There’s nothing like a glass of cool, clear water to quench one’s thirst. But the next time you or your child reaches for one, you might want to question whether that water is in fact, too toxic to drink. If your water is fluoridated, the answer may well be yes.
For decades, we have been told a lie, a lie that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and the weakening of the immune systems of tens of millions more. This lie is called fluoridation. A process we were led to believe was a safe and effective method of protecting teeth from decay is in fact a fraud. For decades it’s been shown that fluoridation is neither essential for good health nor protective of teeth. What it does is poison the body. We should all at this point be asking how and why public health policy and the American media continue to live with and perpetuate this scientific sham.
The Latest in Fluoride News
Today more than ever, evidence of fluoride’s toxicity is entering the public sphere.The summer of 2012 saw the publication of a systematic review and meta-analysis by researchers at Harvard University that explored the link between exposure to fluoride and neurological and cognitive function among children. The report pooled data from over 27 studies- many of them from China- carried out over the course of 22 years. The results, which were published in the journal Environmental Health Sciencesshowed a strong connection between exposure to fluoride in drinking water and decreased IQ scores in children. The team concluded that “the results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults.” 1
The newest scientific data suggest that the damaging effects of fluoride extend to reproductive health as well. A 2013 study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology showed a link between fluoride exposure and male infertility in mice. The study’s findings suggest that sodium fluoride impairs the ability of sperm cells in mice to normally fertilize the egg through a process known as chemotaxis. 2 This is the latest in more than 60 scientific studies on animals that have identified an association between male infertility and fluoride exposure.3
Adding more fuel to the fluoride controversy is a recent investigative report by NaturalNews exposing how the chemicals used to fluoridate United States’ water systems today are commonly purchased from Chinese chemical plants looking to discard surplus stores of this form of industrial waste. Disturbingly, the report details that some Chinese vendors of fluoride advertise on their website that their product can be used as an “adhesive preservative”, an “insecticide” as well as a” flux for soldering and welding”.4 One Chinese manufacturer, Shanghai Polymet Commodities Ltd,. which produces fluoride destined for municipal water reserves in the United States, notes on their website that their fluoride is “highly corrosive to human skin and harmful to people’s respiratory organs”. 5
The Fluoride Phase Out at Home and Abroad
There are many signs in recent years that indicate growing skepticism over fluoridation. The New York Times reported in October 2011 that in the previous four years, about 200 jurisdictions across the USA moved to cease water fluoridation. A panel composed of scientists and health professionals in Fairbanks, Alaska recently recommended ceasing fluoridation of the county water supply after concluding that the addition of fluoride to already naturally-fluoridated reserves could pose health risks to 700,000 residents. The move to end fluoridation would save the county an estimated $205,000 annually. 6
The city of Portland made headlines in 2013 when it voted down a measure to fluoridate its water supply. The citizens of Portland have rejected introducing the chemical to drinking water on three separate occasions since the 1950’s. Portland remains the largest city in the United States to shun fluoridation.7
The movement against fluoridation has gained traction overseas as well. In 2013, Israel’s Ministry of Health committed to a countrywide phase-out of fluoridation. The decision came after Israel’s Supreme Court deemed the existing health regulations requiring fluoridation to be based on science that is “outdated” and “no longer widely accepted.”8
Also this year, the government of the Australian state of Queensland eliminated $14 million in funding for its state-wide fluoridation campaign. The decision, which was executed by the Liberal National Party (LNP) government, forced local councils to vote on whether or not to introduce fluoride to their water supplies. Less than two months after the decision came down, several communities including the town of Cairns halted fluoridation. As a result, nearly 200,000 Australians will no longer be exposed to fluoride in their drinking water.9
An ever-growing number of institutions and individuals are questioning the wisdom of fluoridation. At the fore of the movement are thousands of scientific authorities and health care professionals who are speaking out about the hazards of this damaging additive. As of November 2013, a group of over 4549 professionals including 361 dentists and 562 medical doctors have added their names to a petition aimed at ending fluoridation started by the Fluoride Action Network. Among the prominent signatories are Nobel Laureate Arvid Carlsson and William Marcus, PhD who served as the chief toxicologist of the EPA Water Division.10
The above sampling of recent news items on fluoride brings into sharp focus just how urgent it is to carry out a critical reassessment of the mass fluoridation campaign that currently affects hundreds of millions of Americans. In order to better understand the massive deception surrounding this toxic chemical, we must look back to the sordid history of how fluoride was first introduced.
How to Market a Toxic Waste
“We would not purposely add arsenic to the water supply. And we would not purposely add lead. But we do add fluoride. The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic.” 11
These words of Dr. John Yiamouyiannis may come as a shock to you because, if you’re like most Americans, you have positive associations with fluoride. You may envision tooth protection, strong bones, and a government that cares about your dental needs. What you’ve probably never been told is that the fluoride added to drinking water and toothpaste is a crude industrial waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industries, and a substance toxic enough to be used as rat poison. How is it that Americans have learned to love an environmental hazard? This phenomenon can be attributed to a carefully planned marketing program begun even before Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community to officially fluoridate its drinking water in 1945. 12 As a result of this ongoing campaign, nearly two-thirds of the nation has enthusiastically followed Grand Rapids’ example. But this push for fluoridation has less to do with a concern for America’s health than with industry’s penchant to expand at the expense of our nation’s well-being.
The first thing you have to understand about fluoride is that it’s the problem child of industry. Its toxicity was recognized at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when, in the 1850s iron and copper factories discharged it into the air and poisoned plants, animals, and people.13 The problem was exacerbated in the 1920s when rapid industrial growth meant massive pollution. Medical writer Joel Griffiths explains that “it was abundantly clear to both industry and government that spectacular U.S. industrial expansion and the economic and military power and vast profits it promised would necessitate releasing millions of tons of waste fluoride into the environment.”14 Their biggest fear was that “if serious injury to people were established, lawsuits alone could prove devastating to companies, while public outcry could force industry-wide government regulations, billions in pollution-control costs, and even mandatory changes in high-fluoride raw materials and profitable technologies.” 15
At first, industry could dispose of fluoride legally only in small amounts by selling it to insecticide and rat poison manufacturers. 16 Then a commercial outlet was devised in the 1930s when a connection was made between water supplies bearing traces of fluoride and lower rates of tooth decay. Griffiths writes that this was not a scientific breakthrough, but rather part of a “public disinformation campaign” by the aluminum industry “to convince the public that fluoride was safe and good.” Industry’s need prompted Alcoa-funded scientist Gerald J. Cox to announce that “The present trend toward complete removal of fluoride from water may need some reversal.” 17 Griffiths writes:
“The big news in Cox’s announcement was that this ‘apparently worthless by-product’ had not only been proved safe (in low doses), but actually beneficial; it might reduce cavities in children. A proposal was in the air to add fluoride to the entire nation’s drinking water. While the dose to each individual would be low, ‘fluoridation’ on a national scale would require the annual addition of hundreds of thousands of tons of fluoride to the country’s drinking water.
“Government and industry especially Alcoa strongly supported intentional water fluoridation… [it] made possible a master public relations stroke one that could keep scientists and the public off fluoride’s case for years to come. If the leaders of dentistry, medicine, and public health could be persuaded to endorse fluoride in the public’s drinking water, proclaiming to the nation that there was a ‘wide margin of safety,’ how were they going to turn around later and say industry’s fluoride pollution was dangerous?
“As for the public, if fluoride could be introduced as a health enhancing substance that should be added to the environment for the children’s sake, those opposing it would look like quacks and lunatics….
“Back at the Mellon Institute, Alcoa’s Pittsburgh Industrial research lab, this news was galvanic. Alcoa-sponsored biochemist Gerald J. Cox immediately fluoridated some lab rats in a study and concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and that ‘The case should be regarded as proved.’ In a historic moment in 1939, the first public proposal that the U.S. should fluoridate its water supplies was made not by a doctor, or dentist, but by Cox, an industry scientist working for a company threatened by fluoride damage claims.” 18
Once the plan was put into action, industry was buoyant. They had finally found the channel for fluoride that they were looking for, and they were even cheered on by dentists, government agencies, and the public. Chemical Week, a publication for the chemical industry, described the tenor of the times: “All over the country, slide rules are getting warm as waterworks engineers figure the cost of adding fluoride to their water supplies.” They are riding a trend urged upon them, by the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Dental Association, the State Dental Health Directors, various state and local health bodies, and vocal women’s clubs from coast to coast. It adds up to a nice piece of business on all sides and many firms are cheering the PHS and similar groups as they plump for increasing adoption of fluoridation.” 19
Such overwhelming acceptance allowed government and industry to proceed hastily, albeit irresponsibly. The Grand Rapids experiment was supposed to take 15 years, during which time health benefits and hazards were to be studied. In 1946, however, just one year into the experiment, six more U.S. cities adopted the process. By 1947, 87 more communities were treated; popular demand was the official reason for this unscientific haste.
The general public and its leaders did support the cause, but only after a massive government public relations campaign spearheaded by Edward L. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays, a public relations pioneer who has been called “the original spin doctor,” 20 was a masterful PR strategist. As a result of his influence, Griffiths writes, “Almost overnight…the popular image of fluoride which at the time was being widely sold as rat and bug poison became that of a beneficial provider of gleaming smiles, absolutely safe, and good for children, bestowed by a benevolent paternal government. Its opponents were permanently engraved on the public mind as crackpots and right-wing loonies.” 21
Griffiths explains that while opposition to fluoridation is usually associated with right-wingers, this picture is not totally accurate. He provides an interesting historical perspective on the anti-fluoridation stance:
“Fluoridation attracted opponents from every point on the continuum of politics and sanity. The prospect of the government mass-medicating the water supplies with a well-known rat poison to prevent a nonlethal disease flipped the switches of delusionals across the country as well as generating concern among responsible scientists, doctors, and citizens.
“Moreover, by a fortuitous twist of circumstances, fluoride’s natural opponents on the left were alienated from the rest of the opposition. Oscar Ewing, a Federal Security Agency administrator, was a Truman “fair dealer” who pushed many progressive programs such as nationalized medicine. Fluoridation was lumped with his proposals. Inevitably, it was attacked by conservatives as a manifestation of “creeping socialism,” while the left rallied to its support. Later during the McCarthy era, the left was further alienated from the opposition when extreme right-wing groups, including the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan, raved that fluoridation was a plot by the Soviet Union and/or communists in the government to poison America’s brain cells.
“It was a simple task for promoters, under the guidance of the ‘original spin doctor,’ to paint all opponents as deranged and they played this angle to the hilt….
“Actually, many of the strongest opponents originally started out as proponents, but changed their minds after a close look at the evidence. And many opponents came to view fluoridation not as a communist plot, but simply as a capitalist-style con job of epic proportions. Some could be termed early environmentalists, such as the physicians George L. Waldbott and Frederick B. Exner, who first documented government-industry complicity in hiding the hazards of fluoride pollution from the public. Waldbott and Exner risked their careers in a clash with fluoride defenders, only to see their cause buried in toothpaste ads.” 22
By 1950, fluoridation’s image was a sterling one, and there was not much science could do at this point. The Public Health Service was fluoridation’s main source of funding as well as its promoter, and therefore caught in a fundamental conflict of interest. 12 If fluoridation were found to be unsafe and ineffective, and laws were repealed, the organization feared a loss of face, since scientists, politicians, dental groups, and physicians unanimously supported it. 23 For this reason, studies concerning its effects were not undertaken. The Oakland Tribune noted this when it stated that “public health officials have often suppressed scientific doubts” about fluoridation.24 Waldbott sums up the situation when he says that from the beginning, the controversy over fluoridating water supplies was “a political, not a scientific health issue.”25
The marketing of fluoride continues. In a 1983 letter from the Environmental Protection Agency, then Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, Rebecca Hammer, writes that the EPA “regards [fluoridation] as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.” 26 A 1992 policy statement from the Department of Health and Human Services says, “A recent comprehensive PHS review of the benefits and potential health risks of fluoride has concluded that the practice of fluoridating community water supplies is safe and effective.” 27
According to the CDC website, about 200 million Americans in 16,500 communities are exposed to fluoridated water. Out of the 50 largest cities in the US, 43 have fluoridated water. 28
To help celebrate fluoride’s widespread use, the media recently reported on the 50th anniversary of fluoridation in Grand Rapids. Newspaper articles titled “Fluoridation: a shining public health success” 29 and “After 50 years, fluoride still works with a smile” 30 painted glowing pictures of the practice. Had investigators looked more closely, though, they might have learned that children in Muskegon, Michigan, an unfluoridated “control” city, had equal drops in dental decay. They might also have learned of the other studies that dispute the supposed wonders of fluoride.
The Fluoride Myth Doesn’t Hold Water
The big hope for fluoride was its ability to immunize children’s developing teeth against cavities. Rates of dental caries were supposed to plummet in areas where water was treated. Yet decades of experience and worldwide research have contradicted this expectation numerous times. Here are just a few examples:
In British Columbia, only 11% of the population drinks fluoridated water, as opposed to 40-70% in other Canadian regions. Yet British Columbia has the lowest rate of tooth decay in Canada. In addition, the lowest rates of dental caries within the province are found in areas that do not have their water supplies fluoridated. 31
According to a Sierra Club study, people in unfluoridated developing nations have fewer dental caries than those living in industrialized nations. As a result, they conclude that “fluoride is not essential to dental health.” 32
In 1986-87, the largest study on fluoridation and tooth decay ever was performed. The subjects were 39,000 school children between 5 and 17 living in 84 areas around the country. A third of the places were fluoridated, a third were partially fluoridated, and a third were not. Results indicate no statistically significant differences in dental decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated cities. 33
A World Health Organization survey reports a decline of dental decay in western Europe, which is 98% unfluoridated. They state that western Europe’s declining dental decay rates are equal to and sometimes better than those in the U.S. 34
A 1992 University of Arizona study yielded surprising results when they found that “the more fluoride a child drinks, the more cavities appear in the teeth.” 35
Although all Native American reservations are fluoridated, children living there have much higher incidences of dental decay and other oral health problems than do children living in other U.S. communities. 36
In light of all the evidence, fluoride proponents now make more modest claims. For example, in 1988, the ADA professed that a 40- to 60% cavity reduction could be achieved with the help of fluoride. Now they claim an 18- to 25% reduction. Other promoters mention a 12% decline in tooth decay.
And some former supporters are even beginning to question the need for fluoridation altogether. In 1990, a National Institute for Dental Research report stated that “it is likely that if caries in children remain at low levels or decline further, the necessity of continuing the current variety and extent of fluoride-based prevention programs will be questioned.” 37
Most government agencies, however, continue to ignore the scientific evidence and to market fluoridation by making fictional claims about its benefits and pushing for its expansion. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “National surveys of oral health dating back several decades document continuing decreases in tooth decay in children, adults and senior citizens. Nevertheless, there are parts of the country and particular populations that remain without protection. For these reasons, the U.S. PHS…has set a national goal for the year 2000 that 75% of persons served by community water systems will have access to optimally fluoridated drinking water; currently this figure is just about 60%. The year 2000 target goal is both desirable and yet challenging, based on past progress and continuing evidence of effectiveness and safety of this public health measure.” 38
This statement is flawed on several accounts. First, as we’ve seen, research does not support the effectiveness of fluoridation for preventing tooth disease. Second, purported benefits are supposedly for children, not adults and senior citizens. At about age 13, any advantage fluoridation might offer comes to an end, and less than 1% of the fluoridated water supply reaches this population. And third, fluoridation has never been proven safe. On the contrary, several studies directly link fluoridation to skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, and several rare forms of cancer. This alone should frighten us away from its use.
Biological Safety Concerns
Only a small margin separates supposedly beneficial fluoride levels from amounts that are known to cause adverse effects. Dr. James Patrick, a former antibiotics research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, describes the predicament:
“[There is] a very low margin of safety involved in fluoridating water. A concentration of about 1 ppm is recommended…in several countries, severe fluorosis has been documented from water supplies containing only 2 or 3 ppm. In the development of drugs…we generally insist on a therapeutic index (margin of safety) of the order of 100; a therapeutic index of 2 or 3 is totally unacceptable, yet that is what has been proposed for public water supplies.”39
Other countries argue that even 1 ppm is not a safe concentration. Canadian studies, for example, imply that children under three should have no fluoride whatsoever. The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association states that “Fluoride supplements should not be recommended for children less than 3 years old.” 40 Since these supplements contain the same amount of fluoride as water does, they are basically saying that children under the age of three shouldn’t be drinking fluoridated water at all, under any circumstances. Japan has reduced the amount of fluoride in their drinking water to one-eighth of what is recommended in the U.S. Instead of 1 milligram per liter, they use less than 15 hundredths of a milligram per liter as the upper limit allowed. 41
Even supposing that low concentrations are safe, there is no way to control how much fluoride different people consume, as some take in a lot more than others. For example, laborers, athletes, diabetics, and those living in hot or dry regions can all be expected to drink more water, and therefore more fluoride (in fluoridated areas) than others. 42 Due to such wide variations in water consumption, it is impossible to scientifically control what dosage of fluoride a person receives via the water supply.43
Another concern is that fluoride is not found only in drinking water; it is everywhere. Fluoride is found in foods that are processed with it, which, in the United States, include nearly all bottled drinks and canned foods. 44 Researchers writing in The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry have found that fruit juices, in particular, contain significant amounts of fluoride. In one study, a variety of popular juices and juice blends were analyzed and it was discovered that 42% of the samples examined had more than l ppm of fluoride, with some brands of grape juice containing much higher levels up to 6.8 ppm! The authors cite the common practice of using fluoride-containing insecticide in growing grapes as a factor in these high levels, and they suggest that the fluoride content of beverages be printed on their labels, as is other nutritional information. 45 Considering how much juice some children ingest, and the fact that youngsters often insist on particular brands that they consume day after day, labeling seems like a prudent idea. But beyond this is the larger issue that this study brings up: Is it wise to subject children and others who are heavy juice drinkers to additional fluoride in their water?
Here’s a little-publicized reality: Cooking can greatly increase a food’s fluoride content. Peas, for example, contain 12 micrograms of fluoride when raw and 1500 micrograms after they are cooked in fluoridated water, which is a tremendous difference. Also, we should keep in mind that fluoride is an ingredient in pharmaceuticals, aerosols, insecticides, and pesticides.
And of course, toothpastes. It’s interesting to note that in the 1950s, fluoridated toothpastes were required to carry warnings on their labels saying that they were not to be used in areas where water was already fluoridated. Crest toothpaste went so far as to write: “Caution: Children under 6 should not use Crest.” These regulations were dropped in 1958, although no new research was available to prove that the overdose hazard no longer existed. 46
Today, common fluoride levels in toothpaste are 1000 ppm. Research chemist Woodfun Ligon notes that swallowing a small amount adds substantially to fluoride intake. 47 Dentists say that children commonly ingest up to 0.5 mg of fluoride a day from toothpaste. 48
This inevitably raises another issue: How safe is all this fluoride? According to scientists and informed doctors, such as Dr. John Lee, it is not safe at all. Dr. Lee first took an anti-fluoridation stance back in 1972, when as chairman of an environmental health committee for a local medical society, he was asked to state their position on the subject. He stated that after investigating the references given by both pro- and anti-fluoridationists, the group discovered three important things:
“One, the claims of benefit of fluoride, the 60% reduction of cavities, was not established by any of these studies. Two, we found that the investigations into the toxic side effects of fluoride have not been done in any way that was acceptable. And three, we discovered that the estimate of the amount of fluoride in the food chain, in the total daily fluoride intake, had been measured in 1943, and not since then. By adding the amount of fluoride that we now have in the food chain, which comes from food processing with fluoridated water, plus all the fluoridated toothpaste that was not present in 1943, we found that the daily intake of fluoride was far in excess of what was considered optimal.” 49
What happens when fluoride intake exceeds the optimal? The inescapable fact is that this substance has been associated with severe health problems, ranging from skeletal and dental fluorosis to bone fractures, to fluoride poisoning, and even to cancer.
When fluoride is ingested, approximately 93% of it is absorbed into the bloodstream. A good part of the material is excreted, but the rest is deposited in the bones and teeth, and is capable of causing a crippling skeletal fluorosis. This is a condition that can damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and result in muscle wasting, limited joint motion, spine deformities, and calcification of the ligaments, as well as neurological deficits.
Large numbers of people in Japan, China, India, the Middle East, and Africa have been diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis from drinking naturally fluoridated water. In India alone, nearly a million people suffer from the affliction. 39 While only a dozen cases of skeletal fluorosis have been reported in the United States, Chemical and Engineering News states that “critics of the EPA standard speculate that there probably have been many more cases of fluorosis even crippling fluorosis than the few reported in the literature because most doctors in the U.S. have not studied the disease and do not know how to diagnose it.” 50
Radiologic changes in bone occur when fluoride exposure is 5 mg/day, according to the late Dr. George Waldbott, author of Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma. While this 5 mg/day level is the amount of fluoride ingested by most people living in fluoridated areas, 51 the number increases for diabetics and laborers, who can ingest up to 20 mg of fluoride daily. In addition, a survey conducted by the Department of Agriculture shows that 3% of the U.S. population drinks 4 liters or more of water every day. If these individuals live in areas where the water contains a fluoride level of 4 ppm, allowed by the EPA, they are ingesting 16 mg/day from the consumption of water alone, and are thus at greater risk for getting skeletal fluorosis. 52
According to a 1989 National Institute for Dental Research study, 1-2% of children living in areas fluoridated at 1 ppm develop dental fluorosis, that is, permanently stained, brown mottled teeth. Up to 23% of children living in areas naturally fluoridated at 4 ppm develop severe dental fluorosis. 53 Other research gives higher figures. The publication Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride, put out by the National Academy of Sciences, reports that in areas with optimally fluoridated water (1 ppm, either natural or added), dental fluorosis levels in recent years ranged from 8 to 51%. Recently, a prevalence of slightly over 80% was reported in children 12-14 years old in Augusta, Georgia.
Fluoride is a noteworthy chemical additive in that its officially acknowledged benefit and damage levels are about the same. Writing in The Progressive, science journalist Daniel Grossman elucidates this point: “Though many beneficial chemicals are dangerous when consumed at excessive levels, fluoride is unique because the amount that dentists recommend to prevent cavities is about the same as the amount that causes dental fluorosis.” 54 Although the American Dental Association and the government consider dental fluorosis only a cosmetic problem, the American Journal of Public Health says that “…brittleness of moderately and severely mottled teeth may be associated with elevated caries levels.” 45 In other words, in these cases the fluoride is causing the exact problem that it’s supposed to prevent. Yiamouyiannis adds, “In highly naturally-fluoridated areas, the teeth actually crumble as a result. These are the first visible symptoms of fluoride poisoning.” 55
Also, when considering dental fluorosis, there are factors beyond the physical that you can’t ignore the negative psychological effects of having moderately to severely mottled teeth. These were recognized in a 1984 National Institute of Mental Health panel that looked into this problem.
A telling trend is that TV commercials for toothpaste, and toothpaste tubes themselves, are now downplaying fluoride content as a virtue. This was noted in an article in the Sarasota/Florida ECO Report, 56 whose author, George Glasser, feels that manufacturers are distancing themselves from the additive because of fears of lawsuits. The climate is ripe for these, and Glasser points out that such a class action suit has already been filed in England against the manufacturers of fluoride-containing products on behalf of children suffering from dental fluorosis.
At one time, fluoride therapy was recommended for building denser bones and preventing fractures associated with osteoporosis. Now several articles in peer-reviewed journals suggest that fluoride actually causes more harm than good, as it is associated with bone breakage. Three studies reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed links between hip fractures and fluoride. 575859 Findings here were, for instance, that there is “a small but significant increase in the risk of hip fractures in both men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at 1 ppm.” In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that people given fluoride to cure their osteoporosis actually wound up with an increased nonvertebral fracture rate. 60 Austrian researchers have also found that fluoride tablets make bones more susceptible to fractures.61 The U.S. National Research Council states that the U.S. hip fracture rate is now the highest in the world. 62
Louis V. Avioli, professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, says in a 1987 review of the subject: “Sodium fluoride therapy is accompanied by so many medical complications and side effects that it is hardly worth exploring in depth as a therapeutic mode for postmenopausal osteoporosis, since it fails to decrease the propensity for hip fractures and increases the incidence of stress fractures in the extremities.” 63
In May 1992, 260 people were poisoned, and one man died, in Hooper Bay, Alaska, after drinking water contaminated with 150 ppm of fluoride. The accident was attributed to poor equipment and an unqualified operator. 55 Was this a fluke? Not at all. Over the years, the CDC has recorded several incidents of excessive fluoride permeating the water supply and sickening or killing people. We don’t usually hear about these occurrences in news reports, but interested citizens have learned the truth from data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Here is a partial list of toxic spills we have not been told about:
July 1993 Chicago, Illinois: Three dialysis patients died and five experienced toxic reactions to the fluoridated water used in the treatment process. The CDC was asked to investigate, but to date there have been no press releases.
May 1993 Kodiak, Alaska (Old Harbor): The population was warned not to consume water due to high fluoride levels. They were also cautioned against boiling the water, since this concentrates the substance and worsens the danger. Although equipment appeared to be functioning normally, 22-24 ppm of fluoride was found in a sample.
July 1992 Marin County, California: A pump malfunction allowed too much fluoride into the Bon Tempe treatment plant. Two million gallons of fluoridated water were diverted to Phoenix Lake, elevating the lake surface by more than two inches and forcing some water over the spillway.
December 1991 Benton Harbor, Michigan: A faulty pump allowed approximately 900 gallons of hydrofluosilicic acid to leak into a chemical storage building at the water plant. City engineer Roland Klockow stated, “The concentrated hydrofluosilicic acid was so corrosive that it ate through more than two inches of concrete in the storage building.” This water did not reach water consumers, but fluoridation was stopped until June 1993. The original equipment was only two years old.
July 1991 Porgate, Michigan: After a fluoride injector pump failed, fluoride levels reached 92 ppm and resulted in approximately 40 children developing abdominal pains, sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea at a school arts and crafts show.
November 1979 Annapolis, Maryland: One patient died and eight became ill after renal dialysis treatment. Symptoms included cardiac arrest (resuscitated), hypotension, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a whole gamut of intestinal problems. Patients not on dialysis also reported nausea, headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and dizziness. The fluoride level was later found to be 35 ppm; the problem was traced to a valve at a water plant that had been left open all night. 64
Instead of addressing fluoridation’s problematic safety record, officials have chosen to cover it up. For example, the ADA says in one booklet distributed to health agencies that “Fluoride feeders are designed to stop operating when a malfunction occurs… so prolonged over-fluoridation becomes a mechanical impossibility.” In addition, the information that does reach the population after an accident is woefully inaccurate. A spill in Annapolis, Maryland, placed thousands at risk, but official reports reduced the number to eight. 65 Perhaps officials are afraid they will invite more lawsuits like the one for $480 million by the wife of a dialysis patient who became brain-injured as the result of fluoride poisoning.
Not all fluoride poisoning is accidental. For decades, industry has knowingly released massive quantities of fluoride into the air and water. Disenfranchised communities, with people least able to fight back, are often the victims. Medical writer Joel Griffiths relays this description of what industrial pollution can do, in this case to a devastatingly poisoned Indian reservation:
“Cows crawled around the pasture on their bellies, inching along like giant snails. So crippled by bone disease they could not stand up, this was the only way they could graze. Some died kneeling, after giving birth to stunted calves. Others kept on crawling until, no longer able to chew because their teeth had crumbled down to the nerves, they began to starve….” They were the cattle of the Mohawk Indians on the New York-Canadian St. Regis Reservation during the period 1960-1975, when industrial pollution devastated the herd and along with it, the Mohawks’ way of life….Mohawk children, too, have shown signs of damage to bones and teeth.” 66
Mohawks filed suit against the Reynolds Metals Company and the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) in 1960, but ended up settling out of court, where they received $650,000 for their cows. 67
Fluoride is one of industry’s major pollutants, and no one remains immune to its effects. In 1989, 155,000 tons were being released annually into the air, and 500,000 tons a year were disposed of in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. 68
Numerous studies demonstrate links between fluoridation and cancer; however, agencies promoting fluoride consistently refute or cover up these findings.
In 1977, Dr. John Yiamouyiannis and Dr. Dean Burk, former chief chemist at the National Cancer Institute, released a study that linked fluoridation to 10,000 cancer deaths per year in the U.S. Their inquiry, which compared cancer deaths in the ten largest fluoridated American cities to those in the ten largest unfluoridated cities between 1940 and 1950, discovered a 5% greater rate in the fluoridated areas. 69 The NCI disputed these findings, since an earlier analysis of theirs apparently failed to pick up these extra deaths. Federal authorities claimed that Yiamouyiannis and Burk were in error, and that any increase was caused by statistical changes over the years in age, gender, and racial composition. 70
In order to settle the question of whether or not fluoride is a carcinogen, a Congressional subcommittee instructed the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to perform another investigation. 71 That study, due in 1980, was not released until 1990. However, in 1986, while the study was delayed, the EPA raised the standard fluoride level in drinking water from 2.4 to 4 ppm. 72 After this step, some of the government’s own employees in NFFE Local 2050 took what the Oakland Tribune termed the “remarkable step of denouncing that action as political.” 73
When the NTP study results became known in early 1990, union president Dr. Robert Carton, who works in the EPA’s Toxic Substances Division, published a statement. It read, in part: “Four years ago, NFFE Local 2050, which represents all 1100 professionals at EPA headquarters, alerted then Administrator Lee Thomas to the fact that the scientific support documents for the fluoride in drinking water standard were fatally flawed. The fluoride juggernaut proceeded as it apparently had for the last 40 years without any regard for the facts or concern for public health.
“EPA raised the allowed level of fluoride before the results of the rat/mouse study ordered by Congress in 1977 was complete. Today, we find out how irresponsible that decision was. The results reported by NTP, and explained today by Dr. Yiamouyiannis, are, as he notes, not surprising considering the vast amount of data that caused the animal study to be conducted in the first place. The results are not surprising to NFFE Local 2050 either. Four years ago we realized that the claim that there was no evidence that fluoride could cause genetic effects or cancer could not be supported by the shoddy document thrown together by the EPA contractor.
“It was apparent to us that EPA bowed to political pressure without having done an in-depth, independent analysis, using in-house experts, of the currently existing data that show fluoride causes genetic effects, promotes the growth of cancerous tissue, and is likely to cause cancer in humans. If EPA had done so, it would have been readily apparent as it was to Congress in 1977 that there were serious reasons to believe in a cancer threat.
“The behavior by EPA in this affair raises questions about the integrity of science at EPA and the role of professional scientists, lawyers and engineers who provide the interpretation of the available data and the judgements necessary to protect the public health and the environment. Are scientists at EPA there to arrange facts to fit preconceived conclusions? Does the Agency have a responsibility to develop world-class experts in the risks posed by chemicals we are exposed to every day, or is it permissible for EPA to cynically shop around for contractors who will provide them the ‘correct’ answers?” 74
What were the NTP study results? Out of 130 male rats that ingested 45 to 79 ppm of fluoride, 5 developed osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. There were cases, in both males and females at those doses, of squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth. 75 Both rats and mice had dose-related fluorosis of the teeth, and female rats suffered osteosclerosis of the long bones.76
When Yiamouyiannis analyzed the same data, he found mice with a particularly rare form of liver cancer, known as hepatocholangiocarcinoma. This cancer is so rare, according to Yiamouyiannis, that the odds of its appearance in this study by chance are 1 in 2 million in male mice and l in 100,000 in female mice. He also found precancerous changes in oral squamous cells, an increase in squamous cell tumors and cancers, and thyroid follicular cell tumors as a result of increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water. 77
A March 13, 1990, New York Times article commented on the NTP findings: “Previous animal tests suggesting that water fluoridation might pose risks to humans have been widely discounted as technically flawed, but the latest investigation carefully weeded out sources of experimental or statistical error, many scientists say, and cannot be discounted.” 78 In the same article, biologist Dr. Edward Groth notes: “The importance of this study…is that it is the first fluoride bioassay giving positive results in which the latest state-of-the-art procedures have been rigorously applied. It has to be taken seriously.” 71
On February 22, 1990, the Medical Tribune, an international medical news weekly received by 125,000 doctors, offered the opinion of a federal scientist who preferred to remain anonymous:
“It is difficult to see how EPA can fail to regulate fluoride as a carcinogen in light of what NTP has found. Osteosarcomas are an extremely unusual result in rat carcinogenicity tests. Toxicologists tell me that the only other substance that has produced this is radium….The fact that this is a highly atypical form of cancer implicates fluoride as the cause. Also, the osteosarcomas appeared to be dose-related, and did not occur in controls, making it a clean study.” 79
Public health officials were quick to assure a concerned public that there was nothing to worry about! The ADA said the occurrence of cancers in the lab may not be relevant to humans since the level of fluoridation in the experimental animals’ water was so high. 80 But the Federal Register, which is the handbook of government practices, disagrees: “The high exposure of experimental animals to toxic agents is a necessary and valid method of discovering possible carcinogenic hazards in man. To disavow the findings of this test would be to disavow those of all such tests, since they are all conducted according to this standard.” 73 As a February 5, 1990, Newsweek article pointed out, “such megadosing is standard toxicological practice. It’s the only way to detect an effect without using an impossibly large number of test animals to stand in for the humans exposed to the substance.” 81 And as the Safer Water Foundation explains, higher doses are generally administered to test animals to compensate for the animals’ shorter life span and because humans are generally more vulnerable than test animals on a body-weight basis. 82
Several other studies link fluoride to genetic damage and cancer. An article in Mutation Research says that a study by Proctor and Gamble, the very company that makes Crest toothpaste, did research showing that 1 ppm fluoride causes genetic damage.83 Results were never published but Proctor and Gamble called them “clean,” meaning animals were supposedly free of malignant tumors. Not so, according to scientists who believe some of the changes observed in test animals could be interpreted as precancerous. 84 Yiamouyiannis says the Public Health Service sat on the data, which were finally released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 1989. “Since they are biased, they have tried to cover up harmful effects,” he says. “But the data speaks for itself. Half the amount of fluoride that is found in the New York City drinking water causes genetic damage.” 46
A National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences publication, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, also linked fluoride to genetic toxicity when it stated that “in cultured human and rodent cells, the weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that fluoride exposure results in increased chromosome aberrations.” 85 The result of this is not only birth defects but the mutation of normal cells into cancer cells. The Journal of Carcinogenesis further states that “fluoride not only has the ability to transform normal cells into cancer cells but also to enhance the cancer-causing properties of other chemicals.” 86
Surprisingly, the PHS put out a report called Review of fluoride: benefits and risks, in which they showed a substantially higher incidence of bone cancer in young men exposed to fluoridated water compared to those who were not. The New Jersey Department of Health also found that the risk of bone cancer was about three times as high in fluoridated areas as in nonfluoridated areas. 87
Despite cover-up attempts, the light of knowledge is filtering through to some enlightened scientists. Regarding animal test results, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, James Huff, does say that “the reason these animals got a few osteosarcomas was because they were given fluoride…Bone is the target organ for fluoride.” Toxicologist William Marcus adds that “fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, and other effects.” 88
The Challenge of Eliminating Fluoride
Given all the scientific challenges to the idea of the safety of fluoride, why does it remain a protected contaminant? As Susan Pare of the Center for Health Action asks, “…even if fluoride in the water did reduce tooth decay, which it does not, how can the EPA allow a substance more toxic than Alar, red dye #3, and vinyl chloride to be injected purposely into drinking water?” 89
This is certainly a logical question and, with all the good science that seems to exist on the subject, you would think that there would be a great deal of interest in getting fluoride out of our water supply. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. As Dr. William Marcus, a senior science advisor in the EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, has found, the top governmental priority has been to sweep the facts under the rug and, if need be, to suppress truth-tellers. Marcus explains 90 that fluoride is one of the chemicals the EPA specifically regulates, and that he was following the data coming in on fluoride very carefully when a determination was going to be made on whether the levels should be changed. He discovered that the data were not being heeded. But that was only the beginning of the story for him. Marcus recounts what happened:
“The studies that were done by Botel Northwest showed that there was an increased level of bone cancer and other types of cancer in animals….in that same study, there were very rare liver cancers, according to the board-certified veterinary pathologists at the contractor, Botel. Those really were very upsetting because they were hepatocholangeal carcinomas, very rare liver cancers….Then there were several other kinds of cancers that were found in the jaw and other places.
“I felt at that time that the reports were alarming. They showed that the levels of fluoride that can cause cancers in animals are actually lower than those levels ingested in people (who take lower amounts but for longer periods of time).
“I went to a meeting that was held in Research Triangle Park, in April 1990, in which the National Toxicology Program was presenting their review of the study. I went with several colleagues of mine, one of whom was a board-certified veterinary pathologist who originally reported hepatocholangeal carcinoma as a separate entity in rats and mice. I asked him if he would look at the slides to see if that really was a tumor or if the pathologists at Botel had made an error. He told me after looking at the slides that, in fact, it was correct.
“At the meeting, every one of the cancers reported by the contractor had been downgraded by the National Toxicology Program. I have been in the toxicology business looking at studies of this nature for nearly 25 years and I have never before seen every single cancer endpoint downgraded…. I found that very suspicious and went to see an investigator in the Congress at the suggestion of my friend, Bob Carton. This gentleman and his staff investigated very thoroughly and found out that the scientists at the National Toxicology Program down at Research Triangle Park had been coerced by their superiors to change their findings.”91
Once Dr. Marcus acted on his findings, something ominous started to happen in his life: “…I wrote an internal memorandum and gave it to my supervisors. I waited for a month without hearing anything. Usually, you get a feedback in a week or so. I wrote another memorandum to a person who was my second-line supervisor explaining that if there was even a slight chance of increased cancer in the general population, since 140 million people were potentially ingesting this material, that the deaths could be in the many thousands. Then I gave a copy of the memorandum to the Fluoride Work Group, who waited some time and then released it to the press.
“Once it got into the press all sorts of things started happening at EPA. I was getting disciplinary threats, being isolated, and all kinds of things which ultimately resulted in them firing me on March 15, 1992.”
In order to be reinstated at work, Dr. Marcus took his case to court. In the process, he learned that the government had engaged in various illegal activities, including 70 felony counts, in order to get him fired. At the same time, those who committed perjury were not held accountable for it. In fact, they were rewarded for their efforts:
“When we finally got the EPA to the courtroom…they admitted to doing several things to get me fired. We had notes of a meeting…that showed that fluoride was one of the main topics discussed and that it was agreed that they would fire me with the help of the Inspector General. When we got them on the stand and showed them the memoranda, they finally remembered and said, oh yes, we lied about that in our previous statements.
“Then…they admitted to shredding more than 70 documents that they had in hand Freedom of Information requests. That’s a felony…. In addition, they charged me with stealing time from the government. They…tried to show…that I had been doing private work on government time and getting paid for it. When we came to court, I was able to show that the time cards they produced were forged, and forged by the Inspector General’s staff….”
For all his efforts, Dr. Marcus was rehired, but nothing else has changed: “The EPA was ordered to rehire me, which they did. They were given a whole series of requirements to be met, such as paying me my back pay, restoring my leave, privileges, and sick leave and annual leave. The only thing they’ve done is put me back to work. They haven’t given me any of those things that they were required to do.”92
What is at the core of such ruthless tactics? John Yiamouyiannis feels that the central concern of government is to protect industry, and that the motivating force behind fluoride use is the need of certain businesses to dump their toxic waste products somewhere. They try to be inconspicuous in the disposal process and not make waves. “As is normal, the solution to pollution is dilution. You poison everyone a little bit rather than poison a few people a lot. This way, people don’t know what’s going on.”
Since the Public Health Service has promoted the fluoride myth for over 50 years, they’re concerned about protecting their reputation. So scientists like Dr. Marcus, who know about the dangers, are intimidated into keeping silent. Otherwise, they jeopardize their careers. Dr. John Lee elaborates: “Back in 1943, the PHS staked their professional careers on the benefits and safety of fluoride. It has since become bureaucratized. Any public health official who criticizes fluoride, or even hints that perhaps it was an unwise decision, is at risk of losing his career entirely. This has happened time and time again. Public health officials such as Dr. Gray in British Columbia and Dr. Colquhoun in New Zealand found no benefit from fluoridation. When they reported these results, they immediately lost their careers…. This is what happens the public health officials who speak out against fluoride are at great risk of losing their careers on the spot.”
Yiamouyiannis adds that for the authorities to admit that they’re wrong would be devastating. “It would show that their reputations really don’t mean that much…. They don’t have the scientific background. As Ralph Nader once said, if they admit they’re wrong on fluoridation, people would ask, and legitimately so, what else have they not told us right?”
Accompanying a loss in status would be a tremendous loss in revenue. Yiamouyiannis points out that “the indiscriminate careless handling of fluoride has a lot of companies, such as Exxon, U.S. Steel, and Alcoa, making tens of billions of dollars in extra profits at our expense…. For them to go ahead now and admit that this is bad, this presents a problem, a threat, would mean tens of billions of dollars in lost profit because they would have to handle fluoride properly. Fluoride is present in everything from phosphate fertilizers to cracking agents for the petroleum industry.”
Fluoride could only be legally disposed of at a great cost to industry. As Dr. Bill Marcus explains, “There are prescribed methods for disposal and they’re very expensive. Fluoride is a very potent poison. It’s a registered pesticide, used for killing rats or mice…. If it were to be disposed of, it would require a class-one landfill. That would cost the people who are producing aluminum or fertilizer about $7000+ per 5000- to 6000-gallon truckload to dispose of it. It’s highly corrosive.”
Another problem is that the U.S. judicial system, even when convinced of the dangers, is powerless to change policy. Yiamouyiannis tells of his involvement in court cases in Pennsylvania and Texas in which, while the judges were convinced that fluoride was a health hazard, they did not have the jurisdiction to grant relief from fluoridation. That would have to be done, it was ultimately found, through the legislative process. Interestingly, the judiciary seems to have more power to effect change in other countries. Yiamouyiannis states that when he presented the same technical evidence in Scotland, the Scottish court outlawed fluoridation based on the evidence.
Indeed, most of Western Europe has rejected fluoridation on the grounds that it is unsafe. In 1971, after 11 years of testing, Sweden’s Nobel Medical Institute recommended against fluoridation, and the process was banned.93 The Netherlands outlawed the practice in 1976, after 23 years of tests. France decided against it after consulting with its Pasteur Institute64 and West Germany, now Germany, rejected the practice because the recommended dosage of 1 ppm was “too close to the dose at which long-term damage to the human body is to be expected.” 84 Dr. Lee sums it up: “All of western Europe, except one or two test towns in Spain, has abandoned fluoride as a public health plan. It is not put in the water anywhere. They all established test cities and found that the benefits did not occur and the toxicity was evident.”94
Isn’t it time the United States followed Western Europe’s example? While the answer is obvious, it is also apparent that government policy is unlikely to change without public support. We therefore must communicate with legislators, and insist on one of our most precious resources pure, unadulterated drinking water. Yiamouyiannis urges all American people to do so, pointing out that public pressure has gotten fluoride out of the water in places like Los Angeles; Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey; and 95Bedford, Massachusetts. 46 He emphasizes the immediacy of the problem: “There is no question with regard to fluoridation of public water supplies. It is absolutely unsafe…and should be stopped immediately. This is causing more destruction to human health than any other single substance added purposely or inadvertently to the water supply. We’re talking about 35,000 excess deaths a year…10,000 cancer deaths a year…130 million people who are being chronically poisoned. We’re not talking about dropping dead after drinking a glass of fluoridated water…. It takes its toll on human health and life, glass after glass.” 96
There is also a moral issue in the debate that has largely escaped notice. According to columnist James Kilpatrick, it is “the right of each person to control the drugs he or she takes.” Kilpatrick calls fluoridation compulsory mass medication, a procedure that violates the principles of medical ethics. 97 A New York Times editorial agrees:
“In light of the uncertainty, critics [of fluoridation] argue that administrative bodies are unjustified in imposing fluoridation on communities without obtaining public consent…. The real issue here is not just the scientific debate. The question is whether any establishment has the right to decide that benefits outweigh risks and impose involuntary medication on an entire population. In the case of fluoridation, the dental establishment has made opposition to fluoridation seem intellectually disreputable. Some people regard that as tyranny.” 98
Source: Dr. Gary Null, PhD
By our apathy, our unawareness and our complete disregard as to what our U.S. Congress thrusts upon our country—we face enormous obstacles to our continued existence as a country let alone an intact civilization.
Within 37 years, at current immigration rates, we face adding 100 million more people—enough to add another 20 of our most populated cities. The enormity of the water, food, energy, housing, education and sustainability of that many people boggles the mind. Simple fact: none of us will be able to live at the level of wealth, waste and pollution we currently enjoy, or should I say destroy!
Hear this: it’s not if we add 100 million people, but a definite fact of an added 100 million people—if we don’t rescind the 1965 Immigration Reform Act and the 1986 Immigration Amnesty and if we don’t stop the final passage of the S744 Amnesty Bill that will return to Congress in 2014.
This 100 million immigrant-number constitutes something SO ominous, SO egregious and SO monumental that it will spiral our nation into its death throes as described in this series.
Do you care about your children’s future? Do you care about the environment in which they will live? Do you care about the quality of life and standard of living that you bequeath to future generations? Here’s what it will look like if you fail to tack action:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
Have you written emails and made phone calls to the 20 contacts I have offered in preceding parts to this series? If not, why not? If not now, when? The fact remains that the current immigration laws from 1965 and 1986 continue the onslaught of 1 million legal immigrants annually, their children and chain-migrated relatives without pause.
In a Constitutional Republic, only YOU can force change. Only your participation creates discussion and debate. Only your actions change the future.
I am not researching and writing this series to be read and forgotten. I write it in order to give you the power to take collective action.
President Teddy Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Poisoning our world
With 316 million Americans along with 20 million illegal alien migrants, our country faces enormous consequences on multiple fronts as described by this series.
But they may all pale in comparison to the poisoning of our world. If we continue adding people and hit the projected 438 million by 2050—a scant 37 years from now—that encompasses another 138 million people—all using poisons and chemicals.
At 80,000 chemicals now being injected into the air, land and water 24/7—-just imagine the cancer rates by mid century. Every family, every person in America will be affected by cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Lupus, Autism and other diseases caused by chemicals wrecking our nervous systems.
The Fukushima radioactive injection of billions possibly trillions of gallons of contaminated water circulates to all oceans around our planet. It poisons all marine life and affects all oceanic eco-systems. You might call it “Planetary genocide” when the final story surfaces in the coming decades.
“Planetary Genocide”: Fukushima One Year Later: The Poisoning of Planet Earth By Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri
Perlingieri said, “With various half-lives –some eons-long– of numerous radioactive components, the human race and every other living creature on our planet is on its way to extinction, due to the known sterilization effects of radiation. Here is a short list of the half-life of five of the radioactive isotopes that are and will continue to poison all of our children, and us, ad infinitum, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink and in which we bathe:
- Cesium 137: 30 years
- Plutonium 239: 24,000 years
- Strontium 90: 29 years [mimics calcium in the body]
- Uranium 235: 700-million years
- Iodine 131: 8 days [absorbed into the thyroid and gives heavy radiation dose. Also goes into the soil, passed onto us through cow’s milk.]
“In a report released just a few week’s ago, the milk tested in the San Francisco area still had radioactive levels of Cesium 134 and Cesium 137. According to even a compromised EPA, these are now at “150 percent of their maximum contaminant level.”
Think about another 100 million people added to the USA spraying, injecting and disbursing Round-up, Weed-be-Gone, Tilex, crop pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and thousands of other chemicals that pile-up ultimately within our bodies.
Monsanto poisoning our world
Genetically modified organisms are made by manipulation of extremely deadly viruses & bacteria (such as E. coli) that have been engineered to be immune to antibiotics. Monsanto spends millions of dollars each year in order to “sugar” coat the facts of what GMOs actually are and more importantly, how they are made. This video explains the scientific facts on how Monsanto manufactures their GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) by simply removing all the corporate propaganda, the “smoke & mirrors” if you will. This video will educate you:
Aspartame created and sold by Monsanto, a synthetic sugar used in every “diet soda” and “sugar-free” food, has been implicated in lupus, fibromyalgia and brain cancers. Yet, the American public buys “diet soda” like milk with no clue as to the diseases it causes. The enclosed video gives you an idea of Aspartame’s deadly consequences.
When you tally the 80,000 chemicals injected into our air, land, water, food and homes—no wonder one in three of us will be affected by cancers in our lifetimes.
Multiply another 100 million immigrants added to the USA in 37 years, and what do we as a country face? Answer: a multiplication of all those problems by 100 million more people.
Whether you add up the medical costs, the crowding, the contaminated water supplies, the acid rain contaminating our soils and dozens of other consequences—we face a growing poisoned civilization and all the people living in it.
Do you sit by and watch it happen to your kids or do you take action? Answer: take action! Force the immigration issue to the highest media sources by writing them.
As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) doles out billions of dollars to convince local police departments to surrender control to the federal agency, a recent report indicates that intelligence gathered at precincts-cum-surveillance-centers will be shared among all levels of law enforcement.
An article published by Fierce Homeland Security on November 4 reports:
The phenomenon of fusion centers sharing intelligence and skills with each other — not just with the federal government — is a new and underappreciated aspect of the centers, panelists at a Homeland Security Policy Institute event said.
Fusion centers mainly apply national intelligence to local contexts and gather information locally that they can share with federal agencies. But in recent years, a great deal of “horizontal sharing” has occurred, where fusion centers work closely with each other, said Ross Ashley, the executive director of National Fusion Center Association.
“We’ll find an expert in Washington state on international human trafficking over international ferry systems. Well, I don’t need that expert everywhere. What I need is the ability to reach out to that expert if I’m in West Virginia,” he said at the event, held Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C.
That meeting, entitled “State and Local Fusion Centers: Key Challenges for the Next Decade,” featured three panelists: John Cohen, principal deputy under secretary for intelligence and analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Thomas Kirk, director, West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center; and Ross Ashley, executive director, National Fusion Center Association. The keynote address was delivered by Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
In July, McCaul co-authored with Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) a report on the progress of the establishment of the nationwide spread of the fusion centers. The press release announcing the report reveals the pair’s support for a program that dismantles federalism and accelerates the militarization of local police and the consolidation of control of those departments to the federal government. The McCaul-King report states:
Fusion centers serve as hubs of strategic analysis and information sharing where Federal, State, and local agencies are all represented in one location. State and local crime data is coordinated, gathered and reviewed to determine if there is any potential connection to terrorist activity. In addition, Federal terrorism-related information is shared with State and local law enforcement.
Seems the congressmen should be reminded of the fact that there is not a single syllable of the Constitution authorizing any such federal participation in law enforcement. If the power isn’t granted to the federal government in the Constitution, then authority over that area remains with the states and the people as described in the Tenth Amendment.
Remarkably, McCaul and King lament the fact that the chain of fusion centers isn’t growing quickly enough and the DHS isn’t getting adequate access to all that information. The report adds:
The Committee’s review concludes that the Network is not functioning as cohesively as it should be and fusion centers are facing numerous challenges that prevent the Network from realizing its full potential to help secure the homeland.
Of course, there couldn’t be a piece of federal police and surveillance program propaganda without reminding citizens that all this deprivation of their rights is for their safety. As if to say, if the federal government doesn’t take control of your local police department and keep all citizens under surveillance, the terrorists will strike again.
The representatives’ zeal for constructing local outposts of the central surveillance headquarters is not surprising. Self-serving bureaucrats inside the U.S. government are tirelessly trying to obliterate local police forces answerable to local citizens and promote the consolidation movement as a step toward federalization of law enforcement. These proponents of regional and national police forces desire nothing less than the eradication of all local police departments and sheriffs’ offices, the surrender of state and municipal sovereignty, and the conversion of police into federal security agents sworn not to protect and to serve their neighbors, but to protect the prerogatives of politicians.
Take for example the information contained in a White Paper presented in 2012 to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In that report, the DHS is encouraged to embark on an “evolving mission” away from its ostensible purpose of fighting terrorism, toward becoming the administrator of an enormous domestic intelligence agency resulting from an integration of the country’s local and state law-enforcement agencies.
This report was written by the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, co-chaired by former DHS chief Michael Chertoff. The blueprint promoted in the White Paper pushes Congress toward green-lighting the growth of DHS and the dissolution of local police and sheriffs.
The organization described in the paper, entitled “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission,” is reminiscent of more draconian governments. For example, one section of the report calls for a transition in the mission of DHS away from protecting the country from the “terrorism” of foreign militants and toward “more specific homeward focused areas.” Additional sections of the report lay out the plans for building a DHS/police hybrid agency that can monitor Americans in any town and prevent threats from fellow citizens.
In order to achieve their ultimate aim, the globalists demand that DHS or some other federal agency take control of the personnel decisions currently made by local police chiefs and county sheriffs. “As the threat grows more localized,” the report claims, “the federal government’s need to train, and even staff, local agencies, such as major city police departments, will grow.” Put another way: The federal government will run your local police department and sheriff’s office.
The establishment of fusion centers is a key component of this plan. The following information is taken from a fact sheet on fusion centers posted on the DHS website:
A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.
A description of the functioning of these incubators for the forthcoming federal police force is also provided on the DHS site:
State and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) serve as primary focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) partners…. Fusion centers conduct analysis and facilitate information sharing, assisting law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism.
The literature promoting the acceptance of fusion centers lists several ways the new federal agency will impose its will on the formerly autonomous and accountable police chief or county sheriff.
Last year, The New American described the likely procedure:
First, the feds will decide where and when to deploy local police department personnel. The chief, if he still exists, will be no more than a functionary required to make sure that the orders of the federal government are carried out. More likely than not, these new missions, in addition to preventing crime in the city or county, will engage in the collection of information about and apprehension of those local citizens identified by a committee in Washington as posing a threat to national security. Consider the revelation in 2009 that Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis released a document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalism and Recruitment,” which listed war veterans, anti-abortion activists, small-government advocates, and those concerned about immigration as terrorist risks.
Second, DHS (or whichever one of the federal agencies eventually takes over law-enforcement duties) will train new recruits. Policies, procedures, and purposes will not reflect traditional (and constitutional) goals of law enforcement, but will be tailored to training officers to perform those duties associated with the new, national emphasis of the force, with a slant toward federalism.
Finally, funds for this conversion from local police department to outpost of the federal law-enforcement agency will be provided by the bureaucrats on Capitol Hill. This carrot will be tied to the stick of federal control.
The speed and success of the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to string together a powerful net of surveillance-focused fusion centers in all the country’s police departments is evident in the following statement at the Homeland Security Policy Institute’s meeting made by Thomas Kirk, director of the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center:
“In all law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said. “Most of the time when I call another fusion center director, they know my voice.”
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He is the host of The New American Review radio show that is simulcast on YouTube every Monday. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at email@example.com
Source: Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American
John Kennedy An Unlikely President
John Kennedy was never a perfect man and his exploits with many beautiful and often controversial women, such as Ingrid Arvid, Judith Exner and Marilyn Monroe speaks to JFK’s imperfections. In fact, the present day corporate controlled media has continually revealed JFK’s womanizing ways as an attempt to remove any sympathy for the slain President.
JFK had the dubious legacy of being born into a family of very active criminality. His father, the former ambassador to England, stock market insider trader and mafia bootlegger, Joseph Kennedy, used his underworld ties to convince Meyer Lansky as well as key members of the Chicago mafia to steal the Cook County, IL., presidential election of 1960.
Illinois was the ultimate swing state. If JFK had not carried Cook County, Illinois, the presidency would have fallen to Nixon. Nixon was the insider’s choice. As Vice-President, he circumvented Ike and exacerbated the crisis situation in Southeast Asia on behalf of the furtherance of the CIA’s heroin trafficking through the infamous “Golden Triangle”. Nixon was in bed with the military industrial complex as Ike called it in his farewell address. Nixon was subservient to the whims of the Federal Reserve and ran interference for them, often to the chagrin of Ike, who desperately wanted to dump Nixon from the 1956 Republican ticket. Nixon was the elite’s errand boy, however, what the elite did not count on was the dramatic impact that the combination of television and JFK’s personal charm would play in the outcome of the 1960 election.
In the famous Nixon-Kennedy debates, which were simulcast on radio and television, Nixon actually won among radio listeners. However, among the largest audience, the television audience, JFK won hands down and history was changed. JFK’s charismatic appeal was something that the elite had underestimated. The insiders were left to deal with the son of a criminal and most likely they thought they could work with the son of the Adolph Hitler supporting and bootlegging thug.
JFK Became a Changed Man
When JFK entered the White House, his party ways came with him, but there would soon be a series of events that would make John Kennedy a changed man. In 1961, the CIA and director Dulles circumvented JFK by launching a secret invasion of Cuba in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. It was only at the last moment did JFK discover the unfolding events in which he refused to provide air cover and the invasion failed on the beach. Kennedy fired Dulles and threatened to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. This even marked the beginning of the bifurcation between JFK and the elite because the CIA had become their errand boy. The elite and their mafia partners desperately wanted Cuba back under their control and JFK blocked their ambitions. The following year, as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK had another chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the elite and again he failed. It did not matter that JFK had averted WWIII, he failed to put boots on the ground in Cuba and again, the elite and their designs for Cuba were thwarted.
Simultaneous to the events in Cuba, JFK was dragging his feet on Vietnam. He was reluctantly continuing on the path of allowing combat advisers to continue to operate in South Vietnam.
Vietnam was potentially a huge cash cow to the establishment elite. Chrysler Corporation received 90% of all US defense contracts in 1963, mostly in a middleman capacity. Bell Helicopter and Chase Manhattan Bank would reap record profits from the Vietnam War. Unfortunately for the elite, JFK was growing more isolationist. He became a changed man following the Cuban Missile Crisis as this event shook him to his core. He feared putting the US in military situations that could result in another confrontation with the Soviets. In 1963, JFK had announced that he was bringing home all combat advisers in 1965. JFK and South Vietnamese President, Diem, agreed that America would never send ground troops to Vietnam. Diem and his brother were assassinated by the CIA and 21 days later, JFK was dead. Nine months following these assassinations, America sent 100,000 ground troops to South Vietnam following the now discredited Gulf of Tonkin incident and the elite bathed in their blood money.
JFK had been so shaken by the real possibility of WWIII, that he and the Soviet Premier were actually having discussions regarding the capping of nuclear arms production. The elite could not have any part of this unprofitable course of action. There is no money to be made in peace especially if you are Martin Marietta (today known as Martin Lockheed). The establishment elite wanted to continue down the path arming America’s nuclear arsenal to the teeth. JFK had become a major impediment to profits in this regard.
The Changed Man Takes Center Stage
JFK, no doubt motivated by the fear of WWIII, was blocking Vietnam and was going to kill the cash cow of nuclear arms production. No doubt, JFK saw the establishment elite as the enemy of humanity. They were willing to take the country to war so that they could fatten their wallets.
JFK began to take action against the elite. He was taking away half of their unwarranted oil depletion allowance. JFK stuck a big stick in the eye of the Federal Reserve by printing over $4 billion dollars of silver backed money, thus threatening the stranglehold the Federal Reserve had enjoyed over the country for the past 50 years.
JFK began making speeches, very damning speeches, in which he called out the establishment elite and their “secret societies” and then JFK signed his death warrant with his American University speech in which he announced, among other things, a desire to pursue peace with the Soviets. Once again, there is no money in peace.
On behalf of “the greater good”, JFK had to be eliminated and he was. However, I have often wondered if JFK had survived, how would America have been changed.
If JFK Had Lived
If JFK had lived, so too, would have 58,000 Americans and untold millions of Vietnamese. If JFK had lived, we would not have spent two trillion dollars on nuclear arms. The money could have been spent, as JFK suggested, on education. America might not have become the hopelessly dumbed down nation that it has become. If JFK had lived the Federal Reserve would have eventually gone the way of the two previous central banks in the United States. The US Congress would have retaken the constitutional power of coining money, interest free money. America would have remained solvent.
If JFK had lived, he would have continued to confront the oil companies and today, we might have achieved energy independence and could be paying about a buck for a gallon if gas. Alaska would be the new Middle East and the petrodollar, which threatens to plunge us into a world war over Syria and Iran, would no longer be a problem. The world would be coming to the US for its energy needs and our economy would be booming.
If JFK had lived, the people would have had their true representative in the White House. The events in Cuba so changed John Kennedy, that he became a true Ron Paul in the last two years of his life. It was the last time, that anyone, outside the elite establishment, had anyone in top level government that cared for them.
The day that John Kennedy died, November 22, 1963, was the beginning of the end for America. These same forces, the interlocking directorates of the military industrial complex, the Federal Reserve, the major oil companies and the media that they control, continued to suck the life out of America to the point of where we stand today, a shell of our former country.
If in the last year of JFK’s presidency, he hadn’t offered such hope to the American people and to the future of the country, I would have lost interest in the life of JFK and his subsequent assassination a long time ago.
I falsely held out the hope that the 50th Anniversary of his death would rekindle a curiosity about who killed JFK and why and then subsequently link that knowledge into today’s America. This could have been the impetus for change in America. Alas, the elite controlled the narrative this fall with plethora of documentaries which lead away from the truth that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. As a result, the country’s interest will continue to wane and with it, the belief that JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy.
In 1993, 80% of the country believed that JFK was killed as the result of a conspiracy. With the rash of media propaganda, that number has reduced to 61%. The elite have weathered the storm and continue unabated on their journey towards sucking the life out of this country. They will continue to do so until there is nothing left and we are thrown onto the junk pile of history.
There will be no 51st anniversary recognition as the JFK researchers have approached their twilight. Soon the JFK assassination will carry the same weight as the assassination of McKinley. Who? That’s my point. The King is dead, long live the King.
On November 23rd, as we turn our collective eyes back on our future, we might want to begin to prepare for adaptation for there will be no great awakening because your future and your very lives are being threatened by forces that John Kennedy foresaw over 50 years ago in his “Secret Societies” speech.
Source: The Common Sense Show
We came, we saw, we stayed. Forever. That’s the essence of the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to be struck between the Obama administration and Afghanistan – over 12 years after the start of the never-ending War on Terror.
President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry define it as a ‘strategic partnership’. If that’s the case, it’s one of the most lopsided in history; Afghan President Hamid Karzai is no more than a sartorially impeccable American puppet.
Kerry announced the so-called BSA in Washington on Wednesday even before a Loya Jirga (‘Grand Council’, in Pashto) of 2,500 Afghan tribal leaders, clerics, members of parliament and merchants started their four-day deliberations in a tent on the grounds of the Polytechnical University in Kabul on Thursday.
But then Karzai, probably in his last major speech as president, pulled off a fabulous stunt. He knows he is, and will be, accused of selling Afghanistan down the (Panjshir) river. He knows he is sacrificing Afghan sovereignty for years to come – and there will be nasty blowback for it.
So once again he channeled Hamid the Actor, and played his best honest broker impersonation, stressing the BSA should be put off until the Afghan presidential elections in April 2014, and be signed by his successor.
It was high drama
“There’s a mistrust between me and the Americans. They don’t trust me and I don’t trust them. I have always criticized them and they have always propagated negative things behind my back,” he claimed.
I have been to Jirgas in Afghanistan; even looking at those inscrutable, rugged tribal faces is a spectacle in itself. So what were they thinking in Kabul? Of course they did not trust the Americans. But did they trust Karzai? Could they see this was all an act?
A consultative Loya Jirga cannot veto the BSA. Even the Jirga chairman, Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, stressed Karzai may sign without any consultation. Yet Karzai insists he will not sign without the Loya Jirga’s approval.
Many members of the Afghan parliament and the entire Afghan opposition already voted with their feet, boycotting the Jirga. Not to mention the Taliban – essential to any agreement on the future of Afghanistan – and the still fully weaponized Hezb-e-Islami. Everyone is eagerly waiting to hear Taliban supremo Mullah Omar’s take on the whole kabuki.
The BSA ‘negotiation’ has been like an extended Monty Python sketch. Washington has always insisted US soldiers can break into Afghan homes at will and remain immune to any sort of Afghan prosecution. Otherwise the Americans will leave for good at the end of 2014, leaving just the poorly trained and largely corrupt Afghan National Army (ANA) to fight the Taliban.
Up until Karzai’s latest stunt, the Obama administration considered the deal was in the bag. Just look at the letter Obama sent to Karzai.
And by the way, no apologies. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Washington does not need to apologize for killing and injuring tens of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan since 2001, not to mention occupying vast swathes of the country. Earlier, a Karzai spokesman said that would be the case.
If in doubt, just listen to super-hawk US Senator Lindsay Graham, who told Reuters, “I’m stunned. Apologize for what? Maybe we should get the Afghan president to apologize to the American soldiers for all the hardship he’s created for them.”
There’s nothing ‘residual’ about a US occupation to be disguised as ‘forces’ necessary to train and ‘advise’ the roughly 350,000 soldiers and police which are part of ANA, built from scratch over the last few years.
And what we’re talking about here is a deal starting in 2015 and in effect up to 2024 ‘and beyond’.
The final agreement is not much different from this previously leaked working draft. An update has been circulating this week in the Pentagon and the US Congress. The Pentagon, via Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, justifies the whole thing by the proverbial need to ‘maintain Afghanistan’s security’ and make sure foreign aid is not being squandered (as it has always been).
There will be plenty of US military outposts and bases; Afghan bases and other bases of which the US has ‘exclusive use’. Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif are inevitably on the list. Once again, this is the US Empire of Bases – so well characterized by the late Chalmers Johnson – in pristine form.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, the current US/NATO military commander in Afghanistan, wants up to 13,000 troops to stay, not including security guards and the cream of the crop, the counterterrorism gang. In theory, these forces won’t engage in combat “unless otherwise mutually agreed.” The draft text emphasizes, “US military operations to defeat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate in the common fight against terrorism.”
Translation: a future festival of raids by Special Forces, and a counter-terror free-for-all.
The draft text only mentions, vaguely,” full respect for Afghan sovereignty and full regard for the safety and security of the Afghan people, including in their homes,” as Obama also mentioned in his letter to Karzai.
And there’s absolutely nothing on the critical issue of drones based in Afghan bases that have been used for incinerating the odd commander but also scores of innocent civilians in the Pakistani tribal areas.
All about pivoting to Asia
The Maliki government in Baghdad had the balls to confront the Pentagon and veto the immunity for US forces – effectively kicking out the occupying force in Iraq. Hamid Karzai, for his part, caved in on virtual every US demand. The key question in the next few months is for what; Mob-style protection if he stays in Afghanistan, or the equivalent of the FBI’s witness protection program if he moves to the US?
Even assuming the Loya Jirga endorses the BSA (not yet a done deal) and Karzai’s successor signs it (with Karzai removing himself from the tight spot), to say this opens a new Pandora’s box is an understatement.
The occupation, for all practical purposes, will continue. This has nothing to do with fighting the War on Terror or jihad. There’s no Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The few remnants are in Waziristan, in Pakistani territory. The US is – and will remain – essentially at war with Afghan Pashtuns who are members of the Taliban. And the Taliban will keep staging their spring and summer offensives as long as there are any foreign occupiers on Afghan soil.
The drone war will continue, with the Pentagon and the CIA using these Afghan bases to attack Pashtuns in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Not to mention that these US bases, to be fully operational, need unrestricted access to the Pakistani transit routes from the Khyber Pass and the Quetta-to-Kandahar corridor. This means Islamabad keeps profiting from the scam by collecting hefty fees in US dollars.
No one knows yet how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will respond to this. Not only Russia and China – who are adamantly opposed to US bases in Afghanistan – but also Iran and India, SCO observers and two countries that can sway Afghanistan away from the Taliban in a non-military way.
We just need to picture, for instance, a practically inevitable future development; Washington deciding to deploy the US missile defense system in Afghanistan (it already happened in Turkey). Russia and China already see that the US may have lost the economic race for Central Asia – as China clinches deal after deal in the context of expanding its New Silk Road(s) grand strategy. What’s left for Washington is – guess what – bits and pieces of the same old Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, as in military bases to ‘monitor’ both China and Russia very close to their borders.
What’s certain is that both Russia and China – not to mention Iran – all see this Operation Occupy Afghanistan Forever for what it is; yet another (military) chapter of the American ‘pivoting to Asia’.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
The day that John Kennedy was murdered, was the day that Americans lost their country. Since that fateful day in November of 1963, our slide into tyranny has accelerated.
Nearly every form of tyranny which has overrun our country has its roots in the post-JFK assassination event. JFK was seemingly the last watchman on the wall against the encroaching tyranny of the newly created national surveillance security police state grid.
There have only been two prominent politicians who have stood up to the tyranny of the New World Order since the death of JFK. These two men would be Reagan (until he was shot by Hinckley) and Ron Paul.
The Missed Opportunity Connected to the 50th Anniversary
Last summer, I predicted that the upcoming 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder would awaken a whole new generation as to the tyranny that the country has fallen under and who is responsible for that tyranny. I wrongly believed that the co-conspirators, the interlocking pieces of the JFK assassination cabal, namely, David Rockefeller, the Federal Reserve, the oil companies, the military industrial complex and the CIA and their mafia assets, would be exposed with all the attention that the 50th anniversary would provide.
I wrongly believed that these groups with their current and undue influence on America would also be readily identified for what they did to JFK and to the country on November 22, 1963. I further believed that today’s younger generation would easily build the bridge linking the corruption and undue influence of these 1963 groups to today’s political landscape and this would be an easy association. Unfortunately, my predictions were in error because we in the alternative media dropped the ball.
The 2013 Establishment Propaganda Machine Is Rolled Out
The day that JFK was murdered was the day that Rockefeller won the world’s biggest lottery.
With the marking of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, there have been over 2,000 books written on the subject and countless radio and television shows devoted to the topic. This fall, the globalist news corporations have produced a rash of new JFK “investigations” which all purport to show different ways to prove that Oswald, and Oswald alone, killed John Kennedy. The new productions (e.g. National Geographic) are so bad and so faulty, that they are laughable.
Media Propagandists Ignore the Government’s Final Conclusion of a Conspiracy
The modern day propagandists are winning the day with regard to the control of the narrative surrounding the assassination. During the height of America’s skepticism regarding the 1964 Warren Report which stated that Lee Oswald killed John Kennedy and that he acted alone, most Americans rejected the “official explanation. What the modern day public, as well as the establishment propagandists, seem to have forgotten is that in 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Oswald had help and JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy. This was the final word on the subject from our government on the assassination. However, the history revisionists do not want a hint of a conspiracy because this could give birth to a modern day JFK assassination renaissance in a search for the co-conspirators who killed JFK. Once that search would begin, the descendants of the perpetrators organizations would not be able to escape public scrutiny. We in the alternative and truthful media missed a golden opportunity to wake up the country on this 50th Anniversary of JFK’s death. This fall, if we had devoted a significant amount of time and effort to covering the assassination, and we had been relentless in our efforts, the under 40 crowd would understand who their present enemies are and they would have been awakened to the present day tyranny. We allowed our voices to be drowned out by the mainstream fictional media with their new JFK cover up pieces. Sadly, we lost a golden opportunity to wake up millions of young Americans.
At the height of JFK conspiracy fervor in the 1970′s-1990′s, according to the Gallup Poll, as many as 80% of Americans believed that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. Today, that number has slipped to 61% thanks in large part to the new propaganda productions which are influencing our younger Americans.
In the 1990′s, Oliver Stone produced JFK and Bill Kurtis and Nigel Turner produced separate investigations into the assassination (i.e. The Men Who Killed Kennedy). In the 1990′s, the country was spellbound by the new revelations which were also bolstered by JFK admirer, Bill Clinton, as he forced the release of millions of classified JFK documents. However, the evil empire struck back around the year, 2000, and today, you see almost nothing on TV which does not show that Oswald was acting alone.
Follow the Money
What is conspicuously missing in most, if not all of the accounts related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, is the fact that normal homicidal investigative strategies have not been employed by people in the government who would have the power to do so. One of the hallmark phrases in murder investigations is to “follow the money”.
Every year at this time, I become reflective as I wonder what America, and the rest of the world might have looked like if JFK had survived, been re-elected and served a second term as President. This year I decided to follow the money and put my thoughts on paper. So, let’s briefly follow the money.
Everybody knows that the Pentagon was frothing at the mouth to get into an armed conflict in Vietnam and/or Laos. In 1961, JFK resisted the military pressure to place troops in Laos, as he clearly instructed diplomat, Averell Harriman, to get the Laos issue settled because JFK was determined to not put combat units on the ground in Southeast Asia.
It is true that JFK was manipulated by his military advisers to place troops on the ground in Vietnam but solely in the role as “combat advisers”. JFK’s anti-Vietnam war stance frequently gets overlooked because of this. However, in October 1963, a mere month before his death, JFK signed National Security Action Memorandum 263 which called for the withdrawal of 1,000 troops from Vietnam by the end of 1963 and a total withdrawal of all of the combat advisers by the end of 1965. This was one nail in the coffin of JFK.
JFK gave many speeches in which he clearly stated he was opposed to widening U.S. military involvement in the war. South Vietnamese leader, Diem and his brother Nhu were opposed to U.S. attempts to control his regime and Diem and his brother were adamantly opposed U.S. full-scale U.S. military involvement beyond the 16,000 combat advisers stationed in the country. On November 1, 1963, Diem and Nhu were murdered by the CIA against JFK’s wishes. Three weeks later, to the day, John F. Kennedy was murdered. Within nine months following the assassination, the LBJ administration launched the now discredited false flag event, the Gulf of Tonkin attack, and 100,000 combat troops were subsequently sent to Vietnam. Many researchers have proven the involvement of the same CIA and its Mafia connections which dates back to 1942 when the CIA was known as the OSS.
Knowing that the CIA and Mafia were involved in JFK’s murder, does not tell you who ordered the assassination. Any guesses on who profited the most from the Vietnam War? In radio parlance, you will have to stay tuned, the answer will be revealed at the end.
There were huge financial incentives for the American defense industry to participate in the murder of JFK. Yes, that would be the military industrial complex which Ike warned us about in his 1960 farewell address. In 1963, Chrysler corporation and its subsidiaries received the lion’s share of defense contracts for the war, most of which were resold to smaller corporations. Corporations such as Bell Helicopter enjoyed unparalleled growth during the height of the war. There are some interesting and notable parties which controlled the Chrysler defense industry interests in 1963.
Very powerful parties would have stood to have lost a lot of money had the war not materialized into a full-scale air and ground war. Who am I speaking about? All will be revealed when I connect the dots at the end. Oh by the way, the forerunner to the bid rigging and recipient of no bid contracts in Iraq, KBR, was also found guilty of the same thing in Vietnam when they were given the responsibility for building South Vietnam’s military infrastructure. The more things change, the more they do stay the same.
Making Enemies with the CIA: The Bay of Pigs
It was very well known that JFK refused to support and sanction the CIA backed Cuban refugee invasion of Cuba by refusing to allow air cover. The invasion failed and the careers of CIA Director, Dulles, and CIA Assistant Director, Cabal, were over. The proverbial line in the sand had been drawn and the CIA and JFK became mortal enemies with JFK threatening to break up the agency into a “thousand pieces”. Add to this fact, is the fact that it is well-known that the darker parts of the CIA act as mercenaries for certain groups who are not on the government payroll. Today, we would call these shadowy forces, the New World Order.
It is clear that with the advent of the Bay of Pigs, the brain trust for the assassination had been born and they would double down as this agency would perpetrate the cover-up, such as losing the President’s brain during the autopsy to hide the fact that JFK’s fatal head shot came from an exploding bullet, which means that Oswald’s defective Italian rifle could not have been used in the commission of the crime. Maybe this is also why LBJ had the Presidential limousine “cleaned up” immediately following the crime and the vehicle was never subsequently examined as any other crime scene would have been. LBJ should have gone to prison for obstruction of justice, but I digress. Jim Marrs and other researchers have clearly implicated the CIA as the masterminds of the assassination. I agree with Marrs, however, the CIA were not the original planners, they merely were tasked with carrying out the assassination. Regardless, the rich and famous wanted Cuba back and JFK had destroyed their plans for continued domination of the Island state.
Ten days following the Bay of Pigs, JFK gave his famous “secret society” speech. He is the first, and the only President to ever identify the globalists as the enemy of America and humanity as a whole.
If you have never listened to the speech, you should take the time to listen now, for if you do, the events of today will make a great deal more sense.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
Havana had become a play place for the rich and famous prior to the Castro led revolution. Upon seizing power, Castro promptly nationalized all gaming resorts and the Mafia lost their insanely high profits and the rich and famous lost their financial cut, as well as their 1960 version of Bohemian Grove. In the eyes of the rich and powerful, JFK had one more opportunity to get control over Cuba with the opportunity presented by the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In 1962, in response to America’s placing offensive nuclear weapons in Turkey, close to the Soviet border, the Russians did the same in Cuba. This event brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. All of JFK’s military advisers wanted to invade Cuba with ground troops. JFK opted for the ever-contracting naval blockade. Although history has proven that our invading troops would have been nuked, and that JFK pursued the correct course of action, the powerful military was now lining up against JFK. And, again, the rich and famous were thwarted in their desire to reassert control over Cuba and the defense contractors smelled the end of the gravy train.
Then in June of 1963, JFK gave an incredible speech at American University in which he called for the total destruction of nuclear weapons. This would have resulted in the end of the financially lucrative Cold War and the “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war”, and a movement toward “general and complete disarmament” would have begun. A few months later JFK signed a Limited Test Ban Treaty with Nikita Khrushchev. What would happen to the profits of Raytheon and Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) if there was no cold war? The executives at the defense plants could relax because when JFK was killed, LBJ ordered the single largest increase in U.S. history and before the ink was even dry on JFK’s death certificate.
America Cannot Have Peace, It Is Bad For Business
Please take the time and listen to JFK’s, American University Speech, June 10, 1963, and if you understand what it means to be an American, it will bring tears to your eyes and I believe that this speech also brought a bullet to JFK’s brain, because he was poking a stick into the eyes of the military industrial complex.
The Federal Reserve
On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110 and this accompanied the Kennedy act which was the beginning of an attempt to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money, at interest, to the government. JFK was on his way of stripping the then 50 year history of fleecing the American people. In effect, JFK, by issuing 4.3 billion dollars of U.S. notes based upon silver held in reserve, JFK was going to be able to wipe away the beginnings of national debt which, today, has mortally wounded the American economy. Please take note of the fact that this event was only a little over 5 months before the assassination. When JFK was murdered, LBJ failed to continue with the program.
Who stood to lose the most money if the Federal Reserve had lost its stranglehold on the American economy? You would be right if you answered Chase-Manhattan Bank with its 6,389,445 shares of Federal Reserve Board Stock valued at 32.3% of the total value of stock at the Fed. Also, Citibank had a lot to lose by this move as well as they were invested in the Federal Reserve shares to the tune of 4,051,851, or 20.5% of the total value. I think you might be getting an idea who owned and/or controlled the majority interests in these two banks in 1963, but there is more before we answer the question on who profited the most from the murder of a sitting President in 1963.
The Oil Depletion Allowance
By the end of 1962, the robber barons which ran the oil industry estimated, that their earnings on foreign investment capital would fall to 15 percent, compared with 30 percent in 1955 if the oil depletion allowance was diminished in accordance with JFK’s proposal.
JFK’s attack upon the oil depletion allowance, which permitted oil producers to deduct up to 27.5% of their income as tax exempt provided the robber barons of oil a lower tax rate and a competitive business advantage, not shared by any other business interests. JFK targeted the oil depletion allowance and it was estimated the government might retain more than $300 million in tax revenue each year if the depletion allowance was reduced. Although the oil depletion allowance remained intact, due to the congressmen who were recipients of oil company campaign contributions, JFK made some very powerful enemies in the oil industry.
It was the oil depletion allowance which made drilling for oil a no risk venture. An oil speculator could drill five wells and if four were dry wells and only the fifth struck oil, the speculator would still make money because of tax breaks resulting from the depletion allowance deducted from owed taxes. President Kennedy pointed out the obvious when he stated “… no one industry should be permitted to obtain an undue tax advantage over all others.”
JFK had made an enemy out of the oil industry and its biggest tycoon, David Rockefeller with the proposal to reduce the oil depletion allowance. Do you know the two banks which controlled 53% of the Federal Reserve in 1963? Rockefeller owned the controlling interest in both banks. How about Chrysler, KBR, Bell Helicopter and the Vietnam War? You are way ahead if you said, David Rockefeller. And what about the nuclear arms race, to which the cessation of the cold war, would have meant the loss of profits to the defense industry? And who controls the defense industry? David Rockefeller. We had to have a cold war, then, for the same reasons we need a war on terror today. It is good for business and with the subsequent growth of government power which comes with war, the erosion of Constitutional liberties increases. All roads for the motivations of the JFK assassination leads to David Rockefeller as being the first mover in the plot.
Do I have the smoking gun that I can place in Rockefeller’s hand? The short answer is no. However, it is safe to say that the day that John Kennedy died, there were no tears shed at the Rockefeller estate.
If JFK’s murder had been anything but the killing of the President, any police detective worth his salt, would have followed the money trail and arrests would have been made based on the known facts. It is unacceptable that as we race toward the 50th Anniversary of the event, this next week, that not one person has been brought to justice in a court of law for the assassination of John Kennedy. Instead, a patsy, Lee Oswald,who never fired a gun on November 22, 1963, was framed and used as the patsy. And before Oswald could talk, he was murdered two days later under very mysterious circumstances. Over the next several days, I am going to publish mini-excerpts on facts about the JFK assassination which are not being covered by the MSM. My first entry will focus on how we know that Oswald did not kill JFK.
Reflections on What Could Have Been
If JFK would have lived, we would have not lost 58,000 lives in Vietnam. Millions of Vietnamese would have been spared. We would have an economy that is backed by silver and we would virtually have no debt because the corrupt Federal Reserve would have faded into oblivion as it did during the Andrew Jackson Administration. America would have schools that would the envy of the world, not the butt of jokes, because we would not spending money to kill people, but rather to educate, improve health care and we could have even afforded to pay off all privately held mortgages if we had only remembered the words of JFK when he reminded the faculty and staff at American University on June 10, 1963, that “We all breathe the same air…”
We would live in a far better place had we lived out JFK’s expressed ideals. I write this piece, not just to remind America of what we lost and how America suffered with Jack Kennedy’s death, I write this piece for those who know little of nothing of what happened on November 22, 1963, mostly young people, in order that they can know that the tyranny being imposed upon us, need not exist. There is a better way and for a moment when I listen to his speeches, I can imagine a better world.
New York – Jeremy Hammond sat in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center last week in a small room reserved for visits from attorneys. He was wearing an oversized prison jumpsuit. The brown hair of the lanky 6-footer fell over his ears, and he had a wispy beard. He spoke with the intensity and clarity one would expect from one of the nation’s most important political prisoners.
On Friday the 28-year-old activist will appear for sentencing in the Southern District Court of New York in Manhattan. After having made a plea agreement, he faces the possibility of a 10-year sentence for hacking into the Texas-based private security firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor, which does work for the Homeland Security Department, the Marine Corps, the Defense Intelligence Agency and numerous corporations including Dow Chemical and Raytheon.
Four others involved in the hacking have been convicted in Britain, and they were sentenced to less time combined—the longest sentence was 32 months—than the potential 120-month sentence that lies before Hammond.
Hammond turned the pilfered information over to the website WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone and other publications. The 3 million email exchanges, once
Jeremy Hammond is shown in this March 5, 2012 booking photo from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department in Chicago
made public, exposed the private security firm’s infiltration, monitoring and surveillance of protesters and dissidents, especially in the Occupy movement, on behalf of corporations and the national security state. And, perhaps most important, the information provided chilling evidence that anti-terrorism laws are being routinely used by the federal government to criminalize nonviolent, democratic dissent and falsely link dissidents to international terrorist organizations. Hammond sought no financial gain. He got none.The email exchanges Hammond made public were entered as evidence in my lawsuitagainst President Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Section 1021 permits the military to seize citizens who are deemed by the state to be terrorists, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and journalist who co-founded US Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process, was one of my co-plaintiffs. Stratfor officials attempted, we know because of the Hammond leaks, to falsely link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as to jihadist ideology, putting her at risk of detention under the new law. Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled, in part because of the leak, that we plaintiffs had a credible fear, and she nullified the law, a decision that an appellate court overturned when the Obama administration appealed it.
Freedom of the press and legal protection for those who expose government abuses and lies have been obliterated by the corporate state. The resulting self-exile of investigative journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras, along with the indictment of Barret Brown, illustrate this. All acts of resistance—including nonviolent protest—have been conflated by the corporate state with terrorism. The mainstream, commercial press has been emasculated through the Obama administration’s repeated use of the Espionage Act to charge and sentence traditional whistle-blowers. Governmental officials with a conscience are too frightened to reach out to mainstream reporters, knowing that the authorities’ wholesale capturing and storing of electronic forms of communication make them easily identifiable.
Elected officials and the courts no longer impose restraint or practice oversight. The last line of defense lies with those such as Hammond, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning who are capable of burrowing into the records of the security and surveillance state and have the courage to pass them on to the public. But the price of resistance is high.
“In these times of secrecy and abuse of power there is only one solution—transparency,” wrote Sarah Harrison, the British journalist who accompanied Snowden to Russia and who also has gone into exile, in Berlin. “If our governments are so compromised that they will not tell us the truth, then we must step forward to grasp it. Provided with the unequivocal proof of primary source documents people can fight back. If our governments will not give this information to us, then we must take it for ourselves.”
“When whistleblowers come forward we need to fight for them, so others will be encouraged,” she went on. “When they are gagged, we must be their voice. When they are hunted, we must be their shield. When they are locked away, we must free them. Giving us the truth is not a crime. This is our data, our information, our history. We must fight to own it. Courage is contagious.”
Hammond knows this contagion. He was living at home in Chicago in 2010 under a 7-a.m.-to-7-p.m. curfew for a variety of acts of civil disobedience when Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was arrested for giving WikiLeaks secret information about military war crimes and government lies. Hammond at the time was running social aid programs to feed the hungry and send books to prisoners. He had, like Manning, displayed a remarkable aptitude for science, math and computer languages at a young age. He hacked into the computers at a local Apple store at 16. He hacked into the computer science department’s website at the University of Illinois-Chicago as a freshman, a prank that saw the university refuse to allow him to return for his sophomore year. He was an early backer of “cyber-liberation” and in 2004 started an “electronic-disobedience journal” he named Hack This Zine. He called on hackers in a speech at the 2004 DefCon convention in Las Vegas to use their skills to disrupt that year’s Republican National Convention. He was, by the time of his 2012 arrest, one of the shadowy stars of the hacktivist underground, dominated by groups such as Anonymous and WikiLeaks in which anonymity, stringent security and frequent changes of aliases alone ensured success and survival. Manning’s courage prompted Hammond to his own act of cyber civil disobedience, although he knew his chances of being caught were high.
“I saw what Chelsea Manning did,” Hammond said when we spoke last Wednesday, seated at a metal table. “Through her hacking she became a contender, a world changer. She took tremendous risks to show the ugly truth about war. I asked myself, if she could make that risk shouldn’t I make that risk? Wasn’t it wrong to sit comfortably by, working on the websites of Food Not Bombs, while I had the skills to do something similar? I too could make a difference. It was her courage that prompted me to act.”
Hammond—who has black-inked tattoos on each forearm, one the open-source movement’s symbol known as the “glider” and the other the shi hexagram from the I Ching—is steeped in radical thought. As a teenager, he swiftly migrated politically from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to the militancy of the Black Bloc anarchists. He was an avid reader in high school of material put out by CrimethInc, an anarchist collective that publishes anarchist literature and manifestos. He has molded himself after old radicals such as Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman and black revolutionaries such as George Jackson, Elaine Brown and Assata Shakur, as well as members of the Weather Underground. He said that while he was in Chicago he made numerous trips to Waldheim Cemetery to visit the Haymarket Martyrs Monument, which honors four anarchists who were hanged in 1887 and others who took part in the labor wars. On the 16-foot-high granite monument are the final words of one of the condemned men, August Spies. It reads: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voice you are throttling today.” Emma Goldman is buried nearby.
Hammond became well known to the government for a variety of acts of civil disobedience over the last decade. These ranged from painting anti-war graffiti on Chicago walls to protesting at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York to hacking into the right-wing website Protest Warrior, for which he was sentenced to two years in the Federal Correctional Institute at Greenville, Ill.
He said he is fighting as “an anarchist communist” against “centralized state authority” and “exploitative corporations.” His goal is to build “leaderless collectives based on free association, consensus, mutual aid, self-sufficiency and harmony with the environment.” It is essential, he said, that all of us work to cut our personal ties with capitalism and engage in “mass organizing of protests, strikes and boycotts.” Hacking and leaking, he said, are part of this resistance—“effective tools to reveal ugly truths of the system.”
Hammond spent months within the Occupy movement in Chicago. He embraced its “leaderless, non-hierarchical structures such as general assemblies and consensus, and occupying public spaces.” But he was highly critical of what he said were the “vague politics” in Occupy that allowed it to include followers of the libertarian Ron Paul, some in the tea party, as well as “reformist liberals and Democrats.” Hammond said he was not interested in any movement that “only wanted a ‘nicer’ form of capitalism and favored legal reforms, not revolution.” He remains rooted in the ethos of the Black Bloc.
“Being incarcerated has really opened my eyes to the reality of the criminal justice system,” he said, “that it is not a criminal justice system about public safety or rehabilitation, but reaping profits through mass incarceration. There are two kinds of justice—one for the rich and the powerful who get away with the big crimes, then for everyone else, especially people of color and the impoverished. There is no such thing as a fair trial. In over 80 percent of the cases people are pressured to plea out instead of exercising their right to trial, under the threat of lengthier sentences. I believe no satisfactory reforms are possible. We need to close all prisons and release everybody unconditionally.”
He said he hoped his act of resistance would encourage others, just as Manning’s courage had inspired him. He said activists should “know and accept the worst possible repercussion” before carrying out an action and should be “aware of mass counterintelligence/surveillance operations targeting our movements.” An informant posing as a comrade, Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu,” turned Hammond and his co-defendants in to the FBI. Monsegur stored data retrieved by Hammond on an external server in New York. This tenuous New York connection allowed the government to try Hammond in New York for hacking from his home in Chicago into a private security firm based in Texas. New York is the center of the government’s probes into cyber-warfare; it is where federal authorities apparently wanted Hammond to be investigated and charged.
Hammond said he will continue to resist from within prison. A series of minor infractions, as well as testing positive with other prisoners on his tier for marijuana that had been smuggled into the facility, has resulted in his losing social visits for the next two years and spending “time in the box [solitary confinement].” He is allowed to see journalists, but my request to interview him took two months to be approved. He said prison involves “a lot of boredom.” He plays chess, teaches guitar and helps other prisoners study for their GED. When I saw him, he was working on the statement, a personal manifesto, that he will read in court this week.
He insisted he did not see himself as different from prisoners, especially poor prisoners of color, who are in for common crimes, especially drug-related crimes. He said most inmates are political prisoners, caged unjustly by a system of totalitarian capitalism that has snuffed out basic opportunities for democratic dissent and economic survival.
“The majority of people in prison did what they had to do to survive,” he said. “Most were poor. They got caught up in the war on drugs, which is how you make money if you are poor. The real reason they get locked in prison for so long is so corporations can continue to make big profits. It is not about justice. I do not draw distinctions between us.”
“Jail is essentially enduring harassment and dehumanizing conditions with frequent lockdowns and shakedowns,” he said. “You have to constantly fight for respect from the guards, sometimes getting yourself thrown in the box. However, I will not change the way I live because I am locked up. I will continue to be defiant, agitating and organizing whenever possible.”
He said resistance must be a way of life. He intends to return to community organizing when he is released, although he said he will work to stay out of prison. “The truth,” he said, “will always come out.” He cautioned activists to be hyper-vigilant and aware that “one mistake can be permanent.” But he added, “Don’t let paranoia or fear deter you from activism. Do the down thing!”
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Not many people doubt that Israel was behind Arafat’s death, especially now, when it became immanently clear that it was radioactive Polonium 210 that was responsible for the late leader’s lethal symptoms.
It has been already established that just a few countries could produce Polonium let alone deliver it to the besieged Arafat’s Headquarters in Ramallah. The Palestinian committee investigating the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 confirmed today that Israel is actually the “only suspect” in this murder case.
Yet, one question puzzles me. What did Israeli leaders had in mind when they decided to poison the Palestinian leader with a radioactive substance that would leave forensic traces in Arafat’s remains for millenniums to come? What kind of a murderer consciously leaves fingerprints behind? After all, the decision to kill Arafat and in such a manner was taken by the Israel’s supreme decision makers. They must have closely examined the idea, the consequences and the means involved.
The more I look into it, I gather that the Israelis who took the decision to poison Arafat with radioactive polonium came to the conclusion that the Goyim must be stupid, and they had a good reason to come to such a conclusion. Bizarrely enough, earlier this week, when it became clear that Arafat’s body was indeed saturated with a radioactive substance, not a single Western leader saw the need to denounce Israel or call for an immediate probe of Israel nuclear industry. As if this is not enough, Israeli spokesmen ridiculed the recent scientific findings, tagging the media reports as a ‘soap opera.’ Clearly, they are convinced that Israel can get away with murder, and they are apparently correct.
Earlier this weekend we learned that instead of Israel, it is actually Iran’s nuclear project that is under growing international pressure. So here we are, while it becomes clear that Israel has been actively engaged in nuking the Palestinian leader, Western world leaders are shamelessly bowing to the Jewish Lobby and Saudi pressure mounting more pressure on Iran.
I guess that the Israelis do have a good reason to believe that the so-called Goyim are very stupid indeed. But such a reading of the unfolding events would mean a complete dismissal of Jewish history – an endless chain of holocausts. If Jewish history teaches us something, it is always just a question of time before the Goyim say ‘enough is enough’. The Israelis and their devoted lobbies, once again, misinterpret Gentiles’ tolerance as blunt stupidity. But I would kindly advise my ex-brethren to beware, time is running out for their horrid and sinister games.
Radioactive Warfare in Iraq and the Balkans…
At the close of the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was denounced as a ferocious villain for ordering his retreating troops to destroy Kuwaiti oil fields, clotting the air with poisonous clouds of black smoke and saturating the ground with swamps of crude. It was justly called an environmental war crime.
But months of bombing of Iraq by US and British planes and cruise missiles has left behind an even more deadly and insidious legacy: tons of shell casings, bullets and bomb fragments laced with depleted uranium. In all, the US hit Iraqi targets with more than 970 radioactive bombs and missiles.
It took less than a decade for the health consequences from this radioactive bombing campaign to begin to coming into focus. And they are dire, indeed. Iraqi physicians call it “the white death” — leukemia. Since 1990, the incident rate of leukemia in Iraq has grown by more than 600 percent. The situation is compounded by Iraq’s forced isolations and the sadistic sanctions regime, recently described by UN secretary general Kofi Annan as “a humanitarian crisis”, that makes detection and treatment of the cancers all the more difficult.
“We have proof of traces of DU in samples taken for analysis and that is really bad for those who assert that cancer cases have grown for other reasons,” said Dr. Umid Mubarak, Iraq’s health minister.
Mubarak contends that the US’s fear of facing the health and environmental consequences of its DU bombing campaign is partly behind its failure to follow through on its commitments under a deal allowing Iraq to sell some of its vast oil reserves in return for food and medical supplies.
“The desert dust carries death,” said Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, an oncologist and member England’s Royal Society of Physicians. “Our studies indicate that more than forty percent of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima.”
Most of the leukemia and cancer victims aren’t soldiers. They are civilians. And many of them are children. The US-dominated Iraqi Sanctions Committee in New York has denied Iraq’s repeated requests for cancer treatment equipment and drugs, even painkillers such as morphine. As a result, the overflowing hospitals in towns such as Basra are left to treat the cancer-stricken with aspirin.
This is part of a larger horror inflicted on Iraq that sees as many as 180 children dying every day, according to mortality figures compiled by UNICEF, from a catalogue of diseases from the 19th century: cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis, e. coli, mumps, measles, influenza.
Iraqis and Kuwaitis aren’t the only ones showing signs of uranium contamination and sickness. Gulf War veterans, plagued by a variety of illnesses, have been found to have traces of uranium in their blood, feces, urine and semen.
Depleted uranium is a rather benign sounding name for uranium-238, the trace elements left behind when the fissionable material is extracted from uranium-235 for use in nuclear reactors and weapons. For decades, this waste was a radioactive nuisance, piling up at plutonium processing plants across the country. By the late 1980s there was nearly a billion tons of the material.
Then weapons designers at the Pentagon came up with a use for the tailings: they could be molded into bullets and bombs. The material was free and there was plenty at hand. Also uranium is a heavy metal, denser than lead. This makes it perfect for use in armor-penetrating weapons, designed to destroy tanks, armored-personnel carriers and bunkers.
When the tank-busting bombs explode, the depleted uranium oxidizes into microscopic fragments that float through the air like carcinogenic dust, carried on the desert windsfor decades. The lethal dust is inhaled, sticks to the fibers of the lungs, and eventually begins to wreck havoc on the body: tumors, hemorrhages, ravaged immune systems, leukemias.
In 1943, the doomsday men associated with the Manhattan Project speculated that uranium and other radioactive materials could be spread across wide swaths of land to contain opposing armies. Gen. Leslie Grove, head of the project, asserted that uranium weapons could be expected to cause “permanent lung damage.” In the late, 1950s Al Gore’s father, the senator from Tennessee, proposed dousing the demilitarized zone in Korea with uranium as a cheap failsafe against an attack from the North Koreans.
After the Gulf War, Pentagon war planners were so delighted with the performance of their radioactive weapons that ordered a new arsenal and under Bill Clinton’s orders fired them at Serb positions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. More than a 100 of the DU bombs have been used in the Balkans over the last six years.
Already medical teams in the region have detected cancer clusters near the bomb sites. The leukemia rate in Sarajevo, pummeled by American bombs in 1996, has tripled in the last five years. But it’s not just the Serbs who are ill and dying. NATO and UN peacekeepers in the region are also coming down with cancer. As of January 23, eight Italian soldiers who served in the region have died of leukemia.
The Pentagon has shuffled through a variety of rationales and excuses. First, the Defense Department shrugged off concerns about Depleted Uranium as wild conspiracy theories by peace activists, environmentalists and Iraqi propagandists. When the US’s NATO allies demanded that the US disclose the chemical and metallic properties of its munitions, the Pentagon refused. It has also refused to order testing of US soldiers stationed in the Gulf and the Balkans.
If the US has kept silent, the Brits haven’t. A 1991 study by the UK Atomic Energy Authority predicted that if less than 10 percent of the particles released by depleted uranium weapons used in Iraq and Kuwait were inhaled it could result in as many as “300,000 probable deaths.”
The British estimate assumed that the only radioactive ingredient in the bombs dropped on Iraq was depleted uranium. It wasn’t. A new study of the materials inside these weapons describes them as a “nuclear cocktail,” containing a mix of radioactive elements, including plutonium and the highly radioactive isotope uranium-236. These elements are 100,000 times more dangerous than depleted uranium.
Typically, the Pentagon has tried to dump the blame on the Department of Energy’s sloppy handling of its weapons production plants. This is how Pentagon spokesman Craig Quigley described the situation in chop-logic worthy of the pen of Joseph Heller:
“The source of the contamination as best we can understand it now was the plants themselves that produced the Depleted uranium during the 20 some year time frame when the DU was produced.”
Indeed, the problems at DoE nuclear sites and the contamination of its workers and contractors have been well-known since the 1980s. A 1991 Energy Department memo reports:
“during the process of making fuel for nuclear reactors and elements for nuclear weapons, the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant… created depleted uranium potentially containing neptunium and plutonium”
But such excuses in the absence of any action to address the situation are growing very thin indeed. Doug Rokke, the health physicist for the US Army who oversaw the partial clean up of depleted uranium bomb fragments in Kuwait, is now sick. His body registers 5,000 times the level of radiation considered “safe”. He knows where to place the blame.
“There can be no reasonable doubt about this,” Rokke told Australian journalist John Pilger. “As a result of heavy metal and radiological poison of DU, people in southern Iraq are experiencing respiratory problems, kidney problems, cancers. Members of my own team have died or are dying from cancer.”
Depleted uranium has a half-life of more than 4 billion years, approximately the age of the Earth. Thousand of acres of land in the Balkans, Kuwait and southern Iraq have been contaminated forever. If George Bush Sr., Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Bill Clinton are still casting about for a legacy, there’s a grim one that will stay around for an eternity.
Jeffrey St. Clair is the editor of CounterPunch and the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature, Grand Theft Pentagon and Born Under a Bad Sky. This essay is adapted from a chapter in his latest book, Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Jeffrey St. Clair | CounterPunch
He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. Who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human.
From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, long shirts and baggy pants. He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.
He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd’s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. He switched from the visible spectrum—the muted grays and browns of “day-TV”—to the sharp contrast of infrared, and the insurgents’ heat signatures stood out ghostly white against the cool black earth. A safety observer loomed behind him to make sure the “weapon release” was by the book. A long verbal checklist, his targeting laser locked on the two men walking in front. A countdown—three…two…one…—then the flat delivery of the phrase “missile off the rail.” Seventy-five hundred miles away, a Hellfire flared to life, detached from its mount, and reached supersonic speed in seconds.
It was quiet in the dark, cold box in the desert, except for the low hum of machines.
He kept the targeting laser trained on the two lead men and stared so intently that each individual pixel stood out, a glowing pointillist dot abstracted from the image it was meant to form. Time became almost ductile, the seconds stretched and slowed in a strange electronic limbo. As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two. Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.
Airman First Class Brandon Bryant stared at the scene, unblinking in the white-hot clarity of infrared. He recalls it even now, years later, burned into his memory like a photo negative: “The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg, and it’s hitting the ground, and it’s hot. His blood is hot. But when it hits the ground, it starts to cool off; the pool cools fast. It took him a long time to die. I just watched him. I watched him become the same color as the ground he was lying on.”
That was Brandon Bryant’s first shot. It was early 2007, a few weeks after his twenty-first birthday, and Bryant was a remotely-piloted-aircraft sensor operator—a “sensor” for short—part of a U.S. Air Force squadron that flew Predator drones in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan. Beginning in 2006, he worked in the windowless metal box of a Ground Control Station (GCS) at Nellis Air Force Base, a vast sprawl of tarmac and maintenance hangars at the edge of Las Vegas.
The airmen kept the control station dark so they could focus on controlling their MQ-1B Predators circling two miles above the Afghan countryside. Bryant sat in a padded cockpit chair. He had a wrestler’s compact build, a smooth-shaved head, and a piercing ice blue gaze frequently offset by a dimpled grin. As a sensor, his job was to work in tandem with the drone’s pilot, who sat in the chair next to him. While the pilot controlled the drone’s flight maneuvers, Bryant acted as the Predator’s eyes, focusing its array of cameras and aiming its targeting laser. When a Hellfire was launched, it was a joint operation: the pilot pulled a trigger, and Bryant was responsible for the missile’s “terminal guidance,” directing the high-explosive warhead by laser to its desired objective. Both men wore regulation green flight suits, an unironic Air Force nod to the continuity of military decorum in the age of drone warfare.
The Air Force’s go-to drone: The MQ-1 Predator.
Since its inception, the drone program has been largely hidden, its operational details gathered piecemeal from heavily redacted classified reports or stage-managed media tours by military public-affairs flacks. Bryant is one of very few people with firsthand experience as an operator who has been willing to talk openly, to describe his experience from the inside. While Bryant considers leakers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden heroes willing to sacrifice themselves for their principles, he’s cautious about discussing some of the details to which his top-secret clearance gave him access. Still, he is a curtain drawn back on the program that has killed thousands on our behalf.
Despite President Obama’s avowal earlier this year that he will curtail their use, drone strikes have continued apace in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. With enormous potential growth and expenditures, drones will be a center of our policy for the foreseeable future. (By 2025, drones will be an $82 billion business, employing an additional 100,000 workers.) Most Americans—61 percent in the latest Pew survey—support the idea of military drones, a projection of American power that won’t risk American lives.
And yet the very idea of drones unsettles. They’re too easy a placeholder or avatar for all of our technological anxieties—the creeping sense that screens and cameras have taken some piece of our souls, that we’ve slipped into a dystopia of disconnection. Maybe it’s too soon to know what drones mean, what unconsidered moral and ethical burdens they carry. Even their shape is sinister: the blunt and featureless nose cone, like some eyeless creature that has evolved in darkness.
For Bryant, talking about them has become a sort of confessional catharsis, a means of processing the things he saw and did during his six years in the Air Force as an experimental test subject in an utterly new form of warfare.
Looking back, it was really little more than happenstance that had led him to that box in the desert. He’d been raised poor by his single mom, a public-school teacher in Missoula, Montana, and he struggled to afford tuition at the University of Montana. In the summer of 2005, after tagging along with a buddy to the Army recruiting office, he wandered into the Air Force office next door. His friend got a bad feeling and bailed at the last minute, but Bryant had already signed his papers. In short order he was running around at Lackland Air Force Base during Warrior Week in the swelter of a Texas summer. He wasn’t much for military hierarchy, but he scored high on his aptitude tests and was shunted into intelligence, training to be an imagery analyst. He was told he would be like “the guys that give James Bond all the information that he needs to get the mission done.”
Most of the airmen in his intel class were funneled into the drone program, training at Creech Air Force Base in the sagebrush desert an hour north of Las Vegas. Bryant was told it was the largest group ever inducted. His sensor-operator course took ten weeks and led into “green flag” exercises, during which airmen piloted Predators and launched dummy Hellfires at a cardboard town mocked up in the middle of the desert. The missiles, packed with concrete, would punch through the derelict tanks and wrecked cars placed around the set. “It’s like playing Dungeons & Dragons,” says Bryant. “Roll a d20 to see if you hit your target.” His training inspector, watching over his shoulder, would count down to impact and say, “Splash! You killed everyone.”
Within a few months he “went off” to war, flying missions over Iraq at the height of the conflict’s deadliest period, even though he never left Nevada.
His opening day on the job was also his worst. The drone took off from Balad Air Base, fifty miles outside Baghdad in the Sunni Triangle. Bryant’s orders, delivered during a pre-shift mission briefing, were straightforward: a force-protection mission, acting as a “guardian angel” over a convoy of Humvees. He would search out IEDs, insurgent activity, and other threats. It was night in the U.S. and already daylight in Iraq when the convoy rolled out.
From 10,000 feet, Bryant scanned the road with infrared. Traffic was quiet. Everything normal. Then he spotted a strange circle, glowing faintly on the surface of the road. A common insurgent’s technique for laying IEDs is to douse a tire with gasoline, set it afire on a roadway, and dig up the softened tar beneath. The technique leaves a telltale heat signature, visible in infrared. Bryant, a fan ofThe Lord of the Rings, joked that it looked like the glowing Eye of Sauron.
Flying a drone can feel like a deadly two-person video game—with a pilot (left) and sensor (right).
Bryant pointed the spot out to the pilot, who agreed it looked like trouble. But when they tried to warn the convoy, they realized they couldn’t. The Humvees had activated their radio jammers to disrupt the cell-phone signals used to remotely detonate IEDs. The drone crew’s attempts at radio contact were as useless as shouting at the monitor. Brandon and his pilot patched in their flight supervisor to brainstorm a new way to reach them. They typed frantically back and forth in a group chat, a string of messages that soon included a cast of superiors in the U.S. and Iraq. Minutes passed, and the convoy rolled slowly toward the glowing circle. Bryant stared at the screen, heart pounding, scarcely breathing. The lead Humvee rolled across the eye. “Nothing happens,” says Bryant. “And we’re kind of like, maybe it was a mistake. Everyone’s like Whew, good on you for spotting it, but we’re glad that it wasn’t what you thought it was.” He remembers exhaling, feeling the nervous tension flow out of him.
“And the second vehicle comes along and boom.…”
A white flash of flame blossomed on the screen. Bryant was zoomed in as close as he could get, toggling his view between infrared and day-TV, watching in unblinking horror as the shredded Humvee burned. His headset exploded with panicked chatter from the ground in Iraq: What the fuck happened? We’ve got guys down over here! Frantic soldiers milled around, trying to pull people out of the smoldering wreckage. The IED had been tripped by either a pressure plate or manual detonation; the radio jammers would have done nothing to prevent it. Three soldiers were severely wounded, and two were killed.
“I kind of finished the night numb,” Bryant says. “Then you just go home. No one talked about it. No one talked about how they felt after anything. It was like an unspoken agreement that you wouldn’t talk about your experiences.”
The pace of work in the box unraveled Bryant’s sense of time. He worked twelve-hour shifts, often overnight, six days a week. Both wars were going badly at the time, and the Air Force leaned heavily on its new drone fleet. A loaded Predator drone can stay aloft for eighteen hours, and the pilots and sensors were pushed to be as tireless as the technology they controlled. (Bryant claims he didn’t get to take leave for the first four years he served.)
Even the smell of that little shed in the desert got to Bryant. The hermetically sealed control center was almost constantly occupied—you couldn’t take a bathroom break without getting swapped out—and the atmosphere was suffused with traces of cigarette smoke and rank sweat that no amount of Febreze could mask. One bored pilot even calculated the number of farts each cockpit seat was likely to have absorbed.
Mostly the drone crews’ work was an endless loop of watching: scanning roads, circling compounds, tracking suspicious activity. If there was a “troops-in-contact” situation—a firefight, ground troops who call in a strike—Bryant’s Predator could be called to the scene in minutes with its deadly payload. But usually time passed in a haze of banal images of rooftops, walled courtyards, or traffic-snarled intersections.
Sitting in the darkness of the control station, Bryant watched people on the other side of the world go about their daily lives, completely unaware of his all-seeing presence wheeling in the sky above. If his mission was to monitor a high-value target, he might linger above a single house for weeks. It was a voyeuristic intimacy. He watched the targets drink tea with friends, play with their children, have sex with their wives on rooftops, writhing under blankets. There were soccer matches, and weddings too. He once watched a man walk out into a field and take a crap, which glowed white in infrared.
Bryant came up with little subterfuges to pass the long hours at the console: sneaking in junk food, mending his uniforms, swapping off twenty-minute naps with the pilot. He mastered reading novels while still monitoring the seven screens of his station, glancing up every minute or two before returning to the page. He constructed a darkly appropriate syllabus for his occupation. He read the dystopian sci-fi classic Ender’s Game, about children whose violent simulated games turn out to be actual warfare. Then came Asimov, Bryant pondering his Three Laws of Robotics in an age of Predators and Hellfires. A robot may not injure a human being….
Bryant took five shots in his first nine months on the job. After a strike he was tasked with lingering over a site for several haunting hours, conducting surveillance for an “after-action report.” He might watch people gather up the remains of those killed and carry them to the local cemetery or scrub the scene by dumping weapons into a river. Over Iraq he followed an insurgent commander as he drove through a crowded marketplace. The man parked in the middle of the street, opened his trunk, and pulled two girls out. “They were bound and gagged,” says Bryant. “He put them down on their knees, executed them in the middle of the street, and left them there. People just watched it and didn’t do anything.” Another time, Bryant watched as a local official groveled in his own grave before being executed by two Taliban insurgents.
Keepsakes from Bryant’s service are proudly displayed in his mother’s classroom.
In the early months Bryant had found himself swept up by the Big Game excitement when someone in his squadron made “mind-blowingly awesome shots, situations where these guys were bad guys and needed to be taken out.” But a deep ambivalence about his work crept in. Often he’d think about what life must be like in those towns and villages his Predators glided over, like buzzards riding updrafts. How would he feel, living beneath the shadow of robotic surveillance? “Horrible,” he says now. But at first, he believed that the mission was vital, that drones were capable of limiting the suffering of war, of saving lives. When this notion conflicted with the things he witnessed in high resolution from two miles above, he tried to put it out of his mind. Over time he found that the job made him numb: a “zombie mode” he slipped into as easily as his flight suit.
Bryant’s second shot came a few weeks after targeting the three men on that dirt road in Kunar. He was paired with a pilot he didn’t much like, instructed to monitor a compound that intel told them contained a high-value individual—maybe a Taliban commander or Al Qaeda affiliate, nobody briefed him on the specifics. It was a typical Afghan mud-brick home, goats and cows milling around a central courtyard. They watched a corner of the compound’s main building, bored senseless for hours. They assumed the target was asleep.
Then the quiet ended. “We get this word that we’re gonna fire,” he says. “We’re gonna shoot and collapse the building. They’ve gotten intel that the guy is inside.” The drone crew received no further information, no details of who the target was or why he needed a Hellfire dropped on his roof.
Bryant’s laser hovered on the corner of the building. “Missile off the rail.” Nothing moved inside the compound but the eerily glowing cows and goats. Bryant zoned out at the pixels. Then, about six seconds before impact, he saw a hurried movement in the compound. “This figure runs around the corner, the outside, toward the front of the building. And it looked like a little kid to me. Like a little human person.”
Bryant stared at the screen, frozen. “There’s this giant flash, and all of a sudden there’s no person there.” He looked over at the pilot and asked, “Did that look like a child to you?” They typed a chat message to their screener, an intelligence observer who was watching the shot from “somewhere in the world”—maybe Bagram, maybe the Pentagon, Bryant had no idea—asking if a child had just run directly into the path of their shot.
“And he says, ‘Per the review, it’s a dog.’ ”
Bryant and the pilot replayed the shot, recorded on eight-millimeter tape. They watched it over and over, the figure darting around the corner. Bryant was certain it wasn’t a dog.
If they’d had a few more seconds’ warning, they could have aborted the shot, guided it by laser away from the compound. Bryant wouldn’t have cared about wasting a $95,000 Hellfire to avoid what he believed had happened. But as far as the official military version of events was concerned, nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The pilot “was the type of guy to not argue with command,” says Bryant. So the pilot’s after-action report stated that the building had been destroyed, the high-value target eliminated. The report made no mention of a dog or any other living thing. The child, if there had been a child, was an infrared ghost.
The closest Bryant ever got to “real” combat—the roadside bombs and mortar fire experienced by combat troops—was after volunteering to deploy to Iraq. He spent the scorching summer and fall of 2007 stationed at the airfield in Balad, flying Predators on base-defense missions—scanning the area for insurgents. Some troops thanked the drone crews for being “angels in the sky,” but more often they were the butt of jokes, mocked as “chair-borne rangers” who would “only earn a Purple Heart for burning themselves on a Hot Pocket.”
Bryant struggled to square the jokes with the scenes that unfolded on his monitors. On one shift, he was told by command that they needed coordinates on an insurgent training compound and asked him to spot it. There was a firing range, and he watched as a group of fighters all entered the same building. One of the issues with targeting insurgents was that they often traveled with their families, and there was no way to tell who exactly was in any given building. Bryant lasered the building as he was ordered. Moments later, smoke mushroomed high into the air, a blast wave leveling the entire compound. An F-16, using Bryant’s laser coordinates as guidance, had dropped a 1,000-pound bomb on the building—ten times the size of a Hellfire. “They didn’t actually tell us that they were gonna blow it up,” says Bryant. “We’re like, ‘Wow, that was nice of you to inform us of that.’ ”
In 2008, Bryant was transferred to a new post in “the shittiest place in the world,” a drone squadron out of Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico, where, Bryant says, “the air is not oxygen, it’s basically cow shit.” He continued as an operator for several more years, but his directive had changed. He was now mainly tracking high-value targets for the Joint Special Operations Command—the same secret-shrouded branch of the service that spearheaded the hunt for Osama bin Laden. “We were going after top dudes. They started showing us PowerPoint presentations on who these people are,” he says. “Why we’re after him, and what he did. I liked that. I liked being able to know shit like that.”
Bryant has never been philosophically opposed to the use of drones—he sees them as a tool, like any other, that can be used for good ends, citing their potential use to fight poachers, or to monitor forest fires. For him it’s about who controls them, and toward what ends. “It can’t be a small group of people deciding how they’re used,” he says. “There’s got to be transparency. People have to know how they’re being used so they’re used responsibly.”
Transparency has not been the defining feature of U.S. drone policy over the last decade. Even as Bryant was being trained to operate drones in our very public wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a parallel and clandestine drone war was being waged in places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Since 2004, the CIA has carried out hundreds of strikes in Pakistani territory, cutting secret deals with Pakistani intelligence to operate a covert assassination program. Another covert CIA drone base was operated from Saudi Arabia, launching strikes against militants in the lawless and mountainous interior of Yemen. While Bryant never flew for the CIA itself, their drone operators were drawn directly from the Air Force ranks.
While stationed in Clovis, among the highest-value targets Bryant’s squadron hunted was Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born Yemeni imam and Al Qaeda recruiter. Al-Awlaki was ultimately killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 (as was his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a few weeks later). But Bryant claims his Air Force squadron “did most of the legwork” to pinpoint his location.
By 2011, Bryant had logged nearly 6,000 hours of flight time, flown hundreds of missions, targeted hundreds of enemies. He was in what he describes as “a fugue state of mind.” At the entrance to his flight headquarters in Clovis, in front of a large bulletin board, plastered with photographs of targets like al-Awlaki, he looked up at the faces and asked: “What motherfucker’s gonna die today?”
It seemed like someone else’s voice was speaking, some dark alter ego. “I knew I had to get out.”
By the spring of 2011, almost six years after he’d signed on, Senior Airman Brandon Bryant left the Air Force, turning down a $109,000 bonus to keep flying. He was presented with a sort of scorecard covering his squadron’s missions. “They gave me a list of achievements,” he says. “Enemies killed, enemies captured, high-value targets killed or captured, stuff like that.” He called it his diploma. He hadn’t lased the target or pulled the trigger on all of the deaths tallied, but by flying in the missions he felt he had enabled them. “The number,” he says, “made me sick to my stomach.”
Total enemies killed in action: 1,626.
Since speaking out about drones, Bryant has been a target.
“After that first missile hit, I didn’t really talk to anyone for a couple weeks.” Bryant spoke to me while driving his beat-up black Dodge Neon in looping cursive circles around his hometown of Missoula. A yellow support-the-troops sticker on his bumper was obscured by a haze of road salt. The car’s interior was festooned with patches from the different units he’d served with; in the back seat was a military pack stuffed with equal parts dirty laundry and bug-out gear. The gray midwinter sky weighed on a procession of strip malls and big-box stores; the snowy crenellations of the Bitterroot Range stretched far away to the south. He stared ahead as though watching the scene of his shot on an endless loop. “I didn’t know what it meant to kill someone. And watching the aftermath, watching someone bleed out, because of something that I did?”
That night, on the drive home, he’d started sobbing. He pulled over and called his mother. “She just was like, ‘Everything will be okay,’ and I told her I killed someone, I killed people, and I don’t feel good about it. And she’s like, ‘Good, that’s how it should feel, you should never not feel that way.’ ”
Other members of his squadron had different reactions to their work. One sensor operator, whenever he made a kill, went home and chugged an entire bottle of whiskey. A female operator, after her first shot, refused to fire again even under the threat of court martial. Another pilot had nightmares after watching two headless bodies float down the Tigris. Bryant himself would have bizarre dreams where the characters from his favorite game, World of Warcraft, appeared in infrared.
By mid-2011, Bryant was back in Missoula, only now he felt angry, isolated, depressed. While getting a video game at a Best Buy, he showed his military ID with his credit card, and a teenage kid behind him in line spoke up. “He’s like, ‘Oh, you’re in the military; my brother, he’s a Marine, he’s killed like thirty-six dudes, and he tells me about it all the time.’ And I turn around and say, ‘If you fucking ever talk like this to me again, I will stab you. Don’t ever disrespect people’s deaths like that ever again.’ ” The kid went pale, and Bryant took his game and left.
At the urging of a Vietnam veteran he met at the local VA office, Bryant finally went to see a therapist. After a few sessions, he just broke down: “I told her I wanted to be a hero, but I don’t feel like a hero. I wanted to do something good, but I feel like I just wasted the last six years of my life.” She diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
It was an unexpected diagnosis. For decades the model for understanding PTSD has been “fear conditioning”: quite literally the lasting psychological ramifications of mortal terror. But a term now gaining wider acceptance is “moral injury.” It represents a tectonic realignment, a shift from a focusing on the violence that has been done to a person in wartime toward his feelings about what he has done to others—or what he’s failed to do for them. The concept is attributed to the clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shay, who in his book Achilles in Vietnam traces the idea back as far as the Trojan War. The mechanisms of death may change—as intimate as a bayonet or as removed as a Hellfire—but the bloody facts, and their weight on the human conscience, remain the same. Bryant’s diagnosis of PTSD fits neatly into this new understanding. It certainly made sense to Bryant. “I really have no fear,” he says now. “It’s more like I’ve had a soul-crushing experience. An experience that I thought I’d never have. I was never prepared to take a life.”
In 2011, Air Force psychologists completed a mental-health survey of 600 combat drone operators. Forty-two percent of drone crews reported moderate to high stress, and 20 percent reported emotional exhaustion or burnout. The study’s authors attributed their dire results, in part, to “existential conflict.” A later study found that drone operators suffered from the same levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol abuse, and suicidal ideation as traditional combat aircrews. These effects appeared to spike at the exact time of Bryant’s deployment, during the surge in Iraq. (Chillingly, to mitigate these effects, researchers have proposed creating a Siri-like user interface, a virtual copilot that anthropomorphizes the drone and lets crews shunt off the blame for whatever happens. Siri, have those people killed.)
In the summer of 2012, Bryant rejoined the Air Force as a reservist, hoping to get into the famed SERE program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), where he would help train downed pilots to survive behind enemy lines. After so much killing, he wanted to save people. But after a severe concussion in a training accident, he dropped out and returned once more to Missoula. He walked with a cane, had headaches and memory lapses, and fell into a black depression.
During the worst of it, Bryant would make the rounds of Missoula’s dozens of roughneck bars and drink himself to blackout on whiskey and cokes, vanishing for days or weeks on end. Many of those nights he would take his government-issued minus-forty-degree sleeping bag and pull into a parking lot in the middle of town next to the Clark Fork river. There’s a small park with a wooden play structure there, built to look like a dragon with slides and ladders descending from it. He would climb to the little lookout deck at the top, blind drunk, and sleep there, night after night.
He doesn’t remember much of that hazy period last summer, but his mother, LanAnn, does. Several times he had left a strange locked case sitting out on the kitchen table at her house, and she had put it back in the closet. The third day she woke to find the case open, with a loaded Sig Sauer P226 semi-automatic pistol lying out. Terrified that he might kill himself, she gave it to a friend with a locked gun safe. She’d only told her son about it a week earlier. He had no memory of any of it.
“I really thought we were going to lose him,” LanAnn Bryant says now.
Something needed to change. Bryant hoped that by going to the press, people would understand drone crews’ experience of war, that it was “more than just a video game” to them. In the fall, he spoke to a reporter for the German newsweekly Der Spiegel. The story was translated into English, and the British tabloid Daily Mail picked it up, posting it with the wildly inaccurate headline drone operator followed orders to shoot a child…and decided he had to quit. The story went viral.
The backlash from the drone community was immediate and fierce. Within days, 157 people on Bryant’s Facebook page had de-friended him. “You are a piece of shit liar. Rot in hell,” wrote a former Air Force comrade. In a sort of exercise in digital self-flagellation, Bryant read thousands of Reddit comments about himself, many filled with blistering vitriol and recrimination. “I read every single one of them,” he says. “I was trying to just get used to the negative feelings.” The spectrum of critics ranged from those who considered drone warfare a crime against humanity to combat veterans who thought Bryant was a whiner. He’d had death threats as well—none he took seriously—and other people said he should be charged with treason and executed for speaking to the media. On the day of one of our interviews, The New York Times ran an article about the military’s research into PTSD among drone operators. I watched as he scanned a barrage of Facebook comments mocking the very idea that drone operators could suffer trauma:
>I broke a fucking nail on that last mission!
>Maybe they should wear seatbelts
>they can claim PTSD when they have to do “Body Collection & Identification”
And then Bryant waded in:
>I’m ashamed to have called any of you assholes brothers in arms.
>Combat is combat. Killing is killing. This isn’t a video game. How many of you have killed a group of people, watched as their bodies are picked up, watched the funeral, then killed them too?
>Yeah, it’s not the same as being on the ground. So fucking what? Until you know what it is like and can make an intelligent meaningful assessment, shut your goddamn fucking mouths before somebody shuts them for you.
Bryant’s defense—a virtual battle over an actual war—left him seething at his keyboard. He says that when flying missions, he sometimes felt himself merging with the technology, imagining himself as a robot, a zombie, a drone itself. Such abstractions don’t possess conscience or consciousness; drones don’t care what they mean, but Bryant most certainly does. Now he plans to study to be an EMT, maybe get work on an ambulance, finally be able to save people like he always wanted. He no longer has infrared dreams, no longer closes his eyes and sees those strange polarized shadows flit across them.
Bryant closed his laptop and went out into the yard, tossing a tennis ball to his enormous bounding Japanese mastiff. Fingers of snow extended down through the dark forests of the Bitterroot, and high white contrails in the big sky caught the late-afternoon sunlight. The landscape of western Montana, Bryant observed, bears a striking resemblance to the Hindu Kush of eastern Afghanistan—a place he’s seen only pixelated on a monitor. It was a cognitive dissonance he had often felt flying missions, as he tried to remind himself that the world was just as real when seen in a grainy image as with the naked eye, that despite being filtered through distance and technology, cause and effect still applied. This is the uncanny valley over which our drones circle. We look through them at the world, and ultimately stare back at ourselves.
This month, thousands of McDonald’s and other fast food workers in Chicago demonstrated for a minimum, livable wage of $15.00 an hour. It makes sense when you think about the enormous costs of poorly paid workers who live on food stamps, ADC, WIC, Section 8 housing and free breakfasts and lunches for their children.
In the meantime, CEOs of McDonald’s, Marriott Hotels, Holiday Inns, Tyson Chicken, Hormel Foods, Chipotles, Burger King, roofing firms, painting contractors and a slew of other corporations—enjoy $10 million annual salaries and $10 million annual bonuses for doing such a fine job for the stockholders. The rich grow richer while the poor work for pathetic wages as our 21st century slave labor force.
But there’s a hitch. Guess what? You and I pay $956 billion annually, nearly $1 trillion of our tax dollars, year in and year out, to subsidize minimum wage laws that employ all those uneducated, limited intellectual horsepower, high school dropouts and endless mothers with babies. You also pay $346 billion annually across 15 federal agencies for illegal alien workers who milk the system. (Source: Edwin Rubenstein, economist,www.thesocialcontract.com )
On a recent radio interview, one of the callers said, “You can’t pay more than minimum wage because those burger flipping jobs are stepping-stone jobs to higher paying jobs. It’s not economically feasible.”
The problem: millions of Americans cannot and do not graduate from high school for lack of intellectual horsepower, emotional duress of the ghetto and lack of parental guidance. They command few options. You can scream “they had a choice” all you want, but the fact remains: they face a life of financial lockdown. Fact: 42 million Americans cannot read, write or perform simple math. Another 50 million cannot read or write past the 4th grade level. That’s a lot of illiterate people who cannot command higher paying jobs.
“There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.” Source: www.prisonplanet.com
But they espouse the same dreams as you enjoy. They see the same ads about houses and cars you watch. They want the same things you desire.
Instead of paying for their food stamps, medical bills, children’s breakfasts and lunches, housing and other welfare bills—we need to change our minimum wage to a minimum livable wage: $15.00 an hour.
Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations must evolve. We live in the 21st century where conditions changed.
First, our economic engine transformed. Robber Barons of the 21st century cheat like thieves to milk the system. Our U.S. government cheats citizens. Our representatives cheat us in Washington DC. In 2013, Senators like John McCain, Charles Schumer, Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Mark Udall, Michael Bennet, Marco Rubio and the rest of them cheat American taxpayers as a matter of routine business. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t suffer $16.5 trillion in national debt. We wouldn’t watch helplessly at two 10-year wars that cost $12 billion a month. We wouldn’t watch our borders overrun if they enforced the laws. We wouldn’t see 400,000 pregnant illegal migrants force us to pay for their babies annually.
If Congress showed ethics, common sense and personal accountability—none of the corruption so rampant in Congress would continue. But it accelerates!
Try a new economic path for the good of all
What’s the difference in a low wage burger flipping job at $8.00 an hour, to a truck driver $14.00 to $15.00 per hour, janitor at $15.00 an hour, roofer at $15.00 an hour, and hotel maid at $ 8.00 an hour? It takes no education, special skills or talents to command any of those jobs. Why shouldn’t the fast food and maid worker enjoy $15.00 an hour?
They support kids, apartment, car and other expenses. A living wage would get them off food stamps, Section 8 housing, ADC, WIC, free lunches for their children and much more.
A livable wage commands economic respect, pays into our tax system rather than sucks off it. A decent wage offers our inner city minority dwellers self-respect and personal accountability.
Instead of $10 million annual bonuses for the CEOs of all those corporations, they could still live on their $10 million salaries—and allow a decent standard of living for America’s poor and uneducated.
Those poor would become tax-paying members of our society and be able to participate.
Yes, your hamburger may cost .25 cents more, French-fries .15 cents more and your hotel room a few dollars more. But you wouldn’t be paying $956 billion annually to support all those poverty-stricken burger flippers.
You wouldn’t be paying for all the crime, shoplifting, food stamps, welfare workers, drug addiction, lost lives, wasted lives and hopelessly growing poverty class.
One way or the other, you pay. By bringing a $15.00 minimum livable wage into the American way of life, all citizens may enjoy self-respect, a home or apartment, car, kids off to school and shot at living a positive life in America.
For the past several years, America finds itself fragmenting at the seams. We suffer a gridlocked Congress that watches problems grow and grow—but it fails to take action to solve anything. It continues endless wars abroad. It watches our educational systems disintegrate, but does nothing. Endless millions of minorities and the Middle Class cannot secure jobs, but Congress continues to import 100,000 green card holding immigrants every 30 days.
A mind-blowing 47 million Americans subsist on food stamps, but our U.S. Congress continues to offshore jobs, insource jobs and outsource jobs. Those 535 congressional critters do everything in their power to subvert the Middle Class of America.
Across America, illiteracy grows as 7,000 kids quit high school every day of the nine-month school cycle. CBS anchor Scott Pelley said, “Our educational results cannot sustain America.”
In other words, we cannot keep kicking illiterate kids into the job market and hope they can read, write and perform simple math—when they can’t.
We suffer Black-America revolting with marches over Latino-American Zimmerman killing African-American Martin with calls of racism, when, at the same time, 1,300 blacks killed 1,300 blacks from the Martin killing to the trial date. Black on black crime killed 1,299 black kids while blacks protested over one shooting of a Latino killing a black. It never occurs to them that black on black and black on white crime runs 1,000 to 1.
The Main Stream Media censors the phenomenon known as “Black Flash Mobs” where young blacks in cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis—run wild in streets beating up white people and looting stores.
Why? Those kids don’t enjoy fathers to mentor them toward responsible adulthood as 68 percent of all black kids in America are raised by single mothers. About 99 percent of them live on welfare and in poverty. (Source: Denver Post, Dottie Lamm) Yet, the Congress sits and knits, picks its nose and yawns and scratches its rear-end, but won’t get off its collective butt to solve the problems.
Our nation faces $16.5 trillion debt, entrenched poverty class, growing illiteracy, accelerating killings, intractable crime, drugs and unemployment.
Yet, it imports 100,000 legal Third World immigrants every 30 days. In 2013, we feature over 40 million people not born in this country. As they continue to bring in their families and birth their babies, whole communities in cities like Chicago, Miami, Houston and LA do not resemble America or speak our language.
Every American sees the mess exploding, but most remain clueless as to its origins.
On a recent radio show where I interview weekly, www.KGAB.com with Dave Chaffin on the “Morning Zone,” a caller asked a poignant question: “Will we ever get back to the America that I knew growing up as a kid?”
First of all, the America of 50 years ago with Norman Rockwell paintings of paper boys throwing papers onto the steps of nicely painted houses with picket fences—will not be seen again. Instead, we see violent mega-cities exploding beyond the sky line with air pollution and gridlock.
Since 1965, we imported 100 million third world immigrants because of Teddy Kennedy’s Immigration Reform Act. That bill continues today as it adds 1.2 million third world people annually.
We contorted America from three major ethnic tribal groups with the same Christian religion to over a dozen tribal groups with aggressive religions like Islam. If the current amnesty bill passes, it will import 1.5 million third world immigrants annually, or, about 125,000 new comers each month. Total: 100 million by 2050.
Where are they coming from? This two-minute video on Bangladesh will stun you, but this will be our end result: http://safeshare.tv/w/vwncRciSFb
That video probably shocked the daylights out of you, but that’s what all of China, India, Bangladesh, Indochina and many other parts of the world face with their population loads. I’ve witnessed it first hand on my world bicycle travels. Worse, they come to America for a better life, but they continue propagating beyond reason.
Back to the question: Can we return America back to the way it was before this mass immigration juggernaut?
If we don’t reduce all immigration to less than 100,000 annually, instead of 100,000 monthly—we will never, ever return to what it meant to be an unhyphenated American. We will never enjoy religious civility as the Muslims grow their numbers and aggressively push for Sharia Law within America. We will never again enjoy a flourishing Middle Class. We will never again enjoy clean air and plenty of water.
We will not enjoy a single language or culture. We will never again enjoy unlimited freedom as we compact ourselves into cities and begin to resemble China, India and even Bangladesh before this century expires.
What to do? How to take action?
1. Do everything in your power to stop S744 amnesty bill. Call, write, visit your Senators and House reps. Write letters to the editor, call your radio shows and push the issue to stop mass immigration.
2. Join every organization you see on my website: www.frostywooldridge.com in order to make collective impact to stop passage of S744.
3. Vote out any senator or congressman that thinks importing the entire third world or the projected 100 million new immigrants to this country within 37 years.
4. Call or email Charlie Rose CharlieRose@pbs.org and ask him to interview top environmental/population experts as to our future if we allow another 100 million people to be imported via mass immigration. Write Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, 60 Minutes, Dateline, Primetime, and ask them to interview top speakers as to our survival prospects of an America that grew from 316 million to 625 million people within this century.
5. Join www.CapsWeb.org, www.NumbersUSA.org, www.FairUS.org, www.alipacus.com in order to join over 1.5 million Americans of all persuasions who collectively possess the power to stop mass immigration into America and work toward a viable and sustainable future for our civilization. It’s free and powerful because you can send in pre-written faxes to your reps to enlighten them as to the consequences of a mass amnesty and jumping legal immigration to two million annually. You will become part of an armada of parents, grandparents, citizens and more to change course toward a positive future.
6. Send me your thoughts on more ideas I can share with Americans in order to regain or at least not lose any more of America than we have already.
That NBC had doctored a 911 call for the purposes of making George Zimmerman look like a bigot was a shocking revelation. Yet cut-and-paste propaganda is a common media tactic, and I’m not sure anyone is victimized by it more than Pope Francis.
You’ve probably read the headlines. “Pope Francis urges global leaders to end ‘tyranny’ of money,” “Pope Francis’s stunning blow to conservatives,” “Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven,” “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control”; rinse, wash and repeat. Yet these headlines range from delusion to, possibly, deception. By and large, he said, she said is not what the pope said.
Let’s start with the recent big news, the Jesuit magazine interview with Pope Francis called that “stunning blow to conservatives.” The stunned (and stunted) journalist who wrote that line, The Guardian’s Andrew Brown, used a Francis “quotation” prevalent throughout the media. To wit: “It is not necessary to talk about…abortion, gay marriage and [contraception] all the time.” Now, it’s not surprising Brown didn’t provide a link to the actual interview. Because not only is his cut-and-paste job missing an ellipsis (between “and” and “all the time”), it’s an elliptical formulation that omits 58 words — and 58 miles of meaning.
After saying he hadn’t talked about abortion, marriage and contraception much, here’s what the pope actually stated: “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time [emphasis added].” The media didn’t omit the italicized words merely for brevity’s sake. When Francis said that the teaching is “clear” and he’s a “son of the church,” he is reaffirming doctrine and his fidelity to it. He’s saying that the teachings in question are definitive, set in stone, and that he is loyal to mother Church as any good “son” is to his mother.
Ironically, the pope, whom Catholics believe is Christ’s representative on Earth, is receiving the same treatment Jesus himself did. Many liberals make their case for homosexual behavior by saying that Christ was silent on it. Of course, Jesus didn’t say anything about pedophilia, either; this doesn’t mean He would have tolerated it. Likewise, it’s as silly to think that dogma is null and void unless continually espoused as it is to assume that a law is no longer on the books just because legislators don’t talk about it constantly.
Of course, one could still find fault with Francis’s comments. While “all the time” was surely just a manner of speaking, in reality I hear far too little sermonizing at Mass about the moral teachings in question. Instead there’s much nebulous talk about “love.” And while love is wonderful, I’d point out that a good physician makes the correct diagnosis and treats what the patient has, not what he doesn’t have. There is no powerful social movement whose placards state “Down with Love!” and “Give Hate a Chance!” As far as abortion and marriage go, however, the left has sought (and largely succeeded) in changing a tried-and-true status quo, and traditionalists’ talk about these issues is simply responses commensurate with the left’s cultural-attack talk. We don’t hose people down indiscriminately; we simply try to douse as many fires as the cultural pyromaniacs light.
Having said all this, the main difference between Pope Francis and his two predecessors is one of style, emphasis and tactics, not dogma. Dogma cannot be changed.
One problem between the pope and secular world involves communication breakdown: terms and phrases have different connotations, and sometimes different meanings, to a devout Catholic than to a modernist. Consider, for example, Francis’s July remark about homosexual priests, “[W]ho am I to judge?” This was widely viewed as deviation from Catholic doctrine, but the pope averred otherwise in the Jesuit interview, explaining, “I said what the catechism says.” But what long-held Catholic doctrine did Francis’s comment reflect?
The catechism states that while homosexual behavior is gravely sinful, homosexual tendencies are not (the catechism labels them “disordered”). This is simply common sense. A person generally doesn’t ask for the feelings he has, and they often result from early childhood influences over which he has no control. His responsibility lies in whether or not he chooses to act upon those feelings.
This brings us to the rub: when the pope says “homosexual,” he thinks of a person with the tendency, but takes for granted that a priest so burdened will strive to live a celibate life. When secularists hear the word, however, they generally think of a person engaging in homosexuality. Thus, while Francis was saying he wouldn’t “judge” a person bearing the homosexual cross nobly, the secular world heard, “I won’t judge the behavior.”
This misunderstanding is easy to fathom. “Who am I to judge?” has become a code-phrase meaning, “There’s nothing wrong with homosexual acts.” But the pope is not of our culture; he’s a South American, and I suspect he didn’t understand the code-phrase and how it’s interpreted by secular Western ears.
But some “interpretations” of the pope’s words are, damnably, much farther afield. Consider the Independent’s headline: Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.” Not surprisingly, this paper also suddenly forgot how to use the hyperlink feature in its reportage (what the pope actually wrote).
But Francis never said “You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.”
In fact, he never used the word “Heaven” in what was a 2688-word letter even once.
What the pope said that the media is spinning was, “God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.” The Independent also quotes the pope as saying, “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” Perhaps the paper has a (much) different translation from the Italian, but I find that line nowhere in the letter. Anyway, the letter is actually quite good on balance. As for insight into what Francis meant, space constraints here preclude deep theological expositions, but The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley provides a decent explanation here.
Yet The Telegraph also had its Independent-of-truth moment when publishing, “Pope Francis urges global leaders to end ‘tyranny’ of money,” which, as you could guess by now, also omits a link to the pope’s actual words. The paper writes, “He [the pope] said free-market capitalism had created a ‘tyranny’…. [That is,][u]nchecked capitalism had created ‘a new, invisible, and at times virtual, tyranny’, said the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.” The reality?
Francis never used the phrase “tyranny of money” or the term “free-market capitalism.”
In fact, he never mentioned “capitalism” or the “free market” even once.
The pope’s actual theme in what in this case was a speech, was that financiers, politicians and economists should cultivate a God-centered ethics, and Francis used the word “ethics” or “ethical” eight times and “God” four times in a speech that took mere minutes to deliver. And author of The Telegraph article, Nick Squires? He used the word “ethical” just once…in passing.
He didn’t mention “God” at all.
And while he didn’t present his cut-and-paste, add-and-subtract, mix-and-match formulations as direct Francis quotations, many readers would either assume they were or, in the least, wouldn’t figure that he had “Zimmermanned” the pope. But it’s not surprising the media is reluctant to report on a God-centered ethics.
They, apparently, are sorely lacking in it themselves.
Yet there are many reasons why media distort the pope’s words. First, they’ll do anything for eyeball-grabbing headlines. Second, Catholic theology has been forged over 2000 years, is very deep, and thus doesn’t lend itself to sound-bite presentation. More significantly, it cannot be understood by sound-bite commentators with 15-second attention spans who, sadly, interpret things knee-jerk style via the prism of their own prejudices. Third and in keeping with this, liberals exist in a realm of rationalization, anyway, and thus can truly convince themselves that their feelings-derived “sense” of someone’s meaning is gospel. The fourth factor is simple.
Leftists are dishonest.
Yet even many well-meaning people don’t understand the Church. For one thing, there’s the aforementioned factor: the secular and devout Catholic worlds often speak different languages, with words and phrases holding different meanings. As for doctrine, the Church isn’t some journalist with hormone-imbalance-induced mood swings. Defined doctrine (dogma) cannot change, and new doctrines won’t be forged with reporters. What a pope says in an interview doesn’t change doctrine any more than what a president says in an interview changes American law.
But then there is a more insidious reason for the media’s papal spin. Not only do the militant secularists assume the Church will eventually “get with the times” and embrace its agenda (it feels so obviously correct, you see), but they know if they can break the Catholic Church — if they can get its imprimatur — cultural domination is theirs. And, hey, if you can’t break it, fake it. With image being “reality,” making the low-info masses believe the Church has “seen the light” may be sufficiently demoralizing.
The last significant factor is one I’d like my Christian brethren to consider very, very seriously. By creating the illusion that the Church is abandoning certain unchanging moral principles, the media can widen the rift between the Church and some traditionalist Protestants. Beware the divide-and-conquer devils among us.
Having said all this, Pope Francis certainly gives the media much grist for the mill. One issue is his gregariousness — he said he loves being around people — and he talks to anyone and everyone about anything and everything. This is dangerous for any public figure. Moreover, while the pope is orthodox, and in that sense neither liberal nor conservative, Catholic doctrine doesn’t address every issue and all its nuance. And given that Francis’s instincts are, it seems to me, somewhat modernistic, I’m not confident in his pronouncements on matters beyond doctrine (or in his sense of priority). I think his grasp of economics is especially suspect.
And while the pope’s tactic of stressing Christ’s love and salvation message to the exclusion of certain moral doctrines is well-intended, I don’t believe it will work. The militant secularists aren’t interested in conciliation or compromise, but in the complete and utter destruction of Christianity. They take no prisoners.
So say your prayers; they’re needed now more than ever. And I will say that Pope Francis may inspire me to expand my prayer life. For the first time ever I may start praying for laryngitis.
You know, in spite of the visit from The Bone Lady when I was just three years old, and all the grim foreshadowing that she downloaded to me via direct intuition, I always held out hope that humanity could or would somehow turn things around on this planet, and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
As long as there is breath there is always hope, that was my thinking for a long time, but I am no longer so sanguine.
As one of my friends recently remarked to me, there is, indeed, real evil abroad in this world. I don’t know how else to explain the wickedness of what is happening at Fukushima, in Japan, where the situation with the exploded and/or melted down nuclear reactors just goes from frightfully dire to unimaginably worse.
I frequently check the developments there at www.enenews.com and the latest news is very disturbing. I said from the outset, in the spring of 2011, that Tokyo would be evacuated. I still believe that to be inevitable. It is possible that much of Japan will be evacuated to elsewhere. The apocalyptic dimensions of the crisis are being covered up by TEPCO, the Japanese government, General Electric, and the USSA government. The reality is that there was at least one, and maybe more, really dirty nuclear blasts there in March of 2011, that wrecked the reactors and created a radioactive hell that no one knows how to remedy or bring under control. At the least we are probably looking at the failure and collapse of Japanese society with likely evacuation of tens of millions of people or more, and the fairly rapid death of vast portions of the Pacific Ocean, as deadly radioactive waste water continues to flow into the sea by the hundreds of tons, every day.
And when the cooling pool at reactor four collapses, the many tons of highly radioactive, spent, fuel rods that it contains will overheat and burn and or catastrophically fission, i.e., cause a runaway, nuclear reaction, or, in lay man’s terms, there will be another atomic explosion, along with a mushroom cloud, and tons of highly poisonous nuclear isotopes will be spread aloft into the atmosphere and/or will drain or be blown into the sea, to poison the Pacific Ocean even further.
This is worse than bad news. This is planetary chaos news. This is civilization ending news. This is species extinction level news, as in extinction of the human species on this planet. If you do not think so, all I can say is: wait. It won’t be long. Probably not ten years, not five, maybe even by Christmas this year, and you will begin to see what i mean, if you haven’t already.
And even if the cooling pool at reactor four doesn’t fail or collapse of its own accord in the near future, though that is very highly probable, TEPCO’s plan to manually remove the many tons of bent, mangled, fused, welded together, very highly radioactive fuel rods that remain in the pool, beginning in November of this year, is so fraught with peril that it is likely to spectacularly fail, with unimaginably negative consequences. Any slight mistake, miscue or dropped fuel rod could result in a fission criticality, a runaway nuclear chain reaction, to wit, an atomic explosion that will shower the northern hemisphere and the Pacific Basin with a fatal radioactive sleet that will persist for hundreds of thousands of years.
As I said, the situation is somewhere far south of dire, with a headlong, hellward trajectory.
The Nuclear Chain Reaction
Because what is inevitable, the longer the situation at Fukushima festers, is that the whole site will have to be abandoned. Due to the high radiation levels, no one will be able to work there without dying. So the workers will pull back, and the cooling pools and storage pools that contain thousands of tons of extremely radioactive, spent fuel rods will fail or collapse and there will be more explosions and radioactive fires. As the radioactively contaminated NO GO ZONE expands, as the population flees, the day will come when nuclear reactors at other, nearby power generating plants will also fail, melt down and/or explode, because the nuclear engineers and maintenance workers no longer come to work and operate them — BECAUSE THEY ARE DEAD.
And then there will be three or four more, and the radioactive No Go Zone will expand, widen, grow. And other nuclear power plants will then fail, melt down and/or explode, because their operators are also DEAD, and so do not come to work, do not maintain them.
There are over 50 nuclear power reactors in Japan, and they all have their spent fuel rod cooling pools. It doesn’t matter if the reactors themselves are shut down, because there are thousands and thousands of tons of highly radioactive, spent, nuclear fuel rods stored in the cooling pools all over Japan. So, given time, the crisis will continue to fester and worsen, and then it will begin to cascade, like a row of toppling dominoes, only it will be a series of failing nuclear power reactors, one after the other, heralding the end of the nuclear age, and quite possible the end of humanity.
It’s just that serious.
All of that will send a killing wave of radioactivity across the Pacific to North America. So what happens when the population on the west coast of the USSA flees in panic from the approaching killer wave of radioactivity? Well, there will be no one left to operate the nuclear power reactors in California, for example. or at Palo Verde, the massive nuclear power plant just to the west of Phoenix. So when those nuclear reactors and their spent fuel cooling pools fail, melt down, and/or blow up, the civilization-ending, planet-killing, Fukushima Syndrome will come home to America with a wicked vengeance.
All courtesy of General Electric. General Electric designed five out of the six reactors at Fukushima and built three of them, so what we see here is genocidal, planet-killing failure of American (alleged) “high technology” on a spectacular scale.
At the end of the day, all the differential calculus, the nuclear physics, the nuclear chemistry, the nuclear engineering, the corporate profits, the Madison Avenue advertising slogans, the multinational wheeling and dealing, all has conspired to assassinate the planet on which we, and they, all live. Make no mistake, the planet is now dying. The global poisoning process is so very far advanced that it probably cannot be stopped. Certainly, there is not now any serious, international effort to do so, not anything remotely commensurate with the level of danger that we are facing.
No doubt we are dealing with profound iniquity, a betrayal so complete of all that is human that no words exist to describe its foul dimension. The ones who have done this thing walk among us, though for how long? – understanding that they, too, will certainly drop dead along with countless millions of others, as a direct result of their abjectly arrogant ignorance.
All of their super-computers, the advanced mathematics, their (so-called) “hi-tech” industrial base, all of their billions of dollars of (so-called) “high finance” — and they kill the planet? And themselves and their posterity in the process? That’s the best they can do? They get a PhD in nuclear chemistry and use their (so-called) “knowledge” and (so-called) technical “expertise” to kill the planet? The planet that they also live on?
Geniuses. All of them.
Central Banking Middle East Madness
Then there is the very real prospect of a shooting, nuclear war, beginning in the Middle East. The USSA has a powerful fleet in the region. So do the Russians, as a counterpoint. Sadly for all humanity, the Washington, DC — City of London — Lower Manhattan — Tel Aviv — NATO cabal seems hell bent on war, and so we are on the slippery slope to war. Unfortunately, this psychopathic cabal is very heavily nuclear armed.
I saw all of this coming from waaaaaaay back, from way back in my infancy, since the age of three years, when The Bone Lady visited me and clued me in to realities that I still don’t want to think about, given their ghastly, hideous savagery. But I’ll tell you what, it’s enough to give a man insomnia, it’s enough to drive him out onto the nuclear missile silos, again and again, in a personal effort to inject a note of sanity and warning into a positively insane political and military climate, in an attempt to wake up anyone who may be susceptible to awakening.
My latest sally was 15 April 2010 in North Dakota, USA. I went over the security fence onto the H-8 Minuteman III nuclear missile silo in the Minot Air Force Base nuclear missile field, near Parshall, North Dakota, at the intersection of 33rd Street and 76th Avenue. I conducted a nonviolent, peace demonstration on the silo and was arrested by the USSA military and imprisoned for 100 days, almost all of the time served in the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
My Minot Manifesto explains my motivations, reasons and spiritual and political philosophy. It is one of the most important documents I have written in my entire life.
A Serious Message From The Heart of America was my personal statement that I mailed to the news media from jail in Rugby, North Dakota, on 14 July 2010, prior to being criminally tried and convicted in USSA federal court in Minot, North Dakota.
I explain the symbolism in my dress and accoutrements in the photo below, in the text of my lengthy Minot Manifesto. It’s thirteen pages, but worth the time and effort to read. It is a major life statement on my part, that reflects literal decades of deep thought, a very large quantum of concentrated life energy and hours, weeks, months and years of preparation, a statement that distills an important fraction of my life essence into human language. I invite you to partake of my gift by taking the time to read and reflect on what I have written, and then to take meaningful, principled, creative, nonviolent action yourself.
I don’t quite know what more to say, what more to do. In fact, were I to do more than I already have, and I have been out on the nuclear missile silos three times (and been jailed for my trouble all three times, in Arkansas, Missouri and North Dakota), I would run the very real risk of infringing on your right and your very real, personal RESPONSIBILITY to also courageously act. So what are you waiting for? Why are you here on this planet, at this time, reading this blog post, and articles like it?
Because make no mistake about it, the time to act, if you are going to act, is here. The time has arrived. The planet is on the brink. We face the very real prospect of a shooting nuclear war. Additionally, the Fukushima crisis, and the threat from nuclear power plants in general, ALL OF THEM, could not be more serious.
In recent days, I find myself musing about the closing scene from “Dr. Stramgelove,” with the haunting song by Vera Lynn, “We’ll Meet Again, Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When,” that was such a huge hit in World War II, for obvious reasons.
And it fills me with such melancholy and sorrow. Because if it starts, this ugly thing called nuclear war, and we are headed that way, can all unravel very rapidly. The machines will take over, and automated, pre-programmed orders of battle will be carried out, without human control, as machines battle machines with nuclear fire. Waves of missiles will come in, again and again, to batter the underground bases. I have read the declassified documents. Warhead after warhead will come in at 10 minute intervals. You cannot imagine the depths of the hell that is already programmed and waiting to be unleashed.
Back in the 1960s, the USSA military was counting on 140 million casualties in the mainland USSA alone. I know this because I have read the documents. I have done the research. The USSA population is much larger now, and much more urban, so the casualty rate would be even higher. Maybe 200 million? 250 million casualties in the USSA alone?
Do you think you will just watch that on CNN?
Refuge in the Southern Hemisphere
If you have read my previous writings you will know that I have said that IF humanity has a future, it is likely to be in the southern hemisphere, if only because the lion’s share of the nuclear weapons and nuclear power reactors are in the northern hemisphere. As the nuclear power plants fail, melt down, and/or explode most of them will be in the northern hemisphere. This is not an intellectual exercise — already we have had catastrophic failure of nuclear power plants at Chernobyl, Ukraine and Fukushima, Japan. They are just the first. There will be more.
Likewise, any shooting nuclear war is logically likely to be concentrated in the northern hemisphere, since all of the known, nuclear armed, military powers are in the northern hemisphere
But even then, there are enormous problems in the southern hemisphere. The vegetation in the Amazon region of South America produces something like 20 to 30% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. As the Amazon dies, and it is being destroyed right now, so too, is the Earth’s breathable oxygen supply being destroyed. I don’t know about you, but I breathe oxygen all day and all night, every day and every night of my life.
So even if we resolve the nuclear issue, and there is ZERO progress on that front right now, only to lose the Amazon, we all will still die, because none of us can survive with 20 to 30% less oxygen. Just cannot.
Right now, we, humanity, every last one of us, are in a life and death struggle for the life of our species, and the life of our planet.
If we win, we live. If we lose, we die. ALL OF US.
End of the story. End of our species’ genetic line. For ever and ever.
So maybe moving to Bolivia or Uruguay or Namibia or Madagascar or New Zealand will buy you a little time, a year or ten. However, if we fail to rein in and ABOLISH nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons, if we fail to reforest the Earth and cleanse it of radioactive contamination, then we are through. It’s the end for us.
This is our group decision. Right now we are on a self-destructive path to global extinction.
So Here Is My View
If you will act decisively, now is the time. Pick your issue and your spot and act creatively, courageously and nonviolently.
It’s your world and your life. Act like they both count for something.
And here’s the other thing. If you cannot, or will not act, then how about supporting those of us who have acted, and who continue to act?
In my case, I have paid a very heavy price, in earnings forever foregone, by putting my life on the line, repeatedly, for you, whom I do not even know. But because you are my human kin, I went out on the missile silos, again and again, and I went to jail. I lost more than a year and a half of productive labor. I lost, as well, the opportunity to have a whole wide range of well paying jobs, due to my arrest and prison record, even though I have multiple advanced university degrees, up to the doctorate level.
Subsequent to my arrival in South America, I immersed myself in Amazonian shamanic culture, the better to understand the Amazonian region, the jungle itself, and the shamanic human ecology of the region that interfaces with the hyper-conscious plants in the jungle, only to be very gravely assaulted by one of the said Amazonian shamans and hospitalized for more than four months with massive trauma to both my body and emotions. I am now pursing a criminal case against the shaman and that also costs heavily, several thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, at the very time when so much of my time and energy is taken up with therapy and the sheer physical effort of getting around with impaired mobility. Nine months after the assault I still have physical nerve trauma in my lower extremities, a good deal of numbness and what is called drop foot. I walk with crutches. My electro-therapy also costs. At the moment I cannot go to electro-therapy, although I badly need it, because I only have $35 to my name.
I have run completely through my meager life savings and there is no more.
Additionally, I have this week begun the formal petition process to the government of Ecuador to request political asylum. My years-long record of anti-nuclear activism and repeated jailing by the USSA government is one factor in my decision, coupled with other factors such as recent revelations of universal NSA surveillance and espionage, the secret arrest and indefinite military detention provisions of the NDAA of 2012 and 2013, the recently revealed, previously secret 2011 FBI documents that blatantly discuss plans to murder Occupy Movement activists by sniper fire, including in San Antonio, Texas, where I lived and worked as a window washer from 2000 to 2009, and all of this in the context of an all encompassing pattern of unbridled lawlessness and pervasive lying with regard to EVERYTHING by the American government. All of this and more, has brought home to me the seriousness of this moment that we are living now.
I have the obligation to safeguard my own liberty and safety. It is clear to me that politically I am freer and safer in Ecuador than in the USSA. The American government has taken a hard, dictatorial turn towards neo-fascism. That is the plain truth. The harsh, repressive treatment of Edward Snowden and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning makes that clear enough. We are in altogether different territory now. And so I have petitioned for political refuge in Ecuador.
This also entails paying an attorney, to assist me in my interactions with the administrative, legal and political system in Ecuador. It is my life on the line and I am proceeding very carefully, every step of the way.
But it is also your life on the line, in that my anti-nuclear activism, my immersion in the Amazonian culture, and my pursuit of political refuge in Ecuador all have profound implications far beyond just me. What happens to me also has broad implications for you. The consequences of nuclear war are too horrific to contemplate, and if it is to be avoided, it is because of actions such as mine. Similarly, we simply cannot afford to lose the Amazon, and yet we are losing it right now. If we are to save it, a big part of that will be due to the personal efforts of those who come to the region and get personally involved in the nitty-gritty, even life-threatening struggle for the soul of the Amazon, because more than anything, we are involved in a pitched battle for the very spirit and soul of the Amazon and of the rest of this planet.
Similarly, if I, with my history of activism, book writing, researching, blogging, public speaking, interviews, and repeated nonviolent civil disobedience and consequent jail record, cannot obtain political refuge abroad, then what hope do you have? You’re boxed in, that’s what. You’re in a cage with no exit.
And so, if you cannot or have not done the things that I and others like myself have done and are doing, then can you please, will you at least please support us?
I desperately need your support now. My legal fees run to thousands of dollars, and my therapy is ongoing. I appreciate and really need your generosity. Please communicate with me at: email@example.com or via Skype at richard.sauder333 as to how to donate.
Come Ye That Love The Lord
I am a native Virginian, and have lived, worked, traveled, studied and gone to jail all over the American South, from the Virginias and Maryland, all the way across to South Texas, and numerous points in between. A very large block of my life has been spent down South. Although I am not now a church attending man, I have in the past been in all kinds of Christian churches, both Black and White, in big cities and small country towns.
Some of the most memorable sermons I have ever heard have been by Black pastors in rural areas of the deep South. One of the things I like about the traditional Black style of hymn singing down South is the way that the head deacon or pastor will frequently line out a hymn, especially the first line or two of a verse, and then the other deacons or members of the choir will join in, accompanied by riffs on the organ, if there is an organist, and there are some really gifted organists playing in southern Black churches.
I well remember a sermon that I once chanced to hear, decades ago, by a Black lay preacher, one sultry, Sunday night, in a tiny little town way down South, about as far south as you can go, and still be in the South and not somewhere else. The ceiling fans lazily stirred the muggy summer air, as the moths flitted vainly around the naked incandescent light bulbs hanging from the ceiling overhead. The windows were flung wide open and the pale light from the sanctuary washed feebly out through the rusted screens and flooded onto the close cropped lawn that surrounded the church. It was one of the most extraordinary public speaking performances I ever witnessed. The preacher used as his text Ezekiel 37, the theme being dry bones and systematically connecting them one to the other, the purpose being to reassemble and restore “them dry bones” to life. As he spoke, I saw that he fell into a trance, that he entered another state of consciousness, that he was self-hypnotized and that the sermon itself had a sort of existence independent of him, that the message took on a life of its own and was using his mind, his mouth, his body, to project itself into the ears, hearts and minds of the sparse assemblage present that evening. As he finished, he collapsed exhausted backwards into his armchair and lined out the first words of the hymn that he wanted the choir to sing. I don’t anymore remember exactly what song he called for, but it could well have been this: Come Ye That Love The Lord
If there is to truly be a new world order, as distinct from the obscene power that currently holds sway on this planet today, then we will need to see a completely new order of human being on this world, a species of human being motivated by love for the Creator and by devotion to inward and outward service to the sacred life impulse. We don’t see that now, and the human species may go extinct on this planet for its want.
I do believe in God and have been profoundly privileged to see some of His servants face to face. I find their company congenial.
Come, ye that love the Lord,
And let your joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.
Let those refuse to sing
That never knew our God,
But children of the heavenly King
May speak their joys abroad.
The God of heaven is ours,
Our Father and our love ;
His care shall guard life’s fleeting hours,
Then waft our souls above.
There shall we see his face,
And never, never sin;
There, from the rivers of his grace,
Drink endless pleasures in.
Yes, and before we rise
To that immortal state.
The thoughts of such amazing bliss
Should constant joys create.
Children of grace have found
Glory begun below:
Celestial fruits on earthly ground,
From faith and hope may grow.
The hill of Sion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.
Then let our songs abound,
And ev’ry tear be dry;
We’re trav’lling through Immanuel’s ground,
To fairer worlds on high.
(John Wesley, ca. 1703- 1791)
Source: Richard Sauder | Event Horizon Chronicle
On 28 November 1953, at 2 am, a man crashed through a closed window and fell to his death from the 10th floor of the Statler Hotel in New York City. He was identified as Frank Olson, a bacteriologist with the US Army Research Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He had fallen from a room he shared with another scientist, Robert Lashbrook. It was ruled a suicide.
Twenty-two years later, in 1975, William Colby, then CIA director, declassified documents that changed the complexion of the case. It was revealed that Olson had actually been an undercover CIA operative at Fort Detrick, and that one week prior to his death, he had been drinking Cointreau at a high-level meeting with scientists at Deep Creek Lodge in rural Maryland. The Cointreau was laced with a large dose of LSD administered by his CIA boss, Sidney Gottlieb. He was then sent to New York with Lashbrook, also with the CIA, to see a psychiatrist because the LSD had induced a psychosis.
It was also revealed that Olson had been part of the top secret CIA program that was known as Project MK-ULTRA, exploring the use of chemicals and drugs for purposes of mind control, and bacteriological agents for covert assassination. Olson had been working on ways to deliver anthrax in aerosol form, for use as a weapon. New evidence that came to light, through the persistent efforts of Olson’s son Eric, made the suicide ruling highly suspect.
It turned out that Olson had been labelled a security risk by British intelligence after getting upset witnessing human experimentation on a trip to Frankfurt, Germany the previous summer. Eric Olson now believes that his father was drugged and then murdered to make sure that he didn’t reveal the secrets of the MK-ULTRA project. Following the 1975 revelations, the government must have felt more than a little guilt about the affair because Olson’s family was given a 17 minute audience with US President Ford, who apologised to them, and they were awarded damages in the amount of $750,000.
Controlling Human Behaviour
The MK-ULTRA program was instituted on 13 April 1953 by CIA Director Allen Dulles, ostensibly to counter the brainwashing techniques of American prisoners being held by the North Koreans during the Korean War, and to duplicate those techniques on enemy prisoners, i.e. the creation of “Manchurian Candidates.” This was the claim used to obtain funding for the project. However, the Prisoner of War brainwashing program was just the tip of the iceberg, and the CIA-sponsored experiments ventured far and wide into areas of Mind Control under the aegis of MK-ULTRA that had little or nothing to do with methods of interrogation.
The Colby revelations were part of a sweeping investigation of the CIA in January 1975 by the “Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States,” chaired by Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller. The subsequent June 1975 Report to the President said: “The drug program was part of a much larger CIA program to study possible means for controlling human behaviour. Other studies explored the effects of radiation, electric-shock, psychology, psychiatry, sociology and harassment substances.”
Even though the program got off to a rocky start with the Olson affair, it recovered quickly and became an umbrella project with 149 sub-projects. The overall guiding principal was succinctly stated in an internal CIA memo dated January 1952: “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature such as self-preservation?”
The drug program came under the aegis of the Chemical Division of the Technical Services Staff headed up by Sidney Gottlieb from 1951 to 1956. Gottlieb was a highly intelligent eccentric who drank goat’s milk, enjoyed folk-dancing, and raised Christmas trees on his farm outside Washington.
The Agency funded LSD research programs at major medical centres and universities including Boston Psychopathic, Mt. Sinai Hospital at Columbia University, University of Illinois Medical School, University of Oklahoma and others. The funding was carried out secretly through the Josiah Macy Foundation, and the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research in Washington, D.C. The CIA claimed the secrecy was necessary to keep it from the Russians, but we have already seen that it was part of much larger project to learn how to control human behaviour in general, so this is not credible.
Gottlieb told Dr. Harold Abramson at Mt. Sinai (who just happened to be the psychiatrist that Olson was supposed to see!) that he wanted “operationally pertinent materials [about]: a. Disturbance of Memory; b. Discrediting by Aberrant Behaviour; c. Alteration of Sex Patterns; d. Eliciting of Information; e. Suggestibility; f. Creation of Dependence.” That sounds like pretty deep stuff for the spy game. They were really afraid of public reaction and congressional condemnation, especially since the CIA charter did not allow domestic operations, and certainly prohibited experimentation on US citizens.
The callousness of the research is best exemplified by the CIA-funded work of Dr. Harris Isbell, the Director of the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The drug addict hospital inmates, who were mostly black, were encouraged to volunteer for LSD research in return for hard drugs of their choice or time off their sentences. In most cases, they were given pure morphine or heroin. At one point Isbell kept seven men on LSD for 77 straight days. Many others were on it for up to 42 days.
Concerning extended LSD usage, John Marks in his landmark book The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control says about writer Hunter S. Thompson (recently deceased) that he “frightened his readers with accounts of drug (LSD) binges lasting a few days, during which Thompson felt his brain boiling away in the sun, his nerves wrapping around enormous barbed wire forts, and his remaining faculties reduced to their reptilian antecedents.” The recent movie The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, based on the autobiographical book by Hunter S. Thompson, presents an imaginative re-enactment of his LSD adventures.
The CIA Turns On the Counter-Culture
Not satisfied with university research, Gottlieb recruited New York narcotics agent George White to distribute LSD surreptitiously to the “borderline underworld.” Operating through safe houses in Greenwich Village, Haight-Ashbury and Marin County, White gave doses to prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts and other “marginal people” and then observed the results and reported to Gottlieb.
John Marks says they were people “who would be powerless to seek any sort of revenge if they ever found out what the CIA had done to them. In addition to their being unlikely whistle-blowers, such people lived in a world where an unwitting dose of some drug… was an occupational hazard anyway.”
Eventually, White started using it randomly all over New York and San Francisco. Regarding the results, Marks says, “The MKULTRA scientists reaped little but disaster, mischief, and disappointment from their efforts to use LSD as a miracle weapon against the minds of their opponents.” Yet, they continued this program for 10 years until 1963.
Ironically, since the CIA had pretty much cornered the market on LSD internationally, buying up all the product of Sandoz and Eli Lilly, the spread of the drug to the counter-culture was through the Agency.Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsburg and Tom Wolfe were first “turned on” thanks to the CIA, and that’s how the “flower children” became psychedelic.
But, the LSD experiments may have been more successful than Marks realised. They were carefully noting the precise effects on brain chemistry, and in the six areas that Gottlieb was concerned with: memory disturbance, aberrant behaviour, altered sexual patterns, eliciting information, suggestibility and creation of dependence. This became evident when they started using LSD as an adjunct in hypnotic and electronic experiments.
Re-Patterning the Brain
Perhaps the most notorious and nefarious MK-ULTRA sub-project was carried out at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, Canada under the directorship of Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron, an American from Albany, New York. Cameron had trained at the Royal Mental Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, under eugenicist Sir David Henderson, and founded the Canadian branch of the World Federation for Mental Health. At various times, he was elected president of the Canadian, American, and World psychiatric associations. In other words, Cameron was no renegade but had the full faith and endorsement of the world psychiatric establishment.
The CIA wanted Cameron to “depattern” the contents of the brain to make it receptive to new patterning. David Remnick in a Washington Post article on 28 July 1985 said:
“The…. heart of the laboratory was the Grid Room…. The subject was strapped into a chair involuntarily, by force, his head bristling with electrodes and transducers. Any resistance was met with a paralysing dose of curare. The subject’s brainwaves were beamed to a nearby reception room crammed with voice analysers, a wire recorder and radio receivers cobbled together… The systematic annihilation or ‘depatterning’ of a subject’s mind and memory was accomplished with overdoses of LSD, barbiturate sleep for 65 days at a stretch and ECT shocks at 75 times the recommended dosage. Psychic driving, the repetition of a recorded message for 16 hours a day, programmed the empty mind. Fragile patients referred to Allan Memorial for help were thus turned into carbuncular jellyfish.”
Anton Chaitkin in his essay, ‘British Psychiatry: From Eugenics to Assassination’, says:
“Patients lost all or part of their memories, and some lost the ability to control their bodily functions and to speak. At least one patient was reduced almost to a vegetable; then Cameron had the cognitive centres of her brain surgically cut apart, while keeping her alive. Some subjects were deposited permanently in institutions for the hopelessly insane.”
The CIA funded these horrors through a front called “The Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology.” Other supporters of the Allan Institute were the Rockefeller Foundation, the Geschickter Foundation, and the Canadian government.
About Cameron’s work, Wikipedia says: “Naomi Klein states, in her book The Shock Doctrine, that Cameron’s research and his contribution to the MKUltra project was actually not about mind control and brainwashing, but ‘to design a scientifically based system for extracting information from “resistant sources.” In other words, torture’. And citing a book from Alfred W. McCoy it further says that ‘Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Cameron’s experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb’s earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA’s two-stage psychological torture method’.” This method was codified in the infamous “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual” published by the CIA in July 1963, and in the Human Resources Exploitation Training Manual – 1983 that was used in CIA training courses in Latin American countries up until 1987. These manuals describe methods of psychological torture, far more potent than physical torture, to elicit information from “resistant sources.”
An Orwellian Nightmare
As one would expect, the technologies now available to the mind-controllers have zoomed off the chart to the point where George Orwell’s world of omni-surveillance now seems almost quaint. Of course, it is true that 1984 was 28 years ago. But even as far back as 1970, US congressman James Scheur was able to say:
“As a result of spinoffs from medical, military aerospace and industrial research, we are now in the process of developing devices and products capable of controlling violent mobs without injury. We can tranquillise, impede, immobilise, harass, shock, upset, stupefy, nauseate, chill, temporarily blind, deafen or just plain scare the wits out of anyone the police have a proper need to control and restrain.”
A brief survey of some of the scariest products known to be in the arsenal of the secretive alphabet agencies arrayed against John Q. Public are such devices as the Neurophone, patented by Dr. Patrick Flanagan in 1968. It converts sound to electrical impulses which can be delivered from satellites. When aimed at individuals, the impulses travel directly to the brain where the sounds are re-assembled and appear to be voices inside the head, which can be perceived as coming from God, or telepathic aliens, or whatever. Or the sounds can come out of a turned-off TV or radio. Through software, the device can mimic anyone’s voice and translate into any language.
It is believed that the CIA, DIA, NSA et al use the Neurophone to deliver threats and propaganda to selected targets, or just to torment someone they don’t like. One can imagine the possibilities. Could this explain some of the killings by “psychopaths” who say they were instructed by God, such as Mark David Chapman, David Berkowitz, or Sirhan Sirhan? If they had been previously evaluated through sophisticated personality assessments and groomed by LSD or hypnosis, such voices could easily tip the balance and convince them to kill.
We’ve all heard about the “Thought Police” and laughed because it seemed so implausible. Well, the joke is on us. Brain scanning technology is now well-advanced. In 1974, Lawrence Pinneo, a neurophysiologist and electronic engineer with the Stanford Research Institute succeeded in correlating brain wave patterns from EEGs with specific words. In 1994, the brain wave patterns of 40 subjects were officially correlated with both spoken words and silent thought at the University of Missouri. It is believed that US intelligence agencies now have a brain wave vocabulary of over 60,000 words in most common languages.
Brain waves constitute a magnetic field around the head (the aura), each person having a unique, identifiable electromagnetic signature which becomes visible through Kirlian photography, and these fields can be monitored by satellites. The translated results are then fed back to ground-side super computers at speeds of up to 20 gigabytes/second. Neurophone messages can then be beamed to selected individuals based on their thoughts. It is believed that about one million people around the globe are now monitored on a regular basis. As these numbers increase, as they certainly will, to include most educated and important people in the world, the New World Order will definitely have arrived.
As Australian writer Paul Baird has observed, “no-one will ever be able to even think about expressing an opinion contrary to those forced on us by the New World Order. There will literally be no intellectual property that cannot be stolen, no writing that cannot be censored, no thought that cannot be suppressed (by the most oppressive/invasive means).” Baird also claims that ex-military/intelligence whistle-blowers have reported that experiments in controlling voters with these techniques have been tried in several foreign countries. So much for democracy.
Other technologies, such as microwave bombardment to confuse and disorient field personnel, microchip implantation, silently delivered acoustical subliminal messages, widespread population control through psychiatric drugs, and extreme close-up satellite-based viewing able to read documents indoors, are all well-developed and in use by military and intelligence agencies. This doesn’t even address the monitoring of overt spoken and written material. Under Project ECHELON, the NSA monitors every call, fax, e-mail and computer data message in and out of the US, Canada and several other countries. Their computers then search for key words and phrases. Anything or anyone of interest draws the attention of agency operatives, who can then commence surveillance operations by the NSA or other intelligence agencies.
We conclude with a chilling vision of the future from the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. It is from New World Vistas of Air and Space Power for the 21st Century.
“Prior to the mid-21st century, there will be a virtual explosion of knowledge in the field of neuroscience. We will have achieved a clear understanding of how the human brain works, how it really controls the various functions of the body, and how it can be manipulated (both positively and negatively). One can envision the development of electromagnetic energy sources, the output of which can be pulsed, shaped, and focused, that can couple with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements, control emotions (and thus actions), produce sleep, transmit suggestions, interfere with both short-term and long-term memory, produce an experience set, and delete an experience set. This will open the door for the development of some novel capabilities that can be used in armed conflict, in terrorist/hostage situations, and in training…”
And based on the past clandestine abuses of MK-ULTRA reviewed above, one can predict with relative certainty that these capabilities will be used on civilians, with or without their knowledge or acquiescence, in the service of the New World Order.
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About the Author
LEN KASTEN has been involved in metaphysical and UFO/ET studies, research and writing for over thirty years. A graduate of Cornell University, he is a former member of NICAP and MUFON. He has written over fifty published articles for Atlantis Rising magazine. His book,The Secret History of Extraterrestrials, published by Inner Traditions, went to number sixteen on the publisher’s Top Fifty list, in four months.
The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 6 No 3.
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Charity is wonderful, and I’ll be the first to say we have an obligation to share our gifts, be they material, intellectual or talent oriented. Yet whether our redistributionist endeavor is charity — and charity is voluntary redistribution — or the less noble, coercive, outsourcing of charity known as government programs, there first must be wealth to redistribute. But where does wealth come from?
If we go back to biblical times and beyond, a man might be considered wealthy if he had 70 goats. In point of fact, the standard for wealth was so different that the US’s average middle-class person today — with his car, TVs, computer, refrigerator and many other luxuries — would have been considered wealthy for most of history. And our average “poor” man, who also usually has an old car and various creature comforts, likewise has a material lifestyle that would have been the envy of our forebears. The reason for this is simple: there is far, far more wealth in the world now than in ages past.
The first lesson this teaches is that wealth can be created. This happens when people find more efficient ways of raising livestock (so 70 goats becomes small potatoes) and growing crops, and when they extract raw materials from the Earth and use them to create the manifold necessities and luxuries we enjoy. In a word, it happens when people produce, which is why economists and businessmen will measure productivity. And how will people be encouraged to produce?
They must have an incentive, and this is where the profit motive comes into play. Ah, the much maligned profit motive. Let’s talk about that.
There are two extremes with respect to the profit motive. One is typified by some libertarian Ayn Rand acolytes who seem to treat it as the highest motivation; the other is far more prevalent today and is represented by another brand of “libs,” people who behave as if profit is something dirty (at least other people’s profit, anyway). But the balanced view is a bit different.
There is another kind of incentive. In America’s early Christian communes, for instance, residents’ belief that they were doing God’s will — and perhaps winning His favor — served as a great incentive to be productive; thus did the communal Oneida Colony create renowned flatware. And, truth be known, there’d be no need for profit if we lived in a sinless world, for there would be neither covetousness nor laziness. If there was an unfulfilled need — paper products, for example — people would readily volunteer to create them simply to serve others, and no one would be wasteful or undermine the system by taking more of anything than he needed. But in a sinless world we wouldn’t need a military, police or prisons, either.
Sane people live in the real world, however, where different rules apply. One of them is that since the spiritual/moral motive is the highest reason to serve your fellow man, it is also the rarest. And because of this, it cannot be relied upon to motivate people at the level of population. Enter the profit motive. To paraphrase economist Walter Williams, profit encourages your fellow man to serve you even if he doesn’t give a darn about you. After all, Domino’s didn’t start making pizza to relieve hunger; Ivory doesn’t make soap because “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” To have your needs and wants satisfied, would you rather rely on the charity of your fellow man or his profit-driven self-interest? For the answer, just look at all the wonders of science and medicine, all the luxuries around you, and ponder what percentage of them were created based on charitable motives versus the profit motive. Again, charity is wonderful — but it’s also relatively rare.
Of course, we should all strive to make it less rare in ourselves. But the lesson here is this: to minimize the profit motive personally is virtuous; to minimize it in public policy is vice. The motivation to serve others for a higher reason must come from within; a bureaucrat can decide to eliminate the profit motive via regulation, but he cannot replace it in the hearts and minds of the people with a more ethereal purpose. And this should be very easy for the bureaucrat to understand. Would he — or anyone else who sneers at profit — do his job for free? Precious few of us would. In fact, research has shown that those who protest the profit motive most are most driven by it (the likely explanation? Projection).
In fact, unnecessarily reducing the profit motive in civilization is evil. This is because productivity in a nation — which means wealth creation — will generally (at least) be proportional to the degree of profit to be had. Thus, a person who institutes unjust profit-reducers such as excessive taxes and regulations is a policy poverty pimp who can literally rob his society of billions in prosperity. A thief in an alley is less to be feared.
The fact that wealth is created teaches other lessons as well. For example, class-warfare demagogues encourage the notion that the poor have less because the rich have more. But unless the wealth has been stolen (which does happen; e.g., Bernie Madoff), this is utter nonsense. Consider: would it have made even one poor person richer if Microsoft’s Bill Gates hadn’t pursued his dreams and made his billions? It would in fact have made people poorer, as we wouldn’t have the jobs and productivity-enhancing products he created.
So how can nations become as prosperous as the culture and character of their people allow? There must be a powerful profit motive so that people produce as much wealth as possible. And there is a prerequisite for this: great economic freedom (most still call this “capitalism,” a grave mistake because the term was originated by socialists).
How important is this factor? In “Self-Inflicted Poverty,” Dr. Walter Williams points out that there is an extremely strong correlation between a nation’s level of economic freedom and its level of prosperity. He asks “Why is it that Egyptians do well in the U.S. but not Egypt?” After pointing out that the same could be said of others from poor nations who immigrate to the US, he points out that Egyptians are smothered with regulations and corruption. Providing one damning example, he writes, “To get legal title to a vacant piece of land would take more than 10 years of dealing with red tape. To do business in Egypt, an aspiring poor entrepreneur would have to deal with 56 government agencies and repetitive government inspections.” The result is that Egypt’s mummies have more life than its economy.
Given how important economic freedom is, we should note how it’s lost: through lack of appreciation. After all, cease to value something, and you may not preserve it — demonize it enough, and you’ll surely destroy it.
When appearing on a radio show some years ago on the heels of the financial crisis, the first question the host asked me was why economic freedom (she said “capitalism”) had failed. Her attitude was a staggering tribute to a lack of perspective, a spirit of entitlement and the tendency to count curses and not blessings.
Just walk into any American supermarket with the thousands of products from the world over available at affordable prices, and tell me economic freedom has failed. In fact, our whole modern world is a tribute to economic freedom. And what of the financial crisis? Well, people will talk about how it destroyed so many trillion dollars of wealth and place the blame on economic freedom. But remember the time when 70 goats made you wealthy? We only had trillions of dollars of wealth that could be destroyed to begin with because of economic freedom! In fact, economic freedom has provided a climate for such tremendous wealth creation that the trillions lost still represented only a small percentage of all the wealth in existence. Our “failure” is history’s raging success.
The problem here is that people tend to take what they have for granted and view wealth in relative terms. But returning to what I said about the poor, historically, being so meant that you didn’t have shoes on your feet or food on the table (if you had a table). In America today it generally means you have an older car, a TV, refrigerator, air conditioning and a host of other luxuries. The reality? Our government’s “poverty line” is a political ploy. In an absolute sense, there is very, very little poverty in the US — because of economic freedom.
Our great discoveries, inventions and innovations were not made by bureaucrats, nor generally at their direction. And while I encourage and support the charitable endeavors of my Catholic Church (the world’s largest private provider of aid to the poor), even its efforts to end poverty pale in comparison to economic freedom’s triumphs. This is no slight. Economic freedom unleashes the creative capacities of the common man, from border to border, transforming the populace into an army of wealth creators. And nothing can compete with that.
Without creation, there can be no distribution.