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Top news: US government behind terrorist plots, secret rules for terrorist lists

US government behind terrorist plots, secret rules for terrorist lists
US government behind terrorist plots, secret rules for terrorist lists
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Below are key excerpts of important news articles on a new Human Rights Watch report detailing US government agents' direct involvement in almost all domestic terror plots, the leak of a secret set of rules for labelling terrorists on various watch lists, the NSA's illegal sharing of intimate photos swept into its surveillance databases, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the provision of free medical care by a social clinic in Athens and the elimination of bullying in schools by making recesses rule-free. You can also skip to this section now.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Special note: Listen to a very warm and personal message from Pope Francis about coming together in unity. Read about a most fascinating near-death experience focused on "the sphere of universal communion."

Quote of the Week: "Yes, there have been ET visitations. There have been crashed craft. There have been material and bodies recovered. People in high level government have very little, if any, valid information about this. It has been the subject of disinformation in order to deflect attention and create confusion so the truth doesn’t come out." ~~ Edgar Mitchell, astronaut and sixth man to walk on the moon

Government agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots
July 21, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/21/government-agents-directly-involved...

Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or informants, a new report says. Some of the controversial "sting" operations "were proposed or led by informants", bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist. The lengthy report, released on [July 21] by Human Rights Watch, raises questions about the US criminal justice system's [respect for] civil rights and due process in post-9/11 terrorism cases. [The report] portrays a system that features not just the sting operations but secret evidence, anonymous juries, extensive pretrial detentions and convictions significantly removed from actual plots. "In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act," the report alleges. Out of the 494 cases related to terrorism the US has tried since 9/11, the plurality of convictions ... are not for thwarted plots but for "material support" charges, a broad category expanded further by the 2001 Patriot Act that permits prosecutors to pursue charges with tenuous connections to a terrorist act or group. Several cases featured years-long solitary confinement for accused terrorists before their trials. Some defendants displayed signs of mental incapacity. Jurors for the 2007 plot to attack the Fort Dix army base, itself influenced by government informants, were anonymous, limiting defense counsel's ability to screen out bias.

Note: Why was this important news not picked up by any major US media? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
July 23, 2014, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/07/23/blacklisted/

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist. The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted. The rulebook ... was developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation’s intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Emblazoned with the crests of 19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into the secret history of the government’s terror list policies to date.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.

Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil
July 22, 2014, NPR
http://www.npr.org/2014/07/22/333741495/before-snowden-the-whistleblowers...

Bill Binney worked at the National Security Agency [for] nearly three decades as one of its leading crypto-mathematicians. He then became one of its leading whistleblowers. The NSA is overseen by Congress, the courts and other government departments. It's also supposed to be watched from the inside by its own workers. But over the past dozen years, whistleblowers like Binney have had a rough track record. Those who tried unsuccessfully to work within the system say Edward Snowden — the former National Security Agency contractor who shared top-secret documents with reporters — learned from their bitter experience. For Binney, the decision to quit the NSA and become a whistleblower began a few weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when he says he discovered the spy agency had begun using software he'd created to scoop up information on Americans — all without a court order. "I had to get out of there, because they were using the program I built to do domestic spying, and I didn't want any part of it, I didn't want to be associated with it," he says. "I look at it as basically treason. They were subverting the Constitution." Binney says he and two other NSA colleagues who also quit tried sounding the alarm with congressional committees. But because they did not have documents to prove their charges, nobody believed them. Snowden, he says, did not repeat that mistake. "He recognized right away, it was very clear to me, that if he wanted anybody to believe him, he'd have to take a lot of documentation with him — which is what he did," Binney says.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.

Racy Photos Were Often Shared at N.S.A., Snowden Says
July 21, 2014, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/us/politics/edward-snowden-at-nsa...

The former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden said in a wide-ranging interview ... that the oversight of surveillance programs was so weak that members of the United States military working at the spy agency sometimes shared sexually explicit photos they intercepted. He also said the British government often pioneered the most invasive surveillance programs because its intelligence services operate with fewer restrictions intended to protect individual privacy than its counterparts in the United States and other allies. “In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work, for example an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation but they’re extremely attractive,” he said. “So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: ‘Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.’ ” Mr. Snowden said that type of sharing ... was “seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions.” He said that this was never reported and that the system for auditing surveillance programs was “incredibly weak.” Mr. Snowden had particularly stark criticism for the British government’s surveillance programs, because in Britain the respect for individual privacy, he said, “is not strongly encoded in law or policy.” Because it has fewer restrictions, British intelligence platforms “are used as a testing ground” for programs of all five intelligence partners, a group referred to as “Five Eyes,” which includes Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.”

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing privacy news articles from reliable major media sources.

India six-year-old 'raped in Bangalore school by staff members'
July 17, 2014, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-28340617

A six-year-old schoolgirl has allegedly been raped by two staff members at a prominent school in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, police say. Hundreds of parents have protested outside the school, pulling down its gates and shouting slogans. Police have registered a case, but they are yet to make any arrests. India's sluggish judicial system means it can take years for victims to get justice. New Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a zero tolerance approach on crimes against women, but violence and discrimination against women remain deeply entrenched in society. The girl was allegedly raped by a security guard and a gym teacher, but as there are multiple guards and gym instructors in the school, police say they are trying to identify the guilty. As news of the incident became public, hundreds of parents gathered outside the school, protesting against the alleged insensitivity of the school management. Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus. The brutal crime led to massive outrage in the country and forced the government to introduce tougher anti-rape laws, including the death penalty in rare cases. But the law appears to have failed to act as a deterrent. Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau for 2013 show one rape was reported every 21 minutes.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.

Mythical Numbers and Satanic Ritual Abuse
July 11, 2014, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ross-cheit/mythical-numbers...

It's a mythical number that skeptics never question. And it's come up again and again in the national press for decades. It's purportedly the number of victims from the infamous child sexual abuse cases of the 1980s and 1990s. Not child victims, though. The victims are said to be adults who were falsely charged and often convicted of sexual abuse, victims of a witch-hunt. Christina Hoff Sommers used the number just a few weeks ago in a Time column, referring to those cases and writing that "hundreds of innocent adults faced charges of ritual child abuse." The number of accused or jailed is always impressive. The abuse is always dismissed as imaginary. The cases are always cast as witch-hunts, with a narrative typically full of lurid details. The alarming words ritual or satanic -- sometimes both -- are often added for good measure. The witch-hunt narrative has been bolstered by scores of articles and books. But the numbers don't add up. There's no evidence of hundreds of cases of false convictions of child sexual abuse in this era. In my new book, The Witch-Hunt Narrative, I examine dozens of specific cases from the 1980s and early 90s. In many of the cases proclaimed to be witch hunts, looking closely at the record revealed substantial evidence of abuse and compelling reasons that jurors voted to convict. It's true that I also found cases where people were charged who shouldn't have been. Yet even in some of those cases, there was strong evidence of abuse. A crime was committed and a child was assaulted by someone who was never apprehended, but only the false accusation story lives on.

Note: The author of this essay, Ross E. Cheit, is professor of political science and public policy at Brown University. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.

Guys, Your Smartphone Is Hurting Your Sperm
June 10, 2014, Time Magazine
http://time.com/2850594/guys-your-smartphone-is-hurting-your-sperm/

Even while the debate over whether cell phones cause cancer rages on, researchers are starting to explore other potentially harmful effects that the ubiquitous devices may have on our health. Because they emit low-level electromagnetic radiation (EMR), it’s possible that they can disturb normal cell functions and even sleep. And with male infertility on the rise, Fiona Mathews at the University of Exeter, in England, and her colleagues decided to investigate what role cell phones might play in that trend. In their new research, they analyzed 10 previous studies, seven of which involved the study of sperm motility, concentration and viability in the lab, and three that included male patients at fertility clinics. Overall, among the 1,492 samples, exposure-to-cell-phone EMR lowered sperm motility by 8%, and viability by 9%. Exactly how much the cell phones are contributing to lower-quality sperm isn’t clear yet — the researchers note that how long the phones are kept in pockets, as well as how much EMR the phones emit (most are legally required to stay below 2.0 W/kg) are also important things to consider when figuring out an individual’s risk. But the lab-dish studies do show that sperm are affected by the exposure, and that provides enough reason to investigate the possibility that cell phones may be contributing to lower-quality sperm and potentially some cases of infertility.

Note: Remember how for decades the tobacco industry claimed cigarettes caused no harm even while they were hiding studies which proved the opposite. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.

Key Articles From Years Past

Fukushima And The Navy: Sailors Sue Japan Nuclear Plant Owner, Saying Disaster Made Them Sick
March 11, 2013, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/11/fukushima-navy-health-problems...

Within weeks of setting off a geiger counter and scrubbing three layers of skin off his hands and arms, former Navy quartermaster Maurice Enis recalled being pressured to sign away U.S. government liability for any future health problems. Enis and about 5,000 fellow sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier had finally left Japan, after 80-some days aiding victims of the March 11, 2011, Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, and were about to take a long-awaited port call in Thailand. But first, they were told they needed to fill out some paperwork. "They had us [to] sign off that we were medically fine, had no sickness, and that we couldn't sue the U.S. government," Enis [says], recalling widespread anger among the sailors who ... felt they had little choice. [On] the [second] anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, Enis joined a lawsuit with more than 100 other service members who participated in the rescue mission and who have since developed medical issues they contend are related to radioactive fallout from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Rather than targeting the U.S. government, the federal lawsuit names plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co. the defendant. TEPCO, as the company is known, provided false information to U.S. officials about the extent of spreading radiation from its stricken reactors, according to Roger Witherspoon on his blog Energy Matters.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.

CIA Reveals Covert Acts In Chile
September 11, 2000, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cia-reveals-covert-acts-in-chile/

The CIA is acknowledging for the first time the extent of its deep involvement in Chile, where it dealt with coup-plotters, false propagandists and assassins. The agency [released] a declassified report required by the U.S. Congress. Despite the disclosures, the CIA report admits to no abuses or cover-up by CIA agents. But it chronicles clandestine contacts authorized by then-U.S. President Richard Nixon and other top U.S. officials which it said would violate standards now upheld by the agency. Among the disclosures: The CIA had prior knowledge of the plot that overthrew Allende three years later. The CIA supported a kidnapping attempt of Chile's army chief in October 1970, as part of a plot to prevent the congressional confirmation of Allende as president. The kidnapping attempt failed, and Gen. Rene Schneider was shot and killed. The CIA later paid $35,000 to the kidnappers in what it termed "humanitarian" assistance. The CIA made a one-time payment to secret police head Gen. Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the head of the military regime's feared secret police. He was sentenced in 1993 for killing Chilean socialist leader Orlando Letelier in Washington in 1976. Contreras has said the CIA was behind the assassination. The report also describes efforts to influence news media in Chile against Allende and to continue anti-leftist propaganda efforts by successor Pinochet, "including support for news media committed to creating a positive image for the military Junta" now accused of an array of abuses during his 17-year rule, including more than 3,000 killings.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.

Inspiring Articles

BRICS nations to create $100bn development bank
July 15, 2014, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28317555

The leaders of the five BRICS countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn development bank and emergency reserve fund. The BRICS group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries. The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India. Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a BRICS summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on [July 15]. Despite their political and economic differences, the one thing these countries do agree upon is that rich countries have too much power in institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Rousseff's comments made that feeling crystal clear - the BRICS countries, she said, have the power to introduce positive changes - ones that they think are more equal and fair. At first, the bank will start off with $50bn in initial capital. The emergency reserve fund - which was announced as a "Contingency Reserve Arrangement" - will also have $100bn, and will help developing nations avoid "short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements". The creation of the BRICS bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Doctors without orders
June 30, 2014, Intelligent Optimist
http://theoptimist.com/doctors-without-orders/

The Metropolitan Community Clinic, in Athens ... is no average health facility. The Metropolitan is a “social clinic,” where all the doctors and assistants commit themselves for a period of at least two years to provide free health care to uninsured sick people. And right now there are a lot of those in Greece. Cardiologist Giorgos Vichas is the inspired founder and director of the clinic. Two and a half years ago, when he looked around and saw what the economic crisis meant for more and more patients, he decided to start providing free health care. He rallied a number of his colleague friends, and together they started their clinic in the southern part of Athens. Vichas heads a team of some 100 doctors and 150 assistants. Many of them have a paid job apart from this work; some are jobless. The Metropolitan harbors all kinds of specialists: eye doctors, gynecologists, physical therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, cardiologists, dentists. The clinic offers diagnostics and medical treatment. On top of that, the chronically ill can come back for medication, follow-up examinations or psychological support. Since the clinic started up, some 25,000 patients have been treated. The Metropolitan accepts no financial donations. “If someone drops in offering a hundred thousand dollars,” says Vichas in his treatment room, “I write down on a piece of paper what our needs are and tell them, ‘Here you are—go and buy it wherever you want and bring it to us.’ That’s how donors get to know us and will get to know the patients we’re helping.” Most of all, the clinic needs medicine, which is also received through donations.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

When This New Zealand School Got Rid Of Playtime Rules, It Actually Got Safer
January 28, 2014, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/new-zealand-school-no-rules...

One school has found that eliminating rules can actually be a good thing. After Swanson Primary School in New Zealand got rid of rules during recess as part of a study, administrators saw a decline in rates of bullying, injuries and vandalism, as well as an increase in students’ ability to concentrate during class. The [Auckland University of Technology] and Otago University study ... eliminated recess rules in an effort to discover ways to promote active play. As a result, kids were more engaged in their activities. "The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school," school Principal Bruce McLachlan [said]. Previously, the students were not allowed to engage in playground activities like climbing trees or riding bikes, McLauchlan [said]. While he says the playground is now more chaotic looking, it is also safer. “What happens is when you let kids do anything they like is that they actually don’t go and purposefully hurt themselves,” McLauchlan said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Why You Should Know Emanuel Swedenborg
April 19, 2012, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-lachman/why-you-should-know-emanu...

The 18th century Swedish scientist, traveller, statesman, and religious philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg is one of the most fascinating and least understood figures in Western history. If people know of Swedenborg at all, it is usually because of his connection with the poet William Blake, who was a follower of Swedenborg. Or they may know of Swedenborg because of his remarkable psychic powers. Yet Blake was only one of the many thinkers, artists, and writers influenced by Swedenborg. A full list would include, among others: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, August Strindberg, Honoré Balzac, Arnold Schoenberg and Jorge Luis Borges. And his psychic abilities extended far beyond clairvoyance, into interplanetary travel and visits to heaven and hell, where he conversed with angels and devils and other strange beings. He developed the notion of "correspondences," the idea that the things of the physical world have a direct link with the spiritual one. Through Baudelaire, Swedenborg's "correspondences" would lead to Symbolism, arguably the most important cultural movement of the 19th century. Swedenborg's accounts of heaven, hell and what he called the "spirit world" spell out in homely detail the parallels between life on earth and in these other places. These higher worlds are no abstraction, and readers of Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell and Conjugial Love ... encounter a very robust reality. Some of Swedenborg's reports on the social conditions of heaven -- where, among other things, angels engage in continuous and mutually satisfying lovemaking -- make it seem infinitely more vital than life here and now.

Note: The author of this essay, Gary Lachman, has written a book on Swedenborg, Swedenborg: an Introduction to his Life and Ideas. This webpage contains a wealth of excellent resources on this most fascinating man who inspired Carl Jung, Helen Keller, and Ralph Waldo Emerson among many others.

Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Tod for all the time and skill he puts into this. The section below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.

What you can do:

  • Contact your media and political representatives to inform them of the important news articles above. Urge them to study and bring publicity to this vital news. Invite them to read these articles and explore the links included.
  • Explore an index to the most revealing major media news articles sorted by topic.
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  • Spread this news to your friends and colleagues, and bookmark this article on key news websites using the "Share This" icon on this page, so that we can fill the role at which the major media is sadly failing. Together, we can make a difference.