News — Clean up nuclear weapon sites
Activist Joan Seeman and Neighbors Demand Info on Nuclear Bomb Superfund Site and Grand Jury
Often judges and the judicial system cover up and remove from access information about toxics. This happened with tobacco lawsuits and many lawsuits over toxics. The victims have to sign confidentiality agreements, and judges are pressured not to allow access to info about threats to public health. This is because powerful interests want to avoid the bad pr and potential lawsuits over their offenses. Sometimes a grand jury's purpose seems to assemble all of the info, delay things until the public uproar has died down, and then to classify all of the info as confidential, preempting other lawsuits
Joan writes " Where are the Secret Grand Jury 3.5 million pages of information from documents sealed regarding Rocky Flats? How many Colorado Superfund Site documents are sealed or confidential? City Of Denver approved sealing 7000 pages in documents recently according to Westword? Why?
Joan Seeman“The evidence they found was ultimately considered by Colorado's first-ever special grand jury, empaneled in August 1989. After two years of deliberations, the jurors wanted to indict eight individuals — some from the Department of Energy, some from Rockwell International, which ran the plant for the DOE — for environmental crimes. Instead, in March 1992 the Department of Justice sealed a deal with Rockwell, fining the company $18.5 million, less than it had made in one year of bonuses. No individuals were named.”““We’ve reached a stalemate in this region between advocates for economic development at or near the refuge and the community groups who believe that economic development is not safe yet,” Mellen said. “So we are seeking the disclosure of this information in order to audit the clean up that happened, the risk assessment that followed it, and the determination that the refuge portion of that property is actually safe for unlimited use and exposure.”
“I am an FBI agent. My superiors have ordered me to lie about a criminal investigation I headed in 1989. We were investigating the US Department of Energy, but the US Justice Department covered up the truth.” retired FBI Special Agent Jon LipskyWhere are the Secret Grand Jury 3.5 million pages of information from documents sealed regarding Rocky Flats?“The plant closed after an FBI raid discovered mishandling of radioactive materials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared it a Superfund site. Special Federal Grand Jury 89-2 was launched August 1, 1989. Through subpoenas and informal requests, the grand jury collected more than 760 boxes of documents containing 3.5 million pages of information which remains under seal three decades later. ““Former grand jury foreman McKinley chronicles his experiences in the 2004 book he co-authored with attorney Caron Balkany, The Ambushed Grand Jury, which begins with an open letter to the U.S. Congress from Special Agent Lipsky:“I am an FBI agent. My superiors have ordered me to lie about a criminal investigation I headed in 1989. We were investigating the US Department of Energy, but the US Justice Department covered up the truth.” However, some activists dispute the reasons for records confidentiality: Dr. LeRoy Moore, a Boulder theologian and peace activist; retired FBI Special Agent Jon Lipsky, who led the FBI's raid of the Rocky Flats plant to investigate illegal plutonium burning and other environmental crimes; and Wes McKinley, who was the foreman of the grand jury investigation into the operations at Rocky Flats (and served several terms as Colorado State Representative).I have refused to follow the orders to lie about what really happened during that criminal investigation at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Instead, I have told the author of this book the truth. Her promise to me if I told her what really happened was that she would put it in a book to tell Congress and the American people.“Because this grand jury ended decades ago, because these documents would have been created under routine business operations anyway, there are exceptions to the rule that permit disclosure in the proper circumstances,” said environmental attorney Pat Mellen who is representing the plaintiffs. “We believe those circumstances apply here because we are seeking these documents preliminary to litigation.”“Don't forget that Rocky Flats is one of the facilities that the Energy Department now admits may be "irreversibly contaminated."Radioactive Rag April 1989Newsletter of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety SantaFe,NewMexicoUSALet's rename it Sloppy Flats“The Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant in Golden, Co. is in the news once more. On February 23, chromic acid, including hexvalent chromium-a highly toxic metal overflowed from a holding tank into the plant's watertreatment system. The tainted water was then sprayed onto nearby fields. Colorado Department of Health's PattyCorbetta described "bad operating procedures...they found the waste and went ahead and sprayed before they had the analyses back." Countered Rocky Flats spokesman Pat Etchart, "We're continuing sampling and evaluating...we plan to assess and mitigate."Don't forget that Rocky Flats is one of the facilities that the Energy Department now admits may be "irreversibly contaminated."And the Sierra Club recently filed suit against Rocky Flats to force compliance with state and federal regulations governing the burning of mixed hazardous waste. Incinerators at the· plant burn plutonium-contaminated weapons parts and equipment although the facility has never been licensed to treat or dispose of hazardous waste.”