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Pentagon Attacks Wikileaks, More Gulf Drilling Approved, Fed Successfully Fights Reforms
Revealing News Articles
June 21, 2010

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on Federal approval of more oil drilling plans in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pentagon's manhunt for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and its attempts to prevent leaking of further embarrassing information, Congressional reforms which make the Fed stronger than ever, 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. The most important sentences are highlighted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: For a rich catalog of informative articles on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, click here. An intriguing rawstory.com article states that Goldman Sachs sold 44% of its holdings of BP stock valued at hundreds of millions of dollars in the few months before the oil spill. Several other large corporations also sold ununsual amounts of BP stock at the time. Click here for this important article. For a great four-minute CBS News clip on energy saving devices for your home, click here. And for a wonderfully inspiring 10-minute clip showing you that awakening is happening and you are a part of it, click here.


Report: Pentagon seeks WikiLeaks founder Assange, fearing cables will be published
June 11, 2010, USA Today
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/06/report-pentagon-seeks...

The Daily Beast reports that Pentagon investigators are trying to track down Julian Assange, the elusive Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks, who they believe is preparing to publish several years of State Department cables allegedly passed by the 22-year-old Manning, now being detained in Kuwait. The cables contain "information related to American diplomatic and intelligence efforts in the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq," and they could do "serious damage to national security" if made public, government officials told the Beast. But even if they find him, it's not clear what they could do to stop publication. Daniel Ellsberg says Assange "is in danger." Meanwhile, Wired's Threat Level blog, which broke the Manning story, is reporting that Assange ... is arranging Manning's legal defense and says Manning is no spy. Assange, who first gained notoriety as a computer hacker, canceled an appearance today at an International Reporters and Editors conference in Las Vegas.

Note: For more of Daniel Ellsberg's assessment of the personal dangers to Assange from the Pentagon's manhunt for him, click here.


WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack
June 16, 2010, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jun/16/wikileaks-us-military-afghanistan-garani

The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says it plans to release a secret military video of one of the deadliest US air strikes in Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed. It said it fears it is under attack after the US authorities said they were searching for the site's founder, Julian Assange, following the arrest of a US soldier accused of leaking the Afghanistan video and another of a US attack in Baghdad in which civilians were killed. It says it is still working to prepare the film of the bombing of the Afghan village of Garani in May 2009. The video could prove to be extremely embarrassing to the US military. The US ... used weapons that create casualties over a wide area, including one-tonne bombs and others that burst in the air. But two US military officials told a newspaper last year that no one checked to see whether there were women and children in the buildings. In an email to supporters, Assange said WikiLeaks has the Garani video and "a lot of other material that exposes human rights abuses by the US government". In his email, Assange also calls on supporters to protect the website from "attack" by the authorities following the detention of a US soldier, Bradley Manning, who was arrested in Iraq after admitting to a former hacker that he leaked the Garani and Baghdad videos to WikiLeaks.

Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.


Wanted by the US: WikiLeaks founder keeps his head down
June 14, 2010, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's leading newspaper)
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/wanted-by-the-us-wikileaks-founder...

Julian Assange, the Australian-born face of the [whistleblowers' website] WikiLeaks, is in hiding overseas after the US military arrested one of its own soldiers, Bradley Manning, and accused him of leaking a a secret video of a US Army helicopter gunning down civilians in Iraq in 2007. The video was released on Wikileaks this year, and the US is now desperate to find Mr Assange before he leaks thousands of hugely embarrassing state diplomatic cables, which are believed to discuss the Middle East, its governments and leaders. Mr Assange, 38, is an enigmatic figure who moves frequently between countries and has bases in Iceland, Kenya, Australia and elsewhere. He was due to speak at a conference in Las Vegas on [June 11] but cancelled shortly before he was due to appear. At the same time [a US website] published an article claiming that Pentagon investigators were engaged in a "manhunt" for Mr Assange. There have even been suggestions that Mr Assange may be in physical danger. Daniel Ellsberg, who famously leaked a top secret US history of the Vietnam War dubbed the Pentagon Papers at the height of that war, told US television he had spoken to Mr Assange last week. "He ... understood that it was not safe for him to come to this country," Mr Ellsberg said.

Note: For more of Daniel Ellsberg's assessment of the personal dangers to Assange from the Pentagon's manhunt for him, click here.


Federal approval still flowing for flawed Gulf drilling plans
June 18, 2010, Miami Herald/McClatchy Newspapers
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/18/1688759/federal-approval-still-flowing.html

Despite President Barack Obama's promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis. The Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service has signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since June 2, when the agency's acting director announced tougher safety regulations for drilling in the Gulf, a McClatchy review of public records has discovered. Three of the projects were approved with waivers exempting them from detailed studies of their environmental impact – the same waiver the MMS granted to BP for the ill-fated well that's been fouling the Gulf with crude for two months. Environmental groups [say] the administration is allowing oil companies to proceed with drilling plans that may be just as flawed as BP's, which concluded that a major spill was "unlikely" and that the company was equipped to manage even the worst-case blowout. "It's just outrageous," said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation organization. "The whole world is screaming and ... they're just continuing to move this stuff through the system."

Note: For abundant reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.


Is Using Dispersants on the BP Gulf Oil Spill Fighting Pollution with Pollution?
June 18, 2010, Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-using-dispersants-fighting-pollution-with-pollution

Roughly five million liters of dispersants have now been used to break up the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, making this the largest use of such chemicals in U.S. history. And there is no doubt that dispersants are toxic: Both types of the dispersal compound COREXIT used in the Gulf so far are capable of killing or depressing the growth of a wide range of aquatic species, ranging from phytoplankton to fish. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for one, has become concerned about the toxicity of the most-used dispersant at the Gulf of Mexico spill–COREXIT 9500–and ordered BP to look at alternatives. The problem? The EPA's industry-generated data is unclear as to the relative toxicity of various dispersants. "If you think the data on COREXIT is bad, try to find any decent toxicology data on the alternatives," says toxicologist Carys Mitchelmore of the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, who helped write a 2005 National Research Council (NRC) report on dispersants. "I couldn't compare and contrast which one was more toxic than the other based on that."


Fed dodges bullet as House drops audit idea
June 15, 2010, Reuters News
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1527338120100615

The Federal Reserve scored a political victory ... as Democrats mulling financial reform backed off measures that would expose monetary policy to audits and make the head of the New York Fed a political appointee. The U.S. House of Representatives had approved a bill in December that included a provision, championed by Texas Representative Ron Paul, that would have opened the Fed's interest rate policy to congressional audits. But in a statement on Tuesday, House Democrats participating in negotiations over a final financial reform bill signaled a willingness to live with a narrower Senate audit provision that does not cover monetary policy. The Fed, which has admitted it was too complacent about regulatory oversight in the run-up to the global financial crisis, has come under heavy fire for being too close to the banks it regulates. The House Democrats also said they would try to defeat a plan contained in the Senate bill under debate that would allow the U.S. president to name the head of the New York Fed, a step that Fed officials have argued would undercut the central bank's political independence. The U.S. central bank appears to be emerging largely unscathed by the regulatory reform efforts. It successfully fought off a Senate push last month that would have stripped it of its oversight of smaller banks, and is poised to emerge as the most powerful financial regulator when reforms are complete.

Note: A news search on both Google and Yahoo revealed that MSNBC was the only media to pick up this Reuters story, yet MSNBC then removed the story. Why might that be?


Lawmakers Negotiating Bank Bill Hold Industry Stocks
June 17, 2010, Bloomberg/Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-17/lawmakers-negotiating-bank-bill-hold-industry...

Lawmakers writing the biggest overhaul of financial regulations since the Great Depression may have a stake in the outcome. Eight of 11 senators and six of 22 House members on a conference committee writing the final legislation own stocks in financial companies affected by the legislation, disclosure statements released yesterday show. One senator and nine representatives who also sit on the committee got extensions of the filing deadline and haven't yet disclosed their holdings. "It's always a concern that personal interests influence legislation," said Lisa Gilbert, a lobbyist for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a Boston-based organization pushing for stronger financial regulations. Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire reported Bank of America stock holdings and a savings account valued between $1 million and $5 million. The 43 negotiators are trying to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation as they respond to an economic crisis that forced the U.S. to provide $700 billion in bailout funds for New York-based Citigroup Inc. ... Bank of America Corp. and other banks.

Note: For abundant reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.


Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites
June 12, 2010, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7148555.ece

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal. Defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. "The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way," said a US defence source in the area. "This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department." Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. "We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing," said one. The targets lie as far as 1,400 miles (2,250km) from Israel; the outer limits of their bombers' range, even with aerial refuelling. An open corridor across northern Saudi Arabia would significantly shorten the distance. An airstrike would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit agreement to the raid from Washington.


Report: Pakistani Spy Agency Arms, Trains Taliban
June 13, 2010, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=10900484

Pakistan's main spy agency continues to arm and train the Taliban and is even represented on the group's leadership council despite U.S. pressure to sever ties and billions in aid to combat the militants, a research report concluded. U.S. officials have suggested in the past that current or former members of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, have maintained links to the Taliban despite the government's decision to denounce the group in 2001 under U.S. pressure. The report issued [on June 13] by the London School of Economics offered one of the strongest cases that assistance to the group is official ISI policy, and even extends to the highest levels of the Pakistani government. The report ... was based on interviews with Taliban commanders, former Taliban officials, Western diplomats and many others. "Without a change in Pakistani behavior it will be difficult, if not impossible, for international forces and the Afghan government to make progress against the insurgency," said the report, written by Matt Waldman, a fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Note: For lots more powerful information suggestion Pakistani involvement with terrorism and 9/11, watch the highly insightful documentary available here.


U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan
June 14, 2010, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves. The previously unknown deposits – including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium – are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world. American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. Just last year, Afghanistan's minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced. American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan's mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Note: With the highly sophisticated equipment now available for finding minerals underground, do you really think this was not known a while back? For an analysis of this "discovery," click here.


Revealed: Japan's bribes on whaling
June 13, 2010, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7149091.ece

A Sunday Times investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales. The undercover investigation found officials from six countries were willing to consider selling their votes on the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The revelations come as Japan seeks to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling. An IWC meeting that will decide the fate of thousands of whales, including endangered species, begins this month in Morocco. Japan denies buying the votes of IWC members. However, The Sunday Times filmed officials from pro-whaling governments admitting: - They voted with the whalers because of the large amounts of aid from Japan. One said he was not sure if his country had any whales in its territorial waters. Others are landlocked. – They receive cash payments in envelopes at IWC meetings from Japanese officials who pay their travel and hotel bills. - One disclosed that call girls were offered when fisheries ministers and civil servants visited Japan for meetings. Barry Gardiner, an MP and former Labour biodiversity minister, said the investigation revealed "disgraceful, shady practice", which is "effectively buying votes".

Note: For key articles from reliable sources on the amazing qualities and sad human abuse of marine mammals, click here.


Dearth of financing stalls inventor of 110-mpg engine
May 28, 2010, Toledo Blade (Toledo's leading newspaper)
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100528/BUSINESS07/5280334

A year ago, hundreds of people flocked to a 100,000-square-foot former factory building in Wauseon's industrial area where a Napoleon, Ohio, inventor promised to begin building engines that would travel more than 110 miles on a gallon of E85 gasoline. But time and the economy have not been kind to Doug Pelmear's plan to revolutionize the American automobile. The factory today is largely dark and empty, Mr. Pelmear's dreams of putting northwest Ohioans back to work are still constrained within two file drawers full of job applications, and his hopes of mass-producing his HP2g engine have fallen victim to a lack of funding. "We can't get the banks to look at us," Mr. Pelmear said yesterday. Mr. Pelmear said he hasn't sought money from more traditional capital sources such as investors, selling stock or bonded indebtedness, because such sources would likely cost him control of HP2g LLC - something he's unwilling to provide. A partnership Mr. Pelmear forged with Revenge Designs Inc., a Decatur, Ind. specialty carmaker that had planned to use his engine in its upcoming "Verde" supercar, dissolved this spring.

Note: For a treasure trove of exciting reports on new automotive and new energy technologies, click here.


San Francisco Passes Cellphone Radiation Law
June 16, 2010, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/us/16cell.html

Imposing roughly the same cautionary standards for cellphones as for fatty food or sugary soda, this city – never shy about its opinions – voted on [June 15] to require all retailers to display the amount of radiation each phone emits. The law – believed to be the first of its kind in the nation – came ... amid opposition from the wireless telephone industry, which views the labeling ordinance as a potential business-killing precedent. But the administration of Gavin Newsom, the city's ... mayor ... called the vote a major victory for cell phone shoppers' right to know. Under the law, retailers will be required to post materials – in at least 11-point type – next to phones, listing their specific absorption rate, which is the amount of radio waves absorbed into the cellphone user's body tissue. These so-called SAR rates can vary from phone to phone, but all phones sold in the United States must have a SAR rate no greater than 1.6 watts per kilogram, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the $190 billion wireless industry.


Number of volunteers has grown despite recession, study says
June 15, 2010, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/15/AR2010061501449.html

The number of volunteers increased last year despite the recession, the biggest one-year jump since 2003. The volunteer rate has been rising nationally for years, ... but the increase in the midst of a punishing recession surprised some experts. More than 63 million Americans volunteered last year, a bump of 1.6 million, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service, an independent federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other programs. That's nearly 27 percent of all residents. Americans donated more than 8 billion hours of service in 2009, worth an estimated $169 billion to the economy. "Folks throughout the country are looking around their communities, seeing people in pain and turning toward the problems, not away from them," said Patrick Corvington, chief executive of CNCS. "It's an important shift: Folks want to get engaged, want to make a difference." At the same time, charitable giving dropped nearly 4 percent last year, to about $304 billion, according to a study by Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Many experts had predicted a greater drop because of the economy.


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