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Archive for June 12th, 2010

Saudi Arabia Gives Israel ‘Clear Skies’ To Attack Iran Nuclear Sites

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June 12, 2010: Hugh Tomlinson / London Times – June 12, 2010

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.

To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.

The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.

The targets lie as far as 1,400 miles (2,250km) from Israel; the outer limits of their bombers’ range, even with aerial refuelling. An open corridor across northern Saudi Arabia would significantly shorten the distance. An airstrike would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Aircraft attacking Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, could swing beneath Kuwait to strike from the southwest.

Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit agreement to the raid from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has refused to give its approval as it pursues a diplomatic solution to curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Military analysts say Israel has held back only because of this failure to secure consensus from America and Arab states. Military analysts doubt that an airstrike alone would be sufficient to knock out the key nuclear facilities, which are heavily fortified and deep underground or within mountains. However, if the latest sanctions prove ineffective the pressure from the Israelis on Washington to approve military action will intensify. Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium after the UN Security Council imposed its toughest sanctions yet in an effort to halt the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, which Tehran claims is intended for civil energy purposes only. President Ahmadinejad has described the UN resolution as “a used handkerchief, which should be thrown in the dustbin”.

Israeli officials refused to comment yesterday on details for a raid on Iran, which the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has refused to rule out. Questioned on the option of a Saudi flight path for Israeli bombers, Aharaon Zeevi Farkash, who headed military intelligence until 2006 and has been involved in war games simulating a strike on Iran, said: “I know that Saudi Arabia is even more afraid than Israel of an Iranian nuclear capacity.”

In 2007 Israel was reported to have used Turkish air space to attack a suspected nuclear reactor being built by Iran’s main regional ally, Syria. Although Turkey publicly protested against the “violation” of its air space, it is thought to have turned a blind eye in what many saw as a dry run for a strike on Iran’s far more substantial — and better-defended — nuclear sites.

Israeli intelligence experts say that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are at least as worried as themselves and the West about an Iranian nuclear arsenal. Israel has sent missile-class warships and at least one submarine capable of launching a nuclear warhead through the Suez Canal for deployment in the Red Sea within the past year, as both a warning to Iran and in anticipation of a possible strike. Israeli newspapers reported last year that high-ranking officials, including the former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have met their Saudi Arabian counterparts to discuss the Iranian issue. It was also reported that Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, met Saudi intelligence officials last year to gain assurances that Riyadh would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets violating Saudi airspace during the bombing run. Both governments have denied the reports.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: And this will undoubtedly launch WWIII as the world economy continues to collapse by design. It is the exact same formula used by the globalist elite to initiate WWI and WWII. History indeed repeats itself… – SJH 

Link to original article below…

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7148555.ece

BP Official Admits Damage To Gulf Oil ‘Well Casing’ Below Seabed

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June 12, 2010: Washington’s Blog Editors / Washington’s Blog – June 12, 2010

As I noted Tuesday, there is growing evidence that BP’s oil well – technically called the “well casing” or “well bore” – has suffered damage beneath the level of the sea floor.

The evidence is growing stronger and stronger that there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor. Indeed, it appears that BP officials themselves have admitted to such damage. This has enormous impacts on both the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf, and the prospects for quickly stopping the leak this summer.

On May 31st, the Washington Post noted: Sources at two companies involved with the well said that BP also discovered new damage inside the well below the seafloor and that, as a result, some of the drilling mud that was successfully forced into the well was going off to the side into rock formations. “We discovered things that were broken in the sub-surface,” said a BP official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said that mud was making it “out to the side, into the formation.”

On June 2nd, Bloomberg pointed out: Plugging the well is another challenge even after BP successfully intersects it, Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor, said. BP has said it believes the well bore to be damaged, which could hamper efforts to fill it with mud and set a concrete plug, Bea said. Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters.

On the same day, the Wall Street Journal noted that there might be a leak in BP’s well casing 1,000 feet beneath the sea floor: BP PLC has concluded that its “top-kill” attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.

The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP’s findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.

On June 7th, Senator Bill Nelson told MSNBC that he’s investigating reports of oil seeping up from additional leak points on the seafloor: Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): Andrea we’re looking into something new right now, that there’s reports of oil that’s seeping up from the seabed… which would indicate, if that’s true, that the well casing itself is actually pierced… underneath the seabed. So, you know, the problems could be just enormous with what we’re facing.

Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC: Now let me understand better what you’re saying. If that is true that it is coming up form that seabed, even the relief well won’t be the final solution to cap this thing. That means that we’ve got oil gushing up at disparate places along the ocean floor.

Sen. Nelson: That is possible, unless you get the plug down low enough, below where the pipe would be breached…

Indeed, loss of integrity in the well itself may explain why BP is drilling its relief wells more than ten thousand feet beneath the leaking pipes on the seafloor (and see this). Yesterday, recently-retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister said that the well casing below the sea floor may have been compromised:

[Question] What are the chances that the well casing below the sea floor has been compromised, and that gas and oil are coming up the outside of the well casing, eroding the surrounding soft rock. Could this lead to a catastrophic geological failure, unstoppable even by the relief wells?

John Hofmeister: This is what some people fear has occurred. It is also why the “top kill” process was halted. If the casing is compromised the well is that much more difficult to shut down, including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other risks as well.

As noted yesterday in The Engineer magazine, an official from Cameron International – the manufacturer of the blowout preventer for BP’s leaking oil drilling operation – noted that one cause of the failure of the BOP could have been damage to the well bore: Steel casing or casing hanger could have been ejected from the well and blocked the operation of the rams.

Oil industry expert Rob Cavner believes that the casing might be damaged beneath the sea floor, noting: The real doomsday scenario here… is if that casing gives up, and it does come through the other strings of pipe. Remember, it is concentric pipe that holds this well together. If it comes into the formation, basically, you‘ve got uncontrolled [oil] flow to the sea floor. And that is the doomsday scenario. Cavner also said BP must “keep the well flowing to minimize oil and gas going out into the formation on the side”…

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: If indeed the well casing has been damaged, the only possible solution left may be the use of a small nuclear device to seal the breach. However, if that fails, this volcano of oil could conceivably empty its entire contents into the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately kill everything in its path, thus wiping out entire communities and their respective economies for decades to come – SJH

Link to entire article with more video below…

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/06/evidence-points-to-destruction-beneath.html

Dead Wildlife In Gulf Oil Disaster Preserved For Criminal Evidence

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June 12, 2010: Katy Reckdahl / The Times -Picayune via Nola.com – June 11, 2010

Within each of the animal-rescue stations set up along the Gulf Coast is a makeshift morgue for oiled and ill creatures that didn’t make it. And behind the scenes, pathologists and laboratory staff are carefully cataloging each dead creature as part of larger criminal, civil and scientific inquiries into how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has affected animals and their habitats.

Hundreds of birds including pelicans, seagulls, terns and gannets are being gathered by wildlife teams in an effort both to save them from their veils of oil and to help them recover from the effects that it can have on their lungs and digestive systems. At the same time, government scientists and the seasoned nonprofits that the government usually hires to respond to major wildlife disasters have set up animal rescue centers along the coast.

Within those operations are morgues and temporary freezers where the dead animals are catalogued and examined. The operations cannot be photographed or observed by outsiders, because they are part of a massive body of evidence outlining the harm that the spill has caused wildlife, in violation of federal laws such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act.

So far, about 1,000 dead animals ­– birds, turtles and dolphins — have been reported and they are being kept at undisclosed locations. “They go to various intermediate storage locations before they are shipped to a central facility for archiving,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Doug Zimmer, who did not name any of the locations.

“It is not so much the number of dead creatures as how they died that matters to the government, although obviously the more the harm, the higher the possible penalty,” said University of Michigan Law School professor David Uhlmann, who worked for seven years as chief of the environmental crimes section at the federal Department of Justice. Uhlmann said the government likely will bring charges under the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both of which were used after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

Billions are at stake. In the Valdez case, Exxon agreed to pay $100 million as criminal restitution for the injuries caused to the fish, wildlife and lands of the spill region, which was divided evenly between the federal and state governments, according to the website for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, which was formed to oversee natural-resource restoration. But Exxon’s largest payment came from its civil settlement, in which the oil company agreed to pay $900 million over 10 years to pay for restoration of natural resources injured by the spill.

In recent days, as the oil has reached the shore, crews are finding increasing numbers of shorebirds and are bringing about 30 birds a day to the newly created bird-rescue facility in Buras. The Fort Jackson station in particular has been overwhelmed by live birds, more than 470 of them so far, while other Gulf Coast facilities have collected only about 30 live birds total and roughly 400 more dead birds since the massive spill began on April 20. As a result, most scientists and trained bird handlers at the Fort Jackson facility have been absorbed with stabilizing, cleaning and monitoring the oiled birds while they recover, said Roger Helm, chief of environmental quality for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A handful of the 254 dead birds found in the Louisiana area appeared diseased or otherwise “peculiar” and were immediately given an animal autopsy, called a necropsy, to determine cause of death. That’s because any contagious disease could spread quickly between such a large number of captive birds, said Helm, who described the necropsies as “a very small number.”

But that doesn’t mean that bird carcasses are discarded. All birds that died during the cleaning process and birds found dead by shoreline crews are tagged with identifying information and recorded. Most are then frozen or archived according to strict legal and scientific protocols. At a later date, the birds could be examined more closely for the government’s criminal investigation against BP. But for the time being, the rescue facility has put most of its resources behind live birds.

The picture is bleaker for dolphins and turtles. The Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans has been working with a few dozen oiled turtles that were captured alive and two oiled dolphins recently caught alive in Florida. But most recovered sea turtles and dolphins have been dead, “and anybody who shows up dead will get a necropsy,” said response-team member Mike Walsh, a former Sea World head veterinarian who now works as associate director of the Aquatic Animal Health Program at the University of Florida.

A necropsy is a standard procedure, done to determine cause of death, and Audubon is part of an already-established network of organizations that nurse sick marine animals back to health or conduct necropsies, said Robert MacLean, Audubon’s senior veterinarian. “Sea turtles die every year,” he said, and it’s well-known because of years of necropsies that many commonly die after being caught in a fishing net or hit by a boat.

Since people have been scouring the coastline for turtles, it’s hard to say definitively that the numbers of dead turtles are higher than usual this year, MacLean said.

Still, the oil spill is having some effect. “We’re seeing turtles covered with sticky brown oil and it’s in their esophagus, so they’ve definitely ingested it,” he said. With turtle necropsies, like other necropsies, pathologists are careful to follow the established procedure, to try to rule out any other causes of death, Walsh said. “We follow the same protocol whether oiled or not,” he said. A necropsy starts with the outside of the animal: the body, skin, hard surfaces, eyes and feathers, if a bird. Pictures are taken of the top, bottom, front and back and with oil-affected animals, photos may be taken before the oil is removed and after, he said.

Then the pathologist opens the animal’s mouth to check for oil. For turtles, he takes off the bottom part of the shell and removes the shoulders and arms, giving him access to the organs. And then he will remove samples of certain organs to test for toxins and other substances. And if the animal was alive when first brought in, bird handlers have typically drawn blood to test for certain key indicators. Those samples will be sent to a certified lab for testing.

When all that’s completed, most animals are put into carefully labeled containers and frozen. “Just like you might see on CSI, the chain of custody is very important,” Walsh said. Everyone who handled the creature or tested it must log that on the paperwork. Scientists do this with every necropsy, as part of standard scientific procedure, he said. The process “may or may not require” that every recovered animal be frozen, said Zimmer. “But every bird is documented.”

A University of Florida colleague of Walsh’s is conducting the turtle necropsies for the spill response while Walsh is involved mostly with dolphins and manatees, he said. Crews along the Gulf have been tracking dolphins, manatees and sea turtles to see how the oil is affecting live animals’ behavior, he said. They will necropsy all of the 37 dead dolphins that have been found along the Gulf.

For scientists like Walsh, monitoring the effects of oil on live and dead creatures also informs their future decisions about what to do with the animals living and eating within the spill’s sheen. “Realistically, you can’t just pick them up and move them, because they’ll come back to the same area,’ he said. “So we need to first watch, monitor, understand and diagnose.”

Under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is charged with determining the natural resources injured by hazardous substances and creating a plan that will restore the damage at no cost to taxpayers. The carcasses of more than 35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters were found at the Exxon Valdez site, according to its Trustee Council website, which estimated that the actual toll was “250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales, and billions of salmon and herring eggs.”

Scientists like Helm, who’s worked to assess oil spills for 20 years, will be creating estimates like that from their data. But the count of captive and catalogued birds at Fort Jackson is only one indicator of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill, he said. “The birds in hand only indicate how many birds are in hand,” Helm said.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: How these monsters at BP and the US government could unleash this hell on earth is absolutely unfathomable and constitutes one of the most heinous crimes ever committed in the history of mankind! – SJH  

Link to original article below…

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/when_animal_rescues_fall_short.html

Chicago: Fans Boo BP Crosstown Cup Presentation At Wrigley Field

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June 12, 2010: Associated Press Editors / Associated Press (AP) via Nola.com – June 11, 2010

Fans at Wrigley Field let out loud boos when the BP Crosstown Cup was presented before the Chicago Cubs’ game against the Chicago White Sox.

BP, which is under fire for its handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is in its first year as title sponsor of the annual six-game series between the crosstown rivals.

The Cubs and White Sox opened a weekend set at Wrigley Field on Friday, with another three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field scheduled for June 25-27. The cup goes to the series winner or the team that takes the final game if they split the six games. Both teams have said they would stick with BP, although some of the promotions were scaled back.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Good for the fans of Chicago. Both teams should immediately drop BP sponsorship like a sabotaged blow-out preventer into the Gulf of Mexico along with that pretentious Cup! – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/fans_at_wrigley_field_boo_when.html