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 PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 19/10/2007

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

19102007
MessagePEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 19/10/2007

This
message
is available online at http://www.WantToKnow.info/071019nsasurveillancecheneyspowersdrugindustry



Dear friends,

Below
are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have
missed.
These news articles include revealing information on new evidence that
the
NSA's surveillance of the American public predated 9/11, Dick Cheney's
decades-long campaign to increase the powers of the presidency, the
influence of the drug industry on medical schools, 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


Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone
Firm


October 13, 2007, Washington
Post



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101202485.html

A former
Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for
insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities
for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused
to
participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the
company thought might be illegal. Former chief executive Joseph P.
Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA
approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
... about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather
information about Americans' phone records. In the court filings
disclosed
this week, Nacchio suggests that Qwest's refusal to take part in that
program led the government to cancel a separate, lucrative contract with
the NSA in retribution. He is using the allegation to try to show why his
stock sale should not have been considered improper. He has claimed in
court papers that he had been optimistic that Qwest would overcome weak
sales because of the expected top-secret contract with the government.
Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27,
2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist
telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the
terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have
been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless
surveillance efforts.
In May 2006, USA Today reported
that the NSA had been secretly collecting the phone-call records of tens
of millions of Americans, using data provided by major telecom firms.
Qwest, it reported, declined to participate because of fears that the
program lacked legal standing.

Note:
The Bush Administration has claimed that the NSA surveillance of the
American public was a necessary response to the attacks of 9/11. But
this
story reveals that the surveillance began before 9/11, shortly after
Bush
took office. The obvious question is, why? For many other reliable,
verifiable reports that suggest the official explanation of the events of
9/11 is false, click
here.


Cheney's Law

October 16, 2007, Frontline
(PBS)



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/etc/synopsis.html

For
three
decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive,
behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited
wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department
and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions.
Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department
interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way,
granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate,
torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial
review. "The vice president believes that Congress has very few
powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch,"
former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells
Frontline. "He believes the president should have the final word
-- indeed the only word -- on all matters within the executive branch."
After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to
implement
their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an
ally
in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily
powerful
Office of Legal Counsel. In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda
authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority. "There were
extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly
overbroad to the tasks at hand," [former Assistant Attorney General Jack
L. Goldsmith] says. As the White House and Congress continue to face
off
over executive privilege, the terrorist surveillance program, and the
firing of U.S. attorneys, Frontline tells the story of what's
formed the views of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious
project to reshape the power of the president in American history.

Note:
To watch this revealing Frontline video, click
here.


U.S. Medical Schools, Drug Makers Share Strong
Ties


October 16, 2007, Washington
Post



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/16/AR2007101601409.html

More
than
half of department chairs at U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals
have financial ties with the drug industry, a new study finds. "There is
not a single aspect of medicine in which the drug companies do not have
substantial and deep relationships, [including] doctors-in-training,
resident physicians, researchers, physicians-in-practice, the people who
review drugs for the federal government and the people who review
studies," said lead researcher Eric Campbell, associate professor at the
Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard
Medical School in Boston. "Drug companies have relationships with
everyone," he continued. "They're involved in every aspect of medicine.
Someone has to decide which of these is OK." The study, the first to
examine the extent of these institutional relationships, is published in
the Oct. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
Association
. "I think the paper is a very valuable contribution, in
that it provides what's probably the first comprehensive documentation of
the extent of relationships that involve department chairs, and
department
chairs are certainly the key agents of overseeing and maintaining the
day-to-day operations of a medical school or teaching hospital," said Dr.
David Korn ... at the Association of American Medical Colleges in
Washington, D.C. The issue of medicine's ties to industry has been a hot
one of late. One study found that third-year medical students get, on
average, one gift or attend one activity sponsored by a drug maker each
week. "Now it's up to the policymakers and people who run medical
schools," said Campbell. "They need to come up with some rules and they
need to be new rules. I believe there's very little reasonable
justification for why drug companies should be involved in the education
of medical students."


Note:
For a powerful overview of medical corruption, click here.


Pentagon Review Faults Bank Record
Demands


October 14, 2007, New York
Times



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/washington/14letter.html

An
internal Pentagon review this year found systemic problems ... in the
military’s efforts to obtain records from American banks and consumer
credit agencies in terrorism and espionage investigations, according to
Pentagon documents. The newly disclosed documents, totaling more than
1,000 pages, provide additional confirmation of the military’s expanding
use of what are known as national security letters under powers claimed
under the Patriot Act. The documents show that the military has issued at
least 270 of the letters since 2005, and about 500 in all since 2001. The
documents were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by two
private advocacy groups, the American
Civil
Liberties Union and the Electronic
Frontier Foundation. The New York Times first disclosed the
military’s use of the letters in January, and senior members of Congress
and civil liberties groups criticized the practice on grounds that it
seemed to conflict with traditional Pentagon rules against domestic law
enforcement operations. The documents raise a number of apparent
discrepancies between the Defense Department’s internal practices and
what
officials have said publicly and to Congress about their use of the
letters. The documents suggest, for instance, that military officials
used
the F.B.I. to collect records for what started as purely military
investigations. And the documents also leave open the possibility that
records could be gathered on nonmilitary personnel in the course of the
investigations. Civil liberties advocates said recent controversy
over the Department of Defense’s collection of information on antiwar
protesters made them suspicious of the assertion that the letters had
been
used exclusively to focus on military personnel. “We are very skeptical
that the D.O.D. is voluntarily limiting its own surveillance power,”
said Melissa Goodman, a staff attorney for the A.C.L.U..

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PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 19/10/2007 :: Commentaires

CIA director investigating
watchdog


October 12, 2007, San Francisco
Chronicle
(San Francisco's leading newspaper)



http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/10/12/MNP1SOQI9.DTL


CIA
Director Michael Hayden has mounted a highly unusual challenge to his
agency's chief watchdog, ordering an internal investigation of an
inspector general who has issued a series of reports sharply critical of
top CIA officials. Hayden is seeking to rein in an inspector general who
has used the office to bring ... scrutiny upon CIA figures from former
Director George Tenet to undercover operatives running secret overseas
prison sites. The investigation is focused on ... CIA Inspector General
John Helgerson and his office, particularly whether they were fair and
impartial in their scrutiny of the agency's terrorist detention and
interrogation programs. Officials said that the investigation also will
span other subjects and that it already has expanded since its start
months ago. U.S. intelligence officials concerned about the
inquiry said it is unprecedented and could threaten the independence of
the inspector general position. The investigation "could at least lead to
appearances he's trying to interfere with the IG, or intimidate the IG,
or
get the IG to back off,"
one U.S. official familiar with the
investigation said. Frederick Hitz, who served as the CIA's inspector
general from 1990 to 1998, said the move will be perceived as an attempt
by Hayden "to call off the dogs." "What it would lead to is an
undercutting of the inspector general's authority and his ability to
investigate allegations of wrongdoing," Hitz said. "The rank and file
will
become aware of it, and it will undercut the inspector general's ability
to
get the truth from them." Hayden has been a staunch defender of the Bush
administration's counterterrorism programs.


Note:
What does it say about an agency when they accuse their own internal
investigator of being corrupt?



Supreme Disgrace

October 12, 2007, New York
Times



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/11/opinion/11thu1.html


Somehow,
the [Supreme Court] could not muster the four votes needed to grant
review
in the case of an innocent German citizen of Lebanese descent who was
kidnapped, detained and tortured in a secret overseas prison as part of
the Bush administration’s ... anti-terrorism program. The victim, Khaled
el-Masri, was denied justice by lower federal courts, which dismissed his
civil suit in a reflexive bow to a flimsy government claim that allowing
the case to go forward would put national security secrets at risk. Those
rulings ... represented a major distortion of the state secrets doctrine,
a rule ... that was originally intended to shield specific evidence in a
lawsuit filed against the government. It was never designed to dictate
dismissal of an entire case before any evidence is produced. The Masri
case ... is being actively discussed all over the world. The only place
it
cannot be discussed, it seems, is in a United States courtroom.
In
effect, the Supreme Court has granted the government immunity for
subjecting Mr. Masri to “extraordinary rendition,” the morally and
legally
unsupportable United States practice of transporting foreign nationals to
be interrogated in other countries known to use torture and lacking basic
legal protections.
It’s hard to imagine what, at this point,
needs to be kept secret, other than the ways in which the administration
behaved, ... quite possibly illegally, in the Masri case. The Supreme
Court has left an innocent person without any remedy for his wrongful
imprisonment and torture. It has ... established [itself] as Supreme
Enabler of the Bush administration’s efforts to avoid accountability for
its actions. These are not accomplishments to be proud of.



Income-Inequality Gap Widens

October 12, 2007, Wall Street
Journal



http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB119215822413557069-lMyQjAxMDE3OTEyMjExNTI4Wj.html


The
richest Americans' share of national income has hit a postwar record,
surpassing the highs reached in the 1990s bull market, and underlining
the
divergence of economic fortunes blamed for fueling anxiety among American
workers.
The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all
income in 2005, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service.
That is up sharply from 19% in 2004, and surpasses the previous high of
20.8% set in 2000, at the peak of the previous bull market in stocks. The
bottom 50% earned 12.8% of all income, down from 13.4% in 2004 and a bit
less than their 13% share in 2000. The IRS data go back only to 1986, but
academic research suggests the rich last had this high a share of total
income in the 1920s. Until this summer, soaring stock prices and buoyant
credit markets had produced spectacular payouts for private-equity and
hedge-fund managers, and investment bankers. One study by University of
Chicago academics Steven Kaplan and Joshua Rauh concludes that in 2004
there were more than twice as many such Wall Street professionals in the
top 0.5% of all earners as there are executives from nonfinancial
companies. Mr. Rauh said "it's hard to escape the notion" that the rising
share of income going to the very richest is, in part, "a Wall Street,
financial industry-based story." The study shows that the highest-earning
hedge-fund manager earned double in 2005 what the top earner made in
2003,
and top 25 hedge-fund managers earned more in 2004 than the chief
executives of all the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index,
combined. The IRS data show that the median tax filer's income -- half
earn less than the median, half earn more -- fell 2% between 2000 and
2005
when adjusted for inflation, to $30,881. At the same time, the income
level
for the tax filer just inside the top 1% grew 3%, to $364,657.


Note:
For many verifiable reports on worsening income inequality, click
here.



Knights Templar win heresy reprieve after 700
years


October 11, 2007, Washington
Post/
Reuters



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/11/AR2007101102107.html


The
Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy
and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican
publishes trial documents it had closely guarded for 700 years. A
reproduction of the minutes of trials against the Templars, "Papal
Inquiry
into the Trial of the Templars" is a massive work ... with a 5,900 euros
($8,333) price tag. "This is a milestone because it is the first time
that
these documents are being released by the Vatican," said Professor
Barbara
Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican's Secret Archives. The
parchment, also known as the Chinon Chart, was "misplaced" in the Vatican
archives until 2001.
The Templars ... were founded in 1119. They
amassed enormous wealth and helped finance wars of some European
monarchs.
Legends of their hidden treasures, secret rituals and power have figured
over the years in films and bestsellers such as "The Da Vinci Code." The
Knights have also been portrayed as guardians
of the legendary Holy Grail. The Templars went into decline after
Muslims re-conquered the Holy Land at the end of the 13th century and
were
accused of heresy by King Philip IV of France, their foremost persecutor.
Templars were burned at the stake for heresy by King Philip's
agents after they made confessions that most historians believe were
given
under duress. Philip was heavily indebted to the Templars
, who
had
helped him finance his wars, and getting rid of them was a convenient way
of cancelling his debts, some historians say. Rosi Fontana, who has
helped the Vatican coordinate the project, said: "The most incredible
thing is that 700 years have passed and people are still fascinated by
all
of this."


Note:
The mass arrest of the Knights Templar occurred on Friday
the 13th of 1307, which some believe was the origin of Friday the
13th
being a day of bad luck. This group is suspected of harboring many
secrets.
The order still exists today (do a Google search) and may still play a
role
in political manipulations. For highly revealing media articles on other
powerful secret societies, click
here.




Public health: The hidden menace of mobile
phones


October 7, 2007, Independent (One
of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)



http://news.independent.co.uk/health/article3036005.ece


Using a
mobile phone for more than 10 years increases the risk of getting brain
cancer, according to the most comprehensive study of the risks yet
published. The study – which contradicts official pronouncements that
there is no danger of getting the disease – found that people who have
had
the phones for a decade or more are twice as likely to get a malignant
tumour on the side of the brain where they hold the handset. The
scientists who conducted the research say using a mobile for just
an hour every working day during that period is enough to increase the
risk – and that the international standard used to protect users from the
radiation emitted is "not safe" and "needs to be revised". They conclude
that "caution is needed in the use of mobile phones" and believe
children,
who are especially vulnerable, should be discouraged from using them at
all.
Official assurances that the phones are safe have been
based
on research that has, at best, included only a few people who have been
exposed to the radiation for long enough to get the disease, and are
therefore of little or no value in assessing the real risk. The
scientists
pulled together the results of the 11 studies that have so far
investigated
the occurrence of tumours in people who have used phones for more than a
decade, drawing on research in Sweden, Denmark Finland, Japan, Germany,
the United States and Britain. They found almost all had discovered an
increased risk, especially on the side of the head where people listened
to their handsets. [One of the study's authors] said he uses a mobile
phone as little as possible, and urges others to use hands-free equipment
and make only short calls, reserving longer ones for landlines. He also
said that mobiles should not be given to children, whose thinner skulls
and developing nervous systems make them particularly vulnerable.


Note:
Evidence has been mounting for some years that cell phones and wireless
technology (WiFi) have significant health risks. For a recent brief
summary by a highly respected scientist, click here.
I am creating artificial life, declares US gene
pioneer


October 6, 2007, Guardian (One of
the U.K.'s leading newspapers)



http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/oct/06/genetics.climatechange


Craig
Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher
the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of
laboratory
chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new
artificial life form on Earth. The announcement ... will herald a giant
leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to
provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species. A team of
20 top scientists assembled by Mr Venter, led by the Nobel laureate
Hamilton Smith, has already constructed a synthetic chromosome. Using
lab-made chemicals, they have [created] a chromosome that is 381 genes
long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code. The DNA sequence is
based on the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium which the team
pared
down to the bare essentials needed to support life, removing a fifth of
its
genetic make-up. The wholly synthetically reconstructed chromosome, which
the team have christened Mycoplasma laboratorium ... is then
transplanted into a living bacterial cell and ... in effect becomes a new
life form. The new life form will depend for its ability to replicate
itself and metabolise on the molecular machinery of the cell into which
it
has been injected, and in that sense it will not be a wholly synthetic
life
form. However, its DNA will be artificial, and it is the DNA that
controls
the cell and is credited with being the building block of life. [Venter]
has further heightened the controversy surrounding his potential
breakthrough by applying for a patent for the synthetic bacterium. Pat
Mooney, director of a Canadian bioethics organisation, ETC Group, said the move was an
enormous challenge to society to debate the risks involved.
"Governments, and society in general, is way behind the ball.
This
is a wake-up call - what does it mean to create new life forms in a
test-tube?" He said Mr Venter was creating a "chassis on which you could
build almost anything."



Note:
For an abundance of reports highlighting the dangers posed by genetic
modification, click
here.



An American Embassy with All the
Amenities


October 4, 2007, Talk of the
Nation

(NPR)



http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14993509


The new
U.S. embassy in Baghdad is shaping up to be the largest and most lavish
embassy in the world. Tucked inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, the
$600-million compound will include grocery stores, a movie theater,
tennis
courts and a club for social gatherings. In "The Mega Bunker of
Baghdad," Vanity Fair reporter William Langewiesche
describes
the compound — and argues that it's not being built for
diplomacy.



Note:
Click on the link above to listen to this revealing radio report.



Woman loses 95 pounds, trains for
marathons


October 3, 2007, CNN


http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.fitness/10/03/weightloss.kelly.pless/index.html


If
someone had asked Kelly Pless to describe herself three years ago, the
word "fit" would have never crossed her mind. For most of her adult
life,
the 31-year-old ... has struggled with her weight. She started gaining as
a
teenager and by the time she graduated from high school, she was carrying
215 pounds on her 5' 2" frame. At 28, she started having trouble
breathing
and doctors told her the weight was to blame. She reached her breaking
point. Pless decided to do something. Fortunately she didn't have to look
far for inspiration. "My manager at the Kennedy Space Center ran
marathons, and he was the same age as my father," she said. Over the next
three to four months, she began walking, without any real goal or
expectation. Pless believed that if she just focused on eating less and
moving more, everything would fall into place. "At first, it was hard to
start exercising because I was worried people would make fun of me,"
Pless
said. "But then I just told myself, if that's the worst that could happen
... I just got out there and didn't care." She also adopted an "eat to
live" philosophy and satisfied her cravings for sweets by eating lots of
fruit. "After a few months of cutting [snacks and sweets] out, I focused
more on portion control," said Pless. "I pretty much eat when I'm
hungry and don't eat when I'm not and really try to pay attention to when
those times are. Pless asks herself, "What do I really want to eat? Or,
what does my body really want right now?"
All of the hard work
and determination paid off. Pless has lost 95 pounds and kept it off for
1½ years. As a result, she says, she's healthier and more confident.
Pless
runs about 40 miles a week while she trains for two marathons she plans
to
run this winter. "Running has become a constant for me and does so much
more for me than maintain my weight, which is now about 125 pounds," said
Pless.








Special Note: For a revealing 10-minute Fox News clip
revealing the dangers of aspartame and related political manipulations,
click here. For a
most awesome, six-minute BBC video clip of an amazing hybrid between a
motorcycle and a car, click here.
Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! And for the fascinating
testimony of five eye-witnesses to the Roswell UFO cover-up on the Sci-Fi
channel website, 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







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Re: PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team 19/10/2007
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