Government Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on government corruption
Some 36 hours after the world first learnt of the US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the White House changed parts of its story. A woman was killed, its spokesman said, but she was not Bin Laden's wife – who survived after being shot in the leg. Bin Laden did not, as had earlier been claimed, use his wife as a human shield; she was injured when she tried to challenge one of the US commandos. And Bin Laden was not, after all, armed, although he did, the spokesman said, put up some resistance. The new version – no wife as human shield, no weapon – makes [bin Laden] more ordinary and more vulnerable. It also raises further questions. If the first version was incorrect, perhaps even to an extent "spun" for a certain effect, might there not be room for doubt about other aspects of the official narrative? About, say, whether the crucial intelligence about Bin Laden was extracted from al-Qa'ida operatives under torture, which might appear to justify such methods and lift some of the opprobrium from the previous US administration and the CIA. A no less pertinent question that the new version raises is whether Bin Laden was ever actually given a chance to surrender and whether he might have been taken alive rather than dead. When President Obama said that justice had been done, was this – strictly speaking – justice, or was it cold-blooded retribution?
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here. For many other major media news articles showing clear deception and more by government officials, click here.
The Supreme Court on [February 22] shielded the nation's vaccine makers from being sued by parents who say their children suffered severe side effects from the drugs. By a 6-2 vote, the court upheld a federal law that offers compensation to these victims but closes the courthouse door to lawsuits. Justice Antonin Scalia said the high court majority agreed with Congress that these side effects were "unavoidable" when a vaccine is given to millions of children. If the drug makers could be sued and forced to pay huge claims for devastating injuries, the vaccine industry could be wiped out, he said. The American Academy of Pediatrics applauded the decision. The ruling was a defeat for the parents of Hannah Bruesewitz, who as a child was given a standard vaccination for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. She later suffered a series of seizures and delayed development. Her parents sought compensation for her injuries, but their claim was turned down. They then sued the drug maker in a Pennsylvania court, contending that the vaccine was defectively designed. A judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled they were barred from suing, and the Supreme Court affirmed that judgment.
Note: For powerful evidence that childhood vaccines are much less effective than is generally believed, click here.
Just under three years ago, people in the village of Gumbi in western Malawi went unexpectedly hungry. Not like Europeans do if they miss a meal or two, but that deep, gnawing hunger that prevents sleep and dulls the senses when there has been no food for weeks. Oddly, there had been no drought, the usual cause of malnutrition and hunger in southern Africa, and there was plenty of food in the markets. For no obvious reason the price of staple foods such as maize and rice nearly doubled in a few months. Unusually, too, there was no evidence that the local merchants were hoarding food. It was the same story in 100 other developing countries. There were food riots in more than 20 countries and governments had to ban food exports and subsidise staples heavily. A new theory is emerging among traders and economists. The same banks, hedge funds and financiers whose speculation on the global money markets caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis are ... taking advantage of the deregulation of global commodity markets [to make] billions from speculating on food and causing misery around the world. As food prices soar again to beyond 2008 levels, it becomes clear that everyone is now being affected. Food prices are now rising by up to 10% a year in Britain and Europe. What is more, says the UN, prices can be expected to rise at least 40% in the next decade.
Note: Remember that speculation is behind almost all of the economic bubbles and busts. The price of oil spiked a couple years ago almost purely because of speculators, while the oil companies raked in record profits. It looks like the speculators are now driving food prices as high as they can. For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources investigating the many different strategies used by financial corporations to enrich themselves at the expense of common people, click here.
Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of "promiscuity" with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years. The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups. Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners "as part of the job". His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists. The claims follow the unmasking of undercover PC Mark Kennedy, who had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating a ring of environmental activists. Another two covert officers have been named in the past fortnight who also had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on, fuelling allegations that senior officers had authorised sleeping around as a legitimate means of gathering intelligence.
Note: For a comprehensive overview of the still-ongoing revelations about police provocateur Mark Kennedy and his cohorts in the UK police infiltration of environmental and related activist groups, click here.
The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show. In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops. "Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices," said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the St Louis-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s [and is married to Dorothy Walker, a first cousin of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush]. In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative. In addition, the cables show US diplomats working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto. It also emerges that Spain and the US have worked closely together to persuade the EU not to strengthen biotechnology laws. In one cable, the embassy in Madrid writes: "If Spain falls, the rest of Europe will follow." The cables show that not only did the Spanish government ask the US to keep pressure on Brussels but that the US knew in advance how Spain would vote, even before the Spanish biotech commission had reported.
Note: For a powerful 13-minute video revealing the disturbing results of the first long-term scientific study on GMOs and showing how they greatly increased cancer incidence in rats, click here. For more revealing information on this from Dr. Mercola, click here. For an excellent overview of scientific studies on the risks from genetically-modified foods, click here.
A secret history of the United States government's Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a "safe haven" in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II. The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades. It describes the government's ... pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz. The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis. The report's most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement with Nazi emigres. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.'s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations. The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006. Under the threat of a lawsuit, it turned over a heavily redacted version last month to a private research group, the National Security Archive, but even then many ... portions were omitted. A complete version was obtained by The New York Times.
Note: To read the complete Justice Department report obtained by The New York Times, click here. For a brief comparison with the heavily redacted version previously available, click here. For a more detailed analysis by the the National Security Archive, click here.
A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II. The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades. Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations. The Justice Department report, describing what it calls “the government’s collaboration with persecutors,” says that O.S.I. investigators learned that some of the Nazis “were indeed knowingly granted entry” to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. “America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well,” it said. The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006. Under the threat of a lawsuit, it turned over a heavily redacted version last month.
Note: US agencies used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis as spies and informants during the Cold War. Nazi doctors were also used used to teach the CIA mind control methods it perfected. See the astounding declassified CIA documents on this program.
The goal of this project is to improve the quality of vaccination programs by improving the quality of physician adverse vaccine event detection and reporting to the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Restructuring at CDC and consequent delays in terms of decision making have made it challenging despite best efforts to move forward. Adverse events from drugs and vaccines are common, but underreported. Although 25% of ambulatory patients experience an adverse drug event, less than 0.3% of all adverse drug events and 1-13% of serious events are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Likewise, fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of "problem" drugs and vaccines that endanger public health. New surveillance methods for drug and vaccine adverse effects are needed. Barriers to reporting include a lack of clinician awareness, uncertainty about when and what to report, as well as the burdens of reporting: reporting is not part of clinicians' usual workflow, takes time, and is duplicative. Unfortunately, there was never an opportunity to perform system performance assessments because the necessary CDC contacts were no longer available and the CDC consultants responsible for receiving data were no longer responsive to our multiple requests to proceed with testing and evaluation.
Note: The U.S. government here is admitting that less than 1% of vaccine injuries are reported. What does this say about the safety of vaccines in general? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Armed with declassified documents and vivid details, a group of former Air Force officers gathered Monday to go public with an assertion they have kept mostly under wraps for decades: that UFOs visited the bases they were stationed at and caused nuclear weapon system to temporarily malfunction. The group, convened by UFO researcher Robert Hastings, came to the National Press Club in Washington to discuss their individual experiences and to urge a government that tried to ignore and silence them when they came forward years ago to finally come clean. Hastings said he believes that visitors from outer space are fixating on nuclear weapons because they want to send a message: Disarm before the world destroys itself. Hastings said he has heard of a UFO incident occurring at Malmstrom as recently as 2007. The declassified documents Hastings presented at Monday's news conference include decades-old government memos detailing reports of sightings of objects in the skies above Alabama, Montana, New Mexico and North Dakota. He has talked to 120 former or retired U.S. military about the presence of UFOs at nuclear weapons sites across the United States and around the globe as early as 1945, when the world entered the nuclear age with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For some of the officers who came forward Monday, going public wasn't easy. Bruce Fenstermacher, a missile combat crew commander at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., was "laughed at" by superiors when he reported a UFO sighting at a launch site that one of his sergeants had passed on to him, he said. He decided to keep his head low after that. "I was very careful about who I told what," he said. "I was concerned. I don't want to be considered a kook. But I think it's more important to come out and tell our story."
Note: To watch 18-minutes of this most fascinating testimony on the CNN website, click here. For a treasure trove of reliable, verifiable information on the UFO cover-up, see our resource-filled UFO Information Center at http://www.WantToKnow.info/ufoinformation.
"The Conehead economy" [is] the idea that if the economy were a person, its growth over the past few decades would've turned it from a normal-looking individual into a conehead. Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson get at this idea slightly differently [in their book Winner-Take-All Politics]. They've got a table showing how incomes would look if growth had been equally shared from 1979 to 2006 -- much as it was in the decades before 1979. If growth had been equally shared, the middle quintile would be making $64,395 today. Instead, they're making $52,100. That's a 23 percent raise those folks didn't get -- and that I'm sure they would've noticed. The top 1 percent ... made, on average, $1,200,300 in 2006. If growth had been equally shared in the three decades before that, however, their incomes would've been cut by more than half, down to $506,002. That's real, serious money we're talking about. The top 1 percent now accounts for 23.5 percent of the national income if you include capital gains. In 1979, they only had 9.8 percent of the nation's earnings. During that same period, tax rates on the richest Americans have actually dropped. So as the economy went one way -- toward more money going to the rich -- the tax system went the other.
Note: For lots more on income inequality from reliable sources, click here.
The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has attempted to block a book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called "Able Danger." In a letter obtained by Fox News, the DIA says national security could be breached if Operation Dark Heart is published in its current form. The agency also attempted to block key portions of the book that claim "Able Danger" successfully identified hijacker Mohammed Atta as a threat to the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. In a highly unusual move, the Department of Defense is now negotiating with the publisher, St. Martin's Press, to buy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of the book to keep it off shelves -- even after the U.S. Army had cleared the book for release. Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book's author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Shaffer alleges the commission was told about "Able Danger" and the identification of Atta before the attacks. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 report. Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the commission. Without explanation, the commission was no longer interested.
A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money. Out of just over $9bn, $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says. Much of the money came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas, and some frozen Saddam Hussein-era assets were also sold off. The money was in a special fund administered by the US Department of Defense, the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and was earmarked for reconstruction projects. But the report says that a lack of proper accounting and poor oversight makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of it. "The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss," the report said. This is not the first time that allegations of missing billions have surfaced in relation to the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. In 2005, the inspector general criticised the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US-led occupation administration, for its management of an $8.8bn fund that belonged to the Iraqi government. A criminal investigation conducted led to the conviction of eight US officials on bribery, fraud and money-laundering charges.
Note: For a collection of major media articles showing how the US military has repeatedly failed to account for hundreds of billions of dollars, click here.
In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials - called Super Users - have the ability to even know about all the department's activities. Most [sources for this story] requested anonymity either because they are prohibited from speaking publicly or because, they said, they feared retaliation at work for describing their concerns. Beyond redundancy, secrecy within the intelligence world hampers effectiveness in other ways. For the Defense Department, [the] problem goes back to an ultra-secret group of programs for which access is extremely limited and monitored by specially trained security officers. These are called Special Access Programs - or SAPs - and the Pentagon's list of code names for them runs 300 pages. The intelligence community has hundreds more of its own, and those hundreds have thousands of sub-programs with their own limits on the number of people authorized to know anything about them. All this means that very few people have a complete sense of what's going on. Such secrecy can undermine the normal chain of command when senior officials use it to cut out rivals or when subordinates are ordered to keep secrets from their commanders. One military officer involved in one such program said he was ordered to sign a document prohibiting him from disclosing it to his four-star commander, with whom he worked closely every day, because the commander was not authorized to know about it
Note: To read the full text of this important article, please make sure to press the "Continue Reading" button at the end of the first webpage to access all of the fascinating information provided. For lots more on government secrecy, click here.
Inside the humdrum offices of a tiny trading firm called Tradeworx, workers ... tend high-speed computers that typically buy and sell 80 million shares a day. But on the afternoon of May 6, as the stock market began to plunge in the “flash crash,” someone here walked up to one of those computers and typed the command HF STOP: sell everything and shutdown. Across the country, several of Tradeworx’s counterparts did the same. In a blink, some of the most powerful players in the stock market — high-frequency traders — went dark. The result sent chills through the financial world. After the brief 1,000-point plunge in the stock market that day, the growing role of high-frequency traders in the nation’s financial markets is drawing new scrutiny. Over the last decade, these high-tech operators have become sort of a shadow Wall Street — from New Jersey to Kansas City, from Texas to Chicago. Depending on whose estimates you believe, high-frequency traders account for 40 to 70 percent of all trading on every stock market in the country. Some of the biggest players trade more than a billion shares a day. These are short-term bets. Very short. The founder of Tradebot, in Kansas City, Mo., told students in 2008 that his firm typically held stocks for 11 seconds. Tradebot, one of the biggest high-frequency traders around, had not had a losing day in four years, he said.
Note: For key reports on the dubious practices which underlay the financial crisis and the impoverishment of the public treasury, click here.
Russia has never been immune to spies and informers, but the latest claim must have struck President Medvedev as a little bizarre: he has been urged to investigate whether a regional politician passed official secrets to a group of aliens. The request came after Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the millionaire President of Kalmykia, claimed on state television that he had been visited by aliens at his Moscow apartment several years ago and had spent hours in discussions with them on board their spaceship. The head of the republic said that the humanoid figures wore yellow spacesuits and gave him a tour of their craft, which he described as a “semi-transparent half-tube”. They had brought him home in the morning, just as his worried driver and two advisers were about to call a citywide search after finding his apartment empty. “I am often asked which language I used to talk to them. Perhaps it was on a level of the exchange of ideas,” Mr Ilyumzhinov, who is also president of the international chess federation FIDE, told the Vladimir Pozner programme on Russia’s main First Channel. Mr Ilyumzhinov told his interviewer that his encounter had taken place in 1997. “I would not have believed it, if I had not had three witnesses.”
Note: For lots more on UFOs, check out our information-packed UFO Information Center.
The President’s Cancer Panel is the Mount Everest of the medical mainstream, so it is astonishing to learn that it is poised to join ranks with the organic food movement and declare: chemicals threaten our bodies. The cancer panel is releasing a landmark 200-page report ... warning that our lackadaisical approach to regulation may have far-reaching consequences for our health. It calls on America to rethink the way we confront cancer, including much more rigorous regulation of chemicals. The President’s Cancer Panel suggests ... giving preference to organic food, checking radon levels in the home and microwaving food in glass containers rather than plastic. In particular, the report warns about exposures to chemicals during pregnancy, when risk of damage seems to be greatest. Noting that 300 contaminants have been detected in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies, the study warns that: “to a disturbing extent, babies are born ‘pre-polluted.’” The report blames weak laws, lax enforcement and fragmented authority, as well as the existing regulatory presumption that chemicals are safe unless strong evidence emerges to the contrary. “Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety,” the report says. It adds: “Many known or suspected carcinogens are completely unregulated.”
Note: To read the President's Cancer Panel report, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk, click here. For many other important reports from major media sources on potential cancer cures and treatments, click here.
The Obama Administration has taken the unprecedented step of authorising the killing of a US citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. The decision is extraordinary not only because Mr al-Awlaki is believed to be the first American whose killing has been approved by a US President, but also because the Obama Administration chose to make the move public. The Los Angeles Times reported in January that Mr al-Awlaki’s name had been placed on a top-secret list of targeted killings. In the past 24 hours, however, a handful of intelligence and counter-terrorism officials have briefed Reuters and The New York Times on the decision. The authorisation ... and the decision to make it public is a high-risk strategy. Tina Foster, of the US-based International Justice Network, told The Times: “It is shocking that our Government would go to these extremes, even depriving someone of their life without a legal process.” The policy of targeted killings is controversial. President Ford issued an order in 1976 banning political assassinations. Yet Congress approved the use of force against al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks.
Note: Obama is the first president to publicly order the assassination an American citizen. Neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney asserted such a power on the part of the president.
Classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, was released on [April 5] by a group that promotes leaking to fight government and corporate corruption. The group, WikiLeaks, told a news conference in Washington that it acquired encrypted video of the July 12, 2007, attack from military whistleblowers and had been able to view and investigate it after breaking the encryption code. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the video and audio were authentic. David Schlesinger, Reuters' editor-in-chief, said the video released by WikiLeaks showed the deaths of [Namir] Noor-Eldeen and [Saeed] Chmagh were "tragic and emblematic of the extreme dangers that exist in covering war zones." "The video released today via WikiLeaks is graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result," he said. Reuters has pressed the U.S. military to conduct a full and objective investigation into the killing of the two staff. WikiLeaks posted the video at http://www.collateralmurder.com.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Should the above video disappear, click here to view it on one of our websites. The only reason this event made news is because the two cameramen killed were Reuters reporters. US forces then fired on an unarmed van with children in it, which was attempting to bring the dead and wounded out of the combat zone. How many innocent civilians are killed like this and never make the news? Spread this important video and help others to wake up and work together to stop the creulty of some of the US forces. The Pentagon is working hard to shut down Wikileaks, the organization which secured this powerful video.
Law enforcement is tracking Americans' cell phones in real time—without the benefit of a warrant. Amid all the furor over the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program a few years ago, a mini-revolt was brewing over another type of federal snooping that was getting no public attention at all. Federal prosecutors were seeking what seemed to be unusually sensitive records: internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers' cell phones—sometimes in real time, sometimes after the fact. Prosecutors "were using the cell phone as a surreptitious tracking device," said Stephen W. Smith, a federal magistrate in Houston. "And I started asking the U.S. Attorney's Office, 'What is the legal authority for this? What is the legal standard for getting this information?'" Those questions are now at the core of a constitutional clash between President Obama's Justice Department and civil libertarians alarmed by what they see as the government's relentless intrusion into the private lives of citizens. There are numerous other fronts in the privacy wars—about the content of e-mails, for instance, and access to bank records and credit-card transactions. The Feds now can quietly get all that information. But cell-phone tracking is among the more unsettling forms of government surveillance, conjuring up Orwellian images of Big Brother secretly following your movements through the small device in your pocket.
Note: For many key reports from major media sources on the disturbing trend toward increasing government and corporate surveillance, click here.
The [IRS] reports that the nation's 400 highest-earning households reported an average income of $345 million in 2007 — up 31% from 2006 — and that their average tax bill fell to a 15-year low. Bloomberg writes that the elite 400's average income more than doubled that year from $131.1 million in 2001, the year Congress adopted tax cuts urged by then-President George W. Bush. Each household in the top 400 of earners paid an average tax rate of 16.6 percent, the lowest since the agency began tracking the data in 1992. Their average effective tax rate was about half the 29.4 percent in 1993, the first year of President Bill Clinton's administration. The top 400 earners received a total $138 billion in 2007, up from $105.3 billion a year earlier. On an inflation-adjusted basis, their average income grew almost fivefold since 1992. Almost three-quarters of the highest earners' income was in capital gains and dividends taxed at a 15 percent rate set as part of Bush-backed tax cuts in 2003.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on income inequality, click here. And for a powerful summary of 10 top corporations which avoided taxes in most egregious ways, see the excellent list compiled by independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders at this link.
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