21 April 2005
"Before a new weapons system can be used, it must be fully tested. The blueprint for depleted uranium weapons is a 1943 declassified document from the Manhattan Project. Harvard President and physicist James B. Conant, who developed poison gas in World War I, was brought into the Manhattan Project by the father of presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry’s father served at a high level in the Manhattan Project and was a CIA agent.
"The first DU weapons system was developed for the Navy in 1968, and DU weapons were given to and used by Israel in 1973 under U.S. supervision in the Yom Kippur war against the Arabs. The Phalanx weapons system, using DU, was tested on the USS Bigelow out of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1977, and DU weapons have been sold by the U.S. to 29 countries.
"Military research report summaries detail the testing of DU from 1974-1999 at military testing grounds, bombing and gunnery ranges and at civilian labs under contract. Today 42 states are contaminated with DU from manufacture, testing and deployment.
"Women living around these facilities have reported increases in endometriosis, birth defects in babies, leukemia in children and cancers and other diseases in adults. Thousands of tons of DU weapons tested for decades by the Navy on four bombing and gunnery ranges around Fallon, Nevada, is no doubt the cause of the fastest growing leukemia cluster in the U.S. over the past decade. The military denies that DU is the cause."
"The American use of depleted uranium munitions in both Persian Gulf wars has unleashed a toxic disaster that will eclipse the Agent Orange tragedy of the Vietnam War, [former Maj. Douglas Rokke said 21 July 2004].
""The United States used 375 tons in Gulf War I," Rokke said." "During Gulf War 2 more than 1000 tons of depleted Uranium were discharged." "It's like playing darts," [Rokke] said, "except you're playing with 10 pounds of solid uranium and it catches fire immediately. You lose nearly 40 percent of the round in uranium dust. It contaminates air, water and soil for all eternity."
"Depleted uranium is very much like uranium with a fissionable isotope removed. You can handle these weapons a little and not be harmed. They become extremely harmful after they leave the barrel of a gun. Then they begin to burn and create very fine particles of uranium-oxide dust. When they hit something about 70 percent of the uranium is aerosolized. When it is in these very tiny particles some only nano sized it can be breathed into the lungs easily. Once breathed in, or ingested with food or drink or by entering an open wound, these particles are chemically and radiologically poisonous and remain in the body. There is no way to decontaminate a person once this happens. The uranium causes multiple cancers and nervous and immune disorders. They are a death sentence by slow burn. The particles also attack DNA and cause birth defects." ""Cancer appears to have increased between seven and 10 times and deformities between four and six times," according to [a] UN subcommission."
"In the last year alone, the US had fired 127 tons of depleted uranium (DU) munitions in Iraq, the radioactive equivalent of approximately ten thousand Nagasaki bombs.... Widespread use of DU in the first Gulf War was believed to be the primary cause of the health problems suffered by its 580,400 veterans, of whom 467 were wounded during the war itself. Ten years later, 11,000 were dead and 325,000 on medical disability. DU carried in semen led to high rates of endometriosis in their wives and girlfriends, often requiring hysterectomies. Of soldiers who had healthy babies before the war," "67% had children with severe illnesses, missing eyes, blood infections, respiratory problems and fused fingers.
"The use of DU...is believed to be the cause of the ‘worrying number of anophthalmos cases, babies born without eyes’ in Iraq. Only one in 50 million births should be anophthalmic, yet one Baghdad hospital had eight cases in just two years. Seven of the fathers had been exposed to American DU anti-tank rounds in 1991. There have also been cases of Iraqi babies born without the crowns of their skulls, a deformity also linked to DU shelling."
"The United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Benefit Administration Office of Performance Analysis and Integrity Data and Information Services Gulf War Veterans Information System report that was...published (May 2002) states that as of May 2002: 696,778 individuals had served during the Gulf War with 572,833 individuals now eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits to include lifetime medical care, financial compensation, and a lifetime pension. The difference of 123,945 individuals includes Desert Storm veterans who are still on active duty, who already received a disability rating directly from the military, and those who are ineligible for benefits for various reasons. As of May 2002, 206,861 veterans had filed claims for benefits based on service-connected injuries and illnesses caused by Gulf War combat related duties."
""The technology of war is out of control," Rokke concluded. "We don't have the ability to clean it up (or) treat it. I'm a warrior, but my conclusion is that war is obsolete. A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report says over 221,000 of our sons and daughters are on permanent disability and over 10,000 dead - one-third of our Gulf War I force. And they're coming back sick right now.""
"Medical professionals in hospitals and facilities treating returning soldiers were threatened with $10,000 fines if they talked about the soldiers or their medical problems. They were also threatened with jail."[http://mathaba.net/x.htm?http://mathaba.net/0_index.shtml?x=161632]