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"Forget the Rest" blog


Upcoming meetings and get-togethers!

March 2, 2016

(This is a letter to local members in and near Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. Let us know via email if you want to be taken off this list.)

Dear friends –

First, this coming Tuesday evening, March 8, at 6 pm, author Sally Denton will discuss her newest book, The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World, at Collected Works in Santa Fe, 202 Galisteo St. (map).

Bechtel, as those on this list understand, is a partner (we believe the leading partner) in the consortium Los Alamos National Security (LANS) that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a contract that the Department of Energy (DOE) once valued at $36 billion (B). The LANS contract is being terminated, for cause.

Among its other DOE contracts, Bechtel is a partner at LANL, in Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS), at the Pantex and Y-12 nuclear weapons plants via its Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) partnership, and is building the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant (WTP), probably the nation’s single largest civil engineering project (a project we believe will fail in substantial part). Bechtel is the largest single corporate recipient of DOE dollars and a powerful force on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, and in the broader Deep State (Lofgren, or if you prefer, Scott – both fine books).

From the event blurb:

Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively.

Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.

This is an important book and we think it will be seen as even more important in the coming months, as more damning information comes to light. We hope you can go to this event!

Second and third, the Study Group is hosting important issue updates and get-togethers.

The first will be at our World Headquarters, 2901 Summit Place NE, Albuquerque (map), on Wednesday, March 9, at 5:30 pm.

The second will be in Santa Fe on Wednesday, March 16, at a private home. Please RSVP for this event and we will tell you how to get there.

We learned a great deal on Greg’s 12-day sojourn in the Imperial Capitol late last month, and meanwhile our agents (Ray and Mia) have been extremely productive (as usual) in and around international disarmament negotiations in Geneva. We would like to share news from both cities with you. We will put a little bit of this into a coming Bulletin but frankly we can’t publish a lot of what we learned.

The practical upshot is that we really need your help, for example to capitalize on critical opportunities in:

  • Stopping the proposed underground warhead core (“pit”) factory “modules,” which our allies in government barely delayed again late last year, just as we correctly divined from the budgetary tea leaves.
  • Stopping what has become, through Obama’s passivity and incompetence vis-à-vis the powerful nuclear advocates in his government, an all-out nuclear arms race against Russia and China. We have a lot of allies in this, and the good news is that, like us, almost no one believes all these modernization programs can be funded.
  • Helping the gathering international forces seeking a ban on the possession and use of nuclear weapons.
  • Building Study Group internship, fellowship, and volunteer programs.
  • Reaching out with helping hands to allied climate and energy organizations in New Mexico and nationally.

We can offer opportunities and flexibility locally that we cannot offer nationally – hence this email and these meetings.

Fourth, please consider attending the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 23 at 6 pm, at 1500 Idalia Road, Bernalillo (map), in the County Commission chambers, when the application of the (nearly-bankrupt) SandRidge Energy to explore for oil and gas in the Albuquerque Basin will again be heard. This first location is not very far from residences and parkland, and would impact people near and far in all the usual ways. Unfortunately, SandRidge is not the only company involved in exploration. Local geologists involved in this first proposed well are talking up the wider possibilities for oil and gas development around Albuquerque even as I write this.

Find out more from our friends at Stop the Frack Attack.

For more news, see our upcoming Bulletin!

See you soon we hope!

Greg Mello, for the Study Group

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2901 Summit Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-265-1200

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