[ RadSafe ] Any Italian Journalists On IRE-L? or Do Any of You Know an Italian Journalist?

Roger Helbig rhelbig at california.com
Thu Feb 19 04:24:02 CST 2009


This article contains many flaws, but the one I would like to focus on is
"who are the supposed NGO investigators?"  This website in the past has been
very liberal with its use of the term "NGO", trying to conjure up the
International Red Cross or a comparable widely respected organization when
in fact the organization is highly political and its findings very suspect
in terms of being actual fact.  I would like someone in Italy to help me
learn more about Alessandro di Meo and Samantha Mengarelli and their
supposed NGO.

The UN Environment Programme investigated a number of sites in the Balkans
where the 30mm aluminum shrouded depleted uranium penetrator was fired in
strafing missions against Serbian tanks by the USAF A-10 Warthog.   Hundreds
of these penetrator rounds were also found to still be intact within the
aluminum shroud thus demonstrating that DU penetrators that do not hit the
armor plate of a tank generally remain intact and the uranium is not exposed
to the environment in those instances.  They also did airborne and ground
water testing and even tested the milk.  No long lasting effects of DU were
found and no illness was found that was connected to the DU having been used
in the attacks.  The field and laboratory reports on Kosovo and other Balkan
countries are found at http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications.php?prog=du

DU never was used in a bombing raid.  DU is not used in bombs.  It is only
used in the form of a DU penetrator and those were only fired at tanks as
targets.  There is no known surprising increase in cancers or deaths among
KFOR forces.  There does, however, seem to be a concentrated effort to make
such claims in Italy.  A soldier who only served in Somalia, where no DU was
used, has obtained compensation for alleged DU caused cancer.  The soldier
might be entitled to compensation because of cancer, but certainly not
because of exposure to depleted uranium, not in Somalia.

The reason that there is a deaf ear is because there is no proven connection
and people such as these two alleged NGO investigators make false claims.
The use of depleted uranium was not and still is not prohibited by
international conventions.  No one ever cites the specific alleged
international convention because a good reporter could ferret out the truth
and question the lie.  That's the same reason why neither Alessandro or
Samantha's alleged NGO is named.  It may be nothing more than some anti-DU
campaign organization that exists by feeding lies to the public.

I certainly would appreciate an Italian connection.  Maybe I can help them
tell a story.

Thank you.

Roger Helbig

Serbia: Italian group probes depleted uranium use in NATO bombings 

Belgrade, 18 Feb. (AKI) - An Italian non-governmental organisation is
investigating consequences of NATO's 1999 bombings of Serbia and the effects
of the use of depleted uranium on the civilian population. 

The 'Un ponte per...' NGO investigators Alessandro di Meo and Samantha
Mengarelli arrived in Belgrade on Wednesday for talks with Serbian
officials, eyewitnesses and victims of the NATO airstrikes.

They will tour several Serbian cities that were hardest hit during the
bombings before submitting a report to the Rome-based NGO.

NATO has admitted the use of depleted uranium in the bombing campaign and
Italian media has reported that 45 Italian soldiers who served in the
international forces in Kosovo (KFOR) died after the bombing and 515 became
ill with cancer.

Di Meo told Adnkronos International (AKI) that the international community
was turning a deaf ear to the problem, because the use of depleted uranium
is prohibited by international conventions. 

"But ten years after the bombing, the world has the right to know what
really happened and what the consequences are," he said.

Menngarelli said the truth about military casualties was slowly sinking in
in Italy after a surprising increase in deaths and cancers amongst soldiers
who served in KFOR.

"But the civilian victims have been completely ignored and we want to shed
light on this problem," she said.

A Serbian NGO, ironically called 'Merciful angel' the name of NATO's 1999
airstrikes, recently reported that cancer ailments have jumped about 200
percent in some parts of Kosovo and areas of Serbia that were most heavily

Serbia had decontaminated five areas the most affected by depleted uranium,
but there remained 113 such locations in Kosovo, former Serbian minister for
ecology, Miodrag Nikcevic, told Di Meo and Mengarelli.

Kosovo majority ethnic Albanians declared independence last year and Serbian
authorities have no access to the area. 

Nikcevic said even the decontaminated areas weren't absolutely safe,
"because you can't find every bomb and the bullet".

NATO's airstrikes in 1999 drove out Serbian troops from Kosovo amid ethnic
fighting and gross human rights abuses during a two-year war with
guerrillas. Kosovo was placed under United Nations control the same year and
in 2008 declared independence with the support of western powers.

"Ethnic Albanians did get independence, but they may suffer the consequences
of the bombing health-wise for years to come," Di Meo said.

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