Tag Archive: US Military

Aug 02 2019

Deja Vu All Over Again

Why can’t they learn? In 1990, the United States sent troops into Saudi Arabia at the request of the royals who were panicked over bogus pictures of the Iraq army under the late Sadaam Hussein massing on their eastern border and the Iraqi invasion of tiny Kuwait.   Scott Peterson reported for The Christian Science …

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Jul 26 2017

Trump Bans Transgenders From Military Service

Update 15:37 ET: A report in Poltico claims that this ban is all about money in the budget for the border wall. When anti-trans Republicans from the House told Trump they would hold up funding for the border wall unless he banned Transgender people from the Military, Trump, obviously, didn’t hesitate. In the middle of …

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Apr 29 2016

US Exonerates Itself of War Crimes After Bombing a Hospital

I listened, with utter disgust, to the Pentagon’s press conference as it exonerated itself of war crimes after, despite their denial, intentionally bombing the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last October. The Pentagon said on Friday that its attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October was not a …

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Mar 21 2014

US Military Personnel Sickened By Fukushima Radiation

U.S. Sailors and Marines Allege Fukushima Radiation Sickness

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Three years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The tsunami’s immediate death toll was more than 15,000, with close to 3,000 still missing. Casualties are still mounting, though, both in Japan and much farther away. The impact of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown on health and the environment is severe, compounded daily as radioactive pollution continues to pour from the site, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO.

In an unusual development, more than 100 U.S. Marines and Navy sailors have joined a class action suit, charging TEPCO with lying about the severity of the disaster as they were rushing to the scene to provide humanitarian assistance. They were aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other vessels traveling with the Reagan, engaged in humanitarian response to the disaster. The response was dubbed “Operation Tomodachi,” meaning “Operation Friendship.”

Three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, scores of U.S. sailors and marines are suing the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, for allegedly misleading the Navy about the level of radioactive contamination. Many of the servicemembers who provided humanitarian relief during the disaster have experienced devastating health ailments since returning from Japan, ranging from leukemia to blindness to infertility to birth defects. We are joined by three guests: Lieutenant Steve Simmons, a U.S. Navy sailor who served on board the USS Ronald Reagan and joined in the class action lawsuit against TEPCO after suffering health problems; Charles Bonner, an attorney for the sailors; and Kyle Cleveland, sociology professor and associate director of the Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University’s Japan campus in Tokyo. Cleveland recently published transcripts of the Navy’s phone conversations about Fukushima that took place at the time of the disaster, which suggest commanders were also aware of the risk faced by sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan.

Documents Show the Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan

By Harvey Wasserman, Huffington Post

A stunning new report alleges the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.

If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy. The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode. In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped in a warm cloud that came with a metallic taste. Sailors testify that the Reagan’s 5,500-member crew was told over the ship’s intercom to avoid drinking or bathing in desalinized water drawn from a radioactive sea. The huge carrier quickly ceased its humanitarian efforts and sailed 100 miles out to sea, where newly published internal Navy communications confirm it was still taking serious doses of radioactive fallout. Scores of sailors from the Reagan and other ships stationed nearby now report a wide range of ailments reminiscent of those documented downwind from atomic bomb tests in the Pacific and Nevada, and at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

Jan 16 2013

US Military Expansion: Mali Intervention

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The United States may be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan but what is being ignored by the US traditional MSM is increases US military presence in Africa. The latest action involved the use of drone strikes  assistance to the French against Islamist groups in Northern Mali. While the focus in the news are these armed militant groups, they fail to mention that the area is rich oil and uranium. The Guardian has a a guide to the conflict.

U.S. weighs military support for France’s campaign against Mali militants

by  Anne Gearan, Karen DeYoung and Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post

The Obama administration is considering significant military backing for France’s drive against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali, but its support for a major ally could test U.S. legal boundaries and stretch counterterrorism resources in a murky new conflict.

The United States is already providing surveillance and other intelligence help to France and may soon offer military support such as transport or refueling planes, according to U.S. officials, who stressed that any assistance would stop short of sending American combat forces to the volatile West African nation.

At the same time, the administration is navigating a thicket of questions about military support and how far it could go in aiding the French without violating U.S. law or undermining policy objectives.

Direct military aid to Mali is forbidden under U.S. law because the weak rump government there seized power in a coup. U.S. moves are further complicated by uncertainty about which militants would be targeted in an assault.

The loosely affiliated web of Malian militants in the country’s north includes members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). But other fighters are longtime foes of the Malian government and pose no direct threat to U.S. interests.

From Democracy Now!: Admin Aids French Bombing of Mali After U.S.-Trained Forces Join Rebels in Uranium-Rich Region

France is in its fifth day of an offensive to oust rebels that have held much of Mali’s northern region since March, an area larger than Afghanistan. The strikes have reportedly killed 11 civilians, including three children fleeing the bombardment of a camp near the central town of Konna. The United Nations estimates as many as 30,000 may have been displaced since fighting began last week. The United States has backed the offensive by helping transport French troops and making plans to send drones or other surveillance aircraft. It is aiding a fight against Malian forces that it once helped train, only to see them defect and join the Islamist rebellion. We discuss the latest in Mali with Al Jazeera correspondent May Ying Welsh, who has reported from Mali’s north, and with freelance journalist Hannah Armstrong, a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, who joins us from the Malian capital of Bamako.

Who said Pres. Barack Obama wasn’t a war hawk?

h/t TPM for the map. Click on image ot enlarge