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U.S. And South Korea Assault An Idyllic Island: Not For The First Time

By Brian Willson

Originally published by Veterans For Peace

The beautiful island of Jeju in South Korea is packed with natural and cultural treasures and designated a UNESCO world heritage site. But it has the misfortune of appearing to the U.S. military strategically positioned to play a part in surrounding China.

Most Americans are unaware of Jeju or of the U.S. policy of increasing its military presence in Korea, Japan, and the rest of the Pacific -- even moving the Marines into Australia. But for the people of Jeju, attempting to nonviolently resist the construction of a new military base, there is an eerie sense of déjà vu.

In fact Jeju's history is central to how the United States became the militarized nation it has been for over half a century.

Veterans for Peace (VFP) recently sent members to Jeju to monitor the local resistance to this militarization, but they were refused entry by Korean security officials who gave no reasons other than following orders. VFP represents thousands of U.S. military veterans who have participated in various overt and covert U.S. interventions violating the sovereignty of countless countries. This aggressive foreign policy, little mentioned in our history classes, has caused incalculable harm to people, cultures, and the environment. Our personal experiences summon us to carefully re-examine the nature and patterns of U.S. foreign policy. Our clear understanding of past and present imperial adventures compel us to passionately and tenaciously oppose further militarism, war and aggression which we see as severe obstacles to the continuation of our species.

In examining U.S. interventions since World War II, historian William Blum has recently catalogued the following disgraceful record: (1) attempted overthrow of more than 50 governments; (2) attempted suppression of populist and nationalist movements in 20 countries; (3) interference in democratic elections in at least 30 countries; (4) bombing of citizens in 30 countries; and (5) attempted assassinations of more than 50 foreign political leaders.

Shockingly, when all the empirical evidence is scrutinized, the U.S. has militarily intervened nearly 400 times since World War II in nearly 100 countries, while covertly intervening thousands of times. Millions of human beings have been murdered, maimed, and displaced as a result of this egregious, unlawful behavior. Adherence to international and Constitutional law, and honest diplomacy, have been thwarted over and over.

One of the darkest, virtually unknown chapters of U.S. intervention occurred in the southern portions of Korea prior to the Korean War. In 1945, a Joint U.S. Army-Navy Intelligence Study reported that the vast majority of Koreans possessed a strong desire for independence and self-rule, and were vehemently opposed to control by any successor to the hated Japanese who had ruled them since 1910. A subsequent U.S. study reported that nearly 80 percent of Koreans wanted a socialist, rather than capitalist system.

Despite the conclusions of these internal documents, U.S. President Harry Truman, after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, imposed a purportedly temporary partition at Korea’s 38th Parallel dividing a 5,000-year homogenous culture. He then commanded U.S. General Douglas MacArthur to “govern” the people living south of the 38th Parallel. In October 1945, needing a trusted Korean with “an [U.S.] American point of view” to be the U.S. strongman, MacArthur flew 71-year-old Korean-born Syngman Rhee from the U.S. to Seoul on MacArthur’s personal plane. Rhee, a Methodist who had lived in the United States for 40 years, was to be a surrogate ruler of Korea that was largely Buddhist and Confucianist.

Rhee unilaterally chose to hold separate elections in 1948 to “legally” create an artificially divided Korea, despite vigorous popular opposition throughout the Peninsula, north and south of the 38th Parallel, including residents of Cheju Island (now called Jeju, hereafter identified as such). What is referred to as the April 3 (1948) uprising on Jeju in response to these elections, actually lasted into 1950, and is the single greatest massacre in modern Korean history. The Jeju uprising in 1948 may be seen as a microcosm for the impending Korean War.

A CIA National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Rhee was so unpopular that the newly-established Republic of Korea (ROK) would not survive “without massive infusion of U.S. aid.”

The U.S. Embassy described the repression in response to the Jeju opposition to Rhee as a “scorched earth” campaign of “extermination.” Secret protocols placed all Korean Constabulary, police, ROK forces, and paramilitary units under USAMGIK’s (United States Army Military Government In Korea) control.

CIA documents concluded that politics under the USAMGIK and Rhee regime were dominated by a tiny elite class of wealthy Koreans who repressed dissent of the vast majority, using “ruthlessly brutal” policies similar to those of the previous Japanese machinery hated by most Koreans.

Then U.S. Military Governor of Korea, John Reed Hodge, briefed U.S. Congressional Representatives that “Cheju was a truly communal area that is peacefully controlled by the People’s Committee.” Despite this understanding, he commanded three U.S. military officers (among others) – Colonel Harley E. Fuller, Captain John P. Reed, and Captain James Hausman – to advise and coordinate the “extermination” and “scorched earth” campaign. Koreans who had collaborated with the hated Japanese occupiers now served in the U.S.-trained Korean Constabulary and police. Right wing paramilitary units became a brutal element of Rhee’s security apparatus. U.S. advisers accompanied all Korean Constabulary and police (and additional ROK units after 1948) in ground campaigns; U.S. pilots flew C-47s to ferry troops, weapons, war materiel while occasionally directing bombings; and U.S. intelligence officers provided daily intelligence. Additionally U.S. Navy war ships, including the USS Craig, blockaded and bombed the Island, preventing supplies and additional opposition forces from arriving, while preventing flight of boatloads of desperate Islanders.

Hodge’s successor, General William Roberts, declared it was of “utmost importance” that dissenters “be cleared up as soon as possible.” The repressive Japanese organization, “National League To Provide Guidance” (Bo Do Yun Maeng), was expanded by the Rhee regime. Used to systematically identify any Koreans who had opposed Japanese occupation, the League now worked to identify those who opposed the de facto brutal U.S./Rhee rule. Thousands were murdered, jailed, and tortured, and many dumped into the sea as a result.

The Governor of Jeju at the time admitted that the repression of the Island’s 300,000 residents led to the murder of as many as 60,000 Islanders, with another 40,000 desperately fleeing in boats to Japan. Thus, one-third of its residents were either murdered or fled during the “extermination” campaign. Nearly 40,000 homes were destroyed and 270 of 400 villages were leveled. One of Robert’s cohorts, Colonel Rothwell Brown, claimed that the Islanders were simply “ignorant, uneducated farmers and fishers,” a weak excuse for repressing those who, Brown asserted, refused to recognize the “superiority” of the “American Way.”

U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and George Kennan, head of the State Department’s Policy Planning, agreed in 1949 that suppression of the internal threat in South Korea, (i.e., Koreans’ passion for self-determination), with assistance of the newly created CIA, was critical to preserving Rhee’s power, and assuring success of the U.S.’s worldwide containment policy. The 1949 Chinese Revolution made repressing the neighboring Korean’s passion for self-determination indispensable for success in the emerging “Cold War,” complementing successful U.S. efforts using CIA covert actions to thwart any socialist movements in Europe following World War II.

The 1949-50 National Security Council study, known as NSC-68, laid out U.S. aims to assure a global political system to “foster a world environment in which the American system can survive and flourish.”

The Korean War that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953, was an enlargement of the 1948-50 struggle of Jeju Islanders to preserve their self-determination from the tyrannical rule of U.S.-supported Rhee and his tiny cadre of wealthy constituents. Little known is that the U.S.-imposed division of Korea in 1945 against the wishes of the vast majority of Koreans was the primary cause of the Korean War that broke out five years later. The War destroyed by bombing most cities and villages in Korea north of the 38th Parallel, and many south of it, while killing four million Koreans – three million (one-third) of the north’s residents and one million of those living in the south, in addition to killing one million Chinese. This was a staggering international crime still unrecognized that killed five million people and permanently separated 10 million Korean families.

Following the Korean War, Dean Acheson concluded that “Korea saved us,” enabling the U.S. to implement its apocalyptic imperial strategy laid out in NSC-68. In Korea, this meant that the U.S. consistently assured dictatorial governments for nearly 50 years, long after Rhee was forced out of office at age 85 in 1960. Since 1953, the U.S. and South Korea have lived under a Mutual Defense Treaty, Status of Forces Agreements, and a Combined Forces Command headed by a 4-star U.S. general. The fact is that despite claims to the contrary, Korea has never assumed sovereignty since the U.S. imposed division of Korea in 1945. The U.S. has possessed more than 100 military bases and nearly 50,000 troops on Korean soil, and even today has dozens of bases and 28,000 troops stationed there. For decades, the U.S. maintained its main Asian bombing range south of Seoul.

Despite this gruesome history, Koreans began to successfully assert some semblance of democratic governments in the 1990s. However, despite creation of a constitution that protects free speech and basic human rights, Koreans once again are experiencing egregious repression. The Korean residents of pristine Jeju Island vigorously oppose the construction of a deep-water port to host Korean and U.S. guided missile-equipped Aegis Destroyers at the village of Gangjeong. The South Korean government headed by reactionary President Lee Myung Bak is ruthlessly repressing their legitimate, constitutionally-protected free speech. This is not acceptable. The residents of Jeju have a long history of living in peace and harmony. They were brutalized in the late 1940s for wanting independence, and are being brutalized once again for attempting to preserve self-determination. It is déjà vu.

We have been following the daily brutal repression by as many as 1,500 Korean police and security forces of Jeju’s 1,500 residents whose voices of passionate and nonviolent opposition have been completely ignored. When we called the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C. to ask why this deep-water port construction continues in Gangjeong over objections of more than 90 percent of its residents, the answer has been, “Don’t call us, call your own (U.S.) government.” Political pressure from the U.S. continues to interfere with sovereignty of the Korean people as their own government disrespects, then represses, the free speech of its own citizens despite protections inscribed in the Korean constitution.

We read reports in the Korean press of more than 2600 politicians, journalists and civilians being secretly, illegally spied upon during the current Lee administration. In January 2009, Korea Broadcasting Service (KBS) aired a program that disclosed a secret deal made by the CIA-style Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), Korean police, and components of the Jeju Island government, to quash any opposition movement to the planned construction of a Jeju deep-water military port, saying such opponents are, in effect, traitors. It is being built by the huge South Korea conglomerate, Samsung, despite watchdog Public Eye citing its history of over 50 years of environmental pollution, trade union repression, corruption and tax flight. Samsung’s power in South Korea is so great that many citizens speak of the “Samsung Republic.”

And we note that the NIS has raided Korean citizens and organizations, even on the mainland, who support the valiant villagers of Gangjeong on Jeju Island who resist the militarization of their Island, of their coastline, of their villages.

The stakes are much higher now that U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen a dangerous policy to militarize the Asia-Pacific region, due to obvious U.S. political intentions to encircle resource-rival China. Jeju, only 300 miles from China’s mainland, is located in a strategic sea route between Japan, Korea, and China. Obama recently dispatched U.S. troops to a northern port of Australia (2,500 miles from China) as part of this plan, while possessing existing jet landing strips in Okinawa (400 miles), Guam (1,900), and new landing bases in Afghanistan (1,000) and Turkmenistan (1,500), and increased strategic relationships with Singapore (1,200) and Philippines (750).

The immensely biodiverse Jeju Island is a most inappropriate location for a deep-water port to host highly armed U.S. and Korean Navy war ships. Former Korean President Roh Moo Kyum designated Jeju as “Jeju Island of Global Peace” when he formally apologized for the April 1948 massacre. A popular tourist vacation spot, famous for honeymooners and sometimes called “women’s Island” due to its matriarchal history, it is also called the “Island of the Gods.” It is Jeju’s incredible unique ecosystem that makes the island so inappropriate for militarizing a deep-water port in quiet coastal village of Gangjeong. It is sheer madness to blow up sacred lava rocks to make way for violent war machines. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated no less than three World Heritage sites on Jeju, including the Gureombi Lava Rocks being blown up for construction of the Navy destroyer port that are being covered with cement along the coast. UNESCO has also designated nine Geo-Parks on Jeju, as well as designating it as a protected Global Biosphere Reserve that includes Jeju coastlines and its fragile coral reefs.

The Korean government has claimed the deep-water port will also host commercial cruise ships. Their huge weight and 1,000-foot length makes them twice as heavy and long as the 500-550 foot Aegis Destroyers. The port will not be capable of hosting these tourist ships, revealing this dual-use claim as fanciful propaganda.

Our military experiences tell us this plan by Korea and the U.S. to host missile-equipped Aegis Destroyers as part of its global anti-ballistic missile system on the pristine Island of Jeju is extremely threatening to world peace, destroys the peace of the residents of Jeju and Gangjeong village, and flaunts Korea’s Constitutional assurances of protecting free speech of its citizens. We urge the Korean government act decisively to end its continued deference to pressures from the United States, and instead commence pursuing Korea’s legitimate dignity and sovereignty.

##

This article is written by S. Brian Willson, VFP Member of Chapter 72 in Portland, OR.

Photos of Jeju Island are from http://savejejuisland.org

S. Brian Willson, commander of an Air Force security unit in Viet Nam, a trained lawyer and criminologist, and former dairy farmer, has been a long time activist critiquing the US criminal injustice system while investigating its criminal interventions abroad. He is a long time member of Veterans For Peace and recently authored his psychohistorical memoir, "Blood On The Tracks: The Life and Times of S.Brian Willson" (PM Press, 2011).

 

 

 

America's Gulf Disaster Revisited

  America's Gulf Disaster Revisited

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

April 20 marked the two year anniversary of BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster. Until Fukushima Daiichi's catastrophic nuclear meltdown, it was the largest ever environmental calamity.

 

Dahr Jamail: BP Oil Disaster Ongoing After Two Years

Dahr Jamail has covered the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico for two years.  He reports on massive environmental and economic damage and on oil continuing to enter these damaged waters.  Jamail is based in Doha, Qatar working as an Online News Producer for Al Jazeera English. His stories have also been published with Inter Press Service, Truthout, The Nation, The Sunday Herald in Scotland, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, Le Monde Diplomatique, and the Independent.  He's been awarded the Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, The Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards. His website is http://dahrjamail.net

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.

Producer: David Swanson.

Engineer: Christiane Brown.

Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive.org or AudioPort or Radio4All or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Embed on your own site with this code:

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A related article.

Another.

As We Ruin Our Kids' Planet, They Take Us to Court

Here in the land of the free lunch and the home of the instant gratification, most people make a huge deal out of children's rights or fetuses' rights, or occasionally both.  Which is extremely bizarre -- crazier perhaps than bombing houses in Afghanistan to protect the rights of the women inside them.  Because we're engaged in the deliberate and knowing process of slowly and irreversibly rendering the whole damn planet uninhabitable.  If not our children, then their children will be forced to live in a desert or move to the North Pole if we don't quickly change our ways -- and possibly even if we do.  And if we don't change our ways, the approach we take to the coming crisis will make fascism look like summer camp. 

64 years later, America Complicit in a Second Massacre on Jeju Island, South Korea: America’s Missile Defense System Destroys a World Heritage Site

By Ann Wright

President Obama, like President Bush, has a penchant for identifying areas of the world for America’s special attention.  In the 2002 State of the Union message, Bush used the phrase “Axis of Evil” to signal where America’s military might was to be focused in the next years.  Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians know that bad things happen for areas of the world singled out for America’s special attention.  On the peninsula where North Korea, Bush’s other “Axis of Evil” country is located, Obama has declared the Asia-Pacific region as its special area of interest for the next decade and bad things are already happening.

Keystone XL pipeline: Obama to oil progress as pump prices rise

From the Guardian:

Barack Obama is expected to speed up approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Thursday after taking to the road with what the White House is billing as an "all of the above" energy tour.

Obama's planned visit to the oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, on day two of the energy tour has raised expectations he will speed up approval of the southern US-only segment of the pipeline, running from the town to Port Arthur, Texas.

The approval, which would infuriate environmental groups, could allow construction on that portion to begin before November's presidential elections instead of next year.

Obama's tour starts with a visit to the country's biggest operating solar farm in Boulder City, Nevada. The White House said in a statement: "The president will highlight his administration's focus on diversifying our energy portfolio, including expanding renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which thanks in part to investments made by this administration is set to double in the president's first term."

But the visit seemed a detour on a trip apparently solidly focused on fossil fuels and the price of gas at the pump.

Occupy EPA Launches the American Spring!

"Protect the Planet for a Sustainable Future!"

Washington, DC - Occupation, civil rights, environmental, and communities groups from around the country will gather on Friday, March 30th to rally and launch the American Spring (AS) with a demonstration at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

“What kind of future will our children have if the EPA keeps caving in to corporate demands and allowing exploitation of people and the planet?” said Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician and organizer for NOW-DC.

 “On March 30th, the American people will occupy the grounds of the EPA and demand an end to corporate interference in public policy over the needs of people,” said EPA whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, referring to the recent decision by the Obama Administration not to sign lifesaving smog regulations that would have, according to an EPA scientist, saved over 7,100 lives. The business community successfully lobbied the White House not to sign the smog regulations.

The demonstration will start at 12:00 noon at Franklin Square Park (13th and I Sts, NW, Washington, DC) and the march will head down 12th Street to the EPA Headquarters.  The rally in front of the Administrator’s office on the EPA lawn will feature national speakers and leaders, such as Dr. Helen Caldicott, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and known for her anti-nuclear weapons activism.  In addition to featured speakers, there will be numerous groups concerned with clean air and water, and protection of our environment. 

EPA was cited as failing to process discrimination complaints from community groups on environmental issues, such as the case of the Rosemere Neighborhood Association against EPA, in which the Judge stated that EPA did not even follow its own procedures and complaints have been languishing in the civil rights office some for up to 15 years.  Civil rights does not appear to be a priority at EPA because for decades they have refused to address findings of discrimination, findings by the Office of Special Counsel against them for retaliating against whistleblowers, and violations of civil rights laws and regulations. 

A recent EPA whistleblower, Susan Morris, recently received a finding of retaliation by the Office of Special Counsel against the agency for exposing the agency’s failure to follow civil rights laws.  As a guest speaker for Women’s History Month on radio WPFW with Verna Brown, she said, “It is unbelievable that the first Black President and Lisa Jackson, a black female, would look the other way as communities of color suffer.  It’s time for EPA to turn around their decades of corruption and do the right thing by its employees and the American public.  The increase in many of our serious illnesses can be traced directly to our inability to get corporate America from polluting our environment for greed.”

The Occupy EPA and NOW-DC groups have stated nine demands from this administration starting with the reversal of the President’s decision to step down on smog regulations that may result in as many as 7,100 deaths Americans and 10,000 emergency room visits.  Their demands include a halt to the trans-Canada pipeline), mountain top removal and fracking that is occurring throughout the country.

“We need this administration to meet their obligations and keep their promises, which were made to us when we voted them into office.  The President should step forward and use this opportunity to reverse years of abuse of our air, land and water, all non-renewable resources,” said Dr. Coleman-Adebayo for the OccupyEPA group.  Susan Morris added to those sentiments by saying, “We will see corporations come and go, billions made and lost, but we cannot get back our oceans, rivers and streams, polluted forever for material gain. These people will get rich on the backs of our children and grandchildren.  What kind of world are we leaving them, fraught with disease, environmental disasters and war?”

Further demands included:  Immediately promoting and implementing  climate change  policies, reducing Co2 emissions; a moratorium on nuclear power plants; labeling all Genetically Engineered foods; an end to green crimes; and an end to the attacks on whistleblowers and victims of discrimination and retaliation at EPA. 

Jacksonhas been accused of fostering an environment of retaliation against employees who have been discriminated against and whistleblowers.  EPA recently rejected two findings of retaliation against whistleblowers and is forcing civil rights employees into District Court.  “The cost to these outstanding employees is enormous,” said Susan Morris, “but the real cost is to the taxpayers, who will be paying in the millions of dollars for this.  I expected more from President Obama and his administration – but I feel it is never too late and I still have the hope that he will take immediate action to fix the horrendous situation at EPA, particularly in the Office of Civil Rights, that continues to get worse.”

For more information, visit: www.occupyepa.com,nowdc.org and www.marshacoleman-adebayo.com.

OCCUPY POWER

 Schedule of Events

March 30 – April 30, 2012

Friday, March 30:Travel to Washington and set-up at Franklin Square

12:00 Noon -  march from Franklin Square Park to the EPA for a rally called "Protect the planet for a sustainable future" with OccupyEPA

1:30 pm -  march with OccupyDOE (Department of Energy) to the Capitol to end privatization of public schools

Saturday, March 31:  Peacekeeper Nonviolence Training

"Bail Out America" Direct Action Training

Occupy DOE Teach-ins

First NOW-DC General Assembly, Franklin Square Park

Doo-wop Dance Party

Gray Panthers Social Justice Gala

Sunday, April 1Veteran’s Peace Training 

Veteran's Peace Team training (must apply and be accepted by Veterans for Peace, limited spaces available for non-veterans)

Occupy DOE Teach-Ins

Monday, April 2:   Housing Direct Action

8:00 am – 6:00 pm - The Center for the Study of Responsive Law will be holding the “Control the Corporation Conference” at the Carnegie Institute of Washington.  This conference is open to people attending the NOW DC -- all occupiers welcome.  The conference will be held at 1530 P Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, April 3Education Direct Action 

Tuesday-Thursday - April 3 to 5:  NOW DC Social Forum: Phase I

Friday-Monday - April 6-9:  Occupy Faith Weekend

Saturday-Wednesday - April 10-14:NOW DC Social Forum: Phase II

Wednesday-Thursday - April 14-15:Celebrate Occupy Power with Music, Arts and Speakers

Friday, April 16 Onward: NOW DC Direct Action(s) - Nonviolent Marches and Rallies

Saturday - April 17: A17 Occupy Congress Mobilization 

Saturday - April 24: Occupy DOJ (Department of Justice)

Thursday-Friday, April 29-30- Clean-up, After-Action and Depart

TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012 - National Day of Work Stoppage

Looting the Seas

  Looting the Seas 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

This article follows a previous one on the same topic. It covers work done by the Center for Public Integrity. It involves a multi-part series titled, "Looting the Seas." The initial article discussed the overall problem globally.

 

Depleting the Seas of Fish

  Depleting the Seas of Fish

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In November 2006, Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin headlined, " World's Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn," saying:

 

Federal Judge Strips Vermont of Power to Terminate Nuke: State Government Diddles but Vermonters Take Matters into Own Hands

 

By Dan DeWalt

 

Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana, which operates the Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear reactor in Vernon Vermont has launched an attack on the state of Vermont with the help of the federal courts.

 

Vermont state law gives the state the power to decide whether to allow further operation of the reactor past March 21, 2012 (the expiration date for VY). When Entergy bought VY, they agreed to this law and swore that they would not try to abrogate it. This was an outright lie on Entergy's part, and they sued the state as soon as it was decided that further operation of this crumbling, leaking and led-by-liars reactor would NOT be in the interests of the state and they were not given permission to continue operation past March 21.

 

Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised That Susan G Komen for the Cure is  Anti-Women

 

By Douglas A. Berg

 

Nancy Goodman Brinker, a pioneer of “cause marketing”, founded Susan G. Komen For the Cure in 1982, reportedly as the fulfillment of a deathbed promise made to her sister, a victim of breast cancer. In 1994, Brinker founded In Your Corner, Inc., a for-profit company that markets health products and information. In 1998, Brinker sold In Your Corner to AstraZeneca, the third largest pesticide manufacturer in the world, primarily through Syngenta, a giant global agribusiness company it owns jointly with Novartis.

 

Navy Training Blasts Marine Mammals With Harmful Sonar: Wildlife Protection Agency Challenged for Not Doing Its Job

biologicaldiversity.org

SAN FRANCISCO— A coalition of conservation and American Indian groups today sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

Climate Change a 'Fabrication'? Ask a Wintering-Over Hummingbird, or Check out Your Daffodils

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

On my Yahoo home page today, there was a picture of the globe, and an instant poll asking me to check one of two choices: Yes or No, Do you believe global warming is a real threat?

 

I don’t usually waste my time on these things, but there was that tantalizing link to “See the results,” and you had to vote to see them, so I voted.

 

The 51st State Is On Its Way

By Suzy T. Kane, The Taos News (NM), 1/19/12

Lila Garrett is the radio talk show host of “Connect the Dots” on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. When she saw a map of the U.S. military’s plan to join an area of southern Colorado to northern New Mexico for a total of 60,160,000 acres of land or 94,000 square miles, as Not One More Acre (www.not1moreacre.net) has calculated them, Garrett cried, “My God, this is the Pentagon’s 51st state!”

No Tar Sands Pipeline Permit

Politico tweeted: "The Obama administration, via State Dept, will formally reject the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline today, multiple sources say."

How Much Is an Earth, and Do You Have One in Extra Large?

A new book suggests that "It's the economy, stupid," may be more than political strategy; it may also be the key to environmental sustainability. The book is "Green Washed: Why We Can't Buy Our Way to a Green Planet," by Kendra Pierre-Louis. The argument developed is not just that the consumer choices of an individual won't save the planet without collective action, but also that the only collective action that will save us is abandoning the whole idea of consumer choices.

Better than Obama: Why the Establishment is Terrified of Ron Paul

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.

 

Oil Drilling in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska About to Begin, But It's a Good Thing Because Obama Is President

(Reuters) - ConocoPhillips on Monday won a key permit that will allow construction of an oil field that is expected to provide the first-ever production from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska on the western North Slope.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it granted a modified wetlands-fill permit that will allow ConocoPhillips to build a road, bridge and above-ground pipeline connecting its CD-5 project with the Alpine oil field on state land just east of the petroleum reserve.

The wetlands-fill permit -- initially denied to ConocoPhillips nearly two years ago -- is the last major government authorization that ConocoPhillips needs to build CD-5, said Natalie Lowman, a company spokeswoman in Alaska.

Oops! We're Doomed

By Michael Collins

We don’t have a substantial cushion between today's climate and dangerous warming. James E. Hanson

The head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James E. Hansen, announced the results of break through global warming research last week. The earth's temperature is rising at a much quicker pace than previously anticipated according to research by the nation's preeminent climate scientist. We have little time to reverse the trend. (Image)

An example of the dangerous pace of change is emerging on Russia's Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf. Long-frozen permafrost is beginning to melt due to global warming. This threat was identified years ago due to the potential for highly toxic releases of heat-trapping methane gas.  Recent changes are both a surprise and a cause for alarm. There is more methane gas released from the Russian cauldron "than the CH4 emissions estimate for the entire world ocean." Methane is a "far more potent GHG [greenhouse gas] than CO2" with a greater potential to cause "abrupt climate change."

The Next Monument to US Leaders Should Be Located at the Seashore, not on the Washington Mall

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Wanted: Sculptor who works in bronze to construct life-sized group of statues of President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, all to be mounted at the high tide line below a high cliff in Maine’s Acadia National Park.

 

There what’s left of American posterity can watch as the seas rise inexorably over the coming years and decades, first lapping at the feet of the statues, then the knees, then the waists, then the chests and finally cover over the heads of these “leaders” in Washington who have cynically and foolishly squandered the last opportunity to take effective action to combat climate change. 

 

OccupyWashingtonDC joins OccupyEPA

Call on employees to blow the whistle on policies that harm the planet and cost human lives

Wednesday, Nov. 30 at noon, Freedom Plaza – OccupyWashingtonDC will join Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower and author of “No Fear: A whistleblower’s triumph over corruption and retaliation at the EPA,” for a march to the Environmental Protection Agency to protest their weakening of clean air standards under pressure from Big Industry. The weakening of clean air standards has a proven consequence of increased rates of asthma and death. This is one example of corporate pressure on a government agency that enhances industry profits at the expense of human lives and sustainability of the planet. The President ordered EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to stand down on life-saving amendments to the clean air act.

Protesters will set up a tent on the EPA lawn to signify that this is a step towards the occupation of the EPA. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo created OccupyEPA in the spirit of the occupy movement to publicly state that the corruption of the EPA is not acceptable and that it will be exposed. "We can not sit idly by and wait for the 7,200 deaths, 11,000 emergency room visits and 38,000 acute cases of asthma that the Agency said could be avoided by the implementation of the clean air act, said Dr. Coleman-Adebayo."  "The president must immediately reverse his decision. We call upon EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to fight for the people who can not fight for themselves. She must blow the whistleblower on the real reason her proposal was rejected; that corporate greed out weighs American lives. Jackson must also stop her policy of retaliation again EPA whistleblowers and victims of civil rights abuses."

This action is part of OccupyWashingtonDC’s campaign to encourage government employees who are pressured by industry to weaken regulatory standards or who witness others being pressured to do so speak out either publicly or anonymously. Dr. Margaret Flowers of OccupyWashingtonDC.org states that “It is imperative that the connection between lobbyists for big industry who pressure public officials and resulting orders, implicit or explicit, to weaken regulatory standards be exposed. The exploitation of people and the planet for corporate profit must be stopped if we are to create a world that is peaceful, just and sustainable. Government whistleblowers are true patriots and the 99% is here to encourage them and provide them with resources so they can tell the truth. This is one more step on the path to creating dignity for ourselves, our nation and the planet.”

The EPA Occupied

By Marsha Coleman Adebayo

On October 10th, a coalition of whistleblower and civil rights organizations under the auspice of Occupy Washington, DC, the No FEAR Coalition, the National Whistleblower Center, net-We, the Alliance for Workplace Accountability and NIH Workplace Fairness convened a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC.  We held a spirited march to EPA Headquarters demanding that  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson promulgate revised clean air/smog regulations. According to Senators Barbara Boxer and Ben Cardin, over 200,000 new cases of asthma and other upper respiratory diseases will occur unless new air regulations are implemented. The president ordered Jackson to stand down on promulgation of new air regulations.

The protest also called upon Jackson to stop retaliation against whistleblowers 

We acknowledged our solidarity with South African vanadium workers. EPA Whistleblower Jon Grand was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the National Whistleblower Center. 

Please see pictures, video and news clippings from the Occupy EPA event. Please post on your website, Facebook, twitter account and distribute to friends and colleagues.

The next march on  EPA will take place Wednesday, November 16th at Freedom Plaza.  Please come out and support the communities suffering from mountain top removal.  

A Movie For The Movement: "Heist: Who Stole The American Dream?"

http://www.heist-themovie.com

As the Occupy Wall Street movement pushes forward, evolving daily in mission and meaning, its cinematic companion has arrived on the scene. Heist: Who Stole The American Dream? is the latest socially and politically relevant documentary executive produced by Earl Katz, President of Public Interest Pictures. Heist will soon premiere as the fundamental primer on the historical and present-day inequities which gave rise to the Occupy Movement. From its 1930s depiction of Depression Era breadlines to Wisconsin Governor Walker's current assault on Collective Bargaining, Heist tells the story of America in decline due to the excessive greed of corporate executives and politicians bent on destroying the middle class.

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