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 PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 05/10/2007

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AuteurMessage
mihou
Rang: Administrateur


Nombre de messages : 8069
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

05102007
MessagePEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 05/10/2007

Dear friends,

Below
are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have
missed.
These news articles include revealing information on the secret legal
opinions issued by the U.S. Justice Department authorizing harsh torture
techniques, the cover-up by the U.S. State Department and Blackwater
Corporation of the company's indiscriminate killings in Iraq, the lack of
adequate F.D.A. oversight of private clinical trials, and more. Each
excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link
provided. If any link fails to function, click
here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with
limited
time.
By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread
the word, we can and will build a brighter
future.

With
best wishes,

Tod Fletcher and Fred
Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team


Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe
Interrogations


October 4, 2007, New York
Times



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/washington/04interrogate.html

When the
Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal
opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have
abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to
order brutal interrogations. But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival
as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department
issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different
document; according to officials briefed on it, [it was] an expansive
endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the
Central Intelligence Agency.
The new opinion ... for the first
time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a
combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including
head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures. Later that
year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading”
treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion. The
Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A.
interrogation
methods violated that standard. The classified opinions, never previously
disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr.
Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department. Congress and the Supreme
Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits
on
interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter
by
dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department
opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been
confirmed
by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the
White
House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude
for
harsh tactics.


Report Says Firm Sought to Cover Up Iraq
Shootings


October 2, 2007, New York
Times



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/washington/02blackwater.html

Employees
of Blackwater USA have engaged in nearly 200 shootings in Iraq since
2005,
in [the] vast majority of cases firing their weapons from moving vehicles
without stopping to count the dead or assist the wounded, according to a
new report from Congress. In at least two cases, Blackwater paid
victims’ family members who complained, and sought to cover up other
episodes, the Congressional report said. It said State Department
officials approved the payments in the hope of keeping the shootings
quiet.
In one case last year, the department helped Blackwater
spirit an employee out of Iraq less than 36 hours after the employee,
while drunk, killed a bodyguard for one of Iraq’s two vice presidents on
Christmas Eve. The report ... adds weight to complaints from Iraqi
officials, American military officers and Blackwater’s competitors that
company guards have taken an aggressive, trigger-happy approach to their
work and have repeatedly acted with reckless disregard for Iraqi life.
But
the report is also harshly critical of the State Department for
exercising
virtually no restraint or supervision of the private security company’s
861 employees in Iraq. “There is no evidence in the documents that the
committee has reviewed that the State Department sought to restrain
Blackwater’s actions, raised concerns about the number of shooting
episodes involving Blackwater or the company’s high rate of shooting
first, or detained Blackwater contractors for investigation,” the report
states. Based on 437 internal Blackwater incident reports as well as
internal State Department correspondence, the report said Blackwater’s
use
of force was “frequent and extensive, resulting in significant casualties
and property damage.” The State Department ... has paid Blackwater more
than $832 million for security services in Iraq and elsewhere, under a
diplomatic security contract it shares with two other companies, DynCorp
International and Triple Canopy.


Back In Iraq: The 'Whores Of
War'


September 29, 2007, Sunday Herald
(Scotland's leading newspaper, Sunday edition)



http://www.sundayherald.com/search/display.var.1724225.0.back_in_iraq_the_whores_of_war.php

Despite
being implicated in several controversial killings, [Blackwater] is the
Pentagon's most favoured contractor and has effective diplomatic immunity
in Iraq. Referred to as "the most powerful mercenary army in the world",
both the US ambassador to Iraq and the army's top generals hold it in
regard. The company, based near the Great Dismal Swamp in North Carolina,
was co-founded by Erik Prince, a billionaire right-wing fundamentalist.
At
its HQ, Blackwater has trained more than 20,000 mercenaries to operate as
freelancers in wars around the world. Prince is a big bankroller of the
Republican Party - giving a total of around $275,550 - and was a young
intern in the White House of George Bush Sr. Under George Bush Jr,
Blackwater received lucrative no-bid contracts for work in Iraq,
Afghanistan and New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. His firm has pulled
down contracts worth at least $320 million in Iraq alone. Jeremy Scahill,
who wrote the book Blackwater:
The Rise Of The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
, says when
Bush was re-elected in 2004, one company boss sent this email to staff:
"Bush Wins, Four More Years!! Hooyah!!" One Blackwater employment
policy is to hire ex-administration big-hitters into key
positions.
It hired Cofer Black, a former State Department
co-ordinator for counter-terrorism and former head of the CIA's
counter-terrorism centre, as vice-chairman. Robert Richer, a former CIA
divisional head, joined Blackwater as vice-president of intelligence in
2005. Scahill says the firm is "the front line in what the Bush
administration views as the necessary revolution in military affairs" -
privatisation of as many roles as possible.
Scahill went on to
call Prince a "neo-crusader, a Christian supremacist, who ... has been
allowed to create a private army to defend Christendom around the
world."


Report Assails F.D.A. Oversight of Clinical
Trials


September 27, 2007, New York
Times



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/28/health/policy/28fda.html

The Food
and Drug Administration does very little to ensure the safety of the
millions of people who participate in clinical trials, a federal
investigator has found. The inspector general of the Department of Health
and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson, said federal health officials did
not know how many clinical trials were being conducted, audited fewer
than
1 percent of the testing sites and, on the rare occasions when inspectors
did appear, generally showed up long after the tests had been completed.
The F.D.A. has 200 inspectors, some of whom audit clinical trials part
time, to police an estimated 350,000 testing sites. Even when those
inspectors found serious problems in human trials, top drug officials in
Washington downgraded their findings 68 percent of the time, the report
found. Among the remaining cases, the agency almost never followed up
with
inspections to determine whether the corrective actions that the agency
demanded had occurred. “In many ways, rats and mice get greater
protection as research subjects in the United States than do
humans,”
said Arthur L. Caplan, chairman of the department of
medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Animal research
centers have to register with the federal government, keep track of
subject numbers, have unannounced spot inspections and address problems
speedily or risk closing, none of which is true in human
research
, Mr. Caplan said. Because no one collects the data
systematically, there is no way to tell how safe the nation’s clinical
research is or ever has been. The drug agency oversees just the safety of
trials by companies seeking approval to sell drugs or devices. Using an
entirely different set of rules, the Office for Human Research
Protections
oversees trials financed by the federal government. Privately financed
noncommercial trials have no federal oversight.

Note:
For further information on corruption in the health care industry, click here.

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PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 05/10/2007 :: Commentaires

New idea for space travel?

September 30, 2007, Los Angeles
Times



http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-sunprofile30sep30,0,4678458.story

Since
Robert Goddard launched a 10-foot rocket from a New England farm more
than
80 years ago, the basic principles of space travel haven't changed much.
Still required: a violent combustion of fuel and oxygen to propel the
vehicle. Unless, maybe, you have a laser and a couple of mirrors. Young
K.
Bae, a maverick one-man rocket research institution in Tustin, believes
he
has hit on a propulsion technology that could revolutionize space travel,
finally overcoming the limits of chemical rockets, which are slow and
dangerous and need vast amounts of fuel. The 51-year-old physicist calls
it the photonic laser thruster. "This overcomes the physical barriers of
current rocket technology," he says, pointing to a tiny laser encased in
glass. Hurling ships into space with light beams has been the
stuff of science fiction novels for decades, but Bae says he has proved
that it really is just science. He says a laser beam bouncing off two
mirrors facing each other was able to exert force on one of the mirrors,
albeit ever so slight.
The discovery came in December, but Bae
waited months to reveal the experiment to verify that the measuring
devices were accurate and that the results could be repeated. Franklin B.
Mead, a rocket propulsion expert at the Air Force Research Laboratory,
calls it "pretty incredible." The photonic laser thruster can in theory
be
made much more powerful -- strong enough to propel a spacecraft to near
light speed. "If it proves out it would be revolutionary," says Carl
Ehrlich, a retired aerospace engineer who has worked on the space shuttle
and other rocket programs. Within a year or two, [Bae] will attempt to
have the laser device lift an object the size and weight of a compact
disc. Ehrlich will be watching. "We're still using the same technology
developed by Goddard. We need a breakthrough," he says.



The truth is out there: Roswell incident
recalled


September 29, 2007, North County
Times
(Newspaper from San Diego, CA)



http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/09/30/lifea
ndtimes/20_37_059_29_07.txt

On July
9, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record, a newspaper, printed a story
with the alarming headline: "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in
Roswell Region." There appear to be few things people agree on regarding
what has become known as "the Roswell incident." Six decades later,
competing UFO enthusiasts promote their own theories, skeptics dismiss
the
spaceship claims as outrageous, and the military, which originally
claimed
all the fuss was over a weather balloon, now sticks to its story that it
was an experimental spy craft. Escondido resident Milton Sprouse, 85,
said
he knows what happened in Roswell ---- not because he favors one theory
over another, but because he was there. As for the outrageous stories of
mysterious metal, alien corpses and a military coverup? It's all true, he
said. "I was there the day they announced a UFO had crashed," he said.
"The next day, it was published in the Roswell Daily Record, and that
night, all the generals said the story was untrue." Sprouse said all
copies of the Roswell newspaper were collected by officers. Sprouse ...
said he recalls people speaking about "alien bodies" immediately after
the
debris discovery. "They took the bodies to a hangar, and there were two
guards at each door with machine guns," he said. Sprouse said one
witness,
a barracksmate, was an emergency-room medic who reported seeing what he
called "humanoid" bodies in the hospital. "They went to the ER room and
two doctors and two nurses were called in, and they dissected two
of those humanoid bodies. Then the doctors and nurses were transferred.
My
friend said he saw the bodies, and I believed him," Sprouse said. "He
said,
'We don't think the humanoid ate food.' I don't know why he said that.
The
digestive system wasn't designed for food or something."


Note:
For more revealing information on UFOs from major media sources, click here.


Consumers lose most credit card
disputes


September 27, 2007, CNN/Associated
Press



http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/AFX-0013-19878484.htm

A
consumer advocacy group [has] released a study alleging credit card
companies use arbitration firms that they know will rarely rule in favor
of consumers. Nearly all credit card customer service agreements mandate
binding arbitration because it is a cheaper and faster way to resolve
disputes, industry officials say. Public
Citizen though says the companies hire arbitration firms that almost
always rule in favor of the card issuer. Arbitration firms used
by
companies such as Mastercard Inc., Visa, Discover Financial Services LLC
and American Express Co. ruled against consumers in 32,300 of 34,000
disputes that went to arbitration, according to Public Citizen's
study.
'This is a system that is unfair to consumers,' Joan
Claybrook, the group's president said at a press briefing. Sen. Russ
Feingold, D-Wis. and Rep Hank Johnson, D-Ga., attended the briefing to
say
they have introduced legislation that would let credit card customers
choose arbitration or civil court in a dispute. 'People shouldn't have to
give up their legal rights just to get a credit card,' Claybrook said.
Public Citizen's study singled out arbitration disputes in California
because it is the only state that requires arbitration resolutions be
disclosed. Public Citizen also singled out the Minneapolis-based National
Arbitration Forum, which has arbitrated many of the disputes
analyzed.


'Eco-towns' target doubled by
PM


September 24, 2007, BBC


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7010888.stm

Gordon
Brown has promised to double the number of "eco-towns" to be built across
the UK from five to ten.
The prime minister told the Labour
conference in Bournemouth that a positive response to the project had
encouraged him to expand it. This showed "imagination", he said, adding
that eco-towns would help the government meet housebuilding targets.
In May, Mr Brown promised [that] communities of up to 100,000 low-carbon
and carbon-neutral homes would be built. Mr Brown told the Labour
conference: "For the first time in nearly half a century we will
show the imagination to build new towns - eco-towns with low and
zero-carbon homes.
And today, because of the responses we have
received, we are announcing that instead of just five new eco-towns we
will now aim for ten - building thousands of new homes in every region of
the country." This would help boost housebuilding to 240,000 homes a
year,
he said. The eco-town idea was the first major policy announcement made
by
Mr Brown as he began his campaign to succeed Tony Blair as prime minister
earlier this year. Constructed on old industrial sites, they will be
powered by locally generated energy from sustainable sources. The
government said that, with a month to go until the deadline, there had
been about 30 expressions of interest in building eco-towns from
councils,
developers and others.


Microcredit movement tackling poverty one tiny
loan at a time


September 30, 2007, San Francisco
Chronicle
(San Francisco's leading newspaper)



http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/30/MN7QRSUKA.DTL

A
Peruvian widow borrowed $64 and bought a few pigs. For $55, a villager in
Ghana went into the mineral-water trade. A mother of nine in Guatemala
upgraded her grocery store with $250. These women from three continents
have something in common: They are beneficiaries of microcredit - very
small loans to very poor people for very small businesses.
The
benefactors, in many cases, are ordinary individuals inspired by a
movement that is reshaping philanthropy. More and more of us are becoming
convinced that lending even tiny amounts of money to destitute people in
the developing world can transform lives - theirs and ours. "My life has
changed because of this loan," said 27-year-old Patience Asare-Boateng,
in
a phone interview from Ghana. "This is something that people want: a
sense
of connection and a sense of community," said Bob Graham, founder of NamasteDirect, a microcredit
organization in San Francisco. "Because it's decreasing in our daily
lives." The microcredit approach carved out in Bangladesh three decades
ago by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus has
inspired a war on poverty that blends social conscience and business
savvy
- especially in Northern California. Although Yunus, widely regarded as
the
father of the modern microcredit movement, made his first loan in 1976
and
established Grameen Bank - lending to the poorest of the poor - 24 years
ago, microlending only recently started seeping into public
consciousness.

Note:
For more inspiring information on the microcredit movement founded by
Nobel
Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus, click
here.





Special Note: For an incredibly revealing interview with
author Naomi Klein on the role of the Chicago School of economists in
promoting radical antidemocratic change by using states of public shock
to
push through unwanted policies, click
here.





Final Note: WantToKnow.info believes it is
important to balance disturbing cover-up information with inspirational
writings which call us to be all that we can be and to work together
for
positive change. Please visit our Inspiration Center at http://www.WantToKnow.info/inspirational
for an abundance of uplifting material.


See our archive of
revealing news articles at http://www.WantToKnow.info/medianewsarticles






Your tax-deductible donations, however large or small, help greatly to
support this important work.
To make a donation by credit card,
check, or money order: http://www.WantToKnow.info/donationswtk

Explore
these empowering websites coordinated by the nonprofit PEERS network:

http://www.momentoflove.org
- Every person in the world has a heart

http://www.WantToKnow.info
- Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups

http://www.inspiringcommunity.org
- Building a Global Community for All

http://www.weboflove.org
- Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all

Educational websites promoting transformation through information and
inspiration
 

PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 05/10/2007

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