Tag Archives: military

Milwaukee Area Water Poisoned by Military PFAS Forever Chemicals

original article Laura Schulte

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Sep 2021

‘Forever chemicals’ from a military installation at Mitchell Airport are a risk to nearby drinking wells, Lake Michigan, a report says

also PFAS Timeline and History – EWG

“Despite testing that found “forever chemicals” at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport two years ago, the Department of Defense has yet to move forward with a plan to address the contamination, putting nearby residents with private drinking wells at risk.

The Department of Defense was notified by the state Department of Natural Resources that it was the responsible party for contamination from PFAS — per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — in ground and surface water near the airport in 2019, but no action has yet been taken, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The environmental advocacy group looked at publicly available data related to PFAS testing at DOD sites across the Great Lakes region and found that several sites, including Mitchell Airport, could be contaminating not only groundwater but the lakes that give the area its name.

 

Some of the highest levels of the chemicals were found in private drinking wells along the borders of the Milwaukee airport, said Jared Hayes, a policy analyst with the Environmental Working Group. And because no aggressive action has been taken since the discovery of the compounds, some residents in the area may not even know they’re at risk.

 

The department ordered that the airport needed to determine the source of the contamination, prevent future discharges and develop a cleanup plan. At the time, levels were not high enough to be considered a public health concern, but the department wanted the water utility to monitor levels.

Included in the testing results in 2019 were about six compounds, including PFOA and PFOS, two of the most researched PFAS chemicals.

Though recommendations at the time called for wastewater utilities to start measuring for PFAS, no such rules have yet been instituted, because the utilities are not the source of chemicals but merely a receiver as the chemicals are washed down drains across the state.

Milwaukee isn’t the only city to face a PFAS contamination stemming from its airport. In Madison, contamination stemming from the Dane County Regional Airport — where the 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard is stationed — has been linked to high levels of PFAS in a nearby lake and some nearby wells.

On French Island, which is home to the La Crosse Regional Airport on one side and the Town of Campbell on the other, over a thousand people are receiving bottled water after PFAS were found in private drinking water across the island. Research into the airport’s past has shown that ongoing testing of PFAS-containing firefighting foam and foam used to put out blazes caused by plane crashes are likely responsible for most of the contamination.

PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and the human body over time.

Uninvited: Sen. Baldwin Denies Access to Constituents Who Oppose the War Machine

Tammy Baldwin Denies Access to Fundraiser Ticketholders Who Have Been Vocal Against the F-35 Bomber Deployment in Madison
By Amy Anderson, Aug 26, 2021

 

[pictures & links – bottom]
The latest battle to stop the planned F-35 bomber deployment to Air National Guard’s Truax Field in Madison took place at the entrance to Senator Tammy Baldwin’s annual summer BBQ fundraiser last Sunday, August 22nd. Held at the picturesque Fields Reserve reception barn on a wooded hill near Lake Kegonsa, some residents came to express their alarm and dismay about the harm to the Madison community that they say the stationing of these jets would bring.

 

However, several constituents who had paid for entry to the $50-$1000 fundraiser received email cancellations and refunds of their donations from the event staff just one day prior to the event. The seven constituents were all members of Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin, a group calling for the halt of F-35s coming to Madison.

These seven individuals came despite the cancellation but were not allowed in as eight security officers and three Dane County sheriff deputies guarded the driveway. So instead they joined the picket organized by the No F35 Action Faction, who brought 35 local residents to picket and pass out flyers. Donors attending the event waited in lines in their cars, sometimes for 15 minutes or longer while a single event staff person checked tickets against a list of names to determine if each passenger was on the approved list for entry.

One of the most vocal members denied entry was Tom Berman, a northside
homeowner for 37 years who has also operated a small business there for 32 years.
He expressed desperation that his beloved home and place of business will be
officially condemned as being within an “uninhabitable” zone once the F-35 jets
arrive and the frequent practice drills begin.

He quotes the Air Force’s Environmental Impact Statement that there are already 6222 sorties planned each year for the F-35s once they arrive in 2023. This is a 27% rise over current flights from Truax Field. He explained that the noise levels from takeoff of F-35s are traumatic to humans and more than four times louder than the F-16s which currently regularly practice over Madison’s east and northside.

David Williams from the No F35 Action Faction called the blacklisting of Madison residents from the event a sad but unsurprising disappointment in light of the Senator’s continued stonewalling against the growing voices from her own hometown against this deployment. “Our original picket slogan was We should not have to pay to be heard. But now we realize that even for those purchasing a ticket, we still don’t get to be heard.”

 

Mr. Berman reports that after the event was over Senator Baldwin did stop and let him give her his letter on her way out, saying she would have one of her staff get back to him.

 

The Safe Skies and Action Faction groups have been working for over two years to raise public awareness and to pressure Senator Baldwin, who has been a supporter of deploying F-35s in Madison rather than a sparsely populated area where it would be easier to mitigate the impacts.

 

Objections to the F-35 deployment include:

  • regular traumatic and unhealthy noise levels for Madison residents
  • the expense and hardship of relocating multiple Madison residents
  • decrease in property values for east and northside residents
  • impacts will affect low-income and minority populations the most
  • increase of PFAS “forever” chemicals commonly used in firefighting drills at Truax which  have already contaminated local waterways and many municipal wells
  • the well-documented dubiety of the F-35s as a military investment
  • the danger of bringing these nuclear-capable planes to Madison
  • the escalation of out-of-control military spending and endless war

 

Find Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin and sign up for updates.

Like  No F-35s Action Faction on Facebook, and they welcome people to join the cause.

 

How Much is Enough? A Look at the US Military (Updated)

How much military does the US government have?  It all depends on what you consider a base or a site or a combat machine or what the government wants you to know and what is to be secret.

 

“The US today is the main imperialist power in the world and responsible for around 1,000 foreign bases in about 172 countries. This is around 20 times the number of foreign military bases as all other countries in the world combined. The countries with the second and third highest number of foreign bases are Britain and France, 2 of the US’s NATO allies.”

International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases


Comparing US military to China: US has 20 times the nuclear warheads. Twice the tonnage of warships at sea. The US has over 800 overseas bases, China has 3. The US military has over 2000 fighter jets compared to China’s 600, and the Lockheed F-35 program is set to deliver 2500 nuclear capable jets.

Washington Post: The Pentagon is using China as an excuse for huge new budgets

https://twitter.com/FareedZakaria/status/1373696826205999107


“U.S. bases represent 90-95 percent of the world’s foreign bases, constituting the largest collection of extraterritorial bases in world history…”

Military spending has many points of contention: Closing overseas bases isn’t one of them (2019)  
BY MEDEA BENJAMIN, JOHN TIERNEY, DAVID VINE, AND COL. (RET.) LAWRENCE WILKERSON

 


“…let’s talk military budgets:

The US will spend, if we want to be purists, $716 billion on the military. It’s actually a lot more because the National Security Agency is part of the military, and the CIA to all intents and purposes is military in nature and between them their secret budgets top more than the $50 billion that was leaked in a Congressional hearing eight years ago, and could be double that now since so much more US military activity is now handled by Special Forces acting under the direction of the CIA, but for sake of argument let’s just leave it at $716 billion.

Russia’s military budget is $65 billion, and even if you tripled that to account for how much more expensive everything is in the US from soldiers’ pay to weapons systems would represent less than a third of what the US spends.

China’s military budget is $183 billion, and again, you could double that if you like to account for different costs and it would still be less than half of the US military budget.

That is to say, even if you put the Chinese and Russian militaries together, their budgets would be significantly smaller than the US military budget.”

Counterpunch – MARCH 18, 2021

Let’s Stop Pretending Russia and China are Military Threats BY DAVE LINDORFF

 


 

 

“MEMBERS OF THE U.S. special operations forces deployed to 154 countries, or roughly 80 percent of the world’s nations, last year, but information about exactly where elite forces conduct missions, under what authorities they operate, who they’ve killed, and whether they’re adhering to the laws of armed conflict is closely guarded, buried in obscure legal provisions, shrouded in secrecy, or allegedly unknown even to Special Operations Command…”

The Intercept, March 20, 2021

WILL THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SHINE LIGHT ON SHADOWY SPECIAL OPS PROGRAMS? by Nick Turse


At Least Seven Hundred Foreign Bases
“It’s not easy to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department’s annual “Base Structure Report” for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and HAS another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories…”

America’s Empire of Bases (2004)
By Chalmers Johnson


Military dot com: Base Guide  


National Park Service: Military Bases in the Continental United States


 

“While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are U.S. military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran…”

Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases


David Vine on Closing U.S. Military Bases – November 30, 2018

The Scott Horton Show


“Today, while there are no foreign bases in the United States, there are around 800 U.S. bases in foreign countries…”

Trumping Democracy in America’s Empire of Bases (2017)
By David Vine


“It’s not a matter of whether the war is not real or if it is. Victory is not possible.
The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance.”

~ George Orwell ~

End support for bombing and starvation of Yemen: Cassandra Dixon and Barb Olson

Letter to the Editor. Cap Times 25 January 2021

original article:

Cassandra Dixon and Barb Olson: Biden should end support for bombing and starvation of Yemen

“For over five years, Yemenis have endured a civil war which has already killed nearly a quarter-million people. Roughly half of those who perished died from war-induced malnutrition, disease and lack of basic services.

Intervening on one side, a Saudi-led and U.S.-supported coalition has used overwhelming military force — including laser-guided bombs and other high-tech weapons supported by our tax dollars — to systematically devastate huge areas of Yemen that their rivals control.

The U.S. has supplied combat ships that are vital to the naval and air blockade presently denying millions of people in Yemen essential food and medicine (90% of Yemen’s food supply is imported).

The U.S. has also directly carried out bombing raids against those it labels “terrorists.” Recently, Congress failed to stop the Trump administration from selling F-35s like those the Air Force wants to station at Truax to the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries bombing Yemen.

As was predicted, famine is now widespread. Two-thirds of Yemenis are hungry and many tens of thousands, especially children, are truly bloated-belly-and-stick-limbs starving. Moderate to severe malnutrition afflicts a quarter of the population, including more than 2 million children.

And now COVID-19 has joined cholera and diphtheria in exponentially compounding their misery.


related

  1. US Envoy to Yemen Is ‘Aggressively’ Pursuing Talks With Houthis to End War
  2. BIDEN WITHDRAWS U.S. SUPPORT FOR SAUDI “OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS” IN YEMEN
  3. UAE Ambassador Al Otaiba’s yells at Rep. Khanna over Yemen Changes
  4. Biden’s Bolt From Yemen?: Symbolic Step, Systemic Limits, and Linguistic Gymnastics

Bad Yemen policy predates the outgoing administration, but things got worse under Trump. Along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the U.S. slashed contributions to international relief agencies trying to mitigate the carnage in Yemen.

Just as they applied “maximum pressure” to the recalcitrant Palestinians by eliminating U.S. funds to UNRWA, the UN agency critical to their survival, the Trump administration did not hesitate to further destroy the lives of the poor, weak, sick and elderly people of Yemen in pursuit of its foreign policy agenda.

Now the Trump administration has made good on its long-standing threat to label Ansar Allah, an Iran-supported Houthi militia in the coalition opposing our dear friends the Saudis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. This is designed to tighten the already suffocating blockade of Yemen.

In November, major international humanitarian organizations begged U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to make this designation, warning that humanitarian relief could be crippled by charges of aiding terrorism for cooperating with rebels in delivery of relief to civilian populations.

Neither Ansar Allah nor the Houthis pose any threat to the U.S. or its citizens, but that didn’t keep the FTO designation from speeding ahead as Trump, egged on by his allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia, maneuvered to keep the Biden administration from altering our reckless, aggressive campaign against Iran.

 

No FTO designation has yet been reversed in less than two years.

Millions of Yemen’s children don’t have another two years.

Momentum is building to get the Biden administration to immediately reverse the FTO designation. Jan. 25 has been declared a worldwide day of action to finally stop the Yemen war.

Please contact your representative and Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, asking them to end the U.S. role in the vicious, criminal war on Yemen.

 

 


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