Posts tagged terrorists
Up to 76 truckloads of radioactive waste could soon be crossing into the US from Canada, local media reveal. Relocating the weapons-grade uranium (HEU) in liquid form would be the first operation of its kind, and is set to cost $60 million.
The trips may kick off in August, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) documents suggest. Up to 76 trucks will be utilized in the operation, the Ottawa Citizen estimated. Each cask would carry up to 257 liters and contain approximately 175kg of HEU, which would be enough to produce nearly seven nuclear bombs.
The potential transfer of the weapons-grade uranium liquid (HEU) was first revealed in documents from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) a week ago, with more details emerging on Thursday.
The wide-scale operation would see decades’ worth of high-class nuclear waste being taken under armed guard along the Trans-Canada Highway over the course of four years and transferred from Chalk River, Ontario, to a South Carolina reprocessing site, a few hundreds liters at a time.
The waste is thought to come from Chalk River’s controversial 24,000-liter Fissile Solution Storage Tank (FISST) which contains some 17 years’ worth of radioactive waste. It is the first time such an operation to transport the substance in liquid form has taken place, prompting concern from both sides of the border.
Upon arrival in South Carolina, the solution will be converted to low enriched uranium (LEU) to be used as fuel in US commercial power reactors.
The federally-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd will pay the $60-million cost of the operation.
Non-proliferation advocates have voiced fears that terrorists might strike and successfully obtain the liquid, possibly using it to build a weapon or undertake an act of sabotage could be carried out, according to Canada’s British-Columbia based Province news agency.
“This does seem to be an unprecedented, cross-border shipment of liquid high-level waste and, for that reason alone, it needs the highest order of environmental review on both sides of the border,” Tom Clements, a South Carolina campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth, told Canada’s National Post.
Although the plans are still awaiting final approval from Canadian and US nuclear safety regulators, a strong initial agreement has been reached. Designs are already being reviewed to create a secure storage and transportation unit for the highly-enriched bomb-grade uranium. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is currently reviewing the cask design approval application.
Canada is the world’s leading producer of medical isotopes, and has faced heavy criticism over the last few years for stockpiling HEU from the US, to be used in isotope production at the Chalk River site.
The UN Security Council has given the green light for the use of military force to combat Islamist terrorists in northern Mali. The Council said that the 3,300 troops will use “all necessary measures” to pacify the northern territories.
All the permanent members of the UN body unanimously voted for a year-long mandate during which the African-led peace force will attempt to oust Islamist militants entrenched in the country’s north.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants and Tuareg rebels, along with other separatists, seized control of Mali’s northern territories during a military coup in March that left a power vacuum in the country. They have since enforced hardline Muslim law in the areas under their control.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) currently has 3,300 troops on standby to be deployed in Mali, but they are not expected to be sent in until September 2013. In the meantime, the resolution approved on Thursday calls for both political reconciliation and for the training of Malian security forces.
The new Security Council measures also require the government to hold elections in April, or “as early as technically possible.”
The resolution was initially put forward by France following talks with the US, who has previously expressed doubt that the 3,300-soldier ECOWAS force would be sufficient to take on the Islamist militants in a desert battle. Both the US and EU nations concur that northern Mali must not be allowed to become a safe haven for Islamist militants.
Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly hailed the resolution as “an historic step,” while French UN ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud emphasized the “complexity” of the operation to “restore the territorial integrity of Mali and to end the terrorist activities in the north of the country.”
However, a former intelligence chief speaking on condition of anonymity told Al Jazeera that the 3,300 men would fall short of the troop levels needed to reclaim the besieged territories, and called for more extreme measures.
“If we really want to eradicate the problem, we would have to use African and Western forces and lock down the borders – you realize what a job that would be – and sweep the whole terrain,” the former intelligence chief said.
By John Glaser
For several months now it has been known that the US is cooperating with its allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to provide aid and weapons to the rebel fighters in Syria. While the US has sent “non-lethal” aid to the rebels – like money, communications gear, and intelligence – it was also sent the CIA to the Turkish-Syrian border to funnel weapons coming primarily from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to various rebels. In recent weeks, the Obama administration has redoubled these efforts, sending more spies to help organize the Syrian rebels and tens of millions more in aid.
As this has been happening, officials in Washington have expressed trepidation about sending weapons, given the fact that the rebels have committed war crimes and are increasingly fighting under the banner of al-Qaeda. Last week, the New York Times reported that these concerns prompted Saudi Arabia and Qatar to start to limit the weapons being provided to the rebels: “…they have been discouraged by the United States, which fears the heavier weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.”
To some, it wasn’t clear whether the US and its clients in the Gulf were avidly committed to actually using the Syrian rebels as proxies to overthrow the Assad regime, or whether it was more of a PR campaign to show they were “doing something.”
Now up at the BBC, there is clear evidence that Saudi weapons are in fact making it to the rebels: “Three crates from an arms manufacturer – addressed to Saudi Arabia – have been seen in a base being used by rebel fighters in the city of Aleppo.” One BBC reporter on the ground in Aleppo snapped this photograph:
What was in the crates is unknown, says the BBC’s Ian Pannell, who has been in Aleppo, as is how they ended up there.
But their presence clearly suggests that someone in the Gulf is actively helping the rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, our correspondent says.
…Privately, opposition sources have confirmed to the BBC that they are receiving assistance from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The report from the Times that weapons to the rebels were somehow being limited suggests that its possible to be a little bit pregnant. The rebels are either receiving arms or they are not. The question of how much or what kind is immaterial to the moral and strategic implications of such a policy.
By Amber Lyon
Posted on October 10, 2012
Journalists rarely take a vocal stand against legislation in order to remain objective, but sometimes new laws are such an egregious assault on our basic rights to democracy and freedom that we have a duty to speak up.
This is the case with the National Defense Authorization Act, a relatively new law that gives the U.S. military the power to detain anyone without trial indefinitely, further criminalizing dissent and investigative journalism in the United States.
What does the NDAA do?
The NDAA gives the federal government the power to behave like dictators and arrest any American citizen, or anyone for that matter, without warrant and indefinitely detain them in offshore prisons without charge and keep them there until “the end of hostilities.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, calls the law a “catastrophic blow to civil liberties”.
Obama lied to the public and said he would veto the NDAA’s indefinite detention clauses. Instead, he surreptitiously signed the NDAA into law on Dec. 31, 2011 while most Americans were distracted celebrating New Years Eve. Both Romney and Obama have publicly stated their support for the new law.
“I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t need to worry about the NDAA”
You do need to worry. The NDAA directly affects your everyday life because it is another violation of your rights to free speech, a fair trial. The NDAA also suffocates information that could expose the corruption that’s rapidly destroying this country and affecting you financially.
The NDAA will prevent some whistleblowers from coming forward with information and documents vital to the public good in fear the corrupt will pressure authorities to use the NDAA to detain the whistleblower indefinitely.
We need to reward, not instill fear in our whistleblowers. They are vital to the survival of this nation. If we don’t know what’s broke, how can we fix it? What if a government whistleblower had come forward before the start of the war to let the public know Saddam Hussein really didn’t have weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Investigative Journalists could start being ‘disappeared’ under the NDAA
The NDAA frightens journalists because it turns us into criminals. There are no provisions within the law to protect journalists. As journalists, we take a vow to never reveal our confidential sources. If the U.S. government, or corrupt corporations pressuring authorities, want information on our confidential sources, the NDAA gives them the power to indefinitely detain us by saying the refusal to reveal sources is an act that is “aiding terrorists” .
We are all ‘terrorists’
Another disturbing aspect of the NDAA is that it allows the government to imprison anyone suspected of or even associated with ‘terrorism’. This power is open to wide interpretation under the law and can and will be abused.
Who in the heck is a terrorist anymore? We’ve witnessed the U.S. government and Military-industrial complex mold the term ‘terrorist’ to their subjective and financial goals too many times to trust any use of that word. Even Nobel Peace Prize-winner Nelson Mandela was once considered a terrorist by governments worldwide and put on U.S. terrorist watch lists.
As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges told Democracy Now, the term ‘terrorist’ is too loose so what the NDAA is really doing is setting up a legal mechanism to criminalize dissent.
“We saw an attempt to link the U.S. Day of Rage with Al Qaeda. Once they link you with a terrorist group, then these draconian forms of control can be used against legitimate forms of protest, in particularly the Occupy Movement,” Hedges said. Corrupt corporations can use the NDAA to pressure the government to crush banking protests, environmental protests, strikes… it’s a slippery slope.
The NDAA will be used to crush protests
Possibly most disturbing is the NDAA’s power to crush all dissent and protests in the U.S., protests that are vital to free speech, change, the survival of democracy.
What will keep the government, possibly under pressure from banks, corporations and the Military-industrial complex, from starting to list various protesters and organizations as terrorists? What will happen when protesters stop voicing their concerns or hitting the streets because they fear they will ‘disappear’ under the NDAA?
The systematic crushing of dissent through NDAA-esque powers is already happening in this country. The family of U.S. Marine Veteran Brandon Raub, says he was kidnapped by law enforcement after posting anti-U.S. government statements on Facebook.
We must rise up and take action to stop the NDAA before it’s too late. Here’s more information on the law and ways you can get involved:
Additional Amber Lyon related posts can be found by following the links below:
US defence secretary says Pakistan is offering safe havens to terrorists as he arrives in Kabul for Nato talks
Leon Panetta in Kabul, where he called on Pakistan to do more to crack down on militants.
The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, has said the United States is reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the safe havens the country offers to insurgents from neighbouring Afghanistan.
In some of the strongest language used by a US official to describe the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad, Panetta said: “It is difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan as long as there is a safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan.”
By: Ethan A. Huff
Homeland Security declares war on flesh-eating bacteria, a bigger threat than Al-Qaeda terrorists (satire)
A former Florida resident who now lives in Peru recently filed a lawsuit against a doctor whose negligence, he says, resulted in his penis being completely eaten by flesh-eating bacteria. In a bizarre case of bacterial terrorism, 65-year-old Enrique Milla says Dr. Laurentiu Boeru, the anesthesiologist who cleared him for penile implant surgery, failed to properly identify Milla’s diabetes before approving the procedure, which resulted in Milla’s private parts developing irreversible gangrene.
Milla’s infection, which reportedly turned gangrenous nine days after his surgery, became so severe that the man’s penis literally had to be amputated, leaving him in worse shape than before his surgery when erectile dysfunction was his only concern. Because of his loss, Milla and his wife have filed lawsuits against both Milla’s urologist and Dr. Boeru, the latter from which they are seeking “tens of millions of dollars” in compensation.
In a similar incident, 43-year-old Katy Hayes, a mother of three, is now a quadruple amputee as a result of becoming infected by flesh-eating bacteria while giving birth to one of her daughters back in 2010. Both of Hayes’ arms and both of her legs eventually had to be amputated in order to save her life, and her family is now trying to raise $200,000 to cover both her medical expenses and the costs associated with the double-arm transplant she is planning to receive later this summer.
Homeland Security declares war on flesh-eating bacteria
Concerned about the growing problem of bacterial terrorism both here and abroad, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will now shift its focus from Al-Qaeda and those pesky, gun-toting American patriots, to flesh-devouring “superbugs.” According to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Americans need to be primarily on the lookout for flesh-eating bacteria, and if they spot them, to report their location immediately to DHS.
An updated DHS announcement about flesh-eating bacteria is reportedly now being aired at Walmart stores throughout the U.S. as well, warning shoppers to be wary of bacterial terrorists that might be lurking throughout the store. Sec. Napolitano can also be seen in this video announcement urging shoppers to keep a close eye on other shoppers, as well as on their friends, family, and neighbors, who might be harboring flesh-eating bacteria in their vehicles or homes.
By BASSEM MROUE, AP
BEIRUT — Syrian activists said Monday that pro-government gunmen killed at least 16 people, including some children, in a rebel stronghold recaptured by the government, fueling concerns the government is carrying out reprisals in territory it has taken back.
State media in Damascus, which often ignores activists’ claims, confirmed killings in Homs but blamed “armed terrorists,” as it frequently calls those behind the yearlong uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime.
At the United Nations, the U.S. and Russia clashed after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to the divided Security Council to speak with one voice and help Syria “pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe.”
Washington and Moscow both called for an end to the bloody conflict — but on different terms, leaving prospects for U.N. action in doubt.
The reports of killings in the battered city of Homs added to concerns that the hundreds of civilian deaths caused by the fighting would be compounded by reprisals against opposition supporters in recaptured towns and neighborhoods.
Fresh from stamping out rebel centers of resistance in Homs, government forces are pressing on with new offensives in other parts of central and northern Syria.
The main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council, called for “immediate” Arab and international military intervention, including setting up safe corridors for humanitarian aid and a no-fly zone to protect civilians.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 16 people were killed Sunday night in Homs, while the Local Coordination Committees said 45 were killed. Both groups said children were among the dead.
By Kurt Nimmo
In a move completely ignored by the establishment media, the Virginia House of Delegates has voted in favor of House Bill 1160 (HB1160), legislation that codifies in Virginia law noncompliance with the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).
The final vote, held on February 14, was 96-4. The bill was sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall and was introduced on January 16th of this year.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is on record as opposing the legislation.
HB 1160 reads as follows: “A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”
Passing the legislation demonstrates the power of local grassroots activism. A number of groups opposed to the federal NDAA bill petitioned the government in Virginia and motivated a Sub-Committee #2 Civil vote followed by a vote of 16-0 by the Courts of Justice Committee which led to the passage of Bob Marshall’s final bill earlier this week.
“Under the recently passed 2012 federal Defense Authorization Act American citizens may be indefinitely detained, incarcerated, not presented with charges and denied counsel based on an accusation by federal agents of collaboration with or support of terrorists,” Marshall told the Tenth Amendment Center. “While Virginia cannot directly undo this purported law which undermines the Sixth Amendment, I introduced HB 1160 which will prevent the use of any Virginia agency or member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force to assist in any way to unlawfully detain a citizen of Virginia on behalf of the United States Government in violation of the Constitution of Virginia.”
The Tenth Amendment Center is currently tracking the progress of legislation in opposition to the NDAA in other states.
The legislation “is inimical to the liberty, security and well-being of the people,” the Tenth Amendment Center states, “and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the limits of federal power in United States Constitution.”
by The Associated Press
Ignoring a presidential veto threat, the Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a massive, $662 billion defense bill that would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, even those captured on U.S. soil.
The vote was 93-7 for the bill authorizing money for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Reflecting a period of austerity and a winding down of decade-old conflicts, the bill is $27 billion less than what President Obama requested and $43 billion less than what Congress gave the Pentagon this year.
Shortly before final passage, the Senate unanimously backed crippling sanctions on Iran as fears about Tehran developing a nuclear weapon outweighed concerns about driving up oil prices that would hit economically strapped Americans at the gas pump. The vote was 100-0.
The Senate’s version of the defense bill still must be reconciled with the House-passed measure in the final weeks of the congressional session.
In an escalating fight with the White House, the bill would ramp up the role of the military in handling terror suspects. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller both oppose the provisions as does the White House, which said it cannot accept any legislation that “challenges or constrains the president’s authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation.”
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