Secrecy News StoriesExcerpts of Key Secrecy News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of secrecy 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.
Watergate prosecutors had evidence that operatives for then-President Richard Nixon planned an assault on anti-war demonstrators in 1972, including potentially physically attacking Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, according to a never-before-published memo obtained by NBC News. The document, an 18-page 1973 investigative memorandum from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, sheds new light on how prosecutors were investigating attempts at domestic political violence by Nixon aides, an extremely serious charge. A plot to physically attack Ellsberg is notable because the former Pentagon official has long alleged that Nixon operatives did more than steal his medical files, the most well-known effort to discredit him. [The memo] states that “an extensive investigation” found evidence that Nixon operatives plotted an “assault on antiwar demonstrators” at a rally at the U.S. Capitol featuring Ellsberg and other anti-war "notables.” The anti-war demonstration occurred near a viewing of recently deceased FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. An accompanying memo [states that] the attack would be on "long-haired demonstrators, in particular Ellsberg” ... with the objectives of impugning Ellsberg for protesting near to Hoover lying in state and "simply having Ellsberg beaten up.”
A former C.I.A. officer with experience in Turkey wrote a provocative essay this summer about the “deep state.” The phrase refers to a parallel “secret government” embedded in the military and intelligence services, whose purpose is to provide a check on electoral democracy. The essay, written by Philip Giraldi ... called the American deep state of today an “unelected, unappointed, and unaccountable presence within the system that actually manages what is taking place behind the scenes.” The American deep state of his description consists of ... Capitol Hill aides and legislators who cash in as lobbyists; former politicians who earn millions speaking to banks ... technocrats who ricochet between Goldman Sachs and the Treasury Department; billionaire kingmakers dangling political donations; thinkers whose tanks are financed by corporations with a financial stake in their research. The “deep state” metaphor seems to be ascendant as a way to explain present American realities. The writer Peter Dale Scott ... last year published a similarly minded book called “The American Deep State,” which emphasized the role of security contractors, oil companies and financial firms. Meanwhile, Mike Lofgren, a Republican who spent 28 years as a congressional aide before quitting in 2011, has used “deep state” to describe a subterranean cross-party consensus on issues like “financialization, outsourcing, privatization” ... from which the public is distracted by above-ground debates over “diversionary social issues.”
Note: Read an incisive essay by "deep state" author Prof. Peter Dale Scott showing how big money continues to run the Trump team, just as it has all previous government of both parties. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy and lies in government and industry.
The dozens of American diplomats taken hostage by revolutionary students who seized the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 might have had some secret company during their 15-month captivity: U.S. intelligence agencies had a squad of military-trained psychics using ESP to watch them, according to declassified documents in a newly available CIA database. In an operation code-named Grill Flame, half a dozen psychics ... on more than 200 occasions tried to peer through the ether to see where the hostages were being held, how closely they were guarded and the state of their health. Whether the psychics provided any useful intelligence was the subject of a debate among intelligence officials as heated as it was secret. The debate continues today. “The stuff that the CIA has declassified is garbage,” one of the Grill Flame psychics, Joseph McMoneagle, told the Miami Herald. “They haven’t declassified any of the stuff that worked.” Agreed Edwin May, a physicist who oversaw parapsychology research for government intelligence agencies for 20 years: “The psychics were able to tell, in some cases, where the hostages were moved to. They were able to see the degree of their health.” Operation Grill Flame was just one part of a broader U.S. intelligence project involving psychics and ESP that continued for 20 years. It went through as many as 10 different code names as its management shifted from agency to agency ... and carried out 26,000 telepathic forays by 227 psychics before the government shut it down in 1995.
Note: Read more on McMoneagle's work as a psychic for the US military. For more excellent, well resourced material on remote viewing and why the intelligence community continues to deny its successes, see this webpage.
The U.S. government secretly allowed radiation from a damaged reactor to be released into air over the San Fernando and Simi valleys in the wake of a major nuclear meltdown in Southern California more than 50 years ago — fallout that nearby residents contend continues to cause serious health consequences and, in some cases, death. "Area Four," which is part of the once-secret Santa Susana Field Lab, [was] founded in 1947 to test experimental nuclear reactors and rocket systems. In 1959, Area Four was the site of one of the worst nuclear accidents in U.S. history. But the federal government still hasn't told the public that radiation was released into the atmosphere as a result of the partial nuclear meltdown. Now, whistleblowers ... have recounted how during and after that accident they were ordered to release dangerous radioactive gases into the air above Los Angeles and Ventura counties, often under cover of night, and how their bosses swore them to secrecy. For years starting in 1959, workers at Area Four were routinely instructed to release radioactive materials into the air above neighboring communities, through the exhaust stacks of nuclear reactors, open doors, and by burning radioactive waste. Radioactive contamination ... remains in the soil and water of Area Four and in some areas off-site. The fallout could be linked to illnesses, including cancer, among residents living nearby. In addition to the radiation, dozens of toxic chemicals, including TCE and Perchlorate, were also released ... from the 1950s to 80s.
Note: The government is lying, and people are dying. For lots more on this huge nuclear cover-up, see this NBC article and this one. You can also watch an eight-minute History Channel video on this disaster. The video states that the amount of radiation released during this accident was 240 times the amount released at Three Mile Island, making it one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, yet it was all kept secret. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and nuclear power issues.
Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written ... when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Most troubling, researchers found a suspicious pattern in the White House email system blackouts, including periods when there were no emails available from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. In 1978, Congress passed the Presidential Records Act (PRA), which mandated that all presidential and vice presidential records ... be preserved and that the public, not the president, owned the records. Bush administration emails could have aided a special prosecutor’s investigation into a White House effort to discredit a diplomat who disagreed with the administration’s fabricated Iraq WMD evidence. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who was brought in to investigate that case, said ... potentially relevant emails sent by aides in Cheney's office were in the administration's system but he couldn’t get them. The supposedly lost emails also prevented Congress from fully investigating, in 2007, the politically motivated firing of nine U.S. attorneys. When the ... Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed related emails, Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, said many were inaccessible or lost on a nongovernmental private server run by the RNC.
Note: The Bush administration's lies about WMDs in Iraq were covered up, in part, by publicly revealing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and the manipulation of public perception.
China’s leaders have been accused of delivering a calculated diplomatic snub to Barack Obama after the US president was denied a red-carpet welcome during his chaotic arrival in Hangzhou ahead of the start of the G20. Chinese authorities have rolled out the red carpet for leaders including India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, Russian president Vladimir Putin, South Korean president Park Geun-hye, Brazil’s president Michel Temer and British prime minister Theresa May, who touched down on Sunday morning. But [Obama] was forced to disembark from Air Force One through a little-used exit in the plane’s belly after no rolling staircase was provided when he landed in the eastern Chinese city. When Obama did find his way onto the tarmac, there were heated altercations between US and Chinese officials, with one Chinese official caught on video shouting: “This is our country! This is our airport!” Obama suggested his Chinese hosts might have found the size of the US delegation “a little overwhelming”. “We’ve got a lot of planes, a lot of helicopters, a lot of cars and a lot of guys. If you are a host country, sometimes it may feel a little bit much.” Susan Rice, the US national security adviser, admitted she had been surprised by the handling of the president’s arrival. “They did things that weren’t anticipated,” she told reporters.
Note: If the above is the part of this event that is being reported to the public, what parts of it are being kept secret?
Today’s conspiracy theory is tomorrow’s news headlines. The truth is not only out there, but it’s more outlandish than anything we could have made up. So, what are some of our biggest conspiracies? The Iraq War. America is attacked by terrorists and so, declares war on a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks, while ignoring an oil rich ally which had everything to do with them. The result is a disaster. And yet, we can’t really bring ourselves to hold anyone accountable. Fifa [is] the conspiracy du jour. We always knew Fifa was shonky and bribey, but ... it now looks like every World Cup in the last three decades ... could have been fixed. For those who say "it’s only a stupid sport", well, recently we’ve heard accusations of arms deals for votes involving ... Saudi Arabia. The banking crisis [is a] nice financial counterpoint to Iraq. Virtually destroy the western financial system. Get bailed out by the taxpayers who you’ve been ripping off. Oh, and while we’re at it, the banks played a part in the Fifa scandal. Paedophiles. At first it was just a few rubbish light entertainers. Then we had people muttering about the political establishment – and others counter-muttering don’t be ridiculous, that’s a conspiracy theory. But it wasn’t. Now, it’s a slow-motion train crash and an endless series of glacial government inquiries.
A lawsuit filed in a US district court claims that American aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers who don’t sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, who filed the lawsuit ... said the United States has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress in 1976 passed the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act, with its stipulation regarding countries that did not sign the NPT. Though Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Smith noted that it is a known nuclear power and recipient of US aid. Israel ... is widely believed to possess dozens, if not hundreds of nuclear warheads. Smith’s lawsuit comes on the eve of an aid deal that would boost US assistance to the country. Israel already gets $3 billion a year in US aid. To sustain a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” on Israel’s weapons program, Smith says the government uses improper classification and threatens federal employees and researchers with prosecution, fines and imprisonment. The gag is driven ... by a Department of Energy directive known as WNP-136, Foreign Nuclear Capabilities. “This is an Energy Department directive that demands imprisonment for any federal official or contractor who even mentions that Israel might have a nuclear weapons program,” Smith said. Foreign aid to Israel violates two amendments of the 1961 Foreign Aid Act ... which ban aid to clandestine nuclear powers.
Note: How interesting the the US press is not covering this. Consider also that $3 billion in US aid divided by Israel's population of 8.5 million means Israel receives the equivalent of about $350 in aid per person per year, far greater than any other country. Watch a good interview with Miko Peled, a former member of Israeli special forces, on this topic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Bechtel - a behemoth among closely held companies - has been the world’s builder, benefiting from vast government contracts for engineering and infrastructure work in difficult places while it nurtured relationships with power brokers in Washington. In The Profiteers, journalist Sally Denton seeks to unravel the history of Bechtel. Her story is one of “how a dynastic line of rulers from the same American family conducts its business” and how its system of networking now pervades US capitalism. Anecdotes of Bohemian Grove, the secretive retreat that became an all-male “summer camp” for US corporate, political and military elites to toast marshmallows, skinny-dip in the river north of San Francisco and dress in drag for skits, elucidate the chummy nature of big business. As of 2014, [Bechtel's] reported revenue was $37bn, with projects and employees in 37 countries. The corporation’s embrace of Saudi Arabia as a lucrative client and its decades-long and contorted experience in Iraq also makes sense of some aspects of US foreign policy - as well as its intelligence-gathering operations. The life and times of John McCone, a former Bechtel executive who later served as CIA director in the US administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, is chronicled deftly here. It is worth noting: McCone was and is critical to Bechtel’s dominance today. He devised the idea of “cost-plus contracts” for the toughest jobs sought by government. Contractors are guaranteed a profit in such deals.
Note: Bechtel was at the center of a major Iraqi reconstruction scandal in 2007. More recently, major defense contractors have been publicly congratulating themselves for steering US policy towards militarism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
On Wednesday, July 17, 1996, at 8:19 p.m., TWA Flight 800 took off from JFK airport and headed out over Long Island toward Paris. Twelve minutes later, TWA 800 exploded mid-air, killing all 230 people on board. Twenty years later, the crash of TWA 800 remains a subject of horror and fascination. Conspiracy theorists still insist that TWA 800 was brought down, deliberately or accidentally, potentially by the US military - despite a four-year-long investigation, the most expensive in aviation history, which found that a short circuit in the plane’s center wing fuel tank caused the crash. In his new book “TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover-Up, and the Conspiracy,” author Jack Cashill maintains that the plane was brought down by external forces and that the government has engaged in a decades-long cover-up. Cashill doesn’t offer a definitive alternate cause, but the strongest portion of his book are reprints of multiple witness statements, taken by the FBI and CIA in the immediate aftermath. Over 700 of these have since been made public; in them, 258 witnesses told investigators they’d seen a streak of white light approaching the aircraft before the explosion. A few witnesses used the word “rocket” or “missile” in describing what they saw. These vivid, first-hand accounts remain in stark contrast to the final report - and at the time, every possibility was investigated.
Note: Journalist Kristina Borjesson, a long-time supporter of WantToKnow.info, explores evidence of a cover-up in the wake of this crash in the documentary, "TWA Flight 800". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
This was a difficult book for Avner Cohen to write. As an Israeli, he had to break the code of silence that surrounds the discussion of nuclear weapons in his homeland. But he has done a superb job of laying out the political history of Israel's nuclear program from its foundation in 1950 through the acceptance by the United States of Israel as a nuclear-weapon state in 1970. With "Israel and the Bomb," he has written a scholarly treatise that includes over 1,200 footnotes, yet reads like a novel. Israel was the sixth nation in the world - and the first in the Middle East - to acquire nuclear weapons. However, unlike those of the first five, its nuclear program has remained opaque, that is, shrouded in secrecy, officially unacknowledged and insulated from domestic politics. Israel's policy was also shaped by its interaction with France, the United States and Egypt. For its part, the United States realized as early as the Eisenhower Administration that it was not in a position to stop the Israeli program. At the same time, Israel could not openly defy American opposition to the spread of nuclear weapons. Opacity was the solution. Israel also did not wish to provoke the Arab nations into developing their own nuclear weapons or launching a pre-emptive attack on its Dimona reactor. As long as the Israelis kept a low profile, the Arabs, led by Egypt, played down the issue. Israel today remains the only nuclear-opaque state in the world.
Note: Israel refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or allow UN inspectors to inspect its opaque nuclear program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
It was July 1974. William Simon, newly appointed U.S. Treasury secretary, and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, stepped onto an 8 a.m. flight. [Simon's] mission, kept in strict confidence within President Richard Nixon's inner circle, would take place during a four-day layover in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The goal: persuade a hostile kingdom to finance America's widening deficit with its newfound petrodollar wealth. The United States would buy oil from Saudi Arabia and provide the kingdom military aid and equipment. In return, the Saudis would plow billions of their petrodollar revenue back into Treasuries and finance America's spending. At the end of months of negotiations, there remained one small, yet crucial, catch: King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud demanded the country's Treasury purchases stay "strictly secret." With a handful of Treasury and Federal Reserve officials, the secret was kept for more than four decades. In response to a Freedom-of-Information-Act request submitted by Bloomberg News, the Treasury broke out Saudi Arabia's holdings for the first time this month. The $117 billion trove makes the kingdom one of America's largest foreign creditors. A former Treasury official ... says the official figure vastly understates Saudi Arabia's investments in U.S. government debt, which may be double or more. In April, Saudi Arabia warned it would start selling as much as $750 billion in Treasuries and other assets if Congress passes a bill allowing the kingdom to be held liable in U.S. courts for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Note: In May, the Senate approved a bill that allows victims of 9/11 and their families to pursue lawsuits against Saudi Arabia for its role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Several prominent figures are currently pushing for the declassification of hidden 9/11 report pages which reportedly shed further light on Saudi support for terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Have you heard about TTIP? If your answer is no, don’t get too worried; you’re not meant to have. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It is, as John Hilary, Executive Director of campaign group War on Want, said: “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.” Since before TTIP negotiations began last February, the process has been secretive and undemocratic. But ... the covert nature of the talks may well be the least of our problems. TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments. There are around 500 ... cases of businesses versus nations going on around the world at the moment. They are all taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”
The federal government has been quietly fighting to keep a lid on an 11,000-document cache of government communications relating to financial policy. The Obama administration ... insisted that their release would negatively impact global financial markets. Unsealing some of these materials last week, a federal judge named Margaret Sweeney said the government's sole motivation was avoiding embarrassment. So what's so embarrassing? A sordid history of the government's seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also known as the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. Bailout-era Fannie and Freddie was turned into a kind of garbage facility for other Wall Street institutions, buying up toxic mortgages that private banks were suddenly desperate to unload. Even after the state took over the companies ... Fannie and Freddie continued to buy as much as $40 billion in bad assets per month from the private sector. Fannie and Freddie weren't just bailed out, they were themselves a bailout, used to sponge up the sins of private firms. The government ended up pumping about $187 billion into the companies. Within a few years ... Fannie and Freddie started to make money again. The GSEs went on to pay the government $228 billion over the next three years, or $40 billion more than they owed, [but] none of that money went to paying off Fannie and Freddie's debt. This ... prompted a series of lawsuits. In these suits, the government's pleas for secrecy were so extreme that it asked for, and received, "attorneys' eyes only" status for the documents in question.
Note: Why is no other media covering this important news? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.
Senior CIA officials have for years intentionally deceived parts of the agency workforce by transmitting internal memos that contain false information. The practice is known by the term “eyewash.” Officials said there is no clear mechanism for labeling eyewash cables or distinguishing them from legitimate records being examined by the CIA’s inspector general, turned over to Congress or declassified for historians. Senate investigators uncovered apparent cases of eyewashing as part of a multi-year probe of the CIA’s interrogation program, according to officials who said that the Senate Intelligence Committee found glaring inconsistencies in CIA communications about classified operations, including drone strikes. Former CIA officials ... acknowledged that the internal mechanisms for managing eyewash cables were largely informal. Skeptics described the safeguards as inadequate. “When you introduce falsehoods into the communications stream then you can destabilize the whole system of intelligence oversight and compliance with the law,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “It wasn’t that long ago that we had a CIA executive director who was engaged in criminal activity - you don’t want someone like him preparing eyewash cables,” Aftergood said, referring to Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the former No. 3 executive at the agency.
Note: Read more about the strange case of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the CIA executive convicted of fraud in connection with secret CIA prisons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Factory farm operators believe that the less Americans know about what goes on behind their closed doors, the better. That’s because the animals sent through those factories often endure an unimaginable amount of mistreatment and abuse. Nearly always, this treatment comes to light only because courageous employees - or those posing as employees - take undercover video and release it to the public. The industry’s lobbyists have taken the opposite approach, pushing for the passage of so-called “ag-gag” laws, which ban undercover recordings on farms and in slaughterhouses. These measures have ... been enacted in eight [states]. None has gone as far as North Carolina, where a new law that took effect Jan. 1 aims to silence whistle-blowers not just at agricultural facilities, but at all workplaces in the state. That includes, among others, nursing homes, day care centers, and veterans’ facilities. Anyone who violates the law - say, by secretly taping abuses of elderly patients or farm animals and then sharing the recording with the media or an advocacy group - can be sued by business owners for bad publicity and be required to pay a fine of $5,000 for each day that person is gathering information. This is a clear violation of the constitutional freedoms of speech and the press, as ... argued in a federal lawsuit filed in January.
Note: This law was passed following the widely publicised release of video footage showing toxic cesspools around North Carolina farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
“The Brothers” is a riveting chronicle of government-sanctioned murder, casual elimination of “inconvenient” regimes, relentless prioritization of American corporate interests and cynical arrogance on the part of two men. John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen, were ... lawyers, partners in the immensely powerful firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. John Foster Dulles served as secretary of state from 1953 to 1959; his brother ran the C.I.A. from 1953 to 1961. In his detailed, wellconstructed and highly readable book, Stephen Kinzer ... shows how the brothers drove America’s interventionist foreign policy. Kinzer highlights John Foster Dulles’s central role in channeling funds from the United States to Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sullivan & Cromwell floated bonds for Krupp A. G., the arms manufacturer, and also worked for I. G. Farben, the chemicals conglomerate that later manufactured Zyklon B, the gas used to murder millions of Jews. For the Dulles brothers, and for much of the American government, threats to corporate interests were categorized as support for communism. There are also reminders in Kinzer’s book of dark events in the history of American intelligence. Sixty years ago, Frank Olson, a C.I.A. officer, was reported to have jumped to his death during mind-control experiments “in which psychoactive drugs were administered to unknowing victims.” But last year, Kinzer reports, Olson’s family filed suit, claiming he had actually been murdered after visiting secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The CIA has released hundreds of declassified documents detailing investigations into possible alien life. The Central Intelligence Agency posted documents of reported Unidentified Flying Objects that range in date from the late 1940s to the 1950s. While playing off the hype of the TV show reboot "The X-Files," the CIA broke down the cases into two categories, whether you side with Agent Mulder or Agent Scully. For believers in alien life ... one case you can choose to investigate is the case of a flying saucer in Germany in 1952. An eyewitness told investigators that an object "resembling a huge flying pan" landed in a forest clearing in the Soviet zone of Germany in 1952. The eyewitness said once he was closer to the area where it landed, he saw two men dressed in shiny metallic clothing. Spooked by the eyewitness ... the mysterious men jumped into the large flying pan object and it spun out into the sky. "The whole object then began to rise slowly from the ground and rotate like a top," the eyewitness told the CIA. The man told a judge he thought he was dreaming but said there was a circular imprint on the ground where the object had landed. If that case intrigues you, there are four more listed on the CIA blog post. But if you are more of a skeptic like Scully, and believe there is a simple explanation for flying saucer sightings, then the documents from the scientific advisory panel on UFOs in 1953 will help you prove your case.
Note: Explore these intriguing 'X-Files' on the CIA website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
The United States has slipped so far with respect to transparency that some open-government groups now rank it behind Yemen, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia. Today, the Freedom of Information Act – our country’s signature right-to-information law – is alarmingly dysfunctional. It is impeding the ability of the press to do its job. Sharyl Attkisson, a journalist with five Emmy Awards ... asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October for records related to a virus that had possibly killed 14 children and paralyzed another 115. The CDC still hasn’t turned over a single document in response. This isn’t the first such experience for Attkisson. She recently told a congressional committee that it took the Department of Defense 10 years to respond to a request she made in 2003. It is a sad turn of events that FOIA has become so unhelpful to journalists. Like many other citizens who make requests under FOIA – which allows any person to request federal agency records for any reason – journalists face backlogs, excuses for withholding, and delays. “Non-responsiveness is the norm,” Karen Kaiser, general counsel of The Associated Press, told a Senate panel in May. Agencies could do a far better job of enforcing FOIA as it is written. Notably, agencies need to faithfully adhere to a provision of FOIA that allows journalists’ requests to go to the front of the queue when there is an “urgency to inform the public.” As it stands, agencies reject these so-called “expedited processing” requests the vast majority of the time.
Note: Along with having her FOIA requests stalled, Sharyl Attkisson has sometimes been spied on and computer-hacked by U.S intelligence agencies for her investigative journalism. The number of FOIA requests denied by government agencies has been rapidly increasing in recent years.
A 9/11 Congressional Committee investigated whether there were terror links to Saudi Arabia, but that portion of the report is classified by the government; fearing release could hurt U.S. relationships with a key Middle East ally. Now there are growing calls for the secret report to be made public. 28 pages classified as top secret by President Bush ... look at what if any relationship existed between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Government. These pages are the only part of the report kept hidden from the public. Just a few weeks ago, Republican Presidential Candidate Rand Paul introduced a measure in the Senate calling for public disclosure; both Senators Gillibrand and Schumer support it. The Former head of the 9-11 Inquiry who has read the "secret" pages says "Collectively they tell us that the hijackers did not operate alone. That there was a support network which facilitated their ability to carry out such a complicated and heinous assault as 9/11. And, they tell us that Saudi Arabia was the premier part of that support network," said Bob Graham, a former senator. Former Senator Graham believes the pages have remained classified to keep Americans from knowing the depth of Saudi involvement in 9/11. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any connection.
Note: If the former head of the 9/11 Commission says these pages should be declassified, will people listen. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
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.