Whether you believe that the United Nations resolution authorizing extensive intervention in the Libyan civil war is justified or not, and whether you believe that the admittedly eccentric forty two year rule of Muammar Gadhafi over a complex and fractious tribal society has been cruel or not, there is one thing that all objective observers should be able to agree on. All should agree that the rationale put forth by the United States government for supporting the impending NATO intervention, that this action is to be taken to bring about an immediate end to attacks on civilians, is one of the biggest acts of hypocrisy in a modern era ridden with hypocrisy.
There is, of course, no arguing with the principle put forth. The protection of civilians in times of warfare, a moral good in itself, is a requirement of international law. Yet it is a requirement that is almost always ignored. And no great power has ignored it more than the United States. In Iraq the civilian death count due to the American invasion may well have approached one million. In Afghanistan, again directly due to the war initiated by U.S. intervention, civilian deaths between 2007 and 2010 are estimated at about 10,000. In Vietnam, United States military intervention managed to reduce the civilian population by about two million.
And then there is United States protection of the Israeli process of ethnic cleansing in Palestine. America’s hypocrisy as Washington consistently does nothing to end the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the slow reduction of a million and half Gazans to poverty and malnutrition. And, finally, the unforgettable hypocrisy inherent in U.S. support for the 2009 Israeli invasion of that tiny and crowded enclave. The 2009 invasion was one of the most striking examples of an outright attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure since World War II. And the American government supported every single moment of it.
Thus, when President Obama gets up before the TV cameras and tells us that Libyan civilians have to be protected, when UN ambassador Susan Rice tells us that the aim of the UN resolution is to safeguard Libya’s civilian population and bring those who attack civilians, including Gadhafi, before the International Criminal Court, a certain sense of nausea starts to gather in the pit of one’s stomach. If Washington wants regime change in Libya, which is almost certainly the case, government spokespersons ought to just say it and spare us all a feeling of spiritual despair worthy of Soren Kierkegaard!
It was Oscar Wilde who once said that “the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” I think that politicians learn, some easier than others, to live their lives like this. And, as I have said before, the only way they can be successful in sharing their delusions with the rest of us is that the majority do not have the contextual knowledge to analyze and make accurate judgments on their utterances. The successful hypocrite and his or her ignorant audience go hand in hand.
In Japan, cover-up and denial persist. In a March 18 press conference, Tokyo Electric’s (TEPCO) spokesman claimed water-dousing lowered radiation levels from 312 microsieverts per hour to 289. However, 48 hours earlier, chief cabinet secretary Yukido Edano said radioactivity levels were misreported in microsieverts instead of millisieverts – 1,000 times stronger.
Contrary to other reports, TEPCO’s spokesman also said water remains in Unit 4’s cooling pool. In fact, there’s none. Nothing the company says is credible.
In contrast, distinguished nuclear expert Helen Caldicott called Fukushima an unprecedented “absolute disaster,” multiples worse than Chernobyl. “The situation is very grim and not just for the Japanese people. If both reactors blow then the whole of the northern hemisphere may be affected. Only one (Chernobyl) reactor blew, and it was only three months old with relatively little radiation. (Fukushima’s) have been operating for 40 years, and would hold about 30 times more radiation than Chernobyl.”
It killed nearly one million people and counting, according to the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). Yet the official IAEA figure was 4,000. NYAS’ report said:
“This is a collection of papers translated from the Russian with some revised and updated contributions. Written by leading authorities from Eastern Europe, the volume outlines the history of the health and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the authors, official discussions from the (IAEA) and associated (UN) agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.”
In fact, IAEA and UN agencies lied, what’s ongoing now on Fukushima to conceal the greatest ever environmental/human disaster by far. Calling it a “diabolical catastrophe,” Caldicott, in fact, believes “(i)t could be much, much worse than” 30 multiples of Chernobyl. “In the northern hemisphere, many millions could get cancer.” Large parts of Japan may be permanently contaminated, not safe to live in.
Adding a hopeful note, she also thinks “the nuclear industry is finished worldwide. I have said before, unfortunately, the only thing that is capable of stopping this wicked industry is a major catastrophe, and it now looks like this may be it.”
In a March 16 “Destroyer of Worlds” statement, she added:
“The world is now paying – and will pay however severe Fukushima turns out to be – a grave price for the nuclear industry’s hubris and the arrogance and greed that fueled their drive to build more and more reactors. What’s more, having bamboozled gullible politicians, the media, and much of the public into believing that it is a ‘clean and green’ solution to the problem of global warming, the nuclear industry has operated facilities improperly, with little or no regard for safety regulations, and they have often done this with the connivance of government authorities.”
In fact, nuclear power isn’t “clean and green,” nor is it safe or renewable. “It is instead ‘a destroyer of worlds.’ It is time the globally community repudiated it….There is no other choice for the sake of future generations” and planet earth. Humanity has a choice – nuclear power or life itself.
On March 17, New York Times writers Norimitsu Onishi, David Sanger and Matthew Walf headlined, “With Quest to Cool Fuel Rods Stumbling, US Sees ‘Weeks’ of Struggle,” saying:
America’s “top nuclear official followed up his (day before) bleak appraisal of the grave situation at the plant, (cautioning) it would “take some time, possibly weeks” to make headway.
On March 17, Times writers David Sanger and William Broad headlined, “Radiation Spread Seen; Frantic Repairs Go On,” saying:
“….frantic efforts to cool nuclear fuel in the troubled reactors and in the plant’s spent-fuel pools resulted in little or no progress, according to United States government officials.”
Officials are also trying to restore power with no assurance doing so can help. Explosions, fires, and extremely high heat destroyed most or all plant equipment, likely including water pumps.
An unnamed source said, “What you are seeing are desperate efforts – just throwing everything at it in hopes something will work. Right now this is more prayer than plan.”
More likely, however, it’s deception, trying to convince public opinion that anything can work when, in fact, it may already be too late.
On March 18, Times writers David Sanger and William Broad headlined, “Frantic Repairs Go On at Plant; Little Progress in Cooling Fuel,” saying:
Radioactive “(s)team was again rising over another part of the plant, this time billowing from Reactor No. 2″ that exploded on Tuesday. No explanation why was given.
Helicopter water drops failed. On Friday, military officials halted them at least for a day. Nuclear experts think they’re futile. Video evidence showed most water missed its target or evaporated before reaching it. Osaka University’s Professor Akira Yamaguchi said:
“7.5 tons of water has been dumped. We do not know the size of the pool, but judging from other examples it probably holds 2,000 tons. It does not mean the pool needs to be completely full, but maybe a third of the tank’s capacity is needed.”
America believes TEPCO “consistently underestimated the risk and moved too slowly to contain the damage.”
On March 18, Al Jazeera headlined, “Japan raises nuclear alert level,” saying:
Its “nuclear safety agency raise(d the) severity rating of (the) accident at Fukushima plant, signifying higher risk of radiation.”
However, Al Jazeera’s equating its seriousness to Three Mile Island or Chernobyl is willful deception. Fukushima is unprecedented, in uncharted territory, perhaps unstoppable. Guenther Oettinger, EU energy chief, called the site “effectively out of control, (facing) apocalypse.”
Al Jazeera claimed “prevailing winds are likely to carry any contaminated smoke or steam away from the densely populated Tokyo area to dissipate over the Pacific Ocean.”
False! Radiation levels in Tokyo are dangerously high and rising. Moreover, a radiation cloud will reach California by weekend, then spread across most of North America. Downplaying the disaster’s severity is scandalous and criminal. Besides dead zones and permanent environmental contamination, millions of illnesses and deaths are likely, though years will pass before accurate information is known.
Make no mistake, Japan’s government/industry cabal bears full responsibility for the greatest ever environmental/human disaster, an indisputable crime. They have blood on their hands as does America, other governments, and “Destroyer of Worlds” officials that that proliferate this technology from hell. Nothing short of banning it is acceptable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
Who will write the final chapter on Israel’s 1967 confrontation with the U.S. Navy?
The attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats on June 8, 1967 has almost faded from memory, but new evidence suggests that the White House might actually have had prior knowledge that the ship would be struck by Israel’s armed forces. In the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peacetime, 34 American sailors and civilian personnel were killed and 171 more wounded in the two hour assault, which was clearly intended to sink the intelligence-gathering vessel operating in international waters collecting information on the ongoing Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
The Israelis and their supporters in the United States have always claimed the attack was a tragic mistake while many of the surviving Liberty crew believe that it was anything but: They assert that the vessel was flying an oversized American flag and was clearly identifiable as a U.S. Navy vessel. The ship’s commanding officer, Captain William McGonagle, was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his role in keeping the ship afloat, though President Lyndon Baines Johnson broke with tradition by refusing to hold the medal ceremony in the White House, or to award it personally, delegating that task to the Secretary of the Navy in an unpublicized presentation at the Washington Navy Yard.
The Liberty crew was sworn to secrecy over the incident and a hastily-convened court of inquiry headed by Admiral John McCain acted under orders from Washington to declare the attack a case of mistaken identity. The inquiry’s senior legal counsel Captain Ward Boston, who subsequently declared the attack to be a “deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew,” also described how “President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” The court’s findings were rewritten and sections relating to possible war crimes, such as the machine-gunning of life rafts, were excised. Following in his father’s footsteps, Senator John McCain of Arizona has used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to effectively block any reconvening of a board of inquiry to reexamine the evidence. Most of the documents relating to the Liberty incident have never been released to the public.
One of the more intriguing allegations surrounding the Liberty incident is the claim that a United States Navy submarine was in the area when the attack took place. A number of submarine crewmen have surfaced anonymously to say that they were on one of several subs reported to be in the area on intelligence-gathering missions. Some stated their belief that photos were taken of the attack itself, but, fearing reprisals from the government, none would go public with their claims.
More recently, a crewman on the USS Amberjack, a diesel-powered intelligence-gathering sub, has provided an account of his ship’s activities on that day in June to two Liberty survivors. The sailor, Larry Bryant, agreed to go on radio with survivors Phil Tourney and Ron Kukal to discuss his experiences but inexplicably got cold feet and broke off contact. However, several extended phone conversations had already provided some intriguing insights into what had taken place.
Several Liberty crewmen reported seeing a periscope during the attack and it has generally been assumed that it was Israeli, but according to Bryant, it was actually the USS Amberjack. The submarine was near enough to the incident to clearly hear throughout the ship the reverberations of every round fired into the Liberty’s hull. The sub’s crew knew that a U.S. Navy vessel was under attack, but the Amberjack was only lightly armed and in no position to intervene. The sub remained immobile between the Liberty and some of its attackers and the sub’s crewmen feared that they themselves might be hit by the the Israeli warships’ torpedos.
As Larry Bryant was a crewman, he had no idea why the submarine was in that spot on that day, but he did note how the sub had raised its periscope and was observing the attack as it unfolded. More interestingly, the submarine had been equipped with a platform for the mounting of a video camera, which operated through the periscope and the Amberjack both filmed and photographed the entire incident. Some crewmen noted that the Liberty’s large American flag was clearly visible through the periscope during the attack, disputing the subsequent Israeli contention that the ship was not flying any flag.
The Amberjack’s Captain August Hubal, now retired and living in Virginia, has denied that his ship was anywhere near the Liberty on June 8th, but his account is contradicted by the ship’s log which confirms that it was indeed in the area. Hubal, who was described by Bryant as an obsessive, “by the rules” officer who would go to his stateroom and blow his brains out if so ordered, later warned his crew to forget about their role in the Liberty attack or face the consequences. The photos and videos of the incident made by the Amberjack were subsequently couriered to Washington by a ship’s officer, where they were turned over to the Pentagon.
Part of Hubal’s reluctance to discuss what he was doing on that day might be traced to the fact that his vessel was carrying out a clandestine operation in Egyptian waters as part of the Naval Security Group, which was affiliated with the codebreakers of the National Security Agency. Several civilians on the sub were performing the same tasks as their counterparts who were intercepting and decoding radio transmissions on board the Liberty. The Amberjack was equipped with a snorkel, which enabled it to sit on the bottom of the sea immobile and listen to electronic transmissions for long periods of time.
Confirmation that the Amberjack was in the area and that it had made a film and photo record of the attack suggest a number of lines for further inquiry. First and foremost has to be the issue of possible prior knowledge or even connivance by the White House in what was about to take place. Was it happenstance that the submarine was in the same location as the Liberty or was it by design? Was there any advance notice to Washington that an attack might take place? Could the USS Liberty have been an intended victim of a false flag simulated Egyptian attack, leading to American involvement on behalf of Israel in the fighting? Though that line of inquiry might appear implausible, the White House ordered the return of US warplanes sent to assist the Liberty, suggesting that Johnson knew who the attackers were in spite of the fact that the Israelis had covered over their aircraft markings in an apparent attempt to blame the Egyptians. One might also recall the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Was the video equipment part of the ship’s standard espionage gear or was it installed just prior to the Liberty attack? Was the filming of the attack done on an opportunity basis or was it planned? Was it possibly intended to provide evidence of Egyptian aggression, played for all its worth on the nightly news in America? Most importantly, where are the video and other photos today and why were they not produced at the board of inquiry or subsequently?
To those who object that Lyndon Baines Johnson would not have sunk so low as to allow an American warship to be attacked, it should be observed that LBJ’s refusal to allow air cover might mean that the situation was being managed to produce a “correct” outcome. One might also recall that Lyndon Johnson was possibly the most pro-Israel president in American history, tilting heavily towards the Jewish state on foreign policy issues starting with his time as a congressman all the way through his years in the White House. When he was president he declared a “strategic alliance” with Israel.
The Amberjack story, for all those who would like to see the Liberty saga end either in exonerating Israel or in proving its guilt, provides closure. The attack took place 44 years ago. Whatever classified information or sources and methods used by the intelligence community worth protecting then are surely well beyond their shelf life now. It is time to open the files fully. The activity of the Amberjack, including its classified logs and whatever film and photos it might have taken, should be made accessible, together with the testimony of surviving crewmen. And when that material is fully digested, there should be another court of inquiry to look in the matter finally and completely, incorporating the testimony of all the surviving Liberty crewmen, particularly those who were not heard the first time around because they were in hospital or were restrained by orders not to discuss the incident.
WikiLeaks has demonstrated that the United States has a secret government that operates with little in the way or transparency or restraint. Unfortunately, it has had that kind of government for a long time, and the fate of the USS Liberty could be a manifestation of how the White House might actually have colluded in the deaths of American servicemen and then engaged in a cover-up to conceal what it had done. It’s time to open the windows and introduce a breath of fresh air. Lyndon B. Johnson is gone and so is his Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, both of whom left the USS Liberty to its fate. But there are many survivors who are still looking for answers. It is time to provide what they need and give them peace.
The number of casualties from the Bahraini and Saudi crackdown continues to rise as another demonstrator has died of the wounds sustained in attacks on protesters.
On Saturday, the opposition Shia bloc Al-Wefaq reported that the protester died from wounds sustained in Pearl Square. It said that nearly 60 people were still unaccounted for.
Several people were killed after Bahraini and Saudi troops crushed a peaceful sit-in at Manama’s Pearl Square, which was later razed to the ground by the regime.
Security forces, supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), continued on Saturday to secure the capital after a brutal crackdown on protesters camped at Pearl Square in Manama on Wednesday.
Bahraini citizens are still under curfew, although now with reduced hours set from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Saudi Arabia has deployed more than 1,000 troops to the country while the UAE has dispatched around 500 police forces to assist in the repression of protesters.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has announced that three or four Persian Gulf countries would be sending troops to help the government.
Demonstrators in the Shia-majority country have been demanding the ouster of the 230-year-old Sunni-led monarchy as well as constitutional reform.
In addition to the 13 killed, more than 1,000 have been injured since February 14.
A senior leader from Bahrain Freedom Movement has condemned the monarchy’s “gagging” of activists and journalists covering anti-regime protests.
Speaking to Press TV during a London rally, Saeed al-Shahabi said the Bahrainis no longer trust the king’s call for national dialogue following the deployment of Saudi Arabian and UAE troops in Bahrain to crack down on protesters.
“I think the people have passed that stage. They are not interested now in talking to somebody who is killing them, who is bringing foreign forces to occupy their country, who is attacking religious symbols, who is gagging all journalists and arresting political leaders,” al-Shahabi said.
Many foreign journalists have been barred from covering anti-regime protests in Bahrain which have so far led to the death of at least 12 people and the injury of about 1,000 others.
Press TV’s correspondent in Manama Johnny Miller is among the many journalists who have been mistreated and deported from Bahrain.
Al-Shahabi said the government’s crackdown on civil liberties was “massive.” He also confirmed earlier reports that several opposition leaders were arrested in Manama on Friday.
Demonstrators in the Shia-majority country have been demanding the ouster of the 230-year-old Sunni-led monarchy as well as constitutional reforms, with hundreds camping out peacefully in the capital’s Pearl Square since February 14.
UAE soldiers arrived in crisis-hit Bahrain on Friday to join Saudi Arabian troops, who were sent there earlier this week, to help the Bahraini government’s deadly crackdown on anti-government protests.
Recently, you have decided to take sides in a scientific debate. That in itself is very foolish. Why would Google want to take either side when there is a disagreement between scientists? I thought your motto was “Do No Evil.” For the 900-pound gorilla to take sides in any tempestuous politically charged scientific discussion is an extremely stupid thing to do, and in this case definitely verges on the E-word.
In fact, that’s why up until now I trusted Google, because I always felt that I was being given the unvarnished truth. I always felt that Google could be trusted, because you didn’t have a dog in the fight. I believed you weren’t trying to slant your results, that you were neutral, because you had nothing to prove.
So what did you guys do? You’re now providing money to 21 supporters of the CO2 hypothesis, funding them as “Google Fellows” to go and flog their scientific claims in the marketplace of ideas. Is this the new face of Google, advocating for a partisan idea?
You have chosen to fund policy people as Google Fellows. You have a specialist in “strategic communication in policymaking and public affairs” among them. You have a bunch of scientists whose careers depend on the validity of the CO2 hypothesis. And you are paying them all to push your ideas. In other words, Google has put into place a public relations campaign for the CO2 hypothesis … and people in your organization actually consider this a good idea?
I mean people other than Al Gore, who sits on your Board and who stands to make big money if the CO2 hypothesis can be sold to the public. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. If it can be sold to the public, Al makes big money, even if it’s later shown to be false. So sure, he’s in favor of your cockamamie scheme … but the rest of you guys have truly decided to hitch your wagon to Mr. Gore’s dying star? Really?
Man, Google doing PR work shilling for the CO2 hypothesis. I thought I’d never see the day.
It’s not even disguised as a scientific effort. It’s a sales job, a public relations push from start to finish, no substance, just improved communication. I’m surprised that you haven’t brought in one of the big advertising agencies. Those mad men sell cigarettes, surely they could advise you on how to sell an unpalatable product.
The problem is, now Google has a dog in the fight. You’ve clearly declared that you’re not waiting until the null climate hypothesis gets falsified. You’re not waiting for a climate anomaly to appear, something that’s unlike the historical climate. You have made up your mind and picked your side in the discussion. Here’s what that does. Next time I look up something that is climate science related, I will no longer trust that you are impartial. No way.
Let me make it very clear what I object to in this:
GOOGLE IS TAKING SIDES IN A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR POLITICAL/SCIENTIFIC STRUGGLE
Don’t mistake this for a partisan entreaty. This is not because of the side you’ve chosen, despite the fact that I’m on the other side. I don’t care which side Google takes – it’s wrong and stupid for Google to be in any scientific fight at all, on either side. I’d be screaming just as loudly if you had picked scientists who were on my side of the debate. In fact, I’d scream even louder, because I don’t want Google Fellows doing a big PR dog-and-pony-show for skeptical science. Unlike you, I think that’s bad tactics. Your presence, and the desperation that it reeks of, can only damage whichever side you support, so I’m glad it’s not my side.
But sides are not the point. Supporting either side in the debate involves Google in a high-stakes, multi-billion dollar, long-festering, dog-ugly political/scientific battle, with passions running high on both sides, accusations thrown, reputations attacked … and putting your head in this buzz-saw, jumping into this decades-old scientific Balkan war, this is a good idea for Google exactly how?
Truly, are you off your collective meds or something? You don’t want the good name of Google involved in this, there is no upside. All it is going to do is get your name abused in many quarters. I’ve read dozens of people already who said they were switching to Bing or Alta Vista. You’ve lost my trust, it’ll be trust but verify from here on out for me.
And all for what? Guys, you are so far out of touch with the issues that you appear to be truly convinced that it is a communications problem. So you’ve hired all these scientist/communicators to fix that problem. Let me put it in real simple terms.
People don’t believe AGW scientists because they have been lied to by some of the leading lights of the CO2 hypothesis. They’ve seen a number of the best, most noted AGW scientists cheat and game the system to advance their own views, and then lie and deny and destroy emails when the sunlight hit them.
That, dear friends, is not a failure to communicate. Your problem is not the lack of getting your message across. You’ve gotten it across, no problem. The message was obvious – many of the best AGW scientists are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to push their personal AGW agenda … the same agenda that your Google Fellows are now pushing. That was the message, and by gosh, we got it loud and clear.
The only cure for that kind of bad science is good science. It will not be cured by communication. We’ve already gotten the message that your side contains a number of crooks among its most admired and respected members. We’ve gotten the message that most of the decent climate scientists won’t protest against anything. They’ll stay quiet no matter what egregious excesses their leaders commit. They’ll pretend that everything is just fine. Indeed, a number of them even find excuses for the malfeasance of their leaders, that it’s just boys will be boys and the like. No recognition of the gravity of the actions, or how they have destroyed the public’s trust in climate scientists.
If you think the cure for that widespread scientific rot is a clearer explanation of how thunderstorms form or how the greenhouse effect works, I fear you are in for a rude shock. Communications will not fix it, no matter how smart your Google Fellows are … and they are wicked smart, I looked at the bios of every single one, very impressive, but that doesn’t matter. That’s not the issue.
The issue is that the side you’ve picked conned the public, and afterwards refused to admit it. Until they and climate science face up to that, your side will not be believed. There’s no reason to concern yourself with hiring scientists to analyze why your message isn’t getting across. It’s because people hate to be conned. They’d rather be wrong than be conned. And once you’ve conned them, and the Climategate emails show beyond question that your side conned the public, that’s it. After that, all the honeyed words and the communications specialists and the Google Fellows with expertise in “strategic communication in policymaking and public affairs” are useless. Clearer scientific explanations won’t cure broken trust.
And yes, perhaps I’m being paranoid about whether you will skew your search results against skeptics … but then I look at what happened in 2009/10 with “Climategate” as a search term, when for a couple weeks Google wouldn’t suggest it in the Auto Suggest feature. People claimed back then that it was deliberate, you did it on purpose, and I accused them of being paranoid, I didn’t believe it. Looks like instead of them being paranoid, I may have been being naïve.
Anyhow, you can be sure that I won’t defend you again.
So I entreat you and implore you, for your own sake and ours, stop taking sides in political/scientific debates. That is a guaranteed way to lose people’s trust. I’m using Bing for climate searches now, and I’m wondering just if and where you’ve got your thumb on the information scales.
Perhaps nowhere … but I’m a long-time Google user and Google advocate and Google defender. For me to be even wondering about that is an indication of just how badly you screwed up on this one.
Since you seem to have forgotten about your “Do No Evil” motto, I have a new one for you:
You are not wanted there. You are not needed there. You have no business there. Get out, and get out now, before the damage worsens.
Because the core issue is this – you can either be gatekeeper of the world’s knowledge, storing gigabytes of private information about me and my interests and likes and dislikes and my secret after-midnight searches for okapi porn and whale-squashing videos … or you can be a political/scientific advocate.
BUT YOU CAN’T BE BOTH.
You can’t both be in politics and be hiring scientific experts to push a trillion-dollar political/scientific agenda, and at the same time be the holder of everyone’s secret searches. That’s so creepy and underhanded and unfair and wrong in so many ways I can’t even start to list them. I can’t even think of a word strong enough to describe how far off the reservation you are except to say that it is truly Gore-worthy.
Your pimping for the CO2 hypothesis is unseemly and unpleasant. Your clumsy attempt to influence the politics of climate science, on the other hand, is very frightening and way out of line. You hold my secrets, and you held my trust. If you want it again, go back to your core business. Your actions in this matter are scary and reprehensible and truly bizarre. It’s as bizarre as if J. Edgar Hoover was hiring shills to flack for the Tea Party … you are the holder of the secrets. As such, you have absolutely no business involving yourself in anything partisan. It is a serious breach of our trust, and you knew it when you started Google. That’s why your motto is Do No Evil. Get back to that, because with this venture into advocacy you have seriously lost the plot.
My best to you all, and seriously, what you are doing is really scary, I implore and beg you to stop it. Your business is information and secrets, and ethically you can’t be anything else. You hold too much dangerous knowledge to be a player in any political/scientific dogfight, or any other fight. You not only need to be neutral. You need to seem to be neutral.
Possibly it’s ongoing and concealed. All along, Japanese and Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) officials downplayed or lied about the severity of the crisis. Virtually nothing they say can be believed.
Nor from the Obama administration, budgeting loan guarantees for new reactor construction instead of decommissioning all 104 nuclear plants because operating them risks full core meltdowns.
Partial or full ones gravely harm earth, air, water and food. Three hazardous Fukushima radioactive isotopes are especially problematic. University of Rochester Professor Jacqueline Williams, a radiation expert, says ingesting radioactive iodine-131 causes thyroid and other cancers. So does hazardous beta and gamma radiation from Cesium-137. Released Strontium 90 also causes leukemia and other cancers. Large amounts of all three are spewing daily.
Under a worst case scenario, millions of Japanese, Pacific rim and northern hemisphere people will be harmed, many gravely. Millions of deaths may result. The dangers of nuclear power can’t be overstated. Potentially, all planetary life is threatened. What better reason to end all commercial and military use now.
Wikipedia calls a nuclear meltdown “an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating.” Partial or full meltdowns result, releasing toxic atmospheric radiation.
Through nuclear fission, reactors generate high heat to produce electricity – essentially boiling water to create steam, used to run turbines and generate power. Unless controlled, dangerously high heat results.
Core meltdowns occur when heat generated exceeds what cooling systems remove, causing uranium and plutonium fuel to melt. At fault may be coolant problems, including accidents, fires, loss of coolant pressure, low coolant flow, or none at all from high heat causing evaporation. In other words, insufficient cooling elevates temperatures high enough to trigger melting and toxic atmospheric radiation releases.
Measured in rems (roentgen equivalent in man or mammal), it represents the amount needed to damage living tissue. All radiation is harmful, cumulative, permanent, and unforgiving. The more gotten, the greater the danger, especially doses over 100 rems, producing radiation sickness, including nausea, vomiting, headaches, white blood cell loss, and susceptibility to infection.
Doses above 200 rems cause hair loss and other harm. Above 300, significant internal harm, including damaged nerve cells, others lining the digestive track, the reproductive system, DNA and RNA. Severe white blood cell loss also results, the body’s main defense against infection, causing vulnerability to cancer and other diseases.
Moreover, radiation reduces blood platelets production, making hemorrhaging more likely. Doses above 450 rems kill half of those exposed. Above 800 assures death in days, weeks, or longer-term after painful illnesses, including leukemia and other cancers.
High atmospheric radiation levels threaten life over the short or longer-term. The more ingested, absorbed or inhaled, the greater the risk. Fukushima is spreading large amounts. If unstoppable, all bets are off.
On March 17, New York Times writers Norimitsu Onishi, David Sanger and Matthew Wald headlined, “High Radiation Severely Hinders Emergency Work to Cool Japanese Plant,” saying:
“Amid widening (global alarm), military fire trucks began spraying cooling water on (Fukushima’s) spent fuel rods.” Earlier, high radiation levels forced back police water cannon trucks. Japan’s Self-Defense Forces dumped tons of seawater on Unit 3, saying later it was ineffective. Unknown is whether anything can work. In day six, everything tried failed, raising grave doubts, a frightening prospect if true.
Panic throughout Japan is increasing. Some Toyko residents are fleeing. Everyone is scared. Radiation levels are spreading and rising. People are jamming airports to leave. Some embassies and companies are evacuating their personnel. Inbound flights are being canceled.
An anonymous nuclear industry official told The Times of India that TEPCO management is “in a full-scale panic, (not) know(ing) what to do.” On March 16, European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told an EU parliamentary committee:
Fukushima “is effectively out of control. In the coming hours, there could be further catastrophic events, which could pose a threat to the lives of people on the island,” and beyond.
In fact, global contamination is threatened. Obama said radioactivity wouldn’t reach America. He lied. It will reach California by weekend and spread east across the entire country and North America. The industry-controlled World Nuclear News warned of a “dramatic escalation in Japan.”
Compounding the threat, around 600,000 exposed Fukushima spent fuel rods are stored unprotected near the top of reactors, making them extremely vulnerable to melting. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen said if they catch fire, it “would be like Chernobyl on steroids.”
Several fires, in fact, erupted. Others could ignite any time. If one or more containment vessels ruptures, all bets are off. Fears are it already happened, making a bad situation far worse. Fukushima is an unprecedented disaster, in uncharted territory. Understating the potential catastrophic risk is irresponsible and criminal.
On Wednesday, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman, Gregory Jaczko, told a congressional committee that thousands of Unit 4 spent fuel rods have little or no protective water, meaning they’re exposed, melting, and spreading toxic atmospheric radiation. He added:
“We believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.”
Fukushima has six reactors. All risk meltdown. Experts believe a full plant evacuation may be necessary, leaving reactor and spent fuel rods to melt down, a potential worst case unstoppable “China syndrome.”
Late Wednesday night, the US State Department announced a “voluntary” evacuation of government personnel dependents and other US citizens from northeastern Japan down to Tokyo and Yokohama. Charter flights will be provided. Numerous other nations are urging their nationals to leave.
Nuclear Power in America: How Safe?
On March 16, New York Times writer Matthew Wald headlined, “Nuclear Agency Tells a Concerned Congress That US Industry Remains Safe,” saying:
NRC chairman Jaczko “told two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees:
“We will continue to work to maintain (a high) level of protection.” Reactors are designed to withstand “the most severe natural phenomena historically reported,” perhaps forgetting his comments about Fukushima’s unprecedented disaster and its unpreparedness to cope.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu claimed:
“The American people should have full confidence that the United States has rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure that our nuclear power is generated safely and responsibly. The administration is committed to learning from Japan’s experience as we work to continue to strengthen America’s nuclear industry.”
Chu, in fact, is deeply compromised, a shill for nuclear interests since his days as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), originally called the UC Radiation Lab. Today, the Energy Department runs it, continuing its radiation research, what it’s done since the 1940s with little regard for public safety or environmental concerns, as true under Chu. In fact, he was picked as Energy Secretary for his commitment to military and commercial nuclear power, mindless of the risks.
When asked in 2005 if fission-based plants should be part of the energy-producing portfolio, he responded:
“Absolutely,” displaying a cavalier attitude about its dangers in advocating for “recycling” waste, when independent experts say doing it spreads poisons causing cancer, genetic damage, and premature deaths.
Chu also has longstanding ties to BP and Big Oil that funded UC Berkeley’s Energy Biosciences Institute he founded a year before becoming Energy Secretary. On matters of oil, nuclear power, and other sources of energy, nothing Chu says is credible.
Obama also has longstanding nuclear industry ties, including with Chicago-based Exelon. On March 14, Bloomberg said it operates “17 reactors at 10 stations in Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, provid(ing) 20% of US nuclear capacity,” according to its web site. His former top political aide, David Axelrod, once lobbied for Exelon, and Rahm Emanuel, his former White House chief of staff, profited handsomely as an investment banker arranging mergers that created the company.
In his proposed budget, Obama includes $36 billion in industry loan guarantees for new facilities, free money. He’s committed to jump-start new construction, halted since Three Mile Island in 1979. Already takers are lining up, 20 or more applications pending before the NRC.
He and Chu downplay Fukushima, mindless of industry hazards, including 23 US nuclear plants at 16 locations using the same failed GE-designed Mark 1 containment vessels. Earlier the NRC called it susceptible to explosion and failure because of cost-cutting design failures. Its 1985 study warned that failure within the first few hours after a core meltdown was very likely. Its top safety official at the time said it had a 90% probability of failing if an accident caused overheating and melting. When reactor cooling is compromised, the containment vessel is the last line of defense. However, GE’s design is hazardous and unsafe.
No matter. In January 2011, Obama appointed Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s CEO, head of his outside panel of economic advisers, replacing Paul Volcker. He’ll also provide administration energy policy input. For him, Obama, Chu and other administration officials, public health, safety, and environmental protection are secondary to bottom line priorities. Unless popular outrage resists, America faces an inevitable nuclear nightmare, replicating or exceeding Fukushima.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Al-Maqdese for Society Development (MSD) oganization warned that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) took significant steps ”to take control over Arab schools and supervise the educational curriculum” in occupied Jerusalem schools.
It said the move was aimed at “Judaizing and Israelizing” the holy city of Jerusalem.
The education department in Israel’s Jerusalem municipality has recently begun implementing a new decision stating that all schools that receive allowances from it must exclusively purchase books published by the municipality, MSD reported on Thursday.
It “means that the national Palestinian curriculum currently used will be cancelled and replaced with Israeli ones, which erases the Palestinian and Arab identity from the minds of students,” MSD said.
”The decision enables Israeli authorities to supervise programs and funding, control the activities and intervene in the affairs of Arab schools in east Jerusalem,” it added.
MSD said the decision would affect at least 60 percent of Arab schools in Jerusalem.
MSD receives donations from the European union, the UN and other European rights organizations.