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This Is The Military Base Water Contamination Study The White House Didn't Want You To See
Toxic breast milk. Contaminated umbilical cords. Testicular cancer. Organ failure.
These are just some of the side effects of the chemical compounds that have poisoned drinking and groundwater sources at dozens of military bases across the country, according to a major government study that the White House and Environmental Protection Agency sought to keep from the American public.
- After a March DoD report to the House Armed Service Committee revealed that at least 126 U.S. military installations tested at “higher than acceptable" concentrations of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in military firefighting foam in water supplies, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conducted its first-ever in-depth analysis on the health impacts of the chemicals.
- According to the HHS study, the health effects of exposure to PFAS chemicals in humans include pregnancy complications, liver damage, high cholesterol, decreased response to vaccines, and an increased risk of thyroid disease, asthma diagnosis, and long-term fertility issues. Even more alarming, PFAS chemicals can contaminate human breast milk and umbilical cord blood, massively increasing the potential of birth defects among affected fetuses.
- The effects on laboratory animals are just as alarming. An analysis of 187 studies of PFAS exposure in laboratory animals revealed "liver toxicity, developmental toxicity, and immune toxicity" — as well as total organ failure. But even worse, comparisons between human and animal exposures reveal it takes human beings four years to expel toxins that rodents purge in just a few hours.
If you want a visceral portrait of the horrifying impact of PFAS contamination, I highly recommend this jaw-dropping reporting from Military Times' Tara Copp, who spent the last several weeks speaking to veterans and their families who have had their lives destroyed by chronic issues that are likely connected to years of exposure to the chemicals. In one case, Copp spoke to a female airman who was told "don’t get pregnant at George Air Force Base" when she PCSed there in the mid-1970s.
"You rely on the service to keep you safe," she told Copp. "And although there’s no guarantee of safety, when you’re stateside you certainly don’t expect toxic exposure.”
Read the whole HHS report below and Copp's full report over at Military Times.
Senior defense officials offered a wide range of excuses to reporters on Wednesday about why they may not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats for documents related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
On Oct. 7, lawmakers subpoenaed information about military aid to Ukraine. Eight days later, a Pentagon official told them to pound sand in part because many of the documents requested are communications with the White House that are protected by executive privilege.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.