Donald Trump said, “I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody — absolutely nobody — is gonna mess with us.”
Simple-minded but deadly thinking at the top derives from influential groups and individuals who think we have to KILL to keep the rest of the world in line. The compliant mainstream media scares us into accepting wars and drone killings overseas, military-style defenses on our own streets, surveillance of our private lives. For the war-happy leadership of America, certain realities are better left unsaid, or at most reported quickly and quietly.
1. Terrorist Acts in the U.S. Were More Common 40 Years Ago
Terrorist acts are deadly, but the panicky reports of mainstream news sources scare us more than they should, as when a FOX reporter called ISIS “the single biggest threat in [America’s] 200-year history.”
This graphic derived from the Rand Corporation’s terrorism database shows that the frequency of terrorist acts was greatest in the 1970s and 1980s. CNN notes that “There were literally hundreds of terrorist bombings, shootings and hijackings in States during the 1970s.”
2. Violent Crime Is Down — Except Where Young Men are Left to Languish and Die
The rate of violent crime has been consistently dropping since 1993. Except in places like Chicago, where nearly half of young black men are neither working nor in school.
The New York Timessummarizes the effects of constant media scares: “Americans are primed, when they hear a loud bang or screams, or see a crowd break into a run, to think in terms of mass killings and active shooters. Yet crime statistics show that over all, violence in the United States is as low as it has ever been, and experts say the fear far exceeds the risk.”
The solution is JOBS — but Congress has a long record of stifling job creation proposals. They’d rather pull out a gun.
3. The Military Believes it’s OK to Kill Civilians
The Joint Chiefs of Staff instruct: “Otherwise lawful targets involuntarily shielded with protected civilians may be attacked, and the protected civilians may be considered as collateral damage, provided that the collateral damage is not excessive…”
This helps to explain why only about 12 percent of named drone victims in Pakistan were identified as al Qaeda militant targets.
4. Suicide Kills More American Soldiers Than Terrorism
In 2014, 55 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in foreign occupations, but 269 active service members committed suicide. Almost five times as many.
It gets much worse. In that same year of 2014 over 7,400 veterans took their own lives, accounting for an incredible 18 percent of all suicides even though vets make up less than 9 percent of the U.S. population. About 75 percent of the suicides were committed by veterans without VA care.
5. Whistleblowing was Part of the Founding of America
John McCain and Paul Ryan and numerous other super-patriots condemned President Obama’s pardon of Chelsea Manning.
In 1778 the Continental Congress ruled that “it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds, or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states.” Other pro-whistleblower legislation has been passed in recent years.
Our nationalist leaders don’t care about any of this. They just want to make sure no one’s “gonna mess with us.” But as more of our misdeeds go unreported, more and more of the world is learning to hate us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
An extensive survey of hundreds of adults across the United States has just revealed that the thing most Americans fear—more than anything else—is their own government. In fact, according to the survey, no other fear even comes close to the percentage of Americans who worry about their corrupt government officials.
The survey was conducted by Chapman University and it serves to back up the point that while Americans claim to live in the Land of the Free, deep down, they realize they are living in a corrupt oligarchy.
The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 4 (2017) provides an in-depth examination into the fears of average Americans. In May of 2017, a random sample of 1,207 adults from across the United States were asked their level of fear about eighty different fears across a huge variety of topics ranging from crime, the government, the environment, disasters, personal anxieties, technology and many others.
As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, like last year, corruption of government officials came top in 2017, with 74.5 percent of U.S. adults saying it makes them “afraid” or “very afraid.”
Despite the constant fear mongering from the mainstream media and government on bogeymen terrorists plotting to steal our freedom, the public, according to this survey, is not buying it. In fact, the threat of terrorism isn’t even in the top 20 fears. Terrorism comes in at twenty-two—below credit card fraud and identity theft.
While this survey is certainly promising, in the idea that people are waking up to government corruption, it is also a telling sign of America’s ability to hold two entirely contradictory ideas as self-evident.
This ability, or perhaps better defined as “disability,” to hold two opposing ideas, such as the spreading offreedom through war, as being logically sound, is called cognitive dissonance. When one is in a state of dissonance, they may sometimes feel “disequilibrium”: frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.
In order for cognitive dissonance to work, society must remain just ignorant enough to support and to believe the lies fed to them from the establishment as reality; even though this reality is a complete contradiction.
Once we step back and observe society with this in mind, the reason for this contradictory mental state becomes quite obvious. It is much easier to remain delusional and in a state of suspended disbelief than it is to deal with the opposing ideas held inside one’s head. How can one chant “USA is number 1!” while at the same time fearing the rulers of that USA?
Coming to terms with the fact that you can actually be killed by the very entity who claims to protect you from those who wish to do you harm, is a difficult realization.
Fortunately, there are those of us who have ‘woken up’ to our contradictory existence. This is not to say that we are smarter than others, only that we can recognize our own ignorance and through this self-reflection, seek to lessen that ignorance through entertaining ideas that may make us uncomfortable.
If this survey shows us anything, it is that Americans would do well to entertain the uncomfortable idea that this country they hold so high up on a pedestal has actually long been on a path to become the dystopian nightmare written about in books like 1984.
Americans would do well to remember the words by John Basil Barnhill in 1914 when he said,
“Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appeared. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
Since the United States was founded, citizenship has represented a safe haven from oppressive regimes around the world. By preserving the principles of small government and free markets, those who were willing to work hard found success, and America became a magnet for innovation. But as the U.S. continues to erode personal and economic freedom, more people than ever before are handing over their U.S. passports to seek better opportunities abroad.
The staggering amount of debt held by the American empire ensures the public will be working it off for generations to come. The government has already begun its campaign to make it more difficult to leave the country, and it has also begun to crack down on the finances of the eight million Americans living abroad. Regardless of whether you’re a millionaire with multiple foreign bank accounts or a recent college graduate with a boatload of debt, the status of being a United States citizen brings with it a burden that will only grow heavier over time.
Since 2008, the number of individuals giving up their citizenship has increased by almost 560%, setting new records each of the past three years. Some of these expats are motivated by the extra tax load paid when working abroad while others are trying to avoid student loan debt. Others have just had enough of the encroaching police state.
Every taxpayer left in the country now owes more than $149,000 of the national debt, so it’s no surprise the tide is beginning to turn. By hook or by crook, in the coming years, citizens will be fleeced of that money through higher taxes, savings that are inflated away, and an overall drop in their standard of living. Many can see the writing on the wall and have become determined to protect themselves from the years of economic repression coming down the pipe.
Draconian steps have already been taken to slow the rate of expatriation. For one, the IRS has broadened its reach into foreign bank accounts through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Through agreements with over 100 nations, the law is able to require all financial institutions abroad to report the account details of any American customers they have. With access to this new information, the IRS can revoke the passports of potential tax evaders and hinder their ability to travel using yet another additional power the agency was granted last year.
The Internal Revenue Service is one of the most powerful agencies of the federal government and has a track record ofpersecuting groups for political reasons. The fact that they have now set their sights are expats shouldn’t surprise anyone.
The Tea Party movement, whatever your views on it, experienced this first-hand during the 2012 elections. Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots spoke on the targeting scandal:
The IRS has demonstrated the most disturbing, illegal and outrageous abuse of government power. This deliberate targeting and harassment of tea party groups reaches a new low in illegal government activity and overreach.
While penalties are being levied against those with enough money to work around the world, the most impactful measures are aimed at those just making ends meet. The initial paperwork for renouncing citizenship used to cost just $450, but it has skyrocketed to $2,350, making it the most expensive fee of any country in the world. It may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but this additional expense directly targets the young and working class, creating a huge barrier to even starting the process. As an added bonus, the price increase has raised over $12 million for government coffers in just over a year.
The $19.5 trillion in debt that has been amassed through decades of interventionist policies and clandestine operations can only be maintained by taxing the government’s human livestock. After all, the federal government counts student loans as almost 30% of their net worth. If the young and productive workers of the future are allowed to leave, U.S. power and wealth will go with them.
The Millennial generation has been completely duped by the federal loan programs, pumped out to any 18-year-old with a pulse. The $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans is akin to indentured servitude for those entering the dismal job market. And students themselves aren’t the only ones on the chopping block — 90% of these loans are co-signed by the parents, attaching the ball and chain further up the family tree. For those tempted to jump ship and disappear into another country, their families will be held responsible in their stead. It’s reminiscent of North Korea, where the families of defectors are punished.
Noah Brown, president of the Association of Community College Trustees wrote:
If you default, your financial life is ruined. You have to deal in cash for the rest of your life. It used to be death and taxes were the only certainty. You can throw in student loans now.
Many are learning the hard way that these loans are unique and can’t be wiped away by simply declaring bankruptcy. Instead of the collateral being a house or a car, it’s future earnings that can be seized.
Those who find themselves with no way out have been offered a deal with the devil — work in the public sector for 10 years and you will be granted your freedom. This has created a perverse incentive to work directly for the state, placing fresh cogs in the military, police, and bureaucratic machines. The policies seen so far are soft measures compared to what may be tried in the future as the government grows and the economy weakens. A new type of debt prison is being built in the U.S., and as the inmates realize their predicament, the rush for the exits could be chaotic — so long as people can afford to pay the fee to leave.
Those who understand the fragile state of our economic and political system can see that when politicians start building walls, it may be more about keeping people in than out. Despite the brainwashing often conducted in public schools, many are realizing the future for U.S. citizens may look very different than the past. The freedom and opportunity that have been synonymous with U.S. citizenship are being transformed before our eyes. When America abandoned its core values and let loose the scourge of oppressive big government, the countdown to when citizens would pay the price began.
Poor health is typically the result of a metabolically inappropriate diet. Many studies have confirmed that processed foods and sugary beverages are significant contributors to obesity and chronic disease, including cancer.
Unfortunately, while the U.S. government appears to be concerned about rising obesity and disease statistics, it has done virtually nothing to address its own role.
Subsidizing corn and soy is about as smart as subsidizing tobacco when it comes to public health, but when our federal government is run by dominate corporations – what else would you expect?
Agricultural policies in the U.S. contribute to the poor health of Americans and play an important role in the ever-worsening obesity epidemic by promoting consumption of cheap junk food that wreak metabolic havoc.
A number of papers published in peer-reviewed journals have pointed out these facts, so policy makers should be well aware of them.
More Than Half of All Calories Consumed Are From Subsidized Commodities
According to an investigation published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine on July 5,1,2,3 56 percent of all calories consumed in the U.S. between 2001 and 2006 came from government-subsidized commodities such as corn, soy, wheat, rice, dairy and meat.
And, according to the authors, “higher consumption of calories from subsidized food commodities was associated with a greater probability of some cardiometabolic risks.” As noted by Time Magazine:4
“While those may sound healthy, they’re typically not eaten in their whole-food form; rather, they’re turned into cattle feed or refined and converted into sweeteners … and processed fatty foods …
‘[A]n excess of subsidies in these areas ends up leading to a conversion into foods like refined grains and high calorie juices, soft drinks with corn sweeteners and high-fat meats,’ says Ed Gregg, Ph.D., chief of the CDC’s epidemiology and statistics branch in the diabetes division. ‘It’s basically the way that they’re used that ends up being detrimental.’”
Another study5 published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) in 2013 came to the exact same conclusion, stating that:
“Government-issued payments have skewed agricultural markets toward the overproduction of commodities that are the basic ingredients of processed, energy-dense foods,” and that this is “worsening obesity trends in America.”
The authors of this 2013 study also noted that “federal farm subsidies promote unsustainable agriculture while also failing to reward good stewardship.”
Subsidized Diets Raise Risk of Health Problems
Indeed, the Western processed food diet is chockfull of refined added sugars and unhealthy vegetable oils, which are cheap as a result of farm subsidies. The study also found that the young, the poor and less educated people eat the highest quantities of subsidized foods.
Compared to those who consumed the least amount of subsidized foods, these high intake groups had a:
37 percent higher risk of obesity
41 percent higher risk of dangerous visceral fat (belly fat associated with an increased risk for heart disease)
34 percent higher risk for symptoms associated with chronic inflammation
Corn, Soy and Wheat — 3 Major Junk Food Ingredients
You’d be hard-pressed to find a processed food product that doesn’t contain corn syrup, soybean oil and/or wheat, and there’s compelling evidence showing that all of these ingredients cause significant harm to health when consumed in excess:
For an excellent scientific analysis on fructose, I suggest reading the report titled “Fructose, Weight Gain, and the Insulin Resistance Syndrome,”8 published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN). It will open your eyes to some of the major problems associated with this sweetener.
•Soybean oil: is the most common oil used in the U.S., but this is a relatively new phenomenon. The consumption of soy oil has increased 1,000-fold over the last century,9 and now consists of 10 to 20 percent of all calories consumed in the American diet.
Diets high in soybean oil have been shown to upregulate genes involved in obesity, diabetes, inflammation, mitochondrial function and cancer.10 In fact, soybean oil was found to be more obesogenic and diabetogenic than fructose in mice.11
The excessive consumption of soybean oil is also troubling for a couple of other reasons. First, over 95 percent of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered (GE), and therefore more prone to heavy contamination with Roundup or other toxic pesticides.
Second, this extreme increase has also contributed to widespread omega-3 to omega-6 imbalance. Soybean oil is primarily omega-6 fat, and a significant source of dangerous trans fat.12
According to researchers,13 “the apparent increased consumption of linoleic acid (LA), which was primarily from soybean oil, has likely decreased tissue concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during the 20th century.”
•Wheat: has been identified as a potential trigger of poor health via a number of mechanisms. While no GE wheat is grown in the U.S., desiccating conventional wheat with Roundup is a common practice.
By applying the pesticide right before harvest, farmers can dry out the grain faster for the harvesting schedule. As a result, most non-organic wheat tends to be contaminated with this toxic pesticide, which in addition to the heightened level of gluten in modern wheat helps explain the rapid rise in gut disorders, such as leaky gut and celiac disease, and associated health problems.
By Subsidizing Processed Food Diet, U.S. Government Promotes Ill Health
None of these findings are secret. The research has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and publicized in the mainstream media and various books.
A paper14 published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) in 2004 argued that U.S. agricultural subsidies foster poor health, as did a paper15 published in the Annual Review of Nutrition that same year, so this is certainly not a new observation.
This means the U.S. government is more or less intentionally promoting obesity and ill health, since no steps have ever been taken to address the inappropriate distribution of farm subsidies toward obesity and disease-promoting food commodities.
A 2012 report by the non-profit organization United States Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) titled “Apples to Twinkies, Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food”16,17 revealed that if you were to receive an annual federal agricultural subsidy directly, you would receive $7.36 to spend on junk food and just 11 cents to buy apples.
In other words, every year, your tax dollars pay for enough corn syrup and other junk food additives to buy 19 Twinkies, but only enough fresh fruit to buy less than one-quarter of one apple.
As noted in a recent Mother Jones report,18 94.1 million acres of corn was grown in the U.S. this year, along with 83 million acres of soybean. Yet prices for both of these commodities are currently at five-year lows, “perilously close to the cost of production.”
The sole reason why so much corn and soy is grown even though prices are so low is because these crops are subsidized. Monsanto owns patents on a majority of the corn and soy planted and they lobby hard to ensure our taxes are lining Monsanto’s own pockets.
The floor would come out from under’s Monsanto’s feet if the government wasn’t sending our money to create false value for these GMOs.
About 30 to 40 percent of all corn grown is used for livestock feed and 5 percent is used to make HFCS. The remainder, as much as 65 percent, goes toward the making of ethanol fuel, not food. About half of the soybean crop also goes toward livestock feed.
Subsidizing Factory Farms Over Regenerative Farms Also Promotes Poor Health
According to the authors of the featured study,19 “better alignment of agricultural and nutritional policies may potentially improve population health,” and this, I believe, includes a shift toward subsidizing grass-fed and pastured meats rather than CAFO livestock.
The problem, of course, lies in the fact that the CAFO and monocrop factory farm models are backed by incredibly wealthy and powerful interests that have tremendous influence on government policies. For example, you’d think the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) exists to protect you against the vagaries of industry, but many of its actions and decisions speak to the contrary.
The chemical and agricultural industries spend millions of dollars to lobby for regulations that are favorable to them, and there’s a constantly revolving door between the agency and private corporations. Revolving doors also exist between private companies and just about every other government agency. And then there’s the political lobby, which through its wealth manages to influence career politicians to do their bidding at every turn.
Most Americans Raised on a Fattening Corn-Based Diet
The United States is the No. 1 per capita consumer of corn in the world. As expounded in books like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, HFCS and other corn-derivatives work their way into nearly every kind of processed food on the market.
Unfortunately, since corn is a grain, it rapidly breaks down to sugar in your body and raises your risk for insulin resistance if regularly consumed. Elevated insulin levels in turn are linked to most chronic degenerative diseases, including everything from obesity and diabetes to premature aging.
Making matters worse, the vast majority of American-grown corn is also genetically engineered to produce Bt toxin (a pesticide that kills bugs by making their stomachs explode), which is then consumed by you.
Studies suggest that, contrary to industry assurances, this built-in Bt toxin survives the journey through your digestive system and can make you allergic to a wide range of substances. (This is in stark contrast to naturally produced Bt toxin which is rapidly broken down in the environment and never makes it to your stomach.)
A CNN article20 from 2007 puts Americans’ consumption of subsidized corn into even greater perspective. Todd Dawson, a plant biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, performed carbon tests on human hair to evaluate the dietary sources of the building blocks making up the human body.
When testing a strand of hair from CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he found that 69 percent of the carbon in Gupta’s hair originated from corn. And according to Dawson, that’s typical for Americans.
“We are what we eat with respect to carbon, for sure,” Dawson told CNN. “So if we eat a particular kind of food, and it has a particular kind of carbon in it, that’s recorded in us, in our tissues, in our hair, in our fingernails, in the muscles … We’re like corn chips walking because we really have a very, very large fraction of corn in our diets, and we actually can’t help it because it’s an additive in so many of the foods we find on the market shelves …
I think where the danger comes in with corn is that much of the corn grown now in North America is going into making high-fructose corn syrup. So it’s not that corn per se is bad, but it’s the sweetener made from corn that gets into many of the foods that Americans are probably consuming too much of, and we now see that showing up as obesity and heart disease and potential for type 2 diabetes.”
Europeans, on the other hand, eat far less processed foods, and as already noted, they consume far less corn-based sweeteners too. After spending three months in Italy, Dawson tested his own hair, and found it contained only 5 percent corn-based carbon.
Agricultural Policies Need an Overhaul
Far from providing us with critical nutrition, U.S. agricultural policies contribute to the declining health of Americans and worsen the out-of-control obesity epidemic. Current farm subsidies bring you HFCS, processed oils high in trans fats and damaged omega-6 fats, fast food, junk food, corn-fed CAFO beef, environmentally-unfriendly monoculture and a host of other contributors to our unhealthy contemporary diet.
The subsidy program is severely broken, subsidizing junk food in one federal office while funding anti-obesity objectives in another. Besides being hypocritical, it’s an incredibly wasteful system. Worst of all, the farm bill creates a negative feedback loop that perpetuates the highly profitable standard American diet (SAD). In this way, the U.S. government is knowingly promoting and subsidizing obesity and chronic disease.
The time is ripe for change, and redesigning the system could help move us toward economic and nutritional recovery. If we’re going to subsidize farmers, let’s subsidize in a way that helps restore the health of American citizens and our land — programs that might just pay for themselves by the reduction in healthcare costs they bring about.
In 2011, Mark Bittman of The New York Times21 argued that subsidy money could easily be redirected toward helping smaller farmers to compete in the marketplace in a number of ways. For example, funds could be redirected toward:
Funding research and innovation in sustainable agriculture
Providing incentives to attract new farmers
Saving farmland from development
Assisting farmers who grow currently unsubsidized fruits and vegetables, while providing incentives for monoculture commodity farmers (corn, soy, wheat and rice) to convert some of their operations to more desirable foods
Leveling the playing field so that medium-sized farms can more favorably compete with agribusiness as suppliers for local supermarkets
How You Can Affect Positive Change
Remember though that one of the most effective ways you, as an individual, can promote positive change is by redirecting your food dollars toward locally grown foods, and foods grown in a sustainable and organic manner. By supporting your local family farms, you’re promoting a healthier, more sustainable and safer food system for everyone in your community.
“Just Say No” to junk food producers by not buying their wares and return to a diet of real, whole foods — fresh organic produce, meats from animals raised sustainably on pasture and raw organic milk and eggs. Eating this way will increase your chances of living a long, healthy life, whereas the typical American diet may set you on the path toward obesity and chronic disease.
When I first found out that ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’ was making a comeback, I was stoked! My inner child surfaced and I immediately started reminiscing over watching episodes of his old show in my science classes in junior high school. I could see the potential for positive change by having someone so many people knew and loved during their childhoods host a show on science. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the new series was less of a science lesson and more of a political propaganda piece.
Instead of presenting his viewers with science, he takes a biased, unscientific stance on many subjects. Not only that, but he blatantly makes fun of spirituality, other cultures, and ideas thathave been scientifically proven as well. His tone is condescending and many of his “scientific claims” are simply incorrect, which begs the questions: Who is funding this propaganda campaign, and where did the science in this once iconic show go?
Because of these misleading statements, we were inspired to educate the public on the truth behind the subjects about which he is so misinformed. This article will be one of several that focuses on his new series, Bill Nye Saves the World. These articles aren’t meant to attack Nye’s character or his fans, but rather to inform the public on these subjects in a factual, scientific manner.
This first article will focus on human health and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which is the subject discussed on episode four of the series.
Bill Nye’s Stance on GMOs
The episode begins with him explaining his personal journey on deciding whether or not he thinks GMOs are safe to consume. After what he felt was a “skeptical” analysis, he concluded that “the positives outweigh the negatives” and “science shows that GM crops are not riskier than other farmed crops.” He even claims that there are no studies that prove they are unsafe to eat. All of these statements are incorrect, andthe science shows it.
Nye says, “I have been eating genetically modified foods for decades and I’m fine, look at me.” This is a poor argument when it comes to human health, as everyone’s bodies are different. Just because you consume lots of refined sugar and never get cancer doesn’t mean that refined sugar isn’t linked to cancer. The same can be said about GMOs: Just because Bill Nye isn’t visibly sick and he eats GMOs doesn’t mean that GMOs won’t negatively affect other people’s bodies. Plus, human health is not the only issue when it comes to GMOs anyways.
Nye then goes on to compare “naturally genetically modified” foods to Monsanto’s creations in our supermarkets. He uses a sweet potato as an example, which was, in a way, “genetically modified” thousands of years ago. This type of artificial selection (or genetic modification, if you want to call it that) is not the kind we are concerned with in this particular article, as it is completely different. That was a natural process; it wasn’t completed in a lab but occurred in nature itself, and does not pose the same threats to the ecosystem and our bodies as mainstream GM foods do, which is why Nye’s comparison makes no sense.
The sweet potato argument has been made by many corporations who benefit off the widespread use of GMOs, including Monsanto. People hear “natural” and “GMO” being used in the same sentence, and so it’s easier for corporations to convince people that GMOs are natural because consumers don’t understand the science behind them.
As Dr Lieve Gheysen, a researcher involved with the recent study on sweet potatoes being “natural GMOs,” explained, “The natural presence of Agrobacterium T-DNA in sweet potato and its stable inheritance during evolution is a beautiful example of the possibility of DNA exchange across species barriers.”
“It demonstrates that genetic modification also happens in nature.”
The study suggests that the bacterial DNA may have allowed sweet potatoes to naturally adapt for thousands of years, but this process is very different from current GMO technology. It didn’t require monoculture, excessive pesticide usage, a science lab, or seriously risking human health, meaning that it greatly differs from conventional GMOs in our food system.
What Nye Gets Wrong About Glyphosate and the Risks Associated With GMOs
Nye also discussed glyphosate in the episode, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, but failed to address any of the health and environmental risks associated with it. In order to understand the relationship between Monsanto, glyphosate, and GMOs, we’ll need to explore the history of GMOs and the food industry first. The original purpose of GMOs was to generate super crops with superior traits (for example, drought resistance) to increase efficiency and solve certain issues such as the growing global food demand as population rises.
Nye actually brought this up, using population growth as an argument to support GMO usage. Public interest attorney Steve Druker perfectly sums up why this is a myth in a National Geographic article, explaining:
Several studies by the UN and World Bank also concluded that genetic engineering is not needed to meet the world’s food needs. One of the directors of these studies was asked, “What role do you see for GMOs in the future of food?” He said, “Actually none. They aren’t needed. They haven’t been boosting yields. Small scale, agro-ecological methods are what’s needed in the Third World.”
In 2008, the UN Conference of Trade and development supported organics instead of GMOs, saying that organic agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and is more likely to be sustainable in the long term. You can read that full report here.
Nevertheless, Monsanto used this argument as an opportunity to monopolize the farming industry, so now most GMOs only carry one “superior trait”: resistance to one specific and extremely toxic herbicide, Monsanto’s Roundup. Roundup is now used all over the world, which is why Monsanto holds so much control over the global food system. This “resistance” allows farmers to spray their GM crops with Roundup without harming the crop.
This process does not come without extreme consequences, however. Since Roundup rapidly became the most popular herbicide used, weeds began to develop immunity to the spray, creating “super weeds,” an outcome that can significantly damage both the environment and the crop. This monopoly promotes the cultivation of a single, uniform crop, otherwise known as monoculture, which can lead to a decline in biodiversity, as it can greatly impact population dynamics and ecosystem roles.
In addition, Roundup is directly linked with numerous health concerns. Over the years, many studies have been published proving that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, can cause cancer, miscarriages, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), revealed a disturbing fact: Glyphosate is possibly “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.” Another study suggested that glyphosate can cause celiac disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney failure, miscarriages, infertility, birth defects, obesity, autism, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.
A group of scientists put together a comprehensive review of existing data that shows how European regulators have known that Monsanto’s glyphosate causes a number of birth malformations since at least 2002. Regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, and in Germany the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety told the European Commission that there was no evidence to suggest that glyphosate causes birth defects. (source)
The report read:
Our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to the approval of glyphosate. We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformation – but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosate’s teratogenicity in industry’s own studies to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commission’s final review report.
Even though many of the studies performed on Roundup focus on glyphosate, the herbicide as a whole is even worse. A study published in the journal Biomedical Research International showed that Roundup is 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation. The eye-opening abstract reads as follows:
Pesticides are used throughout the world as mixtures called formulations. They contain adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and are called inerts by the manufacturing companies, plus a declared active principle, which is usually tested alone. We tested the toxicity of 9 pesticides, comparing active principles and their formulations, on three human cell lines. Glyphosate, isoproturon, fluroxypyr, pirimicarb, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole, and prochloraz constitute, respectively, the active principles of 3 major herbicides, 3 insecticides, and 3 fungicides. Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.
There are countless more studies that prove the dangers of GMOs, yet Nye chose not to include any of them in his episode. Who knows whether this was a decision made by him or by whomever is funding this propaganda piece, but it’s clear that he did not present all of the facts.
So, Why Hasn’t the U.S. Government Banned GMOs?
Numerous countries have banned the use of Monsanto’s Roundup as well as growing or selling GMOs, including Russia, Sri Lanka, and much of Europe. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced that Russia had “made the decision not to use any GMO in food productions,” but the U.S. has not followed suit.
As many of you probably know, the U.S. government is largely controlled by corporations and the elite, and the situation with GMOs and the laws surrounding them is no different. The EPA even has close ties to Monsanto executives, which was exposed in a recent court case (read more about it in our CE article here).
Jess Rowland, head of the EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC), was specifically caught aiding Monsanto. A report by that committee was “accidentally” leaked to the public at a time that was favourable to Monsanto given its recent lawsuits, so there was significant debate over whether or not it was actually an accident.
According to court filings, the discovery “strongly suggests that Mr. Rowland’s primary goal was to serve the interests of Monsanto.” Rowland has yet to publicly address these allegations; however, he has since left the agency and retired.
Plaintiffs state that the litigation revealed documents proving that Rowland was “straining, and often breaking, ethics and rules to benefit Monsanto’s business.” Internal Monsanto communications exposed that the company pushed this report to be published immediately in order to “preempt other potential actions or inquiries about the dangers of glyphosate,” according to a court filing.
Further proof lies in the form of a letter from a former EPA scientist to Rowland stating that there were significant scientific grounds for the EPA to reclassify glyphosate from a “possible human carcinogen” to a “probable” cancer-causing agent, but clearly Rowland ignored this expert’s opinion (source).
This may not come as a surprise to many of you, as the EPA has held close ties to numerous companies that threaten the environment, not just Monsanto. For example, you can read about the head of the EPA’s close ties to various oil and gas companies here.
There has also been speculation that scientific literature on GMOs has been censored in North America. For example, the only long term study that has ever been conducted on GMOs was published in November 2012 in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University (source). The study found severe liver and kidney damage as well as hormonal disturbances in rats fed with GM maize in conjunction with low levels of Roundup that were below those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. Results also indicated high rates of large tumours and mortality in most treatment groups.
The study was retracted in North America, but then republished in multiple journals in Europe, one of them being Environmental Sciences Europe (source). The North American retraction was largely due to strong commercial pressure from North American biotech companies, like Monsanto. The republished studies in Europe were even more up-to-date and settled any concerns that were raised about the retracted study, yet North America chose not to republish it.
The retraction was likely a political decision, which unfortunately is a huge issue when it comes to modern science in North America. Scientists no longer have the same freedom they once enjoyed to study and publish whatever they want because of significant pressure from the government and corporations.
This fact was also made clear by WikiLeaks documents:
Resistance to the advent of genetically modified foods has been pronounced across Europe. The continent features some of the strictest regulations governing the use and cultivation of GMO products, and public skepticism about biotech goods is quite high—a fact not lost on American diplomats. In a lengthy report dating from late 2007, a cable issued by the State Department outlined its “Biotechnology Outreach Strategy,” which, among other things, recognized the European Union’s “negative views on biology” and committed as a national priority to limiting them (O7STATE160639). . . .Initial attention paid to the State Department’s part in pushing industrial manufactures on its allies obscured the even bigger role it played in assuring a place for genetically modified agricultural products (GMOs) in a region that largely wanted nothing to do with them. The American campaign promoting biotech products was a worldwide effort. In all, some 1,000 documents from the Cablegate cache address this effort, a significant number of which originate in Europe. U.S. diplomats on the continent gave considerable attention to insuring the interests of American biotech firms in Europe—
Initial attention paid to the State Department’s part in pushing industrial manufactures on its allies obscured the even bigger role it played in assuring a place for genetically modified agricultural products (GMOs) in a region that largely wanted nothing to do with them. The American campaign promoting biotech products was a worldwide effort. In all, some 1,000 documents from the Cablegate cache address this effort, a significant number of which originate in Europe. U.S. diplomats on the continent gave considerable attention to insuring the interests of American biotech firms in Europe—whether through “education” programs, government lobbying, or outright coercion—as well as stripping down European Union regulations designed to act as a bugger against them. Available cables published by WikiLeaks suggest that the United States invests considerable time, effort, and expense in its operations on behalf of the American biotech firms.
It’s quite clear that Monsanto is responsible for many of the environmental effects and health risks associated with GMOs, which is why it was so shocking that Nye asked the Chief Technology Officer of Monsanto, Robb Fraley, to speak on the show. Instead of including an unbiased panel of scientists to discuss the subject, he chose a higher up from the main company that’s responsible for all of this controversy.
Nye actually asks him, “Why does everyone hate Monsanto?” As if he’d provide an honest answer. When it comes to GMOs, Monsanto is only concerned with profit, not the environmental or health risks that come along with them.
“At a time when fake news is prevalent in our society, communication about science and restoring trust in the field has never been more important,” Fraley explained. “I was excited and honoured to be part of the show to help distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to GMOs. The fact is that GMOs are safe, effective and benefit the environment.”
So, now Bill Nye has associated fake news with questioning the safety of GMOs. This is precisely the issue with science in North America: We can no longer question it without being associated with fake news or conspiracy. However, isn’t that the point of science, to question everything in order to find the truth? Any scientist with integrity could look at these studies and admit that GMOs require a lot more testing in order to be deemed safe, if ever. This begs the question: Who is funding this episode of Bill Nye Saves The World?
In May 2004, one year after the U.S. commenced a full-scale invasion of Iraq, the New York Times issued a half-baked apology for its abysmal coverage of the “intelligence” used to convince America that Iraq was a threat.
“Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge,” wrote the NYT editors. They also lamented their dependence on Iraqi defectors who made spurious claims to further the goal of regime change.
It was a grudging admission that the famous newspaper played a critical role in pushing lies and propaganda, to lead the U.S. into a ‘pre-emptive’ war of choice. Other corporate media outlets, including those in the neoconservative (i.e. The Weekly Standard) and liberal interventionist camps, apparently felt no remorse at betraying the public.
To be fair, it wasn’t all the fault of ‘patriotic’ American media. In Sept. 2002, the Bush-Cheney cabal installed a special Pentagon intelligence unit to create the web of lies and spin needed to bring forth the Iraq war drums.
The Office of Special Plans (OSP), led by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, used their imagination and hard-line neocon belief in “regime change” to create Iraqi WMD and ties to terror out of thin air. With the “war on terror” as an excuse and Dick Cheney as their cover, OSP bypassed normal intelligence routes and brought what they wanted straight to President Bush.
In January 2004, Mother Jones exposed the workings of this “secret Pentagon intelligence unit and of the Defense Department’s war-planning task force,” made up of “a close-knit team of ideologues who spent a decade or more hammering out plans for an attack on Iraq and who used the events of September 11, 2001, to set it into motion.”
An essential part of this operation was input from the infamous defector, Ahmed Chalabi, and the Iraqi National Congress.
Mother Jones reported:
According to multiple sources, Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress sent a steady stream of misleading and often faked intelligence reports into U.S. intelligence channels. That information would flow sometimes into NESA/OSP directly, sometimes through Defense Intelligence Agency debriefings of Iraqi defectors via the Defense Human Intelligence Service, and sometimes through the INC’s own U.S.-funded Intelligence Collection Program, which was overseen by the Pentagon. The INC’s intelligence “isn’t reliable at all,” according to Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA chief of counterterrorism. “Much of it is propaganda. Much of it is telling the Defense Department what they want to hear, using alleged informants and defectors who say what Chalabi wants them to say, [creating] cooked information that goes right into presidential and vice presidential speeches.
Fast-forward to 2017, and the U.S. is backing other “rebel” groups in other Middle Eastern countries long targeted for regime change – and using bogus intel.
The 2013 sarin gas attack that killed at least 281 Syrian civilians was immediately blamed on Assad, trumpeted by Establishment media as a “red line” meaning Assad should be forcefully removed. But it turns out the chemicals most likely came from Turkish intelligence and were fired from rebel-controlled territory.
Soon after President Trump made the comment that regime change in Syria was no longer the goal, the April 4, 2017 sarin gas attack took place in Khan Sheikhoun, killing at least 74 Syrian people. Yet again, American corporate media parroted the government line. No skepticism, no questioning.
With the Tomahawk missile response, Trump had finally come around to the neocon/liberal interventionist agenda – and the MSM were positively thrilled.
Pundits were quick to cement the narrative that ‘Assad did it’ before people could think too much, despite quickly mounting evidence that the official narrative was suspect. Former CIA agents were questioning the rationale, and then video proof emerged of evidence tampering at the chemical attack site.
In fact, an MIT weapons expert and former DoD science advisor released his analysis, saying the evidence for the April sarin gas attack was tampered with or staged. Theodore Postol stated that the White House’s supposed proof “does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.”
The parallels are easy to draw between Syrian war propaganda and Iraq war propaganda, and no less troubling in their potential to draw the U.S. into launching another “regime change” invasion. Countless lives lost and unimaginable destruction.
Neocons and liberal interventionists are gnashing their teeth at the prospect of bringing Syria into the Western fold through military might.
The Wolfowitz of today appears to be National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – a darling of the neocon cabal and “golden child” of disgraced General David Petraeus. It was recently revealed that McMaster is “manipulating intelligence reports given to President Donald Trump” and “seeking to involve the U.S. in a full scale war in Syria” with 150,000 American ground troops.
McMaster may not have the Office of Special Plans (or he may have something else entirely), but the threat of bogus intelligence to justify full-scale war is just as real.
If the mainstream media have an ounce of credibility, they will begin questioning the government narrative instead of immediately reporting it as fact. We cannot be led into another war based on government propaganda and the abandonment of skepticism.
Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo. Gardner finds inspiration in the garden and people who promote peace and goodwill to all life. This article first appeared here at TheFreeThoughtProject.com
Ostensibly, the purpose of adding the fluoride to public drinking water supplies is to improve dental health in the community, yet even the U.S. Government had to modify this claim by lowering the national fluoride levels in 2015, citing increases in dental fluorosis.
In 2012, a major Harvard study found that public water fluoridation poses a risk to the developing intelligence of children, essentially lowering the IQ of those in communities with public water fluoridation. This study invigorated the public debate on this issue, yet, fluoridation continues, despite the known risks, and all the while, scientific evidence continues mounts in the case against fluoride.
“The information now available supports a reasonable conclusion that exposure of the developing brain to fluoride should be minimized, and that economic losses associated with lower IQ’s may be quite large. ” [Source]
The research team involved in the study was headed by William Hirzy, PhD, a former US EPA senior scientist who specialized in risk assessment. He offers the following explanation of the significance of this particular study:“The significance of this peer reviewed risk analysis is that it indicates there may be no actual safe level of exposure to fluoride.
“The significance of this peer reviewed risk analysis is that it indicates there may be no actual safe level of exposure to fluoride.
Groups of children with lower exposures to fluoride were compared with groups having higher exposures. Those with higher exposures performed more poorly on IQ tests than those with lower exposures.
Applying two different, standard risk analysis techniques used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to published data on the impact of fluoride exposure in children shows that daily intakes in excess of about 0.05 mg of fluoride may result in depressed intellectual capability. This calculation involved using safety factors designed to protect the most vulnerable child.
One well-conducted Chinese study indicated that children exposed to 1.4 mg/day had their IQ lowered by 5 IQ points. Current average mean daily intakes among children in the United States are estimated by EPA to range from about 0.80 mg/day to 1.65 mg/day.
Fluoride may be similar to lead and mercury in having no threshold below which exposures may be considered safe.” [Source]
The study can be read in its entirety, here, and is worth sharing with anyone still on the fence about the so-called benefits of fluoridated drinking water.
Water fluoridation is medication without consent, yet people tolerate this abuse from government in many parts of the world without a full understanding of the negative effects of fluoride toxicity. The struggle to stop public water fluoridation is winnable at the community level, though, and every year, the grassroots movement against it grows.
There’s the garden variety fake news that is not really “news” so much as it is titillating, tabloid-worthy material peddled by anyone with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and an active imagination. These stories run the gamut from the ridiculous and the obviously click-baity to the satirical and politically manipulative.
Anyone with an ounce of sense and access to the Internet should be able to ferret out the truth and lies in these stories with some basic research. That these stories flourish is largely owing to the general gullibility, laziness and media illiteracy of the general public, which through its learned compliance rarely questions, challenges or confronts.
In the midst of the media’s sudden headline-blaring apoplexy over fake news, you won’t hear much about the government’s role in producing, planting and peddling propaganda-driven fake news—often with the help of the corporate news media—because that’s not how the game works.
Not only would this establish a dangerous precedent for all-out censorship by corporate entities known for colluding with the government but it’s also a slick sleight-of-hand maneuver that diverts attention from what we should really be talking about: the fact that the government has grown dangerously out-of-control, all the while the so-called mainstream news media, which is supposed to act as a bulwark against government propaganda, has instead become the mouthpiece of the world’s largest corporation—the U.S. government.
As veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward blew the lid off the Watergate scandal, reported in his expansive 1977 Rolling Stone piece, “The CIA and the Media”:
“More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency… There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services… Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters… In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”
Bernstein is referring to Operation Mockingbird, a CIA campaign started in the 1950s to plant intelligence reports among reporters at more than 25 major newspapers and wire agencies, who would then regurgitate them for a public oblivious to the fact that they were being fed government propaganda.
In some instances, as Bernstein shows, members of the media also served as extensions of the surveillance state, with reporters actually carrying out assignments for the CIA.
Executives with CBS, the New York Times and Time magazine also worked closely with the CIA to vet the news. Bernstein writes: “Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.”
For example, in August 1964, the nation’s leading newspapers—including the Washington Post and New York Times—echoed Lyndon Johnson’s claim that North Vietnam had launched a second round of attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. No such attacks had taken place, and yet the damage was done. As Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon report for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, “By reporting official claims as absolute truths, American journalism opened the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War.”
Fast forward to the early post-9/11 years when, despite a lack of any credible data supporting the existence of weapons of mass destruction, the mainstream media jumped on the bandwagon to sound the war drums against Iraq. As Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian put it, “our government … used its immense bully pulpit to steamroll the watchdogs… Many were gulled by access to administration insiders, or susceptible to the drumbeat of the government’s coordinated rhetoric.”
John Walcott, Washington bureau chief for Knight-Ridder, one of the only news agencies to challenge the government’s rationale for invading Iraq, suggests that the reason for the media’s easy acceptance is that “too many journalists, including some very famous ones, have surrendered their independence in order to become part of the ruling class. Journalism is, as the motto goes, speaking truth to power, not wielding it.”
In its article, “How the American government is trying to control what you think,” the Washington Postpoints out“Government agencies historically have made a habit of crossing the blurry line between informing the public and propagandizing.”
Thus, whether you’re talking about the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the government’s invasion of Iraq based upon absolute fabrications, or the government’s so-called war on terror, privacy and whistleblowers, it’s being driven by propaganda churned out by one corporate machine (the corporate-controlled government) and fed to the American people by way of yet another corporate machine (the corporate-controlled media).
“For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it,” writes investigative journalist Nick Davies. “The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news.”
If the mass media—aka the mainstream media or the corporate or establishment media—is merely repeating what is being fed to it, who are the masterminds within the government responsible for this propaganda?
The Pentagon has now designated “information operations” as its fifth “core competency” alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own “psyop” element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department’s campaign of “public diplomacy” which includes funding radio stations and news websites.
This use of propaganda disguised as journalism is what journalist John Pilger refers to as “invisible government… the true ruling power of our country.”
Not when the “news” we receive is routinely manufactured, manipulated and made-to-order by government agents. Not when six corporations control 90% of the media in America. And not when, as Davies laments, “news organizations which might otherwise have exposed the truth were themselves part of the abuse, and so they kept silent, indulging in a comic parody of misreporting, hiding the emerging scandal from their readers like a Victorian nanny covering the children’s eyes from an accident in the street.”
So let’s have no more of this handwringing, heart-wrenching, morally offended talk about fake news by media outlets that have become propagandists for the false reality created by the American government.
After all, as Glenn Greenwald points out, “The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that—whether from fear, careerism, or conviction—uncritically recites false government claims and reports them as fact, or treats elected officials with a reverence reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function.”
Real information, subversive information, remains the most potent power of all — and I believe that we must not fall into the trap of believing that the media speaks for the public. That wasn’t true in Stalinist Czechoslovakia and it isn’t true of the United States. In all the years I’ve been a journalist, I’ve never known public consciousness to have risen as fast as it’s rising today…yet this growing critical public awareness is all the more remarkable when you consider the sheer scale of indoctrination, the mythology of a superior way of life, and the current manufactured state of fear.
[The public] need[s] truth, and journalists ought to be agents of truth, not the courtiers of power. I believe a fifth estate is possible, the product of a people’s movement, that monitors, deconstructs, and counters the corporate media. In every university, in every media college, in every news room, teachers of journalism, journalists themselves need to ask themselves about the part they now play in the bloodshed in the name of a bogus objectivity. Such a movement within the media could herald a perestroika of a kind that we have never known. This is all possible. Silences can be broken… In the United States wonderfully free rebellious spirits populate the web… The best reporting … appears on the web … and citizen reporters.
The challenge for the rest of us is to lift this subjugated knowledge from out of the underground and take it to ordinary people. We need to make haste. Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action. That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now.
This week, WikiLeaks released over 500,000 diplomatic cables as an addition to the Carter Cables that were first released in 2014. In these new cables, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange states there is definitive proof that the United States CIA is “essentially responsible for creating ISIS”.
Assange says the new cables reveal that the events in 1979 began a series of events that were ultimately responsible for the evolution of ISIS.
“If any year could be said to be the “year zero” of our modern era, 1979 is it”, Assange stated in a press release on Monday.
Essentially, the CIA and the Saudi Arabian government put billions of dollars into creating a Mujahideen militant group that would fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan – continuing the US and the Soviet Union’s constant proxy wars. This group ended up becoming known as ISIS.
“In the Middle East, the Iranian revolution, the Saudi Islamic uprising and the Egypt-Israel Camp David Accords led not only to the present regional power dynamic, but decisively changed the relationship between oil, militant Islam, and the world.
The uprising at Mecca permanently shifted Saudi Arabia towards Wahhabism, leading to the transnational spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the US-Saudi destabilization of Afghanistan,” said Assange.
The invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR would see Saudi Arabia and the CIA push billions of dollars to Mujahideen fighters as part of Operation Cyclone, fomenting the rise of Al-Qaeda and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
The 1979 current of Islamification spread to Pakistan where the US Embassy was burned to the ground and Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed. The Iranian hostage crisis would go on to fatally undermine Jimmy Carter’s presidency and see the election of Ronald Reagan.
“The rise of Al-Qaeda eventually bore the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, enabling the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and over a decade of war, leaving, at its end, the ideological, financial and geographic basis for ISIS,” said Assange.
Saudi Arabia Funding Of Clinton Campaign
In an interview with Dartmouth Films and RT, Assange also mentions Hilary Clinton’s involvement. Assange states that while it has been noted that Saudi Arabian and Qatari funds are “all over the place, including too many media institutions”, and that “even the US government has mentioned or agreed with that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIS”, he believes this is a dodge to the real depth and intention to which the Saudi government supports ISIS. He believes these cables show that the same governments that fund Hillary Clinton’s campaign are simultaneously propping up ISIS and other radical groups in the region.
However, as can be seen by leaked e-mails between Hillary Clinton and her Campaign Manager John Podesta, Clinton’s military strategy is to defeat ISIS/ISIL by utilizing local allies. According to the emails, Podesta confirms that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are providing “clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL”
In a 9-point plan to Hillary Clinton, Podesta states that
“in Iraq it is important that we engage ISIL using the resources of the Peshmerga fighters of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and what, if any, reliable units exist in the Iraqi Army. The Peshmerga commanders are aggressive, hard fighting troops, who have long standing relationships with CIA officers and Special Force operators. However, they will need the continued commitment of U.S. personnel to work with them as advisors and strategic planners, the new generation of Peshmerga commanders being largely untested in traditional combat. That said, with this U.S. aid the Kurdish troops can inflict a real defeat on ISIL.”
Podesta also states that ISIS needs to be pushed back to a “tangible defeat” so local fighters in the region do not think it is an “American defeat”. Neither John Podesta or Hillary Clinton have confirmed the validity of the leaked emails.
What are your thoughts?Please comment below and share this news!
(ANTIMEDIA)— Promptly after the release of more than 500 documents from the U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, WikiLeaks explained why this particular leak matters.
“The war in Yemen has produced 3.15 million internally displaced persons,” a statement said. “Although the United States government has provided most of the bombs and is deeply involved in the conduct of the war itself,” the organization argues, western news organizations are failing to do their job by seldom informing the public of America’s involvement.
The documents were produced and exchanged during Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State, as well as during the first two years of John Kerry’s tenure, ending just as the Yemen war broke out.
Because Yemen controls an area of the Middle East “through which 11 percent ofthe world’s petroleum passes each day,” WikiLeaks reported in the Yemen files opening page, Saudi Arabia’s interest in the country revolves around the Arabian Sea.
With both Iran and the United States having signed a nuclear deal — a development that did not please the Saudis — Iran’s return to the global oil markets could soon become a reality. Many argue that because of Iran’s close ties to neighboring countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia has reason to fear Iran’s presence as a competitor.
With the world’s second largest oil reserve, the Saudi kingdom remains a strong oil provider globally. Nevertheless, its influence in the global oil markets is beginning to wane as countries, like Russia, up their game.
With Iran entering the picture, the presence of Yemen’s Houthi rebels, a Shia-led, allegedly Iranian-backed military militia, was used as a justification for Saudi involvement. With the opportunity to ensure a Saudi-supported government ruled over Yemen by ousting Shia influence from the region, the Saudis could have greater access to the Arabian Sea, where “another 20% of the world’s petroleum passes from the Strait of Hormuz.” Otherwise, WikiLeaks continued, Iran could end up impeding “[Saudi Arabia’s] other oil shipment path along the Red Sea.”
While the partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States in Yemen has been well-documented, direct U.S. efforts in Yemen are often neglected.
But long before that, in 2010, diplomatic cables also released by WikiLeaks showed president of Yemen between 1990 and 2012 Ali Abdullah Saleh, “secretly [offering] US forces unrestricted access to his territory to conduct unilateral strikes against” al-Qaeda-aligned “terrorist targets,” demonstrating the close relationship between Saleh and the U.S. government.
Additionally, a United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) document from November 2012 outlining the course of action of the Yemeni weapons and training plan (1206 and 1207 programs) — a section tucked inan “Emergency Food Aid and Assess Security Assistance” program — shows the agency weighed the pros and cons of releasing weaponry early or after the scheduled date, often raising concerns associated with measures that would require further contact with Congress. The military material listed in this document includes armored Humvees, machine guns, handguns, grenades, and ammunition, among other items.
The leaks also offer a glimpse into the losses of military material provided to Yemen by the United States, with reports of stolen or lost items including GPS locators, batteries, and other related equipment. A July 2013 report from the Department of Defense (DOD)’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) outlines U.S. involvement, providing a list of training and arming efforts that began in 2008 and went through 2013, two years before the Yemeni civil war started.
Further, in a 2015 article, Middle East Eye explained the Houthis hadn’t been armed by Iran. Instead, the rebel group “acquired a vast pool of arms from Yemen’s black market.”
With an estimated 40 to 60 million weapons circulating in Yemen, a United Nations Experts’ report estimated, the Houthis “were also getting a continuing stream of modern arms directly from corrupt Yemeni military commanders from 2004 through 2010.”
During the same period, Porter continued, “the Houthis acquired a new bonanza of weapons that had been provided by the United States over the previous eight years,” a program that was later exposed by Joseph Trevithick via a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to the Pentagon documents acquired by Trevinithick, Porter added, the “Defense Department had delivered about $500 million in military hardware to the Yemeni military from 2006 on,” including “Russian-made helicopters, more than 100 Humvees with the latest armor packages, 100s of pickup trucks, rocket-propelled grenades, advanced radios, night vision goggles and millions of rounds of ammunition.”
In other words, whether the Barack Obama administration is aware of it or not, the same weaponry and training provided to the Yemeni government through the years appear to have fallen into the hands of militants whose main enemy is a close U.S. ally — Saudi Arabia.
If the Yemen files released by WikiLeaks prove anything, it is that, once again, American intervention in the Middle East has, at best, been carried out on behalf of its “allies.” At worst, it has been carried out by corrupt U.S. officials with financial ties to the Saudi Kingdom.
In what is being referred to as “the Podesta files,” WikiLeaks has released a series of emails addressed to Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair, John Podesta (c/o “Eryn”), a couple of which are from Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, in regards to disclosing the extraterrestrial presence in our solar system. The emails come from firstname.lastname@example.org, which is the official email of Terri Mansfield at her website (source).
Terri Mansfield was the volunteer co-founder and executive director of the Arizona Department of Peace Campaign from 2003 to 2009. She is the Executive Vice President of Fundraising in the Public Interest (FPI). FPI “partners exclusively with billionaire donors to support 501(c)3 tax-deductible organizations working for planetary social change,” (source above). She is also the Director of the ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Peace Task Force.
“It is urgent that we agree on a date and time to meet to discuss Disclosure and Zero Point Energy, at your earliest available after your departure.”
It later continues:
“My Catholic colleague Terri Mansfield will be there too, to bring us up to date on the Vatican’s awareness of ETI.”
Mansfield has worked closely with Edgar Mitchell on “setting the framework for them to meet first with former White House Counsel John Podesta, then with President Obama on all ETI-related matters,” according to her website, so email 1 seems to basically be a confirmation that Dr Edgar Mitchell did in fact attempt contact with John Podesta through Terri Mansfield’s official email, and that “Eryn” had been working with Terri Mansfield to set up a meeting already. As for the Vatican’s “awareness” of ETI, whatever that may entail; it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Vatican would be involved, in light of a statement made by the Director of the Vatican Observatory, Father José Gabriel Funes, that believing in extraterrestrial life does not oppose the Catholic doctrine, and that aliens would be our “brothers.”
Email 2, dated August of 2015, is where things get a bit more interesting, specifically this excerpt:
“Remember, our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth. They will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.”
Aside from the obvious, this is interesting for another reason; the ETI they are apparently in contact with, were referred to as nonviolent. If one is to take any of this communication seriously, this is a valid point to consider since the ultimate questions on the uninformed citizen’s mind would be, “are they dangerous? Should we be frightened?”
According to the founder of the Disclosure Project, Steven Greer, MD, there is in fact a propaganda campaign by the United States government to paint extraterrestrial life in a negative view. Movies such as “Independence Day” make ET’s look violent, apathetic, and bent on destroying human life, however according to many individuals involved in the Disclosure Project, including government officials, this is not the case. Knowing of this propaganda campaign makes claims from scientists such as Stephen Hawking that advanced extraterrestrial lifeforms would surely kill us, not just suspicious, but rather disappointing to think one of our world’s greatest minds could potentially be a part of that propaganda, knowingly or not.
The U.S. government’s (and by default their Elite master’s) reason for this propaganda is the same as always; keeping up the war machine, this time with a particular focus on the weaponization of space. According to former spokesperson for Wernher von Braun, Doctor Carol Rosin—who is the leading aerospace executive, and space and missile defense consultant—the United States has been executing a long planned agenda involving a series of created enemies: First, Russia, with a focus on communists (the Red Scare). Second, terrorists, which the United States created themselves, and then used false flag attacks to perpetuate the fear of. Next will be third-world countries, or “nations of concern.” After that, asteroids, and finally, the “last card” will be the so-called extraterrestrial threat (source).
Interesting side-note: Guess who’s against weaponizing space, and has proposed a UN treaty to ban space-based weapons? You’re wrong, it’s Russia and China.
As for the leaked email correspondence, none of Podesta’s responses to Dr Edgar Mitchell (if any) have yet been published, however WikiLeaks has made it clear that more is to come. In a report from The Mind Unleashed, they’ve only published 1% of the Podesta files.
It’s been clear for quite some time that we are getting closer to a disclosure, and in fact many would argue that the disclosure already came—the average citizen simply wasn’t aware of it. Numerous nations have already released their UFO files, and in some regions of the world, such as areas of South America, the presence of extraterrestrial life is accepted as common knowledge, even by the governments. As usual, the citizens of the United States are some of the last to get on board thanks to years of silly alien cartoon characters, and anal-probing jokes.
C’est la vie. We look forward to seeing Podesta’s responses to Dr Mitchell, and will update accordingly.
This article (WikiLeaks Uncovers Talk of E.T. Disclosure through Clinton’s Campaign Chair) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under aCreative Commonslicense with attribution to the author andAnonHQ.com.
“The continuing consolidation of seed and pesticide companies essentially creates a monopoly of toxicity in control of the world’s seed market and food supply. These agrichemical giants threaten the availability and genetic diversity of seeds that are critical to a sustainable food system and to our ability to respond to the impacts of climate change,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said Tuesday.
The petitions signed by over 700,000 people were delivered by nine consumer advocacy and environmental groups—including Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club, Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth, and Center for Food Safety, among others—as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday to examine the wave of consolidation in the biotech and agrochemical industry.
“I’m afraid this consolidation wave has become a tsunami,” said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as the hearing opened.
“Just six corporations already dominate worldwide seed and pesticide markets,” commented Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, senior scientist with Pesticide Action Network, in a statement released by the groups. “Additional consolidation will increase prices and further limit choices for farmers, while allowing Monsanto and friends to continue pushing a model of agriculture that has given us superweeds, superbugs, and health-harming pesticides. Instead, we need to invest in agroecological, resilient, and productive farming.”
Kiki Hubbard, director of advocacy for Organic Seed Alliance, noted that all farmers “experience the negative consequences of seed consolidation. Organic farmers in particular are already underserved by the industry because the dominant players only invest in seed technologies and chemical production systems that are in conflict with organic farming practices.”
“The last thing that U.S. agriculture needs now is more concentration,” added Michael Sligh of the Rural Advancement Foundation International. “What farmers need is more regionally and locally-adapted seeds choices and more biodiversity. Concentration lead to higher seed prices for farmers and lower take home pay.”
“The shocking consolidation in the biotech seed and agrochemical industry turns our food system over to a cabal of chemical companies, undermining family farmers and consumers,” noted Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “We urge federal regulators to block these pending mergers to prevent further corporate control of our food system.”
(ANTIMEDIA) FBI Director James Comey spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington earlier this week to discuss the importance of cybersecurity. During the discussion, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin asked Comey if he still had his webcam covered with tape, a question referencing previous statements by the director. Comey replied, “Heck yeah, oh, heck yeah.” He continued to encourage the public to do the same thing:
“I get mocked for a lot of things, and I am much mocked for that, but I hope people lock their cars. Lock your doors at night. I have an alarm system — if you have an alarm system, you should use it. I use mine. It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well, and so I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security. There are some sensible things you ought to be doing, and that’s one of them. If you go into any government office, we all have our little camera things that sit on top of the screen, they all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”
This isn’t the first time the FBI Director has mentioned his homemade security measures. During a Q&A after a speech on encryption and privacy at Kenyon College earlier this year, during which he claimed “absolute privacy hampers law enforcement,” he also admitted to wanting his own privacy. “I saw something in the news, so I copied it. I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera. Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”
In the same breath, he also told the audience:
“[The public should] demand to know how the government conducts surveillance. Demand to know how they’re overseen, how they’re constrained. Demand to know how these devices work.”
While that may seem open and honest, the message being sent by the U.S. government completely contradicts such a sentiment.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden provided some insight when he revealed the expansive and unaccountable systems of modern global surveillance used by the NSA and its international intelligence partners to spy on American citizens and others. He is now hiding in Russia to avoid extradition to the U.S. after being charged under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Dr. Rima Laibow for “turning me on” to this important video in a recent Email from her site. The implications of this news is so monumental and far-reaching, I would suggest that it is some of the most important news of the year (at least so far). Once again, lies from some of our largest businesses and organizations, and even our government, are coming to light. Please view this video to understand more and then please take action to spread it virally and begin a discussion in your communities about this important subject matter.
*Originally entitled: “Cannabis is in your DNA”
Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at email@example.com
Thousands Have Cancer, Hundreds Are Dead from a Massive Chemical Attack On Americans
Asbestos. Though you’re likely familiar with the insidious minerals used in fireproofing and a number of other applications, first responders to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and residents in the area know intimately the dangers it can pose.
Once you’ve breathed in even a single fiber of asbestos — a “known human carcinogen” — you’re theoretically at risk for developing cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and more. Though the National Cancer Institute states “[e]veryone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life,” repeated or sustained exposure poses the greatest risk. And it specifically lists first responders to 9/11, volunteers who helped during the aftermath, and residents “in close proximity” to the site as having documented health effects from asbestos and other unknown toxins released into the air that day.
In recent days, there has been much discussion concerning responsibility for Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in the attacks — and the possibility the kingdom’s involvement may be divulged should Pres. Obama release the ‘missing’ 28 pages from the 9/11 files. But what hasn’t been discussed is the lack of or limited accountability by the United States government in caring for peripheral victims who continue to suffer — and die from — exposure to asbestos and other toxins.
As Luke Rudowski, founder of We Are Change — who was living in the path of the toxic particulate miasma that day — explained in a new video, the government’s shirking of responsibility could easily be called “criminal.”
“In the beginning, everyone always said, ‘well, the government wouldn’t lie to us, they said that the air was safe to breathe,’ and especially living in New York City, the emotional trauma that 9/11 brought upon everyone was intensified because we were there,” Rudowski explained in an interview with The Free Thought Project about his personal experience.
I knew many people who lost loved ones and who were missing people. It was an utterly chaotic day — just utter fear controlling everyone; and because of that, everyone trusted everything the government said.
After the attacks, you were just inundated with state-run television that was just broadcasting all this tremendous fear, and when they said the air was safe to breathe, there was … really no reason for me not to believe that.
This isn’t just some far-flung theory. As Scientific American wrote on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, as also noted by Rudowski in his video, the then administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Christie Whitman told the public on September 13, 2001, “EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City.” Adding, “We will continue to monitor closely.”
Five days later, she perpetuated the lie by reiterating firmly, “I am glad to assure the people of New York and Washington, D.C., that the air is safe to breath [sic].”
But it wasn’t.
Asbestos that had been used in the construction of the North Tower of the World Trade Center ballooned out in a putrid, toxic cloud containing untold quantities of other toxins and particulates — and has since caused illness, respiratory ailments, and fatalities in an unknown number of people present that day.
In fact, the Inspector General of Whitman’s own agency concluded two years after she’d assured people’s safety, that the EPA “did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement.” Of the myriad samples the EPA did collect in the weeks following the attack, 25 percent contained levels above the 1 percent “safe” threshold indicative of “significant risk.”
“Competing considerations, such as national security concerns and the desire to reopen Wall Street, also played a role in the EPA’s air quality statements,” the Inspector General noted in the report in 2003.
That deception in the interest of, essentially, the banking interests and the government quite possibly directly influenced the decisions of volunteers — firefighters, police, health workers, local residents, concerned civilians, and members of the military — to work at or near Ground Zero in the days and weeks following. Worse, as Rudowski explained, volunteers were told protective masks and gear were unnecessary — and should be removed.
“It was not just the family members [of the victims] who were getting screwed over by the government, but those who were down there helping … in the [cleanup] efforts. They were dropping dead and becoming ill; and it was swept underneath the rug, and … finally, people started talking about, ‘Hey, I was at Ground Zero and now I have lung cancer.’ Or ‘I have mesothelioma’ or ‘I have this strange disease that no doctor can classify.’ And those were the first people who were affected by it,” said Rudowski.
That’s when I saw that, yeah, the air was extremely hazardous.
Indeed, it was. According to Scientific American, the two towers had contained “heavy metals, such as lead,” “polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) … that are toxic on their own and become even more toxic when burned at high heat, and glass fibers that lodge in the lungs. The levels of dioxin measured in the air near the smoldering pile ‘were the highest ambient measurements of dioxin ever recorded anywhere in the world,’ levels at least 100 times higher than those found downwind of a garbage incinerator,” reported a 2007 analysis by the EPA.
“After 9/11 and during 9/11, I was in Brooklyn, directly in the path of where the wind was carrying the toxic smoke,” Rudowski continued, “so the dust was all over the street, was all over the car, all over the house, was all over … you know, everywhere. And you could write your name, like it was in the snow, on cars — but it was all the dust from 9/11.” He noted, somewhat eerily, there were “papers from the World Trade Center” that had blown into the streets — all the way across the East River, into his Brooklyn neighborhood.
Rudowski explained that though he was a teenager at the time, the attacks and subsequent cleanup effort — and mounting lies from the government surrounding the attacks — became a pivotal moment in his life. He began going to Ground Zero to hand out fliers and speak to volunteers.
People who survived the attacks and rescue workers started coming up to us and talking to us — giving us all this information about how they were told not to wear gas masks; how they were told not to put on their hazmat suits; and how their health had been utterly destroyed.
Notably, being told not to take safety precautions likely compromised the health of an untold number of people. Paul Lioy, environmental scientist with the Environmental and Occupational Health Services Institute in New Jersey — who provided samples of the pulverized dust to various government agencies after the attack — explained such safety equipment would have been crucial in preventing future ailments in first and secondary responders.
“The key is when you arrived, whether you were wearing a respirator or not, how long you were there and how high the concentrations were that could lead to effects,” he noted for the article in Scientific American. “I think people who wore respirators have a lower probability of health effects … People who came early to the site and were not wearing respirators have a greater probability of having more severe effects.”
“At that time, there was a lot of confusion, and the health effects, the illnesses, weren’t even classified — couldn’t even be classified — by many doctors,” Rudowski said. “And now they’ve opened up a special institute just for that.”
Nearly ten years after the tragedy, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health announced coverage for those who developed cancer from the various toxins under the World Trade Center Health Program, established when the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Safety Act was signed into law on January 2, 2011. Named for James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who spent hundreds of hours at Ground Zero before developing respiratory ailments that eventually led to his death, the Act still presents some hurdles for those affected by the toxic plume since the full spectrum of toxins released that day has never been fully evaluated.
Zadroga’s illness and resultant death became the subject of contention when, though his autopsy revealed otherwise inexplicable abnormalities, some doctors and scientists flatly refused to attribute them to his countless hours volunteering at the smoldering site. In part, they claimed, no comparison had been officially done between air and dust samples and those found in Zadroga’s lungs — but that somewhat ignores the lack of a comprehensive analysis of the massive toxic cloud and settling dust.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg eagerly joined that criticism, originally saying of Zadroga in 2007, when the chief medical examiner disputed the connection between the man’s death and 9/11, “We wanted to have a hero, and there are plenty of heroes. It’s just in this case, science says this was not a hero.”
As Rudowski clarified, the controversy over the death involved the lack of treatment for excruciating pain Zadroga contended with due to his illness — eventually leading the man to crush and inject pain medicine in order to cope with everyday living. Those doctors and medical examiners who disputed his cause of death pointed to the pain medicine — not the original cause of his pain — in denying Zadroga had been ultimately killed by the events of 9/11.
After coming under intense criticism of his own for saying so, Bloomberg somewhat backtracked, stating, in part, “It’s a question of how you want to define what a hero is, and I certainly did not mean to hurt the family or impugn his reputation.”
As cruel as Bloomberg’s description of a Ground Zero volunteer might be, it reflects general governmental attitude toward rescue workers and others who may not be considered ‘direct’ victims of 9/11. They face the complex challenge of dealing with illness, establishing an ‘official’ connection between their health issues and 9/11 toxins to gain coverage under the WTCHP, and fending off both government denial and a general, prevailing attitude that their sickness must be either all psychological or that it simply could not be connected to the events of September 11, 2001.
“At first, the government said, ‘No, you can’t be sick from Ground Zero, you just have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.’ And all the first responders were saying, ‘No. No, this was a toxic plume. This dust was extremely dangerous and is killing a lot of us,’” Rudowski explained. “And the government straight out denied it,” he said, specifically noting Bloomberg’s effrontery statements about Zadroga. “Because there were so many people sick — about 50,000 first responders — and many of them were so sick, the medical costs were so huge, that the city said, ‘We’re not going to pay for this,’ and denied first responders even medical care under their city contracts that they’re entitled to — because they said, ‘No, this isn’t related to 9/11, it can’t be related to 9/11. You guys just have [PTSD]. You’re not really sick.’”
But according to the National Cancer Institute, one study “found that nearly 70 percent of WTC rescue and recovery workers suffered new or worsened respiratory symptoms while performing work at the WTC site.”
Rudowski and the Institute both emphasize it can take decades for the symptoms of an asbestos-related illness or cancer to manifest — and that still doesn’t encompass the myriad illnesses and deaths directly related to unknown particulates and toxins released in WTC dust.
On September 6, 2011, Mount Sinai published results of the first long-term study of 27,000 rescue and recovery workers, which found “high incidence of several conditions, including asthma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). More than one in five of all the responders studied had multiple physical and/or mental health problems.”
However, “It has never been fully documented correctly because it’s virtually impossible to keep track of so many people” involved in rescue, recovery, and cleanup of 9/11, Rudowski explained. “Regarding first responders, themselves, at Mount Sinai they did some studies … but a lot of the data is really hard to compile since we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people.” Particularly, he notes, because New York City’s large population is constantly shifting as people move in and out all the time.
“I had friends who died from this. I had friends who suffered terribly from all these illnesses and all these horrible diseases they got because of … the dust from being down [at the site], working. And those effects will … reverberate within the next ten, twenty, thirty years — and it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly who gets what [illness] from what, when we’re talking about those time frames,” he said.
“But if you look at the effects of asbestos, and not only asbestos, but everything that was in those twin towers — those cathode ray tubes, the computers — everything was smashed to dust. Everything was obliterated.”
Last year, on the fourteenth anniversary of the attacks, consultant for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Max Lum, wrote a sweeping statement regarding the health repercussions experienced by those in New York City, stating:
“It is estimated that over 400,000 people were exposed to toxic contaminants, risks of traumatic injury, and physically and emotionally stressful conditions in the days, weeks, and months following the attacks. Symptoms of 9/11 conditions include chronic cough, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, certain cancers, stress related disorders, and depression among the many other symptoms and conditions,” adding there are over 72,000 people currently enrolled in the WTCHP.
Rudowski first saw the report just days ago, which led him to the map showing the path of the toxic dust plume — and the making of the video detailing his personal experiences related to 9/11. Though he understood the dangers faced by those working the ‘pile’ at Ground Zero, Rudowski hadn’t considered the potential he could face the same prior to stumbling upon Lum’s report — and though he is concerned, he repeatedly emphasized the difficulties faced by first responders and their families.
And whatever controversies, theories, and opinions may pervade discussions about September 11, “the real story here … is the plight of the 9/11 first responders and what they had to go through.”
As the government creates obstacles to health care for those first responders, rescue workers, volunteers, and area residents and office workers facing 9/11-related illnesses and conditions, it’s up to us as a populace not to let their struggles be swept under the rug — or obfuscated for the sake of larger 9/11 controversies.
In the end, a comprehensive assessment of the number of lives affected that day — and by events, policies, and illnesses resulting from the attacks — remains impossible. But it’s imperative we don’t allow the symbolism of the towers to cloud our understanding of the very real individuals who paid the price for their being knocked down.
The Free Thought Project would like to thank Luke Rudowski for the interview and for sharing his experience.