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However, according to the Department of Justice’s “Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons” report, private prisons offer at best a 1% cost savings over their government operated counterparts, while at the same time having 49% more assaults on staff and 65% more assaults on other inmates. Corporations owning correctional facilities is not the only way that prisons and the War on Drugs have been used as a source of income.For instance, even in government-ran facilities, inmates and their families are regularly subject to price gouging by phone carriers. While the average cost of a phone call in the United States is 3 cents per minute, inmates and their families end up paying between 16 cents and .00 per minute. The profits are then split between the carrier and the government body who awarded the contract.In 2009, The Department of Homeland Security sent a confidential memo to law enforcement in Missouri that listed supporters of several political candidates and third parties as potential terrorists. Americans opposed to the bailout and the income tax were also listed in the same group as Neo-nazi’s and bombers of abortion clinics.After appearing on the Wikileaks website, letters of apologies were sent to Representive Ron Paul, Former Congressman Bob Barr, and Presidental Candidate Chuck Baldwin – all of whom were listed by name in the document. In the same year, the ACLU discovered materials used to train Department of Defense personnel that listed protesting as a form of terrorism. In a multiple choice test for the annual Level 1 Anti-terrorism Awareness course, participants were asked, “Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorist activity?
Despite its findings, the review has not resulted in any disciplinary action, nor did it require any re-training. With the “terrorism” label being used so loosely, many are critical of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.Signed into law by President Obama, the 2012 NDAA is heavily criticized for declaring that American citizens can be held without trial indefinitely on the mere suspicion of supporting terrorism. It also contains provisions that allows citizens to be transferred to the custody of foreign nations for interrogation, trial, and/or imprisonment – an act known as “rendition.” While suspected enemy combatants found on the battlefield were already subject to these conditions since the Bush administration, this is the first time that these powers will apply American citizens on American soil.Following the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945, the predecessor to the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), sought to recruit Nazi scientists for employment by the United States.There is much debate on the legitimacy of the consolidation of media, with strong proponents and opponents bringing forth a wide variety of arguments. Regardless of your position on the viability of the concentration of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands, it is an irrefutable fact that over the past few decades the corporations controlling the preponderance of American media have lessened considerably. As of 2011, the largest media corporations in the United States in terms of revenue and profit are: General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, CBS and Viacom. Walt Disney – or more specifically Disney Media Networks – controls a staggering amount of media outlets. In the field of motion pictures, they own Walt Disney Pictures (which includes Pixar Animation Studios), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures.They then distribute these films through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment while distributing soundtracks and original music under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records.
General Electric (GE) owns a 49% stake in NBC-Universal and NBC Networks (includes NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Television, NBC Universal, CNBC, CNBC World (Arabia, India, Asia, Europe), MSNBC, Bravo, Sy Fy Channel, Telemundo, USA, Oxygen and more) along with 46 NBC affiliate stations and more stations internationally. Viacom owns a massive amount of television properties including MTV Networks (and the many variants including MTV Networks International which operates in 160 nations), BET Networks, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, TV Land, and VH1. They also control several film production companies under Paramount Pictures Corporation and a massive internet presence.