[ RadSafe ] Re: ‘They have exposed close to a million of our troops.’
james at bovik.org
Sat Mar 4 20:51:21 CST 2006
I note again that in the additional complaints about my posts,
there remains no opposition to my assertions supported by the
peer-reviewed medical and scientific literature.
What, then, is the proper tact to take, when the peer-reviewed
literature is increasingly clear that dozens of those who were
supposed to have been responsible have in fact been criminally
negligent, resulting in not only harm of the reproductive health
of our armed forces and their civilian families, but the resulting
effect on enlistment rates and thus national security?
This is not a job for polemic couched in any kind of courtesy.
This is a time for action. Those responsible must be held responsible.
By W. Leon Smith
When The Iconoclast learned of a study conducted by Chris Busby and
Saoirse Morgan that suggests that depleted uranium radiation had
traveled from Iraq to Great Britain during “shock and awe,” we knew it
was time to more fully explore the implications.
We decided to “lay it all on the table,” as best we could by
interviewing noted scientists and people in the know about radiation,
those who have become medical casualties, those who have gone through
the military system, and those who possess an upper tier knowledge of
radiation in general.
This is clear: the day that depleted uranium was introduced into the
arsenal of doom was quite literally the day the earth stood still, with
scientists worldwide uniting to voice concern that genocide had found a
home on our planet. At the other extreme, militarists hailed the nuclear
substance as their newest advantage in maximizing destruction. It became
a trump card with the ability to destroy the masses, even those yet unborn.
On the battlefield, DU has been hailed as the best, and what country
does not want its soldiers to be given the best of tools in a time of
war? Yet the bloody afterglow of radiation and its dire consequences for
civilization have caused others to describe DU as “death unlimited.”
We were told by the U.S. military in Iraq that there is no longer a need
for depleted uranium munitions there and that, indeed, the current
deployment is not using DU. However, this past week it was announced
that the Army has placed a $38 million order for new DU munitions,
extending the original contract for fiscal year 2006 up to $77 million.
DU is a controversial subject.
The Iconoclast attempted to get some answers.
We were pleased that some individuals were forthcoming when we attempted
to interview them and we were disappointed at others who broke promises
to call us back after they learned the subject matter was depleted uranium.
Although the quantity of text in this report tends to weigh heavier for
individuals opposed to the use of depleted uranium, the Iconoclast spent
considerable time attempting to obtain Q&A viewpoints that might be on
the other side of the argument. It was in this venue that promised phone
calls were not returned and our reporters got multiple run-arounds in
reaching the “top brass.”
Nevertheless, The Iconoclast has produced this special feature which
provides our readers a chance to listen in on some of the conversations
and draw their own conclusions.
Among those interviewed, in the order they appear in this feature, were:
• Chris Busby, author of the study: “Did the use of Uranium weapons in
Gulf War 2 result in contamination of Europe?”
• Leuren Moret, geological scientist and international radiation expert.
• Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics
in the Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
• Dr. Rosalie Bertell, PhD, GNSH, President of the International
Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH), and Editor in Chief of
International Perspectives in Public Health.
• Major Doug Rokke, Ph.D. (retired), former director of the U.S. Army
Depleted Uranium Project, Vietnam and Gulf War Veteran.
• Major Denise Nichols (retired), Gulf War Veteran and retired U.S. Air
Force Reserve Major,Vice Chairman of the National Vietnam Veteran and
Gulf War Veterans Coalition.
• Ann Ham, Public Affairs, U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and
• Captain William Roberts, Multi-National Forces Iraq Spokesman.
• Tim Hix, Vietnam Veteran exposed to Agent Orange, dying of cancer.
• Karl Schwarz, presidential candidate, author, technology company
founder whose son served in Iraq.
We lead off with the news story about the study.
DU Radiation Travels, Says UK Scientist
By W. Leon Smith
LONDON — A new study conducted by Dr. Chris Busby, Ph.D. and Saoirse
Morgan has revealed that radiation detectors in Great Britain recorded
spikes in radiation in the days immediately following the “shock and
awe’ bombing campaign in Iraq in March 2003, when in the first 24 hours
more than 1,500 bombs and missles were launched.
The “occasional paper” produced by Busby is entitled: “Did the use of
Uranium weapons in Gulf War 2 result in contamination of Europe?
Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment
(AWE), Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK.”
Busby, who obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of
London, has served as the scientific secretary of the European Committee
on Radiation Risk and director of the environmental consultancy Green Audit.
Busby contends that depleted uranium from munitions used in the opening
days of the Iraq war was carried by wind currents to the UK, and bases
his findings on figures that were obtained from the British government
through freedom of information inquiries.
In his paper, Busby writes:
“The use of battlefield uranium weapons has been classed by some as
weapons of indiscriminate effect; as such they would be implicitly
illegal under various conventions of war.
“Those who defend or justify their use do so by arguing that the uranium
is localized at the point of impact or nearby and that exposure of large
populations does not occur.
“The history of disclosures of the data in this case supports the idea
that AWE were aware that their filters provided evidence of the long
range movement of uranium. They were first reluctant to release any
data; it required a Freedom of Information Act request to force them to
release the results of the monitoring. But significantly they did not
send initially the block of data relating to the Gulf War period, and a
second request was necessary. The long wait between this second request,
and the appearance of the data, and the fact that the missing data came
from a different organization, the Defence Procurement Agency in
Briston, suggests that there was significiant attention being paid to
the interpretation of the results, and decisions had to be made about
what the data would show and its political implications for the military.”
Busby continued, “Despite many pieces of evidence that the uranium
aerosols are long lived in the environment and are able to travel
considerable distances, this is the first evidence as far as we know,
that they are able to travel thousands of miles.
“The distance traveled from Baghdad to Reading following the wind
patterns implicit in the pressure systems at the time is between 1,700
mmiles and 2,400 miles. Although this transport may be hard to believe
at first, the regular desert sand events which occur in the UK should
teach us that the planet is not such a large affair, and that with
regard to ceretain long lived atmospheric pollutants, no man is an island.
“This was a lesson first shown graphically and alarmingly by the
atmospheric nuclear tests of the 1960s and the subsequent Strontium-90
mimlk, and more recently by the Chernobyl accident. However, like the
atmospheric tests, the use of battlefield uranium weapons, especially
the new bunker busting bombs which are alleged to have more than one ton
of uranium in the warhead, are events which are controlled by man; they
are not accidents.
“The results of the AWE filters should teach us that the consequences
are not restricted to the areas where they are used. Indeed, on the
basis of the results reported here, there would have been a significant
exposure to the public in many countries.
“Uranium is a powerful genotoxic stressor. In view of the many reports
of heritable genetic effects in areas where uranium has been used, and
in the Gulf veterans, time series analysis of infant mortality and
congenital malformation rates assuming exposures to the fetus or the
pre-conception parents in mid-march 2003 in European databases might be
worth carrying out.”
According to the paper, sampling was reported at several control sites,
which revealed increased radiation activity as compared to traditional
Busby told The Iconoclast in an interview that there is “already an
uprising against DU.”
“Everybody thinks that DU should be an illegal weapon,” he said.
“Everybody. I don’t know anybody, except the military — who say that
it’s a valuable weapon in tank warfare. I can’t think of anybody who
thinks that the use of a radioactive weapon like that is justified under
any circumstances,” he said.
“You might as well use nerve gas, or biological weapons. The same
argument applies,” he added.
The UK Ministry of Defense, as noted in an article appearing in the Feb.
19 edition of The London Times, has taken exception to Busby’s theory
that depleted uranium could have traveled so far, calling it “unfeasible.”
Other critics have said that other environmental sources could be
responsible, including the charge that the spikes could have been caused
by natural uranium in the massive amounts of soil kicked up by shock and
awe, according to Brian Spratt of the British Royal Society, or from
emissions from a local power station, noted the Times article.
Busby countered, telling The Iconoclast, “The point is that material
from Chernobyl which is 1,800 miles to the east of Great Britain
traveled to Great Britain and contaminated Wales, Scotland, and various
parts of the United Kingdom. And they might as well have said that it
was equally unfeasible for it to travel that distance in the opposite
direction to the general flow of the wind, but we have examined computer
models of wind directions over the period of the Gulf War and it’s quite
clear the material from Iraq could have come through the United Kingdom
because of the particular types of depressions and anticyclone systems
that were there.”
He called the Ministry of Defense’s attack a “knee-jerk” denial.
“It makes quite a big difference to the ethical basis of their use of
uranium as a weapon,” he added.
‘To my mind, it’s a human rights issue.’
Iconoclast Interview With Chris Busby
By W. Leon Smith
ICONOCLAST: What impact do you think the report will have on the United
BUSBY: I think the most important thing is that it makes clear that the
use of depleted uranium involves indiscriminate effects on civilians.
And so it takes it away from being the weapon of legitimate use in a
military situation and puts it in the same category as weapons like
nerve gas that affect large populations. So that, to my mind, would make
it illegal under the considerations of the Geneva Convention.
ICONOCLAST: The London Times did an article last Sunday and the Ministry
of Defense said that it is unfeasible that depleted uranium could have
traveled so far.
BUSBY: The point is that material from Chernobyl which is 1,800 miles to
the east of Great Britain traveled to Great Britain and contaminated
Wales, Scotland, and various parts of the United Kingdom. And they might
well have said that it was equally unfeasible for it to travel that
distance in the opposite direction to the general flow of the wind, but
we have examined computer models of wind directions over the period of
the Gulf War and it’s quite clear the material from Iraq could have come
through the United Kingdom because of the particular types of
depressions and anticyclone systems that were there. The American NOAH
website has a computer program that enables you to model the origin of
air masses that coordinate on the globe and we use the NOAH system to
back track material that was in the Aldermaston field over the period
and a lot of that material did come from Iraq according to the
calculations of this computer program.
ICONOCLAST: Is monitoring still going on on a frequent basis and are you
following the models?
BUSBY: Uranium is still being measured.
ICONOCLAST: How are the people of London taking this news?
BUSBY: There are a lot of different responses to our paper, from the
Ministry of Defense and from the Royal Society and from the Environment
Agency who are the people who deal with this in our country. They all
seem to be different responses. None of them seem to be very sensible.
The Environment Agency at one point said they thought it was somebody
digging the road up. The Royal Society said that it might be from Iraq
but actually it’s probably natural uranium from a sandstorm. The Ministy
of Defense is just saying it’s unfeasible for it to come all that distance.
So really it’s kind of knee-jerk denial, for, because as far as the MoD
is concerned, it makes quite a big difference to the ethical basis of
their use of uranium as a weapon.
ICONOCLAST: If they say it’s from other local environmental sources,
such as a p ower station, wouldln’t that have alerted authorities to be
on the lookout.
BUSBY: The problem with the argument about the power station is that
we’ve looked at the data from 2000 to 2004, and there’s data every two
weeks. In that whole period from 2000 to 2004, there’s only one enormous
increase in radiation, in uranium, and that’s during the time of the
Iraq war. It would be quite extraordinary that the power station
happened to produce these releases just at the same time as the war
occurred, and, secondly, there aren’t many power stations. The nearest
nuclear power station is at Sellafield and the wind was blowing north at
the time. It was blowing from the south so anything that would have come
out of there would have gone north. It wouldn’t have gone to Reading
which is about 600 miles southeast of the power station.
ICONOCLAST: What do you think the result of this report will be. Do you
think it will get people’s attention?
BUSBY: I think it will have tremendous impact. At the moment, what
happens is that they’re just going to go off and think about it and try
to bury it. There’s a legal case in this country at the moment relating
to some activists who damaged a B-52 bomber that was carrying depleted
uranium to Iraq. It’ll certainly be used in this court case. They’ll
argue that the U.S. was using weapons of indiscriminate effect. I
hesitate to say mass destruction, because it’s not quite in that
category, but certainly it’s a very toxic substance that can cause
genetic damage and congenital malformations and cancer. And even if it’s
a very small risk of all of these things, and this is what they argue,
if you are contaminating people in the United Kingdom, then you’re
clearly contaminating people in Turkey and Greece and Italy and France —
a hugh swathe of Southern Europe, and so the population that has been
contaminated is extremely large. So you are likely to have had some effect.
And in any case, it’s a human rights issue. People don’t actually want
to inhale uranium, strange as it may seem.
ICONOCLAST: Do you think that the health of a good number of Londoners
has been effected by this?
BUSBY: Not just Londoners, it would be people over the whole of Southern
Europe. And the answer is that I don’t know. We will certainly look, and
the first place that we will be looking will be in infant mortality,
ICONOCLAST: Do you think that there will be an uprising against DU?
BUSBY: There’s already an uprising against DU. Everybody thinks that DU
should be an illegal weapon. Everybody. I don’t know anybody, except the
military — who say that it’s a valuable weapon in tank warfare. I can’t
think of anybody who thinks that the use of a radioactive weapon like
that is justified under any circumstances.
I mean, after all, the military says, “Oh, we need this weapon because
if enables us to win wars.” Well fair enough! But you might as well use
nerve gas, or biological weapons. The same argument applies.
ICONOCLAST: Here in the United States, very few people are aware of what
DU is. It doesn’t mean anything to them. So what do you think we need to
do in the United States?
BUSBY: You people in the media need to make it more clear that the
United States is the major user of this weapon and that it should be
banned, because it’s a very serious, and what goes around comes around.
You can be sure that if it has come to the United Kingdom, it’s
certainly gone to America.
ICONOCLAST: Do you think your paper will open the eyes of many people in
the government in Europe?
BUSBY: I think so. I think it will have a big impact. It might not have
quite sunk into them yet, but over a period of time they will have to
accept that this is the first clear evidence that this stuff is capable
of traveling such large distances, and therefore it is capable of
contaminating huge populations.
ICONOCLAST: Scientists have been saying that DU travels and that it is a
global problem. Can they look at your study as being proof?
BUSBY: A lot of people have theorized that it travels long distances,
because these particles are very small and they can be kept in the
atmosphere, in motion and by electro-static effects and so on. There was
always the fear that this was the case, and the military has argued that
this was not true. I’ve been in Kosovo where I measured these particles,
but this is the first really strong evidence that they can travel long
distances, and irony is that the evidence has actually come deployed by
the military themselves around the atomic weapons establishment.
To my mind, it’s a human rights issue. Originally, it was an issue
relating to whether or not it should be used in Iraq and if the
population of Iraq is being contaminated and possible the Gulf War
veterans being contaminated, but now we are seeing that everybody is
being contaminated. We are all Gulf War veterans.
‘They have exposed close to a million of our troops.’
An Interview With Karl Schwarz
By W. Leon Smith, Editor-in-Chief,
ICONOCLAST: Regarding Chris Busby’s study about DU traveling, I would
like to get a political perspective from you. You know, The London Times
printed a short story about this recently and the Ministry of Defense
there said that it’s unfeasible that depleted uranium could have
traveled so far.
KARL SCHWARZ: Well, that’s what their stance is, but if you look a lot
closer at the comments of this ministry and also the Royal Academy
people, they come up with two diametrically opposed solutions and
answers. One person says that this was natural uranium that was stirred
up in the atmosphere through shock and awe in Iraq. If natural uranium
could reach there, by God, the DU probably could, too.
I mean, that’s just to cut straight through the political-speak, okay?
You have to read that article real close to detect that, and you might
even have to quote the article or cite it. They are actually saying that
“no, this wasn’t DU from the use of depleted uranium weapons, this was
natural uranium from Iraq that got stirred up into the atmosphere
through shock and awe. Now that’s the official British stance “one.” Okay?
Official British stance “two” is somewhat more problematic. Evidently,
according to this governmental official, they’ve had a Chernobyl that
they didn’t bother to tell their citizens about. Because he claims that
uranium was local source from their own nuclear reactors, you know,
electrical power plants, and didn’t have anything to do with DU from
Iraq. Well, as a matter of fact, the reason that they put them in
pellets and they put them in cores and they sink them in heavy water is
so that uranium can’t get out, and they are sealed.
Those plants do not put any uranium in the air whatsoever. If they do,
they have to shut them down. Period.
ICONOCLAST: What are your thoughts politically on this. What do you
think our government needs to be doing?
SCHWARZ: I think our government needs to face this issue head-on, not
only as a public policy issue for the troops that they’ve had exposed to
this ever since Desert Storm which includes Bosnia, which includes
Afghanistan, also includes Iraqi Freedom, the second go-round over here.
They have used depleted uranium weapons in all four of those
deployments. The troops, if you start backtracking, you don’t ever read
about this, but you can find it if you look for Bosnia syndrome, like
Desert Storm syndrome. One of the reasons and how I got on this story,
Leon, was up in Canada. They have a thing called the Uranium Medical
They actually have one in Canada and one in the United States. The
Canadians told me, “Oh, for the record, the reason we didn’t go to Iraq
is we are already seeing some huge health issues on the Canadian troops
that participated in Desert Storm, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. We’re not
going to be exposing our folks to this stuff anymore. We’re against it.”
Now, they’re coming to grips in their own country with some very real
and very tragic health stories, and our government is sitting on it.
Now, from a public policy viewpoint, they need to take care of our veterans.
They put them over there on deployment on questionable issues. If you
look back at this issue, we have created the circumstances to attack
Iraq the first time. There were some very questionable issues
surrounding Clinton’s bombing of Bosnia. If you go back on 9/11, dissect
that story, it won’t stand the light of day. Within 12 hours they were
ready to attack Afghanistan and they were actually practicing that
invasion in the late spring and early spring of 2001. And then, all of a
sudden, we find out that everything about Iraq was fabricated.
So, basically, the last four engagements, the last four deployments, are
under questionable circumstances. And they have exposed close to a
million of our troops. Now, if you go back and start to look at the
health implications that’s going on, they put 425,000 Americans in
Desert Storm and over 300,000 of them are having medical disability issues.
They go over there some of the healthiest people on the face of this
planet and come home with their life devastated.
ICONOCLAST: I know that some of the state legislatures are in the
process of allowing testing for DU...
SCHWARZ: They are mandating it. Actually 10 have the legislation pending
and two others have passed it.
ICONOCLAST: Do you think Texas should do it?
ICONOCLAST: Why haven’t we?
SCHWARZ: Why haven’t we? Because it’s not politcally acceptable to this
federal government. A lot of the states will run scared if the federal
government starts threatening them with loss of funding.
ICONOCLAST: Do you think that that’s going to happen to some of those 12
SCHWARZ: They may have some toning to do. I heard that an overwhelming
number of the Republicans in the Louisiana House and Senate voted to
pass that legislation down there. I’m trying to get it stirred up in
Arkansas. That’s where my son is from. I want him tested. He was over
there a year in the Green Zone. Even though he wasn’t out where they
were dropping the bombs, this stuff was spread everywhere.
I talked to one lady down in Florida. She’s a doctor and tested 87 of
them and every one was positive.
ICONOCLAST: If they test positive, what’s their future?
SCHWARZ: Well, first off they are going to have to get a urine test and
chromosome test, which costs about six grand to get those tests done.
There are some things they can do related to heavy metal poisoning
treatment. You know, if you can get the damn metal out of your system
through various medical means of treating metal poisoning, the prognosis
may be much better than it is right now.
ICONOCLAST: High protein diets?
SCHWARZ: That, but they also give you certain types of medicine to flush
it out of your system. This stuff tends to go for you liver, your
kidneys, your brain, and most of the vets I’ve talked to about this are
having side effects, blurred vision, blurred memory, aching joints. They
went over there healthy and came home like they were crippled.
ICONOCLAST: Is the federal government doing anything for them?
SCHWARZ: Stalling. The VA has been locked up in committee. They aren’t
even proposing to be out with the fourth draft until December 2006. I
can tell you that for some of the people who served in 2003, that will
be too late.
ICONOCLAST: What do you think needs to happen?
SCHWARZ: I think the government needs to (1) honor its word to the U.S.
soldiers, (2) I think they need to start testing anywhere downstream of
these firing ranges, the bases, the nuclear weapons labs, the storage
facilities. I think they need to start looking at the watershed and air
drifting issues right here in the states. And I think they need to come
public with what they are detecting on these high volume air sensors. We
have them. I’ve been on some on two of our military bases and also
government labs. They have those sensors on them.
And, for some reason, they don’t want anybody to know about it.
Now, the other thing I’ve noted, because I’m watching it, is the story
that broke in the U.K. (about DU traveling) and was posted within 24
hours in Australia and has not been picked up by any U.S. newspaper, and
I’ve personally put about 600 of them on notice. I also sent it to
Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, U.K., Australia, Japan. The world
desk, national news editors.
ICONOCLAST: What about the people that live in Great Britain. Have you
heard any feedback?
SCHWARZ: Yes. Some of the people on my e-mail update list, who are from
Armenia, all the west to Singapore and Australia. Then there’s about 18
or 19 of them in the U.K. They have all posted this on their blogs if
they have blogs. Canada has been very actively pushing this out, because
now it’s adding up in their heads why so many Canadian troops came home
A lot of the Canadians I know said they felt ashamed when their
government wouldn’t go to Iraq with us. That is the first time Canada
has not joined us in a jolly good war. They felt a little ashamed, but
now they are starting to see the truth. In fact, some of them that
served in Afghanistan are now dead. Some of them in Bosnia, now dead.
ICONOCLAST: Do we need to change our munitions to something different?
ICONOCLAST: Or can we?
SCHWARZ: We could. Well, we can and we can’t. Sometimes we’re a victim
of our own successes. I’m pretty sure the Russians and the Chinese are
going to try to come up with tanks that have the same type of depleted
uranium and armor that the Abrams tank has. We can’t penetrate them. A
tungsten-tipped projectile will not be effective enough. You’d have to
kind of shoot it in the ass, like the tiger thing. You can’t go
head-to-head with them.
What you could do is tremendously scale down the reasoning behind some
of this stuff. Like they’re using depleted uranium as penetrators for
bunker busters just so they can bust those up. There are ways to take
those bunkers out in a ground assault. You could get in there and blow
the doors open, take the thing out that way. You might have to bomb it
from the air. You might lose a few more people, but at least you aren’t
condemning millions of people.
The story that you saw coming out of the United Kingdom is a very
typical response that even U.S. government labs do when they get caught
with their britches down polluting the environment and exposing people
to nuclear contamination. They basically always try to say “Oh, that was
natural uranium.” The only problem is once you start doing these
samples, you find plutonium, you find neptunium, and you find U-236,
which is not naturally occurring, at least plutonium and U-236 are not.
And they are finding that, as well. Now, those two things are highly
radioactive and highly toxic, in fact, there may be one or two things
invented by man that are more toxic that plutonium. That is lethal
stuff. It doesn’t take much to do you in.
ICONOCLAST: So their arguments don’t hold water?
SCHWARZ: They don’t hold water. And this is one of those things, as long
as they obfuscate, they are literally guilty of genocide. They are
guilty of cruel and inhumane treatment of our soldiers. And, you stop
and think about it, our allies, our coalition partners are starting to
see this and I think that’s why they are starting to fold up on some of
these military policies. They’re not going to keep exposing their
populations to this crap.
And now, if this story is true, that they’re being exposed thousands of
miles away, you may seen a worldwide uprising to nuclear arms, period.
That would be a good thing. Darn, Leon, I’m not even an anti-war person.
I’m standing here, outside, right now, looking around. I mean, what if
this crap is right out here on these people’s yards? They’re out here
doing their gardening, maybe getting exposed to this crap. You have no
way of knowing, and it doesn’t take much of this stuff to put your
health over the edge.
ICONOCLAST: Some of the scientists I’ve talked to say that it is
everywhere, and that it’s in what we consume.
SCHWARZ: In an article I have coming out tomorrow, I talk about how this
is probably in our water, it’s in our food chain, it’s in the air we
breathe, it’s in the materials we touch. You know, yeah, it’s around.
And that scares me because I’ve been sitting here for the last 25 years
wondering why my friends are getting so damned sick with disorders they
don’t even have names for.
About the only science that I’m aware of that can address this is
nanotechnology. They have not come up with any chemical means whatsoever
to neutralize this crap. Nanotechnology might be the answer.
ICONOCLAST: How would that be the answer? What form?
SCHWARZ: You are actually getting down to submolecular size that could
actually trap and catch this stuff, maybe change its properties, with
the damage caused to the nanotube and not to the human body.
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