Dozens of US Navy Officers Bribed, US Air Force UFO Files on Internet, Planting Seeds of Peace
January 26, 2015
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on dozens of US Navy officers who were bribed as part of a military contractor's empire of corruption, US Air Force files on UFOs now available on the Internet, the Oxfam report showing that half of global wealth has come to be controlled by the top 1% through systematic worldwide manipulation of politics, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on Seeds of Peace, the organization that challenges teens in conflict zones to communicate instead of fight, the U.S. Attorney General's announcement of an end to a federal program that helped police steal from innocents, the "cat cafe" that helps find homes for abandoned cats, and more. You can also skip to this section now.
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 spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: Read about the mysterious death of a Hollywood screenwriter who was about to expose a major secret. Watch a touching video of a most beautiful water birth. Read an intriguing Wired story about the German factory that hackers physically sabotaged with a digital computer virus during the time period when the Sony hack was big news. See a great Speigal article about the NSA's new digital weapons.
Quote of the Week: "The basic underlying and uniting force of the universe is a psychic energy field of love and soul consciousness which lies not only beyond time and space but also beneath our deepest fears." ~ Allen L. Roland
Video of the Week: Watch the amazing, well documented documentary "Kill the Messenger" on courageous 9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, the most gagged citizen in U.S. history, who exposes the 9/11 Commission Report as irreparably flawed.
Defense contractor pleads guilty in massive bribery case
January 15, 2015, Washington Post
Malaysian defense contractor [Leonard Glenn Francis] pleaded guilty [to bribing] "scores" of U.S. Navy officials [while] presiding over a decade-long corruption scheme. His Singapore-based firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia ... bilked the service out of tens of millions of dollars. Five current and former Navy officials have pleaded guilty so far. Francis, 50, agreed to forfeit $35 million in ill-gotten proceeds and could face up to 25 years in prison. [He also] provided evidence against two more Navy officials who have yet to be charged: a lieutenant commander and a ... civilian official [that] worked as a mole for Glenn Defense Marine. The Navy says that [Francis] was repeatedly able to thwart criminal investigators by bribing a senior agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, who fed him sensitive files and helped to cover his tracks. A Navy captain, Daniel Dusek, admitted to disclosing military secrets to Francis and his firm in exchange for prostitutes, cash and visits to luxury hotels. Dusek provided classified information about Navy ship schedules dozens of times. According to court records, in October 2010, Dusek [as deputy director of operations for the 7th Fleet] persuaded the Navy to send an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and its strike group to visit a port in Malaysia that was largely controlled by Glenn Defense Marine. As a result, the company was able to easily inflate invoices and overcharge the Navy.
Note: Francis bribed Naval officials to redirect an aircraft carrier, and avoided prosecution for years by also bribing military investigators. If he could do this, and if Brent R. Wilkes could persuade the #3 Official at the CIA to award him millions in suspicious agency contracts, what else have corrupt government officials been bribed to do?
Air Force UFO files land on Internet
January 20, 2015, CNN
Nearly 130,000 pages of declassified Air Force files on UFO investigations and sightings are now available in one place online. Declassified government records about UFOs have long existed on microfilm in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Many of them also live on websites devoted to the topic. But UFO enthusiast John Greenewald says his database, Project Blue Book Collection, is the first to compile every single declassified document from the Blue Book project -- headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1947 to 1969 -- in one place for anyone to search or download for free. The collection consists of files from Project Blue Book, Project Sign and Project Grudge, the names given to official investigations into unidentified flying objects by the United States military. Greenewald's ... says he's just driven by curiosity. "I'm a history buff. I think this stuff should be accessible," he said. "It defied explanation," he said, "and 5,000 FOIAs later my curiosity hasn't gone away." The collection contains 10,000 PDFs, each representing a different case. The files include the details of some of the most famous UFO cases, including the Exeter incident, the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the Mantell crash. Still, Greenewald believes the contents are "just the tip of the iceberg." "It's all a puzzle," he said. "Just when you think you've got all the pieces to make a picture, you realize it's only a piece of a bigger puzzle."
Oxfam Study Finds Richest 1% Is Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016
January 19, 2015, New York Times
The richest 1 percent are likely to control more than half of the globe's total wealth by next year, the charity Oxfam reported in a study released on Monday. The warning about deepening global inequality comes just as the world's business elite prepare to meet this week at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The 80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion, the report found, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world's income scale. And the richest 1 percent of the population, who number in the millions, control nearly half of the world's total wealth, a share that is also increasing. The type of inequality that currently characterizes the world's economies is unlike anything seen in recent years, the report explained. "Between 2002 and 2010 the total wealth of the poorest half of the world in current U.S. dollars had been increasing more or less at the same rate as that of billionaires," it said. "However since 2010, it has been decreasing over that time." Investors with interests in finance, insurance and health saw the biggest windfalls, Oxfam said. Using data from Forbes magazine's list of billionaires, it said those listed as having interests in the pharmaceutical and health care industries saw their net worth jump by 47 percent. The charity credited those individuals' rapidly growing fortunes in part to multimillion-dollar lobbying campaigns to protect and enhance their interests.
Note: A single ticket to the World Economic Forum event in Davos costs a small fortune. Will the global elites that attend this event pay attention to Oxfam's latest paper, and make it a priority to reduce income inequality?
Inequality isn't inevitable, it's engineered. That's how the 1% have taken over
January 19, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The [richest] 1% of the world's population will own more global wealth than the 99% [by next year]. Oxfam executive director, Winnie Byanyima, is arguing that this increasing concentration of wealth ... is "bad for growth and bad for governance". What's more, inequality is bad not just for the poor, but for the rich too. That's why we have the likes of the IMF's Christine Lagarde kicking off with warnings about rising inequality. Visceral inequality ... is still seen as somehow being [a] moral failure of the poor. This in turn sustains the idea that rich people deserve their incredible riches. Most wealth, though, is not earned: huge assets, often inherited, simply get bigger [for] deliberate and systemic reasons. Inequality is not inevitable, it's engineered. Many mainstream economists do not question the degree of this engineering. Neoliberalism [has been] a stage of capitalism in which the financial markets were deregulated, public services privatised, welfare systems run down, laws to protect working people dismantled, and unions cast as the enemy. Oxfam's suggestions at Davos are attempts to claw back some basic rights. But isn't it rather incredible that a charity has to do this?
Note: Oxfam's complete report "identifies the two powerful driving forces that have led to the rapid rise in inequality" as "market fundamentalism and the capture of politics by elites." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
CIA torture report architect denounces Republican attempt to claw back copies
January 21, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who relinquished the chairmanship of the intelligence committee ... said she objects to Senator Richard Burr's request that the Obama administration return all copies of the full, 6,000-plus-page classified [torture] study. "Doing so would limit the ability to learn lessons from this sad chapter in America's history and omit from the record two years of work," Feinstein said in a statement late on Tuesday. In an extraordinary epilogue to the battle between the Senate intelligence committee and the CIA over the torture report, new chairman Burr, a North Carolina Republican, requested that administration agencies return to the committee all copies of the full report. Burr's request was first reported by the New York Times and the Huffington Post. The Times noted that Burr's request would have the effect of placing the classified report beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts Congress. President Obama has [given the report] rhetorical support, but [empowered] the CIA to determine what portions of a critique of the agency ought to be public. A CIA-appointed review panel also recently found that the agency's director, John Brennan, consulted with the White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, before agency employees surreptitiously accessed emails and drafts from committee investigators. Feinstein said in March that the breach represented a constitutional crisis, with the CIA spying on its Senate overseers.
Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says
January 15, 2015, New York Times
A groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them. "We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event," said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science. There is still time to avert catastrophe. Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and [an] author of the new report [said], "The impacts are accelerating, but they're not so bad we can't reverse them." Humans are harming the oceans to a remarkable degree. Carbon emissions are altering the chemistry of seawater, making it more acidic. "If you cranked up the aquarium heater and dumped some acid in the water, your fish would not be very happy," Dr. Pinsky said. "In effect, that's what we're doing to the oceans." Mining operations, too, are poised to transform the ocean. Contracts for seabed mining now cover 460,000 square miles underwater, the researchers found, up from zero in 2000. Limiting the industrialization of the oceans to some regions could allow threatened species to recover, [but] slowing extinctions in the oceans will [ultimately] mean cutting back on carbon emissions, not just adapting to them.
Note: Ocean acidification was the number one story subjected to press censorship in 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mass animal deaths from reliable major media sources.
Prince Andrew under renewed pressure to speak about 'sex abuse' claims after flight logs emerge
January 21, 2015, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Duke of York is under renewed pressure to speak publicly about sex abuse allegations after flight records backed up his accuser's claims of having met him three times. Flight logs from the private jet of the Duke's friend Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, show Virginia Roberts and the Duke were both in the locations where she claims to have had sex with him, at the relevant times. The Duke had no doubt hoped that interest in claims made by Miss Roberts in US court documents, which emerged at the start of the month, would have died down by the time he arrived in Davos, but new disclosures continue to emerge. Flight logs for Epstein's Gulfstream jet, published by Mail Online, together with public information about the Duke's movements, show that Miss Roberts and the Duke were both in London in March 2001, when she claims they first had sex, and in New York and the US Virgin Islands the following month, the locations where she says their other sexual encounters happened. Meanwhile fresh legal papers [were] submitted to a Florida court on Tuesday. The Miami US attorney's office ... is seeking to prevent [Roberts from] joining an existing case in which two other victims are trying to overturn a plea bargain which enabled Epstein to serve an 18-month prison sentence in return for pleading guilty to procuring a 14-year-old girl for prostitution. In exchange [for this plea], all federal investigations into his alleged widespread sex abuse were halted.
Note: An ABC News article on this case states Roberts "declined to name others in her statement - but her lawyers noted in a cryptic footnote that, if she had, the names would 'have created significantly more media attention than the names that she did include.'" For more along these lines, watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government.
John Brennan Exonerates Himself with Sham Investigation
January 15, 2015, The Intercept
The outrageous whitewash issued Wednesday by the CIA panel John Brennan hand-picked to lead the investigation into his agency's spying on Senate staffers is being taken seriously by the elite Washington media, which is solemnly reporting that officials have been "cleared" of any "wrongdoing". The panel's report is just the latest element in a long string of cover-ups and deceptions orchestrated by Brennan. At issue, of course, is the same intrusion into Senate computers that Brennan initially tried to make people think was a figment of then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein's warped imagination. "Nothing could be further from the truth," Brennan said when confronted with Feinstein's allegations. Senator Ron Wyden ... issued a statement in response to the newly released documents: "First, agency officers and contractors went far beyond the limits set out even in the Justice Department's torture memos. Then, top officials spent a decade making inaccurate statements about torture's effectiveness to Congress, the White House and the American people. Next, instead of acknowledging these years of misrepresentations, the CIA's current leadership decided to double down on denial. And when CIA officials were worried that the Intelligence Committee had found a document that contradicted their claims, they secretly searched Senate computer files to find out if Senate investigators had obtained it." The panel's report can also be seen as Brennan's total assault on David B. Buckley, the CIA inspector general who wrote the first, highly critical report on the incident – and who suddenly resigned a few days ago.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of mass media and the routine dishonesty of intelligence agencies from reliable sources.
Prison Dispatches from the War on Terror: Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou Speaks
January 19, 2015, The Intercept
John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the agency's torture program. Not because he tortured anyone, but because he revealed information on torture to a reporter. Kiriakou is the Central Intelligence Agency officer who told ABC News in 2007 that the CIA waterboarded suspected al-Qaeda prisoners after the September 11 attacks. Kiriakou was sentenced in January 2013 to 30 months in prison. That sentence made him the second CIA employee ever to be locked up under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. The first was Sharon Scranage, who in 1985 pled guilty to disclosing the identities of intelligence agents in Ghana after giving classified information to a Ghanaian, reportedly her lover. Kiriakou is not without support. His friend and former boss, Bruce Riedel, sent a letter to President Obama, signed by other CIA officers, urging him to commute Kiriakou's prison sentence. That did not happen. A father of five children, Kiriakou says the CIA asked his wife to resign from her job at the agency immediately following his arrest, and he is in major debt. "As part of this conviction, I lost my pension. I had $770,000 saved in that pension. And it's just gone. And I still owe my lawyers almost a million dollars."
Note: Kiriakou himself was misled about the extent and effectiveness of the torture program, but still felt the moral obligation to reveal its existence. The CIA spun his revelation into a pro-torture media narrative, took his money, put him in prison, and fired his wife from her job. Are the many ethical intelligence agents working for the U.S. able to trust their corrupt bosses after this? Watch the powerful documentary "Secrets of the CIA" in which five CIA agents describe how their initial pride at serving their nation turned to anguish and remorse, as they realized that they were actually subverting democracy and killing innocent civilians.
How Saudi Arabia's harsh legal punishments compare to the Islamic State's
January 21, 2015, Washington Post
Following the lashing of blogger Raif Badawi and leaked footage that showed the public execution of a woman accused of beating her daughter, Saudi Arabia's harsh interpretation of sharia law and its use of capital punishment have come under international scrutiny. For many, the Saudi justice system sounds not unlike that of the Islamic State, the extremist Islamist group which has struck fear in much of the Middle East. This week, Middle East Eye, a Web site that focuses on news from the region and is frequently critical of Saudi Arabia, contrasted a set of legal punishments recently announced by the Islamic State with the corresponding punishments in Saudi Arabia. One key difference between the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia, of course, is that the latter is a key U.S. ally in the region – and a member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State. Some experts argue that the fundamentalist brand of Islam practiced by both has theological links, however, and Riyadh's recent crackdown has been interpreted as an act of appeasement for Saudi hard-liners. Saudi Arabia's own concern about the Islamic State is likely genuine (plans to build an enormous wall along its border with Iraq are a good sign of that), but for many Americans, the extremist group's rise is also bringing with it a renewed skepticism about American allies in the region.
Note: Here is the diagram that compares Saudi justice with I.S. justice, and here is a diagram of the big, expensive security wall mentioned above. Is Saudi Arabia concerned that the Islamic State is less aligned with Saudi interests than other popular Islamic terrorist groups have been?
Saudi Arabia's Rights Crackdown Linked to War on Terror
January 20, 2015, ABC News
A man is given 50 lashes in a public square for "insulting Islam" on a liberal blog. Another is arrested for filming and uploading a woman's public beheading. Two females are imprisoned and put on trial for writing on Twitter in support of women driving. The cases are part of a sweeping clampdown on dissent. Acts that offend the country's religious hard-liners or open up the kingdom to criticism – like the video of the execution of a woman convicted of murdering her stepdaughter – have landed people in jail as a warning to others. The case of Raif Badawi, a 31-year-old father of three who was flogged this month, has attracted the most attention in recent days, particularly in the aftermath of the deadly attack in Paris. Badawi was arrested in 2012 after writing articles critical of Saudi Arabia's clerics on his Free Saudi Liberals blog. He was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes and was fined $266,000. Just days after the attacks in Paris, Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs took part in the huge march that was held there to support free speech and honor the victims. Two days earlier, Badawi was flogged [for "insulting Islam" on his blog]. Critics of the crackdown on dissent point out that public beheadings are also practiced by al-Qaida and IS.
Note: Saudi Arabia continues to be a key ally of the US. Is this really what we want to support? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes'
April 4, 2004, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened. She said the claim [made by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice] that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie". Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege". Mrs Edmonds, 33, says she gave her evidence to the commission in a specially constructed "secure" room at its offices in Washington on 11 February. She was hired as a translator for the FBI's Washington field office on 13 September 2001, just two days after the al-Qa'ida attacks. Her job was to translate documents and recordings from FBI wire-taps. She said said it was clear there was sufficient information during the spring and summer of 2001 to indicate terrorists were planning an attack.
Note: Watch the amazing, well documented documentary "Kill the Messenger" on courageous 9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, the most gagged citizen in U.S. history, who exposes the 9/11 Commission Report as irreparably flawed. For more along these lines, read concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 investigation news from reliable major media sources.
How to build peace, one teenager at a time
June 17, 2014, Christian Science Monitor
At Seeds of Peace, we bring kids from conflict zones together to learn to see each other and their differences in a new light. Now, our first generation of alumni are emerging as leaders. Case studies of conflict areas, including Northern Ireland and South Africa, have shown that progress toward peace does not typically result from one action or initiative; rather it is many activities on many levels that ultimately bring about change. In each case, strong leaders working across sectors have helped take incremental steps toward change even during the most difficult times. Our 5,061 graduates are positioned to play just that role. A team of our graduates in Pakistan and India has set out to change the way that people living in conflict learn history. During their Seeds of Peace dialogue encounters, they realized that they were being taught wildly different versions of the same shared historical events. This inspired them to create a textbook that, for the first time, juxtaposes their countries' competing historical narratives. They have since led workshops for more than 600 Indian and Pakistani students, and their online curriculum has received more than 1 million views. Young leaders like these directly link what they do in their personal and professional lives to their experiences with Seeds of Peace: engaging with the "Other," recognizing their leadership potential, and gaining a commitment to peace at a young age.
Note: The complete article above contains several inspiring stories about Seeds of Peace's incredible programs.
Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police
January 16, 2015, Washington Post
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using [a civil asset forfeiture program at the Justice Department called Equitable Sharing] to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges. The program has enabled local and state police to make seizures and then have them "adopted" by federal agencies, which share in the proceeds. It allowed police ... to keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds of adopted seizures. Since 2001, about 7,600 of the nation's 18,000 police departments and task forces have participated in Equitable Sharing. For hundreds of police departments and sheriff's offices, the seizure proceeds accounted for 20 percent or more of their annual budgets in recent years. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security paid private firms millions to train local and state officers in the techniques of an aggressive brand of policing [that] emphasized the importance of targeting cash. Most of the money and property taken under Equitable Sharing since 2008 – $3 billion out of $5.3 billion – was not seized in collaboration with federal authorities. The Treasury Department is also changing its asset forfeiture program to follow the same guideline included in Holder's order, the statement said.
Note: While civil asset forfeiture may remain common in some U.S. states, Holder's announcement means that police can no longer pad their departmental budgets with this federal program. A Washington Post investigation and an Institute for Justice Study were instrumental in exposing this program's corrupting influence.
Cat Town Cafe a creative, humane space for adoption
November 17, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
A local cafe [in Oakland, CA] serves up cappuccinos, teas and lattes alongside a variety of pastry delights. And there in this comfortable and sprawling space filled with armchairs and rugs are the cats. There are all sorts of cats – orange, black, gray, shorthairs, longhairs, big and small. And what they all have in common is that they're available for adoption. The Cat Town Cafe is the first permanent cat cafe to open in the United States. Patrons ... adopted 32 cats in [the first] 15 days. Other cities are following suit. Temporary, pop-up cat cafes have appeared in Los Angeles and New York, and efforts are under way to establish permanent businesses in San Francisco, San Diego and Denver. Cat Town has become so popular so quickly that reservations are required just to get in the door on weekends. [Co-founder Ann] Dunn, a former volunteer at the Oakland Animal Shelter, ran a private cat rescue operation for three years before starting the business. During that time, she saved more than 650 cats, she said. All the animals at the cafe are brought from the city's animal shelter – and for them, it's a second chance at life. Dunn and Myatt started the cafe as a way to save more cats because a trip to the animal shelter to adopt a pet can be a downright depressing experience. The cat cafe has created an instant buzz among Bay Area cat lovers. "We're creating a cat community, and it's exciting to watch it unfold."
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Girl Saved By Her Puppy After Spending 11 Days Lost In The Siberian Wilderness
August 14, 2014, Huffington Post
What's more adorable than a puppy? A life-saving puppy, of course. That's especially true of the pup named Kyrachaan, who rescued Karina Chikitova, a 3-year-old girl from northeast Russia's Sakha Republic. Thanks to her dog, Chikitova is recovering safely after spending 11 days in the Siberian wilderness. Kyrachaan, meaning "little one," was with Chikitova when she got lost and is believed to have cuddled with the girl at night to keep her warm. After nine days, the dog went in search of help. The Siberian Times reports that the young girl ended up in the remote area after wandering away from home in search of her father, who had left for a nearby village. As a result, her mother -- believing Karina to have gone with her father -- didn't realize the girl was lost in the woods. Karina survived on wild berries and river water and seems to have escaped any run-ins with the bears and wolves inhabiting the area. According to the Toronto Sun, the girl "looked surprisingly well" when rescuers showed up, having followed the puppy to her hiding spot in a large tuft of grass. The girl was taken to a hospital to recover.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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