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Catholic Cardinals and Sex Abuse Scandal, Drone Strikes in U.S., 'Dirty War' Killers Sent to Iraq
Revealing News Articles
March 12, 2013

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of important news articles on the abetting by several Cardinals of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, US Attorney General Holder's confirmation that drone strikes against citizens within the US are a possibility, the use of the commanders from the US' Central American 'Dirty War' in Iraq, and more.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and to spreading 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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Pope conclave tainted by abuse scandal
March 5, 2013, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/03/03/pope-conclave-child-abuse-scandal/1961031/

In Rome, where 115 cardinals are gathering to elect a new pope, the conclave will include these luminaries: Cardinal Roger Mahony, former archbishop of Los Angeles, who in the 1980s plotted with an adviser to conceal child molesting priests from law enforcement. Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of Ireland's church, who failed in the 1970s to follow up on incriminating evidence against a priest, who went on to become a notorious serial molester. Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the former head of the Belgian church, who once advised an adult victim of 13 years of childhood abuse against making "a lot of noise" about it because his molester, a bishop, was about to retire.The full list of cardinals who abetted the child abuse scandal that has dogged the church for more than a decade is longer. Under church law, no one can force these cardinals to forgo voting, but they should. It is impossible to overstate the breadth and depth of the child molestation scandal, or the damage done to both the children and the credibility of the church. In the U.S. alone, more than 16,000 victims have reported abuse. Similar scandals have roiled Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Benedict XVI's own Germany, each revealing thousands more victims. The details in each country are as horrifying as they are familiar. Hundreds of priests abused and raped children. Reports of abuse were ignored. Victims were sometimes muzzled. Predator priests were shuffled off to other parishes to molest again. And the highest church leaders often fought to keep the details secret.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, including involvement of several Catholic Cardinals directly implicated in the sex abuse scandals, click here. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link.


President Could, In Theory, Order Drone Strike Inside U.S., Holder Says
March 5, 2013, NPR
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/05/173572444/president-could-in-theory-order-drone-strike...

Attorney General Eric Holder has said in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul that the president could in an "entirely hypothetical" situation authorize the military to use lethal force within U.S. territory. The letter to Paul came in response to three inquiries the Kentucky Republican sent to John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director. Paul's letters asked if it was legal for the U.S. government to use lethal force, including in the form of drone strikes, on Americans inside the country. Here's Holder's response, in part: "As members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.


Rand Paul filibusters vote on CIA director nominee John Brennan over drones
March 6, 2013, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57572883/rand-paul-filibusters-vote-on-cia-director...

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is filibustering the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA, delivering a protracted speech on the Senate floor in protest of the Obama administration's controversial drone program, of which Brennan has been a key architect. Paul, speaking during the debate surrounding Brennan's nomination on the Senate floor, said he would "speak until I can no longer speak" in order to get his point across. "I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court," he said. Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder clarified to Paul in a letter that the U.S. drone policy does authorize the use of military force on against Americans on U.S. soil in cases of "extraordinary circumstance." Paul, a longstanding opponent of the administration's controversial targeted killing policy, expressed his outrage in a statement following his receipt of the letter and continued that tirade on the floor today. "That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in bowling green, Kentucky, is an abomination," Paul said. "I object to people becoming so fearful they gradually give up their rights."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.


Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster
March 10, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/10/paul-filibuster-drones-progressives

Commencing immediately upon the 9/11 attack, the US government ... has spent 12 straight years inventing and implementing new theories of government power in the name of Terrorism. Every year since 9/11 has ushered in increased authorities of exactly the type Americans are inculcated to believe only exist in those other, non-free societies: ubiquitous surveillance, impenetrable secrecy, and the power to imprison and even kill without charges or due process. The Obama administration has already exercised the power to target even its own citizens for execution far from any battlefield. [This] has prompted almost no institutional resistance from the structures designed to check executive abuses: courts, the media, and Congress. Last week's 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director by GOP Sen. Rand Paul was one of the first ... Congressional efforts to dramatize and oppose just how radical these Terrorism-justified powers have become. For the first time since the 9/11 attack, even lowly cable news shows were forced ... to extensively discuss the government's extremist theories of power. All of this put Democrats ... in a very uncomfortable position. The politician who took such a unique stand in defense of these principles was not merely a Republican but a leading member of its dreaded Tea Party wing. Some Democrats, to their credit, publicly supported Paul. But most Democratic Senators ran away as fast as possible from having anything to do with the debate. Paul was doing nothing more than voicing concerns that have long been voiced by leading civil liberties groups such as the ACLU. But almost without exception, progressives who defend Obama's Terrorism policies steadfastly ignore the fact that they are embracing policies that are vehemently denounced by the ACLU.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.


Revealed: Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centres
March 6, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/06/pentagon-iraqi-torture-centres-link

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war. Colonel James Steele was a 58-year-old retired special forces veteran when he was nominated by Donald Rumsfeld to help organise the paramilitaries in an attempt to quell a Sunni insurgency. After the Pentagon lifted a ban on Shia militias joining the security forces, the Special Police Commando (SPC) membership was increasingly drawn from ... Shia groups such as the Badr brigades. A second special adviser, retired Colonel James H Coffman, worked alongside Steele in detention centres that were set up with millions of dollars of US funding. Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus, sent to Iraq in June 2004 to organise and train the new Iraqi security forces. Steele, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and returned to the country in 2006, reported directly to Rumsfeld. The allegations, made by US and Iraqi witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary ["James Steele: America's Mystery Man in Iraq"], implicate US advisers for the first time in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an adviser to this abuse.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on war crimes committed by the US and UK in their post-9/11 wars of aggression, click here.


Argentina opens trial over 'Operation Condor,' the 1970s plan to eliminate leftists
March 5, 2013, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/argentina-opens-trial-over-operation-condor...

Argentina began a long-awaited human rights trial [on March 5] focused on Operation Condor, the 1970s conspiracy launched by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to enlist South America's dictators in a combined effort to leave no refuge for their leftist critics. The 25 defendants include former Argentine junta leaders Rafael Videla, 87, and Reynaldo Bignone, 85, both already serving life sentences for multiple human rights violations during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. This time, the charges include criminal association, kidnapping and torture. Also on trial is a former Uruguayan army colonel, Manuel Cordero, who allegedly tortured prisoners inside Automotores Orletti, the Buenos Aires repair shop where many captured leftists were taken to be interrogated under orders from their home countries. More than 400 witnesses are expected to be called in the two-year trial, which involves 106 victims from at least four countries who were killed in Argentina. A key piece of evidence is a declassified FBI agent's cable, sent in 1976, that described in detail the conspiracy to share intelligence and eliminate leftists across South America. The actual conspiracy went further than that: the U.S. government later determined that Chilean agents involved in Condor killed the country's former ambassador Orlando Letelier and his U.S. aide Ronni Moffitt in Washington, D.C., in September 1976. Operation Condor grew to include the military governments of six countries: Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on US intelligence operations, click here.


Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Content
March 9, 2013, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/business/grocery-chain-to-require-labels-for-genetically-modified...

Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain, on [March 8] became the first retailer in the United States to require labeling [by 2018] of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry. The announcement ricocheted around the food industry and excited proponents of labeling. "Fantastic," said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic advocacy group that favors labeling. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group that represents major food companies and retailers, issued a statement opposing the move. The labeling requirements announced by Whole Foods will include its 339 stores in the United States and Canada. Since labeling is already required in the European Union, products in its seven stores in Britain are already marked if they contain genetically modified ingredients. The labels currently used show that a product has been verified as free of genetically engineered ingredients by the Non GMO Project, a nonprofit certification organization. Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a campaign for a federal requirement to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients, called the Whole Foods decision a "game changer." He compared the potential impact of the Whole Foods announcement to Wal-Mart's decision several years ago to stop selling milk from cows treated with growth hormone. Today, only a small number of milk cows are injected with the hormone.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMO labeling and the dangers posed by GMO foods, click here.


It's time to tax financial transactions
March 5, 2013, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-its-time-to-tax-financial-transactions...

On Friday at midnight, the sequester kicked in, triggering $85 billion in deep, dumb budget cuts that sent "nonessential personnel"– such as air traffic controllers – packing. Not to worry, though: Wall Street's day was pretty much like any other. Billions of dollars in profits were made off of trillions of dollars in financial transactions. And the vast majority of those transactions were conducted tax-free. We don't need a team of policymakers to tell us this isn't good policy, or that it needs changing. Policymakers propose exactly that: a change. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), along with Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.), unveiled a bill that would place a light tax on all financial transactions – three pennies on every $100 traded. It's so small, Wall Street could easily afford it and the average E-Trade investor would barely notice it. This insignificant tax raises a significant amount of revenue – $352 billion over the next 10 years, or enough to refund about one-third of what the sequester will slash from the federal budget. The high-frequency traders that now dominate our markets would be hardest-hit by the tax. Analysts fear that such mass trading strategies could lead to disaster if markets behave unexpectedly. The new tax would discourage these kinds of trades, which would be a good thing. Europe, at least, seems to agree. Eleven nations, led by the conservative German government, are on track to start collecting the tax by January 2014. Expected revenues: $50 billion per year.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.


The cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales
March 2, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/02/cycle-fear-assault-weapon-sales

Gallup poll data suggest that Americans are more fearful, at near-record high levels, about big government, compared to big business or big labor. This fear overlays the long-term public fear of crime and terrorism. Reactions to mass killings, particularly the shooting of first-graders at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked a national debate about gun control. But that, in turn, has heightened fear about government's role in regulating assault weapons, especially popular semi-automatic models like the AK-47 and AR-15 that are bought and sold throughout both the US and the world. The US has around 4m assault rifles – about 1% of the 310m firearms owned by Americans. Ravenous buyers across the country flooded gun stores and gun shows after the Newtown shooting. AR-15s and other assault weapons became more expensive as citizens became anxious about gun control and depleted supplies. Weapons in the United States create a paradox that engenders a cycle of fear: the more firearms are widely available and are used in crimes and incidents of mass-killing, the more media reports there are about gun crime, and that, in turn, leads people to buy more weapons like the AR-15. They do so not only to feel safe, but also to choose a side. Owning a gun, especially a contested weapon, makes us direct participants in the battle. One gun industry analyst has observed that gun sales speak to the fact "that there are a lot of young men in the US who will never be in the military but feel that male compulsion to warriorhood."


Unrepresentative democracy
March 7, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Unrepresentative-democracy-4337889.php

Why are ideas widely supported in most of the country so often portrayed as controversial, polarizing and divisive once they are taken up by legislatures? Why does the professional political class seem like a wholly separate society that does not understand the constituents it is supposed to be representing? These are the questions at the root of America's political dysfunction - and a new study marshaling reams of data finally provides some concrete answers. Conducted by graduate students David Broockman at UC Berkeley and Christopher Skovron at the University of Michigan, the survey of nearly 2,000 legislators from across America documents politicians' perceptions of their constituents' views on hot-button issues like universal health care and same-sex marriage. It then compares them with constituents' views. The juxtaposition reveals a jarring truth: Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers hugely overestimate the conservatism of the very people they are supposed to represent. In all, the report finds that "conservative politicians systematically believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are by over 20 percentage points, while liberal politicians also typically overestimate their constituents' conservatism by several percentage points." Ultimately, that has resulted in a political system inherently hostile to mainstream proposals and utterly unrepresentative of public opinion. Ensconced in a bubble of conservative-minded corporate lobbyists and mega-donors, they come to wrongly assume that what passes for a mainstream position in that bubble somehow represents consensus in the larger world.


U.S. has energy trade surplus with China
March 6, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/U-S-has-energy-trade-surplus-with-China-4334788.php

American clean-energy companies racked up a $1.6 billion trade surplus with China in 2011. The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts contradicts the widely held belief that China has overtaken U.S. leadership in clean technologies. According to Pew's research, the U.S. solar industry held a $913 million trade surplus with China in 2011. American wind companies boasted a $146 million surplus. And U.S. "energy smart technologies" - a catch-all category Pew used to survey makers of advanced batteries, light-emitting diodes and electric cars - scored a $571 million trade surplus with China. China exports to the United States items that lend themselves to mass production, such as solar cells and modules. U.S. companies sell to China items that require advanced engineering, such as electronic control systems and manufacturing equipment. The United States also sells more specialized materials used in clean-tech products, such as polysilicon for solar cells and fiberglass for wind turbine blades. Competition among clean-tech companies in China and the United States has strained relations between the two countries. American authorities have slapped import tariffs on Chinese solar panels, and the Chinese government has threatened to retaliate. And yet the Chinese and American clean-tech industries are deeply intertwined, according to the Pew report. In 2011, the latest year data were available, trade in alternative energy technologies between the two countries reached $8.5 billion.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on energy development, click here.


Rescuing girls from sex slavery
April 30, 2010, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/04/29/cnnheroes.koirala.nepal/

Geeta was 9 when she began wearing makeup, staying up until 2 a.m. and having sex with as many as 60 men a day. The daughter of Nepalese peasant farmers, Geeta -- now 26 -- had been sold to a brothel in India by a member of her extended family. It was not until Geeta was 14 that a police officer rescued her and brought her to a safe house compound run by Anuradha Koirala. The 61-year-old woman and her group, Maiti Nepal, have been fighting for more than 16 years to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of Nepal's sex trafficking victims. By raiding brothels, patrolling the India-Nepal border and providing safe shelter and support services, Koirala and Maiti Nepal have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali women and girls since 1993. According to the U.S. State Department, some 10,000 to 15,000 women and girls from Nepal are trafficked to India and then sexually exploited each year. The group has facilities throughout Nepal and India, but most of the rehabilitation work takes place at its main campus in Kathmandu, Nepal. Koirala said girls from the brothels arrive empty-handed, sick, in many cases pregnant or with small children, and "psychologically broken." "When the girl first comes to Maiti Nepal, we never, never ask them a question. We just let them [be] for as long as they need. We let them play, dance, walk, talk to a friend," Koirala said. "They are afraid at first, but eventually they will talk to us on their own." The group also takes in rape and domestic violence survivors, as well as abandoned children. "I cannot say no to anybody," Koirala said. "Everybody comes to Maiti Nepal."

Note: For lots more on the work of this brave and caring woman to stop sex slavery and support the victims, click here.


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