“The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.”Arrogantly, the Pentagon has not bothered to keep secret this war against. The US military has "...used the ocean as a trashcan" in the past but what may come as a surprise to some is the sheer scope and nature of this crime against humanity. It is clear to me that these are not isolated incidents but, rather, an ongoing campaign indicating a complete and utter disregard not only for the areas mentioned but for the ocean's ecosystems as a whole.
Time for a wake up call: if the oceans die, so, too mankind! This makes the Pentagon's callous and arrogant program a crime against humanity. The Bush administration claims to be at war. Clearly, civilian deaths from toxic dumping in Iraq are to be categorized "crimes against humanity" under Nuremberg. There is no language in the Nuremberg Principles that will excuse a belligerent should its own citizens also dies as a result. Any American death as a result of Pentagon waste is therefore one count in the Crimes Against Humanity case that must be brought against the reckless and heedless Pentagon brass. Are you tired of the rich and powerful getting away with cold blooded murder? I am! Several million, a billion outraged people just might change the world and must before it is too late.
Does the US military give a damn?
I spent some time at the DOD official website, searching for the brass' side of the story. Here is a paragraph safely tucked away in mountains of PDF files and innocuously named documents:
DOD generates 750,000 tons of hazardous waste a year, more than the five largest US chemical companies combined. It claims to know of 14,401 probable "hot spots" at 1,579 military facilities. It is also responsible for contamination at 53 private sites – contractor-owned weapons plants and property DOD once owned or used as dumps.
Petroleum by-products and heavy metals used in bombs and bullets are in the soil and ground water at many bombing and target ranges. At some sites, toxic waste and excess munitions, including unexploded bombs, have simply been buried. Also, the military still burns munitions waste and excess fuel in open pits, because the law governing hazardous waste disposal exempts the military.
Robins AFB, Ga., was presented the Pollution Prevention, Industrial Installation Award for their effort to reduce the amount of hazardous waste, toxic chemical releases and solid waste going to disposal. Their hazardous material exchange saved $243,000 in 1997, avoiding disposal of 20,000 pounds of unused materials. They assessed solid waste streams base-wide to identify opportunities for recycling, and enhanced pollution prevention awareness through an Earth Day Environmental Awareness Fair. They also established numerous integrated product teams. Additionally, they created a partnership with the State of Georgia Pollution Prevention Assistance Division. Honorable mentions for this award were given to Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.; Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Hawaii.While the the military is busy patting themselves on the back, bestowing upon themseleves meannigless accolades and approbation, a horrible human price is paid for US arrogance and venality. Following is the story I didn't find at the DOD.
By Lisa Davis
John Gessleman spent his post-adolescent years as a gunner's mate in the United States Navy. Between 1955 and 1959, he was stationed on the USS Cahokia, a tug that shipped out of San Francisco Naval Shipyard at Hunters Point. Part of his regular job was to escort a barge carrying radioactive waste under the Golden Gate Bridge and out into the Gulf of the Farallones. There, the bottom of the barge would open to release containers of radioactive waste into the sea.Now, Gessleman lives in Pennsylvania; his speech is slurred, and his wife, Ann, often has to translate what he's saying on the phone. In 1980, Gessleman was diagnosed with a form of multiple sclerosis, which has left him in a wheelchair, with limited use of his left arm and sight in only one eye. John Gessleman believes his time in the Navy, working near radioactive waste, contributed to his present condition. He remembers, for example, sleeping on the starboard side of his ship -- the side next to the barge's loading gate -- but as with most claims by atomic veterans, the government disagreed, and refused to pay him for a service-related disability.
The Existentialist Cowboy
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