After being forced to pay out millions in settlements to the victims of former coach and child molester Jerry Sandusky, Penn State University attempted to recover the money through their insurance coverage. But in a twist, their insurer, PMA, instead fought back in court, with a disturbing argument - Penn State officials, including Joe Paterno, had known since 1976 of Sandusky's abuses. Today, their risk assessment was unsealed by the court, including information from past sealed settlements. [more inside]
Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
Navy SEALs, a Beating Death and Claims of a Cover-Up by Nicholas Kulish, Christopher Drew and Matthew Rosenberg [The New York Times] U.S. soldiers accused Afghan police and Navy SEALs of abusing detainees. But the SEAL command opted against a court-martial and cleared its men of wrongdoing.
Abuse of detainees is among the most serious offenses an American service member can commit. Several military justice experts, who reviewed a Naval Criminal Investigative Service report on the case at the request of The Times, said that it had been inappropriate for the SEAL command to treat such allegations as an internal disciplinary matter and that it should have referred the case for an Article 32 review, the equivalent of a grand jury, to consider a court-martial.[more inside]
Previous efforts to revamp Playboy, as recently as three years ago, have never quite stuck. And those who have accused it of exploiting women are unlikely to be assuaged by a modest cover-up. But, according to its own research, Playboy’s logo is one of the most recognizable in the world, along with those of Apple and Nike. This time, as the magazine seeks to compete with younger outlets like Vice, Mr. Flanders said, it sought to answer a key question: “if you take nudity out, what’s left?”Playboy to stop printing nude photos as of the March 2016 issue. (SLNYT) [more inside]
"In some ways, C8 already is the tobacco of the chemical industry — a substance whose health effects were the subject of a decades-long corporate cover-up." An investigative report from The Intercept examines the secret history of a toxic byproduct of the chemical manufacturing industry that has recently come to light due to a mass of pending lawsuits.
Rape on the Night Shift: Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. On Tuesday, a PBS Frontline/Reveal investigation explored ways sexual violence against janitors is going unreported and unpunished. All content is SFW, but some may find descriptions in the links in this post disturbing. [more inside]
Loaded with Lead. America has an estimated 10,000 gun ranges and 40 million annual recreational shooters. But when guns are fired with lead-based ammunition, they spread a toxin: lead vapor and dust. A year-long Seattle Times investigation shows that due to poor ventilation and contact with lead-coated surfaces, thousands of workers, shooters and their family members have been contaminated and been made sick at shooting ranges nationwide. Reckless range owners/operators, unenforced regulations as well as a lack of oversight and inspections are to blame. [more inside]
The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare. "Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking." [more inside]
Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.
[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
"The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West."
- The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons (SLNYT) [more inside]
In August 1989, 23-year-old professional ice-hockey player Duncan MacPherson travelled from New York to Europe, to enjoy a holiday before starting a new job in Scotland. He hired snowboarding gear and took a lesson on the Stubai Glacier. Then, according to the Austrian authorities and the owners of the ski resort, he simply disappeared. In Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery, John Leake details the coverup and corruption that started then and continued for years after MacPherson's body melted out of the ice in 2003. Warning: the website contains close-up pictures of MacPherson's damaged body. [more inside]
As part of a settlement between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the victims of 30 pedophile priests, a cache of 6000 documents has been made public, detailing the Catholic Church's efforts over many years to cover up sexual abuse and protect accused priests.
Nightmare in Maryville - The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously) and anger on the internet. Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up.
Mirage Men is a book and documentary by fortean investigator and author Mark Pilkington on governmental manipulation and general mindfuckery of UFO investigators. "In 1983, while researching a documentary on the subject of UFOs for HBO, [Linda Howe] was engaged by Richard 'Rick' Doty, an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), initially with the promise of helping her investigate an alleged UFO landing near Ellsworth Air Force Base. But Howe's meeting with Doty took an unexpected turn when the AFOSI agent suddenly produced a manila folder, saying she could take a look at it but, not remove it from the office or make notes. Within it was a document titled "Briefing Paper for the President of the United States of America on the Subject of Unidentified Aerial Vehicles", which listed a number of alleged UFO crash retrievals by the government, as well as paragraphs that became "emblazoned" on Howe's mind concerning how they had discovered that Homo sapiens was a species created by extraterrestrials through genetic manipulation of primates." [more inside]
'Well, could we get some respirators or something, because that s--t is bad.' He said, 'No, that wouldn't look good to the media.' Last month, BP CEO Dudley told the annual BP shareholders meeting in London that Corexit "is effectively ... dishwashing soap." But the Louisiana Environmental Action Network's scientific adviser, Wilma Subra, a chemist whose work on environmental pollution had won her a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, told state and federal authorities at the time that she was especially concerned about the mixture of crude and Corexit. Flashforward to 2013, the civil trial against BP is underway, and an investigative reporter talks about the cover-up in a long article at Newsweek. (Previously, previouslier, more previouslier)
Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead, likely poisoned. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks", or the use of Chlorpyrifos in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.. A Facebook group was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated, deaths could be made public.
When volunteers and employees were suspected of sexually abusing children, Boy Scout officials often didn't tell police, files from 1970-91 reveal. A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.
Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes? "A whistleblower claims that over the past two decades, the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals."
UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
Malcolm Gladwell did an article about this in the New Yorker, but this GQ article shows the opposition the researchers who discovered CTE faced from the NFL.
UK MPs trying to block publishing their expenses - they're voting on Thursday to overturn last year's High Court ruling. TheyWorkForYou is emailing members to let them know that the UK government buried the news of this vote amongst last week's Heathrow runway anouncement. They are trying to reverse the 16 May 2008 High Court decision that MPs' expenses must, under the Freedom Of Information Act, be made public. What can you do about this mixture of Jo Moore and Krusty? [more inside]
New friendly fire coverup: Army shreds files on dead soldiers. "Hours after Salon revealed evidence that two Americans were killed by a U.S. tank, not enemy fire, military officials destroyed papers on the men."
Ain't this cute: The US State Dept. has outsourced a Private military contractor to investigate Blackwater. There are still some questions in the air for U.S. Investigations Services (USIS) regarding Ted Westhusing. There is Controversy In The Military; Will Anything Change? Remember that Military Rules Don't Apply when Outsourcing Fear. ( Related 1, 2, 3 ).
Now, here's something you don't see every day. I found it unlikely, but perhaps he was a copycat suicide. [more inside]
It smells like dirty socks, wet dog, oil, chemicals, gymnasiums, burning, vomit, and more. It induces blurred vision, disorientation, shaking and tremors, vertigo, seizures, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, depression, sleep disorders, salivation, nausea and diarrhoea among other symptoms. Is "toxic airline syndrome" the new Gulf War Syndrome? [more inside]
The Guajurati State Government has been directly implicated in a massacre of over 2,000 moslems during riots in 2002. There has been surprisingly little coverage by world news media. via pickledpolitics a British based SE Asian current affairs / political blog.
The man who knew too much. "He was the CIA's expert on Pakistan's nuclear secrets, but Rich Barlow was thrown out and disgraced when he blew the whistle on a US cover-up. Now he's to have his day in court."
Well boys I reckon this is it. A B-52 loaded with six nuclear cruise missiles leaves North Dakota and arrives in Louisiana with five prompting the ACC to schedule (and announce) an Air Force wide standown on September 14, 2007. What's next Major Kong?
19 year old Pfc. LaVena Johnson's dead body was found in her tent, near Balad, Iraq. Her face was beaten, nose broken, teeth loosened, and she'd been shot through the left side of her head. A trail of blood was found nearby, and the tent appeared to be partly burned. The Army ruled it a suicide. Bloggers were doubtful. The Johnson family asked that the remains be disinterred and a better investigation launched. Meanwhile, the internet pushes back.
Has Australia's largest cycling club attempted to cover up the possible causes of a fatal crash at its latest event? The Canberra Cycling Club's press release says that the race was conducted in accordance with Australian road rules. Their photo gallery for the event certainly shows small groups of riders keeping to one side of the centre line. Local sleuths The RiotACT say different.
The House of Death A DHS/DEA/DoJ/US Media coverup. Another victory in the War on Drugs?
When 12 bodies were found buried in the garden of a Mexican house, it seemed like a case of drug-linked killings. But the trail led to Washington and a cover-up that went right to the top.Other online coverage (1, 2, 3)
novak loses it some are guessing because the host had warned him he would be asked about the valerie wilson outing ...
If the same journalistic standards applied to CBS by the independent Rathergate panel had been applied to the Pentagon Papers, they never would have seen the light of day, says James Goodale, former vice chairman of the New York Times.
The Incentives for Silence: [login or Google required] An Army intelligence sergeant was ordered to a psychologist for voicing concerns about the safety of Iraqi prisoners. After finding nothing wrong with him, his commanding officer told the psychologist that, “I don't care what you saw or heard, he is imbalanced, and I want him out of here.”
“The next day... the soldier was evacuated from Iraq in restraints on a stretcher to a military hospital in Germany, despite having been given no official diagnosis”
“The next day... the soldier was evacuated from Iraq in restraints on a stretcher to a military hospital in Germany, despite having been given no official diagnosis”
The dog ate my service records. The Pentagon has announced that the payroll records for National Guard service for three months between 1972 and 1973 have been accidentally destroyed. These three months coincidentally cover the disputed period of George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. (Similar Google link here, via dKos)
The Hutton Enquiry on-line. Terms of Reference: "...urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly." Hearing transcripts and documentary evidence for your perusal.
“There has been a cover-up of this.” Ah, well, why should we be surprised. The Republicans already have decided to co-opt September 11 to their political advantage by rescheduling their convention in New York so close to the anniversary of that day, so why not keep the report on the actual events of September 11 secret - to avoid any sort of embarassing political fallout?
White House halts asbestos alert WASHINGTON (AP) - A warning from the Environmental Protection Agency, informing millions of Americans their homes might contain asbestos-contaminated insulation, has not been issued because of White House intervention, a newspaper reports. The EPA was expected to announce the warning in April, and declare a public health emergency concerning Zonolite insulation, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in its Sunday editions.
The Times has a story about a preliminary UN report claiming there could have been a cover-up regarding the "wedding-party airstrike" earlier this month. Reuters/Yahoo also has the story but it's not getting much coverage in US media. This blog claims the story is front page material in a few european countries. The US military denies any cover up.
Excellent summation of the Cheney/GAO tussle by someone who knows a thing or two about cover-ups: John Dean.
Lynne Cheney says husband not hurt by stresses of 9/11 This developing story via Drudge makes an important slip! Note that there had been some speculation as to what had happened on flight 93, the hijacked plane over Pa that crashed when the passengers rushed the terrorists. Aside from some reports that there had been an explosion first, a later story noted that the FBI would not release the black box because it would be "emoitionally disturbing." But Lynne notes the anxiety felt by the White House of having to "shoot down ANOTHER plane." What does that mean?
Is the Bush Administration complicit in hiding the source of the anthrax? An interesting theory with intriguing, albeit rather weak, evidence is presented. What do you guys think?