In reviewing Fukushima working conditions, Reuters interviewed more than 80 workers, employers and officials involved in the unprecedented nuclear clean-up. A common complaint: the project's dependence on a sprawling and little scrutinized network of subcontractors - many of them inexperienced with nuclear work and some of them, police say, have ties to organized crime.I reported on the Yakuza connection to TEPCO's Fukuppy nuclear reservation at Daiichi in late 2011 - TEPCO and the Nuclear Mafia. I link that diary to demonstrate that Japan's organized criminal element - known as the Yakuza - got into the act at Daiichi early on... almost as if they'd been there all along. And that this connection has been known by all involved and reported in the press.
So it's not like the connections reported in this Reuters special report are anything new. Some people in government, corporations (TEPCO and their contractors/subcontractors all the way down) and organized crime are making Big Bucks off the triple meltdown nuclear disaster. The workers, on the other hand, are just being abused and tossed aside.
[Pictured: Michael Buhrman and Landon Brittain]
But just for fun, today I want to link readers to The Saga of Michael Buhrman and Landon Brittain from Enformable. These are the two Senior Reactor Operators from Exelon's Dresden nuclear plant southwest of Chicago. And a very strange saga it is!
I introduced this pair of desperadoes here at DKos in a diary this past July, Homegrown Desperadoes: Two More. Enformable's latest on the pair has drawn connections and affiliations not previously known to the public. Seems the two wannabe Criminal Masterminds were able to make use of connections Brittain had to South American organized crime syndicates in Venezuela and Chili. They also had ready access to hundreds of thousands of dollars from off-shore accounts to finance their life of crime.
The two were arrested on charges of armed hijacking of a vehicle in Joliet and eventually released on bail to house arrest. They then escaped to Venezuela with the help of Venezuelan racketeer Jonnathan Morales, aka Jesus 'Jay' Sira. Where they immediately got involved in a scheme to smuggle cash and steroids into the South American nation as "nutritional supplements" funneled through the island of St. Barts. Buhrman and Brittain expanded to the smuggling of motorcycles, televisions and electronic devices in shipping containers through the same pipeline.
After arriving in Venezuela, Buhrman and Brittain rented a luxury property, frequented a local gym, and were associated with a Venezuelan gang known for forging IDs, possessing stolen automobiles and motorcycles, hijacking, fraud, money laundering, extortion, trade of illegal substances (mostly steroids), weapons, among other crimes.Buhrman seems to have been the smarter of the two, and is still awaiting extradition to the U.S. at this time. Brittain, apparently a slave to his steroids and sex habits, got greedy and careless. It's an old story. Seems he spilled the beans by bragging to a workout partner at the gym, who turned the desperadoes in. Brittain was captured at the gym and was returned to the U.S. 8 weeks later. Buhrman was arrested a bit later, and is being retained by Venezuelan police and intelligence service [SEBIN] on a terrorism charge to aid in their ongoing investigation of organized crime in that country.
Anyway, I thought some here might enjoy a twisted tale of international criminal intrigue - complete with the requisite sexual encounters - that includes direct and indirect connections to big time nuclear players in two of the three nations listed. To once again highlight the fact that when someone mentions the infamous 'Nuclear Mafia', they could very well be talking about real connections to organized crime. Happy reading!