Government Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on government corruption
Juan Pablo Escobar, the son of the most dangerous criminal in the history of Colombia, Pablo Escobar, has written a new book on the life and death of his father in which he said that the drug trafficker worked for the CIA. "In my book, I recount the story of my father working for the CIA selling cocaine to finance the fight against communism in Central America. There are names like George Bush Sr. and many more," said Escobar. "The drug business is very different from what you might imagine. The CIA was buying control of the drug supply going into each country and making huge profits. My father was a cog in their global drug trafficking network. When he no longer served them, they had him killed," said Juan Pablo Escobar. Remember that Bush was chief of the CIA in the administration of Richard Nixon. In his book Pablo Escobar Infraganti, the son of Escobar, known until 2009 by the name of Juan Sebastián Marroquín, reveals the corruption stories that made his father so "successful," despite the violence in which he immersed Colombia. Juan Pablo Escobar rejected the idea of glamorizing the drug trafficking business as portrayed in series like Narcos, of Netflix, which deal with the lives of the drug dealers and hitmen that worked for his father. "It is not true that a drug kingpin has riches, girls and power. The more power my father had, the poorer he lived, " he said.
Note: This article is in Spanish on the msn.com website at the link above, yet the English major media is completely ignoring it, including MSN, which has no English version of the article. For more, read this article. For excellent evidence of CIA involvement in drug running, see what two top journalists have written. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who has charged the Obama administration with funneling money to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, visited Damascus this week on what her office called a “fact-finding trip ... to promote and work for peace.” A member of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees, Gabbard has called for the administration to abandon all assistance to armed groups and stop seeking Assad’s overthrow, saying that the effort undermines the fight against the Islamic State there. Gabbard last month introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which would bar the U.S. government from providing money or other support to the Islamic State ... or to any of their allies or to any countries that support them directly or indirectly. “If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail,” she said in announcing the legislation. “Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL ... and other terrorist groups with money, weapons and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.” Citing news reports detailing CIA and other support to groups fighting against Assad ... Gabbard compared the U.S. effort to the Reagan administration’s secret funding of Nicaraguan rebels who sought to overthrow that country’s government in the 1980s, despite a congressional ban.
Note: A powerful and well researched article shows the key role the U.S. played in the formation and support of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism.
Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin [has compiled a] historical database that tracks U.S. involvement in meddling with foreign elections over the years. The U.S. has ... tried to influence the outcome of another country's election ... more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. One example of that was our intervention in Serbia, Yugoslavia in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milosevic was running for re-election, and we didn't want him to stay in power there. So we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Kostunica. And we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. That assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win. About one-third of [election interventions] are public, and two-third of them are covert. In other words, they're not known to the voters in the target before the election. Covert coup d'etats like the United States did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954 [were not counted, only times] when the United States [tried] directly to influence an election for one of the sides. The United States is the most common user of this technique. Russia or the Soviet Union since 1945 has used it half as much. My estimate has been 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know also that the Chinese have used this technique and the Venezuelans when the late Hugo Chavez was still in power in Venezuela and other countries.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A former top Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official has accused Congress of putting pharmaceutical company profits ahead of public health in the battle to combat the US’s prescription opioid epidemic. Joseph Rannazzisi, head of the DEA office responsible for preventing prescription medicine abuse until last year, said drug companies and their lobbyists have a “stranglehold” on Congress to protect a $9bn a year trade in opioid painkillers claiming the lives of nearly 19,000 people a year. Rannazzisi ... said the drug industry engineered recent legislation limiting the DEA’s powers to act against pharmacies endangering lives by dispensing disproportionately large numbers of opioids. He also accused lobbyists ... of whipping up opposition to new guidelines for doctors intended to reduce the prescribing of the painkillers. Charges that Congress is too beholden to pharmaceutical companies have been levelled for years. But ... the influence on opioid policies is particularly disturbing because so many lives are being lost. Industry groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying to stave off measures to reduce prescriptions and therefore sales of opioid painkillers. Among the most influential drug industry groups is the Pain Care Forum, co-founded by a top executive of Purdue Pharma – the manufacturer of the opioid which unleashed the addiction epidemic, OxyContin. It spent $740m lobbying Congress and state legislatures over the past decade.
On May 31, the city of Chicago agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by two police officers who allege they suffered retaliation for reporting and investigating criminal activity by fellow officers. The settlement, for $2 million, was announced moments before the trial was to begin. As the trial date approached, city lawyers had made a motion to exclude the words “code of silence” from the proceedings. Not only was the motion denied, but the judge ruled that Mayor Rahm Emanuel could be called to testify about what he meant when he used the term in a speech. The prevailing narrative in the press was that the city settled in order to avoid the possibility that Mayor Emanuel would be compelled to testify. But the mayor’s testimony, had it come to pass, would have been unlikely to provide much illumination. By contrast, that of the plaintiffs, Shannon Spalding and Danny Echeverria, promised to ... show extraordinarily serious retaliatory misconduct by officers at nearly all levels of the CPD hierarchy. Spalding ... and her partner, Danny Echeverria, spent over five years working undercover on a joint FBI-CPD internal affairs investigation that uncovered a massive criminal enterprise within the department. A gang tactical team led by a sergeant named Ronald Watts operated a protection racket in public housing developments on Chicago’s South Side. In exchange for “a tax,” Watts and his team shielded drug dealers from interference by law enforcement and targeted their competition. They were major players in the drug trade.
Note: Read the second article in this series titled "Corrupt Chicago Police Were Taxing Drug Dealers and Targeting Their Rivals." Read also how this criminal gang of police routinely framed people for crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As a police officer in a small Oregon town in 2004, Sean Sullivan was caught kissing a 10-year-old girl on the mouth. Mr. Sullivan’s sentence barred him from taking another job as a police officer. But three months later, [he was hired] as the police chief ... in Cedar Vale, Kan., [where] he was again investigated for a suspected sexual relationship with a girl and eventually convicted on charges that included burglary and criminal conspiracy. Some experts say thousands of law enforcement officers may have drifted from police department to police department even after having been fired, forced to resign or convicted of a crime. Yet there is no comprehensive, national system for weeding out problem officers. A lack of coordination among law enforcement agencies, opposition from police executives and unions, and an absence of federal guidance have meant that in many cases police departments do not know the background of prospective officers if they fail to disclose a troubled work history. Among the officers ... who have found jobs even after exhibiting signs that they might be ill suited for police work is Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. Before he was hired in Cleveland, Officer Loehmann had resigned from a suburban police force not long after a supervisor recommended that he be fired for, among other things, an inability to follow instructions. But Cleveland officials never checked his personnel file. Officer Loehmann, who was not indicted, remains on the Cleveland force.
Note: A yearlong Associated Press investigation found that the "broken system which lets problem officers jump from job to job" fosters and abets sexual abuse. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns. Many of the recipients of these weapons became brave and important battlefield allies. But many more did not. The weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses. The Pentagon said it has records for [about 700,000] firearms. This is an amount ... that only accounts for 48 percent of the total small arms supplied by the U.S. government that can be found in open-source government reports. By this year, various internet arms traders, including many on Facebook, were hawking a seemingly unending assortment of weapons of obvious American origin. Facebook closed many pages in the Middle East that were serving as busy arms bazaars, including pages in Syria and Iraq on which firearms with Pentagon origins accounted for a large fraction of the visible trade. But many new arms-trading Facebook pages have since cropped up, including, according to their own descriptions, virtual markets operating from Baghdad and Karbala. The procession of arms purchases and handouts has continued to this day.
Note: A 2015 report describes how the US armed ISIS in Iraq. This eye-opening report shows how the US was involved in the creation of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Could an American election’s outcome be altered by a malicious actor on a computer keyboard? I have had three jobs that, together, taught me at least one thing: If it’s a computer, it can be hacked. I served as the White House senior cybersecurity policy adviser. I served on [President Obama's] five-person post–Edward Snowden investigative group on the National Security Agency, intelligence and technology. And for over a decade I have advised American corporations on cybersecurity. Those experiences confirm my belief that if sophisticated hackers want to get into any computer or electronic device, even one that is not connected to the internet, they can do so. Now consider that a majority of states use some kind of combination of electronic voting and a type of paper trail, but there is no standard nationwide. In most states the data that are used to determine who won an election are processed by networked, computerized devices. There are almost no locations that exclusively use paper ballots. Some states ... employ electronic voting machines that produce no paper trail, therefore there is nothing to count or recount and no way to ensure that what a voter intended is what was recorded and transmitted. If someone makes the charge after this election that the results were altered by hackers, our country has almost no way of credibly refuting that claim. Thus American voters will have no way to know if they can trust the results of the election.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Republican Mayor Richard Berry was driving around Albuquerque last year when he saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that read: “Want a Job. Anything Helps.” Throughout his administration, as part of a push to connect the homeless population to services, Berry had taken to driving through the city to talk to panhandlers about their lives. His city’s poorest residents told him they didn’t want to be on the streets begging for money, but they didn’t know where else to go. Seeing that sign gave Berry an idea. The city could bring the work to them. Next month will be the first anniversary of Albuquerque’s There’s a Better Way program, which hires panhandlers for day jobs beautifying the city. The job pays $9 an hour, which is above minimum wage, and provides a lunch. At the end of the shift, the participants are offered overnight shelter as needed. In less than a year since its start, the program has given out 932 jobs clearing 69,601 pounds of litter and weeds from 196 city blocks. And more than 100 people have been connected to permanent employment. Berry’s effort is a shift from the movement across the country to criminalize panhandling. A recent National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty report found a noticeable increase, with 24 percent of cities banning it altogether and 76 percent banning it in particular areas. When panhandlers have been approached in Albuquerque with the offer of work, most have been eager for the opportunity to earn money, Berry said. They just needed a lift.
Note: Watch an inspiring video on this great program.
Princeton professor Andrew Appel decided to hack into a voting machine. He bought one online. Appel parted with $82 and became the owner of ...the Sequoia AVC Advantage, one of the oldest and vulnerable, electronic voting machines in the United States. He summoned a graduate student named Alex Halderman, who could pick the machine’s lock in seven seconds. Clutching a screwdriver, [Appel then] deftly wedged out the four ROM chips - they weren’t soldered into the circuit board, as sense might dictate - making it simple to replace them with one of his own: A version of modified firmware that could throw off the machine’s results, subtly altering the tally of votes, never to betray a hint to the voter. The attack was concluded in minutes. Elections could be vulnerable at myriad strike points, among them the software that aggregates the precinct vote totals, and the voter registration rolls that are increasingly digitized. But the threat, the cyber experts say, starts with the machines that tally the votes and crucially keep a record of them - or, in some cases, don't. It’s not just the voting machines themselves - it’s the desktop and laptop computers that election officials use. And the computers that aggregate the results together from all of the optical scans. If any of those get hacked, it could could significantly disrupt the election. Hackers this year have [already] targeted voter registration rolls in Illinois and possibly Arizona, another attack highlighted by the Princeton alums.
Note: For the text of the video at the above link and more, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Russia was behind the hacks into the Democratic National Committee’s computer network that led to the release of thousands of internal emails just before the party’s convention began, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded. The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises there is more data to come. The political nature of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is attacking our nation’s computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence a presidential election. This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of our democratic process. And it points to the possibility of an even worse problem in November. Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting machines and have flirted with Internet voting. These systems are insecure and vulnerable to attack. But while computer security experts ... have sounded the alarm for many years, states have largely ignored the threat, and the machine manufacturers have thrown up enough obfuscating babble that election officials are largely mollified. Government interference with foreign elections isn’t new, and in fact, that’s something the United States itself has repeatedly done in recent history. But what is new is a foreign government interfering with a U.S. national election on a large scale. Our democracy cannot tolerate it, and we as citizens cannot accept it.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers. The Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack, [said former 9/11 commission member John Lehman]. The comments ... signal the first serious public split among the 10 commissioners since they issued a 2004 final report that was largely read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. The former chairman and vice-chairman of the commission [have] urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11 – “the 28 pages”, as they are widely known in Washington. In fact, there were repeated showdowns, especially over the Saudis, between the staff and the commission’s hard-charging executive director ... Philip Zelikow. Zelikow fired a staffer, who had repeatedly protested over limitations on the Saudi investigation, after she obtained a copy of the 28 pages outside of official channels. Other staffers described an angry scene late one night, near the end of the investigation, when two investigators who focused on the Saudi allegations were forced to rush back to the commission’s offices after midnight after learning to their astonishment that some of the most compelling evidence about a Saudi tie to 9/11 was being edited out of the report.
Note: Zelikow's close ties to the Bush White House are among many problems with the official 9/11 Commission Report. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation sits on the plains of eastern Washington. The site is nearly 600 square miles in area and has been largely closed to the public for the past 70 years. Late last year, though, it became part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. A total of nine reactors operated at Hanford, and though they are now decommissioned, the reactors have left behind 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. Recent reports [indicate] new breaches in the tanks holding the nuclear waste. Workers on the site have been sickened too, suggesting that the rush to designate Hanford as a park may have been premature. The government has hired private contractors to build a plant that will solidify the waste and prepare it for permanent safe storage. The project will cost an astonishing $110 billion ... making it what many believe to be the most expensive, and extensive, environmental remediation project in the world. Completion is about five decades away. In 2013, construction of the Waste Treatment Plant - which will pump nuclear sludge out of the tanks and turn them into a hardened, glasslike substance - was slow. Whistleblowers, meanwhile, were alleging that private contractors had neglected safety and engineering concerns. Observers likened the place to a nuclear tinderbox. “America’s Fukushima?” asked the resulting Newsweek cover story. [One containment tank] was already known to be leaking toxic sludge into the soil. Now a second double-shelled tank ... is believed to be leaking as well.
Note: We are still 50 years and $110 billion away from safely containing the waste from just this one nuclear site, which was decommissioned 70 years ago. Why are we still using nuclear power? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.
"There's really only two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven't." That's what mobile security expert John Hering tells 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi about the danger of cellphone hacking. To prove his point, Hering assembled a group of ace hackers. Jon Oberheide showed 60 Minutes an app he created that looks legitimate but allows him to take control of a phone and suck out ... information [such as] contacts, recent purchases and text messages. Another hacker, Adam Laurie, uses radio frequency identification to hack phones. "He didn't need my phone number," Alfonsi explains. "All he had to do was physically touch my phone." He demonstrated by brushing by her in the lobby of her hotel. When he did ... her phone [automatically] dialed Laurie, allowing him to listen in on anything discussed in the room with Alfonsi's phone. A so-called "CryptoPhone" ... alerts the user when someone is trying to attack or hack into his or her phone. "Certain government facilities will try to get into your phone if you get too close to them," Alfonsi explains. To demonstrate, Les Goldsmith, CEO of ESD America, a company that specializes in countersurveillance technologies, took Alfonsi for a ride ... near a secure government facility. As they were driving past, a red line appeared on the CryptoPhone, indicating that ... if she were using a regular phone, the government agency could hear her call and read her text messages.
Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts. The [Obama] administration ... has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently ... thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot. Families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the courts to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of ... Saudi financial support for terrorism. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts. The Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil.
Note: The above article shows that underneath Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive is a $750 billion threat. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
Current and former members of Congress, U.S. officials, 9/11 Commissioners and the families of the attack's victims want 28 top-secret pages of a congressional report released. Bob Graham, the former Florida governor, Democratic U.S. Senator and onetime chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says the key section of a top secret report ... should be declassified to shed light on possible Saudi support for some of the 9/11 hijackers. Graham was co-chair of Congress' bipartisan "Joint Inquiry" into intelligence failures surrounding the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that issued the report in 2003. Graham and his Joint Inquiry co-chair in the House, former Representative Porter Goss (R-FL) - who went on to be director of the CIA - say the 28 pages were excised from their report by the Bush Administration in the interest of national security. Graham wouldn't discuss the classified contents, but says the 28 pages outline a network of people he believes supported hijackers in the US, [and] believes the hijackers were "substantially" supported by Saudi Arabia. Asked if the support was from government, rich people or charities, the former senator replies, "all of the above." Graham and others think the reason for classifying the pages was to protect the U.S. relationship with ally Saudi Arabia. In addition to Graham and Goss ... Tim Roemer, former Democratic U.S. Representative from Indiana who was the only person to serve on both Congress' Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission [has] read the redacted pages. Roemer says it's time to let everyone know what's in the top secret documents.
Note: Watch this revealing video segment on the CBS website. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
The U.S. lambastes and strong-arms countries that help drug lords and millionaire investors hide their money from tax collectors. Critics say it should look closer to home. America itself is emerging as a top tax haven alongside the likes of Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Panama. And states such as Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming, in particular, are competing with each other to provide foreigners with the secrecy they crave. "There's a big neon sign saying the U.S. is open to tax cheats," says John Christensen, executive director of the Tax Justice Network. America's openness to foreign tax evaders is coming under new scrutiny after the leak this week of 11.5 million confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm, [which] show how some of the world's richest people hide assets in shell companies to avoid paying taxes. Christensen's group, which campaigns for a global crackdown on tax evaders, says the United States ranks third in the world in financial secrecy, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong but ahead of notorious tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. Under a 2010 law, passed after it was learned that the Swiss bank UBS helped thousands of Americans evade U.S. taxes, the United States demands that banks and other financial institutions disclose information on Americans abroad to make sure they pay their U.S. taxes. But ... American banks don't even collect the kind of information foreign countries would need to identify tax dodgers.
Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy. The ACLU of Massachusetts blog Privacy SOS explains [that] domestic law enforcement officials now have access to huge troves of American communications, obtained without warrants, that they can use to put people in cages. This basically formalizes what was already happening. We’ve known for a couple of years now that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS were getting information from the NSA. Because that information was obtained without a warrant, the agencies were instructed to engage in “parallel construction” when explaining to courts and defense attorneys how the information had been obtained. It certainly isn’t the only time that that national security apparatus has let law enforcement agencies benefit from policies that are supposed to be reserved for terrorism investigations in order to get around the Fourth Amendment, then instructed those law enforcement agencies to misdirect, fudge and outright lie about how they obtained incriminating information. This isn’t just a few rogue agents. The lying has been a matter of policy.
There is evidence the RCMP broke the law while conducting a high-profile terrorism sting and must hand over confidential legal documents, says a B.C. Supreme Court judge. Justice Catherine Bruce has not yet ruled whether the RCMP entrapped John Nuttall and Amanda Korody into plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature in 2013, but she said in a ruling released Wednesday that the Mounties may be guilty of knowingly facilitating a terrorist act. Undercover officers posing as jihadi warriors gave Nuttall and Korody groceries, cigarettes, bus passes, cell phones, phone cards, clothing, cash and a portable hard drive. They also provided the pair with a place to work on their terrorist scheme and a location to build the explosives, chauffeured them to various stores to purchase bomb-making equipment and transported them ... over the course of the four-month sting operation. Lawyers had advised the RCMP on numerous occasions, including recommending officers "drive target but don't shop" when purchasing materials to build the explosives. Bruce's ruling ordered the police to disclose confidential legal advice they received about running the undercover affair.
Note: Read this New York Times article which shows how the FBI also aids and abets terrorism on a regular basis to keep us in fear. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and throughout intelligence agencies.
On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express ... is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.” Those nine words are at the center of a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations. By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices. It has become increasingly difficult to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration. The same applies to getting a job, renting a car or placing a relative in a nursing home. By banning class actions, companies have essentially disabled consumer challenges to ... predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination. “This is among the most profound shifts in our legal history,” William G. Young, a federal judge ... said in an interview. “Ominously, business has a good chance of opting out of the legal system altogether and misbehaving without reproach.” Thousands of cases brought by single plaintiffs over fraud, wrongful death and rape are now being decided behind closed doors. And the rules of arbitration largely favor companies.
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