The perils and danger of manipulating the truth
London , United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland - 17 Nov 2017 - Ghassan Matar
Ever since the highly controversial 2016 US election, the entire news narrative has been obsessing about fake news, Russian hacking and election interference culminating in a protracted campaign to supress alternative narratives to the main stream, first by demonetising sites, then by demonetising YouTube content, followed by the manipulation of search algorithms, then by outright removal of content and the latest approach by forcing the registration of RT as a foreign agent.
The term “fake news” has become a catch-all phrase for anything people happen to disagree with, and “Russian Election Meddling or Hacking” has become the convenient scapegoat for election defeats or a way for politicians to shield their incompetence and corruption. This dangerous path to the erosion of freedom of speech, the free press and the constitution is bad enough in its current laughable context.
The well entrenched establishment is going to extraordinary depth to defend its historical control of the narrative, which has slowly been withered away by the evolution of the Internet. The BBC, whose news and political programming has simply become a government propaganda agency, spewing out the government narrative, promoting war and disseminating half-truth and lies. The majority of its viewership are those aged 61 and over. People are refusing to pay the license fee. CNN’s ratings have been decimated, the same for MSMBC, Fox and the other main stream media channels.
The same story is playing out across the world and governments are responding in the worst possible way. In the case of RT, which like the BBC is a government owned and funded organization. The tactics were childish at best, Orwellian at worst, given that the very same people wouldn't bother to tune in to channels they control and most likely get the real facts from the very same ones they are demonising.
In the case of Al-Jazeera, the Saudi imposed a blockade against Qatar with the closure of the TV station a pre-requisite to the lifting of the sanctions. Both of these targeted organisations have become the de-facto news source for those who are smart enough to realize what is going on. Both of these organisations are also sweeping up reporters and journalists whom have been discarded by the main stream media for refusing to endorse the crimes being perpetrated by the establishment including icons like Larry King and Chris Hedges. They are also giving air time to real reporters like John Pilger who dare to report the truth.
However this op-ed is about another media, one that most of the readers of this piece may not be familiar with; but which highlights the dangers of destroying real journalism. It is about the Japanese media which has also been hijacked by the very same forces who want to promote their narrative and suppress the truth. In this case, the subject is Fukushima.
It is literally impossible for the world community to get a clear understanding of, and truth about, the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The story is, moreover, extraordinarily scary and of deepest concern because no sources can be counted on for accurate, truthful reporting of an incident as powerful and deadly dangerous as the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. Lest anybody in class forgets, three nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant experienced 100% meltdown, aka The China Syndrome over five years ago.
The molten cores of those reactors melted down to a stage called corium, which is a lumpy hunk of irradiating radionuclides so deadly that robotic cameras are zapped! The radioactivity is powerful, deadly and possessed of frightening longevity, hundreds of years and it will affect everyone on the planet, the .001% (aka the corrupt elite) and the rest of us equally (aka the sheep).
If that weren’t bad enough, Fukushima continues to leak 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean every day. It will continue do so indefinitely as the source of the leak cannot be sealed as it is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures. It should come as no surprise, then, that Fukushima is slowly, but surely, contaminating the entire Pacific Ocean.
15 years ago, this incident would have been all over the news, movies like Jane Fonda’s China Syndrome would be playing across all cinemas, the United Nations would be screaming, politicians would be scrambling for solutions, Greenpeace would be across the airwaves, people would be demanding immediate action.
Since the Fukushima meltdown, fish in Canada began bleeding from their gills, mouths, and eyeballs. This “disease” was ignored by the government even though it has decimated a large swathe of the native fish populations, including the North Pacific herring. Elsewhere in Western Canada, independent scientists have measured a 300% increase in the level of radiation. According to them, the amount of radiation in the Pacific Ocean is increasing every year.
In the most radioactive areas, up to 40 percent of male birds are completely sterile, with no sperm or just a few dead sperm in their reproductive tracts during the breeding season. Most organisms show significantly increased rates of genetic damage. Many organisms show increased rates of deformities and developmental abnormalities. Many organisms show reduced life spans and reduced population sizes. Biodiversity has significantly decreased. Mutations are on the rise.
The contaminated pacific is being slowly warmed and will continue so for many years. The heat decay release will continue because this is what nuclear fuel is supposed to do, heat water. The ozone layer which was the hot topic of the 90s is once again been decimated. The arctic ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented rate.
The Japanese government’s massive decontamination program continues, but will probably have little practical impact on reducing the ecological threat from the enormous amount of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Already, there is over 9 million cubic meters of nuclear waste that are scattered over at least 113,000 locations across Fukushima prefecture. The waste is growing at an alarming rate. Contaminated water storage tanks now number over 1000 and contain just under a million tons of highly radioactive water. Since the meltdown, 17 million one-gallon containers now house 65,000 cubic meters of protection gear.
200,000 cubic meters of extremely dangerous and radioactive rubble and damaged equipment litter the site, and 3.5 billion gallons of contaminated soil, is sitting in bin bags.
So how have our governments reacted. In the real world, even low doses of radiation can cause cancer. Moreover, small particles of radiation – called “internal emitters” – which get inside the body are much more dangerous than general exposures to radiation and radiation affects small children much more than full-grown adults.
Instead of doing much to try to protect their citizens from Fukushima, Japan, the U.S. and the EU have suppressed coverage in the media and raised the radiation levels they deem “safe”.
The ‘normalization’ process raised the allowable radiation exposure standards to 20 millisieverts of radiation a year, up from the prior level of 2 mSv a year. The globally-accepted limit for radiation absorption is 1 mSv a year.
Again for those who missed class, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) has no idea where those masses of sizzling hot radioactive debris are today. Did they burrow into the ground? Nobody knows, but it is known that those blobs of radioactivity are extraordinarily dangerous, as in deathly, erratically spewing radioactivity “who knows where”?
Fukushima is a national/worldwide emergency that is the worst kept secret ever because everybody knows it is happening; it is current; it is alive; it is deadly; it has killed and will kill many more as well as maim countless people over many decades.
Yet, the Abe administration is talking to Olympic officials about conducting Olympic events, like baseball, in Fukushima for Tokyo 2020. That is the narrative that the compromised press regurgitates on a daily basis. The Abe government is perpetuating a myth that five years after the start of the nuclear accident the situation is returning to normal. The evidence exposes this as political rhetoric, not scientific fact.
Have they gone nuts, are these people mad or out of control? After all, TEPCO readily admits (1) the Fukushima clean-up will take decades to complete, if ever completed, (2) the cost of the clean-up is estimated at around $200 billion; but TEPCO is broke (3) nobody knows the whereabouts of the world’s most deadly radioactive blobs of sizzling hot masses of death and destruction, begging the question: Why is there a Chernobyl Exclusion Zone of 1,000 square miles after one nuclear meltdown 30 years ago, but yet Fukushima, with three meltdowns, each more severe than Chernobyl, is already being repopulated? It doesn’t make any sense!
Why are we getting numerous radiation alerts over Europe; the third one this year. The short answer is reality has been substituted for propaganda.
The Abe administration claims the radioactivity is being cleaned up. A much longer answer eschews the Abe administration by explaining the near impossibility of cleaning up radioactivity throughout the countryside. There are, after all, independent organizations with boots on the ground in Fukushima that tell the truth, having measured dangerous levels of radiation throughout the region where clean-up crews supposedly cleaned up. However, the Japanese media spew out optimism.
The world is dead silent on credible information about the world’s biggest disaster! (Which causes one to stop and think… really a lot.) Facts like radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times legal limit in water around Fukushima and cesium-137 at 1.1 million times limit are no longer news worthy.
The evidence is abundantly clear that there is no trustworthy source of information about the world’s biggest nuclear disaster, and likely one of the biggest dangers to the planet in human history.
Fukushima radiation goes on and on, but nobody knows what to do. To say the situation is scandalous is such a gross understatement that it is difficult to take it as seriously as it really should be taken. But, it is scandalous, not just in Japan but for the entire planet.
After all, consider this, 30 years after the fact, horribly deformed Chernobyl Children are found in over 300 asylums in the Belarus backwoods deep in the countryside. Equally as bad but maybe more odious, as of today, Chernobyl radiation (since 1986) is already affecting 2nd generation kids.
According to the latest estimates, there are 2,397,863 people registered with Ukraine’s health ministry to receive ongoing Chernobyl-related health care. Of these, 453,391 are children — none born at the time of the accident. Their parents were children in 1986. These children have a range of illnesses: respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, eye diseases, blood diseases, cancer, congenital malformations, genetic abnormalities, trauma.”
It’s taken 30 years for the world, to begin to understand how devastating, over decades, not over a few years, radiation exposure is to people. It is a silent killer that cumulates in the body over time and passes from generation to generation to generation, endless destruction that cannot be stopped!
In light of this; the ongoing debates and censorship of the media; whether by Google, Twitter, the Main Stream Media or any Government body suddenly pose a far greater danger than just the suppression of free speech or Orwellian dangers.
I don't care one bit about Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Theresa May, bitcoin, Crown Prince Salman, Iran, Syria, the economy, RT ISIS or any of the news stories occupying the airwaves and press. In fact, I don't even care about freedom of speech, the liberty of press and any rights under the constitution.
None of these issues matter if our children (the future of humanity) or all of us are being silently being poisoned by deadly radiation. When proper reporting is suppressed, we are not just blinded by political or economic narratives; but with serious and deadly events that will touch each and every one of us.