US-Israeli Cyberwar Against Iran, UK Provocateur Run by Private Firm, Foreclosures Cancelled
Revealing News Articles
January 17, 2011
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the US/Israeli cyberwar attack against Iran's nuclear facilities, the revelation that UK agent provocateur Mark Kennedy was run by a private security firm, a court ruling cancelling fraudulent foreclosure proceedings, 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 see a presentation by excellent bank researcher Ellen Brown (author of Web of Debt) proposing the establishment of state banks to take back power from the Federal Reserve, click here. For a wild three-minute video of an amazing man who plays with wild lions, click here. And for an unbelievable display of fluid art by thousands of birds, see the five-minute video available here.
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Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
January 16, 2011, New York Times
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel's never-acknowledged nuclear arms program. Over the past two years ... Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role – as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran's efforts to make a bomb of its own. Behind Dimona's barbed wire ... Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran's at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran's ability to make its first nuclear arms. The operations [at Dimona], as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program. In recent days, the retiring chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan ... told the Israeli Knesset in recent days that Iran had run into technological difficulties that could delay a bomb until 2015. That represented a sharp reversal from Israel's long-held argument that Iran was on the cusp of success. The biggest single factor in putting time on the nuclear clock appears to be Stuxnet, the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever deployed.
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on hidden realities of the "Global War on Terror", click here.
The state's pedlars of fear must be brought to account
January 11, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[Mark] Kennedy moved from undercover agent to agent provocateur. He worked for a murky organisation called the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). With a budget of £5m this operates as a branch of the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) which, in turn, works alongside the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU). Ask where this stands, and you will be told it reports to the Association of Chief Police Officers' Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, codenamed Acpo(TAM). Kennedy's bosses in the NPOIU work for Acpo, but this is not what it seems. It is not, as its name suggests, the police officers' staff club, nor is it a public body of any sort. [ACPO] is a private company, incorporated in 1997. It is sub-contracted by Whitehall to operate the police end of the government's counterterrorism and "anti-extremism" strategies. It is thus alongside MI5, but even less accountable. It now runs its own police forces under a police chief boss, Sir Hugh Orde, like a British FBI. It trades on its own account, generating revenue by selling data from the police national computer for £70 an item (cost of retrieval, 60p). It owns an estate of 80 flats in central London. As a private company, Acpo need not accede to Freedom of Information requests and presumably could distribute its profit to its own board. The whole operation is reminiscent of the deals set up by the Pentagon with private firms to run the Iraq and Afghan wars, free of publicity or accountability.
US foreclosures in new legal trouble
January 7, 2011, BBC
Two of the US's biggest mortgage lenders have had mortgage foreclosures cancelled in a case that could affect other banks. The Supreme Court in Massachusetts ruled against US Bancorp and Wells Fargo in a widely watched case. Backing a lower court ruling made in 2009, it said two foreclosure sales were invalid because the banks did not prove that they owned them at the time. The decision is among the earliest to address the validity of foreclosures done without proper documentation - so-called robo-loans because they were carried out by people who were unqualified and who often did not check a single line in the paperwork. Marty Mosby, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities said: "A ruling like this will slow down the foreclosure process. They're going to have to be really precise and get everything in order. It doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room." The case also applies retrospectively to people who have already been foreclosed. Glenn Russell, a lawyer for one of the couples in the case said: "I'm ecstatic. The fact the decision applies retroactively could mean thousands of homeowners can seek recovery for homes wrongfully foreclosed upon." Analysts said the decision may also threaten banks' ability to package mortgages into securities, and may raise the spectre that loans transferred improperly will need to be bought back.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the criminal profiteering by the largest banks and Wall Street financial firms, click here.
WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops
January 3, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show. In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops. "Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices," said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the St Louis-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s [and is married to Dorothy Walker, a first cousin of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush]. In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative. In addition, the cables show US diplomats working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto. It also emerges that Spain and the US have worked closely together to persuade the EU not to strengthen biotechnology laws. In one cable, the embassy in Madrid writes: "If Spain falls, the rest of Europe will follow." The cables show that not only did the Spanish government ask the US to keep pressure on Brussels but that the US knew in advance how Spain would vote, even before the Spanish biotech commission had reported.
When Insurers Put Profits Between Doctor and Patient
January 6, 2011, New York Times
In articles, interviews, op-eds and testimony on Capitol Hill, Wendell Potter has described the dark underbelly of the health care insurance industry – unkept promises of care, canceled coverage of those who get sick and fearmongering campaigns designed to quash any change that might adversely affect profits. He should know what he is talking about. For 20 years, Mr. Potter was the head of corporate communications at two major insurers, first at Humana and then at Cigna. Now Mr. Potter has written a fascinating book that details the methods he and his colleagues used to manipulate public opinion and describes his transformation from the idealistic son of working-class parents in eastern Tennessee to top insurance company executive, to vocal critic and industry watchdog. Using little of the fiery rhetoric or lurid prose that usually marks corporate exposés or memoirs of redemption, the book, Deadly Spin ... is an evenhanded yet riveting account of the inner workings of the health care insurance industry, a cautionary tale that doctors and patients would be wise not to miss. Mr. Potter [describes] the myth-making he did, interspersing descriptions of front groups, paid spies and jiggered studies with a deft retelling of the convoluted (and usually eye-glazing) history of health care insurance policies.
Note: Mr. Potter has written a powerful condemnation of health care industry practices at this link. For other major media articles on this courageous whistleblower, click here. And for other highly informative reports on important health issues, click here.
Icelandic MP fights US demand for her Twitter account details
January 8, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages. Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the "USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?" She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She added that the US authorities had requested personal information from Twitter as well as her private messages and that she was now assessing her legal position. "It's not just about my information. It's a warning for anyone who had anything to do with WikiLeaks. It is completely unacceptable for the US justice department to flex its muscles like this. I am lucky, I'm a representative in parliament. But what of other people? It's my duty to do whatever I can to stop this abuse."
Note: For a New York Times article with more on this, click here.
U.S. says too much fluoride in water
January 7, 2011, USA Today/Associated Press
Fluoride in drinking water – credited with dramatically cutting cavities and tooth decay – may now be too much of a good thing. Getting too much of it causes spots on some kids' teeth. A reported increase in the spotting problem is one reason the federal government will announce [that] it plans to lower the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies – the first such change in nearly 50 years. About 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of too much fluoride, a surprising government study found recently. In some extreme cases, teeth can even be pitted by the mineral. Maryland is the most fluoridated state, with nearly every resident on a fluoridated water system. In contrast, only about 11% of Hawaii residents are on fluoridated water, according to government statistics. Fluoridation has been fought for decades by people who worried about its effects, including conspiracy theorists who feared it was a plot to make people submissive to government power. "It's amazing that people have been so convinced that this is an OK thing to do," said Deborah Catrow, who successfully fought a ballot proposal in 2005 that would have added fluoride to drinking water in Springfield, Ohio.
Note: This article fails to mention a key recent study showing "about 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride area scored as bright, normal or higher intelligence compared to only 8 percent in the 'high' fluoride area. In the high-fluoride city, 15 percent had scores indicating mental retardation and only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city." For a truly awesome, revealing interview with a BBC producer on the major deceptions around and dangers of fluoride in water, click here. For more on this key topic from Dr. Mercola, click here. And for the top website on the risks and dangers of flouride in water, click here.
Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline
January 3, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The abundance of four common species of bumblebee in the US has dropped by 96% in just the past few decades, according to the most comprehensive national census of the insects. Scientists said the alarming decline, which could have devastating implications for the pollination of both wild and farmed plants, was likely to be a result of disease and low genetic diversity in bee populations. Bumblebees are important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops around the world ... thanks to their large body size, long tongues, and high-frequency buzzing, which helps release pollen from flowers. Sydney Cameron, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, led a team on a three-year study of the changing distribution, genetic diversity and pathogens in eight species of bumblebees in the US. By comparing her results with those in museum records of bee populations, she showed that the relative abundance of four of the sampled species (Bombus occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, B. affinis and B. terricola) had declined by up to 96% and that their geographic ranges had contracted by 23% to 87%, some within just the past two decades. Cameron's findings reflect similar studies across the world. According to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK, three of the 25 British species of bumblebee are already extinct and half of the remainder have shown serious declines, often up to 70%, since around the 1970s. Last year, scientists inaugurated a £10m programme, called the Insect Pollinators Initiative, to look at the reasons behind the devastation in the insect population.
Note: For news on a leaked EPA memo expressing concern over chemicals causing bee deaths, click here. And for a list of other excellent, revealing links on this key topic, see the bottom of the webpage at this link.
The uncomfortable truth about mind control: Is free will simply a myth?
January 6, 2011, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Brain: A Secret History [is] a television series which reveals how much we have learnt about ourselves through the work of some of the 20th century's most influential, and deeply flawed, psychologists. In the course of making the series we found rare archive and first-hand accounts of the many inventive and sometimes sinister ways in which experimental psychology has been used to probe, tease, control and manipulate human behaviour. High on the list of psychologists ... was Stanley Milgram. Some claim that what Milgram did was ethically and scientifically dubious. I have always thought it was justified and hugely important, but I had never had the chance to interview any of the "volunteers" who had unwittingly taken part in his notorious experiment, to get their perspective. What Bill and the other volunteers who took part weren't told was that the electric shocks were fake – and that both the Experimenter and the Learner were actors. The real purpose of the experiment was to see how far the volunteers would go. Stanley Milgram had asked colleagues how many people they thought would go all the way and administer a lethal 450-volt shock. Most said less than 1 per cent – and those would probably be psychopaths. Yet Bill, like 65 per cent of the volunteers, gave an apparently lethal electric shock when told to do so.
Note: For an amazing, six-minute ABC News clip on a modern day version of the Milgram experiment, click here.
Under Siege in War-Torn Somalia, a Doctor Holds Her Ground
January 8, 2011, New York Times
Somalia has been at war with itself for 20 years. The health care system, like much of the country, has been demolished. There are very few functioning hospitals left. But for decades – as the government imploded, warlords took over, more warlords came and an Islamist insurgency swept across Somalia – Dr. [Hawa] Abdi has persevered, offering a refuge for thousands of families driven from their homes by relentless street battles. In a nation where the government controls only a few blocks in this war-torn capital, Dr. Abdi and her daughters, who are also doctors, are essentially running a small, desperate city on their own. But that is not enough, in her estimation. So, on separate patches of land she owns, she is organizing families to run farms and has bought a small fleet of fishing boats to help feed the camp. Her stubborn commitment has earned her recognition worldwide. Eliza Griswold, who wrote about the compound in her book The Tenth Parallel, said, "Mostly out of sheer moxie, Dr. Hawa and her daughters have built a city of healing within the war's brutal chaos." Dr. Abdi's daughter Amina, who first learned to practice medicine trudging behind her mother during visits to the bush, said her mother needed to rest. "But she has never rested in 20 years," Amina laughed.
Key Articles From Years Past
Big business and security
September 28, 2009, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The European security research programme (ESRP) has a €1.4bn EU budget and its twin objectives are to enhance European security and foster the growth of a globally competitive security industry in Europe. Unfortunately, in its haste to cash-in on the homeland security boom, the EU has effectively outsourced the design of its security research agenda to some of the corporations that have the most to gain from its implementation. It has created bodies outside the formal structure of the EU, beyond parliamentary scrutiny and democratic control. The result is a public research programme designed by lobbyists, for lobbyists, with corporations invited to shape the objectives and annual priorities, and then apply for the money on offer. ESRP was the brainchild of the "group of personalities", an EU advisory body convened in 2003 that included some of Europe's largest defence and IT contractors alongside the likes of NATO, the EU military committee and the Rand Corporation. The group's primary concern was the scale of the US government's investment in homeland security R&D, which meant that the US was "taking a lead" in the development of security "technologies and equipment which ... could meet a number of Europe's needs", putting US multinationals in "a very strong competitive position".
Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation
May 23, 2008, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used in rapeseed oil and sweetcorn. The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin. "It's a real bee emergency," said Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeepers' Association. "50-60% of the bees have died on average and some beekeepers have lost all their hives." Tests on dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up of clothianidin. The chemical, produced by Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of the German chemical giant Bayer, is sold in Europe under the trade name Poncho. It was applied to the seeds of sweetcorn planted along the Rhine this spring. The seeds are treated in advance of being planted or are sprayed while in the field. Clothianidin, like the other neonicotinoid pesticides that have been temporarily suspended in Germany, is a systemic chemical that works its way through a plant and attacks the nervous system of any insect it comes into contact with. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency it is "highly toxic" to honeybees.
Note: For news on a leaked EPA memo expressing concern over these chemicals, click here. And for a list of other excellent, revealing links on this key topic, see the bottom of the webpage at this link.
Secret program left toxic legacy
September 5, 2000, USA Today
The U.S. government secretly hired hundreds of private companies during the 1940s and '50s to process huge volumes of nuclear weapons material, leaving a legacy of poisoned workers and contaminated communities that lingers to this day. From mom-and-pop machine shops to big-name chemical firms, private manufacturing facilities across the nation were quietly converted to the risky business of handling tons of uranium, thorium, polonium, beryllium and other radioactive and toxic substances. Few of the contractors were prepared for the hazards of their government-sponsored missions. Thousands of workers were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, often hundreds of times stronger than the limits of the time. Dozens of communities were contaminated, their air, ground and water fouled by toxic and radioactive waste. The risks were kept hidden. In some cases, they have remained so. The full story of the secret contracting effort has never been told. Many of the companies that were involved have been forgotten, the impact of their operations unexamined for half a century. Yet their history carries profound implications for the thousands of people they employed, as well as for the thousands who lived – and still live – near the factories.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
Half gas, half water: does it work?
February 11, 1996, Salt Lake Tribune
It seems too good to be true, but rigorous tests under way in Nevada, California and Illinois show a breakthrough fuel that is more than half tap water could power the nation's vehicles, trains and gas-powered aircraft by century's end. The milky fuel was developed by Reno inventor Rudolf Gunnerman and is being pushed through the federal fuels-testing labyrinth by Gunnerman and diesel giant Caterpillar Inc. It has passed every test thrown at it. In virtually all categories, it tops conventional gasoline and diesel as a clean, cheap and safe fuel that can be used in almost any combustion engine. If it works -- and disinterested outsiders who have tested it say it may -- drivers could see the price of gasoline cut more than half. "Everybody said it cannot work, that I'm a fraud,'' the German-born inventor said. No one's laughing now: Nevada last November certified the water-based fuel as a "clean alternative fuel,'' meaning it can be used to meet federal mandates requiring clean fuels in fleets and other vehicles. The Energy Department is awaiting test data from trials run by Caterpillar before passing judgment. If DOE reaches the same conclusion as Nevada, Gunnerman's concoction could be used as a clean fuel in all states.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why didn't this exciting development make headline news? For lots more showing very promising results on this most intriguing invention, click here. For exciting reports from reliable sources on highly promising new energy developments and technologies, click here and here.
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