Chicago Police Routinely Trampled on Civil Rights


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14chicago-02-master768Justice Department report rips Chicago police for excessive force, lax discipline, bad training

A damning U.S. Department of Justice report released Friday morning excoriates the Chicago Police Department for failing to discipline officers who too often resort to force, including shootings.

The failure to effectively investigate officers’ use of force or discipline police “has helped create a culture in which officers expect to use force and not be questioned about the need for or propriety of that use,” the Justice Department said.

Although the vast majority of the report was critical of the police, it also suggested that officers were victims of a sort – desperate for change but poorly served by a lack of training that often put them

The 164-page report paints a picture of a broken department where officers have disproportionately used force against African-Americans and Hispanics. Officers have rarely faced consequences, as the city’s famously ineffective oversight authorities have done cursory investigations biased in favor of officers, the report states.

In response to the investigation, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed to enter a court-enforced pact with the Justice Department on reforms, federal authorities announced. The report lauds some of the changes Emanuel has made to policing in recent months but cautions that further reforms are needed and change is unlikely to last without outside monitoring.

The report is the product of a federal investigation launched more than a year ago amid the fallout over the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white officer. As expected, the Justice Department found that the department systematically violates the rights of citizens.

At a morning news conference at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Police Department’s pattern of excessive force “is in no small part the result of severely deficient training procedures and accountability systems.”

“CPD does not give its officers the training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and lawfully,” Lynch said. “It fails to properly collect and analyze data, including data on misconduct complaints and training deficiencies, and it does not adequately review use-of-force incidents to determine whether force was appropriate or lawful or whether the use of force could’ve been avoided altogether.”

All of these issues have led to “low officer morale and erosion of officer accountability,” she said.

The report found that police routinely use poor practices that result in their resorting to unnecessary force. The Justice Department was particularly critical of foot pursuits by officers, saying they too often end with unarmed individuals being shot, and also found officers shoot at vehicles without justification.

“We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous,” the report said.

It called the city’s disciplinary process “deeply flawed.”

One of the report’s key findings echoes a contention that black and Hispanic Chicagoans have made for decades — that police unfairly target minorities. The report says DOJ investigators had “serious concerns about the prevalence of racially discriminatory conduct by some CPD officers.”

Ben Bradley


ATTORNEY GENERAL: Chicago police engaged in a “pattern or practice of use of excessive force.”

Statistics cited by the DOJ show that CPD has used force almost 10 times more often against blacks than against whites, and the report focuses particular attention on the department’s failure to responsibly investigate use of force.

The city’s investigators have failed to reconcile clashing accounts of shootings among officers, ignored evidence of misconduct and reached findings based on readings of the facts that were biased toward police.

The report cites a pervasive “code of silence” that leads officers to lie to protect themselves and their colleagues. Disciplinary authorities, in turn, have rarely pressed cases against officers who lied, even when their statements were contradicted by video.

Chicago police must show “communities racked with violence that their police force cares about them and has not abandoned them, regardless of where they live or the color of their skin,” the report states.

“That confidence is broken in many neighborhoods in Chicago,” the report says.

DOJ officials said that Chicago police have shot people who posed no threat and Tasered people who simply didn’t follow verbal commands. The report criticizes use-of-force training at the city’s academy, noting that DOJ investigators observed a training video that had been made decades before and “was inconsistent with both current law and CPD’s own policies.”

Further, when officials spoke to recent graduates from the academy, only one in six “came close to properly articulating the legal standard for use of force.”

The report’s release marks a landmark for the country’s second-largest local police department and one of the last acts of President Barack Obama‘s Justice Department.

Under Obama, the agency was unusually active in intervening in troubled police departments at a time when police shootings of African-Americans — some recorded on video and shared worldwide — spurred heated protests.

But the report also lands as serious questions loom about the future of police reform in Chicago and nationwide. President-elect Donald Trump has supported aggressive law enforcement, and his nominee for attorney general, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, has criticized consent decrees, a key federal tool for forcing compliance in troubled departments.

Local activists and lawyers have voiced fears that Emanuel’s resolve to change policing will wane if Trump’s Justice Department relaxes its stance, but the mayor has said he’s committed to improving the 12,000-strong police force. During the 13-month investigation, Emanuel pressed changes in line with reforms that federal authorities have tended to seek in other departments: tightening use-of-force policies and stepping up training and discipline.

The report’s release answered a key lingering question as to whether Emanuel would agree to formal court supervision of reforms. In her statement Friday morning, Lynch announced that the city had signed an agreement to work with federal officials on a consent decree, to be filed in federal court. An independent monitor also will be appointed to oversee the process.

Such an agreement is standard but critical in the process to reform police departments, according to policing experts. As recently as Thursday, Emanuel had avoided saying whether the city would enter a consent decree.

As he has started overhauling the department, the mayor has faced criticism from activists and civil rights attorneys, in part because his plans have left much control with City Hall. Emanuel’s reforms remain unfinished, and last week the top department official assigned to oversee departmental reforms quit after six months on the job to become police chief in Oakland, Calif.

The DOJ report includes criticisms of some of the changes Emanuel has made so far. Emanuel has widely expanded the department’s stock of Tasers — devices that deliver a debilitating electrical shock — but the report says the department cycled large numbers of officers through the training program too quickly, “without proper curriculum, staff or equipment.”

“This left many officers who completed the training uncomfortable with how to use Tasers effectively as a less-lethal force option — the very skill the training was supposed to teach,” the report says.

ct-justice-department-investigation-20170113 – Photo: U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, from left; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; and Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson hold a news conference Jan. 13, 2017, on the Justice Department’s findings from an investigation of the Chicago Police Department.

The mayor is also contending with rampant gun violence on the South and West sides, which some blame on police scaling back activity to avoid controversies. Chicago had 762 homicides in 2016, the most in two decades.

Fighting violent crime in the city’s most violent neighborhood, the report found, will depend on building trust between police and residents.

“Trust and effectiveness in combating violent crime are inextricably intertwined,” the report found.

The report also confirmed that the department’s police generally suffer low morale, and it states that many officers are hungry for change. Improving morale could lead to more “effective, ethical and active policing,” the report says.

The report closes one chapter of a saga that started with the release of police dashboard camera video of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times in October 2014. The city fought for more than a year to avoid releasing the video — even as it agreed to pay $5 million to McDonald’s family before a lawsuit was even filed.

The video’s release in November 2015 sparked furious protests over its graphic images. The department’s handling of the case added to the controversy as several officers gave reports and accounts indicating McDonald had menaced or attacked Van Dyke with a knife. That clashed with the video showing McDonald moving away from officers. In addition, commanding officers promptly signed off on the reports and initially ruled the shooting justified.

Just after the video’s release, Emanuel fired then-police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her bid for re-election last year after criticism for failing to charge Van Dyke with murder until it became clear the video would become public.

McDonald’s death brought cries for policing reform to a head in Chicago, but discontent with the city’s police reaches back decades, particularly among African-Americans, many of whom have had run-ins with police they found to be disrespectful or aggressive.

Lynch announced the investigation into the department in December 2015, but Emanuel jumped ahead of her agency by commissioning his own report from his hand-picked panel, the Police Accountability Task Force. In April that panel released a report accusing the department of racial bias that has hurt African-Americans and calling for reforms in police discipline, among other areas.

Ongoing Department of Justice investigations and enforcement

doj-mapNote: There are two ongoing investigations in Orange County, Calif. The DOJ is enforcing two agreements on Maricopa County, Ariz., a consent decree and a post-judgment order. Sources: Department of Justice and Tribune reporting.

Before the McDonald scandal broke, the city had almost never ruled a shooting by an officer unjustified, and Tribune investigations have shown that the city agency responsible for looking into uses of force and alleged police misconduct, the Independent Police Review Authority, has been slow and prone to clearing officers, even in cases in which evidence suggested wrongdoing.

Emanuel moved to abolish the agency, which will be replaced later this year by an office slated to have a bigger staff and a broader mandate to conduct investigations.

The Police Department previously provided little training to officers beyond the academy, but the agency has recently rolled out new instruction on defusing tense situations and dealing with the mentally ill.

Meanwhile, the department is finalizing new use-of-force rules that could limit situations in which officers can shoot people, among other changes. The city plans to equip officers citywide with body cameras by the end of 2017.

The Police Department’s history has been marked by frequent uses of force that stirred public outrage, and the Justice Department’s report cites specific cases, including last summer’s fatal shooting of African-American 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.

Image result for Paul O'Neal crashed into multiple police vehicles in a stolen Jaguar convertible in July in the South Shore neighborhood

O’Neal crashed into multiple police vehicles in a stolen Jaguar convertible in July in the South Shore neighborhood, and harrowing police video shot by dashboard and body cameras showed a chaotic police response rife with apparent tactical blunders. Officers fired repeatedly at the Jaguar as it sped away from them; department policy specifically bans shooting at a car when it is the lone threat, and officers shooting into cars have been a recurring problem for the department.

O’Neal ran from the Jaguar into a backyard, where an officer shot him to death. The officer who fired in the backyard said he thought O’Neal might have been shooting at him from the speeding car, when it was in fact his police colleagues who had been shooting. The officer said he shot at O’Neal despite not knowing whether he was armed or not. O’Neal was unarmed.

Three officers who fired their guns were stripped of their police powers shortly after the shooting, and the city’s investigation is ongoing.

The report also confirms as true a story often told about Chicago police — that they take gang members into rival territory to threaten them into cooperating.

In finding that officers generally use unlawful means to get information, the report found:

“CPD will take a young person to a rival gang neighborhood, and either leave the person there, or display the youth to rival members, immediately putting the life of that young person in jeopardy by suggesting he has provided information to the police. Our investigation indicates that these practices in fact exist and significantly jeopardize CPD’s relationship with the community.”

Read the Department of Justice report on Chicago police:

Department of Justice findings on Chicago Police Department

An investigation commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice in the wake of the fatal Shooting of Laquan McDonald has found the Chicago Police Department abuses citizens, uses excessive force and treats minorities unfairly.

Read more about the report here.

A two-page “fact sheet” summary of the DOJ’s findings can be read here.








  1. Former CPD Supt McCarthy on not being interview for DOJ report: “With all the resources of their investigation, they can’t find me?”


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What the Paul O’Neal videos show – Chicago Tribune




Will Trump Negate Obama’s Science Legacy?


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obama-quote-brain-initiative-eyewireWill Obama’s science policy accomplishments survive? A Q&A with outgoing science adviser John Holdren

In the eight years that John P. Holdren has been White House science adviser—longer than anyone else has held the job—the U.S. signed a climate accord 20 years in the making, began regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant and embarked on an ambitious research effort to understand how the human brain works.

Will these and other accomplishments survive the administration of Donald J. Trump, who will become the 45th president of the United States on January 20?

To find out, Holdren was interviewed at the White House on December 14. As director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Holdren has been involved in just about every major decision the Obama administration has made regarding science and energy policy. Although he would not speculate on what the incoming Trump administration might do or comment on the transition, he talked about the future of U.S. science policy and the Obama administration’s record of the past eight years.

ostpHoldren is optimistic that progress on climate will not be undone—even if the U.S. winds up ceding leadership on the issue to China. We also discussed the prospects for continued progress on brain science, a Mars mission, carbon-capture-and-storage technology and the administration’s mixed record on transparency, among other topics. Here are excerpts:

Transcript of the interview follows:

Let’s talk about climate. Before the election you told Nature magazine, our sister publication, that you were optimistic that regulations put in place by the Obama administration would stay in place. Are you still optimistic?

What I’m most optimistic about is that progress is being driven by fundamental forces that are independent of government policy. One is the growing evidence of damage from climate change that people are experiencing all around the world. People are getting it.

The cost of dealing with [climate] is also declining. Renewables have gotten extraordinarily cheap, which is one of the reasons we have 30 times more electricity generation from photovoltaics today than we did in 2008, the reason we have almost three and a half times wind generation than we did in 2008, the reason natural gas has replaced a substantial amount of our coal-fired electricity generation. It’s not regulation. These alternatives are attractive economically. They’re being embraced.

We’re going to see continued action all around the world, and this is not just understood in the United States. It’s understood in China. You may have noticed that the Chinese deputy foreign minister said at [recent climate talks in] Marrakesh, “China’s not doing this because somebody asked us to. We’re doing it because we want to, because we know we need to.” I’ve been going to China since 1984, meeting with Chinese leaders the whole time. I have seen the transformation in the understanding of Chinese leaders about the reality of climate change, the damage it’s already doing in China. Absolutely no question that they are sincere in their efforts, in their desire to address climate change

brain-initiative_partnersIf the United States were to step back from its leadership position in climate change, China would happily assume the mantle. We should want to stay in the leadership of the global battle against climate change.

What would it look like to have China take the lead on climate?

China has obviously been increasingly trying to position itself as a leader in everything. This would be one more domain. They’re ramping up their efforts in trade agreements in the region. They are ramping up their efforts in industrial technology and innovation. They want to become leaders in innovation. They want to become leaders in science. They’ll take the leadership in everything that they can get, and you can’t blame them. China is a great nation. They want to be a greater nation. We’re a great nation. We want to be a greater nation. We should not be voluntarily surrendering leadership in the matter of major global challenges.

brain_whitehouse-meeting_april2013Why would this matter for most people in the United States?
I don’t think it matters to most people. It does matter to people who follow international affairs and people who make decisions on behalf of government because alignments change, allegiances change—ultimately, maybe alliances change with leadership on major global issues.

From the standpoint of climate change, coal is the last fuel we should turn to. The president-elect promised during the campaign to bring coal back. How do you reconcile this?
Coal is certainly the worst of the conventional fossil fuels in the amount of carbon dioxide it releases per unit of energy that it provides. What we’ve seen is a decline in coal not just because people are worried about CO2. We’ve seen a decline in coal because coal-fired power plants are more expensive than [natural] gas–fired power plants and, increasingly, even economically uncompetitive versus the renewables. So you’re seeing renewables and natural gas cut into coal, and you get a side benefit because coal’s conventional pollutants are quite nasty—particulate pollution, oxides of sulfur, mercury and so on.

Wouldn’t coal plants be more economical if regulations were loosened?
They would be less expensive if you didn’t have to control the particulate matter, and the sulfur oxide and so on. No question about it. But they would still be more expensive than natural gas plants because it is just more complicated to burn coal. It’s just a nasty, difficult fuel.

But of course, the cost of containing the conventional pollution from coal-fired power plants adds to the total cost, and I don’t think anyone who has ever breathed the air in Beijing would recommend backing off of those regulations in the United States. Americans do value clean air. I don’t think anybody would want to walk that back.

For the long-term future of coal, the prospects rest in development of technology to capture and sequester away from the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that coal-burning power plants would otherwise release.

What is the status of “carbon-capture-and-storage” technology. Is it viable?
It’s not economic today. Again, coal-fired power plants are already not competitive in many parts of the country. That’s why you see states like Texas building lots of windmills. If you had to capture and sequester the carbon, they’d be even less competitive. Right now, the technologies that have been demonstrated for doing that would probably increase the cost of generation at the power plant in the range of 30 to 60 percent.

We should be interested ultimately in carbon capture and sequestration for natural gas plants as well. Although [natural gas] is much less polluting than coal, it’s still too polluting for the low-carbon future that we need to bring the consequences of climate change under some degree of control.

carbon-capture-and-storageHave we been investing enough in research on carbon-capture-and-storage technology?
We should be spending three to four times as much on energy research and development overall as we’ve been spending. Every major study of energy R&D in relation to the magnitude of the challenges, the size of the opportunities, the important possibilities that we’re not pursuing for lack of money, concludes that we should be spending much more. That’s part of the motivation behind the Mission Innovation initiative that Pres. Obama, with 19 other leaders, launched at the beginning of the Paris conference, in which these 20 countries committed to double their investments in clean energy R&D over the next five years.

You also told Nature back in July that the Obama administration had been scaling back on human spaceflight to revitalize planetary science, robotic missions and the like.
Well, that’s not quite what I said. When we came into office, we were confronted with a situation where the cost of a particular human space exploration program, the Constellation program that our predecessors had put into place, was basically siphoning money out of all of the other missions that NASA has responsibility for. Earth observations were suffering, robotic missions were suffering, space telescopes were suffering, aeronautics was suffering.

The Augustine Committee report found the Constellation program per se—not human exploration but the Constellation program—to be unexecutable. It could not do what it was supposed to do in terms of delivering capabilities on any reasonable timescale. It was many years behind schedule. It was three to four times over budget.

We extended the International Space Station program, which is an extremely important test bed for both science and technology related to human space exploration. Under the previous plan the International Space Station would have been crashed into the ocean in 2016, this year, in order to pay for a rocket whose principal mission was to take astronauts to the International Space Station.

We didn’t step back from the goal of human space exploration but we said we’re not going to get there on this path because it’s unaffordable. That led to a big negotiation with Congress in which we ended up putting more money into big rockets and multipurpose crew capsules than we had wanted at the time—less money than Congress wanted, but [we put] more money into Earth observation advanced technology.

Why did we abandon the goal of building a moon base?
It was the Augustine Commission’s vision and our vision that the next important goal is Mars and not going back to the surface of the moon. This was very controversial with many members of Congress who think we have to go back to the surface of the moon. The Chinese are going to get there. Indians are going to get there. To which my answer was, “When the Chinese get there, I’ll congratulate them for getting them 50 years after we did.”

The other thing is, going back to the surface of the moon and setting up a base there, which some people in Congress want to do, would cost between $60 billion and $80 billion.

But wouldn’t the moon have been a stepping-stone to Mars?
No. You have to pay to get out of the moon’s gravity if you’re on the surface of the moon, and that makes it much harder to send a lot of stuff to Mars than sending it from one of the Lagrangian points, for example. So [the Augustine Commission] recommended that we set up operations in the vicinity of the moon, and that’s what we have proposed to do. [We’re doing that] as part of the Asteroid Redirect Mission, where we set up operation in a stable orbit in the vicinity to the moon and we bring a big chunk of an asteroid there for astronauts to examine and manipulate. And in the process, by the way, we learn some things about how to affect the trajectories of asteroids that might be helpful someday when we need to prove we’re smarter than the dinosaurs because a big asteroid is on a collision course.

That’s not going to be easy.
It’s not going to be easy, but it is a much more important thing to do than going back 50 years later and doing something we did before. It’s a new capability.

Why not outsource NASA’s Mars program to Elon Musk?
We are outsourcing to Elon Musk and other private operators that transport our cargo and astronauts to low Earth orbit. If Elon Musk develops capabilities that are attractive in respect to going to Mars, we’ll partner with Elon Musk. Mars is much too big a project for individual countries to be competing with each other to do it—and similarly, it’s too big a project for the government and the private sector to be competing to do it. Going to Mars is going to be a partnership.

We’ve had a great run of solar system probes—Cassini, New Horizons, etcetera—but they are getting long in the tooth and there aren’t a lot of new probes coming up behind them.
There are a few more. They’re not the biggest flagship missions coming along, because the money’s not there. The way I described NASA when I came into office is that NASA is 20 pounds of programs in a 10-pound budget, and fundamentally what we are asking NASA to do is a lot. Again, they’ve got aeronautics, for heaven’s sake—it’s still in their name, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

How do we fix that?
We have been fiscally too conservative. This country could afford a bigger NASA budget to meet our aspirations. We should have had it, but we couldn’t get it out of the Congress. The Augustine Commission said that the human space exploration program we need would require about a $3-billion-a-year increase in the NASA budget—not to continue Constellation but to do a sensible set of things. It wasn’t forthcoming. So we crafted the best program we could craft for a billion extra a year, which is what we had reason to believe we could get out of the Congress. We haven’t in the end even gotten that, so NASA is squeezed.

augustine-commissionThere are folks who are now saying, “Well, NASA should give up the Earth observation mission.” That’s crazy. NASA’s mission has always included looking down as well as looking up. There’s nobody in the government that can do what NASA can do in terms of Earth observation. Part of the problem is there are some folks who confuse Earth observation with endorsement of a particular set of climate policies that they don’t like.

But climate is a political issue.
There are climate change policies that we could embrace that would be all about the market: put a tax on carbon, do a cap-and-trade system…. It is just wrong to suppose that understanding what’s happening dictates a particular approach to dealing with it.

We need those Earth observations even if climate were not changing.             We need them to understand tsunamis. We need them to understand volcano explosions. We need them to understand earthquakes. We need them to understand what we’re doing to groundwater. We need them to understand how agriculture is working and we need them, of course, to forecast weather and to predict hurricanes. Even if you didn’t think climate was changing, you should want those Earth observations. They’re immensely valuable to the economy, to public health and safety, to disaster response.

Why isn’t climate a bipartisan issue? How did it become so politicized?
There are fundamentally two reasons. One is that in the run-up to 2000 the Republicans understood that Al Gore was going to be the Democratic candidate and climate was his signature issue. So they thought if climate is going to be the signature issue of our opponent, we’re going to be against it for political reasons.

A second thing is this phenomenon of convincing oneself that if the public ever accepts the reality of what climate change is about and what it’s doing to us, they will embrace a regulatory regime which Republicans would find offensive. That’s a misperception. There are a lot of ways to skin the cat in terms of climate policy. The idea that the solution is to keep the public from understanding what’s really happening or from simply denying what’s really happening as part of such a project, it’s just misguided.

At the beginning of his first term, Pres. Obama promised “unprecedented openness in government.” By many accounts, that promise is unmet. The government has been better about releasing data but not in giving journalists access to experts. Also, we investigated the FDA and found systematic efforts to manipulate the press.
I would say that’s a glass that is both half empty and half full.

It has turned out to be a big challenge. The president—very early in his administration, first couple of months—issued a couple of executive orders and presidential memorandum about openness and transparency, and I got tasked and OSTP got tasked with making them real—and we have worked very hard on that. We now have scientific integrity policies and openness policies all across the departments and agencies. You have to ask how well are they following those policies. In some cases it’s like pulling teeth because there always is a tension between the way a department or agency wants to present itself to the world and total transparency.

So Obama essentially ran into reality?
Sure. Where we’ve succeeded, first, we have all of those policies in place and they’re now available and they’re public. So among other things, civil society and journalists can look and say, “Here’s your policy, and it’s not what you’re doing. Let’s talk about this.” So you’ve got something to work with because there is a policy.

Second, the policies are in substantial measure being observed, certainly more than those kinds of things were even considered in the way agencies conducted themselves previously.

Third, in terms of data, it’s been extraordinary. There have now been hundreds of thousands of data sets made available that were never available before.

I wouldn’t argue that we have gotten as much done as we wish, but we have gotten a lot done. So the glass is half full but it’s also half empty—I agree.

The Obama administration has championed initiatives to create a genomic database of one million people and digitize information on energy use from individual citizens. In light of cybersecurity threats, is this a good idea?
Our view continues to be that there are benefits from big data that justify taking some risks.

There are always, of course, risks with anything you do. The question is always: What’s the balance between potential benefits and potential downsides? We think a lot of attention needs to be paid to minimizing the downsides. There has been, at this point, I would say eight years of effort has gone into this particular question in working on and thinking about the rules just relating to patient data.

How do you define the appropriate set of restrictions on the uses of patient data? What kind of consent do you need? Is there such a thing as broad consent where a patient can say, “You can use my data for anything you want forever without checking with me again,” as opposed to specific consent to do a particular thing at a particular time with your data. And there are questions as genomic technology gets better and cheaper, there are questions about the identifiability of information. You may say, “Oh, this is all anonymized,” but advancing technologies can de-anonymize it, and so we’re struggling with all of that.

We think this can revolutionize medicine. The amount that we can learn about that is extraordinary and there’s already such great evidence of benefit. Just through understanding a relatively small number of genes that produce very high propensity for certain kinds of cancers has saved a lot of lives by enabling people to look for those cancers early enough to get them out.

Obama’s BRAIN Initiative has by most accounts been successful so far. What would you like to see happen going forward? Have you set it up so it will survive the next administration?
The theme of partnerships has been enormously important for this administration: partnerships across agencies, partnerships across sectors—public sector, private sector, academic sector, civil society sector. Our STEM education initiatives have exploited that. Our advanced manufacturing initiatives, our clean-energy initiatives and our biomedical initiatives. Combatting antibiotic resistance is another important one, Precision Medicine Initiative, the BRAIN Initiative.

ostp-brain-initiativeWhen we set [the BRAIN Initiative] up, we basically did a lot of groundwork. My colleague, Tom Kalil, the deputy director of OSTP, was a major force in doing this reaching out across the biomedical community and talking to folks in industry, talking to the folks in engineering developing the sensors, talking to folks in academia, talking across the government agency. We got DARPA. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency], we got NSF [National Science Foundation], we got NIH [National Institutes of Health], we got DoE [Department of Energy], with their incredible computing capabilities better than anybody’s, all working together on this.

You’ve got a tremendous community of folks who are seeing this progress. They’re seeing it in the biomedical community, in the computing community, in all the pieces of this that come together. People are seeing progress and the hope of more, and so you talked about constituencies before. There’s going to be very strong constituency for keeping this going.

And if anything is a bipartisan issue, it’s health. I’ve had some contentious hearings in my service for the last eight years. One hearing that was not contentious was the hearing before the House commerce, justice and science Appropriations Subcommittee on the BRAIN Initiative. That hearing was a love fest.

What was the most contentious hearing you’ve had?
Some of the climate hearings, such as the Q&A of my September 2014 testimony before the House Science Committee. Jon Stewart found it so entertaining he made a 10-minute segment about it.








The BRAIN Initiative

BRAIN Initiative – National Institutes of Health

The BRAIN Initiative | The White House

DARPA and the Brain Initiative

OSTP Initiatives | The White House

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

DARPA Challenges Researchers to Link Human Brains With Computers

Director John P. Holdren | The White House

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Memorandum on Transparency and Open … – The White House

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The Fate of the Species

President Barack Obama Announces BRAIN Initiative – EyeWire

Budget 2017: Read our roundup of Obamas science funding requests

Center for Security Policy

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NASA – Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee

Recommendations of the  Augustine Commission, 1990












Robotic Bees Are Now Being Built To Pollinate Crops Instead of Real Bees


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Honeybees pollinate almost a third of the food we consume, but they’ve been dying at alarming rates due to threats like habitat loss and disease, as well as colony collapse disorder (CCD), the phenomenon where worker bees abandon their hives, leaving behind only the queen bee and enough food and nurse bees to help take care of the immature bees and the queen. There is also increasing evidence of a direct link between neonicotinoids, which are the most common type of insecticides, and CCD.

Then, last week, federal authorities placed seven yellow-faced bee species native to Hawaii on the Endangered Species Act.

And while honeybees have been dying off in many countries over the last decade, causing widespread concern over how much of the world’s food crops will get the pollination they require, different authoritative approaches have been implemented. The White House gave a task force a mere 180 days to create a plan to protect bees and other pollinators, for instance. The National Pollinator Health Strategy plans to:

  • “Restore honey bee colony health to sustainable levels by 2025.”
  • “Increase Eastern monarch butterfly populations to 225 million butterflies by year 2020.”
  • “Restore or enhance seven million acres of land for pollinators over the next five years.”

But other scientists have taken different avenues for dealing with the crisis, using modern technology to replace living bees with robotic ones. Researchers at Harvard RoboBees University introduced the first RoboBees back in 2013. Led by engineering professor Robert Wood, the team created bee-size robots that can lift off the ground and hover midair when connected to a power supply.

The details were reported in the journal Science. Harvard graduate student and mechanical engineer Kevin Ma, who co-authored the report, noted that the team is “on the eve of the next big development” and that the robot “can now carry more weight.”

Prior to this development, it had been impossible to put all the necessary things to make a robot fly into such a minuscule structure while still keeping it lightweight enough to actually stay off the ground, but the Harvard researchers believe that these RoboBees could, within a decade, artificially pollinate a field of crops.

The White House determined that the loss of bees and other species “requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.”

The RoboBees aren’t exactly a solution just yet, however, as they still need to be able to fly on their own and communicate with each other to perform tasks like a real honeybee hive is capable of doing.

robot-bees“RoboBees will work best when employed as swarms of thousands of individuals, coordinating their actions without relying on a single leader,” explained Wood and colleagues in an article for Scientific American. “The hive must be resilient enough so that the group can complete its objectives even if many bees fail.”

And while Wood explained that CCD and its threat were part of the reason for producing the robotic bee, he says the devices aren’t actually supposed to replace natural pollinators indefinitely [but by that time it will be too late]. This means, despite their efforts, the focus should still remain on how to save these essential creatures.

Why Not Just Get Rid of Pesticides?

Is it a little to late? It seems that we’ve known for years that pesticides are killing millions of bees, if not billions. More specifically, it’s neonicotinoid pesticides that have been targeted as the culprit, and the province of Ontario, Canada is doing something about it. Ontario’s government recently made the decision that neonicotinoid pesticide use will be reduced by 80 percent no later than 2017.

robot-beesThe RoboBees would serve as “stopgap measure while a solution to CCD is implemented,” the project’s website cautions.

Neonicotinoid insecticides persist in very high levels in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of crops treated with these insecticides. This runs contrary to industry claims that the chemicals biodegrade and are not a threat, they lied. These pesticide components are found in soil, they are also found in fields where the chemicals are not even sprayed. Bees also actively transfer contaminated pollen from primarily pesticide treated corn crops and bring it back to their hives. Furthermore, bees transfer these pesticides to other plants and crops that are not treated with the chemicals, which goes to show just how persistent these chemicals truly are in the environment.

As CBC news reports:

“The Ontario government has moved to limit the use of neonicotinoid pesticides amid  growing evidence that the substances are responsible for drastic reductions in bee populations in the province. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs laid out a three-point initiative Tuesday that it says will ensure “healthy ecosystems” and a “productive agricultural sector” while reversing the downward trend of pollinator numbers.” (source)

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller recently made an appearance on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation news network stating that:

“The science is very clear. It is absolutely linked to the problems with bees, the death of bees, but also the sub-lethal effects on bees, such as disorientation, which leads to colony failure. The new information that is before us and very alarming is that the impact on the ecosystem is much greater and much broader. The bees are the canary in the coalmine.” (source)

A study out of Harvard University, published in the June edition of the Bulletin of Insectology puts the nail in the coffin, “neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate, they are the direct cause of the phenomenon labeled as colony collapse disorder (CCD).”  FYI, neonicotinoid’s are the world’s most widely used insecticides. (source)

robot-bees – Robotic pollinators are on the horizon, a prospect that deeply worries environmentalists.

A paper published in the journal Nature discusses how bees are twice as likely to die when exposed to pesticides; two-thirds of the bees are lost when exposed compared to a third when not exposed. The exposed bees are also half as successful in gathering food. (source)

Scientists from the US Department of Agriculture as well as the University of Maryland published a study that linked chemicals, including fungicides, to the large scale die-off of bees that has recently plagued the planet, you can read that study as well. (source)

It’s not just bees, it’s other insects (not to mention the effects on human health as well as the environment) like Monarch butterflies, you can read more about that here.

Alarming bee losses have also been recorded in various parts of the world where these pesticides are sprayed, they are dying by the hundreds of millions.








Scholarly articles for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

Harvard RoboBees – Harvard University

Autonomous Flying Microrobots (RoboBees) | Wyss Institute

Groundbreaking Study Maps the Decline of Wild Bee Communities in the United States

Colony collapse disorder 

Colony Collapse Disorder Action Plan (PDF)

Chemicals Implicated — Beyond Pesticides

Ontario, Canada Admits Pesticides Are Killing …


Honey bee health conference


Micro Air Vehicles Project

Harvard RoboBees Closer to Pollinating Crop

Groundbreaking Study Maps the Decline of Wild Bee Communities in …

Collective Evolution


Thousands of Genetically Modified Insects Are Set For Release










California considers prohibiting immigration enforcement at public schools and hospitals


, , , , , , , ,

ab-1081-state-government-federal-immigration-policy– Photo: Ipolito Nurez celebrates outside City Hall after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill Bill AB60, which allows immigrants in the country illegally to obtain driver licenses.  (AP)

Only in California.  California State Senator Kevin de León has introduced a bill, SB-54 or the California Trust Act” (because if you disagree with this legislation then you’re obviously just an immoral, racist asshole), that explicitly prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies” from investigating, detaining, detecting, reporting or arresting people for “immigration enforcement purposes.”  Moreover, the bill would force public schools, hospitals, and courthouses” to establish “safe zones” that “limit immigration enforcement on their premises.”

Per SB-54:

This bill would, among other things, prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments from using resources to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes, or to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin, as specified. The bill would require state agencies to review their confidentiality policies and identify any changes necessary to ensure that information collected from individuals is limited to that necessary to perform agency duties and is not used or disclosed for any other purpose, as specified. The bill would require public schools, hospitals, and courthouses to establish and make public policies that limit immigration enforcement on their premises and would require the Attorney General, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, to publish model policies for use by those entities for those purposes.


– Photo:  Senate Leader Kevin de León Introduces Bill to “Freeze Out ICE”

In support of the legislation, De Leon notes that “immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community” and that attempts to enforce immigration laws simply create fear of the police among “immigrant community members” who then shy away from “approaching police when they are victims of, and witnesses to, crimes.”  Yes, by that logic we should probably stop enforcing all laws because we suspect that pretty much everyone that has broken a state or federal law is somewhat reluctant to approach the police…which is totally unfair!

885.2. The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) Immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community. Almost one in three Californians is foreign born and one in two children in California has at least one immigrant parent.

(b) A relationship of trust between California’s immigrant community and state and local law enforcement agencies is central to the public safety of the people of California.

(c) This trust is threatened when local law enforcement agencies are entangled with federal immigration enforcement, with the result that immigrant community members fear approaching police when they are victims of, and witnesses to, crimes.

(d) This act seeks to protect the safety and constitutional rights of the people of California, and to direct the state’s limited resources to matters of greatest concern to state and local governments.

Meanwhile, per The Hill, De Leon has vowed that California will be the “wall of justice” for illegal immigrants should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and over-reaching mass-deportation policy.”


California to pass legislation creating safe spaces for potential terrorists.

The bill “will make it clear California public schools, hospitals, and courthouses will not be used by the Trump regime to deport our families, friends, neighbors, classmates and co-workers,” said Assemblyman Marc Levine (D), the bill’s chief sponsor in the lower chamber.

The measure does not prohibit law enforcement agencies from transferring violent offenders into federal custody to be deported. But it does prohibit those agencies from acting as federal immigration officers and cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in order to deport other undocumented immigrants.

“To the millions of undocumented residents pursuing and contributing to the California Dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and over-reaching mass-deportation policy,” de León said in a statement.

Of course, all of this begs the question of why, if the State of California is allowed to pick and choose which federal laws it decides to enforce, would municipalities and local police departments have to enforce all state laws…perhaps we should take it one step further and just let each city police department pick which laws they want to enforce.









Here is the full text of SB-54:


Lawyer: ‘Appalled’ by FBI warrant that shook Clinton



hillary8Hillary Clinton = Sore looser.

The FBI warrant that shook Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign in its final two weeks has been unsealed, and the lawyer who requested it says it offers “nothing at all” to merit the agency’s actions leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

The warrant was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Los Angeles lawyer Randy Schoenberg, who wants to determine what probable cause the agency provided to suspect material on disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner’s computer might be incriminating to Clinton. Weiner is the estranged husband of Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin. Under the Fourth Amendment, search and seizure can only be granted when proof of probable cause of criminal findings has been documented.

The letter confirms news reports in late October that the FBI had detected “non-content header information” suggesting correspondence with accounts involved in its already-completed investigation of Clinton’s private email server. The FBI request concludes there is “probable cause to believe” that the laptop contained “evidence, contraband, fruits and/or items illegally possessed,” without providing specifics.

“I see nothing at all in the search warrant application that would give rise to probable cause, nothing that would make anyone suspect that there was anything on the laptop beyond what the FBI had already searched and determined not to be evidence of a crime, nothing to suggest that there would be anything other than routine correspondence between” Clinton and Abedin, Schoenberg said in an email to USA TODAY. It remains unknown “why they thought they might find evidence of a crime, why they felt it necessary to inform Congress, and why they even sought this search warrant,” he said. “I am appalled.” The FBI’s Manhattan office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

In this Sept. 28, 2016, file photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill.© Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP In this Sept. 28, 2016, file photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill.

Clinton campaign officials echoed Schoenberg’s complaints Tuesday. Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said on Twitter that the “unsealed filings regarding Huma’s emails reveals Comey’s intrusion on the election was as utterly unjustified as we suspected at time.”

The FBI concluded in July that there was no “clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws” and that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Then, two weeks before the election, Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to Congress that said in the course of an unrelated investigation investigators found emails that “appear to be pertinent” to Clinton’s private email server. Comey also wrote that he could not assess whether the material was “significant.”

The letter was so vague that Clinton’s opponents seized on it to shift the narrative from a damaging drumbeat of news stories about Donald Trump, including his past treatment of women. Trump called it “bigger than Watergate” and predicted that the FBI would “right the ship” after previously deciding against criminal charges, [at least for the time being].

Comey’s investigation was the primary cudgel for Trump and his supporters, who claimed  that Clinton was guilty of “criminal” activity. His large rallies regularly chanted “Lock her up!” and Clinton’s motorcade was greeted in city after city with angry crowds waving signs.

hill-for-prisonAbedin’s lawyers have also been requesting permission to review the warrant, which they say their client never saw and hadn’t or even been alerted to, preventing them from responding publicly in the final days of the campaign. Two days before the election, Comey said there was no new information.

At the same time, Comey was in possession of evidence allegedly showing Russia was hacking into the Democratic Party apparatus, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused him of holding back “explosive” information about Russian alleged interference. The retiring senator said Comey may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits “activity directed towards the success or failure” of a candidate.

On Monday, former president Bill Clinton said his wife “fought through everything, and she prevailed against it all.” But she couldn’t endure the combination of the FBI’s interference and Russian alleged meddling. At the end, “we had the Russians and the FBI deal. But she couldn’t prevail against that,” Clinton told reporters in Albany.

Republicans have mocked the Clintons’ contention and said it’s an excuse for some of the strategic mistakes the campaign made.

Yet the election was decided by the smallest of margins in a handful of Rust Belt states. Nate Silver, a leading elections statistician and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, says Comey had a large, measurable impact on the race” and that she “would almost certainly be president-elect if the election had been held” the day before the letter. He cited late-deciding voters breaking strongly against her enough to cost her Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Schoenberg said more information needs to be made public before the matter is put to rest. “The FBI agent’s name has not been disclosed, but I think that it may be appropriate to find out his/her name and determine what the motivations were, since it must have been obvious to the FBI that there was no real probable cause to believe they would find evidence of a crime,” he said in a follow-up email.  “It was very wrong for Director Comey to give that impression.” [In reality, Comey did us all a favor]

Sore looser Schoenberg is a lawyer who gained notoriety by reclaiming Jewish-owned art seized by the Nazis and former president of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust




Hatch Act of 1939

U.S. Office of Special Counsel Hatch Act

Harry Reid: Comey may have violated the Hatch Act –

Clinton – USA Today

The True Meaning of “Lock Her Up” – WBDaily






Syrian UN Ambassador Leaks Names of Foreign Intelligence Agents among “Rebels” in Aleppo


nsnbc : Following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2328 (2016) on the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, Syrian UN Ambassador Dr. Bashar Al-Jaafari named the names of fifteen foreign intelligence agents among the remaining “rebels” in eastern Aleppo; among the Turkish, Qatari, Saudi, US, Jordanian, Israeli and Moroccan citizens.



Syrian UN Ambassador Dr. Bashar Jaafari noted that Syria had agreed to the resolution even though its wording is ambiguous. Al-Jaafari described the resolution as a test of sincerity and good intentions of those who had sponsored the resolution.

Al-Jaafari also underpinned that UNSC resolution 2328 (2016) does not deal with the deployment of additional UN, Red Cross, Red Crescent and other staff but with guaranteeing the safety of those who are in the field while granting them unimpeded access. Al-Jaafari also noted that Syria has gone to great length and lost a considerable number of troops in efforts aimed at protecting UN, Rec Cross, Red Crescent and other staff.

The Syrian UN Ambassador noted that the true reason for the sudden “urgency” to pass the resolution was based on the fact that all of the city of Aleppo soon would be cleared of “rebels”, and that governments of certain countries were concerned about intelligence officers they had deployed among the “rebels”. Underpinning that Syria has effective intelligence services, Dr. Al-Jaafari named the names of fifteen of these intelligence officers, namely:

Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey, David Scott Winer – USA, David Shlomo Aram – IsraelMuhamad Tamimi – Qatar, Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi, Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi, Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi, Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi, Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi, Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi, Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan, Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi, Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi, Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan.

Answering journalists’ questions about how Syria would prove that these persons were indeed intelligence officers and in Aleppo, Al-Jaafari replied that they will be captured “and then we’ll show them to you.”








Bashar Jaafari

Syrian UN Ambassador Leaks

$500,000 US Training Center in Afghanistan is Melting: SIGAR


The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has said that a half-million-dollar police training center which was built by the US is literally “melting.”

The latest report released by SIGAR on Thursday said the training center which was built in Central Wardak province was badly constructed where substandard materials were used by the Afghan contractor.

The report further added that the roof was built of plastic with a concrete cap, instead of the sturdy gravel and contract called for under the contract.

The sand bricks that were too small were substituted for the agreed-upon clay bricks and that support beams weren’t securely fastened to the structure, the report added.

SIGAR said the center began to disintegrate just four months after it was completed in 2012 due to shoddy construction that was allowed to happen because U.S. Central Command contracting commanders failed to oversee the project appropriately.

According to SIGAR, the government of Afghanistan is rebuilding the complex itself, calling it an “embarrassment”

In the meantime, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) has said it would try to find and, if necessary, discipline the contracting commanders responsible.

The CENTCOM has also promised to take corrective action, including seeking compensation from the contractor if appropriate.






Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction: SIGAR

SIGAR | All Reports

US watchdog

Watchdog: US may be paying salaries of ‘ghost’ Afghan policemen

Blackwater: One of the Pentagon’s Top Contractors for Afghanistan …

Japan’s state secrecy laws still a secret


, , ,

fukushima-worse-than-thought-696x409In the first year after Japan’s State Secrecy laws was enacted, various ministers and agencies classified 382 issues as state secrets. The law is well into its second year, yet we still don’t know what actually constitutes a ‘state secret.’

Prime Minister of Japan Abe railroaded the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS) through the Diet, or Japanese parliament, in spite of 80% opposition from the Japanese public.

As of December 2014, whistle-blowers can be imprisoned for 10 years if they leak state secrets, and journalists publishing this information face up to five years in jail and a hefty fine. The law targets terrorism, espionage and defense leaks, and at first glance, it is familiar and expected given the current reality of transnational crime and terrorism.  

Yet the media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), have warned that the law is an “unprecedented threat to freedom of information” and an “obstruction of peoples’ right to know.”

japans-state-secrets-law-31114by-eric-johnston-24-638So what makes this law potentially destructive?  It’s because it makes Abe and his administration  the judge, jury and enforcers.

The ambiguity of the law extends beyond the definition of a state secret. Government ministers and agencies determine what a state secret is, and oversight of these decisions is managed by a panel and committee appointed by Abe. In actions that do not resemble the democratic principles Japan has been lauded for, there has been little public consultation, no parliamentary consensus on what a state secret is, and a lack of transparency in the law’s operation.

Alarmingly, any agency or government minister can store a secret for 30-60 years. This time period is longer than the tenure of a regular bureaucrat or politician, bestowing power to a government far beyond their democratically elected time in office.

Freedom of speech is enshrined in Japan’s post-war constitution; it has cemented Japan’s place as a free, democratic society and ensured trust in media and politics. This recent law shifts the norm, making freedom of speech conditional and communication between politics and wider society a condition of the government.

In a meeting, the Executive Controller of International Relations for state broadcaster NHK, Akinori Hashimoto, admitted that there was always tension between “politicians and journalists, but freedom of speech and competitive media ensured these tensions were stabilized.” However, with these most recent laws, it is unlikely that the media could compete with each-other for so-called state-secrets, let alone compete with the government.

This has implications for every level of information gathering.  Whilst Hashimoto maintained that the state broadcaster remained independent, he revealed that the new laws “make it harder to find sources in the bureaucracy.” The law is quietly strangling potential critique in a time where Abe has a sweeping grip on power. Scrutiny is at the heart of “democracy,” and without it, Abe’s choices go unchallenged.

This chilling effect is arguably more damaging than the law itself.  It is the threat of revealing a state secret that deters whistle-blowers and journalists, and the threat of breaking the new laws.  In such a way the ambiguity of the SDS was likely intentional to allow for discretionary operation by ministers and government agencies, as well as acting as a mechanism that scares people into silence.

A state of fear and distrust is contagious.

japan-state-secrets-law– Photo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (3RD-L) speaks during a joint-meeting by Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters and Nuclear Power Disaster Management Council at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo

And where will people seek remedy? The only place that has answers-the government. This is the fastest way to reverse a culture where facts are dissected, truth is grappled with and opinions are not coerced.

Katsumi Sawada is a reporter from Japan’s oldest newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. In his opinion, “The law shows that the influence of Abe has increased, as his personal opinions have influenced the law.”  Personal opinions should not override the opposition of a 100 million citizens. But in a post-2014 Japan, it seems Abe’s do.

Ordinarily, a country would have counter-measures that protect journalists and their sources from this type of law. This source of protection is non-existent in Japan. Furthermore, there is no “public interest override” that would recognize circumstances where the public interest outweighs any potential harms of disclosure.

It is difficult to measure the effects this law has had on free media in Japan.  When a state secret itself is not defined, it is nearly impossible to determine what media outlets can no longer report on. What is clear however is that this law, in all its vagueness, signals that the government are the ultimate arbiters of what is free and what is not. This is blatant overreach and something that Japanese citizens did not choose.

In a time of constitutional change previously unseen in Japan’s post-war history, confusion over Japan’s nuclear energy plans and continued mismanagement of Fukushima relief efforts, open debate and dissent is crucial. However, a monopoly on truth does make it much easier to govern.





Following a powerful quake that hit northeastern Japan in the early morning on Nov. 22, 2016. The utility said Nov. 24 that puddles in three of the four reactor buildings at the idled Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant may have formed from water that splashed out of spent-fuel pools during the quake.

Studies cited in order presented:
National Academy of Sciences Low-Dose Radiation Report
Data tables used, 12D-1 and 12D-2:
How to scale that data to unique exposure scenarios, Annex 12D, Example 1:

15-country study of nuclear-worker cancer risk
Table 5 shown is from Part II of the study

Jacob et al. (2009) meta-analysis of nuclear-worker studies
Editorial on Jacob et al. quoted

Chromosomal translocations are associated with cancer

Boffetta et al. (2007) more chromoHarm entails more cancer

Bhatti et al. (2010) meta-analysis of chromosomal damage

# Addendum #

Since I posted this video, the ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ published a special edition on low-dose radiation, the lead article of which matches and thereby corroborates the case I present in this video. It also covers additional research and nuclear-industry efforts to derail scientific investigation of radiation risks

Some friends created PDF files of this video available here

In English

In Japanese

November 24, 2016 | Fukushima 2016 | , ,  

State Secrecy Law

Japan’s secrecy laws

Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS …

Japan 29.01.14 (1.2013) – ohchr

Constitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle Against Terrorism:

Protection of Specially Designated Secrets Act

Japan: Act on Protection of Specially Designated Secrets | Global …

Overview of the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets …

The Monsoon Project

After the Fukushima meltdown, Japan’s nuclear restart is stalled – The …

Nuclear Power in Japan | Japanese Nuclear Energy – World Nuclear …

Nuclear power in Japan

Draconian Secrecy Law Threatens Japan’s Media … Thousands of …

Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet

Japan’s State Secrets Law: Hailed By U.S., Denounced By …

Japan whistleblowers face crackdown under proposed state …

Japan’s post-Fukushima ‘secrecy’ clampdown – The Ecologist

Former Japan Premier Accuses Abe of ‘a Lie’ on Fukushima Safety …

Download the preliminary program – ICP2016

Fukushima: Life and the Transnationality of Radioactive … – Japan Focus

Fukushima 2016 « nuclear-news

Mystery cancers are cropping up in children in aftermath of Fukushima …

Bobby1 fatality index study Execs Deaths in USA Post Fukushima 3 …

March | 2013 | Bobby1’s Blog –

VNS and CAJI/IS Exclusive – The Continuing Impact of Fukushima …

Earthquake Off Fukushima, Japan, Triggers Tsunami – The New York …

New Study: Aerosolized plutonium from Fukushima detected in …

World Nuclear Association

Fukushima nuclear disaster

Japan earthquake: social aftershocks of Fukushima disaster are still being felt

Japan’s nuclear scandals and the fukushima disaster – Friends of the …

Mismanaging Risk and the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis – Japan Focus







Fukushima: Cancer to be No.1 Killer in U.S. by 2030


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fukushimaTo those of us familiar with the Fukushima Plume Gate cover-up the recent news that cancer is soon to be the number one killer in the U.S. comes as no surprise. Indeed, when our government and media hide the reality of the ongoing plumes and fallout from Fukushima and when no warnings are given to the public (rainwater, green leafy vegetables, milk, rainwater) the only logical conclusion is that the death toll will be very high. By one projection U.S. fatalities related to Fukushima will be around 1.3 MILLION Americans by the year 2030. This number rings true with the claim that deaths by cancer will become the number one killer in the U.S. by the year 2030, as found in a November, 2016 report from CNN that cites a study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

(Below: from the Bobby1 fatality index study, post-Fukushima)

15 bobby1

thyroid chernobyl

Also, when the EPA raised permissible levels of radiation in our drinking water it only served to further hide from the public the awful truth: Fukushima is 100 fold what Chernobyl was and the American government, in collusion with the Operation Mockingbird media, has successfully hidden the reality of Fukushima fallout from the public at large.

Of course mainstream media cannot and will not give us the facts, instead continuing the cover-up by relying on a plethora of causes for this new projection OTHER THAN NUCLEAR FALLOUT. Cigarette smoking, poor eating habits, lack of exercise and other excuses fall short of the obvious true cause: an inordinate amount of fallout has inundated America since the Fukushima disaster unfolded in March of 2011. One common thread among articles and videos that center on cancer in the U.S. is that fallout is never mentioned as a possible cause….how can this be?

(Below: from the NRC’s FOIA documentation…officials worried about the consequences of moving navy ships out of the path of a ‘repeated plume event’ simply chose to keep running models and changing variables until one was produced in which ships did not need to be moved. As a result Navy personnel suffered myriad cancers due to exposure, cancers that could have been avoided.) 

11 navy ships

For those willing to face reality you have only to read my book titled “Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Story of Plume-Gate, The World’s Largest, Provable Cover-Up.” Inside my free document you can read Freedom of Information (FOIA) transcripts from emails, recorded phone conversations and conversations from the NRC’s ‘situation room’ that reveal an orchestrated effort to hide from Americans the awful truth of this monumental catastrophe. The NRC, the Obama administration and other agencies such as DHS and FEMA, new full-well the danger Americans faced from the repeated plumes and fallout from Fukushima and yet did their best to hide this truth from the public.

The consequences of high levels of radioactive fallout in the U.S. are not able to be hidden from Americans, thus the recent admission that Cancer will be the number one killer in the U.S. by the year 2030, if it is not already.

What you need to know are two things:

  1. fallout from Fukushima did reach the U.S. in record levels and
  2. multiple alphabet agencies and the Obama administration, acting in an orchestrated manner, conspired to hide this truth from the public

Clearly a crime has been committed and the ramifications can be seen in the cancer centers springing up all over the U.S., a result of exploding cancer rates due to radioactive fallout.

Since our government and media have no intention of telling the truth to Americans (as far away as France issued rainwater and green leafy vegetable warnings and as far away as Lithuania detected aerosolized plutonium from Fukushima) it is the duty of the public itself to get the word out on this horrific crime…if not we are doomed to repeat this type of disaster, whether from another one of Japan’s many reactors or from one of our own right here in the U.S.. Interestingly enough, evidence from the NRC’s FOIA documentation revealed that both the NRC and the Obama administration are well aware that we have MANY non-seismically qualified spent fuel pools right here in the U.S…is this not a matter of National Security?

Sadly, I must finish by reporting that not a single party that put forth a candidate for President in 2016 dared mention the facts I have elaborated above nor mentioned the evidence contained in my book. Thus there never has been and there will never be a discussion of the only obvious course of action to be taken in light of our current nuclear crisis: the systematic shut-down and decommissioning of all nuclear plants here in the U.S. AND in Japan.


Plume Gate

Something Wicked This Way Comes: the Story of Plume-Gate the …

Lingering Questions and Red Flags Related to the Alleged Suicide of …

Japanese Secrecy Law and International Standards –

A New State Secrecy Law for Japan? | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan …

Japan’s Secrecy Law and International Standards | The Asia-Pacific …

Japan Reacts to Fukushima Crisis By Banning Journalism

A New State Secrecy Law for Japan? The Abe Proposal | Global …

Japan’s Controversial State Secrets Law: One Year Later | The Diplomat

Report: Cancer will be No. 1 killer in U.S. –

Abe’s secrets law undermines Japan’s democracy | The Japan Times

Raising the Wall of Secrecy in Japan −the State Secrecy Law of 2013

Japan’s state secrecy laws still a secret – The Monsoon Project

Fukushima – 1.3 million Americans set to die thanks to Obama cover …

Study: Fukushima Radiation Has Already Killed 14,000 Americans

The Case of Dana Durnford – “J’accuse” – Exposing the Nuclear …

In August of 2014 Dana Durnford and The Hounds of Fukushima launched “Expedition For Life” off the coast of BC, Canada. To See the damage created by Fukushima on the Nursery of the Pacific Ocean, stop by and look at the thousands of photos and plenty of videos at The Nuclear Proctologist.

And don’t forget to visit his YT channel: BeautifulGirlByDana where you will find videos, headlines, and recorded daily webinars started October 25, 2013 – the day Japan enacted their “Secrecy Law.” (In Japan the word Radiation or Fukushima could land you in prison for TEN YEARS!) The 5th Leg of the Expedition was finished this past summer. The Expedition for Life found Very Little Life Left In The Pacific Ocean Off The BC Coast of Canada 15,000 Miles in and around the Coastal Islands.

Find Dana Durnford The Nuclear Proctologist live 10:30 am 6 days a week here on

The Nuclear Proctologist

Home | Fukushima Hounds Home Den

Chat room & info by and for the Fukushima Hounds.

Fukushima the Lost Ending 2016-08-01

Supporting Families In The Tri-cities Government of Canada

Fukushima Dana Durnford/Beautifulgirlbydana – A … –

WOW !!! A Banana Is Nothing Like Man Made Nuclear

HORROR ” Pacific Ocean Now Dead From Fukushima Radiation …

Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean …

New Study: Aerosolized plutonium from Fukushima detected in …

Aerosolized plutonium from Fukushima has been detected in Europe.

WIPP Plutonium Aerosolization is More Dangerous than Fukushima

The Fukushima Endgame: The Radioactive Contamination of the …

25 Maps That Will Change The Way You See The World

The Terrifying True Scale of Nuclear Weapons

Pacific Ocean Catastrophe Confirmed, Fukushima Mega Nuclear …

The Largest Nuclear Bomb //// Tsar Bomba

Fukushima: Five Years Later | Popular Science

Hatrick Penry’s  – Project Camelot

Operation Mockingbird

US Govt Just Legalized Operation Mockingbird — FBI Can Now …









Keep our community Park Host, Chris Gardner, of Jess Martin Park in Julian

Camp Host Jobs
California Campground Jobs | California Camp Host Jobs | California …
ARTICLE V. – SOCIAL HOST LIABILITY | Code of Ordinances | Lake …

Back Country Voices


 – Photo: Chris Gardner receives ‘Volunteer of the Year Award:’ From left to right. San Diego Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Chris Gardner, Jane Gardner, Bob Copper (former director …San Diego County Parks & Recreation ), Chris’ son…Christopher the 3rd.

“Chris Gardner has been the Jess Martin Park volunteer park hosts for 6 years,  for the community of Julian, he is simply irreplaceable!”

In exchange for his service, Chris and his wife Jane, a retired RN, live onsite of the park in their RV. Chris goes far and beyond the expectations in his role as “park host” by providing 24/7 overall care, cleanliness, and security of the park.
Chris’s duties include, but are not limited to the following areas of this 9 acre park:
  • Playground
  • Exercise path
  • Skate park
  • Picnic Tables
  • Ball fields
  • Restrooms
  • Community outreach and support
  • Security
  • Fire drills
  • Movie night’s

calfire-at-jess-martin-park               – Photo:  Cal Fire Base Camp Takes…

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