Pentagon Fails First-Ever Audit, War on Terror's Failure, $1 Billion Donated to Conservation
Revealing News Articles
November 27, 2018
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the many accounting problems revealed by the Pentagon's failure to pass its first-ever audit, the ongoing growth of militant terrorism networks despite the $5.9 trillion cost of the War on Terror, the US Department of Homeland Security's use of paid informants and other intelligence resources to closely monitor the migrant caravan on the US-Mexico border, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss' donation of $1 billion to environmental conservation efforts across the planet, the use of service dogs to help war veterans manage PTSD, a new study showing the remarkable effect of generosity on the brain, 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 (sources may be less reliable): The amount the US government has paid out for vaccine-related injuries has just passed $4 billion and continues to climb. Explore an intriguing article using quantum physics to claim that nothing is solid and everything is energy. See a thought-provoking article on the latest research into what LSD does to the brain and mind.
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Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Audit
November 15, 2018, Reuters
The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve. Results of the inspection - conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property - were expected to be completed later in the day. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding that the findings showed the need for greater discipline in financial matters within the Pentagon. “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan added. The U.S. defense budget for the 2018 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 was about $700 billion. He did not provide a figure detailing how much money was unaccounted for in the audit. “Some of the compliance issues are irritating to me,” Shanahan added. A 1990 federal law mandated that U.S. government agencies be audited, but the Pentagon had not faced a comprehensive audit until this one was launched in December. Defense officials and outside experts have said it may be years before the Pentagon is able to fix its accounting gaps and errors and pass an audit.
Note: Read a 2017 article documenting an investigation which found $21 Trillion missing from government coffers. Then read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Two Decades After 9/11, Militants Have Only Multiplied
November 20, 2018, New York Times
Nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on Sept. 11, 2001, despite nearly two decades of American-led campaigns to combat Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, a new independent study concludes. That amounts to as many as 230,000 Salafi jihadist fighters in nearly 70 countries, with the largest numbers in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. The report’s conclusions ... underscore the resiliency of these terrorist groups, and the policy failures by the United States and its allies in responding. The findings also highlight the continuing potency of the groups’ ideology and social-media branding in raising money and attracting new recruits as they pivot from battlefield defeats in strongholds like Iraq and Syria to direct guerrilla-style attacks there and in other hot spots. The West has largely failed to address the root causes of terrorism that perpetuate seemingly endless waves of fighters who are increasingly turning to armed drones, artificial intelligence and encrypted communications to foil the allies’ conventional military superiority, the report said. Last week, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs released its annual report, the Costs of War study, in which it calculated that the United States will have spent $5.9 trillion on activities related to the global counterterrorism campaign by October 2019.
Note: According to a top US general, wars are created and fostered to fill the coffers of the big bankers and corporations. Read an excellent essay on how the US helped to create and foster ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and terrorism.
Feds have paid undercover informants in migrant caravan
November 20, 2018, NBC News
The Department of Homeland Security is gathering intelligence from paid undercover informants inside the migrant caravan that is now reaching the California-Mexico border as well as monitoring the text messages of migrants, according to two DHS officials. The 4,000 migrants, mainly from Honduras, have used WhatsApp text message groups as a way to organize and communicate along their journey to the California border, and DHS personnel have joined those groups to gather that information. The intelligence gathering techniques are combined with reports from DHS personnel working in Mexico. Paying informants, placing officers in the region or monitoring the communications of non-U.S. citizens is not illegal, said John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence for DHS, but it does raise some concerns about the allocation of resources. "Those resources have to come from some place. They are not being devoted to thwarting terrorist threats, mass shootings, mailed fentanyl coming into the country or cyberattacks," said Cohen. Cohen said the caravan presents a logistical and humanitarian issue, but because the vast majority of its members want to present themselves legally to claim asylum, it is not wise to devote a significant amount of intelligence resources to it. "I find it hard to believe that the highest risk facing this nation comes from this caravan," Cohen said.
Learning From Israel’s Political Assassination Program
March 7, 2018, New York Times
One of the very first things I was taught when I joined the C.I.A. was that we do not conduct assassinations. It was drilled into new recruits over and over again. Today, it seems that all that is left of this policy is a euphemism. We don’t call them assassinations anymore. Now, they are “targeted killings,” most often performed by drone strike, and they have become America’s go-to weapon in the war on terror. There have been many who have objected, claiming that the killings inspire more attacks on the United States, complicate our diplomacy and undermine our moral authority in the world. Yet the targeted killings drone on with no end in sight. Just counting the campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Bush administration conducted at least 47 targeted killings by drones, while under the Obama administration that number rose to 542. America’s difficult relationship with targeted killing and the dilemmas we may face in the future are beautifully illuminated by the longer story of Israel’s experiences with assassination in its own endless war against terrorism. Israel has always been just a bit farther down this slippery slope than the United States. Americans now have a terrific new introduction to that story with the publication of Ronen Bergman’s “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.”
Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations – review
July 22, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In January 2010 Israeli agents converged on a luxury hotel in Dubai: their target was Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, an arms supplier for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip. The mission involved 27 operatives of the Mossad secret service who were posing as tourists or tennis players. The hit team and their watchers flew in from different European airports using false passports. Communications were routed via Austria to avoid surveillance. Mabhouh was killed in his room using a paralysing drug and his body left to be discovered by hotel staff the next day. The snag was that the killing exposed the Mossad to global scrutiny – and angered an Arab country with a record of quiet cooperation with Israel. CCTV caught the agents changing disguises and stalking their prey – seen as a legitimate candidate for extrajudicial execution as he had killed an Israeli soldier and, more importantly, was a logistical link with Iran, sworn enemy of the Jewish state. Ronen Bergman’s account of his country’s targeted assassinations contains a wealth of detail about this and other killings. In recent years Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the western world. Bergman’s long view sharpens understanding of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict – and of the limits of force. Bergman’s style tends to the sensational but that does not mask a critical strand that questions the morality and effectiveness of Israel’s approach to dealing with the enemy in its own backyard.
‘It can rewire people’s brains’: how traumatised veterans turned to underground MDMA therapy
November 17, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Dead Dog on the Left isn’t just a documentary about the use of ecstasy in treating PTSD, it’s a story of the lengths one former marine will go to for friendship. [Tyler] McCourry and [Nigel] Flanigan are the subjects of [the] mini-documentary taken from a forthcoming feature film, MDMA the Movie, which explores the history of the so-called “party drug” more popularly known as ecstasy, its use in therapy, and harm reduction. Both films are directed by Emanuel Sferios. His protagonists may have survived the Iraq war, but only barely. Suicidal thoughts have stalked them both. In May 2012 McCourry did his first [MDMA-assisted psychotherapy] session ... lying in bed, flanked by two therapists. At the beginning of the session he was given a 75mg dose of MDMA. “During those eight hours you’re addressing the most challenging situations in your life,” he says. “It feels very exhausting, like it was some of the most work you’ve ever done in one day.” McCourry calls those trials, now completed, “a transformation of the psyche”. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has “breakthrough therapy” designation by the FDA. “Since the MDMA therapy I’m able to recognise when something comes up that I need to talk about,” [McCourry] says. McCourry hopes that the therapy will be adopted by the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. “If you can cure PTSD after three sessions of MDMA therapy then you don’t have to provide a veteran with medications for the rest of their life and talk therapy once a month.”
Note: A touching 26-documentary on this case is available at the above link. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.
MDMA helps people cooperate and rebuild trust, study shows
November 19, 2018, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
MDMA, the active ingredient of ecstasy pills, makes people more inclined to cooperate on tasks and quicker to rebuild trust, according to researchers investigating its use in treating psychological disorders. Scans reveal it increases activity in parts of the brain linked to empathy and social behaviour that helps interpret other people’s beliefs and intentions, researchers from King’s College London said. This could make it a useful addition to psychotherapy sessions and the drug is currently undergoing medical trials to assess its use in supporting treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Understanding the brain activity underlying social behaviour could help identify what goes wrong in psychiatric conditions,” said Professor Mitul Mehta from the King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). While it is possible that making users more helpful and collaborative could lead to them being exploited, Professor Mehta and his team found the drug did not make users gullible. During the study ... participants on MDMA were less likely to cheat their partners than those on the placebo. Where they had previously been cheated ... subjects on MDMA were as likely to act selfishly as those on a placebo, however they were quicker to trust these partners again after a run of cooperation. This was backed up with patterns of brain activity.
Steve Bannon's far-right Europe operation undermined by election laws
November 21, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Steve Bannon’s political operation to help rightwing populists triumph in next year’s European parliamentary elections is in disarray after he conceded that his campaign efforts could be illegal in most of the countries in which he planned to intervene. The former chief strategist to Donald Trump has spent months trying to recruit European parties to his Brussels-based group, the Movement, which he promised would operate as kind of a political consultancy for like-minded parties campaigning in the bloc-wide vote in May 2019. But the Guardian has established that Bannon would be barred or prevented from doing any meaningful work in nine of the 13 countries in which he is seeking to campaign. Bannon’s intervention in European politics comes amid heightened sensitivity about foreign involvement in elections. Questions have been mounting over the scale of Russia’s influence over the 2016 US presidential campaign and the UK’s referendum to leave the EU. Bannon ... has pledged to spend millions of dollars to provide nativist and ultra-conservative European parties free access to specialised polling data, analytics, social media advice and help with candidate selection. But officials working on electoral law and independent experts in multiple countries said this kind of assistance would be ... banned in France, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it.
July 22, 2018, NBC News
Pragmatism may be a tougher sell in the Donald Trump era, but with the 2020 presidential race just around the corner, moderate Democrats know they are running out of time to reassert themselves. The ["Opportunity 2020" convention] was just that - an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump. The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, co-cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare. The invitation-only gathering brought together about 250 Democratic insiders from key swing states. Third Way unveiled the results of focus groups and polling that it says shows Americans are more receptive to an economic message built on "opportunity" rather than the left's message about inequality. With much of the recent policy innovation on the Democratic side happening on the left, the "Opportunity Agenda" unveiled here tries to equip moderates with their own big ideas. Some of the key initiatives are a massive apprenticeship program to train workers, a privatized employer-funded universal pension that would supplement Social Security and an overhaul of unemployment insurance to include skills training.
Aliens, flying discs and sightings -- oh my! A short history of UFOs in America
December 20, 2017, CNN News
The mysterious flying object that one man saw looked like a "40-foot-long Tic Tac" and was maneuvering and shifting directions rapidly. That claim ... comes from retired Cmdr. David Fravor and bears the Pentagon's stamp of approval. And it was one of many confounding examples of unidentified flying objects the Pentagon investigated in the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. "There is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone," Luis Elizondo, a former Pentagon official, told CNN. The belief in alien encounters has long been a prominent feature of American life. A 1997 poll ... found that 80% of Americans think the government is hiding knowledge of the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. Many of the best known alien claims come from Project Blue Book, the name for the US government program tasked with investigating reports of UFOs from 1948 to 1969. In that time, Air Force personnel looked at 12,618 reported UFO sightings and said that 701 remain "unidentified." In 2010, seven former US Air Force personnel described their personal encounters with UFO sightings over nuclear weapons facilities in incidents in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Three of the former Air Force officers said UFOs hovered over nuclear missile silos around Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967, causing problems with the military base. Former Air Force Capt. Robert Salas said one of his guards told him about a red, glowing object about 30 feet in diameter hovering above the front gate.
Note: Read more on the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program in this 2017 New York Times, article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
Key Articles From Years Past
Former astronaut: Man not alone in universe
April 20, 2009, CNN
Former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, asserted Monday that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. and other governments. He delivered his remarks during an appearance at the National Press Club following the conclusion of the fifth annual X-Conference, a meeting of UFO activists and researchers studying the possibility of alien life forms. Mitchell grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, which some UFO believers maintain was the site of a UFO crash in 1947. He said residents of his hometown "had been hushed and told not to talk about their experience by military authorities. And being a local boy and having been to the moon, they considered me reliable enough to whisper in my ear their particular story." Roughly 10 years ago, Mitchell claimed, he was finally given an appointment at Pentagon to discuss what he had been told. An unnamed admiral working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff promised to uncover the truth behind the Roswell story, Mitchell said. The stories of a UFO crash "were confirmed," but the admiral was then denied access when he "tried to get into the inner workings of that process." The same admiral, Mitchell claimed, now denies the story. "I urge those who are doubtful: Read the books, read the lore, start to understand what has really been going on. Because there really is no doubt we are being visited," he said. "The universe that we live in is much more wondrous, exciting, complex and far-reaching than we were ever able to know up to this point in time."
Note: Astronaut Mitchell has spoken openly of this in the media numerous times in the past. For more on this, click here. For a concise summary of evidence for UFOs and extra-terrestrial visitors presented by many highly-respected and credible former government and military officials, click here.
A rare peek into a Justice Department leak probe
May 19, 2013, Washington Post
The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press. At a time when President Obama’s administration is under renewed scrutiny for an unprecedented number of leak investigations, the Kim case provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one such probe. Court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist - and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010. The case also raises new concerns among critics of government secrecy about the possible stifling effect of these investigations on a critical element of press freedom: the exchange of information between reporters and their sources. “The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique,” said attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim on federal charges filed in 2010 that he disclosed national defense information. “Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.” The Obama administration has pursued more such cases than all previous administrations combined.
We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1 Billion.
October 31, 2018, New York Times
Some scientists, including the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, have concluded that at least half the planet needs to be protected to save a large majority of plant and wildlife species from extinction. Indeed, the food, clean water and air we need to survive and prosper depends on our ability to protect the planet’s biological diversity. In other words, we have to protect half to save the whole. Every one of us - citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders - should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. For my part, I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target. I believe this ambitious goal is achievable because I’ve seen what can be accomplished. Indigenous peoples, local leaders and conservation groups around the world are already busy setting aside protected areas that reflect the conservation, economic and cultural values of nearby communities. Financial support from philanthropists and governments is critical to helping these leaders conserve places like the coral reefs of the Caribbean, the glaciers of Argentina and what is known as the “place of many elephants” in Zimbabwe.
Veterans using dogs to help with PTSD
May 3, 2018, The Journal-Gazette/Washington Post
Every month, a new cycle of training begins with yet another class of veterans in a program run by the northern Florida K9s for Warriors. The seven-year-old nonprofit is one of dozens of private organizations that offer “psychiatric service” dogs to address the military's mental health crisis. “The numbers are startling on veteran suicides, and this is working,” said Rory Diamond, a former federal prosecutor who quit to become chief executive of K9s for Warriors. A recent [Purdue University] study ... used standard questionnaires to assess PTSD symptoms and other aspects of mental health among 141 K9s for Warriors applicants, half teamed with a service dog and half on a wait list. Those with dogs showed significantly lower levels of post-traumatic stress, depression and social isolation, with higher levels of psychological well-being. Dogs have provided services to humans for millennia, often as hunting and herding partners. But not until World War I were they systematically trained to assist people with disabilities, as guides for the blind. Service dogs now prompt deaf people when a doorbell rings, retrieve pills for people in wheelchairs and alert people with diabetes to blood sugar spikes. Psychiatric service dogs [blend the missions of] of task-oriented service canines and animals seen as providing emotional support. While the dogs paired with veterans with PTSD are commonly trained to wake them from nightmares ... advocates also laud their ability to soothe a panicking vet and provide companionship.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Surprising New Study Confirms the 'Warm Glow' of Kindness Is Real
November 14, 2018, Inc.com
Psychologists at the University of Sussex, after analyzing the brain scans of over 1000 people who made kind decisions, are now able to say for sure that the warm glow of kindness is real. In fact, it exists in a particular place within your brain. For the first time, researchers were able to bring together previous studies that suggested generosity activates the brain's reward network. These scientists were able to differentiate between two types of kindness: altruistic (when there is nothing to be gained from being kind) and strategic (when an act of kindness can lead to something gained). The study's findings revealed ... something unique about altruistic acts of kindness. Being kind with no intent of personal gain not only activates the brain's reward areas, it also activates other brain regions (in the subgenal anterior cingulate cortex) as well. This means that when you act kind with no hope of gaining something in return, your brain will activate more and in different ways than when you are strategically kind. Acting strategically kind can even make you feel worse, and diminish your glow. Co-author of the study and PhD student Jo Cutler explains, "...if after a long day helping a friend move house, they hand you a fiver, you could end up feeling undervalued and less likely to help again. A hug and kind words however might spark a warm glow and make you feel appreciated." Ultimately, it does matter what the intent is behind kindness.
Bologna: The City that Rewards You with Free Beer and Ice Cream for Riding Your Bike
November 5, 2018, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
If you’ve ever felt that your green credentials have gone unrewarded, it might be worth considering a move to the Italian city of Bologna. For six months a year, an initiative called Bella Mossa (“Good Job”) operates within the city, which rewards users of sustainable forms of transport with free beer, ice cream or film tickets. The programme ... aims to reduce pollution and offers residents and visitors an incentive to walk, cycle or take public transport, rather than travel by car. Participants simply download the Better Points app on their phone, where they can log up to four journeys per day. Over 100 businesses in Bologna have signed up to the scheme to offer benefits for points accrued. Points are awarded for the number of trips taken, rather than the distance covered. Whether you travel one kilometre or 10, the points will remain the same. To avoid any abuse of the system, a GPS tracker makes sure people are being honest about the journeys they log and the method of transport used. The app also tells users how much CO2 was saved on each journey. Urban planner Marco Amdori devised the scheme in 2017; it’s funded by the EU and Bologna’s local government. Last year, [Bella Mossa] recorded 3.7 million kilometres of sustainable journeys in the city. This isn’t the first time Bologna has led the way when it comes ethical living. In 2008, the Festival of Responsible Travel was established in the city and has continued to run annually ever since.
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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