Posts tagged scandal
Baby taken from mother by UK social services in ‘forced caesarean’
Social services in the county of Essex reportedly obtained permission from a High Court to forcibly remove an unborn child from its mother’s womb by caesarean section. The Court Order was granted on the basis the woman had suffered a mental breakdown.
The Sunday Telegraph reported the story, citing the woman’s lawyers, who is now fighting for custody of her child. The woman, who is reportedly an Italian national, was in the UK on a business trip last year when she suffered a panic attack. She called the police who subsequently took her to a psychiatric facility where she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Members of her family said the panic attack was caused by her failure to take medication for bipolar disorder, which she had been diagnosed with in Italy.
The legal documents handed to the Sunday Telegraph indicate that after 5 weeks in the ward, the woman was sedated and subjected to a caesarean section procedure to remove the unborn child from her womb. The Essex social services had received an order from a High Court giving them the go ahead to carry out the operation on the grounds that the woman was not mentally fit.
“I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job,” Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told The Sunday Telegraph.
The woman’s lawyers say that she was never informed of the procedure.
The aggrieved returned to the UK in February of this year to claim custody of her child at a Crown Court. Her lawyers said that although the judge formed a favorable opinion of her, he ruled that the child should be put up for adoption because there was a danger that she could regress.
Following the ruling the case has snowballed and is now at the center of an international dispute. The woman has also filed a case with a High Court in Rome asking why an Italian citizen had been subjected to UK care proceedings. Her lawyers are currently trying to discern why no next of kin in Italy were informed when she was sectioned.
“If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there,” wrote Christopher Booker in his column in The Sunday Telegraph.
Lawyers also voiced some concern that the child was put up for adoption when there had been an offer from a family friend in the US to take care of her.
Written by Daniel McAdams
The Real Elizabeth O’Bagy Scandal
So now we know that Elizabeth O’Bagy, the “expert” cited by Secretary Kerry, Senator McCain, and others as an important impartial source claiming that moderates, not radicals, dominate among Syrian insurgents is a liar.
Her padded resume was a convenient excuse for her termination from her main job at Kimberly Kagan’s Institute for the Study of War (where arch-neocon William Kristol is Chairman).
However the real scandal is not O’Bagy’s falsely claimed PhD, but rather that at her other job, for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, she had been at the enter of a massive propaganda and influence campaign aimed at the American people, pushing the idea that there were moderates in Syria who the US should be supporting. O’Bagy played a key role in that influence campaign and she was being paid to lie about the insurgents by the US government itself! Yes, the real scandal is that O’Bagy was being paid as a State Department contractor to pose as a Syria expert and convince Americans that the Syrian insurgents should be supported.
The media largely ignores this huge story preferring the easier and less dangerous story that she faked her PhD.
O’Bagy has a senior position in the US-government funded Syrian Emergency Task Force, headed by the very shady Mouaz Moustafa. Moustafa’s SETF is the organization that organized Senator McCain’s disastrous visit to Syria in May, where he met with thugs and kidnappers while claiming that they were moderates who deserved support. McCain was so taken by the Syrian insurgent kidnappers he met that he proposed a pajama party at their house and had to be dragged away by his security detail. You can see McCain and Moustafa, along with the Syrian insurgent kidnappers, in this now-famous photo.
Moustafa has a bizarre resume of his own. Before heading up the US-government funded Syria regime change lobbying group, he was Executive Director of the Libyan Council of North America, pushing for regime change in Libya. Was he on the US government payroll in that position as well?
More strange — or not — he has a long history with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), known as “AIPAC’s think tank,” even once (since scrubbed) being listed as an “expert” for that pro-Israel neoconservative “policy institute.”
Who are these people and why is Washington paying them to covertly influence public opinion in the United States in favor of regime change overseas?
And more importantly, now that their lies about the non-existent “moderates” among the insurgent groups fighting to overthrow the Syrian government have been exposed, why is the US government delivering weapons anyway to the radicals, jihadists, and criminals fighting in Syria?
How many of these new US-provided weapons will end up in the hands of the vicious jihadist thugs now laying siege to Maaloula, home of some of the last people on earth to still speak the native tongue of Jesus Christ? However, small arms are not as useful to them in their ethnic cleansing of Christians. They prefer dull knives for beheadings.
We are being lied to about Syria, and to add insult to injury we are being forced to pay for the privilege. The myriad of cut-out NGOs pose as independent voices but in fact are on the payroll of the US government. That is the scandal. Not fake PhD’s.
Image credit: http://ronpaulinstitute.org
Benton Bribery Scandal Compromises Rand Paul 2016?
This just in, Jesse Benton, former Chairman of the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign has found himself mired in an alleged bribery scandal stemming from claims he initiated payoffs to structure the resignation of Bachmann Campaign Chairman Kent Sorenson during the 2012 election.
On December 28, 2011, the tides in the presidential election seemed to shift when Iowa State Senator and Campaign Chairman for Michele Bachmann for President, Kent Sorenson resigned from Bachmann’s campaign during the 2012 Iowa Caucuses and endorsed 12-term congressman Ron Paul, instead.
While this event did not significantly affect the outcome of the election, Sorenson’s endorsement of Congressman Paul is now drawing heavy scrutiny after e-mail conversations and memos were released exposing a financial proposal of over $200,000 for Sorenson’s defection from the Bachman campaign.
This newly developing bribery scandal included exchanges between Senator Kent Sorenson, Ron Paul’s Campaign Chairman, Jesse Benton, President of the Campaign for Liberty, John Tate, Sorenson’s legislative clerk, Chris Dorr, and a few others.
Jesse Benton, who was also the Campaign Manager for Rand Paul’s 2010 Senate-run, reportedly initiated the Bachmann Defection plan in November of 2011 by contacting Sorenson’s conduit to the Paul campaign. It’s also been alleged by Opensecrets.org, a nonpartisan election guide for financial contributions, that Benton has his own controversy regarding money earned from running a political campaign, which amounts to a much larger payoff of about $1.1 million through various Paul campaign entities. As of this report little has been done to slow Benton’s push deeper into corrupt Washington dealings.
Benton is no stranger to dirty tricks. In April a secretly recorded audio file was leaked to Mother Jones detailing how the McConnell Senate Re-election Efforts, whom Benton is campaign Manager, would include targeting his proposed opponent Ashley Judd by focusing on her mental health and religion.
In the Benton initiated plan, Sorenson demanded $88,000 for himself, $20,000 for his accomplice Chris Dorr, and $100,000 for his newly created state Political Action Committee, or PAC.
This information was disclosed to TheIowaRepublican.com by Dennis Fusaro, a field director for Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008, who had a close relationship with Senator Sorenson through his work as Executive Director of the National Right to Work Committee.
Sorenson is now under investigation by the Federal Election Commission and Iowa Senate Ethics Committee for violating state senate rules which prohibit senators from receiving direct and indirect financial contributions from political campaigns.
This could have drastic effects on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s Presidential aspirations due to Benton’s relationship with Kentucky’s other Senator Mitch McConnell. These new revelations of alleged payoffs and dirty tricks could now call to question Rand Paul’s entire Senate win.
Rand Paul has made measured steps to clear his path to the White House in 2016 by courting both Neo-con incumbents of the Republican Elite while also pandering to the Tea Party.
Calls to Rand’s office were not returned and there is no word yet if Rand Paul will be distancing him from Benton in light of this scandal.
Image credit: http://nextnewsnetwork.com
Journalists fear covering the Benghazi story, don’t want to lose access (favored crony status)
It’s perfectly reasonable to expect the White House to stonewall the Benghazi investigation. There are fears that whatever happened that night might reflect poorly on the president, and perhaps even more importantly now, on Hillary Clinton who wants to be president. It makes sense that a White House which plays hardball all the time, plays hardball with reporters.
It doesn’t make it right however. Some reporters, many who have long cheered this president are starting to speak out, softly.
I have no idea what happened on September 11th of 2012, right before the presidential election. But I’d like to know more. I think the country would like to know more.
On July 31, CNN’s The Situation Room broadcast a portion of an interview conducted by reporter Arwa Damon with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks. The suspect revealed to Damon that no investigator has attempted to contact him regarding his involvement in that deadly assault. The following day, CNN’s Drew Griffin broke the news that more than 30 CIA agents were on the ground in Libya on the day of the attack and they are being pressured by the spy agency to not reveal to reporters or congressional investigators what they know of the events of that night. Some CNN reporters are reportedly fearful now that their access to the White House will be hampered following their probing into a story that members of the Obama administration would prefer remain uninvestigated…
…“I would suggest it’s not an accident that those who have been given a lot of access to the president have generally been AWOL when it comes to stories that might reflect poorly on him,” the source, who did not wish to be identified, continued. “It’s the name of the game. And it’s bad for everyone trying to do this job the right way.”
Why the Collection of Metadata is a Very, Very Big Deal
We now know that every day, U.S. phone companies quietly send the government a list of who called whom and when — “telephony metadata” — for every call made on their networks, because of a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It turns out that this has been going on for seven years (and was even reported by USA Today then); the difference now is that the government — uncharacteristically for such a secret intelligence operation — quickly acknowledged the authenticity of the leaked order and the existence of the metadata collection program.
Should we be worried? At least “nobody is listening to our telephone calls” (so the president himself assured us). People breathed a sigh of relief since first learning of the surveillance because surely there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to such seemingly innocuous information — it’s just metadata, after all. Phew!
With today’s communications technology, is metadata really less revealing than content? Especially when we’re dealing with metadata at the scale that we now know the NSA and FBI are receiving?
Because at such a scale, people’s intuition about the relative invasiveness of content and metadata starts to fail them. Phone records can actually be more revealing than content when someone has as many records and as complete a set of them as the NSA does.
Metadata, on the other hand, is ideally suited to automated analysis by computer. Having more of it just makes it the analysis more accurate, easier, and better. So while the NSA quickly drowns in data with more voice content, it just builds up a clearer and more complete picture of us with more metadata.
Metadata is our context. And that can reveal far more about us — both individually and as groups — than the words we speak.
The better understood the patterns of a particular group’s behavior, the more useful it is. This makes using metadata to identify lone-wolf Al Qaeda sympathizers (a tiny minority about whose social behavior relatively little is known) a lot harder than, say, rooting out Tea Partiers or Wall Street Occupiers, let alone the people with whom we share our beds.
It is, in effect, a National Relationship Database.
Full article here.
Image added to original post.
While the world watches every twist and turn in the unfolding Edward Snowden drama, the story becomes less and less about the information he revealed and more and more about an international manhunt. But if the issues of PRISM and spying on China and GCHQ’s spying at the G20 are falling off the radar, then how much further off the radar is the story of Russell Tice?
Join us for this week’s EyeOpener Report to examine political blackmail-from J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, to Ruppert Murdoch’s hacking scandal, the latest revelations by NSA whistleblower Russ Tice and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the role of the US media as gatekeeper for these government illegalities by censorship and or well-designed misdirection.
Watch the Preview Clip Here:
Many Of The Largest Charities In America Are Giant Money Making Scams
How would you feel if you donated money to help disaster victims or cancer patients and you later found out that more than 97 percent of the money that you gave never got into the hands of the people that needed it? Sadly, that is happening all over America today. In fact, in some of the worst cases, less than a penny of every dollar that is donated ends up in the hands of those that need the help.
If you can believe it, right now there are 6,000 charities in the United States that use for-profit companies to raise money for them, and in many of those instances the for-profit companies end up keeping more than 50 percent of the donations for themselves. In addition, many charities end up paying their employees “salaries” that are far greater than the total amount of money that the charities actually give to the needy. The Tampa Bay Times, CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting recently teamed up to conduct an investigation, and they came up with a list of the 50 worst charities in America. They discovered that those charities raised more than $1.3 billion over the past ten years combined, but that nearly $1 billion of that total went to the for-profit companies that raise their donations for them.
The American people are being scammed out of an enormous amount of money, and people need to learn the truth about this.
According to the report that was put out, the “Kids Wish Network” is the absolute worst charity in America. The following is how the Tampa Bay Times describes them…
The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station in Holiday.
Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.
Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.
Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity’s operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.
In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity’s founder and his own consulting firms.
110 million dollars is a colossal amount of money.
Imagine how much good that could have done if it had actually gone to sick kids.
Instead, it went to enrich scammers that own shady companies that run pushy telemarketing operations.
Apparently “charity work” has become one of the most prominent “get rich quick” schemes in America. The following is how CNN summarized some of the most important findings of the investigation…
– The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4% of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities gave even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent no cash at all on their cause.
– Even as they plead for financial support, operators at many of the 50 worst charities have lied to donors about where their money goes, taken multiple salaries, secretly paid themselves consulting fees or arranged fund-raising contracts with friends. One cancer charity paid a company owned by the president’s son nearly $18 million over eight years to solicit funds. A medical charity paid its biggest research grant to its president’s own for-profit company.
– Some nonprofits are little more than fronts for fund-raising companies, which bankroll their startup costs, lock them into exclusive contracts at exorbitant rates and even drive the charities into debt. Florida-based Project Cure has raised more than $65 million since 1998, but every year has wound up owing its fundraiser more than what was raised. According to its latest financial filing, the nonprofit is $3 million in debt.
– To disguise the meager amount of money that reaches those in need, charities use accounting tricks and inflate the value of donated dollar-store cast-offs – snack cakes and air fresheners – that they give to dying cancer patients and homeless veterans.
When you get a call at dinner time asking for money for sick children or to help support your local police, there is a good chance that call is coming from a “boiler room” that is being staffed by whatever shady characters that particular for-profit telemarketing firm was able to hire. If you give them money, there is a very good chance that most of the money will be kept by the telemarketers.
And you never know who is on the other end of that telephone. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, it is often convicted felons that are taking down the credit card numbers of people that think that they are donating money to a good cause…
These charity-run boiler rooms are tucked behind unmarked doors in low-rent, mostly vacant strip centers. During a visit to one earlier this year, reporters saw about 20 men sitting at long tables, hunched over computers and wearing headsets. Working to raise enough money to hit bonus levels scrawled out on a whiteboard, they asked donors to give to help the families of officers killed in the line of duty.
Police Protective Fund’s Florida operations were ignored by state regulators until 2010.
That year, a local sheriff’s office fielded a complaint and raided one of the charity’s phone rooms in Port Richey.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies found that 11 of the 27 employees who were calling for donations and taking down credit card numbers were convicted felons.
According to the investigation mentioned above, the following are the ten worst charities in America and the percentage of money that is donated to those organizations that actually goes to help people…
1. Kids Wish Network (2.5%)
2. Cancer Fund of America (0.9%)
3. Children’s Wish Foundation International (10.8%)
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation (5.3%)
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation (8.4%)
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation (2.2%)
7. International Union of Police Associations (0.5%)
8. National Veterans Service Fund (7.8%)
9. American Association of State Troopers (8.6%)
10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America (5.3%)
The number two charity on the list, the Cancer Fund of America, deserves particular attention. Over the past ten years, the Cancer Fund of America has raised nearly 100 million dollars. Most of the donors probably assumed that most of the money would go to fund cancer research or to help cancer patients. Unfortunately, that was not the case at all…
In the past three years alone, Cancer Fund and its associated charities raised $110 million. The charities paid more than $75 million of that to solicitors. Cancer Fund ranks second on the Times/CIR list of America’s worst charities. (Florida’s Kids Wish Network placed first.)
Salaries in 2011 topped $8 million — 13 times more than patients received in cash. Nearly $1 million went to Reynolds family members.
The network’s programs are overstated at best. Some have been fabricated.
“Urgent pain medication” supposedly provided to critically ill cancer patients amounted to nothing more than over-the-counter ibuprofen, regulators determined. A program to drive patients to chemotherapy, touted by the charity in mailings, didn’t even exist.
One Reynolds family charity, Breast Cancer Society, told the IRS it shipped $36 million worth of medical supplies overseas in 2011. But the two companies named as suppliers of the donated goods said they have no record of dealing with the group.
Over the past 20 years, Cancer Fund has run afoul of regulators in at least six states, paying more than $525,000 to settle charges that include lying to donors. It hasn’t slowed the network.
The fines amount to about one-third of one percent of the $177 million raised by Cancer Fund of America over the same period.
Ultimately, less than one percent of the money raised by the Cancer Fund of America goes to help cancer patients…
Cancer Fund’s tally over the past decade: Family members nearly $5 million. Cancer patients $890,000.
The biggest winners were the fundraising companies. They earned more than 80 cents of every dollar donated for a total of $80.4 million.
Does that make you sick?
Of course there are many really good charities out there. Hopefully this information will not keep people from donating to them.
But don’t just donate to anyone without carefully investigating them first, and definitely do not donate money over the phone.
Hopefully if enough people stop donating money over the phone it will start putting many of these telemarketers out of business, and that will be a great thing for all of us.
Posted by Lew Rockwell
Home Depot Co-Founder: Let’s Throw Ed Snowden a Party
(Thanks to Travis Holte)
Posted by Lew Rockwell
NSA Wiretapping Public Service Announcement
Trevor Moore (Whitest Kids U’ Know) tells us what we can do about the NSA wiretapping our phones
(Thanks to Andrew Ward)
Establishment renders harsh verdict on Edward Snowden
Of course they are hostile. Many establishment “leaders” have long Oked the NSA spying program. They know potentially that the public outrage associated with the scandal could affect them and their election prospects.
According to the attached article a big part of the anger toward Snowden stems from the fact that he is one of the great unwashed not worthy of tangling with the big shots in Washington. He (really the idea of Snowden) threatens their grip on power.
The system of crony capitalist privilege is deeply threatened by technology and information in the hands of the average person. Watch for renewed efforts to clamp down on the Net in coming months.
However, there is the off chance that a seismic shift is occurring in American politics. That may sound a bit over the top, and it is still early days, but it is possible that on a number of issues new allies are being found and new political coalitions being built. Mostly challenging the establishment.