Six (Leave from Minot) Minus Five (Arrive at Barksdale) Equals: ONE MISSING NUCLEAR BOMB Updated

(what follows, Gentle Reader, was written by one of my most trusted sources, the thorough, most excellent Mr. Chuck Simpson. Bravo: well done.)

Six Nukes Leave Minot 
Five Nukes Arrive At Barksdale 

Someone, operating under a special chain of command 
within the United States Air Force, 
...just stole a nuclear weapon.

Some History:

Barksdale Missile Number Six deserves far more public attention than it's received to date. Missile Number Six is potentially the major story of at least this year.

Until 1968 under the Airborne Alert Program, informally called Operation Chrome Dome, the Air Force routinely kept about a dozen strategic bombers with nuclear weapons flying at all times.

One predictable result was crashes and incidents. In 1968 the Department of Defense published a list of 13 serious nuclear weapons accidents that occurred between 1950 and 1968. In 1980 the list was revised to include 32 incidents through that year.

Notably, the Pentagon has not acknowledged any accidents since 1980. This alone highlights the importance the Pentagon is placing on the recent transportation of nuclear weapons from North Dakota to Louisiana.

Through 1968, several reported incidents involved plane crashes or malfunctions, beginning with the crash of a B-29 near Fairfield, California in August 1950. The resulting blast was felt 30 miles away.

In July 1950 a B-50 crashed near Lebanon, Ohio. The high-explosive trigger for the nuclear weapon detonated on impact. The blast was felt over 25 miles away.

In May 1957 a nuclear weapon fell from the bomb bay of a B-36 near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Parachutes malfunctioned and the weapon was destroyed on impact.

In October 1957 near Homestead, Florida a B-47 crashed. The nuclear weapon was burned.

In March 1958 a B-47 accidentally dropped a nuclear weapon near Florence, South Carolina. The high-explosive trigger detonated on impact.

In November 1958 a B-47 crashed near Abilene, Texas. The trigger of the nuclear weapon exploded upon impact.

In July 1959 a C-124 crashed near Bossier City, Louisiana. Both plane and nuclear weapon were destroyed.

In October 1959 a B-52 with two nuclear weapons was involved in a mid-air collision near Hardinsburg, Kentucky. One weapon partially burned.

In January 1961 a B-52 broke apart in mid-air near Goldsboro, North Carolina. Two nuclear weapons were released. The parachute on one weapon malfunctioned, and contamination was spread over a wide area. The uranium core was never recovered. Daniel Ellsberg reported that detonation was a very real risk because five of six safety devices failed.

In that month near Monticello, Idaho a B-52 carrying nuclear weapons exploded in mid-air. No information was made available as to the weapons.

In March 1961 a B-52 with two nuclear weapons crashed near Yuba City, California.

In January 1964 a B-52 carrying two nuclear weapons crashed near Cumberland, Maryland.

In January 1966 a B-52 carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed after a mid-air collision near Palomares, Spain. Two weapons exploded on impact, with resulting plutonium contamination. A months-long program was undertaken to locate and extract the other two weapons from the ocean. Major policy changes were taken under consideration.

In January 1968 a B-52 carrying four hydrogen weapons crashed and burned near Thule AFB in Greenland. Explosives in one bomb detonated, spreading plutonium contamination. Apparently, the other three weapons have never been accounted for.

Following large public protests Denmark, which owns Greenland and prohibits nuclear weapons on or over its territory, filed a strong protest. A few days later the Secretary of Defense ordered the removal of nuclear weapons from planes. After that order was issued, all aircraft armed with nuclear weapons were grounded but kept in a constant state of alert.

In 1991 by Presidential order, nuclear weapons were removed from all aircraft. Bomber nuclear ground alerts, during which nuclear weapons are loaded onto bombers during test and training exercises, were halted. After that time, all nuclear weapons to be delivered by plane were permanently maintained in secure storage facilities.

August 30, 2007

All of which makes the transport of nuclear weapons in combat position on a combat plane so newsworthy.

On August 30, for the first time since 1968, nuclear warheads in combat position were carried by an American bomber. Numerous international treaty provisions were violated in the process.

That Thursday, a B-52H Stratofortress flew from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana while carrying twelve cruise missiles. Either five or six of those missiles were armed with nuclear warheads.

Cruise Missiles

The missiles on the B-52 were AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile units, specifically designed to be launched from wing pods of B-52H planes.

A total of 460 units were manufactured by Raytheon. A total of 394 units are currently maintained by the Air Force. Apparently, 38 are to be modernized and upgraded in Fiscal Year 2008 and the other 356 are to be decommissioned pursuant to the 2002 Moscow treaty.

Raytheon has publicly announced the AGM-129 missiles are to be modified to accomplish a "classified cruise missile mission". This has widely been interpreted to mean conversion to bunker-busters, most likely for use in Iran. This widely accepted explanation is being used to explain why armed cruise missiles are being flown in American airspace.

Nuclear Warheads

The AGM-129 was specifically designed to deliver a W-80 nuclear warhead. The W-80 weapon has a variable yield capability, of 5 to 150 kilotons. For comparison purposes, the bomb used on Hiroshima was 13 to 15 kilotons, or equivalent to 13,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT explosive.

News Stories and Flawed Explanations

The story of the B-52 flight was first reported by Army Times, owned by Gannett, on Wednesday September 5. Gannett relied on information provided by "anonymous officers". The story was picked up by Yahoo Wednesday morning, published by USA Today and The Washington Pos, and then quickly spread.

In response, the Pentagon quickly spread an official explanation.

The Air Force admitted to an inadvertent error: The intent was to transport ACMs without weapons. According to military officers, the nuclear warheads should have been removed before the missiles were mounted on the pylons under the wings of the bomber.

In the words of the Pentagon:

"There was an error which occurred during a regularly scheduled transfer of weapons between two bases. The weapons were safe and remained in Air Force control and custody at all times."

For almost the first time in the history of the nation, the military has publicly and promptly admitted it "made a mistake". This in itself is truly astounding.

To reinforce the military's claim that a mistake was made, a system-wide stand-down was ordered for September 14.

That official explanation was quickly explained away. The mistake was made intentionally, so a "deliberate leak" of a secret operation could occur.

The CIA and the Office of Counter-Terrorism in the State Department explained that Barksdale AFB is a "jumping off point" for re-supply of the Middle East.

The "deliberate leak" was intended to serve as a veiled warning to Iran. This deliberately misleading explanation is evidently intended to lead the public or Iran or both to logically conclude the missiles are bound for Iran.

Bluntly, State and the CIA converted a whistleblower leak by true American patriots into a deliberate leak by official Washington, to scare Iran.

By this means Washington has led the public to forget or overlook the real issue.

To begin, the multiple official explanations reek to high heaven. They collectively read suspiciously like flimsy cover stories concocted in hasty desperation. And no amount of pretty lipstick will be able to make the official explanations pretty.

Transportation Violations

More conflicting explanations followed. These missiles are part of a group scheduled to be decommissioned. This would explain why they were shipped out of North Dakota.

But the missiles were not transported on their way to decommissioning. Missiles are normally decommissioned at Davis-Monthan AFB at Tucson. Nuclear weapons are decommissioned at the Department of Energy's Pantex facility near Amarillo, Texas, accessed through Kirkland AFB in New Mexico.

And military policy requires minimization of the number of flights made with nuclear weapons aboard. So the weapons should not have been mounted on the missiles, flown to Louisiana, un-mounted and flown to New Mexico.

The mode of transportation is also a major issue not defused by official explanations. Per standard operating procedures, or SOPs, both missiles and nuclear warheads are transported primarily by air, in specially modified C-130s or C-17s. Under no peacetime circumstances do military SOPs allow transport of nuclear weapons mounted in cruise missiles mounted in combat positions on combat planes.

Department of Defense Directive Number 4540.5, issued on February 4, 1998, regulates logistic transportation of nuclear weapons.

By delegation of Commanders of Combatant Commands, movement of nuclear weapons must be approved by commanders of major service commands.

Commanders of Combat Commands or service component commanders must evaluate, authorize and approve transport modes and movement routes for nuclear weapons in their custody.

The Air Force is required to maintain a Prime Nuclear Airlift Force capability to conduct the logistic transport of nuclear weapons.

Under SOPs, combat planes with combat-ready nuclear weapons can only be flown on the authority of the Commander in Chief, the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the National Military Command Authority.

All of these transportation regulations were flagrantly violated on August 30.

Handling Violations

Violations of regulations concerning handling of the nuclear weapons in North Dakota are worse.

A sophisticated computerized tracking system is used for nuclear weapons. Multiple sign-offs are required to remove the weapons from their storage bunkers.

The AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile was designed to carry nuclear weapons. No non-nuclear warhead is available for this missile. So the only possible error could have been loading nuclear warheads on the missiles instead of practice dummies.

The practice warheads have standard blue and yellow signs declaring "Inert, non-nuclear". The nuclear warheads have at least three distinctive red warning signs. This error is therefore highly improbable, absent tampering with signage.

Nuclear weapons are transported from the storage bunker to the aircraft in a caravan that routinely includes vehicles with machine guns front and rear and guards with M-16s. All steps in the process are done under the watchful eyes of armed military police.

Rules require that at least two people jointly control every step of the process. If one person loses sight of the other, both are forced to the ground face-down and temporarily "placed under arrest" by observant security forces. All progress stops until inspections are made to assure the weapons weren't tampered with.

All nuclear weapons are connected to sophisticated alarm systems to prevent removal or tampering. They could only be removed from the storage bunker by turning the alarm off. And the squad commander clearly would not have authority to turn off the alarm.

The Impossible Mistake

Bluntly, the mistake of loading nuclear weapons on a combat aircraft in combat-ready position is simply not possible to make. Safeguards are far too stringent and far too many people would be involved. Particularly given that the mounting was in violation of policy that's been in place without exception for almost 40 years.

No discipline is expected to be meted out. The New York Times tried to imply the commanding general had been fired. Actually, the squad commander in charge of munitions crews at Minot was "relieved of duty pending an investigation". He has not been removed from his position or disciplined. The crews involved have been "temporarily decertified pending corrective actions or additional training" but have not been disciplined. No mention has been made of the wing commander.

Note carefully: These actions amount to nothing at all. The wing and squad commanders are still in place and the crews can easily be re-certified.

Successful Confusion

Washington's efforts to confuse the public have been successful. Attention has shifted from the crucial issue.

This news has already become non-news. The August 14 stand-down will momentarily become news, followed by announcements of more stringent restrictions, improved safeguards and additional training. The public always has been and always will be safe.

One of the major issues will be avoided:

Someone in an irregular chain of Air Force command authorized loading and transport of nuclear weapons.

And that would never have been done without a reason. Given the magnitude of regulatory violations involved, the reason must be extremely important.

The paramount issue will be avoided, if necessary with repetition of the reassurance that the Air Force was in control at all times. The weapons were only missing during the 3.5-hour flight.

At Barksdale, the missiles were considered to be unarmed items headed for modernization or the scrap heap, and of no particular importance. They were left unguarded for almost ten hours.

According to one report, almost ten hours were required for airmen at Minot AFB to convince superiors that the nuclear weapons had disappeared. According to information provided to Congress, this time lapsed before airmen at Barksdale "noticed" the weapons were present. News reports will continue to overlook this fact also.

Even here the focus is on time. The number of missiles and warheads issue was overlooked.

Early news reports spoke of five nuclear warheads loaded onto the bomber. Apparently, this information was provided from Barksdale.

That number was later updated to six weapons missing from Minot, apparently based on anonymous tips provided to Military Times by people at Minot. This information has also been forgotten.


Six nuclear weapons disappeared from Minot AFB in North Dakota.

Five nuclear weapons were discovered at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.

Which leads to my chilling conclusion:

Someone, operating under a special chain of command within the United States Air Force, just stole a nuclear weapon.

What next?

The answer has been provided several times, most recently by CIA Director and General Michael Hayden. On September 7, dressed in full military uniform, Hayden told assembled members of the Council of Foreign Relations:

"Our analysts assess with high confidence that al-Qaida's central leadership is planning high-impact plots against the U. S. homeland."

"We assess with high confidence that al-Qaida is focusing on targets that would produce mass casualties, dramatic destruction and significant aftershocks."

An eye for an eye. Use of nukes will justify use of nukes. A perfect excuse to wage nuclear war against Iran.

I suspect Hayden is absolutely correct, except for his mistaken identification of the "central leadership" that is planning detonation of a nuclear weapon on American soil.

Have a nice day, and

Be seeing you.


Now what do you think of:

UPDATE ( a response to comments):
]A Note to my gentle Readers: I wish you would give a pseudonym of some sort -- it makes it easier to sort out replies...)

Robert: the conclusion is most certainly tempting, though it behooves us to remember the incredible power of sheer ineptitude coupled with a need to 'save face' -- the latter is, IMHO, what is really killing America.Anon. ("We just have to keep an eye on Al-CIAda"): how?Anon. ("For years I have pointed out") -- I fear there is not one unified 'plan' because there is not one unified 'they' -- but i share your fears indeed. Belief, however, is in my opinion inappropriate. The word has an aroma of conviction irrelevant of fact. The people are waking up -- (I noticed before Zbigniew or Salon)-- and all of us in gathered in this virtual place are a part of that.anonymous "i thought some or all of the airmen involved in this incident were killed or died suspiciously. Was that a rumor or the truth?": as far as I know, the truth.
" Why hasn't the Air Force or the FBI investigated the 6-8 untimely deaths including three alleged suicides, one of a Minot weapons guard, one of an assistant defense secretary, and one of a captain in the super-secret Air Force Special Commando Group, as well as alleged fatal vehicle "accidents" involving four ground crew and B-52 pilots and crewmembers at Minot and Barksdale? Could any of this strange cluster of deaths have been related to the incident? The Air Force "investigation" didn't even mention these incidents, and my investigation, reported in the Oct. 24 issue of the magazine American Conservative, found that none of the police investigators or medical examiners in those incidents had even been contacted by Air Force or other federal investigators."
anonymous "Do americans think that they are shielded and that nothing can kill them?" yes, quite frankly. never been an attack on us soil: thats why we have the gall to swagger into other people's homelands and tell them what to do. Disgusting, and stupid.

anonymous "What would give the neocons and corporate elite": Peak Oil is as far as I can tell a myth propaated by doulblefaced corporate toadies like Matthew Simmons (don't trust him as far as can throw him) to jack up Oil. Just another way to fleece the last drops out of up: the transfer of $$ to the very very top has been unprecedented in the past twent years. As in, it has sped up.
anonymous "With troops and a massive armada of warships surrounding Iran": I hope you are also. I hope that should anything of the sort happen, we will see right through it, the way we saw through the h1n1 scare -- mostly --

I HOPE THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. And hope to warn my Fellow Americans...

Be seeing you -

Gulf Oil Disaster: Effects may go on for DECADES

Here's a post whose hypotheses are, I hope, in error -- though the credentials of the authors are excellent --

The unseen disaster

Oil spill's damage to the world beneath the waves is likely to be enormous and long-lasting

Austin American Statesman, June 27, 2010:

by Paul Montagna and Larry McKinney on 6/26/10, updated 6/27

While much attention has focused on the pictures of oiled birds, marshes and beaches, the media is showing only the tip of the iceberg of the ecological disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. What is the condition of the ocean itself? The likely answer is: not good.

Scientists at sea and sampling the ocean on the scene of the oil well blowout are reporting plumes of oil throughout the water column for tens of miles from the blowout site. Dead organisms are covering the surface near the blowout. A dead sperm whale has been found far from shore.

To make matters worse, the area of the blowout and oil slick is the most productive part of the Gulf. This is because nutrients from the Mississippi River promote algal growth, which is at the base of the food chain. This plankton falls to the bottom, creating the richest shrimping and fishing grounds in the Gulf.

There are two problems caused by the spill. Not only are these organisms being killed, but the breakdown of the oil by bacteria consumes oxygen. That will further increase the size of the dead zone — a low-oxygen area devoid of sea life that has existed for years — off Louisiana this summer.

Extraordinary quantities of methane are contributing to this problem. Underwater clouds of oil and methane gas have now been confirmed as originating from the BP blowout after weeks of denial. One of these clouds, encompassing an area the size of San Francisco and 600 feet thick, was found at 3,000 feet or more beneath the surface. Low levels of oil concentration (0.5 parts per million) have been found in this cloud. Researchers studying the clouds have found concentrations of methane up to 10,000 times greater than normal and oxygen levels depleted by 40 percent below normal.

This means organisms in the sea are suffocating and explains why microbes that require oxygen to break down the oil are not cleaning the spill naturally. Worse is that there are likely long-lived "dead zones" drifting through the Gulf and perhaps over deep-water ecosystems where recovery time can be centuries, or not at all. Other, larger clouds have been reported, and a large-scale and coordinated effort is searching for more.

Massive quantities of dispersants (1.28 million gallons by day 58 of the spill) are being used at both the wellhead (5,000 feet deep) and the surface of the ocean. Used effectively at the surface, dispersants can accelerate microbial activity and degradation of toxic elements of an oil spill. We have no idea about effectiveness or impact when used at such depth. It is, as has been stated, a giant experiment.

It is a difficult choice, and few would disagree that keeping oil out of the wetlands is a high priority. However, beneath the sea surface is a toxic soup of oil, methane and dispersants, which is also killing many sensitive parts of the ecosystem. Because this disaster is unfolding beneath the surface, it is occurring out of sight. Its effects are probably more devastating to the Gulf of Mexico and the sustainability of the Gulf economy than those we have already seen. These effects have been occurring since the beginning of the blowout, long before oil arrived on the shore.

As the oil emerges from the sea floor, it immediately disperses into droplets, much like liquid being pumped from a sprayer. These droplets, along with methane and possibly dispersants, form a plume that bends with the current, much like smoke rising from a smokestack on a windy day. As the oil rises, the entire water column becomes degraded. You have a toxic stew killing millions upon millions of marine organisms.

As the oil reaches the surface, waves mix it with water and air, forming a "mousse." The lighter components evaporate. As the heavier components mix with sediment and particles in the water, they will form a tarlike substance that will sink. The net effect is an impact that reaches from the bottom to the surface of the ocean.

Light from the sun further breaks down the smaller oil molecules at the surface, and now the dissolved fractions of the oil can contain many toxic compounds that can be absorbed by phytoplankton (small one-cell plants) in a process called bioaccumulation. Zooplankton (small floating organisms) can take up oil compounds, and small fish can also absorb it through their gills.

The larger danger, however, is biomagnification through the food web. Though the concentration of the toxic compounds in the water is small, these compounds dissolve in fat and concentrate within organisms. Zooplankton eat many phytoplankton, and small forage fish eat many zooplankton. Thus the toxic chemicals quickly become concentrated in ever-increasing amounts as it passes up the food chain.

Luckily, fish, birds and marine mammals can metabolize the oil so it does not biomagnify in the highest levels of the food chain. There is a cost, however, because animals will have to divert energy from reproduction to detoxify the oil, and they will produce less offspring, creating long-term declines in populations.

Species like the Atlantic bluefin tuna , which congregate and spawn practically in the middle of the spill zone, are especially susceptible. We may have already lost an entire year of the population of this species, which spawns only in the Gulf. These magnificent giants are already under extreme pressure from overfishing, and this spill could certainly be the tipping point in a downward and nonrecoverable spiral.

While most deep-sea habitats are primarily muddy bottoms, the Gulf of Mexico is unusual in that it has very complex bottom topography that includes many reefs, hard banks and deep trenches called the Mississippi Canyon and the DeSoto Canyon. These features are home to very diverse marine organisms.

One important feature in the area off the Mississippi-Alabama continental shelf is the Pinnacles habitat. This area is like an underwater mountain range that supports deep-sea corals, crustaceans, mollusks, sea lilies and many bottom fish. As the heavy parts of the oil sink, it will endanger the bottom habitats by coating them with tar.

At the surface are the pelagic fish such as tuna, amberjack and ling , which will become tainted. Dolphins and whales are plentiful in this region and will be coated with oil as they bob to the surface to breathe air.

The large, long-term danger may be from the oil that is stranded on the bottom. The deep sea is about the same temperature as your refrigerator, so bacteria will not be able to break down the oil, and we can expect tar balls to emanate from this area for decades to come.

This also means that the disaster will continue for a decade or two as the oil within the environment continues to break down, dissolve and move back into the surface waters. Even though smaller amounts will be released in the future, it will still have population-level effects because the juvenile stages of all marine animals are much more sensitive to toxins than adults. The lost juveniles will have a ripple effect throughout marine populations because there will be fewer adults in future generations to reproduce and replenish the lost animals.

Unfortunately, this blowout is the perfect object lesson about an ecosystem and what it truly means — a community together with its environment, functioning as a unit. Out of sight does not mean no concern. There are nothing but bad choices in a situation like this. However, the fact you cannot see it does not mean sea life can just be ignored and sacrificed.

Paul Montagna holds the Endowed Chair for Ecosystems Studies and Modeling at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He's written or contributed to more than 150 articles and reports on marine science.

Larry McKinney is executive director of the Harte Research Institute and chairman of the Gulf Alliance Ecosystem Assessment and Integration Committee. He's worked with state and federal agencies on Gulf issues and has written numerous articles on Texas conservation.

Be seeing you.

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Gulf Crisis: Bad to Worse

This article is definitive, despite a small disagreement (noted in red).

From OpEdNews: Rob Kall - Writer

Sit down. Get ready. Your life has begun to change. It will never be the same again. This gulf disaster is changing everything. Call your legislators. Tell them that they are now on notice. There are the constituents and there are planet killing corporations, ready to wipe out life on the planet for a profit. Those legislators have to choose whose side they are on. No more bullshit. No more lobbyists getting favors. This is not life or death.

Here's the latest report I just received from my contact inside BP:

Ok, here's the deal.

Size of reservoir - estimated by BP and its partner, Andarko to be between 2.5B and 10B bbl. (that's 100,000,000,000 gallons and 400,000,000,000 gallons.

Yes - all of those numbers are BILLIONS.

BP has admitted in at least 3 interviews that the well casing is compromised (broken). So, when they tried the Top Kill - and then the Junk Shot - the stuff shot out the sides and didn't go much down the hole. A REAL top kill should just take a few hours - or it's not going to ever work.

The casing was undoubtedly broken apart by the natural gas 'explosion' at the bottom of the well, which was the result of methane coming out of solution (ie. the methane hydrates melting and expanding dramatically). Much like when your washer's water line has air in it and you shut off the valve and the line 'hammers', the well 'hammered' when the BOP shut (the guess is 80%), and the dramatic upshot in pressure, as well as the acoustic shockwave, broke the casing.

The Question of the Day is: Did the explosion rupture the casing for its entire length?

If that is so, then a relief well will be unable to plug the hole. TEN relief wells would be unable to plug the hole.

The consensus seems to be, among oil people I've spoken with, that this is exactly the case.

If that's so, then the well will run until Obama nukes it. That is the only thing that could close it.

If they can't plug it via the relief wells, and if they don't nuke it (it can't be conventional explosives, for a few reasons), then about 1/2 of the oil and gas will run out. That would be 50 BILLION to 200 BILLION gallons of oil, over a 10 year period. Although, like the interest you pay on a house note, the biggest part would be up-front.

[Editor's note: A nuclear device may very well NOT be successful under those conditions. Yes, it will fuse the seafloor, a sphere of glass -- whose inner environment will essentially be a vacuum. This will shatter with the undersea pressures to which it will be subject. Even if the fused sand does not contain volume, but rather is bowl- or dish- or ball-shaped, the area is extremely seismically active, and this must betaken into account. Any info on this topic is appreciated.]

Another report I discovered yesterday, can't remember where, is that there is so much methane coming out of the gulf gusher that it equals what New York City produces in a day. That methane is 25 to 100 times more deleterious than CO2 as a greenhouse gas aggravating global warming.

We need to start thinking about a black gulf that is dead, that oil and other toxins are leaking to other oceans. What will our world, our nation, the human race, life on this planet look like if all the seas die?

We need to start thinking really hard about re-localization, transition towns-- the kinds of things Bill McKibben, Lester R. Brown and Rob Hopkins have been writing about. Plant a vegetable garden in your back yard, in a local garden, on your balcony. Connect with a local food coop or CSA (community supported agriculture.) The world is going to change.

We need to take a Apollo, moon landing technology approach to what is happening in the gulf. We need big ideas and solutions because there are other deep water wells out there waiting to become catastrophes. Joe Trippi said it well, responding to Obama's speech Tuesday night:

The president could have told the American people that it is clear that we had the technology to drill a hole in the ocean floor 1 mile beneath the surface.

Then, he should have leveled with us and said that it is just as unclear, right now, how we can put the technology in place to shut it down quickly after the tragic explosion.

Just as we were able to bring Apollo 13 back to earth safely, we will shut this well down, the president could have assured us.

We need to take a WWII approach to low tech temporary interventions, like building 10,000 skimmers that can be rigged to existing boats. We need to figure out ways to use trawlers to drag booms that absorb oil through those massive curtains of oil, so they can be cleaned up deep in the ocean.

Obama still does not get the immensity of the problem. He needs to imagine 1.25 to 5 BILLION barrels-- 50 billion to 210 billion gallons of oil-- spewing into the gulf rounding the keys, despoiling the Caribbean, riding the Gulf Current up the eastern seaboard, jumping over to Europe....

Forget about Iraq and Afghanistan and the hundreds of other military bases we have. We need to apply all our military resources to the massive disaster we have at home.

Tell the bastards in the military industrial medical complex that there's a new way they're going to have to make money-- healing the gulf, healing the gulf workers, preventing our oil plague from killing the planet.

My source tells me that BP has underground resources of 500 billion barrels of oil-- at $70 a barrel that's $35 Trillion dollars. Other oil companies have similar holdings. We need to start talking about tapping them for a trillion dollar budget, not a piddling $20 billion escrow account. Don't get me wrong. That account was a first step.

But we need Boeing and Raytheon and General Motors and Ford and our biggest most advanced companies focused on what is happening in the gulf. We need to get ideas and suggestions cranked up even more. Humanity has incredible wisdom and creativity. We need to tap it and work it, like never before, fast and furious.

We need-- Obama needs-- to face the reality that fishing and shrimping in the Gulf and probably Florida are over for years to come. Eating ocean fish may soon be over.

Obama needs to call a meeting of world leaders to face this INTERNATIONAL crisis.

Obama needs to, and I've said it before, fire the advisers who let him get this far doing so little, addressing this in so many wrong ways. This IS like a war, but secrecy is not called for, necessary or appropriate. We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil and maybe the corporations, and for them transparency is their enemy.

Obama needs to rise a lot higher and find his higher self and become a true visionary leader. That probably means cutting the tethers held by the political hacks who he has surrounded himself with. We need a great president NOW, not some compromising, making deals with corporations manager. I believe Obama has it in him, but he must throw off the slugs and maggots and reptiles and leeches who are bringing him down. He needs to think of his wife and children and the rest of us, not corporations.

We may need to totally revamp the military. We need people likeLt.Gen. Russel L. Honoré of the Army who was appointed to oversee the Katrina recovery.

The hotter water caused by the black and red coloration will lead to more violent weather and hurricane activity. The release of billions of gallons of methane will speed global warming and exacerbate climate change.

I told a friend about this last night. He said, "so, the house my sister and her husband just bought for $1.2 million on the west coast of Florida might drop in value?"

Ouch. You betcha.

There is talk of the US government taking over BP. Since it's an international company, that may not be possible, but certainly, BP's assets in the US are takable. Surely BP has broken any agreement to operate responsibly.

And then there's that matter of criminality-- 11 dead, millions damaged. Why didn't our hapless incompetent in the justice department AG Eric Holder arrest the BP execs after they left the meeting with Obama. Maybe that would be premature, but it should be in the works.

And let's not forget all those British pensioners who are not going to be getting their dividend checks for the rest of the year. Maybe ALL investors will learn not to invest in criminal, anti life, anti-earth, ant-human corporations anymore.

It is likely that a number of the previously endangered species in the gulf will die off.

The sequellae of this disaster are just beginning to become visible on the horizon. The Christian Right has been praying for the end times. Who knew that the beast would be BP and the American addiction to oil?

I thought this article so good, in fact, that I enabled email reposts so you could help proliferate the message. It was, in fact, one of the inspirations for my recent magickal working (yes, a Faustus is as a Faustus does -- I would have written that phrase in latin, but unfortunately the grammar escapes me -- is there a Latin scholar in the house?). I am sure this is a consequence the author will find not wholly unwelcome, and perhaps not even misguided, were he to but consider it.

Be seeing you.

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Pensacola Reopens Beaches Against Advice - Hundreds Sickened

Well, well. The surf boiling like acid -- oil making a massive landfall -- perhaps it isn't safe to go in the water, you think?

Oil spill: Is Gulf safe for swimming?

posted by Kimberly Blair on

The Escambia County Health Department lifted a health advisory on Pensacola Beach on Friday on the advice of a beach official and against the advice of a federal environmental official.

But the advisory was not lifted for Gulf Islands National Seashore's Fort Pickens beach, immediately west of Pensacola Beach or Johnson Beach on Perdido Key.

And hours after the Pensacola Beach advisory was lifted, the health department asked for state approval to issue an oil-impact advisory that leaves the decision to swim in the Gulf of Mexico up to the discretion of individual beachgoers.

The signs would be posted on 41 of the 43 miles of Escambia County beaches — from the Florida-Alabama line to just west of Portofino Beach — impacted by oil.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to put decontamination stations along the beach, possibly as early as this weekend.

These moves send conflicting signals about how safe it is to swim in the Gulf of Mexico as the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill broadens.

Dr. John Lanza, director of Escambia County Health Department, said the reason for leaving the decision up to beachgoers on whether to swim is because the oil situation on the beach is "very dynamic."

"We have a situation that changes from one hour to the next, from one tide to the next, from wave to wave, from one wind direction to another," he said.

Lanza said this ever-changing environment is something "we're going to face for weeks or months in the future."

The oil impact signs would be posted indefinitely and warn beachgoers that oil has washed up on the beaches. But the impact advisory would not prohibit people from going swimming as the health advisory for Pensacola Beach issued from Wednesday to Friday morning did.

Similar to the health advisory, the impact advisory would warn beachgoers to avoid touching oily product on the beach and in the water, and it would advise them leaving the beach and seeking medical help if they experience respiratory problems.

So far, 400 people have sought medical care for upper or lower respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation after trips to Escambia County beaches, Lanza said.

Lee's advice

Lanza said he lifted the health advisory on Pensacola Beach early Friday on the advice of W.A. "Buck" Lee, Santa Rosa Island Authority executive director. Lee said he made the recommendation based on a visual inspection.

By 10 a.m. on Friday, the double red flags prohibiting beachgoers from the water were replaced with yellow flags.

"We're flying the yellow flags. And that means you need to be careful where you step," Lee said. "Just be careful and have a good time."

But oil chips, tar balls and submerged oil slicks and the odor of petroleum still were present.

And people complained about getting a petroleum jelly-like substance on them from sand that was tainted brown.

Swimmers who did venture into the water questioned whether it was really safe to wade, swim and play in the Gulf, especially when they had to walk through a line of tar balls and stay clear of skimmers scooping up oil just 25 and 50 feet from the shore.

"I only went into the water up to my ankles. That's as far as I wanted to go," said Joe Chambers, 28, of West Pensacola as he scrubbed off oily residue from himself and his son, Ethan, 4, in the public showers at Casino Beach. "It doesn't smell like the beach. It smells like a gas station. There are no fish in the water. There's nothing alive in the water. I don't know how public officials can just look at the water and make a call to reopen it for swimming."

Carol Doster of Grand Isle, Miss., said her son Dallas, 12, was frightened by the oil that streaked his legs and arms after a five-minute swim in the Gulf on Friday. "It won't rub off," Doster said.

She said the two were not going to get in the water again.

No tests run

Lanza said the health department did not test the water or sand samples before lifting the health advisory. He did send out health department employees to look at the water before they covered up the health advisory signs.

Dick Snyder, director of the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida, began conducting water samples May 3 on Pensacola Beach every Tuesday and Thursday because beach and health officials were only doing visual assessments.

What you can't see in the water may be more dangerous than what you can see, he said.

"That's why we thought we had to start looking for dissolved oil," he said.

It can't been seen and it poses health risks. So far it's not been found in the surf zone on the beach. But water samples taken Thursday in the surf zone, where most people swim, at Casino Beach, did reveal small amounts of alkanes, hydrocarbon molecules found in oil, he said.

Small amounts are not harmful. But the heavier, complex molecules in the tar balls, "are toxic," Snyder said.

Lanza also lifted the advisory against the advice of Charlie Fitzsimmons, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deputy branch chief for Florida.

Fitzsimmons had a team conducting water testing on the beach Thursday and Friday. He expects results from those tests — the first ones since oil landed on Pensacola Beach — early next week.

"My recommendation to the Santa Rosa Island Authority was to keep the beach closed until we can get a better handle on the actual material out here and to get more of it up," Fitzsimmons said.

On Friday, Lee dismissed any notion that the water is unsafe, and said with the daily and hourly changes in water conditions on the beach, he can't wait three days for results of water testing to decide to close or open the beach to swimming.

Fitzsimmons said he cannot make the call to close the beach. That's why he's having the decontamination stations set up, which are more sophisticated than the wash stations the Island Authority recently set up, he said.

"The (cleaning) material is in a package form that will more greatly assist removing tar balls from the bottom of feet and hands," he said. "Our plan is to assist the health department and island authority to make it easier to manage this situation."

But he cautioned beachgoers, especially those with small children and babies: "My recommendation, whether it's for a baby or not, I would not walk through the tar — and it's all over the place, especially now with the fine little balls that are like pencil erasers. It's hard to see them. It's not like before when we had larger pieces, 6 inches in diameter. This makes it harder for the general public to avoid the oil."




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