The April 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine includes “The Warrior Class,” a feature by Charles Glass on the rise of private-security contractors since 9/11. The conclusion to the piece describes a series of videos shown to Glass by a source who had worked for the private-security company Blackwater (now Academi, formerly also Xe Services) in Iraq. Clips and photos from the videos are shown below, introduced by Glass’s descriptions: The first [video], identified as “Baghdad, Iraq, May–September 2005,” showed Blackwater convoys racing through town. Suddenly, the door of a Blackwater SUV opened and a rifle fired at passing traffic. “They opened the door,” my companion said. “You should never break the seal.”
Tag Archives | Scandals
Via CBS News:
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Members of the president’s Secret Service detail, including a supervisor, are in what looks to be some pretty hot water. At least one United States Secret Service agent is alleged to have sought the services of a prostitute in Cartagena, Colombia, where President Obama is visiting for the Summit of the Americas. CBS News has learned that one of the agents allegedly involved with the prostitute is a supervisor of the Counter Terror Assault Team (CAT). The CAT team is responsible for advance planning and response and is not part of the president’s protective detail.
A source in the Secret Service tells CBS News that one or more of the officers were involved with prostitutes and that there was a dispute over payment. One prostitute went to the police, who notified the State Department. The agents stayed at Hotel Caribe, where the international press is staying. A former Secret Service agent said the American Embassy in Colombia directed the entire division of 12 to be sent back to the United States because it was an embarrassment for the president and the U.S.
To sum up, the network’s founders are accused of stealing millions of dollars which they spent on private jets, mansions, and covering up sex scandals. The Guardian reports:
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The California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network has become embroiled in a multimillion-dollar financial scandal after allegations of widespread embezzlement. The network, which claims to broadcast in every continent except the Antarctic and has 18,000 affiliates, was set up by Paul Crouch in the 1970s and preaches a “prosperity gospel” which promises material rewards to those who give generously.
The claims describe exorbitant spending on mansions in California, Tennessee and Florida, Paul Crouch obtaining a $50m luxury jet for his personal use through a “sham loan”, while church funds – many of which come from donations during its “Praise-a-thons” – paid for a $100,000 mobile home to house the dogs of Crouch’s flamboyant wife, Janice.
Directors of the network are also accused of misusing funds to cover up sex scandals, including the alleged “cover-up and destruction of evidence concerning a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity Broadcasting and affiliated Holy Land Experience employees; the cover-up of director Janice Crouch’s affair with a staff member at the Holy Land Experience; the cover-up of director Paul Crouch’s use of Trinity Broadcasting funds to pay for a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford (a former TBN employee who said he had a homosexual affair with [founder] Paul Crouch)”.
Yogis embroiled in sex scandals shouldn’t surprise anyone, writes William J. Broad in the New York Times:
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… Why does yoga produce so many philanderers? And why do the resulting uproars leave so many people shocked and distraught?
One factor is ignorance. Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise.
Hatha yoga — the parent of the styles now practiced around the globe — began as a branch of Tantra. In medieval India, Tantra devotees sought to fuse the male and female aspects of the cosmos into a blissful state of consciousness.
The rites of Tantric cults, while often steeped in symbolism, could also include group and individual sex. One text advised devotees to revere the female sex organ and enjoy vigorous intercourse. Candidates for worship included actresses and prostitutes, as well as the sisters of practitioners.
Don’t tell me the kind of things that happened in Nazi Germany could never happen in the USA … Ryan D. Buell reports in the Huffington Post:
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Court records refer to him simply, as Victim One. Outside of a four-and-a-half page section about him in the grand jury indictment of ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, little else has been discussed about him publicly.
Last week, his mother (whom I will refer to as “Mother One”) removed him from Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, Pa., where he was a senior and an all-star athlete. In an interview conducted last week, she explained why she pulled him from the school.
“They were not helpful,” Mother One said of the school’s administrators. “They wanted me to go home and forget about it.”
Mother One also alleges that since the Sandusky scandal erupted, fellow students and the high school’s football coach (who also serves as assistant principal) have all targeted her son with verbal attacks and threats of violence.
In America, you watch Fox News, in Britain, Fox News watches you…The tally of individuals whose phones may have been hacked on behalf of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid has been upgraded, first from “a handful” to “hundreds”, and the total stands at 5,795 and counting, the Telegraph reports:
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Police have now found 5,795 names notes seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World private investigator who was jailed for phone hacking in 2007.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “It is not possible to give a precise figure about the number of people whose phones have actually been hacked but we can confirm that as of 3 November 2011, the current number of potentially identifiable persons who appear in the material, and who may therefore be victims, where names are noted, is 5,795. “This figure is very likely to be revised in the future as a result of further analysis.”
The first police investigation claimed there were only a handful of victims.
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Where are the criminal prosecutions of the major corporations responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Still nowhere to be found. Where are the prosecutors? Where is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Not prosecuting major polluters.
Instead, what are they doing? Cracking down on whistleblowers. And those who support whistleblowers. While the corporate crooks are running free.
Next time you think of this disparity of justice, remember these two words: Jon Grand.
For more than twenty years, Grand was a senior administrator at the EPA in Chicago. Never had a run in with the law. Then, he made the mistake of supporting an EPA whistleblower.
In 2000, Grand was talking on the phone with colleagues in Washington. And the EPA people in Washington were making disparaging remarks about Marsha Coleman-Adebayo – a young African-American EPA staffer who was suing the EPA and its administrator – Carol Browner – for race and sex discrimination.
Good old Larry Flynt is pulling one of his favorite stunts on Repuplican presidential candidate Rick Perry. What do you think, is there someone out there who’ll take the bait? From Reuters:
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Pornographic magazine publisher Larry Flynt offered $1 million on Thursday to anyone with proof of “an illicit sexual liaison” involving leading Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
The offer by the politically left-leaning Flynt targeting Perry was similar to past efforts by the Hustler magazine founder to embarrass public figures he dislikes.
Los Angeles-based Larry Flynt Productions, which publishes Hustler, said it bought full-page advertisements in the weekly editions of the U.S. satirical tabloid The Onion and the Austin Chronicle, a Texas alternative paper, seeking evidence of any Perry peccadilloes.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years,” Flynt said in a telephone interview with Reuters. “We’ve found running these ads were very successful in finding sources to come forward.”
A copy of the most recent ad circulated to the media by Flynt’s company read, “Have you had a gay or straight sexual encounter with Governor Rick Perry?”
“Can you provide documented evidence of illicit sexual or intimate relations with the governor?
Gay Homophobe provides the service of tracking the most recent gay sex scandal involving a prominent anti-gay politician — and the sometimes fascinating explanations offered. For the Christian Right, the site is kind of equivalent to those “days since our last tornado” signs which all old Wild West towns had. (Or which I imagine they had?) In conclusion: who knows when the latest tornado in someone’s pants will arrive.
The secret grand jury testimony given by former US President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal is set to be released after more than 36 years, following an order by a federal judge. Judge Royce Lamberth granted a request by historian Stanley Kutler to release the transcript, citing of its historical significance. But it will not be unsealed until the government has had a chance to appeal. The political scandal prompted Nixon to resign in 1974. Nixon, who died 17 years ago, was the only US president to resign. He left office amid the fallout after a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington.