Big Brother Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Big Brother Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration’s behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law. The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which ... essentially limits a president’s use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights. The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. The president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.” Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough public airing. But these new presidential powers were slipped into the law without hearings or public debate. The president made no mention of the changes when he signed the measure, and neither the White House nor Congress consulted in advance with the nation’s governors.
A judge Friday indicted 26 Americans and five Italians in the abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect on a Milan street in what would be the first criminal trial stemming from the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. Prosecutors allege that five Italian intelligence officials worked with the Americans to seize Muslim cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr on Feb. 17, 2003. Nasr was allegedly transferred by vehicle to the Aviano Air Force base near Venice, then by air to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and on to Egypt, where his lawyer says he was tortured. Nasr was freed earlier this week by an Egyptian court that found his four years of detention in Egypt “unfounded.” All but one of the Americans have been identified as CIA agents, including the former Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady and former Rome station chief Jeffrey Castelli. Among the Italians indicted by Judge Caterina Interlandi was the former chief of military intelligence, Nicolo Pollari, and his former deputy, Marco Mancini. The CIA has refused to comment on the case, which has put an uncomfortable spotlight on its operations. Prosecutors are pressing the Italian government to seek the extradition of the Americans. In Italy, defendants can be tried in absentia. Prosecutors elsewhere in Europe are moving ahead with cases aimed at the CIA program. A Munich prosecutor recently issued arrest warrants for 13 people in another alleged CIA-orchestrated kidnapping, that of a German citizen who says he was seized in December 2003 at the Serbian-Macedonia border and flown to Afghanistan.
Note: At long last, the CIA is beginning to be held accountable for flagrantly breaking laws resulting in torture.
The CIA’s former No. 3 official and a defense contractor were charged Tuesday with fraud and other offenses in the corruption investigation that sent former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham to prison. Federal indictments named Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, executive director of the CIA until he resigned in May, and his close friend, San Diego defense contractor Brent Wilkes, both 52, according to two government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. One of the officials said the grand jury heard claims that Foggo joined Wilkes on trips to Hawaii and Scotland, and was introduced to Wilkes’ employees as early as 2003 as a “future executive” of Wilkes’ company, Wilkes Corp., which allegedly received $12 million in illicit contracts from various government agencies. Cunningham, an eight-term Republican, served on the House Intelligence Committee and on the defense subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee — assignments that made him a key figure in the awarding of Pentagon contracts. Cunningham pleaded guilty in November 2005 to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and others, including mortgage payments and a yacht he named “Duke-Stir.” The indictments paint a stunning picture of corruption in Washington. The alleged crimes by Cunningham and defense contractors is, according to the U.S. Attorney in San Diego, "breathtaking in scope." Foggo was named executive director of the CIA in 2004, responsible for running the agency’s day-to-day operations. He retired in May while under investigation by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Pentagon, the CIA and the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego.
Note: This is very encouraging news as the once "untouchable" CIA is finally being subject to some of the same laws and justice as the rest of us.
In the two decades since private equity firms first stormed the business world, they've been called a lot of things, from raiders to barbarians. But only [the Carlyle Group] has been tagged in the popular imagination with warmongering, treason, and acting as cold-eyed architects of government conspiracies. Carlyle, founded 20 years ago in the shadow of Washington's power centers, long went about its business far from the public eye. Its ranks were larded with the politically connected, including former Presidents, Cabinet members, even former British Prime Minister John Major. It used its partners' collective relationships to build a lucrative business buying, transforming, and selling companies -- particularly defense companies that did business with governments. Carlyle's radical makeover has turned the firm into the biggest fund-raising juggernaut the private equity world has ever seen. By the end of this year it expects to have an unprecedented $85 billion in investor commitments under management, up sixfold from 2001 and more than any other firm. [Founder David] Rubenstein sees the total swelling to as much as $300 billion by 2012. Make no mistake -- Carlyle is already massive. It owns nearly 200 companies that generate a combined $68 billion in revenue and employ 200,000 people. Last year it bought a new company approximately once every three days and sold one almost once a week -- all while dabbling in increasingly esoteric investments. Since its founding in 1987 it has generated annualized after-fee returns of 26%, compared with the industry average in the mid-teens.
Note: With former presidents including George H.W. Bush and many other top world politicians helping to sway huge military contracts, could this be considered a form of insider trading? Those 26% yearly returns are placing our tax monies in the hands of individuals and companies that are already among the wealthiest in the world. For lots more on manipulation of your tax money, click here. And for a Washington Post article showing Osama Bin Laden's brother met with George H.W. Bush at a Carlyle meeting one day before 9/11, click here.
Although the Bush administration has said that six U.S. attorneys were fired recently in part because of "performance related" issues, at least five of them received positive job evaluations before they were ordered to step down. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, using authority he gained in March from a little-noticed provision of the Patriot Act, has appointed interim U.S. attorneys from the Bush administration's inner circle. Daniel Bogden, the U.S. attorney in Nevada, was described in his last job performance evaluation in 2003 as being a "capable" leader who was highly regarded ... said a Justice Department official. David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, also received a positive evaluation last year, according to another Justice Department official. Both officials asked not to be identified. The other U.S. attorneys who received good reviews were John McKay, the former U.S. attorney in Seattle; Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney in Arizona; and Carol Lam, the current U.S. attorney in San Diego. The decision to fire the U.S. attorneys came under scrutiny late last month after Senate Democrats discovered a change in the Patriot Act that allowed Gonzales to appoint interim U.S. attorneys for indefinite terms without Senate approval. In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, [Deputy Attorney General Paul] McNulty conceded that H.E. "Bud" Cummins, the former U.S. attorney in Arkansas, wasn't fired because of how he handled his job. Rather, McNulty said, administration officials wanted to make room for Timothy Griffin, a former aide of presidential adviser Karl Rove.
Note: To read a related Associated Press article on U.S. Attorney General Gonzalez, click here. The article starts with "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales criticized federal judges ... for ruling on cases that affect national-security policy. Judges, he contended, are unqualified to decide terrorism issues that he said are best settled by Congress or the president." Isn't that negating the balance of powers laid out in the U.S. Constitution?
A furious row has been raging in the international Jewish community over the rights and wrongs of criticising Israel. At its centre is a British historian [Tony Judt] who accuses his fellow Jews in the US of stifling any debate about Israel. His opponents say his views give succour to anti-Semites. In an essay written by the Holocaust scholar Alvin Rosenfeld and published by the American Jewish Committee, Judt's views - and those of other 'progressive Jews' ... were expressly linked to anti-Semitism. That row was reported in the New York Times, giving it an unprecedented prominence, and since then the story has opened the floodgates of a debate that until now has been shrouded in fear. Americans have long been in the grip of a cultural taboo that is characterised by Judt as follows: 'All Jews are silenced by the requirement to be supportive of Israel, and all non-Jews are silenced by the fear of being thought anti-Semitic, and there is no conversation on the subject.' [A] new forum for dissent ... was launched in Britain last week by an eminent group. In launching its manifesto, Independent Jewish Voices has taken the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as an occasion to create 'a climate and a space in which Jews of different affiliations and persuasions can express their opinions about the actions of the Israeli government without being accused of disloyalty or ... self-hating.' One of its founding principles is: 'The battle against anti-Semitism is vital and is undermined whenever opposition to Israeli government policies is automatically branded as anti-Semitic.'
A recent poll by the respected New York Times revealed that three out of four Americans now suspect the U.S. government of not telling the truth about 9/11. This proportion has shot up from a year ago, when half the population said they did not believe the official story. [The] accepted version of what happened on 9/11 is being challenged by a 90-minute internet movie, [Loose Change, which is] so popular that up to 100 million viewers have watched [it]. Why were no military aircraft scrambled in time to head off the attacks? How could a rookie pilot - as one of the terrorists was - fly a Boeing 757 aircraft so precisely into the Pentagon? The movie's assertions are being explored by a number of commentators in America and Britain. Former Labour Cabinet Minister Michael Meacher ... has said of 9/11: "Never in modern history has an event of such cataclysmic significance been shrouded in such mystery." These words were written in a foreword for Professor David Ray Griffin's bestselling book, The New Pearl Harbour. Griffin ... is emeritus professor at the Claremont School of Theology in California and a respected philosopher. Together, the book and the movie have raised the question: could the attack be a carbon copy of Operation Northwoods, an aborted plan by President Kennedy to stage terror attacks in America and blame them on Communist Cuba as a pretext for a U.S. invasion to overthrow Fidel Castro? Initially ... Professor Griffin dismissed claims the attacks could have been an inside job. It was only a year later ... that the professor was sent a 'timeline' on the day's events based entirely on newspaper and television accounts. It was then that he changed his mind.
Note: The timeline which opened Prof. Griffin's eyes was the two-page 9/11 timeline from WantToKnow.info available at http://www.WantToKnow.info/9-11cover-up. This is the most supportive article yet by the mainstream media. The word is spreading. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on 9/11, click here.
Cities should close schools for up to three months in the event of a severe flu outbreak, ball games and movies should be canceled ... the federal government advised today in issuing new pandemic flu guidelines to states and cities. Health officials acknowledged that such measures would hugely disrupt public life, but they argued that these measure would buy the time needed to produce vaccines and would save lives. “We have to be prepared for a Category 5 pandemic,” said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of global migration and quarantine for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s not easy. The only thing that’s harder is facing the consequences.” The new guidelines also advocate having sick people and all their families' even apparently healthy members stay home for 7 to 10 days. Any pandemic is expected to move faster than a new vaccine can be produced. Current experimental vaccines against H5N1 avian flu are in short supply and based on strains isolated in 2004 or 2005. Although the government is creating a $4 billion stockpile of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, it is only useful when taken within the first 48 hours, and Tamiflu-resistant flu strains have already been found. The historian John Barry, author of “The Great Influenza,” a history of the 1918 flu, questioned an idea underpinning the study’s conclusions. There is evidence, he said, that some cities with low sickness and death rates in 1918 ... were hit by a milder spring wave of the virus. That would have, in effect, inoculated their citizens against the more severe fall wave and might have been more important than their public health measures.
Note: Why is it that government officials seem to want us to be afraid? Could it be that when we live in fear, we are more willing to give up our freedoms and money and allow them to be in control? For more, click here. And why would the government spend billions on stockpiling drugs of questionable use? For an answer, click here.
A new breed of lifestyle drugs could allow us to choose how much we sleep, boost our memories and even allow us to enjoy ourselves more, without any side effects. Will they unleash human capabilities never seen before or create a dystopian 24-hour society where we are dependent on drugs to regulate our lifestyle and behavior? One drug already available is modafinil, marketed as the vaguely Orwellian-sounding Provigil. It enables those who take it to stay awake and alert for 48 hours. It is a eugeroic that delivers a feeling of wakefulness without the physical or mental jitter. There is already a market for it for those without any medical need - it is developing a cult following among workaholics and students studying for exams. The military is also very interested in eugeroic. Their reliance on amphetamines for lengthy operations have had catastrophic consequences in the past. The "friendly-fire" incidents in Afghanistan in 2002 when U.S. pilots killed Canadian troops was blamed on the "go pills" they had taken. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tested a compound called CX717 in its quest to find a drug that can create a "metabolically dominant war-fighter of the future" able to function for seven days without sleep. CX717 is an ampakine, a compound that increases the brains computing powers. It re-writes the rules of what it takes to create a memory and just how strong those memories can be. Will cans of soda containing eugeroics or ampakines be as common as caffeine drinks on the shelves of 24-hour stores? The potential is certainly there for a brave new world of personality medication.
There are no magic bullets in the fight against cancer: that's the first thing every responsible scientist mentions when discussing a possible new treatment, no matter how promising. If there were a magic bullet, though, it might be something like dichloroacetate, or DCA, a drug that kills cancer cells by exploiting a fundamental weakness found in a wide range of solid tumors. So far, though, it kills them just in test tubes and in rats infected with human cancer cells; it has never been tested against cancer in living human beings. DCA ... is an existing drug whose side effects are well-studied and relatively tolerable. Also, it's a small molecule that might be able to cross the blood-brain barrier to reach otherwise intractable brain tumors. Within days after a technical paper on DCA appeared in the journal Cancer Cell last week, the lead author, Dr. Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta, was deluged with calls and e-mails from prospective patients—to whom he can say only, “Hang in there.” DCA is a remarkably simple molecule. It acts in the body to promote the activity of the mitochondria. Researchers have assumed that the mitochondria in cancer cells were irreparably damaged. But Michelakis wondered if that was really true. With his colleagues he used DCA to turn back on the mitochondria in cancer cells—which promptly died. One of the great things about DCA is that it's a simple compound, in the public domain, and could be produced for pennies a dose. But that's also a problem, because big drug companies are unlikely to spend a billion dollars or so on large-scale clinical trials for a compound they can't patent.
Note: Read a 2010 follow-up by Dr. Michelakis with promising results and watch a 10-minute video. Explore the DCA website. Why didn't other mass media report this major story? Why aren't many millions of dollars being poured into research? Notice even Newsweek acknowledges the drug companies are not interested in finding a cure for cancer if they can't make a profit from it. Some suspect the drug companies have even suppressed cancer cures found in the past. See one amazing example of this. For more, see these major media articles on potential cancer cures.
A community of people who believe the government is beaming voices into their minds ... may be crazy, but the Pentagon has pursued a weapon that can do just that. An academic paper written for the Air Force in the mid-1990s mentions the idea of [such] a weapon. "The signal can be a 'message from God' that can warn the enemy of impending doom, or encourage the enemy to surrender." In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone's head. The patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility. The official U.S. Air Force position is that there are no non-thermal effects of microwaves. Yet ... the military's use of weapons that employ electromagnetic radiation to create pain is well-known. In 2001, the Pentagon declassified one element of this research: the Active Denial System, a weapon that uses electromagnetic radiation to heat skin and create an intense burning sensation. While its exact range is classified, Doug Beason, an expert in directed-energy weapons, puts it at about 700 meters, and the beam cannot penetrate a number of materials, such as aluminum. Given the history of America's clandestine research, it's reasonable to assume that if the defense establishment could develop mind-control or long-distance ray weapons, it almost certainly would. And, once developed, the possibility that they might be tested on innocent civilians could not be categorically dismissed.
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on the little-known, yet critical topic of nonlethal weapons, click here. For an excellent two-page summary of government mind control programs, click here.
A two-year congressional inquiry into the Oklahoma City bombing concludes that the FBI didn't fully investigate whether other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the deadly 1995 attack, allowing questions to linger a decade later. The House International Relations investigative subcommittee [declared that] there is no conclusive evidence of a foreign connection to the attack, but that far too many unanswered questions remain. The report also sharply criticizes the FBI for failing to be curious enough to pursue credible information that foreign or U.S. citizens may have had contact with Nichols or McVeigh and could have assisted their plot. "We did our best with limited resources, and I think we moved the understanding of this issue forward a couple of notches even though important questions remain unanswered," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., the subcommittee chairman, said in an interview with The Associated Press. Rohrabacher's subcommittee saved its sharpest words for the Justice Department, saying officials there exhibited a mindset of thwarting congressional oversight and did not assist the investigation fully.
Note: Should you choose to explore the deadly Oklahoma City bombing, you will find that there are many strange inconsistencies suggesting a major cover-up. If you are interested in more, you might start here.
The Taliban ... briefly banned poppy cultivation in 2000 in an effort to gain U.S. diplomatic recognition and aid. When the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, poppies were grown on only 7,600 hectares. Under the American occupation ... poppy cultivation spread to every province, and overall production has increased exponentially ever since -- this year by 60 percent. Within Afghanistan, where perhaps 3 million people draw direct income from poppy, profits may reach $3 billion this year. In-country profit adds up to an estimated 60 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product, or more than half the country's annual income. Afghanistan provides 92 percent of the world's heroin. Through many administrations, the U.S. government has been implicated in the Afghan drug trade. Before the American and Pakistani-sponsored mujahedeen took on the Soviets in 1979, Afghanistan produced a very small amount of opium for regional markets, and no heroin at all. By the end of the jihad against the Soviet army, it was the world's top producer of both drugs. The CIA made it all possible by providing legal cover for these operations. The United States [encouraged] Islamist extremists (then "our" soldiers) and ... set the stage for the Taliban. [Currently,] President Hamid Karzai['s] strategy is to avoid confrontation, befriend potential adversaries and give them offices, often in his Cabinet. The trade penetrates even the elected Parliament. Among the 249 members of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) are at least 17 known drug traffickers, in addition to 40 commanders of armed militias, 24 members of criminal gangs, and 19 men facing serious allegations of war crimes.
Note: Could it be that some U.S. officials are turning a blind eye, or even supporting this drug trade? For some very strong evidence of this from a former award-winning DEA agent turned journalist and author, click here.
South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson remained in critical condition today after undergoing emergency surgery for bleeding in his brain — an illness that could have immense political implications. They say that he has a congenital arteriovenous malformation — an abnormally tangled network of arteries and veins in his brain that ruptured, causing the bleeding. He is a modest, quiet man in an institution full of egos and sharp elbows, and has a mostly liberal voting record and a moderate demeanor. Beyond praying for a friend, Democrats may also be praying to keep their narrow 51-49 Senate majority. If Johnson's Senate seat were to become vacant, South Dakota law would empower Republican Gov. Mike Rounds to appoint a replacement. He would likely pick a fellow Republican, creating a 50-50 Senate with Vice President Cheney as the tie-breaker, leaving the GOP again in control of the Senate.
Note: Yet another amazing coincidence which could give Republicans control of the Senate. Few are aware aware that the deaths of Governor Mel Carnahan and Senator Paul Wellstone just a few years ago gave the Republicans control of the Senate. For more on this and the suspicious circumstances surrounding their two plane crashes just weeks before their elections, click here. For information on "non-lethal weapons" using directed beam technology which can cause illness and even death from a distance, click here and here.
Robert Gates will face ... the enormous task of cleaning up the Pentagon's tangled finances, which outside auditors lambaste as so chaotic that no one knows how much money is being spent on defense at any given time. The White House's Office of Management and Budget believes the Pentagon's financial management systems are in such a mess "that independent auditors still cannot certify the accuracy of the financial statements." David Walker, the U.S. Comptroller General, issued a devastating assessment of the Pentagon's finances, which include an annual budget of over $500 billion. The Pentagon's financial problems "are pervasive, complex, long-standing and deeply rooted in virtually all business operations throughout the department," Walker told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Financial problems like the Pentagon's "would put any civilian company out of business," said Kwai Chan, a former GAO auditor ... and author of a report entitled "Financial Management in the Department of Defense: No One is Accountable." Winslow Wheeler, a former national security expert for the Senate Budget Committee, called the Defense Department "the worst-managed agency in the federal government, (that) can't account for the half-trillion dollars it spends each year, and seeks to produce weapons that are irrelevant or ineffective, or both."
Note: For major media articles showing that more than $1 trillion of taxpayers money have gone missing at the Pentagon, click here. For the deeper reasons behind this, a top U.S. general's explanation is available here.
For decades, Israel coyly has refused to confirm or deny what, since 1986, the whole world has known for sure: that is that the Jewish state is the one country in the Middle East that has a well-developed, nuclear arsenal. It was 20 years ago that Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev Desert, informed Britain's Sunday Times about the weapons program, leading "defense analysts to rank the country as the [world's] sixth largest nuclear power." Vanunu was jailed for 18 years for revealing state secrets. Israel calls its refusal to deny or confirm the existence of its nuclear arms its "nuclear ambiguity" policy. Why? Explains the Times (U.K.): "For many years, Israel was the only country outside the five declared nuclear powers to have built an atomic weapon ... It wanted its enemies in the region to know that it had nuclear capability if threatened. But it also wanted to keep the existence secret so that it did not fall [a]foul of international action designed to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons, particularly strict U.S. laws which could have jeopardized billions of dollars in annual aid." The Jerusalem Post notes that "Nuclear ambiguity was a comfortable arrangement for both Israeli and U.S. administrations, designed to allow Israel to get on with whatever it was doing ... without too much international pressure, and [to allow] the U.S. to not seem too hypocritical by not demanding its Middle East ally sign the [Non-proliferation Treaty]. Ambiguity might have worked for four decades, but ... it is now hopelessly outdated."
Note: The media has been quite reluctant to discuss these issues openly. Could it be they fear people might question the amount of U.S. aid? Israel's population is 6.5 million. Official U.S. yearly foreign aid to Israel has been about $2.5 to 3.0 billion for many years. If you do the math, U.S. taxpayers are giving every man, woman, and child in Israel about $400/year -- over ten times the per capita rate paid to any other country. That's quite a yearly gift! A Christian Science Monitor article says if all forms of aid are considered, the figures are even higher.
Stock sales by America's corporate leaders exceeded purchases last month by the widest ratio in nearly 20 years. Executives sold $63.18 of shares for every $1 they bought in November, the largest ratio since at least January 1987. U.S. securities laws require company executives and directors to disclose stock purchases or sales within two business days. Insiders sold $8.4 billion in shares last month, according to data compiled from SEC filings. Buying was ... $133 million. The overall insider-selling amount was the fifth-highest since 1987. Selling peaked at $13.9 billion in March 2000. The data have "value for investors," said Wayne Reisner at Carret Asset Management in New York. "It's people who are very familiar with their company and their stock." Insiders executed 6.34 sales transactions for each purchase transaction in the eight weeks ended Dec. 1. That's up from 2.45 in the period ended Aug. 4 and above the ratio of 2.25 he considers neutral for the market. Microsoft ranked first among U.S. companies, with $594.2 million in sales by insiders in November. Seagate Technology and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. ranked second and third, at $311.8 million and $224.2 million, respectively. Google Inc. was fourth, at $182.1 million.
Note: Isn't it interesting that the NASDAQ stock index reached it's all-time high in March 2000, the exact month executive stock selling hit its record, and just prior to the huge NASDAQ crash. Is it possible that corporate executives knew something the rest of us didn't?
The Pentagon ... has resisted entreaties from U.S. anti-narcotics officials to play an aggressive role in the faltering campaign to curb the country's opium trade. Military units in Afghanistan largely overlook drug bazaars, rebuff some requests to take U.S. drug agents on raids and do little to counter the organized crime syndicates shipping the drug to Europe, Asia and, increasingly, the United States. Poppy cultivation has exploded, increasing by more than half this year. Afghanistan supplies about 92% of the world's opium. "It is surprising to me that we have allowed things to get to the point that they have," said ... a former top State Department counter-narcotics official. Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said that Afghanistan's flourishing opium trade is a law enforcement problem, not a military one. The opium trade is one-third of the country's economy. Several dozen kingpins ... have become more brazen, richer and powerful. [They] openly run huge opium bazaars and labs that turn opium into heroin. [The] head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said ... that the location of major drug operations were "well-known to us and to the authorities." The Pentagon has balked at drug interdiction efforts even when it had the resources, said a former senior U.S. anti-drug official. "There were [drug] convoys where military people looked the other way," the former official said. "DEA would identify a lab to go hit or a storage facility and [the Pentagon] would find a reason to ground the helicopters." A recent congressional report said the DEA asked the Pentagon for airlifts on 26 occasions in 2005, and the requests were denied in all but three cases.
Note: Some observers and insiders believe the reason Afghanistan was attacked is because the Taliban had virtually stopped the opium trade in 2001. For reliable evidence supporting these allegations, click here.
No longer a gleam in the Pentagon's eye, ray guns — or radiofrequency (RF) weapons, to be exact — officially have arrived. As troops are increasingly forced to serve as an ad hoc police force, nonlethal weapons have become a priority for the military. The Department of Defense is currently testing the Active Denial System (ADS), which fires pain-inducing beams of 95-GHz radio waves, for deployment on ground vehicles. This surface heating doesn't actually burn the target, but is painful enough to force a retreat. While the military continues to investigate the safety of RF-based weapons, defense contractor Raytheon has released Silent Guardian, a stripped-down version of the ADS, marketed to law enforcement and security providers as well as to the military. Using a joystick and a targeting screen, operators can induce pain from over 250 yards away, as opposed to more than 500 yards with the ADS. Unlike its longer-ranged counterpart, Silent Guardian is available now. As futuristic — and frightening — as the ADS "pain ray" sounds, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is funding an even more ambitious use of RF energy. Researchers at the University of Nevada are investigating the feasibility of a method that would immobilize targets without causing pain. Rather than heating the subject's skin, this approach would use microwaves at 0.75 to 6 GHz to affect skeletal muscle contractions. This project is still in the beginning stages. The ADS, on the other hand, is already a painful reality.
Note: For lots more concerning information on non-lethal weapons, click here.
When Mexican president Vicente Fox leaves office this week and Felipe Calderon takes his place, President Bush will be the last of the so-called three amigos. Bush, Fox, and, of course, Canadian prime minister Paul Martin were the originators of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership, which critics call nothing more than a North American [U]nion. It means open borders, commerce of all [kinds] ... without the approval of either American voters or the U.S. Congress. An effort, the governments say, to harmonize regulation and increase cooperation between three very different countries. A new Canadian prime minister [is] joining the discussions as this North American partnership barrels ahead, with departments and ministries of all three governments working quickly to integrate North America by 2010. Now Mexico's new president, Felipe Calderon, [is] widely expected to keep the progress moving. Critics, though, say there's too little transparency and no congressional oversight. [Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch says] "There's nothing wrong with neighboring governments talking to each other, synchronizing their watches to make sure they're all on the same page in the cases of emergency or on trade issues or even on the flows of goods and people. But if policies are being made that the American people might oppose, or that are contrary to the law ... they're doing something a bit more nefarious." [Fitton] points to SPP documents urging the free flow of goods and people across borders and a wish list from business interests that borders remain open during a flu pandemic. Worse, critics say foreign policy elites are promoting a European-style union, erasing borders between the three countries and eventually moving to a single North American currency called the [Amero].
Note: To view the CNN broadcast of the above, click here. The Canadian TV network CNBC also carried a two-minute report on one of the supposed outcomes of the SPP, the Amero, which is a new common currency being planned for use by Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. To watch this news report, click here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.