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  • Shocking report reveals local troops

    Poisoned?

    Shocking report reveals local troops
    may be victims of america's high-tech weapons






    By JUAN GONZALEZ
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops, a Daily News investigation has found.
    They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

    "I got sick instantly in June," said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. "My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach."

    A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium.

    Laboratory tests conducted at the request of The News revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

    If so, the men - Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone - are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

    The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq last Easter, the unit's members have been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

    "These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle," said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing that was funded by The News.


    "Other American soldiers who were in combat must have more depleted uranium exposure," said Duracovic, a colonel in the Army Reserves who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

    While working at a military hospital in Delaware, he was one of the first doctors to discover unusual radiation levels in Gulf War veterans. He has since become a leading critic of the use of depleted uranium in warfare.

    Depleted uranium, a waste product of the uranium enrichment process, has been used by the U.S. and British military for more than 15 years in some artillery shells and as armor plating for tanks. It is twice as heavy as lead.

    Because of its density, "It is the superior heavy metal for armor to protect tanks and to penetrate armor," Pentagon spokesman Michael Kilpatrick said.

    The Army and Air Force fired at least 127 tons of depleted uranium shells in Iraq last year, Kilpatrick said. No figures have yet been released for how much the Marines fired.

    Kilpatrick said about 1,000 G.I.s back from the war have been tested by the Pentagon for depleted uranium and only three have come up positive - all as a result of shrapnel from DU shells.

    But the test results for the New York guardsmen - four of nine positives for DU - suggest the potential for more extensive radiation exposure among coalition troops and Iraqi civilians.

    Several Army studies in recent years have concluded that the low-level radiation emitted when shells containing DU explode poses no significant dangers. But some independent scientists and a few of the *Army's own reports indicate otherwise.

    As a result, depleted uranium weapons have sparked increasing controversy around the world. In January 2003, the *European Parliament called for a moratorium on their use after reports of an unusual number of leukemia deaths among Italian soldiers who served in Kosovo, where DU weapons were used.

    I keep getting weaker. What is happening to me?


    The Army says that only soldiers wounded by depleted uranium shrapnel or who are inside tanks during an explosion face measurable radiation exposure.

    But as far back as 1979, Leonard Dietz, a physicist at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory upstate, discovered that DU-contaminated dust could travel for long distances.

    Dietz, who pioneered the technology to isolate uranium isotopes, accidentally discovered that air filters with which he was experimenting had collected radioactive dust from a National Lead Industries Plant that was producing DU 26 miles away. His discovery led to a shutdown of the plant.

    "The contamination was so heavy that they had to remove the topsoil from 52 properties around the plant," Dietz said.

    All humans have at least tiny amounts of natural uranium in their bodies because it is found in water and in the food supply, Dietz said. But natural uranium is quickly and harmlessly excreted by the body.

    Uranium oxide dust, which lodges in the lungs once inhaled and is not very soluble, can emit radiation to the body for years.

    "Anybody, civilian or soldier, who breathes these particles has a permanent dose, and it's not going to decrease very much over time," said Dietz, who retired in 1983 after 33 years as nuclear physicist. "In the long run ... veterans exposed to ceramic uranium oxide have a major problem."

    Critics of DU have noted that the Army's view of its dangers has changed over time.

    Before the 1991 Persian Gulf War, a 1990 Army report noted that depleted uranium is "linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage."

    It was during the Gulf War that U.S. A-10 Warthog "tank buster" planes and Abrams tanks first used DU artillery on a mass scale. The Pentagon says it fired about 320 tons of DU in that war and that smaller amounts were also used in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

    In the Gulf War, Army brass did not warn soldiers about any risks from exploding DU shells. An unknown number of G.I.s were exposed by shrapnel, inhalation or handling battlefield debris.

    Some veterans groups blame DU contamination as a factor in Gulf War syndrome, the term for a host of ailments that afflicted thousands of vets from that war.

    Under pressure from veterans groups, the Pentagon commissioned several new studies. One of those, published in 2000, concluded that DU, as a heavy metal, "could pose a chemical hazard" but that Gulf War veterans "did not experience intakes high enough to affect their health."

    Pentagon spokesman Michael Kilpatrick said Army followup studies of 70 DU-contaminated Gulf War veterans have not shown serious health effects.

    "For any heavy metal, there is no such thing as safe," Kilpatrick said. "There is an issue of chemical toxicity, and for DU it is raised as radiological toxicity as well."

    But he said "the overwhelming conclusion" from studies of those who work with uranium "show it has not produced any increase in cancers."

    Several European studies, however, have linked DU to chromosome damage and birth defects in mice. Many scientists say we still don't know enough about the long-range effects of low-level radiation on the body to say any amount is safe.

    Britain's national science academy, the Royal Society, has called for identifying where DU was used and is urging a cleanup of all contaminated areas.

    "A large number of American soldiers [in Iraq] may have had significant exposure to uranium oxide dust," said Dr. Thomas Fasey, a pathologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center and an expert on depleted uranium. "And the health impact is worrisome for the future."

    As for the soldiers of the 442nd, they're sick, frustrated and confused. They say when they arrived in Iraq no one warned them about depleted uranium and no one gave them dust masks.


    Experts behind News probe


    As part of the investigation by the Daily News, Dr. Asaf Duracovic, a nuclear medicine expert who has conducted extensive research on depleted uranium, examined the nine soldiers from the 442nd Military Police in late December and collected urine specimens from each.

    Another member of his team, Prof. Axel Gerdes, a geologist at Goethe University in Frankfurt who specializes in analyzing uranium isotopes, performed repeated tests on the samples over a week-long *period. He used a state-of-the art procedure called multiple collector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

    Only about 100 laboratories worldwide have the same capability to identify and measure various uranium isotopes in minute quantities, Gerdes said.

    Gerdes concluded that four of the men had depleted uranium in their bodies. Depleted uranium, which does not occur in nature, is created as a waste product of uranium enrichment when some of the highly radioactive isotopes in natural uranium, U-235 and U-234, are extracted.

    Several of the men, according to Duracovic, also had minute traces of another uranium isotope, U-236, that is produced only in a nuclear reaction process.

    "These men were almost certainly exposed to radioactive weapons on the battlefield," Duracovic said.

    He and Gerdes plan to issue a scientific paper on their study of the soldiers at the annual meeting of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine in Finland this year.

    When DU shells explode, they permanently contaminate their target and the area immediately around it with low-level radioactivity.

    Originally published on April 3, 2004

  • #2
    There Are No Words ... Depleted Uranium Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs
    By Bob Nichols
    Mar 27, 2004, 14:47

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    As a writer I do not have a set of words to describe what 142 Degrees in the shade is like. I've seen 120 D. in Phoenix and 110 D in the spa's sauna I use. One hundred forty-two degrees leaves me speechless. Try to imagine 142 D temperature while wearing a helmet, long sleeve shirt, long pants, a bullet proof vest, boots, and carrying a 70 pound pack.

    By contrast the Inuit of Alaska and Canada have thirty-seven words to precisely talk about different kinds of snow.

    So, since the temperature is heating up in Iraq it seemed like a good time to float this story to different Internet sites and news publications. There was one story in 2003 of one 19 year old British soldier whose military job was to work in a British tank. In Iraq. In the summer. Word is, from London, that he forgot to drink enough water and he literally cooked in his tank.

    But, this story is not about the temperature in Iraq. You can bet, though, the weather will be really important for those Americans unfortunate enough to still be in Iraq this summer.

    This story is about American weapons built with Uranium components for the business end of things. Just about all American bullets, 120 mm tank shells, missiles, dumb bombs, smart bombs, 500 and 2,000 pound bombs, cruise missiles, and anything else engineered to help our side in the war of us against them has Uranium in it. Lots of Uranium.

    In the case of a cruise missile, as much as 800 pounds of the stuff. This article is about how much radioactive uranium our guys, representing us, the citizens of the United States, let fly in Iraq. Turns out they used about 4,000,000 pounds of the stuff, give or take. That is a bunch.

    Now, most people have no idea how much Four Million Pounds of anything is, much less of Uranium Dust (UD), which this stuff turns into when it is shot or exploded. Suffice it to say it is about equal to 1,333 cars that weigh three thousand pounds per car. That is a lot of cars; but, we can imagine what a parking lot with one thousand three hundred and thirty three cars is like. The point is: this was and is an industrial strength operation. It is still going on, too.

    No sir-ee, putting Four Million Pounds of Radioactive Uranium Dust (RUD) on the ground in Iraq was a definitely "on-purpose" kind of thing. It was not "just an accident." We, the citizens of the United States, through our kids in the Army, did this on purpose.

    When the uranium bullets, missiles, or bombs hit something or explode most of the radioactive uranium turns instantly to very, very small dust particles, too fine to even see. When US Troopers or Iraqis breathe even a tiny amount into their lungs, as little as One Gram, it is the same as getting an X-Ray every hour for the rest of their shortened life.

    The uranium cannot be removed, there is no treatment, there is no cure. The uranium will long outlast the Veterans' and the Iraqis' bodies though; for, you see, it lasts virtually forever.

    But, it gets worse. Seems an Admiral who is the former Chief of the Naval Staff of India wanted to know how much radiation this represented. He also wanted to express the amount in a figure that the world, especially the non American world, could easily understand.

    The Admiral decided to figure out how many Nagasaki Atom Bombs it would take to deliver the equivalent of the total amount of radiation deployed in Iraq in 2003 in Four Million Pounds of uranium.

    The Admiral also wanted to figure out how much radiation the United States Military Forces have deployed in the last Five American Wars, the so-called Five Nuclear Wars.

    That is a simple enough task for somebody like the Naval Chief of Staff for a country that is a member of the Nuclear Club. Using the Nagasaki bomb for the measuring stick is a particularly gruesome twist, though. For those of you in the States who do not know it, the United States Military Forces dropped two nuclear Bombs on Japan at the close of World War II. The whole world remembers that.

    One Atom Bomb was dropped by Americans on the city of Hiroshima, the other on the city of Nagasaki three days later. About 170,000 people were incinerated immediately. It was a really big deal.

    It is a measuring stick that plays very well in the rest of the world; but, not very well on Fox News (Fair & Balanced) or the rest of the Fox-like American media. The Department of Energy still lists the Hiroshima and Nagasaki detonations as "tests." The admiral released the data months ago at a scientific conference in India. This article is the first report of the data in the United States. It will first be released on the Internet.

    The admiral in India calculated the number of radioactive atoms in the Nagasaki bomb and compared it with the number in the 4,000,000 pounds of uranium left in Iraq from the 2003 war. Now, believe me, it is a lot more complex than that; but, that is essentially what the experts in India did.

    How many Nagasaki Nuclear Bombs equal the Radiation loosed in the 2003 Iraq war? Answer: About 250,000 Nuclear Bombs.

    How many Nagasaki Nuclear Bombs equal the Radiation loosed in the last Five American Nuclear Wars? Answer: About 400,000 Nuclear Bombs.

    Who would do something like this?

    We would. The only people in the history of the world to engage in Nuclear Wars are Americans, citizens of the United States. Allegedly, the Germans and Japanese of WWII also wanted to engage in nuclear wars, except the American Military beat them to the draw, so to speak.

    Respected academic scholars could debate forever whether or not Herr Hitler, Fuhrer of Germany, would have deployed uranium munitions in the Sudetenland if the weapons had been available. Certainly the Germans knew just as much about uranium wars as we did at the time. It seems doubtful that Adolph Hitler would have ordered the use of uranium munitions there because the Sudetenland was so close to the Fatherland, Nazi Germany.

    An American General named Leslie Groves was in charge of the bomb making operation called The Manhattan Project. In 1943 The War Department knew exactly what uranium bullets and bombs were good for.

    If the nuclear weapons did not detonate in Japan, the use of uranium bullets and bombs were the fall back position. It was not till Ronald Reagan was President in 1980 did the re-named Defense Department resurrect the deadly radioactive uranium bullets, bombs, and missiles. No wonder his popular nick-name was Ronnie Ray-Guns.

    The American Military knew the symptoms of radiation poisoning in 1943 too; starting with the irritated sore throat through to an agonizing death from being cooked from the inside out.

    President Bush promised to invade twelve countries in the 2003 State of the Union speech. I believe the man. For some reason, some misguided Americans do not believe him, or think he was "exaggerating." The rest of the world has every reason to believe him, though.

    Not to worry, the President has plenty of raw material for radioactive uranium munitions left. There are more than 77,000 Tons stored at the 103 nuclear waste plants and the several Nuclear Weapons Labs in the US. Each one makes another 250 pounds of radioactive material a day for radioactive bullets, bombs, and missiles. Not to put too fine a point on it; but, that is enough for 40.5 more gloriously successful campaigns like the 2003 Nuclear War in Iraq.

    Every year about this time the Southern winds leave a fine desert sand on the windshields of cars parked outside in Continental Europe and Britain. Soon this sand dust will carry a surprise. Thanks to the Americans. Thanks to us. We did this to the world. And, we wonder why they hate and despise us so.

    These uranium weapons' indiscriminate killing effect gives a whole new meaning to the age old term: cannon fodder. In Iraq, what goes around, comes around. If not the uranium munitions themselves, the uranium dust will be in the bodies of our returning armed forces, time bombs slowly ticking away the lives of the gullible and the ignorant with their very own internal radiation source, the cannon fodder of the 21st Century American Nuclear Wars.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are health hazards from nuclear radiation going on all over America. The day people wake up and realise what's making them sick, that's the day the government gets voted out.

      Comment

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