Terror Alerts Politicized, US Companies Buying Back Stock, Gulf Oil Spill Science Suppressed
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the politicization by the Obama administration of terror threat alerts, the buying back of their own stock by US companies to raise stock prices, White House suppression of scientific estimates of the scale of the Gulf oil spill, 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.
Special note: To learn how the Navy is consciously killing millions of marine animals with their testing programs and how to help stop it, click here. For an excellent new video on the UFO phenomenon available for free viewing, click here. For what may be the best summary of HAARP yet, see the excellent 10-minute video available here. For the most recent exciting development on the Steorn Orbo new energy device, click here. For a thoroughly researched article showing multiple instances of felony manipulation of elections in Phoenix, AZ (Maricopa County), click here.
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U.S. companies buy back stock in droves as they hold record levels of cash
For months, companies have been sitting on the sidelines with record piles of cash. Now they're starting to deploy some of that money - not to hire workers or build factories, but to prop up their share prices. Sitting on these unprecedented levels of cash, U.S. companies are buying back their own stock in droves. So far this year, firms have announced they will purchase $273 billion of their own shares, more than five times as much compared with this time last year, according to Birinyi Associates, a stock market research firm. But the rise in buybacks signals that many companies [do not plan to] spend their cash on the job-generating activities that could produce economic growth. "They don't know what they want to do with all the cash they're sitting on," said Zachary Karabell, president of RiverTwice Research. Historically low interest rates are also prompting some companies to borrow to repurchase shares. Microsoft, for instance, borrowed $4.75 billion last month by issuing new bonds at rock-bottom interest rates and announced it would use some of that money to buy back shares. The company already has nearly $37 billion in cash. A share buyback is a quick way to make a stock more attractive to Wall Street. It improves a closely watched metric known as earnings per share, which divides a company's profit by the total number of shares on the market. Such a move can produce a sudden burst of interest in a stock, improving its price.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the massive profiteering by corporate recipients of government financial largesse, click here.
White House squelched worst-case estimates of BP spill
Government scientists wanted to tell Americans early on how bad the BP oil spill could get, but the White House denied their request to make the worst-case models public, a report by the staff of the national panel investigating the spill said Wednesday. Although not a final report, it could raise questions over whether the Obama administration tried to minimize the extent of the BP oil spill, the worst man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history. The staff paper said that underestimating the flow rates "undermined public confidence in the federal government's response" by creating the impression that the government was either incompetent or untrustworthy. The paper said that the loss of trust "fuels public fears." In a separate report, the commission's staff concluded that despite the Coast Guard's insistence that it was always responding to the worst-case scenario, the failure to have an accurate flow rate slowed the response and lulled Obama administration officials into a false belief that the spill would be controlled easily. The first report said that the "decision to withhold worst-case discharge figures" may have been made at a high level. It said that in late April or early May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration "wanted to make public some of its long-term, worst-case discharge models for the Deepwater Horizon spill, and requested approval to do so from the White House's Office of Management and Budget. Staff was told that the Office of Management and Budget denied NOAA's request."
Note: For key reports on government corruption, click here.
Barack Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain
A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian. The non-specific US warning ... was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have "set the country on fire", said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain. Hasan ... suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month's midterm congressional elections. "I will not deny the fact that there may be internal political dynamics, including the forthcoming midterm American elections," Hasan said. European intelligence officials also pointed the finger at the US, and specifically at the White House. "To stitch together [the terror plot claims] in a seamless narrative is nonsensical," said one well-placed official. By making it clear that the US drone strikes were pre-emptive, and were not in any way combating an imminent threat, European officials raised fresh questions ... about the legality of the attacks, which could be viewed as assassinations. They said Washington was the "driver" behind claims about a series of "commando-style" plots and that the CIA – perhaps because it was worried about provoking unwelcome attention to its drone strikes – was also extremely annoyed by the publicity given to them.
Note: For highly revealing reports from major media sources on the hidden realities of the "Global War on Terror," click here.
Horrific medical tests of past raise concerns for today
The astounding revelation that U.S. medical researchers intentionally gave Guatemalans gonorrhea and syphilis more than 60 years ago is so horrifying that we want to believe that what happened then could never happen today. A report from the United States Department of Health and Human Services noted that roughly 80 percent of drug approvals in 2008 were based in part on data from outside the U.S. Susan Reverby, a distinguished historian at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, has ... long researched the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the experiment where poor, black men in rural Alabama were deliberately left untreated for syphilis by government researchers. The study, somehow, was allowed to run from 1932 to 1972. More recently, Reverby came across documents that showed that Dr. John C. Cutler, a physician who would later be one of the researchers involved in the Tuskegee study, was involved in a completely unethical research study much earlier in Guatemala. Cutler, who went to his grave defending the Tuskegee experiment, directly inoculated unknowing prisoners in Guatemala with syphilis and also encouraged them to have sex with diseased prostitutes for his research from 1946-48. His work was sponsored by lauded organizations such as the United States Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health with collaboration of the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the Pan American Health Organization), and the Guatemalan government.
Note: The author of this commentary is Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. For many other examples of government-sponsored experimentation on human guinea pigs, click here.
Witnesses in Defense Dept. Report Suggest Cover-Up of 9/11 Findings
A document obtained and witnesses interviewed by Fox News raise new questions over whether there was an effort by the Defense Department to cover up a pre-9/11 military intelligence program known as "Able Danger." At least five witnesses questioned by the Defense Department's Inspector General told Fox News that their statements were distorted by investigators in the final IG's report -- or it left out key information, backing up assertions that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was identified a year before 9/11. Lt. Col Tony Shaffer, an operative involved with Able Danger [and author of Operation Dark Heart, a recent book which discussed the Able Danger operation, and all copies of which were destroyed by the Pentagon] said, "My last interview was very, very hostile." When asked why the IG's report was so aggressive in its denials of his claims and those of other witnesses -- that the data mining project had identified Atta as a threat to the U.S. before 9/11 -- Shaffer said [the] Defense Department was worried about taking some of the blame for 9/11. Specifically, the Defense Intelligence Agency ... wanted the removal of references to a meeting between Shaffer and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. Shaffer alleges that in that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, the commission was told about Able Danger and the identification of Atta before the attacks. Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said there was "stunned silence" at the meeting. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 Commission report.
Note: Able Danger was the program which identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as a potential terror threat before 9/11. To read major media reports on the intense controversy around this program (which is likely why Shaffer's book is being burned by the Pentagon), click here. For a highly revealing Fox News interview with Col. Shaffer on these major deceptions, click here.
CIA hired Karzai brother before 9/11, Woodward says
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghanistan's president and boss of the strategically important Kandahar province, has been on the CIA payroll for over a decade, Bob Woodward writes in his new book, Obama's Wars. By the fall of 2008, Woodward says, "Ahmed Wali Karzai had been on the CIA payroll for years, beginning before 9/11. He had belonged to the CIA's small network of paid agents and informants inside Afghanistan. In addition, the CIA paid him money through his half-brother, the president." Hamid Karzai was plucked from obscurity and installed as president after U.S.-backed Afghan forces chased the Taliban from power following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. There have been many accounts of his brother's relationship with the CIA over the years, leaving the impression that he is a CIA "agent," i.e., a controlled asset of the spy agency. But Woodward's account of the CIA's relationship with Karzai, who has also been accused repeatedly -- but not charged with -- protecting the illicit opium trade, is more nuanced. "He was not in any sense a controlled agent who always responded to U.S. and CIA requests and pressure," Woodward writes. "He was his own man, playing all sides against the others -- the United States, the drug dealers, the Taliban and even his brother if necessary."
Note: What this article fails to mention is that President Karzai was also an employee of the major oil company Unocal, as reported in this Chicago Tribune article.
'Feds radiating Americans'? Mobile X-ray vans hit US streets
News that the US is buying custom-made vans packed with something called backscatter X-ray capacity has riled privacy advocates and sparked internet worries about "feds radiating Americans." American Science & Engineering, a Billerica, Mass.-company, tells Forbes it [has] sold more than 500 ZBVs, or Z Backscatter Vans, to US and foreign governments. The Department of Defense has bought the most for war zone use, but US law enforcement has also deployed the vans to [use] inside the US, according to Joe Reiss, a company spokesman. On [September 28], a counterterror operation snarled truck traffic on I-20 near Atlanta, where Department of Homeland Security teams used mobile X-ray technology to check the contents of truck trailers. Authorities said the inspections weren't prompted by any specific threat. Backscatter X-ray is already part of an ongoing national debate about its use in so-called full body scanners being deployed in many US airports. [Critics] worry that radiating Americans without their knowledge is evidence of gradually eroding constitutional protections in the post-9/11 age. "This is another way in which the government is capturing information they may lose control over. I just have some real problems with the idea of even beginning a campaign of rolling surveillance of American citizens, which is what this essentially is said [Vermont-based privacy expert Frederick Lane, author of American Privacy.]
Note: For further reports from reliable sources on the militarization of US police forces, click here.
South Africa's Israel boycott
When Chief Albert Luthuli made a call for the international community to support a boycott of apartheid South Africa in 1958, the response was a widespread and dedicated movement that played a significant role in ending apartheid. One significant move was the resolution taken by 150 Irish academics not to accept academic posts or appointments in apartheid South Africa. Almost four decades later, the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions is gaining ground again in South Africa, this time against Israeli apartheid. Earlier this month, more than 100 academics across South Africa, from over 13 universities, pledged their support to a University of Johannesburg initiative for ending collaboration with the Israeli occupation. The campaign has since grown to include up to 200 supporters. The nationwide academic petition calling for the termination of an agreement between the University of Johannesburg and the Israeli Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has attracted widespread attention. With the recent endorsement of some of the leading voices in South Africa ... the statement confirms the strength of the boycott call in South Africa. Israeli universities are not being targeted for boycott because of their ethnic or religious identity, but because of their complicity in the Israeli system of apartheid. As the academics who have supported the call clearly articulate in their statement, Ben-Gurion University maintains material links to the military occupation.
For Those Near, the Miserable Hum of Clean Energy
Like nearly all of the residents on this island in Penobscot Bay, Art Lindgren and his wife, Cheryl, celebrated the arrival of three giant wind turbines late last year. That was before they were turned on. "In the first 10 minutes, our jaws dropped to the ground," Mr. Lindgren said. "Nobody in the area could believe it. They were so loud." Now, the Lindgrens, along with a dozen or so neighbors living less than a mile from the $15 million wind facility here, say the industrial whoosh-and-whoop of the 123-foot blades is making life in this otherwise tranquil corner of the island unbearable. They are among a ... growing number of families and homeowners across the country who say they have learned the hard way that wind power ... is not without emissions of its own. Lawsuits and complaints about turbine noise, vibrations and subsequent lost property value have [been brought] in Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, among other states. "The quality of life that we came here for was quiet," Mrs. Lindgren said. "You don't live in a place where you have to take an hour-and-15-minute ferry ride to live next to an industrial park. And that's where we are right now. The wind industry has long been dogged by ... complaints about turbines, [including] that they have direct physiological impacts like rapid heart beat, nausea and blurred vision caused by the ultra-low-frequency sound and vibrations from the machines.
Note: National Wind Watch is a clearinghouse for information on industrial wind energy. The Society for Wind Vigilance is an international group of physicians, engineers and other professionals who are promoting guidelines for appropriate siting of industrial wind turbines and independent third-party research to mitigate risks to public health.
62 Mpg For New Cars? It's The US Target For 2025
Cars and trucks averaging 62 miles per gallon? Seems extraordinary now, but ... automakers could be required to build lineups like that by 2025, making today's high-mileage hybrids seem conventional and turning gas guzzlers into mere relics. By a decade and a half from now, in 2025, a carmaker's fleet of new vehicles may need to meet a standard somewhere from 47 mpg to 62 mpg, the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency said. Those mileage gains that would be the equivalent of an annual decrease in carbon dioxide emissions per mile of 3 to 6 percent. The government envisions gas-electric hybrids making up about half the lineup of new vehicles under the most aggressive standards, while electrics and plug-ins would comprise about 10 percent of the fleet. After little progress during the past three decades, rules adopted earlier this year will lift the new vehicle fleet average to 35.5 mpg by 2016, an increase of more than 40 percent over current standards.Fuel efficiency standards are designed to improve gas mileage across each automaker's lineup and across the nation's entire fleet of new vehicles. Vehicles must meet differing standards based on their dimensions. Compact cars must get better mileage than sport utility vehicles, for example, but requirements for all types of vehicles will go up.
Note: Despite rampant government claims of wanting independence from foreign oil, fuel efficiency has almost always been largely determined by congressional mandates which the oil companies have consistently fought against. For more on this, click here. For lots more on new energy technologies, click here.
Solar energy making a return to White House
The White House is going solar after all - a home improvement that carries modest energy benefits but much larger symbolic importance. It isn't the first time the White House has used solar energy. President Jimmy Carter put 32 solar panels on the roof in the late 1970s, but President Ronald Reagan removed them in 1986. Two grass-roots campaigns have recently been lobbying President Obama to restore them as a sign of his commitment to renewable energy. The roof of the White House residence will get solar panels and a solar water heater, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the White House Council on Environmental Quality's chair, Nancy Sutley. A campaign launched by Oakland, Calif.-based Sungevity called Solar on the White House and another by 350.org founder Bill McKibben tried to get Obama to reinstall solar panels. "The White House did the right thing, and for the right reasons: They listened to the Americans who asked for solar on their roof, and they listened to the scientists and engineers who told them this is the path to the future," McKibben said in a statement. "If it has anything like the effect of the White House garden, it could be a trigger for a wave of solar installations across the country and around the world," he said.
Impact investing seeks to make money, do good
Most investors, when sizing up a company, ask a simple question: "Will this company make me money?" But John Grafer, a principal with Satori Capital, likes to ask a question most traditional investors never think of: "Does your receptionist have an equity stake in your company?" Grafer is one of a growing breed of investors who look beyond the bottom line and ask what a company is doing to help society. It's called impact investing, and its supporters say it combines the shrewdness of the for-profit marketplace with an earnest desire to do good. "It's the opposite of a quick flip," Grafer said. "While there might not be a short-term return, you get a larger long-term return." The companies that make up Satori's $175 million fund all have to meet strict financial and social benchmarks. Grafer said he focuses on ownership, the environment, civic involvement and respectful relationships with customers. A report by Hope Consulting indicates that investors were willing to spend as much as $120 billion on companies that promise social and financial return, if the right product were available. Four social market funds are well on their way to reaching $100 million. And attendance at this year's conference was double what it was when the conference began just three years ago. Organizers say the trend toward socially conscious investing has been spurred by the downturn in the economy. "The traditional market failed," said Kevin Jones, of San Francisco's Good Capital and a conference organizer. "This kind of stuff works without creating a bubble."
Note: For an excellent example of investing for social good while still make a return on your investing, check out our excellent piece on microlending at this link.
Key Articles From Years Past
CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90
An extraordinary 95 percent of all Americans have at least heard or read something about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), and 57 percent believe they are real. Former US Presidents Carter and Reagan claim to have seen a UFO.... In January 1953, [CIA Deputy Director H. Marshall] Chadwell and H. P. Robertson, a noted physicist from the California Institute of Technology, put together a distinguished panel of nonmilitary scientists to study the UFO issue. The panel ... worried that potential enemies contemplating an attack on the United States might exploit the UFO phenomena and use them to disrupt US air defenses. To meet these problems, the panel recommended that the National Security Council debunk UFO reports and institute a policy of public education to reassure the public of the lack of evidence behind UFOs. It suggested using the mass media, advertising, business clubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across. Reporting at the height of McCarthyism, the panel also recommended that such private UFO groups as the Civilian Flying Saucer Investigators in Los Angeles and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in Wisconsin be monitored for subversive activities.
Note: Though this compilation largely debunks the UFO phenomenon, it also contains a few revealing facts. Why was the CIA involved in debunking the phenomenon? And why would they start this paper with the statement "at least 95 percent of all Americans have at least heard or read something about UFOs," when that number is clearly 100 percent, and is not extraordinary. Of course, everyone has heard of UFOs. Could this document itself be a form of government disinformation meant to further muddy the waters?
'Urge to Investigate and Believe' Sparks New Interest in U.F.O.'s
The aliens are here again, at least in terms of popular culture, if not fact. The hottest topic among U.F.O. enthusiasts is what they describe as the Federal Government's experience with aliens, especially the ''Roswell Incident.'' U.F.O. researchers cite a newly discovered document, dated Nov. 18, 1952. It discusses a secret Federal team known as Majestic-12, or MJ-12, established by President Truman on Sept. 24, 1947 to investgate the of the spacecraft and its crew. The document purportedly recounts a secret briefing to President-elect Eisenhower by Rear Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency. According to the document, Admiral Hillenkoetter was a member of Majestic-12. ''It appears to be genuine,'' said William L. Moore, who wrote a book about the incident and who investigated the document for more than two years after a colleague received it anonymously in the mail. ''On 07 July, 1947,'' it says, ''a secret operation was begun to assure recovery of the wreckage of this object for scientific study. Aerial reconnaissance discovered that four small human-like beings had apparently ejected from the craft at some point before it exploded. These had fallen to earth about two miles east of the wreckage site. All four were dead and badly decomposed due to action by predators and exposure to the elements.'' Stanton T. Friedman, an nuclear physicist in Frederickton, New Brunswick, Canada, said ''We're dealing with something of extraordinary importance.'' Dr. Maccabee, the Navy physicist, conceeded that skeptics often made valid points. ''[Yet] over the past 40 years there have been 100,000 sightings, with 10 to 20 percent that are hard to explain.'' In the case of the purposed Eisenhower documents, he said, ''maybe somebody's been clever, but I think there's a good chance they are authentic.''
Note: Though this document has never been fully authenticated, it is highly interesting that a New York Times article from Feb. 28, 1960 quotes the above-mentioned CIA Director Roscoe Hillenkoetter stating "behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFO's. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense. To hide the facts, the Air Force has silenced its personnel". Click here to read and verify this revealing article.
Reporter Reveals Powerful Conspiracy in True-life Thriller, The Last Circle
Former investigative reporter Cheri Seymour, a San Diego County resident, has written a non-fiction thriller to end all thrillers. The Last Circle is ripped from the headlines of one of our era's most controversial murder scandals: the killing of investigative journalist Danny Casolaro, whose discoveries about a shadowy organization that he dubbed "The Octopus" reached into the Mafia, the Cali Drug Cartel, and even the U.S. Department of Justice. Casolaro, a Washington D.C. journalist, began his probe with an investigation into the theft of a revolutionary new software program that was actually the forerunner of artificial intelligence. It was called PROMIS. Casolaro worked closely with Bill Hamilton, owner and developer of the PROMIS software, to locate and identify the persons responsible for illegally modifying the software, installing a backdoor or Trojan Horse in the program, and selling it worldwide to foreign countries -– thus allowing the U.S. government to secretly monitor intelligence operations in those countries. In August 1991, Casolaro filled his briefcase with documents and headed out to Martinsburg, Virginia to "bring back the head of the Octopus," according to his closest friends who said he was "ecstatic" about something he had recently uncovered. He never returned. He was found dead at a Martinsburg hotel on August 10, 1991. The coroner ruled his death a suicide, but all his documents and briefcase were missing from the hotel room and never recovered. Three months after Casolaro's death, Seymour jumped on the investigative trail he left behind, and 18 years later, his story and Seymour's are revealed in this riveting book.
Note: For more on Danny Casolaro, click here.
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