Citizens Advisory Board/Dept of Energy/Piketon:S.O.N.G.

April 7, 2008
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Dear Friends of SONG,

The Department of Energy has set an April 11 deadline for applications for the Citizens Advisory Board. We do not understand this deadline and have asked DOE to explain it, without response. But there it is. DOE has also not explained why there is no on-line application procedure, or why the agency has not contacted various important segments of the community like Indian Tribes with historic ties to the Piketon site.

Given the situation, we urge all of you to apply for membership. We fear an attempt to stack the CAB with representatives of development interests. Therefore, the more citizens without conflicts of interest apply, the less defense the agency will have for placing individuals on the board who do have a conflict of interest.

Ask family members to apply. Ask friends to apply. Even if you live far away and have questions about service, apply. However we decide to challenge the CAB process in the future, your application is important.

Applications can be downloaded from   www.LPPORTS.com. They must then be mailed to:

Citizens Advisory Board

PO Box 700

Piketon, OH  45661

How Piketon Ohio Became a Potemkin Village/by Geoffrey Sea

March 16, 2008
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Dear Friends,

The following Op-Ed piece by Geoffrey Sea may help explain some of the recent news and complexities of developments at Piketon. Please disseminate it widely, and encourage readers to attend the SONG community meeting at 4 pm, and the DOE public meeting at 6 pm, on Tuesday, March 18, at the OSU Endeavor Center in Piketon.

A truncated version of this piece appears in the Sunday, March 16, Pike County News Watchman. We hope other papers will also carry it. You are free to reprint or post it, but please let us know if you do.Hope to see you Tuesday!

Your neighbors at SONG


How Piketon Became a Potemkin Village

By Geoffrey Sea


When the Russian czarina toured war-ravaged Crimea in 1797, she viewed hundreds of hollow buildings and false fronts, momentarily populated by jovial village actors. Her minister, Grigori Potemkin, had engineered the grand theatrical production to boost his own political career. Hence the term Potemkin village – the mock display of a boomtown that is really bust.

Politicians now tour the ravaged lower Scioto Valley in election years, to announce grand new atomic projects, secured by none other than themselves, that will bring “many thousands” of new jobs.

In 2004, it was USEC’s “American Centrifuge Plant,” stewarded by a company acknowledged to have run a technology scam once before, convincing gullible investors that USEC had developed “atomic vapor lasers” it really hadn’t. The hollow buildings to house USEC’s newest boondoggle, were and are already standing – built in the 1980s to house the DOE’s Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant, another bit of stagecraft that never acquired innards.


Spin, gas, and vaporware, but no jobs. (more…)

Vital Public Meeting Tuesday 3/18 in Piketon/S.O.N.G.

March 14, 2008
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Dear Friends of SONG, [Southern Ohio Neighbors Group]

Last March, more than 300 of you responded to our appeal to turn out for a crucial public hearing held by the U.S. Department of Energy to protest a plan to turn Piketon into a massive storage dump for high-level nuclear waste.

We need your attendance again at a vital public meeting this Tuesday, March 18, at Piketon, at the same location. (Details below.)

Because of YOUR turnout last year and other activism, the GNEP plan was stalled. Congress radically cut GNEP funding, DOE has indefinitely delayed any siting decisions, and the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement due last summer is still not issued. Once a new administration takes office, GNEP likely will be dead. Thank you for helping us show that ordinary citizens do still have some power in America!

However, the demise of GNEP creates other problems at Piketon. Because DOE had planned to pack the old process buildings with spent fuel, they did not plan for cleanup of the site, and did not charter a Citizens Advisory Board to oversee that cleanup. Ted Strickland has just announced that he would like to bring a NEW uranium enrichment plant to Piketon, owned by AREVA, the national nuclear company of France. (more…)

S.O.N.G. Update on Piketon Nuke Plant Cleanup & more

February 14, 2008
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Update from SONG [Southern Ohio Neighbors Group]

Snowy Salutations!


We hope this finds you all warm and well! It has been awhile since our last message, so we’d like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news pertinent to what is happening surrounding issues involving the Piketon, Ohio Department of Energy site. There have been several recent publications of interest which are included at the end of this message. (Unfortunately, our website is not currently updated, but hopefully it soon will be and we can direct you to links to these sorts of things instead of sending such lengthy messages.) (more…)


February 6, 2008
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This video was originally released last April in response to John McCain’s callous and infamous remake of the rock song, Barbara-Ann, which he had morphed into Bomb Bomb Iran. In light of McCain’s most recent bellicose statements in support of the current US war endeavors in the Middle East, and his victories in the Super Tuesday primaries, it seems appropriate to revisit last years version of the Senator.

For Sale: West’s Deadly Nuclear Secrets [London, U.K., Times ]

January 23, 2008
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Here is a very scary story that is just now gaining traction on the Net, more news you won’t find in the Dayton Daily…
Times Online Logo 222 x 25

January 6, 2008

A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.

She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.

Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.

The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.

However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”

She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents.

“If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,” she said. (more…)

Gagged at Home, Pakistanis Take to Cyberspace

November 13, 2007
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by Abid Aslam

WASHINGTON – Pakistanis officially gagged by emergency rule are voicing grievances and mobilising resistance in a place beyond their military rulers’ writ: cyberspace.1113 06

Lawyers — the vanguard of the uprising — have been rounded up and detained in the thousands, as have opposition politicians and party workers. Politicised students, however, have taken the fight to Web sites like Facebook, normally associated with such trifles as playful snapshots of participants and their pals.

Students Protest for a Free Pakistan, Students Abroad Protesting Martial Law in Pakistan, and other groups are using the social networking site to organise protests against the regime of Pervez Musharraf, the president and army chief, on campuses inside the country and in the United States, Canada, and Europe. (more…)

Gov. Strickland Visits Piketon;SONG Demands Piketon Investigation

October 17, 2007
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SONG News Release:


Strickland Visits Piketon;

 SONG Demands Piketon Investigation

 as Architect of Nuclear Waste Plan Retires


    On Sunday, Ted Strickland paid his first visit as Governor to Pike County, where he was met by many opponents of the plan to store high-level nuclear waste at Piketon. Only hours later, the legislative architect of the waste storage plan, David Hobson, announced he will not seek reelection to Congress.

    Hobson is best known for securing big budget items for his suburban Dayton-Springfield district, as former chairman and now ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He was not so kind to neighboring Ohio districts. The plan for Piketon would have made lots of money for contractors in the wealthy Dayton-Springfield area, but would have sent the waste south, to Appalachian Ohio, for dumping in a poor rural county.

    Strickland appeared in Pike County at noon, to speak in the gymnasium at Piketon High School. He was met by a decidedly split audience. About half of those in attendance had some affiliation with SODI, one of the contractors on the waste project. The other half had some affiliation with SONG: The Southern Ohio Neighbors Group. About twenty in the crowd sported red-white-and-blue SONG caps.

    In his speech, which focused on statewide and national issues, the governor did not once mention the atomic site at Piketon. It is likely the first time since 1952 that a major politician has spoken in Pike County without boostering for the atomic boondoggle du jour. The US Department of Energy, which owns the site, is now stuck in a compulsory multi-billion dollar cleanup of the site, without the funds to do it. The waste project would have drastically reduced cleanup costs by allowing much of the contamination to remain in place.

    After the talk, the governor was approached by three SONG representatives, who handed his aides copies of the SONG petition that now has over 5,000 area signatures. The petition opposes any importation, storage or reprocessing of high-level nuclear waste in southern Ohio, and calls for establishment of a Citizens Advisory Board.

    The three also gave the governor a letter (attached) that calls on Strickland to return to Pike County for a town meeting, and that demands a full investigation of fraudulent misrepresentations in the waste dumping proposal. The three were Kathleen Boutis, president of SONG from Hobson’s Congressional district; Geoffrey Sea, who owns a historic home on the fence line of the atomic site; and Denny Bloomfield, former president of the union that represents Piketon workers.

    The letter highlights a promise made by Strickland in last year’s campaign to oppose both waste storage and nuclear reprocessing at Piketon. The letter notes, however, that on April 27, Strickland sent a letter to the Energy Secretary endorsing reprocessing at Piketon. SONG is calling on the Governor to retract that letter.

    “Ted, keep your promise!” is the letter’s refrain, and the phrase was used on a large banner in the parking lot outside the gymnasium where Strickland spoke.



SONG: Southern Ohio Neighbors Group

P.O. Box 161, Piketon, OH  45661

E-Mail: SHIPPSONG@aol.com   Website: www.OhioNeighbors.org

The Drumbeat of War: More Lies from G W Bush & Associates

September 27, 2007
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Bush Administration hacks, including generals, intelligence agents, Senator’s Lieberman & Kyl, & the Prince of Darkness [Dick Cheney] have been trying to make a case for what seems to be an imminent attack on Iran. To do so they have flooded the media with various arguments about how Iran is the primary backer of the insurgency in Iraq, supplying weapons and raw material for bomb making. The reality is that there is actually very little, if any, in the way of concrete evidence supporting these arguments. Testimony from various military figures has been rife with contradictory statements, denial of Iranian involvement etc. Today’s Huffington Post has an excellent article that speaks directly to this issue, debunking the administration claims point by point.

In the past, false claims of aggression against the USA include the attack on the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, which led to the Spanish American war, and the Gulf of Tonkin “Incident”,  which served as a pretext for an escalation of our involvement in Vietnam, have long since been proven to be false, conjured up to provide cover for imperialistic aims. The Bush claims about Iran bears an terrible resemblance to these past transgressions & falsehoods. We must not fall into the same trap.

Gareth Porter’s article is a must read.


Theses on Policy toward Iran

September 6, 2007
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I found this article to be very thought provoking in regard to the volatile situation in the Middle East, especially about Iran. While not everything Rubin writes is totally on target, he does present some very informed views on a different way forward with the Iranians and the Middle East in general. The comments section that follows the article is well worth perusing as well, as it both points out flaws in Rubin’s article and offers insightful analysis as well. A good informative read…

From the Blog Informed Consent http://icga.blogspot.com

By Barnett R Rubin

As I and many others have noted, there are increasing signs that the administration has decided or has nearly decided to launch an air and sea attack on Iran, which will include but not be limited to all installations connected to the country’s nuclear program. All military equipment is in place for such an attack (three carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf). As I wrote in a recent blog, there are credible reports of a concerted campaign to build public support for such an attack. The aim is said to be to get support in polls up to about 35-40%, but the most important goal is to intimidate the Democrats in Congress, in particular through AIPAC and allied groups, so that they will not use either the power of the purse or Congress’ war powers to impede the attack. The administration is counting on Democrats saying they don’t want to “tie the president’s hands” as he deals with this mortal threat to the U.S. and Israel. The Anti-Defamation League announced today a campaign with the theme “No Nuclear Iran.”

Under the Cheney-Addington interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, there is no need for any Congressional consent to such an action by the President. In any case, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force of September 18, 2001, suffices, as it authorizes the use of such force against any terrorists or states harboring terrorists. There is no requirement that the President certify or Congress approve any such designation. The argument would be strengthened, however, if the administration formally designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran) or its elite unit, the Qods (Jerusalem) Force, as a terrorist organization, a proposal that has been floated in the press. In that case the Iranian state would be officially designated as harboring terrorists.

Follow this link to read full article: http://icga.blogspot.com/2007/09/theses-on-policy-toward-iran.html

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