From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
Subject: Why our movement is in shambles...
August 18th, 2002
To: activists, media, other interested persons
From: Russell D. Hoffman, independent nuclear historian
Re: Efforts to disrupt the pro-DNA movement have been very successful, thus far
To Whom It May Concern,
Our movement is in shambles, and even the stark realities which have come to light since 9-11 about the vulnerabilities of nuclear power plants, spent fuel pools, dry storage casks, and transportation casks, haven't provided the impetus we need to get our task accomplished.
If this movement is to succeed, it will have to find a way to reduce the impact of the many infiltrators and disrupters we have to deal with. Such people offer no news, no facts, not even educated debate, just argument and character assassination.
There is only one truth, but there are an infinite number of lies (and nearly as many irrelevancies). If a disrupter wants to spout off a lie or bring up an irrelevancy in order to respond to something, they have many choices, but for those who seek truth, the choices are much more limited.
Downwinders are dying, and it is senseless. We could have used other energy sources -- there is no question of that now, at least not among sane economists, electrical engineers, etc.. As for the other reason we have "downwinders" at all -- nuclear weapons production -- since Nagasaki, not even the craziest warmongers have been able to convince sufficient numbers of their comrades that there is sufficient justification for the use of nuclear weapons. (And hopefully, George Bush's nuclear-tipped "bunker-busters" will never "see the light of day", either.)
It is likely that some disrupter on this forum will write in to say that without the threat of nuclear attack, the world would have gone to war several times. But that argument is specious. Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there have been hundreds of wars, resulting, directly or indirectly, in hundreds of millions of deaths. Thus, the evidence shows that nuclear weapons barely put a brake on war; they certainly didn't stop it. And, in addition to nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), there are a wide variety of biological and chemical WMDs which can be used instead.
There are no WMDs which become Tools of Democracy by being in righteous hands. No hands are that righteous; no cause is that just.
Nobody is so guilty of anything, or guilty of something so heinous, that his family or his neighbor should be killed. Imagine if America had decided to take down the big Mafia dons by bombing whole city blocks in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and so forth!
Now, imagine if only three out of five, or maybe only one out of ten, of the city blocks that got leveled were actually the right city blocks, where the big bad Mafia Dons lived. Imagine that sometimes we were fed false information and bombed blocks with competing legitimate companies instead. Imagine if we said we were attacking the Mafia Dons, but we were actually after the herbs in their gardens and the rights to their land. Imagine all this was happening under the guise of patriotism, where all the biggest abuses have always been hidden. Sounds crazy? Sure it does -- but that's what we've been doing in Afghanistan, and using (this is how it's directly connected to any forum of downwinder plaintiffs) Depleted Uranium munitions.
"Surgical strike" is a carefully crafted misnomer -- it's what they want to be doing -- just kill the bad guy, and stop at that. But the term was invented specifically to draw attention away from the actual lack of accuracy these weapons often have. "Collateral damage" is a spin-doctored term for a barbaric failure of technology. When they aren't in complete denial of any harm to downwinders, the Nuclear Mafia accepts all their suffering as "collateral damage" of "vital" nuclear weapons and nuclear energy production.
We are told we will "freeze in the dark" if the nuclear power plants are shut off. We won't, unless an illegal consortium of energy companies flips the switches they control. We don't need nuclear energy and we're killing ourselves by using it, and we are proving ourselves to be part of the "nuclear axis of evil", along with other corrupt and selfish nations, such as Russia. We prove we are not a democracy by suppressing a fair debate about the dangers of nuclear power.
Every pro-nuker listing the benefits of radiation is quick to point out the medical and research uses of radioactive materials. Unmentioned, of course, is that many of those benefits could be achieved through alternative, "higher-tech" methods, and that many of the medical procedures are only necessary to try to get rid of a cancer caused by a prior unnecessary use of radioactive materials, such as the cancer clusters which form around any radioactively contaminated place, or the millions of cancers that followed weapons testing. In a fair debate, it must also be pointed out that medicine and research only account for a tiny fraction of society's radiological burden.
Most people probably view the dangers of radioactive waste from nuclear medicine and from nuclear power plants as approximately equivalent -- even people who should know better. A woman came up to me at a "No Nukes" table at a recent Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young concert, and declared she's sorry, but she could not support our campaign because it conflicted with her work. I asked her why she felt that stopping commercial nuclear power plants conflicted with saving wolves (she was wearing a save-the-wolves teeshirt and worked at another table at the show). She explained that she meant it conflicted with her job as a health physicist. Actually, health physicists should be behind closing nukes more than most people, because they are supposed to realize that even very small quantities of radioactive elements can kill you. I would LOVE to replace the technology health physicists use with benign alternatives. That wouldn't put anyone out of work, it would just make conditions safer for the health physicists themselves, and for their patients, something everyone should be enthusiastic about. Health physicists' work involves something in the neighborhood of a hundred trillionth, or less, of society's total radioactive waste burden, in terms of Curies (a somewhat greater portion, if measured by volume), but the nuclear energy industry has the health physics community (and many other professional groups) completely duped into thinking society will crumble if anyone suggests that any one of our many nuclear activities should be stopped. ALL uses of radioactive materials need to be carefully and separately reevaluated, especially in light of the events of 9-11, and wherever benign alternatives can be found, those alternative things should be implemented.
Instead, all we have is showmanship, and planting of stories, and "tit-for-tat" media manipulation to keep the truth from being debated by society.
For example, a recent article was published in one of my local weekly free newspapers (The Coast News) about a local pro-nuker. It was apparently published as some sort of response (I kid you not!) to an article about this author which was published July 29th, 2002 in the local daily newspaper (The North County Times). The NC Times also published a short, superficial letter responding to the article about me by this same pro-nuker, Dr. Al Taschaeche. He says the article "contains the usual diatribe", that "unethical, if unreasonable fear is used to try and frighten the public", and: "All he does is rage against the Yucca Mountain spent-fuel repository." And he complains that I don't offer any "economic, efficient, safe and acceptable alternative" to Yucca Mountain (that's because there isn't one, and can't be one, because of the laws of physics and economics. Sorry!). Interestingly, my local paper published the opposition letters to the article online, but did not post the original article (naturally, I scanned it in myself, and posted it at my DEMON HOT ATOM web site, since it is about that web site).
The Coast News article went on at length about how well educated (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and well trained (a consultant to the nuclear industry) this "nuclear safety scientist" is. Then, tucked in the middle, after talking about how much he wants peace on earth, blah blah blah, and how he had recently met with "retired Air Force Brig. General Paul Tibbetts, pilot of the B-29 Superfortress bomber, Enola Gay, that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima", was his core claim. Many people reading this have probably guessed what it is: Hormesis (although he didn't call it that in the article). "Hormesis" is the utterly poppycock theory that a little radiation may be good for you: "It is Tschaeche's view that the best-kept secret about health and safety hazards related to nuclear radiation is that low doses of ionizing radiation are safe, posing no demonstrated hazards." The article continues," Low doses are demonstrated in some cases to be beneficial or to have zero effect." ("Nuclear Safety Remains Scientist's Top Focus", The Coast News, August 8, 2002, by Jack Broward ( Broward@thecoastnews.com ))
There were no facts in the article to back up these incredibly arrogant claims, let alone an explanation of the scientific method by which Hormesis might work. Taschaeche did say some people living in some parts of the world where they get more "background" radiation live longer than other people living somewhere else, but he didn't actually cite the study this "fact" is based on, or give the cities studied, or explain the effects of possible confounding factors such as air pollution. Anyone who talks about the "reputed perils of radiation exposure" he called "environmentalist propagandists", while completely ignoring the possibility of pro-nuclear researcher bias.
To accept Taschaeche's "best-kept secret", the public must ignore the criminal methods by which epidemiological data was systematically discarded during the crucial first five years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The survivors who lived beyond the first five years, a hearty lot (all the weaklings had died), were then used as a "standard" baseline, completely slanting the data. Thus, these studies are particularly useful to anyone trying to assert the idea of "Hormesis", because they use a completely nonrepresentative population! Most of the permissible dose rates for radiation of any sort are, ultimately, STILL based on these utterly despicable Hiroshima and Nagasaki studies.
(True believers of the notorious notion of Hormesis like to keep radioactive nuclear artifacts near them. For example, Sam Cohen (proud inventor of the Neutron Bomb) likes to keep a Depleted Uranium shell on his desk. People who visit him fondle it sometimes. Then he tells them what it is, and often, he says, they soon have the urge to go to the bathroom, and they come back with their hands all red from having been scrubbed raw. Those hand-scrubbers are, obviously, not "true believers" like Sam Cohen.)
We are also supposed to ignore every independent study done by people like the late Dr. Alice Stewart, who proved, statistically but undeniably, that even ONE pre-natal x-ray could cause cancer. Society cut back on x-rays significantly because of Dr. Stewart's research, which Tschaeche appears completely oblivious to. Advances in radiation detection (some made by Dr. Ernest Sternglass) have allowed us to reduce the radiation dose per x-ray. Computer imaging, when it has been more fully applied, will allow us to reduce the dosage even further, and get better results, too. Right now though, there is little question that nearly everyone in America gets far more medical x-rays than necessary. How many lives did Dr. Stewart, an obscure, unknown scientist to most people, save, while Dr. Tschaeche is given nearly a full page in order to spread his dogma that it's GOOD for us to get irradiated?
People like Tschaeche should be given no more column inches to tell us radiation is safe, than R. J. Reynolds would be given to tell us that children don't get asthma and lung cancer from other people's cigarette smoke. The evidence against second-hand cigarette smoke is now irrefutable, but it took decades -- centuries, really -- to get to that point.
There are a number of other studies, and other discrepancies in the official government studies, which Tschaeche has overlooked, which provide overwhelming evidence to dispute Tschaeche's claims that there are safe, let alone, beneficial, doses of ionizing radiation. As eminent physician and nuclear scientist Dr. John W. Gofman put it, "any dose is an overdose". I wonder if Coast News Columnist Jack Broward has spent as much time with someone like Gofman as he has spent being sung to by Tschaeche?
In later Coast News columns (this is the first of a series) we are going to learn what Tschaeche thinks about Three Mile Island and Chernobyl! Oh boy!
(There are many ongoing studies Dr. Tschaeche probably intends to ignore, as well. For example, visit www.radiation.org for information about Radiation and Public Health Project's phenomenal Baby Teeth collection project (help them collect more teeth if you can).)
I'm am quite certain that most of the disruptive attacks perpetrated on "anti-nuclear" (I prefer to be called "pro-DNA", personally) activists are the work of highly organized, highly trained, highly competent, highly compensated, highly commended, and highly supported official government and industry forces (Haliburton and SAIC are two examples of where the industry forces work). It only takes a few dozen infiltrators -- perhaps less -- to completely disrupt even a large national movement. The "anti-nuclear" movement has been viciously obstructed for more than 50 years.
Back in the 50's, and probably all the way into the 80's as well, many of the infiltrators in THIS MOVEMENT in America were actually Russian secret agents! The U.S. Government let this happen, because they wanted our movement disrupted anyway! By letting the Russian agents become many of the leaders of the anti-nuke movement, the Americans knew they could be sure the movement wouldn't get anywhere, simply because they could, at any time, expose many -- if not MOST -- of the leaders as Russian agents, if they wanted to. But they figured, why should they? And push never came to shove, in part because the Russian agents weren't supposed to succeed anyway, on orders from Moscow -- Moscow wanted our nuclear policy disrupted and REDUCED, but not ELIMINATED because then they would look bad, as the only crazy nuclear nation.
It's believed that Russia no longer infiltrates American pro-DNA movements, because what's left of Russia has their own problems. The result is that our own American Nuclear Mafia has to do all the dirty work themselves.
However, the relationship between the American and Russian (and eventually all the other) nuclear advocates is even more obvious today. For example, when the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank in 2000, we saw retired American Nuclear Navy captains on CNN, NBC, FOX, etc. telling us that there was no danger from the radiation. Why? Because if the Russians were to be properly condemned around the world for their utterly insane nuclear navy policies, with subs rusting in harbors, and more than a dozen nuclear reactors lost at sea so far, then next, America would have to be properly condemned for OUR crazy Nuclear Navy (we've lost a few subs ourselves). So instead, our own country's retired Nuclear Navy man assures the American public that the sunken Russian nuclear sub poses no danger. He commits treason -- that is, he lies to the American public and uses the credibility which his former military rank gives him in the eyes of so many of us to do so -- in order to protect the world's nuclear navies from having to use non-nuclear ships -- not a very good reason! Perhaps he thinks he lies for patriotic reasons. But if the Kursk had sunk in the Potomac, would we feel so complacent about all the radiation it leaked into the biosphere? What's the difference? It's the same little body of water! One ocean. One people. One planet.
If the American public understood what a horror our nuclear ships are, we would switch to non-nuclear propulsion immediately -- as any proper student of Naval history (and radiation dangers) can attest. The advantages are absolutely overwhelming! Yet still, we build dangerous and expensive nuclear aircraft carriers, submarines, and other vessels. We almost built nuclear airplanes, too, and we continue to fund the design of nuclear rockets, which is even worse! This whole insanity must stop.
To learn about nuclear power is to learn about a horror worse than Hitler and all the other horrors in history combined. Humanity somehow survived those earlier onslaughts, with terrible losses. But it will not survive the nuclear age unless that age is a very brief part of our history. 1945-2002 is already too long. We have 50,000,000 pounds of spent reactor fuel in America, maybe a lot more -- way too much, that's for sure. All nuclear energy solutions produce this waste at incredible rates -- if they were 10 times more efficient, or 1000 times more efficient, they would still be producing too much nuclear waste. Clean, renewable energy solutions abound, but we have to take the steps necessary to implement them.
Even after multiple "warnings", such as 9-11, Davis-Besse, San Onofre, and a thousand others, America remains clueless. And of course, that's just how the NRC and the DOE and the rest of the Nuclear Mafia want us to be. Any attempt to learn the truth will be thwarted. Ask any government representative at the NRC or the DOE how, or why, or even IF Low Level Radiation (LLR) harms you, and they can't tell you. Ask them about problems with the dogma that says radiation might be safe or harmless, and none of them can discuss the issues. Try to talk about crane (load lifting) problems, transportation problems, terrorist threats, embrittlement issues, earthquake reassessments, and a million other things, and you can't find a qualified expert in the Nuclear Mafia to discuss the problem with. They take your comments, and sometimes you get back a piece of paper telling you your comments have been reviewed and are not considered significant -- mostly they don't even bother to respond at all. They never cite sources in their responses, except for their own prior heavy-handed decrees.
How long can we wait? Will one American Chernobyl be enough, or will it require two or three? That is the only question, unless a miracle happens and America wises up quickly and closes the nukes forever, BEFORE a plant with a Davis-Besse type problem blows, or a terrorist attack occurs, or a tornado, earthquake, tsunami, asteroid, or other natural phenomenon gets to the plants, pools, or dry packs first.
When it happens, the world just might decide to hate anti-nuclear activists, for not doing enough to stop the horror. We, after all, know what the stakes are. It's our duty to tell others.
Ignore talk of comparative studies of wind power versus nuclear power, which "prove" that nukes are the more benign of the two. Ignore all the other silliness that the knowledgeless pro-nukers spew forth.
Just imagine that everything you write is being read after a major American nuclear catastrophe, by survivors, and the relatives and friends of those who died. These people will want to understand why this has happened to them. Try to aim your writing for that audience, try to give them some documentation so that they can say "See! The People knew what was going on, and couldn't stop it!".
Right now, people who have committed crimes against humanity, which have caused millions of deaths, are walking around free and uncharged (Edward Teller, Jack Welch, etc.). They should be held accountable.
Perhaps we cannot win, but someday, someone WILL win the battles we fight. We must try to lay the groundwork for them. I expect the comments in these forums to be used in court some day -- perhaps 50 years from now, perhaps it will start in 2002. Hopefully our comments here will help some future generation to succeed where we have failed. I certainly swear that these are the facts, as best I have been able to ascertain them. I hope everyone else on these forums speaks as if under oath, too.
Russell D. Hoffman
"It may not happen in my lifetime, but I am convinced that one day there will be trials of this entire Nuclear Mafia similar to the Nuremberg Trials, and it will include every animal-torturing pseudo-scientist, every nuclear weaponeer and warhead designer, not to mention the IAEA and the Death-of-the-Earth squad."
-- Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, Douglassville, Georgia, in comments to the Department of Transportation, July, 2002:
(RSPA-1999-6283-117 Comment(s) 07/30/2002 Pamela Blockey-O'Brien)