From the Washington Post:
The Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from the White House and the Pentagon, is poised to rule as early as today that it will not set a drinking-water safety standard for perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel that has been linked to thyroid problems in pregnant women, newborns and young children across the nation.
According to a near-final document obtained by The Washington Post, the EPA’s “preliminary regulatory determination” — which was extensively edited by White House officials — marks the final step in a six-year-old battle between career EPA scientists who advocate regulating the chemical and White House and Pentagon officials who oppose it. The document estimates that up to 16.6 million Americans are exposed to perchlorate at a level many scientists consider unsafe; independent researchers, using federal and state data, put the number at 20 million to 40 million.
Some perchlorate occurs naturally, but most perchlorate contamination in U.S. drinking water stems from improper disposal by rocket test sites, military bases and chemical plants. A nationwide cleanup could cost hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars, and several defense contractors have threatened to sue the Defense Department to help pay for it if one is required.
How are we supposed to ignore the carnage and death we have brought to Iraqi civilians when the damn newspapers show pictures of dead children? Shouldn’t they be covering last night’s American Idol?
WASHINGTON — Some readers resented The Washington Post for publishing an Associated Press photograph of a critically wounded Iraqi child being lifted from the rubble of his home in Baghdadâ€™s Sadr City â€œafter a U.S. airstrike.â€
Two-year-old Ali Hussein later died in a hospital.
As the saying goes, the picture was worth a thousand words because it showed the true horrors of this war.
Neither side is immune from the killing of Iraqi civilians. But Americans should be aware of their own responsibility for inflicting death and pain on the innocent.
The Postâ€™s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, said about 20 readers complained about the photo, while a few readers praised the Post for publishing the stark picture on page one.
Some mothers said they were offended that their children might see the picture, though one wonders whether their youngsters watch television and play with violent videos in a pretend world.
From the start of the unprovoked U.S. â€œshock and aweâ€ invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, the government tried to bar the news media from photographing flag-draped coffins of American soldiers returning from Iraq. A Freedom of Information lawsuit forced the government to release pictures of returning coffins.
Howell said some readers felt the photo of the Iraqi boy was â€œan anti-war statement; some thought it was in poor taste.â€ Well, so is war.
(via IdleWorm, a great blog that desperately needs an RSS feed)
“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” – Barbara Bush