Wednesday, September 21, 2011

U.S. violation of Bio Warfare Convention: Wayne Madsen Report


U.S. government said to be stockpiling bio-warfare, chemical weapons in Northern California

Wayne Madsen Report
By Janet C. Phelan

The Center for Disease Control has declined to confirm or deny allegations that the United States government is stockpiling biological and/or chemical weapons at Sierra Army Depot, a military base in Northern California.

     According to Ron Davenport, who was a biomedical engineer who worked at the medical clinic at Sierra Army depot in the seventies, the base at one time contained a stockpile of nuclear weapons. Davenport states that much of the base is actually underground. This reporter has obtained the testimony of a civilian contractor with a security clearance who has stated that the nukes have been replaced by large vats of liquid.

Anthony Freda Illustration
In an interview this week with Lori Bane, Associate Director for Policy with the CDC Division of Select Agents and Toxins and Von Roebuck, CDC Public Affairs officer, the two also declined to confirm or deny the existence of a number of biological safety labs level 4. The level 4 labs, called BSL-4.s, handle the most dangerous germs known to man, including Ebola, Marburg and Argentine hemorrhagic virus.

     The CDC is charged with the responsibility of registering labs which work with “select agents” and toxins. The labs range from Levels 1 to 4, and are designated in terms of their containment capacity. The 3’s and 4’s handle the really nasty bugs, some of which have no known treatment or cure and pose a grave threat to human life.

     Bane and Roebuck maintain that there are only six operational BSL-4’s within the borders of the United States. However, a number of other BSL-4’s appear to be now operational. Biosecurity.org lists eleven. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has counted thirteen, with some questions as to whether all the labs are operational at this point in time. The University of North Carolina has counted fifteen.

     When this reporter did a “roll call,” running down the entire FAS list, Bane began to fidget. Asked if there were an operational BSL-4 in Galveston, Texas, she responded that she “didn’t feel comfortable confirming or denying” if that facility has a registered BSL-4 or not.

     She responded in a similar manner to questions as to whether there was an operational BSL-4 in Montana. “Based on what I see on the internet there may be,” she volunteered. The CDC is posited with the responsibility of registering the BSL-4’s and when asked why she was relying on internet searches to determine this, she stated that she was answering in this manner “for security reasons.” However, the CDC’s own website contains multiple references to the Montana Lab.

     The granddaddy of all BSL-4’s was first established at Fort Detrick in 1969. This reporter has found indications of two other BSL-4’s at Detrick. Bane stated she was unable to comment on this. Bane and Roebuck also attempted to convince this reporter that there is only one BSL-4 at the CDC. However, this reporter found indications that a second one may have gone online recently.

     Following 911, and particularly following the anthrax letters which came fast on the heels of the Twin Towers attacks, these” biological safety” labs started to proliferate as silently and quickly as mushrooms. At this point in time, Congress is allocating over one billion dollars a year to fund biological defense research. But is it really defensive research going on in these labs?

     According to the Sunshine Project, an international non-profit working against the hostile use of biotechnology, the institutional safeguards put into place to ensure that these labs are doing the appropriate kinds of research are almost nonfunctional. Edward Hammond, who was the director of the Sunshine Project, cited instance after instance where the oversight committees for these research facilities had never even convened, let alone reviewed the nature of the research ongoing in these facilities. He also found where the mandated research was not taking place and other, non- authorized research was occurring instead.

    The Pentagon did not respond to queries concerning the possibility of BSL-4’s on two military bases, Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah and Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. This reporter located two architectural firms which claimed that they had been involved in building BSL-4s at these bases: http://www.linkedin.com/in/waynewalters; http://www.ninowconsulting.com/.

     The potential presence of these weapons at Sierra Army Depot augurs the likelihood that these weapons are being stockpiled on other bases, as well. The Soldier and Biological Chemical Command of the U.S. military lists installations at these facilities:

  • Aberdeen Proving Ground
  • Anniston Chemical Activity
  • Blue Grass Chemical Activity
  • Deseret Chemical Depot
  • Edgewood Chemical Activity
  • Jefferson Proving Ground
  • Newport Chemical Depot
  • Pine Bluff Chemical Activity
  • Pueblo Chemical Depot
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal
  • Umatilla Chemical Depot
  • Chem/Bio - Rapid Response Team
  • Technical Escort Unit
  • Natick Soldier Center
  • Research, Development and Engineering Center
  • Rock Island Site
    
    The apparent “secret” presence of BSL-4’s on military bases, coupled with indications of biological and/or chemical stockpiles at Sierra and elsewhere, point to the likelihood that the U.S. is engaged in developing biological warfare agents. This is a violation of the international Biological Weapons Convention. The U.S. signed the convention in 1972 and is a repository of this international arms treaty, along with Russia and Great Britain. Unlike many other arms treaties, which come with a host of inspection capabilities and repercussions for violators, the BWC has no teeth. There is no investigatory capability and no oversight body to assign penalties. In this sense, the BWC is merely window dressing.

    It has recently come to light that the United States violated this treaty, at least on paper, through the passage of the Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute, which is published as Section 817 of the U.S. Patriot Act. This Statute largely reflects the language of the BWC, which restricts the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons. However, there is a caveat at the end of 817 which releases the United States government from culpability for violating the restrictions contained in 817, stating: “ (c) Whoever knowingly violates this section shall be fined as provided in this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both, but the prohibition contained in this section shall not apply with respect to any duly authorized United States governmental activity.” It is through this caveat that the U.S. violated both the letter and spirit of the BWC.

     What the U.S. has accomplished, through the passage of The Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute, is to give itself a “blank check” for the deployment of these weapons. Richard Ebright, a researcher at Rutgers University, disputes the perception that the U.S. is moving towards deployment. “A blank check doesn’t mean anything unless you use it,” he declared in an interview last month. Ebright vigorously denies that the U.S. is engaged in bioweapons research. However, the structure of the BWC itself, a convention without an investigatory or enforcement arm, could also be considered a blank check.

     The anthrax attacks themselves belie the declarations that the U.S. is not engaging in this research. It has been generally acknowledged that the anthrax contained in the several letters was cooked up in a government lab. The FBI’s contention that they “had their man” in Dr. Bruce Ivins seemed to be both confirmed and put into suspension by Ivins’ alleged suicide. The mainstream media played down the fact that Ivins, who allegedly overdosed on Tylenol, began to gain strength in the hospital. While waiting for a kidney transplant, he was subsequently removed from life support. And that is how Dr. Ivins died.

     Recently, the National Academies released their long awaited report concerning the FBI investigation which nailed Ivins as the anthrax mailer. The National Academies did not endorse the methodology used by the FBI to determine that Ivins was culpable and was unable to support and endorse the Department of Justice’s conclusions concerning Ivins’ guilt.

     The affixing of responsibility to Dr. Ivins, who was a researcher at Ft. Detrick, does have its political perks. The identification of a suspect (conveniently now dead) removes suspicion from anyone else lurking in these labs. It certainly derails any concerns of a larger, government conspiracy concerning the anthrax letters, which were received by liberal Congressmen and members of the media right before the vote on the U.S Patriot Act. Viewed through this lens, nagging doubts may surface, in which a biological warfare agenda emerges into the foreground as a dark and ominous possibility.

     “Dual-use” is a term often used to refer to technology which can be used for both peaceful and military aims. Obviously, weapons grade anthrax from a government lab was used against U.S. citizens in the anthrax attacks. Is other research going on now which might result in later attacks? And are these toxins being stockpiled on military bases and if so, why?

     And if the U.S. is indeed manufacturing these weapons in “biosafety labs” under the guise of defensive research and stockpiling them at army bases, and if the purpose of the “blank check” being written for Biological and Chemical weapons via Section 817 of the U.S. Patriot Act and buttressed by the impotent BWC is to nullify the possibility of redress for deployment, then the next question becomes: How do we begin to address this specter?

     This reporter has applied for credentials to attend the BWC, which convenes every five years in Geneva. The next meeting is in December of 2011. At this date, the United Nations has not responded to the request for press credentials to attend the meeting.

Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist whose articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The San Bernardino County Sentinel, The Santa Monica Daily Press, The Long Beach Press Telegram, Oui Magazine and other regional and national publications. Janet specializes in issues pertaining to legal corruption and addresses the heated subject of adult conservatorship, revealing shocking information about the relationships between courts and shady financial consultants. She also covers issues relating to international bioweapons treaties. Her poetry has been published in Gambit, Libera, Applezaba Review, Nausea One and other magazines. Her first book, The Hitler Poems, was published in 2005. She currently resides abroad.  You may browse through her articles (and poetry) at janetphelan.com.

Obama's perfect storm


Obama finally has to take a stand on a moral/ethical issue; power mad "Ms. Nyet" Rice swaggers through negotiations

Al Jazeera
09/20/2011

Perhaps the title isn't fair. The storm that awaits Barack Obama at the UN is not entirely of his own creation.

   He did not create half a century of US foreign policy based on support for authoritarianism and occupation in the Arab and larger Muslim worlds. It was not Obama, but his predecessors - going back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt - who cosied up to the Saudis and promised them unlimited protection in return for unlimited access to all that oil.

    It was not Obama but Richard Nixon who put geostrategic considerations ahead of pushing for a robust and fair negotiating process to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, when there were only a few settlements and Israelis and Palestinians had not yet moved towards ideological extremism and terrorism as their chosen means of communication.

Rice more concerned with tough guy image than doing job
It was not Obama but Jimmy Carter who toasted the Shah's health in 1977, as Iran was primed to explode in revolutionary fervour (Mr Carter's introductory joke - "There's one thing I can say about the Shah: He knows how to draw a crowd", - did turn out to be prescient, but not in ways he imagined). Carter did set a very high bar with the Camp David Accords - more than half of which were devoted to the Palestinian issue - but he never pressed Israel to honour the spirit of the Accords once it became clear that Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had no intention of doing so. This was a mistake that quite possibly cost Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat his life.

    And it certainly wasn't Obama who gave Taliban "freedom fighters" their first billions in cash and US weapons, or who smiled while Saddam Hussein launched a ruinous war on Iran and Israel entrenched its settlement enterprise. Ronald Reagan will have to take the blame for those, if anyone's bothering to keep score anymore.

     Obama didn't launch the first Gulf War, or even the second.

    He didn't waste the 1990s shepherding a peace process that only the most incompetent of shepherds would have imagined would lead to the oasis of peace. He can't be blamed for doing nothing to press US allies from Morocco to Pakistan to clean up their acts and move towards democracy as the post-Cold War era of globalisation, with all its promise, began to take shape. That was, of course, Bill Clinton's affair.

    The current president didn't ask to inherit two wars and the world's most powerful and profitable military-industrial complex that feeds off - and directs - these wars. How precisely do you take on a trillion-plus-dollar-a-year monster that has spent the better part of a century not just protecting but constantly expanding its turf, turning back any attempts by politicians to rein it in, regardless of their party or the rationality of their arguments?

The game is rigged, but so what?

    In fact, perhaps Obama never had a chance. He might have dined with Palestinian professors back in Chicago, but there was no way he would have been allowed near the presidency if he actually internalized the historical narrative represented by Palestinian history and that of the Arab and larger developing worlds. Yes, he's half African and grew up partly in Indonesia, and can give really nice speeches about the need for the peoples of the world to build a common future.

Palestinian refugees:  60 years displaced
But more than anything, Obama is a product of the US political machine - from Harvard to Chicago to the White House. And you don't go through that meat grinder and come out at the other end with many principles left intact.

Even if Obama can't be blamed for the system - an-nitham, to use the entirely appropriate Arab connotation of the term - he must take responsibility for how many opportunities he has squandered and just how far US strategic designs have moved from the emerging realities in the Middle East and North Africa.

   There are many arguments to be made for and against PA president Mahmoud Abbas bringing a statehood bid before the UN. Indeed, in a seemingly strange irony, one of the most eloquent arguments against the bid comes from Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, who explained that "there's no shortcut, there's no magic wand that can be waved in New York and make ********** right ... The reality is that nothing is going to change. There won't be any more sovereignty, there won't be any more food on the table."

    But of course, the reason for US opposition to the statehood bid - namely, US policy that supports Israel's ongoing entrenchment of its occupation in the West Bank against the wishes of the entire world - is left unstated. Indeed, Rice and the Obama Administration are being patronising in the extreme by arguing that the push for a vote represents a "miscalculation" and a "gap between expectation and reality [that] is in itself quite dangerous".

    Instead, the reality is that the Obama administration, and the US foreign policy system it represents, are the ones who have badly miscalculated.

   Palestinians understand quite well that this vote is largely symbolic. But with nothing to lose and the US hopelessly titled towards Israel, if the Palestinians can extract a political price by increasing the amplitude of the wave of anger of the newly empowered "Arab street" (a term that after decades of mis-use finally has some analytical bona fides) in response to the planned US veto in the Security Council, Palestinians will for once have played their historically bad hand well.

Generations have now been born and died in the camps
Letting both the US and Israel know that the continuation of the status quo will no longer be painless is better than most other alternatives. It also begins to create a narrative of fairness and equality for Palestinians vis-a-vis Israel, since according to Obama's own words, Palestinians deserve no less than Israelis a sovereign state of their own.

    If the coming intifada can follow the best practices of the Arab democracy revolts and remain largely non-violent in the face of the various forms of violence Israel will likely deploy against Palestinians, this new narrative will play an important role in beginning to level the diplomatic playing field between the two sides, weakening the US position in the process.

Even the weak smell blood

     Of course, a change in narrative is unlikely to threaten decades-long US policy imperatives on its own, but it can make them much more difficult to protect. In the process it would weaken Obama's standing at home and abroad, something people around the region, and in the US, are beginning to sense more clearly as summer turns to autumn.

    Aside from the Palestinian issue, the other major element of the perfect storm Obama is facing at the UN concerns US opposition to the pro-democracy movements across the region. Most Arabs remember quite well how Obama refused to the use the "D-word" - democracy - during the heat of the uprisings in Tunisia and especially Egypt. Particularly in Egypt, the utter silence of the US administration while the military junta continues with serious violations of the rights of Egyptian democracy advocates has further tarnished Obama's image in the bellwether country of the Arab Spring.

    US unwillingness to press fully for the removal of Syrian President Assad or Yemeni President Saleh, and its even starker silence in Bahrain - never mind Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and other monarchies that have managed to repress their fledgling democracy movements - only further alienates the US (and Europe as well) from the historic momentum of the region-wide protest movement.

    These policies ensure that the US will be in a far weaker position when this struggle plays itself out than it was at the start, when the US could have stood firmly on the side of the young protesters. Supporting the overthrow of Gaddafi won't score Obama or the US more broadly many points, because everyone understand that Gaddafi was never a friend, but merely a useful client who, like Saddam Hussein before him, could easily be sacrificed if doing so served broader interests.

    Indeed, the protesters know how deeply implicated the US has been in the existing authoritarian order in the Arab world. If a few hundred Egyptians almost tore apart the Israeli embassy, think what thousands might do next time, especially if there is something resembling a real transition to democracy after the upcoming elections and the government has to respect their sentiments.

    The protesters understand full well that the three core US goals in the Middle East - protecting key oil-producing allies and their clients, ensuring the stability of the Israeli and Egyptian military complexes, and maintaining the power of the larger US "weapondollar-petrodollar" complex - are inimical to the interests of real democracy. As these protesters become empowered, Obama, who began his presidency with such eloquent words about a new age of cooperation and common purpose, will be left even more isolated in the region.

A system in retreat?

    And as Obama looks weaker, the system will search for alternatives that can shore itself up, even if it means further militarising the country, against the needs of the vast majority of Americans. And with a weakened and even more dangerous United States careening towards its own slow Armageddon, we might well witness the "clash of civilisations" that neocons have long prayed for.

    Only the civilizations in question won't be drawn from religion, tribe, or nation. They'll be separated by money, power and utterly opposed visions of the future: a global Arab Spring led by third world youth and their Western peers (including, one might dare to hope, millions of unemployed working-class Americans who will no longer sit and support their own impoverishment), versus the dynamic of repression, expropriation, intolerance, and violence of a "nitham" that has linked the world's elite - from Washington to Tehran to Beijing - in a bloody embrace for decades.

    It might not be fair for history to let Barack Obama take the fall for such an outcome. But history doesn't care who's right or wrong. It only cares who's smart or strong. And on both counts, it looks today like the US under Obama's leadership is getting weaker and dumber, while its adversaries - from the Arab street to the Chinese State Council - grow more adept at frustrating its wishes with each passing year.

    Barack Obama has very little time or maneuvering room to change this dynamic, but a bit of honesty at the UN would be a good place to start.

Mark LeVine is a professor of history at UC Irvine and senior visiting researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden. He also is the author of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam and the soon-to-be-published An Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989.

Follow Mark LeVine on Twitter: @culturejamming

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




America's homeless crisis washes up in Obama's official birthplace


Some live in tents, others in cars – but Hawaii would rather their extreme poor lived on the mainland; Honolulu on a crackdown the US doesn't want the world to see


The Independent
By Guy Adams
09/19/2011

Beverly Paracuelles wakes up each morning to a view of palm trees, golden sands, and azure tropical seas. She spends her days wandering along the world-famous beaches of Oahu's northern shore. But don't go telling her that life must be a dream.

  Home for the 54-year-old former nursing assistant is neither one of the ocean-view mansions, nor the $600-a-night hotel rooms which dot Hawaii's most populated island. Instead, it's a battered Toyota van. Inside, in an area that measures six by eight feet, she must eat, sleep, and store all of her worldly goods.

    "I've lived here for three years now, since I lost my job, and the depressing thing is that I can't see how things are going to get much better," she says, patting one of her three chihuahua dogs. "I wouldn't say that it's much of a life. I guess, like the old saying goes, I'd call it more of an existence."

Hawaii not such a good place to be homeless
Paracuelles is one of more than 4,000 homeless people, from a population of around 950,000, who contribute to Oahu's unwanted status as one of the street-sleeping capitals of America. Disabled by chronic back problems, and unable to find employment, she must instead get by with $314 a month in food stamps, plus petty cash earned selling necklaces that she makes from seashells.

   Despite its "aloha" reputation, Hawaii currently has the third-highest ratio of homelessness of any state in the nation, behind Oregon and Nevada. Since the number of Americans living below the poverty line rose above 15 per cent last week, the problem here, like elsewhere, seems likely to get worse before it gets better. In addition to the likes of Paracuelles, a recent study by the research firm SMS found that 96,648 Hawaiians are now members of the "hidden homeless" community, a demographic which contains people squatting, living in temporary accommodation, or staying with friends or family members. Another 262,000 people – a staggering one in five residents of the seven islands – are classed as being "at risk" of homelessness.

    You don't have to go far from the high-rise glamour of Waikiki Beach, Hawaii's most famous tourist centre, to appreciate the human effects of this statistical burden. Beggars throng the traffic lights of central Honolulu. 

    They while away days in parks, and sleep in wasteland tent cities. In many ways, their sheer ubiquity makes the city of Barack Obama's birth resemble a Third World metropolis.

    Venture into the countryside of Oahu, and you'll catch glimpses of tarpaulin, often in deep undergrowth a short distance from the road. Each one is a casual dwelling. There are several hundred of them, on a relatively small island which measures roughly 20 miles by 30 across. 

Exercise in contrast:  Millionaire Obama, indigent homeless
The problem has not escaped Hawaii's ruling class, who are acutely aware of its potential to damage the "tropical paradise" reputation on which the state's lucrative tourist industry relies. Last year, local politicians narrowly failed to back a highly controversial plan to offer homeless people from other parts of the US a free one-way air ticket home.

     Debate over alternative solutions is now gaining increased urgency in the run-up to November's Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit, which will draw 21 heads of state and hundreds of business leaders to Honolulu. In April, Hawaii's Governor, Neil Abercrombie, unveiled a "90-day plan" to reduce homelessness before the big event. But the 90 days brought little in the way of visible change.

    Homeless advocates are now concerned that officials are planning to conduct intense "sweeps" of Hawaii's homeless encampments in the run-up to the Apec summit, clearing them from the streets in order to hide the scale of their problem from the prying eyes of the international media due to attend.

    Governor Abercrombie has repeatedly denied the existence of such "sweeps", saying that it is not a crime to be homeless in Hawaii. Last week, the Honolulu Star reported that state officials had also testified before the legislature that none was being organised.

   But try telling that to Paracuelles. This month, local sheriffs arrived at the beachside park in the town of Hale'iwa where her car is stationed and served an eviction notice. She and 40 other residents were told that if they are not gone by 4 October, they'll be forcibly removed.

    "I've no idea where I'll go," she says. "Probably the next place with space. We've decided, as a group, to stay close to the beaches and stay together. There's power in numbers, and safety. Our vehicles aren't exactly road-legal. But if the cops want to give one of us a ticket when we drive off, they have to give us all one. And they usually can't be bothered with all that paperwork." 

Hawaiians say Hawaii being flooded by mainland homeless
Hawaii's Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance, a charity that works with the homeless community on Oahu, confirmed Paracuelles's story. Its executive director, Doran Porter, added that despite official assurances to the contrary, a "sweep" also took place earlier this month, at a large encampment underneath the Nimitz Highway in Honolulu.

    Porter blames Hawaii's spiralling homelessness problem on a straightforward imbalance of supply and demand. There are far too many people who want to live on the islands, and too few housing units to hold them, especially when many buildings are also used as holiday homes. As a result, rented accommodation is some of the most costly in the nation.

    "We have the highest cost of living in the US. ********** is more, from milk in the supermarket to gas to fill your car. And that's particularly the case with rent," he says. "The average cost of a basic one-bedroom apartment is between $850 and $900 a month. That's about the same as San Francisco. A lot of people in Hawaii, particularly in the tourist industry, are on minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. Even with a job they can't afford a home."

    As a result, many small rental apartments contain several families, who sleep in shifts. Other residents work two jobs to get by. And those at the bottom end of the employment ladder aren't the only ones faced with a daily struggle.

    "Because this is seen as an attractive place to live, wages in professional jobs are often lower here, too," Porter adds. "I've seen graduate legal positions, which on the mainland would pay $60,000 or $70,000, advertised at nearer to $40k. Even with that income, it can be difficult to make your rent."

    All of which has led to a curious phenomenon: white-collar homelessness. A recent episode of the television series Hawaii Five-O focused on middle-class office workers who choose to live in illegal beachside encampments. Powered by electricity generators, their tents contained flatscreen televisions and working kitchens. 

Homeless offered tickets/tents to go
Aside from economics, experts blame Hawaii's climate and famously welcoming image for turning it into a magnet for people at risk of homelessness. Some travel despite already having no income or accommodation. Others come for work and then lose their jobs. Once you are stuck on the islands with no cash, it's almost impossible to leave.

    "Right now, for every one person we manage to get off the street, I'd say there are two ending up there because of the recession," says Glenn Fuentes, an outreach worker. "If you are going to be homeless, where would you rather live? New York State, or Hawaii? We've even had phone calls from people in states such as Florida saying, 'We are homeless and are coming to live in Hawaii; could you direct us to a shelter?' We tell them that it ain't any better here. But they don't seem to listen."

    As if things couldn't deteriorate further, last week brought news that a $6m annual grant that helps homeless people to find rented accommodation would be axed. Introduced as part of the 2008 federal stimulus, it has so far helped almost 1,800 people. Without the cash, Fuentes's job of getting clients off the streets will become even harder.

    Among those whom money could have helped is Clifford Mendoza, 53, who has been homeless for more than 20 years. A former landscape gardener who supplements food stamps with whatever cash he can make spear-fishing, Mendoza says he has no prospect of ever being able to afford a roof over his head.

    "There's so much land here, so much space on this island, but they only seem to build huge hotels and mansions for rich people. Don't get me wrong – we do live on a beautiful island. But people don't see what's going on a few yards away from these amazing beaches. And I'm starting to believe that a lot of them just don't care." 

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Fukushima disaster: Sea radiation 3 times higher than previously reported


Japanese, Obama administration, "mainstream media" continue to lie/cover up Fukushima radiation releases, "don't want to create panic"

Daily Yomiuri
The Yomiuri Shimbun09/19/2011

The total amount of radioactive substances released into the sea as a result of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is believed to have been three times the initial estimate by the plant's operator, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Destroyed reactor at Fukushima
A team led by senior researcher Takuya Kobayashi estimated the actual quantity at 15,000 terabecquerels, including substances in polluted water and substances released into the air that eventually fell into the sea. Tera means one trillion.

The figure is more than triple the estimate by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Also, the new estimate does not include cesium-134, meaning the actual total could be even larger.

   The research team will announce its findings at a conference of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan scheduled to start in Kitakyushu on Sept. 19.

    TEPCO's calculation was based on the premise that polluted water containing high levels of radioactive substances was only released into the sea from April 1 to April 6.

    TEPCO estimated a total of 4,700 terabecquerels of radioactive substances--iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137--leaked into the sea during that period.

Japanese government liar extraordinaire:  Yukio Edano
Based on the density of radioactive materials near the nuclear plant's water-intake facility, Kobayashi's team calculated backward to the March 21 to April 30 period. Radioactive substances were first detected in the sea on March 21.

    The team simulated the proliferation of the substances in the ocean based on its new estimate and confirmed that the results matched data from the sea near the nuclear plant.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Goofy Santorum claims his filthy Google results "have an impact on the country"


GOP beanbag says Google could alter results if they wished, decries "foul people"

RAW
09/20/2011

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum no doubt dislikes that he isn't topping any recent polls of the 2012 field, but he may dislike the thing that tops search results of his name even more. And now, he's asking search giant Google to do something about it.

    Sex columnist Dan Savage famously campaigned to redefine the then-senator's name in 2003. Nearly a decade later, the effects of Savage's prank remain: the top Google result for "santorum" is spreadingsantorum.com, which defines "santorum" as "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum."

Santorum:  "filth" on his searchpage
In a Tuesday interview with Politico, Santorum revealed that he had asked Google to fix the persistent Google bomb, and theorized that the company harbored an agenda against him.

“I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they’d get rid of it,” Santorum said. “If you're a responsible business, you don't let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country.”

    “To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can't handle but I suspect that's not true.”

     However, Danny Sullivan, editor of search engine news site SearchEngineLand, told Talking Points Memo that there was nothing Google could do about the search result. Because Savage and his cohorts actually created a new definition for "santorum" and put it into use, as opposed to merely tricking an algorithm to confuse search results, Savage's prank counts as a true result.

   “At his point there’s nobody who could not argue [Savage’s definition of santorum] is not a definition in a lot of quarters,” Sullivan said. “So for him to say Google could get rid of it would be like him saying, ‘I don’t like the word unicorn and I think that that definition should go away.’”

Thin skin:  Santorum
“They’d have to go in and de-rank [the Savage] website, which would be saying that website is not relevant — which of course it is.”

In July, Savage threatened to also redefine Santorum's first name, Rick, if he used his presidential campaign to again promote discrimination against gay people.

    In a June interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd, Santorum said that things like the Google bomb "come with the territory."

     He didn't mention contacting Google prior to today.

    “There are foul people out there who do horrible things," Santorum said. "It’s unfortunate some people thought it would be a big joke to make fun of my name. But that comes with the territory.”

[Edited after publication to add information.]

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



U.S. Naval Update Map: Sept. 17, 2011 1840 gmt



U.S. Naval Positioning Update

STRATFOR
09/17/2011

The Naval Update Map shows an approximation of the current locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) and Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs), the keys to U.S. dominance of the world’s oceans. A CSG is centered on an aircraft carrier, which projects U.S. naval and air power and supports a carrier air wing (CVW). The CSG includes significant offensive strike capability. An ARG is centered on three amphibious warfare ships, with a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked. An MEU is built around a heavily reinforced and mobile battalion of Marines.




Carrier Strike Groups

  • The USS John C. Stennis CSG with CVW 9 embarked is under way in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
  • The USS George H.W. Bush CSG with CVW 8 embarked is under way in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
  • The USS Ronald Reagan CSG with CVW 14 embarked returned to its home port after a seven-month deployment.
  • The USS Eisenhower is under way in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications.
  • The USS Carl Vinson is under way conducting operations in the Pacific Ocean.

Amphibious Ready Groups/Marine Expeditionary Units

  • The USS Boxer ARG with the 13th MEU embarked is under way conducting operations in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The USS Bataan ARG with the 22nd MEU embarked is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR.
  • The USS Wasp is under way conducting operations in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The USS Iwo Jima is under way conducting operations in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The USS Makin Island ARG is under way conducting a composite training unit exercise in the Pacific Ocean. The Makin Island was scheduled to conduct exercises with two other ships, the dock landing ship Pearl Harbor and the amphibious transport dock New Orleans. However, the Pearl Harbor was not able to participate as its scheduled maintenance period has been extended. 


This STRATFOR Naval Update reprinted with permission and thanks from The 5th Estate.

    BP's Gulf oil spill continues to sicken vicims


    The gift that keeps on giving;  BP's massive Gulf oil spill is nowhere near over despite "mainstream media" and Obama government efforts put happy face on it/cover up

    Al Jazeera
    09/18/2011

    Just weeks after BP's oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, 2010, Fritzi Presley knew something was very wrong with her health.

        The 57-year-old singer/songwriter from Long Beach, Mississippi began to feel sick, and went to her doctor.

        "I began getting treatments for bronchitis, was put on several antibiotics and rescue inhalers, and even a breathing machine," she told Al Jazeera. The smell of chemicals on the Mississippi coastline is present on many days when wind blows in from the Gulf.

    The Gulf spill began with the explosion of BP's rig
    Presley's list of symptoms mirrors what many people living in the areas affected by BP's oil spill have told Al Jazeera.

    "I was having them then, and still have killer headaches. I'm experiencing memory loss, and when I had my blood tested for chemicals, they found m,p-Xylene, hexane, and ethylbenzene in my body."

       The 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf last year was the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, affecting people living near the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

        Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic dispersants, which are banned by many countries, including the UK. According to many scientists, these dispersants create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil.

        Dr Wilma Subra, a chemist in New Iberia, Louisiana, has tested the blood of BP cleanup workers and residents.

       "Ethylbenzene, m,p-Xylene and hexane are volatile organic chemicals that are present in the BP crude oil," Subra explained to Al Jazeera. "The acute impacts of these chemicals include nose and throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, lung irritation, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and vomiting."

        Subra explained that exposure has been long enough to create long-term effects, such as "liver damage, kidney damage, and damage to the nervous system. So the presence of these chemicals in the blood indicates exposure."

    Oil exposure rashes soon became commonplace
    Testing by Subra has also revealed BP's chemicals are present "in coastal soil sediment, wetlands, and in crab, oyster and mussel tissues".

    Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, and skin and eye contact. Symptoms of exposure include headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, genetic mutations, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiovascular damage. The chemicals can also cause birth defects, mutations, and cancer.

       Joseph Yerkes, from Okaloosa Island, Florida, was in BP's oil clean-up programme for more than two months, during which time he was exposed to oil and dispersants on a regular basis.

        "My health worsened progressively," Yerkes said. "Mid-September [2010] I caught a cold that worsened until I went to a doctor, who gave me two rounds of antibiotics for the pneumonia-like symptoms, and he did blood tests and found high levels of toxic substances in my blood that he told me came from the oil and dispersants."

        Since then, his life has been overrun with health problems and trying to get compensation from BP for his health costs and lost livelihood.

        "They've [BP] not paid me a dime, and I'm scared," Yerkes, whose lawyers were told by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was set up by BP to administer compensation payments, that his health claim was "compensable". Yerkes added, "I'm moving out of my house into a one-bedroom apartment, and have sold just about everything I have. BP is starving us out."

        Yerkes has begun cutting out parts of the detoxification programme his doctor had prescribed for him because he can't afford it. He then began getting sick again.

        His memory loss has become so bad that Yerkes has tried to adjust his life around it by leaving himself notes. Some days, his body aches so much, and his nausea is so severe, he is unable to get out of bed.

         "I consider myself a tough person, but this has been the hardest thing I've ever had to go through," he said.

    'Dying from the inside out' 

        Presley lives three blocks from the coast with her daughter, 30-year-old Daisy Seal, who has also become extremely sick.

    BP purposely exposed hundreds to oil with no safety gear
    Both of them had their blood tested for the chemicals present in BP's oil, and six out of the 10 chemicals tested for were present.

    "In 'Generations at Risk', medical doctor Ted Schettler and others warn that solvents can rapidly enter the human body," Dr Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist, and Exxon Valdez survivor, told Al Jazeera. "They evaporate in air and are easily inhaled, they penetrate skin easily, and they cross the placenta into fetuses. For example, 2-butoxyethanol [a chemical used in Corexit, an oil dispersant] is a human health hazard substance; it is a fetal toxin and it breaks down blood cells, causing blood and kidney disorders."

        "Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber," Ott continued. "Spill responders have told me that the hard rubber impellors in their engines and the soft rubber bushings on their outboard motor pumps are falling apart and need frequent replacement. Given this evidence, it should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known."

        Dr Rodney Soto, a medical doctor in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, has been testing and treating patients with high levels of oil-related chemicals in their blood streams.

        These chemicals are commonly referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

       VOCs released in BP's oil disaster are toxic and have chronic health effects.

        Dr Soto, who is Yerkes' doctor, is finding high levels of toxic chemicals in every one of the patients he is testing.

        "I'm regularly finding between five and seven VOCs in my patients," Dr Soto told Al Jazeera. "These patients include people not directly involved in the oil clean-up, as well as residents that do not live right on the coast. These are clearly related to the oil disaster."

    Mississippi resident John Gooding moved away
    While there are many examples of acute exposures, Dr Soto's main concern is that most residents who are being exposed will only show symptoms later.

    "I'm concerned with the illnesses like cancer and brain degeneration for the future," he told Al Jazeera. "This is very important because a lot of the population down here may not have symptoms. But people are unaware they are ingesting chemicals that are certainly toxic to humans and have significant effect on the brain and hormonal systems."

        The toxic compounds in the oil and dispersants are liposoluble, meaning they have a high affinity for fat, said Dr Soto.

         Dr Soto continued: "The human brain is 70 per cent fat. And these will similarly affect the immune cells, intestinal tract, breast, thyroid, prostate, glands, organs, and systems. This is also why this is so significant for children."

    Exceeding thresholds

        In March the US National Institutes of Health launched a long-range health study of workers who helped clean up after BP's oil disaster.

       According to the NIH, 55,000 clean-up workers and volunteers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida will be checked for health problems, and participants will be followed for up to 10 years.

       The study is funded by NIH, which received a $10m "gift" from BP to run the study. BP claims not to be involved in the study, which will cost $34m over the next five years.

    Obama going to "kick ass" on BP
    But the study focusses mainly on people who participated in the clean-up.

    John Gooding, a resident of Pass Christian, Mississippi, began having health problems shortly after the oil spill started. He has become sicker with each passing month, and has moved inland in an effort to escape continuing exposure to the chemicals.

        "I can't live at my home address anymore because it's too close to the coast," Gooding told Al Jazeera. "I'm hypersensitive to the pollution, and there is a constant steady chemical smell coming off the Gulf. Even both my dogs had seizures and died."

        Gooding suffers respiratory problems, seizures, and myriad other heath effects. He has filed a claim with BP in hopes of being compensated for his health problems, but it has been denied.
        BP hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg and his Washington-based firm, Feinberg Rozen, to manage their compensation fund. BP has paid the firm $850,000 a month to administer the $20bn compensation fund for Gulf residents and fishermen affected by the disaster.

      The fund was set up after negotiations between BP and the Obama administration, but over recent months there have been growing concerns among the Gulf Coast's residents that Feinberg is limiting compensation funds to claimants in order to decrease BP's liability.
    Corexit victim?
    Feinberg told citizen journalism group Bridge the Gulf* that he will be calling on "independent experts" to review the validity of the approximately 30 health claims that are currently "in limbo". Feinberg was unable to name the independent experts, and did not elaborate on the process used to pick them. 

    In a previous interview, Feinberg said he had received approximately 200 health claims and denied them all for lack of documentation.

        "As long as we have people making excuses for them [BP], they'll continue to get away with it," Gooding told Al Jazeera, while walking along a Mississippi beach covered in tar balls and dead birds.

        Gooding is visibly sick, and chemicals that are used in oil dispersants have been found in his blood, but he won't go to the doctor.

        "I don't want to put my family in debt, so I'm weighing my options," he said, "I don't have health insurance, but I do have life insurance."

        "We were recently in DC with those people protesting the Tar Sands pipeline," he said. "I was telling those people living near the proposed pipeline, 'We are your future, because when you have oil spills, this is what your life is going to look like.'"

    Dispersants will continue to be used

       The US Coast Guard held an Area Contingency Plan meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi on September 7 to discuss the lessons of the BP disaster.

        Al Jazeera asked Coast Guard Captain John Rose, a sector commander, what has changed regarding the Coast Guard's dispersant use policy since April 20, 2010.

    Another BP victim
     "We were pre-authorised to use it before, but now we have to get permission from the higher-ups. But it is still in the plan for how we will respond to oil spills in the future," he said.

    During the meeting, Captain Rose continuously referred to the use of dispersants as a "scientific tool" that is "effective in keeping oil from reaching beaches and wildlife."

        Charles Taylor, a resident of nearby Bay St Louis, stood up and announced, "I've had bloody diarrhoea nonstop for 45 days, I'm anemic and dehydrated. I've had VOC tests done and have ethylbenzene, m,p-Xylene, and methelpentates in my blood".

        None of the Coast Guard personnel would address Taylor's concerns, saying that the purpose of the meeting was not to discuss BP.

    BP's legacy
    Taylor asked Captain Rose and the other Coast Guard personnel on the panel, "How much money has BP given you folks? Because it appears to us, who are having health problems, you are being silenced from addressing the dispersant and health issues."


    Inadequate compensation

         Untold numbers of Gulf Coast residents continue to struggle with health issues and lack of adequate compensation from BP.

         Joseph Yerkes is concerned about his future. "I'm financially destroyed, and my health is bad," he said. "I'm having to cut off parts of my treatment because I can't afford it all, and I'm just trying to survive."

        "I'm one step away from being homeless, and not being able to support my daughter and myself," Yerkes added.

    Follow Dahr Jamail on Twitter: @DahrJamail


    *  There is no such thing as "citizen journalism" or "citizen journalists." This is yet another Rovian/Bush/CIA creation in order to discredit professional Independent Media journalists by mobilizing legions of under/unemployed losers with cellphone cameras to play at being real journalists, and through their failed attempts at "reporting" attempt to paint all media with the same diseased brush.  To put this in perspective, it would be the same as having "citizen brain surgeons,"  "citizen Admirals and Generals," and "citizen Supreme Court justices, etc."  Being a successful, effective, CREDIBLE journalist requires at the very least a four-year degree in journalism and years of experience in a daily newsroom environment.  The fact that "mainstream media" outlets use their material now because it is free and they can get away with it without requiring accreditation or attribution only exacerbates the problem and fuels this phenomena of frauds.  The public should demand better from all media, but the majority of media outlets do not want to pay for professionals to cover their news.  - Ed.
     
    This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



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    ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

    The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

     photo
    Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

    Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

    READ MORE >>

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    The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

    The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

     photo
    STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

    Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

    READ MORE >>

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    Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

    A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

     photo capitalism_zpsah78uy5p.jpg
    We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

    READ MORE >>

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    By Robert S. Finnegan

    This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

    READ MORE >>

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    UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

    UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

     photo TAMIFLU_small_zpssojx6okt.jpg
    THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

    Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

    READ MORE >>

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     photo WHO02_zpsplmhtlpr.jpg
    The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

    READ MORE >>

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    By Robert S. Finnegan

    On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

    READ MORE >>