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Government Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing government corruption articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These government corruption articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


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.


U.S. Absolves Drone Killers and Persecutes Whistleblowers
2021-11-04, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/11/04/drone-attack-kabul-pentagon-report-whistl...

The terrorist attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital ... killed more than 170 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. soldiers. Three days later, Biden authorized a drone strike that the U.S. claimed took out a dangerous cell of ISIS fighters. Biden held up this strike, and another one a day earlier, as evidence of his commitment to take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan. But the Kabul strike, which targeted a white Toyota Corolla, did not kill any members of ISIS. The victims were 10 civilians, seven of them children. The driver of the car, Zemari Ahmadi, was a respected employee of a U.S. aid organization. Following a New York Times investigation that fully exposed the lie of the U.S. version of events, the Pentagon and the White House admitted that they had killed innocent civilians, calling it "a horrible tragedy of war." This week, the Pentagon released a summary of its classified review into the attack, which it originally hailed as a "righteous strike" that had thwarted an imminent terror plot. The results were predictable. The report recommended that no personnel be held responsible for the murder of 10 civilians; there was no "criminal negligence," as the report put it. Daniel Hale, a military veteran who pleaded guilty to disclosing classified documents that exposed lethal weaknesses in the drone program, is serving four years in prison. Hale's documents exposed how as many as nine out of 10 victims of U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan were not the intended targets. In Biden's recent drone strike, 10 of 10 were innocent civilians.

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


How Fauci Fooled America
2021-11-01, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/how-fauci-fooled-america-opinion-1643839

When the pandemic hit, America needed someone to turn to for advice. The media and public naturally looked to Dr. Anthony Fauci - the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci got major epidemiology and public health questions wrong. Reality and scientific studies have now caught up with him. By pushing vaccine mandates, Dr. Fauci ignores naturally acquired immunity among the COVID-recovered, of which there are more than 45 million in the United States. Mounting evidence indicates that natural immunity is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. Under Fauci's mandates, hospitals are firing heroic nurses who recovered from COVID they contracted while caring for patients. While anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in mortality risk between the old and the young. When confronted with the idea of focused protection of the vulnerable, Dr. Fauci admitted he had no idea how to accomplish it, arguing that it would be impossible. Instead, Dr. Fauci has pushed vaccine mandates for children, students and working-age adults who are already immune - all low-risk populations - causing tremendous disruption to labor markets and hampering the operation of many hospitals. Schools are major transmission points for influenza, but not for COVID. Considering the devastating effects of school closures on children, Dr. Fauci's advocacy for school closures may be the single biggest mistake of his career.

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


EPA Withheld Reports of Substantial Risk Posed by 1,200 Chemicals
2021-11-01, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/11/01/epa-toxic-chemicals-reports-withheld/

The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals. By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents "a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment." Until recently, the agency had been making these reports – known as 8(e) reports, for the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires them – available to the public. But since 2019, the EPA has only posted one of the reports to its public website. During this time, chemical companies have continued to submit the critical studies to the agency, according to two EPA staff members with knowledge of the matter. Since January 2019, the EPA has received at least 1,240 reports documenting the risk of chemicals' serious harms, including eye corrosion, damage to the brain and nervous system, chronic toxicity to honeybees, and cancer in both people and animals. PFAS compounds are among the chemical subjects of these notifications. Not only has the agency kept all but one of these reports from the public, but it has also made them difficult for EPA staff to access, according to the two agency scientists, who are choosing to remain anonymous. The substantial risk reports have not been uploaded to the databases used most often by risk assessors searching for information about chemicals. They have been entered only into an internal database that is difficult to access and search.

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


Cuban exile told sons he trained Oswald, JFK's accused assassin, at a secret CIA camp
2021-10-30, Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/article255356661.html

Almost 40 years after his death following a bar brawl in Key Biscayne, Ricardo Morales, known as "Monkey" – contract CIA worker, anti-Castro militant, counter-intelligence chief for Venezuela, FBI informant and drug dealer – returned to the spotlight Thursday morning when one of his sons made a startling claim on Spanish-language radio: Morales, a sniper instructor in the early 1960s in secret camps where Cuban exiles and others trained to invade Cuba, realized in the hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 that the accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been one of his sniper trainees. Morales also told his two sons that two days before the assassination, his CIA handler told him and his "clean-up" team to go to Dallas for a mission. But after the tragic events, they were ordered to go back to Miami without learning what the mission was about. The claims ... add to one of the long-held theories about the JFK assassination – that Cuban exiles working for the CIA had been involved. But the claims also point the finger at the CIA, which some observers believe could help explain why President Joe Biden backed off last week on declassifying the remaining documents in the case. Morales Jr. said his father told them he did not know of the plans to assassinate Kennedy. "He knew Kennedy was coming to Dallas, so he imagines something is going to happen, but he doesn't know the plan," he said. "In these kinds of conspiracies ... nobody knows what the other is doing."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the JFK assassination from reliable major media sources.


"The Spoils of War": How Profits Rather than Empire Define Success for the Pentagon
2021-10-27, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/27/pentagon-budget-book-spoils-war-andrew-co...

In the introduction to "The Spoils of War," an extraordinary new book by Andrew Cockburn, he makes a straightforward assertion about the U.S. military. "War-fighting efficiency has a low priority," he writes, "by comparison with considerations of personal and internal bureaucracies. ... The military are generally not interested in war, save as a means to budget enhancement." Cockburn suggests that the Pentagon and the corporations that feed off it have generated the largest and most byzantine bureaucracy in human history, filled with innumerable fiefdoms far more focused on besting their internal rivals than outside enemies. Today's generals ... while their days away plotting how to join the board of General Dynamics six hours after their retirement party. They spend 98 percent of their time jockeying for wealth and power within the organization, and at most a residual 2 percent attempting to do what the organization purportedly exists to accomplish. "People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy," he quotes a former Air Force colonel as saying. "They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy. It is: 'Don't interrupt the money flow.'" If you're still not convinced, the proof of this unpalatable pudding is in the eating. Consider America's just-concluded 20-year war in Afghanistan. As the Taliban took over the country in days, it might have seemed that the whole thing was a colossal failure. But if you check your portfolio of defense contractor stocks ... you'll see that, in fact, it was an incredible success.

Note: War 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 military corruption from reliable major media sources.


White House delays release of JFK assassination files "to protect against identifiable harm"
2021-10-23, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jfk-assassination-files-release-delayed-white-ho...

The White House said Friday it would delay the release of long-classified documents related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. President Joe Biden wrote in a statement that the remaining files "shall be withheld from full public disclosure" until December 15 next year - nearly 60 years after Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas in 1963. In 2017, former president Donald Trump released several thousand secret files on the assassination, but withheld others on national security grounds. The White House said the national archivist needs more time for a review into that redaction, which was slowed by the pandemic. Mr. Biden also said the delay was "necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations" and that this "outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure." A 10-month investigation led by then-Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine who had lived in the Soviet Union, acted alone when he fired on Kennedy's motorcade. But the Commission's investigation was criticized for being incomplete, with a Congressional committee later concluding that Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy." U.S. law requires that all government records on the assassination be disclosed "to enable the public to become fully informed." The National Archives has released thousands of documents to the public as part of the ... JFK Act.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the JFK assassination from reliable major media sources.


NIH admits US funded gain-of-function in Wuhan – despite Fauci's denials
2021-10-21, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2021/10/21/nih-admits-us-funded-gain-of-function-in-wuhan-...

The National Institutes of Health has stunningly admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China's Wuhan lab – despite Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly insisting to Congress that no such thing happened. In a letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, a top NIH official blamed EcoHealth Alliance – the New York City-based nonprofit that has funneled US funds to the Wuhan lab – for not being transparent about the work it was doing. NIH's principal deputy director, Lawrence A. Tabak, wrote in the letter that EcoHealth's "limited experiment" tested whether "spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model." Gain-of-function research refers to viruses being taken from animals before they are genetically altered in a lab to make them more transmissible to humans. The admission from the NIH official directly contradicts Fauci's testimony to Congress in May and July, when he denied the US had funded gain-of-function projects in Wuhan. As recently as last month, Fauci was accused of lying about gain-of-function research after documents, obtained by the Intercept, detailed grants given to EcoHealth Alliance for bat coronavirus studies. [A] grant proposal detailed in the trove of documents was for a project titled "Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence," which involved screening thousands of bat samples, as well as people who worked with live animals, for novel coronaviruses.

Note: CNN in this video put tough questions to a top NIH director about lies made by Fauci regarding gain-of-function research. And why did the NIH change this original webpage so that in the changed webpage the entire section on gain-of-function research is deleted and the title changed? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


How we will be 'nudged' this winter
2021-10-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/mind/will-nudged-winter/

About 18 months ago, in the lockdown summer of 2020, I started to argue that the Government's response to Covid is driven not so much by medical science or epidemiology, but instead by the psychological insights of behavioural scientists. Controversial "nudge theory" lies at the heart of Westminster's response. It refers to sneaky attempts to prime, prepare and prod us into their desired mindset and course of action, without us ever realising we are being coerced. Once nudge is seen, it can't be unseen. This week, the Government may have overplayed its hand. On Tuesday, Professor Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College epidemiologist whose modelling was used as the basis for the UK's lockdown policy, made an illuminating comment on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "Nobody likes having their freedoms curtailed by measures but it's prudent to be cautious," he told presenter Sarah Smith, "and wearing masks certainly helps that: it reminds people we're not completely out of the woods yet." It was a startling admission, if we needed one, that masks are as much about psychology as they are about preventing infection. They act as a social cue, to use the language of behavioural scientists, nudging us into vigilance. These psychological cues are carefully calibrated, more so than many realise. In a document drawn up by the "Nudge Unit" ... scientists examine the success of Slovakia's mass testing programme, looking at how we could replicate that success in the UK.

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


One year after the Great Barrington Declaration was issued, its warnings seem prudent.
2021-10-13, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/13/opinion/with-covid-19-every-disagreeme...

On Oct. 4, 2020 ... a group of doctors and medical experts, most of them specialists in epidemiology, immunology, and related public health disciplines, published a statement challenging the wisdom of the widespread COVID-19 lockdowns. The primary authors of the "Great Barrington Declaration" ... were three scientists: Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard; Sunetra Gupta, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Oxford; and Jay Bhattacharya, a physician and professor at Stanford Medical School. The declaration ... was soon signed by thousands of additional public health scientists and doctors. "Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health," [it said]. The scientists warned that "keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed." The relatively brief declaration was accompanied by a much more detailed analysis of lockdowns and their collateral damage, and of the best ways to shield the elderly and people in other high-risk groups. For a year, the three scientists have been "vilified." Bhattacharya [said] he is worried for his safety "amid a campaign to censor him on the [Stanford] campus where he has worked for 35 years." The Great Barrington authors were on target in doubting the advisability of sweeping lockdowns. Numerous studies have found that shutting down the economy was largely futile in preventing COVID's spread.

Note: Explore the website of the Great Barrington Declaration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Drug Industry Hires its Former Critics as Lobbyists Against Medicare Price Negotiations
2021-10-13, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/13/medicare-drug-lobbying-former-democratic-...

The popular, once bipartisan idea to hold down Medicare costs is now at the center of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda. Legislation backed by the administration calls for Medicare to mirror other government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, in being able to negotiate for cheaper medicine through the Part D program. The idea could potentially save the government nearly $500 billion over a decade. The drug pricing proposal could also translate to lower prescription costs across the board. The drug industry, according to its top lobbyist, Stephen Ubl, has made defeating the provision its top priority. Inside the Beltway, the opposition is coming from familiar faces. Many leading Democratic lawmakers and staff have been hired by the drug industry to convince their former colleagues to abandon the drug pricing proposal. Pfizer alone has assembled a lobbying team that includes Dean Aguillen, a former adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Remy Brim, a former health policy adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and over half a dozen aides to senior Senate Democrats. Ann Jablon, former chief of staff to Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. ... currently represents several drug companies as a lobbyist, including Amgen Inc., Astellas Pharma, and Bayer. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group that represents the largest drug companies in the world, has also gone on a hiring spree of Democratic lobbyists.

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


Billions Hidden Beyond Reach
2021-10-03, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/interactive/2021/pandora-papers-offsh...

A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and – in 14 cases involving current country leaders – citizens around the world. The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials. The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities.

Note: Some have suggested that the CIA was responsible for the earlier Panama Papers leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed
2021-10-03, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58780465

The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed Ł70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved Ł312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for Ł12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.

Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


CIA officials under Trump discussed assassinating Julian Assange
2021-09-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/sep/27/senior-cia-officials-trump-disc...

Senior CIA officials during the Trump administration discussed abducting and even assassinating WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The discussions on kidnapping or killing Assange took place in 2017, Yahoo News reported, when the fugitive Australian activist was entering his fifth year sheltering in the Ecuadorian embassy. The then CIA director, Mike Pompeo, and his top officials were furious about WikiLeaks' publication of "Vault 7", a set of CIA hacking tools, a breach which the agency deemed to be the biggest data loss in its history. Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration went as far as to request "sketches" or "options" for killing Assange. "There seemed to be no boundaries," a former senior counterterrorist official was quoted as saying. The kidnapping or murder of a civilian accused of publishing leaked documents, with no connection to terrorism, would have triggered global outrage. Pompeo raised eyebrows in 2017 by referring to WikiLeaks as a "non-state hostile intelligence service". It was a significant designation, as it implied a green light for a more aggressive approach to the pro-transparency group by CIA operatives, who could treat it as an enemy espionage organization. Barry Pollack, Assange's US lawyer ... told Yahoo News: "As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information."

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


Real Rukshan: the live streamer who took Melbourne's protest to the world stage
2021-09-24, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/real-rukshan-the-live-streamer-who-t...

When hundreds of protesters took over Melbourne's West Gate Bridge on Tuesday, the Real Rukshan was there to capture it. With 60,000 people concurrently viewing his livestream, Real Rukshan – the online nom de plume of Rukshan Fernando – was recognised by a man dressed in hi-vis: "Rukshan," he yelled over the chaos, "you're the reason we came down." Fernando is one of a number of Australian content creators such as Avi Yemini and Morgan C Jonas who position themselves as independent journalists documenting the "freedom" movements opposing lockdowns and vaccines. Fernando's live streams have functioned as the connective tissue for Melbourne protests and the broader movement, with millions of people watching from his perspective. His content and commentary take an anti-media and anti-government slant. Fernando says: "When you have the government interfere with your life, that really makes you arc up and be more politically attuned to what's happening around you." During a general "freedom" protest last week, Fernando narrated his live stream by repeatedly claiming that all the protesters were being peaceful and that police were instigating violence. At many protests, mainstream media organisations haven't had reporters present. Unlike other creators, Fernando doesn't appear to make money from his content. He's posted about refusing donations and hasn't made any efforts to monetise his online presence.

Note: Australia's huge protests against vaccine mandates and the lockdown have gotten very little coverage outside of Australia and highly biased coverage against the protests in the country. This video shows the thousands participating in Melbourne, while this disturbing video shows the intense police response with many hundreds of police deployed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources


How Much Herd Immunity Is Enough?
2021-09-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/health/herd-immunity-covid-coronavirus.html

At what point does a country achieve herd immunity? What portion of the population must acquire resistance to the coronavirus, either through infection or vaccination, in order for the disease to fade away and life to return to normal? Since the start of the pandemic, the figure that many epidemiologists have offered has been 60 to 70 percent. That range is still cited by the World Health Organization and is often repeated during discussions of the future course of the disease. Recently, a figure to whom millions of Americans look for guidance – Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to both the Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration – has begun incrementally raising his herd-immunity estimate. In the pandemic's early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying "70, 75 percent" in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said "75, 80, 85 percent" and "75 to 80-plus percent." In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks. Hard as it may be to hear, he said, he believes that it may take close to 90 percent immunity to bring the virus to a halt – almost as much as is needed to stop a measles outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers no herd immunity estimate, saying on its website that "experts do not know."

Note: Dr. Fauci here is admitting he deceived the public by stating lower numbers in order to manipulate the public into taking the vaccines. So how much can we trust him? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


C.D.C. Chief Overrules Agency Panel and Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Boosters for Workers at Risk
2021-09-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/24/world/covid-boosters-vaccine-cdc-director....

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday overruled a recommendation by an agency advisory panel that had refused to endorse booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for frontline workers. It was a highly unusual move for the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, but aligned C.D.C. policy with the Food and Drug Administration's endorsements over her own agency's advisers. The C.D.C.'s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday recommended the boosters for a wide range of Americans, including tens of millions of older adults and younger people at high risk for the disease. But they excluded health care workers, teachers and others whose jobs put them at risk. That put their recommendations at odds with the F.D.A.'s authorization of booster shots for all adults with a high occupational risk. Dr. Walensky's decision was a boost for President Biden's campaign to give a broad segment of Americans access to boosters. The White House had come under criticism for getting ahead of the regulatory process. Dr. Walensky's decision to go against her own agency's advisers came as a surprise to at least some of her staff members: The C.D.C. director's endorsement of the advisory committee's recommendations is typically just a formality. Hours before her statement, agency insiders predicted she would stick with the usual protocol because doing otherwise would undermine the process and upset the advisers as well as her own staff.

Note: Whatever happened to listening to the scientists? Could it be that government officials are biased towards channeling more money into the pockets of big Pharma? Listen to a US Senator who is a doctor grilling an official who won't acknowledge scientific studies on immunity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Wuhan scientists planned to release coronavirus particles into cave bats, leaked papers reveal
2021-09-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releases...

Wuhan and US scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronavirus particles into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show. Just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing "novel chimeric spike proteins" of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China. They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work. Papers, confirmed as genuine by a former member of the Trump administration, show they were hoping to introduce "human-specific cleavage sites" to bat coronaviruses which would make it easier for the virus to enter human cells. When Covid-19 was first genetically sequenced, scientists were puzzled about how the virus had evolved such a human-specific adaptation at the cleavage site on the spike protein, which is the reason it is so infectious. The documents were released by Drastic, the web-based investigations team set up by scientists from across the world to look into the origins of Covid-19. In a statement, Drastic said: "Given that we find in this proposal a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, a review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted."

Note: Read more about the risky research on coronaviruses that took place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


The U.S. Military Often Kills Civilians – and Rarely Offers Compensation
2021-09-21, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/21/civilian-casualties-military-compensation/

A bomb hit the house. [Rua Moataz] Khadr and her two daughters were able to free themselves from the rubble that had fallen on them, but her 4-year-old son, Ibrahim Ahmed Yahya, was crushed to death. He was among the 9,000 to 11,000 civilians killed during the yearlong battle for Mosul. Khadr, like most bombing victims in Iraq, has no idea which nation was responsible for the airstrike that killed her son. Was it an American aircraft, British, Dutch? "Even if I found out, what would I do?" she told The Intercept. In its final days in Afghanistan, the U.S. conducted a drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Kabul – seven of them children. Their deaths bring up a thorny question surrounding the frequent U.S. killing of civilians in the 9/11 wars: What would justice look like for the families of civilians who have been wrongfully killed? The media attention generated by the Kabul strike has prompted a rare admission of guilt from the Pentagon and may ultimately lead to monetary compensation for the survivors. But byzantine laws in the U.S. make it all but impossible for foreigners to file for compensation if a relative was killed in combat. The only hope for most survivors is a "sympathy" payment from the U.S. military that does not acknowledge responsibility for causing the deaths. But unsurprisingly, those payments are rare: None were issued in 2020. Meanwhile, U.S. allies involved in bombing campaigns usually hide behind the shield of joint operations to avoid taking responsibility for civilian deaths.

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


FBI says fortune seized in Beverly Hills raid was criminals' loot. Owners say: Where's the proof
2021-09-19, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-19/fbi-seizure-cash-beverly-...

After the FBI seized Joseph Ruiz's life savings during a raid on a safe deposit box business in Beverly Hills, the unemployed chef went to court to retrieve his $57,000. A judge ordered the government to tell Ruiz why it was trying to confiscate the money. It came from drug trafficking, an FBI agent responded in court papers. Ruiz's income was too low for him to have that much money, and his side business selling bongs made from liquor bottles suggested he was an unlicensed pot dealer, the agent wrote. The FBI also said a dog had smelled unspecified drugs on Ruiz's cash. The FBI was wrong. When Ruiz produced records showing the source of his money was legitimate, the government dropped its false accusation and returned his money. Ruiz is one of roughly 800 people whose money and valuables the FBI seized from safe deposit boxes they rented at the U.S. Private Vaults store in a strip mall. Federal agents had suspected for years that criminals were stashing loot there, and they assert that's exactly what they found. The government is trying to confiscate $86 million in cash and a stockpile of jewelry, rare coins and precious metals taken from about half of the boxes. But six months after the raid, the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles have produced no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the vast majority of box holders whose belongings the government is trying to keep. About 300 of the box holders are contesting the attempted confiscation.

Note: In the recent past, police have been caught using asset forfeiture to pad departmental budgets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


House Democrats are scared to tax billionaires – that's a costly mistake
2021-09-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/18/house-democrats-tax-bil...

This week, House Democrats released their proposed tax increases to fund Joe Biden's $3.5tn social policy plan. The biggest surprise: they didn't go after the huge accumulations of wealth at the top – representing the largest share of the economy in more than a century. You might have thought Democrats would be eager to tax America's 660 billionaires whose fortunes have increased by $1.8tn since the start of the pandemic, an amount that could fund half of Biden's plan and still leave the billionaires as rich as they were before the pandemic began. Elon Musk's $138bn in pandemic gains, for example, could cover the cost of tuition for 5.5 million community college students and feed 29 million low-income public-school kids, while still leaving Musk $4bn richer than he was before Covid. But senior House Democrats decided to raise revenue the traditional way, taxing annual income rather than giant wealth. They aim to raise the highest income tax rate and apply a 3% surtax to incomes over $5m. The dirty little secret is the ultra-rich don't live off their paychecks. You might also have assumed Democrats would target America's biggest corporations, awash in cash but paying a pittance in taxes. Thirty-nine of the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 paid no federal income tax at all from 2018 to 2020 while reporting a combined $122bn in profits to their shareholders. But remarkably, House Democrats have decided to set corporate tax rates below the level they were at when Barack Obama was in the White House.

Note: Learn more about this in this New York magazine article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Australia's Two Largest States Trial Facial Recognition Software to Police Pandemic Rules
2021-09-16, U.S. News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/technology/articles/2021-09-16/australias-two-lar...

Australia's two most populous states are trialling facial recognition software that lets police check people are home during COVID-19 quarantine, expanding trials that have sparked controversy to the vast majority of the country's population. Little-known tech firm Genvis Pty Ltd said on a website for its software that New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, home to Sydney, Melbourne and more than half of Australia's 25 million population, were trialling its facial recognition products. The Perth, Western Australia-based startup developed the software in 2020 with WA state police to help enforce pandemic movement restrictions. South Australia state began trialling a similar, non-Genvis technology last month, sparking warnings from privacy advocates around the world about potential surveillance overreach. The involvement of New South Wales and Victoria, which have not disclosed that they are trialling facial recognition technology, may amplify those concerns. Under the system being trialled, people respond to random check-in requests by taking a 'selfie' at their designated home quarantine address. If the software, which also collects location data, does not verify the image against a "facial signature", police may follow up with a visit to the location to confirm the person's whereabouts. While the recognition technology has been used in countries like China, no other democracy has been reported as considering its use in connection with coronavirus containment procedures.

Note: On Sept. 21st, thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest policies like this in Melbourne alone, as shown in this revealing video. The police are responding almost like they are at war, as show in this video. Yet the major media outside of Australia are largely ignoring all of this, while the Australian press is highly biased against the protesters. Are we moving towards a police state? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Arizona becomes first state to sue Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandates
2021-09-15, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/arizona-sues-biden-administration-covid-19-vacci...

Arizona's attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to invalidate President Biden's latest COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and large companies, becoming the first state to mount a legal challenge to the administration's newest rules. In a 14-page complaint filed with a federal district court in Arizona, Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued Mr. Biden's new vaccine requirements unconstitutionally discriminate against U.S. citizens because undocumented immigrants apprehended by federal law enforcement are not subject to a federal vaccination requirement. The attorney general said [the policies] are an "egregious" violation of the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. "Unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements ... while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements," the state told the court. Brnovich ... is asking the court to declare the new vaccination policies unconstitutional and block the Biden administration from imposing COVD-19 vaccine mandates on U.S. citizens or legal residents that differ from those applied to undocumented migrants. Mr. Biden announced last week his new vaccination requirements. In addition to signing executive orders requiring all executive branch federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, the president also said the Department of Labor would be developing an emergency rule to require all employers with at least 100 employees to mandate their workforce be fully vaccinated.

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


FBI releases declassified document into Saudi 9/11 links after Biden order
2021-09-12, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-releases-declassified-document-saudi...

The FBI released a newly declassified document about the 9/11 attacks Saturday, revealing details about the logistical support given to two of the Saudi hijackers in the lead-up to the terrorist operation, as the world marked the 20th anniversary of one of America's darkest days. The 16-page document is the first investigative record to be shared since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of files about 9/11 last week. The document, which is heavily redacted, provides a summary of an FBI interview in 2015 with a man who had regular contact with Saudi nationals in the U.S. The man aided Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, the first hijackers to arrive in the U.S., once they arrived in the country. Jim Kreindler, an attorney for victims' relatives, said in a statement that he believed "the findings and conclusions in this FBI investigation validate the arguments we have made in the litigation regarding the Saudi government's responsibility for the 9/11 attacks." He said that included Saudi officials' exchanging phone calls among themselves and with Al Qaeda operatives and then having "accidental meetings" with the hijackers while providing them with assistance to get settled and find flight schools. "This document, together with the public evidence gathered to date, provides a blueprint for how Al Qaeda operated inside the US with the active, knowing support of the Saudi government," he said.

Note: Why has the information been kept secret for decades? And why is much of the document still heavily redacted? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


9/11 and the Saudi Connection
2021-09-11, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/11/september-11-saudi-arabia/

None of the issues still lingering 20 years after the 9/11 attacks have been as persistent – or as emotionally wrenching for the families of the victims – as the question of whether Saudi Arabia provided funding and other assistance for the worst terrorist attack in American history. Of the 19 Al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four U.S. commercial airliners ... 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia – and of course, Osama bin Laden was a member of one of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest families. Immediately after the attacks, the Bush administration downplayed the Saudi connection and suppressed evidence that might link powerful Saudis to the funding of Islamic extremism and terrorism. Much of what the FBI discovered about possible Saudi links to the attacks remains secret even today. Glimpses of material that have become public provide mounting evidence that senior Saudi officials, including one diplomat in the Saudi Embassy in Washington, may in fact have indirectly provided assistance for two of the Al Qaeda hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who were the first of the hijackers to arrive in the United States in 2000 and lived for about a year and a half in San Diego beforehand. Other possible connections also led back to Prince Bandar, according to a 28-page section of a joint congressional inquiry in 2002, which was kept secret until its partial release in 2016. The 28 pages ... laid out a panoply of other connections between the hijackers and people inside or connected to the Saudi government.

Note: Read more about the 28 pages documenting Saudi support for 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


NIH Documents Provide New Evidence U.S. Funded Gain-of-Function Research in Wuhan
2021-09-09, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/09/covid-origins-gain-of-function-research/

Documents obtained by The Intercept contain new evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the nearby Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment, along with their collaborator, the U.S.-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, have engaged in what the U.S. government defines as "gain-of-function research of concern," intentionally making viruses more pathogenic or transmissible in order to study them, despite stipulations from a U.S. funding agency that the money not be used for that purpose. Grant money for the controversial experiment came from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is headed by Anthony Fauci. The award to EcoHealth Alliance ... included subawards to Wuhan Institute of Virology and East China Normal University. Scientists unanimously told The Intercept that the experiment, which involved infecting genetically engineered mice with "chimeric" hybrid viruses, could not have directly sparked the pandemic. Still, several scientists said the new information, which the NIH released after it was sued by The Intercept, points to biosafety concerns, highlighting a general lack of oversight for research on pathogens and raising questions about what other information has not been publicly disclosed. While the new information ... does not provide the "smoking gun" for proponents of what has become known as the "lab leak theory," it lends the hypothesis credence.

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


General Failure: How the U.S. Military Lied About the 9/11 Wars
2021-09-08, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/08/afghanistan-iraq-generals-soldiers-discip...

Every day since 9/11, the U.S. military has disciplined soldiers who failed to do their jobs properly. Since 2001, there have been more than 1.3 million cases of discipline in the armed forces, according to the Pentagon's annual reports. But the generals who misled Congress and the American public about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not needed to worry about negative consequences for their careers. After 20 years of conducting a disinformation campaign about what was really happening on the ground, not a single U.S. general has faced any punishment. Journalist Craig Whitlock's new book, "The Afghanistan Papers," [is] based on secret interviews the government conducted. Whitlock's book offers overwhelming evidence that military leaders knew the war was failing and lied about it. Whitlock described the military's upbeat assessments as "unwarranted and baseless," adding that they "amounted to a disinformation campaign." While a handful of top military officers have been punished for bribe-taking and other offenses in recent years, there has not been a whisper of the possibility of holding combat generals to account for the carnage they perpetuated. "An officer who misrepresented, misled, and lied to Congress, under the standards of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, has committed a crime," noted Paul Yingling, a retired Army officer. "As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war."

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


Richest Americans fail to pay $163 billion in taxes, Treasury estimates
2021-09-08, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tax-avoidance-richest-americans-163-billion/

The top 1% of Americans are avoiding paying an estimated $163 billion in taxes a year, according to the Treasury Department. That is pushing the estimated tax gap, the amount of money owed by taxpayers that isn't collected, to nearly around $600 billion annually, and to approximately $7 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, the Treasury Department finds. Tax evasion is concentrated among the wealthy in part because high-income taxpayers are able to employ experts who can better shield them from reporting their true incomes. More complicated incomes such as partnerships and proprietorships – more frequent among high earners – have a far greater noncompliance rate that can hit as high as 55%. "The tax gap can be a major source of inequity. Today's tax code contains two sets of rules: one for regular wage and salary workers who report virtually all the income they earn; and another for wealthy taxpayers, who are often able to avoid a large share of the taxes they owe," wrote Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Natasha Sarin. The IRS is unable to collect about 15% of taxes owed and the lack of resources has led to a fall in audit rates. For the IRS to appropriately enforce tax laws against high earners and large corporations, it would need money to hire and train agents who can examine thousands of pages of sophisticated tax filings. The Biden administration is pushing to raise the IRS budget by $80 billion over 10 years to help increase enforcement, IT and taxpayer services.

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


How the N.Y.P.D. Is Using Post-9/11 Tools on Everyday New Yorkers
2021-09-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/08/nyregion/nypd-9-11-police-surveillance.html

It was an unusual forearm tattoo that the police said led them to Luis Reyes, a 35-year-old man who was accused of stealing packages from a Manhattan building's mailroom in 2019. But the truth was more complicated: Mr. Reyes had first been identified by the New York Police Department's powerful facial recognition software as it analyzed surveillance video of the crime. His guilty plea this year ... was part of the sprawling legacy of one of the city's darkest days. Since the fall of the World Trade Center, the security apparatus born from the Sept. 11 attack on the city has fundamentally changed the way the country's largest police department operates, altering its approach to finding and foiling terrorist threats, but also to cracking minor cases like Mr. Reyes's. New Yorkers simply going about their daily lives routinely encounter post-9/11 digital surveillance tools like facial recognition software, license plate readers or mobile X-ray vans that can see through car doors. Surveillance drones hover above mass demonstrations and protesters say they have been questioned by antiterrorism officers after marches. The department's Intelligence Division, redesigned in 2002 to confront Al Qaeda operatives, now uses antiterror tactics to fight gang violence and street crime. The department's budget for intelligence and counterterrorism has more than quadrupled, spending more than $3 billion since 2006, and more through funding streams that are difficult to quantify, including federal grants and the secretive Police Foundation.

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


My Husband Died on 9/11. I Am Still Waiting for a Trial of His Killers.
2021-09-04, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/04/911-justice-department-terrorists-account...

After the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the U.S. Justice Department brought the co-conspirators before the federal court in the Southern District of New York for a criminal trial. After the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania ... the U.S. Justice Department similarly brought the perpetrators to public criminal trials in downtown Manhattan. Of course, the number killed in the 9/11 attacks far eclipses the count of those injured and killed in the World Trade Center 1993 bombing, the embassy bombings, and the USS Cole bombing combined. Historically speaking, the 9/11 families are the largest group of terrorism victims for terrorist attacks carried out inside the country. And yet the U.S. Justice Department has never indicted and fully prosecuted one co-conspirator for the crime. Quite inexplicably, the 3,000 homicides by hijacking and bombing on September 11 will go unanswered for. Rather pointedly, the 9/11 hijackers did not act alone. They had a substantial support network that was deeply embedded inside the United States and abroad. Taken as a whole, it would seem implausible that not one individual, entity, bank, or business has been fully prosecuted and found criminally responsible as a co-conspirator for the crime that took place. I'd argue that's by systemic prosecutorial choice to look the other way for matters of political expediency, cover-up, or in the best case scenario, sheer embarrassment.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Biden orders declassification of Sept. 11 investigation documents
2021-09-03, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/03/biden-orders-declassification-of-sept-11-inve...

President Joe Biden is ordering the widespread declassification of information collected during the U.S. investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks following growing pressure to do so from family members of the victims. The order lays out specific timelines over the next six months for the release of the documents, with some set to be released as early as next week's 20th anniversary of the terror attacks. Information should only remain classified if its release would pose a clear national security risk, and shouldn't remain classified "in order to conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error or to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency." "Information collected and generated in the United States Government's investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks should now be disclosed, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise," Biden said in an executive order directing the declassification. The White House has been under intense pressure ahead of the 20th anniversary from families of victims and first responders who believe the classified documents may show a link between Saudi Arabian leaders and the attacks. Nearly 1,800 people affected by the attacks issued a statement last month opposing Biden's participation in any memorial events this year unless he released more documents. Three previous presidents had declined to declassify the documents with the Trump administration invoking the state secrets privilege in 2019 to justify keeping documents classified.

Note: Some of these declassified documents have already been released, yet are heavily redacted. What are they hiding? And why are they still refusing to release classified documents from JFK's assassination over 50 years ago? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Democrats Who Joined Republicans to Increase Military Budget Have Strong Defense Ties
2021-09-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/03/democrats-defense-industry-military-budget/

Just two days after the U.S. ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan, more than a dozen Democrats with strong ties to the military establishment defied President Joe Biden and voted to add nearly $24 billion to the defense budget for fiscal year 2022. On Wednesday, 14 Democrats joined 28 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to adopt an amendment from Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., to the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would boost Biden's $715 billion spending proposal to $738.9 billion. The move follows the Senate Armed Services Committee's vote to similarly raise the top line to more than $740 billion in its July markup of the bill. Many of the Democrats who voted for the $24 billion increase have close ties to the defense establishment. Their districts are home to job-promoting manufacturing sites and military bases. Many of the Democrats have also received generous campaign donations from contractors. In fact, Federal Election Commission data shows that in the first six months of this year, the 14 Democrats collectively received at least $135,000 from PACs representing the country's top 10 defense vendors: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, L3Harris, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Leidos, Honeywell, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

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


America's 20-year war on terror has killed up to 929,000 people and cost over $8 trillion: report
2021-09-01, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/america-s-20-year-war-on-terror-has-kill...

The pricetag of America's global war on terror is estimated to stand at roughly $8 trillion, according to a new report from Brown University's Costs of War project. The estimate factors in "future costs for veteran's care, the total budgetary costs and future obligations of the post-9/11 wars." The report attributes $2.3 trillion to the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone, $2.1 trillion to the Iraq and Syria war zone, and $355 billion to other war zones. Dr. Neta C. Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project, in a statement said the project's accounting "goes beyond the Pentagon's numbers because the costs of the reaction to 9/11 have rippled through the entire budget." Costs of War also estimates that the war on terror, which will mark its 20th anniversary in a few weeks on September 11, has directly killed 897,000 to 929,000 people - including at least 387,072 civilians. In a report released last year, Costs of War estimated that the war on terror has displaced at least 37 million people on top of the hundreds of thousands of people killed in direct war violence. Though the US no longer has a troop presence in Afghanistan, the war on terror is seemingly poised to continue there as the Biden administration signals that it will continue to target ISIS-K in the country via drones and other means. The US also continues to have a military presence in Iraq and Syria, among other countries, and in recent weeks has conducted multiple airstrikes against Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, in Somalia.

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


The Sacklers, Who Made Billions From OxyContin, Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits
2021-09-01, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1031053251/sackler-family-immunity-purdue-phar...

Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication. Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic. "This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." The complex bankruptcy plan ... grants "releases" from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts. In return, they have agreed to pay roughly $4.3 billion, while also forfeiting ownership of Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers, who admit no wrongdoing and who by their own reckoning earned more than $10 billion from opioid sales, will remain one of the wealthiest families in the world. Critics of this bankruptcy settlement, meanwhile, said they would challenge Drain's confirmation because of the liability releases for the Sacklers. "This order is insulting to victims of the opioid epidemic who had no voice in these proceedings," said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Department of Justice urged Drain to reject the settlement. Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia also opposed the plan.

Note: Purdue Pharma spent $1.2 million on lobbying just before making this deal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


The US supreme court is deciding more and more cases in a secretive 'shadow docket'
2021-08-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/31/supreme-court-us-cases-...

On Tuesday, the supreme court issued an order requiring the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era policy that required asylum seekers from Central America to stay across the border in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. On Thursday, the court blocked an extension of the federal emergency ban on evictions, gutting a 1944 law that gave the CDC the authority to implement such measures to curb disease, and endangering the 8m American households that are behind on rent – who now, without federal eviction protection, may face homelessness. Both of these orders last week were issued in the dead of night. Their opinions were truncated, light on the details of their legal reasoning, and unsigned. Vote counts were not issued showing how each justice decided. And despite the enormous legal and human impact that the decisions inflicted, they were the product of rushed, abbreviated proceedings. The court did not receive full briefs on these matters, heard no oral arguments and overrode the normal sequence of appellate proceedings to issue their orders. Welcome to the "shadow docket", the so-called emergency proceedings that now constitute the majority of the supreme court's business. Minimally argued, rarely justified and decided without transparency, shadow docket orders were once a tool the court used to dispense with unremarkable and legally unambiguous matters. The shadow docket's expanded use raises troubling questions – both for transparency, and for the separation of powers.

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


Post-9/11 Stings Targeted People Who Posed No Threat. They Remain in Prison.
2021-08-29, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/29/duka-fort-dix-five-post-911-terror-stings/

Right up until his death in 2018, Ferik Duka dreamed of seeing his three eldest sons, Shain, Dritan, and Eljvir, freed from prison. In 2009, the three brothers were sentenced to life for their role in an alleged plot to attack the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. The convictions followed a terrorism sting ... that ran for over a year and involved multiple government informants. The investigation into the "Fort Dix Five," as the case became known, was marred by outrageous law enforcement and legal abuses, documented in a 2015 investigation and documentary by The Intercept. Their case was just one of many in which zealous FBI officials and prosecutors, operating in the heated atmosphere of post-9/11 America, branded individuals who posed no appreciable threat to the country as enemies of the state. Many of them, like the Duka brothers, were given long prison sentences or otherwise had their lives ruined after being convicted on material support for terrorism charges. "There hasn't been any reckoning with the legacy of this era," said Ramzi Kassem, a ... Law professor. Kassem said, "It is alarming when you look across these cases and see an overrepresentation of suspects who were mentally deficient, marginalized, or otherwise vulnerable. Informants proposed so-called terrorism plots, funded them, provided means of execution, coaching, and even coaxed the targets of stings over prolonged periods of time in order to enable prosecutors to paint their conduct as criminally punishable."

Note: Read more about terrorism plots hatched by the FBI. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.


Indian Boarding Schools' Traumatic Legacy, And The Fight To Get Native Ancestors Back
2021-08-28, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2021/08/28/1031398120/native-boarding...

After the remains of more than 1,300 First Nations students were discovered at the former sites of Canada's residential schools earlier this year, the U.S. is now facing its own moment of reckoning with its history of Native American boarding schools. In response to these findings, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (a member of the Pueblo of Laguna) announced a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to review "the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies." In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, efforts have been underway since 2016 to return the remains of Native children to their proper resting places. Carlisle was home to the first off-reservation Indian boarding school in the U.S. – Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Today, it's an army barracks, home to the US Army War college for senior officers. But from 1879 to 1918, it housed Native students from tribes across America, with the express purpose of assimilating them into American culture. upon entering the barracks, the first thing one will notice is the cemetery: rows of white headstones where students are buried. Over four decades, roughly 8,000 students attended the school, and nearly 200 were buried here. The cause was often attributed to disease, although abuse was often rampant at these schools. The entire system of Indian boarding schools has long been condemned by Native Americans as a form of cultural genocide. One researcher, Preston McBride, believes the number of graves discovered could be as many as 40,000 here in the US.

Note: Read about Canada's unmarked graves at residential schools for indigenous kids. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Lawmaker wants pardon for Daniel Hale, who leaked drone secrets
2021-08-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/daniel-hale-pardon-letter/2...

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is asking President Biden to pardon a former Air Force intelligence analyst who exposed secrets about drone warfare in Afghanistan. In July, Daniel Hale pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria to violating the Espionage Act and was sentenced in July to 45 months in prison for leaking classified documents to the Intercept. In court, Hale said he felt compelled to speak out about the immorality of the drone program after realizing he had helped kill Afghan civilians, including a small child. "Not a day goes by that I don't question the justification for my actions," he wrote to the judge. "I am grief-stricken and ashamed of myself." One document he leaked showed that during a five-month operation in Afghanistan, nearly 90 percent of the people killed were not the intended targets. "I take extremely seriously the prohibition on leaking classified information, but I believe there are several aspects of Mr. Hale's case that merit a full pardon," Omar wrote in the letter sent to Biden. "The information, while politically embarrassing to some, has shone a vital light on the legal and moral problems of the drone program and informed the public debate on an issue that has for too many years remained in the shadows." This week, Hale was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, given by a group of whistleblowers from the national security community. Edward Snowden received the same award in 2013.

Note: Hale's leak was the basis for an article series called The Drone Papers. A 2014 analysis found that attempts to kill 41 people with drones resulted in 1,147 deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Taliban now has access to $85 billion of American military equipment
2021-08-26, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/26/taliban-now-has-access-85-b...

The Taliban now has access to $85 billion worth of American military equipment and the biometric data of the Afghans who have assisted soldiers over the past 20 years, a Republican congressman has warned. Jim Banks, a former US Navy reservist, said that the vast amount of hardware left behind includes 75,000 vehicles, 200 airplanes and helicopters and 600,000 small arms and light weapons. "The Taliban now has more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 per cent of the countries in the world," he said. Other equipment seized by the Taliban includes night-vision goggles, body armour and medical supplies, he said. Mr Banks says he is sure of the numbers because he worked as a foreign military sales officer, acquiring the equipment that America provided, then turning it over to Afghan forces. "Unfathomable to me and so many others, the Taliban now has biometric devices which have the fingerprints, eye scans and biographical information of all the Afghans who helped us and were on our side in the last 20 years," Mr Banks said. "There is no plan by this administration to get those weapons back. Already, the Taliban say they have deployed an elite unit boasting high-tech equipment to guard sites in the Afghan capital. The militants' propaganda channels released a slick film of a unit called the "Badri 313 Brigade", saying they would be on the streets of Kabul. Slow motion footage showed them wearing modern helmets, sun glasses, body armour and carrying similar rifles to the Afghan forces.

Note: Why didn't the military prioritize removing this huge amount of equipment that they knew would be taken over by the Taliban? Do you think this equipment might have been left behind on purpose by those who profit from war? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


For Two Decades, Americans Told One Lie After Another About What They Were Doing in Afghanistan
2021-08-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/26/afghanistan-america-failures/

For two decades, Americans have told each other one lie after another about the war in Afghanistan. The lies have come from the White House, Congress, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA, as well as from Hollywood, cable news pundits, journalists, and the broader culture. But at the very edge of the American empire, the war was nasty and brutish. This month, as the Taliban swiftly took control of Kabul and the American-backed government collapsed, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the government's watchdog over the Afghan experience, issued his final report. The assessment includes remarkably candid interviews with former American officials involved in shaping U.S. policy in Afghanistan that, collectively, offer perhaps the most biting critique of the 20-year American enterprise ever published in an official U.S. government report. One of the first things the U.S. did after gaining effective control over Afghanistan following the Taliban's ouster in 2001 was to set up secret torture chambers. Beginning in 2002, the CIA tortured both Afghans and foreign prisoners flown to these torture rooms from all over Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. American drone strikes also started early in Afghanistan. Afghanistan soon became the beta test site for high-tech drone warfare ... yet the U.S. refused to keep track of civilian casualties from drone strikes.

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


How Myanmar's military terrorized its people with weapons of war
2021-08-25, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2021/myanmar-crackdown-milit...

When Myanmar's military seized power in a Feb. 1 coup, millions across the country took to the streets in protest. The Myanmar military responded with weapons of war and brutal, premeditated counterinsurgency tactics against demonstrators. U.N. officials and human rights groups say these acts must be investigated as crimes against humanity. Noise from the nearby pagoda roused Aung and his family before dawn on April 9. He saw dozens of soldiers shouting and cursing as they streamed onto trucks, rifles slung across their chests. By the end of that day, the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, and police officers had killed at least 82 people, according to groups tracking protest deaths – making it the deadliest single crackdown since the military seized power. A Washington Post investigation of that day's events reveals the use of counterinsurgency tactics, specialized military units and military-grade weaponry against civilian protesters – resulting in a high number of casualties. "It is very systematic [and] the pattern of violence is very, very clear," said Tom Andrews, the United Nations' special rapporteur for Myanmar. "These are crimes against humanity," he said, noting especially the premeditation before the attacks in Bago. Zaya, a front-line protester ... said he and others there heard the sounds of heavy weaponry. [A] wall, which withstood gunfire for hours, began to shake and collapse. Soldiers then rushed forward ... shooting indiscriminately. "They were killed like goats in a slaughterhouse," he said.

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


Does the FDA think these data justify the first full approval of a covid-19 vaccine?
2021-08-23, The BMJ (New name of the British Medical Journal)
https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/08/23/does-the-fda-think-these-data-justify-th...

On 28 July 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech posted updated results for their ongoing phase 3 covid-19 vaccine trial. The preprint came almost a year to the day after the historical trial commenced, and nearly four months since the companies announced vaccine efficacy estimates "up to six months.". But you won't find 10 month follow-up data here. While the preprint is new, the results it contains aren't particularly up to date. Since late last year, we've heard that Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines are "95% effective." Measuring vaccine efficacy two months after dosing says little about just how long vaccine-induced immunity will last. "Waning immunity" is a known problem for influenza vaccines, with some studies showing near zero effectiveness after just three months. And so the recent reports from Israel's Ministry of Health caught my eye. In early July, they reported that efficacy against infection and symptomatic disease "fell to 64%." By late July it had fallen to 39% where Delta is the dominant strain. This is very low. For context, the FDA's expectation is of "at least 50%" efficacy for any approvable vaccine. Now Israel, which almost exclusively used Pfizer vaccine, has begun administering a third "booster" dose to all adults over 40. The US plans to follow suit. Until new clinical trials demonstrate that boosters increase efficacy above 50%, without increasing serious adverse events, it is unclear whether the 2-dose series would even meet the FDA's approval standard at six or nine months.

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


New Laws Have Basically Ended Voter Registration Drives In Some Parts Of The U.S.
2021-08-23, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/08/23/1030430564/new-laws-have-basically-ended-voter...

New state laws tightening voting restrictions come in two basic varieties: those that make it harder to cast a vote and those making it more difficult to get registered to vote in the first place. In Kansas, one law effectively shuts down voter registration drives. It's now a felony offense to impersonate an election official, and the law creates a vague standard for breaking it, a standard that depends on impressions. It criminalizes engaging in conduct that might seem like something an election official would do. Davis Hammet, president of the Kansas civic engagement group Loud Light, says that subjective standard would probably include work his volunteers do, which includes approaching people with clipboards and registering them to vote. "So, if someone accuses you of being an election official or saying they were just confused and thought you were one, and you were arrested, you would be charged with a felony," Hammet says. "And so, a felony means you lose your right to vote. So, you could lose your right to vote for trying to help people vote." This knocks a big hole in efforts to register new voters because county elections officials rely on volunteer groups to do outreach. Tammy Patrick has been tracking an avalanche of election-related legislation. "There have been a little more than 3,000 bills introduced ... this legislative session, which is the most bills we've seen around election administration," Patrick says. "Many of them actually have included things very similar to the Kansas law."

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


Portland's Bizarre Experiment With Not Policing Proud Boys Rampage Ends in Gunfire
2021-08-23, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/23/portland-police-proud-boys-protest/

Portland narrowly avoided tragedy on Sunday as the city's police force abandoned its duty to secure the streets and officers made no effort to stop assaults on residents by members of the far-right Proud Boys gang, many of whom had traveled from around the country to live out their fantasies of attacking anti-fascist protesters. The absence of the police, in line with a policy on nonintervention announced beforehand by Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell, reinforced a sense among anti-fascists that they were on their own. So when a right-wing gunman fired in the direction of black-clad protesters who had chased him away from their protest at gunpoint, it was shocking but perhaps not surprising that one of the anti-fascists fired back, according to witnesses. The fact that the right-wing gunman – 65-year-old Dennis Anderson from the neighboring city of Gresham – was arrested within minutes by an undercover officer and two uniformed colleagues underscored for many protesters that the police could have intervened earlier but had chosen not to do so. The gunfire came after a Proud Boys rally, devoted to the "political prisoners" of the January 6 Capitol attacks ... had devolved into violence, with attacks on left-wing protesters who fought back with paintballs, fireworks, and pepper spray. Although multiple assaults were captured on video by journalists on the scene, the police failed to intervene.

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


Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting
2021-08-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/20/mike-waltz-afghanistan/

Few lawmakers are as outspoken about the end of the war in Afghanistan as Michael Waltz, a Republican from Florida's 6th Congressional District. In recent weeks, Waltz has called on President Joe Biden to "reverse course," relaunch military operations in the region. The Florida congressman has warned darkly of an "Al-Qaeda 3.0" and stated that no negotiations should take place with the Taliban "until the situation is stabilized militarily." There's one crucial part of Waltz's experience he tends to leave out: Before his successful run for Congress in 2018, he managed a lucrative defense contracting firm with offices in Afghanistan. The company was recently sold to Pacific Architects and Engineers, or PAE, one of the largest war contractors the U.S. has hired to train and mentor Afghan security forces. The deal personally enriched Waltz by up to $26 million, a figure made public by a filing disclosed this month. In 2010, after stints in the military and as an adviser to the Bush administration, Waltz helped found Metis Solutions, a defense contractor that "provides strategic analysis, intelligence support, and training," with offices in Arlington, Virgina; Tampa, Florida; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Kabul, Afghanistan. Congressional ethics disclosures show that in 2019, Waltz held up to $1 million in equity from Metis Solutions and up to $250,000 in options of Metis Solutions stock. The lawmaker's subsequent ethics disclosure ... shows that he earned between $5 and $25 million in capital gains from his stock sales.

Note: Watch a rare video revealing the manipulations behind the call to send troops to Afghanistan. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


Feds Deliberately Targeted BLM Protesters To Disrupt The Movement, A Report Says
2021-08-20, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/08/20/1029625793/black-lives-matter-protesters-targeted

The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Movement for Black Lives. The prosecution of protesters over the past year continues a century-long practice by the federal government, rooted in structural racism, to suppress Black social movements via the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms. "The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known ... about the federal government's disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests," the report stated. Titled "Struggle For Power: The Ongoing Persecution of Black Movement By The U.S. Government," the report details how policing has been used historically as a major tool to deter Black people from engaging in their right to protest. It also drew a comparison to how the government used Counterintelligence Program techniques to "disrupt the work of the Black Panther Party and other organizations fighting for Black liberation." A key finding of the report was that the push to use federal charges against protesters came from top-down directives. In 92.6% of the cases, there were equivalent state level charges that could have been brought against defendants.

Note: Read about the FBI's COINTELPRO program which suppressed dissent by targeting activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around
2021-08-18, 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.


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

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.


$10,000 Invested in Defense Stocks When Afghanistan War Began Now Worth Almost $100,000
2021-08-16, 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
2021-08-14, 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.


9/11 families to President Biden: Don't come to our memorial events
2021-08-06, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/9-11-families-president-biden-don-t-come...

Nearly 1,800 Americans directly affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are opposing President Joe Biden's participation in any memorial events this year unless he upholds his pledge to declassify U.S. government evidence that they believe may show a link between Saudi Arabian leaders and the attacks. The victims' family members, first responders and survivors will release a statement Friday calling on Biden to skip 20th-anniversary events in New York and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon unless he releases the documents, which they believe implicate Saudi officials in supporting the acts of terrorism. The group says that ... Biden pledged to be more transparent and release as much information as possible but that his administration has since then ignored their letters. "We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment," they wrote in a statement. "Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks," the statement says. "The Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks." The administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump also declined to declassify supporting documents.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Kamala Harris' Vietnam trip delayed over possible case of mysterious 'Havana syndrome'
2021-08-04, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfgate.com/national-politics/article/Kamala-Harris-Vietnam-Havana...

Vice President Kamala Harris' trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, was delayed by a few hours after her office was made aware of a "recent possible anomalous health incident" among U.S. officials in Hanoi. "Anomalous health incident" is how the United States government refers to the mysterious "Havana syndrome." First reported in 2016 by United States officials in Cuba, Havana syndrome has afflicted more than 130 U.S. officials over the past five years stationed in several countries overseas. Victims of the syndrome typically report strange experiences, like feelings of pressure or vibration and a screeching sound, and debilitating symptoms, including headaches, nausea, cognitive deficits, and trouble with seeing, hearing, or balancing. The vice president's office said that after "careful consideration," her team opted to continue with her Vietnam trip. A couple hours after the announcement, NBC News reported that a medical evacuation was called for two U.S. officials in Hanoi. The NBC report noted that "strange sounds" were involved in the incidents, and that Vietnam has seen past reports of possible Havana syndrome cases. NBC News reported in June that some U.S. officials believe that unknown adversaries used "devices intended to extract information from cellphones and other personal devices" that emitted electromagnetic waves powerful enough to cause debilitating symptoms. After realizing such devices had that effect, they then "weaponized the tactic to intentionally cause physical harm."

Note: Read more about these mysterious attacks on spies and diplomats. Read very little-known, yet astounding information on sophisticated technologies which can project music and clear voices into people's heads in these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.


New Documents Show Pentagon Rubber-Stamping Police Requests For Military Gear
2021-08-02, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/militarized-police-reform-joe-biden_n_6101967b...

Last summer, as one city after another broke out in protest against the murder of George Floyd, some of the most enduring images were not of the demonstrators, but of the police: decked out in riot gear, aiming automatic weapons at peaceful crowds, and riding around on armored vehicles built for war. The crackdowns on protesters renewed furious demands to end a suite of federal programs that have put billions of dollars' worth of military weapons in the hands of local police. The Pentagon's 1033 program ... transfers weapons and equipment from America's foreign wars directly to domestic law enforcement agencies. Under a Freedom of Information Act request, HuffPost has exclusively obtained hundreds of letters that local law enforcement agencies wrote to the Department of Defense in 2017 and 2018 making the case to receive an armored vehicle under the 1033 program. The documents reveal that hundreds of police departments across the country, in communities of all sizes, are willing to deploy armored vehicles to carry out even the most routine tasks: making traffic stops; serving search warrants; responding to domestic violence; responding to people threatening suicide. In response to these requests, the Pentagon has provided thousands of small-town police and sheriff agencies with vehicles built to withstand conditions of war [and] distributed billions of dollars' worth of helicopters, body armor, night vision equipment, ammunition, rifle sights, machine guns and assault rifles.

Note: This ABC News article shows that providing police with military gear does not reduce crime nor protect police officers. Read more about the Pentagon's 1033 program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the military and in policing from reliable major media sources.


Colombian Mercenaries and the Assassination of Hatian President Jovenel MoĂŻse
2021-07-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/26/colombian-mercenaries-haiti-jovenel-moise...

They were Colombian mercenaries, Haitian authorities said, dispatched in a brazen international plot orchestrated through a Florida-based security firm that culminated in the assassination of President Jovenel MoĂŻse and plunged the nation into uncertainty and terror. Eighteen Colombians, most of them former soldiers, some hailing from elite units, have been arrested in connection with the July 7 assassination. Three others were killed in the aftermath of the assault, while five more are reportedly still at large. Two Haitian Americans, one a former U.S. government informant, turned themselves in hours after the attack, claiming that they were translators aiding an effort to serve an arrest warrant on the president and transfer him to the presidential palace, not to kill him. At least seven of the alleged assassins received U.S. training during their military careers. According to a U.S. official, between 2001 and 2015, the soldiers received instruction in both Colombia and the U.S. on skills ranging from military leadership and professional development to counternarcotics and counterterrorism. The Colombians' presence in Haiti has opened a rare window into a murky private security world that extends from the U.S. into Latin America and the Caribbean. Through three of the most consequential conflicts of the past century – the Cold War, the drug war, and the war on terror – the interlocking relationship between U.S. and Colombian security forces has produced a generation of hired guns.

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


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

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.


'They Don't Give a Shit': Former Agent Says FBI Ignores Child Sex Abuse Cases
2021-07-21, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/jane-turner-fbi-whistle...

Last week, the Justice Department's Inspector General released a scathing report detailing just how badly the FBI botched the major child abuse case involving Larry Nassar, former doctor for the USA Gymnastics national team and Michigan State University accused of abusing dozens of young patients in his care across several states. The report says the FBI's Indianapolis Field Office did not respond to the claims against Nassar "with the utmost seriousness and urgency that the allegations deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and failed to notify state or local authorities of the allegations or take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by Nassar." According to Jane Turner, a 25-year FBI agent-turned-whistleblower who reported the mishandling of crimes against children on American Indian reservations in North Dakota, the FBI's failures in the Nassar case are, unfortunately, not unique. Turner believes the breakdown comes from a lack of training in handling these kinds of cases, a lack of oversight when things do get handled badly, and a lack of interest on the part of a majority white and male staff who, according to Turner, would rather be working more glamorous assignments. "They don't give a shit about kids or young people," she says. Because of the Indianapolis Field Office's delays ... the Inspector General's report said that Nassar was able to abuse an estimated 70 more young athletes between July 2015 and August 2016.

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


Guantánamo Bay: Inside the world's most notorious detention centre as the war on terror fades away
2021-07-21, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guantanamo-bay-biden-war-on...

Nashwan al-Tamir, wearing a white robe and long beard, does not pause to study the rows of people who fill the room. In the nearly 15 years since his capture, and seven since he has faced formal charges of being a high-level al-Qaeda operative who oversaw plots to attack Americans in Afghanistan, the 60-year-old Iraqi has gone through four judges, 20 defence lawyers and several prosecution teams. The courtroom here at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba has moved, and the base in which it sits has grown larger. The only constant in these proceedings is Tamir himself, but he has grown older, and moves slower now, due to a degenerative disease. The world outside has changed dramatically in that time, too. Susan Hensler, Tamir's lead defence counsel since 2017, says the military court system through which her client is being prosecuted ... has yet to catch up to the new reality. "This process doesn't work," [she said]. "The fact that the 9/11 trial is still going on 20 years later is good evidence that it doesn't work. The fact that my client's trial has been going on for seven years and yet today we're discussing how to start over from the very beginning, again, is evidence that it doesn't work." This case has seen some 40,000 pages of briefings and orders and 3,000 pages of transcripts, but Tamir's trial is yet to begin. The same is true of the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks. Many imprisoned here were subjected to torture, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, sexual harassment and physical abuse.

Note: Read excerpts from a letter by Sharqawi Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and 9/11 from reliable major media sources.


On the list: Ten prime ministers, three presidents and a king
2021-07-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/20/heads-of-state-pegasus-spyware/

Spies for centuries have trained their sights on those who shape destinies of nations: presidents, prime ministers, kings. And in the 21st century, most of them carry smartphones. Such is the underlying logic for some of the most tantalizing discoveries for an international investigation that in recent months scrutinized a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that included – according to forensic analyses of dozens of iPhones – at least some people targeted by Pegasus spyware licensed to governments worldwide. The list contained the numbers of politicians and government officials by the hundreds. But what of heads of state and governments, arguably the most coveted of targets? Fourteen. Or more specifically: three presidents, 10 prime ministers and a king. Forensic testing that might have revealed infection by NSO's signature spyware, Pegasus, was not possible. Nor was it possible to determine whether any NSO client attempted to deliver Pegasus to the phones of these country leaders – much less whether any succeeded in turning these highly personal devices into pocket spies capable of tracking a national leader's nearly every movement, communication and personal relationship. According to NSO marketing materials and security researchers, Pegasus is designed to collect files, photos, call logs, location records, communications and other private data from smartphones, and can activate cameras and microphones as well for real-time surveillance at key moments.

Note: Read how this Pegasus spyware was used to target activists and journalists in Mexico. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The Flimsy Evidence Behind the CDC's Push to Vaccinate Children
2021-07-19, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/cdc-covid-19-coronavirus-vaccine-side-effects-ho...

A tremendous number of government and private policies affecting kids are based on one number: 335. That is how many children under 18 have died with a Covid diagnosis code in their medical record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet the CDC, which has 21,000 employees, hasn't researched each death to find out whether Covid caused it or if it involved a pre-existing medical condition. Without these data, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices decided in May that the benefits of two-dose vaccination outweigh the risks for all kids 12 to 15. I've written hundreds of peer-reviewed medical studies, and I can think of no journal editor who would accept the claim that 335 deaths resulted from a virus without data to indicate if the virus was incidental or causal. Johns Hopkins worked with the nonprofit FAIR Health to analyze approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data. Our report found a mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition. The National Education Association has been debating whether to urge schools to require vaccination before returning to school in person. How can they or anyone debate the issue without the right data? Meanwhile ... Alameda County, Calif., reduced its Covid death toll by 25%. after state public-health officials insisted that deaths be attributed to Covid only if the virus was a direct or contributing factor

Note: Alameda County corrected their COVID death figures, but how many other counties throughout the US did not? If you can't access this article on the WSJ website, go to this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Huge data leak shatters the lie that the innocent need not fear surveillance
2021-07-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/18/huge-data-leak-shatters-lie-inno...

Few pause to think that their phones can be transformed into surveillance devices, with someone thousands of miles away silently extracting their messages, photos and location, activating their microphone to record them in real time. Such are the capabilities of Pegasus, the spyware manufactured by NSO Group, the Israeli purveyor of weapons of mass surveillance. The Guardian will be revealing the identities of many innocent people who have been identified as candidates for possible surveillance by NSO clients in a massive leak of data. Without forensics on their devices, we cannot know whether governments successfully targeted these people. But the presence of their names on this list indicates the lengths to which governments may go to spy on critics, rivals and opponents. Journalists across the world were selected as potential targets by these clients prior to a possible hack using NSO surveillance tools. People whose phone numbers appear in the leak ... include lawyers, human rights defenders, religious figures, academics, businesspeople, diplomats, senior government officials and heads of state. One phone that has contained signs of Pegasus activity belonged to our esteemed Mexican colleague Carmen Aristegui, whose number was in the data leak and who was targeted following her exposÄ‚© of a corruption scandal involving her country's former president Enrique PeÄ‚±a Nieto. At least four of her journalist colleagues appear in the leak

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Meet the Consulting Firm That's Staffing the Biden Administration
2021-07-06, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/06/westexec-biden-administration/

Less than six months into the Biden administration, more than 15 consultants from the firm WestExec Advisors have fanned out across the White House, its foreign policy apparatus, and its law enforcement institutions. Five, some of whom already have jobs with the administration, have been nominated for high-ranking posts, and four others served on the Biden-Harris transition team. Even by Washington standards, it's a remarkable march through the revolving door, especially for a firm that only launched in 2017. The pipeline has produced a dominance of WestExec alums throughout the administration, installed in senior roles as influential as director of national intelligence and secretary of state. WestExec clients, meanwhile, have controversial interests in tech and defense that intersect with the policies their former consultants are now in a position to set and execute. The creeping monopolization of foreign policymaking by a single boutique consulting firm has gone largely unnoticed. The firm describes one of its chief selling points as its "unparalleled geopolitical risk analysis," now confirmed by the saturation of its employees in positions of power. WestExec has also succeeded in getting tech startups into defense contracts. Deputy Director of the CIA David S. Cohen was an early member of WestExec's "core team." But it's impossible to know who his clients were, because an exemption for the spy agencies' officials means that his disclosure is not publicly available.

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


Whistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office
2021-07-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/02/epa-chemical-safety-corruption-whistleblo...

Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided ... detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. Information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists' conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market. William Irwin, [one] of the four whistleblowers, who has worked at the EPA for over 11 years as a toxicologist, was ... moved out of the office after repeatedly resisting pressure to change his assessments to favor industry. Irwin said that while it had seemed obvious that the pressure stemmed from chemical companies, the science adviser in the office made the point irrefutably clear during an argument over one particular chemical assessment.

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


How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America
2021-06-30, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/06/30/epa-pesticides-exposure-opp/

Interviews with more than two dozen experts on pesticide regulation – including 14 who worked at the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, or OPP – described a federal environmental agency that is often unable to stand up to the intense pressures from powerful agrochemical companies, which spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year and employ many former EPA scientists once they leave the agency. The enormous corporate influence has weakened and, in some cases, shut down the meaningful regulation of pesticides in the U.S. and left the country's residents exposed to levels of dangerous chemicals not tolerated in many other nations. This reporting has brought to light several instances in which the overlooking, burying, or scuttling of science has had direct consequences for human health. The alarming discoveries include an EPA report warning about the link between the pesticide glyphosate and cancer that never saw the light of day; the failure to consider evidence that a neonicotinoid pesticide causes brain damage; the refusal to investigate evidence that another pesticide that is an ingredient in Roundup may cause cancer ... and the agency's waiving of the vast majority of toxicity tests at the request of industry. The scientists who have identified these hazards described immense pressure from within the agency to overlook the risks they found. And several said they faced retribution for calling attention to the dangers of pesticides.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


John McAfee was not suicidal, says widow of antivirus software magnate
2021-06-25, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/25/tech/john-mcafee-wife-janice-intl/index.html

The widow of controversial antivirus software magnate John McAfee said her husband was not suicidal, and blamed United States authorities for "this tragedy" after he was found dead in his cell in a prison near Barcelona. The 75-year-old McAfee, who had multiple run-ins with the law, was awaiting extradition after being charged with tax evasion in the United States last year. Speaking to reporters outside the prison on Friday, Janice McAfee demanded a thorough investigation, saying she wanted "answers of how this was able to happen." Janice McAfee's lawyer, Javier Villalba, [said] his client is waiting for the official autopsy to be done adding that the family has requested a second and independent one. "I blame the US authorities for this tragedy. Because of these politically motivated charges against him. My husband is now dead," Janice said. "His last words to me were: I love you and I will call you in the evening," Janice said. "He would have never quit this way. He would never take his life in this way, ever." His death came after a ruling from a three-judge panel at Spain's National Court in Madrid this week that McAfee could be extradited to the United States to face charges there. Janice said Friday the Spanish court's decision to extradite him did not come as a surprise and they had a plan in place to appeal it.

Note: Why does this article fail to mention that McAfee himself said "Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine," as confirmed in this article? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


They Seemed Like Democratic Activists. They Were Secretly Conservative Spies.
2021-06-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/25/us/politics/spies-conservatives-left-polit...

The young couple posing in front of the faux Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas fit right in, two people in a sea of idealistic Democrats who had arrived in the city in February 2020 for a Democratic primary debate. Large donations to the Democratic National Committee – $10,000 each – had bought Beau Maier and Sofia LaRocca tickets to the debate. In fact, much about them was a lie. Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca were part of an undercover operation by conservatives to infiltrate progressive groups, political campaigns and the offices of Democratic as well as moderate Republican elected officials during the 2020 election cycle. Using large campaign donations and cover stories, the operatives aimed to gather dirt that could sabotage the reputations of people and organizations considered threats to a hard-right agenda. At the center of the scheme was an unusual cast: a former British spy connected to the security contractor Erik Prince, a wealthy heiress to the Gore-Tex fortune and undercover operatives like Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca who used Wyoming as a base to insinuate themselves into the political fabric of this state and at least two others, Colorado and Arizona. In more than two dozen interviews and a review of federal election records, The New York Times reconstructed many of the operatives' interactions in Wyoming and other states ... and spoke to people with whom they discussed details of their spying operation.

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


Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be "Right-Wing"?
2021-06-25, Matt Taibbi on Substack
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/ivermectin-can-a-drug-be-right-wing

At the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who's already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not? Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves ... the censorship of ivermectin news. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube's policies are beyond uneven. It's been aggressive in taking down videos ... and doling out strikes to independent media figures. Ivermectin has suffered the same fate as thousands of other news topics since Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency nearly six years ago, cleaved in two to inhabit separate factual universes for left and right audiences. The drug has become a test case for a controversy that's long been building in health care, about how much input patients should have in their own treatment. Should people on their deathbeds be allowed to try anything to save themselves? That seems like an easy question to answer. Should the entire world be allowed to practice self-care on a grand scale? That's a different issue.

Note: Don't miss the entire article to see just how crazy the medical establishment has become in treating COVID. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


US billionaires don't pay tax, and our politicians don't seem bothered
2021-06-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/24/us-billionaires-tax-ret...

This month, ProPublica revealed that American billionaires essentially do not pay taxes, and within hours the White House had awkwardly promised no fewer than four federal investigations into the identity of the individual who had alerted the news organization to this fact. By Thursday, a North Carolina congressman was demanding the FBI director explain why he hadn't made any arrests or at the very least, "executed any search warrants or raided any offices" in the international manhunt for the leaker. ProPublica carefully chose the six billionaires whose tax returns it chose to single out for specific scrutiny. But ProPublica seems to have deliberately underthrown. After breathlessly informing readers they possessed a "trove" of 15 years' worth of tax returns on literally "thousands" of the world's richest people, the story's three authors proceeded to weave a few juicy and non-contextualized facts into a narrative that felt like a protracted sidebar to the "real" story. We learned that the 25 richest billionaires in America added $401bn to their net worths between 2014 and 2018 and paid about 3% of that amount in taxes, but we didn't learn much about any specific billionaire's tax avoidance strategies. Fifteen years of tax return information on thousands of American plutocrats is, to be sure, one of the biggest stories of the decade. It's just not clear ProPublica has that much appetite for sticking with the story.

Note: In the US, former tax lobbyists often write the rules on tax dodging. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Hundreds of graves found at former residential school for Indigenous children in Canada
2021-06-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/06/23/canada-cowessess-residential-...

Leaders of a First Nation in Canada said Thursday they have found indications of at least 751 unmarked graves near the site of a former residential school in Saskatchewan, the second such announcement here in less than a month as the country reckons with the devastating legacy of one of the darkest chapters of its history. Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme said the discovery was made near the grounds of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in the southeastern corner of the prairie province, confirming the stories of Indigenous elders and residential school survivors who had long told stories of a burial site there. Nearly 150,000 Indigenous children were sent to the government-funded and church-run boarding schools, which were set up in the 19th century to assimilate them and operated until the late 1990s. Many children were forcibly separated from their families to be placed in the schools. Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission said in a 2015 report that many of the students were subjected to physical and sexual abuse at the schools, which barred them from practicing their traditions and speaking their languages. It said the schools carried out "cultural genocide" and effectively institutionalized child neglect. The commission identified more than 3,000 students who died at the schools, a rate that was far higher than for non-Indigenous school-aged children. Officials say the total number of children who died or went missing at the schools might never be known.

Note: The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report led to a $5 billion settlement between the government and surviving First Nation students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


John McAfee's wife claimed US wanted him to 'die in prison' days before suicide
2021-06-24, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2021/06/24/john-mcafees-wife-claims-us-wanted-him-to-die-i...

John McAfee's wife publicly claimed that the US wanted the software tycoon to "die in prison" – just three days before he was found hanged in his cell. Janice McAfee made the damning statement Sunday in a Father's Day post while her husband was in a Spanish jail awaiting extradition to the US to face federal tax evasion charges. "John's honesty has often gotten him in trouble with corrupt governments and corrupt government officials because of his outspoken nature and his refusal to be extorted, intimidated or silenced," wrote Janice. "Now the US authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies," she wrote. Within three days, McAfee was found dead in a Barcelona jail, with his death Wednesday deemed a suicide and foul play ruled out by Spanish authorities. He too had earlier warned of a possible conspiracy, comparing it to ongoing rumors about late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in his Manhattan lockup in August 2019. "Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine," McAffee had earlier warned. His wife's message had insisted that there was "no hope of him ever [to] have a fair trial in America because there is no longer any justice in America. Before you were innocent until proven guilty but somehow that has changed to guilty until proven innocent."

Note: McAfee has long been an outspoken critic of corruption among the power elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Defense Secretary Will Back A Seismic Shift In Prosecuting Military Sex Assault Cases
2021-06-23, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/06/22/1009272055/defense-secretary-says-hell-support...

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced he will support changes to the military justice system that would take sexual assault cases away from the chain of command and let independent military lawyers handle them. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has long pushed for legislation on the issue, praised Austin's move but [said] that it doesn't go far enough. Austin said he will present President Biden with a series of recommendations aiming to "finally end the scourge of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military." It's a seismic shift that requires amending the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which no other secretary of defense has been willing to do. Austin's announcement follows a report by the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, whose mandate from Biden was to find solutions to improve accountability, prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support involved in such cases. The Pentagon has long resisted any outside interference. In studying the issue for several years, Gillibrand said, "We recognized that there's a lot of bias in the military justice system." She noted that the rate of sexual assaults in the military continues to grow, but relatively few cases go to trial or end in convictions. A 2020 report from the Defense Department indicates unrestricted reports of sexual assaults in the military have doubled, while the rate of prosecution and conviction has been halved since 2013.

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.


US Navy's powerful shock exercise harms marine mammals, expert says
2021-06-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/23/us-navy-shock-exercises-marin...

The US navy set off a massive explosion last week, detonating a 40,000lb blast as part of a test to determine whether its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, is ready for war. The test, known as a full ship shock trial, is just the first of three planned blasts over the coming months. But the amount of explosive used – 40,000 lbs – is enough to have outsized effects on any marine life in the area, said Michael Jasny, who directs the Natural Resources Defense Council's Marine Mammal Protection Project. "The navy's own modeling indicates that some smaller species of marine mammals would be expected to die within 1-2km of the blast, and that some marine mammal species would suffer injury including hearing loss out to 10km of the blast. That gives some sense of the power of the explosives we are talking about," Jasny said. "We don't know how conscientiously the blast site was chosen, and we don't know how effective the monitoring was before the detonation, so it's hard to put a great deal of faith in the safety of marine life." The area is home to populations of dolphin and small whales at this time of year, and Jasny says that's worrisome because as a general rule, smaller animals are more vulnerable to blast injury. "A large whale might need to be within a few hundred meters of the blast to die, while a small mammal could be a couple of kilometers away," he said, adding that even if the animals survive, loss of hearing is a significant problem for mammals who make their living in the ocean.

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


'Heartbreaking' conditions in US migrant child camp
2021-06-23, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57561760

At a US border detention centre in the Texan desert, migrant children have been living in alarming conditions - where disease is rampant, food can be dangerous and there are reports of sexual abuse. The tented camp in the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas, is the temporary home for over 2,000 teenaged children who have crossed the US-Mexico border alone. A number of tents have also been set up just to accommodate the large numbers of sick children - the children have nicknamed it 'Covid city'. In addition to Covid, outbreaks of the flu and strep throat have also been reported since the camp opened in late March. And some children in need of urgent medical attention have been neglected. Photos and video smuggled out of the facility by staff and given to the BBC, show rows of flimsy bunks, set inches from each other, extending in long lines. There are reports of staff sexually abusing children at the Fort Bliss camp. At a camp training session, secretly recorded by a staff member and shared with the BBC, an employee voiced concern. "We have already caught staff with minors inappropriately," she said. Another employee told the BBC that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had spoken to staff about a rape. "DHS mentioned there was a rape - they are giving the girls pregnancy tests," she said. "And I heard the other night that another contractor was caught in a boys' tent, you know, doing things with him."

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


Since 9/11, military suicides dwarf the number of soldiers killed in combat
2021-06-21, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/9-11-military-suicides-dwarf-number-sol...

Since 9/11, four times as many U.S. service members and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat, according to a new report. The research, compiled by the Costs of War Project at Brown University, found an estimated 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 have died by suicide, compared with 7,057 killed in post 9/11 military operations. The figures include all service members, not just those who served in combat during that time. The majority of the deaths are among veterans who account for an estimated 22,261 of the suicides during that period. "The trend is deeply alarming," the report says. "The increasing rates of suicide for both veterans and active duty personnel are outpacing those of the general population, marking a significant shift." The Department of Veterans Affairs releases information on deaths by suicide, but it does not distinguish by conflict. The report's author, Thomas "Ben" Suitt III, took the VA data and estimated the total number of veteran suicides based on their ages and other factors. A total of 5,116 active duty service members have died by suicide since Sept. 11, 2001, the report says. Figures for the National Guard and Reserves are not available for the first 10 years, but from 2011 to 2020 an estimated 1,193 National Guard and 1,607 Reservists have died by suicide. In an interview, Suitt said the number 30,177 is likely well below the actual number of suicides for active duty and veterans.

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


ICE Discussed Punishing Immigrant Advocates for Peaceful Protests
2021-06-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/06/17/ice-retaliate-immigrant-advocates-surveil...

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement monitored immigrant advocacy organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected activity around a highly contentious immigration detention center in Georgia. Public records show that ICE kept track of the groups' nonviolent protests and social media posts, at one point suggesting that the agency might retaliate by barring visitations by one organization. Internal ICE records and emails, as well as a deposition by an ICE officer in a court case, show the agency referring to an advocacy group as a "known adversary" and closely surveilling the immigration and civil rights activists' activities, both online and in person. The immigrant advocates have all worked to bring national and international attention to alleged abuse at ICE's Stewart Detention Center and the Irwin County Detention Center, both in Georgia. Stewart is one of the largest ICE facilities in the nation, and it is also the facility that has seen the most deaths of detained migrants over the past five years. While ICE has a history of monitoring and intimidating its critics – a practice that falls within a long pattern of the U.S. government surveilling activist groups – the agency's surveillance of the groups first took place in Georgia following the 2017 death by suicide of Jean Jimenez-Joseph in Stewart. Advocates alleged that CoreCivic, the private prison company that runs Stewart, and ICE didn't properly monitor or care for Jimenez-Joseph, noting that he was placed in solitary confinement for 18 days prior to his death.

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


In Historic, Bipartisan Move, House Votes To Repeal 2002 Iraq War Powers Resolution
2021-06-17, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/06/17/1007363054/congress-is-poised-to-take-back-som...

The U.S. House of Representatives moved Thursday to repeal a nearly two-decade-old war powers measure, marking what many lawmakers hope will be the beginning of the end of wide-ranging authorities given to the president after the 9/11 terror attacks. The vote was 268-161. The measure now heads to the Senate. Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California – who in 2001 and 2002 voted against two war power measures passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks – was the sponsor of the repeal bill. The plan would end the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that greenlighted then-President George W. Bush's plans to invade Iraq. Lee's legislation drew bipartisan support. Her repeal of the 2002 authority, which was issued on Oct. 16 of that year, had more than 130 co-sponsors. In the Senate, Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia is sponsoring a similar bill with help from Republican Todd Young of Indiana and four other GOP senators. On Wednesday, the repeal drew the support of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for the first time. "It will eliminate the danger of a future administration reaching back into the legal dustbin to use it as a justification for military adventurism," Schumer said. He noted that former President Donald Trump used the 2002 authority as a partial justification for an airstrike against an Iranian target in Iraq last year. Now, with the Iraq War over for nearly a decade, the 2002 authorization, and its use as a primary justification for military action, has lost its vital purpose.

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


Trump spied on journalists. So did Obama. America needs more press freedom now
2021-06-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/15/donald-trump-barack-oba...

The US Department of Justice is under increasing fire for the still-unfolding scandals involving the secret surveillance of journalists and even members of Congress in the waning days of the Trump presidency. In response to the growing scandal – and the scathing condemnations from the surveillance targets at the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, has vowed the DoJ will no longer use legal process to spy on journalists "doing their jobs." The Times, the Post and CNN are set to meet with the justice department this week to seek more information on what happened. Administrations in both parties have spied on journalists with increasing abandon for almost two decades, in contravention of internal DoJ regulations and against the spirit of the first amendment. Before Trump was known as enemy number one of press freedom, Barack Obama's justice department did more damage to reporters' rights than any administration since Nixon. But there is another issue looming large over this debate. Garland has said so far that the DoJ won't spy on journalists unless they are engaged in a crime. Well, the DoJ is currently attempting to make newsgathering a crime, in the form of its case against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The actions described in the indictment against him, most notably the 17 Espionage Act charges, are indistinguishable for what reporters do all the time.

Note: Read more about the growing trend to criminally prosecute journalists who rely on confidential sources to expose corruption. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


AP: Some stolen US military guns used in violent crimes
2021-06-15, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/government-and-politics-business-gun-politics-crim...

Pulling a pistol from his waistband, the young man spun his human shield toward police. "Don't do it!" a pursuing officer pleaded. The young man complied, releasing the bystander and tossing the gun. Police ... soon learned that the 9mm Beretta had a rap sheet. Bullet casings linked it to four shootings. The pistol was U.S. Army property. The Army couldn't say how its Beretta M9 got to New York's capital. Until the June 2018 police foot chase, the Army didn't even realize someone had stolen the gun. Inventory records checked by investigators said the M9 was 600 miles away - safe inside Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the first public accounting of its kind in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found that at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010s, with some resurfacing in violent crimes. AP's total is a certain undercount. Government records covering the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force show pistols, machine guns, shotguns and automatic assault rifles have vanished from armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships, firing ranges and other places where they were used, stored or transported. These weapons of war disappeared because of unlocked doors, sleeping troops, a surveillance system that didn't record, break-ins and other security lapses that, until now, have not been publicly reported. The Army sought to suppress information on missing weapons and gave misleading numbers that contradict internal memos.

Note: The Obama Administration covered up the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious, which lost track of 1,400-2,000 guns purchased by criminals and resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The U.S. Army has unbelievably also lost many airplanes, tanks, and Javelin missiles. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


IRS records show wealthiest Americans, including Bezos and Musk, paid little in income taxes as share of wealth, report says
2021-06-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/08/wealthy-irs-taxes/

The wealthiest Americans – including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos – paid little in federal income taxes at times in recent years despite soaring fortunes, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by ProPublica. The information published Tuesday shows how billionaires are able to legally reduce their tax burden, highlighting how the American tax system can hit ordinary wage earners harder than the richest people in the country. That's often because the richest Americans tend to have their wealth tied up in stocks and real estate, allowing them to avoid taxes on unrealized profits. The U.S. tax system focuses on income, not what is known as unrealized gains from unsold stocks, real estate or other assets. The records ... purport to show Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, as having paid $23.7 million in federal income taxes on total income of $125 million from 2014 to 2018, which would indicate a personal income tax rate of 19 percent. ProPublica estimated that Buffett saw his wealth soar by $24.3 billion during that period and so his "true tax rate" was 0.10 percent. Musk, chief executive of Tesla, paid $455 million on $1.52 billion in income during the same period, when his wealth grew by $13.9 billion, accounting for a "true tax rate" of 3.27 percent. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income, as his wealth soared by $99 billion, resulting in a 0.98 percent "true tax rate."

Note: Learn about important facts this article leaves out in this excellent piece. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Alameda County revises COVID-19 death count by 25%
2021-06-07, ABC News (San Francisco affiliate)
https://abc7news.com/covid-death-count-alameda-county-deaths-19-cases/10755419/

Alameda County has revised its COVID-19 death count, saying it over-counted more than 400 cases. As of Friday, the Alameda County Health department had reported 1,634 COVID-19 deaths, but later that day it was revised down to 1,223. According to the Health Department, the 25% decrease was made to comply with the state's definition of a COVID-19 death, which requires COVID-19 to be a direct or contributing factor or a situation in which it can't be ruled out. In a press release, Neetu Balram with the Alameda County Health Department wrote, "Alameda County previously included any person who died while infected with the virus in the total COVID-19 deaths for the county." As an example, Balram explained "a resident who had COVID-19 but died due to another cause, like a car accident ... would be included in the total number of reported COVID-19 deaths for Alameda County."

Note: Alameda County made the correction, yet how many other counties throughout the US have exaggerated their death figures in this way and not made the correction? And why would they have done that in the first place other than to inflate to figures to incite more fear? Read a revealing essay titled, "COVID Math Simply Doesn't Add Up." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Covid: White House defends Dr Fauci over lab leak emails
2021-06-04, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57352992

Dr Fauci has been the face of the nation's Covid-19 response. But emails have raised questions on whether he backed Chinese denials of the theory that Covid-19 leaked from a lab. A trove of Dr Fauci's emails covering the onset of the coronavirus outbreak were released this week to media under a freedom of information request. Chinese authorities linked early Covid-19 cases to a seafood market in Wuhan. But recent US media reports have suggested growing evidence the virus could instead have emerged from a lab in Wuhan, perhaps through an accidental leak. The NIH, which is a US public health agency, gave $600,000 (Ł425,000) to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from 2014-19 via a grant to the New York-based non-profit group EcoHealth Alliance, for the purpose of researching bat coronaviruses. Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance, emailed Dr Fauci in April 2020, praising him as "brave" for seeking to debunk the lab leak theory. Department of State officials ... were told not to explore claims about gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab to avoid attracting unwelcome attention to US government funding of such research. Gain-of-function studies involve altering pathogens to make them more transmissible in order to learn more about how they might mutate. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that three employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill and were admitted to hospital in November 2019, just before the first reported Covid-19 cases.

Note: Read lots more important information on this not covered in the BBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Canada pressured to find all unmarked Indigenous graves after children's remains are found
2021-06-03, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/canada-pressured-find-all-unmarked-indigen...

Canada has been dealt a somber reminder of one of the darkest chapters of its history over the past week. The remains of 215 children were found last month buried in unmarked graves at a former residential school, one of more than 150 institutions in a defunct system that for well over a century forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families to assimilate them into Canadian society. The school where the remains were found is in Kamloops. The institution, the biggest residential school in Canada, operated under the auspices of the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969. The Canadian government then took over and oversaw the school until it closed in 1978. Enrollment peaked in the early 1950s at 500. There are official records of at least 51 children who died at the school from 1900 to 1971. The graves, which were discovered with ground-penetrating radar last month, are believed to be undocumented. Some of the children are believed to have been as young as 3. While the sheer number of children's remains found in Kamloops is shocking, it is just the tip of the iceberg, and the discovery is by no means an isolated incident. An estimated 150,000 First Nations and Inuit children were required to attend the state-funded residential schools from 1831 to 1996. Many never went home. In 2015, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission declared that the residential schools played a central role in Canada's "cultural genocide" of Indigenous people.

Note: The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report led to a $5 billion settlement between the government and surviving First Nation students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Johnson & Johnson must pay $2.1 billion talc baby powder award as Supreme Court rejects appeal
2021-06-01, Chicago Tribune
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-johnson-talc-supreme-court-202...

Johnson & Johnson must pay a $2.1 billion award to women who claimed its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, after the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the largest verdict in the almost decadelong litigation over the iconic product. The top U.S. court without comment on Tuesday refused to consider J&J's objections to a St. Louis jury's 2018 finding that its talc-based powder helped cause ovarian cancer in 20 women. J&J prepared for the appeal's denial by announcing in February it was setting aside almost $4 billion to cover the St. Louis verdict. The company still faces more than 25,000 lawsuits blaming baby powder for causing cancers. J&J pulled the product off U.S. and Canadian shelves last year. Jurors in the St. Louis case awarded each woman $25 million in compensatory damages. The panel then added more than $4 billion in punitive damages, making the award the sixth-largest in U.S. legal history. The original verdict sparked a significant drop in J&J's shares. J&J has lost other cases at trial, with juries across the U.S. ordering it to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Judges slashed some of those awards while others have been thrown out or are on appeal. J&J has won cases as well. Asbestos, which is often found where talc is mined, is a recognized carcinogen. The women also contended that J&J showed years of deceit about its product and disregard for the health of its customers and argued that warranted the punitive damage award.

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


The media's big mistake on the covid-19 'lab leak' theory
2021-05-27, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/27/medias-dereliction-duty-la...

With evidence mounting that the coronavirus might have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, President Biden has reversed course and ordered the U.S. intelligence community to produce a report on the virus's origins within 90 days. Better late than never. For the past year, the media has scorned the idea of an accidental lab release as a far-flung conspiracy theory. In fact, it would have been an extraordinary coincidence for this virus to emerge in Wuhan – home to China's leading research laboratory studying bat coronaviruses – and have had no connection to the lab. Since April 2020 we have known that in 2018 U.S. diplomats warned of inadequate safety at the Wuhan lab. It turns out that [Anthony] Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) ... awarded a grant for studying bat coronavirus to the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, which then subcontracted the research to the Wuhan lab. Fauci admits this, but insists that the money did not support gain of function research. But as Wade points out, that is exactly what the Wuhan institute was doing. Indeed, the grant proposals from Shi Zhengli – the "Bat Woman" at the Wuhan lab – which are a matter of public record specified that she planned to use the money for gain-of-function research. Fauci is on record supporting such research. And the NIAID was supporting research in Wuhan even though the U.S. government had placed a moratorium on gain of function research.

Note: Read more about the Wuhan Institute of Virology's risky research on bat coronaviruses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


C.D.C. Will Not Investigate Mild Infections in Vaccinated Americans
2021-05-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/25/health/cdc-coronavirus-infections-vaccine....

No vaccine provides perfect protection, and so-called breakthrough infections after coronavirus vaccination are rare. Federal health officials have told fully vaccinated people they no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distance because they are protected, nor do they need to be tested or quarantine after an exposure, unless they develop symptoms. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stopped investigating breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated people unless they become so sick that they are hospitalized or die. Earlier this year, the agency was monitoring all cases. Through the end of April, when some 101 million Americans had been vaccinated, the C.D.C. had received 10,262 reports of breakthrough infections from 46 states and territories, a number that was very likely "a substantial undercount," according to a C.D.C. report. On May 1, the agency decided to investigate only the most severe breakthrough infection cases, while still collecting voluntary reports on breakthrough cases from state and local health departments. The agency will carry out vaccine effectiveness studies that include data on breakthrough cases, but only in limited populations, such as health care workers and essential workers, older adults, and residents at long-term care facilities. But even relatively mild cases of Covid-19 can lead to persistent long-term health problems, and it will be difficult to know the full scope without tracking mild infections as well.

Note: This is a convenient way to make it look like case numbers are dropping more than they actually are, which makes the vaccines look more effective than they really are. Learn more on how the CDC is manipulating case figures in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.


Mysterious Ailments Are Said to Be More Widespread Among U.S. Personnel
2021-05-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/12/us/politics/biden-cia-brain-injury.html

Mysterious episodes that caused brain injuries in spies, diplomats, soldiers and other U.S. personnel overseas starting five years ago now number more than 130 people, far more than previously known, according to current and former officials. The number of cases within the C.I.A., the State Department, the Defense Department and elsewhere spurred broad concern in the Biden administration. The initial publicly confirmed cases were concentrated in China and Cuba and numbered about 60, not including a group of injured C.I.A. officers whose total is not public. Since December, at least three C.I.A. officers have reported serious health effects from episodes overseas. One occurred within the past two weeks, and all have required the officers to undergo outpatient treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center or other facilities. And in one case in 2019 that has not previously been reported, a military officer serving overseas pulled his vehicle into an intersection, then was overcome by nausea and headaches. His 2-year-old son, sitting in the back seat, began crying. After the officer pulled away from the intersection, his nausea stopped, and the child stopped crying. In a report released in December, the National Academy of Sciences said a microwave weapon probably caused the injuries. Some officials believe a microwave or directed-energy device is the most likely cause. The severity of the brain injuries has ranged widely. Some victims have chronic, potentially irreversible symptoms.

Note: Read more about these mysterious attacks on spies and diplomats. Read very little-known, yet astounding information on sophisticated technologies which can project music and clear voices into people's heads in these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.


Migrant children held in mass shelters with little oversight
2021-05-11, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-immigration-health-coronavirus-pandem...

The Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities that The Associated Press has learned spans two dozen states and includes five shelters with more than 1,000 children packed inside. The number of migrant children in government custody more than doubled in the past two months, and this week the federal government was housing around 21,000 kids, from toddlers to teens. A facility at Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, had more than 4,500 children as of Monday. A few of the current practices are the same as those that President Joe Biden and others criticized under the Trump administration, including not vetting some caregivers with full FBI fingerprint background checks. Part of the government's plan to manage thousands of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border involves about a dozen unlicensed emergency facilities inside military installations, stadiums and convention centers that skirt state regulations and don't require traditional legal oversight. Inside the facilities, called Emergency Intake Sites, children aren't guaranteed access to education, recreational opportunities or legal counsel. Some of the facilities holding children these days are run by contractors already facing lawsuits claiming that children were physically and sexually abused in their shelters under the Trump administration.

Note: Could there be an agenda here with child sex slavery? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


New York mayor calls off 'creepy, alienating' police robo-dog
2021-04-30, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/new-york-mayor-calls-off-creepy-alienati...

New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a controversial robotic dog undergoing trials with the city's police off the street, and a $94,200 contract with creator Boston Dynamics cancelled. The robot canine, named "Digidog", is to be returned to its manufacturer following outrage tied to calls to cut police funding and law enforcement access to military-developed or surplus hardware. De Blasio voiced that he is "glad the Digidog was put down." A city government spokesperson added: "It's creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers." The 70lb robot could run at three and a half miles per hour and climb stairs. It was primarily intended to go into situations deemed dangerous for officers, and had been undergoing trials in the Bronx since it was unveiled last December. But the dog sparked an immediate backlash, with critics noting police dogs have been traditionally used to suppress and intimidate communities of color. Some critics also pointed out it was reminiscent of robot dogs in the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror.

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


EMPIRE POLITICIAN: A Half-Century of Joe Biden's Stances on War, Militarism, and the CIA
2021-04-27, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/empire-politician/

"I'm not going to change," Joe Biden said in his 2008 vice presidential debate. "I have 35 years in public office. I haven't changed in that time." The Intercept conducted an exhaustive analysis of Biden's political career, with a focus on his positions on dozens of U.S. wars and military campaigns, CIA covert actions, and abuses of power; his views on whistleblowers and leakers; and his shifting stance on the often contentious relationship between the executive and legislative branches over war powers. The picture that emerges is of a man who is dedicated to the U.S. as an empire, who believes that preserving U.S. national interests and "prestige" on the global stage outweighs considerations of morality or even at times the deaths of innocent people. Even in cases in which he passionately opposed U.S. military or CIA action, such as in President Ronald Reagan's 1980s campaigns to aid the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and the right-wing military junta in El Salvador, Biden sought ways to tweak U.S. policy in return for his political or legislative support. Throughout the 1990s, he pushed through harsh and punitive policies on crime, while spearheading sweeping surveillance legislation that would form the basis for the Patriot Act after 9/11. Biden would emerge, in the early stages of the "war on terror," as a leading legislative force supporting the most far-reaching aspirations of the Bush-Cheney White House. He was instrumental in the rushed passage of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

Note: Have you noticed that on the campaign trail, every US president from both parties has advocated for peace, while when they assume office they strongly support the military-industrial complex? So whose will are they serving, the people or the military machine? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program
2021-04-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/us/politics/fbi-fisa-surveillance.html

For a second year, the nation's surveillance court has pointed with concern to "widespread violations" by the F.B.I. of rules intended to protect Americans' privacy when analysts search emails gathered without a warrant. In a 67-page ruling ... James E. Boasberg, the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, recounted several episodes uncovered by an F.B.I. audit where the bureau's analysts improperly searched for Americans' information in emails that the National Security Agency collected without warrants. Still, Judge Boasberg said he was willing to issue a legally required certification for the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program to operate for another year. [The program] grew out of the once-secret Stellarwind project, which President George W. Bush started after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In 2008, Congress legalized the practice. The surveillance is carried out by the National Security Agency, but three other entities – the C.I.A., the National Counterterrorism Center and the F.B.I. – also receive access to streams of "raw" messages. The F.B.I. receives only a small portion of the messages that the National Security Agency vacuums up: The bureau gets copies of intercepts to and from targets who are deemed relevant to a full and active F.B.I. national security investigation. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is public, the program had more than 200,000 targets.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Pharmaceutical Industry Dispatches Army of Lobbyists to Block Generic COVID-19 Vaccines
2021-04-23, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/23/covid-vaccine-ip-waiver-lobbying/

The pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines. Over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally. Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO. Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative. The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration "oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights." Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries, and projections show much of the world's population may not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024.

Note: Has it ever been more clear that big Pharma places profits above health, even when it might cause huge numbers of people to die? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


American Police Are Inadequately Trained
2021-04-22, The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/04/daunte-wright-and-crisis...

In response to the high rate at which American police kill civilians, many on the left have taken up the call for defunding the police, or abolishing the police entirely. But some policing experts are instead emphasizing a different approach that they say could reduce police killings: training officers better, longer, and on different subjects. Police in the United States receive less initial training than their counterparts in other rich countries - about five months in a classroom and another three or so months in the field, on average. Many European nations, meanwhile, have something more akin to police universities, which can take three or four years to complete. European countries also have national standards for various elements of a police officer's job - such as how to search a car and when to use a baton. The U.S. does not. The 18,000 police departments in the U.S. each have their own rules and requirements. "Police officers, police chiefs, and everyone agree that we do not get enough training in a myriad of fields," Dennis Slocumb, the legislative director of the International Union of Police Associations [said]. Many policing experts recommend that officers be trained to slow down when they are able to do so, giving themselves time to decide the best course of action. "Police are taught in the academy [that] police always have to win," says Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. But sometimes it's okay not to win, particularly if it means saving a life.

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


Fukushima: Japan approves releasing wastewater into ocean
2021-04-13, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56728068

Japan has approved a plan to release more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The water will be treated and diluted so radiation levels are below those set for drinking water. But the local fishing industry has strongly opposed the move, as have China and South Korea. Tokyo says work to release water used to cool nuclear fuel will begin in about two years. The final approval comes after years of debate. Reactor buildings at the Fukushima power plant were damaged by hydrogen explosions caused by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The tsunami knocked out cooling systems to the reactors, three of which melted down. More than a million tonnes of water have been used to cool the melted reactors. Currently, the radioactive water is treated in a complex filtration process that removes most of the radioactive elements, but some remain, including tritium - deemed harmful to humans only in very large doses. It is then kept in huge tanks, but the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TepCo) is running out of space, with these tanks expected to fill up by 2022. About 1.3 million tonnes of radioactive water - or enough to fill 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools - are currently stored in these tanks. Environmental groups like Greenpeace have long expressed their opposition to releasing the water into the ocean. The NGO said Japan's plans to release the water showed the government "once again failed the people of Fukushima".

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster from reliable major media sources.


Pentagon scientists invent microchip which senses COVID-19 in the body
2021-04-11, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/pentagon-scientists-invent-microchip...

Pentagon scientists working inside a secretive unit set up at the height of the Cold War have created a microchip to be inserted under the skin, which will detect COVID-19 infection, and a revolutionary filter that can remove the virus from the blood when attached to a dialysis machine. The team at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been working for years on preventing and ending pandemics. One of their recent inventions, they told 60 Minutes on Sunday night, was a microchip which detects COVID infection in an individual before it can become an outbreak. The microchip is sure to spark worries among some about a government agency implanting a microchip in a citizen. Retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an army infectious disease physician leading DARPA's response to the pandemic, showed the 60 Minutes team a tissue-like gel, engineered to continuously test your blood. 'You put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow,' he explained. 'It's like a "check engine" light,' said Hepburn. Troops are likely to be highly skeptical of the new invention. In February, The New York Times reported that a third of troops have refused to take the vaccine, sighting concerns that the vaccine contains a microchip devised to monitor recipients, that it will permanently disable the body's immune system or that it is some form of government control.

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


US and German intelligence protected former Gestapo general from prosecution
2021-04-07, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/07/american-german-intelligence-prot...

A former Gestapo general who sent tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths was protected from prosecution by US and West German intelligence after the Second World War. SS-General Franz Josef Huber served as head of the Gestapo in Vienna and much of Austria following the Nazi takeover. He worked closely with Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, and personally ordered the deportation of Austrian Jews to concentration camps. Yet while Eichmann was captured by Israel and sentenced to death ... Huber was released by US forces following the war and spent the rest of his life as a free man in his native Munich, where he was a minor employee at a local business. That was a cover arranged for him by West German intelligence. It now appears Huber was protected by the US because it believed he could be a useful asset against the Soviet Union. "Although we are by no means unmindful of the dangers involved in playing around with a Gestapo general, we also believe, on the basis of the information now in our possession, that Huber might be profitably used by this organization," a CIA memo from 1953 obtained by the New York Times reads. Declassified files obtained by German ARD television's Munich Report show that US and West German intelligence conspired to hide Huber's past and protect him from prosecution. In the US, the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies recruited more than 1,000 ex-Nazis as agents in the years following the war.

Note: Read about the Nazi scientists secretly brought to the US to work after WWII. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


NYPD "Goon Squad" Manual Teaches Officers to Violate Protesters' Rights
2021-04-07, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/07/nypd-strategic-response-unit-george-floyd...

When thousands of New Yorkers poured into the city's streets last summer following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, they were met with the very police violence they had come to protest. New York police arrested hundreds of people, many with no probable cause. Over multiple incidents, police regularly and unjustifiably used force against peaceful protesters, with state investigators finding that they beat people with blunt instruments at least 50 times, unlawfully pepper-sprayed them in at least 30 instances, and pushed or struck protesters at least 75 times. Officers targeted and retaliated against people engaging in constitutionally protected activity, New York Attorney General Letitia James's office concluded, and "blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers." Leading the violent crackdown was the New York Police Department's Strategic Response Group, or SRG, a heavily militarized, rapid-response unit of several hundred officers. Investigators found a disproportionate number of SRG officers accused of wrongdoing to have exceeded their legal authority, when compared with the wider department. The group earned a reputation among activists as the NYPD's "goon squad." Despite initial reassurances to the contrary, the SRG ended up policing protests far more than it did any "counterterrorism" work – already the job of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau – but it brought its militarized mentality and tactics to the policing of civil unrest.

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


Her Ballot Didn't Count. She Faces 5 Years in Prison for Casting It.
2021-04-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/03/us/texas-provisional-ballot-appeal.html

On Election Day 2016, Crystal Mason went to vote. When her name didn't appear on official voting rolls at her polling place in Tarrant County, Texas, she filled out a provisional ballot. Ms. Mason's ballot was never officially counted or tallied because she was ineligible to vote: She was on supervised release after serving five years for tax fraud. Nonetheless, that ballot has wrangled her into a lengthy appeals process after a state district court sentenced her to five years in prison for illegal voting, as she was a felon on probation when she cast her ballot. Ms. Mason maintains that she didn't know she was ineligible to vote. Her case is now headed for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest state court for criminal cases. Ms. Mason unsuccessfully asked for a new trial and lost her case in an appellate court. This new appeal is the last chance for Ms. Mason, 46, who is out on appeal bond, to avoid prison. If her case has to advance to the federal court system, Ms. Mason would have to appeal from a cell. According to Tommy Buser-Clancy, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Ms. Mason should never have never been convicted. If there is ambiguity in someone's eligibility, the provisional ballot system is there to account for it, he said. If her eligibility was incorrect, he said, "that should be the end of the story." 72 percent of [Texas attorney general, Ken] Paxton's voter fraud cases have targeted people of color.

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


At least 55 of America's biggest companies paid no federal taxes on billions in profits, study finds
2021-04-02, Chicago Tribune
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-aud-nw-nyt-companies-no-federal-ta...

Just as the Biden administration is pushing to raise taxes on corporations, a new study finds that at least 55 of America's largest firms paid no taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits. The sweeping tax bill passed in 2017 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. But dozens of Fortune 500 companies were able to further shrink their tax bill – sometimes to zero – thanks to a range of legal deductions and exemptions that have become staples of the tax code. Salesforce, Archer-Daniels-Midland and Consolidated Edison were among those named in the report, which was done by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Twenty-six of the companies listed, including FedEx, Duke Energy and Nike, were able to avoid paying any federal income tax for the last three years even though they reported a combined income of $77 billion. Many also received millions of dollars in tax rebates. Publicly traded corporations are required to file financial reports. The institute used that data along with other information supplied by each company. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief act ... contained a provision that temporarily allowed businesses to use losses in 2020 to offset profits earned in previous years. Tax avoidance strategies include a mix of old standards and new innovations. Companies, for example, saved billions by allowing top executives to buy discounted stock options in the future and then deducting their value as a loss.

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


After crime plummeted in 2020, Baltimore will stop drug, sex prosecutions
2021-03-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/03/26/baltimore-reducing-prosecu...

Something happened in Baltimore last year. The coronavirus pandemic hit, and State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that the city would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus. And then crime went down in Baltimore. A lot. While violent crime and homicides skyrocketed in most other big American cities last year, violent crime in Baltimore dropped 20 percent from last March to this month, property crime decreased 36 percent, and there were 13 fewer homicides compared with the previous year. This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city's criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby's office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants for nonviolent crimes. So on Friday, Mosby made her temporary steps permanent. She announced Baltimore City will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car. A number of big-city prosecutors have moved to decriminalize drugs, and Oregon voters decriminalized small amounts of drugs statewide.

Note: The fact that the rest of the US last year experienced a "Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates" makes this all the more impressive. A 2016 report by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy found that the the war on drugs harmed public health. When Portugal decriminalized drugs, its addiction rates were cut in half.


Biden's Inner Circle Maintains Close Ties to Vaccine Makers, Disclosures Reveal
2021-03-24, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/24/covid-vaccine-stocks-biden-conflict/

In the coming months, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Joe Biden's ambassador to the United Nations, will hear from a growing chorus of developing nations about the foundering efforts to distribute the coronavirus vaccine globally. The nations, many of which have not even begun vaccinating their populations, are demanding that the U.S. support proposals to temporarily waive certain patent and intellectual property rights so that generic coronavirus vaccines can be produced. The proposals have been fiercely opposed by American drugmakers, including Pfizer. ASG ... represents Pfizer. Many leading figures in Biden's administration, including key White House advisers, State Department leaders, and health care officials have financial stake in or professional ties to vaccine manufacturers, which are now lobbying to prevent policies that would cut into future profits over the vaccine. ASG in particular has unusual amounts of sway in the Biden administration. State Department officials Victoria Nuland, Wendy Sherman, Uzra Zeya, and Molly Montgomery previously worked at ASG, as did Philip Gordon, Vice President Kamala Harris's national security adviser. The pharmaceutical industry, in a bid to shield an expected financial windfall, has pressed the Biden administration not only to oppose the waiver, but also to impose trade-related sanctions on countries that back [a] proposal or move to manufacture coronavirus vaccines without permission from patent holders.

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


The data shows lockdowns end more lives than they save
2021-03-22, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2021/03/22/the-data-shows-lockdowns-end-more-lives-than-th...

Now that the 2020 figures have been properly tallied, there is still no convincing evidence that strict lockdowns reduced the death toll from COVID-19. But one effect is clear: more deaths from other causes, especially among the young and middle-aged, minorities and the less affluent. The best gauge of the pandemic's impact is what statisticians call excess mortality, which compares the overall number of deaths with the total in previous years. That measure rose among older Americans because of COVID-19, but it rose at an even sharper rate among people aged 15 to 54, and most of those excess deaths weren't attributed to the virus. Preliminary reports point to some obvious lockdown-related factors. There was a sharp decline in visits to emergency rooms and an increase in fatal heart attacks because patients didn't receive prompt treatment. Many fewer people were screened for cancer. Social isolation contributed to excess deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's. Researchers predicted that the social and economic upheaval would lead to tens of thousands of "deaths of despair" from drug overdoses, alcoholism and suicide. As unemployment surged and mental-health and substance-abuse treatment programs were interrupted, the reported levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts increased dramatically, as did alcohol sales and fatal drug overdoses. The number of excess deaths not involving COVID-19 has been especially high in US counties with more low-income households and minority residents.

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


Will the Biden Administration Shine Light on Shadowy Special Ops Programs?
2021-03-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/20/joe-biden-special-operations-forces/

Members of the U.S. special operations forces deployed to 154 countries, or roughly 80 percent of the world's nations, last year, but information about exactly where elite forces conduct missions, under what authorities they operate, who they've killed, and whether they're adhering to the laws of armed conflict is closely guarded, buried in obscure legal provisions, shrouded in secrecy, or allegedly unknown even to Special Operations Command. The command, known as SOCOM, will only name half the countries where its forces were active in 2020. It claims that its personnel – Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and Marine Corps Raiders among them – have captured or killed "thousands of terrorists" under one obscure program but also that it doesn't track such data. SOCOM refuses to provide even basic information about publicly acknowledged operations. Some of the least-known special operations missions are authorized under a provision known as "Section 1202 Authority," which first appeared in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and is "used to provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals" taking part in irregular warfare. Neither the Defense Department, SOCOM, nor any media outlet has ever revealed detailed information about 1202 missions, but based on what little is known about them, they are explicitly focused on so-called near-peer competitors such as China and Russia.

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


U.S. dominates global arms sales, with Saudi Arabia the top customer
2021-03-16, Yahoo! News
https://news.yahoo.com/u-dominates-global-arms-sales-113050074.html

The U.S. accounted for 37% of all global arms exports over the last five years, with Saudi Arabia – easily the world's top arms buyer – accounting for one-quarter of those sales, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. U.S. arms exports rose by 15% from 2011-2015 to 2016-2020, with 96 countries buying arms from America. Russia remained the second-largest exporter with 20% of the market, but supplied a smaller pool of 44 countries and saw sales fall by 22% from the previous five years due primarily to a decrease in sales to India. The next largest arms exporters were France (8% of the total), Germany (5%) and China (5%). China's sales also slid by 8% in the past five years, while exports from Europe increased significantly. Israel and South Korea both accounted for about 3% of the total after significantly increasing their exports over the past five years. Russia had four major clients that accounted for two-thirds of all exports – India, China, Algeria and Egypt – while Pakistan was by far China's biggest client. The U.S. had a diversified pool of major buyers: Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, Japan, the UAE, Qatar, Israel and the U.K. Arms imports overall were flat between 2011–2015 and 2016–2020, but rose in the Middle East (+25%) while falling in the Americas (-43%), Africa (-13%), and Asia and Oceania (-8.3%).

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


The Victims of Agent Orange the U.S. Has Never Acknowledged
2021-03-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/magazine/laos-agent-orange-vietnam-war.html

The main focus of the War Legacies Project is to document the long-term effects of the defoliant known as Agent Orange and provide humanitarian aid to its victims. Agent Orange – best known for its widespread use by the U.S. military to clear vegetation during the Vietnam War – is notorious for being laced with a chemical contaminant called 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-dioxin, or TCDD, regarded as one of the most toxic substances ever created. The use of the herbicide in the neutral nation of Laos by the United States – secretly, illegally and in large amounts – remains one of the last untold stories of the American war in Southeast Asia. Only in the last two decades has the United States finally acknowledged and taken responsibility for the legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam. While records of spraying operations inside Laos exist, the extent to which the U.S. military broke international agreements has never been fully documented, until now. An in-depth, monthslong review of old Air Force records, including details of hundreds of spraying flights, as well as interviews with many residents of villages along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, reveals that, at a conservative estimate, at least 600,000 gallons of herbicides rained down on the ostensibly neutral nation during the war. Of the 517 cases of disabilities and birth defects so far documented by the War Legacies Project in Laos, about three-fourths, like malformed limbs, are identifiable to the untrained eye as ... linked to exposure to Agent Orange.

Note: In 2012, Monsanto settled a lawsuit related to its manufacture of Agent Orange for $93 million. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


The Biden administration confirms some but not all of Trump's Wuhan lab claims
2021-03-09, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/09/biden-administration-confi...

In its final days, President Donald Trump's State Department made a series of highly controversial claims about the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, and its possible connection to the covid-19 outbreak. Now, the Biden administration has reviewed those claims, and is confirming some of the facts within them. The controversy surrounds a Jan. 15 statement put out by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that was accompanied by a "Fact Sheet" entitled: "Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology." That fact sheet alleged that the U.S. government had evidence that "several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019 ... with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses." The fact sheet further alleged that the WIV has not publicly disclosed all of its work on SARS-like coronaviruses and "has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China's military." In early 2018, U.S. diplomats who visited the WIV lab wrote two cables back to Washington warning that the lab's scientists had reported safety and staffing issues – and that the lab was doing risky research on bat coronaviruses and how they infect humans. The fact sheet ... doesn't specify which information is gleaned from public sources and which data points are derived from U.S. intelligence collection. Trump administration officials told me that the information about sick researchers at the WIV and the lab's secret work with the Chinese government and military comes from intelligence sources.

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


Remote C.I.A. Base in the Sahara Steadily Grows
2021-03-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/08/us/politics/cia-drones-sahara-niger-libya....

Deep in the Sahara, the C.I.A. is continuing to conduct secret drone flights from a small but steadily expanding air base, even as the Biden administration has temporarily limited drone strikes against suspected terrorists outside conventional war zones, such as Afghanistan. Soon after it set up the base in northern Niger three years ago, the C.I.A. was poised to launch drone strikes from the site. But there is no public evidence that the agency has carried out anything but surveillance missions so far. New satellite imagery shows that the air base in Dirkou, Niger, has grown significantly since The New York Times first reported the C.I.A. operations there in 2018, to include a much longer runway and increased security. The new imagery also shows for the first time what appears to be an MQ-9 Reaper drone taxiing to or from a clamshell hangar. Under a directive that Mr. Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, quietly imposed on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, the military and the C.I.A. must now obtain White House permission to attack terrorism suspects in poorly governed places where there are scant or no American ground troops, such as Somalia, Yemen and Libya. Under the Trump administration, they had been allowed to decide for themselves whether circumstances on the ground met certain conditions and an attack was justified. A recent report by the International Crisis Group concluded that the military-first strategy of France and its allies, including the United States, has failed.

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


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says a 'shocking' $7 trillion in taxes is going uncollected
2021-03-04, Yahoo News
https://news.yahoo.com/treasury-secretary-janet-yellen-says-183352834.html

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a "shocking" amount of taxes was going uncollected by the federal government. "The gap between what we're collecting in taxes on current tax and what we should be collecting ... amounts to over $7 trillion over a decade," Yellen said. Yellen's remarks emphasize the Biden administration's efforts to collect tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans and multinational companies to finance $4 trillion in spending programs. At the center of Biden's planned revenue raisers is a provision to increase funding for IRS enforcement. He also wants to slap investors earning above $1 million with a hike in the capital-gains tax and raise the top marginal income-tax rate to 39.6% from 37%. The IRS's official estimate is that there is a tax gap of $441 billion a year. But Charles Rettig, the agency's commissioner, recently told Congress that number could be over $1 trillion. A recent study from IRS researchers and academics found that the top 1% of Americans failed to report about one-quarter of their income to the IRS. The research found income underreporting was nearly twice as high for the top 0.1%, which could account for billions in uncollected taxes. The number of agents devoted to working on sophisticated tax-evasion enforcement dropped by 35% over the past decade. The IRS's budget fell by 20% between 2010 and 2018. There was an 80% decline from 2011 to 2018 in the audit rate for those making over $1 million a year.

Note: Some major US companies pay no taxes at all. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Drug Lobby Asks Biden to Punish Foreign Countries Pushing for Low Cost Vaccines
2021-03-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/03/vaccine-coronavirus-big-pharma-biden/

President Joe Biden's administration is being asked to punish Hungary, Colombia, Chile, and other countries for seeking to ramp up the production of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics without express permission from pharmaceutical companies. The sanctions are being urged by the drug industry, which has filed hundreds of pages of documents to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative outlining the alleged threat posed by any effort to challenge "basic intellectual property protections" in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The drug industry has sharply criticized any attempt to share vaccine patents or the technological knowledge needed to manufacture them, despite global need. The strident corporate opposition to any intellectual property flexibility has rankled public health advocates, many of whom note that much of the vaccine technology has been financed by the public sector. The Pfizer vaccine, noted Prabhala, was developed in partnership with the European firm BioNTech, which received $445 million from the German government to help accelerate vaccine development and manufacturing. The U.S. government provided about $1 billion for the research and testing by Moderna to create its coronavirus vaccine. Johnson & Johnson received over $1.45 billion in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for its recently approved Covid-19 vaccine.

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


Revealed: Monsanto owner and US officials pressured Mexico to drop glyphosate ban
2021-02-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/16/revealed-monsanto-mexico-us-...

Monsanto owner Bayer AG and industry lobbyist CropLife America have been working closely with US officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer that is the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkillers. The moves to protect glyphosate shipments to Mexico have played out over the last 18 months, a period in which Bayer was negotiating an $11bn settlement of legal claims brought by people in the US who say they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to exposure to the company's glyphosate-based products. The pressure on Mexico is similar to actions Bayer and chemical industry lobbyists took to kill a glyphosate ban planned by Thailand in 2019. Records show alarm starting to grow in the latter part of 2019 after Mexico said it was refusing imports of glyphosate from China. In denying a permit for an import shipment, Mexican officials cited the "precautionary principle", which generally refers to a policy of erring on the side of caution. Industry executives told US government officials that they feared restricting glyphosate would lead to limits on other pesticides and could set a precedent for other countries to do the same. Mexico may also reduce the levels of pesticide residues allowed in food, industry executives warned. "If Mexico extends the precautionary principle" to pesticide residue levels in food, "$20bn in US annual agricultural exports to Mexico will be jeopardized", [CropLife president Chris] Novak wrote to US officials.

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


US marshals act like local police, but with more violence and less accountability
2021-02-11, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2021/02/11/investigatio...

Detective Michael Pezzelle spent his last seven years on a suburban police force here amassing a body count. He was involved in shootings that wounded two people and killed five. Pezzelle faced no public consequences. He retired in 2018. Today, he trains police officers around the country to follow the kind of advice he shared on Instagram: "Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet." During most of the years in question, [Pezzelle] was assigned to task forces run by the U.S. Marshals Service, an arm of the federal Justice Department. In recent years ... marshals have been acting like local police – only with more violence and less accountability, according to an investigation by The Marshall Project and the USA Today Network. In cities and towns across the country, the Marshals Service has set up task forces largely staffed by local law enforcement officers who get deputized as federal agents. About two-thirds of the agency's arrests since 2014 were of people wanted on local warrants, not federal ones. On average, from 2015 to late 2020, marshals shot 31 people a year, killing 22 of them. By comparison, Houston police reported shooting an average of 19 people a year, killing eight. Philadelphia officers shot an average of nine people a year, killing three. Both departments employ roughly 6,000 officers, about the same number who serve in the Marshals Service and on its task forces. No marshal has ever been prosecuted after a shooting.

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


The myth and reality of the super soldier
2021-02-08, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55905354

The possibility of a super soldier is not so outlandish and one that not just China is interested in. Enhancement is nothing new - since ancient times, troops have been bolstered by advancements in weaponry, kit and training. But today, enhancement could mean much more than merely giving an individual soldier a better gun. It could mean altering the individual soldier. In 2017, Russia's President Vladimir Putin warned that humanity could soon create something "worse than a nuclear bomb". "One may imagine that a man can create a man with some given characteristics, not only theoretically but also practically. He can be a genius mathematician, a brilliant musician or a soldier, a man who can fight without fear, compassion, regret or pain." Last year, the former US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), John Ratcliffe, went further with a blunt accusation against China. "China has even conducted human testing on members of the People's Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities. There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing's pursuit of power," he wrote. Prof [Patrick] Lin said "a key challenge is that nearly all of this is dual-use research. For instance, exoskeleton research was first aimed at helping or curing people of medical conditions, such as to help paralysed patients walk again. But this therapeutic use can be easily weaponised. It's not obvious how to regulate it, without overly broad regulation that also frustrates therapeutic research."

Note: A New York Post article titled "France, China developing biologically engineered supersoldiers" describes how "France has joined the fray in creating terminator troops that can be 'bred to kill." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


New report finds toxic heavy metals in popular baby foods. FDA failed to warn consumers of risk.
2021-02-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/04/toxic-metals-baby-food/

A congressional report found many of the products made by the country's largest commercial baby food manufacturers contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development. The report ... from the House Oversight Committee's subcommittee on economic and consumer policy found heavy metals in rice cereals, sweet potato puree, juices and sweet snack puffs made by some of the most trusted names in baby food. Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY (made by Nurture) and Earth's Best Organic baby foods (made by Hain Celestial Group) complied with the committee's request to submit internal testing documents. Campbell Soup, which sells Plum Organics baby foods, Walmart (its private brand is Parent's Choice) and Sprout Foods declined to cooperate. Although there are no maximum arsenic levels established for baby food ... the FDA has set the maximum allowable levels in bottled water at 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic. Hain ... used many ingredients in its baby foods with as much as 309 ppb of arsenic. Lead levels in baby foods should not exceed 1 ppb. Beech-Nut used ingredients containing as much as 886.9 parts per billion of lead. In addition, Gerber used carrots containing as much as 87 ppb of cadmium and Nurture sold baby foods with as much as 10 ppb of mercury. And even when baby foods tested over companies' internal limits for these heavy metals, they were sold anyway.

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


The European countries with the strictest lockdowns have come out no better
2021-02-01, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/european-countries-strictest-lockd...

Comparing the severity of various lockdown measures across Europe is complicated, with many factors at play. However, it is safe to say they have varied greatly. In France, citizens had to print out certificates before stepping foot outside, whereas in Sweden, everyday life appears to have carried on relatively unchanged. When we look at the number of Covid deaths per capita in these countries ... France and Sweden are almost neck-and-neck [see graph]. And Spain's draconian measures didn't save it from recording far more fatalities than Austria, where the lockdown was comparatively relaxed. The health effects of these lockdowns will most likely exceed the death rate of a virus. In Spain, the economic consequences of the 2008 banking crisis contributed to the 40,000 deaths in excess of the five years prior. Covid-19 has already led that country into an economic state worse than that of their collapse in the mid-17th century. 50 percent of all Covid deaths across Europe have been within care homes. The budget for those in the UK is Ł16 billion. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry, which has been effectively shut down, is the fourth biggest employer in the UK ... as well as generating over Ł73bn of Gross Value Added directly to the UK economy, and a further Ł87bn indirectly. So perhaps, say, tripling the budget for care homes to make them Covid-secure would have been a better way of spending some of the eye-watering Ł400 billion ... since last April to facilitate lockdowns.

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


Proud Boys leader was a 'prolific' informant for the FBI, report says
2021-01-27, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/proud-boys-lead...

The leader of the far-right Proud Boys group was a "prolific" informer for federal and local law enforcement, reports say. Enrique Tarrio worked undercover for authorities after he was arrested in 2012, according to a 2014 federal court document obtained by Reuters. During a Miami court hearing a federal prosecutor, an FBI agent and Mr Tarrio's lawyer described his work for law enforcement and said that he had helped convict more than a dozen people in drugs, gambling and human smuggling cases. He has become an increasingly high-profile figure as his violent group gained an elevated profile during the Trump administration. The ex-president infamously told the group to "stand back and stand by" when asked to denounce them during a presidential debate last September. They have been involved in a string of high-profile clashes in Washington DC, including the 6 January pro-Trump Capitol riot. [Mr Tarrio] was arrested in Washington DC in January two days before the riot and charged with possession of two high-capacity rifle magazines, and setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner during a December pro-Trump demonstration in the city. Mr Tarrio was ordered to leave the city and has a June court date. During the 2014 court case Reuters says that Mr Tarrio's lawyer and prosecutors asked a judge to reduce his prison sentence after he and two defendants pleaded guilty in a fraud case related to stolen diabetes test kits. The prosecutor told the judge that Mr Tarrio had provided information that resulted in the prosecution of 13 people.

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


Dr. Anthony Fauci: The Highest Paid Employee In The Entire U.S. Federal Government.
2021-01-25, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/01/25/dr-anthony-fauci-the...

Dr. Anthony Fauci made $417,608 in 2019, the latest year for which federal salaries are available. That made him not only the highest paid doctor in the federal government, but the highest paid out of all four million federal employees. In fact, Dr. Fauci even made more than the $400,000 salary of the President of the United States. All salary data was collected by OpenTheBooks.com via Freedom of Information Act requests. Only federal employees whose salaries were funded by taxpayers were included in the study. In a ten-year period between 2010 and 2019, Fauci made $3.6 million in salary. Dr. Fauci became the early face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, appearing daily, often in a live broadcast, to update the nation on the emerging COVID-19 disease. In March 2020, he convinced President Donald Trump on the 15-day lockdown policy to try and flatten the curve, and reportedly advocated on March 29, 2020, for extending the policy beyond its initial 15 days. Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the Taskforce, might have outranked Dr. Fauci in authority, but the VP's $235,100 salary in 2019, was less than the well-paid NIH director with whom he shared the stage. Their Taskforce colleague Dr. Deborah Birx earned $305,972 in 2019, also less than Dr. Fauci's salary. In comparison to Dr. Fauci: Speaker Nancy Pelosi will earn $223,500 this year. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will make $270,700.

Note: How did this man get to be paid more than the U.S. president? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Beijing Must Come Clean About COVID-19 Origins | Opinion
2021-01-22, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/beijing-must-come-clean-about-covid-19-origins-opini...

U.S. intelligence reports ... suggest the Chinese People's Liberation Army was conducting secret animal research with highly contagious viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without notifying the World Health Organization even after the pandemic began. [This raises] new questions about the possible laboratory origins of COVID-19 that must be addressed. If sloppy biolab security or reckless military experimentation followed by a coverup were the proximate cause, we need to prioritize developing rules and safeguards to make a global pandemic less likely to happen again. If the origins are revealed to be more innocent - a virus jumping naturally from mammals to humans - we will need to prioritize monitoring and containing future zoonotic outbreaks. But while evidence of a zoonotic jump in the wild, or at a market, or farm has been starkly absent, the case that COVID-19 might have reached humans through an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology seems like an ever-greater possibility. We know that many viruses at the Institute were manipulated using "gain of function" research to develop hybrid viruses to test their ability to infect human lung cells and humanized mice. Is it just coincidental that SARS-CoV-2 appears to have emerged in late 2019 already adapted for transmission to humans and that the COVID-19 outbreak occurred ... in the only Chinese city with a high-level virology institute that was experimenting with novel and diverse bat coronaviruses?

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


Europe Is A Tool In China's Bid For Global Supremacy, New Book Says
2021-01-21, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/roslynlayton/2021/01/21/europe-is-a-tool-in-chin...

The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) efforts to infiltrate governments around the world have been at turns remarkable and remarkably calculated. While readers might expect that China's ambitions have been met with resistance from Western countries, the CCP's rise in Europe has been welcomed, if not enabled, by respected European leaders, authors Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg argue in a new book, Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World. "Long seen by the CCP as the irrelevant junior partner of the United States, Europe is now viewed as the great prize. By winning over Europe, the CCP hopes to convince the world that China is the 'champion of multilateralism' and a much-needed counterweight to U.S. hegemony and unilateralism," Hamilton and Ohlberg write. The CPP is effectively manipulating global players like the EU to advance its larger geopolitical goals. The CCP provides financing to the EU-China Friendship Group, which counts 45 members of the European Parliament (seven political parties) as members. In the same way that no entity can use the term Royal in the United Kingdom without the crown's permission, the words "People" or "Friendship" are regulated by the CCP and require party approval for use in an organization's name. Universal human rights, democratic practice and the rule of law have powerful enemies, and China under the CCP is arguably the most formidable.

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


Trump frees former aides from ethics pledge, lobbying ban
2021-01-20, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Trump-frees-former-aides-from-ethics-pled...

Donald Trump, in one of his final acts as president, released current and former members of his administration from the terms of their ethics pledge, a move that once again laid bare his failure to fulfil his 2016 campaign promise to "drain the swamp." Trump won the presidency, in part, on a pledge to take on entrenched special interests in Washington, and his ethics policy was one of his first acts after assuming office. But in practice it proved to be little more than bluster. Trump instituted a major loosening of ethics standards when compared with the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, as well as the rules that will govern President Joe Biden's White House. By rescinding his ethics executive order before leaving office, Trump freed former officials from lingering concern that they could face consequences for running afoul of the ethics policy as they return to the private sector. Many of them will now try to leverage their experience to secure high-paying jobs in Washington's influence industry. "The first rule of ethics enforcement is you need to have strong standards. Then you need to back them up with intense transparency. And you also need to reinforce the whole thing with tone from the top. Trump did the opposite on all three," said Norm Eisen, Obama's former ethics czar. "He made a mockery of it by having a corrupt tone at the top." Unlike his predecessors, Trump refused to divest from his sprawling business empire. That set the tone for his tenure.

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


The World Needs a Real Investigation Into the Origins of Covid-19
2021-01-15, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-world-needs-a-real-investigation-into-the-or...

In the first week of January, scientists representing the World Health Organization (WHO) were due to arrive in China to trace the origins of Covid-19. Beijing denied entry to the investigators. China ... relented and allowed the group to enter the country this week. The brief standoff highlights a more serious problem: the inadequacy of WHO's current investigative framework for exploring all plausible origins of Covid-19. The world needs an inquiry that considers not just natural origins but the possibility that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, escaped from a laboratory. The WHO team, however, plans to build on reports by Chinese scientists rather than mount an independent investigation. Responding to whether the WHO team will investigate lab origins, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the leader of the team, told us, "If our studies point to a possible lab accident, then other international mechanisms would be involved to document such an event. It would take time and additional types of expertise." Then-deputy U.S. national security adviser Matthew Pottinger told international leaders late last year that the latest intelligence points to SARS-CoV-2 having originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). This intelligence has not been made public. China has denied that the virus came from a lab.

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


Documentary finds contemporary echoes in FBI's persecution of Martin Luther King Jr.
2021-01-13,

In the exquisitely constructed, deeply unnerving "MLK/FBI," filmmaker Sam Pollard takes viewers behind the looking glass into the shadowy world of governmental surveillance during the mid-century civil rights movement, a program of spying, infiltration and harassment that reached its perverse apotheosis with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's obsession with Martin Luther King, Jr. In this meticulously constructed narrative, which centers on FBI files that are scheduled to be declassified in 2027, Pollard reminds viewers that, at the time of his death, King was anything but universally admired. By the time he came out against the Vietnam War and began linking race and class via the Poor People's Campaign, Hoover's years-long campaign to peg King as a Communist had taken hold. Archival footage [shows] anti-King demonstrators spouting lies they've uncritically accepted about the Baptist minister. Pollard delves into the history of Hoover's career with the federal law enforcement agency, his quest to root out Communists and the path that took him to King's door and, eventually, bedroom. Once Hoover discovered that King was having extramarital affairs, he became even more single-minded, tapping the activist's phone lines, bugging his house and placing informants in proximity. When King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Hoover redoubled his efforts, culminating in the notorious tape and anonymous letter sent to Coretta Scott King, obliquely suggesting that her husband kill himself.

Note: Read more about the controversy surrounding King's assassination. Then watch an eye-opening six-minute video report on a 1999 court trial that found the U.S. government guilty for assassinating King, yet the media almost universally refused to report on this important trial. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


A British judge said US prisons are dangerously inhumane. Sadly, she's right
2021-01-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/09/a-british-judge-said-us...

What does it say about the humanitarian condition of US prisons and jails when one of the United States' closest allies refuses to extradite a person for fear that American prison conditions would drive him to suicide? This is exactly what happened ... when a British court ruled against the United States' extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange due to concerns that his health and safety cannot be assured in US custody. The United States fought vigorously to extradite Assange so that he can stand trial for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act, as well as other alleged cyber crimes. Judge Baraitser denied extradition due to the significant risk that Assange would be placed in solitary confinement, which she concluded would likely lead to his death by suicide. Assange has a long and documented history of mental illness. Prolonged solitary confinement – defined as the practice of confining people for 22 to 24 hours per day without meaningful human contact for a period of more than 15 days – can amount to torture, according to the United Nations. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, an estimated 37% of people incarcerated in US state and federal prisons have a diagnosed mental illness, as do an estimated 44% of incarcerated people in local jails. And studies have shown that approximately half of all suicides and incidents of self-harm in American prisons and jails occur among people held in solitary confinement.

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


Storming of the Capitol Was Openly Planned but Ignored by Law Enforcement
2021-01-07, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/01/07/capitol-trump-violence-law-enforcement/

The rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol had been hyped for weeks, including by the president himself. "It definitely shows the ineffectiveness of the intelligence network that we've built since 9/11 – that the Capitol Police would not have been prepared for an assault on the Capitol that was planned in public," Mike German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and former FBI agent specializing in counterterrorism, [said]. Adam Isacson, the D.C.-based director of the defense oversight program at the Washington Office on Latin America, linked the events to a broader politicization of law enforcement under Trump, reminiscent of the anti-democratic movements the U.S. has historically sponsored in countries around the world. "You don't get to ransack the Capitol for hours, then calmly walk away, unless law enforcement and its command share your views," he wrote. "What we saw yesterday was tacit approval of the rioters." The insurrectionary mob was met with some resistance as they descended on the Capitol – some, but not much. Police did use chemical agents against the crowd, but by and large the response bore little resemblance to the iron-fisted crackdown on racial justice protesters witnessed in Washington, D.C., and cities across the country just months before. When they were through, Trump's irregular forces walked out of the building triumphant and unmasked, smiling as a law enforcement officer held the door for them. "We love you. You're very special," the president said to his supporters.

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


Now It Can Be Told: How Neil Sheehan Got the Pentagon Papers
2021-01-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/07/us/pentagon-papers-neil-sheehan.html

There was one story Neil Sheehan chose not to tell. It was the story of how he had obtained the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers, arguably the greatest journalistic catch of a generation, were a secret history of United States decision-making on Vietnam, commissioned in 1967 by the secretary of defense. Their release revealed for the first time the extent to which successive White House administrations had intensified American involvement in the war while hiding their own doubts about the chances of success. [Sheehan] also revealed that he had defied the explicit instructions of his confidential source, whom others later identified as Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst who had been a contributor to the secret history while working for the Rand Corporation. In 1969, Mr. Ellsberg had illicitly copied the entire report, hoping that making it public would hasten an end to a war he had come passionately to oppose. Contrary to what is generally believed, Mr. Ellsberg never "gave" the papers to The Times, Mr. Sheehan emphatically said. Mr. Ellsberg told Mr. Sheehan that he could read them but not make copies. So Mr. Sheehan smuggled the papers out of the apartment in Cambridge, Mass., where Mr. Ellsberg had stashed them; then he copied them illicitly, just as Mr. Ellsberg had done, and took them to The Times. Over the next two months, he strung Mr. Ellsberg along. He told him that his editors were deliberating. In fact, he was ... working feverishly toward publication.

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


Donald Rumsfeld and the Strange History of Aspartame
2021-01-06, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-rumsfeld-and-the-s_b_805581

The chemical additive aspartame is very potentially a cancer and brain tumor-causing substance that has no place in our food. The reasons and means by which [Donald] Rumsfeld helped get it approved are nefarious at best, criminal at worst. Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner back in 1996. The FDA's own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer. According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president January 21, 1981. Rumsfeld, while still CEO at Searle, was part of Reagan's transition team. This team hand-picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., to be the new FDA commissioner. One of Hayes' first official acts as FDA chief was to approve the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener in dry goods on July 18, 1981. When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Donald Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus, pretty big money in those days.

Note: Donald Rumsfeld also made millions on bird flu drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


Kid glove treatment of pro-Trump mob contrasts with strongarm police tactics against Black Lives Matter, activists say
2021-01-06, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Kid-glove-treatment-of-pro-Trump-mob-cont...

When Chanelle Helm helped organized protests after the March 13 killing of Breonna Taylor, Louisville police responded with batons, flashbang grenades and tear gas. The 40-year-old Black Lives Matter activist still bears scars from rubber bullets fired at close range. So Helm was startled and frustrated Wednesday to see a White, pro-Trump mob storm the U.S. Capitol - breaking down barricades, smashing windows and striking police officers - without obvious consequence. "Our activists are still to this day met with hyper-police violence," Helm said. "And today you see this full-on riot ... with people toting guns, which the police knew was coming and they just let it happen. I don't understand where the 'law and order' is. This is what white supremacy looks like." For veteran social justice demonstrators, the images of men and women wearing red Trump 2020 hats and clutching American and Confederate flags walking through the Capitol building largely unmolested came as shocking yet predictable evidence of their long-held suspicions that conservative, White protesters intent on violence would not be met with any of the strongarm tactics as anti-police brutality demonstrators. Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, who died at age 18 in a 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., [said] that the lack of a police response was stunning. "There was no shooting, no rubber bullets, no tear gas," she said. "It was nothing like what we have seen. Nothing like what we have seen."

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


New terrorism 2020 guide shows FBI still classifying Black 'extremists' as domestic terrorism threat
2020-12-30, Yahoo! News
https://www.yahoo.com/now/terrorism-2020-guide-shows-fbi-225557096.html

More than three years after the FBI came under fire for claiming "Black identity extremists" were a domestic terrorism threat, the bureau has issued a new terrorism guide that employs almost identical terminology. The FBI's 2020 domestic terrorism reference guide on "Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism" identifies two distinct sets of groups: those motivated by white supremacy and those who use "political reasons – including racism or injustice in American society" to justify violence. The examples the FBI gives for the latter group are all Black individuals or groups. The FBI document claims that "many" of those Black racially motivated extremists "have targeted law enforcement and the US Government," while a "small number" of them "incorporate sovereign citizen Moorish beliefs into their ideology, which involves a rejection of their US citizenship." In 2017, a leaked copy of an FBI report on "Black identity extremists" sparked an outcry from activists, civil rights groups and Congress, who criticized the bureau for portraying disparate groups and individuals as a single movement, even though the only common factor was that those associated with the term were Black Americans. Those critics also faulted the FBI for equating isolated attacks against law enforcement with those perpetrated by white supremacists, which even the FBI said represent the majority of domestic terror attacks in recent years.

Note: The above article is also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Donald Trump's Martial-Law Talk Has Military on Red Alert
2020-12-24, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-donald-trumps-martial-law-talk-has-militar...

Pentagon and Washington-area military leaders are on red alert, wary of what President Donald Trump might do in his remaining days in office. Though far-fetched, ranking officers have discussed what they would do if the president declared martial law. And military commands responsible for Washington DC are engaged in secret contingency planning in case the armed forces are called upon to maintain or restore civil order during the inauguration and transition period. "Right now, because of coronavirus," one retired judge advocate general says, "the president actually has unprecedented emergency powers, ones that might convince him - particularly if he listens to certain of his supporters - that he has unlimited powers and is above the law." "But martial law," says the lawyer, "is the wrong paradigm to think about the dangers ahead." Though such a presidential proclamation could flow from his order as commander-in-chief, an essential missing ingredient is the martial side: the involvement and connivance of some cabal of officers who would support the president's illegal move. Such a group doesn't exist ... but there could still be room for mischief, confusion, and even use of military force. It would just not be in the way Trump might intend, particularly if he continues his quest to destabilize the democratic process. "There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff General James McConville said in a joint statement.

Note: Trump is the third president to extend the perpetual state of emergency established in the US after 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


I Am Guilty of Violating the Espionage Act
2020-12-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/opinion/laura-poitras-assange-espionage-ac...

I am guilty of violating the Espionage Act, Title 18, U.S. Code Sections 793 and 798. If charged and convicted, I could spend the rest of my life in prison. This is not a hypothetical. Right now, the United States government is prosecuting a publisher under the Espionage Act. The case could set a precedent that would put me and countless other journalists in danger. I confess that I – alongside journalists at The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news organizations – reported on and published highly classified documents from the National Security Agency provided by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden, revealing the government's global mass surveillance programs. This reporting was widely recognized as a public service. Last year ... the Justice Department indicted Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. None of the architects of the "war on terror," including the C.I.A.'s torture programs, have been brought to justice. Mr. Assange is facing a possible sentence of up to 175 years in prison. I spoke to one of the best First Amendment lawyers in the country. He read the Espionage Act out loud and said it had never been used against a journalist, but there is always a first time. It is impossible to overstate the dangerous precedent Mr. Assange's indictment under the Espionage Act and possible extradition sets: Every national security journalist who reports on classified information now faces possible Espionage Act charges.

Note: The above was written by award-winning journalist Laura Poitras. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


You can't sue Pfizer or Moderna if you have severe Covid vaccine side effects. The government likely won't compensate you for damages either
2020-12-17, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/16/covid-vaccine-side-effects-compensation-lawsu...

If you experience severe side effects after getting a Covid vaccine, lawyers tell CNBC there is basically no one to blame in a U.S. court of law. The federal government has granted companies like Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines. "It is very rare for a blanket immunity law to be passed," said Rogge Dunn, a Dallas labor and employment attorney. You also can't sue the Food and Drug Administration for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use, nor can you hold your employer accountable if they mandate inoculation as a condition of employment. Congress created a fund specifically to help cover lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses for people who have been irreparably harmed by a "covered countermeasure," such as a vaccine. But it is difficult to use and rarely pays. Attorneys say it has compensated less than 6% of the claims filed in the last decade. In February, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The 2005 law empowers the HHS secretary to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing critical medical supplies. The protection lasts until 2024. That means that for the next four years, these companies "cannot be sued for money damages in court" over injuries related to the administration or use of products to treat or protect against Covid.

Note: Dr. Carrie Madej lays out the case for transhumanism through these mRNA vaccines. Are these vaccines the beginning of a well hidden agenda using nanotechnology to control all humans through advanced technology? Don't miss this powerful 20-minute video and do your own research as she suggests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.


Police Have Killed Over 1,000 People So Far This Year
2020-12-15, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/police-violence-killed-over-1000-people-2020-1554804

Police have killed more than 1,000 people so far in 2020, according to the Mapping Police Violence project. The research group's database reveals that officers have killed 1,039 people in the U.S. as of December 8 - including 21 people who were aged 18 or under. According to Mapping Police Violence, by the end of November, there had only been 17 days in the year when police officers did not kill someone. And in a year that saw a nationwide reckoning on race following the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people, the database reveals that 28 percent of those killed by police in 2020 were Black - despite Black people only making up 13 percent of the U.S. population. Despite the months of protests denouncing police brutality and calls to "defund the police," Mapping Police Violence's data shows that police in 2020 have continued to kill people at similar rates to previous years. Mapping Police Violence's data shows that Black people are the most likely to be killed by police. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people and 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed compared to white people, according to data on police killings between 2013 and 2019. The statistics also show that there is little accountability for police killings. According to Mapping Police Violence, 98.3 percent of police killings between 2013 and 2020 resulted in no criminal charges for the officers involved.

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


More Journalists are Imprisoned in China, Middle East, Advocates Say
2020-12-15, U.S. News & World Report
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2020-12-15/china-leads-co...

In a year that witnessed a crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong, China has detained more journalists in 2020 than any other country, extending a role it assumed last year, two leading media rights groups say in studies published this week. The reports, published on Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists and on Monday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), found Asia and the Middle East to be the most challenging regions of the world for journalists to operate freely. According to RSF ... the top five countries for imprisoning journalists in 2020 were China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Syria, which collectively accounted for 61% of the 387 journalists they had documented behind bars as of Dec. 1. RSF said at least 117 journalists were detained in China this year. Meanwhile, CPJ reported a record number of detained journalists – 274, according to its report, adding that China, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia imprisoned journalists at the highest rates. Officials from both organizations said the coronavirus pandemic even provided cover for some governments to more openly target the press in retaliation for critical COVID-19 coverage. "Fourteen journalists were arrested in connection with coverage of the pandemic," RSF Editor-in-Chief Pauline Ades-Mevel says, in response to what their governments called unfair or imprecise coverage. We've seen a backlash around the world against journalists reporting on the pandemic itself as well as government responses to the pandemic.

Note: Explore more on this and on censorship around questioning the official story of COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Report Points to Microwave 'Attack' as Likely Source of Mystery Illnesses That Hit Diplomats and Spies
2020-12-05,

The most probable cause of a series of mysterious afflictions that sickened American spies and diplomats abroad in the past several years was radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that includes microwaves, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has concluded in a report. The conclusion by a committee of 19 experts in medicine and other fields cited "directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy" as "the most plausible mechanism" to explain the illness, which came to be known as Havana syndrome. The report, which was commissioned by the State Department, provides the most definitive explanation yet of the illness that struck scores of government employees, first at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2016, and then in China and other countries. Many of the officers suffered from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of hearing, memory and balance, and some were forced into permanent retirement. C.I.A. officers visiting overseas stations also experienced similar symptoms. The new report reveals strong evidence that the incidents were the result of a malicious attack. It attributes the illnesses to "directed" and "pulsed" – rather than "continuous" – energy, implying that the victims' exposure was targeted and not the result of more common sources of microwave energy. It also said the committee found the immediate symptoms that patients reported ... were more consistent with a directed "attack" of radiofrequency energy.

Note: Many have belittled the possibility of directed energy beam weapons being used to cause harm and alter consciousness. We have been reporting on this for many years. For excellent, reliable information on this disturbing trend, see this essay and these news summaries.


British women thought they'd found boyfriends who shared their beliefs. They were actually undercover police
2020-12-05, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-06/uk-women-discover-boyfriends-were-unde...

Two years ago, Queensland woman 'Ellie' got a call that changed her life. It was from her first love, a man named James. She had met him in 2001. They were together for about a year before James broke it off. But in 2018, he phoned her in Australia to make a startling confession: he'd been living a lie. He was an undercover police officer who'd been sent to spy on her and those in her friendship circle. Ellie, who's never spoken publicly before, is one of at least 30 women who were tricked into having relationships with undercover officers working for London's Metropolitan Police Service. Some undercover officers, including James, adopted the identities of dead children and infiltrated environmental protest groups. A handful fathered children with their targets. Another former officer started a new life in Australia, before his target tracked him down in Sydney. The long-running scandal has finally culminated in public hearings of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, one of the biggest in UK legal history. In 1968, a secret unit was established within the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police, known as the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). In the decades that followed, SDS's reach expanded as it gathered intelligence on more than 1,000 political groups, often feeding that information to the security service, MI5. Some right-wing organisations were infiltrated, but the majority of targets were left-wing groups that challenged the status quo. The Special Demonstration Squad was disbanded in 2008.

Note: For more, see this BBC article on how a serious inquiry into the matter is being blocked and this Guardian article on police having sexual relations with women on whom they were spying. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


More than half of emergency small-business funds went to larger businesses, new data shows
2020-12-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/01/ppp-sba-data/

More than half of the money from the Treasury Department's coronavirus emergency fund for small businesses went to just 5 percent of the recipients, according to data on more than 5 million loans that was released by the government Tuesday evening in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit. According to data on the government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), about 600 mostly larger companies, including dozens of national chains, received the maximum amount allowed under the program of $10 million. The new data shows more than half of the $522 billion ... went to bigger businesses, and only 28 percent of the money was distributed in amounts less than $150,000. Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy for the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, said the new data shows how the Trump administration chose to focus its coronavirus relief efforts on helping wealthy organizations at the expense of truly small firms. "The data shows that this program primarily benefited the well-banked and well-lawyered at the expense of the small businesses it was supposed to benefit," Hempowicz said. The newly released data comes after a federal lawsuit filed by The Washington Post and 10 other news organizations under the Freedom of Information Act challenging the SBA's refusal to release records on borrowers and loan amounts. A federal judge ordered the release of the data by Tuesday and the agency did not appeal.

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


Mexican president presents 'ethical guide' book of precepts
2020-11-26, ABC News/Associated Press
https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/mexican-president-presents-eth...

Few world leaders talk about morals and ethics as much as Mexican President AndrÄ‚©s Manuel LÄ‚Ĺ‚pez Obrador. On Thursday he presented an "Ethical Guide for the Transformation of Mexico." LÄ‚Ĺ‚pez Obrador took office two years ago pledging government austerity and an end to corruption. Much like the president himself, the text presented Thursday is socially conservative, and is definitely not a traditional leftist tract. It calls the family "the basic building block of society." The 20-point pamphlet is a compendium of vaguely social-democratic pontifications on work, fairness, forgiveness, justice and responsibility. It marks quite a divergence for Mexico's once rigidly anti-clerical government, which was long loathe to even talk about morality. But LÄ‚Ĺ‚pez Obrador often uses vaguely religious language and calls himself a Christian "in the broadest sense of the term." He has long said he wants a "moral constitution" and a "loving republic" for Mexico. The government aims to print and distribute 10 million copies for free. "Inequality in any area is the product of injustice and creates suffering," the pamphlet says. "Like power, work gains its full meaning when it is done for others." "It is not a crime to accumulate and increase material wealth," reads another section. "Whoever earns a reasonable profit, using their creativity and taking risks to create jobs, that person will be recognized by society as a responsible businessperson with social sense."

Note: Read an English translation of Mexico's inspiring new "Ethical Guide for the Transformation of Mexico." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Generation Forever War: Biden's National Security Picks Herald Return to Hawkish Normalcy
2020-11-24, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/11/24/biden-military-national-security-blinken-...

President-elect Joe Biden's first picks for senior national security posts – Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, and Avril Haines as director of national intelligence – served in the Obama administration and are now being hailed as the sort of steady hands that America needs. But that's not the good news it seems to be. The costs of normalcy have been grave. "It's worth keeping in mind that the global war on terror has killed more than 7,000 U.S. servicemembers – more than twice the number of people killed by the 9/11 attacks – and more than 800,000 lives worldwide," said Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA's director of Security With Human Rights. "It's also cost the U.S. more than $6.4 trillion." Biden's presidential team of national security advisers is loaded with leading members of the Beltway foreign policy establishment unaffectionately known as "the Blob." It's a well-worn group of advisers who backed or waged the disastrous wars of the last two decades. At first glance, Biden's national security blueprint might look like a departure, even a repudiation, of the Obama template. "Biden will end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East," reads the plan for "Leading the Democratic World" at JoeBiden.com. But Biden's plan isn't actually what it seems. The fine print reads: "Biden will bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan and narrowly focus our mission on Al-Qaeda and ISIS."

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


Pentagon whistleblowers say they were fired or suspended for reporting sexual assault cover-ups: "People are afraid"
2020-11-19, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pentagon-military-whistleblowers-fired-for-repor...

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.


The sniper rifles flowing to Mexican cartels show a decade of U.S. failure
2020-11-19, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/mexico-losing-control/mexi...

North of the border, the .50-caliber sniper rifle is the stuff of YouTube celebrity. It is among the most destructive weapons legally available in the United States. But every week, those rifles are trafficked across the border to Mexico. After years of failed U.S. and Mexican efforts to curb arms trafficking, groups such as the Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa cartels are showcasing the military-grade weapons in slick propaganda videos and using them to defeat security forces in battle. Roughly 2.5 million illicit American guns have poured across the border in the past decade, according to a new Mexican government study. The cartels are using trafficked weapons to kill record numbers of police officers – 464 in the first nine months of 2020 alone – and smaller armed groups are fueling historically high homicide rates. Mexican officials, in rare public criticism, are now venting their frustration at what they say is the U.S. failure to stop the flow of .50-caliber rifles. At a time when the United States is pushing Mexico to target cartels more aggressively, U.S. laws that make .50-calibers and other destructive weapons easy to buy ... are enabling those groups to expand their influence and activities in the country. A decade after "Operation Fast and Furious," in which U.S. agents allowed thousands of firearms to flow south in a botched attempt to track them, and despite $3 billion in U.S. aid to Mexico to fight narco-traffickers, the two countries have not curbed the flow of weapons.

Note: American officials allowed thousands of illegal guns to be trafficked into Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


A Cop Shoots a Black Man, and a Police Union Flexes Its Muscle
2020-11-17, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-11-17/special-report-a-cop...

By the time Officer Joseph Ferrigno shot a Black man from behind, court records show, the Rochester cop had drawn at least 23 misconduct complaints in nearly nine years on the force. Through it all, the Rochester Police Department and the Locust Club, the local police union, stood by Ferrigno. Then came April 1, 2016, when Ferrigno ... spotted a Chevrolet Impala. He saw two Black men inside. Ferrigno drew his Glock handgun. Silvon Simmons, the passenger in the Impala ... heard no warning. Simmons stepped from the Impala and ... ran toward the back door of the house where he lived. Ferrigno fired four shots, hitting Simmons three times. Before leaving the scene, Ferrigno asked for two things: a lawyer and a union rep. The officer, who told detectives he "was shaking and still in a state of shock," was driven to the station and later sent home. Simmons, stripped naked by paramedics treating his wounds, was handcuffed and loaded into an ambulance. Although Simmons was the one who took three bullets, Ferrigno is listed as the victim in at least 65 police reports. Police said they had been searching for a man wanted for threatening a woman with a gun. Ferrigno had been shot at and returned fire, striking his alleged assailant three times, the reports said. When [Judge Melchor] Castro came to his hospital room in 2016 to explain the charges ... Simmons was incredulous. "What in the world are you talking about?" Simmons recalled telling the judge. "I'm the one who got shot."

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


Pentagon Fails Audit Yet Again, Could Pass Around 2027, Comptroller Says
2020-11-16, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2020-11-16/pentagon-fails-audit-yet-a...

The Pentagon failed its comprehensive audit in fiscal 2020, the third year it has failed since the first audit was conducted in 2018, reflecting system and accounting problems across its vast bureaucracy that could persist until 2027, the department's comptroller said. "The process of getting to a clean opinion for federal agencies, it can take a long time," said Thomas Harker, who is also undersecretary of defense and chief financial officer. After the first audit of the Pentagon's nearly $3 trillion worth of assets in fiscal 2018, then-Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the department received an opinion of "disclaimer," a term used by auditors for findings that do not meet accounting standards. Harker said the Department of Homeland Security took a decade to pass a comprehensive audit, and the Pentagon could take just as long, making the possible date for its first clean audit somewhere around 2027. Coronavirus-related travel restrictions hampered the auditing process this year as auditors had to resort to video feeds or photographs to execute due diligence, Harker said. Around 1,400 auditors tested the systems and record-keeping processes on weapons systems, military personnel and property around the world in 100 site visits, 530 virtual visits and samples. The process resulted in 24 standalone audits, comprising the overall audit. Fees for the audit were $203 million this year.

Note: Every business in the U.S. is required to account for every dollar in their budget, yet the Pentagon cannot account for trillions of dollars in violation of the US Constitution Article I Section 9 Clause 7. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Anti-Nuclear Pacifists Get Federal Prison Terms for Nonviolent Protest
2020-11-16, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/11/16/nonviolent-protest-plowshares-nuclear/

Each weekend, while New York City's East Village packs into sidewalk tables for brunch, activist Carmen Trotta leads a vigil for ending the U.S.-backed war in Yemen in Tompkins Square Park. He only has a few more Saturday mornings before he must report to federal prison, along with fellow activists from Plowshares, the anti-nuclear, Christian pacifist movement. Trotta, Martha Hennessy, Clare Grady, and Patrick O'Neill are due to report to prison within the next few months for activism against a suspected nuclear weapons depot. Trotta and Hennessy ... peacefully broke into the naval base in Brunswick, Georgia – risking their own lives to protest the suspected nuclear arsenal housed within. Armed only with vials of their own blood, hammers, GoPro cameras, spray paint, protest banners, and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg's book, the activists symbolically attempted to disarm the nuclear weapons located on the Trident submarines at the base. All but one of the activists have quietly been sentenced in their faith-based battle with the U.S. government. The activists were charged with three felonies – conspiracy, destruction of government property, depredation – and misdemeanor trespassing. The sentencing – sending aging activists to federal prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic – fits squarely within the long history of the U.S. government throwing the book at people of conscience who dare to dissent. Trotta got 14 months, Grady was given 12 months and one day, and Hennessy was sentenced to 10 months.

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


After a summer of protest, Americans voted for policing and criminal justice reform
2020-11-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/criminal-justice-election/2020/11/13/...

Americans took to the streets for extended demonstrations this summer to protest police violence and racial injustice. Then, on Election Day, they took to the voting booth to endorse criminal justice and policing changes. With a wave of votes across the country, Americans backed a string of measures increasing police oversight, elected reform-minded prosecutors, loosened drug laws and passed other proposals rethinking key elements of law enforcement and justice in their communities. These votes, taken together, signal that after a summer of protest brought renewed scrutiny to the justice system, many Americans were open to rethinking how it functions. Voters in Oakland, Calif., moved to create an inspector general's office outside the police force to review officer misconduct. In Columbus, Ohio, voters passed an amendment creating a civilian police review board and an inspector general. San Diegans supported replacing a police review board with a commission that would have subpoena power and the authority to investigate police misconduct. These votes were not exclusively in big cities. In Kyle, Tex., outside Austin, voters overwhelmingly passed a proposition requiring police policies to be reviewed by the city council and put under a committee's oversight. Voters in several places supported loosening drug laws. Oregon voters backed a ballot measure decriminalizing small amounts of drugs including cocaine and heroin. New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota ... legalized recreational marijuana.

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


Covid-19: politicisation, "corruption," and suppression of science
2020-11-13, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425.full

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency - a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. The UK's pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency. The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE. Next, a Public Health England report on covid-19 and inequalities ... was delayed by England's Department of Health. Third, on 15 October, the editor of the Lancet complained that an author of a research paper, a UK government scientist, was blocked by the government from speaking to media because of a "difficult political landscape." Now, a new example concerns the controversy over point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office.

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


Covid-19: politicisation, "corruption," and suppression of science
2020-11-13, BMJ (A peer-reviewed journal of the British Medical Association)
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office. Public Health England then unsuccessfully attempted to block The BMJ's press release about the research paper. In the US, President Trump's government manipulated the Food and Drug Administration to hastily approve unproved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. Globally, people, policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas. The UK's pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science ... and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

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


DR MIKE YEADON:Three facts No 10's experts got wrong
2020-10-30, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/dr-mike-yeadon-three-facts-no-10-s-e...

With less than 24 hours' notice, President Emmanuel Macron announced his plan to plunge the French into a second national lockdown for at least a month. And if everything I hear and read about the UK is to be believed, this country is heading in the same direction. While Boris Johnson will be the person announcing that catastrophic decision, the measures are being dictated by a small group of scientists who, in my view, have repeatedly got things terribly wrong. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has made three incorrect assumptions which have had, and continue to have, disastrous consequences for people's lives and the economy. Firstly, Sage assumes that the vast majority of the population is vulnerable to infection; second, that only 7 per cent of the population has been infected so far; and third, that the virus causing Covid-19 has a mortality rate of about 1 per cent. Multiple research groups in Europe and the US have shown that around 30 per cent of the population was likely already immune to Covid-19 before the virus arrived. Sage has similarly failed to accurately revise down its estimated mortality rate for the virus. Pre-eminent scientists ... have concluded that the mortality rate is closer to 0.2 per cent. That figure means one in 500 people infected die. When applied to the total number of Covid deaths in the UK (around 45,000), this would imply that approximately 22.5million people have been infected. That is 33.5 per cent of our population – not Sage's 7 per cent calculation.

Note: The author of this article, Dr. Mike Yeadon, is a former Vice President and served as Chief Science Officer of the A&R Research Unit of Pfizer for 16 years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Trump Sets Up Pharma Billionaires for Coronavirus Payday
2020-10-23, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/23/trump-covid-19-pharma-regeneron-coronavir...

The development of the antibody cocktail used to treat President Donald Trump for Covid-19 – which he heralded as a cure for the disease – was funded largely by the U.S. government, yet the Trump administration has apparently failed to set any guarantees that the treatment would be affordable. The biopharmaceutical company Regeneron, led by the two highest paid executives in the industry, received hundreds of millions in public funds during the research and development of the antibody therapy, and now stands to make a killing from its potentially lifesaving treatment. In January ... Regeneron struck an agreement with a division of Department of Health and Human Services known as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, to receive up to $81 million for work on antibodies that would prevent Covid-19 from infecting cells by attaching to the spikes on its surface. The two antibodies Regeneron chose were developed using cell lines that were derived from the kidney tissue of an aborted fetus. The January contract [lacks] a standard clause that ensures interventions developed with government funding are available to the public "on reasonable terms." While Trump promised that the government would provide the antibody cocktail to Americans for free, drug pricing efforts say that many people probably won't have access to the treatment at all, let alone at an affordable price. "You have massive public investment, but ... it doesn't benefit public health," [said drug pricing expert Zain Rizvi].

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


Special Report: Why 4,998 died in U.S. jails without getting their day in court
2020-10-16, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jails-deaths-special-report/special-re...

Harvey Hill wouldn't leave John Finnegan's front yard. He stood in the pouring rain, laughing at the sky, alarming his former boss' wife. Finnegan dialed 911. "He needs a mental evaluation," the landscaper recalls telling the arriving officer. Instead, Hill was charged with trespassing and jailed. At the Madison County Detention Center ... guards tackled the 36-year-old, pepper sprayed him and kicked him repeatedly in the head. After handcuffing him, two guards slammed Hill into a concrete wall, previously unpublished jail surveillance video shows. They led him to a shower, away from the cameras, and beat him again, still handcuffed, a state investigation found. Video showed Hill writhing in pain in the infirmary, where he was assessed by a licensed practical nurse but not given medication. Hill was sent straight to an isolation cell. Within hours, he was dead. And he had a lot of company. Hill's is one of 7,571 inmate deaths Reuters documented in an unprecedented examination of mortality in more than 500 U.S. jails from 2008 to 2019. Death rates have soared in those lockups, rising 35% over the decade ending last year. Casualties like Hill are typical: held on minor charges and dying without ever getting their day in court. At least two-thirds of the dead inmates identified by Reuters, 4,998 people, were never convicted of the charges on which they were being held. Reuters is making the full data it gathered available to the public here.

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


How Native Americans' right to vote has been systematically violated for generations
2020-10-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/16/native-americans-voting-right...

Voter suppression has taken centre stage in the race to elect potentially the 46th president of the United States. But we've heard little about the 5.2 million Native Americans whose ancestors have called this land home before there was a US president. The rights of indigenous communities – including the right to vote – have been systematically violated for generations with devastating consequences. Voter turnout for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives is the lowest in the country, and about one in three eligible voters (1.2 million people) are not registered to vote. In a new book, Voting in Indian County: The View from the Trenches, Jean Reith Schroedel ... at Claremont Graduate University weaves together historical and contemporary voting rights conflicts. American Indians and Native Alaskans were the last group in the United States to get citizenship and to get the vote. Some laws used to disenfranchise them were still in place in 1975. Voting by mail is very challenging for Native Americans for multiple reasons. First and foremost, most reservations do not have home mail delivery. Instead, people need to travel to post offices or postal provide sites – little places that offer minimal mail services and are located in places like gas stations and mini-marts. Take the Navajo Nation that encompasses 27,425 square miles – it's larger than West Virginia, yet there are only 40 places where people can send and receive mail. In West Virginia, there are 725. Not a single PO box on the Navajo Nation has 24-hour access.

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


Texas Gov. Abbott restricts absentee ballot drop-off locations
2020-10-01, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/texas-gov-abbott-restricts-abs...

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ordered counties to stop accepting hand-delivered absentee ballots at more than one location, issuing a proclamation that could make it harder for residents to vote early. The proclamation, which goes into effect Friday, modifies part of Abbott's July 27 order that added six days of early absentee voting in the state in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fellow Republicans in Texas are challenging the additional early voting days in court. Abbott said he issued the new order to ensure the security of the ballots, which President Donald Trump has questioned as Americans have embraced early and absentee voting in response to the pandemic. Texas has 254 counties, the largest of which is rural Brewster, which covers 6,193 square miles. Harris County, which includes much of the sprawling city of Houston, has a population of more than 4.7 million people. The county is home to 25 percent of the state's Black residents and 18 percent of its Hispanic population. Before Abbott's proclamation, the county had created 11 ballot drop-off locations. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ... criticized the decision. "Growing up, I was bused over 20 miles as a student in the first integrated class at Klein High School," he said. "Because of the Governor's decision today, I would now have to go even farther to drop off an absentee ballot and make sure my vote is counted."

Note: A federal judge has blocked Abbot's order. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Operation Warp Speed's Big Vaccine Contracts Could Stay Secret
2020-09-29, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/29/917899357/how-operation-...

The Trump administration has compared Operation Warp Speed's crash program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine to the Manhattan Project. And like the notoriously secretive government project to make the first atomic bomb, the details of Operation Warp Speed's work may take a long time to unravel. One reason is that Operation Warp Speed is issuing billions of dollars' worth of coronavirus vaccine contracts to companies through a nongovernment intermediary, bypassing the regulatory oversight and transparency of traditional federal contracting mechanisms, NPR has learned. Instead of entering into contracts directly with vaccine makers, more than $6 billion in Operation Warp Speed funding has been routed through a defense contract management firm called Advanced Technologies International, Inc. ATI then awarded contracts to companies working on COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, the contracts between the pharmaceutical companies and ATI may not be available through public records requests, and additional documents are exempt from public disclosure for five years. [Robin] Feldman, of UC Hastings, says the administration's comparison of Operation Warp Speed to the Manhattan Project is troubling. "I think that's completely the wrong image," she says. "The right analogy, I think, for Operation Warp Speed is the penicillin effort in World War II. We can do a lot of good together, but we have to make sure pharma companies aren't taking advantage of the crisis."

Note: Read an excellent article showing how most of these contracts are linked to the CIA and DHS and more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Massive military spending is turning America into a 'warfare state,' warns ex U.S. Army Colonel
2020-09-28, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/massive-military-spending-is-turning-america-i...

In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower cautioned the United States against "unwarranted influence" — what he saw as an alarming alignment of corporate interests with military operations, a relationship he famously called: "the military-industrial complex." Col. Lawrence Wilkerson ... spent over 30 years in the U.S. Army [and] was chief of staff for former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell. He believes that Eisenhower was right, and is a fierce critic of the military-industrial complex. Or what he calls "the warfare state," an obvious play on "welfare state." He believes military spending ... is ruining America. "Today we have become what Eisenhower's worst nightmare predicted in his farewell address," says Wilkerson. Col. Wilkerson has seen firsthand how military expenditures create a devastating feedback loop with politics. "The country marches on to yet another war, another trillion dollar fiasco, another bloodbath for young men and women who are signed up because they were bribed to do so," says Col. Wilkerson. He says "bribed" unapologetically, as the U.S. military relies disproportionately on personnel from have-not states to fill its ranks. The expenditures, however, don't benefit the troops. "The divorce rate: off the charts in the services now. Suicide rate: off the charts in the services now. More post-traumatic stress then you'd ever imagine," Col. Wilkerson explains. "We are almost $22 trillion in debt right now. We've not been this far in debt since the last year of World War Two."

Note: Read a two-page summary of General Smedley Butler's important book, titled "War is a Racket". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


CDC's credibility is eroded by internal blunders and external attacks as coronavirus vaccine campaigns loom
2020-09-28, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/09/28/cdc-under-attack/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was created to stop deadly pathogens. But 2020 has been a disaster for the CDC. The agency's response to the worst public health crisis in a century - the coronavirus pandemic - has been marked by technical blunders and botched messaging. The agency has endured false accusations and interference by Trump administration political appointees. Worst of all, the CDC has experienced a loss of institutional credibility at a time when the nation desperately needs to know whom to trust. The stumbles started early in the pandemic, with the botched rollout of test kits suspected of being contaminated at a CDC lab in late January. But the agency's most chronic problem has been the inability to speak directly and persuasively to the American public. That's because it has been muzzled ... by political operatives. White House officials have pressured the CDC to change guidance over the last several months to align the guidelines more closely with the administration's message that the pandemic is under control, federal health officials have said. Those actions include revised CDC guidance on mask-wearing and the reopening of religious institutions and schools. "Every big public health response has two components: the public health emergency and the political emergency," said a CDC epidemiologist who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. "I never would have expected the level of political interference we're seeing now. It's so sad."

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


The fiasco of the 1976 'swine flu affair'
2020-09-27, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200918-the-fiasco-of-the-us-swine-flu-af...

[During] the "swine flu affair of 1976" ... a US president decided to rush a vaccine to the entire American population based on ill-founded science and political imprudence. The mistakes that followed hold lessons for today. Lawsuits, side-effects and negative media coverage followed, and the events dented confidence in public health for years to come. It began at a US Army training base. In February 1976, several soldiers at Fort Dix fell ill with a previously unrecognised swine flu. In March, President Ford announced a $137m (Ł67.5m in 1976) effort to produce a vaccine by the autumn. Its goal was to immunise every man, woman and child in the US. The president himself was vaccinated on television on 14 October, further heightening perceptions that this was a politicised event. As has happened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, the scientists could only give the best advice they could based on incomplete knowledge. As the months continued – still with no outbreak – new problems arose. Millions of vaccinations meant dozens of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare problem where the body's immune system attacks the nerves. The swine flu strain spotted at Fort Dix was not dangerous, and there would be no pandemic. When politicians in the present day talk of "the science" as if it is a complete body of knowledge, a manual for what to do, it neglects the uncertainty of evidence and ignores that science is a human endeavour. The swine flu affair, the New York Times concluded, had been a "sorry debacle" and "fiasco" marked by political expediency and unwarranted confidence.

Note: Watch an incrediby revealing "60 Minutes" video clip on this tragic story of greed and corruption at the highest levels. Read also a Los Angeles Times article on this 1976 "debacle" where only one died from the flu while at least 25 died from the vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and vaccines from reliable major media sources.


‘Unlike anything we’ve seen in modern history’: Attacks against journalists soar during Black Lives Matter protests
2020-09-24, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/unlike-anything-we-ve-seen-in-modern-his...

At least 50 journalists in the US have been arrested during Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the US, while dozens of others have also been injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas. The US Press Freedom Tracker has collected nearly 500 incidents from 382 reports, from the unrest in Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd‘s killing by police in late May, to demonstrations in more than 70 cities across 35 states since. At least 46 journalists were arrested between the end of May and the beginning of June. Dozens of others reported injuries from law enforcement, firing “less lethal” projectiles, tear gas canisters and other weapons into crowds or directly at reporters during demonstrations, even when they had identified themselves and shown credentials. Two reporters have suffered permanent eye injuries. The latest reports mark a significant spike since the end of May, when nationwide protests started, at which point the organisation had recorded only five arrests and 26 attacks for the entire year. But by the end of the month, the number of attacks had increased nearly five times. “The conversations and reckoning that lie ahead of us as a country are taking shape right now,” Press Freedom Tracker managing editor Kristin McCudden said. “What’s happened in 70 cities in more than 30 states across the nation in one month is unlike anything we’ve seen in modern history and surpasses the Tracker’s entire ... history of documentation.”

Note: Read more about the violent attacks on members of the media by police this year. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


The US police department that decided to hire social workers
2020-09-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/19/alexandria-kentucky-police-so...

The Alexandria police chief, Mike Ward, was “sick and tired” of sending his officers to respond to 911 calls that they lacked the skills and time to handle. In this small Kentucky town of 10,000 people ... two-thirds of the calls police responded to were not criminal – instead, they were mental health crises and arguments resulting from long-brewing interpersonal conflicts. Police would show up, but they could rarely offer long-lasting solutions. Often, it was inevitable that they would be called back to the same address for the same problem again and again. In 2016 he decided to try a new approach: he talked the city into hiring a social worker for the police department. The current police chief, Lucas Cooper, said he was “the most vocal opponent” of the plan at the time. But now four years later, Cooper sees the program as indispensable: it frees officers from repeat calls for non-criminal issues and gets residents the help they needed, but couldn’t get. In Alexandria two social workers are now on the police department’s payroll. But while working for the police, they are not cops: they do not have arresting powers and they do not carry weapons. They ride in a Ford Focus instead of a police cruiser. They wear polo shirts, not police uniforms, and carry a radio with a panic button in case they find themselves in danger. “We’re like a non-threatening type of follow-up,” said Cassie Hensley, one of the department’s social workers. “I’ve been told by individuals that they’re very glad I didn’t show up in a police cruiser ... and that they’re more likely to talk to me.”

Note: Could it be beneficial rather than defunding police to include social workers in their ranks for the many calls involving mental health? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Nashville Officials Withheld COVID Numbers for Restaurants and Bars Because Cases Were So Low
2020-09-17, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/nashville-officials-withheld-covid-numbers-...

Nashville officials reportedly concealed the low number of COVID-19 cases deriving from bars and restaurants in the city, according to emails between the Metro Health Department and Mayor John Cooper's office. On June 30, contact tracing found that construction and nursing homes were the cause of most Nashville coronavirus cases with thousands traced back to those specific categories. Only 22 cases were traced back to bars and restaurants. In the series of emails obtained by FOX 17 News, a discussion between the two offices about how to conceal the number associated with restaurants and bars from the public was shown. "This isn't going to be publicly released, right? Just info for Mayor's Office?" wrote Leslie Waller from the health department. Senior Advisor Benjamin Eagles responded: "Correct, not for public consumption." A month later ... reporter Nate Rau asked the health department about rumors circulating that only 80 cases resulted from the city's bars and restaurants. Rau asked: "The figure you gave of 'more than 80' does lead to a natural question: If there have been over 20,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Davidson and only 80 or so are traced to restaurants and bars, doesn't that mean restaurants and bars aren't a very big problem?" "We raised taxes 34 percent and put ... literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments ... and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal," [Nashville Councilman Steve] Glover told FOX 17 News.

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


More than half of all wrongful criminal convictions are caused by government misconduct
2020-09-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2020/09/16/more-than-half-all-wrongf...

A new study digs into the reasons people are wrongly convicted, and it has found that 54 percent of those defendants are victimized by official misconduct, with police involved in 34 percent of cases, prosecutors in 30 percent, and some cases involving both police and prosecutors. The study by the National Registry of Exonerations reviewed 2,400 exonerations it has logged between 1989 and 2019, nearly 80 percent of which were for violent felonies. Of the 2,400, 93 innocent defendants were sentenced to death and later cleared before they were executed. The study also found that police and prosecutors are rarely disciplined for actions that lead to a wrongful conviction. Researchers found that 4 percent of prosecutors involved in those convictions were disciplined, but the penalties were “comparatively mild” and only three were disbarred. Police officers were disciplined in 19 percent of cases leading to wrongful convictions, and in 80 percent of those cases officers were convicted of crimes, such as Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who led a group of officers who planted drug or gun evidence leading to 66 false convictions. The 2,400 cases are far from a comprehensive count, since there is no centralized national database of criminal cases at the state and local levels. So an estimate of how often wrongful convictions occur, as a percentage of overall cases, is not possible. The study acknowledges there are other areas to examine, including quantifying ineffective assistance by defense attorneys.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in policing and in the judicial system from reliable major media sources.


It's Time to Repeal the President's License for Endless War
2020-09-14, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/its-time-repeal-presidents-license-endless-war-opini...

The United States is poised to continue spending more money on the Pentagon than the next 10 countries combined, with some 1 million troops deployed in about 175 countries. In other words, there's no end in sight for our forever wars. Monday marks the 19th anniversary of the vote to pass the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists. Our country's response to that attack has had unintended and tragic consequences: war profiteering by military contractors, traumatic impact to our soldiers, and massive numbers of refugees and civilian casualties around the world. Under the auspices of two laws that are now nearly 20 years old, the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, the United States is militarily engaged in 80 countries, outside of the public eye and with little congressional oversight. The past four years have seen the Trump administration cite these laws as the legal justification to assassinate a foreign government official and take us to the brink of war with Iran, expand the U.S. military footprint in the African continent and indefinitely occupy eastern Syria. Yet the past four years have also seen a growing recognition in Congress that ... we must repeal these laws and reclaim the legislative branch's sole constitutional authority to declare war. For far too long, Congress has relied on the executive branch to tell us what does and does not constitute war.

Note: The above was written by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents California's 13th Congressional District. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror
2020-09-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/magazine/displaced-war-on-terror.html

At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II. It is the first time the number of people displaced by U.S. military involvement during this period has been calculated. The findings come at a time when the United States and other Western countries have become increasingly opposed to welcoming refugees, as anti-migrant fears bolster favor for closed-border policies. The report accounts for the number of people, mostly civilians, displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria, where fighting has been the most significant, and says the figure is a conservative estimate — the real number may range from 48 million to 59 million. The calculation does not include the millions of other people who have been displaced in countries with smaller U.S. counterterrorism operations, according to the report, including those in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger. “This has been one of the major forms of damage, of course along with the deaths and injuries, that have been caused by these wars,” said David Vine, a professor of anthropology ... and the lead author of the report.

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


Trump launches unprecedented attack on military leadership he appointed
2020-09-08, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/07/politics/trump-attack-military-leadership/inde...

President Donald Trump launched an unprecedented public attack against the leadership of the US military on Monday, accusing them of waging wars to boost the profits of defense manufacturing companies. "I'm not saying the military's in love with me - the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy," Trump [said]. Trump's extraordinary comments come as several defense officials tell CNN relations between the President and Pentagon leadership are becoming increasingly strained. They also followed efforts by Trump to convince the public that he had not made a series of reported disparaging remarks about US military personnel and veterans, which were first reported by The Atlantic magazine. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appeared to attempt to walk back Trump's comments ... saying the President's accusations against the "top people at the Pentagon" were not directed specifically at people like Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. "Those comments are not directed specifically at them as much as it is what we all know happens in Washington, DC," Meadows said, saying "That comment was more directed about the military industrial complex." Trump has also repeatedly touted boosting the defense budget as one of his administration's major accomplishments.

Note: Is Trump actually breaking ranks with almost every other U.S. president and going after the military-industrial complex?


Trump Bans Diversity Training, Claiming It’s Divisive, Anti-American Propaganda
2020-09-05, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/janicegassam/2020/09/05/trump-bans-diversity-tra...

President Trump just made a major announcement. Trump is now prohibiting federal agencies from conducting cultural sensitivity trainings because, according to the report, they are “divisive, anti-American propaganda.” Diversity trainings that focus on educating participants about white privilege, critical race theory and the racist origins of the United States apparently create “division and resentment” amongst federal employees. What is deeply problematic about this new ban is that the U.S. has a habit of avoiding the country’s dark and racist past. Evading the issue will not make it go away. The memorandum states that the Trump administration is “fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals.” It’s important to note that the goal is not equality but rather equity. Equality is treating everyone the same. The reason equality is not the goal is because it does not take into consideration the different barriers and challenges that have been experienced. Equity, on the other hand, is taking one’s unique needs and challenges into consideration and providing support based on these unique needs. There is an implication that everyone should be treated the exact same way, which is not the objective. Because there has been a long history of unequal treatment, there has to be efforts made to rectify this. Equality does not work to actively address or correct systems that have allowed unfair treatment. Because these impacts are still being felt today, having an equity focus is needed for progress to continue.

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


U.S. Court: Mass Surveillance Program Exposed by Snowden Was Illegal
2020-09-02, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-09-02/us-court-mass-survei...

Seven years after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans' telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans' telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and may well have been unconstitutional. Snowden, who fled to Russia in the aftermath of the 2013 disclosures and still faces U.S. espionage charges, said on Twitter that the ruling was a vindication of his decision to go public with evidence of the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping operation. "I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA's activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them," Snowden said. Evidence that the NSA was secretly building a vast database of U.S. telephone records ... was the first and arguably the most explosive of the Snowden revelations published by the Guardian newspaper in 2013. Up until that moment, top intelligence officials publicly insisted the NSA never knowingly collected information on Americans at all. After the program's exposure, U.S. officials fell back on the argument that the spying had played a crucial role in fighting domestic extremism. But the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that those claims were "inconsistent with the contents of the classified record."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


From the 60 Minutes archives: Survivors of Josef Mengele's twin experiments
2020-08-30, CNN News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/from-the-60-minutes-archives-survivors-of-josef-...

Lesley Stahl reports on an innovative project that uses artificial intelligence technology to allow people to talk with Holocaust survivors, even after their death. This high-tech initiative is a project of the USC Shoah Foundation. The project's creators film lengthy interviews with Holocaust survivors, then enter all the recorded answers into a database. When a person asks a spoken question, voice recognition technology identifies what the person is asking, then artificial intelligence identifies the best answer to the question and pull up the video of that response. [Stahl] digitally spoke with ... Eva Kor, an identical twin who survived the brutal experiments of Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Kor died in July 2019 at the age of 85, yet there she was, in a life-like projection, willing to answer Stahl's questions, even her recollections of Mengele: "When I looked into his eyes, I could see nothing but evil," the digital Kor told Stahl. "People say that the eyes are the center of the soul, and in Mengele's case, that was correct." In 1992, 60 Minutes reported on Mengele's twin experiments, and Stahl interviewed the living Kor. Kor recalled how her twin sister, Miriam, helped sustain her life at Auschwitz. "I was continuously fainting out of hunger; even after, I survived," Kor said. "Yet Miriam saved her bread for one whole week. Now can you imagine what willpower does it take?" Kor told Stahl it had taken her 40 years before she was able to speak with her sister about the atrocities they experienced at Auschwitz.

Note: The 60 Minutes video at the link above is quite revealing. If only good people around the world were willing to step out of their comfort zones and see what Dr. Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death at Auschwitz, did to his concentration camp inmates, we might live in a kinder gentler world. If you are open to learning more see an excellent two-page summary on secret Nazi experiments and this well documented webpage on how Mengele may have been allowed to escape to then serve in secret American projects. By shining a light into the dark shadows, we can transform our our world.


Top intelligence office informs congressional committees it'll no longer brief in-person on election security
2020-08-30, CNN News
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/29/politics/office-of-director-of-national-in...

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it'll no longer be briefing in-person on election security issues, according to letters obtained by CNN. Instead, ODNI will primarily provide written updates to the congressional panels, a senior administration official said. The abrupt announcement is a change that runs counter to the pledge of transparency and regular briefings on election threats by the intelligence community. It also comes after the top intelligence official on election security issued a statement earlier this month saying China, Russia and Iran are seeking to interfere in the 2020 US election. US officials charged with protecting the 2020 election also said last week that they have "no information or intelligence" foreign countries, including Russia, are attempting to undermine any part of the mail-in voting process, contradicting President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed false claims that foreign adversaries are targeting mail ballots as part of a "rigged" presidential race. Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner called the decision to stop in-person briefings an "unprecedented attempt to politicize an issue - protecting our democracy from foreign intervention - that should be non-partisan. Congress and the American public need to know more information about the election interference threat — not less," the Virginia Democrat said.

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


White supremacists and militias have infiltrated police across US, report says
2020-08-27, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/white-supremacists-and-militias-have-infilt...

White supremacist groups have infiltrated US law enforcement agencies in every region of the country over the last two decades. In a timely new analysis, Michael German, a former FBI special agent who has written extensively on the ways that US law enforcement have failed to respond to far-right domestic terror threats, concludes that US law enforcement officials have been tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000, and hundreds of police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content. Police links to militias and white supremacist groups have been uncovered in states including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Police in Sacramento, California, in 2018 worked with neo-Nazis to pursue charges against anti-racist activists. This week, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, faced intense scrutiny over their response to armed white men and militia groups gathered in the city amid demonstrations by Black Lives Matter activists and others over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who appeared to consider himself a militia member ... was arrested on suspicion of murder after the fatal shooting of two protesters. Activists in Kenosha say police there have responded aggressively and violently to Black Lives Matter demonstrators, while doing little to stop armed white vigilantes.

Note: Read how law enforcement prioritizes investigations of peaceful activists over investigations of violent white supremacist groups. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘Jurassic Park experiment’: 750 million genetically engineered mosquitoes to be released in Florida
2020-08-20, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/jurassic-park-experiment-750-million-gen...

US authorities have approved a plan to release more than 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes across the Florida Keys, despite objections from local residents. British-based firm Oxitec are behind the project that will test whether the altered mosquitoes can work as an alternative to pesticides to control the spread of diseases. The male mosquito, which is named OX5034, has been created to produce female offspring that die at larval stage, before they grow big enough to spread disease and bite. Female mosquitoes bite for blood while they mature their eggs, but males do not carry the diseases as they feed on nectar. The mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys in 2021, but will be expanded into Harris County, Texas, after the Environmental Protection Agency granted Oxitec’s request for an experimental use permit. Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Centre for Technology Assessment and Centre for Food Safety ... criticized the decision. “What could possibly go wrong? We don’t know, because EPA unlawfully refused to seriously analyze environmental risks. Now without further review of the risks, the experiment can proceed,” Mr Hanson [said]. Since the initial announcement of the project in May, more than 230,000 people have signed a petition against the proposal, which was supported by more than 30 local physicians. Local media reported that residents were unhappy to be treated as “guinea pigs” for the experiment.

Note: Read more about the controversy surrounding Oxitec's genetically altered mosquitoes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs from reliable major media sources.


John Oliver: US is 'making a mockery of the phrase a jury of your peers'
2020-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/aug/17/john-oliver-trial-juries...

John Oliver returned to Last Week Tonight with another examination of an unjust cog in America’s criminal justice system: the unrepresentative makeup of trial juries. Serving on a “jury of your peers” is an “essential civic duty”, Oliver said. But in practice, said “peers” are not chosen from a fair cross-section of society. People of color and particularly black Americans are chronically underrepresented in jury pools. First, there’s the list of potential jurors, which in many states draws from voter registration data or drivers’ license lists, both of which disproportionately exclude people of color. Many states contract jury selection to private companies, whose methods, when revealed, fall far short of truly representative or random; Oliver pointed to one example in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a private company accidentally excluded zip codes in which 90% of the county’s black residents lived. Once potential jurors show up for selection, prosecutors can weed out jurors of color. Although the supreme court ruled in 1986 that prosecutors can’t strike jurors on the basis of race, “it turns out that’s a pretty easy rule to get around,” said Oliver. “All you have to do is just come up with some reason other than race to strike a juror.” To demonstrate the brazen efforts prosecutors will take to whitewash juries, Oliver pointed to the six murder trials for Curtis Flowers in Mississippi, a black man whose case eventually reached the supreme court, which decided that the prosecutor had repeatedly and blatantly filtered out any potential black jurors.

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


Rewriting the limits of presidential powers
2020-08-16, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rewriting-the-limits-of-presidential-powers/

The power of the president is enormous. As Mr. Trump stated in March, "I have the right to do a lot of things that people don't even know about." What the president appears to have been referring to are his presidential emergency action documents, often referred to as PEADs. "Even though I've had security clearances for the better part of 50 years and been in and out of national security matters during that half-century, I had never heard of these 'secret powers,'" said former Senator Gary Hart. Ted Koppel asked, "Do you know what they are, now that you've heard of them?" "Only vaguely, due to research done at the Brennan Center for Justice," Hart said. "What these secret powers are, apparently, based on the research, is suspension of the Constitution, basically." The Brennan Center research that Senator Hart referred to has been spearheaded by Elizabeth Goitein. Goitein says what little we do know about PEADs comes from references to them in other documents, some of which are now declassified. "They originated in the Eisenhower administration," Goitein said. "But since then ... no presidential emergency action document has even been released, or even leaked. Not even Congress has access to them. Congress is not aware of these documents, and from public sources we know that at least in the past these documents have purported to do things that are not permitted by the Constitution – things like martial law and the suspension of habeas corpus and the roundup and detention of people not suspected of any crime."

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


Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America
2020-08-15, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2019-08-15/police-shootings-are-a-leadi...

About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police, according to a new analysis of deaths involving law enforcement officers. That makes them 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with cops. The analysis also showed that Latino men and boys, black women and girls and Native American men, women and children are also killed by police at higher rates than their white peers. But the vulnerability of black males was particularly striking. “That 1-in-1,000 number struck us as quite high,” said study leader Frank Edwards. The number-crunching by Edwards and his coauthors also revealed that for all young men, police violence was one of the leading causes of death in the years 2013 to 2018. The findings ... add hard numbers to a pattern personified by victims like Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray. Five years after police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., fatally shot Michael Brown, protesters and activist groups have focused public attention on the disproportionate use of force against African Americans and other people of color. Scientists, meanwhile, are increasingly studying police violence as a public health problem. A study published in the Lancet last year found that police killings of unarmed black men were associated with an increase in mental health problems such as depression and emotional issues for black people living in the state where the killing took place.

Note: Just as a comparison, so far in the U.S., about one in 2,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 according to official figures. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Thousands of coronavirus deaths 'will be wiped off the government's official toll' after urgent review into counting fiasco
2020-08-06, Daily Mail (one of the UK's leaading newspapers)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8599213/Thousands-Covid-19-deaths-wi...

Health Secretary Matt Hancock last month ordered an urgent review into how daily death counts are calculated in England because of a 'statistical flaw'. Academics found Public Health England's methods ... count victims as anyone who died after ever testing positive for Covid-19 — even if they were hit by a bus after beating the disease months later. Thousands of coronavirus deaths will be wiped off the government's official toll. Public Health England ... admitted that a coronavirus death is one that happens to anyone who has previously tested positive, regardless of how long ago the test happened. It would've meant that, technically, no-one could ever recover from the virus and all 265,000 of England's confirmed patients would eventually have had their deaths attributed to the disease. The blunder could see up to 4,000 deaths removed from England's official toll of 41,749. Mr Hancock is set to bring the figures in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland, which only attribute deaths to Covid-19 if it occurs within a month of their diagnosis. The statistical flaw was uncovered by Oxford University's Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Yoon Loke. Professor Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the prestigious [University of East Anglia commented], 'If it's someone who picked up the virus in a care home in March and recovered, and last week died of a heart attack, what does that actually tell us?' Ministers are thought to be planning a huge reform of PHE following a series of failings by the beleaguered agency. Separate figures ... revealed overall deaths in England and Wales are still below the number usually expected at this time of year, based on an average from the previous five years.

Note: A recent Newsweek article is titled "Florida Man Killed in Crash Listed as COVID-19 Death, Raising Doubts Over Health Data." Could it be that some officials are wanting to inflate the figures? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


He got life for stealing hedge clippers. The Louisiana Supreme Court says it’s a fair sentence.
2020-08-05, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/he-got-life-for-stealing-hedge-clippers-...

More than two decades ago, police in Shreveport, La. stopped Fair Wayne Bryant on the side of the road for allegedly stealing a pair of hedge clippers. His vehicle looked like one that had been used in a recent home burglary, they told the black 38-year-old moments before arresting him. Bryant insisted the clippers police found in the van belonged to his wife, but he did make a confession to the officers: After his vehicle had broken down ... he had entered a carport in search of a tank of gas. That disclosure would eventually land Bryant life in prison. Last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied a request from Bryant to hear a review of his life sentence. Six of the seven justices backed the decision. The lone Black judge on the bench was the only one to disagree. In a searing dissent, Chief Justice Bernette Johnson said Bryant’s sentence was only due to Louisiana’s harsh habitual offender laws. “Mr. Bryant has already spent nearly 23 years in prison and is now over 60 years old,” she wrote. “If he lives another 20 years, Louisiana taxpayers will have paid almost one million dollars to punish Mr. Bryant for his failed effort to steal a set of hedge clippers.” The decision from the state supreme court gives Bryant few, if any, options for recourse to leave Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola ... which is also the site of a former slave plantation. In her dissent, Johnson — the court’s first Black chief justice — drew a straight line from slavery to the laws that she said enabled Louisiana prosecutors to send Bryant to Angola for the rest of his life.

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


Australian state of Victoria to deploy military as police face resistance to Covid-19 orders
2020-08-04, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/04/australian-state-impose-hefty-fin...

The Australian state of Victoria [announced] on Tuesday that military personnel will be deployed to enforce Covid-19 lockdown orders, amid growing concerns about attacks on police. Authorities warned police were facing a sometimes violent resistance, often by so-called 'sovereign citizens' groups who considered themselves above the law. Victoria earlier this week imposed a night curfew, tightened restrictions on people's daily movements and ordered large parts of the local economy to close to slow the spread of coronavirus. But nearly a third of those who contracted Covid-19 were not home isolating when checked on by officials, requiring tough new penalties, Daniel Andrews, the state premier, said. Fines of nearly A$5,000 (Ł2,710) will be issued to anyone breaching stay at home orders. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to A$20,000. "There is literally no reason for you to leave your home and if you were to leave your home and not be found there, you will have a very difficult time convincing Victoria police that you have a lawful reason," Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne. The only exemption will be for urgent medical care, said Mr Andrews, adding anyone under a self-isolation order will no longer be allowed to leave their homes for outdoor exercise. Mr Andrews said an additional 500 unarmed military personnel will this week deploy to Victoria to assist police in ensuring self-isolation orders are being complied with. The latest military deployment will join about 1,500 troops already in Victoria.

Note: Learn more about the incredible, draconian measures being taken in Australia in this article banned by facebook. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Officers in Vallejo, California, bent badges to mark each fatal police killing, ex-captain says
2020-07-31, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/officers-vallejo-california-bent-badges-...

In Vallejo, California, a former police captain is alleging a secretive ritual that has triggered an independent investigation into the city's embattled police force: he says some officers involved in fatal shootings since 2000 bent the tips of their star-shaped badges to mark each time they killed someone in the line of duty. Former Vallejo police Capt. John Whitney, a 19-year department veteran and former SWAT commander who was fired from his job last August, first described the alleged tradition in an interview published this week. Officers involved in fatal shootings marked those incidents with backyard barbecues and were initiated into a "secretive clique" that included curving one of the tips of their seven-point sterling silver badge. Vallejo, a Bay Area community of 122,000 people, has been in the spotlight for its high number of fatal police shootings ... compared with other California cities. Last month, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the Department of Justice will undertake an "expansive review" of the Vallejo Police Department after lawsuits claiming excessive force and residents' demands for an outside investigation into officers' actions. Whitney learned about the bending of badges in April 2019, two months after the fatal shooting of the rapper Willie McCoy, 20. McCoy was asleep in his car at a fast-food restaurant. Police said they discovered his car was locked and in drive, and saw a handgun on his lap. As McCoy woke up, six of the officers opened fire with 55 rounds.

Note: Find lots more on police gangs that target certain groups in this revealing Guardian article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Cops Can Secretly Track Your Phone
2020-07-31, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/07/31/protests-surveillance-stingrays-dirtboxes...

As protesters around the country have marched against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, activists have spotted a recurring presence in the skies: mysterious planes and helicopters hovering overhead, apparently conducting surveillance on protesters. A press release ... revealed that the Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals Service were asked by the Justice Department to provide unspecified support to law enforcement during protests. A few days later, a memo obtained by BuzzFeed News ... revealed that shortly after protests began in various cities, the DEA had sought special authority from the Justice Department to covertly spy on Black Lives Matter protesters on behalf of law enforcement. Both the DEA and the Marshals possess airplanes outfitted with so-called stingrays or dirtboxes: powerful technologies capable of tracking mobile phones or, depending on how they’re configured, collecting data and communications from mobile phones in bulk. That data can be used to identify people — protesters, for example — and track their movements during and after demonstrations, as well as to identify others who associate with them. They also can inject spying software onto specific phones. Stingrays are routinely used to target suspects in drug and other criminal investigations, but activists also believe the devices were used during protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, and against Black Lives Matter protesters over the last three months.

Note: Read more about invasive "stingray" technology and the secrecy surrounding its use. Learn how Google is siphoning all information about you it can get. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


DHS opens investigations into intelligence collection on journalists
2020-07-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/politics/dhs-investigation-intelligence-journa...

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Friday directed the intelligence branch of his department to cease collecting information involving journalists and ordered a review of the incident that was made public on Thursday. The department "will no longer identify US members of the media in our intelligence products," he wrote ... adding that he is ordering an "immediate review of the circumstances surrounding the collection and dissemination of intelligence on US members of the press." The order comes a day after The Washington Post reported that DHS compiled "intelligence reports" about the work of two American journalists covering protests in Portland, Oregon, in what current and former officials called an alarming use of a government system meant to share information about suspected terrorists. The revelations that DHS collected and disseminated information on journalists comes amid increased scrutiny of the department's handling of the unrest in Portland. Homeland Security officials have warned in recent weeks that the increased politicization of law enforcement risks undercutting public trust in the department. One of the journalists DHS collected information on wrote in a series of tweets responding to the Post story, "What is troubling about this story is that I&A shared my tweets *as intelligence reporting,* that is, an intelligence arm of the government filed a report on a citizen for activity at the heart of journalism: revealing newsworthy information about government to the public."

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


Homeland Security Was Destined to Become a Secret Police Force
2020-07-25, New Yorker
https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-dhs-was-destined-to-become-...

In a press conference on Tuesday, Chad Wolf, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, responded to media reports that unidentified federal agents using unmarked vehicles have been arresting protesters in Portland, Oregon. Since early July, men in military-style uniforms have waged battle against protesters there ... with what looks like a regular army moving on unarmed protesters night after night. On behalf of the D.H.S. and its uniformed services, Wolf claimed responsibility for the armed presence in Portland. He asserted that his agency was doing exactly what it was created to do. He was right. The original proposal for the D.H.S. described the agency as “a new government structure to protect against invisible enemies that can strike with a wide variety of weapons”; one hypothetical example of an invisible enemy was “a non-citizen that intends to enter our nation and attack one of our chemical facilities.” The nation used to protect itself against other nations and their hostile military forces, but now it had to fear individuals. This is the premise on which secret police forces are built. The secret police, even when it looks and appears to act like an army, always has a single individual as its target. As we learn more about what is happening in Portland - as footage of federal troops waging war on protesters floods social media ... we are watching the perfect and perhaps inevitable combination of a domestic-security superagency and a President who rejects all mechanisms of accountability.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


The U.S.-Supported Coup in Bolivia Continues to Produce Repression and Tyranny, While Revealing How U.S. Media Propaganda Works
2020-07-23, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/07/23/the-u-s-supported-coup-in-bolivia-continu...

The U.S.-supported military coup in Bolivia has largely disappeared from western news outlets ever since the November 2019 massacres of pro-democracy protesters by the right-wing faction that seized power. But for Bolivians, the repression and tyranny that replaced their stable and thriving democracy endures. What makes the coup in Bolivia and its aftermath so worthwhile to explore is not just the inherent importance of Bolivia itself: a country of 11 million people with a rich and unique ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, as well as an ample supply of the now-vital resource of lithium. It is also instructive because of how U.S. discourse evolved in support of the coup, with supposed “foreign policy experts” across the political spectrum ... spouting outright falsehoods to depict the destruction of Bolivian democracy as the salvation of it. Since the coup last October, many of the key claims used to justify the ousting of Morales ... have been proven to have been lies. Yet not a single one of the foreign policy “experts” or media outlets have acknowledged their errors or even addressed these subsequent revelations, because they know that there are never any consequences for journalists and analysts as long as they remain subservient to the U.S. government agenda. Bolivia is but the latest of a long line of thriving, stable democracies destroyed with the support if not the outright participation of the U.S. government, while jingoistic media figures disseminated the propaganda used to justify it all.

Note: Watch journalist Glenn Greenwald interview experts on the Bolivian coup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Federal charges describe elaborate scheme, bankrolled by FirstEnergy, to corrupt Ohio politics and secure nuclear bailout
2020-07-22, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/federal-charges-describe-elaborate-sc...

Federal charging documents unsealed Tuesday describe how the company, FirstEnergy, spent $60 million to get House Speaker Larry Householder and his favored candidates elected, securing in return a $1.3 billion bailout, paid for by Ohio ratepayers. Householder and Jeff Longstreth, a top aide ... set up Generation Now, a secretive political nonprofit that could raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. “Having secured Householder’s power as Speaker, the Enterprise transitioned quickly to fulfilling its end of the corrupt bargain with Company A — Passing nuclear bailout legislation,” the complaint reads. After Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill ... opponents, allied with natural-gas and environmental interests in the state, got to work trying to repeal it. They cleared an initial hurdle, collecting 1,000 valid signatures from voters. They had until Oct. 21 to gather hundreds of thousands more signatures. FirstEnergy and FirstEnergy Solutions sent $38 million to Generation Now. The campaign spent millions on mailers and ads discouraging Ohioans from signing the petitions. It also hired petition firms to prevent them from working for the repeal side. “For example,” the complaint reads,” in a meeting on July 24, 2019, which was recorded, [lobbyist Neil] Clark stated that he wired about $450,000 today hiring signature collections people to not work.” Some of the petitioners worked as “blockers,” disrupting the other side’s signature gathering efforts by following them around and making possible signers uncomfortable.

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


A Navy vet asked federal officers in Portland to remember their oaths. Then they broke his hand.
2020-07-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/20/christopher-david-portland-p...

Christopher David had watched in horror as videos surfaced of federal officers in camouflage throwing protesters into unmarked vans in Portland. The 53-year-old Portland resident had heard the stories: protesters injured, gassed, sprayed with chemicals that tugged at their nostrils and burned their eyes. David, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and former member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, said he wanted to know what the officers involved thought of the oath they had sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. So, he said, on Saturday evening, he headed to downtown Portland to ask them. He asked one woman when the feds would show up, but she said it was also her first protest since the Department of Homeland Security deployed tactical units from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to bolster protections for federal buildings. Just as he was about to leave, David said, the federal officers emerged. “Why are you not honoring your oath?” he bellowed. “Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?” An officer trained his weapon on David’s chest as several agents pushed him, sending David stumbling backward. But he regained his center and tried again. Another agent raised his baton and began to beat David, who stood unwavering with his arms at his sides. Then another officer unloaded a canister of chemical irritant spray into David’s face. At the hospital, he said, he learned his right hand had been broken in two places.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Trump's 'law and order' is starting to look like martial law
2020-07-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/20/politics/what-matters-portland-protests-federa...

The strange and frightening images of unidentified military-looking men taking protesters off the streets of Portland, Oregon, and into unmarked vans may be headed to a city near you if that city is, as President Donald Trump declared Monday, run by "liberal Democrats." The teams of masked authorities seen in Portland dressed up for war like special forces apparently belong to the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Unit. They're trained for drug missions, but ... they've been dispatched to American streets. Trump suggested more federal agents will soon be headed to more American cities. The fact that DHS would deploy its own warriors into American streets without much discussion and without a clear mandate (they're vaguely supposed to be protecting federal buildings?) is dark-of-night dystopian stuff. Meanwhile, the militarized response has led to more violent levels of protest in Portland, where racial justice and anti-police brutality demonstrations have lasted more than 50 days. The atmosphere has not been helped by the efforts of federal agents, according to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who called the administration's actions "abhorrent." "People are being literally scooped off the street into unmarked vans, rental cars," Wheeler [said]. Both Wheeler and Oregon's governor have demanded the federal authorities leave. And multiple House committee chairs are also calling for an immediate watchdog investigation.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Half of CDC Coronavirus Test Kits Are Inaccurate, Study Finds
2020-07-18, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/half-of-cdc-coronavirus-test-kits-ar...

According to a July 17 study published in the International Journal of Geriatrics and Rehabilitation, 50 percent of nucleic acid coronavirus tests distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided inaccurate results. The study's lead author, Sin Hang Lee, MD, director of Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, found that the testing kits gave a 30 percent false-positive rate and a 20 percent false-negative rate. To determine these false-positive and false-negative rates, the Connecticut State Department of Public Health Microbiology Laboratory provided Lee 20 tests, which were then re-tested using his own methodology, which examines samples on a cellular level, rather than just testing fluid with no cellular matter from potentially infected oral and nasal secretions. While the results of Lee's testing may be alarming, they also pointed to yet another discovery: new mutations of the virus. Two tests that initially provided false-negatives and one test that yielded a positive result were actually found to be positive for coronavirus and a mutation of the virus, meaning two variants of the virus can simultaneously infect one person. However, it's not just the test you use that may be contributing to inaccurate results—when you get tested is important, too. Getting tested the day a person is infected with coronavirus will likely yield a 100 percent false-negative rate; by day 8 after becoming infected, however, that rate drops to just 20 percent.

Note: Explore an excellent, well-researched article further questioning the validity of these tests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


'Secret police force': Feds reportedly pull Portland protesters into unmarked vehicles, stirring outrage
2020-07-17, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/07/17/reports-federal-officer...

Federal law enforcement officers have used unmarked vehicles to detain protesters in Portland. Videos shared online show officers driving up to people, detaining them without explanation, then driving off, Oregon Public Broadcasting first reported. The ACLU filed a lawsuit Friday evening to try and end what it called "lawlessness" on the streets of Portland. The lawsuit ... seeks to block the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies from attacking journalists and legal observers at protests. "Federal agents are terrorizing the community, threatening lives, and relentlessly attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality," the ACLU said. "This is not law and order. This is lawlessness — and it must be stopped." Conner O’Shea, 30, a Portland resident who’s been attending protests for almost two months, told USA Today that early Thursday morning, around 2 a.m. he and a friend had left protests downtown and were walking back to their car when they were suddenly pursued by men who they believed to be federal agents. O’Shea did not see any sort of identifying markers on the men — badges or numbers or words on their camouflage uniforms. O’Shea managed to get away. But his friend Mark Pettibone, 29, has told media he was arrested and booked by federal agents. Pettibone told the Washington Post that officers placed him in a holding cell in a federal courthouse, where he was read his Miranda rights. After Pettibone ... declined to answer questions, he was released.

Note: Read a CNN article questioning the degree to which we are moving towards martial law. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Teflon Robe: 4 Takeaways From Reuters' Latest Investigation of U.S. Judicial Misconduct
2020-07-14, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-07-14/teflon-robe-4-takeaw...

An Arkansas judge who styled himself as a “Sugar Daddy” and was accused by local women of soliciting sex in exchange for cash, drugs and bail leniency largely escaped accountability from authorities for years, a Reuters investigation found. The judge was forced to resign from the bench in disgrace. But ... he continues to practice law despite his misconduct. As part of its “Teflon Robe” project, Reuters identified and reviewed 1,509 cases from the last dozen years – 2008 through 2019 – in which judges resigned, retired or were publicly disciplined following accusations of misconduct. In addition, the news agency’s investigation identified 3,613 cases from 2008 through 2018 in which states disciplined judges privately – withholding from the public details of their offenses, including the identities of the judges themselves. In many states, the lack of aggressive public oversight means that judges may behave with impunity. In the unlikely case that judges are publicly charged with misconduct, many states enable judges to simply resign or retire, putting a stop to the charges and any investigation of potential wrongdoing. Reuters found that at least 341 judges across the United States escaped punishment or further investigation in the past dozen years by resigning or retiring amid misconduct allegations. At least 5,206 people were directly affected by a judge’s misconduct. The victims ranged from people who were illegally jailed to those subjected to racist, sexist and other abusive comments from judges in ways that tainted the cases.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


The long quest to stop a ‘Sugar Daddy’ judge accused of preying on women
2020-07-14, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-commissions/

She was 30 years old, jobless and facing a custody fight. To keep her kids, she needed a lawyer. Tim Parker seemed ideal. The woman told authorities that she covered part of her legal fees by having sex with Parker, and that Parker paid her at least $3,000 for more sex over the next two years. But [Parker] wasn't just a lawyer. He was also a part-time judge. Although the woman declined to talk with Reuters, she alleged in secret testimony to the agency that Parker had also used his authority as a judge to help her friends bond out of jail, again in return for sex. The alleged conduct was not isolated. City police, the sheriff’s office, the state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a federal grand jury investigated Parker for about four years. Witnesses gave evidence that the judge disclosed the identity of a confidential informant; traded money and opioids for sex; and gave favorable treatment to young women in his courtroom, Reuters found. Despite the intense scrutiny, Parker, 58, was never charged with any crime. Still, Parker’s term on the bench ended in disgrace, when the state judicial commission forced his removal and resignation on what was already scheduled to be his final day in office. The story of Tim Parker shows how hard it can be to remove an American judge suspected of corruption. In its investigation into judicial misconduct across America, Reuters ... found at least 5,206 people who were directly affected by a judge’s misconduct.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


We ran the CDC. No president ever politicized its science the way Trump has.
2020-07-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/07/14/cdc-directors-trump-politics/

As America begins the formidable task of getting our kids back to school and all of us back to work safely ... public health experts face two opponents: covid-19, but also political leaders and others attempting to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of this date, the CDC guidelines, which were designed to protect children, teachers, school staffers and their families — no matter the state and no matter the politics — have not been altered. It is not unusual for CDC guidelines to be changed or amended during a clearance process that moves through multiple agencies and the White House. But it is extraordinary for guidelines to be undermined after their release. Through last week, and into Monday, the [Trump] administration continued to cast public doubt on the agency’s recommendations and role in informing and guiding the nation’s pandemic response. On Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos characterized the CDC guidelines as an impediment to reopening schools quickly rather than what they are: the path to doing so safely. The only valid reason to change released guidelines is new information and new science — not politics. Sound science is being challenged with partisan potshots, sowing confusion and mistrust. These efforts have even fueled a backlash against public health officials: Public servants have been harassed, threatened and forced to resign when we need them most.

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


Lawyers seek to halt Purdue Pharma political contributions
2020-07-11, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/0f5546a3fb25e50f029bdd1ec8a4424a

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma should not be able to make any more political contributions without a judge’s permission, lawyers for its creditors said in a court filing. The issue came up this week after it was reported that the company, which has a long history of influencing policymakers, made contributions to national associations representing state attorneys general and governors. The money was sent after Purdue entered bankruptcy protection last year in an effort to settle thousands of lawsuits accusing it of helping spark an opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has contributed to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S.. State attorneys general are among those trying to negotiate a nationwide settlement. The committee of creditors that asked for recipients to return the money to Purdue said the contributions represent a conflict. “The Political Contributions — $185,000 in donations to associations whose members include the very public servants with whom the Debtors are attempting to negotiate a consensual resolution of these cases — are precisely the sort of transaction that demand close scrutiny,” they said in a filing. In 2016, an investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that Purdue and other companies in the opioid industry, along with the advocacy groups largely funded by the industry, spent more than $880 million from 2006 through 2015 to influence state and local governments. Those efforts helped fight off restrictions on drug prescriptions.

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


COVID-19: NZ to quarantine people in isolation 'for months, maybe years' - epidemiologist
2020-07-11, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/covid-19-nz-to-quarantine-people-in-i...

A leading epidemiologist says "thousands of people" will be quarantined in isolation facilities for months - and possibly years - into the future. University of Otago professor of public health Michael Baker's appearance on Newshub Nation on Saturday comes after multiple cases of people breaking out of their facilities. Prof Baker says ... we need to be prepared for a "long-term risk management challenge". "Mistakes happen, and we have to learn from them and improve our systems so we don't repeat those errors," he [said]. "We're going to have thousands of people sitting in these facilities, quarantined in isolation facilities for months, maybe years ahead." The latest escapee, a person in their 60s, broke the window of the Waipuna Hotel in Auckland on Friday and climbed out of the building. Their escape is the fourth since last Saturday, when a woman scaled two fences to escape from Auckland's Pullman Hotel. On Tuesday, a 32-year-old man snuck through a gap in the Stamford Plaza fencing and visited an inner-city supermarket. Prof Baker says we need to look at why these people feel the need to escape from the isolation facilities. ACT leader David Seymour said the Government needs to start profiling travelers based on their risk of absconding. "The vast majority of people entering New Zealand will pose absolutely no risk of absconding from managed isolation and quarantine facilities," he said in a statement. "But a tiny minority will be a risk. The Government should ... place them under tighter security."

Note: Baker likely is not referring to individuals being detained for years, but to these policies continuing for years. A second MSN article includes a video describing how police are now guarding the quarantine facilities in New Zealand, which is being called "managed isolation." The "managed isolation" aka quarantine policy started in April. As this article states, "every person arriving in New Zealand will have to go into compulsory quarantine as a measure to try and combat Covid-19." For more, see summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.


With ‘judges judging judges,’ rogues on the bench have little to fear
2020-07-09, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-deals/

District Court Judge Curtis DeLapp was renowned for his hair-trigger temper. For almost a dozen years, DeLapp used his power to terrify people who appeared before him, pressing contempt charges against defense attorneys, prosecutors and even a prospective juror who brought children to court when she couldn’t find daycare, court records show. Local attorneys had grown convinced that DeLapp was violating the state’s judicial conduct code by abusing his authority. They worked collectively to build a voluminous complaint alleging that DeLapp had unlawfully jailed ... dozens of people. The complaint also contained an explosive charge: that the judge may have fabricated a court document. Had DeLapp fought the charges, he risked more than disgrace. If it could be proved that he submitted a forged document to the supreme court, he might land in prison. Instead, DeLapp, 53, struck a deal. He resigned and agreed never again to seek office as a judge. The case against him was dismissed. His state pension and law license remained intact. And DeLapp received a written assurance that neither his departure nor the settlement constituted an admission to the “validity of any of the allegations.” In leaving the bench, DeLapp became one of at least 341 judges across the United States to escape punishment or further investigation in the past dozen years by resigning or retiring amid misconduct allegations, Reuters found. In most states, the ultimate disciplinary authority over a judge rests with other judges.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


How the House Armed Services Committee, in the Middle of a Pandemic, Approved a Huge Military Budget and More War in Afghanistan
2020-07-09, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/07/09/how-the-house-armed-services-committee-in...

While the country is subsumed by both public health and an unemployment crisis, and is separately focused on a sustained protest movement against police abuses, a massive $740.5 billion military spending package was approved last week by the Democratic-controlled House Armed Services Committee. Pro-war and militaristic Democrats on the Committee joined with GOP Rep. Liz Cheney and the pro-war faction she leads to form majorities which approved one hawkish amendment after the next. How do Democrats succeed in presenting an image of themselves based on devotion to progressive causes and the welfare of the ordinary citizen while working with Liz Cheney to ensure that vast resources are funneled to the weapons manufacturers, defense sector and lobbyists who fund their campaigns? Why would a country with no military threats from any sovereign nation to its borders spend almost a trillion dollars a year for buying weapons while its citizens linger without health care, access to quality schools, or jobs? When these committee members return to their blue districts, they talk endlessly about topics such as the NRA, LGBTs, and reproductive rights — issues on which many do little work and over which they wield little influence — in order to manufacture brands for themselves as good, caring progressives, which is how they are reelected over and over. When they return to Washington, what they really do is spend their time collaborating with lobbyists for ... the “defense” industry.

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


New records show Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have thousands of previously unreported military and law enforcement contracts
2020-07-08, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/new-records-show-google-microsoft-a...

Ties between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon are deeper than previously known, according to thousands of previously unreported subcontracts published Wednesday. The subcontracts were obtained through open records requests by accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry. They show that tech giants including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have secured more than 5,000 agreements with agencies including the Department of Defense, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the FBI. Tech workers in recent years have pressured their employers to drop contracts with law enforcement and the military. Google workers revolted in 2018 after Gizmodo revealed that Google was building artificial intelligence for drone targeting through a subcontract with the Pentagon — after some employees quit in protest, Google agreed not to renew the contract. Employees at Amazon and Microsoft have petitioned both companies to drop their contracts with ICE and the military. Neither company has. The newly-surfaced subcontracts ... show that the companies' connections to the Pentagon run deeper than many employees were previously aware. Tech Inquiry's research was led by Jack Poulson, a former Google researcher. "Often the high-level contract description between tech companies and the military looks very vanilla," Poulson [said]. "But only when you look at the details ... do you see the workings of how the customization from a tech company would actually be involved."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid
2020-07-06, MSN/Associated Press
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-connected-lobbyists-reap-windfa...

Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid. The lobbyists identified Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen either worked in the Trump executive branch, served on his campaign, were part of the committee that raised money for inaugural festivities or were part of his presidential transition. Many are donors to Trump’s campaigns. Trump pledged to clamp down on Washington's influence peddling with a “drain the swamp” campaign mantra. But during his administration, the lobbying industry has flourished, a trend that intensified once Congress passed more than $3.6 trillion in coronavirus stimulus. While the money is intended as a lifeline to a nation whose economy has been upended by the pandemic, it also jump-started a familiar lobbying bonanza. Shortly after Trump took office, he issued an executive order prohibiting former administration officials from lobbying the agency or office where they were formerly employed, for a period of five years. Another section of the order forbids lobbying the administration by former political appointees for the remainder of Trump's time in office. Yet five lobbyists who are former administration officials have potentially done just that during the coronavirus lobbying boom. Public Citizen's Craig Holman, who himself is a registered lobbyist, said the group intends to file ethics complaints with the White House. But he's not optimistic that they will lead to anything.

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


House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump's Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany
2020-07-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/07/02/house-democrats-working-with-liz-cheney-r...

The House Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amendment – jointly sponsored by Democratic Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado and Congresswoman Cheney of Wyoming – prohibiting the expenditure of monies to reduce the number of U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan below 8,000 without a series of conditions first being met. The Crow/Cheney amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) ... passed by a vote of 45-11. The NDAA was then unanimously approved by the Committee by a vote of 56-0. It authorizes $740.5 billion in military spending. President Trump throughout the year has insisted that the Pentagon present plans for withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan prior to the end of 2020. Shortly after those White House withdrawal plans were reported, anonymous intelligence officials leaked a series of claims to the New York Times regarding â₏Œbountiesâ₏ť allegedly being paid by Russia to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops. Those leaks emboldened opposition to troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on the ground that it would be capitulating to Russian treachery. It was that New York Times leak that Liz Cheney, along with GOP Congressman Mac Thornberry, cited in a joint statement on Monday to suggest troop withdrawal would be precipitous. The NDAA that was approved ... also imposed restrictions on Trump's plan to withdraw troops from Germany. Congresswoman Cheney, to oppose this troop removal from Germany, cited ... the threat of Russia.

Note: When it comes to funding the war machine, both Democrats and Republicans are rarely opposed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


After Pouring Billions Into Militarization of U.S. Cops, Congress Weighs Limits
2020-07-01, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-police-military-equipment/

Protesters mobilizing across the country against racism and excessive force by police have been countered by law enforcement officers more heavily armed than ever. Three federal programs have allowed local and state law enforcement to arm itself with military equipment. Since 1997, the Defense Department has transferred excess or unused equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. Departments have acquired more than $7 billion worth of guns, helicopters, armored vehicles and ammunition under the program. The transfers were limited under the Obama administration but re-expanded under President Donald Trump in 2017. Now Congress is considering reining it in again. But that effort, if successful, is unlikely to touch an even bigger source of advanced weapons accessible to civilian police. Two Department of Homeland Security initiatives established in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks have given state and local law enforcement agencies billions more to buy equipment without the rules and restrictions of the Defense Department program. Because of the Defense Department program, authorized by Section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act, more than 6,500 law enforcement agencies across the country currently possess more than $1.8 billion worth of equipment. Since 2003, states and metro areas have received $24.3 billion from two DHS grant programs, which have little oversight: The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI).

Note: Read also this wired.com article revealing how the 1033 program has shipped over $7.4 billion of Defense Department property to more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies and this NPR article detailing the military weaponry gifted to police around the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws or oaths remained on the bench
2020-06-30, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-misconduct/

Judge Les Hayes once sentenced a single mother to 496 days behind bars for failing to pay traffic tickets. In 2016, the state agency that oversees judges charged Hayes with violating Alabama’s code of judicial conduct. According to the Judicial Inquiry Commission, Hayes broke state and federal laws by jailing Johnson and hundreds of other Montgomery residents too poor to pay fines. Among those jailed: a plumber struggling to make rent, a mother who skipped meals to cover the medical bills of her disabled son, and a hotel housekeeper. Hayes, a judge since 2000, admitted in court documents to violating 10 different parts of the state’s judicial conduct code. One of the counts was a breach of a judge’s most essential duty: failing to “respect and comply with the law.” Despite the severity of the ruling, Hayes wasn’t barred from serving as a judge. Hayes is among thousands of state and local judges across America who were allowed to keep positions of extraordinary power and prestige after violating judicial ethics rules or breaking laws they pledged to uphold, a Reuters investigation found. All told, 9 of every 10 judges were allowed to return to the bench after they were sanctioned for misconduct, Reuters determined. They included a California judge who had sex in his courthouse chambers ... a New York judge who berated domestic violence victims; and a Maryland judge who, after his arrest for driving drunk, was allowed to return to the bench provided he took a Breathalyzer test before each appearance.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Activists Drop 270GB 'BlueLeaks' File of Internal Police Documents Online
2020-06-24, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/activists-drop-270gb-blueleaks-file-internal-police-...

An online group called Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDOSecrets) released a nearly 270-gigabyte data trove called "BlueLeaks." The trove contains more than a decade's worth of "documents, reports, bulletins, guides and more" from "over 200 police departments, fusion centers and other law enforcement training and support resources." BlueLeaks' content ranges from August 1996 through June 19, 2020, and includes sensitive information such as names, suspect photographs, personal contact details and bank account information within its text, video, spreadsheet and compressed files. The BlueLeaks documents (which have been published in a searchable format on the DDOSecrets website) reveal that state and federal law enforcement agencies monitor social media posts and track financial transactions involving the recent protests against police brutality. Emma Best, founder of DDOSecrets, [said] that her group removed 50 gigabytes worth of files from BlueLeaks before releasing it out of "an abundance of caution." Best said DDOSecrets included sensitive financial information in hopes that it might allow the public to expose questionable police behavior in ways that serve the public interest. "It's the largest leak of US law enforcement data, and because of its nature, it lets people look at policing on the local, state and national levels," Best [said]. "It shows how law enforcement has reacted to the protests, it shows government handling of COVID, and it shows a lot of things that are entirely legal and ... horrifying."

Note: This group has now been banned from Twitter. For lots more, read this wired.com article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’
2020-06-21, MSN/The Atlantic
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/how-could-the-cdc-make-that-mistake/ar-BB14...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conflating the results of two different types of coronavirus tests, distorting several important metrics and providing the country with an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. We’ve learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus. The agency confirmed to The Atlantic on Wednesday that it is mixing the results of viral and antibody tests, even though the two tests reveal different information and are used for different reasons. This is not merely a technical error. The upshot is that the government’s disease-fighting agency is overstating the country’s ability to test people who are sick with COVID-19. States have set quantitative guidelines for reopening their economies based on these flawed data points. Several states - including Pennsylvania, the site of one of the country’s largest outbreaks, as well as Texas, Georgia, and Vermont - are blending the data in the same way. Virginia likewise mixed viral and antibody test results until last week, but it reversed course and the governor apologized for the practice. These results damage the public’s ability to understand what is happening in any one state. On a national scale, they call the strength of America’s response to the coronavirus into question. The number of tests conducted nationwide each day has more than doubled in the past month. At the same time, the portion of tests coming back positive has plummeted.

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


Trump says he's heard 'very interesting' things about Roswell, site of an alleged UFO event
2020-06-19, NBC News/Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-says-he-s-heard-very-inte...

President Donald Trump says he’s heard some interesting things about Roswell, but he’s not sharing even with his eldest child. Trump made the comments Thursday in a Father’s Day-themed interview with his son. Don Jr. wound down his interview by jokingly asking his Dad/President if he would ever divulge more information about Roswell, the New Mexico city known for its proximity to arguably most famous UFO event — “and let us know what’s really going on.” Trump responded, “I won’t talk to you about what I know about it, but it’s very interesting.” In 1947, a rancher discovered unidentifiable debris in his sheep pasture outside Roswell. Air Force officials said it was a crashed weather balloon, but skeptics questioned whether it was in fact an extraterrestrial flying saucer. Decades later the U.S. military acknowledged the debris was related to a top-secret atomic project. Still, the UFO theory has flourished. After his father offered that he heard some “interesting” things about Roswell, Trump Jr. asked [if] the president might declassify that information someday. “Well, I’ll have to think about that one,” the president responded.

Note: Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, stated publicly that UFOs did crash in Roswell, the town where he grew up, and it was all covered up. Dozens of high level military and government officials have gone public about their experience of a huge cover-up around UFOs. Read an excellent analysis of what's going on now with the UFO situation and the new Space Force. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on a major UFO cover-up from reliable major media sources.


Before the pandemic, top contractor received billions from government to help prepare the nation for biowarfare
2020-06-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/before-the-pandemic-top-contrac...

The Trump administration this month announced that one of its largest pandemic-related contracts would go to a little-known biodefense company named Emergent BioSolutions. The $628 million deal to help manufacture an eventual vaccine cemented Emergent's status as the highest-paid and most important contractor to the HHS office responsible for preparing for public health threats and maintaining the government's stockpile of emergency medical supplies. Emergent has long been the government's sole provider of BioThrax, a vaccine for anthrax poisoning. Emergent's advocacy for biodefense spending over more than a decade was aided by influential allies in Washington and tens of millions of dollars in lobbying campaigns. "It has strategically placed itself to be, let's just say, the company that can't fail," said a former senior government official who worked with Emergent on stockpile operations. The company that would become Emergent began as BioPort Corp., formed in 1998 to buy an aging, state-owned company in Lansing, Mich., that was the only licensed supplier of anthrax vaccine to the Pentagon. The Pentagon ... awarded a $29 million no-bid contract for the anthrax vaccine, BioThrax. Controversy swamped the operation. Hundreds of U.S. troops who received the BioThrax treatment complained of bad reactions, such as headaches and nerve problems. Some troops risked courts-martial by refusing vaccination. Emergent spent nearly $4 million on lobbying last year alone.

Note: To understand the huge influence of lobbying and profits on the development and stockpiling of vaccines, don't miss reading this entire, eye-opening article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Court strikes down Trump rule that drugmakers disclose price
2020-06-17, ABC News/Associated Press
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/court-strikes-trump-rule-drugmakers...

In a major legal setback for President Donald Trump on a high-profile consumer issue, a federal appeals court has ruled that his administration lacks the legal authority to force drug companies to disclose prices in their TV ads. Where most plans to overhaul the cost of drugs are complex, mandating that companies disclose prices is something any consumer can relate to. Separate from the court case, legislation that would lower drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries with high bills is stuck in Congress. There's also a separate bill that would mandate drug companies to disclose their prices in consumer advertising. On TV ads, the unanimous decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit did not address a core argument of the pharmaceutical industry, that forcing companies to disclose their prices in advertising violates their free speech rights. Instead the three-judge panel ruled that the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its legal authority by requiring disclosure under the umbrella of its stewardship of Medicare and Medicaid. When the disclosure rule was announced last year, administration officials were confident that it would be in effect by now. Drug pricing details were expected to appear in text toward the end of commercials.

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


Under four presidents, the Feds neglected duty to collect statistics on police killings
2020-06-11, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/06/11/george-floyd-police-killing...

In 1994, Congress enacted the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which ... required the attorney general to “acquire data about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers” across the nation and to “publish an annual summary of the data acquired.” Congress effectively ordered the Justice Department to document how often police kill unarmed private citizens. Two years later, a Justice Department report raised the white flag: “Systematically collecting information on use of force from the nation's more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies is difficult given ... the sensitivity of the issue.” Instead of requiring local and state law enforcement agencies to comply with the new federal law, the Justice Department expanded its "police-public contact survey". Police killings became a hot topic nationwide after a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August 2014. The Washington Post and The Guardian began tracking individual shootings by local police. The Guardian [revealed] that police killed 1,134 people across the nation in 2015. This was 2 1/2 times higher than the death toll the FBI reported the previous year. The Ferguson protests spurred Congress to enact another law in December 2014, the Death in Custody Reporting Act, compelling states and federal agencies to fully report fatalities of people they had sought to arrest or detain. However ... an inspector general report revealed that the agency did not even intend to attempt to garner such data until this year.

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


Protests about police brutality are met with wave of police brutality across US
2020-06-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/06/police-violence-protests-us-g...

The nationwide anti-police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the US have been marked by widespread incidents of police violence, including punching, kicking, gassing, pepper-spraying and driving vehicles at often peaceful protesters in states across the country. The actions have left thousands of protesters in jail and injured many others, leaving some with life-threatening injuries. From Minnesota to New York, Texas, California, Washington DC and many places beyond, from small towns to big cities, police officers have demonstrated just how problematic law enforcement is in the US, drawing condemnation from international groups as well as domestic civil rights organizations. Numerous incidents of police violence have been exposed in disturbing videos and press accounts in recent days. Officers in a police SUV drove at a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn. A police officer was caught on camera violently shoving a woman to the ground during a demonstration. The woman, Dounya Zayer, was taken to hospital and said she suffered a seizure and concussion. An officer yanked a facemask from an African American man who was standing with his hands in the air, then pepper-sprayed him in the face. In Buffalo ... two officers shoved a 75-year-old man to the ground. A video showed the man hitting his head on the ground, causing his blood to spill on the sidewalk. He is now gravely ill in hospital. Frequently journalists have been met with the same aggressive policing as demonstrators. Police attacked journalists “at least 140 times” in the last four days of May. In most cases ... no action has been brought against officers or police departments.

Note: While some policemen are standing with protestors, as reported in this ABC News article, this revealing article shows how police are trained to be violent. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts
2020-06-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/06/us/police-unions-minneapolis-kroll.html

As demands for reform have mounted in the aftermath of police violence in cities like Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and now Minneapolis, police unions have emerged as one of the most significant roadblocks to change. They aggressively protect the rights of members accused of misconduct, often in arbitration hearings ... behind closed doors. And they have also been remarkably effective at fending off broader change, using their political clout and influence to derail efforts to increase accountability. When Steve Fletcher, a Minneapolis city councilman and frequent Police Department critic, sought to divert money away from hiring officers and toward a newly created office of violence prevention, he said, the police stopped responding as quickly to 911 calls placed by his constituents. “It operates a little bit like a protection racket,” Mr. Fletcher said of the union. Federal intervention is often one of the few reliable ways of reforming police departments. But in Cleveland, the union helped slow the adoption of reforms mandated by a federal consent decree, according to Jonathan Smith, a former U.S. Justice Department official. Mr. Smith said union officials had signaled to rank-and-file officers that the changes should not be taken seriously, such as a requirement that they report and investigate instances in which they pointed a gun. In Chicago ... a “code of silence” about misconduct was effectively “baked into” the labor agreements between police unions and the city.

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


NFL decision to permit kneeling protest by players enrages Donald Trump
2020-06-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/06/nfl-decision-to-permit-kneeli...

The US National Football League is embroiled in a standoff with President Donald Trump after it said players would be allowed to “take the knee” during the American national anthem in protest against racism. After the NFL announced its U-turn, Trump tweeted late on Friday night: “We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!” The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said ... that the league’s earlier ban on players taking the knee had been mistaken. “We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said. The change in the NFL’s position came after some players urged the league to “condemn racism and the systemic oppression of black people”. The practice of taking the knee during the national anthem before games started in 2016 as a protest by black player Colin Kaepernick against racial injustice. In the past two weeks, it has become an international symbol of opposition to racism. Trump has frequently denounced the action. Two years ago, he praised the NFL’s ban on taking the knee during the pre-game national anthem, saying: “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. Or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.” Last week, the president criticized New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for dropping his opposition to NFL kneeling protests.

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


By deploying police without badges, Barr threatens force without accountability
2020-06-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/by-deploying-police-without-badges-ba...

Attorney General William P. Barr oversaw the deployment of a show of military force in the District in response to protests in recent days. His “flood the zone” strategy included the use of men in military tactical gear without any markings to indicate their names or agencies where they work. He thus took a page from the dictator’s handbook, threatening force without any accountability. Why did these unmarked troops refuse to identify themselves when asked by journalists and protesters? Some of the mystery forces in the District were “special operations teams from the Bureau of Prisons.” The bureau confirmed this in a statement to NBC, saying the “crisis management teams” were sent to Washington and Miami at Mr. Barr’s request, and carry badges but were “not wearing BOP specific clothing as they are serving a broader mission.”. Mr. Barr also personally authorized the clearing of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square on Monday so President Trump could walk to his photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Two U.S. Park Police officers have been put on administrative leave after video showed Australian reporter Amanda Brace and cameraman Tim Myers being assaulted while reporting live on that melee. Was Mr. Barr in control of the Park Police, too? The Justice Department’s inspector general and Congress ought to seek answers. In a democracy, where law enforcement works for the people and not against them, it must be identifiable — and accountable.

Note: Read a related, incisive article on politico.com. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests
2020-06-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/06/02/history-united-states-government-infiltra...

Law enforcement frequently infiltrates progressive political movements using agent provocateurs who urge others to engage in violence. More rarely, such provocateurs commit acts of violence themselves. In protests across the country over the past week, the clear actor escalating the violence generally hasn’t been a protester or even a right-wing infiltrator, but the police themselves. The best documented use of provocateurs by the U.S. government occurred during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counter-Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, from 1956 to 1971. The reason the documentation is available is because a group of citizens broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania ... and stole files that they then passed to the media. In one notorious example in May 1970, an informant working for both the Tuscaloosa police and the FBI burned down a building at the University of Alabama during protests over the recent Kent State University shootings. The police then declared that demonstrators were engaging in an unlawful assembly and arrested 150 of them. The list goes on and on from there. Thirteen Black Panthers were accused of a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty after receiving 60 sticks of dynamite from an FBI informant. After 28 people broke into a federal building to destroy draft files in 1971, an FBI informant bragged, “I taught them everything they knew.” When and whether the FBI ever stopped, however, is an open question. In any case, police forces in the U.S. continued the same tactics.

Note: Read more about the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


New York Police Are Attacking Protesters — They Know They Won’t Face Consequences
2020-06-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/06/02/new-york-police-protesters-george-floyd/

As thousands of protesters converged in Brooklyn on Monday evening, NYPD scanners picked up a bit of radio chatter. After a police dispatcher noted protester movement near the 77th Precinct, a voice on the same channel replies clearly: “Shoot those motherfuckers.” Just as clear was the immediate response: “Don’t put that over the air.” The radio message was yet another indicator that police see protesters as enemies to combat rather than the citizens they are sworn to protect. [It] was also a sign of how emboldened police have become in calling for violence, and how little they seem to fear repercussions. Officers have responded to protests prompted by anger at police violence ... with yet more violence and, mostly, no consequence. Over the last several days, NYPD officers have beaten protesters with nightsticks, ripped off masks to pepper-spray them at close range, [and] driven their vehicles into crowds. The abuse has been enabled by laws that shield officers from accountability and by barriers to police oversight — as well as by city leaders who have long allowed police to operate with impunity. In response to the police crackdown, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea expressed his pride as he congratulated his officers for their actions. Mayor Bill de Blasio ... continued his long-held practice of defending police misconduct in the face of indisputable evidence and attempted to shift the blame to protesters. Officials have responded to pressure for greater police transparency [by] making everything from complaints of misconduct to the findings of internal reviews, to body camera footage largely inaccessible to the public.

Note: While some policemen are standing with protestors, as reported in this ABC News article, another revealing article shows that the large majority of attacks on journalists came from police and not protestors. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Kentucky cuts number of polling stations by 95 percent ahead of primary voting
2020-06-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/kentucky-cuts-p...

Kentucky lawmakers have warned the state was heading towards a disastrous primary election this week, as ballot problems, voter confusion and a severe shortage of polling places threatened to suppress turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic. State officials ... released a joint statement condemning US District Court Judge Charles Simpson’s ruling against a case that argued having just one polling site in most of the state’s 120 counties would result in voter suppression. “We believe the judge disregarded evidence from our expert witness that one location will suppress the vote, particularly among African Americans,” read the statement, co-authored by Jason Nemes, a Republican state representative, and Keisha Dorsey, a Democratic councilwoman. The lawmakers were both behind the lawsuit, which demanded an increase in statewide polling locations. Voters throughout Kentucky received inaccurate absentee ballots ... that do not match their party affiliations. In Kentucky, voters must be members of a party to participate in its primary elections. In a typical election year, Kentucky has about 3,700 polling sites. When Election Day arrives ... there will be just 200 polling sites across the state. Ben Jealous, president of People For The American Way, described the situation as “Our Next Electoral Nightmare.” “Half Kentucky’s Black voters live in one county,” he wrote. “It will have one polling place ... for 616,000 registered voters.”

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


Watchdog report says IRS is allowing hundreds of thousands of high-income individuals to duck paying taxes
2020-06-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2020/06/01/3e872e1a-a425-11ea...

The Internal Revenue Service is letting hundreds of thousands of high-income individuals duck tax obligations, according to a government watchdog report. The Treasury inspector general for tax administration found that 879,415 high-income individuals who didn’t file returns cumulatively failed to pay $45.7 billion in taxes from 2014 to 2016 and that the agency hasn’t tried to collect from many of those taxpayers. The IRS didn’t input 326,579 of the cases into its enforcement system, and it closed 42,601 of the cases without ever working on them. “In addition, the remaining 510,235 high-income nonfilers, totaling estimated tax due of $24.9 billion, are sitting in one of the Collection function’s inventory streams and will likely not be pursued as resources decline,” the report, released Monday, found. The report defines high-income taxpayers as those earning at least $100,000. The IRS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but agency management in the report agreed with a recommendation to prioritize collecting from people who didn’t file tax returns.

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


Taxpayers paid to develop remdesivir but will have no say when Gilead sets the price
2020-05-26, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/taxpayers-paid-to-develop-remdesivir-but-wi...

The drug that buoyed expectations for a coronavirus treatment and drew international attention for Gilead Sciences, remdesivir, started as a reject. To make progress, Gilead needed help from U.S. taxpayers. Lots of help. Three federal health agencies were deeply involved in remdesivir’s development every step of the way, providing tens of millions of dollars of government research support. Federal agencies have not asserted patent rights to Gilead’s drug. That means Gilead will have few constraints other than political pressure when it sets a price. “Without direct public investment and tax subsidies, this drug would apparently have remained in the scrapheap of unsuccessful drugs,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) ... said earlier this month. Doggett and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) have asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for a detailed financial accounting of federal support for remdesivir’s discovery and development. Watchdog groups ... have documented the large taxpayer-funded contributions toward the drug. Public Citizen estimates public investment at a minimum of $70 million. An independent organization that measures the cost-effectiveness of drugs said Gilead could be justified in charging up to $4,500 for a 10-day course of treatment for a single coronavirus patient. But advocates, citing a study by academic researchers on what it costs to make the drug, have said Gilead could break even by charging $1 per dose.

Note: According to this CNBC article Gilead is charging from $2,000 to $3,120 per patient despite huge subsidies. Gilead is the same company which developed Tamiflu and licensed it to Roche. Aggressive sales of Tamiflu to governments around the world brought profits of over $1 billion yet almost none of the doses sold were ever used, as described in this Reuters article. The study that is being used to tout Remdesivir was conducted by none other than Gilead. Could there be conflict of interest here? For more, see summaries of revealing news articles on big Pharma corruption.


600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident’
2020-05-22, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/gracemarieturner/2020/05/22/600-physicians-say-l...

More than 600 of the nation’s physicians sent a letter to President Trump this week calling the coronavirus shutdowns a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing negative health consequences” to millions of non COVID patients. “The downstream health effects ... are being massively under-estimated and under-reported," according to the letter initiated by Simone Gold, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist. “Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,” the letter said. Other silent casualties: “150,000 Americans per month who would have had new cancer detected through routine screening.” From missed cancer diagnoses to untreated heart attacks and strokes to increased risks of suicides, “We are alarmed at what appears to be a lack of consideration for the future health of our patients.” The physicians’ letter focuses on the impact on Americans’ physical and mental health. “The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse. “It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown,” the letter says. “Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million [now 38 million] other people.”

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


Trump's Vaccine Chief Has Vast Ties to Drug Industry, Posing Possible Conflicts
2020-05-21, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-s-vaccine-chief-has-vast-ties-t...

The chief scientist brought on to lead the Trump administration's vaccine efforts has spent the last several days trying to disentangle pieces of his stock portfolio and his intricate ties to big pharmaceutical interests. The scientist, Moncef Slaoui, is a venture capitalist and a former longtime executive at GlaxoSmithKline. Most recently, he sat on the board of Moderna, a Cambridge, Mass., biotechnology firm with a $30 billion valuation that is pursuing a coronavirus vaccine. He resigned when President Trump named him last Thursday to the new post as chief adviser for Operation Warp Speed, the federal drive for coronavirus vaccines and treatments. Just days into his job, the extent of Dr. Slaoui's financial interests in drug companies has begun to emerge: The value of his stock holdings in Moderna jumped nearly $2.4 million, to $12.4 million when the company released preliminary, partial data from an early phase of its candidate vaccine trial. Dr. Slaoui did not come on board as a government employee. Instead, he is on a contract ... that leaves him exempt from federal disclosure rules that would require him to list his outside positions, stock holdings and other potential conflicts. And the contract position is not subject to the same conflict-of-interest laws and regulations that executive branch employees must follow. Dr. Slaoui ... is not the first Trump administration official with close relationships to drug and health care companies. Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, is a former Eli Lilly executive.

Note: If the above link fails, this article is also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.


Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit
2020-05-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/tens-thousands-...

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests have been double-counted in the Government’s official tally, public health officials have admitted. Diagnostic tests which involve taking saliva and nasal samples from the same patient are being counted as two tests, not one. The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England each confirmed the double-counting. This inflates the daily reported diagnostic test numbers by over 20 per cent, with that proportion being much higher earlier on in the crisis before home test kits were added to the daily totals. Almost 350,000 more tests have been reported in Government data than people tested since the start of the pandemic. It is not the first time the Government has been caught massaging the testing data. It was accused last month of including thousands of home tests which had been posted but not completed in a bid to reach its target of 100,000 tests. Jon Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “Ministers have already received an embarrassing slap on the wrists for their dodgy spin on testing figures. It seems they haven’t learnt their lesson.” The Government announced at the beginning of May that it would be extending its target from 100,000 tests per day to 200,000 tests per day. But so far it has only hit the 100,000 target nine times in the 20 days since its introduction. Global health experts said the Government should stop fixating on its arbitrary targets and instead focus on making testing work to drive down Covid-19 infections in the UK.

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


States accused of fudging or bungling COVID-19 testing data
2020-05-19, MSN News/Associated Press
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/virus-cases-rising-in-russia-as-crisis-e...

Public health officials in some states are accused of bungling coronavirus infection statistics or even using a little sleight of hand to deliberately make things look better than they are. In Virginia, Texas and Vermont, for example, officials said they have been combining the results of viral tests, which show an active infection, with antibody tests, which show a past infection. Public health experts say that can make for impressive-looking testing totals but does not give a true picture of how the virus is spreading. In Florida, the data scientist who developed the state’s coronavirus dashboard, Rebekah Jones, said this week that she was fired for refusing to manipulate data “to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” In Georgia, one of the earliest states to ease up on lockdowns and assure the public it was safe to go out again, the Department of Public Health published a graph around May 11 that showed new COVID-19 cases declining over time in the most severely affected counties. The daily entries, however, were not arranged in chronological order but in descending order. Georgia's Department of Public Health also regularly publishes a graph that shows cases over time, except new infections are not listed on the day they came back positive, which is the practice in many other states. Instead, Georgia lists new cases on the day the patient first reported symptoms. That practice can shift the timeline of the outbreak and make it appear as if the state is moving past the peak.

Note: It's quite interesting to note that they made no mention of fudging the figures to make things look worse than they are, like doctors being instructed to list cause of death as COVID-19 even when they aren't certain. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Trump's Firing of State Department Inspector General Is Just the Latest in a Rolling Purge
2020-05-18, Time
https://time.com/5838599/trump-fires-steve-linick-state-department/

When President Donald Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on May 15, it wasn’t the first time he took aim in recent weeks at the work of a government watchdog. In the last six weeks, Trump has fired or replaced four inspectors general, including Linick, part of a broad effort to roll back post-Watergate government accountability measures. In Linick’s case, Trump acted on the recommendation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Congressional Democrats say Linick’s office was investigating Pompeo for alleged misuse of Department staffers and Trump’s 2019 declaration of a state of emergency to sell $8.1 billion in U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At a moment when the President is engaged in a rolling purge of government officials, what Pompeo may or may not have done has been eclipsed by the Administration’s campaign to free itself from independent oversight. Last month, Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, and Department of Defense acting inspector general Glenn Fine, a move that also removed Fine from his post as head of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee that oversees some $2 trillion in emergency coronavirus spending. On May 1, Trump said he would replace the Department of Health and Human Services’ senior deputy IG Christi Grimm, who released an April report that said hospitals were experiencing “severe shortages of testing supplies” ... amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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


Federal Government Buys Riot Gear, Increases Security Funding, Citing Coronavirus Pandemic
2020-05-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/17/veterans-affairs-coronavirus-security-pol...

The federal government has ramped up security and police-related spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including issuing contracts for riot gear, disclosures show. The purchase orders include requests for disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, and riot gloves, along with law enforcement protective equipment for federal police assigned to protect Veterans Affairs facilities. The orders were expedited under a special authorization “in response to Covid-19 outbreak.” “Between 2005 and 2014, VA police departments acquired millions of dollars’ worth of body armor, chemical agents, night vision equipment, and other weapons and tactical gear,” The Intercept reported last year. But an Inspector General report in December 2018 found there was little oversight. The CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus legislation passed in late March, also authorized $850 million for the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, a federal grant program to prepare law enforcement, correctional officers, and police for the crisis. The funds have been dispensed to local governments to pay for overtime costs, purchase protective supplies, and defray expenses related to emergency policing. The grants may also be used for the purchase of unmanned aerial aircraft and video security cameras for law enforcement. Motorola Solutions, a major supplier of police technology, has encouraged local governments to use the new money to buy a range of command center software and video analytics systems.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Why Bombs Made in America Have Been Killing Civilians in Yemen
2020-05-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/us/arms-deals-raytheon-yemen.html

Year after year, the bombs fell — on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats and a school bus, killing thousands of civilians and helping turn Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Weapons supplied by American companies, approved by American officials, allowed Saudi Arabia to pursue the reckless campaign. But in June 2017, an influential Republican senator decided to cut them off, by withholding approval for new sales. It was a moment that might have stopped the slaughter. Not under President Trump. Trade adviser Peter Navarro ... wrote a memo to Jared Kushner and other top White House officials calling for an intervention. He titled it “Trump Mideast arms sales deal in extreme jeopardy, job losses imminent.” Within weeks, the Saudis were once again free to buy American weapons. The intervention, which has not been previously reported, underscores a fundamental change in American foreign policy under Mr. Trump. Where foreign arms sales in the past were mostly offered and withheld to achieve diplomatic goals, the Trump administration pursues them mainly for the profits they generate and the jobs they create, with little regard for how the weapons are used. Mr. Trump has tapped Mr. Navarro ... to be a conduit between the Oval Office and defense firms. His administration has also rewritten the rules for arms exports, speeding weapon sales to foreign militaries. The State Department, responsible for licensing arms deals, now is charged with more aggressively promoting them.

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


Ex-Green Beret captured in Venezuela believed U.S. backed overthrow plot: family
2020-05-16, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latin-america/ex-green-beret-captured-venezuela-...

Luke Denman, 34, was one of two ex-Green Berets arrested in a foiled plot to oust Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. He's now locked up in a Venezuelan jail, his fate in the hands of a leader the U.S. government considers a dictator responsible for tens of millions of his people going hungry. Much remains unknown about the ill-fated operation. According to the Venezuelan government, eight "mercenary terrorists" were killed and several captured, including Denman and fellow Army veteran Airan Berry, during an attempt to seize Maduro and topple his government. A third ex-Green Beret, Jordan Goudreau, claimed responsibility for the plot. A decorated former U.S. commando, Goudreau operated a Florida-based private security company called Silvercorp USA. Before he went into hiding, Goudreau had said in multiple interviews the plan was initially coordinated with representatives of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized as the country's interim president by the U.S. and much of the international community. But the relationship soured and Goudreau moved forward with the operation anyway. In interviews with NBC News, a half dozen family members and close friends of Denman and Berry said they believe the former Special Operations soldiers would have only participated in such an operation had the two men been convinced it was supported by the U.S. government.

Note: Important parts of this situation's history are described in a 2012 article titled, "Why the US demonises Venezuela's democracy". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


As Europe emerges from lockdown, the question hangs: was Sweden right?
2020-05-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/15/europe-emerges-lockdown...

As Europe and the world emerge blearily to survey the wreckage of lockdown, the question is still left hanging. Was Sweden right? Stockholm gambled in its response to coronavirus, but neither its economy nor its healthcare system have collapsed. Just two months ago, it held hands with Britain in rejecting total lockdown. Then on 23 March, Boris Johnson did a U-turn, leaving Sweden ... on its own. Since then the divergence has become radical and political. The one table that glares at us daily is ... deaths per million. The most stringent lockdowns – as in China, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Britain – have yielded both high and low deaths per million. Hi-tech has apparently “worked” in South Korea, but so has no-tech in Sweden. Sweden’s 319 deaths per million is far ahead of locked-down Norway’s 40 and Denmark’s 91, but it’s well behind locked-down UK’s 465 and Spain’s 569. Sweden’s light-touch policy is led by two scientists, Johan Giesecke and his protégé Anders Tegnell. The latter currently leads Stockholm’s strategy with ... 73% popular support. Tegnell has been emphatic throughout. A degree of social distancing and avoiding crowds is enough. As for lockdown, “Nothing to do with [it] has a scientific basis.” [Sweden] has kept itself open and at work, and has not seen the surge in “all-causes excess deaths” of the UK and other high-lockdown states. According to Tegnell ... “there is no other escape” but to find ways of living with this virus. Sweden gambled in its response, but so did the rest of the world. The UN warns that the world could lose four years of growth at a cost of $8.5 trillion. Famine and further disease will be rife. That was surely the greater gamble.

Note: Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. This graph shows that Sweden is doing well compared to other countries considering that they have not instituted a lockdown. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.


Cuomo is letting billionaires plan New York's future. It doesn't have to be this way
2020-05-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/14/andrew-cuomo-bill-gates...

Last week, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced that Bill Gates would be responsible for “reimagining” New York’s education system. Cuomo also asked former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt to lead a panel planning New York’s post-Covid tech infrastructure. As Naomi Klein writes, the appointments of Schmidt and Gates represent a “Pandemic Shock Doctrine ... that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up [and] treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent – and highly profitable – no-touch future”. Schmidt’s vision of the future is ... mass surveillance plus public investment in companies in which he has a stake. Even if Schmidt and Gates had good policies, Cuomo’s knighting of them is offensive to American self-government. Nobody voted for them and they are accountable to no one. Cuomo ... is simply allowing billionaires to plan our future directly, taking out the middlemen. Cuomo anointed these tsars at the exact same time that he took vast new powers away from the state legislature, which has not been holding regular legislative hearings since 1 April. Coronavirus has created a constitutional crisis of sorts, one where the rules of representation, power and decision-making are up for grabs. Monopolists are seizing power and market share for themselves, setting themselves up as the arbiters of our collective futures.

Note: For more, see this revealing article by Naomi Klein in the Intercept. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Singapore enforces social distancing — with a robot dog
2020-05-13, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-05-13/coronavirus-singapores-...

Spot is focused on the asphalt path ahead, where a few joggers and bicyclists are out for some socially distanced sunshine. A cyclist in a brimmed hat rides past. Spot pipes up, not with a bark, but with a recorded message. “Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” comes a woman’s voice, polite but firm. “For your own safety, and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you.” Spot [is] an agile, four-legged, arrestingly doglike robot that Singapore has deployed to help enforce distancing measures during the second month of a partial coronavirus lockdown. Developed by Boston Dynamics of Waltham, Mass., Spot is one of the world’s most advanced commercial robots, last seen opening doors, hauling a truck or dancing to Bruno Mars in a slate of mesmerizing promotional videos. Its two-week pilot in a park here is seen as a test of how machines and artificial intelligence could help reduce human contact in public spaces. Singapore officials said the goal of using Spot was “reducing the manpower required for park patrols and minimizing physical contact among staff, volunteer safe distancing ambassadors and park visitors.” Cameras installed on its body will help estimate the number of visitors in the park, but officials said they cannot recognize individuals. If the trial is successful, officials said they would consider deploying Spot ... at other parks. A second Spot robot has also been in use since last month to deliver medicines at an isolation facility housing thousands of COVID-19 patients.

Note: Click on the link above to see this robotic canine. Robot policing raises some serious concerns. CNBC has an article claiming as a result of the virus, we need social robots, robot avatars, and more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


H.R. 6666 a devil of a COVID-19 government surveillance plot
2020-05-12, Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/may/12/hr-6666-a-devil-of-a-covid-1...

What’s more devilishly un-American than launching one of the most massive government surveillance programs of private citizens in U.S. history, all under the guise of protecting people from the coronavirus? That’s the “COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act” in all its $100 billion grant giveaway glory. According to H.R. 6666’s text: The taxpayer funds will be used to “trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts, through mobile health units and, as necessary ... at [citizens’] residences.” That means government comes to your home, taps on your door and demands you take a COVID-19 test. And if you test positive, that means the government makes sure you stay at home. The top dogs at the Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in control of disbursing the $100 billion to local governments to carry out the COVID-19 testing — more specifically, to “hire, train, compensate and pay the expenses of individuals” to staff mobile health units and to knock on citizens’ doors and to enforce compliance with quarantining. This is nothing but a massive government surveillance program cloaked in a cure-the-coronavirus label. A petition at Change.org to stop the nonsense has generated about 28,000 signatures. “HR 6666 violates inalienable rights to one’s person, home and property, to one’s life, freedoms, privacy and security,” the petition states.

Note: Why the huge price tag of $100 billion, which is more than the entire 2019 budget for the US Dept. of Health and Human Services? Explore this bill which greatly threatens privacy and civil rights on the website of the US Congress at this link. This excellent and well researched video leaves little doubt that some people will be taken from their homes and children taken from their mothers. For those concerned about being traced and quarantined, this article has good information on who is behind it all. Sign a petition opposing this bill on this webpage.


Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World’s
2020-05-12, Foreign Affairs
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/sweden/2020-05-12/swedens-coronavirus...

China placed 50 million people under quarantine in Hubei Province in January. Since then, many liberal democracies have taken aggressive authoritarian measures. One country, however, stands out as an exception. Rather than declare a lockdown ... Sweden asked its citizens to practice social distancing on a mostly voluntary basis. They eschewed harsh controls, fines, and policing. Swedish authorities imposed some restrictions designed to flatten the curve: no public gatherings of more than 50 people, no bar service, distance learning in high schools and universities. Many restaurants remain open [and] young children are still in school. Sweden has not introduced location-tracing technologies or apps, thus avoiding threats to privacy and personal autonomy. Sweden has won praise in some quarters for ... keeping its per capita death rate lower than those of Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. But it has come in for criticism in other quarters for exceeding the per capita death rates of other Nordic countries. Swedish authorities have argued that the country’s higher death rate will appear comparatively lower in hindsight. The country’s intensive care units have not been overrun. Estimates from the OECD suggest that every month of pandemic-related restrictions will shrink the economies of advanced countries by two percent. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States ... will see their economies shrink by more than 25 percent within a year. Unemployment is rising to levels unheard of since the 1930s—fueling political backlash and deepening social divisions. There are good reasons for countries to begin easing their restrictions.

Note: Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. This graph shows that Sweden is doing well compared to other countries considering that they have not instituted a lockdown. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.


In court filing, FBI accidentally reveals name of Saudi official suspected of directing support for 9/11 hijackers
2020-05-12, Yahoo News
https://news.yahoo.com/in-court-filing-fbi-accidentally-reveals-name-of-saudi...

The FBI inadvertently revealed one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive secrets about the Sept. 11 terror attacks: the identity of a mysterious Saudi Embassy official in Washington who agents suspected had directed crucial support to two of the al-Qaida hijackers. The disclosure came in a new declaration filed in federal court by a senior FBI official in response to a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims that accuses the Saudi government of complicity in the terrorist attacks. The declaration ... represents a major breakthrough in the long-running case, providing for the first time an apparent confirmation that FBI agents investigating the attacks believed they had uncovered a link between the hijackers and the Saudi Embassy in Washington. The disclosure, which a senior U.S. government official confirmed was made in error ... shines a light on the extraordinary efforts by top Trump administration officials in recent months to prevent internal documents about the issue from ever becoming public. “This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement,” said Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families whose father was killed in the attacks. “It demonstrates there was a hierarchy of command that’s coming from the Saudi Embassy to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs [in Los Angeles] to the hijackers.” Ironically, the declaration identifying the Saudi official in question was intended to support recent filings ... barring the public release of the Saudi official’s name and all related documents.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia
2020-05-08, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tec...

During New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. The inspiration ... was a video visit from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the governor’s briefing to announce that he will be heading up a blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York state’s post-Covid reality, with an emphasis on permanently integrating technology into every aspect of civic life. Just one day earlier, Cuomo had announced a similar partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop “a smarter education system.” It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the “Screen New Deal.” Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future. This is a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone, then screen “shared” on a mediated platform. It’s a future in which our every move, our every word, our every relationship is trackable, traceable, and data-mineable by unprecedented collaborations between government and tech giants.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Seen 'Plandemic'? We Take A Close Look At The Viral Conspiracy Video's Claims
2020-05-08, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852451652/seen-plandemic-we-take-a-close-look-...

[A] 26-minute video called Plandemic has exploded on social media in recent days, claiming to present a view of COVID-19 that differs from the "official" narrative. The video has been viewed millions of times on YouTube via links that are replaced as quickly as the video-sharing service can remove them for violating its policy against "COVID-19 misinformation." In it, filmmaker Mikki Willis conducts an uncritical interview with Judy Mikovits. Many of Mikovits' claims concern ... conflicts that she attributes to various high-profile individuals. Among them are Dr. Anthony Fauci [and] Dr. Robert Redfield. Mikovits ... says Fauci has profited from patents bearing his name that were derived from research done at NIAID. The Associated Press did report in 2005 that scientists at the National Institutes of Health "have collected millions of dollars in royalties for experimental treatments without having to tell patients [they] had a financial connection." Fauci [was] among those who received royalty payments. Mikovits also [casts] doubt on the official statistics regarding COVID-19 deaths, saying that doctors and hospitals have been "incentivized" to count deaths unrelated to the disease. In fact, a 20% premium was tacked on to Medicare payments for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The video correctly points to U.S. cooperation with and funding for the Wuhan laboratory. In [a] 2009 paper, Mikovits is among 13 researchers who claimed to have found that a mouse retrovirus may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome. [The paper] "sent shock waves through the scientific community, as it revealed the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases."

Note: We've selected the parts of this article supporting Mikovits, though overall it is clearly biased against her. The article strangely fails to mention her claims Fauci stole her research and used it for profit. Why was this video banned from social media? You can still view it here or on this great website which posts many banned videos. Definitely high strangeness here, as you can read in this article about Mikovits in Science magazine. Explore independent research confirming a number of the claims of Mikovits.


Trump vetoes bill passed by US Senate that would bar him from launching war on Iran without Congressional authorisation
2020-05-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-veto-us-s...

President Donald Trump has vetoed legislation that limited a president’s ability to wage war against Iran without the approval of Congress. Mr Trump said that he vetoed the Iran war powers resolution because it was “insulting” to the presidency. Congress passed the Iran war powers resolution in the aftermath of the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, amid widespread concerns about tensions between the US and Iran. At the time, the resolution – which was introduced to Congress by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine – showed bipartisan support for reigning-in president Trump’s war-making powers. “The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect,” Trump said. “We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!” Congress is not expected to override the president’s veto during a vote on Thursday, as Republicans hold a 53-to 47-seat majority in the US senate. Mr Kaine on Wednesday called on senators to vote with him to override the veto, saying on Twitter: “I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to override his veto—Congress must vote before sending our troops into harm’s way.” The resolution was passed by the House of Representatives in March and the Senate in April.

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


Trump is using a pandemic to weaken environmental law. First victim: The Grand Canyon
2020-05-07, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/trump-is-using-a-pandemic-to-weaken-environ...

An administration advisory group just released a report recommending opening more public lands to uranium extraction. The steps recommended in a new report by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group, an industry-stacked panel the president created through an executive order in July 2019, look a lot like pre-determined conclusions. One of the most alarming should worry every Arizonan, and frankly every American: excluding uranium mines from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which gives Americans the chance to review and comment on major proposals that impact them. The report, if it’s implemented, paves the way for dangerous mining of the sort that even industry cheerleaders don’t suggest in public. The report spells it out in black and white when it recommends that federal regulators “consider categorical exclusions for uranium mineral exploration and development activities.” A categorical exclusion is offered only to individual projects determined to have no impact on the environment. The Trump administration wants to take advantage of widespread stay-at-home policies to weaken laws that protect us from unchecked pollution. These recommendations are another in a long line of industry giveaways being pushed under cover of pandemic without public scrutiny. The American people should reject this report. And as a credible new analysis from the Grand Canyon Trust shows us, even if we wanted to take the report seriously, there’s no such thing as a truly “safe” uranium mine.

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


Government scientist Neil Ferguson resigns after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married lover
2020-05-05, MSN/The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapaers)
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/exclusive-government-scientist-nei...

The scientist whose advice prompted Boris Johnson to lock down Britain resigned from his Government advisory position on Tuesday. He broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover. Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house. The epidemiologist leads the team at Imperial College London that produced the computer-modelled research that led to the national lockdown, which claimed that more than 500,000 Britons would die without the measures. Prof Ferguson has frequently appeared in the media to support the lockdown and praised the "very intensive social distancing" measures. The revelation of the "illegal" trysts will infuriate millions of couples living apart and banned by the Government from meeting up during the lockdown, which is now in its seventh week. On at least two occasions, Antonia Staats, 38, travelled across London from her home in the south of the capital to spend time with the Government scientist, nicknamed Professor Lockdown. The 51-year-old had only just finished a two-week spell self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. Police in England and Wales have handed out more than 9,000 fines during the lockdown – equivalent to one every five minutes, while Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, was forced to resign last month after making two trips to her second home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Note: This article in the UK's Telegraph reveals that Ferguson's models in years past were "severely flawed," resulting in millions of unnecessary livestock deaths and billions in financial loses. This Time magazine article further states, "Ferguson and colleagues published a paper suggesting that even with some social distancing measures, the U.K. could see 250,000 coronavirus deaths and that the U.S. might have about 1 million deaths." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Sweden refused to impose a coronavirus lockdown. The country’s ambassador explains why.
2020-05-02, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-02/sweden-coronavirus-voluntary...

Lately, my country has caught the attention of the media. Sweden’s response to the pandemic has been singled out as “radical,” “lax” and “controversial” because Sweden has not imposed a broad general lockdown. Sweden is known as a country with a strong welfare model, including public healthcare for all, and has among the world’s highest life expectancies. Some might find it difficult to reconcile this image with our approach to containing COVID-19. Sweden shares the same goals as all other countries — to save lives and protect public health. Sweden’s measures differ from other countries in a few significant ways. We are not shutting down schools for younger children or daycare facilities. We have no regulation that forces citizens to remain in their homes. And we have not ordered the closure of any businesses. Swedish laws on communicable diseases are mostly based on voluntary measures and on individual responsibility. The use of recommendations in public health efforts — rather than mandates — is a common strategy in Sweden. One example of this is child immunizations. In contrast to the United States, where all 50 states mandate immunizations for children in order to enroll in school ... Sweden’s child vaccination program is based on recommendations from the authorities and is not a legal requirement. Yet more than 97% of Swedish children are vaccinated. Sweden’s strategy may not provide all the answers, but we believe the combination of voluntary and mandated measures is not only more sustainable for Sweden than a lockdown strategy but will strengthen the resilience of Swedish society to fight this virus in the long run.

Note: Almost every other major media article criticizes Sweden for its approach, which is supported by more than 80% of Swedes. And almost every news article compares them to other Scandinavian countries, which are doing much better than Sweden, but fails to mention its neighbors France, Belgium, and the UK, which have locked down, and are doing much worse than Sweden. Yet even the New York Times has admitted their economy will fair better than most other countries. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from media sources.


Will Florida order residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
2020-05-02, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/02/fact-check-florida-c...

The claim: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's executive order allows civilians to receive a coronavirus vaccination and 'it might be happening.' An Instagram post from April claims an executive order signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allows the state to require its "civilians" to receive a coronavirus vaccination. The Instagram post [refers] to an executive order issued by DeSantis on March 23. It mandates travelers arriving in Florida self-quarantine for "14 days from the time of entry into the state of Florida or the duration of the person's presence in the state of Florida, whichever is shorter." Section B of the executive order ... references powers given under section 5 of Florida statute 381.00315, which details the proceedings of public officials in the time of a public health emergency. The statute says the government, amid a public health emergency when imposing isolation or quarantine, can adopt rules such as "tests or treatment, including vaccination, for communicable disease required before employment or admission to the premises or to comply with an isolation or a quarantine." It is true that Florida statute 381.00315, as cited in DeSantis's executive orders, makes it legal to order an individual to be vaccinated, among other public safety measures, during a public health emergency. But because there is not yet a coronavirus vaccine, it is false to imply this action is imminent.

Note: The Instagram post did not say that the vaccine mandate is imminent. Notice how far the media will stretch to discredit valid information. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Public companies received $1 billion in stimulus funds meant for small businesses
2020-05-01, MSN News/Washington Post
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/public-companies-received-dollar1-billi...

Publicly traded companies have received more than $1 billion in funds meant for small businesses from the federal government’s economic stimulus package, according to data from securities filings compiled by The Washington Post. Nearly 300 public companies have reported receiving money from the fund, called the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the data compiled by The Post. Recipients include 43 companies with more than 500 workers, the maximum typically allowed by the program. Several other recipients were prosperous enough to pay executives $2 million or more. After the first pool of $349 billion ran dry, leaving more than 80 percent of applicants without funding, outrage over the millions of dollars that went to larger firms prompted some companies to return the money. As of Thursday, public companies had reported returning more than $125 million. Other companies have said they plan to keep the funds. While much of the program’s criticism has focused on the relatively large companies that received the money intended for small businesses, there is some evidence that the program missed its target in other ways, too. The areas where small businesses have been most affected – New York and New Jersey, for example – were less likely to see loans from the program. Only about 15 percent of businesses in the congressional districts most affected by business losses were able to obtain PPP help; by contrast, in the least affected congressional districts, 30 percent were able to obtain them.

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


Senators push for paycheck guarantee in next coronavirus response bill
2020-05-01, Yahoo! Finance
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/senators-push-for-paycheck-guarantee-in-next-c...

A group of senators is pushing to include a paycheck guarantee for laid off or furloughed workers in the next coronavirus relief package. Under the senators’ proposal, businesses that see at least a 20% month-over-month drop in revenues could receive grants to help cover workers’ payroll and benefits for at least six months. The grants would cover benefits and up to $90,000 in wages for each furloughed or laid off employee. The grants also include up to 20% of revenue to pay rent, utilities insurance policies and maintenance. The Paycheck Security proposal would allow businesses of all sizes to receive the grants if they prove revenue losses, unless they hold more than 18 months of average payroll in cash or cash equivalents. More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the past six weeks, as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the U.S. economy. The senators argue their program would be more effective than the current coronavirus response efforts. Congress has already approved more than $2.5 trillion in coronavirus relief. As state unemployment systems strain to keep up with jobless claims and the Paycheck Protection Program has struggled with technical problems and backlash over big businesses accepting the loans. According to reports, the Justice Department has found possible fraud among businesses seeking relief in a preliminary investigation of money disbursed through PPP.) Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) has introduced a similar measure in the house, which would cover up to $100,000 in workers’ wages. Some Republicans have also warmed to the idea of covering company payrolls.

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


WHO lauds lockdown-ignoring Sweden as a ‘model’ for countries going forward
2020-04-29, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronav...

The World Health Organization lauded Sweden as a “model” for battling the coronavirus as countries lift lockdowns — after the nation controversially refused restrictions. Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, said Wednesday there are “lessons to be learned” from the Scandinavian nation, which has largely relied on citizens to self-regulate. Ryan noted that instead of lockdowns, the country has “put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting people in long-term care facilities. What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate,” Ryan said. “In that sense, they have implemented public policy through that partnership with the population.” He said the country also ramped up testing and had adequate capacity in hospitals to handle any outbreaks. “I think if we are to reach a new normal, Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns,” Ryan said. The country, which has a population of 10.3 million, has seen more than 20,300 cases and 2,462 deaths as of Thursday afternoon — far higher than its Nordic neighbors, which implemented stricter containment measures, the latest data shows.

Note: Almost every other major media article criticizes Sweden for its approach, which is supported by more than 80% of Swedes. And almost every news article compares them to other Scandinavian countries, which are doing much better than Sweden, but fails to mention its neighbors France, Belgium, and the UK, which have locked down, and are doing much worse than Sweden. Yet even the New York Times has admitted their economy will fair better than most other countries. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from media sources.


Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab with Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research
2020-04-28, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-...

Last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release. The work entailed risks that worried even seasoned researchers. More than 200 scientists called for the work to be halted. Dr. Fauci played an important role in promoting the work. In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses ... bringing the total to $7.4 million. [One] phase of the project [included] gain-of-function research for the purpose of understanding how bat coronaviruses could mutate to attack humans. According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project ... would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. SARS-CoV-2, the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab.

Note: Newsweek reported that in 2017, Anthony Fauci predicted a "surprise outbreak" during Trump's presidency. How could he have known this? This Washington Post article has the title "State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history
2020-04-28, Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/28/coronavirus-hype-biggest-pol...

The facts are this: COVID-19 is a real disease that sickens some, proves fatal to others, mostly the elderly — and does nothing to the vast majority. That, in a nutshell, is it. The response to the coronavirus is hyped. And in time, this hype will be revealed as politically hoaxed. Or, in the words of Dan Erickson and Artin Massih, doctors and co-owners of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California: Let’s get the country reopened. “Do we need to still shelter in place? Do we need businesses to be shut down? Our answer is emphatically no" ... Erickson said. The scientists leading the coronavirus shutdown charge [based their] estimates on computer modeling. But at the same time ... they were acknowledging that computer modeling is inaccurate and errs on the side of hype. But from these faulty overinflated computer figures came all the constitutionally questionable actions by government — from ordering businesses closed to quarantining-slash-house arresting American citizens to doing some quick and pitiful and economically painful income redistribution schemes via stimulus funds’ legislation. This virus was far more contagious than anything ever before seen or studied, Americans were told. And any time the case counts dropped off and the numbers proved wrong, well, this was due to the social distancing and quarantining and face-mask wearing that Americans had been doing — Americans were told. “When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add COVID. Why is that? If you’re going to dance on someone’s constitutional rights, you better have a good reason — you better have a really good reason, not just a theory,” Erickson said.

Note: We don't consider the Washington Times to be a highly reliable source, but occasionally they report on key matters that other media fail to report, as is the case with this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


What America can learn from other nations in the war on COVID-19
2020-04-26, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/todaysdebate/2020/04/26/coronavirus-le...

With nearly 55,000 confirmed lives lost in the United States so far and widespread economic disruption from the coronavirus, it is increasing apparent that America could learn a thing or two from how other democracies are managing the pandemic. Taiwan, for example, never ordered a lockdown. Its baseball season is in full swing. The country is so flush with pandemic supplies that it is exporting 10 million masks to America and elsewhere. Under Iceland's "lockdown lite," kindergartens and elementary schools are on limited operations, allowing parents to work. South Korea's malls and restaurants are bustling. Constraints are being eased in New Zealand and in Germany. The rate of coronavirus deaths in these five countries — three of which are led by women — is significantly less than that in the United States, which has lost more people to the virus than any nation and has the world's seventh highest COVID-19 mortality rate. Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland and Germany began stockpiling test kits even before their first coronavirus deaths. The United States, meanwhile, fumbled the creation of a COVID-19 test in February and has been behind ever since. Other nations were innovative and aggressive on testing. Taiwan checked passengers disembarking from cruise ships and retested patients diagnosed with influenza or pneumonia to ensure no mistakes were made. South Korea launched drive-thru diagnostics on Feb. 26. Iceland leads the world in per capita testing, while America ranks 41st.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: Has Sweden got its science right?
2020-04-25, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52395866

Sweden's strategy to keep large parts of society open is widely backed by the public. It has been devised by scientists and backed by government. There is no lockdown here. On the face of it little has shut down. But data suggests the vast majority of the population have taken to voluntary social distancing, which is the crux of Sweden's strategy to slow the spread of the virus. Usage of public transport has dropped significantly [and] large numbers are working from home. The government has also banned gatherings of more than 50 people and visits to elderly care homes. Around 9 in 10 Swedes say they keep at least a metre away from people at least some of the time. In Stockholm, the epicentre of the virus so far, cases have largely plateaued, although there was a spike at the end of this week, put down partly to increased testing. There is still space in intensive care units and a new field hospital at a former conference venue is yet to be used. The Swedish Public Health Agency has maintained high approval ratings throughout the pandemic. Sweden's decision to leave larger parts of society open than most of Europe came after [chief epidemiologist] Dr Tegnell's team used simulations which anticipated a more limited impact of the virus in relation to population size than those made by other scientists. A core aim was to introduce less stringent social distancing measures that could be maintained over a long period of time. Schools for under-16s have remained open to enable parents to keep working. Unlike in some countries, Sweden's statistics do include elderly care home residents, who account for around 50% of all deaths. Dr Tegnell admits that is a major concern. History will judge which countries got it right.

Note: This excellent graph of deaths per million for coronavirus among 12 major countries shows that Sweden is in the middle of the pack, where if lockdown made a big difference, we would expect it to be at or near the top of the group. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Pa. removes more than 200 deaths from official coronavirus count as questions mount about reporting process, data accuracy
2020-04-23, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia's leading newspaper)
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/spl/pennsylvania-death-count-chan...

Twice in the last week, Pennsylvania’s official COVID-19 death count spiked. Then, on Thursday, the number plummeted. The state Department of Health provided several justifications for the fluctuations, citing technical issues, lengthy investigations, and the addition of “probable” deaths. Facing mounting questions about the accuracy of the count, officials on Thursday removed more than 200 probable deaths from the tally. Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the change was made in an effort to be transparent. The state’s coroners – tasked with investigating suspicious deaths – have grown increasingly frustrated by the Health Department’s reluctance to seek their help. “There’s a discrepancy in the numbers,” Charles E. Kiessling Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Coroners Association ... said Thursday. The confusion began Sunday, when Pennsylvania raised its coronavirus death toll to 1,112 – an increase of 276 overnight. On Tuesday, the department reported another spike, from 1,204 to 1,564 deaths.The jump that day, first blamed on a computer glitch, was explained as a “reconciliation” of multiple reporting systems.” Levine also said the “significant increase” included “probable positive” COVID-19 deaths. “We will now be reporting probable deaths related to COVID-19 in addition to confirmed deaths,” she said. Jeffrey Conner, the coroner in Franklin County, said he was blindsided by the department’s news on Tuesday that 10 people had died of COVID-19 in the county. As of Wednesday afternoon, he said, he was aware of only one death. On Thursday, the state’s revised data reported just one death for the county.

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


American billionaires have gotten $280 billion richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
2020-04-22, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/american-billionaires-have-gotten-280...

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from a great equalizer. In the same month that 22 million Americans lost their jobs, the American billionaire class's total wealth increased about 10%–or $282 billion more than it was at the beginning of March. They now have a combined net worth of $3.229 trillion. The initial stock market crash may have dented some net worths at first–for instance, that of Jeff Bezos, which dropped down to a mere $105 billion on March 12. But his riches have rebounded: As of April 15, his net worth has increased by $25 billion. These "pandemic profiteers," as a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, calls them, is just one piece of the wealth inequality puzzle in America. In the background is the fact that since 1980, the taxes paid by billionaires, measured as a percentage of their wealth, dropped 79%. "We're reading about benevolent billionaires sharing .0001% of their wealth with their fellow humans in this crisis, but in fact they've been rigging the tax rules to reduce their taxes for decades–money that could have been spent building a better public health infrastructure," says Chuck Collins [of] the Institute for Policy Studies and coauthor of the new report, titled "Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers." Another key finding of the report is that after the 2008 financial crisis, it took less than 30 months for billionaire wealth to return to its pre-meltdown levels. That wealth then quickly exceeded pre-2008 levels. But as of 2019, the middle class in America has not even yet recovered to the level of its 2007 net worth.

Note: This New York Post article shows how 43,000 millionaires in the U.S. will receive a "stimulus" gift averaging $1.6 million each. At the same time, this Reuters article claims that the coronavirus lockdown could plunge half a billion worldwide into poverty. And this BBC article warns of potential massive famines. So who is this lockdown really serving? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Large-scale Santa Clara antibody test suggests COVID-19 cases are underreported by factor of 50-85
2020-04-17, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper
https://www.sfgate.com/news/editorspicks/article/Santa-Clara-antibody-test-co...

It has long been assumed by medical experts that the United States is drastically underreporting the actual number of COVID-19 infections across the country due to limited testing and a high number of asymptomatic cases. Large-scale antibody tests are expected to give researchers an idea of just how widespread the outbreak is, and preliminary results from the first such test in Santa Clara County suggest we are underreporting cases by at least a factor of 50. In early April, Stanford University researchers conducted an antibody test of 3,300 residents in the county. Researchers hoped to put together a sample that was representative of the county's population by selecting individuals based on their age, race, gender and zip code to extrapolate study results to the larger community. The results of the study are preliminary and not peer-reviewed, but the general takeaways would seem to strongly contribute to the notion that there have been a large number of COVID-19 cases that went undetected. Researchers estimate that... the true number of total cases in early April — both active and recovered — ranges between 48,000 and 81,000. The county had reported just under 1,000 cases at the time the study was conducted, which would mean cases are being underreported by a factor of 50 to 85. If the study's numbers are accurate, the true mortality and hospitalization rates of COVID-19 are both substantially lower than current estimates, and due to lag between infection and death, researchers project a true mortality rate between .12 and .20.

Note: See a BMJ article titled "Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic." The World Health Organizations in March was claiming a mortality rate of 2 to 4%, which is about 20 times the amount found in this study. Could this be an example of fear mongering? For our best articles filled with reliable, verifiable information on the coronavirus, see this article and this one. And for the critical future implications of all this, explore this penetrating essay. Several more excellent essays can be found here. Key major media news articles on the pandemic are available here.


Black Miami doctor handcuffed while helping homeless during pandemic
2020-04-17, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/black-miami-doctor-handcuffed-while-helpi...

A black Miami doctor was handcuffed outside his home last week while on his way to hand out tents to the city’s homeless during the coronavirus outbreak. Security footage appeared to show a police sergeant handcuffing Dr. Armen Henderson, an internal medicine physician at the University of Miami Health System, as he was placing camping tents in his van. According to Henderson, the officer asked him what he was doing and if he was littering – Henderson told him he lived there. “At some point, he got upset with what I was saying and he handcuffed me,” Henderson [said]. The officer then walked him over to the police car and pointed his fingers at him, all while not wearing a mask. Henderson’s wife, Leyla Hussein, came out of the house with identification to prove they both lived there. Incidents like these underscore why black communities often distrust law enforcement. Only about a third of blacks say local police, “do an excellent or good job in using the appropriate force on suspects,” according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study. After fatal police shootings of black men such as Walter Scott and Alton Sterling, [a] study found that black people were, in fact, more likely to be stopped by police. “If you’re black or a minority, you’re significantly more likely to be arrested if they stop you,” Ted Miller ... who led the study, [said]. In 2019, another study ... revealed black men were 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by the police.

Note: Read about a 26-year-old black woman who was an EMT needlessly shot to death in her home and the purely racist murder of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery. When will it stop? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Over 43,000 US millionaires will get ‘stimulus’ averaging $1.6 million each
2020-04-16, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2020/04/16/43k-us-millionaires-will-get-stimulus-averaging...

At least 43,000 American millionaires who are too rich to get coronavirus stimulus checks are getting a far bigger boost — averaging $1.6 million each, according to a congressional committee. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act trumpeted its assistance for working families and small businesses, but it apparently contains an even bigger benefit for wealthy business owners, the committee found. The act allows pass-through businesses — ones taxed under individual income, rather than corporate — an unlimited amount of deductions against their non-business income, such as capital gains. They can also use losses to avoid paying taxes in other years. That gives the roughly 43,000 individual tax filers who make at least $1 million a year a savings of $70.3 billion — or about $1.6 million apiece, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Hedge-fund investors and real estate business owners are “far and away” the ones who will benefit the most, tax expert Steve Rosenthal [said]. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) claimed that “someone wrongly seized on this health emergency to reward ultrarich beneficiaries.” “For those earning $1 million annually, a tax break buried in the recent coronavirus relief legislation is so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments,” he stressed in a statement.

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


Beijing tightens grip over coronavirus research, amid US-China row on virus origin
2020-04-16, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/12/asia/china-coronavirus-research-restrictions-i...

China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web. Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials. Since late January, Chinese researchers have published a series of Covid-19 studies in influential international medical journals. Some findings about early coronavirus cases - such as when human-to-human transition first appeared - have raised questions over the official government account of the outbreak and sparked controversy on Chinese social media. And now, Chinese authorities appear to be tightening their grip on the publication of Covid-19 research. A Chinese researcher who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation said the move was a worrying development that would likely obstruct important scientific research. "I think it is a coordinated effort from (the) Chinese government to control (the) narrative, and paint it as if the outbreak did not originate in China," the researcher told CNN. Last month, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, promoted a conspiracy on Twitter that the virus had originated in the US and was brought to China by the US military.

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


Millionaires receive $1.7m in coronavirus relief as most taxpayers get $1,200 payments thanks to hidden Republican loophole
2020-04-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-stimulus-checks...

As millions of Americans woke up to $1,200 checks in their bank accounts, some of the nation's richest taxpayers learned they were about to receive a bit of relief as well – about $1.7m each, to be exact. Nearly 43,000 millionaires across the country would soon profit off a loophole adapted from the Republican tax code overhaul of 2017, which allows certain business owners to significantly reduce their tax liability by temporarily suspending the limit of deductions they can place against non-business income. The loophole was included as a provision in the sweeping $2.2tn Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a report published by the Joint Commission on Taxation. Democrats who ordered the report have since accused Republicans of having "wrongly seized on this health emergency to reward ultrarich beneficiaries", and called for the tax break to be immediately repealed. The Joint Commission on Taxation said that a staggering "82 per cent of the benefits of the policy go to about 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1m annually". Those 43,000 taxpayers eligible for the loophole would receive an average windfall of nearly $1.7m. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) ... slammed his Republican colleagues over the tax break in a statement alleging the loophole was "so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments".

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable sources.


State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses
2020-04-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-wa...

In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took the unusual step of repeatedly sending U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which had in 2015 become China’s first laboratory to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety. WIV issued a news release in English about the last of these visits. Last week, WIV erased that statement from its website, though it remains archived on the Internet. What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables ... back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable ... warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic. “Most importantly,” the cable states, “this finding strongly suggests that SARS-like coronaviruses from bats can be transmitted to humans to cause SARS-like diseases." The Chinese government, meanwhile, has put a total lockdown on information related to the virus origins ... while suppressing any attempts to examine whether [their] lab was involved. The Shanghai lab that published the novel coronavirus genome on Jan. 11 was quickly shut down by authorities for “rectification.” Several of the doctors and journalists who reported on the spread early on have disappeared. The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations.

Note: The entire article at the link above raises vitally important questions, as does this Newsweek article titled, "Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab With Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


South Korea is holding an election during the coronavirus crisis
2020-04-14, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/13/asia/elections-coronavirus-pandemic-intl-hnk/i...

It's just after lunchtime at a central Seoul market and a crowd in hot pink jackets is gathering. Pink is the color of the country's main opposition party, the conservative United Future Party, and this crowd of supporters is staging a legal campaign rally ahead of Wednesday's election of 300 members of the National Assembly. Large public gatherings are a jarring sight during a pandemic. But South Korea has never postponed an election before -- and the coronavirus is not stopping this one. South Korea peaked early, prompting praise for the government's handling of the pandemic. The country isn't in lockdown, and of the more than 10,500 confirmed cases, more than 7,400 have recovered. Nevertheless, South Korea has made a number of election concessions for the virus. More than 11 million people -- or 26.7% of registered voters -- cast their vote in advance to avoid crowds, according to the National Election Commission. Voters CNN talked to were supportive of the decision to go ahead. Some said the pandemic made voting even more important.

Note: How is it that South Korea is not in lockdown, yet as this revealing graph shows, it has a lower death rate per million than any of the other 12 major countries listed except Japan, which also did not have a lockdown until April 14th. Read this excellent article on how they beat the virus without a major lockdown. For our best articles filled with reliable, verifiable information on the coronavirus, see this article and this one. Several more excellent essays can be found here. Key major media news articles on the pandemic are available here.


With working Americans' survival at stake, the US is bailing out the richest
2020-04-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/13/with-working-americans-...

Amid a humanitarian crisis compounded by mass layoffs and collapsing economic activity, the last course our legislators should be following is the one they appear to be on right now: bailing out shareholders and executives who, while enriching themselves, spent the past decade pushing business corporations to the edge of insolvency. The $500bn dollars of public money that Congress’s relief bill provides will be used for a corporate bailout, with the only oversight in the hands of an independent council similar to the one used in the 2008 financial crisis. While that body was able to report misuses of taxpayer money, it could do nothing to stop them. As currently structured, there is nothing to keep this bailout from, like its predecessor, putting cash directly into the hands of those at the top rather than into the hands of workers. Without strong regulation and accountability, asking corporations to preserve jobs with these funds will be nothing more than a simple suggestion, leaving millions of everyday Americans in financial peril. If not properly managed, this economic disaster has the potential to be the worst in American history. Our country cannot allow a small number of executives and shareholders to profit from taxpayer funds that we have injected into these corporations for reasons of pure emergency. We need to stop this rot at the core of our economic system and realign the priorities of government with those of workers and consumers.

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


Japan’s coronavirus response is too little, too late
2020-04-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/10/japans-coronavirus-respons...

Tokyo’s coronavirus “state of emergency” is as surreal as they come. Though the streets are noticeably quieter than normal, subways and buses are still jammed with commuters. Stock trading goes on as normal. Many bars, restaurants and cafes are abuzz. So are barbershops, beauty salons and home improvement centers. In Shibuya and other meccas of youth culture, teenagers who should be hunkering down at home are out and about. Leave it to Japan’s largest metropolis to morph shelter-in-place into a giant kabuki performance starring 8.3 million people. [Prime Minister] Abe should dispense with the pandemic kabuki and call for a strict shelter-in-place policy. Though there are legal questions about enforceability, Abe could use the bully pulpit to urge Japanese — and companies — to comply.

Important Editor's Note: This article is a prime example of how the media is bulldozing it's social isolation agenda and convincing people to willingly give up their freedoms. Japan was one of the first countries hit by the virus, with it's first death due to the coronavirus on Feb. 13th. Yet while the U.S., Italy, France, Spain, and the UK all had their first coronavirus deaths after Japan, all of these countries as of April 12th had tens of thousands of deaths, while Japan had only 124 deaths. That's 100 times less. Instead of calling for stricter policies in Japan, why isn't everyone asking what they are doing to have such an incredibly low death rate without instituting lockdown procedures? For more serious questions on how we are being manipulated, see this excellent essay.


Sweden challenges Trump -- and scientific mainstream -- by refusing to lock down
2020-04-10, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

Much of Europe is still on coronavirus lockdown, with severe restrictions on movement and penalties for those who transgress. But not Sweden. Restaurants and bars are open in the Nordic country, playgrounds and schools too, and the government is relying on voluntary action to stem the spread of Covid-19. The Swedish government is confident its policy can work. Sweden's actions are about encouraging and recommending, not compulsion. Elisabeth Liden, a journalist in Stockholm, [noted that] "the subway went from being completely packed to having only a few passengers per car. I get the sense that a vast majority are taking the recommendations of social distancing seriously." On March 24, new rules were introduced to avoid crowding at restaurants. But they very much stayed open. So did many primary and secondary schools. Gatherings of up to 50 people are still permitted. The country's state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell ... defended the decision to keep schools open [saying] "a lot of children are suffering when they can't go to school." Much of Sweden's focus has been to protect the elderly. Anyone aged 70 or older has been told to stay at home and limit their social contact as much as possible. Another factor in Sweden's favor is a generous social welfare net that means people don't feel obligated to turn up for work if their young child is sick. State support kicks in on day one of absence from work due to a child being sick. The next month will determine whether the Swedish system got it right.

Note: On 3/28, Sweden had twice as many deaths (203) as California (104). Yet 15 days later (4/12), California had risen 608% to 633, while Sweden had risen only 443% to 899. This is quite interesting considering that California has been in lockdown since 3/19, yet Sweden is not.  You can verify these figures by going to this link  of archived statistics from Johns Hopkins on the virus and clicking on the dates in question. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Oversight erased, Supreme Court hijacked: Trump turns the presidency into a dictatorship
2020-04-09, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/09/trump-removes-inspectors-ge...

It began Friday night, when Trump informed Congress that he was firing Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community’s inspector general. This was nothing more than a vile act of political retribution. Atkinson fulfilled his legal responsibilities by informing Congress about a whistleblower complaint that exposed Trump’s impeachable crimes. What everyone else recognizes as following the letter of the law, the president views as cause for termination. On Monday, Trump turned his attention to the inspector general who oversees the Department of Health and Human Services, who had just released a report revealing the extent to which hospitals were struggling to meet the health care demands associated with treating COVID-19 patients. Trump labeled the report a “Fake Dossier” and suggested “politics” influenced it. On Tuesday, the president removed Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine. He had just been designated to oversee the newly created Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a watchdog panel authorized by Congress to conduct oversight of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. The same day, Trump said he had seven IGs in his sights. In the course of three days, Trump fired an IG for telling the truth, attacked another for exposing the totality of a health care pandemic, and removed another in a brazen effort to avoid being held accountable for how trillions of taxpayer dollars will be allocated. The sum of these actions is nothing short of blatant corruption.

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


Why the coronavirus models aren’t totally accurate
2020-04-09, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/without-mass-testing-were-flying-blin...

Estimates of [coronavirus] lethality keep going down. On March 31, the White House estimated that, even with social distancing policies in place, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans would die of covid-19. Anthony S. Fauci recently indicated the government’s estimates will soon be revised downward. Predictions for hospitalization rates have also proved to be substantial overestimations. On March 30, University of Washington researchers projected that California would need 4,800 beds on April 3. In fact, the state needed 2,200. The same model projected that Louisiana would need 6,400; in fact, it used only 1,700. Even New York, the most stressed system in the country, used only 15,000 beds against a projection of 58,000. In March, the World Health Organization announced that 3.4 percent of people with the virus had died from it. That would be an astonishingly high fatality rate. Fauci suggested a week later that the actual rate was probably 1 percent. [Yet] some studies find that 75 to 80 percent of people infected could be asymptomatic. That means most people infected with the virus ... never get counted. Standford's John Ioannidis, ... one of the most cited scientists in the field, believes we have massively overestimated the fatality of covid-19. “Iif you make a small mistake in the base numbers, you end up with a final number that could be off 10-fold, 30-fold, even 50-fold,” he [said]. South Korea has been able to tackle the virus without lockdowns precisely because it has handled testing superbly. We have shut down the economy based on models. But models are only as good as the data that shapes them.

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


Is Sweden’s lax approach to the coronavirus backfiring?
2020-04-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/08/is-swedens-lax-approach-co...

With large parts of Europe in lockdown in response to the covid-19 pandemic, one country stands out: Sweden has no mandatory quarantines and few limitations on free movement. Elementary schools remain open; malls, gyms and shopping streets are far from empty. Some sidewalk cafes are still bustling with life. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has urged Swedes to apply “common sense.” While this soft approach stunned the rest of Europe, Sweden maintained that it will turn out to be more effective. In the past few weeks, the country has experienced a bizarre nationalistic wave dubbed “public health nationalism” ... which celebrates Sweden as an island of common sense in a sea of panic and resistance to science. According to this narrative promulgated by authorities and media alike, cultural exceptionalism — such as high public trust –– makes Sweden particularly well-equipped to manage the pandemic. Sweden’s influential former state epidemiologist Johan Giesecke [stated] ”I think we will manage the epidemic without destroying the economy more than necessary. The absolutely most important thing is to protect the elderly from getting infected. I think we succeed quite well in that. The public has been assured that Sweden will outperform other countries. Indeed, Sweden ranks among the lowest of 26 surveyed countries when it comes to fear of the coronavirus in a recent YouGov poll –– even though the country ranks fifth-highest in per capita deaths of the countries surveyed. Time will tell.

Note: Check out an informative graph showing deaths per million population from the coronavirus in 10 major countries. Note that Sweden is in the middle of the pack, even though they are not in lockdown. Could it be the the lockdown policies don't have much effect on death rates? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November
2020-04-08, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus-crisis...

Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents. The report ... raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia - forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier. "Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. "It was then briefed multiple times to" the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House. From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January. The NCMI report was made available widely to people authorized to access intelligence community alerts. Other intelligence community bulletins began circulating through confidential channels across the government around Thanksgiving. Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.

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


Coronavirus Is Exposing How Foreign Crusades Bled America’s Domestic Resources Dry
2020-04-06, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/04/06/coronavirus-threat-national-security-prio...

The coronavirus pandemic now ravaging the United States should lead every American to a series of important questions: What are the real threats that I face? What has my government been prioritizing in terms of my - and the nation’s - security? And where has all my tax money been going? It’s hard not to conclude that the American government’s national security priorities have been so askew of reality that they left the country dramatically unprepared for an acute threat to millions of its people. The government’s focus has been overwhelmingly on the threat of extremist groups and unfriendly regimes abroad, mostly in the Middle East. These confrontations have won America an ever-growing list of enemies around the world. But their impact on the United States itself is now also being painfully revealed: a country that has spent trillions on foreign wars but is unable to defend its citizens from basic threats like disease and economic collapse. The last few weeks have revealed a spectacle of a federal government apparently incapable of doing what is required to stop the spread of a pandemic on American soil. Meanwhile, the avalanche of military spending that was released after the September 11 attacks continues to roll onwards. According to Brown University’s Costs of War Project, the U.S. government has spent a staggering $6.4 trillion on its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan since 2001. Interest payments on the borrowing needed to pay for the wars ... could run to as much as $8 trillion by midcentury.

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


Coronavirus: Why Dutch lockdown may be a high-risk strategy
2020-04-05, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52135814

The Netherlands has tried to adopt an "intelligent lockdown", but the infection is spreading rapidly and it has one of the world's highest mortality rates from the pandemic. Having shunned the stricter measures of neighbouring states the government has pursued an "intelligent" or "targeted" lockdown. It wants to cushion the social, economic and psychological costs of social isolation and make the eventual return to normality more manageable. [The] local florist, ironmonger, delicatessen, bakery and toy store are still serving customers. Posters on the door and sticky tape on the floor encourage people to give each other space. Only those businesses that require touching, like hairdressers, beauticians and red light brothels, have been forced to cease trading. Schools, nurseries and universities are closed. Bars, restaurants and cannabis cafes are shut, although they seem to be doing a roaring trade in takeaways. "We think we're cool-headed," explained Dr Louise van Schaik of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations. "We don't want to overreact, to lock up everybody in their houses." People have been advised to stay at home, but you can go out if you are unable to work from home ... as long as you maintain 1.5m (5ft) social distance. It helps that the Dutch appear to be broadly compliant. One survey suggested 99% of people kept their distance. Dutch public health agency RIVM has launched a study to see how far antibodies created when people are exposed remain effective in preventing re-infection. "It's kind of like creating your own internal vaccine, by being exposed to it and then letting your body generate those antibodies naturally," Prof Aura Timen from the RIVM told the BBC.

Note: On 3/28, the Netherlands had over six times as many deaths as California with 639 compared to California's 104. Yet 15 days later (4/12), California had risen 608% to 633, while the Netherlands has gone up only 428% to 2,737. This is quite interesting considering that California has been in lockdown since 3/19.  You can verify this by going to this link  of archived statistics on the virus and clicking on the dates in question. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Bill Gates and his coronavirus conflicts of interest
2020-04-02, Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/2/bill-gates-and-his-coronaviru...

Bill Gates ... just called for a complete and utter shutdown and quarantining of the entire American nation. “Despite urging from public health experts,” Gates wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, “some states and counties haven’t shut down completely. This is a recipe for disaster. Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus. The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere. Until the case numbers start to go down ... no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.” He then added that the impacts of the new coronavirus could linger another 18 months or so, until a vaccine was developed. For the peons of America, work isn’t an option. It’s food. It’s survival. The fate of a hard-earned dream shouldn’t rest with a globalist billionaire who’s warning of dire coronavirus consequences to come — all the while making hands-over-fist coronavirus money. It’s a conflict of interest. WHO didn’t announce the coronavirus as a pandemic until the very day after Gates ... made a very large donation to a cause that benefits WHO. In a 2017 piece titled, “Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates,” Politico wrote: “Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency. Over the past decade, the world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second-biggest donor, second only to the United States. … This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. … The result, say his critics, is that Gates‘ priorities have become the WHO‘s.”

Very Important Note: To understand how the coronavirus is being used to exert more control over humanity, don't miss this incredibly important video focused on how Bill Gates is using fear around the coronavirus to push through his agenda to vaccinate everyone on the planet and then require a "digital certificate" to ensure they've been vaccinated. For other reliable, verifiable informing demonstrating how Gates' vaccine agenda has already harmed hundreds of thousands of children read this excellent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


Enforcing the shutdown: Law enforcement grapples with policing stay-at-home orders, social distancing, quarantines
2020-04-02, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/02/coronavirus-police-fi...

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is ... directing residents to stay home to avoid a larger outbreak of the coronavirus. Authorities have charged at least two people in recent days with violating bans on public gatherings of more than 10 people – an offense that could result in a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both. Hogan says arrest for coronavirus offense sends 'great message.' The governor’s declaration mirrors a struggle across the country to enforce a patchwork of new stay-at-home orders, social-distancing directives and quarantines. Some people have found themselves under arrest for violating coronavirus regulations. In Hawaii, violators of the stay-at-home order face some of the stiffest penalties on the books to date: fines of up to $5,000 and a year in jail. Police in Honolulu have issued dozens of citations and made at least two arrests. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has [called] for visitors from heavily-infected states and cities to self-isolate for 14 days or risk 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. [In Florida] checkpoints have been set up on interstate highways. Violators could be fined up to $500, jailed up to 60 days, or both. Washington State ... residents are invited to complete online forms detailing suspected violations by local businesses operating when they should be closed. The state threatens violators with citations, suspension notices, revoked business licenses – even criminal charges. Some states that order out-of-staters to quarantine themselves for 14 days have drawn complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union for violating travelers' rights.

Note: Meanwhile in Sweden with no lockdown policies, no one is being arrested and the country has not spiraled out of control as predicted. Is it worth saving thousand of lives with these severe policies at the cost of hundreds of millions being plunged into poverty worldwide? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


How do you stop politicians from rigging the ballot? This woman knows
2020-04-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/02/katie-fahey-slay-the-dragon-g...

For many years Michigan was divided evenly along party lines. Then, in 2011, Michigan's Republican party legally rigged the system. Charged with drawing new district lines, the lawmakers did so with unprecedented precision – carving unnatural boundaries to keep their favored voters and locales in hand – to guarantee a majority for their party. It worked perfectly. The process of creating these doctored maps, known as gerrymandering, resulted in widespread victories for the Republicans. But in 2016, a then 26-year-old with no political experience uprooted the system. Katie Fahey ... dedicated two years of her life to launching and leading a grassroots campaign that started with a Facebook post and, against the odds, ended gerrymandering in Michigan. Film-makers found Fahey the perfect anchor for their gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon, named for the oddly shaped district in Massachusetts created by the man who gerrymandering its name, former vice-president Elbridge Gerry. Slay the Dragon will be released this week during a census year – when the US population will be carefully counted in order to determine the size of electoral districts next year. It's clear that Fahey's hard-won movement is a threat to Republicans across the country during that process. But Fahey is hoping the momentum ... can be replicated in the 35 other states that still use congressional redistricting.

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


For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power
2020-03-30, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/world/europe/coronavirus-governments-power...

In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called “eye-watering” power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia has postponed elections. As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world to a juddering halt and anxious citizens demand action, leaders across the globe are invoking executive powers and seizing virtually dictatorial authority with scant resistance. Critics say some governments are using the public health crisis as cover to seize new powers that have little to do with the outbreak, with few safeguards to ensure that their new authority will not be abused. The laws are taking swift hold across a broad range of political systems — in authoritarian states like Jordan, faltering democracies like Hungary, and traditional democracies like Britain. And there are few sunset provisions to ensure that the powers will be rescinded once the threat passes. “We could have a parallel epidemic of authoritarian and repressive measures following close if not on the heels of a health epidemic,” said Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights. As the new laws broaden state surveillance, allow governments to detain people indefinitely and infringe on freedoms of assembly and expression, they could also shape civic life, politics and economies for decades to come.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: India's pandemic lockdown turns into a human tragedy
2020-03-30, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52086274

India declared a 21-day lockdown with four hours notice on the midnight of 24 March to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All over India, millions of migrant workers are fleeing its shuttered cities and trekking home to their villages. These informal workers are the backbone of the big city economy. Escaping poverty in their villages, most of the estimated 100 million of them live in squalid housing in congested urban ghettos. Last week's lockdown turned them into refugees overnight. Their workplaces were shut, and most employees and contractors who paid them vanished. Sprawled together, men, women and children began their journeys at all hours of the day last week. When the children were too tired to walk, their parents carried them on their shoulders. Clearly, a lockdown to stave off a pandemic is turning into a humanitarian crisis. In the end, India is facing daunting and predictable challenges in enforcing the lockdown and also making sure the poor and homeless are not fatally hurt. India has already announced a $22bn relief package for those affected by the lockdown. The next few days will determine whether the states are able to transport the workers home or keep them in the cities and provide them with food and money. "People are forgetting the big stakes amid the drama of the consequences of the lockdown: the risk of millions of people dying," says Nitin Pai of Takshashila Institution, a prominent think tank. "There too, likely the worst affected will be the poor."

Note: In how many countries besides India is this scenario playing out? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Trump rejects congressional oversight of $500 billion in corporate relief
2020-03-30, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Trump-rejects-congressional-oversi...

The coronavirus financial aid package that landed on President Trump’s desk last week included a $500 billion corporate-loan fund that contained a major downside for his administration: Congressional Democrats had pushed for increased oversight of the loans, with a federal investigator designated to report to lawmakers on uses of the funding. So Trump, in endorsing the legislation Saturday, turned to a device he has used in record numbers during his tenure, the presidential “signing statement”. He signed the bill into law, but in the accompanying statement, he said he would not be bound by provisions that interfered with executive authority. Trump said he would not allow an inspector general to report to Congress because the Constitution, in his view, requires “presidential supervision” of such information. Using the signing statement to get his way with Congress is a familiar maneuver for Trump. It was at least the 769th signing statement Trump has issued since he took office. President George W. Bush, who produced more signing statements than all previous presidents combined, issued 750 in his first term. The disputes that arise between presidents and Congress because of executive signing statements could be resolved by the courts. But members of Congress have generally been unwilling to file suit, and it is difficult to find private citizens who can ... establish legal standing. Unless a court says otherwise, the president, not Congress, will have the last word on the $500 billion loan fund.

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


How Russia is using authoritarian tech to curb coronavirus
2020-03-29, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/29/europe/russia-coronavirus-authoritarian-tech-i...

The Covid-19 pandemic is now giving Russian authorities an opportunity to test new powers and technology, and the country's privacy and free-speech advocates worry the government is building sweeping new surveillance capabilities. Perhaps the most well-publicized tech tool in Russia's arsenal for fighting coronavirus is Moscow's massive facial-recognition system. Rolled out earlier this year, the surveillance system had originally prompted an unusual public backlash, with privacy advocates filing lawsuits over unlawful surveillance. Coronavirus, however, has given an unexpected public-relations boost to the system. Last week, Moscow police claimed to have caught and fined 200 people who violated quarantine and self-isolation using facial recognition and a 170,000-camera system. Some of the alleged violators who were fined had been outside for less than half a minute before they were picked up by a camera. And then there's the use of geolocation to track coronavirus carriers. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin earlier this week ordered Russia's Ministry of Communications to roll out a tracking system based on "the geolocation data from the mobile providers for a specific person" by the end of this week. According to a description in the government decree, information gathered under the tracking system will be used to send texts to those who have come into contact with a coronavirus carrier, and to notify regional authorities so they can put individuals into quarantine.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Neil Ferguson, the scientist who convinced Boris Johnson of UK coronavirus lockdown, criticised in past for flawed research
2020-03-28, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/28/neil-ferguson-scientist-convinced...

Professor Neil Ferguson ... produced a paper predicting that Britain was on course to lose 250,000 people during the coronavirus epidemic. His research is said to have convinced Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisors to introduce the lockdown. Ferguson has been criticised in the past for making predictions based on allegedly faulty assumptions which nevertheless shaped government strategies. He was behind disputed research that sparked the mass culling of farm animals during the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease ... which ultimately led to the deaths of more than six million cattle, sheep and pigs. The cost to the economy was later estimated at Äą10 billion. A 2011 paper ... found that the government ordered the destruction of millions of animals because of "severely flawed" modelling. And separately he also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or 'mad cow disease'). [One] report stated: "The mathematical models were, at best, crude estimations." It also described a febrile atmosphere – reminiscent of recent weeks – and claimed that this allowed mathematical modellers to shape government policy. To date there have been fewer than 200 deaths from the human form of BSE. Scientists warned ... about the dangers in making sweeping political judgments based on mathematical modelling which may be flawed. Michael Thrusfield, professor of veterinary epidemiology ... described his sense of "deja vu" when he read Mr Ferguson's Imperial College paper on coronavirus. Others have directly criticised the methodology employed by Ferguson and his team in their coronavirus study.

Note: This informative article shows predictions of 40,000 dead in Sweden by early May using Ferguson's model were way off. As of May 10th, Sweden had registered 3,225 deaths. A review of his deeply flawed code is available here. This MSN article further reveals that Ferguson blatantly violated his own restrictions by seeing a married lover shortly after the UK lockdown was instituted. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Desperate for medical equipment, states encounter a beleaguered national stockpile
2020-03-28, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/desperate-for-medical-...

A shouting match broke out in the White House Situation Room between Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and an Office of Management and Budget official. Azar had asked OMB ... for $2 billion to buy respirator masks and other supplies for a depleted federal stockpile of emergency medical equipment. The relief package enacted Friday secured $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile. States desperate for materials from the stockpile are encountering a beleaguered system beset by years of underfunding, changing lines of authority, confusion over the allocation of supplies and a lack of transparency from the administration. The stockpile holds masks, drugs, ventilators and other items in secret sites around the country. It has become a source of growing frustration for many state and hospital officials who are having trouble buying — or even locating — crucial equipment on their own. Massachusetts ... has received 17 percent of the protective gear it requested. Maine requested a half-million N95 specialized protective masks and received 25,558 — about 5 percent of what it sought. Florida has been an exception in its dealings with the stockpile: The state submitted a request on March 11 for 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators, 82,000 face shields and 238,000 gloves, among other supplies — and received a shipment with everything three days later. President Trump repeatedly has warned states not to complain about how much they are receiving.

Note: This 2018 Washington Post article raises many questions about the secret U.S. stockpile. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


As Congress Pushes a $2 Trillion Stimulus Package, the “How Will You Pay For It?” Question Is Tossed in the Trash
2020-03-27, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-stimulus-package-spending/

How was Congress able to come up with $2 trillion so quickly? Where is the money coming from? On Friday, the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi ... waved away that question, preparing to rubber-stamp a $2 trillion Senate package aimed at staving off economic collapse. The details of the legislation — particularly the $500 billion, strings-optional corporate slush fund — may be shameful ... but the moment is instructive ... as it became clear that concerns about deficits and revenue had evaporated. Congress has ignored millions of people who have existed in a state of crisis for decades. The people of Flint, Michigan, (and elsewhere) still do not have safe drinking water. Millions of kids go hungry each day. There has been no multitrillion-dollar spending bill to combat these and other domestic emergencies. Instead, lawmakers have deprived communities of critical investments that could have attenuated their emergencies, often hiding behind the excuse that there isn’t enough money in the budget to deal with problems like these. Congress is doing now what it could always have done. Uncle Sam can’t run out of dollars. The U.S. government is the issuer of our currency — the U.S. dollar — which means that ... it can never find itself in a situation in which it has bills coming due that it can’t afford to pay. If the votes are there, the money can always be made available. When all of this is behind us, to the extent that it ever can be, let’s not forget what we’ve learned.

Note: The entire article at the link above raises important questions about why Congress hasn't made more money available in the past for much needed support of a variety of important programs. The author, Stephanie Kelton, served as the chief economist for Democrats on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on banking and financial corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.


Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted - by Anthony Fauci, et al
2020-03-26, New England Journal of Medicine - NEJM
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387

The latest threat to global health is the ongoing outbreak of the respiratory disease that was recently given the name Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). The Covid-19 outbreak has posed critical challenges for the public health, research, and medical communities. In their Journal article, Li and colleagues provide a detailed clinical and epidemiologic description of the first 425 cases reported in the epicenter of the outbreak: the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China. A degree of clarity is emerging from this report. The median age of the patients was 59 years, with higher morbidity and mortality among the elderly and among those with coexisting conditions (similar to the situation with influenza). Of note, there were no cases in children younger than 15 years of age. Li et al. report a mean interval of 9.1 to 12.5 days between the onset of illness and hospitalization. On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%. In another article in the Journal, Guan et al. report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

Note: The main author of this article, Anthony S. Fauci, is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Consider the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. Explore also this excellent article which covers key, vitally important aspects of this pandemic that few have considered. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


E.P.A., Citing Coronavirus, Drastically Relaxes Rules for Polluters
2020-03-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/climate/epa-coronavirus-pollution-rules.html

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution. The move comes amid an influx of requests from businesses for a relaxation of regulations as they face layoffs, personnel restrictions and other problems related to the coronavirus outbreak. Issued by the E.P.A.’s top compliance official, Susan P. Bodine, the policy sets new guidelines for companies to monitor themselves for an undetermined period of time during the outbreak and says that the agency will not issue fines for violations of certain air, water and hazardous-waste-reporting requirements. Companies are normally required to report when their factories discharge certain levels of pollution. The order asks companies to “act responsibly” if they cannot ... monitor or report the release of hazardous air pollution. Businesses, it said, should “minimize the effects and duration of any noncompliance” and keep records to report to the agency how Covid-19 restrictions prevented them from meeting pollution rules. Gina McCarthy, who led the E.P.A. under the Obama administration ... called it “an open license to pollute.” She said that while individual companies might need flexibility, “this brazen directive is nothing short of an abject abdication of the E.P.A. mission to protect our well being.”

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


One Year of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Spending Would Provide 300,000 ICU Beds, 35,000 Ventilators and Salaries of 75,000 Doctors
2020-03-26, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/one-year-us-nuclear-weapon-spending-would-provide-30...

The amount of money spent in one year by the U.S. on nuclear weapons could instead provide 300,000 ICU (intensive care unit) beds, 35,000 ventilators and 75,000 doctors' salaries, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) - a "coalition of non-government organizations promoting adherence to and implementation of the UN [United Nations} nuclear weapon ban treaty." In its recent report, the group stated that, according to armscontrol.org, the U.S. spent $35.1 billion on nuclear weapons in 2019. As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases, more resources are required. The shortage of ventilators in U.S. hospitals has ... been a major issue during the coronavirus pandemic. During a recent interview with Vox, Dr. Tom Freiden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stated that "in the worst-case scenario, in which there is an exponential surge in COVID-19 cases, the need for ventilators could greatly outstrip the number available." In addition to the shortage, the cost of the ventilators has also become a problem for hospitals. They can cost between $25,000 to $50,000 and require very skilled people to run them. The report published by ICAN also touches on the nuclear spending costs of the United Kingdom and France. For instance, France spent around $4.9 million on nuclear weapons in 2019. This amount ... would translate to 100,000 ICU beds, 10,000 ventilators and the salaries of 20,000 French nurses and 10,000 French doctors.

Note: Read this Washington Post article about a secret stockpile which could be used now. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


The Attorney General's Power Grab in the Shadow of the Pandemic is Unprecedented, Unconstitutional—and Unnecessary
2020-03-25, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/barr-power-grab-habeas-corpus-1494304

Our Attorney General submitted a proposal last week that would dramatically erode our civil liberties. Among other things, the proposal suspends habeas corpus ... or the right to appear before a judge before being detained. That right is enshrined in our Constitution and without it, Barr could hold Americans indefinitely without a trial. Our justice system is grounded in an unwavering guarantee that each one of us is entitled to certain inalienable rights, including the right to due process before one's freedom is taken away. On March 13, the President declared a national emergency, which unlocked special powers to keep our country safe. Congress has enacted roughly 120 laws that allow presidents such powers to meet precisely these types of threats while maintaining our democracy. These laws are not without limits. Nor were they meant to be used to capitalize on fear to unnecessarily erode our freedoms. Yet while the world is consumed by this pandemic and when he thought no one was watching, Attorney General William Barr proposed granting himself immense, permanent powers extending far past the needs posed by this threat. For example, the proposal grants Barr personally the power to ask any chief judge to hold a citizen, "whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation." If this were about COVID-19, the proposal would suspend only certain rights narrowly tailored to fighting this disease.

Note: This New York Times article details how autocrats around the world are using the fear generated to grab power. Read another highly informative article on how this crisis is being exploited to grab power. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


This Documentary Will Show You Just How Fragile Our Democracy Really Is
2020-03-25, Time Magazine
https://time.com/5809745/kill-chain-documentary-hbo-review/

If you don't want to know how easy it is for a canny individual - or a malicious state actor - to hack into the electronic voting technology used in the U.S., don't watch Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America's Elections. In this unnervingly persuasive HBO documentary, directors Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale marshal cyber-security experts, statisticians and lawmakers to expose cracks in the system that could easily allow hackers to affect voting results. The filmmakers' sources also include actual hackers, among them an individual who breached Alaska's voting system in 2016 just to see if he could. One of the central figures of Kill Chain is election-security expert Harri Hursti, who explains, with clarity, just how vulnerable American voting systems are. Although voting machines are supposed to be kept in secure facilities, Hursti found a widely used model for sale - on eBay. The vendor had hundreds of them. Hursti bought a few, using them to explain how easily their workings could be examined and breached. He also brought a selection of voting machines to Def Con, a three-day conference for hackers, and invited attendees to go at them; one expert quickly figured out how to shut down a machine remotely from a laptop. The U.S. voting system is, as several interviewees in Kill Chain put it, a bipartisan concern; still, as the documentary notes, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has blocked votes on the Secure Elections Act and four similar bipartisan bills.

Note: Hackers can easily breach electronic voting machines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Virus Hands World Leaders Sweeping Powers They May Never Give Up
2020-03-25, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-25/virus-gives-world-leaders-...

Like the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic is a crisis of such magnitude that it threatens to change the world in which we live, with ramifications for how leaders govern. Governments are locking down cities with the help of the army, mapping population flows via smartphones and jailing or sequestering quarantine breakers using banks of CCTV and facial recognition cameras backed by artificial intelligence. The restrictions are unprecedented in peacetime and made possible only by rapid advances in technology. And while citizens across the globe may be willing to sacrifice civil liberties temporarily, history shows that emergency powers can be hard to relinquish. “A primary concern is that if the public gives governments new surveillance powers to contain Covid-19, then governments will keep these powers after the public health crisis ends,” said Adam Schwartz ... at the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government still uses many of the surveillance technologies it developed in the immediate wake.” In part, the Chinese Communist Party’s containment measures at the virus epicenter in Wuhan set the tone, with what initially seemed shocking steps to isolate the infected being subsequently adopted in countries with no comparable history of China’s state controls. For Gu Su ... at Nanjing University, China’s political culture “made its people more amenable to the draconian measures.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Testing blunders crippled U.S. response as coronavirus spread
2020-03-24, Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Associated Press
https://www.ajc.com/news/testing-blunders-crippled-response-coronavirus-sprea...

A series of missteps at the nation's top public health agency caused a critical shortage of reliable laboratory tests for the coronavirus. President Donald Trump assured Americans early this month that the COVID-19 test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is "perfect" and that "anyone who wants a test can get a test." But more than two months after the first U.S. case of the new disease was confirmed, many people still cannot get tested. Four primary issues ... hampered the national response — the early decision not to use the test adopted by the World Health Organization, flaws with the more complex test developed by the CDC, government guidelines restricting who could be tested and delays in engaging the private sector to ramp up testing capacity. By mid-February, only about a half-dozen state and local public health labs had reliable tests. But still, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield continued to insist his agency had developed "a very accurate test." "We found that, in some of the states, it didn't work," Redfield said earlier this month. As more sick people sought to be tested, many states were forced to limit access because of the flawed CDC test. Accounts began to emerge ... of people with all the symptoms of COVID-19 who either couldn't get tested or had test results delayed. On Feb. 29, only 472 patients had been tested nationwide, with just 22 cases confirmed, according to CDC data. By comparison, South Korea ... mobilized to test more than 20,000 people a day.

Note: Explore a ZeroHedge article titled "Whistleblower: How CDC Is Manipulating The COVID-19 Death-Toll." A BMJ article titled "Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate" quotes one epidemiologist as asking "What the hell are we locking down for?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


We can't let the coronavirus lead to a 9/11-style erosion of civil liberties
2020-03-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/23/coronavirus-civil-liber...

My adulthood has been punctuated by severe national emergencies. The first my generation experienced was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The government quickly responded by attempting to achieve two things: one, expanding executive power, and two, transferring public wealth into private corporations. The second national emergency my generation experienced was the 2008 housing bubble collapse and subsequent recession. Again the federal government ... sought to exploit the crisis to move vast wealth from the public treasury into private bank accounts. A staggering $14tn was transferred from taxpayers to private hands. [The] latest iteration is the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again, the federal government appears poised to exploit this emergency to expand executive power and move wealth from the public treasury into private bank accounts. As we witnessed with the authoritarian reactions to 9/11, emergency violations of civil liberties are not easily rolled back, and often aggregate over time. In the wake of 9/11, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which gave sweeping powers to the executive branch. In 2012, Obama signed an expanded version into law, which gave the president the power to “hold individuals, including US citizens, in military detention indefinitely”, which means for life. We must reject such authoritarian measures wholly.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


It's morally repulsive how corporations are exploiting this crisis. Workers will suffer
2020-03-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/large-corporations-expl...

Before the coronavirus virus crushed the US stock market, the Republican senator Richard Burr apparently used information he gleaned from his role as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee about the ferocity of the coming pandemic to unload 33 stocks held by him and his spouse. They were estimated at being worth between $628,033 and $1.72m. While publicly parroting Trump’s happy talk at the time, Burr confided to several of his political funders that the disease would be comparable to the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. When society faces a common threat, exploiting a special advantage is morally repugnant. Call it “Burring”. The coronavirus should have altered business as usual. But last week’s Senate Republican relief package, giving airlines $58bn and billions more to other industries, is pure Burring. Walmart, the largest employer in America, doesn’t give its employees paid sick leave. 88% of Walmart employees report sometimes coming to work when sick. None of the giants of the fast-food industry – McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Duncan Donuts, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway – gives their workers paid sick leave, either. Amazon, one of the richest corporations in the world, which paid almost no taxes last year, is offering unpaid time off for workers who are sick. These corporations have made sure they and other companies with more than 500 employees are exempt from the requirement in the House coronavirus bill that employers provide paid sick leave.

Note: Read a New York Times article for further information on how Senator Burr, the head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, after being briefed of impending disaster, unloaded $1 million in investments while telling the public everything was fine. Read an article in The Atlantic showing how the Coronavirus is giving the world's leaders a rich opportunity for a power grab. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Just Use 'the Computer' at the Fed to Give People More Money
2020-03-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/opinion/-coronavirus-stimulus-trillion.html

When this public health crisis first morphed into a financial one as well, the Federal Reserve sprang into action, pouring trillions of dollars into the financial system in less than a week; providing short-term loans to banks; slashing a key interest rate virtually to zero; announcing that the Fed would begin buying $700 billion worth of U.S. government bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed gave itself the authority to purchase up to $1 trillion in commercial paper to support the flow of credit. An eight-second video from 2009 [shows] Ben Bernanke, the Fed chair at the time, explaining how the central bank comes up with the money to pull off these trillion-dollar maneuvers. "It's not tax money," Mr. Bernanke explained on "60 Minutes." "We simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account." Heads exploded. Many people replying to the tweet complained that we're ... coming to the rescue of Wall Street instead of Main Street. "If the Fed can do this for the banks," they wondered, "why can't we find the money to pay for programs that would improve life for everyday Americans?" When called upon, the same computer that works for large banks is there for Main Street as well. But the Federal Reserve needs specific instructions before typing up dollars for the rest of us. Those instructions come in the form of legislation: When a bill becomes a law, the government is, in essence, telling the Fed how many dollars it is ordering up.

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


DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency
2020-03-21, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/doj-suspend-constitutiona...

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies, according to a report by Politico. The DOJ has requested Congress allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” according to draft language obtained by Politico. This would be applicable to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil processes and proceedings.” But the Constitution grants citizens habeas corpus which gives arrestees the right to appear in front of a judge and ask to be released before trial. Enacting legislation like the DOJ wants would essentially suspend habeas corpus indefinitely until the emergency ended. Further, DOJ asked Congress to suspend the statute of limitations on criminal investigations and civil proceedings during the emergency until a year after it ended. That means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. The DOJ ... also asked Congress to pass a law saying that immigrants who test positive for COVID-19 cannot qualify as asylum seekers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Federal Reserve to lend additional $1 trillion a day to large banks
2020-03-20, PBS News Hour
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/federal-reserve-to-lend-additional-1-tri...

The Federal Reserve moved with unprecedented force and speed Friday to pump huge amounts of cash into the financial system to ease disruptions that have escalated since the viral outbreak. The New York Federal Reserve Bank said it will offer $1 trillion of overnight loans a day through the end of this month to large banks. That is in addition to $1 trillion in 14-day loans it is offering every week. Wall Street analysts say the huge number is intended to calm markets by demonstrating that the Fed’s ability to lend short-term is nearly unlimited. The Fed is also buying Treasury bonds at a furious pace, and will soon run through the $500 billion in purchases it announced on Sunday. It is also accelerating its purchases of mortgage-backed securities. Most analysts expect they will buy more. All the Fed’s emergency steps are intended to pump cash into a financial system that has seen a spike in demand for dollars. Steven Friedman, a former economist at the New York Fed, [said] “The Fed is trying to play the role of shock absorber.” “They’ve effectively thrown the kitchen sink at the markets and the economy,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior U.S. rates strategist for TD Securities. Also Friday, the Fed said it would expand its currency exchanges with five central banks. The Fed provides dollars to overseas central banks because some business is conducted overseas in dollars and foreign banks also provide dollar-denominated loans to their customers.

Note: Take $1 trillion and divide it by the U.S. population of 330 million and you find that this amount is equivalent to $3,000 for every man, woman, and child in the US. And that is what the Fed is lending every day. Where is all this money coming from, and why is it going to the banks? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Information Center.


Texas upholds sentence for woman who didn't know she was ineligible to vote
2020-03-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/20/crystal-mason-texas-upholds-s...

A Texas appeals court on Thursday upheld a five-year prison sentence for a woman who was convicted of illegally voting even though she didn't know she was ineligible when she went to the polls in 2016. The punishment for the Fort Worth woman, Crystal Mason, stirred national outrage because of its severity, prompting accusations that prosecutors were trying to intimidate Texans from voting. Four years ago, Mason was on supervised release, similar to probation, for a federal felony conviction. Mason voted in the last presidential election at the urging of her mother and cast a provisional ballot. The ballot was never counted because Mason was not an eligible voter. During her 2018 trial probation officials testified that they never told Mason she could not vote, but the appeals court said that didn't matter. Mason was guilty, the court said, because she knew she was on supervised release. Texas is one of 48 states that strip people with felony convictions of the right to vote, but the rules on when people regain the right to vote vary widely from state to state and are often extremely confusing, even to elections officials. The decision to prosecute Mason was unusual. Since 2014, at least 12,668 people have voted using a provisional ballot in Tarrant county and 88% of them have been rejected because the voter was not eligible. Mason is the only voter who used a provisional ballot who was prosecuted for illegal voting.

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


Banks Pressure Health Care Firms to Raise Prices on Critical Drugs, Medical Supplies for Coronavirus
2020-03-19, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-vaccine-medical-supplies-pric...

Investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors who invest in health care companies. Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. Executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar previously served as president of the U.S. division of drug giant Eli Lilly and on the board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug lobby group. During a congressional hearing ... Azar rejected the notion that any vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 should be set at an affordable price. "We can't control that price because we need the private sector to invest," said Azar. "The priority is to get vaccines and therapeutics. Price controls won't get us there." The initial $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill passed in early March ... contained a provision that prevents the government from delaying the introduction of any new pharmaceutical to address the crisis over affordability concerns. The legislative text was shaped, according to reports, by industry lobbyists.

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


Inside the Military's Top Secret Plans if Coronavirus Cripples the Government
2020-03-18, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-inside-militarys-top-secret-plans-if-coron...

Even as President Trump says he tested negative for coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic raises the fear that huge swaths of the executive branch or even Congress and the Supreme Court could also be disabled, forcing the implementation of "continuity of government" plans. Above-Top Secret contingency plans already exist for what the military is supposed to do if all the Constitutional successors are incapacitated. Standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready these plans, not just to protect Washington but also to prepare for the possibility of some form of martial law. The various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. Under these extraordinary plans, "devolution" could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2006, no emergency has triggered any state to even request federal military aid under these procedures. Part of the reason, the senior officer involved in planning says, is that local police forces have themselves become more capable, acquiring military-grade equipment and training. And part of the reason is that the governors have worked together to strengthen the National Guard, which can enforce domestic law when it is mustered under state control.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: California prepared to enact martial law if its a 'necessity', governor says
2020-03-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-california-mart...

California has prepared for worst case scenarios as the coronavirus pandemic heightens, including the possibility of enacting martial law. Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference on Tuesday he would consider implementing martial law if it was necessary to curb the novel virus. “We have the ability to do martial law ... if we feel the necessity,” he said. Issuing martial law would be an unprecedented move rarely used by officials in US history. If enacted, it would temporarily replace civil rule with military authority. The precedent for martial law in the US states “certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement,” according to a legal journal. The president and Congress have the power to enact martial law for the entire country. State governors also have the power to enact martial law if its in their state’s constitution. Previous examples of martial law used include after World War II, specifically following the bombing of Pearl Harbour, when the state of Hawaii was held under martial law from 1941 to 1944. President Abraham Lincoln also used martial law during the Civil War to temporarily suspend habeas corpus, which is the right to a trial before imprisonment. California considering the possibility of using martial law on Tuesday comes just two days after the governor said he had no current plans for the measure.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


FBI raises eyebrows after saying it would not accept electronic FOIA requests due to coronavirus outbreak
2020-03-18, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/media/fbi-foia-requests-coronavirus

The FBI raised eyebrows on Tuesday when the agency announced that it would not be accepting electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. As the spread of the virus continues to disrupt normal functions of society like schools, restaurants and sporting events, not many could have predicted that the electronic requests for FBI documents would be affected. "Due to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time. You may still submit a FOIPA request via standard mail. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding," a red-bolded disclaimer stated on the FBI website. The sudden halt of electronic FOIA requests sparked puzzled reactions on social media. "This is crazy but, then again, FBI and FOIA is a disastrous combo," BuzzFeed senior investigative Jason Leopold tweeted. "The FBI is responding to coronavirus by using it as an opportunity to kill off journalists who really want transparency." They would prefer to receive only those requests laden with all of our germs and whatnot?" Reuters reporter Brad Heath asked.

Note: You can verify this information on the FBI website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Trump Threatens to Adjourn 'Both Chambers of Congress' so He Can Make Recess Appointments Without Senate Consent
2020-03-15, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-threatens-adjourn-both-chambers-congress-so-he...

President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to use a never-before-used power that allows the president to adjourn Congress if the House and Senate won't voluntarily adjourn, so he can appoint judges and other executive branch officials without the Senate's approval. At Wednesday's White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing, Trump claimed that 129 unconfirmed nominees were stuck in limbo because of "partisan obstruction" by Democrats despite the fact that Republicans ... control the pace at which nominees are confirmed. Under the U.S. Constitution, "Officers of the United States" are appointed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. This category includes all federal judges, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries and the heads of many federal agencies. While the Constitution provides for the president to make recess appointments to fill positions when Congress has adjourned, presidents have largely been unable to exercise that authority since 2006, when Democrats took control of Congress and began holding pro forma sessions every few days without formally adjourning, to circumvent the requirement that neither chamber adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other. Because the Democratic-controlled House has not consented to the Republican-controlled Senate adjourning, both chambers have been holding the brief sessions, which has denied Trump the ability to fill vacancies with nominees who might not be able to gain the Senate's approval.

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


Trump's Top Coronavirus Doctor Called for Health Emergency Fund Back in 2017, Warned U.S. Would Face a 'Surprise Outbreak'
2020-03-12, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-coronavirus-doctor-predicted-outbreak-called-e...

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading health expert and member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, predicted three years ago that the administration would have to deal with a surprise disease outbreak. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told a Georgetown University event on pandemic preparedness in January 2017 that there was "no doubt" President Trump's team would face "challenges that their predecessors were faced with" over infectious diseases. He also called for the creation of a "public health emergency fund" aimed at handling situations such as a surprise virus outbreak, adding that waits for funding had been "painful" in the past. Delivering a keynote speech at the Georgetown University Medical Center event, Dr. Fauci said: "If there's one message that I want to leave with you today... is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases. "Both chronic infectious diseases in the sense of already ongoing disease, and we have certainly a large burden of that, but also there will be a surprise outbreak." "And I hope by the end of my relatively short presentation you will understand why history ... will tell the next administration that there's no doubt in anyone's mind that they will be faced with the challenges that their predecessors were faced with." He went on to note that over his career he had advised several president's on a range of emerging infectious diseases.

Note: How could Fauci possibly have known with such certainty back in 2017 that there would be a surprise outbreak? Something is fishy here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


'The new normal': China's excessive coronavirus public monitoring could be here to stay
2020-03-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/the-new-normal-chinas-excessive...

Over the last two months, Chinese citizens have had to adjust to a new level of government intrusion. Getting into one’s apartment compound or workplace requires scanning a QR code, writing down one’s name and ID number, temperature and recent travel history. Telecom operators track people’s movements while social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo have hotlines for people to report others who may be sick. Some cities are offering people rewards for informing on sick neighbours. Chinese companies are meanwhile rolling out facial recognition technology that can detect elevated temperatures in a crowd or flag citizens not wearing a face mask. A range of apps use the personal health information of citizens to alert others of their proximity to infected patients. Experts say the virus ... has given authorities a pretext for accelerating the mass collection of personal data to track citizens. “It’s mission creep,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. According to Wang, the virus is likely to be a catalyst for a further expansion of the surveillance regime. Citizens are particularly critical of a system called Health Code, which users can sign up for through Alipay or WeChat, that assigns individuals one of three colour codes based on their travel history, time spent in outbreak hotspots and exposure to potential carriers of the virus. The software, used in more than 100 cities, will soon allow people to check the colours of other residents when their ID numbers are entered.

Note: Learn in this New York Times article how everyone in China is given a red, yellow, or green code which determines how free they are to move about and even enter businesses. This article shows how foreigners are being stopped instantly from making live podcasts from China using facial recognition technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups
2020-03-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/07/us/politics/erik-prince-project-veritas.html

Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda. One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of ... one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. The next year, the same undercover operative infiltrated the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger, then a former C.I.A. officer who went on to win an important House seat in Virginia as a Democrat. Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations. Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater Worldwide ... appears to have become interested in using former spies to train Project Veritas operatives in espionage tactics sometime during the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2017, he met with White House and Pentagon officials to pitch a plan to privatize the Afghan war. Mr. Prince invited Project Veritas operatives ... to his family’s Wyoming ranch for training in 2017. [They] shared social media photos of taking target practice with guns at the ranch, including one post ... saying that with the training, Project Veritas will be “the next great intelligence agency.”

Note: Mr. Prince's Blackwater operation got caught systematically defrauding the government. Then Blackwater changed its name to Academi and made over $300 million off the Afghan drug trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Fake, Fake': senior Chinese leader heckled by residents on visit to coronavirus city
2020-03-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/06/fake-fake-senior-chinese-leader...

Vice-premier Sun Chunlan, one of the most senior government officials to visit the centre of the coronavirus outbreak [was] heckled by residents who yelled “fake, fake, everything is fake” as she inspected the work of a neighbourhood committee charged with taking care of quarantined residents. Videos posted online showed Sun and a delegation walking along the grounds while residents appeared to shout from their apartment windows, “fake, fake,” “it’s all fake,” as well as “we protest”. Since 12 February, all residential compounds in Wuhan have been put under lockdown, barring most residents from leaving their homes. In an unusual turn of events, on Friday various Chinese state media outlets reported the videos showing public discontent. Such videos are frequently censored. Yet, the People’s Daily posted a video subtitled in English showing one person shouting “fake, fake,” which has since been removed. A government-affiliated account on WeChat ... said in an essay posted on Thursday that all the facts of the incident were “basically true”. According to state broadcaster CCTV, Sun held a meeting immediately after the incident to deal with the complaints. Staff have been dispatched to visit the residents one by one. Observers say state media may be trying to co-opt discussion of the videos, which circulated widely online, and provide their own narrative of events. Elsewhere in China, schools in provinces reporting no new cases for a number of days, started to set their opening dates in a sign of the country returning to normal. Wuhan reported 126 new coronavirus cases on Thursday but the wider province of Hubei excluding the capital recorded none for the first time during the outbreak.

Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Loaded Gun Found Smuggled Into Jail Where Jeffrey Epstein Killed Himself
2020-03-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/nyregion/jeffrey-epstein-gun-jail.html

Federal investigators on Thursday found a loaded gun that had been smuggled into the Manhattan jail where the financier Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself last summer while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, officials said. The discovery of the gun at the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, came amid a weeklong lockdown that began with a tip that a firearm might have been “introduced” into the building, according to a statement from the federal Bureau of Prisons. The gun was found in one of the jail’s housing units, the bureau said. The Metropolitan Correctional Center and other federal prisons across the United States have been dealing with rising levels of violence and other safety problems, including an influx of contraband. The problems have coincided with a push by the Trump administration, in its quest to shrink the federal government, to curtail prison hiring, according to a 2018 investigation by The New York Times. In at least one prison, The Times found, people regularly walked up to the double security fence in broad daylight, and, with no guards in sight, tossed weapons, drugs, cellphones and other items to inmates. But a gun is a rare and unique threat. The lockdown and ensuing search were part of the continuing fallout stemming from the suicide of Mr. Epstein in August. Lawyers for Mr. Epstein have challenged the New York City medical examiner’s finding that his death was a suicide.

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


Berlin to compensate victims of paedophile foster scheme
2020-03-04, Sunday Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/berlin-to-compensate-victims-of-paedophile...

Berlin's city hall deliberately placed troubled children in the care of paedophiles. From 1969 to 2003 the authorities put at least nine boys in the hands of convicted sex offenders on the advice of a disgraced social scientist. The idea behind the Kentler experiment – named after Helmut Kentler, an academic who argued that paedophilia could have "positive consequences" – was that unruly and "feeble-minded" children would benefit from adult sexual attention. In the late 1960s Kentler persuaded West Berlin's ruling Senate that the homeless boys would jump at the opportunity to be fostered by paedophiles. One of the boys, referred to in legal proceedings as Marco, had been taken into care after suffering physical abuse at the hands of his father. In 1989, aged six, he was placed with a convicted child abuser. A year later this foster father, Fritz H, began going into Marco's room for a "cuddle". For ten years he was repeatedly beaten and raped by Fritz H. It is not known how many children were subjected to the Kentler experiment. Four years ago the Berlin Senate commissioned an inquiry into the scandal from experts at Göttingen University. Their final report has yet to be published. At the beginning of the experiment, Kentler, who died in 2008, was regarded as one of Germany's foremost sexologists and often appeared as an expert witness in court cases. He boasted of having secured the acquittal of several alleged paedophiles. In 1970 he urged the Bundestag to decriminalise sex between adults and children in West Germany.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


How the Senate Paved the Way for Coronavirus Profiteering, and How Congress Could Undo It
2020-03-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-vaccine-price-gouging-senate/

Before a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic is within view, the Trump administration has already walked back its initial refusal to promise that any remedy would be affordable to the general public. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary and a former drug industry executive, told Congress. After extraordinary blowback, the administration insisted that in the end, any treatment would indeed be affordable. The federal government, though, under the Clinton administration, traded away one of the key tools it could use to make good on the promise of affordability. Gilead Sciences, a drugmaker known for price gouging, has been working with Chinese health authorities to see if the experimental drug remdesivir can treat coronavirus symptoms. But remdesivir, which was previously tested to treat Ebola virus, was developed through research conducted at the University of Alabama ... with funding from the federal government. That’s how much of the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development is funded. The public puts in the money, and private companies keep whatever profits they can. It wasn’t always that way. Before 1995, drug companies were required to sell drugs funded with public money at a reasonable price. Under the Clinton administration, that changed. In April 1995, the Clinton administration capitulated to pharmaceutical industry pressure and rescinded the longstanding “reasonable pricing” rule.

Note: Read an excellent post by an infectious disease doctor saying he's much more concerned about the fear and panic around the Coronavirus than about the virus itself. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, With Red Flags
2020-03-01, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/01/business/china-coronavirus-surveillance.html

As China encourages people to return to work despite the coronavirus outbreak, it has begun a bold mass experiment in using data to regulate citizens’ lives — by requiring them to use software on their smartphones that dictates whether they should be quarantined or allowed into subways, malls and other public spaces. The system does more than decide in real time whether someone poses a contagion risk. It also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides. The Alipay Health Code, as China’s official news media has called the system, was first introduced in the eastern city of Hangzhou ... with the help of Ant Financial, a sister company of the e-commerce giant Alibaba. People in China sign up through Ant’s popular wallet app, Alipay, and are assigned a color code — green, yellow or red — that indicates their health status. The system is already in use in 200 cities and is being rolled out nationwide, Ant says. As soon as a user grants the software access to personal data, a piece of the program labeled “reportInfoAndLocationToPolice” sends the person’s location, city name and an identifying code number to a server. The software does not make clear to users its connection to the police. In the United States, it would be akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using apps from Amazon and Facebook to track the coronavirus, then quietly sharing user information with the local sheriff’s office.

Note: Learn in this revealing article how China is blacklisting certain citizens using this system and "banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates." Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The coronavirus is giving China cover to expand its surveillance. What happens when the virus is gone?
2020-03-01, Fortune
https://fortune.com/2020/03/01/coronavirus-china-surveillance-tracking/

The outbreak of Covid-19 has been anathema for most of China’s economy but the novel coronavirus was a shot in the arm for the state’s surveillance apparatus, which has expanded rapidly in pursuit of the epidemic’s spread. Facial recognition cameras, phone tracking technology and voluntary registrations have all been deployed to monitor the flow of people and the possible transmission of disease. “The Chinese surveillance systems currently ... has two purposes: the first is to monitor public health and the second is to maintain political control,” says Francis Lee, a professor ... at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Once the outbreak is controlled, however, it’s unclear whether the government will retract its new powers. While facial recognition provides a way to monitor crowds from a distance, governments have deployed close-range means of tracking individuals too. The municipal government of Hangzhou worked with ecommerce giant Alibaba to launch a feature through the company’s mobile wallet app, AliPay, that assesses the user’s risk of infection. The app generates a QR code. Guards at checkpoints in residential buildings and elsewhere can then scan that code to gain details about the user. John Bacon-Shone ... at Hong Kong University thinks that the ongoing threat of outbreaks will provide a constant justification for the new systems. “I am rather pessimistic that there will be full rollback of data collection once it has been implemented,” Bacon-Shone says.

Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Education Dept. to Cut Off Federal Funding for Some Rural Schools
2020-02-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/us/politics/rural-schools-funding-cut.html

A bookkeeping change at the Education Department will kick hundreds of rural school districts out of a federal program that for nearly two decades has funneled funding to some of the most geographically isolated and cash-strapped schools in the United States. More than 800 schools stand to lose thousands of dollars from the Rural and Low-Income School Program because the department has abruptly changed how districts are to report how many of their students live in poverty. The change ... comes after the Education Department said a review of the program revealed that districts had “erroneously” received funding because they had not met eligibility requirements outlined in the federal education law since 2002. The department said it was simply following the law, which requires that in order to get funding, districts must use data from the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates to determine whether 20 percent of their area’s school-age children live below the poverty line. For about 17 years though, the department has allowed schools to use the percentage of students who qualify for federally subsidized free and reduced-price meals, a common proxy for school poverty rates. In its latest report, “Why Rural Matters,” the Rural School and Community Trust found that ... nearly one in six students living in rural areas lives below the poverty line, one in seven qualifies for special education services, and one in nine has changed residence in the previous 12 months.

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


Trump administration's family separations at Mexico border are torture, doctors find
2020-02-25, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-family-se...

A new NGO report has found that the treatment suffered by families forcibly separated at the US-Mexico border meets the definition of torture. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) says its report “provides the first medical and psychological evidence of the long-lasting harm associated with family separation”. The report, “‘You Will Never See Your Child Again’: The Persistent Psychological Effects of Family Separation” ... describes findings from in-depth psychological evaluations of 26 asylum seekers, nine of them children and 17 parents. All the children and all but two of the adults showed the symptoms of various psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. The policy of separating children and parents who crossed the Mexican border without documents – including asylum seekers – began after the Trump administration moved to a “zero-tolerance” approach to border crossings. Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the practice in June 2018. However, the administration has continued to pursue hardline immigration policies since then, including ones that would affect families, and the separations continued after Trump signed his order. More than 1,110 families have been separated since then. In September 2019, a federal judge rejected new regulations that would have allowed the government to detain children and their parents indefinitely.

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


Trump calls for Sotomayor, Ginsburg to recuse themselves from 'Trump-related' cases as he has a lot at stake before the court
2020-02-25, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/25/politics/donald-trump-ruth-bader-ginsburg-soni...

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for two liberal Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from cases involving him following a scathing dissent issued by one of them, blasting the justices as the court considers a number of cases critical to his presidency. "I just don't know how they can't recuse themselves for anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related," Trump said of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg during a trip to India. "Her statement was so inappropriate when you're a justice of the Supreme Court," he said of Sotomayor, who was appointed to the court by President Barack Obama. Sotomayor castigated the government for repeatedly asking justices on an emergency basis to allow controversial policies to go into effect and charged her conservative colleagues on the court with being too eager to side with the Trump administration on such requests. While Sotomayor's dissent targeted the federal government -- not The Trump administration per se -- she was speaking about the recent uptick in emergency petitions concerning many of the President's policies. And her criticism of her conservative colleagues was pointed. Sotomayor wrote that granting emergency applications often upends "the normal appellate process" while "putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won." Targeting her conservative colleagues, she said "most troublingly, the court's recent behavior" has benefited "one litigant over all others."

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


Trump administration targeting 'enemy of America' Julian Assange, court told
2020-02-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/24/julian-assange-hearing-journa...

Donald Trump’s administration is targeting Julian Assange as “an enemy of the America who must be brought down” and his very life could be at risk if he is sent to face trial in the US, the first day of the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition hearing has been told. Lawyers for Assange intend to call as a witness a former employee of a Spanish security company who says surveillance was carried out for the US on Assange while he was at Ecuador’s London embassy and that conversations had turned to potentially kidnapping or poisoning him. Assange, 48, is wanted in the US to face 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act. They relate to the publication a decade ago of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and files covering areas including US activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Australian, who could face a 175-year prison sentence if found guilty, is accused of working with the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents. Key parts of the evidence related to the claim, which emerged last week, that a then US Republican congressman offered Assange a pardon if he denied Russian involvement in the leaking of US Democratic party emails during the 2016 US presidential contest. The court was told that Dana Rohrabacher, who claims to have made the proposal on his own initiative, had presented it as a “win-win” scenario that would allow Assange to leave the embassy and get on with his life.

Note: Read more about the strange prosecution of Assange. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Healthcare Costs Hurt American Workers and Benefit the Wealthy
2020-02-20, Time
https://time.com/5785945/health-care-problems-america/

The percentage of national income that is absorbed by health care has grown over the past half-century, from 5% in 1960 to 18% in 2017, reducing what is available for anything else from 95% in 1960 to 82% today. The costs of health care contribute to the long-term stagnation in wages; to fewer good jobs, especially for less educated workers; and to rising income inequality. American health care is the most expensive in the world, and yet American health is among the worst among rich countries. The U.S. has lower life expectancy than the other wealthy countries but vastly higher expenditures per person. In 2017, the Swiss lived 5.1 years longer than Americans but spent 30% less per person; other countries achieved a similar length of life for still fewer health dollars. How is it possible that Americans pay so much and get so little? The money is certainly going somewhere. What is waste to a patient is income to a provider. The industry is not very good at promoting health, but it excels at promoting wealth among health care providers. Employer-based coverage is a huge barrier to reform. So is the way that the health care industry is protected in Washington by its lobbyists—five for every member of Congress. Our government is complicit in an extortion that is an important contributor to income inequality. Through pharma companies that get rich by addicting people, and through excessive costs that lower wages and eliminate good jobs, the industry that is supposed to improve our health is undermining it.

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


Saudi Arabia is imprisoning our relatives, while Mike Pompeo and the U.S. cozy up to the king
2020-02-20, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/saudi-arabia-imprisoning-our-relatives-...

Last summer, when the American rapper A$AP was tried in a Swedish court on assault charges, President Donald Trump dispatched his special envoy for hostage affairs to Sweden. This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has traveled to Saudi Arabia, where our family members are just some of the U.S. citizens and relatives of U.S. citizens being held by the government on spurious charges, denied due process and even tortured. Why is there no sign the hostage envoy is accompanying Pompeo on his trip to Riyadh? We join Republican and Democratic members of Congress who have urged Pompeo to raise the case of Saudi American physician Walid Fitaihi who — after a brutal detention — has been barred, along with his family, from leaving the kingdom until after his trial on vague charges relating to his obtaining of U.S. citizenship and alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. But we want pressure and attention to be brought to our loved ones, as well. Pompeo has pledged to raise human rights with the Saudis. But the U.S. government has shown little willingness to go beyond lip service for these hostages of the Saudi regime. U.S. officials seem to assume America’s long-term interests are too valuable to risk alienating or weakening the Saudi royal family, which enjoys close ties with Trump’s inner circle. Indulging this autocratic and unstable regime not only punishes the domestic activists who most uphold American values, it also undermines the very reliability of any joint military or business undertakings.

Note: Saudi Arabia's recent attempts to silence its critics have included intimidation and murder. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Trump's pardons of Rod Blagojevich and others meant to convince America corruption is OK
2020-02-20, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-pardons-rod-blagojevich-others-...

If actions speak louder than words, then President Donald Trump's granting of pardons Tuesday was deafening. The list of 11 lucky Americans granted clemency read like a who's who of the rich and the famous — former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Wall Street financier Michael Milken and former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik among them. Many of the offenders who received pardons or commutations of their sentences were convicted of crimes relating to fraud and corruption. The message Trump is sending seems loud and clear: Fraud and corruption are not serious crimes. And as such, these types of white-collar crimes can be ignored. Predators of all types — from criminals who engage in fraud to those who commit sexual exploitation — often groom their victims for action they want to take in the future. Trump may be using his pardon power in the same way. By inuring the public to the harm of fraud and corruption, the president can convince his base of supporters that these are not serious crimes. Clearly, Trump is using pardons to undermine public faith in the government and the criminal justice system. If, at some point, he does decide to pardon [Roger] Stone and other allies, such as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort or former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the outrage will have been defused.

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


After learning Whitey Bulger was unwitting subject of CIA experiment, juror regrets murder conviction
2020-02-18, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-02-18/whitey-bulger-juror-say...

James “Whitey” Bulger terrorized Boston from the 1970s into the 1990s with a campaign of murder, extortion and drug trafficking. In 2013, Janet Uhlar was one of 12 jurors who found Bulger guilty in a massive racketeering case, including involvement in 11 murders. But now Uhlar says she regrets voting to convict Bulger on any of the murder charges. Her regret stems from a cache of more than 70 letters Bulger wrote to her from prison, some of which describe his unwitting participation in a secret CIA experiment with LSD. The agency dosed Bulger with the powerful hallucinogen more than 50 times when he was serving his first stretch in prison, in Atlanta. Uhlar has spoken publicly about her regret before but says her belief that the gangster was wrongly convicted on the murder charges was reinforced after reading a new book by Brown University professor Stephen Kinzer: “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.” Gottlieb’s secret program, known at MK-ULTRA, enlisted doctors and other subcontractors to administer LSD in large doses to prisoners, addicts and others unlikely to complain. Uhlar reviewed the 1977 hearings by the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence, which was looking into MK-ULTRA, and found testimony where CIA director Stansfield Turner acknowledged evidence showing that the agency had been searching for a drug that could prepare someone for “debilitating an individual or even killing another person.”

Note: Read more about the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.


Medicare for All Would Save $450 Billion Annually while Preventing 68,000 Deaths, New Study Shows
2020-02-18, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/medicare-all-would-save-450-billion-annually-while-p...

The Medicare For All plan proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year and would prevent tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, a new study shows. The analysis ... found that transitioning the U.S. to a single-payer health care system would actually save an estimated $450 billion each year, with the average American family seeing about $2,400 in annual savings. The research, which was published Saturday in the medical journal The Lancet, also found that Medicare for all would prevent about 68,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Overall, the new research anticipates annual savings of about 13 percent in national health care costs, while providing better health care access to lower-income families. According to the study, about 37 million Americans do not have health insurance, while an additional 41 million people do not have adequate health care coverage. Taken together, about 24 percent of the total population does not have health care coverage that meets their needs. "The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations," the authors wrote in the study. The authors also noted, as [Democratic presidential candidate Bernie] Sanders often does when discussing Medicare for all, that health care expenditures in the U.S. are "higher" per capita "than in any other country."

Note: The incredible amount of corruption in US health care makes it the most costly in the world. Could universal health care help to curb the corruption? The Lancet study described above is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus Cases Seemed to Be Leveling Off. Not Anymore.
2020-02-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/health/coronavirus-cases-china.html

The number of new coronavirus cases reported in China over the past week suggested that the outbreak might be slowing — that containment efforts were working. But on Thursday, officials added more than 14,840 new cases to the tally of the infected in Hubei Province alone, bringing the total number to 48,206, the largest one-day increase so far recorded. The death toll in the province rose to 1,310, including 242 new deaths. The sharp rise in reported cases illustrates how hard it has been for scientists to grasp the extent and severity of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Confronted by so many people with symptoms and no easy way to test them, authorities appear to have changed the way the illness is identified. Hospitals in Wuhan, China — the largest city in Hubei Province and the center of the epidemic — have struggled to diagnose infections with scarce and complicated tests that detect the virus’s genetic signature directly. Other countries, too, have had such issues. Instead, officials in Hubei now seem to be including infections diagnosed by using lung scans of symptomatic patients. The change ... raises the question whether the province, already struggling, is equipped to deal with the new patients. The few experts to learn of the new numbers ... were startled. Lung scans are an imperfect means to diagnose patients. Even patients with ordinary seasonal flu may develop pneumonia visible on a lung scan.

Note: So now anyone who has regular pneumonia will likely be diagnosed as having Coronavirus. This intriguing article suggests that many of the Coronavirus deaths are pneumonia not associated with the virus. For more showing how the fear around this is being blown way out of proportion, see this well researched essay. Then explore concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


For decades, the CIA read the encrypted communications of allies and adversaries.
2020-02-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/national-security/cia-cryp...

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. The company, Crypto AG ... made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages. The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project. The company always made at least two versions of its products — secure models that would be sold to friendly governments, and rigged systems for the rest of the world. Throughout the 1980s, the list of Crypto’s leading clients read like a catalogue of global trouble spots. In 1981, Saudi Arabia was Crypto’s biggest customer, followed by Iran, Italy, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Jordan and South Korea. To protect its market position, Crypto and its secret owners engaged in subtle smear campaigns against rival companies ... and plied government officials with bribes.

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


The Golden Age Of White Collar Crime
2020-02-10, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/white-collar-crime/

The criminal justice system has given up all pretense that the crimes of the wealthy are worth taking seriously. In January 2019, white-collar prosecutions fell to their lowest level since researchers started tracking them in 1998. Since 2015, criminal penalties levied by the Justice Department have fallen from $3.6 billion to roughly $110 million. Illicit profits seized by the Securities and Exchange Commission have reportedly dropped by more than half. In 2018, a year when nearly 19,000 people were sentenced in federal court for drug crimes alone, prosecutors convicted just 37 corporate criminals. Tax evasion ... siphons up to 10,000 times more money out of the U.S. economy every year than bank robberies. In 2017, researchers estimated that fraud by America’s largest corporations cost Americans up to $360 billion annually between 1996 and 2004. That’s roughly two decades’ worth of street crime every single year. Over the last four decades, the agencies responsible for investigating elite and white-collar crime ... have seen their enforcement divisions starved into irrelevance. More than a third of the FBI investigators who patrol Wall Street were reassigned between 2001 and 2008. Even though auditing millionaires and billionaires is one of the most cost-effective government activities imaginable—an independent report estimated in 2014 that it yielded up to $4,545 in recovered revenue per hour of staff time—the IRS investigated the returns of just 3 percent of American millionaires in 2017.

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


DOJ Gave $500K Grant to 'Hookers for Jesus' Instead of Established Anti-Trafficking Groups: Report
2020-02-10, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/doj-gave-500k-grant-hookers-jesus-instead-establishe...

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is under fire after a whistleblower complaint revealed that the department had given over $1 million in anti-human trafficking grants to two groups, Hookers for Jesus and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation, rather than highly recommended, established groups. A September 12 internal DOJ memo recommended that the grant money go to the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Chicanos Por La Causa of Phoenix. The recommendations were based on reviews from outside contractors. Instead, the grant money went to two organizations the contractors gave lower ratings: Hookers for Jesus and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation. Hookers for Jesus is a Christian organization founded by former sex worker and sex trafficking victim Annie Lobert in 2007. The organization operates Destiny House, a one-year safehouse program for sex-trafficking victims. Lobert's organization, which was given $530,190 over three years, is controversial due to its strict rules in the safehouse, banning "secular magazines with articles, pictures, etc. that portray worldly views/advice on living, sex, clothing, makeup tips," and mandatory attendance of the organization's religious services. Its staff manual also says homosexuality is immoral. The group's policies could violate federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition, reviewers said Hookers for Jesus had little experience with male victims, minors or foreign victims of human trafficking.

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


Native burial sites blown up for US border wall
2020-02-10, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51449739

Native American burial sites have been blown up by construction crews building the US-Mexico border wall. Authorities confirmed that "controlled blasting" has begun at Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a Unesco recognised natural reserve. Raul Grijalva, a Democratic congressman, told the Intercept the destruction is "sacrilegious". The government failed to consult the Tohono O'odham Nation, he said. Environmental groups also warn of the damage being done to the local underground aquifer, as well as to migrating wildlife. Officials say the aim of the project is to construct a 30ft-tall (9m) steel barrier that runs for 43 miles on the national park land. The United Nations designated Organ Pipe as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976, calling it "a pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem". Mr Grijalva, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, represents a district that encompasses the area, which shares 400 miles of border with Mexico. He toured the burial sites at the Organ Pipe, known as Monument Hill, last month, and was told that O'odham people buried warriors from the rival Apache tribe there. "What we saw on Monument Hill was opposing tribes who were respectfully laid to rest - that is the one being blasted with dynamite," Mr Grijalva said. He called the Trump administration's conduct "sacrilegious" and said the environmental monitor that the government assigned to the project would do nothing to mitigate the cultural damage.

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


Coronavirus Brings China's Surveillance State Out of the Shadows
2020-02-07, New York Times/Reuters
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/02/07/technology/07reuters-china-health-...

When the man from Hangzhou returned home from a business trip, the local police got in touch. They had tracked his car by his license plate in nearby Wenzhou, which has had a spate of coronavirus cases. Stay indoors for two weeks, they requested. After around 12 days, he was bored and went out early. This time, not only did the police contact him, so did his boss. He had been spotted ... by a camera with facial recognition technology, and the authorities had alerted his company as a warning. “I was a bit shocked by the ability and efficiency of the mass surveillance network. They can basically trace our movements ... at any time and any place,” said the man, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions. Chinese have long been aware that they are tracked by the world's most sophisticated system of electronic surveillance. The coronavirus emergency has brought some of that technology out of the shadows, providing the authorities with a justification for sweeping methods of high tech social control. Artificial intelligence and security camera companies boast that their systems can scan the streets for people with even low-grade fevers, recognize their faces even if they are wearing masks and report them to the authorities. If a coronavirus patient boards a train, the railway's "real name" system can provide a list of people sitting nearby. Mobile phone apps can tell users if they have been on a flight or a train with a known coronavirus carrier, and maps can show them ... where infected patients live.

Note: The New York Times strangely removed this article. Yet it is also available here. Is there something they don't want us to know? Read an excellent article showing how this virus scare is being used to test China's intense surveillance technologies in very disturbing ways. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Former US drone operator recalls dropping a missile on Afghanistan children and says military is ‘worse than the Nazis’
2020-02-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-military-drone-nazis-bra...

Brandon Bryant was enlisted in the US Air Force for six years. During his time with the military, he operated Predator drones, remotely firing missiles at targets more than 7,000 miles away from the small room containing his workspace near Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr Bryant says he reached his breaking point with the US military after killing a child in Afghanistan that his superiors told him was “a dog.” Following that incident, Mr Bryant quit the military and began speaking out against the drone program. During his time in the Air Force, Mr Bryant estimates he contributed directly to killing 13 people himself and says his squadron fired on 1,626 targets including women and children. He says he has been left suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr Bryant said that despite his misgivings about the program, his superiors used punitive measures and mockery to keep him in line. He has said the US military is “worse than the Nazis” because “we should know better.” Mr Bryant said he and his family have been threatened for speaking out against the drone program and that he has lost friends and been estranged from other members of his family over his whistle-blowing. Ultimately Mr Bryant wants the public to understand the dehumanizing effect of the drone program on the operators and the individuals targeted. “I would want people to know, beyond its existence, the consequences it has on us as a species to delineate our power into something so easily destructive,” Mr Bryant said.

Note: Drones almost always miss their intended targets and create more terrorists than they kill. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Government Uses ‘Near Perfect Surveillance’ Data on Americans
2020-02-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/opinion/dhs-cell-phone-tracking.html

“When the government tracks the location of a cellphone it achieves near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user,” wrote John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, in a 2018 ruling that prevented the government from obtaining location data from cellphone towers without a warrant. “We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the decision, Carpenter v. United States. With that judicial intent in mind, it is alarming to read a new report in The Wall Street Journal that found the Trump administration “has bought access to a commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement.” The data used by the government comes not from the phone companies but from a location data company, one of many that are quietly and relentlessly collecting the precise movements of all smartphone-owning Americans through their phone apps. Many apps — weather apps or coupon apps, for instance — gather and record location data without users’ understanding what the code is up to. That data can then be sold to third party buyers including, apparently, the government. The courts are [an] imperfect venue for protecting Fourth Amendment rights. The Carpenter ruling applies only to location data captured by cellphone towers and not to location data streamed from smartphone apps.

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


Military preparing quarantine centers for coronavirus patients in US, Pentagon says
2020-02-07, Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article240078853.html

Eleven military bases near major airports in the United States are setting up quarantine centers for possible coronavirus patients, the Department of Defense said. The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon for quarantine space in case beds fill up at other coronavirus centers around the country, according to a DOD statement. The Pentagon already agreed to house up to 1,000 people for quarantine after they returned to the United States from areas with the virus, the Associated Press reports. As of Friday, more than 31,400 people have been infected with the 2019 coronavirus worldwide, with most in mainland China, according to the AP. More than 630 people have died from the virus, almost all in China, the AP reports. “These are tertiary locations, and HHS already has primary and secondary locations identified that are not DOD facilities,” the Pentagon said. Each base will be able to house up to 20 patients along with public health personnel and equipment. The agreement lasts until Feb. 22, the DOD said. “DOD personnel will not be in direct contact with the evacuees and will minimize contact with personnel supporting the evacuees,” the Pentagon said. If anyone tests positive for the virus, public health officials with DHHS will move them to a civilian hospital, according to the statement.

Note: Read an excellent article suggesting there is much fear mongering taking place around the Coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Taxpayers Each Spent More Than $8,000 on Iraq War, for $2 Trillion Total
2020-02-05, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/iraq-war-cost-taxpayers-2-trillion-1485784

The War in Iraq cost nearly $2 trillion, roughly $8,000 per U.S. taxpayer, representing 9 percent of the national debt. The current cost to the federal government for conflict zone operations in Iraq is an estimated $1.922 billion ... according to an analysis and a January report from The Cost of Wars project. Without a war tax and few war bonds, direct war spending on post-9/11 wars by the Pentagon resulted in interest payments of about $444 billion, the report estimated. The author warns even if the fighting stopped today, and the Trump Administration pulled out of all ongoing fights in the "Global War on Terror," those cumulative interest payments would continue to rise. If all war spending stopped today the existing war debt would "rise ... to $6.5 trillion by 2050," according to the report's estimates. Over the last 18 years of engagements in South Asia and the Middle East, the American "government has financed this war by borrowing funds," writes Heidi Peltier, the author of the report. War is more costly than just boots on the ground and equipment brought to the theaters of conflict. The physical and emotional trauma incurred by soldiers and those living in war zones is oftentimes incalculable. 4.1 million veterans who served in wars post-9/11 are receiving medical benefits, among other compensation nearing $199 billion, according to reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Note: Read the summary of a highly decorated US general's important book "War is a Racket." He makes clear that the reason we have so much war has little to do with national security and everything to do with padding the pockets of those in the military-industrial complex. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


Why the land mine, a persistent killer of civilians, is coming back under Trump
2020-02-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/02/01/land-mines-trump/

The Trump administration’s decision this week to expand the use of land mines has baffled and angered humans rights and arms control groups, which say the decision further imperils anyone who may encounter the weapons. In 2018, nearly 20 civilians were killed or injured every day by land mines and other unexploded ordnance remnants, such as cluster munitions. Children represented 40 percent of the casualties. Land mine use and production are banned by 164 countries. The United States is not one of them, but Obama-era restrictions only allowed anti-personnel land mines to be used in defense of the Korean Peninsula. The new Trump policy reverses those regulations. Most land mines that menace civilians are “dumb” or persistent. They can remain dangerous indefinitely until someone — commonly a child or farmer — encounters one. The United States does not have any of these land mines in its inventory, defense officials said. In recent decades, the United States has produced “smart” or nonpersistent mines that can be set to self-destruct in a certain number of minutes, hours or days after they are deployed. Nearly 120,000 “smart,” nonpersistent mines were used in the Gulf War. Even though the Pentagon suggested a low dud rate, anti-personnel and antitank weapons that failed to self-detonate littered Kuwait, a 2002 Government Accountability Office report said. Nearly 2,000 duds were uncovered by contractors working in one sector alone out of seven, the GAO report concluded.

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


Taxes 2020: These two groups of taxpayers face the highest audit rates
2020-01-31, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/01/31/taxes-2020-audits-most-likely...

Getting audited by the IRS is increasingly less certain. An audit is about half as likely as it was five years ago. Even so, some groups face higher audit rates than others. The tax agency is auditing fewer individual taxpayers not because we’re more honest, but because the IRS is working with fewer employees. The agency’s workforce has dropped from 94,000 workers in 2010 to roughly 78,000 in the most recent fiscal year, according to IRS data. With fewer agents available to perform audits, the agency’s audit rate has been whittled to 0.45% of individual returns in fiscal 2019, the IRS said. That compares with an audit rate of 0.9% in the fiscal 2014. Two types of taxpayers are more likely to draw the attention of the IRS: the rich and the poor, according to IRS data of audits by income range. Poor taxpayers, or those earning less than $25,000 annually, have an audit rate of 0.69% — more than 50% higher than the overall audit rate. Low-income taxpayers are more likely to get audited than any other group, except Americans with incomes of more than $500,000. The least likely group to get audited? That would be upper-middle-class households with an annual income of $100,000 to $200,000. Low-income households are more likely to get audited than some wealthier taxpayers ... due to the IRS checking for fraud and errors related to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Americans with annual incomes of more than $10 million have enjoyed a 75% decline in audit rates since 2013.

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


Trump extends travel ban to 6 countries — but is OK with selling arms to those same places
2020-01-31, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-extends-travel-ban-6-countries-ok...

The Trump administration announced Friday that it is adding six new countries to the existing travel ban, joining the seven already on the list. The administration’s rationale for the ban is that conditions in those countries, especially the level of terrorism, raised the risk of allowing their citizens into the U.S. to an unacceptable level. But if the administration is correct about the risks posed from the countries on the newly expanded list, why does it continue to allow the U.S. government and companies to sell weapons to more than half of them? During the Trump administration alone, the U.S. has sold Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania (the last five of which are new additions to the travel ban) everything from handguns and automatic weapons to light attack aircraft. Since 2002 the U.S. has sold roughly $409 million worth of these weapons to 10 of these 13 nations despite their troubled political systems, poor human rights records, high levels of corruption and their participation in a range of conflicts. In these places, U.S. arms have not brought stability, much less peace. Instead, in many cases they have led to increased homicide rates and fed state-sponsored violence, and may have exacerbated rather than ameliorated terrorism and civil conflicts. The U.S., for instance, has delivered millions of dollars in weapons to Nigeria since Trump took office and the country is notorious for losing these weapons to Boko Haram - the exact group the weapons are being sold to fight.

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


How the Environmental Lawyer Who Won a Massive Judgment Against Chevron Lost Everything
2020-01-29, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/29/chevron-ecuador-lawsuit-steven-donziger/

Few news outlets covered the detention of [attorney] Steven Donziger, who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. On August 6, Donziger left a Lower Manhattan courthouse ... with an electronic monitoring device newly affixed to his ankle. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Despite Donziger�s current predicament, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was a spectacular victory. An Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron in 2011 and ordered the company to pay $18 billion in compensation, an amount that was later reduced to $9.5 billion. After years of struggling with the health and environmental consequences of oil extraction, the impoverished Amazonian plaintiffs had won a historic judgment from one of the biggest corporations in the world. But ... Chevron immediately made clear that it would not be paying the judgment. Instead, Chevron moved its assets out of the country.

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


Reporters Face New Threats From the Governments They Cover
2020-01-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/opinion/greenwald-brazil-reporter.html

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was charged last year by the Trump administration in connection with the publication of secret United States government documents. On Tuesday, Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist living and working in Brazil, was charged, in a criminal complaint brought by Brazilian prosecutors, with cybercrimes in connection with his stories on private messages among Brazilian officials that revealed corruption and abuses at the highest levels of the government. The case against Mr. Greenwald is eerily similar to the Trump administration’s case against Mr. Assange. Last April, the Justice Department charged Mr. Assange with aiding a source, the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, to gain access to a United States military computer database. In May 2019, the charges against him were broadened, and he was indicted under the Espionage Act in connection with the publication of American military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks. Both cases are based in part on a new prosecutorial concept — that journalism can be proved to be a crime through a focus on interactions between reporters and their sources. Prosecutors are now scrutinizing the processes by which sources obtain classified or private information and then provide it to journalists. Since those interactions today are largely electronic, prosecutors are seeking to criminalize journalism by turning to anti-hacking laws to implicate reporters in the purported criminal activity of their sources.

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


Pentagon Racks Up $35 Trillion in Accounting Changes in One Year
2020-01-22, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-22/pentagon-racks-up-35-trill...

The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone - a total that's larger than the entire U.S. economy and underscores the Defense Department's continuing difficulty in balancing its books. The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way. The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest U.S. budget. The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year, when it reviewed $2.7 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities. While auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, they flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments. There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The GAO estimated based on a sample that at least 96% of 181,947 automatic adjustments made in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 "didn't have adequate supporting documentation." "In layman's terms, this means that the DoD made adjustments to accounting records without having documentation to support the need or amount for the adjustment," said Dwrena Allen, spokeswoman for the Pentagon's inspector general.

Note: $35 trillion is much more than the entire GDP of the US for 2020 ($21 trillion). A search shows that Bloomberg and Yahoo! News were the only ones to cover this shocking news. Why would that be? All businesses large and small are required to account for every dollar, while the Pentagon gets away with trillions of dollars of financial mismanagement. Explore what a top US general had to say about this on this webpage. You can also find this article on this webpage. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pentagon racks up $35 trillion in accounting adjustments in one year
2020-01-22, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2020/01/22/pentagon-racks-trillion-ac...

The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone – a total that's larger than the entire US economy and underscores the Defense Department's continuing difficulty in balancing its books. The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way. The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest US budget. The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year. Auditors ... flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments. There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The watchdog agency will report on the subject ... after reviewing more than 200,000 fourth-quarter 2018 adjustments totaling $15 trillion. The "combined errors, shorthand, and sloppy record-keeping by DoD accountants do add up to a number nearly 1.5 times the size of the US economy," said Speier. The report shows the Pentagon "employs accounting adjustments like a contractor paints over mold. Their priority is making the situation look manageable, not solving the underlying problem." The GAO estimated based on a sample that at least 96 percent of 181,947 automatic adjustments made in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 "didn't have adequate supporting documentation."

Note: Why was this not front page news? Why is it the vast majority of people know so little about Pentagon corruption? Read lots more in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Army germ lab shut down by CDC in 2019 had several 'serious' protocol violations that year
2020-01-22, ABC News (Maryland affiliate)
https://wjla.com/news/local/cdc-shut-down-army-germ-lab-health-concerns

In 2019, an Army laboratory at Fort Detrick that studies deadly infectious material like Ebola and smallpox was shut down for a period of time after a CDC inspection, with many projects being temporarily halted. ABC7 has received documents from the CDC outlining violations they discovered during a series of inspections that year, some of which were labeled "serious." Earlier that year, the US Army Medical Research Institute had announced an experiment at the Fort Detrick laboratory that would involve infecting rhesus macaque monkeys with active Ebola virus to test a cure they were developing. Several of the laboratory violations the CDC noted in 2019 concerned "non-human primates" infected with a "select agent", the identity of which is unknown – it was redacted in all received documents, because disclosing the identity and location of the agent would endanger public health or safety, the agency says. In addition to Ebola, the lab works with other deadly agents like anthrax and smallpox. Select agents are defined by the CDC as "biological agents and toxins that have been determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal and plant health, or to animal or plant products." The CDC notes that the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases had "systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures commensurate with the risks associated with working with select agents and toxins."

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


In the Face of Rising White Supremacist Violence, Police Continue to Investigate Victims and Activists
2020-01-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/20/political-surveillance-police-activists-t...

As white supremacists have carried out a growing number of deadly attacks in recent years, the FBI has come under mounting criticism for its failure to address the threat posed by far-right extremist ideologies, whose adherents account for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. At the same time, the bureau has also been heavily criticized for devoting large resources to surveilling political dissent by groups and individuals, often of color, who pose no threat but are critical of the government because they oppose official immigration policies or demand police accountability. The FBI’s preoccupation with policing nonviolent critical ideologies while neglecting to investigate ideologies tied to real, and increasing, violence was perhaps best captured in an infamous 2017 threat assessment report warning law enforcement agencies of the supposed rise of a “black identity extremist” movement targeting police. The black identity extremism category was a product of the FBI’s imagination. Last year ... bureau officials told legislators that they were doing away with a set of earlier domestic terrorism categories in favor of four larger ones. The FBI’s fictional black identity extremists would now be lumped together with white supremacists under a new “racially motivated violent extremism” category. That false equivalence made it virtually impossible for the public to know whether the FBI was devoting resources to investigating real threats of racist violence or social and racial justice groups critical of government.

Note: Read a revealing essay on COINTELPRO, the FBI program that targeted civil rights and anti-war activists from 1965-1975. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Hackers Are Coming for the 2020 Election — And We’re Not Ready
2020-01-17, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/trump-election-hackin...

Four years ago, for an embarrassingly modest price, Russia pulled off one of the more audacious acts of election interference in modern history. The Internet Research Agency, the team of Kremlin-backed online propagandists, spent $15 million to $20 million and wreaked havoc on the psyche of the American voter. Russian intelligence agents carried out the digital version of Watergate, infiltrating the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, stealing tens of thousands of emails, and weaponizing them in the days and weeks before the election. Russian-based hackers tested election websites in all 50 states for weak spots. “The Russians were testing whether our windows were open, rattling our doors to see whether they were locked, and found the windows and doors wide open,” says Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. The Russians ... recently hacked the Ukrainian natural-gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment scandal to potentially find damaging material about the Biden family. Other foreign nations, including Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and China, are getting in on the act. They’ll be joined, analysts say, by domestic actors — American consultants and candidates and click merchants borrowing and adapting Russia’s tactics to influence an election or make a quick buck. “We’re still in a situation going into 2020 where there are significant gaps left in the security of election infrastructure,” says J. Alex Halderman ... who studies voting equipment.

Note: The private companies that supply elections software are very vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘A long time to wait’: Virginia passes Equal Rights Amendment in historic vote
2020-01-15, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/2020/01/15/0475d51a-36...

Both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly passed the Equal Rights Amendment Wednesday, fulfilling a promise that helped Democrats seize control of the legislature and marking a watershed moment in the nearly century-long effort to add protections for women to the U.S. Constitution. Numerous legal hurdles still have to be cleared before the ERA, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, would become part of the Constitution. First proposed in 1923, the ERA was reintroduced in every session of Congress until it passed in 1972. U.S. lawmakers set a deadline of March 22, 1979, for three-quarters of the states to ratify the amendment, a measure ERA supporters now say is unconstitutional because it was not included in the amendment text. As that deadline approached, Congress extended it to June 30, 1982. Because only 35 of the needed 38 state legislatures ratified the ERA by that time, the amendment was declared a failure. Subsequently, legislatures in Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee and South Dakota rescinded their ratifications. ERA supporters say there is no provision for rescissions in the Constitution, and therefore they do not count. No federal court has conclusively ruled on that question. Since 2017, Nevada and Illinois have ratified the ERA, which put Virginia in place as the final state needed for ratification, if the five withdrawals are not counted. But the U.S. Justice Department last week issued a finding that the amendment ... could no longer be ratified.

Note: For those who don't know, the text of the ERA amendment reads simply "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


US listed climate activist group as ‘extremists’ alongside mass killers
2020-01-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/13/us-listed-climate-activis...

A group of US environmental activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as “extremists” and some of its members listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The group have been dubbed the Valve Turners, after closing the valves on pipelines in four states carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands on 11 October 2016. It was described as the largest coordinated action of its kind and for a few hours the oil stopped flowing. The five climate activists ... cut their way through fencing and turned the valves. The activists notified the energy companies whose pipelines were being disrupted and posted videos of their protest online and waited patiently to be arrested. The group’s actions attracted the attention of the DHS. In a recent intelligence bulletin evaluating domestic terrorism threats between 2018 and 2020, the department included the Valve Turners and described the group as “suspected environmental rights extremists”. The document points to an uptick in “sabotage attacks” conducted ... against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016. In addition to providing an overview of domestic terrorism threats the document includes an appendix summarizing select incidents. Two of the Valve Turners are listed alongside violent white supremacists such as Dylann Roof and James Fields, who have both been convicted of murdering innocent civilians.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


The great dismantling of America's national parks is under way
2020-01-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/10/us-national-parks-dismant...

For more than 100 years, professional management of our national parks has been respected under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Yes, they have different priorities. But the career public servants of the National Park Service (NPS), charged with stewarding America’s most important places, such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Statue of Liberty, were left to do their jobs. Even in the dark days of interior secretaries James Watt and Gail Norton, both former attorneys with the anti-environmental Mountain States Legal Foundation, the National Park Service (NPS) was generally left untouched. This time is different. The change began within 24 hours of the inauguration when Donald Trump complained that the NPS was reporting smaller crowds on the National Mall than Obama had drawn. Soon the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, attempted to double the entrance fees, rescinded climate policies and moved seasoned senior national park superintendents around to force their retirements. After Zinke’s abrupt resignation, secretary David Bernhardt populated too much of the department’s political leadership with unconfirmed, anti-public land sycophants, and announced a reorganization to install his own lieutenants to oversee super regions. Senior career park managers are likely to be replaced with unqualified political hacks. These are not random actions. This is a systematic dismantling of a beloved institution, like pulling blocks from a Jenga tower, until it collapses.

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


Surveillance video from Jeffrey Epstein's first apparent suicide attempt 'no longer exists'
2020-01-09, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/surveillance-video-jeffrey-epstein-s-fir...

The surveillance video taken from outside Jeffrey Epstein's jail cell on the day of his first apparent suicide attempt has been permanently deleted, federal prosecutors said. Epstein, the disgraced financier who was facing federal sex-trafficking charges, was found semiconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, or MCC, in New York around 1:27 a.m. on July 23. But that video is now gone because MCC officials mistakenly saved video from a different floor of the federal detention facility. The FBI made the discovery last week while reviewing a copy of the video provided by MCC officials. "After reviewing the video, it appeared to the government that the footage contained on the preserved video was for the correct date and time, but captured a different tier than the one where [the cell housing Epstein and his cellmate] was located.” The filing was made in a case involving Nicholas Tartaglione ... who was Epstein's cellmate on the day of the incident. The July incident was investigated as a possible suicide attempt, assault or ruse by Epstein to get himself transferred to a different facility. Tartaglione's attorney, as part of an effort to exonerate his client, asked the jail to preserve video from outside the cell. The MCC agreed, but "the MCC computer system listed a different, incorrect cell for Tartaglione," prosecutors said in the court filing. A backup video system was in place, but the requested video wasn't available because of unspecified "technical errors," the court filing says.

Note: Just a little bit suspicious... For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


The reason Qassem Soleimani was in Baghdad shows how complex the Iran crisis is
2020-01-06, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/qassem-soleimani-death-iran-baghdad-midd...

As part of the incendiary and escalating crisis surrounding the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, there has come an explanation of why the Iranian commander was actually in Baghdad. The commander is said to have been in Iraq to discuss moves to ease tensions between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s prime minister revealed that he was due to be meeting the Iranian commander to discuss moves being made to ease the confrontation between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. Adil Abdul-Mahdi was quite clear: “I was supposed to meet him in the morning the day he was killed.” The prime minister also disclosed that Donald Trump had called him to ask him to mediate following the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. According to Iraqi officials ... the siege of the embassy was lifted and the US president personally thanked Abdul-Mahdi for his help. There was nothing to suggest to the Iraqis that it was unsafe for Soleimani to travel to Baghdad. This suggests that Trump helped lure the Iranian commander to a place where he could be killed. It is possible that the president was unaware of the crucial role that Soleimani was playing in the attempted rapprochement with the Saudis. Or that he knew but did not care. One may even say that it is not in the interest of a president ... whose first official trip after coming to office was a weapons-selling trip to Saudi Arabia ... to have peace break out between the Iranians and the kingdom. The Trump administration continues to insist that Soleimani was killed because he was about to launch an imminent terror campaign, without providing any evidence for the assertion.

Note: Read an excellent analysis of the deeper reasons behind this brazen provocation. Learn more in this New York Times article. A Washington Post article titled "The White House has formally notified Congress of the Soleimani strike" shows steps are being taken for declaring. war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


TV Pundits Praising Suleimani Assassination Neglect to Disclose Ties to Arms Industry
2020-01-06, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/06/iran-suleimani-tv-pundits-weapons-industr...

A loud chorus of voices has appeared in the media to celebrate President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a move that has sparked renewed tension in the Middle East, a new deployment of U.S. forces, and predictions of increased military spending. Many of the pundits who appeared on national television or were quoted in major publications to praise the president’s actions have undisclosed ties to the defense industry — the only domestic industry that stands to gain from increased violence. Jack Keane, a retired Army general, appeared on Fox News and NPR over the last three days to praise Trump for the strike on Suleimani. Keane has worked for military companies, including General Dynamics and Blackwater, and currently serves as a partner at SCP Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in defense contractors. David Petraeus, the retired general who once commanded U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, was quoted by multiple outlets in support of the slaying. Petraeus, notably, works for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co., the investment firm with holdings in several major defense contractors that is reportedly moving to “build up its defense portfolio.” “It is imperative that viewers are aware when their news commentary is coming from someone with a financial incentive tied to the topic they’re commenting on, especially when so many lives hang in the balance,” says Gin Armstrong, a senior researcher with the Public Accountability Initiative.

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


60 Minutes investigates the death of Jeffrey Epstein
2020-01-05, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-jeffrey-epstein-kill-himself-60-minutes-inve...

In July 2019, Jeffrey Epstein, already a convicted sex offender, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors. On August 10, Epstein was found dead in his federal jail cell at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC). The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging, but a forensic pathologist who observed the four-hour autopsy ... tells 60 Minutes the evidence released so far points more to murder than suicide in his view. Dr. Michael Baden's key reason: the unusual fractures he saw in Epstein's neck."There were fractures of the left, the right thyroid cartilage and the left hyoid bone," Baden said. "I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging." The night before his death, Epstein's cellmate was released. According to court documents, "no new cellmate was assigned" before he died, even though he was required to have one. That night, federal prosecutors say, "Epstein was escorted into his cell by Tova Noel at approximately 7:49 p.m." Noel and Michael Thomas, the two guards who were working the overnight shift in Epstein's unit, allegedly didn't check on him again until "shortly after 6:30 a.m." the next morning. "So Epstein's taken off suicide watch, the day before he kills himself, his roommate is removed from the cell. The cameras on his tier are not working. The guards fell asleep. It seems almost impossible to think all of those things could happen in that way," [60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn] Alfonsi said.

Note: Not mentioned is that surveillance video from Epstein's first suicide attempt was "accidentally" erased, as reported on NBC News. A revealing five-minute 60 minutes video is available here or at the link above. More photos and information are available on this CBS News webpage. An even deeper analysis can be found on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’
2020-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/04/cambridge-analytica-data-leak...

An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles. More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on “an industrial scale” are set to be released over the next months. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Kaiser ... decided to go public after last month’s election in Britain. “It’s so abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse,” she said. “I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year.” Kaiser said the Facebook data scandal was part of a much bigger global operation that worked with governments, intelligence agencies, commercial companies and political campaigns to manipulate and influence people. The unpublished documents contain material that suggests the firm was working for a political party in Ukraine in 2017 even while under investigation as part of Mueller’s inquiry and emails that Kaiser says describe how the firm helped develop a “sophisticated infrastructure of shell companies that were designed to funnel dark money into politics”.

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


Suleimani killing the latest in a long, grim line of US assassination efforts
2020-01-04, MSN/The Guardian
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/suleimani-killing-the-latest-in-a-long-g...

The US government is no stranger to the dark arts of political assassinations. Over the decades it has deployed elaborate techniques against its foes, from dispatching a chemist armed with lethal poison to try to take out Congo’s Patrice Lumumba in the 1960s to planting poison pills ... in the Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s food. But the killing of General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite military Quds Force, was in in a class all its own. Its uniqueness lay ... in the brazenness of its execution and the apparently total disregard for either legal niceties or human consequences. “The US simply isn’t in the practice of assassinating senior state officials out in the open,” said Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. Donald Trump’s gloating tweets over the killing combined with a sparse effort to justify the action in either domestic or international law has led to the US being accused of the very crimes it normally pins on its enemies. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denounced the assassination as an “act of international terrorism”. Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame, draws a direct line between earlier US administrations and the convention-shredding unpredictability of Trump. “Since Obama there has been a steady dilution of international law,” O’Connell said. “Suleimani’s death marks the next dilution – we are moving down a slope towards a completely lawless situation.” O’Connell added that there was only one step left for the US now to take. “To completely ignore the law. Frankly, I think President Trump is there already – his only argument has been that Suleimani was a bad guy and so he had to be killed.”

Note: Learn more about this brazen provocation in this New York Times article. A Washington Post article titled "The White House has formally notified Congress of the Soleimani strike" shows steps are being taken for declaring. war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Cyber attacks and electronic voting errors threaten 2020 outcome, experts warn
2020-01-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/02/elections-2020-cyber-attacks-...

Seven top agency officials, including the heads of the FBI and CIA, issued a joint statement predicting Russia, and other countries intend to meddle in the 2020 elections via cyber attacks or social media. “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions,” the joint statement said. The threat of more cyber attacks, plus disinformation and social media operations to sway public opinion, has prompted the federal government to work closely with officials in all 50 states, the statement said. A Senate intelligence committee report in mid-2019 concluded that Kremlin hackers manipulated election systems in all 50 states, and succeeded in breaching systems in two Florida counties and another state. New questions are being raised about the safety of some electronic voting equipment given problems in 2019 and 2018, respectively, in Pennsylvania and Georgia. A lawsuit was filed last month to block Pennsylvania from certifying electronic voting equipment that Philadelphia has purchased, after the same machines encountered significant problems in November in undercounting votes. The equipment was made by ... ES&S, which boasts about 50% of the national voting machine market and has been cited before for malfunctions. In Georgia in the 2018 elections, for instance, old voting machines made by ES&S were involved in counting votes in a race where reportedly about 80,000 votes were strangely not cast.

Note: There have been serious problems with electronic voting in the US for decades. There is little doubt powerful factions within the US have taken advantage of this. Only now that the Russians are being accused is anyone talking about this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Many families struggle to pay for phone calls with loved ones in U.S. prisons
2019-12-31, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/many-families-struggle-pay-phone-calls-l...

“You have 60 more seconds." "You have 30 more seconds.” The female voice interrupted each time Maria Marshall talked on the phone with her son in prison. But the chance to make contact for three or four minutes a day, a few days a week, came with a cost. Marshall spent $120 in just two weeks in July for her son to call her and other relatives and friends. Many states make millions each year in commission off phone calls that families like Marshall’s struggle to pay for. Inmate calling services are controlled by two main telecommunications companies, but the Federal Communications Commission says it does not have authority to set price caps on intrastate calls, which account for a majority of prisoner phone calls. Some are now pushing for change. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and five other senators have introduced a bill calling for “just and reasonable charges” for intrastate and interstate calling that would give the FCC authority to address inmate calling rates. “This allows the FCC to regulate and say you can’t have predatory pricing,” Duckworth said. “Cause that’s what’s happening — predatory pricing.” A typical 15-minute prison phone call within Washington costs around $1.65. On the other end of the spectrum, such a call in Kentucky costs around $5.70. Paul Wright, director of the Human Rights Defense Center ... said the system gives prisoners no options. “The alternative is they don’t talk to their family,” Wright, who was incarcerated in Washington from 1987 to 2003, said.

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


Trump’s lawyer and the Venezuelan president: How Giuliani got involved in back-channel talks with Maduro
2019-12-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyer-and-the-venezuelan-pres...

The international call came in September 2018. On one end of the line was Venezuela’s socialist president, the pariah leader of a disintegrating economy whom President Trump’s administration was seeking to isolate. On the other end: the U.S. president’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and then-Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.). Both were part of a shadow diplomatic effort, backed in part by private interests, aimed at engineering a negotiated exit to ease President Nicolás Maduro from power and reopen resource-rich Venezuela to business. Sessions had served as emissary in the back-channel effort, visiting Maduro in Caracas that spring. The phone call, which Giuliani joined, was a follow-up to that visit. The phone conversation ... provides another example of how Giuliani used his private role to insert himself into foreign diplomacy, alarming administration officials confused about whose interests he was representing. Giuliani operated a similar campaign this year in Ukraine, where he pressured officials to announce investigations to benefit Trump — an endeavor that led to the president’s impeachment this month. The impeachment inquiry pushed into the spotlight consulting work Giuliani has undertaken around the globe even as he has been representing Trump at no charge. Giuliani’s willingness to talk with Maduro in late 2018 flew in the face of the official policy of the White House, which, under national security adviser John Bolton, was then ... taking a harder line against the Venezuelan government.

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


How a Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.
2019-12-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/world/middleeast/shah-iran-chase-papers.html

40 years ago, a worn-out white Gulfstream II jet descended over Fort Lauderdale, Fla., carrying a regal but sickly passenger almost no one was expecting. Aboard were a Republican political operative, a retinue of Iranian military officers ... and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the newly deposed shah of Iran. The only one waiting to receive the deposed monarch was a senior executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, which had not only lobbied the White House to admit the former shah but had arranged visas for his entourage. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 4, 1979, vowing revenge for the admission of the shah to the United States, revolutionary Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran and then held more than 50 Americans — and Washington — hostage for 444 days. The shah, Washington’s closest ally in the Persian Gulf, had fled Tehran in January 1979. The shah sought refuge in America. But President Jimmy Carter ... refused him entry for the first 10 months of his exile. Chase Manhattan Bank and its well-connected chairman worked behind the scenes to persuade the Carter administration to admit the shah, one of the bank’s most profitable clients. For Mr. Carter, for the United States and for the Middle East it was an incendiary decision. The ensuing hostage crisis enabled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to consolidate his theocratic rule, started a four-decade conflict between Washington and Tehran ... and helped Ronald Reagan take the White House.

Note: More information is available in this 1991 New York Times article and this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Japan Wants to Dump Nuclear Plant’s Tainted Water. Fishermen Fear the Worst.
2019-12-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-water.html

The overpowering earthquake and tsunami that ripped through northern Japan in March 2011 took so much from Tatsuo Niitsuma, a commercial fisherman in this coastal city in Fukushima Prefecture. Now, nearly nine years after the disaster, Mr. Niitsuma, 77, is at risk of losing his entire livelihood, too, as the government considers releasing tainted water from a nuclear power plant destroyed by the tsunami’s waves. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet and the Tokyo Electric Power Company — the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where a triple meltdown led to the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl — must decide what to do with more than one million tons of contaminated water stored in about 1,000 giant tanks on the plant site. On Monday, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry proposed gradually releasing the water into the ocean or allowing it to evaporate. For years, the power company, known as Tepco, said that treatment of the water ... was making it safe to release. But it is actually more radioactive than the authorities have previously publicized. Officials say that it will be treated again, and that it will then be safe for release. Regardless of government assurances, if the water is discharged into the sea, it will most likely destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of fishermen like Mr. Niitsuma. Consumers are already worried about the safety of Fukushima seafood, and dumping the water would compound the fears.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster from reliable major media sources.


Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US
2019-12-22, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2019/12/19/ice-asylum-under-tru...

On Oct. 15, a guard at the Richwood Correctional Center noticed an odd smell coming from one of the isolation cells. He opened the door, stepped inside and found the lifeless body of Roylan Hernandez-Diaz. The 43-year-old Cuban man had spent five months in immigration detention waiting for a judge to hear his asylum claim. The day after his death, 20 other detainees carried out what they say was a peaceful protest. Guards swooped in and attacked, beating one of them so severely he was taken to a hospital. The USA TODAY Network uncovered the Richwood episode during an investigation of the rapidly growing network of detention centers used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The investigation revealed more than 400 allegations of sexual assault or abuse, inadequate medical care, regular hunger strikes, frequent use of solitary confinement, more than 800 instances of physical force against detainees, nearly 20,000 grievances filed by detainees and at least 29 fatalities, including seven suicides, since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017 and launched an overhaul of U.S. immigration policies. Combined with an analysis by a government watchdog, the USA TODAY Network analyzed inspection reports since 2015 and identified 15,821 violations of detention standards. Yet more than 90% of those facilities received passing grades by government inspectors. Every detainee interviewed by the USA TODAY Network alleged mistreatment by guards.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the prison system from reliable major media sources.


‘It is beyond cruel’: Ice refuses to reunite girl with the only family she has left
2019-12-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/21/it-is-beyond-cruel-ice-refuse...

For more than nine months, María, 23, has been waiting in an immigration detention center in Arizona hoping to reunite with the six-year-old niece she raised as a daughter. When the two asked for asylum at the border last March because they feared for their lives in Guatemala, border officials detained María in the Eloy detention center and sent the girl to foster care in New York, 2,400 miles away. Lawmakers and more than 200 clergy asked US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) to grant María parole so she can leave detention and reunite with the girl. A woman in New York volunteered to house them both while María awaits a decision on her appeal for asylum. But despite that public support, Ice denied María’s application for parole in mid-December. Parole was once the norm for arriving asylum seekers, but in recent years approvals have become increasingly rare. On a standardized form, Ice officers indicated María failed to prove she was “not a flight risk” or that her “continued detention was not in the public interest”. After a federal judge in 2018 ordered most family separations to end, attorneys have been scrambling to reunite families. There are currently about 5,500 known cases of children separated from parents during the Trump administration. But no one has tracked how many children have been split from non-parent relatives. The logistics of how and when María will see her niece again if she is not paroled are unclear. María’s asylum appeal could take up to two years.

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


Trump top adviser: 'Traditionally, it's always been Republicans suppressing votes'
2019-12-20, NBC/Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-top-adviser-traditionall...

One of President Donald Trump’s top re-election advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states but will be able to “start playing offense” in 2020 due to relaxed Election Day rules, according to an audio recording of a private event obtained by The Associated Press. “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s re-election campaign, said at the event. Republican officials publicly signaled plans to step up their Election Day monitoring after a judge in 2018 lifted a consent degree in place since 1982 that barred the Republican National Committee from voter verification and other “ballot security” efforts. Critics have argued the tactics amount to voter intimidation. The consent decree was put in place after the Democratic National Committee sued its Republican counterpart, alleging the RNC helped intimidate black voters in New Jersey's election for governor. The federal lawsuit claimed the RNC and the state GOP had off-duty police stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that read "National Ballot Security Task Force," with guns visible on some. Mike Browne, deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, said Clark's comments suggest the Trump campaign plans to engage in “underhanded tactics” to win the election.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Immigration is Part of Mass Incarceration
2019-12-18, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/12/28/book-review-immigration-detention-history...

Immigration-related crimes now make up the majority of all federal criminal prosecutions. While laws criminalizing entry have existed since 1929, they “were largely ignored for a century,” the lawyer and scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández reminds us in a new book, “Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants.” In 1975, he noted “a mere 575 people” were charged with an immigration crime; in 1993, only 2,487. Contrast that with fiscal year 2018, when prosecutors brought 105,692 federal immigration charges. The criminalization of immigration, especially the scale at which it happens now, is a relatively recent trend, Hernández argues. And it ought to be reversed. In the 1980s and ’90s, legislation introduced new levels of criminality for immigrants, which in turn expanded the population of imprisoned people. As Hernández writes, “Congress denied immigration judges the discretion to release anyone convicted of an aggravated felony,” which includes serious offenses like murder but also shoplifting and tax fraud. Detention and deportation, once decided with considerable discretion, became mandatory for all sorts of offenses. The link between mass incarceration and immigrant incarceration is clear in the legislative history: The same 1986 law that created mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine created “detainers,” requests to local police to hold someone in jail until they can be picked up by immigration.

Note: Detaining immigrants has become a huge industry bringing major profits to those involved. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the court system from reliable major media sources.


Corporations paid 11.3 percent tax rate last year, in steep drop under Trump’s law
2019-12-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/16/corporations-paid-percent-...

400 of America’s largest corporations paid an average federal tax rate of about 11 percent on their profits last year, roughly half the official rate established under President Trump’s 2017 tax law. The 2017 tax law lowered the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, but in practice large companies often pay far less than that because of deductions, tax breaks and other loopholes. In the first year of the law, the amount corporations paid in federal taxes on their incomes — their “effective rate” — was 11.3 percent on average ... according to a report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. From 2008 to 2015, under the previous tax code, the corporations’ effective rate was about 21 percent. The report also found that 91 corporations in the Fortune 500, many worth billions of dollars, paid no federal taxes last year. The findings come amid an explosion in the federal deficit, which this year rose to almost $1 trillion. Corporate tax revenue fell markedly during the first year of the tax law, from about $300 billion in 2017 to $204 billion in 2018. “When drafting the tax law, lawmakers could have eliminated special breaks and loopholes in the corporate tax to offset the cost of reducing the statutory rate,” the report says. “Instead, the new law introduced many new breaks and loopholes, though it eliminated some old ones.” The 91 profitable Fortune 500 corporations that paid no federal tax in 2018 earned a combined $101 billion last year. As a group, their effective federal tax rate was -5.9 percent.

Note: How is it that 91 of the biggest corporations in the U.S. get away with paying no taxes? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Deficit hawks once again show their hypocrisy on military spending
2019-12-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/16/bernie-sanders-deficit-haw...

The Senate will be voting this week on the Trump military budget, which calls for a massive increase in defense spending. I strongly oppose this legislation. At a time when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality; when half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck; when more than 500,000 Americans are homeless; and when public schools throughout the country are struggling to pay their teachers a livable salary, it is time to change our national priorities. I find it ironic that when I and other progressive members of Congress propose legislation to address the many unmet needs of workers, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, we are invariably asked, “How will we pay for it?” Yet we rarely hear that question with regard to huge increases in military spending, tax breaks for billionaires or massive subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. When it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion — even more money than it requested — there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford. When I talk about changing national priorities, I’m talking about the fact that the $120 billion increase in Pentagon spending — compared with the final year of the Obama administration — could have made every public college, university, trade school and apprenticeship program in the United States tuition free, eliminated homelessness and provided universal school meals to every kid in our nation’s public schools.

Note: The above article was written by Bernie Sanders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


I helped write the official lies to sell the Afghanistan war
2019-12-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/i-helped-write-the-official-lies-to-se...

This past week, Washington Post reporting showed that the conflict in Afghanistan has been an operation of deception. But The Afghanistan Papers were not a revelation to me. I was one of the deceivers. From July 2009 to March 2010, I served as one of the U.S. Air Force’s designees for a nation-building mission, and I witnessed the disconnect between what happened on the ground and the messages the public heard about it. As my team’s information operations officer, I played a direct role in crafting those messages. But my job wasn’t only to mislead the American public: Our information campaign extended to the Afghan people and to higher-ups within the American military itself. I arrived in Paktia province in July 2009, as part of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). I wrote broadcast news copy for the team’s interpreters to translate and thought of it as a persuasive tool. Local listeners were, in military lingo, the subjects of “non-lethal targeting.” As accusations of fraud, ballot tampering and voter intimidation circulated around the presidential election, I followed my supervisors’ directives to “aggressively pursue” interviews ... “highlighting the transparency and legitimacy of the election process.” Corruption littered our daily interactions, and a few months into our deployment, my PRT launched an investigation that ultimately uncovered a scheme that wound its way through upper-level government officials, including Paktia’s then-governor and chief of police.

Note: Listen to a 30-minute NY Times newscast showing the blatant lies behind the Afghanistan war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


‘A Cesspool of a Dungeon’: The Surging Population in Rural Jails
2019-12-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/us/rural-jails.html

The Hamblen County Jail has been described as a dangerously overcrowded “cesspool of a dungeon,” with inmates sleeping on mats in the hallways, lawyers forced to meet their clients in a supply closet and the people inside subjected to “horrible conditions” every day. Since 2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties such as Hamblen has skyrocketed. Like a lot of Appalachia, Morristown, Tenn. ... has been devastated by methamphetamine and opioid use. Residents who commit crimes to support their addiction pack the 255-bed jail, which had 439 inmates at the end of October. While jail populations have dropped 18 percent in urban areas since 2013, they have climbed 27 percent in rural areas during that same period. Almost everyone in the county jail is there because of charges related to addiction, said the sheriff, Esco Jarnagin. Defense lawyers have proposed other options to address the crisis, including a pilot program [that] would have allowed some low-risk defendants to avoid having to post bail. But judges rejected the proposal because of fears that defendants would flee, said Willie Santana ... who is now one of four lawyers in the Hamblen County public defender’s office. “The whole system is geared toward generating pleas and putting people in jail,” he said. For many inmates, that means the jail has been a revolving door. More than three-quarters of the 850 new cases that Mr. Santana handled in the past year involved a client who had previously been incarcerated.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the courts and in the prison system.


What the C.I.A.’s Torture Program Looked Like to the Tortured
2019-12-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/cia-torture-drawings.html

One shows the prisoner nude and strapped to a crude gurney, his entire body clenched as he is waterboarded by an unseen interrogator. Another shows him with his wrists cuffed to bars so high above his head he is forced on to his tiptoes. They are sketches drawn in captivity by the Guantánamo Bay prisoner known as Abu Zubaydah, self-portraits of the torture he was subjected to during the four years he was held in secret prisons by the C.I.A.. In each illustration, Mr. Zubaydah ... portrays the particular techniques as he says they were used on him at a C.I.A. black site in Thailand in August 2002. They demonstrate how, more than a decade after the Obama administration outlawed the program — and then went on to partly declassify a Senate study that found the C.I.A. lied about both its effectiveness and its brutality — the final chapter of the black sites has yet to be written. Mr. Zubaydah, 48, drew them this year at Guantánamo for inclusion in a 61-page report, “How America Tortures,” by his lawyer, Mark P. Denbeaux, a professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, and some of Mr. Denbeaux’s students. The report uses firsthand accounts, internal Bush administration memos, prisoners’ memories and the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report to analyze the interrogation program. The program was initially set up for Mr. Zubaydah, who was mistakenly believed to be a top Qaeda lieutenant. He has never been charged with a crime.

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise su