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


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

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


The Pentagon has never been audited. That's astonishing
2017-03-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:31:27
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/20/pentagon-never-audited-...

On Thursday, Donald Trump released a preliminary budget proposal that calls for a $52bn increase in military spending. But just last December, a Washington Post investigation found that the Pentagon had buried a report that outlines $125bn in waste at the Department of Defense. Although it’s required to by law, the DoD has never had an audit, something every American person, every company and every other government agency is subject to. The result is an astounding $10tn [that $10 trillion!] in taxpayer money that has gone unaccounted for since 1996. “Over the last 20 years, the Pentagon has broken every promise to Congress about when an audit would be completed,” the director of the Audit the Pentagon coalition, Rafael DeGennaro, told the Guardian. “Meanwhile, Congress has more than doubled the Pentagon’s budget.” Legislation in the early 1990s demanded that all government agencies had annual audits, but the Pentagon has exempted itself without consequence for 20 years now. In the meantime, the GAO and Office of the Inspector General (IG) have published an endless stream of reports documenting financial mismanagement: $500m in aid to Yemen lost here, $5.8bn in supplies lost there, $8,000 spent on helicopter gears that really cost $500. During this past election cycle, both the Democratic and Republican platforms called for the Pentagon’s audit. But despite broad support, the issue has remained stagnant in Washington.

Note: When every business in the country and every other branch of government is required to account for every dollar, how can the Pentagon get away with failing to account for literally trillions of dollars year after year? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Database Tracks History Of U.S. Meddling In Foreign Elections
2016-12-22, NPR
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:28:17
http://www.npr.org/2016/12/22/506625913/database-tracks-history-of-u-s-meddli...

Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin [has compiled a] historical database that tracks U.S. involvement in meddling with foreign elections over the years. The U.S. has ... tried to influence the outcome of another country's election ... more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. One example of that was our intervention in Serbia, Yugoslavia in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milosevic was running for re-election, and we didn't want him to stay in power there. So we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Kostunica. And we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. That assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win. About one-third of [election interventions] are public, and two-third of them are covert. In other words, they're not known to the voters in the target before the election. Covert coup d'etats like the United States did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954 [were not counted, only times] when the United States [tried] directly to influence an election for one of the sides. The United States is the most common user of this technique. Russia or the Soviet Union since 1945 has used it half as much. My estimate has been 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know also that the Chinese have used this technique and the Venezuelans when the late Hugo Chavez was still in power in Venezuela and other countries.

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


The Multibillion-Dollar U.S. Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard of
2017-03-20, Foreign Policy
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:26:02
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/20/the-multibillion-dollar-u-s-spy-agency-yo...

In a heavily protected military base some 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., sits the massive headquarters of a spy agency few know exists. The [National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or] NGA remains by far the most shadowy member of the Big Five spy agencies, which include the CIA and the National Security Agency. Despite its lack of name recognition, the NGA’s headquarters is the third-largest building in the Washington metropolitan area. The NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its principal function is to analyze the billions of images and miles of video captured by drones ... and spy satellites. The agency has never been involved in domestic spy scandals. However, there’s reason to believe that this will change. In March 2016, the Pentagon released the results of an investigation initiated by the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General to examine military spy drones in the United States. The report ... revealed that the Pentagon used unarmed surveillance drones over American soil. The investigation also quoted from an Air Force law review article pointing out the growing concern that technology designed to spy on enemies abroad may soon be turned around to spy on citizens at home. In 2016, unbeknownst to many city officials, police in Baltimore began conducting persistent aerial surveillance using a system developed for military use in Iraq. Few civilians have any idea how advanced these military eye-in-the-sky drones have become.

Note: This article was written by former ABC News producer James Bamford, whose 2001 article on Operation Northwoods revealed that the top Pentagon generals signed off on top-secret plans which stated, "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." And showing the level of major media complicity, only ABC News reported on this. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Do You Live Near Toxic Waste? See 1,317 of the Most Polluted Spots in the U.S.
2017-03-22, Time Magazine
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:23:13
http://time.com/4695109/superfund-sites-toxic-waste-locations/

Hazardous waste sites are scattered all across the country, from a Brooklyn canal once surrounded by chemical plants to a shuttered garbage incineration facility in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. There are more than 1,300 of these spots in all - dubbed "Superfund sites" by the federal government - where toxic chemicals from factories and landfills were dumped for decades, polluting the surrounding soil, water and air. “The Superfund list contains the worst of toxic sites in the U.S.," says Chris Portier, former director of the Agency for Toxic Substances ... which is responsible for assessing each site’s hazard level. The name "Superfund site" comes from legislation Congress passed in 1980 creating a "Superfund" program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify and clean up hazardous waste sites. Superfund sites are often concentrated in highly populated areas. New Jersey - the densest state by population - has more toxic sites than any other state in the country, at 114, with California and Pennsylvania close behind. The cleanup program may face cuts under President Trump, whose proposed budget includes ... reducing the Superfund program from over $1 billion to $762 million in funding. In Florida, a study ... recently found that people living in counties containing Superfund sites were 6% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people living in counties without the sites. There have also been findings of increased cancer rates near specific Superfund sites in other states.

Note: A map showing the locations of these Superfund sites is available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


C.I.A. Developed Tools to Spy on Mac Computers, WikiLeaks Disclosure Shows
2017-03-23, New York Times
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:21:34
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/technology/cia-spying-mac-computers-wikile...

The C.I.A. developed tools to spy on Mac computers by injecting software into the chips that control the computers’ fundamental operations, according to the latest cache of classified government documents published on Thursday by WikiLeaks. All of the surveillance tools that have been disclosed were designed to be installed on individual phones or computers. But the effects could be much wider. Cisco Systems, for example, warned customers this week that many of its popular routers, the backbone of computer networks, could be hacked using the C.I.A.’s techniques. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has offered to share the precise software code used by the C.I.A.’s cyberweapons with the affected companies. But major tech companies have been reluctant to directly engage with him for fear of violating American laws. The spy software described in the latest documents was designed to be injected into a Mac’s firmware, a type of software preloaded in the computer’s chips. It would then act as a “listening post,” broadcasting the user’s activities to the C.I.A. whenever the machine was connected to the internet. Tools that operate at the chip level can hide their existence and avoid being wiped out by routine software updates. Under an agreement struck during the Obama administration, intelligence agencies were supposed to share their knowledge of most security vulnerabilities with tech companies. The C.I.A. documents suggest that some key vulnerabilities were kept secret.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Navy's 'Fat Leonard' sex-for-secrets scandal widens, ensnares retired admiral
2017-03-15, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:19:34
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2017/0315/Navy-s-Fat-Leonard-sex-for-se...

A retired US Navy admiral is one of six former officers arrested and charged with bribery in a recently-unsealed indictment, part of an ongoing investigation into the “Fat Leonard” scandal. Retired Navy Adm. Bruce Loveless ... stood accused of providing classified information and offering preferential business treatment to Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, known as “Fat Leonard.” In exchange, the indictment charges, he and the other members of Mr. Francis’s “Wolf Pack” received a host of bribes, including meals, hotels, and encounters with prostitutes. Francis’s company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, had long serviced Navy ships in the Pacific, cleaning, refueling, and restocking the ships. Over the course of a decade starting round 2005, Francis and his company worked to develop ties with Navy officers. These Navy officers, in turn, helped recruit others who might be willing to share classified shipping schedules and route Navy ships through ports where Francis’s company could charge fake tariffs, prosecutors allege. In 2007, an email from chief warrant officer Robert Gorsuch told Francis that these officers were developing “personality profiles” on potential recruits. The rewards for participating Navy officers for this association – which Francis admitted in 2015 cost the Navy $200 million – were substantial. The indictment enumerates the bribes received by officers between 2006 and 2012. All in all, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty so far.

Note: At one point, Frances bribed Naval officials to redirect an aircraft carrier, and avoided prosecution for years by also bribing military investigators. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the military and in the corporate world.


Gabbard says she met with Assad on Syria trip
2017-01-25, CNN News
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:17:10
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/politics/tulsi-gabbard-lead-syria/

Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met with President Bashar al-Assad during a secret, four-day trip to Syria, she told CNN's Jake Tapper Wednesday. "When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt that it's important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we've got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we can achieve peace," the Hawaiian congresswoman said. When asked ... whether she had reservations about meeting with Assad, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, Gabbard said there has to be a dialogue between the US and Syria. "My commitment is on ending this war that has caused so much suffering to the Syrian people, to these children, to these families, many of whom I met on this trip," Gabbard said. [As] a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committee, [Gabbard] recently introduced legislation that would prohibit sending federal funds to nations that support terrorist groups. "(The Syrians) asked me, 'Why are the United States and its allies supporting these terror groups which are destroying Syria, when it was al Qaeda that attacked the United States on 9/11, not Syria.' I didn't have an answer to them." The US government claims it does not fund these groups and only provides assistance to so-called moderate rebels. However, Gabbard said the Syrians she met with told her that there are no moderate rebels in the country.

Note: Don't miss the CNN interview with Gabbard which raises important questions. For more undeniable evidence on U.S. involvement in developing and supporting ISIS, see this excellent essay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism.


Keep perspective on Trump pick of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for vaccine safety panel
2017-03-22, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:14:34
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Keep-perspective-on-Trum...

President Trump recently selected Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine skeptic who believes that shots may cause autism, to chair a panel on the safety of vaccines. The appointment has provoked howls of outrage from public health officials. Unfortunately, in their zeal to defend the benefits of vaccines, these advocates have pushed a narrative that vaccines are without risk. Every year, thousands of Americans receive vaccinations and then suffer a host of well-recognized reactions, ranging from chronic pain to paralysis. A 30-year-old federal program - meant to encourage vaccinations - compensates these patients for their medical costs and suffering. Unlucky patients who have terrible reactions to vaccines can seek compensation for their lost wages, medical bills and suffering through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Established in 1986, the vaccine program [grants] vaccine makers and doctors immunity from lawsuits. One of the most common vaccines, the flu shot, can trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome. Each year, as many as 6,000 Americans contract the disease, which causes an individual’s immune system to attack its own nerve cells. Persons diagnosed with the syndrome ... may experience permanent nerve damage, respiratory failure, or even death. Instead of seeking compensation from drugmakers, vaccine-injured patients can file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The program has awarded 5,269 victims more than $3.5 billion to date out of 17, 935 petitions filed.

Note: Robert F. Kennedy is highly respected for his great work as a lawyer defending the environment and much more. Yet now that he is challenging the safety of vaccines, most of the media are making him out to be a kook. If you want to understand why he is a threat to big pharma, which has a lot of control over the media, read Kennedy's excellent article "Deadly Immunity." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources.


5 Biotech Products U.S. Regulators Aren’t Ready For
2017-03-17, MIT Technology Review
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:12:02
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603870/5-biotech-products-us-regulators-ar...

A new report issued by the National Academy of Sciences says U.S. regulatory agencies need to prepare for new plants, animals, and microbes that will be hitting the market in the next five to 10 years. The new products ... could overwhelm regulatory agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. Changes in the vast communities of microorganisms that live in and outside the human body may contribute to diseases, but scientists don’t yet understand all these complex relationships. That isn’t stopping companies trying to develop genetically engineered bacteria to treat a whole range of medical conditions. Ingested in pills, these living microorganisms could end up in wastewater and possibly drinking water. Early this year, the FDA proposed new regulations requiring researchers to get approval for gene editing in cattle, pigs, dogs, and other animals. This week, startup Memphis Meats announced plans to start selling chicken grown from cultured animal cells. The company is among a handful of startups aiming to develop animal-like proteins that don’t require traditional agricultural methods. Lab-made meat falls into a regulatory gray area. Gene drives [promote] an engineered gene’s spread through an entire population. [The technique] is being considered to eliminate invasive rodents on islands and to wipe out mosquitoes that transmit malaria. The idea is that organisms would inherit self-limiting genes that drive them toward extinction. But a gene drive has never been tried in the wild.

Note: A recent Nature article makes it clear that engineered 'gene drives' are extremely risky and can not be safely contained. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.


Cover-up claims revive sex scandal
1999-04-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-03-26 21:06:15
https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/apr/21/stephenbates

Anguish over the abduction and death of girls as young as eight at the hands of a convicted sex offender, Marc Dutroux, together with persistent allegations of official cover-ups, has been revived by an announcement that [Jacques Langlois], the chief investigating magistrate in the case, wants to reopen medical evidence of sexual assault on the children. And, in further disclosures ... a book by [Marc Verwilghen], the highly respected chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into the case, claims that his commission's findings were muzzled by political and judicial leaders to prevent details emerging of complicity in the crimes. In August 1996, [the children's] bodies were found buried in Mr Dutroux's back garden in Charleroi. They had disappeared 14 months before, and had apparently starved to death, locked in a cell in Mr Dutroux's basement. The bodies of two teenage girls were also found buried in the garden, with that of Bernard Weinstein, an associate with whom he had fallen out. Two other teenage girls were found alive in the basement cell after the police, who had previously searched the property three times without noticing it, finally broke into the house. Although there is plenty of evidence that Mr Dutroux kidnapped the children ... Mr Langlois now apparently wants to establish whether he [or anyone else] also sexually assaulted them. One of the rescued girls, Sabine Dardenne, 12, who was locked up in the cell for three months, told police of being taken to a 'beautiful white house' by Mr Dutroux and being sexually assaulted.

Note: Explore more excellent research proving a major cover-up of this case. Read a highly revealing essay on several cases of pedophilia rings involving top politicians. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Emails show Monsanto tried to 'ghostwrite' research
2017-03-16, USA Today
Posted: 2017-03-20 13:17:00
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/16/emails-show-monsanto...

Emails released as part of a federal lawsuit against Monsanto suggest the agriculture supplier cozied up to an EPA regulator and sought to whitewash studies to ignore potential cancer-causing effects of an herbicide found in weed-killer. NPR reports the emails show the company asked scientists to co-sign safety studies on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, after the International Agency for Research on Cancer found glyphosate may cause cancer. The emails show company representative William Heydens suggesting the company "ghost-write" a finding. He wrote, according to NPR, "we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak." The emails ... also show EPA regulator Jess Rowland boasting in a 2015 email to Monsanto that, "If I can kill this I should get a medal," referring to a Monsanto effort to stop a government investigation into glyphosate. CBS reported another email from a Monsanto employee to an EPA director said, "I doubt EPA and Jess can kill this, but it's good to know they are going to actually make the effort." The company defended the relationship in an interview with Bloomberg. Rowland ... has left the EPA's pesticide division and is involved in about two dozen lawsuits related to the company not disclosing potential cancer-causing hazards of glyphosate.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Unsealed Documents Raise Questions on Monsanto Weed Killer
2017-03-14, New York Times
Posted: 2017-03-20 13:15:06
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/business/monsanto-roundup-safety-lawsuit.h...

The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto. Monsanto’s internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators ... suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics and indicated that a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, that was to have been conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The files were unsealed by Judge Vince Chhabria, who is presiding over litigation brought by people who claim to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of exposure to glyphosate. The litigation was touched off by a determination made nearly two years ago by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. Court records show that Monsanto was tipped off to the determination by a deputy division director at the E.P.A., Jess Rowland, months beforehand. That led the company to prepare a public relations assault on the finding well in advance of its publication. Last year, a review by The New York Times showed how the [chemical] industry can manipulate academic research or misstate findings.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


State kept secret guidelines on safe cell phone use
2017-03-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2017-03-20 13:13:17
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Judge-may-order-release-of-state-health-re...

For years, state health officials kept secret a set of guidelines meant to inform the public about the risks associated with cell phone use and the best practices to avoid potential harm. On Thursday, the California Department of Public Health released the guidelines, which advise cell phone users to keep the devices away from their bodies, keep calls short and to use the speaker phone on lengthy calls. The guidelines were released only after a Sacramento Superior Court judge indicated she would order them to be disclosed, and after The Chronicle told the state it was publishing a news story about the case. The two-page suggestions ... are based on studies “that suggest that long-term cell phone use may increase the risk of brain cancer and other health problems,” according to the document, which includes a stamp saying it is a “draft and not for public release.” The guidelines detail the effect of electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, put out by cell phones. Cell phones, according to the guidelines, release about the same relatively weak EMFs as microwave ovens, but because they are used more frequently and kept close to the body, they can “affect nearby cells and tissues.” The guidelines suggest limiting cell phone use by children and teens to “texting, important calls and emergencies.” People can lower their exposure by using speaker phone or a headset and not sleeping with the device or carrying it in a pocket unless it is turned off.

Note: The medical community has long been aware that cell phone use negatively impacts human health. Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics urging the US to reassess to cell phone safety standards for children in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control backed away from warning the public about the risks of cell phone radiation to kids. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Ex-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca convicted in jail corruption case
2017-03-15, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-03-20 13:07:20
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-la-county-sheriff-lee-baca-found-guilty-in-jai...

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation into corrupt and violent guards who took bribes to smuggle contraband into the jails he ran and savagely beat inmates. The trial ... cast a dark shadow over a distinguished 50-year law enforcement career that abruptly ended with his resignation in 2014 as the corruption investigation spread from rank-and-file deputies to his inner circle. Baca appeared to have escaped the fate of more than a dozen underlings indicted by federal prosecutors until a year ago, when he pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to federal authorities about what role he played in efforts to thwart the FBI. A deal with prosecutors called for a sentence no greater than six months. When a judge rejected that as too lenient, Baca withdrew his guilty plea and prosecutors hit him with two additional charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The federal probe began in 2011 when Baca’s jail guards discovered an inmate with a contraband cellphone was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings and report what he witnessed. Word quickly reached Baca, who convened a group to derail the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said during closing arguments that corruption in the nation’s largest jail system “started from the top and went all the way down.” Baca’s subordinates hid the FBI informant from federal agents [and] tried to intimidate his FBI handler by threatening to arrest her.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the prison system.


Trump to shelve fuel mileage rules
2017-03-15, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2017-03-20 13:05:20
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-autos-20170315-story.html

President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to shelve aggressive vehicle fuel economy targets that have been a foundation for battles against climate change and harmful pollution in California and across the country. The regulations to be reviewed ... had set ambitious targets for vehicle mileage. The decision puts the White House on a path toward a direct and costly confrontation with California. State officials, pointing to California’s unique authority under the Clean Air Act, have made clear they will not waver from requiring passenger cars to average about 54 miles per gallon by 2025, up from an average of 36 miles per gallon today. Trump’s announcement comes amid a lobbying blitz from a coalition of the world’s largest vehicle makers, which complained in a letter to the new administration that the existing EPA rules place unreasonable and expensive demands on the industry. The ultimate fate of the regulations may now be decided in a legal brawl between California and the Trump administration. The state is already moving to defend the federal regulations in court. "Any weakening or delay of the national standards will result in increased harms to our natural resources, our economy, and our people,” reads a legal filing submitted Tuesday by the state. Under the Clean Air Act, the state can impose emissions standards stronger than those set by the federal government, and a dozen other states have embraced the California rules.

Note: Many believe that fuel efficiency is determined by marketplace demand for more efficient vehicles. As this article shows, this is not the case. Congress mandates the average mpg of vehicles sold, and industry must comply. For more, see this essay.


The real shocker in the WikiLeaks scoop
2017-03-14, Washington Post
Posted: 2017-03-20 12:57:15
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-real-shocker-in-the-wikileaks-sco...

WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange’s revelation last week of the CIA’s arsenal of hacking tools had a misplaced tone of surprise. Some scary initial stories argued that the CIA could crack Signal and WhatsApp phone encryption, not to mention your toaster and television. But ... the hardest question here is whether the CIA and other government agencies have a responsibility to disclose to software vendors the holes they discover in computer code, so they can be fixed quickly. This may sound like a no-brainer. The problem is that there’s a global market for “zero-day” exploits (ones that are unknown on the day they’re used). U.S. intelligence agencies buy some of these exploits; so do other countries’ spy services, criminal gangs and the software vendors themselves. A recent report by the Rand Corp. [calculated that] there are about two dozen companies selling or renting exploits to the United States and its allies, with many of these contractors making between $1 million and $2.5 million annually. More than 200 zero-day exploits studied by Rand went undetected for an average of 6.9 years. Given this evidence, Rand argued, “some may conclude that stockpiling zero-days may be a reasonable option” to combat potential adversaries. But let’s be honest: The real shocker in the WikiLeaks scoop is the demonstration ... that the U.S. government can’t keep secrets. It makes little sense for the CIA to argue against disclosing its cyber-tricks to computer companies if this valuable information is going to get leaked ... anyway.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Donald Trump gives CIA authority to conduct drone strikes: WSJ
2017-03-14, Sydney Morning Herald/Reuters
Posted: 2017-03-20 12:55:32
http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trump-gives-cia-authority-to-conduct-drone...

US President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Strikes by missile-armed Predator and Reaper drones against overseas targets began under former President George W. Bush and were expanded by Obama. Critics of the targeted killing program question whether the strikes create more militants than they kill. They cite the spread of jihadist organisations and militant attacks throughout the world as evidence that targeted killings may be exacerbating the problem. In July, the US government accepted responsibility for inadvertently killing up to 116 civilians in strikes in countries where America is not at war.

Note: Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets and reportedly create more terrorists than they kill. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently mis-reported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Modern Military-Industrial Complex
2011-01-20, U.S. News & World Report
Posted: 2017-03-20 12:53:35
https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2011/01/20/the-modern-military-indust...

Fifty years ago this month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his farewell address to Americans, cautioned that the "military-industrial complex" must never be allowed to "endanger our liberties or democratic processes." Despite his warning, William Hartung argues, defense contractors like Lockheed Martin have ballooned in size, scope, and influence. Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, recently spoke with U.S. News about his new book, Prophets of War. "The military-industrial complex [is] really about the conjunction between the military itself, the weapons contractors, and in some degree the Congress. And it deals with how they kind of work in tandem to lobby for perhaps higher levels of military spending than we might otherwise need," [explained Hartung]. "The biggest Pentagon contractor [is} Lockheed Martin. They got $29 billion in Pentagon awards, which is about $6 billion more than the next company. And they are involved in almost the full gamut of weapons programs. Other than pistols or semi-automatic rifles, they make almost everything the Pentagon would want." Defense contractors ... actually help to finance think tanks that then advocate policies - whether it be regime change in Iraq or a different approach to nuclear weapons policy - that, if pursued, would be of benefit to the company. Then there's the relationship with Congress. They are very strategic in how they give money." Military spending is twice what it was under Eisenhower.

Note: For more on Lockheed's near stranglehold on business, see this NY Times article and another article on Donald Trump's full support of the military-industrial complex. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


With WikiLeaks Claims of C.I.A. Hacking, How Vulnerable Is Your Smartphone?
2017-03-07, New York Times
Posted: 2017-03-13 19:44:39
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/technology/cia-hacking-documents-wikileaks...

WikiLeaks on Tuesday released a significant cache of documents that it said came from a high-security network inside the Central Intelligence Agency. WikiLeaks called the documents Vault 7, and they lay out the capabilities of the agency’s global covert hacking program. By the end of 2016, the C.I.A. program had 5,000 registered users, including government employees and contractors, [and] had produced more than a thousand hacking systems. The files have circulated among former United States government hackers and contractors in “an unauthorized manner, one of whom provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive,” WikiLeaks said. The software targeted by the hacking program included the most popular smartphone operating systems. Apple’s iPhone software ... was a particular target, including the development of several “zero day” exploits - a term for attacking coding flaws the company would not have known about. Google’s Android ... received even more attention. By 2016, the C.I.A. had 24 weaponized Android “zero day” software programs. The C.I.A. also targeted ... internet-connected computers and home and industrial devices running the Linux operating system. In 2010, the Obama administration promised to disclose newly discovered vulnerabilities to companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft. But the WikiLeaks documents indicate that the agency found security flaws, kept them secret and then used them for surveillance and intelligence gathering.

Note: See the wikileaks webpage summarizing this most important leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


WikiLeaks CIA files: Spy agency looked at ways to hack and control cars to carry out assassinations
2017-03-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-03-13 19:42:03
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/wikileaks-cia-d...

WikiLeaks has alleged that the CIA looked into vehicle interference methods that could potentially enable it to assassinate people without detection. According to the whistle-blowing organisation, the CIA explored the tactic in October 2014. It hasn’t included any more details about the alleged practice. WikiLeaks included the claim in its release announcing ‘Vault 7’, a huge batch of documents, which Julian Assange claims to account for the CIA’s “entire hacking capacity”. “As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks,” reads a passage in the release. “The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.” The CIA has also been accused of using malware and hacking tools to turn TVs into covert microphones and remotely break into smartphones. The latter, according to WikiLeaks, allowed it to bypass encryption on a number of popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp. WikiLeaks describes Vault 7 as “the largest intelligence publication in history” and says that the initial batch of 8,761 files is just the first in a series of releases.

Note: See the wikileaks webpage summarizing this most important leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


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