Blind belief in authority is never good. History is filled with examples of how people in power conspired and lied to maintain their position. It is often fascinating to watch how many people put trust in their governments or governmental agencies and naively believe whatever comes out of them. As a reminder to always question things, today we will review some documented cases from the history of how the US government and its agencies committed crimes against their own population.
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Often people think that these are isolated cases. However, the more one researches the more examples can be found in every field possible. It is also worth mentioning that what is accessible to the public is what was uncovered. It is obvious that people in power who conspire or lie don’t want the public to find out so we only can learn about what already has been revealed. It can be concluded then, that this will be only a tiny minuscule of what has been happening but never saw the daylight.
1.Spying On Its Own People
Thanks to the revelations of Edward Snowden the world could learn how The National Security Agency was spying on people. Snowden revealed that the US government was collecting vast amounts of data. NSA could get access to people’s phone records through phone companies like Verizon.
2. The government Poisoned Alcohol To “Combat Illegal Drinking”
In the 1920s the US government deliberately poisoned alcohol to enforce prohibition.
The practice was called “denaturing” alcohol, and it involved adding toxic chemicals such as methanol, formaldehyde, and kerosene to industrial alcohol, making it undrinkable. This resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
3. COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program)
In the 1950s and 1960s, The FBI conducted a series of covert and illegal actions aiming at the disruption and dismantling of different civil rights movements and anti-war groups. They used wiretapping, blackmail, and planting of false evidence, even implanting false information in the media.
4. Tuskegee Study
From 1932 to 1972, the US Public Health Service conducted a study on the effects of untreated syphilis on African-American men in Tuskegee, Alabama. The study was done without the consent of the participants. Hundreds of low-income black men were incentivized with free offerings, meals, burial stipends, health care, etc.
In 1947 penicillin became available to the public, it was used to treat syphilis however none of the participants of the study were offered it over the next 25 years of the study.