answers (was Re: [ RadSafe ] James Salsman, DU, and peer-reviewed literature)

Steven Dapra sjd at
Mon Mar 6 21:31:28 CST 2006

March 5

James Salsman wrote:

Thanks to Steven Dapra for his excellent questions.  [You are welcome.]

 > How many of the quotes you offered did you read from the primary
 > source material?

James Salsman:
Those that include URLs to full text I have read in full; of the
others, I have read the abstract of Kang, et al. (2000) and McDiarmid,
et al. (2006). As far as I can remember, these sources were all
suggested either by MEDLINE, the Science Citation Index searches, emails
from people, emails from stored searches, or references in other
articles. Citations to papers by Schott, Durakovic, and McDiarmid all
appear in some of the anti-DU literature I have seen, but the 2006
article I haven't seen cited anywhere but MEDLINE yet. Thank you for
your excellent summary. I wonder where the congenital malformations are
coming from if the chromosome abberations are as low as are suggested.

Steven Dapra:

         Since you have read seven of the papers, and the two abstracts, 
how could you possibly come up with all those carefully manipulated 
quotes?  And how did you manage to so cleverly extract those eight words 
from Durakovic's review paper?  How did you do what you did with the Miller 
et al. paper?  (The ninth one in your list.  [Journal of Inorganic 

You wrote:  "Abstract: 'chemical generation of hydroxyl radicals by 
depleted uranium in vitro exceeds radiolytic generation by one 
million-fold....' "

I replied:  "There is no sentence in the Abstract that is in any way 
similar to the one Salsman quotes, nor is there any sentence in the paper 
that is similar to it. Salsman's quote appears to be a patchwork quilt of 
two or three sentences from the Abstract."

         *How* did you manage to piece that together?  (Not that I want to 
imitate you, I am only curious.)

         I don't know what "congenital malformations" or low chromosome 
aberrations you are talking about.

 > How do any of these papers show criminal negligence?

James Salsman:
I am not an attorney. The legal questions of gross negligence include:
Should those who approved pyrophoric DU munitions have known, or should
they reasonably have been expected to know, that uranium is teratogenic,
at the time they approved of the munitions?
What regulations then governed the use of poisons?
Would a reasonable person have been expected to approve a weapon which
poisons civilians off of the battlefield, after the battle is over?
How many members of the civilian families of U.S. troops have been
injured by the teratogenicity of uranium combustion products?

Steven Dapra:

         You wrote, " . . . dozens of those who were supposed to have been 
responsible have in fact been criminally negligent . . . ."

         If you are "not an attorney" how can you even claim that "dozens . 
. . have IN FACT been criminally negligent"?  (Emphasis added.)  You have 
convicted these "dozens" without so much as naming them, let alone having 
them go through a trial, when a jury is supposed to hear the evidence, 
consider the facts, and then decide if anyone is guilty of anything.  I am 
not an attorney either, and I know about innocent until proven guilty.  You 
have also switched from "criminal" negligence to "gross" 
negligence.  What's with that?

         Are you suggesting that using uranium (DU) is wrong because it is 
a suspected teratogen?  It is well established that live ammunition and 
high explosive shells and bombs kill people outright.  Why not ban them 
instead of bemoaning the presence of a possible teratogen? That doesn't 
make a whole lot of sense, does it?

         Civilians have been killed on and off the battlefield, caught in 
crossfires, and so forth since the beginning of warfare.  I think your 
questions here are somewhat on the self-righteous side.  Soldiers and 
civilians both get killed in wars.  I don't like it either, but it is an 
unfortunate fact of life.

         The number of injured U.S. civilian families is unknown, and may 
never be known.  Sheer conjecture about this is certainly no basis for 
accusing anyone of criminal (or gross) negligence.

 > Can it be shown that enlistment rates have fallen as a result of
 > DU exposure?

James Salsman:
It is my opinion that, yes, this is easy to show. A poll of college
students from military families could be used to answer this question,
but I know of no such poll in existing literature. I note the rise
of such groups as "Leave My Child Alone," which did not exist during
the time of the first Gulf War, as far as I know.

Steven Dapra:

         You plainly implied that the use of DU weapons had a "resulting 
effect on enlistment rates and thus national security."  A reasonable 
person would construe your closing comments, and this phrase, as a 
statement that the use of DU weapons had directly caused a decrease in 
enlistments in the Armed Services.  The implication was that the decrease 
had already happened, not that it would be "easy to show."  I have not 
heard of Leave My Child Alone.  I know there are some groups that opposed 
Service recruiters having access to high school children, and I imagine 
LMCA is one of them.  More than likely this stems from a general opposition 
to war, and in particular to the current war in Iraq.  I seriously doubt 
that any group was formed to oppose Service recruiting solely because of 
the use of DU weapons.  I am not a statistician, however I suspect it would 
be impossible to prove that enlistments have fallen solely because of the 
use of DU weapons.

Steven Dapra
sjd at

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