on the altar of democracy
This site is to seek the truth
It is also an outlet for
people who want to scream
but can only laugh....and voice their opinion!!!
He gave us the bird
Now we are giving him his
Bush Pushes Persian Gulf Nuclear Agreement
Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor: "The Bush administration is quietly advancing a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), raising concerns in Congress and among nonproliferation experts about the deal's repercussions in a volatile region. The deal to provide the small but strategically located country with the means to generate electricity through nuclear technology could be signed by President Bush before he leaves office, thus making the accord - similar to the much higherprofile nuclear pact the administration reached with India - part of his legacy."
Bush Emails May Be Secret a Bit Longer
R. Jeffrey Smith, The Washington Post: "The required transfer in four weeks of all of the Bush White House's electronic mail messages and documents to the National Archives has been imperiled by a combination of technical glitches, lawsuits and lagging computer forensic work, according to government officials, historians and lawyers. Federal law requires outgoing White House officials to provide the Archives copies of their records, a cache estimated at more than 300 million messages and 25,000 boxes of documents depicting some of the most sensitive policymaking of the past eight years."
Iraqi Sunnis Embrace Shiite Reporter Who Threw Shoes at Bush
Sahar Issa, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush intends to press charges against the people who he says beat him as he was taken into custody, said a member of the Iraqi parliament who's urging his release. Bahaa al Araji , a member of parliament from a party tied to Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr, said journalist Muntathar al Zaidi earlier on Friday had presented his case that he was beaten to an Iraqi judge."
Mike Connell was reportedly warned of sabotage before his plane crashed 12-24-2008: Reported by Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now
"A top Republican Internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio has died in a plane crash. Mike Connell was the chief IT consultant to Karl Rove and created websites for the Bush and McCain electoral campaigns. He also set up the official Ohio state election website reporting the 2004 presidential election returns. Connell was reportedly an experienced pilot. He died instantly Friday night when his private plane crashed in a residential neighborhood near Akron, Ohio."
Call For War Profiteering Investigations!
Ask Congress to Investigate the monies
acquired by Cheney and Bush in regards
to Iraq war contracts and lost funding.
Call on Congress to end torture!
Water boarding etc.is torture
Tell Congress that torture is un-American
and we won't tolerate it being used.
Just before leaving office, the Bush Administration approved new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for radiation releases that dramatically weaken public protections. In particular, the new PAGs would permit radioactivity in drinking water hundreds to millions of times higher than longstanding EPA standards.
The PAGs weren't able to published in the Federal Register before Inauguration, but unless the new Obama Administration pulls them back immediately, they could be published in the next few days.
The Order issued by the White House Tuesday to suspend all rulemaking activities until the new Administration can review them might be interpreted by Bush holdovers at EPA as strictly only covering formal rulemaking. In order to avoid rulemaking legal requirements, the Bush Administration issued these new standards as Protective Action Guides instead. So it is critical to get EPA to immediately pull the PAGs back from the Federal Register.
Please call the EPA Administrator's office at 202-564-4700 today and leave a message, asking that the Radiation Protective Action Guides be withdrawn immediately from publication in the Federal Register.
Memos from Cheney point to his authorization of waterboarding/torture.
If history gets this recent era right, future textbooks will have to show that the US narrowly averted a carefully planned but thorough and unmistakable conspiracy to subvert the rule of law and the process of democracy from 2001-2008. For three years, since writing End of America, I have been arguing that the Bush team sought irretrievably to subvert our liberty. Fortunately, this appalling and conceivably irrevocable subversion of the tenets of freedom was narrowly averted by citizens at every level -- from the grassroots to the courts -- resisting in time. But the release this week by the Justice Department of the "secret memos" sought valiantly by the ACLU confirms that Bush's legal architects were building up the framework for something even scarier than our most anguished projections.
You can see the documents themselves online -- but, as usual, there is a gap between the cautious journalistic interpretation of the event and the dense legalese in which they are written, and no one yet has really explained to citizens who are not attorneys what these memos claimed to give Bush the right to do. This is my initial reading of these documents:
Most dramatically, one memo asserts that Bush can deploy the military within the United States -- all of the military if he so wishes -- overriding Posse Comitatus, which has kept us safe from military policing for over a century. As many heard me warn in October and November of last year, when the first troops were sent to US streets, history shows that once the military is deployed domestically to "keep order" in a civil society, it is over. This memo is especially galling, since last fall's red alert from us was met with alarm by citizens but by ridicule by mainstream media outlets. Turns out we were right. This `deployment' memo proves that Bush indeed, as we feared, wanted the power to deploy military for domestic policing purposes, a mission that Northcom spokesmen denied -- apparently falsely -- when a few critics from non-mainstream platforms raised the alarm last November about the deployment of the First Brigade from Iraq to the US. This memo shows that Bush sought the power to deploy any number of U.S. military into the U.S. itself for any reason he chose; direct them to rip through your home without a warrant, even if you have not been charged with anything; seize material and documents; and even gave Bush the power to use deadly force against you -- yes, you, innocent US citizen -- "in self-defense." In your homes and streets -- not on a faraway battlefield. Major David Antoon confirmed that this power -- to send US military to control, arrest and even shoot US civilians in self-defense -- was in Bush's hands last fall when I asked Antoon about it. Turns out this memo shows Bush indeed wanted to have that power.
Another memo would give the power to Bush -- at his discretion -- to close down or censor newspapers, radio and the Internet - override the First Amendment in the interest of "national security." So if he had deployed, say, ten brigades -- 37,000 warriors -- in key cities (he deployed three before the election and 20,000 are due to be deployed domestically by 2012 unless we stop it), you would not be able to hear about it through the news media if he invoked this power to suspend free speech. And if you protested -- if you dared -- well, his actions would have been -- thanks to John Yoo and others, who will go down in history along with the criminal Nuremberg lawyers as one of Satan's willing attorneys -- perfectly legal.
Yet another memo gives Bush not only the right to call any US citizen an "enemy combatant" and hold him or her indefinitely - a danger we knew about, and one that we have tried hard to alert citizens to, a warning that has seemingly penetrated collective consciousness. The newly released memo demonstrates that was the very surface of the powers over US citizens Bush claimed. For three years when I have cautioned citizens about this power Bush invoked to seize US citizens as "enemy combatants" I reassured them that he did not yet have the power to torture US citizens, "only" drive them mad through prolonged isolation in a navy brig. Well, this memo asserts Bush's right to do whatever he wants to innocent US citizens in this kind of custody, and rejects the notion that Congress would have any role in how US citizens are held or treated -- say, by the hypothetically deployed military - on US soil. It seems also to claim the right to hold innocent US citizens in domestic military custody while Bush has the right to do anything he wants to them. Anything he wants. Remember this is an administration in which Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Cheney have now been proven by Jameel Jaffer's revelations in Administration of Torture to have known about and okay'd not just waterboarding as a policy but ok'd the discretion for interrogators to use tactics such as electrodes attached to genitals, sexual assault, threats against family members, suffocation, the beating of prisoners' legs to "pulp," and in some cases the covering up of their murders. This memo gives Bush the authority to do those things if he wants to innocent US citizens.
Still another memo gives Bush the right to ignore any international treaties -- to take over any country, say, or render and citizen anywhere, and do whatever he wants to the citizens of any country against any law, without consent of Congress.
The Washington Post called these memos "legal errors." We need to stare them in the face and understand them: they are evidence that the groundwork was laid out that gave the president the legal power effectively subvert the Republic. We need to understand the full darkness of what we narrowly escaped -- for now, our work is hardly begun. We need to build these lessons into our history and to use the terror they represent to dismantle the last of Bush's evil legacy -- a legacy that could have been activated by any US president in the future, including Obama or McCain -- and see these memos for what they are: the revealed architecture of an intended edifice of what amounts to treason again our republic and against all of us, regardless of belief, station of life, or political party.
CHENEY LOVES GITMO**
In 2009, Cheney has been buzzing around like a rabid hornet exclaiming how he wants Gitmo kept open. Nuke Gingrich and his fellow ops have been following suit.
Why do they think it takes torture to maintain a free world? What about good old fashioned honesty and intelligence. What about an end of war profiteering? What about diplomacy? What about learning to create a peaceful world by living in a peaceful way?
Will Cheney et al continue their bashing of the ELECTED* Obama until they have murdered all the audacity of hope Obama is bringing????
*Thanks to everyone who voted in 2008. It had been a long time since a free election!!
** Give Cheney his own medicine! Waterboard him!!!!
With hasty stroke of a pen, Bush DOE transferred billions of dollars in radioactive waste liability onto taxpayers
Background: Between November 4, 2008 (the day Barack Obama was elected President) and January 22, 2009 (two days after he took the Oath of Office), the George W. Bush administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) hurriedly signed new irradiated nuclear fuel contracts with utilities proposing 21 new atomic reactors. This obligates U.S. taxpayers to ultimate financial liability for breach of contract damages if DOE fails to take possession of these estimated 21,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste by ten years after the new reactors’ licenses terminate. DOE signed these contracts despite the fact that it has already cost taxpayers $565 million in damages for past breached contacts involving old radioactive waste at commercial reactors, with $790 million more soon to be transferred from the U.S. Treasury to atomic utilities. In fact, DOE estimates that by 2020, taxpayers will have paid $12.3 billion in damages to nuclear utilities for waste contract breaches, while the nuclear industry itself estimates the ultimate taxpayer damage awards will top $50 billion. These new contracts will only add to that crushing burden.
Our View: President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu have wisely canceled the geologically unsuitable Yucca Mountain, Nevada dumpsite for high-level radioactive wastes. This is not only a tremendous victory for sound science and environmental protection, but also for environmental justice – Yucca belongs to the Western Shoshone Indian Nation, as recognized by treaty rights. There is already enough commercial waste to have filled Yucca to its legal limit, 63,000 metric tons. Old reactors are predicted to generate another 42,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste in decades to come; the 21 proposed new reactors will generate enough additional waste to fill a second Yucca Mountain-sized repository to its legal limit. Secretary Chu’s blue ribbon commission on radioactive waste begins deliberations on March 25th about what to do now that Yucca has been canceled. Environmental groups across the country agree that, as an interim measure, wastes must be safeguarded against accidents and leakage, as well as fortified against terrorist attacks, at the reactors that generated them in the first place. 170 groups representing every single state in the country have signed updated “Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors,” calling for hardened on-site storage and expressing united opposition to dirty, dangerous, and expensive reprocessing.
What You Can Do: Beyond Nuclear has helped break this major news story. See the media release, backgrounder on new waste disposal contracts (authored by Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps), Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors, and the new contracts themselves. Then Call the White House (202-456-1111) and DOE (202-586-6210) to thank President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu for their wise decision to cancel the scientifically, legally, and morally flawed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dumpsite once and for all. Urge them to require hardened on-site storage as an interim measure, and to oppose reprocessing.
Citizen petition seeks to prevent another Three Mile Island nuclear accident
Background: On March 28, 1979, the United States of America experienced what was thought to be an inconceivable event when the Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania had a nuclear meltdown. The nuclear industry and its champions still insist that there have been no human health consequences from the accident despite convincing evidence to the contrary. Two compelling commemorative presentations on the TMI accident and its consequences can be viewed on the Three Mile Island Alert website. However, current industry practice and the lack of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) oversight are setting the stage for the next core melt accident at any one of the 104 reactors operating in the United States by selectively cherry picking through experimental test data that otherwise points to less than adequate safety margins for maintaining the first protective boundary against a catastrophic radiation release, the nuclear fuel rod cladding.
A citizen filed petition for rulemaking now before the NRC seeks to raise technical safety margins for old and new reactors alike against another accident. The formal petition raises the concern that the nuclear power industry does not now have adequate safety margins against the consequences of a Loss of Coolant Accident and similarly risks core melt accidents and potentially large radioactive releases worse than what occurred at TMI. The petition & abstract authored by Mark Edward Leyse focus on two critical and credible technical issues that regard such a Loss Of Coolant Accident at a US reactor: 1) the temperature at which these nuclear fuel rods must be maintained by emergency core cooling systems to prevent another meltdown and; 2) the rate at which emergency cooling water is introduced to re-flood the reactor vessel to cover the reactor core following a significant loss of reactor coolant. Current NRC regulations require that following a loss of coolant accident fuel cladding temperatures be maintained by emergency cooling systems to remain below 2200O Fahrenheit (F). This temperature is calculated by NRC and industry as an adequate safety margin against a core meltdown or “runaway oxidization.” Mr. Leyse argues that the NRC regulations need to be revised to lower the fuel cladding temperature (Peak Cladding Temperature) to at least 1800O F to maintain an adequate safety margin. Mr. Leyse has based his argument for the revised regulation of the fuel cladding temperature margin on extensive documentation of actual mock-up experiments including those sponsored by the NRC in 1985 that demonstrated that such a runaway oxidization of Zircaloy fuel cladding can occur at 2060OF, well below the current legal safety margin limit of 2200O F. The experiment demonstrated that once the fuel cladding temperature exceeds 2060O F runaway oxidation can occur and within less than 60 seconds increase to 3000O F, the melting point of the cladding material. The Leyse’s petition for rulemaking also argues that NRC must also shorten the re-flood delay time and increase the re-flood rate within the reactor vessel to recover the core with water before a runaway fuel melt accident can initiate. The nuclear industry uses Zircaloy, an alloy of zirconium, as the cladding material for its uranium fuel rod assemblies. If ignited in a nuclear accident, the Zircaloy fuel cladding will burn in an intensely hot flare-like reaction and in a water/steam rich environment generate explosive hydrogen gas that can detonate and endanger a nuclear reactor containment structure and downwind communities. In fact, this is what happened during the Three Mile Island accident as expertly explained by Arnie Gunderson in the above commemorative presentation.
Our View: The Leyse petition raises serious concerns that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry have selectively excluded multiple-rod severe fuel rod damage test experiments to arrive at their calculated “conservative” safety margins. Leyse likens the NRC/industry action and result to “studying a burning match to predict what would occur in a forest fire.” Not surprising. For decades, the nuclear power industry has prioritized raising the thermal energy and narrowing safety margins in its reactors to build more steam and more power by as much as 18% to 20% in a process called “power uprate.” As such, the nuclear industry views the Leyse petition as a direct threat to these increased power levels at old reactors, higher projected power levels for new reactors and more profitable energy production margins.
What You Can Do: You can support the Mark Leyse petition (PRM- 50-93) by sending your comments in a letter or on a postcard to the Secretary, United States Nuclear Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff, or by email to Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov, or by FAX to 301-415-1677 by April 12, 2010. Be sure to include “PRM-50-93” on your comment.