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Government Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media


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

Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


America’s slow-motion military coup
2017-09-16, Boston Globe
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:36:28
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/09/16/america-slow-motion-military-c...

In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has. Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men: General James Mattis, the secretary of defense; General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff; and General H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser. They do not put on their ribbons to review military parades or dispatch death squads to kill opponents, as members of old-style juntas did. Yet their emergence reflects a new stage in the erosion of our political norms and the militarization of our foreign policy. Already they have exerted a stabilizing influence. Mattis refuses to join the rush to bomb North Korea, Kelly has imposed a measure of order on the White House staff, and McMaster pointedly distanced himself from Trump’s praise for white nationalists after the violence in Charlottesville. Being ruled by generals seems preferable to the alternative. It isn’t. Trump has made clear that when he must make foreign policy choices, he will defer to “my generals.” Military commanders are trained to fight wars, not to decide whether fighting makes strategic sense. That is properly the job of diplomats. Many Americans ... are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation.

Note: Check out this excellent article which shows how Trump, like Obama and his other predecessors, has been co-opted to support the hugely profitable war machine. According to this recent New York Times article, John Kelly now directly controls what news President Trump is and is not allowed to see. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Governments Turn Tables by Suing Public Records Requesters
2017-09-17, New York Times
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:34:42
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/09/17/us/ap-us-sunshine-year-turning-th...

An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home. College journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct. Instead, they got something else: sued by the agencies they had asked for public records. Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests - taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense. The lawsuits generally ask judges to rule that the records being sought do not have to be divulged, [and] name the requesters as defendants. The recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it's becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics. At least two recent cases have succeeded in blocking information while many others have only delayed the release. Even if agencies are ultimately required to make the records public, they typically will not have to pay the other side's legal bills. "You can lose even when you win," said Mike Deshotels, an education watchdog who was sued by the Louisiana Department of Education after filing requests for school district enrollment data last year.

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


Federal employees ordered to attend anti-leaking classes
2017-09-21, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:32:32
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/politics/article/Federal-employees-are-ordere...

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information. It is part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies. The Associated Press obtained training materials from the hourlong class. Government employees who hold security clearances undergo background checks and extensive training in safeguarding classified information. Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep "Controlled Unclassified Information" from unauthorized disclosure. President Donald Trump has expressed anger repeated leaks of potentially embarrassing information to media organizations. In a speech last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said those responsible for the "staggering number of leaks" coming out of the administration would be investigated and potentially prosecuted. "We share the White House's concern with the unlawful leaks throughout the government," Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said. A three-page fact sheet sent to EPA employees as part of the training warned that leaks of even unclassified information could have serious consequences to national security.

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


How a Crackdown on Leaks Threatens Confidential Sources
2017-09-04, New York Times
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:30:01
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/04/insider/how-a-crackdown-on-leaks-threatens...

It was just four years ago that roughly two dozen representatives of major news organizations crowded around a conference table at the Justice Department for a meeting with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Our agenda? Strengthening the Justice Department’s guidelines that limit when federal prosecutors can serve subpoenas on the news media. It had just been revealed that federal investigators had secretly seized the phone records of The Associated Press and the emails of a Fox News correspondent during leak investigations. The result was important: The Justice Department revised its internal guidelines to make it harder for prosecutors to obtain subpoenas for reporters’ testimony and records. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after being chided by President Trump for being weak, recently declared a war on leakers and made clear that the news media was also on his mind. It seems all but certain that the Justice Department will try to chip away at the subpoena guidelines, [which] say that prosecutors are to seek testimony and evidence from journalists only as a last resort, and that news organizations should have a chance to go to court to challenge any subpoenas. The guidelines are far from ironclad. If a prosecutor were to ignore them, a journalist would have no right to go into court and demand they be followed. When federal courts dial back protection for reporters, the guidelines become an essential first line of defense against overzealous prosecutors.

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


Former whistleblower starts legal aid group to guide would-be tipsters
2017-09-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:26:29
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-whistleblower-s...

John N. Tye wants to make it easier to expose government wrongdoing without getting fired or breaking the law. Tye, a former State Department whistleblower, and lawyer Mark S. Zaid have formed Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit law office to help would-be tipsters in government and the military navigate the bureaucratic and legal morass involved in reporting governmental misdeeds. Whistleblowing can be a challenge for people who have taken an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution ... Tye said in a telephone interview. “Then you get into government and you see something wrong,” he said. “You’ve sworn to stop it, but there aren’t a lot of tools at your disposal, especially if it’s your supervisor who’s breaking the law. People are scared. They’re worried about their jobs. If it involves classified information, they can be criminally prosecuted.” Tye’s interest in whistleblowing came from a stint as section chief for Internet freedom in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He came forward as a whistleblower to publicize the government’s electronic surveillance practices. He wrote about it in 2014 in a Washington Post opinion piece that he submitted to the State Department for approval. His quest to air his concerns cost him $13,000 in legal fees. If a whistleblower comes to Whistleblower Aid with classified information, he or she will be steered to investigators with security clearances and the power to do something about it.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


New Oliver Stone doc shows how Bill Binney’s NSA ThinThread anti-terror program was canned weeks before 9/11
2017-02-03, Salon.com
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:24:15
http://www.salon.com/2017/02/03/watch-the-real-beautiful-mind-belongs-to-bill...

When Bill Binney, former NSA analyst and head of the anti-terror ThinThread metadata program sits in front of you and says he is not afraid of the government, you have to admire him. A wheel-chair-bound U.S. serviceman who rose in the ranks of intelligence to work in top-secret NSA programs, Binney created ThinThread prior to September 11, 2001, and says it mathematically broke down all phone communications anywhere in the world without any infringement on Constitutional rights. The program was self-running. More important, it worked. In "A Good American," the new documentary from executive producer Oliver Stone ... audiences are taken on a tense and frightening ride through Binney and his colleagues' experience developing and deploying ThinThread in tests, only to see its funding pulled just weeks before 9/11 in favor of an expensive and ineffective ... program called Trailblazer. Binney contends that ThinThread would have identified the terrorists who planned and executed the 9/11 terror attacks, thereby preventing them from occurring. When ThinThread's plug was pulled, Binney and his team challenged their NSA bosses, and in the process found themselves at odds with the U.S. government and in a complex web of lies and corruption. Thus, when Binney said he remains unafraid of possible repercussions or retaliation tied to the film's thesis, it's not hard to believe. "What else can they do to me?" he asks. "They've already tried everything to stop me."

Note: Watch a free trailer or rent the whole documentary on this webpage. Read a revealing, detailed New York Times article on Oliver Stone and his profound work to expose corruption and manipulation through film. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Snowden, A Love Story: Inside Oliver Stone's New Film
2016-09-12, Newsweek
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:22:00
http://www.newsweek.com/edward-snowden-oliver-stone-nsa-privacy-bill-binney-e...

Years before anyone had ever heard of [Edward] Snowden, [Bill] Binney, a gifted cryptologist and mathematician, was pushing back against the NSA’s spying overreach. In October 2001 ... he resigned rather than participate in a clandestine, massively overpriced and questionably legal electronic spying system code-named Trailblazer. Eventually, the government came after him. [Binney] was thrilled by [Oliver] Stone’s powerful biopic of Snowden, who astounded the world with his massive exposure of the NSA’s global spying programs. "I think it will help people understand what is really going on behind the scenes. They are invading the privacy of everyone," he says. "They can turn on your cellphone and listen to you. They can turn on your camera and watch you." In 2013 ... James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, [lied] under oath during a congressional hearing about the NSA’s spying programs. Snowden was watching. He had also seen what had happened to Binney and fellow NSA executives Thomas Drake, Ed Loomis and Kirk Wiebe, whose homes were raided by FBI agents after The New York Times exposed the NSA’s secret spying programs in 2005. Drake, prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act, was eventually acquitted ... but his career was ruined. [Snowden's] critics insist he should have pursued his complaints internally, despite the persuasive examples of Binney and his comrades that such resistance is futile, even risky.

Note: Watch a free trailer or rent the whole documentary on this webpage. Read a revealing, detailed New York Times article on Oliver Stone and his profound work to expose corruption and manipulation through film. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Harvard withdraws invitation to Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow amid backlash
2017-09-15, USA Today
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:19:34
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/09/15/harvard-withdraws-i...

Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier who spent seven years in prison for leaking classified documents, will not be distinguished visiting fellow at Harvard after growing backlash prompted the school to rescind the invitation. The school withdrew Manning's invite two days after announcing she would be one of roughly ten visiting fellows this fall. Manning's designation as a visiting fellow led to Mike Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, to resign his post as a senior fellow at Harvard University, CBS reported. CIA Director Mike Pompeo also canceled a speaking event Thursday at a Harvard forum in protest of what he called the school's decision to place Manning in a "position of honor." Manning was convicted of leaking more than 700,000 classified documents, including battlefield reports on Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department cables, while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. She said the leaks were intended to expose wrongdoing. Manning was arrested in May 2010 and given a 35-year sentence, which was commuted in the final days of the Obama administration. Manning was known as Pvt. Bradley Manning at the time of her arrest, but announced she was transgender during her incarceration. Elmendorf said Manning will still spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak in the Forum, though she will not be designated a visiting fellow.

Note: Read about Manning's wartime whistleblowing in this CNN story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies and in the corporate world.


CNN Special Report on Electromagnetic Frequency Weapons
1985-11-01, CNN News
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:16:49
https://archive.org/details/CNNSpecialReport1985ElectromagneticFrequencyWeapons

Electronic mind-control research is not new. In the 1960s ... Dr. Jose Delgado demonstrated remote control over a charging bull. In recent years Delgado has shown that the behavior of monkeys can be altered using low-power pulsing magnetic fields. "Any function in the brain - emotions, intellect, personality - could we perhaps modify by this non-invasive technology," [he said]. Delgado’s research has so far been limited to animals. But in the Soviet Union a radio frequency, or RF, device has been used for over 30 years to manipulate the moods of mental patients. It’s called a Lida machine. It radiates pulses of radio frequency energy as well as light, sound, and heat. [One] scientist, who did not want his identity revealed, is employed by the U.S. Government and has done secret RF weapons research. He believes that tests done with the Lida and similar machines prove that humans are susceptible to remote alterations of mood and awareness. "Certain kinds of weak electromagnetic signals work exactly like drugs, and so the promise is that anything you can do with drugs you could do with the right electromagnetic signal, [this scientist said]. "As far as I’m concerned, the potential that this has for producing a direct psychoactive effect upon the total American population is there, has never been disproven," [commented] Dr. Robert Becker ... a pioneer in the field of bioeffects of electromagnetism.

Note: This 1985 CNN Special Report by Chuck DeCaro is a key to understanding the secret world of manipulation using electromagnetic frequencies. Don't miss the 20-minute video of this broadcast at the link above. The text is available here. Weapons like this have already been developed, as evidenced in these major media news articles. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


Mystery of Sonic Weapon Attacks at US Embassy in Cuba Deepens
2017-09-14, The Guardian/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-09-19 00:05:50
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/14/mystery-of-sonic-weapon-attacks...

The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. The agonizing sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room. Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 US victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. New details learned by the Associated Press indicate at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling US officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up. Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon. Yet the diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound, has confounded the FBI, the state department and US intelligence agencies involved in the investigation. Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials said, the latest signs of more serious damage than the US government initially realized. The United States first acknowledged the attacks in August – nine months after symptoms were first reported. The cases vary deeply: different symptoms, different recollections of what happened. In several episodes recounted by US officials, victims knew it was happening in real time, and there were strong indications of a sonic attack.

Note: Sound weapons developed for war and increasingly used against civilian populations are well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


Google now highest-spending company for federal lobbying
2017-07-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2017-09-19 00:01:13
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Google-now-highest-spending-company-fo...

Google spent the most it ever has in a single quarter trying to influence elected officials in Washington, according to lobbying disclosures made public late Thursday. The past three months have also seen record spending on lobbying by several other major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and Uber. Google Inc., according to the disclosure forms, spent $5.93 million between April 1 and June 30. That’s about 40 percent more than it had spent during the same period last year. The only three entities that doled out more money were large business organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($11.68 million), the National Association of Realtors ($10.92 million) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($6 million). Since the 2016 election, the tech industry has had to navigate ... an administration whose decisions have often cut against Silicon Valley’s business interests. The combined lobbying efforts of some of the most influential tech companies - Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft - totaled $15.79 million. Google’s lobbying efforts come as it faces the largest fine the European Union has ever levied against a company for abusing its dominant market position. In June, the European Union’s antitrust chief hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine, saying the company illegally steered users toward its comparison shopping site. If the ruling is not overturned, it could reshape the company’s behavior and direct the evolving boundaries of tech-industry regulation.

Note: Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Democrats Fought For 25 Years Over Single-Payer. Now Many Back Medicare-For-All
2017-09-12, International Business Times
Posted: 2017-09-18 23:53:44
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/democrats-fought-25-years-over-singl...

When U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ introduces his Medicare-for-All legislation on Wednesday, advocates of a single-payer, government-sponsored health care hope it will be the end of a bitterly fought policy battle that has roiled the Democratic Party for generations. Since Democratic President Harry Truman first proposed a government-sponsored universal health care system in 1945 - and since a Democratic president and Democratic congress first enacted Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s - progressives have hoped that the United States would follow other industrialized countries by guaranteeing health care to all citizens. Now ... Democrats from across the party’s ideological spectrum are flocking to [Sanders'] legislation. With polls showing rising support for government-sponsored health care, the party’s long civil war over the issue may be over, potentially allowing a more unified party to campaign on Medicare-for-All in 2018. As some ... continue to oppose single-payer, popular support for the idea is rising: 53 percent of Americans support “a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan,” according to a June Kaiser Health survey.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


Wormwood review – Errol Morris's splendidly spooky doc about death, LSD and the CIA
2017-09-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-09-18 23:50:59
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/02/wormwood-review-errol-mo...

America’s love affair with LSD did not begin in Haight-Ashbury or during the summer of love. Instead it was seeded ... in Midwestern laboratories and government offices, where it comprised one strand of an extensive germ warfare programme. Errol Morris’s splendidly clammy, mysterious docu-drama Wormwood reopens the file on Frank Olson, a jobbing biochemist who fell to his death from a New York hotel. At the time (December 1953) Olson’s death was ruled to be suicide. But 20 years later evidence emerged that complicated the official verdict and prompted Olson’s family to sue the federal government. Even today elderly Eric Olson is in search of a definitive answer. He casts himself in the role of a Cold War Hamlet, haunted and harried by his father’s ghost. So what became of luckless Frank Olson? Did he fall or was he pushed? Infuriatingly – perhaps fittingly – we will have to wait to find out. For Morris’s docu-drama is a six-part series, commissioned by Netflix. So we’re left to blunder on, hands outstretched, past pensive Eric Olson and ... through spooky archive footage of a 1970s congressional hearing where sleazy Colonel Ruwet – surely the villain of the piece – sits with his back to the camera, meaning that we can only see his starched collar and his bald spot and the hint of a smile when he responds to a question. Who, then, can predict how this investigation turns out?

Note: A 1975 US government report said that Frank Olson committed suicide after being given LSD without his knowledge as part of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. The lawsuit filed by his sons claimed Olson was killed by the CIA after he "raised concerns about testing chemical and biological weapons on human subjects without their consent". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Military Wants to Own the Weather
2005-10-31, Space.com
Posted: 2017-09-18 23:39:49
https://www.space.com/1725-military-weather.html

Military officials and weather modification experts could be on the verge of joining forces to better gauge, react to, and possibly nullify future hostile forces churned out by Mother Nature. While some consider the idea farfetched, some military tacticians have already pondered ways to turn weather into a weapon. What would a military strategist gain in having an "on-switch" to the weather? Clearly, it offers the ability to degrade the effectiveness of enemy forces. In this regard, nanotechnology could be utilized to create clouds of tiny smart particles. Atmospherically buoyant, these ultra-small computer particles could navigate themselves to block optical sensors. Alternatively, they might be used to provide an atmospheric electrical potential difference - a way to precisely aim and time lightning strikes over the enemy’s head – thereby concoct thunderbolts on demand. Perhaps that’s too far out for some. But some blue sky thinkers have already looked into these and other scenarios in "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025" – a research paper written by a seven person team of military officers and presented in 1996 as part of a larger study dubbed Air Force 2025. In 2025, the report summarized, U.S. aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications. "Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible," the report concluded.

Note: Explore an excellent summary of the 1996 USAF report titled "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025." Links to the original report are available.


San Francisco could become first local government to use open-source voting system
2017-09-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2017-09-11 23:39:12
http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/San-Francisco-could-become-first-...

San Francisco has taken a tentative step toward deciding on whether it will become the first local government in the country to run its voting machines on open-source software. The notion of shifting away from using proprietary technology sold by private companies to computer code made freely available for anyone to use and modify has been talked about for years. But it’s been getting more attention since the city allocated $300,000 to study the issue. Proponents of open-source voting systems say local governments using them would be able to hold elections with an unprecedented level of control, transparency and security. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has said he would support an open-source voting system, assuming it could pass the state’s certification protocols. Open-source software could allow the city to more fully understand and adjust how votes are tallied. Currently, vendors of electronic voting equipment provide few details about how their machines operate, claiming those details are proprietary. Governments are also beholden to private vendors if they want to make a change to the software running the machines.

Note: How crazy that the technology behind the US electronic voting system is held privately and the government cannot even inspect the technology used. Do you think there is the potential for fraud? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Rights group finds ‘assembly line’ of torture in Egypt
2017-09-06, Washington Post/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-09-11 23:37:14
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/rights-group-finds-assembly-...

An international rights group says Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has given a “green light” to systematic torture inside detention facilities.” Human Rights Watch says el-Sissi, a U.S. ally who was warmly received at the White House earlier this year ... “has effectively given police and National Security officers a green light to use torture whenever they please,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at the New York-based group. The allegations, the group said, amount to crimes against humanity. Most of the detainees are alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which rose to power after the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt arrested or charged some 60,000 people in the two years after Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader who became Egypt’s first freely elected president, was overthrown following a divisive year in power. Hundreds have gone missing in what appear to be forced disappearances, and hundreds of others have received preliminary death sentences. Based on interviews with 19 Egyptians detained as far back as 2013, the rights group documented abuses ranging from beatings to rape and sodomy. Local rights groups have documented dozens of deaths under torture in police custody. The Interior Ministry ... denied allegations of systemic torture. Citing national security, the government has shut down hundreds of websites, including many operated by independent journalists and rights groups.

Note: The US financially supports Egypt's military. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in police departments.


President Trump is giving police forces weapons of war. This is dangerous
2017-08-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-09-11 23:32:26
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/31/president-trump-giving-...

This week, Donald Trump lifted the ban on certain military-grade weapons and equipment available from the Pentagon to our local police forces across the nation. Before Barack Obama signed an executive order in 2015 limiting the transfer of certain types of military equipment under the Pentagon’s 1033 Program, the Department of Defense transferred more than $5bn in surplus military equipment directly to police agencies. The Pentagon program creates a pipeline that bypasses normal ... procurement processes, enabling police departments to acquire expensive-to-maintain and often unneeded military equipment directly from the Pentagon without the approval or even knowledge of [elected] government officials. Citizens are left to pay the price when these military “toys” are put into the anxious hands of often untrained local law enforcement. Handing our police weapons of war, including but not limited to large-capacity, rapid-fire weapons and ammunition – including .50-calibers – bayonets, grenade launchers, armored vehicles including military tanks, unmanned vehicles (armed drones), explosives and pyrotechnics, and similar explosive devices, makes us less safe. It also drives a wedge between police officers and ... communities. Our nation was built on the principle that there are clear lines between our armed forces and domestic police. Moreover ... law enforcement is subject to civilian authority. This program blurs those lines. Militarizing America’s main streets won’t make us any safer, just more fearful.

Note: The above was written by US Congressman Hank Johnson, author of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2017. The Pentagon's 1033 program now being revived led to what the ACLU called an "excessive militarization of American policing". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Don't believe the dangerous myths of 'Drone Warrior'
2017-07-16, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2017-09-11 23:30:23
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-browne-ling-drones-memoir-brett-ve...

Drone pilots have been quitting the U.S. Air Force in record numbers. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. But a widely publicized new memoir about America’s covert drone war fails to mention the “outflow increases,” as one internal Air Force memo calls it. “Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies” chronicles the nearly 10 years that Brett Velicovich, a former special operations member, spent using drones to help special forces find and track terrorists. Conveniently, it also puts a hard sell on a program whose ranks the military is struggling to keep full. The book is, at best, a tale of hyper-masculine bravado and, at worst, a piece of military propaganda designed to ease doubts about the drone program and increase recruitment. Velicovich exaggerates the accuracy of the technology, neglecting to mention how often it fails or that such failures have killed an untold number of civilians. For instance, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults in its attempts to take out Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, who reportedly is still alive. The film rights to “Drone Warrior” were bought over a year ago, with much fanfare, by Paramount Pictures. This development is predictable. The U.S. military and Hollywood have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. But there is something particularly unseemly about Hollywood’s enthusiasm for bringing Velicovich’s version of drone warfare to the big screen.

Note: Documents obtained by a crowdfunded investigative journalism project show that US military and intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and television shows. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


A Funeral of 2 Friends: C.I.A. Deaths Rise in Secret Afghan War
2017-09-06, New York Times
Posted: 2017-09-11 23:28:38
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/world/asia/cia-afghanistan-war.html

This summer, operatives with the Central Intelligence Agency gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to bury two of their own. Brian Ray Hoke and Nathaniel Patrick Delemarre, elite gunslingers who worked for the C.I.A.’s paramilitary force, were laid to rest after a firefight with Islamic State militants. Their deaths this past October were never acknowledged by the C.I.A., beyond two memorial stars chiseled in a marble wall at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va. Today there are at least 18 stars on that wall representing the number of C.I.A. personnel killed in Afghanistan - a tally that has not been previously reported, and one that rivals the number of C.I.A. operatives killed in the wars in Vietnam and Laos nearly a half century ago. The deaths are a reflection of the heavy price the agency has paid in a secret, nearly 16-year-old war, where thousands of C.I.A. operatives have served since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The deaths of Mr. Hoke, 42, and Mr. Delemarre, 47, show how the C.I.A. continues to move from traditional espionage to the front lines, and underscore the pressure the agency faces now that President Trump has pledged to keep the United States in Afghanistan with no end in sight.

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


The Fake-News Fallacy
2017-09-04, The New Yorker
Posted: 2017-09-05 00:17:22
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/04/the-fake-news-fallacy

On the evening of October 30, 1938, a seventy-six-year-old millworker in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, named Bill Dock heard something terrifying. Aliens had landed just down the road, a newscaster announced. Dock ... prepared to face down the invaders. But ... he’d been duped by Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds.” The next day, newspapers were full of stories like Dock’s. This early fake-news panic lives on in legend, but [historian A. Brad] Schwartz is the latest of a number of researchers to argue that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. There was no mass hysteria, only small pockets of concern that quickly burned out. Newspapers exaggerated the panic to better control the upstart medium of radio, which was becoming the dominant source of breaking news in the thirties. Newspapers wanted to show that radio was irresponsible and needed guidance from its older, more respectable siblings in the print media, such “guidance” mostly taking the form of lucrative licensing deals and increased ownership of local radio stations. To some, the lesson of the panic was that the F.C.C. needed to take an even more active role to protect people from malicious tricksters like Welles. Yet Schwartz says that the people calling for a government crackdown were far outnumbered by those who warned against one. Today, Facebook and Google have taken the place of the F.C.C. in the conservative imagination. With a powerful, well-funded propaganda machine ... conservatives aren’t the ones who have the most to fear.

Note: Historian A. Brad Schwartz is the author of a bestselling book titled, "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


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