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.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said ... that his controversial website could be forced to shut down by the end of the year because a 10-month-old "financial blockade" had sharply reduced the donations on which it depends. Calling the blockade a "dangerous, oppressive and undemocratic" attack led by the United States, Assange said at a news conference that it had deprived his organization of "tens of millions of dollars," and warned, "If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade, we will not be able to continue by the turn of the new year." Since the end of 2010, financial intermediaries - including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union - have refused to allow donations to WikiLeaks to flow through their systems, he said, blocking "95 percent" of the website's revenue and leaving it to operate on its cash reserves for the past 10 months. An aide said that WikiLeaks was now receiving less than $10,000 a month in donations. Assange said that WikiLeaks had been forced to halt work on the processing of tens of thousands of secret documents that it has received, and to turn its attention instead to lawsuits it has filed in the United States, Australia, Scandinavian countries and elsewhere, as well as to a formal petition to the European Commission to try to restore donors' ability to send it money through normal channels.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here.
The Obama White House's restrictions on media access to its fundraising events makes a mockery of its claim to be the most transparent administration in history. If anything, there is almost a Nixonian quality to the level of control, paranoia - and lack of credibility - this White House has demonstrated on the issue of media access to President Obama's fundraisers. Bay Area reporters will not be allowed inside the W Hotel today when the president meets with hundreds of contributors paying $7,500 or more to attend. Only Washington-based journalists were allowed in the pool - continuing a disturbing trend by this White House to severely limit access to fundraisers. Fundraisers are not private events in this post-Watergate era. Contributions are a matter of public record, and the public has a right to know what is being said to and by the president. Local journalists are better positioned than their Beltway brethren to recognize who is there - and why. The White House press office seems to have missed the transparency memo. Now it has cut all local reporters out of the pool. Most transparent administration in history? We'll see. Right now, we'd settle for straight answers and the opportunity to do our jobs.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government secrecy, click here.
In December 2010 three of the world's biggest payment providers, Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, cut off funding to WikiLeaks. Ten months later, Julian Assange has announced the whistleblowing site will suspend operations until the blockade is lifted – and warned WikiLeaks does not have the money to continue into 2012 at current levels of funding. The banking blockade against WikiLeaks is one of the most sinister developments in recent years, and perhaps the most extreme example in a western democracy of extrajudicial actions aimed at stifling free speech. Payment companies representing more than 97% of the global market have shut off the funding taps between WikiLeaks and those who would donate to it. Unlike many of the country's leading corporations, WikiLeaks has neither been charged with, nor convicted of, any crime at either state, federal, or international level. Visa and Mastercard are already inescapable. As the world becomes ever-more digital ... they will become still more pervasive. If they are allowed to cut off payment to lawful organisations with whom they disagree, the US's first amendment, the European convention on human rights' article 10, and all other legal free speech protections become irrelevant. Those who value free expression, whether they like WikiLeaks or loathe it, should hope it wins its current battle.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here.
Working inside the New York Police Department is one of the CIA's most experienced clandestine operatives. He arrived in July as the special assistant to the deputy commissioner of intelligence. While his title is clear, his job responsibilities are not. Federal and city officials have offered differing explanations for why this top CIA officer was assigned to a municipal police department. The CIA is prohibited from spying domestically, and its unusual partnership with the NYPD has troubled top lawmakers and prompted an internal investigation. The last time a CIA officer worked so closely with the NYPD, beginning in the months after the 9/11 attacks, he became the architect of aggressive police programs that monitored Muslim neighborhoods. With that earlier help from this CIA official, the police put entire communities under a microscope based on ethnicity rather than allegations of wrongdoing. On Monday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the arrangement. "If the CIA can help us I'm all for getting any information they have and then letting the police department use it," he said. All of this has troubled lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has said the CIA has "no business or authority in domestic spying, or in advising the NYPD how to conduct local surveillance."
Note: While it is quite amazing that this information was reported in the major media, well-informed people have known that CIA operatives are secretly inserted in police stations across the US. They are also deployed in key positions in every major media outlet in the U.S. and many around the world, where they can stop reporting of information which reveals too much. To read the fascinating accounts of two award-winning journalist providing clear evidence of this, click here.
An explosion wrecked two homes, a business and several cars early [September 26], killing a woman and injuring nine people on the outskirts of Argentina’s capital. Early reports by some witnesses that they had seen a ball of fire fall from the sky around the time of the 2 a.m. explosion caused a sensation, but authorities said later that evidence pointed to an explosion of leaking gas. After the reports of a fireball coming down, the government dispatched [a] large number of searchers to check for radioactivity and any material that might have come from outer space. Provincial justice and security minister Ricardo Casal said experts were “evaluating all theories, from an explosion to something strange that came from the sky.” But the experts found no evidence of a crater, and NASA said its satellite that fell to Earth sometime Saturday landed well clear of South America. A young man who had claimed he photographed a space object and gave authorities a picture showing a streak of red light through the night sky was detained for providing false testimony, the Argentine news agency Diarios y Noticias said. The man changed his story under questioning, the report said.
Note: How interesting that this occurred at the same time as the NASA satellite was supposed to crash to Earth. Do you think there could be a cover-up in order to avoid bad publicity? For more evidence along these lines, click here.
[A] chronicle of the civil and military aviation responses to the [9/11] hijackings that originally had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but never completed or released, [is about to be published]. Though some of the audio has emerged over the years, mainly through public hearings and a federal criminal trial, the ... complete document, with recordings, is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review. Most of the work on the document — which commission staff members called an “audio monograph” — was finished in 2004, not in time to go through a long legal review before the commission was shut down that August. At hearings in 2003 and 2004, the 9/11 Commission played some of the recordings and said civil and military controllers improvised responses to attacks they had never trained for. The account published this week is missing two essential pieces that remain restricted or classified. One is about 30 minutes of the cockpit recording of United Airlines Flight 93. The other still-secret recording is of a high-level conference call that ... grew, over the course of the morning, to include ... Mr. Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers. The recording was turned over to the National Security Council. The 9/11 Commission was not permitted to keep a copy of it or of the transcript ... and investigators were closely monitored when they listened to it.
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin has analyzed the use made by the 9/11 Commission of the audiotapes described in this article, in "9/11 Live or Fabricated: Do the NORAD Tapes Verify The 9/11 Commission Report?", concluding that they may well have been faked by the Pentagon to provide a basis for the Commission's otherwise unsupported claim that the FAA did not notify NORAD of the hijackings in time for an air-defense response. Prof. Griffin developed his argument further in Chapter One of his seminal book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking.
Ten years after [the 9/11 attacks], the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission's investigative records remain sealed at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed the archives to make most of the material public in 2009. The National Archives' failure to release the material presents a hurdle for historians and others seeking to plumb one of the most dramatic events in modern American history. Matt Fulgham, assistant director of the archives' center for legislative affairs..., said that more than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release. But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the released material includes documents that already were in the public domain, such as press articles. Commission items still not public include a 30-page summary of an April 29, 2004 interview by all 10 commissioners with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, conducted in the White House's Oval Office. This was the only time the two were formally questioned about the events surrounding the attacks. The information could shed light on public accounts the two men have given in recent weeks of their actions around the time of the attacks. The still-sealed documents contain source material on subjects ranging from actions by President Bush on the day of the attacks to ... vast amounts of information on al Qaeda and U.S. intelligence efforts in the years preceding the attacks.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
A court case against a translator who leaked US government secrets was conducted in secret because it centred on the revelation that the FBI had eavesdropped on Israeli embassy phone calls, it was revealed yesterday. The extraordinary limitations in place for the prosecution of Shamai Leibowitz, who was sentenced to 20 months in prison for disseminating classified information, meant that even the judge sentencing him did not know what he was supposed to have leaked. "All I know is that it's a serious case," Judge Alexander Williams said last year. "I don't know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea." But now Richard Silverstein, the blogger to whom Leibowitz passed his information, has come forward to defend his source. Leibowitz passed him about 200 pages of verbatim records of phone calls and conversations between embassy officials, saying that he believed the documents revealed Israeli officials trying unlawfully to influence US policy and edging towards military action against Iran. There has been dismay among civil liberties and open government advocates who point to pledges made by Mr Obama before his election to seek new transparency in Washington. Instead, his administration has launched a record number of prosecutions under the Espionage Act – five including the Leibowitz case. Previously, there had been only four such prosecutions opened by all previous administrations.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
It was early afternoon on Friday, Aug. 17, 2001. Special Agent Harry Samit of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office [sat] across from ... Zacarias Moussaoui, a 33-year-old French-born student arrested the day before for overstaying his visa. Samit, a former intelligence officer at the Navy’s celebrated Top Gun flight school, felt sure the man across the desk from him was a Muslim extremist who was part of a plot to hijack a commercial jetliner filled with passengers. That same day [at] FBI headquarters ... in Washington, counterterrorism supervisors were treating Samit’s first reports about Moussaoui with skepticism, even contempt. New disclosures about Samit’s story suggest that FBI agents in Minneapolis were much closer to unraveling the 9/11 plot than previously known. The officials directly involved in the case were denied access to a key internal memo —- prepared for outgoing FBI Director Louis Freeh —- that could have allowed the Minneapolis field office to connect the dots and possibly preempt the attacks. Their efforts were thwarted by a group of arrogant, slow-moving supervisors at FBI headquarters. There is no clear reference to the Freeh memo in the 9/11 commission’s report.
The CIA’s armed drones and paramilitary forces have killed dozens of al-Qaeda leaders and thousands of its foot soldiers. But there is another mysterious organization that has killed even more of America’s enemies in the decade since the 9/11 attacks. Troops from this other secret organization have imprisoned and interrogated 10 times as many [suspects as has the CIA], holding them in jails that it alone controls in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, this secretive group of men (and a few women) has grown tenfold while sustaining a level of obscurity that not even the CIA managed. “We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,” a strapping Navy SEAL, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in describing his unit. The SEALs are just part of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command, known by the acronym JSOC, which has grown from a rarely used hostage rescue team into America’s secret army, routinely [used] to mount intelligence-gathering missions and lethal raids, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in countries with which the United States was not at war, including Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Syria. The president has also given JSOC the rare authority to select individuals for its kill list — and then to kill, rather than capture, them. JSOC has grown from 1,800 troops prior to 9/11 to as many as 25,000. It has its own intelligence division, its own drones and reconnaissance planes, even its own dedicated satellites.
Note: This article describing JSOC’s spectacular rise, much of which has not been publicly disclosed before, is adapted from a chapter of the newly released Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State, by Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. For lots more on the secret realities of the "Endless War" launched by the 9/11 false-flag operation, click here.
News organizations in dozens of countries are panning for nuggets in the latest and largest dump of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, which last week suddenly accelerated its posting of the confidential State Department documents. Over a few days, the group made public nearly 134,000 cables — more than six times the total number published by WikiLeaks and many news organizations over the past nine months. On top of the new WikiLeaks posting, news media reports have suggested that a file containing all 251,287 diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks last year might soon be made public. Late Wednesday, WikiLeaks accused the British newspaper The Guardian of revealing a secret password that could lead to the exposure of the entire cable collection. In a statement, the group said it was that expectation that prompted its release of the cables. WikiLeaks has been a magnet for controversy since it began large-scale disclosures of American documents last year, and the new release stirred the same strong emotions. A cyberattack took down the main WikiLeaks Web site for a time on Tuesday, and speculation about possible perpetrators ranged from a number of governments to former WikiLeaks associates now estranged from Mr. Assange. The State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, while declining to confirm the cables’ authenticity, denounced the disclosure of classified information. Most of the cables are unclassified, but some are classified up to the level of “secret.”
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
A once-secret CIA history of the Bay of Pigs invasion lays out in unvarnished detail how the American spy agency came to the rescue of and cut deals with authoritarian governments in Central America, largely to hide the U.S. role in organizing and controlling the hapless Cuban exile invasion force. The most powerful people in Central American embassies were the CIA station chiefs. Ambassadors step aside and allow the CIA to negotiate deals for covert paramilitary bases in a newly released portion of the CIA’s “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation.” “What you’re reading in this report shows again that in the hypocritical name of democracy the United States and CIA were willing to prop up some of the most cut-throat dictatorships,” says researcher Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He sued the CIA for release of the Top Secret document that dissects one of the agency’s greatest failures. Using secret interviews, cables and memos, CIA historian Jack B. Pfeiffer wrote the classified account of the disastrous operation to topple Fidel Castro. It’s unusually candid because nobody except spies were expected read it. Both the Eisenhower and Kennedy governments wanted to be able to deny responsibility for the invasion.
Note: To read the formerly-secret CIA history of the Bay of Pigs operation, just released by the National Security Archive, click here.
In the annals of the sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, most of the cases that have come to light happened years before to children and teenagers who have long since grown into adults. But a painfully fresh case is devastating Catholics in Kansas City, Mo., where a priest, who was arrested in May, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of taking indecent photographs of young girls, most recently during an Easter egg hunt just four months ago. Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has acknowledged that he knew of the existence of photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. A civil lawsuit filed last week claims that during those five months, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, attended children’s birthday parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted the Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishop’s permission, at a girl’s First Communion. The case has generated fury at a bishop who was already a polarizing figure in his diocese, and there are widespread calls for him to resign or even to be prosecuted. Bishop Finn, who was appointed in 2005, alienated many of his priests and parishioners, and won praise from others, when he remade the diocese to conform with his traditionalist theological views. He is one of few bishops affiliated with the conservative movement Opus Dei.
A helicopter was shot down today by Afghan insurgents as it was rushing to aid troops in a firefight, killing 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs, most of whom belonged to Team 6, the unit whose members were involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, U.S. officials said. It's unclear how far away the helicopter was from the initial firefight when it went down and unclear how the troops in the firefight got to the crash location, the official said. Although the Taliban have claimed to have shot the helicopter down, U.S. officials have only identified the attackers as insurgents. The last worst one-day U.S. casualty record in Afghanistan was on June 28, 2005 when 16 U.S. soldiers were killed in Kunar province after a helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents.
Note: Many scholars claim Osama bin Laden was already dead long before he was allegedly killed by the Navy Seal Team 6. Isn't it strange the his body was buried at sea, so that the identity of the dead body could never be certain, when those in charge knew about theories that bin Laden wasn't dead. And now, many members of the team that took part in the raid may be dead, so that they can't tell their side of the story. For more evidence that bin Laden died long before the raid, see BBC articles here and here, a Washington Post article, and an article in New Zealand's leading newspaper showing the published death photo was a fake.
A top-secret document revealing how MI6 and MI5 officers were allowed to extract information from prisoners being illegally tortured overseas has been seen by the Guardian. The interrogation policy ... instructed senior intelligence officers to weigh the importance of the information being sought against the amount of pain they expected a prisoner to suffer. It was operated by the British government for almost a decade. The fact that the interrogation policy document and other similar papers may not be made public during the inquiry into British complicity in torture and rendition has led to human rights groups and lawyers refusing to give evidence or attend any meetings with the inquiry team because it does not have "credibility or transparency". The decision by 10 groups – including Liberty, Reprieve and Amnesty International – follows the publication of the inquiry's protocols, which show the final decision on whether material uncovered by the inquiry, led by Sir Peter Gibson, can be made public will rest with the cabinet secretary. Some have criticised the appointment of Gibson, a retired judge, to head the inquiry because he previously served as the intelligence services commissioner, overseeing government ministers' use of a controversial power that permits them to "disapply" UK criminal and civil law in order to offer a degree of protection to British intelligence officers committing crimes overseas.
Note: Isn't it quite unusual for human rights organizations to refuse to participate in an inquiry into government abuses of human rights? Evidently the conflicts of interest of the inquiry head Gibson are so extreme that participation is simply impossible.
The number of people leaving the Roman Catholic Church in Germany jumped by nearly 50 percent in 2010 as an abuse scandal widened. Some 181,000 people quit their memberships last year, up from 124,000 in 2009, official numbers released by Germany's Roman Catholic Church showed. Deaths and people turning away from the church heavily outnumbered baptisms, which reached a record low, putting one of the world's wealthiest and most influential Catholic Churches further in decline. Over the past twenty years, the number of members of Germany's Roman Catholic Church has fallen from 28.3 million to 24.6 million or 30.2 percent of the country's population in 2010, the data showed. The numbers are easily tracked because members pay a church tax unless they formally leave the congregation -- the same reason the declining membership has led to increasing budget shortfalls for the church. Germans are not required to say why they want to strike their church membership, but many have blamed the reports of sexual and physical abuse of hundreds of children by clergy that surfaced last year. The diocese that recorded the highest member loss last year was Munich and Freising -- the pope's former diocese, which had been hard-hit by the abuse scandal -- where 21,600 people alone left the church.
The Archbishop of Dublin said there are groups in the Vatican and the Irish hierarchy trying to undermine child protection measures. Dr Diarmuid Martin said there were systems in place that were ignored. His comments come after Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny launched an attack in parliament on the Catholic Church. Mr Kenny said the recent Cloyne Report into allegations of priest sex abuse showed change was needed. In an unprecedented attack, the taoiseach said the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again and the report exposed the "elitism, dysfunction, disconnection, and narcissism that dominated the Vatican". Dr Martin said he was "impressed by the emotion that the taoiseach brought into this". He said he was also "angry, ashamed and appalled" by those "who felt they were able to play tricks" and "by anybody who does that, whether they be in the Irish church, the Vatican or anybody else who faces child protection". "I'm very disappointed and annoyed. What do you do when you've got systems in place and somebody ignores them?" he said. "What do you do when you have got groups either in the Vatican or in Ireland who try to undermine what is being done or simply refuse to understand what is being done?" Dr Martin said he had delivered over 70,000 documents to the Murphy Commission.
Ireland's prime minister has launched an unprecedented attack on the Vatican, accusing it of downplaying the rape and torture of Irish children by clerical sex abusers. Enda Kenny said in parliament that the Cloyne report, released on 13 July, had exposed the Vatican's attempt to frustrate the inquiry into child sex abuse. During a debate on the fallout from the Cloyne findings, the taoiseach said the report had illuminated the dysfunction and elitism still dominant in the Vatican. Kenny told the Dáil on Wednesday that Rome seemed more interested in upholding the church's power and reputation than confronting the abuse of Irish children by its priests and religious orders. The Vatican's attitude to investigations in Cloyne, which covers County Cork, was the "polar opposite of the radicalism, the humility and the compassion that the church had been founded on", he said. Kenny said the rape and torture of children had been downplayed or "managed" to uphold the institution's power and reputation. One of the most damning findings of the Cloyne report was that the diocese failed to report nine out of 15 complaints made against priests, which "very clearly should have been reported". The report, coming after a string of inquiries into Catholic clerical sex abuse across Ireland, has set the Irish government on a collision course with the church.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on institutional secrecy, click here.
The Obama administration is facing criticism for prosecutions brought under the US Espionage Act against government employees accused of leaking sensitive information. Mark Feldstein, professor of media at the University of Maryland, sees a worrying trend of espionage prosecutions since President Obama took office. "To everyone's surprise, the Obama administration has escalated the war against whistleblowers and the attacks on information that journalists and the public were depending on to get evidence of wrongdoing by powerful institutions and individuals," Prof Feldstein says. On Friday, Thomas Drake, a former senior official at the National Security Agency, a highly secretive US spy agency, was sentenced to one year's probation, after the Department of Justice's case against him collapsed. He had been accused of passing on information to a journalist about a government computer programme he considered wasteful. Outside court, Mr Drake said the government's prosecution had been "vindictive and malicious". According his lawyer Jesselyn Radack, the charge that he passed on secret information was a ''bald-faced lie''. Critics say the US classification system is often arbitrary, with documents often stamped ''classified'' when the content is not secret or that sensitive.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, long after it issued guidelines meant to protect children, and the Vatican tacitly encouraged the cover-up by ignoring the guidelines, according to a scathing report issued Wednesday by the Irish government. Abuse victims called the report more evidence that the church sought to protect priests rather than children. The Cloyne Report, as it is known, drafted by an independent investigative committee headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, found that the clergy in the Diocese of Cloyne, a rural area of County Cork, did not act on complaints against 19 priests from 1996 to 2009. The Cloyne Report is the Irish government’s fourth in recent years on aspects of the scandal. It shows that abuses were still occurring and being covered up 13 years after the church in Ireland issued child protection guidelines in 1996, and that civil officials were failing to investigate allegations. The report warned that other dioceses might have similar failings. Most damaging, the report said that the Congregation for the Clergy, an arm of the Vatican that oversees the priesthood, had not recognized the 1996 guidelines. That “effectively gave individual Irish bishops the freedom to ignore the procedures” and “gave comfort and support” to priests who “dissented from the stated Irish church policy,” the report said.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on institutional secrecy, click here.
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.