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Is China covering up a nuclear leak?

US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility, By Zachary Cohen, CNN, June 14, 2021

The US government has spent the past week assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that part owns and helps operate it warned of an “imminent radiological threat,” according to US officials and documents reviewed by CNN.

The warning included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down, according to a letter from the French company to the US Department of Energy obtained by CNN.

Despite the alarming notification from Framatome, the French company, the Biden administration believes the facility is not yet at a “crisis level,” one of the sources said.

While US officials have deemed the situation does not currently pose a severe safety threat to workers at the
plant or Chinese public, it is unusual that a foreign company would unilaterally reach out to the American government for help when its Chinese state-owned partner is yet to acknowledge a problem exists. The scenario could put the US in a complicated situation should the leak continue or become more severe without being fixed.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/14/politics/china-nuclear-reactor-leak-us-monitoring/index.html

June 15, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law

“Lliving in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance. This truth terrifies those in power.”

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law — Rise Up Times Julian exposed the truth.  He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling elite.
Chris Hedges gave this talk at a rally Thursday night in New York City in support of Julian Assange. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s father and brother, also spoke at the event, which was held at The People’s Forum.  By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

BY MODERATOR  June 11, 2021  This why we are here tonight.  Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family.  Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him be ended.  Yes, we honor him up for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher.  It is the most important battle for press freedom of our era.  And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us.

Tyrannies invert the rule of law.  They turn the law into an instrument of injustice.  They cloak their crimes in a faux legality.  They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality.  Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence.

The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.

I was in the London courtroom when Julian was being tried by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in Alice-in Wonderland demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison.  There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act. The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the trial. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological if not physical disintegration.

The U.S. government directed, as Craig Murray so eloquently documented, the London prosecutor James Lewis.  Lewis presented these directives to Baraitser.  Baraitser adopted them as her legal decision.  It was judicial pantomime. Lewis and the judge insisted they were not attempting to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press while they busily set up the legal framework to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press. And that is why the court worked so hard to mask the proceedings from the public, limiting access to the courtroom to a handful of observers and making it hard and at times impossible to access the trial online.  It was a tawdry show trial, not an example of the best of English jurisprudence but the Lubyanka.

Now, I know many of us here tonight would like to think of ourselves as radicals, maybe even revolutionaries.  But what we are demanding on the political spectrum is in fact conservative, it is the restoration of the rule of law.  It is simple and basic. It should not, in a functioning democracy, be incendiary.  But living in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance.  This truth terrifies those in power………..https://riseuptimes.org/2021/06/14/chris-hedges-julian-assange-and-the-collapse-of-the-rule-of-law/

June 15, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, legal, UK | Leave a comment

Why Utah really does not need Bill Gates’ small nuclear reactors

What Bill Gates and co. would like us to forget is that even the these geewhiz new small reactors are still based on that old carbon-releasing fuel chain –

Yes, there is a need to clean up our power generation to curb climate change — the sooner the better. But Williams points to a recent study that determined the lifecycle emissions with nuclear — mining, milling, transporting and storing the fuel and building and decommissioning the plants — far exceed other alternative energy sources.

Cox is eager for a nuclear future. Utahns should tell him why we’re not, says Robert Gehrke,  https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/06/14/cox-is-eager-nuclear/ With safer, cleaner, cheaper alternatives, nuclear power may not make the most sense for Utah,   By Robert Gehrke , June 15, 2021,

In Wyoming last week, an announcement was made that could mark a resurgence in the long-stymied nuclear energy industry.

Officials announced plans to build a new 345 megawatt nuclear power plant in the state that could, at its peak, generate enough electricity for all of the households in Wyoming with room to spare.

What makes this announcement different is the array of power players behind the project. It’s a partnership between Warren Buffett-owned Pacificorp and Bill Gates-owned Terrapower that has the backing of President Joe Biden’s Energy Department and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.

It also has the support of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who praised the project as “a huge announcement” that “will have big implications for Utah in the future.”

“We look forward to similar partnerships in the years to come,” the governor said.

It’s not necessarily a new position. Cox’s predecessor, Gov. Gary Herbert, supported nuclear energy, as did his predecessor, Gov. Jon Huntsman.

But the Wyoming announcement ups the stakes dramatically, moving it from concept to something more concrete and forcing Utahns to confront critical questions nagging nuclear power: Is it safe? Is it cost-effective? And is it right for Utah?

Safety has always been the issue dogging nuclear power. Whether it’s Three Mile Island or Chernobyl or Fukushima, you surely have some nuclear disaster as a touchstone framing you perception of the energy.

The good news, according to Michael Simpson, chair of the Material Science and Engineering department at the University of Utah, is that the Natrium reactors that Terrapower hopes to build in Wyoming are generally safer than the old water-cooled reactors.

The Terrapower plant would be cooled with sodium, which transfers heat better than water, meaning it is less likely to melt down (like Chernobyl) or explode (like Fukushima).

Years ago, Simpson said, researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory did an experiment with a sodium-cooled reactor where they shut off the sodium coolant and instead of heating, the reactor slowly cooled and the reaction stopped.

Others dispute the safety claims, however. Earlier this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report that said the sodium reactors are unproven and raise other safety issues — for example, the sodium can burn if exposed to air.

“When it comes to safety and security, sodium-cooled fast reactors and molten salt-fueled reactors are significantly worse than conventional light-water reactors,” said Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety for UCS.

Then there is the waste issue. The proponents of the sodium reactors contend that they would burn more of the fuel, producing less waste. Again, UCS disputes that and argues the waste that would be generated would pose nuclear proliferation and possible terrorism risks.

Then there’s the economics of nuclear power.

Recently, South Carolina completely scrapped a water-cooled nuclear plant that had been in the works for years. Some $9 billion was squandered sparking lawsuits by investors and ratepayers demanding their money back.

Rocky Mountain Power’s own figures released in 2019 put the cost of nuclear power at $95 per megawatt hour, compared to around $25 to $30 per hour for solar. Some cost projections are lower, some are higher, but none put nuclear in the same ballpark as solar, raising the obvious concern that we’ll be on the hook for the added expense one way or another — either as ratepayers or as taxpayers subsidizing the more costly power source.

There’s also a larger question, according to Scott Williams, executive director of HEAL Utah, an environmental group that has opposed nuclear power: Do we need it?

Yes, there is a need to clean up our power generation to curb climate change — the sooner the better. But Williams points to a recent study that determined the lifecycle emissions with nuclear — mining, milling, transporting and storing the fuel and building and decommissioning the plants — far exceed other alternative energy sources.

But the TerraPower reactor isn’t expected to come online until 2028 and, as we saw in South Carolina, when it comes to building nuclear power plants, the projections often are unrealistically optimistic.

With battery technology improving and rooftop solar expanding and getting cheaper, there’s no reason to gamble on nuclear, Williams said, other than centralized generation benefits Rocky Mountain’s shareholders.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” he said. “If you’re looking at it objectively, to say it’s better to put a bunch of money into a technology that not only isn’t proven, but has been proven to fail time and time again.”

And we have to take into account our state’s history with nuclear energy that is nothing short of radioactive itself, from the miners and uranium mill workers sickened by their exposure to radiation, to the thousands upon thousands of Utah Downwinders stricken with various cancers as a result of nuclear weapons testing in Nevada, to the decade-long battle to beat back a nuclear waste storage facility in Utah’s desert.

So do we scrap the whole nuclear idea? Not necessarily.

But if Utah wants to venture down the nuclear energy path, these questions and a host of others have to be thoroughly researched and addressed. We’re not there yet and until we are, the cheerleading from the Biden administration and Gov. Cox feels premature.

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

ICAN chief urges Biden and Putin to push for deep cuts in nuclear arsenals, encourage China to back away from arms race.

“I think that this meeting could hopefully, for the safety of the world, be a turning point and the start of a process to really pull us back from this very dangerous position we are in right now.”

“These two countries, they hold over 90% of the world’s (nuclear) arsenals. These two individuals basically have the ability to end the world as we know it,” Fihn said. “What is important is that there is an ambition expressed to reach zero and start chipping away at the nuclear arsenals.”

Anti-nuclear campaigner urges Biden and Putin to back fresh arms talks, Reuters, 15 June 21, Stephanie Nebehay  Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have an opportunity this week to push for deep cuts in their nuclear arsenals, a step which could help persuade China to back away from an arms race, the head of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign group said on Monday.

Despite well-publicised friction between the U.S. and Russian leaders meeting on Wednesday in Geneva, Beatrice Fihn, head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said she believed it was possible that it could mark a “turning point” and yield a pledge for new nuclear arms talks.

In February, the United States and Russia extended the New START arms control treaty for five years, preserving the last treaty limiting deployments of the world’s two largest strategic nuclear arsenals.

“There is not a huge sense of expectations of something radical, a strong commitment. But I really do think that it is a possibility to lay out the beginning of a process to negotiate new reductions,” Fihn said in an interview at ICAN offices, where a framed copy of its 2017 Nobel award is displayed.

“I think that this meeting could hopefully, for the safety of the world, be a turning point and the start of a process to really pull us back from this very dangerous position we are in right now.”

The 2010 New START treaty limits the two countries to deploying no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads each and imposes restrictions on the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.

“These two countries, they hold over 90% of the world’s (nuclear) arsenals. These two individuals basically have the ability to end the world as we know it,” Fihn said. “What is important is that there is an ambition expressed to reach zero and start chipping away at the nuclear arsenals.”………..

I think an agreement between the U.S. and Russia to start negotiating nuclear disarmament reductions would really put a lot of pressure on China, on the U.K., on France to also come to the table and provide some evidence or progress towards their commitment to disarmament.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, nuclear-armed states spent $72.6 billion on such weapons in 2020, little changed from 2019, according to an ICAN report issued last week. The United States accounted for more than half of that spending, with China second. https://www.reuters.com/world/anti-nuclear-campaigner-urges-biden-putin-back-fresh-arms-talks-2021-06-14/

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NATO’s hostility to the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty is in conflict with its true goal – to become a non-nuclear alliance .

NATO’s Nuclear Two-Step, An alliance that avows nuclear disarmament should not cling so dangerously to its weapons. https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2021/06/natos-nuclear-two-step/174703/  BY RICHARD LENNAN, EFORMER UN  DISARMAMENT OFFICIAL, JUNE 14, 2021 

NATO wants to become a non-nuclear alliance. That sentence might surprise many, but it’s true: when the organization achieves its long-standing goal of full implementation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, its members will no longer possess nuclear weapons.

Given the growing risks, it would be natural for NATO to be reinvigorating and accelerating its efforts on nuclear disarmament. Perversely, however, the alliance has been moving in the opposite direction.

Despite NPT commitments to work to reduce stockpiles and diminish the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, the three nuclear-armed NATO members are all improving their nuclear arsenals. NATO rhetoric in favor of nuclear weapons is hardening, and the alliance is “circling the wagons” around nuclear deterrence. Although the North Atlantic Treaty makes no mention of nuclear weapons, NATO was officially dubbed a “nuclear alliance” in the 2010 Strategic Concept and this deliberate embedding of nuclear weapons in the alliance’s identity has steadily continued.

Political support by individual NATO members for retaining NATO’s nuclear weapons capability is increasingly seen as a test of loyalty and unity; discussion of alternatives is discouraged, even punished. Bizarrely, the NATO 2030 Reflection Group report recommended that “NATO should better communicate on the key role of its nuclear deterrence policy… so as to effectively counter hostile efforts to undermine this vital policy.” An uninitiated observer could be forgiven for thinking that NATO’s raison d’être is not “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization” of its members, but rather to defend and protect their right to use weapons of mass destruction.

When much of the world is strengthening the norm against nuclear weapons by joining the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or TPNW, NATO is undermining its own security by encouraging proliferation of nuclear weapons, by provoking arms races with nuclear-armed rivals, and by constraining the ability of alliance members to pursue effective steps towards nuclear disarmament.

Nowhere is the harmful effect of this trend clearer than in NATO’s counterproductive hostility to the TPNW. The treaty’s objective is also one professed by NATO: ending the nuclear weapons threat by eliminating nuclear weapons. Any differences therefore come down to the means by which this objective is to be achieved. Yet NATO has reacted to the TPNW as if it were some kind of dangerous assault on its core values, if not a threat to its very existence.

The reasons given for NATO’s opposition have been described by Hans Blix as “strained” and by former Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy as “phoney baloney”. There is no legal reason that NATO allies cannot join the TPNW, and NATO’s obsessive focus on the treaty has prevented any consideration of what it can offer the alliance.

By supporting and joining the the treaty, individual NATO states can help to build a robust new global norm against nuclear weapons, strengthening barriers against proliferation, diminishing pressure for nuclear arms races, and reducing the overall reliance of NATO on nuclear weapons, opening up pathways for progress on disarmament. They will also demonstrate their commitment to fully discharging their disarmament obligations under the earlier Non-Proliferation Treaty, easing tensions among its signatories. 

Conversely, the approach of blanket dismissal of and hostile non-engagement with the TPNW will only constrain NATO’s options, alienate potential partners, and push the alliance’s nuclear disarmament goal further out of reach. 

Outside the alliance’s current leadership, there is growing support within a number of member states for joining the TPNW. A range of former leaders, including NATO secretaries general and defense and foreign ministers, have called on NATO states to join. Parliaments in NATO states have passed motions in support of the treaty; cities across the alliance have called on their governments to join it. Opinion polls in many NATO states consistently support, by a clear margin, accession to the treaty.

NATO as a non-nuclear alliance would be something to celebrate. Yet rather than openly aspiring to such status, and discussing how it might look and function, the alliance seems to be actively avoiding – even suppressing – any consideration of the possibility. This is a dangerously counterproductive and shortsighted approach. 

It is time for NATO members to shake off the restrictions of reactive, short-term thinking about nuclear weapons, and instead to re-embrace the vision of nuclear disarmament as a preventative tool for shaping NATO’s security environment. While total elimination of nuclear weapons may remain a distant goal, envisioning and planning for NATO as a non-nuclear alliance should begin now. Positive and constructive engagement with the TPNW, including joining the treaty for those NATO members willing and ready to do so, would be a logical place to start. 

Richard Lennane is a former Australian diplomat and UN disarmament official. He is a principal co-author of A Non-Nuclear Alliance: Why NATO Members Should Join the UN Ban on Nuclear Weapons, published on 10 June 2021 by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).   

June 15, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

50 Years After Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg Reveals U.S. Weighed 1958 Nuclear Strike on China over Taiwan,

50 Years After Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg Reveals U.S. Weighed 1958 Nuclear Strike on China over Taiwan, Democracy Now, JUNE 14, 2021,

As President Biden meets with leaders of NATO countries, where he is expected to continue stepping up rhetoric against China and Russia ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this Wednesday in Geneva, we speak with famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about why he recently released another classified document showing that U.S. military planners in 1958 pushed for nuclear strikes on China to protect Taiwan from an invasion by communist forces.

The top-secret study revealed the U.S. military pressed then-President Dwight Eisenhower to prepare a nuclear first strike against mainland China during the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1958. Taiwan “could really only be defended, if at all, by the U.S. initiating nuclear war against China,” says Ellsberg. The document also shows that U.S. military planners were ready to accept the risk that the Soviet Union would launch its own nuclear retaliation, including against Japan. Although Ellsberg’s online release of the document was publicized in May, he reveals that he shared the same information with Japan decades earlier. “I had given the entire study to the Japanese Diet,” Ellsberg says.


Transcript…………………..

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/6/14/daniel_ellsberg_leak_us_nuclear_plans

June 15, 2021 Posted by | history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

British medical journal calls for global conversation on Tokyo Olympics — limitless life

Tokyo 2020 Olympics British medical journal calls for global conversation on Tokyo Olympics Today  06:48 pm JST  73 Comments TOKYO A British medical journal has called for a “global conversation” about what to do with the Tokyo Olympics set to open next month amid the coronavirus pandemic, while criticizing global health organizations for being largely silent on the […]

British medical journal calls for global conversation on Tokyo Olympics — limitless life

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 14 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Tracking The Transition: The ‘Forgotten’ Emissions Undoing The Work Of Australia’s Renewable Energy Boom” • A working paper from Australian National University shows that despite emissions reductions in the electricity supply and elsewhere, and transport, industry, and buildings sectors are dragging Australia backwards on emissions. [pv magazine Australia] Rooftop PV system in Australia […]

June 14 Energy News — geoharvey

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US To Probe Reports Of Possible Leak At A Chinese Nuclear Plant | False Alarm or Cover Up?

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week’s nuclear news

Climate ‘tipping points’ could push us past the point-of-no-return after less than 2 degrees of warming.

Some bits of good news – G7: World leaders promise one billion Covid vaccine doses for poorer nations.

Elimination of the Cold War’s Nuclear Heritage: 20 years of international cooperation.

The G7 meeting of world leaders made some progress on action about the pandemic and climate change.  But they ignored that other global menace,nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war.  Well, not entirely –  as they managed to bring the world closer to war, with the focus on ”standing up to China”.

IT’S VERY PROFITABLE to prepare for omnicide,” A People’s Guide to the War Industry -5: Portfolio of Conflicts. Growing support for the nuclear ban treaty in public opinion polls , voters and lawmakers in NATO’s 30 countries. Nuclear energy – Nuclear weapons – the inseparable link. Nuclear weapons numbers building up again. The world’s narrow escape from nuclear war.

We don’t need nuclear power to tackle climate change – Jonoathon Porritt. Nuclear energy – The solution to climate change?

Pacific Ocean was once a garbage dump for nuclear waste, now Japan’s doing it again.

Is Bill Gates ‘a nice man in a jumper’ or a power-hungry egotist?   

ANTARCTICA. Fears Antarctic glacier could melt faster as it speeds up and ice shelf ‘rips apart’.


INDONESIA
Euphoria about nuclear costs, especially about decommissioning – Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) warns Indonesia.

UK. UK spent more than £8000 every minute on nuclear weapons in 2020, NFLA report on UK plutonium policy amid new concerns over plutonium dumped in the Irish Sea. ‘Unsustainable, unmanageable, unacceptable and unsuitable’- both Bradwell B and Sizewell C projects   

FRANCE. France’s problem with nuclear wastes is becoming critical.

HUNGARY. Austria and other European countries concerned about safety aspects of Hungary’s nuclear power plant

ROMANIA. Romania’s dilemma – nuclear power or clean energy.

RUSSIA. Russia beefs up its sub-critical non-nuclear experiments at its top secret far remote Novaya Zemlya site.expansion. How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021? Russia’s Approach to Nuclear Power in Outer Space.

INDIA. Explosion forced Indian Navy to return nuclear submarine to Russia? ‘EU aware of nuclear material proliferation incident in India:’

ISRAEL. Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq nuclear reactor may have fuelled Saddam’s nuclear ambitions. Israel’s outgoing top Mossad chief reveals that they caused recent attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear programme and murdering their scientists.

SOUTH  AFRICA. ‘Koeberg Nuclear Plant is like an old car that simply can’t be kept on the road’

PHILIPPINES. USA still has ban on major foodstuffs from Fukushima region. Why did Philippines lift their ban?

NEW ZEALAND. Harrowing stories reveal decades of fallout for nuclear test veterans .

AUSTRALIA. Australia’s incompetent leadership – continued subservience to American militarism. Dr Jim Green gives an update on the Australian government’s new strategy to get a nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia. Change in Resource Minister Keith Pitt’s strategy: what’s next for his Kimba nuclear dump project?

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The military-industrial-media complex renders the American populus ill-informed in matters regarding war .

[and – it’s the same i Australia C.M.]

“How real is all this influence? Does the military-industrial-media complex (MIMC) actually affect the information we receive and our perception of war?”

The military-industrial-media complex renders the American populus ill-informed in matters regarding war — Rise Up Times


“The media has been a major player in ‘hyping up’ the sense of danger and need for military action in many situations.”  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/34005311/posts/3390423975

By HELEN JOHNSON  The Miscellany News, Vassar College  May 20, 2021

This is the fifth article in a five-part series about the military-industrial-media complex. The fourth article,“The (im)proper meshing of the corporate media and the military-industrial complex,” can be found here.
I have now examined the military-industrial complex (MIC) and the corporate media each individually; explained how the MIC has expanded to include not only the arms makers, Congress and the military, but also oil companies, service and equipment providers, surveillance and technology companies and think tanks; examined how the consolidation of corporate power within the media industry has resulted in a handful of companies controlling 90 percent of our media, and how these huge corporations hold incredible political power, not just to influence politicians and legislation directly, but to subtly shape entire ideologies. In this installment, I illustrated how the corporate media is linked in many ways to the MIC, including through outright ownership, interlocking directorates, revolving doors and overreliance on the government and the military for information and access to the battlefield during war.

But how real is all this influence? Does the military-industrial-media complex (MIMC) actually affect the information we receive and our perception of war? In this article I’ll explain that yes, because of its enormous reach, the extreme consolidation of its power and its entanglement with the gigantic machine that is the MIC, the media today has failed to properly inform the American citizenry on matters concerning war. The MIMC manufactures pro-military opinion among the public; suppresses information relevant to military activities; provides a sanitized coverage of war; fails to investigate, criticize, or thoroughly debate issues of military involvement; too easily bends to pressure from government and military officials and sometimes even spreads outright lies and false information.

This has resulted in an American populus that, in general terms, is ill-informed, uneducated and misled in matters regarding military involvement, as well as overly militaristic and pro-war. Americans are thus unable to hold their government accountable for unnecessary or inappropriate use of military force, and are complicit in the perpetuation of American imperialism, colossal defense budgets that strip the country of severely lacking social programs and never-ending wars that kill and destroy while a handful of corporations reap immense profits.

The media has been a major player in ‘hyping up’ the sense of danger and need for military action in many situations. Douglas Kellner—American academic and sociologist—explains in his bookMedia Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy: Terrorism, War and Election Battles, how Sept. 11 was a prime example of the media spreading hysteria and fear among an already panicked and traumatized nation. He notes how the media obsessively focused on terrorism, possible threats and retaliation in the weeks and months after Sept. 11. It also handed a megaphone to extremism and did little to weed out the potentially dangerous or incorrect information being spread on its platforms.

Spreading hysteria and panic throughout the population had two effects: First, it made Americans feel heavily reliant on the government for protection and, according to Kellner, made any disagreement with or questioning of the Bush administration seem “unpatriotic and even treasonous.” Second, it was extremely profitable for the media companies themselves; with millions of eyes glued to TVs, newspapers and other media platforms, media consumption spiked and profits went up. Thus, the corporate media and the military-industrial complex both benefited from this collaboration……………

An important note here is that this type of behavior is by no means limited to right-wing or conservative news outlets. In its analysis, FAIR cited The New York Times, The Hill, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post—in addition to Fox News—as all contributing to this culture of hysteria. A separate FAIR article’s headline directs a pointed accusation at CNN: “CNN’s Iran Fearmongering Would Make More Sense Coming Directly From Pentagon.” No mainstream media outlet is innocent of pro-war fear mongering.

The media has also suppressed or downplayed information relevant to military activity on multiple occasions. For example, although the media did everything in their power to vilify Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the lead-up to and during the Iraq war, they completely ignored how the United States backed Hussein in the past. The United States played an integral role in Hussein’s rise to power and actively supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War—including going along with Hussein’s use of chemical weapons. However, this seemed to be irrelevant once Bush Jr. had made up his mind to invade Iraq.

Another instance of the U.S. media suppressing or failing to report information came during the middle of the Iraq War in 2004. On Jun. 28, 2004, the United States transferred sovereignty of Iraq in a secret ceremony, immediately after which Paul Bremer—who had been seen by Iraqis as a dictator—left the country. Bremer had heavily controlled Iraqi politics and privatized a huge portion of the economy, including handing out contracts to American firms like Halliburton. However, Bremer’s replacement wasn’t much better. The U.S. chose Ayad Allawi, who had ties to the CIA, to serve as interim prime minister until elections could be held, and the U.S. handpicked the rest of the Iraqi council as well. The two months following the transfer of power saw escalated violence and a continuation of the chaos that had been produced by Bremer.

But watching the news in the United States, you would think “we had turned a corner,” as President Bush repeated over and over again. If the media had thoroughly reported on the situation in Iraq, it could have led to a nationwide understanding that the war was doing more harm than good and serving the interests of huge corporations at the expense of American and Iraqi lives. A truly informed citizenry could have put public pressure on the Bush administration to end the war, or an electorate dissatisfied with the situation could have voted him out of office. Instead, it would be seven more years before the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Suppressing or downplaying information isn’t the only way the mainstream media—in complicity with the MIC—has warped our understanding of war. The media also produces an extremely sanitized coverage of war: it avoids printing and broadcasting images of death and destruction; sidesteps discussions of American casualties and almost entirely refuses to mention casualties on the other side (which are usually much higher); and uses euphemisms like “collateral damage” and “air campaign” that hold very different connotations from what these phrases actually mean—i.e., innocent civilian death and continuous bombing.

Kellner notes that during the Iraq war, “Entire networks like Fox and the NBC cable networks provided little but propaganda and jingoism, as did for the most part CNN. All of the cable networks, as well as the big three U.S. broadcasting networks, tended to provide highly sanitized views of the war, rarely showing Iraqi casualties, thus producing a view of the war significantly different than that shown in other parts of the world.”……………….

Not only do reporters and news anchors oftentimes receive direct instructions from higher-ups on what to and what not to say, but there is also careful screening of experts and guests brought onto the TV networks during wartime. And, as noted in my previous article, many of these “experts” are former generals and Pentagon officials, whose talking points have been carefully scripted and who have been trained on how to speak about matters of war in order to paint the U.S. military and government in the best possible light.

The U.S. corporate media has also chronically failed to properly investigate, criticize and debate issues of war and military involvement. It tends to take the current administration’s account of the situation as fact, and during times of war or military tension, it is branded unpatriotic to criticize the government. Although there are many examples of the media’s failure to investigate and report the truth when it comes to war, the most egregious case was in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had planned from day one of their administration to invade Iraq. As explained in this article, Bush and Cheney—as well as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and others in and around the Bush administration—were either directly a part of or tangentially related to the neoconservative think tank PNAC, which was advocating for a regime change in Iraq as early as 1998. The fact that Bush planned to invade Iraq from the get-go has been confirmed by multiple officials close to the administration.

From the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration waged a propaganda war to convince the nation that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda and that he possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). These claims turned out to be false. Not only did Saddam Hussein have nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, but Iraq was not in possession of WMD nor were they in the process of making any.

Even so, these allegations were widely circulated in the mainstream media. The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity documented a total of 935 false statements made by top administration officials regarding the threat from Iraq before the war, and the majority of these assertions “were broadcast widely by U.S. media with little or no investigation of their credibility, and few rebuttals from war skeptics or dissenters.”

Not only did the media outlets completely fail to properly investigate these claims before broadcasting them to the nation—even The Washington Post and The New York Times admitted that they had uncritically published information fed to them by the Bush administration—but they continued to circulate the misinformation long after it had been disproven. Even after ABC, NBC and The Washington Post reported that the claims were false, Fox Television and other U.S. cable networks continued to play the stories about Iraq’s alleged connection with Al Qaeda and supposedly threatening weapons program.

The Bush administration had accomplished its goal: to convince enough of the American population, still reeling and traumatized from Sept. 11, that Saddam Hussein was dangerous—so that they could have their war. The failure on the part of the corporate media to investigate and criticize the Bush administration’s claims, and the continued circulation of these claims even after they were proven false, would lead to a disastrous eight-year long conflict resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

There are many, many more instances of skewed reporting when it comes to war and military involvement. Not all of these instances involve outright lying to the American public or regurgitating government pro-war propaganda; many of the ways in which the corporate media influences our perception of war are small and relatively unnoticeable……….. more https://riseuptimes.org/2021/06/12/the-military-industrial-media-complex-renders-the-american-populus-ill-informed-in-matters-regarding-war/

June 14, 2021 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Shattered remains — the fallout from the Trinity nuclear bomb test

Tularosa Basin Downwinders continue their fight for recognition

Shattered remains — Beyond Nuclear International The fight to right the injustices of Trinity  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/3391600721 By Tina Cordova, 14 June 21, In a world searching for sustainable energy infrastructures, the US has still not rectified the injustices that came about with the earliest moments of the nuclear era. On July 16, 1945, when the US government detonated the first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site in South Central New Mexico, officials had little to no concern for the people who lived in the adjacent area.

Most of them were people of color, Native Americans and also Hispanos who had emigrated north from Mexico (or their ancestors had likely done so). These people were warned neither before nor after the so-called “test” as to the dangers they were facing as a result of the bomb

As we know, this “test” would be the first of many from both Western and Eastern superpowers. Within the US context, other communities considered marginal to the US would be devastated; the atomic explosions on the Marshall Islands and their impacts on Indigenous communities are one of the best-known of these horrific accounts. Debates around nuclear power continue to have great international resonance today. 
 
As documented in written and oral histories recorded by the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC), ash fell from the sky for days after the bomb was detonated and settled on everything—the people, the land, and the animals.  The TBDC was originally organized to bring attention to the negative health effects suffered by the people of New Mexico as a result of their overexposure to radiation as a result of the “test.”  Ultimately, the TBDC’S goals include raising awareness and attaining justice for impacted local communities and families.

Fallout
The bomb detonated at Trinity produced massive fallout that blanketed the earth and became part of the water and food supply that the people of the area rely on for sustenance. The bomb was incredibly inefficient, inasmuch as it was overpacked with plutonium: it incorporated 13 pounds of plutonium when only three pounds were necessary for the fission process.  The remaining 10 lbs. of plutonium—with a half-life of 24,000 years—was dispersed in the radioactive cloud that rose over eight miles above the atmosphere, penetrating the stratosphere.

The bomb was detonated on a platform at a height of 100 feet off the ground, the only time a device was ever detonated so close to the ground.  At this height the blast did not produce massive destruction—but it did produce massive fallout. In fact, Trinity produced more fallout than any of the atomic bombs detonated at the Nevada Site.  In Japan, the bombs were detonated at heights of 1600 (Nagasaki) and 1800 (Hiroshima) feet respectively, which produced massive destruction and the horrific images which we know too well. In contrast, the accounts of communities in southern New Mexico are best characterized by what Rob Nixon calls “slow violence.” Through this concept, Nixon wants us to focus on how environmental degradation that occurs at the hands of human actors can slowly accumulate and impact communities for years after an initial event. 

To understand the exposure received by New Mexicans in the area, it is important to understand the lifestyles of the people living there in the 1940s and ’50s. In rural parts of New Mexico in 1945 there was no running water, so people collected rainwater for the purpose of drinking, cooking, and the like. There was no refrigeration, so there were no grocery stores to buy produce, meat, or dairy products. Mercantile stores sold things like sugar, flour, coffee, rice, cereal, and other nonperishables, but all the meat, dairy, and produce that was consumed was grown, raised, hunted locally. Most if not all the food sources were negatively affected by the radioactive fallout that became part of almost everything that was consumed

The regional water infrastructures included cisterns, sometimes dug into the ground, to collect water directed off of rooftops. Once inside a cistern, radioactive debris would remain effectively forever (having no place else to go) so that water dipped out of a cistern for drinking or cooking would be replete with radioactive isotopes that were then consumed. Even one particle of plutonium inhaled or ingested would remain in the body giving off radiation and destroying cells, tissue, and organs.

Denial

People who have shared with the TBDC their stories of the blast that day have said that they thought it was the end of the world. Imagine: the bomb produced more heat and more light than the sun. It was detonated at about 5:30 a.m. and many reported that the explosion “knocked them out of bed.” They said first the sky lit up brighter than day, and then the blast followed. Many said that they were gathered up by their mothers and made to pray. The light is reported to have been seen all the way to California and the blast was felt as far north as Albuquerque. It was an unprecedented event that no one received warning about, and within days a lie was delivered and perpetuated by the US government: a munition dump at the Alamogordo Bombing Range had accidently exploded but no one was hurt, it claimed.

People who have shared with the TBDC their stories of the blast that day have said that they thought it was the end of the world. Imagine: the bomb produced more heat and more light than the sun. It was detonated at about 5:30 a.m. and many reported that the explosion “knocked them out of bed.” They said first the sky lit up brighter than day, and then the blast followed. Many said that they were gathered up by their mothers and made to pray. The light is reported to have been seen all the way to California and the blast was felt as far north as Albuquerque. It was an unprecedented event that no one received warning about, and within days a lie was delivered and perpetuated by the US government: a munition dump at the Alamogordo Bombing Range had accidently exploded but no one was hurt, it claimed.

The US government has never returned to conduct a full epidemiological study on the impacts of this exposure on the people of New Mexico. Yet in 1990, a bill was passed called the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which provided recognition, an apology, and reparations to the people living downwind of the Nevada Test Site and elsewhere in the Southwest not counting the region around the Trinity site. So while the people of New Mexico were the first to be exposed to this horrific form radiation anyplace in the world, while they lived much closer to the Trinity test site and were therefore exposed to much more higher doses of radiation, and while they were also documented as being downwind of the Nevada Test site, they have never been included in the RECA fund.   
 
Documentation

There has been a recent challenge by the National Cancer Institute to what we know to be true about the people’s use of cisterns in rural parts of New Mexico. To dispel the idea that people in the 1940s and ’50s didn’t use cisterns, the TBDC is now undertaking a process for collecting notarized affidavits in which people recount what they remember about how they acquired water for drinking and cooking purposes. Many of the statements are clear about how rainwater was collected mainly in cisterns and that this water was considered a precious commodity.

This archival work provides the TBDC with the opportunity to document, for the first time, the memories of local and elderly community members about the region’s water infrastructures and support their efforts for environmental justice. This ongoing archival work was even useful for TBDC’s March, 2021, presentation to the US Congress on the importance of expanding RECA.

The collection of affidavits is made public so that there is a record of what has been shared with the TBDC through this process. People who wrote the statements in these affidavits are from varying communities across New Mexico, and it is interesting to note that most of them were typically not familiar with each other, yet their statements have many common themes.   

The TBDC believes that there is an imperative to document the truth as told by those who experienced the Trinity bomb and know of their living conditions. It is hoped that the affidavits will inform the public as to the inaccuracies that are often told by the government and agencies that represent the government. All of this is especially crucial today as nuclear energy has continued to be of great importance globally. Numerous administrations have sought to expand US nuclear power abroad, yet as both the US and other governments around the world continue to look towards nuclear, its origins and those present during its origins must no longer be overlooked.

Tina Cordova is a seventh generation native New Mexican born and raised in the small town of Tularosa in south central New Mexico, and is past Vice President of the New Mexico Highlands University Foundation, her Alma Mater. A thyroid cancer survivor, in 2005 Tina co-founded the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | environment, health, history, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian group writes to Japanese Ambassador, calls for halt to plan to empty Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific.

ACE Nuclear Free Collective . Friends of the Earth Australia, 14/06/21

To Ambassador YAMAGAMI Shingo,

We, the undersigned, are sending this letter to express our concern at the recent decision of the Japanese government to release around 1.25 million tons of treated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi site into the Pacific Ocean. Treatment cannot remove all radioactive contaminants from the wastewater. We join international calls for the Japanese government to reconsider its decision and pursue alternative options for long term storage.

We are concerned that Japanese government claims that the treated wastewater is “safe” enough to drink, ignores the inability of the Multi-Nuclide Removal Facility used for treatment remove radioactive materials such as tritium. Plans to dilute the wastewater to solve this issue do not change the amount of radioactive material that will be released and could accumulate in parts of the marine environment.

We are concerned about the effects of the wastewater on the wide Pacific region as the Pacific accounts for around 58% of the world’s fisheries, and many of the region’s nations are dependent on these resources. In addition, many of these states have long suffered from the effects of nuclear testing and illicit dumping of nuclear waste by wealthy nations.

We the undersigned call on the Japanese government to:

・Withdraws its plan to release wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi site into the Pacific Ocean.

・Disclose all relevant information about the wastewater issue in a transparent fashion.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Building Hinkley C, BBC Series Reads Like EDF Press Release, Meanwhile Not Mentioned is the Fact that EDF Plan Mass Destruction For Fish (and much else besides) — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

Hinkley C = 11 BILLION Dead Fish (and much more besides) photos by Stop Hinkley The PR is relentless for the most dangerous new nuclear build in the UK with a plan for “high burn” uranium fuel made near Preston at Springfields, Salwick, which would take into eternity to cool. The BBC programme “Building Britain’s […]

Building Hinkley C, BBC Series Reads Like EDF Press Release, Meanwhile Not Mentioned is the Fact that EDF Plan Mass Destruction For Fish (and much else besides) — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The world’s narrow escape from nuclear war

The world’s narrow escape from nuclear war  https://www.bigissue.com/culture/books/the-worlds-narrow-escape-from-nuclear-war/

Author Serhii Plokhy reflects on the world’s closest shave with nuclear war in 1962, and that fact that all that really saved us was ‘plain dumb luck.’    I
n October 1962 the world experienced the most dangerous crisis in its history. As the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered Soviet nuclear armed missiles to be placed in Cuba to protect the island from possible American invasion, and redress the imbalance in the missile power between the United States and his country, US President John F Kennedy declared the naval blockade of Cuba. In the tense days and weeks that followed that decision, Kennedy and Khrushchev managed to avoid nuclear confrontation thanks to the one feature they shared – the fear of nuclear war.


Numerous books have been written on the history of the crisis since its resolution. Almost all of them are focused on the decision-making process in Kennedy’s White House. What is often lost in that analysis is the understanding that Kennedy and Khrushchev had limited control over the actions of their military and more than once lost control over the situation on the ground, on the seas and in the sky.

On a number of occasions, the key decision on whether to start a shooting war that could eventually lead to the nuclear exchange lay not with them, but with their commanders in the theatre. It is not for nothing that a former US secretary of state, Dean Acheson, suggested that John Kennedy avoided war by “plain dumb luck”.

Few events in the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis demonstrate the degree of the danger caused by the actions of the individual commanders, and the importance of the “dumb luck,” in the avoidance of the nuclear war than the drama which played out in the late hours of October 27 and early morning of October 28 1962 when, in the Sargasso Sea, four Soviet nuclear-armed submarines approached the US quarantine line.1962, and that fact that all that really saved us was ‘plain dumb luck.’

June 14, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment