Government Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
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.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) ... collects reports of symptoms, diagnoses, hospital admissions, and deaths after vaccination. VAERS is supposed to be user friendly, responsive, and transparent. However, investigations by The BMJ have uncovered that it’s not meeting its own standards. Not only have staffing levels failed to keep pace with the unprecedented number of reports since the rollout of covid vaccines but there are signs that the system is overwhelmed. In the face of an unprecedented 1.7 million reports since the rollout of covid vaccines, VAERS’s staffing was likely not commensurate with the demands of reviewing the serious reports submitted, including reports of death. While other countries have acknowledged deaths that were “likely” or “probably” related to mRNA vaccination, the CDC—which says that it has reviewed nearly 20,000 preliminary reports of death using VAERS (far more than other countries)—has not acknowledged a single death linked to mRNA vaccines. In November 2022, React19, an advocacy group of some 30,000 people who have experienced prolonged illness after covid vaccination, reviewed 126 VAERS reports among its ranks. 22% had never been given a permanent VAERS ID number and 12% had disappeared from the system entirely. The BMJ has found that the FDA and CDC essentially maintain two separate VAERS databases: a public facing database, containing only initial reports; and a private, back end system containing all updates and corrections—such as a formal diagnosis, recovery, or death.
Note: Vaccine adverse event numbers on VAERS are made publically available here, and only capture a portion of the actual vaccine injuries. Albert Benavides is a VAERS researcher who recently wrote a comprehensive Substack piece investigating the corruption and dysfunction of the VAERS system, including how the VAERS system even deleted dead Pfizer Trial patients. Another excellent article explores these concerning implications from the perspective of cardiologists, physicians, and science researchers.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. JFK: What the Doctors Saw [is] a documentary featuring previously unreleased footage — and the testimony of seven doctors who were there in the emergency room of Parkland Hospital trying to save the then-president’s life after he was shot as his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963. The film raises serious doubts about whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK (Oswald was shot to death two days later by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby as he was escorted through the Dallas Police building). “I became involved with the story because one of my personal physicians told me he was in the emergency room at Parkland Hospital when JFK was brought in,” Jacque Lueth, the film’s executive producer who interviewed the seven Parkland doctors, [said]. “He introduced me to six of the other doctors who were there that day and when I interviewed them, I began to realize their observations from Trauma Room 1 didn’t match the government story.” She adds, “Based upon my interviews with the doctors, Jim Jenkins and Robert Tanenbaum, and my own research, there’s no question in my mind there was a government cover-up.” The doctors in the film contend one of the bullets that hit JFK entered through his throat, meaning it was an entrance wound from the front — and that there were potentially two gunmen, with Oswald firing from the rear.
A federal appeals court on Thursday is tossing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on a pesticide that has been linked to brain damage in children. The decision from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to send the rule back to the agency does not preclude the agency from reinstating the ban in the future. But it said the EPA needs to give greater consideration to whether there are cases where the pesticide, called chlorpyrifos, could be used safely. Chlorpyrifos has been used as an insecticide, protecting crops like soybeans, broccoli, cauliflower and fruit trees. The EPA banned chlorpyrifos for use in growing food in 2021. That came after a prior court ruling gave the agency just 60 days to either find a safe use for chlorpyrifos or ban it outright. The appeals court determined that this deadline contributed to a rushed decision from EPA that was ultimately “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling comes from Judges Lavenski Smith, Raymond Gruender and David Stras, two of whom were appointed by former President George W. Bush and one of whom was appointed by former President Trump. The chlorpyrifos issue has ping-ponged between administrations. The Obama administration had proposed to ban its use on food, but the Trump administration reversed course and had proposed to allow some uses of the chemical.
Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. See other concise news articles we've summarized about the harms of chlorpyrifos.
The European Commission says it has decided to renew the license for the weedkiller compound glyphosate, approving its use in European Union countries for ten more years. Following the decision yesterday, the Commission released a statement saying that, on the basis of comprehensive safety assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it would renew the licence, “subject to certain new conditions and restrictions”. These include a ban on the use of the chemical to dry crops before harvest, and “the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms”. Governments can still restrict the use of glyphosate in their own countries if they consider the risks too high. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most widely used herbicide. Some studies point to a link between glyphosate and certain cancers. Robin Mesnage, a toxicologist at King’s College London, welcomes the Commission’s decision to continue to allow the use of glyphosate. Others have expressed disappointment. “It is unacceptable that the Commission still plans to go ahead with its proposal, considering the amount of scientific evidence of the substance’s health impacts,” says Natacha Cingotti, a campaigner at the Health and Environment Alliance. “While we can’t undo the decades of exposure, the Commission can still seize the opportunity to turn the tide towards more sustainable agricultural practices.”
The US must acknowledge the right to food in order to transform its broken food system in the post-pandemic era and make it more resilient in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, according to a United Nations hunger expert. “Whether we’re talking about right to food, food justice or food sovereignty, there has been growing momentum over the last 10 years to understand that food is not just something we just leave to be determined by what is available or by corporations or the status quo,” said Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Last month, Fakhri presented a report on the right to food – which would entail that adequate food be available and accessible to all people – as a means of food system recovery and transformation to the UN general assembly. The right to food, which can also be characterized as a right to culturally appropriate nutrition that a person needs to live a healthy and active life, is recognized in the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 2021, the US and Israel were the only countries to vote against a United Nations committee’s draft that asserted food as a human right. The draft also expressed alarm that the number of people lacking access to adequate food rose by 320 million to 2.4 billion in 2020 – nearly one-third of the world’s population. In 2022, 44.2 million people in the US lived in food-insecure households.
The Justice Department has just posted a new jobs ad — it’s looking for eight new attorneys to defend the federal government in vaccine injury cases. Presumably, the hiring spree is in anticipation of a surge of COVID vaccine lawsuits, as people who were forced by government mandates to take the jab, and suffered serious side effects as a result, try to extract compensation from a system that is stacked against them. “The office is currently expanding to address workload created by an increase in cases filed under the Vaccine Act,” reads the ad posted by the Torts Branch of the DOJ on the USAJobs website. The recruitment drive comes on the heels of a little-noticed lawsuit filed in Louisiana last month by six vaccine-injured plaintiffs against the federal government. The suit aims to overturn the legal immunity that pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer and Moderna enjoy on their COVID shots. Meanwhile, almost 13,000 Americans who claim the COVID vaccine caused them or their dead loved ones adverse reactions ... remain in limbo after doing what they were told was “the right thing”: heeding government mandates to submit to the jab. The unaccountable, understaffed government tribunal that presides over the so-called Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), for vaccines administered under emergency measures, is a “kangaroo court,” says the lawsuit filed by attorney Aaron Siri, partner at New York firm Siri & Glimstad.
Note: Learn about the legal landmark case in the UK alleging significant injuries and damages from the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
New Yorkers may have noticed an unwelcome guest hovering round their parties. In the lead-up to Labour Day weekend the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that it would use drones to look into complaints about festivities, including back-yard gatherings. Snooping police drones are an increasingly common sight in America. According to a recent survey by researchers at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, about a quarter of police forces now use them. Among the NYPD’s suppliers is Skydio, a Silicon Valley firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make drones easy to fly. The NYPD is also buying from BRINC, another startup, which makes flying machines equipped with night-vision cameras that can smash through windows. Facial-recognition software is now used more widely across America, too, with around a tenth of police forces having access to the technology. A report released in September by America’s Government Accountability Office found that six federal law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Secret Service, were together executing an average of 69 facial-recognition searches every day. Among the top vendors listed was Clearview AI. Surveillance capabilities may soon be further fortified by generative AI, of the type that powers ChatGPT, thanks to its ability to work with “unstructured” data such as images and video footage. The technology will let users “search the Earth for objects”, much as Google lets users search the internet.
Over the last century, the U.S. military has shown a consistent disregard for civilian lives. It has repeatedly cast or misidentified ordinary people as enemies; failed to investigate civilian harm allegations; excused casualties as regrettable but unavoidable; and failed to prevent their recurrence or to hold troops accountable. These long-standing practices stand in stark contrast to the U.S. government’s public campaigns to sell its wars as benign, its air campaigns as precise, its concern for civilians as overriding, and the deaths of innocent people as “tragic” anomalies. Such campaigns have mainly served to obscure the true toll of the American way of war, from the “banana wars” of the 1920s to the “forever wars” a century later. During the first 20 years of the war on terror, the U.S. conducted more than 91,000 airstrikes across seven major conflict zones — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and killed up to 48,308 civilians, according to a 2021 analysis by Airwars, a U.K.-based airstrike monitoring group. A 2020 study of post-9/11 civilian casualty incidents found most have gone uninvestigated. When they do come under official scrutiny, American military witnesses are interviewed while civilians — victims, survivors, family members — are almost totally ignored, “severely compromising the effectiveness of investigations,” according to the Center for Civilians in Conflict and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.
Note: The profit motive behind these wars was clearly described in 1935 by General Smedley Butler in War is a Racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
Chief Master Sgt. Ron Lerch of the U.S. Space Force sat down in his office in Los Angeles one morning in September to deliver a briefing known as a threat assessment. The current “threats” in space are less sci-fi than you might expect, but there are a surprising number of them: At least 44,500 space objects now circle Earth, including 9,000 active satellites and 19,000 significant pieces of debris. What’s most concerning isn’t the swarm of satellites but the types. “We know that there are kinetic kill vehicles,” Lerch said — for example, a Russian “nesting doll” satellite, in which a big satellite releases a tiny one and the tiny one releases a mechanism that can strike and damage another satellite. China, whose presence in space now far outpaces Russia’s, is launching unmanned “space planes” into orbit, testing potentially unbreakable quantum communication links and adding A.I. capabilities to satellites. An intelligence report, Lerch said, predicted the advent, within the next decade, of satellites with radio-frequency jammers, chemical sprayers and lasers that blind and disable the competition. All this would be in addition to the cyberwarfare tools, electromagnetic instruments and “ASAT” antisatellite missiles that already exist. Space Force leaders readily describe their guardians as working toward a state of combat readiness, even as they hope an era of actual conflict never arrives. As space becomes commercialized, it increasingly becomes a geopolitical arena for competition too.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Nine of the 12 members of a high-level congressional commission charged with advising on the US’s nuclear weapons strategy have direct financial ties to contractors that would benefit from the report’s recommendations or are employed at thinktanks that receive considerable funding from weapons manufacturers. While the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (CCSPUS) purports to recommend steps to avoid nuclear conflict, it does nothing to disclose its own potential conflicts of interest with the weapons industry in its final report or at rollout events. “What we’ve consistently seen is the nuclear weapons industry buying influence and that means we cannot make serious decisions about our security when the industry is buying influence through thinktanks and commissioners that are skewing the debate,” said Susi Snyder, program coordinator at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. “Instead of having a debate about the tools and materials we need to make ourselves safe,” she added, “we’re having a debate about which company should get the contracts.” The most recognizable member of the CCSPUS is its vice-chair, Jon Kyl, who served as a senator. In 2017 Kyl, personally, was registered to lobby for Northrop Grumman, which manufactures the B-21 nuclear bomber that the commission recommends the US should purchase in greater numbers, at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $700m each.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
If you count all the contracts for private industry from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since Joe Biden took office — for, that is, 2021, 2022, and 2023 — the number comes to $23.5 billion. And though you’d never guess it, given what we normally hear, that already beats Donald Trump’s total for his full four years in office, $20.9 billion. Or, to put the matter in a more historical perspective, private contracts for the Biden years already top the cumulative $22.5 billion spent in border and immigration enforcement budgets from 1975 to 1997. Budgets and private-sector contracts tell an all-too-familiar story in which the border-enforcement apparatus only continues to grow ever larger, regardless of who’s president. As 2023 nears its end, there have simply never been as many opportunities to make a killing (figuratively as well as literally) by surveilling, arresting, caging, and expelling people from this country. In 2023, there were 8,033 such opportunities — and I’m speaking here about contracts in play — or about 22 contracts a day. 1,421 remains of dead people were recovered along the border during Biden’s first two years in office, higher in other words than the 1,133 during Trump’s full four years. Imagine the national news stories, if the remains of nearly 1,500 hikers had been found in the Southwest during a two-year period. But for migrants in those ever more profitable, ever deadlier borderlands, mum’s the word.
Note: Carlos Arellano is a whistleblower and former immigration contractor, who alleges that the US government is the largest trafficker of children in the world. Watch an interview of Arellano share his shocking experiences at some of the immigration facilities. For further exploration of this troubling topic, read about MVM Inc, the ex-CIA defense contractor making millions of dollars hauling children away from the Mexico border on commercial airline flights. Where is the transparency about what is happening to these children?
The conflict between Israel and Hamas is just the latest impetus behind a boom in international arms sales that is bolstering profits and weapons-making capacity among American suppliers. The surge in sales is providing the Biden administration with new opportunities to tie the militaries of other countries more closely to the United States, the world’s biggest arms exporter, while also raising concerns that a more heavily armed world will be prone to careen into further wars. Even before Israel responded to the deadly Hamas attack, the combination of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the perception of a rising threat from China was spurring a global rush to purchase fighter planes, missiles, tanks, artillery, munitions and other lethal equipment. Worldwide military spending last year — on weapons, personnel and other costs — hit $2.2 trillion, the highest level in inflation-adjusted dollars since at least the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which prepares an annual tally. Excluding sales within the United States, China and Russia, worldwide spending on military procurement is expected to hit $241 billion next year, a 23 percent increase since last year. That is by far the largest two-year increase in the database maintained by Janes, a company that has been tracking military spending for nearly two decades. As of last year, the United States controlled an estimated 45 percent of the world’s weapons exports, nearly five times more than any other nation.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Anti-vaccine advocates have recently made allegations against the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in hopes that the charges may hurt the drug manufacturer. In a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter), Steve Kirsch expressed concern over reports that Pfizer's vaccine was contaminated, saying that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "is now at a crossroads." "Either they admit that they knew about the plasma contamination, and failed to disclose that to the public and to the outside committees, or they can claim that they didn't know about it in which case Pfizer is liable. But we have the Pfizer documents that were given to the FDA so we know what the FDA got," Kirsch wrote. "I seriously doubt there's any disclosure of SV40 contamination. That means we have an adulterated vaccine and the FDA has to remove it from the market until the adulteration is fixed. If the FDA doesn't do that, they should face criminal prosecution for endangering the public, and not following the law." (SV40 refers to simian virus 40.) In his posts, Kirsch also references an incident in Michigan where a judge ruled that the manufacturer of the COVID-19 medication Remdesivir was no longer protected by the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act after a man filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. The man filed the suit after suffering strokes and an amputation following treatment with the drug, Remdesivir, which was contaminated with glass particles.
Note: While the data is still being uncovered, read an in-depth, scientific investigation into vaccine contamination, including concerns that Pfizer hid this contamination from regulators. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
One month since Hamas’s surprise attack, little is known about the weapons the U.S. has provided to Israel. Whereas the Biden administration released a three-page itemized list of weapons provided to Ukraine, down to the exact number of rounds, the information released about weapons sent to Israel could fit in a single sentence. A retired Marine general who worked in the region, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized by his former employer to speak publicly, attributed the secrecy to the political sensitivity of the conflict. In particular, the retired officer said, weapons used in door-to-door urban warfare, which are likely to result in civilian casualties, are not going to be something the administration wants to publicize. The goal of removing Hamas completely from power is widely expected to take a significant commitment to a long-term ground presence and heavy urban fighting. According to the New Yorker, Israeli officials told their American counterparts that the war could last 10 years. Hamas’s attack on Israel ... resulted in a cascade of arms assistance from the U.S. Though the Biden administration at first declined to identify any specific weapons systems, as details trickled out in the press, it has gradually acknowledged some. These include “precision guided munitions, small diameter bombs, artillery, ammunition, Iron Dome interceptors and other critical equipment,” [said] Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. What “other critical equipment” entails remains a mystery.
Note: From 2018-2022, the US was responsible for 40 percent of global weapons exports. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
During a Senate briefing last week, a federal counterterrorism official cited the October 7 Hamas attack while urging Congress to reauthorize a sprawling and controversial surveillance program repeatedly used to spy on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. “As evidenced by the events of the past month, the terrorist threat landscape is highly dynamic and our country must preserve [counterterrorism] fundamentals to ensure constant vigilance,” said Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christine Abizaid. She pointed to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enables the U.S. government to gather vast amounts of intelligence — including about U.S. citizens ... without first seeking a warrant. Section 702 “provides key indications and warning on terrorist plans and ... gives us strategic insight into foreign terrorists and their networks overseas,” Abizaid said. “I respectfully urge Congress to reauthorize this vital authority.” The controversial program is set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers sympathetic to the intelligence community are scrambling to protect it. Sean Vitka ... at the civil liberties group Demand Progress [said] that now is the time to enact lasting and dramatic oversight of the 702 authority. “The government has completely failed to demonstrate that any of the privacy protections reformers have called for would impair national security ... so now we’re seeing people grasping at straws trying to turn everything into an excuse for reauthorization,” Vitka said.
At a time when the US has narrowly skirted a recession, and people around the country are still struggling with the cost of living, a curious number of states have found billions of dollars for one thing: building prisons and jails. In September, Alabama announced that a new prison, currently under construction, would have a final cost of $1.082bn. The same month Indiana broke ground on a $1.2bn prison. Nebraska is spending $350m on a new prison, while some in Georgia are lobbying for $1.69bn for construction of a jail in Fulton county. The willingness to spend vast amounts of money on locking people up, particularly in states like Alabama, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, is staggering. It’s also wrong-headed, experts say. “Any money spent on caging human beings is not money well spent, period,” said Carmen Gutierrez ... at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We have decades of research showing that incarceration does not improve public safety, and that it in fact harms individuals who themselves are incarcerated. It also harms their families and it harms the communities that they come from. So the damage outweighs any potential benefit.” The US has an incarceration rate of 664 people in every 100,000 ... far higher than other founding Nato countries. In Alabama, Georgia and other southern states about one in every 100 people is incarcerated in prisons, jails, immigration detention and juvenile justice facilities.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Since 1973, at least 194 people have been freed from death row after evidence of innocence revealed that they had been wrongfully convicted. That’s almost one person exonerated for every ten who’ve been executed. Wrongful convictions rob innocent people of decades of their lives, waste tax dollars, and re-traumatize the victim’s family, while the people responsible remain unaccountable. Contrary to popular belief, the appeals process is not designed to catch cases of innocence. It is simply to determine whether the original trial was conducted properly. Most exonerations came only because of the extraordinary efforts of people working outside the system – pro bono lawyers, family members, even students. Wrongfully convicted people have spent up to 33 years on death row ... before the truth came to light. Any effort to streamline the death penalty process or cut appeals will only increase the risk that an innocent person is executed. Frank Lee Smith was sentenced to death in Florida on the testimony of a single witness. Four years later, the same witness saw a photo of a different man and realized she had made a mistake. DNA tests later confirmed that Smith was innocent, but it was too late. He had died in prison. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for setting fire to his home, killing his three children. Experts now say that the arson theories used in the investigation are scientifically invalid. Willingham may very well have been executed for an accidental fire.
Note: Read more about the innocent people sentenced to death in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Some of the experts responsible for helping to craft the U.S. dietary guidelines also take money from big food and drug companies. A report ... by the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know makes those concerns plain. Nine of the 20 experts on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have had conflicts of interest in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical or weight loss industries in the last five years, the report found. Gary Ruskin, the executive director of the nonprofit, said the finding “erodes confidence in the dietary guidelines,” which provide recommendations on how people can eat a healthier diet. The guidelines are widely used by policymakers to set priorities in federal food programs, health care and education. Questions about industry influence could damage the public’s trust that the recommendations are based in science. When committee members receive funding from certain industry groups or organizations, it raises the concern that they may be biased, Dr. [Marion] Nestle said. “Part of the problem is the influence is unconscious,” she said. “People don’t recognize it,” she added, and will often deny it. Even if such relationships do not influence the experts, Mr. Ruskin said, they can create the appearance that they do — which can seed doubt about how independent the committee’s recommendations actually are. Industry influence can [also] creep in later in the process ... when the U.S.D.A. and the H.H.S. produce the final guidelines based on the committee’s advice.
Note: U.S. Right to Know is an excellent resource for investigating how the food industry shapes science, policy and public opinion. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
There’s a hidden ingredient used as a whitener in an array of foods. It’s called titanium dioxide, and while commonly used in the US, it’s being banned in the EU as a possible carcinogen. The additive, also known as E171, joins a host of other chemicals that are banned in foods in the European Union but allowed in the US. These include Azodicarbonamide, a whitening agent found in food such as breads, bagels, pizza, and pastries in the US, which has been banned in the EU for more than a decade. The additive has been linked to asthma and respiratory issues in exposed workers and, when baked, to cancer in mice studies. The Food and Drug Administration classifies these food chemicals, and many others prohibited by the EU, as “generally recognized as safe”. Chemical safety processes in the EU and US work in starkly different ways. Where European policy tends to take a precautionary approach – trying to prevent harm before it happens – the US is usually more reactive. And while the EU has consistently updated its methods and processes for evaluating new chemicals, some experts say the US system, set up more than half a century ago, needs updating. In the case of additives like titanium dioxide, manufacturers petition the FDA for its approval by submitting evidence that the substance is safe for its intended use. The FDA evaluates the application, and will authorize the additive if it concludes the data provided demonstrates that the substance is safe to use.
Note: Unlike other countries, the U.S. is known to raise objections to the regulation of toxic chemicals in our food, with its regulatory agencies having deep financial ties to powerful food and agrichemical industries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The screams of children are difficult to hear over the noise and fury of the Gaza maelstrom. In a joint statement on Sunday, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada called for “adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians”. But they know full well that, in Gaza, the exact opposite is happening. And it’s not only them. The likes of China and Russia are doing nothing to stop it, either. Last week, the Save the Children charity reported that one child in Gaza was being killed every 15 minutes. On Saturday, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor was estimating a daily death toll of 200 children and infants. Of the more than 4,600 Palestinians killed since Israeli forces began their bombardment, about 40% are children, the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry says. Behind these stark figures lies a world of pain. At least 3,250 children have been injured, with 1,240 needing specialised medical care, as of last week. Many have extensive burns and shrapnel wounds or have lost limbs. Yet hospitals and clinics that have been damaged or destroyed or are short of medical supplies – due to Israel’s siege – are unable to treat them adequately. “Israel’s bombardment and unlawful total blockade of Gaza mean that countless wounded and sick children, among many other civilians, will die for want of medical care,” said Human Rights Watch. Killing and targeting civilians, especially children, is illegal under international humanitarian law.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
On Wednesday, the United States was the only country to vote “no” on a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution authored by Brazil that called for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Twelve countries voted for the resolution, including several surprising ones, such as France and the United Arab Emirates. Two more, Russia and the U.K., abstained. But according to the Security Council’s rules, America’s sole “no” vote meant that the resolution failed. The Security Council has 15 countries. Ten are rotating members, elected by the U.N. General Assembly and serving on the council for a period of two years. Five are permanent members: the U.S., Russia, China, France, and the U.K. If any of the permanent members vetoes a resolution, it will not pass, no matter how many votes are in favor. The first U.S. veto to protect Israel occurred in 1972. Since then, the U.S. has vetoed about four dozen more resolutions criticizing Israel. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has similarly vetoed numerous resolutions to protect its own client state, Syria, as well as itself concerning Ukraine. Since the U.N.’s founding, it has largely always been a debating society because the world’s most powerful countries, led by the U.S., want it that way. There has recently been renewed energy at the U.N. to change things. However, given the fact that the five permanent members can block any changes, the best idea that anyone could come up with was to ask them nicely to change.
Note: Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance, receiving $158 billion since the country’s establishment in 1948. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and government corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden departed for Israel on Tuesday evening on a high-stakes diplomatic visit amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. As Biden grapples with the crisis, several U.S. officials told HuffPost it has become difficult to have a full debate within his administration about what’s happening in Israel-Palestine and in particular that people who want to talk about Israeli restraint or humanitarian protections for Palestinians feel stifled. Several staffers across multiple agencies, most of whom work on national security issues, told HuffPost they and their colleagues worry about retaliation at work for questioning Israel’s conduct amid the U.S.-backed Israeli campaign to avenge an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, that killed more than 1,400 Israelis. The fear is especially intense among staffers with Muslim backgrounds. On Sunday, presidential personnel office chief Gautam Raghavan organized a call with close to a dozen current and former high-level Muslim appointees to discuss their concerns. Some staffers said they felt unsafe voicing their opinions around colleagues because it could endanger their careers, according to a person on the call. The period since the Hamas attack represents “the first time in the administration that there was a real culture of silence,” one official said. “It feels like post-9/11 where you feel like your thoughts are being policed, and you’re really afraid of being seen as anti-American or an anti-Semite.”
Policing expenses mount quickly: $18,000 for technology to unlock cellphones in Southington, Conn.; $2,900 for surveillance cameras and to train officers and canines in New Lexington, Ohio. And in other communities around the country, hundreds of thousands for vehicles, body scanners, and other equipment. State and local governments are turning to a new means to pay those bills: opioid settlement cash. This money — totaling more than $50 billion across 18 years — comes from national settlements with more than a dozen companies that made, sold, or distributed opioid painkillers, including Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, and Walmart, which were accused of fueling the epidemic that addicted and killed millions. In August, more than 200 researchers and clinicians delivered a call to action to government officials in charge of opioid settlement funds. "More policing is not the answer to the overdose crisis," they wrote. Years of research suggests law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives have exacerbated the problem. "Police activity is actually causing the very harms that police activity is supposed to be stemming," says Jennifer Carroll, an author of that study and an addiction policy researcher. In Louisiana ... 80% of settlement dollars are flowing to parish governments and 20% to sheriffs' departments. Over the lifetime of the settlements, sheriffs' offices in the state will receive more than $65 million — the largest direct allocation to law enforcement nationwide. And they do not have to account for how they spend it.
Note: Explore past news articles we've summarized on opioids, a crisis fueled by US drug companies and captured government agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
A recent court ruling in Colorado highlighted how Google’s tracking of our locations and web searches helps police find suspects when they have few leads — but it’s also sweeping innocent people into investigations. Google says it has procedures to “protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement.” But defense attorneys and civil liberties advocates say that Google is a gold mine for novel police methods that they call unconstitutional fishing expeditions. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide from law enforcement, relentless digital tracking of Americans risks our information falling into criminals’ hands, too. Law enforcement officials say that Google’s data on people’s locations and search histories helps solve crimes, including in the 2021 Capitol riot. In initial court-ordered warrants to Google, the company typically gives police information that isn’t connected to people’s identity. Only after they single out potentially suspicious data do the police go back for individually identifiable information. But defense lawyers and privacy advocates say the two types of broad warrants to Google turn normal police work upside down and threaten Americans’ rights. In a typical search warrant, police have a suspect in mind and ask for a judge’s approval to search their home, phone data and other potential evidence. In the large-scale search term and location warrants, police know a crime occurred but don’t know who might have committed it.
Note: Explore news articles we've summarized on the troubling nature of the use of location tracking by governments and corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
George Garvey, along with several other individuals (collectively, Petitioners) are former NYC Department of Sanitation workers who got fired for their failure to get vaccinated or obtain an approved exemption. They filed a lawsuit pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules. They sued NYC, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the NYC Department of Sanitation, the NYC Commissioner of the NY Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Mayor of NYC (collectively, Respondents). Judge Ralph J. Porzio issued an order essentially dismissing the Respondent’s arguments and accepting most of the Petitioners’ arguments. The order commanded that all terminated Petitioners be reinstated on October 25, 2022 and collect back pay from their date of termination. The court held that the vaccination mandate was unlawful. First, it was arbitrary and capricious. The court ... argued that it treated similarly situated people differently without providing evidence to support the unequal treatment. Athletes, performers and artists could be exempted from the vaccination requirement, but the Petitioner could not. The court noted that the Petitioners could continue working while their exemption requests were being processed. Therefore, the court felt that the vaccination mandate was never about public safety. Because if it was, any unvaccinated workers would have immediately been placed on leave until a decision concerning their requests for a coronavirus vaccine exemption.
Last month, a multi-party delegation of Australian Members of Parliament visited the United States to actively lobby U.S. officials to cease their efforts to extradite Julian Assange. The founder of Wikileaks is an Australian citizen facing charges filed by the Trump administration under the infamous Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing US war crimes and violations of international law. The revelations were called “Cable gate,” a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US State Department that disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale. On January 4, 2021, British criminal court judge Vanessa Baraister denied the US government’s request to extradite Assange. Given the fact that he had been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years and then held in the Balmarsh high-security prison since April 12, 2019, the judge found that Assange’s mental condition “is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.” The Biden DOJ appealed that ruling and convinced the British higher courts to reverse Judge Baraister. As a result, Assange is now subject to extradition unless his further legal appeals can prevail. For Australians, securing the release of Assange is broadly supported by a coalition that transcends partisan politics. The Australian delegation last month included members of Parliament from the majority Labor Party, the conservative opposition, the Greens, the National party, and an independent party.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Washington Post has published at least four long articles dismissing the censorship revealed by the Twitter Files and Missouri v. Biden lawsuit, which is headed to the Supreme Court. By contrast, in its story on the censorship of pro-Palestinian voices, the Washington Post expresses great skepticism of Big Tech and sympathy for the people censored — the exact opposite of how it treated the issue when it was non-Leftists who were being censored. To be sure, there has been a concerning increase in demands for censorship and blacklisting since the October 7 Hamas attacks. New York University appears to be investigating a student who said, “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.” But the alarm that the news media are raising is in striking contrast to the indifference ... to the evidence of governmental and nongovernmental censorship of a variety of disfavored views and voices relating to climate change, Covid, Ukraine, and the Biden family’s influence-peddling. Media outrage about censorship of pro-Palestinian voices sent social media platforms scrambling in order to end the censorship. The Washington Post’s queries forced at least one social media company to stop censoring. “After The Washington Post sent questions to TikTok about the video, the sound was restored.” A Meta spokesperson said a “bug” had caused some of the trouble. “We fixed a problem that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations in some of our products,” the statement said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.
Annie Jacobsen [is] author of the book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base. To write the book, Jacobsen interviewed over 70 people who had first-hand knowledge of the secret facility, including 32 who lived and worked at Area 51. The result is basically the most comprehensive account of the history of Area 51 you can get without a super-high-level security clearance. "Area 51 was the birthplace of overhead espionage for the CIA," [said Jacobsen]. "It’s where the U-2 spy plane was first built back in the 1950s, and it’s where the intelligence community has worked with its military partners and others to work on espionage platforms. It’s also a place where all elements of the Defense Department work on some of their most classified programs along with members of the intelligence community. There’s also an element of Area 51 where the CIA trains its foreign paramilitary partners in counterterrorism tactics. They do this out on the wilds of Area 51 because they can bring some foreign fighters there who would otherwise not be welcomed into the country. I have interviewed scores of very smart, very highly placed government personnel who visited the base and believe the technology they saw is so advanced that they question whether or not it’s manmade. That’s intriguing to me. I don’t report on that because there is no documentation to support that claim, but that is the opinion of many people that I know."
Note: Don’t miss Jacobsen’s engaging, educational book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, which reveals how the public, U.S. Congress, and even presidents were lied to about what was going on at this mysterious facility. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.
As Israel escalates its attacks on Gaza, the State Department is discouraging diplomats working on Middle East issues from making public statements suggesting the U.S. wants to see less violence. In messages circulated on Friday, State Department staff wrote that high-level officials do not want press materials to include three specific phrases: “de-escalation/ceasefire,” “end to violence/bloodshed” and “restoring calm.” The revelation provides a stunning signal about the Biden administration’s reluctance to push for Israeli restraint as the close U.S. partner expands the offensive it launched after Hamas ... attacked Israeli communities. U.S. officials have said they expect Israel to abide by the laws of war in its operation against Hamas. But they have avoided discussion of a ceasefire, even as aid groups and some analysts have suggested that may be essential to allow civilians to flee Gaza and allow vital supplies to enter the area after Israel cut off electricity and water. U.S. President Joe Biden has repeatedly pledged to support Israel as it seeks to avenge the unprecedented Hamas assault. Yet as Israel’s biggest source of diplomatic and military support, the U.S. has significant leverage in the matter of how the country chooses to seek retribution and whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to limit the civilian toll of his response. Biden allies may nudge the president and his team to issue stronger calls for Netanyahu to prioritize humanitarian concerns.
Note: Why wasn’t this headline in other major media? Both Washington Post and NBC News included this in only one paragraph in longer articles as if it were unimportant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
For almost 4,000 years, some governments have insisted that if wars must be fought, there should be rules. During its assault, on Black Saturday, Hamas broke numerous laws of war, starting with its rocket fire into Israel, which made no attempt to discriminate between military and civilian targets, breaking article 13 of protocol II of the Geneva conventions. Its fighters murdered, tortured and raped, breaking common article 3 of the Geneva conventions and articles 27 and 32 of the fourth convention. They also engaged in pillage and terrorism (33, fourth convention) and the taking of hostages (34, fourth, and article 8 of the Rome statute). In responding to this attack, Israel has also broken several laws of war. These crimes begin with the use of collective penalties against the people of Gaza (article 33 of the fourth convention and article 4 of protocol II). One aspect of this punishment appears to be the pattern of Israel’s bombing and shelling of Gaza. The war crime in this case is the damage to property: article 50 of the first Geneva convention, article 51 of the second Geneva convention and article 147 of the fourth Geneva convention. Many of the buildings hit, including numerous schools and health facilities, do not appear to qualify as military targets, despite Israeli claims that Hamas uses people as human shields. Such indiscriminate attacks contravene article 13, protocol II and article 53, fourth convention. The bombing of mosques breaks article 16 of protocol II.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
More than 80 percent of four-star officers retiring from the U.S. armed forces go on to work in the defense industry, a new study has found, underscoring the close relationship between top U.S. brass and government-contracted companies. Twenty-six of 32 four-star admirals and generals who retired from June 2018 to July 2023 were later employed in roles including executive, adviser, board member or lobbyist for companies with significant defense business, according to the analysis from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank that advocates restraining the military’s role in U.S. foreign policy. “The revolving door between the U.S. government and the arms industry, which involves hundreds of senior Pentagon officials and military officers every year, generates the appearance — and in some cases the reality — of conflicts of interest in the making of defense policy and in the shaping of the size and composition of the Pentagon budget,” authors William Hartung and Dillon Fisher wrote. The findings shed new light on a phenomenon examined in a 2021 report from the Government Accountability Office, which found that 14 major defense contractors ... employed 1,700 former senior officials or acquisition officials in 2019. The GAO concluded that while defense contractors benefit from the practice, it could “affect public confidence in the government” by creating a perception that military officials may favor a company they see as a future employer.
The CIA has for the first time acknowledged that the 1953 coup it backed in Iran that overthrew its prime minister and cemented the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was undemocratic. The CIA in 2013 admitted its role in the coup that brought down Iran’s then prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, but until now has not publicly acknowledged that the move was undemocratic. Much of the agency’s official history of the coup remains classified, complicating the public’s understanding of an event that still resonates, as tensions remain high between Tehran and Washington. Iran’s mission to the United Nations described the 1953 coup as marking “the inception of relentless American meddling in Iran’s internal affairs” and dismissed the US acknowledgments. “The US admission never translated into compensatory action or a genuine commitment to refrain from future interference, nor did it change its subversive policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the mission said in a statement. Seven decades later, the 1953 coup remains as hotly debated as ever in Iran, where many see a straight line leading from the coup to the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ultimately toppled the shah. The coup also prompted the CIA into a series of further actions in other countries, including Guatemala, where US clandestine operations in 1954 installed a military dictator and sparked a 40-year civil war that likely killed approximately 245,000 people.
Note: This admission came in the CIA's official podcast. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Silicon Valley techies are pretty sanguine about commercial surveillance. But they are much less cool about government spying. Government employees and contractors are pretty cool with state surveillance. But they are far less cool with commercial surveillance. What are they both missing? That American surveillance is a public-private partnership: a symbiosis between a concentrated tech sector that has the means, motive, and opportunity to spy on every person in the world and a state that loves surveillance as much as it hates checks and balances. The tech sector has powerful allies in government: cops and spies. No government agency could ever hope to match the efficiency and scale of commercial surveillance. Meanwhile, the private sector relies on cops and spies to go to bat for them, lobbying against new privacy laws and for lax enforcement of existing ones. Think of Amazon’s Ring cameras, which have blanketed entire neighborhoods in CCTV surveillance, which Ring shares with law enforcement agencies, sometimes without the consent or knowledge of the cameras’ owners. Ring marketing recruits cops as street teams, showering them with freebies to distribute to local homeowners. Google ... has managed to play both sides of the culture war with its location surveillance, thanks to the “reverse warrants” that cops have used to identify all the participants at both Black Lives Matter protests and the January 6 coup. Distinguishing between state and private surveillance is a fool’s errand.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
When I joined the CIA in January 1990, I did it to serve my country. My whole world, like the worlds of all Americans, changed dramatically and permanently on September 11, 2001. Within months of the attacks, I found myself heading to Pakistan as the chief of CIA counterterrorism operations in Pakistan. Almost immediately, my team began capturing al-Qaeda fighters at safehouses all around Pakistan. Just a month after the September 11 attacks, the CIA leadership gathered its army of lawyers and black ops people and came up with a plan to legalize torture. This was despite the fact that torture has long been patently illegal in the United States. But it didn’t matter. In the end, I was the only person associated with the CIA’s torture program who was prosecuted and imprisoned. I never tortured anybody. But I was charged with five felonies, including three counts of espionage, for telling ABC News and the New York Times that the CIA was torturing its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that the policy had been approved by the president himself. I served 23 months in a federal prison. Former CIA Director George Tenet, former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin, former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez, former CIA Executive Director John Brennan, and CIA [contractors] James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen ... weakened our democracy by pretending that the Constitution and the rule of law didn’t exist.
Note: This article was written by CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou. For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
As war in Ukraine continues, controversial defense contractors and adjacent companies like Palantir, Anduril, and Clearview AI are taking advantage to develop and level-up controversial AI-driven weapons systems and surveillance technologies. These organizations’ common link? The support of the controversial, yet ever-more powerful Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel. Thiel-backed groups’ involvement in war serves to develop not only problematic and unpredictable weapons technologies and systems, but also apparently to advance and further interconnect a larger surveillance apparatus formed by Thiel and his elite allies’ collective efforts across the public and private sectors, which arguably amount to the entrenchment of a growing technocratic panopticon aimed at capturing public and private life. What’s more, Thiel’s funding efforts signal interest in developing expansive surveillance technologies, especially in the name of combatting “pre-crime” through “predictive policing” style surveillance. As an example, Thiel’s provided significant funds to Israeli intelligence-linked startup Carbyne911 (as did Jeffrey Epstein), which develops call-handling and call-identification capacities for emergency services, and has ... a predictive-policing component. Thiel also assisted in the development and subsequent privatized spinoffs of the US Government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Total Information Awareness project.
Note: Peter Thiel was also recently reported to be an FBI informant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Journalist Stephen Kinzer has spent several years investigating the CIA's mind control program, which was known as MKUltra. LSD was just one of the mind-altering drugs that were used in the program to see if and how they could be weaponized to control human behavior. Many of the unwitting subjects of these experiments were subjected to what amounts to psychological torture. The CIA basically set up phony philanthropic foundations which then funded university and college research, and it's through those research experiments that people like Ginsberg and Kesey and Robert Hunter got introduced to LSD. And the university researchers had no idea that their research was actually being funded by the CIA. Stanford University was running a program in which they asked for volunteers to come in and try this new substance. Allen Ginsberg was one of the volunteers; so was Robert Hunter. A similar set of experiments was going on at the Menlo Park Veterans Administration Hospital. That's where Ken Kesey took LSD for the first time. He was so excited about it he took a job in the hospital and began stealing the LSD to give it to his friends. That became the basis for "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." So all of these original strands that came together in the '60s to produce this great countercultural revolt based around LSD can be traced back through these bogus foundations to the CIA and, ultimately, the director of MKUltra, Sidney Gottlieb.
Note: Read more about the MKUltra program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
For Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s eyes are never very far away. Surveillance drones buzz constantly from the skies. The highly-secured border is awash with security cameras and soldiers on guard. But Israel’s eyes appeared to have been closed in the lead-up to an unprecedented onslaught by the militant Hamas group, which broke down Israeli border barriers and sent hundreds of militants into Israel to carry out a brazen attack that has killed hundreds. Israel withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005. But even after Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, Israel appeared to maintain its edge, using technological and human intelligence. It claimed to know the precise locations of Hamas leadership and appeared to prove it through the assassinations of militant leaders in surgical strikes, sometimes while they slept in their bedrooms. Israel has known where to strike underground tunnels used by Hamas to ferry around fighters and arms. Despite those abilities, Hamas was able to keep its plan under wraps. The ferocious attack, which likely took months of planning and meticulous training and involved coordination among multiple militant groups, appeared to have gone under Israel’s intelligence radar. An Egyptian intelligence official said Egypt, which often serves as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, had spoken repeatedly with the Israelis about “something big,” without elaborating. He said Israeli officials were focused on the West Bank and played down the threat from Gaza.
Note: According to Efrat Fenigson, a former Israeli soldier who served on the Gaza border, "A cat moving alongside the fence is triggering all forces." How could Israeli intelligence not have known that this attack was coming? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
The Food and Drug Administration is now regularly approving new drugs after just one or two clinical trials — a significant departure from the more rigorous vetting process the agency was previously known for, newly published research reveals. Furthermore, the authors say, there’s now less information available to the public about the results of all trials. Of the 37 drugs approved by the FDA last year, 24 (about 65%) were approved based on just one study, according to a paper published in JAMA Network Open. Only four of those 37 drugs, or about 11%, reported three or more studies before approval. Another piece of new research, published in Health Affairs Scholar, found that of the 46 new drugs approved in 2017, 19 of them (41%) were approved based on a single study — though the drugmakers conducted an average of 2.2 studies per drug, including 165 studies for the popular weight-loss drug Ozempic. The ease with which novel drugs are approved is in part the result of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in 2016 to speed the approval of new medicines so patients could gain access to life-saving treatments. As part of that law, the FDA relaxed some standards to allow treatments for priority health conditions such as cancer to be approved with fewer supporting studies, and with less emphasis on randomized clinical trials. But in the years following the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, the FDA has faced a firestorm of criticism over the approval process for some new drugs.
In December 2010 under the Obama administration, Congress enacted the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This legislation provided for more fruits and vegetables in school meal programs, a focus on whole grains and a lot fewer starchy vegetables and trans-fat laden foods. In response, some food companies rejiggered ingredients just enough to add “whole grain” to their packaging. Things went downhill from there. Congress caved to lobbying in 2014, allowing schools to serve high-salt french fries and pizza sold by these companies. Again, big food lobbied hard and legislators pulled back on restrictions for sodium levels, flavored milks and amounts of refined grains. We in the United States seem to believe that ... education is unconnected to food and how we eat. Instead, our kids are at the mercy of the companies and brands inundating them: Tyson, General Mills, Kraft, Heinz and many others. Before the pandemic began, the overwhelming majority of US schools offered branded foods during or around mealtimes, and that this is worth $20bn in ... profits for the food industry. Pantries and food banks get in bed with corporate food companies because they don’t want to lose access to large quantities of foods and beverages that fill people up. That these products are unhealthy is a secondary or tertiary concern. Food banks and pantries are not always meeting the nutritional profiles of the people they serve, particularly people who are struggling with diabetes, obesity and decades of poor eating.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The United States will continue in a decades long, post-9/11 state of emergency for at least another year. In a Thursday night declaration, President Joe Biden ensured the emergency will extend at least 23 years after coordinated attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Biden penned his signature to a one-year extension of President George W. Bush’s Proclamation 7463, retaining broad powers over the organization of the military. The proclamation is officially titled “The National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks.” Most emergencies are used to impose economic sanctions. But Proclamation 7463, along with the broad 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, gives the president the power to call up the National Guard, alter the size and shape of the military's top officers and hire or fire commissioned officers — even ordering them out of retirement if necessary. Biden has most recently cited the 2001 authorization to justify drone strikes against al-Shabab militants in Somalia in 2021. The National Emergencies Act, adopted in 1976, requires presidents to renew emergencies each year. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump also extended the 9/11 state of emergency each year of their respective tenures. Trump used it in 2017 to fill a chronic shortage in Air Force pilots. So far, Biden has declared eight new emergencies, continued 34 from his predecessors and ended three.
Note: An article by The Atlantic explores the alarming scope of president’s emergency powers, stating that “the moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Public schools ... are the focus of a new report on surveillance and kids by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "Over the last two decades, a segment of the educational technology (EdTech) sector that markets student surveillance products to schools — the EdTech Surveillance industry — has grown into a $3.1 billion a year economic juggernaut," begins Digital Dystopia The Danger in Buying What the EdTech Surveillance Industry is Selling. "The EdTech Surveillance industry accomplished that feat by playing on school districts' fears of school shootings, student self-harm and suicides, and bullying — marketing them as common, ever-present threats." As the authors detail, among the technologies are surveillance cameras. These are often linked to software for facial recognition, access control, behavior analysis, and weapon detection. That is, cameras scan student faces and then algorithms identify them, allow or deny them entry based on that ID, decide if their activities are threatening, and determine if objects they carry may be dangerous or forbidden. "False hits, such as mistaking a broomstick, three-ring binder, or a Google Chromebook laptop for a gun or other type of weapon, could result in an armed police response to a school," cautions the report. Students are aware that they're being observed. Of students aged 14–18 surveyed by the ACLU ... thirty-two percent say, "I always feel like I'm being watched."
On April 27, 2021, then-director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky stated, “we have not seen any reports” of post-vaccination myocarditis, but this was a false statement. When Walensky claimed to have “not seen any reports,” there were dozens of reports in the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). “The CDC,” notes [journalist Zachary] Stieber, “was warned by Israel on Feb. 28, 2021, about a ‘large number’ of myocarditis cases after Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. Internally, the warning was designated as ‘high’ importance and set off a review of US data.” The Israeli Ministry of Health requested a joint meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC to respond to this trend. “The Israeli National Focal Point is noticing a large number of reports of myocarditis, particularly in young people, following the administration of the Pfizer vaccines,” the email stated. Even when more information about myocarditis became public, [Walensky's] agency continued to downplay the risks. Stieber also found that the CDC’s V-Safe self-reporting system did not include a category for myocarditis reports. To this day, the CDC has not released complete, updated data on myocarditis. The agency’s cover-up of adverse cardiac events has had profound consequences and represents a major breach of trust and abuse of authority. Due to the higher risks of myocarditis after Moderna, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, and France suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for people under 30 two years ago.
Note: When current and former FDA advisers and academics asked the FDA to improve COVID vaccine labeling given the significant risk of severe vaccine injuries, the agency denied almost every single request. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The FBI has amassed 21.7 million DNA profiles — equivalent to about 7 percent of the U.S. population — according to Bureau data reviewed by The Intercept. The FBI aims to nearly double its current $56.7 million budget for dealing with its DNA catalog with an additional $53.1 million, according to its budget request for fiscal year 2024. “The requested resources will allow the FBI to process the rapidly increasing number of DNA samples collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” the appeal for an increase says. “When we’re talking about rapid expansion like this, it’s getting us ever closer to a universal DNA database,” Vera Eidelman, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, [said]. “I think the civil liberties implications here are significant.” The rapid growth of the FBI’s sample load is in large part thanks to a Trump-era rule change that mandated the collection of DNA from migrants who were arrested or detained by immigration authorities. Until recently, the U.S. DNA database surpassed even that of authoritarian China, which launched an ambitious DNA collection program in 2017. That year, the BBC reported, the U.S. had about 4 percent of its population’s DNA, while China had about 3 percent. While DNA has played an important role in prosecuting crimes, less than 3 percent of the profiles have assisted in cases, the Bureau’s data reveals. By comparison, fingerprints collected by the FBI from current and former federal employees linked them to crimes at a rate of 12 percent each year.
Google maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive repositories of location information. Drawing from phones’ GPS coordinates, plus connections to Wi-Fi networks and cellular towers, it can often estimate a person’s whereabouts to within several feet. It gathers this information in part to sell advertising, but police routinely dip into the data to further their investigations. The use of search data is less common, but that, too, has made its way into police stations throughout the country. Traditionally, American law enforcement obtains a warrant to search the home or belongings of a specific person, in keeping with a constitutional ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. Warrants for Google’s location and search data are, in some ways, the inverse of that process, says Michael Price, the litigation director for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Fourth Amendment Center. Rather than naming a suspect, law enforcement identifies basic parameters—a set of geographic coordinates or search terms—and asks Google to provide hits, essentially generating a list of leads. By their very nature, these Google warrants often return information on people who haven’t been suspected of a crime. In 2018 a man in Arizona was wrongly arrested for murder based on Google location data. Google says it received a record 60,472 search warrants in the US last year, more than double the number from 2019. The company provides at least some information in about 80% of cases.
From Virginia to Florida, law enforcement all over the US are increasingly using tools called reverse search warrants – including geofence location warrants and keyword search warrants – to come up with a list of suspects who may have committed particular crimes. While the former is used by law enforcement to get tech companies to identify all the devices that were near a certain place at a certain time, the latter is used to get information on everyone who’s searched for a particular keyword or phrase. It’s a practice public defenders, privacy advocates and many lawmakers have criticised, arguing it violates fourth amendment protections against unreasonable searches. Unlike reverse search warrants, other warrants and subpoenas target a specific person that law enforcement has established there is probable cause to believe has committed a specific crime. But geofence warrants are sweeping in nature and are often used to compile a suspect list to further investigate. Google broke out how many geofence warrants it received for the first time in 2021. The company revealed it received nearly 21,000 geofence warrants between 2018 and 2020. The tech giant did not specify how many of those requests it complied with but did share that in the second half of 2020, it responded to 82% of all government requests for data in the US with some level of information. Apple has taken steps to publish its own numbers. In the first half of 2022 the company fielded a total of 13 geofence warrants and complied with none.
Note: The legal world is struggling to keep up with the rise of tech firms building ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Fort Ord was one of 800 U.S. military bases, large and small, that were shuttered between 1988 and 2005. The cities of Seaside and Marina, Calif., where Fort Ord had been critical to the local economy, were left with a ghost town of clapboard barracks and decrepit, World War II-era concrete structures that neither of the cities could afford to tear down. Also left behind were poisonous stockpiles of unexploded ordnance, lead fragments, industrial solvents and explosives residue, a toxic legacy that in some areas of the base remains largely where the Army left it. Across the country, communities were promised that closed bases would be restored, cleaned up and turned over for civilian use. But the cleanup has proceeded at a snail’s pace at many of the facilities, where future remediation work could extend until 2084 and local governments are struggling with the cost of making the land suitable for development. At more than 1,000 sites within the closed bases, the land is so badly contaminated that no one will ever be allowed to live on it. Sites that were supposed to be clean were later found full of asbestos, radioactivity and other health threats. Military base cleanups are often full of surprises, but Hunters Point is in a league of its own. Two former supervisors at an environmental firm, Tetra Tech EC, which the Navy hired to help clean up the base, were convicted in 2018 of fraudulently submitting clean dirt to a laboratory in place of the contaminated dirt at the shipyard.
In March of 2021 a nonprofit group called the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) released a report about online misinformation. Founded [by] Imran Ahmed, the CCDH ... provides the White House with a powerful weapon to use against critics including RFK Jr. and [Elon] Musk, while also pressuring platforms like Facebook and Twitter to enforce the administration’s policies. One rumor that came up ... is that [Ahmed] works for British intelligence. “There’s nothing surprising about this,” said Mike Benz, a former State Department official who now runs the Foundation for Freedom Online, a free-speech watchdog. “This is not the first rodeo of British and U.S. intelligence services creating a cutout for the purpose of influencing the online news economy, to rig public debate in favor of political speech that supports agency agendas.” CCDH’s ... chairman is Simon Clark, a former senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a D.C. think tank aligned with the corporate arm of the Democratic Party. One might conclude that CCDH functions as an arm of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, to be deployed against the perceived enemies of corporate Democrats, whether they come from the left or the right. Clark was also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Lab. “The Atlantic Council, in the past several years, has had seven CIA directors on its board of directors or board of advisers,” said Benz. “And it’s one of the premier architects of online censorship.”
Note: Read an excellent piece on what gave rise to the modern censorship regime. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
On 7 October 2022, the United States government implemented export controls in an effort to hinder the development of China’s semiconductor industry. The next day, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said: "... By politicising tech and trade issues and using them as a tool and weapon, the US cannot hold back China’s development but will only hurt and isolate itself when its action backfires." Under the Trump and Biden administrations, the US has placed hundreds of Chinese companies on trade and investment blacklists. These restrictions have banned any company in the world that uses US products – effectively every chip designer and manufacturer – from doing business with Chinese tech firms. The US has also pressured governments and firms around the world to impose similar restrictions. Washington fears that China’s technological development will lead, through trade and investment, to the dispersal of advanced technologies more broadly throughout the world, namely, to states in the Global South that the US sees as a threat. This would be a significant blow to the US’s power over these countries. The scale of the developments in digital technology is staggering. Earlier conflicts took place over energy and food, but now this conflict has heated up ... the resources of our digital world. This technology can be used to solve so many of our dilemmas, and yet, here we are, at the precipice of greater conflict to benefit the few over the needs of the many.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
A federal court of appeals ruled earlier this month that the White House, surgeon general, CDC and FBI “likely violated the First Amendment” by exerting a pressure campaign on social media companies to censor COVID-19 skeptics — including Stanford epidemiologist Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine, economics and health research policy at Stanford University, co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration in the fall of 2020 with professors from Harvard and Oxford. The epidemiologists advocated for “focused protection” — safeguarding the most vulnerable Americans while cautiously allowing others to function as normally as possible — rather than broad pandemic lockdowns. “We were just acting as scientists, but almost immediately we were censored,” said Bhattacharya. “Google de-boosted us. Our Facebook page was removed. It was just a crazy time. “The kinds of things that the federal government was telling social media companies to censor included us — along with millions of other posts from countless other people who were criticizing government COVID policy,” he added. A New Orleans-based three-judge panel found that the federal government “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content” by vaguely threatening adverse regulatory consequences if social media companies did not suppress certain viewpoints on the pandemic.
What if I told you one in 50 people who took a new medication had a “medically attended adverse event” and the manufacturer refused to disclose what exactly the complication was — would you take it? And what if the theoretical benefit was only transient, lasting about three months, after which your susceptibility goes back to baseline? And what if we told you the Food and Drug Administration cleared it without any human-outcomes data. That’s what we know about the new COVID vaccine the Biden administration is firmly recommending. COVID vaccines are very different from flu vaccines. COVID vaccines have higher complication rates, including severe and life-threatening cardiac reactions. Flu shots have a 50-plus-year safety record whereas COVID vaccines have been associated with a serious adverse event rate of one in 5,000 doses, according to a German study by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. Another study, published last year in the medical journal Vaccine, estimated the rate of serious adverse events to be as high as one in 556 COVID vaccine recipients. And for young people, the incidence of myocarditis is six to 28 times higher after the vaccine than after infection, even for females, according to a 2022 JAMA Cardiology study. That’s one of the reasons a study that we and several national colleagues published last year found that college booster mandates appear to have resulted in a net public health harm.
Note: The above was written by Marty Makary, MD, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Anecdotals is a powerful documentary that follows the lives of many people who stepped up to get vaccinated for themselves or the greater good, yet whose lives changed drastically as a result. Instead of having their stories of vaccine injuries heard and seen, they were discredited and abandoned by the medical system and our media systems.
Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) [is] Europe’s biggest arms fair, which takes place every two years in the Excel convention centre in east London. It is a sprawling supermarket of modern warfare, where the world’s armies come to buy the latest AI-guided missiles and tanks, inspect giant warships moored in the Royal Docks, and queue to take a turn sitting in the cockpits of fighter jets. Joystick manufacturers jostle with makers of invisibility cloaks, while purveyors of VR simulators compete with those of radar jammers, next to endless ranks of machine guns. Sleek submarines sparkle on spotlit plinths while flocks of missile-carrying drones dangle from the ceiling like menacing mobiles. “This year feels much busier than usual,” one bomb salesman tells me, standing by a gleaming rack of cone-shaped warheads, polished like trophies in a glass cabinet. “It seems war is back in a big way. People are looking to stock up.” Whereas attendees of this great murderous bazaar may once have felt sheepish, they now proudly march through the entrance gates with their heads held high. Recent events in Ukraine have sharpened minds and opened wallets in relation to government spending on defence. Total global military expenditure reached an all-time high of $2.2tn (£1.8tn) in 2022. Outside the exhibition halls, reality hits. “Please be aware,” a polite protester tells visitors, “that many of the countries you are doing business with are on the UK government’s human rights priority list.”
Note: As one defense executive flat-out told Reuters during the event, "war is good for business." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and military corruption from reliable major media sources.
In response to a spate of coups by U.S.-trained military personnel in West Africa and the greater Sahel, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has authored an amendment to the 2024 defense spending bill to collect information on trainees who overthrow their governments. It would require the Pentagon for the first time to inform Congress about U.S.-mentored mutineers. “The Department of Defense, up until this point, has not kept data regarding the people they train who participate in coups to overthrow democratically elected — or any — governments,” said Gaetz. The Intercept has found that at least 15 officers who benefited from U.S. security assistance have been involved in 12 coups in West Africa and the greater Sahel during the war on terror. At least five leaders of the Niger coup in late July received American training. They, in turn, appointed five U.S.-trained members of the Nigerien security forces to serve as governors. The Intercept identified more than 70 other African military personnel involved in coups since 2001 who might have received U.S. training or assistance, but when provided with names, State Department spokespeople either failed to respond or replied, “We do not have the ability to provide records for these historical cases.” Gaetz’s proposed legislation ... would require the defense secretary to submit a report listing “the number of partner countries whose military forces have participated in security cooperation training or equipping programs or received security assistance training.”
Col. Elias Melgar Urbina, a top-ranking Honduran military official and U.S. partner in joint drug war operations, has been tied to a Honduran drug trafficker, according to a U.S. Justice Department filing, and a private security company accused of assassinating land rights activists, according to eyewitness testimony and documents obtained by The Intercept. During the trial of Geovanny Fuentes Ramírez in federal district court in Manhattan, U.S. prosecutors suggested the possibility that Melgar himself had links to the drug trade. Fuentes was convicted in March 2021 of conspiring with high-ranking Honduran politicians and military officials to traffic tons of cocaine into the United States. One of Fuentes’s “military contacts,” according to prosecutors, was Melgar. For decades, the U.S. has supported Honduran governments whose security forces have violently repressed protest, protected select figures in the drug trade, and executed perceived criminals with so-called extermination squads. Since 2009, when a military coup greenlit by the State Department ousted former President Manuel Zelaya, the husband of current president Castro, the U.S. has supported sweeping security initiatives to militarize Honduran forces in the name of the war on drugs — even as they engaged in widespread human rights abuses. “The armed forces have been the key for turning Honduras into a narco-state,” [Pro-Honduras Network head Cristián] Sánchez told The Intercept.
Note: The US government has a long history of involvement in drug trafficking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Federal regulators have maintained that cellphones pose no danger. But a growing body of scientific research is raising questions, with the stakes heightened by the ongoing deployment of hundreds of thousands of new transmitters in neighborhoods across America. ProPublica recently examined the issue in detail, finding that the chief government regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, relies on an exposure standard from 1996 ... and that the agency brushed aside a lengthy study by a different arm of the federal government that found that cellphone radiation caused rare cancers. The newest generation of cellphone technology, known as 5G, remains largely untested. A growing body of research has found evidence of health risks even when people are exposed to radiation below the FCC limits. The array of possible harms ranges from effects on fertility and fetal development to associations with cancer. Some studies of people living near cell towers have also confirmed an array of health complaints, including dizziness, nausea, headaches, tinnitus and insomnia. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, cited troubling but uncertain evidence in classifying wireless radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In 2018, a study by the federal government that was nearly two decades in the making found “clear evidence” that cellphone radiation caused cancer in lab animals.
Note: Unlike the U.S., many countries have regulations in place to protect people from cell phone radiation exposure. Check out this comprehensive list of countries with official recommendations and policies on cell phone radiation exposure. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on wireless technology risks from reliable major media sources.
What would a progressive Pentagon look like? I’m not talking about a “woke” Pentagon that touts and celebrates its “diversity,” including its belated acceptance of LGBTQ+ members. Painting “Black Lives Matter” and rainbow flags on B-52 bombers doesn’t make the bombs dropped any less destructive. All too many Americans didn't know how badly they'd been lied to about the Vietnam War until the Pentagon Papers emerged near the end of that disastrous conflict. All too many Americans didn't know how badly they'd been lied to about the Afghan War until the Afghan War Papers emerged near the end of that disastrous conflict. All too many Americans didn't know how badly they'd been lied to about the Iraq War until the myth of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (which had been part of the bogus rationale for invading that country) crumbled. A progressive Pentagon would ... celebrate the insights of Generals Smedley Butler and Dwight D. Eisenhower that war is fundamentally a racket (Butler) and that the military-industrial-congressional complex poses the severest of threats to freedom and democracy in America (President Eisenhower). A progressive Pentagon would ... recognize that one cannot serve both a republic and an empire, that a choice must be made, and that a Pentagon of the present kind in a genuine republic would voluntarily downsize itself, while largely dismantling its imperial infrastructure of perhaps 800 overseas bases.
Note: Read decorated general Smedley Butler's 1935 book War is a Racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
At the heart of America’s political and cultural turmoil is a crisis of trust. In the space of a generation, the people’s confidence in their leaders and their most important institutions to do the right thing has collapsed. The federal government, big business, the media, education, science and medicine, technology, religious institutions, law enforcement and others have seen a precipitous decline. Since 1979 Gallup has measured trust among the public in the most important American institutions. Its latest survey ... found that across the nine key institutions Gallup has tracked consistently, the proportion of Americans who said they had “a great deal or quite a lot of confidence” averaged out at 26%. That is the lowest figure ever recorded. Some institutions have forfeited more trust than others. In 1979 Gallup found that 51% of Americans had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers. This year the number was 18%. The biggest factor driving mistrust ... is surely the widening cultural gap between the people who have led and thrived in our major institutions and the rest of the population. The past 20 years have seen the rapid emergence of a new elite—expensively educated, versed in progressive nostrums, increasingly distant from and disdainful of the rest of America and its values. This crowd comprises much of the nation’s permanent government classes, almost its entire academic establishment, most of the people who control its news and cultural output, and a good deal of its corporate elite.
Note: About half of Americans lost faith in the scientific community after this "new elite" repeatedly misled the public on issues related to the pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The Biden administration likely infringed upon the First Amendment when it leaned on social media companies to remove false or misleading COVID-19 content, a federal court of appeals ruled Friday — narrowing a bombshell district court order that barred several officials and agencies from communicating with the platforms. The White House, surgeon general, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content” and in doing so, “likely violated the First Amendment,” the New Orleans-based Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals determined. The three-judge panel, however, adjusted the scope of US District Judge Terry Doughty’s July 4 order ... removing officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the State Department from the injunction. The Fifth Circuit vacated nine of the 10 provisions in Doughty’s order that prevented Biden administration officials from “urging, encouraging, pressuring” or “inducing” social media companies from removing content. Similarly, the appeals court determined that “following up with social-media companies” about content moderation, “requesting content reports from social-media companies” or asking platforms to “Be on The Lookout” for certain types of material does not violate individuals’ First Amendment rights.
Note: Many posts that were censored contained factual information on COVID-related issues. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.
For decades, it was the secret behind the magic show of homemaking across the US. Applied to a pan, it could keep a fried egg from sticking to the surface. Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was ... seeping into the blood and organs of hundreds of millions of people who used products containing the chemical. PFOA is just one of dozens of modern-day chemicals that are found in the bodies of the majority of Americans. Research has also shown that more Americans are facing a growing number of ailments and disorders, from autoimmune disease to developmental disorders such as autism and some cancers. Scientists are increasingly concerned these two truths are linked. Scientists have accumulated enough data to conclude with confidence that humans face significant health risks from exposure to common commercial chemicals, and that regulations designed to protect them are failing. Due to flaws in federal regulation, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is perennially playing catch up. The majority of the 86,000 consumer chemicals registered with the agency have never received vigorous toxicity testing. Kyla Bennett, a former EPA employee [said] that at recent rates of review, it would take thousands of years to assess all 86,000 chemicals currently approved for use. EPA staff ... say the agency’s chemical programs remain understaffed, overwhelmed and burdened by still-ineffective regulations and a persistent culture that enables the chemical industry instead of counterbalancing it.
Louis Milione retired from the DEA a second time this summer amid reporting by The Associated Press on potential conflicts caused by his prior consulting for the pharmaceutical industry. Less than three months later, Milione again landed a plum job at Guidepost Solutions, a New York-based firm hired by some of the same companies he had been tasked with regulating when he returned to the DEA in 2021. Milione had spent four years at Guidepost prior to his return, leveraging his extensive experience and contacts from a 21-year DEA career. Milione is the most senior of a slew of DEA officials to have traded their badge and gun for a globe-trotting consulting job. His career stands out for two cycles through the revolving door between government and industry, raising questions about the potential impact on the DEA’s mission to police drug companies blamed for tens of thousands of American overdose deaths. Milione’s private-sector clientele also included Morris & Dickson Co., the nation’s fourth-largest wholesale drug distributor, as it tried to stave off DEA sanctions for disregarding thousands of suspicious, high-volume orders. The DEA allowed the company to continue shipping drugs for nearly four years after a judge recommended its license be revoked for “cavalier disregard” of rules aimed at preventing opioid abuse. It was not until AP began asking questions this spring that the DEA moved to finally strip the Shreveport, Louisiana-based company of its license to distribute highly addictive painkillers.
The United States is gunning for war with China. By cozying up to Taiwan and arming it to the teeth, President Joe Biden is undermining the “One China” policy which has been the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations since 1979. In March, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines called China the “leading and most consequential threat to U.S. national security.” More than 90 percent of the most advanced microchips in the world are manufactured in Taiwan. The chips are used to power our smartphones, train artificial intelligence systems and guide missiles. The Trump administration imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports to cut off China’s access to the software technology and equipment required to build the advanced chips. Biden has maintained and dramatically expanded Trump’s coercive economic measures and imposed a blockade on advanced semiconductors. Biden has repeatedly stated that the United States would use military force to defend Taiwan if it is attacked by China. The Biden administration has provided Taiwan with $619 million worth of high-tech arms. China has not been at war with any country since 1979. By contrast, the United States has had only 16 years of peace in its 247 years. K.J. Noh, an activist scholar who writes about the geopolitics of the Asian continent ... described South Korea as key to the U.S.’s escalating war on China. “The United States has operational control over South Korean troops,” Noh said. The U.S. is also “weaponizing Taiwan into an imperial outpost for war.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Should the government have to get a warrant before using a drone to spy on your home and backyard? We think so, and in an amicus brief filed last Friday in Long Lake Township v. Maxon, we urged the Michigan Supreme Court to find that warrantless drone surveillance of a home violates the Fourth Amendment. In this case, Long Lake Township hired private operators to repeatedly fly drones over Todd and Heather Maxon’s home to take aerial photos and videos of their property in a zoning investigation. The Township did this without a warrant and then sought to use this documentation in a court case against them. In our brief, we argue that the township’s conduct was governed by and violated the Fourth Amendment and the equivalent section of the Michigan Constitution. Drone prevalence has soared in recent years, fueled by both private and governmental use. We have documented more than 1,471 law enforcement agencies across the United States that operate drones. In some cities, police have begun implementing “drone as first responder” programs, in which drones are constantly flying over communities in response to routine calls for service. Authorities have routinely used aerial surveillance technologies against individuals participating in racial justice movements. Under this backdrop, states like Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Virginia have enacted statutes requiring warrants for police use of drones.
He still remembers the first gunshot. Now, 60 years later, Paul Landis, one of the Secret Service agents just feet away from President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas, is telling his story in full for the first time. His account differs from the official version. At age 88, he said, all he wants is to tell what he saw and what he did. He will leave it to everyone else to draw conclusions. What it comes down to is a copper-jacketed 6.5-millimeter projectile. The Warren Commission decided that one of the bullets fired that day struck the president from behind, exited from the front of his throat and continued on to hit Mr. Connally, somehow managing to injure his back, chest, wrist and thigh. It seemed incredible that a single bullet could do all that, so skeptics called it the magic bullet theory. Investigators came to that conclusion partly because the bullet was found on a stretcher believed to have held Mr. Connally at Parkland Memorial Hospital. In fact, [Mr. Landis] said, he was the one who found the bullet — and he found it not in the hospital near Mr. Connally but in the presidential limousine lodged in the back of the seat behind where Kennedy was sitting. “If what he says is true, which I tend to believe, it is likely to reopen the question of a second shooter, if not even more,” [Historian James] Robenalt said. “If the bullet we know as the magic or pristine bullet stopped in President Kennedy’s back, it means that the central thesis of the Warren Report, the single-bullet theory, is wrong.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources. For deeper exploration, check out our comprehensive Information Center on John F. Kennedy's assassination, which challenge mainstream narratives about his assassination and the events leading up to it.
Paul Landis was one of two Secret Service agents tasked with guarding first lady Jacqueline Kennedy on November 22, 1963—the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In a new book, The Final Witness, to be published in October, Landis claims to have seen something that afternoon that he had never publicly admitted before. Landis was approximately 15 feet away when Kennedy was mortally wounded. Landis saw and did something that he has kept secret for six decades, he says now. He claims he spotted a bullet resting on the top of the back of the seat. He says he picked it up, put it in his pocket, and brought it into the hospital. Then, upon entering Trauma Room No. 1 (at that stage, he was the only nonmedical person in the room besides Mrs. Kennedy, and both stayed for only a short period), he insists, he placed the bullet on a white cotton blanket on the president’s stretcher. This secret, as it turns out, may upend key conclusions of the Warren Commission, the body created by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination. Landis ... never sat for an interview before the FBI and never testified before the commission. There have been endless theories surrounding the assassination, but not one of them considered that a Secret Service agent might have brought a fully intact bullet, found on top of the rear seat of the limousine, into Parkland Memorial Hospital and placed it on the president’s stretcher. Not one.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources. For deeper exploration, check out our comprehensive Information Center on John F. Kennedy's assassination, which challenge mainstream narratives about his assassination and the events leading up to it.
The Central Intelligence Agency offered to pay off analysts in order to bury their findings that COVID-19 most likely leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, new whistleblower testimony to Congress alleges. A senior-level CIA officer told House committee leaders that his agency tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans, according to a letter sent Tuesday to CIA Director William Burns. Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) requested all documents, communications and pay info from the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team by Sept. 26. “According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the House panel chairmen wrote. “The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis.” “The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position,” they said, noting that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”
Note: Explore more revealing articles we've summarized about the COVID origin story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
New details about the FBI’s failures to comply with restrictions on the use of foreign intelligence for domestic crimes have emerged. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ... grants the government the ability to intercept the electronic communications of overseas targets who are unprotected by the Fourth Amendment. That authority is set to expire at the end of the year. But errors in the FBI’s secondary use of the data—the investigation of crimes on US soil—are likely to inflame an already fierce debate over whether law enforcement agents can be trusted with such an invasive tool. Central to this tension has been a routine audit by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) national security division and the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI) ... which unearthed new examples of the FBI failing to comply with rules limiting access to intelligence ostensibly gathered to protect US national security. Such “errors,” they said, have occurred on a “large number” of occasions. A report on the audit, only recently declassified, found that in the first half of 2020, FBI personnel unlawfully searched raw FISA data on numerous occasions. In one incident, agents reportedly sought evidence of foreign influence linked to a US lawmaker. In another, an inappropriate search pertained to a local political party. In what privacy and civil liberties lawyers have termed a “backdoor search,” the FBI regularly searches through unminimized data during investigations, and routinely prior to launching them.
Candid public discourse about the “war on terror” is long overdue. Hindsight offers an opportunity to take a fresh look at the official pronouncements and unheeded dissent that came soon after September 11, 2001. When the first U.S. missiles struck Afghanistan, a Gallup poll found that “90 percent of Americans approve of the United States taking such military action, while just 5 percent are opposed, and another 5 percent are unsure.” A frenzy for war had taken hold, despite the fact that none of the 9/11 hijackers were Afghans. In effect, the United States proceeded, with displaced rage, to inflict collective punishment on vast numbers of Afghan people. More than 20 years later, are we ready to face up to the human toll of the war on terror? Counting only the people killed directly in U.S. wars since 2001, researchers at the Costs of War project at Brown University have estimated those deaths at between 906,000 and 937,000. The study found that at least 364,000 of them were civilians who lost their lives “in the violence of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.” Meanwhile, “several times as many more have been killed as a reverberating effect of the wars.” The estimated number of people directly and indirectly killed is 4.5 million. Labeled as a war on terror, open-ended U.S. warfare remains so routine that no one asks anymore when it might end.
A half-dozen or so men gathered last month [at] one of Kyiv’s swankiest hotels to discuss the lucrative business of arming Ukrainian troops. The group included Ukrainian military and government officials, who are always in the market for explosive shells. The center of attention was their gregarious host, a Florida-based arms contractor named Marc Morales. And joining the group was a stout, bearded man who served both the buyers and sellers: Vladimir Koyfman, a chief sergeant in the Ukrainian military whom Mr. Morales pays to arrange meetings with his government contacts. The [Biden] administration has sent Ukraine more than $40 billion in security aid, including advanced weapons like HIMARS rockets and Patriot missiles. But the Pentagon also relies heavily on little-known arms dealers like Mr. Morales. The Pentagon has awarded his company about $1 billion in contracts, mostly for ammunition. And records show he has built a roughly $200 million side business selling to the Ukrainians directly. Mr. Morales’s competitors say that he has an unfair advantage. His ties to the Pentagon. Arms brokers from around the world are competing for a limited supply of Soviet-style arms, mostly from Eastern Europe, to then sell to Ukraine. With cash pouring in from Washington, Mr. Morales can afford to pay more than his competitors do, several Eastern European arms dealers complained. He then makes good on his American contracts and buys more ammunition on his own to sell to Ukraine directly.
The future of wearable technology, beyond now-standard accessories like smartwatches and fitness tracking rings, is ePANTS, according to the intelligence community. The federal government has shelled out at least $22 million in an effort to develop “smart” clothing that spies on the wearer and its surroundings. Similar to previous moonshot projects funded by military and intelligence agencies, the inspiration may have come from science fiction and superpowers, but the basic applications are on brand for the government: surveillance and data collection. Billed as the “largest single investment to develop Active Smart Textiles,” the SMART ePANTS — Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems — program aims to develop clothing capable of recording audio, video, and geolocation data, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced in an August 22 press release. Garments slated for production include shirts, pants, socks, and underwear, all of which are intended to be washable. There is already evidence that private industry outside of the national security community are interested in smart clothing. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is looking to hire a researcher “with broad knowledge in smart textiles and garment construction, integration of electronics into soft and flexible systems, and who can work with a team of researchers working in haptics, sensing, tracking, and materials science.”
Note: Smart objects have been called a "train wreck in privacy and security." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The day after the U.S. government began routinely bombing faraway places, the lead editorial in the New York Times expressed some gratification. Nearly four weeks had passed since 9/11 ... and America had finally stepped up its “counterattack against terrorism” by launching airstrikes on al-Qaeda training camps and Taliban military targets in Afghanistan. The Project on Defense Alternatives concluded that American air strikes had killed more than 1,000 [Afghan] civilians during the last three months of 2001. By mid-spring 2002, the Guardian reported, “as many as 20,000 Afghans may have lost their lives as an indirect consequence of the U.S. intervention.” Under the “war on terror” rubric, open-ended warfare was well underway — “as if terror were a state and not a technique,” as Joan Didion wrote in 2003. “We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of September 11 to justify the reconception of America’s correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war.” Unlike those killed on 9/11, the Iraqi dead were routinely off the American media radar screen, as were the psychological traumas suffered by Iraqis and the decimation of their country’s infrastructure. For the White House, the Pentagon, and Congress, the war on terror offered a political license to kill and displace people on a large scale in at least eight countries. The resulting carnage often included civilians. The dead and maimed had no names or faces that reached those who signed the orders and appropriated the funds.
Note: A 2021 report estimated that the War on Terror had "killed up to 929,000 people and cost over $8 trillion." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2023, this country’s drone warfare program has entered its third decade with no end in sight. Despite the fact that the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 is approaching, policymakers have demonstrated no evidence of reflecting on the failures of drone warfare and how to stop it. Instead, the focus continues to be on simply shifting drone policy in minor ways within an ongoing violent system. Washington’s war on terror has inflicted disproportionate violence on communities across the globe, while using this form of asymmetrical warfare to further expand the space between the value placed on American lives and those of Muslims. Since the war on terror was launched, the London-based watchdog group Airwars has estimated that American air strikes have killed at least 22,679 civilians and possibly up to 48,308 of them. Such killings have been carried out for the most part by desensitized killers, who have been primed towards the dehumanization of the targets of those murderous machines. In the words of critic Saleh Sharief, “The detached nature of drone warfare has anonymized and dehumanized the enemy, greatly diminishing the necessary psychological barriers of killing.” While the use of drones in the war on terror began under President George W. Bush, it escalated dramatically under Obama. Then, in the Trump years, it rose yet again. Though the use of drones in Joe Biden’s first year in office was lower than Trump’s, what has remained consistent is the lack of ... accountability for the slaughter of civilians.
Note: A 2014 analysis found that attempts to kill 41 people with drones resulted in 1,147 deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved a component of boat fuel made from discarded plastic that the agency’s own risk formula determined was so hazardous, everyone exposed to the substance continually over a lifetime would be expected to develop cancer. Current and former EPA scientists said that threat level is unheard of. It is a million times higher than what the agency usually considers acceptable for new chemicals and six times worse than the risk of lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking. Federal law requires the EPA to conduct safety reviews before allowing new chemical products on to the market. If the agency finds that a substance causes unreasonable risk to health or the environment, the EPA is not allowed to approve it without first finding ways to reduce that risk. But the agency did not do that in this case. Instead, the EPA decided its scientists were overstating the risks and gave Chevron the go-ahead to make the new boat fuel ingredient at its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Though the substance can poison air and contaminate water, EPA officials mandated no remedies other than requiring workers to wear gloves, records show. The EPA division that approves new chemicals usually limits lifetime cancer risk from an air pollutant to one additional case of cancer in a million people. That means that if a million people are continuously exposed over a presumed lifetime of 70 years, there would likely be at least one case of cancer on top of those from other risks people already face.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office responsible for protecting the public from toxic substances has changed how it defines PFAS for a second time since 2021, a move critics say they fear will exclude thousands of “forever chemicals” from regulation and largely benefit industry. Instead of using a clear definition of what constitutes a PFAS, the agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics plans to take a “case-by-case” approach that allows it to be more flexible in determining which chemicals should be subjected to regulations. Among other uses for the compounds, the EPA appears to be excluding some chemicals in pharmaceuticals and pesticides that are generally defined as PFAS, current and former EPA officials say, and the shift comes amid fierce industry opposition to proposed limits on the chemicals. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 15,000 compounds most frequently used to make products water-, stain- and grease-resistant. They have been linked to cancer, birth defects, decreased immunity, high cholesterol, kidney disease and a range of other serious health problems. They are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down in the environment. Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, a current EPA employee in the toxics office said the chemical’s definition has been evolving for several years. “EPA can’t get its act together on what PFAS are,” they added.
Note: These chemicals have contaminated 41 percent of US tap water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
A federal appeals court Friday revived a lawsuit by three doctors who say the Food and Drug Administration overstepped its authority in a campaign against treating COVID-19 with the anti-parasite drug ivermectin. Ivermectin ... has been championed by some conservatives as a treatment for COVID-19. The FDA has not approved ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. Friday’s ruling from a panel of three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal ... focused on various aspects of an FDA campaign against ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. The ruling acknowledged FDA’s receiving reports of some people requiring hospitalization after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock. But the ruling said the campaign — which at times featured the slogan “You are not a horse!” — too often left out that the drug is sometimes prescribed for humans. The doctors can proceed with their lawsuit contending that the FDA’s campaign exceeded the agency’s authority under federal law, the ruling said. “FDA is not a physician. It has authority to inform, announce, and apprise—but not to endorse, denounce, or advise,” Judge Don Willett wrote. “The Doctors have plausibly alleged that FDA’s Posts fell on the wrong side of the line between telling about and telling to.” Drs. Robert L. Apter, Mary Talley Bowden and Paul E. Marik filed the lawsuit last year. All three said their reputations were harmed by the FDA campaign.
Note: Explore a comprehensive look into the benefits and uses of ivermectin, despite establishment media's concerted effort to discredit its efficacy and safety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
As flames tore through a West Maui neighborhood, car after car of fleeing residents headed for the only paved road out of town in a desperate race for safety. And car after car was turned back toward the rapidly spreading wildfire by a barricade blocking access to Highway 30. One family swerved around the barricade and was safe in a nearby town 48 minutes later, another drove their four-wheel-drive car down a dirt road to escape. One man took a dirt road uphill, climbing above the fire and watching as Lahaina burned. He later picked his way through the flames, smoke and rubble to pull survivors to safety. But dozens of others found themselves caught in a hellscape, their cars jammed together on a narrow road, surrounded by flames on three sides and the rocky ocean waves on the fourth. Some died in their cars, while others tried to run for safety. The road closures — some because of the fire, some because of downed power lines — contributed to making historic Lahaina the site of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Many of the survivors are angry, and haunted by the thought that a just few minutes of notice could have saved many lives. [Nate] Baird’s neighborhood near Lahainaluna Road was filled with kids who were home alone when the flames hit, he said. “We needed like 10 more minutes, and we could have saved a lot of kids,” he said, choking back tears. “If we’d just had like a 10- or 15-minute warning.”
Note: Despite years of Maui wildfire warnings, Hawaii government officials and Hawaiian Electric did little to address the wildfire threat, spending more on lobbying and peddling influence with regulators and politicians than preventing the fires from happening. For further exploration, watch Robert Kennedy Jr. and former leading BlackRock portfolio manager Edward Dowd discuss this tragic issue.
Those who disobeyed the barricaded road closures during the Maui fires survived the disaster, while many of those who heeded orders to turn around perished in their cars and homes with no way out. At least 114 people were killed in the fires earlier this month, and the FBI is estimating that up to 1,100 more are unaccounted for. Officials are facing increased scrutiny for the emergency response, including why the emergency sirens were not set off and whether closing the roads prevented people from getting to safety. In the early hours of the Maui fires, there were more than 30 power poles downed alongside the Honoapiilani Highway at the south end of Lahaina — a historic town that was decimated in the fires earlier this month. Officials closed Lahaina Bypass Road due to the fires, blocking the only way out of Lahaina to the southern part of the island. Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said during a news conference that officers never stopped people from leaving the area, but the AP report suggests that residents were discouraged from disobeying the barricade. Kim Cuevas-Reyes said that she survived with her two sons by ignoring orders to turn right onto Front Street, which has now been devastated by the fires. Instead, she turned left and drove in the wrong lane to escape the town. “The gridlock would have left us there when the firestorm came,” Cuevas-Reyes [said].
Note: Despite years of Maui wildfire warnings, Hawaii government officials and Hawaiian Electric did little to address the wildfire threat, spending more on lobbying and peddling influence with regulators and politicians than preventing the fires from happening. For further exploration, watch Robert Kennedy Jr. and former leading BlackRock portfolio manager Edward Dowd discuss this tragic issue.
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation Wednesday to ensure the Defense Department passes a clean audit next year, with the bill following repeated concerns from Congress about fraud, waste and abuse in the Pentagon. The Audit the Pentagon Act of 2023 would require the Defense Department to pass a full, independent audit in fiscal 2024. Agencies within the Pentagon that fail to pass a clean audit would be forced to return 1 percent of its budget for deficit reduction, according to the legislation. The legislation comes after ... a CBS News report found defense contractors overcharged the Defense Department by nearly 40 percent to 50 percent. According to the Office of the Inspector General for the Defense Department, sometimes overcharging reached more than 4,000 percent. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the Pentagon “and the military industrial complex have been plagued by a massive amount of waste, fraud, and financial mismanagement for decades.” “That is absolutely unacceptable,” Sanders said in a statement announcing the legislation. “If we are serious about spending taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively, we have got to end the absurdity of the Pentagon being the only agency in the federal government that has never passed an independent audit.” The Defense Department failed its fifth audit last year and was unable to account for more than half of its assets, or more than $3 trillion.
Government borrowing and spending are necessary to stimulate the economy during recessions. The United States, however, now borrows heavily during periods of economic growth to meet basic and ongoing obligations. It’s increasingly unsustainable. Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office projects that annual federal budget deficits will average around $2 trillion per year, adding to the $25.4 trillion in debt the government already owes to investors. Borrowing is expensive. A mounting share of federal revenue, money that could be used for the benefit of the American people, goes right back out the door in the form of interest payments to investors who purchase government bonds. Rather than collecting taxes from the wealthy, the government is paying the wealthy to borrow their money. By 2029, the government is on pace to spend more each year on interest than on national defense, according to the Congressional Budget Office. By 2033, interest payments will consume an amount equal to 3.6 percent of the nation’s economic output. The debt ceiling is part of the problem. It was never intended to limit the federal debt. It was actually created to facilitate borrowing. During World War I, Congress got tired of authorizing each new round of bonds, so it gave the Treasury permission to borrow up to a specific limit. Its current use ... is even less productive. Larger changes are going to happen only if both political parties are willing participants.
Note: Explore an excellent analysis of the substantial role that the defense budget has in federal government’s spending, which was not mentioned in this New York Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Newly declassified documents reveal that Gen. Leslie Groves—director of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret operation that built the atomic bomb during World War II—misled Congress and the public about the effects of radiation. He did so initially out of ignorance, then denial, and finally, willful deception. The documents also show that some scientists in the project, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Los Alamos lab where the bomb was first tested, kept mum about Groves’ lie rather than dispute him or confront the general directly. The cache of documents ... was released on Monday, within days of the 78th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in the wake of the release of Oppenheimer, the wildly (and deservedly) successful film. One of the new documents the archive obtained is a memo by four scientists, titled “Calculated Biological Effects of Atomic Explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” dated Sept. 1, 1945. Until this memo was written, it had been assumed the A-bomb’s victims would be killed by its blast and its heat. But this memo concluded that at least some of the deaths had been caused by radioactive fallout, days or weeks after the explosions. And yet, the day before the memo’s date, at a press conference in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Groves said radiation had caused no deaths and that claims to the contrary—some published in Asian newspapers—were “propaganda.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) V-safe website quietly stopped collecting adverse event reports with no reason or explanation. The V-safe website simply states: “Thank you for your participation. Data collection for COVID-19 vaccines concluded on June 30, 2023.” If you go there today, V-safe directs users to the FDA’s VAERS website for adverse event reporting, even though officials continually derided VAERS as “passive” and “unverified.” VAERS and V-safe are mutually exclusive safety collection databases operated by the FDA and CDC, respectively. According to the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, mRNA “vaccines” have been named the primary suspect in over 1.5 million adverse event reports, of which there are >20,000 heart attacks and >27,000 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis just in the USA alone. VAERS reports represent fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events. Based on VAERS and previous V-safe findings, adverse events from mRNA shots in the USA alone could be considered a humanitarian crisis. Despite those alarming clinical findings, the CDC has concluded that collecting new safety reports is somehow no longer in the interest of America’s public health. Existing data from the V-safe site showed around 6.5 million adverse events/health impacts out of 10.1 million users, with around 2 million of those people unable to conduct normal activities of daily living.
In 2013, the National Vaccine Program Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) commissioned an update of earlier findings on the lack of evidence to support claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infant/child vaccination schedule was safe. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee [was] charged with producing the update. The lack of information on the overall safety of the vaccination schedule was so compelling that the committee then recommended HHS incorporate the study of the safety of the overall childhood immunization schedule into its processes for setting priorities for research, “recognizing stakeholder concerns, and establishing the priorities on the basis of epidemiological evidence, biological plausibility, and feasibility.” The IOM also recommended the CDC use its private database, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), to study the overall health effects of the vaccination schedule using retrospective analyses. Ten years later, the CDC has yet to do such a comparison study, even though it is sitting on a vast repository of data in the VSD, which include comprehensive medical records for more than 10 million individuals and 2 million children. The VSD also contains records for a significant number of unvaccinated children, yet the CDC refuses to compare the health outcomes of vaccinated children to completely unvaccinated children. The CDC also prohibits VSD outside researchers from accessing the VSD data.
Note: Read more about how HHS was in violation of the “Mandate for Safer Childhood Vaccines” as stipulated in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
In May, the World Health Organization issued an alarming report that declared widely used non-sugar sweeteners like aspartame are likely ineffective for weight loss, and long term consumption may increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mortality in adults. A few months later, WHO declared aspartame, a key ingredient in Diet Coke, to be a “possible carcinogen”, then quickly issued a third report that seemed to contradict its previous findings – people could continue consuming the product at levels determined to be safe decades ago. That contradiction stems from beverage industry corruption of the review process by consultants tied to an alleged Coca-Cola front group, the public health advocacy group US Right to Know said in a recent report. It uncovered eight WHO panelists involved with assessing safe levels of aspartame consumption who are beverage industry consultants who currently or previously worked with the alleged Coke front group, International Life Sciences Institute (Ilsi). Aspartame was first approved for use in the US in the early 1980s over the objection of some researchers who warned of potential health risks. In recent years, as evidence of health threats has mounted, industry has ramped up a PR campaign to downplay the issues. Ilsi representatives have sought to shape food policy worldwide. [Gary Ruskin, US Right to Know’s executive director], characterized the aspartame controversy as a “masterpiece in how Ilsi worms its way into these regulatory processes”.
Note: Explore a comprehensive overview of key scientific studies on aspartame harms, and how they were covered up by the sugar industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
The pressure to repay debts is forcing poor nations to continue investing in fossil fuel projects to make their repayments on what are usually loans from richer nations and financial institutions, according to new analysis from the anti-debt campaigners Debt Justice and partners in affected countries. The group is calling for creditors to cancel all debts for countries facing crisis – and especially those linked to fossil fuel projects. “High debt levels are a major barrier to phasing out fossil fuels for many global south countries,” said Tess Woolfenden, a senior policy officer at Debt Justice. “Many countries are trapped exploiting fossil fuels to generate revenue to repay debt while, at the same time, fossil fuel projects often do not generate the revenues expected and can leave countries further indebted than when they started. This toxic trap must end.” According to the report, the debt owed by global south countries has increased by 150% since 2011 and 54 countries are in a debt crisis, having to spend five times more on repayments than on addressing the climate crisis. Sharda Ganga, the director of the Surinamese civil society group Projekta, said ... “The reality is that this is the new form of colonialism – we have exchanged one ruler for the rule of our creditors who basically already own what is ours. The difference is this time we signed the deal ourselves.”
A 2022 investigation by the journal The BMJ declared that FDA oversight of clinical trials, including those for Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, was "grossly inadequate," from not conducting enough inspections to failing to alert scientific journals or the public when violations were flagged. But the issues here are not confined to behind the pharmacy counter. Dr. John Abramson, author of the recent book "Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It," traces the roots of issue back decades. "In 1992, when what turned out to be effective HIV drugs were stuck in the bottleneck of the FDA, they didn't have enough staff to get them through quickly enough. Many people were dying, and it was a real crisis," he explains. "The solution was that the Prescription Drug User Fee Agreement was passed. The drug companies started to pay a user fee with that was due upon application for new drug approval. And now roughly 65% of the FDA budget for overseeing human products comes from the drug and device companies. This comes with rigid timelines, and as I see from the outside, some degree of influence and obligation to the drug companies that derives from this agreement." The numbers here vary — Forbes puts that budget figure as high as 75%. Another similar conflict of interest that concerns Abramson is what he calls "the revolving door that goes between FDA and the drug industry."
Note: Read about Brook Jackson, a researcher for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials, who discovered patient safety concerns, data integrity issues, and other significant issues at her site. When she reported it to the FDA, she was fired the same day. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
The Taliban government in Afghanistan – the nation that until recently produced 90% of the world’s heroin – has drastically reduced opium cultivation across the country. Western sources estimate an up to 99% reduction in some provinces. This raises serious questions about the seriousness of U.S. drug eradication efforts in the country over the past 20 years. And, as global heroin supplies dry up, experts tell MintPress News that they fear this could spark the growing use of fentanyl – a drug dozens of times stronger than heroin that already kills more than 100,000 Americans yearly. A similar attempt by the Taliban to eliminate the drug occurred in 2000, the last full year that they were in power. It was extraordinarily successful, with opium reduction dropping from 4,600 tons to just 185 tons. However, as soon as the United States invaded in 2001, poppy cultivation shot back up to previous levels and the supply chain recommenced. Afghanistan’s transformation into a preeminent narco-state owes a significant debt to Washington’s actions. Poppy cultivation in the 1970s was relatively limited. However, the tide changed in 1979 with the inception of Operation Cyclone, a massive infusion of funds to Afghan Mujahideen factions aimed at exhausting the Soviet military. The U.S. directed billions toward the insurgents, yet their financial needs persisted. Consequently, the Mujahideen delved into the illicit drug trade. By the culmination of Operation Cyclone, Afghanistan’s opium production had soared twentyfold.
Note: Read powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Swiss journalist Maurine Mercier found several United States citizens fighting in Ukraine under the guise of humanitarian work. These rudderless warriors are a symbol of a society addicted to warfare. They reflect the tensions that author and antiwar activist Norman Solomon unwinds in his brilliant new book, War Made Invisible, which examines the profound causes and costs of U.S. interventionism. Solomon’s book unveils the disturbing proximity between the ruling class and corporate media since the Vietnam War, revealing how the fourth estate sustains the assumptions that make intervention possible in Ukraine and elsewhere. “The essence of propaganda is repetition,” he argues. “The frequencies of certain assumptions blend into a kind of white noise,” conditioning U.S. people to support military operations they never see or truly understand. This was never clearer than during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Indeed, across the media landscape, embedded intellectuals mobilized their pens to solidify public support for war. ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS all skewed their coverage. In many ways, militarism is a form of class warfare. “The fat profit margins from supplying the Pentagon and kindred agencies,” Solomon explains, exacerbate economic inequality while redirecting resources away from social programs. In effect, war is perpetual because it is profitable, enriching an elite firmly entrenched in the military-industrial complex.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
In its newly released 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Biden administration provided a glaring, but largely unnoticed, admission that it has failed to implement a key provision of U.S. law aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The report acknowledged that the administration has yet to finalize a congressionally mandated list of governments complicit in child soldier recruitment or use. With this list responsible for spurring urgently needed U.S. child soldier prevention efforts, its delay could have potentially severe consequences. Despite decades of concerted action to end the use of children as tools of war, the recruitment and use of child soldiers remains one of the most widespread abuses inflicted upon children in conflict, with the UN having verified the recruitment and use of 7,622 child soldiers last year — a 21 percent increase compared to 2021. Among those implicated in the use of child soldiers are security forces and armed groups led or supported by governments that rely heavily on U.S. defense cooperation to sustain their security operations. Somalia, for example, which recruited and used dozens of child soldiers in 2022, is among the most significant recipients of U.S. military aid in sub-Saharan Africa, with U.S. security assistance to and peacekeeping operations in the country amounting to roughly $3 billion over the past decade. The Biden administration can incentive governments implicated in the recruitment or use of child soldiers to put an end to these horrendous practices.
National Institutes of Health scientists raked in more than $325 million in royalties from Chinese and Russian entities — as well as pharmaceutical companies — over more than a decade, according to a new report. Former NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and former National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci were among the thousands of government whitecoats who took the cash between September 2009 and October 2020, the taxpayer watchdog OpenTheBooks.com revealed. Several of those royalties came from companies that in turn received federal contracts and grants, prompting concerns about conflicts of interest. Unredacted documents obtained by the group through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show at least 34 Chinese companies are licensing NIH technologies initially funded by US taxpayers. Some of those licensing fees came from the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese government-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, which produced a COVID-19 vaccine. In 2016, the biological products company moved its headquarters next to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where risky “gain-of-function” research funded by the US government may have led to the outbreak of the pandemic. The late Dr. Robert Chanock, the former head of the NIAID’s laboratory of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, his successor, were just a few of the virologists on the take from the Wuhan-based company.
A fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning causing extensive damage to a building housing the Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's Bowling Green law office. According to Bowling Green Fire Department spokeswoman Katie McKee, fire crews were alerted to the blaze on State Street at approximately 1:45 a.m., and upon arrival, they found a vicious blaze that required additional units. “We have just been working on this structure fire ever since,” McKee said of their efforts. Six fire teams were deployed to fight the flames, with firefighters utilizing aerials to combat the fire from above. The intensity of the blaze caused the roof of the building to collapse, and come sunrise, a plume of dense gray smoke billowed from the top of the building and clouded the sky. Authorities are still investigating the cause and origin of the fire.
Note: This fire happened immediately after Sen. Rand Paul announced that he was referring Anthony Fauci to the Department of Justice for prosecution for lying to Congress.
Hours after Senate Democrats blocked an effort to install greater oversight over the billions of dollars the United States is sending to Ukraine, the watchdog who oversaw U.S. spending in Afghanistan issued a warning. Spending too much too fast, with little oversight, would lead to “unanticipated consequences,” John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said at an event. Sopko especially warned about the risk of fueling corruption, perhaps the most damaging legacy of the billions the U.S. spent in Afghanistan and a major factor in the collapse of its effort in the country. “If that much money is coming in, you know some of it is going to be stolen,” he said. “In Afghanistan, corruption was the existential threat. It wasn’t the Taliban. It was corruption that did us in.” Debate over installing a special inspector for Ukraine modeled after SIGAR began swirling on Capitol Hill as it became clear that U.S. support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion would reach unprecedented levels. Congress approved some $113 billion in aid to Ukraine last year, and some analysts put the full figure to date at closer to $137 billion. By comparison, the U.S. spent some $146 billion in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2022 (although it spent far more going to war there in the first place). “By the end of this year, we will have spent more money in Ukraine than we did to do the entire Marshall Plan after World War II,” Sopko said.
The IMF and other neoliberal institutions in Ukraine are saying that there are quite a few jobs being created there. But the people I speak to can’t find jobs. On top of that, there are those 12 million people who are abroad. Where will there be jobs for them? There is a lot of talk about the Marshall Plan. But the main lessons from the Marshall Plan I did not see reflected in these recovery plans. First of all, there was the write-off of debts. Second of all, there were grants given to countries, and states were allowed to act as investors and were allowed to directly buy food for families or buy supplies for industries. This is not the case in Ukraine. In reality, a big part of the financial assistance given to Ukraine is in the form of debt. The help supposedly given by the IMF of $15 billion ... is actually $15 billion of debt. And because it’s debt, the interest rate on this debt will be something like 7 or 8 percent. What the European Union is doing with Ukraine is what they did with Greece after 2010. The European Union made an agreement in 2010 with the IMF to gather money to give to the Greek government with very strong and brutal conditionalities. And that’s exactly what [is happening] with the type of assistance given to Ukraine. The debt trap for Ukraine is very dangerous. With the new financial assistance given to Ukraine, in the next ten years, the debt will increase by something like $40 billion. Essentially, from $132 to $170 billion. And the creditors know perfectly that it will be impossible for Ukraine to pay back all this debt.
A new investigation reveals the extent of the CIA’s involvement in the war in Ukraine, where the agency operates clandestinely in what, under a formal declaration of war, would be the domain of the military. The author of the investigation [is] William Arkin, a national security reporter and senior editor at Newsweek, who says that the CIA has “got its hand in a little bit of everything” in Ukraine. "This might come as a surprise to some people, but, as my sources explained it to me, the reality is that Ukraine is not an ally of the United States," [said Arkin]. "We have no treaty obligations towards Ukraine. And the United States is not at war with Russia. So this is a particularly unique battlefield in which the CIA is playing an outsize role, but it is playing an outsize role because the Biden administration has been firm in saying that the U.S. military will not be involved in any direct way in the fighting or on the battlefield or, indeed, inside Ukraine." The CIA is no stranger to Ukraine. Clearly, in the post-World War II period, it was involved in developing right-wing groups within Ukraine that were opposing the Soviet Union, a lot of them former neo-Nazis. "I don’t see much movement or much interest even on the part of the U.S. government in Washington ... to find a peaceful resolution" [said Arkin]. "So, really, no one is playing that role. The United Nations is not playing that role. There is no neutral party that really is playing the role of trying to end the conflict between the two parties."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Each year for the last 26 years – nearly his entire tenure in the US Congress – Earl Blumenauer has advocated for a law that would utterly transform US agriculture. Nearly every time, though, his proposals have been shut down. Even so, he persists. Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wants to see a version of US agriculture that centers people, animals and the environment, rather than the large-scale, energy-intensive commodity crop farms that currently receive billions of dollars in subsidies. Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access. “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Newell, a policy analyst. Most of the farms excluded from subsidy payments are those using sustainable growing methods that preserve soil and benefit the climate. Blumenauer’s bill would ... ensure more funding goes toward sustainable farming practices.
This week, Rep. Byron Donald (R-Fla.) tried to do the impossible. After he and his colleagues presented a labyrinth of LLC shell companies and accounts used to funnel as much as $10 million to Biden family members, Donald tried to induce the press to show some interest in the massive corruption scandal. “For those in the press, this easy pickings & Pulitzer-level stuff right here,” he pleaded. Despite showing nine Biden family members allegedly receiving funds from corrupt figures in Romania, China and other countries, The New Republic quickly ran a story headlined “Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden.” For many of us, it was otherworldly. A decade ago, when then-Vice President Joe Biden was denouncing corruption in Romania and Ukraine and promising action by the United States, massive payments were flowing to his son Hunter Biden and a variety of family members, including Biden grandchildren. The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as “Russian disinformation” before the election. That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic. But the media then ignored what was on that “authentic laptop.” Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries. The media simply fails to see the story.
In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].
Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.
If you call 911 to report an emergency, the odds are increasing that a drone will be the first unit sent to respond. More than 1,500 departments across the country now use them, “mostly for search and rescue as well as to document crime scenes and chase suspects,” according to ... MIT Technology Review. Generally, police drones don’t carry weapons and are used primarily for video surveillance. It is possible for small drones to deliver chemical irritants like tear gas, however, a technology that police in Israel have used against Palestinians. In a report published on Thursday, American Civil Liberties Union Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley worries that these kinds of drone programs may normalize usage and “usher in an era of pervasive, suspicionless, mass aerial surveillance.” He notes far more invasive turns that police drone usage could take, including warrantless surveillance of specific people, crime “hotspots” or even whole neighborhoods or cities. Stanley wonders if drone usage won’t just ... “amplify the problems with the deeply broken U.S. criminal legal system.” Many of the cities using drones in policing are doing so from so-called “real-time crime centers.” These units function as centralized hubs to connect the various bits of surveillance and data that police collect from things like stationary cameras, drones, license plate readers and technology that listens for possible gunshots. Some centers can even integrate police body cameras and video from Ring doorbells.
Note: Police have been using military predator drones for domestic law enforcement since 2011. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Wikipedia is part of the very internet developed by the military with public money in the 1950s-60s, then called ARPANET. Generally speaking, corporations hope that the systems developed in the military that evolve in the public-corporate realm—satellites, computers, data analysis, etc.—will inspire new military-intelligence innovations in a permanent feedback loop. The overarching “values” [of Wikipedia] and its contributors—mainly young, white, middle-class liberals—will reflect those “values”. They include progressive slogans but reactionary policies, humanitarianism but pro-war positions, and conformity to consensus opinion even when the consensus is wrong (e.g., “regime change” in Libya and Syria). By 2006, the Intelligence Community had developed its own Intellipedia. A Top Secret report released under a FOIA request instructed intelligence officers how to edit Wikipedia’s entry on MK-ULTRA, the CIA’s mind control program (1953-circa 1970s), for Intellipedia. Funded by weapons contractors like BAE Systems and Boeing, and until recently led by people like Katherine Maher, ex-World Banker and Fellow of the Truman National Security Project, which exists to promote “US values” at home and abroad, the Wikimedia Foundation that enables Wikipedia does not exist in a vacuum. Wikipedia does not present unbiased, scholarly encyclopedia entries. It is as much part of the military-industrial-complex as mainstream corporate media.
Note: Some Wikipedia entries have been professionally manipulated. Watch a fascinating video with Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, who now says he no longer trusts the website he's helped created. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
America's top infectious diseases adviser, Anthony Fauci, deliberately decided to downplay suspicions from scientists that Covid-19 came from a laboratory to protect his reputation and deflect from the risky coronavirus research his agency had funded, according to his boss, one of the most senior US health officials during the pandemic. In an exclusive interview, Robert Kadlec – former assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the US Department of Health – [said] that he, Dr Fauci and National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins privately discussed how to "turn down the temperature" on accusations against China in the early days of the pandemic. The National Institutes of Health and other US agencies funded 65 scientific projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology over the past decade, many involving risky research on bat coronaviruses. "I think Tony Fauci was trying to protect his institution and his own reputation from the possibility that his agency was funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers who, beyond the scope of the grants received from the National Institutes of Health, may have been working with People's Liberation Army researchers on defensive coronavirus vaccines," Dr Kadlec said. "We think vaccine research resulted in the pandemic – that vaccine research was the proximate cause." Dr Fauci has denied his agency funded gain-of-function research, but Dr Kadlec said this wasn't true.
A leading US scientist expects academics who played down the idea Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory, despite their private doubts, will face criminal prosecution for fraud. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist [said] the "preponderance of evidence" available supported the notion the new virus emerged from research-related activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, before rapidly spreading throughout the world in early 2020. Professor Ebright, a long term advocate for reducing the risk of biological weapons programs, said the arguments over the origin of Covid-19 was "moving out of the scientific community arena, into the congressional arena, and ultimately it will move into the judicial arena". "There will be referrals for prosecution of violations of law, including, based on what we know already, very clear evidence for criminal fraud, for criminal conspiracy to defraud or criminal misuse of federal funds," he said. Professor Ebright's comments came days after Republican Senator Rand Paul ... referred Dr Anthony Fauci, a former top US health bureaucrat, to the Department of Justice for prosecution over allegations he lied to Congress over the extent of US funding that had been directed to the Wuhan lab. "There's no question in my mind that [Tony] Fauci committed a felony on each of those three occasions, and ... he has not been held accountable," Professor Ebright said. "Lying to Congress is a felony and the penalty is five years in prison; there have been at least three instances".
An advisory board to President Biden has recommended limiting the F.B.I.'s ability to use a controversial warrantless surveillance program to hunt for information about Americans, even as it urged lawmakers to renew the law that authorizes it. The panel, known as the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, suggested barring the bureau from searching a database of intercepted information when looking for evidence about Americans in criminal investigations that do not involve foreign intelligence. The board ... delivered the recommendation in a declassified 39-page report. It came as Congress was debating whether to extend the law authorizing the program, known as Section 702. Under Section 702, the government can collect – from American companies like Google and AT&T and without a warrant – the communications of targeted foreigners abroad, even when they are talking to or about Americans. The notion that Section 702 creates a backdoor to the Fourth Amendment by allowing the F.B.I. to read private communications to or from an American without a warrant in ordinary criminal contexts has raised particular alarm. But the board rejected as unjustified the more sweeping reform proposal: to require the government to obtain a court warrant before using Americans' identifiers to search the repository. Requiring a court order before doing so, the board said, would prevent intelligence agencies from discovering threats to the country in a timely manner.
An effort by United States lawmakers to prevent government agencies from domestically tracking citizens without a search warrant is facing opposition internally from one of its largest intelligence services. Officials at the National Security Agency (NSA) have approached lawmakers charged with its oversight about opposing an amendment that would prevent it from paying companies for location data instead of obtaining a warrant in court. Introduced by US representatives Warren Davidson and Sara Jacobs, the amendment ... would prohibit US military agencies from "purchasing data that would otherwise require a warrant, court order, or subpoena" to obtain. The ban would cover more than half of the US intelligence community, including the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the newly formed National Space Intelligence Center, among others. A government report declassified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last month revealed that US intelligence agencies were avoiding judicial review by purchasing a "large amount" of "sensitive and intimate information" about Americans, including data that can be used to trace people's whereabouts over extended periods of time. The sensitivity of the data is such that "in the wrong hands," the report says, it could be used to "facilitate blackmail," among other undesirable outcomes. The report also acknowledges that some of the data being procured is protected under the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment.
Alan Davidson currently leads the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, the agency now crafting recommendations on how federal regulators can hold AI companies accountable. But for years, he worked as Google's chief lobbyist in Washington. NTIA's recommendations will help form the basis of the Biden administration's response to AI and machine learning. "People are warning that there are really serious downsides possible to AI, and I would want a hard-headed regulator to run down those concerns," said Jeff Hauser, the executive director of the Revolving Door Project, a watchdog focused on conflicts of interest in government. "Davidson is not likely, based on his CV, to be detached." Rapid advances in AI present a potential turning point for Silicon Valley's dominant tech firms. Notably, the first company to capture national attention with the launch of a new AI product was not a household name, like Google or Microsoft, but the independent research lab OpenAI, with its splashy launch of ChatGPT. Google reportedly sees the AI products it has in the pipeline as so pivotal to the company's future that Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder lately absorbed with outside projects, has returned to company headquarters to work directly with the team building its flagship AI system. "Google is the biggest player who cares about this issue," [said former Hill aide involved in antitrust policy]. "I cannot imagine Google doesn't view Alan Davidson as an asset to them."
While Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a "town square" that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world's largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent. LifeLog was one of several controversial post-9/11 surveillance programs pursued by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that threatened to destroy privacy and civil liberties in the United States. LifeLog sought to .. build a digital record of "everything an individual says, sees, or does." In 2015, [DARPA architect Douglas] Gage told VICE that "Facebook is the real face of pseudo-LifeLog." He tellingly added, “We have ended up providing the same kind of detailed personal information without arousing the kind of opposition that LifeLog provoked.” A few months into Facebook's launch, in June 2004, Facebook cofounders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz [had] its first outside investor, Peter Thiel. Thiel, in coordination with the CIA, was actively trying to resurrect controversial DARPA programs. Thiel formally acquired $500,000 worth of Facebook shares and was added its board. Thiel's longstanding symbiotic relationship with Facebook cofounders extends to his company Palantir, as the data that Facebook users make public invariably winds up in Palantir's databases and helps drive the surveillance engine Palantir runs for a handful of US police departments, the military, and the intelligence community.
Note: Consider reading the full article by investigative reporter Whitney Webb to explore the scope of Facebook's military origins and the rise of mass surveillance. Read more about the relationship between the national security state and Google, Facebook, TikTok, and the entertainment industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
Anthropologist Orisanmi Burton has blown the lid off a dark chapter in CIA history. Classified Agency files, recently obtained through Freedom of Information laws, expose shocking ties between the infamous MKULTRA program and nightmarish experiments on prisoners of color within the United States. Burton's findings expose MKULTRA's sinister mission to develop psychological warfare and behavioral manipulation tactics specifically aimed at people of color under the guise of "counterinsurgency." [In] 1968, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders underwent an alarming update, adding "hostility" and "aggression" as prominent symptoms of schizophrenia. The implications were profound: civil rights activists daring to resist were at risk of being diagnosed and institutionalized. Prisoners refusing to bend to oppressive jail regimes could be conveniently labeled as "criminally insane." In August 2022, MintPress News revealed how Black Americans were disproportionately targeted by the CIA's monstrous mind control machinations. Many MKULTRA trials appeared to have been expressly conducted to gauge potentially varying reactions to psychedelic drugs in Black and White participants. The CIA had a specific – or greater – interest in the effect of certain substances on people of color, rather than the general civilian population. The CIA did indeed seek to determine optimal drugs for targeting Black Americans, if not other ethnic groups.
Note: The MKULTRA program was also used to create mind-controlled assassins. Government and business interests have a long history of experimenting on human beings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
The United States government has been secretly amassing a "large amount" of "sensitive and intimate information" on its own citizens, a group of senior advisers informed Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence. The government effort to accumulate data revealing the minute details of Americans' lives [is] described soberly and at length by the director's own panel of experts in a newly declassified report. The report states that the government believes it can "persistently" track the phones of "millions of Americans" without a warrant, so long as it pays for the information. It is often trivial "to deanonymize and identify individuals" from data that was packaged ... for commercial use. Such data may be useful, it says, to "identify every person who attended a protest or rally based on their smartphone location or ad-tracking records." Such civil liberties concerns are prime examples of how "large quantities of nominally 'public' information can result in sensitive aggregations." What's more, information collected for one purpose "may be reused for other purposes," which may "raise risks beyond those originally calculated," an effect called "mission creep." "In the wrong hands," [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] advisers warn, the same mountain of data the government is quietly accumulating could be turned against Americans to "facilitate blackmail, stalking, harassment, and public shaming." These are all offenses that have been committed by intelligence agencies and White House administrations in the past.
The 2023 Farm Bill is projected to spend $700 billion over the next five years, with powerful industry lobbyists directing funds to enrich themselves at the expense of agricultural communities, human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. It's far from its original intention: to help struggling farmers and hungry citizens during The Great Depression and Dustbowl. Most Americans have never heard of this massive omnibus bill, which Congress reauthorizes every five or so years. It shapes our food system–from subsidizing factory farms to funding food and nutrition programs, and it is why burgers are artificially cheap and salads cost more than they should. How did this happen? After World War II, to meet the needs of a booming U.S. population and a growing export market, the Farm Bill invested heavily in monocrops, including millions of acres of corn and soy, used to feed animals on industrialized farms. We subsidize the overproduction of fat-laden animal products and highly processed foods, making unhealthy food cheap and accessible. This contributes to heart disease and other chronic diet-related illnesses that cost our nation billions of dollars annually in preventable health care costs. Nine out of 10 U.S. adults do not consume nutritionists' recommended fruits and vegetables. The Farm Bill should invest in enterprises that act with integrity, not unethical profiteers who lobby for unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws that prevent free speech, transparency, and accountability.
House Republicans on the subcommittee probing the origin of the Covid-19 virus appear to have inadvertently released a trove of new documents related to their investigation that shed light on deliberations among the scientists who drafted a key paper in February and March of 2020. The paper, published in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020, was titled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” and played a leading role in creating a public impression of a scientific consensus that the virus had emerged naturally in a Chinese “wet market.” The paper was the subject of a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, which coincided with the release of a report by the subcommittee devoted to the “Proximal Origin” paper. The scientists believed one thing in private — that lab escape was likely — while working to produce a paper saying the opposite in public. Much of Tuesday’s hearing focused on a critical few days in early February 2020, beginning with a conference call February 1 that included the eventual authors of the paper and Drs. Anthony Fauci, then head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Francis Collins, then head of its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health. Later minutes showed that the consensus among the experts leaned toward a lab escape. Yet within days, they were circulating a draft — including to Fauci and Collins — that came to the opposite conclusion, the first draft of which had been finished the same day of the conference call.
Note: Read more about the leaked documents that reveal high level covid science manipulation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The FBI colluded with a Ukrainian intelligence agency to pressure social media companies into taking down accounts accused of spreading Russian disinformation — some of which belonged to Americans, a House committee said. The report issued by the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government ... is based on documents subpoenaed from Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – and Alphabet – the parent company of Google and YouTube. It alleges that the “FBI violated the First Amendment rights of Americans and potentially undermined our national security.” The committees found that following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) enlisted the FBI in support of an effort to combat the spread of “Russian disinformation” on social media. As part of the effort, the SBU transmitted lists of social media accounts to the FBI that it wanted to be banned and the bureau, in turn, “routinely relayed these lists to the relevant social media platforms.” The committee claims that “the authentic accounts of Americans, including a verified US State Department account and those belonging to American journalists” were ensnared in the censorship effort and flagged for social media companies to take down. The State Department’s Russian-language Instagram account ... was one of the authentic American accounts flagged for removal in a list composed by the SBU and transmitted to Big Tech companies by the FBI.
Key researchers who testified before the House subcommittee investigating the origin of Covid-19 virus last week misled Congress about the nature of a multimillion-dollar grant that was pending at the time they joined a critical conference [call] with Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci in February 2020. On the call, the scientists suggested they leaned toward a lab escape as the most likely scenario, but they made a U-turn later that day when they began drafting it. The paper eventually ran in Nature Medicine under the headline "The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2." Fauci and Collins were kept in the loop on the preparation of the paper, and Fauci highlighted it to the public in order to dismiss the notion of a lab escape. House Republicans convened a hearing last week on the conference call and the resulting paper, and one of the major sources of contention was the extent to which Fauci and Collins held financial sway over the scientists, who also had a grant application pending before the NIH. Democrats repeatedly characterized the argument in terms of a "bribe" being paid in exchange for a paper that exonerated a lab in Wuhan, China, that the NIH had been funding to do the kind of risky research that could spark a pandemic. Rather than a bribe, though, the question is one of leverage. "I hate when politics is injected into science – but it's impossible not to, especially given the circumstance," [said scientist Kristian Anderson]. "We should be sensitive to that."
Many of 4000 social media posts secretly censored by government during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic contained factual information and reasonable arguments rather than misinformation, new documents reveal. Digital posts released after Freedom of Information applications show the censored information shared facts such as the ineffectiveness of vaccines in preventing Covid-19 infection and transmission or argued against measures such as mask mandates and lockdowns. For instance, the then Coalition government sought the removal of an Instagram post in April 2021 that claimed "Covid-19 vaccine does not prevent Covid-19 infection or Covid-19 transmission". That statement clearly was accurate yet the official intervention via the Home Affairs Department claimed it breached Instagram's community guidelines because it was "potentially harmful information" that was "explicitly prohibited" by the platform. An April 2021 tweet was challenged because it claimed "Covid-19 was released or escaped from Wuhan laboratory in China and that it was funded by the US government". The Home Affairs Department claimed this was "explicitly prohibited" under Twitter's rules because it might "invoke a deliberate conspiracy by malicious and/or powerful forces", yet American intelligence agencies have found the most likely source of the virus was the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and it has been revealed that some work at the laboratory was funded by the US.
Note: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published a study that tracked the spread of COVID-19 'misinformation' during the course of the pandemic. Despite significant evidence pointing to the likelihood that COVID leaked from a lab and the unprecedented collusion between the Biden administration and tech giants to remove politically unfavorable views on social media, this JAMA study stated that these claims were inaccurate. How do we stay open to debate, instead of silencing voices with legitimate concerns and labeling it as misinformation? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
In early 1973 ... the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ordered the destruction of all documents related to MK Ultra. MK Ultra involved a range of grotesque experiments on unwitting test subjects within and beyond U.S. borders. In October of 2021, new evidence surfaced linking disappeared Indigenous children to MK Ultra experiments conducted by CIA-sponsored researchers. A white Winnipeg resident named Lana Ponting testified in Quebec’s Superior Court that in 1958, when she was 16 years old, doctors from the Allan Memorial Institute, a former psychiatric hospital ... held her against her will, drugged her with LSD and other substances, subjected her to electroshock treatments, and exposed her to auditory indoctrination: playing a recording telling Ponting over and over again, that she was either “a bad girl” or “a good girl.” Ponting recalls sneaking out at night and happening upon “people standing over by the cement wall” with shovels and flashlights. She and other children had heard rumors that bodies were buried on the property. The CIA, along with the U.S. and Canadian military and powerful U.S. charitable foundations, are directly implicated in this ordeal. The Memorial Institute was home to MK Ultra “Subproject 68.” Under the leadership of psychiatrist Ewen Cameron, whom Ponting accused of raping her, experiments in this subproject sought to “depattern” people’s minds using violent methods Cameron termed “psychic driving.”
Note: Read the complete article for a glimpse into how CIA mind control programs were used in US prisons. Government and business interests have a long history of experimenting on human beings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
Fort Benning, the infamous Georgia U.S. military base, is once again in the news, changing its name to Fort Moore, thereby ditching its Confederate name. Across Latin America, the very name of Fort Benning is enough to strike terror into the hearts of millions, bringing back visions of massacres and genocides. This is because the fort is home to the School of the Americas (now known as Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC), a shadowy academy where around 84,000 Latin American soldiers and police officers have been taught on the U.S. dime on how to kill, torture and how to stamp out political activists. “The school is controversial partly because of its role in promoting US hegemony in Latin America,” James Jordan, national co-coordinator at Alliance for Global Justice, told MintPress, adding, “But even worse, it is how the school has promoted this: teaching methods of torture – even publishing torture manuals, counterintelligence, psyops, repression of political voices that don’t meet the approval of Washington DC. If one looks at cases of human rights abuses by the military throughout Latin America, the number of those responsible who were trained at the School of the Americas is simply staggering.” In 1996, the Pentagon was pressured into releasing the school’s official training manuals. Even a casual glance through the nearly 1200 pages of instructions makes for sobering reading and dispels the myth forever that the U.S. is a benevolent global force.
Note: The School of the Americas graduated more than 500 human rights abusers. The identities of many other US-trained troops operating in other countries remain hidden by US courts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Funding for the Department of Defense and related work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy will reach more than $850 billion in Fiscal Year 2023, far higher than spending at the height of the Cold War or the peak years of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. While advocates of spending these enormous sums often argue that the money is needed to "support the troops," more than half of the Pentagon's yearly budget goes to private contractors, many of whom are making hefty profits at taxpayer expense while producing flawed products at exorbitant prices. One telling example of how these companies waste taxpayer dollars is how much they pay their top executives. In 2021 ... the CEOs of the top five contractors received compensation ranging from $18 million to $23 million each, including James Taiclet of Lockheed Martin, $18.1 million; David Calhoun of Boeing, $21.1 million; Gregory Hayes of Raytheon, $21.8 million; Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics, $23.5 million; and Kathy Warden of Northrop Grumman, $19.9 million. Since these firms receive a large share of their revenue from U.S. government contracts, much of this excessive executive compensation is essentially subsidized by the taxpayers. Defense executives wouldn't be able to earn multi-million dollar salaries if their companies weren't grabbing billions in Pentagon contract awards. In addition to campaign contributions, the industry spent over $100 million on lobbying in just the first three quarters of 2022.
Though once confined to the realm of science fiction, the concept of supercomputers killing humans has now become a distinct possibility. In addition to developing a wide variety of "autonomous," or robotic combat devices, the major military powers are also rushing to create automated battlefield decision-making systems, or what might be called "robot generals." In wars in the not-too-distant future, such AI-powered systems could be deployed to deliver combat orders to American soldiers, dictating where, when, and how they kill enemy troops or take fire from their opponents. In its budget submission for 2023, for example, the Air Force requested $231 million to develop the Advanced Battlefield Management System (ABMS), a complex network of sensors and AI-enabled computers designed to ... provide pilots and ground forces with a menu of optimal attack options. As the technology advances, the system will be capable of sending "fire" instructions directly to "shooters," largely bypassing human control. The Air Force's ABMS is intended to ... connect all US combat forces, the Joint All-Domain Command-and-Control System (JADC2, pronounced "Jad-C-two"). "JADC2 intends to enable commanders to make better decisions by collecting data from numerous sensors, processing the data using artificial intelligence algorithms to identify targets, then recommending the optimal weapon ... to engage the target," the Congressional Research Service reported in 2022.
Note: Read about the emerging threat of killer robots on the battlefield. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Research by Brown University is shedding light on the impact of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones, finding that the U.S. military, among others, contributes significantly to climate change, becoming one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters through the fighting of battles. Air pollution from military vehicles and weaponry has adversely affected public health among civilians in the war zone and U.S. service members. The report examines everything from the destruction of military base garbage in burn pits to the deforestation in Afghanistan to cancer, birth defects and other conditions associated with war-related toxins. "The water supply in the war zones has been contaminated by oil from military vehicles and depleted uranium from ammunition. Along with the degradation of the natural resources in these countries ... the animal and bird populations have also been adversely affected." Now think about Russia and Ukraine. Russia's targeting of Ukraine's energy grid has been particularly damaging, as oil depots and gas power plants explode, releasing carbon and methane into the air. Reports suggest that ordinary Ukrainians are feeling the impact, forced to rely on dirtier fuels to keep warm. A recent report by GHG, a Dutch firm examining the war's greenhouse gas impact, found that each explosion of a missile or projectile causes pollution of air, water and land with toxic substances, and that Russian bombing of industrial infrastructure in Ukraine has led to uncontrolled chemical releases.
The U.S. military is facing its worst recruitment crisis since the end of the Vietnam War. We Are Not Your Soldiers is a project of New York City-based nonprofit World Can’t Wait. The organization sends military veterans into schools to share honest stories of the harm they have caused and suffered. In doing so, they hope to prevent young people from signing up.Susan Cushman is a professor at Nassau Community College ... where military recruiters have a heavy presence. She hosts veterans from We Are Not Your Soldiers to help her students “think about alternative ways to achieve an education and get a pension and get a job and travel, without feeling the only option is to join the military.” In order to counter both the narrative and incentives that military recruiters offer young people, veterans try to share the truth about traumatic personal experiences as well as practical information. In addition to the military’s preparedness for counter-recruitment, there’s also the issue of simple math. The Pentagon has a multibillion-dollar budget for recruiting alone. By contrast, We Are Not Your Soldiers has an annual budget of $25,000. With these challenges in mind, [the nonprofit] NNOMY produced a video called “Before You Enlist!” The 16-minute video seeks to lay out a case against military service that preempts the military’s psychological recruitment tactics. With veteran stories and statistics, the video debunks perks, such as “free education” and job training, that the military uses to appeal to potential recruits.
President Joe Biden announced that his administration planned to scrutinize a Trump-era decision to allow the continued use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that can damage children's brains. The Environmental Protection Agency went on to ban the use of the chemical on food. Yet when officials from around the world gathered in Rome last fall to consider whether to move forward with a proposed global ban on the pesticide, chlorpyrifos had a surprising defender: a senior official from the EPA. Karissa Kovner, a senior EPA policy adviser, is a key leader of the U.S. delegation at a United Nations body known as the Stockholm Convention, which governs some of the worst chemicals on the planet. Kovner made it clear that the U.S. was not ready to support taking the next step through the convention to provide similar protections for the rest of the world. The U.S. is known for throwing a wrench into the international convention's efforts to restrict pollutants. "They're usually seen as a country that raises objections to the regulation of chemicals," said [attorney] David Azoulay. Chlorpyrifos is so harmful that the American government not only banned its use on food but also barred the import of fruits and vegetables grown with it. Persistent organic pollutants ... lodge in fat cells, allowing them to spread from contaminated animals to anything that eats them. Humans sit at the top of this polluted food pyramid, and we can pass the chemicals to our babies through the umbilical cord before birth and through breast milk afterward.
Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
In the roughly 16 months since Russia's February 2022 escalation of the Ukraine conflict, the US government has approved several multi-billion dollar spending packages to sustain the Kiev military's fight against Moscow. Though many Americans likely believe that US dollars allocated for Ukraine are spent directly on supplies for the war effort, the lead author of this report, Heather Kaiser, conducted a thorough review of Washington's budget for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal year and discovered that is far from the case. US taxpayers may be shocked to learn that as their families grappled with fears of Social Security's looming insolvency, the Social Security Administration in Washington sent $4.48 million to the Kiev government in 2022 and 2023 alone. In another example of bizarre spending, USAID paid off $4.5 billion worth of Ukraine's sovereign debt through payments made to the World Bank – all while Congress went to loggerheads over America's ballooning national debt. (Western financial interests including BlackRock Inc. are among the largest holders of Ukrainian government bonds.) Calculating the total dollar amount that the US has given to Ukraine is incredibly challenging for multitude of reasons: there is a lag in reporting expenditures; covert money given by the CIA (Title 50 Covert Action) won't be publicly disclosed; and direct military assistance in the form of military equipment is not calculated in the same manner as raw cash.
Note: The above article doesn't provide a total figure. Congress approved $113 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2022. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
On July 4, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty temporarily blocked numerous federal agencies and the White House from collaborating with social-media companies and third-party groups to censor speech. Discovery in Missouri v. Biden exposed relationships among government agencies and social-media firms and revealed an additional layer of university centers and self-styled disinformation watchdogs and fact-checking outfits. Elon Musk's release of some of Twitter's internal files revealed that up to 80 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were embedded with social-media companies. The agents mostly weren't fighting terrorism but flagging wrongthink by American citizens, including eminent scientists who suggested different paths on Covid policy. The U.S. government spent $6 trillion to buoy its shuttered economy, and most people got Covid anyway. Excess mortality in most high-income nations was worse in 2021 and 2022 than in 2020, the initial pandemic year. Sweden, which didn't have a lockdown, performed better than nearly every other advanced nation. Hiding these realities has become more difficult in the internet age. The information explosion has allowed more people to spot quickly the mistakes of officials. Those in charge feel threatened. Digital censorship is their response to this crisis of authority. True, misinformation is rampant online. But it was far worse before the internet, when myths could persist for centuries.
A young African American man, Randal Quran Reid, was pulled over by the state police in Georgia. He was arrested under warrants issued by Louisiana police for two cases of theft in New Orleans. The arrest warrants had been based solely on a facial recognition match, though that was never mentioned in any police document; the warrants claimed "a credible source" had identified Reid as the culprit. The facial recognition match was incorrect and Reid was released. Reid ... is not the only victim of a false facial recognition match. So far all those arrested in the US after a false match have been black. From surveillance to disinformation, we live in a world shaped by AI. The reason that Reid was wrongly incarcerated had less to do with artificial intelligence than with ... the humans that created the software and trained it. Too often when we talk of the "problem" of AI, we remove the human from the picture. We worry AI will "eliminate jobs" and make millions redundant, rather than recognise that the real decisions are made by governments and corporations and the humans that run them. We have come to view the machine as the agent and humans as victims of machine agency. Rather than seeing regulation as a means by which we can collectively shape our relationship to AI, it becomes something that is imposed from the top as a means of protecting humans from machines. It is not AI but our blindness to the way human societies are already deploying machine intelligence for political ends that should most worry us.
Weapons-grade robots and drones being utilized in combat isn't new. But AI software is, and it's enhancing – in some cases, to the extreme – the existing hardware, which has been modernizing warfare for the better part of a decade. Now, experts say, developments in AI have pushed us to a point where global forces now have no choice but to rethink military strategy – from the ground up. "It's realistic to expect that AI will be piloting an F-16 and will not be that far out," Nathan Michael, Chief Technology Officer of Shield AI, a company whose mission is "building the world's best AI pilot," says. We don't truly comprehend what we're creating. There are also fears that a comfortable reliance in the technology's precision and accuracy – referred to as automation bias – may come back to haunt, should the tech fail in a life or death situation. One major worry revolves around AI facial recognition software being used to enhance an autonomous robot or drone during a firefight. Right now, a human being behind the controls has to pull the proverbial trigger. Should that be taken away, militants could be misconstrued for civilians or allies at the hands of a machine. And remember when the fear of our most powerful weapons being turned against us was just something you saw in futuristic action movies? With AI, that's very possible. "There is a concern over cybersecurity in AI and the ability of either foreign governments or an independent actors to take over crucial elements of the military," [filmmaker Jesse Sweet] said.
On the morning of 10 June 2013 ... the journalist Glenn Greenwald and film-maker Laura Poitras published on the Guardian site a video revealing the identity of the NSA whistleblower behind one of the most damning leaks in modern history. It began: "My name is Ed Snowden." William Fitzgerald, then a 27-year-old policy employee at Google, knew he wanted to help. Fitzgerald found himself waiting in the lobby of the Hong Kong W Hotel to meet Greenwald and introduce him to Robert Tibbo and Jonathan Man – the men who became Snowden's legal representatives and hid him in the homes of Tibbo's refugee clients. The Snowden files told a ... sinister story, revealing mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA files suggested that some tech firms, including Google, Facebook and Apple, were aware. Google and other tech firms worked to distance themselves from the NSA's efforts. But over time [Google's] culture appeared to shift, reflecting the changing needs of various governments. Google stopped promoting its transparency report to the media, free expression advocates were replaced by more traditional business-focused executives, and then there was Project Maven – the controversial Department of Defense drone project that Google signed on to build artificial intelligence for. Google isn't alone in vying for government contracts – Microsoft, Amazon, IBM have all since made a play for or struck multimillion-dollar deals to build tools of surveillance for various entities including the Pentagon.
In 2010, the Washington Post reported that "every day, collection systems at the [NSA] intercept and store 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other type of communications." In 2011, NSA expanded a program to provide real-time location information of every American with a cell phone, acquiring more than a billion cell phone records each day from AT&T. Later, newspapers around the world began publishing confidential documents leaked by [Edward] Snowden. Americans learned that the NSA can tap almost any cell phone in the world, exploit computer games like Angry Birds to poach personal data, access anyone's email and web browsing history [and] remotely penetrate almost all computers. The NSA used Facebook and Google apps to send malware to targeted individuals. NSA filched almost 200,000,000 records a month from private computer cloud accounts. Obama perpetuated perverse Bush-era legal doctrines to totally shield federal surveillance from judicial scrutiny. Obama's Justice Department secretly decreed that all phone records of all Americans were "relevant" to terrorism investigations and that the NSA could therefore justifiably seize everyone's personal data. Snowden revealed how the NSA had covertly carried out "the most significant change in the history of American espionage from the targeted surveillance of individuals to the mass surveillance of entire populations."
Our personal data and the ways private companies harvest and monetize it plays an increasingly powerful role in modern life. One unifying thread to this pervasive system is the collection of personal information from marginalized communities, and the subsequent discriminatory use by corporations and government agencies–exacerbating existing structural inequalities across society. Data surveillance is a civil rights problem, and legislation to protect data privacy can help protect civil rights. Where mobile apps are used disparately by specific groups, the collection and sharing of personal data can aggravate civil rights problems. For example, a Muslim prayer app (Muslim Pro) sold geolocation data about its users to a company called X-Mode, which in turn provided access to this data to the U.S. military through defense contractors. In 2016, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and nine other social media platforms were found to have provided software company Geofeedia with social media information and location data from their users. This data was subsequently used by police departments across the U.S. to track down and identify individuals attending Black Lives Matter protests. Moreover, lower-income people are often less able to avoid corporate harvesting of their data. For example, some lower-priced technologies collect more data than other technologies, such as inexpensive smartphones that come with preinstalled apps that leak data and can't be deleted.
Note: Read how Clearview AI gave law enforcement access to 30 billion images from social media sites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Missouri and Louisiana, joined by scientists and conservatives whose posts were censored, sued to protect their First Amendment rights. The issue in Missouri v. Biden [is] whether government officials can be held responsible for their censorship. Judge Terry Doughty ruled they can and his 155-page opinion describes disturbing coordination between the government and tech firms to suppress unpopular views, especially on Covid-19. White House officials and public-health agency leaders held biweekly meetings with tech companies over how to curb the spread of misinformation. Former White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty and Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt were in constant contact with social-media executives. Officials weren't merely flagging false statements. They were bullying companies to censor anything contradicting government guidance. On July 16, 2021, the President accused social-media companies of "killing people." Judge Doughty concludes from all this that "the public and private pressure from the White House apparently had its intended effect." All 12 people dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen" by the Center for Countering Digital Hate were censored, and pages, groups and accounts linked to them were removed. Some Covid claims flagged by the White House were ... scientifically debatable–for instance, that vaccines can cause Bell's palsy and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, and that Covid had a 99.96% survival rate.
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked key Biden administration agencies and officials from meeting and communicating with social media companies about "protected speech," in an extraordinary preliminary injunction in an ongoing case. The injunction came in response to a lawsuit brought by Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, who allege that government officials went too far in their efforts to encourage social media companies to address posts that they worried could contribute to vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic. Over the last five years, coordination and communication between government officials and [social media] companies increased. Public health officials also frequently communicated with the companies during the coronavirus pandemic. The injunction was a victory for the state attorneys general, who have accused the Biden administration of enabling a "sprawling federal 'Censorship Enterprise'" to encourage tech giants to remove politically unfavorable viewpoints and speakers. The judge, Terry A. Doughty, has yet to make a final ruling in the case, but in issuing the injunction, he signaled he is likely to ... find that the Biden administration ran afoul of the First Amendment. The state attorneys general have argued that starting in 2017 ... officials within the government began laying the groundwork for a "systemic and systematic campaign" to control speech on social media. These efforts accelerated in 2020 ... amid the response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Joerg Arnu has been obsessed with Area 51 ever since his first visit to the perimeter of the secretive military base in 1998. The rumours of alien life forms, CIA spy plane testing programmes, and sense of forbidden mystery surrounding the massive military base in the southern Nevada desert instantly intrigued the 61-year-old retired software developer. In 1999, he launched the DreamlandResort blog as a comprehensive one-stop-shop for photos, videos and discussion about the base and the top secret military aircraft that are built and tested there. He eventually bought a second home near the gates of the military base. Last year, he was in bed when around 20 armed counter-terrorism agents in tactical gear raided his Rachel home, handcuffed him and led him out of his home in the freezing cold for questioning. The agents seized four of Mr Arnu's computers, containing his life's work on Area 51, along with treasured photos of his deceased parents, and medical and tax records. The agents handed Mr Arnu a search warrant signed by a federal magistrate judge. The first 39 pages were missing, and it only provided vague hints of what the agents had been looking for. A joint team from the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (USAF OSI) had conducted the raids. Eight months on, he still has no idea whether he will face charges, or if he'll ever get back the more than $30,000 he says he's out of pocket for as a result of seized equipment, property damage and legal fees.
A top adviser to Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health admitted that he used a personal email account in an apparent effort to evade the strictures of the Freedom of Information Act. "As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA'd constantly," wrote David M. Morens, a high-ranking NIH official. The email that contains Morens's statements was part of a broader exchange in which Morens and his scientist correspondents denounced media coverage by The Intercept and other publications concerning the origins of Covid and harshly criticized those who take seriously the possibility that the virus emerged from a research accident in Wuhan, China. "I have not been approved to talk about 'origins' on the record. But today, to my total surprise, my boss [Anthony Fauci] actually ASKED me to speak to the National Geographic on the record about origins," Morens wrote at the time. "I interpret this to mean that our government is lightening up but that Tony doesn't want his fingerprints on origin stories." On Thursday, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, the chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sent a letter to Morens. Documents ... "suggest that you may have used your personal e-mail to avoid transparency and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), potentially intentionally deleted federal records, and acted in your official capacity to disparage your fellow scientists, including by encouraging litigation against them."
Note: Originally deemed a conspiracy theory, there is now significant evidence revealing how COVID-19 was engineered in the context of bioweapons research with US funding and Chinese military involvement at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
As the Ukraine war drags on, the Biden administration is now reportedly in the final stages of deciding whether to send more [cluster munitions] to the Ukrainian military. The decision to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine would likely be seen as a setback to nonproliferation efforts aimed at stopping use of the weapon. The report by Human Rights Watch analyzing the impact of previous cluster munition attacks carried out last summer by the Ukrainian military found numerous dead and wounded civilians in Izium who were hit by exploding cluster bomblets. Cluster munitions are controversial due to the manner in which "bomblets" are scattered around a targeted area, creating secondary explosions that can cause death and injury even long after a conflict has ceased. The bombs are currently at the center of an international campaign to ban their use in armed conflict. More than 100 states have signed an international convention on cluster munitions vowing not to employ them in war, produce them domestically, or encourage their use in foreign conflicts. Despite public pressure to join, the U.S. has not become a signatory to the convention. The Ukrainian military was reported to have requested significant transfers of the munitions late last year. "Cluster munitions used by Russia and Ukraine are killing civilians now and will continue to do so for many years," said Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, in the report.
Note: The global cluster bombs trade is funded by the world's biggest banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
With the U.S. supplying billions-of-dollars of munitions to Ukraine and growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, some Pentagon generals are sounding alarms about the dwindling supply of U.S. weapons ... at a time when the cost of replacing them is skyrocketing. A six-month investigation by 60 Minutes found it has less to do with foreign entanglements than domestic ones - what can only be described as price gouging by U.S. defense contractors. It wasn't always like this. The roots of the problem can be traced to 1993, when the Pentagon, looking to cut costs, urged defense companies to merge. Fifty one major contractors consolidated to five giants. The landscape has totally changed. In the '80s, there was intense competition amongst a number of companies. And so the government had choices. They had leverage. We have limited leverage now. The problem was compounded when the Pentagon, in another cost saving move, cut 130,000 employees whose jobs were to negotiate and oversee defense contracts. The Pentagon granted companies unprecedented leeway to monitor themselves. Instead of saving money ... the price of almost everything began to rise. In the competitive environment before the companies consolidated, a shoulder fired stinger missile cost $25,000 in 1991. With Raytheon now the sole supplier, it costs more than $400,000 to replace each missile sent to Ukraine ... even accounting for inflation and some improvements that's a seven-fold increase.
Note: Leading military contractors are hiking up prices of everyday products as well, costing US taxpayers more than $1.3 million in unnecessary markups. Explore how the Pentagon paid arms manufacturer Boeing over $200,000 for four trash cans used in surveillance planes (roughly $51,606 per unit). War profiteering happens on many levels, as articulated in a summary of War is a Racket by General Smedley D. Butler.
These blank-looking warehouses are home to an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people’s posts on social media. Logically has been paid more than £1.2 million of taxpayers’ money to analyse what the Government terms “disinformation” – false information deliberately seeded online – and “misinformation”, which is false information that has been spread inadvertently. It does this by “ingesting” material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and “all public posts on major social media platforms”, using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic. It has a £1.2 million deal with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as another worth up to £1.4 million with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile individuals within the vaccine service. Other blue-chip clients include US federal agencies, the Indian electoral commission, and TikTok. It also has a “partnership” with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically’s fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see. A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue. “When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it,” states the press release.
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) "colluded with Big Tech and 'disinformation' partners to censor Americans." The 36-page report raises three familiar issues: first, government actors worked with third parties to overturn the First Amendment; second, censors prioritized political narratives over truthfulness; and third, an unaccountable bureaucracy hijacked American society. The House Report reveals that CISA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, worked with social media platforms to censor posts it considered dis-, mis- or malinformation. Brian Scully, the head of CISA's censorship team, conceded that this process, known as "switchboarding," would "trigger content moderation." Additionally, CISA funded the nonprofit EI-ISAC in 2020 to bolster its censorship operations. In launching the nonprofit, the government boasted that it "leverage[d] DHS CISA's relationship with social media organizations to ensure priority treatment of misinformation reports." The switchboard programs directly contradict sworn testimony from CISA Director Jen Easterly. The report outlines how CISA censored "malinformation – truthful information that, according to the government, may carry the potential to mislead." Dr. Kate Starbird, a member of CISA's "Misinformation & Disinformation" subcommittee, lamented that many Americans seem to "accept malinformation as 'speech' and within democratic norms."
A little-known federal agency called BARDA dedicated to countering "health security threats" was responsible for conducting the quality review of every COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in the U.S., Sasha Latypova reported on her Substack. But BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has a "militarized" purpose according to Latypova, is not subject to the same regulations as typical pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors or regulatory agencies. "The public was told these vaccines are made by Pfizer and Moderna and rigorously approved by the FDA," [said Latypova]. That ... would mean that the "consumer protections we expect from pharmaceutical products, medical devices and even food ... we expect them to be in place." But in fact, countermeasures contracts made available through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests ... and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures show the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and BARDA contracts with the pharmaceutical companies were structured such that these protections weren't required. The contracts also specified that manufacturers and federal agencies were protected by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which shields "covered persons" – such as pharmaceutical companies, or the DOD/BARDA – from liability for injuries sustained from "countermeasures," such as vaccines ... administered during a public health emergency.
Note: Sasha Latypova is a former pharmaceutical industry executive who now specializes in uncovering fraud in pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Nicholas England, a healthy 22-year-old from Virginia, shot himself in the head in 2017, less than two weeks after he started taking an allergy medicine that had been linked for years to episodes of depression and suicidal thinking. His parents soon started exploring a lawsuit against Merck, the developer of the blockbuster asthma and allergy drug, Singulair. Nicholas had no history of mental-health problems, they said. The Englands were shocked to learn from legal advisers that they had no case. Like countless other potential plaintiffs, they had run into one of Corporate America's most effective liability shields: the legal doctrine of preemption, the principle that federal law supersedes state law. Armed with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on preemption starting in the 1990s, companies increasingly argue that federally regulated products or services should be immune from lawsuits alleging state-law violations. State laws historically have provided the legal basis for some of the most common lawsuits against U.S. companies alleging injuries, deaths or illnesses caused by negligence or defective products. Pending lawsuits against Merck allege that the company's own early research indicated the drug could impact the brain but that Merck downplayed any risks in statements to regulators. It wasn't until 2020 that the FDA slapped its most serious warning, called a "black box," on the drug's label. By that time, the FDA had received more than 80 reports of suicides in people taking the medicine.
Note: Read more about Singulair and its dangers to human health, along with the tremendous financial conflicts of interests resulting in the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical industry first, and the health of the people second. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion last year, Ukrainian authorities have threatened, revoked, or denied press credentials of journalists working for half a dozen Ukrainian and foreign news outlets because of their coverage. Veteran war correspondents, for their part, are accusing Ukrainian officials of making reporting on the reality of the war ... nearly impossible. "I've covered four wars, and I've never seen such a chasm between the drama and intensity and historic import of the reality of the conflict on the one hand, and the superficiality and meagerness of its documentation by the press on the other," Luke Mogelson, a contributing writer for the New Yorker, told The Intercept. "It's wild how little of what's happening is being chronicled. And the main reason, though not the only one, is that the Ukrainian government has made it virtually impossible for journalists to do real front line reportage." Mogelson added that the restrictions come from military and political brass and run counter to rank-and-file soldiers' desire to share their experiences. "The guys who are actually out doing the killing and dying and enduring the misery of the front are almost always thrilled to have journalists witness what they're going through," he added. Ukrainian journalists have also warned that military handlers' tight oversight of journalists is skewing coverage of the war. The Ukrainian military doesn't have a formal embed system. Most press access consists of short, chaperoned visits to military positions.
Note: The proxy war in Ukraine was designed to serve U.S. military-intelligence interests. Read an excellent analysis by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges, who covers what's going on in Ukraine and Russia beyond the official media establishment narrative. For further exploration, read an in-depth report by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, who received revealing information from U.S. intelligence sources about how US taxpayer money is being used in this war.
More than 50 years had passed since Ellsberg – risking prison for the rest of his life – had provided the New York Times and other newspapers with 7,000 pages of top-secret documents that quickly became known as the Pentagon Papers. From then on, he continued to speak, write, and protest as a tireless antiwar activist. I asked what the impacts would likely be if pictures of people killed by the U.S. military's bombing campaigns were on the front pages of American newspapers. "I am in favor, unreservedly, of making people aware what the human consequences are of what we're doing – where we are killing people, what the real interests appear to be involved, who is benefiting from this, what are the circumstances of the killing," Ellsberg replied. "I want that to come out. It is not impossible, especially [with] social media, where people can be their own investigative journalists." Ellsberg died today from pancreatic cancer. While he is best known as the whistleblower who gave the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War to the world, he went on for 52 years to expose other types of secrets – including hidden truths about the psychology and culture of U.S. militarism. Ellsberg added, “How much of a role does the media actually play in ... deceiving the public? I would say, as a former insider, one becomes aware: It’s not difficult to deceive them. First of all, you’re often telling them what they would like to believe – that we’re better than other people, we are superior in our morality and our perceptions of the world.”
Note: This article was written by Norman Soloman, longtime political activist and media critic on war coverage. Explore a powerfully written adaptation from Soloman's new book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on government corruption and the war machine from reliable major media sources.
Anthony Fauci, who was previously the top public health official leading the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be joining the faculty at Georgetown University, in Washington DC. University officials announced in a statement on Monday that Fauci will join as a "distinguished university professor" in the university's School of Medicine and McCourt School of Public Policy. Fauci and his family have deep connections to Georgetown. Fauci's wife, Christine Grady, is a Georgetown alumnus. The couple were also married at Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart, a chapel on Georgetown's campus. All three of Fauci's children were born at Georgetown University hospital. In December, Fauci, 82, stepped down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after serving for 38 years, to "pursue the next chapter" of his career, though not naming what that would entail. Fauci is, arguably, the country's leading expert on infectious diseases. He has served under seven presidents, providing guidance on infectious disease outbreaks in the US, including Ebola and the HIV/Aids epidemic. In 2008, Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his "determined and aggressive efforts to help others live longer and healthier lives" in efforts to address the HIV/Aids epidemic.
Note: Significant concerns surround Fauci and his part in the rising "biosecurity state," given his controversial past in shaping public health policy that put corporate profits and the special interests of US intelligence over the health of the people. Read a compelling investigation that explores the extensive financial and political relationship between the CIA and Georgetown University, often considered the number one school for CIA recruits. Not only does the investigation reveal how Georgetown teaching staff is filled with former CIA agents and spies, the article makes a solid case for the CIA's continued role in covertly shaping public opinion through propaganda and disinformation.
Public health leaders like Rochelle Walensky and Anthony Fauci make false claims, or contradict themselves repeatedly, on subjects related to the pandemic response, while leading scientists, like Peter Hotez in the US and Christian Drosten in Germany, are equally susceptible to such flip-flops and lies. All of these figures publicly and aggressively promoted anti-public health policies, including universal masking, social distancing, mass testing and quarantining of healthy people, lockdowns and vaccine mandates. All the top pro-lockdown scientists and public health experts – in perfect lockstep – suddenly started (and continue to this day) to misread studies and advocate policies that they had claimed in the past were unnecessary. The public health experts were not responsible for pandemic response policy. The military-intelligence-biodefense leadership was in charge. The most startling switch was the replacement of the public health agencies by the National Security Council and Department of Homeland Security at the helm of pandemic policy and planning. As part of the secret switch, all communications – defined in every previous pandemic planning document as the responsibility of the CDC – were taken over by the National Security Council under the auspices of the White House Task Force. The CDC was not even allowed to hold its own press conferences!
Note: Read more about how the national security state was involved in COVID public health policies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A MintPress investigation has found that a host of Western government officials, intelligence agents and assets have been directly involved in intimate collaboration with Nazi groups and individuals since at least 2014. This has included involvement in creating and operating the Nazi-run kill list in Ukraine. While Western media have belatedly been forced to concede that there are Nazi influences in Ukraine, many journalists have insisted that the visible fascist patches on uniforms are only there to troll Russians and that they are insignificant and a gift to Russian propaganda. Still, other journalists admit to asking Ukrainian service members to cover up their Nazi symbols. Last May, The Irish Independent claimed that [former adviser to Ukraine's foreign minister Cormac] Smith is "an unlikely key player in the information war," who "estimates he has given about 100 TV, radio and print interviews with the international media in the past few months to tell Kyiv's side of the story." Smith has a nice line in outrageous propaganda gambits, claiming that Russians are the actual Nazis and that they murder, rape and pillage, including the rape of children. As it turns out, the source of many of the allegations ... was the Ukraine parliamentary commissioner for human rights, Lyudmila Denisova. Last year, it was comprehensively demonstrated that her stories had little evidential basis. She ... admitted to "promoting fake news to persuade Western countries to send more arms and aid." Smith nonetheless carried on making vague allegations of rape for months afterward.
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. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the war machine from reliable major media sources.
Last year, my name was added to a blacklist published online by the Ukraine Center for Countering Disinformation. I joined over ninety others deemed to be “speakers who promote narratives consonant with Russian propaganda.“ These included Manuel Pineda and Clare Daly, both leftist Members of the European Parliament (MEP); Also counted are ... a slew of rightist MEPs; Ex CIA officer, Ray McGovern; former military and intelligence figures such as Scott Ritter and Douglas McGregor. Journalists on the list included Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson and Eva Bartlett. The Center for Countering Disinformation ... is an official governmental body created in late March 2021, along with a similar organization, the Center for Strategic Communication, by President Zelensky himself. They [are] related to other blacklisting websites like Myrotvorets (“Peacemaker”), widely seen as a “kill list.” The covert “kill list” website is a product of the Ukraine regime, effectively funded by the CIA (amongst others) and is hosted by NATO. One extraordinary thing is that many American citizens, including ex-military and intelligence operatives, are included, as well as a significant number of citizens of NATO member countries. Perhaps the most remarkable element is that NATO has hosted the site ... on its servers in Brussels. Myrotvorets lists thousands of “saboteurs”, “separatists”, “terrorists” and “traitors”. Sometimes, it has crossed out their photographs once they had been killed, with the label “liquidated”.
Note: This article was written by sociology professor and investigative researcher David Miller, who is widely known for his writings on propaganda, lobbying, and media issues. Tune into an entertaining yet revealing video from The Jimmy Dore Show to further explore interesting perspectives about the Ukrainian "Kill List."
One of the first Wuhan researchers reportedly sickened with Covid in fall 2019, Ben Hu, was getting U.S. financial support for risky gain-of-function research on coronaviruses, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The funding came in three grants totaling $41 million, doled out by USAID and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, the agency then headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The news that U.S. intelligence had learned that three Wuhan Institute of Virology lab workers had been hospitalized with Covid symptoms in November 2019, significantly before the outbreak at the city's seafood market, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in May 2021. But the revelation had curiously little impact on the broader debate over the origin of the pandemic, even as it would invalidate, if confirmed, the claim that the pandemic originated at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. New reporting by Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi, sourced to three government sources familiar with a State Department investigation, has identified the three lab workers as Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu. The Times of London, meanwhile, also recently reported new details about activity in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That report includes allegations about the Wuhan labs' collaboration with Chinese military scientists, buttressing what had once been dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory: that the virus was connected to bioweapons research.
Note: Although it's clear that the US funded the research for the creation of the virus, the origin site from which the virus was created is still in question. To explore alternative views, Dr. David Martin has worked for various government agencies, where he uncovered significant biological and chemical weapons treaty violations. He makes an intriguing case for the virus being created in the US, exploring the history of bioweapons attacks tested on US soil and the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was invented as a weapon.
Thousands of Covid-19 vaccine injury allegations have been submitted to the federal government and are unlikely to be reviewed any time soon without intervention by the Biden administration and Congress, according to attorneys whose potential clients feel they have nowhere to turn. Appendicitis, cognitive difficulty, abdominal pain, and abnormal heart rhythm are just some of the Covid vaccine-related injuries cited by the 8,208 individuals who have filed requests for benefits with the Health and Human Services Department's Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. The CICP has reached only 749 decisions on claims related to Covid treatments, with four cases resulting in compensation. Now, with the public health emergency officially over, attorneys say it's time for the administration and Congress to move Covid vaccine injury claims to a program they say is better suited for addressing them. But doing so would require lawmakers to tackle some much-needed reforms. "It doesn't have the infrastructure yet," Renee Gentry, director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at the George Washington University, said of the ... Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Even half of the Covid caseload "would double the size of the vaccine program. It would come to a crashing halt." "A lot of these people have devastating injuries, and they need at least a fair shot at compensation," Gentry said.
Note: Although significant evidence reveals how COVID vaccines harmed more people than what was announced by US government agencies, the FDA recently refused to improve COVID vaccine safety labeling despite calls from current and former FDA officials. For more along these lines, watch a powerful documentary that follows the lives of people significantly harmed by the vaccine, yet were discredited and abandoned by the medical and media establishment.
Between 1955 and 1963, federal agents ran a hidden brothel in one of San Francisco's poshest neighborhoods and tested LSD on unsuspecting Bay Area residents. The apartment building is still there, although it has been converted from a CIA brothel into a four-story mansion. At the center of this wildly unethical program was George Hunter White ... who became one of the biggest crusaders of America's early war on drugs. In public, he railed against drug use and ruthlessly investigated jazz legends like Billie Holiday. Privately, however, he drank martinis by the pitcher and even used drugs like LSD and marijuana. White was the federal agent responsible for a top-secret CIA program called "Operation Midnight Climax." The CIA thought it could use hallucinogenic drugs like LSD as weapons of war against its enemies. To find out, the agency got Bay Area residents high without their consent. White outfitted rooms inside a Telegraph Hill apartment building, at 225 Chestnut St., into a safe house for testing LSD. He gave sex workers get-out-of-jail-free cards in exchange for luring unsuspecting johns to the apartment, where the men were dosed with acid while White watched from the other side of a one-way mirror. According to a letter unearthed by John Marks in his 1979 book "The Search for the 'Manchurian Candidate,'" it was nothing but "fun, fun, fun." "Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape, and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the All-Highest?" White asked.
Note: Read more about Operation Midnight Climax and the larger MK-ULTRA project it was a part of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
Amid a crisis in recruitment, the U.S. military has found a new way of convincing a war-weary Generation Z to enlist: thirst traps. Chief among these attractive young women in uniform posting sexually suggestive content alongside subtle ... calls to join up is Hailey Lujan. In between the thirst traps and memes, the 21-year-old makes content extolling the fun of Army life to her 731,000 TikTok followers. Lujan is a psychological operations specialist with the Army. Her [job] is to convince, persuade and propagandize in creative new ways. The Army recruitment website description of the role sounds eerily similar to her own content. "As a Psychological Operations Specialist, you'll be an expert at persuasion," it reads, adding: "You'll assess and develop the information needed to influence and engage specific audiences. You'll broadcast important information through various mediums and assist U.S. and foreign governments, militaries, and civilian populations." Lujan is far from the only serviceperson on military TikTok (#MilTok) promoting military life, however. Juliana Keding – a military policewoman with over 900,000 followers – regularly combines thirst traps with videos about Army life. TikTok is not the only battleground for young people's minds, however. In the last year, a significant portion of the Biden administration's record-breaking $857 billion defense budget went on advertising. The Army in particular has spent large sums of money collaborating with some of YouTube's biggest stars.
Within ten days [of its release], the first-person military shooter video game [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II] earned more than $1 billion in revenue. The Call of Duty franchise is an entertainment juggernaut, having sold close to half a billion games since it was launched in 2003. Its publisher, Activision Blizzard, is a giant in the industry. Details gleaned from documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that Call of Duty is not a neutral first-person shooter, but a carefully constructed piece of military propaganda, designed to advance the interests of the U.S. national security state. Not only does Activision Blizzard work with the U.S. military to shape its products, but its leadership board is also full of former high state officials. Chief amongst these is Frances Townsend, Activision Blizzard's senior counsel. As the White House's most senior advisor on terrorism and homeland security, Townsend ... became one of the faces of the administration's War on Terror. Activision Blizzard's chief administration officer, Brian Bulatao ... was chief operating officer for the CIA, placing him third in command of the agency. Bulatao went straight from the State Department into the highest echelons of Activision Blizzard, despite no experience in the entertainment industry. [This] raises serious questions around privacy and state control over media. "Call of Duty ... has been flagged up for recreating real events as game missions and manipulating them for geopolitical purposes," [journalist Tom] Secker told MintPress.
Note: The latest US Air Force recruitment tool is a video game that allows players to receive in-game medals and achievements for drone bombing Iraqis and Afghans. For more on this disturbing "military-entertainment complex" trend, explore the work of investigative journalist Tom Secker, who recently produced a documentary, Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood, and published a new book, Superheroes, Movies and the State: How the U.S. Government Shapes Cinematic Universes.
Scientists in Wuhan working alongside the Chinese military were combining the world's most deadly coronaviruses to create a new mutant virus just as the pandemic began. Investigators who scrutinized top-secret intercepted communications and scientific research believe Chinese scientists were running a covert project of dangerous experiments, which caused a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and started the Covid-19 outbreak. The US investigators say one of the reasons there is no published information on the work is because it was done in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese military, which was funding it and which, they say, was pursuing bioweapons. The investigators' report was published in early 2021. It made two assertions: that Wuhan scientists were conducting experiments on RaTG13 from the Mongolian mine, and that covert military research, including laboratory animal experiments, was being done at the institute before the pandemic. Dr Steven Quay, a US scientist who advised the State Department on its investigation ... believes Covid-19 was created by inserting a furn cleavage site into one of the mine viruses and then serial passaging it through humanized mice. He submitted a statement to the US Senate explaining the process. "You infect the mice, wait a week or so, and then recover the virus from the sickest mice. Then you repeat. In a matter of weeks this directed evolution will produce a virus that can kill every humanized mouse."
Note: Don't miss this article by Michael Heisenberg titled "First People Sickened By COVID-19 Were Chinese Scientists At Wuhan Institute Of Virology, Say US Government Sources." And this article sheds more light on the pandemic's origins. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Current Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labels for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are obsolete, misleading and out of touch with regulators elsewhere. Take the ongoing uncertainty over whether vaccines reduce viral transmission. We asked the FDA to clarify in labeling that there isn't substantial evidence that mRNA vaccines reduce viral transmission. The FDA also failed to warn about the documented risk of sudden death, even though myocarditis is now a well-recognized side effect, particularly among young men. To support adding "sudden death" to product labeling, we pointed to multiple autopsy studies on lethal vaccination-associated myocarditis. We asked the FDA to add seven adverse event types to product labeling: multi system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), pulmonary embolism, sudden cardiac death, neuropathology and autonomic disorders, decreased sperm concentration, heavy menstrual bleeding and detection of vaccine mRNA in breast milk. Current and former FDA advisers and academics from around the country ... tried to fix this problem by asking the FDA to make critical changes to official product labels. But four months later, in a 33-page response letter, the agency denied almost every single request. In doing so, the FDA failed to follow the lead of regulators elsewhere. We cited the European regulator's addition of heavy menstrual bleeding to product information as a potential vaccine adverse reaction. The FDA's response was a sophisticated version of "who cares!"
Note: Explore a deeper look into why medical experts are calling for more accurate COVID-19 vaccine labeling. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
A secretive government unit worked with social media companies in an attempt to curtail discussion of controversial lockdown policies during the pandemic. The Counter-Disinformation Unit (CDU) was set up by ministers to tackle supposed domestic "threats", and was used to target those critical of lockdown and questioning the mass vaccination of children. Critics of lockdown had posts removed from social media. There is growing suspicion that social media firms used technology to stop the posts being promoted, circulated or widely shared after being flagged by the CDU or its counterpart in the Cabinet Office. Documents revealed under Freedom of Information (FoI) and data protection requests showed that the activities of prominent critics of the Government's Covid policies were secretly monitored. An artificial intelligence firm (AI) was used by the Government to scour social media sites. The company flagged discussions opposing vaccine passports. Many of the issues being raised were valid at the time and have since been proven to be well-founded. The BBC also took part in secretive meetings of a government policy forum to address the so-called disinformation. It can now be revealed that the activities of Prof Carl Heneghan, the Oxford epidemiologist who has advised Boris Johnson, and Dr Alexandre de Figueiredo, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), were monitored by government disinformation units.
How Death Outlives War: The Reverberating Impact of the Post-9/11 Wars on Human Health, published by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute, focuses on what [author Stephanie Savell] terms “indirect deaths” – caused not by outright violence but by consequent, ensuing economic collapse, loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, destruction of public health services, environmental contamination and continuing trauma, including mental health problems, domestic and sexual abuse and displacement. Calculated this way, the total number of deaths that occurred as a result of post-9/11 warfare in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia rises dramatically from an upper estimate of 937,000 to at least 4.5 million, of which up to 3.6 million were “indirect deaths”. Such deaths grow in scale over time. In Afghanistan, where the war ignited by the 2001 US-led invasion ended in 2021, the indirect death toll and related health problems are still rising. Experts suggest “a reasonable, conservative average estimate for any contemporary conflict is a ratio of four indirect deaths for every one direct death”, Savell says. The poorer the population, the higher the resulting indirect mortality when conflict erupts. Savell does not attempt to apportion blame between various actors, although the US, which launched the “global war on terror” in 2001, bears heavy responsibility. An estimated 38 million people have been displaced since 2001.
Across Ukraine's vast expanse, there are thought to be 174,000 square kilometres which are contaminated by landmines. It is an area of land larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. In the war-scarred Kharkiv region, warning signs occasionally appear next to brown, barren fields which were once front lines. Even more infrequent is the sight of demining teams sweeping their metal detectors across small, taped-off areas. A literal scratching of the surface. More landmines have been found in the Kharkiv region than anywhere else in Ukraine. The Russians deployed landmines to both defend their positions and slow the Ukrainians. After leaving in a rush, a lethal footprint was left behind. In the small town of Balakliya, on a patch of land next to an apartment block, Oleksandr Remenets' team have already found six anti-personnel mines. They'd earlier uncovered around 200 nearby. "My family calls me every morning to tell me to watch where I tread," he says. "One of our guys lost his foot last year." The day after we spoke, another member of his team was wounded by a mine. Since September, 121 civilians have been injured in the Kharkiv region alone, according to the State Emergency Service. 29 were killed. More than 55,000 explosives have been found in the area. So-called butterfly mines [are] the most common in the area. They're only three to four inches wide, propeller shaped, and are scattered from a rocket. They're banned by international law. That hasn't stopped them from being used in this war.
In 2021 in the picturesque mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina, The Asheville Blade journalist Veronica Coit sat in a police station waiting to be booked. Both Coit and their colleague Matilda Bliss were processed for trespassing while covering the eviction of unhoused people at Aston Park in Asheville. As of this writing, both journalists are awaiting a jury trial after appealing the guilty verdict handed down by Judge James Calvin Hill on April 19. With that decision, Judge Hill stepped brazenly on the throat of a free press, potentially introducing a precedent that makes journalism illegal – if it's the kind of journalism the ruling class doesn't like. Since 2018, as reported by the Freedom of the Press Foundation's U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there have been four trials – including this one – against journalists for "offenses allegedly committed while gathering and reporting the news." But this is the first case of its kind to find the defendants guilty. Nearly 50 civil society and media freedom organizations, along with the ACLU of North Carolina, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Reporters Without Borders, National Press Club, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Project Censored, have called on the city of Asheville to drop the charges. But there has been no national outcry over the case in corporate media. "It's a very dangerous precedent to allow the police or anyone in government to define what it means to be a journalist," said Ben Scales, Bliss and Coit's attorney. "We simply don't allow it in this country."
In less than three years the federal government intervened at least 4213 times to restrict or censor posts about the Covid-19 pandemic on digital platforms. A freedom of information request by Liberal senator Alex Antic has revealed the number of interventions, but details about the reasons or the guidelines under which they were made remain secret. "It is entirely unclear to me why the Department of Home Affairs, a department which is primarily charged with the duty of overseeing matters like border control, has been using a backdoor arrangement with social media companies to influence the media in relation into matters such as public health," Senator Antic said. Senator Antic ... is now in possession of the Department of Home Affairs Online Content Incident Arrangement Procedural Guideline, which details how the government works with digital platforms such as Facebook, Meta, Twitter, Instagram and Google to monitor and intervene on content. The document is subheaded "Australia's domestic crisis response protocol for online terrorist and extreme violent content". It runs to 28 pages but aside from the title, every page has been fully redacted. A separate document ... revealed that between January 2017 and December 2022 it "had made 13,636 referrals to digital platforms to review content". More than 9000 of these were related to terrorism and violent extremism. But 4213 were "Covid-19-related referrals".
Note: Read this article without a subscription on this webpage. For a deeper analysis, see Matt Taibbi's report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The U.S. carpet bombing of Cambodia between 1969 and 1973 has been well documented, but its architect, former national security adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ... bears responsibility for more violence than has been previously reported. An investigation by The Intercept provides evidence of previously unreported attacks that killed or wounded hundreds of Cambodian civilians during Kissinger's tenure in the White House. "You can trace a line from the bombing of Cambodia to the present," said Greg Grandin, author of "Kissinger's Shadow." "The covert justifications for illegally bombing Cambodia became the framework for the justifications of drone strikes and forever war." Kissinger bears significant responsibility for attacks in Cambodia that killed as many as 150,000 civilians, according to Ben Kiernan, former director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University and one of the foremost authorities on the U.S. air campaign in Cambodia. That's up to six times the number of noncombatants thought to have died in U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen during the first 20 years of the war on terror. Grandin estimated that, overall, Kissinger – who also helped to prolong the Vietnam War and facilitate genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; accelerated civil wars in southern Africa; and supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America – has the blood of at least 3 million people on his hands.
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on mass surveillance by the US government, he traded a comfortable existence in Hawaii, the paradise of the Pacific, for indefinite exile in Russia, now a pariah in much of the world. But 10 years after Snowden was identified as the source of the biggest National Security Agency (NSA) leak in history, it is less clear whether America underwent a similarly profound transformation in its attitude to safeguarding individual privacy. Was his act of self-sacrifice worth it – did he make a difference? On 6 June 2013, the Guardian published the first story based on Snowden's disclosures, revealing that a secret court order was allowing the US government to get Verizon to share the phone records of millions of Americans. The impact was dramatic. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, who earlier that year had testified to Congress that the NSA did not collect data on millions of Americans, was forced to apologise and admit that his statement had been "clearly erroneous". The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a constitutional lawsuit in federal court. It eventually led to a ruling that held the NSA telephone collection program was and always had been illegal, a significant breakthrough given that national security surveillance programs had typically been insulated from judicial review. You will not find any coherent statement by any US security official that says clearly what harm was done by these disclosures.
Frank Forrester Church sat in the US Senate for 24 years. He battled for civil rights and came to oppose the Vietnam war. He believed Americans were citizens, not subjects. Chairing the intelligence select committee was his most enduring accomplishment. James Risen, a Pulitzer-winning reporter now with the Intercept, sees him as a hero. The Last Honest Man is both paean and lament. “For decades ... the CIA’s operations faced only glancing scrutiny from the White House, and virtually none from Congress,” Risen writes. “True oversight would have to wait until 1975, and the arrival on the national stage of a senator from Idaho, Frank Church.” For 16 months, Church and his committee scrutinized the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency and their many abuses. Political assassinations, covert operations and domestic surveillance finally received scrutiny and oversight. A plot to kill Fidel Castro, with an assist from organized crime, made headlines. So did the personal ties that bound John F Kennedy, mob boss Sam Giancana and their shared mistress, Judith Campbell Exner. Giancana was murdered before he testified. Before John Rosselli, another mobster, could make a third appearance, his decomposed body turned up in a steel fuel drum near Miami. Against this grizzly but intriguing backdrop, Risen’s book is aptly subtitled: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys – And One Senator’s Fight to Save Democracy.
Note: Read more about James Risen's courageous reporting on the intelligence community. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Taliban clashed with Iranian border guards over the weekend, and it used American equipment to do it. Videos of the skirmish are all over social media, and they show Afghanistan fighters using a mix of old Soviet gear and U.S. weapons from the War on Terror. On Telegram, videos from the advocacy group HalVash showed U.S. armored Humvees rolling down a road. One dramatic video ... showed a Humvee with an M240 machine gun in the back. Taken from the point of view of the man behind the gun, the shot lingers on the spent ammunition littering the top of the Humvee. According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a U.S. agency that tracked waste, fraud, and abuse in Afghanistan, America spent around $18.6 billion equipping the Afghan National. Much of that equipment is now in the hands of the Taliban. The Pentagon has said it left behind about $7.12 billion worth of military equipment, and it's had a hard time keeping track of it all in the wake of its withdrawal. The U.S. would frequently ship guns and equipment into the country only to have it go missing later. Shipping containers filled with small arms would sit unattended for years. The Taliban has much of it now. After the collapse, a Taliban official told AL Jazeera that it had taken more than 300,000 light arms, 26,000 heavy weapons, and around 61,000 military vehicles when it took over the country. He said the plan was to use these weapons and the Soviet-era armor to create a "grand army."
Note: Read how the U.S. documented 12 years of failed reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan involving billions of dollars wasted and thousands of lives lost. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon’s intelligence branch is developing new tech to help it track the mass movement of people around the globe and flag “anomalies.” The project is called the Hidden Activity Signal and Trajectory Anomaly Characterization (HAYSTAC) program and it “aims to establish ‘normal’ movement models across times, locations, and populations and determine what makes an activity atypical,” according to a press release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). HAYSTAC will be run by the DNI’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). It’s kind of like DARPA, the Pentagon’s blue-sky research department, but with a focus on intelligence projects. According to the agency, the project will analyze data from internet-connected devices and “smart city” sensors using AI. “An ever-increasing amount of geospatial data is created every day,” Jack Cooper, HAYSTAC’s program manager, said. Cooper also mentioned privacy, or rather a lack of it. “Today you might think that privacy means going to live off the grid in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “That’s just not realistic in today’s environment. Sensors are cheap. Everybodys got one. There’s no such thing as living off the grid.” In one project, [contractor] AIS simulated a cyber attack. “Devices included traditional desktop systems, laptops, tablets, and mobile platforms,” the firm said. “The technology tracks users through biometric features, including keystroke biometrics, mouse movement behavior, and gait detection.”
A large number of ex-officers from the FBI, CIA, NSC, and State Department have taken positions at Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The revelation comes amid fears the FBI operated control over Twitter censorship and the Hunter Biden laptop story. The Twitter files have revealed the close relationship with the FBI, how the Bureau regularly demanded accounts and tweets be banned and suspicious contact before the Hunter laptop story was censored. The documents detailed how so many former FBI agents joined Twitter's ranks over the past few years that they created their own private Slack channel. A report by Mint Press' Alan MacLeod identified dozens of Twitter employees, who had previously held positions at the Bureau. He also found that former CIA agents made up some of the top ranks in almost every politically-sensitive department at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And in another report, MacLeod detailed the extent to which former CIA agents started working at Google. DailyMail.com has now been able to track down nine former CIA agents who are working, or have worked, at Meta, including Aaron Berman, the senior policy manager for misinformation at the company who had previously written the president's daily briefings. Six others have worked for other intelligence agencies before joining the social media giant, many of whom have posted recently about Facebook's efforts to tamp down on so-called 'covert influence operations.'
Note: Explore a deeper analysis on the ex-CIA agents at Facebook and at Google. Additionally, read how Big Tech censors social media on behalf of corporate and government interests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
Federal prison officials accused of misconduct, including sexual abuse, are more likely to escape sufficient punishment because of the agency’s reluctance to rely on inmate testimony, a watchdog investigation found. This hesitancy ... “emboldens miscreant staff members” who believe they can “act without fear of disciplinary consequences,” said a Justice Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. The memo to Bureau of Prisons Director Colette S. Peters from Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said “the circumstances that gave rise to this memorandum and the BOP’s conflicting response to it continue to raise significant concerns about the BOP’s handling of disciplinary matters in cases where inmate testimony is necessary to sustain misconduct charges.” “Staff throughout the Bureau know that they can abuse men and women in federal custody with impunity, as long as they don’t admit it or do it on camera,” said Deborah Golden, a D.C. lawyer who focuses on prisoner rights. Not handling internal investigations properly, she added, “is how the widespread abuse at FCI Dublin flourished.” Five former employees of the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif., including a warden and a chaplain, have been charged with sexually abusing prisoners. Dublin is not an isolated case. During the six-month reporting period that ended March 31, the inspector general’s office received 4,252 complaints involving the BOP, with force, abuse and rights violations among the most common allegations.
Note: In 2022, U.S. Department of Justice investigators had to open 14,361 cases of misconduct against 17,907 employees of the Bureau of Prisons, which is a bureau with 37,000 employees. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
When a detainee at a federal prison facility in Atlanta, Georgia, was found hanging from a ligature in his cell in November 2018, prison staff had to borrow a razor blade from another detainee in order to cut them down. The scene was one of several alarming accounts of conditions at U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta detailed Tuesday during a Senate subcommittee hearing. Public reporting has described several years’ worth of security and health issues at the facility, including deaths, escapes, corruption, and a smuggling ring. According to congressional investigators who spoke at the hearing, senior officials at the federal prison complex and at the federal Bureau of Prisons were aware of the issues for years and failed to adequately address them, amounting to gross misconduct. The findings are part of an ongoing 10-month bipartisan congressional investigation into allegations of corruption and abuse at the Atlanta facility. Started last September by a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the investigation has focused on the Atlanta complex to highlight broader issues in the federal prison system. The facility has the highest number of suicides by detainees at any federal prison over the last five years. Previous reporting has documented at least 13 suicides at the facility between 2012 and 2021, including five between October 2019 and June 2021. The hearing ... painted a damning picture of a bloated federal prison system run by well-informed and willfully inactive leaders.
Note: In 2022, U.S. Department of Justice investigators had to open 14,361 cases of misconduct against 17,907 employees of the Bureau of Prisons, which is a bureau with 37,000 employees. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
By March 2017, the fight over the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline had been underway for months. Law enforcement was ... discussing plans with Energy Transfer, the parent company of the Dakota Access pipeline. Throughout much of the uprising against the pipeline, the National Sheriffs’ Association talked routinely with TigerSwan, Energy Transfer’s lead security firm on the project, working hand in hand to craft pro-pipeline messaging. Documents, released by the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board, reveal how TigerSwan and the sheriffs’ group worked together to twist the story in the media so that it aligned with the oil company’s interests, seeking to pollute the public’s perception of the water protectors. The private security firm pushed for the purchase, by Energy Transfer, of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of radios for the cops. TigerSwan also placed an order for a catalog of so-called less-lethal weapons for police use, including tear gas. Off the Record Strategies, the public relations firm working for the National Sheriffs' Association, coordinated with the opposition research firm Delve to track activists' social media pages, arrest records, and funding sources. The companies sought to paint the protesters as violent, professional, billionaire-funded, out-of-state agitators whose camps represented the true ecological disaster, as well as to identify movement infighting that might be exploited.
Note: Read how TigerSwan treated water protectors as terrorists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
A 2020 reform law was supposed to remake the way the California juvenile justice system looks. “De-escalation rooms” stocked with essential oils and weighted blankets are among the changes some county youth facilities have been pushed to install. It was all part of an effort to make the system less punitive and more therapeutic. But this air of change might be news to young people held in Los Angeles County, where this week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta asked a state judge to sanction local officials for what he called “illegal and unsafe conditions.” County officials across the state pushed back against the 2020 law — which phased out state-run juvenile facilities in favor of county-run ones. Tasked with rolling out the changes, local officials formed a multi-county non-profit organization — not subject to public information laws — to share resources and data. Some local advocates worry that this approach is creating a “shadow jury and justice system that operates outside of the public,” reports the Sacramento Bee. The way this has played out in California may be instructive to Texas, where some lawmakers are seeking a similar overhaul for a juvenile system long-plagued by abusive conditions and mismanagement. As in California, county juvenile justice officials in Texas oppose the changes. A recent report from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found 1,762 confirmed incidents of young people being sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted in juvenile facilities between 2013 and 2018.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
A detainee held in the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay who was used as a human guinea pig in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program has produced the most comprehensive and detailed account yet seen of the brutal techniques to which he was subjected. Abu Zubaydah has created a series of 40 drawings that chronicle the torture he endured in a number of CIA dark sites between 2002 and 2006 and at Guantánamo Bay. In the absence of a full official accounting of the torture program, which the CIA and the FBI have labored for years to keep secret, the images give a unique and searing insight into a grisly period in US history. The drawings, which Zubaydah has annotated with his own words, depict gruesome acts of violence, sexual and religious humiliation, and prolonged psychological terror committed against him and other detainees. Zubaydah’s sketches provide a unique visual record of the US government’s use of torture in the wake of 9/11. Videotapes of Zubaydah being tortured were filmed by the CIA but then destroyed in violation of a court order, while a 6,700-page torture report by the Senate intelligence committee remains secret almost a decade after it was completed. Though the full Senate report has never been made public, its conclusion is known: that the abuse of Zubaydah and other detainees failed to elicit any new intelligence. In other words, torture does not work. The US initially claimed [Zubaydah] was a top al-Qaida operative but was forced to concede he was not even a member of the terror group.
Note: Read the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
At least 6,182 people died in state and federal prisons in 2020, a 46% jump from the previous year, according to data recently released by researchers from the UCLA Law Behind Bars Data Project. "During the pandemic, a lot of prison sentences became death sentences," says Wanda Bertram, a spokesperson for the Prison Policy Initiative. A Senate report last year found the U.S. Department of Justice failed to identify more than 900 deaths in prisons and local jails in fiscal year 2021. The report said the DOJ's poor data collection and reporting undermined transparency and congressional oversight of deaths in custody. A major reason the U.S. trails other developed countries in life expectancy is because it has more people behind bars and keeps them there far longer, says Chris Wildeman, a Duke University sociology professor who has researched the link between criminal justice and life expectancy. "It's a health strain on the population," Wildeman says. "The worse the prison conditions, the more likely it is incarceration can be tied to excess mortality." Over a 40-year span starting in the 1980s, the number of people in the nation's prisons and jails more than quadrupled, fueled by tough-on-crime policies and the war on drugs. The federal government can't definitively say how many people have died in prisons and jails since the covid-19 pandemic began, researchers say. "Without data, we are operating in the dark," says Andrea Armstrong, a professor ... who has testified before Congress on the issue.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
FBI officials repeatedly violated their own standards when they searched a vast repository of foreign intelligence for information related to the January 6 insurrection and racial justice protests in 2020, according court order released Friday. The violations were detailed in a secret court order issued last year by the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court, which has legal oversight of the US government’s spy powers. At issue are improper queries of foreign intelligence information collected under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enables the government to gather the communications of targeted foreigners outside the US. That program, which is set to expire at the end of the year, creates a database of intelligence that US agencies can search. FBI searches must have a foreign intelligence purpose or be aimed at finding evidence of a crime. But congressional critics of the program have long raised alarm about what they say are unjustified searches of the database for information about Americans, along with more general concerns about surveillance abuses. In repeated episodes disclosed on Friday, the FBI’s own standards were not followed. The April 2022 order, for instances, details how the FBI queried the section 702 repository using the name of someone who was believed to have been at the Capitol during the January 6 riot. Officials obtained the information despite it not having any “analytical, investigative or evidentiary purpose”, the order said.
The special counsel-led investigation looking into the FBI's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 Trump campaign has ended, the Department of Justice announced Monday, and in a 306-page final report, concludes the FBI did not have enough intelligence to merit a full Trump-Russia investigation. The report says that investigation — which was originally called the "Crossfire Hurricane" — was treated different from how cases related to Donald Trump's then-opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, had been handled. "The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign," the report says. The report concludes that the DOJ and FBI "failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law." "Our investigation also revealed that senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information they they received, especially information received from politically affiliated persons and entities," the report says. In particular, there was a significant reliance on investigative leads provided by, or funded by, political opponents of Trump. "The Department did not adequately examine or question thee materials and the motivations of those providing them," the report says.
Note: Explore a much more in-depth analysis of this important news by crack reporter Matt Taibbi. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden claims that the United States is leading “democracies” in a fight against “autocracies” to establish a peaceful international order, but his administration approved weapons sales to nearly three-fifths of the world’s authoritarian countries in 2022. That’s according to a new analysis conducted by Security Policy Reform Institute co-founder Stephen Semler. The U.S. has been the world’s largest arms dealer since the end of the Cold War. Data released in March showed that the U.S. accounted for 40% of global weapons exports from 2018 to 2022. Semler relied on data from the Varieties of Democracy project at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which uses a classification system called Regimes of the World. “Of the 84 countries codified as autocracies under the Regimes of the World system in 2022, the United States sold weapons to at least 48, or 57%, of them,” Semler wrote. “These findings fly in the face of Biden’s preferred framing of international politics as a “battle between democracies and autocracies.” The president’s narrative “lends itself more to a self-righteous foreign policy than an honest or productive one,” Semler argued. “Dividing the world between democratic and autocratic countries — in the spirit of ‘with us or against us’ — makes conflict more likely and has had a chilling effect on calls for diplomacy and détente. It’s also harder to cooperate with the international community while insisting you’re locked in an existential fight with roughly half of them.”
Note: Beyond arms sales, the US loses track of huge quantities of weapons in combat zones. Read an in-depth article on how the Ukraine war is shaking up the arms industry in unprecedented ways. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 1979 the Sandinista revolution overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua. As a Spanish speaking Latino, [Enrique] Prado ... was recruited as a CIA officer responsible for overseeing the development of the Contra army based in Honduras and conducting cross border attacks on communities in Nicaragua. Prado believes they [were] the "good guys". The International Court of Justice thought otherwise. In 1986 the court ruled the US attacks on Nicaragua were violations of international law. The Reagan administration and media largely ignored the ruling. Later, journalist Gary Webb documented the catastrophic social damage inside the US caused by the cheap cocaine flooding some US cities. Webb was attacked by establishment media. In 1998 the CIA Inspector General acknowledged, "There are instances where C.I.A. did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug-trafficking activity, or take action to resolve the allegations." The US deployed Nicaraguans, Afghans and extremist Arab recruits in proxy wars across the globe. "The attacks of September 11 descend in a direct line from events in 1979, the year in which the CIA, with full presidential authority, began carrying out its largest ever clandestine operation - the secret arming of Afghan freedom fighters (mujaheddin) to wage a proxy war against the Soviet Union," [said author Chalmers Johnston].
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has in effect ignored a 2020 federal court order prohibiting the use of Monsanto and other producers' toxic dicamba-based herbicides that are destroying millions of acres of cropland, harming endangered species and increasing cancer risks for farmers, new fillings in the lawsuit charge. Instead of permanently yanking the products from the market after the 2020 order, the EPA only required industry to add further application instructions to the herbicides' labels before reapproving the products. A late 2021 EPA investigation found the same problems persist even with new directions added to the label, but the agency still allows Monsanto, BASF and other producers to continue using dicamba. The EPA's pesticide office is included in allegations that career managers are influenced by or have colluded with industry, and in some cases falsified science to make dangerous substances appear less toxic. About one-third of the pesticide office's funding comes from industry fees. The agency in 2016 approved the dicamba-based herbicide developed by Monsanto, which was to be used on genetically modified soybean and cotton crops. The herbicide can damage or kill neighboring crops and plants that are not engineered to be dicamba-resistant. The results are "devastating" and destroying millions of acres as "as never before seen in the history of US agriculture", the plaintiffs said. In some cases, direct dicamba exposure can kill insects, mammals and other animals.
Every five years, top officials of the Food and Drug Administration go behind closed doors to negotiate the terms of its core budget – about $3 billion this year. But the F.D.A. is not at the table with members of Congress or with White House officials. Instead, it's in dozens of meetings with representatives of the giant pharmaceutical companies whose products the agency regulates. The negotiations are a piece of the "user fee" program in which drug, device and biotech companies make payments to the agency partly to seek product approvals. The fees ... make up nearly half of the F.D.A.'s budget, financing 6,500 jobs at the agency. The pharmaceutical industry funding alone has become so dominant that last year it accounted for three-quarters – or $1.1 billion – of the agency's drug division budget. Advocates for patients and doctors say the agreements have enabled the industry to weaken the approval process meant to ensure that drugs are safe and effective. "It's kind of like a devil's bargain," said Dr. Joseph Ross, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine who has studied F.D.A. policies, "that I think is not in the best interest of the agency, because it turns this every-five-year cycle into the F.D.A. essentially asking industry, 'What can we do to secure this money?'" Senator Bernie Sanders ... suggested that the pharmaceutical companies' tendency to charge "outrageous" prices was related to their significant role in funding and advancing policy goals of the F.D.A.'s drug division.
Note: A revealing interview of a top cardiologist illuminates the history of how Big Pharma has corrupted science and greatly damaged public health. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Few people think of the FCC as an environmental cop. It’s known for regulating television and radio and overseeing the deployment of communications technology. But the agency also has a broad mandate to ensure that technology doesn’t damage the environment. This role is particularly critical now, as the FCC presides over a nationwide buildout for 5G service, which will require 800,000 new “small cell” transmitters, those perched on street poles and rooftops, often near schools, apartments and homes. But even with this massive effort underway, as ProPublica previously reported, the FCC has refused to revise its radiation-exposure limits, which date back to the era of flip phones. In addition, the agency has cut back on the environmental reviews that it requires while also restricting local governments’ control over wireless sites. The agency operates on the honor system, delegating much of its responsibility to the industries that it regulates. It allows companies to decide for themselves whether their projects require environmental study. And if the companies break the rules, they’re expected to report their own transgression. Few do. In the rare instances in which the FCC investigates, even brazen illegality is often met with a minor fine, a scolding “admonishment” or no action at all. Just 10% of FCC enforcement cases between 2014 and 2016 resulted in a monetary penalty, while 40% ended with a warning and the rest resulted in no action.
More than a quarter-century ago, Steven Donziger, a young American human rights lawyer, joined the legal effort to force Texaco to clean up the Ecuadoran headwaters of the Amazon rain forest. Between 1972 and 1992, the company dumped toxic waste and spilled billions of gallons of oil-exposed water across 1,700 square miles, an area larger than Rhode Island. In response, a coalition of rural Ecuadorans in the Lago Agrio region sued the US oil giant, and Donziger signed on to help and soon became the lead attorney on the case. In 2013, after a legal campaign that stretched across two continents, the 30,000 indigenous people and small farmers whom Donziger represented in a class-action lawsuit won a $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuadoran courts against Chevron, which acquired Texaco in 2001. It was one of the largest financial judgments ever against an oil company. Fast-forward to today, and Donziger is under house arrest in New York City, forced to wear an ankle monitor. The lawyer, now 59, is fighting contempt charges. Meanwhile, his clients in Ecuador have received nothing from Chevron. Without that funding, they have no way to cleanse the poisoned soil or treat what they say is an elevated number of cancer cases. In 2010 ... Chevron launched a countersuit in a New York federal court, alleging that Donziger and his allies had committed bribery and fraud in Ecuador to win the case. Meanwhile, residents in the Amazon rain forest live and work on poisoned land.
Tessa Jolls, president of the Center for Media Literacy, published a report last month entitled "Building Resiliency: Media Literacy as a Strategic Defense Strategy for the Transatlantic." It reads like a blueprint for indoctrinating students in corporatism and militarism under the auspices of media literacy education. The standard definition of media literacy used in American education is "the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using all forms of communication." In response to the post-2016 panic over fake news, there was a demand for more media literacy education in schools. This provided a window of opportunity for major media companies — which had long sought to enter the classroom to advertise their products and collect student data — to move rapidly toward indoctrinate students with corporate propaganda under the "media literacy" umbrella. The same military and intelligence communities now calling for "media literacy" have been producing and spreading fake news, at home and abroad, for at least 70 years. Jolla' report ignores that members of the same military and intelligence communities that she lauds have produced and spread fake news to U.S. citizens, from the time of Operation Mockingbird in the mid-20th century up through the present on various social media platforms. She also never discusses public efforts to disempower the military-industrial complex's ability to dictate truth. Real media literacy education empowers students to ... ask their own questions.
The U.S. Army Cyber Command told defense contractors it planned to surveil global social media use to defend the "NATO brand," according to a 2022 webinar recording reviewed by The Intercept. "NATO is one of our key brands that we are pushing, as far as our national security alliance," [Lt. Col. David Beskow] explained. The mass social media surveillance appears to be just one component of a broader initiative to use private-sector data mining to advance the Army's information warfare efforts. Beskow expressed an interest in purchasing access to nonpublic commercial web data, corporate ownership records, supply chain data, and more. While the U.S. national security establishment frequently warns against other countries' "weaponization" of social media and the broader internet, recent reporting has shown the Pentagon engages in some of the very same conduct. Researchers from Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory uncovered a network of pro-U.S. Twitter and Facebook accounts covertly operated by U.S. Central Command, an embarrassing revelation that led to a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare." Despite years of alarm in Washington over the threat posed by deepfake video fabrications to democratic societies, The Intercept reported last month that U.S. Special Operations Command is seeking vendors to help them make their own deepfakes to deceive foreign internet users.
As school shootings proliferate across the country — there were 46 school shootings in 2022, more than in any year since at least 1999 — educators are increasingly turning to dodgy vendors who market misleading and ineffective technology. Utica City is one of dozens of school districts nationwide that have spent millions on gun detection technology with little to no track record of preventing or stopping violence. Evolv’s scanners keep popping up in schools across the country. Over 65 school districts have bought or tested artificial intelligence gun detection from a variety of companies since 2018, spending a total of over $45 million, much of it coming from public coffers. “Private companies are preying on school districts’ worst fears and proposing the use of technology that’s not going to work,” said Stefanie Coyle ... at the New York Civil Liberties Union. In December, it came out that Evolv, a publicly traded company since 2021, had doctored the results of their software testing. In 2022, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, a government body, completed a confidential report showing that previous field tests on the scanners failed to detect knives and a handgun. Five law firms recently announced investigations of Evolv Technology — a partner of Motorola Solutions whose investors include Bill Gates — looking into possible violations of securities law, including claims that Evolv misrepresented its technology and its capabilities to it.
We celebrate World Press Freedom Day in May as a reminder that the role of news organizations is to speak truth to power. It’s an occasion to remember three people who exemplify the need to speak the truth: Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks; and also of Chelsea Manning, without whom we would not have the proof of what the United States was doing, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but all across the globe. Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers were a mere 7,000 pages, and he photocopied them by hand. Chelsea Manning’s “papers”, which Assange outed, earning the U.S. government’s enmity, consisted of about 750,000 documents. Assange and WikiLeaks that made possible for Manning’s information to reach people across the globe. And even when he and Manning have been arrested, jailed and isolated, the information on Wikileaks still continues to be accessible to all of us. Even today the Baghdad video of Collateral Murder, posted on WikiLeaks, was seen across the world and brought home that the United States was lying and involved in a massive cover-up of its war crimes. The Diplomatic Cables on Wikileaks informed the Tunisian people about the kleptocratic rule of the Ben Ali family and started what was later named as Arab Spring. Just as the surveillance state has invaded every nook and corner of our lives, the pathological need of the surveillance state to access and store all this information also makes the state porous and vulnerable.
[CIA station chief Richard] Welch's assassination was huge news and struck a painful political nerve in Washington, coming at the end of a year of stunning disclosures about the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community by the Senate's Church Committee ... throughout 1975. The Church Committee's unprecedented investigation marked the first effort by Congress to unearth decades of abusive and illegal acts secretly committed by the CIA. [The Church Committee] is responsible for bringing the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and the rest of the government's intelligence apparatus under the rule of law. The White House and CIA quickly realized that the Welch killing, which occurred just as the Church Committee was finishing its investigations and preparing its final report ... could be used as a political weapon. President Gerald Ford's White House and the agency falsely sought to blame the Church Committee for Welch's murder, claiming, without any evidence, that its investigations had somehow exposed Welch's identity and left him vulnerable to assassination. There was absolutely no truth to the claims. Welch had been murdered by Greek terrorists. The false narrative that Welch had been murdered because of reckless disclosures in Washington remained powerful for years afterward, ultimately leading to legislation that made it illegal to publish the names of covert CIA officers, a law that has since often been abused by the government to crack down on whistleblowers and dissent.
Note: Read more on how US intelligence agencies are intentionally designed to not have oversight over the blatant human rights violations they take a part of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The government of Saudi Arabia is an investor in the private company that owns a virtual monopoly on software that powers Democratic candidates — including management of the Democratic National Committee’s all-important voter list. Sanabil Investments, the company that manages Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, recently published its first list of investments. The list includes two private equity firms involved two years ago in the sale and acquisition of EveryAction and NGP VAN, the companies that make up the Democratic Party’s campaign tech apparatus. Federal regulations are designed to stop sovereign wealth funds from interfering in domestic politics. If a particular investment includes a national security risk, federal regulators can force the transaction to be undone through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States under the Department of the Treasury. Most of that risk is typically mitigated because sovereign wealth funds tend to be invested in companies through intermediaries. Investment in a company that deals with data related to voting and politics could be of potential concern to the Committee on Foreign Investment, even if the investor has no real influence over relevant data. The Sanabil investment doesn’t mean the Saudi government has an interest in the functions of the companies. Instead, said progressive strategist Gabe Tobias, the disclosure is a further indication that the fate of EveryAction and NGP VAN is not a priority for their owners.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
U.S. citizens are being subjected to a relentless onslaught from intrusive technologies that have become embedded in the everyday fabric of our lives, creating unprecedented levels of social and political upheaval. These widely used technologies ... include social media and what Harvard professor Shoshanna Zuboff calls "surveillance capitalism"—the buying and selling of our personal info and even our DNA in the corporate marketplace. But powerful new ones are poised to create another wave of radical change. Under the mantle of the "Fourth Industrial Revolution," these include artificial intelligence or AI, the metaverse, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Bodies (in which our physical and health data is added into the mix to be processed by AI), and my personal favorite, police robots. This is a two-pronged effort involving both powerful corporations and government initiatives. These tech-based systems are operating "below the radar" and rarely discussed in the mainstream media. The world's biggest tech companies are now richer and more powerful than most countries. According to an article in PC Week in 2021 discussing Apple's dominance: "By taking the current valuation of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and others, then comparing them to the GDP of countries on a map, we can see just how crazy things have become… Valued at $2.2 trillion, the Cupertino company is richer than 96% of the world. In fact, only seven countries currently outrank the maker of the iPhone financially."
A landmark Covid-19 vaccine injury class action lawsuit has been filed against the Australian government and the medicines regulator. The nation-wide suit, which reportedly has 500 members including three named applicants, seeks redress for those allegedly left injured or bereaved by the Covid-19 vaccines. One of the applicants who suffered a severe heart condition after getting the Pfizer jab is even claiming there was 'cover-up' during the vaccine rollout which hid the potential risks. The federal government, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Department of Health - in addition to a number of senior public servants - are all named as parties to the class action, which was filed in the New South Wales Federal Court. The named parties are accused of negligence in their approval and monitoring of Covid-19 vaccines, breach of statutory duty and misfeasance in public office. Instructing solicitor Natalie Strijland, of Brisbane law firm NR Barbi, said the action would argue the TGA caused considerable harm and damage by failing to regulate the COVID-19 vaccinations properly. The class action names three applicants, one of whom is 41-year old father-of-two Gareth O'Gradie. Mr O'Gradie, a teacher from Melbourne, was left with a 20-centimetre scar down his chest after developing severe pericarditis — inflammation of the lining around the heart — following his first Pfizer vaccination in July 2021. In February 2022 doctors performed open heart surgery to remove his the pericardial sac lining his heart.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Of more than 8,000 people who filed claims with the federal government alleging injuries from COVID-19 vaccines, three have now received cash payouts, new government data shows. Their combined compensation? Less than $5,000. One person who had an anaphylactic reaction to the shot received $2,020 from the government’s Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, or CICP. Another who got myocarditis – an inflammation of the heart muscle – from the jab received $1,583, while a second myocarditis sufferer got $1,033, according to the data, which was released last week. A third myocarditis patient’s claim was approved but the person was denied compensation due to lack of eligible expenses. The CICP has doled out just three small awards confirms [that] the government program is ill-suited to adjudicate these cases. The no-fault tribunal run by the Health Resources and Services Administration is stymied by statute in the relief it can offer, with compensation limited to unreimbursed medical expenses and up to $50,000 a year in lost wages. A death benefit of up to $422,035 may also be available. There’s no allowance for pain and suffering, no punitive damages, no attorneys’ fees, no public hearings or opinions, no right to judicial appeal. But it’s the only legal recourse available for the unlucky few who have experienced serious adverse effects from the vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine makers are indemnified by the government and are not party to CICP proceedings.
Note: This article attributes vaccine injuries to the "unlucky few." However, an increasing amount of evidence makes it clear that vaccine injuries are more common than what we're told, as revealed in countless anecdotal stories of those significantly harmed from the vaccine and Pfizer's very own disclosed documents. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The centibillionaire club–those with over $100 billion in wealth–likely will be welcoming a new member soon. Forbes now estimates Michael Bloomberg’s wealth at $94.5 billion, making him the sixth richest American. If his wealth continues to grow at the rate it’s grown since 2013, Michael Bloomberg will join the centibillionaire club by the end of the year. At that point, he will be the 10th American to have reached that wealth level. Forty years ago, the mere billionaire club had just 13 members, and Daniel Ludwig, the richest American at the time, had a total wealth (adjusted for inflation) of $6.15 billion. Today, $1 billion of wealth in one person’s hands often means far too much political power, but that astounding amount of money is now considered a rounding error in the context of America’s largest fortunes. America’s 20 richest billionaires spent more than the entire Biden campaign on the 2020 elections. According to political scientists Jeffrey Winters and Benjamin Page, the political influence of each of the 400 richest Americans is 22,000 times that of the average member of the bottom 90%. What all Americans whose wealth has passed the $100 billion threshold have in common ... is tax avoidance. Between 2013 and 2018, none made federal income tax payments greater than 11% of their wealth growth–and all but two paid less than 5%. Even Ronald Reagan recognized that it’s “crazy” for a society to tax a bus driver at a higher rate than a millionaire.
Note: The pandemic response sharply increased the wealth of billionaires. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The original coronavirus lockdowns had 'little to no' effect on pandemic death tolls in the US, UK and Europe, a controversial report suggests. Economists who carried out a meta-analysis found draconian restrictions imposed in spring 2020 — including stay-at-home orders, compulsory masks and social distancing — only reduced Covid mortality by 0.2 per cent. They warned that lockdowns caused 'enormous economic and social costs' and concluded they were 'ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument' going forward. The review, led by a Johns Hopkins University professor, argued that border closures had virtually zero effect on Covid mortality, reducing deaths by just 0.1 per cent. There has been a growing consensus that draconian restrictions have led to a rise in non-Covid deaths, thought to be people whose conditions worsened during the pandemic when they could not access healthcare. In the latest report, the researchers admit their review does not answer 'why' lockdowns didn't achieve their ultimate goal in saving lives but they float a number of explanations. They claimed the best explanation for differing Covid death rates in countries was 'differences in population age and health' and the 'quality of the health sector. But they could not rule out 'less obvious factors, such as culture, communication, and coincidences'. Covid deaths are also skewed by the volume of testing each country carries out, which many scientists have highlighted as the driving factor behind Britain's large toll.
Note: Why did other major media completely ignore this vitally important news? You can find this critical study on the Johns Hopkins University website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
When the COVID outbreak began in early 2020, a number of studies predicted that government-imposed lockdowns would prove highly effective in preventing deaths. A widely cited epidemiological paper by researchers at Imperial College London predicted that such measures as bans on travel and shelter-in-place mandates would reduce mortality from the virus by 98%. But now, a new analysis by three prominent economists that surveys all empirical data from the academic literature measuring the relationship between death and lockdowns finds that forced restrictions didn’t work. Their conclusion: Lockdowns reduced mortalities by a minuscule 0.2%. The study defines lockdowns as “compulsory non-pharmaceutical interventions,” or what’s commonly known as NPIs. They include restrictions on travel, school closures, bans on international travel, restrictions on movement within a country’s borders, and mask mandates. The authors note that lockdowns were virtually universal. Of the 186 nations followed by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, all but one - the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros - imposed at least one NPI by the end of March 2020. The U.S. paid a huge price in lost jobs, businesses that never reopened, and kids deprived of going to school - not to mention the deep malaise that caused a pandemic of suicides. The world’s citizens left to their own devices would have handled the pandemic better, and ... fewer lives would perhaps have been lost with no lockdowns at all.
The average U.S. taxpayer in 2022 spent over four times as much on Pentagon contractors than on primary and secondary education, according to the annual Tax Day analysis published in recent days by the Institute for Policy Studies’ National Priorities Project. NPP found that, on average, American taxpayers contributed $1,087 to Pentagon contractors, compared with $270 for K-12 education. The top military contractor — Lockheed Martin — received $106 from the average taxpayer, while just $6 went to funding renewable energy. According to the analysis, the average 2022 U.S. taxpayer: Paid $74 for nuclear weapons, and just $43 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Spent $70 on deportations and border control, versus just $19 for refugee assistance; Contributed $20 for federal prisons, and just $11 for anti-homelessness programs; and Gave $298 to the top five military contractors, and just $19 for mental health and substance abuse. “The main message? Our government is continuing to invest too much in the military, and in militarized law enforcement, and not nearly enough on prevention, people, and our communities,” NPP said. NPP’s analysis comes just over a month after the White House released President Joe Biden’s $1.6 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2024. More than half of that amount—$886 billion — would go to the military.
China is taking an increasingly assertive role in world affairs, helping to broker a restoration of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, offering a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine, and strengthening its relationships with European and Latin American powers. Last week, China continued its diplomatic outreach by offering to hold talks between Israel and Palestine. "What China is after, if we view it from China’s perspective, is what was also said: true multilateralism. And what that means, or true multipolarity, another term that they use, and that means they don’t want a U.S.-led world, they want a multipolar world," [said Jeffrey Sachs at Columbia University]. "And while the United States sometimes talks about a rule-based order, the fact of the matter is that ... the grand strategists of the U.S. state see our grand strategy in the United States as being dominance. Well, China doesn’t want the United States to be the preeminent power. It wants to live alongside the United States. But what’s very important and interesting to understand, and we’ve seen it clearly in the dynamics involving the Ukraine war, most of the world also does not want the U.S. as the global preeminent power. Most of the world wants a multipolar world, and is, therefore, not lined up behind the United States’ sanctions on Russia and so forth. In fact, the United States is withdrawing ... our politicians are withdrawing from the world financial and monetary scene and opening up the space for a completely different kind of international finance."
A controversial facial recognition database, used by police departments across the nation, was built in part with 30 billion photos the company scraped from Facebook and other social media users without their permission. The company, Clearview AI, boasts of its potential for identifying rioters at the January 6 attack on the Capitol, saving children being abused or exploited, and helping exonerate people wrongfully accused of crimes. But critics point to privacy violations and wrongful arrests fueled by faulty identifications made by facial recognition, including cases in Detroit and New Orleans, as cause for concern over the technology. Once a photo has been scraped by Clearview AI, biometric face prints are made and cross-referenced in the database, tying the individuals to their social media profiles and other identifying information forever — and people in the photos have little recourse to try to remove themselves. CNN reported Clearview AI last year claimed the company's clients include "more than 3,100 US agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security." BBC reported Miami Police acknowledged they use the technology for all kinds of crimes, from shoplifting to murder. The risk of being included in what is functionally a "perpetual police line-up" applies to everyone, including people who think they have nothing to hide, [said] Matthew Guariglia, a senior policy analyst for the international non-profit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Fund.
Note: Read about the rising concerns of the use of Clearview AI technology in Ukraine, with claims to help reunite families, identify Russian operatives, and fight misinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The Georgia Army National Guard plans to combine two deeply controversial practices — military recruiting at schools and location-based phone surveillance — to persuade teens to enlist, according to contract documents reviewed by The Intercept. The federal contract materials outline plans by the Georgia Army National Guard to geofence 67 different public high schools throughout the state, targeting phones found within a one-mile boundary of their campuses with recruiting advertisements “with the intent of generating qualified leads of potential applicants for enlistment while also raising awareness of the Georgia Army National Guard.” Geofencing refers generally to the practice of drawing a virtual border around a real-world area. The ad campaign will make use of a variety of surveillance advertising techniques, including capturing the unique device IDs of student phones, tracking pixels, and IP address tracking. It will also plaster recruiting solicitations across Instagram, Snapchat, streaming television, and music apps. The campaign plans not only call for broadcasting recruitment ads to kids at school, but also for pro-Guard ads to follow these students around as they continue using the internet and other apps, a practice known as retargeting. While the state’s plan specifies targeting only high school juniors and seniors ages 17 and above, demographic ad targeting is known to be error prone, and experts told The Intercept it’s possible the recruiting messages could reach the phones of younger children.
Lockdowns during the first COVID-19 wave in the spring of 2020 only reduced COVID-19 mortality by .2% in the U.S. and Europe, according to a Johns Hopkins University meta-analysis of several studies. "While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted," the researchers wrote. "In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument." The researchers – Johns Hopkins University economics professor Steve Hanke, Lund University economics professor Lars Jonung, and special advisor at Copenhagen's Center for Political Studies Jonas Herby – analyzed the effects of lockdown measures such as school shutdowns, business closures, and mask mandates on COVID-19 deaths. "We find little to no evidence that mandated lockdowns in Europe and the United States had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality rates," the researchers wrote. The researchers also examined shelter-in-place orders, finding that they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 2.9%. Studies that looked at only shelter-in-place orders found they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 5.1%, but studies that looked at shelter-in-place orders along with other lockdown measures found that shelter-in-place orders actually increased COVID-19 mortality by 2.8%. The researchers concluded that limiting gatherings may have actually increased COVID-19 mortality.
Note: Why did other major media platforms overlook this vitally important news? You can find this critical study on the Johns Hopkins University website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe had little or no impact in reducing deaths from COVID-19, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The lockdowns during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%, said the broad review of multiple scientific studies. "We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality," the researchers wrote. But the research paper said lockdowns did have "devastating effects" on the economy and contributed to numerous social ills. "They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy," the report said. "Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument," the paper concluded. Early on, many states and 186 countries imposed bans on work, socialization, in-person schooling, travel and other restrictions to limit the spread of the disease, citing recommendations by top health care experts. Researchers at the Imperial College London, for example, predicted that such steps could reduce death rates by up to 98%. That never happened, according to the new study by researchers Steve Hanke, Jonas Herby, and Lars Jonung at Johns Hopkins.
Note: Why did other major media platforms overlook this vitally important news? You can find this critical study on the Johns Hopkins University website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A MintPress News investigation has found dozens of ex-U.S. State Department officials working in key positions at TikTok. Many more individuals with backgrounds in the FBI, CIA and other departments of the national security state also hold influential posts at the social media giant, affecting the content that over one billion users see. The influx of State Department officials into TikTok’s upper ranks is a consequence of “Project Texas,” an initiative the company began in 2020 in the hopes of avoiding being banned altogether in the United States. During his time in office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led the charge to shut the platform down, frequently labeling it a “spying app” and a “propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party.” It was widely reported that the U.S. government had forced the sale of TikTok to Walmart and then Microsoft. But in late 2020, as Project Texas began, those deals mysteriously fell through, and the rhetoric about the dangers of TikTok from officials evaporated. Project Texas is a $1.5 billion security operation to move the company’s data to Austin. In doing so, it announced that it was partnering with tech giant Oracle, a corporation that, as MintPress has reported on, is the CIA in all but name. Evidently, Project Texas also secretly included hiring all manner of U.S. national security state personnel to oversee the company’s operations – and not just from the State Department. Virtually every branch of the national security state is present at TikTok.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
The last time a trove of leaked documents exposed U.S. spying operations around the world, the reaction from allied governments was swift and severe. In Berlin, thousands of people protested in the streets, the C.I.A. station chief was expelled, and the German chancellor told the American president that "spying on friends is not acceptable." In Paris, the American ambassador was summoned for a dressing-down. That was a decade ago, after an enormous leak of classified documents detailing American surveillance programs by ... Edward Snowden. The latest leak of classified documents that appeared online this year, the motive behind which remains unknown, has again illustrated the broad reach of U.S. spy agencies, including into the capitals of friendly countries such as Egypt, South Korea, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. Though the documents mainly focus on the war in Ukraine, they include C.I.A. intelligence briefs describing conversations and plans at senior levels of government in those countries, in several cases attributed to "signals intelligence," or electronic eavesdropping. Unlike in 2013, however, U.S. allies appear to be mostly shrugging off the latest examples of apparent spying. So far, the only evident political fallout from the latest leaks has occurred in South Korea, where one classified U.S. document described a debate among senior national security officials about whether to send artillery shells abroad that might wind up in Ukraine, potentially angering Russia.
The story of Bruno Bréguet, one the most enigmatic figures of the shadowy battle between western security services and international violent extremists during the so-called “golden age of terrorism” in the 1970s and 1980s, has been given a new twist. A new book has revealed that in his later years Bréguet served not only the infamous Illich Ramírez Sánchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, but the US government too. Bréguet’s spying for the CIA earned him tens of thousands of dollars, and contributed to the capture of his erstwhile boss by French secret services in 1994. The news that the CIA was prepared to hire as an agent a man like Bréguet, who had been twice convicted by Israel and France for his terrorist activities and is believed to have bombed a pro-democracy radio station in Munich funded by the US government, underlines the moral and ethical questions facing intelligence services when it comes to recruiting such individuals. If anyone in the CIA balked at employing Bréguet as an agent, there is no record of their concerns. For the next four years, Bréguet appears to have supplied information to the CIA, possibly indirectly contributing key elements to the French intelligence operation that successfully grabbed Carlos from a clinic in Khartoum in 1994. Breguet’s final mystery remains unresolved however. In 1995, the veteran extremist turned CIA agent disappeared definitively after boarding a ferry from a Greece to Italy. Was he murdered? Or did he commence a new life under a false identity?
After flying under the radar for years, the case of Genaro García Luna is finally raising alarms in Congress, with one of the Senate’s top Republicans demanding answers about how Mexico’s highest-ranking cop was able to partner with DEA and FBI, “at the time that he funneled roughly 103,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States” for the Sinaloa Cartel. García Luna became the most senior Mexican law enforcement official ever convicted of narco-corruption when a Brooklyn federal jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict on a five-count indictment that charged him with taking massive bribes to enable cartel drug smuggling, kidnappings, and murders while he was in office from 2001 to 2012. García Luna’s position involved close collaboration with U.S. anti-narcotics agencies that operate in Mexico, and it gave him discretion over the spending of hundreds of millions in American tax dollars delivered as security aid. That money was supposed to go toward fighting the cartels, but his trial showed he was leaking sensitive intelligence, protecting drug shipments, and disrupting efforts to capture ... cartel leaders. On Feb. 22, a day after the guilty verdict, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the heads of the DEA and FBI asking what the agencies knew about García Luna and when, and demanding evidence ... that could shed new light on the relationship. In short, Grassley wants to know if American tax dollars were being sent to Mexico while the DEA and FBI were tolerating García Luna’s corruption.
Note: This case adds to the evidence that the War on Drugs is a trillion dollar failure. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
We have long known about the F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover’s animus toward the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hoover built an extensive apparatus of surveillance and disruption designed to destroy King. It’s time to ... recognize the power structure that supported the F.B.I.’s campaign. Many Americans — starting with the president — thought movement activists like King posed threats to the established order and needed to be watched and controlled. Members of the press could have exposed the bureau’s campaign. And many government officials who could have stopped, curtailed or exposed the F.B.I.’s attack on King instead enabled or encouraged it. F.B.I. records declassified in the past several years and documents from the Johnson archives released in 2022 force us to reconsider the nature of Johnson’s involvement in the F.B.I.’s campaign against King. White House documents ... suggest that Johnson, from the beginning of his presidency in 1963 to King’s assassination in 1968, was apprised almost weekly by Hoover himself on the F.B.I.’s surveillance of King. Johnson did nothing to stop or rein in the F.B.I., even after at least one top administration official expressed concern. In addition to the president and the media, other officials at the F.B.I. ... worked to ruin King. Scores of ranking officials and agents at the F.B.I., dozens of elected officials and several informants embedded in King’s inner circles knew what was going on, and none, as far as the public records indicate, blew a whistle on the campaign.
Note: Few people know about the 1999 King Family civil trial in Memphis, where it took a jury only one hour to find the U.S. government guilty for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that six countries—the U.S., Russia, France, China, Germany, and Italy—were responsible for 80 percent of global weapons exports from 2018 to 2022. The U.S. alone counted for 40 percent, while Russia was a distant second at 16 percent. Maintaining and growing their market share is a prerogative for countries that export weapons. Turkey has sold many drones to Ukraine, while Iran has sold its own arsenal to Russia. Both Turkey and Iran are aiming to pitch their products as low-cost alternatives to Western manufacturers. Turkey, however, is still in talks to buy Russia's S-400 missile defense system. Its provision of weapons to Ukraine, while it continues to negotiate weapons deals with Russia, demonstrates the complicated nature of the global arms industry. The war in Ukraine continues to underline how integral the arms industry is to geopolitics. China, for example, has not provided weapons to either Ukraine or Russia, but its largest civilian drone maker, DJI, is one of the most important suppliers for their militaries. The U.S. has been criticized in recent years for its weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, which is under fire for human rights abuses and for its conflict in Yemen. And though claims of Western weapons being smuggled out of Ukraine have often been dismissed, there is concern that many of the weapons sent to the Ukrainian military have or will end up on the black market.
The U.S. corporate media’s first response to the leaking of secret documents about the war in Ukraine was to throw some mud in the water, declare “nothing to see here,” and cover it as a depoliticized crime story about a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman who published secret documents to impress his friends. What these documents reveal, however, is that the war is going worse for Ukraine than our political leaders have admitted to us, while going badly for Russia too, so that neither side is likely to break the stalemate this year, and this will lead to “a protracted war beyond 2023,” as one of the documents says. We can’t help wondering what President Biden’s plan could be, or if he even has one. In what amounts to a second leak that the corporate media have studiously ignored, U.S. intelligence sources have told veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that they are asking the same questions, and they describe a “total breakdown” between the White House and the U.S. intelligence community. According to Hersh’s report, the CIA assesses that Ukrainian officials, including President Zelenskyy, have embezzled $400 million from money the United States sent Ukraine to buy diesel fuel for its war effort, in a scheme that involves buying cheap, discounted fuel from Russia. Meanwhile, Hersh says, Ukrainian government ministries literally compete with each other to sell weapons paid for by U.S. taxpayers to private arms dealers in Poland, the Czech Republic and around the world.
A set of secret national security documents burst into public view last week. The intelligence documents appear to have entered the public domain in an unusual way — someone began sharing them, starting late last year, on an obscure Discord server called Thug Shaker Central. The alleged leaker, Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was arrested. It is traditional for the government to exaggerate the alleged harms of classified information becoming public, and this appears to be happening again. The real problem isn’t what’s leaked, but what’s classified. Almost every news story about the latest disclosures has noted that the Pentagon and other government agencies will now put tighter lids on secret documents, even though, as historian Matthew Connelly points out in his new book, “The Declassification Engine,” the government already puts way too much material behind its moat. In fact, the human harm caused by unauthorized leaks is almost always inflicted by the government itself in the form of egregious prosecutions of leakers. Although Snowden, [Chelsea] Manning, and, more recently, Reality Winner, revealed secrets that the public had a right to know, the government charged all of them under the draconian Espionage Act. While Snowden sought safety in Russia, Manning served seven years in prison (she was originally sentenced to 35 years), and Winner was sentenced to more than five years for leaking just a single document.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2010, Chelsea Manning shocked the world with leaked documents that exposed abuses and crimes committed by the United States military in Iraq. These revelations also made the publisher of those documents, Julian Assange, and his organization, WikiLeaks, household names. The U.S. government [is] charging Assange — a publisher — with violating the Espionage Act. Under the Espionage Act, one does not have the ability to make a public interest defense. All prosecutors have to do is show that a whistleblower possessed documents or transferred “national defense information” to a member of the press. Damage has already been done, but the future of journalism is in further jeopardy if the U.S. government holds a trial against Assange, convicts him, and shows the world that it has the final say over who is and is not a journalist. CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other officials sketched plans to target Assange that included poisoning or kidnapping him. This, along with the disruption campaign against WikiLeaks, represented the CIA’s all-out war against a dissident media organization. The agency went so far as to redefine the organization as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” to carry out operations that it could never get away with against a group of journalists. It should be the subject of an intense investigation in Congress, and the Justice Department should be dropping the charges after publicly conceding that the CIA’s actions mean Assange could never have a fair trial.
The U.S. has not engaged in a defensive war for nearly 80 years, instead destabilizing governments worldwide in Vietnam, the Korean Peninsula, Iraq, Afghanistan, throughout Africa and across Latin America. Although all weapons of mass destruction in space are technically prohibited by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, it isn’t without precedent for major military powers to withdraw from such treaties. In 2019, President Donald Trump diverged from President Barack Obama’s promise he would “not weaponize space,” and created an official Space Force. Countersurveillance and counter-communications have been central goals of U.S. military space operations since the 1990s, alongside attaining U.S. “full spectrum dominance” of all potential conflict sites — including space. Space infrastructure ... increases the risk of global nuclear war by presenting new opportunities for armament and hostility. The government’s ability to militarize this technology is strongly related to investment and development in the private sector through companies such as Boeing, SpaceX and Blue Origin. The commercial arm of the military-industrial complex is extending into space. Along with Blue Origin, SpaceX has collaborated with DOD in developing rapid global military cargo delivery systems, which the DOD hopes will make for global military logistics — delivery of supplies, weapons and even human soldiers anywhere on earth — in under 60 minutes.
Two international legal agreements [are] currently working their way through the World Health Organisation: a new pandemic treaty, and amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations, both due to be put before the governing body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly, in May next year. As concerned scholars and jurists have detailed, these agreements threaten to fundamentally reshape the relationship between the WHO, national governments, and individuals. They would hardwire into international law a top-down supranational approach to public health in which the WHO, acting in some cases via the sole discretion of one individual, its Director General (DG), would be empowered to impose sweeping, legally binding directions on member states and their citizens. A global system for digital ‘health certificates’ for verification of vaccine status or test results would be routinised, and a bio-surveillance network ... would be embedded and expanded. The WHO has fallen largely under the control of private capital and other vested interests. Over 80 percent of the WHO’s budget is now ‘specified’ funding by way of voluntary contributions typically earmarked for specific projects or diseases in a way that the funder specifies. The WHO [is] ordaining itself as the exclusive global controller not just of the identification of pandemics and potential pandemics but of the design and execution of pandemic responses, while also granting itself a vast health surveillance network and a global workforce.
The secret contract was finalized on Nov. 8, 2021, a deal between a company that has acted as a front for the United States government and the American affiliate of a notorious Israeli hacking firm. Under the arrangement, the Israeli firm, NSO Group, gave the U.S. government access to one of its most powerful weapons — a geolocation tool that can covertly track mobile phones around the world without the phone user’s knowledge or consent. Only five days earlier, the Biden administration had announced it was taking action against NSO, whose hacking tools for years had been abused by governments around the world to spy on political dissidents, human rights activists and journalists. The White House placed NSO on a Commerce Department blacklist, declaring the company a national security threat. The secret contract ... violates the Biden administration’s public policy, and still appears to be active. The contract, reviewed by The Times, stated that the “United States government” would be the ultimate user of the tool, although it is unclear which government agency authorized the deal and might be using the spyware. Elements of America’s expansive national security apparatus in recent years have bought the weapons, deployed them against drug traffickers, and have quietly pushed to consolidate control of them into the hands of the United States and its closest allies. The F.B.I. purchased access in 2019 to NSO’s most powerful hacking tool, known as Pegasus, which invades mobile phones and mines their contents.
Note: Read how journalists and activists have been targeted with NSO Group spyware. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
In recent months, the Pentagon has moved to provide loans, guarantees, and other financial instruments to technology companies it considers crucial to national security — a step beyond the grants and contracts it normally employs. So when Silicon Valley Bank threatened to fail in March following a bank run, the defense agency advocated for government intervention to insure the investments. The Pentagon had even scrambled to prepare multiple plans to get cash to affected companies if necessary, reporting by Defense One revealed. Their interest in Silicon Valley Bank stems from the Pentagon’s brand-new office, the Office of Strategic Capital. The secretary of defense established the OSC in December specifically to counteract the investment power of adversaries like China in U.S. technologies, and to secure separate funding for companies whose products are considered vital to national security. The national security argument for bailout, notably, found an influential friend in the Senate. As the Biden administration intervened to protect Silicon Valley Bank depositors on March 12, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who chairs the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee and also sits on the Banking Committee, issued a press release warning that the bank run posed a national security risk. Warner — the only member of Congress to have publicly tied SVB to national security — has received significant contributions from the financial sector. Since 2012, Warner has received over $21,000 from Silicon Valley Bank’s super PAC.
Note: Many tech startups with funds in Silicon Valley Bank were working on projects with defense and national security applications. Explore revealing news articles on the rising concerns of the emerging technologies that the Defense Department is investing in, given their recent request for $17.8 billion to research and develop artificial intelligence, autonomy, directed energy weapons, cybersecurity, 5G technology, and more.
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) said on Monday the U.S. Army has awarded a multi-year production contract for Joint-Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM) and HELLFIRE missiles, in a deal that could go up to $4.5 billion including follow-on awards. The contract, which will have a total value of $439 million in its first year, is among the first multi-year awards for precision munitions, as the Pentagon looks to build stocks in the hopes of deterring China. In March, President Joe Biden requested $842 billion for the Pentagon and $44 billion for defense-related programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy and other agencies. The 2024 budget proposal is $28 billion more than last year's $858 billion. Lockheed added the contract also offers three additional follow-on awards which will start in late 2023, allowing for a total contract value of up to $4.5 billion over the next four years. The JAGM program anticipates a "significant increase" in international demand for the weapon system, Lockheed said.
Note: Many benefit financially from warfare when it comes to provoking proxy wars and furthering U.S. agendas of full-spectrum dominance, as thoroughly explored in the book War is a Racket by the highly decorated general Smedley D. Butler. According to a revealing report, at least 47 members of Congress and their spouses hold between $2 million and $6.7 million worth of stock in Lockheed Martin and other companies that are among the top 100 defense contractors.
As mainstream U.S. media outlets pause to remember the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it’s clear that there’s a lot they hope we’ll forget – first and foremost, the media’s own active complicity in whipping up public support for the war. But the more you dig into mainstream news coverage from that period ... the harder it is to forget how flagrantly news networks across the broadcast and cable landscape uncritically spread the Bush administration’s propaganda and actively excluded dissenting voices. A 2003 report by the media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) found that in the two weeks leading up to the invasion, ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and the PBS Newshour featured a total of 267 American experts, analysts, and commentators on camera to supposedly help make sense of the march to war. Of these 267 guests, an astounding 75% were current or former government or military officials, and a grand total of one expressed any skepticism. The bedrock democratic principle of an independent, adversarial press was simply tossed out the window. “Often journalists blame the government for the failure of the journalists themselves to do independent reporting,” [author Norman] Solomon says. “But nobody forced the major networks like CNN to do so much commentary from retired generals and admirals and all the rest of it. That really runs directly counter to the idea of an independent press.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is circulating a letter among her House colleagues that calls on the Department of Justice to drop charges against Julian Assange and end its effort to extradite him from his detention in Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom. The Justice Department has charged Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks, for publishing classified information. The Obama administration had previously decided not to prosecute Assange, concerned with what was dubbed internally as the “New York Times problem.” The Times had partnered with Assange when it came to publishing classified information and itself routinely publishes classified information. Publishing classified information is a violation of the Espionage Act, though it has never been challenged in the Supreme Court, and constitutional experts broadly consider that element of the law to be unconstitutional. The Obama administration could not find a way to charge Assange without also implicating standard journalistic practices. The Trump administration, unburdened by such concerns around press freedom, pushed ahead with the indictment and extradition request. The Biden administration, driven by the zealous prosecutor Gordon Kromberg, has aggressively pursued Trump’s prosecution. Tlaib noted that the Times, The Guardian, El País, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel had put out a joint statement condemning the charges, and alluded to the same problem that gave the Obama administration pause.
It had been 15 years since the U.S. invaded Iraq when, on March 19, 2018, the celebrated Iraqi novelist and poet Sinan Antoon published a blistering op-ed in The New York Times. He took readers through his observations of the steady deterioration of Iraqi society since the war began, but the most scathing words came toward the end. “No one knows for certain how many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago,” Antoon wrote. “Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again. The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a ‘blunder,’ or even a ‘colossal mistake.’ It was a crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large.” That the invasion was not just a moral catastrophe but an egregious war crime has been echoed by everyone from United Nations heads to human rights leaders. With the 20th anniversary of the invasion now approaching, the sanitizing of the war’s major culprits — or, at the very least, the soft forgetting of their crimes — continues. As the very top decision-makers faded into retirement, the next layer of war pushers, enablers and overseers — the top defense and national security officials and the celebrity generals — went on to profit immensely following their leadership of an illegal war, darting through the revolving door to snag coveted corporate board seats and prestigious university appointments. Many of them remain in these positions with defense industry giants, tech firms and Wall Street investors today.
In February, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) published an extensive investigation into the spectacular collapse of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces’ (ANDSF), which the U.S. spent two decades and $90 billion building. In common with previous SIGAR reports, it offers a remarkably uncompromising, no-punches-pulled assessment, exposing corruption, incompetence, lies, and delusion every step of the way. The Pentagon and State Department rejected SIGAR’s jurisdiction over them, declined to review interim drafts of the report, denied access to their staff, and “mostly” refused to answer requests for information. The Afghan government and military, their trainers and the Pentagon alike were all heavily incentivized to lie to one another, and political leaders in Washington, who were in turn motivated to mislead the public. As prior SIGAR reports also found, so much money and equipment were flowing into Afghanistan without any supervision whatsoever, and weaponry and other aid were misused, stolen or illegally sold off with ease by Afghans, U.S. personnel and Pentagon contractors. SIGAR ominously warns that a similar absence of accountability is evident in the “unprecedented” U.S. arms shipments to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022. Despite U.S. leaders promising a keen eye is being kept on the weapons shipments, SIGAR’s report makes clear these same officials did not even know what was being sent to Afghanistan. Is the same true for Kiev?
In March 2003, the newly christened Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, opened its doors. The department took everything from immigration enforcement and counterterrorism to airport security and disaster response under one gargantuan bureaucracy. Despite these wide-ranging missions, the department's unifying logic in the post 9/11 era has been to wage the so-called war on terror at home. The result has been systemic abuse of minority communities, a dangerous militarization of American life, and a massive waste of money that sapped resources from addressing the real threats to our homeland. DHS agencies have militarized U.S. streets, sending officers in tactical gear to respond to civilian protests and conducting surveillance of U.S. citizens engaged in constitutionally protected activities. There are stories of DHS drones surveilling Indigenous water and land protectors and DHS forces spying on Black Lives Matter protesters. DHS even monitored journalists who reported on the department's tactics. None of these abuses have come cheap. Since its founding in 2003, the U.S. has spent $1.4 trillion on the agency. That's more than seven times what the government spent over the same period on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the CDC's COVID-19 pandemic response—and more than five times more than on the Environmental Protection Agency. The [DHS] was supposed to be about making the U.S. safer. But it has failed.
Note: A thorough investigation reveals details on the DHS "Disinformation Governance Board," an unsuccessful effort in 2022 to police online speech it considers inaccurate and dangerous. Now, the DHS board and its key subcommittees are undergoing sweeping changes as public concern grows over social media censorship and government overreach.
Under a post-9/11 surveillance program known as “Upstream”, the NSA is systematically searching Americans’ internet communications as they enter and leave the United States. The agency sifts through these streams of data looking for “identifiers” associated with its many thousands of foreign targets – identifiers like email addresses and phone numbers. The NSA does all of this without warrants, without any individual judicial approval, and without showing that any of the people it is surveilling – including countless Americans – have done anything wrong. This surveillance raises serious constitutional concerns, but no court has ever considered a legal challenge to it because the government has claimed that allowing a suit against Upstream surveillance to go forward would implicate “state secrets”. In 2007, for example, an appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Khaled El-Masri claiming that, in a case of mistaken identity, he had been kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. The court acknowledged the public evidence of El-Masri’s mistreatment but held that state secrets were too central to the case to allow it to go forward. And in 2010, a different appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by five individuals who claimed that one of Boeing’s subsidiary companies had flown the planes carrying them to the black sites where they were tortured by the CIA. This use of the state secrets privilege – to dismiss cases – departs from the supreme court’s narrow framing of the privilege.
It has been more than four decades, but Ben Barnes said he remembers it vividly. His longtime political mentor invited him on a mission to the Middle East. What Mr. Barnes said he did not realize until later was the real purpose of the mission: to sabotage the re-election campaign of the president of the United States. It was 1980 and Jimmy Carter was in the White House, bedeviled by a hostage crisis in Iran that had paralyzed his presidency and hampered his effort to win a second term. Mr. Carter’s best chance for victory was to free the 52 Americans held captive before Election Day. That was something that Mr. Barnes said his mentor was determined to prevent. His mentor was John B. Connally Jr., a titan of American politics. Now Mr. Connally resolved to help Mr. Reagan beat Mr. Carter. What happened next Mr. Barnes has largely kept secret for nearly 43 years. Mr. Connally, he said, took him to one Middle Eastern capital after another that summer, meeting with a host of regional leaders to deliver a blunt message to be passed to Iran: Don’t release the hostages before the election. Mr. Reagan will win and give you a better deal. Mr. Connally’s files indicated that he did, in fact, leave Houston on July 18, 1980, for a trip that would take him to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel before returning to Houston on Aug. 11. Iran did hold the hostages until after the election, which Mr. Reagan won, and did not release them until minutes after noon on Jan. 20, 1981, when Mr. Carter left office.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US government’s new mobile app for migrants to apply for asylum at the US-Mexico border is blocking many Black people from being able to file their claims because of facial recognition bias in the tech, immigration advocates say. The app, CBP One, is failing to register many people with darker skin tones, effectively barring them from their right to request entry into the US. People who have made their way to the south-west border from Haiti and African countries, in particular, are falling victim to apparent algorithm bias in the technology that the app relies on. The government announced in early January that the new CBP One mobile app would be the only way migrants arriving at the border can apply for asylum and exemption from Title 42 restrictions. Racial bias in face recognition technology has long been a problem. Increasingly used by law enforcement and government agencies to fill databases with biometric information including fingerprints and iris scans, a 2020 report by Harvard University called it the “least accurate” identifier, especially among darker-skinned women with whom the error rate is higher than 30%. Emmanuella Camille, a staff attorney with the Haitian Bridge Alliance ... said the CBP One app has helped “lighter-skin toned people from other nations” obtain their asylum appointments “but not Haitians” and other Black applicants. Besides the face recognition technology not registering them ... many asylum seekers have outdated cellphones – if they have cellphones at all – that don’t support the CBP One app.
Recent reports about the Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement playing fast and loose with rules regarding cellphone tracking and the FBI purchasing phone location data from commercial sources constitute an important wake-up call. They remind us that those handy mobile devices many people tote around are the most cost-effective surveillance system ever invented. "The United States Secret Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI) did not always adhere to Federal statute and cellsite simulator (CSS) policies when using CSS during criminal investigations," the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General reported last month. "Separately, ICE HSI did not adhere to Department privacy policies and the applicable Federal privacy statute when using CSS." The OIG report referred to the use of what is commonly called "stingray" technology—devices that simulate cellphone towers and trick phones within range into connecting and revealing their location. "They also gather information about the phones of countless bystanders who happen to be nearby," the ACLU warns. Even the most precise phone company location data remains available with court approval. The courts are currently mulling multiple cases involving "geofence warrants" whereby law enforcement seeks data not on individuals, but on whoever was carrying a device in a designated area at a specified time.
The House committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, is nearly finished. Nearly 900 ... criminal prosecutions of alleged rioters remain underway, and one case has shed troubling new light on how the FBI investigated these defendants. The suspect's name is David Rhine. His lawyer is the first to present a potentially successful challenge to the geofencing warrant the FBI used to place some defendants inside the Capitol building during the attack. A previous Wired report last year found 45 federal criminal cases citing the warrant, which required Google to provide the FBI with data on devices using its location services inside a set geographic area. Rhine's case has revealed just how expansive the FBI's request to Google really was. Google initially listed 5,723 devices in response to the warrant, then whittled the tally to exclude likely Capitol staff and police as well as anyone who wasn't "entirely within the geofence, to about a 70 percent probability." The final list of identifying details handed over to the FBI had 1,535 names. It included people whose phones had been turned off or put in airplane mode, and "people who attempted to delete their location data following the attacks were singled out by the FBI for greater scrutiny." It's ... easy to envision geofencing warrants undergoing the usual surveillance mission creep. Left unchecked, law enforcement could decide geofence data would come in handy while looking for a journalist's whistleblowing source, or perhaps at political protests.
The US Air Force is facing more questions as to why it spent tens of thousands of dollars over the last three years on large cups that can reheat beverages, like coffee or tea, on refueling tankers and cargo aircraft during flight. Despite being assured by Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson earlier this month that the service has “suspended its purchasing of the exorbitantly priced cups,” Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a follow-up letter last week asking for further explanation as to why they were purchased in the first place. Grassley raised the issue of the cups in an October 2 letter to Wilson after reports surfaced this summer that the 60th Ariel Port Squadron at Travis Air Force Base had spent $1,280 on each cup in 2018 – a dramatic increase from the $693 per-cup price in 2016. In her response to that letter, Wilson said the Air Force has spent $326,785 on nearly 400 cups since 2016 – an average of $817. “You are right to be concerned about the high costs of spare parts, and I remain thankful to have your support in addressing this problem,” Wilson told the senator in a letter dated October 17. The increasing cost of the cups was first reported ... in July as part of a report on how airmen at Travis Air Force Base are attempting to use 3D printing to develop a cost-effective way to replace the cups’ plastic handles, which have a tendency to break. “Unfortunately, when dropped, the handle breaks easily leading to the expenditure of several thousand dollars to replace the cup as replacement parts are not available,” the Air Force said.
Note: Read this eye-opening article to learn the many ways the government wastes your tax dollars. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
I participated in an online forum called US CBDC—A Disaster in the making? We had a very productive discussion about the policy aspect of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). I believe that the Fed should not launch a CBDC. Ever. And I think that Congress should amend the Federal Reserve Act, just to be on the safe side. I want to distinguish between a wholesale CBDC and retail CBDC. With a wholesale CBDC, banks can electronically transact with each other using a liability of the central bank. That is essentially what banks do now. But retail CBDCs are another animal altogether. Retail CBDCs allow members of the general public to make electronic payments of all kinds with a liability of the central bank. This feature–making electronic transactions using a liability of the Federal Reserve–is central to why Congress should make sure that the Fed never issues a retail CBDC. The problem is that the federal government, not privately owned commercial banks, would be responsible for issuing deposits. And while this fact might seem like a feature instead of bug, it’s a major problem for anything that resembles a free society. The problem is that there is no limit to the level of control that the government could exert over people if money is purely electronic and provided directly by the government. A CBDC would give federal officials full control over the money going into–and coming out of–every person’s account. This level of government control is not compatible with economic or political freedom.
Note: The above was written by Norbert Michel, Vice President and Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
More than 119,000 people have been injured by tear gas and other chemical irritants around the world since 2015 and some 2,000 suffered injuries from “less lethal” impact projectiles, according to a report released Wednesday. Physicians for Human Rights and the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations, which produced the report, called it “the most comprehensive study on crowd-control weapons to date.” The report on casualties from a largely unregulated industry cites an alarming evolution of crowd-control devices into more powerful and indiscriminate designs and deployment, including dropping tear gas from drones. Some of the injuries were fatal but it was impossible from the data to estimate the total number of deaths, said the report’s lead author, Rohini Haar. The vast majority of the data comes from cases in which a person came to an emergency room with injuries from crowd-control weapons and the attending doctor or hospital staff made the effort to document it, Haar said. Protesters have been blinded and suffered brain damage from beanbag rounds. In November, the city of Portland reached a $250,000 settlement with five demonstrators in a federal lawsuit over police use of tear gas and other crowd-control devices during racial justice protests. But last month, a federal judge threw out an excessive force claim against an unnamed federal agent who fired an impact munition at the forehead of protester Donavan La Bella, fracturing his skull.
Note: For an idea of how common the deployment of nonlethal weapons against protesters has become, see a list of incidents of police violence that took place in the US in 2020. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged for the first time that it purchased US location data rather than obtaining a warrant. The disclosure came today during a US Senate hearing. Senator Ron Wyden ... put the question of the bureau’s use of commercial data to its director, Christopher Wray: “Does the FBI purchase US phone-geolocation information?” Wray said his agency was not currently doing so. “To my knowledge, we do not currently purchase commercial database information that includes location data derived from internet advertising,” Wray said. “I understand that we previously—as in the past—purchased some such information for a specific national security pilot project. But that’s not been active for some time.” In its landmark Carpenter v. United States decision, the Supreme Court held that government agencies accessing historical location data without a warrant were violating the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches. The decision left open a glaring loophole that allows the government to simply purchase whatever it cannot otherwise legally obtain. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Defense Intelligence Agency are among the list of federal agencies known to have taken advantage of this loophole. The Department of Homeland Security ... purchased the geolocations of millions of Americans from private marketing firms. The data were derived from ... benign sources, such as mobile games and weather apps.
The precise locations of the U.S. government’s high-tech surveillance towers along the U.S-Mexico border are being made public for the first time as part of a mapping project by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. While the Department of Homeland Security’s investment of more than a billion dollars into a so-called virtual wall between the U.S. and Mexico is a matter of public record, the government does not disclose where these towers are located, despite privacy concerns of residents of both countries — and the fact that individual towers are plainly visible to observers. The surveillance tower map is the result of a year’s work steered by EFF Director of Investigations Dave Maass. As border surveillance towers have multiplied across the southern border, so too have they become increasingly sophisticated, packing a panoply of powerful cameras, microphones, lasers, radar antennae, and other sensors. Companies like Anduril and Google have reaped major government paydays by promising to automate the border-watching process with migrant-detecting artificial intelligence. Opponents of these modern towers, bristling with always-watching sensors, argue the increasing computerization of border security will lead inevitably to the dehumanization of an already thoroughly dehumanizing undertaking. Nobody can say for certain how many people have died attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in the recent age of militarization and surveillance. Researchers estimate that the minimum is at least 10,000 dead.
Note: As the article states, the Department of Homeland Security was "the largest reorganization of the federal government since the creation of the CIA and the Defense Department," and has resulted in U.S. taxpayers funding corrupt agendas that have led to massive human rights abuses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Trust in public health has been shattered—half of America has lost faith in the scientific community altogether. Our current government is doubling down on World Health Organization (WHO) decrees that directly circumvent public oversight. The WHO has drafted a new global Pandemic Accord. The U.S. ambassador to the WHO, Pamela Hamamoto, on February 27 imprudently promised "The United States is committed to the Pandemic Accord." This comes immediately after the exposure of yet another disgrace undermining trust in public health institutions. It turned out the February 2020 Lancet article calling the lab origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus a "conspiracy theory" was itself the true conspiracy, contrived behind closed doors contemporaneously with a March 2020 publication in Nature. If that coordinated media campaign was designed to conceal malfeasance by Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci—who, as leaders of America's National Institutes of Health, reportedly sent American tax dollars to fund China's dangerous gain-of-function research and circumvent Obama administration-introduced restrictions—we may be witnessing the deadliest cover-up scandal in history. News media are also beginning to acknowledge facts that refute the original reasons behind lockdowns. Despite protestations to the contrary, all signers of the Pandemic Accord clearly relinquish critical autonomy to the WHO. Most ominous is that WHO defines "public health emergency" on its own terms.
Almost all of America's leaders have gradually pulled back their COVID mandates, requirements, and closures—even in states like California, which had imposed the most stringent and longest-lasting restrictions on the public. At the same time, the media has been gradually acknowledging the ongoing release of studies that totally refute the purported reasons behind those restrictions. This overt reversal is falsely portrayed as "learned" or "new evidence." Little acknowledgment of error is to be found. We have seen no public apology for promulgating false information, or for the vilification and delegitimization of policy experts and medical scientists like myself who spoke out correctly about data, standard knowledge about viral infections and pandemics, and fundamental biology. History's biggest public health policy failure came at the hands of those who recommended the lockdowns and those who implemented them, not those who advised otherwise. Lies were told. Those lies harmed the public. Those lies were directly contrary to the evidence, to decades of knowledge on viral pandemics, and to long-established fundamental biology. To ensure that this never happens again, government leaders, power-driven officials, and influential academics and advisors often harboring conflicts of interest must be held accountable. Investigations must proceed. Remember G.K. Chesterton's critical lesson that "Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it."
Note: The above was written by Scott W. Atlas, MD, the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Monday implored the U.S. military to reinstate a ban on the intentional wounding of animals in experiments and to stop radiation testing in an attempt to determine the cause of the mystery ailment popularly known as "Havana syndrome" that has afflicted U.S. government officials posted at diplomatic facilities in Washington, D.C. and several foreign countries. PETA argues that the military's decision to use live animals in testing related to Havana syndrome is "counterproductive" due to biological differences between humans and species subjected to the experiments, as well as the widespread availability of non-wounding research methods and the likelihood that radio frequency waves did not cause the mysterious ailment. The U.S. government has a long history of radiation experiments not only on animals but also on human beings. Scores of institutions, including some of North America's most prominent universities, laboratories, and hospitals hosted government and military experimentation on both volunteers and unwitting test subjects in the MK-ULTRA mind control experiments and other highly unethical and sometimes deadly programs. People suffering from Havana syndrome—so named because it was first identified by U.S. and Canadian diplomats and embassy staff in the Cuban capital—experienced what The Lancet described as "an abrupt onset of unusual clinical symptoms."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation regularly seizes cash, cars and other valuables that belong to people who aren’t accused of any crimes. Months later, many of those people receive a dense, boilerplate notice stating that the FBI plans to keep their property forever, without any explanation of why—a blatantly unconstitutional practice. That’s what happened to Linda Martin. When the FBI took her life savings from a safe-deposit box during a 2021 raid of US Private Vaults in Beverly Hills, Calif., she assumed her money would be returned. The company’s alleged wrongdoing had nothing to do with her. But several months later, she—and hundreds of other innocent people who had their safe-deposit boxes taken—received a notice stating that the government wanted to forfeit her money. The [notice] didn’t accuse Ms. Martin of any crime or even lay out why the FBI was trying to take her property. The FBI sends out similarly inscrutable notices whenever it wants to forfeit property, in a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment. Federal agencies keep the proceeds from forfeited property. In the US Private Vaults case, the FBI admitted under oath that even before the raid occurred it had decided to pursue property forfeiture against everything worth over $5,000 in the renters’ boxes. Using federal forfeiture records, the Institute for Justice calculated that from 2017 to 2021 Justice Department agencies gained more than $8 billion through forfeiture, with the FBI taking in more than $1.19 billion of that bounty.
Note: Read more about the government's theft of private property under civil asset forfeiture rules. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
U.S. Special Operations Command, responsible for some of the country’s most secretive military endeavors, is gearing up to conduct internet propaganda and deception campaigns online using deepfake videos, according to federal contracting documents. SOCOM’s next generation propaganda aspirations are outlined in a procurement document that lists capabilities it’s seeking for the near future and soliciting pitches from outside parties that believe they’re able to build them. Last October, SOCOM quietly released an updated version of its wish list with a new section: “Advanced technologies for use in Military Information Support Operations (MISO),” a Pentagon euphemism for its global propaganda and deception efforts. Perhaps as provocative as the mention of deepfakes is the section that follows, which notes SOCOM wishes to finely tune its offensive propaganda seemingly by spying on the intended audience through their internet-connected devices. Described as a “next generation capability to ‘takeover’ Internet of Things (loT) devices for collect [sic] data and information from local populaces to enable breakdown of what messaging might be popular and accepted through sifting of data once received,” the document says that the ability to eavesdrop on propaganda targets “would enable MISO to craft and promote messages that may be more readily received by local populace.” In 2017, WikiLeaks published pilfered CIA files that revealed a roughly similar capability to hijack into household devices.
Note: Read more about the potential pitfalls of deepfake technologies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
[Former UK Health Secretary] Matt Hancock wanted to "deploy" a new Covid variant to "frighten the pants off" the public and ensure they complied with lockdown, leaked messages seen by The Telegraph have revealed. The Lockdown Files – more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages sent between ministers, officials and others – show how the Government used scare tactics to force compliance and push through lockdowns. Hancock ... appeared to suggest in one message that a new strain of Covid that had recently emerged would be helpful in preparing the ground for the looming lockdown, by scaring people into compliance. In a WhatsApp conversation on Dec 13 ... Damon Poole - one of Mr Hancock's media advisers - informed his boss that Tory MPs were "furious already about the prospect" of stricter Covid measures and suggested "we can roll pitch with the new strain". The comment suggested that they believed the strain could be helpful in preparing the ground for a future lockdown and tougher restrictions in the run-up to Christmas 2020. Mr Hancock then replied: "We frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain." Mr Poole agreed, saying: "Yep that's what will get proper behaviour [sic] change." Mr Hancock expressed his worry that talks over Brexit would dominate headlines and reduce the impact, and probed Mr Poole for his media advice. "When do we deploy the new variant," asked Mr Hancock. During the pandemic, the Government was accused of scaremongering but it was denied.
Note: This article is available for free viewing on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.
Leaked messages seen by The Telegraph showed that in December 2020, Matt Hancock, the health secretary at the time, suggested that the Government “frighten the pants off everyone” to ensure strict Covid rules were adhered to. Sir Charles Walker, who was a leading member of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative backbenchers, said that he was distressed by the leaked conversations. “What makes me so angry is the evils and the psychological warfare we deployed against young people and the population, all those behavioural psychologists,” he [said]. “And there needs to be a reckoning. We need to understand and fully appreciate the damage that those sorts of campaigns did.” Sir Charles lamented Parliament going “missing in action” as most MPs waved through dozens of Covid restrictions with little debate. He said: “Those voices that raised concerns were just othered. We were positioned as being anti-lockdown, Right-wing headbangers. And actually wanting to do the right thing isn’t Right-wing. “We did terrible things to youngsters. We did terrible things to a large number of people. We need to make sure we never do those things again.” Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, blamed a mix of “mission creep” and “expertise creep” for a response dominated by groupthink. “It was wrong in every sense to make younger people scared of a virus that we knew very early on was of very limited risk to them,” he [said].
Note: The unethical use of "nudge" tactics to inflate fear among the public prompted 40 psychologists in the UK to write a letter to the Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, saying it was “highly questionable whether a civilised society should knowingly increase the emotional discomfort of its citizens as a means of gaining their compliance." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The origin of SARS-CoV-2, the agent that causes the disease COVID-19, remains a mystery. But there are purportedly a few high up in government and scientific communities well aware of its genesis. In “The Truth About Wuhan: How I Uncovered the Biggest Lie in History,” Andrew G. Huff, former EcoHealth Alliance vice president and senior scientist, details his coming forward “as a material witness and whistleblower related to SARS-CoV-2.” “The Truth About Wuhan” [contains] an insider’s view of working for EcoHealth Alliance; a damning critique of models and techniques used to hunt coronaviruses; a reasoned aversion to “gain of function” research; the real COVID-19 timeline; China and U.S. culpability in the virus mayhem; and the multifarious, direct attacks used by the federal government to harass and discredit Mr. Huff. According to the author, “SARS-CoV-2 leaked from the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] laboratory as early as August 2019. The probable cases detected in Italy in 2019 make sense as Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Chinese. By mid-October 2019 the disease was likely already on every continent except Antarctica. The DoD, along with militaries globally, detected the disease in their countries’ service members that attended the Military World Games in Wuhan. Trying to avoid global panic, governments began to implement response plans, which included the U.S. government’s mobilization of the mRNA SARS-CoV-2 gene therapy.”
Note: Before buying this book, you might read this review and the reviews on Amazon. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
In the month since veteran journalist Seymour Hersh published his bombshell report alleging that President Joe Biden personally authorized a covert action to bomb the Nord Stream pipelines, we’ve seen a frenzy of speculation, detailed dissection of Hersh’s specific assertions, and the emergence of competing narratives both supporting and denouncing the report. On March 7, the New York Times and the German newspaper Die Zeit both published stories that thicken the plot. The Times story was based on a narrative clearly being pushed by U.S. intelligence sources that “a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack.” If the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines was, as Hersh alleges, directed by the U.S., then the leaked suggestion that the culprits were a “pro-Ukrainian group” could indicate a nascent effort at floating a cover story. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack, but there are recent precedents for foreign actors taking credit for U.S. operations to conceal Washington’s involvement. Military officials have lied or misled the public ... throughout U.S. history. There is no U.S. law or rule prohibiting the government from promoting a false alternative explanation to conceal an operation. “This is an established practice in military operations and intelligence activities where it is often known as ‘cover and deception,’” [said former Government Secrecy Project director Steven Aftergood]. “Sometimes, in order to maintain the operational security of X, you have to declare that it is actually Y.”
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. We must not forget how the George W Bush administration manipulated the facts, the media and the public after the horrific attacks of 9/11, hellbent as the administration was to go to war in Iraq. On 11 September 2001, mere hours after the attacks, Donald Rumsfeld, the then secretary of defense, was already sending a memo to the joint chiefs of staff to find evidence that would justify attacking the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (as well as Osama bin Laden). In the two years following 9/11, Bush and his top officials publicly uttered at least 935 lies about the threat that Saddam posed to the United States, according to the Center for Public Integrity. In the run-up to war, Bush & associates flooded the airwaves with the talking point “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud” so often that it began to sound like a jingle from a cheap law firm commercial. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found. Bush succeeded at the time because the public, primed to be afraid, was susceptible to his lies. The New York Times, as the nation’s leading newspaper, played a key role in disseminating the administration’s lies. The Iraq war ushered in a style of politics where truth is, at best, an inconvenience. Long before Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway ... told NBC’s Chuck Todd about “alternative facts” ... we were already living in a post-truth world, one created in part by an established media willing and able to amplify government lies.
At least 1,003 people have been arrested and charged so far for participation in events on Jan. 6, with 476 pleading guilty, in what has been the largest single criminal investigation in U.S. history. Of the 394 federal defendants who have had their cases adjudicated and sentenced ... approximately 220 "have been sentenced to periods of incarceration" with a further 100 defendants "sentenced to a period of home detention." There are six convictions and four guilty pleas on charges of "seditious conspiracy." This offense is so widely defined that it includes conspiring to levy war against the government and delaying the execution of any law. Those charged and convicted of "seditious conspiracy" were accused of collaborating to oppose "the lawful transfer of presidential power by force" by preventing or delaying the Certification of the Electoral College vote. Those who walked to the Capitol were not aware that the Department of Justice had created arbitrary markers. Anyone who crossed that invisible line was charged with violating Capitol grounds. The vast majority of those caught up in the incursion of the Capitol did not commit serious crimes, engage in violence or know what they would do in Washington other than protest the election results. Environmental activists ... anti-war activists and even congressional staffers have engaged in numerous occupations of congressional offices and interrupted congressional hearings. Will they be given lengthy prison terms based on dubious interpretations of the law?
Note: Read this article in full to understand the scope of this criminal investigation undertaken by the federal government, and why there are massive concerns of government overreach and erosion of civil liberties. Watch a brief video of Attorney Joseph D. McBride discussing his work with the Jan. 6 defendants, describing the horrendous conditions many of them faced.
We are stuck in a never ending cycle of disaster that has led to one giant sense-making crises. False flag terrorism ... refers to governments creating, supporting, or staging events, like acts of terrorism in their own country and on their own citizenry, and then blaming it on someone else. Sometimes events can be created and even staged, and other times events are completely real yet the narrative we receive is where the deception lies. Either way, in many cases these events are used for control and/or political and financial gain. Take, for example, Operation Northwoods. This was a plan hatched by the US government in the early 1960s to fool the American public and the international community into supporting a war against Cuba in order to oust Fidel Castro. The plan included blowing up a US ship, attacking a US military base, sinking and blowing up boats of Cuban refugees, hijacking planes, and orchestrating violent terrorism in multiple US cities against American citizens. And of course, blaming Cuba for these actions. 9/11 could perhaps be one of the best examples of false flag terrorism, but the evidence that has lead the majority of people to feel this sentiment has not seen the light of day within the mainstream. There are many similarities between 9/11 and COVID, and in my mind COVID has been a clear act of bioterrorism by the same entities who proposed the ‘solution.’ These included vaccine mandates, mask mandates and more, which we are likely to see resurface again in the future.
More countries shut down the internet in 2022 than ever before, according to a new report by digital rights researchers. Authorities in 35 countries instituted internet shutdowns at least 187 times, according to the New York-based digital rights watchdog Access Now. Nearly half of these shutdowns occurred in India, and if that nation is excluded, 2022 saw the most number of shutdowns globally since the group began monitoring disruptions in 2016. [The] report ... spans complete blackouts, suspensions of specific phone networks or social media apps, and the slowing down of internet speeds. Triggers for shutdowns have included large protests, conflict situations, elections and even examinations. Whatever the situation, they make it substantially more difficult for people to communicate and receive or send news, and they incur significant economic costs, which prompted the United Nations last year to call for governments to avoid using such a blunt tactic. “This can be a big warning sign of how the human rights situation is deteriorating, and shutdowns are often associated with increased levels of insecurity and other restrictions,” said Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman at the U.N. Human Rights Office. A majority of [India's] 84 disruptions were logged in Indian-administered Kashmir, part of a disputed region in the Himalayas. India has at times cited a desire to control social unrest in the territory, where there is a separatist movement. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and mass civilian protests in Iran also led to internet shutdowns
The FBI and the Defense Department were actively involved in research and development of facial recognition software that they hoped could be used to identify people from video footage captured by street cameras and flying drones, according to thousands of pages of internal documents that provide new details about the government's ambitions to build out a powerful tool for advanced surveillance. The documents, revealed in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed against the FBI, show how closely FBI and Defense officials worked with academic researchers to refine artificial-intelligence techniques that could help in the identification or tracking of Americans without their awareness or consent. Many of the records relate to the Janus program, a project funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, or IARPA. The improved facial recognition system was ultimately folded into a search tool, called Horus, and made available to the Pentagon's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, which helps provide military technologies to civilian police forces. No federal laws regulate how facial recognition systems can be used. The tool's use in domestic mass surveillance would be a "nightmare scenario," said Nathan Wessler, a deputy director at the ACLU. "It could give the government the ability to pervasively track as many people as they want for as long as they want. There's no good outcome for that in a democratic society."
The Central Intelligence Agency has for years been collecting in bulk, without a warrant, some kind of data that can affect Americans’ privacy. At the same time, [the C.I.A.] declared that a report about the same topic, which had prompted the letter, must remain fully classified. That report, called “Deep Dive II,” was part of a set of studies by a watchdog board scrutinizing intelligence community operations under Executive Order 12333. In March 2021, the Senate Intelligence Committee received a copy of the report. Two Democrats on the panel, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, urged Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, and William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, to declassify the activity. The senators suggested that its hidden existence cut against Americans’ understanding that various pieces of legislation enacted in recent years “limit and, in some cases, prohibit the warrantless collection of Americans’ records.” In 2015, Congress banned bulk collection of telecommunications metadata under the Patriot Act and limited other types of bulk collection by the F.B.I. under laws governing domestic activities like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. Yet “the C.I.A. has secretly conducted its own bulk program” under Executive Order 12333, the senators wrote. “It has done so entirely outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection, and without any of the judicial, congressional or even executive branch oversight.”
When the Afghan military and government collapsed in the summer of 2021, it was the worst failure of the U.S. defense establishment since the fall of Saigon. A new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, issued this week sheds critical light on what went so terribly wrong in America’s longest war — and how tens of thousands of ordinary Afghans were set up by their leaders and foreign partners to fight and die for a doomed cause. The American mission in Afghanistan had been to build an army that could stand on its own feet to resist the Taliban. In the end, however, the Afghan military was not only riddled with corruption, but also designed to function properly only so long as the foreign contractors and soldiers remained around to manage it. In effect, similar to its disastrous experience in South Vietnam, the United States had attempted to build an army suitable for a modern, industrialized country like itself, rather than one that would fit the realities of a poor and agrarian state. “The types of security forces that we were trying to build, which were relatively sophisticated and relied on advanced technology and electronics logistics systems, were just not within the general capacity of what Afghanistan would be able to use in sustainable ways,” said Jonathan Schroden, an Afghanistan expert at the Center for Naval Analyses. “The real damning thing about what is in the report is that people had been telling the U.S. military this for years.”
Last week, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides appeared to endorse a plan for Israel to attack Iranian nuclear facilities with U.S. support. Nides’s words come after recent high-level military drills between Israel and the United States intended to showcase the ability to strike Iranian targets, as well as recent acts of sabotage and assassination inside Iran believed to have been carried out by both countries. The Israeli escalations mean that the U.S. now faces the unsavory prospect of a major crisis flaring up in the Middle East at the exact moment when its bandwidth is already stretched thin because of a major war in Europe and its deteriorating relationship with China. “The decision to leave the JCPOA ... allowed Iran to restart its nuclear program and raise once again the question of what the U.S., Israel, or anyone else might do about it,” said Stephen Walt ... at the Harvard Kennedy School, referring to the nuclear deal by the initials of its former name, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The nuclear deal was intended to avoid the Middle East confrontation now visible on the horizon. Signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, the deal traded strict limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for its reintegration into the global economy. When President Donald Trump violated the deal ... this pragmatic arrangement went out the window — not only removing limits on Iran’s nuclear program, but also politically empowering hard-liners inside Iran who had balked at negotiating in the first place.
The rivalry between the U.S. and China has hit fever pitch. Despite their deep economic integration and record trade in goods of $690 billion in 2022, the two powers are at loggerheads over everything from military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific to Russia’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine, to trade and investment in the Global South. The U.S., of course, remains the world’s dominant imperialist power, but now China poses a threat to its hegemony. At the center of this conflict are microchips, which are as important to global capitalism today as oil. Washington put its high-tech weaponry on full display in the 1991 Gulf War. Triumphant, Washington adopted a new imperial strategy of superintending the world economy by incorporating states into a neoliberal world order of free trade globalization. The U.S. used the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization and UN to enforce this order. The U.S. retained its lead in the design of chips, but increasingly fabrication was done by [Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company] in Taiwan. The Trump administration ... targeted Beijing’s tech industry. Using national security as justification, the Commerce Department prohibited U.S. companies from selling chips, hardware and software to the company. The Biden administration doubled down on Trump’s strategy of great power rivalry. [Author Chris] Miller argues, “Taiwan isn’t simply the source of the advanced chips that both countries’ militaries are betting on. It’s also the most likely battleground."
Antiterrorist moral fervor and ideological blinders propelled the U.S. into its biggest foreign policy blunder since World War Two. The U.S. government constantly embellished the storyline to demonize the communist opposition. A CIA operative provided materials for a massive bomb that ripped through a main square in Saigon in 1952. A Life magazine photographer was waiting on the scene, and his resulting snap appeared with a caption blaming the carnage on Viet Minh Communists. The Kennedy administration sought credibility by profoundly deceiving the American people and Congress regarding its Vietnam policy. In August 1963, South Vietnamese Special Forces “carried out midnight raids against Buddhist pagodas throughout the country. More than 1400 people, mostly monks were arrested and many of them were beaten,” according to the Pentagon Papers. The CIA was bankrolling these Special Forces, which were supposed to be used for covert operations against the Viet Cong or North Vietnam, not for religious repression. The Johnson administration exploited the terrorist label to sway Americans to support greater U.S. Involvement in Vietnam. In a special message to Congress on May 18, 1964 seeking additional fund for Vietnam, LBJ declared, “the Viet Cong guerrillas, under orders from their Communist masters in the North, have intensified terrorist actions against the peaceful people of South Vietnam. This increased terrorism requires increased response.”
Who the Justice Department decides to prosecute as a domestic terrorist has little to do with the harm they’ve inflicted or the threat they pose to human life. Police and FBI agents ... arrested a dozen of [activist Joe] Dibee’s associates in the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. They were charged with conspiring to burn down factories that slaughtered animals for meat, timber mills that disrupted sensitive ecosystems, government facilities that penned wild horses, and a ski resort. While the arsons, which never hurt or killed anyone, largely took place in the late 1990s, the wave of arrests known as the “Green Scare” came in the post-9/11 era, when terrorism was the FBI’s prevailing obsession. The fur and biomedical industries had spent years lobbying the Justice Department and lawmakers to go after eco-activists. When the planes hit the twin towers, industry groups seized on the opportunity to push legislation, and federal law enforcement ramped up pursuit of radical activists in the name of counterterrorism. Of 70 federal prosecutions of radical environmentalists and animal rights activists identified by The Intercept, 52 did not result in charges under anti-terrorism laws. Yet the defendants were repeatedly called terrorists by the Justice Department. The Patriot Act’s broad new definition of domestic terrorism, signed into law in October 2001, was another step toward institutionalizing the notion that eco-saboteurs were terrorists.
The most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses — including Covid-19 — was published late last month. Its conclusions, said Tom Jefferson, the Oxford epidemiologist who is its lead author, were unambiguous. “There is just no evidence that they” — masks — “make any difference,” he told the journalist Maryanne Demasi. “Full stop.” But, wait, hold on. What about N-95 masks, as opposed to lower-quality surgical or cloth masks? “Makes no difference — none of it,” said Jefferson. These observations don’t come from just anywhere. Jefferson and 11 colleagues conducted the study for Cochrane, a British nonprofit that is widely considered the gold standard for its reviews of health care data. The conclusions were based on 78 randomized controlled trials, six of them during the Covid pandemic, with a total of 610,872 participants in multiple countries. And they track what has been widely observed in the United States: States with mask mandates fared no better against Covid than those without. People may have good personal reasons to wear masks, and they may have the discipline to wear them consistently. Their choices are their own. But when it comes to the population-level benefits of masking, the verdict is in: Mask mandates were a bust. The mainstream experts and pundits who supported mandates were wrong.
Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former top law enforcement official known as the “architect” of the Mexican side of the drug war, was found guilty in New York federal court of collaborating with the Sinaloa cartel, the biggest organized crime group in North America. For years, García Luna was the U.S. government’s most trusted ally in the war on drugs. As public security secretary, he wielded incredible power, overseeing Mexico’s Federal Police, the prison network, and a vast intelligence-gathering infrastructure, while working with the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, CIA, and Department of Homeland Security in the fight against Mexican cartels. The case portrayed García Luna and his network of corrupt officials as a handful of bad apples, and what U.S. officials knew about García Luna’s illicit activities went mostly unexplored, despite the government’s role in providing funding, equipment, and training that has fueled drug-related violence. García Luna was found guilty of all five charges, including drug trafficking and continuing a criminal enterprise. Prosecutors alleged that he received around $274 million in bribes from the cartel from 2001 to 2012, first as head of the Federal Investigative Agency, the Mexican equivalent of the FBI, and then as secretary of public security. García Luna left public office in 2012 following a change in presidency and moved to Miami where he started a security consulting company and lived a lavish lifestyle.
Note: The War on Drugs has been described as a trillion dollar failure. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in intelligence agencies from reliable major media sources.
Passed in 1996, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act sought to foster the growth of the early internet. Congress created a special form of legal immunity for websites so they could develop uninhibited by lawsuits that might suffocate the ecosystem. In the time since, companies ... have invoked Section 230 to nip user-content lawsuits in the bud, arguing, usually successfully, that they are not responsible for the content their users create. Democrats say the law has given websites a free pass to overlook hate speech and misinformation; Republicans say it lets them suppress right-wing viewpoints. The Supreme Court [is] reviewing Section 230; Congress and the White House have also proposed changes to the law. Understanding how the internet may work differently without Section 230 ... starts with one, simple concept: Shrinking the liability shield means exposing websites and internet users to more lawsuits. A Supreme Court ruling restricting immunity for recommendations could mean any decision to like, upvote, retweet or share content could be identified as a “recommendation” and trigger a viable lawsuit. One option would be to preemptively remove any and all content that anyone, anywhere could even remotely allege is objectionable ... reducing the range of allowed speech on social media. Another option would be to stop moderating content altogether, to avoid claims that a site knew or should have known that a piece of objectionable material was on its platform.
Caleb Kenyon, a defense attorney in Florida, saw a geofence warrant was when a new client received an alarming email from Google in January 2020. Police were requesting personal data from the client, Zachary McCoy, and Kenyon had just seven days to stop Google from turning it over, the email said. The geofence warrant included a map and GPS coordinates, and instructed Google to provide identifying information for every user whose device was found within the radius of that location at a certain date and time. “It was so bizarre that I just didn’t even have a concept for what I was dealing with,” he said. Kenyon is not alone. As tech firms build ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices – technology that law enforcement is eager to take advantage of – the legal community is scrambling to keep up. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) ... recently created the Fourth Amendment Center, named for the constitutional right against unreasonable searches. The center is one of the few resources available for helping attorneys better understand how new technology is being used against their clients. It can be years before the defense community catches wind of the newest surveillance tools. Unlike other search warrants, geofence warrants don’t require probable cause or a specific suspect in mind; they gather information on anyone within the vicinity of an alleged crime. Advocates argue this violates the fourth amendment.
The Lancet medical journal this month published a review of 65 studies that concluded prior infection with Covid—i.e., natural immunity—is at least as protective as two doses of mRNA vaccines. “Immunity acquired from a Covid infection is as protective as vaccination against severe illness and death, study finds,” NBC reported on Feb. 16. The study found that prior infection offered 78.6% protection against reinfection from the original Wuhan, Alpha or Delta variants at 40 weeks, which slipped to 36.1% against Omicron. Protection against severe illness remained around 90% across all variants after 40 weeks. These results exceed what other studies have found for two and even three mRNA doses. This comes after nearly three years of public-health officials’ dismissing the same hypothesis. But now that experts at the University of Washington have confirmed it in a leading—and left-leaning—journal, it’s fit to print. The Lancet study’s vindication of natural immunity fits a pandemic pattern: The public-health clerisy rejects an argument that ostensibly threatens its authority; eventually it’s forced to soften its position in the face of incontrovertible evidence; and yet not once does it acknowledge its opponents were right. The concept of natural immunity isn’t scientifically controversial, yet it was disparaged by public-health officials who associated it with opposition to lockdowns and the Great Barrington Declaration in autumn 2020.
Consider a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that claims to find that nearly 36% of Covid cases among students, faculty and staff at George Washington University resulted in “long Covid.” The study suggests ... that the unvaccinated were at more than twice as high a risk of developing long Covid as those fully vaccinated who had gotten boosters. This sounds plausible. But drill down, and it becomes clear that the evidence is too thin to draw any conclusions. The study ... doesn’t include a control group. The finding that nearly 36% reported long Covid symptoms is meaningless without such a sample to determine how common such symptoms were among people who never had Covid. Long Covid in general isn’t well-defined, but the study defines it expansively to include problems common among college students—difficulty making decisions, fatigue, anxiety, sadness, trouble sleeping and the catch-all “other symptoms.” If a student reported at least one physical or psychological problem, he was classified as having long Covid. A CDC survey in January 2021 reported that 57% of respondents between 18 and 29 had experienced anxiety or depression within the previous seven days. A November 2021 study ... found that many people with persistent physical symptoms that are commonly ascribed to long Covid didn’t test positive for antibodies. A belief that one had Covid was more strongly associated with physical symptoms than a lab-confirmed infection.
With the recent news that the Biden administration will end the COVID-19 public health emergencies this spring, it is time to take stock of the different policies and adaptations that came out of the lockdowns. Initially ... the lockdowns meant that courts were shut down in most states, creating long waits and lack of access to vital judicial proceedings. But the courts quickly pivoted. Despite initial technological challenges, the switch to remote family court hearings saved time and money, increased participation in court proceedings, improved legal representation for families living in rural areas, and created a more welcoming environment for children. This week, the American Enterprise Institute is releasing a report, authored by Maura Corrigan, former director of Michigan Health and Human Services, explaining what we can learn from how these courts operated and what practices we should use in the post-pandemic era. Major studies done on remote hearings found benefits to the practice, particularly in terms of participation. Parties to these hearings appreciated the end of “cattle call” docketing, which forced participants to wait (in person) until their case was called — a significant waste of time and resources for parties, attorneys, witnesses, the public and the judges. Under the new remote system, the times for these hearings were precise, wasting neither the time nor the resources of any parties to the case. There were also many anecdotal reports that children felt more comfortable in remote hearings.
Since U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf began his second tenure as the agency’s head in February 2022, he has made combating “misinformation” one of his top priorities, arguing it is “a leading cause of preventable death in America now” — though “this cannot be proved,” he said. In an interview ... Califf, who also headed the FDA between 2016 and 2017, reiterated his pledge to “save lives” by policing online content. The FDA may be facing an uphill battle, as multiple factors are combining to foster public mistrust toward the agency. For instance, in January, Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response, resigned over concerns about the FDA’s oversight structure. A 2022 study by The BMJ found that the FDA gets 65% of its funding for drug evaluation from industry user fees, while another 2022 study found that 95% of the members of an HHS committee that establishes dietary guidelines for Americans have one or more conflicts of interest with industry actors. Members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee have also been found to have conflicts of interest with the very pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers they are meant to be regulating. And while public health authorities in other countries have begun to come forward with admissions that the COVID-19 vaccines resulted in cases of myocarditis and death, no such admissions appear to be forthcoming from the FDA at this time.
On June 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency responsible for authorizing emergency use of vaccines, it’s the CDC that crafts subsequent messaging, makes specific recommendations, and prioritizes who can, should, or should not get vaccinated. In her briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky strongly urged all parents of the nearly 20 million American children in this age group to vaccinate them as soon as possible. There remains ... no solid consensus among physicians about the importance of vaccinating healthy children against COVID-19. In a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meeting on June 28, Pfizer Vice President for Viral Vaccines Kena Swanson even acknowledged that “there is no established correlate” between antibody levels and protection from disease. Approval for the COVID vaccines in infants and toddlers is based on two trials that used changes in antibody levels as an estimate of efficacy, but did not assess protection from severe disease, hospitalization, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), important outcomes that parents worry about. Additionally, neither trial met the 50% efficacy requirement established by the FDA for approval of adult COVID vaccines. More puzzling is the fact that ... the pediatric vaccines now being administered target an outdated variant.
With more than $100 billion in U.S. weaponry and financial aid flowing to Ukraine in less than a year — and more on the way to counter Russia's invasion — concerns about arms falling into terrorists' hands and dollars into corrupt officials' pockets are mounting. The special inspector general who has overseen aid to Afghanistan since 2012, and some House Republicans, warn of the need for closer oversight of the military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The scale of the effort is massive. The $113 billion appropriated by Congress in 2022 approaches the $146 billion spent in 20 years for military and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The Pentagon spent $62.3 billion in 2022 on Ukraine for weapons, ammunition, training, logistics, supplies, salaries and stipends, according to the Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Ukraine Response report. Inspectors general for several agencies released the report in January. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development spent $46 billion for activities ranging from border security to funds for basic government services. Other government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, spent another $5 billion. The report noted the difficulty U.S. agencies had accounting for the billions spent. The Pentagon, for example, was "unable to provide end-use monitoring in accordance with DoD policy" in Ukraine. "End-use monitoring" includes tracking serial numbers of weapons and ammunition to ensure they're used as intended.
Note: Watch a concise, 15-min overview that reveals the background of the US-Ukraine-Russia war beyond the official narrative portrayed by Western media. This includes the decades-long US campaign to overthrow governments across Europe via US-funded radical militia groups, as part of efforts to maintain control over other nations and the world's resources. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
On 6 June, satellite images captured hundreds of craters made by artillery shells and a 40m-wide (131 ft) hole left by a bomb in fields around the village of Dovhenke, in eastern Ukraine. It is just one site left scarred by Russia's invasion of its neighbour. And as the war continues to wreak a devastating humanitarian toll on the people caught up in the fighting, the conflict is leaving a far less obvious, toxic legacy on the land itself. Amongst the pockmarked landscape and burned-out buildings of Dovhenke, heavy metals, fuel and chemical residues from ammunition and missiles have seeped into the soil. Although the full extent of soil contamination in Ukraine is not yet known, there are concerns that the conflict will cause long-lasting damage to the country's agricultural productivity. Ukraine is one of the world's most important producers and exporters of cereals and oilseeds, including corn, wheat, barley and sunflower oil. The widespread pollution caused by the conflict also threatens local wildlife and the health of communities, who are at risk of eating contaminated crops. The latest figures collated in January by the UNEP estimate that 618 industrial or critical infrastructure sites have been damaged or destroyed in the year since the war began. A special taskforce coordinated by the Ecological Inspectorate of Ukraine, is investigating environmental crimes such as attacks on water facilities, chemical factories and nuclear power plants. UNEP warns that this impact assessment could be "a colossal task."
It has now been one week since Seymour Hersh published an in-depth report claiming that the Biden administration deliberately blew up the Nord Stream II gas pipeline without Germany’s consent or even knowledge – an operation that began planning long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Hersh – the journalist who broke the stories of the My Lai Massacre, the CIA spying program and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal – claims that in June, U.S. Navy divers traveled to the Baltic Sea and attached C4 explosive charges to the pipeline. President Biden himself ordered its destruction. All understood ... that, if caught, it would be seen as a flagrant “act of war” against their allies. Despite this, corporate media have overwhelmingly ignored the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter’s bombshell. A MintPress News study analyzed the 20 most influential publications in the United States, according to analytics company Similar Web, and found only four mentions of the report between them. This lack of interest cannot be explained due to the report’s irrelevance. If the Biden administration really did work closely with the Norwegian government to blow up Nord Stream II, causing billions of dollars worth of immediate damage and plunging an entire region of the world into a freezing winter without sufficient energy, it ranks as one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. The Nord Stream attack was also one of the world’s worst ecological disasters, constituting the largest single leak of methane in history.
Environmental groups on Tuesday accused the Biden administration of putting the profits of big agribusiness over public health and critical pollinators by attempting to obstruct the Mexican government's ongoing push to ban genetically engineered corn. The U.S. government claims that Mexico's plans, which have also drawn fierce opposition from industry lobbying groups, would run afoul of provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and harm American farmers. The Biden administration has threatened to take legal action under the USMCA if Mexico doesn't reverse course. The USMCA entered into force in 2020 and replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), under which U.S. corn flooded the Mexican market. An estimated 90% of U.S. corn production is genetically modified. But Mexico—the largest destination for U.S. corn exports—reiterated its intention to prohibit GE corn for human consumption by 2024 in its latest decree. Mexico is also aiming to ban imports and use of glyphosate, a cancer-linked chemical that is often sprayed on genetically engineered corn. In February 2021, The Guardian reported that "internal government emails reveal Monsanto owner Bayer AG and industry lobbyist CropLife America have been working closely with U.S. officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer that is the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkillers."
With the Biden administration’s mandate to slash carbon emissions “at least in half by the end of the decade,” the Pentagon has committed to using all-electric vehicles and transitioning to biofuels for all its trucks, ships and aircraft. The plan ignores the Pentagon’s continuing role in the annihilation of whales, in spite of the miraculous role that large cetaceans have played in delaying climate catastrophe and “maintaining healthy marine ecosystems,” according to a report by Whale and Dolphin Conservation. This fact has mostly gone unnoticed. The decimation of populations of whales and dolphins over the last decade - resulting from the year-round, full-spectrum military practices carried out in the oceans ... has fast-tracked us toward a cataclysmic environmental tipping point. The other imminent danger that whales and dolphins face is from the installation of space-war infrastructure, which is taking place currently. This new infrastructure comprises the development of the so-called “smart ocean,” rocket launchpads, missile tracking stations and other components of satellite-based battle. Throughout their lives, whales enable the oceans to sequester a whopping 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. That astonishing amount in a single year is nearly double the 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon that was emitted by the U.S. military in the entire 16-year span between 2001 and 2017. Clearly, key path forward toward a livable planet is to make whale and ocean conservation a top priority.
Violence among children has soared across the country since 2020, a stark reversal of a decades long decline in juvenile crime. In the U.S., homicides committed by juveniles acting alone rose 30% in 2020 from a year earlier, while those committed by multiple juveniles increased 66%. The number of killings committed by children under 14 was the highest in two decades, according to the most recent federal data. One consequence is a mounting toll of young victims. The number of juveniles killing other juveniles was the highest it has been in more than two decades, the 2020 federal data show. In New York City, police said 124 juveniles committed shootings during 2022, up from 62 in 2020 and 48 in 2019. “The tragedy here is that we’re talking about a gunman who is too young to be called a gunman because he’s 15 years old,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark after Kyhara’s death. “These ages make you weep.” The jump comes amid an overall wave of violent crime in the first two years of the pandemic—particularly homicides and shootings—that swept through urban and rural areas alike. Police, prosecutors and community groups attribute much of the youth violence to broad disruptions that started with the pandemic and lockdowns. Schools shut down, depriving students of structure in daily life, as did services for troubled children. Increased stress compounded a swelling mental-health crisis. Social-media conflicts increasingly turned deadly.
Note: For more along these lines, read an incisive essay written by a caring school teacher on the lockdown's tragic effects, including poor and homeless children.
Kailani Taylor-Cribb hasn't taken a single class in what used to be her high school since the height of the coronavirus pandemic. She vanished from Cambridge, Massachusetts' public school roll in 2021 and has been, from an administrative standpoint, unaccounted for since then. She is among hundreds of thousands of students around the country who disappeared from public schools during the pandemic and didn't resume their studies elsewhere. An analysis by The Associated Press, Stanford University's Big Local News project and Stanford education professor Thomas Dee found an estimated 230,000 students in 21 states whose absences could not be accounted for. These students didn't move out of state, and they didn't sign up for private school or home-school. In short, they're missing. The analysis highlights thousands of students who may have dropped out of school or missed out on the basics of reading and school routines in kindergarten and first grade. Over months of reporting, the AP learned of students and families avoiding school for a range of reasons. Some are still afraid of COVID-19, are homeless or have left the country. Some students couldn't study online and found jobs instead. Some slid into depression. During the prolonged online learning, some students fell so far behind developmentally and academically that they no longer knew how to behave or learn at school. Many of these students, while largely absent from class, are still officially on school rosters.
Note: Along with the previously mentioned essay on the lockdown's tragic effects on youth and society, read a thought-provoking article on the educational crisis fueled by COVID policies, raising questions about whether school closures had an effect on COVID morbidity and mortality rates.
The fingerprints of unvaccinated New York City teachers were reportedly sent to the FBI with "problem code" flags, prompting outrage from former educators who lost their jobs over the mandate. Earlier this month, John Bursch, who is representing teachers who are suing the city over the mandate, said teachers who refused the shot now have a "flag in their file," which will impact their ability to get another job. "When the city puts these problem codes on employees who have been terminated because of their unconstitutional policies, not only do they have this flag in their files, but their fingerprints are sent with that flag to the FBI and the New York Criminal Justice Services, so it impacts their ongoing ability to get employment at other places," Bursch said Feb. 8. Investigative journalist Betsy Combier wrote an affidavit uncovering how the Education Department was allegedly able to "flag" certain teachers without sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. "I found out that the DOE has right now an agency called the Office of Personnel Investigation, and what they do is they have employees of the DOE who, forgive me, call themselves investigators, but they're not," Combier said. "So they work for OPI, and when they get an accusation from anybody, it doesn't matter who, well, the principals send it to them, but the original complaint against somebody could be made by anybody that this employee, that employee did something wrong."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Since the night Tyre Nichols was kicked, pepper-sprayed, punched and struck with a baton by Memphis police officers, six cops have been fired and five of them charged with murder. Seven others face internal disciplinary charges. Nichols died three days after the January 7 traffic stop and subsequent fatal encounter captured on video and principally involving five officers with two to six years on the job. The death of the 29-year-old Black man comes at a critical juncture in American law enforcement, as departments across the country – including the Memphis PD – struggle to recruit qualified officers and fill shifts, lure candidates with signing bonuses worth thousands of dollars, and at times curtail standards and training. “That is a recipe for disaster,” said Kenneth Corey, a retired NYPD chief who once ran the training division. “We’ve seen it happen before. You couldn’t fill seats. You lowered standards. And now you’ve got scandal and use of force. And when you look at the individuals involved you say, we never would have hired this guy once upon a time.” [Corey] added, "What we ask of our cops is that they think like lawyers, speak like psychologists, and perform like athletes but we pay them as common laborers. A starting officer in New York City makes $42,000 a year, which means about $20 dollars an hour. It also means that at McDonald's they could be making $15 dollars an hour with none of the stress, trauma or risk."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
American policing is plagued with many problems, but when it comes to the inappropriate use of violence, one culprit is weaknesses in the selection of police officers and in academy training. Better selection and better training can reduce the problem of police brutality, and one strategy for improving both is expanding the use of police apprenticeships as an alternative to the traditional police academy. Unlike the shorter police academies, future officers serve as apprentices or cadets for a two-to-three-year program involving comprehensive learning through years of field experience and classroom instruction. Most officers spend far less time receiving field training than they do in a classroom, where they are insulated from the realities of police work. While average training in the U.S. is about 20 weeks in the academy and 13 weeks of field training, Japan's officers undergo 15 and 21 months of training, and many European countries require two to three years of training, much of which is in the field. Moreover, other countries emphasize communications and interpersonal skills far more than the U.S. does. In Switzerland, psychological training and "softer" qualities are considered essential for a professional police officer, and the recruit curriculum focuses largely on appreciation of emotion, sensibility, and understanding of a variety of situations. In Scotland, communication skills are emphasized throughout the recruit curriculum, particularly when teaching de-escalation skills and dealing with people in crisis.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
In June 2017, The Intercept published a leaked N.S.A. document, which it claimed revealed “a months-long Russian hacking effort against the U.S. election infrastructure.” Ever since, it has been an article of faith in the mainstream media and among Democratic politicians that Russian G.R.U. cyberwarriors “hacked” the 2016 election. Moreover, Reality Winner, the N.S.A. analyst who leaked the document and ended up in jail as a result, has been elevated to the status of a heroic whistleblower. There are strong grounds to believe Winner unwittingly walked into a trap laid by the C.I.A. Winner has always claimed she acted alone, and there is no reason to doubt that she felt it was her patriotic duty to release the document. But her clumsiness, naivety and incompetence suggest she may well be easily manipulable, and a great many individuals and organizations had an interest in the dud intelligence report’s release. Foremost among them, elements of the C.I.A. loyal to John Brennan, Agency director between 2013 and January 2017. Brennan fudged ... findings to keep the F.B.I. Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation alive. Launched by the Bureau in 2016, it found no evidence Trump or members of his campaign were conspiring with Moscow. It is an obvious question whether Winner’s leak – in addition to furthering the RussiaGate fiction and damaging Trump – also served to discredit the N.S.A. by creating the illusion it had been asleep at the wheel over Kremlin meddling.
Note: Listen to audio of renowned journalist Seymour Hersch debunking the intelligence agency lie that Russia was responsible for the 2016 DNC email leaks, which exposed corruption in the party. Reality Winner's leak gave credence to this lie. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
Timothy York knows what works to treat his decades-long opioid addiction: Suboxone, a medication that effectively quiets cravings. In 2019, he was relieved to learn that the federal Bureau of Prisons was starting a program to expand access to Suboxone. He’s still waiting. In the meantime, he’s been punished for using Suboxone without a prescription. Last year, after York, 46, was caught with the medication, he spent a month in solitary confinement and had his visitor privileges revoked for a year. York is not alone. The Marshall Project spoke to more than 20 people struggling with addictions in federal prison, and they described the dire consequences of being unable to safely access a treatment that Congress has instructed prisons to provide. Some have overdosed. The lack of Suboxone treatment comes amid a rise in drug-related deaths behind bars. A variety of substances are routinely smuggled into prisons and jails through mail, drone drops, visitors or corrections officers and other staff. In the last two decades, federal data shows that fatal overdoses increased by more than 600% inside prisons and more than 200% inside jails. Forty-seven incarcerated people died of overdoses in federal prison from 2019 through 2021. The data does not specify how many of these overdose deaths were caused by opioids and could have been prevented by medications like Suboxone. During the same period, correctional staff administered Narcan — a drug that reverses opioid overdoses — almost 600 times.
In the pandemic’s bewildering early days, millions worldwide believed government officials who said they needed confidential data for new tech tools that could help stop coronavirus’ spread. In return, governments got a firehose of individuals’ private health details, photographs that captured their facial measurements and their home addresses. Now, from Beijing to Jerusalem to Hyderabad, India, and Perth, Australia, The Associated Press has found that authorities used these technologies and data to halt travel for activists and ordinary people, harass marginalized communities and link people’s health information to other surveillance and law enforcement tools. In some cases, data was shared with spy agencies. China’s ultra-strict zero-COVID policies recently ignited the sharpest public rebuke of the country’s authoritarian leadership since ... 1989. Just as the balance between privacy and national security shifted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, COVID-19 has given officials justification to embed tracking tools in society that have lasted long after lockdowns. What use will ultimately be made of the data collected and tools developed during the height of the pandemic remains an open question. Australia’s intelligence agencies were caught “incidentally” collecting data from the national COVIDSafe app. In the U.S. ... the federal government took the opportunity to build out its surveillance toolkit, including two contracts in 2020 worth $24.9 million to the data mining and surveillance company Palantir Technologies Inc.
Note: Read an essay by constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead on COVID and the surveillance state. Detroit police recently sought COVID relief funds to install ShotSpotter microphones throughout the city. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The “Twitter files” revealed an FBI operation to monitor and censor social media content. Dozens of FBI employees worked on the identification and removal of material on a wide range of subjects and that Twitter largely carried out their requests. Nor was it just the FBI, apparently. Emails reveal FBI figures like a San Francisco assistant special agent in charge asking Twitter executives to “invite an OGA” (or “Other Government Organization”) to an upcoming meeting. A week later, Stacia Cardille, a senior Twitter legal executive, indicated the OGA was the CIA, an agency under strict limits regarding domestic activities. Twitter’s own ranks included dozens of ex-FBI agents and executives. The dozens of disclosed emails ... do not include still-undisclosed but apparent government coordination with Facebook and other social media companies. Much of that work apparently was done through the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which operated secretly it seems to censor citizens. This is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over “censorship by surrogate” or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.
A war between China and Taiwan will be extremely good for business at America’s Frontier Fund ... according to audio from a February 1 event. The remarks occurred at a tech finance symposium hosted at the Manhattan offices of Silicon Valley Bank. “If the China-Taiwan situation happens, some of our investments will 10x, like overnight,” [a] person who identified as “Tom” said. “So I don’t want to share the name, but the one example I gave was a critical component that ... the total market value is $200 million, but it is a critical component to a $50 billion market cap. That’s like a choke point, right. And so if it’s only produced in China, for example, and there’s a kinetic event in the Pacific, that would 10x overnight, like no question about it. There’s a couple of different things like that.” AFF is surely not the only venture fund that would see stratospheric returns throughout their portfolio in the case of a destabilizing global crisis, like a “kinetic event in the Pacific” — that is to say, war. Gilman Louie, AFF’s co-founder and current CEO, serves as chair of the National Intelligence University, advises Biden through his Intelligence Advisory Board, and was tapped for the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Louie previously ran In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm. In other words, AFF stands to massively profit from a geopolitical crisis while its CEO advises the Biden administration on geopolitical crises. AFF was founded last year with support from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Note: While the detection of a Chinese spy balloon drums up significant fear and outrage over hostile foreign “threats,” an incisive article reveals how US surveillance of foreign countries is quite common, including their recent expansion of military bases in Southeast Asia to monitor and surveil China. Furthermore, many independent journalists are questioning the war-fueling narrative that China is a threat to national security. Watch an insightful analysis uncovering the deeper story of what’s behind the growing tensions between the US and China.
A recent Gallup poll found that a whopping 18 million Americans—including 20 percent of Americans who make less than $24,000 annually—cannot afford at least one of their prescriptions. The status quo is sad and tragic and needs to end. Congress can help by addressing seemingly monopolistic forces in the industry that may be keeping costs high. Congress should start by investigating the potential anti-competitive activities posed by the nation's leading drug wholesalers. The nation's three largest pharmaceutical distributors own an estimated 75 percent of the nation's pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs)—the organizations that are supposed to negotiate good drug contract deals on pharmacies' behalf. If the major companies that sell drugs owning the entities that are supposed to restrain drug prices sounds like a clear conflict of interest, that's because it probably is one. And the fact that these three pharma distributors have already been the subject of nationwide Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission lawsuits for seemingly predatory business activities only compounds this alarming antitrust issue. A growing number of states—including Louisiana, Maryland, and Wisconsin—have begun investigating the role that PSAOs may play in America's drug price-gouging problem and have passed legislation to increase PSAO transparency and oversight. That said, this is a federal issue and requires a federal solution.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.
The Department of Defense underwent its fifth annual financial audit this year, and for the fifth time in a row, it failed. This year’s audit involved a team of 1,600 analysts who visited 220 sites in person and 750 sites virtually as they reviewed the Pentagon’s $3.5 trillion in assets and $3.7 trillion in liabilities. The overall audit was broken down into 27 units, of which nine received “clean” or passing grades, one received a modified grade, which can pass once an identified issue is resolved, and the rest received disclaimers due to a lack of complete data. The cost of the audit was estimated to be $218 million. Defense Department Comptroller Mike McCord said the results were similar to last year’s. “We failed to get an ‘A’,” he told reporters earlier this week. “The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.” McCord said he expects to see steady improvement in the use of financial controls at the Pentagon, but there are still challenges ahead. “Valuing properties is probably the hardest thing for us to do,” he said. Dive into the fiscal year 2022 Defense Department audit here.
Note: Every company is expected to account for every dollar spent, yet the largest branch of government cannot account for literally trillions of dollars. Read other major media news articles showing incredible corruption in the Department of Defense to the tune of trillions of dollars. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. government may have awarded roughly $5.4 billion in coronavirus aid to small businesses with potentially ineligible Social Security numbers, offering the latest indication that Washington’s haste earlier in the pandemic opened the door for widespread waste, fraud and abuse. The top watchdog overseeing stimulus spending — called the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC — offered the estimate in an alert issued Monday and shared early with The Washington Post. It came as House Republicans prepared to hold their first hearing this week to study the roughly $5 trillion in federal stimulus aid approved since spring 2020. The suspected wave of grift targeted two of the government’s most generous emergency initiatives: the Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, dubbed EIDL. Studying more than 33 million applicants, the PRAC uncovered more than 221,000 ineligible Social Security numbers on requests for small-business aid. That included thousands of cases where the number was “not issued” by the government, for example, or it did not match the correct name and birth information. More than a quarter of those applications, using nearly 70,000 suspect Social Security numbers, were still approved between April 2020 and October 2022 despite the questionable data — and the government loaned those applicants about $5.4 billion, the watchdog found. The full extent of taxpayers’ losses remains unknown, even to Washington.
I staunchly supported the efforts of the public health authorities when it came to COVID-19. I was with them when they called for lockdowns, vaccines, and boosters. I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives. The scientific community from the CDC to the WHO to the FDA and their representatives, repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public about its own views and policies, including on natural vs. artificial immunity, school closures and disease transmission, aerosol spread, mask mandates, and vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially among the young. All of these were scientific mistakes at the time, not in hindsight. Some of these obfuscations continue to the present day. We excluded important parts of the population from policy development and castigated critics, which ... exacerbated longstanding heath and economic disparities. We systematically minimized the downsides of the interventions we imposed–imposed without the input, consent, and recognition of those forced to live with them. In so doing, we violated the autonomy of those who would be most negatively impacted by our policies: the poor, the working class, small business owners, Blacks and Latinos, and children. We severely judged lockdown critics as lazy, backwards, even evil. We believed "misinformation" energized the ignorant. If our public health officials had led with less hubris, the course of the pandemic in the United States might have had a very different outcome, with far fewer lost lives.
Note: The above was written by MD/PhD student Kevin Bass. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Gov. Gavin Newsom boasts that California is the land of the free, yet courts keep rebuking state lawmakers for violating individual liberties. A federal judge did so again last week in enjoining a new state law that threatened to punish doctors accused of promulgating Covid “misinformation.” Democrats last year passed legislation empowering the state medical board to discipline doctors licensed in the state who “disseminate misinformation or disinformation” that contradicts the “contemporary scientific consensus” or is “contrary to the standard of care.” The law’s goal is to enforce a public-health orthodoxy among doctors and silence dissenters. But as federal Judge William Shubb explains, the law’s definitions of “misinformation” and “contemporary scientific consensus” are unconstitutionally vague under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Doctors have no way of knowing how the law will be applied by the board or interpreted by courts, which chills their practice of medicine. “Who determines whether a consensus exists to begin with? If a consensus does exist, among whom must the consensus exist (for example practicing physicians, or professional organizations, or medical researchers, or public health officials, or perhaps a combination)?” Judge Shubb wrote. Under the law, doctors could be punished for contradicting the public-health orthodoxy on Covid vaccines for children or for booster shots.
The United States has been secretly seeding clouds over North Vietnam, Laos and South Vietnam to increase and control the rainfall for military purposes. Government sources, both civilian and military, said during an extensive series of interviews that the Air Force cloud seeding program has been aimed most recently at hindering movement of North Vietnamese troops and equipment and suppressing enemy antiaircraft missile fire. The disclosure confirmed growing speculation in Congressional and scientific circles about the use of weather modification in Southeast Asia. Despite years of experiments with rainmaking in the United States and elsewhere, scientists are not sure they understand its long term effect on the ecology of a region. The weather manipulation in Indochina, which was first tried in South Vietnam in 1963, is the first confirmed use of meteorological warfare. One well-informed source said that Navy scientists were responsible for developing a new kind of chemical agent effective in the warm stratus clouds that often shielded many key antiaircraft sites in northern parts of North Vietnam. The chemical, he said, “produced a rain that had an acidic quality to it and it would foul up mechanical equipment—like radars, [and] trucks.” “This wasn't originally our planning,” the official added, “it was a refinement.” Apparently, many Air Force cloud-seeding missions were conducted over North Vietnam and Laos simply to confuse or “attenuate” ... the radar equipment that controls anti aircraft missiles.
Note: Despite potentially grave risks, some are calling for large scale geoengineering to combat climate change. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.
The US’s transition to electric vehicles could require three times as much lithium as is currently produced for the entire global market, causing needless water shortages, Indigenous land grabs, and ecosystem destruction inside and outside its borders, new research finds. It warns that unless the US’s dependence on cars in towns and cities falls drastically, the transition to lithium battery-powered electric vehicles by 2050 will deepen global environmental and social inequalities linked to mining – and may even jeopardize the 1.5C global heating target. But ambitious policies investing in mass transit, walkable towns and cities, and robust battery recycling in the US would slash the amount of extra lithium required in 2050 by more than 90%. In fact, this first-of-its-kind modeling shows it is possible to have more transport options for Americans that are safer, healthier and less segregated, and less harmful mining while making rapid progress to zero emissions. If Americans continue to depend on cars at the current rate, by 2050 the US alone would need triple the amount of lithium currently produced for the entire global market, which would have dire consequences for water and food supplies, biodiversity, and Indigenous rights. Lithium mining is, like all mining, environmentally and socially harmful. More than half the current lithium production, which is very water intensive, takes place in regions blighted by water shortages that are likely to get worse due to global heating.
Covid-19 is deadly, but so were the draconian steps taken to mitigate it. During the first two years of the pandemic, “excess deaths”—the death toll above the historical trend—markedly exceeded the number of deaths attributed to Covid. In a paper we just published in Inquiry, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that “non-Covid excess deaths” totaled nearly 100,000 a year in 2020 and 2021. Even these numbers likely overestimate deaths from Covid and underestimate those from other causes. The official count of “Covid deaths” includes people who tested positive but died of other causes. What are non-Covid excess deaths? During the pandemic, deaths from accidents, overdoses, alcoholism and homicide all soared, as did deaths from hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. From April 2020 through December 2021, deaths from Covid averaged 350,000 a year for Americans 65 and older, 100,000 a year for those 45 to 64, and 20,000 a year for those 18 to 44. That produced excess deaths for these age groups of 16%, 19% and 11% respectively. The CDC data show the rate of non-Covid excess deaths in the first half of 2022 was even higher than 2020 or 2021. These deaths therefore likely already exceed 250,000, disproportionately among young adults. We now have more overdose deaths each year than all military deaths of the last 60 years combined. Homicides, accidents and alcohol deaths are collectively running tens of thousands per year above pre-pandemic norms.
Note: The above was written by Rob Arnott and Casey B. Mulligan. Mr. Arnott founded asset management firm Research Affiliates. Mr. Mulligan was chief economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers. For more along these lines, watch an articulate interview discussing excess deaths since 2021 that aren't linked to COVID-19, yet are most likely associated with the rollout of the COVID vaccines.
Some vaccine advisers to the federal government say they're "disappointed" and "angry" that government scientists and the pharmaceutical company Moderna didn't present a set of infection data on the company's new Covid-19 booster during meetings last year when the advisers discussed whether the shot should be authorized and made available to the public. That data suggested the possibility that the updated booster might not be any more effective at preventing Covid-19 infections than the original shots. US taxpayers spent nearly $5 billion on the new booster, which has been given to more than 48.2 million people. "I was angry to find out that there was data that was relevant to our decision that we didn't get to see," said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a group of external advisers that helps the FDA make vaccine decisions. The data that was not presented to the experts looked at actual infections: who caught Covid-19 and who did not. It found that 1.9% of the study participants who received the original booster became infected. Among those who got the updated bivalent vaccine ... a higher percentage, 3.2%, became infected. A 22-page FDA briefing document given to the advisers did not mention this infection data. Dr. Jerry Weir, director of the Division of Viral Products at the FDA's Office of Vaccines Research and Review, also did not mention the infection data in his presentation to the advisers.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the public relations juggernaut Edelman will publish the latest edition of its “trust barometer”, an annual survey that purports to measure whether people around the world trust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. There’s just one problem: even as Edelman promotes its brand and pursues clients with stern warnings about the importance of trust, critics charge the company appears reluctant to follow its own advice. The firm’s clients have ranged from ExxonMobil to the Saudi government and members of the Sackler family, the former owners of the opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma. Successful PR firms do more than simply promote and spin – they actually infuse the public discourse with their clients’ perspectives. “These companies are trying not just to manage trust, but to make trust,” [media studies professor Melissa] Aronczyk said. “And if they themselves are the owners of that survey, or barometer, or whatever it is, then, of course, they become the proprietors of that kind of value.” Edelman’s most effective case study might be the firm itself. It has managed to cultivate a reputation for trust even as its business model appears regularly to contradict its advice and its CEO’s admonitions. Over the past four years Edelman has signed about $9.6m worth of deals with the government of Saudi Arabia and companies controlled by the regime, while simultaneously urging businesses to stand up for human rights.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced the resignations of two top vaccine officials on Tuesday, and reports said the two were leaving in anger over the Biden administration's plan to roll out COVID-19 booster shots before officials had a chance to approve it. Dr. Marion Gruber, the director of the FDA's Office of Vaccines Research and Review, and her deputy, Dr. Philip Krause, plan to leave the FDA. Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, praised the pair for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. He didn't give a reason for their departures. But sources told ... Politico that Gruber and Krause were upset with Biden administration's booster-shot plan. One former senior FDA leader [said] that Gruber and Krause were leaving because they felt that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was making vaccine decisions that should have been left to the FDA and were upset with Marks, the leader of their division, for not insisting on the agency's oversight. The source said the final straw was the Biden administration's announcing the booster-shot plan before the FDA had officially signed off on it. A former FDA official told Politico that the resignations were tied to anger over the FDA's lack of autonomy in booster planning.
Note: We don’t use Business Insider as a normal reliable source, but in this case, the major media (like this CNN article) avoids linking this decision to the boosters. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Ishmail Thompson standing naked outside a hotel. After they arrested him, a mental health specialist at the county jail said Thompson should be sent to the hospital for psychiatric care. However ... a doctor cleared Thompson to return to jail. With that decision, he went from being a mental health patient to a Dauphin County Prison inmate. Thompson soon would be locked in a physical struggle with corrections officers – one of 5,144 such "use of force" incidents that occurred in 2021 inside Pennsylvania county jails. An investigation by WITF and NPR looked at 456 of those incidents from 25 county jails in Pennsylvania. Nearly 1 in 3 "use of force" incidents involved a person who was having a mental health crisis or who had a known mental illness. Guards used aggressive – and distressing – weapons like stun guns and pepper spray to control and subdue such prisoners, despite the fact that their severe psychiatric conditions meant they may have been unable to follow orders – or even understand what was going on. For Ishmail Thompson, this played out within hours of returning to jail from the hospital. An officer covered Thompson's head with a hood and put him in a restraint chair. Thompson died. The district attorney declined to bring charges. "The vast majority of people who are engaged in self-harm are not going to die," [Attorney Alan] Mills says. "What they really need is intervention to de-escalate the situation, whereas use of force escalates the situation."
In 2017, the CIA had plotted to kidnap or assassinate Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who had taken refuge five years earlier in the Ecuador embassy in London. A senior US counter-intelligence official said that plans for the forcible rendition of Assange to the US were discussed “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration. The informant was one of more than 30 US officials – eight of whom confirmed details of the abduction proposal – quoted in a 7,500-word investigation by Yahoo News into the CIA campaign against Assange. The plan was to “break into the embassy, drag [Assange] out and bring him to where we want”, recalled a former intelligence official. Another informant said that he was briefed about a meeting in the spring of 2017 at which President Trump had asked if the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide “options” about how this could be done. The Trump-appointed head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, said publicly that he would target Assange and WikiLeaks as the equivalent of “a hostile intelligence service”. Top intelligence officials intended to decide themselves who is and who is not a journalist, and lobbied the White House to redefine other high-profile journalists as “information brokers”, who were to be targeted as if they were agents of a foreign power. In 2013 ... a team of 120 counter-intelligence officers ... failed to find a single person in Iraq and Afghanistan who had died because of the disclosures by WikiLeaks.
Note: CIA interest in assassinating Assange coincided with Wikileaks' publication of leaked CIA hacking tools. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has graduated from the hype stage of the last decade and its use cases are now well documented. Whichever nation best adapts this technology to its military – especially in space – will open new frontiers in innovation and determine the winners and losers. The US Army has anticipated this impending AI disruption and has moved quickly to stand up efforts like Project Linchpin to construct the infrastructure and environment necessary to proliferate AI technology across its intelligence, cyber, and electronic warfare communities. However, it should come as no surprise that China anticipated this advantage sooner than the US and is at the forefront of adoption. Chinese dominance in AI is imminent. The Chinese government has made enormous investments in this area (much more than Western countries) and is the current leader in AI publications and research patents globally. Meanwhile, China's ambitions in space are no longer a secret – the country is now on a trajectory to surpass the US in the next decade. The speed, range, and flexibility afforded by AI and machine learning gives those on orbit who wield it an unprecedented competitive edge. The advantage of AI in space warfare, for both on-orbit and in-ground systems, is that AI algorithms continuously learn and adapt as they operate, and the algorithms themselves can be upgraded as often as needed, to address or escalate a conflict. Like electronic warfare countermeasures during the Cold War, AI is truly the next frontier.
Richard Edelman, the CEO of the $1bn public relations firm Edelman, published a blogpost in June reflecting on his trip to the elite gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “I left Davos inspired by the bravery of the Ukrainians and Poles,” Edelman wrote, “[and] more convinced than ever about the global rift between democracy and autocracy.” Freedom House named Saudi Arabia as one of the “worst of the worst” nations in the world for human rights and civil and political liberties. The Saudi government “really restricts almost all political rights and civil liberties and engages in arbitrary imprisonment, torture, [and] execution of perceived opponents”, said Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House. “It’s a pretty grim picture.” For those on the receiving end of Saudi repression, that picture has improved little since the October 2018 assassination and dismemberment of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an operation that US intelligence concluded was “approved” by the Saudi crown prince. Over that same period, however, the picture presented by the Saudi government to influential American audiences has been brightened with the help of key contractors, including Edelman. Since Khashoggi’s murder, the powerful PR firm has received or is contracted to receive $9.6m (£7.9m) in fees from Saudi government agencies and companies controlled by the regime. Most of Edelman’s work for the regime has focused on rehabilitating its reputation in the United States.
In response to a 2017 request from the Pentagon, Twitter kept online a network of accounts that the U.S. military used to advance its interests in the Middle East, according to internal company emails that were made public on Tuesday by The Intercept, a nonprofit publication. A counterterrorism division at Twitter knew about the arrangement, but others did not, five people with knowledge of the matter said. The situation was unusual because Twitter normally removes and publicly discloses influence campaigns conducted by governments. The internal documents published by The Intercept were provided by Twitter under its new owner, Elon Musk. Mr. Musk has made an archive of documents available to select journalists to scrutinize the decisions of the company’s previous leaders. The situation began in 2017 when an official working with U.S. Central Command requested that Twitter verify some of the military’s accounts. The accounts had been flagged by a Twitter system used to automatically detect terrorist content and were not easy to find in searches. The Pentagon asked Twitter to “whitelist” the accounts, which would prevent the automatic tools from flagging them and make them more broadly visible on the platform. Twitter’s counterterrorism team complied. While the company regularly disclosed other state-backed influence campaigns in transparency reports, executives ... feared they could violate national security laws by speaking publicly about the takedown of the campaign.
The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.
To encourage Congress to authorize the largest defense budget ever, the Pentagon just released its annual report on China, which dangerously misrepresents the country's defense strategy. Such deliberate lies about China to drum up justification for more US war spending need to be urgently addressed. The Pentagon reports that China may challenge the US in the international arena. It is true that China is taking the lead internationally in economic development, in technological innovation, and in fighting climate change. Other countries around the world are happy for its support in growing their capacities to be independent of United States hegemony in their regions. China builds relationships through economic cooperation and good diplomacy. In contrast, the United States asserts its global dominance through direct or proxy war, occupation, crippling sanctions, and regime-changing coups. The international order that the United States seeks to maintain is rooted in violence and destruction. While the United States is desperately pursuing its outdated policy of enforcing global hegemony, the rest of the world is already moving towards a multilateral sphere, which ensures the greatest chance for peace. Escalating tension with China was a mistake, and building a colossal military budget is doubling down on this mistake. We must be vigilant about the warmongering lies about China. "China is not our enemy" is not a hollow slogan but firm ground that peacemakers stand on.
Note: The US attempts to position itself as a global leader of democracy and peaceful diplomacy, while its policies continue to demonstrate just the opposite. Why aren’t many media outlets questioning the aggressive efforts to escalate tension with China, including proposals for billions of dollars in military assistance to Taiwan? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war. The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as “information operations” at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation. “My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.” Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ... and a host of influential think-tank analysts.
Note: Read more about military PsyOps used to manipulate populations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden’s administration released more than 13,000 records of President John F. Kennedy's assassination Thursday, but it fell short of fully complying with the spirit of a 30-year-old law demanding transparency by now. With Thursday's action, about 98% of all documents related to the 1963 killing have now been released and just 3% of the records remain redacted in whole or in part, according to the National Archives, which controls the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection. The records include more information on accused gunman Lee Harvey Oswald and his time spent in Mexico City. But about 4,300 records remain redacted in part. [CIA agent George] Joannides ... guided and monitored an anti-Fidel Castro group called Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (Revolutionary Student Directorate) in 1963 that came into contact with Oswald in New Orleans in the months before the assassination, leading some to speculate about CIA-related complicity in the killing. As Oswald interacted with DRE and became known as an activist who supported President Castro, the Pentagon was formulating a plan called Operation Northwoods to stage a false flag attack in the United States to blame on Cuba and justify a military confrontation to make up for the aborted Bay of Pigs fiasco two years before. The records and the CIA's deceit over Joannides' ties to Oswald spans decades and came to light only after the records act began to unearth information about him.
Note: While the mainstream narrative points to the CIA being complicit in the killing of Kennedy by a Communist lone gunman, there is overwhelming evidence not often talked about, that reveals how Kennedy was murdered by rogue elements within US government agencies as a result of his efforts towards peacemaking strategies over nuclear weapon warfare, among other reasons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources.
Among the intersections between [Lee Harvey] Oswald and the CIA, his time as a young Marine at the Atsugi naval air facility in Japan in 1957 is high among them. Atsugi was a launching pad for U-2 spy flights over the Soviet Union and was also a hub of the CIA's research into psychedelic drugs. "A CIA memo titled 'Truth Drugs in Interrogation' revealed the agency practice of dosing agents who were marked for dangerous overseas missions," wrote author David Talbot in "The Devil's Chessboard." A new document released in full last week relates directly to Oswald's time at Atsugi, revealing details about the CIA's response to testimony from a former agency accountant that the spy service had employed Oswald – who went on to be a gunman in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The CIA's claim to have had no contact with Oswald is undercut by the fact that George de Mohrenschildt, a CIA asset, became close friends with Oswald in the months before the assassination. According to documents found in the newly declassified files, at the same time as his trip, the CIA's Domestic Operations Division ran a search on de Mohrenschildt, "exact reason unknown," according to two documents created by a CIA analyst included in last week's declassification. The covert arm of the division was run at the time by E. Howard Hunt, a black ops specialist who confessed later in life to learning ahead of time of a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy that involved high-level figures in the CIA.
Note: The CIA's MK-ULTRA program routinely administered drugs to unsuspecting victims. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources.
Two years into Biden’s presidency, it is crystal clear that the Saudis have nothing significant to fear from the U.S. government. For decades, Democratic and Republican administrations have propped up the Saudi monarchy, lathering it with weapons sales and intelligence sharing, all while normalizing the draconian, antidemocratic grip on power held by the monarchy. When Donald Trump was president, a lot of Democrats were given political cover to finally come around to opposing the Saudi-led campaign of annihilation in Yemen. It was the Obama-Biden administration that gave the initial green light to the Saudi-led war in the first place. Barack Obama began bombing Yemen in December 2009 and continued to hit the country with drone strikes and cruise missile attacks throughout most of his presidency. In fact, by the time Obama left office, his administration had offered the Saudis more military support, $115 billion, than any in the history of the seven-decade U.S.-Saudi alliance. On the campaign trail, Biden pledged to continue the momentum and end U.S. bodyguarding of Saudi Arabia’s crimes, particularly after the execution of Khashoggi, a permanent U.S. resident, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. As president, Biden has greenlighted a series of U.S. weapons purchases by the Saudis, including $3 billion worth of Patriot missiles in August. Last week, Biden stated that there are currently 2,755 U.S. military personnel deployed in Saudi Arabia.
Note: When it comes to matters involving the ever-profitable war machine, both parties follow similar agendas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been accused of bowing to drug industry pressure after releasing new guidelines that doctors say put lives at risk by rowing back on warnings about the dangers of opioid prescribing. The latest CDC guidelines have caused controversy after dropping specific limits on dosages and lengths of prescribing from a key summary of recommendations used by physicians. Dr Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, sees the drug industry’s hand behind the change. Kolodny has testified against opioid makers in legal actions over their part in driving the opioid epidemic by pushing sales with false claims about their safety and effectiveness. They include Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, a powerful narcotic pill that kickstarted the US’s opioid epidemic alongside the company’s marketing strategy to see the drugs widely prescribed. Kolody said ... that the drug industry calculated how much the 2016 CDC guidelines would cost it if doctors followed the recommendations to limit prescribing of high dosage pills. “The highest dosage products have had the highest profit margin. It only costs a few extra pennies to make the higher dosage pill, but retail it’s almost double what they get per pill or prescription. So the industry fought very hard to block the release of the 2016 guideline and when that failed they did everything they could to make the guidelines appear controversial. And that worked,” he said.
In one recent study of health care in 11 high-income countries, the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund found that 44% of Americans had out-of-pocket medical expenses that topped $1,000 in the previous year. Just 16% of Germans reported paying that much. The rates were even lower in France, at 10%, and Great Britain, where only 7% reported similar medical expenses. "Many Americans may not understand how affordable health care is for patients in other countries," said Reginald D. Williams II, who oversees international research at the Commonwealth Fund. "Medical debt is a largely U.S. phenomenon. It just doesn't happen in other countries." Germany, like the U.S., has a largely private health care system that relies on private doctors and private insurers. Like Americans, many Germans enroll in a health plan through work, splitting the cost with their employer. But Germany has long done something the U.S. does not: It strictly limits how much patients have to pay out of their own pockets for a trip to the doctor, the hospital or the pharmacy. This regulation occurs through a highly structured system in which insurers negotiate collectively with physician and hospital groups to set prices. American hospitals and other medical providers for decades have fiercely resisted limits on their prices, spending millions to fight government regulation. [Dr. Eckart] Rolshoven's patients pay nothing when they see him. That not only bolsters their health, he said. It helps maintain what Rolshoven called social peace.
The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government [is] a new book by Salon founder David Talbot. As Talbot explains, “What I was really trying to do was a biography on the American power elite from World War II up to the 60s.” Dulles ... served as CIA director from 1953 to 1961. Dulles would have had no moral qualms about killing any politician, including Americans. He went on to wield far greater power than most elected officials ever have. The Devil’s Chessboard ... includes detailed reexaminations of Dulles’s most notorious failures, such as the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the nightmarish mind control program MK-ULTRA, as well as his most notorious “successes,” the CIA’s overthrow of democratic governments in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954. As the Swiss director of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, Dulles — whose law firm had represented German corporations and many U.S. corporations with German interests — quietly attempted to undermine Franklin D. Roosevelt’s demand that Germany surrender unconditionally, going so far as to order the rescue of an SS general surrounded by Italian partisans. Dulles also led the push to save Reinhard Gehlen, Nazi head of intelligence on the Eastern Front and a genuine monster, from any post-war justice. Dulles then made certain Gehlen and his spies received a cozy embrace from the CIA, and helped push him to the top of West Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service.
Note: Read more about the CIA Nazi link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources.
The Biden administration took a public stand last year against the abuse of spyware to target human rights activists, dissidents and journalists: It blacklisted the most notorious maker of the hacking tools, the Israeli firm NSO Group. But the global industry for commercial spyware — which allows governments to invade mobile phones and vacuum up data — continues to boom. Even the U.S. government is using it. The Drug Enforcement Administration is secretly deploying spyware from a different Israeli firm, according to five people familiar with the agency’s operations, in the first confirmed use of commercial spyware by the federal government. The most sophisticated spyware tools — like NSO’s Pegasus — have “zero-click” technology, meaning they can stealthily and remotely extract everything from a target’s mobile phone, without the user having to click on a malicious link to give Pegasus remote access. They can also turn the mobile phone into a tracking and secret recording device, allowing the phone to spy on its owner. But hacking tools without zero-click capability, which are considerably cheaper, also have a significant market. Commercial spyware has been used by intelligence services and police forces to hack phones used by drug networks and terrorist groups. But it has also been abused by numerous authoritarian regimes and democracies to spy on political opponents and journalists. This has led governments to a sometimes tortured rationale for their use.
Note: Read about how NSO Group spyware was used against journalists and activists by the Mexican government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Trust Lab was founded by a team of well-credentialed Big Tech alumni who came together in 2021 with a mission: Make online content moderation more transparent, accountable, and trustworthy. A year later, the company announced a “strategic partnership” with the CIA’s venture capital firm. The quiet October 29 announcement of the partnership is light on details, stating that Trust Lab and In-Q-Tel — which invests in and collaborates with firms it believes will advance the mission of the CIA — will work on “a long-term project that will help identify harmful content and actors in order to safeguard the internet.” Key terms like “harmful” and “safeguard” are unexplained, but the press release goes on to say that the company will work toward “pinpointing many types of online harmful content, including toxicity and misinformation.” It’s difficult to imagine how aligning the startup with the CIA is compatible with [Trust Lab co-founder Tom] Siegel’s goal of bringing greater transparency and integrity to internet governance. What would it mean, for instance, to incubate counter-misinformation technology for an agency with a vast history of perpetuating misinformation? Placing the company within the CIA’s tech pipeline also raises questions about Trust Lab’s view of who or what might be a “harmful” online, a nebulous concept that will no doubt mean something very different to the U.S. intelligence community than it means elsewhere. Trust Lab’s murky partnership with In-Q-Tel suggests a step toward greater governmental oversight of online speech.
Newly released documents show an influential group that helps shape US food policy and steers consumers toward nutritional products has financial ties to the world's largest processed food companies and has been controlled by former industry employees who have worked for companies like Monsanto. The documents reveal the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a record of quid pro quos with a range of food giants, owns stock in ultra-processed food companies and has received millions in contributions from producers of pop, candy, and processed foods linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health problems. The findings are a part of a recently published peer-reviewed study that examined a trove of financial documents and internal communications obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) request. "It's incredibly influential so if the Academy is corrupt then nutritional policy in the US is going to be corrupt," said Gary Ruskin ... a co-author of the study. The Academy accepted at least $15m from corporate and organizational contributors from 2011-2017, and over $4.5m in additional funding went to the Academy's foundation. Among the highest contributions came from companies such as Nestl©, PepsiCo, Hershey, Kellogg's, General Mills, Conagra, the National Dairy Council and the baby formula producer Abbott Nutrition. The Academy and its foundation also received food industry fundings via sponsorships, which are in effect quid pro quos.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Throughout the Trump and Biden administrations, the U.S. has been on an escalating trajectory toward a new Cold War featuring the prime adversaries from the original, Russia and China. The ratcheted-up rhetoric from U.S. politicians — combined with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the tensions between China and Taiwan, and Beijing’s major advancements and investments in weapons systems and war technology — has heralded a bonanza for the defense industry. Congress will soon vote on a record-shattering $857 billion defense spending bill that authorizes $45 billion more than Biden requested. Included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023, finalized on December 6, is the establishment of a multiyear no-bid contract system through which Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and other weapons manufacturers are being empowered to expand their “industrial base” and business. The unprecedented flow of weapons to Ukraine has included a substantial transfer of weapons from the U.S. stockpile, amounting to approximately $10 billion worth of weapons. U.S. lawmakers have used this fact to push for expanding the scope of not only weapons procurements to “replenish” the arsenal, but also to maintain the pipeline of weapons to Ukraine and European-allied nations through at least the end of 2024. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains a central focus, the appetite for countering China’s own expansive weapons and technology development is on track to grow for years to come.
Note: Another eye-opening article on this issue reports that the U.S. has spent more than $21 trillion on militarization since September 11, 2001.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US government must drop its prosecution of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange because it is undermining press freedom, according to the media organisations that first helped him publish leaked diplomatic cables. Twelve years ago today, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pas collaborated to release excerpts from 250,000 documents obtained by Assange in the "Cablegate" leak. The material, leaked to WikiLeaks by the then American soldier Chelsea Manning, exposed the inner workings of US diplomacy around the world. The editors and publishers of the media organisations that first published those revelations have come together to publicly oppose plans to charge Assange under a law designed to prosecute first world war spies. "Publishing is not a crime," they said, saying the prosecution is a direct attack on media freedom. Assange has been held in Belmarsh prison in south London since his arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019. He had spent the previous seven years living inside the diplomatic premises to avoid arrest after failing to surrender to a UK court on matters relating to a separate case. The then UK home secretary, Priti Patel, approved Assange's extradition to the US. Under Barack Obama's leadership, the US government indicated it would not prosecute Assange for the leak in 2010 because of the precedent it would set. The media outlets are now appealing to the administration of President Joe Biden ... to drop the charges.
Note: WikiLeaks exposed US war crimes and CIA hacking tools. The New York Times and others mentioned above published Assange's findings, so why aren't they being prosecuted for being accessories to Assange? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The Keller Independent School District, just outside of Dallas, passed a new rule in November: It banned books from its libraries that include the concept of gender fluidity. The change was pushed by three new school board members, elected in May with support from Patriot Mobile, a self-described Christian cellphone carrier. Through its political action committee, Patriot Mobile poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Texas school board races to promote candidates with conservative views on race, gender and sexuality — including on which books children can access at school. The issue has been supercharged by a rapidly growing and increasingly influential constellation of conservative groups. The groups have pursued their goals by becoming heavily involved in local and state politics, where Republican efforts have largely outmatched liberal organizations in many states for years. They have created political action committees, funded campaigns, endorsed candidates and packed school boards, helping to fuel a surge in challenges to individual books and to drive changes in the rules governing what books are available to children. The materials the groups object to are often described in policies and legislation as sensitive, inappropriate or pornographic. In practice, the books most frequently targeted for removal have been by or about Black or L.G.B.T.Q. people, according to the American Library Association.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.
It would no longer be “life as we know it” if a space war destroyed the satellites that the world now relies on, space commanders have warned, and China and Russia have demonstrated that they’re capable of doing just that. Lt Gen Nina Armagno, staff director of the US Space Force, said Russia’s destruction of one of their own satellites last year was a “stunning display”. “We’re interpreting that ... as a message and demonstration of capability,” she said. She said China was openly documenting and describing its demonstrations of power in space. Asked what the end game could be, she said, “Life as we know it would no longer be as we know it.” Attacks on satellites can take out GPS systems, banking systems, power grids, first responders’ communications, and impact on military operations. “I don’t want to be dramatic,” Armagno said. “What does war in space look like? We probably won’t see it with our naked eye but we will definitely feel the consequences from the moment it begins.” She also described China’s 2007 destruction of one of its own satellites as shocking, irresponsible and intentional. There are two ways attacks on satellites could take out communication networks. A direct attack – through anti-satellite missiles, grappling arms, or hacking or jamming a satellite – is one. The other is the debris created by a destroyed satellite. Armagno said the US was still tracking 600 pieces of debris from China’s 2007 “demonstration”.
Many of the world’s largest asset managers and state pension funds are passively investing in companies that have allegedly engaged in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China, according to a new report. The report, by UK-based group Hong Kong Watch and the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, found that three major stock indexes provided by MSCI include at least 13 companies that have allegedly used forced labour or been involved in the construction of the surveillance state in China’s Xinjiang region. In recent years, China has come under increased scrutiny over what the UN has called “serious human rights violations” against Uyghur Muslims in the region, including systemic discrimination, mass arbitrary detention, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. The report includes a list of major asset managers, including BlackRock, HSBC and Deutsche Bank among others, exposed to index funds that include companies accused of engaging in labour transfers and the construction of repressive infrastructure in the region. It found public pension funds across the UK, Canada and the US and funds in New Zealand and Japan exposed by the investments. “So many people’s pensions, retirement funds and savings are invested passively because, as average consumers, we don’t have time to investigate each and every investment,” said Laura Murphy, one of the report’s authors and professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Sheffield Hallam University.
Note: Read an eye-opening article about the shocking human rights violations happening to the Uyghur people under the auspices of the Chinese government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Beijing has set up more than 100 so-called overseas police stations across the globe to monitor, harass and in some cases repatriate Chinese citizens living in exile, using bilateral security arrangements struck with countries in Europe and Africa to gain a widespread presence internationally, a new report shared exclusively with CNN alleges. Madrid-based human rights campaigner Safeguard Defenders says it found evidence China was operating 48 additional police stations abroad since the group first revealed the existence of 54 such stations in September. Beijing has denied it is running undeclared police forces outside its territory. Instead, China has claimed the facilities are administrative hubs. Undeclared consular activities outside of a nation’s official diplomatic missions are highly unusual and illegal. “What we see coming from China is increasing attempts to crack down on dissent everywhere in the world, to threaten people, harass people, make sure that they are fearful enough so that they remain silent or else face being returned to China against their will,” said Safeguard Defenders Campaign director Laura Harth. “It will start with phone calls. They might start to intimidate your relatives back in China, to threaten you, do everything really to coax the targets abroad to come back. If that doesn’t work, they will use covert agents abroad. They will send them from Beijing and use methods such as luring and entrapment,” Harth said.
[Chow Hang-tung] is one of the few activists who still openly challenge the legitimacy of China’s Communist Party leaders, after Beijing launched a wide-ranging crackdown here in response to mass pro-democracy protests in 2019. She is facing two national security charges, including inciting subversion, a new offense in Hong Kong that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Chow’s arrest ... was further confirmation of Beijing’s plan to fundamentally alter China’s freest city by rolling back civil liberties and dismantling its once vibrant pro-democracy movement, say activists, rights lawyers and foreign diplomats. Authorities there have employed threats, disbarment, arbitrary detention, torture and imprisonment to crush legal and political challenges from hundreds of human rights lawyers and legal scholars since Chinese leader Xi Jinping took power a decade ago. Many activists, fearing long jail terms, have gone silent. Others have fled abroad. And dozens of civil rights groups have shut down, fearing retribution.When it comes to “the ability to cower and coerce, we are no match to the communist state,” Chow said. But, she added: “Force can only achieve so much. The state can lock up people but not their thinking, just as it can lock up facts but not alter truth.” Chow herself downplays her incarceration. “In a sense,” she told Reuters, “isn’t the authoritarian state itself a bigger prison?”
Note: In a separate case to Chow's, 47 pro-democracy campaigners are facing charges under the national security law. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Foreign investment firms, private equity, pension funds and businesses lodged in tax havens own more than 70% of the water industry in England, according to research by the Guardian. The complex web of ownership is revealed as the public and some politicians increasingly call for the industry to be held to account for sewage dumping, leaks and water shortages. Six water companies are under investigation for potentially illegal activities as pressure grows on the industry to put more money into replacing and restoring crumbling infrastructure to protect both the environment and public health. More than three decades after the sector was sold off with a promise to the public they would become individual small shareholders or “H2Owners”, control of the water industry has become dominated by overseas investment vehicles, the super-rich, companies in tax havens and pension fund investors. The ownership structure is such that transparency and accountability are limited, according to Dr Kate Bayliss ... at Soas University of London. The Qatar Investment Authority is the third largest shareholder in Severn Trent, with a 4.6% holding, while almost 10% is held by the US investment company BlackRock and its subsidiaries. A subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has a 9.9% stake in Thames Water, while 8.7% is owned by China, the analysis shows. At least 72% of the industry is controlled by firms in 17 countries, while UK firms own 10%. Ownership of 82% of the water industry was traced overall.
Last week, an Israeli defense company painted a frightening picture. In a roughly two-minute video on YouTube that resembles an action movie, soldiers out on a mission are suddenly pinned down by enemy gunfire and calling for help. In response, a tiny drone zips off its mother ship to the rescue, zooming behind the enemy soldiers and killing them with ease. While the situation is fake, the drone — unveiled last week by Israel-based Elbit Systems — is not. The Lanius, which in Latin can refer to butcherbirds, represents a new generation of drone: nimble, wired with artificial intelligence, and able to scout and kill. The machine is based on racing drone design, allowing it to maneuver into tight spaces, such as alleyways and small buildings. After being sent into battle, Lanius’s algorithm can make a map of the scene and scan people, differentiating enemies from allies — feeding all that data back to soldiers who can then simply push a button to attack or kill whom they want. For weapons critics, that represents a nightmare scenario, which could alter the dynamics of war. “It’s extremely concerning,” said Catherine Connolly, an arms expert at Stop Killer Robots, an anti-weapons advocacy group. “It’s basically just allowing the machine to decide if you live or die if we remove the human control element for that.” According to the drone’s data sheet, the drone is palm-size, roughly 11 inches by 6 inches. It has a top speed of 45 miles per hour. It can fly for about seven minutes, and has the ability to carry lethal and nonlethal materials.
Note: US General Paul Selva has warned against employing killer robots in warfare for ethical reasons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Allegations by FBI Special Agent Steve Friend contained in a whistleblower complaint filed late Wednesday with the Department of Justice inspector general reveal a politicized Washington, DC, FBI field office cooking the books to exaggerate the threat of domestic terrorism, and using an “overzealous” January 6 investigation to harass conservative Americans and violate their constitutional rights. Friend, 37, a respected 12-year veteran of the FBI and a SWAT team member, was suspended Monday, stripped of his gun and badge, and escorted out of the FBI field office in Daytona Beach, Fla., after complaining to his supervisors about the violations. He was declared absent without leave last month for refusing to participate in SWAT raids that he believed violated FBI policy and were a use of excessive force against Jan. 6 subjects accused of misdemeanor offenses. “I have an oath to uphold the Constitution,” he told supervisors when he asserted his conscientious objection to joining an Aug. 24 raid on a J6 subject. “I have a moral objection and want to be considered a conscientious objector.” In his whistleblower complaint to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz ... Friend lays out multiple violations of FBI policy involving J6 investigations in which he was involved. He says he was removed from active investigations into child sexual exploitation and human trafficking to work on J6 cases sent from DC. As a result, he believes his child exploitation investigations were harmed.
Note: Read how Facebook is silencing activity related to this whistleblower. Read also Matt Taibbi’s reporting on this important case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
On New Year’s Eve 2005, Justin Rose headed to Camp Lemonnier’s cantina for celebratory $2.50 beers with his fellow Marines before heading back to his “hooch” around 1:30 a.m. Sometime after daybreak, Rose woke up to find someone stroking his penis. Disoriented for a moment, he lept down from his raised bunk and gave chase as a man dressed in red dashed out of his quarters and into another tent. He found [Jase Derek] Stanton, dressed in red, feigning sleep in his bed; Rose was certain Stanton was the attacker. So Rose did what he had been trained to do. He went to his team leader, a young corporal, and reported the assault. The first question he heard was: “Are you sure you’re not making this up?” Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. servicewomen reports being sexually assaulted — a rate far higher than that of men. But sexual assault of men in the military is also widespread and vastly underreported. Each day, on average, more than 45 men in the armed forces are sexually assaulted, according to the latest Pentagon estimates. For women, it is 53 per day, according to a September 2022 Pentagon report that uses a new euphemism “unwanted sexual contact” as a “proxy measure for sexual assault.” Nearly 40 percent of veterans who report to the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, that they have experienced military sexual trauma, or MST — sexual assault or sexual harassment — are men. 90 percent of men in the military did not report a sexual assault they experienced in 2021.
Even for the US, one of few countries that still uses the death penalty, last week was exceptionally violent, with four executions planned in the span of 48 hours. The killings were marred with errors, accusations of racism and discrimination, and claims of innocence. One was called off after officials took more than an hour and were unable to place an IV line. Officials can't seem to carry off an execution in which the right drugs are used, an IV is placed quickly and the inmate doesn't suffer ... but state officials disclose little about who conducts executions or how they are trained. "The recent spate of botched lethal injection executions have shown that, whatever the drug, whatever the protocol, condemned prisoners often spend their final moments in agonising pain and distress,” Maya Foa, director of advocacy group Reprieve US, said. “With each gruesome scene in the death chamber, we are witnessing the consequences of persisting with a broken method of execution in real time.” Numerous people on death row suffer from severe mental illness, so [Kat Jutras of Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona is] hoping mental health reform can limit the pipeline of people heading towards the execution chamber. “Mental health is not a political issue. There are people on both sides of the aisle who can identify with loved ones suffering from mental health issues,” she said. “We can address why our death row has 110 people on it, starting with mental health.”
The Biden administration told a US judge last week that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, should be granted immunity in a civil lawsuit over his role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That decision effectively ends one of the last efforts to hold the prince accountable for Khashoggi’s assassination by a Saudi hit team inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. In July, Biden swallowed his pride and traveled to Saudi Arabia, trying to reset his relationship with a regime he called a “pariah” as a presidential candidate. Biden greeted Prince Mohammed with an embarrassing fist bump, hoping that the photo op would convince the Saudis to increase oil production and lower gasoline prices. By October, the Saudi-led Opec+ cartel did the opposite of what the Biden administration asked – it decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, which will mean higher global fuel prices this winter. Thanks to the Biden administration’s immunity decision, Prince Mohammed now has a level of protection from US legal actions that even Trump did not offer him. The prince’s lawyers started seeking immunity in US federal courts in August 2020, when Saad Aljabri, a former top Saudi intelligence official, sued the crown prince in Washington. Aljabri alleged that the royal had dispatched a hit squad to kill him in Canada in 2018, just weeks after Khashoggi’s murder. The Trump administration declined to grant Prince Mohammed immunity in that case, and the suit was ultimately dismissed.
Note: U.S. Presidents from both parties continue to coddle up to the Saudi regime -- one of the most repressive regimes in the world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
India has just 144 police officers for every 100,000 citizens. In recent years, authorities have turned to facial recognition technology to make up for the shortfall. India's government now ... wants to construct one of the world's largest facial recognition systems. The project envisions a future in which police from across the country's 29 states and seven union territories would have access to a single, centralized database. The daunting scope of the proposed network is laid out in a detailed 172-page document published by the National Crime Records Bureau, which requests bids from companies to build the project. The project would match images from the country's growing network of CCTV cameras against a database encompassing mug shots of criminals, passport photos and images collected by [government] agencies. It would also recognize faces on closed-circuit cameras and "generate alerts if a blacklist match is found." Security forces would be equipped with hand-held mobile devices enabling them to capture a face in the field and search it instantly against the national database, through a dedicated app. For privacy advocates, this is worrying. "India does not have a data protection law," says [Apar] Gupta [of the Internet Freedom Foundation]. "It will essentially be devoid of safeguards." It might even be linked up to Aadhaar, India's vast biometric database, which contains the personal details of 1.2 billion Indian citizens, enabling India to set up "a total, permanent surveillance state," he adds.
Note: Read an excellent article by The Civil Liberties Union for Europe about the 7 biggest privacy issues that concern facial recognition technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
What if I told you that a multinational oil company allegedly polluted the Amazon for almost three decades? And that the oil company has spent even more years refusing to accept liability? Or that a US attorney who agreed to represent thousands of Ecuadorian villagers in a lawsuit against that oil company has lost his law license, income, spent hundreds of days under house arrest in New York, and in 2021 was sentenced to six months in prison? From 1964 to 1990, Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, allegedly spilled more than 16m gallons of crude oil – “80 times more oil than was spilled in BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster”, according to Gizmodo – and 18bn gallons of polluted wastewater in the Amazon rainforest. The pollution allegedly contaminated the ground and waterways with toxic chemicals that the plaintiffs – mostly Indigenous people and poor farmers – say has caused cancer, miscarriages, skin conditions and birth defects. In 1993, [attorney] Steven Donziger ... began working on an environmental case on behalf of Ecuadorians. In 2011 ... an Ecuadorian court ruled that Texaco, which had been bought by Chevron at this point, was “responsible for vast contamination.” PR advisers for Chevron promised to “demonize” Donziger in the public eye. The oil company “hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication” which smeared him, and “put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms, who have successfully pursued an extraordinary campaign against him.”
Public outrage over how police use force has fueled protests in the streets, spurred calls to cut their funding and ignited broad debates over how to reform law enforcement. Despite this intense focus on the present and future of policing, one key component has remained woefully inadequate, according to a report from a prominent policing think tank: how new officers are trained. Training for recruits “presents an immediate crisis for policing,” according to the report from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The report describes a system that, even after years of push and pull over change, is “built to train officers quickly and cheaply.” That system then hurries the new officers onto streets across the United States without helping them develop vital skills, including crisis intervention and communication, that they will need on the job. Police in the United States typically spend about 20 weeks in the academy, the report said, while recruits in Japan might spend up to 21 months training. Their peers in many European countries spend two to three years training. The report also touches on why, despite all the pleas to rethink policing, training remains behind the times in many places. “At many academies,” the report said, instruction “is based largely on what has been taught in the past.” In many cases, the report continued, academies “seem to rely almost exclusively on current or retired law enforcement officers to develop their training curricula,” even though these people lack backgrounds in designing course instruction.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
In July 2021 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quietly disclosed findings of a potential increase in four types of serious adverse events in elderly people who had had Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine: acute myocardial infarction, disseminated intravascular coagulation, immune thrombocytopenia, and pulmonary embolism. Little detail was provided, such as the magnitude of the increased potential risk, and no press release or other alert was sent to doctors or the public. Eighteen days later, the FDA published a study planning document (or protocol) outlining a follow-up epidemiological study intended to investigate the matter more thoroughly. This recondite technical document disclosed the unadjusted relative risk ratio estimates originally found for the four serious adverse events, which ranged from 42% to 91% increased risk. More than a year later, however, the status and results of the follow-up study are unknown. The agency has not published a press release, or notified doctors, or published the findings ... or updated the vaccine’s product label. Cody Meissner, a paediatrician and member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said ... "One of the great problems was the suppression of opposing voices to various recommendations and that’s going to cause extraordinary harm ... everyone is aware that there are going to be side effects from any vaccine and as time goes by, we’re going to find out more and more about those side effects."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
An offshore company that is trusted by the major web browsers and other tech companies to vouch for the legitimacy of websites has connections to contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement, according to security researchers, documents and interviews. Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, nonprofit Firefox and others allow the company, TrustCor Systems, to act as what’s known as a root certificate authority, a powerful spot in the internet’s infrastructure that guarantees websites are not fake, guiding users to them seamlessly. The company’s Panamanian registration records show that it has the identical slate of officers, agents and partners as a spyware maker identified this year as an affiliate of Arizona-based Packet Forensics, which ... has sold communication interception services to U.S. government agencies for more than a decade. TrustCor’s products include an email service that claims to be end-to-end encrypted, though experts consulted by The Washington Post said they found evidence to undermine that claim. A test version of the email service also included spyware developed by a Panamanian company related to Packet Forensics. A person familiar with Packet Forensics’ work confirmed that it had used TrustCor’s certificate process and its email service, MsgSafe, to intercept communications and help the U.S. government catch suspected terrorists. The physical address in Toronto given in [TrustCor's] auditor’s report, 371 Front St. West, houses a UPS Store mail drop.
The United States has fought more than a dozen "secret wars" over the last two decades, according to a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice. Through a combination of ground combat, airstrikes, and operations by U.S. proxy forces, these conflicts have raged from Africa to the Middle East to Asia, often completely unknown to the American people and with minimal congressional oversight. These clandestine conflicts have been enabled by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, enacted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, as well as the covert action statute, which allows secret, unattributed operations, primarily conducted by the CIA. [The new] analysis is particularly illuminating in the case of Somalia, where the United States developed two key proxy forces, the Danab Brigade and the Puntland Security Force. The CIA began building the Puntland Security Force in 2002 to battle the Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab and later the Islamic State in Somalia, or ISS. The force was transferred to U.S. military control around 2012 and went on to fight alongside U.S. Special Operations forces for a decade. [The Brennan Center's Katherine Yon] Ebright notes that the proxy fighters were "largely independent of the Somali government, despite being an elite armed brigade and one of Somalia's most capable special operations units. And their relationship with U.S. forces was long kept secret, with U.S. officials disavowing the presence of military advisers in Somalia until 2014."
Note: Since 2008, the US has supported at least nine coups in five African countries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Authorities swiftly called the death a homicide. The victim was 44-year-old Michael Williams. Days later, law enforcement agencies announced they had arrested and charged a 31-year-old army veteran, Steven Vogel, with murder. Williams had been strangled, according to the medical examiner’s office. Authorities arrested and charged three others with helping Vogel move the body. The case attracted national attention. Michael Williams was Black, and his body was burned and dumped in an almost-exclusively white part of Iowa. The four people arrested were white. These events occurred 15 weeks after Minneapolis police publicly murdered George Floyd. And yet, law enforcement immediately declared that no evidence suggested the murder had been motivated by racism. Williams’s family and other members of central Iowa’s Black community weren’t convinced. The simple fact a white man hanged a Black man with a rope and then set him on fire in an easily visible spot – with three other white people helping cover up the murder – was telling. Data analyzed by the Guardian reveals this to be common: victims’ loved ones clearly see racist motives, while law agencies often don’t. From the outset, authorities rejected a racial motive. “They never pursued it,” says Paula Terrell, Williams’s aunt. “They just kept saying ‘it’s a love triangle.’” In fact, Williams’s murder was one of several incidents in central Iowa that targeted Black people in short sequence.
Shanghai Disney has become the latest high-profile venue to shut its gates thanks to China's strict zero-Covid policy, trapping visitors inside. People have been told they will not be allowed out of the theme park until they can show a negative test. China's controversial zero-Covid policy has already seen millions of people repeatedly locked down, sometimes in unusual locations. The sudden nature lockdowns have seen people fleeing shops - including a Shanghai branch of Swedish furniture giant Ikea - and workplaces as they try to avoid being trapped inside. However, those awaiting their freedom at Shanghai Disney can console themselves with one positive: rides are continuing to operate for those trapped inside The Happiest Place on Earth. As well as the theme park, surrounding areas such as the shopping street were also abruptly closed. Videos posted on Chinese social media site Weibo showed people rushing to the park's gates following the announcement but finding them already locked. Posting on Chinese social media site WeChat, the Shanghai government said the park was barring people from entering and those inside could only leave once they had returned a negative test result. It added that anyone who has visited the park since Thursday must provide three negative test results over three consecutive days. Millions of people are under 200 different lockdowns in China, as of October 24, as the country of 1.45 billion consistently records more than 1,000 new Covid cases a day.
Note: By comparison, the U.S. had about 40,000 cases per day in late October. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
On April 17, 2018, Terry Albury appeared in a federal court in Minneapolis, where he pleaded guilty to charges of leaking classified information to the press. The allegations — that Albury downloaded, printed and photographed internal F.B.I. documents on his office computer, sending some of them electronically to a journalist and saving others on external devices found in his home — resulted from a 17-month-long internal investigation by the F.B.I., prompted by two Freedom of Information Act requests by a news organization ... in March 2016. Nine months after these FOIA requests were made, a trove of internal F.B.I. documents shedding new light on the vast and largely unrestricted power of the post-9/11 F.B.I. was posted on the investigative-journalism site The Intercept. The cache included hundreds of pages of unredacted policy manuals, including the F.B.I.’s byzantine rule book, the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, exposing the hidden loopholes that allowed agents to violate the bureau’s own rules against racial and religious profiling and domestic spying as they pursued the domestic war on terror. In October 2018, he was sentenced to four years in prison. Albury says he felt a moral imperative to make his disclosures, motivated by his belief that the bureau had been so fundamentally transformed by Sept. 11 that its own agents were compelled to commit civil and human rights violations.
Note: Listen to Albury talk about his experiences in this podcast. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The Department of Homeland Security launched a failed operation that ensnared hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. protesters in what new documents show was as a sweeping, power-hungry effort before the 2020 election to bolster President Donald Trump’s spurious claims about a “terrorist organization” he accused his Democratic rivals of supporting. An internal investigative report, made public this month by Sen. Ron Wyden ... details the findings of DHS lawyers concerning a previously undisclosed effort by Trump’s acting secretary of homeland security, Chad Wolf, to amass secret dossiers on Americans in Portland attending anti-racism protests in summer 2020 sparked by the police murder of ... George Floyd. The report describes attempts by top officials to link protesters to an imaginary terrorist plot in an apparent effort to boost Trump’s reelection odds, raising concerns now about the ability of a sitting president to co-opt billions of dollars’ worth of domestic intelligence assets for their own political gain. DHS analysts recounted orders to generate evidence of financial ties between protesters in custody; an effort that, had they not failed, would have seemingly served to legitimize President Trump’s false claims about “Antifa.” The report describes the dossiers generated by DHS as having detailed the past whereabouts and the “friends and followers of the subjects, as well as their ... First Amendment speech activity.”
Note: Read about the FBI's use of entrapment to manufacture terrorist plots. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down. Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. Discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information. There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. How disinformation is defined by the government has not been clearly articulated.
Note: The Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board has been paused, not stopped. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
On Monday morning, 30 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to the White House that attempted to gingerly open a conversation about a potential diplomatic end to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The door was slammed shut by the evening, met with enough fury to elicit a “clarification” in the form of a statement from caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal. “Let me be clear,” Jayapal said in a statement issued just before 7 p.m., “We are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom in the face of the illegal and outrageous Russian invasion, and nothing in the letter advocates for a change in that support.” On Tuesday afternoon, Jayapal followed the clarification by fully withdrawing the letter, saying it was “released by staff without vetting.” That the letter was met with fierce opposition is a measure of the space available for debate among congressional Democrats when it comes to support for the war and how it might be stopped before it turns nuclear: roughly zero. “I have voted for every defense package to Ukraine and stand firmly for Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a letter signer, told The Intercept. “It should not be controversial to say we need to explore every diplomatic avenue to seek a just peace.” “The alternative to diplomacy is protracted war, with both its attendant certainties and catastrophic and unknowable risks,” the letter read.
Note: The powerful war machine can compromise even those with good intentions. Read an excellent article calling for urgent diplomacy on both sides of the political aisle to promote peaceful and democratic outcomes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
Ashwaq Abdel Kareem heard the roar of a jet plane that foretold an airstrike. It was near midnight on June 1, 2015. Ashwaq, her husband, and five children were in the backyard. Far above Ashwaq and her family, a Dutch F-16 fighter jet released a bomb that whistled down to hit a car-bomb factory in the center of Hawija’s industrial district. The F-16’s mission was coordinated by the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS and was planned by the U.S. military. From 2014 to the present day, between 8,000 and 13,000 civilians have died as a result of bombing by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, according to the monitoring organization Airwars; the coalition only acknowledges the deaths of 1,417 civilians. At the height of the bombing in 2017, as the coalition bombed tightly packed urban areas like Mosul, at least 9,000 civilians died. Yet only one civilian received compensation, although the U.S. military did distribute a limited number of condolence or “ex gratia” payments — which are voluntary payments and not an admission of legal liability — reportedly to the families of around 14 victims. Despite its involvement [with the Hawija bombing], the United States has not offered an apology or individual compensation. This is consistent with U.S. policy that has made compensation for civilians extremely rare. The only legal way for civilians to pursue compensation in the U.S. has been through the Foreign Claims Act, but that excludes compensation for death or injury during combat, making victims of the Hawija bombing ineligible.
Gov. Ron DeSantis ... held a news conference two months ago, announcing that the Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security had found roughly 20 people who voted illegally in 2020. DeSantis, surrounded by uniformed officers, assured the public that the suspects were in custody and would be prosecuted. The Tampa Bay Times published a report yesterday, highlighting the nature of those arrests, alongside a video of police bodycam footage that's painful to watch. Politico reported a week after the arrests that several of those taken away in handcuffs had been "notified by official government entities they were eligible to vote." Floridians ... seemed utterly baffled as to why they were being taken away in handcuffs, insisting they had cast perfectly legal votes – not only because Floridians approved a state constitutional amendment in 2018, restoring voting rights to many felons, but also because they'd been explicitly told by officials that they could legally cast ballots.
Since Buzzfeed reported in June that employees of TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance had access to US consumer data, TikTok has been the focus of rare bipartisan calls for regulation and inquiry. Those inquiries became more pressing when in July, the FBI director, Christopher Wray, called Chinese espionage the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ... economic vitality”. TikTok is a relatively new player in the arena of massive global social media platforms but it’s already caught the eye of regulators in Europe. New laws around child safety and general internet safety in the UK and the EU have forced the company to become more transparent about the way it operates and the way content spreads on its platform. In the US, moves to rein in the video platform have gained momentum only relatively recently, although there’s little debate that the round of regulatory pressure is warranted. With 1 billion users, the platform, which uses an algorithmic feed to push users short-form videos, has had its fair share of run-ins with misinformation, data privacy and concerns about child safety. Experts the Guardian spoke with did not question the cybersecurity threat China posed. However, some said they worried regulators’ hyper-focus on TikTok’s China connection could distract from other pressing concerns, including TikTok’s algorithm and how much user data the company collects, stores and shares. There are currently no federal regulations that protect such information.
Detroit’s city council will soon vote on whether to spend millions in federal cash meant to ease the economic pains of the coronavirus pandemic on ShotSpotter, a controversial surveillance technology critics say is invasive, discriminatory, and fundamentally broken. ShotSpotter purports to do one thing very well: telling cops a gun has been fired as soon as the trigger is pulled. Using a network of microphones hitched to telephone poles, rooftops, and other urban vantage points, ShotSpotter is essentially an Alexa that listens for a bang rather than voice commands. Despite ShotSpotter’s corporate claims of 97 percent accuracy, the technology’s efficacy has been derided as dangerously ineffective — a techno-solutionist approach to public safety. ShotSpotter’s opponents in Detroit agreed that gun violence is a serious problem but said Covid-19 relief money would be far better spent on addressing the social ills that form the basis of crime. “If people had jobs, money, after-school programs, housing, the things that they need, that’s going to reduce gun violence,” said Alyx Goodwin, a campaign organizer with Action Center on Race and the Economy. Snyder pointed to the fundamental irony of diverting public money billed as form of relief for the pandemic’s downtrodden to surveil those very same people. ShotSpotter explicitly urges cities to tap funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, intended to salve financial hardship caused by the pandemic, to buy new surveillance microphones.
The Federal Reserve, far from the independent institution it often touts itself as, is under intense pressure at all times from massive commercial banks and other financial institutions advocating for favorable regulations, according to federal lobbying disclosures reviewed by The Intercept, as well as interviews with former Fed and other finance employees. The Federal Reserve has come under scrutiny in recent months for its aggressive interest rate hikes. The Fed’s own research has warned that its aggressive policy mirrors a similar one that caused a “severe recession” under Paul Volcker in the 1980s. Even the United Nations ... recently warned that the Fed’s rate hikes risk “inflicting worse damage than the financial crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 shock in 2020.” Besides setting monetary policy, the Fed is also tasked with regulating commercial banks. The intense lobbying the Fed is subjected to is targeted at these banking regulations. Paid lobbyists make their case on behalf of massive financial corporations in the same fashion as K Street lobbyists hawking their wares to members of Congress. In 2022 alone, over 120 groups reported lobbying the Fed on issues ranging from credit card fees to cryptocurrency to sprawling monetary policy initiatives such as mortgage finance. Postings on the Federal Reserve website in the past year record meetings with Discover Financial, Student Loan Servicing Alliance, National Bankers Association, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Australia’s Covid-19 response failed the nation’s most vulnerable people and in many cases amounted to overreach, according to a new report. The report, Fault lines: an independent review into Australia’s response to Covid-19, led by former public servant Peter Shergold and released on Thursday, found some lockdowns and border closures were not necessary and schools should have remained open. “For many of us, the story of Covid-19 will be one of inconvenience,” the private- sector funded report says. “It will be a story of cutting our own hair, struggling to exercise, missed holidays ... and endless Zoom meetings. “For others, Covid-19 will be a story of trauma, isolation and terrifying uncertainty. “It will be a story of being locked in overcrowded housing, job loss and missing out on government supports. “It will be a story of more domestic violence, increased alcohol abuse, deteriorating mental and physical health. “It will be a story of loss and the brutal realisation of not being able to say final goodbyes to loved ones.” The report says politically driven health orders and excessive lockdowns failed to protect the old, ignored the young and abandoned disadvantaged communities. While school closures were probably the right decision when the virus was little understood, “it was wrong to close entire school systems, particularly once new information indicated that schools were not high-transmission environments”, the report says.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The digital Covid vaccination certification, or “passport,” is a mobile app that instantaneously affirms the vaccinated status, Covid test results, birth date, gender, and/or other identifiers of its holder. The information is usually mosaicked in a QR code, read by a proprietary scanner, and linked to a government registry. Led by New York, California, and Louisiana, as many as 30 states are rolling them out. The Biden administration announced last spring that it would wrangle them under national standards but so far it hasn’t. Internationally, the EU and a growing number of countries are adopting them, from repressive regimes like Bahrain to democracies like Denmark. Twenty U.S. states have banned the passes, and hashtags like #NoVaccinePassports are proliferating on both sides of the Atlantic. “Spoiler alert,” tweeted British DJ ... Lange. “They are not planning on removing vax passports once introduced. This is just the first step to get you conditioned to accepting government restrictions in your daily life via your mobile phone. This digital ID is going to expand to all aspects of your life.” Evidence supports the detractors’ suspicions. Every government introducing a vaccine certification vows that their use is voluntary and no personal information will be held beyond its necessity. But governments are far from unanimous even on such basics as ... how long and by whom our intimate information will be held, owned, or overseen. New York, for one, is not expecting to mothball the technology when Covid wanes.
“We have a system that forces people to work and not only forces them to work but does not give them an adequate living wage,” said [prison reformer Johnny] Perez. “Slavery by any name is wrong. Slavery in any shape or form is wrong.” Perez is now part of a nationwide movement that hopes to reform what some have called the “slavery loophole” that allows incarcerated people to be paid tiny sums for jobs that – if they refuse to do them – can have dire consequences. The 13th amendment of the US constitution, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. But it contained an exception for “a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”. This exception clause has been used to exploit prisoners in the US as workers, paying them nothing to a few dollars a day to perform jobs ranging from prison services to manufacturing or working for private employers where the majority of their pay is deducted for room and board and other expenses. A report published by the American Civil Liberties Union in June 2022 found about 800,000 prisoners out of the 1.2 million in state and federal prisons are forced to work, generating a conservative estimate of $11bn annually in goods and services while average wages range from 13 cents to 52 cents per hour. Five states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas – force prisoners to work without pay. The report concluded that the labor conditions of US prisoners violate fundamental human rights to life and dignity.
Note: The #EndTheException coalition is working to end slavery. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The city of Philadelphia issued an apology Thursday for the unethical medical experiments performed on mostly Black inmates at its Holmesburg Prison from the 1950s through the 1970s. The move comes after community activists and families of some of those inmates raised the need for a formal apology. It also follows a string of apologies from various U.S. cities over historically racist policies or wrongdoing in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The city allowed University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Albert Kligman to conduct the dermatological, biochemical and pharmaceutical experiments that intentionally exposed about 300 inmates to viruses, fungus, asbestos and chemical agents including dioxin — a component of Agent Orange. The vast majority of Kligman's experiments were performed on Black men, many of whom were awaiting trial and trying to save money for bail, and many of whom were illiterate, the city said. Many of the former inmates would have lifelong scars and health issues from the experiments. A group of the inmates filed a lawsuit against the university and Kligman in 2000 that was ultimately thrown out because of a statute of limitations. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in the apology that the experiments exploited a vulnerable population and the impact of that medical racism has extended for generations. Last year, the University of Pennsylvania issued a formal apology.
Note: Read about the long and disturbing history of people being treated like guinea pigs in science experiments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the prison system from reliable major media sources.
The Dallas-based biotechnology company Colossal Biosciences has a vision: “To see the Woolly Mammoth thunder upon the tundra once again.” Founders George Church and Ben Lamm have already racked up an impressive list of high-profile funders and investors, including Peter Thiel, Tony Robbins, Paris Hilton, Winklevoss Capital — and, according to the public portfolio its venture capital arm released this month, the CIA. Colossal says it hopes to use advanced genetic sequencing to resurrect two extinct mammals — not just the giant, ice age mammoth, but also a mid-sized marsupial known as the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, that died out less than a century ago. In-Q-Tel, its new investor, is registered as a nonprofit venture capital firm funded by the CIA. On its surface, the group funds technology startups with the potential to safeguard national security. In addition to its long-standing pursuit of intelligence and weapons technologies, the CIA outfit has lately displayed an increased interest in biotechnology and particularly DNA sequencing. “Biotechnology and the broader bioeconomy are critical for humanity to further develop. It is important for all facets of our government to develop them and have an understanding of what is possible,” Colossal co-founder Ben Lamm wrote. The embrace of this technology, according to In-Q-Tel’s blog post, will help allow U.S. government agencies to read, write, and edit genetic material, and, importantly, to steer global biological phenomena that impact “nation-to-nation competition.”
In 1967, Israel attacked a US spy ship, killing 34 men and injuring many more. The Israelis claimed it was an accident, the Americans backed them up. Both governments concealed the horrific truth. As the [USS] Liberty sat within eyeshot of El Arish, eavesdropping on surrounding communications, Israeli soldiers turned the town into a slaughterhouse, systematically butchering their prisoners. In the shadow of the El Arish mosque, they lined up about 60 unarmed Egyptian prisoners, hands tied behind their backs, and then opened fire with machine guns until the pale desert sand turned red. This and other war crimes were just some of the secrets Israel had sought to conceal since the start of the conflict. An essential element in the Israeli battle plan seemed to have been to hide much of the war behind a carefully constructed curtain of lies: lies about the Egyptian threat, lies about who started the war, lies to the US. Into this sea of deception and slaughter sailed the USS Liberty, an enormous spy factory loaded with the latest eavesdropping gear. The order was given to kill her and at 12.05pm, three motor torpedo boats from the port of Ashdod, about 50 miles away, departed. Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 50mm cannon ammunition, rockets and napalm, followed. According to information, interviews and documents obtained, for nearly 35 years the NSA has hidden the fact that one of its planes - a Navy EC-121 ferret - was overhead at the time of the incident, eavesdropping on what was going on below.
Note: Watch an excellent documentary on this cruel attack. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
No, you’re not crazy. Yes, they claimed the vaccines would prevent transmission. One of the most bizarre lies being told this week in response to Pfizer executive Janine Small’s testimony to EU Parliament is that, actually, the Covid vaccines were never supposed to stop the spread of the virus. Asked by Dutch MEP Rob Roos whether the company had tested its vaccine on “stopping the transmission of the virus” before it rolled out globally, Ms Small said “no” because “we had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market”. In a viral Twitter video which has now been viewed more than 12 million times, Mr Roos described the response as “scandalous”, arguing “millions of people worldwide felt compelled to get vaccinated because of the myth that ‘you do it for others’”. Mr Roos said the admission removed the entire basis for vaccine mandates and passports which “led to massive institutional discrimination as people lost access to essential parts of society”. The public was told repeatedly, for months, both explicitly and implicitly, that the vaccines would prevent transmission. They’re all on tape saying it. US President Joe Biden, for example, said in July 2021 that “you’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations”. CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in March 2021 that “vaccinated people do not carry the virus”. In Australia, politicians ... held millions of people hostage for months, lecturing and threatening them to get vaccinated to regain their “freedoms”.
Thousands of officials across the government’s executive branch reported owning or trading stocks that stood to rise or fall with decisions their agencies made, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. More than 2,600 officials at agencies from the Commerce Department to the Treasury Department, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, disclosed stock investments in companies while those same companies were lobbying their agencies for favorable policies. That amounts to more than one in five senior federal employees across 50 federal agencies reviewed by the Journal. A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency reported purchases of oil and gas stocks. The Food and Drug Administration improperly let an official own dozens of food and drug stocks on its no-buy list. A Defense Department official bought stock in a defense company five times before it won new business from the Pentagon. The Journal obtained and analyzed more than 31,000 financial-disclosure forms for about 12,000 senior career employees, political staff and presidential appointees. The review spans 2016 through 2021 and includes data on about 850,000 financial assets and more than 315,000 trades. More than five dozen officials at five agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, reported trading stock in companies shortly before their departments announced enforcement actions, such as charges and settlements, against those companies.
Note: You can read the entire article free of charge on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, facing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking a vast trove of data about the safety and side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, made a pledge in August. The agency in court papers said that on or before Sept. 30, it would post on its website a "public use" set of data from about 10 million people who signed up for its "v-safe" program -- a smartphone-based system that periodically sends people text messages and web surveys to monitor potential side effects from the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. But the CDC missed its deadline. In the meantime, the CDC handed over the v-safe data (minus personal identifying information) to the plaintiff in the FOIA case, the Informed Consent Action Network, or ICAN, a Texas-based nonprofit. ICAN crunched the numbers on its own and came up with some statistics that its lawyer says appear to be "alarming." According to ICAN, 7.7% of the v-safe users - 782,913 people - reported seeking medical attention via a telehealth appointment, urgent care clinic, emergency room intervention or hospitalization following a COVID-19 vaccine. About 25% of v-safe users said they experienced symptoms that required them to miss school or work or prevented them from doing other normal activities, according to ICAN's "dashboard" that summarizes the results. In addition to the dashboard summary, ICAN on its website has made the underlying dataset available for public download.
Note: These are very significant numbers, yet other than this Reuters report, the media is largely silent about this very important data. For lots more on this important development with access to the data, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
More than 500 retired U.S. military personnel — including scores of generals and admirals — have taken lucrative jobs since 2015 working for foreign governments, mostly in countries known for human rights abuses and political repression, according to a Washington Post investigation. In Saudi Arabia, for example, 15 retired U.S. generals and admirals have worked as paid consultants for the Defense Ministry since 2016. The ministry is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, who U.S. intelligence agencies say approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Post contributing columnist, as part of a brutal crackdown on dissent. Saudi Arabia’s paid advisers have included retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, a national security adviser to President Barack Obama, and retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who led the National Security Agency under Obama and President George W. Bush. Others who have worked as consultants for the Saudis since Khashoggi’s murder include a retired four-star Air Force general and a former commanding general of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. All the while, the gulf countries’ security forces have continued to commit human rights abuses at home and beyond their borders. With shared intelligence, aerial refueling and other support from the U.S. government and contractors, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have intervened in Yemen’s civil war to disastrous effect, triggering a global humanitarian crisis and killing thousands of civilians.
The Saudi government has sentenced a 72-year-old U.S. citizen to 16 years in prison for tweets he posted while inside the United States, some of which were critical of the Saudi regime. His son, speaking publicly for the first time, alleges that the Saudi government has tortured his father in prison and says that the State Department mishandled the case. While the Biden administration has gone to considerable effort to secure the release of high-profile Americans from Russia, Venezuela and Iran, it has been less public and less successful in securing the release of U.S. citizens held in Saudi Arabia. In fact, despite that Saudi Arabia is supposedly a U.S. ally, the Saudi government under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is dealing with its U.S.-citizen critics more harshly than ever. Saudi American Saad Ibrahim Almadi ... is not a dissident or an activist; he is simply a project manager from Florida. But last November, when he traveled to Riyadh to visit family, he was detained regarding 14 tweets posted on his account. Almadi was charged with harboring a terrorist ideology, trying to destabilize the kingdom, as well as supporting and funding terrorism. The State Department told [his son] Ibrahim not to speak publicly about the case, but he no longer believes that staying quiet will secure his father’s freedom. And he says that State has handled his father’s case with neglect and incompetence. Ibrahim said that Saudi jailers threaten to torture prisoners who involve foreign governments in their cases.
October was a good month for Gilead Sciences, the giant manufacturer of antivirals. On 8 October, the company inked an agreement to supply the European Union with its drug remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19—a deal potentially worth more than $1 billion. Two weeks later, on 22 October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved remdesivir for use against the pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the United States. Both decisions baffled scientists who have closely watched the clinical trials of remdesivir unfold. At best, one large, well-designed study found remdesivir modestly reduced the time to recover from COVID-19 in hospitalized patients with severe illness. A few smaller studies found no impact of treatment on the disease whatsoever. Then ... the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Solidarity trial showed that remdesivir does not reduce mortality or the time COVID-19 patients take to recover. Both [the] FDA's decision and the EU deal came about under unusual circumstances that gave the company important advantages. FDA never consulted a group of outside experts that it has at the ready to weigh in on complicated antiviral drug issues. The European Union, meanwhile, decided to settle on the remdesivir pricing exactly 1 week before the disappointing Solidarity trial results came out. Gilead, having donated remdesivir to the trial, was informed of the data on 23 September and knew the trial was a bust.
Note: Remdesivir had never been approved by the FDA for use before Oct. 2020, yet was rushed through the approval process, while Nobel-prize winning drug Ivermectin was all but banned, even though there was minimal evidence of harm. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
President Biden announced major steps toward decriminalizing marijuana possession Thursday, offering mass pardons for anyone convicted of a federal crime for simply possessing the drug, and urging governors to do the same. He also directed his administration to expedite a review of whether marijuana should continue to be listed as a Schedule I substance, a classification reserved for the most dangerous drugs, including heroin, LSD and ecstasy. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” Biden said in a video statement. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.” He added: “There are thousands of people who were convicted for marijuana possession who may be denied ... opportunities as a result.” While no one is currently serving time in federal prison solely for the crime of simple marijuana possession, officials said, about 6,500 people have such convictions on their records. Those convictions would be pardoned, and the offenders’ records cleared, under an administrative process. Thousands of additional people who are residents of the District, which is subject to federal law, could also be pardoned, officials said. Others affected could be those arrested in places such as airports and federal parks, which are under federal law enforcement jurisdiction. Biden’s actions, however, do not directly affect the vast majority of marijuana-related convictions, which are pursued under state law.
Harry Truman became President in April, 1945. Two years later, he signed the National Security Act, which established the C.I.A.. It was supposed to do what its name suggested: centralize the intelligence that various agencies gathered. “It was not intended as a ‘Cloak and Dagger’ Outfit!,” Truman later wrote. In its charter, the C.I.A. was banned from domestic spying. There was no mention of covert action in the law that chartered the C.I.A., but Presidents—starting with Truman—began using it that way. One of the agency’s first operations involved meddling in the 1948 Italian election. During the Vietnam War, the C.I.A. had discouraging intelligence to offer, and, when successive Administrations didn’t want to hear it, focused on being helpful by providing ... supposedly quick fixes. That meant abetting a coup in 1963, spying on antiwar protesters, and launching the Phoenix Program, an anti-Vietcong campaign marked by torture and by arbitrary executions. More than twenty thousand people were killed under Phoenix’s auspices. The C.I.A. has had a “defining failure” for every decade of its existence—sometimes more than one. In the nineteen-nineties, it was the lack of foresight about the Soviet Union; in the two-thousands, it was the phantom weapons of mass destruction, followed by torture and, in still evolving ways, by the drone-based program of targeted killings, with its high toll of civilian deaths. It’s difficult to know, at this point, what the C.I.A.’s next defining failure ... will be.
Note: Read more about the CIA's Phoenix Program, which included the kidnapping, torture, and murder of civilians during the Vietnam War. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The main U.S.-based scientific organization at the center of the controversy over the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic has won a new grant from the National Institutes of Health for risky bat coronavirus surveillance research, despite losing a previous award for failing to provide records essential to an investigation into that origin. The grant was awarded September 21 to EcoHealth Alliance, helmed by Peter Daszak, and is titled “Analyzing the potential for future bat coronavirus emergence in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.” The new grant comes despite an open congressional investigation into the organization, which has two other ongoing NIH grants and a third in negotiation. The aim of the new research is to identify areas of potential concern for future pandemic emergence in order to help public health authorities suppress an outbreak before it breaks containment. But the process of performing the research introduces the risk of sparking an outbreak that would not otherwise have occurred, a concern highlighted by The Intercept last year: “Virtually every part of the work of outbreak prediction can result in an accidental infection. Even with the best of intentions, scientists can serve as vectors for the viruses they hunt — and as a result, their work may put everyone else’s lives on the line along with their own.” “It is disturbing that additional funding continues to be awarded for the same high-risk research that may have caused the current pandemic,” said [molecular biologist] Richard Ebright.
Note: Watch an excellent interview in which a former EcoHealth Alliance VP turned whistleblower reveals blatant law-breaking and lies committed by Peter Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The Biden administration bought $290 million of anti-radiation drugs this week as the president warned of “the prospect of Armageddon” being sparked by warmongering Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed that the major supply of Nplate was part of “ongoing efforts to be better prepared to save lives following radiological and nuclear emergencies.” The drug — which can be used on kids as well as adults — is “approved to treat blood cell injuries that accompany acute radiation syndrome [ARS] in adult and pediatric patients,” the department said. Such radiation sickness “occurs when a person’s entire body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation, reaching internal organs in a matter of seconds,” the alarming HHS release noted. Nplate, made by California-based Amgen, stimulates the body’s production of platelets “to reduce radiation-induced bleeding.” The $290 million funding came from Project BioShield, the 2004 law that provides investment that encourages companies to “develop the medical countermeasures that are critical to national security.” The initial announcement did not detail how ... the drug would be distributed. An HHS spokesperson insisted that the investment was part of “ongoing” nuclear prep, and had “not been accelerated by the situation in Ukraine.” However, it was approved just days before President Biden publicly admitted that Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons.”
Note: Is it any surprise that the US government is giving a gift of $290 million (US taxpayer money) to big Pharma? Remember that like previous huge purchases of drugs that were never used, these drugs have expiration dates after which they must be tossed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Anybody who works in Washington knows that think tanks play an important role in advising the government on policy. One organization in particular has dramatically increased its influence over the past decade. The policy shop in question is McKinsey, a global — and highly profitable — consulting firm. In the foreign policy community, think tanks are widely viewed as the traditional brokers in the marketplace of ideas. But this is changing. Whether based in investment banks like Goldman Sachs, management consultancies like McKinsey or political risk firms like the Eurasia Group, private-sector institutions have started to act like policy knowledge brokers. Consultants have been key advisers to the government for decades, but recent trends have caused their star to rise at the same time that traditional think tanks face new challenges. The University of Pennsylvania’s annual think tank report has stressed “the fierce competition think tanks are facing from consulting firms” in recent years. And think tank officials have acknowledged the sway of donors. Bill Goodfellow, the executive director of the Center for International Policy, told the Times: “It’s absurd to suggest that donors don’t have influence. The danger is we in the think tank world are being corrupted in the same way as the political world.” The irony is that the nonprofit actors, in trying to expand their base of support, have been accused of compromising their independence, while the explicitly for-profit world of consultants has avoided the charge.
Even before he became director of the FBI, [J. Edgar] Hoover was conducting secret intelligence operations against U.S. citizens he suspected were anarchists, radical leftists or communists. After a series of anarchist bombings went off across the United States in 1919, Hoover sent five agents to infiltrate the newly formed Communist Party. "From that day forward, he planned a nationwide dragnet of mass arrests to round up subversives, round up communists, round up Russian aliens," [author Tim] Weiner says. On Jan. 1, 1920, Hoover sent out the arrest orders, and at least 6,000 people were arrested and detained throughout the country. "When the dust cleared, maybe 1 in 10 was found guilty of a deportable offense," says Weiner. Hoover, Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt all came under attack for their role in the raids. Hoover started amassing secret intelligence on "enemies of the United States" — a list that included terrorists, communists, spies — or anyone Hoover or the FBI had deemed subversive. Later on, anti-war protesters and civil rights leaders were added to Hoover's list. "Hoover saw the civil rights movement from the 1950s onward and the anti-war movement from the 1960s onward, as presenting the greatest threats to the stability of the American government since the Civil War," [Weiner] says. "These people were enemies of the state, and in particular Martin Luther King [Jr.] was an enemy of the state."
Note: Read more about the FBI's COINTELPRO program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
A U.S. senator is pressing the FBI for more information after a whistleblower alleged that an internal review found 665 FBI personnel have resigned or retired to avoid accountability in misconduct probes over the past two decades. The whistleblower told the office of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley ... that the Justice Department launched the review of the FBI’s disciplinary database in 2020 following an Associated Press investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving at least six senior FBI officials. The follow-up review found 665 FBI employees, including 45 senior-level officials, resigned or retired between 2004 and 2020 following a misconduct probe but before a final disciplinary letter could be issued, according to a letter this week from Grassley to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland. It was not clear how many of those cases involved sexual misconduct. Grassley’s office, which declined to make the whistleblower or underlying documents available to protect the person’s identify, said that was the kind of information it was still seeking but estimated the number could be in the “hundreds.” The AP investigation in December 2020 identified at least six sexual misconduct allegations involving senior FBI officials over the prior five years ranging from unwanted touching and advances to coercion. It found that several senior FBI officials have avoided discipline — quietly transferring or retiring with full benefits — even after claims of sexual misconduct against them were substantiated.
The US has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry it has sent across the border into Ukraine, sources tell CNN, a blind spot that’s due in large part to ... the easy portability of many of the smaller systems now pouring across the border. In the short term, the US sees the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to be vital to the Ukrainians’ ability to hold off Moscow’s invasion. But the risk, both current US officials and defense analysts say, is that in the long term, some of those weapons may wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm. “We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero,” said one source briefed on US intelligence. “It drops into a big black hole.” In making the decision to send billions of dollars of weapons and equipment into Ukraine, the Biden administration factored in the risk that some of the shipments may ultimately end up in unexpected places, a defense official said. The Biden administration and NATO countries say they are providing weapons to Ukraine based on what the Ukrainian forces say they need, whether it’s portable systems like Javelin and Stinger missiles or the Slovakian S-300 air defense system that was sent over the last week. For decades, the US sent arms into Afghanistan. Inevitably, some weapons ended up on the black market including anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, the same kind the US is now providing to Ukraine.
Note: CBS released a documentary revealing that most weapons sent to the Ukraine never made it to their intended destination. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.