Excerpts of Key Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key media articles from the major media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption.
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When Silicon Valley takes LSD
In Silicon Valley, there is a premium on creativity, and tools thought to induce or enhance it are avidly sought. Some view psychedelics as ... a way to approach problems differently. There's no definitive scientific evidence that LSD or other hallucinogens improve creativity, and the DEA classifies LSD as a highly addictive, Schedule I drug. But the belief that they might work as a creative tool is enough to fuel some technologists' hope for professional epiphanies. Tim Ferriss, a Silicon Valley investor and author of "The 4-Hour Workweek," says he knows many successful entrepreneurs who dabble in psychedelics. "The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis," Ferriss said. "[They're] trying to be very disruptive and look at the problems in the world ... and ask completely new questions." The phenomenon was satirized on HBO's Silicon Valley when psychedelic mushrooms guide one of the show's main characters in the hunt for a new name for their startup. A recent study at Imperial College London provides a possible explanation. Twenty participants ingested LSD and then had their brain activity monitored in an fMRI machine. The drug [allowed] new patterns of communication to form. "Psychedelics dismantle 'well-worn' networks, and this allows novel communication patterns to occur. Modules that don't usually talk to each other are talking to each other more," explained Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, the researcher who conducted the study.
Note: Food justice champion Michael Pollan recently wrote a fascinating article prominently featured in the venerable magazine The New Yorker about the amazing power of psilocybin mushrooms to create profound healing in carefully controlled environments. It is subtitled "Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results." Are the healing potentials of mind altering drugs finally starting to receive honest mainstream attention?
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
2015-01-25, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
What do you call the unelected leader of a state that beheads people in public, permits only one faith and exports an extreme form of Islam to other countries? If he happens to be Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, self-appointed caliph of Islamic State (Isis), the answer is one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. If he is King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the proper form of address is “Your Majesty”. Yesterday, the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister turned up in Riyadh to pay their respects to Salman’s half-brother, King Abdullah, whose death was announced on Friday. Flags flew at half-mast in Whitehall while David Cameron ... praised the deceased despot’s efforts towards “strengthening understanding between faiths”. This is the same David Cameron who marched in Paris two weeks ago in solidarity with the victims of al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism. Barack Obama ... found the time to praise the absolute monarch and hailed the US-Saudi relationship “as a force for stability and security in the Middle East”. Few of the people hailing Abdullah as a “reformer” said anything about [how] the Saudi royal family promoted the puritanical ideology that created al-Qaeda and its offshoots, [and] sent Osama bin Laden and other young Saudis to fight in Afghanistan, creating a worldwide jihadist movement. Since then, Wahhabist ideology has inspired horrific attacks on civilians in the Middle East, Africa, the US and a string of European capitals.
Note: Read how several current and former US government officials have been trying to expose the Saudi government money behind terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption articles from reliable major media sources.
The war on leaks has gone way too far when journalists' emails are under surveillance
2015-01-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The outrageous legal attack on WikiLeaks and its staffers ... is an attack on freedom of the press itself. WikiLeaks has had their Twitter accounts secretly spied on, been forced to forfeit most of their funding after credit card companies unilaterally cut them off, had the FBI place an informant inside their news organization, watched their supporters hauled before a grand jury, and been the victim of the UK spy agency GCHQ hacking of their website and spying on their readers. Now we’ve learned that, as The Guardian reported on Sunday, the Justice Department got a warrant in 2012 to seize the contents – plus the metadata on emails received, sent, drafted and deleted – of three WikiLeaks’ staffers personal Gmail accounts. The tactics used against WikiLeaks by the Justice Department in their war on leaks [are] also used against mainstream news organizations. For example, after the Washington Post revealed in 2013 the Justice Department had gotten a warrant for the personal Gmail account of Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2010 without his knowledge. Despite the ongoing legal pressure, WikiLeaks has continued to publish important documents in the public interest.
Note: In recent years, Wikileaks' radical transparency has made draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership public, and uncovered a secret CIA report that suggests the US government’s policy of assassinating foreign 'terrorists' does more harm than good. So who is the real problem here?
Africa's quiet solar revolution
2015-01-25, Christian Science Monitor
By Tanzanian standards, Nosim Noah is not poor. A tall, handsome woman with the angular features of her fellow Masai tribe members, Ms. Noah makes a good living selling women’s and children’s clothes. But despite their relative prosperity, up until late 2013, the family had no electricity. Now, however, [they have power because] a new solar energy movement is bringing kilowatts to previously unlit areas of Africa – and changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The idea behind the latest effort isn’t to tap the power of the sun to electrify every appliance in a household. Instead, it is to install a small solar panel not much bigger than an iPad to power a few lights, a cellphone charger, and other basic necessities that can still significantly alter people’s lives. People use the money they normally would spend on kerosene to finance their solar systems, allowing them to pay in small, affordable installments and not rely on government help. The concept is called pay-as-you-go solar. When [Noah] and her late husband moved into their house in 2004, they paid about a $200 connection fee to TANESCO, the Tanzanian national utility, to extend a power line to their home. After a six-month wait, workers finally erected a utility pole outside their home. But the power never came. “I have no idea why it didn’t work,” Noah says. “All I know is that the lights never came on.” They have power now, though, with the help of the sun.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Revealed: how Blair colluded with Gaddafi regime in secret
2015-01-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Libyan government papers pieced together by [a] team of London lawyers show [that] Tony Blair wrote to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to thank him for the “excellent cooperation” between the two countries’ counter-terrorism agencies. The letter, written in 2007, followed a period in which the dictator’s intelligence officers were permitted to operate in the UK, approaching and intimidating Libyan refugees. Addressed “Dear Mu’ammar” and signed “Best wishes yours ever, Tony”, the letter was among hundreds of pages of documents recovered from Libyan government offices following the 2011 revolution. Six Libyan men, the widow of a seventh, and five British citizens of Libyan and Somali origin are bringing claims against the British government on the basis of the recovered documents, alleging false imprisonment, blackmail, misfeasance in public office and conspiracy to assault. The recovered documents show that MI5 and MI6 submitted more than 1,600 questions to be put to two opposition leaders after they had been kidnapped with British assistance and flown to one of Gaddafi’s prisons. Both men say they suffered appalling torture. On Thursday an attempt by government lawyers to have the case struck out without admitting liability failed when the high court ruled the allegations “are of real potential public concern” and should be heard and dealt with by the courts.
Note: British intelligence agencies have been trying to silence the lawyers filing this lawsuit, and got caught illegally spying on them. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in intelligence agencies and government.
Anonymous calls for activists to help expose international paedophile networks with 'Operation DeathEaters'
2015-01-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Hacktivist group Anonymous, which has made public attacks on extremists, corporations and religious and governmental bodies, is calling for help in its fight against international paedophile networks, or what it calls the “paedosadist industry”. In a project named Operation DeathEaters, Anonymous says it is is planning on collating evidence against international paedophile rings and their severe abuse of children and find the links between different operations, and to bring them to justice. Anonymous has issued a video instructing activists on how they can aid in the operation, which has appeared at a time of serious allegations of historic child sexual abuse levied against prominent UK figures, including claims that a VIP Westminster paedophile ring existed in the past. “The Westminster paedophile ring is one of many cases where Operation DeathEaters has actively pursued and sought truth, in order to end the hideous crimes concealed behind the British elite,” Anonymous alleges in a statement. “In fear of these investigations being bungled over time, the operation’s objectives are clear and simple: source public information before it disappears, push for independent enquiry, and offer support to witnesses and the victims where needed.” It has outlined its first step in the operation as gathering “meticulously researched and clearly documented examples of high level complicity in the industry, obstruction of justice and cover ups to show the need for independent inquiries”.
Note: Anonymous has been quite active in exposing pedophiles, as can be seen in the Time magazine article where they revealed information on known offenders to the authorities. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for 'merely linking to hacked material'
2015-01-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Journalist and former Anonymous member ... Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $890,000 in restitution and fines. An investigative journalist, essayist and satirist who has written for the Onion, Vanity Fair and the Huffington Post, as well as for the Guardian, Brown claims to have split with Anonymous in 2011. Brown also founded Project PM, a crowdsourced investigative thinktank dedicated to looking into abuses by companies in the area of surveillance. In September 2012, Brown was arrested by the FBI. In October 2012, after being held for two weeks without charge, he was indicted on charges of making an online threat, retaliating against a federal officer and conspiring to release personal information about a government employee. Two months later, he was indicted on 12 further charges related to the hacking of private intelligence contractor Stratfor in 2011. Jeremy Hammond, the hacker who actually carried out the Stratfor breach, was sentenced to the maximum possible 10 years. Brown, who was accused of sharing a link to the data Hammond obtained from the breach ... at one point faced a possible sentence of 105 years. He will reportedly be eligible for supervised release after one year, and once released will have his computer equipment monitored. The $890,250 in restitution payments will go to Stratfor and other companies targeted by Anonymous.
Note: Even after being targeted by a high level conspiracy, jailed on spurious charges, and forced to pay nearly a million dollars to Stratfor for merely writing about the hack of their private spy agency, Brown states that he remains committed to exposing corruption as a journalist from within the US prison system.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership won't deliver jobs or curb China's power
2015-01-22, Los Angeles Times
What President Obama called for in his State of the Union: completion and adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, or TPP, for the Asia-Pacific region. The president [and other TPP supporters] make two major arguments. One is that the trade pact would create lots of new jobs and raise American incomes and living standards. The other is that it would strengthen U.S. alliances in Asia while curbing Chinese influence. Over the last 35 years, the U.S. has ... concluded many free-trade agreements. In advance of each, U.S. leaders promised the deals would create high-paying jobs, reduce the trade deficit, increase GDP and raise living standards. None of these [promises] came true. In fact, the U.S. non-oil trade deficit continued to grow, millions of jobs were offshored and mean household income has hardly risen since 2000. And economists overwhelmingly agree that rising U.S. income inequality is being driven in part by international trade. The ever-closer linking of the U.S. economy to those of the TPP countries over the last 35 years has not ... deterred U.S. trade partners and allies from developing ever closer ties with China. The TPP is not going to bring together nations such as Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei to gang up against China. That is just not going to happen. Thus the TPP fails on both economic and political grounds.
Note: Read an excellent Washington Post article showing how the claim of 65,000 jobs created with the TPP is a blatant lie and manipulation. Then watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
The Davos oligarchs are right to fear the world they’ve made
2015-01-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The billionaires and corporate oligarchs meeting in Davos this week are getting worried about inequality. The architects of the crisis-ridden international economic order are starting to see the dangers ... of the widest global economic gulf in human history. The scale of the crisis has been laid out for them by the charity Oxfam. On current trends, the richest 1% will have pocketed more than the other 99% put together next year. The 0.1% have been doing even better, quadrupling their share of US income since the 1980s. In most of the world, labour’s share of national income has fallen continuously and wages have stagnated under this regime of privatisation, deregulation and low taxes on the rich. At the same time finance has sucked wealth from the public realm into the hands of a small minority, even as it has laid waste the rest of the economy. Now the evidence has piled up that not only is such appropriation of wealth a moral and social outrage, but it is fuelling social and climate conflict, wars, mass migration and political corruption, stunting health and life chances, increasing poverty, and widening gender and ethnic divides. Escalating inequality has also been a crucial factor in the economic crisis of the past seven years, squeezing demand and fuelling the credit boom. The thinking person’s Davos oligarch realises that allowing things to carry on as they are is dangerous. What they won’t accept is any change in the balance of social power.
Note: Oxfam's complete report "identifies the two powerful driving forces that have led to the rapid rise in inequality" as "market fundamentalism and the capture of politics by elites." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and secret societies which manipulate global politics.
Prince Andrew under renewed pressure to speak about 'sex abuse' claims after flight logs emerge
2015-01-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Duke of York is under renewed pressure to speak publicly about sex abuse allegations after flight records backed up his accuser's claims of having met him three times. Flight logs from the private jet of the Duke's friend Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, show Virginia Roberts and the Duke were both in the locations where she claims to have had sex with him, at the relevant times. The Duke had no doubt hoped that interest in claims made by Miss Roberts in US court documents, which emerged at the start of the month, would have died down by the time he arrived in Davos, but new disclosures continue to emerge. Flight logs for Epstein's Gulfstream jet, published by Mail Online, together with public information about the Duke's movements, show that Miss Roberts and the Duke were both in London in March 2001, when she claims they first had sex, and in New York and the US Virgin Islands the following month, the locations where she says their other sexual encounters happened. Meanwhile fresh legal papers [were] submitted to a Florida court on Tuesday. The Miami US attorney's office ... is seeking to prevent [Roberts from] joining an existing case in which two other victims are trying to overturn a plea bargain which enabled Epstein to serve an 18-month prison sentence in return for pleading guilty to procuring a 14-year-old girl for prostitution. In exchange [for this plea], all federal investigations into his alleged widespread sex abuse were halted.
Note: An ABC News article on this case states Roberts "declined to name others in her statement - but her lawyers noted in a cryptic footnote that, if she had, the names would 'have created significantly more media attention than the names that she did include.'" For more along these lines, watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government.
CIA torture report architect denounces Republican attempt to claw back copies
2015-01-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who relinquished the chairmanship of the intelligence committee ... said she objects to Senator Richard Burr's request that the Obama administration return all copies of the full, 6,000-plus-page classified [torture] study. "Doing so would limit the ability to learn lessons from this sad chapter in America's history and omit from the record two years of work," Feinstein said in a statement late on Tuesday. In an extraordinary epilogue to the battle between the Senate intelligence committee and the CIA over the torture report, new chairman Burr, a North Carolina Republican, requested that administration agencies return to the committee all copies of the full report. Burr's request was first reported by the New York Times and the Huffington Post. The Times noted that Burr's request would have the effect of placing the classified report beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts Congress. President Obama has [given the report] rhetorical support, but [empowered] the CIA to determine what portions of a critique of the agency ought to be public. A CIA-appointed review panel also recently found that the agency's director, John Brennan, consulted with the White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, before agency employees surreptitiously accessed emails and drafts from committee investigators. Feinstein said in March that the breach represented a constitutional crisis, with the CIA spying on its Senate overseers.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in intelligence agencies and government.
How Saudi Arabia's harsh legal punishments compare to the Islamic State's
2015-01-21, Washington Post
Following the lashing of blogger Raif Badawi and leaked footage that showed the public execution of a woman accused of beating her daughter, Saudi Arabia's harsh interpretation of sharia law and its use of capital punishment have come under international scrutiny. For many, the Saudi justice system sounds not unlike that of the Islamic State, the extremist Islamist group which has struck fear in much of the Middle East. This week, Middle East Eye, a Web site that focuses on news from the region and is frequently critical of Saudi Arabia, contrasted a set of legal punishments recently announced by the Islamic State with the corresponding punishments in Saudi Arabia. One key difference between the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia, of course, is that the latter is a key U.S. ally in the region – and a member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State. Some experts argue that the fundamentalist brand of Islam practiced by both has theological links, however, and Riyadh's recent crackdown has been interpreted as an act of appeasement for Saudi hard-liners. Saudi Arabia's own concern about the Islamic State is likely genuine (plans to build an enormous wall along its border with Iraq are a good sign of that), but for many Americans, the extremist group's rise is also bringing with it a renewed skepticism about American allies in the region.
Note: Here is the diagram that compares Saudi justice with I.S. justice, and here is a diagram of the big, expensive security wall mentioned above. Is Saudi Arabia concerned that the Islamic State is less aligned with Saudi interests than other popular Islamic terrorist groups have been?
New police radars can 'see' inside homes
2015-01-20, USA Today
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside. Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant. The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving. The device the Marshals Service and others are using [was] first designed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. They represent the latest example of battlefield technology finding its way home to civilian policing and bringing complex legal questions with it. Those concerns are especially thorny when it comes to technology that lets the police determine what's happening inside someone's home.
Note: This technology is not new. Working as interpreter in Washington, DC, WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks witnessed this technology being used by the police there in the late 1980s. For more along these lines, see this deeply revealing summarized NPR report about The Pentagon's massive Program 1033 to widely distribute military hardware to domestic police forces.
Air Force UFO files land on Internet
Nearly 130,000 pages of declassified Air Force files on UFO investigations and sightings are now available in one place online. Declassified government records about UFOs have long existed on microfilm in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Many of them also live on websites devoted to the topic. But UFO enthusiast John Greenewald says his database, Project Blue Book Collection, is the first to compile every single declassified document from the Blue Book project -- headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1947 to 1969 -- in one place for anyone to search or download for free. The collection consists of files from Project Blue Book, Project Sign and Project Grudge, the names given to official investigations into unidentified flying objects by the United States military. Greenewald's ... says he's just driven by curiosity. "I'm a history buff. I think this stuff should be accessible," he said. "It defied explanation," he said, "and 5,000 FOIAs later my curiosity hasn't gone away." The collection contains 10,000 PDFs, each representing a different case. The files include the details of some of the most famous UFO cases, including the Exeter incident, the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the Mantell crash. Still, Greenewald believes the contents are "just the tip of the iceberg." "It's all a puzzle," he said. "Just when you think you've got all the pieces to make a picture, you realize it's only a piece of a bigger puzzle."
Note: Explore Greenewald's revealing searchable archive of Air Force UFO files. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our comprehensive UFO Information Center.
Saudi Arabia's Rights Crackdown Linked to War on Terror
2015-01-20, ABC News
A man is given 50 lashes in a public square for "insulting Islam" on a liberal blog. Another is arrested for filming and uploading a woman's public beheading. Two females are imprisoned and put on trial for writing on Twitter in support of women driving. The cases are part of a sweeping clampdown on dissent. Acts that offend the country's religious hard-liners or open up the kingdom to criticism – like the video of the execution of a woman convicted of murdering her stepdaughter – have landed people in jail as a warning to others. The case of Raif Badawi, a 31-year-old father of three who was flogged this month, has attracted the most attention in recent days, particularly in the aftermath of the deadly attack in Paris. Badawi was arrested in 2012 after writing articles critical of Saudi Arabia's clerics on his Free Saudi Liberals blog. He was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes and was fined $266,000. Just days after the attacks in Paris, Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs took part in the huge march that was held there to support free speech and honor the victims. Two days earlier, Badawi was flogged [for "insulting Islam" on his blog]. Critics of the crackdown on dissent point out that public beheadings are also practiced by al-Qaida and IS.
Note: Saudi Arabia continues to be a key ally of the US. Is this really what we want to support? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Oxfam Study Finds Richest 1% Is Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016
2015-01-19, New York Times
The richest 1 percent are likely to control more than half of the globe's total wealth by next year, the charity Oxfam reported in a study released on Monday. The warning about deepening global inequality comes just as the world's business elite prepare to meet this week at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The 80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion, the report found, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world's income scale. And the richest 1 percent of the population, who number in the millions, control nearly half of the world's total wealth, a share that is also increasing. The type of inequality that currently characterizes the world's economies is unlike anything seen in recent years, the report explained. "Between 2002 and 2010 the total wealth of the poorest half of the world in current U.S. dollars had been increasing more or less at the same rate as that of billionaires," it said. "However since 2010, it has been decreasing over that time." Investors with interests in finance, insurance and health saw the biggest windfalls, Oxfam said. Using data from Forbes magazine's list of billionaires, it said those listed as having interests in the pharmaceutical and health care industries saw their net worth jump by 47 percent. The charity credited those individuals' rapidly growing fortunes in part to multimillion-dollar lobbying campaigns to protect and enhance their interests.
Note: A single ticket to the World Economic Forum event in Davos costs a small fortune. Will the global elites that attend this event pay attention to Oxfam's latest paper, and make it a priority to reduce income inequality?
Inequality isn't inevitable, it's engineered. That's how the 1% have taken over
2015-01-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The [richest] 1% of the world's population will own more global wealth than the 99% [by next year]. Oxfam executive director, Winnie Byanyima, is arguing that this increasing concentration of wealth ... is "bad for growth and bad for governance". What's more, inequality is bad not just for the poor, but for the rich too. That's why we have the likes of the IMF's Christine Lagarde kicking off with warnings about rising inequality. Visceral inequality ... is still seen as somehow being [a] moral failure of the poor. This in turn sustains the idea that rich people deserve their incredible riches. Most wealth, though, is not earned: huge assets, often inherited, simply get bigger [for] deliberate and systemic reasons. Inequality is not inevitable, it's engineered. Many mainstream economists do not question the degree of this engineering. Neoliberalism [has been] a stage of capitalism in which the financial markets were deregulated, public services privatised, welfare systems run down, laws to protect working people dismantled, and unions cast as the enemy. Oxfam's suggestions at Davos are attempts to claw back some basic rights. But isn't it rather incredible that a charity has to do this?
Note: Oxfam's complete report "identifies the two powerful driving forces that have led to the rapid rise in inequality" as "market fundamentalism and the capture of politics by elites." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
Prison Dispatches from the War on Terror: Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou Speaks
2015-01-19, The Intercept
John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the agency's torture program. Not because he tortured anyone, but because he revealed information on torture to a reporter. Kiriakou is the Central Intelligence Agency officer who told ABC News in 2007 that the CIA waterboarded suspected al-Qaeda prisoners after the September 11 attacks. Kiriakou was sentenced in January 2013 to 30 months in prison. That sentence made him the second CIA employee ever to be locked up under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. The first was Sharon Scranage, who in 1985 pled guilty to disclosing the identities of intelligence agents in Ghana after giving classified information to a Ghanaian, reportedly her lover. Kiriakou is not without support. His friend and former boss, Bruce Riedel, sent a letter to President Obama, signed by other CIA officers, urging him to commute Kiriakou's prison sentence. That did not happen. A father of five children, Kiriakou says the CIA asked his wife to resign from her job at the agency immediately following his arrest, and he is in major debt. "As part of this conviction, I lost my pension. I had $770,000 saved in that pension. And it's just gone. And I still owe my lawyers almost a million dollars."
Note: Kiriakou himself was misled about the extent and effectiveness of the torture program, but still felt the moral obligation to reveal its existence. The CIA spun his revelation into a pro-torture media narrative, took his money, put him in prison, and fired his wife from her job. Are the many ethical intelligence agents working for the U.S. able to trust their corrupt bosses after this? Watch the powerful documentary "Secrets of the CIA" in which five CIA agents describe how their initial pride at serving their nation turned to anguish and remorse, as they realized that they were actually subverting democracy and killing innocent civilians.
Company's Struggles Highlight Challenges of Inmate Care
2015-01-19, New York Times/Associated Press
Months after he landed in Florida's Manatee County Jail, Jovon Frazier's pleas for [medical care] were met mostly with Tylenol. "I need to see a doctor!" he wrote on his eighth request form. Four months later, after Frazier's 13th request resulted in hospitalization and doctors quickly diagnosed bone cancer, his arm had to be amputated, according to a lawsuit filed by his family. But the cancer spread and Frazier died in 2011, months after his release. As an inmate, his medical care had been managed ... by a private company under contract. Corizon, whose responsibility for 345,000 inmates at prisons and jails in 27 states makes it the country's biggest for-profit correctional health provider, is just one of many firms using a similar model to vie for the billions of dollars states and counties spend on prisoner care. The growth of the for-profit prison care industry raises questions. Some critics say privatization, itself, is a faulty strategy, regardless of which company is hired. "The problem is a structure that creates incentives to cut corners and deny care to powerless people that have no other options," said David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project. [Corizon] generated $1.4 billion in revenue in 2013 and is owned by a Chicago private equity management firm.
Note: The above article shows that lawsuits and investigations in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and New York have all uncovered escalating inmate deaths related to Corizon's for-profit medical services. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in the prison industry.
Flu vaccine paradox adds to public health debate
2015-01-16, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting system)
People who receive flu vaccines year after year can sometimes show reduced protection, an effect that Canadian infectious disease specialists say muddies public health messages for annual flu vaccine campaigns. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, researchers at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control originally thought seasonal flu shots from 2008 might offer extra protection. They were puzzled to find instead, seasonal flu vaccination almost doubled the risk of infection with pandemic flu. Dr. Danuta Skowronski and her colleagues went on to do five more studies during the summer that showed the same effect in people and in ferrets, which are considered the best animal model of flu. What was originally called "the Canadian problem" has since been found in a randomized control trial by researchers in Hong Kong ... Japan and the U.S. Researchers in several countries have found a blunting or "interference" effect between previous seasonal vaccines and reduced levels of vaccine protection in later years. "People do not have a good explanation for why," said Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network. "We have kind of hyped this vaccine so much for so long we are starting to believe our own hype. Really, what we should be doing is looking for better vaccines," Gardam said. In the meantime, public health officials who aim to protect people from flu complications need to grapple with the imperfections of a vaccine given every year to a moving target of strains.
Note: Healthcare workers in New York protested the government mandate that they be given this vaccine, from which drug companies made billions of dollars. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the mysterious and profitable avian and swine flu panics and questioning the effectiveness of many other vaccines.
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