Fact Plus Fact Equals Conspiracy Theory

I'm a Japanese American that needs the help of glasses to see clearly, so by virtue of stereotypes I have the credentials to put two and two together, but I am not a professional mathematician so I will just throw out some facts and let you make your own calculations. This month, for the first installment of your conspiracy theory challenge, what better way to begin than with Bush trying to keep a secret about pollution?

Big flashing lights should be set off whenever Bush issues a gag order, but the gag order on the EPA regarding lettuce fell unnoticed under most people's radars earlier this year. Often important overlooked news items get a second glance when media watchdog organizations like Project Censored publish their most censored stories of the year. I felt like this one was going make the list for sure, but it fell through the cracks.

I recommend the website of the Environmental Working Group and google searches for the words "perchlorate" and "gag order" for more information. Also helpful is Dr. Helen Caldicott's book The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush's Military-Industrial Complex. And remember, it might take a rocket scientist to create this problem, but it doesn't take one to develop a conspiracy theory solution.


Given: The Colorado River and over 500 drinking water sources in 20 states are contaminated with perchlorate.

Given: Perchlorate is a rocket and missile fuel component.

Given: Much of the national lettuce crop is grown in Southern California and Arizona with water contaminated with perchlorate.

Given: Perchlorate affects the thyroid gland's ability to produce essential hormones and can cause fatal anemia in adults.

Given: Thyroid hormone level disruption causes lowered IQ, mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech, and motor skill deficits.

Given: Pregnant women exposed to perchlorate put their fetus at risk of thyroid hormone level disruption.

Given: Pregnant women drink water.

Given: George W. Bush issued a gag order on the Environmental Protection Agency in April 2003 from publicly discussing its findings on perchlorate content in the nation's winter lettuce crop.

Given: Independent studies have found high levels of perchlorate in the nation's lettuce supply.

Given: Pregnant women sometimes eat salads.

Given: The Pentagon and defense contractors face potentially billions of dollars in cleanup liability for perchlorate pollution.

Given: You can't raise taxes while you are trying to be re-elected (or re-assigned).

Given: The Pentagon and defense contractors argue that perchlorate is safe at levels 200 times higher than what the EPA says is safe.

Given: A cruise missile costs one million dollars.

Given: The Department of Defense refused to fund approximately $215,000 needed to collect vegetable samples.

Given: George W. Bush wants to develop "mini-nukes."

Given: 32 former executives, consultants or major shareholders of weapons manufacturers have been appointed to important positions in the Bush Administration.

Given: 8 of them have ties to Lockheed Martin.

Given: Most Americans have never heard of the word "perchlorate."

Given: Most Americans do not know that they are poisoning themselves with a byproduct of Cold War era weapons development.

Problem: Why the gag order?

Neil Shibata
12 December 2003