07 January 2008

DU is killing AMERICANS , too, let alone Iraqis (and Afghanis)




Depleted uranium (DU) is the highly toxic and radioactive byproduct of the uranium enrichment process. "Depleted" uranium is so called because the content of the fissionable U-235 isotope is reduced from 0.7% to 0.2% during the enrichment process. The isotope U-238 makes up over 99% of the content of both natural uranium and depleted uranium. Depleted uranium is roughly 60% as radioactive as naturally occurring uranium, and has a half life of 4.5 billion years.2 As a result of 50 years of enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons and reactors, the U.S. has in excess of 1.1 billion pounds of DU waste material.3

In the early 1970s, the government began exploring ways to dispose of DU which would relieve it of the burden of having to store it in low-level radioactive waste repositories. DU has several characteristics which make it attractive for use in munitions: it is extremely dense, available in large quantities, and given for free to arms manufacturers. http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/fahey.htm


Some of our precious American soldiers have died under "mysterious circumstances" while serving in Iraq. Families are awaiting official answers, which hopefully will be more forthcoming than for the families of Gulf War I veterans who have been labeled as suffering from "Gulf War Syndrome", a condition now believed to be Depleted Uranium Poisoning.

Let us examine these mysterious deaths, then we shall look at what Depleted Uranium is and how it poisons, and finally, we shall examine some current news sources who are already stating that our troops are suffering from Depleted Uranium Poisoning.


NEWS BRIEF: "Mystery illness kills Missouri soldier: Josh Neusche died Saturday; his family waits for answers", News-Leader.com, Springfield, Missouri, By Eric Eckert, News-Leader Staff, July 16, 2003, http://www.news-leader.com/today/0716-Mysteryill-108625.html

"Missouri National Guard Spc. Josh Neusche, 20, died Saturday at the Homburg Hospital in Germany from a mysterious illness. A member of the 203rd Engineer Battalion, he is the only Missouri National Guardsman on the Department of Defense's casualty list. Family and friends are awaiting the soldier's body, scheduled to arrive Thursday in the United States. They are also waiting for autopsy results, and his parents, Mark and Cindy Neusche, are calling for an investigation."

"He's always been healthy,' Mark Neusche said ... he's a cross-country runner. There's no reason for a boy of his health to deteriorate so quickly.'Cindy Neusche said her son collapsed July 2 while in Baghdad and was transported to Germany. Doctors there told the family they believed Josh suffered from pneumonia due to fluid that had collected on his lungs. But then his liver, kidneys and muscles started to break down ..."

You can empathize with this grief-stricken family; their son is dead, but did not die from any known combat action. A very healthy 20-year-old man who kept himself in good enough shape to compete as a cross-country runner suddenly collapsed in Baghdad and was flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany, obviously because the military medical staff in Iraq could not effectively treat him on location.

What could cause his internal organs to just deteriorate and shut down? There may be many explanations, but one certainly does fit: Depleted Uranium Poisoning.

NEWS BRIEF: "Mysterious Diseases Haunt U.S. Troops In Iraq", IslamOnline.net, http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2003-07/17/article03.shtml, July 18, 2003.

"BAGHDAD, July 17 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Several mysterious diseases were reported among a number of American troops within the vicinity of Baghdad airport, a military source closely close to NATO unveiled. U.S. soldiers deployed around Baghdad airport started showing symptoms of mysterious fever, itching, scars and dark brown spots on the skin, the source, who refused to be named, said in statements published Thursday, July 17, by the Saudi Al-Watan newspaper. He asserted that three soldiers who suffered these symptoms did not respond to medical treatment in Iraqi hospitals and were flown to Washington for medication. The military source reported a media blackout by U.S. officials to hide such information from the public."

Let us stop right here to digest what we have just heard. American troops are said to be getting sick in the vicinity of the Baghdad airport, the very same place where Josh Neusche suddenly collapsed and died. In this article, we heard that the Neusche is awaiting an official explanation from the military, but in this second article, we read that our command has imposed a "media blackout ... to hide such information from the public." That sounds a lot like the response from our government to the veterans of Gulf War I.


"U.S. officials did not come up with an explanation for the symptoms, which NATO experts tend to believe result from direct exposure to powerful nuclear radiations of the sophisticated B-2 bombs used in the war on Iraq, particularly in striking Iraqi Republican Guards forces who deployed to defend the vicinity of Baghdad airport. The military source stressed that the shrouds of secrecy imposed by American officials on the issue were prompted by fears of creating waves of panic and anger among the troops, particularly after announcements that American troops would remain in Iraq indefinitely. He asserted that NATO experts measured levels of radioactive pollution in Iraq and confirmed there were levels of radioactive pollution with destructive impacts on man and environment that may lead to risks suffered by generations to come. On April 25, the British Observer quoted military sources as affirming that depleted uranium shells and bombs used by U.S. and British troops during Iraq invasion were five times more than the number used during 1991 Gulf war."

My military sources indicate that we dropped about 10 times more depleted uranium munitions in this war than in Gulf War I. After all, we delivered a massive bombardment on Baghdad dubbed "Shock and Awe", in which tremendous quantities of munitions were expended. Further, we fought a battle for the Baghdad Airport, and fought pitched battles in the southern part of Iraq. In Gulf War I, we had an extensive air campaign, but a limited "100 hour war" on the ground; it stands to reason we would expend far more munitions this time around.

I asked a military doctor serving in a friendly foreign army if these "mysterious diseases" could be Depleted Uranium. The response I received was both telling and chilling.

"Yes, our troops are definitely dying of depleted uranium, but would probably die eventually if the desert weren't dehydrating them. You see, whenever the dehydration factors in, the blood is more concentrated-so whatever toxins a person is exposed to, the problem accelerates and compounds when the toxins are allowed to concentrate."

As I fully contemplated the terrible reality of this statement, several factors began to sink in:

1. Depleted Uranium poisoning within our troops is hastened by the effects of dehydration. I would think most soldiers in the field in Iraq now are suffering from some degree of dehydration, for they are working in very hot combat suits, heavy gear, and 110+ degree temperatures. In fact, some of our men are working and fighting in 120+ degree temperatures, and many of them are becoming dehydrated, undoubtedly to varying degrees.

2. Therefore, these men are likely to come down really sick much faster than the veterans of Gulf War I, who were pulled out of the theater quickly after fighting a "100 hour war"; for these earlier veterans, their exposure to DU was much more limited, and it has taken the last 12 years for them to either die or come down with the symptoms. Yet, today, 75% of the men who were on the ground in Gulf War I are now either dead, dying or exhibiting symptoms consistent with DU.

3. For these poor soldiers, having now to stay in Iraq, breathing in the DU dust daily, being dehydrated to some degree, they are likely to come down really sick or dead much more quickly and more as a group. In this second article, above, we read that men are coming down with mysterious and troublesome symptoms, i.e., fever, itching, scars and dark brown spots on the skin. These are symptoms of Depleted Uranium poisoning. Therefore, more than a few soldiers are now fighting this mysterious malady.

4. If this is the case, how long will it likely take for our combat units in Iraq now to lose combat efficiency? How long can the US Military Command hide the truth from these men? Once the scuttlebutt begins to spread among our men, will panic and significant loss of morale set in, seriously affecting our combat capability?

Before we can answer these questions, let us study Depleted Uranium briefly.

Depleted Uranium -- Carrying Out Nuclear Warfare On The Land of the Enemy And "Nuking" Your Own Soldiers



"Depleted uranium is what is left over when most of the highly radioactive types (isotopes) of uranium are removed for use as nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons. The depleted uranium used in armor-piercing munitions and in enhanced armor protection for some Abrams tanks is also used in civilian industry, primarily for stabilizers in airplanes and boats. Depleted uranium is a heavy metal that is also slightly radioactive. Heavy metals (uranium, lead, tungsten, etc.) have chemical toxicity properties that, in high doses, can cause adverse health effects. Depleted uranium that remains outside the body can not harm you." [Department of Defense, Frequently Asked Questions, Depleted Uranium]

As far as this statement goes, we have no trouble with the facts DOD is setting forth, as it is virtually inert before it is fired off; however, once Depleted Uranium is used in battle, the dangerous contamination begins. This is the essence of this article.


Almost 15 years ago, the Pentagon decided to start using Depleted Uranium extensively in our munitions. Depleted Uranium (DU) was dirt cheap, since it was the left over material from processing Uranium into nuclear weapons and was normally just being thrown away -- in specially built containers in which all handling was done with men wearing special radiation protection suits, because in the commercial field, this stuff is considered "toxic waste"!

Depleted Uranium also possessed several one other characteristic that made it very useful to a modern fighting force. It is extremely dense and pyrophoric, which enables it to punch and burn its way through hard targets such as tanks. Therefore, DU is used extensively in all armor piercing munitions. ["Depleted Uranium: America's Military 'Gift' That Keeps on Giving", By Dan Fahey, L.A. Times, 2/18/01.

DU has proven so effective, the United States is using it also in the following weapons systems:

1. Navy ships carrying Phalanx rapid fire guns are capable of firing thousands of DU rounds per minute. [."DOD Launches Depleted Uranium Training," Linda Kozaryn, American Forces Press Service, 8-13-99]

2. Some Tomahawk missiles launched from U.S. ships and subs are DU-tipped. [."Nukes of the Gulf War," John Shirley, Zess@aol.com. See this article in archives at www.gulfwarvets.com]

3. M1 Abrams tanks are armored with DU, as are British tanks. [BBC News, "US To Use Depleted Uranium," March 18, 2003; U.S. General Accounting Office, Operation Desert Storm: "Early Performance Assessment of Bradley and Abrams," 1-2-92; covered also by Shirley, op. cit]

4. The A-10 "tank buster" aircraft fires DU 30-mm shells at machines and people on the battlefield. [Shirley, op. cit.]

"When a DU shell is fired, it ignites upon impact. Uranium, plus traces of plutonium and americium, vaporize into tiny, ceramic particles of radioactive dust. Once inhaled, uranium oxides lodge in the body and emit radiation indefinitely. A single particle of DU lodged in a lymph node can devastate the entire immune system according to British radiation expert Roger Coghill." ["US Shells Leave Lethal Legacy," Toronto Star, July 31, 1999; also "Radiation Tests for Peacekeepers in the Balkans Exposed to Depleted Uranium," www.telegraph.co.uk, 12-31-02]

As we stated above, Depleted uranium is relatively benign before it is fired. Thus, handlers of these munitions are at little risk until the battle starts. Once munitions containing DU are fired, the risk changes dramatically; when a DU warhead or bullet hits its target, it virtually vaporizes the warhead, as well as much of the target. Most of the warhead becomes either extremely small fragments -- though larger ones are possible -- and a whole lot of radiation dust. Thus, when a person travels through the battlefield, they breathe in the particles that are now lingering in the air, plus they get a lot of radiation on their clothes. Let us hear from an expert on this type of exposure.

"The Royal Society of England published data showing that battlefield soldiers who inhale or swallow high levels of DU can suffer kidney failure within days. ["Depleted Uranium May Stop Kidneys In Days," Rob Edwards, New Scientist.com, 3-12-02; also "Uranium Weapons Too Hot to Handle," Rob Edwards, New Scientist.co.uk, 6-9-99]

Other soldiers that breathe in lesser amounts do not suffer immediately, but have a high chance of breathing in enough to cause serious problems later on. How many of the ground soldiers are contaminated enough with Depleted Uranium residue?

"Any soldier now in Iraq who has not inhaled lethal radioactive dust is not breathing." [Death By Slow Burn - How America Nukes Its Own Troops", Worthington, Amy The Idaho Observer, 4/16/03]

This fact was confirmed to me by phone by my retired Army Major source. In fact, he confirmed the statistics of the Gulf War I veterans, which we review in shortly. Virtually 100% of the ground troops are radiated to a degree that is troublesome; if Gulf War I is any guide, 75% of the men now serving on the ground will develop one or more of the exceedingly serious medical conditions we list below, in the section covering Gulf War I. In fact, the soldiers who come after the fighting troops to occupy and administer the land are the ones who are most affected! This radioactive dust is virtually impossible to clean up because it is so fine and covers everything -- from burned out and wrecked vehicles to houses in the area to the ground on which children may ultimately play. In residential areas like Basra, this consideration is frightening.

Even though much of the fighting did occur in the desert area, the Iraqis tried very hard to not get their vehicles caught in the open area; they preferred to fight in more congested areas, and in residential locations. Further, we were blasting urban targets continuously; as many Americans were cheering the sight of exploding munitions in Baghdad, for example, few realized such munitions were spreading radioactive dust everywhere.

"In the first two weeks of combat, 700 Tomahawks, at a cost of $1.3 million each, blasted Iraqi real estate into radioactive mushroom clouds. ["Navy Seeks Cash for More Tomahawks," David Rennie in Washington, Telegraph Group Limited, 1-4-03, news.telegraph.co.uk]. Millions of DU tank rounds liter the terrain. Cleanup is impossible because there is no place on the planet to put so much contaminated debris [Worthington, op. cit] and such debris is so fine that, by the time it settles, it is just dust indistinguishable from regular dust.

The U.S. military insists that DU on the battlefield is not a problem. Colonel James Naughton of the U.S. Army Material Command recently told the BBC that complaints about DU "had no medical basis." ["US To Use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 3-18-03].

However, U.S. Army internal writings show that this is simply not true! Listen:

"A 1993 Pentagon document warned that "when soldiers inhale or ingest DU dust they incur a potential increase in cancer risk." ["Depleted Uranium Symptoms Match US Report As Fears Spread," Peter Beaumont, The Observer (UK) 1-14-01]

"A U.S. Army training manual requires anyone who comes within 25 meters of DU-contaminated equipment to wear respiratory and skin protection." ["Iraqi Cancer, Birth Defects Blamed on US Depleted Uranium," Seattle Post- Intelligencer, 11-12-02]

"The U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute admitted: "If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences." ["US To Use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 3-18-03]

In fact, internal communication reveals that, not only does the DOD understand DU long-term health effects, they also understand the disastrous costs the government would incur if they ever admitted the truth.

"The financial implications of long-term disability payments and healthcare costs would be excessive." [US Army Environmental Policy Institute: Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium in the U.S. Army, Technical Report, June 1995]

As a matter of fact, if we allow the argument to be carried out solely on the basis of the radioactivity, or the lack thereof, we may be badly understating the problem. A major unstated problem with DU may be its chemical toxicity! Listen:

"In the aftermath of the Gulf War, research on rats conducted by the military's Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute found that depleted uranium's chemical toxicity--not its radioactivity--may cause immune system damage, central nervous system problems and may contribute to the development of certain cancers." [Depleted Uranium: America's Military 'Gift' That Keeps on Giving", By Dan Fahey, L.A. Times, 2/18/01]

What sort of medical problems have others experienced because of an exposure to Depleted Uranium munitions? Listen and cry.

"U.S and British troops deployed to the area are the walking dead. Humans and animals, friends and foes in the fallout zone are destined to a long downhill spiral of chronic illness and disability. Kidney dysfunction, lung damage, bloody stools, extreme fatigue, joint pain, unsteady gait, memory loss and rashes and, ultimately, cancer and premature death await those exposed to DU." [Worthington, op. cit.]

Part of the insidious nature of this DU poisoning is that its effects take a long time to develop; therefore, when a soldier becomes ill 3-10 years later, the Pentagon is primed to deny that the origin of the sickness is this Gulf War. Several years ago, I asked a friend of mine, who is a master mechanic, if he could use his knowledge to damage my car rather than fix it. Even though I knew the answer, his full answer surprised me. He said that, not only could he use his extensive knowledge to damage my car but he could damage it in such a way that the breakdown would occur many, many months later so that I could not directly tie his shop to the damage. This is the principle the DOD is using to deny Gulf War I claims. What gains have come in having the Federal Government pay for medical bills for these veterans has come very slowly, very begrudgingly.



"DU munitions are classified by a United Nations resolution as illegal weapons of mass destruction. Their use breaches all international laws, treaties and conventions forbidding poisoned weapons calculated to cause unnecessary suffering." [Worthington, op. cit]

Since this is true, we should expect Iraq to complain to the United Nations about our use of Depleted Uranium munitions in the 1991 Gulf War -- and they did! Let us review a little bit of the pertinent information.

NEWS BRIEF: "Iraq Charges United States, United Kingdom, With Use of Depleted Uranium in 1991 Gulf War; Also In 'Aggression Against Yugoslavia", United Nations Press Release, DC/2702, 1 May 2000.

"Saeed Hasan (Iraq) said backing away from implementation of the provisions of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) was symptomatic of an unhealthy international atmosphere ... Those actions ... had also caused damage to Iraq through the continuation of an embargo which which was nothing more than a verifiable genocide being carried out in the name of the United Nations. Iraq demanded compensation for those acts of aggression. The United States and the United Kingdom, both depositories of the NPT and permanent members of the Security Council, had also used depleted uranium in their aggression against Iraq in 1991 and again in their aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999. The 300 tons used against his country had polluted Iraq's environment with radiation and significantly increased the registered cases of cancer, especially among children. The radioactive effects of the depleted uranium would continue for centuries to come unless action was taken to free his country's environment from them."

Thus, Iraq did complain bitterly to the United Nations about our use of Depleted Uranium during the 1991 Gulf War! What is the reference the Iraqi representative made to "an embargo which which was nothing more than a verifiable genocide being carried out in the name of the United Nations."? Iraq had petitioned the U.N. to relax its embargo so they could bring in medicine and equipment that would enable them to combat the effects of the uranium poisoning of their people, and the United States blocked the move!


"He (Iraq's representative) invited the Conference to include in its resolutions a call for a prohibition of the use of depleted uranium for armament purposes. He also invited the Conference to take concrete steps to help Iraq reduce the negative effects of that disaster on the environment and on human life, and affirm Iraq's right to demand compensation for the unjustified use against if of weapons of mass destruction." [Ibid.]

Did you catch the significance of this statement? The Iraqi representative accused the United States of using a Weapon of Mass Destruction against it during the Gulf War? What was that WMD? Depleted Uranium! Iraq said her people were suffering terribly because of their continuous exposure to this uranium. Another news story, written about 8 months after this United Nations Press Release, gives some insight into the condition of the exposed Iraqi citizenry. http://cuttingedge.org/news/n1843.cfm


We Are Dieing Now America From Bush's DU
You Will Be Next. Help Us Get Out Of Iraq

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