Sunday, July 28, 2013

Have You Thought About the Threat of Nuclear War?

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Russia and China Prepare for Global War
Global Research, July 26, 2013
Both countries want peace, not war. America threatens them. Defensive readiness is prioritized. Forewarned is forearmed.
NATO’s a global alliance. Washington heads it. It’s a geopolitical threat. It menaces humanity. It’s expanding worldwide. It’s allied for offense, not defense. It plans war, not peace.
It’s comprised of 28 member states, 22 partner ones, seven Mediterranean Dialogue allies, four Istanbul (Gulf) Cooperation Council Initiative states, and eight other global Partners.
It works cooperatively with the UN, EU, and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. South American and African expansion is planned.
Stop Nato’s Rick Rozoff told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners it’s a “global missile.” It’s aimed at humanity’s heart. It threatens potential armageddon. Stopping its rogue agenda matters most.
It threatens world peace. It’s expanding to Russian and Chinese borders. Encroaching US bases surround them. Moscow and Beijing are mindful. They’re allied defensively. They’re preparing for scenarios they hope to avoid. They’re readying for possible global war.
On December 7, 2011, the EU Times headlined “China Joins Russia, Orders Military to Prepare for World War III.
A Beijing Ministry of Defense bulletin said then President Hu “agreed in principle” that deterring US-led Western aggression’s only possible by “direct and immediate military action” or threat thereof.
He ordered his naval forces to “prepare for war.” BBC reported the same story. He wants stepped up preparation and readiness.
He told military officials that China’s navy should “accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for warfare in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security.”
Chinese Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong warned unequivocally. “China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a Third World War,” he said.
Hopefully he means it. Hopefully Washington and Israel take heed. Hopefully it deters their planned aggression. Hopefully a nightmarish scenario’s avoided.
Russian General Nikolai Makarov said:
“I do not rule out local and regional armed conflicts developing into a large-scale war, including using nuclear weapons.”
Beijing’s bulletin discussed a US-planned “ultimate (Middle East) solution.” It’s readied in case of regional nuclear war. It said Washington will attack Syria and Iran with lethal biological weapons. They’re “intended to kill tens of millions of innocent civilians.”
Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier revealed it. He discovered that five avian flu virus mutations spread far more easily. Doing so makes them the “most lethal killer(s) of mankind ever invented.”
US capabilities were based on Russian intelligence examination of Lockheed Martin’s RQ-170 Sentinel Drone. It was downed over Iranian territory.
“Russian made Avtobaza ground-based electronic intelligence and jamming system was used. Evidence showed it was equipped with a sophisticated aerosol delivery system.”
America’s nuclear, chemical, and biowarfare agenda is longstanding. Post-9/11, stepped up development was prioritized. Nuclear disarmament was spurned. So were Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions.
The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) was abandoned. It expressly forbids development, testing and deployment of missile defenses. Doing so interferes with Washington’s offensive plans.
It refuses to adopt a proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). It prohibits further weapons-grade uranium and plutonium production. It forbids adding new nuclear weapons to present stockpiles.
America spends more on military readiness than all other countries combined. Funding includes enormous congressional appropriations, outsized black budgets, others off the books, secret programs, huge amounts for intelligence, and other unknown initiatives.
Longstanding US policy calls for preventive, preemptive, and/or proactive wars. Global targets are involved. First-strike chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are planned. Anticipatory self-defense justifies doing so.
Washington rescinded the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Subverting its provisions preceded doing it.
Enhancing America’s offensive capability matters most. Doing so prepares for global war. At issue is unchallenged dominance. Anything goes is policy. Achieving it’s prioritized.
Potentially destroying life on earth is risked. Advancing Washington’s imperium matters more. America has hugely destructive chemical, biological, nuclear and other arsenals.
Secret research and development programs upgrade them. Enormous amounts are spent doing so. Classified budgets conceal how much.
Hundreds of private biolabs operate nationwide. Fort Detrick, Lawrence Livermore, and other government facilities operate secretly. Research prioritizes offense, not defense.
Germ warfare once was science fiction fantasy. Today it’s a grim reality. So is chemical and/or mushroom shaped cloud annihilation.
America plays hardball. It does so for keeps. Nuclear/chemical/biological trigger readiness is prioritized. Francis Boyle calls catastrophic biowarfare/bioterrorist incidents or accidents a “statistical certainty.”
It’s just a matter of time. Permanent war is official US policy. Total war risks annihilation. All weapons in America’s arsenal will be used. They’re planned to be as needed. Humanity’s more than ever threatened.
Russia and China represent our last line of defense. Hopefully they’re up to the challenge.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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“Who Authorized Preparations for War with China?” The Two Faux Democracies Threaten Life On Earth
Global Research, July 25, 2013
Amitai Etzioni has raised an important question: “Who authorized preparations for war with China?” http://yalejournal.org/2013/06/12/who-authorized-preparations-for-war-with-china/
Etzioni says that the war plan is not the sort of contingency plan that might be on hand for an improbable event. Etzioni also reports that the Pentagon’s war plan was not ordered by, and has not been reviewed by, US civilian authorities. We are confronted with a neoconized US military out of control endangering Americans and the rest of the world.
Etzioni is correct that this is a momentous decision made by a neoconized military. China is obviously aware that Washington is preparing for war with China. If the Yale Journal knows it, China knows it. If the Chinese government is realistic, the government is aware that Washington is planning a pre-emptive nuclear attack against China. No other kind of war makes any sense from Washington’s standpoint. The “superpower” was never able to occupy Baghdad, and after 11 years of war has been defeated in Afghanistan by a few thousand lightly armed Taliban. It would be curtains for Washington to get into a conventional war with China.
When China was a primitive third world country, it fought the US military to a stalemate in Korea. Today China has the world’s second largest economy and is rapidly overtaking the failing US economy destroyed by jobs offshoring, bankster fraud, and corporate and congressional treason.
The Pentagon’s war plan for China is called “AirSea Battle.” The plan describes itself as “interoperable air and naval forces that can execute networked, integrated attacks-in-depth to disrupt, destroy, and defeat enemy anti-access area denial capabilities.”
Yes, what does that mean? It means many billions of dollars of more profits for the military/security complex while the 99 percent are ground under the boot. It is also clear that this nonsensical jargon cannot defeat a Chinese army. But this kind of saber-rattling can lead to war, and if the Washington morons get a war going, the only way Washington can prevail is with nuclear weapons. The radiation, of course, will kill Americans as well.
Nuclear war is on Washington’s agenda. The rise of the Neocon Nazis has negated the nuclear disarmament agreements that Reagan and Gorbachev made. The extraordinary, mainly truthful 2012 book, The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, describes the post-Reagan breakout of preemptive nuclear attack as Washington’s first option.
During the Cold War nuclear weapons had a defensive purpose. The purpose was to prevent nuclear war by the US and USSR each having sufficient retaliatory power to ensure “mutually assured destruction.” MAD, as it was known, meant that nuclear weapons had no offensive advantage for either side.
The Soviet collapse and China’s focus on its economy instead of its military have resulted in Washington’s advantage in nuclear weaponry that, according to two US Dr. Strangeglove characters, Keir Lieber [see below] and Daryl Press, gives Washington first-strike capability. Lieber and Press write that the “precipitous decline of Russia’s arsenal, and the glacial pace of modernization of China’s nuclear forces,” have created a situation in which neither Russia nor China could retaliate to Washington’s first strike.
The Pentagon’s “AirSea Battle” and Lieber and Press’ article in Foreign Affairs have informed China and Russia that Washington is contemplating pre-emptive nuclear attack on both countries. To ensure Russia’s inability to retaliate, Washington is placing anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders in violation of the US-USSR agreement.
Because the American press is a corrupt government propaganda ministry, the American people have no idea that neoconized Washington is planning nuclear war. Americans are no more aware of this than they are of former President Jimmy Carter’s recent statement, reported only in Germany, that the United States no longer has a functioning democracy.
The possibility that the United States would initiate nuclear war was given reality eleven years ago when President George W. Bush, at the urging of Dick Cheney and the neocons that dominated his regime, signed off on the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review.
This neocon document, signed off on by America’s most moronic president, resulted in consternation and condemnation from the rest of the world and launched a new arms race. Russian President Putin immediately announced that Russia would spend all necessary sums to maintain Russia’s retaliatory nuclear capability. The Chinese displayed their prowess by knocking a satellite out of space with a missile. The mayor of Hiroshima, recipient city of a vast American war crime, stated: “The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central international agreement guiding the elimination of nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse. The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called ‘useable nuclear weapons,’ appears to worship nuclear weapons as God.”
Polls from all over the world consistently show that Israel and the US are regarded as the two greatest threats to peace and to life on earth. Yet, these two utterly lawless governments prance around pretending to be the “world’s greatest democracies.” Neither government accepts any accountability whatsoever to international law, to human rights, to the Geneva Conventions, or to their own statutory law. The US and Israel are rogue governments, throwbacks to the Hitler and Stalin era.
The post World War II wars originate in Washington and Israel. No other country has imperial expansionary ambitions. The Chinese government has not seized Taiwan, which China could do at will. The Russian government has not seized former constituent parts of Russia, such as Georgia, which, provoked by Washington to launch an attack, was instantly overwhelmed by the Russian Army. Putin could have hung Washington’s Georgian puppet and reincorporated Georgia into Russia, where it resided for several centuries and where many believe it belongs.
For the past 68 years, most military aggression can be sourced to the US and Israel.
Yet, these two originators of wars pretend to be the victims of aggression. It is Israel that has a nuclear arsenal that is illegal, unacknowledged, and unaccountable. It is Washington that has drafted a war plan based on nuclear first strike. The rest of the world is correct to view these two rogue unaccountable governments as direct threats to life on earth.
Also See:
Political scientist Lieber awarded prestigious fellowship
Kyle Chamberlin
April 22, 2007
Keir A. Lieber, assistant professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded a 2007 International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations.
The fellowship encourages qualified individuals from the academic, business, professional, government, religious and congregational communities to seek to bridge the gap between analysis and action in foreign policy by supporting a variety of policy studies and active experiences in policy making.
The grant will enable Lieber to spend one year focusing on his research project, The Challenge of Nuclear Proliferation in an Era of U.S. Primacy, which explores the history and trajectory of United States nuclear weapons policy. He plans to spend the time in a high level policy making setting with the National Security Council or Department of State.
Lieber, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, came to Notre Dame in 2001 from Georgetown University. An international relations scholar, he serves as a faculty fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.
Liebers research and teaching focuses on international relations theory, international conflict and security and U.S. foreign policy. He is author of the book War and the Engineers: The Primacy of Politics over Technology, which explores the relationship between technological change and the causes of war.
Contact: Keir Lieber, 574-631-0379, keir.lieber.1@nd.edu

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The Threat of Nuclear War, North Korea or the United States?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, July 25, 2013
Url of this article:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-threat-of-nuclear-war-north-korea-or-the-united-states/5343793
While the Western media portrays North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a threat to Global Security, it fails to acknowledge that the US has being threatening North Korea with a nuclear attack for more than half a century.
On July 27, 2013, Armistice Day, Koreans in the North and the South will be commemorating the end of the Korean war (1950-53). Unknown to the broader public, the US had envisaged the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea at the very outset of the Korean War in 1950. In the immediate wake of the war, the US deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea for use on a pre-emptive basis against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in violation of the July 1953 Armistice Agreement.

“The Hiroshima Doctrine” applied to North Korea
US nuclear doctrine pertaining to Korea was established following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which were largely directed against civilians.
The strategic objective of a nuclear attack under the “Hiroshima doctrine” was to trigger a “massive casualty producing event” resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. The objective was to terrorize an entire nation, as a means of military conquest. Military targets were not the main objective: the notion of “collateral damage” was used as a justification for the mass killing of civilians, under the official pretence that Hiroshima was “a military base” and that civilians were not the target.
In the words of President Harry Truman:
“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. … This weapon is to be used against Japan ... [We] will use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. ... The target will be a purely military one... It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” (President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945)
“The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians..” (President Harry S. Truman in a radio speech to the Nation, August 9, 1945).
[Note: the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; the Second on Nagasaki, on August 9, on the same day as Truman's radio speech to the Nation]
Nobody within the upper echelons of the US government and military believed that Hiroshima was a military base, Truman was lying to himself and to the American public. To this day the use of nuclear weapons against Japan is justified as a necessary cost for bringing the war to an end and ultimately “saving lives”.
US Nuclear Weapons Stockpiled and Deployed in South Korea

Barely a few years after the end of the Korean War, the US initiated its deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea. This deployment in Uijongbu and Anyang-Ni had been envisaged as early as 1956.
It is worth noting that the US decision to bring nuclear warheads to South Korea was in blatant violation of Paragraph 13(d) of the Armistice Agreement which prohibited the warring factions from introducing new weapons into Korea.
The actual deployment of nuclear warheads started in January 1958, four and a half years after the end of the Korean War, “with the introduction of five nuclear weapon systems: the Honest John surface-to-surface missile, the Matador cruise missile, the Atomic-Demolition Munition (ADM) nuclear landmine, and the 280-mm gun and 8-inch (203mm) howitzer.” (See The nuclear information project: US Nuclear Weapons in Korea)

The Davy Crockett projectile was deployed in South Korea between July 1962 and June 1968. The warhead had selective yields up to 0.25 kilotons. The projectile weighed only 34.5 kg (76 lbs). Nuclear bombs for fighter bombers arrived in March 1958, followed by three surface-to-surface missile systems (Lacrosse, Davy Crockett, and Sergeant) between July 1960 and September 1963. The dual-mission Nike Hercules anti-air and surface-to-surface missile arrived in January 1961, and finally the 155-mm Howitzer arrived in October 1964. At the peak of this build-up, nearly 950 warheads were deployed in South Korea.
Four of the weapon types only remained deployed for a few years, while the others stayed for decades. The 8-inch Howitzer stayed until late 1991, the only weapon to be deployed throughout the entire 33-year period of U.S. nuclear weapons deployment to South Korea. The other weapons that stayed till the end were the air delivered bombs (several different bomb types were deployed over the years, ending with the B61) and the 155-mm Howitzer nuclear artillery. (Ibid)

Officially the US deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea lasted for 33 years. The deployment was targeted against North Korea as well as China and the Soviet Union.
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This composite image shows the LGM-30G Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) (L) and the LG-118A Peacekeeper missile(R). (AFP Photo/US DoD)
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South Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program
Concurrent and in coordination with the US deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea, the ROK had initiated its own nuclear weapons program in the early 1970s. The official story is that the US exerted pressure on Seoul to abandon their nuclear weapons program and “sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in April 1975 before it had produced any fissile material.” (Daniel A. Pinkston, “South Korea’s Nuclear Experiments,” CNS Research Story, 9 November 2004, http://cns.miis.edu.]
The ROK’s nuclear initiative was from the outset in the early 1970s under the supervision of the US and was developed as a component part of the US deployment of nuclear weapons, with a view to threatening North Korea.
Moreover, while this program was officially ended in 1978, the US promoted scientific expertise as well as training of the ROK military in the use of nuclear weapons. And bear in mind: under the ROK-US CFC agreement, all operational units of the ROK are under joint command headed by a US General. This means that all the military facilities and bases established by the Korean military are de facto joint facilities. There are a total of 27 US military facilities in the ROK (See List of United States Army installations in South Korea – Wikipedia)
The Planning of Nuclear Attacks against North Korea from the Continental US and from Strategic US Submarines
According to military sources, the removal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea was initiated in the mid 1970s. It was completed in 1991: The nuclear weapons storage site at Osan Air base was deactivated in late 1977. This reduction continued over the following years and resulted in the number of nuclear weapons in South Korea dropping from some 540 in 1976 to approximately 150 artillery shells and bombs in 1985. By the time of the Presidential Nuclear Initiative in 1991, roughly 100 warheads remained, all of which had been withdrawn by December 1991. (The nuclear information project: withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea) According to official statements, the US withdrew its nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991.
This withdrawal from Korea did not in any way modify the US threat of nuclear war directed against the DPRK. On the contrary: it was tied to changes in US military strategy with regard to the deployment of nuclear warheads. Major North Korean cities were to be targeted with nuclear warheads from US continental locations and from US strategic submarines (SSBN) rather than military facilities in South Korea: After the withdrawal of [US] nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991, the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has been tasked with nuclear strike planning against North Korea. Since then, strike planning against North Korea with non-strategic nuclear weapons has been the responsibility of fighter wings based in the continental United States. One of these is the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. …
“We simulated fighting a war in Korea, using a Korean scenario. … The scenario…simulated a decision by the National Command Authority about considering using nuclear weapons….We identified aircraft, crews, and [weapon] loaders to load up tactical nuclear weapons onto our aircraft….
With a capability to strike targets in less than 15 minutes, the Trident D5 sea-launched ballistic missile is a “mission critical system” for U.S. Forces Korea. Ballistic Missile Submarines and Long-Range Bombers
In addition to non-strategic air delivered bombs, sea-launched ballistic missiles onboard strategic Ohio-class submarines (SSBNs) patrolling in the Pacific appear also to have a mission against North Korea. A DOD General Inspector report from 1998 listed the Trident system as a “mission critical system” identified by U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea as “being of particular importance to them.”
Although the primary mission of the Trident system is directed against targets in Russia and China, a D5 missile launched in a low-trajectory flight provides a unique very short notice (12-13 minutes) strike capability against time-critical targets in North Korea. No other U.S. nuclear weapon system can get a warhead on target that fast. Two-three SSBNs are on “hard alert” in the Pacific at any given time, holding Russian, Chinese and North Korean targets at risk from designated patrol areas.
Long-range strategic bombers may also be assigned a nuclear strike role against North Korea although little specific is known. An Air Force map (see below) suggests a B-2 strike role against North Korea. As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb, the B-2 is a strong candidate for potential nuclear strike missions against North Korean deeply buried underground facilities.
As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb [with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb] and a possible future Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, the B-2 stealth bomber could have an important role against targets in North Korea. Recent upgrades enable planning of a new B-2 nuclear strike mission in less than 8 hours. (Ibid)
“Although the South Korean government at the time confirmed the withdrawal, U.S. affirmations were not as clear. As a result, rumors persisted for a long time — particularly in North and South Korea — that nuclear weapons remained in South Korea. Yet the withdrawal was confirmed by Pacific Command in 1998 in a declassified portion of the CINCPAC Command History for 1991.” (The nuclear information project: withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea, emphasis added))
The Bush Administration’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review: Pre-emptive Nuclear War
The Bush administration in its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review established the contours of a new post 9/11 “pre-emptive” nuclear war doctrine, namely that nuclear weapons could be used as an instrument of “self-defense” against non-nuclear states
“Requirements for U.S. nuclear strike capabilities” directed against North Korea were established as part of a Global Strike mission under the helm of US Strategic Command Headquarters in Omaha Nebraska, the so-called CONPLAN 8022, which was directed against a number of “rogue states” including North Korea as well as China and Russia.
On November 18, 2005, the new Space and Global Strike command became operational at STRATCOM after passing testing in a nuclear war exercise involving North Korea.
Current U.S. Nuclear strike planning against North Korea appears to serve three roles: The first is a vaguely defined traditional deterrence role intended to influence North Korean behavior prior to hostilities.
This role was broadened somewhat by the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review to not only deter but also dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction.
Why, after five decades of confronting North Korea with nuclear weapons, the Bush administration believes that additional nuclear capabilities will somehow dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction [nuclear weapons program] is a mystery. (Ibid, emphasis added)
Who is the Threat? North Korea or the United States?
The asymmetry of nuclear weapons capabilities between the US and the DPRK must be emphasised. According to ArmsControl.org (April 2013) the United States: “possesses 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons.”
According to the latest official New START declaration, out of more than 5113 nuclear weapons,
“the US deploys 1,654 strategic nuclear warheads on 792 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers…” ArmsControl.org (April 2013).
Moreover, according to The Federation of American Scientists the U.S. possesses 500 tactical nuclear warheads. (ArmsControl.org April 2013)
In contrast the DPRK, according to the same source: “has separated enough plutonium for roughly 4-8 nuclear warheads. North Korea unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010, buts ability to produce highly-enriched uranium for weapons remains unclear.”According to expert opinion: “there is no evidence that North Korea has the means to lob a nuclear-armed missile at the United States or anyone else. So far, it has produced several atomic bombs and tested them, but it lacks the fuel and the technology to miniaturize a nuke and place it on a missile” (North Korea: What’s really happening – Salon.com April 5, 2013) According to Siegfried Hecker, one of America’s pre-eminent nuclear scientists: “Despite its recent threats, North Korea does not yet have much of a nuclear arsenal because it lacks fissile materials and has limited nuclear testing experience,” (Ibid) The threat of nuclear war does not emanate from the DPRK but from the US and its allies.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the unspoken victim of US military aggression, has been incessantly portrayed as a war mongering nation, a menace to the American Homeland and a “threat to World peace”. These stylized accusations have become part of a media consensus.
Meanwhile, Washington is now implementing a $32 billion refurbishing of strategic nuclear weapons as well as a revamping of its tactical nuclear weapons, which according to a 2002 Senate decision “are harmless to the surrounding civilian population.”
These continuous threats and actions of latent aggression directed against the DPRK should also be understood as part of the broader US military agenda in East Asia, directed against China and Russia.
It is important that people across the land, in the US, Western countries, come to realize that the United States rather than North Korea or Iran is a threat to global security.
Copyright © 2013 Global Research
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The Fallout from Nuclear Secrecy: Newly Declassified Documents
Global Research, July 23, 2013
Picture: A U.S. government photograph of Operation Redwing’s Apache nuclear explosion on July 9, 1956.
During the Cold War’s early years, the U.S. government detonated dozens of nuclear explosions on Pacific atolls, spreading nuclear fallout around the globe and making some areas uninhabitable, a grim legacy captured in secret documents finally being shared with the Marshall Islands’ government.
More than a half century after U.S. nuclear tests shattered the tranquility of Pacific Ocean atolls — rendering parts of them uninhabitable – the U.S. government has quietly released secret fallout results from 49 Pacific hydrogen-bomb blasts with an explosive force equal to 3,200 Hiroshima-size bombs.
The U.S. government turned over to the Republic of the Marshall Islands 650-plus pages of newly declassified documents that include four reports detailing fallout results of 49 tests it conducted in Operation Redwing in 1956 and Operation Hardtack in 1958 at Bikini and Enewetak atolls, according to a three-paragraph press release posted on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Majuro on June 12.
U.S. Ambassador Thomas Armbruster presented the previously classified nuclear documents detailing fallout results to the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Christopher Loeak, and his Cabinet, The Marshall Islands Journal reported. The Journal also indicated that RMI officials are now reviewing these documents, which they had requested. Several documents listed in the press release had been extracted and declassified in the 1980s though they received little public notice.
Before the nuclear tests, the U.S. government removed all atoll inhabitants; some are still exiled from their radioactive ancestral homelands. All 49 hydrogen-bomb tests were laced with plutonium, one of the deadliest elements known to humankind with a radioactive existence of half a million years.
From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. government conducted 66 nuclear weapons tests from and near the two atolls of Bikini and Enewetak, when the U.S. administered the Marshall Islands under a U.N.-sanctioned trust arrangement. The reports provide technical and scientific data on results of these second and third most destructive nuclear-weapons operations the U.S. ever conducted and the last ones it exploded in the Marshall Islands and the surrounding waters.
The reports detail instruments and procedures used to capture and measure fallout from experiments conducted on the atolls, underwater or in the atmosphere. Included are diagrams of flight patterns flown to capture fallout in the clouds, tables listing each detonation, maps showing blast locations plus graphs and charts detailing measurements of old and new radioactive products that were collected by using technical instruments such as spectrometers, aerial radiation detectors or telemeters.
Not until 1993 did the U.S. declassify information on the explosive force or magnitude of 44 of the 66 nuclear weapons tests conducted at Bikini and Enewetak atolls so as to inform Marshallese and U.S. test personnel. Now, the newly declassified U.S reports give Marshallese and others more fallout results of those explosions.
The fallout from the 49 explosions in Redwing and Hardtack is hard to comprehend. In 1994, when the U.S. government released details about its 1,054 nuclear tests worldwide from 1945 to its last one in 1992, the data showed the yield – the explosive force – of Operations Redwing and Hardtack at more than 48,846 kilotons, or the equivalent of about 3,200 Hiroshima-size bombs.
Operation Redwing included tests to assess military effects. Hardtack centered on developing missile warheads and high-yield strategic hydrogen bombs. The next-to-last test in the Redwing series, codenamed Tewa, was launched from a reef at Bikini and packed a yield of 5,000 kilotons — which equates to 333 Hiroshima-size bombs.
“Tewa was so powerful it lit up the sky in Hawaii,” a U.S. serviceman identified as Carl Duncan is quoted as saying in describing that blast 2,500 miles from Honolulu. Tewa’s fallout was about 30 percent of its total yield of 5,000 kilotons and contaminated 43,500 nautical miles of ocean, according to “Operation Redwing: Fallout Location and Delineation by Aerial Surveys,” as first declassified in 1988. The U.S. gave a newly declassified version of this report to RMI officials.
“Eniwetak was hit by very heavy fallout that lasted for days,” Michael Harris, a 22-year-old Army draftee who experienced 12 of the 17 Redwing blasts, wrote, in adding italics on days. “And Carl and Berko (and the rest of the men) were exposed to seven and a half times more radiation than they received from all the other” blasts. (The spelling of Eniwetak has since been changed.)
The Tewa fallout on the Enewetak base camp did lead to dusting servicemen there with fallout exceeding the maximum permissible exposure, according to a 454-page report titled “Operation Redwing,” dated 1956 and declassified in 1982. However, that report indicated, “The highest exposures were recorded by Air Force flight officers whose aircraft penetrated the nuclear clouds.” The U.S. gave to RMI officials a report focusing on U.S. Air Force operations to collect fallout data titled “Final Report of the Commander Task Group 7.4 Operation Redwing.”
“Eniwetak was still receiving heavy fallout from the Tewa cloud,” when the next blast, codenamed Huron (each blast was named after a Native American tribe), was detonated the following day, Harris recounted. The Huron blast of 250 kilotons equates to 16 Hiroshima-size bombs. In contrast, the Eisenhower administration at the time disclosed that the Redwing series had powdered Enewetak with only “light” radioactive fallout.
When a Soviet diplomat delegated to the U.N. Trusteeship Council asked whether these islands must be “lost forever,” the U.S. official in 1956 replied that Bikini and Enewetak might be uninhabitable for at least two generations. Today Bikini and parts of Enewetak are still too radioactive to be safely inhabited.
As the Redwing tests continued, radiation badges were handed out, which Harris described as “small rectangular plastic discs three inches by an inch and a half.” Even with these, Harris wondered about the future impact of the radiation: “Had our genetic code been compromised? Would we get leukemia or some other form of cancer?”
His answer came decades later. Those present at Operations Redwing or Hardtack or for six months afterward who succumb to one of 19 primary cancers are eligible for $75,000 compensation made available by Congress.
At the time of Operation Redwing in 1956, the U.S. government under President Dwight Eisenhower released very little information. This secrecy was politically significant because it kept voters in the dark during the presidential election campaign in which Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson advocated stopping the H-bomb tests being conducted by the Eisenhower administration.
During the election year, U.S. officials announced only two of the 17 blasts in the Redwing series. This virtual blackout hid from U.S. voters over 77 summertime days during the presidential election campaign Redwing’s 20,820 kilotons of explosive force — or the equivalent of 1,388 Hiroshima-size bombs. That tonnage is the equivalent of 18 Hiroshima-size bombs per day over 77 days.
Seven Redwing tests received no public notice and the remaining eight blasts were disclosed by Japanese scientists in news articles datelined Tokyo. Thus the fastest and most accurate information about U.S. Redwing testing was disclosed from Tokyo by Japanese, an immense irony given that only a decade earlier, U.S. atomic bombs had contributed to Japan’s surrender by destroying two of its cities. Eisenhower handily won re-election.
The more powerful 32 detonations in Operation Hardtack were launched in 1958 as the U.S. and the Soviets raced toward declaring a moratorium on such experiments and the U.S. accelerated testing missile warheads. Washington disclosed only nine of the 32 blasts that produced a total yield of 28,026 kilotons, or the equivalent of 1,868 Hiroshima-size bombs – an average of 35 per week in 1958 or five per day. That was the lowest disclosure rate of any U.S. Pacific testing operation.
Even more ironic than the Japanese disclosures in 1956 were the Soviet ones about the 1958 Hardtack detonations. The Soviets charged that the U.S. had concealed most of the tests being conducted, which even U.S. officials deemed accurate.
In doing so, the Soviets made huge propaganda gains as they announced their initiative of stopping their nuclear testing that year. Surprisingly, New York Times columnist James Reston wrote that “the United States, which pamphleteered its way to independence and elevated advertising and other arts of persuasion into a national cult, should be unable to hold its own in the battle for the headlines of the world.”
Samples made during several Hardtack tests showed that fractions of the radioactive elements of strontium and cesium were dispersed over distances of more than 4,000 miles, according to a report titled “Operation Hardtack: Fallout Measurements by Aircraft and Rocket Sampling” dated 1961 and declassified in 1985. The U.S. gave a newly declassified version of this report to RMI officials.
That 4,000-miles range means the radioactive elements could have descended on San Francisco and other West Coast areas. Both radioactive elements pose serious health problems.
The decades-long delay in receiving a full accounting of these fallout results helps to substantiate the contention of the RMI that its negotiators were denied vital information when they agreed in 1986 with President Ronald Reagan to form an independent nation, thus ending the American administration of the U.N.-sanctioned trust territory established in 1947.
Kept in the dark about the fallout results, the Marshallese agreed to terms so insufficient that a U.S.-financed $150 million nuclear-claims trust fund is now penniless, unable to compensate fully Marshallese for health and property damages presumed to have resulted from the tests. RMI’s appeals to Congress, the U.S. courts and the Bush administration have been turned back and the Obama administration has yet to help them.
Last September, Special Rapporteur Calin Georgescu of the United Nations reported to its Human Rights Council that the U.S. government should:
–Remedy and compensate Marshall Islanders for its nuclear weapons testing that has caused “immediate and lasting effects” on their human rights,
–Open up still-secret information and records regarding the environmental and human health effects of past and current U.S. military use of the islands,
–Grant Marshallese full access to their medical and other records, and
–Consider issuing a presidential acknowledgment and apology to victims adversely affected by the 66 weapons tests it conducted when it administered the Marshall Islands as a U.N. strategic trust territory.
Over the decades, the Marshallese have not been alone in wanting more information about the nuclear tests. In 1954, the Association of State Health Officials voted to ask the federal government to give health officials with security clearances access to classified atomic energy information so as to prevent health hazards.
From 1945 to 1992, the United States carried out 1,054 nuclear tests worldwide.
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Also See:
Top U.S. Government Officials Sell Nuclear Secrets
08 January 2008
and
Lost Nuclear Bombs! You Gotta Be Kidding?
25 May 2009
and
Were Atomic Bombs Dropped on Japan Necessary?
17 October 2012
and
60th Anniversary of Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima - When will the US Apologize?
 06 August 2010
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.ca/2010/08/60th-anniversary-of-bomb-dropped-on.html
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