Third World Britain in the Making as Child Starvation Predicted: Adults to Follow No Doubt!
THE desperate plight of children in Britain being forced to rely on food parcels to survive is today revealed by the Sunday Express.
Government cutbacks, rising unemployment and soaring food prices are forcing a growing number of families to miss meals, eat badly or go hungry. In one heartbreaking case a 10-year-old boy was arrested for stealing food to feed his two younger sisters.
While some children are short of food, far more are severely deprived of essential nutrients because they are relying on cheap junk food.
Nutrition expert Professor Philip James said: “The rate of malnutrition is reaching astonishing levels. Children are being denied fresh foods because families cannot afford to buy them.
“On their poor diets, by early adolescence these malnourished youngsters will be affected by premature diabetes and early signs of underlying heart disease.
“The bone health of these youngsters is under threat and doctors are seeing increasing cases of rickets.”
“The rate of malnutrition is reaching astonishing levels”
Nutrition expert Professor Philip James
On Friday the Sunday Express joined volunteers offering food packages to families in some of the most deprived parts of the country.
Food Bank outlets across Britain offer a lifeline for many, with some of the parcels being handed out originally intended for the poor of Romania and Bulgaria.
Food Bank manager Marla Naiker said: “We have people who will walk miles to pick up a parcel. They are desperate.”
Our special report follows the publication of a study last week which revealed England has higher child poverty rates than other developed European countries. Seven of the top 10 most deprived areas are in London.
One mother from Tower Hamlets in east London was recently given money by the charity School Home Support as she had no money to feed her six-year-old son. Judith Sabah, who helps run the charity, said: “We gave £150 – otherwise the child would have had nothing to eat.”
Last month a 10-year-old boy was arrested for stealing food in Newton Heath, Manchester. Police discovered he had been forced into crime to get food for his sisters aged three and five.
Our inquiries found many of the parents who qualified for food rations had been forced to skip meals. Jacqueline Robinson, 40, a mother of four from Cardiff, said: “I’m struggling now. I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul with these increases that are going to happen, and I’m really scared.”
Shirley Hodkinson, 32, from Manchester, often goes without meals to make sure her four children, aged 14, 10, eight and seven, have something to eat. She said: “I break down regularly thinking how I’m going to manage.”
In some parts of Tower Hamlets almost 60 per cent of children are living in households surviving on less than £11 a day per family member, according to the Campaign to End Child Poverty.
Manchester, Islington and Birmingham are close behind, with almost half of youngsters classified as deprived.
Professor James expressed concern at further cutbacks in the nation’s poorest areas.
The former Government adviser on nutrition said: “How will places like these cope where the Government is making some of the biggest cuts to local authority budgets and it is predicted food prices will rise further?
“The Prime Minister said he would protect society’s most vulnerable. This is exactly the opposite of protection.”
The lack of sustenance has led to a rise in health problems previously linked with Victorian Britain. More than 20 cases of rickets are diagnosed every year in Newcastle alone. Anaemia and skin disorders associated with a lack of nutrients are also rising.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies warns that absolute child poverty is set to rise from 2013.
The Latest in Atrocious Supreme Court Decisions - Only 2 Justices Stand Up for Your Rights...
A U.S. Supreme Court decision has just given drug companies total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government mandated vaccines. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) called the decision a "betrayal" of the American consumer.
In a 6-2 decision, the Court majority voted to reject substantial evidence that current law was fully intended to protect an American's right to sue a pharmaceutical corporation for injuries that could have been prevented if the company had elected to make a safer vaccine.
The court decision leaves parents with no way to hold vaccine makers accountable and no feasible way to get compensation for the injuries suffered by their children; furthermore, the decision removes all financial incentive for multi-national drug companies to make vaccines as safe as they can be.
The world is facing a very unpredictable and potentially dangerous situation in North Africa and the Middle East. What began as a memorable, promising, relatively nonviolent achievement of New Politics - the Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt - has morphed very swiftly into a recrudescence of old habits: America, already mired in two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sporadic air attacks in Yemen and Somalia, now bombing yet another Third World Country, in this case Libya.
USS Barry launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn in the Mediterranean Sea, March 19, 2011.US government handout
The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian casualties. But many senior figures in Washington, including President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.
The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played out.
To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis. This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played out over the last two decades and more. But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of facts.2
I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics: I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition, and II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?
I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition
"If Muammar Al Gaddafi behaved paranoid, it was for good reason. It wasn't long after he reached the age of 27 and led a small group of junior military officers in a bloodless coup d'état against Libyan King Idris on September 1, 1969, that threats to his power and life emerged - from monarchists, Israeli Mossad, Palestinian disaffections, Saudi security, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), British intelligence, United States antagonism and, in 1995, the most serious of all, Al Qaeda-like Libyan Islamic fighting group, known as Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya. The Colonel reacted brutally, by either expelling or killing those he feared were against him."3
Gaddafi and Nasser in a 1969 Photo. Getty image
2) National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL)
"With the aim of overthrowing Libyan strongman Muammar Khadafy, Israel and the U.S. trained anti-Libyan rebels in a number of West and Central African countries. The Paris-based African Confidential newsletter reported on January 5th, 1989, that the US and Israel had set up a series of bases in Chad and other neighboring countries to train 2000 Libyan rebels captured by the Chad army. The group, called The National Front for the Salvation of Libya, was based in Chad."4
"US official records indicate that funding for the Chad-based secret war against Libya also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Iraq. The Saudis, for instance, donated $7m to an opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (also backed by French intelligence and the CIA). But a plan to assassinate Gadafi and take over the government on 8 May 1984 was crushed. In the following year, the US asked Egypt to invade Libya and overthrow Gadafi but President Mubarak refused. By the end of 1985, the Washington Post had exposed the plan after congressional leaders opposing it wrote in protest to President Reagan."5
"The FNSL [National Front for the Salvation of Libya] was part of the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition held in London in 2005, and British resources are being used to support the FNSL and other 'opposition' in Libya.... The FNSL held its national congress in the USA in July 2007. Reports of 'atrocities' and civilian deaths are being channeled into the western press from operations in Washington DC, and the opposition FNSL is reportedly organizing resistance and military attacks from both inside and outside Libya."6
3) National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO),
"The main group leading the insurrection is the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition which includes the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). The NFSL, which is leading the violence, is a U.S.-sponsored armed militia of mostly Libyan expatriates and tribes opposed to al-Qaddafi."7
"The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group of mujahideen veterans who had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Upon their return to Libya they grew angry about what they viewed as the corruption and impiety of the Libyan regime and formed the LIFG to create a state that would show what they believed to be the true character of the Libyan people. The most significant LIFG attack was a 1996 attempt to assassinate Gadhafi; LIFG members led by Wadi al-Shateh threw a bomb underneath his motorcade. The group also stages guerilla-style attacks against government security forces from its mountain bases. Although most LIFG members are strictly dedicated to toppling Gadhafi, intelligence reportedly indicates that some have joined forces with al-Qaida to wage jihad against Libyan and Western interests worldwide. .... As recently as February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that "one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security] is from smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited from al-Qaida links. They include ... the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group."8
"In recent days Libyan officials have distributed security documents giving the details of Sufiyan al-Koumi, said to be a driver for Osama bin Laden, and of another militant allegedly involved in an "Islamic emirate" in Derna, in now-liberated eastern Libya. Koumi, the documents show, was freed in September 2010 as part of a "reform and repent" initiative organised by Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi's son.... The LIFG, established in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has assassinated dozens of Libyan soldiers and policemen. In 2009, to mark Gaddafi's 40 years in power, it apologised for trying to kill him and agreed to lay down its arms. MI6 [British Intelligence] has been accused in the past of supporting it. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison, disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Gaddafi no longer constituted "legitimate" jihad. Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, another freed LIFG member, denied the official claims. "Gaddafi is trying to divide the people," he told al-Jazeera. "He claims that there is an Islamist emirate in Derna and that I am its emir. He is taking advantage of the fact that I am a former political prisoner." Derna is famous as the home of a large number of suicide bombers in Iraq. It is also deeply hostile to Gaddafi. "Residents of eastern Libya in general, and Derna in particular, view the Gaddadfa (Gaddafi's tribe) as uneducated, uncouth interlopers from an inconsequential part of the country who have 'stolen' the right to rule in Libya," US diplomats were told in 2008, in a cable since released by WikiLeaks. The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February, the day after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdulwahab Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al Qaida's top propagandists. Koumi fled Libya and is said to have ended up in Afghanistan working for Bin Laden. Captured in Pakistan, he was handed over to the US and sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002. In 2009 he was sent back to Libya.9 US counter-terrorist experts have expressed concern that al-Qaida could take advantage of a political vacuum if Gaddafi is overthrown. But most analysts say that, although the Islamists' ideology has strong resonance in eastern Libya, there is no sign that the protests are going to be hijacked by them.10
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Members released
"Fierce clashes between [Qadhafi's] security forces and Islamist guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in September 1995, leaving dozens killed on both sides. After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a communiqué calling Qadhafi's government "an apostate regime that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty" and declaring its overthrow to be "the foremost duty after faith in God."  This and future LIFG communiqués were issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in Britain.... The involvement of the British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the subject of immense controversy. LIFG's next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler.  While Shayler's allegations have not been independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG to develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil. At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000 from the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed on the battlefield." 11
"Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as comrades in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most radical element in the Al Qaeda network [to bring down Gaddhafi]. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted the risks of the unholy alliance in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan opposition is probably more anti-American than Muammar Gaddhafi. A decade ago, this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist partnership in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the 9/11 attacks."12
5) Transitional National Council
"A RIVAL transitional government to the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi looks set to win US and other international support as momentum builds to oust the longtime dictator. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed yesterday that the Obama administration was reaching out to opponents of Colonel Gaddafi. She said the US was willing to offer ‘any kind of assistance' to remove him from power. Protest leaders who have taken control in Libya's eastern cities claim to have established a transitional "national council" that amounts to rival rule. They have called on the country's army to join them as they prepare for an attack on the capital, Tripoli, where the Libyan leader retains control. Confident the Libyan leader's 42-year rule was coming to an end, Mrs Clinton said yesterday: ‘We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddafi.'"13
"He [Omar El- Hariri, Chief of Armed Forces for the Transitional National Council] remained under close surveillance by the security forces until Feb. 17, when the revolution started. It was not initiated by prominent figures of the older generation, he said, but began spontaneously when Tunisia and Egypt inspired the youth. ‘Children of Facebook!' he declared, in English, with a broad smile."14
"Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council. The Transitional National Council released a statement announcing the decision made at a March 19 meeting to establish the ‘Libyan Oil Company as supervisory authority on oil production and policies in the country, based temporarily in Benghazi, and the appointment of an interim director general" of the company. The Council also said it "designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi."15
Peter Dale Scott's Libyan Notebook
II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?
Robert Fisk, "Libya in turmoil: America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels; Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi," Independent, March 7, 2011:
"Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.
Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 ....
But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain - even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis.
The Saudis have been told that opponents of Gaddafi need anti-tank rockets and mortars as a first priority to hold off attacks by Gaddafi's armour, and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down his fighter-bombers.
Supplies could reach Benghazi within 48 hours but they would need to be delivered to air bases in Libya or to Benghazi airport. If the guerrillas can then go on to the offensive and assault Gaddafi's strongholds in western Libya, the political pressure on America and Nato - not least from Republican members of Congress - to establish a no-fly zone would be reduced.
US military planners have already made it clear that a zone of this kind would necessitate US air attacks on Libya's functioning, if seriously depleted, anti-aircraft missile bases, thus bringing Washington directly into the war on the side of Gaddafi's opponents.
For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic control and requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including journeys made in the past 48 hours by Gaddafi's private jet which flew to Jordan and back to Libya just before the weekend.
Officially, Nato will only describe the presence of American Awacs planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which has broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in the Middle East region.
US Awacs monitor Libya
The data from the Awacs is streamed to all Nato countries under the mission's existing mandate. Now that Gaddafi has been reinstated as a super-terrorist in the West's lexicon, however, the Nato mission can easily be used to search for targets of opportunity in Libya if active military operations are undertaken.
Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings made by American aircraft to Maltese air traffic control, requesting information about Libyan flights, especially that of Gaddafi's jet.
An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard contacting the Malta control tower on Saturday for information about a Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to Mitiga, Gaddafi's own VIP airport.
Nato Awacs 07 is heard to say: "Do you have information on an aircraft with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our [sic]?"
Malta air traffic control replies: "Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900- at flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to flight plan."
But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.
After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations.
Shia organisers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening fire.
If the Saudi government accedes to America's request to send guns and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against the Shias of the north-east provinces.
Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa, the Shia revolt and the rising against Gaddafi become entangled in the space of just a few hours with US military priorities in the region. "16
"Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault," Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011
"Reports from the region suggest that the Saudis and Egyptians have been providing arms. Though U.S. officials could not confirm that, they say it is plausible."17
"Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels," Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011:
"CAIRO-Egypt's military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington's knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.
The shipments-mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition-appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states' unwillingness to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for attempting to do so.
The shipments also follow an unusually robust diplomatic response from Arab states. There have been rare public calls for foreign military intervention in an Arab country, including a vote by the 23-member Arab League last week urging the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.
The vote provided critical political cover to Western powers wary of intervening militarily without a broad regional and international mandate. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted on a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone in Libya and authorizing military action in support of the rebels.
Within the council, Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating the draft of the resolution, which calls for "all necessary measures" to enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing a no-fly zone, according to U.N. diplomats.
Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar from the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state their staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the scenes for tough and urgent international action behind the scenes, these officials said.
Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi. After pro-Gadhafi forces retook the town of Ras Lanuf last week, Libyan state TV broadcast images of food-aid packages bearing the Qatari flag.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters in Benghazi
The White House has been reluctant to back calls from leaders in Congress for arming Libya's rebels directly, arguing that the U.S. must first fully assess who the fighters are and what policies they will pursue if they succeeded in toppling Col. Gadhafi. U.S. officials believe the opposition includes some Islamist elements. They fear that Islamist groups hostile to the U.S. could try to hijack the opposition and take any arms that are provided.
The Egyptian weapons transfers began ‘a few days ago' and are ongoing, according to a senior U.S. official. ‘There's no formal U.S. policy or acknowledgement that this is going on,' said the senior official. But ‘this is something we have knowledge of.'
Calls to Egypt's foreign ministry and the spokesman for the prime minister seeking comment went unanswered. There is no means of reaching Egypt's military for comment. An Egyptian official in Washington said he had no knowledge of weapon shipments.
The U.S. official also noted that the shipments appeared to come "too little, too late" to tip the military balance in favor of the rebels, who have faced an onslaught from Libyan forces backed by tanks, artillery and aircraft.
"We know the Egyptian military council is helping us, but they can't be so visible," said Hani Souflakis, a Libyan businessman in Cairo who has been acting as a rebel liaison with the Egyptian government since the uprising began.
"Weapons are getting through," said Mr. Souflakis, who says he has regular contacts with Egyptian officials in Cairo and the rebel leadership in Libya. "Americans have given the green light to the Egyptians to help. The Americans don't want to be involved in a direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn't do it if they didn't get the green light."
Western officials and rebel leaders in Libya said the U.S. has wanted to avoid being seen as taking a leadership role in any military action against Mr. Gadhafi after its invasions of Iraq and Afganistan fueled anger and mistrust with Washington throughout the region.
But the U.S. stated clearly it wants Mr. Gadhafi out of power and has signaled it would support those offering help to the rebels militarily or otherwise.
A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments have begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where they came from.
"Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount, where it's coming from, that has been classified," said the spokesman, Mustafa al-Gherryani.
The U.S. official said Egypt wanted to keep the shipments covert. In public, Egypt has sought to maintain a neutral stance toward the rebel uprising in Libya. Egypt abstained during the Arab League's vote calling for the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone on Mr. Gadhafi, according to people familiar with the internal Arab League deliberations.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian laborers are believed to still be in Libya.
On the other hand, the Egyptian military's covert support for the rebels suggests that it has calculated that Mr. Gadhafi is unlikely to remain in power, at least in the eastern half of the country, and therefore Egypt is eager to begin to build good relations with the rebels.
Rebel forces in the past 24 hours appeared to make some progress fending off pro-Gadhafi forces' assaults and have rolled out new weapons for the first time since the uprising began last month. Among them are rebel tanks that have taken up positions on the front lines in recent days. Rebels also launched fighter-jet attacks on government positions on Wednesday for the first time so far.
The tanks and fighter jets are believed to have been among the weapons seized by rebels from defected units of the Libyan army in the eastern half of the country, but they have received spare parts or trained mechanics from outside the country to help them deploy them, some rebel officials have speculated. -Sam Dagher and Adam Entous contributed to this article.18
Benjamin Gottlieb, "Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi's Conquest Continues," NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011:
Arms shipments from Egypt's military have begun flowing across the border into Libya with U.S. knowledge, Libyan rebels and U.S. officials said Thursday.
Made up mostly of small arms, such as assault rifles and ammunition, the shipments are the first confirmed reports of an outside government supporting rebel fighters with weapons. Rebels have been loosing ground for days against pro-Gaddafi forces aiming to end the conflict before foreign intervention plans are finalized.
Although the U.N. approved a "no-fly zone" over Libya late Thursday, rebel forces fear that any planned foreign intervention would be too little to late.
The shipment of arms indicated an unusually bold response by an Arab nation intervening in a conflict outside its borders. There have also been rare public decrees for the West to intervene in the conflict - the Arab League voted 23-0 last week encouraging the U.N. to impose the "no-fly zone" over Libya.
In spite of reports of arms flowing across the Egyptian boarder, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Bakhoum told Reuters that Egypt would not be involved in any military intervention in neighboring Libya.
"Egypt will not be among those Arab states. We will not be involved in any military intervention. No intervention period," Bakhoum said.
Bakhoum was responding to comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Thursday that discussions were on the table regarding Arab involvement in U.S. and European intervention in the conflict.
Clinton has said repeatedly that the U.S. desires involvement from a neighboring Arab nation in any planned intervention.
A Libyan rebel government spokesman in Benghazi, Mustafa al-Gherryani, said rebels have begun receiving arms shipments from neighboring nations, however he declined to reveal their origin.
"Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount, where it's coming from, that has been classified," he said.19
Yoichi Shimatsu, "Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in Qatar," New America Media, March 1, 2011
"It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young protesters in Benghazi, Cairo and Tunisia that their democratic hopes are being manipulated by an ultra-conservative Arab elite which has underhandedly backed a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North Africa. Credible U.S. intelligence reports have cited evidence pointing to Qatar's long-running support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and jihadist fighters returning from Afghanistan.
The links to Qatar uncovered by anti-terrorism investigators in the wake of 9-11 need to be reexamined now that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an on-and-off affiliate of Al Qaeda, has seized armories across half of the North African country. Libya's well-stocked arsenals contain high-power explosives, rocket launchers and chemical weapons. LIFG is on the State Department's terrorist list.
Most worrying, according to a U.S. intelligence official cited by CNN, is the probable loss of chemical weapons. The Federation of American Scientists reports that, as of 2008, only 40 percent of Libya's mustard gas was destroyed in the second round of decommissioning. Chemical canisters along the Egyptian border were yet to be retrieved and are now presumably in the hands of armed militants.
After initially letting slip that the earliest Libyan protests were organized by the LIFG, Al Jazeera quickly changed its line to present a heavily filtered account portraying the events as ‘peaceful protests'. To explain away the gunshot deaths of Libyan soldiers during the uprising, the Qatar-based network presented a bizarre scenario of 150 dead soldiers in Libya having been executed by their officers for ‘refusing to fight'. The mysterious officers then miraculously vacated their base disappearing into thin air while surrounded by angry protesters! Off the record, one American intelligence analyst called these media claims an ‘absurdity' and suggested instead the obvious: that the soldiers were gunned down in an armed assault by war-hardened returned militants from Iraq and Afghanistan.... According to a Congressional Research Service report of January 2008, ‘Some observers have raised questions about possible support for Al Qaeda by some Qatari citizens, including members of Qatar's large ruling family. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Qatar's Interior Minister provided a safe haven to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed during the mid-1990s, and press reports indicate other terrorists may have received financial support or safe haven in Qatar after September 11, 2001.'
The national security chief, Interior Minister Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, is further mentioned as paying for a 1995 trip by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ‘to join the Bosnia jihad.' The report recalls how after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, FBI officials "narrowly missed an opportunity to capture" the suspect in Qatar. ‘Former U.S. officials have since stated their belief that a high-ranking member of the Qatari government alerted him to the impending raid, allowing him to flee the country.'"20
Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, "Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?," The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 13 No 3, March 28, 2011.
1 “Defense Secretary Gates, who recently warned against any further protracted US ground war, said on March 23 that the end of military action in Libya is unknown and could last longer than a few weeks. ‘I think there are any number of possible outcomes here and no one is in a position to predict them,’ Gates told reporters in Egypt” (C-Span, March 24, 2011).
8 Center for Defense Information, “In the Spotlight: The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” January 18, 2005
9 Qadhafi was concerned about Al Qaeda terrorism in Libya, and in 1996 Libya became the first government to place Osama bin Laden on Interpol’s Wanted List (Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror [New York: Columbia UP, 2002], 142). Thereafter American and Libyan intelligence collaborated closely for some years against Al Qaeda. Beginning when?
11Gary Gambill, "The Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Jamestown Foundation,"Terrorism Monitor, May 5, 2005,; citing Al-Hayat (London), 20 October 1995 [“communiqué”]; "The Shayler affair: The spooks, the Colonel and the jailed whistle-blower," The Observer (London), 9 August 1998; Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Ben Laden: La Verite interdite (Bin Ladin: The Forbidden Truth). Cf. also Annie Machon, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 And the Shayler Affair (Book Guild Publishing, 2005) [Shayler].
20Yoichi Shimatsu, “Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in Qatar,” New America Media, March 1, 2011. The al-Thani family’s protection of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is confirmed by former CIA officer Robert Baer (Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2003). Cf. Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003); Peter Lance, Triple Cross (New York: Regan/HarperCollins, 2006), 234-37.
Proof Libyan Invasion was Planned 10 Years in Advance - Occult Connection to March 19 Invasion
Jury Finds Johnson & Johnson Violated Consumer Protection Law
Friday, 25 March 2011
Johnson & Johnson officilas made a business decision to decieve doctors by lying about the diabetes risk: “how much commercial liability would we incur if we sent a similar letter about Risperdal”?
Johnson & Johnson lost another case involving its outrageously deceptive marketing of the antipsychotic, Risperdal. This time, a South Carolina jury saw a "smoking gun" letter sent in 2003 to hundreds of thousands of doctors which deliberately deceived them about the risk of diabetes.
The FDA had ordered manufacturers of antipsychotics to issue warning letters to doctors apprising them about the increased risk of diabetes and deaths linked to Risperdal and the other drugs in its class.
Instead of complying with FDA's requirement to warn about the serious risk, J & J/ Janssen, followed the example of Eli Lilly, which promoted its antipsychotic Zyprexa in violation of FDA's requirement to issue warning letters to US doctors about the diabetes risk and reported deaths.
J & J sent a promotional letter that deliberately deceived doctors by claiming that "Risperdal is not associated with an increased risk of diabetes."
Jim Edwards (BNet blog, below) suggests that the jury was convinced of the company's guilt by the internal company emails in which senior company officials acknowledged their own deceptive actions were "ugly" and not "competent."
"The warning letter is ugly … it’s really a black mark for J&J … [and] no competent person would have let [the 'dear doctor letter'] go out”
Internationally renowned natural health physician and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. David Brownstein discuss the possible effects caused by nuclear catastrophe in Japan and how you can be protected.
The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
March 24, 2011
Washington DC, March 24, 2011 — The current military attack on Libya has been motivated by UN Security Council resolution 1973 with the need to protect civilians. Statements by President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron, French President Sarkozy, and other leaders have stressed the humanitarian nature of the intervention, which is said to aim at preventing a massacre of pro-democracy forces and human rights advocates by the Qaddafi regime.
But at the same time, many commentators have voiced anxiety because of the mystery which surrounds the anti-Qaddafi transitional government which emerged at the beginning of March in the city of Benghazi, located in the Cyrenaica district of north-eastern Libya. This government has already been recognized by France and Portugal as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people. The rebel council seems to be composed of just over 30 delegates, many of whom are enveloped in obscurity. In addition, the names of more than a dozen members of the rebel council are being kept secret, allegedly to protect them from the vengeance of Qaddafi. But there may be other reasons for the anonymity of these figures. Despite much uncertainty, the United Nations and its several key NATO countries, including the United States, have rushed forward to assist the armed forces of this rebel regime with air strikes, leading to the loss of one or two coalition aircraft and the prospect of heavier losses to come, especially if there should be an invasion. It is high time that American and European publics learned something more about this rebel regime which is supposed to represent a democratic and humanitarian alternative to Gaddafi.
The rebels are clearly not civilians, but an armed force. What kind of an armed force?
Since many of the rebel leaders are so difficult to research from afar, and since a sociological profile of the rebels cannot be done on the ground in the midst of warfare, perhaps the typical methods of social history can be called on for help. Is there a way for us to gain deeper insight into the climate of opinion which prevails in such northeastern Libyan cities as Benghazi, Tobruk, and Darnah, the main population centers of the rebellion?
Download West Point Study (pdf)It turns out that there is, in the form of a December 2007 West Point study examining the background of foreign guerrilla fighters — jihadis or mujahedin, including suicide bombers — crossing the Syrian border into Iraq during the 2006-2007 timeframe, under the auspices of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda. This study is based on a mass of about 600 Al Qaeda personnel files which were captured by US forces in the fall of 2007, and analyzed at West Point using a methodology which we will discuss after having presented the main findings. The resulting study1 permits us to make important findings about the mentality and belief structures of the northeastern Libyan population that is furnishing the basis for the rebellion, permitting important conclusions about the political nature of the anti-Qaddafi revolt in these areas.
As the sun set over quake-stricken Japan on Thursday
17 March 2011, we learned that four of six Fukushima nuclear reactor sites are irradiating the earth, that the fire is burning out of control at Reactor No. 4's pool of spent nuclear fuel, that there are six spent fuel pools at risk all told, and that the sites are too hot to deal with. On March 16 Plumes of White Vapor began pouring from crippled Reactor No. 3 where the spent fuel pool may already be lost. Over the previous days we were told: nothing to worry about. Earthquakes and after shocks, tidal wave, explosions, chemical pollution, the pox of plutonium, contradicting information too obvious to ignore, racism, greed -- add these to the original Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Conquest, War, Famine and Death. The situation is apocalyptic and getting worse. This is one of the most serious challenges humanity has ever faced.
A Japanese child on the eastern shores of Japan. Photo c. keith harmon snow, 1993.
The U.S. nuke industry is blaming Japanese experts, distancing itself from the monster it created. Instead of sending nuclear or health experts to assist the Japanese people in their time of desperate need, US President Barack Obama first sent teams of intelligence agents and FEMA trained military grunts with special security clearances. The Pentagon floated a naval strike force led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan off the coast of Japan: advertised as a 'humanitarian' operation, the strike force was repositioned after it was partially irradiated. Can we trust officials and the corporate news media to tell us what is happening in an honest, timely, transparent manner? Are there precedents to the nuclear crisis in Japan? What is the U.S. defense establishment really concerned with here?
Humanity now faces a deadly serious challenge coming out of Japan -- the epicenter of radiation. Intentional efforts to downplay or dismiss this catastrophe reveal the immaturity of western civilization and some of our most acute human pathologies, including our worship of technology and our psychopathology of denial. The widespread distortion and cover-ups to protect private profits, national and corporate interests, to fool and betray the people, are unacceptable. Here are some of the deeper whats and whys and hows -- some technical issues and the kinds of questions people need to ask -- about the nuclear apocalypse unfolding on planet earth. Prayers are not enough. It's time to question everything, to put politics aside, to take personal action to halt nuclear expansion and defend ourselves from this industrial juggernaut.
PRO-NUKE ANTI-NUKE NO NUKES
I know something about technology, and science: I have Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering -- with honors -- from one of America's top Engineering schools. Before 1990 I worked in classified programs for General Electric -- the maker of the nuclear reactors now irradiating Japan. I worked at GE Aerospace Electronics Laboratories: low-level classified government programs in communications, radars and missile guidance systems for Ronald Reagan's infamous Star Wars (Strategic Defence Initiative) programs.
From 1990 to 1993 I taught English at Japan's big Soga Shosa (trading houses) like Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Corporations, and meanwhile I biked the rivers, swam the beaches, hiked the mountains and studied the culture of Japan. Japanese corporations were paving the shorelines and rivers with concrete, sinking giant tetrapods off shore. One corporation even developed these giant rubber bladders -- the size of football-fields -- sunk offshore, which could be pumped full of seawater to provide a giant barrier against tsunami's. Of course, the profit margins for these corporations supplying these bags were huge, but I wonder what happened to the technology, if these were ever deployed, and where.
For the first 34 years of my life I was in favor of nuclear power. This changed when I saw young people in the United States put their bodies on the line to protest the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Station operations in Tennessee (1994). The commitment and integrity of these young people made me rethink my nuclear bias.
The giant sea walls of concrete tetrapods used off the eastern coast of Japan to protect smaller sea ports and fishing villages from waves. Photo c. keith harmon snow, 1994.
I began my career as a journalist by looking deeply into the rabbit-hole of nuclear power from 1993 to 2000. I visited the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Public Document Rooms -- which have since been closed in many places -- where I read thousands of microfilms and scanned microfiche records and excavated document after document in search of truth. I visited nuke plants in New England and industry conferences. I interviewed officials and I attended the most boring and sometimes secretive public meetings with the most stifling and unimaginative bureaucrats and with engineers (like me) so dry they squeaked. And then I reported on regulatory corruption, technical failures, undemocratic initiatives to betray the public trust, and the accumulating radiation and nuclear poisons -- and the many ways that the mass media supported and perpetuated the mythology.
THE ARROGANCE OF HUMANISM
"I repeat, there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors," wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dr. Joseph Oehmen on March 13. "By 'significant' I mean a level of radiation of more than what you would receive on -- say -- a long distance flight, or drinking a glass of beer that comes from certain areas with high levels of natural background radiation."
So begins a recent U.S. business sector article titled You Can Stop Worrying About A Radiation Disaster in Japan -- Here's Why, published four days after the earthquake struck in Japan. It has already proved false. Properly understood for what it is -- a childish, myopic, arrogant attempt to belittle the truth and influence public opinion -- the article provides an apt example of the rampant industry disinformation that is sweeping aside rational and compassionate and precautionary assessments with irrational jingoism, simplistic emotional appeals, and wrong-headed thinking. The post went viral and was republished widely.
How do we define apocalypse? EARTHQUAKE + TSUNAMI + AGED NUKE PLANT + LOSS-OF-COOLANT ACCIDENT + PLUTONIUM + FIRES + DISINFORMATION + GREED + DENIAL + FEAR + POLITICS = APOCALYPSE.
How many nuke plants are involved? We don't really know. Not that we have not been told, we have. There are six reactors at the Fukushima site, one reactor at the Tokai nuclear facility and three reactors at the stricken Onagawa nuclear complex. There are toxic chemical spills, petroleum refinery fires, gas fires, dangerous debris and human pathogens from the thousands of dead people and animals. The place is an apocalyptic nightmare, to be sure, but from the beginning the most important facts regarding the status of the nuclear pants and their components, their functioning or failing systems, the operability of the control rooms or integrity of the reactor containment structures, were being denied to the public. Now we are seeing some damage control by the U.S., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the media.
It is simultaneously as though we are believed to be incapable of even the most rudimentary understanding of what is going on, while also being denied the truth in keeping with more than sixty years of secrecy and denial by the cult of the atom and its incestuous cult of intelligence.
The question is: what can we believe to be true? Look at the photos of the explosion. Are we stupid enough to believe that no radiation has been released from this reactor's primary or secondary containment systems? On Wednesday March 16 we were finally told that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had ordered its remaining staff to evacuate areas of the Fukushima plant after radiation levels spiked and plumes of white vapour "were seen pouring from what authorities identified as [emphasis added] the station's No. 3 reactor.
The language about white vapors "seen pouring from what authorities identified as the stations No. 3 reactor" does not inspire confidence that 'authorities' had any clue about the status of things. Indeed, they are not in the control room, obviously, or anywhere near it, or anywhere near 'the station's No. 3 reactor' because they are standing back trying to identify what they are seeing, to see what is going on, and where it is going on. The reactor's are too hot: this is radiation: this is the nightmare scenario we were told could not happen. Radiation is contaminating air, soil, ocean, people.
The You Can Stop Worrying "article" first appeared as a reader's comment posted following the Business Insider journal story Japan Death Toll Climbs Astronomically As Nuclear Crises Intensifies, which was itself a republished and retitled New York Times feature of Monday March 13. At first glance, the two Business Insider stories couldn't be further apart in their general themes: You Can Stop Worrying, which translates to, calm down, don't get hysterical, pay no attention to those anti-nuclear fanatics who think that even microwave ovens will kill you, versus the Death Toll Climbs Astronomically feature, which for all practical purposes we can translate to Holy shit, brother! Run for your life! Duck and Cover!
However, both stories serve as part of the unraveling global media disinformation campaign about the ongoing nuclear catastrophe in Japan. The primary imperatives of this campaign are economic. In other words, most of the reportage out there about what is happening in Japan -- so far -- has been anchored in western epistemological frameworks based in money, greed, private profits and loss. The loss should not be interpreted to mean that people (mostly we are talking about people NOT affected by the apocalypse in Japan) care about who lives or dies, but rather that their primary concerns are their financial balance sheets, their corporate images, their personal retirement portfolios, and the fall of the Nikkei Index and Dow Jones trading they drool over.
Sadly, the attitudes of many "news" writers (and their readers), government officials, energy consultants, corporate executives, nuclear experts and technicians, western humanitarian relief professionals (such as World Vision careerists), or of environmentalists for nuclear power -- like scientist James Lovelock -- and many other people who, for one reason or another, have had something to say about the nukes crisis in Japan, or about how Japan's nuclear misfortune can never become a Chernobyl, or how Three Mile Island didn't kill anyone, or why the events in Japan, no matter how alarming, should not be allowed to interrupt the "nuclear renaissance" touted by U.S. President Barrack Obama, or something about the beauty of some nuke somewhere else, are all based in self-interest, not the altruistic and compassionate concerns of all humanity, of environmental stewardship or the preservation of all life on earth, but in a self-righteous, arrogant and ignorant selfishness of the kind that author David Ehrenfeld elaborated in his monumental work, The Arrogance of Humanism.
Japanese are technical geniuses. The rail system and subways were precise: you could set your watch by them. In 2003, their advanced magnetic levitation Shinkansen bullet trains performed at 581 kilometers per hour (361 mph). If the Japanese can't do, no one can. Yet today Japan is on fire -- the epicenter of deadly radiation now emanating out of that sizable island. This is not about Japan, folks, or national borders: its about all of us, everywhere.
SPENT FUEL POOL FOOLS
While the absence of cooling water facilitated the nuclear crises in Japan, most likely some major reactor components (proven unsafe) also failed under the seismic stresses of the 9.0 quake. Key components likely cracked or shattered. The tsunami and huge aftershocks advanced the chaos. These factors were complicated by the loss of offsite electrical power (an electrical BLACKOUT), the failure of emergency diesel generators, and the subsequent loss-of-coolant (water).
Embrittlement of nickel-based superalloys that comprise reactor internals was flagged as a major safety issue as early as the 1960s, yet such problems were bureaucratically dismissed, covered over, buried in paperwork and regulatory studies produced by the NRC ("NUREG" documents), and ignored. Intergranular stress corrosion cracking of BWR core shrouds (the core shroud is next to fuel rods deep inside) is another major safety issue in GE designed BWRs built by Hitachi at Fukushima, and these plague every BWR reactor in the U.S.
We don't know, however, and for many days we were offered the standard industry refrain: no need to worry, no threat to public health and safety. BWR core shroud cracking (NUREG-1544), reactor pressure vessel cracking (NUREG-1511), embrittled components and aging (NUREG/CR-5939), cooling system failures (NUREG/CR-6087), reactor containment isolation systems failures (NUREG/CR-6339) -- all thoroughly documented.
The redundancy and ever-touted 'defense-in-depth' systems failed at Fukushima. All over the U.S. such systems have been routinely disabled to minimize electricity-generating outages, increase output power and maximize corporate profits. There are as many possibilities of failures outside what we have been spoon-fed -- the official sequence of events -- as there are dead people.
Amongst the most troubling and most deeply underplayed questions of the entire crisis concern the Fukushima Spent Fuel Pools. These basin are packed with tons of irradiated fuel rods that need to be cooled. One of the major postulated accident scenarios involves a Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) to the reactor core, but a LOCA event can also occur with a spent fuel pool. It has. Fires and explosions in Japan. The Spent Fuel Pools at the six Fukushima reactors are NOT inside primary containment. They are exposed. Burning. About to burn.
Reactors No. 4, 5, and 6 at Fukushima were shutdown when the earthquake struck. After the water drained and the spent fuel became exposed, the pool at reactor No. 4 caught fire, and continues to burn, as of Thursday March 17, releasing massive amounts of radiation into the environment. The status of the other six spent fuel pools at Fukushima is unknown. A courageous U.S. journalist Rachel Maddow explored the spent fuel pool issue with a former government official. The most important, critical point made by Princeton professor Frank Von Hippel occurs at minute 14:19 -- where Rachel Maddow talks over him: these are LONG-LIFE RADIONUCLIDES being emitted from the spent fuel pool(s). Isotopes of cesium: Cs-137 has a half-life of 30 years and will be around and hot for decades.
How much disaster are we talking about? The atomic bomb that exploded at Hiroshima created about 2000 curies of radioactivity. The spent fuel pools at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant (U.S.) are said to hold about 75 million curies. There are six spent fuel pools at Fukushima, but the numbers of tons of fuel rods in each have not been made public.
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) did the math: If Fukushima's Reactor No. 4 operated for 35 years and produced 30 tons of irradiated fuel per year and each ton is equivalent to 24 times the amount of cesium-137 produced by the Hiroshima bomb, then each fuel pool could contain on the order of 24,000 times the amount of cesium-137 produced by the Hiroshima bomb, if all the produced irradiated fuel remains in the fuel pool.
Nuclear stupidity No. 1: the Fukushima reactor buildings are square (not circular) and had to absorb the force of the tsunami wave straight on. Stupidity No. 2: six reactors clustered too close together. Stupidity No. 3: no shoreline protection against a tsunami. Stupidity No. 4: reactors sited on earthquake faults. Stupidity No. 5: assumptions and calculations proving that the reactor, prior to its construction, could withstand anything that nature threw at it. Stupidity No. 6: it didn't begin in Japan: the industry, with all its corruptions, false assumptions and technological hubris, was born in secrecy in the United States of America.
Stupidity No. 125: spent fuel pools are packed too tightly, as is well-established by industry documents, for economic reasons, discarding safety concerns. Stupidity No. 458: the Spent Fuel Pools at Fukushima are suspended up high inside the reactor buildings secondary containment -- the same buildings whose roofs are blowing off! Are we to believe that the massive explosions that were captured on film, and others that were not, did not damage these elevated time bombs?
How many stupidities do we need to admit before we admit that it can happen in the United States and Europe and Canada too? Imagine those courageous Japanese nuclear workers at Fukushima -- sacrificing their lives! -- trying to save their families, Japan and the rest of us from our unprecedented stupidity!
During World War II they were called kamikazis and we have always portrayed them as terrorists: they were soldiers and pilots sacrificing their lives for the sake of their nation. Well, these heroic men and women sacrificing themselves at Fukushima have my deepest respect.
There is an ocean adjacent to the Fukushima complex, and yet the reactors and fuel pools cannot be kept cool. Impossible. The huge heat sink necessary to cool the melting fuel is not available. This is not about earthquakes and tsunamis -- it is about loss of off-site power, backup generators and emergency systems that occur in a blackout. Do electrical outages and blackouts occur anywhere else? Blizzards? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? The world is seeing more and more extreme and unpredictable weather. Claims that a serious nuclear 'accident' cannot happen in the U.S., Europe or Canada are false, and nuclear executives know it. That is why corporations refused at first to get into the nuclear power business, until the U.S. Government indemnified them with the Price Andersen Act (1957).
"What this [Fukushima] station suffered was a station blackout," says Deb Katz of the Citizens Awareness Network, who helped shut down Yankee Atomic in Rowe Massachusetts, "and the backup safety systems that were supposed to keep it operational -- the backup diesel generators -- failed. This can happen without an earthquake. A midwest [U.S.] power company caused the northeast grid to fail a few years ago; a flood or a terrorist attack could do the same. We could then experience a similar slow motion catastrophe though not on the grand scale of the Japanese site with its 6 nukes."
A LONG HISTORY OF DECEPTION
Like the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Japanese officials have a long history of covering up ugly nuclear realities. In a recent WikiLeaks diplomatic cable, politician Taro Kono, a high-profile member of Japan's lower house, told U.S. diplomats that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MITI) -- the Japanese government department responsible for nuclear energy -- has been "covering up nuclear accidents and obscuring the true costs and problems associated with the nuclear industry." In 2002 "the chairman and four executives of TEPCO, the company that owns the stricken Fukushima plant, resigned after reports that safety records were falsified."
Such singular but remarkable events follow a pattern of wholesale U.S. cover-ups that define the industry as secretive and criminal, and they involve shoddy equipment, human incompetence, unsafe designs, inadequate safety measures, and economic decisions that have occurred since the very beginining of Japan's nuclear power era -- which itself was born out of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with U.S.-made weapons of mass destruction.
The control room at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Station, Tennessee. Photo c. keith harmon snow, 1994.
In the 1960's, TEPCO planned to build a reactor outside Kashiwazaki city: nuclear officials told the local community, for example, that radioactivity from the plant would increase rice cultivation and the coloring of the carp (a delicacy): seven reactors were eventually built there. In June 1973, radioactive waste water leaked from a storage tank at Fukushima's reactor No. 1. In July 1974, Kansai Electric asked Westinghouse Corporation to replace the steam generator of one of Kansai's two Mihama reactors after Mihama I experienced four major shutdowns in less than four years.
In September 1974, following the emergency shutdown of 21 of the then 55 U.S. reactors due to radioactive leaks at the Illinois Dresden Reactor No. 1, Japanese officials inspected their six Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), similar to the Dresden BWR, and they found similar defects at Fukushima I and Hamaoka. Ditto, 1975: emergency shutdown's in the U.S. prompted inspections that discovered Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) problems at the Fukushima I and Tsuruga BWR reactors. Japan's Mihama reactors were plagued with radioactive 'leaks' and faulty equipment that prompted Kansai officials to demand a refund from U.S. contractor Westinghouse Corporation. The Mihama Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) have been scrammed and shutdown and leaked. The accident at the Mihama Reactor No. 3 on 9 August 2004 was previously considered Japan's worst nuclear accident: there was no tsunami, and no earthquake. Japan's fleet of white elephant nukes only grew more problematic. From April to September 1977, six of Japan's fourteen reactors were shutdown. Japanese corporations joined with Westinghouse and General Electric in the 1980's to export their destructive technology to other countries, mostly targeting the so-called Third World. Before 1979 there were some 25 reactors under construction or completed in Japan, and until last week there were 55 operating reactors. In 2006, GE and Hitachi Corporation teamed up to create three joint venture nuclear companies to expand nukes in North America.
One fact is certain: we have already been massively lied to about a massive and still unfolding nuclear disaster. The radiation releases from some four to six nuclear reactors in collapse are already known to be excessive, described by reputable experts as "worse than Three Mile Island but not as bad as Chernobyl." It may be worse than Chernobyl yet.
Additional radiation has been reported at the Onagawa complex, but this was explained away as wind-blown radioactivity from the Fukushima complex. Meanwhile, in the same reports, officials said that radiation was not leaking from Fukushima, or it was minimal, and there was no cause for alarm.
The core of the nuclear reactor at Tennessee Valley Authority's Unit 2 Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) prior to irradiation. Photo c. keith harmon snow, 1994.
After several days of lies and distortions and official government censorship, reports appeared under the headlines Japan radiation leaks feared as nuclear experts point to possible cover-up. Reports also began citing partial meltdowns of nuclear fuel rods. The threat of meltdown is real, it has been happening to some degree, and it has already occurred far more than we have been told. The physical and thermonuclear states of materials and systems and the spread of radioactivity at Japan's reactors remains shrouded in disinformation and silence.
THE CLEAN AND GREEN PROPAGANDA
Of course, technology gurus and corporate executives and financial consultants are hysterical, claiming there were no deaths from Three Mile Island and that deaths at Chernobyl are exaggerated by the mass media. These claims are false. The new book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment provides irrefutable evidence of massive loss of life.
"The book is solidly based -- on health data, radiological surveys and scientific reports -- some 5,000 in al," says journalist Karl Grossman. "It concludes that based on records now available, some 985,000 people died, mainly of cancer, as a result of the Chernobyl accident. That is between when the accident occurred in 1986 and 2004. More deaths, it projects, will follow."
James Lovelock, author of the renowned GAIA Hypothesis, is a celebrated environmentalist for nuclear energy peddling nuclear power as a clean, green, renewable energy source of the future. However, Lovelock has a long history working for NASA -- the outer-space division of the Pentagon -- and is deeply enmeshed in the western epistemological framework.
Commenting on Japan's nuclear crisis, Lovelock said that people were 'prejudiced' against nuclear power unreasonably. "It is very safe," he said. Chernobyl, for instance, was "an idiotic mess-up that could only have occurred in the Soviet Union", and according to UN estimates had killed only about 56 people. More people are routinely killed in oil refineries and coal mines, he pointed out."
James Lovelock's Chernobyl statement should immediately discredit him as a quack: Even the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is unwilling to go on record claiming anything less than many, many deaths. Further, Lovelock's comment about the 'idiotic mess-up' by Russians is inherently racist: the Russians were the first to put a satellite (Sputnik) into orbit, for example, and NASA collaborated with the Russian MIR Space Station, which broke all kinds of records.
Lovelock suggests that nuclear reactors are our only hope to curtail global climate change, and that this may involve, for example, the 'suspension of democracy'. However, democracy has been long since suspended for many of the earths people and species -- forced to live and die with our burgeoning wastes, consumption and exploitation. Lovelock's analysis is patently false -- contaminated by his own inability to see beyond his privilege and self-interests.
Not convinced? Lovelock has also reportedly stated, wrongheadedly: "One of the striking things about places heavily contaminated by radioactive nuclides is the richness of their wildlife. This is true of the land around Chernobyl, the bomb test sites of the Pacific, and areas near the United States' Savannah River nuclear weapons plant of the Second World War."
Tell this to the mutant babies, weak-spined and deformed children from the Chernobyl killing zones, chronicled in Russian filmmaker Vladimir Kuznetsov's, "While We Are Still Alive, and to the people of Bikini Atoll whose stolen island is officially acknowledged to be highly contaminated. Savannah River is another SUPERFUND site.
The nuclear power cycle involves disease, despair and death from the uranium mining to daily operations to the nuclear waste "'dumping'. Uranium mines in Niger that have built France's entire nuclear complex are toxic wastelands spreading radiotoxins across north and sub-Saharan Africa. The Tuareg and Toubou nomads have been completely shattered by the confiscation, exploitation and irradiation of their lands by the nuclear complex. Native Americans continue to suffer massive epidemics of disease, contamination and confiscation of lands in the Secret Nuclear War at the American Ground Zero: the nuclear complex has compounded the native American genocide begun in 1492. Daily contamination releases into water, soil and air occur at every operating nuclear reactor in the world. There is no 'disposal' of deadly nuclear toxins that now exist to perpetuity, and yet wastes are typically dumped on poor communities like Barnwell, South Carolina, or native American lands.
Out of sight, out of mind: nuclear poisons are colorless, odorless, and deadly.
START WORRYING, HERE'S WHY
The writing You Can Stop Worrying About A Radiation Disaster in Japan -- Here's Why is packed full of disinformation and technical jargon, masked as scientific expertise, meant to confound, confuse and scientifically impress the un-technical (concerned) reader. The author at first did not identify himself, which is a tactic many people use so that they do not have to take responsibility, or worry about being held accountable. Appended as a sort of disclaimer to the article that morphed out of the comment we find the statement: "Since posting this, we have learned that it was written by Dr. Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT."
In the nuclear arena, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is known for the infamous Nuclear Reactor Safety Study (WASH 1400), chaired by MIT nuclear scientist Norman P. Rasmussen (commonly known as The Rasmussen Report), that whitewashed the massive flaws and safety failures of a burgeoning, secretive, incestuous nuclear power industry, even while it exposed them to some degree.
According to a Nuclear Information and Resource Service fact sheet on Fukushima, in 1986, Harold Denton, then the NRC's top safety official, told an industry trade group that the GE "Mark I [BWR] containment, especially being smaller with lower design pressure, in spite of the suppression pool, if you look at the WASH 1400 safety study, you'll find something like a 90% probability of that containment failing."
Produced at the height of the United States' anti-nuclear movement in 1974, the Rasmussen Report downplayed the risk of nuclear accidents and polished the image of a technologically diseased industry. The stridently pro-nuclear MIT has spent billions of taxpayers dollars on secretive and highly biased research programs of all things nuclear. MIT is also a known hotbed of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), with a revolving door from MIT to government to the CIA.
"I have been reading every news release on the incident since the earthquake," wrote MIT's Dr. Josef Oehmen in his initial post of March 12. "There has not been one single report that was accurate and free of errors... By 'not free of errors' I do not refer to tendentious anti-nuclear journalism - that is quite normal these days. By 'not free of errors' I mean blatant errors regarding physics and natural law, as well as gross misinterpretation of facts, due to an obvious lack of fundamental and basic understanding of the way nuclear reactors are build and operated. I have read a 3 page report on CNN where every single paragraph contained an error."
Turns out Dr. Oehmen's report had so many errors, and yet was so widely regurgitated, that it was taken over by MIT's nuclear experts. Dr. Oehmen employs the standard ruse of claiming that the press, which can very easily be shown to as stridently pro-nuclear as MIT itself, is instead plagued by "tendentious anti-nuclear journalism -- that is quite normal these days." He then explains nuclear power (wrongly) arriving at last at his definitive statement that, "I repeat, there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors."
Pollution off the coast of Japan caused large scale fishkills. Photo c. keith harmon snow, 1992.
"The first 'type' of radioactive material is the uranium in the fuel rods," wrote Dr. Oehmen, "plus the intermediate radioactive elements that the uranium splits into, also inside the fuel rod (Cesium and Iodine). There is a second type of radioactive material created, outside the fuel rods. The big main difference up front: Those radioactive materials have a very short half-life, that means that they decay very fast and split into non-radioactive materials. By fast I mean seconds. So if these radioactive materials are released into the environment, yes, radioactivity was released, but no, it is not dangerous, at all. Why? By the time you spelled "R-A-D-I-O-N-U-C-L-I-D-E", they will be harmless, because they will have split up into non radioactive elements..."
It takes about five seconds to spell R-A-D-I-O-N-U-C-L-I-D-E and it takes about the same amount of time to read a chart (below) which shows the actual lifetimes and half-lives of radioisotopes that people need to be concerned about today.
Not only does Dr. Oehmen intentionally misinform people about the inherent design flaws and potential failures of nuclear reactors and subsystems, but he knowingly disinforms about the potential for serious health consequences and the radioactive contaminants that are typically released during a nuclear power accident. While millions of people in Japan are suffering the personal psychological terror of a possible nuclear holocaust, the fears and horrors of life and death from a natural disaster, starvation and thirst, and radioactive poisoning. Dr. Joseph Oehmen -- safe in Boston Massachusetts -- has been been boasting about his blog post -- equally popular with people who hate it and love it -- which spread like a virus on the Internet.
During nuclear fission, the uranium from the fuel rods splits into many radioactive fission products that can then escape during a nuclear power 'event'. These include dangerous Noble Gases (xenon and krypton); Hallogens (including iodines and bromines); Alkali Metals (including cesium 137); Alkaline earths (including barium 133 and strontium 90) and the elements Tellurium and Ruthenium. Some fissionable elements decay rapidly and are inconsequential during releases, but some decay into other, more deadly nuclides. The most dangerous nuclides have half-lives in days (I-131 = 8 days), years (Cs-137 = 30 years) or centuries (Pu-239 = 24,000 years). Half-life is the time it takes for one-half of the material to decay -- lest we forget that the other half is still present.
Tables 17.2 and 17.3 from: A Guide to Nuclear Power Technology (Wiley, 1984).
All of these fissionable products are potentially released and they have varying degrees of half-lives, mobility, migration and toxicity depending on factors like atmospheric conditions, temperature of the reactor core and operating capacity (megawatts) at shutdown, and the presence of coolants. The most dangerous of these are iodine 131 (I-131), cesium 137 (Cs-137), strontium 90 (Sr-90), cobalt 60 (Co-60) and plutonium 239 (Pu-239). All of these negatively affect the human body and all of these have been released in nuclear power 'accidents', during venting of radioactive steam or flushing of radioactive water, and other 'events'. Another deadly isotope which seems to consistently 'escape' from nuclear power sites is cobalt 60 (Co-60), half-life 5.2 years. Co-60 accumulates and migrates through steam generator tubes and other secondary coolant processes, in core shrouds and reactor pressure vessels, and many of the other components of nuclear reactors whose histories of failures are thoroughly documented.
Is radiation leaking in Japan? Yes and no. The term 'leak' suggests air squeaking out of a balloon. In Japan we have leaks, here and there, but we also have explosions, fires and other phenomena that create massive radioactive emissions. To say 'leak' is to downplay what is happening. The balloons in Japan have burst: primary containment has been breached at Reactor No. 3 and at least one spent fuel pool is burning up. With the walls blown out and roof blown off, it seems at least one other spent fuel pool is gone or going.
Nuclear advocates deride and dismiss public ignorance about radionuclides like, for example, the noble gases. Nuclear advocates frequently state that both xenon and krypton decay and disappear in a matter of seconds or minutes. What they don't tell us is that these isotopes decay into daughter isotopes that are extremely deadly emitters. Many credible physicians, scientists and other nuclear experts -- free of the self-interests of nuclear profits, academic sponsorship or career advancement -- have outlined the absence of epidemiological studies of certain radionuclides emitted or flushed at nuclear reactors. Dr. Helen Caldicott has elaborated the detrimental health effects of the noble gases xenon (Xe) and krypton (Kr), and she notes that these have appearance hundreds of miles from reactors believed to have emitted them.
? Xenon 137, with a half-life of 3.9 minutes, converts almost immediately to the notoriously dangerous cesium 137 with a half-life of thirty years. ? Krypton 90, half-life of 33 seconds, decays to rubidium 90, half-life of 2.9 minutes, then to the medically toxic strontium 90, half-life of twenty-eight years. ? Xenon 135 decays to cesium 135 with an incredibly long half-life of 3 million years. ? Large amounts of xenon 133 are released at operating reactors, and although it has a relatively short half-life of 5.3 days, it remains radioactive for 106 days. ? Krypton 85, which has a half-life of 10.4 years, is a powerful gamma radiation emitter. ? Argon 39 has a 265-year half-life.
"Other dangerous noble gases include xenon 141,143 and 144, which decay to cerium 141,143 and 144," Dr. Helen Caldicott reports in Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. "According to the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP Report No. 60) these three cerium isotopes,which are beta emitters,are abundant products of nuclear fission reactions and have moderately long half-lives. They bio-concentrate in the food chain, and they irradiate the lung, liver, skeleton, and gastrointestinal tract, where they act as potent carcinogens."
On March 14 Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) outlined the risks from Japan. Iodine 131 migrates in air and is known for causing thyroid cancers, especially in children. Strontium 90 causes different cancers. Cesium 137 concetrates in bone and causes leukemia. Microscopic particles of plutonium 239 cause lung cancer if inhaled and Pu-239 kills instantly in any sizeble dose. Areas contaminated by plutonium will have to be abandoned -- as happened at Chernobyl.
"Since 2010, Fukushima Daiichi Unit-3 reactor had been using mixed-oxide fuel (also called plutonium fuel or MOX)," PSR reported, in Japan's Nuclear Crises Worsens, "which is even more dangerous to the public than a severe accident with uranium fuel. Plutonium fuel contains plutonium and other very toxic actinides that would increase the number of resulting cancers. Current reports say that this fuel has been exposed to air."
"Pressure in at least two of the reactors have reported to be well above normal levels," continued PSR, "and the reactor operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, released some of the pressure by venting radioactive vapor from the containment structure. In addition, the radionuclide cesium has been reportedly found outside the reactor, which indicates that there has been fuel damage."
The proponents of nuclear power have used all kinds of disinformation and tactics to protect the industry -- compelling the nuclear complex to arm guards to 'protect' these secrets and to 'protect' civilian reactors. It is not only 'terrorists' that the nuclear establishment seeks to protect us from: the armed guards and classified documents are to prevent the public from learning the truth about the destruction of documents, the disappearing of evidence, the falsification of reports and records, the calculated fudging of risk and safety assessments. There have been countless exposes, such as Daniel Ford's 1982 book The Cult of the Atom: The Secret Papers of the Atomic Energy Commission.
FALSE STATEMENTS AND PREMATURE ASSURANCES
The original New York Times story, Death Toll Estimate in Japan Soars as Relief Efforts Intensify (retitled by Business Insider, commented on by Dr. Joseph Oehmen), follows the patterns of the media and government begun on DAY ONE, wherein authorities offered false assurances, premature evaluations, and outright lies. These officials -- and the media that quoted them -- repeatedly reiterated that there was no cause to worry. At first, no radiation was released, we were told, over and over, even though, admittedly, there were some slight reactor problems here and there. Then there were explosions, but still the radiation levels were normal, or, well, maybe there was a puff of steam, which we were told was a hydrogen blast, but radiation monitors showed nothing, and there was no threat to the public health or safety.
The Japanese Government soon dispatched health and rescue teams dressed in white moon suits and breathing through respirators and hauling around geiger counters to measure radiation levels in frightened children, but still, no radiation was released, they chanted, no cause for alarm, the media reported. A handful of citizens reported to the hospital showing signs of radiation poising, but still there were 'no serious radiation concerns', officials were everywhere quoted, or else what little radiation was released was compared to what you might get riding on a school bus in the sunshine. While evacuating thousands of people in the 20 kilometer zone (12 miles) around Fukushima, on the one hand, the government continued to tell people that the public was not at risk, on the other, and the media continued to report the lie, as they have always done, and still do, with radiation emergencies in the United States.
For example, on November 23, 2009, a radioactive contamination at Three Mile Island led to a Reuters news report titled Federal Officials: Radiation Leak At Three Mile Island No Threat to Public Safety. Like the 'news reportage' coming out of Japan, the Three Mile Island leak story was bereft of any discussion, analysis, counterpoint or critique from anyone. Journalists who collaborate with the western English-language news-consuming media have no comprehension of the technological issues, the industry cover-ups, the deceptions, the bureaucratic inertia or the radiological poisons produced and the concomitant epidemics of disease clustered around nukes. They have swallowed the industry slogans and green-washing for so long that their capacity to provide comprehensive, informed, investigative reportage is less than zero. Hence we find innocent [sic] people like CNN's Anderson Cooper (360) reporting from 100 kilometers north of Fukushima and then freaking out and running for their lives from the invisible killer: radiation. Meanwhile, CNN cuts back-and-forth from Cooper to Jim Walsh -- 'our nuclear expert and CNN contributor' -- who arrogantly reassures the increasingly anxious Anderson Cooper that everything is under control and the blasts and white smoke are of no concern.
"We had an explosion," MIT's Dr. Jim Walsh reports, the Boston, Massachusetts skyline and the Prudential Center skyscrapers glimmering brightly behind him. "It turned out that explosion did not compromise the [nuclear] core facility," he guesses (minute 29). Walsh immediately betrays his speculation a few minutes later (minute 59). "Hopefully [emphasis added], it's just the outer structure, and has left unaffected the reactor, and unaffected the containment vessel. Because if it were to affect those things...uh... that would be bad news..."
"The subtext here is Should I Get Out of Here?" interrupts the alarmed Anderson Cooper, in the live on-the-air broadcast. Of course, from this point on the western press increasingly focuses the public's attention on the trials and tribulations and death-defying escape of the courageous [white] investigative reporter, Anderson Cooper.
"I hear you Anderson," responds expert Jim Walsh, chuckling. "I want to err on the side of caution for you here, Anderson." Walsh is barely able to contain his laughter as he sells Cooper out. "Uh, ah, my guess is that you are O.K. But I don't want you to sue me if I am wrong. But, uh, I'm inclined that you're O.K."
"There have been release of..uh..uh...I guess a gas," Cooper continues, "and correct me, I flunked science... There have been releases out over the ocean...why were they doing these controlled releases?"
Dr. Jim Walsh then pontificates that radiation releases that ostensibly drift out over the ocean -- releases questioned by the ill-prepared and uneducated Cooper -- are 'mildly radioactive', unwanted but not dangerous, in any case, that they are being screened for dangerous radonuclides by the Japanese reactor experts, and "it's not going to be a major health threat."
Nonsense! Here is a simultaneous catastrophe beyond human comprehension: At least six nuclear reactors in various states of collapse, out-of-control, and in partial meltdown, and at least one even more deadly spent fuel pool overheating and burning, amidst the apocalypse from the original Richter 9.0 earthquake, the Richter 5.0 and 6.0 aftershocks, the Tsunami, the massive death toll, the lack of emergency vehicles and spreading radioactivity, the fires, the melting Spent Fuel Pools -- they are not "screening" radioactive releases which, in any case, are now uncontrolled.
Of course, according to his own biography, CNN's nuclear consultant, Dr. Jim Walsh, an expert in international security and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program (SSP) -- which also shares U.S. special forces as 'research fellows'. He is published and selected as the chosen expert by the major U.S. and European media. Dr. Jim Walsh is the former Executive Director of the Managing the Atom project at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a visiting scholar at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory -- one of our Department of Energy SUPERFUND sites, deep down the dark [nuclear] rabbit hole. Dr. Jim Walsh is another government spook.
For another example, "[T]he most urgent worries concerned the failures at two reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant," the New York Times wrote, in Death Toll Estimate in Japan Soars as Relief Efforts Intensify, "where engineers were still struggling to avert meltdowns and where some radiation had already leaked. An explosion at one of the reactors on Monday did not appear to have harmed it, Japanese officials said."
In one sentence we are told that a nuclear meltdown may be imminent, and in the next sentence, same paragraph, Japanese officials assured the public (the New York Times backed them up) that an explosion occurred but the reactor was not harmed. Is this believable? When the Japanese nuke experts took the drastic measure of pumping seawater into the reactors they knew that the reactors would be ruined forever. Given the economics of such a choice -- billions upon billions of Japanese yen destroyed forever -- we can infer that the situation is beyond grave: the Fukushima area is now a permanent sacrifice zone: people, wildlife, land has been sacrificed to the Gods of nuclear technology.
Environmental activists in the area of the Fukushima reactors began to cry foul after finding that radiation monitoring stations were not operating. At the top of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Monitoring Website it said "monitoring goes on around the clock year round" and at the bottom it said "THIS SYSTEM IS CURRENTLY SHUTDOWN." Activists believed that TEPCO was downplaying radioactive releases. At the same time, TEPCO was announcing that it planned to vent the containment [vessel] to relieve the pressure, which caused releases of radioactivity into the air.
On Wednesday March 16, National Public Radio reported that "the chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that all the water is gone from one of the spent fuel pools at Japan's most troubled nuclear plant, but Japanese officials denied it." Of course, National Public Radio has been heavily subsidized by the nuclear power industry and has consistently advanced the nuclear industry agenda.
More nonsense: Radiation from Japan's troubled nuclear reactors has virtually no chance of reaching the U.S. -- the West Coast, Alaska or other locations -- the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday March 15. (Note that they don't want to disturb the tourist industry, so they say nothing about Hawaii.) The statement from the NRC said that "the 'small' radiation releases so far [sic] from the Japanese reactors has been blown out to sea, away from populated areas."
NBC News on Wednesday evening (March 16) ran several short 'news' clips about Japan's nuclear crises. One of these was clearly intended to distance General Electric and the nuclear Regulatory Commission from Japan, a sort of betrayal of the culture of secrecy and their historically incestuous relationship. Why? To perform damage control, improve investor confidence, assuage public fears of a similar catastrophe at one of the 110 reactors in the U.S.
The NBC broadcast began by pointing out that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has advised U.S. citizens who are within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Fukushima reactors to evacuate or stay indoors. The U.S. set a higher standard, and the news went on to promote the idea that Japanese officialdom cannot be trusted, but U.S. officialdom can.
Then the NBC News reporter, Lester Holt, was shown being scanned for radiation after returning from the Sendai area: no contamination on his body, but his "shoe bottoms [soles] contained slightly elevated amounts of radiation, but of no danger to us," he said. Again, the standard tactic of reporting that contamination has occurred -- this time it is on his shoes -- but that it is of no danger. Furthering the myths about radioactivity and its deadly means of spreading disease, the shoe bottom problem was nothing a little soap and elbow grease couldn't fix. And so, later in the hour, they showed the shoes being scrubbed and everything being returned to [business as] normal.
NBC followed the news tidbits about radioactive shoes with pictures of Fukushima reactors -- buildings with their roofs blown apart -- accompanied with assertions that there is a POSSIBLE breach of containment at the Fukushima Reactor No. 2, and that a breach of Reactor No. 3 containment vessel is CONFIRMED.
Cut to the U.S. Congress, where NBC brings us a very, very short clip from a special Senate hearing held on Wednesday March 16. Suddenly the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is awake, and they care, and they are telling an equally awake and suddenly concerned U.S. Congress that they believe that Japan has covered up the extent of the nuclear disaster.
"Radiation levels are extremely high," proclaims NRC chief Dr. Gregory B. Jaczko. The spent fuel pools are dry. Secondary containment at the reactor [No. 3] has been breached, but Tokyo is denying this."
Finally, NBC informs its viewers, in passing, that General Electric -- the designer and salesmen of the GE Mark I Boiling Water reactors that General Electric dumped on Fukushima back in the 1970s -- is a part owner of MSNBC. Full disclosure, of course.
Suddenly the 'news' shifted to big bold banners flashed across the TV screen in big blue fonts. These banners remind good, tax-paying and law-abiding citizens -- good people watching the evening news after a hard day's work -- that GE has reviewed the safety concerns that were previously raised about GE BWR reactors, and so reactors in the U.S. are safe. It was no longer news: it was a public relations ploy, a photo op for GE to improve its image, right out of George Orwell's 1984.
The latest psychological operation underway is to convince and reassure the U.S. public and English-language speaking world that General Electric is not responsible for what is happening in Japan; that U.S.-based G.E.-designed reactors elsewhere, being of the same age and design, are not going to have the same problems as reactors in Japan. The message is also that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission runs a tight ship, that oversight is comprehensive and thorough, people are doing their jobs, and that the nuclear industry in the U.S. is nothing like the secretive and bungling industry in Japan.
While the message is racist at its [nuclear] core, nothing could be further from the truth. It can happen here. San Onofre. Diablo Canyon. Vermont Yankee. There have been all kinds of warning signs. It won't be a tsunami, on the back of an earthquake, or maybe it will. It will be a BLACKOUT scenario of some kind, as it is in Japan.
In the Congressional Hearing, Senator Barbara Boxer was suddenly awake, and suddenly concerned, and suddenly the U.S. Congress is going to straighten this all out and protect us. The U.S. Senate Hearings began with some grandstanding by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), whose jabs were directed at Republicans, but in the end she asked a few questions.
The next speaker, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla) reads a garbage speech about how wonderful the NRC is and how safe are U.S. reactors. Our first and foremost concern is safety, he says, and we must continue to develop and site and license and operate new reactors world wide. "We've delayed for 30 years now. So I think that we certainly don't want to slow down, let's keep going."
The hearing was completely corporate, one Senate official citing recent New York Times stories that have suddenly awoken them (the Senators) to the many warnings that had previously occurred. My God, we didn't know. Meanwhile, the NRC Chairman testified that the NRC can not attribute a single death to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.
A few months ago, President Obama signed some 8.5 billion dollar loan guarantees for a nuclear reactor construction project for U.S. nuclear corporation Southern Company, in partnership with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
Of course, the Price Andersen Act, passed in 1957, indemnifies nuclear utilities and reactor operators from all lawsuits, financial liability or related responsibility.
Everything suggests that it will be business as usual. Destabilization, destruction, war and catastrophe have always been turned into a big business for the United States of America. Across the ocean tens of thousands of people are protesting in Germany and France and Briton. Here, even the discussion is off course. The wrong questions are being asked and the wrong people are answering them. Instead of talking about limits to growth, the focus is on expansion, profits, trade and so-called progress. Why would this situation be any different? As Senator Barbara Boxer eventually said: we should be humbled.
Perhaps the worst horror of all is that people trapped in the contaminated zones are now being shunned by outsiders, including aid organizations. Radiation fears, mingled with a sick sense of abandonment, reported the Los Angeles Times, as people are afraid to help them. People in the evacuation zones - elders and those without fuel or transport -- are geting no help, and no information. We should be humbled.
Keith Harmon Snow is a war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) Project Censored award winner. He is also the 2009 Regent's Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work, outside of academia, contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies. From 1985 to 1989, he worked as Engineer, and then Manager, GE Aerospace Electronics Laboratories, Syracuse NY. He has three papers published in the journals of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
(Editors Note: Talk about having your priorities in order... what a joke!!!)
Some lawmakers and market analysts are expressing rising concerns that a demand for capital by earthquake-ravaged Japan could lead it to sell off some of its huge holdings of U.S.-issued debt, leaving the federal government in an even tighter financial pinch.
Others say a major debt sell-off by Tokyo is unlikely, but noted that the mere fact that questions are being raised speaks volumes about the risks involved in relying so heavily on foreign investors to fund U.S. debt.
Radioactive yellow rain that fell in Tokyo and surrounding areas last night caused panic amongst Japanese citizens and prompted a flood of phone calls to Japan’s Meteorological Agency this morning, with people concerned that they were being fed the same lies as victims of Chernobyl, who were told that yellow rain which fell over Russia and surrounding countries after the 1986 disaster was merely pollen, the same explanation now being offered by Japanese authorities.
“After two days of rain in Tokyo I woke up to a thick coating of this yellow stuff all over my car. What looks like a glare between the glass and the body of the car is actually pollen. My first thought was ewe! Radioactive sludge from Fukushima, but no,” states the comment associated with this You Tube clip.
“The (Japan Meteorological) agency received more than 200 inquiries Thursday morning about yellowish residue left on roofs and elsewhere by the rain, stirring concerns that radioactive substances had fallen after accidents caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami at a nuclear power plant around 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo,” reports Japan Today.
Officials later suggested the discoloration was caused by air-borne pollen falling with the rain. “The JMA believes the yellow patches are pollen, but has yet to confirm this,” reports the Wall Street Journal, adding that the JMA received over 280 calls after residents in the Kanto region discovered yellow powder on the ground.
“A health official at the Tokyo metropolitan government also said there is a possibility that the rain contained radioactivity but not at a level to have had adverse effects on people’s health,” adds the Japan Today report.
Given the fact that Japanese authorities have been habitually deceptive about the Fukushima crisis from start to finish, assurances that the yellow powder was merely a result of air-borne pollen particles are dubious at best. With people living in Tokyo already being told that tap water is unsafe to drink, along with contaminated vegetables and milk from certain areas near Fukushima, the fact that they were panicked by yellow rain is unsurprising.
Although pollen can turn rain a yellow color, the fact that the phenomenon occurred a couple of hundred kilometers south of the radiation-spewing Fukushima nuclear plant has stoked alarm, and understandably so given the fact that victims of Chernobyl nuclear fallout in 1986 were also told by authorities that yellow rain was harmless pollen, when in fact it was deadly radioactive contamination.
A University of California Daily Bruin article entitled “Remembering Chernobyl,” documents how children in Belarus happily splashed around in puddles of yellow rain having been assured by Russian authorities that it was merely pollen, when in fact it was a toxic mixture of radioactivity that had been blasted from the Chernobyl plant 80 miles away.
Thinking back to 20 years ago, it’s the splashing in yellow rainwater that Antonina Sergieff vividly recalls.
“We all jumped in the puddles with the yellow stuff. … You don’t see (it in) the air, it doesn’t materialize. But when you see the yellow dust, you see radiation,” Sergieff said.
When these elements first reached Sergieff 20 years ago, they came in the form of yellow rain.
It was not long after that residents in her hometown knew it wasn’t simply “pollen” – which is what government officials assured them, she said.
The effects of this “pollen” soon confirmed that those puddles of yellow rain contained something far more sinister, namely iodine-131, caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239.
“Soon, people started losing their hair, pictures of deformed animals sprouted up in independent newspapers, and incidences of cancer in Belarus skyrocketed, Sergieff said. According to the U.N. brief, cases of breast cancer in Belarus doubled between 1988 and 1999, among other increases.”
As we have highlighted, despite UN and World Health Organization studies that claim Chernobyl led to a maximum of 9,000 deaths and 200,000 cases of radiation sickness, more contemporary studies have shown that nearly a million people have been killed from cancers caused by the disaster over the course of the last 25 years.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
AFP’S JIM TUCKER MAKING PLANS TO BE IN ST. MORITZ FROM JUNE 9-12
The shadowy group known as Bilderberg will be gathering this year for its annual meeting at the resort city of St. Moritz, in southeastern Switzerland, June 9-12, but they will have a lot of company. St. Moritz is a short distance from Davos, the site of the regular high-priced meeting of thousands of bankers, political leaders and other notables called the World Economic Forum. But unlike at Davos, where the press is always welcome, Bilderberg still tries to maintain absolute secrecy.
Madonna's African school dream left in ruins as £2.4m is frittered on luxuries
Madonna's dream of building a school for girls in poverty-stricken Malawi has collapsed after £2.4million was frittered away without a brick being laid.
Funds raised by the singer from celebrity friends such as Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow were squandered on luxuries including golf course membership, and a car and driver for the school’s director, according to details of an audit revealed yesterday.