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DEPLETED URANIUM - FIGHTING TERRORISM WITH A GREATER TERROR

Posted on 1/11/2006 at 4:54 PM in Unspecified - 2 Comments - Link


DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – FIGHTING TERRORISM WITH WORSE TERRORISM!!

 

Written by Douglas Westerman,  January  10, 2006

 

After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordinance, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."  

 

PFC Stuart Grainger of 23 Army Division, 34th Platoon, (Names and numbers have been changed) returned from Iraq and was diagnosed with cancer a few months later.  He got in touch with the other 12 members of the Platoon, and found that seven others also have cancer.  That’s 40% of the men in just one unit!

 

Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only, this is strong evidence for researchers and scientists working on this issue, that DU is the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Vaccines are not known to cause cancer. One of the first published researchers on Gulf War Syndrome, who also served in 1991 in Iraq, Dr. Andras KorŽnyi-Both, is in agreement with Barbara Goodno from the Department of Defense's Deployment Health Support Directorate, that in this war soldiers were not exposed to chemicals, pesticides, bioagents or other suspect causes this time to confuse the issue.


 One would expect the Iraqi people to be doing even worse. They are. Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

 

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

 

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”

 

Dr. Ali, educated in England, has suffered from political persecution as a result of his efforts.

 

“We were accused of spreading propaganda for Saddam before the war. When I have gone to do talks I have had people accuse me of being pro-Saddam. Sometimes I feel afraid to even talk. Regime people have been stealing my data and calling it their own, and using it for their own agendas. The Kuwaitis banned me from entering Kuwait - we were accused of being Saddam supporters.”

 

Nine people afflicted with malignancies in one family?  This is happening in a country where cancer was relatively rare prior to the introduction of DU into the environment.

 

Because conditions are so chaotic in Iraq, the medical infrastructure has been greatly compromised.  In terms of both cancer and birth defects due to DU, only a small fraction of the cases are being reported.

 

Doctors in southern Iraq are making comparisons to the birth defects that followed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. They have numerous photos of infants born without brains, with their internal organs outside their bodies, without sexual organs, without spines, and the list of deformities goes on an on.  Such birth defects were extremely rare in Iraq prior to the large scale use of DU. Weapons. Now they are commonplace.  In hospitals across Iraq, the mothers are no longer asking, “Doctor, is it a boy or girl?” but rather, “Doctor, is it normal?”  The photos are horrendous (they can be viewed on the following website:)www.xs4all.nl/~stgvisie/VISIE/extremedeformities.html - 22k

 

Ross B. Mirkarimi, a spokesman at The Arms Control Research Centre stated:

 

"Unborn children of the region are being asked to pay the highest price, the integrity of their DNA."

 

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries wrote:

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.”

”The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers).  So, it’s 5-6 times worse now than it was when she wrote than diary entry!!   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was 'aerosolized' into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

 

This powerful new evidence is blowing holes in the cover-up perpetrated by the Pentagon and three presidential administrations ever since DU was first used in 1991 in the Persian Gulf War. Fourteen years after the introduction of DU on the battlefield in 1991, the long-term effects have revealed that DU is an eventual death sentence for thousands.

Scientists studying the biological effects of uranium in the 1960s reported that it targets the DNA. Marion Falk, a nuclear physical chemist retired from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and formerly involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in soldiers from the 2003 war as "spectacular" and a matter of concern."

This evidence shows that of the three effects which DU has on biological systems - radiation, chemical and particulate - the particulate effect from nano-size particles is the most dominant one immediately after exposure and targets the Master Code in the DNA. This is bad news, but it explains why DU causes a myriad of diseases which are difficult to define.

In simple words, DU "trashes the body." When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Falk was more specific: "I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people."

 Such relatively swift development of cancers has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the US military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure.

Just 467 US personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served now have medical problems.

 

 Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty "for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,"and the "tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people."  Although this was a "Citizen's Court" having no legal authority, the participants were sincere in their determination that international laws have been violated and a war crimes conviction is warranted.

 

 Troops involved in actual combat are not the only servicemen reporting symptoms. Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

 

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach."

 

A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

If so, the men - Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone - are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

 

The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq in Easter of 2003, the unit's members had been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

 

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing.

 

"Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.  While working at a military hospital in Delaware, he was one of the first doctors to discover unusual radiation levels in Gulf War veterans. He has since become a leading critic of the use of depleted uranium in warfare.

 

Dr. Durakovic, director of the private, non-profit Uranium Medical Research Centre in Canada and the United States, and center research associates Patricia Horan and Leonard Dietz, published a unique study in the August 2002 issue of Military Medicine medical journal. The study is believed to be the first to look at inhaled DU among Gulf War veterans, using the ultrasensitive technique of thermal ionization mass spectrometry, which enabled them to easily distinguish between natural uranium and DU.  The study, which examined British, Canadian and U.S. veterans, all suffering typical Gulf War Syndrome ailments, found that, nine years after the war, 14 of 27 veterans studied had DU in their urine. DU also was found in the lung and bone of a deceased Gulf War veteran. That no governmental study has been done on inhaled DU "amounts to a massive malpractice," Dietz said in an interview.

 

In 1979, depleted uranium (DU) particles escaped from the National Lead Industries factory near Albany, N.Y., which manufactured DU weapons for the U.S military. The particles traveled 26 miles and were noticed in a laboratory filter by Dietz. This discovery led to a shut down of the factory in 1980, for releasing more than 0.85 pounds of DU dust into the atmosphere every month, and involved a cleanup of contaminated properties costing 100 million dollars.

 

Imagine a worst case scenario.  Terrorists acquire a million pounds of the deadly dust and scatter it in populated areas throughout the U.S.  Hundreds of children report symptoms.  Many acquire cancer and leukemia, suffering an early and painful death.  Huge increases in severe birth defects are reported.  Oncologists are overwhelmed.  Soccer fields, sand lots and parks, traditional play areas for kids, are no longer safe.  People lose their most basic freedom, the ability to go outside and safely breathe.   Sounds horrific?  Welcome to Iraq and Afghanistan.   

 

Depleted uranium, a waste product of the uranium enrichment process, has been used by the U.S. and British military for more than 15 years in some artillery shells and as armor plating for tanks. It is twice as heavy as lead.

 

Because of its density, "It is the superior heavy metal for armor to protect tanks and to penetrate armor," Pentagon spokesman Michael Kilpatrick said.

  

In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 'The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.

 

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit, a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others—including Rokke himself—developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension." Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”  Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

 

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb. “That's exactly what they are,” Falk said. “They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

 

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat — sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and quite efficiently respirable.

 
The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Falk told AFP.
 
"Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray", said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

 

Dr. Durakovic’s research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained "hundreds to thousands of times" the normal levels of radiation.

 

 "This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991," Durakovic told The Japan Times.

 

 

"They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness," Durakovic said. "They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes" by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”

 

(NOTE ABOUT DR. DURAKOVIC;  First, he was warned to stop his work, then he was fired from his position, then his house was ransacked, and he has also reported receiving death threats.  Evidently the U.S. D.O.D is very keen on censoring DU whistle-blowers!)

 

In a group of eight U.S. led Coalition servicemen whose babies were born without eyes, seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.  

 

It is this difference in particle size as well as the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.  This point is being stressed, as comparing DU particles to much larger natural ones is misleading. 

 

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone.

 

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,”  writes Lauren Moret, another DU researcher. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

 

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is somewhat possible to extrapolate backwards and approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.  The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas.  If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

 

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

 

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

The Department of Defense released a study last October that found that "the health risks from inhaling airborne particles of depleted uranium are very low." A five-year study by an independent research institute paid for by the DOD reported that even "in extreme cases, exposure to 'aerosolized' depleted uranium did not pose a health risk." (The studies were done mostly with uranium miners.)

 

Melissa Sterry, another sick veteran, and numerous others dispute these conclusions, saying the studies do not simulate actual field conditions, and did not involve studying the effect of actual ingestion and inhalation of DU dust.   She served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard's Combat Equipment Company A was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

 

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military's test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

 

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn’t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

 

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.  It is no surprise that the Japanese Court found President Bush guilty of war crimes.

 

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.

FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

 

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

 

 UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

 

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

 Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill. 

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

"The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

In Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, UMRC lab results indicated high concentrations of NON-DEPLETED URANIUM, with the concentrations being much higher than in DU victims from Iraq. Afghanistan was used as a testing ground for a new generation of “bunker buster” bombs containing high concentrations of other uranium alloys.

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.   

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

------------------------------------

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium".     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed a

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MOSSAD FALSE FLAG TERRORIST ATTACKS

Posted on 9/28/2005 at 3:11 PM in Unspecified - 1 Comments - Link


MOSSAD, 9/11 AND THE MYTH OF MUSLIM TERRORISM

"...If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. you know it and I know it and what folly is this toastingto an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks and they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

John Swinton, former Chief of Staff for the New York Times

Andreas von Bulow served on the parliamentary commission which oversees the three branches of the German secret service while a member of the Bundestag (German parliament) from 1969 to 1994, and wrote a book titled Im Namen des Staates (In the Name of the State) on the criminal activities of secret services, including the CIA.

Von Bulow told AFP that he believes that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, is behind the September 11 terror attacks. These attacks, he said, were carried out to turn public opinion against the Arabs, and boost military and security spending. "You don't get the higher echelons," von Bulow said, referring to the "architectural structure" which masterminds such terror attacks. At this level, he said, the organization doing the planning, such as Mossad, is primarily interested in affecting public opinion.

The architectural level planners use corrupt "guns for
hire" such as Abu Nidal, the Palestinian terrorist who von B'low called "an instrument of Mossad," high-ranking Stasi (former East German secret service) operatives, or Libyan agents who organize terror attacks using dedicated people, for example Palestinian and Arab "freedom fighters."

The terrorists who actually commit the crimes are what
von Bulow calls "the working level," such as the 19 Arabs who allegedly hijacked the planes on September 11. "The working level is part of the deception," he said.

"Ninety-five percent of the work of the intelligence agencies around the world is deception and disinformation," von Bulow said, which is widely propagated in the mainstream media creating an accepted version of events. "Journalists don't even raise the simplest questions," he said adding, "those who differ are labeled as crazy."

Both Werthebach and von Bulow said the lack of an open and official investigation, such as congressional hearings, into the events of September 11 was incomprehensible.

On the day of the 9-11 attacks, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked what the attack would mean for US-Israeli relations. His quick reply was: "It's very good��.Well, it's not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy (for Israel)"��

A Mossad (Israeli Intelligence) surveillance team made a public spectacle of themselves on 9-11. The men set up cameras by the Hudson River and trained them on the twin towers. Police received several calls from angry New Jersey residents claiming �middle-eastern� men with a white van were videotaping the disaster with shouts of joy and mockery. "They were like happy, you know � They didn't look shocked to me" said a witness.

They were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage. Witnesses saw them jumping for joy in Liberty State Park after the initial impact. Later on, other witnesses saw them celebrating on a roof in Weehawken, and still more witnesses later saw them celebrating with high fives in a Jersey City parking lot.�� "It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park. One anonymous phone call to the authorities actually led them to close down all of New York's bridges and tunnels. The mystery caller told the 9-1-1 dispatcher that a group of Palestinians were mixing a bomb inside of a white van headed for the Holland Tunnel. Here�s the transcript from NBC News:

Dispatcher: Jersey City police.

Caller: Yes, we have a white van, 2 or 3 guys in there, they look like Palestinians and going around a building.

Caller: There's a minivan heading toward the Holland tunnel, I see the guy by Newark Airport mixing some junk and he has those sheikh uniform.

Dispatcher: He has what?

Caller: He's dressed like an Arab.

Why would this mystery caller specifically say that these �Arabs� were Palestinians? How would he know that?Palestinians usually dress in western style clothes, not �sheikh uniforms�.What is really going on here?

Based on that phone call, police then issued a �Be-on-the-Lookout� alert for a white mini-van heading for the city�s bridges and tunnels from New Jersey. When a van fitting that exact description was stopped just before crossing into New York, the suspicious �middle-easterners� were apprehended. Imagine the surprise of the police officers when these terror suspects turned out to be Israelis!

According to ABC�s 20/20, when the van belonging to the cheering Israelis was stopped by the police, the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers:

"We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem."

Why did he feel that Palestinians were a problem for the NYPD?No Palestinian suicide attacks have taken place in New York City, and none of the supposed 9/11 hijackers were traced to Palestine!

The police and FBI field agents became very suspicious when they found maps of the city with certain places highlighted, box cutters (the same items that the hijackers supposedly used), $4700 cash stuffed in a sock, and foreign passports. Police also told the Bergen Record that bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the van and that they reacted as if they had smelled explosives. The Jerusalem Post later reported that a white van with a bomb was stopped as it approached the George Washington Bridge, but the ethnicity of the suspects was not revealed. Here�s what the Jerusalem Post reported on September 12, 2001:

�American security services overnight stopped a car bomb on the George Washington Bridge. The van, packed with explosives, was stopped on an approach ramp to the bridge. Authorities suspect the terrorists intended to blow up the main crossing between New Jersey and New York, Army Radio reported.TCM Breaking News reported that the van was laden down with tons of explosives.�

What's really intriguing is thatABC's 20/20, the New York Post and the New Jersey Bergen Record all clearly and unambiguously reported that a white van with Israelis was intercepted on a ramp near Route 3, which leads directly to the Lincoln Tunnel. But the Jerusalem Post, Israeli National News (Arutz Sheva) and Yediot America, all reported, just as clearly and unambiguously, that a white van with Israelis was stopped on a ramp leading to the George Washington Bridge, which is several miles north of the Lincoln Tunnel.

There may have been two white vans involved, one stopped on each crossing. This would not only explain the conflicting reports as to the actual location of the arrests, but would also explain how so many credible eye-witnesses all saw celebrating "middle-easterners" in a white van in so many different locations. It also explains why the New York Post and Steve Gordon (lawyer for the 5 Israelis) originally described how three Israelis were arrested but later increased the total to five.�� Also, it is possible that the story was changed in the Israeli newspaper to discredit the original.

Perhaps one van was meant to drop off a bomb while the other was meant to pick up the first set of drivers while re-crossing back into New Jersey? If a van was to be used as a parked time-bomb on the GW Bridge, then certainly the drivers would need to have a "get-away van" to pick them up and escape. And notice how the van (or vans) stayed away from the third major crossing -the Holland Tunnel- which was where the police had originally been directed to by that anti-Palestinian 9-1-1 "mystery caller". A classic misdirection play. From there, the story gets becomes even more suspicious. The Israelis worked for a Weehawken moving company known as Urban Moving Systems. An American employee of Urban Moving Systems told the The Record of New Jersey that a majority of his co-workers were Israelis and they were joking about the attacks. The employee, who declined to give his name said: "I was in tears. These guys were joking and that bothered me." These guys were like, "Now America knows what we go through."

A few days after the attacks, Urban Moving System's Israeli owner, Dominick Suter, dropped his business and fled the country for Israel. He and his Israeli co-workers were in such a hurry to flee America that some of Urban Moving System's customers were left with their furniture stranded in storage facilities.

It was later confirmed that the five detained Israelis were in fact Mossad agents. They were held in custody for 71 days before being quietly released. Some of the movers had been kept in solitary confinement for 40 days. Several of the detainees discussed their experience in America on an Israeli talk show after their return home.

Said one of the men, denying that they were laughing or happy on the morning of Sept. 11, "The fact of the matter is we are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event." How did they know there would be an event to document on 9/11?

Here is a possible scenario:

1. The Israeli �movers� cheered the 9-11 attacks to celebrate the successful accomplishment of the greatest �false flag� spy operation ever pulled off in history.

2. One of them, or an accomplice, then calls a 9-1-1 police dispatcher to report Palestinian bomb-makers in a white van headed for the Holland Tunnel.

3. Having thus pre-framed the Palestinians with this phone call, the Israeli bombers then head for the George Washington Bridge, instead, where they will drop off their time-bomb van and escape with Urban Moving accomplices.

4. But the police react very wisely and proactively by closing off ALL bridges and tunnels instead of just the Holland Tunnel. This move inadvertently foils the Israelis� misdirection play and leads to their own capture.

5. Helping to muddle things,the U.S. Justice Department rounds up over 1000 Arabs for minorimmigration violations and places them in New York area jails. The Israelis therefore become less conspicuous as the government and media can now claim that the Israelis were just immigration violators caught in the same dragnet as many other Arabs.

6. After several months, FBI and Justice Department �higher-ups� are able to gradually push aside the local FBI agents and free the Israelis quietly.

According to a 61-page report, drafted after an investigation by the DEA and the US immigration service, the Israelis were organized into cells of four to six people. The significance of what the Israelis were doing didn�t emerge until after September 11, 2001, when a report by a French intelligence agency noted "according to the FBI, Arab terrorists and suspected terror cells lived in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as in Miami and Hollywood, Florida, from December 2000 to April 2001 in direct proximity to the Israeli spy cells".

The report contended that Mossad agents were spying on Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehi, two of leaders of the 9/11 hijack teams. ...

A French intelligence report says the leader of the Mossad cell in Florida rented apartments "right near the apartment of Atta and al-Shehi".

Osama bin Laden was immediately blamed for the 9/11 attacks even though he had no previous record of doing anything on this scale. Immediately after the Flight 11 hit World Trade Center , CIA Director George Tenet said "You know, this has bin Laden's fingerprints all over it."

The compliant mainstream media completely ignored the Israeli connection. Immediately following the 9-11 attacks, the media was filled with stories linking the attacks to bin Laden. TV talking-heads, �experts�, and scribblers of every stripe spoon-fed a gullible American public a steady diet of�Arab Terrorist� propaganda.

But bin Laden strongly denied any role in the attacks and suggested that Zionists orchestrated the

9-11 attacks. The BBC published bin Laden's statement of denial in which he said:

"I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks. There exists a government within a government within the United States. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; to the people who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks. ... The American system is totally in control of the Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States."

A number of intelligence officials have raised questions about Osama bin Laden's capabilities. "This guy sits in a cave in Afghanistan and he's running this operation?" one C.I.A. official asked. "It's so huge. He couldn't have done it alone." A senior military officer stated that because of the visas and other documentation needed to infiltrate team members into the United States a major foreign intelligence service might also have been involved.

To date, the most damning evidence against Bin Laden is barely audible fuzzy amateur video that the Pentagon just happened to find "lying around" in Afghanistan.The real Bin Laden has a thin face, is left-handed and does not wear gold rings on his finger (Forbidden by Islam).The Bin Laden in the video who �confessed� to being behind the 9/11 attacks had a fat face, is right handed, and is wearing gold jewelry, which is why a number of foreign intelligence experts say the video is a fake.

Gen. Hameed Gul, head of Inter Services Intelligence, the equivalent of a CIA-cum-FBI combination of Pakistan, during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, was interviewed shortly after the 9/11 attacks, and repeated the accusation that Mossad agents were involved in the operation.

Asked to consider the possibility that bin Laden -- or OBL as he is referred to in Pakistani conversations -- was lying to him and is indeed guilty as charged by the United States, Gul said, "If Taliban are given irrefutable evidence of his guilt, I am in favor of a fair trial. In America one is entitled to a jury of peers. But he has no American peers. The Taliban would not object, in the event of a prima face case, to an international Islamic court meeting in The Hague. They would extradite Osama to the Netherlands."

Gul said that his friend bin Laden had sworn to him on the Koran that he was not involved.

"From a cave inside a mountain or a peasant's hovel," Gul asked, how could bin Laden mount such a sophisticated operation? "Let's be serious," he said with a smile. "Mossad and its American associates are the obvious culprits," he added by asking, "Who benefits from the crime?"

Asked why Israel would benefit, Gul replied, "Israel knows it has a short shelf-life before it is overwhelmed by demographics (and it) has now handed the (Bush administration) the opportunity it has been waiting for to consolidate America's imperial grip on the Gulf and acquire control of the Caspian basin by extending its military presence in Central Asia."

Asked if the United States was now his enemy, Gul replied, "Is the U.S. national interest in contradiction with the Muslim world? The U.S. needs oil, as do its European allies. You have between 6 and 8 million American Muslims and their ranks are growing. About the same number in Europe. Israel aside, we are America's natural allies. Professor Sam Huntington in his (book) 'Clash of Civilizations' puts Confucius and Judeo-Christians in one corner, and us in the other. His prescription is wrong but is being adopted by Bush 43 who has now put 60 countries on his hit list. This is the diabolical school that wants to launch an anti-Muslim 'crusade.' Muslims understood what Bush meant when he used that word. We need a meeting, not a clash, of civilizations."


AFP asked von Bulow about the Taliban's ban on opium production: "Seventy percent of the drug trade is licensed by the intelligence agencies," von B'low said, and they are interested in keeping the drug traffic "running through their mills."

"The BND (German secret service) is steered by the CIA and the CIA is steered by Mossad," von Bulow said.

Horst Ehmke, who coordinated the German secret services directly under German prime minister Willi Brandt in the 70s, predicted a similar terrorist attack in his novel, Torches of Heaven, published last year, in which Turkish terrorists crash hijacked planes into Berlin.


Although Ehmke had long expected "fundamentalist attacks," when he saw the televised images from September 11, he said it looked like a "Hollywood production." "Terrorists could not have carried out such an operation with 4 hijacked planes without the support of a secret service," Ehmke said, although he did not want to point to any particular agency.

"The most important thing in the struggle against terrorists, who are abusing religion, is the battle for the soul of the people and the nations," Ehmke said. "If this isn't resolved successfully, the 21st Century could be bloodier than the last."

A former Stasi agent who had warned the German secret service of terror attacks in America between September 10-20 told AFP that a high ranking Stasi chief named Jurgen Rogalla, who is "an airplane terror specialist," was probably involved in the attacks of September 11 along with Abu Nidal.

Both Nidal and Rogalla work with the Mossad, the former agent told AFP. Nidal, was said to be in Baghdad, and is a "leading officer for some Mossad agents." The agent said that Nidal was "involved directly" in the events of September 11.

On October 10, 2001, CNN made a briefly mentioned a foiled terrorist bomb plot on the Parliament building in Mexico. They promised to bring any further developments of this story to their viewers, but the incident was never heard of again in the mainstream U.S. media outlets. But the story appeared in bold headlines on the front page of major Mexican newspapers and was also posted on the official website of the Mexican Justice Department.

Two terror suspects were captured in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies.They had in their possession a high powered gun, nine hand grenades, and C-4 plastic explosives (great stuff for demolishing buildings!) Within days, this blockbuster story not only disappeared from the Mexican press, but the suspects were quietly released. The two terrorists were Salvador Gerson Sunke and Sar ben Zui Sunke. Gerson is a Mexican of Jewish origin,and Zui is a colonel with the Israeli Intelligence Services.(MOSSAD).

The story in El Diario de Mexico went on to reveal that the terrorists possessed forged Pakistani passports. Israel worked diligently to secure the release of these two suspects, who were then quietly deported.Many Mexicans expressed outrage at their prompt release, but to no avail.

The probable motive of this unsuccessful terrorist operation was to involve oil rich Mexico in the "War on Terrorism". Mexico is no military power, but the psychological trauma of an "Arab" attack on Mexico would have encouraged Mexico to provide more cheap oil to her American "protector", as well as aligning her more closely with Israeli against the �War on Terror.� Had the operation against Mexico succeeded, it is probable that the fake passports from an Arab country would have been discovered (in this case Pakistan), along with the usual copy of the Koran, or other references to �Muslim Jihad.�Most likely there would have been �connections� with Osama Bin Laden and �El Qaeda.�

by
Ernesto Cienfuegos
La Voz de Aztlan

Los Angeles, Alta California - October 12, 2001 - (ACN) We were alerted this morning by a subscriber from Mexico that two Israelis were arrested Wednesday inside the Palacio Legislativo de San L�zaro (Mexican Congress) in Mexico City. Both were armed with 9 mm automatics and one was carrying a military hand grenade, electrical wiring and other bomb related materials. The Israeli Embassy at Sierra Madre 2155, colonia Lomas de Chapultepec has close its doors to the Mexican Press and are refusing to talk. The incident has been independently verified by La Voz de Aztlan through Mexican diplomatic, press and other sources in Mexico City.

The Chief of Legislative Security, Salvador Alarc�n, has also confirmed the arrest of the two Israeli terrorists. One of them Saur Ben Zvi is a confirmed citizen of Israel and the other, Salvador Guersson, recently immigrated to Mexico from Israel. It is has been determined by the Procuradur�a General de la Rep�blica (Mexican Department of Justice) that Guersson is a retired Colonel of the Israeli Defense Forces and that he may now be operating as a MOSSAD agent. It is not known how they were able to penetrate the extensive security system of the Mexican Legislative Palace.

This is a very grave incident with many serious international implications. Many have questioned who may be really behind many of the recent terrorist acts around the world including the ones against the WTC and the Pentagon. The Mexican public and congress has been reticent about declaring war against Islam along with the U.S. It is possible that an act of terrorism against the Mexican Congress was planned in order to "terrorize" Mexico into towing the line against Islam. La Voz de Aztlan will be on top of this developing story to report any additional developments.

by
Ernesto Cienfuegos
La Voz de Aztlan

Los Angeles, Alta California - October 15, 2001- (ACN) In a mind-blowing development, La Voz de Aztlan has learned that Mexican Army General Rafael Marcial Macedo de la Concha who heads the Procuradur�a General de la Rep�blica (Mexican Department of Justice) has released the retired Israeli Defense Forces colonel and presumed MOSSAD agent Salvador Guersson Smecke and Israeli illegal immigrant Saur Ben Zvi after both had penetrated the security of the Mexican Congress and where in possession of guns, hand grenades and explosives.

This morning La Voz de Aztlan had a personal telephone interview with the Mexican Congressional Press Secretary, Lic. Adriana Lopez, and verified the arrest of the two Israelis after they had entered through the highly secured front entrance of the Palacio Legislativo de San L�zaro. She stated to La Voz de Aztlan that the two terrorists had taken advantage of a situation that occurred around 1700 hours of Wednesday October 10 when a large contingent of Sugar Industry Unionists were entering through the metal detectors. The two Israelis followed about 50 of the unionists to the office of the President of the Mexican Congress Beatriz Paredes. The two Israelis were first pretending to be press photographers but called the attention of the sugar unionists because of their nervous and out of the ordinary behavior. About ten of the unionists confronted them and observed that they were carrying guns and and what looked to them to be explosives. They held the two Israelis until Official Congressional Security personnel took them into custody. The head of Congressional Security Salvador Alarc�n verified that the Israelis had in their possession nine hand grenades, sticks of dynamite, detonators, wiring and two 9mm "Glock" automatics.

Mexican Congressional Press Secretary Lic. Adriana Lopez informed La Voz de Aztlan in the telephone interview that Congressional Security then turned the terrorists Salvador Guersson Smecke, age 34, and Saur Ben Zvi, age 27, to the Procuradur�a General de la Rep�blica (Mexican Department of Justice) which is headed by Mexican Army General Rafael Marcial Macedo de la Concha. Initial reports by the Procuradur�a General de la Rep�blica (PGR) were that both Israelis worked for a private security agency and that they both had gun permits. It turned out that there is no connection of either suspect to any private security agency. The PGR has released the retired Israeli I.D.F. colonel with the official explanation that he had a legal permit to carry a gun. They also released the illegal Israeli immigrant on about $4000 bail and the case turned over to the Mexican immigration authorities. Mexican Congressional Press Secretary Lic. Adriana Lopez was surprised to hear from La Voz de Aztlan of the release of the two Israelis.

La Voz de Aztlan has also learned that the Israeli Embassy used heavy handed measures to have the two Israelis released. Very high level emergency meetings took place between Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Jorge Gutman, General Macedo de la Concha and a top Ariel Sharon envoy who flew to Mexico City specially for that purpose. El�as Luf of the Israeli Embassy worked night and day and their official spokeswoman Hila Engelhart went into high gear after may hours of complete silence. What went one during those high levels meetings no ones knows, but many in Mexico are in disbelief at their release. Guns and any kind of explosive is highly illegal for Mexican citizens and the fact that these two Israelis had them inside the Mexican Congress makes their release highly suspect. What is really going on? Jorge Gutman, the Mexican Foreign Secretary, has very strong Zionist connections and himself is of Jewish descent. Mexican Army General Macedo de la Concha has strong connections to the U.S. Military Industrial-Complex and through this to the Israeli Defense Forces. Have any of these connections influenced the decision to release the two Zionist terrorists?

The initial arrests of the two Israelis inside the Palacio Legislativo de San L�zaro made top news on Mexico City television and radio on the evening of October 10. TV Azteca had extensive coverage on the first night and on the following day. La Cronica de Hoy Newspaper and El Universal Newspaper both covered the incident the following two days but now it seems that there is a lack of reports. The PGR has a Press Bulletin on their official website at http://www.pgr.gob.mx/cmsocial/bol01/oct/b69701.html but they have made no updates. No U.S. media has made any mention, that we know, except one by USAJewish.com this Sunday at: http://www.usajewish.com/scripts/usaj/paper/Article.asp?ArticleID=1307 Pravda of Moscow has a note of the initial La Voz de Aztlan article at: http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/10/13/17982.html

What were the Israelis up to? We think we know. The Vicente Fox government has been very careful of involving Mexico in a war against Islam. The Mexican population as well as the two major opposition political parties, the PRI and the PRD will not allow it. President Bush and the U.S. Zionists want Mexico fully involved in the war principally because if things get tough in the middle east and the oil rich Arabs leave the coalition, the U.S. military machine is going to need alternative sources of oil and PEMEX is just across the border. We believe that the two Zionists terrorist were going to blow up the Mexican Congress. The second phase was to mobilize both the Mexican and US press to blame Osama bin Laden. Most likely then Mexico would declare war on Afghanistan as well, commit troops and all the oil it could spare to combat Islamic terrorism.

Another incident involving Israeli citizens began late afternoon on May 8, 2004 when Sheriff Kent Harris noticed a rental truck traveling at a high speed along former U.S. Highway 23, a lightly-traveled highway near the North Carolina state line.

"I was really concerned because the driver would not stop after I flashed my headlights for nearly three miles," Harris said. "He was weaving back and forth and I was wondering what a large (rental truck) was doing on the two-lane highway late Saturday afternoon instead of the faster I-26 Interstate."

Harris said he saw the men throw something from the truck while they were being pursued. Officers scouring the area later found a vial containing an unknown substance along the roadway, he said.

Once the men were apprehended, officers also found a "Learn to Fly" brochure in the truck, leading Harris and others to express concern about security at the Nuclear Fuel Services plant in nearby Erwin.

"I got a sick feeling when I saw it," Harris said.

After being detained, it was discovered that they were citizens of Israel.

Yet another incident involving Israelis took place in the Midwestern U.S.Here is an excerpt from THE TIMES of London, dated 11/02/01:

�WASHINGTON - With America on top security alert, the FBI was hunting yesterday for six men of Middle Eastern appearance carrying plans of a nuclear power plant and the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline who were picked up by police in the Midwest over the weekend but then released.

The incident is thought to be connected with the latest FBI alert and senior intelligence officials are furious that the men were set free before they could be fully questioned.

The men were traveling in two groups of three in white saloon cars when they were pulled over by police officers in the Midwest, according to the Knight Ridder News Service. Security officials have refused to disclose further details.

The men were searched and questioned and the state officers discovered detailed plans and photographs of a nuclear power plant in Florida, along with box cutters-the weapons used in the September 11 attacks- and other equipment.

The men, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin and held Israeli passports, were then interviewed by immigration officials. When their passports and visas were found to be in order, the officers, who were not aware of the country's imminent security alert, let the men go without first calling in the FBI to question them more thoroughly. It is not clear why the men were pulled over in the first place nor why intelligence officers were not given a chance to interview them. Agents suspect that the men will by now have switched cars and tried to flee the country, possibly to Canada. Intelligence officials were especially concerned about the nuclear plant details. America's nuclear facilities received special attention in the latest FBI alert. The men were also carrying plans of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska pipeline, which delivers 17 per cent of America's oil.

At a time when police have unprecedented powers to arrest and detain people who are merely suspected of having links to terrorist activities, the release of these six men has infuriated the FBI.�

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These three incidents present two very disturbing features:

������� Whether in Mexico or the U.S.A, Israel is able to secure the release their citizens suspected of terrorist activity easily, as opposed to Arab Countries, whose citizens can be held indefinitely, based upon evidence which in many cases, is much weaker.Equal protection under the law? Not even close!!

������� The Mainstream U.S. Media conspicuously ignores incidents in which Israelis are involved in suspected terrorism, although there are numerous references on various Internet News Sites.

The attempted attack on theMexican Parliament was major headline news for several days in Mexico.It was equivalent to a planned terrorist attack on Congress in the U.S!!Wouldn�t that be major news? Why did CNN drop the story so quickly?

At this point, it is helpful to mention also that the FBI reported that at least 7 of the supposed 9/11 hijackers are still alive, having been victims of identity theft. It is possible that Bin Laden orchestrated these identity thefts from a hide-away in Afghanistan, but many intelligence experts say that is unlikely.

There is little evidence, to link the Al Qaeda "terrorist network" to these acts of terror, but there is more evidence, both hard and circumstantial, which suggests that non-Arab, non-Muslim groups have been very busy framing Arabs for terror plots against America.

After the 9/11 attacks, Israeli troops succeeded in baiting a group of Palestinians with candy, drinks, and some good jokes.After they began laughing and carrying on, they were videoed by the Israelis.�� The footage was then sent to CNN, supposedly showing the Palestinians �celebrating the 9/11 attacks!�The fraudulent nature of this footage was not revealed in theU.S. mainstream media.We were all led to believe that a group of Palestinians was celebrating the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent victims, when, in fact the only people caught celebrating the 9/11 attacks were Israelis!!

Another suspicious fact:�� At 09:40 on 9/11 it was reported that the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Twin Towers. This claim was immediately denied by the DFLP leader Qais abu Leila who said it had always opposed "terror attacks on civilian targets, especially outside the occupied territories." CNN streamed a Real Video item mentioning a Palestinian claim of responsibility

Why would a Palestinian organization comprising of less than 500 people make the suicidal move of immediately claiming responsibility for the attacks?Who was behind this bogus claim?

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."�� ---US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring.

A few months prior to the 9/11 attacks, Israel warned of an impending terrorist attack against the U.S. saying that Bin Laden, and possibly Saddam Hussein were involved.Why the spin?Bin Laden and Saddam are enemies, and there is no evidence at all suggesting that they plan terrorist attacks together.

More disturbing evidence: At least two Israel-based employees of ODIGO (a message service based in Israel) received warnings of an imminent attack in New York City two hours before the first plane hit the WTC. ODIGO had offices two blocks from the WTC. The ODIGO employees, however, did not pass the warning on to the authorities in New York, a move that could have saved many lives.

Two weeks after 9-11, Alex Diamandis, Odigo�s vice president, reportedly said, "It was possible that the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message." The Internet address of the sender was given to the FBI, and two months later it was reported that the FBI was still investigating the matter. There have been no media reports since. ODIGO, like many Israeli software companies, is based in Herzliya, Israel, the suburb of Tel Aviv where Mossad headquarters are located. Shortly after 9-11, ODIGO was taken over by Comverse Technology, another Israeli company

Immediately after the attacks, Israels most widely read newspaper, THE JERUSALUM POST, stated that as many as 4,000 Israelis may have died in the attacks.Then President Bush publicly stated that only 130 had perished.A later NY TIMES article clarified that in fact only three Israelis perished in the attacks, and two of them were on the planes. There should have been hundreds of Israelis inside the WTC on 9/11.Did they all receive a warning to stay away, due to the impending attacks?

Also, an October 17, 2001 article in THE MERCURY, a Philadelphia area newspaper reported the detaining of two men with a video of the Sears Tower in Chicago.

In October of 2001, three more Israeli "movers" were stopped in Plymouth, PA because of their suspicious behavior., A "Middle Eastern" man later identified as Moshe Elmakias fled the scene. The manager made note of the truck's sign which read "Moving Systems Incorporated" and called the police. When the police spotted the truck, two other Israelis - Ayelet Reisler and Ron Katar began acting suspiciously. The Plymouth police searched the truck and found a video. The Israelis were taken into custody and the video tape was played at the police station. The video revealed footage of Chicago with zoomed in shots of the Sears Tower. The police quickly alerted the FBI and it was also discovered that the Israelis had falsified travel logs and phony paperwork on them. They were also unable to provide a name and telephone number for the customer that they claimed to have been working for.

The U.SArmy�s War College gave the following assessment of Mossad:

"Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target US forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act." - Washington Times . Even the US army acknowledges that Israel can and does engineer "false flag" attacks.

On May 25, 2004, St. Mary�s GA:Two Israeli men working for a moving-and-storage company who attempted to enter Kings Bay Submarine Base Friday were detained, then held for subsequent deportation.

The two entered the Franklin gate about 10:30 a.m.to pick up some items in base housing, base spokesman Ed Buczek said. Neither was able to present valid work permits to security personnel, and one had an expired passport. Base personnel and bomb-sniffing dogs inspected the van, prompting a lockdown of the base.

St. Marys police closed access to an area one-half mile surrounding the base and called in a bomb squad, Buczek said. "The military dogs were alerted to a scent in the cab of the truck," Buczek said. "Guards closed access to the base and notified the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service." Nothing was found in the van, but both men, Tamir D. Sason, 24 and Daniel Levy, 23, both of Metar, Israel, were turned over to federal immigration officers as undocumented aliens..

In February of 2000, Indian intelligence officials detained 11 members of what they thought was an Al Qaeda hijacking conspiracy. It was then discovered that these 11 "Muslim preachers" were all Israeli nationals! India�s leading weekly magazine, The Week, reported:

�On January 12 Indian intelligence officials in Calcutta detained 11 foreign nationals for interrogation before they were to board a Dhaka-bound Bangladesh Biman flight. They were detained on the suspicion of being hijackers. "But we realized that they were tabliqis (Islamic preachers), so we let them go", said an Intelligence official.

The eleven had Israeli passports but were believed to be Afghan nationals who had spent a while in Iran. Indian intelligence officials, too, were surprised by the nationality profile of the eleven. "They say that they have been on tabligh (preaching Islam) in India for two months. But they are Israeli nationals from the West Bank," said a Central Intelligence official. He claimed that Tel Aviv "exerted considerable pressure" on Delhi to secure their release. "It appeared that they could be working for a sensitive organization in Israel and were on a mission to Bangladesh," the official said.

What were these 11 Israelis doing trying to impersonate Al Qaeda men? Infiltrating?...perhaps. Framing?...more likely. But the important precedent to understand is this: Israeli agents were once caught red handed impersonating Muslim hijackers!

This is not the first act of terror by Israel against our nation. James M. Ennes Jr, in his book Assault on the Liberty, reports the following:�

�Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

�Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot's radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.�

And lastly, two North Tower basement workers, Jose Sanchez and William Rodriguez reported explosions in the North Tower lower levels.

Declared a hero for saving numerous lives at Ground Zero, Rodriguez was the janitor on duty the morning of 9/11 who heard and felt explosions rock the basement sub-levels of the north tower just seconds before the jetliner struck.

He not only claims he felt explosions coming from below the first sub-level while working in the basement, he says the walls were cracking around him and he pulled a man to safety by the name of Felipe David, who was severely burned from the basement explosions.

All these events occurred only seconds before and during the jetliner strike above. And through it all, he now asks a simple question everybody should be asking? How could a jetliner hit 90 floors above and burn a man�s arms and face to a crisp in the basement below within seconds of impact?

Rodriguez claims this was impossible and clearly demonstrates a controlled demolition brought down the WTC, saying "Let�s see them (the government) try to wiggle out of this one."

NBC news knew about his story several years ago, even spending a full day at his house taping his comments. But when push came to shove, his story was never aired. Why?

His eyewitness account, backed up by at least 14 people at the scene with him, isn�t speculation or conjecture. It isn�t a story that takes a network out on a journalistic limb. It�s a story that can be backed up, a story that can be verified with hospital records and testimony from many others.

It�s a story about 14 people who felt and heard the same explosion and even saw Rodriguez, moments after the airplane hit,�take David to safety, after he was burnt so bad from the basement explosion flesh was hanging from his face and both arms

Since 9/11, Rodriguez has stuck to his guns, never wavering from what he said from day one. Left homeless at times, warned to keep quiet and subtly harassed, he nevertheless has continued trying to tell get his message out in the face of a country not willing to listen.

Here is his story:

It�s a miracle Rodriguez, 44, who worked at the WTC for 20 years, is even alive. Usually arriving to work at 8:00am, the morning of 9/11 he reported 30 minutes late. If he�d arrived on time, it would have put him at the top floors just about the same time the jetliner hit the north tower.

"It was a miracle. If I arrived on time, like always, I�d probably be dead. I would have been up at the top floors like every morning," said Rodriguez about the quirk of fate that saved his life.

But since he was late, Rodriguez found himself checking into work in an office on sub-level 1 when the north tower was hit, seemingly out of harms way. However, the sound and concussion of a massive explosion in the sub-levels right below his feet changed that.

"When I heard the sound of the explosion, the floor beneath my feet vibrated, the walls started cracking and it everything started shaking," said Rodriguez, who was huddled together with at least 14 other people in the office.

Rodriguez said Anthony Saltamachia, supervisor for the American Maintenance Co., was one of the people in the room who stands ready to verify his story.

"Seconds after the first massive explosion below in the basement still rattled the floor, I hear another explosion from way above," said Rodriguez. "Although I was unaware at the time, this was the airplane hitting the tower, it occurred moments after the first explosion."

But before Rodriguez had time to think, co-worker Felipe David stormed into the basement office with severe burns on his face and arms, screaming for help and yelling "explosion! explosion! explosion!"

David had been in front of a nearby freight elevator on sub-level 1 about 400 feet from the office when fire burst out of the elevator shaft, causing his injuries.

"He was burned terribly," said Rodriguez. "The skin was hanging off his hands and arms. His injuries couldn�t have come from the airplane above, but only from a massive explosion below. I don�t care what the government says, what scientists say. I saw a man burned terribly from a fire that was caused from an explosion below.

"I know there were explosives placed below the trade center. I helped a man to safety who is living proof, living proof the government story is a lie and a cover-up.

"I have tried to tell my story to everybody, but nobody wants to listen. It is very strange what is going on here in supposedly the most democratic country in the world. In my home country of Puerto Rico and all the other Latin American countries, I have been allowed to tell my story uncensored. But here, I can�t even say a word."

After Rodriguez escorted David to safety outside the WTC, he returned to lead the others in the basement to safety as well. While there, he also helped two other men trapped and drowning in the basement elevator shaft, another result he says of the explosives placed below the tower.

In fact, after leading these men to safety, he even made another trip back into the north tower, against police orders, in order to rescue people from the top floors.

"I never could make it to the top, but I got up to the 33rd floor after getting some of my equipment and a face mask out of the janitor�s closet," said Rodriguez, adding he heard a series of small explosions going off between the 20th and 30th floors, unrelated to the airplane strike, while making his way through the stairwell to the top floors.

"Also, when I was on the 33rd floor, I heard strange sounds coming form the 34th floor, loud noises like someone moving and thumping heavy equipment and furniture. I knew this floor was empty and stripped due to construction work so I avoided it and continued to make my way up the st

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SPIRITUAL ADVICE FROM EXPERTS

Posted on 5/31/2005 at 6:26 PM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


  • He who can resign himself to the will of the Almighty with simple faith and guileless love realizes the Lord very quickly. (Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa)
  • It is so wonderful to be in tune with God and to trust in him implicitly being content wherever He places you and whatever He makes of you, accepting all with humility and devotion. (Paramahansa Yogananda)
  • Faith can accomplish anything.  Doubt can destroy everything (Paramahansa Yogananda)
  • He who has faith, has all.  He who lack faith, lacks all. (Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa)
  • As you smell the fragrance of a flower while handling it or the smell of sandalwood while rubbing it against a stone, so you obtain spiritual awakening by constant thinking of God. If you become desireless you can realise Him right now.'

     

    "Our best work is done, our greatest influence is exerted, when we are without thought of self.... Let us open ourselves to the one Divine Actor, and let Him act, and do nothing ourselves.... Be perfectly resigned, perfectly unconcerned; then alone can you do any true work.... Put out self, loose it, forget it; just let God work, it is His business. We have nothing to do but stand aside and let God work. The more we go away, the more God Comes in. Get rid of the little "I", and let only the great "I" live.... Desire nothing; think of God and look for no return. It is the desireless who bring results." -- (Both from Sri Sarada Devi)
  • Real love arises only when all attachments to individuals, objects, and personal interests drop away.  Then life becomes a beautiful play. (Ammachi)
  • The secret is that the union with God (Yoga) can never happen unless the mind is rendered absolutely calm, whatever be the "path" you follow for God-realization (Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa)

 

 

 

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ALSO AVAILABLE

Posted on 5/29/2005 at 3:34 PM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


TERMINAL CANCER & AIDS PATIENTS; How they are getting well with Alternative therapies   $12 POSTPAID - Published book

 

100 page report detailing U.S. military's misuse of radioactive materials starting in 1944

 

$10 postpaid (Not a book, printed material only)

 

Send e-mail to :  aspendougy@yahoo.com

 

to order

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DEPLETED URANIUM IN IRAQ - WORSE THAN SADDAM? SOME IRAQI'S THINK SO

Posted on 5/29/2005 at 2:40 PM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

 

Written by Douglas  Westerman Gray – Updated May 29, 2005

 

After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordinance, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."  

 

 

Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq were not so well informed as the Bradley driver. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

 

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach."

 

A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

If so, the men - Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone - are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

 

The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq in Easter of 2003, the unit's members had been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing.

 

"Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.  While working at a military hospital in Delaware, he was one of the first doctors to discover unusual radiation levels in Gulf War veterans. He has since become a leading critic of the use of depleted uranium in warfare.

 

As expected, the exposure will be much greater among Iraq's 27 million people.

 

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

 

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

 

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”

 

Depleted uranium, a waste product of the uranium enrichment process, has been used by the U.S. and British military for more than 15 years in some artillery shells and as armor plating for tanks. It is twice as heavy as lead.

 

Because of its density, "It is the superior heavy metal for armor to protect tanks and to penetrate armor," Pentagon spokesman Michael Kilpatrick said.

  

In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 'The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.

 

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries wrote:

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.”

”The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers).  So, it’s 5-6 times worse now than it was when she wrote than diary entry.   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was 'aerosolized' into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

 

Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty "for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,"and the "tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people."  Although this was a "Citizen's Court" having no legal authority, the participants were sincere in their determination that international laws have been violated and a war crimes conviction is warranted.

 

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit, a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others—including Rokke himself—developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension." Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”  Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb. “That's exactly what they are,” Falk said. “They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

 

"Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray", said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

 

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, director of the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent organization with offices in the United States and Canada, said his research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq last in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained "hundreds to thousands of times" the normal levels of radiation.

 

. "This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991," Durakovic told The Japan Times.

"They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness," Durakovic said. "They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes" by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”

 

(NOTE ABOUT DR. DURAKOVIC;  First, he was warned to stop his work, then he was fired from his position, then his house was ransacked, and he has also reported receiving death threats.  Evidently the U.S. D.O.D is very keen on censoring DU whistle-blowers!)

 

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat — sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and quite efficiently respirable. In addition, the extreme heat creates an environment wherein the uranium oxide dust that is formed assumes a unique crystalline structure referred to as a ceramic.

According to Marion Falk, a former Livermore Labs scientist and nuclear weapons builder,  more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Falk told AFP.

 

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Falk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”

 

Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter) range are a “new breed of cat,” writes Lauren Moret, an environmental scientist, and expert on DU. Because the size of the nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same substance.

 

Internalized DU particles, Falk said, act as “a non-specific catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause “many, many diseases,” Falk said.

Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Falk said, “Yes.”

In a group of eight U.S. led Coalition servicemen whose babies were born without eyes, seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.  

Doctors report that many women no longer say 'Is it a girl or a boy?' but simply, 'Is it normal, doctor?' Moreover this terrible legacy will not end. The genes of their parents may have been damaged forever, and the damaging DU dust is ever-present

 

It is this difference in particle size and the ceramic nature of the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.  This point is being stressed, as comparing DU particles to much larger natural ones is misleading. 

 

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.

 

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”

 

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is somewhat possible to extrapolate backwards and approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.  The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas.  If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

 

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

 

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

PFC Steve Granger (real name withheld)  returned from Iraq about 18 months ago.  Healthy and fit before going over, he felt weak and listless after coming back, and was recently diagnosed with cancer.  After contacting close friends in his former Army Unit, he discovered that out of 20 men, eight, or 40% of the men in his unit, also have cancer. 

The Department of Defense released a study last October that found that "the health risks from inhaling airborne particles of depleted uranium are very low." A five-year study by an independent research institute paid for by the DOD reported that even "in extreme cases, exposure to 'aerosolized' depleted uranium did not pose a health risk." (The studies were done mostly with uranium miners.)

 

Melissa Sterry and numerous other veterans dispute these conclusions, saying the studies do not simulate actual field conditions, and did not involve studying the effect of actual ingestion and inhalation of DU dust.   She served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard's Combat Equipment Company A was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

 

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military's test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

 

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn’t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.

 

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.

FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

 

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

 

 UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

 

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

 Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill. 

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

"The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.   

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

------------------------------------

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium".     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers".

 There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC's ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC's scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC's scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : "I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals," Fujita said. "As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years."

 

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo Citizen’s Tribunal that “convicted” President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons: (This court was a citizen’s court with no binding legal authority)

1.   Their use has indiscriminate effects;

2.   Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;

3.   Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;

4.   Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.

Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court's statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning.  Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.

 

Mohammed Majid Abrahim, a fifty-two-year-old former resident of Baghdad now living in Jordan stated:

 

“Iraqis must have a new government, this time with legal elections,” he explains while we stand in the shade of a palm tree, “I think we need a revolution to get things back to where they once were for us. Then, Insh’Allah [God willing] I will go back. Saddam was so much better than these bastards [US occupation forces], even though I hated him.”

 

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DEPLETED URANIUM -CANCER & BIRTH DEFECTS IN IRAQ -MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Posted on 5/28/2005 at 2:42 AM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

 

Written by Douglas  Westerman Gray –May 28, 2005

 

After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordinance, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."  

 

 

Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq were not so well informed as the Bradley driver. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

 

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach."

A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium.

 

Laboratory tests conducted at the request of The News revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

If so, the men - Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone - are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq last Easter, the unit's members have been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing that was funded by The News.

 

"Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

While working at a military hospital in Delaware, he was one of the first doctors to discover unusual radiation levels in Gulf War veterans. He has since become a leading critic of the use of depleted uranium in warfare.

 

As expected, the exposure will be much greater among Iraq's 27 million people.

 

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

 

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”

 

These comments were made in reference to DU from Gulf War I.  What of the recent war?

 

Christian Science Monitor journalist Scott Peterson registered radiation on a simple Geiger counter at levels some 1,900 times the normal background rate in parts of Baghdad in May 2003. The city has a population of six million.

 

Given that it was two to four years after the 1991 war before cancer and birth defect rates began to rise dramatically, the fear among medical specialists is that Iraq will face an epidemic of cancers by the end of the decade, under conditions where the medical system, devastated by years of sanctions and war, is unable to cope with the existing crisis.

 

Dr Amar, the deputy head of the Al-Sadr Teaching Hospital in Basra, one of the main hospitals treating Iraqi cancer patients, told the Sydney Morning Herald on April 29: “We don’t have drugs to treat tumours. I have a patient with tumours who is unconscious and I don’t have drugs or a bed in which to treat him. I have two women with advanced ovarian cancer but I can give them only minimum doses of only some of the drugs they need.

 

In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 'The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries wrote:

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.”

”The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers).  So, it’s 5-6 times worse now than it was when she wrote than diary entry.   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was 'aerosolized' into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

 

Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty "for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,"and the "tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people."  Although this was a "Citizen's Court" having no legal authority, the participants were sincere in their determination that international laws have been violated and a war crimes conviction is warranted.

 

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit, a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others—including Rokke himself—developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension." Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”  Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb. “That's exactly what they are,” Falk said. “They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

 

"Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray", said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, director of the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent organization with offices in the United States and Canada, said his research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq last in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained "hundreds to thousands of times" the normal levels of radiation.

Durakovic spent 19 years as a military doctor for the U.S. Defense Department, and studied the health of veterans after the 1991 Gulf War. "This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991," Durakovic told The Japan Times.

"They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness," Durakovic said. "They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes" by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”

 

Why DU-oxide dust is much more lethal than natural uranium- (this info. Is from Dr. Dan Bishop, Ph.d Chemist working for IDUST (International Depleted Uranium Study Team)

 

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat — sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and quite efficiently respirable. In addition, the extreme heat creates an environment wherein the uranium oxide dust that is formed assumes a unique crystalline structure referred to as a ceramic.

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Falk told AFP.

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Falk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”

Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter) range are a “new breed of cat,” Moret wrote. Because the size of the nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same substance.

Internalized DU particles, Falk said, act as “a non-specific catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause “many, many diseases,” Falk said.

Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Falk said, “Yes.”

In a group of eight U.S. led Coalition servicemen whose babies were born without eyes, seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.  

Doctors report that many women no longer say 'Is it a girl or a boy?' but simply, 'Is it normal, doctor?' Moreover this terrible legacy will not end. The genes of their parents may have been damaged forever, and the damaging DU dust is ever-present

 

It is this difference in particle size and the ceramic nature of the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.

 

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”

 

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is somewhat possible to extrapolate backwards and approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.  The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas.  If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

PFC Steve Granger (real name withheld)  returned from Iraq about 18 months ago.  Healthy and fit before going over, he felt weak and listless after coming back, and was recently diagnosed with cancer.  After contacting close friends in his former Army Unit, he discovered that out of 20 men, eight, or 40% of the men in his unit, also have cancer. 

The Department of Defense released a study last October that found that "the health risks from inhaling airborne particles of depleted uranium are very low." A five-year study by an independent research institute paid for by the DOD reported that even "in extreme cases, exposure to 'aerosolized' depleted uranium did not pose a health risk." (The studies were done mostly with uranium miners.)

Sterry and numerous other veterans dispute these conclusions, saying the studies do not simulate actual field conditions, and did not involve studying the effect of actual ingestion and inhalation of DU dust.   She served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard's Combat Equipment Company A was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military's test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn’t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

Birth defects?  In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos ( A birth abnormality in which the baby is born without eyes)  was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births.  That means that one baby in 200 is likely to be born blind. A quarter of a million percent increase?

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.

FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

 UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

 Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill. 

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

"The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.   

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

------------------------------------

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium".     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers".

 There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC's ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC's scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC's scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : "I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals," Fujita said. "As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years."

On April 3, 2004 the New York Daily News reported that four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach." A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled DU dust. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, UMRC founder who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing. "Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

After we shoot something with DU, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."   They play it safe but let the children play on the tanks!!

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo tribunal which convicted President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons:

1.   Their use has indiscriminate effects;

2.   Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;

3.   Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;

4.   Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.

Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court's statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning.  Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.

 

Or e-mail me at:  aspendougy@yahoo.com

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- DEPLETED URANIUM; SPRING 2004 INTERVIEW WITH DR. ASAF DURAKOVIC IN JAPAN

Posted on 5/26/2005 at 2:10 PM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


BANNED TERMS: An Interview with DU Expert Dr. Asaf Durakovic


Dr. Asaf Durakovic visited Japan last week to deliver a critical message to the Japanese people regarding their country’s Self-Defense Forces now deployed in Iraq: Your soldiers will most likely be the next ones to suffer from the deadly effects of depleted uranium.

His words appeared to be well-received by the public in Japan, yet all but snubbed by Japanese politicans -- most of whom declined to attend Durakovic’s special Diet briefing about depleted uranium upon his April 12 arrival in Tokyo.

 

During his three public appearances in Japan over the next few days, the former U.S. military doctor publicly discussed his latest explosive findings, recently reported in a series in the New York Daily News by journalist Juan Gonzalez. In that story, Durakovic confirmed that nine U.S. military police officers have tested positive for depleted uranium contamination after their return from service in Samawah, Iraq -- the first such independently confirmed cases of their kind in the current Iraq war.

The 63-year-old Durakovic risked anonymous death threats back home in the US to bring his message to Japan, a country that has deployed 550 members of its own Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, including to Samawah, where the nine contaminated U.S. military officers had recently served.

 

Durakovic himself had served with US forces in the first Persian Gulf War, and he later oversaw testing of U.S. soldiers who had then returned from Iraq. He ran afoul of military authorities when he would not stop his testing of depleted uranium’s effects on soldiers. In 1997, he was removed from the US government’s DU-testing project and, he says, has been hounded ever since for trying to break through what he calls an international “conspiracy of silence” about DU’s deadly legacy. In 1997, he founded the Canada-based Uranium Medical Research Centre to continue his controversial work in the field.

The doctor’s visit to Japan this time coincided with that of U.S. vice president Dick Cheney, who praised Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for maintaining the Japanese troops in Iraq and urged Japan to continue standing firm against terrorism.

Durakovic brought a quite different message to the Land of the Rising Sun. Independent journalist Brian Covert met up with Asaf Durakovic on the doctor’s last day in Japan, April 14, and files this exclusive report:



* * * * * * * * * * *


BRIAN COVERT: You came to Japan last November and you met, I understand, with Japanese Diet members at that time. ...What new news do you have for the Japanese people about depleted uranium this time?

 

ASAF DURAKOVIC: The very important new news is that the area [in Iraq] in which Japanese troops are deployed is heavily contaminated with depleted uranium.

BC: Can we draw a direct conclusion between the high levels of radiation and the actual contamination of the soldiers there?

 

AD: We can make assumptions that if people live in the highly contaminated areas, they will be contaminated themselves. Because the group of American soldiers that I’ve studied recently shows approximately 50 percent of troops have been contaminated -- and they are not the soldiers who are directly participating in the battles on the front.

The [nine U.S.] members of the 442nd military police unit were in Samawah after the battle took place, which means residual radioactivity that is left after the original battle is still present there. And those people were deployed there only after the battle was over.

In addition, two members of my team who [recently] went to Iraq to collect samples came back contaminated with depleted uranium, although they stayed only six days. Therefore, the logical conclusion would be that Japanese soldiers who are deployed will also be contaminated. And I wouldn’t be very surprised if quite a large percent of Japanese troops shows evidence of urine contamination.

 

BC: What has been the Japanese government’s reaction on that issue?

 

AD: I think they are trying to suppress it. There is not much publicity in the press -- and definitely not much interest in the Diet, because we had a presentation in Tokyo on the first day of my arrival, which was last Monday. And not many members of the Japanese parliament showed up for the briefing. Which means either their attention is diverted to the current [Japanese] hostage crisis or there is not much interest in disturbing the political stage by getting involved in depleted uranium issues.

 

I’m of the opinion the Japanese Diet is under some kind of international pressure not to make any dramatic moves to disturb the status quo that exists in Iraq today. Because we know that Spain is going to pull out troops within the next three months; some other countries are not sending in any new troops. And the coalition seems to be on very shaky ground concerning the future of their deployment.

 

For that reason, I believe the Japanese parliament and Japanese politicians are under certain pressure by the heads of the coalition not to pull out -- and not to make any dramatic statements about the fact that Japanese soldiers do live and operate in the danger zone.

 

BC: When we say “international pressure,” we are talking mostly about United States pressure, are we not?

 

AD: Well, we know who is head of that coalition. It is the United States and Britain.

 

BC: And speaking of the United States, quite by coincidence -- or was it by coincidence? -- vice president Cheney of the United States was here [in Japan] while you were here. I presume that you two didn’t get together for tea or anything like that.

 

AD: If we did, it would be a very interesting meeting.

 

BC: What would you say to Cheney, if you had had the chance to meet him?

 

AD: I would say the same [kind of thing] as I said to president [Bill] Clinton, when I wrote him a letter: that this is an international conspiracy against bystanding victims of the war, which are civilians -- particularly children. In my letter to President Clinton several years ago, I said that it is a conspiracy against veterans of the United States, because nothing is being done to diminish exposure to toxic elements -- and especially to eliminate military personnel from the danger zones. In my opinion, it is contributing to the risks or the adverse health effects that will be sustained by anybody who is contaminated with uranium isotopes.

 

BC: And talking about the latest news, which is the story in the New York Daily News, by Mr. Juan Gonzalez: You were the one who tested those soldiers.

 

AD: That is my project, yes.

 

BC: And how did that come about? Why was the Pentagon not testing them instead?

 

AD: The Pentagon did test, according to their spokesman, Mr. [Michael] Kilpatrick, one thousand soldiers. And they found no evidence of depleted uranium, except in three cases. But what they did, they studied only soldiers who were wounded by the shrapnel. And we know very well the shrapnel wounds are not an important contributing factor in contamination with uranium isotopes. Not many people are wounded by DU shrapnel.

They did not select the proper population, and furthermore, they tested only total uranium, which was not elevated, even in my patients. They did not test different isotopes of uranium, which would provide an insight into the ratio of the isotopes, which determines what kind of uranium it is. So the Pentagon, their laboratory, measured only total concentration of uranium, which is of no importance.

 

I call it inferior science, inferior selection of the patient, and inferior methodology. Why inferior? The government of the US obviously has the capacity to do proper studies. But I think the truth is not meant to be reaching the public. So for that reason, I’m of the opinion that, again, it is an intentional misleading of the public about real exposure and real risks that troops who are deployed in those areas are exposed to.

 

BC: There has been some reaction, now that your results have come out in the press. There’s a little bit of pressure now for the Pentagon to do something about that.

 

AD: Yes, it is very interesting. Since my studies began several years ago, it seems that the government always follows in my footsteps. They have have never done anything ahead of me. Only when I publish something or present something, they are forced by the power of public media to do similar things.

 

I announced not long ago that my next step is to study plutonium in the population of the military and civilian personnel exposed to uranium isotopes. And yesterday, a military spokeswoman said that the army admits that depleted uranium may contain some plutonium and some neptunium and americium. So in anticipation of my results, they’re already preparing to put out the fires that may start after my results about plutonium are published. And I have to emphasize that plutonium is the most dangerous element known to man.

 

BC: Could you talk a little bit about why you were dismissed from that DU testing project back in 1997 and what you thought they were trying to cover up at that time?

 

AD: Well, when I started this work in 1991, after Gulf War I, I found that about 75 percent of the patients that were referred to me from the New Jersey veteran’s hospital were contaminated with depleted uranium isotopes. When I started this work, I sent the samples of urine of those patients who showed the symptoms, which I associated with internal contamination of isotopes, to the military radiochemistry lab in Aberdeen, Maryland. And they were never analyzed.

Furthermore, they claimed they never received those urine samples. After pressure was placed on them, after a few months, they said they analyzed them but all of them were negative. But they would not release the results. I repeated the studies of the same soldiers, and I found that many of them were positive. So it was obvious the government lied.

After that time, I received an order by the director of the military hospital, the Veterans Adminstration hospital, in Wilmington [Delaware], where I was the chief of nuclear medicine. The order was to stop my work on uranium. I refused, because I was mandated by the government of the United States to do that work.

 

Since I did not want to stop the work, they put pressure on me. They got my access to the computer for the patient management [files]. They harassed me on a daily basis. And ultimately, they said to me if I don’t stop the work, I’ll be fired and nobody will ever hire me again.

I still refused, even after calls from the highest levels of the government. They even used my colleagues from the military to call me from different parts of the country to stop the work. Since I continued, they fired me in 1997. And I was the only doctor who was a specialist in nuclear medicine for the state of Delaware, working for the government.

 

So obviously, they had good reason to eliminate me from the health care system. But then, I started my own institute, which is the Uranium Medical Research Centre, and I dedicated my professional life to bringing the issues of radioactive warfare to the public attention. And I have never stopped since that time.

 

BC: When I was co-producing a radio program in California, one of our guests was Dr. Doug Rokke, the military DU expert.

 

AD: I know Doug Rokke.

 

BC: He did have a lot to say, and one of the things he mentioned was that there had been attempts on his life to get him to stop giving out this information about DU. Have you faced that kind of thing?

 

AD: Of course I did. My house was ransacked in Washington and my family was threatened by anonymous telephone calls. I had considerable personal problems and tensions. Even this trip to Japan this time was not without incident; I received some [threatening] telephone calls before I came here.

 

BC: Have you received any of these telephone calls since you’ve been here in Japan?

 

AD: No.

 

BC: Obviously a lot of Japanese people know you, but the mainstream media are not really going to cover this issue in any depth. If you could address the Japanese public openly, what would you want to tell them?

 

AD: I would say the Japanese are not any different from any other people of the world. Dutch troops refused to stay in Samawah because of the high radioactivity. American troops are pulling out of Samawah. Uranium isotopes contained in the dust do not discriminate among the different nationalities. So they don’t need special permission to enter the bodies of Japanese soldiers. And my advice -- not only to Japanese people but to anyone who would be willing to serve in the contaminated areas -- is to think very carefully before they submit their own citizens to the risks of radioactive contamination.

 

BC: Is it also fair to say that a lot of the international humanitarian workers who are also in that area of Iraq will also be contaminated to some degree by DU?

 

AD: Of course. As I told you, three members of my team went to collect the samples in southern Iraq and two of them came back contaminated with depleted uranium. One of them is so sick that he is more in bed than out of it -- Tedd Weymann. He has intermittent fevers, which are incapacitating. He has lung problems, coughs. Problems with urination; he has blood in his urine. And he stayed there [in Iraq] for only six days.

 

BC: It’s very rare to see the two words “depleted uranium” anywhere in the mass media these days.

 

AD: That is a banned term. It’s fairly obvious that high political interests are in conflict with the truth about radioactive warfare. Because radioactive warfare is the introduction of a totally new and totally inhumane use of weapons -- weapons of indiscriminate effect.

 

BC: So it’s fair to say that the news media around the world is also part of this “conspiracy of silence.”

 

AD: There is no doubt about it. ...I’d like to add that I’m very honored and pleased to have a chance to be in this country that suffered enough because of nuclear weapons. And in my opinion, such tragedies should not be imposed on mankind of our time.

 

BC: What do you make of the continued US occupation of Iraq?

 

AD: ....If they want to keep some kind of artificial peace in Iraq, they would have to deploy one million troops, in my opinion, because every house is a bunker of resistance. And it’s only going to get worse.

 

BC: It’s beyond shortsightedness on the part of the US; it almost seems suicidal.

 

AD: It’s at the border of ignorance of history. Because we know for a fact that, for instance, Afghanistan has never been conquered by any country because of guerrilla warfare. Afghanistan defeated the British empire. Afghanistan defeated the Soviet communist empire. And Afghanistan certainly defeated the current international intervention, because Mr. [Hamid] Karzai is just the governor of Kabul.

 

One guerrilla fighter, according to the military strategy books, can hold off easily 1,000 troops if he is strategically located in an area that permits him to do such a thing. In the mountains of Afghanistan, there is absolutely no chance that any international intervention will succeed. Iraq is a little bit of a different story because it’s a flat country. The fact that resistance in Iraq is so efficient these days, regardless of unfavorable terrain, shows the determination of the people of Iraq not to tolerate any foreign occupation.

 

And shortsightedness of the governments who now -- for whatever reason -- decide to stay in Iraq is going to backfire, because Saddam is not in power anymore. And it’s also obvious that Saddam’s Baath party has no influence in Iraq. Now, there are spontaneous movements: Shi’ites and Sunnis are speaking the same language. They simply want the foreigners out of their country. And I think they should have their wish granted.

 

BC: Do you think that as more and more soldiers come back to the US contaminated with DU -- just like in the New York Daily News story -- this will change public opinion in the United States?

 

AD: At some point, it would. Because there are more and more people in the United States who, regardless of the silence of the media, are speaking loudly about risks that American troops are facing in Iraq. As you are well aware, the incidents in Somalia [against US troops] resulted in the pullout of Somalia. There will be a critical point [regarding Iraq] where “risk versus benefit” will outweigh political quotations. And when risk becomes more dangerous than any benefits from their oil money, the American public will most likely demand a change in politics toward the occupation of Iraq. It is critical this year because of the election.

We are all aware from the polls that the popularity of the president of the United States is sagging day by day. As more body bags arrive in the United States, less support is evident in the general public about the continuing presence of American troops in Iraq. Every drop of oil that is brought from Iraq to America is stained with the blood of GIs.

 

BC: Will you and your team continue to test independently for depleted uranium?

 

AD: Absolutely. We have no desire to stop.



Brian Covert is an independent journalist based in Hyogo, Japan.

# # # #


by Brian Covert / Independent Journalist Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004 at 11:08 AM

Interview...
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DEPLETED URANIUM - HOW MUCH CANCER IN IRAQ?

Posted on 5/26/2005 at 12:08 PM in Unspecified - 1 Comments - Link


      

DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

 

Written by Douglas  Westerman Gray –May 28, 2005

 

After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordinance, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."   

 

 

Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq were not so well informed as the Bradley driver. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

 

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach."

A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium.

 

Laboratory tests conducted at the request of The News revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

If so, the men - Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone - are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq last Easter, the unit's members have been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing that was funded by The News.

 

"Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

While working at a military hospital in Delaware, he was one of the first doctors to discover unusual radiation levels in Gulf War veterans. He has since become a leading critic of the use of depleted uranium in warfare.

 

As expected, the exposure will be much greater among Iraq's 27 million people.

 

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

 

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”

 

Depleted uranium, a waste product of the uranium enrichment process, has been used by the U.S. and British military for more than 15 years in some artillery shells and as armor plating for tanks. It is twice as heavy as lead.

 

Because of its density, "It is the superior heavy metal for armor to protect tanks and to penetrate armor," Pentagon spokesman Michael Kilpatrick said.

 

 

 

 

In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 'The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.

 

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries wrote:

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.”

”The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers).  So, it’s 5-6 times worse now than it was when she wrote than diary entry.   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was 'aerosolized' into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

 

Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty "for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,"and the "tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people."  Although this was a "Citizen's Court" having no legal authority, the participants were sincere in their determination that international laws have been violated and a war crimes conviction is warranted.

 

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit, a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others—including Rokke himself—developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension." Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”  Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb. “That's exactly what they are,” Falk said. “They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

 

"Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray", said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, director of the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent organization with offices in the United States and Canada, said his research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq last in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained "hundreds to thousands of times" the normal levels of radiation.

Durakovic spent 19 years as a military doctor for the U.S. Defense Department, and studied the health of veterans after the 1991 Gulf War. "This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991," Durakovic told The Japan Times.

"They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness," Durakovic said. "They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes" by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”

 

Why DU-oxide dust is much more lethal than natural uranium- (this info. Is from Dr. Dan Bishop, Ph.d Chemist working for IDUST (International Depleted Uranium Study Team)

 

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat — sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and quite efficiently respirable. In addition, the extreme heat creates an environment wherein the uranium oxide dust that is formed assumes a unique crystalline structure referred to as a ceramic.

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Falk told AFP.

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Falk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”

Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter) range are a “new breed of cat,” Moret wrote. Because the size of the nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same substance.

Internalized DU particles, Falk said, act as “a non-specific catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause “many, many diseases,” Falk said.

Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Falk said, “Yes.”

In a group of eight U.S. led Coalition servicemen whose babies were born without eyes, seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.  

Doctors report that many women no longer say 'Is it a girl or a boy?' but simply, 'Is it normal, doctor?' Moreover this terrible legacy will not end. The genes of their parents may have been damaged forever, and the damaging DU dust is ever-present

 

It is this difference in particle size and the ceramic nature of the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.

 

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”

 

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is somewhat possible to extrapolate backwards and approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.  The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas.  If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

PFC Steve Granger (real name withheld)  returned from Iraq about 18 months ago.  Healthy and fit before going over, he felt weak and listless after coming back, and was recently diagnosed with cancer.  After contacting close friends in his former Army Unit, he discovered that out of 20 men, eight, or 40% of the men in his unit, also have cancer. 

The Department of Defense released a study last October that found that "the health risks from inhaling airborne particles of depleted uranium are very low." A five-year study by an independent research institute paid for by the DOD reported that even "in extreme cases, exposure to 'aerosolized' depleted uranium did not pose a health risk." (The studies were done mostly with uranium miners.)

Sterry and numerous other veterans dispute these conclusions, saying the studies do not simulate actual field conditions, and did not involve studying the effect of actual ingestion and inhalation of DU dust.   She served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard's Combat Equipment Company A was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military's test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn’t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

Birth defects?  In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos ( A birth abnormality in which the baby is born without eyes)  was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births.  That means that one baby in 200 is likely to be born blind. A quarter of a million percent increase?

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.

FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

 UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

 Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill. 

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

"The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.   

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

------------------------------------

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium".     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers".

 There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC's ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC's scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC's scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : "I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals," Fujita said. "As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years."

On April 3, 2004 the New York Daily News reported that four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach." A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled DU dust. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, UMRC founder who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing. "Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

After we shoot something with DU, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."   They play it safe but let the children play on the tanks!!

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo tribunal which convicted President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons:

  1. Their use has indiscriminate effects;
  2. Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;
  3. Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;
  4. Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.

Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court's statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning.  Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.

 

Or e-mail me at:  aspendougy@yahoo.com

 

 

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DEPLETED URANIUM - John Denver article 5/05

Posted on 5/3/2005 at 12:02 PM in Unspecified - 1 Comments - Link


 

Horror Of US Depleted Uranium In Iraq Threatens World

 

American Use Of DU is "A crime against humanity which may, in

the eyes of historians, rank with the worst atrocities of all time."

US Iraq Military Vets "are on DU death row, waiting to die."

 

By James Denver

4-29-5

 

"I'm horrified. The people out there - the Iraqis, the media and the troops - risk the most appalling ill health. And the radiation from depleted uranium can travel literally anywhere. It's going to destroy the lives of thousands of children, all over the world. We all know how far radiation can travel. Radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales and in Britain you sometimes get red dust from the Sahara on your car."

 

The speaker is not some alarmist doom-sayer. He is Dr. Chris Busby, the British radiation expert, Fellow of the University of Liverpool in the Faculty of Medicine and UK representative on the European Committee on Radiation Risk, talking about the best-kept secret of this war: the fact that, by illegally using hundreds of tons of depleted uranium (DU) against Iraq, Britain and America have gravely endangered not only the Iraqis but the whole world.

 

For these weapons have released deadly, carcinogenic and mutagenic, radioactive particles in such abundance that-whipped up by sandstorms and carried on trade winds - there is no corner of the globe they cannot penetrate-including Britain. For the wind has no boundaries and time is on their side: the radioactivity persists for over 4,500,000,000 years and can cause cancer, leukemia, brain damage, kidney failure, and extreme birth defects - killing millions of every age for centuries to come. A crime against humanity which may, in the eyes of historians, rank with the worst atrocities of all time.

 

These weapons have released deadly, carcinogenic and mutagenic, radioactive particles in such abundance that there is no corner of the globe they cannot penetrate - including Britain. Yet, officially, no crime has been committed. For this story is a dirty story in which the facts have been concealed from those who needed them most. It is also a story we need to know if the people of Iraq are to get the medical care they desperately need, and if our troops, returning from Iraq, are not to suffer as terribly as the veterans of other conflicts in which depleted uranium was used.

 

 

'Depleted' uranium is in many ways a misnomer. For 'depleted' sounds weak. The only weak thing about depleted uranium is its price. It is dirt cheap, toxic, waste from nuclear power plants and bomb production. However, uranium is one of earth's heaviest elements and DU packs a Tyson's punch, smashing through tanks, buildings and bunkers with equal ease, spontaneously catching fire as it does so, and burning people alive. 'Crispy critters' is what US servicemen call those unfortunate enough to be close. And, when John Pilger encountered children killed at a greater distance he wrote: "The children's skin had folded back, like parchment, revealing veins and burnt flesh that seeped blood, while the eyes, intact, stared straight ahead. I vomited." (Daily Mirror)

 

The millions of radioactive uranium oxide particles released when it burns can kill just as surely, but far more terribly. They can even be so tiny they pass through a gas mask, making protection against them impossible. Yet, small is not beautiful. For these invisible killers indiscriminately attack men, women, children and even babies in the womb-and do the gravest harm of all to children and unborn babies.

 

 

Doctors in Iraq have estimated that birth defects have increased by 2-6 times, and 3-12 times as many children have developed cancer and leukaemia since 1991. Moreover, a report published in The Lancet in 1998 said that as many as 500 children a day are dying from these sequels to war and sanctions and that the death rate for Iraqi children under 5 years of age increased from 23 per 1000 in 1989 to 166 per thousand in 1993. Overall, cases of lymphoblastic leukemia more than quadrupled with other cancers also increasing 'at an alarming rate'. In men, lung, bladder, bronchus, skin, and stomach cancers showed the highest increase. In women, the highest increases were in breast and bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.1

 

On hearing that DU had been used in the Gulf in 1991, the UK Atomic Energy Authority sent the Ministry of Defense a special report on the potential damage to health and the environment. It said that it could cause half a million additional cancer deaths in Iraq over 10 years. In that war the authorities only admitted to using 320 tons of DU-although the Dutch charity LAKA estimates the true figure is closer to 800 tons. Many times that may have been spread across Iraq by this year's war. The devastating damage all this DU will do to the health and fertility of the people of Iraq now, and for generations to come, is beyond imagining.

 

The radioactivity persists for over 4,500,000,000 years killing millions of every age for centuries to come. This is a crime against humanity which may rank with the worst atrocities of all time.

 

We must also count the numberless thousands of miscarried babies. Nobody knows how many Iraqis have died in the womb since DU contaminated their world. But it is suggested that troops who were only exposed to DU for the brief period of the war were still excreting uranium in their semen 8 years later and some had 100 times the so-called 'safe limit' of uranium in their urine. The lack of government interest in the plight of veterans of the 1991 war is reflected in a lack of academic research on the impact of DU but informal research has found a high incidence of birth defects in their children and that the wives of men who served in Iraq have three times more miscarriages than the wives of servicemen who did not go there.

 

Since DU darkened the land Iraq has seen birth defects which would break a heart of stone: babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.

 

Doctors report that many women no longer say 'Is it a girl or a boy?' but simply, 'Is it normal, doctor?' Moreover this terrible legacy will not end. The genes of their parents may have been damaged for ever, and the damaging DU dust is ever-present.

 

Blue on Blue

 

What the governments of America and Britain have done to the people of Iraq they have also done to their own soldiers, in both wars. And they have done it knowingly. For the battlefields have been thick with DU and soldiers have had to enter areas heavily contaminated by bombing. Moreover, their bodies have not only been assaulted by DU but also by a vaccination regime which violated normal protocols, experimental vaccines, nerve agent pills, and organophosphate pesticides in their tents. Yet, though the hazards of DU were known, British and American troops were not warned of its dangers. Nor were they given thorough medical checks on their return-even though identifying it quickly might have made it possible to remove some of it from their body. Then, when a growing number became seriously ill, and should have been sent to top experts in radiation damage and neurotoxins, many were sent to a psychiatrist.

 

Over 200,000 US troops who returned from the 1991 war are now invalided out with ailments officially attributed to service in Iraq-that's 1 in 3. In contrast, the British government's failure to fully assess the health of returning troops, or to monitor their health, means no one even knows how many have died or become gravely ill since their return. However, Gulf veterans' associations say that, of 40,000 or so fighting fit men and women who saw active service, at least 572 have died prematurely since coming home and 5000 may be ill. An alarming number are thought to have taken their own lives, unable to bear the torment of the innumerable ailments which have combined to take away their career, their sexuality, their ability to have normal children, and even their ability to breathe or walk normally. As one veteran puts it, they are 'on DU death row, waiting to die'.

 

Whatever other factors there may be, some of their illnesses are strikingly similar to those of Iraqis exposed to DU dust. For example, soldiers have also fathered children without eyes. And, in a group of eight servicemen whose babies lack eyes seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust.

 

They too have fathered children with stunted arms, and rare abnormalities classically associated with radiation damage. They too seem prone to cancer and leukemia. Tellingly, so are EU soldiers who served as peacekeepers in the Balkans, where DU was also used. Indeed their leukemia rate has been so high that several EU governments have protested at the use of DU.

 

The Vital Evidence

 

Despite all that evidence of the harm done by DU, governments on both sides of the Atlantic have repeatedly claimed that as it emits only 'low level' radiation DU is harmless. Award-winning scientist, Dr. Rosalie Bertell who has led UN medical commissions, has studied 'low-level' radiation for 30 years. 2 She has found that uranium oxide particles have more than enough power to harm cells, and describes their pulses of radiation as hitting surrounding cells 'like flashes of lightning' again and again in a single second.2 Like many scientists worldwide who have studied this type of radiation, she has found that such 'lightning strikes' can damage DNA and cause cell mutations which lead to cancer.

 

Moreover, these particles can be taken up by body fluids and travel through the body, damaging more than one organ. To compound all that, Dr. Bertell has found that this particular type of radiation can cause the body's communication systems to break down, leading to malfunctions in many vital organs of the body and to many medical problems. A striking fact, since many veterans of the first Gulf war suffer from innumerable, seemingly unrelated, ailments.

 

In addition, recent research by Eric Wright, Professor of Experimental Haematology at Dundee University, and others, have shown two ways in which such radiation can do far more damage than has been thought. The first is that a cell which seems unharmed by radiation can produce cells with diverse mutations several cell generations later. (And mutations are at the root of cancer and birth defects.) This 'radiation-induced genomic instability' is compounded by 'the bystander effect' by which cells mutate in unison with others which have been damaged by radiation-rather as birds swoop and turn in unison. Put together, these two mechanisms can greatly increase the damage done by a single source of radiation, such as a DU particle. Moreover, it is now clear that there are marked genetic differences in the way individuals respond to radiation-with some being far more likely to develop cancer than others. So the fact that some veterans of the first Gulf war seem relatively unharmed by their exposure to DU in no way proves that DU did not damage others.

 

The Price of Truth

 

That the evidence from Iraq and from our troops, and the research findings of such experts, have been ignored may be no accident. A US report, leaked in late 1995, allegedly says, 'The potential for health effects from DU exposure is real; however it must be viewed in perspective... the financial implications of long-term disability payments and healthcare costs would be excessive.'3

 

Clearly, with hundreds of thousands gravely ill in Iraq and at least a quarter of a million UK and US troops seriously ill, huge disability claims might be made not only against the governments of Britain and America if the harm done by DU were acknowledged. There might also be huge claims against companies making DU weapons and some of their directors are said to be extremely close to the White House. How close they are to Downing Street is a matter for speculation, but arms sales makes a considerable contribution to British trade. So the massive whitewashing of DU over the past 12 years, and the way that governments have failed to test returning troops, seemed to disbelieve them, and washed their hands of them, may be purely to save money.

 

The possibility that financial considerations have led the governments of Britain and America to cynically avoid taking responsibility for the harm they have done not only to the people of Iraq but to their own troops may seem outlandish. Yet DU weapons weren't used by the other side and no other explanation fits the evidence. For, in the days before Britain and America first used DU in war its hazards were no secret.4 One American study in 1990 said DU was 'linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and to] chemical toxicity-causing kidney damage'. While another openly warned that exposure to these particles under battlefield conditions could lead to cancers of the lung and bone, kidney damage, non-malignant lung disease, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosomal damage and birth defects.5

 

A Culture of Denial

 

In 1996 and 1997 UN Human Rights Tribunals condemned DU weapons for illegally breaking the Geneva Convention and classed them as 'weapons of mass destruction' 'incompatible with international humanitarian and human rights law'. Since then, following leukemia in European peacekeeping troops in the Balkans and Afghanistan (where DU was also used), the EU has twice called for DU weapons to be banned.

 

Yet, far from banning DU, America and Britain stepped up their denials of the harm from this radioactive dust as more and more troops from the first Gulf war and from action and peacekeeping in the Balkans and Afghanistan have become seriously ill. This is no coincidence. In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 'The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.' He concluded, 'uranium does cause cancer, uranium does cause mutation, and uranium does kill. If we continue with the irresponsible contamination of the biosphere, and denial of the fact that human life is endangered by the deadly isotope uranium, then we are doing disservice to ourselves, disservice to the truth, disservice to God and to all generations who follow.' Not what the authorities wanted to hear and his research was suddenly blocked.

 

During 12 years of ever-growing British whitewash the authorities have abolished military hospitals, where there could have been specialized research on the effects of DU and where expertise in treating DU victims could have built up. And, not content with the insult of suggesting the gravely disabling symptoms of Gulf veterans are imaginary they have refused full pensions to many. For, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the current House of Commons briefing paper on DU hazards says 'it is judged that any radiation effects from possible exposures are extremely unlikely to be a contributory factor to the illnesses currently being experienced by some Gulf war veterans.' Note how over a quarter of a million sick and dying US and UK vets are called 'some'.

 

The Way Ahead

 

Britain and America not only used DU in this year's Iraq war, they dramatically increased its use-from a minimum of 320 tons in the previous war to at minimum of 1500 tons in this one. And this time the use of DU wasn't limited to anti-tank weapons-as it had largely been in the previous Gulf war-but was extended to the guided missiles, large bunker busters and big 2000-pound bombs used in Iraq's cities. This means that Iraq's cities have been blanketed in lethal particles-any one of which can cause cancer or deform a child. In addition, the use of DU in huge bombs which throw the deadly particles higher and wider in huge plumes of smoke means that billions of deadly particles have been carried high into the air-again and again and again as the bombs rained down-ready to be swept worldwide by the winds.

 

The Royal Society has suggested the solution is massive decontamination in Iraq. That could only scratch the surface. For decontamination is hugely expensive and, though it may reduce the risks in some of the worst areas, it cannot fully remove them. For DU is too widespread on land and water. How do you clean up every nook and cranny of a city the size of Baghdad? How can they decontaminate a whole country in which microscopic particles, which cannot be detected with a normal geiger counter, are spread from border to border? And how can they clean up all the countries downwind of Iraq-and, indeed, the world?

 

So there are only two things we can do to mitigate this crime against humanity. The first is to provide the best possible medical care for the people of Iraq, for our returning troops and for those who served in the last Gulf war and, through that, minimize their suffering. The second is to relegate war, and the production and sale of weapons, to the scrap heap of history-along with slavery and genocide. Then, and only then, will this crime against humanity be expunged, and the tragic deaths from this war truly bring freedom to the people of Iraq, and of the world.

 

References

 

1. The Lancet volume 351, issue 9103, 28 February 1998.

 

2. Rosalie Bertell's book Planet Earth the Latest Weapon of War was reviewed in Caduceus issue 51, page 28.

 

3. http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/du_ii/du_ii_tabl1

. htm#TAB L_Research Report Summaries

 

4. www.wagingpeace.org/articles/02.01/020117moret.htm

The secret official memorandum to Brigadier General L.R.Groves from Drs Conant, Compton and Urey of War Department Manhattan district dated October 1943 is available at the website www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2003/Leuren-Moret-Gen-Grove s21feb03.htm

 

5. http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/du_iitab11.

htm#tab L_research report summaries

 

Further information

 

The Low Level Radiation Campaign hopes to be able to arrange a limited number of private urine tests for those returning from the latest Gulf war. It can be contacted at: The Knoll, Montpelier Park, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5LW. 01597 824771. Web: www.llrc.org

 

James Denver writes and broadcasts internationally on science and technology.

 

 

 

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NEW DU INFO - NANO PARTICLES THE WORST

Posted on 5/1/2005 at 6:56 PM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


Explaining How Depleted Uranium Is Killing Civilians, Soldiers, Land

 

Nano-particles pinpointed

 

By Christopher Bollyn

 

Depleted uranium weapons, and the untold misery they wreak on mankind, are taboo subjects in the mainstream media. This exclusive report should break the media embargo imposed on the American people.

Despite being a grossly under-reported subject in the mainstream, there is intense public interest in depleted uranium (DU) and the damage it inflicts on humankind and the environment.

While American Free Press is actively investigating DU weapons and how they contribute to Gulf War Syndrome, the corporate-controlled press ignores the illegal use of DU and its long-lasting effects on the health of veterans and the public.

In August 2004 American Free Press published a ground-breaking four-part series on DU weapons and the long-term health risks they pose to soldiers and civilians alike. Information provided to AFP by experts and scientists, some of it published for the first time in this paper, has increased public awareness of how exposure to small particles of DU can severely affect human health.

Leuren Moret, a Berkeley-based geo-scientist with expertise in atmospheric dust, corresponds with AFP on DU issues. Recently Moret provided a copy of her letters to a British radiation biologist, Dr. Chris Busby, about how nanometer size particles—less than one-tenth of a micron and smaller—of DU once inhaled or absorbed into the body, can cause long-term damage to one’s health.

Busby is one of the founders of Green Audit, a British organization that monitors companies “whose activities might threaten the environment and health of citizens.”

Moret’s writings were meant to assist Busby in a legal case being heard in the High Court in London where a former defense worker, Richard David, 49, is suing Normal Air Garrett, Ltd., an aircraft parts company now owned by Honeywell Aerospace, claiming exposure to DU on the job has made his life a “living hell.”

David worked as a component fitter on fighter planes and bombers but had to quit due to health problems. He says he developed a cough within weeks of starting work.

Today, David suffers from a variety of symptoms like those known as Gulf War Syndrome, including respiratory and kidney problems, bowel conditions and painful joints. Medical tests reveal mutations to his DNA and damage to his chromosomes, which, he says, could only have been caused by ionizing radiation. He has also been diagnosed with a terminal lung condition.

Honeywell denies DU was ever used at the plant in Yeovil, Somerset, where David worked for 10 years until 1995. David claims that DU’s existence at the plant was denied because it is an official secret.

David has asked the High Court for more time to gather evidence. The hearing is due to resume in April. “I don’t have any legal representation,” David said, “so I am representing myself. It is a real David versus Goliath case.

“I am confident I will win. I hope to set a precedent for other cases of people who have suffered from the effects of depleted uranium,” he said.

Moret’s letters on the particle effect of DU is based on research done by Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist and former scientist with the Manhattan Project and the National Laboratory at Livermore, Calif. Fulk, who has developed a “particle theory” about how DU nano-particles affect human DNA, donates his time and expertise to help bring information about DU to the public.

Asked about Fulk’s particle theory, Busby said it is “quite sound.”

“DU is much more dangerous than they say,” Busby added. “I’ve always said that it contributes significantly to Gulf War Syndrome.”

When Moret’s correspondence to Dr. Busby was posted on the Internet over the New Year’s holiday under the title “How Depleted Uranium Weapons Are Killing Our Troops,” some 6,000 people read the letter in the first two days. The following Monday, a producer from BBC’s Panorama program contacted Moret to arrange an interview.

If the BBC follows up with an investigation on the health effects of DU, it may be hard for the U.S. media to maintain their cover-up. More than 500,000 “Gulf War Era” vets currently receive disability compensation, many of them for a variety of symptoms generally referred to as Gulf War Syndrome. Experts blame DU for many of these symptoms.

“The numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get worse,” Robert C. Koehler of the Chicago-based Tribune Media Services wrote in an article about DU weapons entitled “Silent Genocide.”

“DU dust does more than wreak havoc on the immune systems of those who breathe it or touch it; the substance also alters one’s genetic code,” Koehler wrote. “The Pentagon’s response to such charges is denial, denial, denial. And the American media is its moral co-conspirator.”

U.S. GOVERNMENT KNOWS

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Fulk told AFP.

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Fulk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”

Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter) range are a “new breed of cat,” Moret wrote. Because the size of the nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same substance.

Internalized DU particles, Fulk said, act as “a non-specific catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause “many, many diseases,” Fulk said.

Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Fulk said, “Yes.”

MILITARY AWARE

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.

Dr. Miller requested that questions be sent in writing and copied to a military spokesman. She did tell AFP that it should be noted that her studies showing that DU is “neoplastically transforming and genotoxic” are based on in vitro cellular research.

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

“Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”

 

Not Copyrighted. Readers can reprint and are free to redistribute - as long as full credit is given to American Free Press - 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20003

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DEPLETED URANIUM DUST - IRAQ'S HIDDEN TERROR

Posted on 4/27/2005 at 1:02 PM in Unspecified - 2 Comments - Link


      

DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

 

Written by Douglas Westerman –April 24, 2005

 

“After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordinance, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."  

 

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries” wrote:

 

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.””The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

 

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers)   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was 'aerosolized' into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

 

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

 

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

 

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”

 

Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty "for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,"and the "tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people."

 

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit, a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

 

According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others—including Rokke himself—developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension." Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”  Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

 

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb. “That's exactly what they are,” Falk said. “They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

 

"Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray", said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, director of the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent organization with offices in the United States and Canada, said his research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq last in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained "hundreds to thousands of times" the normal levels of radiation.

 

Durakovic spent 19 years as a military doctor for the U.S. Defense Department, and studied the health of veterans after the 1991 Gulf War. "This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991," Durakovic told The Japan Times.

 

"They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness," Durakovic said. "They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes" by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”


Why DU-oxide dust is much more lethal than natural uranium- (this info. Is from Dr. Dan Bishop, Ph.d Chemist working for IDUST (International Depleted Uranium Study Team)
 

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat — sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and quite efficiently respirable. In addition, the extreme heat creates an environment wherein the uranium oxide dust that is formed assumes a unique crystalline structure referred to as a ceramic.

 

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

 

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Falk told AFP.

 

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Falk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”

 

Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter) range are a “new breed of cat,” Moret wrote. Because the size of the nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same substance.

 

Internalized DU particles, Falk said, act as “a non-specific catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause “many, many diseases,” Falk said.

 

Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Falk said, “Yes.”

 

It is this difference in particle size and the ceramic nature of the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.

 

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

 

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

 

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

 

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

 

“Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”

 

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is somewhat possible to extrapolate backwards and approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.  The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas. 

 

 If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

 

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

 

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

PFC Steve Granger (real name withheld)  returned from Iraq about 18 months ago.  Healthy and fit before going over, he felt weak and listless after coming back, and was recently diagnosed with cancer.  After contacting close friends in his former Army Unit, he discovered that out of 20 men, eight, or 40% of the men in his unit, also have cancer. 

 

The Department of Defense released a study last October that found that "the health risks from inhaling airborne particles of depleted uranium are very low." A five-year study by an independent research institute paid for by the DOD reported that even "in extreme cases, exposure to 'aerosolized' depleted uranium did not pose a health risk." The studies were done mostly with uranium miners.

 

Sterry and numerous other veterans dispute these conclusions, saying the studies do not simulate actual field conditions, and did not involve studying the effect of actual ingestion and inhalation of DU dust.   She served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard's Combat Equipment Company A was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military's test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

 

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn’t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

 

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.

 

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

 

Birth defects?  In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos ( A birth abnormality in which the baby is born without eyes)  was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births.  That means that one baby in 200 is likely to be born blind. A quarter of a million percent increase?

 

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.

 

FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

 

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

 

 UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

 

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

 

 Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

 

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. “We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

 

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill. 

 

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

"The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.  

 

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

------------------------------------

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium".     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers".

 

 There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

 

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC's ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC's scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC's scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

 

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : "I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals," Fujita said. "As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years."

On April 3, 2004 the New York Daily News reported that four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

 

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach." A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled DU dust. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers

 

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, UMRC founder who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing. "Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

 

“After we shoot something with DU, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."   They play it safe but let the children play on the tanks!!

 

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo tribunal which convicted President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons:

Their use has indiscriminate effects;
Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;
Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;
Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.
Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court's statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning.  Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.

 

TO RECEIVE FREE E-COPY e-mail me at aspendougy@yahoo.com

                                                

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DEPLETED URANIUM -CANCER & BIRTH DEFECTS IN IRAQ

Posted on 2/28/2005 at 2:30 PM in Unspecified - 0 Comments - Link


DEPLETED URANIUM DUST – A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

 

Written by Douglas  Westerman Gray –May 28, 2005

 

After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordinance, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."  

 

 

Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq were not so well informed as the Bradley driver. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

 

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach."

A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium.

 

Laboratory tests conducted at the request of The News revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

If so, the men - Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone - are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq last Easter, the unit's members have been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing that was funded by The News.

 

"Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

While working at a military hospital in Delaware, he was one of the first doctors to discover unusual radiation levels in Gulf War veterans. He has since become a leading critic of the use of depleted uranium in warfare.

 

As expected, the exposure will be much greater among Iraq's 27 million people.

 

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

 

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”

 

Depleted uranium, a waste product of the uranium enrichment process, has been used by the U.S. and British military for more than 15 years in some artillery shells and as armor plating for tanks. It is twice as heavy as lead.

 

Because of its density, "It is the superior heavy metal for armor to protect tanks and to penetrate armor," Pentagon spokesman Michael Kilpatrick said.

 

 

 

 

In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 'The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.

 

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries wrote:

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.”

”The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers).  So, it’s 5-6 times worse now than it was when she wrote than diary entry.   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was 'aerosolized' into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

 

Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty "for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,"and the "tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people."  Although this was a "Citizen's Court" having no legal authority, the participants were sincere in their determination that international laws have been violated and a war crimes conviction is warranted.

 

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit, a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others—including Rokke himself—developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension." Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”  Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb. “That's exactly what they are,” Falk said. “They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

 

"Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray", said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, director of the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent organization with offices in the United States and Canada, said his research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq last in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained "hundreds to thousands of times" the normal levels of radiation.

Durakovic spent 19 years as a military doctor for the U.S. Defense Department, and studied the health of veterans after the 1991 Gulf War. "This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991," Durakovic told The Japan Times.

"They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness," Durakovic said. "They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes" by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”

 

Why DU-oxide dust is much more lethal than natural uranium- (this info. Is from Dr. Dan Bishop, Ph.d Chemist working for IDUST (International Depleted Uranium Study Team)

 

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat — sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and quite efficiently respirable. In addition, the extreme heat creates an environment wherein the uranium oxide dust that is formed assumes a unique crystalline structure referred to as a ceramic.

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Falk told AFP.

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Falk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”

Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter) range are a “new breed of cat,” Moret wrote. Because the size of the nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same substance.

Internalized DU particles, Falk said, act as “a non-specific catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause “many, many diseases,” Falk said.

Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Falk said, “Yes.”

In a group of eight U.S. led Coalition servicemen whose babies were born without eyes, seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.  

Doctors report that many women no longer say 'Is it a girl or a boy?' but simply, 'Is it normal, doctor?' Moreover this terrible legacy will not end. The genes of their parents may have been damaged forever, and the damaging DU dust is ever-present

 

It is this difference in particle size and the ceramic nature of the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.

 

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”

 

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is somewhat possible to extrapolate backwards and approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.  The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas.  If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

PFC Steve Granger (real name withheld)  returned from Iraq about 18 months ago.  Healthy and fit before going over, he felt weak and listless after coming back, and was recently diagnosed with cancer.  After contacting close friends in his former Army Unit, he discovered that out of 20 men, eight, or 40% of the men in his unit, also have cancer. 

The Department of Defense released a study last October that found that "the health risks from inhaling airborne particles of depleted uranium are very low." A five-year study by an independent research institute paid for by the DOD reported that even "in extreme cases, exposure to 'aerosolized' depleted uranium did not pose a health risk." (The studies were done mostly with uranium miners.)

Sterry and numerous other veterans dispute these conclusions, saying the studies do not simulate actual field conditions, and did not involve studying the effect of actual ingestion and inhalation of DU dust.   She served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard's Combat Equipment Company A was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military's test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn’t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

Birth defects?  In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos ( A birth abnormality in which the baby is born without eyes)  was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births.  That means that one baby in 200 is likely to be born blind. A quarter of a million percent increase?

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.

FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

 UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

 Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill. 

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

"The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.   

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

------------------------------------

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium".     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers".

 There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC's ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC's scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC's scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : "I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals," Fujita said. "As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years."

On April 3, 2004 the New York Daily News reported that four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

"I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach." A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled DU dust. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers

"These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, UMRC founder who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing. "Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

After we shoot something with DU, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley, who asked not to be further identified. “We don't know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, or an ammo truck, we wouldn't go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe."   They play it safe but let the children play on the tanks!!

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo tribunal which convicted President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons:

1.   Their use has indiscriminate effects;

2.   Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;

3.   Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;

4.   Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.

Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court's statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning.  Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.

 

Or e-mail me at:  aspendougy@yahoo.com

 

 

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