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Lax Oversight at US Nukes, Obama Revises Miranda Rules, US Army Kill Team Photos
Revealing News Articles
March 29, 2011

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on lax oversight by the NRC at US nuclear energy facilities, the Obama administration's revision to Miranda warning rules for terrorism suspects, publication of photos taken by a US Army kill team in Afghanistan, 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. And don't miss the "What you can do" box below the summaries. 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: Former US Senator Mike Gravel and others have spearheaded an initiative calling for a new investigation of 9/11. For more on this, click here. For a great new ad that is going out on the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, click here. For a powerful, revealing two-minute video interview with Gen. Wesley Clark, who lays it out that the wars are all about oil, click here. For a fun and inspiring 10-minute video on how the power within each of us can completely change the current hierarchical structure of our world, click here. For more on the amazing Challenge Day program featured in the final segment of this film, click here.

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Nuclear power report: 14 'near misses' at US plants due to 'lax oversight'
March 18, 2011, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0318/Nuclear-power-report-14-near-misses-at-US-plants...

Nuclear plants in the United States last year experienced at least 14 "near misses," serious failures in which safety was jeopardized, at least in part, due to lapses in oversight and enforcement by US nuclear safety regulators, says a new report. They occurred with alarming frequency – more than once a month – which is high for a mature industry, said the study of nuclear plant safety performance in 2010 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based nuclear watchdog group. The report, the first in what the UCS expects will become an annual study, details both successes and failures by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which it calls "the cop on the beat." Charged with overseeing America's fleet of 104 nuclear reactors, the NRC made some "outstanding catches," but was also inconsistent in its oversight, seeming at times to nod off when most needed. "The chances of a disaster at a nuclear plant are low," the report states. "But when the NRC tolerates unresolved safety problems – as it did last year at Peach Bottom, Indian Point, and Vermont Yankee – this lax oversight allows that risk to rise. The more owners sweep safety problems under the rug and the longer safety problems remain uncorrected, the higher the risk climbs."

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


Rights Are Curtailed for Terror Suspects
March 24, 2011, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704050204576218970652119898.html

New rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades. The move is one of the Obama administration's most significant revisions to rules governing the investigation of terror suspects in the U.S. The new rules give interrogators more latitude and flexibility to define what counts as an appropriate circumstance to waive Miranda rights. The Justice Department believes it has the authority to tinker with Miranda procedures. Making the change administratively rather than through legislation in Congress, however, presents legal risks. Before becoming president, Mr. Obama had criticized the Bush administration for going outside traditional criminal procedures to deal with terror suspects, and for bypassing Congress in making rules to handle detainees after 9/11. He has since embraced many of the same policies while devising additional ones–to the disappointment of civil-liberties groups that championed his election.

Note: For key reports from major media sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.


US Army 'kill team' in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians
March 21, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/21/us-army-kill-team-afghanistan-posed...

Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of "trophy" photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed. Senior officials at Nato's International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world. They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year. The case has already created shock around the world, particularly with the revelations that the men cut "trophies" from the bodies of the people they killed. An investigation by Der Spiegel has unearthed approximately 4,000 photos and videos taken by the men. The US military has strived to keep the pictures out of the public domain. The lengthy Spiegel article that accompanies the photographs contains new details about the sadistic behaviour of the men.

Note: For many reports from reliable sources on atrocities and illegal activities by US military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.


Revealed: Afghan chief accused of campaign of terror is on US payroll
March 18, 2011, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/revealed-afghan-chief-accuse...

An Afghan warlord backed by US special forces faces persistent allegations that he launched a two-year spate of violence involving burglary, rape and murder of civilians, desecration of mosques and mutilation of corpses. Yet, despite repeated warnings about the atrocities Commander Azizullah is alleged to have committed, he has remained on the payroll of the US military as an "Afghan security guard", a select band of mercenaries. Interviews with religious leaders, tribal elders, villagers, contractors and Western and Afghan officials all pointed to a reign of terror in which they believe 31-year-old Azizullah, an ethnic Tajik, targeted Pashtun civilians while fighting the Taliban. The testimony also tallied with several independent reports documenting the allegations against Azizullah. The allegations of persistent abuses are embarrassing for Nato, and not just because of the closeness with an alleged war criminal. They also showcase the biggest drawbacks of militias, which US commander General David Petraeus wants to expand aggressively across Afghanistan. He wants to triple the size of "local defence initiatives" [militias] to 30,000 members nationwide.The consequences are too awful to contemplate: resurgent warlords, deepening ethnic tensions, widespread bloodletting and the erosion of what little authority the government in Kabul has left.

Note: For many reports from reliable sources on atrocities and illegal activities by US military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.


Indiana prosecutor resigns for encouraging fake attack on Wisconsin governor
March 25, 2011, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20047130-503544.html

Carlos Lam, a Republican activist and Indiana deputy prosecutor, has resigned amid revelations that he sent an email calling for a fake attack on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker designed to discredit union protesters. Walker, a Republican, was the target of protests for his efforts to roll back many union collective bargaining rights in his state. In a Feb. 19 email uncovered by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Lam apparently told Walker he had a "good opportunity" to win public sympathy with a "'false flag' operation." "If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions," read the email. Lam initially denied having sent the email. He [claimed] he had been shopping for a minivan with his family when it was sent, and suggested his email account had been infiltrated by his political enemies. Lam resigned as deputy prosecutor on Thursday morning, however, reportedly telling his boss he had indeed sent the email. Last month, another Indiana official -- Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox - lost his job for calling on law enforcement to "use live ammunition" on Wisconsin protesters. Also in February, Walker was the victim of a prank call by a liberal journalist pretending to be billionaire conservative activist David Koch. When the journalist suggested planting people among the protesters to stir up trouble, Walker responded that "we thought about that" but added that he had decided against it.

Note: To learn more about the prevalence of "false flag" operations in politics with links to reliable, verifiable sources, click here. For more on this official's call for a false-flag attack, click here.


The Michigan Monarchy Legislates Financial Martial Law -- Nation Yawns
March 18, 2011, Forbes blog
http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/03/18/the-michigan-monarchy-legislates-financial-martial...

This week, the Michigan legislature passed – and the governor signed into law – a bill that would permit Governor Rick Snyder to push aside elected city officials and replace them with emergency financial managers in any municipality or school district facing financial difficulties. The law would include virtually every town and city in the state as those cities that aren't bankrupt already soon will be once the governor's proposed budget – which cuts billions in aid to municipalities and school districts – is approved by the legislature. One of the most shocking, Draconian, democracy-destroying measures in the history of this country has became law – and the nation has seemingly slept through it. The new law, described by one of the GOP legislators sponsoring the bill as "financial martial law", empowers the governor's appointees [referred to as 'Emergency Financial Managers'] to fire duly elected local officials, cancel labor contracts and even dissolve entire communities and school districts. This is about so much more than collective bargaining agreements and unions. This law gives an appointee of the governor – which, by the way, may be a corporation – the authority to dismiss any or all of a municipality's elected government officials.

Note: For a treasure trove of reports by major media sources on the collusion between government and financial powers against the public interest, click here.


'World's largest paedophile ring' uncovered
March 16, 2011, BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12762333

International police led by a UK team say they shut down the largest internet paedophile ring yet discovered. The global forum had 70,000 followers at its height, leading to 4,000 intelligence reports being sent to police across 30 countries. The operation has so far identified 670 suspects and 230 abused children. Detectives say 184 people have been arrested - 121 of them were in the UK. Some 60 children have been protected in the UK. The three-year investigation, Operation Rescue, was led by investigators from the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop). The members of the network went into a private channel, boylover.net, and then used its secret systems to share films and images of abused children, said Rob Wainwright, director of European police agency Europol. In the UK, the 240 suspects include police officers, teachers and a karate teacher. One of the suspects in the UK is a woman. The internet has proved to be fertile territory for people with a sexual interest in children. Taking advantage of the anonymity modern computer technology provides, paedophiles download and exchange vile images of abuse unaware of the reality of the suffering.

Note: For powerful evidence that this kind of abuse is much more widespread than believed, and even goes to the highest level of government, click here.


Child abuse 'big business online'
May 12, 2010, BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10108720

There are around 450 criminal gangs around the world making money from images of child sex abuse, the UK's Internet Watch Foundation has said. The watchdog's annual report says that the 10 most prolific of these account for more than 650 web pages. But despite these gangs being well-established online, the IWF says the the industry is not growing. To help obscure their movements, they move their distribution networks regularly between different providers and countries. Most of the gangs operate a pay-per-view system, charging a monthly fee of around 55 for access to images and videos. Critics have accused the IWF of being ineffective, partly because it is separate from the police and partly because much of the illegal material online does not originate from the UK. IWF spokeswoman Sarah Robertson admits that it is not a policing body but denies that means it cannot act. "The amount of child abuse content hosted in the UK has fallen from 18% to 1% in the last seven years," she said. It is important to remember the serious nature of the content the IWF polices, she said, and that behind every image is a child being abused. Some 44% of the content highlighted to the IWF last year depicted the rape of a child and 23% of it featured children below the age of six.

Note: For powerful evidence that this kind of abuse is much more widespread than believed, and even goes to the highest level of government, click here.


Feds must probe banks further over mortgage crisis
March 21, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/20/EDFL1IEOFE.DTL

Anonymous, an online hacker group, released a string of e-mails last week that purportedly show mortgage document fraud at Bank of America. Many people yawned. After all, there have been well-documented cases of mortgage fraud and illegal foreclosures, and little has been done to punish Bank of America or any of the banks for their behavior. But just because the federal government has been slow to act on the mortgage crisis doesn't mean that these e-mails are any less valuable. The e-mails are a chain showing requests for Balboa Insurance employees to remove document tracking numbers from the system of record. Balboa Insurance became a division of Bank of America after the bank bought the bankrupt home loan company Countrywide Financial. The idea suggested in the e-mails was to misplace individual documents away from matching loans. This would make it harder for federal auditors to investigate individual loans. It would also make it far more difficult for individual homeowners to dispute or question bank action on their loans - and therefore obtain mortgage modifications or a stay on bank foreclosure. The Anonymous e-mails are serious indeed. They're a snapshot into why the mortgage mess spiraled out of control. While they don't tell the whole story, they point to the need for further investigation and possible action on behalf of the federal government. When people are losing their homes, the banks shouldn't be allowed to get away with deception.

Note: For a treasure trove of reports by major media sources on the collusion between government and banks against the public interest, click here.


CalPERS scandal detailed in report
March 20, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/19/BUFR1IELSM.DTL

"The facts in the report speak for themselves, but the principles it describes could apply to funds throughout the United States and overseas." That's attorney Philip Khinda, talking about the 75-page report he delivered last week to the California Public Employees' Retirement System on dealings involving former senior executives and board members with so-called placement agents, and how the latter got tens of millions of dollars in questionable fees for their services. The report is the culmination of a 17-month investigation headed by Khinda, a partner at the Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson, which was hired by CalPERS for the job. Citing the $800 million a year CalPERS was paying out in fees, the report concludes that "the excessive nature created an environment in which external managers were willing and able to pay fees at a level that bore little or no relationship to the services apparently provided by the placement agents ... Many of the abuses relating to placement agent arrangements were, in a sense, a symptom of a larger problem." That larger problem applies, in part, to funds throughout the United States and overseas, ranging from other public pension funds to sovereign wealth funds investing in the United States. With the amount of money at stake, the fat fees involved, and the various middlemen looking for a piece, events similar to what transpired at CalPERS could just as easily appear elsewhere.

Note: For a treasure trove of reports by major media sources on the collusion between government and financial corporations against the public interest, click here.


Audit: Pentagon overpaid oilman by up to $200 million
March 17, 2011, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pentagon-overpaid-oilman-millions...

A Pentagon audit has found that the federal government overpaid a billionaire oilman by as much as $200 million on several military contracts worth nearly $2.7 billion. The audit by the Defense Department's inspector general ... estimated that the department paid the oilman "$160 [million] to $204 million more for fuel than could be supported by price or cost analysis." The study also reported that the three contracts were awarded under conditions that effectively eliminated the other bidders. Harry Sargeant III, a well-connected Florida businessman and once-prominent Republican donor, first faced scrutiny over his defense work in October 2008, when he was accused in a congressional probe of using his close relationship with Jordan's royal family to secure exclusive rights over supply routes to U.S. bases in western Iraq. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who led the probe, ... said in a statement Thursday that the report "confirmed what we found in 2008: the International Oil Trading Company overcharged by hundreds of millions of dollars while the Bush administration looked the other way." Waxman called on Sargeant to repay the Pentagon.

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


ATF gunwalking scandal: Second agent speaks out
March 21, 2011, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/21/eveningnews/main20045609.shtml

South of El Paso, Texas, on Mexico's side of the border, lies Juarez - the most dangerous city in the world. ATF [U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] Special Agent Rene Jaquez has been stationed there for the past year, trying to keep U.S. guns from being trafficked into Mexico. "That's what we do as an agency," Jaquez said. "ATF's primary mission is to make sure that we curtail gun trafficking." That's why Jaquez tells CBS News he was so alarmed to hear his own agency may have done the opposite: encouraged U.S. gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexico's drug cartels. Apparently, ATF hoped that letting weapons "walk" onto the street - to see where they'd end up - would help them take down a cartel. Jaquez is so opposed to the strategy, he's speaking out. "You don't let guns walk. I've never let a gun walk." Yet ATF agents told us they were ordered to let thousands of weapons walk. But ATF wasn't working alone on the case known as "Fast and Furious." Documents show ATF had conference calls with "DHS" (Homeland Security). "USMS" (U.S. Marshals) and DEA. An "ICE," or Customs agent, was on ATF's Fast and Furious team. They were advised by an "AUSA," or Assistant U.S. Attorney under the Justice Department. Jaquez says he's left wondering whether runaway violence in Mexico can be partly blamed on the agency tasked with stopping it.

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


Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium
March 20, 2011, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8393984/Safe-nuclear-does-exist...

A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima's uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium. China's Academy of Sciences said it had chosen a "thorium-based molten salt reactor system". The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s. Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times less than with uranium. The system is inherently less prone to disaster. "The reactor has an amazing safety feature," said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA engineer at Teledyne Brown and a thorium expert. "If it begins to overheat, a little plug melts and the salts drain into a pan. There is no need for computers, or the sort of electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor saves itself," he said. US physicists in the late 1940s explored thorium fuel for power. It has a higher neutron yield than uranium, a better fission rating, longer fuel cycles, and does not require the extra cost of isotope separation. The plans were shelved because thorium does not produce plutonium for bombs. As a happy bonus, it can burn up plutonium and toxic waste from old reactors, reducing radio-toxicity and acting as an eco-cleaner.

Note: For many reports from reliable sources on promising new energy technologies, click here.


Solar power market tops $71 billion in 2010
March 14, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-03-14/business/28686980_1_solar-market-solar-power-ron-pernick

Ten years ago, when Ron Pernick predicted that solar power would be a $23.5 billion industry by the decade's end, skeptics scoffed. After all, worldwide sales of photovoltaic solar equipment in 2000 were just $2.5 billion. Pernick's prediction had to be wrong. It was. The global solar market last year hit $71.2 billion. Pernick is co-founder and managing director of the Clean Edge Inc. market research firm, and for the last 10 years, his outfit has produced annual tallies of alternative energy sales around the world. The latest report, released today, shows a decade of remarkable growth. The market for solar power, wind power and biofuels still pales when compared with that for fossil fuels (Exxon Mobil, for example, made $383.2 billion last year). But clean-energy technology is no longer stuck in a niche. "It went from relative obscurity 10 years ago to being one of the dominant market forces today," said Pernick. Wind power has grown from a $4 billion global market in 2000 to $60.5 billion in 2010. Ten years ago, alternative energy firms received less than 1 percent of the venture capital invested in the United States. Last year, they got 23 percent, with investments totaling $5.1 billion. For biofuels, the report's data only stretch back to 2005. But in that time, the worldwide market for ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels has grown from $15.7 billion to $56.4 billion.

Note: For many reports from reliable sources on promising new energy technologies, click here.


The myth of the panicking disaster victim
March 18, 2011, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-myth-of-the-panicking...

Before the Second World War, the Ministry of War confidently predicted what would happen when London was bombed from the air by Nazi planes. There would be, they warned, "a mass outbreak of hysterical neurosis among the civilian population". The same predictions are made about every disaster – that once the lid of a tightly policed civilization is knocked off for a second, humans will become beasts. But the opposite is the case. It sounds grotesque to say we should see reasons for hope as we watch in real time while the earth is shaken six inches on its axis, tsunamis roar, and nuclear power stations teeter on meltdown. But it is true. From this disaster, we can learn something fundamental about our species. The evidence gathered over centuries of disasters, natural and man-made, is overwhelming. The vast majority of people, when a disaster hits, behave in the aftermath as altruists. They organise spontaneously to save their fellow human beings, to share what they have, and to show kindness. They reveal themselves to be better people than they ever expected. When the social scientist Enrico Quarantelli tried to write a thesis on how people descend into chaos and panic after disasters, he concluded: "My God! I can't find any instances of it." On the contrary, he wrote, in disasters "the social order does not break down... Co-operative rather than selfish behaviour predominates".

Note: For a beautiful example of how people come together to help and support each other in the face of a major crisis, read the inspiring "Letter from Sendai" which has gone viral on the Internet at this link.


Key Articles From Years Past


US Navy tested mustard gas on its own sailors
March 14, 1993, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-navy-tested-mustard-gas-on-its-own-sailors...

Fifty years ago, the US Navy locked 17-year-old Glenn Jenkins into a gas chamber within sight of the dome of the US Capitol in Washington. It then poisoned him with mustard and lewisite (arsenic) gas. He never recovered his good health. Nathan Schnurman, another 17-year-old, was asked to test summer uniforms for the navy. He was locked in a small hut heated by a furnace and with a door that could be opened only from the outside. When something went wrong with his mask, he asked over the intercom to come out, but was refused. He vomited into his mask, passed out and had a heart attack. The plight of Mr Jenkins, Mr Schnurman and 2,500 other sailors who were used in what the navy called 'man break' experiments with poison gas, has remained a secret for five decades. Only last week, under pressure from the victims, did the Pentagon agree to let them tell their stories. Many, who had been told that the Espionage Act would be used against them, did not even tell their doctors what had happened. All the survivors, now in their late sixties, tell similar stories. The navy not only volunteered its own men, but for decades after the war also refused to compensate them for crippling injuries. [And] the experiments were for nothing. Mustard gas was used just once in the Second World War by the Allies, and then by accident.

Note: The military has repeatedly condoned horrendous research on live subjects. For a revealing list of highly unethical experimentation on human over the past 75 years, click here. For a concise summary of the government's secret quest to control the mind and human behavior no matter what the cost, click here.


Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Tod for all the time and skill he puts into this. The box below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.

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