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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 9,373

Journal Archives

Will USA's "CARE PACKAGE" of 200 Tomahawk Missiles Contain any Depleted Uranium?

This is an old Common Dreams post from 2003, but it illustrates Obama's lose/lose dilemma
regarding Syria and the use of chemical weapons. Depleted Uranium being abbreviated "DU"
is admittedly unfortunate.

```` * ```` * ```` * ```` * ```` * ```` * ```` * ```` * ```` * ```` *

Uranium Warheads May Leave Both Sides a Legacy of Death for Decades
Sunday, March 30, 2003 * Los Angeles Times via Common Dreams * by Susanna Hecht

Although the potential human cost of the war with Iraq is obvious, not many people are aware of a hidden risk that may haunt us for years.

Of the 504,047 eligible veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, about 29% are now considered disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the highest rate of disability for any modern war. And most are not disabled because of wounds.

These guys were rough, tough, buff 20-year-olds a decade ago. The vast majority are ill because of a complex of debilities known as the Gulf War syndrome.

These vets were exposed to toxic material from both sides, including numerous chemicals, fumes and weird experimental vaccines. But the largest number of the more than half a million troops eligible for VA benefits -- 436,000 -- lived for months in areas of the Middle Eastern desert that had been contaminated with depleted uranium.

Depleted uranium, or DU, is a highly toxic heavy metal that continues to emit low levels of alpha radiation. It is a byproduct of nuclear power plants and various military activities.

The United States has hundreds of thousands of tons of DU lying around, and for the Gulf War it developed a new use for the stuff: load it into warheads.

Though not technically "nuclear," because the material is not really fissionable, uranium is a heavy metal ideal for lethally effective "warhead penetrators" that can pierce through armored tanks and fortified positions. When the munitions explode, the area is bathed in a fine dust of DU that can be easily inhaled. These aerosols also taint soil and water and pollute ground water.

If the penetrators do not explode, their casings gradually oxidize, releasing DU into the environment.

DU warheads are essentially dirty bombs -- not very radioactive, but poisonous, and this is why there is an increasing global outcry against using DU in combat as tips for armor-piercing rounds as well as in artillery shells and Tomahawk missiles, among others.

Such warheads were used very successfully by the U.S. in the Gulf War, when more than 350 tons of depleted uranium were dropped on Iraq, and later in Kosovo when about 13 tons of DU were exploded in the conflict there.

The "Balkan syndrome" that emerged among the military and civilians after the U.S. bombing there bears a similarity to the Gulf War syndrome.

Though the findings are controversial, many scientists now see these afflictions as the result of heavy metal poisoning and possibly exposure to very low levels radiation.

DU is implicated in respiratory and kidney problems, rashes and, longer-term, bone cancer, as well as damaged reproductive and neurological systems.

Iraqi civilians -- many more than the 100,000 who died in the conflict or as a result of the war -- also suffer from a range of similar health problems.

Families of soldiers should be very worried.

A huge amount of ordnance has already been unleashed in Iraq, and there is no way of knowing how many thousands of tons of depleted uranium will find "permanent storage" in the rubble of Iraq, its soil and the bodies of its people and U.S. occupying forces.


Pepe Escobar: Sarin massacre was "pipeline geopolitics ... false flag" by Bandar Bush & Mossad

Agree with Escobar or not, me thinks this whole Bandar Bush thing is not just some wacko RW concoction.

Audio interview of Escobar at link

NOTE TO ATTACK-THE-MESSENGER BRIGADE: I know Escobar is a controversial figure, convincingly charged with
plagiarism on several occasions, etc. However, he does have a well-informed point of view that deserves to be
heard. i.e. I doubt he is "plagiarizing" this.

ON EDIT: I ran across this TYT broadcast, of Col. Wilkerson also saying that it could easily have been an Israeli-driven false flag.

Moyers: "Losing our democracy to the Mercenary Class..."

Three minutes of pure truth. Thank you Bill Moyers. I'm SO-O
happy you are back in the saddle, speaking truth like it's going
out of style (which it is).

Bill Moyers says the parody and satire of Jon Stewart and Stephen
Colbert pay Washington the disrespect it deserves
, but in the end
it’s predatory mercenaries who have the last laugh


Kerry: 'FUCK Congress!! POTUS is bombing the shit out of Syria anyway' <-paraphrase

did I get that right?

"The Obama administration indicated on Sunday that it would launch
military strikes against Syria even if it failed to get the backing of the
US Congress
, claiming evidence that sarin gas had been used in
chemical attacks outside Damascus last month."

Psychedelics Don't Cause Mental Health Problems—And They Might Keep You Sane

Psychedelics Don't Cause Mental Health Problems—And They Might Keep You Sane
New study concludes psychedelics do not increase the risk for mental health problems—and links their long-term use to decreased psychological problems.
Alternet * by April M. Short * August 21, 2013

A recent scientific study concluded that the use of psychedelic substances like LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and mescaline (peyote and other cacti)—all classified as dangerous drugs with no medicinal value, or Schedule I substances by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)—does not increase the risk for mental health problems—and the long-term use of some of those drugs was linked to decreased psychological problems.

PLoS One, in a study titled Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study on Tuesday. The authors analyzed data of more than 130,000 people and found 'no link' between the use of psychedelics and mental health issues.

Previous studies have proven that psychedelic substances do not cause brain damage are non-addictive, and can in some cases effectively treat addiction.

Raw Story reported that clinical psychologist Pal-Orjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said psychedelic use is overall “considered to pose a very low risk.”

“Psychedelics can elicit temporary feelings of anxiety and confusion, but accidents leading to serious injury are extremely rare,” he said.

MORE: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/psychedelics-dont-cause-mental-health-problems-and-they-might-keep-you-sane



NSA? What's that?

Norman Solomon: What the Assault on Whistleblowers Has to Do With War on Syria

What the Assault on Whistleblowers Has to Do With War on Syria
by Norman Solomon * Wednesday, August 28, 2013 * Common Dreams

Without whistleblowers, the mainline media outlets are more transfixed than ever with telling the official story. And at a time like this, the official story is all about spinning for war on Syria.

Every president who wants to launch another war can’t abide whistleblowers. They might interfere with the careful omissions, distortions and outright lies of war propaganda, which requires that truth be held in a kind of preventative detention.

By mid-week, media adrenalin was at fever pitch as news reports cited high-level sources explaining when the U.S. missile attacks on Syria were likely to begin, how long they might last, what their goals would be. But what about other (potential) sources who have documents and other information that contradict the official story?

It’s never easy for whistleblowers to take the risk of exposing secret realities. At times like these, it’s especially difficult—and especially vital—for whistleblowers to take the chance.

When independent journalist I.F. Stone said “All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed,” he was warning against the automatic acceptance of any government claim. That warning becomes most crucial when a launch of war is imminent. That’s when, more than ever, we need whistleblowers who can leak information that refutes the official line.


FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly fired for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes

FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly Terminated for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes
By Kevin Gosztola * The Dissenter/FireDogLake * Tuesday August 27, 2013

An FBI whistleblower alleges he was retaliated against and fired because he reported two pilots serving in the FBI had allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct in addition to a “clear pattern of fraud, waste and abuse over a period of years,” which “cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars” while also “damaging the reputation of the FBI and Justice Department.”

LtCol. John C. Parkinson, who served as a special agent in the FBI as part of a Special Operations Group ground team until he was terminated in October 2010, contends an undercover facility for FBI operations was compromised in 2006 because pilots, Special Agents Steven Broce and Andrew Marshall, allegedly engaged in sexual acts with women, who were brought back to the facility. They also allegedly participated in activities costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars over a period of years. However, supervisors in the FBI apparently looked the other way and did nothing to punish the two pilots.

Parkinson and other colleagues sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Justice Department on September 27, 2008. They asked the OIG to investigate Broce and Marshall, who were assigned to the FBI’s Sacramento Division at the time. They informed the OIG that Broce would regularly use “the symbols of his position as an FBI agent, specifically, his gun, badge and official identification” to solicit sex from prostitutes. Broce even, “on at least two occasions,” allegedly left these items behind in brothels.

Since Broce had unrestricted access to an FBI hangar, plane and aviation fuel, Broce used a plane to fly to Reno, Nevada, one night for “the sole purpose of engaging prostitutes in acts of illicit sex.” According to Parkinson, he spent “thousands of tax dollars to fund his prurient interests in prostitution.” Broce also apparently violated FBI and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations by flying alone from California to Nevada, especially because he had “failed multiple check rides and has vision and hearing impairments.”


Obama doubles-down w/NYTs James Risen: rat on your sources or 'Go straight to jail. Do not pass go'

The Obama administration is trying to dissuade federal judges from giving the New York Times reporter James Risen one last chance to avoid having to disclose his source in a criminal trial over the alleged leaking of US state secrets.

The Department of Justice has filed a legal argument with the US appeals court for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, in which it strongly opposes any further consideration of Risen's petition. Risen's lawyers have asked the court to convene a full session of the 15-member court to decide whether the journalist should be granted First Amendment protection that would spare him from having to reveal the identity of his source to whom he promised confidentiality.

A three-member panel of the same court last month issued a 2-1 majority ruling in which they found that reporters had no privilege that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in a criminal trial. The judgement leaves Risen, a prominent investigative reporter specialising in national security issues, facing the prospect of having to break his promise to his source or go to jail.

The legal crunch emerged from Risen's 2006 book, State of War, in which the author reveals details of the CIA's attempts to foil Iran's nuclear programme. James Sterling, a former CIA employee, is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for the criminal disclosure of the information – one of seven officials to face the severe charges under the Obama administration including Chelsea Manning who has been sentenced to 35 years in military jail as the WikiLeaks source.


Swiss (publicly funded) "Sex Box" drive-in seeks to make prostitution safer.

Zurich opens drive-in 'sex boxes'
Swiss city aims to increase safety of sex workers and contain trade with doorless, alarmed buildings in a former industrial area
Associated Press in Zurich * The Guardian * Monday 26 August 2013

Switzerland has launched a novel experiment to make prostitution safer: publicly funded drive-in "sex boxes".

The teak-coloured wooden garages will be open for business from Monday for drive-in customers in a country where prostitution has been legal since 1942. The several dozen sex workers who are expected to use them will stand along a short road in a small, circular park where they can negotiate with clients. The park was built in a former industrial area nestled between a rail yard and the fence along a major highway.

The publicly funded facilities – away from the city centre and open all night – include bathrooms, lockers, small cafe tables and a laundry and shower. Men won't have to worry about video surveillance cameras, but the sex workers – who will need a permit and pay a small tax – will have a panic button and on-site social workers trained to look after them.

As far as Daniel Hartmann, a Zurich lawyer, is concerned, it's a win-win situation.

"Safety for the prostitutes. At least, it's a certain kind of a shelter for them. They can do their business, and I respect them," he said. "They do a great job, and they have better working conditions here … They're not exposed to the bosses, to the pimps, in here."

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