Secrecy News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Secrecy News Articles in Media
Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to [9/11] says he is "appalled" by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency's efforts to detect and stop the plot. Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners (on 9/11) were Saudis. A heavily redacted 2005 CIA inspector general's report, parts of which had previously been released, was further declassified earlier this month. The Obama administration has [still] refused to declassify 28 pages dealing with Saudi connections. Rossini and another FBI agent assigned to the CTC, Doug Miller, learned in January 2000 that one of the future hijackers ... had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. But when Miller and Rossini attempted to warn FBI headquarters that al-Mihdhar could be loose in the U.S., a CIA supervisor ordered them to remain silent. Rossini says he is "deeply concerned" by how the agency continues to suppress information related to contacts between the CIA and Saudi Arabia, particularly when the spy agency is declassifying other portions of documents to show that it did everything possible to thwart the September 11, 2001 plot. "There would have not been a 9/11 if Doug's CIR [Central Intelligence Report] on al-Mihdhar was sent," he told Newsweek in an email. "Period. End of story."
Note: Read a Times of London article showing that some of the hijackers listed in the final 9/11 report are still alive. Several major media articles also reported that some of the 9/11 hijackers may have trained at US military bases. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore other excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world. Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries. Among the topics negotiators have considered are some of the most contentious T.P.P. provisions — those relating to intellectual property rights. These rules could help big pharmaceutical companies maintain or increase their monopoly profits on brand-name drugs [and] block cheaper generic drugs from the market. Big Pharma’s profits would rise, at the expense of the health of patients and the budgets of consumers and governments. Of course, pharmaceutical companies claim they need to charge high prices to fund their research and development. This just isn’t so. For one thing, drug companies spend more on marketing and advertising than on new ideas. Overly restrictive intellectual property rights actually slow new discoveries. As it is, most of the important innovations come out of our universities and research centers, like the National Institutes of Health, funded by government and foundations.
Note: Read what a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Health has to say about the egregious profiteering of Big Pharma. Watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
A major FBI cover-up ... connects Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers to the Saudi Arabian government. While still at Sarasota's Emma E. Booker Elementary on the day of the 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush said, "Terrorism against our nation will not stand." However, the president's visit wasn't the only thing to tie this Bay area county to the September 11th attacks. Within days, we learned three of the hijackers had been living in the area while taking flying lessons at Huffman Aviation and Florida Flight Training in Sarasota County... but there is even more than that. "There was a network supporting the hijackers," says former U.S. Senator and Florida governor Bob Graham. According to Graham, the FBI has been covering up that fact for years, and continues to try and hide it even now. Graham says he is convinced there was a direct line between some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Graham, the FBI was aware of the strong connection between hijackers and a Saudi Arabian family who were living in an upscale Sarasota gated community. Twelve days before 9/11, the family abandoned the house -- leaving behind valuable items including food, clothing, furnishings and three vehicles. "There are some things I can't talk about," Graham told us, "And there are others like what I know is involved in the investigation in Sarasota, which is diametrically opposed to what the FBI said publicly."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
A report released on [August 26] on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags. Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers. Others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act. Within hours of the report’s publication, [Roger Stone, the leader of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council since 2003,] resigned. It was not until 2010 that the first case of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, a South Yorkshire city of about 250,000 people, made it to court. Five men received long prison sentences for grooming three teenage girls for sex. It was one of several high-profile prosecutions over the past four years that revealed sexual exploitation in cities including Oxford, Rochdale and Derby. Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men. “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote. The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant.
Note: Further information is available in this story in the UK's Guardian. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.
It was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don't like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing "serious limitations on access to records" that they say have "impeded" their oversight work. The data about public information officers was compiled over the past few years by Kennesaw State University professor Carolyn Carlson. Her surveys found that 4 in 10 public information officers say "there are specific reporters they will not allow their staff to talk to due to problems with their stories in the past." Carlson has conducted surveys of journalists and public information officers since 2012. In her most recent survey of 445 working journalists, four out of five reported that "their interviews must be approved" by government information officers, and "more than half of the reporters said they had actually been prohibited from interviewing [government] employees at least some of the time by public information officers." The Associated Press reported earlier this year that in 2013 "the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times — a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama's first year." This week's letter from more than half of the federal government's inspectors general [said] that government agencies' move to hide information from them represents a "potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Contradicting an earlier assertion made under oath by a senior FBI official, an attorney for the Justice Department said [on April 30] that the FBI has identified four more boxes of “classified” 9/11 documents held by its Tampa field office. The government, however, has yet to comply with a federal judge’s orders ... that it turn over copies of that massive 9/11 file — now said to total 27 boxes — for his personal inspection. U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch issued those orders in a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by BrowardBulldog.org seeking records about the FBI’s investigation into apparent pre-9/11 terrorist activity in Sarasota. Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, has said that the FBI did not disclose the existence of the Sarasota investigation to either the Joint Inquiry or the subsequent 9/11 Commission. The documents state that the Sarasota Saudis had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.” One document lists three individuals, with names blacked out, and ties them to the Venice, Fla., flight school where suicide hijackers Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained.
Note: For solid evidence that many more were involved in 9/11 than is generally admitted, see the revealing newspaper article at this link. For an excellent documentary focused on the Venice, Florida flight school which all but proves a major cover-up involving US citizens involved in the planning of 9/11, click here. And for a treasure trove of reliable information showing a major cover-up around 9/11, click here.
Here is how a stunning PBS documentary describes itself: “In Secrets of the Vatican, FRONTLINE tells the epic, inside story of the collapse of the Benedict papacy and illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers.” Take everything you have ever heard about the Catholic Church and the global clergy child sexual abuse scandals, the dodgy Vatican bank, add in drug abuse, and multiply it all by ten. A primary insight is that Pope Benedict really did not step down from the papacy so much as flee the job. No one could make up what this documentary reveals. For all of the horror on display, the reality is basic: arrogance, hubris and insularity will bring down any organization, even one ordained to do God’s work on earth. A human organization manifests all human frailties. Allow it to make its own rules and hide, and the worst happens. This is a tragedy that defies description. Abuse of people, power and a benefit of the doubt that goes with the job description. Pope Francis is [presented] as the institutional savior who comes from far enough outside the Roman Curia and the inner sanctum to instigate and sustain change. The only optimism in the documentary are references to a new beginning for a wounded church, and a religious crusade to save the church. Watch “Secrets of the Vatican.” You might know the story line. You have no clue about the depth of the shame.
Note: To watch this devastating documentary, click the link above or click here. For a more detailed description, click here. For more on institutional secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
In the years after the end of WWII, CIA and US intelligence operatives tested LSD and other interrogation techniques on captured Soviet spies—all with the help of former Nazi doctors. It was 1946. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing for ‘total war’ with the Soviets. They even set an estimated start date of 1952. U.S. military officers had been capturing and then hiring Hitler’s weapons makers in a Top Secret program that would become known as Operation Paperclip. Soon, more than 1,600 of these men and their families would be living the American dream, right here in the United States. In 1948, Operation Paperclip’s Brigadier General Charles E. Loucks ... was working with Hitler’s former chemists when one of the scientists [shared] information about a drug with military potential ... LSD. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that the U.S. developed its post-war enhanced interrogation techniques ... under the CIA code name Operation Bluebird. The CIA teamed up with the Army Chemical Corps at Camp Detrick, in Maryland, to conduct further research and development on the chemistry of mind-altering drugs. One [Detrick agent was] Dr. Frank Olson, a former army officer and bacteriologist turned agency operative whose sudden demise—by covert LSD poisoning—in 1953 would nearly bring down the CIA. In one of the rare, surviving official documents from the program, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles sent a secret memo to Richard Helms: “In our conversation of 9 February 1951, I outlined to you the possibilities of augmenting the usual interrogation methods by the use of drugs, hypnosis, shock, etc., and emphasized the defensive aspects as well as the offensive opportunities.”
Note: To read excerpts from incredibly revealing declassified CIA documents on these programs, click here. For more on secret government mind control programs which have had a powerful hidden influence on global politics, see our Mind Control Information Center available here.
“The Brothers” is a riveting chronicle of government-sanctioned murder, casual elimination of “inconvenient” regimes, relentless prioritization of American corporate interests and cynical arrogance on the part of two men. John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen, were ... lawyers, partners in the immensely powerful firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. John Foster Dulles served as secretary of state from 1953 to 1959; his brother ran the C.I.A. from 1953 to 1961. In his detailed, wellconstructed and highly readable book, Stephen Kinzer ... shows how the brothers drove America’s interventionist foreign policy. Kinzer highlights John Foster Dulles’s central role in channeling funds from the United States to Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sullivan & Cromwell floated bonds for Krupp A. G., the arms manufacturer, and also worked for I. G. Farben, the chemicals conglomerate that later manufactured Zyklon B, the gas used to murder millions of Jews. For the Dulles brothers, and for much of the American government, threats to corporate interests were categorized as support for communism. There are also reminders in Kinzer’s book of dark events in the history of American intelligence. Sixty years ago, Frank Olson, a C.I.A. officer, was reported to have jumped to his death during mind-control experiments “in which psychoactive drugs were administered to unknowing victims.” But last year, Kinzer reports, Olson’s family filed suit, claiming he had actually been murdered after visiting secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Israel has 80 nuclear warheads and the potential to double that number, according to a new report by U.S. experts. In the Global Nuclear Weapons Inventories, recently published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, proliferation experts Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris write that Israel stopped production of nuclear warheads in 2004. But the country has enough fissile material for an additional 115 to 190 warheads, according to the report, meaning it could as much as double its arsenal. Previous estimates have been higher but the new figures agree with the 2013 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute yearbook on armament and international security. The yearbook estimated 50 of Israel's nuclear warheads were for medium-range ballistic missiles and 30 were for for bombs carried by aircraft. Although widely assumed a nuclear power, Israel has never acknowledged possessing nuclear weapons or capabilities and continues to maintain its decades-old "strategic ambiguity" policy on the matter, neither confirming nor denying foreign reports on the issue. In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician, leaked the country's alleged nuclear secrets to a British newspaper, and said Israel had at least 100 nuclear weapons. Vanunu was later convicted of espionage and treason and was released from jail in 2004 after serving 17 years. Israel continued to adhere to its vagueness policy after comments made by then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2006 were interpreted by many as an inadvertent confirmation that Israel had nuclear weapons.
Note: For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
[Barrett] Brown is not a household name like Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning. But after helping expose a dirty tricks plot, he faces jail. Brown made a splash in February 2011 by helping to uncover "Team Themis", a project by intelligence contractors retained by Bank of America to demolish the hacker society known as Anonymous. The Team Themis story began in late 2010, when Julian Assange warned WikiLeaks would release documents outlining an "ecosystem of corruption [that] could take down a bank or two." Bank of America went into damage-control mode and, as the New York Times reported, assembled "a team of 15 to 20 top Bank of America officials … scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public." Days later, Bank of America retained the well-connected law firm of Hunton & Williams [which] "proposed various schemes to attack" WikiLeaks. Its partners suggested creating false documents and fake personas to damage progressive organizations. The tech companies' emails – which Anonymous hacked and Barrett Brown helped publicize – listed planned tactics: "Feed[ing] the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization. Submit fake documents and then call out the error." Brown [has] been cooling his heels in a jail outside Dallas ... awaiting two separate trials that could put him on ice for more than 100 years. In contrast to the FBI's aggressive pursuit of Brown, no probe of the Team Themis project was launched – despite a call from 17 US House representatives to investigate a possible conspiracy to violate federal laws.
Note: With the wide focus on the privatized national security state by the leaks from Edward Snowden, there is renewed interest in Brown's plight and the campaign for justice in his case. For more on this and to support Barret Brown, click here. For more on intelligence agency corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA). The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate. One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects. This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets. The existence of the programme has been disclosed in documents shown to the Guardian by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Britain's technical capacity to tap into the cables that carry the world's communications ... has made GCHQ an intelligence superpower. A total of 850,000 NSA employees and US private contractors with top secret clearance had access to GCHQ databases.
Note: For solid evidence spy agencies targeted even top politicians, click here. For more on intelligence agency corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Pope Francis has admitted that a "gay lobby" exists within the Vatican's administration and is planning to take action about it, according to reports. "Yes, it is difficult," he reportedly said. "In the Curia there are holy people, truly holy people. But there is also a current of corruption, also there is ... a 'gay lobby' and that is true. It is there ... we will have to see what we can do." In February, Italian newspapers reported that a dossier on scandals within the Vatican, ordered by Pope Benedict XVI and delivered to him in December, exposed a network of patronage among a powerful lobby of homosexual churchmen as well as the potential blackmailing of homosexuals. The Italian reports suggested that the details exposed had pushed Benedict to resign in February. The dossier was compiled by three senior cardinals, who were charged with looking into secret rivalries and corruption within the Vatican following the leaking of Benedict's private letters by his butler, Paolo Gabriele. In his audience, Pope Francis allegedly promised to reform the Vatican but said it would be "difficult" and that he could not carry out the reforms himself because he was "disorganised". He reportedly said he would be relying on the commission of eight cardinals he appointed in April to organise reform of the Curia, which is due to meet in October.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on secrecy, click here.
When Pope Benedict XVI resigns at the end of this month, he leaves behind a Church grappling with a global fallout from sex abuse and a personal legacy marred by allegations that he was instrumental in covering up that abuse. For 25 years, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Vatican office responsible for investigating claims of sex abuse, but he did not act until he received an explicit order from Pope John Paul II. In 1980, as Archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger approved plans for a priest to move to a different German parish and return to pastoral work only days after the priest began therapy for pedophilia. In 1981, Cardinal Ratzinger became head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the office once known as the Inquisition -- making him responsible for upholding church doctrine, and for investigating claims of sexual abuse against clergy. Thousands of letters detailing allegations of abuse were forwarded to Ratzinger's office. A lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of the Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a victims' rights group, charges that as head of the church body Ratzinger participated in a cover-up of abuse. The suit alleges that investigators of sex abuse cases in several countries found "intentional cover-ups and affirmative steps taken that serve to perpetuate the violence and exacerbate the harm." "Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, either knew and/or [in] some cases consciously disregarded information that showed subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes," the complaint says.
Note: This is one of the few media stories to reveal what may be the real reason for the Pope's resignation - his direct involvement in protecting priests who were known child sexual abusers. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link.
It's been revealed that the United States and New Zealand conducted secret tests in the 1940s of a 'tsunami bomb' designed to inundate coastal cities. Thousands of underwater tests were carried out near Auckland during the Second World War and showed such a weapon was feasible. The top-secret operation code-named, ''Project Seal'', was shelved just months before the atomic bomb was used on Japan in 1945. The secret plans have been uncovered during research by a New Zealand author and filmmaker, Ray Waru. EMILY BOURKE: Where were these tests carried out? RAY WARU: They were carried out at one of ... New Zealand's most well-known holiday spots, the Whangaparaoa Peninsula just north of Auckland. Over a period of several months they carried out almost 4,000 test explosions to kind of calibrate the size of the explosions, the number of explosions and the depth of the explosion in the water would need to be in order to create a tsunami effect. EMILY BOURKE: Was there any damage that occurred as a result of the research and those tests? RAY WARU: No. They never actually produced a tidal wave. They decided at the end if there were 2 million kilograms and they were detonated in an array a specific number of kilometres from the shore that they would produce a wave ... about ten or 12 ... metres in height. That would have been enough to wash out a shore installation. EMILY BOURKE: Were these tests carried out at the behest of the United States? Did the United States fund it? RAY WARU: Yes they were [and] they were carried out with the full cooperation of the New Zealand government.
Note: This article was published on the website of Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia's equivalent of the BBC. A 1999 article in New Zealand's leading newspaper at this link also discusses this secret tsunami bomb. For a very well researched webpage on HAARP, a secret weapon allegedly used for weather control and much more, click here.
Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public. A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks. Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, "chronic brain dysfunction" and duties at a Shakespeare festival. The details are contained in the organization's confidential "perversion files," a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts' lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view. As The Times reported in August, the blacklist often didn't work: Men expelled for alleged abuses slipped back into the program, only to be accused of molesting again. Now, a more extensive review has shown that Scouts sometimes abetted molesters by keeping allegations under wraps. In the majority of cases, the Scouts learned of alleged abuse after it had been reported to authorities. But in more than 500 instances, the Scouts learned about it from boys, parents, staff members or anonymous tips. In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it.
Note: For a list giving details of Boy Scout leaders who sexually abused scouts with impunity, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on institutional sexual abuse, click here.
Revelations that prominent radical activist Richard Aoki was an FBI informant have prompted angry denials among his supporters, but newly released records confirm he was secretly providing information to agents during the period he gave the Black Panthers guns and firearms training. The documents from Aoki's FBI informant file - totaling 221 pages - were released after a court challenge under the Freedom of Information Act and show that Aoki was an informant from 1961 to 1977, with only brief interruptions. The records say that at various points, he provided information that was "unique" and of "extreme value." The records chronicle Aoki's 16-year career as an informant, including years in which he was a student at Merritt College in Oakland and at UC Berkeley, participating in the Black Panthers and other radical groups. They also cover years during which Aoki was a teacher at those universities. An early FBI report says Aoki was assigned the alias "Richard Ford" to use when signing reports, as well as a permanent informant number, which the FBI redacted. It notes his date of birth, his parents' names and his address. "Coverage furnished by this informant is unique and not available from any other source," the FBI report says. "Many activist individuals seek informant's advice and counseling since informant is considered as a militant who has succeeded within the establishment without surrending (sic) to it."
Note: Here is undeniable evidence that the FBI was involved in infiltrating movements and radicalizing them with guns and weapons. Why isn't this being discussed widely in the media, particularly as it is likely this is still going on, most recently with the Occupy movement? The revelation that Aoki was an informant was first made last month in a news report and video by the Center for Investigative Reporting, based on the new book Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power.
The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy. James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system. "This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of 'source' countries," Henry says. John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network [commented] "Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people. This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: for three decades extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich." In total, 10 million individuals around the world hold assets offshore, according to Henry's analysis; but almost half of the minimum estimate of $21tn – $9.8tn – is owned by just 92,000 people.
The Vatican has denounced as “criminal” a new book of leaked internal documents that shed light on power struggles inside the Holy See and the thinking of its embattled top banker, and warned that it would take legal action against those responsible. Pope Benedict XVI has already appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the “Vatileaks” scandal, which erupted earlier this year with the publication of leaked memos alleging corruption and mismanagement in Holy See affairs and internal squabbles over its efforts to comply with international anti-money laundering norms. The publication Saturday of His Holiness, by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, added fuel to the fire, reproducing confidential letters and memos to and from Benedict and his personal secretary. The bank has been trying for some two years to remedy its reputation as a shady tax haven beset by scandals, which include the collapse of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano and the death of its head, Roberto Calvi, who also helped manage Vatican investments and was found hanging from London’s Blackfriars Bridge in 1982.
Note: For lots more on this most revealing case of Vatican corruption and media complicity in keeping silent, click here and here. And to learn who is being accused of leaking these documents, click here.
Question: A group proposing a change in monetary policy based on the writings of Stephen Zarlenga (monetary.org) [argues] that the government should print the money, not the Fed or any other private body. H.R. 2990 proposed by Dennis Kucinich is based on these ideas. Are they reasonable to you? Paul Solman: As the Treasury borrows more and more money by issuing bonds and selling them to all comers, it commits itself, "with the full faith and credit" of the United States, to pay back its creditors in full. That means it will either raise taxes in the future or -- and this is the relevant point -- get the Fed to create more money by purchasing bonds on the open market. This is called "monetizing the debt." There's a legitimate case that the Fed has too much power, is insufficiently beholden to the people in what's supposed to be a democracy, since no one on the Fed is chosen by popular election and private bankers are heavily represented on its board. This has long been the argument of financial journalist William Greider, author of a major book on the Fed, "The Secrets of the Temple." Greider: "The idea of giving the Federal Reserve still greater power [is] dangerous. First of all it rewards failure. But secondly, it puts them in the position as arbiter of who shall fail and who shall succeed. It asks to be able to choose what are the 30 or 40 or 50 banks and industrial firms that it regards as systemic risks for the society and ... it will protect those from failure. The government stands behind them and the rest of us are on our own."
Note: If you look at the top of any U.S. currency bill, you will see the words "Federal Reserve Note." Thus, though U.S. dollars are printed by the Treasury, they are issued and controlled by the Federal Reserve, which is privately owned, though subject to minimal federal oversight. To see just how much control the Federal Reserve has over the issuance of U.S. currency, see their webpage at this link. For lots more on hidden manipulations of the Federal Reserve, click here.
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