UFO Sightings, Mass Media War
Propaganda, FBI "InfraGard" Program
Revealing News Articles
February 17, 2008
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on the dissemination of government propaganda by the mass media to promote the "war on terror", new UFO sightings in Britain and Texas, the cooperation of private business with the FBI in its "InfraGard" program, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
How the spooks took over the news
February 11, 2008, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
On the morning of 9 February 2004, The New York Times carried an exclusive and alarming story. The paper's Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials had obtained a 17-page letter, believed to have been written by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war. The story went on to news agency wires and, within 24 hours, it was running around the world. There is very good reason to believe that that letter was a fake – and a significant one because there is equally good reason to believe that it was one product among many from a new machinery of propaganda which has been created by the United States and its allies since the terrorist attacks of September 2001. For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it. The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. The "Zarqawi letter" which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media. This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new ... structure of "strategic communications" which was originally designed ... in the Pentagon and Nato.
Note: For a highly revealing two-page summary of 20 award-winning journalists describing how huge stories they tried to report were shut down by corporate media ownership, click here. To read about and purchase investigative journalist Nick Davies' new book, Flat Earth News: an award-winning reporter exposes falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media, click here.
Huge rise in British UFO sightings
February 9, 2008, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Clusters of up to 100 mysterious objects, bright white lights and strange, triangular shaped objects are just some of a huge surge in UFO sightings reported to the Ministry of Defence last year. The ministry has opened up its own "X-Files" for 2007, revealing 135 UFO sightings from across the UK. The number of sightings has shot up since 97 were reported in 2006. In Duxford, Cambridgeshire on April 12, a witness reported seeing fifty objects, each with an orange light, assembling in the sky before ascending. Two pilots in different planes above Alderney in the Channel Islands reported the same UFOs on April 23. They saw one bright orange craft, then a gap, followed by an identical object. In the West Midlands in December, one witness got a shock when a UFO shone a light into her window. Hilary Porter, from the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society (BEAMS) said sightings were becoming increasingly common. She said: "There has been a huge influx of UFOs. Absolutely enormous. There [have] been these huge formations that have been coming. We have had call after call after call, from business people right down to ordinary folk in their cars. There have been some very close encounters that have been quite unnerving for the people involved. We have had other people reporting orb sightings." A spokeswoman said the ministry does not investigate each and every report. "We only investigate if there have been any objects in British air space that may be military," she said. "Unless there's evidence of a potential threat we don't investigate to try to identify it."
Note: For a succinct summary of first-hand reports of UFO sightings by highly credible former government and military officials, click here.
New UFO Sighting Reported In Stephenville Texas
February 12, 2008, washingtonpost.com
The truth may be out there, but, when it comes to UFO stories, it is sure hard to find. Conjecture breeds conspiracy theories. Any official denial can be labeled a cover-up. In the end, it often boils down to a he-said-she-said scenario. Such is the case in Stephenville, Texas, a small, rural community thrust into the spotlight after several unexplained disturbances in January. Though that spotlight has now faded, the town remains altered. Some members of the community want to move on; others cannot let go. And some, if you believe them, say that UFOs are still there. According to Angelia Joiner, the reporter who wrote the original UFO stories, there was another UFO sighting on Saturday. "If the military is testing a secret military device, why do they keep doing it here?" she asked me. "If it's not a secret why do they keep scaring the bejesus out of people?" Adding a further wrinkle to this story, Joiner was fired from The Empire-Tribune a week ago. She claims she had been told to back off the story and thinks the town's "upper crust" was "embarrassed" by all the attention. The Empire-Tribune has avoided comment, which of course only fans the flames of the conspiracy theories. For its part, the military has done itself no favors, first denying that it had any aircraft in the area, then flip-flopping a few days later -- after more witnesses came forward. A spokesperson blamed internal miscommunication for the mix-up. Others, including CNN's Larry King, have asked whether it wasn't a cover-up. But who can we believe? The truth remains unidentified.
Note: As revealed in this commentary, the courageous reporter, Angelia Joiner, who gave the Stephenville UFO story legs and led to more sales of her newspaper than ever before, has now been fired. To read highly revealing information about this bizarre twist, click here and here.
The FBI Deputizes Business
February 7, 2008, Common Dreams
Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does -- and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to "shoot to kill" in the event of martial law. In November 2001, InfraGard had around 1,700 members. As of late January, InfraGard had 23,682 members, according to its website, www.infragard.net, which adds that "350 of our nation's Fortune 500 have a representative in InfraGard." FBI Director Robert Mueller addressed an InfraGard convention on August 9, 2005. He urged InfraGard members to contact the FBI if they "note suspicious activity or an unusual event." And he said they could sic the FBI on "disgruntled employees who will use knowledge gained on the job against their employers."
Note: We don't normally use Common Dreams as a news source, but as this news is so important and the major media failed to report it, we decided to include this article here. For a revealing report by the ACLU on this key topic, click here. For important reports from major media sources on threats to civil liberties, click here.
Science of the orgasm
February 11, 2008, Los Angeles Times
As they seek to document and demystify one of life's great thrills, scientists have run across some real head-scratchers. How, for example, can they explain the fact that some men and women who are paralyzed and numb below the waist are able to have orgasms? How to explain the "orgasmic auras" that can descend at the onset of epileptic seizures -- sensations so pleasurable they prompt some patients to refuse antiseizure medication? And how on Earth to explain the case of the amputee who felt his orgasms centered in that missing foot? No one -- no sexologist, no neuroscientist -- really knows. For a subject with so many armchair experts, the human orgasm is remarkably mysterious. But today, a few scientists are making real progress -- in part because they're changing their focus. To uncover the orgasm's secrets, researchers are looking ... to the place behind the scenes where the true magic happens. They're examining the central nervous system: the network of electrical impulses that zip to and fro through the brain and spinal cord. In an orgasm orchestra, the genitalia may be the instruments, but the central nervous system is the conductor. Armed with new lab tools and fearless volunteers, scientists are getting first-ever glimpses of how the brain lights up (and, in places, shuts down) when the orgasmic fireworks go off. They're tracing nerves and finding new pathways for pleasure that help explain how people with shattered spinal cords can defy sexual expectations.
Dallas hospital room where JFK died now stored in Kansas
February 7, 2008, Dallas Morning News (Dallas' leading newspaper)
A piece of JFK assassination history now lies buried in the most unlikely of places: a former limestone quarry in Kansas. It is the end – at least for now – in the long and sometimes strange journey of Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room No. 1, where President John F. Kennedy died on Nov. 22, 1963. The entire room was purchased by the federal government 35 years ago, when Parkland officials decided to modernize their emergency facilities. It was dismantled and the contents – all of them, the examination table, clocks, floor tiling, lockers, trash cans, surgical instruments, gloves, cotton balls, even a towel dispenser – were placed in a locked vault in a Fort Worth warehouse run by the National Archives and Records Administration. The artifacts lay undisturbed there until September, when they were moved to an archives facility in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. "It's in a secure location," Reed Whitaker, the agency's Central Plains Region administrator, confirmed last week. And in a comment guaranteed to get the conspiracy theorists going, he added: "Basically, it's not to be examined, not to be shown to the press, not to be photographed, not to be exhibited to the public." Under the sale agreement between Parkland and the federal government, archives officials agreed to close the trauma room and its contents to the public, saying that they wanted to shield the pieces from exploitation. A formal request in 2000 from The Dallas Morning News to view and photograph the artifacts was summarily rejected.
Note: For a treasure trove of revealing stories from reliable sources on major assassinations, click here.
Is Ombudsman Already in Jeopardy?
February 6, 2008, Washington Post
Hours before the new year, open-government groups won a key victory in their years-long fight to force government agencies to release documents without months, and sometimes years, of delay. The moment came when President Bush reluctantly signed a law enforcing better compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. But in his budget request this week, Bush proposed shifting a newly created ombudsman's position from the National Archives and Records Administration to the Department of Justice. Because the ombudsman would be the chief monitor of compliance with the new law, that move is akin to killing the critical function, some members of Congress and watchdog groups say. "Justice represents the agencies when they're sued over FOIA ... It doesn't make a lot of sense for them to be the mediator," said Kristin Adair, staff counsel at the National Security Archive. The law establishes the ombudsman's office to hear disputes over unmet FOIA requests, monitor agencies and foster best practices. The ombudsman would be part of the National Archives and Records Administration, the non-partisan repository where most of the nation's important documents eventually wind up, and from which they are distributed. The Justice Department has hardly shown itself to be a strong supporter of public information requests: After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft issued a memo urging agencies to use all legal means to refuse public document requests. A recent review of overdue FOIA requests by the National Security Archive criticizes Justice for holding up public records releases. In at least four cases, the delay was for more than 15 years.
Note: For many revealing major media reports on government secrecy, click here.
Spies' Battleground Turns Virtual
February 6, 2008, Washington Post
U.S. intelligence officials are [now claiming] that popular Internet services that enable computer users to adopt cartoon-like personas in three-dimensional online spaces also are creating security vulnerabilities by opening novel ways ... to move money, organize and conduct corporate espionage. Over the last few years, "virtual worlds" such as Second Life and other role-playing games have become home to millions of computer-generated personas known as avatars. By directing their avatars, people can take on alternate personalities, socialize, explore and earn and spend money across uncharted online landscapes. Nascent economies have sprung to life in these 3-D worlds, complete with currency, banks and shopping malls. Corporations and government agencies have opened animated virtual offices, and a growing number of organizations hold meetings where avatars gather and converse in newly minted conference centers. Intelligence officials ... say they're convinced that the qualities that many computer users find so attractive about virtual worlds -- including anonymity, global access and the expanded ability to make financial transfers outside normal channels -- have turned them into seedbeds for transnational threats. The government's growing concern seems likely to make virtual worlds the next battlefield in the struggle over the proper limits on the government's quest to [expand] data collection and analysis and the surveillance of commercial computer systems. Virtual worlds could also become an actual battlefield. The intelligence community has begun contemplating how to use Second Life and other such communities as platforms for cyber weapons.
Willie Nelson doubts official explanation for 9/11
February 5, 2008, Houston Chronicle/Associated Press
Texas icon Willie Nelson said on a nationally syndicated radio show that he questions the official story of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. "I certainly do," Nelson said ... when asked by talk-show host Alex Jones. "I saw those towers fall and I've seen an implosion in Las Vegas, there's too much similarities between the two. And I saw the building fall that didn't get hit by nothing," the singer-songwriter said. "So, how naive are we, you know, what do they think we'll go for?" Nelson, 74, said that if he were president, he would "stop the damn war, it's just that simple." He said he doesn't [understand] why if Saudi Arabians "hit us in New York ... we go jump on Afghanistan." Nelson's publicist would not comment on the remarks.
Note: For an ABC video clip of this news, click here.
Exxon Mobil Makes Monster Profit
February 1, 2008, CBS News
Exxon Mobil Corp. [has] posted the largest annual profit [ever] by a U.S. company - $40.6 billion. Exxon Mobil also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, besting its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which Exxon Mobil reported for 2006. The eye-popping results weren't a surprise given record prices for a barrel of oil at the end of 2007. For much of the fourth quarter, they hovered around $90 a barrel, more than 50 percent higher than a year ago. Crude prices reached an all-time trading high of $100.09 on Jan. 3 but have fallen about 10 percent since. Also extraordinary was Exxon Mobil's revenue, which rose 30 percent in the fourth quarter to $116.6 billion from $90 billion a year ago. For the year, sales rose to $404.5 billion - the most ever for the Irving, Texas-based company - from the $377.64 billion it posted in 2006. Exxon Mobil produces about 3 percent of the world's oil.
Note: How strange that they don't even mention that high pump prices is what fed these huge profits? If they are making such "monster" profits, why do they make the public pay such high gasoline prices?
9/11 Commission controversy
January 30, 2008, NBC News
The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its ... Report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives - interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operatives. Much of what was reported about the planning and execution of the terror attacks on New York and Washington was derived from the interrogations of high-ranking al-Qaida operatives. Each had been subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques." Some were even subjected to waterboarding. There was a separate, second round of interrogations in early 2004, done specifically to answer new questions from the Commission, [involving] more than 30 separate interrogation sessions. According to both current and former senior U.S. intelligence officials, the operatives cited by the Commission were subjected to the harshest of the CIA's methods, the "enhanced interrogation techniques." The techniques included physical and mental abuse, exposure to extreme heat and cold, sleep deprivation and waterboarding. In addition, officials of both the 9/11 Commission and CIA confirm the Commission specifically asked the agency to push the operatives on a new round of interrogations months after their first interrogations. The Commission, in fact, supplied specific questions for the operatives to the agency. This new round took place in early 2004, when the agency was still engaged in the full range of harsh techniques.
Note: WantToKnow team member and renowned theologian David Ray Griffin's detailed exposure of the many lies put forth by the 9/11 Commission is available here. And for a succinct, eye-opening summary of many unanswered questions about the official account of 9/11, click here.
Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler
January 27, 2008, New York Times
A sea change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store – something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn't oil. It's meat. Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world's tropical rain forests. The world's total meat supply was 71 million tons in 1961. In 2007, it was estimated to be 284 million tons. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over that period. (In the developing world, it rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years.) At about 5 percent of the world's population, [Americans] "process" (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world's total. Growing meat (it's hard to use the word "raising" when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it's a challenge to enumerate them all. An estimated 30 percent of the earth's ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production. Livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gases – more than transportation. Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens.
Special note: For those interested in strangenesses around 9/11, you can find some bizarre, yet reliable information suggesting that Continuity of Government orders issued immediately after 9/11 may still be in effect by clicking here. For an amazing act of courage, read about and watch Montel Williams on Fox TV talk about how TV is all about ratings while avoiding the meaningful topics in life by clicking here. Montel lost his job four days later. Thank you to Montel and all of those who are standing up and speaking truth to power. For Valerie Plame Wilson's assessment of Sibel Edmonds' revelations about a black market in US nuclear secrets and materials run out of the State Department and Pentagon, click here.
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New UFO Sightings, Mass Media War Propaganda, FBI "InfraGard" Program