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Longtime friend of GOP's Eric Greitens calls him a 'broken man' and accuses him of lying about his beliefs
Former Gov. Eric Greitens (R-MO) served in the Navy and one of his fellow soldiers has published a video begging the Republican to get out of the Missouri Senate race.
In a video that is quickly going viral, Navy man Ken Harbaugh, who served for nine years during some of Greitens' year, called the Senate candidate a "broken man."
"Eric, I know you must be in a dark place to think what you're doing is worth it," said Harbaugh. "I've known you for most of my life, from our first day at Duke to the time at Oxford. I remember your excitement coming back from the Democratic Convention, and what it meant to see America's first Black president elected. I went to your weddings. Your speech at the first one, about saving the worms, I still remember it."
He recalled their work together co-founding a nonprofit group called The Mission Continues and they debated whether to take money from the Clinton Foundation. He recalled a large picture of Greitens' of JFK.
Harbaugh went on to say that he was so excited about Greitens candidacy as a pro-gay and pro-choice Republican that he took out a $5,000 loan against his life insurance policy just to donate it to the campaign.
"Things have not gone as I expected. Eric, I want you to know that there are worse things in life than running for office honorably and losing. Trust me. I've done that," said Harbaugh, who ran for office in Ohio.
"What you're doing now is not honorable," he continued. "And it is not a reflection of the Eric I knew. Even if you do win, you're going to lose more than you can imagine by campaigning like this. Your call to hunt down Republicans who disagree with you? That's my mom Eric. Just because she doesn't think the election was stolen, and let's be honest, you don't either. That's not a reason to threaten her. She was one of the few people to reach out when you were forced to resign as governor. She wrote to you about grace, and redemption. She reminded you that even the greatest sins, those against one's own family, can be forgiven."
He closed by imploring Greitens to "do the right thing" and drop out of the race because "you're going to get someone killed."
See the video below:
\u201cI have known @EricGreitens for 30 years. He is a broken man, who will do anything, including inciting violence, to regain power. He\u2019s not the same person whose weddings I went to. Eric, drop out. Try to repair the damage you have done, to your family, your country, and yourself.\u201d— Ken Harbaugh (@Ken Harbaugh) 1657122288
An Uvalde police officer asked for a supervisor’s permission to shoot the gunman who would soon kill 21 people at Robb Elementary School in May before he entered the building, but the supervisor did not hear the request or responded too late, according to a report released Wednesday evaluating the law enforcement response to the shooting.
The request from the Uvalde officer, who was outside the school, about a minute before the gunman entered Robb Elementary had not been previously reported. The officer was reported to have been afraid of possibly shooting children while attempting to take out the gunman, according to the report released Wednesday by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center in San Marcos.
The report provides a host of new details about the May 24 shooting, including several missed opportunities to engage or stop the gunman before he entered the school.
The lack of response to the officer’s request to shoot the suspect outside the school was the most significant new detail that the report revealed.
“A reasonable officer would conclude in this case, based upon the totality of the circumstances, that use of deadly force was warranted,” according to the report. The report referred to the Texas Penal Code, which states an individual is justified in using deadly force when the individual reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the commission of murder.
The report said one of the first responding officers — a Uvalde school district police officer — drove through the school’s parking lot “at a high rate of speed” and didn’t spot the gunman, who was still in the parking lot. The report said the officer might have seen the suspect if he had driven more slowly or parked his car at the edge of the school property and approached on foot.
The report also found flaws in how the school maintains security of the building. The report noted that propping doors open is a common practice in the school, a practice that “can create a situation that results in danger to students.” The exterior door the gunman used to enter the school had been propped open by a teacher, who then closed it before the gunman entered — but it didn’t lock properly.
The teacher did not check to see if the door was locked, the report said. The teacher also did not appear to have the proper equipment to lock the door even if she had checked. The report also notes that even if the door had locked properly, the suspect still could have gained access to the building by shooting out the glass in the door.
An audio analysis outlined in the report shows 100 rounds were fired in the first three minutes after the gunman entered rooms 111 and 112 — from 11:33 a.m. to 11:36 a.m.
The report highlighted other issues with the law enforcement response before the gunman — an 18-year-old Uvalde man — entered rooms 111 and 112 for the last time.
The gunman was seen by security cameras entering room 111, then leaving the room, then re-entering the room before officers arrived. The report determined that the lock on room 111 “was never engaged” because the lock required a key to be inserted from the hallway side of the door.
The officers were also in multiple teams at both ends of the south hallway of the school “resulting in a high likelihood of officers at either end of the hallway shooting officers at the other end” if the suspect had emerged from the classroom again, according to the report.
The report said that after the gunman entered the building, the officers did not properly engage the shooter and lost momentum.
“Ideally, the officers would have placed accurate return fire on the attacker when the attacker began shooting at them,” the report said. “Maintaining position or even pushing forward to a better spot to deliver accurate return fire would have undoubtedly been dangerous, and there would have been a high probability that some of the officers would have been shot or even killed. However, the officers also would likely have been able to stop the attacker and then focus on getting immediate medical care to the wounded.”
The testing method used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local officials around the country is so circumscribed that regulators almost certainly have an incomplete understanding of the extent to which the nation's drinking water is contaminated with toxic "forever chemicals."
"There are so many PFAS that we don't know anything about, and if we don't know anything about them, how do we know they aren't hurting us?"
That's according to The Guardian's analysis of water samples taken in nine cities with high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution, the findings of which were published Wednesday.
The newspaper examined water samples from the nine hot spots using two types of tests: an EPA-developed method that detects 30 types of PFAS and a more robust method that checks for a marker of the more than 9,000 PFAS compounds known to exist.
In seven of the nine cities, higher levels of PFAS were found in water samples when using a "total organic fluorine" (TOF) test that identifies markers for all known PFAS compounds than when using the EPA test—at concentrations up to 24 times greater.
"The EPA is doing the bare minimum it can and that's putting people's health at risk," said Kyla Bennett, the policy director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
PFAS are a class of synthetic compounds widely called forever chemicals because they don't fully break down—polluting people's bodies and the environment for years on end.
Scientists have linked long-term exposure to PFAS—which recent studies have identified at unsafe levels in the drinking water of more than 200 million Americans and detected in 97% of blood and 100% of breast milk samples—to numerous adverse health outcomes, including cancer, reproductive and developmental harms, immune system damage, and other negative effects.
Last month, the Biden administration unveiled what environmental groups described as "baby steps" to address toxic forever chemicals, including an allocation of $10 billion to protect drinking water from PFAS and other pollutants.
"But critics say when it comes to identifying PFAS-contaminated water, the limitations of the test used by state and federal regulators, which is called the EPA 537 method, virtually guarantees regulators will never have a full picture of contamination levels as industry churns out new compounds much faster than researchers can develop the science to measure them," The Guardian reported.
"That creates even more incentive for industry to shift away from older compounds," the newspaper noted. "If chemical companies produce newer PFAS, regulators won't be able to find the pollution."
The outlet added:
Clean water advocacy groups last year urged the EPA to use more comprehensive tests that they said would "give us a better understanding of the totality of PFAS contamination," but the agency told The Guardian it currently has no such plans.
In a statement to The Guardian, the EPA said it "continues to conduct research and monitor advances in analytical methodologies... that may improve our ability to measure more PFAS."
But that's hardly a sufficient response according to researchers such as Graham Peaslee, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who helped conduct the new analysis.
"We're looking for and studying less than 1% of PFAS so what the heck is that other 99%?" asked Peaslee. "I've never seen a good PFAS, so they're all going to have some toxicity."
Since Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, the EPA has established maximum contaminant levels for more than 90 pollutants, but it hasn't added any new chemicals to its regulated list since 2000.
"The U.S. tap water system," the Environmental Working Group said last November after updating its national database, "is plagued by antiquated infrastructure and rampant pollution of source water, while out-of-date EPA regulations, often relying on archaic science, allow unsafe levels of toxic chemicals in drinking water."
"The EPA and industry have long argued that many newer PFAS that can't be detected are safe," The Guardian reported. "However, most new compounds have not been independently reviewed, and the types of PFAS that have been studied have been found to be toxic and persistent in the environment."
"There are so many PFAS that we don't know anything about, and if we don't know anything about them, how do we know they aren't hurting us?" Bennett asked. "Why are we messing around?"
Nearly one year ago, the U.S. House passed the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which would improve federal oversight of toxic forever chemicals and facilitate clean-up efforts. The legislation has stalled in the U.S. Senate.