited as a major factor in an epidemic of substance abuse on reservations. Students said they were beaten for speaking their native language and were separated from their parents and customs. Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a historic apology in parliament in 2008, acknowledging the physical and sexual abuse that took place in the schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which wrote the report, was created in 2006 as part of a $5bn (Ł3.3bn) class action settlement between the government, churches and the 90,000 surviving First Nation students. The report issued 94 recommendations including an investigation into missing and murdered aboriginal women and an apology from Pope Francis on behalf of the Catholic Church.

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse scandals and violations of basic civil rights.


For Terrorist Fearmongers, It’s Always the Scariest Time Ever
2015-06-02, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:44:06
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/02/fear-mongers-always-scariest-ti...

For the fearmongers in the West and their allies, it’s always the scariest time ever. In February, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell, arguing for renewal of the Patriot Act, warned that “the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist threat to the United States has never been greater.” In January, an anonymous senior aide to U.K. Prime Minister ... argued for a new “snooper” bill by saying that “the terrorist threat has never been greater.” In mid-2014, U.K. Prime Minister Cameron himself raised the threat level to “severe” and announced: “Britain faces the ‘greatest and deepest’ terror threat in the country’s history.” Throughout the Bush years ... officials raised their color-coded terror alerts and issued similar warnings so many times that it became a running joke. Years later, the face of that joke, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, admitted he was pressured to issue warnings for political gain. Here we are 14 years after 9/11, and it’s still always the worst threat ever in all of history. If we always face the greatest threat ever, then one of two things is true: 1) fearmongers serially exaggerate the threat for self-interested reasons, or 2) the threat is always getting more severe, year after year — which might mean we should evaluate the wisdom of “terrorism” policies that constantly make the problem worse. Whatever else is true, the people who should have the least credibility on the planet are [those] who have spent the last 15 years exploiting the terror threat in order to terrorize the American population into doing what they want.

Note: Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


Major Questions Remain Unanswered in Boston Killing of Alleged ISIS Beheading Plotter
2015-06-10, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:42:02
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/10/major-questions-remain-unanswer...

Last week in the Boston area, a 26-year-old black Muslim man was shot and killed by agents of the FBI and Boston Police Department. A surveillance video ... was finally released on Monday. It’s virtually impossible to know what happened from this highly touted video, other than the fact that [Usaamah] Rahim appears to have been walking peacefully when he was approached by multiple individuals, wearing no police uniforms, in a threatening, military-style formation. Rahim’s family issued a statement detailing the numerous questions raised by the video. Early reports claimed that there was a third conspirator beyond Rahim and [his nephew and accused co-conspirator David] Wright. The FBI affidavit filed against Wright repeatedly references a “third person” who plotted with Rahim and Wright and met with them. Yet there has been no further mention of this “third person,” and apparently no arrest of him. Why not? Is that third person an FBI informant? Is this yet another case where the director and prime mover of a scary “terror plot” is in fact the FBI itself. What basis exists for the highly inflammatory claim that Rahim was “linked to” or “inspired by” ISIS? He was not only wary of being set up by the FBI, but specifically said he was “preaching AGAINST violence and terrorism.” As AP noted, on social media Rahim “spoke out against the kind of violence Islamic State extremists are fomenting across the Middle East,” and “made none of the violent calls to arms many supporters of armed extremist groups espouse on social media.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties and the manipulation of public perception.


Washington revolving door speeds up as Obama officials head for lobbying jobs
2015-03-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:40:07
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/07/washington-revolving-door-lobb...

Washington has long been notorious for its revolving doors. Politicians, regulators and other officials spin out of one capital building only to return at another as highly paid lobbyists. Leading the pack of former White House staff [now] accepting the corporate shilling is Jay Carney, President Obama’s former White House press secretary, who this week joined Amazon as its head of global corporate affairs. Carney follows David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager and senior White House adviser, who quit the White House in 2013 and joined Uber. Others to have left the Obama administration for the serious cash of the corporate world include Samuel Maruca, who was director of transfer pricing (multinational company taxation) at the Internal Revenue Service, [and] Shara Aranoff, [former] chair of the US International Trade Commission. Bill Allison, senior fellow of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit that campaigns for open government, said the number of senior government officials switching to lobbying roles in big companies poses “a huge problem for transparency". Obama was very clear – he didn’t want people to switch between lobbying and the government, but that’s what is happening. When he took office, Obama signed an order that the White House said: “closes the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government”.

Note: For more on this, see Glenn Greenwald's excellent article.


When It’s O.K. to Pay for a Story
2015-06-09, New York Times
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:37:56
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/opinion/when-its-ok-to-pay-for-a-story.html...

Last week, WikiLeaks disturbed many journalists with an initiative to crowd-source a $100,000 “bounty” on the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. In traditional newsrooms, the idea of offering a cash incentive for the leaking of confidential documents is anathema. But WikiLeaks ... leaves us no choice but to reconsider this prohibition. The TPP exceeds agreements like Nafta in scope and scale and involves far-reaching foreign policy decisions. Its measures will touch the lives of every citizen in the 12 countries expected to sign the pact. Chapters already leaked suggest that the deal restricts fair use of copyrighted material, expands medical patents and weakens public policies that govern net neutrality. Members of Congress can read the text in a secure room but cannot discuss its contents publicly. Representatives from about 600 private corporations are said to have access to the document. Yet the public is excluded. WikiLeaks has arrived at a flawed solution to a very real problem. We have reached a point in the evolution of global democracy at which secrecy and transparency are grotesquely imbalanced. Right now, the bounty may be the best shot we have at transforming the TPP process from a back-room deal to an open debate. But we need a better system to discourage unjustified secrecy, to protect sources and to encourage public-interest whistle-blowing.

Note: The Trans-Pacific Partnership may be a pending disaster. But we do not know for sure, because its contents remain secret. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Media Lessons from Snowden Reporting: LA Times Editors Advocate Prosecution of Sources
2015-06-07, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:35:26
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/07/la-times-editors-advocate-impri...

Two years ago, the first story based on the Snowden archive was published in The Guardian, revealing a program of domestic mass surveillance, which, at least in its original form, ended this week. To commemorate that anniversary, Edward Snowden himself reflected in a New York Times op-ed on the “power of an informed public”. The debate provoked by these disclosures [examined] the role journalism ought to play in a democracy and the proper relationship of journalists to those who wield the greatest political and economic power. Of all the revelations over the last two years, one of the most illuminating and stunning has been the reaction of many in the American media to Edward Snowden as a source. There was plenty of journalistic support for the disclosures. But huge numbers of journalists went on the warpath against transparency. The Los Angeles Times ... believes leaking is criminal and those who do it belong in prison. The LA Times itself constantly publishes illegal leaks, though the ones it publishes usually come from top government officials. Have the LA Times editors called for the criminal prosecution of Leon Panetta, and John Brennan, and the endless number of senior officials who leak not (as Snowden did) to inform the public but in order to propagandize them? Of course not, and therein lies the key media lesson from all of this. These journalists are literally agents of political power.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines
2015-06-06, New York Times
Posted: 2015-06-15 14:33:22
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/world/asia/the-secret-history-of-seal-team-...

The Navy’s SEAL Team 6 ... best known for killing Osama bin Laden, has been transformed by more than a decade of combat into a global manhunting machine. That role reflects America’s new way of war, in which conflict is distinguished ... by the relentless killing of suspected militants. While fighting grinding wars of attrition in Afghanistan and Iraq, Team 6 ... joined Central Intelligence Agency operatives in an initiative called the Omega Program, which offered greater latitude in hunting adversaries. Team 6 has successfully carried out thousands of dangerous raids that military leaders credit with weakening militant networks, but its activities have also spurred recurring concerns. Afghan villagers and a British commander accused SEALs of indiscriminately killing men in one hamlet; in 2009, team members joined C.I.A. and Afghan paramilitary forces in a raid that left a group of youths dead and inflamed tensions between Afghan and NATO officials. When suspicions have been raised about misconduct, outside oversight has been limited. “This is an area where Congress notoriously doesn’t want to know too much,” said Harold Koh, the State Department’s former top legal adviser. Like the C.I.A.’s campaign of drone strikes, Special Operations missions offer policy makers an alternative to costly wars of occupation. But the bulwark of secrecy around Team 6 makes it impossible to fully assess its record and the consequences of its actions, including civilian casualties or the deep resentment inside the countries where its members operate.

Note: Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently mis-reported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about military corruption and high level manipulation of mass media.


FBI Behind Mysterious Surveillance Aircraft Over US Cities
2015-06-02, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2015-06-08 16:35:42
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/fbi-mysterious-surveillance-aircra...

FBI Behind Mysterious Surveillance Aircraft Over US Cities
June 2, 2015, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/fbi-mysterious-surveillance-aircraft...

Scores of low-flying planes circling American cities are part of a civilian air force operated by the FBI and obscured behind fictitious companies. The aircraft are equipped with high-tech cameras, and ... technology capable of tracking thousands of cellphones. The surveillance equipment is used for ongoing investigations, the FBI says, generally without a judge's approval. The Drug Enforcement Administration has its own planes, also registered to fake companies, according to a 2011 Justice Department ... report. At the time, the DEA had 92 aircraft in its fleet. And since 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service has operated an aerial surveillance program with its own fleet equipped with technology that can capture data from thousands of cellphones. "These are not your grandparents' surveillance aircraft," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union. Evolving technology can record higher-quality video from long distances, even at night, and can capture certain identifying information from cellphones using a device known as a "cell-site simulator" [to] trick pinpointed cellphones into revealing identification numbers of subscribers, including those not suspected of a crime. The Obama administration [has] been directing local authorities through secret agreements not to reveal their own use of the devices. During the past few weeks, the AP tracked planes from the FBI's fleet on more than 100 flights over at least 11 states plus the District of Columbia.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt intelligence agencies that facilitate the erosion of privacy rights in the U.S. and elsewhere.


WikiLeaks releases documents related to controversial US trade pact
2015-06-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-06-08 16:34:11
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jun/03/wikileaks-documents-trade-in-ser...

WikiLeaks on Wednesday released 17 different documents related to the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), a controversial pact currently being hashed out between the US and 23 other countries – most of them in Europe and South America. The document dump comes at a tense moment in the negotiations over a series of trade deals. President Barack Obama has clashed with his own party over the deals as critics have worried about the impact on jobs and civil liberties. Unions, which fear heavy job losses once long-standing trade protections are dismantled, reacted with dismay following publication of the previously hidden documents. Rosa Pavanelli, general secretary of the Public Services International union, said: “It is outrageous that our democratically elected governments will not tell us the laws they are making. What has our democracy come to when the community must rely on Wikileaks to find out what our governments are doing on our behalf?” Nick Dearden, director of the charity Global Justice Now ... said: “These leaks reinforce the concerns of campaigners about the threat that TISA poses to vital public services. There is no mandate for such a far-reaching programme. It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing.”

Note: According to an investigation by The Guardian, it cost about $1,148,971 to "fast-track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), another secret trade deal. How much are corrupt corporations paying to corrupt politicians to purchase their favor for TISA?


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