Defense Contractors Accused Of Paying Off Taliban For Protection In Middle East Countries


Defense contractors working for the US military
had been accused of paying off members of the Taliban to protect them in the Middle
East. But a new lawsuit says that this money has
been used to kill US soldiers. I have Farron Cousins from the trial lawyer
magazine to talk about this and other stories. Farron, first of all, we’ve seen the same
type of, I brought a similar lawsuit against the against banks, US all the banks that were
washing money for terrorists, knowing that they were washing money. Pled guilty, actually nobody was, nobody was
really punished, but they admitted that yes, we were washing money for terrorists. We understood that the money was going to
be used in directly or indirectly to kill Americans and of course our justice department
under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch prosecuted nobody. So here we have a different scenario of that,
don’t we? We, we do. What we’re finding out, in fact, actually,
let me back that up. What we found out 10 years ago in 2010 the
summer of 2010 this story broke all over in US media. That these contractors that we are paying
to be over there in the Middle East had been paying protection money to the Taliban. They understood, and they even said this in
interviews, if we give them money, they “don’t F with us at all.” So they know that we just give them a little
money. It’s like the mafia. We give them a little money, they do not mess
with our operations. We make tons of profit. The Taliban gets their money and we go on. But this story actually broke in the summer
of 2010. So just as you said, Eric Holder did nothing
about the banks doing this. He did nothing with this information at the
time. We could have gone after and immediately started
prosecuting these people because these kinds of payments are illegal. We’ve seen prosecutions for it in the past
with Chiquita Banana, down in South America. But holder said, no, I’m not going to touch
these guys either. Okay, well here’s what Holder knew. Here’s what Loretta Lynch knew. This is why this is so disgusting to me. This is the most inept department of justice
maybe we’ve had in a long, long time. And that was Loretta Lynch knew in the bank
case that HSBC had been washing money. They had the whole thing laid out for them. It was all the evidence was there. All the moving parts were right in front of
the department of justice, HSBC and other banks even signed off and admitted, yes, we
did these things and not one of them was prosecuted. So given that, the only question is now, so
this has been going on, this was also going on during the, during the Eric Holder years,
but we’re not seeing any, anything different out of the Trump years, are we? Right. And to be honest, this began, this process
began during the Bush administration. Yeah. So we’re talking about three different administrations
and their DOJ’s, you know, Trump’s entering his fourth year now. They knew about this the entire time he has
been in office and we get absolutely nothing, possibly because of part of the revolving
door carousel of administration officials. Okay. So, to distill it, here it is. We’re a corporation. We only care about our shareholders. So yes, we’re willing to give money to people
that we know are killing American soldiers and other American contractors, by the way. Right. But what’s important to us is that we report
to our shareholders that we weren’t closed down by Taliban activity. That’s how ugly the story is. Right. So as the CEO, who makes that decision, obviously
the CEO’s making a decision for himself or herself. I get a bigger bonus. We didn’t close down. Yes, we paid off these, these murderous thugs
who are killing Americans. But it’s okay. It’s all right because they don’t shut us
down. And the department of justice says, looks
at it and they say, yeah, it looks like good business in America. Well, and part of the way they got away with
this for so long is the fact that they were actually using their subcontractors to make
the payments. So it wouldn’t look like these corporations
were directly handing cash, which is what happened in some instances, to members of
the Taliban. So they write it off. We had to pay a subcontractor to come and
do this job, but instead it’s not actually a job. It is go deliver this bag of money to these
warlords over here so that we can keep doing business. Yeah. American capitalism gets really sketchy sometimes. This is a good example of them.

This Woman Pays Drug Users Not To Have Kids (HBO)


Since the 1970s, at least 45 states have prosecuted women
for using drugs while pregnant. Alabama has one of the country’s
strictest laws on the subject. It’s been used to prosecute women
even before they’ve given birth. And one woman in Alabama is on a crusade to keep drug users from
getting pregnant in the first place. — Everyone knows a drug addict, unfortunately. So if you know anybody who’s
using drugs that could get pregnant, we’ll pay them to use birth control. That’s what we do. — Barbara Harris thinks drug addicts
shouldn’t have children, and she’s using cash incentives
to make sure they don’t. — Nothing positive comes to a drug addict who gives birth to eight children
that are taken away from her. This is a win-win for everybody. — Her non-profit, Project Prevention, pays addicts and alcoholics $300 if they get sterilized or put on long-term birth control. — It says no left turn here. — But you’re turning right. — I’m going this way— Oh, I thought she wanted me to go that way. — Over the last 20 years, she’s travelled the country in her branded RV and paid 7,000 people to give up their fertility. Most of them are women. She launched Project Prevention
after she adopted four babies in four years, each born to the same drug-addicted mother. — You’ve been doing this work for nearly 20 years now. How have things changed? — When I first started, the drug of choice was crack. Now it’s switched, and now it’s meth and heroin, and a lot of prescription drugs. Nothing else has changed— drugs are still just as bad, women are still having numerous children, foster care’s still overloaded, hundreds of thousands of kids
are still in need of homes. — The birth control she offers isn’t condoms and pills, it’s IUDs, implants and sterilization. Those who choose sterilization
get a lump sum after the procedure. Those who go for less permanent options
are paid in smaller installments. Thousands of women have taken her money
in exchange for permanent sterilization, entirely legally. Project Prevention itself doesn’t sterilize addicts, just pays them— Harris leaves the procedures to doctors. She gets anything up to half a million dollars
in private donations every year. — I think if there’s anything that
everybody can agree on— the left, the right, and everybody in the middle— it’s that it’s not okay to abuse children. — You think having a child when you’re
drinking and taking drugs is child abuse? — Yes. They say don’t even drink caffeine
when you’re pregnant, so I don’t know how meth could be good for a baby. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates 4.7 percent of women aged 15 to 44
use drugs while they’re pregnant. And more than 32 percent of
all children placed in foster care were removed from home because
of their parents’ drug or alcohol use. Harris made the nine-hour trip to Mobile when she heard about a local woman who had
been imprisoned for taking heroin while pregnant. She doesn’t want drug users sent to jail, she wants them on long-term
or permanent birth control. — How is doing what you do, without looking at the social causes
that create a situation like this, how is that any more than
a Band-Aid on a huge problem? — It’s not a Band-Aid on the problem. We’re dealing with— we’re solving the problem we’re dealing with. We’re preventing women who are strung out
on drugs and alcohol from conceiving a child. — Harris targets areas where
she thinks addicts will congregate: like cheap motels, liquor stores and methadone clinics. It’s not even 11 a.m. when she meets
33-year-old Alesia Robinson, and Robinson already seems high. She has seven children, and used during all her pregnancies. — Can you still get pregnant? — Yes I can. — So, have you thought about
getting on birth control? — Yeah. — Well then, you need to do it.
— Let’s do it right now. — We don’t do the birth control, but you need to do it, okay? Okay, because that’s gonna prevent
the next heartache, right? One less worry. — One less worry. — It doesn’t bother you that,
by virtue of what you do, you’re targeting a specific section of the population? — No, no. — It doesn’t bother you at all.
— No. — A disproportionate number of people
who use your services aren’t white. How do you respond to the claim
that you are socially engineering? — For somebody to hear about what we do and
think we’re only paying people of color is very racist, because they’re assuming that all drug addicts
are people of color and that is not true. — Is it really informed consent
when they’re in a chaotic situation? — That’s between them and the doctor. He has to decide whether he thinks
they’re able to get birth control. Nobody has a right to force feed any child drugs and then deliver a child that may die
or may have lifelong illnesses— nobody has that right. — I think it was some kinda flyer or something, and all I remember is the number was 1-888-30-CRACK. — A memorable number. — Yeah. For someone, yeah, who is an addict, yeah. You can’t forget it. — Tina Boyd is a Project Prevention client
who was sterilized eight years ago. She’s been clean since 2012, but most of her life has been spent using drugs— including when she was pregnant with her sons, Joey and Michael. — Do you think that your drug use
has affected them long-term? — I know it has, it’s affected Joey. — In what way? — He has a receptive and cognitive delay. He doesn’t understand a lot. They said that he’ll probably have to
live with someone the rest of his life. Which, hopefully, will be me. I love you, that’s my baby. — I love you too. — After Joey was born, Boyd took Harris’s cash in exchange for getting an IUD, but then Boyd decided to have another baby. After Michael was born addicted, she went back to Project Prevention
to get paid for sterilization. — Do you ever have any second thoughts? — No. — Not even when your youngest son
says he wants a little sister? — Could you have it, and then I’ll give it back to you? I can’t. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. — Just listening to you,
it makes me feel like you have… you… don’t believe in yourself. — I believe in my limitations. God forbid, if you guys had bought drugs with you… I can’t say that I wouldn’t have sniffed ‘em out. And I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want my children to have to live like that. — Would you like the ability to
be able to do things differently? — Oh God, yes. Are you kidding? Yes, everything. Everything. Everything. — Barbara Harris’s greatest impact is in perpetuating really destructive and cruel myths about
pregnant women and their children. — Lynn Paltrow heads up the
National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She’s been a critic of Barbara Harris’s
work for over 20 years: — You’re assuming every woman that’s
a drug addict is looking for treatment, they’re not! — Paltrow works with Mary Barr, a social justice advocate, former addict, and mother who used drugs when
she was pregnant with both her kids. — I have two children who are incredibly healthy, were born healthy. They are 26 and 25, and they’re
very, amazingly, successful. — If you had met Barbara during
the height of your addiction, what would you thought of that offer? — I would have taken it, because $300, you know, and all at once— that meant, for me, three nights of sleeping indoors. — Paltrow says it’s the world
the children of addicts are born into that leaves them so disadvantaged, not the substances they were exposed to. — When you talk to the medical researchers, the great news is that none of the criminalized drugs cause unique, permanent, terrible damage. Three percent of all women give birth to babies
that have what are called serious birth defects. None of that has anything to do
with the criminalized drugs. — Do you think Barbara Harris has quite
a static view of addicts and addiction, that once you’re an addict you’re always an addict? — Yes, and she’s not the only one. When somebody was telling me
I couldn’t be a productive mother, and that my children would be born,
you know, disabled or something, I mean, wow. I believed that. — The biggest threats to our children have nothing to do with what any
individual woman did or didn’t do. It has to do with poverty,
the lack of access to health care. It has to do with the stress created by racism. — Do you not think that addicts might
deserve a second chance and that, by promoting sterilization,
you’re denying them a second chance? — Well, we don’t promote sterilization. That’s their choice. They got strung out, they decided they wanted $300 to sterilize themselves. And if it’s a decision they regret, it was a decision they made— just like prostituting and ending up with AIDS. Because I watched how my children suffered and
had to withdraw from drugs when they were born. So no, I wasn’t thinking about
the women—“these poor women.” I was thinking, “My poor children.” — This is all very straightforward for you, isn’t it? It’s very simple. — To me, it is. Nobody who disagrees with what we’re doing has yet to give me a logical, rational reason why a drug addict or an alcoholic should get pregnant. And I always say to them, if you believe that strongly that these
women should keep conceiving children, then you should step up and adopt the next one born. But most of the people who have a
problem with what we’re doing, they would never consider
adopting one of these children. So if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Why The U.S. Government Pays Lockheed Martin Billions


Lockheed Martin is the top grossing defense
firm in the world, and the U.S. government supports that business to
the tune of over $37.7 billion. It surpasses its closest
competitors, Boeing and Raytheon, by nearly $20 billion in arms sales. These funds are granted by Congress
to provide equipment that enables the U.S. military to protect the
country at home and abroad. So why is Lockheed the
defense darling of the U.S. government? And how did it
beat out its competitors? One of the top priorities of
all administrations is the protection and safety of the American people. To ensure that, politicians work
with defense contractors to provide equipment to the military. This partnership provides a unique
opportunity for private corporations to execute the will of the government
and requires a delicate balance. President Eisenhower, in his farewell
address, coined the term military-industrial complex. And what he was talking about
was the close connection and collaboration between arms contractors
and uniformed military. In the councils of government, we
must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought
or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The political incentives of the U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense tended
to work together in a way that created enormous incentives
to increase military spending. For example, when there’s a major
weapons program like, say, the F-35, which is the current Air Force
combat aircraft, is being purchased, members of Congress might have questions
about this plane like is it performing well? Are we getting a good
deal for our money and so forth. They are reluctant to vote against it
because it means going up against potential jobs in their states. The Congress people in whose district
those companies are located and the Defense Department that then gets to
use the equipment that is purchased in this way. And Eisenhower believed
that that complex of the military, the industry and the government, the
Congress in particular, created a tendency for the United States
to overspend on national security. For most of the defense industry, their
biggest source of business is the Department of Defense. So they kind of
live and die with the defense budget as it increases, the revenue
increases, as it decreases, the revenue decreases. Waging an actual war is
a very expensive project. The 9/11 attacks in 2001 were a shock
to the American psyche, led to a substantial ramping up of U.S. military spending in the years after
2001, partly because of the immediate issue of terrorism and partly because
of the closely related but second order problems of the wars that
the counterterrorist program led to in Afghanistan and Iraq. The price tag gets huge. And so American defense spending has
grown radically since 2001 and remains very high. And Lockheed Martin is the
top-contracted company by the U.S. government. In 2018 alone,
the company sold $37.7 billion worth of contracts
to the U.S. government, making up 70%
of their net sales. The other 28% came from foreign military
sales and 2% came from commercial and other customers. Lockheed’s total revenue in 2018
was about $53 billion. By contrast, Lockheed’s next biggest
competitor, Boeing, was awarded about $23 billion from government
contracts the same year. So even though Boeing is a much
larger company with $101 billion in total revenue in 2018, only a small portion
of its business relies on defense contracts. Boeing might be a prominent example
where they do get a lot of revenue from the commercial business falling,
in fact, it’s about two thirds of its revenue from commercial
aviation, about a third from its defense business. Boeing mostly makes
planes for commercial airlines, but it also has a robust business
making military aircraft and other weapons. The next largest
competitor is Raytheon. Raytheon is a prominent defense firm
that offers services in everything from cybersecurity to
missile defense. 68% of Raytheon’s net sales
came from the U.S. government in 2018, which
means about $18.4 billion. They list
their principal U.S. government customer as the U.S. Department of Defense, as
does Lockheed Martin. However, before Lockheed Martin got
this very crucial customer, it struggled to define its identity. Glenn L. Martin opened his aviation
company on August 16th, 1912. The company went on to become one
of the earliest suppliers of the U.S. military, making aircraft for both
the army and the navy. They went on from success to success
through the twenties and the thirties pioneering all sorts of new
aircrafts, but particularly military airplanes. In 1961, the
second Glenn L. Martin Company merged with
the American Marietta Corporation. It was renamed the
Martin Marietta Corporation. The same year, Glenn Martin
launched his aviation business, the Lockheed brothers launched their
aviation business, the Alco Hydro Aeroplane Company, which was later
named Lockheed Aircraft Company. Lockheed, L-o-u-g-h-e-a-d, is
pronounced like Lockheed. People had a hard time pronouncing it
that led to the brothers legally changing the spelling of
their surname to Lockheed. Malcolm went on to start a
successful car hydraulic brake company, and Alan resigned after the company
was bought by Detroit Aircraft Corporation. But the company didn’t last
long and fell into receivership under the Title Insurance and Trust
Company of Los Angeles, officially killing Lockheed Aircraft Corp., which was a subsidiary. Its assets were sold off to Robert
Gross and other investors who went on to form a new Lockheed
Aircraft Corporation of Delaware. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation changed its
name in 1977 to Lockheed Corporation to demonstrate they offer
other services besides aviation. Those two companies, the Martin
Marietta Corporation and Lockheed Corporation, were two prominent competitors
in the defense marketplace. However, that marketplace has never
been completely independent of the government’s actions, just as President
Eisenhower had warned when he spoke of the
military-industrial complex. Military procurement had declined around 52%
from 1985 to 1997 in current dollar terms. Before 2001,
many people believed that national security had become a lot easier with
the end of the Cold War and that the United States could take what
was referred to at the time, a peace dividend. The much larger defensive
efforts that the United States had made during the Cold War when
we had to fight Soviet Union weren’t necessary anymore when the Soviet Union
collapsed and the Cold War ended. So defense budgets tended to decline. Leadership at the Department of Defense
inferred that the defense industry would have to shrink around 40% in
order to save the industry from collapsing amid declining demand
from the department. Officials encouraged companies to consolidate in
an effort to save each other. At the end of the Cold
War, there were concerns about whether the Pentagon budget, which was going to come down
about 10 to 25 percent or so was projected in real terms. Could that smaller budget sustain
the same number of contractors? And William Perry, the secretary of
defense, in the administration felt the answer was no. In fact, in
1993, the government asked specifically for less competition among
defense contractors. Look to your left.
Look to your right. One of your companies is not going to
be here in a couple of years. And then you also had
the infamous Last Supper. We think there are too many companies
in this business and we want to merge and combine with one another at
reduced costs to us, overhead costs at the corporate level. Norm Augustine
kind of engineered the whole series of mergers. Infamously or famously, Norm Augustine
who at the time was the head of Martin Marietta was at the
table with a bunch of other industry haters. And he was one of
the most aggressive executives taking that guidance and running with it. And he became CEO of the
combined Lockheed Martin and also consolidated and purchased lot of other
companies. Lockheed Martin absorbed large companies like Ford Aerospace
and Loral Corporation. Basically the big winner and that
consolidation after the Last Supper was Lockheed Martin. It was after that
that Lockheed aircraft and Martin Mary had emerged. In 1958, Lockheed Martin
proposed to Northrop Grumman and the government actually told them
not to do that. They cancelled that transaction. They said they wouldn’t approve it
and the idea was dropped. So that was that’s kind of, if
you will, the sort of the generally accepted end of the the
Last Supper consolidation era. By 2000, the industry had consolidated
into the marketplace we know today with Lockheed on top. So the way
the industry is structured now, the barriers to enter are huge. Unless they
brought up some of the existing companies, you’re only going to have
a couple of competitors for most things you might want to
do. Lockheed Martin now stretches into four business segments:
Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control, Rotary and Mission
Systems and space. It’s a company that has combined with
other companies over time to gain its current market position as the
largest company in the world. In 2019, Raytheon and United Technologies
announced intention to merge to have a better edge
on the defense industry. To protect their profits, companies like
Lockheed Martin also sell their aircraft to American allies when
cleared by the State Department. When the defense budget in the U.S. started to fall, a lot of companies
really amped up their work to sell products overseas. So depending on the company, that’s probably
now like 25 to 30 percent of their revenue may come
from international sales. That’s one way the government
controls the defense marketplace. Another way is through direct
negotiations with industry CEOs. In the 2017 fiscal year, the
then president, Barack Obama, proposed a budget of $582.7 billion for the
Department of Defense. The following year in 2018, President
Trump proposed a budget of $639.1 billion. For the fiscal year 2019,Trump
proposed a budget of $716 billion for national security, with $686
billion for the Department of Defense. And looking to the future,
Trump proposed a budget of $750 billion with $718.3 billion going to the Department of
Defense for the fiscal year 2020. The company was well positioned in the
Obama years as well because, you know, he actually spent significant money
in this decade, which includes most of the Obama two terms. We’ve spent a trillion more on the
Pentagon than in the prior decade, which was at the peak of
the Iraq and Afghan wars. President Barack Obama appointed Lockheed
CEO Marillyn Hewson to the president’s export council in
September of 2013. Marillyn Hewson from Lockheed Martin. Obviously, one of our greatest innovators
and one of those innovations is the F-35 fighter jet. It is the most advanced
fighter in the world. It’s stealth. You cannot see it. Is that correct? That’s correct. Better be correct. Right? A single F-35
can cost over $80 million and the government hasn’t always been happy with
the F-35’s performance and price. Then President-elect Donald Trump thought
the F-35’s program delays and high costs were bad for business. This one from the president-elect based
on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I’ve
asked Boeing to price out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet. This caused Lockheed Martin shares to
fall around 2% and sent Boeing shares up 0.5%. In January 2017, Trump commented on
the tension of his negotiation with Lockheed Martin. Look at
what’s happening with Lockheed. Number one, we’re cutting the price of
their planes by a lot, but they’re also expanding. And that’s going
to be a good thing. Ultimately, they’re going to
be better off. Hewson is actually in this very
interesting sweet spot where the defense budgets never been bigger
under any presidency. So that gives her company a lot of
leeway to snatch up a lot of those contracts. I don’t see any realistic
chance that there’s another company that’s going to exceed Lockheed Martin
in the next five years. Lockheed Martin will be delivering 478
F-35 aircraft to the U.S. government under their biggest deal yet,
a $34 billion contract with the Pentagon. In 2019, the U.S. government also approved the sale of 32
F-35 jets to Poland for around $6.5 billion so the company is poised
to be successful among allies as well. When you look at Lockheed’s diverse
portfolio and you pair that with a defense budget at a tune of
$700 billion, of course Lockheed is prime suited to pick up more government contracts
and to ride even more of a successful wave.

Most Expensive Works of Art Destroyed By Tourists


Imagine it was your job to protect objects
of great value that are considered national treasures. Day after day you witness hordes of tourists
getting off the bus and rushing towards the place where you work. Some of those guys are half-baked from afternoon
drinking, and time after time you have to tell people, “Don’t touch”, “That’s
not a toy”, “Get down from there”, “For God’s sake be careful.” Half the time they don’t understand you
because they don’t speak your language. Thankfully, no one on your watch has ever
destroyed anything, but you are well aware that tourists have been walking disasters
in other countries. We’ll look at some of those things to today,
starting the least expensive things damaged and then moving onto the most expensive things. To start, Italy has had lots of problems of
late with tourists doing very silly things, but we think the idiots abroad award goes
to a couple from California. In 2015 it was reported they’d visited Rome’s
Coliseum, but they weren’t happy just looking at things. The couple decided to carve their initials
into a wall of the coliseum and then pose with those initials for a selfie. Ok, so we can’t put a price on this one,
but we can say the act cost the reputation of Americans quite a lot. What’s more, when the two women were asked
if they didn’t think that carving an initial into something over 2000 years old was bad,
they said they didn’t think it was such a big deal. It was, and they were both charged with “aggravated
damage to a building of historical and artistic interest.” For the rest of you out there, when you one
day finally go visit that ancient place, you might also get to see a “J” and an “N”. Possibly the oldest artifact damaged by a
tourist was something inside Luxor Temple that dates back 3,500 years. A 15-year old Chinese kid had seen the ancient
image of a man holding a spear and he decided that he too wanted to go down in history. He scribbled on the image in large letters,
“Ding Jinhao was here.” That’s the English translation. Another Chinese tourist saw this, but was
too late to stop the kid. He later wrote on a Chinese social network,
“The saddest moment in Egypt. I’m so embarrassed that I want to hide myself. I said to the Egyptian tour guide, ‘I’m really
sorry.” The parents of the boy issued a statement,
saying, “We want to apologize to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention
to this case across China.” The kid was a national disgrace, and he became
one person in a long line of Chinese people accused of behaving badly when abroad. It seems the damage could be undone, so again,
it was not that costly. This next one was reported by Newsweek in
2019, and while we can’t really put a price on the damage, we can say the act was pretty
much as dumb as you can get. It involved a photo that turned up on Instagram
which showed a couple standing in front of a sandstorm formation in Illinois. The formation is over 400 million years old,
and it was reported that the place was an important meeting site for native Americans
for around 8,000 years. In the photo a couple have scribbled their
initials on the formation, which is next to a love heart. We expect that this vandalism could be cleaned
up for a minimal cost. NBC news wrote this about the next one in
2013, “An American tourist in Italy has generated shock and outrage by snapping the
finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence.” The news reports that a 55-year old American
man had seen a statue of the Virgin Mary. This was made by a 15th-century sculptor named
Giovanni d’Ambrogio and it is considered a priceless work of art. The man, from Missouri, had wanted to high
five Mary. The cost of fixing the finger was not published,
but since it was just a finger we doubt the cost was high. Let’s just say it was likely a cheap fix. Before any Italians out there start criticizing
Americans, we will tell you that in 2014 an Italian was visiting a museum in Milan and
he took a selfie with a sculpture known as the, “Drunken Satyr.” The sculpture ended up losing a limb. The good news is that this was only a copy
of a well-known ancient Greek sculpture, but the bad news is that it was an expensive and
remarkable copy that dates back to the 19th century. Christies estimated the value of an object
like this one to be just 7-$10,000. Looking at the damage, we would think it could
have been fixed, although it would have taken some time and expertise. Next we have one way to get rid of a King. In 2016 a man was in Lisbon, Portugal, and
he thought it would be a good idea to climb onto a pedestal to get a photo with the statue
of the former king Dom Sebastiao. He did just that, and the king came crashing
down. It was smashed to pieces. The guy tried to escape but he was apprehended. The media didn’t state what fixing the statue
would cost, but seeing a it was smashed to pieces we can say it will never be the same
again. This next one is another act of senseless
violence and this time committed by a man touring his own country. It happened in a cave in southwest China in
2017 and the act was caught on video. A young guy can be seen taking three kicks
at a stalagmite. On the third kick the thing snaps. He then just walks away, so he wasn’t even
trying to steal it. There might not be a price you can put on
this, but it appalled some people in China. They said these things can take many, many
thousands of years to get to that point, maybe even hundreds of thousands. Then some guy just decides to take his anger
out on one. Some of the Chinese public said he needed
to be arrested and banned from ever entering a national attraction again. From what we can see he was never arrested. In this case the stalagmite was appraised
so that the man could be charged and made to pay some compensation, but the media doesn’t
state what value they put on the object. Then there’s the case of a British man who
was visiting a museum in 2006 and had a bit of a comedy moment, as well as an expensive
one. The Guardian explained that his shoelace was
undone and that tripped him up, but there was nothing for him to grab a hold of. He was actually coming down some stairs. It seems then he just went flying, and he
ended up hitting three Chinese Qing dynasty vases worth around $120,000. He explained to The Guardian, “Although
I knew the vase would break I didn’t imagine it would be loose and crash into the other
two. I’m sure I only hit the first one and that
must have flown across the windowsill and hit the next one, which then hit the other,
like a set of dominos.” He actually got banned from the museum, which
seems a bit harsh considering a rogue shoelace was to blame. The guy admitted that what had taken place
could have been right out of some old British slapstick comedy movie. Not to be outdone by the Brits, this is the
story of an Australian man named Laszlo Toth who was likely suffering from a mental illness
when in 1972 he went to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and attacked Michelangelo’s
Pietà statue with a hammer. He hit the thing 15 times while shouting,
“I am Jesus Christ — risen from the dead.” The man was 33 at the time, which is the age
that Jesus is thought to have died. He wasn’t charged with a crime and instead
spent a bit of time talking about resurrection to Italian psychiatrists. One guy wrote that he knew Laszlo and he said
besides the fact he read his bible more than most people read bibles, he seemed totally
fine. The guy wrote, “At the time we were room-mates,
he didn’t strike me as a Jesus Christ impersonator, and he never talked to me of such things. We spent much of our days drinking coffee,
going to parties at night and drinking beer and wine, and Lazlo often played his guitar.” Others wrote that once he returned to Australia
he led a very quiet life. The good news about this act of vandalism
is that when restorers were trying to put the statue back together they discovered a
secret signature written by Michelangelo. We don’t know the cost of fixing the damage,
but it took a lot of people with a lot of skill, a lot of time. The New York Times wrote that the statue was
insured in 1964 for $10 million, which in today’s money is about $81 million. The New York Times wrote in 2017 that perhaps
one woman could claim a place in the selfie hall of infamy after destroying part of an
art installation in Los Angeles. We’ve seen the video online, and this woman
is trying to take a selfie at the side of lots of columns. On each column lies a crown, which is part
of the artwork. She leans back against one column which is
first in a long row of columns. You can guess what happens next. She knocks over that column, but then the
rest of them all fall like dominoes. The British artist was contacted by the Times
and he said it was not staged like some people had said it was. It looks so funny a person might think it
was staged. He said, “Crowns are fragile things. They are symbols of power. Perhaps it’s ironic and meaningful that
they fell.” It’s thought that the woman caused about
$200,000 worth of damage. Then we found this headline from 2015, “Selfie-Taker
Smashes Priceless Historic Italian Statue of Hercules.” Yep, priceless, and destroyed by someone who
was looking for likes on social media. We should note that when people say priceless,
they mean a value shouldn’t be out on the object because it meant so much. You can look at a value put on some similar
objects by the auctioning house, Chtisties, and they might sell for as much as $250,000. We don’t know where the tourist came from,
but we read that the statue was considered one of the jewels of an Italian city called
Cremona. The tourist climbed on top of it and it fell. The entire thing smashed to pieces. That statue had been around since 1700, but
it was no match for a selfie taker. The BBC reported in 2014 that tourists had
tied so many locks to the Pont des Arts in Paris, that part of the bridge had collapsed. If you didn’t know, tourists might do that
in the name of romance. But over a million locks weighs a lot, and
part of the bridge just came down. So this one was a combined effort by people
from all over the world. We are not sure how much it cost to fix the
broken part of the bridge, but we imagine it wasn’t cheap. It cost over $600,000 to add some new additions
to the bridge, so you we might estimate the damage overall to be above one million. Next is the story of another person that tripped
and caused a lot of damage. It involved a boy who’d gone to visit an
exhibition of Italian masterpieces in Taiwan. The 12-year old kid, who was a little on the
heavy side, was not looking where he was going. He was walking along and it seems he was listening
to the group leader, only he didn’t notice a table. When he hit that table he fell forward, and
then he stuck out one hand. The funny thing is, if you watch the video
he kind of gets up and looks around to see if anyone has seen what he’s done. That hand went into a painting. It was called Flowers and was painted by an
Italian master called Paolo Porpora. According to reports, this one was very special
‘cos it was the only one he signed. It was worth over $1.5 million. The painting was insured, but the museum said
the damage was so bad it might not be possible to restore it. That’s one and a half million for not paying
attention. European football hooligans have over the
years marched into cities and made a mess. They have destroyed cafes, bars, stores, and
at the same time left a lot of blood on the streets. You could say these guys are not tourists,
but along with their game of soccer they usually enjoy some beers and foreign food. We say enjoy, but their actions are often
considered hair-brained and dangerous. One of the worst things they have done happened
in 2017 when 7,000 Dutch fans arrived for a game in Rome. They got very drunk and just started smashing
things up. That’s not unusual, but this time they picked
on one of the city’s most famous fountains. This is the “Fontana della Barcaccia”
and it was built in 1627. They even urinated on the thing after they
smashed parts of it. The fountain needed a lot of restoration after
that, and the cost of all this was over three million dollars. 23 Dutch fans were arrested. The game ended 1-1. And finally in 2012, one man did something
which shocked not just the art world but the world in general. He punched a whole right through a painting
considered a masterpiece. The man’s name is Andrew Shannon and the
painting he decided to take a swipe at was Claude Monet’s “Argenteuil Basin with
a Single Sailboat.” This painting had a value of around $10 million. Ok, so the guy might not have considered himself
a tourist since the painting was in an Irish gallery and he was Irish, but then again he
might have been what’s called a domestic tourist. Why did he do it? There seems to be no clear reason. Some reports state that he did it to “get
back at the state”, whatever that means. But other reports state that the guy was not
feeling right in his head when he landed what might be the most expensive punch of all time. He didn’t just make a dent either, he punched
right through the thing. He was sentenced to five years in prison after
that, and so you might consider this flash of anger totally stupid. It turned out that this guy was a bit of a
crook and had handled lots of stolen goods in the past, including paintings and antiques. What would you do if you found you suddenly
put your fist through a priceless work of art? Try to tape it up? Blame it on your little brother? Tell us in the comments. Now go watch “Why Are Rolex Watches So Expensive?” Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

Why Companies Like Google And Facebook Pay Hackers Millions


Think about hackers. The term probably brings to mind
hooded figures operating in the dark, probably in a basement,
definitely in secret. They’re exploiting vulnerabilities, stealing our
money or our personal information, and costing
companies millions. In fact, cybercrime costs the world
an estimated $600 billion dollars per year. But the past decade has seen a
rise in a new type of hacker called an ethical hacker, or
a white hat hacker. These men and women want to use
their hacking know-how for good, and a legal market for their
skills has rapidly emerged. There’s this creativity, there’s this curiosity
and there’s this kind of almost mischief in how you think. But then that’s coupled with a
strong moral framework and ethical framework to actually use
that for good. These hackers help companies protect
themselves by finding vulnerabilities before the criminal hackers do. When an ethical hacker finds a bug,
they disclose the security issue in exchange for cash or other rewards, in
what’s known as a bug bounty program. So we’re like
a neighborhood watch. We come to your house, we look for ways
to break in, and if we can break in, we tell you. We don’t break in, we tell you
how we could have done it. Companies like HackerOne, Bugcrowd and Synack
have sprung up to connect freelance hackers with corporations that
offer bug bounty programs. This has led to the creation
of a geographically dispersed network of cybersecurity experts, a.k.a. hackers, who are integral to the
safety of corporations in every industry from tech to finance
to national defense. We work with MasterCard, we work
with Fiat Chrysler in the automotive space, we work with Cisco
in the engineering I.T. technology space, you know
Department of Defense, Pinterest. These days, hackers can make a lot
of money identifying security flaws for companies like these. The payout for finding a single,
highly critical vulnerability can be tens of thousands of dollars, and some
companies have paid out millions overall. I know Verizon Digital Media
actually just passed $7 million dollars in bounties paid. Uber has paid out
over $2 million dollars. Hacking for good is gaining traction
and there’s big money at stake. So it may be time for the public
to rethink its conception of what being a hacker really means. Ever since computers have existed, people
have been trying to break into them. Back when these machines were
clunky novelties found only in universities and large corporations, hackers
were commonly seen as tinkerers, technology enthusiasts who
liked exploring and altering existing computer programs. They made improvements that helped
move the industry forward. But with the emergence of the
personal computer in the 1980s, cybercrimes became much more common. From the comfort of their
living rooms, self-taught programmers learned how to break into and manipulate
important systems, pirate software and spread viruses. I broke into mostly websites
belonging to corporations, governments, military agencies and
just defaced them. I changed them. A lot
of people went to jail. Like a lot of
people got nasty letters. A lot of people got
knocks on the door. And that’s really the history of
hacking that actually precedes this season that we’re in now. Ended up getting arrested several times
by the federal government for that. And they sent me to prison for
27 months, 10 months and 14 months. Three separate occasions. Ellis began hacking in the 1990s,
and DeVoss in the early 2000s. By then, the hacker stereotype was
already well established, thanks to media like the popular 1983 movie
WarGames, which revolved around a disaffected but intelligent teen accidentally
hacking into a top secret military supercomputer nearly starting
World War 3. Even though the young protagonist wasn’t
malicious, the idea that computer whizzes could gain access to systems
like this terrified the public. After Ronald Reagan watched the film,
he proposed a number of anti-hacking bills resulting in the Computer Fraud
and Abuse Act, which prohibits anyone from intentionally accessing
a computer without authorization. And it hasn’t really
been changed since. So it is legal in the sense that
if there is authorization, then at that point they have safe harbor. But outside of that,
it is basically illegal. Because the law doesn’t really define
what “authorization” means, it isn’t exactly clear how it relates to
our new reality, where cybersecurity is increasingly outsourced. Security used to be
something you fix internally. It’s very secretive, it’s not
transparent, it’s not open. And we’re seeing a shift towards
security becoming more and more collaborative and enlisting
outside help. For a company, enlisting this outside
help often means starting a bug bounty program, in which corporations pay
hackers who report bugs or vulnerabilities in their software. What’s believed to be the first of
these programs came about in 1983, when a Silicon Valley startup called Hunter
& Ready offered a free Volkswagen Beetle to anyone who identified a
bug in its operating system. Over a decade later, in 1995,
Netscape began offering more straightforward financial incentives for finding flaws
in its popular browser, Netscape Navigator. The idea took a while to
catch on, but by the mid-2000s, security companies iDefense and TippingPoint,
as well as the Mozilla Foundation, offered similar programs. Other tech giants eventually followed suit, giving
rise to a new crop of startups like Bugcrowd, HackerOne and
Synack, which connect ethical hackers with companies offering
bug bounty programs. When starting one of these programs,
a company simply describes what type of vulnerabilities they want to be notified
of, what parts of their site hackers can test, and what
types of testing are allowed. They also determine how much
each bug is worth. Then the bug bounty platforms
verify the legitimacy of the vulnerabilities, coordinate payouts to hackers
and work with the companies to ensure that bugs are properly fixed,
greatly reducing the burden on a company’s in-house security team. On average, you get about a thousand
dollars per find, and the highest bounty we’ve paid is $100 thousand
dollars for a single vulnerability. Companies pay a fee to use bug
bounty platforms like HackerOne, but for the hackers themselves, these sites are
free and easy to join. You fill out your Twitter
handle, your LinkedIn I.D., your GitHub I.D., you know, that’s really the starting point
of how we figure out how to connect you with the
right programs going forward. Every time when you file a vulnerability
report to a company, you get scored by how good it was
and how serious it was. And then you are collecting points,
we call them reputation points. And then we can see in all these
metrics how good they are, what their special skills are, and that’s how we
can pick the right talent for every job. For hackers who were previously
operating illegally, the fact that you could now make good money this
way seemed difficult to believe at first. I was introduced to bug bounties
in 2014, but I didn’t actually participate because it still seemed like it
was too good to be true. Because if I get in trouble for
hacking illegally again, it’s life in prison. And I wasn’t willing to take
that risk on something that was so new. Eventually though, hackers like
DeVoss realized these platforms were for real, and their networks
have been growing rapidly worldwide. We have half a million
hackers in our network. Half of them are 24 years or younger. Some of them are as
young as 15 or 16. They can be all over the world. They have endless curiosity. They like to outsmart systems. And they figure out how to break
in, before the criminals can do that. Today, over 1,400 organizations use HackerOne
and over 1,200 use Bugcrowd. Even though many of these organizations
have their own internal security teams, the complexity of software
these days pretty much guarantees they’ll still have some weak spots. I don’t think there’s ever been a
company that’s come onto the platform that has had just zero vulnerabilities in
it, no matter how mature it is. There’s always something, because
humans make mistakes. And in recent years, these mistakes
have led to some high profile disasters. Equifax paid a $700 million
dollar settlement to consumers for its 2017 data breach. And in 2019, Yahoo! agreed to pay an $117.5 million dollar settlement for a series
of hacks that exposed the personal information of up to
three billion accounts. If you have a data breach, the average
cost to you is $7 million dollars, and many have had breaches that have
cost them $100 million or more. We help averting the breaches by
fixing the vulnerabilities ahead of time. And the price you pay for that is a
fraction of a fraction of the cost of a breach. Research and advisory
firm Gartner estimated that globally, cybersecurity spending would reach
$124 billion in 2019. Overall, the high cost of
preventing and mitigating cybersecurity threats has spurred a wide range of
companies from United Airlines to the Department of Defense to Goldman Sachs
to adopt bug bounty programs over the past five years. Probably the turning point in adoption for
what we’re doing was when the Department of Defense launched the Hack
The Pentagon project, which we’re now very much a part of. So there you have the world’s
largest organization, with the most powerful weapons in the world, unlimited budgets,
and they’ve concluded that to be truly secure, they need
the help of hackers. And we’ve found already over
12 thousand vulnerabilities for the Department of Defense. That’s like the greatest part of it, is
being able to hack like the U.S. government and military, and not worry that
your door is going to get kicked in by a SWAT team anymore. Because that’s happened four
times to me. These days, rather than getting
arrested, DeVoss’s hacking obsession has made him wealthier than
he’d ever imagined. In total, he’s netted well over $1
million dollars over the course of his ethical hacking career. I’m at $840 thousand dollars
just on HackerOne for 2019. If you add in the other platforms,
then I’m a little over $900 thousand for the year. Only a select
few have matched his success. But their backgrounds provide an
interesting glance into a diverse network. We have six hackers today who
have made more than a million, and the first one to get to a million
was 19 year old Santiago Lopez in Buenos Aires. So no university education, no background
in a tech center in the world. Just endless curiosity, a good
sense of computers and mathematics and hard work. And
he earned a million. CNBC got Lopez on the phone
to talk about his accomplishments. At the beginning, when I started hacking,
I didn’t knew that I was going to make a million. It
was like impossible for me. So it was a very good surprise. But despite the incentives for hackers
and organizations alike, the grand majority of companies still
don’t offer bug bounties. Actually, most don’t even offer
any sort of vulnerability disclosure program, which would allow hackers to
report bugs without fear of punishment. A vulnerability disclosure program
is extremely similar to a bug bounty program. You’re still allowed to
hack into the system as long as you report it to them. The only difference is you don’t
get paid for your vulnerabilities. While this may seem like an easy
win for organizations, the most recent HackerOne security report revealed that 93
percent of companies on the Forbes Global 2000 list don’t
have any vulnerability disclosure policies. Without a proper channel
to report security issues. HackerOne says nearly 1 in 4 ethical
hackers have failed to disclose a vulnerability that they’ve found. Luckily, the industry is showing some
trends in the right direction. At the end of 2019, the
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a draft of a mandatory
directive that would require all government agencies to adopt
vulnerability disclosure policies. HackerOne and Bugcrowd hope this means
that more companies will follow suit. And to ensure that the talent
pool is able to meet the growing demand, both even offer their own
free educational initiatives to teach newbies the basics of hacking. The Internet is a pretty,
pretty gnarly place these days. And really what it comes down to
is that you can’t control what an attacker is going to do, but you can
control where your defenses are up to when they arrive. As for the
individuals on these platforms, they just want people to know that despite what
you may have heard about “hackers”, in the world we live in
today, they’re often on our side. They always see the hacker like the bad
guy, but he’s the good guy now. We’re here to help. We’re not just
some sketchy people in their mom’s basement who are out
there to cause damage. We’re professionals who work in the
industry who actually wanna make the companies better.

Court Lets Trump Steal Military Funds To Pay For His Border Wall


In a horrible ruling earlier this week, the
US court of appeals in New Orleans voted two to one to allow Donald Trump to steal money
from the US military in order to fund his border wall. This could be as little as $2.1 million, billion
dollars, excuse me, or it could be as much as a little over $6 billion that the two judges
on this panel said, sure, Mr. Trump, you can go steal money from these military projects
and use them to fund you’re completely useless and not needed border wall. So the two judges out of the three judge panel
who voted to say yes, Trump, you can have this, one of them not surprising was a Trump
appointee. The other was a Ronald Reagan appointee and
I want to hit on that point just a little bit here. A Reagan appointee from the 19 friggin 80s
is still sitting and serving on a court in the United States and clearly basing their
rulings on their party affiliation because the law US law is very clear about the was
what the president can and cannot do with military funds, once Congress has voted on
them. If he wants to change the allocation for what
military funds have already been allocated for by Congress, when they vote on it, he
has to get congressional approval and if Congress does not approve, he cannot divert that money. If he declares a state of emergency, which
he has, then he is free to use a little bit of that money, but he must also tell Congress
what it is for and since it’s from the military, the military has to be the one to do the actual
project and none of those things are happening. He’s hiring private contractors. People who’ve donated to his campaign are
getting rich off this, so he’s clearly not following the very clear rules set forth in
US code. And the two Republican judges on this panel,
one of whom has been sitting there since the 1980s just said, sure, go ahead. We don’t care. We’re Republicans and Republicans stick together
and that’s all we base our rulings on. But back to the idiot sitting on that court
since the 1980s let me hit on that for just a moment because that absolutely pisses me
off. This is why we need term limits. There is nobody in this country who was appointed
in the 1980s who should still be serving on a court today. They shouldn’t have been serving on a court
10 years ago, and to be honest, they shouldn’t have even been sitting on a court 10 years
after that. We have got to put judicial term limits in
place, now. The next president of the United States has
to make that a priority because there is no way in hell that somebody who’s been sitting
on a bench since the 1980s still has the same kind of mental clarity that they had when
they were first appointed. There is no way that they have the same acute
legal mind that they had when they were appointed. People’s cognitive abilities, once they hit
a certain age, begin to decline, that’s science. That’s not an attack on whoever this judge
is. I’m not going to name them, but it’s not an
attack on them. That’s basic human biology. This person should not be there, and their
partisanship with this particular ruling just goes to prove that even further. So now, Donald Trump, the administration already
issued a response, a statement to the world declaring a victory here saying, here we go,
folks. Buckle up. We’re about to build this unnecessary and
useless wall because this court with a Trump appointee and a Reagan appointee says that
we can ignore the established laws of the United States and steal money from the military.

Judge Orders Alex Jones To Pay Nearly $100,000 In Court Costs Over Pushing Sandy Hook Hoax


And finally tonight, some good news. InfoWars founder Alex Jones is finally facing
the consequences of his years of spreading conspiracy theories and fake news. A judge in Texas last week ordered Jones to
pay nearly $100,000 in court costs for the families who are suing him over his claim
that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. The families of the victims filed suit against
Jones years ago for his claims after they began receiving death threats from deranged
InfoWars viewers. This is just the latest blow to Alex Jones
and InfoWars in this particular case, and hopefully it provides a little bit of relief
for the families who are still grieving over the loss of their children. Furthermore, let’s hope that this actually
sends a message to the purveyors of fake news all across America. Outlooks, outlets like InfoWars need to be
on notice that spreading conspiracy theories and fake news can come with a hefty price
tag. And that’s all for tonight, but you can find
us on Twitter and Facebook @facebook.com/rtamericaslawyer. You can watch RT America programs on Direct
TV, Channel 321 and you can stream them live on YouTube. I’m Farron Cousins and this is America’s Lawyer,
where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media is ordered, not to tell because
their advertisers won’t let them. Have a great night.

Former Fox News Reporter Says Trump Asked Her To His Office “For A Kiss”


One of the more interesting things that has
happened ever since Donald Trump announced that he was even going to be running for president
is the fact that every couple of months we get a new woman coming forward saying that
Donald Trump behaved inappropriately. Sometimes with just a verbal suggestion, other
times being accused of full blown rape against these women. But like clockwork, every couple of months
a new story emerges. And what also follows that trend is that the
media doesn’t seem to care. I mean, Donald Trump has been credibly accused
of sexual assault by nearly two dozen women since he announced he was running for president,
two dozen. A Huffington Post report from a year or so
ago actually puts that number closer to 40 women who have come forward with allegations
against the president. And guess what folks? We got another one, a former Fox news reporter
by the name of Courtney Friel has a new book coming out and in this book she describes
an incident that took place. She had made a phone call to the president. Of course, at the time he was not the president. He was not even running for president at the
time. He was just in charge of the miss America
pageant. And her being a Fox news reporter called him
up and said, hey, listen, I’m very interested in being a judge for miss America. You know what, what can I do? What kind of process do I need to go to? This is something I would really like to do. And Trump said, well, you’re the hottest one
at Fox news, but unfortunately you do work for another network. So you cannot go judge this because it’s on
a different network. But I’ll tell you what, Mrs. Friel claims,
Trump then asked her, how about we schedule a meeting, you come up to my office so we
can kiss. So she wanted a job, basically, judging miss
America a temporary job, well, part time gig there. And instead of giving her that, the president
at the time, not the president said, no, I’m not going to do that, but why don’t you come
up to my office and we can make out a little bit. Now, according to this story, Mrs. Friel then
said, um, sir, I believe we’re both married, and then she ended the phone call. Now, to be clear, this is inappropriate, absolutely. I don’t know that it rises to the level of
harassment or anything illegal like that, but it just gives us a little bit more insight
into this man and how he operates. But the question is, do we even need more
insight? Do we need to really figure this out? We know because we heard it in his own words
in that access Hollywood tape, we know how this man behaves. And that’s another reason why these stories
by these women, each time they come out are, are more and more believable because we’ve
heard the president’s words himself. We know how he views women, we know what he
says about them when he thinks the cameras aren’t rolling or the audio recorders aren’t
rolling. We know. And all of this does fall in line with the
president’s own stated way of dealing with women. So the only question that remains is why does
the media continue to ignore these allegations? Why does the media continue to ignore these
stories? Not just from Mrs. Friel here, but the, the
story from, from E. Jean Carroll. That to me is the biggest one out there. But the media doesn’t seem to care. I know we’re supposed to talk policy and that’s
what we should do with the election. But when it comes to the day to day news,
the way this man has treated women, as objects, almost as animals that he goes and shows off,
that to me, warrants a heck of a lot more media coverage than it has gotten over the
last four years.