What is Happening in America?

Are we headed back to the Middle Ages?

Depleted-Uranium (DU)

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

 

Soldiers

 

16 Sept. 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Risk to Soldiers – Protective Gear does not Protect 2

Risk to Soldiers - General 3

Risk to Soldiers – Gulf War 1. 5

Risk to Soldiers – The Balkans 12

Risk to Soldiers – Gulf War 2. 14

Risk to Soldiers – General Stories 16

Risk to Soldiers’ Families 16

Medical Treatment of Soldiers and Their Families 17

U.S. Mistreatment of Veterans 18

Soldiers Suing Government 20

 

 

Risk to Soldiers – Protective Gear does not Protect

 

[DU} can be distributed in a dust or smoke form so finely powdered that it will permeate a standard gas mask filter in quantities large enough to be extremely damaging.    (“Memorandum to:  Brigadier General L. R. Groves  From: Drs. Conant, Compton, and Urey, War Department, United States Engineer Office, Manhattan District, Oak Ridge Tennessee, October 30, 1943, Declassified June 5, 1974, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Groves-Memo-Manhattan30oct43.htm, 2 Sept, 2007)

 

When I talked to senior Manhattan Project scientists that were expert particle physicists, They said – “Hey, we knew when uranium breaks up like this it was going to be down in the .1 - .2 micron range.” 

 

No doubt about it.  The gas masks, the respiratory protection issued to the troops – there’s no way it can protect against inhalation.  Well, that’s what happened to myself and my team.  We wore the respiratory protection during Gulf War I, inhaled it, and got sick.  We wore the respiratory protection when we were doing the depleted uranium project research at the Nevada test site… U.S. Department of Energy approved respirators and we could smell and taste the uranium … through the filters.  (Dr. Doug Rokke in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

It will permeate a standard gas mask filter in quantities large enough to be extremely damaging." (Leuren Moret, “Depleted Uranium: the Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,” World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, 1 July 2004, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

This article is about how much radioactive uranium our guys, representing us, the citizens of the United States, let fly in Iraq. Turns out they used about 4,000,000 pounds of the stuff, give or take, according to the Pentagon and the United Nations. That is a bunch.

Now, most people have no idea how much Four Million Pounds of anything is, much less of Uranium Oxide Dust (UOD), which this stuff turns into when it is shot or exploded. Suffice it to say it is about equal to 1,333 cars that weigh three thousand pounds apiece. That is a lot of cars; but, we can imagine what a parking lot with one thousand three hundred and thirty three cars is like. The point is: this was and is an industrial strength operation. It is still going on, too. (Bob Nichols, “There are No Words. Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs,” Dissident Voice, 27 March 2004, downloaded from http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Mar04/Nichols0327.htm, 8 September 2007.)

 

Risk to Soldiers - General

Aerosol DU (Depleted Uranium) exposures to soldiers on the battlefield could be significant with potential radiological and toxicological effects. [...] Under combat conditions, the most exposed individuals are probably ground troops that re-enter a battlefield following the exchange of armour-piercing munitions. [...] We are simply highlighting the potential for levels of DU exposure to military personnel during combat that would be unacceptable during peacetime operations. [...DU is..]... a low level alpha radiation emitter which is linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage. [...] Short term effects of high doses can result in death, while long term effects of low doses have been linked to cancer. [...] Our conclusion regarding the health and environmental acceptability of DU penetrators assume both controlled use and the presence of excellent health physics management practices. Combat conditions will lead to the uncontrolled release of DU. [...] The conditions of the battlefield, and the long term health risks to natives and combat veterans may become issues in the acceptability of the continued use of DU kinetic penetrators for military applications. (Excerpts from the July 1990 Science and Applications International Corporation report: Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environment and Health Considerations', as included in Appendix D - US Army Armaments, Munitions and Chemical Command report: 'Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July 1990,  downloaded from http://bitterfact.tripod.com/iraq/iraq_babies.html#photos, 5 Sept. 2007.)

As a gas warfare instrument the material would be ground into particles of microscopic size to form dust and smoke and distributed by a ground-fired projectile, land vehicles, or aerial bombs.  In this form it would be inhaled by personnel. The amount necessary to cause death to a person inhaling the material is extremely small.  It has been estimated that one millionth of a gram accumulating in a person's body would be fatal.  (“Memorandum to:  Brigadier General L. R. Groves  From: Drs. Conant, Compton, and Urey, War Department, United States Engineer Office, Manhattan District, Oak Ridge Tennessee, October 30, 1943, Declassified June 5, 1974, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Groves-Memo-Manhattan30oct43.htm, 2 Sept, 2007)

Even more alarming is the non-specific catalytic or enzyme effect from internal exposures to nanoparticles of depleted uranium. Soldiers on depleted uranium battlefields have reported that, after noticing a metallic taste in their mouths, within 24-48 hours of exposure they became sick with Gulf War syndrome symptoms.  (Leuren Moret, “The Queen’s Death Star: Depleted Uranium Measured in British Atmosphere from Battlefields in the Middle East,” Mindfully.org, 26 Feb. 2006, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2006/DU-Europe-Moret26feb06.htm, 30 Aug. 2007.)

 

The Gulf War Illness is a cumulative affect of exposure to depleted uranium, chemical, biological, vaccines, petrochemical agents and parasite diseases such as Leash Meniasis.  (Power Hour, Beyond Treason, video, 2005.

 

Many veterans from the Gulf and Kosovo wars believe DU has made them seriously ill.

 

One UK Gulf veteran is Ray Bristow, a former marathon runner.

 

In 1999 he told the BBC: "I gradually noticed that every time I went out for a run my distance got shorter and shorter, my recovery time longer and longer.

 

"Now, on my good days, I get around quite adequately with a walking stick, so long as it's short distances. Any further, and I need to be pushed in a wheelchair."

 

Ray Bristow was tested in Canada for DU. He is open-minded about its role in his condition.

 

But he says: "I remained in Saudi Arabia throughout the war. I never once went into Iraq or Kuwait, where these munitions were used.

 

"But the tests showed, in layman's terms, that I have been exposed to over 100 times an individual's safe annual exposure to depleted uranium." (Alex Kirby, “US Rejects Iraq DU Clean-up,” BBC News, 14 April 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2946715.stm, downloaded 29 Aug. 2007.)

 

Risk to Soldiers – Gulf War 1

 

Before the Gulf War I could run all day and leap tall buildings in a single bound… after the Gulf War I couldn’t walk a mile.

 

I know for a fact I was exposed to chemical, biological, radioactive materials, experimental vaccines, experimental, investigational drugs, oil well fires…

 

I am considered a disabled veteran.  I’ve got a 40% disability from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for combat injuries caused by depleted uranium and other exposures. (Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army Health Physicist and Nuclear Medicine Sciences Officer in Power Hour, Beyond Treason, video, 2005.)

 

In fact in May of 2002 the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reported that over 160,000 troops that participated in Gulf War I, the period of August 1990 through the Fall of 1991 (basically October and November of 1991) have been classified as disabled anywhere from 10 to 100%.  Now my own disability didn’t come about until after May of 2002.  The count right now is somewhere close to 200,000.

 

When we look at all of the troops that have gone into the Persian Gulf region between August of 1990 and May of 2002 when the last formal report was written, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs formally acknowledges over 221,000 individuals are labeled as permanently disabled and over 10,000 are deceased that had service connection disabilities.  There’s a big difference.  There’s a 60,000 increase in individuals that are disabled amongst those that served after the Fall of 1991.  That disability is only due to residual exposures and immunizations that were continued to be given, because there was no active combat, there was no active maneuvering.  (Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army Health Physicist and Nuclear Medicine Sciences Officer in Power Hour, Beyond Treason, video, 2005.)

 

How to explain a Washington Post report in January of 2006 that 518,000 of the 580,000 Gulf War (One) veterans were on disability, over half on permanent disability. How to explain over 13,000 dead Gulf War veterans when only 250 were killed and 7,000 injured in the war itself? (Craig Etcheson, Ph.D., Center for Non-Violent Alternatives, Fort Ashby, W.Va., “Depleted Uranium: Pernicious Killer Keeps on Killing,” t r u t h o u t, 19 February 2007.)

 

Remember the 100-hour-long First Gulf War? Only an unlucky few were killed. We Americans used 375 tons of uranium munitions. Out of the one half million, or so, soldiers in the prime of life in the war, 11,000 are now dead. and hundreds of thousands are on Medical Disability. (Bob Nichols, “US Military, President Out Of Control. What Does 'Mildly Radioactive' Mean, Anyway?” Rense.com, 21 February 2005 downloaded from http://www.mytown.ca/ev.php?URL_ID=119955&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201&reload=1189477050, 10 Sept. 2007.)

Soldiers who served in Bradley fighting vehicles, where it was common to sit on ammunition boxes where depleted uranium ammunition was stored, are now reporting that many have rectal cancer.  (Leuren Moret, “Depleted Uranium: the Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,” World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, 1 July 2004, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Specialist Gerard Matthew cleaned up vehicles hit by DU during his five months in Iraq in 2003. He says breathing in depleted uranium dust made him sick.

 

GERARD MATTHEW, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: I came back with chronic migraines, swelling in my face and vision problems.

HUNTER: Matthew also says his 2 1/2-year-old daughter's birth defect is a direct result of his DU exposure. He and seven other vets are suing the army over depleted uranium. (Transcript of CNN's "American Morning," 5 Feb. 2007, downloaded from
http://home.earthlink.net/~nomoredu/cnntranscript.html, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

After serving in Vietnam nearly 40 years ago — and receiving the Bronze Star for it — the Tucson soldier was called back to active duty in Iraq.

 

While there, he awoke one morning with a sore throat. Eighteen months later, Army Sgt. James Lauderdale was dead, of a bizarrely aggressive cancer rarely seen by the doctors who tried to treat it.

As a result, his stunned and heartbroken family has joined growing ranks of sickened and dying Iraq war vets and their families who believe exposures to toxic poisons in the war zone are behind their illnesses — mostly cancers, striking the young, taking them down with alarming speed.

 

The number of these cancers remains undisclosed, with military officials citing patient privacy issues, as well as lack of evidence the cases are linked to conditions in the war zone. The U.S. Congress has ordered a probe of suspect toxins and may soon begin widespread testing of our armed forces. 

 

“He got so sick, so fast”

 

Jim Lauderdale was 58 when his National Guard unit was deployed to the Iraq-Kuwait border, where he helped transport arriving soldiers and Marines into combat areas.

 

He was a strong man, say relatives, who can’t remember him ever missing a day of work for illness. And he developed a cancer of the mouth, which overwhelmingly strikes smokers, drinkers and tobacco chewers. He was none of those.

 

“Jim’s doctors didn’t know why he would get this kind of cancer — they had no answers for us,” said his wife, Dixie.

 

“He got so sick, so fast. We really think it had to be something he was exposed to over there. So many of the soldiers we met with cancer at Walter Reed (Army Medical Center) complained about the polluted air they lived in, the brown water they had to use, the dust they breathed from exploded munitions. It was very toxic.”

 

As a mining engineer, Lauderdale knew exactly what it meant when he saw the thick black smoke pouring nonstop out of the smokestacks that line the Iraq/Kuwait border area where he was stationed for three months in 2005.

 

“He wrote to me that everyone was complaining about their stinging eyes and sore throats and headaches,” Dixie said. “For Jim to say something like that, to complain, was very unusual.

 

“One of the mothers on the cancer ward had pictures of her son bathing in the brown water,” she said. “He died of kidney cancer.”

 

Stationed in roughly the same area as Lauderdale, yet another soldier — now fighting terminal colon cancer — described the scene there, of oil refineries, a cement factory, a chlorine factory and a sulfuric acid factory, all spewing unfiltered and uncontrolled substances into the air.

 

“One day, we were walking toward the port and they had sulfuric acid exploding out of the stacks. We were covered with it, everything was burning on us, and we had to turn around and get to the medics,” said Army Staff Sgt. Frank Valentin, 35.

 

Not long after, he developed intense rectal pain, which doctors told him for months was hemorrhoids. Finally diagnosed with aggressive colorectal cancer — requiring extensive surgery, resulting in a colostomy bag — he was given fewer than two years to live by his Walter Reed physicians.

 

He is now a couple of months past that death sentence, but his chemo drugs are starting to fail, and the cancer is eating into his liver and lungs. He spends his days with his wife and three children at their Florida home.

 

“I don’t know how much time I have,” he said.

 

Suspect: Depleted Uranium

 

None of these soldiers know for sure what’s killing them. But they suspect it’s a cascade of multiple toxic exposures, coupled with the intense stress of daily life in a war zone weakening their immune systems.

 

“There’s so much pollution from so many sources, your body can’t fight what’s coming at it,” Valentin said. “And you don’t eat well or sleep well, ever. That weakens you, too. There’s no chance to gather your strength. These are kids 19, 20 and 21 getting all kinds of cancers. The Walter Reed cancer ward is packed full with them.”

 

The prime suspect in all this, in the minds of many victims — and some scientists — is what’s known as depleted uranium — the radioactive chemical prized by the military for its ability to penetrate armored vehicles. When munitions explode, the substance hits the air as fine dust, easily inhaled.

Last month, the Iraqi environment minister blamed the tons of the chemical dropped during the war’s “shock and awe” campaign for a surge of cancer cases across the country.

 

However, the Pentagon and U.S. State Department strongly deny this, citing four studies, including one by the World Health Organization, that found levels in war zones not harmful to civilians or soldiers. A U.N. Environmental Program study concurs, but only if spent munitions are cleared away.

 

Returning solders have said that isn’t happening.

 

“When tanks exploded, I would handle those tanks, and there was DU everywhere,” said Valentin. “This is a big issue.”

 

The fierce Iraq winds carry desert sand and dust for miles, said Dixie Lauderdale, who suspects her husband was exposed to at least some depleted uranium. Many vets from the Gulf War blame the chemical used in that conflict for their Gulf War syndrome illnesses.

 

Congress orders study

 

As the controversy rages, Congress has ordered a comprehensive independent study, due in October, of the health effects of depleted uranium exposure on U.S. soldiers and their children. And a “DU bill” — ordering all members of the U.S. military exposed to it be identified and tested — is working its way through Congress.

 

“Basically, we want to get ahead of this curve, and not go through the years of painful denial we went through with Agent Orange that was the legacy of Vietnam,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-sponsor of the bill.

“We want an independent agency to do independent testing of our soldiers, and find out what’s really going on. These incidents of cancer and illness that all of us are hearing about back in our districts are not just anecdotal — there is a pattern here. And yes, I do suspect DU may be at the bottom of it.” 

 

What’s happening today — growing numbers of sickened soldiers who say they were exposed to it amid firm denials of harm from military brass — almost mirrors the early stages of the Agent Orange aftermath. It took the U.S. military almost two decades to admit the powerful chemical defoliant killed and disabled U.S. troops in the jungles of Vietnam, and to begin compensating them for it.

 

Doctors flabbergasted

 

Whatever it was that struck Jim Lauderdale did a terrifying job of it.

Sent to Walter Reed with oral cancer in April 2005, he underwent his first extensive and disfiguring surgery, removing half his tongue to get to tumors in the mouth and throat. A second surgery followed a month later to clear out more of those areas.

 

Five months later, another surgery removed a new neck tumor. Then came heavy chemotherapy and radiation.

 

Shortly after, he had a massive heart attack, undergoing another surgery to place stents in his arteries. Two weeks later, the cancer was back and growing rapidly, forcing a fourth surgery in January 2006.

 

By this time, much of his neck and shoulder tissue was gone, and doctors tried to reconstruct a tongue, using tissue from his wrist. He couldn’t swallow, so was fed through a tube into his stomach.

 

Just weeks later, four external tumors appeared on his neck — “literally overnight,” his wife said.

 

Suffering severe complications from the chemo drugs, Lauderdale endured 39 radiation treatments, waking up one night bleeding profusely through his burned skin. The day after his radiation ended, new external tumors erupted at the edge of the radiation field, flabbergasting his doctors.

 

“As this aggressive disease grew though chemoradiation, it was determined at this point there was no chance for cure,” his oncologist wrote then.

 

By then, the cancer had spread to his lungs and spine and, most frightening of all, “hundreds and thousands” of tumors were erupting all over his upper body, his wife said.

 

“The doctors said they’d never seen anything like it — that this happens in only 1 percent of cases,” she said.

 

Efforts to contact his doctors at Walter Reed were unsuccessful, but a leading head-and-neck cancer specialist at the Arizona Cancer Center reviewed the course of Lauderdale’s disease.

 

“This a very wrenching case,” said Dr. Harinder Garewal. “This is unusually aggressive behavior for an oral cancer. I would agree it happens in only 1 percent of cases.”

 

When oral cancer occurs in nonsmokers and non-drinkers, it tends to be more aggressive, he said.

 

“My feeling is the immune system for some reason can’t handle the cancer,” he said.

 

Jim Lauderdale died on July 14, 2006, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Dixie and their two grown children still feel the raw grief of loss, but not anger, she said.

 

“But I am convinced something very wrong is happening over there. Is anyone paying attention to this? Is the cancer ward still full?” she asked. “I would hate to see another whole generation affected like this, but I’m very afraid it will be.” (Carla McClain, “Cancer in Iraq Vets Raises Possibility of Toxic Exposure,” Arizona Daily Star, 25 A

During our time over there we started seeing individuals become ill with various symptoms ranging from rashes all over their bodies – certain areas of their bodies – to having chronic explosive diarrhea, which in some cases heavy bleeding accompanied  with that, we had… uh… and I can speak for myself on this as well, excruciating headaches, the bones and the joints started aching and there were night sweats and things only became worse as time progressed.

 

My unit, in particular, was deactivated after our return back to Germany in May of 1991.  Some of the other individuals started showing up with other diseases which included several types of cancers and the neurological problems that many of us suffer from and degenerative joint and bone disease, spine disease and other manifestations of illnesses that were at that time still unexplained that cause them to no longer be able to perform their duties as a soldier as they had for so many years.  (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

In many cases our wounds are invisible.  We carry them inside of us and it’s only through specialty testing and specialty diagnostic testing that you can isolate and find these particular mechanisms involved, whether they be chemical, biological, nuclear, or other agents that would cause what has become known as Gulf War Illness – Gulf War Syndrome – Persian Gulf Illness.  There’s no such thing as a syndrome.  This is an overlapping combination of toxic and other exposures that vary from individual to individual depending on where they were at, what they were exposed to, and how long in the duration of their exposures. (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

We bombed on January 17th – we started bombing – we bombed for forty-five days and after forty-five days – February 28th we started a ground invasion, which is said to be the most victorious military operation ever in the history of mankind.  Well, it wasn’t victorious.  We got sick immediately.  On March 1st, Lieutenant Colonel Zenan issued a memorandum that stated specifically – we better have somebody advocate for the use of this weaponry otherwise the environmentalists might get upset.  On March 3rd they called a ceasefire.  So from the date Lieutenant Colonel Zenan’s memorandum was issued, two days later they called a ceasefire on March 3, 1991 and on March 8th another memorandum was issued stating all soldiers in this area should be protected by wearing their safety clothing.   So in one week’s time they had two memorandums and a ceasefire that pretty much indicated why all the soldiers were sick.(Medical Specialist E-4 Dennis Kyne in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

If the American people could only wake up and see what is happening – you know – this is a tragedy – you know – we’re not the first victims of war. (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

By now, half of all the 697,000 US soldiers involved in the 1991 war have reported serious illnesses. According the American Gulf War Veterans Association, more than 30% of these soldiers are chronically ill, and receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration.

 

The number of disabled veterans is shockingly high . They are in their mid-thirties and should have been in the prime of health. (Emphasis in original) (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

In the 1991 Gulf War Allied forces admit to using 300+ tons of depleted uranium. These are strongly suspected by independent researchers of a being a prime factor in the epidemic of birth defects, leukaemias and cancers in Iraq over the last 10 years with tens of thousands of victims. Over 200,000 US and allied troops were exposed to DU contaminated battlefields. (Dai Williams, Hazards of Uranium Weapons in the Proposed War on Iraq, 22 Sept. 2002.)

 

Risk to Soldiers – The Balkans

 

The death from leukemia of eight Italian peacekeepers stationed in Bosnia and Kosovo sparked an uproar in the Italian Parliament, following the leaking of a secret military document to the Italian newspaper La Republicca. In Portugal, the Defense Ministry was also involved in what amounted to a deliberate camouflage of "the cause of death" of Portuguese peacekeeper Corporal Hugo Paulino. "'Citing "herpes of the brain', the army refused to allow his family to commission a postmortem examination." (1) Amidst mounting political pressure, Defense Minister Julio Castro Caldas advised NATO Headquarters in November that he was withdrawing Portuguese troops from Kosovo: "They were not, he said, going to become uranium meat". (2)

 

As the number of cancer cases among Balkans "peacekeepers" rises, NATO's cover-up has started to fracture. Several European governments have been obliged to publicly acknowledge the "alleged health risks" of depleted uranium (DU) shells used by the US Air Force in NATO's 78-day war against Yugoslavia.

The Western media points to an apparent "split" within the military alliance. In fact there was no "division" or disagreement between Washington and its European allies until the scandal broke through the gilded surface.

 

Italy, Portugal, France and Belgium were fully aware that DU weapons were being used. The health impacts --including mountains of scientific reports-- were known and available to European governments. Italy participated in the scheduling of the A-10 "anti-tank killer" raids (carrying DU shells) out of its Aviano and Gioia del Colle air force bases. The Italian Defense Ministry knew what was happening at military bases under its jurisdiction.

 

Washington's European partners in NATO including Britain, France, Turkey, Greece have DU weapons in their arsenals.  Canada is one of the main suppliers of depleted uranium. NATO countries share full responsibility for the use of weapons banned by the Geneva and Hague conventions and the 1945 Nuremberg Charter on war crimes. (3)  (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

Endnotes

 

(1)  The Independent, London, 4 January 2001.

 

(2)  Felicity Arbutnot, "It Turns out that Depleted Uranium is Bad for NATO" Troops, Emperors Clothes, http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/arbuth/port.htm. 11 October 2000. See also interview with F. Arbutnot.

 

(3) In all, some 17 countries including Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia and South Korea are known to have DU weapons in their arsenal. See Vladimir Zajic, Review of Radioactivity, Military Use, and Health Effects of Depleted Uranium, 1999 at http://vzajic.tripod.com/. See John Catalinotto and Sara Flounders, “Is the Israeli Military using Depleted Uranium Weapons against the Palestinians?” International Action Center, http://www.iacenter.org/, New York, 2000.

 

Uranium screening (urine testing) would seem prudent for all expatriate personnel exposed to bombing incidents or heavily bombed areas if this has not already been done, especially those who experience unusual medical problems.

 

In June-July family doctors in UK were advised to expect flu or malaria-like symptoms among UK troops returning from Afghanistan. "All practitioners should consider malaria if consulted by UK service personnel who have served in Afghanistan complaining of fever, a flu-like illness, or other unexplained symptoms." (11). This is prudent for individuals returning from a country with minimal public health facilities and a number of infectious diseases. But co-ordinated health monitoring is important to identify unusual collective health problems.

 

Earlier this year there were outbreaks of a more severe gastric illness initially reported as CCHF (Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever). CCHF is endemic in parts of Afghanistan in the summer. But see the Action Against Hunger report about the village of Tajwara in February at: http://www.msnbc.com/news/721381.asp#BODY . This report is not on WHO epidemic reports but the UN was aware according to http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/outbreakkills28afgan.html.

 

A specialist was concerned because February was the wrong season for CCFH and that laboratory tests failed to confirm CCHF, as in Bosnia several months after bombing there (http://www.who.int/disease-outbreak-news/n1996/feb/n5feb1996.html), and in south western Kosovo in 2001 (http://www.who.int/disease-outbreak-news/n2001/june/8june2001.html ). In 1995 Professor Siegwart Horst Gunther listed symptoms associated with DU exposure in Iraq (DU report page 107). Severe vomiting, diarrhoea and internal bleeding are potential symptoms of significant exposure to toxic or radioactive materials.

 

Dr Asaf Durakovic, professor of radiology and nuclear medicine, started research with DU casualties in the Pentagon and now heads the independent UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) in Canada. (see http://www.umrc.net for research papers). He has pioneered independent research with US, Canadian and UK Gulf veterans to identify levels of internal Uranium contamination. He works closely with Leonard Dietz and Pat Horan. Their latest veterans study was published in the Journal of Military Medicine, August 2002;167(8):620-7, summary at http://www.xs4all.nl/~stgvisie/quant-du.html [and see update 20 October, ref 12]

 

Several of the warnings and questions I raised in October-November 2001 (first report pages 27, 37, 41, 46, 49) were followed up rapidly by several UK MP's in written questions to the Government from October onwards. They received very little investigation by the media in the UK or other countries except for reports in France and Australia. Whether this was due to security restrictions on the media since the War on Terrorism is not known. (Dai Williams, Hazards of Uranium Weapons in the Proposed War on Iraq, 22 Sept. 2002.)

 

The second Royal Society DU report (2002) recognised the potentially lethal toxic effects (death in 3 days from renal failure) of acute exposure to large quantities of Uranium oxide. Early DU health studies and advice e.g. by RAND and WHO require radical review of potential health hazards.

 (Dai Williams, Hazards of Uranium Weapons in the Proposed War on Iraq, 22 Sept. 2002.)

 

Risk to Soldiers – Gulf War 2

 

During the air campaign we targeted their chemical, biological, and nuclear facilities… so we were exposed to chemicals, biologicals, nuclear radiation in the form of depleted uranium and also direct enriched uranium or E.U. from those nuclear facilities that were bombed and targeted.  And uh… many of the coalition, especially guys on the front line such as my unit and others like us were in the area of exposure from the fall-out of the coalition bombings and although this information became widely known as early as 1994 through testimony and release of G.A.O. reports that showed that the meteorological data supported the fact that the down wind plume or fall-out from the bombings drifted over a large number of the troops that were forward positioned.  (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

Near the Republican Palace where US troops stood guard and over 1000 employees walked in and out, the radiation readings were the ‘hottest ‘ in Iraq, at nearly 1900 times background radiation levels. (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops, a Daily News investigation has found.

 

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. (Juan Gonzalez, “Poisoned? Shocking report reveals local troops
may be victims of America's high-tech weapons,” New York Daily News, 3 April 2004, downloaded from
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/180333p-156685c.html, 16 Sept. 2007.)

 

Risk to Soldiers – General Stories

 

Lori Brim poses for a portrait holding up a button to promote a campaign to raise awareness of the depleted uranium at her office at Riverside Bank in Holly Hill. The Ormond Beach resident believes her son Dustin died from exposure to depleted uranium when he was serving in Iraq. Dustin Brim, a 22-year-old Army specialist had collapsed three years ago in Iraq from a very aggressive cancer that attacked his kidney, caused a mass to grow over his esophagus and collapsed a lung.

The problems she saw during her time at Walter Reed, including her son screaming in pain while doctors argued over medications, had nothing to do with mold and shabby conditions documented in recent news reports. What this mother saw was an unexplainable illness consuming her son.

And what she has learned since her son’s death is that his was not an isolated case. 


Lori Brim has joined other parents, hundreds of other sick soldiers, legislators, research scientists and environmental activists who say the cause of their problems results from exposure to depleted uranium, a radioactive metal used in the manufacture of U.S. tank armor and weapon casings. (Audrey Parente, “Update: Soldier Health Scare Back in News,” Longview, Texas, Journal-News, 15 April 2007.)

 

Risk to Soldiers’ Families

 

And it’s not just the servicemen and women, it’s their families, their spouses, their children… that have been severely affected.  It must stop.  (Capt. Joyce Riley, USAFR, in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

Because of the contamination of the semen from the depleted uranium particles, soldiers returning internally contaminate their wives and their partners. (Leuren Moret in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  [Specialist Greg] Matthew's wife wishes her husband had known more about the potential dangers of DU.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wasn't told it's out there. He exposed my daughter to this, but it's not his fault. He was just trying to help the country. (Transcript of CNN's "American Morning," 5 Feb. 2007, downloaded from
http://home.earthlink.net/~nomoredu/cnntranscript.html, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

We’ve all heard stories of soldiers bringing radioactive contamination from war home with them. Consider it, if you will, Uncle Sam’s “parting gift” to our troops’ families. Talk about making the “ultimate sacrifice,” doing what you think is your patriotic “duty”… only to render your own flesh and blood deathly ill.

How does a veteran deal with the fact that he himself is not only sick from battlefield radiation, but that he has caused those he loves most in this world to become critically sick, too? The psychological trauma of our contaminated ex-soldiers must be unfathomable.  (Cathy Garger, “Depleted Uranium and Leukemia – At Home and Abroad,”
Independent Media Center, 3 Aug. 2007, downloaded from http://www.indymedia.org/en/2007/08/890329.shtml  5 Sept. 2007.)

 

Medical Treatment of Soldiers and Their Families

 

Staff Sergeant Bob Jones is a veteran of Desert Storm, a former Army Ranger now retired and disabled due to Gulf War Illness.  Not only is Bob ill, but his entire immediate family is affected as they all suffer from mycoplasma fermentans incognitos. (Video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

And uh… some of us that conceived children after the war – and I know of at least two individuals where their children were born perfectly healthy according the hospital and within six months after their return their hearts literally exploded in their chests.  (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

The official line, or obfuscation, is that uranium is only minimally radioactive. While this is true, it is chemically toxic in minute trace amounts, because uranium ions are actually attracted to bond with DNA, where they can wreak havoc with cells – especially the cells of developing fetuses.  (Dave Lindorff, “DU, the Ticking Nuke in Bush’s White House War Room,” San Francisco Bay View, 25 Jan. 2006, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2006/DU-Bush-War25jan06.htm, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

It wasn’t so much my illness, but my family was also ill and they required medical attention and medical treatment – real medical treatment.  I retired  in June of last year – June 2003.  As soon as I retired my family was completely dropped from the military medical system.  In other words, we were enrolled at the Womack Family Practice and as soon as I retired we were dropped like a hot potato… and although I begged and pleaded  they would not let my family re-enroll back into the Womack Family Practice.  So in essence, my wife was completely cut off from all the medications and all the treatment that she had received for the past seven years that dealt extensively – cause she was also a victim of these exposures that I brought home from the Gulf War – from my equipment and my personal exposure, as I eluded to earlier – from personal bodily contact… and uh that to me is the greatest travesty.  I just can’t imagine how a nation – not only will they take care of their veterans that have returned from war, but you have innocent family members and loved ones that never put their hand up and swore allegiance to fight and defend the constitution of the United States and they get kicked to the curb and nobody cares. (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

When Renner visited his son at a military hospital in California, he said he discovered four other Marines in the same ward who were fighting the same cancer.

"I thought it was kind of strange," Renner said. "This is a bigger problem than anybody really knows."

The military admitted depleted uranium gives off low levels of radiation, but a spokesman from the Pentagon said those levels are harmless. The military also said it has done extensive research and found no connection between depleted uranium and leukemia.  (Jasa Santos:, “Marine's Father Warns Of Leukemia Link,” Independent Media Center, 3 Aug. 2007, downloaded from
http://www.indymedia.org/en/2007/08/890329.shtml  5 Sept. 2007.)

 

U.S. Mistreatment of Veterans

 

Andy Rounds, a 22-year-old Army soldier from Oregon, may have been exposed to depleted uranium, a substance that gives off low levels of radiation, when a munitions dump exploded on his Iraqi base. He's now fighting off an aggressive form of leukemia.

Rounds' treatment is not being covered by the military because he was not diagnosed until after he was out of the Army.  (Jasa Santos:, “Marine's Father Warns Of Leukemia Link,” Independent Media Center, 3 Aug. 2007, downloaded from http://www.indymedia.org/en/2007/08/890329.shtml  5 Sept. 2007.)

 

It wasn’t so much my illness, but my family was also ill and they required medical attention and medical treatment – real medical treatment. I retired in June of last year – June 2003. As soon as I retired my family was completely dropped from the military medical system. In other words, we were enrolled at the Womack Family Practice and as soon as I retired we were dropped like a hot potato… and although I begged and pleaded, they would not let my family re-enroll back into the Womack Family Practice. So in essence, my wife was completely cut off from all the medications and all the treatment that she had received for the past seven years that dealt extensively – cause she was also a victim of these exposures that I brought home from the Gulf War – from my equipment and my personal exposure, as I eluded to earlier – from personal bodily contact… and uh that to me is the greatest travesty. I just can’t imagine how a nation – not only will they take care of their veterans that have returned from war, but you have innocent family members and loved ones that never put their hand up and swore allegiance to fight and defend the constitution of the United States and they get kicked to the curb and nobody cares. (Staff Sergeant Bob Jones in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

What happened prior to Gulf War I is pre-deployment health physical assessments were not given and at the completion of Gulf War I post-deployment health physical assessments were not given even though we specifically requested it. In my own case, when I can back to get released after completing special projects – I said I was exposed to these – we need to do these tests – and they refused to do them. (Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army Health Physicist and Nuclear Medicine Sciences Officer in Power Hour, Beyond Treason, video, 2005.)

 

When you get these health effects you have to prove to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that you were exposed, and then you have to prove that the health effects that you’re seeing were caused by the exposures you have, but it’s very difficult to do when the medical records have been destroyed, the personnel files have been missing or destroyed – and when you’ve got senior Department of Defense officials continuing to state – well, none of these guys are sick, none of these guys are dead. (Dr. Doug Rokke in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

It’s real simple. I was tasked to clean up the uranium munitions by name, by order during Gulf War I. I was assigned as the Depleted Uranium Project Director. I did the research. I prepared the programs. I wrote the regulations for management. I wrote the procedures for management… and I got sick ‘cause I served my nation and I was discarded… I was abandoned. (Dr. Doug Rokke in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

Soldiers Suing Government

 

Some veterans are now suing the Army over what they say are health risks from their exposure to DU.   (Transcript of CNN's "American Morning," 5 Feb. 2007, downloaded from http://home.earthlink.net/~nomoredu/cnntranscript.html, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

Health and environmental effects of depleted uranium are at the heart of scientific studies, a lawsuit in the New York courts and legislative bills in more than a dozen states (although not in Florida). (Audrey Parente, “Update: Soldier Health Scare Back in News,” Longview, Texas, Journal-News, 15 April 2007.)

 

In November 2000, Gulf War veterans affected by DU launched a class action law-suit against the US government. (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Specialist Gerard Matthew cleaned up vehicles hit by DU during his five months in Iraq in 2003. He says breathing in depleted uranium dust made him sick.

 

GERARD MATTHEW, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: I came back with chronic migraines, swelling in my face and vision problems.

HUNTER: Matthew also says his 2 1/2-year-old daughter's birth defect is a direct result of his DU exposure. He and seven other vets are suing the army over depleted uranium. (Transcript of CNN's "American Morning," 5 Feb. 2007, downloaded from
http://home.earthlink.net/~nomoredu/cnntranscript.html, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

 

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  (voice-over): Samala (ph), Iraq, spring 2003, Iraq, site of a fierce coalition offensive. Soldiers operating, sleeping, eating in areas that were hit by depleted uranium, or D.U.

For some soldiers it marked the beginning of another type of battle. These five National Guard veterans claim they got sick from serving there.

RAYMOND RAMOS, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: I just got to the point where I could not physically stand sometimes. The headaches were unbearable. I would get dizzy spells.

HUNTER: They report similar ailments: painful urination, headaches and joint pain. They say Army doctors blame their symptoms on posttraumatic stress.

We showed them a tape the Army made in 1995, a tape the Army never distributed. It warned of potential D.U. hazards. The Army's expert on D.U. training concedes some information contained on the tape is true. For instance, inhaling radioactive particles can be harmful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alpha is the least penetrating but is the most hazardous if it does get into the body.

HUNTER (on camera): So you're saying in part this is correct, but too much information?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really doesn't provide any useful information to the soldier.

HUNTER (voice-over): These vets say they were never warned about D.U. They're suing the Army for what they say is knowingly exposing them to D.U. dust and failing to properly treat them.

ANTHONY YONNONE, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: They didn't furnish us with any of that information.

HUNTER (on camera): At all?

YONNONE: At all. HUNTER: Does it make you angry?

YONNONE: Absolutely.

HUNTER: Why?

YONNONE: Because here we are sick. We don't know why. The Army don't know why, and they're just calling us liars.

HUNTER (voice-over): The veterans' claims against the government may be barred by a statute that protects the military from lawsuits by soldiers. But a judge is permitting the soldiers' claims of malpractice to go forward. (Transcript of CNN's "American Morning," 5 Feb. 2007, downloaded from
http://home.earthlink.net/~nomoredu/cnntranscript.html, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

Brim is closely following a trial in New York, where — despite a precedent that prevents military personnel from suing the government for injuries resulting from their service — eight National Guard veterans have won the right to be heard about their depleted uranium exposure.

One veteran in that suit, Gerard Matthew, says not only is he sick, but contends his little girl’s birth deformities are related to his exposure to depleted uranium. The deformity, Matthew said, is similar to many being reported within the Iraqi population since the first Gulf War.  (Audrey Parente, “Update: Soldier Health Scare Back in News,” Longview, Texas, Journal-News, 15 April 2007.)

 

 

 

 

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