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[SLL] Radioactive Gene-Busting Munitions Spiked with Plutonium

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  • Supreme Law Firm
    http://www.robert-fisk.com/depleted_uranium_links.htm (lots of links here) Paul Andrew Mitchell wrote: To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2005
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      Paul Andrew Mitchell <paulandrewmitchell2004@...> wrote:

      To: supremelaw@...
      From: Paul Andrew Mitchell <paulandrewmitchell2004@...>
      Subject: [SLL] Radioactive Gene-Busting Munitions Spiked with Plutonium
      Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 16:37:24 -0000

      --- In apfn-1@yahoogroups.com, civl ecco wrote:


      This young boy, Huthaifa Ghanim, a resident of Mosul City, is among
      hundreds of deformed children, victims of the horrendous American
      depleted uranium shells used against Iraq in the Bush Gulf War.
      Huthaifa is not the first such case, nor will he be the last.

      Depleted uranium weapons are made with waste U-238 -- an alpha
      emitter with a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years.

      Depleted Uranium-Related Birth Defects caused by Bush Sr. in Iraq -  (photo in link above)

      Not for the squeamish- Robert Fisk.com depleted uranium links

      U.S. DIRTY BOMBS "Plutonium is a fuel that is toxic beyond human
      experience. It is demonstrably carcinogenic to animals in microgram
      quantities [one millionth of a gram].

      Radioactive Gene-Busting Munitions Spiked with Plutonium

      Posted December 14, 2002 thepeoplesvoice.org

      By JOHN M. LaFORGE

      "Plutonium is a fuel that is toxic beyond human experience. It is
      demonstrably carcinogenic to animals in microgram quantities [one
      millionth of a gram]. The lung cancer risk is unknown to orders of
      magnitude. Present plutonium standards are certainly irrelevant." --
      Dr. Donald P. Geesaman, health physicist, formerly of Lawrence
      Livermore Lab

      The Bush White House fooled most of the world's press with its
      unverified claims of intercepting a "dirty bomb" attack against the
      U.S. On its front page, USA Today barked: "US: 'Dirty Bomb' Plot
      Foiled." Newspapers everywhere explained breathlessly what
      radioactive materials could do if dispersed in populated areas. As
      Alex Cockburn reports in The Nation, when the story faced some mild
      scrutiny, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz backed away from
      the propaganda saying, "I don't think there was actually a plot
      beyond some fairly loose talk." Meanwhile, the real-time, worldwide
      use by the United States of radiological dirty bombs has moved well
      beyond the plotting and shooting stage, and has begun to produce dire
      consequences. Toxic, radioactive uranium-238 -- so-called depleted
      uranium -- used in munitions, missiles and tank armor may be
      responsible for deadly health consequences among U.S. and allied
      troops and populations in bombed areas, and has probably caused
      permanent radioactive contamination of large parts of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and
      perhaps Afghanistan.

      Depleted uranium "penetrators" as they are called burn on impact and
      up to 70 percent of the DU is released (aerosolized) as toxic and
      radioactive dust that can be inhaled and ingested and later trapped
      in the lungs or kidneys. In January 2001, the world press finally
      discovered depleted uranium (DU) weapons, the super hard munitions
      made with waste U-238 -- an alpha emitter with a radioactive half-
      life of 4.5 billion years. Nine years of radiation-induced death,
      disease, and birth abnormalities in Iraq did not move major news
      organizations to investigate, but the deaths from leukemia of 15
      Western Europeans -- after their participation in military missions
      in Bosnia and Kosovo -- prompted the major media, the European
      Parliament and 11 European governments to launch investigations into
      the health and environmental consequences of what Dr. Rosalie Bertell
      calls "shooting radioactive waste at your enemy."

      DU is left after uranium ore has gone through the gaseous diffusion
      process that removes most of the fissionable isotope U-235. The
      refuse also of nuclear weapons and reactor fuel production, some
      700,000 tons are now left in the U.S. as "resource material" -- a
      legal definition that saves the Energy Department the cost of
      managing DU as radioactive waste. Prized for its high density, DU is
      used inmunitions for piercing armor plate. Shot from planes like the
      USAF A-10 Warthog, the DU shells are called "tank killers." But by
      building radioactive waste into armaments, the U.S. is, in effect
      using poisoned weapons as gene busters in war. At least five types of
      U.S. munitions contain DU, which is also used in casings for bombs,
      shielding on tanks, counter-weights for commercial jet aircraft,
      and "ground penetrators" on missiles. DU shells are made by Starmet
      Corporation in Concord, Mass., Aerojet Corp. in Sacramento, Calif.
      and others. Alliant Techsystems in Minneapolis (formerly
      Honeywell Corp.) assembled over 15 million DU shells for the Air
      Force in the 1990s.

      Between 300 and 800 tons of DU munitions were blasted into Iraq,
      Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by U.S. forces in 1991. The Pentagon says the
      U.S. fired about 10,800 DU rounds -- close to three tons -- into
      Bosnia in 1994 and 1995. More than 31,000 rounds, about 10 tons, were
      shot into Kosovo in 1999 according to NATO. British journalist Dai
      Williams (an independent researcher and occupational psychologist)
      reports that as much as 1,000 tons of DU may have been used against
      Afghanistan, although the Pentagon and the British MOD have not
      acknowledged its use. They say a "heavy metal" is used in bunker
      busting and earth penetrating munitions, but have not specified what
      this metal is. Williams writes: "If DU is the mystery metal used in
      most of the systems suspected in the report then I estimated that 500-
      1000 tons (of DU) may have been used by the end of December. "

      A total of 24 soldiers from Europe have died of cancer since their
      1994 and '95 service in Bosnia. In response, Portugal's Prime
      Minister Antonio Guterres wrote to NATO's Robertson demanding an
      explanation of where and why DU munitions were used in Europe. The
      Pentagon and the nuclear industry reacted typically to European
      politicians who in 2001 demanded health physics information from the
      Pentagon; after a laughable week-long, study NATO assured them that
      DU used in the Balkans can be "ruled out" as a significant health

      And when Italy, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway all
      called for a moratorium on the use of DU, NATO ministers flatly
      rejected the suggestion. NATO denials contradicted Prominent
      scientists also worked to calm the uproar. Dr. John Boice, of the
      International Epidemiology Institute, told the New York Times, "To
      get leukemia you need to get the radiation to the bone marrow. The
      radiation does not go to the marrow. And Uranium 238 will not get to
      the bone marrow. I don't think it causes leukemia at all." U.S.
      physicist Steve Fetter told the Times that uranium did not penetrate
      to bone and bone marrow where leukemia originates. This sophisticated
      obfuscation refers to external DU exposure and ignores the hazard
      from DU ingestion or inhalation.

      Jean Francois Lacronique, director of France's National Radiation
      Protection Agency, flatly contradicted NATO, saying, "U-238 has been
      found stored in bone, and if it gets into bone, it can reach the bone
      marrow." Dr. Frank von Hipple, author of a December 1999 Bulletin of
      the Atomic Scientists article on DU, told me, "Yes, it does get to
      the bone. We looked at that in our study." And the December 2000
      Science for Democratic Action -- from the Institute for Environmental
      and Energy Research (IEER) -- reports that, "Some [DU] particles
      remain in the body where they can build up in lung [tissue], or enter
      the blood stream where it can accumulate in bone tissue." Internal
      exposure, the IEER article says, "increases the risk of leukemia and
      lung, bone and soft tissue cancers, particularly when inhaled or

      Photo by Derek Hudson/LIFE magazine
      Jayce Hanson's birth defects may stem from his father's Gulf War
      service. But like hundreds of other families, the Hansons face
      official stonewalling--and a frightening future.

      America used Depleted Uranium weapons in Iraq in the first gulf war
      and we are using them again without any thought of the devastating
      long term effects on the local population or our own people. Of the
      697,000 U.S. troops who served during Operation Desert Shield and
      Desert Storm, more than 100,000 have registered with the Department
      of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Department of Defense (DOD), with
      health problems. We have given their sickness a catchy name, Gulf War
      Syndrome, which our government and their carefully scripted parade of
      doctors, scientists, and media mouth pieces tell us does not exist.
      Ask any one of the thousands of sick American veterans if it exists.
      This next wave of victims that Bush Jr. will send into Iraq may not
      have the benefit of medical coverage later in life when they fall
      sick from Uranium-238 dust in their lungs. The White House has
      eliminated lifetime medical coverage for career military personnel.

      At the height of the January 2001 media frenzy over cancers among
      peacekeeping troops deployed in Bosnia, a 17-year-old advisory
      bulletin from the Federal Aeronautics Administration (FAA) was leaked
      to the press. Still in effect today, it puts the lie to industry,
      Pentagon, UK and NATO denials of health risks associated with DU
      exposure. The 1984 memo warns FAA crash site investigators that, "if
      particles are inhaled or ingested, they can be chemically toxic and
      cause a significant and long-lasting irradiation of internal tissue."

      More recently, the prestigious British Royal Society's second DU
      study found that troops who inhale or ingest "high levels" of DU
      could suffer kidney failure within days, and that children in DU-
      bombed areas face a long-term risk of cancer and heavy metal
      poisoning. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warned in
      March 2002, that there is a danger of groundwater contamination from
      corroding DU ammunition at six sites in Serbia and Montenegro bombed
      in 1999. UNEP president Pekka Haavisto said he, "was surprised to
      find DU particles still in the air two years after the conflict's

      Canadian researchers have found "unequivocal evidence" of long-term
      DU contamination of Persian Gulf vets: they found that eight years
      after the bombing, Canadian veterans were still passing U-238 in
      urine. Italy announced last August 5 that its soldiers -- afflicted
      with cancer after service in the Balkans and potential exposure to
      some of the three tons of DU exploded there by U.S. jets -- will be
      awarded medical compensation. German researcher Albrecht Schott has
      found that UK soldiers exposed to DU in wartime have suffered 10
      times more genetic damage than the general population. Prof. Schott
      said of this study, "This level of genetic damage doesn't occur

      And in the U.S., a Dept. of Veterans Affairs study recently found
      that children of veterans of the Persian Gulf bombardment are two to
      three times as likely as those of other vets to have birth defects.
      The U.S. vets also reported more miscarriages. In Iraq, government
      figures show an increase in cancer cases from 6,555 in 1989 to 10,931
      in 1997 -- mostly in areas bombed by the U.S.-led coalition in 1996 --
      and the number of reported cancer cases increased 12 fold between
      1991 and 2001. Ironically, the clearest U.S. government admission of
      the dangers of DU came from U.S. intelligence officers fighting in
      Afghanistan, when Knight Ridder Newspapers reported Dec. 21, 2001,
      that uranium-238 had been found in "Taliban hideouts." U.S.
      officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, had
      concluded, "Al-Qaida intended to use the U-238 to make `dirty bombs,'
      which use conventional explosives to spread radioactive material over
      a wide area. In addition to killing people in the bomb
      blast and poisoning others with radiation, the officials said, such
      a bomb could render large areas unusable and require lengthy and
      expensive clean-up efforts."

      Agreeing it had sufficient evidence of harm from DU, the European
      Parliament, on Jan. 17, 2001, voted 394 to 60 in favor of a
      moratorium on the use of DU among its members. NATO commanders issued
      a one-page statement Feb. 13, 2001 dismissing concerns. But the Navy
      and Marines decided sometime before June to stop using DU. "We're not
      considering [DU] anymore because of the environmental problems
      associated with it.... We don't want to be in a position of having
      someone say, `You can't bring your armor piercing rounds on the
      battlefield,'" said Col. Clayton Nans, head of the Marines' Advanced
      Amphibious Assault Vehicle program. As press coverage began to fade,
      and NATO felt it was bringing the DU "hysteria" under control, the
      weapon's contamination with highly radioactive plutonium was
      disclosed. Plutonium contamination raises stakes.

      In Europe, a wildfire of publicity was lit anew by the United States'
      official admission that its DU contains plutonium and other reactor-
      borne fission products far more radioactive and carcinogenic than
      uranium-238. The discovery of uranium-236 contamination in spent
      munitions used against Kosovo revealed that the DU was not obtained
      before the nuclear reaction process. The Pentagon, NATO and the
      British Ministry of Defense have always downplayed the danger of DU
      saying it was "less radioactive than uranium ore." But at least half
      of the DU (250,000 metric tons) is now known to have been left over
      from the reprocessing of irradiated reactor fuel (done to extract
      weapons-grade plutonium), leaving it salted with fission
      products. "If it has been through a reactor, it does change our idea
      on depleted uranium," says Dr. Michael Repacholi of the World Health
      Organization, which has demanded to know how much plutonium is in DU
      ammunition. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is still
      working on an answer to that question. As early as January 2000, the
      DOE admitted that its DU munitions are spiked with plutonium,
      neptunium and americium – "transuranic" (heavier than uranium)
      fission wastes from inside nuclear reactors.


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