My Last Words to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – Tomas Young

Tomas Young: November 30, 1979 – November 10, 2014

My Last Words to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
by TOMAS YOUNG

Tomas Young, an Iraq war vet turned anti-war activist, has passed away in Seattle at the age of 34. Tomas enlisted in the Army just two days after the 9/11 attacks. Following his training at Ft. Hood, Texas he was deployed to Iraq and paralyzed after being shot through his spinal cord just five days into his first tour. Tomas from the excellent Body of War, a documentary film by Phil Donahue about Tomas’ struggles following his return from Iraq. Below is a letter Tomas wrote to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in June 2013.

VetTomasYoung

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

-Tomas Young

 

The Fake Science Behind GMO “Food”

Unpredictable effects. Unknown outcomes. Potential health consequences. Uncertain gene technology.

These aren’t phrases biotech giants like to hear.

They prefer:

“One gene produces one protein.”

“Each gene has a specific function.”

This is the basis for the modern biotech industry, and it applies most definitely to GMO crops.

And it is false.

So for example, when Monsanto says the genes they insert in plants only serve to protect the plants from the herbicide Roundup and have no other function, they’re making it up.

For a brief summary of the situation, see Denise Caruso’s NY Times piece, “A Challenge to Gene Theory, a Tougher Look at Biotech,” July 1, 2007.

Caruso reports on the findings of an “exhaustive four-year effort…organized by the United States National Human Genome Research Institute and carried out by 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world.”

“…genes appear to operate in a complex network, and interact and overlap with one another and with other components in ways not yet fully understood.”

“Evidence of a networked [interacting] genome shatters the scientific basis for virtually every official risk [safety] assessment of today’s commercial biotech products, from genetically engineered crops to pharmaceuticals.”

In other words, each gene inserted in GMO food crops cannot be said to have only one function. There is reason to believe the inserted genes interact with genes already in the plants, and produce unknown effects.

Therefore, bland assurances of safety are smoke blowing in the wind.

“Jack Heinemann, a professor of molecular biology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and director of its Center for Integrated Research in Biosafety”: ‘The real worry for us has always been that the commercial agenda for biotech may be premature, based on what we have long known was an incomplete understanding of genetics…’

Heinemann: “Because gene patents and the genetic engineering process itself are both defined in terms of genes acting independently, [government] regulators may be unaware of the potential impacts arising from these network [interacting] effects.”

Biotech companies like Monsanto are, to be sure, aware of this gaping hole in their “science” of gene-function. In fact, according to Heinemann, “Many biotech companies already conduct detailed genetic studies of their products that profile the expression of proteins and other elements. But they are not required to report most of this data to regulators, so they do not. Thus vast stores of important research information sit idle.” …

http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/scientific-basis-for-gmo-crops-is-false/

California Allowed Frackers to Inject Billions of Gallons of Toxins into Clean Aquafers

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation.
Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA.
“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”
California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.”
“There have been past issues where permits were issued to operators that they shouldn’t be injecting into those zones and so we’re fixing that,” Marshall added. …
A mistake!  Yeah, that’s it.  No money involved.  Except for the additional budget they need to make sure such mistakes don’t happen in the future.