Brussels Terrorists Planned Nuclear Plants Attack, Changed Target After Accomplice’s Arrest

brussels nuclear plant

Brussels suicide bombers Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui were planning attacks on Belgian nuclear power stations, Dernier Heure newspaper reported. The newspaper exclusively reported that the arrest of Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam accelerated the plans of the terrorists. The brothers planted a hidden camera in front of the home of the director of the Belgian nuclear research program, the paper said.  Continue reading

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US-South Korean Militaries Rehearse Pre-emptive Nuclear Strikes on North Korea

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Massive joint US-South Korean military exercises began yesterday under conditions of high tension on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and rocket launch last month. Under pressure from Washington, the UN Security Council last week imposed the most far-reaching sanctions to date on Pyongyang that will limit its mineral exports and compound the economic crisis wracking the unstable regime.  Continue reading

200 US Nuclear Bombs Deployed in Europe

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About 200 US nuclear bombs are deployed in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

“About 200 US nuclear bombs are currently deployed in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. This nuclear ordnance is also subject to a renewal program,” Shoigu said.

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What’s Really Going On At Fukushima?

Fukushima-Meltdown

Fukushima’s still radiating, self-perpetuating, immeasurable, and limitless, like a horrible incorrigible Doctor Who monster encounter in deep space.

Fukushima will likely go down in history as the biggest cover-up of the 21st Century. Governments and corporations are not leveling with citizens about the risks and dangers; similarly, truth itself, as an ethical standard, is at risk of going to shambles as the glue that holds together the trust and belief in society’s institutions. Ultimately, this is an example of how societies fail.

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West Coast of North America to be Slammed by 2016 with 80% As Much Fukushima Radiation As Japan

FukushimaA professor from Japan’s Fukushima University Institute of Environmental Radioactivity (Michio Aoyama) told Kyodo in April that the West Coast of North America will be hit with around 800 terabecquerels of Cesium- 137 by 2016.

EneNews notes that this is 80% of the cesium-137 deposited in Japan by Fukushima,according to the company which runs Fukushima, Tepco:

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Depleted uranium used by US forces blamed for birth defects and cancer in Iraq

25mm rounds of depleted uranium ammunition (AFP Photo / Stan Honda)

(RT) Cancer is more common than flu in the Iraqi city of Najaf, about 160 km south of Baghdad, one local doctor told RT. After the start of the war rates of leukemia and birth defects “rose dramatically” due to use of depleted uranium by the US military. Continue reading

Authorities Hunting for Nuclear Device Lost in West Virginia

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RT
May 16, 2013

Update: Device is still lost, however more information has surfaced.  We now know that it was lost along Interstate 81 between mile markers 17 and 24.

The truck was transporting the device for the Pennsylvania firm Valley Quarries Inc. – a company licensed to possess and use the gauge. The company had been using the instrument in West Virginia at the time it was lost, and is desperately seeking to find it

Department of Environmental Protection officials said Tuesday that after one of its employees was taking a reading with the job, he placed the gauge in his pickup truck to drive to another site.

“Once he arrived, the gauge user realized the truck’s rear gate had opened and the device was missing,” DEP spokeswoman Lisa Kasianowitz told The Times Online. “Further, the gauge was not in its shipping container. The gauge user and a coworker promptly drove back along the route just traveled but were unable to find the device.”

Officials are now warning people to be on the lookout for a device that could pose dangerous health and contamination risks to the public.

“It is critical for anyone who has information about the lost nuclear gauge to contact the Pennsylvania DEP, Nuclear Regulatory Commission or a local law enforcement agency immediately. As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it presents no hazard to public safety,” the DEP Bureau of Radiation Protect David Allard said in a press release.

The nuclear density gauge contains radioactive material, which directs particles and counts those that are reflected or passed through material to measure density. In the construction industry, these gauges are used to create suitable soil environments to build roads and structures.

When left intact, the gauges are safe to handle. But anyone who tampers with them risks serious radioactive contamination and exposure.

Police are urging anyone who finds the gauge – which is bright yellow and the size of a shoebox – to call 911 or contact the Pennsylvania DEP.  The gauge is a Troxler Model 3430 with serial number 32506. It contains about 8 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries of americium-241. Cesium-137 is the principle source of radiation in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which was designated for evacuation and placed under military control after the 1986 nuclear accident.

Valley Quarries is offering an unspecified reward for information leading to the return of their device. One of the company’s safety officer’s told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that he saw someone stop along the road, pick up and drive off with a device that appeared to be a gauge.

Losing a nuclear gauge is no small matter, and generally triggers statewide police searches to find the missing device. In January 2010, Pennsylvania state police reported that a nuclear gauge disappeared from a facility in Coraopolis, and that tampering with it could release dangerous radioactive material. The company that owned the device offered a $1,000 reward to anyone providing information leading to its return. The gauge was recovered about a week later, after a road crew discovered the device on the side of a street.

In December 2010, a nuclear density gauge was stolen from a car in Bloomfield, Conn. The company that lost it offered a $500 reward for the return of the equipment. The device was eventually recovered, but police did not report how the company regained it.

Nuclear density gauges cost around $4,000 each and contain radioactive material that could pose risks to anyone that tampers with them.

Fukushima nuclear plant cleanup may take more than 40 years: IAEA

A U.N. nuclear watchdog team said Japan may need longer than the projected 40 years to decommission the Fukushima power plant and urged Tepco to improve stability at the facility.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency team, Juan Carlos Lentijo, said Monday that damage at the nuclear plant is so complex that it is impossible to predict how long the cleanup may last.

“As for the duration of the decommissioning project, this is something that you can define in your plans. But in my view, it will be nearly impossible to ensure the time for decommissioning such a complex facility in less than 30 to 40 years as it is currently established in the road map,” Lentijo said.

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. have predicted the cleanup would take up to 40 years. They still have to develop technology and equipment that can operate under fatally high radiation levels to locate and remove melted fuel. The reactors must be kept cool and the plant must stay safe and stable, and those efforts to ensure safety could slow the process down.

The plant still runs on makeshift equipment and frequently suffers glitches.

Just over the past few weeks, the plant suffered nearly a dozen problems ranging from extensive power outages to leaks of highly radioactive water from underground water pools. On Monday, Tepco had to stop the cooling system for one of the fuel storage pools for safety checks after finding two dead rats inside a transformer box.

Earlier this month, a rat short-circuited a switchboard, causing an extensive outage and cooling loss for up to 30 hours.

Lentijo said water management is “probably the most challenging” task for the plant for now.

The problems have raised concerns about whether the plant, crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, can stay intact throughout a decommissioning process. The problems have prompted officials to compile risk-reduction measures and review decommissioning plans.

Lentijo, an expert on nuclear fuel cycles and waste technology, warned of more problems to come.

“It is expectable in such a complex site, additional incidents will occur as it happened in the nuclear plants under normal operations,” Lentijo said. “It is important to have a very good capability to identify as promptly as possible failures and to establish compensatory measures.”

He said Tepco’s disclosures have been problematic and urged the utility to take extra steps to regain public trust.

The IAEA team urged the utility to “improve the reliability of essential systems to assess the structural integrity of site facilities, and to enhance protection against external hazards” and promptly replace temporary equipment with a reliable, permanent system.

 

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/24/national/fukushima-nuclear-plant-cleanup-may-take-more-than-40-years-iaea/#.UXlNNUp4-MR

Majority of Latin Americans believe Iran poses no threat to Mideast

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Source: Press TV

(Considering Iran has not waged an aggressive war with a neighboring country in over 200 years, when it was more accurately known as “Persia”, and the fact that the country is literally SURROUNDED by U.S. military bases leads me to the conclusion that the average Latin American’s position on this matter is very sound indeed!)

A total of 1700 adults in six countries, including Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru participated in the poll, which was conducted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti through face-to-face interviews from March 2 to March 5, 2013.

The news agency released the results of the poll on April 12, 2013. The respondents were asked whether Iran poses any threat to the stability of the Middle East. The results showed that a staggering 89 percent of the respondents considered Iran as no threat to the region. A mere eight percent believed otherwise, while three percent answered, “I don’t know.” The Islamic Republic has been seeking to expand relations with Latin American countries over the past years, describing the endeavor as one of its major foreign policy strategies. Iran’s growing popularity in Latin America has raised major concerns in the US, which regards the region as its strategic backyard and traditional sphere of influence. In December 2012, the US President Barack Obama enacted a law “aimed at countering Tehran’s alleged influence in Latin America.”

Dubbed as ‘Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012,’ the act calls for the US State Department to develop a plan within 180 days to “address Iran’s growing hostile presence and activity” in Latin America.

North Korea lists conditions for talks

Kim Jong-Un via AFP

 

North Korea laid out conditions Thursday for any talks with Seoul or Washington, including the withdrawal of UN sanctions and a guaranteed end to South Korea-US joint military drills.

“If the US and the South enemies… genuinely want dialogue and negotiation, they should take these steps,” the North’s National Defense Commission said in statement.

 

 

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/18/north-korea-lists-conditions-for-talks/

Obama Approves Raising Permissible Levels of Nuclear Radiation in Drinking Water. Civilian Cancer Deaths Expected to Skyrocket

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Civilian Cancer Deaths Expected to Skyrocket Following Radiological Incidents

radiation5The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version given approval late last Friday is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects:

In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period;

  • In water, the PAGs punt on an exact new standard and EPA “continues to seek input on this.” But the thrust of the PAGs is to give on-site authorities much greater “flexibility” in setting aside established limits; and
  • Resolves an internal fight inside EPA between nuclear versus public health specialists in favor of the former. The PAGs are the product of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator is taken up this week by the Senate.
  • Despite the years-long internal fight, this is the first public official display of these guides. This takes place as Japan grapples with these same issues in the two years following its Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then EPA is in for a long, dirty slog,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the EPA package lacks a cogent rationale, is largely impenetrable and hinges on a series of euphemistic “weasel words.”

“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”

Reportedly, the PAGs had been approved last fall but their publication was held until after the presidential election. The rationale for timing their release right before McCarthy’s confirmation hearing is unclear.

Since the PAGs guide agency decision-making and do not formally set standards or repeal statutory requirements, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund, they will go into full effect following a short public comment period. Nonetheless, the PAGs will likely determine what actions take place on the ground in the days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years following a radiological emergency.

Source: Global Research


 

 

 

North Korean “state of war” declaration is a faulty translation and NOT official policy statement from Kim Jung Un

 

“from that time” becomes “from this time on”  and “from this moment“… little change, big difference

As much as our leaders would like them to have taken the bait, North Korea has not declared war on the South or the U.S. in response to our unprecedented provocations. So when all else fails, leave it to yellow journalism like this piece of work from the New York Times or this obviously Photoshopped image that came out this past week.

The much touted “state of war” declaration is not a declaration of war from Kim Jung Un but rather a statement of support for whatever decision he has too make from the “the government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK.” It claims only they will declare themselves in a state of war WHEN their leader makes that decisionshowing they are completely behind him. It is a statement of support from the people and perhaps a warning to the South that the North will not fold under their attack. But not a declaration of war from Kim Jung Un.

There is a campaign of propaganda underway this week in Korea and I will show you that this latest crisis is nothing more than a continuation of that warmongering effort.

 

It’s being reported across the globe that “North Korea” made these statements in a recent official release via state media Korean Central News Agency :

From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly,” Ria Novoski

“Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war,” Huffington Post

From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly,” Reuters via Prison Planet

As you can see, this rhetoric spans quite a wide political divide from the fake alternative left to the equally fake alternative right and very thing in between. CNNFox,NBC News all of them are reporting this crucial development as fact.

Trouble is, it may be another lie. It’s hard to say because no one links to the actual original source of this statement. Also important to note, which is not being covered by most outlets, the statement is NOT from the usual official offices of the North Korean government but rather from “the government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK” and what that means is, it’s not so much a declaration of war as it is a statement to show  the unified resolve of the North Korean people against the aggressive stance and provocations undertaken by the South Koreans and their masters, the United States.

But with that in mind, it may not even be an accurate translation of the statement.

Ria Novosti, to their credit, caught the “mistake” from the AFP and published a retraction calling it a “faulty translation”. A noncommittal way of saying a “lie” I suppose. “Faulty” is right.

Later on Saturday, however, Russian media reported that a faulty translation might have been to blame for this apparent uptick in bellicose rhetoric.

The North Korean original statement apparently stressed that the country would act “in accordance with wartime laws” if attacked, and that “from that time, North-South relations will enter a state of war.” Ria Novosti

What they are saying is if they are attacked they will be ready to enter “the state of war” with the South and their puppet masters the United States.

Seems quite rational when you consider the fact that the Unites States is running practice drills dropping dud tactical nukes on islands off the shores of North Korea. Were the North Koreans to have done that off our shores, Shock and Awe would have already begun. Hell, we claim the “right” to “pre-emptive warfare” on other countries and millions of people are dead and suffering as a result right now.

This interpretation of their quote also blends seamlessly into what appears to be the North Korean’s official position gleaned from several other quotes released on the official media site.

“He declared the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK would react to the U.S. nuclear blackmail with a merciless nuclear attack, and war of aggression with an all-out war of justice.”

“The army and people of the DPRK are full of the spirit to defend the countryas was displayed in the 1950s.” KCNA

“The powerful countermeasures of the DPRK to defend the sovereignty are a manifestation of the firm will of its army and people to defend the countryand socialism at the cost of their lives from the hostile forces’ aggression moves.” KCNA

If the enemies finally ignite a war of aggression, they will turn to ashes without having time to regret themselves over not paying due heed to the significant warning issued by the Supreme Command of KPA that they will have hardest time with their destiny at stake the moment they make a provocation.

The strong countermeasures taken by the DPRK are not to threaten others but to defend the dignity and the sovereignty of the country and the nation.

No one on earth can check the people turned out for just cause.” KCNA

In this article, the leadership of North Korea calls on progressives to stand against the U.S.’s globalist expansion of late and in this article the state run news agency points out the fact that the South Korean leadership is attacking their own progressives who are still trying to push the reunification agenda that came so close to succeeding not that long ago.

“A battle to be fought by the DPRK against the U.S. will become a war for national liberation to defend the sovereignty and dignity of the country and, at the same time, a revolutionary war to defend the human cause of independence and the justice of the international community.” KCNA

As to the mystery of the misquote: The AFP quote about the statements made by the North Korean leadership seem to come from a website called North Korean Leadership Watch. They cite the statement as being published by KCNA, but AGAIN, like all the others, NKLW doesn’t provide a link to that KCNA article.

However, they do make this statement:

“DPRK state media published a statement (tamhwa) on 30 March (Saturday) from “the government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK.” Unlike the recent volley of statements, or indeed most communications published and broadcasted in state media, the 30 March 2013 statement was not issued under the name of any specific organization (s).  The statement is not  cited as the work of the DPRK National Defense Commission, the KPA Supreme Command or Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces from the DPRK national security community…”NKLeadershipWatch

According to the origin of the quote, the statement isn’t directly from the government of North Korea and I am having a hell of a time finding the original source. You can find the statement here at Rodong  and a few other sites as well.

Take a look at how it is written in the context of what is said:

… The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him.

1.From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.

The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.

They are declaring they are at a state of war BEFORE given the order from Kim Jong Un?

Now substitute what Ria Novosti thinks is the actual translation:

… The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him.

1.from that time, North-South relations will enter a state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.

The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.

If you look at the other statements issued by the official parties of NK  you see a certain pattern. They have not declared war on the South though they fully expect the U.S. to instigate the conflict even more.

They also clearly identify their posture as being in “defense” of their nation and not the aggressor, which given the circumstances, is rational.

This statement which appears to say the North has declared war, is nothing of the sort, even if the Reuters translation is accurate. It is merely a statement of solidarity with their president at a difficult time.

But at worst, this deliberate mistranslation is someone’s opportunistic attempt to create a narrative and a history that mistakenly directs the blame for yet another war on the leadership of North Korea. It is in that sense, blackmail, just of the sort the North Koreans have been complaining about.

And given the fact that the leadership of the organizations signed onto the statement would NEVER openly declare war BEFORE given that order by their president, more than likely the Ria Novosti translation make much more sense.

Therefore, given all of this, I conclude (until such time as I can read the KCNA article myself) that the much touted “state of war” declaration being presented to the American people is in fact a “faulty translation”

The probably mistranslated statement reprinted below.

DPRK state media published a statement (tamhwa) on 30 March (Saturday) from “the government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK.”

The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase. Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike.

The important decision made by him is the declaration of a do-or-die battle to provide an epochal occasion for putting an end to the history of the long-standing showdown with the U.S. and opening a new era. It is also a last warning of justice served to the U.S., south Korean group and other anti-reunification hostile forces. The decision reflects the strong will of the army and people of the DPRK to annihilate the enemies.

Now the heroic service personnel and all other people of the DPRK are full of surging anger at the U.S. imperialists’ reckless war provocation moves, and the strong will to turn out as one in the death-defying battle with the enemies and achieve a final victory of the great war for national reunification true to the important decision made by Kim Jong Un.

The Supreme Command of the KPA in its previous statement solemnly declared at home and abroad the will of the army and people of the DPRK to take decisive military counteraction to defend the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of its supreme leadership as regards the war moves of the U.S. and south Korean puppets that have reached the most extreme phase.

Not content with letting B-52 make sorties into the sky over south Korea in succession despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, the U.S. made B-2A stealth strategic bomber and other ultra-modern strategic strike means fly from the U.S. mainland to south Korea to stage a bombing drill targeting the DPRK. This is an unpardonable and heinous provocation and an open challenge.

By taking advantage of the U.S. reckless campaign for a nuclear war against the DPRK, the south Korean puppets vociferated about “preemptive attack” and “strong counteraction” and even “strike at the commanding forces”, openly revealing the attempt to destroy monuments symbolic of the dignity of the DPRK’s supreme leadership.

This clearly shows that the U.S. brigandish ambition for aggression and the puppets’ attempt to invade the DPRK have gone beyond the limit and their threats have entered the reckless phase of an actual war from the phase of threat and blackmail.

The prevailing grim situation more clearly proves that the Supreme Command of the KPA was just when it made the judgment and decision to decisively settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists and south Korean puppets by dint of the arms of Military-First politics (So’ngun), because time when words could work has passed.

Now they are openly claiming that the B-2A stealth strategic bombers’ drill of dropping nuclear bombs was “not to irritate the north” but “the defensive one”. The U.S. also says the drill is “to defend the interests of its ally”. However, it is nothing but a lame pretext to cover up its aggressive nature, evade the denunciation at home and abroad and escape from the DPRK’s retaliatory blows.

The era when the U.S. resorted to the policy of strength by brandishing nuclear weapons has gone.

It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.

They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past.

The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu that the earth cannot exist without Military-First  (So’ngun) Korea.

Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle.

The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him.

1.From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.

The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.

Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war. Accordingly, the DPRK will immediately punish any slightest provocation hurting its dignity and sovereignty with resolute and merciless physical actions without any prior notice.

2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.

It is self-evident that any military conflict on the Korean Peninsula is bound to lead to an all-out war, a nuclear war now that even U.S. nuclear strategic bombers in its military bases in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam and in its mainland are flying into the sky above south Korea to participate in the madcap DPRK-targeted nuclear war moves.

The first strike of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will blow up the U.S. bases for aggression in its mainland and in the Pacific operational theatres including Hawaii and Guam and reduce not only its military bases in south Korea but the puppets’ ruling institutions including Chongwadae and puppet army’s bases to ashes at once, to say nothing of the aggressors and the provokers.

3. The DPRK will never miss the golden chance to win a final victory in a great war for national reunification.

This war will not be a three day-war but it will be a blitz war through which the KPA will occupy all areas of south Korea including Jeju Island at one strike, not giving the U.S. and the puppet warmongers time to come to their senses, and a three-dimensional war to be fought in the air, land and seas and on the front line and in the rear.

This sacred war of justice will be a nation-wide, all-people resistance involving all Koreans in the north and the south and overseas in which the traitors to the nation including heinous confrontation maniacs, warmongers and human scum will be mercilessly swept away.

No force on earth can break the will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK all out in the just great war for national reunification and of all other Koreans and overpower their might.

Holding in high esteem the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu, the Korean people will give vent to the pent-up grudge and realize their cherished desire and thus bring a bright day of national reunification and build the best power on this land without fail.

 

 

https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/north-korean-state-of-war-declaration-is-a-faulty-translation-and-not-official-policy-statement-from-kim-jung-un/

Joe Biden Vows ‘To Be The First In’ During Any North Korea Nuke Strike

With the possibility of North Korea escalating on the threat of a nuclear attack against US bases and possibly Hawaii or the west coast of the US mainland, Joe Biden reassured Democrats during a recent California speech that he’ll personally take the fight to the enemy.’  “I’ll get myself on a B-52 and drop the damn thing myself if that fat little pinko chink bastard Kim tries anything funny.”

Again, Biden claims it’s all a show and the North Koreans go through this each spring when food and fuel supplies have dwindled over a long winter.

“These commie clowns are just looking to stir stuff up and are trying to get a few handouts from folks like us, ” said Biden as he tried to ease the tension among west coast supporters who find themselves in the eye of the storm for the first time since WW II.

Biden supporters cautioned California voters to hang tough and possibly dig a few really deep holes in their backyards just in case and mentioned that the Vice President probably won’t be visiting again for awhile.

In Washington, the President’s inner-circle have prepared a proposal that would give the North Korean regime EBT cards, or as they’re more commonly know as..Food Stamps, to ease the annual shortages of food and other household staples. According to Valarie Jarrett, the President’s most trusted adviser  “Look those people over there are real skinny and not much over 5’6″…So really, how much can they possibly eat anyway? Besides, we have half the world’s fat people on EBT and WIC cards now so, what’s a few more skinny ones?”

The Vice President’s staff say Biden is being realistic about fighting for our country and in fact, has taken the afternoon off to participate in a one-on-one Kung Foo class just in case the B-52 gets shot down or crashes.

 

 

http://suckersonparade.blogspot.com/2013/04/joe-biden-vows-to-be-first-in-during.html

U.S. to America: Be Afraid! “The North Koreans are Coming”

 

National Paranoia is the Irrational Fear that You’re Being Threatened  Which is the more paranoid statement?1.  AMERICAN MEDIA:  “North Korea is threatening to attack us with nuclear weapons,”or:

 

2.  NORTH KOREAN MEDIA:  “The United States is threatening to attack us with nuclear weapons.”

Taking recent events in the U.S. and the Korean peninsula as evidence, while mostly ignoring historical context, the drift toward another American war in Asia can be seen as clearly as the ambiguous moves and countermoves of countries with no obvious motive for war might allow, producing headlines like [1]this[1] in the New York Times of April 4:

            “North Korea Moves Missile to Coast, but Little Threat is Seen” 

According to the Times, “North Korea has been issuing a blistering series of similar threats in recent weeks, citing as targets the American military installations in the Pacific islands of Hawaii and Guam, as well as the United States mainland.”

One reason such threats are not always seen as threatening is that North Korea has no missile that can reach the U.S. mainland, [2]and[2] quite likely not even Alaska, Hawaii, or Guam, never mind whether they have any long range missile that can hit anything with any accuracy.

North Koreans Move Missile Closer to U.S.! 

The South Korean defense chief reported April 4 that the North Koreans had moved one longish-range missile to its east coast, maybe 200 miles closer to the U.S., but that missile was still not close enough to come close to the U.S. west coast.  Nevertheless, American bases in South Korea and Japan are still presumably reachable targets, as are Korean and Japanese civilians.  Most of China and eastern Russia are also within range.  [Later reports said the North Koreans had movedtwo mobile missiles to the coast.]

The U.S. recently deployed a land-based anti-missile missile system to Guam, which is beyond the range of North Korea’s operational missiles. The U.S. has also moved at least two Aegis-class missile-cruisers to patrol waters close to North Korea.   While the Aegis system [3]has[3] the capability of attacking targets on land, in the air, and under water, its most notable exploit to date was the 1988 downing of an Iranian passenger plane, killing 290 civilians.

On March 29, CNN reported somewhat breathlessly that “North Korea has entered a ‘state of war’ with neighboring South Korea,” which ignores the reality that the state of war between the two countries has existed since 1950, although an armistice [4]was[4] agreed to in 1953.  Fitful efforts to negotiate a formal peace treaty have continued for 60 years, leaving the United Nations Command in place to the present.  North Korea has previously rejected the armistice at least five other times, in 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, and 2009.

 Americans Should Be Afraid of Missiles that Can’t Reach America

Exaggerating the CNN story, the Newsweek/Daily Beast editors gave [5]it[5] this scary headline —“North Korea Prepares Strike on U.S.’  – that had no meaningful basis in reality.  Amplifying the fear the next day, NBC News [6]ran[6] a disappointingly low-key story under the ramped-up headline:

North Korea puts rockets on standby asUS official warns regime is no ‘paper tiger’ 

 Peter Hart of FAIR [7]has[7] explored the one-sidedness of American media coverage and its reality-distorting effect in detail.

One reason the North Koreans moved their missile was in response to the March 28 U.S. fly-bys along the South Korean border with B-2 bombers quite capable of carrying enough nuclear weapons to obliterate North Korea and set off nuclear winter around the world.   Just because these fly-bys with B-2s, B-52s and other potentially nuclear-armed aircraft were part of military exercises the U.S. and South Koreans put on every year (sometimes using a pretend scenario of invading the North), the U.S. maintains the North shouldn’t think of them as in the least provocative.  The B-2s flew from a base in Missouri.

Another North Korean reason for moving their missile might have been the American plans to conduct missile defense drills with Japan and South Korea on an on-going basis.  This plan follows the “signal” sent earlier in the winter when the U.S. announced plans to increase its anti-missile missile deployment in Alaska and along the Pacific west coast.

China Votes for Sanctions, but Remains Wild Card

On March 7, the United Nations Security Council unanimously (15-0) approved a resolution brokered by the U.S. and Chine, imposing new economic sanctions on North Korea as punishment for its announcement on February 12, confirming [8]its[8] third nuclear weapons test.  While many nations detected seismic activity that they interpreted to be an underground nuclear explosion, and while the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty monitors said the tremor had “clear explosionlike characteristics,” there was no detection of radiation sufficient to confirm that the explosion was nuclear.

North Korea’s admission that it had used a “miniaturized nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously” was seen by some as defiance of Chinese advice against such a test.  The Chinese had promised that North Korea would “pay a heavy price” if it went ahead with the test.   That price apparently includes China’s cooperation with the U.S. on setting sanctions.

Complicating the response to the test announcement, there are few sanctions left to apply to North Korea, perhaps the world’s second most-sanctioned country after Israel [the U.N. has voted 66 sanctions against Israel, all or most of which Israel ignores with little consequence].  The new North Korea sanctions [9]bar[9] all nations from selling the North expensive jewelry, yachts, luxury automobiles, and racing cars.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said that, “taken together, these sanctions will bite, and bite hard.”

That will depend on China, which has previously helped North Korea get around sanctions, seeming to have less concern for the country across the border having nuclear weapons than having it devolve into instability and chaos.  So the current round of sanctions, like earlier ones, will have limited impact unless China should decide to limit its oil shipments, banking services, and other ongoing aid to North Korea.

Anyone Ready for an Act of War, like a Naval Blockade?

Another factor limiting the effectiveness of sanctions has been the unwillingness of the U.S. and other nations to enforce sanctions with a naval blockade, which would be an act of war.   And it would be an act of war against a Chinese ally, enforced in the waters off the Chinese mainland.

The announced nuclear test in February came a few weeks after the Security Council had voted unanimously for a resolution in favor of tightening sanctions on North Korea for launching a three-stage rocket in December.

At this point, no one is claiming that North Korea actually has any nuclear warheads, or any actual capacity to deliver one anywhere.

But North Korean [DPRK] bristling continued on April 4, as an unnamed army official suggested [10]that[10]:

“…the moment of explosion is approaching fast.  No one can say a war will break out in Korea or not and whether it will break out today or tomorrow….  The responsibility for this grave situation entirely rests with the U.S. administration and military warmongers keen to encroach upon the DPRK’s sovereignty and bring down its dignified social system with brigandish logic.” 

Anonymous U.S. Official Wonders About U.S. Over-reacting

The same day, at the Pentagon, an unnamed Defense Department official, took a look in the mirror and referred to U.S. bellicosity about its own military actions, saying:

“We accused the North Koreans of amping things up, now we are worried we did the same thing…. We are trying to turn the volume down.  We are absolutely trying to ratchet back the rhetoric.  We become part of the cycle. We allowed that to happen.”

In South Korea, which would likely suffer most from an outbreak of hostilities, one observer there considered the North Korea news reporting “all hype.”  Adam Hogue graduated from Keene State College in New Hampshire in 2011 and has been living and working in South Korea ever since.  On April 2, [11]he[11] wrote:

There is a need to create a culture of panic in the United States and, arguably, everywhere else where the major media conglomerates have established news outlets…. 

 “As I have heard from my mother, father, sister, friends, the New York Times, CNN and NPR, North Korea is suddenly big news. They are now something to fear. They are something threatening, mysterious and suddenly worthy of all the news headlines in the western-world. There is an urgent message being told that now is a time to panic and react…. 

 “But, that message is not coming from my co-workers at school or from the Korean news or from my neighbors; it is a message from the media.” 

American Paranoid Policy Heightened since 9-11

So it seems, in answer to the paranoia question at the beginning of this piece: the U.S. appears to have a comfortable lead in maintaining delusions of being threatened.

While the threats to North Korea are real and existential, that doesn’t preclude some paranoia at the same time:  consider the suggestion [13]that[13] the 2010 torpedo-sinking of a South Korean ship – blamed on North Korea and raising war fears – was actually a false flag operation by the Israeli navy using a state-of-the-art German submarine [Israel [12]has[12] a small fleet, armed with nuclear-warhead missiles].

On January 29, 2002, in his first State of the Union address, President George Bush declared that North Korea was part of  “an axis of evil” along with Iraq and Iran – nations that, while not an axis in the usual sense, got grouped by President Bush’s belief that they were all developing weapons of mass destruction with which “to threaten the peace of the world.”

Still searching for those weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. has [14]now[14] offered to sell South Korea 60 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth bombers at a discount price of $180 million per plane.  If the North Koreans are paying attention, they will not feel immediately threatened by this possible sale of a plane that is at least five years from being operational and still struggling in its test phase.

The F-35 may be more of an economic threat to South Korea.

Notes

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/world/asia/north-korean-missile-moved-to-coast.html?hp&_r=1&

[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/04/04/map-this-is-how-far-those-north-korean-missiles-can-actually-reach/

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Combat_System

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Armistice_Agreement

[5] http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2013/03/29/north-korea-prepares-strike-on-u-s.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_morning&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_morning&utm_term=Cheat Sheet

[6] http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/29/17513218-north-korea-puts-rockets-on-standby-as-us-official-warns-regime-is-no-paper-tiger?lite

[7] http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/16789-north-korea-rattles-sabres-us-pretends-to-drop-nuclear-bombs-on-them-

[8]http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/03/07/north_korea_vows_preemptive_nuclear_strike_against_us_ahead_of_un_vote.html

[9] http://www.globalpolicy.org/security-council/index-of-countries-on-the-security-council-agenda/north-korea.html

[10] http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/politics/koreas-u-s-/index.html

[11] http://www.policymic.com/articles/32263/north-korea-news-is-all-hype

[12] http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-deploys-nuclear-weapons-on-german-built-submarines-a-836784.html

[13] http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/ISRAEL-S-SECRET-WAR-AGAINST-NORTH-KOREA.shtml

[14] http://www.defenseworld.net/news/8160/U_S_Offers_Korea_F_35_Aircraft_At_Subsidized_Rates – .UV8FwavwLB8

 

 

 

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-to-america-be-afraid-the-north-koreans-are-coming/5330817

Atlantic Alliance “Goes Global”: Head of NATO Dispatched to South Korea

nato3NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been dispatched to Seoul for high level consultations.

The official disclaimer is that this has nothing to do with the ongoing US-DPRK confrontation. “The trip was long-planned and not connected with North Korean threats of nuclear war”.

Rasmussen is slated to meet the newly-elected President Park Geun-hye, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Defence Minister Kim Kwan Jin.

Although unconfirmed, Rasmussen will likely also meet up with military brass of the South Korea-US Combined Forces Command.

When asked if the trip was in any way linked with rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, a NATO official candidly responded that

“Rather than the current crisis, it would instead cover Afghanistan where non-member South Korea has contributed some 350 troops to NATO-led forces fighting the Taliban”  (NATO official statement quoted by AFP, April 9, 2013)

It is worth noting that  Rasmussen’s presence in Seoul coincides with the visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

What is at stake are high level discussions.

The presence of Rasmussen also confirms that NATO has taken on a global military mandate well beyond the confines of the so-called “Atlantic region”.

It also points to the possible military involvement at some future date of NATO member states in  the Korean Peninsula.

 

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/head-of-nato-dispatched-to-south-korea/5330767

Top Economic Advisers Forecast War and Unrest

Kyle Bass, Martin Armstrong, Larry Edelson, Charles Nenner, James Dines, Nouriel Roubini, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber and Jim Rickards Warn of War

We’re already at war in numerous countries all over the world.

But top economic advisers warn that economic factors could lead to a new world war.

Kyle Bass writes:

Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusionWe believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.

Martin Armstrong writes this week:

CycleOfWar-2014

We will be updating the Cycle of War. Obviously, it is time once again. Especially since that model also hit to the day 3 times in a row.

Similarly, Larry Edelson wrote an email to subscribers entitled “What the “Cycles of War” are saying for 2013″, which states:

Since the 1980s, I’ve been studying the so-called “cycles of war” — the natural rhythms that predispose societies to descend into chaos, into hatred, into civil and even international war.

I’m certainly not the first person to examine these very distinctive patterns in history. There have been many before me, notably, Raymond Wheeler, who published the most authoritative chronicle of war ever, covering a period of 2,600 years of data.

However, there are very few people who are willing to even discuss the issue right now. And based on what I’m seeing, the implications could be absolutely huge in 2013.

Former Goldman Sachs technical analyst Charles Nenner – who has made some big accurate calls, and counts major hedge funds, banks, brokerage houses, and high net worth individuals as clients – saysthere will be “a major war starting at the end of 2012 to 2013”, which will drive the Dow to 5,000.

Veteran investor adviser James Dines forecast a war is epochal as World Wars I and II, starting in the Middle East.

Nouriel Roubini has warned of war with Iran. And when Roubini was asked:

Where does this all lead us? The risk in your view is of another Great Depression. But even respectable European politicians are talking not just an economic depression but possibly even worse consequences over the next decade or so. Bearing European history in mind, where does this take us?

He responded:

In the 1930s, because we made a major policy mistake, we went through financial instability, defaults, currency devaluations, printing money, capital controls, trade wars, populism, a bunch of radical, populist, aggressive regimes coming to power from Germany to Italy to Spain to Japan, and then we ended up with World War II.

Now I’m not predicting World War III but seriously, if there was a global financial crisis after the first one, then we go into depression: the political and social instability in Europe and other advanced economies is going to become extremely severe. And that’s something we have to worry about.

Billionaire investor Jim Rogers notes:

A continuation of bailouts in Europe could ultimately spark another world war, says international investor Jim Rogers.

***

“Add debt, the situation gets worse, and eventually it just collapses. Then everybody is looking for scapegoats. Politicians blame foreigners, and we’re in World War II or World War whatever.”

Marc Faber says that the American government will start new wars in response to the economic crisis:

We’re in the middle of a global currency war – i.e. a situation where nations all compete to devalue their currencies the most in order to boost exports. And Brazilian president-elect Rousseff said in 2010:

The last time there was a series of competitive devaluations … it ended in world war two.

Jim Rickards agrees:

Currency wars lead to trade wars, which often lead to hot wars. In 2009, Rickards participated in the Pentagon’s first-ever “financial” war games. While expressing confidence in America’s ability to defeat any other nation-state in battle, Rickards says the U.S. could get dragged into “asymmetric warfare,” if currency wars lead to rising inflation and global economic uncertainty.

As does Jim Rogers:

Trade wars always lead to wars.

And given that many influential economists wrongly believe that war is good for the economy … many are overtly or quietly pushing for war.

Moreover, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that the Iraq war was really about oil , and former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. And seethis and this. If that war was for petroleum, other oil-rich countries might be invaded as well.

And the American policy of using the military to contain China’s growing economic influence – and of considering economic rivalry to be a basis for war – are creating a tinderbox.

Finally, multi-billionaire investor Hugo Salinas Price says:

What happened to [Libya’s] Mr. Gaddafi, many speculate the real reason he was ousted was that he was planning an all-African currency for conducting trade. The same thing happened to him that happened to Saddam because the US doesn’t want any solid competing currency out there vs the dollar. You know Gaddafi was talking about a golddinar.

Indeed, senior CNBC editor John Carney noted:

Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.

Robert Wenzel of Economic Policy Journal thinks the central banking initiative reveals that foreign powers may have a strong influence over the rebels.

This suggests we have a bit more than a ragtag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences. “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising,” Wenzel writes.

Indeed, some say that recent wars have really been about bringing all countries into the fold of Western central banking.

Many Warn of Unrest

Numerous economic organizations and economists also warn of crash-induced unrest, including:

Iraqi Birth Defects Are Much Worse Than Hiroshima

iraqi birth defects
(warning: graphic images)
The United States may be finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.

Continue reading

North Korea’s nuclear threat is a distraction: ‘US amasses nukes in Asia-Pacific to target China, Russia’

An analyst says China recognizes that the US is using North Korea’s belligerence to build up its military presence as a direct nuclear threat against China.

In the background of this there has been frightening escalation of rhetoric and threats from both North Korea and the US in the Korean peninsula. The US military build up in the area includes a chemical weapons battalion sent to South Korea and B-2 nuclear capable bombers as well as F-22 stealth fighter jets that have participated in drills in the area. North Korea has reacted to this provocation saying a nuclear war with the United States could start at any time. The US is also undertaking military drills with the Philippines and Japan has openly condemned North Korea’s threats without saying anything about the provocative escalation of US actions.

Press TV has interviewed Mike Billington, Executive Intelligence review, Leesburg about this issue.


Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/north-koreas-nuclear-threat-is-a-distraction-us-amasses-nukes-in-asia-pacific-to-target-china-russia/#zUawdvDVILoT2Tm4.99

U.S. Commandos in 75 Countries Are Teaching Militaries to Torture, Kill, and Abuse Civilians

u.s., commandos, in, 75, countries, are, teaching, militaries, to, torture,, kill,, and, abuse, civilians, US Commandos in 75 Countries Are Teaching Militaries to Torture Kill and Abuse Civilians

(PolicyMIC) -While aggressive war, drone strikes, and a global network of military bases are the most visible aspects of American hegemonic power, what is often overlooked is the U.S. policy of training, assisting, and subsidizing foreign militaries. Although these actions are largely covert and discreet, they serve the same purpose of hegemonic control, diminish peace and national security, and help contribute to the subjugation of foreign citizens.

The training of foreign militaries to serve the interests of the American state goes all the way back to at least the Cold War. The U.S. used taxpayer money and weapons to subsidize foreign governments and militaries that were “anti-communist” even if the regimes were incredibly brutal and ruthless. All an authoritarian had to do was refer to his political opponents as “communists” and the Americans came rushing in.

In nearly every continent, the U.S. taught extremely fascistic, right-wing governments the art of cracking down on domestic dissent, jailing and torturing political opponents, centralizing power, making deals beneficial to American corporations, and employing death squads. Cheaper and less visible than directly invading and overthrowing governments the U.S. didn’t like, sock puppet dictators were the preferred means of implementing policy.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 left very little justification for an American imperial position throughout the globe, yet those same Cold War policies were not only not discarded, but expanded upon. Back in 2010, President Obama and the Pentagon began implementing a strategy with a larger emphasis on “combat operations” and military-to-military coordination. U.S. Special Forces are now operating in (at least) 75 countries, teaching their governments more efficient means of subjugating their populations, creating chaos, and serving the interests of the American empire.

Syria is the most recent example of this policy. While publicly claiming that the U.S. is helping build schools and hospitals in Syria, the Associated Press and New York Times reports document that the U.S. is training and arming Syrian “rebels” opposing the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. With the help of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, most of the weapons are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, many of whom belonging to groups that just a few years ago were killing U.S. Marines in Iraq.

President Obama, secretly and without the consent of Congress, sent more than 150 Special Forces to Jordan to train the anti-Assad fighters on the use of sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

What is even more disturbing is that the Syrian “rebels” have most likely already used chemical weapons, have a reputation for beheading prisoners, and that U.S. support is prolonging the conflict in the region. The reasons for U.S. intervention are of course complicated and multifaceted, but it most likely has to do with attempts to destabilize Iran’s strongest ally and what the Romans called divide et impera.

Syria may be the most dangerous example of the Obama administration’s enhanced policy of covert military training and assistance, but unfortunately it is nowhere near the only one. In Mali, along with building a brand new drone base, U.S. AFRICOM chief General Carter Ham admitted that while training Mali’s military, they “skipped ethics.” Targeting dissidents based on ethnicity and executing them is a staple of the U.S.-trained Mali government.

In Indonesia, the Obama administration resumed training and assisting an elite Indonesian military unit whose members have been convicted of massive human rights abuses in East Timor. U.S.-trained forces in Guatemala have incredibly close ties to some of the region’s most violent drug cartels and are notorious for their brutal treatment of civilians during the Guatemalan civil war.

A report from the Washington Office on Latin America details a U.S. policy called “the Merida Initiative” designed to “help the region’s militaries take on internal security roles” and use American police to train local police. Although President Obama publicly denounced the 2009 military coup in Honduras, Wikileaks cables later revealed that the Obama administration had members of the State Department meet with the illegitimate new Honduran “president” to help coordinate the implementation of the Merida Initiative.

The policy of militarizing, arming, and subsidizing foreign governments, especially those with well-known and documented human rights abuses and commissions of war crimes, appears to be a staple of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. But these policies help contribute to the spread of dictatorships, humanitarian crises, and instability while making the possibility of resentment and blowback much more likely.

It is becoming more and more clear that the bipartisan consensus policy of military interventionism is a threat to peace and security. Neutrality and non-intervention, as the Founders recommended, is a far more practical alternative and is still the best way to spread the American values our politicians are so fond of endorsing.

We don’t intend to build nukes, Israel told US in 1975

Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin accompanied by Henry Kissinger on their way to a meeting with president Ford at the White House, June 1975. (photo credit: Yaakov Saar/GPO)

Newly published documents also shed light on Rabin, Peres visits to Tehran in 1976 and Dayan plan to give citizenship to Palestinians in Ramallah and Bethlehem

(Times of Israel) Israel’s leaders, in private exchanges with senior US officials in 1975, flatly denied that Israel possessed nuclear weapons, and foreign minister Yigal Allon also claimed Israel had no intention to build such weapons, according to diplomatic cables published this week by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

This despite the fact that, according to foreign reports, Israel is now believed to have begun full-scale production of nuclear weapons soon after the 1967 war, and to have stockpiled a number of nuclear weapons by the early 1970s.

The cables are part of a trove of more than 1.7 million US diplomatic cables sent between 1973 and 1976. Among the 5,000-plus documents that deal with Israel are messages that shine light on the development of Israel’s nuclear program, as well as on Israel’s relationship with pre-revolutionary Iran and a 1973 plan by then-defense minister Moshe Dayan to extend Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of Ramallah and Bethlehem.

In May 1975, senator Howard Baker asked prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defense minister (today President) Shimon Peres about speculation that Israel had acquired nuclear weapons.

“Rabin told senator Baker that GOI [the government of Israel] had made a commitment not to be the first state to introduce nuclear weapons into the area. Israel had kept its word,” states the document, which was quietly declassified in 2006 but only published now by WikiLeaks.

In the document, which the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to the embassy in Turkey, Peres is quoted as saying that Israel’s introduction of nuclear weapons into the Middle East would lead to a conflict with Washington and would encourage the Soviet Union to give similar devices to the Arab nations in the region, which “would bring [the] Middle East to [the] point of no return.

“Peres, in reply to [a] direct question, states that Israel has not constructed a military nuclear device,” the document continued. Baker asked whether that meant Jerusalem had not constructed an explosive device, and Peres answered affirmatively.

Israel has always pursued a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither denying nor confirming the possession of atomic weapons. Yet the existence of an Israeli nuclear-weapons program has been widely reported in the foreign media, and it is widely believed that Jerusalem has had such devices since at least 1973.

Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin (photo credit: courtesy GPO)

In one of the cables from the summer of 1975, Rabin said that Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty “because it regarded this as part of [an] arms race issue in [the] area and of an eventual overall political settlement” of the Middle East conflict.

The Israeli prime minister also commented on repeated American requests to inspect the nuclear facilities in Dimona, telling Baker that Jerusalem and Washington had in 1969 — “and rightly so” — agreed that such visits had been “terminated.”

“The Dimona facility was not open for inspection,” the document states.

A few months earlier, in January 1975, a cable that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to Washington quotes US senator Charles Mathias asking foreign minister Yigal Allon about Israel’s nuclear capabilities.

“Allon replied that Israel had the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons. However, he said that [the government of Israel] did not currently possess nuclear weapons, nor did it intend to manufacture them.”

The senator then remarked that the secrecy surrounding the Dimona reactor and Jerusalem’s refusal to allow inspection “were a public relations problem for Israel in the US.” Allon agreed in principle, but offered no immediate remedies.

In November 1976, a dozen American senators visited Israel, with “one of their principal interests” being an inspection of the Dimona nuclear reactor, according to another US Embassy cable. Jerusalem denied the senators’ requests. “When asked regarding the reason for this decision,” the document states, “we were simply told that adequate attention would be given to Israel’s energy situation in briefings and a visit to Dimona would not be considered useful.”

The US Government suspected Israel of having nuclear weapons since 1970 and, according to foreign media reports, Israel assembled more than a dozen nuclear warheads during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In 1986, former Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu gave detailed information about the country’s “secret nuclear arsenal” to the London Sunday Times. In 2008, former US president Jimmy Carter saidthat Israel had at least 150 nuclear weapons.

The diplomatic documents, which WikiLeaks dubbed the “Kissinger Cables,” also reveal that, in the 1970s, military legend Dayan — serving as defense minister — planned to grant Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of Bethlehem and Ramallah, while retaining full control over the West Bank.

cable from May 1973 quotes former minister Gad Yaacobi, who was a close ally of Dayan, saying that Dayan was preparing to expand the degree of autonomy for Arab municipalities in the West Bank, which Israel had captured in the Six-Day War.

Yaacobi said Dayan encouraged Israeli settlements everywhere in the West Bank except in “Arab metropolitan areas.” The two exceptions to that rule were Ramallah and Bethlehem, which Dayan considered parts of the “greater Jerusalem area.”

“As for Dayan’s thinking on [an] ultimate peace settlement with Jordan, Yaacobi said Dayan would only return one or two small enclaves of the West Bank,” the cable states. “But Dayan, according to Yaacobi, envisages [the] rest of [the] West Bank population though living under Israeli sovereignty as being full-fledged Jordanian citizens, with [the] exception [of] inhabitants of Ramallah and Bethlehem, who would become Israeli citizens.”

‘What the Iranians and Israelis are specifically cooking up in the arms field remains to be ascertained, but the Shah has a complex game going’

The Kissinger Cables, named after former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, also shed light on Israel’s close military ties with Iran prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which turned the two countries into bitter enemies.

In 1976, several top Israeli government officials, including Rabin, Peres and Allon, secretly visited the Shah in Tehran, writes then-US ambassador to Iran and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Richard Helms in acable.

Rabin’s visit, in July of that year, was clouded in particular secrecy, Helms writes. It was followed by a trip to Israel by Iranian vice minister of war Hassan Toufanian, ostensibly to discuss several joint military projects, such as the 1977 Project Flower.

“What the Iranians and Israelis are specifically cooking up in the arms field remains to be ascertained, but the Shah has a complex game going with both the Israelis and the Egyptians, the obvious purpose of which is to exchange or at least have available certain kinds of ammunition and weapons which are not subject to US Congressional control or veto,” Helms writes.

In a separate cable, Helms reports to the State Department in Washington that the Shah complained to Peres during a visit to Tehran about Jerusalem’s efforts to dissuade the US from selling arms to Iran.

In a third cable, Helms says that Toufanian told him that his trip to Israel and Peres’s visit to Tehran “were basically get-acquainted sessions.” The Iranian official said that “ways will be explored to expand military cooperation between the two countries, but that it is important [for] the prime personalities to get to know each other first and to come to understand each other’s particular problems.”

North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South ‘On Verge of Nuclear War’… Will Fire Missiles Over Japan Wednesday! Japan Deploys Patriots To 3 Sites In Tokyo… Putin and McCain Warn of Thermonuclear War…

 

North Korea warns foreigners to leave South

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/09/us-korea-north-idUSBRE93408020130409


‘On verge of nuclear war’

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea on Tuesday urged all foreign companies and tourists in South Korea to evacuate, saying the two countries are on the verge of nuclear war. The new threat appeared to be an attempt to keep the region on tenterhooks over its intentions.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/04/09/north-korea-urges-foreigners-to-vacate-skorea-following-hostile-actions-of-us-warmongers/

 

Japan Deploys Patriot Missiles to Defend Tokyo

Japan has deployed Patriot missiles in and around central Tokyo as a defensive measure should North Korea decide to launch an attack amid rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Tokyo has moved three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile launchers, according to the defence ministry. Two more batteries are likely to be stationed at other places.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/454992/20130409/north-korea-missile-japan-interceptor-tokyo-pyongyang.htm

 

Pyongyang warns foreigners to evacuate S. Korea, Japan deploys Patriot missiles

Yonhap: Kim Jong-un orders mass artillery production for “rapid pre-emptive attack”

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently ordered the country’s arms industry workers to increase their production of artillery, a television report out of Pyongyang showed Saturday.

“Once the war breaks out, we have to destroy the enemies’ key military locations and government institutions with a quick and sudden strike,” Kim was quoted as saying. “We must absolutely guarantee the quality of our artillery and shells to ensure a rapid pre-emptive attack on our enemies.”

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2013/04/06/34/0401000000AEN20130406001800315F.HTML

 

North Korea urges foreigners in South to evacuate

 

https://twitter.com/timesofindia

John McCain warns of ‘accidental war’ with North Korea

North Korea, Russia Putin’ Warn’s About Grave Danger of Nuclear War

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22065348

 

 

BEIJING – China called Tuesday for the protection of citizens from all countries and warned against “chaos” on the Korean peninsula after North Korea urged foreigners in South Korea to evacuate.

Beijing, a key backer of its defiant neighbor, has repeatedly urged calm and restraint despite spiraling tensions since Pyongyang tested a third nuclear bomb in February and reacted angrily to resulting UN sanctions.

The isolated regime said Tuesday the peninsula was headed for “thermo-nuclear” war and advised foreigners in South Korea to consider evacuation.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/world/04/09/13/china-urges-citizens-safety-amid-nkorea-threats?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

“North Korea says it will fire missiles into the Pacific Ocean on April 10 & that these missiles will pass over Japan.”- Sankei Shimbun

https://twitter.com/PrinceofSydney

Japan vows to shoot down North Korean missiles “even if it is just a test”

http://investmentwatchblog.com/this-is-official-instructions-from-the-pm-of-japan-on-north-korea-to-shoot-down-missile-even-if-it-is-just-a-test/

 

South Korea Believes North Could Launch Missile Test As Soon As Tomorrow

Read more:

http://www.businessinsider.com/south-korea-believes-north-could-launch-missile-test-as-soon-as-tomorrow-2013-4#ixzz2PxZPTE29

Japan deploys Patriot antimissile system in downtown Tokyo

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/11746
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com

Japan deploys Patriot missile launchers amid Korea tensions

A soldier stands guard in front of Japan’s SDF set Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile launcher in Tokyo, December 6, 2012.
(Press TV) Japan has deployed Patriot missile launchers to defend against potential attack by North Korea as tensions in the Korean Peninsula continue to build up.

An aerial footage by Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, showed launchers equipped with Patriot surface-to-air missiles being deployed at three bases of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) on Monday.

One of the ASDF bases is on the outskirts of capital city of Tokyo and another is located in the city of Kakamigahara in Gifu prefecture.

On March 30, North Korea declared that it is in a “state of war” with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will trigger an all-out nuclear war.

Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war; a nuclear war.”

On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a possible nuclear conflict on the Korean Peninsula would be far more destructive than the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

Hanford, WA Nuclear Site on Brink of Disaster

(www.dailypaul.com) The more things change, the more they stay the same. My first “political activism” as an adult was to try to get Hanford shut down. Here I am decades later, back where I started. This plant was a bad design 30 years ago, and guess what? It is STILL a bad design. And, it is still utterly immoral to dump radioactive waste on our descendants.

3 days ago: King 5 News: Nuclear board warns of Hanford tank explosion risk

“State and federal officials have long known that hydrogen gas could build up inside the tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, leading to an explosion that would release radioactive material. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board recommended additional monitoring and ventilation of the tanks last fall, and federal officials were working to develop a plan to implement the recommendation.”

Got that? LAST FALL the Fed starting “working on a plan.”

Yesterday: “Unexpected gas releases”

KING 5 News has learned there’s been a series of unexpected hydrogen gas releases from a tank holding radioactive waste at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Confidential sources say it began on March 16 and lasted for several days, much longer than usual, and they worry a single spark could have set off an explosive release of radioactivity.

Researchers say Stuxnet was deployed against Iran in 2007

 

 
 
 
Iranian soldiers stand guard on an anti-aircraft machine gun inside the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, 322km (200 miles) south of Iran's capital Tehran March 9, 2006. REUTERS/Raheb

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Researchers at Symantec Corp have uncovered a version of the Stuxnet computer virus that was used to attack Iran’s nuclear program in November 2007, two years earlier than previously thought.

Stuxnet, which is widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, was discovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran. It was the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery.

Symantec researchers said on Tuesday they have uncovered a piece of code, which they called “Stuxnet 0.5,” among the thousands of versions of the virus they recovered from infected machines.

They found evidence Stuxnet 0.5 was in development as early as 2005, when Iran was still setting up its uranium enrichment facility, and the virus was deployed in 2007, the same year the Natanz facility went online.

“It is really mind blowing that they were thinking about creating a project like that in 2005,” Symantec researcher Liam O’Murchu told Reuters.

Security experts who reviewed Symantec’s 18-page report on Stuxnet 0.5 said it showed the cyber weapon was already powerful enough to cripple output at Natanz as far back as six years ago.

“This attack could have damaged many centrifuges without destroying so many that the plant operator would have become suspicious,” said a report by the Institute for Science and International Security, which is led by former United Nations weapons inspector David Albright and closely monitors Iran’s nuclear program.

ALTERNATE APPROACH

Although it is unclear what damage Stuxnet 0.5 might have caused, Symantec said it was designed to attack the Natanz facility by opening and closing valves that feed uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges, without the knowledge of the operators of the facility.

Previously dissected versions of Stuxnet are all believed to have been used to sabotage the enrichment process by changing the speeds of those gas-spinning centrifuges without the knowledge of their operators.

“The report provides even more concrete evidence that the United States has been activity trying to derail the Iranian nuclear program since it was restarted under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reign,” said John Bumgarner, an expert on cyber weapons who works as chief technology officer with the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit.

The Natanz facility has been the subject of intense scrutiny by the United States, Israel and allies, who charge that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

The United States began building a complex cyber weapon during the George W. Bush administration to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, U.S. officials familiar with the program have told Reuters. The government has declined to comment on the reports and has launched investigations into leaks on its cyber programs.

Since Stuxnet’s discovery in 2010, security researchers have uncovered a handful of other sophisticated pieces of computer code they believe were developed in tandem to engage in espionage and warfare. These include Flame, Duqu and Gauss.

Stuxnet 0.5 was written using much of the same code as Flame, according to Symantec’s report, which was published at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, an event attended by more than 20,000 security professionals.

Symantec said it has now uncovered four versions of Stuxnet and there are likely others that have not been discovered yet. Researchers at Symantec and elsewhere are still trying to understand the full extent of the virus’s capabilities.

“This fills in some of the gaps,” said O’Murchu.

He said the researchers found no evidence to prove who was behind Stuxnet.

Later versions of Stuxnet, which manipulates industrial control software known as Step 7 from Siemens AG, used more sophisticated methods to infect computer systems, he said.

Siemens previously said it plugged the security holes that allowed Stuxnet to breach its software. A company spokesman had no immediate comment on Symantec’s latest research.

Iranian Oops: US may have broken own sanctions by buying Tehran’s oil

1a

(RT) -There is a high probability that US sanctions against Iran have been violated by its own army. Part of the $1.55 billion in fuel the US bought from Turkmenistan for the Afghan army in the last five years may have originated in Iran.

A report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) suggested that “despite actions taken by DOD to prevent the purchase of Iranian fuel with US funds, risks remain that US economic sanctions could [have been] violated” from 2007 to 2012.

Most of the fuel for domestic Afghan consumption comes from neighboring Iran. Because of the US sanctions on Tehran restricting the trade of Iranian oil and petroleum products, the ISAF has been required to abide by the regulations and buy petrol from eight Afghan-owned companies that deliver petroleum from Turkmenistan, which borders both Iran and Afghanistan.

The SIGAR report also acknowledged there are no plausible oversight mechanisms to make sure Iranian petroleum products are not included in future fuel purchases.

Turkmenistan is a major regional oil producer, which also trades for petroleum products made in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Iran. Petrol vendors in Turkmenistan use flexible supply schemes, meaning that fuel of various origins could potentially be blended together.

In response to a draft of SIGAR report, the US Embassy in Kabul stated that “it is possible that if blending is taking place in Turkmenistan it could contain some Iranian fuel,” but refused to admit that fuel imported from Russia could also be blended with Iranian fuel prior to its import into Afghanistan.

All fuel imports carry a ‘verified Fuel Passport’ from the refinery, which provides information on the origin, quantity, quality, and specifications of the fuel,” the embassy explained.

“Suppliers are unlikely to blend Iranian fuel, or any other product, with other sourced fuel because of the potential that blending could cause product deviation from specification standards and potentially cause a rejection of the entire shipment,” the embassy said.

In 2012, the Pentagon reportedly spent over $800 million on imports from Turkmenistan, most likely for fuel purchases.

Iran escaping sanctions

Western sanctions have taken their toll on Iran: Tehran was formerly OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, exporting 2.2 million barrels of oil daily. The sanctions more than halved that figure, to 890,000 barrels of oil exported a day by September 2012.

The Iranian economy has lost billions of dollars in revenue, plunging to decades-low figures. The value of the national currency, the rial, has taken a kamikaze dive; the Iranian leadership, including incendiary President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was forced to publicly admit the sanctions were having an effect.

But Tehran has quickly recovered from the US-EU sanctions imposed on its oil trade. By the end of last year, Iranian crude oil exports rose again to 1.4 million barrels per day. Most of the Iranian oil is sold to Asian countries such as China, India and Japan, where demand for energy is growing. The expansion of Iran’s tanker fleet also helped the Islamic Republic circumvent the sanctions.

The US believes that the most common trick Iran uses to dodge sanctions is ship-to-ship transfers (STS), in which large tankers leaving Iran’s ports offload Iranian oil to smaller vessels. Then, the Iranian oil is blended with that of another country to disguise it. After that, new shipping documents are issued, giving the blended oil shipment a new identity, Reuters reported.

The US has scrambled to enact countermeasures on the news that its sanctions are being skirted. Reuters reported on Thursday that the US State Department is planning to target companies that deliberately disguise Iranian oil shipments to evade Western sanctions.

Also, an unnamed US official said that the US authorities are “increasingly aware of this STS issue,” and that companies involved in covert deals for Iranian oil will be punished. Sanctions violators could be prohibited from trading with the US companies, for example.

Kissinger: The Iran Nuclear Situation Will Come To A Head In The ‘Very Foreseeable Future’

(Business Insider) Henry Kissinger recently gave an ominous forecast on the future of Iran’s nuclear program: that it will be taken care of one way or another very soon.

attached imageSpeaking at the World Economic Forum at a Swiss ski resort in Davos, Kissinger said, “People who have advanced their view will have to come to a determination about how to react or about the consequences of non-reaction,” he said.

“I believe this point will be reached within a very foreseeable future.”

Also at Davos, Agence France Presse reports that President Shimon Peres said, “There will be more attempts to try and negotiate, but there will always be in the horizon a military option, because if the Iranians think it’s only economic and political, they won’t pay attention.”

Kissinger, Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak all seem to think that the Iran nuclear situation will come to close in some way in the next few months.

However, exactly how that will happen remains a subject of debate — where some see military threat and possible strikes as integral, , others report that sanctions have crippled the country, opening up critical lanes for upcoming nuclear talks with the U.N. Security Council.

One recent Haaratz report said that Iran’s income from oil had plummeted 50% in recent months, and the country has been unable to find the space to store its excess oil. Iran’s oil represents 80 percent of its income, and the U.S. has almost unilaterally banned the import of that oil. On the other side, Iran’s major importers are Asian countries (though China is exempt, it still represents an ally) — countries likely to, and more importantly, able to, put pressure on the U.S. to drop sanctions.

While Iran may try to delay and quibble over locations for the negotiation, it looks like economic sanctions may well cause their hand to fold, and soon.

Seventy Years of Nuclear Fission, Thousands of Centuries of Nuclear Waste

(Truth-Out.org) On December 2, 1942, a small group of physicists under the direction of Enrico Fermi gathered on an old squash court beneath Alonzo Stagg Stadium on the Campus of the University of Chicago to make and witness history. Uranium pellets and graphite blocks had been stacked around cadmium-coated rods as part of an experiment crucial to the Manhattan Project – the program tasked with building an atom bomb for the allied forces in World War II. The experiment was successful, and for 28 minutes, the scientists and dignitaries present witnessed the world’s first manmade, self-sustaining nuclear fission reaction. They called it an atomic pile – Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1), to be exact- but what Fermi and his team had actually done was build the world’s first nuclear reactor.

The Manhattan Project’s goal was a bomb, but soon after the end of the war, scientists, politicians, the military and private industry looked for ways to harness the power of the atom for civilian use, or, perhaps more to the point, for commercial profit. Fifteen years to the day after CP-1 achieved criticality, President Dwight Eisenhower threw a ceremonial switch to start the reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, which was billed as the first full-scale nuclear power plant built expressly for civilian electrical generation.

Shippingport was, in reality, little more than a submarine engine on blocks, but the nuclear industry and its acolytes will say that it was the beginning of billions of kilowatts of power, promoted (without a hint of irony) as “clean, safe and too cheap to meter.” It was also, however, the beginning of what is now a weightier legacy: 72,000 tons of nuclear waste.

Atoms for Peace, Problems Forever

News of Fermi’s initial success was communicated by physicist Arthur Compton to the head of the National Defense Research Committee, James Conant, with artistically coded flair:

Compton: The Italian navigator has landed in the New World.

Conant: How were the natives?

Compton: Very friendly.

But soon after that initial success, CP-1 was disassembled and reassembled a short drive away, in Red Gate Woods. The optimism of the physicists notwithstanding, it was thought best to continue the experiments with better radiation shielding – and slightly removed from the center of a heavily populated campus. The move was perhaps the first necessitated by the uneasy relationship between fissile material and the health and safety of those around it, but if it was understood as a broader cautionary tale, no one let that get in the way of “progress.”

By the time the Shippingport reactor went critical, North America already had a nuclear waste problem. The detritus from manufacturing atomic weapons was poisoning surrounding communities at several sites around the continent (not that most civilians knew it at the time). Meltdowns at Chalk River in Canada and the Experimental Breeder Reactor in Idaho had required fevered cleanups, the former of which included the help of a young Navy officer named Jimmy Carter. And the dangers of errant radioisotopes were increasing with the acceleration of above-ground atomic weapons testing. But as President Eisenhower extolled “Atoms for Peace,” and the US Atomic Energy Commission promoted civilian nuclear power at home and abroad, a plan to deal with the spent fuel (as used nuclear fuel rods are termed) and other highly radioactive leftovers was not part of the program (beyond, of course, extracting some of the plutonium produced by the fission reaction for bomb production, and the promise that the waste generated by US-built reactors overseas could at some point be marked “return to sender” and repatriated to the United States for disposal).

Attempts at what was called reprocessing – the re-refining of used uranium into new reactor fuel – quickly proved expensive, inefficient and dangerous, and created as much radioactive waste as they hoped to reuse. Reprocessing also provided an obvious avenue for nuclear weapons proliferation because of the resulting production of plutonium. The threat of proliferation (made flesh by India’s test of an atomic bomb in 1976) led President Jimmy Carter to cancel the US reprocessing program in 1977. Attempts by the Department of Energy (DOE) to push mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication (combining uranium and plutonium) over the last dozen years has not produced any results, either, despite over $5 billion in government investments.

In fact, there was no official federal policy for the management of used but still highly radioactive nuclear fuel until passage of The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982(NWPA). And while that law acknowledged the problem of thousands of tons of spent fuel accumulating at US nuclear plants, it didn’t exactly solve it. Instead, the NWPA started a generation of political horse-trading, with goals and standards defined more by market exigencies than by science, that leaves America today with what amounts to over five dozen nominally temporary repositories for high-level radioactive waste – and no defined plan to change that situation anytime soon.

Lack of Permanent Spent Fuel Storage Looms Large

When a US Court of Appeals ruled in June that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted improperly when it failed to consider all the risks of storing spent radioactive fuel onsite at the nation’s nuclear power facilities, it made specific reference to the lack of any real answers to the generations-old question of waste storage:

[The Nuclear Regulatory Commission] apparently has no long-term plan other than hoping for a geologic repository…. If the government continues to fail in its quest to establish one, then SNF (spent nuclear fuel) will seemingly be stored on site at nuclear plants on a permanent basis. The Commission can and must assess the potential environmental effects of such a failure.

The court concluded the current situation – in which spent fuel is stored across the country in what were supposed to be temporary configurations-“poses a dangerous long-term health and environmental risk.”

The decision also harshly criticized regulators for evaluating plant relicensing with the assumption that spent nuclear fuel would be moved to a central long-term waste repository.

A Mountain of Risks

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act set in motion an elaborate process that was supposed to give the US a number of possible waste sites, but, in the end, the only option seriously explored was the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. After years of preliminary construction and tens of millions of dollars spent, Yucca was determined to be a bad choice for the waste. As I wrote in April of last year: “[Yucca Mountain’s] volcanic formation is more porous and less isolated than originally believed – there is evidence that water can seep in, there are seismic concerns, worries about the possibility of new volcanic activity, and a disturbing proximity to underground aquifers. In addition, Yucca mountain has deep spiritual significance for the Shoshone and Paiute peoples.”

Every major Nevada politician on both sides of the aisle has opposed the Yucca repository since its inception. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has worked most of his political life to block the facility. And with the previous NRC head, Gregory Jaczko, (and now his replacement, Allison Macfarlane, as well) recommending against it, the Obama administration’s DOE moved to end the project.

Even if it were an active option, Yucca Mountain would still be many years and maybe as much as $100 million away from completion. And yet, the nuclear industry (through recipients of its largesse in Congress) has challenged the administration to spend any remaining money in a desperate attempt to keep alive the fantasy of a solution to their waste crisis.

Such fevered dreams, however, do not qualify as an actual plan, according to the courts.

The judges also chastised the NRC for its generic assessment of spent fuel pools, currently packed well beyond their projected capacity at nuclear plants across the United States. Rather than examine each facility and the potential risks specific to its particular storage situation, the NRC had only evaluated the safety risks of onsite storage by looking at a composite of past events. The court ruled that the NRC must appraise each plant individually and account for potential future dangers. Those dangers include leaks, loss of coolant, and failures in the cooling systems, any of which might result in contamination of surrounding areas, overheating and melting of stored rods, and the potential of burning radioactive fuel – risks heightened by the large amounts of fuel now densely packed in the storage pools and underscored by the ongoing disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Indeed, plants were neither designed nor built to house nuclear waste long-term. The design life of most reactors in the United States was originally 40 years. Discussions of the spent fuel pools usually gave them a 60-year lifespan. That limit seemed to double almost magically as nuclear operators fought to postpone the expense of moving cooler fuel to dry casks and of the final decommissioning of retired reactors.

Everyone Out of the Pool

As disasters as far afield as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and last October’s Hurricane Sandy have demonstrated, the storage of spent nuclear fuel in pools requires steady supplies of power and cool water. Any problem that prevents the active circulation of liquid through the spent fuel pools – be it a loss of electricity, the failure of a back-up pump, the clogging of a valve or a leak in the system – means the temperature in the pools will start to rise. If the cooling circuit is out long enough, the water in the pools will start to boil. If the water level dips (due to boiling or a leak) enough to expose hot fuel rods to the air, the metal cladding on the rods will start to burn, in turn heating the fuel even more, resulting in plumes of smoke carrying radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere.

And because these spent fuel pools are so full – containing as much as five times more fuel than they were originally designed to hold, and at densities that come close to those in reactor cores – they both heat stagnant water more quickly and reach volatile temperatures faster when exposed to air.

After spent uranium has been in a pool for at least five years (considerably longer than most fuel is productive as an energy source inside the reactor), fuel rods are deemed cool enough to be moved to dry casks. Dry casks are sealed steel cylinders filled with spent fuel and inert gas, which are themselves encased in another layer of steel and concrete. These massive fuel “coffins” are then placed outside and spaced on concrete pads so that air can circulate and continue to disperse heat.

While the long-term safety of dry casks is still in question, the fact that they require no active cooling system gives them an advantage, in the eyes of many experts, over pool storage. As if to highlight that difference, spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi have posed some of the greatest challenges since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, whereas, to date, no quake or flood-related problems have been reported with any of Japan’s dry casks. The disparity was so obvious that the NRC’s own staff review actually added a proposal to the post-Fukushima taskforce report, recommending that US plants take more fuel out of spent fuel pools and move it to dry casks. (A year and a half later, however, there is still no regulation – or even a draft – requiring such a move.)

But current dry cask storage poses its own set of problems. Moving fuel rods from pools to casks is slow and costly – about $1.5 million per cask, or roughly $7 billion to move all of the nation’s spent fuel (a process, it is estimated, that would take no less than five to ten years). That is expensive enough to have many nuclear plant operators lobbying overtime to avoid doing it.

Further, though not as seemingly vulnerable as fuel pools, dry casks are not impervious to natural disaster. In 2011, a moderate earthquake centered about 20 miles from the North Anna, Virginia, nuclear plant caused most of its vertical dry casks – each weighing 115 tons – to shift, some by more than four inches. The facility’s horizontal casks didn’t move, but some showed what was termed “cosmetic damage.”

Dry casks at Michigan’s Palisades plant sit on a pad atop a sand dune just 100 yards from Lake Michigan. An earthquake there could plunge the casks into the water. And the casks at Palisades are so poorly designed and maintained, submersion could result in water contacting the fuel, contaminating the lake and possibly triggering a nuclear chain reaction.

And though each cask contains far less fissile material than one spent fuel pool, casks are still considered possible targets for terrorism. A TOW anti-tank missile would breach even the best dry cask [PDF], and with 25 percent of the nation’s spent fuel now stored in hundreds of casks across the country, all above ground, it provides a rich target environment.

Confidence Game

Two months after the Appeals Court found fault with the NRC’s imaginary waste mitigation scenario, the agency announced it would suspend the issuing of new reactor operating licenses, license renewals and construction licenses until the agency could craft a new plan for dealing with the nation’s growing spent nuclear fuel crisis. In drafting its new nuclear “Waste Confidence Decision” (NWCD) – the methodology used to assess the hazards of nuclear waste storage – the Commission said it would evaluate all possible options for resolving the issue.

At first, the NRC said this could include both generic and site-specific actions (remember, the court criticized the NRC’s generic appraisals of pool safety), but as the prescribed process now progresses, it appears any new rule will be designed to give the agency, and so, the industry, as much wiggle room as possible. At a public hearing in November 2012, and later at a pair of web conferences in early December, the regulator’s Waste Confidence Directorate (yes, that’s what it is called) outlined three scenarios [PDF] for any future rulemaking:

  • Storage until a repository becomes available at the middle of the century
  • Storage until a repository becomes available at the end of the century
  • Continued storage in the event a repository is not available.

And while, given the current state of affairs, the first option seems optimistic, the fact that their best scenario now projects a repository to be ready by about 2050 is a story in itself.

When the NWPA was signed into law by President Reagan early in 1983, it was expected the process it set in motion would present at least one (and preferably another) long-term repository by the late 1990s. But by the time the “Screw Nevada Bill” (as it is affectionately known in the Silver State) locked in Yucca Mountain as the only option for permanent nuclear waste storage, the projected opening was pushed back to 2007.

But Yucca encountered problems from its earliest days, so a mid-90s revision of the timeline postponed the official start, this time to 2010. By 2006, the DOE was pegging Yucca’s opening at 2017. And, when the NWPA was again revised in 2010 – after Yucca was deemed a non-option – it conveniently avoided setting a date for the opening of a national long-term waste repository altogether.

It was that 2010 revision that was thrown out by the courts in June.

“Interim Storage” and “Likely Reactors”

So, the waste panel now has three scenarios – but what are the underlying assumptions for those scenarios? Not, obviously, any particular site for a centralized, permanent home for the nation’s nuclear garbage – no new site has been chosen, and it can’t even be said there is an active process at work that will choose one.

There are the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) convened by the president after Yucca Mountain was off the table. Most notable there was arecommendation for interim waste storage, consolidated at a handful of locations across the country. But consolidated intermediate waste storage has its own difficulties, not the least of which is that no sites have yet been chosen for any such endeavor. (In fact, plans for the Skull Valley repository, thought to be the interim facility closest to approval, were abandoned by its sponsors just days before Christmas 2012.)

Just-retired Democratic senator from New Mexico Jeff Bingaman, the last chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, tried to turn the BRC recommendations into law. When he introduced his bill in August, however, he had to do so without any cosponsors. Hearings on the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2012 were held in September, but the gavel came down on the 112th Congress without any further action.

In spite of the underdeveloped state of intermediate storage, however, when the waste confidence panel was questioned on the possibility, interim waste repositories seemed to emerge, almost on the fly, as an integral part of any revised waste policy rule.

“Will any of your scenarios include interim centralized above-ground storage?” we asked during the last public session. Paul Michalak, who heads the environmental impact statement branch of the Waste Confidence Directorate, first said temporary sites would be considered in the second and third options. Then, after a short pause,Mr. Michalak added [PDF, p40], “First one, too. All right. Right. That’s right. So we’re considering an interim consolidated storage facility [in] all three scenarios.”

The lack of certainty on any site or sites is, however, not the only fuzzy part of the picture. As mentioned earlier, the amount of high-level radioactive waste currently on hand in the United States and in need of a final resting place is upwards of 70,000 tons – already at the amount that was set as the initial top limit for the Yucca Mountain repository. Given that there are still over 100 domestic commercial nuclear reactors more or less in operation, producing something like an additional 2,000 tons of spent fuel every year, what happens to the Waste Confidence Directorate’s scenarios as the years and waste pile up? How much waste were regulators projecting they would have to deal with? How much spent fuel would a waste confidence decision assume the system could confidently handle?

There was initial confusion on what amount of waste – and at what point in time – was informing the process. Pressed for clarification on the last day of hearings, NRC officials finally posited that it was assumed there would be 150,000 metric tons of spent fuel – all deriving from the commercial reactor fleet – by 2050. By the end of the century, the NRC expects to face a mountain of waste weighing 270,000 metric tons [PDF, pp38-41] (though this figure was perplexingly termed both a “conservative number” and an “overestimate”).

How did the panel arrive at these numbers? Were they assuming all 104 (soon to be 103 – Wisconsin’s Kewaunee Power Station will shut down by mid-2013 for reasons its owner, Dominion Resources, says are based “purely on economics”) commercial reactors nominally in operation would continue to function for that entire timeframe – even though many are nearing the end of their design life and none are licensed to continue operation beyond the 2030s? Were they counting reactors like those at San Onofre, which have been offline for almost a year and are not expected to restart anytime soon? Or the troubled reactors at Ft. Calhoun in Nebraska and Florida’s Crystal River? Neither facility has been functional in recent years, and both have many hurdles to overcome if they are ever to produce power again. Were they factoring in the projected AP1000 reactors in the early stages of construction in Georgia, or the ones slated for South Carolina? Did the NRC expect more or fewer reactors generating waste over the course of the next 88 years?

The response: waste estimates include all existing facilities, plus “likely reactors” – but the NRC cannot say exactly how many reactors that is [PDF, p. 41].

Jamming It Through

Answers like those from the Waste Confidence Directorate do not inspire (pardon the expression) confidence for a country looking at a mountain of eternally toxic waste. Just what would the waste confidence decision (and the environmental impact survey that should result from it) actually cover? What would it mandate, and what would change as a result?

In past relicensing hearings – where the public could comment on proposed license extensions on plants already reaching the end of their 40-year design life – objections based on the mounting waste problem and already packed spent fuel pools were waved off by the NRC, which referenced the waste confidence decision as the basis of its rationale. Yet, when discussing the parameters of the process for the latest, court-ordered revision to the NWCD, Dr. Keith McConnell, director of the Waste Confidence Directorate, asserted that waste confidence was not connected to the site-specific licensed life of operations [PDF, p. 42], but only to a period defined as “post-licensed life storage” (which appears, if a chart in the directorate’s presentation [PDF, p. 12] is to be taken literally, to extend from 60 years after the initial creation of waste, to 120 years – at which point a phase labeled “disposal” begins). Issues of spent fuel pool and dry cask safety are the concerns of a specific plant’s relicensing process, said regulators in the latest hearings.

“It’s like dealing with the Mad Hatter,” commented Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste specialist for industry watchdog Beyond Nuclear. “Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today.”

The edict originated with the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, but it is all too appropriate – and no less maddening – when trying to motivate meaningful change at the NRC. The NRC has used the nuclear waste confidence decision in licensing inquiries, but in these latest scoping hearings, we are told the NWCD does not apply to on-site waste storage. The appeals court criticized the lack of site-specificity in the waste storage rules, but the directorate says they are now only working on a generic guideline. The court disapproved of the NRC’s continued relicensing of nuclear facilities based on the assumption of a long-term geologic repository that in reality did not exist – and the NRC said it was suspending licensing pending a new rule – but now regulators say they don’t anticipate the denial or even the delay of any reactor license application while they await the new waste confidence decision [PDF, pp. 49-50].

In fact, the NRC has continued the review process on pending applications, even though there is now no working NWCD – something deemed essential by the courts – against which to evaluate new licenses.

The period for public comment on the scope of the waste confidence decision ended January 2, and no more scoping hearings are planned. There will be other periods for civic involvement – during the environmental impact survey and rulemaking phases – but with each step, the areas open to input diminish. And the current schedule has the entire process greatly accelerated over previous revisions.

On January 3, a coalition of 24 grassroots environmental groups filed documents with the NRC [PDF] protesting “the ‘hurry up’ two-year timeframe” for this assessment, noting the time allotted for environmental review falls far short of the 2019 estimate set by the NRC’s own technical staff. The coalition observed that two years was also not enough time to integrate post-Fukushima recommendations, and that the NRC was narrowing the scope of the decision – ignoring specific instructions from the appeals court – in order to accelerate the drafting of a new waste-storage rule.

Speed might seem a valuable asset if the NRC were shepherding a Manhattan Project-style push for a solution to the ever-growing waste problem – the one that began with the original Manhattan Project – but that is not what is at work here. Instead, the NRC, under court order, is trying to set the rules for determining the risk of all that high-level radioactive waste if there is no new, feasible solution. The NRC is looking for a way to permit the continued operation of the US nuclear fleet – and so, the continued manufacture of nuclear waste – without an answer to the bigger, pressing question.

A Plan Called HOSS

While there is much to debate about what a true permanent solution to the nuclear waste problem might look like, there is little question that the status quo is unacceptable. Spent fuel pools were never intended to be used as they are now used – re-racked and densely packed with over a generation of fuel assemblies. Both the short- and long-term safety and security of the pools has now been questioned by the courts and laid bare by reality. Pools at numerous US facilities have leaked radioactive waste [PDF] into rivers, groundwater and soil. Sudden “drain downs” of water used for cooling have come perilously close to triggering major accidents in plants very near to major population centers. Recent hurricanes have knocked out power to cooling systems and flooded backup generators, and last fall’s superstorm came within inches of overwhelming the coolant intake structure at Oyster Creek in New Jersey.

The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility was so dangerous, and remains dangerous to this day, in part because of the large amounts of spent fuel stored in pools next to the reactors but outside of containment – a design identical to 35 US nuclear reactors. A number of these GE Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactors – such as Oyster Creek and Vermont Yankee – have more spent fuel packed into their individual pools than all the waste in Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 combined.

Dry casks, the obvious next “less-bad” option for high-level radioactive waste, were also not supposed to be a permanent panacea. The design requirements and manufacturing regulations of casks – especially the earliest generations – do not guarantee their reliability anywhere near the 100 to 300 years now being casually tossed around by NRC officials. Some of the nation’s older dry casks (which in this case means 15 to 25 years) have already shown seal failures and structural wear [PDF]. Yet the government does not require direct monitoring of casks for excessive heat or radioactive leaks – only periodic “walkthroughs.”

Add in the reluctance of plant operators to spend money on dry cask transfer and the lack of any workable plan to quickly remove radioactive fuel from failed casks, and dry cask storage also appears to fail to attain any court-ordered level of confidence.

Interim plans, such as regional consolidated above-ground storage, remain just that – plans. There are no sites selected and no designs for such a facility up for public scrutiny. What is readily apparent, though, is that the frequent transport of nuclear waste increases the risk of nuclear accidents. There does not, as of now, exist a transfer container that is wholly leak proof, accident proof and impervious to terrorist attack. Moving high-level radioactive waste across the nation’s highways, rail lines and waterways has raised fears of “Mobile Chernobyls” and “Floating Fukushimas.”

More troubling still, if past (and present) is prologue, is the tendency of options designed as “interim” to morph into a default “permanent.” Can the nation afford to kick the can once more, spending tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars on a “solution” that will only add a collection of new challenges to the existing roster of problems? What will the interim facilities become beyond the next problem, the next site for costly mountains of poorly stored, dangerous waste?

If there is an interim option favored by many nuclear experts, engineers and environmentalists [PDF], it is something called HOSS – Hardened On-Site Storage [PDF]. HOSS is a version of dry cask storage that is designed and manufactured to last longer, is better protected against leaks and better shielded from potential attacks. Proposals [PDF] involve steel, concrete and earthen barriers incorporating proper ventilation and direct monitoring for heat and radiation.

But not all reactor sites are good candidates for HOSS. Some are too close to rivers that regularly flood, some are vulnerable to the rising seas and increasingly severe storms brought on by climate change, and others are close to active geologic fault zones. For facilities where hardened on-site storage would be an option, nuclear operators will no doubt fight the requirements because of the increased costs above and beyond the price of standard dry cask storage, which most plant owners already try to avoid or delay.

The First Rule of Holes

In a wooded park just outside Chicago sits a dirt mound, near a bike path, which contains parts of the still-highly-radioactive remains of CP-1, the world’s first atomic pile. Seven decades after that nuclear fuel was first buried, many health experts would not recommend that spot [PDF] for a long, languorous picnic, nor would they recommend drinking from nearby water fountains. To look at it in terms Arthur Compton might favor, when it comes to the products of nuclear chain reactions, the natives are restless … and will remain so for millennia to come.

One can perhaps forgive those working in the pressure cooker of the Manhattan Project and in the middle of a world war for ignoring the forest for the trees – for not considering waste disposal while pursuing a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. Perhaps. But, as the burial mound in Red Gate Woods reminds us, ignoring a problem does not make it go away.

And if that small pile or the mountains of spent fuel precariously stored around the nation are not enough of a prompt, the roughly $960 million that the federal government has had to pay private nuclear operators should be. For every year that the DOE does not provide a permanent waste repository – or at least some option that takes the burden of storing spent nuclear fuel off the hands (and off the books) of power companies – the government is obligated to reimburse the industry for the costs of onsite waste storage. By 2020, it is estimated that $11 billion in public money will have been transferred into the pockets of private nuclear companies. By law, these payments cannot be drawn from the ratepayer-fed fund that is earmarked for a permanent geologic repository, and so, these liabilities must be paid out of the federal budget. Legal fees for defending the DOE against these claims will add another 20 to 30 percent to settlement costs.

The Federal appeals court, too, has sent a clear message that the buck needs to stop somewhere at some point – and that such a time and place should be both explicit and realistic. The nuclear waste confidence scoping process, however, is already giving the impression that the NRC’s next move will be generic and improbable.

The late, great Texas journalist Molly Ivins once remarked, “The first rule of holes” is, “when you’re in one, stop digging.” For high-level radioactive waste, that hole is now a mountain, over 70 years in the making and over 70,000 tons high. If the history of the atomic age is not evidence enough, the implications of the waste confidence decision process put the current crisis in stark relief. There is, right now, no good option for dealing with the nuclear detritus currently on hand, and there is not even a plan to develop a good option in the near future. Without a way to safely store the mountain of waste already created, under what rationale can a responsible government permit the manufacture of so much more?

The federal government spends billions to perpetuate and protect the nuclear industry – and plans to spend billions more to expand the number of commercial reactors. Dozens of facilities are already past, or are fast approaching, the end of their design lives, but the NRC has yet to reject any request for an operating license extension – and it is poised to approve many more, nuclear waste confidence decision notwithstanding. Plant operators continue to balk at any additional regulations that would require better waste management.

The lesson of the first 70 years of fission is that we cannot endure more of the same. The government – from the DOE to the NRC – should reorient its priorities from creating more nuclear waste to safely and securely containing what is now here. Money slated for subsidizing current reactors and building new ones would be better spent on shuttering aging plants, designing better storage options for their waste, modernizing the electrical grid and developing sustainable energy alternatives. (And reducing demand through conservation programs should always be part of the conversation.)

Enrico Fermi might not have foreseen (or cared about) the mountain of waste that began with his first atomic pile, but current scientists, regulators and elected officials have the benefit of hindsight. If the first rule of holes says stop digging, then the dictum here should be that when you’re trying to summit a mountain, you don’t keep shoveling more garbage on top.

North Korea claims they plan ‘high-level’ nuclear test aimed at United States

 

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(EndTheLie) -North Korea reportedly claimed on Thursday that they plan to conduct a nuclear test as well as more rocket launches aimed at its “arch-enemy,” the United States.

The veracity of this claim is highly questionable given that North Korea regularly makes threats that they never follow through with, although, as I reported in April of 2012, reports emerged indicating “North Korea allegedly might have a missile which is capable of delivering a payload to the continental United States.”

Those reports were highly dubious since analysts couldn’t even tell if what they observed in imagery captured by satellites was an actual missile or a life-size mock-up.

According to AFP, this latest test is being done in response to new United Nations sanctions, although no timeframe has been provided for the test.

“In the new phase of our century-long struggle against the United States, we do not hide the fact that various satellites, long-range missiles that we will continue to launch and high-level nuclear test we will conduct will target our sworn enemy, the United States,” the North Korean National Defense Commission said in a statement according to reports. The statement was apparently originally reported in English by South Korea’s Yonhap.

The National Defense Commission statement came after the UN Security Council condemned North Korea and expanded sanctions over the rocket launch in December, according to the Associated Press.

While North Korea maintained that the launch was actually just a peaceful satellite mission, Western powers like the United states maintained it was actually a test of long-range missile technology.

According to another Associated Press report, North Korea threatened to wage a “full-fledged confrontation” against the United States over what they call continued hostilities.

After the vote was held to approve expansion of UN sanctions on North Korea, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said, “This resolution demonstrates to North Korea that there are unanimous and significant consequences for its flagrant violation of its obligations under previous resolutions.”

“More importantly, the provisions of this resolution — both new sanctions and the tightening and expanding of existing measures — concretely help to impede the growth of North Korea’s (weapons of mass destruction) program and reduce the threat of proliferation by targeting entities and individuals directly involved in these programs,” Rice said, according to CNN.

The UN Security Council resolution specifically targets a North Korean bank, the North Korean space agency and a handful of other companies. In addition, four individuals were added to the so-called blacklist.

The Drone Commander:20,000 Airstrikes in the President’s First Term Cause Death and Destruction From Iraq to Somalia

 of 9/11: “Why do they hate us?”

(AlterNet) -Many people around the world are disturbed by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The illusion that American drones can strike without warning anywhere in the world without placing Americans in harm’s way makes drones dangerously attractive to U.S. officials, even as they fuel the cycle of violence that the “war on terror” falsely promised to end but has instead escalated and sought to normalize. But drone strikes are only the tip of an iceberg, making up less than 10 percent of at least 20,130 air strikes the U.S. has conducted in other countries since President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

The U.S. dropped 17,500 bombs during its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It conducted 29,200 air strikes during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. U.S. air forces conducted at least another 3,900 air strikes in Iraq over the next eight years, before the Iraqi government finally negotiated the withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces. But that pales next to at least 38,100 U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan since 2002, a country already occupied by U.S. and NATO forces, with a government pledged by its U.S. overlords to bring peace and justice to its people.
 
The Obama administration is responsible for at least 18,274 air strikes in Afghanistan since 2009, including at least 1,160 by pilotless drones. The U.S. conducted at least 116 air strikes in Iraq in 2009 and about 1,460 of NATO’s 7,700 strikes in Libya in 2011. While the U.S. military does not publish figures on “secret” air and drone strikes in other countries, press reports detail a five-fold increase over Bush’s second term, with at least 303 strikes in Pakistan, 125 in Yemen and 16 in Somalia.
 
Aside from the initial bombing of Afghanistan in 2001 and the “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq in March and April 2003, the Obama administration has conducted more air strikes day-in day-out than the Bush administration. Bush’s roughly 24,000 air strikes in seven years from 2002 to 2008 amounted to an air strike about every 3 hours, while Obama’s 20,130 in four years add up to one every 1-3/4 hours.
 
The U.S. government does not advertise these figures, and journalists have largely ignored them. But the bombs and missiles used in these air strikes are powerful weapons designed to inflict damage, death and injury over a wide radius, up to hundreds of feet from their points of impact. The effect of such bombs and shells on actual battlefields, where the victims are military personnel, has always been deadly and gruesome. Many soldiers who lived through shelling and bombing in the First and Second World Wars never recovered from “shell-shock” or what we now call PTSD.
 
The use of such weapons in America’s current wars, where “the battlefield” is often a euphemism for houses, villages or even urban areas densely populated by civilians, frequently violates otherwise binding rules of international humanitarian law. These include the Fourth Geneva Convention, signed in 1949 to protect civilians from the worst effects of war and military occupation.
 
Beginning in 2005, the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued quarterly reports on human rights in Iraq. They included details of U.S. air strikes that killed civilians, and UNAMI called on U.S. authorities to fully investigate these incidents. A UNAMI human rights report published in October 2007 demanded, “that all credible allegations of unlawful killings by MNF (multi-national force) forces be thoroughly, promptly and impartially investigated, and appropriate action taken against military personnel found to have used excessive or indiscriminate force.”
 
The UN human rights report included a reminder to U.S. military commanders that, “Customary international humanitarian law demands that, as much as possible, military objectives must not be located within areas densely populated by civilians. The presence of individual combatants among a great number of civilians does not alter the civilian nature of an area.”
 
But no Americans have been held criminally accountable for civilian casualties in air strikes, either in Iraq or in the more widespread bombing of occupied Afghanistan. U.S. officials dispute findings of fact and law in investigations by the UN and the Afghan government, but they accept no independent mechanism for resolving these disputes, effectively shielding themselves from accountability.
 
Besides simply not being informed of the extent of the U.S. bombing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. public has been subject to military propaganda about the accuracy and effectiveness of “precision” weapons. When military forces detonate tens of thousands of powerful bombs and missiles in a country, even highly accurate weapons are bound to kill many innocent people. When we are talking about 33,000 bombs and missiles exploding in Iraq, 55,000 in Afghanistan and 7,700 in Libya, it is critical to understand just how accurate or inaccurate these weapons really are. If only 10 percent missed their targets, that would mean nearly 10,000 bombs and missiles blowing up something or somewhere else, killing and maiming thousands of unintended victims.
 
But even the latest generation of “precision” weapons is not 90 percent accurate. One of the world’s leading experts on this subject, Rob Hewson, the editor of the military journal Jane’s Air Launched Weapons, estimated that 20 to 25 percent of the 19,948 precision weapons used in the “shock and awe” attack on Iraq in 2003 completely missed their targets. The other 9,251 bombs and missiles were not classified as “precision” weapons in the first place, so that only about 56 percent of the total 29,199 “shock and awe” weapons actually performed with “precision” by the military’s own standards. And those standards define precision for most of these weapons only as striking within a 29 foot radius of the target.
 
To an expert like Rob Hewson who understood the real-world effects of these weapons, “shock and awe” presented an ethical and legal problem to which American military spokespeople and journalists seemed oblivious. As he told the Associated Press, “In a war that’s being fought for the benefit of the Iraqi people, you can’t afford to kill any of them. But you can’t drop bombs and not kill people. There’s a real dichotomy in all of this.” 

The actual results of U.S. air strikes were better documented in Iraq than in Afghanistan. Epidemiological studies in Iraq bore out Hewson’s assessment, finding that tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Iraqi civilians were killed by U.S. air strikes. The first major epidemiological study conducted in Iraq after 18 months of war and occupation concluded:

Violent deaths were widespread … and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children … Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths.

When the same team from Johns Hopkins and Baghdad’s Al Mustansariya University did a more extensive study in Iraq in 2006 after three years of war and occupation, it found that, amidst the proliferation of all kinds of violence, U.S. air strikes by then accounted for a smaller share of total deaths, except in one crucial respect: they still accounted for half of all violent deaths of children in Iraq.
 
No such studies have been conducted in Afghanistan, but hundreds of thousands of Afghans now living in refugee camps tell of homes and villages destroyed by U.S. air strikes and of family members killed in the bombing. There is no evidence that the pattern of bombing casualties in Afghanistan has been any kinder to children and other innocents than in Iraq. Impossibly low figures on civilian casualties published by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan are the result of small numbers of completed investigations, not comprehensive surveys. They therefore give a misleading impression, which is then amplified by wishful and uncritical Western news reports.
 
When the UN identified only 80 civilians killed in U.S. Special Forces night raids in 2010, Nader Nadery of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, who worked on the UN report, explained that this was based on completed investigations of only 13 of the 73 incidents reported to the UN for the year. He estimated the number of civilians killed in all 73 incidents at 420. But most U.S. air strikes and special forces raids occur in resistance-held areas where people have no contact with the UN or the Human Rights Commission. So even thorough and complete UN investigations in the areas it has access to would only document a fraction of total Afghan civilian casualties. Western journalists who report UN civilian casualty figures from Afghanistan as if they were estimates of total casualties unwittingly contribute to a propaganda narrative that dramatically understates the scale of violence raining down from the skies on the people of Afghanistan.
 
President Obama and the politicians and media who keep the scale, destructiveness and indiscriminate nature of U.S. air strikes shrouded in silence understand only too well that the American public has in no way approved this shameful and endless tsunami of violence against people in other countries. Day after day for 11 years, U.S. air strikes have conclusively answered the familiar question of 9/11: “Why do they hate us?” As Congressmember Barbara Lee warned in 2001, we have “become the evil we deplore.” It is time to change course. Ending the daily routine of deadly U.S. air strikes, including but by no means limited to drone strikes, should be President Obama’s most urgent national security priority as he begins his second term in office.

Two US power plants infected with malware spread via USB drive

(ArsTechnica) -Critical control systems inside two US power generation facilities were found infected with computer malware, according to the US Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team.

Both infections were spread by USB drives that were plugged into critical systems used to control power generation equipment, according to the organization’s newsletter for October, November, and December of 2012. The authors didn’t identify the owners of the facilities and there’s no indication the infections resulted in injuries or equipment failures.

The incidents were reported earlier by Threat Post, and they are the latest to underscore the vulnerabilities posed by so-called supervisory control and data acquisition systems that aren’t properly secured. SCADA and industrial control systems use computers to flip switches, turn dials, and manipulate other controls inside dams, power-generation plants, and other critical infrastructure. Computer malware that infects those systems can pose a threat by giving remote attackers the ability to sabotage sensitive equipment. Last year, a backdoor in a widely used piece of industrial software allowed hackers to illegally access a New Jersey company’s internal heating and air-conditioning system.

According to one of the articles in the newsletter, one of the infections was discovered after an employee experienced problems with the USB drive and called in IT staff to troubleshoot.

“When the IT employee inserted the drive into a computer with up-to-date antivirus software, the antivirus software produced three positive hits,” the newsletter reported. “Initial analysis caused particular concern when one sample was linked to known sophisticated malware.”

Based on the article, it’s not clear if the control system workstations use any form of antivirus protection.

“While the implementation of an antivirus solution presents some challenges in a control system environment, it could have been effective in identifying both the common and the sophisticated malware discovered on the USB drive and the engineering workstations,” it said. The report also noted the workstations had no backup mechanism, so “an ineffective or failed cleanup would have significantly impaired their operations.”

The other infection affected 10 computers in a turbine control system. It was also spread by a USB drive and “resulted in downtime for the impacted systems and delayed the plant restart by approximately three weeks,” the article stated. It went on to encourage owners and operators of critical infrastructure to “develop and implement baseline security policies for maintaining up-to-date antivirus definitions, managing system patching, and governing the use of removable media.”

USB drives have remained the weak link in many industrial control systems, which often lack Internet connections to minimize exposure to malicious software. The Stuxnet worm and the Flame malware—both of which were reportedly developed by the US and Israel to attack and spy on critical systems in Iran—relied on USB drives to propagate attack code and to ferry intercepted communications over air-gapped networks. Microsoft has patched the vulnerabilities that made some of those attacks possible on Windows computers, but it’s not clear all users have installed them.

Most Israelis disagree with Netanyahu on Iran: Poll

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

 
 
(PressTV) -Despite the rhetoric by Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to sensationalize the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program, a recent survey shows that the majority of Israelis believe the issue of economy, not Iran, is the most critical issue they face.

According to a poll conducted by the Times of Israel, 43 percent of the respondents consider economic issues as the most important issue in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Israel.

Only 12 percent of the respondents, 23 percent of right-wing voters and only 2 percent of left-wing voters, said they were concerned about Iran and its nuclear energy program.

This is while Netanyahu has been trying to bring ‘security’ and diplomacy issues to the forefront of the January 22 elections.

On December 23, 2012, Netanyahu said that Iran’s nuclear energy program would “remain” his central issue in the next term if he was re-elected in the January elections.

Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran’s nuclear energy facilities based on the unfounded allegation that the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program may contain non-civilian aspects.

Iran has vehemently refuted the allegations against its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.

Repeating the war-mongering rhetoric on November 5, Netanyahu said he is ready to order a strike on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities.

However, several current and former Israeli military and intelligence figures have come out against Netanyahu’s war rhetoric against Tehran, saying such a move will in fact be to the detriment of the Israeli regime itself.

On January 11, former Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert strongly criticized Netanyahu for wasting billions of shekels for preparing futile war plans against Iran and said, “In the past two years, we have spent more than 11 billion shekels on security hallucinations that were not performed and will not be performed.”

Rapid DNA analyzers coming to every police station and TSA checkpoint in America

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(NaturalNews) If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you’ve got nothing to
worry about, right?

That seems to be the pervasive logic of an increasing
number of government officials and agencies that have forgotten the uniquely
American legal principle of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.
How else to explain the acceptance and widespread employment of technology that
gathers potential evidence on everyone indiscriminately, whether they’ve
been suspected of creating a crime or not?

According to the Electronic
Freedom Frontier
, a group that advocates for privacy rights in the digital
age, “In the amount of time it takes to get lunch, the government can now
collect your DNA and extract a profile that identifies you and your family
members” using a device called a Rapid DNA Analyzer, which can “process DNA in
90 minutes or less.”

Guilty until proven…innocent?

The
EFF says these machines are not the imagination of science fiction writers.
Rather, the group says they are “an operational reality” and are currently being
marketed to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies all around the
nation.

The device, according to GE Life Sciences, in conjunction
with NetBio, Inc., “is a self-contained unit with all the
accessories you need to conduct a full DNA analysis.” Designed for field use by
non-scientific personnel, the laser printer-sized machines will soon
“revolutionize the use of DNA
by making it a routine identification and investigational tool.”

“Major
applications include criminal forensics, military human identification,
biothreat detection, and clinical diagnostics. NetBio believes that widespread
use of RDA, particularly in the field and at the point of care, will improve
both the safety, and health of society,” says a description of its machine by
NetBio [http://netbio.com/].

Well, what’s the big deal? After
you, you haven’t done anything wrong – have you? What’s a little DNA
between a citizen and their government?

The fact is, the potential for
abuse with a machine like this is endless. Such technology merely feeds into the
tyrant’s mentality that, “in the name of public safety,” you are, by definition,
a rebel and a threat if you don’t automatically comply, hence the mindset, “You
must be hiding something.”

It’s as if the Fourth Amendment’s privacy
protections have never existed.

EFF lays out additional
concerns:

DNA samples contain such sensitive, private and personal
information that their indefinite storage and unlimited sharing create privacy
risks far worse than other types of data. The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) stated in a 2008 Note titled DNA Testing to Establish
Family Relationships in the Refugee Context that DNA testing “can have serious
implications for the right to privacy and family unity” and should be used only
as a “last resort.” The UNHCR also stated that, if DNA is collected, it “should
not be used for any other purpose (for instance medical tests or criminal
investigations) than the verification of family relationships” and that DNA
associated with the test “should normally be destroyed once a decision has been
made.”

Who would verify that such samples, in fact, are
destroyed
once the “suspect” from whom it was taken was cleared by
authorities (for doing…nothing)? The agencies themselves? Given our
government’s history of privacy abuses, why should any of us trust
them?

What’s more the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well
as the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, has
earmarked substantial funds to develop a Rapid DNA capability, and for
more “much broader purposes than just verifying refugee applications,” as the
agencies have stated, according to EFF.

Devices already being
tested

“The agency notes that DNA should be collected from all
immigration applicants – possibly even infants – and then stored in the FBI’s
criminal DNA database,” EFF says. “The agency also supports sharing immigrant
DNA with ‘local, state, tribal, international, and other federal partners’
including the Department of Defense and Interpol on the off-chance the refugee
or asylum seeker could be a criminal or terrorist or could commit a crime or act
of terrorism in the future.”

All on the off-chance that someone,
sometime, somewhere, may commit a crime.

The Transportation
Security Administration falls under the purview of DHS; we could see the
deployment of some sort of Rapid DNA Analyzer at airports as part of a new
regulatory requirement
in order to board an airplane. Then, of course, the
government would have your DNA sample forever.

DHS began testing the
devices in the summer of 2011, according to NextGov.com.

This “guilty until proven innocent” law
enforcement mentality is not the kind of justice system our founding
fathers envisioned.

Eight US Sailors Sue Japan’s TEPCO For Lying About Fukushima Radiation

(ZeroHedge) -It was only a matter of time before Japan’s criminal lying about the radioactive exposure in the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe caught up with it. What is surprising is that those holding Japan accountable are not its citizens but eight US sailors who have just filed a suit against semi-nationalized energy operator TEPCO – the company which repeatedly ignored internal warnings about the ability of the Fukushima NPP to withstand an earthquake/tsunami – seeking $110 million in damages.

As Kyodo reports:

 
 

Eight U.S. sailors have filed a damages suit against Tokyo Electric Power Co., claiming they were exposed to radiation and face health threats as the utility did not provide appropriate information about the Fukushima nuclear disaster while they engaged in rescue operations on board an aircraft carrier, U.S. media reported.

 

The plaintiffs who filed the suit at the U.S. federal court in San Diego — seeking a total of $110 million, or 9.4 billion yen, in damages — were aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it was involved in “Operation Tomodachi,” a disaster relief effort shortly after a big earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear accident in decades, the reports said.”

What is sad is that while everyone in the alternative media was repeatedly warning about the radiation exposure being misrepresented by both TEPCO and various Japanese ministries, it was the mainstream media that was constantly complicit in disseminating official and unofficial lies that there is nothing to fear. Which begs the question: shouldn’t the lawsuit stretch to everyone who – without inquiring deeper and merely serving as a mouthpiece to a lying government and utility – gave the “all clear” even as radiation levels were approaching, and in many occasions, passing critical levels?

But hey: they were merely following orders, and were worried about keeping their jobs if they stepped out of line and questioned the line of propaganda command. Luckily, this will be the first time in world history this excuse will have been used.

Engineers warn: Two US nuclear plants may cause new Fukushima

 

(RT) -Nuclear engineers have warned the Senate of the threats facing two US nuclear power facilities, which could result in enormous explosions or a Fukushima-like meltdown if natural phenomena or weather conditions cause the facilities to fail.

­Senator Joe Lieberman is the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs, but will retire in 2013. Two nuclear engineers have asked him to spend his last days in Congress investigating the threats posed by two nuclear power facilities.

Paul Blanch, a retired nuclear engineer who used to work at the Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan, N.Y., and Lawrence Criscione, a risk engineer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) headquarters, sent a letter to the senator, warning that a Fukushima-like meltdown is in America’s future if no action is taken to improve the facilities at Indian Point and Oconee.

The engineers claim that the gas lines leading to the facilities, as well as nearby dams, are vulnerable to sabotage. Engineering failures or natural phenomena like earthquakes or floods can also cause a meltdown.

The potential energy released in a gas line rupture at Indian Point is equivalent to that from a massive conventional bomb; the 2010 explosion and fire in San Bruno, Calif., is an example of the destructive force, which a pipeline rupture can unless,” the letter states.

“The flooding resulting from a failure of Jocassee Dam at Oconee would be similar to that experienced at Fukushima following the tsunami,” it describes.

While the facilities themselves are well-guarded, their support systems meant to prevent meltdowns can be easily damaged. A meltdown of their reactors could result in “severe radiological and economic consequences to areas surrounding these plants,” the engineers wrote. Areas within and possibly beyond 50 miles of the facilities “could be rendered uninhabitable for generations,” which would include New York City if the Indian Point facility’s gas pipeline explodes, Blanch and Criscione warned.

Although the conditions are dire, the issues have been ignored for years. Two nuclear whistleblowers publicly accused the NRC of taking steps to cover up the dangerous shortcomings of America’s power plants. Earlier this month, Richard H. Perkins and Criscione compromised their jobs by speaking out about their concerns to the Huffington Post. The men claimed that the NRC repeatedly refused to acknowledge that there was any sort of risk involved in keeping the plants open and tried to keep the flaws secret.

The NRC has “allowed a very dangerous scenario to continue unaddressed for years,” Perkins said. Nuclear power plants are required by US law to able to withstand all types of weather conditions that could occur in the region they are located, but many of their flood walls are inadequate and don’t consider the floodwaters that could result from nearby dams.

The Oconee Nuclear Station in South Caroline is protected by a 5-foot wall, but is located near a dam that could result in floodwaters as high as 16.8 feet and cause a meltdown that resembled what happened in Fukushima.

Blanch has been petitioning the NRC about gas line issues since 2010, and Criscione has raised the issue with Congress, the media, and high-ranking officials at the NRC.

Regardless of the efforts of both engineers and employees of the NRC, the commission has repeatedly claimed that no problems exist.

“The NRC has reviewed and evaluated the gas pipeline issue. Our review of the petition found the plant continues to comply with NRC requirements,” Burnell described the NRC response to a complaint he made about Indian Point.

In yet another effort to bring attention to the dangers facing Americans living near these power plants, Blanch and Criscione are lobbying the Senate for support.

“We respectfully request that your staff review the enclosures and determine if the nuclear reactor plants involved are adequately secure from attack,” they wrote in the letter, asking the Senate to request that the NRC temporarily shut down the plants if they are not secure.

Why I Always Opt Out of the TSA’s Naked Body Scanners

1aabbcThe TSA’s naked body scanners have created mass congestion and humiliation within every major airport at which they are installed, but leading radiation experts say that they are also causing mass waves of cancer — the exact number of which is impossible to calculate. You may or may not remember, but in November of last year a bombshell report linking the scanners to cancer actually led to a TSA press response in which they promised to re-test the scanners through independent trials.

As you may have guessed, they of course decided not to proceed with the testing after promising to do so. If they had actually done so, of course, then it would reveal to travels just how much radiation they are being blasted with when travelling through the ‘harmless’ scanners.

It was actually back in 1998 that radiation experts, much like one leading radiation expert I spoke with in a video below, actually projected that the scanners were causing cancer deaths thanks to the emission of radiation. This of course was back in 1998, long before the widespread usage of the scanners. With these machines being rolled out nationwide and having millions pass through each year, the estimate of 100 or so deaths per year back in 1998 can actually be expanded to the thousands (if not more). Even John Hopkins scientists warned similarly that the scanners can wreak havoc on the body.

I spoke with Dr. Edward Group, a practicing radiation expert of over 20 years and the founder of Global Healing Center specifically to address the dangers of the TSA’s naked body scanners:

 

U.S. Gov’t Asks Federal Judge to Dismiss Cases of Americans Killed by Drones

 

a1obdrone

(Activist Post) – As Americans mourn the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults in the Newtown, CT tragedy – and the gun control debate has reached a fever pitch – autonomous killing systems are being funded by American taxpayers, and drone strikes continue to kill an increasing number of civilians abroad.

Barack Obama and the U.S. government policy makers have shown an incredible level of hypocrisy before; on the one hand lamenting such senseless deaths as have occurred in “mass shootings” while conducting their own mass killing, torture, and terror campaigns in foreign lands.

A culture of violence can’t have it both ways, though, and the welcoming of drones into American skies by Congress is sure to unleash physical havoc shortly after concerns over surveillance and privacy are dismissed.

As a clear sign of what can be expected, the U.S. government has asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit brought by the families of three Americans killed by drone strikes in Yemen. If federal courts rule that these cases are without merit, it will set a dangerous precedent that only the executive branch of government can decide which Americans have a constitutional right to due process, while further enhancing a framework where the government will decide who is fit to be mourned and who should be forgotten

$41.5 Million EPA Investigation Finds High Levels of Radiation in California

(TheIntelHubs) – The Santa Susana Field Laboratory is a complex of industrial research and development facilities located on a 2,668-acre (1,080 ha) portion of the Southern California Simi Hills in Simi Valley, California, used mainly for the testing and development of liquid-propellant rocket engines for the United States space program from 1949 to 2006, nuclear reactors from 1953 to 1980 and the operation of a U.S. government-sponsored liquid metals research center from 1966 to 1998.

The site is located approximately 7 miles (11 km) northwest from the community of Canoga Park and approximately 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Sage Ranch Park is adjacent on part of the northern boundary and the community of Bell Canyon along the entire southern boundary. — Wikipedia

By Shepard Ambellas

In 2009, the Department of Energy and governmental stimulus funds brought $41.5 million dollars to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct an investigation into claims that the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and surrounding area is contaminated with radiation.

As a result of that investigation, the EPA has now deemed that the land toxic and contaminated with high levels of radiation.

Teresa Rochester writes;

The survey, which includes test results of samples of groundwater, sediment and subsurface soil in the Northern Buffer Zone and Area IV, which was once home to 10 small nuclear reactors, found about 10 percent of them exceeded background levels established by two laboratories.

Those background levels were going to be used to plot the cleanup of radiological contamination at the site, which will be overseen by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control….

…. Radionuclides such as strontium-90, cesium-137 and tritium were found in some samples that exceeded EPA’s background limits.

EPA officials collected 3,735 soil and sediment samples and 215 groundwater and surface samples from the site. Of the 34 surface water samples collected, two instances of maximum contamination levels being exceeded, while four areas had high levels of contamination in sediment. There were nearly 300 instances of Cesium-137 in soil samples exceeding maximum levels, while 153 samples had levels of Strontium-90 that far exceeded the background level.

Local residents and nuclear watchdog activists just want to see the site cleaned as promised.

Radiation levels have recently been a major topic of concern after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster that took place in Japan causing the spread of harmful radiation throughout the atmosphere.

Still yet, as of 2012, many former nuclear testing sites like the Santa Susana Field Laboratory remain contaminated.

Diabolic individuals and governments seem to want to continue the use of nuclear technology despite major breakthroughs in clean, green, efficient energy technologies.

In fact, in most cases, nuclear power companies have suppressed clean energy technology in order to continue to line their pockets at the possible health expense of the American people.

Reining in Obama and His Drones

(Ralph Nader) -Barack Obama, former president of the Harvard Law Review and a constitutional law lecturer, should go back and review his coursework. He seems to have declined to comport his presidency to the rule of law.

Let’s focus here on his major expansion of drone warfare in defiance of international law, statutory law and the Constitution. Obama’s drones roam over multiple nations of Asia and Africa and target suspects, both known and unknown, whom the president, in his unbridled discretion, wants to evaporate for the cause of national security.

More than 2,500 people have been killed by Obama’s drones, many of them civilians and bystanders, including American citizens, irrespective of the absence of any “imminent threat” to the United States.

As Justin Elliott of ProPublica wrote: “Under Obama…only 13 percent (of those killed) could be considered militant leaders – either of the Pakistani Taliban, the Afghan Taliban, or Al Qaeda.” The remaining fatalities, apart from many innocent civilians, including children, were people oppressed by their own harsh regimes or dominated by U.S. occupation of their country. Aside from human rights and the laws of war, this distinction between civilian and combatant matters because it shows that Obama’s drones are becoming what Elliott calls “a counterinsurgency air force” for our collaborative regimes.

The “kill lists”  are the work of Obama and his advisors, led by John O. Brennan, and come straight from the White House, according to The New York Times.  Apparently, the president spends a good deal of time being prosecutor, judge, jury, executioner and concealer. But he does so quietly; this is no dramatic “thumbs-down” emperor.

Mr. Brennan spoke at Harvard Law School about a year ago and told a remarkably blasé audience that what he and the president were doing was perfectly legal under the law of self-defense. Self-defense that is defined, of course, by the president.

It appears from recent statements on The Daily Show that President Obama does not share the certitude boldly displayed by Mr. Brennan. On October 18, President Obama told John Stewart, and his audience, that “one of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.”

So in the absence of “a legal architecture” of accountability, do presidents knock off whomever they want to target (along with bystanders or family members), whether or not the targeted person is actually plotting an attack against the United States? It seems that way, in spite of what is already in place legally, called the Constitution, separation of powers and due process of law. What more legal architecture does Mr. Obama need?

Obviously what he wants is a self-contained, permanent “Office of Presidential Predator Drone Assassinations” in the White House, to use, author, scholar and litigator Bruce Fein’s nomenclature. According to The New York Times, President Obama wants “ explicit rules for targeted killing…. So that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures.” Mr. Fein notes that “clear standards and procedures without accountability to the judiciary, Congress, or the American people” undermine the rule of law and our democracy.

Indeed, the whole deliberation process inside the Obama administration has been kept secret, a continuing process of morbid over-classification that even today contains secret internal legal opinions on targeted killings. The government refuses even to acknowledge that a drone air force operates over Pakistan – a fact that everybody knows including the hundreds of injured and displaced Pakistanis. This drone air force uses, what The New York Times called, “signature strikes against groups of suspected, unknown militants.”

Predictably, these strikes are constantly terrorizing thousands of families who fear a strike anytime day or night, and are causing a blowback that is expanding the number of Al Qaeda sympathizers and affiliates from Pakistan to Yemen. “Signature strikes,” according to the Times, “have prompted the greatest conflict inside the Obama administration.” Former CIA director under George W. Bush, Michael V. Hayden has publically questioned whether the expansion in the use of drones is counterproductive and creating more enemies and the desire for more revenge against the U.S.

Critics point out how many times in the past that departments and agencies have put forth misleading or false intelligence, from the Vietnam War to the arguments for invading Iraq, or have missed what they should have predicted such as the fall of the Soviet Union. This legacy of errors and duplicity should restrain presidents who execute, by ordering drone operators to push buttons that target people thousands of miles away, based on secret, so-called intelligence.

Mr. Obama wants, in Mr. Fein’s view, to have “his secret and unaccountable predator drone assassinations become permanent fixtures of the nation’s national security complex.” Were Obama to remember his constitutional law, such actions would have to be constitutionally authorized by Congress and subject to judicial review.

With his Attorney General Eric Holder maintaining that there is sufficient due process entirely inside the Executive Branch and without Congressional oversight or judicial review, don’t bet on anything more than a more secret, violent, imperial presidency that shreds the Constitution’s separation of powers and checks and balances.

And don’t bet that other countries of similar invasive bent won’t remember this green-light on illegal unilateralism when they catch up with our drone capabilities.

IAEA chief calls for diplomatic solution to Iranian nuclear issue

(Xinhua) — International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano on Thursday said there was still room for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic channels, and called on all parties concerned to seize the opportunity.

“There is an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue diplomatically. Now is the time for all of us to work with a sense of urgency and seize the opportunity for a diplomatic solution,” Amano told a quarterly meeting of the governing board of the UN nuclear watchdog.

However, Amano stressed that Iran’s expanding high-level uranium enrichment capacity continued to violate the UN and the agency’s resolutions.

He reiterated the agency’s request for Iran to provide immediate access to the Parchin site.

IAEA’s latest report showed that Iran continued to make progress in expanding its underground uranium enrichment capacity.

Western nations have imposed severe sanctions on Iran to force the Islamic Republic to make a concession on the negotiating table, despite Tehran’s insistence on the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.