Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fears Marshall Island atomic waste leaking

ABC PM - Monday, 18 August , 2008 18:42:00
Reporter: Mark Colvin
MARK COLVIN: Time and distance have allowed the world to forget, for the most part, what happened in the Bikini and Eniwetok atolls in the Marshall Islands far to Australia's north-east in the 1940s and 50s.

Everyone knows the name "bikini" as a swimsuit, but there's little memory of the 23 atomic bomb tests the United States carried out at Bikini, which sent the islanders into permanent exile. At the Eniwetok atoll, despite 43 bomb tests, people started returning in the 70s.

In an attempt to protect them, the Americans gathered up the irradiated waste from the different islands, mixed it with concrete and buried it in one of the bomb craters. Now there are claims that that storage area may be leaking.

They come in an article by Hong Kong freelancer Ivan Broadhead, who went to Eniwetok for the South China Morning Post and wrote an article about the nuclear fears for the Fairfax papers.

IVAN BROADHEAD: The dome is an enormous structure. If you can imagine a headland on a beautiful atoll in the Pacific Ocean with what essential looks like a UFO or a spaceship just planted on the end of it. It's made of concrete and it's at least 30 feet high and inside lie about around about three million cubic feet of radioactive waste.

MARK COLVIN: And you say it's enormous. I mean, is it a couple of football fields across?

IVAN BROADHEAD: It's, you're standing on the top of it, and put it like this, you can see the Pacific Ocean, a lot of it, and you can see a beautiful lagoon that the atolls encircled. The dome is built in a nuclear crater, one of the eight bomb blasts that took place on Runit Island, was, well the cactus, the cactus bomb, now that blew an enormous hole in the reef and the Americans decided that what they would do in the 1970s was collect up all the radioactive waste that was scattered around Eniwetok atoll and since we'd buried it in this bomb crater that was left from the 1950s.

MARK COLVIN: So they'd created a hole, they filled in with the nuclear waste, and then they plugged it over with this big concrete ceiling?

IVAN BROADHEAD: The crater itself wasn't sufficient, wasn't adequate to take all the waste, and so they kept towering it, building it up, and eventually towered 30 feet high and they sealed with a concrete cap, which is the dome that remains visible to this day.

MARK COLVIN: But you say that there is a problem with the concrete cap.

IVAN BROADHEAD: There's a rather grave problem. Now you have to bear in mind that inside the dome lies, in millions of cubic feet of radioactive waste. Now, in the context that is was only built in 1979, there is absolutely no way that the dome is going to survive if indeed, as rumour suggested, there were cracks in the structure. And part of my investigation involves going up to the island and to checking essentially on whether or not these cracks actually existed.

MARK COLVIN: And did they

IVAN BROADHEAD: The cracks do exist, Mark. The United States Department of Energy, which was involved in building the dome, said that there were only hair-like cracks. Now, that comment is based on the report that they did 18 years ago, which was the last time the sent an engineer to visit the dome. And then after our visit, it turns out that the DOE was actually sending out another engineer for the first visit in 18 years, as I said, who's to go and have an inspection. I've been in touch with the DOE since then, and they insist that the cracks remain hair-line.

MARK COLVIN: But what did you see with your eyes? How big are these cracks?

IVAN BROADHEAD: I would, if I could give you an illustration for instance, I can put my, I can clearly put my index finger within some of the cracks. There are spores or chips, I think engineers use the word "spores", there are chips in the structure itself which are deep enough for the bird population of the island to lay eggs in.

MARK COLVIN: That leads us to the question of what affect it's having on the wildlife, on the water, on the air, what are the radiation tests showing?

More info at link

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quad a handful! - two sets of twins give lesbian IVF couple quadruplets

By Daily Mail Reporter

Sitting on their mothers' knees, they could be any ordinary babies.

But these two sets of twins, born to Karen Wesolowski and Martha Padgett, are actually quadruplets.

The babies are related because they were created from Miss Padgett's eggs and donor sperm using IVF treatment. Two embryos were then implanted in each woman.
IVF lesbians and quads.

Friday, June 27, 2008

United States and Israel against Iran

Gareth Porter's ZSpace Page

Join ZSpace

Dennis Bernstein: We focus on potential war by the United States and Israel against Iran. We're watching that closely. The drums of war are beating again in the Middle East, as we say. And the war that may be brewing between Israel and the U.S. and Iran has the potential to dwarf the consequences of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as deadly and horrific as that's been. The latest warning sign came in the New York Times reported last Friday that in early June, Israel had carried out a major military exercise. U.S. officials called it "a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities." The exercise involved more than a hundred Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters. The same week, Germany's Der Spiegel reported that Israel's leadership has concluded that diplomacy has failed to stop Iran's nuclear program and that military action is unavoidable, a warning that was earlier sounded by the German foreign minister. These ominous developments come after months of escalating threats and charges by the U.S. and Israel against Iran for its actions in Iraq and Lebanon and Gaza and for supposedly pursuing nuclear weapons despite repeated international atomic agency findings to the contrary. Top Bush officials have taken trips to the region, perhaps for military consultations. Andrew Cockburn reports that earlier this year, the Bush administration secretly authorized a sweeping covert action program against Iran, including assassinating officials. And there have been reports in The Asian Times, the Times of London, and by former CIA officer Philip Giraldi that a U.S. strike on Revolutionary Guard camps inside Iran has already been authorized. So is this all for show simply to pressure Iran or is a war really possible?

With us to examine these developments is Gareth Porter. He is the author of Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. He is a contributor to InterPress News Service, The American Prospect, The Nation, and Salon.com...

Gareth Porter, it is good to have you in the studio... You've done some interesting investigations in terms of what has been leading up to this, and the role that the U.S. is playing with Israel in a potential attack on Iran. In particular, you found out and wrote about how Cheney and his allies actually tried to win approval for strikes against Iran's Revolutionary Guard camps last August. Can you talk about this incident and why there was a little bit of restraint?

Gareth Porter: Right. This is, I think, very important for the simple reason that it does provide a kind of smoking gun evidence, if you will, that this whole unfolding threat to Iran has not been simply a psyops, simply an intimidation operation. We know now for a fact that Dick Cheney did, in fact, propose within the Administration that they attack Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran that were supposedly connected with supplying or training the Iraqi Shiite militiamen coming back to Iraq to fight U.S. occupation forces. And this would be done if and when they could get some kind of concrete evidence that would basically convict the Iranians of some direct involvement in the fight in Iraq.

What we now know is that the Pentagon responded to that proposal very quickly and very strongly by arguing that it's not going to be on to simply go out and launch a so-called limited strike without considering what is going to be the consequence of that in terms of escalation on the Iranian side and then what are we going to do, assuming as they did assume, that the Iranians would in fact respond by targeting probably American bases, American personnel in the Middle East and probably in Iraq. And assuming that, then what would the United States do in response and how far are we going to go up the escalatory ladder?

That was the issue that they raised, according to a former State Department official who went on the record with me: Jay Scott Carpenter. This is the first time that a former Bush administration official had actually gone on the record and said yes, there was in fact not only a Cheney proposal officially within the Administration, but a very important and very high-level debate over that. And the result of it was, in effect, that the Pentagon -- and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were supporting them on this, according to Jay Scott Carpenter. They supported the Pentagon officials who said, "No, we can't do this without figuring out how far we're going to go", and the implication being that we're not going to support an all-out war with Iran, which would -- certainly, the obvious implication that was being drawn from the Cheney proposal, that that's what he really wanted.

Dennis Bernstein: Any sense how close Cheney got to having his way?

Gareth Porter: No, you can't really find out from a single source who was obviously getting this somewhat indirectly, because he was not personally involved in the meetings themselves, just how close we might have come to that. But the impression that I got was that the response was so negative and so strong, and that it was so unanimous within the Pentagon, including the military leadership, that Cheney was really put on the defensive, that he did not have the kind of arguments that he could come back with to basically counter this very strong argument by the Pentagon against his proposal. But what I did point out in my article is that this was the second time that Cheney had been, in a way, checkmated or stopped by the National Security bureaucracy in Washington - if you will, the permanent government - from making moves toward sort of setting up a war with Iran.

The first time was in early 2007. It was in February 2007 - or January/February 2007 - when Cheney essentially ordered the military in Baghdad to put out a briefing that would essentially take the position that Iran had been manufacturing these explosively formed projectiles which were armor-penetrating explosives, which were killing American troops in Iraq. And he was arguing that Iran is really fighting a proxy war by supplying these to the Iraqi Shiite militia. Well, the Defense Department, the State Department, and the NSC all said, "We can't say that. There's no evidence for it. And we've already been through this once with Iraq. And we'll all have egg all over our faces and our credibility will be shot." And so they said no to that. And so it looked like Cheney was checkmated because it went into the interagency process and essentially they sent the briefing back to the authors and said, "Do it again and do it right so that it's consistent with the evidence." Well, this time, in February 2007, Cheney did an end-run around the bureaucracy by getting Petraeus, who was going out to become the top commander in Baghdad of the U.S. forces, to agree that as soon as he arrived, they would, in fact, give that same military briefing that gave the Cheney line that the bureaucrats said no to. And that's exactly what happened. Within 24 hours of Petraeus's arrival in Baghdad and his taking over the command of U.S. forces, that briefing was given. The State Department, I guarantee you, did not know it was coming until two days beforehand.

Dennis Bernstein: Now you're saying then, you are suggesting - or more - that General Petraeus was an active player, that he was a willing partner in what appears to be a Cheney operation or deception.

Gareth Porter: Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind.

Dennis Bernstein: Say a little more about that.

Gareth Porter: Clearly, what happened was that Petraeus, when he got his job, it was on the condition that he would support the Bush-Cheney policy, both in Iraq and with regard to Iran. And that's exactly what happened. When he went out there, from the White House, from the Cheney wing of the White House, to have the military briefers give that briefing, which had been vetoed in Washington.

Now, that was just the first step in this. We later see Petraeus in September of 2007, after he's been out there several months, give an interview with Brit Hume of Fox News Television in which he said - I won't try to put forward the same words that he used - but he said, in effect, that we have been saying to the White House and to CENTCOM that we need to do something about the allegation or reality of Iranian interference in Iraq, implying very clearly that he was supporting the Cheney proposal to attach the Iranian bases, which are connected, supposedly, with that issue.

Dennis Bernstein: And, of course, given the short tenure that he had in Iraq, it gives one the impression that he was really an agent in this process. So he gets in, he does a few things, and then he's kicked upstairs. That was very interesting. Everybody wondered if he was so successful, so effective, The Man, then why did they take him out so fast? But maybe he had a mission.

Gareth Porter: He is not an independent actor. Petraeus is a man who has been sent to Iraq to carry out the policy of the Bush White House, and he will do the same thing on Iran. And that is why his being named to replace, in effect, Admiral Fallon as commander of CENTCOM is so important and why it sets up a situation in which Cheney and Bush can do an end-run around the opponents of war with Iran in Washington.

Dennis Bernstein: And, of course, you take out the unwilling general and you put in the willing general.

Gareth Porter: Exactly. And he's arriving - and this is very important - the timing of his arrival is late summer, early fall. It's going to be August or September. So I think that we can say that the period of maximum danger about U.S. intentions -- which I think that there is a serious possibility that they do intend to attach Iran - it will be after the arrival at CENTCOM in Tampa of General Petraeus in later summer or early fall.

Dennis Bernstein: ...We did hear - and Reese Ehrlich did some significant reporting on what was happening at the border, and the fact that the United States, with Israeli intelligence such as Mossad, were already busy going back and forth over the border. There was a great deal of counterinsurgencies. There are connections between what was going on there and this.

Gareth Porter: If you mean the connection between the Israeli role in Iraq and Iran, of course they're connected in the sense that Israel is very deeply involved in all of the Cheney -Bush policies in the Middle East. There's a very, very close working collaboration across the board, whether it's Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, or other parts of the Middle East. They are very, very closely working together on a common strategy. At least they discuss common strategies. That is not to say that everything Israel does has been planned ahead of time by the White House with the Israelis. In fact, the White House neocons, including Cheney, wanted Israel to go much farther in 2006 than they actually did. They wanted them to take down the Syrian regime instead of stopping in Lebanon. So there's not a perfect correlation, by any means.

Dennis Bernstein:
Now following up right on that, that brings us to these recent exercises. The United States reported them as if they were surprises. It's like, oh, they'd better tell the New York Times that Israel did an exercise because they didn't know it was happening. Let's talk about what this exercise has to do with the relationship between the U.S. and their push toward war in Iran. What about this

Gareth Porter: First of all, I think we have to see that the purpose of this story -- from both Israeli and Bush Administration point of view - was to implicate the United States more deeply in the Israeli policy, to give the appearance to the world and to the American people that the Bush Administration is speaking, not on behalf of Israel, but speaking with Israel, announcing that this is taking place and giving it their interpretation, in a way that was useful to Israel.

But there's a second point here that I think you also need to keep in mind. That is that Israel is not likely to strike Iran without the direct involvement, militarily, of the United States. The United States will be involved in some way if Israel strikes Iran, whether it's sending American bombers or simply providing the intelligence and other support for an Israel strike. They have to do it with the Americans; they can't do it successfully without the Americans.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Depleted Uranium Dust - Public Health Disaster For The People Of Iraq and Afghanistan

Depleted Uranium Shells Used by U.S. Military Worse Than Nuclear Weapons

hat tip ~ http://www.sott.net/

by David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the U.S. military may lead to a death toll far higher than that from the nuclear bombs dropped at the end of World War II.

DU is a waste product of uranium enrichment, containing approximately one-third the radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium. Because of its high density, it is used in armor- or tank-piercing ammunition. It has been fired by the U.S. and British militaries in the two Iraq wars and in Afghanistan, as well as by NATO forces in Kosovo and the Israeli military in Lebanon and Palestine.

Inhaled or ingested DU particles are highly toxic, and DU has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has estimated that 50 tons of DU dust from the first Gulf War could lead to 500,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000. To date, a total of 2,000 tons have been generated in the Middle East.

In contrast, approximately 250,000 lives were claimed by the explosions and radiation released by the nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991,” said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. “The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.”

Because DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the Middle East will, for all practical purposes, be radioactive forever.

The two U.S. wars in Iraq “have been nuclear wars because they have scattered nuclear material across the land, and people, particularly children, are condemned to die of malignancy and congenital disease essentially for eternity,” said anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott.

Since the first Gulf War, the rate of birth defects and childhood cancer in Iraq has increased by seven times. More than 35 percent (251,000) of U.S. Gulf War veterans are dead or on permanent medical disability, compared with only 400 who were killed during the conflict.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

British coroner investigating deadly 2006 military crash in Afghanistan says Nimrod spyplanes were never airworthy

May 23, 2008

LONDON – A British coroner investigating the deaths of 14 military personnel in a 2006 plane crash in Afghanistan said Friday that the Nimrod spy planes were never airworthy.

Fourteen servicemen died when a Nimrod MR2 on an intelligence-gathering mission exploded following air-to-air refueling near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in September 2006.

The crash killed 12 crew members, a Royal Marine and an army soldier – the British military's biggest loss of life in a single incident since the 1982 Falklands War.

The plane was part of a fleet of 15 aging Nimrod MR2 aircraft originally due to go out of service a decade ago. The planes had suffered a series of fuel leaks and other mechanical problems but has served as surveillance aircraft operating over land, particularly in Afghanistan.

“The aircraft was never airworthy from the first release to service in 1969,” said Coroner Andrew Walker, who is holding an inquest into the military deaths.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Imported toys from China with dangerous levels of lead end up in stores

Poisoning Young Children of the World"

See Toxic Toys:A Poisonous Affair

Recall News From U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Duration January 4th to January 30th 2008. This is a list of children's toys "only" there are many more items being recalled due violation of lead Paint Standards. One must wonder if this is only a sample check of imports how many items are getting through unchecked.

1. Toy Wagons Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.
2. Coin Banks Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.
3. Toy Wrestler Figures Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.
4. Cranium Cadoo Board Games Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.
5. Toy Racing Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.
6. Toy Wooden Block and Train Sets Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.
7. Dora the Explorer Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard.

Fisher Price is recalling almost one million toys because of high lead levels.

The Great Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Hoax Exposed