Here is my version of Project Censored’s Top 25 censord news stories
The presentation of this year’s Top 25(My top 40) stories extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across the country and around the world—initiated several years ago as outgoing director Peter Phillips passed the reins to current director Mickey Huff—has made the Project even more diverse and robust. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed 233 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 219 college students and 56 professors from 18 college and university campuses that participate in our affiliate program and 13 additional community evaluators.
40. Evidence Points to Guantánamo Dryboarding
In June 2006, three Guantánamo prisoners were found dead in their cells, hanging from what appeared to be makeshift nooses. Although the Department of Defense declared the deaths suicides, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) inquiry found evidence inconsistent with suicide—including the fact that the prisoners’ hands were bound behind their backs. The NCIS evidence suggests that the prisoners died from lethal interrogations that included dryboarding, a technique using controlled suffocation.
39. Alabama Farmers Look to Replace Migrants with Prisoners
Alabama’s expansive anti-immigrant law, HB56, has been so economically devastating that farmers in the state sought legislation to force hard labor on prison inmates eligible for work release programs, to “help farms fill the gap and find sufficient labor.” The state’s Department of Corrections opposed the legislation, noting that its approximately 2,000 prisoners eligible for work release already have jobs, and that “the prison system isn’t the solution to worker shortages caused by the law.”
38. US Covers up Afghan Massacre
Although the March 2012 massacre of sixteen unarmed Afghan civilians, nine of whom were children, received a great deal of news coverage, independent news sources have focused on whether one US solider acting alone—as US officials have insisted—or multiple US soldiers—as Afghan witnesses and Afghan President Hamid Karzai contend—bear direct responsibility for the killings. These reports highlight the fundamental responsibility of US high military command, including President Obama, for the crimes committed by its troops.
37. Wachovia Bank Laundered Money for Latin American Drug Cartels
Between 2004 and 2007, Wachovia Bank handled funds totaling $378.4 billion for Mexican currency-exchange houses acting on behalf of drug cartels. The transactions amount to the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in US history. This case is not exceptional; Wachovia is just one of several US and European banks that drug cartels have used to launder money.
36 New York Police Plant Drugs on Innocent People to Meet Arrest Quotas
A host of stories document how the New York Police Department operates outside the very laws it is charged with enforcing. In October 2011, a former NYPD narcotics detective testified that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way to meet arrest quotas. The NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” program has invested seventy-five million dollars to arrest suspects for possessing minimal amounts of marijuana. Each arrest costs approximately $1,000 to $2,000. Although NYPD use of unlawful restraints and disproportionate force to arrest peaceful Occupy protesters has received some news coverage, police brutality directed against people of color continues to go underreported.
35. Students Crushed By One Trillion Dollars in Student Loans
In April 2012, US student loan debt topped one trillion dollars, more than credit card debt. Although corporate media dutifully reported this milestone, they underplayed its significance and ignored one promising solution. Student loan debt is the only form of consumer loan debt that has increased substantially since 2008. The threat of massive student loan defaults requiring another taxpayer bailout is a systemic risk as serious as the bank failures that brought the US economy to the brink of collapse in 2008. http://www.projectcensored.org/17-students-crushed-by-one-trillion-dollars-in-student-loans/
34. Sexual Violence against Women Soldiers on the Rise and under Wraps
The 2005 death of US Army Private LaVena Johnson, officially ruled suicide by the Department of Defense, in fact exemplifies the sexual violence that female soldiers encounter while serving their country. Johnson’s autopsy revealed wounds inconsistent with suicide, including chemical burns that many believe were intended to destroy DNA evidence of rape. The Pentagon has tried to intimidate reporters and editors working on stories about Johnson. Johnson’s case is among at least twenty where female soldiers have died under suspicious circumstances. The mysterious deaths coincide with an increase in sexual violence against women in the military. According to the Department of Defense, in 2010, there were 3,158 total reports of sexual assault in the military. The DOD estimates that this number represents only 13.5 percent of the actual assaults, making the total number of military rapes and sexual assaults in excess of 19,000 for the year.
33. US Joins Forces with al-Qaeda in Syria
The US, Britain, France, and some conservative Arab allies have funded and armed the Syrian rebellion from its start in 2011. In fact, the US has been funding groups against Bashar al-Assad since the mid-1990s. However, the anti-Assad ranks include members of al-Qaeda, Hamas, and other groups that the United States lists as terrorist organizations.
32. Members of Congress Grow Wealthier Despite Recession
The net worth of the members of Congress continues to rise regardless of the economic recession. An analysis of financial disclosure forms by Roll Call magazine, using the minimum valuation of assets, showed that members of the House and Senate in 2010 had a collective net worth of $2.04 billion, a $390 million increase from the $1.65 billion held in 2008. Disclosure forms do not include non-income-producing assets.
31. Prison Slavery in Today’s USA
The US comprises less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet US prisons hold more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned globally. Many of these prisoners labor at twenty-three cents per hour, or similar wages, in federal prisons contracted by the Bureau of Prisons’ UNICOR, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation, which is the US government’s thirty-ninth largest contractor. As incarceration rates explode in the US, thousands are placed in solitary confinement, often for having committed minor disciplinary infractions within prison.
30. NATO War Crimes in Libya
Although the rationale of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for entry into Libyan conflict invoked humanitarian principles, the results have proven far from humane. In July 2011, NATO aircraft bombed Libya’s main water supply facility, which provided water to approximately 70 percent of the nation’s population. And, in a failed attempt to appear unbiased and objective, the BBC has revealed, almost a year after the information was relayed by independent media, that British Special Forces played a key role in steering and supervising Libya’s “freedom fighters” to victory.
29. First Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions Loaned to Major Banks
An audit of the First Federal Reserve reveals sixteen trillion dollars in secret bailouts to major American and European banks during the height of the global financial crisis, from 2007 to 2010. Morgan Stanley received up to $107.3 billion, Citigroup took $99.5 billion, and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation, and an act of Congress.
28. FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has embarked on an unusual approach to ensure that the United States is secure from future terrorist attacks. The agency has developed a network of nearly 15,000 spies to infiltrate various communities in an attempt to uncover terrorist plots. However, these moles are actually assisting and encouraging people to commit crimes. Many informants receive cash rewards of up to $100,000 per case.
27. Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Worse than Anticipated
Developing evidence from a number of independent sources suggests that the negative consequences of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are far greater than first acknowledged or understood. An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout in Japan, according to a December 2011 report published in the International Journal of Health Services. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency’s radiation-detection network (RadNet) has serious drawbacks, including a lack of maintenance and equipment that is often improperly calibrated.
26. 2012: The International Year of Cooperatives
The United Nations named 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. According to the UN, nearly one billion people worldwide are co-op member-owners, and the co-op is expected to be the world’s fastest growing business model by 2025. Worker-owned cooperatives provide for equitable distribution of wealth and genuine connection to the workplace, two key components of a sustainable economy.
25. Israel Gave Birth Control to Ethiopian Immigrants Without Their Consent
In January 2013, Israel acknowledged that medical authorities have been giving Ethiopian immigrants long-term birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent. The Israeli government had previously denied the charges, which were first brought to light by investigative reporter Gal Gabbay in a December 8, 2012, broadcast of Israeli Educational Television’s news program, Vacuum. In January, the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general, Ron Gamzu, ordered all gynecologists to stop administering the drugs
Palestinian Women Prisoners Shackled during Childbirth
Female Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are treated inhumanely and often denied medical care, and legal representation, and are forced to live in squalid conditions. The conditions and violations faced by women in Israeli jails need to be addressed from a gender perspective, according to CEDAW, the United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
24. Widespread GMO Contamination: Did Monsanto Plant GMOs Before USDA Approval?
Monsanto introduced genetically modified alfalfa in 2003—a full two years before it was deregulated, according to recently released evidence. Global Research reported that a letter from Cal/West Seeds indicated that “evidence of contamination was withheld and the USDA turned a blind eye to proof of contamination,” thus allowing widespread GMO contamination of GMO-free crops. The Cal/West Seeds letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated they found the Roundup Ready gene in foundation production lots seeds in 2005: according to the letter, the GMO-contaminated foundation seed originated in 2003 from a field in Solano County, California. The letter stated, “Cal/West Seeds had zero access to Roundup Ready seed at that time; therefore we assume the contamination originated from an external source.”
23. Transaction Tax Helps Civilize Wall Street and Lower the National Debt
In February 2013, United States senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) introduced a bill to implement a new tax of three basis points (that is, three pennies for every hundred dollars) on most nonconsumer stock trades. If made law, the tax could generate $350 billion in federal revenues over the next ten years. Describing the proposed tax as a “simple matter of fairness and fiscal sanity,” Senator Harkin elaborated, “We need the new revenue generated by this tax in order to reduce deficits (after sequestration) and maintain critical investments in education, infrastructure, and job creation. . . . Wall Street (investors) can easily bear this modest tax.”
22. Pennsylvania Law Gags Doctors to Protect Big Oil’s “Proprietary Secrets”
In communities affected by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” people understand that this process of drilling for natural gases puts the environment and their health at risk. In February 2013, legislators in Pennsylvania—a state on the forefront of a national debate over fracking—passed a law that requires oil companies to disclose the identity and amount of chemicals used in fracking fluids to health professionals who request the information so that they can diagnosis or treat patients who may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals. However, as Kate Sheppard reported for Mother Jones, a provision in the new bill requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will not disclose that information to anyone else—not even their own patients. The companies deem the chemical ingredients used in the process as “proprietary secrets.”
21. Monsanto and India’s “Suicide Economy”
Monsanto has a long history of contamination and cover-up. In India, another Monsanto cover-up is ongoing. Since 1995, nearly 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide due to massive debt. Monsanto has argued that these suicides have no single cause. However, there is clear evidence that Monsanto’s Bt cotton is implicated. Physicist and author Vandana Shiva has been monitoring what is going on in these rural farming towns. Shiva noted, “The price per kilogram of cotton seeds [has gone] from 7 to 17,000 rupees. . . . Monsanto sells its GMO seeds on fraudulent claims of yields of 1,500 kg/year when farmers harvest 300–400 kg/year on an average.” Shiva and other critics have concluded that Monsanto’s profit-driven policies have led to a “suicide economy” in India.
20. Israel Counted Minimum Calorie Needs in Gaza Blockade
Declassified documents reveal that the Israeli military calculated how many calories a typical Gazan would need to survive, in order to determine how much food to supply the Gaza Strip during Israel’s 2007–2010 blockade. The Israeli human rights group Gisha, which campaigns against Israel’s Gaza blockade, fought a legal battle to force the Israeli Ministry of Defense to release the documents. Israel began its blockade in September 2007, identifying Gaza as a “hostile territory” that had been “seized” by Hamas. Israel claimed that the blockade was necessary to weaken Hamas. Critics accused the Israeli government of targeting Gaza’s more than 1.5 million people in its failed effort to overthrow Hamas.
19. The Power of Peaceful Revolution in Iceland
Iceland is experiencing one of the greatest economic comebacks of all time, reported Alex Pietrowski. After privatization of the nation’s banking sector, completed in 2000, private bankers borrowed $120 billion (ten times the size of Iceland’s economy), creating a huge economic bubble that doubled housing prices and made a small percentage of the country’s population exceedingly wealthy. When the bubble burst, the bankers left the nation on the verge of bankruptcy and its citizens with an unpayable debt. In October 2008, Iceland’s people took to the streets in response to the economic crisis caused by the banksters. Over a span of five months, the main bank of Iceland was nationalized, government officials were forced to resign, the old government was liquidated, and a new government was established. By March 2010, Iceland’s people voted to deny payment of the 3,500 million debt created by the bankers, and about 200 high-level executives and bankers responsible for the economic crisis in the country were either arrested or faced criminal charges
18. Fracking Our Food Supply
The effects of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) on food supply and the environment are slowly emerging. The fracking process runs contrary to safe sustainable food production. In the agriculturally and energy-rich region called the Marcellus Shale, a tug-of-war between food producers and energy companies has begun. Chemicals used in the fracking process contaminate surrounding land, water, and air. Ranchers in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Louisiana, and New Mexico have been reporting health problems and incidents of dead and tainted livestock, due to elevated levels of contaminants from nearby wells.
17. The Creative Commons Celebrates Ten Years of Sharing and Cultural Creation
Creative Commons (CC) is celebrating ten years of helping writers, artists, technologists, and other creators share their knowledge and creativity with the world. CC provides free, public, and standardized licenses that allow creators to share their material with others and help create a balance between the open nature of public domain (e.g., the Internet) and copyright laws. The first CC licenses were issued in December 2002, and they now number in the millions. For example, governments and libraries make their information available to the public using CC tools. YouTube now has over four million videos available under Creative Commons, allowing everyone to use, remix, and edit them. A strong push for copyright reform is currently occurring around the world—coming both from the increased recognition of public/user rights as well as the need for author protection. Creative Commons and the free culture movement envision a new world in which partnership premised on shared benefits replaces the false battle between self-interest and community
16. Journalism Under Attack Around the Globe
The world is a more dangerous place for journalists. Journalists are increasingly at risk of being killed or imprisoned for doing their jobs, a situation that imperils press freedom. From 2011 to 2012, the number of journalists behind bars because of their work increased from 53 to 232, and the 70 journalists killed in the line of duty during 2012 represents a 43 percent increase, compared with 2011, according to a study by the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ). Over the past two decades, a journalist is killed once every eight days. Dave Lindorff, of ThisCantBeHappening!, writes that “the incidence of journalists killed by US forces in recent US conflicts has been much, much greater than it ever was in earlier wars, such as the one in Vietnam, or in Korea or World War II,” begging the question of whether some of the deaths have been “deliberate, perhaps with the intent of keeping journalists in line.”
15. Food Riots: The New Normal?
Reduced land productivity, combined with elevated oil costs and population growth, threaten a systemic, global food crisis. Citing findings from a study by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, published by the Royal Society, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed identified the links among intensifying economic inequality, debt, climate change, and fossil fuel dependency to conclude that a global food crisis is now “undeniable.”
14. Wireless Technology a Looming Health Crisis
As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools, and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary. Extensive deployment of “smart grid” technology hastens this looming health crisis.
Dangers of Everyday Technology
Recent research raises compelling concerns about two commonplace technologies, cellular phones and microwave ovens. Heavy, long-term exposure to cell phone radiation increases risks for certain types of cancer, including leukemia, and in males impairs sperm production. Prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation has been shown to produce blood-brain barrier leakage, and brain, liver, and eye damage. The microwave radiation that heats food also creates free radicals that can become carcinogenic, while the consumption of microwaved foods is associated with short-term decreases in white blood cells. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to recognize studies that indicate microwave ovens alter foods’ nutritional structure, and, as with the dangers of cell phone use, most studies indicating minimal or no health risks are, in fact, industry-sponsored.
13. A Fifth of Americans Go Hungry
An August 2012 Gallup poll showed that 18.2 percent of Americans lacked sufficient money for needed food at least once over the previous year. To make matters worse, the worst drought in half a century impacted 80 percent of agricultural lands in the country, increasing food prices. Despite this, in 2012, Congress considered cutting support for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)— the official name of its food stamp program—as part of the 2013 Farm Bill.
12. The US Has Left Iraq with an Epidemic of Cancers and Birth Defects
High levels of lead, mercury, and depleted uranium are believed to be causing birth defects, miscarriages, and cancer for people living in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Fallujah. Researchers have claimed that the United States bombings of Basra and Fallujah are to blame for this rapidly increasing health crisis. A recent study showed more than 50 percent of babies born in Fallujah have a birth defect, while one in six pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. Military officials continue to dodge questions about the attacks, and about use of depleted uranium in particular, while maintaining silence about the health crisis. Instead, the US government has dismissed the reports as controversial and baseless.
11. Bush Blocked Iran Nuclear Deal
According to a former top Iranian negotiator, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, in 2005 Iran offered a deal to the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom that would have made it impossible for Iran to build nuclear weapons. At that time, Iran did not have the capability to fabricate fuel rods. The offer included the plan to ship its uranium to an “agreed upon country” for enrichment in exchange for yellowcake, the raw material used to make fuel rods. Once uranium is fabricated into fuel rods, it is practically impossible to reconvert for military purposes. As Gareth Porter reports for Consortium News, Mousavian’s account makes it clear that President George W. Bush’s administration “refused to countenance any Iranian enrichment capability, regardless of the circumstances.” The French and German governments were prepared at the time to discuss the offer and open up negotiations, but the UK vetoed the proposal at the insistence of the United States. “They were ready to compromise but the US was an obstacle,” Mousavian reported in his 2012 memoir, The Iranian Nuclear Crisis.
10. A “Culture of Cruelty” along Mexico–US Border
Migrants crossing the Mexico–US border not only face dangers posed by an unforgiving desert but also abuse at the hands of the US Border Patrol. During their journey through the desert, migrants risk dehydration, starvation, exhaustion, and the possibility of being threatened and robbed. Unfortunately, the dangers continue if they come in contact with the Border Patrol. In “A Culture of Cruelty,” the organization No More Deaths revealed human rights violations by the US Border Patrol including limiting or denying migrants water and food, verbal and physical abuse, and failing to provide necessary medical attention. Female migrants face additional violations including sexual abuse, according to No More Deaths. As Erika L. Sánchez reported, “Dehumanization of immigrants is actually part of the Border Patrol’s institutional culture. Instances of misconduct are not aberrations, but common practice.” The Border Patrol has denied any wrongdoing and has not been held responsible for these abuses.
9. Icelanders Vote to Include Commons(Natural Resources) in Their Constitution
In October 2012, Icelanders voted in an advisory referendum regarding six proposed policy changes to the nation’s 1944 Constitution. In response to the question, “In the new Constitution, do you want natural resources that are not privately owned to be declared national property?,” Iceland’s citizens responded with a decisive “yes.” Eighty-one percent of those voting supported the commons proposal. The constitutional reforms are a direct response to the nation’s 2008 financial crash, when Iceland’s unregulated banks borrowed more than the country’s gross domestic product from international wholesale money markets. As Jessica Conrad of On the Commons reported, “It is clear that citizens are beginning to recognize the value of what they share together over the perceived wealth created by the market economy.” After the October vote, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir said, “The people have put the parliament on probation.”
8. Bank Interests Inflate Global Prices by 35 to 40 Percent
A stunning 35 to 40 percent of everything we buy goes to interest. As Ellen Brown reported, “That helps explain how wealth is systematically transferred from Main Street to Wall Street.” In her report, Brown cited the work of Margrit Kennedy, PhD, whose research in Germany documents interest charges ranging from 12 percent for garbage collection, to 38 percent for drinking water, and 77 percent for rent in public housing. Kennedy found that the bottom 80 percent pay the hidden interest charges that the top 10 percent collect, making interest a strongly regressive tax that the poor pay to the rich. Drawing on Kennedy’s data, Brown estimated that if we had a financial system that returned the interest collected from the public directly to the public, 35 percent could be lopped off the price of everything we buy. To this end, she has advocated direct reimbursement. According to Brown, “We could do it by turning the banks into public utilities and their profits into public assets. Profits would return to the public, either reducing taxes or increasing the availability of public services and infrastructure.”
7. Merchants of Death and Nuclear Weapons
The Physicians for Social Responsibility released a study estimating that one billion people—one-seventh of the human race—could starve over the decade following a single nuclear detonation The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) released its 180-page study showing that nuclear-armed nations spend over $100 billion each year assembling new warheads, modernizing old ones, and building ballistic missiles, bombers, and submarines to launch them. The US still has about 2,500 nuclear weapons deployed and 2,600 more as backup. Washington and Moscow account for 90 percent of all nuclear weapons. Despite a White House pledge to seek a world without nuclear weapons, the 2011 federal budget for nuclear weapons research and development exceeded $7 billion and could (if the Obama administration has its way) exceed $8 billion per year by the end of this decade. Nuclear-armed nations spend over $100 billion each year on weapons programs. The institutions most heavily involved in financing nuclear arms makers include Bank of America, BlackRock, and JPMorgan Chase in the United States; BNP Paribas in France; Allianz and Deutsche Bank in Germany; Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Japan; Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Banco Santander in Spain; Credit Suisse and UBS in Switzerland; and Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and Royal Bank of Scotland in Britain.
6. Billionaires’ Rising Wealth Intensifies Poverty and Inequality
As a direct result of existing financial policies, the world’s one hundred richest people grew to be $241 billion richer in 2012. This makes them collectively worth $1.9 trillion, just slightly less than the United Kingdom’s total economic output. A few of the policies responsible for this occurrence are the reduction of tax rates and tax enforcement, the privatization of public assets, wage controls and the destruction of collective bargaining. These same policies that are building up the richest people are causing colossal hardships to the rest of the world’s population. George Monbiot has attributed this situation to neoliberal policies, which produce economic outcomes contrary to those predicted, and even promised, by advocates of neoliberal policy and laissez faire markets Wage inequality and unemployment have both skyrocketed, making the economy increasingly unstable with monumental amounts of debt. Monbiot observed, “The complete failure of this world-scale experiment is no impediment to its repetition. This has nothing to do with economics. It has everything to do with power.”
5.Antigovernment Groups on Rise across US
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and antigovernment groups, released a report showing that 1,360 radical, antigovernment “patriot” groups and 321 militias actively operate within the United States. Released in March 2013, these statistics show an 813 percent rise in the number of such groups since 2008, with increasing numbers each year.
4. Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the Obama administration is targeting government whistleblowers, having invoked the otherwise dormant Espionage Act of 1917 seven times. The Obama justice department has also used the Intelligence Identities Protection Act to obtain a conviction against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblower John Kiriakou for exposing the waterboarding of prisoners, ironically making Kiriakou the first CIA official to be sentenced to prison in connection with the torture program. The justice department charged former National Security Agency senior executive Thomas Drake with espionage for exposing hundreds of millions of dollars of waste. The highly visible prosecution of Bradley Manning has become what some may argue to be the most effective deterrent for government whistleblowers. Manning admitted to leaking troves of classified documents to WikiLeaks, but pleaded not guilty on counts of espionage.
3. Trans-Pacific Partnership Threatens a Regime of Corporate Global Governance
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), branded as a trade agreement and negotiated in unprecedented secrecy, is actually an enforceable transfer of sovereignty from nations and their people to foreign corporations. As of December 2012, eleven countries were involved—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—with the possibility of more joining in the future due to inclusion of an unusual “docking agreement.” While the public, US Congress, and the press are locked out, 600 corporate advisors are meeting with officials of signatory governments behind closed doors to complete text for the world’s biggest multinational trade agreement, which aims to penalize countries that protect their workers, consumers, or environment. Leaked text from the thirty-chapter agreement has revealed that negotiators have already agreed to many radical terms, granting expansive new rights and privileges for foreign investors and their enforcement through extrajudicial “investor-state” tribunals. Through these, corporations would be given special authority to dispute laws, regulations, and court decisions. Foreign firms could extract unlimited amounts of taxpayer money as compensation for “financial damages” to “expected future profits” caused by efforts to protect domestic finance, health, labor, environment, land use, and other laws they claim undermine their new TPP privileges.
2. Richest Global 1 Percent Hide Trillions in Tax Havens
The global 1 percent hold twenty-one to thirty-two trillion dollars in offshore havens in order to evade taxes, according to James S. Henry, the former chief economist at the global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Based on data from the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and 139 countries, Henry found that the top 1 percent hid more than the total annual economic output of the US and Japan combined. For perspective, this hidden wealth is at least seven times the amount—$3 trillion—that many estimates suggest would be necessary to end global poverty.
Who Are the Top 1 Percent and How Do They Earn a Living?
The richest 1 percent of the country now owns more than 40 percent of the wealth and takes home nearly a quarter of national income. Evidence based on tax returns indicates that this superelite 1 percent consists of nonfinancial executives, financial professionals, and members of the legal, real estate, and medical professions. Earnings at this level correlate with deregulation and the other legal changes that brought on the financial crisis. While the 99 percent deal with the direct consequences of that crisis, the 1 percent increasingly have left behind deteriorating neighborhoods in favor of wealthy enclaves, further isolating themselves, according to a 2011 Stanford University study.
Small Network of Corporations Run the Global Economy
A University of Zurich study reported that a small group of companies—mainly banks—wields huge power over the global economy. The study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership among them. The researchers’ network analysis identified 147 companies that form a “super entity,” controlling 40 percent of the global economy’s total wealth. The close connections mean that the network could be prone to “systemic risk” and vulnerable to collapse
1. Bradley Manning and the Failure of Corporate Media
In February 2013, United States military intelligence analyst Bradley Manning confessed in court to providing vast archives of military and diplomatic files to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, saying he wanted the information to become public “to make the world a better place” and that he hoped to “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military in (US) foreign policy.” The 700,000 released documents revealed a multitude of previously secret crimes and acts of deceit and corruption by US military and government officials. According to Manning’s testimony in February 2013, he tried to release the Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs through conventional sources. In winter 2010, he contacted the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Politico in hopes that they would publish the materials. Only after being rebuffed by these three outlets did Manning begin uploading documents to WikiLeaks Indeed, US corporate media have largely shunned Manning’s case, not to mention the importance of the information he released. When corporate media have focused on Manning, this coverage has often emphasized his sexual orientation and past life, rather than his First Amendment rights or the abusive nature of his imprisonment, which includes almost three years without trial and nearly one year in “administrative segregation,” the military equivalent of solitary. In his February 2013 court appearance, Manning pled guilty to twelve of the twenty-two charges against him, including the capital offense of “aiding and abetting the enemy.” He faces the possibility of a life sentence without parole. His severe treatment is a warning to other possible whistleblowers.
Signs of an Emerging Police State
Since the passage of the 2001 PATRIOT Act, the United States has become increasingly monitored and militarized at the expense of civil liberties. The 2012 passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has allowed the military to detain indefinitely without trial any US citizen that the government labels a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism, while President Barack Obama’s signing of the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order has authorized widespread federal and military control of the national economy and resources during “emergency and non-emergency conditions.” Since 2010, the Department of Homeland Security’s If You See Something, Say Something™ campaign has encouraged the public to report all suspicious activity to local authorities, even though actions that the DHS identifies as “suspicious” include the constitutionally protected right to criticize the government or engage in nonviolent protest.
CUTHULANS TOP 10 POSTS OF 2013 ARE……..
1 A LIST OF CHILD SEX OFFENDERS INSIDE THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
2 Scottish Highland Clans and Native American Tribes the Ancient ,Historical and Modern Links
3 UK Government Blackmailed into War? Blair covers MP’s paedophile ring and the Dunblane massacre!
4 Bin Laden Dead …AGAIN!! Photoshopped pictures crime scene burnt ,body disposed of, Obama presidency more popular,Beware WWIII !!!
5 British establishment paedophile rings and their Global Partners
6 The History of the Celtic People
7 HERE IS A LIST OF 100 PAEDOPHILE COUNCILLORS OR UK POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATED MEMBERS THEY ARE AMONG THE PEOPLE WHO HELP RUN OUR COUNTRY !
8 Pope Benedict is leaving the papacy because….
9 The Invention of Judaism
10 US Government spreading freedom and democracy since 1945!
THANK YOU ALL FOR FOLLOWING MY OCCASIONAL RANTS AND RAVES
ALL THE BEST FOR 2014
…AND HERE’S TO AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND