The pictures are nearly equally horrifying: murky yellow water running from taps in West Virginia, opaque dark gray skies over Beijing. The health effects are very different.
I live in Charleston, WV. We have been w/out WATER for 6 days. The ban has lifted — but would YOU drink this?
After a company in the coal industry called Freedom Industries allowed a toxic chemical to leak into West Virginia’s Elk River a week ago, 300,000 residents of the state were advised to stop using water. That ban was partially lifted for some areas on Wednesday, with more parts of the state approved to use their water since. But, as one user on Twitter suggested, what’s coming out of the pipes isn’t exactly the sort of thing that people would look for to quench their thirst.
The Centers for Disease Control issued a warning on Wednesday indicating that the level of pollution that it was using as a guide to allow water use — one part of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol per million — was a standard that wasn’t completely informed by the science. Since issuing that guideline, the CDC’s Thomas Frieden wrote, “scientists have obtained additional animal studies” about the chemical, which are “currently being reviewed.” To play it safe, the state recommended that pregnant women not drink the water until all traces of the chemical have been erased out of the water supply.
Someone who has spent nearly three decades of his life in service of the world’s most sophisticated and intricate intelligence agency is perhaps in the best position to comment on some of the most important issues ahead of the U.S. foreign policy.
As confirmed by tens of policy advisers and academicians, the United States sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear program as two of its most demanding and exigent foreign policy challenges. It is also facing the problem of legitimacy in the Muslim world as many people in such countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf consider Washington’s foreign policy as aggressive and unproductive. The continued use of drones to purportedly target the Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, while these drones simply claim the lives of the innocent civilians, and the xenophobic portrayal of the Muslims in the U.S. mainstream media are among the other issues which have caused many people across the Muslim world question the legal basis and expediency of the U.S. policies.
Although Iran and the six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) have just reached an interim agreement over Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva, the path toward the final comprehensive agreement still seems troublesome and difficult to pass.
In order to discuss the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, the growing threats of the phenomenon of Islamophobia in the United States, the War on Terror project launched by the former U.S. President George W. Bush, the U.S. human rights record and the future of Iran’s nuclear program, Iran Review conducted an exclusive interview with former CIA executive and political analyst Ray McGovern. McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, and in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief.
Following his retirement from CIA, Ray McGovern became an outspoken critic of the U.S. foreign policy and the War on Terror. Upon his retirement, he received the Intelligence Commendation Medal from the CIA, but returned it in 2006 in protest at the CIA torturing of the prisoners in the Guantanamo bay prison facility and other prisons. In 2003, he co-founded the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He currently writes articles and commentaries on political and intelligence issues for such publications as Alternet.org, Truth Out, Common Dreams and Huffington Post.
What follows is the text of Iran Review’s interview with Mr. McGovern. I would like to acknowledge the American Free Press web editor David R. Gahary for his kind assistance to me in reaching out to Mr. McGovern.
Q: What’s your viewpoint on the emerging phenomena of Islamophobia in the West? We have seen throughout the past years that many mosques have been destroyed in the United States and Europe, the Muslim women have arbitrarily been denied the right to adhere to their special dressing code, the mainstream media have constantly been portraying a biased and unrealistic image of Muslims and Islam and the Muslims have incessantly been subject to a blind prejudice. How is it possible to justify such a discriminatory behavior?
A: Well, it cannot be justified. It’s shameful, it’s unconscionable. 9/11 has been exploited by those who like to portray all Muslims as terrorists, even though George W. Bush himself who gave lip service to warning “do not think that all Muslims are terrorists.” The impression given by our media, government and academicians is that there happens to be something in Muslim theology or etymology that makes them terrorists; at least a small percent of them. When John Brennan, who is now the head of CIA, was asked by Helen Thomas at a press conference when he was trying to explain why the Abdulmutalleb incident had happened, she said, “you never tell us why, Mr. Brennan, you talk about terrorism all the time. But you never tell us why people are driven to commit suicide. Why?” And the best Mr. Brennan could do was to say something very much like, “well, these Muslim extremists are hardwired at birth to be terrorists,” and this is ridiculous. That’s shameful, and that’s a lie. But that’s why so many Americans are deceived into thinking that it’s something peculiar about Muslims.
Imagine the delight at unwrapping your Christmas present in 2043 and discovering you’ve been gifted a trip around the Moon.
It may seem a little far-fetched right now but it could become a reality if space companies like Virgin Galactic realize their aspirations over the next 30 years or so.
Richard Branson and his children are due to fly in his company’s spaceship on its first commercial flight currently slated for 2014. But speaking to CNN outside a space conference in the UK last week, the company’s CEO George Whitesides said their ambitions extended beyond sub-orbital flights for those first customers.
"If we can make significant progress on the challenge of reusable space access then I think that opens up all kinds of opportunities in the future," he said.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh says the US government has “cherry-picked intelligence” against the Syrian government regarding the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria.
Though President Barack Obama eventually decided not to strike Syria, the administration made a public case of the chemical attack for war by saying that Syrian government was responsible for a poison gas attack in the outskirts of Damascus.
The blame was strongly rejected by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while his government provided United Nations with several reports that showed foreign-backed militants were responsible for it.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have abducted four Turkish soldiers in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
The soldiers were on patrol in the province when they went miTssing on Sunday.
A military source said that operation to locate them is underway.
The reason behind the abduction is still unknown, but tensions have been high in the region after two protesters were killed on Friday during confrontation with police in the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province.
A senior Orthodox Church official has urged Christians to take up arms in Syria and defend themselves against extremists, condemning the international community for not stopping flow of arms to Syria militants.
Speaking to the Iraqi newspaper Az-Zaman, Bishop Luca al-Khoury said “we have many young men who are asking us [to take action], and there are those demanding that we take immediate action.”
“I call on every young man who can take up arms to come forward,” Khoury said, adding that the initiative was meant to allow the community’s members to engage in self-defense and protect Christian holy places, which have come under attack recently.
Mass protests in the streets of Ukraine are being orchestrated and financed from the outside while EU politicians are encouraging the revolt serving their hypocritical agenda, geopolitical analyst William Engdahl told RT.
RT:What kind of message does it send when top EU diplomats side with those who are in favor of overthrowing a democratically elected government? William Engdahl: As I have said before and written in verbal interviews, this is not being orchestrated by the people of Ukraine. I have reports from Ukrainian ordinary citizens that I have been in contact with over the weekend.
The students and the unemployed, people who are just out and out and alcoholics and so on, are being paid something like 20-30 euros a day by who knows who, we can only speculate, to come in to Kiev and make these huge demonstrations to make a show of force.
And then the fact that Victoria Nuland of all people, one of the most outrageous neoconservatives of the Bush era, the former US ambassador to NATO, comes and encourages the Ukrainian people to demonstrate for freedom and join the European Union, this is hypocrisy.
RT:Just for a minute imagine the same thing happened in America?
WE: Yeah. Imagine that Putin and a few European leaders were coming and say what is this for a violation of free speech, when people are arrested for protesting on Occupy Wall Street, or whatever.