Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, December 19, 2020

History lesson: How bio-weapons came to America

I first wrote this blog entry in 2006 after reading an amazing book called A Plague Upon Humanity by Daniel Barenblatt. It tells the story of the hidden history of Japan’s biological warfare program before and during WW II.  That program was imported into the U.S. after the war.

Since we are in the middle of this current virus pandemic I thought we also should be remembering the origins of the bio-warfare weapon.

Barenblatt begins by revealing how Japan created a phony pretext in order to start the Manchurian war. In September 1931 Japanese army engineers secretly blew up the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railway near Shenyang. The Japanese government then immediately blamed the explosion upon Chinese soldiers garrisoned nearby. Japan then attacked the Chinese troops, sleeping in their barracks at the time. A war was underway.

Early on Japan set up a biological warfare (BW) unit led by Shiro Ishii. BW units were established throughout Manchuria and China in Japanese army occupied territory. At these locations Chinese freedom fighters and civilians were used as lab rats and were given lethal doses of bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, typhus and typhoid. Bodies of infected prisoners were cut open, often while people still lived, to study the effects of the biological contamination. Japan’s BW program used infected rats and fleas, dropped from airplanes, to spread the deadly diseases killing entire Chinese villages. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Chinese civilians were killed by Japan.

As WW II widened throughout the Pacific, Japan took their BW campaign to Japanese occupied islands. Japan also sent disease laden animals into Russia in hopes of spreading disease into that country. American prisoners of war were experimented on in Japanese labs as well.

Following Japanese surrender at the end of WW II one would have thought that these crimes against humanity would have been exposed and punished, similar to Nazi war crimes at the Nuremberg trials. But this was not the case. General Douglas MacArthur made a deal with Japan’s chief BW expert, Shiro Ishii, protecting him from prosecution by literally covering up the entire BW story. Ishii and his BW team gave their expertise to the U.S. According to Barenblatt, “Not only did they escape war crimes proceedings and public scrutiny by virtue of their cooperation with the U.S. occupation authorities, they also became prominent public health officials and respected academic figures in Japanese university and government circles. A few became quite wealthy as executives of pharmaceutical companies.”

The Soviet Union knew about Japan’s BW program and in late 1949 called for Ishii to be apprehended and tried by the U.S. occupation forces in Japan as the ringleader of the secret Japanese program. In response, Gen. MacArthur’s office in Tokyo denounced the Soviet charges of Japanese biological warfare and a U.S. cover-up as pure communist propaganda.

In fact on March 13, 1948 the U.S. War Department cabled instructions to Gen. MacArthur in Japan to give “immunity” to Japanese BW operatives. “Information retained from Ishii and associates may be retained in intelligence channels,” the instructions concluded.

There were war crimes trials in Japan after WW II. B.V.A. Roling, the last surviving judge from the Tokyo trials, who represented the Netherlands on the international tribunal, learned of this American deception many years later. “As one of the judges in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, it is a bitter experience for me to be informed now that centrally ordered Japanese war criminality of the most disgusting kind was kept secret from the Court by the U.S. government,” Roling wrote. The U.S. should be “ashamed because of the fact they withheld information from the Court with respect to the biological experiments of the Japanese in Manchuria on Chinese and American prisoners of war,” he said.


In the 1950’s Ishii was secretly taken to the U.S. to lecture at Fort Detrick, Maryland on how to best conduct germ warfare. And as the Korean War heated up, Ishii was used by the U.S. to advise on how to spread deadly disease in that war against North Korean and Chinese forces. North Korea, China and the Soviet Union all claimed in 1951-52 that the U.S. Pentagon was using germ warfare on a large scale in the Korean War.

The Chinese showed footage and photographs of metallic U.S. shells that snapped open upon hitting the ground, releasing a swarming cargo of insects that unleashed bubonic plague, smallpox, and anthrax. This method of delivery had been a favorite of Japan’s BW program.

Barenblatt notes that an international scientific investigating team, headed by a highly noted British biochemist from Cambridge University, did research in Korea and issued a report saying that sudden appearances of insects and spiders, of species not normally known in the region, in winter, and in association with the dropping of strange containers and objects by U.S. military planes were evidence of bio-warfare. Lab tests performed on fleas discovered in such unusual circumstances, positively showed the presence of bubonic plague bacteria.

In some cases, U.S. military jets, usually F-86 fighters, had flown over Korea dropping masses of fowl feathers tainted with anthrax.

In 1956 American journalist John Powell was charged with 13 counts of sedition for trying to expose the U.S. BW campaign in Korea. In 1953 former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover brought Powell before congressional committees charging him with “un-American activities.” Years later, in the 1980’s, Powell’s story was finally aired in an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

So as we today hear China warning about the re-arming of Japan, with full support and encouragement of the U.S., can we not see historical precedent for their worry? Both Japan and the U.S. have shown, since WW II, that they will use extreme measures to subdue Korea and China in the quest for control and domination of the Asia-Pacific. 

As the U.S. today doubles its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, can there be any doubt that China and Korea have not forgotten the stories of the past? Stories that to most Americans are unknown and long covered up. 

And is this not the perfect time to be raising serious questions about the deadly connection between the Covid-19 virus and the Pentagon's string of bio-warfare labs in America and around the globe?


BIW update


During the last few days dredging barges have been removing sediment from the Kennebec River - the photo above was taken just a block from our house in Bath - just one day before our big snow storm..

The purpose of the dredging is to ensure the depth necessary for the Navy Aegis destroyers built at Bath Iron Works (BIW) to navigate the river on its way out to sea.

The local Times Record newspaper has reported that in 2019 the Navy sought a 10-year permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge portions of the Kennebec River from Bath to Phippsburg to allow the passage of destroyers built at BIW.

The Navy says that maintenance dredging will be needed every three years.

The last dredging of the Kennebec River in April 2017 drew criticism from environmentalists. Federally protected Atlantic salmon, short-nosed sturgeon and Atlantic sturgeon live and spawn in the river, and dumping the dredged materials could harm seeding shellfish in Phippsburg, critics argued.

Normally dredging is done in the winter which reduces the impact on the river’s ecosystem because endangered species aren’t spawning.

About a dozen Aegis destroyers are under contract for delivery from BIW in the next 10 years. The destroyers are outfitted with so-called 'missile defense' interceptors which are key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. The interceptors serve as the 'shield' to pick off retaliatory strikes after a US preemptive attack.  These warships are currently being deployed in waters near Chinese and Russian borders.

Behind Schedule

BIW President Dirk Lesko told the Portland Press Herald in May that the shipyard already was at least six months behind schedule. The next month, Machinists Union Local S6, BIW’s largest union, representing 4,300 of its 6,800 workers, went on strike. Union members came back to work August 24 after approving a new contract with the company, but the damage caused by their nine-week absence was already done.

In three months, the shipyard fell at least six more months behind schedule.

BIW (owned by the General Dynamics Corporation) has been dealing with an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak over the past several weeks at several of their ship building facilities. As of Wednesday, 96 BIW workers have tested positive for COVID-19 since March. Of those, 66 came from the main shipyard, according to the company’s website. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Snow day in Maine


We had a big snow storm in Midcoast Maine yesterday - more than 12 inches fell here in Bath.

I went out about noon while it was still coming down quite heavily to get a start on moving some of the snow from sidewalks and driveway.  Mary Bath joined me at about 3:30 pm for a second round of shoveling.  Luckily it was a light snow - if it had been a wet, heavy snow the shoveling process would have been much worse on my already sore back.

I love it though.  After 30 years in Florida, missing the seasons quite badly, it is always enjoyable to be outside in the middle of a snow storm. Everything around is so quiet and still.  It always makes me feel so safe because I think that nothing really bad can happen from the humans as nature has taken over.  Similarly during big rain storms in Florida I'd get the same feeling.

So the photos above show all sides of our house and you can get a bit of a feel for how much snow we got and how much shoveling we had to do.

Today the sun is shining and the snow is still fairly clean so it is truly a winter wonder land.  

Click on the photos for a better view.


We are at risk from bio-warfare technology


An investigation into the deadly world of germ weapons, Anthrax War begins in New York in the days following 9/11. Anthrax-laced letters, mailed to media and U.S. senators, killed five people and spread fear and panic throughout the nation.

For filmmaker Bob Coen, who was raised in Rhodesia where the white regime has been accused of unleashing anthrax against the black population, biological weapons have a deep personal meaning. He embarks on a journey that raises troubling questions about the FBI's investigation of the 21st century's first act of biological terrorism.

Coen's investigation takes him from the U.S. to the U.K. and from the edge of Siberia to the tip of Africa. In a rare interview, Coen confronts "Doctor Death" Wouter Basson, who headed Project Coast, the South African apartheid-era bio-warfare program. Project Coast used germ warfare against select targets within the country's black population.

Anthrax War also investigates the mysterious deaths of some of the world's leading anthrax scientists, including Dr. David Kelly, the UK's top military microbiologist, the Soviet defector Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, and Dr. Bruce Ivins. The FBI claims - despite the doubts of highly ranked U.S. officials - that Ivins was the only person behind the U.S. anthrax murders.

In tracing the 2001 bio-terror attacks in the U.S. to the heart of the U.S. bio-defense program, this film raises an alarm.  These attacks that helped prepare a country for war have also spawned a multi-billion dollar bio-defense boom.  The line between bio-offense and bio-defense is becoming extremely thin.  

Biological weapons research is now being conducted by corporations and private labs without effective government oversight.  The international treaty prohibiting the development of offensive bio-weapons may no longer be sufficient to keep the world from drifting towards the unthinkable -- biological warfare.

~ Anthrax War was written by Harold Crooks and Bob Coen, directed by Bob Coen and produced by Christine LeGoff and Natalie Dubois. Executive producers are Arnie Gelbart, Yves Jeanneau and Eric Nadler. Anthrax War is a Canada-France coproduction produced by Galafilm and TelFrance/Transformer Films for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Société Radio-Canada and ARTE.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Russia expert exposes U.S. lies


Ray McGovern was a Co-founder of VIPS - Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity. 

He served as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Desk at the CIA, was a CIA analyst for 27 years, and briefed Nixon, Ford, and Reagan daily.

Ray is a member of Veterans for Peace.

Ray explains that his long beard is being grown in solidarity with Julian Assange who is still being held inside a British prison on phony charges as a way to punish him for doing what any good journalist would do - give 'secret' information to the public that exposes the crimes of US and western governments in their endless wars for control of resources on behalf of corporate interests.

At the end of the interview Ray recites a beautiful Russian poem, and then translates it.   

He is a great story teller and fun to listen to - as well as an excellent teacher.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

From the stick-to-it-ive-ness file....



The incredible story of how degraded gorse-infested farmland has been regenerated back into beautiful New Zealand native forest over the course of 30 years.

Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a 30-minute documentary about Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”. 

Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Elon Musk (Space X) has gone nuts


Elon Musk, and his company Space X, has a plan to take control of Mars. They want to 'Terraform' the dusty red planet to make it green and livable like our Mother Earth.

The first time I can recall hearing about Terraforming Mars was years ago while on a speaking tour in Southern California.  I picked up a copy of the LA Times and read an article about the Mars Society which has dreams of moving our human civilization to this faraway planet.  The article quoted Mars Society President Robert Zubrin (a Lockheed Martin executive) who called the Earth "a rotting, dying, stinking planet" and made the case for the transformation of Mars.

Imagine the cost. Why not instead spend money to heal our lush, beautiful, colorful home? What about the ethical considerations of humans deciding that another planet ought to be transformed for our  'use'? What about the legal implications as the UN's Outer Space Treaty forbids such egotistical domination plans?

I am immediately reminded of the TV Star Trek show 'Prime Directive'. The Prime Directive, also known as Starfleet General Order 1, the Non-Interference Directive, was the embodiment of one of Starfleet's most important ethical principles: noninterference with other cultures and civilizations.

In other words 'Do no harm'.

But Elon Musk wants to do big harm to Mars and whatever elemental life that might exist there.

In an article now posted on CounterPunch, journalism professor Karl Grossman writes:

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Space X, has been touting the detonation of nuclear bombs on Mars to, he says, “transform it into an Earth-like planet.”   As Business Insider explains, Musk “has championed the idea of launching nuclear weapons just over Mars’ poles since 2015. He believes it will help warm the planet and make it more hospitable for human life.”

As says: “The explosions would vaporize a fair chunk of Mars' ice caps, liberating enough water vapor and carbon dioxide—both potent greenhouse gases—to warm up the planet substantially, the idea goes.” 

It’s been projected that it would take more than 10,000 nuclear bombs to carry out the Musk plan. The nuclear bomb explosions would also would render Mars radioactive. The nuclear bombs would be carried to Mars on the fleet of 1,000 Starships that Musk wants to build—like the one that blew up this [past] week.

SpaceX is selling T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Nuke Mars.”

The fundamental UN treaty relating to these questions is the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, or simply the "Outer Space Treaty." It was ratified in 1967, largely based on a set of legal principles the general assembly accepted in 1962.

The treaty has several major points to it. Some of the key ones are:

  • Space is free for all nations to explore, and sovereign claims cannot be made. Space activities must be for the benefit of all nations and humans. (So, nobody owns the moon or other planetary bodies.)
  • Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction are not allowed in Earth orbit, on celestial bodies or in other outer-space locations. (In other words, peace is the only acceptable use of outer-space locations).
  • Individual nations (states) are responsible for any damage their space objects cause. Individual nations are also responsible for all governmental and nongovernmental activities conducted by their citizens. These states must also "avoid harmful contamination" due to space activities.

Even NASA, which has been sending probes to Mars for many years, has stated that Terraforming Mars is not possible. (NASA is most interested in mining operations on the Red planet.) Their web site states:

Science fiction writers have long featured terraforming, the process of creating an Earth-like or habitable environment on another planet, in their stories. Scientists themselves have proposed terraforming to enable the long-term colonization of Mars. A solution common to both groups is to release carbon dioxide gas trapped in the Martian surface to thicken the atmosphere and act as a blanket to warm the planet.

However, Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be put back into the atmosphere to warm Mars, according to a new NASA-sponsored study.  Transforming the inhospitable Martian environment into a place astronauts could explore without life support is not possible without technology well beyond today’s capabilities.


This info-graphic shows the various sources of carbon dioxide on Mars and their estimated contribution to Martian atmospheric pressure. Credits: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Click on graphic for better view)


In the end Musk's call to 'Occupy' and 'Nuke' Mars could easily be described as typical 'American exceptionalism'. And supreme arrogance. His ambitions are mega-terrestrial and he seems to not understand how dangerous his ideas (like launching 10,000 nukes to Mars) really are to those of us still trying to survive on Earth and to anyone who would be foolish enough to venture to Mars after such a mad scheme had taken place.

It is time for the adults in the room to sit the out-of-control and spoiled child down and inform him that he does not own the universe. No, Elon, you are not going to be the master of Mars.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Dangers of 80,000 mini-sat launches for 5G



Stop 5G International is standing with 5G International Legal Action Network to stop the deployment of over 80,000 low-orbit non-geostationary satellites and millions of earth stations.

5G International Legal Action Network is a professional network of lawyers and relevant experts, dedicated to redirecting the 5G Juggernaut toward balance and wisdom. By skillful means of law and legal process, 5G-ILAN seeks to head off a global catastrophe from the onslaught of 5G/AI/IoT/80,000+ satellites, and to redirect this industrial/government Juggernaut toward a wiser, more balanced direction, benefiting humanity and all living creatures.

To address this issue, Amber Yang, social media coordinator for Stop 5G International, interviews Julian Gresser, who is an International environmental public interest lawyer, twice Visiting Mitsubishi Professor at Harvard Law School and Visiting Professor at MIT, and an expert on industrial policy and collaborative innovation. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday song