"Venezuela Emerges as New Source of ‘Conflict’ Minerals"

Coltan ore is valuable as a source of niobium and tantalum, metals key to many kinds of electronics. Coltan mining has helped finance war in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now new illegal coltan mining activity has sprung up in the remote Amazon jungles on the border between Venezuela and Columbia. It is controlled largely by armed militias and drug smugglers.

Source: iWatch News, 03/06/2012

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


Subscribe to RSS - Military