A Dad’s Work to Stop Superbugs

The Pew Charitable Trusts
Antibiotic Resistance Project
Inside NIH’s Fight Against Superbugs
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addresses some of the greatest superbug threats—and what the agency is doing about them.
In Superbug Fight, ‘Victory Is Not at Hand’
“It’s a long road from exciting things happening in the lab to getting through a clinical process to the patient’s bedside,” Kathy Talkington, director of Pew’s antibiotic resistance project, explains in a Chicago Tribune editorial.
A Dad’s Work to Stop Superbugs
For Men’s Health Month—June—get to know Chris Linaman. After his heartbreaking superbug experience, he’s working to help others avoid the trauma he endured.
Antibiotics Weren’t Used to Cure These Patients. Fecal Bacteria Were.
Superbugs Could Render Even the Most Routine Procedures Deadly, Warns Chief Medical Officer
Stanley Falkow, Microbiologist Who Studied Bacteria and the Diseases They Cause, Dies At 84
Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs Are on the Rise Around The World
Antibiotics May Raise the Risk for Kidney Stones
Was this forwarded to you? Don’t miss the next email!
Antibiotics are fundamental to modern medicine, essential for treating everything from routine skin infections to strep throat, and for protecting vulnerable patients receiving chemotherapy or being treated in intensive care units.

Pew’s antibiotic resistance project is working to ensure both the prudent use of existing drugs and a robust pipeline of new drugs in order to meet current and future patient needs.


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Even if John Stewart is Gone, We all Need to Keep taking on FOX and all the Media

I am going to put a lot of John Stewart videos in the comment section, like this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO_om3iK9kE

You probably heard the great news – after a few years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show–but the Boycott Must Go On!!

Ten years ago, Media Matters launched with a revolutionary mission: to systematically monitor the U.S. media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. We’ve been calling out right-wing lies for a decade — and we’re not done yet. Will you contribute now to help us raise $10,000 for our 10th anniversary?

Media Matters Timeline

For ten years, we’ve successfully fought back against the bad actors that poison our media with right-wing lies and smears. It’s been an amazing beginning, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.

We’re in this for the long haul. Make an anniversary gift today to kickstart the next ten years of media accountability.

Dear Kevin,
You probably heard the great news – after two years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show.
Beck was targeted after he slandered President Obama by saying, “This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don’t know what it is… This guy, I believe, is a racist.”
Activists at ColorOfChange, Media Matters, StopBeck, FoxNewsBoycott, and of course Democrats.com responded with a boycott of advertisers on Glenn Beck’s show. Ultimately over 300 advertisers pulled their ads from Beck, costing FOX over $40 million.
Advertiser boycotts work! And it’s time to boycott all FOX News advertisers:
We’re starting our boycott of all FOX News with Proactiv, which sells acne medicine to teenagers and young adults. Why?
First, there are lots of other acne treatments. Second, young adults above all are hurt by FOX News, which promotes right-wing policies on race, education, healthcare, the environment, and war. Let’s get our future leaders to lead the fight against FOX News!
Sign the petition to Proactiv and enter the email address of every young adult over 18 you know:
Beyond President Obama, FOX regularly slanders nearly everyone: Democrats, unionized workers, the unemployed (including veterans and 99ers), environmentalists, feminists, blacks, Hiics, Jews, Muslims, progressives, scientists, and any other group it disagrees with.
FOX News broadcasts rightwing extremist slander, incitement to violence, political propaganda, and outright lies to promote its rightwing political agenda. This is not “news,” but rather a never-ending “war on news” – and it’s all documented in our petition.
Why would any decent company want to fund it? Tell Proactiv to stop advertising on FOX News:
Thanks for all you do!
Bob Fertik

GLEN BECK ADMITTED in 2007, “I Am RACIST and Barack Obama is very White” THIS MAKES Boycotting FOX NEWS needed NOW

By Kevin Stoda

Dear, American supporters of the Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) news networks.

AMERICANS are getting less tolerant of your racism and stronghold on our major media.

For example, we have noted that in his 2007 TV program from FOX (See on You-Tube), Glen Beck admitted he himself was racist. Further, Beck then, in contrast to 2009, called Barrack Obama much more white than black. (Apparently, Beck now he has other nonsense to mush men’s minds.)


Using a major news platform to promote racism and to tell people to disrespect a whole presidential administration through mixed truths, outright lies, and xenophobia, is not to be tolerated any more.

On Democracy Now today, Amy Goodman asked Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP what he thought of Wal-Mart’s pull-out from advertising on the Glen Beck program on FOX.

NOTE: Goodman had simply asked , “The whole attack by Glenn Beck that drove this (resignation)? In your response from the NAACP to Van Jones, it says, ´The only thing more outrageous than Mr. Beck’s attack on Van Jones is the fact that there are sponsors that continue to pay him to provide this type of offensive commentary.` Do you support the continued boycott of companies like Wal-Mart of Beck’s show on Fox?”


This is a particularly important point because Glen Beck´s HATE CAMPAIGN ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION led recently to a great American policy maker, Van Jones, quitting the government this week.


Mr. Jealous said, “We certainly support them (Walmart) choosing with their dollars who they’re going to support. I mean, it’s—Glenn Beck is somebody who’s told a seven-year-old girl, a seven-year-old black girl, that he would buy her a ticket back to Africa, that she needed to go back to Africa. And then he comes out, and he says that healthcare is the beginning of reparations. I mean, this guy plays the race card on a weekly basis. He does it very aggressive—you know, in a very hateful way.”

Recall, first, that Van Jones is one of the most important and thoughtful men in America—however, the FOX (Fascist Oddball Xenophobic) news network chose to support a man, like Glen Beck, rather than seeing that tens of millions of Americans need to get health care from promoters like Jones and that our America economy needs to move starting today to the kind of economy that its competitors worldwide are already doing.


Let’s quote the wisdom and influential words of Van Jones on the absolute necessity to green the American economy NOW!

“I think it’s really important to point out that we’re sort of at the end of an era of American capitalism, where we thought we could run the economy based on consumption rather than production, credit rather than creativity, borrowing rather than building, and also, most importantly, environmental destruction rather than environmental restoration.”

Jones continued, “We’re trying to make the case in this book that that era is over. We now have to move in a very different direction. And key to that will be basing the US economy not on credit cards, but based on clean energy and the clean energy revolution that would put literally millions of people to work, putting up solar panels all across the United States, weatherizing buildings so they don’t leak so much energy and put up so much carbon, building wind farms and wave farms, manufacturing wind turbines. We argue you could put Detroit back to work not making SUVs to destroy the world, but making wind turbines, 8,000 finely machine parts in each one, twenty tons of steel in each wind tower, making wind turbines to help save the world.”

Finally, Van Jones wisely noted, “So we think that you can fight pollution and poverty at the same time. We think that you can actually power our way through this recession by putting people to work, but we’re going to have to start building things here and re-powering, retrofitting, retooling America, and that that’s the way forward both for the economy, for the earth and for everyday people.”

Note: These statements came from a program on DN from October of last year:


Van Beck has written a book of the same title, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.


America needs such voices as Van Jones in government leadership in America—not Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) types.

Clean up the American airwaves of all its fascism and racism, today.


NOTE: One way to change the noise of Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) media moguls is to support alternative media organizations


and alternative monitoring websites.


Another way, is to demand that local radio and TV channels put better programming on, such as Democracy Now or news sources promoted by serious progressive journalists:


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Here is a partial list of USA properties Trump Could Sell Off and Reduce Federal/DOD Spending

List of United States military bases

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Map of the small U.S. military installations, ranges and training areas in the continental United States.

Countries with United States military bases and facilities

This is a list of military installations owned or used by the United States Armed Forces currently located in the United States and around the world. This list details only current or recently closed facilities; some defunct facilities are found at Category:Closed military installations of the United States.

An “installation” is defined as “a military base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, including leased space, that is controlled by, or primarily supports DoD’s activities. An installation may consist of one or more sites” (geographically-separated real estate parcels).[1]:DoD-3

The United States is the largest operator of military bases abroad, with 38 “named bases[note 1] having active-duty, National Guard, reserve, or civilian personnel as of September 30, 2014. Its largest, in terms of personnel, was Ramstein AB, in Germany, with almost 9,200 personnel.[1][note 2] The Pentagon stated in 2013 that there are “around” 5000 bases total, with “around” 600 of them overseas.[2]

By location[edit]


Joint overseas[edit]


See also: United States Military Operations in Niger

  • There are approximately 1,500+ U.S. Special Operations Forces in Syria, spread across 12 different facilities, being used as training bases for Kurdish rebels.[7][8]

United States Army[edit]



Germany – 34 facilities[edit]
  1. Bleidorn Housing Area, Ansbach
  2. Dagger Complex, Darmstadt Training Center Griesheim (scheduled to close in 2015)
  3. Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  4. Lucius D. Clay Kaserne (formerly Wiesbaden Army Airfield), Wiesbaden-Erbenheim
  5. Germersheim Army Depot, Germersheim
  6. Grafenwöhr Training Area, Grafenwöhr/Vilseck
  7. Hohenfels Training Area/Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels (Upper Palatinate)
  8. Husterhoeh Kaserne, Pirmasens
  9. Kaiserslautern Military Community
  10. Katterbach Kaserne, Ansbach
  11. Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart
  12. Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern Military Community
  13. Lampertheim Training Area, Lampertheim (scheduled to close in 2015)
  14. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl
  15. McCully Barracks, Wackernheim
  16. Miesau Army Depot, Miesau
  17. Oberdachstetten Storage Area, Ansbach
  18. Panzer Kaserne, Stuttgart
  19. Patch Barracks, Stuttgart
  20. Pulaski Barracks, Kaiserslautern
  21. Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Kaiserslautern
  22. Robinson Barracks, Stuttgart
  23. Rose Barracks, Vilseck
  24. Sembach Kaserne, Kaiserslautern
  25. Sheridan Barracks, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  26. Shipton Kaserne, Ansbach
  27. Smith Barracks, Baumholder
  28. Storck Barracks, Illesheim
  29. Stuttgart Army Airfield, Filderstadt
  30. Mainz-Kastel Storage Station (scheduled to close in 2015)
  31. USAG Wiesbaden Military Training Area, Mainz, Gonsenheim/Mombach
  32. USAG Wiesbaden Training Area, Mainz Finthen Airport
  33. USAG Wiesbaden Radar Station, Mainz Finthen Airport
  34. Urlas Housing and Shopping Complex, Ansbach (converted from Urlas Training Area in 2010-2011)
Italy – 3 facilities[edit]
South Korea[edit]

United States Marine Corps[edit]



South Korea[edit]

United States Navy[edit]


United States Navy (59)
State/Territory Base State Base
California NAWS China Lake Mississippi NCBC Gulfport
NB Coronado NAS Meridian
NAS Lemoore NS Pascagoula
NPS Monterey Nevada NAS Fallon
NAS North Island New Jersey NWS Earle
NB Point Loma NAES Lakehurst
NB Ventura County-NAS Point Mugu New York NSA Saratoga Springs
NB Ventura County-NCBC Port Hueneme Pennsylvania NAS Willow Grove
Naval Base San Diego Rhode Island NS Newport
Connecticut NSB New London South Carolina NSA Charleston
Washington, D.C. Washington NY Tennessee NSA Mid-South
United States Naval Research Laboratory Texas NAS Corpus Christi
Florida Corry Station NTTC NAS JRB Fort Worth
NAS Jacksonville NAS Kingsville
NAS Key West
NS Mayport Virginia Chesapeake NSGA
NSA Panama City Training Support Center Hampton Roads
NAS Pensacola NAB Little Creek
NAS Whiting Field NS Norfolk
Georgia General Lucius D. Clay National Guard Center NAS Oceana
NSB Kings Bay Wallops Island ASCS
Dobbins ARB NWS Yorktown
Guam Naval Base Guam Guam Andersen Air Force Base
Hawaii NS Barking Sands Washington NBK Bangor
Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam NBK Bremerton
Illinois NS Great Lakes NAS Whidbey Island
Indiana NSWC Crane Division NS Everett
Louisiana NASJRB New Orleans West Virginia NIOC Sugar Grove
Maine Portsmouth NS
Maryland Fort Meade NSGA
NAS Patuxent River
NSF Thurmont
United States Naval Academy
Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center
(in Maryland, but a part of NSASP of Dahlgren, Virginia)


British Indian Ocean Territory[edit]
South Korea[edit]

United States Air Force[edit]


United States Air Force (71)
State / Territory Base State Base
Alabama Maxwell Air Force Base Mississippi Columbus Air Force Base
Alaska Clear Air Force Station Keesler Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base Missouri Whiteman Air Force Base
Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson Montana Malmstrom Air Force Base
Arizona Davis–Monthan Air Force Base Nebraska Offutt Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base Nevada Nellis Air Force Base
Arkansas Little Rock Air Force Base New Jersey Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
California Beale Air Force Base New Mexico Cannon Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base Holloman Air Force Base
Los Angeles Air Force Base Kirtland Air Force Base
March Joint Air Reserve Base North Carolina Pope Air Force Base
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Travis Air Force Base North Dakota Grand Forks Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base Minot Air Force Base
Colorado Buckley Air Force Base Ohio Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Peterson Air Force Base Oklahoma Altus Air Force Base
Schriever Air Force Base Tinker Air Force Base
United States Air Force Academy Vance Air Force Base
Delaware Dover Air Force Base South Carolina Charleston Air Force Base
Washington, D.C. Bolling Air Force Base Shaw Air Force Base
Florida Eglin Air Force Base South Dakota Ellsworth Air Force Base
Hurlburt Field Tennessee Arnold Air Force Base
MacDill Air Force Base Texas Brooks City-Base
Patrick Air Force Base Dyess Air Force Base
Tyndall Air Force Base Goodfellow Air Force Base
Guam Andersen Air Force Base Guam Andersen Base
Georgia Moody Air Force Base Texas Lackland Air Force Base
Robins Air Force Base Laughlin Air Force Base
Hawaii Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Randolph Air Force Base
Idaho Mountain Home Air Force Base Sheppard Air Force Base
Illinois Scott Air Force Base Utah Hill Air Force Base
Indiana Grissom Joint Air Reserve Base Virginia Langley Air Force Base
Kansas McConnell Air Force Base Washington Fairchild Air Force Base
Louisiana Barksdale Air Force Base JBLM McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord
New Orleans Joint Reserve Base Wyoming Francis E. Warren Air Force Base
Maryland Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility
Massachusetts Hanscom Air Force Base
Westover Joint Air Reserve Base


Greenland (Denmark)[edit]
Azores (Portugal)[edit]
South Korea[edit]
United Kingdom[edit]

Coast Guard[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up ^ What are here termed “named bases” are the bases listed in section X: “Personnel Data from DMDC”, i.e. excluding that table’s rows labelled “Other”, in the 2015 DoD Base Structure Report.
  2. Jump up ^ The 2015 U.S. Base Structure Report gives 587 overseas sites, but sites are merely real property at a distinct geographical location, and multiple sites may belong to one installation (page DoD-3). For example, the Garmisch, Germany “named base” with its 72 personnel has eight distinct sites large enough to be listed in the Army’s Individual Service Inventory list: Artillery Kaserne, Breitenau Skeet Range, Garmisch Family Housing, Garmish Golf Course, General Abrams Hotel And Disp, Hausberg Ski Area, Oberammergau NATO School, and Sheridan Barracks (listed in Army-15 to Army-17). These range in size from Ramstein AB with 9,188 active, guard/reserve, and civilian personnel down to Worms, which has just one civilian.


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b “Department of Defense / Base Structure Report / FY 2015 Baseline” (PDF). Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  2. Jump up ^ “Blank Spots on the map: Almost all the U.S. Army’s secret military bases across the globe revealed on Google and Bing”. dailymail.co.uk. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b c Müller-Jung, Friederike (November 23, 2016). “US drone war expands to Niger”. Deutsche Welle. An additional US base in Arlit, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Agadez, has been operating for about a year, but little is known about it, Moore said, except that special forces are presumably stationed there.
  4. Jump up ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan; Whitlock, Craig (November 24, 2017). “A city in Niger worries a new U.S. drone base will make it a ‘magnet’ for terrorists”. The Washington Post.
  5. Jump up ^ Taub, Ben (January 28, 2018). “Ben Taub on Twitter: “Secret military base near Arlit, Niger, revealed as a white dot in a sea of black, because Western soldiers didn’t turn off their Fitbits”. Twitter via the Internet Archive.
  6. Jump up ^ Lewis, David; Bavier, Joe. Boulton, Ralph, ed. “U.S. deaths in Niger highlight Africa military mission creep”. Reuters. In missions run out of a base in the northern Niger town of Arlit and others like the one that led to the ambush of U.S. troops, sources say they have helped local troops and intelligence agents make several arrests.
  7. Jump up ^ “Russia and U.S. engage in military base race in Syria”. defensenews.com. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  8. Jump up ^ “Anadolu Agency’s map of U.S. bases in Syria infuriates The Pentagon”. orient-news.net. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. Jump up ^ Szoldra, Paul (August 8, 2018). “Exclusive: The Insider Attack In Syria That The Pentagon Denies Ever Happened”. Task & Purpose. Archived from the original on August 9, 2018.
  10. Jump up ^ Samir [@obretix] (August 8, 2018). “picture of “some of the Marines of Weapons Co., 2/7, in Syria” from taskandpurpose.com/syria-insider-attack/ … geolocated to administrative and housing complex at Omar oil field wikimapia.org/#lat=35.076769&lon=40.590958&z=17&m=bs …” (Tweet). Archived from the original on August 9, 2018 – via Twitter.
  11. Jump up ^ Zorlu, Faruk; Copur, Hakan (June 19, 2018). “France cooperating with PKK/YPG terrorists: Coalition”. Anadolu Agency. According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency on March 30 from local sources, more than 70 French special forces under the international coalition against Daesh are stationed at the Lafarge Cement factory near the strategic Mistanur Hill and Harab-Isk village in southern Ayn al-Arab province (Kobani).
  12. Jump up ^ @obretix (July 10, 2018). “US Army Apache helicopter at the Lafarge cement plant in northern Syria www.google.com/maps?ll=36.546725,38.589478&q=36.546725,38.589478&hl=en&t=h&z=17 … www.dvidshub.net/video/612558” (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 10, 2018 – via Twitter.
  13. Jump up ^ Cenciotti, David (June 27, 2018). “Here Are The First Photographs Of U.S. Air Force C-17 and Marine Corps KC-130J Operating From New U.S. Airfield in Northern Syria”. The Aviationist. Another U.S. airfield is located in northern Syria: Sarrin. The base was built in 2016 and the first aircraft appeared to operate from there in July 2017.
  14. Jump up ^ @obretix (June 27, 2018). “pictures of C-17 Globemaster and C-130J Hercules at the airfield between Tell Tamr and Tell Baydar in northern Syria www.dvidshub.net/image/4509040 geolocated wikimapia.org/#lat=36.706791&lon=40.513265&z=14&m=b … (farm in the background wikimapia.org/#lat=36.711194&lon=40.513769&z=17&m=b …)” (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 29, 2018 – via Twitter.
  15. Jump up ^ Weiss, Caleb (July 24, 2018). “Shabaab releases photos from inside joint US-Somali-Kenyan base”. Long War Journal. The joint Somali-Kenyan-US base in Bar-Sanguuni is the same base in which a US Special Forces soldier was killed in early June.
  16. Jump up ^ Kimmons, Sean (November 27, 2017). “Isolated from US military, small Army post looks to rid terrorism in West Africa”. Army News Service.
  17. Jump up ^ http://www.mcipac.marines.mil/Installations/Camp-Mujuk/
  18. ^ Jump up to: a b c USAF move out of Mildenhall delayed by two years, BBC News. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  19. Jump up ^ Laming (2000), pp. 106-107

External links[edit]

US state abbrev map.png

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Instead of selling off properties, sometimes the DOD just gives the properties away–like this south sea island, which Trump could have made into a resort

Johnston Atoll, USA

The Johnston Atoll might belong to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service today, but before that, it was the Army’s playground for 70 years.

It was covered in radioactive debris for a while thanks to test launch failures in 1962, and this is where they stored all the Agent Orange and mustard gas after the Vietnam War.

It’s a nicer place today.

Suggested By: Arch Duke Maxyenko, The Great!, Photo Credit: USFWS Pacific

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Second Example of DOD Waste and Property that needs to be put up for sale

Fort Ord, USA

If you feel bad for all those abandoned Olympic facilities from the last four decades that cost millions but did not serve the public after the games, how about Fort Ord, one of the largest US military bases that was closed in 1992 and happens to be very close to Laguna Seca? TheCrudMan:

Fort Ord, California has some really cool stuff like this abandoned Olympic size swimming pool. Also rows and rows of abandoned barracks and larger buildings. All with an ocean view.

The coolest thing about this place, and what makes it so impressive, is that it is an example of beautiful decay….placed in the middle of the natural beauty of the California central coast, off of HWY 1. It is such a weird place and yet somehow it works so nicely where it is. I hope they never tear it down.

Suggested By: TheCrudMan, Photo Credit: TheCrudMan

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One Example of DOD Waste and Property that needs to be put up for sale

Greenbrier Bunker, USA

It’s always those damn journalists! Shmalworthington:

It was originally called project Green Island and was designed as a full scale bunker complex located under the luxury hotel the Greenbrier.

The bunker was a secret and remained full serviced and operational from 1959-1992 when a Washington Post reporter exposed it. The bunker was large enough to hold all of Congress, both houses and staff for over a year or more.

Check it out here!

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Instead of selling off some of the DOD’s 15 Trillion Dollars in Prime Real Estate and Properties around the world, Businessman–Prez Trump will waste triple what his predecessors have in less than 3 years (What a Lousy Real-Estate Investor)

Trump Signs $716 Billion Military Spending Bill; Includes $21 Billion for Nuke Program

AUG 14, 2018

H04 military budget

President Trump has signed a record-setting $716 billion military spending bill. That’s a $82 billion increase over the current year. President Trump signed it during a visit to Fort Drum in New York.

President Trump: “We got $700 billion. And next year, already approved, we have $716 billion to give you the finest planes and ships and tanks and missiles anywhere on Earth. Nobody makes them like we do. And very, very far distant in this case. Jobs are very important in all cases, but in this case, military might is more important than even jobs.”

The bill includes over $21 billion for nuclear weapons programs, including $65 million for a new submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear weapon. The bill also allocates money for Trump’s proposed military parade. The official title of the defense spending bill is The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. But President Trump made no reference to McCain, who has been a vocal critic of the administration, during his remarks. In 2016 Trump said of McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

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Shame of America and its Allies in Yemen after Bombing Killing 40 school children on a bus

Was this bombing of children on a bus avoidable?–kas

Thousands Attend Funeral of 40 Yemeni Children Killed in Saudi Airstrike

AUG 14, 2018

H02a yemen funerals

In Yemen, thousands of mourners gathered in the city of Saada Monday for funerals of the 51 people—including 40 children—who were killed in an airstrike on a school bus last week.
The airstrike was carried out by the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition. Images posted online suggest a U.S.-built Mark 82 bomb was used in the airstrike. Mourners decried the attack on schoolchildren.

Mohamed Galhem: “The crimes that were committed by the coalition against children in Dahyan are unprecedented crimes that have never happened before—crimes that will not be forgiven by history or humanity. A crime that has never happened to anyone before, not the Sikhs, the Indians nor the Bengals. A crime committed by the dirty hands of al-Saud and al-Nahyan against the children of Yemen.”

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The U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has repeatedly cut secret deals with al-Qaeda–i.e. Trump IS HAVING the USA technically fighting ALONGSIDE AL-QAEDA

AP Investigation: Behind the Scenes in Yemen, U.S.-Backed Saudi Coalition Is Working with al-Qaeda


The U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has repeatedly cut secret deals with al-Qaeda, even paying its fighters to retreat from towns or join the coalition, a bombshell Associated Press investigation has revealed. The AP probe accuses the United States of being aligned with al-Qaeda in the fight against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, despite claiming to be fighting the extremist group in the region. One senior tribal leader told the AP, “Al-Qaeda wasn’t defeated. It didn’t fight in the first place.” We speak with Maggie Michael, one of the three reporters for the Associated Press who broke the story, headlined “U.S. Allies Spin Deals with al-Qaida in War on Rebels.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to an explosive new Associated Press investigation that found the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition there has repeatedly cut secret deals with Al Qaeda in Yemen, even paying its fighters to retreat from towns or join the coalition. The AP investigation accuses the United States of being essentially aligned with Al Qaeda in the fight against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, despite claiming to be fighting Al-Qaeda in the region.

For more, we’re joined in Cairo, Egypt, by Maggie Michael, one of the three reporters for the Associated Press who broke this story, headlined U.S. allies spin deals with al Qaeda in war on rebels. Explain what you found, Maggie.

MAGGIE MICHAEL: We worked on examining the Emirati campaign against terrorism in southern Yemen repeatedly over the past year since 2016. Emiratis, along with the Pentagon, declared victories after victories against Al Qaeda, liberating cities from the group without really telling us how this happened. We looked closely into different areas, basically Hadhramaut, Abyan and Shabwah, and in the three of these provinces, we found through tribal mediators, officials, witnesses, residents, that there was no actual fight on the ground.

What happened is the Qaeda militants pulled out days and months and weeks before the campaign started. They pulled out, leaving the city without any fight, and then the Emiratis deployed their forces and then they declared victory. The Pentagon joins and says, “We have helped and assisted the Emiratis with a small force on the ground to defeat Al Qaeda.”

AMY GOODMAN: This is Sheikh Tarek al-Fadhali, an Abyan tribal leader and mediator speaking in a video that accompanies your Associated Profess report.

SHEIKH TAREK AL-FADHALI: The Americans know everything and more about what we know. They knew about the mediations, step by step, one by one, and they were turning a blind eye.

AMY GOODMAN: Maggie Michael, can you explain who he is and the significance of what he is saying?

MAGGIE MICHAEL: Tarek al-Fadhali is a very well-known tribal leader in Yemen. He in the past was fighting next to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. He came back to Yemen and he one of the Afghan Arab fighters recruited even by the government recruited itself to fight [inaudible] in this fight between the North and the South. He played different roles. At the very end when we interviewed him, we found out he was in direct contact with the Americans, feeding them with information about the movements of Al Qaeda, about the deals that’s going on.

This area in Abyan has very active U.S. drone activity—I mean, the drones don’t leave the sky—but on the days where al-Qaeda was leaving, there was no strikes. And that was the question that we raised with Sheikh Tarek al-Fadhali, asking him, “What do you think about it?” And he said that this is not a surprise; the Americans know everything. In addition to Tarek, there were several other tribal mediators. We interviewed them, and one of them actually hosted al-Qaeda leaders inside his [inaudible] and he held like a farewell dinner before they left.

AMY GOODMAN: The Washington Times reports Pentagon officials denied YOU.S.-supported allies bribed or recruited al Qaeda members in Yemen. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said, “That is patently false. We do not pay al Qaeda, we kill al Qaeda.” Maggie Michael?

MAGGIE MICHAEL: Yes. I mean, this is the line of the United States along with the Emiratis. Yesterday also the Emirati officials held a press conference denying that they had any agreements or deals with Al Qaeda. But on the ground, we had so many witnesses and people who were involved in these meetings, including the tribal mediator who was involved in a meeting between the Emiratis and the Qaeda where they agreed on paying money in order for the group to withdraw from Shabwah. The denials don’t really add—don’t give more information, just general denials.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you, Maggie, respond to the killing that we were just talking about, the U.S.-backed Saudi bombing of this school bus, 40 schoolchildren killed? Now there are thousands of people going to funerals in Yemen, 51 people overall killed. How does this fit into the picture that you have found and your investigation?

MAGGIE MICHAEL: What is very hard to determine in Yemen is what the children were doing. We worked on covering Yemen since 2015. We know that the Saudi-led coalition has bombed civilian targets all the time—markets, hospitals, schools. This is not a surprise. But we also know that the Houthis are actively recruiting the children and then they send them to the front lines. And the question marks here that are not answered yet—what were the children doing at the time?

There are no schools right now at Yemen. There are no buses carrying children from one school to the house. This is a luxury. The children were visiting a cemetery, and that is where they promote the whole notion of jihad and martyrism. So I mean, on one hand, the Saudi-led coalition is blamed for killing the civilians and this has been ongoing without any—no question about it. But at the same time, we have a look at the other side of the picture and see what the Houthis were doing with the children.

AMY GOODMAN: Shireen Al-Adeimi, before we leave, your final comment on this latest killing, the U.S. bomb that was used in it, the documentation of that and what U.S. Congress is doing about this? Because there are moves there to get out of supporting the Saudi and UAE attacks on Yemen.

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: To just quickly respond to what your guest just said, it doesn’t really matter what the children were doing. They were children, they were in summer school and for the Saudi-led coalition to bomb a bus full of children is a war crime, regardless of what the children were doing.

And to talk about really what the U.S. intervention in Yemen looks like, we know what it looks like. We know the devastation that it has caused. Yemen is falling and all of the services have been failing. 113,000 children died in 2016 and 2017 alone of starvation and preventable diseases such as cholera. What we need from the Senate, what we need from Congress right now is to continue to push toward ending the U.S. involvement in Yemen, given how much the Saudis and the Emiratis rely on U.S. support, on U.S. weapons, on U.S. maintaining and repairing of their aircraft, on U.S. midair refueling and on U.S. targeting assistance.

We know that they cannot continue to wage war on Yemen without extensive U.S. assistance, and Congress needs to act quickly to continue to introduce resolutions in the Senate and in the House to push the U.S. out of Yemen.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us, Shireen Al-Adeimi is a Yemeni scholar, activist and assistant professor now at Michigan State University, speaking to us from East Lansing. And Maggie Michael, AP reporter, speaking to us from Cairo, Egypt. This is Democracy Now! We have a Democracy Now! full-time job opening for a broadcast engineer here in our New York City studio. Find out more at democracynow.org.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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40 Yemeni Children Dead by U.S.-Made Bomb? Outrage Mounts Over U.S. Role in Airstrike on School Bus
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US-Backed Saudi Coalition Continues to Massacre Innocents in Yemen by the dozens almost every month (while working with Al-Qaeda in Yemen)

Saudi claims that little children are responsible for the war even as Saudi pays moneys to Al-Qaeda Types all of the time.–kas

40 Yemeni Children Dead by U.S.-Made Bomb? Outrage Mounts Over U.S. Role in Airstrike on School Bus


Thousands of mourners gathered in Yemen’s northern city of Saada Monday for the funerals of 51 people, including 40 children, who were killed in a U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a school bus last week. The massacre of school boys between the ages of 6 and 11 was one of the worst attacks on children in the history of Yemen’s brutal war. Images posted online suggest a U.S.-built Mark 82 bomb was used in the bombing. We speak with Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni scholar and activist and an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. Her latest piece for In These Times is titled “Fine Print in Defense Bill Acknowledges U.S.-Backed War in Yemen Will Go On Indefinitely.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. As we continue to look at Yemen, we now turn to an absolutely critical report on what has been taking place in Yemen right now—the bombing of a school bus. The bombing of a school bus. Thousands of mourners gathered in the northern city of Sa’dah for funerals of 51 people, including 40 children killed in a U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a school bus last week. Images posted online suggest a U.S.-built Mark 82 bomb was used in the bombing. The massacre of school boys between the ages of six and 11 was one of the worst attacks on children in history of Yemen’s brutal war. This is Moussa Abdullah who witnessed the bombing.

MOUSSA ABDULLAH: The strike happened in the middle of the market and it targeted a bus carrying children. Our shops were open and the shoppers were walking around as usual. All of those who died were residents, children and shop owners.

AMY GOODMAN: The children had spent the day celebrating the end of summer school by taking a field trip to a cemetery, one of the last remaining green spaces in a region devastated by war. Video released by Houthi media captures the school boys laughing and talking on the bus. Just hours later, most of the kids in the video were dead. This is Hussein Hussin Tayeb, whose son Ahmed was killed in the bombing.

HUSSEIN HUSSIN TAYEB: I was one of the first people on the scene. As soon as I arrived with others wanting to help out, we figured we had to quickly nurse the wounded because there was chaos. People were running over bodies and shouting. It was a scary situation. Very scary, but may God give us patience from his strength.

UNKNOWN: Did you find your children here?

HUSSEIN HUSSIN TAYEB: As I was nursing people, I lifted a body and found that it was Ahmed’s face. I carried him and hugged him. He was my son.

AMY GOODMAN: U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the air strike, calling for an independent investigation into the deadly attack. Saudi Arabia responded by saying it will launch its own investigation, claiming the air strike was a legitimate military operation. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Sunday he is sending a three-star general to Riyadh to assist the Saudi investigation. The U.S.-backed Saudi-led bombing campaign has repeatedly been accused of committing war crimes by targeting civilians.

We’re going now to East Lansing, Michigan to speak with Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni scholar and activist, assistant professor at Michigan State University. Her latest piece for In These times headlined Fine Print in Defense Bill Acknowledges U.S.-Backed War in Yemen Will Go On Indefinitely. We welcome you back to Democracy Now!, Shireen. Talk about this bombing, where it was, who was killed.

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: Good morning, Amy. This is just the latest string, unfortunately, of really brutal attacks on civilians in Yemen. It is not the worst of its kind in terms of the numbers of people killed, but certainly because all of the—40 out of the 51 people who were killed were children, it really is just an extreme form of this Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen. Here were these kids on a school trip. They were excited. There’s footage—we see them laughing and really being excited. Some of the parents said that they couldn’t really sleep the night before because they were so looking forward to—and here’s the sad part—they’re going to a cemetery just to be able to enjoy some time outside. And as the bus entered a busy market, it was targeted by the Saudi-led coalition and most of these children were killed. Of course, we know that the U.S. is part of the Saudi-led coalition, so we are in fact responsible, just as much as the Saudis and Emiratis are, in the bombing of those children.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what has happened since. You have the U.N. calling for an independent investigation, Saudi Arabia—that killed them—saying “no,” Saudi Arabia backed by the United States and now General Mattis saying he is sending a general to Saudi Arabia to help with the investigation.

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: Well, it’s just preposterous to think that they are continuously allowed to investigate their own crimes. We’ve seen this committee that they’ve put together and the kinds of investigations they have done in the past. Remember, this is not the first massacre in Yemen. Two years ago, they killed 120 people in a market. The also killed 140 mourners in a funeral hall. And of course, every single day, there are airstrikes and casualties and civilians who have been killed by Saudi-led airstrikes. They have essentially absolved themselves of all wrongdoing every time they have investigated themselves. And of course they would. Who would trust a criminal to investigate his or her own crimes?

And for the U.S. to say that we’re going to send a general—well, the U.S. is also part of this coalition that has targeted civilians since three and a half years ago, since this war started. What Yemenis need is really an independent investigation, which has been put forward in the U.N. twice already and has been rejected by the Saudi-led coalition and the U.S. unfortunately has provided cover for the Saudi-led coalition at the U.N.

We need an independent investigation, yes, but the Saudis have already admitted that they have targeted this bus. They have said that this was a legitimate target. They’ve characterized the children inside the bus as people who were responsible for launching missiles into Saudi Arabia. And then the colonel, the spokesperson of the Saudi-led coalition, went on to say that those who launch missiles into Saudi Arabia will get what they deserve.

So they have already admitted that they have targeted the bus. They’ve characterized those children as missile launchers. And what is there to investigate? We know who’s the only party capable of committing such acts in Yemen, which is the Saudi-led coalition. We know that they have done this over and over again. So really what would an investigation even prove, that we don’t already know?

AMY GOODMAN: This colonel, Turki Al-Malki, the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition, saying, “No, this is not children in the bus. We do have high standard measures for targeting.” Shireen Al-Adeimi, what does the U.S. military bill that President Trump signed off on yesterday at Fort Drum, New York—this unprecedented bill, a record-setting $716 billion military spending bill, $82 billion above the current year—say about Yemen?

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: Well, if you remember, Amy, Congress has now twice tried to invoke—has invoked the War Powers Resolution to try to extricate the U.S. from Yemen, and Congress passed a resolution back in December of last year acknowledging that the U.S. is at war in Yemen without congressional approval. So now here we have this defense bill that just got passed, and some senators and congresspeople have managed to insert some Yemen provisions that are meant to limit U.S. military spending on refueling missions in Yemen.

We know that the Saudi-led coalition relies on the U.S. military to refuel their jets midair. This is just one of the many services that the U.S. provides for the Saudi-led coalition. This bill contained these provisions saying that this money cannot be used toward midair refueling, but when you look at the language, it allows for some exceptions.

It says that the secretary of state can issue a waiver, and it says that these midair refueling missions can occur as long as the Saudis and the Emiratis show that they are taking certain actions to prevent civilian casualties.

So again, this is very vague language that essentially provides a loophole for using military spending toward midair refueling, and in essence it contradicts Congress’s earlier stance of saying that, “We are in Yemen, this is not authorized in Congress, but here we are allowing midair refueling under certain conditions.” Which again does nothing to protect the Yemeni citizens from Saudi bombs, U.S.-sold bombs to the Saudis and the U.S. assistance of the Saudi-led military.

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AP Investigation: Behind the Scenes in Yemen, U.S.-Backed Saudi Coalition Is Working with al-Qaeda
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As Monsanto comes under scrutiny for allegedly hiding the dangers of its weed killer, Roundup, we talk to a reporter who says the company attempted to censor and discredit her

How Monsanto Plants Stories, Suppresses Science & Silences Dissent to Sell a Cancer-Linked Chemical


As Monsanto comes under scrutiny for allegedly hiding the dangers of its weed killer, Roundup, we talk to a reporter who says the company attempted to censor and discredit her when she published stories on their product that contradicted their business interests. Carey Gillam is a veteran investigative journalist and author of “Whitewash–The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We are looking at Friday’s historic verdict in a lawsuit against U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto. In a groundbreaking decision, a jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using the weed killer Roundup on the school lawns. The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Lee Johnson, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020. Johnson’s was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer.

We just spoke with the lead attorney in the case. Now we’re going to Kansas City, Missouri, were we are joined by Carey Gillam, a veteran investigative journalist, author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. She has covered corporate America for 25 years, now research director for U.S. Right To Know. In your book, Carey, you write, “It’s the pesticide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it’s in the air we breathe, our water, our soil and even increasingly found in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto’s Roundup by consumers and as glyphosate by scientists, the world’s most popular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland.” Carey Gillam, what does this historic verdict, nearly $300 million to one person, mean for this chemical?

CAREY GILLAM: Thank you and good morning. I think it is historic, as Brent mentioned.

This vindicates really years and years, decades, of independent scientific work studying this chemical and this herbicide. We went from about 40 million pounds of glyphosate used in the 1990s to close to 300 million pounds used now in the United States. This is the most widely used weed killer ever in the history of the world, and this is primarily because Monsanto has spent so much time and effort marketing this to be used in so many different ways and to be used so pervasively in food production.

Of course, the main selling point has been that it is so very safe, so much safer than any other herbicide out there, safe enough to convince our regulators to allow ever-increasingly higher levels of this pesticide in our food. And as you mentioned, it is; evidence shows us it is very routinely found in our water, in our food, in our soil, in our air. U.S. scientists have even documented it coming down as rainfall.

AMY GOODMAN: So the use of this—in the last minutes that Brent Wisner was on, he talked about, for example, immigrant workers that deal with this. In California, how many people, how many farmworkers are exposed to this? Can they bring lawsuits when they get sick? What about undocumented workers?

CAREY GILLAM: Right. There are thousands of people around the United States, obviously, who have already filed suit, thousands more who are waiting in the wings, I’m told, from all of the different plaintiff’s attorneys I’ve talked to around the country. There are people around the world who are very concerned as well. Some farmworkers in Argentina have already tried to sue Monsanto. They’ve had trouble in U.S. courts bringing Monsanto to account for what they have alleged are birth affects in their children because of their exposure to glyphosate and Roundup. There are people in Europe who are similarly concerned and trying to move forward on litigation. So I think the world has really woken up to this problem just in the last several years.

Now, I have been tracking it since the late 1990s and through the 2000s. That was my job at Reuters, really, was to cover this company and its profit stream and its business model. And of course Roundup has been a huge part of Monsanto’s business model. Billions of dollars in revenues every year tied not just to the chemical, but of course the GMO seeds that Monsanto designed specifically to encourage the use of Roundup. Roundup-ready seeds and Roundup herbicide meant billions and billions of dollars for Monsanto every year, and Bayer, which just acquired Monsanto in June, of course has been hoping to continue that revenue stream. But as use has grown over the decades, the problems and the evidence has mounted, both for environmental concerns and human health concerns.

AMY GOODMAN: In June of 2017, Reuters ran a story headlined Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence and claimed that “The World Health Organization’s cancer agency says a common weed killer is ‘probably carcinogenic.’ The scientist leading that review knew of fresh data showing showing no cancer link—but he never mentioned it and the agency did not take it into account.” That story was reported by Kate Kelland, who you have said has a history of cozy relations with a group partly funded by agrichemical company interests. Talk about that report—I was just quoting it, not saying that was the truth—and the flaws you found with it.

CAREY GILLAM: You know, I hate to criticize, obviously, Reuters; I spent most of my career there. This was just a deeply flawed story and a really good example of fake news, of orchestrated fake news. How this came down was this was information that Monsanto and/or its allies and coworkers, I guess you might want to say, fed to Kate Kelland through the Science Media Centre. They tried to feed it to other journalists as well; other journalists turned it down.

Effectively, this was a deposition by Aaron Blair, who chaired the working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer that looked at glyphosate. This was his deposition. Now, it had not been filed in court so it was not available for public viewing. It was not part of the docket. Monsanto gave it to Kate and gave her basically their view of it, which is what you just read—that oh, Aaron Blair knew of this research and withheld it from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and had IARC known, they would have come up with a different classification.

Now, I also had the deposition and could see, as anybody could from reading the deposition, that is not what is said at all. But Kate went with Monsanto’s spin, so to speak, on this, wrote the story, did not provide a link to the document, did not provide it anywhere at all, falsely claimed that it was a court document, which it really wasn’t—it wasn’t filed; it wasn’t publicly available in court at all—and then went on to quote two scientists who are known to be associated and consulting with the agrichemical industry, and she quoted them and said that they were independent. So her story got picked up around the world by media and was picked up by U.S. lawmakers and others and said, “Oh, look at this terrible situation that happened with IARC. This is a politically motivated political agenda at IARC to castigate this poor—”

AMY GOODMAN: And explain what that is.

CAREY GILLAM: IARC is the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is part of the World Health Organization. These are elite and independent cancer scientists who come together to look at literature, toxicology and epidemiology, and to look at different substances and to classify them as to their carcinogenicity.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is Roundup allowed in the United States? And also, aren’t—for example, Roundup soybeans—crops are made to work with this Roundup pesticide?

CAREY GILLAM: Right. What Monsanto did—they introduced glyphosate to the world in 1974, patented it and enjoyed quite a bit of success, because it was a very effective herbicide. It killed weeds very quickly, and Monsanto said it was so much safer than other herbicides on the market. But the patent was expiring in the year 2000, so Monsanto came up with a really brilliant strategy, which was, “Let’s genetically alter, let’s engineer special crops that can be sprayed directly over the top with glyphosate and they won’t die, but the weeds will.”

It was ingenious. It made farming so much easier for farmers who have to really keep their fields very clean of weeds. When you have fewer weeds, your crops are going to grow better. They’re going to get the nutrients and the moisture out of the soil and not compete with the weeds. So it really was a great thing and farmers loved it. And Monsanto called these crops Roundup-ready crops. The idea was that farmers would buy the special seeds and then they would spray the crops with Roundup. Monsanto would maintain its market share. Their investors would maintain that profit flow.

It all worked great except for people and the environment, because what happened was, as I said earlier, we went from about 40 million pounds a year of use in the 1990s to close to 300 million pounds a year now. Globally, that went from 123 million pounds to almost two billion pounds a year now. We are drenching our farming system in glyphosate and Roundup, and that is what has really caused all of these problems is this overuse that has made it so ubiquitous that we can’t escape it. That it is in our food and our body and our air and our water.

It also is what drew so much research. Because it was so widely used, independent scientists around the world really started studying it and looking at the impacts on human health and on environmental health. They have found an array of problems. But as Brent said earlier, Monsanto has not taken any of those concerns to heart. Instead what they have tried to do is discredit the scientists, harass the scientists, try to arm-twist regulators to deny this independent science and to only look at the industry science that declared it to be safe. It really has been, as I say in my book, a manipulation of science.

Even today, as we sit here talking, there are papers out there in published peer-reviewed journals that appear to be independent of Monsanto that we know from the evidence in the documents that we have, that we know Monsanto had a hand in writing, even though they look like they are independent. And this is the term that has come to be associated now with Monsanto, which is “ghostwriting.” We know that there are papers out there in the published literature that our regulators around the world have relied upon as being independent and authentic, and we know that Monsanto has ghostwritten them. Now, we don’t know how many more are out there. We know there are some, but God only knows how many might really be out there.

AMY GOODMAN: Monsanto tried to discredit you, Carey Gillam, as you exposed Monsanto?

CAREY GILLAM: Oh, yes. I am one of many journalists. They have gone after people at The New York Times. They’ve gone after Pulitzer Prize winners. They’ve gone after journalists at magazines and newspapers around the world. Really anyone—and scientists—anyone who doesn’t parrot the talking points, who tries to bring truth to light, who uncovers facts that are not beneficial to Monsanto, they’re going to go after you.

Luckily, through Freedom of Information Act requests, state record requests, we have obtained documents from regulators, from state universities and of course these internal Monsanto documents that have come to light. They really do show this ongoing decades—I call it decades of deception—very strategic efforts by Monsanto, others in the agrichemical industry, to own the science and to discredit anybody who tries to challenge them.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you very much for being with us. We will certainly continue to follow this story as thousands of lawsuits are in the wings against Monsanto after Dewayne Lee Johnson was awarded close to $300 million in his lawsuit against Monsanto using Roundup weed killer as a groundskeeper at a school in California. They don’t predict he will live past 2020. Carey Gillam, veteran investigative journalist, author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, funerals are underway in Yemen for more than 40 children who were killed in a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing in Yemen. Stay with us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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40 Yemeni Children Dead by U.S.-Made Bomb? Outrage Mounts Over U.S. Role in Airstrike on School Bus
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Historic Ruling Against Monsanto Finds Company Acted with “Malice” Against Groundskeeper with Cancer & MORE from the author of the MUST-READ book: “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.”

Historic Ruling Against Monsanto Finds Company Acted with “Malice” Against Groundskeeper with Cancer


California jurors have awarded $289 million in a historic verdict against Monsanto in the case of a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after using its weed killer, Roundup. We speak with Brent Wisner, the lead trial counsel for Dewayne Lee Johnson, who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020. Johnson’s was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer. Filed in 2016, it was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his illness.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

We begin today’s show with the historic verdict in the lawsuit against U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto. In a groundbreaking decision, a jury in California has ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using the weed killer Roundup. The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Johnson, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos read the jury’s verdict.

JUDGE SUZANNE RAMOS BOLANOS: Would a reasonable manufacturer, distributor or seller under the same or similar circumstances have warned of the danger or instructed on the safe use of Roundup Pro or Ranger Pro? Answer, yes. Was Monsanto’s failure to warn a substantial factor in causing harm to Mr. Johnson? Answer, yes. Claim of damages. What are Mr. Johnson’s damages? Past economic loss, $819,882.32. Future economic loss, $1,433,327. Past non-economic loss, $4 million. Future non-economic loss, $33 million. With regard to punitive damages, did you find by clear and convincing evidence that Monsanto acted with malice or oppression in the conduct upon which you base your finding of liability in favor of Mr. Johnson? Answer, yes.

AMY GOODMAN: The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers. Johnson’s was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer. Filed in 2016, it was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of Johnson’s illness. He spoke after the verdict was delivered.

DEWAYNE JOHNSON: Since the beginning of this case, I’ve received a lot of support and a lot of thank you and a lot of prayer and a lot of everything, just good energy, from a lot of people that I don’t even know. I am glad to be here to help with this situation. After I learned about Roundup and glyphosate and everything, I’m glad to be here to be able to help. The cause is way bigger than me, so hopefully this thing will start to get the attention that it needs to get right, so folks can make a good choice.

AMY GOODMAN: Johnson’s attorneys said jurors for the first time were able to see internal company documents proving Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and Roundup could cause cancer. Monsanto is a unit of the multinational pharmaceutical corporation Bayer and now faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States. For more on Friday’s verdict, we are joined in Los Angeles by Brent Wisner, the lead trial counsel for Dewayne Lee Johnson in his lawsuit against Monsanto. Welcome to Democracy Now! Can you first respond to this historic verdict? A jury almost awarding your client $300 million as, well, he may be in the last years of his life.

BRENT WISNER: Good morning. This verdict is without question truly historic. What Mr. Johnson has done taking on this massive corporation—the courage, the tenacity and the willingness to speak out against what he believed was a real problem is truly spectacular.

And this jury heard it. This verdict is groundbreaking, it’s precedential. It’s something that I think Monsanto and its shareholders, particularly at Bayer, are hearing loud and clear and realizing that they have a problem with this product and they have to start warning people that it can cause cancer.

AMY GOODMAN: Tell us Dewayne Lee Johnson’s story, Brent.

BRENT WISNER: Lee is just an amazing man. He started working at the Benicia School District in 2012. He was actually promoted. Originally, he was just sort of running mail around the school, and then he became an integrated pest manager. As part of that job, he was spraying Roundup on these various school campuses as part of the school district. He would spray upwards of 150 gallons a day trying to handle the weed situation. During that time, he was exposed repeatedly, repeatedly. Prior to that, he had perfect skin. After that, he started developing these tumors on his skin. They didn’t know what it was at first, and they discovered it was a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that manifests in the skin. And the cancer got worse. It got worse. It got worse.

Mr. Johnson actually reached out to Monsanto while he was spraying to ask them, “Hey, is there some connection between this product and this cancer that I’m getting?” And they said they would call him back and then they never did. Then he called back a second time and he continued to spray, waiting to hear back from Monsanto and they never called. And what we learned was that his cancer, while he was spraying, it transformed. It went from a relatively controllable type of cancer to one that is essentially a death sentence. The fact that Monsanto has never called him back and the fact that they never warned him deprived him of the ability to make an informed choice. And Mr. Johnson, when he finally put two and two together, he called us up and we took it to trial and sort of history was made.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to read the statement of Monsanto. We reached out to the agribusiness giant to join us. They weren’t available, but they did provide us with a statement that said they plan to appeal the verdict and insisted glyphosate does not cause cancer and did not cause Dewayne Lee Johnson’s cancer. This is the statement from Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge, who said, “We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family. Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews—and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world—support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer. We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others.” Your response to that, Brent Wisner?

BRENT WISNER: There are really three points that are worth mentioning. The first is this idea that there is 800 studies that test Roundup and say that it’s safe is just a fabrication. The studies he is talking about are largely not related to cancer. We’re talking about skin irritation, eye irritation, things that really have nothing to do with the issues here. When you talk about cancer, we’re talking about 20 or so studies. Six or seven of them are in humans; the rest are in animals. And those studies, as the jury was shown, are almost completely positive. So that is just fact number one incorrect.

The second thing that is really important is this idea it has a 40-year history of safety.
Almost absent from the conversation is that for the first 20 years, Roundup was actually approved based on fraud. It was coming from a laboratory that has been known—people were indicted, people went to jail, and that was actually a former Monsanto employee. And so this idea that it has a 40-year record of safety glosses over 20-year history of fraud, at least at the very beginning.

And the last thing is, and this is really important, is that Mr. Partridge doesn’t say Roundup doesn’t cause cancer; he says glyphosate. And he does that intentionally, because he knows that glyphosate is different than Roundup. Now, glyphosate is part of Roundup, but Roundup is a combined product of glyphosate plus a bunch of other chemicals that make glyphosate significantly more potent. And one of the things that the jury really focused on, this jury in this case, was that there is a synergistic effect of the glyphosate and the other chemicals. And the simple fact is, Monsanto has never tested the carcinogenicity of the combined product.

This omission is glaring, and it’s intentional. In fact, we have internal documents that say, “We do not want to look at this issue because we are afraid of what we’re going to see.” And the jury heard all of this and they rejected this idea that it’s a safe product, that it doesn’t cause cancer. They said not only does it cause cancer, but that Monsanto acted with malice in doing so. And I think that is really important.

AMY GOODMAN: What did these internal documents that you got a hold of show? This is extremely significant given how widespread Roundup is around the world, and for both Monsanto and the people who use it here in the United States, there are already 5,000 lawsuits behind this one.

BRENT WISNER: There’s a lot of documents, but what they really show is sort of a rampant corporate culture that has no interest in looking at whether or not their product is safe, but have an interest in attacking science this doesn’t suit their business agenda. And that’s just simply what we see. When a bad study comes out, the emails that circulate amongst Monsanto employees is, “How do we combat this? How do we fight this? How do we take this person out?” It is actually given a name within Monsanto; it’s called “freedom to operate” and they actually have a budget assigned to this particular action.

But in addition to all that, it shows without question that at least starting 20 years ago, Monsanto has known that their product can cause cancer, and has gone out of its way to ignore it and or fight any science that suggests a link. And we see this happening amongst all the independent scientists that have looked at this, and there’s hundreds of them who all look at this and say, “You know, you’ve got a problem here.” And instead of doing something about it, Monsanto simply says, “Let’s take away their funding,” or “Let’s go after the university.” or “Let’s put political or scientific pressure on these scientist to make them back off.”

And a lot of scientists, when we first got involved in this litigation said, “Listen, I think it causes cancer, but I can’t help you. I don’t want to fight Monsanto. They’re bullies.” And that is what the documents show.

AMY GOODMAN: Brent Wisner, the division between the compensatory and the punitive damages, can you explain what exactly the jury verdict means?

BRENT WISNER: Sure. The compensatory damages are really the amount of money that it would take to make Mr. Johnson and his family whole. To kind of—I mean, I don’t know how you pay for the pain and suffering associated with the type of cancer he has, but that’s what the jury came up with, and that was around $40 million. The punitive damages are not really about Mr. Johnson; they are really about Monsanto. They are about looking at what Monsanto has done and asking, “Does that need to be punished?” And if so, what is the amount of money to not only punish Monsanto, but to deter future wrongful conduct?

When I was talking to the jury in our closing argument, I told them that this was a chance to send a message to Monsanto, that this was a chance to actually maybe even change the world. And I think that resonated with the jurors because they saw that if they could make Monsanto pay a certain amount of money, that it actually might lead to future correct conduct so the next person that calls Monsanto or uses Roundup can make that decision with an informed choice.

And I think it’s important—no one is saying it should be banned. No one is saying we should take it off the market. I mean, people still smoke cigarettes today, right? But they smoke cigarettes knowing the risks. And that’s all we’re asking for here, is “Monsanto, just disclose the risks. Warn.” And if they can do that, then they can start taking steps in the right direction.

AMY GOODMAN: Doesn’t the federal government play a role here? Why is this all approved?

BRENT WISNER: That’s a really good question. Unfortunately, the answer is a little disturbing. Some of the evidence that we showed the jury about Monsanto was a very kind of unhealthy and kind of creepy relationship between Monsanto and the regulators at the EPA. We have text messages, email conversations where various EPA employees are actually going out of their way to stop other agencies from investigating this issue, and going out of their way to sort of gain approval for Monsanto. And that is disturbing, right? Because the regulators are supposed to be detached. They’re supposed to be doing an objective and honest assessment.

This regulatory EPA did not do that. In fact, they convened a scientific advisory panel to critique what the EPA was doing. These independent scientists came together and they unanimously agreed on one fact that the EPA was not following its guidelines. The reason why the EPA is giving Monsanto special treatment is actually unknown, but there is a lot of smoke and I suspect there is a fire. The Department of Justice has actually opened an investigation into this exact issue, although I am not holding my breath that we will see the fruits of that investigation under this current administration.

AMY GOODMAN: There’s a difference between how the U.S. government is responding—the French government promised in May glyphosate would be banned for its main uses by 2021 and for all its uses within five years.

BRENT WISNER: That’s right. And actually, Germany is taking a similar approach. Austria.

A whole host of European countries are saying, “We don’t agree with our European regulators. We agree with the International Agency for Research on Cancer.” And they’re taking a lot of important steps to actually banning this product in Europe. And if that happens, then you would have to think that the U.S. would at least listen to this outcry.
But again, I’m not holding my breath with the current a administration.

AMY GOODMAN: And the issue of rolling back regulations even more than they have been.

BRENT WISNER: That’s right. And that’s really a problem here, because there is an incentive to use this stuff because it helps you sell more crops, right? So it’s not like there’s not a—the synergy between the financial interests and the safety interests are not aligned here. And the problem is that the people who are paying for the pesticides are usually not the people spraying them, and so we have a lot of immigrant workers, particularly here in California, who are out there spraying this stuff. They’re not being told about the risks. They’re not given proper precautions. And then of course, they’re being marginalized by the legal system because of their immigration status.

And so it is a real public health crisis and it’s something that I think the EPA needs to step in and do something about. California has actually taken steps. The state of California has determined it is a substance known to cause cancer, and they’re actually having a fairly protracted legal battle with Monsanto, trying to force Monsanto to warn. But again, that is sort of a legal fight that I hope California will prevail on.

AMY GOODMAN: Brent Wisner, we want to thank you for being with us, attorney and lead trial counsel for Dewayne Lee Johnson in a lawsuit against Monsanto. Johnson developed cancer after regularly using Roundup weed killer at a school. A jury has just awarded him $289 million in damages. When we come back, we’re going to speak with the author of the book _Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.” And then we go to Yemen, where scores of funerals are being held. Forty schoolchildren were killed in the U.S.-backed Saudi bombing of a school bus. Stay with us.

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The man sued the agribusiness giant claiming its popular weed-killing spray, Roundup, gave him cancer.

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