Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gulf Oil Update: Day 82

Tom Hartman interviews John Wathen (photographer and activist) known as the "Hurricane Creekkeeper"


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nunguesser Calls Out Coast Gaurd
Thank God for Billy Nunguesser!

Nunguesser: "It seems like there's a conspiracy between BP and the US Coast Guard!"

Posted by Hurricane Creekkeeper (John Wathen) at 5:11 PM


U.S. Air Force sprays Corexit From Plane.

At 3:30 into the video the pilot says... "How do you pick a spot? It's everywhere.
May 15, 2010

The toxicity of Corexit EC9527A is quite high, here is an extract from the Corexit EC9527A Materials Safety Data Sheet:

0 = Insignificant 1 = Slight 2 = Moderate 3 = High 4 = Extreme

Our hazard evaluation has identified the following chemical substance(s) as hazardous. Consult Section 15 for the nature of the hazard(s).

Hazardous Substance(s) CAS NO % (w/w)
2-Butoxyethanol 111-76-2 30.0- 60.0
Organic sulfonic acid salt Proprietary 10.0- 30.0
Propylene Glycol 57-55-6 1.0- 5.0


Eye and skin irritant. Repeated or excessive exposure to butoxyethanol may cause injury to red blood cells, (hemolysis), kidney or the liver. Harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed.
Do not get in eyes, on skin, on clothing. Do not take internally. Use with adequate ventilation. Wear suitable protective clothing. Keep container tightly closed. Flush affected area with water. Keep away from heat. Keep away from sources of ignition -No smoking.
May evolve oxides of carbon (COx) under fire conditions.

Eye, Skin

Can cause moderate irritation. Harmful if absorbed through skin.

May be harmful if swallowed. May cause liver and kidney effects and/or damage. There may be irritation to the gastro-intestinal tract.

Harmful by inhalation. Repeated or prolonged exposure may irritate the respiratory tract.


Excessive exposure may cause central nervous system effects, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects.

Repeated or excessive exposure to butoxyethanol may cause injury to red blood cells (hemolysis), kidney or the liver.

Skin contact may aggravate an existing dermatitis condition.

Contains ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (butoxyethanol). Prolonged and/or repeated exposure through inhalation or extensive skin contact with EGBE may result in damage to the blood and kidneys.The Unified Command reported that as of May 6, 2010 Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) aircraft have flown numerous dispersant missions-dispensing the same dispersant chemical being used by BP and the federal responders. These systems are capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight.

The Unified Command also reported that, as of May 6, 2010, 253,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed and more than 317,000 gallons are available

If you see anything fishy happening on your waterways don't hesitate to call the Lower Mississippi Riverkeerp hotline at 1-866-MSRIVER

Editor's NOTE:

It would appear that the spraying of oil dispersant's in the Gulf water and air should be terminated immediately as there is ample evidence to suggest that it is:

1) Killing marine life throughout the entire water column
2) Disguising the amount of oil and gas that has actually flowed into the Gulf
3) Beginning to become a health hazard for clean-up and recovery workers
4) Reducing the amount of money which BP should have to pay in damages
5) Decreasing the effectiveness of oil skimming operations.
6) No longer effective since much of the coast has already been contaminated with oil

--Dr. J. P. Hubert


Caught Restricting the Press and Public Again, BP Clarifies Policy on Access Limits
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

« Where Oh Where Have All the Wildlife Gone?

A John Wathen Video

by Glynn Wilson
GULF SHORES, Ala. — More reports surfaced today of contractors for British Petroleum and local police taking it upon themselves to limit access to oiled sites on the Gulf coast by media and citizens with cameras.

John Wathen, an activist photographer and videographer, was harassed at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday, and told he was not allowed on the beach with a camera where workers were moving oil with heavy machinery.

He has audio recordings to prove it as part of a video (see above). When asked about the policy, a person who answered the phone at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge said the policy was not to restrict access by the media or to prevent anyone from taking pictures. Authorities are preventing people from driving down Pine Beach Road to Gator Lake so you have to park and walk the mile to the beach.

In response to numerous reports of media access being limited across the Gulf in violation of Obama administration policy and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Megan Moloney, a spokesperson for BP Deepwater Horizon Response National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen, issued a statement clarifying the policy on media access and the establishment of so-called “safety zones,” such as the 65-foot zone outside boom surrounding pelican rookeries.

“Since the beginning of the response to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, federal agencies have worked to provide timely and factual information to the public, make personnel available to the media, and provide access to areas and operations the press could not reach on their own,” Moloney says. “At the same time, we have directed BP and its contractors to not restrict public access unless safety or security is jeopardized while recognizing that private individuals hired by contractors cannot be compelled to speak to the press.”

The administration claims this “openness” has led to hundreds of daily press briefings and conference calls by federal officials, “who have conducted thousands of interviews, and posted thousands of documents and images of, not only this historic response, but also the tragic impacts of this continuing oil leak. In addition, response assets have provided press access to field operations nearly 700 times during the last two months including those areas hardest hit by this tragedy.”

Most of the images after the first two weeks put out by the Deepwater Response via e-mail, however, can only be described as “green washing,” showing pretty blue water and clean orange boom and happy federal workers on the job.

If it wasn’t for the Louisiana bureau of the Associated Press, a hand-full of broadcast reporters, and other independent journalists and activists challenging the media access fight at every level, the public would know little of the horrible, permanent travesty at work in the Gulf of Mexico.

“While a handful of sporadic instances have occurred where members of the media were turned away from certain areas by private entities, local law enforcement or non-leadership personnel, the constant stream of images on television and the robust amount of information available is testament to the fact these instances are the exception, not the rule,” Moloney said.

Last week Coast Guard Captains of the Port in the region put in place “limited, small waterside safety zones,” he said, around protective boom and those vessels actively responding to this spill, which caused an outcry and the creation of a Facebook group of photographers who plan to challenge the limit.

“This was required due to recent instances of protective boom being vandalized or broken by non-response vessels getting too close,” Malony said. “These 20-meter zones are only slightly longer than the distance from a baseball pitcher’s mound to home plate.

“This distance is insignificant when gathering images,” he claimed. “In fact, these zones, which do not target the press, can and have been opened for reporters as required.”

Nevermind that a photographer for the New Orleans Times Picayune said it would take a telescope to get closeup images from that distance, taking into account how far the boom is from land in places.

Media Could Face Criminal Penalties for Entering Oil Cleanup Safety Zone? For full article go HERE... For additional background See THIS...

“It is unfortunate that the safety zones are needed at all, but the responsibility of officials is to wage the most effective and safest response possible while best supporting factual and open reporting,” Malony says. “That will continue until BP caps its leaking well and the cleanup is complete.”

If it is ever capped, that is, and if the cleanup is done right.
Meanwhile, Plaquemines Paris President Billy Nunguesser has been outspoken in his support of having the media tell the story.


Papantonio: BP Escrow Fund is a Sham

July 9th, 2010

Mike Papantonio appears on The Randi Rhodes Show (with guest host Nicole Sandler), to discuss some of the most recent developments in the BP oil spill, including the new revelations that reporters could be fined as much as $40,000 and face a Class D felony for getting too close to oil workers.

Part 1


"There is somewhat of a 'police state' starting to form up over the BP oil spill."

Reporters are being kept away from things that BP and the Obama administration don't want the public to see.

Part 2


"This isn't just a BP story, this is about corporate America being in total control of the discion making process of our government."

"There is no BP money in escrow." Nothing is securitized. It's only a talking point. It is a lie." If BP went bankrupt tomorrow there would be no money.

"The 'frikin' government is taking over everything that is dear to us!"

Call your neighbor and say: we must talk about what's happening in America."


Papantonio: BP - Salazar Should be Fired



Dr.Bill Deagle

"There are 3 possible disconcerting scenario's 1) huge poisonous gaseous release(s) which could contaminate the gulf water and surrounding coast, 2) the precipitation of violent tropical storms and hurricanes and 3) as sea water gets into the oil reservoir with gradual equalization of pressures, the oil reservoir could become like a 'steam kettle' precipitating a dropping and rising of the sea floor and a resulting steam-related (volcanic) Tsunami."

Editor's NOTE:

I have been unable to independently verify the claims of Dr. Deagle so far.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Osama bin Laden--former CIA Asset--likely Dead

CIA without news of Osama bin Laden for almost 9 years

3 July 2010

In an interview with ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper on “This Week” (27 June 2010), CIA Director Leon Panetta said the last time the CIA had “precise information" on Osama bin Laden was when he left Afghanistan to cross into Pakistan (late 2001).

Recruited by the CIA in 1979, Osama bin Laden - of Yemeni-Saudi nationality and a businessman at the time - was in charge of financing the Afghan Mujahideen against the Communists. He purportedly turned against the United States during Operation Desert Storm (1991), and has been tracked down by the CIA ever since. However, contradicting the official account, he was hospitalised in August 2001 at the American Hospital in Dubai, under CIA protection, where he received the visit of various political figures.

The Agency and the political establishment consider him to be the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, again contradicting the official version, the FBI’s most wanted fugitive list does not feature OBL in connection with 9/11.

Over the past decade, various audio and video tapes have been attributed by the CIA to Osama bin Laden. However, in contradiction with this official story as well, Swiss experts from The Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence established that the tapes were all fake.

Recall that it was on the pretext of avenging the 9/11 victims and of capturing Osama bin Laden that President Bush ordered the Afghanistan offensive. But, in case OBL is not responsible for the attacks, or is no longer in the region, or may even be dead, then the rhetorical justification for the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would wither away.

Editor's NOTE:

David Ray Griffen has made a persuasive case that Osama bin Laden died in 2001 in the mountainous regions of Tora Bora, Afghanistan and that the US national security state is well aware of it but continues to allege that bin Laden is alive in order to justify the continued Afghanistan war offensive. See the video below in which David Ray Griffen is interviewed by Tom Hartman on the likely death of Osama bin Laden.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gulf Oil Update: Day 81

Congressman Ed Markey Predicted Danger of Hurricane (Alex)



"We have no idea about the condition of the well casing under the Gulf."

"We should assume the worst case scenario now, prepare for it and hope that we don't have to use it."


New Data from BP’s Coverup Firm Shows Dispersants in 20% of Offshore Workers

By: Michael Whitney
Friday July 9, 2010 12:59 pm

Christine Millner, Environmental Scientist with CTEH (Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health) collects water and air samples from the Gulf of Mexico waters off Shell Beach, LA.

CTEH is the company contracted by BP to monitor air levels as they related to recovery worker safety in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm, which has a sordid history of covering up corporate environmental disasters, just released new data with BP yesterday that shows disturbing levels of toxic dispersants in 20% of offshore recovery workers and 15% of near-shore workers. But these just aren’t any toxic dispersants. It’s the same chemical blamed for chronic health problems in Exxon Valdez recovery workers that is now poisoning at least one-fifth of BP’s offshore recovery workers. Elana Schor reports for Greenwire:

"In an under-the-radar release of new test results for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill workers, BP PLC is reporting potentially hazardous exposures to a now-discontinued dispersant chemical — a substance blamed for contributing to chronic health problems after the Exxon Valdez cleanup — among more than 20 percent of offshore responders. [...]

The new BP summary, including results up to June 29, show a broad majority of workers testing below exposure limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). But the Valdez-linked chemical 2-butoxyethanol was detected at levels up to 10 parts per million (ppm) in more than 20 percent of offshore responders and 15 percent of those near shore. The NIOSH standard for 2-butoxyethanol, which lacks the force of law but is considered more health-protective than the higher OSHA limit, is 5 ppm."

Data from Louisiana Office of Public Health compiled by Firedoglake shows that almost half of workers reporting illnesses were working offshore. Their symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the nose and eyes - symptoms consistent with of exposure to 2-butoxyethanol.

Of course, while CTEH and BP included the health limits for every other chemical they measured, they conveniently forgot to include that helpful information for its measurements for 2-butoxyethanol.

OSHA’s standard for exposure to this toxic chemical is 50 parts per million for a 40-hour work week, while NIOSH, part of the CDC, suggests a toxicity limit of just 5 parts per million. CTEH and BP’s data showed 20% of offshore workers and 15% of near-shore workers had levels of this toxic chemical at 10 parts per million. (Twice the toxic level of 5 ppm--Editor)

When I spoke with Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Jordan Barab, earlier this week, Barab told me that OSHA hasn’t ”found anything approaching the minimum levels” of toxic components of dispersants for the “most of up to date limits.” I asked the Department of Labor to clarify this morning if this included 2-butoxyethanol, but have not yet received a response.

The danger with OSHA’s level is that it is based on a work week – however, many recovery workers, particularly those working offshore, are around the toxic chemicals almost 24/7. Workers on boats, rigs drilling relief wells, and others miles off shore have constant exposure. Many others who aren’t deep offshore still live and work near or on the water, and have near constant exposure to toxic chemicals in the air for more than 40 hours per week.

But OSHA isn’t responsible for offshore workers. The agency’s jurisdiction ends 3 miles offshore, far away from the offshore workers most affected by exposure to dispersants. OSHA tells me that NIOSH is observing and monitoring offshore, with the Coast Guard in charge of enforcement. But CTEH apparently has primary responsibility for worker safety monitoring data offshore.

So what’s next? It seems to be that CTEH and BP’s exclusion of toxic limits for 2-butoxyethanol is an omission consistent with CTEH’s track record of covering up for corporate disasters. It’s clear that this toxic chemical that caused so much pain for Exxon Valdez recovery workers needs to be taken with the utmost concern by the federal government. (Editor's bold emphasis throughout) Levels of this chemical need to be considered in any health and safety protections for recovery workers, including respirators, at NIOSH’s limits. There also needs to be a government agency officially charged with protecting the safety of offshore workers that doesn’t rely on CTEH. There’s no reason to do anything less when the health and safety of recovery workers are at stake.

Finally, CTEH’s data has been long in coming; while CTEH claims to send data to the government on a daily basis, this is the first public release of data since early June. The government needs to whip BP and CTEH in line to provide real time information about toxicity in order to do everything possibly to protect recovery workers. If that means CTEH needs to go, then they need to go.


GRITtv: BP Exploiting Workers in the Gulf

By: Michael Whitney
Friday July 9, 2010 11:21 am

Yesterday I (Michael Whitney) went to GRITtv and spoke with host Laura Flanders and Louisiana author Jordan Flahrety about BP’s exploitation of working people in the Gulf Coast. We discussed just a few of the many problems facing fishermen, recovery workers, and residents of the Gulf that are all at the mercy of BP. Though OSHA issued limited standards for respirators, with health problems prevalent in the Gulf, OSHA says illnesses are heat-related. I also discussed problems with the claims process, ways fishermen can get screwed by BP, and how some are organizing to fight back. Jordan also makes some interesting points about the problem of historical exploitation of Gulf Coast communities by the oil industry, and what needs to happen for people to reclaim their lives back from Big Oil.

Check out our discussion in the video above, and much thanks to GRITtv and Laura Flanders for the great discussion.

Editor's NOTE:

Michael Whitney stressed that OSHA is currently underestimating the environmental risk to Gulf clean-up and recovery workers. For details see THIS...

--Dr. J. P. Hubert


Rep. Maloney: Address Health of Gulf Cleanup Workers Now, Before They Lose It

By: Michael Whitney
Wednesday June 9, 2010 3:59 pm

Rep. Carolyn Maloney took to the floor of the House of Representatives this morning to speak about the need to protect the health of cleanup workers responding to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Maloney, who represents parts of Manhattan and Queens in the House, is one of the leaders in Congress in fighting for the health of 9/11 workers and rescuers who lacked adequate safety equipment. She stands up for the 60,000 people who pitched in at Ground Zero, more than half of whom report serious respiratory and other health problems to this day.

Knowing OSHA’s poor track record at enforcing laws during times of crisis, like the 9/11 cleanup, Maloney saw the situation unfolding in the Gulf and spoke out about the need to protect the health of cleanup workers, as she put it, “before they lose it.” Maloney said on the floor of the House this morning:

"The BP oil spill has caused a great emergency along our Gulf Coast. I hope as the response to it continues, we never forget the lessons of the Ground Zero workers. In the wake of 9/11, thousands of men and women labored tirelessly. Driven by a sense of urgent purpose, safety precautions were not taken, and assurances were given that proved to be false. The health of far too many of those who worked on that toxic pile, they suffered long-term health consequences.

Now in the Gulf, men and women are once again being exposed to a toxic sea of elements. After just 40-some days, there are already reports that workers have suffered exposure to the oil, and this cleanup will go on for years. The time to address the issue of the health of the cleanup workers is now, before they lose it."

Maloney knows that in the days, weeks, and months following 9/11, people in lower Manhattan were at risk of serious health issues due to poor air quality and asbestos from the fallen buildings. Despite pleas from local authorities, members of Congress, and the workers themselves, OSHA and EPA refused to require workers use respirators and other personal protection equipment to protect their health. Dr. Kirk Murphy at the Seminal pointed us to what happened, or didn’t, after 9/11:

"With regard to the Ground Zero clean-up, the FOIA request uncovered a trail of email and other documents showing that the New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New York City Fire Department (NYCFD) all asked for OSHA enforcement during October 2001 when the immediate crisis had passed and extensive clean-up efforts were underway. Despite requests, OSHA did not enforce its regulations. It is estimated that as many as 60,000 workers and volunteers assisted in the clean-up. Though no one knows what portion failed to use proper PPE, anecdotal reports suggest that unsafe exposure was commonplace. Already, as many as 60 percent of all Ground Zero workers have shown some signs of respiratory illness and some have died due to their exposure."

OSHA needs to conduct a monitoring program independent of the recovery effort of BP and the Coast Guard. We need to know every data point of air monitoring in the region. We need to know the safety training for workers gives them the knowledge they need to recognize risks to their health. And we need to know workers have every available piece of personal protection equipment, including respirators, that they need to work safely with the cleanup of BP’s oil. If we don’t act now, and if OSHA continues to provide cover for BP, Gulf cleanup workers will suffer for the rest of the lives, and BP will wash its hands thanks to the complicity of OSHA.

Zionist Update: Israeli Nuke's, Netanyahu, "Christian" Millenialism

Exposed: The Truth About Israel's Land Grab In The West Bank

As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet, a report reveals 42 per cent of territory is controlled by settlers

By Catrina Stewart in Jerusalem and David Usborne

July 08, 2010 "The Independent" -- Jewish settlers, who claim a divine right to the whole of Israel, now control more than 42 per cent of the occupied West Bank, representing a powerful obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state, a new report has revealed.

The jurisdiction of some 200 settlements, illegal under international law, cover much more of the occupied Palestinian territory than previously thought. And a large section of the land has been seized from private Palestinian landowners in defiance even of an Israeli supreme court ruling, the report said, a finding which sits uncomfortably with Israeli claims that it builds only on state land.

Drawing on official Israeli military maps and population statistics, the leading Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, compiled the new findings, which were released just as the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, arrived in Washington to try to heal a gaping rift with US President Barack Obama over the issue of settlements.

"The settlement enterprise has been characterised, since its inception, by an instrumental, cynical, and even criminal approach to international law, local legislation, Israeli military orders, and Israeli law, which has enabled the continuous pilfering of land from Palestinians in the West Bank," the report concluded.

Mr Obama's demand for a freeze on illegal building has caused months of friction between his administration and the Israeli government. But the US president, facing mid-term elections in November, appeared eager to end the dispute with Israel yesterday.

He said the country was making "real progress" on improving conditions in the Gaza Strip and was serious about achieving peace.

The two men made a joint public appearance, carefully choreographed to convey mutual ease and friendship.

When Mr Netanyahu last visited the White House, in March, US anger at his refusal to end construction meant the Israeli premier was denied a joint appearance with Mr Obama before the cameras. This time the photo-op was granted and the two men afterwards shared a meal – although not a state dinner but a working lunch.

"Reports about the demise of the special US-Israel relationship aren't premature, they are just flat wrong," Mr Netanyahu said, in response to a reporter's question about the perceived tensions. Playing to the same script, Mr Obama said that the "bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable".

But the revelations in the B'Tselem report suggest that despite Mr Netanyahu's stated desire for peace, his policy on settlements remains a dangerous obstacle to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and therefore to a durable peace.

They cast an uncompromising spotlight on Israeli practices in the Palestinian territories that have long drawn international criticism for establishing "facts on the ground" hampering the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

While most of the Jewish settlement activity is concentrated in 1 per cent of the West Bank, settler councils have in fact fenced off or earmarked massive tracts of land, comprising some 42 per cent of the West Bank, B'Tselem said.

And despite the outlawing by Israel of settlement expansion on private Palestinian land, settlers have seized 21 per cent of land that Israel recognises is privately-owned.

B'Tselem alleged that Israel had devised an extensive system of loopholes to requisition Palestinian land.

At the same time, Israel has built bypass roads, erected new checkpoints, and taken control of scarce water resources to the benefit of the settlers. The measures have effectively created Palestinian enclaves within the West Bank, the report said.

Under international law, any Jewish settlements built on occupied territory are illegal. These include all the settlements in the West Bank, and thousands of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, the Arab-dominated sector of the city annexed by Israel after the 1967 Six Day War. The international community still regards East Jerusalem as occupied territory. Despite firm commitments from successive Israeli governments to dismantle illegal outposts built after 2001 and to cease expansion of the settlements, Israel has provided millions of dollars worth of incentives to encourage poorer families to move into the West Bank. Some 300,000 settlers live in the West Bank.

Settlers immediately attacked the report, claiming it was timed as a spoiler to the Washington meeting.

In Washington, no concrete breakthroughs were announced but Mr Obama said that he believed the Israeli leader was ready to move towards direct talks with the Palestinians. Indirect talks began earlier this year, mediated by special US envoy George Mitchell.

Mr Netanyahu showed signs of responding to the pressure. "Peace is the best option for all of us and I think we have a unique opportunity to do it," he said. "If we work together with [Palestinian] President [Mahmoud] Abbas then we can bring a great message of hope to our peoples, to the region and to the world."

The Palestinians continue to refuse direct talks with Israel while new settlement construction is allowed. (Editor's bold emphasis throughout) Settlement activity continues in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians aim to include in a new state.

With US-Israel ties already frayed, Mr Netanyahu postponed a visit to the White House last month in the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid on a Turkish-led flotilla trying to deliver humanitarian goods to Gaza.

For Mr Obama, the danger is clear that any long-lasting record of animosity towards Israel could translate into lost votes at the mid-term elections.

Norman Finkelstein: Results, Not Rhetoric

Laura Flanders
July 8, 2010

Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussing their countries' foreign relations resembles two lovers discussing their future together. Though they have squabbled in the past over trivial things (things like settlement expansion that most other countries deem flagrant violations of international law), their July 6th meeting at the White House showed that their "unbreakable bond" cannot be shaken... Obama has certainly given enough lip service to settlement moratoriums, proximity talks, and direct talks, but what are the results? Since the Oslo Accords in 1993, there are three times as many settlers and Israel has annexed 42% of Palestinian land for even more expansion. Though Obama waxes eloquently about "direct negotiations," there are no signs of Israel withdrawing to the 1967 borders that would only begin to indicate a successful peace process.

Norman Finkelstein joins us (Grit TV with Laura Flanders) in the studio to report that one should judge the alleged "peace process" with results, not rhetoric.

Editor's NOTE:

The Laura Flanders interview of Norman Finkelstein above is excellent! Professor Finkelstein made several key points:

1. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords and the so-called Peace Process, Israel has engaged in a "Colonizataion" process not a peace process in direct contravention of international law.

2. The Blockade of Gaza is illegal. Under international law, since Israel is a frequent violator of human rights, all weapons intended for Israel should be embargoed not just items which could be used in weapon-making which are headed for Gaza.

3. The Obama/Netanyahu meeting was essentially a charade as there is no evidence that Israel intends to abide by the 1967 boundaries or to cease settlement building in the West Bank ergo: the "peace process" is going nowhere!

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

"Christian-Zionism" Is Trouble for Israel and the USA

By Frank Schaeffer

July 08, 2010 "Huffington Post" - -Some of the nuttiest American religious leaders today (and in the past) have latched on to one form or another of Christian Zionism. These days Reverend John Hagee (pastor of a mega church with thousands of members in Houston) is a leading Far Right Evangelical and ardent fan of Israeli expansion into the disputed West Bank.

And the bestselling books of the Left Behind series of novels have fed the Evangelicals' fixation on End Times prophecy and the "imminent" return of Christ. To put it mildly, the Evangelical theological/biblical "reasons" have deformed US policy and made America act against its self interest. This has also harmed the state of Israel.

Here's a story in the New York Times that handily illustrates the price both America and Israel pay for allowing Evangelical mythology to inform, or should I say deform, US foreign policy.

According to the New York Times, "Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank" (July 6, 2010), evangelical fans of the Apocalypse are hock deep in aiding and abetting illegal settlements while our government looks the other way!

HAR BRACHA, West Bank -- Twice a year, American evangelicals show up at a winery in this Jewish settlement in the hills of ancient Samaria to play a direct role in biblical prophecy, picking grapes and pruning vines.

Believing that Christian help for Jewish winemakers here in the occupied West Bank foretells Christ's second coming, they are recruited by a Tennessee-based charity called HaYovel that invites volunteers "to labor side by side with the people of Israel" and "to share with them a passion for the soon coming jubilee in Yeshua, messiah."
"Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob 3,500 years ago -- and that covenant still stands," Mr. Hagee thundered. "World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and cannot do in the city of Jerusalem." (Rapture [Millenialist] Dispensationalist Evangelical's do not recognize that Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection fullfilled Old Testament biblical prophecy and that the Church which he started is the new Israel thereby replacing the old covenant. The modern state of Israel has nothing whatsoever to do with the ancient peoples to whom God made His covenant. The predominantly Zionist [nationalist/racist] Israeli Jews currently inhabiting Palestine have no "right" to it. The ancient Jews who did have a right to the land lost that right and were dispersed in the diaspora due to their failure to keep the tennets of the Abrahamic and Noetic Covenants--Editor).

Conflict, Armageddon and the "End Times" is the Christian-Zionist agenda, not helping a child in Tel Aviv or Gaza live happily, have a normal life and walk to school safely. The Evangelicals who "love" the state of Israel would rather see an innocent Jewish or Palestinian child blown up in a rocket attack as long as the "Promised Land" is "fully reclaimed" to fulfill their harebrained ideas of biblical prophecy. With "friends" like the Christian Zionists Israel needs no enemies. With "citizens" like the Evangelicals rooting for Armageddon, America needs no traitors.

Hold the emails! The state of Israel has every much as a right to exist as countries like the United States, New Zealand and Australia where the land was also (relatively recently) forcibly taken from the previous occupants (which is to say no moral "right" at all especially without making proper restitution to those from whom it was stolen--Editor). And yes, Israel suffers from slander from many hypocrites in the world (Arab and otherwise).

That said, American Evangelicals have an unhealthy affinity with the idea of religion-based states. A bedrock article of faith among American Evangelicals is that America had "Christian origins," and that today America must be "restored" to our "Christian heritage." The "Puritan heritage" of America is constantly cited as evidence for our need to "return" to our biblical roots. (In order to "fulfill Biblical prophecy," so-called "Dispensationalists" have been working to ensure that the world's Jews return to Israel and occupy all of Palestine. Dispensationalists have been leading "pilgrims" to Israel ever since since Pastor Jerry Falwell's first visit in order to win financial and political support for the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.)

(Dispensationalism is incompatible with the Church that Jesus Christ started, is a relatively recent invention of Protestant Evangelicalism and in fact is not Christian at all--Editor).
As I discuss in my book Crazy For God Puritans believed that they were carrying "authentic Christianity" to America, especially as written in the Old Testament. They said that they were on a divine mission, even called themselves; "the New Israel" and a "city set upon a hill." John Winthrop (governor of Massachusetts Bay) transferred the idea of "nationhood" in biblical Israel to the Massachusetts Bay Company. Puritans even said the Bible confirmed their status as the New Israel!

It is no coincidence that the self-consciously religious states of the Middle East are in perpetual conflict with other equally religion-based countries, for instance Islamic states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (that postures as the keeper of Islam) and Iran are in perpetual conflict with Israel the Jewish homeland. And it's no coincidence that America has paid dearly in blood and treasure in one Middle Eastern-incited and/or actual military entanglement after another because of our theology-based relationship with the state of Israel as well as our meddling in the affairs of the Islamic states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

What would you expect but conflict when modernity tangles with Bronze Age tribalism that's been given a biblical Evangelical "End Times" twist?!

As the Times story illustrates, Evangelical hardliners have a "prophetic" agenda when pushing Israel to keep all the West Bank and to be "tough on the Palestinians" that has nothing to do with what might bring peace (let alone justice) to the actual Jews and actual Arabs who are fated to be neighbors. Gleeful -- shamefully tax-deductible -- war mongering in the name of Jesus and/or "protecting Israel" -- from a safe distance, say from Houston! -- has everything to do with Evangelicals' ideas about what will hasten the "return of Christ" and nothing to do with what is actually good for the Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs, let alone the rest of us who long for peace.

Obama administration: Israel has right to nuclear capability for deterrence purposes

By Barak Ravid
Published 00:54 08.07.10

NEW YORK - The Obama administration has revealed to the public, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington, a series of understandings between the two countries on Israel's policy of "nuclear ambiguity" - which to date had been kept under wraps.

Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Blair House in Washington, July 7, 2010.

At the center of these understandings lies an Israeli veto on the holding of an international conference for a nuclear-free Middle East, as well as an unprecedented American willingness to cooperate with Israel in the field of nuclear power for civil use.

The revelations come in the wake of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference held in May, which called on Israel to agree to international inspection of its nuclear installations, and to the holding of an international conference for a nuclear-free Middle East. The conference's final document was passed despite Israel's strong protests to the Americans.

In talks since the conference, the Americans made it clear that that decision had been a "mistake." In an effort to clarify the administration's stance on the Israeli nuclear question, it was determined that - in coordination with Israel - the full details of the high-level understandings between the two sides, reached during the 1960s, would finally be revealed.

The understandings have been updated over the years, including during this past year.

Washington's aim through these revelations was to clear the air and correct the impression given at the May conference that the United States did not back Israel.

Following their meeting at the White House Tuesday, a special announcement was made an hour later concerning assurances given to Netanyahu by U.S. President Barack Obama.

According to the announcement, "The president told the prime minister he recognizes that Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats, and that only Israel can determine its security needs. The president pledged to continue U.S. efforts to combat all international attempts to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel."

"The president emphasized that the United States will continue its long standing practice to work closely with Israel to ensure that arms control initiatives and policies do not detract from Israel's security, and support our common efforts to strengthen international peace and stability," the statement continued.

In the event that the proposed conference on a nuclear-free Middle East is held, "the United States will insist that such a conference will be for discussion aimed at an exchange of views on a broad agenda, to include regional security issues, verification and compliance, and all categories of weapons of mass destruction and systems for their delivery."

"The president emphasized that the conference will only take place if all countries feel confident that they can attend, and that any efforts to single out Israel will make the prospects of convening such a conference unlikely. In this regard, the two leaders also agreed to work together to oppose efforts to single out Israel at the IAEA General Conference in September."

Meanwhile, prior to departing for New York, Netanyahu met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and presented him with Israel's security needs as part of a permanent agreement for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Editor's NOTE:

As long as Israel continues to deny its terrorist beginnings and continued terrorist activity to date without having at least attempted a just compensation to the victims, it will never be recognized as a legitimate nation-state in much of the (Muslim/Arab/Persian world.

American President's and US administrations do not help Israel attain peace and security by cooperating with the Jewish state's denial of its trangressions. The latest statements by President Obama only serve to further complicate the problem. His lack of clarity and honesty on this issue is no doubt due to the power of the Zionist Lobby. Until its power is eclipsed, US foreign policy will remain counterproductive as far as the American people and those of Israel are concerned.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

An excellent Meeting

Published 00:54 08.07.10
Gideon Levy

Two statesmen met in Washington on Tuesday who are looking smaller and smaller, who are taking smaller and smaller steps.

By Gideon Levy It really was an excellent meeting: The chance that a binational state will be established has improved as a result; relations between Israel and the United States are indeed "marvelous." Israel can continue with the whims of its occupation. The president of the United States proved Tuesday that perhaps there has been change, but not as far as we are concerned.

If there remained any vestiges of hope in the Middle East from Barack Obama, they have dissipated; if some people still expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead a courageous move, they now know they made a mistake (and misled others ).

The masked ball is at its peak: Preening each other, Obama and Netanyahu have proved that even their heavy layer of makeup can no longer hide the wrinkles. The worn-out, wizened old face of the longest "peace process" in history has been awarded another surprising and incomprehensible extention. It's on its way nowhere.

The "warm" and "sympathetic" reception, albeit a little forced, including the presidential dog, Bo, the meeting of the wives, with the U.S. president accompanying the Israeli prime minister to the car in an "unprecedented" way, as the press enthused, cannot obscure reality. The reality is that Israel has again managed to fool not only America, but even its most promising president in years.

It was enough to listen to the joint press conference to understand, or better yet, not understand, where we are headed. Will the freeze continue? Obama and Netanyahu squirmed, formulated and obfuscated, and no clear answer was forthcoming. If there was a time when people marveled at Henry Kissinger's "constructive ambiguity," now we have destructive ambiguity. Even when it came to the minimum move of a construction freeze, without which there is no proof of serious intent on Israel's part, the two leaders threw up a smoke screen. A cowardly yes-and-no by both.

More than anything, the meeting proved that the criminal waste of time will go on. A year and a half has passed since the two took office, and almost nothing has changed except lip service to the freeze. A few lifted roadblocks here, a little less blockade of Gaza there - all relatively marginal matters, a bogus substitute for a bold jump over the abyss, without which nothing will move.

When direct talks become a goal, without anyone having a clue what Israel's position is - a strange negotiation in which everyone knows what the Palestinians want and no one knows for sure what Israel wants - the wheel not only does not go forward, it goes backward. There are plenty of excuses and explanations: Obama has the congressional elections ahead of him, so he mustn't make Netanyahu angry.

After that, the footfalls of the presidential elections can be heard, and then he certainly must not anger the Jews. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is pressuring Netanyahu now; tomorrow it might be Likud MK Danny Danon, and after all, you can't expect Netanyahu to commit political suicide. And there you have it, his term in office is over, with no achievements. Good for you, Obama; bravo Netanyahu. You managed to make a mockery of each other, and together, of us all.

Netanyahu will be coming back to Israel over the weekend, adorned with false accomplishments. The settlers will mark a major achievement. Even if they don't not admit it - they are never satisfied, after all - they can rejoice secretly. Their project will continue to prosper. If they have doubled their numbers since the Oslo Accords, now they can triple them.

And then what? Here then is a question for Obama and Netanyahu: Where to? No playing for time can blur the question. Where are they headed? What will improve in another year? What will be more promising in another two years? The Syrian president is knocking at the door begging for peace with Israel, and the two leaders are ignoring him. Will he still be knocking in two years? The Arab League's initiative is still valid; terror has almost ceased. What will the situation be after they have finished compromising over the freeze in construction of balconies and ritual baths?

Two statesmen met in Washington on Tuesday who are looking smaller and smaller, who are taking smaller and smaller steps. They have decided not to decide, which in itself is a decision. When the chance of a two-state solution has long since entered injury time, they have decided on more extra time. Get ready for the binational state, or the next round of bloodletting.

Peace Movement: Activists In US Demand End to Empire


The only way to peace is through the people and obviously not through our corrupt and corporately controlled government.

Most of the rest of the world is aware that the US is a Military/Corporate Empire and that the spread of this Empire is harmful globally to peace, the environment, and economic health.

Part of POTA is to bring awareness to Americans about the profound cost to all of us from this Empire.

To these ends, Peace of the Action is holding Sizzlin' Summer Actions in Washington DC to question, oppose, and educate people about these US policies in particular:

Reliance on oil and the oil.
Increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles at home and abroad.
The lies military recruiters tell our children.
The US's support of Israel's illegal and immoral occupation of Palestine.

Every indicator for quality of life has plummeted in the last 18 months and instead of pretending like everything is okay, it's time to rekindle an anti-war movement to demand an end to the wars we are waging and the crass militarism that harms us all. We need as many people as possible who realize that time is running short for us to truly affect change by commitment and dedication to humanity through the end to the US Empire (and its subsidiaries).

Join us from July 4th to July 17th in Washington DC. MORE from Peace of the Action...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Update on Israeli Nuclear Weapons

JFK Tried to Prevent Israel from Obtaining Nuclear Weapons

Grant F. Smith: JFK Tried to Stop Israel from Developing Nukes! from William Hughes on Vimeo.

Smith estabishes that John F. Kennedy saw the risk represented by Israeli acquisition of nuclear weapons and tried to prevent it. Robert F. Kennedy through his leadership of the US Department of Justice attempted to have the Israel Lobby registered as a foreign (hostile) entity --Editor

Professor John J. Mearsheimer on Israel’s Nukes, Espionage and its Impact on the U.S.

Professor John J. Mearsheimer on Israel’s Nukes, Espionage and its Impact on the U.S. from William Hughes on Vimeo.

Mearsheimer argues among other things that having a nuclear weapons capability no longer benefits Israel--Editor

Gulf Oil Update: Day 80

Censorship and Cover-up in the Gulf Oil Disaster
World Socialist Web Site,
6 July 2010

The Obama administration has intensified its cover-up of the BP oil disaster. On July 1 it issued an order barring the public and the news media from coming within 65feet of clean-up operations without permission from the Coast Guard. The transparent aim of the order, which purports to protect the safety of clean-up workers, is to prevent the population from viewing the devastation wrought by the BP oil blowout.

The gag order states that that anyone not authorized by the Coast Guard “must not come within 20 meters [65 feet] of booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations under penalty of law.” The wording—“oil spill response operations”—could be construed as covering the entire affected region, which stretches from the Mississippi Delta to the Florida Panhandle.

Journalists who “willfully” defy the White House order could be prosecuted as Class D felons and face up to five years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Exceptions to the ban will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans.

In defending the order, Coast Guard Commander Thad Allen stated that the measure aims to protect clean-up workers, but he failed to cite a single incident of safety being compromised by “unauthorized personnel.”

The real concern the White House has is that clean-up workers might reveal something about the dangerous conditions under which they work and the real scale of the environmental devastation—defying a gag order imposed by BP. An unknown number of these workers—likely hundreds, perhaps thousands—have become sick from exposure to oil and toxic dispersants and may well face a lifetime of chronic ailments.

The new effort to gag the media continues a campaign launched three weeks ago by the administration to reach what Obama adviser David Axlerod called an “inflection point” in the Gulf crisis. In a string of public relations events from June 11 through June 17, President Obama visited the Gulf for two days, gave a nationally televised Oval Office speech on the blowout, and met in the White House with BP CEO Tony Hayward and Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

That meeting resulted in the announcement that BP would finance a $20 billion settlement fund, which would be “independently” administered. This was presented by Obama as a major concession wrenched from the oil company and a boon to the many thousands of Gulf residents whose livelihoods have been destroyed as a result of BP’s actions.

In reality, the deal was a boon to BP, effectively placing a cap over its major liabilities—for a disaster whose total costs will be reckoned in the hundreds of billions of dollars—and shielding it from lawsuits and damage claims.

“Investors in BP should know that there’s now an alternative to the litigation system in place,” Independent Claims Facility administrator Kenneth Feinberg told CNBC. “I think that’s a really helpful sign if you’re an investor.”

Feinberg has already declared that the fund will be off limits to the majority of those affected by the blowout—people in the tourism industry, fishermen who operate on a cash basis, Gulf coast homeowners whose property values will plunge.

The carefully scripted and orchestrated series of events in mid-June was meant to signal a halt to the anti-BP posturing by the government and begin a tamping down of media coverage of the catastrophe. In effect, the American people were told the poisoning of the Gulf, with all of its consequences, would continue at least until BP completed its relief wells some time in August—and they should get used to it!

The latest move to censor coverage of the Gulf crisis is in keeping with this strategy and is in line with the Obama administration’s policy ever since the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up on April 20, killing 11 workers. The primary concern of both BP and the White House has been to cover up the gravity of the pollution of vast parts of the Gulf of Mexico and beaches and wetlands in at least four US states.

At stake is not only the population’s right to know what is happening to the seas, shores and wildlife that are now treated as the private property of BP, it is quite simply impossible to formulate an adequate response outside of an independent assessment of the extent of the damage.

There are by now countless reports of journalists and citizens being ordered away from beaches or blocked from viewing the spill from the land, air and sea by BP, the Coast Guard and hired security agents. In mid-June, the White House banned airplanes from flying over the spill zone at altitudes below 3,000 feet, and helicopters below 1,500 feet, without a special exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported last week that journalists have been repeatedly barred from a government mobile hospital in Venice, Louisiana that is treating clean-up workers.

BP and its supplier Nalco, have even refused to reveal to scientists the chemical composition of Corexit, the dispersant that has been dumped by the hundreds of thousands of gallons into the Gulf to break up the oil, because, they say, it is a trade secret. BP simply defied an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order issued one month ago, to cease use of Corexit pending further testing. Obama decided not to pursue the matter.

For nearly two months, BP and government stonewalling made it impossible even to assess how big the blowout was. Insisting from the first that BP was “in charge” of the clean-up, the administration colluded with the oil giant to block independent analysis of the gusher one mile beneath the surface of the Gulf. Only under steady criticism from scientists did the administration repeatedly revise upward the rate of the oil erupting from the sea floor. The spill is now, by all accounts, the largest in history.

All of this underscores the necessity to take the response to the oil disaster out of the hands of BP and the Obama administration.

The Gulf disaster requires a mass response. It is first of all necessary to bring together the best scientists and engineers in the world, give them full and unfettered access to all information related to the disaster, and place them in charge of hundreds of thousands of well-trained, well-equipped and well-paid workers.

The resources necessary for this undertaking can be realized by nationalizing BP and the entire oil industry and converting the industry into a public utility, democratically run by the working population in the interests of society as a whole.

This, in turn, requires the mass mobilization of the working class, independently of both parties of big business, based on a socialist program that rejects the “right” of corporations and financiers to unfathomable wealth at the expense of the people and the environment of the planet.

l27,000 abandoned oil wells in Gulf of Mexico
By Hiram Lee
8 July 2010

There are 27,000 abandoned oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of the potential for oil leaks due to corrosion and underground pressure, the wells are not inspected by the US government or any agency within the oil industry. These revelations were uncovered as part of an investigative report conducted by the Associated Press which describes the Gulf of Mexico as “an environmental minefield.”

According to the AP, over half of the 50,000 wells which have been drilled in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico have been abandoned, with 23,500 of them considered permanently sealed. As many as 3,500 of the wells are considered “temporarily abandoned.” The oldest of the abandoned wells investigated by the AP date back to the 1940s.

Wells are abandoned by oil companies when they are considered to no longer be profitable, or when the potential for the amount of oil to be drawn from the well is not as high as the company may have initially believed. According to the AP, “Some owners temporarily abandon wells to await a rise in oil prices.”

The standard procedure for plugging a well to be abandoned permanently by an oil company involves cutting riser piping 15 feet beneath the seabed, filling the well with heavy liquid, often referred to as drilling mud, to prevent the flow of oil and capping the well with cement plugs which can be up to 200 feet in length.

Several factors can cause abandoned wells to leak or fail, including erosion or aging in the cement used to plug the wells and repressurization of wells due to changes in geological conditions. Erosion in well casing or other areas of the well structure can allow oil and gas to escape to the surface. This can occur gradually or in a sudden catastrophic blowout.

The permanent sealing of an offshore well is costly and time consuming, costing as much as $200,000 and taking as many as 10 days work. Many oil companies get around this by classifying their wells as “temporarily abandoned,” so they can plug the wells in a less thorough and expensive process. Federal regulations only mandate that companies provide a yearly plan stating their intentions to either return to the well or to seal it permanently in the future.

Using this loophole, companies can leave their wells in a kind of legal limbo for years. They can do so knowing they will face no repercussion from governmental regulating industries. The AP found that the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS) has issued fines of “just $440,000 on seven companies from 2003-2007 for improper plug-and-abandonment work.”

The AP reports that “About three-quarters of temporarily abandoned wells have been left in that status for more than a year, and many since the 1950s and 1960s—even though sealing procedures for temporary abandonment are not as stringent as those for permanent closures.”

BP has abandoned no less than 600 wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

Relief wells could be ineffective.

A contractor with BP has said the company is ahead of schedule in drilling its first relief well. Billy Brown, the president of Blackhawk Specialty Tools, a company hired by BP to work on the cementing process of the relief well plan, claims BP is within ten feet of intersecting with its leaking Macado well. Brown recently told reporters “hopefully in the next two weeks we are going to be hearing some very good things.”

National Incident Commander Thad Allen gave reporters a different estimate on Tuesday saying, “They have about 264 feet left to go before they can get to a point where they can potentially intercept the well.” Allen is standing by the timeline which places completion of the first relief well in mid-August, even though he says BP is a week ahead of schedule.

The relief wells are intended to intersect the blown-out Macado well at a depth of 18,000 feet. Once the wells intersect, a heavy liquid will be pumped into the leaking well in order to stop the flow of oil. The Macado well will then be plugged with concrete.

While BP’s plan to stop the leak with relief wells has been promoted as the ultimate solution to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the more trustworthy fall-back plan once all other efforts to stop the leak had failed, there is a real possibility the relief wells could also be ineffective.

David Rensink, the incoming president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, has discussed the difficulties involved with intersecting the leaking well. Rensink told reporters, “You’re trying to intersect the well bore, which is about a foot wide, with another well bore, which is about a foot wide.” Rensink has said making contact on the first attempt “would truly be like winning the lottery.”

There is a danger that if BP misses its target, it could drill into a high-pressure zone and cause a gas “kick” which might lead to a blowout in the relief well itself. However, even if the company does hit its target on the first try, there is still no guarantee of success.

In an online discussion hosted by the Washington Post, John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil and the current CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy, discussed the possibility that the Macado well casing could have been damaged during the April 20 blowout or eroded by the leaking oil, putting the success of a relief well in doubt. Damage to the casing could allow the mud to be forced into the well to escape and prevent it from bringing the flow of oil to a halt.

“If the casing is compromised,” wrote Hofmeister, “the well is that much more difficult to shut down, including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other risks as well.”

Oil spill reaches Texas and Lake Pontchartrain
By Tom Eley
7 July 2010

Laboratory analysis on Tuesday confirmed that tar balls found washed ashore on beaches in Galveston, Texas, over the weekend originated from the BP’s Macondo well, which is gushing out millions of gallons of oil per day 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

Oil has now washed ashore in all the Gulf states—Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida—in a 550-mile stretch, about equivalent to the length of Great Britain from its northern to southern tips.

Tar balls and oil sheen have also been discovered in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, the estuary located directly to the north of New Orleans. Since the large saltwater lake is connected by only a thin strait to the Gulf, the arrival of the tar balls suggests that the oil and its toxic effects will increasingly penetrate into inland areas.

On Monday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expanded its ban on Gulf fishing to more than 81,000 square miles, about a third of all federal waters in the Gulf. The ban already includes most of the region’s richest fishing areas, effectively shutting down one of the coast’s largest industries.

BP’s efforts to collect the oil, meanwhile, are floundering.

In its skimming operations, BP has been able to collect less than 1,000 barrels of oil per day by its own count. Yet in an environmental impact statement produced only one month before the April 20 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon, BP told the federal government that it would have the ability to skim and remove 491,721 barrels per day, the Washington Post reports.

Obama administration regulators did not question the estimate before approving BP’s operations at the Macondo site. BP’s daily collection average, 900 barrels, has been about two tenths of one percent of what the oil giant assured the federal government it could remove. In fact the total amount of oil skimmed in the 77 days of the disaster—67,143 barrels—is but 13 percent of what BP claimed prior to the blowout that it could remove in a single day.

BP and the Obama administration have sown confusion about the effectiveness of the skimming, reporting on Monday that 671,428 barrels had been skimmed. This would be an impressive figure, were it not the case that it was at least 90 percent seawater.

Skimming operations have been made ineffective in recent days by choppy waters, conditions which are expected to continue for the next week.

Walter, a skimming boat captain, told World Socialist Web Site reporters that skimming is ineffective. “We’re barely doing anything. Out of 150 million gallons, we haven’t picked up two million,” he said. “They deliberately sunk all the oil to the bottom as a PR move. There just isn’t much for us to skim.”

John, a cleanup worker from Missouri, said that a six-man boat crew, working all day, sometimes can gather only fifteen gallons of oil. Dean Blanchard, a shrimper, has seen boats return after a day’s work with only 4-5 gallons.

BP has burned a much larger share of the oil, 238,095 barrels in all, and it claims that 632,410 barrels have been recovered from siphoning operations at the wellhead. The burning of the oil has been harshly criticized over concerns about potential damage to human health caused by the resulting airborne pollutants.

But the largest amount by far has been lost into the deeper waters of the Gulf. At the high-end spill rate estimate, according to PBS, the blowout has produced 300 million gallons, or about 7,143,000 barrels. The low end in the range of official estimates, 87 million gallons or just over 2 million barrels, is simply not credible, given BP’s claim that it has siphoned, burned, or skimmed about half of that amount.

With each passing day the social and ecological catastrophe caused by the spill worsens. The fishing and tourism industries have been all but shut down. The consequences to human health are only now beginning to come into focus, with hundreds or perhaps thousands of clean-up workers developing health problems from acute exposure to the toxic mix of oil and chemical dispersants. Entire species, some already endangered, now face annihilation.

Scientists have expressed fear that the Gulf region could reach an ecological tipping point where a substantial share of sea life will vanish from vast areas of what was once one of the most biologically rich zones in the Western Hemisphere.

Now a British team of scientists has warned that the oil disaster is likely to raise the level of arsenic in the sea water substantially.

Arsenic, a highly poisonous metallic element, occurs naturally in sea water. Normally it is deposited in sediment on the seafloor and covered up. However, oil seems to disrupt this natural settling process, and also carries substantial levels of arsenic itself. Fish and other organisms consume the arsenic, and it accumulates and concentrates as it moves its way up the food chain toward humans. In addition, arsenic can disrupt photosynthesis in simple marine plants and cause genetic defects in animals.
“Oil spills stop the normal process because the oil combines with sediment and it leads to an accumulation of arsenic in the water over time,” said Professor Mark Sephton of Imperial College. “Our study is a timely reminder that oil spills could create a toxic ticking time bomb, which could threaten the fabric of the marine ecosystem in the future.”

This week BP announced that it will proceed with high-risk oil exploration in spite of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It made the declaration in response to opposition from a group of shareholders.

“The position is the same now as it was at the strategy update earlier in the year. We are committed to three core areas of deep-water oil, unconventional gas and enhanced recovery on super-sized fields,” a spokesman said in London. “The world needs oil to meet growing demand and total risk aversion would just drive up prices.”

Left-Leaning Despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement: Do You Really Believe in Miracles?

by David Ray Griffin
Global Research
July 6, 2010

An Open Letter to Terry Allen, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, David Corn, Chris Hayes, George Monbiot, Matthew Rothschild, and Matt Taibbi.1

According to several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, some of its central claims, especially about the destruction of the World Trade Center, show its members to be scientifically challenged. In the opinion of some of these critics, moreover, claims made by members of this movement are sometimes unscientific in the strongest possible sense, implying an acceptance of magic and miracles.

After documenting this charge in Part I of this essay, I show in Part II that the exact opposite is the case: that the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center implies miracles (I give nine examples), and that the 9/11 Truth Movement, in developing an alternative hypothesis, has done so in line with the assumption that the laws of nature did not take a holiday on 9/11. In Part III, I ask these left-leaning critics some questions evoked by the fact that it is they, not members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, who have endorsed a conspiracy theory replete with miracle stories as well as other absurdities.

I The Charge that 9/11 Truth Theories Rest on Unscientific, Even Magical, Beliefs Several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, besides showing contempt for its members, charge them with relying on claims that are contradicted by good science and, in some cases, reflect a belief in magic. By “magic,” they mean miracles, understood as violations of basic principles of the physical sciences.

For example, Alexander Cockburn, who has referred to members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as “9/11 conspiracy nuts,”3 quoted with approval a philosopher who, speaking of “the 9-11 conspiracy cult,” said that its “main engine . . . is . . . the death of any conception of evidence,” resulting in “the ascendancy of magic over common sense, let alone reason.”4 Also, Cockburn assured his readers: “The conspiracy theory that the World Trade Centre towers were demolished by explosive charges previously placed within them is probably impossible.”5 With regard to Building 7 of the World Trade Center, Cockburn claimed (in 2006) that the (2002) report by FEMA was “more than adequate.”6

Likewise, George Monbiot, referring to members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as “fantasists,” “conspiracy idiots,” and “morons,” charged that they “believe that [the Bush regime] is capable of magic.”7

Matt Taibbi, saying that the “9/11 conspiracy theory is so shamefully stupid” and referring to its members as “idiots,” wrote with contempt about the “alleged scientific impossibilities” in the official account of 9/11; about the claim that “the towers couldn't have fallen the way they did [without the aid of explosives]”; of the view (held by “9/11 Truthers”) that “it isn't the plane crashes that topple the buildings, but bombs planted in the Towers that do the trick”; and of “the supposed anomalies of physics involved with the collapse of WTC-7.” He had been assured by “scientist friends,” he added, that “[a]ll of the 9/11 science claims” are “rank steaming bullshit.”8

Chris Hayes, writing in The Nation in 2006, did not stoop to the kind of name-calling employed by Cockburn, Monbiot, and Taibbi. Also, he knew, he admitted, of “eyewitness accounts of [people] who heard explosions in the World Trade Center.” And he was aware that “jet fuel burns at 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit [whereas] steel melts at 2,500.” He asserted, nevertheless, that “the evidence shows [a 9/11 conspiracy] to be virtually impossible,” so that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s conspiracy theory is “wrongheaded and a terrible waste of time.”9

Noam Chomsky has also declared that the available facts, when approached scientifically, refute the 9/11 Truth Movement. Speaking of evidence provided by this movement to show that 9/11 “was planned by the Bush Administration,” Chomsky declared: “If you look at the evidence, anybody who knows anything about the sciences would instantly discount that evidence.”10 In spite of his dismissive attitude, however, Chomsky in 2006 gave some helpful advice to people who believe they have physical evidence refuting the official account:

“There are ways to assess that: submit it to specialists . . . who have the requisite background in civil-mechanical engineering, materials science, building construction, etc., for review and analysis. . . . Or, . . . submit it to a serious journal for peer review and publication. To my knowledge, there isn't a single submission.”11

In These Times writer Terry Allen, in a 2006 essay entitled “The 9/11 Faith Movement,” assured her readers that “the facts [do not] support the conspiracists’ key charge that World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by pre-positioned explosives.”12

In an essay posted at AlterNet a few months after 9/11, David Corn used a purely a priori argument to demonstrate – at least to his own satisfaction – that 9/11 could not have been an inside job: “U.S. officials would [not have been] . . . good [capable] enough, evil enough, or gutsy enough.”13 In 2009, after having been silent about 9/11 for the intervening years, he addressed the issue again. Referring to “9/11 conspiracy silliness,” “9/11 conspiracy poison,” and “9/11 fabulists,” Corn declared:

“The 9/11 conspiracy . . . was always a load of bunk. You don't have to be an expert on skyscraper engineering . . . to know that [this theory] make[s] no sense.”14

Corn thereby implied that, whereas anyone can know that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s conspiracy theory is false, those people who are “expert[s] on skyscraper engineering” would have even more certain knowledge of this fact.

As to how people (such as himself) who are not experts on such matters could know this movement’s conspiracy theory to be “a load of bunk,” Corn again employed his three-point a priori argument, as re-worded in a later essay, according to which the Bush administration was “not that evil,” “not that ballsy,” and “not that competent.”15 Corn even referred to his three-point argument as “a tutorial that should persuade anyone that the 9/11 theory makes no sense.” Although this “tutorial” does not, of course, convince members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, Corn explained this fact by saying: “I have learned from experience that people who believe this stuff are not open to persuasion.”16

In any case, although his argument against the inside-job theory was almost entirely a priori, he did make the above-mentioned suggestion that one’s a priori certitude would be reinforced by people, such as “expert[s] on skyscraper engineering,” who have relevant types of expertise to evaluate the empirical evidence.

A fuller statement of the general claim made by these authors - that the 9/11 Truth Movement is based on unscientific claims – was formulated by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive. In an essay entitled “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Already,” Rothschild wrote:

“Here’s what the conspiracists believe: 9/11 was an inside job. . . . [T]he Twin Towers fell not because of the impact of the airplanes and the ensuing fires but because [of] explosives. Building 7, another high-rise at the World Trade Center that fell on 9/11, also came down by planted explosives. . . . I'm amazed at how many people give credence to these theories. . . . [S]ome of the best engineers in the country have studied these questions and come up with perfectly logical, scientific explanations for what happened. . . . At bottom, the 9/11 conspiracy theories are profoundly irrational and unscientific. It is more than passing strange that progressives, who so revere science on such issues as tobacco, stem cells, evolution, and global warming, are so willing to abandon science and give in to fantasy on the subject of 9/11.”17

However, in spite of the confidence with which these critics have made their charges, the truth is the complete opposite: It is the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, which has been endorsed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), that is profoundly unscientific (partly because it ignores a massive amount of evidence pointing to use of explosives18), and it is precisely for this reason that the 9/11 Truth Movement has come up with an alternative explanation – namely, that the WTC buildings were brought down in the procedure known as “controlled demolition.”

Editor's NOTE:

I have read two of David Ray Griffen's books and found them to be meticulously reasoned and documented. At the very least, Griffen has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the government's explanation for the September 11, 2001 attacks cannot possibly be true. That is more than enough to justify another investigation, this time by an entity with no connection to the US government and no conflict of interest.

All citizens of good will should as a matter of justice demand an unbiased re-investigation.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gulf Oil Update: Day 79

Gulf of Mexico Oil Catastrophe Worst in History
& What to Do Instead

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri interviews Ohio scientist Mike Castle on what can be done instead

An estimated 3.4 million gallons are spewing out daily with no end in sight while toxic oil and dispersants are killing all ocean life Gulf disaster far worse than official account

It seems unbelievable that after almost six weeks of concentrated effort from the most technologically sophisticated staff and scientists of BP (ex British Petroleum, relaunched Beyond Petroleum!) that the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico from Deepwater Horizon’s off-shore oil rig explosion is still spreading out of control. It has devastated the entire Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and entered the Atlantic Ocean, traveling along the coast, up to New Jersey and New York. This is no “spill”; it is already far worse than the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker accident. Some scientists estimated that 3.4 million gallons are coming out of 3 plumes daily [1]. To-date this means 156.4 million gallons of crude oil, and counting; no wonder it is being called an underwater oil volcano.

That’s not all. There are new reports that another crude oil plume, 22 miles long by 6 miles wide, has been found going in another direction (West) [2], “3,300 feet [below the surface], with the greatest concentration of hydrocarbons at about 1300 feet suggesting the highest level of environmental pollution from the BP disaster may be located out of sight in the Gulf’s deep waters.” It was discovered by David Hollander, associate professor of chemical oceanography, University of South Florida, the lead investigator of a research mission sent to the Gulf of Mexico [2, 3]. They “fear it is the result of BP’s unprecedented use of chemical dispersants applied underwater at the well site.” Professor Hollander said this raises 2] “more fears that oil combined with dispersant toxicity may lead to a dangerous situation for fish larvae and other creatures that filter ocean water for food.”

Despite 11 deaths from the initial rig explosion and the gravity of the ecological disaster, the worst of its kind in US history, not one person has been fired or held accountable. The cozy, on-going revolving door policy between corporations and government officials means that safety, precaution, and accountability are not part of the picture [4, 5].

Toxic dispersants wreck worse ecological havoc

BP also continues to spray highly toxic “dispersants” that are wrecking additional ecological havoc, exacerbating an already critical situation [6]. One dispersant is the chemical solvent known as Corexit 9500, banned in Europe. It is spreading the crude oil and chemical toxicity over a far wider area, and traveling on the Gulf and ocean currents. The impact and extent of the devastation underwater is far worse, but unseen by satellite tracking. The ecological catastrophe is highly likely to become transAtlantic. A short ABC-TV news item showing the underwater spread of the crude oil and dispersants on their regular national program “Good Morning America” 25May 2010 should be seen by everyone and shared widely [7].

The photographs posted by the Boston Globe on 24 May are also heart wrenching [8]. There is no doubt that our entire ocean food chain has been poisoned. It will take time to document the full extent of the environmental and health impacts perpetrated by gross negligence and a total disregard of the Precautionary Principle [9]. And, all those who are involved in any kind of miniscule and, so far, inept and extremely dangerous “clean up” are already becoming ill. This includes hired paid workers and volunteers from environmental organizations, who have not been informed by BP or anyone else of the environmental health hazards they face. And nothing is getting even remotely fixed while the epic environmental tragedy keeps unfolding. Birds, fishes, turtles, dolphins, whales and other sea creatures, the entire ecosystem is facing a far worsening crisis with every passing day. Toxic crude oil has hit land in Louisiana. In one area, Plaquemines Parish, there are video reports that all life in the ocean is dead [10]. Dead turtles and dolphins are already washing up onto the Gulf shore; but the real extent is not being reported by mainstream news. Apparently BP is forbidding news crews access to the off-shore site; it is making the rules, not the US Coast Guard. BP has also refused to use less toxic dispersants [11]. With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, The New York Times has reported numerous conflicts of interest [12].

An urgent report “It’s raining oil in Florida” [13], on 25 May, noted raindrops of black crude oil carried on bands of storm clouds from the Gulf of Mexico. Until late on Tuesday 25 May, there was a live feed of the underwater crude oil spew. This live, streaming video was cut off, after a new eruption/explosion began. The last report was posted on Youtube [14].

“Nightmare of incompetence and greed” and what not to do

Dr. R. Michael Castle, one of the top independent polymer chemists in the US, has been following “this nightmare of incompetence and greed” as he told me, since the oil rig explosion last month on April 20. Castle is also the author of “The Methodic Demise of Natural Earth,” an essay on what is happening to our planet’s environment with the out-of-control and illegal spraying of highly toxic aerosol Chemtrails over the past twelve years [15]. He is further the author of the 2003 Unified Atmospheric Protection Act (now tied up in Congressional committee) [16].

With his extensive polymer chemistry background, Dr. Castle clearly understands the enormous ecological chemical devastation that is continuing unabated. The following are my conversations with him on 25 and 29 May 2010.

“What can be done?” he said. “Firstly, don’t set off any nuke! [This is still under consideration [17]. ] Do not do that. This is sheer madness. In no way will this fix anything. It will do irreparable and long-term massive harm.” Radiation damage would devastate the immediate area and the rest of our planet. [Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors are still monitored 65 years after the US military dropped atomic bombs on civilians.]

“Secondly, for emergency clean-up crews exposed to the crude oil’s benzene vapors, they must be informed about the consequences of working there. Many of them are neither trained properly, nor know what serious health damage can result. [This is another unfolding scenario like what the 9/11 First Responders experienced, when they were told by public officials that it was safe to breathe the toxic air at Ground Zero in New York City.]

Thirdly, according to Dr. Castle, the dispersant “contains ethylene oxide surfactants [that allows for increased spreadability]; and, one of them, 2-butoxy ethanol is a water soluble glycol ether. These are known to coat fish gills [that help absorb oxygen from the water]. Due to this toxic action, the fish then die, because they cannot get available oxygen. This is in addition to all sea life suffering from benzene poisoning.”

For anyone involved in the clean-up, Dr. Castle urges the following:

1. “Stay out of the water. Protect yourself from the hazardous vapors and carcinogenic effects of benzene. Benzene cuts off oxygen to the body (it’s water soluble) and is a known cause of leukemia –blood cancer.

2. “Use organic coconut oil or organic coconut butter. These are safe and natural plant ingredients that are bioactive and will coat the skin and protect it. Rub it on your hands, and face, and neck. It creates a protective film against benzene. Do not rub or wash it off, as it helps reverse the toxins’ many effects on the body.

3. “Also, use a capful of Willard’s XXX Dark and rub it on arms and hands. This will also naturally protect the body. This is made of lignite coal in water and is another natural way to shield the body from toxins. [Dr. Castle has no financial ties with this company/product.]

4. “I repeat: Do not send any emergency hazard clean-up teams to the Gulf who are uninformed and do not realize the extreme damage these poisons can do –short and long term.

5. “AmeriHaz can be safely used to gather up the crude oil that is already causing such ecological damage.”

What to use instead of toxic dispersants

Castle developed “AmeriHaz” in 1996, an inert polymer, to deal in a truly safe manner with cleaning up serious crude oil leaks and out-of-control dispersals of highly dangerous chemicals. “I wanted to create a product that could absorb any devastating ‘spill’ (it’s really the very wrong word for what is happening in the Gulf. A ‘spill’ is something very minor). This is catastrophic in its scope,” he told me. “This is an inert polymer product that will encapsulate this crude oil, so it won’t be picked up systemically in anything else. It literally locks up PAHs [polyaromatic hydrocarbons] that are precursors of benzene.” He has given a demonstration for Ohio’s TV news channel on how it works [18].

Castle also recommends “using crushed, pebble-size lignite coal all along beaches, marshes, and estuaries. This will help detoxify the benzene (that is naturally soluble in water) because it is extremely toxic in crude oil.

These are realistic solutions that can actually begin to remedy the effects of this catastrophe, if those people in charge really do care about saving the Gulf, an area still in trauma from the post-Hurricane Katrina debacle where there was really no help for those in most need.

Finally, an international boycott of all BP products should be instituted immediately. The untapped power of the consumer pocketbook should be used. When their CEO says this is a “modest” event, the company should not get any more money from already very strapped consumers.

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is an environmental writer and the author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Uterine Crisis.” The Ecologist notes: “this book is an inspiration.”


1. Gulf of Mexico oil volcano gushes 3.4 million gallons of oil a day. The Real Agenda, accessed 31 May 2010,

2. “New giant oil plume discovered in Gulf”, Video. Lynne Hermann,, 28 May 2010,; This plume has also been found by another investigative team led by Professor James H. Cowan Jr., Louisiana State University: “Third oil leak in Gulf”, Fellowship of Minds, 29 May, 2010,

3. “Gulf oil spill: real disaster might be lurking beneath the surface”, Mark Sappenfeld, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 May 2010:

4. Lendman S. Falsified oil rig inspection & other improprieties. US Inspector General Report,, 27 May 2010,

5. Leopold J. Why Isn’t BP Under Criminal Investigation?, 29 May 2010,

6. Allen E. Why BP refuses to stop using chemical dispersants., 28 May 2010:

7. What BP does not want you to see. 24 May 2010,; and

8. “Oil reaches Louisiana shore”, The Big Picture, 24 May 2010,

9. Perlingieri IS. Worldwide environmental crisis. gone missing: The Precautionary Principle., 11 Feb. 2009,

10. “Twenty-four miles of Plaqeumines Parish is destroyed. everything is dead”, Billy Nungesser, 21 May 2010,

11. “BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant”, Margot Roosevelt and Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2010,

12. Ian Urbina. “Conflict of interest worries raised in spill rests,” Ian Urbina, New York Times, 20 May 2010,; See also Stephen Lendman. “BP and the Administration – Lies, Deceit, and Cover up in the Gulf.” 22 May 2010:

13. “It’s raining oil in Florida”, Eve.,

14. “Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Sam Champion take hazmat dive into Gulf’s oily waters.flv” You Tube, 25 May 2010,

15. Dr. R. Michael Castle. “The methodic demise of natural earth”. 26 June 2009:

16. The Unified Atmospheric Preservation Act, Revised March 4, 2010,

17. “energy expert: nuking oil leak ‘only thing we can do’”, Daniel Tancer, the raw story, 29 May 2010,

18. “Central Ohio scientist wants to help Gulf oil spill”,, 17 May 2010,

NEW: Documented Massive Kill of Louisianna Oysters:

Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, Dr. Sanjay Gupta substituted for Anderson. He interviewed an Oysterman who showed pictures of dead oysters. Apparently over 90%+ of the oysters now being retreived in Louisianna are dead due to a combination of fresh water contamination (from redirecting of the Mississippi River) and the toxic effect of the oil itself. The Oysterman indicated that it will take at a minimum of "3" years to grow an oyster crop equivalent to what has already been destroyed even if the oil well could be capped today.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert