The long-abused national/homeland security justification for government secrecy seems to have finally led to this: in the name of "force protection" at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the Navy could be covering up its own culpability in killing Marines and their families with cancer-causing drinking water.
The situation stems from decades-long pollution of drinking water wells around the big Marine base by toxic chemicals including benzene. The CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), among others, has been investigating. This month the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a watchdog group, 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.
POGO has asked for full release of information related to the groundwater contamination.
- "POGO and Allies Ask for Full Release of Key Camp Lejeune Contamination Info," Project on Government Oversight, January 24, 2012, by Dana Liebelson.
- "Navy Pressures Agency into Redacting Information from Camp Lejeune Investigation," Project on Government Oversight, January 20, 2012, by Dana Liebelson.
- "Camp Lejeune Water Contamination: Watchdog Groups Slam U.S. Navy Over New Report," Huffington Post, January 24, 2012, by Lynne Peeples.
- Redacted version of January 2012 ATSDR hydrology and contamination report on Camp Lejeune drinking water system (24.91 MB).
- "Lejeune Water Probe: Did Marine Corps Hide Benzene Data?" McClatchy Newspapers, March 9, 2010, by Barbara Barrett.
- "House Hearing To Probe Camp Lejeune Water Contamination," McClatchy Newspapers, September 13, 2010, by Barbara Barrett.
NOTE: Thumbnail photo via Minn-St. Paul Air Force.