Two years ago, city hall plaza in our hometown, Richmond, CA., was the scene of a protest vigil organized by Estefany Sanchez and her two sisters. Estefany is a Richmond resident and an Army veteran whose experience of sexual harassment in the military led her to identify strongly with the tragic case of Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year old soldier at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Guillen was sexually harassed by fellow soldiers, at a base with one of the highest rates of sexual assault, sexual trafficking, suicide, and murder anywhere in the military. Her complaints to superior officers were repeatedly ignored before she was killed while at work in an armory on the base. Guillen’s assailant, Aaron Robinson, then secretly moved, dismembered, and buried her body, with the help of a civilian accomplice still awaiting trial.
Puʻuloa, Hawaiʻi – On the anniversary of the 19,000 gallon fuel spill that led to the poisoning of Oʻahu's sole source aquifer and thousands of families, water protectors from across the island presented an "eviction notice" to Navy leaders for numerous Navy and Department of Defense actions that have continually threatened and harmed the lands, waters, and people of of Hawaiʻi - including the Navy’s ongoing refusal to properly address the existential threat posed by the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. "We aren't dumb. We aren't sheep. We know when we are just being fed lines by military officials in the hopes of keeping us quiet. We let them do that to us for too long, and look at what we've got. Those days are over, maybe forever," stated Kainoa Azama, of the Oʻahu Water Protectors.
Following international climate summit COP26 in Glasgow, with a parallel People’s Summit I participated in, the focus on military emissions and their lethal undercount has faded in the war fever of the alleged battle for “democracy” and “freedom” in Ukraine. COP27, held in the especially brutal police state of Egypt (thanks, “Arab Spring” color revolution) was swarmed by both fossil fuel lobbyists and private jets. Following international climate summit COP26 in Glasgow, with a parallel People’s Summit I participated in, the focus on military emissions and their lethal undercount has faded in the war fever of the alleged battle for “democracy” and “freedom” in Ukraine.
Four months have passed since the publication of Guidance on PFAS Testing and Health Outcomes, a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, (National Academies). The National Academies are the premier American institutions created by President Lincoln in 1863 to investigate issues in science for the U.S. government. The National Academies recommends blood tests and medical monitoring for people likely to have high exposure to the toxic chemicals known as per-and poly fluoroalkyl substances, (PFAS). The National Academies specifically addresses the urgent need to reach those who are exposed through occupational routes, particularly firefighters.
The number of Republican voters who are against the war in Ukraine has steadily increased. In March only 6% said that the U.S. is doing 'too much' for Ukraine. That number is now 48%. The Republicans in Congress have been pressing the Biden administration to better safeguard the enormous amount of weapon and money it is sending to Kiev: Following concerns in Congress and accusations by Russia about weapons smuggling, the Biden administration released its blueprint on Thursday for ensuring that the $17 billion in arms it has so far sent to Ukraine were making it to the battlefield — and not the black market. On October 27, nine months after the U.S. sponsored war started and after $17 billions in weapons and ammo have been sent, the U.S. State department published a: U.S. Plan to Counter Illicit Diversion of Certain Advanced Conventional Weapons in Eastern Europe.
The White House has deployed thousands of American soldiers just miles from Ukraine to prepare for war, according to CBS News. Officers speaking with the outlet revealed they were there for combat against Russia. Brigadier General John Lubas confirmed nearly 5,000 troops from the 101st Airborne recently joined the 100,000 American soldiers already deployed to Europe. Lubas described his troops as being on “full deployment,” and they are preparing to fight Russian soldiers in Ukraine. “This is not a training deployment, this is a combat deployment for us. We understand we need to be ready to fight tonight,” he said. CBS Reporter Charlie D’Agata was embedded with the American forces as they conducted military drills – at a forward operating base – within four miles of Ukraine’s border.
Many military and civilian families living on military bases around Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i have been outspoken that they felt ill before the November 2021 massive Red Hill jet fuel leak…and they were right! Recently released data shows that their water was contaminated by jet fuel in the summer of 2021 and they were feeling effects of poisoning long before November 2021. Interviews with ten families published in an extensive December 21, 2021 Washington Post article “Military families say they were ill months before jet-fuel leak brought scrutiny to Pearl Harbor’s tap water,” record that family members shared physicians’ notes, emails and visual records documenting symptoms that, in some cases, dated back to late spring, 2021.
Puʻuloa, Oʻahu – Environmental groups along with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply today commemorated the anniversary of a reported whistleblower revelation that Navy officials failed to disclose a months-long active fuel leak in Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor). Standing outside of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Visitor Center, dressed in formal funeral attire and wearing black armbands, participants reflected on what they described as “one year of ʻimplausible deniability’” surrounding the Red Hill water crisis, and the impacts that a lack of transparency and truth has had on the people and island of Oʻahu, as well as on the legacies of Puʻuloa and Kapūkakī. The group also unveiled petitions with hundreds of “wet” signatures from local residents demanding that the Navy provide medical support and alternative water sources for those still reporting health and water contamination issues; invest additional resources to ensure the defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility within a matter of months, not years; and engage with the public to respond to community questions and concerns on a monthly basis.
On October 4, in response to ongoing U.S. military buildup in the Pacific, North Korea fired missiles that flew over Japanese airspace — putting an end to five years of relative stability on the Korean peninsula. The United States responded by firing four missiles off the east coast of the peninsula. At the time of this writing, tensions will likely continue to escalate, but it’s unclear by how much. The U.S. action was taken in close coordination with the militaries of Japan and South Korea. In September the United States and South Korea began their first large-scale joint military exercises since 2017. Large South Korean anti-war protests in opposition to these war games were ignored by corporate media outlets, which are now fearmongering over North Korea’s actions.
The principal perpetrator, in what AP News called “one of the most extensive bribery scandals in US military history,” popped up in Venezuela of all places. Leonard Glenn Francis bilked the US Navy out of at least $35 million. The culprit goes by the moniker “Fat Leonard.” He tips the scales at 350 pounds, according to the US Marshals wanted poster. ABC News reports that Navy commanders “passed him classified information and steered their ships, mostly from the Navy’s 7th Fleet to ports he controlled” in exchange for “Kobe beef, expensive cigars, concert tickets and wild sex parties at luxury hotels.” Francis is credited with commanding a mercenary army: “He became part of the Navy, even using his own warship, the Braveheart, to join classified missions against Al Qaeda. He enjoyed diplomatic cover.”
Honolulu - Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Hawaii through the week and plans to meet Rear Admiral John Wade, the commander in charge of defueling the Red Hill underground fuel tanks. So far, there are no scheduled plans to meet with families. Families who were sickened by the spill are demanding immediate help. The protest over Red Hill goes beyond defueling the tanks. Ten months after the spills, families who were sickened after drinking fuel-contaminated water say their physical and neurological illnesses aren’t going away. “Real people are experiencing real symptoms,” said Army Major Amanda Feindt during a protest last week in the nation’s capital. Ariana Wyatt fears for her daughter, Indy. “I would love to tell you sheʻs doing a lot better, but thatʻs just not the truth,” said Wyatt.
In a major setback to plans for expanding US military presence in Japan, Denny Tamaki, the anti-US base governor of Okinawa, has won a second term in office, continuing his platform against US military bases in the prefecture. In the gubernatorial election held on Sunday, September 11, Tamaki won with a clear majority by defeating Japan’s ruling party candidate Atsushi Sakima. As per the final results released on Monday, Tamaki, supported by a coalition of opposition groups and local movements, secured 339,767 votes, nearly 51% of the total votes polled. Tamaki defeated his nearest rival Sakima for the second time, with a margin of nearly 10%. Local conservative politician Mikio Shimoji, also a former parliamentarian and minister, stood a distant third with around 8% votes.
Los Angeles, California - Google employees have protested their company’s $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government and military called Project Nimbus, which aims to silence and profile pro-Palestine voices in the high-tech company and around the world. “Google’s Project Nimbus will be an ugly moment in Google’s history and shameful and embarrassing engagement,” said one employee who preferred to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation. “I have found Google’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program to be a whitewash, it’s more of a tool for censorship and control than for truly supporting employees,” said another.
The Syrian Oil Ministry released a statement on 9 August accusing US forces occupying Syria of being responsible for the theft of most of the country’s oil. “The amount of oil production during the first half of 2022 amounted to some 14.5 million barrels, with an average daily production of 80.3 thousand barrels, of which 14.2 thousand are delivered daily to refineries,” the oil ministry’s statement said. The statement went on to say that “US occupation forces and their mercenaries,” referring to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), “steal up to 66,000 barrels every single day from the fields occupied in the eastern region,” amounting to around 83 percent of Syria’s daily oil production. According to the ministry’s data, the Syrian oil sector has incurred losses nearing “about 105 billion dollars since the beginning of the war until the middle of this year” as a result of the US oil theft campaign.
U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby condemned Chinese military drills in the area and said the Pentagon had ordered the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and her escorts to remain near Taiwan to “monitor the situation.” The USS Reagan and her accompanying ships are based in Japan and were deployed to the East China Sea in recent days, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a visit to Taipei against Chinese objections. China has responded to Pelosi’s visit by launching extensive drills around Taiwan and firing a dozen missiles across the island. According to Kirby, amid heightened tensions, U.S. President Joe Biden decided it would be “prudent” to order the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group to stay in the area “for a little bit longer than they were originally planned.”