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Dirty Uranium Weapons Cover-ups
a contribution to Christian Scherrer (editor) Iraq: Silent Death 2011, Penerbilt University Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, ISBN 978-983-861-504-4
Infowar since “Kosovo” DU scandal 3
DU = dirty uranium metals 5
Mass chemical and uranium poisoning 5
Increasingly covert and destructive 7
Proliferation of uranium 9
The big picture 10
Why cover-ups? 11
Unsettling science 13
“Ban DU weapons” – weasel strategy 13
Group-think and apocalyptic ideology 15
Infowar and media 16
Professional irresponsibility 18
David and Goliath 19
Anything goes 20
Deny, delay, deceive 22
Labs and studies manipulated 23
Obstruction to international organizations 25
Intrigues and obstructionism 27
Col. Ken Scott 28
“Bad Cop” Dan Fahey 30
Professor Hari Sharma 32
MOD testing program 34
Battlefield landscaping 35
Balkan uranium 36
Covering up crimes against humanity 38
Misled into ban 38
Studies corrupted and manipulated 39
Emerging global threat 39
Spread of low-level radiation 40
Think and act globally and locally 40
Thanks to many who have provided ideas and source material.
Deception, grassroots movement, infowar, radiological weapons, uranium.
FGNW: emerging types of low-yield nuclear explosives.
Grassroots movement: uncorrupted part of the anti-uranium (weapons) movement.
Infowar: information warfare.
PsyOps: Psychological Operations.
Radiological weapons: DU and other weaponry that contains radiation, whether causing nuclear fission or fusion explosions or not.
The complex: military-government-industry-media-NGO complex that produces, proliferates and covers up uranium weapons.
Transuranics: chemical elements with atomic numbers greater than 92 (the atomic number of uranium); they are all radioactive.
Date convention: x.y.z, where x = day, y = month, z = year. Example: 24.3.1999 = March 24, 1999.
Reference at paragraph’s end refers to the whole paragraph, unless other references occur in it. Titles of references are truncated.
AEC Atomic Energy Commission
AWE Atomic Weapons Establishment (UK)
CADU Coalition Against Depleted Uranium (UK)
CTBT Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
DOD Department of Defence (US)
DND Department of National Defence (Canada)
DU depleted uranium
DUOB Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (UK)
ECRR European Committee on Radiation Risk
FGNW fourth generation nuclear weapons
GW1 first Gulf War (1990-1991)
GW2 second Gulf War (since 2003)
IAEA International Atomic Energy Authority
ICBUW International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons
ICRP International Commission on Radiological Protection
LLRC Low-Level Radiation Campaign (UK)
MOD Ministry of Defence (UK)
MSF Doctors Without Borders
MTP Military Toxics Project (USA)
NBC nuclear, biological, chemical
NGO non-governmental organisation
NGWRC National Gulf War Resource Center (USA)
NPRI National Policy Research Institute
NWRC New Weapons Research Committee
RW Manhattan Project’s Radiological Warfare program
U236 isotope uranium 236
UMP Uranium Medical Project
UMRC Uranium Medical Research Centre (Toronto)
UNGA UN General Assembly
UNHRC UN Human Rights Council
UNIDIR UN Institute for Disarmament Research
WHO World Health Organization
WMD weapon(s) of mass destruction
We deal with invisible enemies
We trade in dangers unseen. – Afon Claerwen
This paper outlines the anatomy of cover-ups and the complex’s tactics, analyses cover-up mechanics, and presents selected cases. It updates a brief presented to the 2003, World Uranium Weapons Conference in Hamburg that builds on previous work. In response to the complex’s cover-up campaigns, the Hamburg forum has gathered scientists, jurists, medical professionals, activists, journalists and others concerned about harmful effects of uranium weapon residue on human health.
Cover-ups of uranium effects must have gone on since WWII, but pro-DU propaganda surfaced only after the first massive use of DU ammunition in GW1 that broke a 46-year-long taboo against the intentional use or induction of radioactivity in combat, creating military and legal precedent, and trivializing combat use of radioactive materials. Pentagon had known fine uranium particle hazards, but had developed DU ammunition that became a contentious issue after Gulf and Balkan wars. Each new war disposes part of very hazardous nuclear waste, away from the producer’s country, in uranium weapons that the proponents call “conventional”. Radiological-toxic pollutant DU is adulterated with even more lethal U236 and transuranics. Leading scientists have joined with an increasing number of victims of uranium weaponry, incl. civilians and former combatants, and pressured the governments responsible for development and use of these weapons, and for sanctioning the use.
Infowar since “Kosovo” DU scandal
The “Kosovo” DU scandal in 2000-2001 saw infowar defend uranium weapons; vocal victims of DU, independent researchers, and activists in the West and former Soviet block countries were intimidated. A growing number of concerned groups tracked misinformation, deceptions and the politics of uranium weapons. The cover-ups were bound to revolve around the illegality of uranium weapons, the weakest point (actually, a no-point) of the proponents. UN resolutions since 1996 call DU weaponry “incompatible” (i.e. illegal) under existing humanitarian law and human rights, as in UN document E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/27 and additions, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/38, and E/CN.4/.Sub.2/2003/35. Understanding of humanitarian law relating to weaponry and the consequences of violations reveals the reasons for the cover-ups:
“weapons may only be used against legal military targets and for the duration of the war. Weapons may not cause undue suffering or cause superfluous injury. Weapons may not use or employ “poison.” Weapons may not severely damage the environment. DU weaponry cannot be used in military operations without violating these rules, and therefore must be considered illegal. Use of illegal weapons constitutes a violation of humanitarian law and subjects the violators to legal liability for their effects on victims and the environment as well as criminal liability. In my view, use of DU weaponry necessarily violates the grave breach provisions of the Geneva Conventions, and hence its use constitutes a war crime or crime against humanity.”
Ignoring military and civilian casualties, placing serious obstacles on humanitarian aid, and failing to disclose uranium effects seriously violate humanitarian law. Yet US has indicated that it would militarily attack any country that tried to bring US military to International Criminal Court or national courts. Legal initiatives are thwarted, too. The work of UN Sub-Commission for the Protection and the Promotion of Human Rights provides a case; “certain forces” were doing what they could to delay any legal finding on DU. US, UK and other governments certainly do consider the impacts of grassroots legal initiatives. This case demonstrates US/UK attempts to delay any legal finding on uranium weapons, and pressures on committees by members with vested interests.
Responsible authorities are liable under a wide range of international law beyond humanitarian law. They contaminate battlefields with military uranium and endanger health of civilians and combatants. The findings of research into the health effects of DU and other weaponry containing radiation but not causing nuclear fission or fusion explosions, are indisputable. Even a cursory review of humanitarian law supports the conclusion that uranium weaponry of any type is so patently illegal that the discussion should focus on bringing to justice those who have used it, and on redirecting action towards the victims. But the public and the grassroots movement confront the “deny and deflect” policies of the weapon makers, proliferators and users, whom the masterminds of military conflicts shield.
The complex ducks responsibility and liability by misstating, misleading and misinforming. Against the odds of corruption and infiltration, the grassroots movement must employ scientific and legalistic expertise and publicity, but the complex has marginalized, if not intimidated, a number of independent scientists and jurists, making them less effective, and delaying the investigations and publicity. The manipulations increase grassroots movement polarization, and plant intrigues that lead to distrust and frustration.
The complex undermines the legal tier via campaigs for a ban on already banned weapon genre, thus stalling the possibility of prosecution and enabling development and use of uranium weapons. Drawing on nuclear industry experience since WWII, “depleted science” covers up the full range of issues, from safe level of exposure and risk models of the health effects, through evidence of pollution in combat zones and far beyond, to illness of those exposed. Dispersion of uranium aerosols from the battlefield is a key legal issue, “since if a radioactive weapon resulted in the general contamination of the public in the country of deployment or elsewhere, the weapon would be classifiable as one of indiscriminate effect”.
DU = dirty uranium metals
U236, plutonium, and other extremely hazardous, recycled nuclear waste is illegally mixed into DU. U236 is not found in nature, only in nuclear fission products, such as spent nuclear fuel rods and nuclear fission bomb fallout. During the “Kosovo DU” scandal, uranium 236, plutonium, neptunium, americum and other transuranic elements were found in DU, contrary to industry specifications. Although these extremely toxic-radioactive spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste products are recycled into uranium alloys in trace quantities, their high power significantly increases the toxicity and radioactivity of military uranium metal. No DU metal inventories for uranium weapon production remain pure; “the entire stockpile of uranium is adulterated by 50 years of recycling and blending transuranics into the feedstock of the uranium enrichment process” whose 80% by-product is DU. The crime is covered up.
The most hazardous additives are transuranics, which are tens of thousands times more radioactive than pure DU or virgin uranium. Independent and government analyses of DU penetrators from battlefields have detected traces of transuranics, incl. plutonium 239, and traces of U236 have been detected in veterans’ urine, “adding a new dimension to the inhalational exposure risks to veterans from recycled uranium elements”. UMRC peer-reviewed results of tests on samples from Afghanistan bomb sites show trace quantities of U236 that didn’t come into the sampled soil and biological specimens from “insurgent” dirty bombs or nuclear weapon residue from Afghanistan-USSR war; control samples from non-targeted areas didn’t show U236.
Nobody has examined the increase in internal dose from transuranics beyond theoretical calculations; NATO country military have been sponsoring studies to conclude that it’s either absent or irrelevant:
“DOD’s failure to even consider the possibility of transuranics contamination in the Follow-Up program protocols suggests that there is more than DU to worry about.”
Contaminated stockpiles of uranium are feedstock for uranium metals for civilian products, too. This comparatively bigger problem would surface when legislation in several countries, including EU, would legalize nuclear waste recycling into civilian industrial and consumer products.
Mass chemical and uranium poisoning
Toxic-radioactive warfare dates back to WWII when the military recognized uranium aerosol as a terrain contaminant and an instrument of gas warfare that kills and incapacitates troops and civilians and denies territory to enemy. US War Department’s (future DOD) Manhattan Project considered development of uranium aerosol weapons, as is documented in a 1943 memo to gen. Groves.Beside funds for improving A-bombs and delivery systems, US defence research budget eyed weaponization of radioactive materials. Under Radiological Warfare (RW) program, more secretive than A-bomb research, scientists studied best-suited materials, delivery and dispersion of radioactive materials in combat, and optimal dosages and expected health consequences. Manhattan Project industries’ expertise proved valuable again. Union Carbide’s Electro Metallurgical Works became the West’s largest uranium metal producer, and other plants also had the necessary expertise and equipment. Bell Aircraft (later Bell Aerospace) “bragged of its research” into dispersers of materials across a battlefield. Niagara Sprayer (a.k.a. FMC who manufactured Agent Orange) “created specialized compounds and nozzles for spraying agricultural metals, powders, and insecticides”. Present-day use of uranium munitions thus links to US WWI research into poison gases, the Manhattan Project, and its RW program. AEC overtook control over US weapons production in 1947.
UK researcher Dai Williams substantially expanded the understanding of uranium weapons. Shaped-charge munitions, explosive charges, a fill in thermobaric bombs, and a new generation of hard target guided weapons that use “dense metal” to double their penetration effect are all suspect of containing uranium. Misinformation and cover-ups of these weapons exhibit patterns similar to those employed for DU armour-piercers. Uranium shaped-charge warheads are rapidly proliferating in smaller missile systems. A variation of shaped charges are used in anti-tank cluster bombs.
UMRC’s independent field studies in Afghanistan in 2002 found non-depleted uranium and high contamination of residents near bombed sites. All samples were analyzed for the concentration and ratio of uranium isotopes. UMRC analysis detected non-depleted uranium and urinary excretion of total uranium significantly exceeding the values in the non-exposed population.
In 2003 survey in Iraq, UMRC measured radiation levels from munitions deployed during ground-force Rapid Dominance (misrepresented by embedded reporting), and from the highly publicised targets of Shock and Awe, involving known weapons and new UK bunker-buster Storm Shadow. UMRC found “abnormally high levels” of U236, DU purity and abundances in soil at “some of the highest levels published since UMRC and others began independent investigations into the use of radioactive dispersion weapons in 1991”, and “much higher than published results for DU levels in water samples attributed to the by-products of uranium weapons in either the Balkans or Iraq”. In urine from members of UK forces that fought at, and occupied Basra, DUOB reported non-depleted uranium abundance at several hundreds times the British biological norm. A citizen exposed near the same battlefield south of Basra was contaminated with enriched uranium. UMRC has also identified DU contamination in US troops stationed in Samawah that was abandoned by Dutch forces because of elevated radioactivity. Subsequently Japanese forces have taken over the Coalition’s duties there. Surface soils exposed to the uranium weapons were so highly contaminated that UMRC team became contaminated via inhalation. UMRC found evidence of a new class of uranium weapons, “explosively-loaded penetrators”.
Unaware of the possibility that military DU could be modified to imitate natural uranium, media reports, political actions and legal campaigns, including work of UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, have focused on DU weapons. The isotopic composition of military uranium residue in Afghanistan resembles natural uranium, except for traces of U236 that most labs would declare natural. Undepleted uranium in new weapons can be dismissed as “increased background”.
Airborne uranium reached AWE filters in Aldermaston after bombing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan determined the paths from wind patterns and calculated that an average person in Aldermaston area inhaled millions of uranium particles. Sunday Times (19.2.2006) reported it, but not BBC. The data disclosures indicate that AWE were aware of the long-range movement of uranium recorded in their filters; they reluctantly released monitoring data, forced by Freedom of Information Act request. Still, the GW2-related data block was released after a prompt and a long wait; significantly, it came from the Defence Procurement Agency, which suggests the military had considered the political implications. The complex’s agent provocateur Dan Fahey tried to discredit the findings and smear the authors. He sent around the internet and to the editor of European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics an unsolicited “peer review” about the findings (which were peer-reviewed by the journal); WISE Amsterdam published it. While fending off Fahey’s libelous emails, Busby revealed his own CV and sources of modest funding (own, Williams and private sponsors), but Fahey failed to reciprocate.
Increasingly covert and destructive
LLRC-Fahey dispute coincided with Israeli alleged use of uranium weapons in Lebanon (July 2006). Williams collected six samples from bomb craters and a filter from Beirut ambulance; LLRC sent them to Harwell Scientific (with whom Busby worked on DUOB projects) and to David Assinder’s radiochemical lab at the University of Wales in Bangor (whom Busby also trusted after analysis of samples of DU from Kosovo). Both labs and LLRC detected enriched uranium – surprisingly, as Busby expected DU, contrary to Fahey’s smear, “you found what you set out to find”. After UNEP found no uranium in Lebanon due to unsuitable instruments used despite LLRC warning, Fahey mocked “Busby et al”:
“the UN found no evidence that any type of uranium or other radioactive material was dispersed in Lebanon by the Israeli military […You] created unnecessary fear among a population facing very real dangers from cluster bombs and other unexploded ordnance […] I await your public statement on why the UN is wrong and you are right.”
Lebanese daily Al Safir published (6.3.2008) urine test results for 15 people who had been exposed to dust from Israeli weapons and had Gulf War-like symptoms. Harwell lab found DU in 3 cases, and industrial natural uranium at high abundance in another. The samples were taken 9 months after exposure, indicating insoluble uranium. NWRC’s independent international doctors, scientists and lawyers drew (9.1.2009) attention to Israel’s continuing use of new weapons in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza since 2006, incl. “uranium ammunitions and experimented novel weapons […] Still today there are unexploded bombs and radioactivity on the ground.” Indignant at inaction following Israeli aggression and aware of manipulations, NWRC appealed to UN for testing by independents:
“Avoidance of conflict of interest, will imply the exclusion from participation of teams from the countries involved in the conflict and from those countries that produce or import the weapons under assessment, or privately funded institutions by these and industrial parties with conflicting interests. The investigations should be done on the same samples independently and blindly from at least 3 independent teams of research and the resulting data will have to be published.”
UNHRC inquiry in Lebanon almost reported use of uranium weapons but the project subversively focussed on lack of DU weapons evidence. Williams urged UNEP (August 2006) to test for undepleted uranium. UNEP declared 32 sites, tested with a smear method, “clean” for lack of evidence of DU, enriched uranium nor any other radioactive material. The method involved wiping surface dust onto an adhesive pad, inadequate to give evidence of unusually high levels of so-called natural uranium. But UNEP chief and UNGA under-secretary general Achim Steiner said the tests confirmed lack of DU evidence or above average levels of natural uranium. In fact the unpublished data from the soil samples from UNEP’s second testing mission (with Williams) in November 2006 showed 20 times higher than normal levels of undepleted uranium inside the bomb crater, next to a bomb fragment. This data was available on part of the UNEP website for many months but was not reported to UNHRC inquiry, nor in their February 2007 Lebanon report. Independent downplayed (8.11.2006) its 28.10.2006 report on testing Williams’ samples, by calling Busby “Green Party activist”. The article deceptively put Busby’s comment on UNEP’s ineptitude after a sentence on Harwell lab, impressing Harwell’s ineptitude instead:
“The sample was sent for analysis at the Harwell Laboratory in Oxfordshire, which is used by the Ministry of Defence. “We are concerned that UNEP don’t know what they are doing. Earlier [in 2001] they were useless at finding depleted uranium in Kosovo due to wrong choice of instrumentation,” Dr Busby said.”
Israeli airforce bombed a “suspected nuclear reactor” at al Khibar in Syria in September 2007. On US insistence, IAEA tested the target for uranium in June 2008, indicating undepleted “natural” uranium contamination from man-made sources, but not nuclear fuel. US spokesmen used these leaked results as a proof for Syrian nuclear facility. The contamination appears similar to that collected by UNEP from an Israeli bomb crater in southern Lebanon. IAEA would know whether these samples were from Israeli weapons, but have chosen silence. The uranium found was of spherical, i.e. man-made form. Syrian atomic energy agency director Ibrahim Othman dismissed IAEA’s finding that the uranium particles’ characteristics showed they didn’t come from munitions Israel used against the target: “Chemical analysis can be played with the way you like. Always in laboratories there can be errors, anyone knows that”.
Without any recognition of the toxic and radiological threats from uranium weapons, armed forces of some 20 states, not only US, UK and Israel, are likely to use them in increasing numbers and proximity to densely populated areas, contaminating soil, water, crops, livestock (also exportable ones), and the atmosphere globally. Health authorities must know the exact use of uranium weapons tested or used in combat since 1970, to correlate with long-term illness statistics. Legal implications of such analyses would justify cover-ups for years to come; evidence of it are UNEP’s “work” and the Independent’s change of tune, synchronised with DOD agent provocateur Fahey’s attacks on leading independents uncovering Israeli uranium weapons.
Proliferation of uranium
Starmet Corporation boasts they operate North America’s only facility capable of converting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) to uranium tetrafluoride (UF4). From UF4 they produce DU metal for “AVLIS” feedstock, penetrators and tank armour, industrial and medical radiological shielding, and aircraft counterweights; “Our ability to convert UF6 is already having an impact in helping to ‘clean-up’ the stockpiles of UF6 at commercial and government energy facilities.”
Nibby David’s case in the UK illustrates problems with non-military uranium. A mechanic making metal parts for airplane equipment other than counterweights, he got symptoms similar to Gulf War syndrome within a month of starting work. Before he got ill, he had never been to the Middle East or near military bases or equipment used in GW1. But he machined parts from a General Electric Company (GEC) Heavy Metal Alloy feedstock. He polished them with fine sand paper, breathing the fine particles in. His employer imported this heavy, silvery and easily workable metal from the US, but lacked certificates required by UK occupational safety. Various parts were made from the metal until Nibby blew the whistle. He tested positive for DU in urine and for chromosome damage due to internal exposure to ionizing radiation. Manufacture, crashes and fires of civilian and military aircraft thus pose a health threat not only due to DU counterweights.
Starmet also makes DU oxide powder from UF4. The powder is processed into heavy stones that can replace gravel in DucreteTM that is almost three times denser than ordinary concrete. Large mass of Ducrete, or the DU aggregate alone, could be useful in ballast and similar applications. Ducrete also shields radiation. Starmet makes containers for nuclear waste from it and suggests other applications: “low-level radioactive waste storage or disposal boxes, temporary shielding in reactor facilities, and for commercial food and medical irradiator applications.” Starmet “is interested in developing applications for DUCRETE™ Concrete and will be happy to consider new applications and sublicensing of the technology.” As in its DU-metal products, Starmet highlights its environmental responsibility for “over 700,000 metric tons” of DU waste, and its utilization economics, i.e. “environmentally sound” use of DU while deriving “useful benefits” from Ducrete:
“Most products will be fabricated in a factory environment where cost efficiencies will be derived from higher volumes and where engineering measures can be implemented to control contamination […Such use] of DU aggregate […] provides [DOE] an alternative to direct disposal of DU as waste [that] cost several billion dollars.”
Proliferated into consumer and industrial products, e.g. GEC Heavy Metal Alloy and Ducrete will spread U236 and transuranics in the environment. The industry favours a “solution to pollution through dilution”. The military likes it, too. Reportedly, tens of thousands of tons of uranium ammunition are destroyed by burning on US military disposal sites. The Sierra Army Depot in Northern California alone has burned tens of times more DU munitions than all DU wars have used, according to NRC permits:
“The expiration date on the oldest of those documents was September 30, 1981. It stipulated a maximum of 2,257 tons of DU. In later contracts, the amount increased to 5,000 tons. The one in effect until March 31, 1997, allowed 2,520 curies (about 6,500 tons) of radioactivity. This figure is 20 times the 320 tons that the American and British troops were said to have used in the Gulf War.”
The big picture
Williams classifies uranium weapons into three generations. First-generation are WWII era A-bombs made of enriched uranium, whose enhancement and testing continued into the 1990s, 2nd generation – DU ammunition, and 3rd generation – all explosive warheads that may use uranium to enhance their kinetic energy, incendiary temperature or modified blast profiles (e.g. thermobaric weapons). These weapons contain from 0.3 kg uranium in 30 mm DU ammunition, through several kg in higher-calibre, short-range munitions, to bomb and missile warheads containing from 250 kg to over 2 tonnes of uranium metal of various formulations. Unusual deaths, injuries, illness and destruction accompany suspected new-generation uranium weapons, incl. suffocation, carbonisation, partial burns, vaporisation of victims bodies, buildings collapsing inwards, deep narrow craters.
Baghdad 2003 and Lebanon 2006 explosion photos show brighter-than-lightning flash followed by a fireball, and fragments of burning shrapnel blown from the target, indicating high-density pyrophoric metal that might be uranium. Eyewitnesses reported “silent” explosions and brief asphyxia “as if all the oxygen has gone”. Apparently, very large incendiary bombs are used frequently. Thermobaric weapons combine high temperature and high pressure blast to kill humans in the target area or underground. The power of new versions suggests “they may use uranium grains as the “reactive metal”.” Penetrator weapons additionally use a heavy shield, likely made of uranium. Large incendiary explosions create a “firestorm” that sucks in fresh air and carries most contamination high up;
“This may have reduced levels of local contamination (if uranium warheads have been used) except within the target itself. But it could increase dispersal of uranium dust over a very wide area – over hundreds, possibly thousands of miles.”
Unusually high levels of airborne uranium dust were detected in Hungary, Greece and UK after Balkan, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, suggesting that “much larger uranium weapons may have been used during these conflicts. These observations coincided with the development and combat use of a new generation of guided weapons with secret, high density warheads. These include guided bombs, missiles and sub-munitions. If uranium has been used in any of these weapon systems I am also concerned about the potential additional health and environmental problems caused by toxic, radioactive combat materials.”
Having worked on exposing local (UK) and global (e.g.Chernobyl) radioactive pollution problems, as well as those from uranium weapons, Busby recognizes the health effects of uranium exposure as “part of a bigger story”, “far beyond the military uses of uranium”, over the whole uranium cycle;
“If further research were to show that uranium weapons do have significant, wide-ranging and devastating effects on health, there would be considerable consequences for governments. If it were seen to be a weapon of indiscriminate effect that poisons large civilian populations, governments would be forced to stop using it, thus removing a useful weapon from their arsenals. If it were proven that scientific evidence had been wilfully ignored, whole governments could be disgraced and might even face legal action from individuals, groups or other governments […] If uranium exposure causes genetic damage at low doses, decisions of national importance—ranging from the continued operation of nuclear energy, in civil reactors and in ships and submarines, to public health issues relating to cancer clusters near nuclear sites—are being taken based on a risk model that does not represent the real risks or consequences and will require immediate reconsideration.”
Radioactive-toxic hazards of uranium in non-nuclear weapons and civilian applications are similar, regardless of the type of uranium metal used: depleted, non-depleted or alloyed. An ample sampling of government, military and industry documents prove authorities responsible for uranium contamination have known the risks involved – the reason they have been suppressing, covering up and misrepresenting the evidence.
The perpetrators of radiological wars and illegal weapons face potential liability for war crimes, military and civilian casualties, contamination of environment, and battlefield clean-up as well as social costs of other parts of the uranium weapon cycle, including disposal of astronomic quantities of expired uranium weapons on own territory. UMRC reported after a visit to hard-target bomb sites in Afghanistan:
“The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by Uranium.”
UMRC 2003 survey in Iraq determined that since GW1 and no-fly zone protracted bombing, Iraqis are “convinced radiological contamination is a permanent feature of the Iraqi environment”:
“Many say this is why they want to leave the country. Physicians are neither trained to nor have the time and facilities to diagnose the relatively unexplained illnesses derived from uranium internal contamination and acute effects from recent exposures. Longer-term effects present a different challenge. As widely reported, cancer and long-term treatment wards are filled with children and teenagers suffering leukaemia and incapacitating congenital deformities attributed locally and by many international sources as direct and inherited effects of uranium contamination.”
The second reason for cover-ups is long-term. DU weapons are in a diffuse category of low-radiological-impact nuclear weapons to which emerging types of low-yield (i.e. FGNW) nuclear explosives also belong. The cover-ups obfuscate the distinctions between conventional weapons and all kinds of radiological weapons, easing public acceptability of uranium weapons, small nuclear warheads, and future pure fusion nuclear weapons. All of them contaminate with low-level radiation. A future combat scenario with micro-nukes translates into low-level radioactive input comparable to that on DU battlefields. Elimination of uranium weapons would not terminate the health and environmental problems of low-level radiation battles.
CTBT doesn’t include low-yield nuclear devices and munitions made of radioactive materials. CTBT Preparatory Commission acknowledges lack of legal definition of a nuclear weapon. Treaties refer only to “fissile material” such as uranium or plutonium that are used in all existing nuclear weapons. DOD confirmed that nuclear-isomer explosive made of hafnium would be more closely related to conventional weapons than nuclear ones. This interpretation would allow US to sidestep legislation on nuclear weapons that prevents developments ofg mini-nukes. Andre Gsponer of the Independent Scientific Research Institute in Geneva and others believe that any weapon incorporating radioactive material could be considered a nuclear weapon under international law. This would include nuclear-isomer explosives, as well as DU and other uranium munitions. US government defines WMD as any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injuries to a significant number of people through the release of radiation. Even if nuclear-isomer explosives are not nuclear weapons, they could still spell political trouble, so cover-ups and manipulation of law are inevitable. Recommending negotiations on a onvention for the prohibition of radiological weapons, UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters noted in 2004:
“The nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime does not address the issue of radiological weapons and warfare, as it is strictly devoted to nuclear weapons and the respective fissile materials. No international instrument is available in the realm of radiological weapons.”
Central to the complex’s deception are obsolete models of risk and derived standards of allowable radiological exposure. The total dose inside an exposed person over years severely exceeds safe limits. ICRP standards derive from empirically invalid assumptions due to secrecy and distortions around the effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, then around Cold War developments of nuclear power and weapons. ICRP risk model arose from studies of bomb survivors, which overlooked the effects from an internal radiation source and ignored cancers that take decades to appear. Physicists rather than biologists had developed the ICRP model before DNA discovery, yet it purports to represent cell damage processes. ICRP model spreads a dose over a large mass of tissue instead of considering biophysical and biochemical damage mechanisms at the cellular level. ECRR’s critique reveals that ICRP models of risk from internal particles underestimate empirical mortality and morbidity by a factor of 100 to 1000.
Running against the nuclear complex’s science for the last 20 years, Busby’s Second Event Theory has explained how multiple decay of an isotope located in a cell can mutate it;
“A first radioactive disintegration that hits a cell without killing it forces the cell to repair itself. If a second disintegration hits the same cell during the repair process, which takes a few hours, it may cause a mutation that the cell cannot repair. Supporters of nuclear power have attacked the theory, not least because they said radiation could not initiate the repair process in cells” 
With German colleague Ewald Schnug, Busby has expanded the Second Event Theory in 2007, after discovering the Secondary Photoelectron Effect in which heavy metals incl. uranium, emit a very intense photoelectron stream upon hits by natural, background gamma rays. The stream damages the cell where the heavy atom is located. Uranium attaches itself to DNA, so it receives the damaging stream. Because uranium pollution is widespread (uranium mining, processing and disposal, uranium weapons), humans are increasingly likely to get DNA and cell damages that lead to illness incl. cancer. ICRP, the establishment’s institution of “scientifically” crafted deception that justifies continuing radioactive pollution, ignores phenomena like this. No wonder their mathematical models can’t predict what Busby has been saying for years: there’s much more damage to humans than the complex asserts. His discoveries invalidate ICRP conventional model of radiation biology,
“which views radiation in terms of average energy transfer across large volumes of tissue. The old concept of “dose” is now useful only for those exposure regimes where the radiation truly is well-averaged. The regulation of radioactivity in the environment is about to enter a new phase in which “ionisation density” will be the vital parameter.”
“Ban DU weapons” – weasel strategy
The complex knows people desire banning uranium weapons. Organizing the 2003 Hamburg conference began with a call for a ban, but thanks to informed influence, the post-conference press release reads: “future campaigns and treaties should replace ‘ban’ with the term ‘abolition’ of DU/Uranium weapons.” The ban initiative was a manipulation by a “Brussels Coalition” that formed in Brussels from members of diverse groups shortly before Hamburg conference. The coalition was guided by theoretical work of a novice jurist, Avril MacDonald who since Manchester 2000 conference has been arguing DU weapons legality, contradicting humanitarian law specialist, Karen Parker who argues against seeking a DU-banning treaty:
“a new “trick” of the US (and a few other governments) is to use treaty processes to try to weaken, if not completely undermine, existing customary law. The United States tries to assert that if there is a treaty on a subject, then any pre-existing customary international law on the subject is terminated. Thus, even beginning the process to draft a treaty would be used by the US to argue that any ban on uranium weaponry in light of existing customary law is terminated […] unsuspecting activists can actually play into the US position and seriously undermine all anti-uranium initiatives […] a treaty banning uranium weapons is not necessary, but preparations for one could be exploited to duck responsibility […] any treaty could be broken anyway”.
The legal issues workshop at Hamburg showed a low technical understanding by Brussels Coalition members who didn’t convince the movement. Nevertheless, the coalition re-issued their original release after the Hamburg conference. Combining key activists to coordinate international lobbying, the group called itself ICBUW and set itself up as the prime briefing authority on the subject of uranium weapons and the legal issues. Despite its name, ICUW focuses exclusively on known DU ammunition, while ignoring Williams’ new weapons analyses. ICBUW website notes US report that DU ammunition has not been used in combat since 2004, making ICBUW mission and “importance” obsolete. Williams notes that ICBUW diversions of campaigners’ energy “to silence the most direct evidence of new weapons has been highly effective in muzzling researchers”, matching,
“similar diversions within UNEP and the UNHRC enquiries. Most recently the IAEA comes into question for not publishing the full test data about uranium contamination found in Syria. If this contamination came from US warheads delivered by Israeli aircraft the international legal and political ramifications would be profound.”
ICBUW has campaigned for resolutions by Belgian and EU parliaments and UNGA, on uranium weapons that are restricted to DU ammunition. EU Parliament resolution for a moratorium against DU ammunition added (February 2003) “other uranium warheads”, only to be restricted back (May 2008) to DU weapons. UNGA (A/RES/63/54, 2.12.2008) and Belgian Parliament resolutions (7.3.2007) have been word-smithed, too, to apply solely to DU munitions and armour, while exempting new-generation uranium weapons. Never even questioning the possibility of new-generation uranium weapons, ICBUW admitted its role: “This is a good result for our campaign”, said ICBUW coordinator after UNGA voted on A/RES/62/30 (5.12.2007); “The vote comes after a year of intense campaigning by ICBUW and its member organisations”. Referring to “potential” hazards of DU, A/RES/62/30 calls “to seek the views of Member States and relevant international organizations”, and “to submit a report on this subject”. As if there wasn’t proof enough of the harmful effects of DU weapons alone, A/RES/63/54 “Invites Member States and relevant international organizations, particularly those that have not yet done so, to communicate to the Secretary-General their views”, “Requests the Secretary-General to request relevant international organizations to update and complete, as appropriate, their studies and research”, and “Encourages Member States, particularly the affected States, as necessary, to facilitate the studies and research”.
Apart from the fact that UNGA resolutions are non-binding, and given the politicisation of UNEP, WHO and IAEA, this is an obvious delay tactics, unchanged since GW1. ICBUW demonstrates on its website that it doesn’t understand the legal implications of a ban or aims to mislead the public. Shortly after 2003 Hamburg conference, to no avail I have offered ICBUW leaders to publically debate with DU-Watch representatives, on existing illegality of uranium weapons and the error of campaigning for the ban.
Group-think and apocalyptic ideology
Uranium weapons likely persist due to institutional pressures that, once started to defend an effective DU bullet, escalated to a point of no return. Substitution of uranium weapons would indirectly admit the hazards, while ample evidence incriminates those responsible because they have known potential dangers. In an extreme case scenario, war-mongers and haters in high positions may have discovered in uranium weapons an effective toxic-radioactive instrument for political terror and protracted genocide. With it, they can damage present and future generations of the “enemy” without public stigma of WMD, though with some “collateral damage” to own civilians and troops over the weapons lifecycle. Apocalyptic-messianic ideology and superiority feeling by extreme elites, from Jewish and Christian Zionists, through to Islamists, by itself subject of intense cover-ups, might explain the calculated use and disposal of radioactive-toxic materials with a mass harm intention. The same elites use nuclear all-out war rhetoric and are preparing for such war.
Civilian and military decision-makers responsible for uranium weapons may be caught up in a self-justifying logic that generates illusory morality, demands conformity, accepts high-risk strategies and demonizes enemies and dissenters. Some Western governments seem to be following the group-think in the wars with “Saddam”, “Milosevic” and global war on terror. Group-think in authoritarian organizations would explain why the military downplayed or outright ignored uranium weapon risks, and why those responsible chose to cover up.
Cover-ups aim at deception and escaping liabilities. In April 1947 a secret memo from US Corps of Engineers’ Col. O.G. Haywood to AEC information officer H.A. Fidler stated:
“It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans and might have adverse effects on public opinion or result in legal suits. Documents covering such work field should be classified ‘secret.’”
After full-scale low-radiation experiment with DU bullets in GW1, 1.3.1991 memo from Lt. Col. Ziehmn of Los Alamos National Laboratory suggested US military policy regarding DU weapons in light of “environmental concerns”:
“if no one makes a case for the effectiveness of du on the battlefield, du rounds may become politically unacceptable and thus, be deleted from the arsenal. If DU penetrators proved their worth during our recent combat activities, then we should assure their future existence (until something better is developed) through Service/DOD proponency. If proponency is not garnered, it is possible that we stand to lose a valuable combat capability. I believe we should keep this sensitive issue at mind when after action reports are written.”
Also UK government was aware of the cover-up necessity. MOD minister Lord Gilbert referred (2.3.1998) to 30.4.1991 letter by P.G.E. Bartholomew, business development manager at UK Atomic Energy Authority who promised “a threat paper on the contamination of Kuwait from depleted uranium used by the US and UK forces in the recent war”. Bartholomew also revealed that the paper “covers the threat and outlines the action we believe is necessary for health safety”. Gilbert advised that the “emotive” subject “must be dealt with in a sensitive manner”, by informing Kuwait government of the problem “in a useful way”.
US and UK governments baselessly claim they deploy DU ammunition because it costs less than tungsten, has an advantage over enemy armour, reduces own casualties and utilizes industrial waste. The additional expense on tungsten is negligible relative to destroyed target’s military value and total military spending. This socially irresponsible reasoning ignores the health costs and clean-up costs over the life-cycle of uranium weapons. Announcements about development of tungsten substitutes of DU tank ammunition undermine the claim. DU weapon systems are not better or cheaper than alternatives. Military DU doesn’t utilize significant quantities of nuclear waste, either.
Own soldiers, the victims of “friendly fire” suffer from acute poisoning and radiation sickness, instead of ordinary wounds, while longer-term casualties are substantial. A September 2002 GW1 report on US veterans shows 0.1% casualty rate in combat, but a 36% post-combat rate for almost 700,000 troops engaged in the war and shortly after. According to 1998 DOD admission, only 436,000 troops entered DU dust-contaminated areas, i.e. post-combat casualty rate is 58%! Uranium is one of several major causes of the syndrome, so a casualty rate of about 10% could be conservatively attributed to DU.
Official Western reports ignore civilian casualties of uranium weapons in Iraq, the Balkans, Afghanistan and more recently in Lebanon and Gaza. Iraqis and Serbs were subject to economic sanctions when they most needed medical supplies, fuel and food. Sick Afghanis with weakened immune resistance due to uranium contamination died of cold and starvation, without being recorded as victims of uranium weapons. Since the governments responsible knew about civilian consequences, severe imposition of sanctions against Yugoslavia and Iraq was meant to cover-up the radiological damage and also inflict additional harm, revealing an underlying hatred-based ideology. Sealing off Gaza after Israeli offensive (December 2008-January 2009) has impeded reporting, uranium sampling, and food and medical supply, while infrastructure and supplies have been destroyed, after over a year-long blockade.
Infowar and media
Information warfare projects power, beside combat, diplomacy, and economic sanctions. PsyOps are among its most conspicuous tools. Infowar is effective and inexpensive compared to combat, and would fit the needs of “Service/DOD proponency” in Ziehmn’s memo. The military specifies the structure and methods of Information Operations that employ behavioural science, mass media and high technology. DOD targets foreign nations and groups, including foreign governments. DOD actions “convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning; and to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels.” DOD management of the foreign perceptions “combines truth projection, operation security, cover and deception, and psychological operations”.
NATO PsyOps target “enemy, friendly and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behaviour affecting the achievement of political and military objectives”. NATO and candidate countries’ military and media act like DOD clones. Critique comes mainly from pressure groups and governments outside NATO. Infowar’s Public Affairs (PA) “provides objective reporting without intent to propagandize” and disseminates information internationally, via press releases, media briefings and statements by the military that “are based on projection of truths and credible message [that serve to discredit] adversary propaganda or misinformation against the operations of US/coalition forces [which] is critical to maintaining favourable public opinion”. In psychology, “projection” means the act of ascribing one’s own attitudes, thoughts, etc. to someone else. PA use propaganda often through Public Relations (PR). NATO spokesman Jamie Shea “won the war” in Kosovo via PR daily briefings.
Infowar integrates several types of special services when needed. A joint command of US Special Operations is then engaged to assemble specialist teams” to suit a mission. US Special Operations likely organized assaults on anti-DU activist, Doug Rokke, former DOD expert on DU. Former Chief of Nuclear Medicine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Facility, Asaf Durakovic, was forced to leave the US because he received life threats. After ill GW1 veterans Ray Bristow and Colin Purcel Lee attended a DU health effects conference in Baghdad, UK senior cabinet minister called them traitors and their homes were raided by military police in search of documents incriminating official DU testing of UK veterans. When the plight of Australian GW1 veterans received press coverage, all files relating to the illness were stolen from campaigner Philip Steele. The military and government authorities in NATO countries routinely denied or forged death certificates of Balkan DU military victims. In March 2001, “unknown criminals” broke into the home of Mrs. Riordon, a widow after Canadian GW1 veteran, destroyed her computer and stole medical certificates of uranium presence in her husband’s body.
PA units prepare information for news brokers, who send it to media outlets. Independent journalists do not have a chance to publish in mainstream media, since NATO information operations subtly control chief editors. Media are corrupted top to bottom. In the words of former president of CBS News, Richard Salent, “Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have”. John Swinton, former New York Times chief of staff, whom colleagues named “The Dean of His Profession”, confessed before New York Press Club: “I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.”
US media, reduced to a handful of conglomerates by deregulation, moulds public mind. The largest conglomerates are growing by consuming competition, almost tripling in size during the 1990s. As the media empires consolidate, TV stations, newspapers and radio broadcasting are no longer independent. Only a handful are large enough to maintain own reporters. The rest must depend on the chains for national and international news. One group dominates US media ownership and staff, contrary to general population’s ethnic profile. TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and movies speak with a single voice, reinforcing each other. Despite apparent diversity, there’re no alternative sources of information. US most influential newspapers illustrate the use of the press as an unopposed policy instrument. They set the trends and the guidelines for nearly all the others, and originate the news for the others to copy. In a joint venture with NYT, Post publishes International Herald Tribune, world’s most widely distributed English-language daily.
Washington Post has an inside track on news involving the federal government. Reference to “military sources”, “senior administration officials” or “Pentagon analysts” reveal military-media relations. Single source of information for international press agencies emanates from standard phrases, beginnings and endings in all stories, in accord with DOD position. Washington Post (10.11.2002) provided an insight into media–Pentagon relations: “This article was discussed extensively in recent days with several senior civilian and military Defense Department officials.” Military censors at PA vetted the article, then the supposedly independent newspaper published it. Major news corporations manufacture opinion polls to meet government specifications that usually combine plans of the administration, DOD and business. Media lend themselves to what White House aides have described as a campaign to “sell” the war to Americans, as was seen in preparations for GW2.
Military control over media extends to the battlefields; a “pool system” selects daily a few out of hundreds of journalists, and escorts them to scenes deemed fit for the public. The coverage is then shared with their colleagues, so that the same story comes from every major news outlet. This “embedding” of reporters in GW2 demonstrated how the military compromised journalistic ethics. CBC series With Passionate Eye (“War Spin” 25.5.2003) provided evidence of embedding. Embedding would not allow objective reporting about victims of acute exposure to uranium weapons. DOD press briefings would black out or distort any incriminating leaks from independent reporters. Compared to post-GW2 evidence, embedded reporting on battles was only about 30% reliable.
Pro-uranium infowar has compromised scientific reports subject to military-government funding and control, even those by international organizations. Deceitful propaganda also appears in government, military and arms and nuclear industry statements. Political representatives can’t obtain information from alternative sources, and instead they trust doctored intelligence and distorted data – a fundamental flaw in how military issues and weapons are addressed. Countless journalists, researchers, professors, and persons in responsible public positions help misinform, thus breaking professional ethics of allegiance to public good. They collude in the crimes by spreading lies and distortions about fatal effects of uranium. The propaganda has led to an absurd situation where US and UK justified attacking Iraq because it might have potential in the future to deploy WMD – but themselves used uranium weapons of indiscriminate or mass effect against Iraq.
Propaganda uses simple, often ridiculous ideas and phrases based on two rules: (i) repeated lie becomes accepted truth; (ii) the public accepts outrageous lies more readily. Propaganda plays with words bred in PsyOps bureaus. Authoritative persons then use the words, phrases and contexts, proving the speakers and their controllers are either criminally negligent, or contravene humanitarian law. Former NATO political chief Javier Solana, while heading an ad hoc “investigation” to prove Kosovo DU was no danger, affirmed in January 2001: “The evidence points in the other direction.” A letter to Washington Times wondered then: “Is DU a health benefit?” Lord Robertson, defended the “proven [DU] technology that has been independently tested […] We cannot possibly act on the perceptions of people or on the view of a word such as ‘uranium’.” Other deceptive statements, nomenclature and phrases for the cover-ups are assembled elsewhere.
Many persons in responsible positions in former Soviet bloc also help NATO institutionalize “3 d’s”. Corruption is rampant and local bureaucrats and professors can be bought with a trip to Hawaii. Professor Zbigniew Zagorski (Warsaw’s Institute of Chemistry and Nuclear Technology) compared the radioactivity from 300 tonnes of DU in GW1 to 1953-1977 emissions of “natural uranium” in the USA, implying that since it didn’t harm Americans, why would it be dangerous in the Gulf. He also insisted that one can safely sit on intact DU rounds for 2000 hours, while DU is known to give out in one hour’s contact a dose comparable to the annual allowable limit. Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski (Poland’s Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection) co-authored a junk-science article on DU weapons, with a Cambridge University’s Roger Bate.
The goal of 2001 conference in Prague was to assemble the facts for submission to Czech president Vaclav Havel to bring them out on international forums. But the event went on record with biased selection of papers. A breakthrough brief by Williams on new uranium weapons, a paper debunking cover-ups, unique material from a prize-winning webmaster harassed by US authorities for posting military information, and many other presentations injurious to the complex were not posted. Despite repeated requests, the organizers neither removed a contribution from Yugoslavia containing an honest mistake, nor inserted an erratum. But the conference website displayed Fahey’s biased paper.
David and Goliath
Cover-ups have eroded public trust, particularly of the ill, uranium-contaminated veterans. Recruits and staff soldiers think twice before going to wars. Upon seeing NATO disrespect for their health in Kosovo, many KFOR troops mutinied, while volunteers withdrew. Several countries withdrew from their NATO obligation in the Balkans because of contamination. Some post-war aid organizations were reluctant to go to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq for the radiation-toxicity risk.
US has refused to disclose information about DU in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and did not let UNEP team study DU contamination in Iraq. By the beginning of September 2003, nearly 5000 US troops were evacuated ill for non-combat reasons, of which only about 300 were injured in incidents such as vehicle accidents. There were fears that soldiers have already died or are falling ill from exposure to DU or vaccine, but Pentagon denied. The sensitivity of the military hierarchy to the suspicions was plain by the reassurances on US army medical website that neither DU nor the anthrax vaccine poses a health risk.
The statement of purpose of Bring Them Home Now organization of military families demanding immediate withdrawal of US forces from the Middle East, demands: “Not one more troop spending one more day inhaling depleted uranium.” Their website bluntly advised on the best way to limit exposure to DU: “Get out of Iraq or Afghanistan.” In August 2003, Dutch parliamentarians were concerned that US intelligence provided to the Dutch government concealed DU use by US troops in southern Iraq. Based on false information, Holland sent 1,100 soldiers to the area.
Propagandizing uranium weapons as effective means against “terrorism” or “evil states” is also counterproductive in the cover-ups. The fallout and residue from uranium weapons terrorize innocents; terrorists are best taken out covertly. Neutralization of secret WMD with like weapons does not justify the end, either. Unexploded DU bullets are themselves a potential terrorist weapon. Shortly after ABC News reporters smuggled 7 kg of DU into the country in September 2003 to show how ineffective security was, retired Californian research chemist Vince Calder noted that intact DU bullets posed a terrorist threat. They are available from the battlefields, easy to import, and simple to turn into dirty bombs, making them a potential WMD inside US territory.
With statutory disclosures of secrets from the atomic era, and as the number of casualties of “safe” radiation weapons grows, public mistrust and soldier mutiny would rise, creating an additional stressor in the West. Abroad, radioactive contamination fortifies the resentment, general animosity and terrorism against US, UK and their allies.
Ostensibly concerned about own population in face of Arab terrorism in Palestine, Israel nevertheless uses uranium weapons in the wars on its neighbours, releasing indiscriminate aerosols that reach Israel territory as well. Because US and UK, and recently Israel, are in the focus of proliferation and use of radiation weapons, it is up to the respective governments to lead a change. Continuation on the destructive course must inevitably lead to society-government confrontations. Radiation issues are intensely, emotionally charged regardless of nationality, religion and ethnicity, for at stake is a human being’s continuation in the gene pool.
Despite resources expended on PsyOps, amateurs recognize and debunk spin. In 1999, Bein predicted in a Polish article the following techniques for cover-up of Balkan DU, based on post-GW1 experience:
- Deny information and delay its release;
- Understate the quantity of DU weapons used.
- Belittle harmful effects of DU, change emphasis, dilute scientific information.
- Manipulate reports and scientific evidence, also those from previous DU wars.
- Censor DU information in mass media.
- Blame other causes, e.g. pre-war and general pollution.
- Coerce government to withhold truth.
- Blame “Milosevic’s” secret weapons, and DU deployed by Yugoslav forces.
All of the above tricks were noted during and after NATO Balkan campaigns. Then they re-appeared, with “Milosevic” changed to “Taliban and Al Qaeda” after the war in Afghanistan, and “Saddam” after GW2. The same tricks apply to covering-up newer uranium weapons. NATO coerced old and new Yugoslav governments to suppress DU casualty information. Yugoslav de-contamination units operated during NATO bombing, while the government likely concealed DU casualties in military hospitals. After a new Yugoslav foreign minister visited Lord Robertson in the beginning of 2001, Western media reported that Yugoslavia tested soldiers for DU “negative,” as in all NATO countries.
Coercion of occupier-installed governments is common. In Iraq, the occupier removed medical records from hospitals, making it difficult to investigate post-war civilian casualty rates from uranium exposure. US military incarcerated Iraqi scientist and Baghdad University dean, Huda Ammash at a concentration camp in primitive conditions. This minister of education before the invasion, published in peer-reviewed publications in US, Italy and Iraq on the consequences of uranium contamination and sanctions imposed on Iraq. Her arrest was made on trumped-up charges of overseeing purported development of biological weapons. Yet, UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission confirmed that, for lack of evidence, they hadn’t singled Ammash out for interviews.
In both wars after the Balkans, DOD supported dissemination of stories that, true or not, could serve to cover-up own radiological weapons, should uranium contamination be discovered. US secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, reported (16.1.2002) elevated radioactivity levels in one area of Afghanistan due to “depleted uranium on some warheads”, allegedly missiles captured from Al Qaeda. The risk of Al Qaeda using “dirty bombs” was a major theme in DOD statements up to May 2002, but Rumsfeld never reported the type and maker of missiles found. Al Qaeda’s DU was “dangerous”, unlike the DU in US and UK armour-piercers. Taliban and Al Qaeda wouldn’t have the means to make or deliver large munitions made of uranium. They may have acquired small surface-to-surface anti-tank missiles made of uranium, or DU supplies for “dirty bombs”.
Greenpeace became DOD’s spin conduit in Iraq. Most likely DOD spin-doctors enhanced the story’s publicity, to deny illness causation of their own uranium weapons. If uranium weapon fallout was found in Iraq, DOD could blame the yellowcake that Greenpeace activists collected from looters of “Saddam’s” nuclear facility near Baghdad. Otherwise, why would a military, who contaminated Iraq with uranium twice, advertise environmental responsibility via Greenpeace? Being a concentrate of uranium ore, yellowcake has a “natural uranium” signature. How would the Greenpeace story help cover-up uranium weapons? After suppressing independent tests to identify uranium isotopes (and therefore the contamination’s origin), all irradiation symptoms could be blamed on the looted material that somehow managed to spread to where U-weapons have been used in Iraq. The non-depleted uranium that UMCR discovered in Afghanistan resembles the isotopic composition of yellowcake. Newer generations of weapons might contain uranium alloys formulated to resemble “natural uranium” in order to make contamination hard to distinguish from natural uranium.
Implemented by a military-bureaucratic machine, infowar inadvertently produces mistakes and blunders. PsyOps then attempt to cover the blunders up with more blunders. An imperative to hide the truth drives the perpetrators and their operatives – Special Operations, PsyOps, spokesmen, official media, pseudo-scientists – into thought contraptions and staged events designed to convince the audience. In the Kosovo DU case, those responsible failed to warn and protect NATO and UN forces, foreign aid workers, and local civilians (for whom they supposedly bombed “Milosevic”), including no warning about dirty DU. The public objected to Stalinist-like special operations that attempted to silence evidence in Western countries. The cover-ups further clouded the risks of uranium civilian applications (e..g. aircraft counterweights), increasing the risks to NATO country populations.
Deny, delay, deceive
The complex’s propaganda tactics follow 3 d’s – deny, delay, deceive, which conceal chronic exposure and effects of uranium on human health are key. Examples of delays and omissions with bombed site information and carrying out “studies”, abound. The “deny” phase has been most intense since the war in Afghanistan. A campaign of denials regarding uranium weapons is nested in a broader campaign for acceptability of weapons that contaminate with low-level radiation. US government statements about plans to develop nuclear penetrating bombs, threats of terrorist radiological bombs, and warnings of potential US, UK and Israeli first strike nuclear attacks, and regional nuclear wars with NATO participation (that analysts fear might turn into WWIII), play down potential hazards of “conventional” uranium weapons. The rhetoric may aim at lowering the threshold of acceptability for radiological weapons. The nuclear strike rhetoric is a political blackmail, to manipulate the masses. Fanatic, messianic-apocalyptic leaders of most faiths drive proliferation and threats of use of nuclear and other WMD.
Military science emphasizes the “other factor” of Gulf and Balkan syndromes. After GW1 that saw a cocktail of poisons used and released – from Iraqi chemical-biological weapons, to DU ammunition – the “other factor” was adopted in cover-ups, also for the other contaminated areas, once cancers from the use of uranium weapon took a higher toll. Vaccines given to the soldiers couldn’t be a cause of the syndrome in residents, neither there was smoke from burning oil wells in the Balkans, nor chemical weapons used by “Milosevic” against his own people. In the absence of independent epidemiological studies, apologists of Gulf War syndrome in Iraqi civilians cited the two latter factors. Early, numerous cases of “mystery pneumonia” after the newest invasion of Iraq were explained away by smoking, rather than vaccines. Early symptoms of uranium exposure include pneumonitis-like illness.
Official investigations suppress evidence of uranium-induced illness and death. Studies by the military co-opt research institutes, universities, and international health and safety organizations: UNEP, ICRP, WHO, IAEA and other. From the precautionary principle, uncertain but potentially harmful effects should be prevented. Even if there’s “no proofs” of a link from DU to illness and death, the use of any uranium weapons ought to be discontinued out of the precautionary principle, given Gulf veteran complaints and scientific uncertainty. Scientific assessment of health effects of uranium follows standard risk analysis, but military and contracted “scientists” manipulate its every step. To criticisms, pseudo-science replies, “No evidence exists”. Sufficient evidence does exist, and if not, the precautionary principle should govern. Numerous serious flaws in official reports, and examples of manipulation of science, are plentiful.
Prudent scientists don’t make mistakes or omit facts. “Epidemiological study” deceptions abound, more so that epidemiology is manipulable. Apologists of uranium effects compare erroneously estimated incidence of cancers among veterans to statistics for general population. The latter is an incomparable group. Besides, official epidemiological statistics are biased downwards, since “background” radiation includes gradual accumulation of global radioactive pollution. WHO expeditiously compared DU-like illness incidence in Kosovo before and after NATO bombing. Statistics are incomparable, because of different population base: 300 or 400 thousand opponents of Albanian extremism left Kosovo, but many more migrants came from Albania. Pre-1999 Kosovo Albanians boycotted the Yugoslav state health care system, so the statistics quoted by WHO are fragmentary at best.
Short of a proof of any connection of illness and death to uranium on radiological battlefields, all the other claims of the opponents, including illegality of low-level radiation weapons, can be discounted. A dedicated subset of infowar manages the proof aspect. Information from military medical institutions is subject to “damage control”. Laboratories selected to do medical research for the complex have been corrupted and manipulated, and executives of organizations that conduct studies of contaminated sites and victims are subjected to pressures, while the complex doesn’t study the victims. International law is obstructed, lest it brought the perpetrators of uranium genocide to justice. At the same time, independent medical scientists, jurists and researchers are intimidated, smeared and discredited.
The actions create in medical science an artificial controversy with a dual purpose: to cloud the truth for the public, and – most important – to distract from illegality of uranium weapons of any kind. The effectiveness of this approach is seen in most of the mainstream press reports on health effects of uranium weapons. Seldom, if ever, the press quotes a humanitarian law jurist or a researcher of the new uranium weapon systems. This happens even in media outlets that declare journalistic standards of objectivity and quote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Obstruction of international law is thus a strategic goal of uranium proponents. The grassroots movement must be aware of it and support only those law initiatives against uranium and the weapons that are certain not to be used to stall the process of abolishing the weapons, bringing liability cases of uranium victims before courts, and prosecuting the perpetrators.
Labs and studies manipulated
Uranium detection and testing of contaminated persons require expertise, expensive equipment, and government contracts. Association with test results that reveal DU weapons effects and other uranium weapons use, is a major risk to the funding and contracts. The complex corrupts or intimidates the specialists to stop their engagement in independent research. Grants and contracts are manipulated to ruin disobedient labs.
Between 2002-2007, a few researchers collected evidence of uranium contamination from new weapons in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, and sent it to independent labs. This is becoming increasingly difficult. Several non-conforming labs have closed since handling uranium test samples. British NIGL lab revoked its test results for UMRC and declined to reveal its test results for Williams’ samples from Lebanon. Swiss government’s NBC-defence institute Labor Spiez (who proclaim “the world without WMD”) filtered water samples from Lebanon before testing for UNEP, thereby removing insoluble oxides among which UK Harwell lab found enriched uranium in specimens routinely split from William’s samples. Busby had identified as inappropriate the filtering of water samples in UNEP testing for the Balkans during the “Kosovo DU” scandal. NATO contractor Spiez played a key role in that UNEP testing, too, and issued NATO-biased articles.
Several weeks after Busby used the University of Wales lab in Bangor to measure the uranium in the Beirut ambulance filter and “got that story in the news, the lab was closed forever and the director, a radiochemist of 25 years Dr. Assinder was transferred to an administrative job. A few months later the Harwell lab told me they were no longer going to measure uranium in urine for me as they were scrapping the spectrometer.”
CTBT Organization’s monitoring network for testing of radioactive airborne dust must have been aware of the increases due to use of uranium weapons since the Balkan wars, if independents have discovered it via alternative methods. No countries reported these increases.
DOD and DND follow-up and screening programs have been unable to detect uranium contamination in veterans. US military doctors consider only retained shrapnel a uranium risk, even though inhalation is the primary contamination pathway. No lung or lymph node studies of veterans with shrapnel are permitted, preventing examinations of inhalational exposure. Studies and programs under military control refuse to conduct isotopic analyses – “a slap in the face to veterans”;
“DND’s and DOD’s DU screening and follow-up programs have not been conducted by laboratories and researchers reliably able to measure DU in veterans. Instead, multi-millions of research dollars are diverted to gratuitous studies on laboratory animals to examine irrelevant anatomical mechanisms and questionable biological pathways — body hair, shrapnel, ‘nose-only inhalation’, and ‘nose-brain barriers’. The outcomes of these studies will be meaningless for the majority of Gulf and Balkan veterans.”
Veterans aren’t eligible for DU bioassays in DOD and MOD screening programs, unless they excrete at least 50 ng of uranium per liter of urine, i.e. 600 % or higher than the average US, UK and Canadian citizen does for total uranium. Through incorporation of DU into organs and its clearance and possible dysfunctional effects on kidneys, the veterans may not excrete the threshold quantities. Total uranium concentration in urine determines neither the type nor degree nor origin of contamination (industrial, military, etc), but NATO countries limit screenings to total uranium. US state department’s website calls DU contamination “an urban legend” and rejects any link between DU and illness, while omitting the fact that,
“Alpha emitters […] are classified as carcinogenic by all the nuclear regulatory and environment health agencies. The State Departments position is as brilliant as stating that being run over by a car in the US might kill you but there is no proof that being run over by a truck in Iraq will hurt you.”
NATO country protocols of post-conflict medical diagnoses omit the causation of internal contamination by uranium; toxic effects (except kidney damage) from aerosol inhalation are ignored. Inadequate and inconclusive radiological, bioassay programs mean inability to examine contamination for veterans or the possible links to mutagenic effects on their children.
US government has admitted that 50 years of uranium fuel manufacturing has not led to serious epidemiological studies. Previous studies focused on cancer death as a biological endpoint, while ignoring chronic illnesses, deformed children, and other medical problems. Internal radiation dose was never calculated in the A-bomb studies, hence it cannot inform on the biochemical pathways of a particle in the body. Yet, ICRP analytical apparatus relies solely on the false data. “Scientists” apply ICRP estimates concerning uranium dust from nuclear industrial processes, not uranium weapons aerosols (including ceramic). Encoded into official data, analogies between military-uranium and nuclear-industry particles are invalid, because of cover-ups in the industry. Inhalation of uranium dust in nuclear processing is not biochemically equivalent to inhalation of ceramic uranium particles.
Vice chairman of US Gulf War veterans Denise Nichols criticized (October 2002) White House and Congress for “lack of accountability” and for failure “to apply lessons learned” to improve medical care of veterans. According to Nichols, civilians are also unprepared because lessons from the military are ignored: “Doctors and researchers that have seen the reality of Gulf War Illness have desperately tried to help but have been ignored and attacked professionally.” Nichols also referred to DOD documented sabotage of veterans records to hide Gulf War effects, and charged that government control of research funding prevented dissemination of knowledge. At the same time, DOD doesn’t educate their physicians on Gulf War illness, nor participate in true research, nor provide true treatment options to sick veterans.
Obstruction to international organizations
The complex controls international legislation and management of low-level-radiation issues. In radiological safety organizations, executives compromise the sincere efforts of their staff and the integrity of competent investigations, by yielding to the complex’s pressures. There is evidence to this effect regarding international organizations, e.g. ICRP and UNEP, down to national bodies, such as the Polish Atomic Agency, the Institute of Chemistry and Nuclear Technology, and the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw. By an agreement with WHO dating back to 1959, the only UN agency serving a private sector (nuclear industry), IAEA, has a monopoly on radiation aspects of uranium health effects, leaving to WHO the toxic aspect. This is a deliberate tool of control and cover-up of irradiation issues.
ICRP is responsible for prevalence of invalid models of risk to human health from internal, radiation sources like uranium particles. ICRP is a self-perpetuating body, where current members nominate new members; its reports are not subject to review by independent radiation experts. This process excludes representatives from public interest NGOs. ICRP”s 1990 revision cut the permitted low-level radiation dose by a factor of five; US hasn’t accepted the revision, so US soldiers receive “safe” doses. In the US, AEC, a civilian agency headed up by the military with no interest in exploring the hazards, controls the ionising radiation subject. Each of the four most distinguished scientists who worked for AEC, John Gofman, Karl Morgan, Thomas Mancuse and Alice Stewart, was intimidated for proving that low-level radiation causes cancer.
NATO website records corruption at international organizations, research and strategic studies institutes, and universities that have been enlisted to misinform about DU. DOD’s more objective reports are found on many independent websites, but looking for them at NATO websites is futile. No NATO country or WHO have carried out epidemiological studies of soldiers or civilians exposed in uranium wars, guaranteeing no confirmation or discovery of the health effects. US influenced UNGA in November 2001 to turn down a longstanding Iraqi request for a study on GW1 DU effects. Iraqi government invited WHO to investigate uranium contamination and health effects, but US pressure on WHO cancelled a full-fledged study. A planned visit by UN Justice Sik Yuen in 2002 was delayed by a heavy increase in bombings in Iraq’s southern “no fly” zone.
June 2003 NPRI symposium on DU weapons has followed the complex’s party line, and NPRI website features an incomplete set of links and Fahey’s propaganda. A policy research institute like NPRI should analyse previous policy and obstacles to change, and recommend policy directions and implementation, considering political, social and institutional factors, based on scientific findings. But the symposium isolated NPRI from the independent research community, contrary to prior assurances from executive director, Charles Sheehan-Miles. The symposium neither brought science together, nor made a connection to policy. Its recommendations are timid, impotent, and haphazard. If Helen Caldicott’s institute could be manipulated, what could be done to UNEP, WHO, IAEA and other institutions?
The symposium report gives inaccurate information and legitimizes individuals and organizations known to have been apologetic or deceptive about military uranium. It cites widely criticized “Environmental Exposure Report: Depleted Uranium in the Gulf (II)” edited by Bernard Rostker, whose DU Medical Follow-Up Program “has not detected adverse clinical outcomes”, “adverse radiological health effects are not expected” and further research should focus on “soldiers with embedded DU fragments”. DU properties are from non-scientists Rapacholi and Fahey. Radioactivity of DU is taken from Fahey’s “Science or Science Fiction” that lacks source of this information. Comparison of uranium alloys to natural uranium is misleading and parrots unscientific official statements. Putting undeserved persons on a pedestal of scientific authority creates further “experts” for the propaganda and misinformation machine to exploit.
Chair of US-based, International Science Oversight Board, Lynn Ehrle complained (8.11.2007) to Lord Rees, president of Royal Society, about censorship in their Interface, after two papers by Busby on DU were rejected, against reviewers’ recommendations. The papers challenged Royal Society reports approving of ICRP risk model. Ehrle noted that several members of Royal Society DU working group had co-authored papers in support of the model,
“creating conflicts of interest and biases that resulted in a Royal Society report that minimizes DU health risks […] No editor should use his/her independent relationship with the parent organization as a shield to censor research that is “outside the mainstream” or that challenges Society publications […] Most government agencies and medical societies claim participation by ALL stakeholders is essential to effective policy making, but that assertion actually masks official intentions that are often less than honorable, particularly when it comes to protecting the radiation establishment and nuclear power and military weapons industries […] The corporatization of medicine and conflicts of interest are subjects that require immediate attention […] The Royal Society leadership and its journal editors should be cognizant of the fact that there is an international cover-up of low-dose ionising radiation issues fueled by systemic conflicts of interest […] The editorial decision to censor the Busby DU papers is further proof of this cover-up.”
Busby summed up manipulations in science and publications that underlie policy
“Policy based on dishonest or biased peer- reviewed research, or based on biased or dishonest advice from expert committees has resulted in many hundreds of thousands of deaths of adults and children and will result in more. There is currently no law against such dishonesty or biased advice and culprits are not seen as criminals nor are they punished in any way in the UK. There is currently no such thing as a Scientific Crime.”
Intrigues and obstructionism
Obstructing independent scientists is deliberate. Via agent provocateurs, the complex exploits honest differences in order to neutralize grassroots movement’s capacity to incriminate:
“The matters of intrigue inside the anti-DU community are a microcosm of the overall issue we seek to address in our respective societies and internationally. It is within the narrow and selective anti-DU activist community and DU science and law sub-communities where the fight is being fought. It has been brought to this arena by those who know that the best way to contain a thing is to take the fight into its backyard.”
Destruction of Asaf Durakovic’s Canadian testing program at UMP (now UMRC) illustrates the damage inflicted by infowar, and intrigues. A campaign of intimidation produced a delay of testing, loss of data and Pat Horan’s “resignation” from Memorial University of Newfoundland lab that UMP contracted to test urine samples of veterans. Edward Ough, the Head of GW1 veterans radio-isotopic analysis program in Canada is behind Horan’s scandal. With others from Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Royal Military College of Canada, Ough wrote that Canadian testing hadn’t been able “to identify elevated levels of DU or even natural uranium in urine, hair or bone samples of veterans”. As previously with Horan’s work, Ough lied to destroy UMP credibility and existence. UMRC proved contamination of veterans in a different lab.
Horan episode is typical, in just one country. Intimidation, discreditation, even bribery continue, producing delays in study schedules and injuring reputation of independents. Some key independent scientists have been offered jobs with the military, grants and honours, and even a million dollars. One trusted lab contractor betrayed the cause by denying the credibility of own tests, only to land a military contract. Others are made to believe they are “dangerous to the establishment” in order to accelerate self-destruction; their offices and homes have been searched.
Obstruction takes many forms, from high-level lying, through media control, to harassment and abuse of individuals. An Australian medical professional commented on the obstructionism as “dishonourable and to be condemned”, because it “provides a transient gain in power for a few but long term damage to the whole of society”:
“the most pressing gaps in relevant information include reliable records of illnesses and mortality among individuals exposed to DU compared with similar groups not exposed. Accumulating this information takes time and a lot of work. In the presence of very active obstruction it also takes mutual encouragement. A related deficiency in the information available, also mainly due to active concealment and destruction of evidence, is detailed data on the extent of contamination by the characteristic nano-particles of DU. The second gap I believe relates to […] the failure of physicians, pathologists and the scientific teams which support them to do relevant investigations of individuals who have been exposed to the military use of DU […] it would seem at first to indicate a profound lack of honesty and ethical standards amongst my colleagues. The truth is however that there is widespread discouragement and harassment of any medical or scientific person who seeks the truth honestly and without fear or favour.”
Independent journalist Felicity Arbuthnot relates corruption of a family doctor by US authorities. Amy West and her husband who returned from the Gulf decided to have another baby; it was born with a rare lung condition. Amy spent a year, phoning those in the same town who had been in the Gulf. Out of 251 families with new babies, 67% had congenital abnormalities: ears, eyes or fingers missing, severe blood diseases or respiratory problems. Amy sent her findings, compiled with family doctor’s help, to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War illnesses. Bernard Rostker rejected them as “unscientific”. The family doctor apologized to Amy, but he could no longer work with her, and was unable to tell why.
Col. Ken Scott
One of DND’s highest ranking medical officers, Col. Ken Scott dismissed as a “fantasy” numerous media reports linking the use of radioactive weapons with Gulf veterans’ illnesses. As DND Medical Policy Unit director, he spoke two weeks before the death anniversary of Cpt. Terry Riordon, who died on 29.4.1999, diagnosed with Gulf War syndrome by DND’s Medical Centre in Ottawa. Oblivious to independent research, Scott said: “There is a disconnect between the reports you will see in the scientific literature and what you will see in the (mainstream) press”. Scott’s memo obtained under Access to Information Act refers to the “mountain” of evidence being built against DU by “special interest groups”: “If we can build a mountain high enough, even our own media may have to acknowledge that there is no unique, previously undescribed physical illness attributable to service in the Gulf War.” Scott embarked on a campaign of disinformation and smearing of independent researchers. In 13.9.2000 letter to Stars and Stripes, Scott castigated Durakovic’s work that it was not peer-reviewed.
Scott set out to build pro-DU mountain of “peer reviewed” evidence. Under his auspices, government’s DND and Veterans Affairs funded Gulf War Veterans’ Newsletter. By a legal agreement with veteran associations, every article in the newsletter was to be approved by all parties. In December 2000 issue of the newsletter, Scott broke this agreement. He “puts in context” media articles that “rekindled the flames of controversy surrounding health problems experienced by Gulf War veterans”, particularly their “alleged exposure to DU”. Scott misrepresents UMP as “an advocacy group that has recently been roundly criticized by American Gulf War veterans because – among other complaints – they released the names of veterans and their urine uranium results to the media without the participating individuals’ consent”.
Scott’s allegation reversed complaints against Hari Sharma who worked with UMP. Scott “informs” that an oft-quoted media source is “actually the mother-in-law of Dr. Asaf Durakovic”, creating an impression that a suspicious, vicious family is after the veterans’ urine. A mother-in-law is the chief vampire, while Asaf “has yet to publish results for evaluation and comment by the scientific and medical community”. In what Susan Riordon calls “kicking a dead man”, Scott pictures her late husband as a port security officer of Canadian forces deployed in Dubai in 1991, who left the military in 1995. According to Susan, “When he died in 1995, he had been a civilian for several years”. Documents show Cpt. Riordon was a forward intelligence officer. His classification was so secret that upon his death UMP had to stealthily remove his organs for autopsy before DND took custody of the body.
On the US study of veterans with embedded DU shrapnel that even DOD agent provocateur Fahey admitted fraudulent, the newsletter writes: “Nine years after the Gulf War these Americans have no symptoms or illness attributable to the DU.” On the effects of 1991, DU munitions and armour fire at Doha, where hundreds of soldiers have been exposed to uranium aerosol, Scott’s publication writes: “It would not be anticipated that such exposures would have produced any symptoms in the individuals involved.” In response to a question “What has the testing of Canadian Gulf War veterans for DU shown?”, the newsletter answers: “Total uranium levels were well within the range expected for a non-exposed population and were 1000 times less than levels found in Americans with embedded DU shrapnel […] The levels of total uranium in the urine of Canadian Gulf War veterans were too low to permit [isotopic analysis].” The newsletter misleads that bone and hair samples could be DU indicators, a deception repeated in a paper by Scott, Ough et al. Scott admits that the methods used were unable to detect uranium isotope ratios. This doesn’t necessarily mean no DU in urine. The Scott et al study of irrelevant hair samples used a deficient method, and demonstrated no knowledge of metabolic pathways of uranium contaminants. The study misled over 200 veterans in Scott’s “voluntary screening program”.
Trying to influence wider public opinion, Scott misrepresented facts and publicly smeared Durakovic and UMP. As in the newsletter, he denied post-Gulf War illness in Gulf countries where Canadian units served, despite reports to the contrary. He dismissed the case of Riordon, who “served 800 km from the battlefields”. Intelligence officer Riordon moved around. Contact with a carrier of uranium dust on clothing may contaminate.
Scott emphasized irrelevant, fraudulent and military-controlled “studies” of veterans with embedded DU shrapnel, and those by Institute of Medicine, RAND, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. His media statements contain so many misrepresentations and lies that ignorance can’t explain his bias. Scott charges that publicizing test results from independents misleads the veterans and unnecessarily scares them. Fahey does the same in email to Susan Riordon (12.3.2000): “[Durakovic’s] assertions are causing unnecessary fears among veterans and not contributing at all to advancing understanding of DU’s effects.” Scott doesn’t mentions illegality of uranium weapons and that the cover-ups are criminal. In LLRC-Fahey dispute regarding alleged Israeli uranium weapons in Lebanon, Fahey urges Busby to apologize on Al Jazeera for scaring the population.
Horan’s case is due to Scott, the architect of UMP program setback. In October 2003, Scott received a blow; Durakovic, whose team measured uranium concentrations up to 200 times higher in persons at Afghanistan’s bombed sites than in the control population, wrote in a peer-reviewed paper: “The adverse effects of internally deposited radionuclides, in particular the isotopes of uranium as a consequence of the military conflicts in the past decade have been well documented in the current literature.” Ill veterans and the movement were delayed a few years. Scott, his superiors and operatives in the complex lost any remaining traces of credibility and respect.
“Bad Cop” Dan Fahey
Dan Fahey’s 2001 law policy analysis argues for DU munitions, departing from his advocacy for veterans with Gulf War syndrome. Since then, Fahey has been on every anti-uranium weapons front, but defending the complex’s view. To appear sincere, he emphasizes facts no longer deniable: US Army “cleaned up” a few “mistaken” bombings on overseas ranges; DU is radioactive; those with shrapnel in follow-up programmes do get cancer; health research needs a revamp. He has effected ICBUW’s subversion on illegality of DU ammunition and leads the denial of new uranium weapons (obvious from his WISE website reports). He spoke at ICBUW Geneva presentation (March 2008), and monopolized weapons analysis in Avril MacDonald’s book, limiting the scope to by-then obsolete DU ammunition.
When milestone independent scientific uncoverings occur, he leads discrediting campaigns. In January 2007 email to pro-complex campaigners Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa, Fahey suggests “health studies of exposed populations” and “testing of potentially exposed populations […] In order for the results to be taken seriously, they must be done by real scientists using credible methods, not the sloppy work of Busy et al. The problem is that Busby et al tend to scare off credible scientists, partly through their aggressive tactics but also by making the issue look like a circus, which keeps people away […] maybe I can be the bad cop and slam them while the others move forward with a more positive agenda.” As a remedy for “Busby et al” Fahey names “Randy Parrish’s highly sensitive test” and “bigger groups, e.g. WHO, ICRC, MSF”, all of which have been established or compromised by the complex.
Fahey’s March 2003 “Science or Science Fiction” posted on WISE (that has since showed change of colours), confirms his military advocacy; it slanders some scientists, researchers and activists for collaboration with “the governments of Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, Yasser Arafat and Taliban sympathizers”. Fahey has graduated from a law and diplomacy school; the wording isn’t coincidental during US and Israeli wars when citizens face liability for adversarial collaboration. De-bunking Fahey’s posting on DU-Watch, several people deemed (20.9.2003) his article deceptive, disguised in objectivity and concern for the integrity of anti-DU activism. Fahey labels concerned parties “speculative” and “alarmist” while they work in a data vacuum. The article insists on “corroboration” of independent findings, while being involved in destroying and gagging the remaining independents.
Fahey worries about scaring DOD off with “speculations” and “apocalypse” by amateurs and whistleblowers without money and resources. The article’s table of contents indirectly reveals the issues DOD tries to hide, intermixed with a few undeniable truths against uranium weapons. Out of Fahey’s ten “myth cases”, only three concern the complex’s obvious deception, as if the anti-uranium movement has created most of the myths. Even in the cases against the complex, the arguments do not cover vital aspects, e.g. discussion on ineffectiveness of DU munitions in saving US soldier lives doesn’t quote a tragic post-combat casualty rate. Using half-truths and inaccuracies, the remaining seven cases point against the anti-DU entities, coinciding with DOD’s worst fears of being exposed on the following:
- massive use of new uranium weapons (hence Fahey’s attacks on Williams);
- sharing military technology with a rogue power, Israel (critique of Yasser Arafat, International Action Centre, Rokke, Williams, Bein and Zoric);
- civilian casualties and genocide (governments of Iraq and Yugoslavia, Taliban sympathizers, Williams, Bein, Leuren Moret); and
- new uranium alloys to make post-combat detection difficult (UMRC).
In Fahey’s article, DOD “truths” are presented against opinions of “some anti-DU activists, the governments of Iraq and the former-Yugoslavia, Yasser Arafat, and Taliban sympathizers” who have allegedly “worked jointly and independently to promote apocalyptic vision of DU’s effects” that attract “an undue amount of media attention”. For lack of evidence that, e.g. UMRC sympathize with foreign governments, UMRC falls with “anti-DU activists”. As scientists, UMRC researchers are neither pro- nor anti-uranium. They are as much activists as DOD are pacifists. Similar goes for Rokke, former US Army health specialist in NBC-E exposures, and DU assessment expert in GW1. Fahey’s labels try to hurt opponents’ reputation (political involvement of scientists) and intimidate (infringement of war laws in war times). Regarding “undue” media exposure, how does he determine that “promoted” claims are “apocalyptic”, “absurd”, propaganda etc? “Undue” is imbalanced, too, because he assesses neither media attention to the opposite views, nor lack of attention to key, covered-up aspects.
Fahey puts unspecified “scores of scientific studies and reports on DU” between the opinions of DOD and “anti-DU activists” (i.e. independents like UMRC and LLRC) into classes that reflect DOD view: (1) “health problems in laboratory rats”; (2) “evidence of human health effects caused by DU is inconclusive”; (3) re-iteration of DOD-approved, pre-GW1 knowledge. Yet, the article seeks “constructive dialogue and sensible scientific studies”, while avoiding real myths of official studies. Despitr ample research on biological and medical effects of U238, main DU component, Fahey considers trivialities, e.g. “when was DU used for the first time”. Is his estimate of GW1 DU tonnage relevant, when order of magnitude more is incinerated at US military disposal facilities? Why is it relevant that one in seven Iraqi tanks was destroyed with DU, if one DU particle from an illegal weapon could ruin one’s health? Fahey goes along with Jane’s publication when counting DU weapons, but when Williams refers to Jane’s, it’s not evidence. Only UNEP, WHO and Royal Society conclusions are “respectable” to Fahey. Then ECRR, LLRC and UMRC results should be ignored? Also troubling is Fahey’s regard for media and military sources. Courts do not admit press reports as support of allegations.
Professor Hari Sharma
Hari Sharma, a nuclear chemist at the University of Waterloo in Canada has tested samples from veterans Ray Bristow and Terry Riordon who received his results (28.4.1999) as “the first Canadian veteran”. Riordon died the next day. UMP (now UMRC) telephoned (26.4.1999) the first results to his spouse Susan. She testified: “The official letter on DU positive testing via urine for Terry is signed by Dr. Asaf Durakovic. It has long been known that Asaf was the ‘scientific caregiver’ for Terry. Dr. A. Durakovic still fills this role today and shall for the next year, if not longer. Sharma’s association with any item of Terry was not solely Sharma’s. It was in cooperation with Asaf and Len Dietz. Therefore all notification came under UMP.”
UMP’s identification of DU in the urine samples called for follow-up research on body parts. UMP sought assistance from Susan Riordon, the Atlantic Director of Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association (CPVA), with wide contacts with veterans in Canada and abroad. Spin doctors used the need for examining organs to discredit independent researchers; Durakovic was labelled “Dr. Death”. Susan Riordon recalls: “This leading degrading comment/title appeared to have raised via Dan Fahey [...] He requested no communication with George Angus Parker, U.K. Veteran of [GW1], as well no communication to UMP as they were not ‘seeking to help others’.” When Susan did communicate with Durakovic, she received a flood of nasty emails: “The general theme was that I personally was creating harm to Veterans by withholding information.”
Susan Riordon has 9.7.1999 letter from Sharma at University of Waterloo, stating that he is returning a second urine sample from Terry Riordon unopened, because Susan questioned Sharma’s credibility “in the sense that I am somehow associated with the Department of Defense.” Based on internal memos from Scott obtained under freedom of information, Susan maintains that Sharma has collaborated with the military against veteran interests: “The communication of Ken Scott with Sharma is clear [leading] to a meeting with Sharma that lasted several days [...] I have personally concluded Sharma’s hand in hand with the very people that allowed Terry’s death and disregarded our Veterans care.”
Sharma e-mailed (6.5.1999) UMP that he would turn over a portion of some veterans’ urine samples, and will be disposing of several other samples. Sharma and the university accepted veterans’ payment to analyse many samples. Consequently, the veterans requested that Sharma be restrained from destroying any portion of the samples, and all samples and results be handed over to UMP. In a May 5 e-mail Sharma informed UMP he would provide the results to Dr. Boctor in England, who charitably co-funded the analyses. Veterans objected, because Boctor was a psychiatrist, not a specialist in uranium contamination, and didn’t own the samples or results. Critics further allege that Sharma didn’t produce results from a privately financed assignment in Iraq. He allegedly was DND consultant while Ottawa worked to take control of UMP international veterans project and Horan’s work. When UMP and Horan didn’t capitulate, DND used Ough, a long-time friend with Wright, the Head of the Memorial University Program that ran the lab where Horan worked, to try and turn her to their side by intimidation. They failed, forced her out and changed the lab’s name.
“Sharma never had a single result from the lab about Terry Riordon nor did he have access to most of the UK veterans results.” According to the source, Sharma acquired 7-9 results before UMP caught onto his game with DND: “He therefore produced a false report for the UK vets based on his Neutron Activation analysis and told the UK vets it was from the TIMS lab where Pat Horan worked [...]UK vets still won’t believe that their results report from Sharma is falsified.”
Being in possession of the original data from both labs, UMRC re-ran the samples and published the results in Military Medicine. But the game set them back two years – an obvious objective of DND. According to UMRC, this peer-reviewed paper is the real report for UK veterans, some of whom believe they got the results from Sharma. By an agreement, UMRC reported the real results to them. Because DND intervention delayed UMP work, several frustrated veterans turned against UMP. Dan Fahey emailed Susan Riordon (12.3.2000): “I did not become overly concerned about [Durakovic] until several veterans recently contacted me about him. These veterans have not been able to get their test results from Dr. Durakovic, and they believe he misled and used them.” Memorial University tried to recover UK veterans receivables from UMP and inflated the bill by 250% over the original agreement. UMRC didn’t receive money from some veterans. DND tried to force UMRC to turn over all lab data that Horan sneaked out of the university lab.
The military has been incessantly trying to destroy the Military Medicine paper credibility. It is the only single study in NATO countries that confirms DU contamination from Iraq, other than “studies” of retained shrapnel under Dr. McDiarmid through which DOD seeks to distract from true data on urine bioassays and inhalation exposure. This effort has very successfully curtailed any US program. DOD used Fahey in an attempt to damage UMRC in conjunction with MTP and Sharma. Fahey has systematically discouraged veterans from coming to UMRC for independent analysis. He tried to make Sharma the magnet. There are copies of email by Fahey, MTP and NGWRC that told people UMRC and Durakovic was a scientifically incompetent fraud. To hurt UMRC after they stopped him in Canada, Sharma played right along with this. Oddly, Sharma’s report declares: “We are apolitical and therefore we request scientists and people at large to refrain from raising political questions”. But the same report cites Fahey’s propagandist articles. Of all authors on this theme Sharma chose by-then discredited Fahey. Fahey and Sharma publications use references selectively and ignore scientific leaders, thereby lending more weight to self and to obscure citations. Both authors played a prominent role at 2003 NPRI symposium on health effects of DU.
MOD testing program
The complex destroyed North American independent science and tried to do so in UK that is key to leverage in NATO and UN. MOD has built manipulation and deceit into its testing program. Unlike clinical labs of UMRC type, geological labs employed by MOD aren’t bound by confidentiality and patient management obligations. By contrast, under legal agreements UMRC reports all results to participants. UMRC studies of veterans 7-9 years after exposure indicated that some DU-exposed persons had clinical symptoms of internal DU contamination, but no detectable DU in urine. Other vets had clinical symptoms with very low levels of DU, i.e had kidney damage attributable to uranium toxicity; kidneys damaged by chronic exposure to uranium can’t remove it.
UMRC with Len Dietz had developed the methodology that Randy Parrish’s geological lab used in MOD test program for GW1 veterans. It doesn’t derive from Sharma, who has used an outdated bioassay method. In 1998, MTP and NGWRC announced the release of Sharma’s results confirming DU in urine of GW1 veterans. Specialists wondered how Sharma was able to report findings in UK veterans’ urine, unachievable with this method, but, probably misled by Sharma’s fame, some activists got excited that MOD program would use it. UMRC, with Horan at Memorial University, has developed a method using Thermal Ionizing Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) that detects and measures low volumes of uranium in urine. UK veterans involved in this project, creating an abundance of cases with conclusive DU contamination test results. When DND destroyed Horan’s career and had the program shut down, UMRC formed association with Horan’s colleague, Parrish. UMRC website features references to publications and scientific papers involving Parrish. UMRC and Parrish modified TIMS methodology for equipment in his lab. UMRC severed the association after Parrish became compromised at 2003 NPRI symposium.
DUOB (with Busby and Hooper) and UMRC attempted to support and promote Parrish to win MOD contract to test GW1 veterans. The choice was based on jointly developed methods and credibility of UMRC’s published results and studies at Parrish’s lab. Only a credible team of clinical specialists in radio- and chemo-toxicity and veteran studies in labs like Parrish’s would show MOD liability. Combined with kidney damage from uranium toxicity, the delay since GW1 means very low levels in urine. Such levels are toxic according to ICRP and NRPB half-life models. Although NRPB has challenged ICRP’s model parameters for ceramic oxide clearance from the body, neither NRPB nor European Commission officially recognize these revisions. MOD (and other official studies) would thus be able to dismiss the findings.
Without molecular-level examination of internal organs, MOD would deny any risk associated with low levels of DU if found by Parrish’s lab. DUOB offered UMRC to analyze bioassay test results but MOD prohibited this. Reporting total concentrations of uranium and reporting DU abundances in urine and associated radioactivity is meaningless without the dose reconstruction and lung burden analysis followed by clinical studies. Where DU is identified, a nano-particle analysis should be conducted on biopsied organ tissues, supplemented with chromosome studies.
DUOB has manipulated the science to dismiss depleted and enriched uranium in UK veterans, so that the “results cannot be used to draw conclusions about veterans’ contamination”:
“The extrapolation for rats and large enriched uranium particles over 6 months to humans and sub micron ceramic uranium oxide particles over 13 years is unscientific […] the DUOB measurement process did not obtain the information it set out to obtain”. 
UMRC believe that DUOB’s Minority Report by Busby and Hooper omits the change by DUOB’s Parrish et al of the geophysical ratios of natural uranium (U235/U238) to deny the findings of depleted and enriched uranium in UK veterans.
Some anti-DU activists are naive to the science issues and problems, and to interference and subterfuge facing independent researchers. Every time they get something going, the government steps in or uses others to compromise the work and the lab, through promises of contracts or withdrawal of funding, promises of fame and reputation through scientific recognition of work for the government, and revenues for labs. If an activist can’t grasp the issues, neither will the public.
Several of these individuals are damaging legitimate research, either consciously or under influences, for personal and professional reasons. It was rather naive of these persons to celebrate the MOD decision. Instead, they should have pointed out the MOD manipulation and misrepresentation, the need for clinical and nano-particle analysis, and government plans to manipulate the results. MOD gave the vets a bone to win over popular support in Europe, since the only English speaking country where press covered UMRC’s Afghanistan results is also the only Alliance member faced with an abundance of veterans with confirmed DU contamination.
Promotion of chemist Sharma and geologist Parrish by NPRI, NGWRC and MTP kept the independent clinical research in the shadows. Ill veterans have something to consider, and DU-contaminated foreign civilians know where not to look for help.
As criminally as they had dispersed radioactivity, US military “cleaned up” bomb and battle sites at US-occupied facilities in Iraq, mainly in Baghdad area, by removing and trucking surface soil into the desert and re-surfacing with fresh sand. The potentially contaminated soil was also incorporated into defensive berms and security caissons. Topsoil replacement re-suspended contaminated dust over large areas (e.g. 5 million residents in Baghdad), “also exposing thousands of U.S. military personnel and the many frequent foreign visitors including NGO staff, reconstruction crews, business and trade delegates, and diplomatic and foreign service employees”.
UMRC observed earth-moving crews “landscaping” the battlefields under supervision of US engineering divisions, to remedy contaminated sites and remove damaged and disabled military assets. Coalition troops avoided the radioactive sites and radioactive, disabled Iraqi assets. Represented as a cleanup of unexploded munitions and other dangerous debris, it was a “careless”, “systematic but incomplete effort” at visible sites along the roads;
“The backfill is used to cover ad hoc battlefield graveyards, diesel, kerosene and oil spills, an extensive array and high quantity of unexploded tank munitions, pools of loose high-explosive polymer fills, unexploded mines and cluster munitions, and uranium oxide deposits surrounding burned-out and penetrator-defeated Iraqi tank defensive positions.”
Baghdad Gate site required three UMRC visits for its size and complexity;
“Left open and exposed were the scorched and twisted remains of tanks […] circular burn (DU oxide pools) patches 8 to 10 meters in diameter remained uncovered and undisturbed by the landscaping operation. The field team was invited to join a travelling Iraqi family that had stopped here to have lunch. They were seated on a concrete bench less than 6 metres from a radioactive source measuring [about 200 times] the already elevated, Baghdad reference level.”
US forces team conducted (August 2003) a radiation survey of Nasiriyah battlefield 370 km southeast of Baghdad. Local residents watched as each tank was inspected with radioactivity counters. Two of the five tanks were pulled out and transported to the Coalition occupied airport. Three months after, UMRC found three remaining tanks radioactive. Residents of the houses 30 m away reported being warned by the US team; teenagers watching the survey and tank removal were advised not to play in the tanks because they could get sick. UK military failed to post warnings or remove hazards at Abu Khasib near Basra, GW2 largest battlefield. Unlike in Baghdad, UMRC found Basra’s combat areas largely unchanged seven months after the battle. MOD surveyors in full-body radiation suites inspected Abu Khasib site. Accompanying translators warned local residents, salvagers and recyclers (described as looters by Western media) about the radioactivity, encouraging bystanders to post warning signs on the tanks to children, salvagers and curiosity seekers. UMRC later found the highest number, levels and concentrations of radioactive source points and hot spots in tanks and vehicles surveyed by MOD, and elevated readings on the ground, in the air and in occupied buildings on the site.
UK forces had neither posted warnings, nor sealed nor removed the highly radioactive assets, but the army’s Royal Logistics Corp posted photos of Iraqi tank remains in Abu Khasib on the internet, a curiosity-seekers attraction by the Abu Khasib-Basra road. Salvagers removed the tank’s engine and parts. UMRC found the tank’s radioactivity at 200 times background. Tens of thousands unexploded munitions and ballistic debris littered Abu Khasib and Basra battlefields at the time of UMRC survey. UK forces were regularly seen in the area, careful not to approach the battlefields and disabled Iraqi materiel.
Contamination in Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, Lebanon and recently Gaza have overshadowed Balkan uranium troubles. Ostensibly done on behalf of supposedly persecuted Muslims, NATO bombings in 1994-1995 and 1999 legitimized a fundamental Bosnian Muslim state and Kosovo independence for Albanians. The Muslims are exposed to NATO uranium weapon residue, an effect contrary to NATO humanitarian rhetoric. Beliitling of the Balkan uranium contamination by world opinion is due to subjugation of the new Balkan governments to NATO-EU agendas, and Serbian politics of partial appeasement to join EU, but condemn NATO. Balkan independents remain ineffective with their insufficient expertise, while NATO propaganda prays on public ignorance. Sporadic Western interest focuses on own troops rather than on Balkan civilians. World public opinion, once brainwashed to mistake Serbs for ethnic cleansers and killers, have little sympathy for Serbs, and the Muslims have been conditioned not to raise the uranium health risk issues.
NATO misled onto the DU track, even though still unidentified radioactive weapons were used in the Balkans. An old bunker reported by NATO as bombed with DU ammunition in Montenegro, could not have been shattered with such weapon. UNEP found high-level, non-DU radioactivity at the site, but this has been suppressed and forgotten. NATO has used new earth-penetration weapons, e.g. at Novi Sad refinery and Grdelica bridges. These weapons might be built of uranium metal.
NATO used more DU than it has reported, leaving some entries in their list of bombed sites blank. NATO nonchalantly admitted transuranic contamination of DU at the height of the 2000/2001 scandal. Most of the public, with official media’s help, remain unaware of the risks of nuclear waste in DU. Without expertise (that is not available locally) it would not be possible to determine what portion of the dramatic cancer rate increase in Serbia is due to transuranic contamination in DU.
UN Balkans Task Force attempts to include DU in its post-conflict assessments were subverted before the UNEP study could start, and director Klaus Töpfer manipulated the reports, on DOD instructions. WHO health study in Bosnia began concurrently with a UNEP DU-site study in 2002, i.e. 8 years after DU weapons were first used there. As in previous uranium wars, the risk of DU in “Kosovo” was absolutely denied at first, although in July 1999 a NATO document warned KFOR countries about the toxicity of DU weapons. Even that warning was late, as NATO and UN personnel entered Kosovo 2nd week of June 1999. Efforts by UN deputy high commissioner for refugees to caution Kosovo civilians of the risks met with resistance from Kosovo Albanian politicians, NATO and UN.
NATO released DU-bombed site data well over a year late, understating the tonnage, and delayed for 16 months the necessary target information and access for site monitors. There were ambiguities for several locations in the NATO data. For Bosnia, the data appeared 5 to 6 years after the fact, also incomplete. UNEP measured radioactivity at 14 sites in Bosnia, but only at 2 of the 8 sites around Sarajevo marked “unknown” on NATO list. Sarajevo medical professional Dr.Trifko Guzina revealed the domicile of hundreds of Bosnian patients – those already dead and those fighting cancer seven years after the bombing. Was there a correlation with the “unknown” locations?
UNEP teams went to NATO-approved sites in Kosovo and Bosnia, and were banned from some important sites. The sites may be in drop areas of cluster bombs and other uranium weapons. It is plausible that UNEP discovered only low contamination levels because of DOD’s advance cleanups. Uranium hard-target weapons may have been dropped on deeply buried Yugoslav defenses in Kosovo. Despite a warning, UNEP did not test bomb or missile targets in their second study in Serbia and Montenegro in Fall 2001.
Yugoslav experts critical of nuclear power and radioactivity have been marginalised, sent to early retirement and live in poverty, intimidated and dependent of the regime. Similar fate has met scientists in Iraq, where in addition death squads have killed some of them. Serbian public is manipulated with misleading statements from Serbian nuclear physicists who, as in Poland and other members of the complex, are typically detached from biological impacts of radioactivity. An example from the 2000/2001 “Kosovo DU” scandal: official Polish radiological “authorities” maintained DU weapons used in Kosovo were no problem, while older Polish scientific books stated the opposite about the kind of contamination NATO released in the Balkans.
Serbian alternative elites aspiring to national self-determination know little about uranium weapons politics. At Belgrade Forum conference on the 10th anniversary of NATO bombing, a Serbian elite member proposed to demand EU funds and expertise to deal with the DU problem. EU is in power structures responsible for masterminding the Balkan conflicts, releasing radioactivity in NATO military actions globally, and covering up the problems that nuclear complex has created globally. Similar request was made to NATO in Brussels by Bosnian medical authorities during the “Kosovo DU” scandal, when first victims of the Bosnian war appeared. Predictably, no Balkan entity has received any effective help. Don’t expect the perpetrator to admit to the crimes.
Why a friend of Serbs, Russia can’t do more on the uranium problem? Is Russia holding a trump card against Serbia’s membership in the Atlantic structures? Russia has political clout to do it without fear of intimidation, interference and death threats received by Western independents who try to help victims of radioactive wars globally. Russia has the expertise and equipment for testing victims, environment and bombed sites. Their nuclear medical expertise could possibly help the victims and doesn’t need to be curtailed as it is in the West. Russia also has military intelligence to know possible new uranium weapons.
Balkan peoples should enlist the proven Western independents to test the victims and the environment and to recommend a course of self-help, independent of any Balkan puppet governments. Time is running out.
Since my 2003 Hamburg brief on the subject, cover-ups of uranium weapons have worsened. The worst offenders are US, UK and Israel, but remaining NATO and Partnership for Peace states collude in cover-ups at national and international level. According to a leading researcher of uranium weapons, “the psychological, legal, scientific and media deception used to conceal the development and use of these weapons may be the best kept military secret of the last 20 years. To date it has protected their designers, manufacturers, political sponsors, exporters and deploying forces from civil or criminal prosection.”
Covering up crimes against humanity
Covering up war crimes and crimes against humanity, and military and foreign policy based on such information, are crimes themselves. The extent of the sabotage, deception and obfuscation indicates that those who inflict uranium micro-particles on the world are aware of the enormous dimensions of their crime and will go to extraordinary lengths to cover it up. The need to press on until they are stopped is overwhelming.
Pro-uranium weapons propaganda operates within the complex’s cover-up system. At its “scientific” core is a seriously flawed ICRP model, according to which low-level internal radiation from fine uranium particles is not a hazard. Proponents of uranium power and weapons use the model instead of empirical evidence, which they suppress with a sophisticated misinformation and fact-distortion.
Unless the legal thresholds of acceptability of so-called low-level radiation are removed, the perpetrators of radiological weapons would continue to contravene humanitarian law and keep contaminating the planet with radioactivity. Ultimately, massive long-term human catastrophe might result, far beyond the borders of radioactive wars.
Misled into ban
A complete and universal termination of the development, testing, production and use of these weapons of indiscriminate effect and delayed mass destruction would stop the mega-crimes. However, pressing for a ban or a treaty is counterproductive, since uranium weapons are already banned by UNHRC. The ban treaty processes would be prolonged, to argue that existing customary law that outlaws the weapons is invalid since a ban treaty process is in progress. Even if a ban treaty was enacted, the said offenders are known for ignoring treaties.
The complex’s agent provocateurs have hi-jacked many unsuspecting anti-uranium organisations and activists into the offenders’ position, undermining anti-uranium initiatives and helping the complex duck responsibility. The complex has side-tracked most of the arms control campaigners to fight already obsolete DU systems.
An anti-tactics may be to pursue enforcement of established standards for allowable radioactive doses. In its grip on radiological safety, the complex has been disregarding the international and national, occupational and civilian permitted dose levels.
Studies corrupted and manipulated
The complex continues to manipulate inquiries of international organizations on toxic-radioactive battlefields and in fallout areas, and interferes in national follow-up programs on contaminated veterans, to the point that the official studies have become farcical. Proven invalid by independents, test methods and procedures of official studies have been rehearsed and “fool-proofed”, while the independents’ methods are marginalized and ridiculed, and the independents – intimated and smeared, as in the past.
Meanwhile, new weapons, containing more uranium per munition come on stream, in ever more atrocious uses in urban areas, contaminating local populations, and the globe with toxic-radioactive aerosols. In prolonged “peacekeeping” and occupation, own troops, contractors and aid workers are exposed to contaminated dust.
Proofs of illegal weapon use are in the bodies of veterans of radiological wars and civilian victims of the contamination left behind. Being the prey of the cover-ups, the victims should ask the sponsors of testing programmes a number of technical questions (given in my 2003 Hamburg brief), and examine the details provided.
Emerging global threat
Case in point Israel also endangers own civilian population with fallout, by waging radioactive wars on neighbours. Israeli bombing with uranium weapons of “suspected” Syrian nuclear facility in al Khibar, allegedly capable of producing nuclear weapons, may be a rehearsal before Israeli attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities on the pretext of nuclear weapon production, to contaminate the region and blame it on destroyed secret Iranian nuclear weapons.
Non-depleted and natural-like uranium signature in the weapons serve to conceal the intent and blame the targeted facilities and surroundings as source of the uranium varieties found at bombing sites. This would be congruent with Zionist plans for the region, Israeli nuclear bellicosity the Judeocentric dominance of regional and global politics, and other powers’ apocalyptic mindset.
Increasing fanaticism and bellicosity of ruling elites might also bring about the use of new generation radioactive weapons in all-out wars, and new applications of uranium metals in protracted military operations, such as bombing in Northern Pakistan, that resembles US operations in Iraq between the Gulf Wars. The risks increase as the power elites are driven by messianic-apocalyptic ideology that also gives them a false conviction of own salvation in the nuclear Armageddon.
Drastic political (Kosovo’s illegal separation from Serbia) and military ventures (Georgia’s attack on Southern Ossetia, Israel’s attack on Gaza) prove that large civilian inequity and “collateral damage” bordering on genocide are no concern.
Spread of low-level radiation
All uranium metal originating from US and used in weapons and civilian products contains powerful radioactive elements mixed into the stock as nuclear waste. Military expansion and armed conflicts between the global power seekers and their adversaries may lead to the use of uranium weapons by states other than US, UK and Israel. Consumer applications of uranium products such as GEC’s Heavy Metal Alloy and Starmet’s Ducrete will also spread U236 and transuranics in the environment.
The military doesn’t even clean up after themselves, leaving contaminated soil and destroyed materiel behind. When “clean-up” is performed, it disturbs the contaminated soil, easing its lift-up into the local, regional and global atmosphere. More tonnage of uranium in munitions is burned on US military ranges when expired, than is used on overseas battlefields.
False-flag operations might use radioactive weapons, to shock the public, as 2002 Bali, 9/11 and other propaganda attacks have done. Another threat is from missile launches and shields located in scapegoat countries that might attract attacks, as is the case with Poland and Czech Republic.
FGNW that satisfy CTBT provisions will be the next concern. Nuclear powers, especially present non-nuclear states, will likely produce and deploy these low-level radiation polluters in the near future.
Think and act globally and locally
Offender countries’ societies focus more on the victim veterans of their forces than on civilian victims of uranium battlefields. Because Central and Eastern European and Balkan countries are targeted to polarize and weaken Europe, more disinformation campaigns and cover-ups of uranium weapons can be expected from these regions.
US-NATO is moving military bases and training ranges from Germany eastwards for a number of reasons, incl. opposition to uranium weapon production, stocks and exercises in Europe. US, NATO and EU political and military structures incorporate new countries globally, with the possibility of conflicts using uranium weapons. Global shift of exercises and testing of uranium weapons will challenge emerging local activism and existing anti-uranium movement in the West and Japan. Infringement on civil liberties in Western countries (US Patriot Act and DHS concentration camps, EU new constitution and more totalitarian law) and subjugation of dependent and occupied nations would involve more risk for anti-uranium activists.
The grassroots movement should prepare populations of potentially targeted areas, for rudimentary mitigation of radioactive-toxic exposure. This was missed in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza. At the time of writing, political rhetoric suggests the following radioactive conflicts: Israel-NATO against Iran, India against Pakistan, and Israel against neighbours. Some of them might escalate to others purposely drawn in.
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