The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Yes Virginia, there still IS investigative journalism: NBC4s nuclear scandal atory

tick-of-approvalIn a time when many news outlets are cutting staff, slashing budgets and eliminating their investigative reporting, KNBC’s total commitment to this story is a testament to a mission of producing investigative journalism that matters.

The Story Behind Our Story: LA’s Nuclear Secret, NBC4 Southern California, 21 Sept 2015  To learn more about how this series came to fruition, we asked the producer of the series to share his journey from
the first tip to the completion of the stories By Matthew Glasser
 Our investigative series, LA’s Nuclear Secret, highly-recommendedwas a year in the making. One year to the night that the first part of our series aired on NBC4, the I-Team was asked to investigate why a
group of children and parents in Calabasas had come down with rare illnesses including brain tumors and cancers.

Flag-USAWe wanted to find out why. 

Worst nuclear disaster in US history is a secret

In September 2014, we reached out to the former UCLA lecturer who is now an instructor at UC Santa Cruz who helped NBC4 with a series of stories in 1979 exposing a nuclear accident at the Santa Susana Field Lab. At the time, it was believed that while there was an accident at the Lab’s largest nuclear reactor, no release of radioactive material occurred. That’s what the U.S. government said, and that’s what we reported.

We would eventually learn in the reporting of LA’s Nuclear Secret –  that wasn’t true.

We learned that a growing number of people in the San Fernando and Simi valleys believed that the work done at the Santa Susana Field Lab resulted in on- and off-site chemical and radioactive contamination that may have made them or their family members sick. Continue reading

November 16, 2015 Posted by | USA, media | Leave a comment

Exaggerated, inaccurate, reporting about nuclear smugglers

Media Reports ISIS Nuclear Plot That Never Actually Involved ISIS, Fair – Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting,
 By Adam Johnson , 9 Oct 15  The AP published this week (10/5/15) a thrilling account of how the FBI, in concert with Moldovan authorities, “disrupted” a smuggling ring that was supposedly trying to sell “nuclear material” to ISIS and other terror organizations over a five-year span. The primary developments in the story are almost a year old, but the resurfaced tale made news across the English-speaking world:

‘Annihilate America’: Inside a Secret, Frightening Scheme to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

Salon (10/7/15)

AP: Smugglers Busted Trying to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

CBS News (10/7/15)

FBI Foils Smugglers’ Plot to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

The Independent (10/7/15)

There was only one problem: At no point do the multiple iterations of the AP‘s reporting show that anyone involved in the FBI sting were members of or have any connection to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIL or Daesh). While one of several smuggling attempts discussed in AP‘s reporting involved an actual potential buyer–an otherwise unknown Sudanese doctor who four years ago “suggested that he was interested” in obtaining uranium–the “terrorists” otherwise involved in the cases were FBI and other law enforcement agents posing as such. According to the AP and NBC’s Pete Williams:

However, the official emphasized that there was no known ISIS connection. An undercover informant, working with Moldovan police, claimed that he was an ISIS representative.

But that was totally made up,” the official said.

This would not perturb the American press, who once again eager to hype an ISIS threat, either A) heavily implied this “plot” was evidence of ISIS seeking a nuclear weapon or B) actually went a step further and said as much despite it being wholly untrue.

First the outlets who heavily implied ISIS was involved but used the qualifiers “attempted,” “tried” or the abstract “plots” so as to not expressly lie:

Smugglers Tried to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

NBC News (10/7/15)

Smugglers Try to Sell Nukes to ISIS

Fox News (10/7/15)

FBI Has Foiled 4 Attempts by Gangs to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS Through Russian Connections

Daily Mail (10/7/15)

(Note that the Daily Mail managed to also work the threat du jour into the headline by means of the reference to “Russian connections”–a phrase so vague as to be virtually meaningless.)

Then there were the publications who said ISIS was involved (a falsehood):

AP Investigation Finds That Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to ISIS and Other Terrorists
Business Insider(10/6/15)

Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to Islamic State, Other Terrorists: AP report
Chicago Tribune (10/6/15)

Again, there was nothing “shopped” to ISIS, because ISIS was never involved. Continue reading

October 10, 2015 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

British media needs to wake up to the national scandal of the Hinkley nuclear project

news-nukeHinkley: a truly major national scandal The new nuclear power station will be the costliest engineering project Britain has ever embarked on, and a total waste of money. By  26 Sep 2015

 Two bizarre interviews last week again highlighted how woeful has been much reporting on the costliest engineering project Britain has ever embarked on. Their cue was George Osborne’s announcement that UK taxpayers are to “guarantee” £2 billion of the money paid to firms owned by the Chinese and French governments, to build in Somerset the most expensive nuclear power station in the world.

Although it was originally claimed that Hinkley Point C would cost only £10 billion and be “cooking Christmas dinners by 2017”, its completion date is now likely to be well after 2023, and its cost has spiralled so fast it will be way over the current figure of £24.5 billion. This would already make it more expensive than the Channel Tunnel and half the estimated cost of the vast, as-yet unapproved HS2 rail project.

But all we might get for this colossal sum would be 3.2 gigawatts of heavily subsidised “low-carbon” electricity, when the latest £1 billion gas-fired power station at Pembroke can already provide 2GW of unsubsidised power at half the price and at less than a 20th of the capital cost. Furthermore, the two obsolete European Pressurised Reactors the French firm EDF plans to install in Somerset have so many design problems that those it is already building in France and Finland have massively overrun on cost and time, while a modern nuclear plant built by South Koreans in Qatar is completed on time and at a fraction of the cost.

Everything about Hinkley Point indicates that it is as absurd a project as any government has ever fallen for. Yet when Channel 4 News reported the story on Monday, Jon Snow could think of no one better to interview on it than that great energy expert Vivienne Westwood, the dress designer, who could only repeat that “renewables” are getting “ever cheaper”, while subsidies to fossil fuels (non-existent) are rising ever higher.

Rudd, Amber UKAt least when John Humphrys interviewed the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, that morning on the Today programme, he began by gabbling some of the more obvious objections to Hinkley. But he then gave Rudd a free run to babble about how thankful we should be to the Chinese and the French for helping to give us “low-carbon energy security”. Please, guys, we know you are besotted with climate change and “low-carbon” energy. But even in your own terms, can you not recognise a truly massive national scandal when it is staring you in the face?

September 28, 2015 Posted by | UK, media | Leave a comment

Scrutinising Japan’s government PR about The Reopening Of Nahara Fukushima

spin-media-nuclearThe Reopening Of Nahara Fukushima, What The Press Failed To Mention, Simply Info September 9th, 2015  The press has widely reported the reopening of Nahara as the government uses it as a PR tool. Much of the reporting focused on issues such as the lack of stores, services or schools. This is a distraction from the very real pressing concern of the radiation levels and uncertain status of the town’s decontamination efforts.

Nahara has been plagued with problems and high radiation levels yet the government has characterized the town as being “safe”. Nahara was the site of Fukushima Daiichi debris findings in 2013. ……..

Asahi Shimbun discovered illegal practices were being used in the decontamination work being done in Nahara in 2013. Nahara currently houses large stockpiles of radioactive soil and debris as seen in this photo. The town is part of the long term consolidated storage plan where contaminated soil from around Japan is being collected and stored near Fukushima Daiichi.

Nahara’s city water supply was found to have 18,700 bq/kg of cesium in the soil in the bottom of the reservoir. In May of 2014 Nahara officials demanded that the central government decontaminate Nahara to pre-disaster levels. Nothing further was reported on this to show any response to these requests………

Recent soil sampling done by Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center with the help of a former Fukushima Daiichi worker who collected the samples found alarmingly high radiation.

Soil samples in Nahara were found as high as:
52500 bq/kg cesium 137 & 134 combined
34790 bq/kg cesium 137 & 134 combined
26480 bq/kg cesium 137 & 134 combined……..

September 11, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, Japan, media | 1 Comment

Twisting the nuclear story in the pro corporate direction

In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the banana-spin
naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes…..Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body

What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries.

This documentary “Uranium – twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors.

Muller, DerekThe half lie of the Dragon’s Tail. Online opinion,  By Noel Wauchope  Thursday, 27 August 2015 
The documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is the latest glossy and highly sophisticated soft sell for the nuclear industry. It’s also, if you look at it closely, rather confusing.

I will start from the end, because that’s where the main message of this film comes out clearly “Just imagine a world where reactors can produce immense amounts of clean, safe, energy. There is no such thing as a future without uranium.” These final words are said against a background of soaring celestial choirs.

This seems to be the formula now, in nuclear promotion. The 2013 propaganda film “Pandora’s Promise” carried the same positive message – an ever rocketing energy demand to be met by ever increasing, indeed limitless, electrical energy provided by new nuclear reactors.

But, like ‘Pandora’s Promise’, this new documentary devotes the first two thirds of its series to discussing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry. Episode One covers its history, ill effects of radiation, the atomic bomb and its use. Episode Two continues this, with a sympathetic attitude to Australian Aboriginal concerns.

Unlike “Pandora’s Promise” this film does not denigrate anti-nuclear activists, and there is no attempt to ridicule Dr Helen Caldicott, as “Pandora’s Promise” did.

Indeed, the first two episodes are beautifully clear and accurate, as well as entertaining. Really, I couldn’t criticise them.

With the final episode – that’s when the message kicks in, and also when it gets confusing…….

Muller consistently mixes up “natural” radiation with ionising radiation from nuclear fission. He talks about background radiation as “natural”. There’s no mention of the increased ionising radiation in the biosphere as a result of the atomic bomb testing in the 1950s and 60s.

In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes, such as caesium 137 and strontium 90. As part of this confusion he constantly uses bananas as a comparison

Cesium-137 is 12 million times more radioactive than potassium-40. Another highly-radioactive fission product, strontium-90, releases almost 20 million times more radiation per unit mass than does potassium-40. Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body. The human species has had thousands of years of experience with bananas and other foods containing potassium 40 (K40). We have a natural trace level of K40 in our bodies. When we eat bananas, our bodies excrete the extra cesium, so by the natural process of homeostasis, our K40 level remains the same. This is not the case with the very recently created radioactive isotopes from nuclear fission; they remain….., there is absolutely no mention of the effects of internal emitters of radiation – that is, the radioactive isotopes breathed in or ingested, that can sit in a body’s organs for years, decades, emitting high dose gamma radiation..

Moving on to the Fukushima nuclear accident, we are told that the psychological effects are the serious ones. What a great piece of spin this is! Of course the psychological effects are extremely serious. Wouldn’t you be worried, if you were a pregnant woman, or if you feared that your child might later get leukaemia, because you decided to return to a radioactive environment? It is the reality of increased risk of fatal illness that accentuates the other disastrous consequences of that accident.

Prof Thomas assures us “The most important studies will be those on the mental effects”. In the context of this documentary, that just makes me envisage more documentaries like this one – with more spin about how we mustn’t worry about ionising radiation…….

The documentary appeared in Australia at a very convenient time for the South Australian Royal Commission. Dr Muller often covers his back with remarks about nuclear weapons “the most savage thing that man has ever built” and like his “feeling that renewables are going so fast – perhaps we can use alternatives”. But ultimately, his is a message of confidence in nuclear power. He says “Every year uranium saves more lives than it has ever destroyed” Really? Where are the facts to back up these kinds of statements? And all is spoken with guru like solemnity, and the backing of soaring holy choral music……..

What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries. They know full well that the toll of cancers, heart conditions, birth defects, from persistent exposure to ionising radiation will not become apparent for decades. They would have us believe that it will be impossible to establish ionising radiation as the cause of this toll of suffering and death…….

We are living in a strange time, where science is valued if it brings a benefit to corporations. Dr Derek Muller and Professor Geraldine Thomas are comfortably ensconced in that world. But there must be some scientists out there who are like Sir Richard Doll, and whose work is motivated by the public good.

And we desperately need those scientists.

This documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, AUSTRALIA | Leave a comment

China censors Internet on Tianjin explosion news

China’s censors crack down on online chatter about the Tianjin explosions,, 16 Aug 15  Aside from some wind-related misinformation leaking through, China’s censors have managed to maintain that tight control of the Chinese internet we have come to expect following disasters like the Tianjin explosions, liberally expunging thousands upon thousands of “dangerous” tweets.

Many Weibo posters have claimed that their posts on the disaster have “disappeared”. With just two days gone by since the blast and so little reliable information available, it is hard to discern if China’s PR team are simply deleting inaccurate and potentially harmful rumors—like that pollutants from the explosions will be blown to Beijing—or are harmonizing potentially inconvenient truths.

The top 10 most censored terms on Free Weibo, which captures all messages censored or deleted on the social media platform, are almost entirely made up of some combination of “Tianjin” and “explosion.”……..

China Digital Times has published Chinese media directives about how best to report/bury the disaster: “Remove news and images from the explosions from headlines.” Reporters are also forbidden to write posts about the explosions on their personal Weibo and WeChat accounts.

Explosion Tianjin 2

However, some conversations are still allowed to go on…….

August 17, 2015 Posted by | China, media | 1 Comment

How the BBC distorted the story of Sellafield

The spectre of the new nuclear renaissance

Al’Khalili then went on to give every impression that high level nuclear waste can be safely stored using the process of ‘vitrification’, that is, turning it in glass, and so binding the waste safely into a permanent, impermeable matrix.

What he failed to mention is that the glass is by no means permanent and durable storage medium for “thousands of generations” as the glass is liable to break down – and that the problem of long term disposal of these wastes remains unsolved. For example, asR C Ewing and colleagues wrote in 1995 in the journal Progress in Nuclear Energy,

“the post-disposal radiation damage to waste form glasses and crystalline ceramics is significant. The cumulative α-decay doses which are projected for nuclear waste glasses … are well within the range for which important changes in the physical and chemical properties may occur, e.g. the transition from the crystalline-to-aperiodic state in ceramics.”

highly-recommended‘Inside Sellafield’ and military plutonium – the BBC’s nuclear lies of omission http://www.

Dr David Lowry 12th August 2015

 Professor ‘Jim’ Al’Khalili’s ‘Inside Sellafield’ programme was a tour de force of pro-nuclear propaganda, writes David sellafield-2011Lowry – understating the severity of accidents, concealing the role of the UK’s nuclear power stations in breeding military plutonium, and giving false reassurance over the unsolved problems of high level nuclear waste.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the first detonations of atomic bombs, two of which were used to immolate over 200,000 people instantly when exploded over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively on 6 and 9 August 1945, the BBC has created a special ‘nuclear season’ of programmes examining the civil and military aspects of nuclear energy.

For one of these programmes the BBC commissioned Baghdad-born Professor Jameel ‘Jim’ Al-Khalili, theoretical physicist and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science from the University of Surrey, to research and present one programme called ‘Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield‘.

As a regular BBC broadcaster, hosting the long-running The Life Scientific on Radio 4, and maker of several science television programmes on television, including on quantum physics and the history of electricity, he was eminently qualified to make this programme.

However the programme was highly misleading thanks to major omissions, concealing the severity of accidents, and how the UK’s entire ‘civilian’ nuclear programme was subverted into producing military plutonium that fed into the Sellafield bomb factory. Continue reading

August 14, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, wastes, UK, media, Reference | Leave a comment

Digital archives on Fukushima documents

NPO launches digital archives on Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan Times, BY , 11 Aug 15 KYODO A Tokyo-based nonprofit organization has launched a digital archive of public documents on the 2011 nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, so people can examine whether administrative bodies have pursued appropriate policies since the disaster started.

There are currently over 3,000 documents organized by Access-Info Clearinghouse Japan on file, totaling some 60,000 pages obtained from central government offices and local-level authorities through freedom-of-information requests or from the home pages of each administrative body.

“Some of the official documents may be stored as historical papers in the future, but others may be eventually lost after they’ve been screened,” said Yukiko Miki, who heads the NPO.

“It is necessary to create conditions to allow people to access these documents even 20 or 30 years later to ensure effective follow-up on radioactivity impact, which must have a late onset, and examine policies over the disaster as it will take a long time to put it under control,” she added.

The documents on the archives include summaries of teleconferences involving the government, Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Fukushima No. 1 complex, which came from the Cabinet Office, as well as those on decontamination and radioactive waste owned by the Environment Ministry.

Papers filed with the Radiation Medical Science Center of Fukushima Medical University, including those on health monitoring, and summaries of joint press conferences of the government and Tepco are also available.

Users of the archives are able to find their target documents through keyword retrievals.

“Information disclosure allows us to examine policy decision processes, and the public examination will push administrative bodies to make better decisions,” Miki said. “This type of scrutiny will lead to better administrative work, particularly on behalf of those affected by the disaster.”

As only portions of some documents were disclosed, the NPO has posted them on the archives as they are…….

Touching on the lawsuit and the launch of the archives on the nuclear disaster, Miki said: “I believe we have to take concrete action to achieve our right to know rather than merely insisting on it.”

She said her organization will continue seeking the disclosure of official documents, such as records of the nuclear disaster dosimetry and policy records on evacuations of those living near the Fukushima complex, to improve and expand the archives in the span of 10 to 15 years.

The URL of the archives, which is available without charge and only in Japanese, iswww.archives311.org

August 12, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Japan, media | Leave a comment

Confusing message in new documentary about #uranium – a ‘soft sell’ for the nuclear lobby?

questionA Critical Look at ‘Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail’, truthdig,  Aug 9, 2015 By Stanley Heller A week or so before the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I watched a curious documentary on PBS. It was called “Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail.” You can see it here. The presenter was a physicist named Derek Muller. What’s odd is that Muller concludes that nuclear power is not the way to go, but the way the film was edited, the message is the opposite: that nuclear power is relatively safe and that its technical problems are at the point of being solved. Continue reading

August 12, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, 2 WORLD, media, Resources -audiovicual | 2 Comments

Book “Atomic Comics” shows corporate influence, glossing over nuclear dangers

text-relevantThree books show how close nuclear catastrophe is, Green Left, , July 4, 2015 By Phil Shannon  “……Altogether more comforting has been the US comics industry. Ferenc Szasz’s history of atomic-themed comics,Atomic Comics starts with Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in the 1930s. Then, the assumed technological wonders of peaceful nuclear energy outweighed any anxiety over atomic war.

Dagwood Bumstead, Mandrake the Magician, Popeye and atomic-enhanced cartoon animals, including Donald Duck, have lent an “educational” hand to the task of reassuring readers that any dangers of nuclear fission were manageable.

A flock of caped heroes — Captain Marvel, Captain America, Superman and Wonder Woman — ensured that atomic bombs would not fall into the wrong hands, such as terrorists, evil scientists, unreconstructed Nazis, foreign powers or Reds.

It was assumed that the US hands that held The Bomb were the right hands and that nuclear warfare against the Soviet Union could be limited and winnable.

An “atomic banality”, says Szasz, now reigns in the comics and animation world in which “cynicism, resignation and bland acceptance” of nuclear fission, and the light satire of The Simpsons, coats over the continuing nuclear problems.

Book Atomic Comics

The corporate fingerprint is evident in all this cartoon contentedness. Although Szasz’s book should have developed this crucial issue more, the business giants of the comics industry — Marvel and DC Comics — which control three-quarters of the $700 million a year US comics market, share the supreme value of money-making with those who profit from nuclear energy and weapons.

Capitalism and the nuclear age are no laughing matter.

July 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | 1 Comment

Mainstream media is complicit in cover-up of effects of Fukushima radiation

text-relevantHiding behind the glaring omissions of the mainstream press regarding Fukushima is the pressing reality that contamination from the event is severe, continual, on the rise, and already affecting North America.

Independent Media Runs With the Story There is, however, plenty of news coming out about Fukushima and plenty of conversation taking place about the impact on the environment and on human health. It’s just not to be found in the mainstream media, who is unquestionably strongly influenced by the nuclear energy industry and the government, and apparently involved in one of the greatest media cover ups of all time.

media-propagandaCover Up – Mainstream Reporting on Fukushima a Joke  Terence Newton, Staff Writer Waking Times , 5 July 15 It has been over four years since the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and ensuing catastrophic tsunami leveled the Pacific coast of Japan, setting off a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daichi power plant. Radiation has been pouring into the ocean, into the earth below, and into the air for over 1500 days now and there is still zero sense of urgency on the part of the government and world leaders to seriously address this blooming catastrophe. All efforts to stop the meltdown and clean up the radiation have been left in the hands of TEPCO, Japan’s energy company that has been proven time and again to be inept and unprepared to confront a disaster of this sort.

The mainstream media, for its part, appears to be complicit in a cover-up of the effects thatFukushima radiation is already having on our environment and on human and animal health, and instead insists on omitting most news on the matter, or seriously dumbing down reports of the fallout.

For example, Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | USA, media | Leave a comment

Pentagon’s new “laws of war” legalise killing of inconvenient journalists

exclamation-see-no-evilPentagon Legalizes Killing Journalists As ‘Law Of War’

The new “laws of war” were released as part of a book of instructions on legitimate warfare practices approved by the United States military.
By M. David for Counter Current News and
Jackson Marciana for Counter Current News
June 25, 2015 The Pentagon just changed the rules of war to include legitimizing the killing of any journalists they deem “belligerent.”

The new “laws of war” were released as part of a book of instructions on legitimate warfare practices approved by the United States military.This “rule book” of sorts details what the US government deems the acceptable ways of killing those they claim are the “enemy”… including journalists whose reporting they do not approve.

The manual explains that the Pentagon considers such journalists “unprivileged belligerents,” even though they are not “enemy combatants.”

This distinction is important for the Pentagon, since the battles against Muqtada as-Sadr’s “Jaysh al-Mahdi” militia was a fight the US picked over a newsletter America did not approve of. When the military tried to stop the presses, Sadr’s army took up arms against the US forces.

We don’t hear a lot about that in the media or government these days, because those battles didn’t exactly end in the US’s favor. Now, the American 1,176-page “Department of Defense Law of War Manual” says that it is perfectly legitimate to shoot, explode, bomb, stab, or cut journalists they deem “belligerent.”

 They seem to want to make sure they cover all the ways they will kill enemy-reporters. They clarify that poison and asphyxiating gases are still no-nos that will not be employed in the war against journalists. “In general, journalists are civilians,” the manual reads. “However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents.”

Professor of Journalism at Georgetown Chris Chambers told RT News that he doesn’t know what this means, since “the Geneva Convention, other tenets of international law, and even United States law – federal courts have spoken on this – doesn’t have this thing on ‘unprivileged belligerents’.”

 Even embedded journalists with military forces are supposed to be protected under international law.“It gives them license to attack or even murder journalists that they don’t particularly like but aren’t on the other side,” Chambers added.

RT notes that Pentagon “did not specify the exact circumstances under which a journalist might be declared an unprivileged belligerent,” but Chambers explains that “their legal department is going over it, as is the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.” This article was originally published by Counter Current News.

June 28, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, media | 1 Comment

Wikileaks Drops Another Damning Trove Of Secret Trade Deal Documents

logo-WikileaksWASHINGTON — The latest trove of secret trade documents released by Wikileaks is offering opponents of the massive deals currently being crafted by the Obama administration more fodder to show that such agreements can impact United States laws and regulations.

The latest leak purports to include 17 documents from negotiations on the Trade In Services Agreement, a blandly named trade deal that would cover the United States, the European Union and more than 20 other countries. More than 80 percent of the United States economy is in service sectors.

According to the Wikileaks release, TISA, as the deal is known, would take a major step towards deregulating financial industries, and could affect everything from local maritime and air traffic rules to domestic regulations on almost anything if an internationally traded service is involved.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Wikileaks | Leave a comment

Be aware of vested interests pushing disinformation and disrupting the Internet

text shillHow to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet August 13, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog  The 15 Rules of Web Disruption

David Martin’s Thirteen Rules for Truth Suppression,  H. Michael Sweeney’s 25 Rules of Disinformation (and now Brandon Smith’s Disinformation: How It Works) are classic lessons on how to spot disruption and disinformation tactics.

We’ve seen a number of tactics come and go over the years.  Here are the ones we see a lot of currently.

Pretend that alternative media – such as blogs written by the top experts in their fields, without any middleman – are untrustworthy or are motivated solely by money (for example, use the derogatory term “blogspam” for any blog posting, pretending that there is no original or insightful reporting, but that the person is simply doing it for ad revenue).

6.  Coordinate with a couple of others to “shout down” reasonable comments.  This is especially effective when the posters launch an avalanche of comments in quick succession … the original, reasonable comment gets lost or attacked so much that it is largely lost.

Use an army of sock puppets.  You can either hire low-wage workers in India or other developing countries to “astroturf” or – if you work for the government – you can use hire military personnel and subcontractors to monitor social media and “correct” information which you don’t like (and see this), or use software which allows you to quickly create and alternate between numerous false identities, each with their own internet address.

8. Censor social media, so that the hardest-hitting information is buried. If you can’t censor it, set up “free speech zones” to push dissent into dank, dark corners where no one will see it……..

4. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive……….

Postscript:  Over a number of years, we’ve found that the most effective way to fight disruption and disinformation is to link to a post such as this one which rounds up disruption techniques, and then to cite the disinfo technique you think is being used.

Specifically, we’ve found the following format to be highly effective in educating people in a non-confrontational manner about what the disrupting person is doing:

Good Number 1!

(include the link so people can see what you’re referring to.)

The reason this is effective is that other readers will learn about the specific disruption tactic being used … in context, like seeing wildlife while holding a wildlife guide, so that one learns what it looks like “in the field”.   At the same time, you come across as humorous and light-hearted instead of heavy-handed or overly-intense.

Try it … It works.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

The Weather Channel Confronts Republicans on Climate Change

 On Wednesday, the Weather Channel launched a dramatic campaign it says is intended to help shift the climate change conversation from science to solutions.

The series of short videos, called Climate 25, is surprisingly political for a venue like the Weather Channel, and most are aimed at making the case for urgent action from a conservative, Republican angle. Among the featured speakers are U.S. Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby (Ret.); Henry Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs who served as secretary of the treasury under President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009; and Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever. At one point, Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA administrator under George W. Bush, addresses Republicans directly, saying, “It’s our issue.” &

June 15, 2015 Posted by | climate change, USA, media | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,240 other followers