Radiation 36,000 times permissible level found in water at Fukushima plant 03 Dec 2013 The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant said on Dec. 2 that it has detected radioactive materials that topped 36,000 times the permissible level in underground water extracted in the area. According to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), strontium-90 and other radioactive substances that emit beta rays were detected at a level of 1.1 million becquerels per liter in underground water pumped up from an observatory well on Nov. 28. The well is located at a sea bank east of the No. 2 reactor, about 40 meters from the ocean.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
BBC: Work at Fukushima Unit 4 a “distraction”; The “real nightmare” is coming from 3 molten cores — NYTimes: Melted fuel is “all over the place… First goal is simply to stop uncontrolled releases of radioactive material” (AUDIO)
Galen Mitrzyk of 911JusticeCampaign.org talks with James Corbett about the 9/11 Justice Campaign, its list of suspected co-conspirators in the crime of 9/11, and the effort to convene a common law Grand Jury to indict these suspects for their crimes. We discuss the campaign’s suspects, its aims, and the steps that are necessary in order to move the campaign forward.
December 7th, 2013
Via: Tico Times:
Former DEA El Paso boss: Agent Camarena had discovered the arms-for-drugs operation run on behalf of the Contras, aided by U.S. officials in the National Security Council and the CIA, and threatened to blow the whistle on the covert operation.
Two former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency contract pilot are claiming that the Reagan Administration was complicit in the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena at the hands of Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero.
The administration’s alleged effort to cover up a U.S. government relationship with the Mexican drug lord to provide for the arming and the training of Nicaraguan Contra rebels, at a time when official assistance to the Contras was banned by the congressional Boland Amendment, led to Camarena’s kidnap, torture and murder, according to Phil Jordon, former head of the DEA’s El Paso office, Hector Berrellez, the DEA’s lead investigator into Camarena’s kidnapping, torture and murder, and CIA contract pilot Robert “Tosh” Plumlee.
Camarena had discovered the arms-for-drugs operation run on behalf of the Contras, aided by U.S. officials in the National Security Council and the CIA, and threatened to blow the whistle on the covert operation, Jordan alleged.
Berrellez said two witnesses identified, from a photo lineup, two or three Cuban CIA operatives who participated in Camarena’s interrogation.
Plumlee said he and three other pilots ran tons of cocaine into U.S. military bases on return trips from delivering weapons to Contra rebels in Central America, and was warned by Camarena that he would be busted.
Research Credit: Dr. David Sabow
December 7th, 2013
Via: Aviation Week:
A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying—and it demonstrates a major advance in combining stealth and aerodynamic efficiency. Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (UAS), designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, is scheduled to enter production for the U.S. Air Force and could be operational by 2015.
Funded through the Air Force’s classified budget, the program to build this new UAS, dubbed the RQ-180, was awarded to Northrop Grumman after a competition that included Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft will conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed, and under wide debate, since retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1998.
Neither the Air Force nor Northrop Grumman would speak about the classified airplane. When queried about the project, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy said, “The Air Force does not discuss this program.”
The RQ-180 carries radio-frequency sensors such as active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and passive electronic surveillance measures, according to one defense official. It could also be capable of electronic attack missions.
This aircraft’s design is key for the shift of Air Force ISR assets away from “permissive” environments—such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where Northrop Grumman’s non-stealthy Global Hawk and General Atomics’ Reaper operate—and toward operations in “contested” or “denied” airspace. The new UAS underpins the Air Force’s determination to retire a version of the RQ-4B Global Hawk after 2014, despite congressional resistance. The RQ-180 eclipses the smaller, less stealthy and shorter-range RQ-170 Sentinel.
If the previous patterns for secret ISR aircraft operations are followed, the new UAV will be jointly controlled by the Air Force and the CIA, with the program managed by the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office and flight operations sustained by the Air Force. This arrangement has been used for the RQ-170, which is operated by the Air Force’s 30th Reconnaissance Sqdn., according to a fact sheet the Air Force released after one of the aircraft turned up in Iran (AW&ST Nov. 22, 2010, p. 28).
Northrop Grumman’s financial reports point to a possible award of a secret UAS contract in 2008, when the company disclosed a $2 billion increase in the backlog in its Integrated Systems division. This is the operating unit responsible for building the B-2 bomber, Global Hawk and Fire Scout UAS and X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator. This year, Northrop Grumman financial reports acknowledged that an unnamed aircraft program entered low-rate initial production, the Pentagon term for low-volume deliveries that begin as testing nears completion and before the program is approved for full production.
Beyond the financial disclosures, publicly available overhead imagery shows new shelters and hangars sized for an aircraft with a 130-ft.-plus wing span at Northrop’s Palmdale, Calif., plant and at Area 51, the Air Force’s secure flight-test center at Groom Lake, Nev.
The company also pushed for a substantial expansion of its Palmdale production facilities in 2010, perhaps to support work on the RQ-180.
December 6th, 2013
Whistleblowers and journalists in Japan could soon find themselves facing long spells in prison for divulging and reporting state secrets, possibly including sensitive information about the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the country’s souring relations with China.
Under a special state secrets bill expected to pass on Friday, public officials and private citizens who leak “special state secrets” face prison terms of up to 10 years, while journalists who seek to obtain the classified information could get up to five years.
Critics of the new law say it marks a return to the days of prewar and wartime Japanese militarism, when the state used the Peace Preservation Act to arrest and imprison political opponents.
“It is a threat to democracy,” said Keiichi Kiriyama, an editorial writer for the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, adding that the legislation would “have a chilling effect on public servants, who could become wary about giving the information” to journalists.
By Musa Okwonga
You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. “Let’s get together, and feel alright.” Yes, you will do that. Continue
By John Wight
The manner in which Nelson Mandela’s legacy is being misinterpreted and appropriated is an obscenity. Continue
“Arafat is a comrade in arms, and we treat him as such.” -Mandela (1990) Continue
Apartheid Did Not Die, presented by John Pilger, provides analysis of South Africa’s then new, democratic government. Continue
The Rise of the Machines
Military Biodefense Vaccine Project Begins –Information contained in 112-page report released in 2009, not previously published or shared with Congress 27 Nov 2013 An effort to produce its own vaccines and biodefense drugs has been started by the U.S. Defense Department, a government report says. Construction on a facility to create flu vaccines and specialized medicines to protect subject military personnel from to germ warfare agents began in Florida in late October, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday. The newspaper noted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is on track to spend billions of dollars to produce the same types of medicines in collaborations with universities and research institutions.
Hong Kong confirms second human H7N9 bird flu case in a week 06 Dec 2013 Hong Kong health authorities on Friday confirmed a new human case of the deadly H7N9 bird flu, the second case to come to light in less than five days. An 80-year-old man has been infected and is hospitalised in the southern Chinese city, Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection controller Leung Ting-hung told reporters at a press conference. Officials have started tracing the patient’s relatives both in Hong Kong and in Shenzhen, placing patients and healthcare workers who were in contact with the man at the hospital under “medical surveillance”.
By Andrew Gavin Marshall. Cross-posted from Occupy.com
The Group of Thirty (or G-30) describes itself as “a private, nonprofit, international body composed of very senior representatives of the private and public sectors and academia,” which “aims to deepen understanding of international economic and financial issues, to explore the international repercussions of decisions taken in the public and private sectors, and to examine the choices available to market practitioners and policymakers.”
Its membership consists of roughly thirty major figures in the global financial world, from central banks, academia, international institutions and major private financial institutions. These figures hold regular meetings, conduct research and produce highly-influential reports through various “working groups,” providing a forum for top policy makers and private sector market “actors” to meet and hold discussions, while helping shape consensus and give recommendations to policy makers on issues of finance and governance.
This institution, though not widely discussed, is enormously influential. And here’s why.
The history of the Group of Thirty goes back to the Rockefeller Foundation, which provided the organization’s initial funding. In its 1978 annual report, the Rockefeller Foundation – which represents the interests of highly centralized corporate and financial power – recalled that it was created in 1913 as a response to “the Populist assault on the massive concentration of wealth in the hands of few.” (Annual Report, 1978, Rockefeller Foundation.)
The 1978 report noted that a former managing director of the IMF, Johannes Witteveen, “agreed to assume the chairmanship of a Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs made up of leading bankers, officials, economists, and businessmen from the developed and developing world.” The objective of this group was, the report stated, was “to help analyze, through scholarly inquiry and international consultations, some of the vexing economic and monetary problems facing the world today, and to make their findings widely known.”
The Rockefeller Foundation expressed a keen interest in structuring the global economic and monetary issues of the day, noting that: “The international economic system is not functioning well – as evidenced by slow economic growth, persistent unemployment, and high inflation in many countries, growing skepticism about the capacity of floating exchange rates to correct imbalances of payments, increasing fears of protectionism, and relatively little progress in meeting the needs of developing countries and the quarter of the world’s population that is very poor.”
Thus, the Foundation laid the groundwork for what would come next, by continuing “to concentrate on international economic policy and made plans to bring together a group of experts who will explore the functioning of the international economic system. Beginning with the subject of international monetary problems, the group intends to clarify the issues, identify policy choices for governments, and assess the consequences of alternative policies and institutional arrangements.”
What emerged was the Group of Thirty, originally named the “Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs,” which was to function as a think tank, lobby/industry group and, ultimately, a consensus-building institution for the global elites – to ensure that they stayed that way.
The 1979 annual report of the Rockefeller Foundation noted that the Group of Thirty “began an ambitious program of research, study group analyses, and plenary meetings for the purpose of seeking ways to improve the functioning of the international monetary system.” (Annual Report, 1979, Rockefeller Foundation.)
Fast forward more than three decades and the Group of Thirty remains a highly influential organization in matters of global financial governance. Members of the G-30 have included notable figures such as Josef Ackermann, Pedro Aspe, Alan Greenspan, Andrew Crockett, and the newly-anointed Chair of the Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen.
The Association for Financial Professionals wrote in 2005 that, “over nearly the past three decades, one thing that has remained continuous in the hurly-burly changing landscape of international economics has been the influence of the Group of Thirty,” which it described as “something of a high-powered global economic think tank.”
Gerd Hausler, an official at the IMF and former Governor of the German Bundesbank, stated: “What makes the G30 unique is that it has very senior people there… It recruits members from the central banks and private companies [to get them] sitting together and mulling ideas at a high level.”
Geoffrey L Bell, who founded the organization at the invitation – and with the money – of the Rockefeller Foundation, commented, “The idea of ‘30’ was to have a good cross-section of people from around the world… but not so many that you couldn’t have a good discussion.”
In March of 2009, the Financial Times published a list of “the 50 people likely to be the most influential in shaping the world debate” on “tackling the many problems” of the global financial and economic crisis, “and charting a course through them to a new world order.”
The article noted that, “networks and institutions will matter as much as individuals,” and in particular it referenced the Group of Thirty as “one interesting connection between these players,” with 11 of the 50 individuals selected on the list being members of the G-30. Four years after the list was published, the number of its individuals who were also members of the G-30 increased to 14.
One of those is Jean-Claude Trichet, the former President of the European Central Bank and current Chairman of the Group of Thirty. Upon assuming his role as chairman in 2011, Trichet stated: “This is a time of exceptional challenges to the global economic and financial system, and the G30 will continue to make significant contributions to the policy debate and enhance understanding of the critical paths to stability and to economic growth.”
As Chairman of the G-30, Trichet also sits as the Honorary Governor of the Banque de France (the French central bank), which he used to direct from 1993 until 2003, when he became President of the European Central Bank (ECB), a position he held through 2011. Trichet was also previously a director of the French Treasury and the former chairman of the Paris Club, from 1985 to 1993. While he was President of the ECB, he also served as a member of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and as president of the Global Economy Meeting of Central Bank Governors at the BIS from 2002 to 2011.
Today, Trichet holds a number of other highly influential positions. Apart from being Chairman of the G-30, he sits on the board of directors of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, he is on the board of the European military contractor EADS, and he is chairman of the board for the influential European think tank BRUEGEL. Trichet is also, importantly, a member of the Group of Trustees in the global bank industry lobby known as the Institute of International Finance (IIF). He is additionally the European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Meetings.
Jacob A. Frenkel, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty, is also a member of the Executive Committee of JPMorgan Chase, and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International, while also sitting as a member on the International Council of the bank. Frenkel was the Vice Chairman of American International Group (AIG) from 2004 to 2009, during which time it received its mega-bailout from the Federal Government. He is also a past Chairman of Merrill Lynch International from 2000 to 2004.
Prior, Frenkel was the Governor of the Bank of Israel from 1991 to 2000; Economic Counselor and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1987 to 1991; David Rockefeller Professor of International Economics at the University of Chicago from 1973 to 1987; former editor of the Journal of Political Economy; and previously a member of the International Advisory Board for the Council on Foreign Relations.
Currently, Frenkel is a member of the board of directors on the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), as well as a member of the Trilateral Commission and the International Advisory Council of the China Development Bank. He too sits on the board of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, and is a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as the Investment Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of Turkey. Frenkel is also on the board of directors for Loews Corporation.
This is but a brief introduction to the Group of Thirty, its members, and its influence, which will be elaborated upon in future installments of the Global Power Project. Stay tuned for the second part in the series next week.
Andrew Gavin Marshall is a 26-year old researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada. He is Project Manager of The People’s Book Project, chair of the Geopolitics Division of The Hampton Institute, research director for Occupy.com’s Global Power Project and the World of Resistance (WoR) Report, and hosts a weekly podcast show with BoilingFrogsPost.
Chicago-based activist Rick Rozoff is a gold mine of information about NATO. He sends out daily reports sharing how the military industrial complex, working through a cancerous NATO, is pushing their military madness up to the doorway of Russia and China. You can see his Stop NATO site here.
I would venture a guess that most people who work in the military industrial complex, and their associated sticky web of weapons production facilities, have no real clue how the systems they build fit into this high-tech space directed first-strike attack program now under development.
The meeting pictured above comes from Moss Point, Mississippi where Northrup Grumman announced:
NATO representatives, state dignitaries, community leaders and Northrop Grumman employees gathered to celebrate the start of production for the first of five [Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Block 40 Global Hawk drones] aircraft. The system will provide NATO with unprecedented near real-time terrestrial and maritime situational awareness information throughout the full range of NATO military and civil-military missions, including peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations. The NATO AGS system will be a major contribution to NATO’s joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.
Notice how they deftly include the ‘peacekeeping’ lingo just to take the edge off things. It helps keeps the liberals in Europe and the US onboard. But make no mistake – this program of NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) is all about war fighting and preemptive attack.
Also important to note is the phrase in the accompanying article that AGS will ‘support NATO missions worldwide’. In addition to the public relations about humanitarian missions, NATO is working overtime to sell the concept of NATO as a global military alliance. (Remember that NATO is a cold war relic that was used by the capitalist forces in Europe to stand against the communist forces of the former Soviet led Warsaw Pact bloc. Those days are long gone but NATO still continues to expand.) I remain convinced that an expanding NATO gives the corporate oligarchy a military tool to do global intervention (aka Libya) without the political constraints of the United Nations Security Council.
NATO is acquiring the AGS system with 15 nations participating including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States.
The NATO AGS system is a variant of the Global Hawk, which has logged more than 100,000 flight hours and has supported military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Just below (here) you will find a NATO video about the AGS system showing how it is also being used on the African continent.
posted by Bruce K. Gagnon | 3:37 PM
Mandela Eulogies: Reinventing His Disturbing Legacy
by Stephen Lendman
posted by Steve Lendman @ 12:13 AM