Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From Tragedy to Travesty : Drugs Tested on Survivors of Bhopal

First sprayed like roaches, then expected to assist murderers;  survivors of 1984 Bhopal gas disaster became unwitting guinea pigs in studies funded by Western drug companies

The Independent
By Nina Lakhani

Secret reports seen by The Independent reveal that drug trials funded by western pharmaceutical firms at the Indian hospital set up for survivors of the Bhopal disaster violated international ethical standards and could have put patients at risk.

    Some 14 patients died during the three trials examined by the reports. In one trial, for an antibiotic, five out of seven patients died during the trial or soon after it finished. While there is no suggestion that every death merits compensation, critics say there has been no adequate investigation into whether compensation was appropriate in any of the cases. None has ever been paid.

A small victim of the cyanide gas
At least eight other trials were carried out on hundreds of Bhopal gas victims. The Independent has evidence of patients who were unaware that they were taking part in a trial at all. The conduct of the trials has exposed the hospital to furious criticism from activists who say that survivors have been used as guinea pigs without proper informed consent.

    The reports on the three trials at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) – carried out on behalf of Theravance, Sanofi, and Wyeth, which is now a part of Pfizer – shine a spotlight on serious ethical violations which experts say are endemic in India. BMHRC is the country's only hospital dedicated to treating the surviving half a million people affected by the deadly gas leak which campaigners say killed 25,000 in December 1984. The hospital made more than 10m rupees (£140,000) from British, US and French drug companies for carrying out the trials for treatments that have since been approved for use in Europe and the US.

    The Bhopal trials were first exposed by the leak of a memorandum sent by the hospital trustees – several of whom also served on the ethics committee that would have approved the studies – ordering "all current and proposed trials to be immediately stopped."

Hundreds died after being surprised by gas in mddle of night
The public outcry in Bhopal at the memo triggered three inspections by the Indian drug regulator, which found numerous failings in the trials. The secret inspection reports seen by The Independent criticised the hospital's ethics committee for failing to protect patients by approving trials without proper consideration of potential safety hazards.

    None of the 14 deaths in the three inspected trials were independently investigated and several were not reported to authorities within legally imposed time limits. Not a penny was given to patients to compensate them for travel expenses, inconvenience or loss of income. The inspectors failed to talk to any of the patients or families to check whether proper informed consent had been obtained.

    The reports also show that doctors doubled up as trial facilitators, making it harder for their patients to say no.

    A subsequent state government inquiry, widely criticised by local media, found no evidence of wrongdoing after speaking to three patients who came forward in response to newspaper adverts. The hospital admits that the majority of gas victims it treats are illiterate.

    The controversial decision by the hospital trustees and drug regulator to sanction the hospital as a site for clinical trials highlights serious concerns about what critics see as inadequate protection for patients in a country growing more popular with drug companies.

The satanic Bhopal plant
More than 1,500 drug trials involving 150,000 patients have started across India since 2009. The Independent yesterday revealed that at least 1,730 patients died between 2007 and 2010. Many of these patients were seriously ill and could have died regardless of the trial. But campaigners argue that often no proper inquiry takes place – and when compensation is paid, it is unduly low.

     Moreover, in the Bhopal case, medical experts have questioned the scientific value of testing drugs on gas victims when the long-term affects of exposure to Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) are poorly understood. The drug companies unanimously defended this decision and said it was up to doctors to assess if patients were medically suitable to participate.

   Several of the Bhopal trials were outsourced to contract research organisations (CROs), Indian and multinational, which get regulatory and ethics approval, recruit patients and oversee the trial at arms-length from the drugs companies.

    Drug companies often put the blame for negligence on CROs, making it near-impossible for poor people to hold Western companies to account when violations are exposed, according to the Dutch NGOs Somo and Wemos.

    But Rachna Dhingra, head of the International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal, insisted that the drugs companies should bear responsibility, called the conduct of the trials "disgusting and appalling" and demanding legal action against the firms involved. "The people of Bhopal have been doubly victimised by the unethical trials," she said.

Livestock was also completely wiped out
The three inspections known to have been carried out by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) should make uncomfortable reading for an industry which insists that ethical and scientific standards are uniform across the world.

    One study named "Attain", sponsored by Theravance and run by the CRO Quintiles, compared two antibiotics to treat hospital-acquired pneumonia – a potentially life-threatening condition. Three patients died during the trial, two others soon after. Again, it is not possible to determine whether the deaths were the result of participation. The hospital made a profit of 623,820 rupees after study costs are accounted for.

    Serious shortfalls were found with the ethics committee, medical records, quality assurance protocols and training procedures. Information about some of the deaths was inadequate; the study was not reviewed by the ethics committee despite the fact that the death rate was unusually high. After the inspection, warning letters were sent out to both companies. What action was taken, if any, is unknown.

    Theravance reiterated that it had "hired a CRO to manage the study in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations at multiple study sites in India, including BMHRC".

    In another of the three trials, an antibiotic study carried out by Quintiles on behalf of Wyeth, now a part of Pfizer, 32 out of 34 patients were gas victims. Participants in the "Tiger" trial suffered five "serious adverse events" and three deaths. The deaths were classed as "unrelated" to the investigational drug without independent or laboratory tests, and were not eligible for compensation. BMHRC made a profit of 1,936,158 rupees.

Dead are layed out for identification
Pfizer insists it conducted only two trials there; the hospital says it received money for four. Pfizer said the studies were "conducted by doctors at the hospital" and were carried out "with the informed consent of the study participants and with oversight by the hospital's ethics committee. The standards were no different than for trials conducted in the US, the EU, or elsewhere in the world." Compensation is always approved by principal investigators, ethics committee and regulator, the company added.

    The Oasis-6 cardiac trial, in which six Bhopal patients died, highlights the problem of assigning responsibility. GSK purchased the test drug, fondaparinux, from the French company Sanofi-Synthelabo (now Sanofi-Aventis), in 2004 when the trial had already started in India. Under its contract, GSK say Sanofi remained responsible for the conduct of the study, while it was responsible for evaluating the data. A CRO was employed in India; the study co-ordinator was in Canada.

    Sanofi refused to answer detailed questions but said: "Sanofi's clinical trials are conducted ethically and are in line with Good Clinical Practice guidelines, and are conducted under the supervision of the institutional ethics committee."

   GSK said: "We conduct our clinical trials to the same high standards irrespective of where they are held. With regards to [the Oasis 6] study, GSK was not the sponsor ... The study would have been run in strict accordance to a protocol."

The Oasis 6 inspection concluded that the deaths were reported to the ethics committee, but again this did not trigger a necessary review. Yet the committee chair at that time, retired professor of cardiology Dr Ramesh Bhargava, told The Independent that "there were no adverse effects or deaths" reported.

    Committee meeting minutes seen by The Independent show that discussions about potential trials were superficial and brief. In one meeting, three trials were approved and one rejected. One committee member, Kusum Arendekar, told The Independent that decisions about clinical trials were left up to medical staff because "they knew best".

    The workings of such committees are another area of difficulty. There are only two accredited institutional ethics committees in India. Most are like the one in BMHRC, recruited by the hospital management, working without a standard operating procedure and little insight into how patients should be protected, says Dr Amar Jesani, the editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics.

    The principle investigator in the Oasis 6 trial, Dr Skand Trivedi, is also head of cardiology. He is married to the secretary of the ethics committee, Dr Prabha Desikan, who plays a key role in approving trials. Dr Desikan was a sub-investigator in at least one trial she approved. "A family member on the IRB is a serious conflict of interest," said Dr Jesani. "A person on the IRB should have no part of the trial. These are bare minimums."

    The Independent spoke to patients from a cardiology study known as PLATO, on behalf of AstraZeneca. The patients said that they were never told that they had participated in the trial. One participant, a 53-year-old woman who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I thank God that nothing happened to me and I don't want any trouble with the hospital, so I would rather just try and forget it."

AstraZeneca said: "We have strict processes in place to monitor all of our clinical studies on an ongoing basis to ensure patients have been properly consented. Through this, it was discovered that some patients at BMHRC were not properly consented during the PLATO trial. These errors were promptly corrected by the investigator."

Quintiles, the world's biggest CRO, actively recruited patients at BMHRC in four studies and conducted preliminary work in three others. It said in a statement that "clinical staff visited the sites on a regular basis to ensure the studies were conducted as dictated by the protocol and in accordance with international and national ethical guidelines."

    BMHRC and its doctors who conducted the trials refused to answer any questions from The Independent.

    Case study: 'Of course I'm angry. I didn't even know what a clinical trial was until it was already over'

    Ramadhar Shrivastave, 64, a former electrician, first knew he had participated in the Plato clinical trial, sponsored by the British company AstraZeneca, when a local journalist presented him with documents in June 2010.

    Mr Shrivastave has suffered from vision and digestive problems since the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984, but first registered with BMHRC in November 2007 after a heart attack. He was admitted to ICU and treated with an angioplasty – a technique used to mechanically unblock arteries – before being discharged. He was given two bottles of unlabelled pills by a doctor he hadn't met before, and asked to sign a form which was written in English, and which he didn't understand.

    For about two years, Mr Shrivastave and his wife Kamlesh said, the same doctor rang every month to remind him to collect his pills; each time he signed a form which contained the names and signatures of 10 to 15 other people. He was never given any verbal or written details about the trial. Despite his poor health, Mr Shrivastave took a bus to BMHRC every month because a rickshaw cost 100 rupees (£1.25) each way, which was unaffordable; he received no money towards transport costs.

    "Suddenly, one day, Madam Doctor told me that the course of medication was finished and I didn't need to come back," he said. "Instead I could collect my other medication from a nearby BMHRC satellite unit. I didn't even know what a clinical trial was until my son explained to me after all this came out."

Young victims still paying the price for exposure

    The hospital refused Mr Shrivastave's request to see his medical notes but The Independent has seen a copy of his discharge summary, which confirms his participation in the Plato trial. The family still fear he could be reliant on the hospital again. "If he becomes ill, then we would have no choice but to go back; we cannot pay for hospital treatments," Mrs Shrivastave said.

    The trial drug, Ticagrelor, was approved in Europe in December 2010 for the treatment of heart attacks and unstable angina.

    "Of course I'm angry. I've been angry ever since I found out," Mr Shrivastave said. "But what can I do? We are poor people. If I had money I would have filed a case against them straight away, but we don't have money. If I'd known it was a drug trial I never would have agreed. How can I ever trust them again? These people should do trials on their own families, not poor people like me. God has saved me twice: first I survived the gas disaster and now this."
    Case study 2: 'The doctors said that they always did trials for new drugs, and there was nothing to worry about'

    Sanjay Munshi, 35, has lived near the Union Carbide factory all his life, and suffers from chronic respiratory and eye problems. He was recruited onto a trial sponsored by US company, Progenics, on his first admission to BMHRC in 2007 for bowel surgery. He was suffering from chronic constipation as a result of a rectal prolapse. 

The night before his surgery, two doctors talked to him about a drug trial and gave him 10 pages in Hindi to read. “I didn't understand a lot of it," he said. "I got scared, but the doctors said there was no need to worry, that they always did trials for new drugs, and there was nothing to worry about. But I was scared, I have young children, what if something goes wrong, what would my family do?” 

    The junior doctors tried to reassure him. “They said 'what do you know about your surgeon? You don't know much about him but he is good. You don't have to know about the medicine, it is good.' Everything was arranged so I was worried that if I said no, I would ruin their plans and maybe my operation wouldn't be done properly, so I didn't say no.” 

    He was so afraid that he 'stole' the consent form and gave it to his younger brother who had come to visit. “I told him to take the paper, so that if something goes wrong, you will know what happened. When the doctor came to ask for the form I pretended the nurse had taken it, so they gave me another one which I signed. I didn't know what the new drug was for, what the side effects might be; they just told me it would be fine.” 
    Progenics says it has a letter approving the trial but information provided by BMHRC to the Indian Parliament does not mention it. The CRO Progenics contracted to conduct the trial, subcontracted out at least part of the work to another CRO in Mumbai, including ethics approval by its own commercial committee. Yet Progenics admit that “It is a standard industry practice to work with a central IRB [ethics committee] when conducting a clinical trial.” 
    A spokeswoman added: “The CRO acting on Progenics’ behalf monitored the study site throughout the trial as required by its contract, and conducted an audit of the trial activities.” 
   The drug, Methylnaltrexone, was approved by the European Medicines Authority in July 2008 to treat constipation caused by opiate medications, such as morphine. The BMHRC trial was part of a separate study but the drug was found to be ineffective in treating post-surgery bowel complications.  
    Mr. Munshi was never told about any of that. He stayed in hospital for around 10 days after the surgery and was given an injection of the drug every day. “After I was discharged I came back for blood tests, but nobody ever mentioned the drug trial again, I've no idea what happened to that drug. I am angry, and I am shocked that the hospital or doctors made money, but I am happy that God saved me.”

* Without consent: how drugs companies exploit Indian 'guinea pigs'

* Leading article: Drugs firms must not prey on poverty

* Drugs policy advisor under fire over links to pharmaceutical company

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Europe could be in worst hour since WW2: Merkel

And just how did Europe get this way?


LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) -

German Chancellor Angela Merkelsaid on Monday that Europe could be living through its toughest hour since World War Two as new leaders in Italy and Greece rushed to form governments and limit the damage from the eurozone debt crisis.

    A rally on financial markets sparked by the appointment of respected European technocrats in Rome and Athens soon stalled. Analysts warned that daunting obstacles could hinder the decisive action needed to revive their ailing economies.

Mooo - "Enough for everybody in EU" - Angela Merkel
Italy had to pay a euro-lifetime record yield of 6.3 percent to sell five-year bonds with investors wary of buying its debt until prime minister-designate Mario Monti can undertake profound economic reforms.

In a first sign of trouble for new Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, the leader of the main conservative party rejected any toughening of austerity and refused to sign a letter sought by European authorities pledging support for a new 130 billion euro bailout.

    Merkel put the situation facing the euro zone into stark relief in an attempt to rally her conservative party behind the government at a congress in Leipzig.

    “Europe is in one of its toughest, perhaps the toughest hour since World War Two,” she told her Christian Democrats (CDU), saying she feared Europe would fail if the euro failed and vowing to do anything to stop this from happening.

    In a one-hour address, Merkel called for closer European political union but offered no new ideas for resolving a crisis that has forced bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, raising fears about the survival of the 17-state currency zone.

EU played it too close to U.S., paying for it now
European Union governments have until a summit on December 9 to come up with the outlines of a bolder and more convincing strategy, with some form of massive, visible financial backing.

Prospects are uncertain as the German government, the Bundesbank and hardliners in the European Central Bank have blocked key policy options. 

    These include issuing common euro zone bonds, mutualising the euro zone’s debt stock, letting the ECB create money to fight the crisis, or having it act as lender of last resort, directly or via the euro zone rescue fund.

    Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Reuters that Germany wanted Europe to push through changes to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty by the end of 2012 that set the foundation for a common fiscal policy in the bloc.

     He conceded some non-euro states might oppose that but said they should not prevent the 17 euro zone countries going ahead.

    “The most important thing is quick agreement on the structures for a fiscal union,” he said.


    In weekend drama, Italy’s president asked Monti, a former European commissioner, to form a government to reverse a disastrous collapse of market confidence in an economy whose debt burden is too big for the euro bloc to bail out.

Berlusconi isn't laughing anymore
Italians sang, danced and drank champagne in the streets to celebrate the resignation of scandal-plagued billionaire Silvio Berlusconi, and an impromptu orchestra near the presidential palace played the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

   The ECB has been buying troubled euro zone governments’ bonds episodically to try to stabilize markets. 

    But figures released on Monday showed it halved its weekly bond buy at the height of the Italian government crisis last week, suggesting it was no longer willing to help Berlusconi.

    After a tumultuous week, when Italy’s borrowing costs rose to the kind of levels that saw Ireland and Greece forced to seek international bailouts, initial market reaction was positive on Monday, with both stocks and bond markets lifted.

    But in a sign of the fragile state of confidence, the trend was reversed after the Italian bond auction, and the release of figures showing industrial production slumped by 2 percent in the euro zone in September, raising the specter of recession.

    Monti held talks with political parties on Monday before separate meetings with trade unions and employers on Tuesday, as he moves to appoint what is expected to be a relatively small cabinet made up of experts from outside parliament.

    He went to work after a frenetic weekend in which Italy’s parliament approved a package of economic reforms agreed with European leaders, clearing the way for Berlusconi to resign.

    “Monti spoke about a significant program with many sacrifices,” Francesco Nucara, a lawmaker from one of the myriad tiny parliamentary groups involved in the talks, said after meeting the prime minister-designate.

    Monti told a news conference that political parties must understand the depth of the crisis, and that he aimed to serve until scheduled elections in 2013, not just until reforms had been pushed through.


    Global equity markets and the euro slid on doubts the incoming Italian and Greek leaders would take the tough steps needed to resolve the debt crisis.

    Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, called the national unity governments in Italy and Greece “the necessary policy response to avert a meltdown”, but said they were “unlikely to be a silver bullet”.

    While Italy’s problems and the long-drawn-out departure of Berlusconi have pushed the collapse of the much smaller Greek economy backstage, IMF and European leaders will keep Papademos under pressure to implement radical reforms.

Merkel also slipped the knife to Papandreou
Papademos succeeded George Papandreou, whose proposal to hold a referendum on the bailout terms prompted EU leaders to raise the threat of a Greek exit from the currency bloc.

The new premier, who oversaw Greece’s entry to the euro zone in 2002, must win a confidence vote on Wednesday before meeting euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Thursday.

    He told parliament at the start of the confidence debate that the policies needed to secure an international bailout had aggravated the recession, but added that Greece had no choice but to remain within the euro zone.

    Reforms — including widening the tax base and fighting rampant tax evasion — could mitigate the problem, he said.

    The Herculean task he faces was illustrated when New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said he would not vote for new austerity measures. Spending cuts and tax rises agreed with foreign lenders should be changed in favor of economic growth.

    “I agree with the goals to cut government spending … to reduce debt, to erase the deficit, to make structural changes. I do not agree with whatever stunts growth,” he told party MPs.

    Inspectors for Greece’s international lenders, known as the troika, were due to meet Papademos’s administration after the confidence vote, but uncertainty grew whether they would come.


    Most Greeks hailed Papademos’s appointment, but thousands of people angry at more than a year of austerity are expected to rally on Thursday, the anniversary of a 1973 student uprising that helped to bring down a 1967-1974 military junta.

   That could complicate talks between the troika and the new cabinet, as the demonstration is expected to shut down central Athens and could be the biggest rally in months of protests that have at times turned violent.

  Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela, spokesman for the European Commission’s mission in Greece, said the troika team “may come at the end of the week but nothing is fixed”.

  Monday’s euro zone industrial production figures pointed to a sharp contraction toward the end of the year and the risk of a double-dip recession.

    The slide in output at euro zone factories was the biggest since February 2009 — when the economy was reeling from the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

   “It clearly doesn’t bode well for the future,” said Francois Cabau, an economist at Barclays Capital. “If we don’t see some resolution of the euro zone sovereign debt crisis, business confidence could go even lower.”

Additional reporting by Philip Pullella and James Mackenzie in Rome, Ben Harding and Harry Papachristou in Athens, Eva Kuehnen in Frankfurt, Alexandra Hudson in Berlin and Robin Emmott in Brussels, writing by Peter Millership and Jon Boyle.

Images:  Google royalty free.

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The Arab League: Paving the Way for a US-NATO-Israel War with Syria and Iran

These madmen (Obama, Netanyahu)  and women (Clinton, Livni) in Israel and the U.S. - unless stopped by the international public - plan to start WWIII

By Svi Bar'el

A military move against Syria could also imply intent to attack Iran, just when the Western states want to dispel the fears that the Iranians, Russians and Chinese have of such an attack.

    The Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's membership, impose economic sanctions and discuss transition-period arrangements with the opposition, could pave the way to a military offensive on Syria, similar to the one on Libya. 

Assad still just as dangerous
However, it's doubtful whether Western states - who have so far used the lack of Arab support for intervention to justify their inaction - will take advantage of this. That's because, unlike the attack on Libya, an offensive against Syria could have dramatic regional repercussions.

Iran could decide to open its own front and Hezbollah - as leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah threatened last week - could launch an attack on Israel. A military move against Syria could also imply intent to attack Iran, just when the Western states want to dispel the fears that the Iranians, Russians and Chinese have of such an attack.

    This is not the first time the Arab League has suspended a member state. It suspended Egypt's membership for 10 years after it signed the peace agreement with Israel, and suspended Libya's membership. But the decision against Syria is not merely a penal measure. In addition to delegitimizing President Bashar Assad's regime, it grants Arab legitimization to the large, albeit not exclusive, opposition faction - the National Syrian Council, established in Istanbul. The council has been recognized for the first time as the official representative of the Syrian people.

    By so doing, the Arab League is assuming the role of "regime maker," which acts rather than merely responds. Its move is likely to lead Russia to meet with the opposition representatives for the first time as well. If such a meeting takes place, it will mark a dramatic turning point in Russia's position; until now it has sided with Assad. 

Protesters still being killed in Syria uprising
Iraq has so far refrained from supporting the League's decision, but did not oppose it as Lebanon and Yemen did. Iraq, which coordinates its foreign policy with Iran, voted in a manner reflecting Iran's distress.

Iran, which is not a league member, is still sticking to its support of Assad. But in recent weeks Iranian leadership officials have been calling to stop the brutal oppression in Syria.

Opposition officials in Syria reported that Iranian officials have met Syrian opposition members to discuss "the future." As far as Iran is concerned, "the future" will oblige it to examine its own relations with the opposition, to make sure the Arab League's decision does not leave it bereft of Syrian allies.

    Hence the importance of the league's decision, which poses a strategic dilemma both to the West and to Iran. 

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Lebanon's Hezbollah: If Iran and Syria are attacked, War will spread to the entire Region

How Israeli madmen believe they can survive area-wide war is indicative of their (and Obama administration) collective insanity


The Secretary General of the Shi' ite armed group Hezbollah warned the United States on Friday that any attack against the party's allies Iran and Syria would spread to the entire region. 

Hezbollah now political force in Gaza
 "The U.S. should understand that a war against Iran and Syria will not remain in the Iranian and Syrian territories, but it will engulf the whole region...," Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech to mark Hezbollah's martyr's day.

The Hezbollah leader said that the United States was currently attempting to compensate for losses in the region as a result of the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and the imminent withdrawal of its troops from Iraq.

    "These changes in the region are not in the interests of the United States, and as a result, the resistance is gaining momentum, " he said.
    Israel and Western powers have called for further sanctions on Iran following a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, suggesting the Islamic Republic was working on designing an atomic bomb under the cover of a peaceful energy program.

"The United States wants to subjugate Iran and force it to have direct negotiations with it, and wants to subjugate Syria to accept what it has never accepted in the past," Nasrallah said.
Meanwhile, Nasrallah said that Lebanon has become stronger and more capable of thwarting Israeli attacks given his party's capability.

    "It is unlikely that Israel would wage war against us ... Lebanon is in a position where it can turn the tables on those who attack," he said.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.

COVERUP: Fukushima continues to spew deadly radiation into the atmosphere; San Francisco bay area now hot

The liars in Japanese and U.S. governments, aided by their "mainstream media" propaganda machine continue to lie and obfuscate about real radiation release numbers

Washington's Blog

Everyone knows that Fukushima reactors 1-3 have melted down, and the fuel pool at reactor 4 is ruined.
But reactors 5 and 6 have been almost entirely ignored since the earthquake because – we were assured – the reactors were in controlled shutdown prior to the earthquake, and so all was safe.

Fukushima destroyed reactor continues to smoke and burn
 However, there are rumors of problems.

For example, Fukushima Diary notes:
On Tepco’s press release data of 4/25/2011, Iodine-133 was measured at intake of reactor 5 and 6.
0.15 Bq/cm3 8:50 4/24/2011
0.23 Bq/cm3 14:30 4/24/2011
Also, according to press release data of 6/13/2011, the temperature of reactor 5 and 6 were hotter than 200 ÂșC, and data of 3/11~3/15 are concealed.
Even on 3/19/2011, they were still 183C and 167C.
5/16/2011, Tepco released data of how much contaminated water is sticked [I assume he means "stuck"] under the container vessels.
The table shows,
300 cubic meters under reactor 5,
13,500 cubic meters under reactor 6.

In the data on 6/13,the temperature of the water in container vessels are carefully concealed from 3/11~15.
    Remember that reactors 5 and 6 have spent fuel pools as well as reactors. As I pointed out on March 16th:
Kyodo News notes:

Edano said water temperatures in the pools at the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors at the Fukushima plant have been rising as well.

The agency said among the three, the situation is the severest at the No. 4 reactor because all the fuel rods are stored in the pool due to the change of the reactor’s shroud. At the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors, up to one-third of the rods are being kept in the pools. The more fuel rods that are kept in a pool, the more radioactive substances could be emitted.
I noted on May 31st:
While most of the problems have been at reactors 1, 2 and 3 (which were all operating when the earthquake hit) and reactor 4 (where spent fuel rods have been leaking), there have also been problems at reactor number 5 as well. Specifically, as NHK writes:
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says temperatures in the Number 5 reactor and its spent fuel storage pool have risen due to pump failure. The reactor has been in a state of cold shutdown.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it found at 9 PM on Saturday that a pump bringing seawater to cooling equipment for the reactor and pool had stopped working.
TEPCO says temperatures have been rising since then.
    And as EneNews reported yesterday, the whole story of a cold shutdown of reactors 5 and 6 may be questionable:
Special Report on the Nuclear Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, INPO (Institute of Nuclear Power Operations), November 2011 [Emphasis Added]:
  • “Four of the five emergency diesel generators on units 5 and 6 were inoperable after the tsunami”
  • “One air-cooled emergency diesel generator on Unit 6 continued to function and supplied electrical power to Unit 6, and later to Unit 5, to maintain cooling to the reactor and spent fuel pool.”
  • “Unit 5 had been shut down and in an outage since January 3, 2011. Fuel had been loaded into the reactor and the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) reassembled.”
  • “Unit 6 had been shut down and in an outage since August 14, 2010. Fuel had been loaded into the reactor and the RPV reassembled.”
  • “The Unit 6 air-cooled EDG and portions of the electrical distribution system survived the tsunami and were used to reestablish cold shutdown on units 5 and 6.”
  • “After the tsunami impacted the site, operators were able to use the 6B emergency diesel generator (EDG) to provide power to cooling systems for the Unit 6 spent fuel pool. After installing temporary cables, the 6B EDG [generator] provided power to Unit 5 spent fuel pool cooling.”
This post is not affirmatively making claims, but rather asking questions, to which we deserve answers … especially since Tepco has been covering up the scope and severity of the accident since day one.

Images:  Goggle royalty free.

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As U.S. prepares to leave Iraq, It casts about for another country to invade

War with Iran will seal Obama, Clinton's fate; riots, general strikes, war crimes trials accelerated, Senate commission formed to locate, prosecute former and present administration officials for theft of U.S. Treasury, economic collapse

L.A. Times
By David S. Cloud

As the last U.S. troops pack up to leave Iraq by the end of next month, Pentagon officials and senior military commanders are warning that Iran will rush to fill a power vacuum created by the American exit unless Washington limits its pullback from the region.

     That broad assessment has taken on urgency in recent weeks against a backdrop of new intelligence that indicates the government in Tehran also is aggressively courting proxy forces in Yemen and, according to United Nations nuclear inspectors, is fast approaching the capability to build nuclear weapons.

U.S. Air forces will have to fight for airspace control
U.S. intelligence officials say Iranian operatives have provided millions of dollars to leaders of the Houthi tribe, which adheres to an offshoot of Shiite Islam in Yemen's rugged north and has joined an armed uprising by disparate forces against the U.S.-backed government in Sana.

 In Iraq and other trouble spots, Iran is handing out money and weapons, often in secret, in an effort to expand its clout and stay ahead of the political changes sweeping the region since the start of the "Arab Spring," U.S. officials say.

     The Islamic Republic still faces severe challenges, however. If opposition forces in Syria manage to topple President Bashar Assad, Iran could lose its closest ally in the region.

     By emphasizing the Iranian threat, U.S. commanders and Pentagon officials are hoping to gain support at the White House and in the capitals of regional allies for a more concerted focus on containing Iran's growing influence, including shifting some U.S. military forces leaving Iraq to other bases in the Persian Gulf.

     "Why in the world would we abdicate presence and stability in the [region] to a malign Iran?" Army Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, chief of staff at U.S. Central Command, asked in an interview. "I'm just not sure those are good outcomes, from the U.S. perspective."

Nutcase Netanyahu believes Israel will survive war
Central Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, has drawn up plans to station several battalions or a brigade of ground troops in Kuwait. A battalion has 700 to 900 troops. A brigade has 3,500 to 5,000.
The plan has not been approved by President Obama, and Sheik Jabbar Mubarak al Sabah, Kuwait's defense minister, said last week that there were no immediate plans to increase American troops levels.

     After the 1991 Persian Gulf War to push Iraqi troops out of Kuwait, the U.S. had kept a combat battalion there to deter further aggression by Saddam Hussein. Several thousand U.S. logistics personnel then stayed after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Kuwait became a major staging ground for supplies and units heading into the war.

     Central Command's proposal to again station combat units in Kuwait is aimed primarily at deterring Iran and making U.S. troops readily available in case of a crisis, senior officers said.

This war will be repeat of Iraq-Iran war, sights like this common
The command also is making plans to increase the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf, to step up arms sales to allies in the gulf and to undertake additional military exercises with allies in the region, officials said.

     These moves represent the Pentagon's fallback plan after the White House and Iraq broke off talks on keeping several thousand U.S. combat troops in the country after December, the deadline set in 2008 for all American forces to leave. Obama is expected to agree to most, if not all, of the proposed moves.

     But White House officials are nervous about appearing to undertake another military buildup after a decade of war. The administration has stressed that it intends to press for a diplomatic approach to constraining Iran, not a military confrontation.

Madman Mike Mullins pushing for war
At the same time, the U.S. military exit from Iraq is hardly a clear victory for Iran. For instance, the Shiite militants and other insurgents who have attacked U.S. forces in Iraq for years — often with weapons and supplies from Iran — are losing their main enemy. That will probably reduce their dependence on Tehran.
    The administration also is looking to stiffen trade and travel sanctions against Iran in response to what the White House said was an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador at a restaurant in Washington, and the International Atomic Energy Agency report last week on advances in Iran's nuclear program.

     U.S. commanders initially had recommended keeping more than 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq after this year to train its army and police. Supporters also argued that the force would help provide a bulwark against Iran's effort to build influence over Iraq's Shiite-dominated government.

     The question now, military officials say, is whether the Obama administration can maintain leverage with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's government after all U.S. troops depart, or whether Iran will gain greater sway.

    "The withdrawal of U.S. forces creates a vacuum, and somebody has to fill that vacuum," a senior military intelligence official said. "Iran's full focus now will be on trying to consolidate their influence as much as they possibly can."

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.

Why Hillary Clinton never makes sense

Clinton a power-mad psychopath; Americans aren't suppose to understand, just shut up and obey

World News
By Kourosh Ziabari11/14/2011

U.S. President Barack Obama will be a lame duck next year and the officials in his administration, especially his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are hilariously doing their best to make sure that they haven't spared any effort to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries and sabotage the stability and security of those whom they call "enemies", like Iran.

    On October 27, Hillary Clinton gave an exclusive interview to the UK's state-funded, state-run BBC Persian TV and in an attempt aimed at reaching out to the Iranian nation, made bombastic remarks which have certainly infuriated Iran and demonstrated that the hostile behavior and antagonistic stance of the U.S. government toward the Iranian nation is a manifestation of the idiom "the leopard can't change its spots." 

Madwoman:  Hillary Clinton
At the beginning of the interview, Clinton referred to the sanctions imposed against Iran by the U.S. and its European allies and said that these sanctions are targeted at forcing the Iranian government into abandoning its nuclear program which she called an effort to construct nuclear weapons and not for civilian purposes. Forgetting the detrimental impacts of economic sanctions against the ordinary people, Clinton talked of the United States as a friend of the Iranian people, and said that she wanted to reaffirm her country's "very strong support for and friendship toward the people of Iran." She further added that the behavior of the United States towards the Iranian government is different from its behavior toward the Iranian people, and by saying that, she clearly paraded her diplomatic naivete and artlessness. How do you justify enmity with a government which is democratically elected by a group of people which you claim to be supportive of?

    Secondly, maybe Mrs. Clinton has forgotten that the U.S. itself is the largest possessor of nuclear weapons in the world. How can such a police state which has so far killed millions of people around the world, from Nagasaki and Hiroshima to Baghdad and Kabul, boast of its concerns about the development of nuclear bombs by a country which is the most pacifist country in a boiling and tumultuous region such as the Middle East and hasn't ever invaded nor attacked any country in the past century? 

Any war with Iran will close Gulf immediately
A Reuters report quoting U.S. officials revealed in May 2010 that the U.S. has an arsenal of 5,113 nuclear warheads. It is the only country which has used nuclear weapons in warfare and the only nation that has conducted around 1,054 nuclear tests and developed many long-range weapon delivery systems. So, who is really entitled to be concerned? Shouldn't the international community be anxious about the nuclear arsenal of the self-proclaimed superpower, the U.S.? Who may guarantee that the U.S. won't use its nuclear weapons in the prospective wars which it will be waging in the future? If the criterion of imposing financial sanctions is the possession of nuclear weapons and pursuing the development of them, why shouldn't the U.S. or its Middle East client state, Israel, which is the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, be the target of sanctions? A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis showed that between 1940 and 1996, the U.S. spent at least $8.15 trillion in present day terms on nuclear weapons development. Which country can be pinpointed on the world map which has invested in a nuclear program, even for peaceful purposes, so enormously?

    But it was not only Clinton's deceptive bluffs on Iran's nuclear program that seemed perplexing and ridiculous. She lived beyond her means by claiming that the international community is angry at what Iran is today and wants a better future for its people!

   "But I would ask you to put yourself in the position of the international community and those who seek a better future inside Iran. If you do not want to have a conflict, if you do not want to just give way to behavior that is very reckless, as we saw in this recent plot against the Saudi ambassador, potentially dangerous, sanctions is the tool that we have at our disposal to use," she said. 

Iranian arsenal contains Chinese Silkworm "ship killer" missiles
Clinton went on to raise the issue of the alleged terror plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington and attributed this plot to Iran. She, however, certainly remembers that they were the agents of CIA, MI6 and Mossad in Iran that assassinated four Iranian nuclear scientists immediately after their name was put on the UNSC sanctions list. Wasn't the assassination of Dariush Rezaei, Massoud Alimohammadi or the foiled assassination plot against Fereydoon Abbasi a conspicuous sponsorship of terrorism by a government which calls itself the number one defender of democracy and peace? Wasn't awarding the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to the President of such a country which murders and kills people with impunity some kind of degrading and humiliating episode for this prestigious award?

    But an interesting juncture in Clinton's interview with BBC was where a recorded video containing a question by one of the viewers of BBC was aired. The viewer asked Hillary Clinton about America's perpetual adherence to double standards, its support for repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, its backing of the dreadful coup d'etat against the democratic government of Iran's then Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and its heinous shooting down of the Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988 which claimed the lives of 290 innocent passengers including 254 Iranians. Clinton was apparently taken aback by the question as her awkward response showed that the U.S. government has never found any way to account for its hypocritical policies and actions: "We have consistently spoken out about Bahrain and we have pushed the government to do more, and we support the independent investigation... We know that everything we have done in the course of our 235-plus year history is going to appeal to or be supported by everyone, and we take our history seriously. So, for example, we've expressed regret about what was done in 1953... And then we also have tried to point out that the tragedy of the shooting down of the airline is something that we deeply are sorry for, and we have said that repeatedly."

Number of Iranian Shahab missiles unknown
Isn't it ludicrous? Shooting down a civilian aircraft, killing all the 290 people aboard and then simply saying that we are sorry? Overthrowing a democratic government which reflected the communal will of a nation and then simply saying that we are sorry? Waging wars and imposing sanctions which hurt the daily life of the ordinary people and saying that we are sorry?

Of course Hilary Clinton's interview with BBC Persian was a fiasco and a political debacle. She just showed her lack of political finesse and once again brought to mind that the wolf may lose his teeth, but never his nature. Clinton is the representative of a country which throughout history has repeatedly betrayed the Iranian nation. Perhaps expressing their deepest apologies to the Iranian nation and changing their hostile attitude can be the first step which American politicians should take in order to have the bitter memories of their mischievousness wiped from the minds of the Iranian people.

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.

Obama follows in Bush/Cheney's footsteps in run-up to war with Iran; does this sound familiar...

Madman Obama, Clinton, JCS foaming at mouth to attack Iran, distract from theft of entire U.S. Treasury, war crimes

Associated Press
By Ben Feller

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — 

Defending his efforts to halt the Iranian nuclear threat, President Barack Obama said Sunday that the economic sanctions against the country have had "enormous bite," and that he is united with Russian and Chinese leaders in ensuring Iran does not develop an atomic weapon and unleash an arms race across the Middle East.

    The president, at a news conference that closed an Asia-Pacific economic summit, did not specifically say he would consider military action if Tehran were to persist in arming itself with a nuclear weapon. But he added: "We are not taking any options off the table. Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a threat not only to the region but also to the United States."

Chemical weapons likely to be used this time, as with Iraq war
Obama's stand came laced with presidential politics. Republican presidential contenders, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, have assailed Obama for not doing more to keep Iran from getting nuclear weaponry. Said Obama: "Is this an easy issue? No. Anyone who claims it is is either politicking or doesn't know what they're talking about."

    The sun setting over the ocean behind him in Hawaii, Obama fielded questions across domestic and foreign fronts. He prodded China on its economic policy, pledged to keep fighting Republicans over his largely stalled jobs bill, reflected on the hurt of the Penn State sex abuse scandal and challenged a key congressional debt panel without dropping any veto threats.

    Obama is in the midst of a nine-day trip far from Washington, first to host the yearly Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, then on to Australia and Indonesia. Surrounded by tropical paradise, he said he and the leaders of 20 others nations spanning the Pacific Rim were "here for business. We're here to create jobs."

    For the president, the news conference was his first opportunity to address a report Friday from the International Atomic Energy Agency that provided new evidence that Iran's nuclear program includes clandestine efforts to build a bomb.

Americans forget this will be Naval war also with many casualties
The report alleges Iran has been working to acquire equipment and weapons design information, testing high explosives and detonators and developing compute models of a warhead's core. It is the most unequivocal evidence yet that the Iranian program ranges far beyond enriching uranium for use in energy and medical research, as Iran insists.

    In meetings Saturday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao, Obama sought to rally support for putting new pressure on Iran's regime. But there was little public sign either country was ready to drop its opposition to additional sanctions through the United Nations.
Obama insisted the countries are working on the next steps.

    "All three of us entirely agree on the objective which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and we do not trigger a nuclear arms race in the region," Obama said. "That's in the interest of all of us. We will be consulting with them carefully over the next several weeks to look at what other options we have available to us."

Iran has made it clear it will retaliate if attacked
The U.S. has already slapped sanctions on dozens of Iranian government agencies, financial and shipping companies as well as officials over the nuclear program and could target additional institutions like Iran's Central Bank. And the U.N. has imposed four rounds of sanctions that have caused economic hardship in Iran.

    "The sanctions have enormous bite and enormous scope," Obama said.

    Pressed on criticisms from the Republican presidential candidates, Obama said he would hold his own fire until the opposition party settles on a person to challenge him.

    But he rejected assertions from GOP candidates such as Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann that they would be willing to use the interrogation practice known as waterboarding, a simulated form of drowning, on suspected terrorists.

Iranian child soldiers from Iraq-Iran war now seasoned veterans
"Let me just say this: they're wrong," Obama said emphatically. "Waterboarding is torture, it's contrary to America's traditions, it's contrary to our ideals, that's not who we are, that's not how we operate. 

    We don't need it ... and we did the right thing by ending that practice."

    The president challenged China to let its currency appreciate more rapidly and to end measures that take unfair advantage of foreign intellectual property. 

    He spoke of China as an ally whose growth is in the interest of the world, but also as a competitor that needs to assume more maturity on the world stage and play by fair rules.

    "The United States and other countries feel that enough is enough," he said.

    On the deficit talks in Congress, Obama urged lawmakers to reach consensus, complaining that they were continuing to stick with "rigid positions" rather than solving the problem.

Iranians and Iraqis fought each other to standstill over a decade
A committee in charge of cutting the deficit has until Nov. 23 to agree on how to reduce it by at least $1.2 trillion in the next decade. Any amount less than that would be made up in automatic across-the-board cuts divided evenly between defense and domestic programs.

Obama refused to say whether he would veto any effort to bypass the deep cuts in defense and other spending that would take effect if there is no deal forthcoming from Congress.

    He said he hopes lawmakers will "bite the bullet and do what needs to be done,' but voiced frustration with what he said was a desire by some members of Congress to "want to keep jiggering the math" to get a different outcome.

    The president rejected a suggestion that he might end up with almost nothing to show from Congress on his jobs bill, saying he'd keep working to get it done even if it took past next year's election.

Though old, Iranian air force capable of inflicting heavy damage
Obama sidestepped a question about his conversation more than a week ago with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the G20 summit, in which reporters overheard Sarkozy calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar," and Obama replying "I have to work with him every day." Obama wouldn't comment on the language — but did say he voiced "significant disappointment" to Sarkozy about France's vote to admit Palestine as a member of the U.N. cultural organization. After the vote, the U.S. cut its funding for UNESCO.

    Obama said the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State has an important message for institutions far beyond college sports: that protecting children is more important than shielding institutions. He called the case, which ended the career of longtime head coach Joe Paterno, "heartbreaking."

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

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



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

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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.



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

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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.



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...



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


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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...



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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 . . .



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.