WikiLeaks / Unsuitablog: Cover-Ups Over Nuclear Reality in Japan

The coming together of contradictory information from different bodies that represent the nuclear industry and a confidential cable from the Japanese Ambassador to the US makes it vital to repost this information on EnviroLeaks.

Given the duration of the incidents at Fukushima the relevant bodies and governments will have made a concerted effort to align their stories. As the following post makes clear, this was not the case earlier on – if you want to get close to the truth then it is always best to see what first came out of mouthpieces, before they have a chance to slap down any dissent.

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Peru Admits Timber Certificates Faked in Secret Cable

This, from Survival International:

Peru’s government has secretly admitted that 70-90% of its mahogany exports were illegally felled, according to a US embassy cable revealed by Wikileaks.

Furthermore, Peru’s government is aware that the illegal timber is being ‘laundered’ using ‘document falsification, timber extraction outside the concession boundaries and links to bribes’.

The revelation will embarrass several US DIY stores, who have all admitted to Survival that they continue to import Amazonian hardwoods. Home Depot, Lowe’s and Lumber Liquidators have all confirmed they use the timber in their products.

Then-US ambassador to Peru James Struble quoted ‘unofficial INRENA estimates’ in the 2006 cable. (INRENA was the government’s Natural Resources Institute). The ambassador’s comments paint a damning picture of Peru’s forestry mismanagement. According to the cable, the US imported 88% of Peru’s mahogany exports in 2005, highlighting its significant role in the country’s extensive illegal logging trade. The majority of Peru’s endangered mahogany remains destined for US shores today.

The news comes just weeks after illegal logging in Peru made international headlines after it emerged that loggers have infiltrated protected areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes, forcing them to flee across the border into Brazil.

The loggers pose a grave threat to uncontacted Murunahua Indians who could be wiped out by diseases brought by outsiders or face inter-tribal warfare if they are pushed off their lands.

Survival is urging the Peruvian government to ensure that the Murunahua’s land is properly protected.

Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘The ambassador’s cable shows the alarming extent to which the authorities were aware of illegal logging in Peru, did not admit it, and did little to stop it. It beggars belief that five years on we are still seeing systematic illegal logging and a complete failure to safeguard land inhabited by vulnerable tribes. Consumers in the US and Europe simply can’t rely on documents that purport to show Peruvian mahogany is sustainably sourced, as these are clearly not worth the paper they’re written on.’

Notes to Editors: The Murunahua reserve lies just across the border from where the Brazilian uncontacted Indians were photographed recently. It is home to an unknown number of uncontacted Murunahua Indians. Some Murunahua individuals, however, have been contacted in recent years and live outside the reserve.

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Alstom and the Belo Monte Dam: Let the Leaks Begin

Leaking of information that corporations and politicians do not want to be made public – as opposed to that which is “leaked” for public relations or party political reasons – is a major power lever for activists. As has been seen with regards to such environmental and social luminaries as ExxonMobil, Philip Morris and DuPont, the presence of leaked documents in the right hands can, at worst, cause embarrassment and, at best, create turbulence and instability at the top. Reputation is everything when you thrive on the exploitation of others, and it is a minute-by-minute job to keep the media and the public perception of your activities where you want them.

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UK National Archives: 1963 Railway Axe Backlash Put Down With Lies

In 1963 the British railway network, once the pride of the industrial world, started to undergo a process that would leave the way open for the auto industry to dominate UK transportation. It was no surprise that this was the plan put in place by Ernest Marples, then Minister for Transport, who had until 1950 been co-director of the road construction company Marples Ridgeway. In a Hansard statement from 1960, Marples made the point that he had to avoid a conflict of interest:

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EXCLUSIVE: Major International Law Firm’s Ethical Vacuum Exposed

We have obtained a transcript of a recording that appears to have been produced in the same vein as the previous exposé of PR company Biss Lancaster (Euro RSCG London). The transcript records what we believe to be a sting operation intended to test the ethics of a major international law firm with regards to the potential relocation of indigenous tribes in Brazil.

The company in question, King & Spalding, is based in Atlanta, and has offices in 8 different countries including the USA, France, Germany, UK and United Arab Emirates. According to their website, King & Spalding “represents half of the Fortune 100 and, according to a Corporate Counsel survey in August 2009, ranks fifth in its total number of representations of those companies. The firm also represents hundreds of clients with new ventures and mid-sized companies in emerging industries.”

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CRU Emails: Watching Steve McIntyre Make a Fool of Himself

The so-called “Climategate” emails that emanated from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit in November 2009 have, in certain hands and particularly via the right-wing mass media, confused public opinion on climate change more than any corporate-led operation ever could. That is, if you assume that the proliferations and subsequent cherry-picking of the emails was not a corporate-led operation: we suspect that it was.

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WikiLeaks / Cablegate: Is BP Arctic Drilling Deal Motivated by Putin’s Profits?

The complex, but ultimately profit-motivated deal that is being struck between oil giant BP, and the even larger Russian energy company Rosneft, raises all sorts of questions as to why a Western company has so easily been allowed to slip into the role of joint exploiter of one of the last remaining pristine ocean habitats. BP are clearly delighted with the opportunity to brutally despoil yet another expanse of water:

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EXCLUSIVE: Major UK PR Company Prepared to Assist With Relocation of Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe [Transcript]

The following transcript is of a telephone call between an anonymous caller and a very senior director of the London-based PR company Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG (now known as Euro RSCG London).

The discussion that takes place revolves around the potential relocation of one or more uncontacted tribes in the Bolivian Amazon in order to develop an open cast lithium mine. It is not known whether the call is genuine, but the Biss Lancaster (Euro RSCG) representative shows no sign that the call is anything but. According to Survival International, uncontacted tribes are “the most vulnerable peoples on earth”. Moving them almost certainly spells an end to the tribe; the damage caused by an open-cast lithium mine would be an environmental and human catastrophe in itself.

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WikiLeaks / Cablegate: US Biotech Firms Driving Government Policy

Reading the following leak it becomes clear that there is really no dividing line between government policy in the USA and corporate activity. Not a wisp of gossamar separates the wording of a cable written by the US Ambassador for France, Craig Stapleton, and any similar memo written by the CEO of Monsanto. Paragraphs 6 and 7 are key.

Richard Brenneman makes the excellent point that “the document…offers unimpeachable confirmation of GMO critics’ claims that Washington has been targeting them”. The second cable in this post, entitled “Spain’s biotech crop under threat”, shows blatant hand-holding by Monsanto with regards to the potential risk to GMO trade in Spain, including evidence that the Spanish government has received backhanders from the GMO corporations.

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WikiLeaks / Cablegate : Murder of Dorothy Stang

EnviroLeaks will be running a series of relevant leaks from the WikiLeaks Cablegate series as they become available. It is not easy to extract specific topics of interest from the vast number of cables, so we will attempt to make things easier by posting what we consider some of the most pertinent ones here.

This cable from the US Brazilian Embassy concerns the commercially-motivated murder of human and environmental rights activist Sister Dorothy Stang in the Para region of Brazil. What is particularly interesting is the unwillingness of the Brazilian Government to “federalize” the investigation, despite their superficial support. This leads one to suspect internal involvement in the killing itself.

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