Carlsbad, New Mexico – A vast salt mine under the New Mexico desert was the Department of Energy’s last nuclear waste storage solution. On Valentines night, one of the now suspect 500 waste drums from DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) blast open inside DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Casks filled with 3.2 million cubic feet of deadly radioactive wastes remain buried at the crippled plant. That huge facility was rendered useless. Investigators believe the waste drums from Los Alamos were incorrectly packed under DOE supervision and one of them exploded.
“As part of the ongoing efforts to identify the cause of the event at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, we are evaluating all possible causes including the waste packages themselves,” a statement issued by DOE says. “All possible scenarios will be thoroughly investigated until the cause of the event has been determined.” Investigators are examining “the possibility that a chemical reaction may have occurred within a drum, causing a potential release.”
The fate of missing former FBI agent and CIA contractor Robert Levinson is rooted in a secret history that is buried in distraction and misinformation. Levinson, who disappeared on the island of Kish off of Iran in March 2007, is like so many other failed CIA cases: rooted in a culture of secrecy and tinged with massive incompetence. Everyone who enters this “wilderness of mirrors” never seems to escape.
Levinson’s capture is a direct result of an amateur intelligence operation that no professional spy agency would ever authorize. But it is not a simple one-off mistake. It is a decades old tragedy that began in the 1950s with the CIA installing the shah of Iran on the Peacock Throne. The context of the Levinson case does not come into focus until the Carter administration. That is when two key events took place. First President Carter decided in October 1977 to “reform” the CIA by firing most of the Operations Directorate or the case officers who run the spies. Second, he did not directly intervene to keep the shah in power during the Iranian Revolution. As a result, the various intelligence services began operating in less clearly defined territory using whatever means necessary. It quickly became very messy. Continue reading The Robert Levinson Case: The Cover-up Behind The Cover-up
Aiken, S.C. – Tons of weapons grade plutonium and other nuclear materials, a target for terrorists, are not being properly protected by the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Department of Energy’s sprawling Savannah River Site, according to security consultants and U.S. counterintelligence officials.
A secret security review underway at DOE and other government agencies after an elderly nun last summer breached a NNSA bomb-grade-uranium facility at the Oak Ridge Tennessee Y12 area reveals “harrowing problems in site management and control at other DOE sites,” said a Homeland Security official who requested anonymity. The official said that the Savannah River Site was of concern because “SRS does not have the staffing or the facilities to protect the huge amounts of plutonium that have been brought to SRS in recent years.” Continue reading The Bomb Plant: America’s Three A.M. Nightmare
When Arjen Robben scored Holland's fifth goal against Spain, the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil felt like it was overflowing with emotion. The Dutch ecstatic, the Spanish devastated, and neutral fans like myself thrilled just to see such an exciting game. After watching the Netherlands team take a well-deserved victory lap, we poured out of the stadium into Salvador's streets, singing until our throats were horse.
As a lifelong soccer » read more
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On DCBureau are a story and timeline about the history of the Clean Water Act and the efforts to undermine it. Together they show an incremental, well-funded, organized campaign to weaken the law. On the 40th Anniversary of the Act, it is important to remember that environmental laws enjoyed bipartisan support for years. Weakening environmental regulations through the Congress and courts will have lasting, irreversible results.
Read in The New York » read more
As the United States still remains poised to launch an attack against Syria, it would be foolhardy for Americans to count on the Pentagon for information about that or any other military operation. The days of reporters being given full access to independently verify Pentagon activities are long over. Instead, the Department of Defense has embraced the idea that it can tell its own story without going through the national » read more
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