According to legend, in the bad old days before the federal government got into the business of regulating pharmaceuticals, Americans routinely fell prey to unsafe “snake oil” products. Consumers, so the story goes, are simply unable to sift through all the necessary information about available drugs to determine which ones are safe and effective; and pharmaceutical companies, ever eager to cut costs and increase profits, care little for the ill effects their drugs may have on consumers. Thus, the government must step in and force companies to make their products safe in order to protect benighted Americans from the unscrupulous drug manufacturers.
After years of assurances from government officials that the feds’ full-body scans of airline passengers and other persons are discarded immediately and never saved, the truth comes out: Some federal agencies have indeed been keeping the images.
Now that Elena Kagan has been confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court following several weeks of highly publicized hearings, the public remains poorly informed about the Court’s role. And even what is supposedly known is contradictory. Pew Research Center’s latest New IQ Quiz, which was conducted in early July, revealed that “an overwhelming proportion of Americans are familiar with Twitter ... yet the public continues to struggle in identifying political figures, foreign leaders and even knowing facts about key government policies.”
The Associated Press noted in an exclusive report on August 6 that the CIA secretly moved four suspected high-level terrorist prisoners to the Guant�namo Bay Detention Camp on September 24, 2003, and then on March 27, 2004 — in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling giving the detainees access to U.S. courts — moved the prisoners out of U.S. jurisdiction to the CIA’s "black sites," a name given to the spy agency’s secret overseas detention facilities.