Military

Despite High Court, Navy Keeps WA Town in Dark on Explosion Threat

A landmark Supreme Court decision awarded Port Townsend residents the right to know about the potential location of explosives on the Indian Island Naval Magazine near their town. After losing the case, the Defense Department bolstered its legal grounds for secrecy by asking Congress to slip into the 2012 Defense Authorization an amendment creating a new statutory exemption to FOIA for the DOD.

 

Lejeune Secrecy May Have Caused Dead Marines

CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has been investigating a Navy cover-up of cancer-causing drinking water at its Lejeune, NC, base. Now, Project on Government Oversight has released a January 5, 2012, letter from Marine Major General J.A. Kessler asking ATSDR to redact its report in the name of "force protection."

"Oil Plunges on Strong Dollar, Profit Taking"

Despite Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, some global oil prices fell. It turns out Iran's influence on the international oil market may be weak, and its threats more an effort to head off international sanctions that will harm its own weakened petroleum economy. Shipping lanes are just one of many major strategic factors affecting the global oil market. Iran has, however, offered spurious ammunition to U.S. politicians crowing for US acts of war against it. Right now, the news media are taking Iran's threats more seriously than the oil market is.

Source: AFP, 12/29/2011

Honeywell, Simplot Plan To Build Plant to Make Safe Fertilizer

"Honeywell and fertilizer maker J.R. Simplot have agreed to build the first commercial facility for Sulf-N 26, a granular fertilizer that is comparable to ammonium nitrate but would be ineffective as a bomb material. Ammonium nitrate combined with fuel oil was used in the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995."

Source: C&EN, 12/12/2011

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