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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Dealing drugs may be the only business more profitable than stealing petroleum.

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Afghanistan as a Drug War


Journalist Risen: 'Mercenary Class' Now Permanent Fixture in National Security State

James Risen says American public must question machine that 'feeds off' never-ending war

byAndrea Germanos, staff writer
CommonDreams, Oct. 19, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist James Risen said Sunday that the secretive and multi-billion dollar war on terror has sparked an entire "mercenary class that feeds off unending war."

Risen, who could face prison time for refusing to reveal a source, made the remarks on MSNBC's Up With Steve Kornacki.

"Basically, the entire war on terror has been conducted in secret, and no one in the United states is allowed to know the full extent of what we've been doing for 13 years," Risen said.

That was the motivation for his new book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, he said, to show "that the government has used secrecy in order to allow for ... really a whole string of abuses and bizarre and unintended consequences to develop. And it shows that really, in my opinion, that secrecy only leads to abuse by the government and that we have to have a more open discussion of the war on terror and really have a more skeptical eye to it if we're going to continue to do this," he said.

There's essentially been "a national security crisis, kind of like the banking crisis, where we've deregulated a large enterprise and poured hundreds of billions of dollars into it at the same time, and we've done it in secret."

"The government has stamped 'top secret' on virtually everything," he said.



Japan's timid coverage of Fukushima led this news anchor to revolt — and he's not alone (PRI)

Reporter: Sam Harnett
PRI, October 17, 2014


Japanese journalists did what Tajima calls "announcement journalism" in reporting on the crisis. He says they were reporting the press releases of big companies and the people in power. And he's not the only one who thinks so.

“I am a newscaster, but I couldn't tell the true story on my news program," says Jun Hori, a former anchor for NHK, the Japanese state broadcaster.

Hori says the network restricted what he and other journalists could say about Fukushima and moved more slowly than foreign media to report on the disaster and how far radiation was spreading. The attitude in the newsroom was not to question official information

“I was on the ground in Fukushima, and a lot of people kept asking me, why didn't you tell us earlier about what is happening?” Hori says.

Out of frustration, Hori started tweeting uncensored coverage. “I got a huge response,” he says, “but then my superiors said the NHK was getting complaints from politicians about what I was saying. They told me I had to stop.”

CONTINUED w/audio, video...


Let me explain it to you in simple terms, without links.

President Kennedy valued the lives of all human beings, including communists and people of color.

After his murder, President Kennedy's successors have made war on Congo, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Haiti, El Salvador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and a whole bunch more that you can GOOGLE. That's how they solve problems, with bullets.

'' If Teddy knew the bear trap he was walking into at Chappaquiddick...'' - John Dean

On page 121, White House Tapes Paperback Edition, published by New York Times.

I wonder what Nixon's lawyer meant in 1973, four years afterward? Did he refer to a Secret Team-CIA-mafia hit job Ted survived, like the 1964 plane crash with Birch Bayh? White House tapes also show Nixon went along with assigning a murderous Secret Service agents to "guard" Ted.


Who's been making a killing off war without end for empire of the superrich since Nov. 22, 1963?

Yes, like the time Nixon OK'd assigning a murderous Secret Service agent to protect Ted Kennedy.

Except, that is what is never on Fox News: the Truth.

It's also is a good example of why I never denigrate people with labels, like "CT." It is a loaded term, designed to poison the person as a source of information and news. Here's the treasonous, murderous reality of the "Unindicted Co-Conspirator" of Watergate fame:

Nixon approved hiring a Secret Service man who said he'd 'kill on command' to guard Ted Kennedy. You can hear Nixon and Haldeman discuss it, about 40 minutes into the HBO documentary "Nixon by Nixon." While I had read the part of the transcript available years ago, and wrote about it on DU, almost no one I know has heard anything about it.

Ted Kennedy survived Richard Nixon's Plots

By Don Fulsom

In September 1972, Nixon’s continued political fear, personal loathing, and jealously of Kennedy led him to plant a spy in Kennedy’s Secret Service detail.

The mole Nixon selected for the Kennedy camp was already being groomed. He was a former agent from his Nixon’s vice presidential detail, Robert Newbrand—a man so loyal he once pledged he would do anything—even kill—for Nixon.

The President was most interested in learning about the Sen. Kennedy’s sex life. He wanted, more than anything, stated Haldeman in The Ends of Power, to “catch (Kennedy) in the sack with one of his babes.”

In a recently transcribed tape of a September 8, 1972 talk among the President and aides Bob Haldeman and Alexander Butterfield, Nixon asks whether Secret Service chief James Rowley would appoint Newbrand to head Kennedy’s detail:

Haldeman: He's to assign Newbrand.

President Nixon: Does he understand that he's to do that?

Butterfield: He's effectively already done it. And we have a full force assigned, 40 men.

Haldeman: I told them to put a big detail on him (unclear).

President Nixon: A big detail is correct. One that can cover him around the clock, every place he goes. (Laughter obscures mixed voices.)

President Nixon: Right. No, that's really true. He has got to have the same coverage that we give the others, because we're concerned about security and we will not assume the responsibility unless we're with him all the time.

Haldeman: And Amanda Burden (one of Kennedy’s alleged girlfriends) can't be trusted. (Unclear.) You never know what she might do. (Unclear.)

Haldeman then assures the President that Newbrand “will do anything that I tell him to … He really will. And he has come to me twice and absolutely, sincerely said, "With what you've done for me and what the President's done for me, I just want you to know, if you want someone killed, if you want anything else done, any way, any direction …"

President Nixon: The thing that I (unclear) is this: We just might get lucky and catch this son-of-a-bitch and ruin him for '76.

Haldeman: That's right.

President Nixon: He doesn't know what he's really getting into. We're going to cover him, and we are not going to take "no" for an answer. He can't say "no." The Kennedys are arrogant as hell with these Secret Service. He says, "Fine," and (Newbrand) should pick the detail, too.

Toward the end of this conversation, Nixon exclaims that Newbrand’s spying “(is) going to be fun,” and Haldeman responds: “Newbrand will just love it.”

Nixon also had a surveillance tip for Haldeman for his spy-to-be: “I want you to tell Newbrand if you will that (unclear) because he's a Catholic, sort of play it, he was for Jack Kennedy all the time. Play up to Kennedy, that "I'm a great admirer of Jack Kennedy." He's a member of the Holy Name Society. He wears a St. Christopher (unclear).” Haldeman laughs heartily at the President’s curious advice.

Despite the enthusiasm of Nixon and Haldeman, Newbrand apparently never produced anything of great value. When this particular round of Nixon’s spying on Kennedy was uncovered in 1997, The Washington Post quoted Butterfield as saying periodic reports on Kennedy's activities were delivered to Haldeman, but that Butterfield did not think any potentially damaging information was ever dug up.



Why does that matter? The Warren Commission, and the nation's mass media, never heard about the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro until the Church Committee in 1975. You'd think that would be a matter of concern to all Americans, especially considering how then-vice president Nixon was head of the "White House Action Team" that contacted the Mafia for murder.

This is the sort of information citizens of a democracy shouldn't have to search the Internet to learn. It should be taught in school, or at the least, discussed in the nation's mass media. I certainly think it's unfair for people -- especially those who consider themselves Democrats or democrats -- to label those interested in such subjects "Conspiracy Theorists."

(In the voice of SPECTRE No. 1) ''Imagine how many Apple Computers that knowledge represents?''

Know your BFEE: The Carlyle Group owns Booz Allen Hamilton.

Fukushima: They Knew

From Greg Palast*

Fukushima: They Knew

This month marks the 3rd Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear disaster.

By Greg Palast for FreePress.org
Monday, March 10, 2014


I was ready to vomit. Because I knew who had designed the plant, who had built it and whom Tokyo Electric Power was having rebuild it: Shaw Construction. The latest alias of Stone & Webster, the designated builder for every one of the four new nuclear plants that the Obama Administration has approved for billions in federal studies.

But I had The Notebook, the diaries of the earthquake inspector for the company. I'd squirreled it out sometime before the Trade Center went down. I shouldn't have done that. Too bad.

All field engineers keep a diary. Gordon Dick, a supervisor, wasn’t sup- posed to show his to us. I asked him to show it to us and, reluctantly, he directed me to these notes about the “SQ” tests.

SQ is nuclear-speak for “Seismic Qualification.” A seismically qualified nuclear plant won’t melt down if you shake it. A “seismic event” can be an earthquake or a Christmas present from Al Qaeda. You can’t run a nuclear reactor in the USA or Europe or Japan without certified SQ.

This much is clear from his notebook: This nuclear plant will melt down in an earthquake. The plant dismally failed to meet the Seismic I (shaking) standards required by U.S. and international rules.

Here’s what we learned: Dick’s subordinate at the nuclear plant, Robert Wiesel, conducted the standard seismic review. Wiesel flunked his company. No good. Dick then ordered Wiesel to change his report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, change it from failed to passed. Dick didn’t want to make Wiesel do it, but Dick was under the gun himself, acting on direct command from corporate chiefs. From The Notebook:

Wiesel was very upset. He seemed very nervous. Very agitated. [He said,] “I believe these are bad results and I believe it’s reportable,” and then he took the volume of federal regulations from the shelf and went to section 50.55(e), which describes reportable deficiencies at a nuclear plant and [they] read the section together, with Wiesel pointing to the appropriate paragraphs that federal law clearly required [them and the company] to report the Category II, Seismic I deficiencies.

Wiesel then expressed his concern that he was afraid that if he [Wiesel] reported the deficiencies, he would be fired, but that if he didn’t report the deficiencies, he would be breaking a federal law. . . .



Which is why TEPCO, Japan, Nuke Inc and the USA went out of their way the other day to play up the tsunami's role:

Tsunami, not Quake, Seen as Main Cause of Fukushima Accident

by Mari Iwata
Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 2014

Japan’s nuclear regulator said Wednesday that the tsunami following the March 11, 2011, earthquake–not the quake itself–was the main cause of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The conclusion matters because of the implications for other nuclear-power plants. Virtually all of Japan is prone to earthquakes, but some places are relatively protected from tsunamis. Currently all of the nation’s 48 reactors are offline, and the government is weighing whether to restart some next year.

In the March 2011 nuclear accident, three reactors melted down after the plant lost main and backup power, paralyzing cooling systems.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority studied why the No.1 reactor lost backup power and concluded on Wednesday in a report that the tsunami was the main cause, based on data about temperature, pressure and other parameters. Those data were stable immediately after the earthquake hit at 2:46 p.m., suggesting the plant didn’t suffer critical damage until the arrival of the tsunami some 45 minutes later.

A previous investigation by Japan’s parliament had left more room for the possibility that the earthquake itself did significant damage.

The regulator said it would translate the report into English and post it on its website. The Japanese-language version is here.

“You cannot say there was no damage by the earthquake at all. But you can say the major cause was the tsunami, looking at the data,” said Tamotsu Kozaki, a nuclear engineering professor of the Hokkaido University.



Which is not what the scientists said, way back when they were warning TEPCO, which elected to take the cheapskate's way out.

Here's a bit to add to the atomic pile:

Masanobu Shishikura: The Man Who Predicted the Tsunami in 2009.

British scientist 'predicted nuclear power station problem'

Toshiaki Sakai: Utility Engineer Warned of Tsunami Threat at Japanese Nuclear Plant in 2007

Apart from venting hot air in committee meetings, TEPCO did nothing, and hoped for the best.

* Greg Palast is recovering from open heart surgery. DUers who appreciate journalism may want to send get-well wishes: http://www.gregpalast.com/.

War on Democracy (by John Pilger)

You ask an important question - one that has not been addressed by government, academia or industry.

I wish I could answer it, but the literature is incomplete and, for some odd reason, the funding's not there on both sides of the Pacific. Japan today censors news about Fukushima and the amount of radiation TEPCO continues to spill into the planet's ecosphere is unknown.

Ocean water off La Jolla coast being monitored (and not) for Fukushima radiation

By Pat Sherman
La Jolla Light, Feb. 4, 2014


In 2011 Thiemens and a crew of UCSD atmospheric chemists reported the first quantitative measurement of the amount of radiation leaked from the damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami there.

Their estimate was based on radioactive sulfur that wafted across the Pacific Ocean after operators of the damaged reactor had to cool overheated fuel with seawater — causing a chemical reaction between byproducts of nuclear fission and chlorine ions in the saltwater.

Thiemens has, for the past several years, unsuccessfully sought to obtain grant funding to follow-up his research, first reported on Aug. 15 2011 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

[font color="red"]However, he said neither the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board or National Academy of Sciences (of which he is a member) were interested in funding additional research to measure the Fukushima fallout[/font color].

“It’s probably one of these things that just fell through the cracks,” Thiemens said. “It doesn’t quite fall under classical (research criteria).”



Better to know what might be a problem than be ignorant of what is a problem. As for those who want to keep everybody in the dark, they are most undemocratic, among other things.
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