Saturday, November 03, 2007

Britain's Healthcare Providers Take to the Street

Thousands join in NHS protest rally

12 hours ago

NHS workers marched in London on Saturday in protest at health reforms.

Organisers estimated 7,000 nurses, midwives, doctors, physiotherapists, hospital cleaners and technicians had joined the march to Trafalgar Square.

The "I Love The NHS" march was culminating in a rally with speakers and entertainment.

Workers from across the NHS voiced their concerns over low staff morale, private sector involvement and greater workloads.

Hamish Meldrum, 59, chairman of the BMA's council, and a GP from Bridlington, Yorkshire, said: "As GPs, we're saying, stop blaming us for the NHS's problems. Stop going on about us as overpaid and not working hard enough.

"It's actually the GPs who have the potential to help save the NHS."

Tim Cracker-Buque, a medical student at Nottingham University, said Government investment in training new doctors was being squandered through lack of jobs.

The 22-year-old from Brighton, who hopes to be a surgeon, said: "It costs £250,000 to train each medical student, yet we are only guaranteed jobs for one year.

"We need to make sure public money is being spent on continuing our training."

After meeting at Temple Place on the Thames Embankment, the march progressed through Westminster to Trafalgar Square. Carnival-style stilt walkers and musicians marched alongside health workers.


Gorilla Radio for Monday, November 5, 2007

GR 04-27 101.9 FM 104.3 Cable ''
Monday Nov. 5, 2007

5:00:00 3:00 Welcome to GR, etc; "It's elementary," Sherlock Holmes famously deduced, informing Watson, the solution to any mystery presides within the constituent elements of the situation. Today, the mystery is: How can our society come to terms with the damaging effects we have on the elements required to sustain life?

You need not be a genius on the order of Conan Doyle's detective to see: The air, earth, and water are threatened. Everywhere you look, the elements we, and all the natural world need to survive are being destroyed. And, the culprit is we, and our "way of life."

But what's to be done?

On the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, the Greater Victoria Water Watch Coalition are gathering to address the issues vital to our, and the greater environment's, collective preservation. Rodger Oakley and Janet Gray are two Vancouver Islanders involved with the campaign; Rodger from the Nanaimo-based, Island Water Watch, and Janet down here with the Greater Victoria Water Watch.

Rodger Oakley and Janet Gray and Water, Ours to Protect in the first segment.

And; in a time of decay, when all the institutions of western enlightenment are perverted, resembling gnarled fruits, hanging grotesquely below democracy's dying tree; in a world where massive crimes of unprecedented magnitude are allowed to continue unremarked upon, and go unpunished; in a climate of fear, when men and women abrogate their natural duty to decency, serving personal comfort and career, as the vital needs of humanity go unserved, there remains a few dedicated and undaunted media professionals chronicling the debasement of the age, and speaking truth to power.

John Pilger has, for more than four decades, served the highest ethos of journalism: Truth. He's produced more than 55 documentary films, written thousands of articles, and received the highest honours his profession affords: Twice named Journalist of the Year in Britain, and International Journalist of the Year, John Pilger was also granted the United Nations Association Media Peace Prize. Among the many awards his documentary films garnered are an Emmy in the United States, and Britain's "Oscar," the BAFTA award. His latest film, the first to be released theatrically, is 'The War on Democracy,' a timely examination of the drastic decline of that institution in the early years of the 21st Century.

John Pilger and the global war on democracy in the second half.

And; Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with all that's good to do in and around Victoria in the coming week. But first, Rodger Oakley and Janet Gray, keeping watch over Vancouver Island's water.

5:00:03 22:00 Discussion w/ Rodger and Janet

"Welcome to the program Rodger Oakley and Janet Gray. Janet, first what can we expect from the Ours to Protect conference?"

5:25:00 1:00 Cart(s)
5:26:00 8:00 Janine Bandcroft
5:34:00 3:00 Music (Memory War)
5:36:00 22:00 Discussion w/ John Pilger (tape)

"Welcome back to GR, etc. (Reit. JP intro)

John Pilger has, for more than four decades, served the highest ethos of journalism: Truth. He's produced more than 55 documentary films, written thousands of articles, and received the highest honours his profession affords: Twice named Journalist of the Year in Britain, and International Journalist of the Year, John Pilger was also granted the United Nations Association Media Peace Prize. Among the many awards his documentary films garnered are an Emmy in the United States, and Britain's "Oscar," the BAFTA award. His latest film, the first to be released theatrically, is 'The War on Democracy,' a timely examination of the drastic decline of that institution in the early years of the 21st Century.

"Welcome to the program, John. In a review of your film, 'The War on Democracy,' John Saniford writes of your early television broadcasts from London's ITV television in the 1970's as inspiring youth to action to right the ills you documented, but then laments the fact that this film is "unlikely to have the same effect on today's youth." How do we, if we do, differ today from that inspired generation you urged to action three decades ago?"

5:59:00 1:00 Thanks to Rodger Oakley, Janet Gray, John Pilger, J9; upcoming.
6:00:00 --:-- -0-

“WATER OURS TO PROTECT” St. Aidans Church, 3703 St. Aidans St. Victoria Nov. 17, 2007 9am 4pm
Workshops will be held concurrently on November 17th, 2007 from 1:00pm 2:30pm

Workshops: 1. Sacred nature of water an aboriginal perspective. 2. Community action and governance how people can make a difference. 3. Water for people and nature; not for profit the truth about bottled water. 4. Groundwater, aquifers and watersheds: The dynamic of groundwater in the subsurface and aquifer sustainability. 5. Preservation,/Restoration/ & Recovery of Watersheds 6. Modern Alchemy: Turning Waste into Gold

Rodger Oakley has been a Union and Community activist for the past twenty-seven years with the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Rodger is the past President of CUPE Local 401. He has been involved in various associations as an activist including member and chair of the CUPE BC Municipal Committee, Member of the Vancouver Island Distinct Council, and was a founding member of the Mid Island Coalition for Strong Communities.

Currently Rodger’s attention is on water. He was instrumental in establishing the Island Water Watch Campaign with CUPE BC and CUPE National, and is the chair of that committee. Rodger has worked with, Greater Victoria Water Watch Coalition, Ocean Side Coalition, KIROS, Council of Canadians, Campbell River Water Watch Coalition, Comox Valley Water Watch Coalition. Water is invaluable. Rodger’s goal is to help form a broad Coalition of Activists in every segment of our society to protect what is most valuable to our communities. WATER!

Janet Gray has been active in the community all her adult life, as a nurse, mother, homeschooling educator and organic gardener; she believes in the strength of the grassroots community in the making changes we need to create a healthy future for all. Active in Kairos and Social Justice Organizations within the United Church of Canada, she has been working on water issues for the past two years with the Greater Victoria Water Watch Coalition. Janet is passionate about Water.

'The War On Democracy'

The rising of Latin America - the genesis of 'The War On Democracy' 13 Jun 2007 In the 1960s, when I first went to Latin America, I travelled up the cone of the continent from Chile across the Altiplano to Peru, mostly in rickety buses and single-carriage trains. It was an experience my memory stored for life, especially the spectacle of the movement of people.

They moved through the dust of a snow-capped wilderness, along roads that were ribbons of red mud, and they lived in shanties that defied gravity. "We are invisible," said one man; another used the term abandonados; an indigenous woman in Bolivia unforgettably described her poverty as a commodity for the rich.

When I later saw Sebastiao Salgado's photographs of Latin America's working people, I recognised the people at the roadside, the gold miners and the coffee workers and the silhouettes framed in crosses in the cemeteries. Perhaps the idea for a cinema film began then, or when I reported Ronald Reagan's murderous assault on Central America; or when I first read the words of Victor Jara's ballads and heard Sam Cooke's anthem A Change Is Gonna Come.

The War On Democracy is my first film for cinema. It follows more than 55 documentary films for television, which began with The Quiet Mutiny, set in Vietnam. Most of my films have told stories of people's struggles against rapacious power and of attempts to subvert and control our historical memory. It is this control, this organised forgetting, that has always intrigued me both as a film-maker and a journalist. Described by Harold Pinter as a great silence unbroken by the incessant din of the media age, it assures the powerful in the west that the struggle of whole societies against their crimes is merely "superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged... It never happened. Even while it was happening it never happened. It didn't matter. It was of no interest".

This was true of Nicaragua in the early 1980s, when a popular revolution began to turn back poverty and bring literacy and hope to a country long dismissed as a banana republic. In the United States, the Sandinista government was successfully portrayed as communist and a threat, and crushed. After all, Richard Nixon had said of all of Latin America: "No one gives a shit about the place." The War On Democracy is meant as an antidote to this.

Modern fictional cinema rarely seems to break political silences. The very fine Motorcycle Diaries was a generation too late. In this country, where Hollywood sets the liberal boundaries, the work of Ken Loach and a few others is an honourable exception. However, the cinema is changing as if by default. The documentary has returned to the big screen and is being embraced by the public, in the US and all over. They were still clapping Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 two months after it opened in this country. Why? The answer is uncomplicated. It was a powerful film that helped people make sense of news that no longer made sense. It did not present the usual phoney "balance" as a pretence for presenting an establishment consensus. It was not riddled with the cliches, platitudes and power assumptions that permeate "current affairs". It was realist cinema, as important as The Grapes of Wrath was in the 1930s, and people devoured it.

The War On Democracy is not the same. It comes out of a British commercial television tradition that is too often passed over: the pioneering of bold factual journalism that treated other societies not as post-imperial curios, as useful or expendable to "us", but extraordinary and important in their own terms. Granada's World in Action, where I began, was a prime example. It would report and film in ways that the BBC would not dare. These days, with misnamed "reality" programmes consuming much of television like a plague of cane toads, cinema has been handed a timely opportunity. Such are the dangers imposed on us all today by a rampant, neo-fascist superpower, and so urgent is our need for uncontaminated information that people are prepared to buy a cinema ticket to get it.

The War On Democracy examines the false democracy that comes with western corporations and financial institutions and a war waged, materially and as propaganda, against popular democracy. It is the story of the people I first saw 40 years ago; but they are no longer invisible; they are a mighty political movement, reclaiming noble concepts distorted by corporatism and they are defending the most basic human rights in a war being waged against all of us.

Cinema and television production are closely related, of course, but the differences, I have learned, are critical. Cinema allows a panorama to unfold, giving a sense of place that only the big screen captures. In The War On Democracy, the camera sweeps across the Andes in Bolivia to the highest and poorest city on earth, El Alto, then follows Juan Delfin, a priest and a taxi driver, into a cemetery where children are buried. That Bolivia has been asset-stripped by multinational companies, aided by a corrupt elite, is an epic story described by this one man and this spectacle. That the people of Bolivia have stood up, expelled the foreign consortium that took their water resources, even the water that fell from the sky, is understood as the camera pans across a giant mural that Juan Delfin painted. This is cinema, a moving mural of ordinary lives and triumphs.

Chris Martin and I (we made the film as a partnership) used two crews and two very different cinematographers, Preston Clothier and Rupert Binsley. They shot in high-definition stock, which then had to be converted to 35mm film - one of cinema's wonderful anachronisms.

The film was backed by the impresario Michael Watt, a supporter of anti-poverty projects all over the world, who had told producer Wayne Young that he wanted to put my TV work in the cinema. Granada provided additional support, and ITV will broadcast the film later in the year. The extra funding also allowed me to persuade the late Sam Cooke's New York agents to license A Change Is Gonna Come, one of the finest, most lyrical pieces of black music ever written and performed. I was in the southern United States when it was released. It was the time of the civil-rights movement, and Cooke's song spoke to and for all people struggling to be free. The same is true of the ballads of the Chilean Victor Jara, whose songs celebrated the popular democracy of Salvador Allende before Pinochet and the CIA extinguished it.

We filmed in the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, where Jara was taken along with thousands of other political prisoners. By all accounts, he was a source of strength for his comrades, singing for them until soldiers beat him to the ground and smashed his hands. He wrote his last song there and it was smuggled out on scraps of paper. These are the words:

What horror the face of fascism
They carry out their plans with
knife-like precision ...
For them, blood equals medals ...
How hard it is to sing
When I must sing of horror ...
In which silence and screams
Are the end of my song.

After two days of torture, they killed him. The War On Democracy is about such courage and a warning to us all that "for them" nothing has changed, that "blood equals medals".

John Pilger: This Much I Know

Acclaimed journalist, John Pilger is scheduled to appear on this week's Gorilla Radio - Monday November 5th at 5:30pm pacific time. - ape

This Much I Know - John Pilger

Sunday 13 November 2005, The Observer

- If those who support aggressive war had seen a fraction of what I've seen, if they'd watched children fry to death from Napalm and bleed to death from a cluster bomb, they might not utter the claptrap they do.

- The story from Iraq on our television screens is rarely about the people our side kill, and that our side are the principal killers. Calling to account our governments, the source of so much state terrorism, ought to be a Western journalist's first responsibility.

- The great maverick reporters saw themselves as agents of people, not of authority. Journalism is a great privilege, in which the journalist is allowed into people's lives and trusted to go away and tell their stories.

- The scoop of the century was when the Australian Wilfred Burchett became the first reporter to reach Hiroshima after the atomic bombing, and discovered that the deadly after-effects of the bomb were due to radiation. The Daily Express carried his report on its front page, headlined: 'The Atomic Plague: I write this as a warning to the world.' The occupation authorities tried to discredit his story, but he was vindicated.

- Burchett is one of my favourite mavericks. On the return journey to Tokyo, armed with a .45 Colt pistol, he single-handedly liberated two PoW camps.

- My great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother came to Australia in chains. Francis McCarthy was convicted in Cork of uttering unlawful oaths, Mary McCarthy was transported at 17 for working as a prostitute in London, which was the same as being convicted of poverty. She was only spared hanging because she was, as they said in court, 'in child'. I'm proud of Francis and Mary because they survived - more than half the passengers on those five-month sea journeys didn't.

- It's quite fashionable to have a convict in the family now, which wasn't always true. Certain members of my mother's family had social pretensions, and had tried to cover up what people called 'The Stain'.

- I love swimming, I love surfing. I grew up on Bondi Beach. I was shocked to find when I arrived in England that the basic swimming stroke was something called breaststroke, which just confirmed my Antipodean prejudices about the English - breaststroke is a version of treading water.

- I really enjoyed the Ashes this summer. It was regarded as a national tragedy back in Australia. I was in Sydney when England won the rugby world cup, beating Australia, and I got a perverse enjoyment out of it. There is a sports jingoism in Australia I don't find attractive.

- I came to live in London in the Sixties, during the worst winter since the 18th century, and almost went back home again. I really loathe the cold and grey.

- When governments and other vested interests attack me personally I usually regard it as a vindication, otherwise they would use facts. That's why I believe in the wonderful Claud Cockburn dictum, 'Never believe anything until it is officially denied.' It has certainly been my experience.

- I love irony in pictures. There's one photograph from Vietnam by Philip Jones Griffiths that shows a very large GI having his pocket picked by a tiny Vietnamese woman. It told the whole story of the clash of two cultures and how the invader could never win.

- When I first went to Vietnam I lived in a fog of fear and was always pleased to leave. But I realised that if you stop being frightened you convert your natural compassion to a cynicism - and then you're in trouble as a human being.

- Being tall invests you with an authority you have no right to - and you're not likely to be mugged. But in parts of southeast Asia, where if you stand out someone might shoot you, it's a huge disadvantage.

- Martha Gellhorn was a friend of many years. Her article on Dachau is the most precise, brilliant piece of journalism of its kind I've read. It's unsentimental, and it's full of black farce and irony.

- The impact of the human tragedies I've reported on is that, more often than not, I'll be angry. I want to know why is this child dying? These are not acts of God; they're results of respectable politicians' decisions.

- I'm grateful to my parents for not bringing me up to believe in a higher authority.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Treason of the Highest Order

Missing Nukes: Treason of the Highest Order
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

According to a wide range of reports, several nuclear bombs were “lost” for 36 hours after taking off August 29/30, 2007 on a “cross-country journey” across the U.S., from U.S.A.F Base Minot in North Dakota to U.S.A.F. Base Barksdale in Louisiana. [1] Reportedly, in total there were six W80-1 nuclear warheads armed on AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles (ACMs) that were “lost.” [2] The story was first reported by the Military Times, after military servicemen leaked the story.

[for complete article links, please see source here.]

11/02/07 "Global Research" - It is also worth noting that on August 27, 2007, just days before the "lost" nukes incident, three B-52 Bombers were performing special missions under the direct authorization of General Moseley, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. [3] The exercise was reported as being an aerial information and image gathering mission. The base at Minot is also home of the 91st Space Wings, a unit under the command of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).

According to official reports, the U.S. Air Force pilots did not know that they were carrying weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Once in Louisiana, they also left the nuclear weapons unsecured on the runway for several hours. [4]

U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Requirements, Major-General Richard Y. Newton III commented on the incident, saying there was an “unprecedented” series of procedural errors, which revealed “an erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards” [5]

These statements are misleading. The lax security was not the result of procedural negligence within the U.S. Air Force, but rather the consequence of a deliberate tampering of these procedures.

If a soldier, marine, airman, or sailor were even to be issued a rifle and rifle magazine — weaponry of a far lesser significance, danger, and cost — there is a strict signing and accountability process that involves a chain of command and paperwork. This is part of the set of military checks and balances used by all the services within the U.S. Armed Forces.

Military servicemen qualified to speak on the subject will confirm that there is a stringent nuclear weapons handling procedure. There is a rigorous, almost inflexible, chain of command in regards to the handling of nuclear weapons and not just any soldier, sailor, airman, or marine is allowed to handle nuclear weapons. Only servicemen specialized in specific handling and loading procedures, are perm certified to handle, access and load nuclear warheads.

Every service personnel that moves or even touches these weapons must sign a tracking paper and has total accountability for their movement. There is good reason for the paperwork behind moving these weapons. The military officers that order the movement of nuclear weapons, including base commanders, must also fill out paper forms.

In other words, unauthorized removal of nuclear weapons would be virtually impossible to accomplish unless the chain of command were bypassed, involving, in this case, the deliberate tampering of the paperwork and tracking procedures.

The strategic bombers that carried the nuclear weapons also could not fly with their loaded nuclear weaponry without the authorization of senior military officials and the base commander. The go-ahead authorization of senior military officials must be transmitted to the servicemen that upload the nuclear weapons. Without this authorization no flights can take place.

In the case of the missing nukes, orders were given and flight permission was granted. Once again, any competent and eligible U.S. Air Force member can certify that this is the standard procedure.

There are two important questions to be answered in relation to the "lost" nukes incident:

1. Who gave the order to arm the W80-1 thermonuclear warheads on the AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles (ACMs)? At what level in the military hierarchy did this order originate? How was the order transmitted down the command chain?

2. If this was not a procedural error, what was the underlying military-political objective sought by those who gave the orders?

The Impossibility of "Losing" Nuclear Weapons

As Robert Stormer, a former U.S. lieutenant-commander in the U.S. Navy, has commented: “Press reports initially cited the Air Force mistake of flying nuclear weapons over the United States in violation of Air Force standing orders and international treaties, while completely missing the more important major issues, such as how six nuclear cruise missiles got loose to begin with.” [6]

Stormer also makes a key point, which is not exactly a secret: “There is a strict chain of custody for all such weapons. Nuclear weapons handling is spelled out in great detail in Air Force regulations, to the credit of that service. Every person who orders the movement of these weapons, handles them, breaks seals or moves any nuclear weapon must sign off for tracking purposes.” [7]

Stormer continues:

“Two armed munitions specialists are required to work as a team with all nuclear weapons. All individuals working with nuclear weapons must meet very strict security standards and be tested for loyalty — this is known as a ‘[Nuclear Weapons] Personnel Reliability Program [DoDD 5210 42].’ They work in restricted areas within eyeshot of one another and are reviewed constantly.”[8]

Stormer unwraps the whole Pentagon cover-up by pointing out some logical facts and military procedures. First he reveals that: “All security forces assigned [to handle and protect nuclear weapons] are authorized to use deadly force to protect the weapons from any threat [including would-be thieves].” [9]

He then points out a physical reality that can not be shrugged aside: “Nor does anyone quickly move a 1-ton cruise missile — or forget about six of them, as reported by some news outlets, especially cruise missiles loaded with high explosives.”

He further explains another physical and procedural reality about nuclear weapons assembly:

“The United States also does not transport nuclear weapons meant for elimination attached to their launch vehicles under the wings of a combat aircraft. The procedure is to separate the warhead from the missile, encase the warhead and transport it by military cargo aircraft to a repository — not an operational bomber base that just happens to be the staging area for Middle Eastern operations.” [10]

This last point raises the question of what were the nuclear weapons meant for? In this context, Stomrer puts forth the following list of important questions to which he demands an answer:

1. Why, and for what ostensible purpose, were these nuclear weapons taken to Barksdale?
2. How long was it before the error was discovered?
3. How many mistakes and errors were made, and how many needed to be made, for this to happen?
4. How many and which security protocols were overlooked?
5. How many and which safety procedures were bypassed or ignored?
6. How many other nuclear command and control non-observations of procedure have there been?
7. What is Congress going to do to better oversee U.S. nuclear command and control?
8. How does this incident relate to concern for reliability of control over nuclear weapons and nuclear materials in Russia, Pakistan and elsewhere?
9. Does the Bush administration, as some news reports suggest, have plans to attack Iran with nuclear weapons?

It is a matter of perception, whether it is “clear” or “unclear”, as to why the nuclear warheads had not been removed beforehand from the missiles.

For those who have been observing these series of “unclear” events it is becoming “clear” that a criminal government is at the helm of the United States. There was no way that the six nuclear missiles could have been “mistakenly” loaded, especially when their separate warheads had to be affixed to the missiles by individuals specialized in such a momentous task.

It is also being claimed that military teams in both U.S.A.F. Base Minot and U.S.A.F. Base Barksdale made major "procedural errors". What are the probabilities of this occurring simultaneously in two locations?

It is also worth noting that original reports from military sources talked about only five of the six nuclear warheads from Minot being accounted for in Barksdale.[11] Nuclear warheads are also kept in specialized storage areas or bunkers. Moreover, nuclear weapons are not being decommissioned at Barksdale.

The Role of the Nuclear Weapons Surety Program: What happened to Electronic Monitoring?

The Nuclear Weapons Surety Program is a joint program between the U.S. Department of Defence and the U.S. Department of Energy. The National Security Agency (NSA) is also involved as well as other U.S. federal government agencies. The Nuclear Weapons System Safety Program is part of this program, which involves a monitoring and safeguards regime for the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Nuclear Weapons Security Standard falls under the Nuclear Weapons Surety Program and is in place to disallow any “unauthorized access to nuclear weapons; prevent damage or sabotage to nuclear weapons; prevent loss of custody; and prevent, to the maximum extent possible, radiological contamination caused by unauthorized acts.”

Under this or these safeguards system there also exists a rigorous control of use scheme, which is tied to the military chain of command and the White House.

“Command and Control (C2)” and “Use Control”

“Use control” is a set of security measures designed to prevent unauthorized access to nuclear weapons. These measures involve weapons design features, operational procedures, security, and system safety rules.

“Command and Control” or “C2” involves the Office of the President of the United States of America. C2 is an established line of command, which is tied to the White House. Without it, nuclear weapons cannot be deployed or armed as they were in U.S.A.F. Base Minot. It is these two control elements that establish the basis of authorization through which “absolute control of nuclear weapons” is maintained “at all times.”

In addition to the checks and balances in place in regards to handling nuclear weapons, the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its partners manually and electronically inspect and monitor all U.S. nuclear weapons through the Nuclear Weapon Status Information Systems.

More Unanswered Questions: What Happened to the Computerized Tracking System?

The Nuclear Management Information Systems “interface with each other and provide [the U.S. Department of Defence] with the ability to track the location of nuclear weapons and components from cradle-to-grave [meaning from when they are made to when they are decommissioned].” [12]

The Military Times also makes an omission that exposes the official narrative as false and indicates that the event was not just a mistake: “The Defense Department uses a computerized tracking program to keep tabs on each one of its nuclear warheads, said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. For the six warheads to make it onto the B-52, each one would have had to be signed out of its storage bunker and transported to the bomber.” [13]

This is where the chain of command in regards to military officers falls into play. If any of the stocked inventories of nuclear weapons are moved to an authorized location they will be noticed and tracked by the DTRA and will require the relevant authorization. There is also a code system involved that is tied to the chain of command.

The fact that the incident only apparently became known to the U.S. Air Force when military personnel reported it, suggests that either the nuclear weapons were ordered to be moved or that the electronic tracking devices had been removed or tampered with. This scenario would need the involvement of individuals with expertise in military electronics or for those responsible for the monitoring of nuclear weapons to look the other way or both.

Mysterious Deaths in the United States Air Force: Whitewash and Cover-up

Several military personnel died under mysterious circumstances shortly before and after the incident. There are now questions regarding the fate of these individuals in the U.S. Air Force who could have had relationships in one way or another to the incident or possibly have been directly involved. It is also necessary to state that there is no proof that these deaths are linked to the August flight from Minot to Barksdale in question.

Citizens for Legitimate Government has pointed towards the involvement of the U.S. Air Force in a cover-up and has linked several deaths of U.S. servicemen to the incident. Lori Price has also stated for Citizens for a Legitimate Government that “you need about fourteen signatures to get an armed nuke on a B-52.”

Based on several news sources, including the U.S. military, we provide below a detailed review of these mysterious and untimely deaths of U.S. servicemen.

Todd Blue

Airman 1st Class Todd Blue went on leave days after the nuclear weapons were “lost.” Blue died under questionable timing while on leave, visiting his family in Wytheville, Virginia at the age of 20 on September 10, 2007. He was a response force member assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron. What does this mean?

Airman Todd Blue occupied a key position in weapons systems security at Minot. [14] At Minot U.S.A.F. Base the 5th Security Forces Squadron to which he belonged was responsible for base entry requirements and a particular section, the Weapons System Security section, was responsible for preventing the unauthorized removal of military property. The latter is responsible for security of all priority resources, meaning the security of nuclear weapons. In other words not only did the 5th Security Forces Squadron keep eyes on what entered and left Minot, but they kept an eye on and monitored the nuclear weapons.

John Frueh

U.S. Air Force Captain John Frueh is another serviceman who could have been indirectly connected to the “lost” nuclear weapons. He was reported as being last seen with a GPS device, camera, and camcorder being carried with him in a backpack. Local police in Oregon and the F.B.I. seemed to be looking for him for days. His family also felt that something bad had happened to him.

On September 8, 2007 Captain Frueh was found dead in Washington State, near his abandoned rental car, after the Portland Police Department contacted the Skamania County Sheriff’s Officer. [15] The last time he spoke with his family was August 30, 2007. He had arrived from Florida to attend a wedding that he never showed up at. The Oregonian reported that “Authorities in Portland found no activity on his credit or bank cards since [Frueh] was last seen (...) [and that] the last call from his cell phone was made at 12:28 p.m. [August 30, 2007] from Mill Plain Boulevard and Interstate 205 in Vancouver [Washington State].” [16]

His background was in meteorology and the study of the atmosphere and weather. He was also reported to be a U.S. Air Force pararescue officer. [17] He was also a major-select candidate, which means he was selected for a promotion as a U.S. Air Force major, but was not officially promoted.

Captain Frueh belonged to the U.S.A.F. Special Operations Command. U.S.A.F. Special Operations Command has its headquarters in Hurlburt Field, Florida and is one of nine major Air Force commands. It is also the U.S. Air Force’s component of U.S. Special Operations Command, a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, which is also in Florida. The force provides special operations forces for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified commands, such as CENTCOM. Its missions include conduct of global special operations. These operations — and this is where careful attention should be paid — range from “precision application of firepower, such as nuclear weapons,” to infiltration, exfiltration (the removal of “devices,” supplies, spies, special agents, or units from enemy territory), re-supply and refuelling of special operational elements.

In Captain Frueh’s case his death is questionable too. The U.S. Air Force would not let a missing persons’ investigation go forward by the police without conducting its own investigation. Usually the different service branches of the U.S. military would investigate for missing servicemen, to see if these individuals are Absent Without Authorized Leave (AWAL) or have deserted, before an individual’s case is handed over to the police.

Clint Huff, Linda Huff, and Weston Kissel

Another military weatherman, along with his wife, also died after August 30, 2007. Senior Airman Clint Huff, belonging to the 26th Operational Weather Squadron and his wife Linda Huff died in a motorcycle accident on September 15, 2007. [18] The husband and wife fatality happened on Shreveport-Blanchard Highway, near U.S.A.F. Base Barksdale, when according to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Officer a Pontiac Aztec, a medium-sized SUV, initiated a left turn at the same time that the couple attempted to pass on a no passing zone and collided. [19]

First-Lieutenant Weston Kissel, a B-52H Stratofortress Bomber pilot, also died in a reported Tennessee motorcycle accident. This was while he was on leave in, less than two months from the nuclear B-52 flights, on July 17, 2007. [20] His death came after another single-vehicle accident by another Minot serviceman, Senior Airman Adam Barrs. [21]

Adam Barrs and Stephen Garrett

Senior Airman Barrs died as a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Airman 1st Class Stephen Garrett, also from Minot. Garrett, also belongs to the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

The death of Barrs was reported as being part of a single-vehicle car accident. Associated Press reports state that “[Minot] Base officials say 20-year-old Barrs was a passenger in a vehicle that failed to negotiate a curve, hit an approach, hit a tree and started on fire late Tuesday [July 3, 2007] night.” [22] Barrs was pronounced dead on the scene of the accident, while Garrett was taken the hospital with no updates released by the U.S. Air Force. Adam Barrs also belonged to the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, where he was responsible for the maintenance and securing of the electronic communicational and navigation mission systems aboard the B-52H Stratofortresses on base. The 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is also one of the units that are responsible for loading and unloading weaponry onto the B-52H Stratofortresses.

The deaths of Kissel and Barrs could be dismissed as irrelevant because they occurred prior to the incident. However, Barrs and Kissel could have been in one way or another connected to the advanced planning of the special operation, prior to the incident (special operations are not planned in a few days and may take months and even longer). There is, of course, no proof and only an independent investigation will be able to reveal whether these deaths are connected to the incident.

If there was an internal and secretive operation bypassing most military personnel, a few men in key positions would have to have been involved over a period of time prior to the August 29/30, 2007 flight. Senior Airman Barrs, due to his expertise in communication and navigational systems, could potentially have been involved in the preparations that would have allowed the nuclear weapons to escape detection by military surveillance and be ready for takeoff.

Reprimands, Replacements and Reassignments in the U.S.A.F. Chain of Command

Senior officers, including three colonels and a lieutenant-colonel, are among seventy personnel that will reportedly be disciplined for negligence and for allowing a B-52H Stratofortress Bomber to fly across the U.S. carrying six nuclear-armed cruise missiles that should never have been loaded under its wings. [23]

According to the Military Times, George W. Bush Jr. had been swiftly informed. This is a lockstep procedure. This illustrates the importance tied to the authorization needed for handling nuclear weapons. This is part of a two-way process in regards to authorization from the White House.

The commander of the 5th Munitions Squadron and the commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, Colonel Bruce Emig, have been replaced along with a series of other senior officers. This implies that the U.S. Air Force chain of command is directly involved in this event. None of these senior officers have been authorized to speak or make statements, according to U.S. military sources. Will any of these officers receive lucrative departure packages? Have they been reassigned?

More generally, the nature of the reprimands directed against senior officers involved has not been fully disclosed.

The “memory” of the incident is being erased through a reorganization of the ranks and a purge at U.S.A.F. Base Minot. The streamlining of the chain of command as well as the mysterious deaths of personnel who could have been involved in the incident, raise a series of far-reaching questions.

There are several important issues regarding the senior officers’ chain of command at Minot, which will be addressed in this article. Once again, the most important questions in regards to the missing nukes are: Who gave the orders and authorization for the operation and what where the underlying objectives of loading armed nuclear missiles?

Other Mysterious Deaths: Was the Missing Nukes Incident connected to US War Plans directed against Iran?

Charles D. Riechers

A U.S. Air Force official, Charles D. Riechers, has been found dead on October 14, 2007. [24] Riechers was a retired Air Force officer and master navigator specializing in electronic warfare. He was a member of the Senior Executive Service of the U.S. Air Force, and was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition and Management. A description of his duties includes “providing sound expert advice and guidance on acquisition and procurement policies, as well as formulating, reviewing and, as assigned, execution of plans, programs and policies relating to organization, function, operation and improvement of the Air Force’s acquisition system.”

He apparently killed himself by running his car’s engine inside his suburban garage in Virginia. The death of Charles D. Riechers has been casually linked by The Washington Post to his involvement in fraudulent activities and embezzlement. [25] The Washington Post reported that the Air Force had asked defense contractor, Commonwealth Research Institute (C.R.I.), to give him a job with no known duties while he waited for official clearance for his promoted rank in the Pentagon. Riechers is quoted as saying: “I really didn’t do anything for C.R.I.,” and “I [still] got a paycheck from them.” The question, of course, was whether the contractor might expect favours in return upon his assignment to the Pentagon last January. [26] A mysterious suicide letter expressing shame was subsequently reported; the letter was reportedly from a man who had already admitted without shame that he was receiving money for doing nothing. This was known to the U.S. Senate, which had approved his promotion.

In a report featured by Pravda, Russian Intelligence analysts have said that the reported suicide of Charles D. Riechers was a cover-up and that he was murdered because of his involvement in the controversial flight of nuclear weapons over the continental United States.

Pravda reports that “Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that American War Leaders have ‘suicided’ [sic] one of their Top US Air Force Officials Charles D. Riechers as the rift growing between the U.S. War Leaders and their Top Military Officers over a nuclear attack on Iran appears to be nearing open warfare.” [27]

According to the Pravda report, the incident was linked to an operation to smuggle nuclear weapons away from the U.S. military in connection to launching a war against Iran.

The Commonwealth Research Institute (CRI), a registered non-profit organization is a subsidiary of Concurrent Technologies, which is registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt charity, which is run by Daniel Richard DeVos. Devos is also an associate of John P. Murtha, who was investigated by the F.B.I. for his Saudi links.

Certainly the ties of the Commonwealth Research Institute (CRI), a non-profit organization working for the Pentagon, are questionable and the organization could be a front for internal operations that bypass most military personnel. The case appears to be part of an internal operation that was being kept a secret from most of the U.S. military, but what for?

Russell E. Dougherty

More than a month before the death of Riechers, General Russell Elliot Dougherty, a retired flag officer, was also reported to have died on September 7, 2007 at his home in Falcon Landing military retirement community in Potomac Falls located in Arlington, Virginia. [28] He once was one of the most senior individuals responsible for the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. military and also the former commander of Strategic Air Command (SAC) and director of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, which identified nuclear targets worldwide amongst its responsibilities. At Minot next to his obituary was a military information notice on suicide, telling servicepersons what the signs of suicide are. [29]

Russell Dougherty in the course of his military career in the U.S. Air Force had dealt with the issues pertaining to Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), full spectrum dominance, how to defeat the enemy and avoid a nuclear war, other uses for nuclear weaponry, Nuclear Primacy for the U.S., and tackling the effects of the wind and weather — due to their unpredictable natures — on the use of nuclear weapons.

The fact that the nuclear warheads were attached to the nuclear cruise missiles could mean that someone wanted to take the weapons in one step or to use them right away.

Timely Appointments at U.S.A.F. Base Minot

Several of the commanding officers at Minot were freshly appointed in June, 2007. This may have been part of standard procedures, but the timing should not be ignored.

Colonel Robert D. Critchlow was transferred, just before the incident, from the Pentagon to Minot and appointed commanding officer for the 91st Operations Group, a missileer unit and the operational backbone of the 91st Space Wing. In Washington, D.C. he was involved in research for the Congressional Research Services and later posted into Air Force Nuclear Response and Homeland Defence.

Colonel Myron L. Freeman was transferred from Japan to Minot in June, 2007. Colonel Freeman was appointed as the commander of the 91st Security Forces Group, which is responsible for securing Minot’s nuclear arsenal.

Colonel Gregory S. Tims was also appointed as deputy commander or vice-commander of the 91st Space Wing in June, 2007. However, Colonel Tims was transfered to Minot from California almost a year before.

One of the most senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) or non-commissioned members (NCMs), Chief Master Sergeant Mark R. Clark, was also transferred to U.S.A.F. Base Minot from Nebraska in July, 2007.

Colonel Roosevelt Allen was also transferred to Minot from Washington, D.C. to become commander of the 5th Medical Group.

Colonel Bruce Emig, the now-former commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, was also transferred to Minot from U.S.A.F. Base Ellsworth in South Dakota in June, 2007. Colonel Emig was also the base commander of Minot.

Colonel Cynthia M. Lundell, the now-former group commander for the 5th Maintenance Group, the unit responsible for loading and unloading weaponry onto the B-52H Stratofortresses was also freshly transferred from a NATO post in Western Europe in June, 2007. Were these appointments temporary? Were any of these appointments related to the six “lost” nuclear missiles?

Prior to the Missing Nukes Incident, Minot Airmen Meet with the President and the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff

On June 15, 2007, George W. Bush Jr. met senior officers from U.S.A.F. Base Minot at U.S.A.F. Base McConnell in Wichita, Kansas during a visit to Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems facility. Amongst them was Major Daniel Giacomazza of the 5th Operational Support Squadron.

Senator Patrick Roberts of Kansas was also present. “While he chaired the Senate Intelligence Committe from 2002 to 2007, [Senator] Roberts stonewalled attempts to investigate everything from the manipulation of intelligence in the rush to war in Iraq, President Bush’s warrantless wiretaps, and even allegations of the use of torture by the CIA,” according to Associated Press (AP) reports. [30] The same report also indicates that the U.S. President was in Wichita for a political fundraiser, and stopped at a new Boys and Girls Club of America to defray the costs of getting to Wichita via Air Force One for Senator Roberts’ campaign.

Military sources have reported that a B-52H Stratofortress was flown to Wichita so that Boeing’s engineers could take a look in order to make adjustments to the war planes for a new military program. [31] Nothing has been reported about any private meetings between President Bush Jr. or any of his presidential staff and the personnel from Minot. However, reports have been made of meetings between military families and the U.S. President in his office on Air Force One.

General Moseley, the Air Force Chief of Staff, had previously visited Minot on March 14-15, 2007, a month before Minot airmen went to Wichita. [32] If a secret mission was being prepared, these events could have played a role in the recruiting phases for an important internal special operation. Following their recruitment, Minot servicemen could have symbolically met General Moseley or White House officials to understand that the mission was being sanctioned by the highest ranks and offices in the United States.

Orders had to Come from the Top: Treason of the Highest Order

Orders had to come from higher up.

The operation would not have been possible without the involvement of more than one individual in the highest ranks of the U.S. Air Force command structure and the Pentagon.

The only way to bypass these separate chains of command is “to be above them” (from higher up), as well as have the possibility of directly overseeing their implementation.

These orders would then have been communicated to lower levels in the US Air Force command chain in different locations, to allow for a so-called “oversight” to proceed. The alternative to this is “an alternative chain of command,” although this also needs someone in the highest ranks of office to organize and oversee.

The post given to Riechers was politically motivated, given his track record in the U.S. Air Force. Riechers had been in a position of responsibility in the U.S. Air Force special operational support activities; something he had in common with Russell Dougherty, the former SAC commander. He would have been one of the best suited individuals for making arrangements in the case of an alternative command structure for a secretive nuclear operation. Moreover, he already had a record of corrupt behaviour through his involvement with the Commonwealth Research Institute. The possible involvement of U.S. Air Force weathermen and special operatives raises many questions as to what exactly was the objective of making the nuclear weapons disappear. [33]

The Investigation

The U.S. Air Force has publicly stated that it has made a “mistake,” which is very unusual and almost unprecedented for a military organization that tries to continually assure the American public of their safety.

The fact that seventy or more military personnel have been punished in the case of the “lost” nuclear weapons does not mean, however, that the senior commanding officers responsible for having carried out the special operation will be identified and punished.

Quite the opposite. The investigation could indeed result in a camouflage of the chain of command, where lower-ranking military personnel are accused and court-martialed, with a view to ultimately protecting those in high office who have committed an act of treason.

The series of deaths mentioned above, may have no ties whatsoever with the the August flight in question from Minot to Barksdale, but the issues of command, monitoring, and authorization cannot be overlooked or ignored. The American people have before them a case of treason that involves the highest offices of government and most probably the offices of the President and the Vice-President.

Once again, the “C2” process involves the Office of the President and Commander-in-Chief. It is an established line of command, without which nuclear weapons could not have been deployed or armed as they were in U.S.A.F. Base Minot. It is this command element that establishes the basis of authorization through which “absolute control of nuclear weapons” is maintained “at all times.”

With time it is possible that military servicemen and servicewomen may come forward with more information.

However, in the meantime, there has been a streamlining of military personnel at U.S.A.F. Minot. Base personnel have become dispersed and reassigned to other locations.

If they on the grounds of loyalty to their country, the United States of America, come forward and reveal what has taken place, they are to be saluted with full honour by all ranks. As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act,” and indeed these are deceitful times.

The fact that U.S. Air Force officers came forward and reported this incident is contrary to U.S. military procedures, regulations, and laws. The U.S. military will never release any information that will risk or damage its reputation. Any information in regards to nuclear weapons can not be released without prior consultations with and authorization by the White House.

The nuclear weapons were armed and moved deliberately. Orders had to have come from the highest echelons of the U.S. government.

The question is what exactly were they meant for? Were they part of a war agenda or something else?

Bush Threatens Iran with Nuclear Weapons

What adds intrigue to an understanding of the missing nukes, are the international events and war games taking place just after the “lost” nuclear weapons incident, not to mention the President’s ongoing threats to attack Iran with nuclear weapons and Vice President Cheney's repeated warnings that a second large scale terrorist attack on America is under preparation, with the support of Iran.

In the U.S., under the Vigilant Shield 2008 war games (initiated in September, 2007) and the TOPOFF anti-terrorism exercises, some form of nuclear terrorist attack on American soil had been envisaged. The roles of Russia and China had also been contemplated. The latter would be “a likely scenario” had the U.S. attacked Iran and as a result Russia and China had decided to intervene. [34] Under Vigilant Shield 2007, held in 2006, the possibility of a nuclear war with Iran’s allies, Russia and China, had been contemplated in the war games scenario.

The Kremlin has responded by holding its own war games.[35]

An unveiled threat to trigger World War Three has been the response of George W. Bush Jr. to Russia’s statements warning that a U.S. sponsored war with Iran, could result in an escalating World War III scenario.

The six nuclear warheads were not meant for use in theatre operations against Iran. This is obvious because if they were then they would have been deployed via the proper procedural routes without the need to hide anything. Besides, there are already theatre-level nuclear weapons ready and armed in Europe and the Middle East for any possible Middle Eastern mission. There was something more to the incident.

It is also worth noting that the Israelis launched an attack on an alleged Syrian nuclear facility that both Tel Aviv and the White House claim was constructed with the assistance of North Korea. This event has been used, through official statements and media disinformation, to draw a Syria-Iran-North Korea nuclear proliferation axis. [36]

In regards to the case of the missing nuclear weapons, weathermen and military personnel with an expertise in space and missile components were involved. The incident took place during a time when the U.S. missile shield projects in Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia, directed against Russia and China, were raising international tensions and alarms. On October 23, 2007, President Bush Jr. stated: “The need for missile defence in Europe is real and I believe it’s urgent.” [37]

Nuclear warfare, the militarization of space, and “the missile shield” are interrelated military processes. The overtones of Nuclear Primacy are hanging in the air. One of the goals of the U.S. military has been to effectively shield itself from a potential Russian or potential Russian and Chinese nuclear response to a nuclear “First Strike” from the U.S. military. [38] The militarization of space is also deeply linked to this military project. Like their advanced knowledge about the U.S. missile shield project, Russian and Chinese officials have got wind of these ambitions and are fully aware of what the U.S. intends to do.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is an independent writer based in Ottawa specializing in Middle Eastern affair. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).


[1] Sarah Baxter, US hits panic button as air force ‘loses’ nuclear missiles, The Times (U.K.), October 21, 2007.

[2] The Nuclear Reactions Data Centres also estimated that the W80-1 stockpile included a total of 1,400 warheads remain in stockpile associated with the 900 ALCMs that are in storage with their warheads removed.

[3] Baxter, US hits panic button, Op. cit.

[4] John Andrew Prime, Barksdale bombers expand B-52 capabilities, The Sheveport Times, August 27, 2007.

[5] Baxter, US hits panic button, Op. cit.; Major-General Newton is also responsible for formulating policy supporting air, space, nuclear, counter-proliferation, homeland, weather, and cyber operations. Because of his role as one of the Air Forces’ key flag officers in regards to nuclear issues and counter-proliferation he has been involved in war planning in regards to Iran, Israeli preparations for attacks on Syria, and the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon.

[6] Robert Stormer, Nuke transportation story has explosive implications, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Octobers 8, 2007.

[7] Ibid.; To help ensure adequate shipboard security, TLAM-N is protected by an intrusion detection alarm system that indicates an intrusion, both visually and audibly, at a continuously manned station capable of dispatching a security team.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Michael Hoffman, B-52 mistakenly flies with nukes aboard, Military Times, September 10, 2007; Associated Press sources also made the same report. Military Times simply changed their article and AP withdrew its report on the basis of a factual error.

[12] Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defence (DoD), Year 2000 Status of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Nuclear Weapon Information Tracking Systems, Report No. 99-235 (August 19, 1999).

[13] Michael Hoffman, Commander disciplined for nuclear mistake, Militarty Times, September 7, 2007.

[14] Minot Airman dies while on leave, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs, September 12, 2007.

[15] Body of missing Air Force captain found, Associated Press, September 10, 2007.

[16] Kimberly Wilson, Portland police seek Air Force weatherman missing on trip, The Oregonian, September 5, 2007.

[17] U.S. Air Force operatives that are tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in war environments, as well as handling astronauts returning from space. They are the only members of the U.S. military that are specially trained and equipped to conduct personnel recovery operations in hostile or denied areas as a primary mission.

[18] Victims in Saturday motorcycle accident identified, The Sheveport Times, September 16, 2007; Notice of Active Duty Death, The Bombardier, September 21, 2007, p.1.

[19] John Andrew Prime, Caddo deputies work double fatality accident, The Sheveport Times, September 15, 2007.

[20] Minot Airman dies in motorcycle accident, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs, July 18, 2007.

[21] Minot Airman identified, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs, July 5, 2007.

[22] Authorities identify Minot airman killed in crash, Associated Press, July 5, 2007.

[23] Baxter, US hits panic button, Op. cit.

[24] Air Force official found dead, The Tribune-Democrat, October 16, 2007; Ginger Thompson and Eric Schmitt, Top Air Force Official Dies in Apparent Suicide, The New York Times, October 16, 2007.

[25] Robert O’Harrow Jr., Air Force Arranged No-Work Contract: Experts Question Official’s Deal With Nonprofit, The Washington Post, October 1, 2007, p.A01.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Top US Air Force official ‘suicided’ [sic] as Iran war nears, Pravda, October 16, 2007.

[28] Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb, Obituaries: Russell E. Dougherty, The Washington Post, October 13, 2007, p.B06.

[29] General Dougherty, former SAC commander, dies, The Bombardier, September 21, 2007, p.9.

[30] Deb Reichmann, Bush Raises Money for Kansas Senator, Associated Press, June 15, 2007.

[31] Warbirds meet commander and chief, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs, June 22, 2007.

[32] Staff Sergeant Trevor Tiernan, CSAF visits Minot, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs, March 16, 2007.

[33] Infra. n.38.

[34] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Vigilant Shield 2008: Terrorism, Air Defences, and the Domestic Deployment of the US Military, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 6, 2007; Michel Chossoduvsky, Dangerous Crossroads: US Sponsored War Games, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 6, 2007; The March to War: NATO Preparing for War with Serbia? Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 19, 2007.

[35] Michel Chossudovsky, New Cold War: Simultaneously, Russia and America Conduct Major War Games, Centre for Research on Globalization, October 16, 2007.

[36] Both the U.S. and Israeli governments cite the arrival of a North Korean ship with alleged nuclear-related cargo as proof, but one needs only point out one fact to dislodge this claim. The U.S. government has setup an internationally illegal program involved in policing the seas and maritime traffic, the International Proliferation Initiative (IPI). Under the IPI the U.S. has been illegally stopping North Korean vessels and inspecting them, especially when they have suspected suspicious materials. Hereto, North Korea has not been given any carte blanches from vessel inspections. The U.S. Navy and NATO vessels have a virtual cordon of the waterways around the Middle East from the Indian Ocean to the Read Sea and Mediterranean Sea. If the North Korean vessel had nuclear materials it would never have reached Syria.

[37] Missile shield is ‘urgent’ - Bush, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), October 23, 2007.

The U.S. is well in the process of implementing the recommendations of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC); “[The United States must] develop and deploy missile defences to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world,” and “Control the new ‘international commons’ of space and cyberspace and pave the way for the creation of a new military service — U.S. Space Forces — with the mission of space control.”

Thomas Donnelly et al., Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources For A New Century (The Project for the New American Century: September 2000), p.v.

[38] It is here that two things should be noted in regards to physics and magnetospheric physics; Firstly, nuclear explosions from the air are different than ground-based nuclear explosions in many ways (including contamination levels), but the weather and wind direction are major unknowns or variables; Secondly, as a fundamental natural law energy never disappears, it only changes or is transferred. The energy from nuclear explosions can theoretically be transferred into the Earth’ magnetic radiation fields, called the Van Allen Belt or the Van Allen Belts, and used to energize and excite various particles, sub-atomic particles, and ions. Tentatively, if manipulated this can have harmful results on surface areas, including burning electronic and communication devices, and military applications such as disrupting satellites in space. If this were possible Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or Indian military defences, communications, and missile facilities could be effortlessly neutralized.

These radiation belts also travel in loops and notionally an energized pulse set off from an area in the U.S. could circumnavigate into an area halfway around the globe.

In fact the U.S. military has been experimenting with manipulating the radiation belts since the end of the Second World War. The U.S. Navy’s Project Argus, taking place from August to September 1958, is an example. A total of five nuclear weapons were used; three atom bombs (weapons using nuclear fission) were detonated above the Atlantic Ocean and two thermonuclear or hydrogen bombs (weapons using nuclear fusion) in the Pacific Ocean in an effort to manipulate the Van Allen Belts.

© Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Canadian Uranium Moment: What the Fahhh?

Cameco confirms Cigar Lake 2011 target, Russian supplier wants higher uranium prices

October 31, 2007 - 4:28 pm


SASKATOON - Cameco Corp. (TSX:CCO) has confirmed the flooded Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan won't start production before 2011, and also revealed Wednesday that one of its suppliers in Russia is looking to charge higher prices for the uranium the Canadian company buys from dismantled nuclear weapons.

The news came as the world's biggest uranium producer reported a 25 per cent rise in third-quarter profit to $91 million on an 89 per cent increase in sales to $681 million, but trimmed its outlook for full-year revenue growth to reflect moderating prices.

Cameco shares were down 3.4 per cent on the TSX, losing $1.63 to close at $46.55 with a 52-week range between $59.90 and $35.35.

In a release Wednesday evening, Cameco said that joint stock company Techsnabexport has requested talks to get higher prices for the last few years of the remaining term of a commercial agreement to buy uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons.

Cameco currently buys about seven million pounds or uranium a year under the commercial agreement, which ends in 2013. However, terms under the deal were set in 2001, when uranium prices were far lower than today. Cameco said it will talk to its two partners before deciding whether to reopen the deal.

Cameco and its partners, Areva and Nukem, convert the highly enriched uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into fuel for nuclear power plants in the United States. The commercial agreement falls under the umbrella of the United States-Russia government-to-government deal and supplies a significant portion of the U.S. enrichment, uranium and conversion services requirements.

In another matter Wednesday, Cameco said it hopes to resume operation next spring at its leaky uranium hexafluoride plant in Port Hope, Ont.

At the Port Hope plant near the Lake Ontario shore 100 kilometres east of Toronto, where output of the highly toxic nuclear fuel processing compound has been shut down since soil contamination was detected in July, "we expect to restart production in the latter part of the first quarter of 2008," CEO Gerry Grandey told a conference call.

"We've completed a root-cause analysis and identified the cause; we've begun corrective actions and we've developed plans for improved monitoring."

Grandey stressed that there has been no health hazard to workers or the public from "the very low levels of contamination," and he said Cameco has sufficient inventory to meet delivery commitments.

He added that long-term plans for Port Hope entail "a very, very large refurbishment of that plant that would see it upgraded, see it get ready for production for many decades to come."

At Cigar Lake, "we're making good progress" following flooding in October 2006 with construction 60 per cent complete.

A concrete plug in the tunnel where the inflow occurred is near completion, Grandey said, but Cameco has decided to sink a second shaft, needed for ventilation and as an alternative exit before excavation starts in flood-prone areas.

"Production start-up remains 2011 at the earliest," he said.

Given Cigar Lake's complexity - Cameco has to freeze the ground to prevent flooding and add rigidity around the half-kilometre-deep mining work - "there is no off-the-shelf manual to guide remediation."

Responding to questions about corporate growth plans, he said "our preference would have been to make a few large acquisitions; however, rocketing uranium prices and a rejuvenated nuclear industry sent valuations far beyond what we consider to be sustainable, profitable levels."

He asserted that "on my watch, we will not heed the public musing of short-term thinkers that want us to grab some headlines with a quick purchase."

In the meantime, "while we monitor the industry for larger acquisitions, we have been steadily making strategic alliances and equity investments with uranium companies around the world."

Saskatoon-headquartered Cameco, with more than 2,400 employees at the end of 2006, said its July-September revenue of $681 million compared with $360 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Net income of $91 million, 25 cents per share, compared with $73 million, 20 cents per share.

Earnings per share adjusted for currency effects and one-time items were reported at 74 cents, up from 12 cents a year ago and burying the Thomson Financial analyst expectation of 45 cents.

The third quarter included an all-time high selling price for Cameco's uranium of $56.78 per pound and "results from the electricity and gold businesses were also stronger, due to higher realized prices," Cameco said.

Uranium revenue increased by $273 million to $409 million, due to a 136 per cent increase in the realized price and a 31 per cent rise in sales.

For all of 2007, Cameco expects consolidated revenue to grow by 30 per cent over 2006. Three months ago it had forecast a 40 per cent increase, based on a uranium spot price of US$120 per pound.

The latest forecast assumes a spot price of US$80 per pound, reflecting the industry situation at Sept. 30.

For Cameco's fuel services business, third-quarter revenue was up $15 million to $54 million despite the Port Hope woes.

Pre-tax profit from the Bruce Power nuclear generating partnership business in Ontario (TSX:TRP) rose to $49 million from $31 million, thanks to higher prices and energy output.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA) is sponsoring H.R. 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It proposes the establishment of a commission composed of members of the House and Senate, Homeland Security and others, to "examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States...." Here are a few definitions. They seem to include anything that any authority could feel threatened by.

VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically-based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.

Now reading this one way, I could say that this could well be pointed at the Republican Party. But a centrist Dem like Harmon would have bigger and better fish to fry. From the bill:

The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

This is a really weird bill.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

'BC's Hinterlands Are Opened Up for Business'

'Pristine' Edouard Pass in the Purcells.
Photo Gregory Byrne.

River power projects bring roads, people, wildlife threats.
By Colleen Kimmett
Published: October 17, 2007
When a team of conservationists and guides set out to explore Edouard Pass in B.C.'s central Purcell Mountains they intended to document the landscape and wildlife as it exists today.

Gary Diers rhymes off a list of animals they spotted: "golden eagle, mountain goats, caribou, small mammals, lots of birds ... we just shook our heads when we got there, it's a completely pristine area."

He and other members of the Wilderness Committee, which funded the expedition, fear it might not remain so pristine for long.

A 125 megawatt run-of-river hydro project in the area is currently in the environmental assessment process. The proponent, Purcell Green Power Inc., intends to build two facilities that would divert water from Glacier and Howser creeks, approximately 50 kilometres south-west of Invermere.

A 90-kilometer-long transmission line would cross the Purcell Mountains and connect at the Invermere sub-station.

"From the south end of Purcell wilderness conservatory, all the way to the TransCanada Highway, there is no industrial development," says Diers. "With a transmission line like this and assisting roads, no longer will it be a pristine corridor."

66 run-of-river projects in the works

Although the provincial government is promoting run-of-river as a clean, green source of power, critics say the speedy development of this industry, coupled with weak wildlife legislation, is destroying the landscape of B.C.'s back country and endangering wildlife there.

The Glacier-Howser project is just one of many run-of-river projects in some stage of development in the province. According to a recent report by Watershed Watch Salmon Society, some 25 such projects were approved before 2006, 41 have since received initial approval from BC Hydro and hundreds more water license claims have been made on rivers across the province.

The impact of a single project, let alone all of them together, reaches far beyond rivers, tributaries and the fish species in those waterways.

Part and parcel with hydro development, particularly in remote areas of the province, are transmission line corridors and access roads, sometimes totalling hundreds of kilometres in length.

"Just the existence of transmission lines themselves can sometimes interfere with the movements of wildlife, particularly animals that like to stick to dense cover," says biologist and environmental consultant Lee Harding. He says for grizzly bears, this development represents a loss of habitat because they might not cross such open corridors.

Importing human beings

Harding adds that other species, like caribou and moose, "can live quite happily with transmission lines in their area," but that doesn't mean those species are safe from what access roads and transmission lines bring in -- humans.

"The worst thing ... is generally the access that they give to hunters and recreationists who use powered vehicles. That's the worst impact," says Harding.

This is the kind of impact that worries Elaine Golds, conservation chair of the Burke Mountain Naturalists, a group that has taken up the fight against Run of River Power Inc.'s Upper Pitt River development.

It includes seven interconnected hydro projects on eight of the river's tributaries as well as two transmission line options, each between 42 and 53 kilometres in length and each bisecting part of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park.

"We campaigned mightily to get Pinecone Burke protected in 1995," says Golds.

"We think it's an absolutely spectacular wilderness ... it's amazing that we have an area like this so close and it's because you can't drive there, you can only get in by boat."

"This is a new intrusion into a remote wilderness area," Golds says.

'Hinterlands open for business'

Mark Haddock, a lawyer who received funding from West Coast Environmental Law to work with the Burke Mountain Naturalists, said most wildlife habitat protection measures were enacted with the forestry industry in mind. Now, IPPs are going where logging companies can't (mostly because the areas aren't profitable to log) and the same rules don't apply to them.

"B.C.'s hinterlands are opened up for business," says Haddock. "And there's a huge impact on the environment and wildlife that's not getting properly assessed."

For example, when a proponent applies for a water license, it must assess present fish populations, and how the project could affect those populations. Under the fish protection act, there are rules that set out the parameters for those assessments.

No such guidelines exist for other mammal, bird, insect or amphibian species.

"We have guidelines that we wish proponents to follow when they do an assessment of potential impacts to fisheries, but we don't have any guidelines at this time for proponents when assessing impacts to wildlife or any other non-fish species," says Ross Neuman, head of the ecosystems section of the Ministry of Environment's environmental stewardship division.

Neuman says the lack of ministry guidelines for non-fish species has been identified as a gap, but adds that such guidelines are not currently in production and are not being addressed in the ministry's current revision of the B.C. Wildlife Act (to be released early in 2008).

Still 'building the policy'

Steward Guy, manager of the ministry's conservation planning sector in Victoria, says the ministry is in policy discussion right now.

He says independent power production "is raising a whole new way for us to consider how we place environmental protection. We're building the policy with how we deal with new initiatives around the British Columbia."

"There are two aspects of most environmental legislation; the rules and procedures about how to undertake approvals, and the substance of protection for the environment," says Haddock.

Wildlife is addressed procedurally in other approvals, he says, but there is no strong legislation to make sure proponents effectively measure potential impacts and mitigate them.

Gap in wildlife assessments

When an IPP wants to develop a new hydro project, it must obtain licenses under the B.C. water act and land act, and comply with legislation under both provincial and federal fish protection acts and environmental assessment acts, among others.

These are legally binding, and these agency offices get to make the decision about whether or not to issue the license or environmental assessment certificate.

Environmental stewardship is the agency charged with protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, but its role in the approval process is simply to guide other decision-makers.

Proponents are not required to give environmental stewardship officers requested studies, and this "gap" in wildlife assessment guidelines means the scope and depth of any proponent study can vary widely from project to project.

"If the level of work that's done does not provide us with adequate information to enable us to advise the decision maker as to the potential impacts and risks ... it's up to the decision maker to get back to the proponent and say, well you have to do more work, or to make a decision without the benefit of our advice," says Neuman.

"But we have no authority to insist either that they even use the guidelines, or that they do a piece of work that we find satisfactory."

Self-policing process

Haddock says that even with the conditions and regulations currently in place, there is another gap in making sure proponents are carrying them out as required.

He says, that in his own discussions with government officials, he's detected "a broad acknowledgement of a lack of follow-up," when it comes to monitoring the conditions placed on approvals.

For example, a proponent might be issued an environmental assessment certificate on the conditions they monitor grizzly bear activity in the transmission line area. Haddock says this kind of information is too reliant on experts who are on the payroll of the proponent.

"There's been so many cuts to the ministry of environment that there's very little ability to do any field review," he says. "It's all highly reliant on the proponent's own experts."

Neuman says he is one of 11 people in the ministry's Lower Mainland office who provide input for environment assessments. He says this represents "quite a significant workload," but it's just one small piece of what they do.

"All of these people do lots of other things at the same time. We don't have anybody where 'your job is to deal with IPPs and nothing else,'" he says. "Resources is always a challenge."

Related Tyee stories:

A 'Green' Threat to B.C.'s Rivers?
Touted by BCHydro as renewable electricity, the rush to install privatized 'micro-hydro' schemes may change the flow of 76 B.C. rivers.

BC Hydro's Amazingly Bad Deal for Ratepayers
We give big firms $15 billion. We get higher prices, no assets, no guarantee of supply.

BC's Billion-Dollar Wind Power Giveaway
We're heavily subsidizing private power developers. Will Californians profit big?