Archive for April, 2011

Jeffrey St. Clair, the co-editor of Counterpunch (which was kind enough to publish my response to George Monbiot’s radioactive disinformation) and Joshua Frank, a long time environmental journalist, are set to complete a new investigation of US federal government abuses against US citizens in the environmental movement.

They need your help, with a donation to complete the project. See the linked web page.

From the Kickstarter page:

About this project

We are looking to put the finishing touches on a book that has been in the making for the past two years.

Both of us have traveled around the country uncovering the events that rocked the enviro community since 9/11.

We filed FOIA requests, interviewed dozens of underground activists and discovered frightening new policies and tactics that were intended to destroy the radical environmental movement from the ground up.

Your support will help offset the costs we already accrued as well as the final phase of research that needs to be completed.

Thanks for taking the time to support independent media. The future of our democracy depends on it.

-Jeffrey St. Clair & Joshua Frank

About Us:

Jeffrey St. Clair is an investigative reporter who has written extensively on politics and the environment. Along with Alexander Cockburn, St. Clair edits CounterPunch. He has also written for The Washington Post, San Francisco Examiner, The Nation and The Progressive. His reporting specializes in the politics surrounding environmental and military issues. Additionally, he is the author of numerous books, most recently Born Under a Bad Sky: Notes from the Dark Side of the Earth.

Joshua Frank has worked as an independent environmental journalist for over eight years and is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush. Additionally he is the co-editor with Jeffrey St. Clair of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland. His work appears regularly at CounterPunch, Alternet.org, truthout.org among other reputable independent media outlets. In 2010 he was the recipient of a Nation Institute grant for environmental journalism.

Project location: Portland, OR

“How corporate America is faking a grassroots revolution.”

From the film’s website.

Synopsis (Short)

From the Tea Parties to the healthcare and climate wars, America’s conservative citizens have revolted against the Obama agenda. But are these grassroots actions in fact examples of `astroturfing’? – The practice of manufacturing citizens groups for the purpose of delivering corporate messages. Curious to find out, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham went undercover to investigate. What he found was astroturfing on a scale greater than he could have imagined, threatening not only the heath of American democracy, but that of its citizens and the planet as a whole.

Continue


DVD: Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing (Full Screen Edition)

Ugly America cuts loose on the country / pop girl band. A bit of recent American history shows what inbred redneck fascism looks like, and how irrational it is at its core.

The Dixie Chicks showed courage in the face of death threats, boycotts, hate speech and open season on Fox News (sic). The attacks were coordinated by freerepublic.com, the militant super-ignorant wing of American politics. Free republic successfully got the country rabble all riled up and venting their two minutes hate toward the band.

It was all quite ugly, but the Chicks faced up to it and stood tall at their 2003 concert series. Surrounded by 20,000 in an arena, where some faction was hostile and there purely to disrupt, it took guts to go on and face the crowds.
Continue

See the other recent posts on Chernobyl as well.

Chernobyl Heart (2003) (Free Online)

Posted: April 11, 2011 in -

This Academy Award winning film is probably the hardest to watch documentary I have ever seen. I stopped it about a third of the way through, and I waited several days before finishing.

The deformities shown are so horrific that I had to create a new photo gallery to keep a record of it.

I am using all my research to create a new long article about what the future mothers of Fukushima should expect unless they flee for their childrens’ lives, immediately.

Nuclear power is the most immoral industry on the planet. Those that promote it willingly place other people’s children in harm’s way. It should be outlawed and dismantled immediately.

Alternatives exist, right now (solar, wind, tide, geothermal).

Don’t believe me?

And this…

A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables (Scientific American, Oct. 26, 2009)

 

The next installment of my investigation of the Chernobyl catastrophe shows how the disaster occurred, the results, the inside stories of the people on the scene fighting to save Europe from a chain reaction and potential nuclear detonation many time larger than Hiroshima. The radioactive contamination, and the way the authorities downplay it, has direct relevance to what is happening today in Japan.

In the documentary film The Battle of Chernobyl (Thomas Johnson, 2006), we see how military and miners were not counted by the “official” death tolls currently floating around from the UN and IAEA. The film, after interviewing numerous key first person sources tells that 600 of the helicopter pilots who flew over the reactor died. Another 2,500 miners who dug a tunnel and room below the reactor died. Other military died, as well as people left behind in the evacuations.

On top of that, the cases of illness skyrocketed throughout the region.

The Chernobyl Syndrome:

“We’ve all got a bunch of symptoms, heart, stomach, liver, kidneys, nervous system. Our whole bodies were radically upset by the radiation and chemical exposure.”

“According to the military, of the 500,000 Chernobyl liquidators 20,000 have already died. 200,000 are officially disabled.”

Dr. Yuri Badazhevsky shows his experimental findings concerning cesium contamination of food:

“Look what happened when the mother was contaminated with cesium (137) during pregnancy… Look how many deformations, hairless, missing eyes, deformed skulls.”
“…I was horrified by how many deformed embryos developed in animals that had eaten cesium contaminated food. I obtained a horrible number of deformations in two weeks.”

Four out of five children in Belarus are considered ill.

“In Belorussia, 300,000 children are currently suffering the consequences of contamination.”

Mikhail Gorbachev laments the catastrophe and wishes for clean, safe alternative forms of energy, on camera.

“How many years is this going to go on? 800 years? 800 years! Until the second Jesus Christ is born, until he returns? Yes.”
-Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union

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From the film’s website (DVD AVAILABLE):

On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat exploded and began spewing radioactive smoke and gas. Firemen discovered that no amount of water could extinguish the blaze. More than 40,000 residents in the immediate area were exposed to fallout 100 times greater than that from the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. But the most serious nuclear accident in history had only begun.

Based on top-secret government documents that came to light only in the Nineties, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, THE BATTLE OF CHERNOBYL reveals a systematic cover-up of the true scope of the disaster, including the possibility of a secondary explosion of the still-smoldering magma, whose radioactive clouds would have rendered Europe uninhabitable. The government effort to prevent such a catastrophe lasted for more than seven months and sacrificed the lives of thousands of soldiers, miners and other workers.

THE BATTLE OF CHERNOBYL dramatically chronicles the series of harrowing efforts to stop the nuclear chain reaction and prevent a second explosion, to “liquidate” the radioactivity, and to seal off the ruined reactor under a mammoth “sarcophagus.” These nerve-racking events are recounted through newly available films, videos and photos taken in and around the plant, computer animation, and interviews with participants and eyewitnesses, many of whom were exposed to radiation, including government and military leaders, scientists, workers, journalists, doctors, and Pripyat refugees.

The consequences of this catastrophe continue today, with thousands of disabled survivors suffering from the “Chernobyl syndrome” of radiation-related illnesses, and the urgent need to replace the hastily-constructed and now crumbling sarcophagus over the still-contaminated reactor. As this remarkable film makes clear, THE BATTLE OF CHERNOBYL is far from over.

“Truly powerful and moving… contains an impressive amount of incredibly powerful and valuable archival information, as well as some revealing interviews.”—Vitaly Cheernetsky, KinoKultura: New Russian Cinema

“An epic documentary.”—Variety

“Powerful… an important film… Because so much of the story has been forgotten or concealed, the film’s momentum never flags.”—American Society for Environmental History Newsletter

“A mind boggling piece of work… peerless… painstakingly researched… This documentary has earned the highest recommendation for its clarity, its persistent revelations, and comprehensive examination of this dismal crisis.” —Michael J. Coffta, Educational Media Reviews Online
Best History & Biography Program, 2007 Banff World Television Awards
Best Documentary, 2006 Prix Italia Festival

 

My friends, you have been lied to about the hazards of radiation your entire life (at least since the 1940s). An ongoing information war rages, and I do have some hope for progress. While the media repeats obvious lies about the death toll in Chernobyl (“43″ absurd in the extreme) most regular people just don’t believe what they’re hearing from the pro-nuclear pundits.

This Swiss investigation of the Chernobyl cover-up is must-see viewing for anyone who would ever consider typing a thought about radioactivity. I have transcribed some of the highlights, including admissions by the head of the World Health Organization, front and center…

“Because the IAEA reports directly to the Security Council of the UN, and we all specialized agencies report to the Economic and Development Council. The organization which reports to the Security Council–not hierarchically, we are all equal–but for atomic affairs, military use and civil use, peaceful or civil use they have the authority. They command.”
-Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, former head of UN World Health Organization

The IAEA has the job of promoting atomic energy worldwide. They are not a trustworthy source for information about health effects of radioactivity. The system has been designed such that the organization which promotes atomic power has supremacy over the health monitoring organizations, and the WHO can simply be blocked from investigating, as happened here:

“In 1995 the Director General of WHO, Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, tried to inform on Chernobyl by organizing in Geneva an international conference with 700 experts and physicians. This tentative was blocked. The International Agency for Atomic Energy blocked the proceedings which were never published. The truth on the consequences of Chernobyl would have been a disaster for the promotion of the atomic industry.”
(Nuclear Controversies)

In my recent article, The UN Would Never Lie to George Monbiot, I explored this IAEA role in more depth. A 2006 IAEA “study” on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl meltdown claimed it had a “consensus” of “100 leading scientists.” How does this measure up to the “700 experts and physicians” that the IAEA had a hand in silencing a decade before?

The “consensus” myth is a Big Lie. Those that repeat the IAEA’s arguments without investigating this matter fully are either incompetent (which is the generous assessment) or downright evil. Children are sick and dying because of the failure of governments to acknowledge that radioactivity — even in very small doses — destroys life, creates deformities in the body, causes cancers and myriad other conditions. Children across the region are suffering horribly. Up to one million have died as a result of Chernobyl, as of 2006 (Yablokov et. al.).

If you’re not going to watch NUCLEAR CONTROVERSIES right now, then here are the highlights. Use them well.

“The representative for the International Agency for Atomic Energy (A. Gonzales) maintains that the Chernobyl catastrophe caused 31 deaths of a few hundred highly irradiated individuals and 2,000 thyroid cancers in children. This UN agency recognizes only validated data, validated by the laboratories of Los Alamos and the French Atomic Energy Commissariat, CEA, two atomic bomb makers.”

“Nesterenko is the only scientist who systematically measured the internal artificial radioactivity (of children in the contaminated zone). His measures show that contamination is 8 times higher than that published by the Minister of Health, who tried to stop him.”

“According to Professor Bandazhevsky over 50 bequerels per kilo body weight lead to irreversible lesions in vital organs.”

“On June the 18th Yuri Bandazhevski, author of more than 400 scientific publications and 8 monographs, owner of 7 patents, member of 5 academies, recipient of 5 international awards was condemned by the military court of the Supreme Court of Belarus to 8 years in a work camp for alleged corruption. One year of inquiry could produce no proof against him.”

“Today out of 100 children in Belarus, ony 20 can be declared to be healthy. Before the Chernobyl catastrophe the number was 80 out of 100. The IAEA, the UNSCEAR and the World Health Organization, who do not study the effects of the internal contamination by incorporated radionuclides, have no explanation for the increased incidence of somatic pathologies in those children.”

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Nuclear Controversies, 2004, Feldat Film Switzerland,
Swiss TV, Wladimir Tchertkoff