Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Linking Internet Censorship and Atomic Reactor Terror

US Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman are linking internet censorship with atomic power in a way that should terrify us all.

McCain is the real power behind Lieberman-Warner global warming bill on which the Senate could vote as early as Tuesday, June 3. As a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, McCain is pushing hard for massive subsidies to build new atomic reactors. Despite his “free market” ideology, this bill may hand a half-trillion taxpayer dollars to an industry that cannot get private backing for a failed, terror-target technology.

Now its official co-sponsor, Connecticut’s Lieberman, has taken the issue into the realm of internet censorship. In a recent floor speech, he demanded that YouTube remove numerous postings that he claims promote terrorism. Yet the very bill he and McCain are pushing would force taxpayers to fund atomic reactors that are easily accessible to terrorists as machines of radioactive mass destruction.

Calling it a “ludicrous” attack on free speech, The New York Times scoffs at the claim that the internet is “one of the primary drivers” of terrorism. The charge comes in Lieberman’s report on “Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.”

The Times found it “profoundly disturbing that an influential senator would even consider telling a media company to shut down constitutionally protected speech.” The ACLU has warned that similar efforts “could be a precursor to proposals to censor and regulate speech on the internet.”

In a dangerous capitulation, YouTube then did pull down some 80 videos.

What makes this attack on free speech doubly disturbing is that it accompanies the promotion of the very the technology that gives potential terrorists the easiest route to creating a nuclear holocaust—commercial atomic power plants.

It has long been clear that no atomic reactor could withstand the crash of a jet the size of the ones hijacked on 9/11/01. Even without penetrating the containment dome, the force of impact and ensuing fuel fires would be virtually certain to cause massive radioactive releases, render plant operations impossible, disrupt critical cooling systems, destroy off-site power and communications lifelines, threaten spent fuel pools—most of which are seriously overloaded—as well as highly vulnerable dry casks, and much more.

America’s 104 licensed atomic reactors are every bit as vulnerable to such an attack today as they were on 9/10/2001. There is no guarantee a new generation of reactors, projected to come on line in a decade or two, would be any safer.

A long string of government and private studies over the past half-century have warned that by error or terror, a major reactor disaster would kill tens of thousands of people in the short-term, and many many more in the years to come. The property damage and ultimate impact on what’s left of the American economy would be incalculable.

But while attacking our constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism, McCain and Lieberman advocate using public money to build still more of these pre-deployed weapons of radioactive mass destruction, giving terrorists access to the ultimate threat.

Despite the industry’s well-financed hype, not a single major national environmental group supports this atomic expansion. A unified effort to strip the pro-nuke provisions out of the Lieberman-Warner bill is underway, with further information at websites such as www.nirs.org, www.beyondnuclear.org, www.NukeFree.org, and many more. All urge safe energy proponents to call their U.S. Senators to stop this pork-laden railroad to radioactive terror.

In fact, nuke power can do exactly as much to solve global warming as censoring the internet can do to safeguard our democracy—which is to say, nothing.

So it will take another massive grassroots effort to beat this latest travesty of an energy bill—as well as to save what’s left of our democracy from those who would use vague threats of terrorism as an excuse to destroy it.

After all, no terrorist can threaten our cities with an attack on its solar panels. And there’s nothing about windpower that even hints at a need to shut down the internet.

HARVEY WASSERMAN, a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy, is editing the nukefree.org web site. He is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He can be reached at: Windhw@aol.com

 

More articles by:

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail