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Author: TriSec    Date: 03/23/2010 10:34:16

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,561st day in Iraq and our 3,089th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing wars, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4385
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4246
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3922
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3526
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 157

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,025
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 671
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,457
Journalists - Iraq: 338
Academics Killed - Iraq: 437

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 974, 448, 200, 000 . 00



We'll stay domestic today. I've recently run across a veteran's website that deals with something virtually unknown among the public...soldiers that were poisoned by their drinking water right here in the United States. We'll start first with the story of Paul Buckley, USMC (Ret.), who served his country in the mid 1980s at Camp Lejeune...




BOSTON (WBZ) ―

A local marine has a fighting wish; to save other members of the military, not from war, but from water.

Paul Buckley of Hanover has multiple myeloma, a rare and incurable blood cancer. He's already lived a year longer than most with this disease, perhaps because he's a former marine. But it's because he's a former marine that he got the cancer in the first place.

"Whoever thought you just drank the water and it happened to you," wonders Buckley.

Back in 1985, Buckley was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He spent his final months of service there before coming home.

Five years ago, he married his wife, Sue, but just six months later he was in the hospital, diagnosed with stage four cancer.

The doctors told him it was from exposure to toxic chemicals.

"I never did any of that stuff, I had no risk factors for that," said Buckley.

It wasn't until Buckley's sister sent him an article about cancer rates among marines from Camp Lejeune that the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. Buckley remembered his barracks were right next to a fuel farm that was later found to have leaking tanks.

Buckley launched a four year battle with the government to declare his cancer "service related." This past week, he received a letter from the government stating just that. Buckley's wife Sue was shocked.

"In the back of my head I thought it's never going to happen," she said. "They're never going to say it, there's too much at stake, there were so many people there."

Buckley isn't alone.

Peter Devereaux of North Andover is one of dozens of former marines with breast cancer attributed to the water at Camp Lejeune.

Buckley, who is now in remission, hopes his case will help get benefits for all marines who served their country only to end up with cancer.

"There's no more saying it didn't happen," he said. "It did happen; you (the government) said it happened. You're admitting it."

The designation that Buckley's cancer is service related means he now qualifies for full disability benefits, like a monthly stipend and health insurance. And, despite his preexisting condition, he will also get life insurance to help his wife.


One of the links in the story led me to "The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, which is chock-full of resources about this issue. There is quite a story behind it, parts of which I'll excerpt below.


The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is currently studying the effects of toxic exposure upon former residents of Camp Lejeune. Two separate water distribution systems aboard Camp Lejeune were found to be contaminated, the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water distribution systems. ATSDR has completed the water modeling for the Tarawa Terrace water distribution system and has determined the system was contaminated from June 1957 until 1 March 1987. The ATSDR water modeling for the Hadnot Point water distribution system is underway but has not been completed. Therefore, the beginning date of the contamination has not been determined for any of those areas that were historically served by the Hadnot Point water distribution system...

Historically, Midway Park, Berkeley Manor, and Paradise Point housing areas received their finished tap water from the Hadnot Point water system prior to 1972. After that date, these areas received their water from the Holcomb Boulevard water distribution system. Hospital Point and Hadnot Point (Main side) to include French creek received their finished water from the Hadnot Point water distribution system up until the contaminated wells were taken offline, contaminated water for these areas ceased in February of 1985. However, beginning 27 January 1985 through 4 February 1985, the Holcomb Boulevard water treatment plant was taken off line due to a generator fuel spill in the water system. Water was rerouted from the Hadnot Point water distribution system in order to supply water to Midway Park, Berkeley Manor, Paradise Point, and Watkins Village. The water furnished to these areas during the 9 day period was highly contaminated with VOCs.

Jerry's daughter Janey was one of 12,598 children conceived and or born aboard the base from 1968-1985 who are under study by ATSDR for adverse health effects from their exposure to the contaminated water. Janey was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 6 and died at the age of 9 from the disease. Jerry has been involved in uncovering the truth at Camp Lejeune ever since he discovered that he and his family were exposed to the chemicals at the base 12 years after Janey's death. The water provided by the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point distribution systems was highly contaminated with various chemicals, including the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) known as PCE (Tetrachloroethylene aka Perchloroethylene), TCE (Trichloroethylene), DCE (Dichloroethylene), Vinyl Chloride and BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene).These chemicals are either known or suspected human carcinogens. Many Marines, Sailors, their families and loyal civilian employees have been affected by the contamination in various ways including, but not limited to: liver cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, non Hodgkins lymphoma, liver disease, miscarriages, birth defects (cleft palate, heart defects, Choanal atresia, neural tube defects, low birth weight, and small for gestational age),etc. Unfortunately, many of these families still have not been notified by the USMC of the danger from their exposure. In 1987 Camp Lejeune was recommended for listing as a Superfund site on the National Priorities List (NPL) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Camp Lejeune was officially listed as a Superfund site in 1989.


While we'd all love to be able to blame Halliburton or KBR for this one, we probably can't. The ongoing issues are old enough to predate the mercenary/outsource era. Uncle Sam did the dirty work here. What that means, of course....there was a cover up.


The National Research Council released a controversial report in June that said science could not link polluted water at Camp Lejeune to illnesses suffered by thousands of residents who lived on the Marine Corps base. The NRC, an arm of the nonprofit National Academies of Science that often advises government agencies, said no further study would prove such a link. The Corps, under fire from veterans and family who say the water sickened them, sent news of the report to the 145,000 people on a health registry of former residents of the North Carolina base. But there was something the Marine Corps didn't reveal. It had quietly negotiated a $600,000 contract with the NRC in the months before the report's release, an agreement finalized on May 1. It called for the NRC to provide ongoing consultation on water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Federal scientists and critics of the Marine Corps say the contract, obtained by the St. Petersburg Times on Friday, is a blatant conflict of interest, and some critics say it calls into question the accuracy of an NRC report that already has been criticized by some scientists. "They've beaten us to death with the NRC report and pulled the wool over everybody's eyes," said Mike Partain, a Tallahassee resident who was born at Camp Lejeune in 1968 and was later diagnosed with a rare breast cancer he thinks is linked to bad water. "The NRC report smelled rotten," he said, "and now we have a deal that smells even worse."

News of the contract is even causing anger at the usually staid Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the federal office spearheading health research at the base. The ATSDR says drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated for 30 years ending in 1987 by industrial solvents that are suspected carcinogens. The Marine Corps didn't tell the ATSDR about the contract either, documents show. "The direct funding of peer review by the agency responsible for contaminating the Camp Lejeune drinking water creates a perceived conflict of interest unacceptable to the community of veterans and their families exposed" to the water, wrote Thomas Sinks, a deputy director of the ATSDR, in a recent letter to the Corps and Navy.

A spokesman for the Corps, Capt. Brian Block, said the contract was part of its continuing relationship with the NRC and will aid the Corps' efforts to better understand the potential health effects of polluted water. The Corps refused to discuss charges that the contract is a conflict of interest and denies that it misled anyone about its existence. "This contract does not impact the Marine Corps willingness or ability to support the ATSDR's ongoing efforts," Block said in an e-mail. He said the deal only "proposed that (the NRC) provide us advice," Block said. Jennifer Walsh, a spokeswoman for the NRC, declined to comment about criticisms of the report or charges about a conflict of interest.



I've already linked one website, but here is another dedicated to this issue...please take some time to check this out.

www.watersurvivors.com

60 comments (Latest Comment: 03/24/2010 01:52:25 by livingonli)
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Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 12:42:04
Morning all.. aaaaand First!

Comment by BobR on 03/23/2010 12:51:28
This kind of sloppy disreagrd for the health of the soldiers seems to be endemic to the military. That's very discouraging.

Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 13:06:20
Highly disturbing story this morning, Tri.

Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 13:07:10
I have a brief, personal review of healthcare reform.



1. Javier won't be denied for new coverage because of his asthma.



2. Mrs. TriSec won't be denied for new coverage because of her ongoing kidney and uterine issues.



3. I won't have to drop COBRA, but if I do, I'll be able to get new insurance without having to be employed...and we'll likely qualify for the new tax credits.



4. Papa TriSec will be able to afford more diabetes medicine without the donut hole.



5. Mama TriSec will be able to afford more COPD medicine without the donut hole.





And the Republicans immediately want to repeal all that. What is their plan going to do for me? Let's review.



I'll lose my insurance when my COBRA runs out in a couple of months.



We won't be able to get coverage for Javier or Mrs TriSec when I do get a job with benefits again.



Mama and Papa Trisec will continue to struggle to pay for life-giving drugs. (To the point where Mama TriSec was begging her doctor for samples and turned down the heat last winter to save a few bucks so she could buy another bottle of pills. Papa TriSec is better at this, but he's still working. We will carry him feet-first off a bandstand one day.)



It's not single-payor....there's no public option....but once the public really understands and starts to reap the benefits, there will be no going back. No matter what the Republicans try.



Now would be the time for that "nuclear option" everyone has been talking about. But the rules should be changed so that they are forced to actually filibuster. No more idle threats. You want to block or repeal things, tell the world why, punks.





Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 13:07:19
Oh It looked more like hundreds of thousands of people on the mall.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/23/2010 13:08:51
Morning

Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 13:09:47
Got a picture story to tell here.. these are kinda large so I'm gonna post em as links:



#1

#2

#3



And finally #4 in which our intrepid hero reveals all to the misguided young man.

Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 13:23:18
The first bill will be signed live at Whitehouse.gov/live today

Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 13:23:56
Why, I think I may pen my first email to our Junior Senator.



Dear anti-child and anti-family hypocrite:



So tell me, you want to repeal? I will then send all my wife's and son's medical bills to your office to reimbursement, since removing the pre-existing clause from healthcare reform will doom both of them to an uninsured life. I'd like to know personally from you what you have against my family?





Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 13:30:40
Quote by Scoopster:

Got a picture story to tell here.. these are kinda large so I'm gonna post em as links:



#1

#2

#3



And finally #4 in which our intrepid hero reveals all to the misguided young man.
Nice!



There are so many people so willfully misinformed.



Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 13:31:36
Quote by TriSec:

Why, I think I may pen my first email to our Junior Senator.



Dear anti-child and anti-family hypocrite:



So tell me, you want to repeal? I will then send all my wife's and son's medical bills to your office to reimbursement, since removing the pre-existing clause from healthcare reform will doom both of them to an uninsured life. I'd like to know personally from you what you have against my family?



It would be interesting if you sent copies of those bill (with the vital information blacked out, of course) with that letter.







Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 14:07:29
That could prove amusing. I know we paid about $2,000 out-of-pocket last year on prescriptions alone. And that was just the copays.



I'm glad to hear Keith back on the podcast, BTW. This sure can't be easy to get back on the horse.

Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 14:11:13
Well, they're not wasting any time. I just Googled "Senator Scott Brown". This was top of the list:





Senator scott brown·www.eBay.comBing cashback

Buy Senator scott brown. You may get 8% off with PayPal if eligible.





Comment by Will in Chicago on 03/23/2010 14:18:27
Good morning, bloggers!! I hope that everyone is well.



TriSec, you had a very interesting and disturbing post today. It seems that we have a problem in our military admitting to their mistakes. My hope is that we will see some justice for those who have suffered from this horrific poisoning.



I think that we will see reconciliation pass, but I do agree that we should have a full old fashioned filibuster if the Republicans try to block the bill. Let the facts come out. So far, it looks like the GOP may have put themselves into a position to be shown as obstructionists who do not propose any ideas. (The GOP addressed nothing about health care during the Bush era, save to forbid negotiations over drug prices.)

Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 14:27:24
Quote by TriSec:

Well, they're not wasting any time. I just Googled "Senator Scott Brown". This was top of the list:



Senator scott brown·www.eBay.comBing cashback

Buy Senator scott brown. You may get 8% off with PayPal if eligible.







Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 14:51:29
Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 14:53:12
Curious thing...our junior senator doesn't seem to have an email address or feedback form setup yet. (Probably not his fault, but he took over Senator Kennedy's office and staff...they can't set this up in 2 minutes?)



Looks like I'll have to accost him via parcel post.





Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 15:09:22
Fuglesang and Hal Sparks on the live stream!

Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 15:13:44
Heeeere we go!

Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 15:16:21
Say, do we have insurance yet?



Here's hoping somebody's head explodes in the Senate. I don't care who; just as long as there's an "R" after their name.



I really wonder how they sleep at night.

Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 15:27:21
Watching the Signing ceremony!

Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 15:30:02


Comment by livingonli on 03/23/2010 15:30:30
Good morning all. I wouldn't mind seeing some GOPers heads explode to. I wish their noses would grow if they lied like Pinocchio.





I hear Randi is going to talk about the Hannity Freedom Works scam today. I really wish that story would start getting some traction outside the internet.

Comment by livingonli on 03/23/2010 15:32:42
Today my cable system started dual mapping the HD channels on the HD boxes so that the HD equivalent of the SD channel is also on the lower number (except for The Weather Channel because of the local forcast) and right now I can't get MSNBC.

Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 15:34:25
Quote by TriSec:

Say, do we have insurance yet?



Here's hoping somebody's head explodes in the Senate. I don't care who; just as long as there's an "R" after their name.



I really wonder how they sleep at night.
they are still trying to force the reconciliation bill back to the House.







Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 15:40:33
Quote by Scoopster:





Comment by clintster on 03/23/2010 15:47:27
Apropos of nothing...



Curious George's origin was inspired by Nazi Germany.



(actually it's a pretty cool story)

Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 15:51:55
Damn allergies...







Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 15:52:37


Comment by livingonli on 03/23/2010 15:54:10
OK, MSNBC's back.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/23/2010 15:56:48
Quote by Raine:

Quote by Scoopster:













Comment by Will in Chicago on 03/23/2010 15:57:42
Health Care Reform is now the law of the land. There will be changes, but I think that this will be a major victory for this President and hopefully the beginning of meaningful health care improvements in this country. (We still have a lot of work to do.)



In the mean time, can we start suggesting places in Costa Rica for Rush Limbaugh to move to soon?

Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 16:01:12
Say, I had an idle thought.



Since I lost the election to school committee last year, I've been paying rather close attention to what's going on, although not directly attending the meetings.



Last night, we were at City Hall for a Scout function, and I ran into a couple of old friends from the campaign trail. (Both of whom were elected to the council.) We talked a bit about what's going on. I won't bore you with local issues, but let's just say the school department leadership is on the verge of collapse.



In any case, remember how we wished the opposition would form a "shadow government" back in the day? And how President-elect Obama was the Virtual president at the end of 2008?



Methinks I'll dust off my blog and revamp my facebook stuff and start acting like a shadow School Committee. I am planning on running again in 2011; this will help to keep me in the public eye.



And it also means a return to FB, where I've not been in weeks now.



<-- Churchillian "v for victory"



Comment by Scoopster on 03/23/2010 16:03:10
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

Quote by Scoopster:









Comment by livingonli on 03/23/2010 16:04:48
Whenever I hear Boehner's name mentioned, I have to say "Boner". I almost with the media would do what Momma does.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/23/2010 16:07:21
Quote by Will in Chicago:

Health Care Reform is now the law of the land. There will be changes, but I think that this will be a major victory for this President and hopefully the beginning of meaningful health care improvements in this country. (We still have a lot of work to do.)



In the mean time, can we start suggesting places in Costa Rica for Rush Limbaugh to move to soon?




Hell, I'm still waiting for Sean Hannity to be waterboarded.



Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 16:08:20
Quote by Will in Chicago:

Health Care Reform is now the law of the land. There will be changes, but I think that this will be a major victory for this President and hopefully the beginning of meaningful health care improvements in this country. (We still have a lot of work to do.)



In the mean time, can we start suggesting places in Costa Rica for Rush Limbaugh to move to soon?


off to reconciliation and beyond!



I got to see so many of the faces in that room on Sunday. I have a whole new respect for many of them.







Comment by wickedpam on 03/23/2010 16:11:26
he dumbass, the reason I have insurance through my company is because with preexisting condition I wouldn't be able to get it..... until now that is

Comment by Will in Chicago on 03/23/2010 16:11:36
Quote by Raine:

Quote by Will in Chicago:

Health Care Reform is now the law of the land. There will be changes, but I think that this will be a major victory for this President and hopefully the beginning of meaningful health care improvements in this country. (We still have a lot of work to do.)



In the mean time, can we start suggesting places in Costa Rica for Rush Limbaugh to move to soon?


off to reconciliation and beyond!



I got to see so many of the faces in that room on Sunday. I have a whole new respect for many of them.









In the mean time, we will see the pundits on the right work themselves into a frenzy. I just hope that their followers are not inspired to further acts of rudeness or violence.







Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 16:17:32
Would it be wrong to send this to Jim Demint?





Comment by TriSec on 03/23/2010 16:19:12
I predict the newest right-wing talking point to surface quickly. There's obviously no coincidence in the President signing the healthcare bill into law today. After all, look what else happened:



Mar 23, 1919:

Mussolini founds the Fascist party



Benito Mussolini, an Italian World War I veteran and publisher of Socialist newspapers, breaks with the Italian Socialists and establishes the nationalist Fasci di Combattimento, named after the Italian peasant revolutionaries, or "Fighting Bands," from the 19th century. Commonly known as the Fascist Party, Mussolini's new right-wing organization advocated Italian nationalism, had black shirts for uniforms, and launched a program of terrorism and intimidation against its leftist opponents.



In October 1922, Mussolini led the Fascists on a march on Rome, and King Emmanuel III, who had little faith in Italy's parliamentary government, asked Mussolini to form a new government. Initially, Mussolini, who was appointed prime minister at the head of a three-member Fascist cabinet, cooperated with the Italian parliament, but aided by his brutal police organization he soon became the effective dictator of Italy. In 1924, a Socialist backlash was suppressed, and in January 1925 a Fascist state was officially proclaimed, with Mussolini as Il Duce, or "The Leader."



Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 16:27:56
Can someone try to explain this?



The Party that complains about frivolous lawsuits are about to embark on non-stop frivolous lawsuits?



GOP state leaders vow to fight health-care legislation

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/23/2010 16:31:12
Quote by TriSec:

Why, I think I may pen my first email to our Junior Senator.



Dear anti-child and anti-family hypocrite:



So tell me, you want to repeal? I will then send all my wife's and son's medical bills to your office to reimbursement, since removing the pre-existing clause from healthcare reform will doom both of them to an uninsured life. I'd like to know personally from you what you have against my family?







Let them "repeal". Obama would veto it and without 2/3 in the House and Senate it goes nowhere.



I don't think it's possible for the R's to get a 2/3 Senate majority in 2010 no matter what (unless you count the Blow Dogs). In that case, they'd probably just impeach Obama first, then work on Biden.



At least I think Obama would veto it.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/23/2010 16:36:01
Quote by TriSec:

Say, do we have insurance yet?



Here's hoping somebody's head explodes in the Senate. I don't care who; just as long as there's an "R" after their name.



I really wonder how they sleep at night.




A certain "Independent Democrat" would go to the top of my list of asplodable Senate heads.



It is nice not to have to hear Holy Joe's disgusting yap. I think we ceased to hear him the day Scott Brown took office.

Comment by livingonli on 03/23/2010 16:36:40
Quote by Raine:

Can someone try to explain this?



The Party that complains about frivolous lawsuits are about to embark on non-stop frivolous lawsuits?



GOP state leaders vow to fight health-care legislation


I smell what could be another attempt by Roberts and the Fascist 5 to practice judicial activism.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/23/2010 16:45:13
Howdy all. What you are all surprised that there are cancer clusters on a base of the United States Marines? I'm not. It is a not so dirty secret that the military has been one of the biggest polluters of ground water in the country. Here are some goodies from the EPA Superfund website (I'm only including the states where we have bloggers):



Otis ANG AvGas



Test Lab at Otis ANG



Railyard Fuel Pump Station, Otis ANG (This one is on the National Priority List)



Wow there are too many to list seperately in RI!



Fort Drum



Griffis AFB. oh it's a NPL site



Look under "fort" cause there are a bunch of them in VA.



Langley AFB, VA



Virgina is just a taste, I didn't even get to all the stuff the Navy has in Norfolk.



The afore mentioned Camp Lejune. It's a NPL site. Just for grins, the list of "contaminates of concern" at Camp Lejune.





Comment by Mondobubba on 03/23/2010 16:46:48
Quote by Raine:

Would it be wrong to send this to Jim Demint?







Not at all!

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/23/2010 16:57:15
Limbaugh "clarifies" his pledge to move to Costa Rica



Gee, whoever thought Oxy-boy would lie?

Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 17:59:06
Quote by livingonli:

Quote by Raine:

Can someone try to explain this?



The Party that complains about frivolous lawsuits are about to embark on non-stop frivolous lawsuits?



GOP state leaders vow to fight health-care legislation


I smell what could be another attempt by Roberts and the Fascist 5 to practice judicial activism.




I really do not believe it will get that far. They hypocrisy tho -- has no limits.



Comment by Raine on 03/23/2010 18:00:55
The fact that they would try to repeal the law of the land by going OUTSIDE the lawmaking branch of the USA is telling.



They want Tort reform for everyone but themselves.