Government Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
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This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week
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Top Bank of England director admits Occupy movement had a point
2012-10-29, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:50:45
The Occupy movement received vindication from an unlikely source tonight, as a senior executive at the Bank of England credited it with stirring a “reformation of finance”. Andrew Haldane, executive director of financial stability, said Occupy protesters had been “both loud and persuasive”, and had attracted public support because “they are right”. “Some have suggested … that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed,” Mr Haldane said. “I wish to argue that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.” Speaking at an Occupy Economics event in central London, Mr Haldane said that Occupy had been “successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason: they are right.” He added that protesters ... “touched a moral nerve in pointing to growing inequities in the allocation of wealth”. Mr Haldane ended with a direct appeal to activists to continue putting pressure on governments and regulators. He said: “You have put the arguments. You have helped win the debate. And policymakers, like me, will need your continuing support in delivering that radical change.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.
Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations
2012-10-25, Washington Post
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:45:22
Around the clock, about 16 times a day, drones take off or land at a U.S. military base [in Djibouti], the combat hub for the Obama administration’s ... wars in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Some of the unmanned aircraft are bound for Somalia. Most of the armed drones, however, veer north across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. Camp Lemonnier began as a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines looking for a foothold in the region a decade ago. Over the past two years, the U.S. military has clandestinely transformed it into the busiest Predator drone base outside the Afghan war zone. The Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal the legal and operational details of its targeted-killing program. Increasingly, the orders to find, track or kill [targeted] people are delivered to Camp Lemonnier. Secrecy blankets most of the [500-acre] camp’s activities. In August, the Defense Department delivered a master plan to Congress detailing how the camp will be used over the next quarter-century. About $1.4 billion in construction projects are on the drawing board, including a huge new compound that could house up to 1,100 Special Operations forces, more than triple the current number. Drones will continue to be in the forefront. Today, Camp Lemonnier is the centerpiece of an expanding constellation of half a dozen U.S. drone and surveillance bases in Africa ... from Mali to Libya to the Central African Republic. The U.S. military also flies drones from small civilian airports in Ethiopia and the Seychelles, but those operations pale in comparison to what is unfolding in Djibouti.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the secret and illegal operations of the "global war on terror," click here.
Soldiers win $85m compensation from Iraq war contractor
2012-11-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:36:20
A jury has ordered an $85m compensation payout by the American military contractor Kellogg Brown and Root ... after finding it guilty of negligence for illnesses suffered by a dozen soldiers who guarded an oilfield water plant during the Iraq war. KBR was ordered to pay $6.2m to each of the soldiers in punitive damages and $850,000 in non-economic damages. During the Iraq war KBR was the engineering and construction arm of Halliburton, the biggest US contractor during the conflict. KBR split from Halliburton in April 2007. The US lawsuit was the first concerning American soldiers' exposure to a toxin at a water plant in southern Iraq. The soldiers have said they suffer from respiratory ailments after their exposure to sodium dichromate and fear that a carcinogen it contains – hexavalent chromium – could cause cancer later in life. The contractor's defence ultimately rested on the fact that it informed the US army of the risks of exposure to sodium dichromate. KBR was tasked with reconstructing the decrepit, scavenged plant just after the March 2003 invasion while troops from the US national guard defended the area. Bags of unguarded sodium dichromate – a corrosive substance used to keep pipes at the water plant free of rust – were ripped open, allowing the substance to spread across the plant and into the air. When KBR was still part of Halliburton it won a large share of Pentagon contracts to build and manage US military bases in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Its former chief executive, Dick Cheney, was US vice-president.
Bill Moyers talks with [NY Times reporter] David Cay Johnston about Free Lunch
2008-01-08, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:10:26
BILL MOYERS: Why do some of the most powerful and privileged people in the country get a free lunch you pay for? You'll find some of the answers [in]: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). The theme of the book as I read it is that not that the rich are getting richer but that they've got the government rigging the rules to help them do it. DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: That's exactly right. And they're doing it in a way that I think is very crucial for people to understand. They're doing it by taking from those with less to give to those with more. We gave $100 million dollars to Warren Buffett's company last year, a gift from the taxpayers. We make gifts all over the place to rich people. Donald Trump benefits from a tax specifically levied by the State of New Jersey for the poor. Part of the casino winnings tax in New Jersey is dedicated to help the poor. But $89 million of it is being diverted to subsidize Donald Trump's casino's building retail space. George Steinbrenner, like almost every owner of a major sports franchise, gets enormous public subsidies. The major sports franchises [make] 100 percent of their profits from subsidies. In fact, if it weren't for these subsidies, the baseball, football, hockey, and basketball enterprises as a whole would be losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. George Bush owes almost his entire fortune to a tax increase that was funneled into his pocket and into the use of eminent domain laws to essentially legally cheat other people out of their land for less than it was worth to enrich him and his fellow investors.
Note: Watch part of this amazingly revealing interview online at this link. Johnston is a prolific writer with the NY Times; to see a list of his many articles there, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.
Informant: NYPD Paid Me to 'Bait' Muslims
2012-10-24, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2012-10-30 11:47:02
A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam. Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests. Rahman's account shows how the NYPD unleashed informants on Muslim neighborhoods, often without specific targets or criminal leads. Much of what Rahman said represents a tactic the NYPD has denied using. The AP corroborated Rahman's account through arrest records and weeks of text messages between Rahman and his police handler. Informants like Rahman are a central component of the NYPD's wide-ranging programs to monitor life in Muslim neighborhoods since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police officers have eavesdropped inside Muslim businesses, trained video cameras on mosques and collected license plates of worshippers. Informants who trawl the mosques — known informally as "mosque crawlers" — tell police what the imam says at sermons and provide police lists of attendees, even when there's no evidence they committed a crime. The programs were built with unprecedented help from the CIA.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the games intelligence agencies and units play, click here.
IMF's epic plan to conjure away debt and dethrone bankers
2012-10-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-30 11:45:32
One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined. The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money -- roughly 97pc of the money supply -- with state-created money. Specifically, it means an assault on "fractional reserve banking". If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air. The nation regains sovereign control over the money supply. There are no more bank runs, and fewer boom-bust credit cycles. That at least is the argument [in] the IMF study, by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, which came out in August and has begun to acquire a cult following around the world. Entitled "The Chicago Plan Revisited", it revives the scheme first put forward by professors Henry Simons and Irving Fisher in 1936 during the ferment of creative thinking in the late Depression. Benes and Kumhof argue that credit-cycle trauma - caused by private money creation - dates deep into history. The original authors of the Chicago Plan were responding to the Great Depression. They believed it was possible to prevent the social havoc caused by wild swings from boom to bust, and to do so without crimping economic dynamism. The benign side-effect of their proposals would be a switch from national debt to national surplus.
Note: This article is an incredible breakthrough in real reporting on the banking sector. It is most highly recommended to read the entire article and then explore our powerful Banking Corruption Information Center.
Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School
2012-10-09, New York Times
Posted: 2012-10-30 11:29:49
When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall. The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools. “I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.” Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance. It is not yet clear whether Dr. Anderson is representative of a widening trend. But some experts note that as wealthy students abuse stimulants to raise already-good grades in colleges and high schools, the medications are being used on low-income elementary school children with faltering grades and parents eager to see them succeed.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on pharmaceutical corruption, click here.
Mystery surrounds graves at boys' reform school
Posted: 2012-10-23 09:52:52
This Florida panhandle town is the home of a mystery that has been lost to time. A small cemetery buried deep into the grounds of a now-defunct boys reform school dates back to the early 1900s. Rusting white steel crosses mark the graves of 31 unidentified former students. Former students said the deaths were at the hands of abusive administrators. A 2009 state investigation determined there was no evidence of criminal activity connected with any of the deaths. But the investigation did not clear up the mystery over the fate of 50 other students who died at the school and whose bodies have not been accounted for. In the wake of that investigation, more former students -- who are now senior citizens -- have come forward with stories of abuse at the school, including alleged beatings, killings and the disappearance of students, during the 1940s, '50s and '60s. "These are children who came here and died, for one reason or another, and have just been lost in the woods," said Dr. Erin Kimmerle, an anthropologist from the University of South Florida who is leading a scientific search on the grounds of what used to be the Florida Industrial School for Boys. Using ground-penetrating radar, Kimmerle's team has located what she says appear to be 18 more remains than previously thought to have been buried there. After clearing the area, her team has determined that a total of 49 graves exist. All are unidentified. "We found burials within the current marked cemetery, and then we found burials that extend beyond that," Kimmerle said.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on institutional abuse of children, click here.
Brad Pitt blasts U.S. 'War on Drugs,' calls for policy rethink
2012-10-13, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2012-10-23 09:37:03
Brad Pitt has thrown his weight behind a documentary that blasts America's 40-year war on drugs as a failure, calling policies that imprison huge numbers of drug-users a "charade" in urgent need of a rethink. The Hollywood actor [recently became] an executive producer of filmmaker Eugene Jarecki's "The House I Live In," which won the Grand Jury Prize in January at the Sundance Film Festival. The film opened in wide release in the United States on [October 12]. Ahead of a Los Angeles screening, Pitt and Jarecki spoke passionately about the "War on Drugs" which, according to the documentary, has cost more than $1 trillion and accounted for over 45 million arrests since 1971, and which preys largely on poor and minority communities. "It's such bad strategy. It makes no sense. It perpetuates itself. You make a bust, you drive up profit, which makes more people want to get into it," he added. "To me, there's no question; we have to rethink this policy and we have to rethink it now." "The House I Live In" was filmed in more than 20 states and tells stories from many sides of the issue, including Jarecki's African-American nanny, a drug dealer, narcotics officer, inmate, judge, grieving mother, senator and others. It also shows that although the United States accounts for only 5 percent of the world's population, it has 25 percent of its prison population. Additionally, African Americans, who make up roughly 13 percent of the population and 14 percent of its drug users, account for 56 percent of those incarcerated for drug crimes.
Note: Some believe that whenever the government declares a war on something, the result is an increase in that thing. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent
2012-10-14, New York Times
Posted: 2012-10-16 10:46:11
In the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. By 1500, Venice’s population was smaller than it had been in 1330. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rest of Europe grew, the city continued to shrink. The story of Venice’s rise and fall is told by the scholars Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, in their book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, as an illustration of their thesis that what separates successful states from failed ones is whether their governing institutions are inclusive or extractive. Extractive states are controlled by ruling elites whose objective is to extract as much wealth as they can from the rest of society. Inclusive states give everyone access to economic opportunity; often, greater inclusiveness creates more prosperity, which creates an incentive for ever greater inclusiveness. The history of the United States can be read as one such virtuous circle. But as the story of Venice shows, virtuous circles can be broken. Elites that have prospered from inclusive systems can be tempted to pull up the ladder they climbed to the top. Eventually, their societies become extractive and their economies languish. That ... is the danger America faces today, as the 1 percent pulls away from everyone else and pursues an economic, political and social agenda that will increase that gap even further — ultimately destroying the open system that made America rich and allowed its 1 percent to thrive in the first place.
Note: The author of this article, Chrystia Freeland, wrote the book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, from which this essay is adapted. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on income inequality, click here.
Kids in solitary confinement: America's official child abuse
2012-10-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-16 10:40:49
Thousands of teenagers, some as young as 14 or 15, are routinely subjected by US prisons to [the] psychological torture [of solitary confinement]. One teen who participated in the Human Rights watch report wrote that being in isolation felt like 'a slow death from the inside out'. Molly J said of her time in solitary confinement: "[I felt] doomed, like I was being banished. Like you have the plague or that you are the worst thing on earth. I guess [I wanted to] feel like I was part of the human race – not like some animal." Molly was just 16 years old when she was placed in isolation in an adult jail in Michigan. She described her cell as being "a box": "There was a bed – the slab. It was concrete … There was a stainless steel toilet/sink combo … The door was solid, without a food slot or window … There was no window at all." Molly remained in solitary for several months, locked down alone in her cell for at least 22 hours a day. No other nation in the developed world routinely tortures its children in this manner. And torture is indeed the word brought to mind by a shocking report released today by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. Growing Up Locked Down documents, for the first time, the widespread use of solitary confinement on youth under the age of 18 in prisons and jails across the country, and the deep and permanent harm it causes to kids caught up in the adult criminal justice system.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the injustices rampant in prisons, click here.
Sir Nicholas Winton, the 'British Schindler', meets the Holocaust survivors he helped save
2009-09-04, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-16 10:34:51
By virtue of the foresight, humanity and sheer bloody-mindedness of a young British stockbroking clerk called Nicholas Winton, 669 Jewish children were saved from the clutches of the Nazis. On Friday, 22 of them were reunited with their 100-year-old saviour – now Sir Nicholas – who has come to be known as the 'British Schindler'. Between March and August 1939 eight trains carried 669 children to Britain, who otherwise would probably have perished in the death camps. Fifteen thousand Czechoslovakian children died in the war. The ninth train, containing 250 children, was due to leave Prague on 3 September 1939, the day Britain declared war. The Germans never let it leave the station, and most of the children never lived to see 1945. Almost as remarkable as the scheme itself, and a mark of Sir Nicholas's modesty, was that he chose to conceal his achievements for decades.
It was only when he wife Greta unearthed a briefcase in the attic contained lists of the children he saved and letters to the parents did he admit his part.
He said in 1999: "My wife didn't know about it for 40 years after our marriage, but there are all kinds of things you don't talk about even with your family. "Everything that happened before the war actually didn't feel important in the light of the war itself." He also rejected the comparison with Oskar Schindler, who saved about 1,200 Jews in the war, saying unlike the German his actions never put him in danger.
Note: For a touching, short video on this amazing story, click here. To listen to the story on NPR, click here.
Mexico orders HPV vaccinations for all 5th-grade girls, saying it will end threat of cervical cancer
2012-10-03, Miami Herald
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:34:42
Mexico on [October 3] launched a massive program to vaccinate fifth-grade girls against human papillomavirus, making it one of the few nations in the world with a universal campaign against the sexually transmitted virus. One million schoolgirls ages 11 or 12 will receive the HPV vaccination this week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said. Another 200,000 girls who aren’t in school also will be given the vaccine. Mexico becomes one of the few countries in the world to follow in the footsteps of Greece, which in 2007 made the HPV vaccination mandatory for girls entering seventh grade. All fifth-grade girls will be given an initial shot, then a second shot six months later. A third and final dose will be given to girls in ninth grade. Mexico began an obligatory vaccination program of schoolchildren and pregnant women in 1991, and currently [administers] 14 types of vaccines, Health Secretary Salomon Chertorivski said. During weeklong periods three times a year, thousands of doctors and nurses spread across the country to schools and rural clinics to administer the free vaccinations.
Note: Once again the pharmaceutical companies are persuading governments to force the public to take their questionable vaccines. For an excellent report endorsed by dozens of respected doctors and nurses on the serious risks and dangers of vaccines, click here. Read about a key scientific study which showed that monkeys given standard human vaccines developed autism symptoms, at this link. For powerful evidence presented in major media articles that some vaccines are much more dangerous than the health industry will acknowledge, click here.
Energy firm uses 'land grabs' to secure fracking rights from reluctant landowners
2012-10-02, NBC News
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:33:12
Ranjana Bhandari and her husband knew the natural gas beneath their ranch-style home in Arlington, Texas, could be worth a lot - especially when they got offer after offer from Chesapeake Energy Corp. Their repeated refusals didn't stop Chesapeake, the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States. This June, after petitioning a Texas state agency for an exception to a 93-year-old statute, the company effectively secured the ability to drain the gas from beneath the Bhandari property anyway -- without having to pay the couple a penny. In fact, since January 2005, the Texas agency has rejected just five of Chesapeake's 1,628 requests for such exceptions. Chesapeake's use of the Texas law is among the latest examples of how the company executes what it calls a "land grab" -- an aggressive leasing strategy intended to lock up prospective drilling sites and lock out competitors. Chesapeake has become the principal player in the largest land boom in America since the California Gold Rush of the late 1840s and ‘50s, amassing drilling rights on more land than almost any U.S. energy company. After years of leasing tracts from New York to Wyoming, the company now controls the right to drill for oil and gas on about 15 million acres -- roughly the size of West Virginia.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Intelligence Effort Named Citizens, Not Terrorists
2012-10-03, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:31:54
A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone's ability to control. What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights. One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group's list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting. No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers. The federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
How lawmakers and lobbyists keep a lock on the private prison business
2012-09-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:30:30
America's three largest private prison companies ... spent in the region of $45m over the past 10 years in lobbying state and federal governments. During the same period, these companies saw their profits soar as they scored more government contracts. [Also] during the same period, various pieces of legislation got passed ensuring that immigrant detention, in particular, would remain a lucrative growth market. Thanks to mandatory sentencing laws and the "war on drugs", the prison population has exploded over the past 30 years – to the point where it has become an untenable burden on state budgets. The private prison business [is] reliant on state and federal governments to provide them with their customer base: that is, bodies to fill their cells. The companies maintain that their lobbying efforts have nothing to do with this expansion and insist that it is their policy to "expressly prohibit their lobbyists from working to pass or oppose immigration legislation", such as the Arizona immigration bill SB1070, which provides for the mandatory detention of immigrants who cannot produce papers on request. [Then] where are the private prison firms spending those millions of lobbying dollars? A report compiled by the Justice Policy Institute issued in 2011 and using data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics found that between 2003 and 2010, the [Corrections Corporation of America] contributed a total of $1,552,350 to state election campaigns. Approximately half was to candidates, more than a third was to party committees and around one tenth was spent on ballot measures.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the prison/industrial complex, click here.
Why the US demonises Venezuela's democracy
2012-10-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:25:58
On 30 May, Dan Rather, one of America's best-known journalists, referred to [Venezuelan president Hugo] Chávez as "the dictator" – a term that few, if any, political scientists familiar with the country would countenance. Here is what Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela's "dictatorship" a few weeks ago: "As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." Carter won a Nobel prize for his work through the election-monitoring Carter Center, which has observed and certified past Venezuelan elections. The opposition will probably lose this election ... because the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans have dramatically improved under Chávez. Since 2004, when the government gained control over the oil industry and the economy had recovered from the devastating, extra-legal attempts to overthrow it (including the 2002 US-backed military coup), poverty has been cut in half and extreme poverty by 70%. And this measures only cash income. Millions have access to healthcare for the first time, and college enrolment has doubled, with free tuition for many students. Inequality has also been considerably reduced. By contrast, the two decades that preceded Chávez amount to one of the worst economic failures in Latin America, with real income per person actually falling by 14% between 1980 and 1998. In Washington, democracy has a simple definition: does a government do what the state department wants it to do?
Note: For a powerful movie which shows how much our media distorts our perception of global events, watch "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" about Venezuela and Hugo Chavez at this link. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on mass media corruption, click here.
HSAs force health providers to compete
2012-09-29, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:20:45
A growing number of patients are paying directly most, or all, of their medical bills these days. One problem they face: Finding out what health care services really cost before they make the decision to buy. Even though it accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy, health care is difficult to shop for in all but a small percentage of health care purchases. For the most part, no one ever sees a real price for health care services - not doctors, not patients, not employers, not employees. The reason patients never see the prices is because third-party payers (insurance companies, employers and government) negotiate with providers - leaving patients with a small co-pay under traditional insurance. And without real prices, there is no basis for third-party payers or anyone to negotiate the lowest possible prices. Recently, however, more and more employers are encouraging their employees to shop for health care the way they shop for groceries. To encourage that activity, employers are allowing their employees to manage more of their own health care dollars by means of a health savings account. The idea behind an HSA is a simple one: Instead of giving all of your health dollars to an insurance company or the government, you put some of those dollars into an account that you own and control. This reduces wasteful health care spending because individuals ... spending their own money often get the lowest prices, and they also can decide whether they really want to buy those services. A recent Rand Corp. study found that patients with HSA plans reduced medical spending by about 30 percent, without adversely affecting their health.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Drone strikes in Pakistan have killed many civilians, study says
2012-09-24, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2012-10-02 10:26:19
Far more civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas than U.S. counter-terrorism officials have acknowledged, a new study by human rights researchers at Stanford University and New York University contends. The report, "Living Under Drones," also concludes that the classified CIA program has ... turned the Pakistani public against U.S. policy in the volatile region. "Real people are suffering real harm" but are largely ignored in government or news media discussions of drone attacks, said James Cavallaro of Stanford, one of the study's authors. Cavallaro said the study was intended to challenge official accounts of the drones as precise instruments of high-tech warfare with few adverse consequences. The study concludes that only about 2% of drone casualties are top militant leaders. The study authors did not estimate overall civilian casualties because of limited data, Cavallaro said. But it cites estimates by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has reported extensively on drone strikes, of 474 to 884 civilian deaths since 2004, including 176 children. In April, Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, described civilian casualties from drone strikes as "exceedingly rare." The study challenges official versions of three attacks between 2009 and 2011, including a drone strike on March 17, 2011, that killed an estimated 42 people.
Note: Imagine the uproar if another country killed innocent civilians in the US while using drones to kill terrorists in the country. Visit the Living Under Drones website here. For a Democracy Now! report on the results of this study click here. For more analysis click here and here.
Drone strikes kill, maim and traumatize many civilians, U.S. study says
Posted: 2012-10-02 10:24:29
U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed far more people than the United States has acknowledged, have traumatized innocent residents and largely been ineffective, according to a new study released [on September 25]. The study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%. In contrast to more conservative U.S. statements, the Stanford/NYU report -- titled "Living Under Drones" -- offers starker figures published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent organization based at City University in London. Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of "double-striking" a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders. It also highlights harm "beyond death and physical injury," publishing accounts of psychological trauma experienced by people living in Pakistan's tribal northwest region, who it says hear drones hover 24 hours a day. "Before this we were all very happy," the report quotes an anonymous resident as saying. "But after these drones attacks a lot of people are victims and have lost members of their family. A lot of them, they have mental illnesses." People have to live with the fear that a strike could come down on them at any moment of the day or night, leaving behind dead whose "bodies are shattered to pieces," and survivors who must be desperately sped to a hospital.
Note: Visit the Living Under Drones website here. For a Democracy Now! report on the results of this study click here. For more analysis click here and here.