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Military Sexual Assault Cover-Ups, Snopes Retracts 60 Articles, Repair Cafés
Revealing News Articles
August 24, 2021

Dear friends,

Military Sexual Assault Cover-Ups.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the U.S. military's cover-ups of sexual assaults within its ranks, a Snopes executive caught plagiarizing news resulting in the retraction of 60 articles, calls for a serious accounting of how the U.S. got into the disastrous war in Afghanistan, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on repair cafés building community while fixing broken products, a radio station that plays music generated by the life of a tree, the world's largest steel mill preparing to support offshore wind energy projects, 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.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former White House interpreter and whistleblower

Special note: This USA Today article reports on a 36-year-old flight attendant who died from COVID even though fully vaccinated. Read in this revealing article how the CDC and media are grossly twisting the facts to say only the unvaccinated are getting sick and dying. A renowned pathologist is finding very strange things on autopsies of vaccinated people. To watch the 9/11 Truth Film Festival online on Sept. 9th, click here.

Quote of the week: "One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular. ~~ Carl Jung


Pentagon whistleblowers say they were fired or suspended for reporting sexual assault cover-ups: "People are afraid"
November 19, 2020, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pentagon-military-whistleblowers-fired-for-reporting-sexual...

Three women hired to work for the military's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program are speaking out, alleging improper investigations and retaliation firings despite the Pentagon spending tens of millions of dollars on prevention and pledging to tackle the systemic issue. Amy Braley Franck, Marianne Bustin and Lindsey Knapp were all hired to work for the program, which was established by the Pentagon 15 years ago to provide support and resources to survivors of sexual assault and rape. Their jobs involved advocating for victims and helping navigate the process of reporting incidents of assault. They spoke to CBS News as part of a year and a half-long investigation, in which nearly two dozen survivors spoke out about their assaults. Military commanders are required to refer reports of sexual assault to criminal investigators. However, Franck found evidence that commanders were investigating some cases themselves — violating the military's own code of justice. "I discovered written documentation of illegal investigations and victims languishing," she said. "People are afraid," Franck said. "I have young ladies and men say, 'The rape was bad, but I don't wanna go through this other thing because it's worse than the rape.'" "This other thing," she said, referred to "the retaliation, the treatment, the judgment." Last year, Franck was suspended from her position as a victim advocate the day after she contacted a commanding general about retaliation she was seeing in the Army.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


She Blew The Whistle on Military Sexual Assault, then Came Under Investigation
July 26, 2021, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/26/military-sexual-assault-whistleblower-suspension/

The Biden administration has made combating sexual assault in the military a major policy goal. From 2013 to 2019, that was also Amy Braley-Franck’s mission — advocating for victims of sexual crimes within the military. A day after she informed a top general about widespread mishandling of sexual assault cases, however, she was suspended from duty and has been ever since. Braley-Franck has been a high-profile whistleblower, bringing the issue of sexual assault and command abuses to public attention. For close to two years, though, Braley-Franck has been suspended from her role as an Army sexual assault prevention and response victim advocate. She sees the suspension, at the hands of a general she was serving under, as a clear case of retaliation. President Joe Biden formed the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault, which recently recommended taking sexual assault cases outside the chain of command, a change military leaders have long resisted. Braley-Franck said her case proves that more reforms are still needed if the military truly wishes to rein in sexual misconduct. The Defense Department estimates that around 20,500 service members experience sexual assault annually, but only 6,290 official allegations of sexual assault were made in 2020. Since 2010, according to the Independent Review Commission, roughly 644,000 active-duty military personnel have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Snopes Retracts 60 Articles Plagiarized by Co-Founder
August 13, 2021, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/business/media/snopes-plagiarism-David-Mikkelson.html

Snopes, which has long presented itself as the internet’s premier fact-checking resource, has retracted 60 articles after a BuzzFeed News investigation found that the site’s co-founder plagiarized from news outlets as part of a strategy intended to scoop up web traffic. “As you can imagine, our staff are gutted and appalled by this,” Vinny Green, the Snopes chief operating officer, said. He said the Snopes editorial team was conducting a review to understand just how many articles written by David Mikkelson, the site’s co-founder and chief executive, featured content plagiarized from other news sites. As of Friday afternoon, the team had found 60, he said. By Friday morning, dozens of articles had been removed from the site, with pages that formerly featured those articles now showing the word “retracted” and an explanation that “some or all of its content was taken from other sources without proper attribution.” Mr. Mikkelson, who owns 50 percent of Snopes Media Group, will continue to be Snopes’s chief executive, but his ability to publish articles has been revoked, Mr. Green said. In a statement, Mr. Mikkelson acknowledged he had engaged in “multiple serious copyright violations of content that Snopes didn’t have rights to use.” From 2015 to 2019 — under the Snopes byline, his own name and another pseudonym — Mr. Mikkelson published dozens of articles that included language that appeared to have been copied directly from The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, the BBC and other news sources.

Note: There are many serious questions about the biases of Snopes and some of their unscrupulous tactics, as is covered in this Forbes article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Rather than focus on how the U.S. got out of Afghanistan, focus on how it got in
August 17, 2021, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/17/rather-than-focus-how-us-got-out...

There should be a serious accounting for the Afghanistan debacle. The United States waged its longest war in a distant, impoverished country. After two decades, more than 775,000 troops deployed, far more than $1 trillion spent, more than 2,300 U.S. deaths and 20,500 wounded in action, tens of thousands of Afghani civilian deaths, the United States managed to create little more than a kleptocracy. Rather than focusing on how we got out, it would be far wiser to focus on how we got in. The accounting can draw from the ... Afghanistan Papers project. The papers come from ... the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, based on interviews with hundreds of officials who guided the mission. Their words are a savage and telling indictment. Under President George W. Bush, the early mission — to defeat al-Qaeda and get Osama bin Laden in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — quickly turned to nation-building. That mission was an abject failure from the beginning. Adjusted for inflation, the United States spent more money developing Afghan institutions than it had spent to help all of Western Europe after World War II. Yet as Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan concluded, the “single biggest project” stemming from the flood of dollars “may have been the development of mass corruption.” Nearly $10 billion was spent to eradicate poppy production but as of 2018, Afghan farmers produced more than 80 percent of the global opium supply.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around
August 18, 2021, Matt Taibbi on Substack
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/we-failed-afghanistan-not-the-other

From Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan, the pattern of American officials showering questionable political allies abroad with armfuls of cash is a long-established practice. However, the idea that this is the reason the “missions” fail in such places is just a continuation of the original propaganda lines that get us into these messes. It’s a way of saying the subject populations are to blame for undermining our noble efforts, when the missions themselves are often preposterous. The lion’s share of the looting is usually done by our own marauding contracting community. Contractors [in Afghanistan] made fortunes monstrously overcharging the taxpayer for everything from private security, to dysfunctional or unnecessary construction projects, to social programs that ... had no chance for success. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) some years ago identified “$15.5 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse ... in our published reports and closed investigations between SIGAR’s inception in 2008 and December 31, 2017,” and added an additional $3.4 billion in a subsequent review. All told, “SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion and concluded that a total of approximately $19 billion or 30 percent of the amount reviewed was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.” Thirty percent! If the overall cost of the war was, as reported, $2 trillion ... a crude back of the envelope calculation for the amount lost to fraud during the entire period might be $600 billion.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


$10,000 Invested in Defense Stocks When Afghanistan War Began Now Worth Almost $100,000
August 16, 2021, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/16/afghanistan-war-defense-stocks/

If you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001 — the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295. This is a far greater return than was available in the overall stock market over the same period. $10,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund on September 18, 2001, would now be worth $61,613. That is, defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War. Moreover, given that the top five biggest defense contractors — Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics — are of course part of the S&P 500, the remaining firms had lower returns than the overall S&P returns. These numbers suggest that it is incorrect to conclude that the Taliban’s immediate takeover of Afghanistan upon the U.S.’s departure means that the Afghanistan War was a failure. On the contrary, from the perspective of some of the most powerful people in the U.S., it may have been an extraordinary success. Notably, the boards of directors of all five defense contractors include retired top-level military officers. Several commentators address this dynamic in the 2005 documentary “Why We Fight.” Former CIA contractor and academic Chalmers Johnson states, “I guarantee you, when war becomes that profitable, you’re going to see more of it.”

Note: Wartime profiteering is an old game. Read decorated general Smedley Butler's 1935 book War is a Racket to see how little has changed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


The Most High-Profile Al Qaeda Plot Foiled After 9/11 Was an FBI Scam
August 14, 2021, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/14/911-al-qaeda-fbi-liberty-city-seven/

The biggest Al Qaeda plot the FBI claimed to have foiled in the years following the 9/11 attacks involved no weapons, no plot, and no Al Qaeda. Instead, the vague, implausible threat by a group of construction workers in Florida to blow up U.S. buildings, including Chicago’s Sears Tower, was mostly the making of the FBI, whose undercover operatives sought out the men, promised them money, and coached them over months to implicate themselves in a conspiracy to commit violent acts they never actually intended or had the means to carry out. The “Liberty City Seven” case — known by its connection to the poor, violence-ridden Miami neighborhood where the men involved lived — was the most high-profile FBI investigation of a supposed terrorist cell after the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. The ordeal of the seven Black men, most of them Haitian American, who were manipulated by two paid FBI informants into pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda is recounted in a new Frontline documentary, “In the Shadow of 9/11,” by British director Dan Reed. The case set the stage for hundreds of FBI sting operations in the following years, as the bureau continued to frame individuals who were often poor, credulous, and had dubious ability to independently plan any attacks. Rather than abandoning stings as pointless and harmful ... the FBI doubled down on them, in some cases even providing weapons to the individuals they set up.

Note: Read more about how the FBI uses stings to manufacture terrorism cases. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.


As Purdue Pharma Sought Controversial Bankruptcy Settlement, It Spent Over $1.2 Million on Lobbying
August 13, 2021, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/13/purdue-pharma-sackler-bankruptcy-lobbying/

As Purdue Pharma seeks approval for a controversial bankruptcy settlement, it has retained the services of highly compensated lobbying firms Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Capitol Hill Consulting Group. At the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy trial that began Thursday, Judge Robert Drain is widely expected to approve a proposed settlement of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy that would release members of the billionaire Sackler family, the company’s owners, from all current and future opioid-related civil claims. In the year and a half leading up to the trial, Purdue spent at least $1.2 million on federal lobbying expenses as it worked toward the settlement, an Intercept review of lobbying records shows. If the settlement is approved, the Sacklers will be making a contribution of $4.28 billion, which will leave them with over $6 billion at minimum in total assets — money that will be effectively untouchable by opioid crisis victims, even though it is Purdue going bankrupt, not the Sacklers. “This whole bankruptcy was the Sacklers trying to buy immunity,” said activist Ed Bisch, who lost his son to an OxyContin overdose in 2001 and is a claimant and active opponent of the settlement. “The only question was what would be the price.” Among the lobbyists paid by Purdue Pharma — maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin — since it filed for bankruptcy reorganization in September 2019 are politically connected Brownstein Hyatt, which received $480,000, and Capitol Hill Consulting Group, which got $300,000.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Key Article From Years Past


Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?
December 8, 2017, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2017/12/08/has-our-government-spent-21...

On July 26, 2016, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report "Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported". The report indicates that for fiscal year 2015 the Army failed to provide adequate support for $6.5 trillion. Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress. An appendix to the July 2016 report shows $2 trillion in changes to the Army General Fund balance sheet due to unsupported adjustments. On the asset side, there is $794 billion increase in the Army's Fund Balance with the U.S. Treasury. There is also an increase of $929 billion in the Army's Accounts Payable. What is the source of the additional $794 billion in the Army's Fund Balance? The July 2016 report is not the only such report of unsubstantiated adjustments. Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015. [And why] after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, [was] the OIG's webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported "accounting adjustments," ... mysteriously taken down?

Note: Explore this webpage for a brief background to this astounding news. See also a detailed analysis of these missing trillions, which amount to $65,000 per man, woman, and child in the US. And don't miss this highly revealing interview with Prof. Mark Skidmore of Michigan State with even more startling news.


Inspiring Articles


Have old broken stuff? These people will fix it for you
January 15, 2019, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/01/15/dont-throw-out-that-old-clock-these...

Martine Postma, a journalist in the Netherlands, noticed something had changed since her childhood in the 1970s. When a household item — a clock, a vacuum cleaner, a chair — broke, people used to try to fix it. Now, their first impulse was to throw it away. As a writer focused on sustainability issues, she was disturbed by that. She came up with a solution that led to a career change and inspired an international grass-roots movement: a regular gathering at which people with broken items can bring them to a place where other people can try to fix them. In 2009, she did a trial run in Amsterdam — and it drew many more people than she expected. Word spread, and soon a network of what became known as Repair Cafés began to spread across the Netherlands and beyond. Turning her attention to it full time, Postma started the Repair Café International Foundation. She wrote a manual on how to organize the cafes and put together a starter kit. There are now nearly 1,700 cafes in 35 countries, including 75 in the United States, 30 in Canada and 450 in the Netherlands. The repairs do more than extend the life of the items: They also create community. “You get to know your neighbors, to see that the person you pass on the street that you never talk to has some valuable knowledge and is not just a strange old guy,” Postma said. Repairers tend to skew older ... but Postma, 48, is trying to contact younger generations and has started holding demonstrations at schools.

Note: Watch a two-minute video on this wonderful project. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


This radio station plays songs made by trees as they grow
August 3, 2021, Fast Company
https://www.fastcompany.com/90661294/this-radio-station-plays-songs-made-by-trees-as...

Outside of a library in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an over-80-year-old copper beech tree is making music. As the tree photosynthesizes and absorbs and evaporates water, a solar-powered sensor attached to a leaf measures the micro voltage of all that invisible activity. Sound designer and musician Skooby Laposky assigned a key and note range to those changes in this electric activity, turning the tree’s everyday biological processes into an ethereal song. That music is available on Hidden Life Radio, an art project by Laposky. Hidden Life Radio also features the musical sounds of two other Cambridge trees: a honey locust and a red oak. After he read the book The Hidden Life of Trees ... Laposky thought to tune into the music trees could be making. The name Hidden Life Radio was inspired by that book, written by German forester Peter Wohlleben, which details the social networks and “sentient” capabilities of trees. “Most people probably love trees and [still] don’t consider them all the time,” Laposky says, noting a condition called “plant blindness,” in which people fail to notice the flora in their own environment. “In cities, the trees are there, but unless they’re providing shade or you’re picking apples from them, I feel like people don’t necessarily consider trees and their importance.” Tree canopies are crucial to cities, providing shade that can lower summer temperatures significantly, reducing air pollution, sequestering carbon, and providing a mental health benefit.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


This was once the largest steel mill in the world. Now it’s going to build clean energy infrastructure
August 4, 2021, Fast Company
https://www.fastcompany.com/90662395/this-was-once-the-largest-steel-mill-in-the-world...

Once the site of the largest steel mill in the world, Sparrows Point in Maryland was a major player in shipbuilding and steel production, including for the girders of the Golden Gate Bridge, before it closed in 2012. Now, a portion of that former mill will get a new life as a manufacturing facility to support offshore wind energy. The United Steelworkers union; Tradepoint Atlantic, which owns the property; and US Wind, a Baltimore-based subsidiary of Italian renewable energy company Renexia SpA, announced their partnership on the project this week. Maryland’s first permanent steel-and-offshore-wind fabrication facility, the Sparrows Point location will create 500 full-time union steelworker manufacturing jobs, along with about 3,500 construction jobs, and support US Wind’s clean energy projects, including an 82-turbine project called Momentum Wind. It’s an example of how investment in renewable energy to meet climate targets could create millions of energy jobs around the world, including in manufacturing wind- and solar-energy systems. That the new steel facility will bring some of those manufacturing jobs back to the historic site of a Maryland steel mill means a lot to the United Steelworkers specifically. “We always felt [Sparrows Point] was sacred ground,” says Jim Strong, assistant to the director for United Steelworkers, who notes that the union represented workers there for over 70 years, at one time with more than 30,000 members.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


'Light responsive' technology turns seawater into clean drinking water in less than 30 minutes
August 10, 2020, Daily Mail
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8612107/Seawater-clean-drinki...

Scientists have developed new technology that can turn seawater into clean drinking water in less than 30 minutes. Researchers based in Australia used a metal-organic framework (MOF), a type of lattice-like crystal, to desalinate water. The hollow framework of pores separates the salty solute within the brackish water or even saltier seawater, in a process known as molecular sieving. Under dark conditions, the framework absorbs salts and other impurities in the water in 30 minutes. The MOF itself is then regenerated for reuse in just four minutes, using sunlight to remove the adsorbed salts. The light-responsive MOF was used to filter harmful particles from water and generate 139.5 litres of clean water per kilogram of MOF per day. Scientists say their technology is more energy-efficient than current desalination practices, including reverse osmosis, and could provide potable water for millions globally. Water scarcity is one of the largest global risks in the upcoming years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Thermal desalination processes by evaporation using solar energy are widely used to produce fresh water, but can be highly energy intensive. 'Sunlight is the most abundant and renewable source of energy on Earth,' said Professor Huanting Wang ... at Monash University in Australia. 'Our development of a new adsorbent-based desalination process through the use of sunlight for regeneration provides an energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable solution for desalination.'

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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