Media Censorship, 100 MPG Car,
Oklahoma City Bomb Cover-up?
Revealing News Articles
March 11, 2007
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on media censorship, a 100 MPG car the auto manufacturers won't produce, a possible Oklahoma City bombing cover-up, 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.
Whistle-blower Had to Fight NSA, LA Times to Tell Story
March 6, 2007, ABC
Whistle-blower AT&T technician Mark Klein says his effort to reveal alleged government surveillance of domestic Internet traffic was blocked not only by U.S. intelligence officials but also by the top editors of the Los Angeles Times. Klein describes how he stumbled across "secret NSA rooms" being installed at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco and later heard of similar rooms in at least six other cities. Eventually, Klein says he decided to take his documents to the Los Angeles Times, to blow the whistle on what he calls "an illegal and Orwellian project." But after working for two months with LA Times reporter Joe Menn, Klein says he was told the story had been killed at the request of then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and then-director of the NSA Gen. Michael Hayden. Klein says he then took his AT&T documents to The New York Times, which published its exclusive account last April. In the court case against AT&T, Negroponte formally invoked the "state secrets privilege," claiming the lawsuit and the information from Klein and others could "cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States." The Los Angeles Times' decision was made by the paper's editor at the time, Dean Baquet, now the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times. As the new Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, Baquet now oversees the reporters who have broken most of the major stories involving the government surveillance program, often over objections from the government.
Note: So after the NY Times has the guts to report this important story, the man who was responsible for the censorship at the LA Times is transferred to the very position in the NY Times where he can now block future stories there. For why this case of blatant media censorship isn't making headlines, click here.
Journalists: U.S. military deleted photos of attack
March 5, 2007, CNN News
Afghan journalists covering the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack ... said U.S. troops deleted their photos and video and warned them not to publish or air any images of U.S. troops or a car where three Afghans were shot to death. A freelance photographer working for The Associated Press and a cameraman working for AP Television News said a U.S. soldier deleted their photos and video showing a four-wheel drive vehicle in which three people were shot to death. The photographer, Rahmat Gul, said witnesses at the scene told him the three had been shot to death by U.S. forces fleeing the attack. "When I went near the four-wheel drive, I saw the Americans taking pictures of the same car, so I started taking pictures," Gul said. "Two soldiers with a translator came and said, 'Why are you taking pictures?."' It wasn't clear why the accredited journalists would need permission to take photos of a civilian car on a public highway. The American ... warned him that he did not want to see any AP photos published anywhere. The American also raised his fist in anger as if he were going to hit him, but he did not strike, Gul said. Taqiullah Taqi, a reporter for Afghanistan's largest television station, Tolo TV, said Americans were using abusive language. "They said, 'Delete them, or we will delete you,"' Taqi said. A freelance cameraman for AP Television News said ... a U.S. officer told him that he could not go any closer to the scene but that he could shoot footage. The cameraman asked not to be named for his own safety. As he was filming, he said, a U.S. soldier and translator "ordered us not to move." The cameraman said they were very angry and deleted any footage that included the Americans.
Note: Why is this kind of media censorship not being more widely reported? For more, click here.
Cars that make hybrids look like gas guzzlers
March 4, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Toyota Prius owners tend to be a proud lot since they drive the fuel-efficient hybrid gas-electric car that's ... one of the hottest-selling vehicles in America. A few, however, felt that good was not good enough. They've made "improvements" even though the modifications voided parts of their warranties. Why? Five words: one hundred miles per gallon. "We took the hybrid car to its logical conclusion," [Felix] Kramer says, by adding more batteries and the ability to recharge by plugging into a regular electrical socket at night. Compared with the Prius' fuel efficiency of 50 mpg, plug-in hybrids use half as much gasoline by running more on cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity. These trendsetters monkeyed with the car ... to make a point: If they could make a plug-in hybrid, the major car companies could, too. Kramer ... and a cadre of volunteers formed the California Cars Initiative (online at calcars.org). They added inexpensive lead-acid batteries ... giving the car over 100 mpg in local driving and 50 to 80 mpg on the highway. The cost of conversion is about $5,000 for a do-it-yourselfer. Several small companies like EnergyCS ... started doing small numbers of conversions for fleets and government agencies using longer-lasting, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries. Kramer hired EnergyCS to convert his Prius and reported on a typical day of driving. Compared with driving his Prius before the conversion, he ... spewed out two-thirds less greenhouse gases at a total cost of $1.76 for electricity and gasoline, instead of the $3.17 it would have required on gasoline alone. People want plug-in hybrids but can't get them. Dealers don't sell them yet, and the few conversion services cater to fleets.
Note: For a video and educational package to guide those who want to build a 100 mpg car, see www.eaa-phev.org. For why the car companies with their massive budgets haven't developed cars like this, click here.
U.S. bars talk of climate change effects on bears
March 8, 2007, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (One of Seattle's two leading newspapers)
The Bush administration is ordering federal wildlife officials headed for international meetings on polar bears not to talk about how climate change and melting ice are affecting the imperiled animals. It is the latest in a string of cases in which the administration has carefully controlled or even banned government employees' public speech about global warming. This latest chapter involves two memorandums written in late February that put strict limits on what U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees could discuss at meetings in Norway and Russia. A third memo says the policy will apply for trips to those two nations as well as Canada and "any northern country." The memos came just months after the administration, under pressure from a suit brought by conservationists, announced that it would consider protecting the bears under the Endangered Species Act. Top-down control of government scientists' discussions of climate change became controversial last year, after appointees at NASA kept journalists from interviewing climate scientists and discouraged news releases on global warming. In June, a high-ranking official in [NASA admitted] the agency "inappropriately" denied a journalist's request to interview James Hansen, an outspoken scientist who heads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In September, news accounts revealed that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had suppressed an internal agency e-mail intended to summarize scientists' consensus on evidence of a link between hurricanes and climate change.
White House Backed U.S. Attorney Firings, Officials Say
March 3, 2007, Washington Post
The White House approved the firings of seven U.S. attorneys late last year after senior Justice Department officials identified the prosecutors they believed were not doing enough to carry out President Bush's policies ... White House and Justice Department officials said yesterday. The list of prosecutors was assembled last fall, based largely on complaints from members of Congress, law enforcement officials and career Justice Department lawyers, administration officials said. One of the complaints came from Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), who specifically raised concerns with the Justice Department last fall about the performance of then-U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias of New Mexico. Iglesias has alleged that two unnamed New Mexico lawmakers pressured him in October to speed up the indictments of Democrats before the elections. Since the mass firings were carried out three months ago, Justice Department officials have consistently portrayed them as personnel decisions based on the prosecutors' "performance-related" problems. But, yesterday, officials acknowledged that the ousters were based primarily on the administration's unhappiness with the prosecutors' policy decisions and revealed the White House's role in the matter. At least five of the prosecutors, including Iglesias, were presiding over public corruption investigations when they were fired.
The Gonzales Eight
March 8, 2007, New York Times
It is nearly impossible to fathom what self-delusion could have convinced Senator Pete Domenici ... that he had a right to call a federal prosecutor at home and question him about a politically sensitive investigation. That disturbing tale is one of several revealed this week in Congressional hearings called to look into the firing of eight [U.S.] attorneys. The hearings left little doubt that the Bush administration had all eight – an unprecedented number – ousted for political reasons. But it points to even wider abuse; prosecutors suggest that three Republican members of Congress may have tried to pressure the attorneys into doing their political bidding. It already seemed clear that the Bush administration's purge had trampled on prosecutorial independence. Now Congress and the Justice Department need to investigate possible ethics violations, and perhaps illegality. Two of the fired prosecutors testified that they had been dismissed after resisting what they suspected were importunings to use their offices to help Republicans win elections. A third described what may have been a threat of retaliation if he talked publicly about his firing. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's claim that these prosecutors were fired for poor performance was always difficult to believe. Now it's impossible.
Note: If the U.S. Attorney General is lying, who can we trust?
Call to reopen Oklahoma bomb case
March 2, 2007, BBC News
The FBI man in charge of collecting evidence from the government building destroyed by the Oklahoma bomb has called for the case to be reopened. Former deputy assistant director Danny Coulson ... said a federal grand jury is now needed to find out what really happened. He argues this is the only way to prove whether other people were involved in the bombing in a wider conspiracy beyond Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Mr Coulson spent 31 years in the FBI. Between 1991 and 1997 he was the deputy assistant director of the Criminal Division of the FBI in Washington, responsible for all violent crime cases in the United States. Mr Coulson said there were some "very strong indicators" that other people were involved with Timothy McVeigh. The FBI interviewed 24 people who claimed to have seen McVeigh in Oklahoma City with someone else on the morning of the attack, yet the only known accomplice of McVeigh, Terry Nichols, was at home in Kansas over 200 miles away on that day. The FBI's investigation concluded that the eyewitnesses were unreliable. However, Danny Coulson says they were "extremely credible" and had no reason to make it up. "If only one person had seen it, or two of three, but 24?" he said. "I know FBI headquarters told [agents] to close down the investigation in Elohim City which has some very significant connections to Mr McVeigh. "Never in my career did I have FBI headquarters tell me not to investigate something." Last December a US Congressional report found no conclusive evidence of a wider conspiracy, but the report concluded that "questions remain unanswered and mysteries remain unsolved."
Note: Don't miss a highly revealing four-minute video-clip showing live media coverage of the Oklahoma City bomb available here. The official story is that one truck with a huge bomb was parked in front of the Oklahoma City federal building and only Timothy McVeigh and his partner were involved. The news footage proves that others must have been involved, as multiple unexploded bombs were recovered from points inside the building. Yet none of this was questioned in later testimony.
Here Comes the Sun
March 2, 2007, CNN
Venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into [Silicon] Valley solar startups pursuing technological breakthroughs to make sun power as cheap as fossil fuel. Three of the largest tech IPOs of 2005 were for solar companies. The world's largest chip-equipment maker will begin producing machines to manufacture solar wafers, laying the groundwork for an industrial infrastructure that should lower the cost of producing solar cells. Solar energy has just the sort of oversize potential that the titans of tech saw in computing: a free and practically inexhaustible power source. California is also committing $3.2 billion to fund a drive to install solar panels on a million rooftops by 2018, and a November ballot initiative ... would tax Big Oil to provide $4 billion in funding for alternative-energy research, programs, and startups. Perhaps no startup has benefited more from the solar gold rush than Nanosolar. The Palo Alto company ... has racked up more than $100 million in funding so far. Nanosolar is pursuing a technology that produces solar cells on a film that's a 100th the thickness of conventional silicon wafers. Its ultimate goal: integrating thin-film cells directly into building materials. A skyscraper's glass windows, for instance, could be embedded with thin-film cells, giving them energy-producing capabilities. Nanosolar plans to build a manufacturing facility next year ... that will eventually produce 430 megawatts' worth of solar cells per year. That would nearly triple the nation's manufacturing capacity and make Nanosolar one of the world's largest solar producers. Thanks to aggressive government subsidies, Germany and Japan are currently the global leaders in solar production.
Note: With all of its talk about energy independence, why isn't the U.S. aggressively supporting research into solar power like Japan and Germany? For reliable, verifiable information which answers this question, click here.
Afghan opium 'hits record output'
March 1, 2007, BBC News
Opium production in Afghanistan reached record levels last year, the United States has said. The US State Department's annual report on narcotics also said the flourishing drugs trade was undermining the fight against the Taleban. Poppy production rose 25% in 2006, a figure US Assistant Secretary of State Ann Patterson described as alarming. Four years after the US and its British allies began combating poppy production, Afghanistan still accounts for 90% of the world's opium trade.
Note: Isn't it interesting that though the Taliban had eradicated over 90% of the opium crop in 2001, it has not only come back to previous level, but far surpassed them after Afghanistan was "liberated." Could it be that the military forces are turning a blind eye or even involved? For information from a DEA insider on this, click here.
Bird flu drug probe after 18 teenage deaths in Japan
March 1, 2007, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's leading newspaper)
Japanese health authorities are investigating a flu medicine that is also available in Australia after a teenager jumped 11 storeys to his death after taking the drug. It was the 18th juvenile fatality linked to Tamiflu in 17 months. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has asked the Japanese importer of Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug regarded as the most important shield against bird flu in humans, to collect information about the conditions of patients who take the drug. The 14-year-old boy's death follows a similar case two weeks ago, when a girl also 14, died after jumping from an apartment building at Gamagori, in central Japan. It also comes after a warning by the US Food and Drug Administration late last year about the dangers of giving children Tamiflu. The drug is being stockpiled in Australia as the first line of defence against bird flu. In Australia, as in Japan, it is only available by prescription. Drug companies reported that 54 people using Tamiflu died in Japan before November, the ministry said.
Note: Tamiflu is the vaccine on which Donald Rumsfeld profited $5 million and on which the U.S. government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars stockpiling, even though it might not work. For more, click here.
A genius explains
February 12, 2007, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Daniel Tammet is an autistic savant. He can perform mind-boggling mathematical calculations at breakneck speeds. But unlike other savants, who can perform similar feats, Tammet can describe how he does it. He speaks seven languages and is even devising his own language. Now scientists are asking whether his exceptional abilities are the key to unlock the secrets of autism. Ever since the age of three, when he suffered an epileptic fit, Tammet has been obsessed with counting. Now he is 26, and a mathematical genius who can figure out cube roots quicker than a calculator and recall pi to 22,514 decimal places. He also happens to be autistic, which is why he can't drive a car, wire a plug, or tell right from left. Since his epileptic fit, he has been able to see numbers as shapes, colours and textures. The number two, for instance, is a motion, and five is a clap of thunder. "When I multiply numbers together, I see two shapes. The image starts to change and evolve, and a third shape emerges. That's the answer. An estimated 10% of the autistic population - and an estimated 1% of the non-autistic population - have savant abilities, but no one knows exactly why. A number of scientists now hope that Tammet might help us to understand better. The blind American savant Leslie Lemke played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No1, after he heard it for the first time, and he never had so much as a piano lesson. And the British savant Stephen Wiltshire was able to draw a highly accurate map of the London skyline from memory after a single helicopter trip over the city. Even so, Tammet could still turn out to be the more significant.
Note: Could the human mind be much more powerful than even science is willing to admit?
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Media Censorship, 100 MPG Car, Oklahoma City Bomb Cover-up?