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

Below are highly revealing excerpts of important military 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 military 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 military 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.

Obama officials refuse to say if assassination power extends to US soil
2013-02-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:44:33

The Justice Department "white paper" purporting to authorize Obama's power to extrajudicially execute US citizens was leaked three weeks ago. Since then, the administration - including the president himself and his nominee to lead the CIA, John Brennan - has been repeatedly asked whether this authority extends to US soil, i.e., whether the president has the right to execute US citizens on US soil without charges. In each instance, they have refused to answer. Brennan has been asked the question several times as part of his confirmation process. Each time, he simply pretends that the question has not been asked, opting instead to address a completely different issue. It's really worth pausing to remind ourselves of how truly radical and just plainly unbelievable this all is. What's more extraordinary: that the US Senate is repeatedly asking the Obama White House whether the president has the power to secretly order US citizens on US soil executed without charges or due process, or whether the president and his administration refuse to answer? That this is the "controversy" surrounding the confirmation of the CIA director - and it's a very muted controversy at that - shows just how extreme the degradation of US political culture is.

Note: For a revealing 27-minute documentary on drones which operate in swarms and pose serious ethical questions in both peace and war, click here.

The blind theology of militarism
2013-02-17, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:43:11

Drone war proponents are facing inconvenient truths. This month, for instance, they are facing a new United Nations report showing that President Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan War - in part by an escalation in drone air strikes - is killing hundreds of children "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force." Drone-war cheerleaders will no doubt find this news difficult to explain away. Sen. Angus King [justified] the drone war earlier this month. "Drones are a lot more civilized than what we used to do," he told a cable television audience. "I think it's actually a more humane weapon because it can be targeted to specific enemies and specific people." Designed to obscure mounting civilian casualties, King's phrase "humane weapon" is the crux of the larger argument. The idea is that an intensifying drone war is necessary - and even humane! - because it is more surgical than violent global ground war, which is supposedly America's only other option. In a country whose culture so often (wrongly) portrays bloodshed as the most effective problem solver, many Americans hear this now-ubiquitous drone-war argument and reflexively agree with its suppositions. By deliberately ignoring any other less violent option, drone-war proponents who employ choice-narrowing language are ... precluding America from making more prudent, informed and dispassionate national security decisions - the kind that might stop us from repeating the worst mistakes of our own history.

Note: For a revealing 27-minute documentary on drones which operate in swarms and pose serious ethical questions in both peace and war, click here.

The co-author of ‘Hubris’ on torture, secrets–and what we still don’t know
2013-02-17, MSNBC
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:41:40

NBC News National Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff co-authored the best-selling book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War with David Corn. Their book is the basis for the new MSNBC documentary, "Hubris: Selling the Iraq War". The reporting ... at a time when the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has drawn attention to the issue, shows viewers the role that torture played in intelligence-gathering after 9/11. The real-life role of torture in pre-Iraq war intelligence, which is reported in Hubris, has far scarier implications than the Hollywood version. MSNBC: What was the single most shocking thing you discovered? [Isikoff:] I still find the Ibn Shaykh al-Libi story ... the most shocking of all. At first, he’s questioned by the FBI–then “rendered” by the CIA in early 2002 to Egypt, where he was subjected to torture: beatings [and] a mock burial. He suddenly coughed up a story–that Iraq was training al-Qaida members in chemical and biological weapons–that nobody in the U.S. intelligence community really believed. The CIA internally even wrote an assessment concluding that al-Libi was likely fabricating much of what he told the Egyptians. Yet suddenly in September 2002, the White House starts using the claim that Iraq is training al-Qaida in “poisons and gases”–a claim based entirely on al-Libi. After the war, al-Libi is returned to U.S. custody and recants the whole thing, saying he made it up because the Egyptians were torturing him. Anybody who saw "Zero Dark Thirty" and thinks it vindicates waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” should watch "Hubris".

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on torture and other war crimes committed by the US, click here.

Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
2013-02-04, NBC News
Posted: 2013-02-12 11:26:25

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo ... provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.” But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a ... “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland. “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states. Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here.

JSOC: Obama's secret assassins
2013-02-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-02-12 11:24:57

The president has a clandestine network targeting a 'kill list' justified by secret laws. How is that different than a death squad? The film Dirty Wars, which premiered at Sundance ... tracks the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a network of highly-trained, completely unaccountable US assassins, armed with ever-expanding "kill lists". [Narrator Jeremy] Scahill and [director Rick] Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSOC assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the "kill lists" they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people. Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSOC, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes. JSOC morphs the secretive, unaccountable mercenary model of private military contracting, which Scahill identified in Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, into a hybrid with the firepower and intelligence backup of our full state resources. JSOC operates outside the traditional chain of command; it reports directly to the president of the United States. What does it means for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary force, which can assassinate anyone anywhere in the world?

Note: For more on JSOC, click here.

President of perpetual war
2013-01-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-02-05 10:41:13

Four years into his presidency, President Obama's political formula should be obvious. He gives fabulous speeches teeming with popular liberal ideas, often refuses to take the actions necessary to realize those ideas and then banks on most voters, activists, reporters and pundits never bothering to notice - or care about - his sleight of hand. Never was this formula more apparent than when the president discussed military conflicts during his second inaugural address. Declaring that "a decade of war is now ending," he insisted that he "still believe(s) that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war." Few seemed to notice that the words came from the same president who is manufacturing a state of "perpetual war." Obama, let's remember, is the president who escalated the Afghanistan War and whose spokesman recently reiterated that U.S. troops are not necessarily leaving that country anytime soon. He is the president who has initiated undeclared wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Just days before Obama's inaugural address declaring an end to war, the Washington Post reported that the administration's new manual establishing "clear rules" for counterterrorism operations specifically creates a "carve-out (that) would allow the CIA to continue" the president's intensifying drone war. That's the "perpetual war," you'll recall, in which Obama asserts the extra-constitutional right to compile a "kill list" and then order bombing raids of civilian areas in hopes of killing alleged militants - including U.S. citizens.

Note: Could it be that the military-industrial complex has significantly more power than the president? For powerful evidence of this from a high-ranking US general, click here.

Pentagon's new massive expansion of 'cyber-security' unit is about everything except defense
2013-01-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-02-05 10:39:45

Cyber-threats are the new pretext to justify expansion of power and profit for the public-private National Security State. The Washington Post [reports] "a major expansion of [the Pentagon's] cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold." Specifically, ... "the expansion would increase the Defense Department's Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900." The Post describes this expansion as "part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force." This Cyber Command Unit operates under the command of Gen. Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, the highly secretive government network that spies on the communications of foreign nationals - and American citizens. These activities pose a wide array of serious threats to internet freedom, privacy, and international law that, as usual, will be conducted with full-scale secrecy and with little to no oversight and accountability. And, as always, there is a small army of private-sector corporations who will benefit most from this expansion. The fear-mongering rhetoric from government officials has relentlessly intensified, all devoted to scaring citizens into believing that the US is at serious risk of cataclysmic cyber-attacks from "aggressors". This all culminated when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, last October, warned of what he called a "cyber-Pearl Harbor". This "would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability."

Note: Defense Secretary Panetta's warning of a 'cyber-Pearl Harbor' will surely serve as a reminder for many of the Project for the New American Century's call for a 'new Pearl Harbor' just a few months before 9/11. Is it likely that he was unaware of the baggage such language carries at present? For more on WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin's epochal book The New Pearl Harbor, click here.

Shooter Identified As Former US Military Member
2012-08-06, CBS-DC/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-02-05 10:26:17

The shooter behind the deadly massacre at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin [on August 5, 2012] has been identified as 40-year-old Wade Michael Page. Page previously served in the U.S. military, but was no longer on active duty. Page enlisted in the Army in April 1992 and was given a less-than-honorable discharge in October 1998. He was last stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C., serving in the psychological operations unit. Authorities said Page strode into the temple carrying a 9mm handgun and multiple magazines of ammunition and opened fire without saying a word. When the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee ended, six victims ranging in age from 39 to 84 years old lay dead. Three others were critically wounded. The suspect was shot and killed by police. Page joined the military in Milwaukee in 1992 and was a repairman for the Hawk missile system before switching jobs to become one of the Army’s psychological operations specialists assigned to a battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C. As a psyops specialist, Page would have trained to host public meetings between locals and American forces, use leaflet campaigns in a conflict zone or use loudspeakers to communicate with enemy soldiers. He never deployed overseas while serving in that role, Pentagon spokesman George Wright said. The FBI was leading the investigation because the shooting was considered domestic terrorism, or an attack that originated inside the U.S. The agency said it had no reason to believe anyone other than Page was involved. The shooting also came two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people at movie theater in Colorado.

Note: For more on US military and intelligence agency mind control programs and the creation of assassins ("Manchurian Candidates"), click here.

Justice for the PayPal WikiLeaks protesters: why DDoS is free speech
2013-01-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-01-29 09:24:30

In December 2010, the hacktivist collective Anonymous voiced their displeasure with PayPal, over that company's part in the banking blockade of Wikileaks. A reported 10,000 protesters around the world took to the internet with a protest method known as DDoS (distributed denial of service) – the functional equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a computer. With enough people refreshing enough times, the site is flooded with traffic, slowed, or even temporarily knocked offline. No damage is done to the site or its backing computer system; and when the protest is over, the site resumes business as usual. This is not "hacking". It is protest, and it is speech. Or it was … until the United States government decided to serve 42 warrants and indict 14 protesters. While protest charges have typically been seen as tantamount to nuisance crimes, like trespassing or loitering, these were different. The 14 PayPal defendants, some of whom were teenagers when the protest occurred, find themselves looking at 15 years in federal prison – for exercising their free speech rights; for redressing their grievances to PayPal, a major corporation; for standing up for what they believed was right. Instead of being handed a $50 fine, as one would face for traditional protest crimes such as a sit-in, the PayPal defendants' freedoms are in real jeopardy. Since the PayPal prosecution, there have been no DDoS protests on that scale. Speech has been chilled. Supreme court Justice William O Douglas said: "Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.

CIA to exempt strikes on Pakistan from drones codification
2013-01-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-01-29 09:19:10

John Brennan, the counter-terrorism adviser nominated by President Obama to be the next head of the CIA, has reportedly agreed to exempt agency strikes in Pakistan from a new set of rules that attempts to justify and codify the use of drones to assassinate leaders of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups around the world, including US citizens. The dispensation to allow so-called targeted killing to continue without restrictions in Pakistan removes from the new set of guidelines the most important and controversial target of drone strikes. In the past few weeks the frequency of US strikes in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan ... has been stepped up. The pass would allow the US to sustain heavy bombardments of the tribal regions via drones launched from bases in Afghanistan for another year or two, ahead of the withdrawal of most American forces from that country in 2014. The decision to give the US targeted-killing programme the appearance of legal propriety by codifying it, and now the temporary exemption granted from that codification to Pakistan, were both taken by Brennan. A counter-terrorism expert with 25 years experience in the CIA, his nomination to run the agency has raised eyebrows among civil liberties groups because of his senior role in the CIA under George W Bush at a time when torture was used on terror suspects and because of his fondness for drone strikes. The UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that there have been 362 drone strikes in the country since 2004 – 310 of them launched on Obama's watch. The strikes have killed up to 3,461 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 more analysis click here.

Sex Is Major Reason Military Commanders Are Fired
2013-01-20, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-01-29 09:14:26

Sex has proved to be the downfall of presidential candidates, members of Congress, governors and other notables. It's also among the chief reasons that senior military officers are fired. At least 30 percent of military commanders fired over the past eight years lost their jobs because of sexually related offenses, including harassment, adultery, and improper relationships. The statistics from all four military services show that adulterous affairs are more than a four-star foible. From sexual assault and harassment to pornography, drugs and drinking, ethical lapses are an escalating problem for the military's leaders. With all those offenses taken together, more than 4 in every 10 commanders at the rank of lieutenant colonel or above who were fired fell as a result of behavioral stumbles since 2005. For top officers, the numbers are startling. Eighteen generals and admirals, from one star to four stars, were fired in recent years, and 10 of them lost their jobs because of sex-related offenses; two others were done in by alcohol-related problems. The figures show that 255 commanders were fired since 2005, and that 78 of them were felled by sex-related offenses. [The] executive director of the Service Women's Action Network said ... that there really is no sufficient deterrent in place.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.

Bradley Manning denied chance to make whistleblower defence
2013-01-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-01-22 10:16:22

Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being behind the largest leak of state secrets in America's history, has been denied the chance to make a whistleblower defence in his upcoming court martial in which he faces possible life in military custody with no chance of parole. The judge presiding over Manning's prosecution by the US government ... ruled in a pre-trial hearing that Manning will largely be barred from presenting evidence about his motives in leaking the documents and videos. In an earlier hearing, Manning's lead defence lawyer, David Coombs, had argued that his motive was key to proving that he had no intention to harm US interests or to pass information to the enemy. The ruling is a blow to the defence as it will make it harder for the soldier's legal team to argue he was acting as a whistleblower and not as someone who knowingly damaged US interests at a time of war. "This is another effort to attack the whistleblower defence," said Nathan Fuller, a spokesman for the Bradley Manning support network, after the hearing. The judge also blocked the defence from presenting evidence designed to show that WikiLeaks caused little or no damage to US national security. The most serious charge, "aiding the enemy", which carries the life sentence, accuses [Manning] of arranging for state secrets to be published via WikiLeaks on the internet knowing that al-Qaida would have access to it.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.

The 'war on terror' - by design - can never end
2013-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-01-15 09:48:36

In October, the Washington Post's Greg Miller reported that the administration was instituting a "disposition matrix" to determine how terrorism suspects will be disposed of, all based on this fact: "among senior Obama administration officials, there is broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade." As Miller puts it: "That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism." The polices adopted by the Obama administration ... leave no doubt that they are accelerating, not winding down, the war apparatus that has been relentlessly strengthened over the last decade. In the name of the War on Terror, the current president has diluted decades-old Miranda warnings; codified a new scheme of indefinite detention on US soil; plotted to relocate Guantanamo to Illinois; increased secrecy, repression and release-restrictions at the camp; minted a new theory of presidential assassination powers even for US citizens; renewed the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping framework for another five years, as well as the Patriot Act, without a single reform; and just signed into law all new restrictions on the release of indefinitely held detainees. Does that sound to you like a government anticipating the end of the War on Terror any time soon? Or does it sound like one working feverishly to make their terrorism-justified powers of detention, surveillance, killing and secrecy permanent? There's a good reason US officials are assuming the "War on Terror" will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the War on Terror, click here.

Secrecy of Memo on Drone Killing Is Upheld
2013-01-03, New York Times
Posted: 2013-01-15 09:47:05

A federal judge in Manhattan refused on [January 2] to require the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum providing the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. The ruling, by Judge Colleen McMahon, was marked by skepticism about the antiterrorist program that targeted him, and frustration with her own role in keeping the legal rationale for it secret. “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret,” she wrote. “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me,” Judge McMahon wrote, adding that she was operating in a legal environment that amounted to “a veritable Catch-22.” Judge McMahon’s opinion included an overview of what she called “an extensive public relations campaign” by various government officials about the American role in the killing of Mr. Awlaki and the circumstances under which the government considers targeted killings, including of its citizens, to be lawful. The government’s public comments were as a whole “cryptic and imprecise,” Judge McMahon said. Even as she ruled against the plaintiffs, the judge wrote that the public should be allowed to judge whether the administration’s analysis holds water.

Note: For analysis of the significance of this reluctant court ruling upholding continued secrecy of the drone assassinations, click here.

Abu Ghraib torture lawsuit settled
2013-01-08, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-01-15 09:45:28

A defense contractor whose subsidiary was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to torture detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has paid $5.28 million to 71 former inmates held there and at other U.S.-run detention sites between 2003 and 2007. The settlement in the case involving Engility Holdings Inc. of Chantilly, Va., marks the first successful effort by lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers to collect money from a U.S. defense contractor in lawsuits alleging torture. Another contractor, CACI, is expected to go to trial over similar allegations this summer. The defendant in the lawsuit, L-3 Services Inc., now an Engility subsidiary, provided translators to the U.S. military in Iraq. The former detainees filed the lawsuit in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., in 2008. L-3 Services "permitted scores of its employees to participate in torturing and abusing prisoners over an extended period of time throughout Iraq," the lawsuit stated. The company "willfully failed to report L-3 employees' repeated assaults and other criminal conduct by its employees to the United States or Iraq authorities." A military investigation in 2004 identified 44 alleged incidents of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. No employee from L-3 Services was charged with a crime in investigations by the U.S. Justice Department.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.

Lawmakers say CIA may have misled ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ filmmakers on harsh interrogation
2013-01-03, Washington Post/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-01-08 09:49:13

Lawmakers accused the CIA of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden raid film “Zero Dark Thirty” by allegedly telling them that harsh interrogation methods helped track down the terrorist mastermind. The film shows waterboarding and similar techniques as important, if not key, to finding bin Laden in Pakistan, where he was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011. A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the CIA’s detainee program found that such methods produced no useful intelligence. In a letter to the CIA this week, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John McCain, R-Ariz., and others asked [the CIA] to share documents showing what the filmmakers were told. The senators contend that that the CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier who was tracked to bin Laden’s hiding place “provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques,” according to a statement ... from Feinstein. The CIA says it will cooperate.

Note: Note that this "critique" of the CIA by US Senators serves to maintain the claim that Osama bin Laden was killed by the Navy SEALs raid in Pakistan in 2011. But there have been numerous reports of bin Laden's death before the "official" killing. Click here and here for two intriguing BBC reports on this. WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here.

Guantánamo Bay's other anniversary: 110 years of a legal black hole
2012-12-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-01-08 09:14:12

Why is Guantánamo so hard to close? Because it's been an integral part of American politics and policy for over a century. Gitmo's "legal black hole" opened in 1903 with a peculiar lease that affirmed Cuba's total sovereignty over Guantánamo Bay, but gave the US "complete jurisdiction and control", creat[ing] a space where neither nation's laws clearly applied. Gitmo's generations of detainees have been inextricable, if often invisible, parts of America's deepest conflicts: over immigration, public health, human rights, and national security. The Guantánamo Public Memory Project involves historians, archivists, activists, military personnel, and over a dozen universities in raising public awareness of Gitmo's long history and foster dialogue on the future of this place, its people, and its policies. Gitmo will be with us for years to come. The lease with Cuba is perpetual. Today, even as 166 men remain detained, the base is readying itself for its next opening. Facilities to house 25,000 potential refugees were recently completed. Our responsibility is to remember Guantánamo: to learn from its past, listen to the stories of all of its people, and always keep it in our sights.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.

The coming drone attack on America
2012-12-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-01-01 08:39:10

With the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here. In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by … the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds. Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them. An unclassified US Air Force document reported by CBS News expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil. This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.

'Zero Dark Thirty': Why the fabrication?
2012-12-23, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-01-01 08:34:01

The new Kathryn Bigelow movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has renewed the debate on the efficacy of torture. The film obliquely credits the discovery of the key piece of information in the search for [Osama] Bin Laden to the torture of an Al Qaeda prisoner held by the CIA. This is at odds with the facts as they have been recounted by journalists reporting on the manhunt, by Obama administration intelligence officials and by legislative leaders. Bigelow and her writing partner, Mark Boal, are promoting "Zero Dark Thirty" in part by stressing its basis in fact. It's curious that they could have gotten this central, contentious point wrong. And because they originally set out to make a movie about the frustrating failure to find Bin Laden, it's hard to believe their aim was to celebrate torture. But that's in effect what they've done. It was Dick Cheney's idea that the United States could solve complicated problems just by being brave enough, or tough enough, or both. Despite the fact that the world doesn't seem to work that way, Cheney's argument had a force and a tenor that fits with our national narrative of exceptionalism. It's satisfying. We are willing to believe there is something heroic, justifiable about torture. There is not. The moral objection ought to be obvious. We've had laws against torture for decades. We've had these laws for the simplest of reasons — we decided it was wrong. In almost no contemporary culture is it presumed to be not wrong.

Note: There have been numerous reports of bin Laden's death before the "official" killing. Click here and here for two intriguing BBC reports on this. WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here.

U.N. to Israel: Open nuclear program to inspection
2012-12-04, CBS News
Posted: 2012-12-18 10:37:32

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution [on December 3] calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East that was just canceled. All Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn't take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran's defiant stance on nonproliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel's refusal to attend. The resolution, approved by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty "without further delay" and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting "no" were Israel, the U.S., Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. Israel refuses to confirm or deny it has nuclear bombs, though it is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal. It has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, along with three nuclear weapon states — India, Pakistan and North Korea. The region's Muslim nations argue that Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace in the region.

Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.