Government Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Pentagon has ordered a sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare after major social media companies identified and took offline fake accounts suspected of being run by the U.S. military in violation of the platforms' rules. The takedowns in recent years by Twitter and Facebook of more than 150 bogus personas and media sites created in the United States was disclosed last month by internet researchers Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory. U.S. Central Command is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny. Some [takedowns] involved posts from the summer that advanced anti-Russia narratives. One fake account posted an inflammatory tweet claiming that relatives of deceased Afghan refugees had reported bodies being returned from Iran with missing organs. The tweet linked to a video that was part of an article posted on a U.S.-military affiliated website. In 2020 Facebook disabled fictitious personas created by Centcom to counter disinformation spread by China suggesting the coronavirus responsible for covid-19 was created at a U.S. Army lab in Fort Detrick, Md.. The pseudo profiles ... were used to amplify truthful information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congress in late 2019 passed a law affirming that the military could conduct operations in the "information environment" to defend the United States. The measure, known as Section 1631, allows the military to carry out clandestine psychological operations.
A Malaysian businessman at the heart of the worst scandal to hit the US Navy in modern times has escaped house arrest, the US Marshals Service has said. Leonard Glenn Francis, known as "Fat Leonard", cut his ankle bracelet off before disappearing from his home in San Diego, California. His escape comes three weeks before he was due for sentencing after pleading guilty in 2015 to bribing senior US Navy officers. Francis had been the key figure behind a sprawling multi-million dollar bribery scheme that he operated by way of his Singapore-based company which serviced the US Navy's Pacific fleet. The US justice department describes it as a colossal fraud that cost the navy tens of millions of dollars. Francis ... used his influence with senior commanders to secure lucrative military contracts often involving the Indo-Pacific based 7th Fleet - the largest of the Navy's forward deployed fleets. Prosecutors say he overcharged the navy to the tune of $35m (Ł30m) and plied navy officers with cash, gourmet meals, expensive cigars, rare liquor and wild sex parties in upscale hotels to procure the contracts. Arrested in 2013 he pled guilty in 2015 to offering $500,000 in bribes to US Navy officers in an attempt to funnel official work towards his shipyards. Dozens of navy officials have been ensnared in the case, with four officers having been found guilty, and 28 others, including contractors and naval officials, having pleaded guilty so far. Francis [was] placed under house arrest while acting as a co-operating witness.
Note: At one point, Francis bribed officials to redirect an aircraft carrier. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The British government targeted the American civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael and sought to weaken the Black Power movement with covert disinformation campaigns, recently declassified documents have revealed. The effort was the work of a secret unit known as the Information Research Department, based in London and part of the Foreign Office, which created and distributed literature from fake sources as part of a broader effort to destabilise cold war enemies. The effort against Carmichael, a firebrand orator who travelled to west Africa in part to escape harassment by US law enforcement agencies, aimed to portray the prominent Black Power leader as a foreign interloper in Africa who was contemptuous of the inhabitants of the continent. Based mainly in Guinea from July 1969, the 28-year-old activist had became a vocal advocate of socialist, pan-Africanist ideologies, which worried British officials. The IRD was particularly worried by the movement's potential influence in the Caribbean. In 1969, the IRD also created a new fake group: The Organisation of African Students for African Power. This was supposedly based in East Germany and adopted contemporary radical New Left ideas, "proclaiming a plague on both" the capitalist west and the Soviet bloc. The IRD felt this provided a better platform to "damage opponents" than the dated nationalist approach, while being difficult to trace back to Britain because many similar groups had genuinely sprung up in the late 1960s.
The FBI spent years surveilling the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, trying to gauge how involved she was with the civil rights movement, communism and the Black Power movement, a 270-page document shows. Franklin, who died in 2018, was monitored ahead of several performances and attendances she made for civil rights groups, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Informants mentioned Franklin, a Detroit native, in separate memos for possibly appearing at the SCLC's 1967 and 1968 national conventions, in Atlanta and Memphis, respectively. The FBI mailed several copies of "The Atlanta Voice" newspaper, which reported on her visit to town, to FBI offices around the country, as well as the U.S. attorney general and the Secret Service. During this time, Franklin was, in fact, actively involved in the civil rights movement through her music and personal connections. She was identified in a 1969 memo titled "Possible Racial Violence, Urban Areas, Racial Matters" when, in the year before, Denver concertgoers rioted after she refused to perform at the Red Rocks amphitheater due to not being properly paid. In 1971, memos named the Black Panther Party of Los Angeles and the Boston Young Workers Liberation League as organizations who intended to book her for rallies.
The most important economic and political issues facing this country are the extraordinary levels of income and wealth inequality, the rapidly growing concentration of ownership, the long-term decline of the American middle class and the evolution of this country into oligarchy. We know how important these issues are because our ruling class works overtime to prevent them from being seriously discussed. We now have more income and wealth inequality than at any time in the last hundred years. Wages ... are lower today than they were almost 50 years ago. When I was a kid growing up, most families were able to be supported by one breadwinner. Now an overwhelming majority of households need two paychecks to survive. Since 1975, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth in America that has gone in exactly the wrong direction. Over the past 47 years, according to the Rand Corporation, $50tn in wealth has been redistributed from the bottom 90% of American society to the top 1%, primarily because a growing percentage of corporate profits has been flowing into the stock portfolios of the wealthy and the powerful. During this terrible pandemic ... some 700 billionaires in America became nearly $2tn richer. Just three Wall Street firms (Blackrock, Vanguard and State Street) control assets of over $20tn and are the major stockholders in 96% of S&P 500 companies. In terms of media, some eight multinational media conglomerates control what we see, hear and read.
Note: The above was written by Sen. Bernie Sanders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
Where community activists, use-of-force victims and city officials have failed to persuade police departments to change dangerous and sometimes deadly policing practices, insurers are successfully dictating changes to tactics and policies. The movement is driven by the increasingly large jury awards and settlements that cities and their insurers are paying in police use-of-force cases, especially since the 2020 deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Those cases led to settlements of $12 million and $27 million, respectively. Insurance companies are passing the costs – and potential future costs – on to their law enforcement clients. Larger law enforcement agencies – like the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department or the New York Police Department – handle it in different ways, often by creating a special fund to finance settlements or by paying those costs from the county's or city's general fund. This insulates them from external demands by insurers. Departments with a long history of large civil rights settlements have seen their insurance rates shoot up by 200 to 400 percent over the past three years, according to insurance industry and police experts. Even departments with few problems are experiencing rate increases of 30 to 100 percent. Now, insurers also are telling departments that they must change the way they police. A Post investigation in March documented more than $3.2 billion spent over the past decade to resolve nearly 40,000 claims at 25 of the nation's largest police and sheriff's departments.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
During its summer meeting over the weekend, the Democratic National Committee quietly amended its bylaws, giving the narrower body power to override decisions made by its members at its quadrennial convention. The national committee approved language requiring that it must ratify any bylaw amendments that the convention, a broader body, wants to adopt. "No such Bylaw or amendment shall be effective unless and until it is subsequently ratified by a vote of the majority of the entire membership of the Democratic National Committee," the amended measure from the Rules and Bylaws Committee states. "These decisions are made to move ultimate power from the members of the convention into the hands of the committee, and that can become a dangerous precedent," Nevada Democratic Party Chair Judith Whitmer [said]. "These seem to us as increasingly anti-democratic decisions." The amendment removes the authority over DNC decisions from the national convention, which includes thousands of members, and places it instead with the smaller national committee of just under 500. Democratic National Committee Member Jessica Chambers ... called the DNC "the least democratic organization that I'm involved with," in part because paid staff whip votes against members. The recent attempt to suppress dissent is an example of how committee staff undermine elected members "for someone else's agenda," she added. "And I don't know whose agenda it really is."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
The biggest thing the federal government now does with businesses is subsidize them. The Clean Air Act of 1970 authorized the government to regulate air pollution. The Inflation Reduction Act, which Joe Biden signed into law ... allocates more than $300bn to energy and climate reform, including $30bn in subsidies for manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines. Notice the difference? This shift from regulation to subsidy has characterized every recent administration. Today it's politically difficult, if not impossible, for government to demand that corporations (and their shareholders) bear the costs of public goods. Spending by corporations on lobbying increased from $1.44bn in 1999 to $3.77bn in 2021 and is on track to exceed $4bn this year. This tidal wave of corporate money has occurred at the same time large American corporations have globalized ... demanding government subsidies in return for creating jobs and doing their cutting-edge research in America. The question [is] whether the government should subsidize certain industries that generate large social benefits in the form of new technologies. I argued that the government was already engaged in a hidden industrial policy, disguised, for example, as grants to the aerospace and telecom industries by the Department of Defense and to the pharmaceutical industry by the National Institutes of Health. It would be far better to do industrial policy in the open, so that the public could assess what it was paying for and what it was getting in return.
Note: This article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more revealing information on the government sponsoring corporate, financial interests without public input, see concise summaries of news articles on corporate corruption, and corruption in government and the financial industry.
School librarians [will] have less freedom to choose books and schoolchildren [will have] less ability to read books they find intriguing, experts say. In the past two years, six states have passed laws that mandate parental involvement in reviewing books, making it easier for parents to remove books or restrict the texts available at school, according to a tally kept by nonprofit EveryLibrary. Policies are proliferating at the district level, too. A Texas system will divide its library into "juvenile," "young adult" and "adult" sections, with parents choosing the "level" their child can access. "This is a state-sponsored purging of ideas and identities that has no precedent in the United States of America," said John Chrastka, EveryLibrary's executive director. "We're witnessing the silencing of stories and the suppressing of information [that will make] the next generation less able to function in society." A flurry of parent-staffed websites reviewing books for inappropriate content have appeared – including "Between the Book Covers," whose website says "professional review sites cannot be entrusted," and BookLook.info, "a place for taking a closer look at the books in our children's hands." There are also Facebook groups like Utah's "LaVerna in the Library," which "collects naughty children's books." As states and districts adjust their reading rules, parents and students are working to change things, too. Teens in Texas, for example, have formed "banned book clubs" – while in Missouri, students are suing their district to restore eight pulled books.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of the disappearance of privacy in our society. Whether in our schools, on social media, or in our news, read about the increasing issue of censorship that undermines democracy in our Mass Media Information Center.
[Very few know about] the 1933 "Wall Street putsch" against newly elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt's bold New Deal experiments inflamed the upper class, provoking a backlash from the nation's most powerful bankers, industrialists and Wall Street brokers. Against the backdrop of charismatic dictators in the world such as Hitler and Mussolini, the sparks of anti-Rooseveltism ignited into full-fledged hatred. Many American intellectuals and business leaders saw nazism and fascism as viable models for the US. There is much evidence that the nation's wealthiest men – Republicans and Democrats alike – were so threatened by FDR's policies that they conspired with antigovernment paramilitarism to stage a coup. The final report by the congressional committee tasked with investigating the allegations ... concluded: "There is no question that [fascism] attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient." [US Marine Corps Maj Gen Smedley Darlington] Butler demanded to know why the names of the country's richest men were removed from the final version of the committee's report. "Like most committees, it has slaughtered the little and allowed the big to escape," Butler said.
A Saudi court has sentenced a doctoral student to 34 years in prison for spreading "rumors" and retweeting dissidents. Activists and lawyers consider the sentence against Salma al-Shehab, a mother of two and a researcher at Leeds University in Britain, shocking even by Saudi standards of justice. So far unacknowledged by the kingdom, the ruling comes amid Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's crackdown on dissent. Al-Shehab was detained during a family vacation on Jan. 15, 2021, just days before she planned to return to the United Kingdom, according to the Freedom Initiative, a Washington-based human rights group. Al-Shehab told judges she had been held for over 285 days in solitary confinement before her case was even referred to court. The Freedom Initiative describes al-Shehab as a member of Saudi Arabia's Shiite Muslim minority, which has long complained of systematic discrimination in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. "Saudi Arabia has boasted to the world that they are improving women's rights and creating legal reform, but there is no question with this abhorrent sentence that the situation is only getting worse," said Bethany al-Haidari, the group's Saudi case manager. Judges accused al-Shehab of "disturbing public order" and "destabilizing the social fabric" – claims stemming solely from her social media activity, according to an official charge sheet. They alleged al-Shehab followed and retweeted dissident accounts on Twitter and "transmitted false rumors."
Note: Why does the US government seem to hate Iran so much yet love Saudi Arabia, 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.
Ask questions or post content about COVID-19 that runs counter to the Biden administration's narrative and find yourself censored on social media. That's precisely what data analyst and digital strategist Justin Hart says happened to him. And so last week the Liberty Justice Center, a public-interest law firm, filed a suit on his behalf in California against Facebook, Twitter, President Joe Biden and United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for violating his First Amendment right to free speech. Hart had his social media most recently locked for merely posting an infographic that illustrated the lack of scientific research behind forcing children to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID. In fact ... study after study repeatedly shows that children are safer than vaccinated adults and that the masks people actually wear don't do much good. The lawsuit contends that the federal government is "colluding with social media companies to monitor, flag, suspend and delete social media posts it deems 'misinformation.'" It can point to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki's July remarks that senior White House staff are "in regular touch" with Big Tech platforms regarding posts about COVID. She also said the surgeon general's office is "flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread." "Why do we think it's acceptable for the government to direct social media companies to censor people on critical issues such as COVID?" Hart asks. The Post has been targeted repeatedly by social media for solid, factual reporting.
Note: Read about another lawsuit alleging collusion between government and big tech companies to censor dissenting views on pandemic policies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
White House COVID-19 Response Team Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said during a virtual discussion Tuesday that the way we used to think about social distancing is "not actually the right way" to think about COVID-19 mitigation. The response came when U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne Clarke asked Jha what prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update their COVID-19 guidance, and to clarify exactly what that guidance is now. "The CDC guidance sort of relaxes a lot of the restrictions we've had," Jha responded. "Tells us that there's a really new way of thinking about who is going to get infected. We used to spend a lot of time talking about six feet of distance, 15 minutes of being together. You know, we realize that's actually not the right way to think about this, that's not the kind of – most accurate way to think about this." Jha said that, instead ... it's really about the quality of air you're breathing around you. "A crowded indoor space with poor ventilation, you can get infected within minutes," Jha continued "If you're outdoors, with obviously by definition good ventilation, you can be outside for long periods of time and not get infected. So, context matters, crowds matter, ventilation matters." The latest CDC guidance says social distancing is "just one component of how to protect yourself and others" from COVID-19. The deemphasis on social distance marks a shift in the CDC's messaging, which had long prioritized social distancing as a critical mitigation strategy.
Note: If anyone made these comments in 2021, they would likely have been censored. 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 head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said the agency must make drastic changes to respond better and faster to public health emergencies, following missteps during the Covid pandemic. The agency has faced widespread criticism throughout the pandemic for its slow responses and often confusing messaging on masking and other mitigation measures. "In our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations," [Dr. Rochelle] Walensky said. Dr. Richard Besser, former acting CDC director and current president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said overhauling the agency's public messaging is "absolutely essential." "A lot of the scientists at CDC are really good at doing science, and a lot of the responders are really good at doing response," he said. "But that doesn't mean they're good at explaining it in ways that will be useful to the general public." That's potentially a lasting problem for an agency that's often been lagging in its public outreach, said Dr. Mario Ramirez, an emergency physician and former pandemic and emerging threats coordinator under President Barack Obama. "The real challenge that faces CDC," Ramirez said on NBC News Now, "is that it is extremely difficult to communicate complex scientific issues at a speed that is so fast, faster than the Twittersphere." "The margin for error is so small. If you make a mistake in public health, it takes a very long time to regain public trust," he said.
Big Pharma spent more than any other industry to lobby Congress and federal agencies this year, a Reuters analysis shows, but is still on course for a major defeat by failing to stop a bill that allows the government to negotiate prices on select drugs. The $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act to change climate, health, and tax policies cleared its largest hurdle last week when Democratic lawmakers passed it in the Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives is also expected to pass it on Friday, allowing President Joe Biden to sign it into law. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in October found that 83% of Americans, including 95% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans, want the federal Medicare health plan for seniors to negotiate prices. The industry's powerful trade association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), urged senators in a public letter to reject the bill. A Reuters analysis ... shows that the pharmaceutical industry has spent at least $142.6 million on lobbying Congress and federal agencies in the first half of 2022, more than any industry, and at least $16.1 million on campaign contributions during the current mid-term election cycle. Almost two thirds of the money spent on lobbying ... came from PhRMA and its member companies. The bill's provision for drug price negotiations was scaled back in November, allowing Medicare to focus on an annual maximum of 20 of the costliest medicines by 2029, instead of an initial proposal to help reduce prices for 250 treatments.
China's ambition to collect a staggering amount of personal data from everyday citizens is more expansive than previously known. Phone-tracking devices are now everywhere. The police are creating some of the largest DNA databases in the world. And the authorities are building upon facial recognition technology to collect voice prints from the general public. The Times' Visual Investigations team and reporters in Asia spent over a year analyzing more than a hundred thousand government bidding documents. The Chinese government's goal is clear: designing a system to maximize what the state can find out about a person's identity, activities and social connections. In a number of the bidding documents, the police said that they wanted to place cameras where people go to fulfill their common needs – like eating, traveling, shopping and entertainment. The police also wanted to install facial recognition cameras inside private spaces, like residential buildings, karaoke lounges and hotels. Authorities are using phone trackers to link people's digital lives to their physical movements. Devices known as WiFi sniffers and IMSI catchers can glean information from phones in their vicinity. DNA, iris scan samples and voice prints are being collected indiscriminately from people with no connection to crime. The government wants to connect all of these data points to build comprehensive profiles for citizens – which are accessible throughout the government.
Note: For more on this disturbing topic, see the New York Times article "How China is Policing the Future." 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.
Even if you have never set foot in China, Hikvision's cameras have likely seen you. By 2017, Hikvision had captured 12 percent of the North American market. Its cameras watched over apartment buildings in New York City, public recreation centers in Philadelphia, and hotels in Los Angeles. Police departments used them to monitor streets in Memphis, Tennessee, and in Lawrence, Massachusetts. London and more than half of Britain's 20 next-largest cities have deployed them. A recent search for the company's cameras, using Shodan, a tool that locates internet-connected devices, yielded nearly 5 million results, including more than 750,000 devices in the United States. Among the policies that Hikvision's products have supported is China's wide-ranging crackdown against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other minority groups in the western province of Xinjiang. Far from being appalled by Hikvision's role in China's atrocities, however, plenty of foreign leaders are intrigued. They see an opportunity to acquire tools that could reduce crime and spur growth. Of course, the authoritarian-leaning among them also see a chance to monitor their domestic challengers and cement their control. The use of military language ... heightens the sense that these tools can easily become weapons. Cameras can be set to "patrol." "Intrusion detection" sounds like a method for defending a bank or a military base. Hikvision's cameras do not check identities. They "capture" faces.
Note: For more, see this Bloomberg article titled "Blacklisted Chinese Tech Found Inside Top Secret UK Lab." 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.
Today it's my great pleasure to introduce two Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalists, Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham, who are going to discuss their new book, "American Cartel." We're talking about companies that create and fuel the opioid crisis. We've heard this story about the Sacklers and indeed the Sacklers have been identified, and if criminal charges haven't been brought at least they've been vilified in the press. But ... this goes way beyond the Sacklers. This is not just the story of one bad apple. "It's so much bigger than that," [said Horwitz]. "We found, in our two-year investigation ... a constellation of companies that fuel the deadliest epidemic, drug epidemic, in American history. Some of these companies are some of the largest in this country. Some we've heard of. They are household names - Walgreens, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson. We found internal emails from these companies where the people in the companies were laughing at the addicts. They were mocking them. Meanwhile, the drug companies, they are smart. They decide to lure away the best and the brightest if they can from the DEA and the Justice Department to help them as they are selling opioids, and they are very successful. They hired dozens of people from DEA and the Justice Department to work for these companies. So again, these are the people who are trying to protect us, working for the DEA and the Justice Department. They are lured away to the companies who are selling addictive painkillers that are killing people."
Bashing Saudi Arabia during a presidential election season is almost a tradition in the United States, and President Biden made no exception. Emboldened by domestic outrage over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, Mr. Biden went further than his predecessors by calling Saudi Arabia a "pariah" state. Mr. Biden sought to justify his visit to Saudi Arabia this week in a Washington Post opinion essay, saying his aim was to "reorient," not "rupture," relations. Yet no justification for his visit to the kingdom this week can erase the truth: It is a defeat for Mr. Biden and a personal and political triumph for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or M.B.S., as he is popularly known. The United States needs Saudi Arabia: The kingdom remains the oil market's major swing producer and is the main buyer of U.S. arms globally. By virtue of geopolitics and economics, Saudi Arabia's cooperation with the United States is consequential when it comes to Washington's efforts to counter Iran, end the war in Yemen and normalize Israel's relations with the Arab world, as well as limit Russia's and China's influence in the region. All of this was true before Russia's invasion of Ukraine upended global oil markets and sent gasoline prices skyrocketing in the United States and Europe. So the Biden administration had to come up with a solution to its Saudi problem, especially in a critical election year, as Mr. Biden's job approval ratings have dropped and gas prices have soared.
Note: With their big oil, big money, and involvement in mind control and sex trafficking worldwide, the Saudis are a powerful force that politicians fear going up against despite the horrific treatment of women and major human rights violations there. Why does the US government seem to hate Iran so much yet love Saudi Arabia, 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.
What happens when government leaders leave Washington for cushy jobs on corporate boards? Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is just the latest administration official to go through the revolving door after his second tour at the FDA. Gottlieb recently resigned from his spot as the top federal drug regulator to take on a role at Pfizer–the top drug producer in the United States. But Gottlieb's hiring is just the latest in a long line of moves to fortify the industry's influence in Washington. Big Pharma spending on lobbying eclipses every other industry according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Current Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar - Gottlieb's former boss - used to be president of Lilly USA, the U.S. branch of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Trump lauded his appointment by calling Azar a "star for better healthcare and lower drug prices," but during his time there the company raised the brand's insulin prices threefold creating a crisis and drawing public outrage. A study last year found more than 160 former lobbyists serving in the Trump administration - and those industry ties point to an administration that puts the priorities of large corporations over those of the American people. Corporate executives and industry lobbyists cannot be effective regulators of the industries that have made them millions. The revolving door is an age-old problem in Washington but the scope and volume of the conflicts in the current administration ... is unprecedented.
Note: For lots more on the revolving door between government and big Pharma, see the "Revolving Door Project" and read this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, other Biden administration officials and five social media companies have 30 days to respond to subpoenas in a lawsuit alleging collusion to suppress freedom of speech. Discovery requests were served to ask for information and documents from ... NIAID, CDC, ... Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Nina Jankowicz, who led the DHS Disinformation Governance Board until it was disbanded. Also requested were any communications to any social media platform relating to the "Great Barrington Declaration," [which] was published in response to COVID-19 policies that recommended "focused protection," an approach to reaching herd immunity by allowing those at minimal risk of death to live normal lives by building up immunity through natural infection while protecting those at highest risk. A media release from [Missouri Attorney General Eric] Schmitt ... stated information requested was identifying all communications with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation. It requests all communications with Mark Zuckerberg from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present. "In May, Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like COVID-19 and election security," Schmitt said. "Earlier this month, a federal court granted our motion for expedited discovery. We will fight to get to the bottom of this alleged collusion and expose the suppression of freedom of speech by social media giants at the behest of top-ranking government officials.”
Note: For more details, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
It's estimated that more than 107,000 people in the United States died due to opioid overdoses in 2021. Washington Post journalist Scott Higham notes it's "the equivalent of a 737 Boeing crashing and burning and killing everybody on board every single day." In the new book, American Cartel, Higham and co-author Sari Horwitz make the case that the pharmaceutical industry operated like a drug cartel, with manufacturers at the top; wholesalers in the middle; and pharmacies at the level of "street dealers." The companies collaborated with each other – and with lawyers and lobbyists – to create legislation that protected their industry, even as they competed for market share. "It really is the companies that run the show," Higham says. "People were dying by the thousands while these companies were lobbying members of Congress ... to pass legislation and to lobby members of the Department of Justice and try to slow down the DEA enforcement efforts." Big pharma fought to create legislation that would limit the DEA's ability to go after drug wholesalers. The efforts were effective; more than 100 billion pills were manufactured, distributed and dispensed between 2006 and 2014. Meanwhile, both federal and state DEA agents are frustrated by the ways in which their enforcement efforts have been curtailed. Right now there are 40,000 Americans who are in jail on marijuana charges. And not one executive of a Fortune 500 company involved in the opioid trade has been charged with a crime.
This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), announced his retirement effective January 2025. By then, he will have turned 85 years old and served in the federal government for 59 years. Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com crunched Fauci's cash pension payout as of his anticipated retirement date. Today, Fauci earns a federal salary of $480,654 per year. However, by 2024, Fauci will likely be making $530,000 in salary – an increase of nearly $200,000 since 2014. Therefore, we estimate that Fauci's first year pension payout will exceed $414,000 – more than the salary for the President of the United States ($400,000). In 2021, in my then-column at Forbes, we first reported that Fauci was the most highly compensated federal employee making $417,608 (2019, last available salary) and then earned $434,312 in 2020. For both years, Fauci was the top-paid federal employee, out earning "the president, four star generals, and roughly 4.3 million of his colleagues." Fauci's salary then increased to $456,028 (2021) and he makes $480,654 today. We estimate he'll make $504,686 (2023) and then $529,921 (2024). Bureaucrats who have worked in government as long as Fauci are able to retire on the vast majority of their annual earnings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Lowering prescription drug prices is among the Biden administration's most urgent priorities. But the drug industry is spending big to keep that from happening. A new compromise on Capitol Hill would offer some relief from high prices by gradually allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices similar to private insurers for the first time, while capping out of pocket costs at $2,000 and setting limits on the cost of insulin. The pharmaceutical industry has spent nearly $263 million on lobbying so far this year, employing three lobbyists for every member of Congress, according to OpenSecrets, which tracks money in politics. Millions of those dollars are in the form of campaign donations. "They have really endless resources to throw at shaping the outcomes of legislation," said Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of OpenSecrets. Congressman Scott Peters, a Democrat, sparked protests outside his San Diego district office when he came out against a plan to cut drug costs for seniors earlier this year. He's received nearly $130,000 from the industry this year. About $100,000 has been donated to Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema this year. Senator Robert Menendez, also a Democrat, has taken nearly $80,000 in 2021. "Bottom line is I'm supporting a price negotiation bill that has been worked out," ... Menendez said when asked what message he's sending by taking money from the pharmaceutical industry.
Note: This article fails to mention that big Pharma spends more than any other sector on lobbying and also is the largest sponsor of advertising in the major media. Do you think the media and Congress are biased by this? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry from reliable major media sources.
Jeff Smith, a partner with the influential consulting firm McKinsey & Company, accepted a highly sensitive assignment in December 2017. The opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma ... sought out Dr. Smith. His team reviewed business plans and evaluated new drugs that Purdue hoped would help move the company beyond the turmoil associated with OxyContin, its addictive painkiller that medical experts say helped to spark the opioid epidemic. But the corporate reorganization was not Dr. Smith's only assignment. He was also helping the Food and Drug Administration overhaul its office that approves new drugs – the same office that would determine the regulatory fate of Purdue's new line of proposed products. A review ... of internal McKinsey documents found that the firm repeatedly allowed employees who served pharmaceutical companies, including opioid makers, to also consult for the F.D.A., the drug industry's primary government regulator. And, the documents show, McKinsey touted that inside access in pitches to private clients. In an email in 2014 to Purdue's chief executive, a McKinsey consultant highlighted the firm's work for the F.D.A. and stressed "who we know and what we know." McKinsey also allowed employees advising Purdue to help shape materials that were intended for government officials and agencies, including a memo in 2018 prepared for Alex M. Azar II. References to the severity of the opioid crisis in a draft version of the memo ... were cut before it was sent to Mr. Azar.
In early days of America's space program, two men met over a bottle of Jack Daniel's. It was roughly 1959, when the future of America's young space program was clouded by technological disagreements. On one side of the bottle was Wernher von Braun, the engineering genius who had developed the world's first ballistic missile for Adolf Hitler during World War II. He had once been a member of Hitler's Schutzstaffel, or SS, but now ran NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. On the other side was Abraham Silverstein, who had grown up in a poor Jewish family in Indiana. He was NASA's space flight chief. One former Nazi, one American Jew. Little more than a decade separated them from the Holocaust. Looming before two of America's top rocket engineers were many critical decisions, including what kind of fuel would be needed to blast off astronauts to the moon. The collaboration between Von Braun and Silverstein was not unique. During the Apollo program, which landed Americans on the moon six times between 1969 and 1972, NASA was filled with both Jewish scientists and a large group of Germans who had worked for Hitler before and during World War II. In recent years, a deeper analysis has focused on America's decision to bring 125 German rocket scientists and engineers to the U.S. after World War II under a secret program approved by President Truman and code-named Operation Paperclip. Much of the history of the underground factory was held secret from the American public until the 1970s.
Note: Learn more about Operation Paperclip which secretly brought hundreds of Nazi scientists to the U.S. And more in a New York Times article about the Nazis given safe haven in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
More than a quarter of the Food and Drug Administration employees who approved cancer and hematology drugs from 2001 through 2010 left the agency and now work or consult for pharmaceutical companies, according to research published by a prominent medical journal. [Dr. Vinay] Prasad and his colleague Dr. Jeffrey Bien ... tracked 55 FDA reviewers in the hematology-oncology field from 2001 through 2010, using LinkedIn, PubMed and other publicly available job data. The researchers found that of the 26 reviewers who left the FDA during this period, 15 of them, or 57 percent, later worked or consulted for the biopharmaceutical industry. Put another way, about 27 percent of the total number of reviewers left their federal oversight posts to work for the industry they previously regulated. Prasad and Bien published their findings as a research letter in The BMJ, formerly The British Medical Journal. "If you know in the back of your mind that your career goal may be to someday work on the other side of the table, I wonder whether that changes the way you regulate," Prasad said. "There's a lot of room for interpretation in deciding whether or not a cancer drug should be approved," he said, because so many studies of cancer drugs rely on what's called a "surrogate endpoint." But ... there isn't always evidence that surrogate endpoints are linked to better health outcomes for patients, suggesting that some approved drugs aren't as beneficial as they appear.
John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former White House national security adviser, said on Tuesday that he had helped plan attempted coups in foreign countries. Bolton made the remarks to CNN after the day's congressional hearing into the Jan 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The panel's lawmakers ... accused former President Donald Trump of inciting the violence in a last-ditch bid to remain in power after losing the 2020 election. Speaking to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, however, Bolton suggested Trump was not competent enough to pull off a "carefully planned coup d'etat," later adding: "As somebody who has helped plan coups d'etat - not here but you know (in) other places - it takes a lot of work. And that's not what he (Trump) did." Tapper asked Bolton which attempts he was referring to. "I'm not going to get into the specifics," Bolton said, before mentioning Venezuela. "It turned out not to be successful. Not that we had all that much to do with it but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president and they failed," he said. "I feel like there's other stuff you're not telling me (beyond Venezuela)," the CNN anchor said, prompting a reply from Bolton: "I'm sure there is." Many foreign policy experts have over the years criticized Washington's history of interventions in other countries, from its role in the 1953 overthrowing of then Iranian nationalist prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and the Vietnam war, to its invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan this century.
On June 28, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to recruit, groom and abuse underage girls. In Maxwell's defense, lawyer Bobbi C. Sternheim said that Ms. Maxwell's life had been clouded by two men: "her narcissistic, brutish father" Robert Maxwell, wealthy British media tycoon and former member of parliament, and "the controlling, demanding, manipulative" Jeffrey Epstein. What [Maxwell] could not say was that she was the one to take the fall for a sexual blackmail operation sponsored by Western intelligence agencies. That operation appears to have originated with her father Robert back in the 1980s. Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli intelligence official, claimed to have seen Jeffrey Epstein in Robert's office in the early 1980s. Robert was a long-time operative for Israeli intelligence. Ben-Menashe [said] that Epstein "was the simple idiot who was going around providing girls to all kinds of politicians in the United States. He was taking photos of politicians fucking fourteen year old girls. They would just blackmail people like this." Maxwell ... claims she has copies of everything that Epstein had and a secret stash of pedophile sex tapes that could implicate the world's most powerful and will try to use them to save herself. The flight logs from [Epstein's] Lolita Express reveal a "who's who" of early 1990s high society, including ... lawyer Alan Dershowitz, conservative billionaire David Koch; and politicians such as Tony Blair.
The CEO of the biggest power company in the US had a problem. A Democratic state senator was proposing a law that could cut into Florida Power & Light's (FPL) profits. Landlords would be able to sell cheap rooftop solar power directly to their tenants – bypassing FPL and its monopoly on electricity. "I want you to make his life a living hell ... seriously," FPL's CEO Eric Silagy wrote in a 2019 email to two of his vice-presidents about state Senator JosĂ© Javier RodrĂguez, who proposed the legislation. Within minutes, one of them forwarded the directive to the CEO of Matrix, LLC, a powerful but little-known political consulting firm that has operated behind the scenes in at least eight states. RodrĂguez was ousted from office in the next election. Matrix employees spent heavily on political advertisements for a candidate with the same last name as RodrĂguez, who split the vote. That candidate later admitted he was bribed to run. Hundreds of pages of internal documents – which are only coming to light now because Matrix's founders are locked in an epic feud – detail the firm's secret work to help power companies like FPL protect their profits and fight the transition to cleaner forms of energy. The Matrix saga illustrates the political obstacles policymakers and experts face as they attempt to cut climate pollution from the power sector. Matrix affiliated groups have also worked to advance power companies' interests in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and in front of the Environmental Protection Agency, public records show.
Note: A telling analysis shows a 235% profit jump for big oil funded by us at the gas pumps. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the energy industry from reliable major media sources.
Among the more than 1.2 million Americans imprisoned in federal and state prisons, two out of three are forced to work while imprisoned. The 13th amendment of the US constitution abolished slavery or involuntary servitude, but included an exception for prisoners; critics have called prison work modern-day slavery. [Susan] Dokken's pay started at 12 cents an hour and prisoners have the ability after positive reviews to increase their pay to 24 cents an hour, while they're charged full price when they buy basic necessities through the commissary. Dokken explained that if prisoners refused to work, they would have privileges revoked and possibly get written up, which would follow them on their record to parole and probation. According to a June 2022 report published by the American Civil Liberties Union, prison labor generates more than $11bn annually, with more than $2bn generated from the production of goods, and more than $9bn generated through prison maintenance services. Wages range on average from 13 cents to 52 cents per hour, but many prisoners are paid nothing at all, and their low wages are subject to various deductions. The ACLU report said 76% of workers surveyed reported they were forced to work or faced additional punishment, 70% said they could not afford basic necessities on their prison labor wages, 70% reported receiving no formal job training and 64% reported concerns for their safety on the job. Prison workers are also excluded from basic worker protections.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Nearly one third of people killed by US police since 2015 were running away, driving off or attempting to flee when the officer fatally shot or used lethal force against them, data reveals. In the past seven years, police in America have killed more than 2,500 people who were fleeing, and those numbers have slightly increased in recent years, amounting to an average of roughly one killing a day of someone running or trying to escape, according to Mapping Police Violence, a research group that tracks lethal force cases. In many cases, the encounters started as traffic stops, or there were no allegations of violence or serious crimes prompting police contact. Some people were shot in the back while running and others were passengers in fleeing cars. Despite a decades-long push to hold officers accountable for killing civilians, prosecution remains exceedingly rare, the data shows. Of the 2,500 people killed while fleeing since 2015, only 50 or 2% have resulted in criminal charges. The majority of those charges were either dismissed or resulted in acquittals. Only nine officers were convicted, representing 0.35% of cases. The data, advocates and experts say, highlights how the US legal system allows officers to kill with impunity and how reform efforts have not addressed fundamental flaws in police departments. US police kill more people in days than many countries do in years, with roughly 1,100 fatalities a year since 2013. The numbers haven't changed since the start of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Note: Explore the database of the Washington Post on police killings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been heavily criticized by those on the Left for fighting back against mask and vaccine mandates. He was censored by Big Tech and vilified by Democratic politicians. Consider the recent admission by Dr. Deborah Birx regarding the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Birx, the former White House COVID response coordinator, stated in an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News that she knew the vaccines wouldn't stop infections. Birx's comments align with what Paul was saying last year regarding the vaccines and the sycophantic nature in which Democrats were pushing them on the public. "I knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection," Birx said. "I think we overplayed the vaccines, and it made people then worry that it's not going to protect against severe disease and hospitalization. It will. But let's be very clear: 50% of the people who died from the omicron surge were older, vaccinated." Consider Paul's comments in an exchange with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra last September. Paul challenged Becerra on the efficacy of vaccines compared to natural immunity. At the time, Paul was one of only a few people who challenged those in charge. Some even claimed Paul's words were causing people to die. As it turns out, Paul was right, and they were wrong. "The science is against you on this. The science is clear. Naturally acquired immunity is as good as a vaccine," Paul said.
Note: Watch the revealing interview where Dr. Birx makes these comments. Note that Birx is promoting Paxlovid for which the gov't pays $530 per person and is offering free of charge. So who do you think pays for this ultimately? And who profits? The official narrative on COVID is falling apart as shown in the evidence in this great article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Medicare's drug program could have saved up to $3.6 billion in 2020 by mirroring the pricing strategy of entrepreneur and Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban's online pharmacy, according to a new study. Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Co. offers a selection of generic drugs at the cost of manufacturing them plus a flat 15% markup. The direct-to-consumer pharmacy does not accept insurance. The study's authors suggest that Medicare is overpaying for many generic drugs and could save billions a year if it purchased them directly from Cuban's online pharmacy. "The lower prices from a direct-to-consumer model highlight inefficiencies in the existing generic pharmaceutical distribution and reimbursement system, which includes wholesalers, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, and insurers," wrote researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in a brief published ... in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Cuban and his pharmacy did not fund or have any involvement in the study. Cost Plus Drug Co. says it engages in price negotiations with drugmakers. Medicare's drug program, Part D, however, prohibits the government from directly negotiating pharmaceutical prices. Researchers compared 2020 Medicare spending for a total of 89 drugs ... to their prices at Cost Plus Drug Co. in February. They estimate that Medicare overpaid for 77 generic drugs, spending $8.1 billion compared with $4.5 billion if the federal agency had purchased at the same prices as Cost Plus Drug Co. charges.
On September 19, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill ... would allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare, a right assumed by the governments of every other major economy. Polls showed support ranging from 80 to an eye-popping 90-plus percent. H.R. 3 was delivered stillborn into Mitch McConnell's Senate in November of 2019. Two years later, when Joe Biden released the massive social-spending and climate-change bill dubbed Build Back Better, H.R. 3's reforms were nowhere to be found. And at every level of government, Pharma's endless river of money continues to flow, the widest, steadiest current of lobbying largesse the capitol has ever known. In 2021, the industry reported spending $124 million on a fleet of 846 lobbyists, roughly two for every member of Congress. Sixty-five percent were former government employees. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are part of a larger coalition that includes the insurance, medical-device, and hospital industries. Its combined resources flow downstream through dozens of lobbying firms, communications shops, and front groups. "If a freshman Democrat so much as signs a letter related to drug prices, the lobby hammers them with phone calls and meeting requests, completely locking up the calendar," says Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works. "The calls come in from ex-Democratic officials and staffers, so they have to take the meetings."
Small teams of U.S. Special Operations forces are involved in a low-profile proxy war program on a far greater scale than previously known. While The Intercept and other outlets have previously reported on the Pentagon's use of the secretive 127e authority in multiple African countries, a new document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act offers the first official confirmation that at least 14 127e programs were also active in the greater Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region as recently as 2020. In total, between 2017 and 2020, U.S. commandos conducted at least 23 separate 127e programs across the world. Separately, Joseph Votel, a retired four-star Army general who headed both Special Operations Command and Central Command, which oversees U.S. military efforts in the Middle East, confirmed the existence of previously unrevealed 127e "counterterrorism" efforts in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. Basic information about these missions – where they are conducted, their frequency and targets, and the foreign forces the U.S. relies on to carry them out – are unknown even to most members of relevant congressional committees and key State Department personnel. Through 127e, the U.S. arms, trains, and provides intelligence to foreign forces. 127e partners are then dispatched on U.S.-directed missions, targeting U.S. enemies to achieve U.S. aims. "If someone were to call a 127-echo program a proxy operation, it would be hard to argue with them," [said a former senior defense official].
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
When the Federal Reserve needed Wall Street's help with its pandemic rescue mission, it went straight to Larry Fink. The BlackRock cofounder, chairman, and chief executive officer has become one of the industry's most important government whisperers. The company's new assignment is a much bigger version of one it took on after the 2008 financial crisis, when the Federal Reserve enlisted it to dispose of toxic mortgage securities. This time it will help the Fed prop up the entire corporate bond market by purchasing, on the central bank's behalf, what could become a $750 billion portfolio of debt. One part of the Fed's plan is to buy bond exchange-traded funds. BlackRock itself runs ETFs under the iShares brand, and could end up buying funds it manages. "BlackRock is acting as a fiduciary to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York," says a spokesman for the company. "As such, BlackRock will execute this mandate at the sole discretion of the bank." The arrangement is bringing new attention to the company's scale and ubiquity. "It's impossible to think of BlackRock without thinking of them as a fourth branch of government," says William Birdthistle, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. BlackRock's growth raises questions over how big and useful a company can become before its size poses a risk. And then there are the potential conflicts. One arm of BlackRock knows what the Fed is buying, while other parts of the business participating in credit markets could benefit from that knowledge.
Note: Watch an excellent documentary showing how BlackRock, Vanguard, and several other institutions are the largest shareholders in almost every major corporation you can think of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry from reliable major media sources.
Over the past decades, regulatory agencies have seen large proportions of their budgets funded by the industry they are sworn to regulate. In 1992, the US Congress passed the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), allowing industry to fund the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly through "user fees." The FDA moved from a fully taxpayer funded entity to one supplemented by industry money. Net PDUFA fees collected have increased 30 fold–from around $29m in 1993 to $884m in 2016. In Europe, industry fees funded 20% of ... the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in 1995. By 2010 that had risen to 75%; today it is 89%. Australia had the highest proportion of budget from industry fees (96%) and in 2020-2021 approved more than nine of every 10 drug company applications. But for decades academics have raised questions about the influence funding has on regulatory decisions, especially in the wake of a string of drug and device scandals–including opioids, Alzheimer's drugs, influenza antivirals, pelvic mesh, joint prostheses, breast and contraceptive implants, cardiac stents, and pacemakers. An analysis of three decades of PDUFA in the US has shown how a reliance on industry fees is contributing to a decline in evidentiary standards, ultimately harming patients. A BMJ investigation last year found several expert advisers for covid-19 vaccine advisory committees in the UK and US had financial ties with vaccine manufacturers–ties the regulators judged as acceptable.
Note: For more on this massive legal corruption, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.
Lockdowns had "little to no effect" on saving lives during the pandemic – and "should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy," according to a controversial meta-analysis of dozens of studies. A group led by the head of Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics analyzed studies from the first surge of the pandemic to investigate widely pushed claims that stringent restrictions would limit deaths. Instead, the meta-analysis concluded that lockdowns across the US and Europe had only "reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average." Worse, some of the studies even suggested that limiting gatherings in safe outdoor spots may have been "counterproductive and increased" the death rate, the authors noted in the non-peer-reviewed preprint. "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 professors wrote in the journal Studies in Applied Economics. In fact, the early lockdowns "have had devastating effects," the authors insisted. "They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy," the damning report insisted. "Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument," the authors said of the "ill-founded" measures.
"It's like a horror movie I'm being forced to watch and I can't close my eyes," one senior FDA official lamented. That particular FDA doctor was referring to two recent developments inside the agency. First, how, with no solid clinical data, the agency authorized COVID vaccines for infants and toddlers, including those who already had COVID. And second, [how] the FDA bypassed its external experts to authorize booster shots for young children. That doctor is hardly alone. At the NIH, doctors and scientists complain to us about low morale and lower staffing: The NIH's Vaccine Research Center has had many of its senior scientists leave over the last year, including the director, deputy director and chief medical officer. The CDC has experienced a similar exodus. "There's been a large amount of turnover. Morale is low," one high level official at the CDC told us. "Things have become so political, so what are we there for?" Another CDC scientist told us: "I used to be proud to tell people I work at the CDC. Now I'm embarrassed." Why are they embarrassed? First, they demanded that young children be masked in schools. On this score, the agencies were wrong. Compelling studies later found schools that masked children had no different rates of transmission. Next came school closures. The agencies were wrong – and catastrophically so. Poor and minority children suffered learning loss with an 11-point drop in math scores alone and a 20% drop in math pass rates. Then they ignored natural immunity. Wrong again.
Note: Why are so few media reporting on this most important news? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
There's a hidden ingredient used as a whitener in an array of foods, from candies and pastries to cheeses and gum. 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. Known as the "yoga mat'' chemical because it is often found in foamed plastic, the additive has been linked to asthma and respiratory issues in exposed workers and, when baked, to cancer in mice studies. Potassium bromate, an oxidizing agent often found in bread and dough and linked in animal studies to kidney and thyroid cancers, has been banned in the EU since 1990 but is still commonly used in the US. Brominated vegetable oil is also banned in the EU but is used as an emulsifier in citrus sodas and drinks in the US. Long-term exposure has been linked to headaches, memory loss and impaired coordination. 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.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency is warning that two nonstick and stain-resistant compounds found in drinking water are more dangerous than previously thought and pose health risks even at levels so low they cannot currently be detected. The two compounds, known as PFOA and PFOS, have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers, but there are a limited number of ongoing uses and the chemicals remain in the environment because they do not degrade over time. The compounds are part of a larger cluster of "forever chemicals" known as PFAS that have been used in consumer products and industry since the 1940s. The EPA on Wednesday issued nonbinding health advisories that set health risk thresholds for PFOA and PFOS to near zero, replacing 2016 guidelines that had set them at 70 parts per trillion. The chemicals are found in products including cardboard packaging, carpets and firefighting foam. The toxic industrial compounds are associated with serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight. The revised health guidelines are based on new science and consider lifetime exposure to the chemicals, the EPA said. Officials are no longer confident that PFAS levels allowed under the 2016 guidelines "do not have adverse health impacts," an EPA spokesman said. PFAS chemicals have been confirmed at nearly 400 military installations and at least 200 million people in the United States are drinking water contaminated with PFAS.
Guardian analysis of water samples from around the United States shows that the type of water testing relied on by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is so limited in scope that it is probably missing significant levels of PFAS pollutants. The undercount leaves regulators with an incomplete picture of the extent of PFAS contamination and reveals how millions of people may be facing an unknown health risk in their drinking water. The analysis checked water samples from PFAS hot spots around the country with two types of tests: an EPA-developed method that detects 30 types of the approximately 9,000 PFAS compounds, and another that checks for a marker of all PFAS. Seven of the nine samples collected showed higher levels of PFAS in water using the test that identifies markers for PFAS, than levels found when the water was tested using the EPA method – and at concentrations as much as 24 times greater. PFAS ... are often called "forever chemicals" because they don't fully break down, accumulating in the environment. Some are toxic at very low levels and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, kidney disease, liver problems, decreased immunity and other serious health issues. The limitations of the test used by state and federal regulators, which is called the EPA 537 method, virtually guarantees regulators will never have a full picture of contamination levels as industry churns out new compounds much faster than researchers can develop the science to measure them.
A police officer armed with a rifle watched the gunman in the Uvalde elementary school massacre walk toward the campus but did not fire while waiting for permission from a supervisor to shoot, according to a sweeping critique ... on the tactical response to the May tragedy. Some of the 21 victims at Robb Elementary School, including 19 children, possibly "could have been saved" on May 24 had they received medical attention sooner while police waited more than an hour before breaching the fourth-grade classroom, a review by a training center at Texas State University for active shooter situations found. The report is yet another damning assessment of how police failed to act on opportunities that might have saved lives in what became the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The report ... follows testimony last month in which Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the state Senate that the police response was an "abject failure." McCraw said police had enough officers and firepower on the scene of the Uvalde school massacre to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the building, and they would have found the door to the classroom where he was holed up unlocked if they had bothered to check it. In the days and weeks after the shooting, authorities gave conflicting and incorrect accounts of what happened.
Note: It is just by chance that the police made this many deadly errors and lied in their reports? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
A new wave of anger swept through Uvalde on Tuesday over surveillance footage of police officers in body armor milling in the hallway of Robb Elementary School while a gunman carried out a massacre inside a fourth-grade classroom where 19 children and two teachers were killed. The video published Tuesday by the Austin American-Statesman is a disturbing 80-minute recording of what has been known for weeks now about one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history: that heavily armed police officers, some armed with rifles and bulletproof shields, massed in the hallway and waited more than an hour before going inside and stopping the May 24 slayings. But the footage, which until now had not surfaced publicly, anguished Uvalde residents anew and redoubled calls in the small South Texas city for accountability and explanations. The footage from a hallway camera inside the school shows the gunman entering the building with an AR-15 style rifle and includes 911 tape of a teacher screaming, "Get down! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms!" Two officers approach the classrooms minutes after the gunman enters, then run back amid the sounds of gunfire. As the gunman first approaches the classrooms a child whose image is blurred can be seen poking their head around a corner down the hallway and then running back while shots ring out.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
If a summer COVID surge, a monkeypox outbreak, inflation and a continuing war in Europe weren't enough to worry about – how about preparing for a nuclear attack? Mayor Eric Adams defended New York City's newest PSA on Tuesday, saying a nuclear attack preparedness spot from the Office of Emergency Management was a "great idea" born out of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine. The campaign launched Monday and features a short PSA outlining three steps that New Yorkers can take "as the threat landscape continues to evolve." There are no imminent nuclear threats to New York City, Adams emphasized, but there will be a series of emergency management ads highlighting preparedness efforts. Emergency management officials say it's important to know the steps to stay safe even if the likelihood of a nuclear attack in NYC in the immediate future is quite low. Still, many New Yorkers were left asking, "Why now?" Some of a certain age saw the PSA as a sort-of blast from the past, something not seen in this country since the 1970s when messages showing cartoon turtles softening the then-very real looming threat of nuclear annihilation. In the event of a nuclear incident, the PSA advises the following actions: Get inside: Move indoors and away from any windows. Stay inside: Close all doors and window, and move into the basement if you have one. Stay tuned and stay put: Follow media for latest details and watch for officials alerts when its safe to go outside.
Note: Fear mongering, anyone? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
One woman carried a ruler at FBI headquarters so she could smack James Hendricks' hands when he reached for her legs and breasts. Another went home shaken after he tugged on her ear and kissed her cheek during a closed-door meeting. And when Hendricks went on to lead the FBI's field office in Albany, New York, in 2018, colleagues described him as a "skilled predator" who leered at women in the workplace, touched them inappropriately and asked one to have sex in a conference room, according to a newly released federal report. Hendricks quietly retired last year as a special agent in charge after the Office of Inspector General – the Justice Department's internal watchdog – concluded he sexually harassed eight female subordinates in one of the FBI's most egregious known cases of sexual misconduct. Hendricks was among several senior FBI officials highlighted in an AP investigation last year that found a pattern of supervisors avoiding discipline – and retiring with full benefits – even after claims of sexual misconduct against them were substantiated. The details of Hendricks' sexual harassment [were] outlined in a 52-page report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The OIG blacked out Hendricks' name in the report, but he was identified by law enforcement officials familiar with his case. Drawing on interviews with more than a dozen FBI officials, the report traces Hendricks' harassment to his time at FBI headquarters, where he served as a section chief in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate.
After 14 years of legal battles, a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take actions that will likely force the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos off the market. The federal agency has for years been considering mounting evidence that links the pesticide to brain damage in children – including loss of IQ, learning difficulties, ADHD, and autism – but, as the court acknowledged, has repeatedly delayed taking action. "Rather than ban the pesticide or reduce the tolerances to levels that the EPA could find were reasonably certain to cause no harm, the EPA sought to evade through delay tactics its plain statutory duty," Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote in his decision. "During that time, the EPA's egregious delay exposed a generation of American children to unsafe levels of chlorpyrifos," he wrote, and ordered the EPA to issue a final regulation within 60 days. More than 5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos were applied to crops in 2017, according to the most recent data. The EPA was poised to ban chlorpyrifos in 2016, but the Trump EPA changed course. The reversal, made under EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, has been tied to a $1 million contribution to President Donald Trump's inaugural fund from Dow Chemical Company, now known as Corteva, which was the primary producer of chlorpyrifos. Patti Goldman, an attorney at Earthjustice who has been overseeing the chlorpyrifos litigation since 2014, said the disparity between the science and the EPA's refusal to act reached new heights during the Trump years.
Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak. The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO's hacking spyware, Pegasus. Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones. The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016. The numbers of more than 180 journalists are listed in the data, including reporters, editors and executives at the Financial Times, CNN, the New York Times, France 24, the Economist, Associated Press and Reuters. The phone number of a freelance Mexican reporter, Cecilio Pineda Birto, was found in the list, apparently of interest to a Mexican client in the weeks leading up to his murder, when his killers were able to locate him at a carwash. He was among at least 25 Mexican journalists apparently selected as candidates for surveillance. The broad array of numbers in the list belonging to people who seemingly have no connection to criminality suggests some NSO clients are breaching their contracts with the company, spying on pro-democracy activists and journalists.
Note: Read more 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 intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The U.N. climate report released Monday presents a major leap forward in predicting how geoengineering to limit global warming might affect the planet, although scientists said the greatest hurdle remains deciding whether to use the controversial methods. Geoengineering involves large-scale interventions that shift the climate, generally with an aim of cooling the earth. The United Nations panel addressed two types of geoengineering in the report - solar radiation management and greenhouse gas removal. Solar radiation management techniques generally control how much sunlight is reflected back out into space. For example, humans could spray sulfate aerosols - tiny reflective particles - into the stratosphere ... to reflect more sunlight back into space, which lowers global temperatures. But sulfate aerosols have the side effect of also lowering average precipitation. While some regions could gain in an artificially cooler world, others could suffer by, for example, no longer having conditions to grow crops.
Note: Chemtrails anyone? Explore evidence that Spain is spraying chemtrails as part of a secret UN program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.
Within minutes of receiving a complaint from four Environmental Protection Agency whistleblowers in late June, an agency official shared the document with six EPA staffers, including at least one who was named in it, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The records – more than 1,000 pages of internal emails – also show that within 24 hours EPA officials sent the whistleblowers' complaint to other staff members who had been named in it. Two days later, the named employees met to discuss it. The scientists' disclosure laid out allegations of corruption within the EPA's New Chemicals Division and provided detailed evidence that managers and high-level agency officials had deliberately tampered with numerous chemical assessments, sometimes deleting hazards from them and altering their conclusions. The four scientists who worked in the division decided to speak up about the behavior they had witnessed because they feared it could have public health consequences. And they hoped that by carefully documenting and making public their allegations they would spark a thorough investigation and bring an end to the problems. While the sharing of the disclosure widely within the agency was not a violation of law, several experts in the handling of whistleblower complaints said it was troubling. "Sending it around to everybody who's mentioned in it, that's insane," said Adam Arnold ... at the Government Accountability Project.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon is spending more and more research-and-development dollars on weapons that stun, scare, entangle or nauseate – anything but kill. The U.S.'s nonlethal-weapons programs are drawing their own fire, mostly from human-rights activists who contend that the technologies being developed will be deployed to suppress dissent and that they defy international weapons treaties. Imagine a cross between a microwave oven and a Star Trek phaser: a tight, focused beam of energy that flash-heats its target from a distance. Directed energy beams do not burn flesh, but they do create an unbearably painful burning sensation. The Air Force Research Laboratory has already spent $40 million on a humvee-mounted directed-energy weapon. Further out on the horizon, the line between weapons development and science fiction becomes perilously thin. Even their supporters agree that "nonlethal weapons" is a dangerous misnomer. Any of these devices has the potential to injure and kill. A chemical-weapons watchdog organization called the Sunshine Project has obtained evidence that the U.S. is considering some projects that appear to take us beyond the bounds of good sense: bioengineered bacteria designed to eat asphalt, fuel and body armor, or faster-acting, weaponized forms of antidepressants, opiates and so-called "club drugs" that could be rapidly administered to unruly crowds. Such research is illegal under international law and could open up terrifying scenarios for abuse.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.
A feminist advocacy organization sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Wednesday, accusing the agency of putting female prisoners at risk by housing biological males in women's prisons. The Women's Liberation Front lawsuit ... argues that the state department of corrections of is violating the First, Eighth and 14th amendments with a new law known as the Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act, or SB 132. Plaintiff Krystal Gonzalez says she was sexually assaulted by a biological male who was transferred to Central California Women's Facility under the law. According to the suit, when Gonzalez filed a complaint and requested to be housed away from men the prison's response called her alleged attacker a "transgender woman with a penis." "Krystal does not believe that women have penises and the psychological distress caused by her assault is exacerbated by the prison's refusal to acknowledge the sex of her perpetrator," the lawsuit says. [The law] requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to "house transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex (TGI) individuals in a manner that matches their gender identity while supporting health and safety." Under the law, the prison system must house the individual in a "correctional facility designated for men or women based on the individual's preference." A total of 295 inmates who were housed in an institution for males had requested to be moved to a women's facility.
Note: Read lots more on the irony and unfairness of this case in this Matt Taibbi article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation Thursday of the Louisiana State Police, launching the review after a series of videos showed officers brutally beating Black motorists. One particularly violent video showed state troopers punching, stunning, and dragging an unarmed man, Ronald Greene, as he apologized for failing to stop during a high-speed chase in 2019. He died shortly after, but state police initially told his family that he was killed when his car hit a tree. "We find significant justification to investigate whether Louisiana State Police engages in excessive force and in racially discriminatory policing," said Kristen Clarke, the assistant attorney general in charge of the civil rights division. State Police Superintendent Lamar Davis has said he would welcome the Justice Department investigation. Two-thirds of his agency's uses of force have been directed at Black people, he [said]. Greene's arrest was one of least a dozen over the past 10 years in which state police troopers or their superiors ignored or concealed evidence of beatings. Under Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Justice Department has opened similar investigations of police departments in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd and in Louisville, Kentucky, following the death of Breonna Taylor.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
More than 90 women who say they were sexually assaulted by Lawrence G. Nassar, the former doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics who was convicted on state sexual abuse charges, filed lawsuits on Wednesday against the F.B.I. for its failure to investigate him when it received credible information about his crimes. The lawsuits come two weeks after the Justice Department decided not to prosecute two former F.B.I. agents accused of bungling the bureau's 2015 investigation into Mr. Nassar, allowing him to assault more than 70 girls and women for over a year before Michigan authorities arrested him. The agents were accused by the Justice Department's own watchdog of making false statements about the matter. In the fall, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, testified to Congress that "there were people at the F.B.I. who had their chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed." The plaintiffs include the Olympic gymnastics gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. "My fellow survivors and I were betrayed by every institution that was supposed to protect us – the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S.A. Gymnastics, the F.B.I. and now the Department of Justice," Ms. Maroney said. "It is clear that the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process," she added. Mr. Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, was accused of molesting hundreds of girls and women, including many members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams.
In October 1995 ... the Scottish Office commissioned a research project from the Aberdeen-based Rowett Research Institute into the effect of GM crops on animal nutrition and the environment. This included, for the first time, feeding GM potatoes to rats to see if they had any harmful effects on their guts, bodies, metabolism and health. A former senior Scottish Office official involved in commissioning the project told the Guardian there was "little regard" at the time for research into the human nutritional and environmental consequences of GM foods. Dr Arpad Pusztai, a senior research scientist at the Rowett, beat off 28 other tenders to coordinate the project. The preliminary results of Dr Pusztai's work had begun to show unexpected and worrying changes in the size and weight of the rats' bodily organs. The team found liver and heart sizes were decreasing. Worse still, the brain was getting smaller. There were also indications of a weakening of the immune system. Granada TV's World in Action approached Dr Pusztai and ... with the institute's consent he gave an interview. Dr Pusztai told ITV viewers that he would not eat GM food. He found it "very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs. We have to find [the results] in the laboratory," he insisted. Two days later Dr Pusztai was summarily suspended and forced to retire by the Rowett Institute's director, Professor Philip James, who had personally cleared the interview with Granada.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs from reliable major media sources.
Uvalde city officials are using a legal loophole and several other broad exemptions in Texas to prevent the release of police records related to last month's mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead, according to a letter obtained by NPR. Since the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School, law enforcement officials have provided little and conflicting information, amid mounting public pressure for transparency. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which is leading the state investigation, previously said that some accounts of the events were preliminary and may change as more witnesses are interviewed. The City of Uvalde has hired a private law firm to make its case, which cited the "dead suspect loophole," to deny the release of information because the gunman died in police custody. The legal exception bars the public disclosure of information pertaining to crimes in which no one has been convicted. The Texas Attorney General's Office has ruled that the exception applies when a suspect is dead. The maneuver has been used repeatedly by Texas law enforcement agencies to claim they're not required to turn over the requested information because a criminal case is still pending, even though the suspect is dead. The loophole was established in the 1990s to protect people who were wrongfully accused or whose cases were dismissed, said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. "It is meant to protect the innocent," Shannon said.
Nearly a month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers inside Robb Elementary School, shattering a West Texas community, a litany of key questions about the police response remain unanswered. The shifting narrative from state and local leaders in the massacre's aftermath could threaten to exacerbate the trauma for those affected. "These types of tragedies can tear communities apart," said John Cohen, a former senior Homeland Security official who is now an ABC News contributor. "One of the ways the healing process can begin is for the community to have a clear understanding of what happened, and of what will be done to prevent something similar from happening again." As families of the victims lay their loved ones to rest, residents of Uvalde continue to hope for answers. They may start to get some on Tuesday, when a Texas House panel convenes to hear testimony regarding the shooting. Since the very first days after the attack, law enforcement officials have said their response was stymied by ... a locked door. But now surveillance video shows that police never tried to open the door. Two months before the mass shooting, the Uvalde school district hosted an all-day training session for local police and other school-based law enforcement officers that was focused on "active shooter response." But basic training protocols - including those involving communication channels and chain of command - went unheeded.
Security footage shows cops at the Uvalde, Texas school massacre waited 77 minutes before even trying to open the doors to two classrooms where the shooter killed 19 children and two teachers last month, a new report said. The latest revelation, published Saturday by The San Antonio Express News, is the latest detail that shows a botched police response to the massacre, which is now under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Video shows that gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, was able to open the door to classroom 111 on May 24, even though it was supposed to lock automatically when shut. Once inside the classroom, Ramos was able to access classroom 112 through another interior door. It was unclear if the door was locked while Ramos conducted the shooting spree, but police did not even check or try to open it, despite having access to a Halligan tool which could have broken the lock. Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo was in charge of the operation. He previously told The Texas Tribune that he waited for 40 minutes for keys from the custodian to try to open the classroom door. Finally, at 12:50 p.m., police breached the door and shot and killed the suspect who had first broken into the school at 11:33 a.m. through an exterior door that had also failed to automatically lock. Texas investigators say Arredondo mistakenly treated the shooting as a barricaded suspect incident instead of an active shooter situation.
Two Uvalde city police officers passed up a fleeting chance to shoot a gunman outside Robb Elementary School before he went on to kill 21 people inside the school, a senior sheriff's deputy told The New York Times. That would mean a second missed opportunity for officers to stop Salvador Ramos before the May 24 rampage inside the school that killed 19 children and two teachers. Officials said that a school district police drove past Ramos without seeing him in the school parking lot. The unidentified officers, one of whom was armed with an AR-15-style rifle, said they feared hitting children playing in the line of fire outside the school, Chief Deputy Ricardo Rios of nearby Zavalla County told the newspaper. Rios said he had shared the information with a special Test House committee investigating the school massacre. Uvalde police officials agreed Friday to speak to the committee investigating, according to a Republican lawmaker leading the probe who had begun to publicly question why the officers were not cooperating sooner. "Took a little bit longer than we initially had expected," state Rep. Dustin Burrows said. On Thursday, Burrows signaled impatience with Uvalde police, tweeting that most people had fully cooperated with their investigation "to help determine the facts" and that he didn't understand why the city's police force "would not want the same." He did not say which members of the department will meet with the committee, which is set to continue questioning witnesses in Uvalde on Monday.
A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make public the data it relied on to license Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, imposing a dramatically accelerated schedule that should result in the release of all information within about eight months. That's roughly 75 years and four months faster than the FDA said it could take to complete a Freedom of Information Act request by a group of doctors and scientists seeking an estimated 450,000 pages of material about the vaccine. The court "concludes that this FOIA request is of paramount public importance," wrote U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman. The FDA didn't dispute it had an obligation to make the information public but argued that its short-staffed FOIA office only had the bandwidth to review and release 500 pages a month. While Pittman recognized "the 'unduly burdensome' challenges that this FOIA request may present to the FDA," in his four-page order, he resoundingly rejected the agency's suggested schedule. Rather than producing 500 pages a month – the FDA's proposed timeline – he ordered the agency to turn over 55,000 a month. That means all the Pfizer vaccine data should be public by the end of the summer rather than, say, the year 2097. Aaron Siri of Siri & Glimstad, who represents the plaintiffs, in an email said the decision "came down on the side of transparency and accountability." His clients ... have pledged to publish all the information they receive from the FDA on their website.
Note: Why did almost no major media pick up this important article? And read this revealing article on 800 individuals who Pfizer reported withdrew from their vaccine studies, some because of health problems which could have been caused by the vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Suffering from U.S. and EU sanctions, Russia made a surprise move–its central bank fixed the price of 5,000 rubles to a gram of gold. Few Western investors or executives noticed. Then, Russia ... announced that it would require payment for oil, natural gas and other of its significant exports in rubles. "What the Russians did was a genius," explains Jack Bouroudjian, former president of Commerce Bank in Chicago. "It forces people to go to the Russian central bank and pay gold to get rubles to make the transactions." The ruble had been trading in the range of 70 to 80 for a U.S. dollar. After the sanctions, it plummeted to 120. "Now the ruble basically recovered, trading 80 rubles to the dollar. And it's because of the way they pegged the ruble to gold." U.S. companies that have either international suppliers or customers could be jolted by Russia's golden move. Overseas business partners may need to barter gold for rubles to pay for inputs, like energy, minerals or fertilizers, and therefore demand that their U.S. counterparts pay in rubles or bullion. Additionally, American firms may need to acquire a stack of rubles to pay for their own inputs for foreign-based factories, warehouses or raw materials. Russia isn't alone in its desire. "China has been explicit" in its desire to displace the dollar and make the yuan more central. China is taking preliminary measures to defend their state-owned assets against financial sanctions similar to those the U.S. launched against Russia.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Two weeks ago, with no outcomes data on COVID-19 booster shots for 5-to-11-year-olds, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vigorously recommended the booster for all 24 million American children in that age group. The CDC cited a small Pfizer study of 140 children that showed boosters elevated their antibody levels–an outcome known to be transitory. When that study concluded, a Pfizer spokesperson said it did not determine the efficacy of the booster in the 5-to-11-year-olds. But that didn't matter to the CDC. Seemingly hoping for a different answer, the agency put the matter before its own kangaroo court of curated experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Committee members ... emphasized the importance of a universal booster message that applies to all age groups. Most remarkably, it didn't seem to matter to the CDC that 75.2 percent of children under age 11 already have natural immunity, according to a CDC study. Natural immunity is certainly much more prevalent today, given the ubiquity of the Omicron variant since February. CDC data from New York and California demonstrated that natural immunity was 2.8 times more effective in preventing hospitalization and 3.3 to 4.7 times more effective in preventing COVID infection compared to vaccination during the Delta wave. These findings are consistent with dozens of other clinical studies. Yet natural immunity has consistently and inexplicably been dismissed by the medical establishment.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Public health initiatives in the United States are suffering from a crisis of trust. Recent polls show that only a third of the public trusts insurance and pharmaceutical companies, while just 56 percent trust the government health agencies that are meant to regulate these industries. Another survey during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that only around half of Americans have a "great deal" of trust in the CDC, while a mere third have such trust in the Department of Health and Human Services. When the mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 were made available to the public free of charge, a national conversation began about "vaccine hesitancy"–the phenomenon of Americans choosing not to be vaccinated even when incentivized and, in some cases, coerced. Americans had watched public health experts lie, misdirect, ignore evidence and yield to professional pressure. Few wanted to be their guinea pigs. Not all the COVID-19 gaslighting was the fault of the media or politicians - much was implemented by experts abusing their apolitical position of trust. The experts ... including Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, insisted on the most asinine and evidence-free preventative measures, including facial coverings, lockdowns and social distancing. Their insulated role as health advisers enabled them to manipulate health policy in ways that benefited only themselves. The most stark example was the corruption of data collection at the Center for Disease Control–a scandal that crashed public trust to a new low.
Bilderberg is back with a vengeance. After a pandemic gap of two years, the elite global summit is being rebooted in ... Washington DC, with a high-powered guest list that includes the heads of Nato, the CIA, GCHQ, the US national security council, two European prime ministers, a healthy sprinkle of tech billionaires, and Henry Kissinger. Back in 2019, the last time Bilderberg met in the flesh, the conference kicked off with the optimistic topics "A Stable Strategic Order" and "What Next For Europe?" This year however, the agenda reeks of chaos and crisis. Top of the schedule is the blandly terrifying item "Global Realignments", followed by "Nato Challenges", the biggest of which is obviously Ukraine. To be sure, the Washington conference is a high-level council of war, headlined by the secretary general of Nato, Bilderberg veteran Jens Stoltenberg. He's joined at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel by the Ukrainian ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, and the CEO of Naftogaz, the state-owned Ukrainian oil and gas company. Many consider it an older, less flashy Davos, staged annually by the World Economic Fund. The two events have a good bit in common. Klaus Schwab, the grisly head of Davos, is a former member of Bilderberg's steering committee. Formed in the mid-1950s as a joint project of British and US intelligence, the conference has kept its cards so close to its chest that the world's press has given up trying to get a glimpse of them.
Note: For more on this secretive, powerful group, explore this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
It was the evening of June 9, 2006. Three [GuantĂˇnamo Bay] detainees were declared dead. The Navy says the men killed themselves by hanging, in separate nonadjoining cells, in the same way, at the same time, under video surveillance, with no guards noticing and no prisoners calling for the guards to intervene. They tell us that each of the men had bound their wrists and ankles with fabric and shoved fabric down their own throats – and then ask us to believe that they hung themselves. Despite explosive reporting by Scott Horton for Harper's Magazine in which multiple sources ... refuted the official narrative and gave evidence that a cover-up had taken place, no independent official investigation of the incident was ordered. This disturbing episode quickly turned unspeakably dark: Independent autopsies ordered by the families of the dead were useless since the bodies, which showed signs of torture, had been sent home with missing parts. The men's throats – the larynx, the hyoid bone, and the thyroid cartilage – had been removed. Even after this shocking finding ... there would be no investigations. The narrative that these men did something terrible and deserved to be imprisoned for it defines the very nature of the post-9/11 response. It doesn't matter that the original accusations against many of them were flimsy and easily disproved. Due process and the presumption of innocence, the defining values of the American ideal of justice, would be forever denied them.
Note: Read a troubling letter by Sharqawi Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The more details that emerge about how police responded to the massacre in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, the clearer it is that the already well-funded, heavily armed and amply trained law enforcement officers on the scene failed to save the lives of 19 children and two of their teachers. Salvador Ramos murdered 21 people. Despite earlier, misleading claims from law enforcement officials, it appears that no police officers engaged with the shooter before he entered the school. Instead of rushing in to protect the children and staff when reports of a gunman approaching the school were made at 11:30 a.m., police instead waited outside and aggressively confronted parents who were begging them to enter. The parents were threatened with arrest – one cop brandished a Taser – as they attempted to access the school to save their kids themselves. The police failed at protecting the schoolchildren, yes, but we should not be under the illusion that this is an example of the cops failing at their jobs. As far we can tell from reports, police at the scene acted as they usually do, in accordance with standard policing practice: Rather than risk a hail of gunfire to stop the killer, they kept themselves safe. It is disgusting, not shocking, that police officers would sooner harass and handcuff parents – parents begging them to save their children from a massacre – than they would run in and put themselves in the line of fire.
After her longtime partner died of kidney cancer, federal agents knocked on Gail Deckman's door outside Chicago and told her she was in trouble: She had kept thousands of dollars in Social Security disability benefits that should have stopped when he died. The inspector general's office, which investigates disability fraud and tries to recoup money for the government, ultimately charged her $119,392 – nearly three times what she received in error. The inflated fees were set in motion during the Trump administration, when attorneys in charge of a little-known anti-fraud program run by the inspector general's office levied unprecedented fines against Deckman and more than 100 other beneficiaries without due process. The escalating penalties created a giant jump – at least on paper – in the amount of money the inspector general could show lawmakers it was bringing in. A Chicago woman was fined $132,000 after wrongly receiving as much as $10,618 in benefits. A Denver woman was sanctioned $168,000 after cashing as much as $14,960 in wrongly received checks. The remarkable penalties led to tumult inside the Office of Inspector General Gail Ennis, where a whistleblower was targeted for retaliation, according to a ruling this month. [Deborah] Shaw testified that she was shocked when she was directed in early 2019 to issue a penalty of $176,000 to a woman who had already written a check for $26,000 to repay the government the entire amount she had wrongly received in disability benefits.
Looking Glass Factory, a company based in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, revealed its latest consumer device: a slim, holographic picture frame that turns photos taken on iPhones into 3D displays. Looking Glass received $2.54 million of "technology development" funding from In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, from April 2020 to March 2021 and a $50,000 Small Business Innovation Research award from the U.S. Air Force in November 2021 to "revolutionize 3D/virtual reality visualization." Across the various branches of the military and intelligence community, contract records show a rush to jump on holographic display technology, augmented reality, and virtual reality display systems as the latest trend. Critics argue that the technology isn't quite ready for prime time, and that the urgency to adopt it reflects the Pentagon's penchant for high-priced, high-tech contracts based on the latest fad in warfighting. Military interest in holographic imaging, in particular, has grown rapidly in recent years. Military planners in China and the U.S. have touted holographic technology to project images "to incite fear in soldiers on a battlefield." Other uses involve the creation of three-dimensional maps of villages of specific buildings and to analyze blast forensics. Palmer Luckey, who founded the technology startup Anduril Industries ... has received secretive Air Force contracts to develop next-generation artificial intelligence capabilities under the so-called Project Maven initiative.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Over the past two years, as the Federal Reserve fought to rescue the economy from the clutches of the coronavirus, the central bank's emergency remedies increased the nation's money supply by an astonishing 40 percent That was almost four times as much new money as had been created during the two years that preceded the pandemic. To some Fed critics, [that] explains why the United States is experiencing its highest inflation since 1982. All that money chasing after limited supplies of goods such as cars, computers and furniture is inevitably bidding up prices, they say. The Fed agreed with that view the last time the United States had a serious inflation problem. In 1979, then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker clapped a lid on the money supply and drove inflation from a peak of 14.8 percent to 2.5 percent three years later, at the cost of two punishing recessions. But the current Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, has dismissed claims that the Fed's money-printing is fueling today's price spiral. Like his most recent predecessors, dating to Alan Greenspan, Powell says that financial innovations mean there no longer is a link between the amount of money circulating in the economy and rising prices. The Fed's broadest measure of the money supply, called M2, is more than $21.6 trillion today, up from $15.5 trillion in February 2020.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on banking corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, could meet for the first time as soon as next month, multiple sources told CNN. A meeting would ... represent a turnabout for a US president who once declared Saudi Arabia a "pariah" with "no redeeming social value." Saudi Arabia currently holds the presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council, so any engagement between Biden and bin Salman, known as MBS, would likely coincide with a meeting of the GCC in Riyadh, the sources noted. A meeting between American and Saudi leaders would have once been considered routine, but now marks a significant shift due to the recent strain in the relationship. It would also likely spark some controversy at home for Biden, who has been highly critical of the Saudis' record on human rights, its war in Yemen, and the role its government played in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden repeatedly criticized his predecessor, Donald Trump, for his cozy relationships with the world's strongmen and dictators – including MBS of Saudi.
The Justice Department is updating its use of force policy for the first time in 18 years, saying explicitly that federal officers and agents must step in if they see other officers using excessive force. The policy takes effect on July 19. The new policy is outlined in a memo Attorney General Merrick Garland sent to senior Justice leaders. The rules apply to all agencies under the Justice Department, including the FBI, DEA, ATF and U.S. Marshals Service. "It is the policy of the Department of Justice to value and preserve human life," the policy begins. It later adds, "Officers may use force only when no reasonably effective, safe, and feasible alternative appears to exist and may use only the level of force that a reasonable officer on the scene would use under the same or similar circumstances." The policy's first portion deals with deadly force, barring tactics such as firing guns to disable cars. But the next section calls for de-escalation training, and the next two spell out situations in which officers have an "affirmative duty" – to prevent or stop other officers from using excessive force, and to render or call for medical aid when it's needed. Law enforcement officers should be able to recognize and act on "the affirmative duty to intervene to prevent or stop, as appropriate, any officer from engaging in excessive force or any other use of force that violates the Constitution, other federal laws, or Department policies on the reasonable use of force," the policy states.
The offices of the Carlyle Group are on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, midway between the White House and the Capitol building. The address reflects Carlyle's position at the very centre of the Washington establishment. For 14 years now, with almost no publicity, the company has been signing up an impressive list of former politicians - including the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several south-east Asian powerbrokers - and using their contacts and influence to promote the group. But since the start of the "war on terrorism", the firm - unofficially valued at $3.5bn - has ... become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the current president's father. Among the firm's multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden. "It should be a deep cause for concern that a closely held company like Carlyle can simultaneously have directors and advisers that are doing business and making money and also advising the president of the United States," says Peter Eisner, managing director of the Center for Public Integrity. "The problem comes when private business and public policy blend together. What hat is former president Bush wearing when he tells Crown Prince Abdullah not to worry about US policy in the Middle East?"
Note: Watch a 45-minute video on this subject titled Exposed: The Carlyle Group. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Social Media Exploitation, or SOMEX, team ... had been set up to help the FBI find informants and intelligence using information gleaned from social sites. The Intercept and Chicago-based transparency groups obtained more than 800 pages of emails and other documents about the team through public records requests. These show that the team's officers were given broad leeway to investigate people across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, using fake social media accounts furnished by the FBI, in violation of some platforms' policies. The week that followed George Floyd's murder by a white police officer was an intense moment in Chicago's – and U.S. – history. Thousands of people took to the city's streets to peacefully demonstrate against police violence. Despite ample warning, the Office of Inspector General report found, Chicago's police were unprepared. When they did react, their response was chaotic and excessively violent, with officers variously hiding their badge numbers, turning off their body cameras, blasting people with pepper spray at close range ... and telling an arrestee that they would be raped in jail. The SOMEX team's reaction was also troubling. The team's mission was to provide both the FBI and the CPD with useful intelligence. What the SOMEX officers did instead: flag potential damage of police cars, investigate the social media connections of people who had made threats online, and cull videos for the department's YouTube channel.
At least 500 Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children died while attending Indian boarding schools run or supported by the U.S. government, a highly anticipated Interior Department report said Wednesday. The report identified over 400 schools and more than 50 gravesites and said more gravesites would likely be found. The report is the first time in U.S. history that the government has attempted to comprehensively research and acknowledge the magnitude of the horrors it inflicted on Native American children for decades. But it falls well short of some independent estimates of deaths and does not address how the children died or who was responsible. The report also sheds little new light on the physical and sexual abuse generations of Indigenous children endured at the schools, which were open for more than 150 years, starting in the early 1800s. The report identified more than 500 child deaths after examining records for 19 of the facilities, a small share of the total number of schools identified. The number is significantly less than some estimates, which are in the tens of thousands. Preston S. McBride, an Indian boarding school historian and a Comanche descendent ... has found more than 1,000 student deaths at the four former boarding schools he has studied, and estimates the overall number of deaths could be as high as 40,000. "Basically every school had a cemetery," he said. "There are deaths at or deaths because of virtually every single boarding school."
Note: Canada has been investigating its own residential schools. What happened at these schools was akin to "cultural genocide," according to a 2015 report from Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
A group within the Department of Homeland Security that was set up to focus on combating disinformation has been put on pause, DHS said Wednesday, and its director Nina Jankowicz is stepping down. The decision ... comes in the midst of a coordinated ... campaign against Jankowicz. The group, called the Disinformation Governance Board, launched three weeks ago and has not met. The working group was created with the purpose of helping to develop strategies to combat disinformation while, DHS said, remaining committed to protecting Americans' freedom of speech and other rights. Republicans were quick to claim [that] the board would result in censorship, criticizing what they considered an unclear mission as well as Jankowicz as its leader. DHS says it is conducting a review and assessment on how to continue their work on combating disinformation which will last 75 days. During this time, they said the board will not operate. DHS initially decided they would shut down the board on Monday, but by Tuesday they decided the board's work would be paused. "It is deeply disappointing that mischaracterizations of the Board became a distraction from the Department's vital work, and indeed, along with recent events globally and nationally, embodies why it is necessary," Jankowicz said in a statement announcing her resignation.
For hundreds of years, sci-fi writers have imagined weapons that might use energy waves or pulses to knock out, knock down, or otherwise disable enemies--without necessarily killing them. And for a good 40 years the U.S. military has quietly been pursuing weapons of this sort. Police, too, are keenly interested. Much of this work is still secret. Scientists, aided by government research on the "bioeffects" of beamed energy, are searching the electromagnetic and sonic spectrums for wavelengths that can affect human behavior. Recent advancements in miniaturized electronics, power generation, and beam aiming may finally have put such pulse and beam weapons on the cusp of practicality. Weapons already exist that use lasers, which can temporarily or permanently blind enemy soldiers. So-called acoustic or sonic weapons ... can vibrate the insides of humans to stun them, nauseate them, or even "liquefy their bowels and reduce them to quivering diarrheic messes," according to a Pentagon briefing. Other, stranger effects also have been explored, such as using electromagnetic waves to put human targets to sleep or to heat them up, on the microwave-oven principle. Scientists are also trying to make a sonic cannon that throws a shock wave with enough force to knock down a man. Years ago the world drafted conventions and treaties to attempt to set rules for the use of bullets and bombs in war.
Note: Read lots more about these disturbing weapons which are now in use in concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.
While President Biden signed an executive order last fall to declassify 9/11 evidence, the families of some 9/11 victims say they had to go through the British courts to get records and videos seized two decades ago from an alleged Saudi government operative that have never been public until now. Buried inside the trove is a home video from 2000. The event was described in 9/11 Commission records as a party at the San Diego apartment of Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, the first two hijackers to arrive in the U.S. in January 2000. A handful of frames captured Mihdhar in the kitchen. Along with Hazmi, their team would later commandeer Flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon. The party's host, Saudi national Omar al-Bayoumi, was arrested by British police less than two weeks after the attack. British police seized the videos and documents from Bayoumi. A newly declassified and heavily redacted FBI memo from 2017 stated, "In the late 1990s and up to September 11, 2001, Omar al-Bayoumi was paid a monthly stipend as a cooptee of the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency (GIP) via then Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan." The memo continued, "Allegations of al-Bayoumi's involvement with Saudi Intelligence were not confirmed at the time of the 9/11 Commission Report. The above information confirms these allegations." Another recently declassified FBI memo ... said, "There is a 50/50 chance Omar al-Bayoumi had advanced knowledge the 9/11 terrorist attacks were to occur."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
An Associated Press investigation had revealed a culture of abuse and cover-ups that had persisted for years at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, a women-only facility called the "rape club" by many who know it. Because of AP reporting, the head of the federal Bureau of Prisons had submitted his resignation in January. Yet no one had been named to replace him, so he was still on the job. "It's absolutely horrible. I've never experienced anything like this. In my career, I've never been part of a situation like this." Those words, spoken about the troubled Dublin facility, come not from an activist or inmate advocate, not from any elected official, not from anywhere outside the prison walls. They come from Thahesha Jusino, its newly installed warden. Her predecessor, Ray J. Garcia, is one of five Dublin employees who have been charged since last June with sexually abusing inmates. Garcia is accused of molesting an inmate on multiple occasions from December 2019 to March 2020 and forcing her and another inmate to strip naked so he could take pictures while he made rounds. Investigators said they found the images on his government-issued cellphone. Garcia is also accused of using his authority to intimidate one of his victims, telling her that he was "close friends" with the person investigating staff misconduct and boasting that he could not be fired. In February, more than 100 inmate advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Justice Department calling for "swift, sweeping action" to address abuse at Dublin.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Department of Homeland Security's announcement of a "Disinformation Governance Board" to standardize the treatment of disinformation by the agencies it oversees has been met with an overwhelmingly negative response since it was first unveiled in April. "It's an awful idea, and you ought to disband it," Sen. Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, told Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at a Senate hearing. The new board is intended to standardize the department's efforts to respond to disinformation that could be connected with violent threats to the U.S. So, if an agency under DHS – like Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) – identifies disinformation under its purview, it's the new disinformation board that would come up with the best practices for any DHS agency handling the disinformation. "There has been a lot of misinformation about your department's work to combat misinformation," said Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security panel, told Mayorkas. "This is not the truth police," Mayorkas declared to the Senate panel ... responding to accusations of censorship. DHS selected author and disinformation expert Nina Jankowicz to lead the board. The former Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow previously oversaw programs for Russia and Belarus for the National Democratic Institute.
Note: 20 US Attorney Generals demanded DHS immediately disband this Disinformation Governance Board and "cease all efforts to police Americans' protected speech." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
San Quentin Chief Surgeon Leo Stanley ... was experimenting with putting animal testicles into men, but human-to-human transplants were preferred. Working at San Quentin gave him access to the organs of recently dead young men at a rate few other doctors could boast. In the next 20 years, he would perform over 10,000 testicular implants within the walls of San Quentin State Prison. Upon arriving, Stanley remarked later, he was upset by the lack of racial segregation among the inmates. "Whites, Negroes, and Indians commingled here indiscriminately," he complained. A lifelong eugenicist – a belief he continued to hold well past Nazi horrors being revealed – Stanley set about making changes immediately. Before he hit on gland implants, his favorite fix was sterilization. In 1909, California passed the first of several eugenics-driven laws that allowed for the forced sterilization of inmates and mental hospital patients considered "unfit" for society. Stanley once said he believed at least 20% of inmates were "feeble minded" and lamented he could not sterilize more inmates than he was legally allowed. Those he could not forcibly sterilize, he attempted to talk into the procedure. In 1935, he put up a poster in the prison yard extolling the virtues of the surgery: "This simple operation prevents the man from producing children, but it does not interfere with his normal pleasures. In fact, it is claimed that sexual vigor is increased." In two decades, Stanley sterilized 600 prisoners, far more [than] other California prisons.
Note: Read more about the disturbing history of government and industry experiments on human guinea pigs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
On June 1, 1951, top military and intelligence officials of the United States, Canada and Great Britain, alarmed by frightening reports of communist success at "intervention in the individual mind," summoned a small group of eminent psychologists to a secret meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal. By the following September, U.S. government scientists, spurred on by reports that American prisoners of war were being brainwashed in North Korea, were proposing an urgent, top-secret research program on behavior modification. Drugs, hypnosis, electroshock, lobotomy - all were to be studied as part of a vast U.S. effort to close the mind-control gap. From the end of World War II well into the 1970s, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Defense Department, the military services, the CIA and other agencies used prisoners, drug addicts, mental patients, college students, soldiers, even bar patrons, in a vast range of government-run experiments to test the effects of everything from radiation, LSD and nerve gas to intense electric shocks and prolonged "sensory deprivation." Some of the human guinea pigs knew what they were getting into; many others did not. With the cold war safely over, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary has ordered the declassification of millions of pages of documents on the radiation experiments. But the government has long ignored thousands of other cold war victims, rebuffing their requests for compensation and refusing to admit its responsibility for injuries they suffered.
Note: Read more about the disturbing history of government and industry experiments on human guinea pigs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.
For 40 years the United States Public Health Service has conducted a study in which human beings with syphilis, who were induced to serve as guinea pigs, have gone without medical treatment for the disease and a few have died of its late effects, even though an effective therapy, was eventually discovered. The study was conducted to determine from autopsies what the disease does to the human body. It is too late to treat the syphilis in any surviving participants. The experiment, called the Tuskegee Study, began in 1932 with about 600 black men mostly poor and uneducated, from Tuskegee, Ala., an area that had the highest syphilis rate in the nation at the time. Four hundred of the group had syphilis and never received deliberate treatment for the Venereal Infection. A control group of 200 had no syphilis and did not receive any specific therapy. As Incentives to enter the Program, the men were promised free transportation to and from hospitals, free hot lunches, free medicine for any disease other than syphilis and free burial after autopsies were performed. The Tuskegee Study began 10 years before penicillin was found to be a cure for syphilis and 15 years before the drug became widely available. Yet, even after penicillin became common, and while its use probably could have helped or saved a number of the experiment subjects, the drug was denied them. Senator William Proxmire ... called the study "a moral and ethical nightmare."
Note: Read more about the disturbing history of government and industry experiments on human guinea pigs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The 25 richest Americans, including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk, paid a "true tax rate" of just 3.4% between 2014 and 2018, according to an investigation by ProPublica, despite their collective net worth rising by more than $400bn in the same period. The report by the non-profit news organization exposes the US tax system as income and wealth inequality continues to widen. ProPublica used Internal Revenue Service data to dive into the tax returns of some of America's wealthiest and most prominent people. It found that in 2007 Bezos, the founder of Amazon and already a billionaire, paid no federal taxes. In 2011, when he had a net worth of $18bn, he was again able to pay no federal taxes – and even received a $4,000 tax credit for his children. ProPublica created what it called a "true tax rate" for the wealthiest 25 Americans by comparing federal income tax paid between 2014 and 2018 to how their net worth increased on Forbes' well-regarded rich list over the same period. "The results are stark," ProPublica wrote. "According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401bn from 2014 to 2018. "They paid a total of $13.6bn in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That's a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%." By contrast, the median American household paid 14% in federal taxes. The top income tax rate is 37% on incomes over $523,600 for single filers.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
In a political career rife with flip-flops, few rank as high as Donald Trump's 180 on Saudi Arabia. For more than a decade, Trump had held up the kingdom as a prime example of U.S. foreign policy cozying up to nefarious allies of convenience. Almost immediately upon being sworn in, though, Trump shifted in a more Saudi-friendly direction. He held fast to that posture even after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was implicated in the gruesome murder of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He proceeded to override Congress's objections to U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and pressed forward with arms deals it had rejected. Trump's solicitousness of the Saudis appeared to help them more than it helped us, and it ran decidedly counter to his "America First" foreign policy. The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment for his Affinity Partners private equity firm from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince. This despite the fund's advisers heavily criticizing the proposed deal. The Times noted that ethics experts said the investment could appear as payback for Kushner's help in the White House. The serious reservations raised by the fund's advisers heighten questions about why the deal would go through. It's also a remarkable development amid Trump's long-running, concerted and highly contentious (even among Republicans) attempts to curry favor with, and apologize for, the Saudis.
When the ... story of Martin Bormann is written it will reveal him to be the man largely responsible for West Germany's postwar recovery. The blueprint for this economic resurgence was outlined at a secret meeting of German industrialists in Strasbourg, France, on Aug. 10, 1944. A directive addressed to the meeting from Martin Bormann–the most powerful man in Germany next to Hitler–said the war was practically lost and that a postwar commercial campaign must take its place. The secret, verbatim minutes of this conference ... promised that "the Government would allocate large sums to industrialists so that each could establish a secure postwar foundations in foreign countries." The minutes also noted that "after the defeat of Germany, the Nazi party recognizes that certain of its best known leaders will be condemned as war criminals. However, in cooperation with the industrialists it is arranging to place its less conspicuous but most important members in positions with various German factories as technical experts or members of its research and designing offices." A report by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1946 stated that 750 companies were set up all over the world by the German industrialists following the Aug. 10, 1944 meeting. Their listing noted 112 in Spain, 58 in Portugal, 35 in Turkey, 98 in Argentina, 214 in Switzerland, 233 in various other countries. The master plan ... had two aspects: removal of funds from the Third Reich and stepping up of German investments in neutral countries.
Note: As is now widely known, Project Paperclip secretly brought many hundreds of Nazi scientists to the US under pseudonyms so that public would not know we were hiring them. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
Say goodbye to GMOs. The new term for foods created with a boost from science is "bioengineered." As of Jan. 1, food manufacturers, importers and retailers in the U.S. must comply with a new national labeling standard for food that's been genetically modified in a way that isn't possible through natural growth. Consumers will begin to see labels on some foods that say "bioengineered" or "derived from bioengineering," as the new federal standard takes hold. The change has been several years in the making. In 2016, Congress passed a law to establish a national benchmark for the labeling of genetically modified food in an attempt to ... standardize labels across the country. Sonny Perdue, who served as agriculture secretary during the Trump administration, announced the regulations in 2018. But critics say the rules devised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will actually confuse consumers further and make it harder to know what's in any given product. One advocacy group has even sued the USDA to try to block the new regulations from taking effect. Companies with products that qualify as bioengineered can comply with the new standard in several ways. They can include text on food packages that says "bioengineered food" or "contains a bioengineered food ingredient." They can also use two logos approved by the USDA. Finally, they can include a QR code for consumers to scan or a phone number for them to text that will provide more information about that food item.
Note: Replacing clear package labeling with QR codes is inherently discriminatory. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. If the technology plays out as officials envision, it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. For the first time, agencies within the intelligence community will be able to order a variety of on-demand computing and analytic services from the CIA and National Security Agency. What's more, they'll only pay for what they use. For the risk-averse intelligence community, the decision to go with a commercial cloud vendor is a radical departure from business as usual. It is difficult to underestimate the cloud contract's importance. In a recent public appearance, CIA Chief Information Officer Douglas Wolfe called it "one of the most important technology procurements in recent history," with ramifications far outside the realm of technology. The importance of the cloud capabilities the CIA gets through leveraging Amazon Web Services' horsepower is best exemplified in computing intelligence data. Instead of each agency building out its own systems, select agencies ... are responsible for governing its major components.
Note: The CIA tries to "collect everything and hold on to it forever." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Food and Drug Administration last week authorized Americans 50 and over to get a fourth Covid vaccine dose. Some of the FDA's own experts disagree with the decision, but the agency simply ignored them. Eric Rubin, editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, sits on the advisory committee. He told CNN last month that he hadn't seen enough data to determine whether anyone needs a fourth dose whose immune system isn't seriously deficient. At the crux of the broad opposition to second boosters is the recognition of B- and T-cells, which public-health officials have long ignored. They talk only about antibody levels, which tend to decline in the months after vaccination. B- and T-cells, activated by the primary vaccine series or an infection ... are highly and durably effective at preventing serious illness from Covid. An additional vaccine dose induces a fleeting high in antibody levels, offering only mild and short-lived protection. Two top FDA officials quit the agency in September complaining of undue pressure to authorize boosters. Marion Gruber, former director of the Office of Vaccine Research and Review, and her deputy, Philip Krause, later wrote about the lack of data to support a broad booster authorization. Hours after the FDA authorized the fourth dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave its formal approval to the move–also without convening its external vaccine experts.
Note: To read the full article without a subscription, see this webpage. Read Prof. Mark Skidmore's eye-opening study titled "How Many People Died from the Covid-19 Inoculations?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Cities in California spent large portions of their federal Covid relief money on police departments, a review of public records has revealed, with several cities prioritizing police funding by a wide margin. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (Arpa), the Biden administration's signature stimulus package, the US government sent funds to cities to help them fight coronavirus and support local recovery efforts. The money, officials said, could be used to fund a range of services. But most large California cities spent millions of Arpa dollars on law enforcement. Some also gave police money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (Cares) Act, adopted in 2020 under Donald Trump. San Francisco received $312m in Arpa funds for fiscal year 2020 and allocated 49% ($153m) to police, 13% ($41m) to the sheriff's department, and the remainder to the fire department. San Francisco also gave roughly 22% ($38.5m) of its Cares funds to law enforcement. Los Angeles spent roughly 50% of its first round of Arpa relief funds on the LAPD. In Fresno, the city allocated more than double of its Cares money to police than it did to Covid testing, contact tracing, small business grants, childcare vouchers and transitional housing combined. Cities using relief funds for police have typically funneled the money to salaries, although The Appeal recently reported that some jurisdictions were using stimulus dollars to buy new surveillance technology and build new prisons.
Los Angeles jail guards have frequently punched incarcerated people in the head and subjected them to a "humiliating" group strip-search where they were forced to wait undressed for hours, according to a new report from court-appointed monitors documenting a range of abuses. The Los Angeles sheriff's department (LASD), which oversees the largest local jail system in the country, appears to be routinely violating use-of-force policies, with supervisors failing to hold guards accountable and declining to provide information to the monitors tasked with reviewing the treatment of incarcerated people. The report, filed in federal court on Thursday, adds to a long string of scandals for the department. The monitors [were] first put in place in 2014 to settle a case involving beatings. The monitors, Robert Houston, a former corrections official, and Jeffrey Schwartz, a consultant, alleged that the use of "head shots", meaning punches to the head, had been "relatively unchanged in the last two years or more, and may be increasing". They also wrote that deputies who used force in violation of policy were at times sent to "remedial training" but that "actual discipline is seldom imposed." And supervisors who failed to document violations were also "not held accountable." The authors cited one incident in which a deputy approached a resident. "With no hesitation ... Deputy Y punched [him] 5-9 times in the head, and Deputy Z punched [him] 6-8 times in the head as they took [him] to the floor.
It was an attention-grabbing assertion that made headlines around the world: U.S. officials said they had indications suggesting Russia might be preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine. President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine. They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions. It's one of a string of examples of the Biden administration's ... deploying declassified intelligence as part of an information war against Russia. Coordinated by the White House National Security Council, the unprecedented intelligence releases have been so frequent and voluminous, officials said, that intelligence agencies had to devote more staff members to work on the declassification process, scrubbing the information so it wouldn't betray sources and methods. The idea is to pre-empt and disrupt the Kremlin's tactics, complicate its military campaign, "undermine Moscow's propaganda and prevent Russia from defining how the war is perceived in the world," said a Western government official familiar with the strategy. Multiple U.S. officials acknowledged that the U.S. has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn't high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect, as with chemical agents, and other times, as an official put it, the U.S. is just "trying to get inside Putin's head."
The U.S. provided an estimated $83 billion worth of training and equipment to Afghan security forces since 2001. This year, alone, the U.S. military aid to Afghan forces was $3 billion. Putting price tags on American military equipment still in Afghanistan isn't an easy task. In the fog of war – or withdrawal – Afghanistan has always been a black box with little sunshine. Not helping transparency, the Biden Administration is now hiding key audits on Afghan military equipment. This week, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com reposted two key reports on the U.S. war chest of military gear in Afghanistan that had disappeared from federal websites. 1. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of U.S. provided military gear in Afghanistan (August 2017). 2. Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit of $174 million in lost ScanEagle drones (July 2020). An unnamed official told Reuters that current intelligence assessment was that the Taliban took control of more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including American Humvees, and as many as 40 aircraft that may include UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters and ScanEagle military drones. "We don't have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.
Note: There was no good reason to so rush that departure out of Afghanistan that a huge amount valuable military weapons and equipment was left behind for the Taliban to use. Could it be that certain rogue elements at high levels in government wanted them armed to keep the conflict going and keep the money flowing into the pockets of those who benefit from war? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
In a January article published at Forbes, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found that Dr. Anthony Fauci was the highest paid federal employee, earning $417,608 (2019). Dr. Fauci is still the top-paid federal employee earning $434,312 in 2020. Fauci is the Director of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and current Chief Medical Advisor to the President. Fauci out-earned the U.S. president ($400,000); four-star generals in the military ($282,000); and roughly 4.3 million other federal employees. Now, new documents released via our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the NIH tell us a lot more. Dr. Fauci received a big pay hike for his biodefense research activities. In other words, Fauci was paid to prevent future pandemics. Dr. Fauci was approved for a "permanent pay adjustment" in excess of his regular salary in December 2004. From 2004 through 2007, Fauci received a 68-percent pay increase from $200,000- to $335,000-a year. This award was permanent and carried forward through 2020. Fauci's permanent pay raise was to "appropriately compensate him for the level of responsibility ... especially as it relates to his work on biodefense research activities." Over the years, NIH funding has gone towards ... grants for research on bat coronaviruses. Critics said that Fauci was funding research ... that was actually creating pandemic pathogens that, if leaked or if fell into the wrong hands, might create the very human pandemic they were trying to prevent.
Note: Forbes later watered down the title of this article to "Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics." After Forbes was pressured by the NIH, the column of the author of this article, Adam Andrzejewski, was terminated. 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 Center for Countering Digital Hate published "The Disinformation Dozen" – a report on the 12 influencers it claimed were responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine falsehoods disseminated on Facebook and other social media platforms. But the story of charlatans peddling fake cures and political conspiracy theories isn't the only part of the Covid misinformation saga. Distrust in public-health messaging is also sown when public-health messengers show themselves to be less than completely trustworthy. The latest set-to in this drama was a July 20 screaming match between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul. The Kentucky Republican suggested that Fauci had lied to Congress in claiming that the National Institutes of Health had never funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci took vehement exception, saying the research that the N.I.H. had funded ... didn't qualify as gain-of-function, a research technique in which a pathogen is made more transmissible. The larger truth – obscured until recently by fervent efforts (including by Fauci) to dismiss the lab-leak theory for the origins of the pandemic – is that the U.S. government's scientific establishment did support gain-of-function research that deserved far more public debate than it got. Beneficiaries of that funding engaged in deceptive tactics and outright mendacity to shield their research from public scrutiny while denouncing their critics as conspiracymongers.
Note: Read what happened when the publisher of "The Real Anthony Fauci" tried to place a full page ad in the New York Times for this #1 best seller. And why have all major media refused to review this book which is rated 4.8 stars on Amazon and has over 2,000 footnotes to back up the claims made? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the coronavirus from reliable sources.
Russia invaded Ukraine. For years now the Central Intelligence Agency has been preparing for such a moment, not only with prescient intelligence gathering and analysis but also by preparing Ukrainians to mount an insurgency against a Russian occupation. The agency has been training Ukrainian special forces and intelligence officers at a secret facility in the U.S. since 2015. Because the CIA training program is now publicly known, Russia can persuasively claim that Ukrainian insurgents are CIA proxies – a useful statement as propaganda to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and as a justification for any harsh measures it takes against Ukrainian civilians. The CIA needs to be honest with the Ukrainians – and itself – about the real intent. In the first U.S.-backed insurgency, according to top secret documents later declassified, American officials intended to use the Ukrainians as a proxy force to bleed the Soviet Union. This time, is the primary goal of the paramilitary program to help Ukrainians liberate their country or to weaken Russia over the course of a long insurgency that will undoubtedly cost as many Ukrainian lives as Russian lives, if not more? Even if a Ukrainian insurgency bleeds Russia over years, the conflict could cause instability to spread across Central and Eastern Europe. This is a pattern in the history of U.S. paramilitary operations – from the Cold War to Afghanistan and Iraq today.
Note: For an alternative view of Ukraine's Zelensky, don't miss this excellent presentation by intrepid reporter Ben Swann (skip to 1:45 to avoid advertisement). For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
Freedom of Information Act requests are rarely speedy, but when a group of scientists asked the federal government to share the data it relied upon in licensing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the response went beyond typical bureaucratic foot-dragging. As in 55 years beyond. That's how long the Food & Drug Administration in court papers this week proposes it should be given to review and release the trove of vaccine-related documents responsive to the request. If a federal judge in Texas agrees, plaintiffs Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency can expect to see the full record in 2076. The 1967 FOIA law requires federal agencies to respond to information requests within 20 business days. Justice Department lawyers representing the FDA note in court papers that the plaintiffs are seeking a huge amount of vaccine-related material – about 329,000 pages. The plaintiffs, a group of more than 30 professors and scientists ... filed suit in September in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking expedited access to the records. But the FDA can't simply turn the documents over. The records must be reviewed to redact "confidential business and trade secret information of Pfizer or BioNTech and personal privacy information of patients who participated in clinical trials," wrote DOJ lawyers. To meet the plaintiffs' proposed FOIA deadline, the FDA would have to process a daunting 80,000 pages a month. But the plaintiffs note that the FDA has 18,000 employees and a budget of $6 billion.
Note: If big Pharma cares more about stopping the virus than money, why are they hiding "proprietary" information. Why not a worldwide effort to work together to avoid millions of deaths? Apparently profits are more important than saving lives. And why did no significant media pick up this highly revealing news? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Last night, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall received Dr. Anthony Fauci's unredacted FY2020 financial disclosures. The financial disclosures contain a wealth of previously unknown information. For example, the Fauci household's net worth exceeds $10.4 million. During the pandemic year of 2020, their household income, perks and benefits, and unrealized gains totaled $1,776,479 – including federal income and benefits of $868,812; outside royalties and travel perks totaling $113,298; and investment accounts increasing by $794,369. Fauci earned $434,312 in cash compensation (FY2020) outearning all 4.3 million federal employees including the president and four-star generals in the U.S. military. Between 2010 and 2020, Dr. Fauci earned cash compensation of $3.7 million from his federal employer. NIH does still not disclose Fauci's current salary (FY2022) or last year's salary (FY2021), despite comment requests for the information. Therefore, Fauci earned an estimated total of roughly $900,000 during the period. Federal employees have a lucrative amount of paid time off, subsidized healthcare, pension benefits and a myriad of other perquisites. For example, after just three-years, a rank-and-file federal employee receives 44 days of paid time off. Dr. Fauci has held a federal job for 55 years. When Fauci retires he'll reap a retirement pension estimated at $350,000 per year, the highest in federal history. With cost-of-living increases, Fauci would receive over $1 million during his first three years of retirement.
Note: After Forbes was pressured by the NIH, the column of the author of this article, Adam Andrzejewski, was terminated not long after it was published. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
It's not public what Dr. Fauci's salary was last year or this year. (The latest published salary is from FY2020.) It's not public what stocks and bonds Dr. Fauci bought and sold in 2020 or 2021, as he influenced Covid policies. It's not public what Fauci received – or didn't receive – in royalties. (There are up to 1,000 current and former NIH scientists receiving royalties.) Each payment could be a potential conflict of interest. Yes, all this information resides with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but isn't "public knowledge," despite Dr. Fauci's claims otherwise in his sworn U.S. Senate testimony yesterday. These facts are known because an organization I lead, OpenTheBooks.com, is suing NIH for production of those records. In fact, NIH admits it holds approximately 1,200 pages relating to Fauci's financial information and conflict of interest disclosures. Transparency advocates say that NIH should post these documents online immediately. At Forbes, last January, I published an OpenTheBooks' investigation that Fauci was the most highly compensated federal employee and out-earned the President and four-star generals in the U.S. military. NIH is holding 1,200 pages of Fauci disclosure information, the agency will only produce 300 pages per month and not even begin to produce documents until February 1st. What else will the public discover about Dr. Fauci with an additional 1,200 pages of disclosure? For example, did Fauci's early knowledge of the Covid-19 outbreak influence any of his financial trading?
Note: After Forbes was pressured by the NIH, the column of the author of this article, Adam Andrzejewski, was terminated not long after it was published. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
On Christmas Eve, Dr. Anthony Fauci turned 81. However, he is not retiring just yet. If he did, Fauci would reap the largest federal retirement package in U.S. history. Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com estimate Dr. Fauci's annual retirement would exceed $350,000. Thereafter, his pension and benefits would continue to increase through annual cost-of-living adjustments. Fauci has 55 years of service as a federal employee. For the second year in a row, Fauci was the most highly compensated federal employee and out earned the president, four star generals, and roughly 4.3 million of his colleagues. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Fauci earned $434,312 in 2020, the latest year available, up from $417,608 in 2019. Fauci is currently the Chief Medical Advisor to the President. However, his big salary boost came in 2004 under the George W. Bush Administration ... when Fauci received a "permanent pay adjustment" for his biodefense work. In January 2000, Fauci was also appointed to the Ready Reserve Corps, a corps of "officers on full-time extended active duty." Federal employees with Fauci's length of service can retire to earn "80 percent of [their] high-3 average salary, plus credit for [their] sick leave," according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Dr. Fauci earned a total of $1.252 million from 2018-2020 in salary as a federal employee.
Note: After Forbes was pressured by the NIH, the column of the author of this article, Adam Andrzejewski, was terminated. 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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 966,575 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday after it corrected the data earlier this week, which reduced the death tallies in all age-groups, including children. The health agency, in a statement to Reuters, said it made adjustments to its COVID Data Tracker's mortality data on March 14 because its algorithm was accidentally counting deaths that were not COVID-19-related. The adjustment resulted in removal of 72,277 deaths previously reported across 26 states, including 416 pediatric deaths, CDC said. The reduction cut the CDC's estimate of deaths in children by 24% to 1,341 as of March 18. Children accounted for about 19% of all COVID-19 cases, but less than 0.26% of cases resulted in death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which summarizes state-based data. Americans have been polarized over the mitigation measures the CDC recommended for schools during the pandemic from urging schools to be remote, require masks and set up social distancing measures. It now advises that for most of the country, children should be in school and can be without masks.
Note: For lots more on this highly strange news, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has denied funding studies that would make a coronavirus more dangerous to humans after it was accused of doing so following the release of research proposals. The documents were obtained and released by The Intercept. Richard Ebright, board of governors professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University ... told Newsweek these documents show "unequivocally" that NIH grants were used to fund controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China–something U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has denied. GOF research ... potentially makes the virus more dangerous to humans.. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the NIH, told Congress in May that the NIH "has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology." Ebright said: "The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID director, Anthony Fauci ... are untruthful." What the NIH has denied is funding GOF research that would make a coronavirus more dangerous, such as by improving its lethality or transmissibility. Ebright said this appeared to be false by his interpretation of the documents released by The Intercept. NIH grants supported the construction of mutant SARS-related coronaviruses. At least three of the lab-generated viruses "exhibited >10x to >100x higher viral loads in humanized mice."
Note: Read what happened when the publisher of The Real Anthony Fauci tried to place a full page ad in the New York Times for this #1 best seller. And why have all major media refused to review this book which is rated 4.8 stars on amazon and has over 2,000 footnotes to back up the claims made? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Ministers have agreed [to] a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain's Covid vaccine supply. Large portions of the government's contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret. The revelation comes as Pfizer is accused by a former senior US health official of "war profiteering'' during the pandemic. Tom Frieden, who was director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Barack Obama, said: "If you're just focusing on maximising your profits and you're a vaccine manufacturer ... you are war profiteering." Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a US consumer advocacy organisation which has examined Pfizer's global vaccine contracts, said: "There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and it's unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis." Rizvi said the UK needed to explain why it had agreed to secret arbitration proceedings. He said: "It's the only high-income country we have seen that has agreed to this provision. It allows pharmaceutical companies to bypass domestic legal processes." While AstraZeneca agreed to sell its vaccine at cost during the pandemic, Pfizer wanted to secure its profits. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine ... will be one of the most lucrative drugs in pharmaceutical history. One biological engineering expert [claims] the Pfizer vaccine costs just 76p to manufacture for each shot. It is reportedly being sold for Ł22 a dose to the UK government.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
In Detroit, Tony Murray was getting ready for bed. He glanced out of his window and saw a half-dozen uniformed police officers with guns drawn. Officers searched Murray's home. One [officer] handed him a copy of the search warrant, which stated they were looking for illegal drugs. Murray noticed something else: The address listed wasn't his. It was his neighbor's. Months after the 2014 raid, Murray, who was not charged with any crimes, sued Detroit police for gross negligence and civil rights violations, naming Officer Lynn Christopher Moore, who filled out the search warrant, and the other five officers who raided his home. The city eventually paid Murray $87,500 to settle his claim, but admitted no error. Between 2010 and 2020, the city settled 10 claims involving Moore's police work, paying more than $665,000 to individuals who alleged the officer used excessive force, made an illegal arrest or wrongfully searched a home. Moore is among the more than 7,600 officers – from Portland, Ore., to Milwaukee to Baltimore – whose alleged misconduct has more than once led to payouts to resolve lawsuits and claims of wrongdoing, according to a Washington Post investigation. The Post collected data on nearly 40,000 payments at 25 of the nation's largest police and sheriff's departments within the past decade, documenting more than $3.2 billion spent to settle claims. More than 1,200 officers in the departments surveyed had been the subject of at least five payments. More than 200 had 10 or more.
The lobbying industry had a record year in 2021, taking in $3.7 billion in revenue as companies, associations and other organizations pressed Congress and the Biden administration over trillions of dollars in new pandemic spending and rules affecting health care, travel, tourism and other industries. The revenue figures, compiled in recent weeks from government records by OpenSecrets, show that lobbying spending began steadily growing in 2017. The jump in 2021, when lobbying spending was about 6 percent higher than 2020, came as the government's pandemic interventions and record expenditure took center stage. The surge came as companies and associations aimed to roll back regulations on their industries – many of them pandemic-related – while others vied for a slice of the trillions in new spending. Manufacturers, unions, financial companies and technology firms all spent significantly more in 2021 than in previous years. Thousands of companies and organizations appeared to hire lobbyists for the first time during the pandemic, as more than 3,700 companies and other groups that spent no money lobbying the government in 2019 paid lobbyists last year. The pharmaceutical industry, regularly one of the biggest spenders in Washington, also increased its spending. Its top trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), topped $30 million in spending last year, up 17 percent from the year prior.
For more than a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected data on hospitalizations for Covid-19 in the United States and broken it down by age, race and vaccination status. But it has not made most of the information public. When the C.D.C. published the first significant data on the effectiveness of boosters in adults younger than 65 two weeks ago, it left out the numbers for a huge portion of that population: 18- to 49-year-olds, the group least likely to benefit from extra shots, because the first two doses already left them well-protected. The agency recently debuted a dashboard of wastewater data on its website that will be updated daily and might provide early signals of an oncoming surge of Covid cases. Some states and localities had been sharing wastewater information with the agency since the start of the pandemic, but it had never before released those findings. Two full years into the pandemic, the agency leading the country's response to the public health emergency has published only a tiny fraction of the data it has collected, several people familiar with the data said. But the C.D.C. has been routinely collecting information since the Covid vaccines were first rolled out last year. The agency has been reluctant to make those figures public, [an] official said, because they might be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective. Experts dismissed the potential misuse or misinterpretation of data as an acceptable reason for not releasing it.
Note: Learn also about why Pfizer wanted to hide their COVID clinical data for 75 years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
From 2012 to 2017, I worked as a US air force nuclear missile operator. Each time I descended into the missile silo, I had to be ready to launch, at a moment's notice, a nuclear weapon that could wipe a city the size of New York off the face of the earth. I'm glad that people are finally discussing the existential dangers of nuclear weapons. There have been more near-misses than the world knows. After the end of the cold war, the general public allowed the threat of nuclear warfare to recede into the background. The threat simply didn't feel real to new generations like it did to those who grew up huddling under their desks during nuclear attack drills. And the young crews who steward this nuclear arsenal today aren't immune from the post-cold war malaise. In 2013, during my first year on crew, 11 ICBM officers were implicated in a drug scandal. The following year, 34 ICBM launch officers were implicated in a cheating scandal on their monthly proficiency exams. Deborah Lee James, the secretary of the air force at the time, said, "This was a failure of integrity on the part of some of our airmen. It was not a failure of our nuclear mission." In this attempt to save face, Secretary James revealed a state of dissonance that every nuclear missile operator lives with. We are told, day in and day out, that our integrity is crucial to the deterrent value of nuclear weapons and helps make the world a safer place. But what man or woman of integrity could possibly launch a nuclear weapon? Life with nuclear weapons is not safer or more peaceful.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Robert Mazur was a federal agent. He infiltrated Pablo Escobar's Colombian drug cartel for two years in the mid-1980s by pretending to be Robert Musella, a money-laundering, mob-connected businessman. "My role was to come across to the cartel as a credible money launderer," Mazur said. As an undercover operative, he was working with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a Luxembourg-based bank with branches in more than 70 countries, in order to launder the cartel's money. BCCI was known to have accounts of drug operatives, terrorists, dirty bankers and others who want to hide money. At one point, he was out at a social event in Miami with a senior bank officer at BCCI who asked him point blank, "You know who the biggest money launderer in the world is? It's the Federal Reserve, of course." That sounds like a crazy allegation, but Mazur said the banker connected the dots for him: In Colombia, it's illegal for anyone to have a U.S. dollar account. But at the state-run Bank of the Republic there is a window they call the "sinister window" or the "anonymous window." There, you can trade in as much U.S. currency as you want. The central bank exchanges it for Colombian pesos at a high rate immediately. Mazur recalls the banker asking: "What do you think happens with that cash? It gets put on pallets, they shrink-wrap it and they're sending hundreds of millions of dollars back to the Federal Reserve. Why didn't anyone ... ask where this money was coming from?"
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today. Twenty years ago, in 1990, 32 million doses of influenza vaccine were available in the United States. Today around 135 million doses of influenza vaccine annually enter the US market, with vaccinations administered in drug stores, supermarkets–even some drive-throughs. This enormous growth has not been fueled by popular demand but instead by a public health campaign that delivers a straightforward ... message: influenza is a serious disease, we are all at risk of complications from influenza, the flu shot is virtually risk free, and vaccination saves lives. Yet across the country, mandatory influenza vaccination policies have cropped up, particularly in healthcare facilities, precisely because not everyone wants the vaccination, and compulsion appears the only way to achieve high vaccination rates. Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials' claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated. Since 2000, the concept of who is "at risk" has rapidly expanded, incrementally encompassing greater swathes of the general population. Today, national guidelines call for everyone 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated. Now we are all "at risk."
Congress passed a bill last week explicitly prohibiting federal law enforcement officers from having sex with people in their custody, closing a loophole that previously allowed them to avoid a rape conviction by claiming such an encounter was consensual. The legal loophole gained widespread attention in 2018, after an 18-year-old woman in New York, Anna Chambers, said that two detectives raped her inside their police van. The detectives, who have since resigned, said she consented. Prosecutors ultimately dropped the sexual assault charges, and the men were sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to bribery and official misconduct. In February 2018, BuzzFeed News reported that laws in 35 states allowed police officers to claim that a person in their custody consented to sex, and that of at least 158 law enforcement officers charged with sexual assault, sexual battery, or unlawful sexual contact with somebody under their control from 2006 to 2018, at least 26 were acquitted or had charges dropped based on the consent defense. Last week ... the Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act passed the House and Senate as part of a broader appropriations bill. The act also requires states that receive certain federal grants to annually report to the Department of Justice the number of complaints alleging a sexual encounter between a local law enforcement officer and a person in their custody. The ... Act applies to the 100,000 or so law enforcement officers across all federal agencies.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
In the late summer of 2020, Bruce Bartman went to Pennsylvania's voter registration website and signed up his mother and mother-in-law to vote. Both women were dead. A few months later, Bartman, who is white, requested a mail-in ballot for his late mother and cast her vote for Donald Trump. Bartman was arrested that December and charged with perjury and unlawful voting. He pleaded guilty, admitted he made a "stupid mistake", was sentenced to five years of probation and barred from serving on a jury or voting for four years. When Bartman pleaded guilty, nearly 1,000 miles away, in Memphis, a Black Lives Matter activist named Pamela Moses was facing her own election-related criminal charges. A few years previously, Moses, who is Black, permanently lost the right to vote after committing a felony. But no one had actually removed Moses from the voter rolls or told her she couldn't vote. And in 2019, when state officials began looking into her eligibility, a probation officer signed a certificate saying Moses had completed her sentence and was eligible to vote. So she applied to do so. Even though corrections officials conceded they made an error, Moses was indicted anyway. She was sentenced to six years and one day in prison. The case ... underscored what many experts see as a double standard in the US criminal justice system: white people face relatively light punishment for intentional cases of fraud, while Black people face tougher punishments for unintentional voting errors.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the federal government can shield former government contractors from testifying about the torture of a post-9/11 detainee. The decision likely will make it harder for victims to expose secret government misconduct in the future. Abu Zubaydah was the first prisoner held by the CIA to undergo what, at the time, was euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation." During one 20-day period, he was waterboarded 83 times, 24 hours a day. During that period, the suspected terrorist was also slammed against walls, put in a coffin-like box for hours at a time to simulate live burial, and subjected to something the government called "rectal rehydration." In the end, the two CIA contractors who supervised Zubaydah's interrogation concluded that they had the wrong man. But when lawyers for Zubaydah subpoenaed them, the U.S. government blocked the move by invoking the so-called "state secrets" privilege. In this case, both the Trump and Biden administrations argued that even though the information about the torture program is widely known, confirming the existence of CIA black sites in Poland would jeopardize the U.S. government's relationship with foreign intelligence services. Josh Colangelo-Bryan, a lawyer who represents other Guantanamo Bay detainees, was ... critical. "There has been no accountability for the U.S. program that subjected people to torture," he said in a statement.
Note: Read more about the CIA's torture program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The fallout from a huge leak of Credit Suisse banking data threatened to damage Switzerland's entire financial sector on Monday after the European parliament's main political grouping raised the prospect of adding the country to a money-laundering blacklist. The European People's party (EPP), the largest political grouping of the European parliament, called for the EU to review its relationship with Switzerland and consider whether it should be added to its list of countries associated with a high risk of financial crime. Experts said that such a move would be a disaster for Switzerland's financial sector, which would face the kind of enhanced due diligence applied to transactions linked to rogue nations including Iran, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea. The EPP released the proposal after media outlets including the Guardian, SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Le Monde revealed how a massive leak of Credit Suisse data had uncovered apparently widespread failures of due diligence by the bank. The investigation, called Suisse secrets, identified clients of the Swiss bank who had been involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes. The country's addition to the EU high-risk third countries list would mean regulated professions, such as bankers, lawyers and accountants, would be required to conduct enhanced due diligence on any transaction or commercial relationship with a person or company in the country.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's endless appetite for data in a far-ranging speech. Ira "Gus" Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos - and that the agency wants all of it. "The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever." Hunt's comments come two days after Federal Computer Week reported that the CIA has committed to a massive, $600 million, 10-year deal with Amazon for cloud computing services. "It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information," Hunt said. After that mark is reached, Hunt said, the agency would also like to be able to save and analyze all of the digital breadcrumbs people don't even know they are creating. "You're already a walking sensor platform," he said, noting that mobiles, smartphones and iPads come with cameras, accelerometers, light detectors and geolocation capabilities. "Somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off," he said. Hunt also spoke of mobile apps that will be able to control pacemakers - even involuntarily - and joked about a "dystopian" future. Hunt's speech barely touched on privacy concerns.
Note: The Internet of Things makes mass surveillance even easier. 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 United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence. The convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment: (1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions; (2) continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; and (3) calls by foreign terrorist organizations for attacks on the United States. COVID-19 mitigation measures–particularly COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates–have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures. Domestic violent extremists have ... have recently aspired to disrupt U.S. electric and communications critical infrastructure, including by spreading false or misleading narratives about 5G cellular technology.
Note: Since when does questioning how much we trust our government make a person an extremist or terrorist? What ever happened to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Our founding fathers would likely have been declared terrorists by the DHS. So sad... 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 military, technological, security and political classes in this country appear united in their desire to make robot dogs part of our future, and we should all be worried. On 1 February ... the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release titled "Robot Dogs Take Another Step Towards Deployment at the Border". DHS dressed up their statement with the kind of adorable language made to warm the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. A picture of the "four-legged ground drone" accompanied the release. These particular robot dogs are made by Ghost Robotics, which claims that its 100lb machine was "bred" to scale "all types of natural terrain including sand, rocks and hills, as well as human-built environments, like stairs". Each robot dog is outfitted with a bevy of sensors and able to transmit real-time video and information feeds. A testing and evaluation program is under way in El Paso, Texas. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, "people who live along the border are some of the most heavily surveilled people in the United States. A massive amalgamation of federal, state and local law enforcement and national security agencies are flying drones, putting up cameras and just generally attempting to negate civil liberties – capturing the general goings-on of people who live and work in proximity to the border." Then there's the question of lethal force. These specific ground drones may not be armed, but Ghost Robotics is already infamous for the combination of robot dog and robot rifle.
Note: Singapore used robot dogs to enforce pandemic distancing measures. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance from reliable major media sources.
In a national address delivered this morning, President Joe Biden performed what has now become a familiar ritual for U.S. politicians: announcing the death of a terrorist leader. The latest enemy figure whose death has been presented to Americans as a victory was the head of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, who was reportedly killed alongside his family during a U.S. special forces raid in northern Syria. Biden characterized the raid as a victory that had made the world more secure, and without cost to Americans. The raid on a home where al-Quraishi was staying killed a total of 13 people, including a number of women and children. Images on social media of mangled corpses immediately began circulating in the aftermath. Since the outset of the Global War on Terrorism over two decades ago, the periodic killings of commanders from groups like the Taliban, Al Qaeda, al-Shabab, and, most recently, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have been touted as significant victories. Despite these repeated tactical victories ... the underlying wars themselves have continued. The killing of al-Quraishi [is] unlikely to mean an end to the U.S. "forever wars" in the region, which have switched to a permanent mode of militarized policing in which the U.S. reserves the right to carry out bombings and assassinations at will but does not refer to these actions as "war," even when civilians are killed.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The world is spending at least $1.8tn (Ł1.3tn) every year on subsidies driving the annihilation of wildlife and a rise in global heating, according to a new study, prompting warnings that humanity is financing its own extinction. From tax breaks for beef production in the Amazon to financial support for unsustainable groundwater pumping in the Middle East, billions of pounds of government spending and other subsidies are harming the environment, says the first cross-sector assessment for more than a decade. This government support, equivalent to 2% of global GDP, is directly working against the goals of the Paris agreement and draft targets on reversing biodiversity loss, the research on explicit subsidies found, effectively financing water pollution, land subsidence and deforestation with state money. The fossil fuel industry ($620bn), the agricultural sector ($520bn), water ($320bn) and forestry ($155bn) account for the majority of the $1.8tn, according to the report. No estimate for mining, believed to cause billions of dollars of damage to ecosystems every year, could be derived. Lack of transparency between governments and recipients means the true figure is likely to be much higher, as is the implicit cost of harmful subsidies. Last year, an International Monetary Fund report found the fossil fuel industry benefited from subsidies worth $5.9tn in 2020.
Bloomberg Businessweek published an alarming story: Operatives working for China's People's Liberation Army had secretly implanted microchips into motherboards made in China and sold by U.S.-based Supermicro. This allegedly gave Chinese spies clandestine access to servers belonging to over 30 American companies, including Apple, Amazon, and various government suppliers, in an operation known as a "supply chain attack," in which malicious hardware or software is inserted into products before they are shipped to surveillance targets. U.S. spy agencies ... assessed that China was adept at corrupting the software bundled closest to a computer's hardware at the factory, threatening some of the U.S. government's most sensitive machines, according to documents provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The documents also detail how the U.S. and its allies have themselves systematically targeted and subverted tech supply chains, with the NSA conducting its own such operations, including in China, in partnership with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. The documents also disclose supply chain operations by German and French intelligence. Computer hardware can be altered at various points along the supply chain, from design to manufacturing to storage to shipment. The U.S. is among the small number of countries that could, in theory, compromise devices at many different points in this pipeline, thanks to its resources and geographic reach.
Project Veritas released a video on Tuesday which allegedly shows an executive-level Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official admitting the Biden administration has plans to require yearly COVID shots "just like the flu shot." Christopher Cole, an executive officer for the FDA's Medical Countermeasures Initiative (MCMi), was apparently recorded on hidden camera by Project Veritas admitting "Biden wants to inoculate as many people as possible." "You'll have to get an annual shot," Cole said on camera. "I mean, it hasn't been formally announced yet 'cause they don't want to, like, rile everyone up," he added. Cole said in the video his managerial role at the FDA's MCMi involves overseeing vaccines, vaccine approvals, and devices for vaccines, and noted his "office clears all the emergency approvals" for such counter measures. "There's almost a billion dollars a year going into FDA's budget from the people we regulate," Cole says in the Project Veritas video. "The drug companies, the food companies, the vaccine companies, they pay us hundreds of millions of dollars a year to hire and keep the reviewers to approve their products. If they can get every person required at an annual vaccine, that is a recurring return of money going into their company," Cole added, in reference to pharmaceutical manufacturers. Cole also expresses concern over the FDA's process to approve COVID-19 vaccines for young children between six months of age and four years old in the video.
Note: Explore hundreds of personal stories of severe vaccine injury and death that are being strongly suppressed by government and the major media. An MD's excellent research reveals that the government knew about and actively suppressed safe, effective, low-price treatments for COVID and targeted physicians who prescribed them. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
In criminal trials, judges routinely rule that certain evidence or testimony does not get presented to the jury. By and large, these rulings to exclude evidence benefit the defendant. In ... cases against animal rights activists, who face hefty charges for removing ailing animals from farms, the typical logic behind keeping evidence from a jury is flipped on its head. The prosecutors, rather than defendants, have sought ... to suppress all mention during trial of animal cruelty. Next month, a Utah judge will hear pretrial motions on the exclusion of evidence in a case against two members of the animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere. The activists face charges of burglary and theft for removing two suffering piglets from a hog farm in 2017, for which they could be sentenced to more than a decade in prison. The Utah attorney general is seeking to exclude all evidence and testimony relating to the torturous treatment of animals. The activists filmed themselves entering the pork facility; they turned the camera onto the pigs – mother pigs with bloody nipples, pigs with huge open sores, dead and dying piglets on the floor – and filmed themselves removing the piglets. The prosecution argues that ... the activists' commentary on the grim factory conditions and any mention of the company's mistreatment of its animals would be unfairly prejudicial. That a prosecutor would move to preclude real-time footage of the alleged crime speaks to a frantic desire to foreclose any reckoning with the case's crucial context.
Note: Read more about how video evidence of animal cruelty is suppressed to protect factory farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
It is widely regarded as the world's most potent spyware, capable of reliably cracking the encrypted communications of iPhone and Android smartphones. The software, Pegasus, made by an Israeli company, NSO Group, has been able to track terrorists and drug cartels. It has also been used against human rights activists, journalists and dissidents. Now, an investigation published Friday by The New York Times Magazine has found that Israel, which controls the export of the spyware ... has made Pegasus a key component of its national security strategy, using it to advance its interests around the world. The F.B.I. bought and tested NSO software for years with plans to use it for domestic surveillance until the agency finally decided last year not to deploy the tools. The F.B.I., in a deal never previously reported, bought the spyware in 2019. It also spent two years discussing whether to deploy a newer product, called Phantom, inside the United States. The discussions at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. continued until last summer. But Pegasus equipment is still in a New Jersey building used by the F.B.I. And the company also gave the agency a demonstration of Phantom, which could hack American phone numbers. A brochure ... says that Phantom allows American law enforcement and spy agencies to "turn your target's smartphone into an intelligence gold mine." In 2018 ... the C.I.A. bought Pegasus to help Djibouti, an American ally, fight terrorism, despite longstanding concerns about human rights abuses there.
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 intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The drama surrounding Peng Shuai is following a familiar script, in which someone who has run afoul of China's Communist government disappears from view. What happens next depends on the case, but it is not uncommon for the person in question to disavow the statements or actions that first upset officials. Other times, the person simply keeps a lower profile. Sometimes, their arrest is eventually announced. Peng's saga began in November, when she wrote in a social media post that a former member of the party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee had forced her to have sex three years ago despite repeated refusals. The post was quickly taken down and the former top-ranked doubles player dropped out of public view late last year. After she reappeared weeks later, she denied to a Singapore newspaper that she ever made any accusation of sexual assault. In an interview published Monday by a French sports paper, the tennis player called the whole situation an "enormous misunderstanding." Other people ... have disappeared over the years – a phenomenon that has expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. Liu [Xiaobo], a dissident writer who joined calls for increased freedoms in China in 2008, was detained a day before the appeal for reforms was released. After his arrest, his whereabouts were unknown for a time. He was eventually accused of subversion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and died of cancer before he was ever released.
Note: What most likely happens is that these people are subjected to well established mind control procedures, such that afterward they dare not challenge those in power. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
NSO Group [is] the world's most notorious maker of spyware. The F.B.I. had bought a version of Pegasus, NSO's premier spying tool. It could ... crack the encrypted communications of any iPhone or Android smartphone. Since NSO had introduced Pegasus to the global market in 2011, it had helped Mexican authorities capture JoaquĂn GuzmĂˇn Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo. European investigators have quietly used Pegasus to thwart terrorist plots, fight organized crime and, in one case, take down a global child-abuse ring. Mexico deployed the software not just against gangsters but also against journalists and political dissidents. The United Arab Emirates used the software to hack the phone of a civil rights activist. Saudi Arabia used it against women's rights activists. During a presentation to officials in Washington, the company demonstrated a new system, called Phantom, that could hack any number in the United States that the F.B.I. decided to target. A slick brochure ... says that Phantom allows American law enforcement and spy agencies to get intelligence "by extracting and monitoring crucial data from mobile devices." It is an "independent solution" that requires no cooperation from AT&T, Verizon, Apple or Google. The system, it says, will "turn your target's smartphone into an intelligence gold mine." The Phantom presentation triggered a discussion among government lawyers. Last summer ... the F.B.I. finally decided not to deploy the NSO weapons.
Note: Read more 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 intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Police shot and killed at least 1,055 people nationwide last year, the highest total since The Washington Post began tracking fatal shootings by officers in 2015 – underscoring the difficulty of reducing such incidents despite sustained public attention to the issue. The new count is up from 1,021 shootings the previous year and 999 in 2019. The total comes amid a nationwide spike in violent crime. Despite setting a record, experts said the 2021 total was within expected bounds. Police have fatally shot roughly 1,000 people in each of the past seven years, ranging from 958 in 2016 to last year's high. The number of fatal police shootings ... suggests officers' behavior has not shifted significantly since The Post began collecting data. Advocacy for policing overhauls has intensified since the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020. More than 400 bills were introduced in state legislatures last year to address officers' use of force. Police departments increasingly partnered with mental health experts to respond to people in crisis. Cities established civilian review boards for use-of-force incidents. None of it decreased the number of people shot and killed by officers last year. Last year, all but 15 percent of people shot and killed by officers were armed. Ninety-four percent were men. Roughly 14 percent had known mental health struggles, down from about one-fifth in the two previous years and about one-fourth in 2016 and 2015.
Portions of a military information campaign meant to influence the Canadian public during the COVID-19 pandemic continued to operate months after the chief of the defence staff at the time ordered it shut down in the spring of 2020. The Canadian military recently conducted four reviews of controversial initiatives. A copy of one of those reviews was obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation. That review shows that even after the then-chief of the defence staff, Jonathan Vance, verbally called off the overall influence campaign in April 2020, some influence activities aimed at Canadians carried on for another six months – until Vance issued a written edict in November 2020. The military deployed propaganda techniques in Canada without approval during the pandemic and gathered information about Canadians' online activities without permission from authorities. DND denies it has used psychological warfare techniques, honed during the Afghan war, on Canadians. But the line between psychological warfare and information operation campaigns has become increasingly blurry over the last few years. The review document obtained by CBC News says the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) ... "liberally interpreted" department policy. The unit decided it had the authority to conduct information operations on Canadians without government approval because it was asked by the government to help with the response to the pandemic.
Note: Learn more in this article titled, "Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians, Forces report says." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Two weeks ago, state Sen. Richard Pan introduced a new bill which would require all children K-12 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend school in person after Jan. 1, 2023. Unvaccinated children would be forced into remote learning. Pan said, "We need to make sure schools are safe so that all parents are comfortable sending their children to school." Every parent wants safe schools. But our children deserve medical care driven by facts, not politics. As physician epidemiologists, we have analyzed the data and found that this mandate is not supported by the scientific evidence – which is why no European countries or other U.S. states have implemented their own. California already has a mandate for children over 12, which will be triggered once the vaccines receive full approval. Pan's bill would go much further, requiring every child in K-12 to be vaccinated while the shots are still under emergency use authorization. Excluding unvaccinated children from in-person learning would come at an enormous cost, at a time when they should be catching up on critical academic and social experiences. In December, when the Los Angeles Unified School District tried to implement a K-12 COVID-19 vaccine mandate, they found that 30,000 students ages 12 and older hadn't met the mandate requirements. If we extrapolate those numbers to the entire state, and take into account lower vaccination rates among children ages 5-11, over a million California children could be forced into remote learning.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Here in California, our children continue to navigate the most restrictive policies in the country, in many cases not even allowing them to remove their masks while outdoors at school. There are now calls ... to exchange their cloth masks for thicker, larger and tighter N95/KN95 masks. The World Health Organization does not recommend the routine masking of young children at all, let alone the proposition that tight-fitting respirators should be donned by children for multiple hours a day. Yet we have come to view this as appropriate and necessary in California, despite our high levels of protection from serious COVID-19 illness given widespread vaccine uptake. Our government leaders made an implicit promise that the vaccination of adults and children would be the conduit by which our society would return to pre-pandemic freedoms. Despite a highly successful vaccination campaign in the Bay Area, most COVID-19 restrictions have remained in place for two years and counting. And despite widespread access to vaccines, we continue to prioritize the prevention of COVID-19 transmission, even in the absence of severe illness, above most other health considerations. Last week, we began an online petition asking California officials to immediately shift our public dialogue toward defining a path for removing all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in public schools. Despite the pushback we have received, normalizing our school environment is not a radical concept.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The federal official in charge of a $250 million marketing blitz to build trust in the coronavirus vaccines' safety says the campaign will forego trying to convince so-called "anti-vaxxers." Instead, it will focus on swaying those who are simply unsure about the new coronavirus inoculations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls the campaign's target group the "movable middle," said Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Weber, who is overseeing the initiative. Sixty percent of respondents in a national survey conducted in November by the Pew Research Center said they would definitely or probably get vaccinated, while 39% said they "definitely or probably" would not. However, just under half of that group, 18%, said it's possible they could change their minds. That's the group the campaign needs to sway.
Note: If the government has to spend $250 million to "convince" Americans the vaccines are safe, how can they then issue mandates requiring vaccines? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Earlier this week, the military seized power in Burkina Faso, ousting the country's democratically elected president, Roch Marc Christian KaborĂ©. The coup was announced on state television Monday by a young officer who said the military had suspended the constitution and dissolved the government. Beside him sat a camouflage-clad man whom he introduced as Burkina Faso's new leader: Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the commander of one of the country's three military regions. Damiba is a highly trained soldier, thanks in no small part to the U.S. military, which has a long record of training soldiers in Africa who go on to stage coups. Damiba, it turns out, participated in at least a half-dozen U.S. training exercises, according to U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM. Damiba is just the latest in a carousel of coup leaders in West Africa trained by the U.S. military as the U.S. has pumped in more than $1 billion in security assistance to promote "stability" in the region. Since 2008, U.S.-trained officers have attempted at least nine coups (and succeeded in at least eight) across five West African countries, including Burkina Faso (three times), Guinea, Mali (three times), Mauritania, and the Gambia. U.S.-trained coup-plotters aren't strictly confined to West Africa. Before Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi deposed Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, he underwent basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, (in 1981) and advanced instruction at the U.S. Army War College (in 2006).
For nearly 10 years, Joseph Moore lived a secret double life. At times the U.S. Army veteran donned a white robe and hood as a hit man for the Ku Klux Klan in North Florida. He attended clandestine meetings and participated in cross burnings. He even helped plan the murder of a Black man. However, Moore wore something else during his years in the klan – a wire for the FBI. He recorded his conversations with his fellow klansmen, sometimes even captured video, and shared what he learned with federal agents trying to crack down on white supremacists. [Moore] would help the federal government foil at least two murder plots. He was also an active informant when the FBI exposed klan members working as law enforcement officers in Florida at the city, county and state levels. "The FBI wanted me to gather as much information about these individuals and confirm their identities," Moore said of law enforcement officers who were active members of or working with the klan. "It is more prevalent and consequential than any of them are willing to admit." At klan gatherings, Moore noted license plate numbers and other identifying information of suspected law enforcement officers who were members. Moore said he noted connections between the hate group and law enforcement in Florida and Georgia. He came across dozens of police officers, prison guards, sheriff deputies and other law enforcement officers who were involved with the klan and outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Note: Read more about how white supremacist groups and militias have infiltrated law enforcement agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
By the time Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards stood before Judge Gregory Woods in a courtroom in Lower Manhattan last month, she had lost her job, her car, her home and had spent nearly three years on supervised release, awaiting a likely prison sentence. Her family had come to watch the hearing, and so had the BuzzFeed reporter, Jason Leopold, to whom she had leaked more than 2,000 sensitive government documents. She explained how she had tried to go through proper whistleblower channels when she witnessed corruption within the Treasury Department and did not hide that she had also gone to the press. "I could not stand by aimlessly," she said, "as this would have been a violation of my oath of office, which is also a federal crime." She was sentenced to six months in federal prison. On Oct. 29, 2017, BuzzFeed published the first in a series of scoops by Leopold, based on leaks from Edwards – then a senior official in the Treasury Department's division of financial crimes, known as FinCEN. The story revealed the existence of 13 suspicious wire transfers involving offshore companies connected to Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, totaling more than $3 million. At her sentencing, Judge Woods described Edwards's leaks as "intentional" and "reckless." But [Mark] Schoofs, of BuzzFeed, recently called upon Biden to pardon Edwards, who "did more to bring transparency to the global financial system than almost anyone else in recent memory," he wrote in the New York Times.
A plot of Wall Street interests to overthrow President Roosevelt and establish a Fascist dictatorship, backed by a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers and others, was charged by Major Gen. Smedley D. Butler, retired Marine Corps officer, who appeared yesterday before the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, which began hearings on the charges. [The committee] heard testimony from General Butler and Gerald P. Maguire, a bond salesman in the Stock Exchange firm of Grayson M.P. Murphy & Co., 52 Broadway, named by General Butler as having urged him to head the proposed Fascist army. There were immediate emphatic denials by the purported plotters. From Philadelephia came word that General Butler had told friends there that General Hugh S. Johnson, former NRA administrator, was scheduled for the role of dictator, and that J. P. Morgan & Co. as well as Murphy & Co. were behind the plot.
Note: General Butler, who was greatly loved by his troops, only discovered how he and his troops had been used by Wall Street bankers after retiring from the military. As a result, he wrote a seminal book titled "War is a Racket" for which you can find an excellent summary on this webpage. Explore a suppressed book on this titled "The Plot to Seize the White House." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
The chief executives of America's largest airlines warned of a "catastrophic disruption" to travel and shipping operations if telecommunication companies roll out their 5G technology as planned Wednesday without limiting the technology near U.S. airports. On Tuesday, AT&T and Verizon both confirmed to CBS News that they have voluntarily agreed to postpone turning on a limited amount of towers around certain airports. "We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement, reiterating that the rest of their 5G launch will continue as planned. The executives, writing to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other U.S. government officials, highlighted the risk of "economic calamity" should Verizon and AT&T proceed with deploying the new technology before the necessary upgrades and changes have been made to aviation equipment. "We are writing with urgency to request that 5G be implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate two miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA on January 19, 2022," the CEOs said in a Monday letter. "To be blunt, the nation's commerce will grind to a halt," they said. The letter was signed by CEOs of major airlines including American, United, Delta and Southwest, as well as the leaders of shipping giants FedEx and UPS.
It was Jan. 31, 2020, and a leading infectious disease expert, Kristian Andersen, had been examining the genetic characteristics of the newly emerging SARS-CoV virus. "Some of the features (potentially) look engineered," Andersen wrote in an email to Dr. Anthony Fauci, noting that he and other scientists "all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory." Just four days later, Andersen gave feedback in advance of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine letter that was referenced in the prestigious Lancet medical journal to argue against the idea that the virus had been engineered and brand it a conspiracy theory. In his email, Andersen called the ideas that the virus was engineered "crackpot theories," writing, "engineering can mean many things and could be done for basic research or nefarious reasons, but the data conclusively show that neither was done." That initial email ... was released to The Washington Post and BuzzFeed this week under the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. government has since accused China of withholding significant information. And U.S. intelligence officials ... say the possibility that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan is one they have not ruled out, and continue to investigate. A fact sheet put out by the State Department at the end of the Trump administration in January – which was vetted by intelligence agencies and has not been disavowed by the Biden administration – says there is circumstantial evidence for a lab leak.
On Tuesday, Republicans on [a] House Committee ... released a letter that paints a damning picture of U.S. government officials wrestling with whether the novel coronavirus may have leaked out of a lab they were funding ... and then keeping the discussion from spilling out into public view. The newly released notes ... first obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by BuzzFeed News and the The Washington Post ... suggest that the scientists Fauci consulted initially considered that possibility to be much more serious than the paper let on. As they discussed what to present to the public, the scientists determined that questions of potential lab origin might prove more trouble than they're worth. Virologists Michael Farzan and Robert Garry told Fauci ... the virus might have leaked from the Wuhan lab. The major feedback [from a] Feb 1 teleconference was: 1. Don't try to write a paper at all. 2. If you do write it, don't mention a lab origin as that will just add fuel to the conspiracists. Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease expert ... sent around notes, including to Fauci and Collins, summarizing what some of the scientists had said. Farzan ... "is bothered by the furin site and has a hard time explaining that as an event outside the lab." [One virologist commented that] "further debate about such accusations would unnecessarily distract top researchers from their active duties and do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular."
In "Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System," [Judge Jed S.] Rakoff reaches far beyond corporate boardrooms to highlight an array of shortcomings within the criminal justice system. His proposed fixes are worthy of consideration but also lay bare a harsh reality: The entrenched interests tolerating the system's inequities and, in some cases, profiting from the status quo pose significant obstacles to reform. Rakoff realized that America's "system of justice is failing its mission" after becoming a federal district court judge a quarter-century ago. What's the nature of this failure? The country imprisons millions of indigent Americans yet routinely allows white-collar criminals to avoid punishment. "To a federal judge," he declares, the government's reluctance to hold executives accountable and instead enter into "cosmetic prosecution agreements" with corporations that are repeatedly violated and unenforced "is disturbing ... in what it says about the DOJ's apparent disregard for equality under the law." Rakoff fittingly cites Pfizer to exemplify his point. The four deferred-prosecution agreements between the pharmaceutical giant and federal authorities from 2002 to 2009 – all devised to prevent future misconduct – failed to stop the company from flouting the law. Through it all, Pfizer's executives went unpunished, and the fines the company paid represented a fraction of its ill-gotten gains.
Note: For a much deeper analysis and discussion of Judge Rakoff's highly revealing book by courageous journalist Matt Taibbi, see this excellent essay. Consider subscribing to Taibbi's excellent work. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the court system and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.
The Associated Press sought answers Monday from the Department of Homeland Security on its use of sensitive government databases for tracking international terrorists to investigate as many as 20 American journalists, including an acclaimed AP reporter. In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, AP Executive Editor Julie Pace urged the agency to explain why the name of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Martha Mendoza was run through the databases and identified as a potential confidential informant during the Trump administration, as detailed in a report by Homeland Security's inspector general. The DHS investigation of U.S. journalists, as well as congressional staff and perhaps members of Congress ... represents the latest apparent example of an agency created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks using its vast capabilities to target American citizens. The AP's letter ... called for "assurances that these improper practices and apparent abuse of power will not continue going forward." That would be in line with recent order from Attorney General Merrick Garland prohibiting the seizing of records of journalists in leak investigations. That followed an outcry over revelations that the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump had obtained records belonging to journalists, as well as Democratic members of Congress. During the Obama administration, federal investigators secretly seized phone records for some reporters and editors at the AP.
After President Biden's inauguration this year, protesters marched once again through the streets of Portland, Ore., sending a message that putting a Democrat in the White House would not resolve their problems with a system of policing and corporate wealth that they saw as fundamentally unfair. The event ... included a variety of anarchists, antifascists, communists and racial justice activists. But there were others mingling in the crowd that day: plainclothes agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The F.B.I. set up extensive surveillance operations inside Portland's protest movement ... with agents standing shoulder to shoulder with activists, tailing vandalism suspects to guide the local police toward arrests and furtively videotaping inside one of the country's most active domestic protest movements. The breadth of F.B.I. involvement in Portland and other cities where federal teams were deployed at street protests became a point of concern for some within the bureau and the Justice Department who worried that it could undermine the First Amendment right to protest against the government. Some within the departments worried that the teams could be compared to F.B.I. surveillance transgressions of decades past, such as the COINTELPRO projects that sought to spy on and disrupt various activist groups in the 1950s and 1960s. There has been no evidence so far that the bureau used similar surveillance teams on right-wing demonstrators during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Note: Read more about the FBI's COINTELPRO program. 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.
For 33 years and four months [the highly decorated General Smedley] Butler had been a United States Marine. Butler knew what most Americans did not: that in all those years, he and his Marines had destroyed democracies and helped put into power the Hitlers and Mussolinis of Latin America, dictators like the Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo and Nicaragua's soon-to-be leader Anastasio Somoza – men who would employ violent repression and their U.S.-created militaries to protect American investments and their own power. He had done so on behalf of moneyed interests like City Bank, J. P. Morgan, and the Wall Street financier Grayson M.P. Murphy. And now a bond salesman, who worked for Murphy, was pitching Butler on a domestic operation that set off the old veteran's alarm bells. The bond salesman was Gerald C. MacGuire. He made his proposal: The Marine would lead half a million veterans in a march on Washington, blending the Croix de Feu's assault on the French legislature with the March on Rome that had put Mussolini's Fascisti in power. They would be financed and armed by some of the most powerful corporations in America – including DuPont, the nation's biggest manufacturer of explosives and synthetic materials. The purpose of the action was to stop Roosevelt's New Deal, the president's program to end the Great Depression, which one of the millionaire du Pont brothers deemed "nothing more or less than the Socialistic doctrine called by another name." Butler recognized this immediately as a coup.
Note: Read a concise summary of the highly decorated US General Butler's important book "War is a Racket." He makes clear that the reason we have so much war has little to do with national security and everything to do with padding the pockets of those in the military-industrial complex. Read more about the fascist plot to take over the US that he uncovered. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Remember the "carried interest" loophole that lets hedge fund executives and private equity managers – among the wealthiest people in America – pay a tax rate no higher than most Americans? It's a pure scam. They get the tax break even though they invest other peoples' money rather than risk their own. Barack Obama promised to get rid of the loophole. He failed. So, remarkably, did Donald Trump. Now that Democrats are trying to find ways to finance President Biden's Build Back Better package, you might think that the carried interest loophole would be high on their list. After all, closing it could raise $180bn over 10 years. Think again. The loophole – which treats the earnings of private equity managers and venture capitalists as capital gains, taxed at a top rate of just 20%, instead of income, whose top tax rate is 37% – remains as big as ever. Bigger. Influential Democrats, such as House ways and means committee chair Richard Neal, argue that closing the loophole would hobble the private equity industry, and, by extension, the US economy. The truth is there's zero economic justification for retaining this loophole. The sole reason the loophole survives even during Democratic Congresses, is fierce lobbying by the private equity industry – and the dependence of too many Democrats on campaign funding from the partners of private equity and hedge funds. The private equity industry ... has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to congressional campaigns.
Arpad Pusztai spoke for only two and a half minutes during his interview for ITN's World in Action in 1998, but it was enough to end his career. The Hungarian-born expert in lectins, a type of protein, had spent decades working at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen and had almost 300 scientific papers and three books to his name. In the mid-1990s, with big food manufacturers increasingly developing and promoting genetically modified crops, he had been asked to investigate the effect that their products, specifically GM potatoes, could have on rats. His data showed that those being fed GM potatoes experienced stunted organ and brain growth and disturbance to their immune systems. Pusztai ... agreed to discuss his research on television in the hope of attracting new funding. His comments, which were promoted by the programme in a press release headed "new health fears over 'Frankenstein' food", started a media frenzy. Pusztai was suspended and his raw data was seized. According to [author Andrew] Rowell: "All GM work was stopped immediately and Pusztai's team was dispersed. His three PhD students were moved to other areas. He was threatened with legal action if he spoke to anyone. His phone calls and emails were diverted. No one was allowed to speak to him either." In Pusztai's telling ... the Rowett Institute came under pressure from senior figures in the government and the food industry. Two employees told him that the institute had taken calls from the office of Tony Blair, the prime minister.
Note: Read more about this important scientist. And for more on the dangers of GM food, see this important book summary. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs from reliable major media sources.
On July 19, 2016, American Special Operations forces bombed what they believed were three ISIS "staging areas" on the outskirts of Tokhar. They reported 85 fighters killed. In fact, they hit houses far from the front line. More than 120 villagers were killed. In early 2017 in Iraq, an American war plane struck a dark-colored vehicle ... bearing not a bomb but a man named Majid Mahmoud Ahmed, his wife and their two children. They and three other civilians were killed. None of these deadly failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing. These cases are drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014. The trove of documents – the military's own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times – lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. According to the military's count, 1,417 civilians have died in airstrikes in the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; since 2018 in Afghanistan, U.S. air operations have killed at least 188 civilians. But The Times's analysis of the documents found that many allegations of civilian casualties had been summarily discounted, with scant evaluation. And the on-the-ground reporting ... found hundreds of deaths uncounted.
Note: If American civilians were killed anywhere by a foreign drone, there would be a media uproar. Where's the justice for these inexcusable deaths? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden signed a record-shattering military budget earlier this week, and a new analysis ... predicted that if recent contracting trends continue, the Pentagon will funnel $407 billion worth of public funds to private weapons makers this fiscal year - more than the federal government spent when sending $1,400 relief checks to most Americans in 2021. Stephen Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute, found that "from fiscal year (FY) 2002 to FY2021, 55% of all Pentagon spending went to private sector military contractors." "Military spending involves a massive redistribution of wealth from the public to private sector," wrote Semler. "There are over 700 lobbyists representing for-profit military contractors in D.C., and this redistribution of wealth is why they're there." In a Jacobin essay ... Semler argued that Biden is doubling down on the "New Cold War" framework embraced by former President Donald Trump, whose administration claimed that the best way for the U.S. to prevent an armed confrontation with China and Russia "is to be prepared to win one." "Biden's budget allocates nearly $40 billion more than the Trump administration, $170 billion more than Obama's last budget, and 5% more than he campaigned on. Less than 8% of the funding Biden sought for his domestic agenda has come through," [Semler said]. "Adjusted on a per-year average," Semler added, "Biden has only delivered $55 billion of the $700 billion he promised for human and physical infrastructure."
When lawyers were preparing to defend against a lawsuit over a death in police custody in Fresno, Calif., they knew whom to call. Dr. Gary Vilke has established himself as a leading expert witness by repeatedly asserting that police techniques such as facedown restraints, stun gun shocks and some neck holds did not kill people. Officers in Fresno had handcuffed 41-year-old Joseph Perez and, holding him facedown on the ground, put a spinal board from an ambulance on his back as he cried out for help. The county medical examiner ruled his death, in May 2017, a homicide by asphyxiation. Dr. Vilke, who was hired by the ambulance provider, charged $500 an hour and provided a different determination. He wrote in a report ... that Mr. Perez had died from methamphetamine use, heart disease and the exertion of his struggle against the restraints. Dr. Vilke ... is an integral part of a small but influential cadre of scientists, lawyers, physicians and other police experts whose research and testimony is almost always used to absolve officers of blame for deaths, according to a review of hundreds of research papers and more than 25,000 pages of court documents, as well as interviews with nearly three dozen people. Their views infuriate many prosecutors, plaintiff lawyers, medical experts and relatives of the dead, who accuse them of slanting science, ignoring inconvenient facts and dangerously emboldening police officers to act aggressively. Many of the experts also have ties to Axon, maker of the Taser.
According to the nonprofit organization Airwars, the U.S. has conducted more than 91,000 airstrikes in seven major conflict zones since 2001, with at least 22,000 civilians killed and potentially as many as 48,000. How does America react when it kills civilians? Just last week, we learned that the U.S. military decided that nobody will be held responsible for the August 29 drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed 10 members of an Afghan family, including seven children. After an internal review, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin chose to take no action, not even a wrist slap for a single intelligence analyst, drone operator, mission commander, or general. U.S. bombings since 2014 have consistently killed civilians but ... the Pentagon has done almost nothing to discern how many were harmed or what went wrong and might be corrected. Savagery consists of more than the act of killing. It also involves a system of impunity that makes clear to the perpetrators that what they are doing is acceptable, necessary – maybe even heroic – and must not cease. To this end, the United States has developed a machinery of impunity that is arguably the most advanced in the world, implicating not only a broad swathe of military personnel but also the entirety of American society. The machinery of impunity actually has two missions: The most obvious is to excuse people who should not be excused. The other is to punish those who try to expose the machine, because it does not function well in daylight.
The caption read "hanging with the homies." The picture above it showed several Black men who had been lynched. Another photo asked what someone should do if their girlfriend was having an affair with a Black man. The answer, according to the caption, was to break "a tail light on his car so the police will stop him and shoot him." The comments represent a sliver of a trove of racist text messages exchanged by more than a dozen current and former Torrance police officers and recruits. The Times examined some of the contents of the until-now secret texts and identified a dozen Torrance police officers under investigation for exchanging them. The broad scope of the racist text conversations, which prosecutors said went on for years, has created a crisis for the Torrance Police Department and could jeopardize hundreds of criminal cases in which the officers either testified or made arrests. California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said Wednesday his office will investigate the department in the wake of the scandal. The officers' comments spared no color or creed. While no officers currently face criminal charges in direct relation to the text messages, the racist exchanges have led to the dismissal of at least 85 criminal cases involving the officers implicated in the scandal. County prosecutors had tossed 35 felony cases as of mid-November, and the Torrance city attorney's office has dismissed an additional 50, officials said. In total, the officers were listed as potential witnesses in nearly 1,400 cases in the last decade.
A journalist writing for The BMJ has won a British Journalism Award for his series on the financial interests of medical experts advising US and UK governments during the covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the articles written by Paul Thacker, an investigative journalist, the financial disclosures of members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were published for the first time. Thacker's first story looked at two groups critical to the UK government's pandemic response–SAGE and the Vaccine Taskforce. He examined both and found that they did not disclose their members' financial conflicts. Some members were tied to companies with a monetary interest in the government's purchases. Thacker ... filed freedom of information (FoI) requests with multiple government departments and Oxford University. In a second story he wrote about the government's repeated refusal to turn over these data. However, the FoI ... revealed that Thacker's original request was apparently sent to a special government department to handle any reporter considered a "campaigner" or to have "extreme views." Eventually, the government relented and published the financial conflicts for the members of SAGE. In the final story of the series Thacker looked at the panels that the US and UK governments used to authorize vaccines and revealed that ... disclosure policies were inadequate. Some experts evaluating the vaccines had significant industry ties that were not disclosed.
Note: Read the full text of Thacker's article titled, "Covid-19: How independent were the US and British vaccine advisory committees?" and another titled "How the case of the Oxford professor exposes a transparency crisis in government." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago. "I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics," she said. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. In February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. Seven months later ... the EPA announced that it planned to grant the group's request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule. Companies have continued to churn out DINP ... in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano's claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys ... more likely to be infertile later in life. In fact, the entire group of phthalates – an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year – seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is rewriting history. He is doing so to disguise his shameful role in delaying promotion of an AIDS treatment that would have prevented tens of thousands of deaths in the first years of the epidemic. In my book, Body Counts, A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival, I recount how slow the federal government was in publicizing the use of Bactrim and other sulfa drugs to prevent PCP (the pneumonia that was then the leading killer of people with AIDS). Had Fauci listened to people with AIDS and the clinicians treating them, and responded accordingly, he would have saved thousands of lives. Between 1987, when [AIDS activist Michael] Callen met with Fauci and 1989, when the guidelines were ultimately issued, nearly 17,000 people with AIDS suffocated from PCP. Most of these people might have lived had Fauci responded appropriately. Callen and others ... met with Fauci to plead for his support. They explained that many frontline AIDS physicians, following the lead of Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, were already using Bactrim effectively to prevent the recurrence of PCP. The science was clear. Fauci refused to acknowledge the evidence and, according to one account, even encouraged people with AIDS to stop taking treatments, like Bactrim. Treatment activist Richard Jefferys wrote in 2001 that Fauci "went as far as telling activists attending a 1987 meeting that there was no data to suggest PCP prophylaxis was beneficial and that it may, in fact be dangerous."
There's often outcry when a public figure eschews covid-19 related rules – but even more so when those breaking the rules are the same ones who set them. In 2020, guideline-flouting officials faced backlash across the world – from New Zealand to Ireland to Canada to the United States. There was California Gov. Gavin Newsom's attendance at a lavish $350 per person dinner party. Or the British prime minister's then-top aide Dominic Cummings, who defied a lockdown for a 260-mile road trip while he and his wife were infected with covid-19. And the senator in the Philippines who broke quarantine to visit the hospital where his wife was in labor – all waiting for his coronavirus test result, which ended up positive. As the pandemic persists, the cycle of rule-flouting, public outcry, followed by an official apology and sometimes, a resignation, continues. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is embroiled in another scandal – this one with a Christmas theme. In early December, controversy arose over a 2020 Christmas party (or series of parties) at 10 Downing Street, the British prime minister's office, in the midst of a strict coronavirus lockdown. Johnson issued an apology at the House of Commons. After the prime minister's apology, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said that the "millions" who followed public health protocols last Christmas "now think the prime minister was taking them for fools, that they were lied to."
In his new bestselling book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health, Children's Health Defense board chair and lead counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. provides readers with previously little-known information on Dr. Fauci's handling of pandemics prior to COVID including the AIDS epidemic. "...Dr. Fauci copied the choreographed script for winning remdesivir's EUA from the worn rabbit-eared playbook that he developed during his early AIDS years, and then used repeatedly across his career to win approvals for deadly and ineffective drugs," writes Kennedy. "Time and again, he has terminated clinical trials of his sweetheart drugs the moment they begin to reveal cataclysmic toxicity. He makes the absurd claim that his drug-du-jour had proven so miraculously effective that it would be unethical to deny it to the public, and then he strong-arms FDA to grant his approvals." One of the AIDS treatments promoted by Dr. Fauci and his agency [NIAID] was azidothymidine (AZT), a powerful and toxic chemotherapy drug used widely for AIDS patients despite the availability of less toxic options. AZT, according to SPIN magazine, is a drug that "was worse than the disease." Kennedy also exposes Dr. Fauci's experiments using various toxic AIDS drugs on Black and Hispanic foster children in New York and six other states.
Note: Read more about the foster children used as guinea pigs to test HIV drugs. If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
Longtime vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a runaway bestseller on his hands with his blockbuster book skewering Dr. Anthony Fauci, no thanks to what his publisher calls a "total media blackout." "The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health" continued its reign Wednesday atop the Amazon and USA Today nonfiction bestseller lists and ranked fifth on The New York Times' list of top-selling books. The book is flying off the shelves even though technology platforms refuse to carry its advertising. Mainstream media outlets won't touch it, much to the frustration of Tony Lyons, president and publisher of Skyhorse Publishing. "I defy you to find a single case where the No. 1 bestselling book in America over a 16-day period has not been mentioned in one mainstream newspaper in the country," Mr. Lyons [said]. Not even the aura of the Kennedy name has tempted the mainstream media. The snub hasn't occurred in a vacuum. Mr. Kennedy became persona non grata after he launched his vaccine criticism in 2005. Dr. Fauci is a media favorite, and social media companies have cracked down on content that contests the coronavirus authorities in the name of squelching "misinformation." Among the book's claims are that the White House chief medical adviser oversaw the "disastrous mismanagement" of the 2020 pandemic and has prioritized the pharmaceutical industry over public health.
Note: If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. Learn how the CIA is involved in suppressing Kennedy's book and so much more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the coronavirus from reliable sources.
Children's Health Defense's board chair and lead counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s highly anticipated book, The Real Anthony Fauci, is available today in bookstores throughout the U.S. and Canada. The New York Times bestselling author's latest work "details how Fauci, Gates and their cohorts used their control of media outlets, scientific journals, key government and quasi-governmental agencies, and influential scientists and physicians to flood the public with fearful propaganda about COVID-19 virulence and pathogenesis, and to muzzle debate and ruthlessly censor dissent," said Kennedy. The Real Anthony Fauci exposes a side of Dr. Fauci that has thus far been shielded from the public by the ongoing media blackout of any information that counters the Pharma/government narrative. "Fauci's gargantuan yearly disbursements allow him to dictate the subject, content and outcome of scientific health research across the globe," said Kennedy. "These annual disbursements also allow Fauci to exercise dictatorial control over the army of 'knowledge-and-innovation' leaders who populate the 'independent' federal panels that approve and mandate drugs and vaccines – including the committees that allowed the Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines." "Fauci's COVID policies also spawned new insidious authoritarianism – and propelled America down a slippery slope toward a grim future as a dark totalitarian security and surveillance state," said Kennedy.
Note: If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden's new vaccine mandates for federal employees don't apply to members of Congress or those who work for Congress or the federal court system. Biden issued two executive orders on Thursday requiring vaccination against COVID for federal workers and contractors who work for the federal government. He also asked the Department of Labor to issue an emergency order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis. However, Biden's order on federal workers applies to employees of the executive branch. The House of Representatives and the Senate belong to the separate legislative branch, and the courts to the judicial branch. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said ... that the House couldn't require members to be vaccinated. "I can't go to the Capitol Physician and say, 'Give me the names of people who aren't vaccinated' ... We can't do that," she said. Pelosi's office reiterated that position ... on Friday, saying the speaker's April 29 remarks were "referring to the institution in which she serves." "She's saying she cannot force Members to be vaccinated, which is true," the statement said. In August, a group of 19 Democrats in the House wrote a letter to the Capitol's attending physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, asking him to consider a vaccine requirement or a minimum of two COVID tests per week for members and staff who can't show proof of vaccination. No requirement has yet been put in place.
Saudi Arabia used "incentives and threats" as part of a lobbying campaign to shut down a UN investigation of human right violations committed by all sides in the Yemen conflict, according to sources with close knowledge of the matter. The Saudi effort ultimately succeeded when the UN human rights council (HRC) voted in October against extending the independent war crimes investigation. The vote marked the first defeat of a resolution in the Geneva body's 15-year history. Speaking to the Guardian, political officials and diplomatic and activist sources with inside knowledge of the lobbying effort described a stealth campaign in which the Saudis appear to have influenced officials in order to guarantee defeat of the measure. In one case, Riyadh is alleged to have warned Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country in the world – that it would create obstacles for Indonesians to travel to Mecca if officials did not vote against the 7 October resolution. In another case, the African nation of Togo announced at the time of the vote that it would open a new embassy in Riyadh, and receive financial support from the kingdom to support anti-terrorism activities. The resolution was defeated by a simple majority of 21-18, with seven countries abstaining. In 2020, the resolution passed by a vote of 22-12. "That kind of swing – from 12 no's to 21 – does not just happen," said one official. Nations that supported the measure ... were apparently caught off guard by the Saudis' aggressive tactics.
When Ron Nixon, The New York Times's homeland security correspondent, got an exclusive story about a top Department of Health and Human Services official admitting the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children, he couldn't publish it right away. It was, without a doubt, the kind of breaking news The Times considers important to delve into quickly and thoroughly. But Mr. Nixon had agreed to an embargo that required him to wait until 10 a.m. on the morning of a congressional hearing about how the agency was keeping track of migrant children to publish his article. Embargoes, set by government agencies, medical journals, theater groups, publishing houses and countless other sources are a common practice in journalism. They entail an agreement between a source and a reporter, or the reporter's publication, that the story will not be published before a given date and time. While it's certainly not a crime to break an embargo, – and in fact, many reporters do so by accident, by misreading a time zone, for example – it comes with consequences. When one news outlet breaks an embargo and hits the publish button, the embargo is lifted for all of the outlets, sometimes instigating a scramble to the finish line. For anyone who breaks an embargo, there's a risk of losing a relationship with a source. Sometimes, the damage is necessary in order to serve readers best. And sometimes ... a reporter may not want to break an embargo. "I try to keep my word," Mr. Nixon said. "That's currency."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.
In the torturous history of the U.S. government's black sites, the F.B.I. has long been portrayed as acting with a strong moral compass. Its agents, disgusted with the violence they saw at a secret C.I.A. prison in Thailand, walked out, enabling the bureau to later deploy "clean teams" untainted by torture to interrogate the five men accused of conspiring in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But new information that emerged this week in the Sept. 11 case undermines that F.B.I. narrative. The two intelligence agencies secretly arranged for nine F.B.I. agents to temporarily become C.I.A. operatives in the overseas prison network where the spy agency used torture to interrogate its prisoners. The once-secret program came to light in pretrial proceedings in the death penalty case. The proceedings are currently examining whether the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and his four co-defendants voluntarily confessed after years in the black site network, where detainees were waterboarded, beaten, deprived of sleep and isolated to train them to comply with their captors' wishes. At issue is whether the military judge will exclude from the eventual trial the testimony of F.B.I. agents who questioned the defendants. Earlier testimony showed the F.B.I. participating remotely in the C.I.A. interrogations through requests sent by cables to the black sites seeking certain information from specific detainees, including Mr. Mohammed after he was waterboarded 183 times to force him to talk.
We got a touching email Wednesday from a 30-year veteran of a Massachusetts police force. He wrote that his distinguished career "was all tarnished ... after I reported (an) officer lying on the stand and going to the FBI." He was responding to an investigative story we published this week, Behind the Blue Wall, that documented how often police whistleblowers face retaliation for reporting misconduct. They have been threatened, fired, jailed, one was even forcibly admitted to a psychiatric ward. "I want to personally thank you for bringing this to light," the officer wrote. "You were able to write what I have experienced for the last 6 years. After reading this I took a deep breath and for the first time since this began I feel liberated from the stigma of being a rat, untruthful, discredited." Police covering for colleagues, and punishing those who don't, isn't new. But with this investigation, we wanted to quantify, for the first time, the extent of the problem and how it impacts the whistleblowers. Reporters sent out 400 public records requests and secured tens of thousands of pages of records. They found 300 cases in the past decade where an officer helped expose misconduct – a small window into how the system works. The vast majority of those cases ended with those whistleblowers saying they faced retaliation. "Whistleblowing is a life sentence," former Chicago undercover narcotics officer Shannon Spalding told our team. She faced death threats ... after she exposed corruption that led to dozens of overturned convictions.
When Daunte Wright was killed last spring by a police officer in Minnesota after being pulled over for expired registration tags, the case drew national attention. So have several other seemingly avoidable deaths of motorists. Now, a New York Times investigation reveals the scope of such cases across the country – and why traffic stops for minor offenses can escalate into fatal encounters. Over the last five years, The Times found, the police killed more than 400 drivers or passengers who were not wielding a gun or a knife or under pursuit for a violent crime. Traffic stops – which are often motivated by hidden budgetary considerations because of the ticket revenue they generate – are the most common interactions between police officers and the public. Yet the police consider them among the most dangerous things they do. Presumption of peril has been significantly overstated, but it has become ingrained in police culture and court precedents – contributing to impunity for most officers who use lethal force at vehicle stops. In case after case, officers avoided criminal liability when they claimed to have acted in self-defense. In the roughly 400 deaths, five officers were convicted. Nearly two dozen cases are still pending. While prosecutors deemed most of the killings justifiable, local governments paid at least $125 million to resolve legal claims in about 40 cases.
The Supreme Court had an opportunity this week to protect your right to record the misbehavior of rogue police officers. Instead, the court looked the other way while cops who sought to seize such a recording are shielded from accountability. So much for First Amendment protections. By declining to hear a case from a federal appellate court, the Supreme Court let stand a dangerous ruling granting qualified immunity to Denver police officers accused of snatching a computer tablet from a man who had used it to record them punching a suspect in the face and grabbing his pregnant girlfriend, causing her to fall to the ground. In recent years, such recordings have been vital to a national movement against racial injustice and excessive police force. In a few cases, the recordings have been a key to holding police accountable for a person's brutal death. By refusing to take Frasier v. Evans, the Supreme Court managed to set back both the public's right to record police and efforts to hold police accountable for violating citizens' constitutional rights. The decision in this case makes the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals an outlier and leaves people living in the six states it covers – Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming – with weakened constitutional rights. Six other federal appeals courts, covering nearly half of the states, have ruled that citizens have a clear constitutional right to record police in public.
During a nine month investigation, the BBC has uncovered the disturbing truth about the way authorities in New York City are conducting the fight against Aids. HIV positive children - some only a few months old - are enrolled in toxic experiments without the consent of guardians or relatives. In some cases where parents have refused to give children their medication, they have been placed in care. The city's Administration of Children's Services (ACS) does not even require a court order to place HIV kids with foster parents or in children's homes, where they can continue to give them experimental drugs. In 2002, the Incarnation Children's Center - a children's home in Harlem - was at the hub of controversy over secretive drugs trials. [Reporter Jamie Doran] speaks to a boy who spent most of his life at Incaranation. Medical records, obtained by the This World team, prove the boy had been enrolled in these trials. "I did not want to take my medication," said the boy, "but if you want to get out of there, you have to do what they say." He also conveys a horrifying account of what happened to the children at Incarnation who refused to obey the rules. "My friend Daniel didn't like to take his medicine and he got a tube in his stomach," he said. For months, the BBC tried to get information from the people responsible for the trials, but none would comment. The companies that supply drugs for the trials are among the world's largest, including Britain's own Glaxo SmithKline (GSK).
Note: Read a long list of examples of humans being treated as guinea pigs by corporate and governmental programs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals. By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents "a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment." Until recently, the agency had been making these reports – known as 8(e) reports, for the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires them – available to the public. But since 2019, the EPA has only posted one of the reports to its public website. During this time, chemical companies have continued to submit the critical studies to the agency, according to two EPA staff members with knowledge of the matter. Since January 2019, the EPA has received at least 1,240 reports documenting the risk of chemicals' serious harms, including eye corrosion, damage to the brain and nervous system, chronic toxicity to honeybees, and cancer in both people and animals. PFAS compounds are among the chemical subjects of these notifications. Not only has the agency kept all but one of these reports from the public, but it has also made them difficult for EPA staff to access, according to the two agency scientists, who are choosing to remain anonymous. The substantial risk reports have not been uploaded to the databases used most often by risk assessors searching for information about chemicals. They have been entered only into an internal database that is difficult to access and search.
In the introduction to "The Spoils of War," an extraordinary new book by Andrew Cockburn, he makes a straightforward assertion about the U.S. military. "War-fighting efficiency has a low priority," he writes, "by comparison with considerations of personal and internal bureaucracies. ... The military are generally not interested in war, save as a means to budget enhancement." Cockburn suggests that the Pentagon and the corporations that feed off it have generated the largest and most byzantine bureaucracy in human history, filled with innumerable fiefdoms far more focused on besting their internal rivals than outside enemies. Today's generals ... while their days away plotting how to join the board of General Dynamics six hours after their retirement party. They spend 98 percent of their time jockeying for wealth and power within the organization, and at most a residual 2 percent attempting to do what the organization purportedly exists to accomplish. "People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy," he quotes a former Air Force colonel as saying. "They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy. It is: 'Don't interrupt the money flow.'" If you're still not convinced, the proof of this unpalatable pudding is in the eating. Consider America's just-concluded 20-year war in Afghanistan. As the Taliban took over the country in days, it might have seemed that the whole thing was a colossal failure. But if you check your portfolio of defense contractor stocks ... you'll see that, in fact, it was an incredible success.
Note: War profiteering is an old game. Read decorated general Smedley Butler's 1935 book War is a Racket to see how little has changed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The terrorist attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital ... killed more than 170 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. soldiers. Three days later, Biden authorized a drone strike that the U.S. claimed took out a dangerous cell of ISIS fighters. Biden held up this strike, and another one a day earlier, as evidence of his commitment to take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan. But the Kabul strike, which targeted a white Toyota Corolla, did not kill any members of ISIS. The victims were 10 civilians, seven of them children. The driver of the car, Zemari Ahmadi, was a respected employee of a U.S. aid organization. Following a New York Times investigation that fully exposed the lie of the U.S. version of events, the Pentagon and the White House admitted that they had killed innocent civilians, calling it "a horrible tragedy of war." This week, the Pentagon released a summary of its classified review into the attack, which it originally hailed as a "righteous strike" that had thwarted an imminent terror plot. The results were predictable. The report recommended that no personnel be held responsible for the murder of 10 civilians; there was no "criminal negligence," as the report put it. Daniel Hale, a military veteran who pleaded guilty to disclosing classified documents that exposed lethal weaknesses in the drone program, is serving four years in prison. Hale's documents exposed how as many as nine out of 10 victims of U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan were not the intended targets. In Biden's recent drone strike, 10 of 10 were innocent civilians.
It's been over 50 years, but Wayne Ritchie says he can still remember how it felt to be dosed with acid. Ritchie may be among the last of the living victims of MK-ULTRA, a Central Intelligence Agency operation that covertly tested lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on unwitting Americans in San Francisco and New York City from 1953 to 1964. Seymour Hersh first exposed MK-ULTRA in a New York Times article in 1974 that documented CIA illegalities, including the use of its own citizens as guinea pigs. There were at least three CIA safe houses in the Bay Area where experiments went on. Chief among them was 225 Chestnut. Inside, prostitutes paid by the government to lure clients to the apartment served up acid-laced cocktails to unsuspecting johns, while martini-swilling secret agents observed their every move from behind a two-way mirror. The main man behind the mirror was ... George H. White, a Bureau of Narcotics maverick. He oversaw the San Francisco program, gleefully dubbing it Operation Midnight Climax. But, as a 1976 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities noted, there was no medical pre-screening. White [wrote] in a 1971 letter to [Sidney] Gottlieb, "Of course I was a very minor missionary, actually a heretic, but I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill and cheat, steal, deceive, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the All-Highest?"
Note: Read more about MK-ULTRA. This is just one of many programs that treated human beings like guinea pigs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Almost 40 years after his death following a bar brawl in Key Biscayne, Ricardo Morales, known as "Monkey" – contract CIA worker, anti-Castro militant, counter-intelligence chief for Venezuela, FBI informant and drug dealer – returned to the spotlight Thursday morning when one of his sons made a startling claim on Spanish-language radio: Morales, a sniper instructor in the early 1960s in secret camps where Cuban exiles and others trained to invade Cuba, realized in the hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 that the accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been one of his sniper trainees. Morales also told his two sons that two days before the assassination, his CIA handler told him and his "clean-up" team to go to Dallas for a mission. But after the tragic events, they were ordered to go back to Miami without learning what the mission was about. The claims ... add to one of the long-held theories about the JFK assassination – that Cuban exiles working for the CIA had been involved. But the claims also point the finger at the CIA, which some observers believe could help explain why President Joe Biden backed off last week on declassifying the remaining documents in the case. Morales Jr. said his father told them he did not know of the plans to assassinate Kennedy. "He knew Kennedy was coming to Dallas, so he imagines something is going to happen, but he doesn't know the plan," he said. "In these kinds of conspiracies ... nobody knows what the other is doing."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the JFK assassination from reliable major media sources.
The White House said Friday it would delay the release of long-classified documents related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. President Joe Biden wrote in a statement that the remaining files "shall be withheld from full public disclosure" until December 15 next year - nearly 60 years after Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas in 1963. In 2017, former president Donald Trump released several thousand secret files on the assassination, but withheld others on national security grounds. The White House said the national archivist needs more time for a review into that redaction, which was slowed by the pandemic. Mr. Biden also said the delay was "necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations" and that this "outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure." A 10-month investigation led by then-Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine who had lived in the Soviet Union, acted alone when he fired on Kennedy's motorcade. But the Commission's investigation was criticized for being incomplete, with a Congressional committee later concluding that Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy." U.S. law requires that all government records on the assassination be disclosed "to enable the public to become fully informed." The National Archives has released thousands of documents to the public as part of the ... JFK Act.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the JFK assassination from reliable major media sources.
About 18 months ago, in the lockdown summer of 2020, I started to argue that the Government's response to Covid is driven not so much by medical science or epidemiology, but instead by the psychological insights of behavioural scientists. Controversial "nudge theory" lies at the heart of Westminster's response. It refers to sneaky attempts to prime, prepare and prod us into their desired mindset and course of action, without us ever realising we are being coerced. Once nudge is seen, it can't be unseen. This week, the Government may have overplayed its hand. On Tuesday, Professor Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College epidemiologist whose modelling was used as the basis for the UK's lockdown policy, made an illuminating comment on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "Nobody likes having their freedoms curtailed by measures but it's prudent to be cautious," he told presenter Sarah Smith, "and wearing masks certainly helps that: it reminds people we're not completely out of the woods yet." It was a startling admission, if we needed one, that masks are as much about psychology as they are about preventing infection. They act as a social cue, to use the language of behavioural scientists, nudging us into vigilance. These psychological cues are carefully calibrated, more so than many realise. In a document drawn up by the "Nudge Unit" ... scientists examine the success of Slovakia's mass testing programme, looking at how we could replicate that success in the UK.
Since 9/11, the government has been building a huge anti-terror apparatus. In the first few days, the entire blueprint for what would happen over the next decade was written, all in secret. The public didn't know. The media didn't know. And it would take us years to find out. In secret, the administration had authorized the CIA to use what they called "enhanced interrogation techniques." They can do a lot of things that used to be considered torture. Waterboarding, for example. By any definition, it's torture. The Justice Department called it "enhanced interrogation methods" and it approved seven of them, including waterboarding. It took reporter Dana Priest years to piece together where prisoners like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were. They had been hidden in a secret network of CIA prisons known as "black sites." For the first time, the White House had approved the building of an international prison system entirely in secret. The Terrorist Surveillance Program authorized the NSA to intercept certain telephone calls and emails of American citizens without a warrant. The NSA created a global electronic dragnet capable of reaching into America's communication networks, capturing 1.7 billion intercepts every day. The NSA turned to a new force in the covert war, private contractors. You had this boom in the corporate intelligence world, as well, companies like CACI, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics. The NSA spent billions of dollars on more than 480 private companies.
A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and – in 14 cases involving current country leaders – citizens around the world. The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials. The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities.
Note: Some have suggested that the CIA was responsible for the earlier Panama Papers leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
On Oct. 4, 2020 ... a group of doctors and medical experts, most of them specialists in epidemiology, immunology, and related public health disciplines, published a statement challenging the wisdom of the widespread COVID-19 lockdowns. The primary authors of the "Great Barrington Declaration" ... were three scientists: Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard; Sunetra Gupta, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Oxford; and Jay Bhattacharya, a physician and professor at Stanford Medical School. The declaration ... was soon signed by thousands of additional public health scientists and doctors. "Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health," [it said]. The scientists warned that "keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed." The relatively brief declaration was accompanied by a much more detailed analysis of lockdowns and their collateral damage, and of the best ways to shield the elderly and people in other high-risk groups. For a year, the three scientists have been "vilified." Bhattacharya [said] he is worried for his safety "amid a campaign to censor him on the [Stanford] campus where he has worked for 35 years." The Great Barrington authors were on target in doubting the advisability of sweeping lockdowns. Numerous studies have found that shutting down the economy was largely futile in preventing COVID's spread.
Note: Explore the website of the Great Barrington Declaration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A bomb hit the house. [Rua Moataz] Khadr and her two daughters were able to free themselves from the rubble that had fallen on them, but her 4-year-old son, Ibrahim Ahmed Yahya, was crushed to death. He was among the 9,000 to 11,000 civilians killed during the yearlong battle for Mosul. Khadr, like most bombing victims in Iraq, has no idea which nation was responsible for the airstrike that killed her son. Was it an American aircraft, British, Dutch? "Even if I found out, what would I do?" she told The Intercept. In its final days in Afghanistan, the U.S. conducted a drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Kabul – seven of them children. Their deaths bring up a thorny question surrounding the frequent U.S. killing of civilians in the 9/11 wars: What would justice look like for the families of civilians who have been wrongfully killed? The media attention generated by the Kabul strike has prompted a rare admission of guilt from the Pentagon and may ultimately lead to monetary compensation for the survivors. But byzantine laws in the U.S. make it all but impossible for foreigners to file for compensation if a relative was killed in combat. The only hope for most survivors is a "sympathy" payment from the U.S. military that does not acknowledge responsibility for causing the deaths. But unsurprisingly, those payments are rare: None were issued in 2020. Meanwhile, U.S. allies involved in bombing campaigns usually hide behind the shield of joint operations to avoid taking responsibility for civilian deaths.
Last March, when President Obama travelled to Argentina to meet with the country's new President, Mauricio Macri, his public appearances were dogged by protesters who noisily demanded explanations, and apologies, for U.S. policies, past and present. There are few countries in the West where anti-Americanism is as vociferously expressed as in Argentina, where a highly politicized culture of grievance has evolved in which many of the country's problems are blamed on the United States. On the left, especially, there is lingering resentment over the support extended by the U.S. government to Argentina's right-wing military, which seized power in March of 1976 and launched a "Dirty War" against leftists that took thousands of lives over the following seven years. Obama's visit coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the coup. He pointedly paid homage to the Dirty War's victims by visiting a shrine built in their honor on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. In an address he gave at the shrine, Obama acknowledged what he characterized as American sins of omission, but he stopped short of issuing an outright apology. "Democracies have to have the courage to acknowledge when we don't live up to the ideals that we stand for," he said. "And we've been slow to speak out for human rights, and that was the case here."
In just a decade the Food and Drug Administration has evolved from amorphous obscurity deep within the capital bureaucracy into both the world's paramount regulator of consumer goods and the Federal Government's most criticized, demoralized and fractionalized agency. With the agency's ban on saccharin, it is again at a storm center of complaints from consumer groups that the action was too long delayed and from diet food interests that the step was capricious and without scientific justification. But the agency, a bureaucratic waif that is responsible for overseeing a staggering $200 billion worth of products yearly, is not only whipsawed by the public controversy, it is so demoralized that a number of its top positions long go unfilled, so burdened that it cannot keep up with the explosion of consumer goods and so battered by lawsuits and outside pressures that its power to make its decisions stick is sometimes undermined. In just the last three years the agency has been the target of more than 100 Congressional investigations, 50 highly critical reports by the General Accounting Office and a series of internal inquiries despairing of ever setting the place right. After his departure as Commissioner of the agency in 1969, Dr. Herbert E. Ley said that "what the F.D.A. is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day." He complained further that during his 18 month tenure he had been under "constant, tremendous, sometimes unmerciful pressure" from drug industry officials.
When the pandemic hit, America needed someone to turn to for advice. The media and public naturally looked to Dr. Anthony Fauci - the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci got major epidemiology and public health questions wrong. Reality and scientific studies have now caught up with him. By pushing vaccine mandates, Dr. Fauci ignores naturally acquired immunity among the COVID-recovered, of which there are more than 45 million in the United States. Mounting evidence indicates that natural immunity is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. Under Fauci's mandates, hospitals are firing heroic nurses who recovered from COVID they contracted while caring for patients. While anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in mortality risk between the old and the young. When confronted with the idea of focused protection of the vulnerable, Dr. Fauci admitted he had no idea how to accomplish it, arguing that it would be impossible. Instead, Dr. Fauci has pushed vaccine mandates for children, students and working-age adults who are already immune - all low-risk populations - causing tremendous disruption to labor markets and hampering the operation of many hospitals. Schools are major transmission points for influenza, but not for COVID. Considering the devastating effects of school closures on children, Dr. Fauci's advocacy for school closures may be the single biggest mistake of his career.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
At what point does a country achieve herd immunity? What portion of the population must acquire resistance to the coronavirus, either through infection or vaccination, in order for the disease to fade away and life to return to normal? Since the start of the pandemic, the figure that many epidemiologists have offered has been 60 to 70 percent. That range is still cited by the World Health Organization and is often repeated during discussions of the future course of the disease. Recently, a figure to whom millions of Americans look for guidance – Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to both the Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration – has begun incrementally raising his herd-immunity estimate. In the pandemic's early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying "70, 75 percent" in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said "75, 80, 85 percent" and "75 to 80-plus percent." In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks. Hard as it may be to hear, he said, he believes that it may take close to 90 percent immunity to bring the virus to a halt – almost as much as is needed to stop a measles outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers no herd immunity estimate, saying on its website that "experts do not know."
Note: Dr. Fauci here is admitting he deceived the public by stating lower numbers in order to manipulate the public into taking the vaccines. So how much can we trust him? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
After the FBI seized Joseph Ruiz's life savings during a raid on a safe deposit box business in Beverly Hills, the unemployed chef went to court to retrieve his $57,000. A judge ordered the government to tell Ruiz why it was trying to confiscate the money. It came from drug trafficking, an FBI agent responded in court papers. Ruiz's income was too low for him to have that much money, and his side business selling bongs made from liquor bottles suggested he was an unlicensed pot dealer, the agent wrote. The FBI also said a dog had smelled unspecified drugs on Ruiz's cash. The FBI was wrong. When Ruiz produced records showing the source of his money was legitimate, the government dropped its false accusation and returned his money. Ruiz is one of roughly 800 people whose money and valuables the FBI seized from safe deposit boxes they rented at the U.S. Private Vaults store in a strip mall. Federal agents had suspected for years that criminals were stashing loot there, and they assert that's exactly what they found. The government is trying to confiscate $86 million in cash and a stockpile of jewelry, rare coins and precious metals taken from about half of the boxes. But six months after the raid, the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles have produced no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the vast majority of box holders whose belongings the government is trying to keep. About 300 of the box holders are contesting the attempted confiscation.
Note: In the recent past, police have been caught using asset forfeiture to pad departmental budgets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Dr. Anthony Fauci made $417,608 in 2019, the latest year for which federal salaries are available. That made him not only the highest paid doctor in the federal government, but the highest paid out of all four million federal employees. In fact, Dr. Fauci even made more than the $400,000 salary of the President of the United States. All salary data was collected by OpenTheBooks.com via Freedom of Information Act requests. Only federal employees whose salaries were funded by taxpayers were included in the study. In a ten-year period between 2010 and 2019, Fauci made $3.6 million in salary. Dr. Fauci became the early face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, appearing daily, often in a live broadcast, to update the nation on the emerging COVID-19 disease. In March 2020, he convinced President Donald Trump on the 15-day lockdown policy to try and flatten the curve, and reportedly advocated on March 29, 2020, for extending the policy beyond its initial 15 days. Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the Taskforce, might have outranked Dr. Fauci in authority, but the VP's $235,100 salary in 2019, was less than the well-paid NIH director with whom he shared the stage. Their Taskforce colleague Dr. Deborah Birx earned $305,972 in 2019, also less than Dr. Fauci's salary. In comparison to Dr. Fauci: Speaker Nancy Pelosi will earn $223,500 this year. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will make $270,700.
Note: How did this man get to be paid more than the U.S. president? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The National Institutes of Health has stunningly admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China's Wuhan lab – despite Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly insisting to Congress that no such thing happened. In a letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, a top NIH official blamed EcoHealth Alliance – the New York City-based nonprofit that has funneled US funds to the Wuhan lab – for not being transparent about the work it was doing. NIH's principal deputy director, Lawrence A. Tabak, wrote in the letter that EcoHealth's "limited experiment" tested whether "spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model." Gain-of-function research refers to viruses being taken from animals before they are genetically altered in a lab to make them more transmissible to humans. The admission from the NIH official directly contradicts Fauci's testimony to Congress in May and July, when he denied the US had funded gain-of-function projects in Wuhan. As recently as last month, Fauci was accused of lying about gain-of-function research after documents, obtained by the Intercept, detailed grants given to EcoHealth Alliance for bat coronavirus studies. [A] grant proposal detailed in the trove of documents was for a project titled "Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence," which involved screening thousands of bat samples, as well as people who worked with live animals, for novel coronaviruses.
Note: CNN in this video put tough questions to a top NIH director about lies made by Fauci regarding gain-of-function research. And why did the NIH change this original webpage so that in the changed webpage the entire section on gain-of-function research is deleted and the title changed? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Senior CIA officials during the Trump administration discussed abducting and even assassinating WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The discussions on kidnapping or killing Assange took place in 2017, Yahoo News reported, when the fugitive Australian activist was entering his fifth year sheltering in the Ecuadorian embassy. The then CIA director, Mike Pompeo, and his top officials were furious about WikiLeaks' publication of "Vault 7", a set of CIA hacking tools, a breach which the agency deemed to be the biggest data loss in its history. Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration went as far as to request "sketches" or "options" for killing Assange. "There seemed to be no boundaries," a former senior counterterrorist official was quoted as saying. The kidnapping or murder of a civilian accused of publishing leaked documents, with no connection to terrorism, would have triggered global outrage. Pompeo raised eyebrows in 2017 by referring to WikiLeaks as a "non-state hostile intelligence service". It was a significant designation, as it implied a green light for a more aggressive approach to the pro-transparency group by CIA operatives, who could treat it as an enemy espionage organization. Barry Pollack, Assange's US lawyer ... told Yahoo News: "As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
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. Although it is not prohibited by any international conventions on warfare, artificial rainmaking has been strenuously opposed by some State Department officials. According to interviews, the Central Intelligence Agency initiated the use of cloud seeding over Hue, in the northern part of South Vietnam. "We first used that stuff in about August of 1963," one former C.I.A. agent said. "The agency got an Air America Beechcraft and had it rigged up with silver iodide. There was another demonstration and we seeded the area. It rained." A similar cloud seeding was carried out by C.I.A. aircraft in Saigon at least once during the summer of 1964.
Note: Yet many believe weather modification is not possible. Why is that? The US Air Force has called weather modification a force multiplier in warfare. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
On Tuesday, the supreme court issued an order requiring the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era policy that required asylum seekers from Central America to stay across the border in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. On Thursday, the court blocked an extension of the federal emergency ban on evictions, gutting a 1944 law that gave the CDC the authority to implement such measures to curb disease, and endangering the 8m American households that are behind on rent – who now, without federal eviction protection, may face homelessness. Both of these orders last week were issued in the dead of night. Their opinions were truncated, light on the details of their legal reasoning, and unsigned. Vote counts were not issued showing how each justice decided. And despite the enormous legal and human impact that the decisions inflicted, they were the product of rushed, abbreviated proceedings. The court did not receive full briefs on these matters, heard no oral arguments and overrode the normal sequence of appellate proceedings to issue their orders. Welcome to the "shadow docket", the so-called emergency proceedings that now constitute the majority of the supreme court's business. Minimally argued, rarely justified and decided without transparency, shadow docket orders were once a tool the court used to dispense with unremarkable and legally unambiguous matters. The shadow docket's expanded use raises troubling questions – both for transparency, and for the separation of powers.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption from reliable major media sources.
[During] the "swine flu affair of 1976" ... a US president decided to rush a vaccine to the entire American population based on ill-founded science and political imprudence. The mistakes that followed hold lessons for today. Lawsuits, side-effects and negative media coverage followed, and the events dented confidence in public health for years to come. It began at a US Army training base. In February 1976, several soldiers at Fort Dix fell ill with a previously unrecognised swine flu. In March, President Ford announced a $137m (Ĺ67.5m in 1976) effort to produce a vaccine by the autumn. Its goal was to immunise every man, woman and child in the US. The president himself was vaccinated on television on 14 October, further heightening perceptions that this was a politicised event. As has happened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, the scientists could only give the best advice they could based on incomplete knowledge. As the months continued – still with no outbreak – new problems arose. Millions of vaccinations meant dozens of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare problem where the body's immune system attacks the nerves. The swine flu strain spotted at Fort Dix was not dangerous, and there would be no pandemic. When politicians in the present day talk of "the science" as if it is a complete body of knowledge, a manual for what to do, it neglects the uncertainty of evidence and ignores that science is a human endeavour. The swine flu affair, the New York Times concluded, had been a "sorry debacle" and "fiasco" marked by political expediency and unwarranted confidence.
Note: Watch an incrediby revealing "60 Minutes" video clip on this tragic story of greed and corruption at the highest levels. Read also a Los Angeles Times article on this 1976 "debacle" where only one died from the flu while at least 25 died from the vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The popular, once bipartisan idea to hold down Medicare costs is now at the center of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda. Legislation backed by the administration calls for Medicare to mirror other government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, in being able to negotiate for cheaper medicine through the Part D program. The idea could potentially save the government nearly $500 billion over a decade. The drug pricing proposal could also translate to lower prescription costs across the board. The drug industry, according to its top lobbyist, Stephen Ubl, has made defeating the provision its top priority. Inside the Beltway, the opposition is coming from familiar faces. Many leading Democratic lawmakers and staff have been hired by the drug industry to convince their former colleagues to abandon the drug pricing proposal. Pfizer alone has assembled a lobbying team that includes Dean Aguillen, a former adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Remy Brim, a former health policy adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and over half a dozen aides to senior Senate Democrats. Ann Jablon, former chief of staff to Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. ... currently represents several drug companies as a lobbyist, including Amgen Inc., Astellas Pharma, and Bayer. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group that represents the largest drug companies in the world, has also gone on a hiring spree of Democratic lobbyists.
The top 1% of Americans are avoiding paying an estimated $163 billion in taxes a year, according to the Treasury Department. That is pushing the estimated tax gap, the amount of money owed by taxpayers that isn't collected, to nearly around $600 billion annually, and to approximately $7 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, the Treasury Department finds. Tax evasion is concentrated among the wealthy in part because high-income taxpayers are able to employ experts who can better shield them from reporting their true incomes. More complicated incomes such as partnerships and proprietorships – more frequent among high earners – have a far greater noncompliance rate that can hit as high as 55%. "The tax gap can be a major source of inequity. Today's tax code contains two sets of rules: one for regular wage and salary workers who report virtually all the income they earn; and another for wealthy taxpayers, who are often able to avoid a large share of the taxes they owe," wrote Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Natasha Sarin. The IRS is unable to collect about 15% of taxes owed and the lack of resources has led to a fall in audit rates. For the IRS to appropriately enforce tax laws against high earners and large corporations, it would need money to hire and train agents who can examine thousands of pages of sophisticated tax filings. The Biden administration is pushing to raise the IRS budget by $80 billion over 10 years to help increase enforcement, IT and taxpayer services.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed Ł70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved Ł312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for Ł12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.
Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
When hundreds of protesters took over Melbourne's West Gate Bridge on Tuesday, the Real Rukshan was there to capture it. With 60,000 people concurrently viewing his livestream, Real Rukshan – the online nom de plume of Rukshan Fernando – was recognised by a man dressed in hi-vis: "Rukshan," he yelled over the chaos, "you're the reason we came down." Fernando is one of a number of Australian content creators such as Avi Yemini and Morgan C Jonas who position themselves as independent journalists documenting the "freedom" movements opposing lockdowns and vaccines. Fernando's live streams have functioned as the connective tissue for Melbourne protests and the broader movement, with millions of people watching from his perspective. His content and commentary take an anti-media and anti-government slant. Fernando says: "When you have the government interfere with your life, that really makes you arc up and be more politically attuned to what's happening around you." During a general "freedom" protest last week, Fernando narrated his live stream by repeatedly claiming that all the protesters were being peaceful and that police were instigating violence. At many protests, mainstream media organisations haven't had reporters present. Unlike other creators, Fernando doesn't appear to make money from his content. He's posted about refusing donations and hasn't made any efforts to monetise his online presence.
Note: Australia's huge protests against vaccine mandates and the lockdown have gotten very little coverage outside of Australia and highly biased coverage against the protests in the country. This video shows the thousands participating in Melbourne, while this disturbing video shows the intense police response with many hundreds of police deployed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources
Alameda County has revised its COVID-19 death count, saying it over-counted more than 400 cases. As of Friday, the Alameda County Health department had reported 1,634 COVID-19 deaths, but later that day it was revised down to 1,223. According to the Health Department, the 25% decrease was made to comply with the state's definition of a COVID-19 death, which requires COVID-19 to be a direct or contributing factor or a situation in which it can't be ruled out. In a press release, Neetu Balram with the Alameda County Health Department wrote, "Alameda County previously included any person who died while infected with the virus in the total COVID-19 deaths for the county." As an example, Balram explained "a resident who had COVID-19 but died due to another cause, like a car accident ... would be included in the total number of reported COVID-19 deaths for Alameda County."
Note: Alameda County made the correction, yet how many other counties throughout the US have exaggerated their death figures in this way and not made the correction? And why would they have done that in the first place other than to inflate to figures to incite more fear? Read a revealing essay titled, "COVID Math Simply Doesn't Add Up." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
This week, House Democrats released their proposed tax increases to fund Joe Biden's $3.5tn social policy plan. The biggest surprise: they didn't go after the huge accumulations of wealth at the top – representing the largest share of the economy in more than a century. You might have thought Democrats would be eager to tax America's 660 billionaires whose fortunes have increased by $1.8tn since the start of the pandemic, an amount that could fund half of Biden's plan and still leave the billionaires as rich as they were before the pandemic began. Elon Musk's $138bn in pandemic gains, for example, could cover the cost of tuition for 5.5 million community college students and feed 29 million low-income public-school kids, while still leaving Musk $4bn richer than he was before Covid. But senior House Democrats decided to raise revenue the traditional way, taxing annual income rather than giant wealth. They aim to raise the highest income tax rate and apply a 3% surtax to incomes over $5m. The dirty little secret is the ultra-rich don't live off their paychecks. You might also have assumed Democrats would target America's biggest corporations, awash in cash but paying a pittance in taxes. Thirty-nine of the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 paid no federal income tax at all from 2018 to 2020 while reporting a combined $122bn in profits to their shareholders. But remarkably, House Democrats have decided to set corporate tax rates below the level they were at when Barack Obama was in the White House.
Note: Learn more about this in this New York magazine article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday overruled a recommendation by an agency advisory panel that had refused to endorse booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for frontline workers. It was a highly unusual move for the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, but aligned C.D.C. policy with the Food and Drug Administration's endorsements over her own agency's advisers. The C.D.C.'s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday recommended the boosters for a wide range of Americans, including tens of millions of older adults and younger people at high risk for the disease. But they excluded health care workers, teachers and others whose jobs put them at risk. That put their recommendations at odds with the F.D.A.'s authorization of booster shots for all adults with a high occupational risk. Dr. Walensky's decision was a boost for President Biden's campaign to give a broad segment of Americans access to boosters. The White House had come under criticism for getting ahead of the regulatory process. Dr. Walensky's decision to go against her own agency's advisers came as a surprise to at least some of her staff members: The C.D.C. director's endorsement of the advisory committee's recommendations is typically just a formality. Hours before her statement, agency insiders predicted she would stick with the usual protocol because doing otherwise would undermine the process and upset the advisers as well as her own staff.
Note: Whatever happened to listening to the scientists? Could it be that government officials are biased towards channeling more money into the pockets of big Pharma? Listen to a US Senator who is a doctor grilling an official who won't acknowledge scientific studies on immunity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Australia's two most populous states are trialling facial recognition software that lets police check people are home during COVID-19 quarantine, expanding trials that have sparked controversy to the vast majority of the country's population. Little-known tech firm Genvis Pty Ltd said on a website for its software that New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, home to Sydney, Melbourne and more than half of Australia's 25 million population, were trialling its facial recognition products. The Perth, Western Australia-based startup developed the software in 2020 with WA state police to help enforce pandemic movement restrictions. South Australia state began trialling a similar, non-Genvis technology last month, sparking warnings from privacy advocates around the world about potential surveillance overreach. The involvement of New South Wales and Victoria, which have not disclosed that they are trialling facial recognition technology, may amplify those concerns. Under the system being trialled, people respond to random check-in requests by taking a 'selfie' at their designated home quarantine address. If the software, which also collects location data, does not verify the image against a "facial signature", police may follow up with a visit to the location to confirm the person's whereabouts. While the recognition technology has been used in countries like China, no other democracy has been reported as considering its use in connection with coronavirus containment procedures.
Note: On Sept. 21st, thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest policies like this in Melbourne alone, as shown in this revealing video. The police are responding almost like they are at war, as show in this video. Yet the major media outside of Australia are largely ignoring all of this, while the Australian press is highly biased against the protesters. Are we moving towards a police state? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
A tremendous number of government and private policies affecting kids are based on one number: 335. That is how many children under 18 have died with a Covid diagnosis code in their medical record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet the CDC, which has 21,000 employees, hasn't researched each death to find out whether Covid caused it or if it involved a pre-existing medical condition. Without these data, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices decided in May that the benefits of two-dose vaccination outweigh the risks for all kids 12 to 15. I've written hundreds of peer-reviewed medical studies, and I can think of no journal editor who would accept the claim that 335 deaths resulted from a virus without data to indicate if the virus was incidental or causal. Johns Hopkins worked with the nonprofit FAIR Health to analyze approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data. Our report found a mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition. The National Education Association has been debating whether to urge schools to require vaccination before returning to school in person. How can they or anyone debate the issue without the right data? Meanwhile ... Alameda County, Calif., reduced its Covid death toll by 25%. after state public-health officials insisted that deaths be attributed to Covid only if the virus was a direct or contributing factor.
Note: Alameda County corrected their COVID death figures, but how many other counties throughout the US did not? If you can't access this article on the WSJ website, go to this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
On 28 July 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech posted updated results for their ongoing phase 3 covid-19 vaccine trial. The preprint came almost a year to the day after the historical trial commenced, and nearly four months since the companies announced vaccine efficacy estimates "up to six months.". But you won't find 10 month follow-up data here. While the preprint is new, the results it contains aren't particularly up to date. Since late last year, we've heard that Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines are "95% effective." Measuring vaccine efficacy two months after dosing says little about just how long vaccine-induced immunity will last. "Waning immunity" is a known problem for influenza vaccines, with some studies showing near zero effectiveness after just three months. And so the recent reports from Israel's Ministry of Health caught my eye. In early July, they reported that efficacy against infection and symptomatic disease "fell to 64%." By late July it had fallen to 39% where Delta is the dominant strain. This is very low. For context, the FDA's expectation is of "at least 50%" efficacy for any approvable vaccine. Now Israel, which almost exclusively used Pfizer vaccine, has begun administering a third "booster" dose to all adults over 40. The US plans to follow suit. Until new clinical trials demonstrate that boosters increase efficacy above 50%, without increasing serious adverse events, it is unclear whether the 2-dose series would even meet the FDA's approval standard at six or nine months.
Wuhan and US scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronavirus particles into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show. Just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing "novel chimeric spike proteins" of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China. They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work. Papers, confirmed as genuine by a former member of the Trump administration, show they were hoping to introduce "human-specific cleavage sites" to bat coronaviruses which would make it easier for the virus to enter human cells. When Covid-19 was first genetically sequenced, scientists were puzzled about how the virus had evolved such a human-specific adaptation at the cleavage site on the spike protein, which is the reason it is so infectious. The documents were released by Drastic, the web-based investigations team set up by scientists from across the world to look into the origins of Covid-19. In a statement, Drastic said: "Given that we find in this proposal a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, a review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted."
Note: Read more about the risky research on coronaviruses that took place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The FBI released a newly declassified document about the 9/11 attacks Saturday, revealing details about the logistical support given to two of the Saudi hijackers in the lead-up to the terrorist operation, as the world marked the 20th anniversary of one of America's darkest days. The 16-page document is the first investigative record to be shared since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of files about 9/11 last week. The document, which is heavily redacted, provides a summary of an FBI interview in 2015 with a man who had regular contact with Saudi nationals in the U.S. The man aided Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, the first hijackers to arrive in the U.S., once they arrived in the country. Jim Kreindler, an attorney for victims' relatives, said in a statement that he believed "the findings and conclusions in this FBI investigation validate the arguments we have made in the litigation regarding the Saudi government's responsibility for the 9/11 attacks." He said that included Saudi officials' exchanging phone calls among themselves and with Al Qaeda operatives and then having "accidental meetings" with the hijackers while providing them with assistance to get settled and find flight schools. "This document, together with the public evidence gathered to date, provides a blueprint for how Al Qaeda operated inside the US with the active, knowing support of the Saudi government," he said.
Note: Why has the information been kept secret for decades? And why is much of the document still heavily redacted? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
None of the issues still lingering 20 years after the 9/11 attacks have been as persistent – or as emotionally wrenching for the families of the victims – as the question of whether Saudi Arabia provided funding and other assistance for the worst terrorist attack in American history. Of the 19 Al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four U.S. commercial airliners ... 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia – and of course, Osama bin Laden was a member of one of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest families. Immediately after the attacks, the Bush administration downplayed the Saudi connection and suppressed evidence that might link powerful Saudis to the funding of Islamic extremism and terrorism. Much of what the FBI discovered about possible Saudi links to the attacks remains secret even today. Glimpses of material that have become public provide mounting evidence that senior Saudi officials, including one diplomat in the Saudi Embassy in Washington, may in fact have indirectly provided assistance for two of the Al Qaeda hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who were the first of the hijackers to arrive in the United States in 2000 and lived for about a year and a half in San Diego beforehand. Other possible connections also led back to Prince Bandar, according to a 28-page section of a joint congressional inquiry in 2002, which was kept secret until its partial release in 2016. The 28 pages ... laid out a panoply of other connections between the hijackers and people inside or connected to the Saudi government.
Note: Read more about the 28 pages documenting Saudi support for 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
After the remains of more than 1,300 First Nations students were discovered at the former sites of Canada's residential schools earlier this year, the U.S. is now facing its own moment of reckoning with its history of Native American boarding schools. In response to these findings, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (a member of the Pueblo of Laguna) announced a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to review "the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies." In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, efforts have been underway since 2016 to return the remains of Native children to their proper resting places. Carlisle was home to the first off-reservation Indian boarding school in the U.S. – Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Today, it's an army barracks, home to the US Army War college for senior officers. But from 1879 to 1918, it housed Native students from tribes across America, with the express purpose of assimilating them into American culture. upon entering the barracks, the first thing one will notice is the cemetery: rows of white headstones where students are buried. Over four decades, roughly 8,000 students attended the school, and nearly 200 were buried here. The cause was often attributed to disease, although abuse was often rampant at these schools. The entire system of Indian boarding schools has long been condemned by Native Americans as a form of cultural genocide. One researcher, Preston McBride, believes the number of graves discovered could be as many as 40,000 here in the US.
Note: Read about Canada's unmarked graves at residential schools for indigenous kids. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Arizona's attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to invalidate President Biden's latest COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and large companies, becoming the first state to mount a legal challenge to the administration's newest rules. In a 14-page complaint filed with a federal district court in Arizona, Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued Mr. Biden's new vaccine requirements unconstitutionally discriminate against U.S. citizens because undocumented immigrants apprehended by federal law enforcement are not subject to a federal vaccination requirement. The attorney general said [the policies] are an "egregious" violation of the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. "Unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements ... while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements," the state told the court. Brnovich ... is asking the court to declare the new vaccination policies unconstitutional and block the Biden administration from imposing COVD-19 vaccine mandates on U.S. citizens or legal residents that differ from those applied to undocumented migrants. Mr. Biden announced last week his new vaccination requirements. In addition to signing executive orders requiring all executive branch federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, the president also said the Department of Labor would be developing an emergency rule to require all employers with at least 100 employees to mandate their workforce be fully vaccinated.
Documents obtained by The Intercept contain new evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the nearby Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment, along with their collaborator, the U.S.-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, have engaged in what the U.S. government defines as "gain-of-function research of concern," intentionally making viruses more pathogenic or transmissible in order to study them, despite stipulations from a U.S. funding agency that the money not be used for that purpose. Grant money for the controversial experiment came from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is headed by Anthony Fauci. The award to EcoHealth Alliance ... included subawards to Wuhan Institute of Virology and East China Normal University. Scientists unanimously told The Intercept that the experiment, which involved infecting genetically engineered mice with "chimeric" hybrid viruses, could not have directly sparked the pandemic. Still, several scientists said the new information, which the NIH released after it was sued by The Intercept, points to biosafety concerns, highlighting a general lack of oversight for research on pathogens and raising questions about what other information has not been publicly disclosed. While the new information ... does not provide the "smoking gun" for proponents of what has become known as the "lab leak theory," it lends the hypothesis credence.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Many writers have pointed to the havoc and ruin that have accompanied the imposition of free markets across the world. Whether in Africa, Asia, Latin America or post-communist Europe, policies of wholesale privatisation and structural adjustment have led to declining economic activity and social dislocation on a massive scale. Anyone who has watched a country lurch from one crisis to another as the bureaucrats of the IMF impose cut after cut in pursuit of the holy grail of stabilisation will recognise the process Naomi Klein describes in her latest and most important book to date. As Klein sees it, the social breakdowns that have accompanied neo-liberal economic policies are not the result of incompetence or mismanagement. They are integral to the free-market project, which can only advance against a background of disasters. There are very few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books. Ranging across the world, Klein exposes the strikingly similar policies that enabled the imposition of free markets in countries as different as Pinochet's Chile, Yeltsin's Russia, China and post-Saddam Iraq. But has the free market experiment failed? As Klein sees it, free market shock therapy may actually have succeeded in achieving its true objectives. Post-invasion Iraq may be "a ghoulish dystopia where going to a simple business meeting could get you lynched, burned alive or beheaded". Even so, Klein points out, Halliburton is making handsome profits.
Note: Read more from Naomi Klein about disaster profiteering. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden is ordering the widespread declassification of information collected during the U.S. investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks following growing pressure to do so from family members of the victims. The order lays out specific timelines over the next six months for the release of the documents, with some set to be released as early as next week's 20th anniversary of the terror attacks. Information should only remain classified if its release would pose a clear national security risk, and shouldn't remain classified "in order to conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error or to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency." "Information collected and generated in the United States Government's investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks should now be disclosed, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise," Biden said in an executive order directing the declassification. The White House has been under intense pressure ahead of the 20th anniversary from families of victims and first responders who believe the classified documents may show a link between Saudi Arabian leaders and the attacks. Nearly 1,800 people affected by the attacks issued a statement last month opposing Biden's participation in any memorial events this year unless he released more documents. Three previous presidents had declined to declassify the documents with the Trump administration invoking the state secrets privilege in 2019 to justify keeping documents classified.
Note: Some of these declassified documents have already been released, yet are heavily redacted. What are they hiding? And why are they still refusing to release classified documents from JFK's assassination over 50 years ago? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
After the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the U.S. Justice Department brought the co-conspirators before the federal court in the Southern District of New York for a criminal trial. After the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania ... the U.S. Justice Department similarly brought the perpetrators to public criminal trials in downtown Manhattan. Of course, the number killed in the 9/11 attacks far eclipses the count of those injured and killed in the World Trade Center 1993 bombing, the embassy bombings, and the USS Cole bombing combined. Historically speaking, the 9/11 families are the largest group of terrorism victims for terrorist attacks carried out inside the country. And yet the U.S. Justice Department has never indicted and fully prosecuted one co-conspirator for the crime. Quite inexplicably, the 3,000 homicides by hijacking and bombing on September 11 will go unanswered for. Rather pointedly, the 9/11 hijackers did not act alone. They had a substantial support network that was deeply embedded inside the United States and abroad. Taken as a whole, it would seem implausible that not one individual, entity, bank, or business has been fully prosecuted and found criminally responsible as a co-conspirator for the crime that took place. I'd argue that's by systemic prosecutorial choice to look the other way for matters of political expediency, cover-up, or in the best case scenario, sheer embarrassment.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
Mysterious episodes that caused brain injuries in spies, diplomats, soldiers and other U.S. personnel overseas starting five years ago now number more than 130 people, far more than previously known, according to current and former officials. The number of cases within the C.I.A., the State Department, the Defense Department and elsewhere spurred broad concern in the Biden administration. The initial publicly confirmed cases were concentrated in China and Cuba and numbered about 60, not including a group of injured C.I.A. officers whose total is not public. Since December, at least three C.I.A. officers have reported serious health effects from episodes overseas. One occurred within the past two weeks, and all have required the officers to undergo outpatient treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center or other facilities. And in one case in 2019 that has not previously been reported, a military officer serving overseas pulled his vehicle into an intersection, then was overcome by nausea and headaches. His 2-year-old son, sitting in the back seat, began crying. After the officer pulled away from the intersection, his nausea stopped, and the child stopped crying. In a report released in December, the National Academy of Sciences said a microwave weapon probably caused the injuries. Some officials believe a microwave or directed-energy device is the most likely cause. The severity of the brain injuries has ranged widely. Some victims have chronic, potentially irreversible symptoms.
Note: Read more about these mysterious attacks on spies and diplomats. Read very little-known, yet astounding information on sophisticated technologies which can project music and clear voices into people's heads in these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.
Vice President Kamala Harris' trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, was delayed by a few hours after her office was made aware of a "recent possible anomalous health incident" among U.S. officials in Hanoi. "Anomalous health incident" is how the United States government refers to the mysterious "Havana syndrome." First reported in 2016 by United States officials in Cuba, Havana syndrome has afflicted more than 130 U.S. officials over the past five years stationed in several countries overseas. Victims of the syndrome typically report strange experiences, like feelings of pressure or vibration and a screeching sound, and debilitating symptoms, including headaches, nausea, cognitive deficits, and trouble with seeing, hearing, or balancing. The vice president's office said that after "careful consideration," her team opted to continue with her Vietnam trip. A couple hours after the announcement, NBC News reported that a medical evacuation was called for two U.S. officials in Hanoi. The NBC report noted that "strange sounds" were involved in the incidents, and that Vietnam has seen past reports of possible Havana syndrome cases. NBC News reported in June that some U.S. officials believe that unknown adversaries used "devices intended to extract information from cellphones and other personal devices" that emitted electromagnetic waves powerful enough to cause debilitating symptoms. After realizing such devices had that effect, they then "weaponized the tactic to intentionally cause physical harm."
Note: Read more about these mysterious attacks on spies and diplomats. Read very little-known, yet astounding information on sophisticated technologies which can project music and clear voices into people's heads in these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.
Every day since 9/11, the U.S. military has disciplined soldiers who failed to do their jobs properly. Since 2001, there have been more than 1.3 million cases of discipline in the armed forces, according to the Pentagon's annual reports. But the generals who misled Congress and the American public about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not needed to worry about negative consequences for their careers. After 20 years of conducting a disinformation campaign about what was really happening on the ground, not a single U.S. general has faced any punishment. Journalist Craig Whitlock's new book, "The Afghanistan Papers," [is] based on secret interviews the government conducted. Whitlock's book offers overwhelming evidence that military leaders knew the war was failing and lied about it. Whitlock described the military's upbeat assessments as "unwarranted and baseless," adding that they "amounted to a disinformation campaign." While a handful of top military officers have been punished for bribe-taking and other offenses in recent years, there has not been a whisper of the possibility of holding combat generals to account for the carnage they perpetuated. "An officer who misrepresented, misled, and lied to Congress, under the standards of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, has committed a crime," noted Paul Yingling, a retired Army officer. "As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war."
It was an unusual forearm tattoo that the police said led them to Luis Reyes, a 35-year-old man who was accused of stealing packages from a Manhattan building's mailroom in 2019. But the truth was more complicated: Mr. Reyes had first been identified by the New York Police Department's powerful facial recognition software as it analyzed surveillance video of the crime. His guilty plea this year ... was part of the sprawling legacy of one of the city's darkest days. Since the fall of the World Trade Center, the security apparatus born from the Sept. 11 attack on the city has fundamentally changed the way the country's largest police department operates, altering its approach to finding and foiling terrorist threats, but also to cracking minor cases like Mr. Reyes's. New Yorkers simply going about their daily lives routinely encounter post-9/11 digital surveillance tools like facial recognition software, license plate readers or mobile X-ray vans that can see through car doors. Surveillance drones hover above mass demonstrations and protesters say they have been questioned by antiterrorism officers after marches. The department's Intelligence Division, redesigned in 2002 to confront Al Qaeda operatives, now uses antiterror tactics to fight gang violence and street crime. The department's budget for intelligence and counterterrorism has more than quadrupled, spending more than $3 billion since 2006, and more through funding streams that are difficult to quantify, including federal grants and the secretive Police Foundation.
Just two days after the U.S. ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan, more than a dozen Democrats with strong ties to the military establishment defied President Joe Biden and voted to add nearly $24 billion to the defense budget for fiscal year 2022. On Wednesday, 14 Democrats joined 28 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to adopt an amendment from Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., to the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would boost Biden's $715 billion spending proposal to $738.9 billion. The move follows the Senate Armed Services Committee's vote to similarly raise the top line to more than $740 billion in its July markup of the bill. Many of the Democrats who voted for the $24 billion increase have close ties to the defense establishment. Their districts are home to job-promoting manufacturing sites and military bases. Many of the Democrats have also received generous campaign donations from contractors. In fact, Federal Election Commission data shows that in the first six months of this year, the 14 Democrats collectively received at least $135,000 from PACs representing the country's top 10 defense vendors: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, L3Harris, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Leidos, Honeywell, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication. Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic. "This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." The complex bankruptcy plan ... grants "releases" from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts. In return, they have agreed to pay roughly $4.3 billion, while also forfeiting ownership of Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers, who admit no wrongdoing and who by their own reckoning earned more than $10 billion from opioid sales, will remain one of the wealthiest families in the world. Critics of this bankruptcy settlement, meanwhile, said they would challenge Drain's confirmation because of the liability releases for the Sacklers. "This order is insulting to victims of the opioid epidemic who had no voice in these proceedings," said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Department of Justice urged Drain to reject the settlement. Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia also opposed the plan.
Note: Purdue Pharma spent $1.2 million on lobbying just before making this deal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
The pricetag of America's global war on terror is estimated to stand at roughly $8 trillion, according to a new report from Brown University's Costs of War project. The estimate factors in "future costs for veteran's care, the total budgetary costs and future obligations of the post-9/11 wars." The report attributes $2.3 trillion to the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone, $2.1 trillion to the Iraq and Syria war zone, and $355 billion to other war zones. Dr. Neta C. Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project, in a statement said the project's accounting "goes beyond the Pentagon's numbers because the costs of the reaction to 9/11 have rippled through the entire budget." Costs of War also estimates that the war on terror, which will mark its 20th anniversary in a few weeks on September 11, has directly killed 897,000 to 929,000 people - including at least 387,072 civilians. In a report released last year, Costs of War estimated that the war on terror has displaced at least 37 million people on top of the hundreds of thousands of people killed in direct war violence. Though the US no longer has a troop presence in Afghanistan, the war on terror is seemingly poised to continue there as the Biden administration signals that it will continue to target ISIS-K in the country via drones and other means. The US also continues to have a military presence in Iraq and Syria, among other countries, and in recent weeks has conducted multiple airstrikes against Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, in Somalia.
The Taliban now has access to $85 billion worth of American military equipment and the biometric data of the Afghans who have assisted soldiers over the past 20 years, a Republican congressman has warned. Jim Banks, a former US Navy reservist, said that the vast amount of hardware left behind includes 75,000 vehicles, 200 airplanes and helicopters and 600,000 small arms and light weapons. "The Taliban now has more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 per cent of the countries in the world," he said. Other equipment seized by the Taliban includes night-vision goggles, body armour and medical supplies, he said. Mr Banks says he is sure of the numbers because he worked as a foreign military sales officer, acquiring the equipment that America provided, then turning it over to Afghan forces. "Unfathomable to me and so many others, the Taliban now has biometric devices which have the fingerprints, eye scans and biographical information of all the Afghans who helped us and were on our side in the last 20 years," Mr Banks said. "There is no plan by this administration to get those weapons back. Already, the Taliban say they have deployed an elite unit boasting high-tech equipment to guard sites in the Afghan capital. The militants' propaganda channels released a slick film of a unit called the "Badri 313 Brigade", saying they would be on the streets of Kabul. Slow motion footage showed them wearing modern helmets, sun glasses, body armour and carrying similar rifles to the Afghan forces.
Note: Why didn't the military prioritize removing this huge amount of equipment that they knew would be taken over by the Taliban? Do you think this equipment might have been left behind on purpose by those who profit from war? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
For two decades, Americans have told each other one lie after another about the war in Afghanistan. The lies have come from the White House, Congress, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA, as well as from Hollywood, cable news pundits, journalists, and the broader culture. But at the very edge of the American empire, the war was nasty and brutish. This month, as the Taliban swiftly took control of Kabul and the American-backed government collapsed, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the government's watchdog over the Afghan experience, issued his final report. The assessment includes remarkably candid interviews with former American officials involved in shaping U.S. policy in Afghanistan that, collectively, offer perhaps the most biting critique of the 20-year American enterprise ever published in an official U.S. government report. One of the first things the U.S. did after gaining effective control over Afghanistan following the Taliban's ouster in 2001 was to set up secret torture chambers. Beginning in 2002, the CIA tortured both Afghans and foreign prisoners flown to these torture rooms from all over Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. American drone strikes also started early in Afghanistan. Afghanistan soon became the beta test site for high-tech drone warfare ... yet the U.S. refused to keep track of civilian casualties from drone strikes.
When Myanmar's military seized power in a Feb. 1 coup, millions across the country took to the streets in protest. The Myanmar military responded with weapons of war and brutal, premeditated counterinsurgency tactics against demonstrators. U.N. officials and human rights groups say these acts must be investigated as crimes against humanity. Noise from the nearby pagoda roused Aung and his family before dawn on April 9. He saw dozens of soldiers shouting and cursing as they streamed onto trucks, rifles slung across their chests. By the end of that day, the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, and police officers had killed at least 82 people, according to groups tracking protest deaths – making it the deadliest single crackdown since the military seized power. A Washington Post investigation of that day's events reveals the use of counterinsurgency tactics, specialized military units and military-grade weaponry against civilian protesters – resulting in a high number of casualties. "It is very systematic [and] the pattern of violence is very, very clear," said Tom Andrews, the United Nations' special rapporteur for Myanmar. "These are crimes against humanity," he said, noting especially the premeditation before the attacks in Bago. Zaya, a front-line protester ... said he and others there heard the sounds of heavy weaponry. [A] wall, which withstood gunfire for hours, began to shake and collapse. Soldiers then rushed forward ... shooting indiscriminately. "They were killed like goats in a slaughterhouse," he said.
Right up until his death in 2018, Ferik Duka dreamed of seeing his three eldest sons, Shain, Dritan, and Eljvir, freed from prison. In 2009, the three brothers were sentenced to life for their role in an alleged plot to attack the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. The convictions followed a terrorism sting ... that ran for over a year and involved multiple government informants. The investigation into the "Fort Dix Five," as the case became known, was marred by outrageous law enforcement and legal abuses, documented in a 2015 investigation and documentary by The Intercept. Their case was just one of many in which zealous FBI officials and prosecutors, operating in the heated atmosphere of post-9/11 America, branded individuals who posed no appreciable threat to the country as enemies of the state. Many of them, like the Duka brothers, were given long prison sentences or otherwise had their lives ruined after being convicted on material support for terrorism charges. "There hasn't been any reckoning with the legacy of this era," said Ramzi Kassem, a ... Law professor. Kassem said, "It is alarming when you look across these cases and see an overrepresentation of suspects who were mentally deficient, marginalized, or otherwise vulnerable. Informants proposed so-called terrorism plots, funded them, provided means of execution, coaching, and even coaxed the targets of stings over prolonged periods of time in order to enable prosecutors to paint their conduct as criminally punishable."
Note: Read more about terrorism plots hatched by the FBI. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is asking President Biden to pardon a former Air Force intelligence analyst who exposed secrets about drone warfare in Afghanistan. In July, Daniel Hale pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria to violating the Espionage Act and was sentenced in July to 45 months in prison for leaking classified documents to the Intercept. In court, Hale said he felt compelled to speak out about the immorality of the drone program after realizing he had helped kill Afghan civilians, including a small child. "Not a day goes by that I don't question the justification for my actions," he wrote to the judge. "I am grief-stricken and ashamed of myself." One document he leaked showed that during a five-month operation in Afghanistan, nearly 90 percent of the people killed were not the intended targets. "I take extremely seriously the prohibition on leaking classified information, but I believe there are several aspects of Mr. Hale's case that merit a full pardon," Omar wrote in the letter sent to Biden. "The information, while politically embarrassing to some, has shone a vital light on the legal and moral problems of the drone program and informed the public debate on an issue that has for too many years remained in the shadows." This week, Hale was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, given by a group of whistleblowers from the national security community. Edward Snowden received the same award in 2013.
Note: Hale's leak was the basis for an article series called The Drone Papers. A 2014 analysis found that attempts to kill 41 people with drones resulted in 1,147 deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Few lawmakers are as outspoken about the end of the war in Afghanistan as Michael Waltz, a Republican from Florida's 6th Congressional District. In recent weeks, Waltz has called on President Joe Biden to "reverse course," relaunch military operations in the region. The Florida congressman has warned darkly of an "Al-Qaeda 3.0" and stated that no negotiations should take place with the Taliban "until the situation is stabilized militarily." There's one crucial part of Waltz's experience he tends to leave out: Before his successful run for Congress in 2018, he managed a lucrative defense contracting firm with offices in Afghanistan. The company was recently sold to Pacific Architects and Engineers, or PAE, one of the largest war contractors the U.S. has hired to train and mentor Afghan security forces. The deal personally enriched Waltz by up to $26 million, a figure made public by a filing disclosed this month. In 2010, after stints in the military and as an adviser to the Bush administration, Waltz helped found Metis Solutions, a defense contractor that "provides strategic analysis, intelligence support, and training," with offices in Arlington, Virgina; Tampa, Florida; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Kabul, Afghanistan. Congressional ethics disclosures show that in 2019, Waltz held up to $1 million in equity from Metis Solutions and up to $250,000 in options of Metis Solutions stock. The lawmaker's subsequent ethics disclosure ... shows that he earned between $5 and $25 million in capital gains from his stock sales.
Note: Watch a rare video revealing the manipulations behind the call to send troops to Afghanistan. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Movement for Black Lives. The prosecution of protesters over the past year continues a century-long practice by the federal government, rooted in structural racism, to suppress Black social movements via the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms. "The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known ... about the federal government's disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests," the report stated. Titled "Struggle For Power: The Ongoing Persecution of Black Movement By The U.S. Government," the report details how policing has been used historically as a major tool to deter Black people from engaging in their right to protest. It also drew a comparison to how the government used Counterintelligence Program techniques to "disrupt the work of the Black Panther Party and other organizations fighting for Black liberation." A key finding of the report was that the push to use federal charges against protesters came from top-down directives. In 92.6% of the cases, there were equivalent state level charges that could have been brought against defendants.
Note: Read about the FBI's COINTELPRO program which suppressed dissent by targeting activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Portland narrowly avoided tragedy on Sunday as the city's police force abandoned its duty to secure the streets and officers made no effort to stop assaults on residents by members of the far-right Proud Boys gang, many of whom had traveled from around the country to live out their fantasies of attacking anti-fascist protesters. The absence of the police, in line with a policy on nonintervention announced beforehand by Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell, reinforced a sense among anti-fascists that they were on their own. So when a right-wing gunman fired in the direction of black-clad protesters who had chased him away from their protest at gunpoint, it was shocking but perhaps not surprising that one of the anti-fascists fired back, according to witnesses. The fact that the right-wing gunman – 65-year-old Dennis Anderson from the neighboring city of Gresham – was arrested within minutes by an undercover officer and two uniformed colleagues underscored for many protesters that the police could have intervened earlier but had chosen not to do so. The gunfire came after a Proud Boys rally, devoted to the "political prisoners" of the January 6 Capitol attacks ... had devolved into violence, with attacks on left-wing protesters who fought back with paintballs, fireworks, and pepper spray. Although multiple assaults were captured on video by journalists on the scene, the police failed to intervene.
New state laws tightening voting restrictions come in two basic varieties: those that make it harder to cast a vote and those making it more difficult to get registered to vote in the first place. In Kansas, one law effectively shuts down voter registration drives. It's now a felony offense to impersonate an election official, and the law creates a vague standard for breaking it, a standard that depends on impressions. It criminalizes engaging in conduct that might seem like something an election official would do. Davis Hammet, president of the Kansas civic engagement group Loud Light, says that subjective standard would probably include work his volunteers do, which includes approaching people with clipboards and registering them to vote. "So, if someone accuses you of being an election official or saying they were just confused and thought you were one, and you were arrested, you would be charged with a felony," Hammet says. "And so, a felony means you lose your right to vote. So, you could lose your right to vote for trying to help people vote." This knocks a big hole in efforts to register new voters because county elections officials rely on volunteer groups to do outreach. Tammy Patrick has been tracking an avalanche of election-related legislation. "There have been a little more than 3,000 bills introduced ... this legislative session, which is the most bills we've seen around election administration," Patrick says. "Many of them actually have included things very similar to the Kansas law."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
Three women hired to work for the military's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program are speaking out, alleging improper investigations and retaliation firings despite the Pentagon spending tens of millions of dollars on prevention and pledging to tackle the systemic issue. Amy Braley Franck, Marianne Bustin and Lindsey Knapp were all hired to work for the program, which was established by the Pentagon 15 years ago to provide support and resources to survivors of sexual assault and rape. Their jobs involved advocating for victims and helping navigate the process of reporting incidents of assault. They spoke to CBS News as part of a year and a half-long investigation, in which nearly two dozen survivors spoke out about their assaults. Military commanders are required to refer reports of sexual assault to criminal investigators. However, Franck found evidence that commanders were investigating some cases themselves – violating the military's own code of justice. "I discovered written documentation of illegal investigations and victims languishing," she said. "People are afraid," Franck said. "I have young ladies and men say, 'The rape was bad, but I don't wanna go through this other thing because it's worse than the rape.'" "This other thing," she said, referred to "the retaliation, the treatment, the judgment." Last year, Franck was suspended from her position as a victim advocate the day after she contacted a commanding general about retaliation she was seeing in the Army.
The Biden administration has made combating sexual assault in the military a major policy goal. From 2013 to 2019, that was also Amy Braley-Franck's mission – advocating for victims of sexual crimes within the military. A day after she informed a top general about widespread mishandling of sexual assault cases, however, she was suspended from duty and has been ever since. Braley-Franck has been a high-profile whistleblower, bringing the issue of sexual assault and command abuses to public attention. For close to two years, though, Braley-Franck has been suspended from her role as an Army sexual assault prevention and response victim advocate. She sees the suspension, at the hands of a general she was serving under, as a clear case of retaliation. President Joe Biden formed the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault, which recently recommended taking sexual assault cases outside the chain of command, a change military leaders have long resisted. Braley-Franck said her case proves that more reforms are still needed if the military truly wishes to rein in sexual misconduct. The Defense Department estimates that around 20,500 service members experience sexual assault annually, but only 6,290 official allegations of sexual assault were made in 2020. Since 2010, according to the Independent Review Commission, roughly 644,000 active-duty military personnel have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed.
There should be a serious accounting for the Afghanistan debacle. The United States waged its longest war in a distant, impoverished country. After two decades, more than 775,000 troops deployed, far more than $1 trillion spent, more than 2,300 U.S. deaths and 20,500 wounded in action, tens of thousands of Afghani civilian deaths, the United States managed to create little more than a kleptocracy. Rather than focusing on how we got out, it would be far wiser to focus on how we got in. The accounting can draw from the ... Afghanistan Papers project. The papers come from ... the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, based on interviews with hundreds of officials who guided the mission. Their words are a savage and telling indictment. Under President George W. Bush, the early mission – to defeat al-Qaeda and get Osama bin Laden in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – quickly turned to nation-building. That mission was an abject failure from the beginning. Adjusted for inflation, the United States spent more money developing Afghan institutions than it had spent to help all of Western Europe after World War II. Yet as Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan concluded, the "single biggest project" stemming from the flood of dollars "may have been the development of mass corruption." Nearly $10 billion was spent to eradicate poppy production but as of 2018, Afghan farmers produced more than 80 percent of the global opium supply.
From Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan, the pattern of American officials showering questionable political allies abroad with armfuls of cash is a long-established practice. However, the idea that this is the reason the "missions" fail in such places is just a continuation of the original propaganda lines that get us into these messes. It's a way of saying the subject populations are to blame for undermining our noble efforts, when the missions themselves are often preposterous. The lion's share of the looting is usually done by our own marauding contracting community. Contractors [in Afghanistan] made fortunes monstrously overcharging the taxpayer for everything from private security, to dysfunctional or unnecessary construction projects, to social programs that ... had no chance for success. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) some years ago identified "$15.5 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse ... in our published reports and closed investigations between SIGAR's inception in 2008 and December 31, 2017," and added an additional $3.4 billion in a subsequent review. All told, "SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion and concluded that a total of approximately $19 billion or 30 percent of the amount reviewed was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse." Thirty percent! If the overall cost of the war was, as reported, $2 trillion ... a crude back of the envelope calculation for the amount lost to fraud during the entire period might be $600 billion.
If you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America's top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001 – the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks – and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295. This is a far greater return than was available in the overall stock market over the same period. $10,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund on September 18, 2001, would now be worth $61,613. That is, defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War. Moreover, given that the top five biggest defense contractors – Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics – are of course part of the S&P 500, the remaining firms had lower returns than the overall S&P returns. These numbers suggest that it is incorrect to conclude that the Taliban's immediate takeover of Afghanistan upon the U.S.'s departure means that the Afghanistan War was a failure. On the contrary, from the perspective of some of the most powerful people in the U.S., it may have been an extraordinary success. Notably, the boards of directors of all five defense contractors include retired top-level military officers. Several commentators address this dynamic in the 2005 documentary "Why We Fight." Former CIA contractor and academic Chalmers Johnson states, "I guarantee you, when war becomes that profitable, you're going to see more of it."
Note: Wartime profiteering is an old game. Read decorated general Smedley Butler's 1935 book War is a Racket to see how little has changed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
The biggest Al Qaeda plot the FBI claimed to have foiled in the years following the 9/11 attacks involved no weapons, no plot, and no Al Qaeda. Instead, the vague, implausible threat by a group of construction workers in Florida to blow up U.S. buildings, including Chicago's Sears Tower, was mostly the making of the FBI, whose undercover operatives sought out the men, promised them money, and coached them over months to implicate themselves in a conspiracy to commit violent acts they never actually intended or had the means to carry out. The "Liberty City Seven" case – known by its connection to the poor, violence-ridden Miami neighborhood where the men involved lived – was the most high-profile FBI investigation of a supposed terrorist cell after the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. The ordeal of the seven Black men, most of them Haitian American, who were manipulated by two paid FBI informants into pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda is recounted in a new Frontline documentary, "In the Shadow of 9/11," by British director Dan Reed. The case set the stage for hundreds of FBI sting operations in the following years, as the bureau continued to frame individuals who were often poor, credulous, and had dubious ability to independently plan any attacks. Rather than abandoning stings as pointless and harmful ... the FBI doubled down on them, in some cases even providing weapons to the individuals they set up.
Note: Read more about how the FBI uses stings to manufacture terrorism cases. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.
Nearly 1,800 Americans directly affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are opposing President Joe Biden's participation in any memorial events this year unless he upholds his pledge to declassify U.S. government evidence that they believe may show a link between Saudi Arabian leaders and the attacks. The victims' family members, first responders and survivors will release a statement Friday calling on Biden to skip 20th-anniversary events in New York and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon unless he releases the documents, which they believe implicate Saudi officials in supporting the acts of terrorism. The group says that ... Biden pledged to be more transparent and release as much information as possible but that his administration has since then ignored their letters. "We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment," they wrote in a statement. "Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks," the statement says. "The Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks." The administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump also declined to declassify supporting documents.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
Last summer, as one city after another broke out in protest against the murder of George Floyd, some of the most enduring images were not of the demonstrators, but of the police: decked out in riot gear, aiming automatic weapons at peaceful crowds, and riding around on armored vehicles built for war. The crackdowns on protesters renewed furious demands to end a suite of federal programs that have put billions of dollars' worth of military weapons in the hands of local police. The Pentagon's 1033 program ... transfers weapons and equipment from America's foreign wars directly to domestic law enforcement agencies. Under a Freedom of Information Act request, HuffPost has exclusively obtained hundreds of letters that local law enforcement agencies wrote to the Department of Defense in 2017 and 2018 making the case to receive an armored vehicle under the 1033 program. The documents reveal that hundreds of police departments across the country, in communities of all sizes, are willing to deploy armored vehicles to carry out even the most routine tasks: making traffic stops; serving search warrants; responding to domestic violence; responding to people threatening suicide. In response to these requests, the Pentagon has provided thousands of small-town police and sheriff agencies with vehicles built to withstand conditions of war [and] distributed billions of dollars' worth of helicopters, body armor, night vision equipment, ammunition, rifle sights, machine guns and assault rifles.
Note: This ABC News article shows that providing police with military gear does not reduce crime nor protect police officers. Read more about the Pentagon's 1033 program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the military and in policing from reliable major media sources.
Few pause to think that their phones can be transformed into surveillance devices, with someone thousands of miles away silently extracting their messages, photos and location, activating their microphone to record them in real time. Such are the capabilities of Pegasus, the spyware manufactured by NSO Group, the Israeli purveyor of weapons of mass surveillance. The Guardian will be revealing the identities of many innocent people who have been identified as candidates for possible surveillance by NSO clients in a massive leak of data. Without forensics on their devices, we cannot know whether governments successfully targeted these people. But the presence of their names on this list indicates the lengths to which governments may go to spy on critics, rivals and opponents. Journalists across the world were selected as potential targets by these clients prior to a possible hack using NSO surveillance tools. People whose phone numbers appear in the leak ... include lawyers, human rights defenders, religious figures, academics, businesspeople, diplomats, senior government officials and heads of state. One phone that has contained signs of Pegasus activity belonged to our esteemed Mexican colleague Carmen Aristegui, whose number was in the data leak and who was targeted following her exposÄ‚© of a corruption scandal involving her country's former president Enrique PeÄ‚±a Nieto. At least four of her journalist colleagues appear in the leak
They were Colombian mercenaries, Haitian authorities said, dispatched in a brazen international plot orchestrated through a Florida-based security firm that culminated in the assassination of President Jovenel MoĂŻse and plunged the nation into uncertainty and terror. Eighteen Colombians, most of them former soldiers, some hailing from elite units, have been arrested in connection with the July 7 assassination. Three others were killed in the aftermath of the assault, while five more are reportedly still at large. Two Haitian Americans, one a former U.S. government informant, turned themselves in hours after the attack, claiming that they were translators aiding an effort to serve an arrest warrant on the president and transfer him to the presidential palace, not to kill him. At least seven of the alleged assassins received U.S. training during their military careers. According to a U.S. official, between 2001 and 2015, the soldiers received instruction in both Colombia and the U.S. on skills ranging from military leadership and professional development to counternarcotics and counterterrorism. The Colombians' presence in Haiti has opened a rare window into a murky private security world that extends from the U.S. into Latin America and the Caribbean. Through three of the most consequential conflicts of the past century – the Cold War, the drug war, and the war on terror – the interlocking relationship between U.S. and Colombian security forces has produced a generation of hired guns.
Spies for centuries have trained their sights on those who shape destinies of nations: presidents, prime ministers, kings. And in the 21st century, most of them carry smartphones. Such is the underlying logic for some of the most tantalizing discoveries for an international investigation that in recent months scrutinized a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that included – according to forensic analyses of dozens of iPhones – at least some people targeted by Pegasus spyware licensed to governments worldwide. The list contained the numbers of politicians and government officials by the hundreds. But what of heads of state and governments, arguably the most coveted of targets? Fourteen. Or more specifically: three presidents, 10 prime ministers and a king. Forensic testing that might have revealed infection by NSO's signature spyware, Pegasus, was not possible. Nor was it possible to determine whether any NSO client attempted to deliver Pegasus to the phones of these country leaders – much less whether any succeeded in turning these highly personal devices into pocket spies capable of tracking a national leader's nearly every movement, communication and personal relationship. According to NSO marketing materials and security researchers, Pegasus is designed to collect files, photos, call logs, location records, communications and other private data from smartphones, and can activate cameras and microphones as well for real-time surveillance at key moments.
Note: Read how this Pegasus spyware was used to target activists and journalists in Mexico. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Last week, the Justice Department's Inspector General released a scathing report detailing just how badly the FBI botched the major child abuse case involving Larry Nassar, former doctor for the USA Gymnastics national team and Michigan State University accused of abusing dozens of young patients in his care across several states. The report says the FBI's Indianapolis Field Office did not respond to the claims against Nassar "with the utmost seriousness and urgency that the allegations deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and failed to notify state or local authorities of the allegations or take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by Nassar." According to Jane Turner, a 25-year FBI agent-turned-whistleblower who reported the mishandling of crimes against children on American Indian reservations in North Dakota, the FBI's failures in the Nassar case are, unfortunately, not unique. Turner believes the breakdown comes from a lack of training in handling these kinds of cases, a lack of oversight when things do get handled badly, and a lack of interest on the part of a majority white and male staff who, according to Turner, would rather be working more glamorous assignments. "They don't give a shit about kids or young people," she says. Because of the Indianapolis Field Office's delays ... the Inspector General's report said that Nassar was able to abuse an estimated 70 more young athletes between July 2015 and August 2016.
Nashwan al-Tamir, wearing a white robe and long beard, does not pause to study the rows of people who fill the room. In the nearly 15 years since his capture, and seven since he has faced formal charges of being a high-level al-Qaeda operative who oversaw plots to attack Americans in Afghanistan, the 60-year-old Iraqi has gone through four judges, 20 defence lawyers and several prosecution teams. The courtroom here at GuantĂˇnamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba has moved, and the base in which it sits has grown larger. The only constant in these proceedings is Tamir himself, but he has grown older, and moves slower now, due to a degenerative disease. The world outside has changed dramatically in that time, too. Susan Hensler, Tamir's lead defence counsel since 2017, says the military court system through which her client is being prosecuted ... has yet to catch up to the new reality. "This process doesn't work," [she said]. "The fact that the 9/11 trial is still going on 20 years later is good evidence that it doesn't work. The fact that my client's trial has been going on for seven years and yet today we're discussing how to start over from the very beginning, again, is evidence that it doesn't work." This case has seen some 40,000 pages of briefings and orders and 3,000 pages of transcripts, but Tamir's trial is yet to begin. The same is true of the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks. Many imprisoned here were subjected to torture, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, sexual harassment and physical abuse.
Note: Read excerpts from a letter by Sharqawi Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and 9/11 from reliable major media sources.
Less than six months into the Biden administration, more than 15 consultants from the firm WestExec Advisors have fanned out across the White House, its foreign policy apparatus, and its law enforcement institutions. Five, some of whom already have jobs with the administration, have been nominated for high-ranking posts, and four others served on the Biden-Harris transition team. Even by Washington standards, it's a remarkable march through the revolving door, especially for a firm that only launched in 2017. The pipeline has produced a dominance of WestExec alums throughout the administration, installed in senior roles as influential as director of national intelligence and secretary of state. WestExec clients, meanwhile, have controversial interests in tech and defense that intersect with the policies their former consultants are now in a position to set and execute. The creeping monopolization of foreign policymaking by a single boutique consulting firm has gone largely unnoticed. The firm describes one of its chief selling points as its "unparalleled geopolitical risk analysis," now confirmed by the saturation of its employees in positions of power. WestExec has also succeeded in getting tech startups into defense contracts. Deputy Director of the CIA David S. Cohen was an early member of WestExec's "core team." But it's impossible to know who his clients were, because an exemption for the spy agencies' officials means that his disclosure is not publicly available.
This month, ProPublica revealed that American billionaires essentially do not pay taxes, and within hours the White House had awkwardly promised no fewer than four federal investigations into the identity of the individual who had alerted the news organization to this fact. By Thursday, a North Carolina congressman was demanding the FBI director explain why he hadn't made any arrests or at the very least, "executed any search warrants or raided any offices" in the international manhunt for the leaker. ProPublica carefully chose the six billionaires whose tax returns it chose to single out for specific scrutiny. But ProPublica seems to have deliberately underthrown. After breathlessly informing readers they possessed a "trove" of 15 years' worth of tax returns on literally "thousands" of the world's richest people, the story's three authors proceeded to weave a few juicy and non-contextualized facts into a narrative that felt like a protracted sidebar to the "real" story. We learned that the 25 richest billionaires in America added $401bn to their net worths between 2014 and 2018 and paid about 3% of that amount in taxes, but we didn't learn much about any specific billionaire's tax avoidance strategies. Fifteen years of tax return information on thousands of American plutocrats is, to be sure, one of the biggest stories of the decade. It's just not clear ProPublica has that much appetite for sticking with the story.
Note: In the US, former tax lobbyists often write the rules on tax dodging. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
At a US border detention centre in the Texan desert, migrant children have been living in alarming conditions - where disease is rampant, food can be dangerous and there are reports of sexual abuse. The tented camp in the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas, is the temporary home for over 2,000 teenaged children who have crossed the US-Mexico border alone. A number of tents have also been set up just to accommodate the large numbers of sick children - the children have nicknamed it 'Covid city'. In addition to Covid, outbreaks of the flu and strep throat have also been reported since the camp opened in late March. And some children in need of urgent medical attention have been neglected. Photos and video smuggled out of the facility by staff and given to the BBC, show rows of flimsy bunks, set inches from each other, extending in long lines. There are reports of staff sexually abusing children at the Fort Bliss camp. At a camp training session, secretly recorded by a staff member and shared with the BBC, an employee voiced concern. "We have already caught staff with minors inappropriately," she said. Another employee told the BBC that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had spoken to staff about a rape. "DHS mentioned there was a rape - they are giving the girls pregnancy tests," she said. "And I heard the other night that another contractor was caught in a boys' tent, you know, doing things with him."
Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided ... detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. Information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists' conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market. William Irwin, [one] of the four whistleblowers, who has worked at the EPA for over 11 years as a toxicologist, was ... moved out of the office after repeatedly resisting pressure to change his assessments to favor industry. Irwin said that while it had seemed obvious that the pressure stemmed from chemical companies, the science adviser in the office made the point irrefutably clear during an argument over one particular chemical assessment.
The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone – a total that's larger than the entire US economy and underscores the Defense Department's continuing difficulty in balancing its books. The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way. The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest US budget. The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year. Auditors ... flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments. There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The watchdog agency will report on the subject ... after reviewing more than 200,000 fourth-quarter 2018 adjustments totaling $15 trillion. The "combined errors, shorthand, and sloppy record-keeping by DoD accountants do add up to a number nearly 1.5 times the size of the US economy," said Speier. The report shows the Pentagon "employs accounting adjustments like a contractor paints over mold. Their priority is making the situation look manageable, not solving the underlying problem." The GAO estimated based on a sample that at least 96 percent of 181,947 automatic adjustments made in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 "didn't have adequate supporting documentation."
Note: Why was this not front page news? Why is it the vast majority of people know so little about Pentagon corruption? Read lots more in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The young couple posing in front of the faux Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas fit right in, two people in a sea of idealistic Democrats who had arrived in the city in February 2020 for a Democratic primary debate. Large donations to the Democratic National Committee – $10,000 each – had bought Beau Maier and Sofia LaRocca tickets to the debate. In fact, much about them was a lie. Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca were part of an undercover operation by conservatives to infiltrate progressive groups, political campaigns and the offices of Democratic as well as moderate Republican elected officials during the 2020 election cycle. Using large campaign donations and cover stories, the operatives aimed to gather dirt that could sabotage the reputations of people and organizations considered threats to a hard-right agenda. At the center of the scheme was an unusual cast: a former British spy connected to the security contractor Erik Prince, a wealthy heiress to the Gore-Tex fortune and undercover operatives like Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca who used Wyoming as a base to insinuate themselves into the political fabric of this state and at least two others, Colorado and Arizona. In more than two dozen interviews and a review of federal election records, The New York Times reconstructed many of the operatives' interactions in Wyoming and other states ... and spoke to people with whom they discussed details of their spying operation.
Interviews with more than two dozen experts on pesticide regulation – including 14 who worked at the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, or OPP – described a federal environmental agency that is often unable to stand up to the intense pressures from powerful agrochemical companies, which spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year and employ many former EPA scientists once they leave the agency. The enormous corporate influence has weakened and, in some cases, shut down the meaningful regulation of pesticides in the U.S. and left the country's residents exposed to levels of dangerous chemicals not tolerated in many other nations. This reporting has brought to light several instances in which the overlooking, burying, or scuttling of science has had direct consequences for human health. The alarming discoveries include an EPA report warning about the link between the pesticide glyphosate and cancer that never saw the light of day; the failure to consider evidence that a neonicotinoid pesticide causes brain damage; the refusal to investigate evidence that another pesticide that is an ingredient in Roundup may cause cancer ... and the agency's waiving of the vast majority of toxicity tests at the request of industry. The scientists who have identified these hazards described immense pressure from within the agency to overlook the risks they found. And several said they faced retribution for calling attention to the dangers of pesticides.
A monkey virus that contaminated polio vaccine given to tens of millions of Americans in the 1950s and '60s may be causing rare human cancers. For four decades, government officials have insisted that there is no evidence the simian virus called SV40 is harmful to humans. But in recent years, dozens of scientific studies have found the virus in a steadily increasing number of rare brain, bone and lung-related tumors - the same malignant cancer SV40 causes in lab animals. Even more troubling, the virus has been detected in tumors removed from people never inoculated with the contaminated vaccine, leading some to worry that those infected by the vaccine might be spreading SV40. By the end of 1996, dozens of scientists reported finding SV40 in a variety of bone cancers and a wide range of brain cancers, which had risen 30 percent over the previous 20 years. Then, Italian researchers reported finding SV40 in 45 percent of the seminal fluid samples and 23 percent of the blood samples they had taken from healthy donors. That meant SV40 could have been spreading through sexual activity, from mother to child, or by other means, which could explain how those never inoculated with the contaminated vaccine ... were being infected. Dr. James Goedert, the chief of the NCI's Viral Epidemiology Branch ... acknowledged that research is needed to resolve the question of whether SV40 is prevalent in the human population and, if so, how it might be spreading. But Goedert said he has no plans for such studies.
Note: A follow-up article one week later is titled "New documents show the monkey virus is present in more recent polio vaccine." This BBC article further confirms these claims. And this video suggests that early vaccine creators knew they could cause cancer and that HIV may have been brought into the US through vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The widow of controversial antivirus software magnate John McAfee said her husband was not suicidal, and blamed United States authorities for "this tragedy" after he was found dead in his cell in a prison near Barcelona. The 75-year-old McAfee, who had multiple run-ins with the law, was awaiting extradition after being charged with tax evasion in the United States last year. Speaking to reporters outside the prison on Friday, Janice McAfee demanded a thorough investigation, saying she wanted "answers of how this was able to happen." Janice McAfee's lawyer, Javier Villalba, [said] his client is waiting for the official autopsy to be done adding that the family has requested a second and independent one. "I blame the US authorities for this tragedy. Because of these politically motivated charges against him. My husband is now dead," Janice said. "His last words to me were: I love you and I will call you in the evening," Janice said. "He would have never quit this way. He would never take his life in this way, ever." His death came after a ruling from a three-judge panel at Spain's National Court in Madrid this week that McAfee could be extradited to the United States to face charges there. Janice said Friday the Spanish court's decision to extradite him did not come as a surprise and they had a plan in place to appeal it.
Note: Why does this article fail to mention that McAfee himself said "Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine," as confirmed in this article? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
John McAfee's wife publicly claimed that the US wanted the software tycoon to "die in prison" – just three days before he was found hanged in his cell. Janice McAfee made the damning statement Sunday in a Father's Day post while her husband was in a Spanish jail awaiting extradition to the US to face federal tax evasion charges. "John's honesty has often gotten him in trouble with corrupt governments and corrupt government officials because of his outspoken nature and his refusal to be extorted, intimidated or silenced," wrote Janice. "Now the US authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies," she wrote. Within three days, McAfee was found dead in a Barcelona jail, with his death Wednesday deemed a suicide and foul play ruled out by Spanish authorities. He too had earlier warned of a possible conspiracy, comparing it to ongoing rumors about late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in his Manhattan lockup in August 2019. "Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine," McAffee had earlier warned. His wife's message had insisted that there was "no hope of him ever [to] have a fair trial in America because there is no longer any justice in America. Before you were innocent until proven guilty but somehow that has changed to guilty until proven innocent."
Note: McAfee has long been an outspoken critic of corruption among the power elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Leaders of a First Nation in Canada said Thursday they have found indications of at least 751 unmarked graves near the site of a former residential school in Saskatchewan, the second such announcement here in less than a month as the country reckons with the devastating legacy of one of the darkest chapters of its history. Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme said the discovery was made near the grounds of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in the southeastern corner of the prairie province, confirming the stories of Indigenous elders and residential school survivors who had long told stories of a burial site there. Nearly 150,000 Indigenous children were sent to the government-funded and church-run boarding schools, which were set up in the 19th century to assimilate them and operated until the late 1990s. Many children were forcibly separated from their families to be placed in the schools. Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission said in a 2015 report that many of the students were subjected to physical and sexual abuse at the schools, which barred them from practicing their traditions and speaking their languages. It said the schools carried out "cultural genocide" and effectively institutionalized child neglect. The commission identified more than 3,000 students who died at the schools, a rate that was far higher than for non-Indigenous school-aged children. Officials say the total number of children who died or went missing at the schools might never be known.
Note: The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report led to a $5 billion settlement between the government and surviving First Nation students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Since 9/11, four times as many U.S. service members and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat, according to a new report. The research, compiled by the Costs of War Project at Brown University, found an estimated 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 have died by suicide, compared with 7,057 killed in post 9/11 military operations. The figures include all service members, not just those who served in combat during that time. The majority of the deaths are among veterans who account for an estimated 22,261 of the suicides during that period. "The trend is deeply alarming," the report says. "The increasing rates of suicide for both veterans and active duty personnel are outpacing those of the general population, marking a significant shift." The Department of Veterans Affairs releases information on deaths by suicide, but it does not distinguish by conflict. The report's author, Thomas "Ben" Suitt III, took the VA data and estimated the total number of veteran suicides based on their ages and other factors. A total of 5,116 active duty service members have died by suicide since Sept. 11, 2001, the report says. Figures for the National Guard and Reserves are not available for the first 10 years, but from 2011 to 2020 an estimated 1,193 National Guard and 1,607 Reservists have died by suicide. In an interview, Suitt said the number 30,177 is likely well below the actual number of suicides for active duty and veterans.
At the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who's already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not? Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves ... the censorship of ivermectin news. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube's policies are beyond uneven. It's been aggressive in taking down videos ... and doling out strikes to independent media figures. Ivermectin has suffered the same fate as thousands of other news topics since Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency nearly six years ago, cleaved in two to inhabit separate factual universes for left and right audiences. The drug has become a test case for a controversy that's long been building in health care, about how much input patients should have in their own treatment. Should people on their deathbeds be allowed to try anything to save themselves? That seems like an easy question to answer. Should the entire world be allowed to practice self-care on a grand scale? That's a different issue.
Note: Don't miss the entire article to see just how crazy the medical establishment has become in treating COVID. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The US navy set off a massive explosion last week, detonating a 40,000lb blast as part of a test to determine whether its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, is ready for war. The test, known as a full ship shock trial, is just the first of three planned blasts over the coming months. But the amount of explosive used – 40,000 lbs – is enough to have outsized effects on any marine life in the area, said Michael Jasny, who directs the Natural Resources Defense Council's Marine Mammal Protection Project. "The navy's own modeling indicates that some smaller species of marine mammals would be expected to die within 1-2km of the blast, and that some marine mammal species would suffer injury including hearing loss out to 10km of the blast. That gives some sense of the power of the explosives we are talking about," Jasny said. "We don't know how conscientiously the blast site was chosen, and we don't know how effective the monitoring was before the detonation, so it's hard to put a great deal of faith in the safety of marine life." The area is home to populations of dolphin and small whales at this time of year, and Jasny says that's worrisome because as a general rule, smaller animals are more vulnerable to blast injury. "A large whale might need to be within a few hundred meters of the blast to die, while a small mammal could be a couple of kilometers away," he said, adding that even if the animals survive, loss of hearing is a significant problem for mammals who make their living in the ocean.
An FBI special agent was testifying in the government's high-profile terrorism trial against Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheik" suspected of plotting the first attack on the World Trade Center. Frederic Whitehurst, a chemist and lawyer who worked in the FBI's crime lab, testified that he was told by his superiors to ignore findings that did not support the prosecution's theory of the bombing. "There was a great deal of pressure put upon me to bias my interpretation," Whitehurst said in U.S. District Court in New York in 1995. After the Justice Department's inspector general began a review of Whitehurst's claims, Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents. The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes. If the Justice Department was secretive, the agency's independent inspector general was not. Michael R. Bromwich's probe culminated in a devastating 517-page report in April 1997 on misconduct at the FBI lab. He concluded that FBI managers failed – in some cases for years – to respond to warnings about the scientific integrity and competence of agents. The chief of the lab's explosives unit, for example, "repeatedly reached conclusions that incriminated the defendants without a scientific basis" in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Note: Read more about the FBI's mishandling of forensic evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced he will support changes to the military justice system that would take sexual assault cases away from the chain of command and let independent military lawyers handle them. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has long pushed for legislation on the issue, praised Austin's move but [said] that it doesn't go far enough. Austin said he will present President Biden with a series of recommendations aiming to "finally end the scourge of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military." It's a seismic shift that requires amending the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which no other secretary of defense has been willing to do. Austin's announcement follows a report by the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, whose mandate from Biden was to find solutions to improve accountability, prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support involved in such cases. The Pentagon has long resisted any outside interference. In studying the issue for several years, Gillibrand said, "We recognized that there's a lot of bias in the military justice system." She noted that the rate of sexual assaults in the military continues to grow, but relatively few cases go to trial or end in convictions. A 2020 report from the Defense Department indicates unrestricted reports of sexual assaults in the military have doubled, while the rate of prosecution and conviction has been halved since 2013.
The U.S. House of Representatives moved Thursday to repeal a nearly two-decade-old war powers measure, marking what many lawmakers hope will be the beginning of the end of wide-ranging authorities given to the president after the 9/11 terror attacks. The vote was 268-161. The measure now heads to the Senate. Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California – who in 2001 and 2002 voted against two war power measures passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks – was the sponsor of the repeal bill. The plan would end the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that greenlighted then-President George W. Bush's plans to invade Iraq. Lee's legislation drew bipartisan support. Her repeal of the 2002 authority, which was issued on Oct. 16 of that year, had more than 130 co-sponsors. In the Senate, Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia is sponsoring a similar bill with help from Republican Todd Young of Indiana and four other GOP senators. On Wednesday, the repeal drew the support of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for the first time. "It will eliminate the danger of a future administration reaching back into the legal dustbin to use it as a justification for military adventurism," Schumer said. He noted that former President Donald Trump used the 2002 authority as a partial justification for an airstrike against an Iranian target in Iraq last year. Now, with the Iraq War over for nearly a decade, the 2002 authorization, and its use as a primary justification for military action, has lost its vital purpose.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
The US Department of Justice is under increasing fire for the still-unfolding scandals involving the secret surveillance of journalists and even members of Congress in the waning days of the Trump presidency. In response to the growing scandal – and the scathing condemnations from the surveillance targets at the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, has vowed the DoJ will no longer use legal process to spy on journalists "doing their jobs." The Times, the Post and CNN are set to meet with the justice department this week to seek more information on what happened. Administrations in both parties have spied on journalists with increasing abandon for almost two decades, in contravention of internal DoJ regulations and against the spirit of the first amendment. Before Trump was known as enemy number one of press freedom, Barack Obama's justice department did more damage to reporters' rights than any administration since Nixon. But there is another issue looming large over this debate. Garland has said so far that the DoJ won't spy on journalists unless they are engaged in a crime. Well, the DoJ is currently attempting to make newsgathering a crime, in the form of its case against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The actions described in the indictment against him, most notably the 17 Espionage Act charges, are indistinguishable for what reporters do all the time.
Note: Read more about the growing trend to criminally prosecute journalists who rely on confidential sources to expose corruption. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement monitored immigrant advocacy organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected activity around a highly contentious immigration detention center in Georgia. Public records show that ICE kept track of the groups' nonviolent protests and social media posts, at one point suggesting that the agency might retaliate by barring visitations by one organization. Internal ICE records and emails, as well as a deposition by an ICE officer in a court case, show the agency referring to an advocacy group as a "known adversary" and closely surveilling the immigration and civil rights activists' activities, both online and in person. The immigrant advocates have all worked to bring national and international attention to alleged abuse at ICE's Stewart Detention Center and the Irwin County Detention Center, both in Georgia. Stewart is one of the largest ICE facilities in the nation, and it is also the facility that has seen the most deaths of detained migrants over the past five years. While ICE has a history of monitoring and intimidating its critics – a practice that falls within a long pattern of the U.S. government surveilling activist groups – the agency's surveillance of the groups first took place in Georgia following the 2017 death by suicide of Jean Jimenez-Joseph in Stewart. Advocates alleged that CoreCivic, the private prison company that runs Stewart, and ICE didn't properly monitor or care for Jimenez-Joseph, noting that he was placed in solitary confinement for 18 days prior to his death.
US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. There are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear - a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons. The CDC website states what has become commonly accepted and widely reported in the lay and scientific press: annually "about 36,000 [Americans] die from flu" and "influenza/pneumonia" is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. But why are flu and pneumonia bundled together? David Rosenthal, director of Harvard University Health Services, said, "People don't necessarily die, per se, of the [flu] virus. What they die of is a secondary pneumonia. So many of these pneumonias are not viral pneumonias but secondary [pneumonias]." In a written statement, CDC media relations responded to the diverse statistics: "Typically, influenza causes death when the infection leads to severe medical complications." Most such cases "are never tested for virus infection. The CDC uses indirect modelling methods to estimate the number of deaths associated with influenza." Thus the much publicized figure of 36,000 is ... an estimate generated by a model.
Pulling a pistol from his waistband, the young man spun his human shield toward police. "Don't do it!" a pursuing officer pleaded. The young man complied, releasing the bystander and tossing the gun. Police ... soon learned that the 9mm Beretta had a rap sheet. Bullet casings linked it to four shootings. The pistol was U.S. Army property. The Army couldn't say how its Beretta M9 got to New York's capital. Until the June 2018 police foot chase, the Army didn't even realize someone had stolen the gun. Inventory records checked by investigators said the M9 was 600 miles away - safe inside Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the first public accounting of its kind in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found that at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010s, with some resurfacing in violent crimes. AP's total is a certain undercount. Government records covering the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force show pistols, machine guns, shotguns and automatic assault rifles have vanished from armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships, firing ranges and other places where they were used, stored or transported. These weapons of war disappeared because of unlocked doors, sleeping troops, a surveillance system that didn't record, break-ins and other security lapses that, until now, have not been publicly reported. The Army sought to suppress information on missing weapons and gave misleading numbers that contradict internal memos.
Note: The Obama Administration covered up the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious, which lost track of 1,400-2,000 guns purchased by criminals and resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The U.S. Army has unbelievably also lost many airplanes, tanks, and Javelin missiles. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
For a second year, the nation's surveillance court has pointed with concern to "widespread violations" by the F.B.I. of rules intended to protect Americans' privacy when analysts search emails gathered without a warrant. In a 67-page ruling ... James E. Boasberg, the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, recounted several episodes uncovered by an F.B.I. audit where the bureau's analysts improperly searched for Americans' information in emails that the National Security Agency collected without warrants. Still, Judge Boasberg said he was willing to issue a legally required certification for the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program to operate for another year. [The program] grew out of the once-secret Stellarwind project, which President George W. Bush started after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In 2008, Congress legalized the practice. The surveillance is carried out by the National Security Agency, but three other entities – the C.I.A., the National Counterterrorism Center and the F.B.I. – also receive access to streams of "raw" messages. The F.B.I. receives only a small portion of the messages that the National Security Agency vacuums up: The bureau gets copies of intercepts to and from targets who are deemed relevant to a full and active F.B.I. national security investigation. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is public, the program had more than 200,000 targets.
According to a startling Pentagon video obtained by The Intercept, the future of global cities will be an amalgam of â€¦ urban hellscapes – brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers. At least that's the scenario outlined in "Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity," a five-minute video that has been used at the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations University. All that stands between the coming chaos and the good people of Lagos and Dhaka (or maybe even New York City) is the U.S. Army, according to the video, which The Intercept obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. "Megacities are complex systems where people and structures are compressed together in ways that defy both our understanding of city planning and military doctrine," says a disembodied voice. "These are the future breeding grounds, incubators, and launching pads for adversaries and hybrid threats." A separate Army study published this year bemoans the fact that the "U.S. Army is incapable of operating within the megacity." These fears are reflected in the hyperbolic "Megacities" video. "Even our counterinsurgency doctrine, honed in the cities of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, is inadequate to address the sheer scale of population in the future urban reality," the film notes.
Note: The Pentagon video is available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
Johnson & Johnson must pay a $2.1 billion award to women who claimed its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, after the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the largest verdict in the almost decadelong litigation over the iconic product. The top U.S. court without comment on Tuesday refused to consider J&J's objections to a St. Louis jury's 2018 finding that its talc-based powder helped cause ovarian cancer in 20 women. J&J prepared for the appeal's denial by announcing in February it was setting aside almost $4 billion to cover the St. Louis verdict. The company still faces more than 25,000 lawsuits blaming baby powder for causing cancers. J&J pulled the product off U.S. and Canadian shelves last year. Jurors in the St. Louis case awarded each woman $25 million in compensatory damages. The panel then added more than $4 billion in punitive damages, making the award the sixth-largest in U.S. legal history. The original verdict sparked a significant drop in J&J's shares. J&J has lost other cases at trial, with juries across the U.S. ordering it to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Judges slashed some of those awards while others have been thrown out or are on appeal. J&J has won cases as well. Asbestos, which is often found where talc is mined, is a recognized carcinogen. The women also contended that J&J showed years of deceit about its product and disregard for the health of its customers and argued that warranted the punitive damage award.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Dr Fauci has been the face of the nation's Covid-19 response. But emails have raised questions on whether he backed Chinese denials of the theory that Covid-19 leaked from a lab. A trove of Dr Fauci's emails covering the onset of the coronavirus outbreak were released this week to media under a freedom of information request. Chinese authorities linked early Covid-19 cases to a seafood market in Wuhan. But recent US media reports have suggested growing evidence the virus could instead have emerged from a lab in Wuhan, perhaps through an accidental leak. The NIH, which is a US public health agency, gave $600,000 (Ĺ425,000) to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from 2014-19 via a grant to the New York-based non-profit group EcoHealth Alliance, for the purpose of researching bat coronaviruses. Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance, emailed Dr Fauci in April 2020, praising him as "brave" for seeking to debunk the lab leak theory. Department of State officials ... were told not to explore claims about gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab to avoid attracting unwelcome attention to US government funding of such research. Gain-of-function studies involve altering pathogens to make them more transmissible in order to learn more about how they might mutate. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that three employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill and were admitted to hospital in November 2019, just before the first reported Covid-19 cases.
Note: Read lots more important information on this not covered in the BBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Canada has been dealt a somber reminder of one of the darkest chapters of its history over the past week. The remains of 215 children were found last month buried in unmarked graves at a former residential school, one of more than 150 institutions in a defunct system that for well over a century forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families to assimilate them into Canadian society. The school where the remains were found is in Kamloops. The institution, the biggest residential school in Canada, operated under the auspices of the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969. The Canadian government then took over and oversaw the school until it closed in 1978. Enrollment peaked in the early 1950s at 500. There are official records of at least 51 children who died at the school from 1900 to 1971. The graves, which were discovered with ground-penetrating radar last month, are believed to be undocumented. Some of the children are believed to have been as young as 3. While the sheer number of children's remains found in Kamloops is shocking, it is just the tip of the iceberg, and the discovery is by no means an isolated incident. An estimated 150,000 First Nations and Inuit children were required to attend the state-funded residential schools from 1831 to 1996. Many never went home. In 2015, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission declared that the residential schools played a central role in Canada's "cultural genocide" of Indigenous people.
Note: The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report led to a $5 billion settlement between the government and surviving First Nation students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The wealthiest Americans – including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos – paid little in federal income taxes at times in recent years despite soaring fortunes, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by ProPublica. The information published Tuesday shows how billionaires are able to legally reduce their tax burden, highlighting how the American tax system can hit ordinary wage earners harder than the richest people in the country. That's often because the richest Americans tend to have their wealth tied up in stocks and real estate, allowing them to avoid taxes on unrealized profits. The U.S. tax system focuses on income, not what is known as unrealized gains from unsold stocks, real estate or other assets. The records ... purport to show Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, as having paid $23.7 million in federal income taxes on total income of $125 million from 2014 to 2018, which would indicate a personal income tax rate of 19 percent. ProPublica estimated that Buffett saw his wealth soar by $24.3 billion during that period and so his "true tax rate" was 0.10 percent. Musk, chief executive of Tesla, paid $455 million on $1.52 billion in income during the same period, when his wealth grew by $13.9 billion, accounting for a "true tax rate" of 3.27 percent. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income, as his wealth soared by $99 billion, resulting in a 0.98 percent "true tax rate."
Note: Learn about important facts this article leaves out in this excellent piece. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America. "Sinclair's probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of," said Michael Copps, the George W Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator. The New York Times refers to the group as a "conservative giant" that, since the Bush presidency, has used its 173 television stations "to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda". Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair's $3.9bn purchase of an additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump "news" segments. In 2004 ... as George W Bush faced criticism over the faltering war in Iraq, Sinclair ordered seven of its stations not to run an episode of Nightline in which host Ted Koppel read the names of every American soldier killed in the war, saying it "undermine[d] the efforts of the United States in Iraq". Meanwhile, with its 2015 purchase of Circa, a mobile aggregated news app, Sinclair has control for the first time of a national text-based news outlet.
With evidence mounting that the coronavirus might have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, President Biden has reversed course and ordered the U.S. intelligence community to produce a report on the virus's origins within 90 days. Better late than never. For the past year, the media has scorned the idea of an accidental lab release as a far-flung conspiracy theory. In fact, it would have been an extraordinary coincidence for this virus to emerge in Wuhan – home to China's leading research laboratory studying bat coronaviruses – and have had no connection to the lab. Since April 2020 we have known that in 2018 U.S. diplomats warned of inadequate safety at the Wuhan lab. It turns out that [Anthony] Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) ... awarded a grant for studying bat coronavirus to the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, which then subcontracted the research to the Wuhan lab. Fauci admits this, but insists that the money did not support gain of function research. But as Wade points out, that is exactly what the Wuhan institute was doing. Indeed, the grant proposals from Shi Zhengli – the "Bat Woman" at the Wuhan lab – which are a matter of public record specified that she planned to use the money for gain-of-function research. Fauci is on record supporting such research. And the NIAID was supporting research in Wuhan even though the U.S. government had placed a moratorium on gain of function research.
Note: Read more about the Wuhan Institute of Virology's risky research on bat coronaviruses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities that The Associated Press has learned spans two dozen states and includes five shelters with more than 1,000 children packed inside. The number of migrant children in government custody more than doubled in the past two months, and this week the federal government was housing around 21,000 kids, from toddlers to teens. A facility at Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, had more than 4,500 children as of Monday. A few of the current practices are the same as those that President Joe Biden and others criticized under the Trump administration, including not vetting some caregivers with full FBI fingerprint background checks. Part of the government's plan to manage thousands of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border involves about a dozen unlicensed emergency facilities inside military installations, stadiums and convention centers that skirt state regulations and don't require traditional legal oversight. Inside the facilities, called Emergency Intake Sites, children aren't guaranteed access to education, recreational opportunities or legal counsel. Some of the facilities holding children these days are run by contractors already facing lawsuits claiming that children were physically and sexually abused in their shelters under the Trump administration.
Note: Could there be an agenda here with child sex slavery? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
No vaccine provides perfect protection, and so-called breakthrough infections after coronavirus vaccination are rare. Federal health officials have told fully vaccinated people they no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distance because they are protected, nor do they need to be tested or quarantine after an exposure, unless they develop symptoms. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stopped investigating breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated people unless they become so sick that they are hospitalized or die. Earlier this year, the agency was monitoring all cases. Through the end of April, when some 101 million Americans had been vaccinated, the C.D.C. had received 10,262 reports of breakthrough infections from 46 states and territories, a number that was very likely "a substantial undercount," according to a C.D.C. report. On May 1, the agency decided to investigate only the most severe breakthrough infection cases, while still collecting voluntary reports on breakthrough cases from state and local health departments. The agency will carry out vaccine effectiveness studies that include data on breakthrough cases, but only in limited populations, such as health care workers and essential workers, older adults, and residents at long-term care facilities. But even relatively mild cases of Covid-19 can lead to persistent long-term health problems, and it will be difficult to know the full scope without tracking mild infections as well.
Note: This is a convenient way to make it look like case numbers are dropping more than they actually are, which makes the vaccines look more effective than they really are. Learn more on how the CDC is manipulating case figures in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.
The chemical additive aspartame is very potentially a cancer and brain tumor-causing substance that has no place in our food. The reasons and means by which [Donald] Rumsfeld helped get it approved are nefarious at best, criminal at worst. Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner back in 1996. The FDA's own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer. According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president January 21, 1981. Rumsfeld, while still CEO at Searle, was part of Reagan's transition team. This team hand-picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., to be the new FDA commissioner. One of Hayes' first official acts as FDA chief was to approve the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener in dry goods on July 18, 1981. When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Donald Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus, pretty big money in those days.
Note: Donald Rumsfeld also made millions on bird flu drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a "shocking" amount of taxes was going uncollected by the federal government. "The gap between what we're collecting in taxes on current tax and what we should be collecting ... amounts to over $7 trillion over a decade," Yellen said. Yellen's remarks emphasize the Biden administration's efforts to collect tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans and multinational companies to finance $4 trillion in spending programs. At the center of Biden's planned revenue raisers is a provision to increase funding for IRS enforcement. He also wants to slap investors earning above $1 million with a hike in the capital-gains tax and raise the top marginal income-tax rate to 39.6% from 37%. The IRS's official estimate is that there is a tax gap of $441 billion a year. But Charles Rettig, the agency's commissioner, recently told Congress that number could be over $1 trillion. A recent study from IRS researchers and academics found that the top 1% of Americans failed to report about one-quarter of their income to the IRS. The research found income underreporting was nearly twice as high for the top 0.1%, which could account for billions in uncollected taxes. The number of agents devoted to working on sophisticated tax-evasion enforcement dropped by 35% over the past decade. The IRS's budget fell by 20% between 2010 and 2018. There was an 80% decline from 2011 to 2018 in the audit rate for those making over $1 million a year.
New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a controversial robotic dog undergoing trials with the city's police off the street, and a $94,200 contract with creator Boston Dynamics cancelled. The robot canine, named "Digidog", is to be returned to its manufacturer following outrage tied to calls to cut police funding and law enforcement access to military-developed or surplus hardware. De Blasio voiced that he is "glad the Digidog was put down." A city government spokesperson added: "It's creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers." The 70lb robot could run at three and a half miles per hour and climb stairs. It was primarily intended to go into situations deemed dangerous for officers, and had been undergoing trials in the Bronx since it was unveiled last December. But the dog sparked an immediate backlash, with critics noting police dogs have been traditionally used to suppress and intimidate communities of color. Some critics also pointed out it was reminiscent of robot dogs in the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror.
The main focus of the War Legacies Project is to document the long-term effects of the defoliant known as Agent Orange and provide humanitarian aid to its victims. Agent Orange – best known for its widespread use by the U.S. military to clear vegetation during the Vietnam War – is notorious for being laced with a chemical contaminant called 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-dioxin, or TCDD, regarded as one of the most toxic substances ever created. The use of the herbicide in the neutral nation of Laos by the United States – secretly, illegally and in large amounts – remains one of the last untold stories of the American war in Southeast Asia. Only in the last two decades has the United States finally acknowledged and taken responsibility for the legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam. While records of spraying operations inside Laos exist, the extent to which the U.S. military broke international agreements has never been fully documented, until now. An in-depth, monthslong review of old Air Force records, including details of hundreds of spraying flights, as well as interviews with many residents of villages along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, reveals that, at a conservative estimate, at least 600,000 gallons of herbicides rained down on the ostensibly neutral nation during the war. Of the 517 cases of disabilities and birth defects so far documented by the War Legacies Project in Laos, about three-fourths, like malformed limbs, are identifiable to the untrained eye as ... linked to exposure to Agent Orange.
Note: In 2012, Monsanto settled a lawsuit related to its manufacture of Agent Orange for $93 million. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
The pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines. Over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally. Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO. Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative. The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration "oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights." Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries, and projections show much of the world's population may not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024.
Note: Has it ever been more clear that big Pharma places profits above health, even when it might cause huge numbers of people to die? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Something happened in Baltimore last year. The coronavirus pandemic hit, and State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that the city would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus. And then crime went down in Baltimore. A lot. While violent crime and homicides skyrocketed in most other big American cities last year, violent crime in Baltimore dropped 20 percent from last March to this month, property crime decreased 36 percent, and there were 13 fewer homicides compared with the previous year. This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city's criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby's office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants for nonviolent crimes. So on Friday, Mosby made her temporary steps permanent. She announced Baltimore City will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car. A number of big-city prosecutors have moved to decriminalize drugs, and Oregon voters decriminalized small amounts of drugs statewide.
Note: The fact that the rest of the US last year experienced a "Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates" makes this all the more impressive. A 2016 report by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy found that the the war on drugs harmed public health. When Portugal decriminalized drugs, its addiction rates were cut in half.
In response to the high rate at which American police kill civilians, many on the left have taken up the call for defunding the police, or abolishing the police entirely. But some policing experts are instead emphasizing a different approach that they say could reduce police killings: training officers better, longer, and on different subjects. Police in the United States receive less initial training than their counterparts in other rich countries - about five months in a classroom and another three or so months in the field, on average. Many European nations, meanwhile, have something more akin to police universities, which can take three or four years to complete. European countries also have national standards for various elements of a police officer's job - such as how to search a car and when to use a baton. The U.S. does not. The 18,000 police departments in the U.S. each have their own rules and requirements. "Police officers, police chiefs, and everyone agree that we do not get enough training in a myriad of fields," Dennis Slocumb, the legislative director of the International Union of Police Associations [said]. Many policing experts recommend that officers be trained to slow down when they are able to do so, giving themselves time to decide the best course of action. "Police are taught in the academy [that] police always have to win," says Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. But sometimes it's okay not to win, particularly if it means saving a life.
"I'm not going to change," Joe Biden said in his 2008 vice presidential debate. "I have 35 years in public office. I haven't changed in that time." The Intercept conducted an exhaustive analysis of Biden's political career, with a focus on his positions on dozens of U.S. wars and military campaigns, CIA covert actions, and abuses of power; his views on whistleblowers and leakers; and his shifting stance on the often contentious relationship between the executive and legislative branches over war powers. The picture that emerges is of a man who is dedicated to the U.S. as an empire, who believes that preserving U.S. national interests and "prestige" on the global stage outweighs considerations of morality or even at times the deaths of innocent people. Even in cases in which he passionately opposed U.S. military or CIA action, such as in President Ronald Reagan's 1980s campaigns to aid the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and the right-wing military junta in El Salvador, Biden sought ways to tweak U.S. policy in return for his political or legislative support. Throughout the 1990s, he pushed through harsh and punitive policies on crime, while spearheading sweeping surveillance legislation that would form the basis for the Patriot Act after 9/11. Biden would emerge, in the early stages of the "war on terror," as a leading legislative force supporting the most far-reaching aspirations of the Bush-Cheney White House. He was instrumental in the rushed passage of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.
Note: Have you noticed that on the campaign trail, every US president from both parties has advocated for peace, while when they assume office they strongly support the military-industrial complex? So whose will are they serving, the people or the military machine? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
Members of the U.S. special operations forces deployed to 154 countries, or roughly 80 percent of the world's nations, last year, but information about exactly where elite forces conduct missions, under what authorities they operate, who they've killed, and whether they're adhering to the laws of armed conflict is closely guarded, buried in obscure legal provisions, shrouded in secrecy, or allegedly unknown even to Special Operations Command. The command, known as SOCOM, will only name half the countries where its forces were active in 2020. It claims that its personnel – Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and Marine Corps Raiders among them – have captured or killed "thousands of terrorists" under one obscure program but also that it doesn't track such data. SOCOM refuses to provide even basic information about publicly acknowledged operations. Some of the least-known special operations missions are authorized under a provision known as "Section 1202 Authority," which first appeared in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and is "used to provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals" taking part in irregular warfare. Neither the Defense Department, SOCOM, nor any media outlet has ever revealed detailed information about 1202 missions, but based on what little is known about them, they are explicitly focused on so-called near-peer competitors such as China and Russia.
FBI crime laboratory experts gave inaccurate testimony at the trials of defendants in the World Trade Center blast and the 1989 bombing of Avianca Flight 203 in Colombia, and lab scientists and technicians used shoddy analysis and did not follow procedures in scores of other cases, the Justice Department's inspector general concluded. Those findings, coupled with serious problems in the way lab officials conducted themselves in the Oklahoma City bombing and the O.J. Simpson case, are part of a sweeping, 18-month investigation into significant failures at the lab at FBI headquarters in Washington. In addition to conclusions about how lab officials have performed in court, the inspector general also found that the bureau's scientists and technicians did not properly document their test results and poorly prepared lab reports. Overall, in investigating work at the lab's three key sections - the chemistry-toxicology, explosives and materials analysis units - [Inspector General Michael] Bromwich said: "We found significant instances of testimonial errors, substandard analytical work and deficient practices." Investigators also discovered instances where dictation on lab reports was altered and lab supervisors did not properly manage their agents. Bromwich's report does not say when or why the problems began at the lab, but some of the cases studied date back to the 1980s. As early as 1991, top FBI management was alerted to failures at the lab.
Note: Read more about major issues with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. More recently, the FBI has admitted to problems in its forensics unit leading to decades of flawed testimony in criminal trials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Justice Department inspector general's office has determined that the FBI crime laboratory made "scientifically unsound" conclusions in the Oklahoma City bombing case, finding that supervisors approved lab reports they "cannot support" and many analyses were "biased in favor of the prosecution." The still-secret draft report, obtained by The Times, also concludes that FBI lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast and the amount of explosives involved and may not know for certain that ammonium nitrate was used for the main charge that killed 168 people and injured more than 850 others. The draft report shows that FBI examiners could not identify the triggering device for the truck bomb or how it was detonated on April 19, 1995, and it warns that a poorly maintained lab environment could have led to contamination of critical pieces of evidence, such as debris found on the clothing of defendant Timothy J. McVeigh. If entered into evidence at McVeigh's trial ... the draft report could provide a measure of doubt about whether bomb residue evidence was properly handled and professionally examined by experts at the Washington lab. The Justice investigation began after complaints were made by Frederic Whitehurst, an FBI chemist and the principal whistle blower on problems at the lab. While confirming many accusations made by Whitehurst and others, the report also knocks down a number of Whitehurst's charges.
Note: Read more about major issues with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. More recently, the FBI has admitted to problems in its forensics unit leading to decades of flawed testimony in criminal trials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency - a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. The UK's pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency. The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE. Next, a Public Health England report on covid-19 and inequalities ... was delayed by England's Department of Health. Third, on 15 October, the editor of the Lancet complained that an author of a research paper, a UK government scientist, was blocked by the government from speaking to media because of a "difficult political landscape." Now, a new example concerns the controversy over point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office.
A former Gestapo general who sent tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths was protected from prosecution by US and West German intelligence after the Second World War. SS-General Franz Josef Huber served as head of the Gestapo in Vienna and much of Austria following the Nazi takeover. He worked closely with Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, and personally ordered the deportation of Austrian Jews to concentration camps. Yet while Eichmann was captured by Israel and sentenced to death ... Huber was released by US forces following the war and spent the rest of his life as a free man in his native Munich, where he was a minor employee at a local business. That was a cover arranged for him by West German intelligence. It now appears Huber was protected by the US because it believed he could be a useful asset against the Soviet Union. "Although we are by no means unmindful of the dangers involved in playing around with a Gestapo general, we also believe, on the basis of the information now in our possession, that Huber might be profitably used by this organization," a CIA memo from 1953 obtained by the New York Times reads. Declassified files obtained by German ARD television's Munich Report show that US and West German intelligence conspired to hide Huber's past and protect him from prosecution. In the US, the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies recruited more than 1,000 ex-Nazis as agents in the years following the war.
Note: Read about the Nazi scientists secretly brought to the US to work after WWII. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
As millions of Americans woke up to $1,200 checks in their bank accounts, some of the nation's richest taxpayers learned they were about to receive a bit of relief as well – about $1.7m each, to be exact. Nearly 43,000 millionaires across the country would soon profit off a loophole adapted from the Republican tax code overhaul of 2017, which allows certain business owners to significantly reduce their tax liability by temporarily suspending the limit of deductions they can place against non-business income. The loophole was included as a provision in the sweeping $2.2tn Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a report published by the Joint Commission on Taxation. Democrats who ordered the report have since accused Republicans of having "wrongly seized on this health emergency to reward ultrarich beneficiaries", and called for the tax break to be immediately repealed. The Joint Commission on Taxation said that a staggering "82 per cent of the benefits of the policy go to about 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1m annually". Those 43,000 taxpayers eligible for the loophole would receive an average windfall of nearly $1.7m. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) ... slammed his Republican colleagues over the tax break in a statement alleging the loophole was "so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments".
On Election Day 2016, Crystal Mason went to vote. When her name didn't appear on official voting rolls at her polling place in Tarrant County, Texas, she filled out a provisional ballot. Ms. Mason's ballot was never officially counted or tallied because she was ineligible to vote: She was on supervised release after serving five years for tax fraud. Nonetheless, that ballot has wrangled her into a lengthy appeals process after a state district court sentenced her to five years in prison for illegal voting, as she was a felon on probation when she cast her ballot. Ms. Mason maintains that she didn't know she was ineligible to vote. Her case is now headed for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest state court for criminal cases. Ms. Mason unsuccessfully asked for a new trial and lost her case in an appellate court. This new appeal is the last chance for Ms. Mason, 46, who is out on appeal bond, to avoid prison. If her case has to advance to the federal court system, Ms. Mason would have to appeal from a cell. According to Tommy Buser-Clancy, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Ms. Mason should never have never been convicted. If there is ambiguity in someone's eligibility, the provisional ballot system is there to account for it, he said. If her eligibility was incorrect, he said, "that should be the end of the story." 72 percent of [Texas attorney general, Ken] Paxton's voter fraud cases have targeted people of color.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
It was a faustian bargain–and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. We only know about the FDA deal because of a wayward sentence inserted by an editor at the New York Times. But for that breach of secrecy, nobody outside the small clique of government officials and trusted reporters would have known that the journalists covering the agency had given up their right to do independent reporting. The two-tiered system of outsiders and insiders that undergirds the close-hold policy is also still enforced. Major press outlets such as Scientific American and Agence France-Presse have written to the FDA to complain about being excluded but have not received any satisfaction from the agency.
Pentagon scientists working inside a secretive unit set up at the height of the Cold War have created a microchip to be inserted under the skin, which will detect COVID-19 infection, and a revolutionary filter that can remove the virus from the blood when attached to a dialysis machine. The team at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been working for years on preventing and ending pandemics. One of their recent inventions, they told 60 Minutes on Sunday night, was a microchip which detects COVID infection in an individual before it can become an outbreak. The microchip is sure to spark worries among some about a government agency implanting a microchip in a citizen. Retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an army infectious disease physician leading DARPA's response to the pandemic, showed the 60 Minutes team a tissue-like gel, engineered to continuously test your blood. 'You put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow,' he explained. 'It's like a "check engine" light,' said Hepburn. Troops are likely to be highly skeptical of the new invention. In February, The New York Times reported that a third of troops have refused to take the vaccine, sighting concerns that the vaccine contains a microchip devised to monitor recipients, that it will permanently disable the body's immune system or that it is some form of government control.
Japan has approved a plan to release more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The water will be treated and diluted so radiation levels are below those set for drinking water. But the local fishing industry has strongly opposed the move, as have China and South Korea. Tokyo says work to release water used to cool nuclear fuel will begin in about two years. The final approval comes after years of debate. Reactor buildings at the Fukushima power plant were damaged by hydrogen explosions caused by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The tsunami knocked out cooling systems to the reactors, three of which melted down. More than a million tonnes of water have been used to cool the melted reactors. Currently, the radioactive water is treated in a complex filtration process that removes most of the radioactive elements, but some remain, including tritium - deemed harmful to humans only in very large doses. It is then kept in huge tanks, but the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TepCo) is running out of space, with these tanks expected to fill up by 2022. About 1.3 million tonnes of radioactive water - or enough to fill 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools - are currently stored in these tanks. Environmental groups like Greenpeace have long expressed their opposition to releasing the water into the ocean. The NGO said Japan's plans to release the water showed the government "once again failed the people of Fukushima".
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster from reliable major media sources.
Two weeks before Devani's second birthday, she was taken away from her parents in Tucson by a state child-welfare caseworker. The little curly-haired girl seemed to be well-fed and cared for, but the caseworker cited drugs in the home and alleged domestic violence in deciding that Devani would be safer, at least temporarily, in foster care. Instead, over the next four years – as her mother fought to get her back – Devani suffered an odyssey of mistreatment in a succession of foster homes. She was physically abused. She was placed with David Frodsham, a man subsequently convicted of child molestation, who investigators suspect repeatedly sexually assaulted her and other foster children while he ran a pedophilia ring. And that would not be the worst that Devani would face. Foster parents who harm children the state leaves in their care are tracked in only the broadest terms. The state handles verified allegations of neglect or abuse in foster families much as it does those in other families. But officials admit they don't really analyze the data for patterns of foster-care problems that could be prevented. And data shows caseworkers often don't talk privately with children to identify what happens to them in foster care. Those children's families say the problem is real. Of 42 families interviewed for this story who had children removed, 11 alleged that their children were physically or sexually abused, exposed to drugs or harmed in some other way while in foster care.
Note: More in this case available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
Just as the Biden administration is pushing to raise taxes on corporations, a new study finds that at least 55 of America's largest firms paid no taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits. The sweeping tax bill passed in 2017 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. But dozens of Fortune 500 companies were able to further shrink their tax bill – sometimes to zero – thanks to a range of legal deductions and exemptions that have become staples of the tax code. Salesforce, Archer-Daniels-Midland and Consolidated Edison were among those named in the report, which was done by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Twenty-six of the companies listed, including FedEx, Duke Energy and Nike, were able to avoid paying any federal income tax for the last three years even though they reported a combined income of $77 billion. Many also received millions of dollars in tax rebates. Publicly traded corporations are required to file financial reports. The institute used that data along with other information supplied by each company. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief act ... contained a provision that temporarily allowed businesses to use losses in 2020 to offset profits earned in previous years. Tax avoidance strategies include a mix of old standards and new innovations. Companies, for example, saved billions by allowing top executives to buy discounted stock options in the future and then deducting their value as a loss.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
When thousands of New Yorkers poured into the city's streets last summer following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, they were met with the very police violence they had come to protest. New York police arrested hundreds of people, many with no probable cause. Over multiple incidents, police regularly and unjustifiably used force against peaceful protesters, with state investigators finding that they beat people with blunt instruments at least 50 times, unlawfully pepper-sprayed them in at least 30 instances, and pushed or struck protesters at least 75 times. Officers targeted and retaliated against people engaging in constitutionally protected activity, New York Attorney General Letitia James's office concluded, and "blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers." Leading the violent crackdown was the New York Police Department's Strategic Response Group, or SRG, a heavily militarized, rapid-response unit of several hundred officers. Investigators found a disproportionate number of SRG officers accused of wrongdoing to have exceeded their legal authority, when compared with the wider department. The group earned a reputation among activists as the NYPD's "goon squad." Despite initial reassurances to the contrary, the SRG ended up policing protests far more than it did any "counterterrorism" work – already the job of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau – but it brought its militarized mentality and tactics to the policing of civil unrest.
In the coming months, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Joe Biden's ambassador to the United Nations, will hear from a growing chorus of developing nations about the foundering efforts to distribute the coronavirus vaccine globally. The nations, many of which have not even begun vaccinating their populations, are demanding that the U.S. support proposals to temporarily waive certain patent and intellectual property rights so that generic coronavirus vaccines can be produced. The proposals have been fiercely opposed by American drugmakers, including Pfizer. ASG ... represents Pfizer. Many leading figures in Biden's administration, including key White House advisers, State Department leaders, and health care officials have financial stake in or professional ties to vaccine manufacturers, which are now lobbying to prevent policies that would cut into future profits over the vaccine. ASG in particular has unusual amounts of sway in the Biden administration. State Department officials Victoria Nuland, Wendy Sherman, Uzra Zeya, and Molly Montgomery previously worked at ASG, as did Philip Gordon, Vice President Kamala Harris's national security adviser. The pharmaceutical industry, in a bid to shield an expected financial windfall, has pressed the Biden administration not only to oppose the waiver, but also to impose trade-related sanctions on countries that back [a] proposal or move to manufacture coronavirus vaccines without permission from patent holders.
The U.S. accounted for 37% of all global arms exports over the last five years, with Saudi Arabia – easily the world's top arms buyer – accounting for one-quarter of those sales, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. U.S. arms exports rose by 15% from 2011-2015 to 2016-2020, with 96 countries buying arms from America. Russia remained the second-largest exporter with 20% of the market, but supplied a smaller pool of 44 countries and saw sales fall by 22% from the previous five years due primarily to a decrease in sales to India. The next largest arms exporters were France (8% of the total), Germany (5%) and China (5%). China's sales also slid by 8% in the past five years, while exports from Europe increased significantly. Israel and South Korea both accounted for about 3% of the total after significantly increasing their exports over the past five years. Russia had four major clients that accounted for two-thirds of all exports – India, China, Algeria and Egypt – while Pakistan was by far China's biggest client. The U.S. had a diversified pool of major buyers: Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, Japan, the UAE, Qatar, Israel and the U.K. Arms imports overall were flat between 2011–2015 and 2016–2020, but rose in the Middle East (+25%) while falling in the Americas (-43%), Africa (-13%), and Asia and Oceania (-8.3%).
Now that the 2020 figures have been properly tallied, there is still no convincing evidence that strict lockdowns reduced the death toll from COVID-19. But one effect is clear: more deaths from other causes, especially among the young and middle-aged, minorities and the less affluent. The best gauge of the pandemic's impact is what statisticians call excess mortality, which compares the overall number of deaths with the total in previous years. That measure rose among older Americans because of COVID-19, but it rose at an even sharper rate among people aged 15 to 54, and most of those excess deaths weren't attributed to the virus. Preliminary reports point to some obvious lockdown-related factors. There was a sharp decline in visits to emergency rooms and an increase in fatal heart attacks because patients didn't receive prompt treatment. Many fewer people were screened for cancer. Social isolation contributed to excess deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's. Researchers predicted that the social and economic upheaval would lead to tens of thousands of "deaths of despair" from drug overdoses, alcoholism and suicide. As unemployment surged and mental-health and substance-abuse treatment programs were interrupted, the reported levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts increased dramatically, as did alcohol sales and fatal drug overdoses. The number of excess deaths not involving COVID-19 has been especially high in US counties with more low-income households and minority residents.
In its final days, President Donald Trump's State Department made a series of highly controversial claims about the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, and its possible connection to the covid-19 outbreak. Now, the Biden administration has reviewed those claims, and is confirming some of the facts within them. The controversy surrounds a Jan. 15 statement put out by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that was accompanied by a "Fact Sheet" entitled: "Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology." That fact sheet alleged that the U.S. government had evidence that "several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019 ... with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses." The fact sheet further alleged that the WIV has not publicly disclosed all of its work on SARS-like coronaviruses and "has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China's military." In early 2018, U.S. diplomats who visited the WIV lab wrote two cables back to Washington warning that the lab's scientists had reported safety and staffing issues – and that the lab was doing risky research on bat coronaviruses and how they infect humans. The fact sheet ... doesn't specify which information is gleaned from public sources and which data points are derived from U.S. intelligence collection. Trump administration officials told me that the information about sick researchers at the WIV and the lab's secret work with the Chinese government and military comes from intelligence sources.
Deep in the Sahara, the C.I.A. is continuing to conduct secret drone flights from a small but steadily expanding air base, even as the Biden administration has temporarily limited drone strikes against suspected terrorists outside conventional war zones, such as Afghanistan. Soon after it set up the base in northern Niger three years ago, the C.I.A. was poised to launch drone strikes from the site. But there is no public evidence that the agency has carried out anything but surveillance missions so far. New satellite imagery shows that the air base in Dirkou, Niger, has grown significantly since The New York Times first reported the C.I.A. operations there in 2018, to include a much longer runway and increased security. The new imagery also shows for the first time what appears to be an MQ-9 Reaper drone taxiing to or from a clamshell hangar. Under a directive that Mr. Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, quietly imposed on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, the military and the C.I.A. must now obtain White House permission to attack terrorism suspects in poorly governed places where there are scant or no American ground troops, such as Somalia, Yemen and Libya. Under the Trump administration, they had been allowed to decide for themselves whether circumstances on the ground met certain conditions and an attack was justified. A recent report by the International Crisis Group concluded that the military-first strategy of France and its allies, including the United States, has failed.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone - a total that's larger than the entire U.S. economy and underscores the Defense Department's continuing difficulty in balancing its books. The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way. The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest U.S. budget. The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year, when it reviewed $2.7 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities. While auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, they flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments. There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The GAO estimated based on a sample that at least 96% of 181,947 automatic adjustments made in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 "didn't have adequate supporting documentation." "In layman's terms, this means that the DoD made adjustments to accounting records without having documentation to support the need or amount for the adjustment," said Dwrena Allen, spokeswoman for the Pentagon's inspector general.
Note: $35 trillion is much more than the entire GDP of the US for 2020 ($21 trillion). A search shows that Bloomberg and Yahoo! News were the only ones to cover this shocking news. Why would that be? All businesses large and small are required to account for every dollar, while the Pentagon gets away with trillions of dollars of financial mismanagement. Explore what a top US general had to say about this on this webpage. You can also find this article on this webpage. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
No single person has come to more represent the big questions about drug safety that emerged following the withdrawal of Merck's painkiller Vioxx than the Food and Drug Administration's David Graham. And now that a Texas jury has awarded the widow of one Vioxx patient $253 million, Graham, who works in the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, is more critical than ever. Of the drug, and his employer, for whom he doesn't speak. "If the judgment is that there's blood on Merck's hands," Graham says, "there's blood on the FDA's hands as well." Graham has estimated that Vioxx killed some 60,000 patients - as many people, he points out, as died in the Vietnam War. He says that fundamental problems at the FDA led to those deaths. "People should turn to Congress and demand a drug safety system that is free from corporate influence - and a distinct center for drug safety." In Graham's eyes, the problem at the FDA is that the same scientists who approve drugs are the ones charged with deciding whether or not they are safe enough to remain on the market when problems crop up. Graham says that he thinks there should be formal, periodic reviews of the safety of new medicines - and that the FDA should release documents that explain its reasoning. "The FDA does not think anything it did is a mistake," he says. "[Yet] none of its decisions are evidence-based." "Today Merck was on trial, and a judgment was rendered," he says. "But when will the public hold the FDA accountable for its role, its complicity, in this catastrophe?"
Note: Learn how Merck blatantly altered the death numbers in their drug trials in this Seattle Times article. This article persuasively argues the actual death numbers were around 500,000. WTK founder Fred Burks had a shocking encounter where he learned about intense corruption at the FDA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch released a troubling report, which it has since walked back, about a phone application made by the Chinese government. The app provides law enforcement with easy, daily access to data detailing the religious activity, blood type, and even the amount of electricity used by ethnic minority Muslims living in the western province of Xinjiang. The app relies heavily on facial recognition software supplied by Face++, a division of the Chinese startup Megvii. The flurry of media reports this week about Face++ ... and the role of the private sector in building China's increasingly sprawling surveillance state, however, left out another prominent investor in the company: Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden's investment company in China, known as Bohai Harvest RST, has pooled money, largely from state-owned venture capital, to buy or invest in a range of industries. In 2017, Bohai Harvest bought into Face++. Bohai Harvest ... has brought Hunter Biden into close proximity to influential Chinese government and business figures. The investment fund has also partnered with a subsidiary of HNA Group. The HNA Group has made unusually extensive efforts to cultivate U.S. officials. The company floated an offer to buy out the hedge fund owned by former White House official Anthony Scaramucci; retained the legal services of Gary Locke, the former U.S. ambassador to China, shortly before his confirmation; and provided financing to a private-equity firm backed by Jeb Bush.
Note: This informative video delves into the shady dealings of Hunter Biden. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
Monsanto owner Bayer AG and industry lobbyist CropLife America have been working closely with US officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer that is the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkillers. The moves to protect glyphosate shipments to Mexico have played out over the last 18 months, a period in which Bayer was negotiating an $11bn settlement of legal claims brought by people in the US who say they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to exposure to the company's glyphosate-based products. The pressure on Mexico is similar to actions Bayer and chemical industry lobbyists took to kill a glyphosate ban planned by Thailand in 2019. Records show alarm starting to grow in the latter part of 2019 after Mexico said it was refusing imports of glyphosate from China. In denying a permit for an import shipment, Mexican officials cited the "precautionary principle", which generally refers to a policy of erring on the side of caution. Industry executives told US government officials that they feared restricting glyphosate would lead to limits on other pesticides and could set a precedent for other countries to do the same. Mexico may also reduce the levels of pesticide residues allowed in food, industry executives warned. "If Mexico extends the precautionary principle" to pesticide residue levels in food, "$20bn in US annual agricultural exports to Mexico will be jeopardized", [CropLife president Chris] Novak wrote to US officials.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden's administration is being asked to punish Hungary, Colombia, Chile, and other countries for seeking to ramp up the production of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics without express permission from pharmaceutical companies. The sanctions are being urged by the drug industry, which has filed hundreds of pages of documents to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative outlining the alleged threat posed by any effort to challenge "basic intellectual property protections" in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The drug industry has sharply criticized any attempt to share vaccine patents or the technological knowledge needed to manufacture them, despite global need. The strident corporate opposition to any intellectual property flexibility has rankled public health advocates, many of whom note that much of the vaccine technology has been financed by the public sector. The Pfizer vaccine, noted Prabhala, was developed in partnership with the European firm BioNTech, which received $445 million from the German government to help accelerate vaccine development and manufacturing. The U.S. government provided about $1 billion for the research and testing by Moderna to create its coronavirus vaccine. Johnson & Johnson received over $1.45 billion in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for its recently approved Covid-19 vaccine.
In the trove of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a treasure. It begins with a riddle: "What do the President of Pakistan, a cigar smuggler, an arms dealer, a counterterrorism target, and a combatting proliferation target have in common? They all used their everyday GSM phone during a flight." This riddle appeared in 2010 in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA's Signals Intelligence Directorate, or SID, and it was classified "top secret." It announced the emergence of a new field of espionage that had not yet been explored: the interception of data from phone calls made on board civil aircraft. In a separate internal document from a year earlier, the NSA reported that 50,000 people had already used their mobile phones in flight as of December 2008, a figure that rose to 100,000 by February 2009. In a 2012 presentation, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ ... disclosed a program called "Southwinds," which was used to gather all the cellular activity, voice communication, data, metadata, and content of calls on board commercial aircraft. To spy on a telephone, all that was required was that the aircraft be cruising at an altitude above 10,000 feet. Today, approximately 100 companies permit in-flight use of telephones. This will further extend the scope of espionage by providing a pool of potential targets comprising several hundreds of thousands of people. This implies a population that goes far beyond terrorist targets.
More than six years after the FBI crime laboratory was rocked by controversy, the Justice Department has identified about 3,000 criminal cases that could have been affected by flawed science and skewed testimony. Government officials told The Associated Press they are aware of between 100 and 150 cases in which prosecutors have alerted defendants of problems they concluded were material to verdicts. None has resulted in overturned convictions, they said. The identification of cases and prosecutorial reviews are the final stages of a scandal that shook the FBI during the mid-1990s when a senior chemist at the famed crime lab went public with allegations of shoddy work, tainted evidence and skewed testimony. A Justice Department internal investigation concluded in 1997 that 13 lab technicians made scientific errors in cases or slanted testimony to help prosecutors. Several were reprimanded, but none was fired or prosecuted. Some criminal defense lawyers are concerned by the Justice Department's decision to let federal, state and local prosecutors decide whether to notify defendants of problems. "That's like asking the fox to guard the hen house," said former federal prosecutor Neal Sonnett. He is past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "If there is a possibility that evidence has been tainted, then the Department of Justice or prosecutors should not be the arbiter of whether it's material," Sonnett said.
Note: In 2015, the FBI admitted its scientists used flawed evidence for decades to help prosecutors wrongfully convict defendants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
North of the border, the .50-caliber sniper rifle is the stuff of YouTube celebrity. It is among the most destructive weapons legally available in the United States. But every week, those rifles are trafficked across the border to Mexico. After years of failed U.S. and Mexican efforts to curb arms trafficking, groups such as the Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa cartels are showcasing the military-grade weapons in slick propaganda videos and using them to defeat security forces in battle. Roughly 2.5 million illicit American guns have poured across the border in the past decade, according to a new Mexican government study. The cartels are using trafficked weapons to kill record numbers of police officers – 464 in the first nine months of 2020 alone – and smaller armed groups are fueling historically high homicide rates. Mexican officials, in rare public criticism, are now venting their frustration at what they say is the U.S. failure to stop the flow of .50-caliber rifles. At a time when the United States is pushing Mexico to target cartels more aggressively, U.S. laws that make .50-calibers and other destructive weapons easy to buy ... are enabling those groups to expand their influence and activities in the country. A decade after "Operation Fast and Furious," in which U.S. agents allowed thousands of firearms to flow south in a botched attempt to track them, and despite $3 billion in U.S. aid to Mexico to fight narco-traffickers, the two countries have not curbed the flow of weapons.
Note: American officials allowed thousands of illegal guns to be trafficked into Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists. The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database's use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects. Officials have publicly said that they track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels. What hasn't been previously disclosed is that the DEA has spent years working to expand the database "throughout the United States,'' according to one email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations ... putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways. The database raises new questions about privacy and the scope of government surveillance. The existence of the program and its expansion were described in interviews with current and former government officials, and in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act request. It is unclear if any court oversees or approves the intelligence-gathering.
From 2008 to 2010, as Edward Snowden has revealed, the National Security Agency (NSA) collaborated with the British Government Communications Headquarters to intercept the webcam footage of over 1.8 million Yahoo users. The agencies were analyzing images they downloaded from webcams and scanning them for known terrorists who might be using the service to communicate, matching faces from the footage to suspects with the help of a new technology called face recognition. In attempting to find faces, the Pentagon's Optic Nerve program recorded webcam sex by its unknowing targets–up to 11 percent of the material the program collected was "undesirable nudity" that employees were warned not to access. And that's just the beginning of what face recognition technology might mean for us in the digital era. The U.S. government is in the process of building the world's largest cache of face recognition data, with the goal of identifying every person in the country. The creation of such a database would mean that anyone could be tracked wherever his or her face appears, whether it's on a city street or in a mall. Today's laws don't protect Americans from having their webcams scanned for facial data. "If cameras connected to databases can do face recognition, it will become impossible to be anonymous in society," [attorney Jennifer] Lynch says. That means every person in the U.S. would be passively tracked at all times.
In a year that witnessed a crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong, China has detained more journalists in 2020 than any other country, extending a role it assumed last year, two leading media rights groups say in studies published this week. The reports, published on Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists and on Monday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), found Asia and the Middle East to be the most challenging regions of the world for journalists to operate freely. According to RSF ... the top five countries for imprisoning journalists in 2020 were China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Syria, which collectively accounted for 61% of the 387 journalists they had documented behind bars as of Dec. 1. RSF said at least 117 journalists were detained in China this year. Meanwhile, CPJ reported a record number of detained journalists – 274, according to its report, adding that China, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia imprisoned journalists at the highest rates. Officials from both organizations said the coronavirus pandemic even provided cover for some governments to more openly target the press in retaliation for critical COVID-19 coverage. "Fourteen journalists were arrested in connection with coverage of the pandemic," RSF Editor-in-Chief Pauline Ades-Mevel says, in response to what their governments called unfair or imprecise coverage. We've seen a backlash around the world against journalists reporting on the pandemic itself as well as government responses to the pandemic.
Note: Explore more on this and on censorship around questioning the official story of COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) efforts to infiltrate governments around the world have been at turns remarkable and remarkably calculated. While readers might expect that China's ambitions have been met with resistance from Western countries, the CCP's rise in Europe has been welcomed, if not enabled, by respected European leaders, authors Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg argue in a new book, Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World. "Long seen by the CCP as the irrelevant junior partner of the United States, Europe is now viewed as the great prize. By winning over Europe, the CCP hopes to convince the world that China is the 'champion of multilateralism' and a much-needed counterweight to U.S. hegemony and unilateralism," Hamilton and Ohlberg write. The CPP is effectively manipulating global players like the EU to advance its larger geopolitical goals. The CCP provides financing to the EU-China Friendship Group, which counts 45 members of the European Parliament (seven political parties) as members. In the same way that no entity can use the term Royal in the United Kingdom without the crown's permission, the words "People" or "Friendship" are regulated by the CCP and require party approval for use in an organization's name. Universal human rights, democratic practice and the rule of law have powerful enemies, and China under the CCP is arguably the most formidable.
"My daughter, who had been completely normal until getting nine vaccinations in one day, was suddenly no longer there," said Terry Poling, mother of 9-year-old Hannah. Hannah Poling appeared to be like many children. At 19 months, her pediatrician noted she was "alert and active" and "spoke well." At that same visit, she got five shots - nine doses of vaccines. She almost immediately developed fever, seizures and severe health problems. Eight years later, the government has quietly conceded that vaccines aggravated a cell disorder nobody knew Hannah had, leaving her with permanent brain damage and autistic-like symptoms. Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., is also a doctor. Weldon has long been pushing the government to aggressively work to develop ways to screen for children who might be the most susceptible to ill effects from vaccines. The government has been telling the public for more than a decade that there's absolutely no reason to be concerned about any link. "I wouldn't recommend they say something like that in light of the Poling case and the admission on the part of the government," Weldon said. A CBS News investigation uncovered at least nine other cases as far back as 1990, where records show the court ordered the government compensated families whose children developed autism or autistic-like symptoms in children including toddlers who had been called "very smart" and "impressed" doctors with their "intelligence and curiosity" ... until their vaccinations.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Comparing the severity of various lockdown measures across Europe is complicated, with many factors at play. However, it is safe to say they have varied greatly. In France, citizens had to print out certificates before stepping foot outside, whereas in Sweden, everyday life appears to have carried on relatively unchanged. When we look at the number of Covid deaths per capita in these countries ... France and Sweden are almost neck-and-neck [see graph]. And Spain's draconian measures didn't save it from recording far more fatalities than Austria, where the lockdown was comparatively relaxed. The health effects of these lockdowns will most likely exceed the death rate of a virus. In Spain, the economic consequences of the 2008 banking crisis contributed to the 40,000 deaths in excess of the five years prior. Covid-19 has already led that country into an economic state worse than that of their collapse in the mid-17th century. 50 percent of all Covid deaths across Europe have been within care homes. The budget for those in the UK is Ł16 billion. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry, which has been effectively shut down, is the fourth biggest employer in the UK ... as well as generating over Ł73bn of Gross Value Added directly to the UK economy, and a further Ł87bn indirectly. So perhaps, say, tripling the budget for care homes to make them Covid-secure would have been a better way of spending some of the eye-watering Ł400 billion ... since last April to facilitate lockdowns.
A congressional report found many of the products made by the country's largest commercial baby food manufacturers contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development. The report ... from the House Oversight Committee's subcommittee on economic and consumer policy found heavy metals in rice cereals, sweet potato puree, juices and sweet snack puffs made by some of the most trusted names in baby food. Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY (made by Nurture) and Earth's Best Organic baby foods (made by Hain Celestial Group) complied with the committee's request to submit internal testing documents. Campbell Soup, which sells Plum Organics baby foods, Walmart (its private brand is Parent's Choice) and Sprout Foods declined to cooperate. Although there are no maximum arsenic levels established for baby food ... the FDA has set the maximum allowable levels in bottled water at 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic. Hain ... used many ingredients in its baby foods with as much as 309 ppb of arsenic. Lead levels in baby foods should not exceed 1 ppb. Beech-Nut used ingredients containing as much as 886.9 parts per billion of lead. In addition, Gerber used carrots containing as much as 87 ppb of cadmium and Nurture sold baby foods with as much as 10 ppb of mercury. And even when baby foods tested over companies' internal limits for these heavy metals, they were sold anyway.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Detective Michael Pezzelle spent his last seven years on a suburban police force here amassing a body count. He was involved in shootings that wounded two people and killed five. Pezzelle faced no public consequences. He retired in 2018. Today, he trains police officers around the country to follow the kind of advice he shared on Instagram: "Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet." During most of the years in question, [Pezzelle] was assigned to task forces run by the U.S. Marshals Service, an arm of the federal Justice Department. In recent years ... marshals have been acting like local police – only with more violence and less accountability, according to an investigation by The Marshall Project and the USA Today Network. In cities and towns across the country, the Marshals Service has set up task forces largely staffed by local law enforcement officers who get deputized as federal agents. About two-thirds of the agency's arrests since 2014 were of people wanted on local warrants, not federal ones. On average, from 2015 to late 2020, marshals shot 31 people a year, killing 22 of them. By comparison, Houston police reported shooting an average of 19 people a year, killing eight. Philadelphia officers shot an average of nine people a year, killing three. Both departments employ roughly 6,000 officers, about the same number who serve in the Marshals Service and on its task forces. No marshal has ever been prosecuted after a shooting.
The possibility of a super soldier is not so outlandish and one that not just China is interested in. Enhancement is nothing new - since ancient times, troops have been bolstered by advancements in weaponry, kit and training. But today, enhancement could mean much more than merely giving an individual soldier a better gun. It could mean altering the individual soldier. In 2017, Russia's President Vladimir Putin warned that humanity could soon create something "worse than a nuclear bomb". "One may imagine that a man can create a man with some given characteristics, not only theoretically but also practically. He can be a genius mathematician, a brilliant musician or a soldier, a man who can fight without fear, compassion, regret or pain." Last year, the former US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), John Ratcliffe, went further with a blunt accusation against China. "China has even conducted human testing on members of the People's Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities. There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing's pursuit of power," he wrote. Prof [Patrick] Lin said "a key challenge is that nearly all of this is dual-use research. For instance, exoskeleton research was first aimed at helping or curing people of medical conditions, such as to help paralysed patients walk again. But this therapeutic use can be easily weaponised. It's not obvious how to regulate it, without overly broad regulation that also frustrates therapeutic research."
Note: A New York Post article titled "France, China developing biologically engineered supersoldiers" describes how "France has joined the fray in creating terminator troops that can be 'bred to kill." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2019, an Army laboratory at Fort Detrick that studies deadly infectious material like Ebola and smallpox was shut down for a period of time after a CDC inspection, with many projects being temporarily halted. ABC7 has received documents from the CDC outlining violations they discovered during a series of inspections that year, some of which were labeled "serious." Earlier that year, the US Army Medical Research Institute had announced an experiment at the Fort Detrick laboratory that would involve infecting rhesus macaque monkeys with active Ebola virus to test a cure they were developing. Several of the laboratory violations the CDC noted in 2019 concerned "non-human primates" infected with a "select agent", the identity of which is unknown – it was redacted in all received documents, because disclosing the identity and location of the agent would endanger public health or safety, the agency says. In addition to Ebola, the lab works with other deadly agents like anthrax and smallpox. Select agents are defined by the CDC as "biological agents and toxins that have been determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal and plant health, or to animal or plant products." The CDC notes that the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases had "systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures commensurate with the risks associated with working with select agents and toxins."
Harvey Pass, the chief of thoracic surgery at the National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland, was sitting in his laboratory one spring afternoon in 1993 when Michele Carbone ... strode in with an unusual request. Carbone was asking Pass for his help in proving a controversial theory he had developed about the origins of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer. Mesothelioma was virtually unheard of prior to 1950. Pass, one of the world's leading mesothelioma surgeons, knew, like other scientists, that the disease was caused by asbestos exposure. But Carbone ... told Pass that he wondered if the cancer might also be caused by a virus - a monkey virus, known as simian virus 40, or SV40, that had widely contaminated early doses of the polio vaccine, but that had long been presumed to be harmless. In 1961 federal health officials ordered vaccine manufacturers to screen for the virus and eliminate it from the vaccine. Worried about creating a panic, they kept the discovery of SV40 under wraps and never recalled existing stocks. For two more years millions of additional people were needlessly exposed - bringing the total to 98 million Americans from 1955 to 1963. Since 1994 Carbone has written more than twenty studies and reviews investigating SV40's link to human cancer. "There is no doubt that SV40 is a human carcinogen," he says. Carbone suggests that the virus works in tandem with asbestos or by itself to transform healthy mesothelial cells into cancerous ones.
In the first week of January, scientists representing the World Health Organization (WHO) were due to arrive in China to trace the origins of Covid-19. Beijing denied entry to the investigators. China ... relented and allowed the group to enter the country this week. The brief standoff highlights a more serious problem: the inadequacy of WHO's current investigative framework for exploring all plausible origins of Covid-19. The world needs an inquiry that considers not just natural origins but the possibility that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, escaped from a laboratory. The WHO team, however, plans to build on reports by Chinese scientists rather than mount an independent investigation. Responding to whether the WHO team will investigate lab origins, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the leader of the team, told us, "If our studies point to a possible lab accident, then other international mechanisms would be involved to document such an event. It would take time and additional types of expertise." Then-deputy U.S. national security adviser Matthew Pottinger told international leaders late last year that the latest intelligence points to SARS-CoV-2 having originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). This intelligence has not been made public. China has denied that the virus came from a lab.
U.S. intelligence reports ... suggest the Chinese People's Liberation Army was conducting secret animal research with highly contagious viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without notifying the World Health Organization even after the pandemic began. [This raises] new questions about the possible laboratory origins of COVID-19 that must be addressed. If sloppy biolab security or reckless military experimentation followed by a coverup were the proximate cause, we need to prioritize developing rules and safeguards to make a global pandemic less likely to happen again. If the origins are revealed to be more innocent - a virus jumping naturally from mammals to humans - we will need to prioritize monitoring and containing future zoonotic outbreaks. But while evidence of a zoonotic jump in the wild, or at a market, or farm has been starkly absent, the case that COVID-19 might have reached humans through an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology seems like an ever-greater possibility. We know that many viruses at the Institute were manipulated using "gain of function" research to develop hybrid viruses to test their ability to infect human lung cells and humanized mice. Is it just coincidental that SARS-CoV-2 appears to have emerged in late 2019 already adapted for transmission to humans and that the COVID-19 outbreak occurred ... in the only Chinese city with a high-level virology institute that was experimenting with novel and diverse bat coronaviruses?
I am guilty of violating the Espionage Act, Title 18, U.S. Code Sections 793 and 798. If charged and convicted, I could spend the rest of my life in prison. This is not a hypothetical. Right now, the United States government is prosecuting a publisher under the Espionage Act. The case could set a precedent that would put me and countless other journalists in danger. I confess that I – alongside journalists at The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news organizations – reported on and published highly classified documents from the National Security Agency provided by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden, revealing the government's global mass surveillance programs. This reporting was widely recognized as a public service. Last year ... the Justice Department indicted Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. None of the architects of the "war on terror," including the C.I.A.'s torture programs, have been brought to justice. Mr. Assange is facing a possible sentence of up to 175 years in prison. I spoke to one of the best First Amendment lawyers in the country. He read the Espionage Act out loud and said it had never been used against a journalist, but there is always a first time. It is impossible to overstate the dangerous precedent Mr. Assange's indictment under the Espionage Act and possible extradition sets: Every national security journalist who reports on classified information now faces possible Espionage Act charges.
Note: The above was written by award-winning journalist Laura Poitras. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The Pentagon failed its comprehensive audit in fiscal 2020, the third year it has failed since the first audit was conducted in 2018, reflecting system and accounting problems across its vast bureaucracy that could persist until 2027, the department's comptroller said. "The process of getting to a clean opinion for federal agencies, it can take a long time," said Thomas Harker, who is also undersecretary of defense and chief financial officer. After the first audit of the Pentagon's nearly $3 trillion worth of assets in fiscal 2018, then-Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the department received an opinion of "disclaimer," a term used by auditors for findings that do not meet accounting standards. Harker said the Department of Homeland Security took a decade to pass a comprehensive audit, and the Pentagon could take just as long, making the possible date for its first clean audit somewhere around 2027. Coronavirus-related travel restrictions hampered the auditing process this year as auditors had to resort to video feeds or photographs to execute due diligence, Harker said. Around 1,400 auditors tested the systems and record-keeping processes on weapons systems, military personnel and property around the world in 100 site visits, 530 virtual visits and samples. The process resulted in 24 standalone audits, comprising the overall audit. Fees for the audit were $203 million this year.
Note: Every business in the U.S. is required to account for every dollar in their budget, yet the Pentagon cannot account for trillions of dollars in violation of the US Constitution Article I Section 9 Clause 7. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The goal of this project is to improve the quality of vaccination programs by improving the quality of physician adverse vaccine event detection and reporting to the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Restructuring at CDC and consequent delays in terms of decision making have made it challenging despite best efforts to move forward. Adverse events from drugs and vaccines are common, but underreported. Although 25% of ambulatory patients experience an adverse drug event, less than 0.3% of all adverse drug events and 1-13% of serious events are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Likewise, fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of "problem" drugs and vaccines that endanger public health. New surveillance methods for drug and vaccine adverse effects are needed. Barriers to reporting include a lack of clinician awareness, uncertainty about when and what to report, as well as the burdens of reporting: reporting is not part of clinicians' usual workflow, takes time, and is duplicative. Unfortunately, there was never an opportunity to perform system performance assessments because the necessary CDC contacts were no longer available and the CDC consultants responsible for receiving data were no longer responsive to our multiple requests to proceed with testing and evaluation.
Note: The U.S. government here is admitting that less than 1% of vaccine injuries are reported. What does this say about the safety of vaccines in general? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The leader of the far-right Proud Boys group was a "prolific" informer for federal and local law enforcement, reports say. Enrique Tarrio worked undercover for authorities after he was arrested in 2012, according to a 2014 federal court document obtained by Reuters. During a Miami court hearing a federal prosecutor, an FBI agent and Mr Tarrio's lawyer described his work for law enforcement and said that he had helped convict more than a dozen people in drugs, gambling and human smuggling cases. He has become an increasingly high-profile figure as his violent group gained an elevated profile during the Trump administration. The ex-president infamously told the group to "stand back and stand by" when asked to denounce them during a presidential debate last September. They have been involved in a string of high-profile clashes in Washington DC, including the 6 January pro-Trump Capitol riot. [Mr Tarrio] was arrested in Washington DC in January two days before the riot and charged with possession of two high-capacity rifle magazines, and setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner during a December pro-Trump demonstration in the city. Mr Tarrio was ordered to leave the city and has a June court date. During the 2014 court case Reuters says that Mr Tarrio's lawyer and prosecutors asked a judge to reduce his prison sentence after he and two defendants pleaded guilty in a fraud case related to stolen diabetes test kits. The prosecutor told the judge that Mr Tarrio had provided information that resulted in the prosecution of 13 people.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable major media sources.
In the exquisitely constructed, deeply unnerving "MLK/FBI," filmmaker Sam Pollard takes viewers behind the looking glass into the shadowy world of governmental surveillance during the mid-century civil rights movement, a program of spying, infiltration and harassment that reached its perverse apotheosis with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's obsession with Martin Luther King, Jr. In this meticulously constructed narrative, which centers on FBI files that are scheduled to be declassified in 2027, Pollard reminds viewers that, at the time of his death, King was anything but universally admired. By the time he came out against the Vietnam War and began linking race and class via the Poor People's Campaign, Hoover's years-long campaign to peg King as a Communist had taken hold. Archival footage [shows] anti-King demonstrators spouting lies they've uncritically accepted about the Baptist minister. Pollard delves into the history of Hoover's career with the federal law enforcement agency, his quest to root out Communists and the path that took him to King's door and, eventually, bedroom. Once Hoover discovered that King was having extramarital affairs, he became even more single-minded, tapping the activist's phone lines, bugging his house and placing informants in proximity. When King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Hoover redoubled his efforts, culminating in the notorious tape and anonymous letter sent to Coretta Scott King, obliquely suggesting that her husband kill himself.
Note: Read more about the controversy surrounding King's assassination. Then watch an eye-opening six-minute video report on a 1999 court trial that found the U.S. government guilty for assassinating King, yet the media almost universally refused to report on this important trial. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Donald Trump, in one of his final acts as president, released current and former members of his administration from the terms of their ethics pledge, a move that once again laid bare his failure to fulfil his 2016 campaign promise to "drain the swamp." Trump won the presidency, in part, on a pledge to take on entrenched special interests in Washington, and his ethics policy was one of his first acts after assuming office. But in practice it proved to be little more than bluster. Trump instituted a major loosening of ethics standards when compared with the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, as well as the rules that will govern President Joe Biden's White House. By rescinding his ethics executive order before leaving office, Trump freed former officials from lingering concern that they could face consequences for running afoul of the ethics policy as they return to the private sector. Many of them will now try to leverage their experience to secure high-paying jobs in Washington's influence industry. "The first rule of ethics enforcement is you need to have strong standards. Then you need to back them up with intense transparency. And you also need to reinforce the whole thing with tone from the top. Trump did the opposite on all three," said Norm Eisen, Obama's former ethics czar. "He made a mockery of it by having a corrupt tone at the top." Unlike his predecessors, Trump refused to divest from his sprawling business empire. That set the tone for his tenure.
There was one story Neil Sheehan chose not to tell. It was the story of how he had obtained the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers, arguably the greatest journalistic catch of a generation, were a secret history of United States decision-making on Vietnam, commissioned in 1967 by the secretary of defense. Their release revealed for the first time the extent to which successive White House administrations had intensified American involvement in the war while hiding their own doubts about the chances of success. [Sheehan] also revealed that he had defied the explicit instructions of his confidential source, whom others later identified as Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst who had been a contributor to the secret history while working for the Rand Corporation. In 1969, Mr. Ellsberg had illicitly copied the entire report, hoping that making it public would hasten an end to a war he had come passionately to oppose. Contrary to what is generally believed, Mr. Ellsberg never "gave" the papers to The Times, Mr. Sheehan emphatically said. Mr. Ellsberg told Mr. Sheehan that he could read them but not make copies. So Mr. Sheehan smuggled the papers out of the apartment in Cambridge, Mass., where Mr. Ellsberg had stashed them; then he copied them illicitly, just as Mr. Ellsberg had done, and took them to The Times. Over the next two months, he strung Mr. Ellsberg along. He told him that his editors were deliberating. In fact, he was ... working feverishly toward publication.
What does it say about the humanitarian condition of US prisons and jails when one of the United States' closest allies refuses to extradite a person for fear that American prison conditions would drive him to suicide? This is exactly what happened ... when a British court ruled against the United States' extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange due to concerns that his health and safety cannot be assured in US custody. The United States fought vigorously to extradite Assange so that he can stand trial for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act, as well as other alleged cyber crimes. Judge Baraitser denied extradition due to the significant risk that Assange would be placed in solitary confinement, which she concluded would likely lead to his death by suicide. Assange has a long and documented history of mental illness. Prolonged solitary confinement – defined as the practice of confining people for 22 to 24 hours per day without meaningful human contact for a period of more than 15 days – can amount to torture, according to the United Nations. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, an estimated 37% of people incarcerated in US state and federal prisons have a diagnosed mental illness, as do an estimated 44% of incarcerated people in local jails. And studies have shown that approximately half of all suicides and incidents of self-harm in American prisons and jails occur among people held in solitary confinement.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol had been hyped for weeks, including by the president himself. "It definitely shows the ineffectiveness of the intelligence network that we've built since 9/11 – that the Capitol Police would not have been prepared for an assault on the Capitol that was planned in public," Mike German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and former FBI agent specializing in counterterrorism, [said]. Adam Isacson, the D.C.-based director of the defense oversight program at the Washington Office on Latin America, linked the events to a broader politicization of law enforcement under Trump, reminiscent of the anti-democratic movements the U.S. has historically sponsored in countries around the world. "You don't get to ransack the Capitol for hours, then calmly walk away, unless law enforcement and its command share your views," he wrote. "What we saw yesterday was tacit approval of the rioters." The insurrectionary mob was met with some resistance as they descended on the Capitol – some, but not much. Police did use chemical agents against the crowd, but by and large the response bore little resemblance to the iron-fisted crackdown on racial justice protesters witnessed in Washington, D.C., and cities across the country just months before. When they were through, Trump's irregular forces walked out of the building triumphant and unmasked, smiling as a law enforcement officer held the door for them. "We love you. You're very special," the president said to his supporters.
When Chanelle Helm helped organized protests after the March 13 killing of Breonna Taylor, Louisville police responded with batons, flashbang grenades and tear gas. The 40-year-old Black Lives Matter activist still bears scars from rubber bullets fired at close range. So Helm was startled and frustrated Wednesday to see a White, pro-Trump mob storm the U.S. Capitol - breaking down barricades, smashing windows and striking police officers - without obvious consequence. "Our activists are still to this day met with hyper-police violence," Helm said. "And today you see this full-on riot ... with people toting guns, which the police knew was coming and they just let it happen. I don't understand where the 'law and order' is. This is what white supremacy looks like." For veteran social justice demonstrators, the images of men and women wearing red Trump 2020 hats and clutching American and Confederate flags walking through the Capitol building largely unmolested came as shocking yet predictable evidence of their long-held suspicions that conservative, White protesters intent on violence would not be met with any of the strongarm tactics as anti-police brutality demonstrators. Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, who died at age 18 in a 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., [said] that the lack of a police response was stunning. "There was no shooting, no rubber bullets, no tear gas," she said. "It was nothing like what we have seen. Nothing like what we have seen."
If you experience severe side effects after getting a Covid vaccine, lawyers tell CNBC there is basically no one to blame in a U.S. court of law. The federal government has granted companies like Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines. "It is very rare for a blanket immunity law to be passed," said Rogge Dunn, a Dallas labor and employment attorney. You also can't sue the Food and Drug Administration for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use, nor can you hold your employer accountable if they mandate inoculation as a condition of employment. Congress created a fund specifically to help cover lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses for people who have been irreparably harmed by a "covered countermeasure," such as a vaccine. But it is difficult to use and rarely pays. Attorneys say it has compensated less than 6% of the claims filed in the last decade. In February, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The 2005 law empowers the HHS secretary to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing critical medical supplies. The protection lasts until 2024. That means that for the next four years, these companies "cannot be sued for money damages in court" over injuries related to the administration or use of products to treat or protect against Covid.
Note: Dr. Carrie Madej lays out the case for transhumanism through these mRNA vaccines. Are these vaccines the beginning of a well hidden agenda using nanotechnology to control all humans through advanced technology? Don't miss this powerful 20-minute video and do your own research as she suggests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
More than three years after the FBI came under fire for claiming "Black identity extremists" were a domestic terrorism threat, the bureau has issued a new terrorism guide that employs almost identical terminology. The FBI's 2020 domestic terrorism reference guide on "Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism" identifies two distinct sets of groups: those motivated by white supremacy and those who use "political reasons – including racism or injustice in American society" to justify violence. The examples the FBI gives for the latter group are all Black individuals or groups. The FBI document claims that "many" of those Black racially motivated extremists "have targeted law enforcement and the US Government," while a "small number" of them "incorporate sovereign citizen Moorish beliefs into their ideology, which involves a rejection of their US citizenship." In 2017, a leaked copy of an FBI report on "Black identity extremists" sparked an outcry from activists, civil rights groups and Congress, who criticized the bureau for portraying disparate groups and individuals as a single movement, even though the only common factor was that those associated with the term were Black Americans. Those critics also faulted the FBI for equating isolated attacks against law enforcement with those perpetrated by white supremacists, which even the FBI said represent the majority of domestic terror attacks in recent years.
Note: The above article is also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Police have killed more than 1,000 people so far in 2020, according to the Mapping Police Violence project. The research group's database reveals that officers have killed 1,039 people in the U.S. as of December 8 - including 21 people who were aged 18 or under. According to Mapping Police Violence, by the end of November, there had only been 17 days in the year when police officers did not kill someone. And in a year that saw a nationwide reckoning on race following the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people, the database reveals that 28 percent of those killed by police in 2020 were Black - despite Black people only making up 13 percent of the U.S. population. Despite the months of protests denouncing police brutality and calls to "defund the police," Mapping Police Violence's data shows that police in 2020 have continued to kill people at similar rates to previous years. Mapping Police Violence's data shows that Black people are the most likely to be killed by police. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people and 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed compared to white people, according to data on police killings between 2013 and 2019. The statistics also show that there is little accountability for police killings. According to Mapping Police Violence, 98.3 percent of police killings between 2013 and 2020 resulted in no criminal charges for the officers involved.
Pentagon and Washington-area military leaders are on red alert, wary of what President Donald Trump might do in his remaining days in office. Though far-fetched, ranking officers have discussed what they would do if the president declared martial law. And military commands responsible for Washington DC are engaged in secret contingency planning in case the armed forces are called upon to maintain or restore civil order during the inauguration and transition period. "Right now, because of coronavirus," one retired judge advocate general says, "the president actually has unprecedented emergency powers, ones that might convince him - particularly if he listens to certain of his supporters - that he has unlimited powers and is above the law." "But martial law," says the lawyer, "is the wrong paradigm to think about the dangers ahead." Though such a presidential proclamation could flow from his order as commander-in-chief, an essential missing ingredient is the martial side: the involvement and connivance of some cabal of officers who would support the president's illegal move. Such a group doesn't exist ... but there could still be room for mischief, confusion, and even use of military force. It would just not be in the way Trump might intend, particularly if he continues his quest to destabilize the democratic process. "There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff General James McConville said in a joint statement.
Note: Trump is the third president to extend the perpetual state of emergency established in the US after 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
More than half of the money from the Treasury Department's coronavirus emergency fund for small businesses went to just 5 percent of the recipients, according to data on more than 5 million loans that was released by the government Tuesday evening in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit. According to data on the government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), about 600 mostly larger companies, including dozens of national chains, received the maximum amount allowed under the program of $10 million. The new data shows more than half of the $522 billion ... went to bigger businesses, and only 28 percent of the money was distributed in amounts less than $150,000. Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy for the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, said the new data shows how the Trump administration chose to focus its coronavirus relief efforts on helping wealthy organizations at the expense of truly small firms. "The data shows that this program primarily benefited the well-banked and well-lawyered at the expense of the small businesses it was supposed to benefit," Hempowicz said. The newly released data comes after a federal lawsuit filed by The Washington Post and 10 other news organizations under the Freedom of Information Act challenging the SBA's refusal to release records on borrowers and loan amounts. A federal judge ordered the release of the data by Tuesday and the agency did not appeal.
The most probable cause of a series of mysterious afflictions that sickened American spies and diplomats abroad in the past several years was radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that includes microwaves, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has concluded in a report. The conclusion by a committee of 19 experts in medicine and other fields cited "directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy" as "the most plausible mechanism" to explain the illness, which came to be known as Havana syndrome. The report, which was commissioned by the State Department, provides the most definitive explanation yet of the illness that struck scores of government employees, first at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2016, and then in China and other countries. Many of the officers suffered from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of hearing, memory and balance, and some were forced into permanent retirement. C.I.A. officers visiting overseas stations also experienced similar symptoms. The new report reveals strong evidence that the incidents were the result of a malicious attack. It attributes the illnesses to "directed" and "pulsed" – rather than "continuous" – energy, implying that the victims' exposure was targeted and not the result of more common sources of microwave energy. It also said the committee found the immediate symptoms that patients reported ... were more consistent with a directed "attack" of radiofrequency energy.
Note: Many have belittled the possibility of directed energy beam weapons being used to cause harm and alter consciousness. We have been reporting on this for many years. For excellent, reliable information on this disturbing trend, see this essay and these news summaries.
Two years ago, Queensland woman 'Ellie' got a call that changed her life. It was from her first love, a man named James. She had met him in 2001. They were together for about a year before James broke it off. But in 2018, he phoned her in Australia to make a startling confession: he'd been living a lie. He was an undercover police officer who'd been sent to spy on her and those in her friendship circle. Ellie, who's never spoken publicly before, is one of at least 30 women who were tricked into having relationships with undercover officers working for London's Metropolitan Police Service. Some undercover officers, including James, adopted the identities of dead children and infiltrated environmental protest groups. A handful fathered children with their targets. Another former officer started a new life in Australia, before his target tracked him down in Sydney. The long-running scandal has finally culminated in public hearings of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, one of the biggest in UK legal history. In 1968, a secret unit was established within the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police, known as the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). In the decades that followed, SDS's reach expanded as it gathered intelligence on more than 1,000 political groups, often feeding that information to the security service, MI5. Some right-wing organisations were infiltrated, but the majority of targets were left-wing groups that challenged the status quo. The Special Demonstration Squad was disbanded in 2008.
Note: For more, see this BBC article on how a serious inquiry into the matter is being blocked and this Guardian article on police having sexual relations with women on whom they were spying. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
Few world leaders talk about morals and ethics as much as Mexican President AndrÄ‚©s Manuel LÄ‚Ĺ‚pez Obrador. On Thursday he presented an "Ethical Guide for the Transformation of Mexico." LÄ‚Ĺ‚pez Obrador took office two years ago pledging government austerity and an end to corruption. Much like the president himself, the text presented Thursday is socially conservative, and is definitely not a traditional leftist tract. It calls the family "the basic building block of society." The 20-point pamphlet is a compendium of vaguely social-democratic pontifications on work, fairness, forgiveness, justice and responsibility. It marks quite a divergence for Mexico's once rigidly anti-clerical government, which was long loathe to even talk about morality. But LÄ‚Ĺ‚pez Obrador often uses vaguely religious language and calls himself a Christian "in the broadest sense of the term." He has long said he wants a "moral constitution" and a "loving republic" for Mexico. The government aims to print and distribute 10 million copies for free. "Inequality in any area is the product of injustice and creates suffering," the pamphlet says. "Like power, work gains its full meaning when it is done for others." "It is not a crime to accumulate and increase material wealth," reads another section. "Whoever earns a reasonable profit, using their creativity and taking risks to create jobs, that person will be recognized by society as a responsible businessperson with social sense."
Note: Read an English translation of Mexico's inspiring new "Ethical Guide for the Transformation of Mexico." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
People who work at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medical reviewers are responsible for parsing the risks and benefits of a particular drug before it gets the agency's approval. But a new report from two researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, published in the journal The BMJ, suggests many of these medical reviewers go on to work for the drug companies they oversaw while working for the government. The study's authors ... looked at the FDA's list of haematology-oncology drug approvals from 2006 to 2010 and scanned all medical reviews from 2001 to 2010 in the agency's database, then looked up the subsequent jobs of the people who worked as medical reviewers for those drug approvals. The researchers found that among 55 people who worked as haematology-oncology medical reviewers from 2001 to 2010, 27 continued in their roles at the FDA, two people worked at the FDA but held other appointments, and 15 left the FDA to work with or consult for the biopharmaceutical industry. "If you know in the back of your mind that a major career opportunity after the FDA is going to work on the other side of the table, I worry it can make you less likely to put your foot down," says study author Dr. Vinay Prasad. "Regulators may be less willing to be very tough, and I worry that is happening." Prasad says he would like to see more transparency from the FDA on the number of people who go from the agency to the drug industry.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office. Public Health England then unsuccessfully attempted to block The BMJ's press release about the research paper. In the US, President Trump's government manipulated the Food and Drug Administration to hastily approve unproved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. Globally, people, policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas. The UK's pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science ... and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.
The Trump administration this month announced that one of its largest pandemic-related contracts would go to a little-known biodefense company named Emergent BioSolutions. The $628 million deal to help manufacture an eventual vaccine cemented Emergent's status as the highest-paid and most important contractor to the HHS office responsible for preparing for public health threats and maintaining the government's stockpile of emergency medical supplies. Emergent has long been the government's sole provider of BioThrax, a vaccine for anthrax poisoning. Emergent's advocacy for biodefense spending over more than a decade was aided by influential allies in Washington and tens of millions of dollars in lobbying campaigns. "It has strategically placed itself to be, let's just say, the company that can't fail," said a former senior government official who worked with Emergent on stockpile operations. The company that would become Emergent began as BioPort Corp., formed in 1998 to buy an aging, state-owned company in Lansing, Mich., that was the only licensed supplier of anthrax vaccine to the Pentagon. The Pentagon ... awarded a $29 million no-bid contract for the anthrax vaccine, BioThrax. Controversy swamped the operation. Hundreds of U.S. troops who received the BioThrax treatment complained of bad reactions, such as headaches and nerve problems. Some troops risked courts-martial by refusing vaccination. Emergent spent nearly $4 million on lobbying last year alone.
Note: To understand the huge influence of lobbying and profits on the development and stockpiling of vaccines, don't miss reading this entire, eye-opening article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and vaccines from reliable major media sources.
With less than 24 hours' notice, President Emmanuel Macron announced his plan to plunge the French into a second national lockdown for at least a month. And if everything I hear and read about the UK is to be believed, this country is heading in the same direction. While Boris Johnson will be the person announcing that catastrophic decision, the measures are being dictated by a small group of scientists who, in my view, have repeatedly got things terribly wrong. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has made three incorrect assumptions which have had, and continue to have, disastrous consequences for people's lives and the economy. Firstly, Sage assumes that the vast majority of the population is vulnerable to infection; second, that only 7 per cent of the population has been infected so far; and third, that the virus causing Covid-19 has a mortality rate of about 1 per cent. Multiple research groups in Europe and the US have shown that around 30 per cent of the population was likely already immune to Covid-19 before the virus arrived. Sage has similarly failed to accurately revise down its estimated mortality rate for the virus. Pre-eminent scientists ... have concluded that the mortality rate is closer to 0.2 per cent. That figure means one in 500 people infected die. When applied to the total number of Covid deaths in the UK (around 45,000), this would imply that approximately 22.5million people have been infected. That is 33.5 per cent of our population – not Sage's 7 per cent calculation.
Note: The author of this article, Dr. Mike Yeadon, is a former Vice President and served as Chief Science Officer of the A&R Research Unit of Pfizer for 16 years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The claim: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's executive order allows civilians to receive a coronavirus vaccination and 'it might be happening.' An Instagram post from April claims an executive order signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allows the state to require its "civilians" to receive a coronavirus vaccination. The Instagram post [refers] to an executive order issued by DeSantis on March 23. It mandates travelers arriving in Florida self-quarantine for "14 days from the time of entry into the state of Florida or the duration of the person's presence in the state of Florida, whichever is shorter." Section B of the executive order ... references powers given under section 5 of Florida statute 381.00315, which details the proceedings of public officials in the time of a public health emergency. The statute says the government, amid a public health emergency when imposing isolation or quarantine, can adopt rules such as "tests or treatment, including vaccination, for communicable disease required before employment or admission to the premises or to comply with an isolation or a quarantine." It is true that Florida statute 381.00315, as cited in DeSantis's executive orders, makes it legal to order an individual to be vaccinated, among other public safety measures, during a public health emergency. But because there is not yet a coronavirus vaccine, it is false to imply this action is imminent.
Note: The Instagram post did not say that the vaccine mandate is imminent. Notice how far the media will stretch to discredit valid information. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
President-elect Joe Biden's first picks for senior national security posts – Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, and Avril Haines as director of national intelligence – served in the Obama administration and are now being hailed as the sort of steady hands that America needs. But that's not the good news it seems to be. The costs of normalcy have been grave. "It's worth keeping in mind that the global war on terror has killed more than 7,000 U.S. servicemembers – more than twice the number of people killed by the 9/11 attacks – and more than 800,000 lives worldwide," said Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA's director of Security With Human Rights. "It's also cost the U.S. more than $6.4 trillion." Biden's presidential team of national security advisers is loaded with leading members of the Beltway foreign policy establishment unaffectionately known as "the Blob." It's a well-worn group of advisers who backed or waged the disastrous wars of the last two decades. At first glance, Biden's national security blueprint might look like a departure, even a repudiation, of the Obama template. "Biden will end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East," reads the plan for "Leading the Democratic World" at JoeBiden.com. But Biden's plan isn't actually what it seems. The fine print reads: "Biden will bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan and narrowly focus our mission on Al-Qaeda and ISIS."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
The Food and Drug Administration is under pressure from the Trump administration to approve drugs faster, but researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that nearly a third of those approved from 2001 through 2010 had major safety issues years after the medications were made widely available to patients. Seventy-one of the 222 drugs approved in the first decade of the millennium were withdrawn, required a "black box" warning on side effects or warranted a safety announcement about new risks, Dr. Joseph Ross ... and colleagues reported in JAMA. The Yale researchers' previous studies concluded that the FDA approves drugs faster than its counterpart agency in Europe does and that the majority of pivotal trials in drug approvals involved fewer than 1,000 patients and lasted six months or less. It took a median of 4.2 years after the drugs were approved for these safety concerns to come to light, the study found, and issues were more common among psychiatric drugs, biologic drugs, drugs that were granted "accelerated approval" and drugs that were approved near the regulatory deadline for approval. "All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as [an] indication that a product is fully safe and effective," [Dr. Caleb Alexander] says. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We learn tremendous amounts about a product only once it's on the market and only after use among a broad population."
By the time Officer Joseph Ferrigno shot a Black man from behind, court records show, the Rochester cop had drawn at least 23 misconduct complaints in nearly nine years on the force. Through it all, the Rochester Police Department and the Locust Club, the local police union, stood by Ferrigno. Then came April 1, 2016, when Ferrigno ... spotted a Chevrolet Impala. He saw two Black men inside. Ferrigno drew his Glock handgun. Silvon Simmons, the passenger in the Impala ... heard no warning. Simmons stepped from the Impala and ... ran toward the back door of the house where he lived. Ferrigno fired four shots, hitting Simmons three times. Before leaving the scene, Ferrigno asked for two things: a lawyer and a union rep. The officer, who told detectives he "was shaking and still in a state of shock," was driven to the station and later sent home. Simmons, stripped naked by paramedics treating his wounds, was handcuffed and loaded into an ambulance. Although Simmons was the one who took three bullets, Ferrigno is listed as the victim in at least 65 police reports. Police said they had been searching for a man wanted for threatening a woman with a gun. Ferrigno had been shot at and returned fire, striking his alleged assailant three times, the reports said. When [Judge Melchor] Castro came to his hospital room in 2016 to explain the charges ... Simmons was incredulous. "What in the world are you talking about?" Simmons recalled telling the judge. "I'm the one who got shot."
Each weekend, while New York City's East Village packs into sidewalk tables for brunch, activist Carmen Trotta leads a vigil for ending the U.S.-backed war in Yemen in Tompkins Square Park. He only has a few more Saturday mornings before he must report to federal prison, along with fellow activists from Plowshares, the anti-nuclear, Christian pacifist movement. Trotta, Martha Hennessy, Clare Grady, and Patrick O'Neill are due to report to prison within the next few months for activism against a suspected nuclear weapons depot. Trotta and Hennessy ... peacefully broke into the naval base in Brunswick, Georgia – risking their own lives to protest the suspected nuclear arsenal housed within. Armed only with vials of their own blood, hammers, GoPro cameras, spray paint, protest banners, and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg's book, the activists symbolically attempted to disarm the nuclear weapons located on the Trident submarines at the base. All but one of the activists have quietly been sentenced in their faith-based battle with the U.S. government. The activists were charged with three felonies – conspiracy, destruction of government property, depredation – and misdemeanor trespassing. The sentencing – sending aging activists to federal prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic – fits squarely within the long history of the U.S. government throwing the book at people of conscience who dare to dissent. Trotta got 14 months, Grady was given 12 months and one day, and Hennessy was sentenced to 10 months.
Americans took to the streets for extended demonstrations this summer to protest police violence and racial injustice. Then, on Election Day, they took to the voting booth to endorse criminal justice and policing changes. With a wave of votes across the country, Americans backed a string of measures increasing police oversight, elected reform-minded prosecutors, loosened drug laws and passed other proposals rethinking key elements of law enforcement and justice in their communities. These votes, taken together, signal that after a summer of protest brought renewed scrutiny to the justice system, many Americans were open to rethinking how it functions. Voters in Oakland, Calif., moved to create an inspector general's office outside the police force to review officer misconduct. In Columbus, Ohio, voters passed an amendment creating a civilian police review board and an inspector general. San Diegans supported replacing a police review board with a commission that would have subpoena power and the authority to investigate police misconduct. These votes were not exclusively in big cities. In Kyle, Tex., outside Austin, voters overwhelmingly passed a proposition requiring police policies to be reviewed by the city council and put under a committee's oversight. Voters in several places supported loosening drug laws. Oregon voters backed a ballot measure decriminalizing small amounts of drugs including cocaine and heroin. New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota ... legalized recreational marijuana.
A Texas appeals court on Thursday upheld a five-year prison sentence for a woman who was convicted of illegally voting even though she didn't know she was ineligible when she went to the polls in 2016. The punishment for the Fort Worth woman, Crystal Mason, stirred national outrage because of its severity, prompting accusations that prosecutors were trying to intimidate Texans from voting. Four years ago, Mason was on supervised release, similar to probation, for a federal felony conviction. Mason voted in the last presidential election at the urging of her mother and cast a provisional ballot. The ballot was never counted because Mason was not an eligible voter. During her 2018 trial probation officials testified that they never told Mason she could not vote, but the appeals court said that didn't matter. Mason was guilty, the court said, because she knew she was on supervised release. Texas is one of 48 states that strip people with felony convictions of the right to vote, but the rules on when people regain the right to vote vary widely from state to state and are often extremely confusing, even to elections officials. The decision to prosecute Mason was unusual. Since 2014, at least 12,668 people have voted using a provisional ballot in Tarrant county and 88% of them have been rejected because the voter was not eligible. Mason is the only voter who used a provisional ballot who was prosecuted for illegal voting.
A probe by the California Public Utilities Commission has concluded that William Devereaux, a former PG&E employee who used a false identity to spy on activists opposed to SmartMeters, did not act alone but had support from senior managers. Devereaux resigned in November 2010 after admitting that he used the name "Ralph" to try to infiltrate an online group of consumers opposed to the utility's new digital meters. At the time, PG&E characterized him as a rogue employee who acted alone. But a lengthy investigation by the PUC's Consumer Protection and Safety Division revealed that Devereaux forwarded emails that he collected using the false identity to his boss and other senior managers at PG&E. "PG&E senior management knew of Mr. Devereaux's deceit before it was reported in the press and failed to prevent and stop his inappropriate behavior," said the eight-page finding from the PUC. "By lying to and infiltrating anti-smart meter consumer groups, Mr. Devereaux, acting on behalf of PG&E, violated PG&E's obligation to provide just and reasonable service to its customers." Devereaux was the senior director of PG&E's SmartMeter program from October 2009 through early November 2010. He admitted to the Mercury News that he used the name "Ralph" to try to join the California EMF Coalition, a ... group that maintains a private, moderated online discussion forum for people concerned about the possible health effects of electromagnetic fields generated by SmartMeters.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.
Dorothy Kilgallen's Death on November 8, 1965, was treated by many as just another high-strung female checking out of Hotel Earth. Since she was a person many loved to hate - her sins being intelligence, perserverance and right-wing political affections - her supposed "suicide" gratified her detractors. However, Lee Israel's carefully researched book indicates the chances of Dorothy Kilgallen (a devout Catholic) having committed suicide are about the same as your being struck by a meteorite. Wanting to break the story of the century regarding John F. Kennedy's assassination, Kilgallen, a reporter, first and foremost, had every reason to live. Israel is at her best when showing Kilgallen up against the Warren Commission, the FBI, and a hostile administration. Avoiding political controversy, she was content to live for herself, her family, her friends. Nothing larger than her own life or her own needs motivated her until she had a fateful, secret interview with Jack Ruby early in 1964. She could have chosen to forget it, what appeared to her to be horrific implications of conspiracy in the death of the president; she could have backslid into her life of glamor. The more she probed the more she felt her own life was in jeopardy. She thought the JFK assassination touched the soul of America and she wasn't going to stop. She put the truth first and paid the price. We are not accustomed to finding heroes in middle-aged, quirky women. We cannot afford casually to dismiss anyone on the basis of appearance and manner.
Note: For other articles on this most suspicious death, see this one from the New York Post and this one from the UK's Daily Mail. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the JFK assassination from reliable major media sources.
Berlin's city hall deliberately placed troubled children in the care of paedophiles. From 1969 to 2003 the authorities put at least nine boys in the hands of convicted sex offenders on the advice of a disgraced social scientist. The idea behind the Kentler experiment – named after Helmut Kentler, an academic who argued that paedophilia could have "positive consequences" – was that unruly and "feeble-minded" children would benefit from adult sexual attention. In the late 1960s Kentler persuaded West Berlin's ruling Senate that the homeless boys would jump at the opportunity to be fostered by paedophiles. One of the boys, referred to in legal proceedings as Marco, had been taken into care after suffering physical abuse at the hands of his father. In 1989, aged six, he was placed with a convicted child abuser. A year later this foster father, Fritz H, began going into Marco's room for a "cuddle". For ten years he was repeatedly beaten and raped by Fritz H. It is not known how many children were subjected to the Kentler experiment. Four years ago the Berlin Senate commissioned an inquiry into the scandal from experts at GĂ¶ttingen University. Their final report has yet to be published. At the beginning of the experiment, Kentler, who died in 2008, was regarded as one of Germany's foremost sexologists and often appeared as an expert witness in court cases. He boasted of having secured the acquittal of several alleged paedophiles. In 1970 he urged the Bundestag to decriminalise sex between adults and children in West Germany.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.