In 2012, and at the age of 66, I'm retired, and Friday morning, I got out of bed with a slight headache and a twisted neck, which bothered me all morning.
About 1:00 in the afternoon, I decided to take a nap, to see if I could feel better. After about 40 minutes in bed, there was a knock on the front door, which woke me up. But, I wasn't sure the person was knocking on my door, or the door to the apartment next door. I wasn't expecting company, or I would have never taken a nap.
Since I was awake now, I just stumbled out of bed, and dragged by butt around trying to find which way is up or down. Trying to focus in on life once again. About this time, the phone rang, so I answered it.
It was the voice of a U.S. Marshall...and very quickly, I thought to myself..."Am I going to be arrested? What have I done wrong? What's the reason for the visit by a U.S. Marshall? The only thing I could do, is to answer the door, and so I did. He was standing in the hall, and he showed me his badge...as I had never seen a badge from a U.S. Marshall before!
Sleepy-eyed, I exchanged pleasantries, and invited him in. My Front Room is not a typical living room, as there is not couch or sofa; no luxury chairs; no coffee table, etc. It is a home office, and consists mostly of desks; tables; chairs and a couple of computers, printer, filing cabenets and so forth. So, because I wasn't expecting company, I had to move things from one table across from me, and make some room for him to sit down.
He sat down, the first thing he told me that he was sent there by Federal Judge Leroy Hansen, to see who I was and to visit with me. He pulled an envelope out of his pocket to show me that it was the envelope I had sent to Federal Judge Leroy Hansen. As the reader may know, U.S. Marshall's are responsible for protecting federal judges; court houses and they do other duties as well. In other words, they are servants of the courts.
I knew he was not going to arrest me, because I have not done anything wrong. All of this, has happened because of my involvement, in a chemical dump, that is located on Kirtland AFB, which is located only about one miled down the street from where I live.
As he showed me the envelope, I knew it was my envelope, because it was my writing, and the way I addressed all the envelopes that I sent out over the past year, on my 'raising awareness camgaign' over the previous year. All the envelopes were addressed to the person with their name and no titles. For example, this letter was addressed to Leroy Hansen...not to Federal Judge Leroy Hansen; A letter addressed to Senator Tom Udall...would be 'Tom Udall'; Mayor Richard Berry would be addressed to 'Richard Berry.' This is an important fact, because when I saw the envelope, I knew it was my way of doing things...my writing, etc. (the return address was mine) I knew this guy was who he said he was.
But, why did Federal Judge Leroy Hansen send this U.S. Marshall to see me? I knew it all had to do with the Kirtland AFB chemical dump down the street, and my involvement, but why the visit? In short...he told me that Judge Hansen wanted to know more about me...and that was about the extent of it. I found out very quickly, that U.S. Marshalls don't say very much...at least in my case.
During the 20 minute meeting, this was not a chat or a conversation...as he didn't say much, and let me do all the talking. I started by how I got involved in the Kirtland AFB jet-fuel spill (as it is called) and went on from there. When I started in June, 2010, I had never heard of the spill, because I read the newspapers everyday for years, and I've lived in the southeast of Albuquerque (5 years), where the military bases are located. At that time, I clipped the newspaper out and saved it, because I was interested in writing an article on chemical dumps like the Love Canal sometime in the future.
I also kept the article, because I was hospitalized in 2005 for 3 1/2 months at the VA Medical Center, which is located just a couple of hundred yards from the site of the jet-fuel spill, and now I was wondering if the water was contaminated at that time, because I was so sick while I was in the hospital suffering from nausea. I lost 16 pounds over that time. At the time, I never thought about water contamination, as being the problem, but with this newspaper article, I could now add that to the list as possibilities.
To my surprise, there was another article in the Journal the following month; July...and another article in August; September; October; November and December of 2010. Needless to say, I was amazed at what I saw in this subject. I collected all the articles and editorials for use, which I didn't know at the time. I pasted them up and put them in the order that they were published and now what?
I thought this matter was so serious for the residents of the area, that I had to become an activist, and do something. I started my 'raising awarness' campaign at this time, and I planned to mail these articles to the highest offices and people who held the highest positions in the city and state.
The list included; seven federal judges in town; the Governor; the Mayor of Albuquerque; city council members; County Commissioners; the Delegation of New Mexico and so forth. After collecting the material for about eight months, I was ready to compose a booklet of these articles, letters, emails and so forth. The first mailing in February of 2010 with about 52 on my mailing list, which consisted of the people and offices, which were the highest in the city and state. The booklet consisted of 32 pages, and was bound and mailed in a manilla envelope. This little exericse cost me about 150 dollars in copies and postage and the seven that went to the Federal Judges were all certified. Copies of all seven certifications were made and included in all the packetts that would follow, so that the receipient could see that this information (actually) were mailed to federal judges.
I have maintained from the very beginning, that a federal judge, should get involved and take control of the serious situation at Kirtland AFB, so that there could be a successful ending (closure) to this disaster instead of having another Love Canal on our hands, etc.
Bill Richardson, was the governor at the time, when I started on my raising awareness campaign, but was a lame duck, and he was finishing his second term at the end of 2010. A new governor was elected in November of 2010, but she would not take office until January of 2011, and nobody knew what she would do and her approach of the Kirtland AFB mess. It would take months before we found out her position.
We all found out in July of 2011, through the newspaper articles that told the story, and the news was not good! She wrote, what I call, a kissy-kissy letter to the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D. C., telling the Secretary, that the state of New Mexico, was willing to cooperate and work together on the Kirtland AFB fuel spill. She gave the Air Force praise for their efforts in the spill matter.
How can anyone give praise for something that is going to cost the taxpayer's about $200 million to clean up costs?
How could she give praise to anyone who has taken more than ten years to clean up...threatening the neighbors all this time? How can you get praise for this? We found out Governor Susana Martinez's position real quick, and it was not good for the residents of the area!
In the same newspaper article, she was criticized by some, who said that this method had failed in the past, and so why would it work now? Because this situation has been going on for over ten years, the Richardson administration, was using the 'crack the whip' approach on the Air Force, to get it and keep it working on the clean-up of the fuel spill, that continued to put the residents around the base in danger, etc.
In July 2011, I was quite disappointed at the news, and I felt like we had been betrayed and abandoned by the governor. Now, the question was who would the Kirtland AFB commander answer to? I stated in my information, that the Kirtland AFB commander was nothing more than the 'fox guarding the chicken coop,' and there was nobody for him to be accountible to. This could present further delays in the clean-up! Where was the Air Force going to get $200 million dollars, with the US government drowning in red ink? I felt depressed for about a week after the news. Now, more than ever, we needed a federal judge to get involved and take command of the situation, before Kirtland AFB poisons all of us. Another Love Canal in the making?
As I spoke for about 20 minutes, the U.S. Marshall just sat there and listened to me, as I laid out the story as to how all this came about. Getting a federal judge, has always been the key, to getting this terrible threat under control, and the seven federal judges in town, have gotten all three of my mailings during the year 2011. I'm not an attorney, so I didn't know how a federal judge would take over on an Air Force base. Maybe, there was a precedent someplace someplace else in the country, that they could go by.
The authority and transfer of power, would be similar to the concept and principle of eminent domain, which I have included a description;
eminent domain: (definition); the power to take private property for public use by a state; municipality; private person or corporation, authorized to exercise functions for the public character, following payment of just compensation to the owner for the property;
Eminent domain happens all the time all over the country, whereby the government takes private property for public use.
Another example, of what I'm talking about, is when the F.D.I.C. takes over a troubled bank. I saw how they do it on 60 Minutes. It's very fast, as about five people from the F.D.I.C. wait until about closing time of the bank on a Friday evening, and then they all enter the bank at the same time. They make the announcement that the bank is in government hands, and they they go to every part of the bank closing it down! The bank will open, as usual, on Monday morning with the same staff in place, and if nothing has happened. A name might change, but that will come later. It's amazing how fast they do this.
Because I'm not an attorney, this is as close as I can come to defining what should and could happen at Kirtland AFB before disaster happens. And, this COULD be the reason why the U.S. Marshall paid me a visit...this COULD be the beginning of this process! And, that's one of the reasons for the visit of the U.S. Marshall...to get a profile of me and to take back a report to Federal Judge Leroy Hansen and the others, etc. Who is behind all these mailed packages? Is this a crazy person...standing up to its own government? Judge Hansen wanted to know...
In October, 2011 I received more bad news, as I received an email from the Director of a Watch-Dog group here in Albuquerque. The email was two pages, and so I'll just summarize. Sandia National Labs is located on Kirtland AFB base property, and is only about three miles from the fuel-spill in question. The email said that Sandia (which operates under the Energy Department) is accused of illegal dumping...and possible ground-water contamination...only this time it's radioactive material and nuclear, from the testing that goes on there!
This issue of radiation, may be the single factor, as to why the federal courts may...MAY...get involved in this matter!
This is terrible news, for the residents of Albuquerque. This news was incorporated in my third mailing that went out to 74 on my mailing list. Of couse, the federal judges got this third mailing as well. More than ever, this disgrace, not only at Kirtland and NOW at Sandia Labs, has to be taken over by a federal judge, because we've gone from bad to worse in this potentially tragic matter! A federal judge MUST get involved in this matter, and that's what I told the U.S. Marshall.
Special Master; (definition); a special official appointed by the court to assist, typically by making findings or rulings pertaining to matters specified by the court.
I've appeared in front of two special-masters in my day; one in the bankruptcy court; and the other in a land-grant matter. Special Masters are servants of the courts, etc.
If this transfer of authority happens, the Kirtland AFB the base commander would go on with his duties as usual. Only the matter reguarding the fuel-spill matter would be affected, and would be in the hands, control and direction of the court. Everyone connected to the matter, in the city, county and state, would then report to the courts.
Albuquerque has a population of over 500,000 and I think the southeast heights is the biggest quandrant of the four in the city. There is probably over 150,000 people who live in the southeast heights, The potential for disaster...such as another Love Canal is great...all these people would be affected!
After dragging on for more than ten years, one delay after another, the Kirtland AFB matter is a disgrace! Where is the Mayor of Albuquerque in all this? Where is the governor in all this? Where is the County Manager in all this? Where is the delegation of New Mexico in all this? Where are the city council members in all this? Where are the County Commissioners in all this? Where are the federal judges in all this? Where is the U.S. Attorney and FBI in this matter? Where is the state Attorney General? Are all these people (mentioned above) going to point fingers until the neighbors get poisioned before they act?
If the president of the United States gets threatened, the Secret Service and the FBI act! And, if the neighbors get threatened by their own government, the U.S. Attorney and the FBI SHOULD act as well. The neighbors on Main Street are just as important as the president!
After the 20 minute meeting with the U.S. Marshall, I told him the following; "If I were a federal judge, I would have the Kirtland AFB commander in front of me, and I would have him and everyone connected with this disgrace to report to me, until this threat is gone!"
President Obama has landed several times at Kirtland AFB...only this time, it wouldn't be for politics or fund-raising...it would be for a disaster that would make national news. This (possible) disaster could make a difference in his chances for re-election, too. Those people appointed by the president, could be at risk as well.
The formula is really simple...if another Love Canal situation happens here in Albuquerque, similar to the Love Canal in New York...there would be many elected officials here given the boot out of office, as well as appointed officials would be thrown out as well!
And...with that...the U.S. Marshall left my apartment. (Friday January 6, 2012)
If this is true , that some kind of transfer of authority is in the beginning stages at the courthouse and the base, that's good news for the residents, and especially for those who live on and surrunding the base. After 18 months at this, and over $300 dollars spent for copies and postage, I am now very excited that there could be a possibility of change and (of closure) in the near future...
cc; Mailing list; 72 (includes 28 of 62 Neighborhood
Associations/5 Health Department offices)
President B. Obama, The White House
* * *
For those interested, I wrote the following articles on chemicals dumps;
Article title; Chemical Dump: Time to Close Kirtland AFB.
Article title; Chemical Dump; (Kirtland AFB) I Smell a Rat!
Article title; Chemical Dump; Circus at Kirtland AFB;
Article title; Chemical Dump; Betrayed By the Governor?
Article title; Chemicals; They're Going to Kill All of Us;
Article title;Chemicals; Another Love Canal In the Making?
Article title; Become an Activist In Your Community;
Article title; Not In My Backyard; (radiation/nuclear)
Article title; To Be a Whistle-Blower Is to Be a Patriot;
SITE MAP For Hopelessly Lost Souls;
Copyright; 2012; Jerry Aragon; The Humor Doctor;