Archive for the ‘Secrecy’ Category
Glad to hear from Hersh again, even if only thru the London Review of Books. Evidently he has been successfully muffled/censored in the US. This is quite a different story about Obama’s “red line” in Syria than you’ve heard before.
The Red Line and the Rat Line
By Seymour M. Hersh April 06, 2014 “Information Clearing House – “LRB” -- – In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.
Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.
Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’
The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the link to the petition:
WHO Refuses to Publish Report on Cancers and Birth Defects in Iraq Caused by Depleted Uranium Ammunition
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has categorically refused in defiance of its own mandate to share evidence uncovered in Iraq that US military use of Depleted Uranium and other weapons have not only killed many civilians, but continue to result in the birth of deformed babies.
This issue was first brought to light in 2004 in a WHO expert report “on the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population resulting from depleted uranium (DU) weapons”. This earlier report was “held secret”, namely suppressed by the WHO:
The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organization (WHO), which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO. (See Rob Edwards, WHO ‘Suppressed’ Scientific Study Into Depleted Uranium Cancer Fears in Iraq, The Sunday Herald, February 24, 2004)
Almost nine years later, a joint WHO- Iraqi Ministry of Health Report on cancers and birth defect in Iraq was to be released in November 2012. “It has been delayed repeatedly and now has no release date whatsoever.”
To this date the WHO study remains “classified”.
According to Hans von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations,
“The US government sought to prevent the WHO from surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.” (quoted in Mozhgan Savabieasfahani Rise of Cancers and Birth Defects in Iraq: World Health Organization Refuses to Release Data, Global Research, July 31, 2013
This tragedy in Iraq reminds one of US Chemical Weapons used in Vietnam. And that the US has failed to acknowledge or pay compensation or provide medical assistance to thousands of deformed children born and still being born due to American military use of Agent Orange throughout the country.
The millions of gallons of this chemical dumped on rural Vietnam were eagerly manufactured and sold to the Pentagon by companies Dupont, Monsanto and others greedy for huge profits.
Given the US record of failing to acknowledge its atrocities in warfare, I fear those mothers in Najaf and other Iraqi cities and towns advised not to attempt the birth of more children will never receive solace or help.
A United Nations that is no longer corrupted by the five Permanent Members of the Security Council is what is needed.
President Barack Obama defended the government’s intelligence gathering policies, but outlined four initiatives to assuage concerns among Americans and foreigners regarding the legality of U.S. surveillance activities.
“The programs are operating in a way that prevents abuse…the question is how do I make the American people more comfortable,” the president said…..
• 30Jun2013 Food Freedom News
By Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton
How did genetically modified wheat escape and taint the fields of American farmers? The unsettling case remains unexplained, but traces back to a USDA seed vault.
According a recent article in the Denver Post, the unapproved strain of genetically modified (GM) wheat that tainted fields in Oregon and prompted a lawsuit from farmers was, in fact, being stored in a government seed bank in Fort Collins, Colorado.
This location is the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NGCRP), operated by the USDA on the Colorado State University campus and formerly known as the National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL). It sits nearby the USDA’s Crop Research Laboratory. The NGCRP serves a seed bank and “a repository for animal genetic resources in the form of semen and plant genetic resources in the form of graftable buds or in vitro plantlets.”
This facility began storing Monsanto’s GM wheat strains starting in 2004, but it claims to have destroyed them as of January of 2012. Did this USDA facility play a role in the escape of unapproved GM wheat?
Ed Curlett, a spokesperson for the USDA, said, “Whatever seed Monsanto sent to the repository was incinerated.” That agency’s claim is currently being investigated for validation. But, where there’s smoke, there’s typically fire.
Reuters obtained documents indicating that the USDA’s National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation took possession of “at least 43 physical containers of Monsanto’s so-called ‘Roundup Ready’ wheat in late 2004 and early 2005.”
This included ‘more than 1,000 different unique varieties or lines’ of the GM wheat, which would help to explain how the Oregon fields had been tainted with a different variety than Monsanto was reportedly testing during its field trials from 1997-2005 in at least 16 states. Testing in Oregon, where the tainted wheat was found, reportedly ceased in 2001 and involved Spring wheat while unapproved strains of GM Winter wheat were discovered.