Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe: Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes

by Sara Flounders

December 19 2009

In evaluating the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen — with more than 15,000 participants from 192 countries, including more than 100 heads of state, as well as 100,000 demonstrators in the streets — it is important to ask: How is it possible that the worst polluter of carbon dioxide and other toxic emissions on the planet is not a focus of any conference discussion or proposed restrictions?

By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.

The Pentagon wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; its secret operations in Pakistan; its equipment on more than 1,000 U.S. bases around the world; its 6,000 facilities in the U.S.; all NATO operations; its aircraft carriers, jet aircraft, weapons testing, training and sales will not be counted against U.S. greenhouse gas limits or included in any count.

The Feb. 17, 2007, Energy Bulletin detailed the oil consumption just for the Pentagon’s aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and facilities that made it the single-largest oil consumer in the world. At the time, the U.S. Navy had 285 combat and support ships and around 4,000 operational aircraft. The U.S. Army had 28,000 armored vehicles, 140,000 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, more than 4,000 combat helicopters, several hundred fixed-wing aircraft and 187,493 fleet vehicles. Except for 80 nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, which spread radioactive pollution, all their other vehicles run on oil.

Even according to rankings in the 2006 CIA World Factbook, only 35 countries (out of 210 in the world) consume more oil per day than the Pentagon.

The U.S. military officially uses 320,000 barrels of oil a day. However, this total does not include fuel consumed by contractors or fuel consumed in leased and privatized facilities. Nor does it include the enormous energy and resources used to produce and maintain their death-dealing equipment or the bombs, grenades or missiles they fire.

Steve Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, reports: “The Iraq war was responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) from March 2003 through December 2007. … The war emits more than 60 percent of all countries. … This information is not readily available … because military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under U.S. law and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.” (www.naomiklein.org, Dec. 10) Most scientists blame carbon dioxide emissions for greenhouse gases and climate change.

Bryan Farrell in his new book, “The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism,” says that “the greatest single assault on the environment, on all of us around the globe, comes from one agency … the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Just how did the Pentagon come to be exempt from climate agreements? At the time of the Kyoto Accords negotiations, the U.S. demanded as a provision of signing that all of its military operations worldwide and all operations it participates in with the U.N. and/or NATO be completely exempted from measurement or reductions.

After securing this gigantic concession, the Bush administration then refused to sign the accords.

In a May 18, 1998, article entitled “National security and military policy issues involved in the Kyoto treaty,” Dr. Jeffrey Salmon described the Pentagon’s position. He quotes then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen’s 1997 annual report to Congress: “DoD strongly recommends that the United States insist on a national security provision in the climate change Protocol now being negotiated.” (www.marshall.org)

According to Salmon, this national security provision was put forth in a draft calling for “complete military exemption from greenhouse gas emissions limits. The draft includes multilateral operations such as NATO- and U.N.-sanctioned activities, but it also includes actions related very broadly to national security, which would appear to comprehend all forms of unilateral military actions and training for such actions.”

Salmon also quoted Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat, who headed the U.S. delegation in Kyoto . Eizenstat reported that “every requirement the Defense Department and uniformed military who were at Kyoto by my side said they wanted, they got. This is self-defense, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief.”

Although the U.S. had already received these assurances in the negotiations, the U.S. Congress passed an explicit provision guaranteeing U.S. military exemption. Inter Press Service reported on May 21, 1998: “U.S. law makers, in the latest blow to international efforts to halt global warming, today exempted U.S. military operations from the Kyoto agreement which lays out binding commitments to reduce ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions. The House of Representatives passed an amendment to next year’s military authorization bill that ‘prohibits the restriction of armed forces under the Kyoto Protocol.'”

Today in Copenhagen the same agreements and guidelines on greenhouse gases still hold. Yet it is extremely difficult to find even a mention of this glaring omission.

According to environmental journalist Johanna Peace, military activities will continue to be exempt from an executive order signed by President Barack Obama that calls for federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Peace states, “The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government’s energy demand.” (solveclimate.com, Sept. 1)

The blanket exclusion of the Pentagon’s global operations makes U.S. carbon dioxide emissions appear far less than they in fact are. Yet even without counting the Pentagon, the U.S. still has the world’s largest carbon dioxide emissions.

More than Emissions

Besides emitting carbon dioxide, U.S. military operations release other highly toxic and radioactive materials into the air, water and soil.

U.S. weapons made with depleted uranium have spread tens of thousands of pounds of microparticles of radioactive and highly toxic waste throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Balkans.

The U.S. sells land mines and cluster bombs that are a major cause of delayed explosives, maiming and disabling especially peasant farmers and rural peoples in Africa, Asia and Latin America . For example, Israel dropped more than 1 million U.S.-provided cluster bombs on Lebanon during its 2006 invasion.

The U.S. war in Vietnam left large areas so contaminated with the Agent Orange herbicide that today, more than 35 years later, dioxin contamination is 300 to 400 times higher than “safe” levels. Severe birth defects and high rates of cancer resulting from environmental contamination are continuing into a third generation.

The 1991 U.S. war in Iraq , followed by 13 years of starvation sanctions, the 2003 U.S. invasion and continuing occupation, has transformed the region — which has a 5,000-year history as a Middle East breadbasket — into an environmental catastrophe. Iraq ‘s arable and fertile land has become a desert wasteland where the slightest wind whips up a dust storm. A former food exporter, Iraq now imports 80 percent of its food. The Iraqi Agriculture Ministry estimates that 90 percent of the land has severe desertification.

Environmental War at Home

Moreover, the Defense Department has routinely resisted orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up contaminated U.S. bases. ( Washington Post, June 30, 2008) Pentagon military bases top the Superfund list of the most polluted places, as contaminants seep into drinking water aquifers and soil.

The Pentagon has also fought EPA efforts to set new pollution standards on two toxic chemicals widely found on military sites: perchlorate, found in propellant for rockets and missiles; and trichloroethylene, a degreaser for metal parts.

Trichloroethylene is the most widespread water contaminant in the country, seeping into aquifers across California , New York , Texas , Florida and elsewhere. More than 1,000 military sites in the U.S. are contaminated with the chemical. The poorest communities, especially communities of color, are the most severely impacted by this poisoning.

U.S. testing of nuclear weapons in the U.S. Southwest and on South Pacific islands has contaminated millions of areas of land and water with radiation. Mountains of radioactive and toxic uranium tailings have been left on Indigenous land in the Southwest. More than 1,000 uranium mines have been abandoned on Navajo reservations in Arizona and New Mexico .

Around the world, on past and still operating bases in Puerto Rico, the Philippines , South Korea , Vietnam , Laos , Cambodia , Japan , Nicaragua , Panama and the former Yugoslavia , rusting barrels of chemicals and solvents and millions of rounds of ammunition are criminally abandoned by the Pentagon.

The best way to dramatically clean up the environment is to shut down the Pentagon. What is needed to combat climate change is a thoroughgoing system change.

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The US is the worst polluter on the planet, in war and their corporations.

The war machine must be ended.

Their polluting corporations must be brought under control.

At the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen no once was there any mention of war pollution and it’s affects on the environment or the health hazards to people.

One of the major and morst devastaing things in the world and they neglected to consider it’s impact on the world as we know it.

I am horrifyingly disappointed their lack of concern in this area of disastrous type of pollution.

“Military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under U.S. law and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.” 

That is just wrong! No special treatment for the war machine and it’s polluters. They leave a trail of DEATH behind them everywhere they go.  A trail that continues to kill for years if not millions of years.

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US Refuses To Allow Monitoring Of WMD, President Obama rejected inspection protocol for US biological weapons

US Refuses To Allow Monitoring Of WMD

WMD treaty violations and inspection refusal for biological, nuclear, chemical weapons. Iran? No, US

By Carl Herman

December 11, 2009 

First, the length of a headline prevents me from including the damning introduction of treaty violation of torture, illegal war, use of depleted uranium, and refusal to make antipersonnel landmines illegal. Now, to substantiate the headline’s shocking and factual lead:

President Obama rejected inspection protocol for US biological weapons, in Orwellian contradiction to his statement to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). This comes after increased US investment in bio-weapons during the Bush Administration with multiple reports of secret and illegal programs.

The last biological attack, anthrax in the US in 2001, was weaponized and supplied by a US military facility. The official suspect was reported as “committing suicide.” Richard Spertzel, head of the biological-weapons section of Unscom found the FBI’s conclusion as impossible. Other analyses (here, here, here) explain concurrent news that attempted to blame Iraq as the source, and speculate this was a false flag attack for the US to invade Iraq. Ultimately, other false reasons justified that unlawful war.

Ironically and hypocritically, the US filed an official report under BWC stating the US “belief” that Iran is “probably” developing biological weapons in sanctimonious language of the importance of BWC compliance.

The US is also in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) for nuclear weapons and energy use. In the history of the treaty, the US has refused to negotiate for complete disarmament and verification per treaty terms and actively plans to use nuclear weapons, including first-strike use against “enemies” who may only become threats in the future. The US is also in violation for refusing Iran their right for nuclear energy development in every act but their empty rhetoric. The US aggresses against Iran, with official policy for nuclear weapons first-strike use having language specifically targeting Iran. This, despite all 16 US intelligence agencies in agreement there is no evidence of Iran developing nuclear weapons, and IAEA’s agreement there is no documented evidence with them either.

Finally, the US is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The deadline for complete elimination for these weapons passed in 2007; the US requested and received an extension until 2012. The US plans to not fulfill this treaty until 2023, and does not submit to full inspections. Only this last provision is defensible under treaty terms.

The US, under the “leadership” of a Peace Prize President, also has refused to ratify the international antipersonnel landmine treaty, a weapon that kills and maims thousands of civilians and children yearly.

The US uses depleted uranium (DU) in its weapons; a War Crime, according to Professor Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon’s depleted uranium project who commanded the US Department of Defense’s first Gulf war depleted uranium desert clean-up. Colonel Rokke, also a former professor of environmental science at Jacksonville University concluded:

There is a moral point to be made here. This war was about Iraq possessing illegal weapons of mass destruction — yet we are using weapons of mass destruction ourselves. Such double-standards are repellent.

Karen Parker, an attorney who presented her brief, “The illegality of DU weaponry” to the International Uranium Weapons Conference, Hamburg, Germany, October 16 – 19, 2003, concluded the medical evidence of DU as a WMD is clear, convincing, and documented from the medical evidence requested by the UN (summary here). Parker concludes the UN has failed to act upon this evidence from political pressure of the US and other developed nations’ militaries who desire DU despite its clear violation of law as WMD.

And the US tortures (and here); including their own citizens. The US has a history of refusing International Red Cross inspections to verify compliance of international torture law.

“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” – Martin Luther King in his speech: Beyond Vietnam: A time to break silence

Analysis: The US has invaded and occupied the Middle Eastern countries of Iraq, Afghanistan, is bombing Pakistan, and aggresses toward war with Iran. These acts of war are all unlawful. The US employs Orwellian psychopathic rhetoric to threaten Iran from empty allegations of their “nuclear program” and needing to “fulfill their legal obligations” while hypocritically in murderous violation of their own from several treaties structured to protect humanity. You have to read these facts and analysis from non-corporate media sources, such as here, as corporate media will echo justification of current unlawful wars and propagandize for escalation and new wars.

I’ve thought about how to pierce this Orwellian political and media counter-reality. One way to do so is to imagine if the US were in Iran’s position and China acting as the US. The vicious propaganda the US employs could also be turned against us.

Policy response: Gandhi and Martin Luther King advocated public understanding of the facts and non-cooperation with evil. I’m among hundreds who advocate:

  1. Understand the laws of war. These were legislated after WW2 and are crystal-clear that only self-defense, in a narrow legal meaning, can justify war. This investment of your time takes less than an hour and empowers you to legally stand for ending these Wars of Aggression.
  2. Refuse and end all orders and acts associated with these unlawful wars. Those involved with US military, government, and law enforcement have an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution. Unlawful acts only move forward with sufficient cooperation and public tolerance. Stop cooperating with the most vicious crime a nation can commit: war. Stop tolerating it.
  3. Prosecute the war leaders for obvious violation of the letter and spirit of US war laws. You can only understand how these wars are specifically unlawful by investing the time to do so. Because the crimes are so broad and deep, I recommend Truth and Reconciliation (T&R) to exchange full truth and return of stolen US assets for non-prosecution. This is the most expeditious way to understand and end all unlawful and harmful acts. Those who reject T&R either by volunteering their name and/or responding when named are subject to prosecution after the window of T&R closes.

Below is a one-minute excerpt from the History Chanel’s coverage of the US anthrax attacks explaining that the attack was “an inside job.” Following is a 10-minute interview with Eric Nadler of Dead Silence to explain the case that the government’s reporting on the anthrax attack is false.

Please share this article with all who can benefit. If you appreciate my work, please subscribe by clicking under the article title (it’s free). Please use my archive of work to help build a brighter future.

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One should practice what they preach. The
US and Israel both refuse inspectors in.

Both however condemn Iran, who has let inspectors in. Iran has complied with inspectors and had over 25 inspections.

Israel and the US  are the ones who should be sanctioned for non compliance.

Seems to me the ones refusing inspectors in are the Real Criminals.

Now one has to ask how many NATO countries have been inspected?

If any?  Or do International laws just apply to everyone else except them? If this is the case then the Laws are absolutely unfair.

If the Laws apply to one it must apply to all. No exceptions.

US Army goes shopping for Anthrax. Would you like that giftwrapped?

By Lucy Sherriff

September 26 2005

The US Army has asked companies to bid for contracts to produce large quantities of anthrax and equipment to produce other unnamed biological agents, according to New Scientist, but has not said what it needs the facilities for.

Alan Pearson, programme director for biological and chemical weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington DC, says the contracts raise serious questions about the US’ commitment to the Biological Weapons Convention.

Anti-biological weapons campaigner Edward Hammond of the Sunshine Project discovered the contracts, which were issued this year.

One contract specifies: “The company must have the ability and be willing to grow Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain at 1500-litre quantities.” Others call for a 3,000-litre production capacity for unnamed biological agents and sheep carcasses to investigate incineration of infected animals.

The non-virulent Sterne strain of the bacterium is the only one specified in any of the documents. It is not thought to be harmful to humans, and is used in vaccination. However, the same equipment could easily be put to use to grow spores of the lethal Ames strain, and it is this that has raised eyebrows.

Speaking to New Scientist, Hammond asked: “What would happen to the Biological Weapons Convention if other countries followed suit and built large biological production facilities at secretive military bases known for weapons testing?”

The tenders were issued by the US army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Dugway maintains that the contracts are still at the “pre-solicitation” phase, and that there is currently no Anthrax at the base.

Dugway has refused to elaborate on what it needs the anthrax for, and although there is no suggestion that the US intends to restart its biological weapons programme, Hammond argues that the military might want to use the agent to test biological weapons delivery systems, for threat assessment.

Source

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Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 7:51 am  Comments Off on US Refuses To Allow Monitoring Of WMD, President Obama rejected inspection protocol for US biological weapons  
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