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CIA Sues Ex-Agent, Futures Commission Corruption, Big Oil Controlling Research
Revealing News Articles
October 25, 2010

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on a lawsuit by the CIA seeking all monies from the sale of a book about the agency by a former agent, corruption at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a report on the control of university research by Big Oil money, 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 for those with limited time. 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

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CIA Sues Ex-Spy Over Two-Year Old Book
October 20, 2010, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cia-sues-spy-year-book/story?id=11921242

A CIA lawsuit threatens to turn a little-known two-year-old tell-all by a disgruntled former spy into a bestseller. Within hours of the lawsuit's filing [on October 19], The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, had rocketed up the Amazon rankings. The Human Factor, written by an ex-agent using the pseudonym Ishmael Jones, went largely unnoticed when it was first published in July 2008. In the book, "Jones" charges the CIA with waste, fraud and abuse as he details his career over two decades working under non-official cover, or NOC, mainly in Europe. The agency is seeking any money Jones received for the publication or sales of the book. The suit, which does not allege that Jones revealed any classified information, raises questions about why the agency would bring a case two years after publication and where both sides agree no sensitive secrets were revealed. Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy, said "This is a bone-headed move. You'll make an obscure book by an unknown author into a national news story." But Aftergood said the agency's real aim is internal discipline. "The government is not simply concerned about protecting secrets. It is also concerned about Jones' overt defiance of established security rules." Jones and other former CIA officers have complained in the past that the CIA's publication review consistently favors former spies who tell stories flattering to the agency. Jones suggested that the antipathy towards the book focused on his message, a sharp critique of the CIA.

Note: For a highly informative documentary on the secrets of the CIA, click here.


Commodity Futures Trading Commission judge says colleague biased against complainants
October 19, 2010, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/19/AR2010101907216.html

As George H. Painter was preparing to retire recently as one of two administrative law judges presiding over investor complaints at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he issued an extraordinary request: Please don't assign my pending cases to the other judge. [The CFTC oversees trading of the nation's most important commodities, including oil, gold and cotton.] Painter said Judge Bruce Levine ... had a secret agreement with a former Republican chairwoman of the agency to stand in the way of investors filing complaints with the agency. "On Judge Levine's first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant's favor," Painter wrote. "A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow. Judge Levine ... forces pro se complainants to run a hostile procedural gauntlet until they lose hope, and either withdraw their complaint or settle for a pittance, regardless of the merits of the case." Levine was the subject of a story 10 years ago in the Wall Street Journal, which said that except in a handful of cases in which defunct firms failed to defend themselves, Levine had never ruled in favor of an investor. Gramm [wife of former senator Phil Gramm (R-Tex.)], was head of the CFTC just before president Bill Clinton took office. She has been criticized by Democrats for helping firms such as Goldman Sachs and Enron gain influence over the commodity markets. After leaving the CFTC, she joined Enron's board.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.


Big Oil money can influence research, study claims
October 15, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/14/BAHR1FSR2B.DTL

Research universities that accept millions of dollars from oil companies have failed to shield themselves from corporate influence, according to a new study that faults UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford and seven others. Such cozy relationships give energy companies too much control in deciding what research to fund and what faculty should study, says the report from the Center for American Progress, "Big Oil Goes to College". The contracts ... give more control to companies that foot the bill than to researchers, argues the report's author, Jennifer Washburn. "We want to see university research translate into commercial technology, but we don't want the research itself to be directed by individual corporations," she told The Chronicle. "They shouldn't turn California's flagship universities into the research arm of a private corporation." The report found that industry control over research is "poorly defined" in UC Davis' long-term contract with Chevron Technology Ventures. It says industry shares control with faculty at UC Berkeley, and control is fully corporate at Stanford. The report also says none of the three California contracts "requires peer review when selecting faculty research projects."

Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.


Federal Agents Urged to 'Friend' People on Social Networks, Memo Reveals
October 14, 2010, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/13/government-spying-social-networks/

A privacy watchdog has uncovered a government memo that encourages federal agents to befriend people on a variety of social networks, to take advantage of their readiness to share -- and to spy on them. In response to a Freedom of Information request, the government released a handful of documents, including a May 2008 memo detailing how social-networking sites are exploited by the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS). Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Digg had not commented on the report, which details the official government program to spy via social networking. Other websites the government is spying on include ... Craigslist and Wikipedia, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed the FOIA request. "Narcissistic tendencies in many people fuel a need to have a large group of 'friends' link to their pages, and many of these people accept cyber-friends that they don't even know," stated one of the documents obtained by the EFF. "This provides an excellent vantage point for FDNS to observe the daily life of [members]," it said. Among the networks specifically cited for analysis "were general social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Flickr, as well as sites that focus specifically on certain demographic groups such as MiGente and BlackPlanet, news sites such as NPR, and political commentary sites DailyKos," the EFF wrote.

Note: For more information, read the full report at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


GPS tracker in car inflames privacy debate
October 16, 2010, Seattle Times/Associated Press
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2013181658_gpstracking17.html

Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old computer salesman and community-college student, took his car in for an oil change earlier this month and his mechanic spotted an odd wire hanging from the undercarriage. The wire was attached to a strange magnetic device that puzzled Afifi and the mechanic. They freed it from the car and posted images of it online, asking for help in identifying it. Two days later, FBI agents arrived at Afifi's Santa Clara apartment and demanded the return of their property – a global-positioning-system tracking device now at the center of a raging legal debate over privacy rights. One federal judge wrote that the widespread use of the device was straight out of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four." By holding that this kind of surveillance doesn't impair an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, the panel hands the government the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives," wrote Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a blistering dissent in which a three-judge panel from his court ruled that search warrants weren't necessary for GPS tracking. In his dissent, Chief Judge Kozinski noted that GPS technology is far different from tailing a suspect on a public road, which requires the active participation of investigators. "The devices create a permanent electronic record that can be compared, contrasted and coordinated to deduce all manner of private information about individuals," Kozinksi wrote.

Note: For an AP photo of this device, click here.


Tracking devices used in school badges
October 11, 2010, Houston Chronicle (Houston's leading newspaper)
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7241100.html

Radio frequency identification – the same technology used to monitor cattle – is tracking students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts. Identification badges for some students in both school districts now include tracking devices that allow campus administrators to keep tabs on students' whereabouts on campus. Some parents and privacy advocates question whether the technology could have unintended consequences. The tags remind them of George Orwell's Big Brother, and they worry that hackers could figure a way to track students after they leave school. Identity theft and stalking could become serious concerns, some said. "There [are] real questions about the security risks involved with these gadgets," said Dotty Griffith, public education director for the ACLU of Texas. "Readers can skim information. To the best of my knowledge, these things are not foolproof. We constantly see cases where people are skimming, hacking and stealing identities from sophisticated systems." The American Civil Liberties Union fought the use of this technology in 2005 - when a rural elementary school in California was thought to be the first in the U.S. to introduce the badges. The program was dismantled because of parental concern.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the risks to liberty and privacy posed by RFID technologies, click here.


17,000 doctors cash in drug company money, report finds
October 19, 2010, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39742328/ns/health-health_care/

More than 17,000 doctors and other health care providers have taken money from seven major drug companies to talk to other doctors about their products, a joint investigation by news organizations and non-profit groups found. More than 380 of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals took in more than $100,000 in 2009 and 2010, according to the investigation. The report said far more doctors are likely to have taken such payments, but it documented these based on information from seven drugmakers. The investigation by journalism group ProPublica, Consumer Reports magazine, NPR radio and [other] publications showed doctors were sometimes urged to recommend "off-label" prescriptions of drugs, meaning using them for conditions they are not approved for. "Tens of thousands of U.S. physicians are paid to spread the word about pharma's favored pills and to advise the companies about research and marketing," the group says in its report. "This investigation begins to pull back the shroud on these activities," Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, said in a statement. "The amount of money involved is astounding, and the ProPublica report's account of the background of some of the physicians is disturbing."

Note: This important report is available here. For more on corporate corruption, click here.


Johnson & Johnson CEO: 'We made a mistake'
September 30, 2010, CNN Money
http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/30/news/companies/hearing_johnson_fda_drug_recalls/index.htm

Johnson & Johnson CEO William Weldon delivered both a mea culpa and clear admission to [the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform] that his company let the public down through numerous recent drug recalls. He also admitted that the company secretly bought up defective drugs without informing regulators and consumers of its actions. The committee has been investigating circumstances that have led to more than half a dozen recalls this year of non-prescription cold and pain drugs such as Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin made by Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. Weldon's [pledge] to never let this happen again was met with some skepticism. [Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY)] said [the] testimony indicates some very serious problems in "the way Johnson & Johnson viewed its responsibility to the public and its day-to-day relationship with the FDA." There is often a thin line between "working cooperatively" and having a "cozy relationship," he said. "The documents we have seen in this case indicate this line may have been crossed early and often."

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.


Are Cells the New Cigarettes?
June 27, 2010, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/opinion/27dowd.html

The great cosmic joke would be to find out definitively that the advances we thought were blessings – from the hormones women pump into their bodies all their lives to the fancy phones people wait in line for all night – are really time bombs. We don't yet really know the physical and psychological impact of being slaves to technology. We just know that technology is a narcotic. We're living in the cloud, in a force field, so afraid of being disconnected and plunged into a world of silence and stillness that even if scientists told us our computers would make our arms fall off, we'd probably keep typing. San Francisco just became the first city in the country to pass legislation making cellphone retailers display radiation levels. The city's Board of Supervisors voted 10 to 1 in favor. Different phone models emit anywhere from 0.2 watts per kilogram of body tissue to 1.6 watts, the legal limit. Sure enough, when the bill passed Tuesday, CTIA [The Wireless Association] issued a petulant statement that after 2010, it would relocate its annual three-day fall exhibition, with 68,000 exhibitors and attendees and "$80 million" in business, away from San Francisco.

Note: For many highly important articles from reliable sources on major health issues, click here.


Baltimore Artist's Art, Spirit Triumph Over Disability
February 3, 2002, NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=966641

Dan Keplinger was born with severe cerebral palsy. But at 30, he's already a successful artist, the subject of an Oscar-winning film called "King Gimp," and he's finishing his second college degree. Keplinger insists on doing everything for himself. To paint, Keplinger wiggles into headgear, then kneels over a canvas, hugging himself tightly to keep his arms from flailing. Many of Keplinger's works are self-portraits or reference his disability. "King Gimp" charts Keplinger's experience in a regular public school, his discovery of art and his entry into college. The 40-minute film won an Oscar in 1999 for best short subject documentary. His art continues to garner fans and critical acclaim. "Many of Keplinger's paintings are in some way autobiographical," [NPR reporter Neda] Ulaby says. "His bearded face flickers from the canvas, the eyes empty hollows. He looks both vulnerable and blank. It isn't easy to separate Keplinger's story from his art." Keplinger explains it simply: "Art... is... my... life."

Note: For one of the most inspiring one-minute videos ever made, watch the clip featuring Dan at this link.


Key Articles From Years Past


Phone cancer report 'buried'
April 15, 2007, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article1655012.ece

T-MOBILE, the mobile phone giant, has been accused of "burying" a scientific report it commissioned that concluded handsets and masts contribute to cancer and genetic damage. The report argued that officially recommended limits on radiation exposure should be cut to 1/1000th of those in force. The suggestion has not been taken up by the company or by regulators. Campaigners claimed T-Mobile's handling of the report was part of a wider pattern of behaviour by the industry in its efforts to keep discussion of the health risks off the agenda. The Ecolog Institute, which has been researching mobile phone technology since 1992, was paid by T-Mobile to evaluate evidence on its potential dangers. But Dr Peter Neitzke, one of the authors of the report, has accused T-Mobile ... of diluting the findings by commissioning other studies from which it knew "no critical results or recommendations were to be expected". Ecolog's report, which analysed dozens of peer-reviewed studies, stated: "Given the results of the present epidemiological studies, it can be concluded that electromagnetic fields with frequencies in the mobile telecommunications range do play a role in the development of cancer. This is particularly notable for tumours of the central nervous system."

Note: For many highly important articles from reliable sources on major health issues, click here.


Cancer clusters at phone masts
April 22, 2007, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1687491.ece

Seven clusters of cancer and other serious illnesses have been discovered around mobile phone masts, raising concerns over the technology's potential impact on health. Studies of the sites show high incidences of cancer, brain haemorrhages and high blood pressure within a radius of 400 yards of mobile phone masts. One of the studies, in Warwickshire, showed a cluster of 31 cancers around a single street. A quarter of the 30 staff at a special school within sight of the 90ft high mast have developed tumours since 2000, while another quarter have suffered significant health problems. Phone masts have provoked protests throughout Britain with thousands of people objecting each week to planning applications. There are about 47,000 masts in the UK. Dr John Walker, a scientist who compiled the cluster studies with the help of local campaigners in Devon, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said he was convinced they showed a potential link between the angle of the beam of radiation emitted from the masts' antennae and illnesses discovered in local populations. "Masts should be moved away from conurbations and schools and the power turned down," he said. Studies in other European countries suggest a rise in cancers close to masts.

Note: For many highly important articles from reliable sources on major health issues, click here.


Danger on the airwaves: Is the Wi-Fi revolution a health time bomb?
April 22, 2007, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/danger...

Being "wired-up" used to be shorthand for being at the cutting edge, connected to all that is cool. No longer. Wireless is now the only thing to be. The technological explosion is even bigger than the mobile phone explosion that preceded it. And, as with mobiles, it is being followed by fears about its effect on health - particularly the health of children. Recent research, which suggests that the worst fears about mobiles are proving to be justified, only heightens concern about the electronic soup in which we are increasingly spending our lives. Sir William Stewart, the man who has issued the most authoritative British warnings about the hazards of mobiles, is becoming worried about the spread of Wi-Fi. The chairman of the Health Protection Agency - and a former chief scientific adviser to the Government - is privately pressing for an official investigation of the risks it may pose. Health concerns show no sign of slowing the wireless expansion. In the past 18 months 1.6 million Wi-Fi terminals have been sold in Britain for use in homes, offices and a host of other buildings. By some estimates, half of all primary schools and four fifths of all secondary schools have installed them. Whole cities are going wireless.

Note: For many highly important articles from reliable sources on major health issues, click here.


Wi-fi: should we be worried?
December 11, 2006, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/features/article665419.ece

Wireless networks – known as wi-fi or wLAN (wireless local area network) – are increasingly used in schools, offices and other public places to connect computers and laptops to the internet using radiofrequency transmitters with no need for complex cabling. In future, whole town centres will be transformed into wi-fi "hot spots." It has taken the public a while to wake up to the idea that wireless transmitters could be less than benign. The groundswell of concern is mounting, with some people blaming everything from headaches to cancer on exposure to radio-frequency fields. A number of schools have dismantled their wireless networks after lobbying from worried parents, and others are under pressure to follow suit. In Austria the public health department of Salzburg has advised schools and kindergartens not to use wLAN or cordless phones. Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada, which has 7,400 students, has removed wi-fi because of what its Vice-Chancellor, Dr Fred Gilbert, calls "the weight of evidence demonstrating behavioural effects and physiological impacts at the tissue, cellular and cell level". Some experts have also expressed concerns. In September, 30 scientists from all over the world signed a resolution calling for a "full and independent review of the scientific evidence that points to hazards from current electromagnetic field exposure conditions worldwide."

Note: For many highly important articles from reliable sources on major health issues, click here.


CIA files show how postwar 'spies' snookered U.S. intelligence
February 22, 2007, USA Today/Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-02-24-japan-postwar_x.htm

Col. Masanobu Tsuji was a fanatical Japanese militarist and brutal warrior, hunted after World War II for massacres of Chinese civilians and complicity in the Bataan Death March. And then he became a U.S. spy. Newly declassified CIA records, released by the U.S. National Archives and examined by The Associated Press, document more fully than ever how Tsuji and other suspected Japanese war criminals were recruited by U.S. intelligence in the early days of the Cold War. In addition to Tsuji, who escaped Allied prosecution and was elected to parliament in the 1950s, conspicuous figures in U.S.-funded operations included mob boss and war profiteer Yoshio Kodama, and Takushiro Hattori, former private secretary to Hideki Tojo, the wartime prime minister hanged as a war criminal in 1948. The CIA also cast a harsh eye on its counterparts – and institutional rivals – at G-2, the occupation's intelligence arm, providing evidence for the first time that the Japanese operatives often bilked gullible American patrons, passing on useless intelligence and using their U.S. ties to boost smuggling operations and further their efforts to resurrect a militarist Japan.


Scientists 'kept body parts of 1953 nerve gas victim'
July 18, 2004, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/3343201/Scientists-kept-body-parts-of-1953-nerve-gas-victim.html

Government scientists secretly removed body parts from a national serviceman who died after taking part in nerve gas experiments, a new inquest has been told. Up to 200 separate samples were taken from 20-year-old Ronald Maddison's brain, spinal cord, heart and skin - without his family's permission - days after he died at Porton Down, Wiltshire, the government top-secret chemical warfare research base, in 1953. The body parts have since been used in a number of experiments by scientists researching the effects of toxic chemical agents on human tissue. The original inquest, held in secret in 1953, found that Leading Aircraftman Maddison's death was accidental, but the new inquest will examine fresh evidence and decide whether the original verdict still stands. Mr Maddison ... was among hundreds of national servicemen who volunteered in the 1950s and '60s to take part in tests at Porton Down in the belief that they were helping scientists find a cure for the common cold. The airman died less than an hour after 200mg of the highly toxic Sarin nerve agent was placed on layers of cloth on the inside of his arm.


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