Secrecy Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Secrecy Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Entrepreneurs and established companies alike depend on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newly released documents reveal that the office, tasked with evaluating and protecting the rights to intellectual property, has a covert system for delaying controversial or inconvenient patents. It’s a system that ... could function as a way to limit or stomp out emerging companies. Before today, the program — named the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) — has been mentioned only anecdotally by examiners who work in or with the office, and in a government memo that was leaked in March 2006. However, a new 50-page document obtained by a law firm’s Freedom of Information Act request shows the sweeping scope and conflicting interests of this particular set of rules. The law firm behind the request, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, frequently represents major tech companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter, and Oracle. For Thomas Franklin, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend, applications that he prosecutes typically issue as patents 22 months after filing. Any application that is categorized in SAWS, however ... can be delayed for years. There is no official channel to notify an applicant once her patent is placed in the system. Franklin told Yahoo Tech., “That’s what piqued my interest as a constitutional issue. There’s a secret program that they’re not supposed to talk about.”
Note: When the government has a "property interest" in any patent application, it may be rejected, stolen, or classified according to secret criteria. Among new energy technology researchers, it is well known that the patent office can block patents of amazing inventions that could cost oil and energy companies billions of dollars. Read this excellent summary for more on this.
More than 300 international companies including Pepsi, Ikea, FedEx, AIG, Deutsche Bank and Abbott Laboratories allegedly secured secret deals from Luxembourg to drastically reduce their global tax bills. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), citing leaked documents, reported that the companies appear to have channelled hundreds of billions of dollars through the European duchy, and saved billions of dollars in taxes. PricewaterhouseCoopers is alleged to have helped multinational companies obtain at least 548 tax rulings in Luxembourg from 2002 to 2010. These legal secret deals allegedly feature complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions. The rulings provide written assurance that companies' tax-saving plans will be viewed favourably by Luxembourg authorities. Some firms have allegedly enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1% on the profits they've shuffled into Luxembourg. The ICIJ claims to have reviewed 28,000 pages of confidential documents before reaching its conclusion. The documents include hundreds of private tax rulings, known as "comfort letters", that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favourable tax treatment. Earlier, the European Union (EU) initiated a probe on Luxembourg over its tax treatment of big companies such as Amazon and Fiat Finance, which apparently violated European law. Luxembourg officials have supplied some information to the EU in connection with the investigation but have refused to provide a larger set of documents relating to its tax rulings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington State are ... where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program. It will fly ... 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day. No public notices for the Navy's plans were published in any media that directly serve the Olympic Peninsula. But word spread. Public outcry forced the Navy to extend the public comment period until November 28 and schedule more public meetings. According to the US Navy's Information Dominance Roadmap 2013-2028, the Navy states it "will require new capabilities to fully employ integrated information in warfare by expanding the use of advanced electronic warfare." The purpose of these war games is to train to deny the enemy "all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (i.e. electromagnetic energy) for use in such applications as communication systems..." David King, the mayor of Port Townsend, a town on the Northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, has voiced his opposition to the plan, along with numerous other public officials. Mike Welding, the Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island spokesman, recently admitted to reporters, "If someone is in the exclusion area for more than 15 minutes, that's a ballpark estimate for when there would be some concern for potential to injure, to receive burns."
Note: We don't generally use truth-out.org as a reliable source, but as no major media are covering this most important development, we're including this article here. To verify this information, please click on some of the links in the article and see the U.S. Navy's "Information Dominance Roadmap".
In 2003, caravans of trucks began to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington on a regular basis, unloading an unusual cargo — pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills. The cash, withdrawn from Iraqi government accounts held in the United States, was loaded onto Air Force C-17 transport planes bound for Baghdad. Exactly what happened to that money after it arrived? Finding the answer became first the job and then the obsession of Stuart W Bowen Jr. His investigators finally had a breakthrough, discovering that $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion had been stolen and moved to a bunker in rural Lebanon. Bowen kept the discovery and his investigation of the cash-filled bunker ... secret. He has never publicly discussed it until now. “Billions of dollars have been taken out of Iraq over the last ten years illegally,” he said. The money ... came from the Development Fund of Iraq, which was created by a United Nations resolution in May 2003 to hold Iraqi oil revenue. An advantage of using the cash from the Development Fund instead of money appropriated by Congress for Iraq was that there were not a lot of rules governing its use, and no federal regulations or congressional oversight of what happened to it. The CIA expressed little interest in pursuing the matter, and the FBI said it lacked jurisdiction, Bowen recalled. An informant told [Bowen] about the bunker, which in addition to the cash, was believed to also have held approximately $200 million in gold belonging to the Iraqi government.
Fears of a “deliberate cover-up” by public officials of the sexual abuse of children in Rotherham have been fueled by the large number of documents ... which have vanished, an investigation by MPs has concluded. They urged the Home Office to examine claims that files were stolen from a locked council office in the South Yorkshire town. At least 1,400 girls as young as 11 were groomed and abused by gangs in the town over a 16 year period. The committee raised suspicions that officials colluded to conceal evidence. The MPs heard from a former researcher who was hired by Rotherham Council. She referred in a report, which was about to be sent to the Home Office, to the “alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers”, the committee said. An unknown individual subsequently gained access to her office and removed all of the data relating to the Home Office work. There were no signs of a forced entry and the action involved moving through key-coded and locked security doors. "She was also subjected to personal hostility at the hands of Council officials and police officers,” the committee said. The MPs said: “This is not the first case in which it has been alleged that files of information relating to child sexual exploitation have disappeared. Keith Vaz, the committee chairman, said: “A number of individuals attempted to bring these crimes to light, only to face obstacles from the council and police."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. Air Force has kept an unmanned space shuttle in orbit for the past two years. No one without security clearance knows what it’s been doing up there. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which can enter orbit and land without human intervention, is scheduled to touch down this week. The landing will mark completion of the program’s third and longest mission. The Air Force has two such spacecraft for these low-earth orbit missions, all of which are classified. “The mission is basically top secret,” says Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman. Marco Caceres, a space analyst with Teal Group, says the Air Force is most likely interested in having a surveillance platform that can “maneuver in orbit faster” than satellites. The Air Force appears to be planning a future for the program. Speculation has flourished online about what the government is doing. Theories range from surveillance to [developing] the platform for a new generation of kinetic weapons that can be used from space [to] testing the craft so it can eventually drop special-forces soldiers from space to anywhere on the planet, within minutes.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government secrecy from reliable major media sources.
Edward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel," for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. The decision to honor the former National Security Agency contractor with the Right Livelihood Award appeared to cause a diplomatic headache for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, which withdrew the prize jury's permission to use its media room for the announcement. Snowden split the honorary portion of the award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden. The award foundation cited Snowden's "courage and skill" in revealing the extent of government surveillance and praised Rusbridger "for building a global media organization dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest." Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes. Snowden, who has reportedly also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, remains exiled in Russia since leaking top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. He has been charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and could face up to 30 years in prison. Though the honorary award doesn't include any money, the foundation would offer to help pay Snowden's legal costs. Von Uexkull said the foundation was denied access to the Swedish Foreign Ministry's media room, where it has announced the awards since 1995, after it gave the ministry advance notice of the winners.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
In lawsuits challenging NSA mass surveillance, torture and drone strikes on Americans in recent years, the US government has turned what was once a narrow legal privilege into an immunity trump card – a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card for “matters of national security”. And now, despite publicly promising to restrict its use, attorney general Eric Holder is trying to expand the power even further. In [the] New York Times, Matt Apuzzo [reports on a] court case between two private parties in which the US justice department has invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. A Greek shipping magnate has accused an advocacy group pushing for sanctions on Iran of lying about him, but the government argues that the case must be dismissed with hardly an explanation, citing only a “concerned federal agency”. Holder refuses to disclose the agency demanding secrecy, the type of information he wants [to keep] secret, or even the basis for invoking the state secrets clause (which, by the way, is an invention of the US supreme court from a 1953 case that was later proved to be based on a lie). The Obama justice department has been using the controversial clause to squash cases of more significant consequence for years. Holder allegedly created a policy for restricting its use to all but the most critical national-security cases when he first came into office. But, alas, Holder has since proceeded to shut down the exact types of cases for which George W Bush was so harshly criticized.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The rise of ISIS has been aided by the failure of the US government to investigate the connection between the Saudi Arabian government and jihadist networks, said former senator Bob Graham. Senator Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that successive administrations had failed to examine the connections between the Saudis and Sunni militant groups. "I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions ... has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the US – and in particular their support for ISIS," he said. The Saudis have been accused of using Sunni militant groups as proxies, channeling money to Islamist groups battling the forces of president Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, as Sunni and Shia battle for hegemony in the Middle East. The Shia Iranians are chief backers of Assad, and Nouri al Maliki's Shia-dominated government which collapsed following ISIS' onslaught in Iraq, accused the Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS, and facilitating "genocide". [Graham] said that Saudi Arabia gives support to the "the most extremist elements among the Sunni". Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was the son of a wealthy construction magnate, who had close ties to the Saudi royal family. It is alleged that redacted pages of the [Joint Congressional 9/11 inquiry] report establish links between Saudi government officials and al-Qaida.
Note: Watch the highly illuminating BBC documentary "Power of Nightmares" that reveals that al-Qaida, under the control of Osama bin Laden, has never actually existed, but is a US/UK-government psychological operation to launch the "Global War on Terror". For more on this, read Prof. David Ray Griffin's deeply revealing book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
A major FBI cover-up ... connects Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers to the Saudi Arabian government. While still at Sarasota's Emma E. Booker Elementary on the day of the 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush said, "Terrorism against our nation will not stand." However, the president's visit wasn't the only thing to tie this Bay area county to the September 11th attacks. Within days, we learned three of the hijackers had been living in the area while taking flying lessons at Huffman Aviation and Florida Flight Training in Sarasota County... but there is even more than that. "There was a network supporting the hijackers," says former U.S. Senator and Florida governor Bob Graham. According to Graham, the FBI has been covering up that fact for years, and continues to try and hide it even now. Graham says he is convinced there was a direct line between some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Graham, the FBI was aware of the strong connection between hijackers and a Saudi Arabian family who were living in an upscale Sarasota gated community. Twelve days before 9/11, the family abandoned the house -- leaving behind valuable items including food, clothing, furnishings and three vehicles. "There are some things I can't talk about," Graham told us, "And there are others like what I know is involved in the investigation in Sarasota, which is diametrically opposed to what the FBI said publicly."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
Florida’s former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham ... has been fighting both the Bush and Obama administrations to declassify 28 pages of a 9/11 intelligence report that may detail and expose the efforts of members of the Saudi Arabian royal family in aiding and abetting [9/11] terrorists in Florida, many who were themselves Saudi. Graham is befuddled as to why the Obama administration does not release these documents, which he read when he was chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and co-chair of a congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. As a result, he has joined a Freedom of Information Act request alongside others, asking that 80,000 pages of information on a Saudi family that disappeared just before the attacks be made public. “It isn’t credible that 19 people — most [of whom] could not speak English well and did not have experience in the United States — could carry out such a complicated task without external assistance,” Graham insists. The Saudi family living in Sarasota fled to Saudi Arabia just prior to the 9/11 attacks. Were they tipped off that they should leave? If so, by whom? Graham believes that there was a deliberate effort to cover up Saudi involvement in the tragedy of 9/11 by the Bush administration, one, he says, that the Obama administration appears to support. The American public needs to know. The families of those who were lost to the 9/11 attacks or those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve an answer as well.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
A report released on [August 26] on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags. Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers. Others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act. Within hours of the report’s publication, [Roger Stone, the leader of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council since 2003,] resigned. It was not until 2010 that the first case of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, a South Yorkshire city of about 250,000 people, made it to court. Five men received long prison sentences for grooming three teenage girls for sex. It was one of several high-profile prosecutions over the past four years that revealed sexual exploitation in cities including Oxford, Rochdale and Derby. Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men. “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote. The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant.
Note: Further information is available in this story in the UK's Guardian. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.
A federal judge has ordered the FBI to scrutinize allegations that the agency pressured a witness not to testify in a trial about videos related to the Oklahoma City bombing. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said the agency needs to get to the bottom of the claims from Utah lawyer Jesse Trentadue, who said that the FBI threatened to cut off a former government operative's benefits if he appeared in court. Waddoups decided the lawyer's report raises disturbing questions, and he wanted evidence that the agency has thoroughly investigated the matter. Waddoups ordered the attorneys to present the results of the witness-tampering investigation on Nov. 13. The hearing is the latest in a case that reignited questions about whether others were involved in the bombing that killed 168 people. Trentadue argues surveillance videos from 1995 show Timothy McVeigh had an accomplice. The agency says its investigators have done a reasonable search and found no evidence of additional unreleased videos. [John] Matthews was supposed to testify during a late July bench trial, but Trentadue argued that he backed out at the last minute because the FBI threatened to cut off his veteran's and disability benefits. Trentadue said Matthews was part of a stealth government operation before the Oklahoma City bombing tracking militia movements of which McVeigh was a part, and his testimony could support the idea that there was a second suspect. Matthews told him and a colleague that he had been pressured in phone calls just before and after he was supposed to testify, the lawyer said.
Note: Many aspects of the Oklahoma City bombing were covered up. For a compilation of media videos showing without doubt that there were other bombs in the building which later were completely ignored, click here. For other major media articles showing major manipulation, click here click here, here, and here.
Jim Risen is gruff. Attorney General Eric Holder wants to force Risen to testify and reveal the identity of his confidential source on a story he had in his 2006 book concerning a bungled C.I.A. operation during the Clinton administration in which agents might have inadvertently helped Iran develop its nuclear weapon program. The tale made the C.I.A. look silly, which may have been more of a sore point than a threat to national security. But Bush officials, no doubt still smarting from Risen’s revelation of their illegal wiretapping, zeroed in on a disillusioned former C.I.A. agent named Jeffrey Sterling as the source of the Iran story. The subpoena forcing Risen’s testimony expired in 2009, and to the surprise of just about everybody, the constitutional law professor’s administration renewed it — kicking off its strange and awful aggression against reporters and whistle-blowers. Why don’t they back off Risen? How can [Obama] use the Espionage Act to throw reporters and whistle-blowers in jail even as he defends the intelligence operatives who “tortured some folks,” and coddles his C.I.A. chief, John Brennan, who spied on the Senate and then lied to the senators he spied on about it? “It’s hypocritical,” Risen said. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.” Risen points to recent stories about the administration pressing an unprecedented initiative known as the Insider Threat Program.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
It was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don't like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing "serious limitations on access to records" that they say have "impeded" their oversight work. The data about public information officers was compiled over the past few years by Kennesaw State University professor Carolyn Carlson. Her surveys found that 4 in 10 public information officers say "there are specific reporters they will not allow their staff to talk to due to problems with their stories in the past." Carlson has conducted surveys of journalists and public information officers since 2012. In her most recent survey of 445 working journalists, four out of five reported that "their interviews must be approved" by government information officers, and "more than half of the reporters said they had actually been prohibited from interviewing [government] employees at least some of the time by public information officers." The Associated Press reported earlier this year that in 2013 "the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times — a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama's first year." This week's letter from more than half of the federal government's inspectors general [said] that government agencies' move to hide information from them represents a "potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nearly 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the extent of Saudi involvement in the deaths of almost 3,000 people remains unclear — but according to members of Congress and the families of victims, information about this has been suppressed ever since the publication of a 2002 congressional investigation into the plot. Prior to the release of the final report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration classified a 28-page section in the name of national security. The 28 pages make up part four of the report, a section titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” They are widely believed to implicate Saudi officials or describe support from Saudi intelligence for the hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi citizens. Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who co-chaired the joint Senate-House investigation, dispensed with the equivocation and told VICE News that the redactions are a “cover up.” “I’ve said this since the first classification of the 28 pages,” he remarked. “It’s become more and more inexplicable as to why two administrations have denied the American people information that would help them better understand what happened on 9/11.” Graham said that the 28 pages describe the financing of the attacks. “Follow the money,” he said. “That will illuminate other significant aspects of 9/11.” The Saudi kingdom has always denied any complicity in the attacks.”
Note: Watch a video of Congressman Massie telling how shocked he was to read these 28 pages. Why aren't the major media reporting this important news? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
A sweeping [gag] order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts and applies throughout the country. It was issued by the criminal division of the supreme court of Victoria in Melbourne. The Australia-wide [gag] order is a superinjunction, which means it also contains a clause insisting that the terms of the order itself should remain secret. [It] states: "Subject to further order, there [shall] be no disclosure, by publication or otherwise, of any information derived from or prepared for the purposes of these proceedings including the terms of these orders." In a statement published with the leak, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said the gagging order relates to a case that "concerns the subsidiaries of the Australian central bank". He said it was the first blanket suppression order of this nature in Australia since 1995. "With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public," said Assange, who is himself Australian. "This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give this international corruption case the public scrutiny it is due. Foreign minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the Australian government".
Note: Very few media were even willing to report on the reasons for this gag order, which were clearly to cover up corruption at the highest levels. See the CNN article for how no mention is even made of what was revealed. It seems that the higher up the corruption goes, the more vehemently courts rule to keep the investigations secret. Could there be a double standard here? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge [on July 28] in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were involved in the 1995 attack. Additional searches for videos that Salt Lake City lawyer Jesse Trentadue believes are being withheld would be burdensome and fruitless, FBI attorney Kathryn Wyer argued during the first day of a bench trial. Trentadue says the agency is refusing to release videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb that killed 168 people. The government says McVeigh was alone. [But] the 30 video recordings the FBI has released don't show the explosion or McVeigh's arrival in a rental truck. Unsatisfied by the FBI's previous explanations and citing the public importance of the tapes, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has ordered the agency to explain why it can't find videos that are mentioned in evidence logs. Trentadue believes the presence of a second suspect explains why his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was flown to Oklahoma several months after the bombing, where he died in a federal holding cell. Kenneth Trentadue bore a striking resemblance to a police sketch based on witness descriptions of the enigmatic suspect "John Doe No. 2," who was never identified..
Note: There is strong evidence of a major cover-up in the Oklahoma City bombing. See this Wall Street Journal article, this Associated Press article, this ABC News article, and this Deseret News article for examples.
Just how badly does the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane Sandy? The charity has hired [law firm Gibson Dunn] to fight a public request [ProPublica] filed with New York state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a “trade secret.” The Red Cross’ “trade secret” argument has persuaded the state to redact some material, though it’s not clear yet how much since the documents haven’t yet been released. The Red Cross releases few details about how it spends money after big disasters. That makes it difficult to figure out whether donor dollars are well spent. An attorney from [Gibson Dunn] appealed to the attorney general to block disclosure of some of the Sandy information, citing the state Freedom of Information Law’s trade secret exemption. Doug White, a nonprofit expert who directs the fundraising management program at Columbia University, said that it’s possible for nonprofits to have trade interests — the logo of a university, for example — but it’s not clear what a “trade secret” would be in the case of the Red Cross. He called the lawyer’s letter an apparent “delaying tactic.” Ben Smilowitz of the Disaster Accountability Project, a watchdog group, said, “Invoking a ‘trade secret’ exemption is not something you would expect from an organization that purports to be ‘transparent and accountable.’”
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. A number of SWAT teams in [Massachusetts] are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against. From the ACLU of Massachusetts’s report on police militarization in that state: "Due to the weakness of Massachusetts public records law and the culture of secrecy that has infected local police departments and Law Enforcement Councils, procuring empirical records from police departments and regional SWAT teams in Massachusetts about police militarization was universally difficult and, in most instances, impossible."
Note: The author of this article, Radley Balko, is the author of the book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. For more on this topic, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.