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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:40 AM
Original message
Iconoclast: Depleted Uranium: A Scientific Perspective
Depleted Uranium: A Scientific Perspective
Interview Conducted
By W. Leon Smith
and Nathan Diebenow
(Previously posted in GD- Politics by windbreeze on 7.6.2005)
(NOTE to mods: I am treating each Q & A as a paragraph; please adjust as you see fit.)

Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who works almost around the clock educating citizens, the media, members of parliaments and Congress and other officials on radiation issues. She became a whistleblower in 1991 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab after witnessing fraud on the Yucca Mountain Project. She is currently working as an independent citizen scientist and radiation specialist in communities around the world, and contributed to the U.N. subcommission investigating depleted uranium. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia, Moret testified at the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan in Japan in 2003, presented at the World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference in Hamburg, Germany, and spoke at the World Court of Women at the World Social Forum in Bombay, India, in January 2004.


ICONOCLAST: What are the latest developments with reducing depleted uranium exposures on U.S. troops?

MORET: A young veteran named Melissa Sterry of Connecticut has introduced a bill into the Connecticut Legislature requiring independent testing of returning Afghan and Gulf War veterans going back to 2001. She said that she did it because shes sick, and her friends are dead, and thats from serving in the 2003 conflict. I have been following the bill and talking to her. Yesterday, she testified twice at the United Nations. I said, Why dont we get this bill all over the U.S. in state legislatures because it informs the public and get the local media to cover it.
The U.S. has blocked any accountability at international and national levels. Theres a total cover-up just like with Agent Orange, the atomic veterans, MKULTRA, the mind control experiments the CIA did. This is more of the same, but the issue is much, much worse because the genetic future of all those contaminated is effected. Now vast regions around our world, as well as our atmosphere, are contaminated with the depleted uranium. Theyve used so much. Its the equivalent number of atoms, as the Japanese professor calculated it, to over 400,000 Nagasaki bombs that has been released into the atmosphere. Thats really an underestimate.
I went to Louisiana in April. I was invited to speak at the University of New Orleans for three days. One of the veterans asked me to be in their April 19 protest and rally through the City of New Orleans. He took the Connecticut bill straight to the Legislature, and he got two legislators to sponsor it, and he said, Just whiteout the name Connecticut and write in Louisiana on the bill. Youre not going to believe it. It passed 101 to 0 yesterday in the Louisiana House.
I want you to write about it because we want it (the DU testing bill) in Texas. Nevada is going to introduce it. Congressman Jim McDermott is going to put it into the Washington legislature. We want to get the governor of Montana to do it because hes the first governor to demand his National Guard be returned. I think half of them are back. He said, I need them in the state.
The DU issue is just really, really, really, really so awful. I dont think theres any greater tragedy in the history of the world in what theyve done.


ICONOCLAST: Tell me about the tests that detect for DU in the body.

MORET: The chromosome test in the best indicator. Its $5,000. The urine test is a $1,000. If you test positive with the urine test, you know youre contaminated. If you test negative, it does not mean that youre not contaminated. It just means that you may or may not be contaminated but enough hasnt dissolved in your blood stream to go through your kidneys to be excreted in your urine. Anyone who goes now cannot avoid being contaminated. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Everyone who goes to the Middle East and Afghanistan will be contaminated.
The DU issue affects every single living thing on this planet. What else has that impact? They have altered the genome for the entire planet forever with this DU. The Pentagon people say, Youre exaggerating or you use the uranium word to scare people. I dont care if people believe me or not. All I can say is that over time what I am saying will actually be an underestimation of the long term effects.


This is a must read article for anyone with family in the Middle East. Link:

The links at the bottom of the article are equally worth reading. They clearly show the DU hazards from different perspectives.
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whatever4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. Not to jump on this too much
But that's the stuff I've been worried about, I talked about this yesterday. Could be wrong. Hope I'm wrong, and she's wrong. But I don't think it is. Airborn toxic, radioactive heavy metal, in the smallest pieces possible. We can't even filter it with gas masks. This issue, *sigh*. I just hope I'm an idiot, you know? There's just nothing else I can think of to say about it, except to discourge everyone I can from going to the dangerous areas. Whole countries.

We should stop using it, at the very least, but I seriously doubt anything but an act of congress would do that. Like we have a congress.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. No, you are not wrong unless you live in Kansas.
There is clear, scientific proof about the hazards of DU. Did you follow the links at the bottom of the article & read the other two interviews?
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whatever4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thanks for moral support
No, I didn't click on those links though, no reason, just didn't. I guess after a while, it's like being extremely wealthy; past a certain number, it just doesn't matter. Birth defect rates multiples greater than they were 10 years ago, after they had already jumped from the first gulf war. Just...hopeless.

I'll go read those links, didn't mean to ignore them, but I guess in some ways I feel like I already know plenty. Nothing will convince me it isn't a serious danger, more data only confirms it. Now, it's just a waiting game. Reminds me of when I first heard about Aids in 1981, I was still in highschool, but I knew even then, it was a plague coming. This feels like that but worse. No one seems to know it yet, not enough. They aren't horrified enough, I know they don't understand. And after a while, I feel like a jerk, thinking of the terrible futures I'm so blithely talking about, in my attempts to convince others that it's a going to be a very bad problem.

One with no solution, and from what I can see, no end in sight. There will be no end to exposure, so there will be no end to the numbers affected. It will climb and climb. Not a bell curve, because this is not one-time exposure to radiation, and there won't be any adapting to it. Biologically, it damages cells, and there is no adaptation FOR that. So there won't be any slow down, no antibody, no vaccine. No cure but to stop exposure, and we have no idea how to stop exposure, short of locale, and for that, it's still a matter of degree of exposure; there will still be exposure, no matter where you go. No way to contain it, no way at all. Microscopic airborn particles, carried on the jet stream.

I better stop ranting now.
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ecdab Donating Member (834 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's amazing that the mounting evidence
of just how dramatic a problem DU is creating for the entire world is largely being ignored. I don't think many people even know what DU is, much less what it does. When will the MSM pick this story up? We march in to countries to allegedly "free" them, and poison them - and ourselves - with radiological materials in the process. The wide spread use of DU is the tragedy of our times.

Oh - and hello all, I finally broke down and posted here.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Don't count on the murikan press reporting this.
It's not happy, smiley, MJ, runaway bride news.

As I stated in my original post, anyone with family in the Middle East should read these interviews. Folks with kids thinking about joining should also read these articles.

History gives us a sense of perspective on the health issue: read up on Agent Orange & how our government has dodged and continues to dodge the damage done to our Viet Nam vets. Depleted Uranium will follow the same path of denial unless we speak out and educate our friends, family and neighbors.

Welcome to DU! :hi:

(Now that you've broken the post barrier, don't stop. )

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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Welcome to the Monkeyhouse!
Don't throw feces, but do share your bananas.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Hi ecdab!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for posting.
Would Jesus use Depleted Uranium?
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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. Vets are going to have to fight tooth and nail
Just like with Agent Orange. And meanwhile, VA funding for healthcare is getting cut. Active soldiers get raises. Very shitty manipulation
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. And not just American vets.
Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in the Gulf War. He passed away in April 1999 at the age of 45. The official cause of death was Gulf War Syndrome.

Terry went to the Persian Gulf in December 26, 1990 with honor, dignity and pride - serving his country as Captain J. Terry Riordon of the Canadian Armed Forces. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death depleted uranium (DU) contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones.

For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment. His wife, Susan Riordon, speaks most eloquently of the nightmare of physical, mental and emotional hardship endured not just by Terry but his entire family.

Another source for information on the hazards of Depleted Uranium is the Uranium Medical Research Centre. , headed up by Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a former US Army Colonel, former head of nuclear medicine at the Veterans Affairs medical facility in Wilmington Delaware and also a professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown University. He lost his job with Veterans Affairs after he found himself treating patients with DU contamination and would not oblige the Pentagon and the profiteers of death, i.e. the Military Industrial Complex, by keeping quiet about the hazards Depleted Uranium munitions posed to civilians and troops alike.

Dr. Durakovic served as Chief of Professional Clinical Services of the 531 Medical Detachment during the Desert Shield phase of the Gulf War. When he returned to the Veteran's Administration (VA) Nuclear Medicine facility in Wilmington, Delaware, which he headed, he was asked to assess 24 soldiers of the 144th Transportation and Supply Company of New Jersey for evidence of DU in their bodies. He recalls: "They had been based in Saudi Arabia from January to August 1991, working with damaged tanks hit by DU armour-piercing shells from 'friendly fire.'" Durakovic's team performed a whole-body count of uranium 238 on the troops and found that 14 of the 24 had been contaminated. According to Durakovic's June 26, 1997, testimony before the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, the government 'lost' all records of these examinations. And shortly thereafter, Durakovic 'lost' his job.

Durakovic may have been forced to step down from his VA position at Wilmington, but the army could not strip him of his ethics as a medical doctor. In the interests of his patients he founded the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent non-profit institute which studies the effects of uranium contamination and challenges Pentagon claims that "exposures to depleted uranium have not to date produced any observable adverse health effects attributable to DU's chemical toxicity or low-level radiation." Dr. Durakovic explains that when depleted uranium is blown up at high temperatures, it changes to tiny particles. If inhaled, the uranium particles can get into the bloodstream and can be lodged in the bone, lymph nodes, lungs or kidneys causing damage by emitting low-level radiation in the body over a long period of time. The price can be cancer, necrosis and genetic deformity. Inexplicable, then, the Pentagon's refusal to comply with a 1993 congressional mandate to study the health effects of inhaled and ingested depleted uranium dust.

Or does the answer lie close at hand? According to Dr. Durakovic there are two main reasons for the Pentagon's DU-paranoia - and they both involve money: compensation for those suffering from DU-contamination, and the exorbitant costs of battle theatre clean up. But money seems a petty concern when we are talking about changes to the human gene pool. "Deformities among children born to Gulf War vets are well-documented as is the rising incidence of birth malformations in Iraq," Dr Durakovic points out. "What will happen in future generations? I have seen the effects of radiation worldwide. The consequences of DU are immeasurable."

Gulf War Syndrome is real
Soldiers are dying from radiation poisoning

By Jonathon Carr-Brown and Martin Meissonnier

Paris, France, Sept. 3 New evidence that Gulf War Syndrome exists and was caused by radiation poisoning was revealed today by a former American army colonel who was at the center of his governments attempts to diagnose the illness.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic told a conference of eminent nuclear scientists in Paris that tens of thousands of British and American soldiers are dying from radiation from depleted uranium (DU) shells fired during the Gulf war.

The findings undermined the British and American governments claims that Gulf War Syndrome does not exist and intensify pressure from veterans on both sides of the Atlantic for compensation.

Durakovic, who is professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown University, Washington, and the former head of nuclear medicine at the US Armys veterans affairs medical facility in Delaware, told the conference that he and his team of American and Canadian scientists have discovered life-threateningly high levels of DU in Gulf veterans 10 years after the desert war.
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sintax Donating Member (891 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. Gulf War-Kosovo-Afghanistan-Iraq Massacre II
Depleted Uranium used in all. Similar birth defects and malaise found in these places. US Military knew of the hazards of DU in the early stages of its development and used massive PR campaign to hide the dirty truths. These are war crimes by any measure.

5 radioactive wars now all by US.

Of US troops in Gulf War about 56% are on permanent disability.

Apprx. 260,000, most from "Gulf War Syndrome"
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. DU is more dangerous for its heavy metal properties than radioactive ones.
DU is 40% less radioactive than the natural uranium that is dug out of the ground.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. A very much needed kick to the top!
Edited on Tue Jul-12-05 10:50 PM by anarchy1999
Read every article, DU (depleted unranium) is this war's Agent Orange and then some!

Please help our Vets coming home. Go google Doug Rokke.
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Starfury Donating Member (615 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
14. From today's Counterpunch - State-level DU legislation
Edited on Wed Jul-13-05 02:52 AM by Starfury
Depleted Uranium: States Take Action to Protect Their Soldiers and Veterans


Louisiana recently passed legislation giving all returning veterans the right to get a best practices health screening test for exposure to depleted uranium. Interviewed here is Bob Smith, one of the activists that helped make this bill possible. He is with the Louisiana Activist Network. He is also I am a member of Veterans for Peace and the Viet Nam Veterans Against the War. Born a Texan and raised in a Navy family with three siblings, moved to Louisiana in 1977 a few years after returning from Viet Nam. He worked with adolescents in a psychiatric hospital where he met his wife, a co-worker, returning to the military and retired eight years ago as a Command Sergeant Major. He became actively involved the day Congress gave the President unconstitutional, power to make war on Iraq and has been active ever since in the peace movement and with the Presbyterian Church.

Zeese: What made you pursue legislation regarding depleted uranium in Louisiana?

Smith: As a twenty year veteran I have been concerned about veterans health since I returned from Viet Nam. From first hand experience I knew the treatment of veterans by our country was highly inadequate after their service. Each year after Gulf War I, more and more veterans were being diagnosed with a mysterious illness, Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) without significant research for cause and effect much like what happened with Agent Orange contamination.

I learned about how the government dealt with Agent Orange contamination during the eighties as an outreach counselor at the VA's Viet Nam Veterans Outreach Center or Vet Center here in New Orleans. We were actively involved in trying to alert the VA to the effects of Agent Orange contamination. For twenty five years a government study done by the Rand Corporation denied any cause and effect between Agent Orange and health problems experienced by veterans and their offspring. Just this week the VA has finally recognized the connection between Agent Orange and diabetes. Remember the last troops returned from Viet Nam over thirty years ago. Worth mentioning is that the same Rand Corporation now denies any cause and effect between depleted uranium contamination and health.

Late last year after a lot of reading I found out about depleted uranium. In January at the Jazz Funeral for Democracy, a peace march in New Orleans organized by the Louisiana Activist Network, I met a young Gulf War I veteran, Dennis Kyne. He talked with me about what he knew first hand as a combat medic about illnesses of our veterans even before they returned home and what he has found out about DU since returning home. I then did more research and studying. In March I met Leuren Moret, a geoscientist, who reaffirmed everything that Dennis Kyne had told me and reaffirmed what I had been reading. I then did more research and studying including conversation with Doug Rokke. Doug was the overall supervisor in charge of the clean-up after Gulf War I and is an expert in depleted uranium. Thirty to forty percent of his team are now dead.

I then became concerned about what could be done to bring this issue out into the public conversation. Leuren told me about a young lady in Connecticut, Melissa Sterry, who was doing something about it. Working with Rep Patricia Dillon of Connecticut they were introducing a bill to have all of their state's veterans tested. The always unselfish Melissa willingly shared a copy of the Connecticut bill with me. Melissa had been a member of a depleted uranium clean-up team after Gulf War I. She herself was very sick and had six of her eight team members die since returning home. All six were less than thirty-five years old.

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