Uranium Weapons Cover-ups in Our Midst
Uranium Weapons Cover-ups in Our Midst
Piotr Bein, PhD
A brief invited to World Uranium Weapons Conference
Hamburg, October 16-19, 2003
Post-conference version, November 1, 2003
…We deal With invisible enemies We trade In dangers unseen… — Afon Claerwen, November 2002
From Manhattan Project to Hamburg
The concept of toxic-radioactive warfare dates back to World War II when air attacks with uranium oxide aerosols were considered a realistic threat. The military recognized the potential of uranium smoke (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 Manhattan Project considered development of uranium aerosol weapons, as is documented in a 1943 memo to general Groves [http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Groves-Memo-Manhattan30oct43.htm].
The War Department was later re-named Department of Defense (Pentagon). Pentagon knew the hazards of fine uranium particles, but has developed depleted uranium (DU) ammunition that became a contentious issue after wars in the Persian Gulf and the Balkans. Leading scientists have joined with an increasing number of victims of DU weaponry, including former combatants and civilians, and pressured the governments that have developed and used, or sanctioned the use of, these weapons.
Cover-ups of uranium effects must have gone on since WW II, but pro-DU propaganda surfaced only after the first massive use of DU ammunition in 1991 Gulf War. That war broke a 46-year-long taboo against the intentional use or induction of radioactivity in combat, creating a military and legal precedent, and trivializing the combat use of radioactive materials.
The “Kosovo” DU scandal in 2000/2001 saw information warfare employed to defend uranium non-atomic weapons, including intimidation of vocal victims of DU, independent researchers, and activists in the West and former Soviet block countries. A growing number of concerned groups tracked misinformation, deceptions and the politics of uranium weapons. This material precipitated propaganda analyses presented to international conferences in Manchester in November 2000 [Bein], in Prague a year later [Bein and Zorić], and in a University of Belgrade monograph in 2003 [Bein and Parker].
The latter paper married the propaganda and the legalistic themes, as the illegality of uranium weapons continues to be the weakest point (actually, a no-point) of their proponents. UN resolutions since 1996 call DU weaponry “incompatible” (i.e. illegal) under existing humanitarian law and human rights [UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/27 and additions; E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/38 and E/CN.4/.Sub.2/2003/35]. The cover-ups are bound to tighten around the illegality issues.
UK researcher Dai Williams substantially expanded the understanding of uranium weapons other than DU. 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 [http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/du2012.htm; http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u231.htm; http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u23.htm]. 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 ground-to-ground and air-to-ground missile systems. A variation of shaped charges are used in anti-tank cluster bombs.
Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC) found high contamination of residents near sites bombed in Afghanistan [http://www.umrc.net/AfghanistanOEF.asp; Durakovic 2003]. UMRC planned the first field trip to Afghanistan, based on data about uranium weapons in Afghanistan that was researched independently of Williams. His research corroborated UMRC information. All samples were analyzed for the concentration and ratio of uranium 234, 235 236 and 238. The analysis identified non-depleted uranium and urinary excretion of total uranium significantly exceeding the values in the non-exposed population.
Media reports, and political and legal campaigns, including the work of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, have focused specifically on DU weapons. The isotopic composition of military uranium residue in Afghanistan resembles natural uranium, except for traces of uranium 236, which most labs cannot detect and would declare natural uranium. Williams commented to the Sub-Commission recently: “[Undepleted uranium] offers a major advantage of concealment from detection during medical and environmental testing – except for excessive abundance as seen in the UMRC samples. Unless great vigilance and advanced laboratory methods are applied, undepleted Uranium can be dismissed as “increased background” levels of natural uranium (as done by US and Canadian military environmental reports from Afghanistan).”
How does it affect us
If the new weapon systems contain undepleted uranium, then the governments responsible can deny that they use DU. Williams writes: “Scores of written replies from the UK Government to MPs, and personal correspondence to me, have contained specific denials about the use of DU in guided weapons of all kinds. They have declined to respond to recent questions about undepleted uranium.” The ability to uncover uranium weapons other than DU depends much on public opinions. The complex will continue to mislead. Our movement, using outside scientific and legalistic expertise, must change existing perceptions.
Each new war disposes of very hazardous nuclear waste on new territory, away from the producer’s country, in uranium weapons that the proponents call “conventional”. We are unfortunately richer in experience through a series of wars that the US politicians promise will not end any time soon. We also learned that the movement is manipulated by the adversary, making us divided, instead of focused on the most desired objectives. With our numbers, brain power and determination we will turn these challenges into opportunities, and will beat uranium weapons to the Earth’s insides, from where they should have never arisen.
The material and evidence I reviewed for this invited brief indicates that anti-uranium weapon movement is infiltrated and corrupted. The subterfuge usually occurs on the more specialized frontlines, into where the general membership does not look and therefore remains unaware of the threats. Consequently, the establishment has marginalized, if not intimidated, many of our warriors, making them less effective and delaying the achievement of our goals. The manipulations create or increase our polarization, and plant intrigues among our groups, which lead to distrust within the movement and frustrate the efforts of sincere membership. Davey Garland wrote: “these issues are vital to the survival of the movement, but also for it to evolve.” [du-watch, September 21, 2003]. Without it, he added privately two days later, “we will be throwing mud for the next few years.”
I submit some of the cases that have sufficient background material for verification. I present them without prejudice and in good faith, trusting they will help our leaders and members use them wisely for the common good. Hopefully, this brief will be useful for dealing with the perpetrators: remedying the damage done within our ranks and in public opinions, and mitigating adversary’s future attempts. We can make a change even though we cannot control production and use of the weapons.
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 (which as a whole are referred to as radiological weaponry in this brief) 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 really focus on bringing to justice those who have used it and redirecting action towards the victims of these weapons. But the international community and the anti-uranium movement still confronts the “denial and deflect” policies of the weapon makers, proliferators and users.
Understanding of humanitarian law relating to weaponry and the consequences of violations reveals why those responsible think they have to cover-up that they knowingly developed and used “illegal” weapons. Rather than face those consequences, they misstate, mislead, and misinform.
This brief analyses the cover-ups with a view on exposing the methods and tactics for the movement to educate themselves in preparation for effective countermeasures. Part 1 outlines the anatomy of cover-ups: group-think, information warfare and media manipulation. Part 2 presents our adversary’s tactics and effectiveness. Part 3 analyses cases that illustrate Parts 1 and 2 in the context of prime concern to this conference: our adversary’s cover-up and deception operations imposed on the movement. Conclusions and recommendations are mine, as well as supplied in confidence and extracted from postings to du-watch. They are by no means complete, but are meant to precipitate discussions and thinking. Readers familiar with my previous work can proceed to Parts 3 and 4.
Part 1: Anatomy of cover-ups
Reasons for cover-ups
Bein and Parker  summarized the health hazards of uranium in non-nuclear weapons and civilian applications: radioactivity and toxicity. The hazards are similar, regardless of the type of uranium metal used: depleted, non-depleted or in alloys with other metals. That paper gave an ample sampling of government, military and industry documents that prove the authorities responsible for uranium contamination knew about the risks involved – the principal reason they suppressed the evidence.
Uranium radiation hazards are covered-up and misrepresented. Central technical basis in the deception are obsolete models of risk and derived standards of allowable exposure. The total radiological dose inside an exposed person over years severely exceeds safe limits. Standards set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) 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. The 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 instead of biologists developed the ICRP model before DNA was known, 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. A critique by the European Committee on Radiation Risk reveals that ICRP models of risk from internal particles underestimate empirical mortality and morbidity by a factor of 100 to 1000 [ECRR 2003].
A team from the Uranium Medical Research Center (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.”
The perpetrators of all radiological wars and illegal weapons face potential liability for war crimes, military and civilian casualties, contamination of environment, and battlefield clean-up costs 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. Cover-ups and deceptions are expected under such circumstances.
The second reason for cover-ups is long-term. DU weapons belong to the diffuse category of low-radiological-impact nuclear weapons to which emerging types of low-yield (i.e., 4th generation) nuclear explosives also belong. The cover-ups might serve to ease public acceptability of present uranium weapons against hard targets, present small nuclear warheads, and future pure fusion nuclear weapons [Gsponer 2003]. All of these weapons contaminate with low level radiation. A future combat scenario with micro-nukes translates into a low-level radioactive input comparable to that on DU battlefields [http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0210071]. Elimination of uranium radiological weapons would not terminate the health and environmental problems of low-level radiation battles.
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 knew the potential dangers from the beginning. In an extreme case scenario, war-mongers and ethnic-haters in high positions may have discovered in uranium weapons an effective toxic-radioactive terrorist tool. 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 lifecycle of the weapons.
The US and UK governments 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 claims are not justified. The additional expense on tungsten is negligible both relative to the military value of a destroyed target, and in the total military spending. This is a socially irresponsible reasoning, as it ignores the health costs and clean-up costs over the life-cycle of uranium weapons. Recent announcements about development of tungsten substitutes of DU tank ammunition undermine the claim. The DU weapon systems are not better or cheaper than alternatives. Military applications of DU do not 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 Gulf War report on US veterans shows 0.1% casualty rate in combat, but a 36% post-combat rate for almost 700 thousand troops engaged in the war and shortly after. However, according to a 1998 admission of the military, only some 436 thousand troops entered into areas that were contaminated by DU dust. That boosts the casualty rate to 58% post-combat! Uranium is one of several major causes of the syndrome, so a casualty rate of about ten percent could be attributed to DU.
Official reports in the West ignore civilian casualties of uranium weapons in Iraq, the Balkans, and recently in Afghanistan. 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. Given that the governments responsible knew about the consequences for civilians, it seems likely that the severe imposition of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Iraq was meant to cover-up damage due to radiological weaponry.
Pro-uranium propaganda has seriously compromised scientific reports subject to military-government funding and control, even those by international organizations. Deceitful propaganda also appears in statements from government, military and arms and nuclear industry. It is of great concern that political representatives are unable to obtain information from alternative sources and uncritically trust doctored intelligence and distorted data. This points to a fundamental flaw in how these countries address military issues and weapons. Countless journalists, researchers, professors, and persons in responsible public positions help in misinformation campaigns, thus breaking professional ethics of primary allegiance to public good. Willingly or not, knowingly or not, 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.
Williams considered that 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 recently the “Wars on Terrorism”. Group-think in authoritarian organizations would explain why the military downplayed or outright ignored the health risks of uranium weapons, and why those responsible chose to cover up their criminal position, rather than relinquish uranium weapons.
Indirect evidence exists that cover-up was desired to deceive the public and escape liabilities. In 1947 a secret memo from the US Atomic Energy Commission had this self-incriminating statement about medical experiments on human subjects: “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.’ ”
Following the full scale low-radiation experiment with DU bullets in Gulf War I, a memo dated March 1, 1991, from Lt. Col. Ziehmn of Los Alamos National Laboratory apparently defined future US military policy regarding DU weapons: “It is believed that du penetrators were very effective against Iraqi armor; however, assessments of such will have to be made. There has been and continues to be a concern regarding the impact of du on the environment. Therefore, 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.”
The UK government also was aware of the need to cover up. On March 2, 1998, UK armed forces minister Lord Gilbert referred to a letter of 30 April 1991 by P.G.E. Bartholomew, business development manager at UK Atomic Energy Authority: “I promised to produce a threat paper on the contamination of Kuwait from depleted uranium used by the US and UK forces in the recent war. [The paper] covers the threat and outlines the action we believe is necessary for health safety,” Bartholomew’s letter reads. “The whole subject of the contamination of Kuwait is emotive and thus must be dealt with in a sensitive manner. It is necessary to inform the Kuwait government of the problem in a useful way [...] (The good news is that we’ve saved you from Saddam — the bad news is…).” [http://www.ahram.org.eg/weekly/2001/525/in2.htm].
As hard-target uranium weapons came on the development and use stream, the philosophy must have been extended to the new applications. Logically, similar cover-up approach would govern next weapons that leave low-level radiation behind, for many generations to deal with.
Information warfare is one of the instruments of power, beside combat, diplomacy, and economic sanctions. PsyOps (Psychological Operations) are among its most conspicuous tools. Information warfare is effective and inexpensive compared to combat, and would fit the needs of “Service/DoD proponency” named in Ziehmn’s memo. The military specifies the structure and methods of Information Operations that engage behavioural science, mass media and high technology [Joint Chiefs of Staff1987; Headquarters Department of the Army 1996]. US Department of Defense (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.”
According to NATO [Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1996], their PsyOps target “enemy, friendly and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behavior affecting the achievement of political and military objectives.” NATO and candidate countries’ military and media act like clones of Pentagon. Critique comes mainly from pressure groups and governments outside the Pact.
Information Warfare integrates several types of special services when needed. A joint command of US Special Operations is then engaged to assemble teams of various “specialists” to suit a mission. Assaults on anti-DU activist, Dr. Doug Rokke, former Pentagon expert on DU, were likely steered by US Special Operations in a broader campaign of “fighting” the truth. Former Chief of Nuclear Medicine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Facility, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, was forced to leave the US because he was told that his life was in danger if he continued his research. After Ray Bristow and Dr. Colin Purcel Lee, both ill Gulf War I veterans, attended a DU health effects conference in Baghdad, a 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 Gulf veterans received extensive 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, the widow of a Canadian veteran of the Gulf War, destroyed her computer and stole medical certificates of uranium presence in the body of her husband.
With the emergence of uranium weapon issues, the propaganda applies simple, often ridiculous ideas and phrases based on two rules: (i) a repeated lie becomes accepted truth; (ii) the public accepts outrageous lies more readily. Propaganda plays with words bred in PsyOps bureaus. The words, phrases and contexts are then uttered by authoritative persons, proving the speakers and their controllers are either criminally negligent, or consciously contravening 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, supposedly an educated man, 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’.” Bein and Zorić  assembled other deceptive statements, nomenclature and phrases coined by PsyOps of DU weapons.
Behind the scenes
Public Affairs (PA) of Information Warfare “provides objective reporting without intent to propagandize” and disseminates information internationally. PA involves 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 favorable public opinion.”
In psychology, “projection” means the act of ascribing one’s own attitudes, thoughts, etc. to someone else. PA use propaganda – white (telling the truth), gray (ambiguous) or black (lying) – often through Public Relations (PR). NATO spokesman Jamie Shea ” won the war” in Kosovo by carrying out daily briefings in a PR style. A deep control of the global media by Information Operations to demonize the Serbs was perhaps the most “successful” aspect of that war.
Public Affairs 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. The structures of media seem corrupted top to bottom. In the words of the 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, the former New York Times Chief of Staff, whom colleagues named “The Dean of His Profession”, confessed before the 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.”
Many authors point out that North American media, reduced to a handful of conglomerates by deregulation, mold public’s minds. 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 all of national and international news. It is also unsettling that one ethnic group dominates North American media ownership and staff, contrary to the ethnic profiles of respective groups in the general population.
TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, movies speak with a single voice, reinforcing each other. Despite apparent diversity, there are no alternative sources of information. The most prestigious and influential newspapers in the USA, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post illustrate the ability of the media masters to use the press as an unopposed policy instrument. The papers 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 the New York Times, the Post publishes the International Herald Tribune, the most widely distributed English-language daily in the world [.
The Washington Post has an inside track on news involving the federal government. Reference to “military sources”, “senior administration officials”, or “Pentagon analysts” reveal relations between media outlets and the military. Another clue of a single source of information for international press agencies are standard phrases, beginnings and endings in all press reports, in accord with Pentagon position. A November 10, 2002, Washington Post article 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, which usually combine plans of the administration, the Pentagon and the business. The media lend themselves to what White House aides themselves have described as a campaign to “sell” the war to the American people, as was seen during 2002-2003 preparations for invasion of Iraq.
Military control of the media extends to the battlefields, using lessons from the Vietnam War, when coverage of atrocities against civilians and of US soldiers in body bags contributed to anti-war protests. Nowadays, 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 controlled story comes from every major news outlet. This “embedding” of reporters in Gulf War II operations demonstrated how the military compromise journalistic ethics. CBC series With Passionate Eye of May 25, 2003, titled War Spin, provided evidence of media deception by embedding.
Embedding would not allow objective reporting from the scene about victims of acute exposure to uranium weapons. Pentagon press briefings would black out or distort any incriminating leaks from independent reporters. Should independent sources fail to observe this censorship (as was the case with the Serb TV in 1999) their facilities are targeted with US precision-guided munitions, consistent with Special Operations integration of services to suit Information Warfare needs. A few reporters died this way in the most recent wars.
Part 2: The Adversary’s Tactics and Effectiveness
David and Goliath
Cover-up operations had the opposite effect on public opinion. It eroded public trust, particularly of the ill veterans. Recruits and staff soldiers being prepared for next wars now think twice. 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.
The US has refused to disclose information about DU in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and did not let a 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 is demonstrated by the reassurances on the US army medical website that neither DU nor the anthrax vaccine pose a health risk [http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/default2.htm].
The statement of purpose of Bring Them Home Now, an organization of military families demanding the 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.” [http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=030908~bthn.asp]
In August 2003, Dutch parliamentarians were concerned that US intelligence provided to the Dutch government concealed the use of DU by US troops in southern Iraq. Based on false information, Holland sent 1,100 soldiers to the area [http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2003/08/08082003162230.asp].
Propagandizing uranium weapons as effective means against “terrorism” or “evil states” also seems counterproductive in the cover-ups of adverse health effects of uranium. The fallout and residue from the 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 home security was, a retired Californian research chemist Dr. Vince Calder noted that intact DU bullets pose a terrorist threat. They are readily available from the battlefields, easy to import, and simple to turn into dirty bombs, making them a potential WMD inside the US territory. Realizing the potential threat, the Department of Homeland Defense and the FBI were distressed. Calder asked: “But from whom are they keeping the secret? Certainly not potential terrorists, they know how and what to do. The only conclusion is that the government wishes to keep the public in the dark, ignorant of the threat facing all of us.” [http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2003/09/19/opinion/iq_2452057.txt]
With statutory disclosures of secrets from the atomic era, and as the number of casualties of “safe” radiation weapons grows, the public mistrust and soldier mutiny would rise, creating an additional stressor in Western societies. Abroad, radioactive contamination of one’s soil fortifies the resentment, general animosity and terrorism against the US, UK and their allies. It is seen in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.
From now on, either the perpetrators step up neutralization attempts on the opponents of uranium weapons, or start backing away. Because the US and UK are in the focus of proliferation and use of radiation weapons, it is up to the governments of these countries to take a lead. Continuation on the destructive course must inevitably lead to a major confrontation between society and those at power, if not to international conflicts. The power elites are playing with fire. Radiation issues are intensely, emotionally charged regardless of nationality, religion and ethnicity, for at stake is a human’s continuation in the gene pool.
Despite large resources expended on PsyOps, amateurs recognize and debunk spin and deception easily. In 1999, Bein predicted in a Polish article [http://www.eco.pl/zb/147/] the following techniques for cover-up of Balkan DU, based on post-Gulf War I experience:
- Deny information and delay its release; understate the quantity of DU weapons used.
- Belittle harmful effects of DU, change emphasis and dilute scientific information.
- Manipulate reports and scientific evidence, including those from previous DU wars.
- Censor DU information in mass media.
- Blame other causes, such as pre-war or general pollution.
- Coerce the government to withhold the truth.
- Blame “Milosevic’s” secret weapons, and DU deployed by Yugoslav forces.
All of the above tricks were noted during and after NATO campaigns in the Balkans. Then they re-appeared, with “Milosevic” changed to “Taliban and Al Qaeda” after the recent war in Afghanistan, and “Saddam” after Gulf War II. The same tricks apply to covering-up the newer uranium weapon systems, as recent developments have proven.
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, the Western media reported that Yugoslavia tested soldiers for DU “negative,” as in all NATO countries.
Coercion of occupier-installed governments is easy. In Iraq, to be sure, the occupier removed medical records from hospitals, making it difficult to investigate casualty rates due to uranium exposure of the population after both Gulf Wars. An Iraqi scientist, Dr. Huda Ammash, was incarcerated by the US military at a concentration camp that was set up in primitive conditions at the Baghdad airport. This dean at the Baghdad University, and a minister of education before the invasion, published in peer-reviewed publications in the 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, United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission has confirmed that they did not single Dr. Ammash out for interviews for lack of evidence up to January 2003 [http://leb.net/pipermail/counterpunch-list/2003-May/026447.html].
In both wars after the Balkans, Pentagon supported dissemination of stories that, true or not, could serve to cover-up own radiological weapons in case serious uranium contamination would be discovered. On January 16, 2002, US secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, reported an elevated level of radioactivity 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 Pentagon statements up to May 2002, but Rumsfeld never reported which type of missiles was found or which country made them.
Al Qaeda’s DU was of course “dangerous”, unlike the benign DU in American and Briitish armour-piercers. The Taliban and Al Qaeda would not 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 supplies of DU to make “dirty bombs”.
Greenpeace became Pentagon’s spin conduit in Iraq [US military radiation expert backs Greenpeace call for full inspection of contaminated communities in Iraq, June 24, 2003, http://mailman.greenpeace.org/mailman/listinfo/press-releases]. Most likely Pentagon spin doctors enhanced the story’s publicity, so it could be used to deny illness causation by their own uranium weapons. If independents would find uranium weapon fallout in Iraq, Pentagon could blame the yellowcake that Greenpeace activists collected from looters of “Saddam’s” nuclear facility in Tuwaitha near Baghdad. Otherwise, why would a military, who contaminated Iraq with uranium twice, advertise such environmental responsibility through Greenpeace? It was the US lobby after all, who influenced the UN General Assembly in November 2001 to turn down a longstanding Iraqi request for a study on the effects of DU from Gulf War I.
Being a concentrate of uranium ore, yellowcake has a “natural uranium” signature. How would the Greenpeace story help cover-up uranium weapons? Independent tests to identify the uranium isotopes (and therefore the origin of the contamination) would be suppressed, as has been the rule in official “investigations” so far. All irradiation symptoms could then be blamed on the looted material that somehow managed to spread to all regions of the country where U-weapons have been used. The non-depleted uranium that UMCR discovered in Afghanistan resembles the isotopic composition of yellowcake. Therefore there is a suspicion that newer generations of weapons contain uranium alloys formulated to resemble “natural uranium” in order to make widespread contamination hard to distinguish from uranium occuring naturally most anywhere.
Implemented by a military-bureaucratic machine, information warfare 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. The Kosovo DU case had several obvious blunders. Those responsible failed to warn and protect NATO and UN forces, foreign 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 several Western countries. The cover-ups further clouded the risks of civilian applications of uranium (for example, in aircraft counterweights), increasing the risks to NATO country populations.
Deny, delay, deceive
Propaganda tactics of the nuclear-military-government complex follow 3 d’s: deny, delay, deceive, in which concealment of chronic exposure and effects of uranium on human health are key.
Bein and Zoric  (with supplements in [Bein and Parker 2003]) assembled ample examples of delays and omissions with bombed site information and with carrying out “studies” by the authorities. The “deny” phase of deception and cover-up of uranium weapons has been most intense after the war in Afghanistan, but recent war in Iraq may still eclipse it.
It seems that a campaign of denials regarding uranium weapons is underway within a broader campaign for acceptability of weapons that contaminate with low-level radiation. Statements by US government about plans to develop nuclear penetrating bombs, threats of terrorist radiological bombs, and recent warning of potential first strike nuclear attacks by the US and UK play down potential hazards of “conventional” uranium weapons. The rhetoric may aim at lowering the threshold of acceptability for radiological weapons systems. A nuclear strike makes little sense when existing systems can destroy deeply buried WMD, unless the goal is to shake underground installations with a nuclear blast.
As long as there is no proof of any connection of illness and death to uranium on radiological battlefields, all the other claims of the opponents, including illegality of the weapons, can be discounted. A dedicated set of information operations manages the proof aspect. Besides “damage control” of information coming out of the military’s own medical institutions, the activities have revealed themselves as follows:
- Manipulation and corruption of laboratories chosen to do medical research for the complex.
- Pressures on the executives of national and international organizations conducting studies of contaminated sites and victims.
- Intimidation and discreditation of independent medical scientists and researchers.
The above actions create in the medical science an artificial controversy with a dual purpose: to cloud the truth for an average consumer of information and – most important – to draw decision makers and public attention away from a “controversy” that concerns the complex the most: the illegality of uranium weapons of any kind. The effectiveness of this approach is seen in most mainstream press reports on the health effects of DU and other 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 our adversary. We must be aware of it and support only those law initiatives against uranium and the weapons that we are sure will not be used to stall the process of abolishing the weapons, bringing liability cases of uranium victims before courts, and prosecuting the perpetrators..
Manipulation and corruption of laboratories
An article explains why testing by the US Department of Defense (DOD) and Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) is unable to detect any hazards [Weyman 2003]. It states: “The constructing of follow-up and screening programs that persist at refusing to conduct isotopic analyses on veterans whose medical symptoms and deployment histories suggest a high likelihood of inhalational exposure to DU is a distinct contradiction with other government policies and a slap in the face to veterans.”
The article exposes the cover-ups methods employed in studies under control of the military: “By their own admissions, 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.”
Inadequate and inconclusive radiological, bio-assay programs mean inability to examine DU contamination for veterans or the possible links to mutagenic effects on their children: “This means the largest population of battlefield DU exposed veterans will not be recognised – even if they have, in fact, been contaminated.”
Pressures on national and international organizations
The complex controls international legislation and management of low-level-radiation issues. Without doubt, the organizations responsible for radiological safety of humankind employ dedicated, highly ethical and knowledgeable staff. But by yielding to external pressures from the complex, the executives compromise the sincere efforts of the staff and the integrity of competent investigations. There is evidence to this effect regarding the international organizations, such as ICRP [ECRR 2003], and UNEP [http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/2001/02/03uranium], 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 [http://www.stopnato.org.uk/du-watch/bein/neo-nato.htm].
Selected organizations play a key role in covering up the radiological risk. ICRP is responsible for prevalence of invalid models of risk to human health from internal, low-level radiation sources like uranium fine particles. 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 around the world. A 1990 revision by the ICRP cut the permitted low-level radiation dose by a factor of five. The US has not accepted that revision, so they claim their soldiers received “safe” doses. In the US, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), a civilian agency headed up by the military with no interest in exploring the hazards, controls the subject of ionising radiation. Each of the four most distinguished scientists who worked for the AEC, John Gofman, Karl Morgan, Thomas Mancuse and Alice Stewart, was intimidated for proving that low-level radiation causes cancer.
No NATO country or the World Health Organization (WHO) have carried out any epidemiological studies of either soldiers or civilians exposed in uranium wars. This guarantees no confirmation or discovery of the health effects of uranium weapons. Several governments in the UN must have joined to prevent a post-Gulf War I study of DU in Iraq. The Iraqi government formally invited WHO to investigate uranium contamination and health effects, but the US put serious pressure on the WHO to cancel a full-fledged study. When a draft resolution passed through a committee at the UN General Assembly that would have mandated a specific investigation, the US secured enough (but barely enough) “no” votes to cancel the initiative. A planned visit by UN Justice Sik Yuen in 2002 was delayed by a heavy increase in bombings in the southern “no fly” zone.
The NATO website [http://www.nato.int/kosovo/010110du.htm] is a record of corruption at international organizations, research and strategic studies institutes, and universities that were enlisted to misinform about DU. Pentagon’s more objective reports are found on many independent websites, but looking for them at the NATO website is futile.
Obstruction of international law
Ignoring military and civilian casualties, placing serious obstacles on humanitarian aid, and failing to disclose the truth about uranium effects is a serious violation of humanitarian law. Yet the US has indicated that it would militarily attack any country that tries to bring American military to the International Criminal Court or to courts in their own countries, notwithstanding the provision of the Geneva Conventions.
Legal initiatives on uranium weapons are subject to operations similar to those applied to seekers of scientific, physical proofs. The work of the UN Sub-Commission for the Protection and the Promotion of Human Rights provides a case. Dr. Karen Parker describes it first-hand in her presentation to this conference. The case indicates that “certain forces” were doing what they could to delay any legal finding on DU. The US, UK and other governments certainly do consider the impacts of our legal initiatives. This case demonstrates that the US and UK are striving to delay any legal finding on uranium weapons, and that committees may be subject to pressure by members with vested interests.
DU = dirty uranium
A barrage of lies, half-truths and nonsense still attempts to defend the toxic-radioactive “pure” DU. It is symptomatic of the group-think. “3d’s” could be similarly traced on the issue of U236, plutonium, and other extremely hazardous, recycled nuclear waste that is illegally mixed into DU.
During the “Kosovo DU” scandal of early 2001, uranium 236, plutonium, neptunium, americum and other transuranic elements turned out to be in DU, contrary to industry specifications. Although these extremely toxic and radioactive substances were present only in trace quantities, their high power significantly increases the toxicity and radioactivity of DU bullets shot in Operation Allied Force. The substances are spent nuclear fuels and nuclear waste recycled into DU stock. Uranium alloys in weapons have a composition and toxic-radioactive properties depending on what nuclear waste materials in what quantities have been blended in.
Weyman  is one of the few authors drawing attention to the extreme hazard of nuclear waste recycled into uranium alloys. The most hazardous additives are transuranics, which are tens of thousands of times more radioactive than pure DU, or pure, undepleted uranium (virgin uranium). Independent and government analyses of DU penetrators collected from battlefields have detected trace amounts of transuranics, including plutonium 239l.
Independent studies have detected traces of uranium 236 in veterans’ urine, “adding a new dimension to the inhalational exposure risks to veterans from recycled uranium elements,” writes Weyman. Uranium 236 isotope is not found in nature, only in nuclear fission products, such as spent nuclear fuel rods and nuclear fission bomb fallout Recently, UMRC published peer-reviewed results of tests on samples from Afghanistan bomb sites [Durakovic 2003]. UMRC detected trace quantities of uranium 236. Uranium 236 isotopes did not come into the sampled soil and biological specimens from sources such as guerilla dirty bombs or nuclear weapon residue from the times of war with the Soviet Union. Control samples selected in non-targeted areas did not show uranium 236.
Yet, nobody has examined the increase in internal dose from transuranics beyond theoretical calculations. According to Weyman, Pentagon and NATO country military have been sponsoring studies to draw conclusions that it is not present, and if it is, it’s not relevant: “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.”
Not only wars and weapons threaten humanity. Being the source for major commercial and industrial processing cycle of uranium metals and other products outside the nuclear field, contaminated stockpiles of uranium threaten everybody. The admixture of transuranics is not just a uranium weapon problem. It is much bigger and will surface when legislation in several countries, including the EU, will legalize nuclear waste recycling into non-military industrial and consumer products.
Starmet Corporation boasts that they operate “the only production facility in North America capable of converting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) to uranium tetrafluoride (UF4)” [http://www.starmet.com/adrecycl.htm]. From UF4 they produce DU metal for an “AVLIS” feedstock, penetrators and tank armour, industrial and medical shielding against radioactivity and aircraft counterweights. The company is proud of its environmental responsibility: “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.”
David Nibby’s case in the UK illustrates what a proliferation of non-military uranium could lead to. A mechanic making metal parts for airplane equipment other than counterweights, he fell ill with symptoms similar to Gulf War syndrome within a month of starting work. He has never been to the Gulf War or near military bases or equipment used in that war, and never traveled to the Middle East before he got ill. But he machined parts from a General Electric Company (GEC) Heavy Metal Alloy feedstock. He polished them with fine sand paper, breathing in the fine particles. This heavy, silvery and easy to work with metal was imported by the plant from the US, but lacked certificates required by the British occupational safety law. Numerous types of parts were manufactured 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 concrete: “Starting with the oxide powder, a ceramic aggregate is made [...] then used in a Portland cement based concrete mixture replacing the typical large aggregate or gravel.” The concrete is DucreteTM [http://www.starmet.com/spcducrt.htm]. It is almost three times denser than ordinary concrete. Large mass of the concrete, or heavy 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.”
As in its DU-metal line of products, Starmet highlights the environmental responsibility for “over 700,000 metric tons” of DU waste and the economics of waste utilization: “fabrication of components using DUCRETE™ Concrete should not be significantly higher than using traditional concrete. […] 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 […] Use of DU aggregate in DUCRETE™ Concrete provides the [US Department of Energy] an alternative to direct disposal of DU as waste [that] cost several billion dollars. This application provides an environmentally sound use of depleted uranium while deriving useful benefits.”
The corporation seeks new applications: “Starmet Corporation is interested in developing applications for DUCRETE™ Concrete and will be happy to consider new applications and sublicensing of the technology.”
Proliferated into consumer and industrial products, the likes of GEC Heavy Metal Alloy and Ducrete will spread uranium and transuranics in the environment [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/du-watch/message/1075, */1076 and */1077], The industry favours a “solution to pollution through dilution”: sea dumping of waste, emissions to the atmosphere, and pollution of lakes, rivers and underground water. 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 [The Chugoku Shimbun, May 19, 2000].
Service to humankind
Official “investigations” suppress evidence of uranium-induced illness and death. “Studies” by military authorities co-opt research institutes, universities, and international health and safety organizations: UNEP, ICRP, World Health Organization (WHO), International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), and other. From the precautionary principle of environmental and health sciences, uncertain but potentially harmful effects should be prevented. Even if there were “no proofs” of a link from DU to illness and death, it behooved the decision makers to discontinue the use of any uranium weapons out of the precautionary principle, given Gulf veteran complaints and scientific uncertainty.
Scientific assessment of the effects of uranium metals follows a standard risk analysis chain. Military and contracted “scientists” manipulate every step of the analysis. To criticisms, pseudo-science replies, “No evidence exists”. Sufficient evidence does exist, and if not, the precautionary principle should govern. Bein and Parker  present numerous serious flaws in official reports, and further examples of manipulation of science.
Prudent scientists do not make mistakes and omissions on known facts. “Epidemiological study” deceptions are plentiful, more so that epidemiology can be manipulated like statistics to prove what one wants. 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.
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, and not from aerosols (including ceramic) produced from uranium weapons. Analogies of uranium particles from military use to nuclear industry situations encoded into official data 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.
Military “science” emphasizes the “other factor” of Gulf and Balkan syndromes instead of uranium. After the Gulf War, which saw a cocktail of poisons used and released – from Iraqi chemical-biological weapons, to DU ammunition – the “other factor” was adopted in cover-ups. It would likely be pursued for the other contaminated areas, once cancers from the use of uranium weapon take a higher toll. Vaccines given to the soldiers could not be a cause of the syndrome among residents; neither there was smoke from burning oil wells in the Balkans, nor chemical weapons used by “Milosevic” against his own people. Apologists of Gulf War syndrome in Iraqi population cited the two latter factors, though no independent epidemiological study was done. 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.
In October 2002, vice chairman of US Gulf War veterans Denise Nichols criticized the US administration and the Congress for “lack of accountability” and for a failure “to apply lessons learned” to improve medical care of veterans. Nichols pointed out that the 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 Pentagon’s documented practice to sabotage veterans’ records to hide the real effect of Gulf War, and charged that the government’s control of research funding prevents dissemination of knowledge. At the same time, Pentagon do not educate their physicians on Gulf War illness, nor participate in true research, nor provide true treatment options to sick veterans.
Part 3: Cases
Many members of the movement know little about the espionage and manipulation that is designed to destroy our bastions and to confuse the anti-U warriors. The “intrigues” should be exposed.
The “Canadian” case
Anonymous “Amarie” wrote to du-watch list on September 20, 2003: “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 [...] If the fight were in the public forum, it would not be being waged here.”
Other lists unsubscribed Amarie for seemingly outrageous claims that might seem injurious to the movement, but were heard because du-watch list does not purge list members. It is highly unlikely that Amarie could be one of the independent scientists intimidated by the complex. Professional ethics and also funding policies of independent scientific groups prevent them from participation in political discussions such as allegations of manipulation by the complex. If they do react, they do it in forums an average person does not visit. Many intrigues thus remain unknown to the general public.
The success of the movement depends on our ability to understand the adversary’s information warfare strategy and tactics. Some of us may be manipulated without being aware of it. The adversaries attack the attitude of very vigilant watchdogs, while leaving the merit of the allegations unanswered. They simply can’t afford to open the facts up to public scrutiny. It is in the interest of every anti-DU group and individual to expose known deceptions and manipulations and to publicize the information. Also, for the benefit of the whole movement, groups should consider the complex’s deception-coverup-manipulation factor when charting strategies and actions. Omissions and hush-ups in the name of peace in the anti-DU camp produce delays and accumulate distrust, both injurious to our goals.
July 10 and July 17, 2002, postings to du-list by Louis Bertholet illustrate the damage of the information warfare schemes. The postings concern destruction of a Canadian testing programme of Dr. Asaf Durakovic’s Uranium Medical Project, UMP (now Uranium Medical Research Centre, UMRC). 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.
Dr. Edward Ough, the Head of the Gulf War I veterans radioisotopic analysis program in Canada is behind Pat Horan’s scandal. He co-wrote in a scientific paper: “Canadian testing has not been able to identify elevated levels of DU or even natural uranium in urine, hair or bone samples of veterans.” [J. of Battlefield Technology, Vol 5, No 3, November 2002, Ballistic Properties of Depleted Uranium and Biological Consequences, William S. Andrews, Edward A. Ough, Brent J. Lewis and Leslie G.I. Bennett, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Royal Military College of Canada].
Ough did not state the truth. As previously in the case of Horan’s work, he did it to destroy the credibility and existence of UMP. UMRC proved contamination of veterans in a different lab and published the results in peer-reviewed journal [Estimate of the Time Zero Lung Burden of Depleted Uranium in Persian Gulf War Veterans by the 24-Hour Urinary Excretion and Exponential Decay Analysis, by Asaf Durakovic, Patricia Horan, Leonard A. Dietz, Isaac Zimmerman, Military Medicine, Vol. 168, August 2003, pages 600-605].
Pat Horan’s is just one episode in one country, but is typical of the neutralization tactics. Intimidation, discreditation, even bribery continue. As a result, delays arise in study schedules and the reputation of independent groups suffers among veterans and activists. Some key independent scientists have recently been offered jobs with the military, grants and honors, and another person – one million dollars. Offices and houses have been searched. Others are made to believe they are “dangerous to the establishment” in order to accelerate self-destruction. One trusted lab contractor betrayed the cause by denying the credibility of own tests, only to land a contract from the military.
Actions against independent scientific groups result from deliberate campaign by those who fear the scientific truth. Honest personal and scientific differences between scientists and other personalities in the movement might have unknowingly contributed to the deliberate destruction schemes. Some observers think that the adversary seeks out and manipulates the honest differences to neutralize the capacity to incriminate the uranium weapon proponents and the nuclear lobby. The adversary used this tactics repeatedly via agent provocateurs. Black-on-white proofs are in Dan Fahey case.
An Australian medical professional Max Whisson commented on obstructionism of truth about DU: “Obstruction to elucidating the facts even by the perpetrators of this crime is dishonourable and to be condemned. Obstruction can take many forms ranging from high level lying through to control of the media down to harassment and abuse of individuals who seek the truth and attempt to speak the truth. Obstruction to discovering and speaking the truth is an entirely negative activity. It provides a transient gain in power for a few but long term damage to the whole of society. At this very moment it threatens to extinguish what remains of democracy in the US, in Australia and perhaps in the UK.
[...] As I see it at present, 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 nanoparticles of DU.
The second gap I believe relates to medical practice. That is 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. This failure is especially shocking to me as 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.” [du-watch, July 30, 2003]
Felicity Arbuthnot refers to a case of corruption of a family doctor by the US authorities [http://www.rimbaud.freeserve.co.uk/iraq.htm]. Amy West and her husband who returned from the Gulf decided to have another baby. Their daughter 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 the 251 families with new babies, 67% had congenital abnormalities: ears, eyes or fingers missing, severe blood diseases or respiratory problems. Compiled with the help of a family doctor, Amy sent her findings to the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Gulf War illnesses. Dr. Bernard Rostker rejected them as “unscientific”. The family doctor told Amy he was very sorry and embarrassed, but he could no longer work with her, and was unable to tell her why.
Colonel Scott case
One of the highest ranking medical officers in the Canadian Forces is Colonel Ken Scott. He dismissed as a “fantasy” numerous media reports linking the use of radioactive weapons with illnesses among Gulf veterans [Canadian Press, April 13, 2003]. Scott is the director of DND Medical Policy Unit. He spoke two weeks before the death anniversary of Captain Terry Riordon, who died on April 29, 1999, diagnosed with Gulf War syndrome by the DND Medical Centre in Ottawa. Oblivious to independent research in Canada and elsewhere, 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”.
Stephen Kimber, a journalism professor at the University of Kings College in Halifax, said the military is blaming journalists for its failure to communicate its side of the story: “Journalists have tried to get a balance. When they haven’t succeeded [it is] because they haven’t gotten substantive responses from the military.” Kimber noted there are credible scientists and medical officials who have come forward to raise concerns about these weapons, and the media have a responsibility to report what they have said.
One of Col. Scott’s memos obtained under the Canadian Access to Information Act discusses 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.” If, instead of studying who is a threat to the complex’s spin, Scott educated himself from independent literature, the ill Canadian veterans and families would be better off. Scott set out to build the pro-DU mountain of evidence.
War I examined the December 2000 issue of the newsletter. Scott brakes 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 starts education of veterans by presenting who is who at UMP: “The Uranium Medical Project is 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 reverses complaints against Dr. Sharma who worked with UMP – see Professor Sharma case. Scott “informs” that an oft-quoted media source is “actually the mother-in-law of Dr. Asaf Durakovic.” The reader gets an impression that a suspicious, vicious family is after the veterans’ urine. A mother-in-law is the chief vampire, while her son-in-law “has yet to publish results for evaluation and comment by the scientific and medical community” that Gulf War veterans are ill because of DU.
In what Susan Riordon calls “kicking a dead man”, Scott pictures her late husband, Captain Terry Riordon, as a port security officer of Canadian forces deployed in Dubai in 1991, who left the military in 1995: “When he died in 1995, he had been a civilian for several years.” Documents show Captain Riordon was a forward intelligence officer. His classification was so secret that upon his death UMP had to rush to stealthily remove his organs for autopsy before the military took custody of the body.
Scott’s newsletter also contains misleading general information. On the US study of veterans with embedded DU shrapnel – that even Dan Fahey admits is 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 a DU munitions and armour fire at Doha in 1991, where hundreds of soldiers were 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?”, Scott’s 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].” Scott’s newsletter further misleads that bone and hair samples could be DU indicators. The deception must have been planned, for it is repeated in an scientific paper.
In the paper, An Examination of Uranium Levels in Canadian Forces Personnel Who Served in the Gulf War and Kosovo, co-authored with E. A. Ough and others [Health Physics, Volume 82, Issue 4], Ken Scott admits that the methods used
(ICP-MS and INAA) were unable to detect ratios of uranium isotopes, because the overall content of uranium was “sufficiently low” in the samples. This does not necessarily mean no DU in a urine sample – see UK MOD testing programme case.for
Trying to influence a wider public opinion, ed in press interviews and As in the newsletter, hCpt. oBeing an, o
Pat Horan’s case returned to Scott, an architect of the setback in the UMP programme, in form of peer-reviewed results from a Canadian independent medical science and research group, confirming internal contamination with DU. In October 2003 came another blow. Dr. 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.” [Undiagnosed Illnesses and Radioactive Warfare, Croatian Medical Journal CMJ, October 2003; Vol 44, No 5, http://www.cmj.hr/index.php?D=/44/5/520].
The 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.
Dan Fahey case
Allegiance to the military and a group-think focus on phrases that justify new wars may explain Dan Fahey’s recent actions. Fahey’s 2001 paper [http://www.du.publica.cz/papers/Fahey.htm] is a law policy analysis providing arguments to defend the use of DU munitions in the international courts. It marks author’s departure from advocacy for US veterans suffering of Gulf War syndrome – see his renowned Don’t Look Don’t Find paper.
Fahey’s March 2003 Science or Science Fiction posted on the WISE website [http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/pdf/dumyths.pdf] accuses some scientists, researchers and anti-DU activists of collaboration with “the governments of Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, Yasser Arafat and Taliban sympathizers,” without providing a shred of evidence. The wording cannot be coincidental during wars declared by the US and Israel. In such times, citizens face liability for co-operation with the adversary. Fahey’s language is significant, for he graduated recently from a university school of law and diplomacy.
Many people in the movement objected to critiques of Fahey’s recent publications. Substantiation is so much more justified here. While Fahey’s dilettante handling of the legal aspects in his Prague and “science” articles still awaits professional rebuttals from jurists, two analyses are offered below to support complaints of some camps of the movement against Dan Fahey:
- Critique of Science or Science Fiction? [Bein to du-watch, May 30 and June 2, 2003].
- De-bunking of Fahey’s posting on du-watch, by several people on September 20, 2003.
Science or Science Fiction?
The article is a deceptive propaganda, disguised in objectivity and concern for the integrity of anti-DU activism. Fahey (if at all he wrote the article) mixes white, grey and black propaganda to achieve the goal of his handlers. The article reveals the PsyOps elements as follows:
- Label concerned parties “speculative” and “alarmist” while they necessarily work in a data vacuum. As is normal in planning with data gaps, Dai Williams, whom Fahey criticizes, honestly lists several possible scenarios: from minimal use of DU munitions to plausible uranium tonnage based on reasonable estimates from public sources.
- Emphasize facts no longer deniable, in order to appear sincere: 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.
- Under the pretense of objectivity, insist on “corroboration” of independent findings, while being involved in destroying and gagging the remaining independent groups.
Fahey worries about scaring Pentagon off with our “speculations” and “apocalypse”. Why would the military of a global power pay any attention to what amateurs without money and resources say or do? Because we can influence public opinion. Pentagon wants to discredit us on the issues they are trying to hide. Fahey lists them in his table of contents, intermixed with a few undeniable truths against uranium weapons. Out of Fahey’s ten “myth cases”, only three concern the obvious deception by the complex (white propaganda), as if the anti-uranium movement creates most of the myths. Even in the cases against the complex, the arguments do not cover vital aspects. For example, discussion on ineffectiveness of DU munitions in saving US soldier lives does not quote a tragic post-combat casualty rate. Using half-truths and inaccuracies, the remaining seven cases point against the anti-DU entities, coinciding with Pentagon’s worst fears of being exposed on the following:
- massive use of new uranium weapons (hence Fahey’s attacks of Dai Williams);
- sharing military technology with a rogue power, Israel (critique of Yasser Arafat, International Action Centre, Dr. Doug Rokke, Williams, and Bein and Zoric);
- civilian casualties and genocide (governments of Iraq and Yugoslavia, Taliban sympathizers, Williams, Bein, Lauren Moret); and
- new alloys of uranium to make post-combat detection difficult (UMRC).
In case of disputed facts, an objective review presents the different interpretations impartially, covers the full spectrum of possible “truths”, and draws fairly from reliable sources. But Fahey’s article is partial and unbalanced. Pentagon occupies one end on the spectrum of “truths”. Fahey places “some anti-DU activists, the governments of Iraq and the former-Yugoslavia, Yasser Arafat, and Taliban sympathizers” on the other end of the spectrum. These entities allegedly “have worked jointly and independently to promote apocalyptic vision of DU’s effects” that currently attracted “an undue amount of media attention.”
For lack of evidence that, for example, UMRC are Taliban sympathizers, I conclude that Fahey groups UMRC with “anti-DU activists”. Being scientists, UMRC researchers are neither pro- nor anti-uranium when they engage in science. They are as much activists as Pentagon are pacifists. Similar goes for Dr. Doug Rokke, former US Army health specialist in NBC-E exposures, and also a military planning, instruction and DU assessment expert during Gulf War I. Fahey’s implied label reflects bias and indicates a conscious attempt to hurt these people’s reputation (political involvement of scientists) and intimidate (infringement of war laws in war times).
Fahey also pre-judges media attention to the “anti-DU” camp. Calling the media exposure “undue” is subjective. How did Fahey determine that “promoted” claims are “apocalyptic”, “absurd”, propaganda or what case they might be? “Undue” is also imbalanced, because he assesses neither media attention to the opposite views, nor lack of attention to key, covered up aspects.
Unspecified “scores of scientific studies and reports on DU” reside between the two “extremes” on the spectrum of opinions. Fahey sums them up in three points, of which two reflect the military view: (1) “health problems in laboratory rats”; (2) “evidence of human health effects caused by DU is inconclusive”. A third point re-iterates what was known before Gulf War I. One wonders about the article’s informational base.
The need for “constructive dialogue and sensible scientific studies” motivated the article. It intends to “inform the public debate about DU” in order to “promote serious investigation of the health and environmental effects of DU munitions”. Since the author cares about the well being of the victims, he should assemble a serious set of myths to discuss, for example:
- “Official examinations of veterans and returning soldiers are able to detect contamination of humans with DU and other military uranium formulations”;
- “Results of tests by UNEP, WHO and Royal Society are reliable and impartial”;
- “Governments and military authorities delegate verification of health effects of uranium weapons to independent bodies”;
- “Independent bodies operate in an environment of sufficient resources, professional integrity, and freedom of expressing views differing from the official ones”.
Fahey has missed the mark. A conspicuous myth is that there has been little research on DU. There has been ample research on biological and medical effects of U238, DU’s main component. Instead, Fahey considers trivial issues. The most puzzling is “when was DU used for the first time”. Or how useful is a re-estimate of DU tonnage expended in Iraq [Table 1], if order of magnitude more was incinerated at the US military disposal facilities? Why is it important to know that only one in seven Iraqi tanks was destroyed with DU, if just one DU particle could ruin one’s health and it came from an illegal weapon?
The article picks sources selectively. The author goes along with Jane’s when counting DU weapons. Yet, when Williams refers to Jane’s, it is not “evidence”. More important, Fahey ignores independent scientific work on the health effects of internalized radioactive particles. These omissions could negatively influence the perceptions of some readers regarding milestone references such as the ECRR 2003 report. The crucial references are not listed in the article’s addendum, either. Fahey contrasts conclusions of “respectable” UNEP, WHO and Royal Society against opinions of anti-DU groups. Then by default ECRR work and results are not respectable and should be ignored? Also troubling is Fahey’s regard for press articles and military sources. Respectable courts of law do not admit press reports to support allegations.
I conclude that Fahey exhibits bias in favour of Pentagon at each end as well as in the middle of the range of opinions he seeks to evaluate. Exactly because the movement admires his Don’t Look, Don’t Find, there is reason to worry that he changed orientation. Email exchanges on du-watch testify that this routine deception trick might be unthinkable to sincere people in the movement. This threatens our cohesiveness and effectiveness.
September 20, 2003, posting to du-watch
Since UMRC is the prime target of the adversary, several commentaries on the du-watch list concerned Canadian personalities who schemed from both sides of the issue. One of the strongest criticisms of the complex’s scheming on all fronts came from Amarie. Fahey concluded that she must be an UMRC insider and wrote so to du-watch on September 20, 2003.
While it is tempting to blame UMRC for “Amarie”, that group would hurt itself by not restraining her, if Amarie was indeed their insider. UMRC policy, monitored closely by donors, is no involvement in political actions. UMRC have to carefully consider which conference they go to, or private funding would be withdrawn. While a lot of work is donated, airfares and lab work have to be paid for. Letting “their” Amarie loose would be foolish. UMRC deal with political opponents more professionally [http://www.umrc.net/AfghanistanOEF.asp].
Amarie responded: “DF has revealed once again his true purpose: damaging independent research – in this case UMRC.” Fahey used “Amarie” as a leverage to continue his attacks on UMRC, and the timing was well chosen: “Dan Fahey’s posting is designed to achieve one end: discredit UMRC so no one will make donations in response to UMRC’s recent appeal for financial support in its Iraq studies.”
In Amarie’s opinion, Fahey exaggerates and uses rhetoric while seeking readers’ sympathy for his view: “According to him, you all must have been viciously attacked and received the brunt of Amarie’s wrath [...] The uncloaking of Amarie is portrayed as an investigative breakthrough to reveal the real culprit and mastermind: UMRC; which must embody the evil archetype that you experience in Amarie.” In brackets inserted into Fahey’s concluding statement, Amarie interpreted the purpose of his posting:
“As people on this list prepare to go to Brussels or Hamburg to discuss how to advance the DU issue, they should ask tough questions not only of the governments using DU, but also of the people making alarmist claims [ie, Rokke, UMRC, Dai Williams] and using the cover of anonymity [i.e.Amarie is UMRC] to viciously attack scientists [i.e. Sharma] and activists [i.e. Bertell, MTP, NPRI, NGWRC] who do not follow the party line [i.e.UMRC's]. Let’s call a spade a spade – “amarie” is someone affiliated with the Uranium Medical Research Center [i.e. therefore you don't want to support UMRC]. As the emails of the last several months clearly show, if you challenge UMRC and its ability to raise money [i.e. UMRC's recent appeal], you will feel the wrath of “amarie” [i.e. UMRC will get you too, don't support them or any independents and mess them up at Hamburg].
Fahey’s suggestion is obviously propagandist, while Amarie’s undocumented allegations are insulting to sincere persons under attack. Both seem unfair to the members of the movement who know the accused individuals and organizations from a positive side. To those subjected to manipulation, Fahey’s personal off-list communications are “distraction and emotional drain”.
Dr. Rokke considers Dennis Kyne, a combat medic who trains troops, “a very competent” sergeant with distinguished military accomplishments. A Desert Storm veteran, Kyne wrote: “Dan Fahey is not representative of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in that war [...] He should be removed from all speaker panels and asked to never mention DU. He has ZERO NONE absolutely NO Credibility.” [du-watch, June 5 and 6, 2003].
To the less informed, critiques of Fahey’s propaganda are “becoming really aggravating [...] making otherwise intelligent people look pretty petty and silly” and “do nothing to promote education about DU and instead seem far more about ego” [du-watch, June 6 and 7, 2003].
To our leadership, the allegations from both Fahey and Amarie should signal corruption and diversion within our ranks. One person of strategic specialty remarked: ”We can anticipate a range of spoiling or quite subtle diversionary tactics. Fahey is a side show. But getting the DU network buzzing with anti-Dan indignation is one side-track from new data.”
Professor Sharma case
Professor Emeritus Dr. Hari Sharma has a good reputation in most camps of our movement and among some scientists. Dr. Rosalie Bertell mentioned his tests in an August 1999 appeal to the UN Human Rights Tribunal: “The Military Toxics Project (MTP) asked me, in the Fall of 1997, to take initiative in investigating the effect of DU on the Gulf War veterans. I tried several clinical approaches in order to determine, if possible, the extent of this problem. Among the most successful approaches was that of the 24 hour urine analysis. Dr. Hari Sharma, a nuclear chemist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, was at first asked to determine the presence or absence of DU in the urine of the veterans. ” He took a sample from the veteran´s total 24 hour urine output, 50 to 200 ml, and calculated the amount of U238 and U235.”
Felicity Arbuthnot refers to
him and his work in accolades [http://www.rimbaud.freeserve.co.uk/iraq.htm]. Sharma tested samples from veterans Ray Bristow and Terry Riordon. According to Arbuthnot, Riordon received his results on April 28, 1999, and ”was the first Canadian veteran to be tested by Sharma.” Aprill 29 as the date of death of her husband. u
She has a July 9, 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 Defence.”
In May 6, 1999, e-mail to UMP, Dr. Sharma stated that he will 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 conduct an analysis on many samples. Consequently, the veterans requested that Dr. Sharma be restrained from destroying any portion of the samples, and all samples and results should be handed over to UMP. In a May 5 e-mail Sharma informed UMP he would not provide the results to UMP, but 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 did not own the samples or results.
Other parties also provide evidence against Dr. Sharma. He was withdrawn from UMP’s DU work because allegedly he was defrauding the veterans, refusing to fulfill his agreements with fellow researchers, and intimidating vocal ill veterans and families. Sharma had to sign a letter prepared by the University legal council agreeing to cease all activity. He did, but he left to go on his own and continued anyway.
Dr. Sharma states in plural in his recent report that his work at the university “had a setback during the month of July 1999, when, reasons unknown to us to date, the University of Waterloo denied office and laboratory spaces to Professor Emeritus Hari D. Sharma and confiscated urine specimens”.
Captain does not
Critics further allege that Dr. Sharma did not produce results from a privately financed assignment in Iraq. He allegedly was a consultant to DND while Ottawa worked to take control of the UMP (now UMRC)
international veterans project and Pat Horan’s work. When UMP and Horan didn’t capitulate, DND used Ed Ough, a long-time friend with Wright, the Head of the Memorial University Program that runs the lab where Horan worked, to try and turn her to their side by intimidation. They failed, forced her out and changed the name of the lab.
“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 about 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 [...] the UK vets still won’t believe that their results report from Sharma is falsified.”
Being in possession of the original data from both labs and labs UMRC re-ran the samples from scratch and published the results in the Military Medicine paper. 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 the UK veterans, some of whom believe they got the results from Dr. Sharma. By an agreement, UMRC reported the real results to them. Because the DND intervention delayed UMP work, several frustrated veterans turned against UMP. .
Memorial University is trying to recover the UK veterans receivables from UMP and has inflated the bill by 250% over the original agreement. UMRC did not receive money from some veterans to date.
tried to force UMRC to turn over all the lab data, which Pat Horan was able to sneak out of the university lab before she left.
The military has been incessant in their attempt to destroy the Military Medicine paper credibility. It is the only single study in NATO that confirms DU contamination from Iraq, other than the “studies” of retained shrapnel under Dr. McDiarmid which are the ruse used by DOD to take attention from the true data about urine bioassays and inhalation exposure.
This effort by DOD has been very successful in curtailing any US program at all. They used Fahey to damage UMRC in conjunction with MTP and Sharma, but UMRC slipped out from under it. Fahey has systematically discouraged any veterans from coming to UMRC for independent analysis. He tried to make Sharma the magnet and he ended up with NPRI. There are numerous copies of email by people whom Fahey, MTP and NGWRC told that UMRC and Dr. Durakovic is a fraud and scientifically incompetent. To hurt UMRC after they stopped him in Canada, Sharma played right along with this.
Oddly, a recent report by Dr. Sharma declares: “We are apolitical and therefore we request scientists and people at large to refrain from raising political questions” [http://www.du-watch.org/sharma/du-report.doc]. But he same report cites Fahey’s propagandist articles as an example of concern for the consequences of contamination with DU. It is strange that of all authors on this theme Sharma chose obviously political and by then discredited Fahey.
Both Fahey and Sharma publications use references selectively. Lacking own relevant peer-reviewed publications, both of them ignore scientific leaders, thereby lending more weight to oneself and to obscure citations. Both authors went on public record with efforts to harm some and help others, and played a prominent role at a symposium on the health effects of DU that took place at Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Nuclear Policy Research Institute. See The NPRI case.
UK MOD testing programme case
UMRC with Len Dietz developed the methodology that Dr. Randy Parish’s geological lab is using in the UK MOD test programme for Gulf War I veterans. It does not derive from Dr. Sharma, who in his recent report indicates he used instrumental neutron activation analysis, INAA. Specialists wonder how Sharma was able to report findings in UK veterans’ urine not achievable with such an outdated bioassay method. Meantime, some people got excited recently that the MOD testing programme would use this method. Probably unable to understand the intricacies, they went by the fame of Dr. Sharma that dates back to From Radioactive Mines film created by anti-uranium activists. In 1998, the Military Toxics Project together with the National Gulf War Resource Centre announced the release of Sharma’s results confirming DU in urine of Gulf War veterans [http://www.cpeo.org/lists/military/1998/msg00322].
UMRC, with Pat Horan at Memorial University, developed a methodology using Thermal Ionizing Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) which can detect and measure low-volumes of uranium in urine. It is the methodology in UMRC’s peer-reviewed paper in Military Medicine Journal. The UK veterans were involved in this project, creating an abundance of veterans with conclusive DU contamination test results in the UK.
When the Canadian DND destroyed Horan’s career at Memorial University and had the programme shut down, UMRC formed association with Horan’s colleague Randy Parish. UMRC website features references to publications and scientific papers involving Parish. UMRC and Dr. Parish modified the TIMS methodology for equipment in his lab, plasma ionizing mass spectrometer (PIMS). UMRC severed the association after Parish became compromised at the NPRI symposium earlier this year.
UMRC studies of veterans 7 to 9 years after exposure indicated that some obviously DU exposed persons had the clinical symptoms of internal DU contamination, but no detectable DU in urine. Other vets were clinically symptomatic, but the levels of DU were very low. This means kidney damage attributable to damage by uranium toxicity. The kidneys become inefficient at extracting uranium from the blood once damaged by chronic exposure to the uranium.
The UK DU Oversight Board (with Drs. Busby and Hooper) and UMRC attempted to support and promote Dr. Parish to win the competition for the MOD contract to test Gulf War I veterans. Their choice was based on the jointly developed methods and credibility of UMRC’s published results and studies at Parish’s lab. Without a credible team of clinical specialists in radio- and chemo-toxicity, the veteran studies in Parish’s or any of the NERC, British Geological Survey labs will be harmless to MOD liability. Combined with kidney damage from uranium toxicity, the delay by over 12 years 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, NRPB or the European Commission do not officially recognize these revisions. MOD will therefore be able to dismiss the findings. This is the issue in the reports and studies that UMRC’s Tedd Weyman address in 12 Years Too Late? paper.
Without particle analysis at the molecular level to see what is in lungs and other organs, MOD will deny any risk associated with the low levels of DU if found by Parish’s lab. The Oversight Committee offered UMRC the rights to analyze the results of these bioassay tests but MOD has prohibited this. Why did not independent physicians run the MOD testing programme? What will be done with the lab results? Unlike clinical labs of UMRC type, geological labs are not bound by confidentiality and patient management obligations. Under legal agreements, UMRC reports all results to study participants. Will the veterans again see their samples and test results locked away?
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 any DU is identified, a nano-particle analysis should be conducted on biopsied organ tissues and accompanied by chromosome studies. The blind arrogance of some well-meaning anti-DU activists is naive to the issues and problems of the science, 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.
Several of these individuals are damaging legitimate research. If they are not consciously undermining, they are susceptible to influences from various sources for various personal and professional reasons. It was rather naive of these persons to celebrate the MOD decision. Instead they should have pointed out the manipulation and misrepresentation of the MOD, that the clinical and nano-particle analysis is needed, and how the government plans to manipulate the results. MOD is giving 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.
The adversary successfully destroyed the independent science work in North America and now they are trying to do so in England. The UK is key to leverage in NATO and UN. The MOD testing programme announcement corresponded with the Hamburg conference. This is why MOD and Downing Street have backtracked on previous position. But let’s not hold our breaths.
In view of the above facts, the promotion of chemist Hari Sharma and geologist Randy Parish by NPRI, NGWRC and MTP kept the independent clinical research in the shadows. Ill veterans have something to consider.
The “CEE” case
Many eager persons in responsible positions in former Soviet bloc countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) also help Pentagon and NATO institutionalize “3 d’s” [http://www.stopnato.org.uk/du-watch/bein/othereurope.htm]. Corruption is rampant and average standard of living lower than before perestroikas, so Western information war centres easily buy local bureucrats and “professors” with bribes as laughable as a trip to Hawaii.
For example, professor Zbigniew Jaworowski of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection co-authors junk science publications, not in his specialty, either. One on DU weapons, with a Cambridge University Dr. Roger Bate, defamed both of them. Another was a rubbish book on global warming co-authored with US “science” writer Ronald Bailey. All three authors provide popular publications for the complex’s needs in uranium weapon cover-ups [http://www.stopnato.org.uk/du-watch/bein/apologists.htm; du-watch posting July 21, 2003].
The information war goes on in CEE amidst the ranks of sincere anti-DU groups, too. The goal of the 2001 conference Facts on Depleted Uranium 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 on the conference website. A breakthrough brief by Dai Williams on new uranium weapon systems, a paper debunking cover-ups [Bein and Zoric 2001], unique material from a prize-winning webmaster harassed by the US authorities for posting military information [http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/du-watch/us_gov_about_du.htm], and many other presentations injurious to the complex’s false image of the illegal weapons, 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 a glaringly biased paper by Dan Fahey – see Dan Fahey case. The organization of the Prague conference left much to be desired, but doubtfully the selectivity of posted contributions resulted from sloppiness.
Because the CEE and the Balkans are targeted by the US to polarize and weaken Europe, more disinformation campaigns and cover-ups of uranium weapons can be expected from these regions. The US is moving military bases and training ranges from Germany eastwards for a number of reasons, of which Western European social opposition to uranium weapon production, stocks and exercises on the European soil is not a trivial one. These activities of the complex are most likely coming along to countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, and a few other states. German and other NATO tanks have been practicing “Russian winter” conditions on Poland’s ranges located in some of Europe’s cleanest areas. Before Operation Endured Freedom in Afghanistan, US Apaches fatally crashed on a Polish military range. Each machine carries 100 kg of DU in rotor blade counterweights.
The NPRI case
From an institute such as Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI), one would expect analysis of previous policy, current and expected obstacles to change, ways to circumvent, and recommendations on policy directions and implementation. The analysis would consider political, social and institutional factors, and would marry them to scientific findings. But NPRI June 2003 symposium on DU weapons followed the establishment’s party line. A July 2003 report from the symposium is no more consequential than counterparts from the complex. The conference isolated NPRI from the independent research community, contrary to prior assurances from the Executive Director, Charles Sheehan-Miles [du-watch, July 15, 2003].
The report ignores or barely touches legalistic, political, institutional, ethical, cover-up, and other socio-political factors, yet they are the key to a solution, which medical, biological and nuclear sciences can’t provide alone. The report presumes decision makers and public need for “clear scientific data”. There will always be scientific uncertainty and cover-ups — a case to invoke the precautionary principle. Instead of precautionary withdrawal of uranium weapons from arsenals, this report recommends precaution “in areas where DU is detected”.
The science is best left to scientific forums. Why did NPRI, a non-scientific institution, amateurishly set out to summarize the science, when the European Committee on Radiation Risk will shortly issue a report on low-level radiation effects of uranium weapons on health? NPRI symposium report has no up-to-date medicine or science. NPRI invited physicians, chemists and physicists to speak at the conference who have done no studies or published anything on uranium contamination.
The ballistic, uranium fate and effect, and medical science are incomplete. The report avoids discussion of the ICRP risk assessment models and is silent on ICRP role in cover-ups, that is shared with the WHO. It ignores LLRC and Dr. Busby’s work, UMRC and its research, uranium weapons other than DU. By being silent on these topics, NPRI report maintains, if not fortifies, some of the myths, and, to the detriment of NPRI President Dr. Helen Caldicott, is perceived as supporting the conspiracy.
Seriously flawed science-policy concept of the symposium, the content, and the absence of fundamental references to classic papers and authors put a question mark over the purpose of NPRI effort. The report gives inaccurate information and legitimizes individuals and organizations known to have been apologetic or deceptive about military uranium. It also cites tertiary sources, which cite secondary references, which are based on original sources, or are not referenced at all. Examples from page 4 alone:
- An overview contains encyclopedic knowledge about natural uranium, so there is no need to cite Pentagon. Yet the NPRI report starts with citations from 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…”
- Encyclopedic DU properties are taken from Rapacholi and from Fahey. Neither is a scientist in this subject area. Radioactivity of DU is taken from Fahey’s Science or Science Fiction which does not give a source of this information.
- Comparison of uranium alloys to natural uranium is misleading and parrots unscientific official statements. “Properties” section of the report should refer to page 6 (aerosols, but DU risks from fires are not mentioned there) and to page 11 (contaminated DU, but risks from nuclear waste recycled into alloys are not analysed, though many scientists suspect a very significant impact).
Such presentation is an obstacle to a researcher, an undeserved favour for tertiary and discredited authors, and annoyance to the activist. Putting undeserved persons on a pedestal of scientific authority creates further “experts” for the propaganda and misinformation machine.
Observers wonder, how NPRI president was fooled. Did other member of the board of directors, staff, board of advisors, or perhaps “an outside advisor” do it? The interns engaged on the report had a practical lesson in deception on uranium weapons. If Dr. Caldicott’s institute could be manipulated, just think what could be done to UNEP, WHO, IAEA and other institutions.
NPRI symposium did not bring science together, did not make a connection to policy, and failed to credibly deliver the information to the intended audience. Its recommendations are timid, impotent, and seem haphazard. More research is an academic, not a pro-active policy recommendation when victims need help and environment — remediation. It sounds like Pentagon’s tune. More research — by whom, and how will it help residents of contaminated areas, or exposed veterans? How will more research on health effects of uranium help remedy areas contaminated with a practically permanent uranium 238 that is next to impossible to clean up and dispose of safely? More urine sampling and testing? Perfect tool for departments of defense to manipulate the results. Professor Hooper said what he thinks about urine testing, and NPRI report quotes him on page 14.
Reminding the invading forces to warn local population, mark off contaminated sites (why “in Arabic” – in the Balkans and Afghanistan?), and clean up DU reads like reminding children to wash hands before meals. The governments and the military concerned know they contaminate illegally, just as they know soldiers must be protected, but are not. NPRI should determine why the military uses illegal weapons, fails to protect human health and the environment, and does not clean up after themselves. NPRI should recommend a policy remedy based on such analysis.
Emphasis on needed epidemiological research in southern Iraq is puzzling, since the problems also occur in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and at domestic and overseas military ranges. Uranium contamination from early tests and Yom Kippur war is another missed opportunity for epidemiological research, as it would offer the longest time history for a study of the fate of uranium micro-particles in the environment and the impacts on health.
Recommendation to Pentagon to find a substitute for DU sounds like a mouse’s squeek, which the military-government complex has been ignoring since WW II. Suggesting tungsten (i.e. heavy metal wolfram) as a substitute for DU is at odds with report’s concern about heavy metal toxicity.
NPRI website features an incomplete set of links and Science or Science Fiction? but no ground-breaking material. The NPRI website and symposium insult independent research. Ironically, the NPRI failure precipitated organizing this conference.
The case of legalized crimes
Many people, notably veterans who feel deceived and let down by the authorities, grew to distrust their governments, and are also skeptical about the effectiveness of government-controlled legislation against weapons. A Japanese radiologist Dr. Eisuke Matsui quotes in his presentation to this conference from Professor Sheldon H. Harris’s book Factories of Death – Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-up [Routledge, London and New York, 1994]: “there are a number of international treaties being drawn up that seek to outlaw biological warfare, and, by implications, involuntary human experimentation.” Matsui notes that US, Russia and Japan are signatories to various international agreements outlawing human experimentation and production of biological warfare agents, yet these activities appear to be flourishing in all three countries and elsewhere.
Cynicism is noted in other weapons. The ban on land mines does not prevent states to make, use and proliferate cluster bombs. Due to sheer numbers of unexploded bomblets, this weapon is worse than land mines in its indiscriminate effect long after hostilities are over. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) against nuclear weapons does not include low-yield nuclear devices and munitions made of materials such as hafnium that do not fall under the definition of nuclear materials but produce radioactivity. The CTBT Preparatory Commission acknowledges that there is no 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.
But the explosive release of energy from an isotope of hafnium does not involve fission or fusion. Hafnium is classified as radioactive because it emits gamma rays. A spokesman at the US DOD confirmed that nuclear-isomer explosive made of hafnium would be more closely related to conventional weapons than nuclear ones [New Scientist, August 16, 2003, page 5]. This interpretation would allow the US to sidestep legislation on nuclear weapons that prevents the US military from developing mini-nukes.
Mini-nukes are already in use. The mysterious, allegedly terrorist explosion on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2002 [http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steveseymour/nuke/bali_micro_nuke.htm], and explosions just before the WTC towers collapsed [http://www.rense.com/general28/ioff.htm], point to mini-nukes [du-watch, June 5, 2003]. Independent observers have more trouble proving who made, planted and detonated the bombs than that they were nuclear. At WTC, the aftermath might be obfuscated by the fact, that the crashed airplanes contained DU counterweights [http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2003/Leuren-Moret-Gen-Groves21feb03.htm], smoke alarms in WTC offices – americium, while elevator counterweights and shielding in X-ray offices in the towers might have been of DU. Concrete in the basements of the towers might be radiation-shielding Ducrete, which would make sense in Cold War times when the towers were constructed. If it is true, uranium dust from fire, collapse and demolition would contaminate New York and places of rubble disposal. |Finding out if the radiation came from mini-nukes would be made more difficult.
According to American Free Press report a year after the catastrophe, September 11, 2003, seismograms at an earthquake observatory in Palisades 34 km from WTC showed minimal tremours due to the airplane impacts on the towers, but sharp peaks (over 2 on the Richter scale) just before each tower collapsed. About 20 times weaker and longer signatures marked the process of collapsing. According to Dr. Thorne Lay of the University of California at Santa Cruz, only underground nuclear explosions leave a sharp peak. Even if concentrated into a solid and dropped from a middle height, the mass of each building was insufficient to create such tremour. Hundreds of eyewitnesses heard and felt a powerful explosion just before the collapsing.
After excavation of the rubble reached the bottom, cold puddles of molten steel came into view at both WTC 1 and 2, and at a smaller WTC 7 that collapsed for no apparent reason. Peter Tully, the president of a demolition company employed to clear the rubble, and Mark Loizeaux, president of a firm who planned the clearing operation, confirmed that molten steel puddles were found at the bottom of the underground, in the center of the building, where 47 centre columns once stood. Even if aircraft fuel and combustibles in the buildings reached the bottom through elevator shafts, the temperature of their combustion could not melt hefty columns built of steel 10 cm (4 inches) thick. Indeed NASA measured the hotspot in the smoking rubble to be only half of the steel melting temperature five days after the collapse.
Professor 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 depleted and other uranium munitions that the US and other governments would be keen to avoid linking with nuclear weapons. The US government defines a weapon of mass destruction: “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 or radioactivity.” Even if nuclear-isomer explosives are not nuclear weapons, they could still spell political trouble, so cover-ups and manipulation of law are inevitable.
The “Brussels Coalition” case
The initiative for a ban on uranium weapons that came into being in Brussels a few days before the Hamburg conference may be an attempt to manipulate sincere organizations of our movement. Lack of prior announcement of this meeting and its goal is contrary to grassroots practice and, naturally, aroused suspicions. The European focus of the ban initiative and coincidence with the Hamburg conference could also mean a subversive action by the complex. Sincere, inexpert members of our movement easily fall prey to motherhood statements for banning uranium weapons. Psychologists of our adversary know it and use it. Organizing the Hamburg conference began with a call for a ban. Several informed individuals in the movement managed to convince the organizers about a futility of a ban. This goal gradually evolved into a more sensible statement in the post-conference press release: “future campaigns and treaties should replace ‘ban’ with the term ‘abolition’ of DU/Uranium weapons.”
The “Brussels Coalition” raised further doubts about their motives at the Hamburg conference. Even if the action for a ban was well-meant, it induced negative reactions and lost the support of the conference majority. The coalition was guided by theoretical work of a relative novice jurist, Avril MacDonald. She argues since Manchester 2000 that DU weapons are legal. Her presentation at the NPRI symposium earlier this year also raised brows of many. Dr. Karen Parker reviewed MacDonald’s paper in Hamburg and found its legal argument basically flawed.
The statement of the “Brussels Coalition” is strategically weak from the start and contains language that invites trouble. A German professor, Manfred Mohr, presented in Hamburg a draft convention banning DU and uranium weapons. It was not possible to judge his approach, since Mohr read passages from the proposed text instead of giving a juristic and political rationale. It is not clear whether or not the European members of the coalition were aware of his work that advanced to the point of a draft convention text. If yes, why was it not mentioned in the coalition’s announcements and why was Mohr’s argument not dissiminated by the coalition instead of MacDonald’s deficient paper? The legal issues workshop at Hamburg highlighted a low technical understanding among the members of the coalition and a large dose of emotionality. Chances are they did not know what they were drawn into.
A part of the movement, including experienced jurists, perceive that a ban is the wrong strategy. Dr. Parker wrote in a technical paper: “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” [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/du-watch/files/Beograd6.rtf].
The Brussels Coalition did not manage to convince the movement otherwise. The structure and process of the Hamburg conference were not conducive to rational argumentation. The workshop had a majority of participants from the coalition, while motions were voted upon by a count of hands. Consequently, the “ban” issue came out of the room in form of two recommendations to the plenary session. Other, valuable proposals – citizens tribunals, requests to governments to guarantee safety of humanitarian workers against contamination by uranium, and occupational liability court cases – did not receive the required number of votes.
This would be an acceptable process after an exchange of arguments took place and both sides of an issue had a chance to consider counter-arguments. But the group were mostly non-experts in law, and the process was influenced by emotion. As a result, the workshop had great difficulties in reaching an agreement, despite efforts by the organizers. This backfired at the time of taking plenary resolutions, again by show of hands. Those skeptical about the effectiveness of governments in resolving problems objected to the term “ban”.
The language of the coalition statement is flawed, too. It starts with “experts” but experts don’t issue statements without indicating their names. It is equally naïve to demand uranium weapon investigations from UNEP because of past performance of that organization. Despite all the above criticisms, the coalition again issued the release, unchanged from the controversial text, after the Hamburg conference. This shows an insensitivity of the coalition to other voices in the movement and to a process of rational debate. It might also mean a subtle pressure exerted on its members from outside.
The UN Sub-Commission case
Refer to Dr. Karen Parker’s presentation to this conference.
Part 4: Conclusions and Recommendations
The military, governments, and nuclear and weapon industries fail to or inadequately disclose the effects of uranium weapons, and manipulate inquiries of international health organizations. The media act as a propaganda outlet for these groups. Information Operations behind the propaganda aim at influencing perceptions and actions of foreign and domestic public, governments, and intelligence.
A spiraling group self-deception perpetuates the propaganda for fear of liability and criminal responsibility. Another reason for cover-ups is to make public more acceptable of low-level radiation left on battlefields, possibly in preparation for new types of uranium weapons and future low-yield nuclear weapons. Covering up information on 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 strongly indicates that those who inflicted 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 brought to justice is overwhelming.
Pro-uranium weapons propaganda operates within the cover-up system of the nuclear complex. At its “scientific” core is a seriously flawed model of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, 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 web reaching as far as national organizations responsible for public health.
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. Thus, the only solution might be a complete and universal termination of the development, testing, production and use of these weapons of indiscriminate effect and delayed mass destruction. However, pressing for a ban or a treaty is counterproductive, as leading humanitarian jurists have explained.
Our emphasis on the legal side and international law may be giving more power to the perpetrators of the weapons. They have been persistently refusing and avoiding litigation on the occupational and civilian exposure rules. It indicates that this is to them as strategic as proofs by science. Agent provacateurs will most likely appear on our legal prong, if they are not there already.
A better tactics that does not set camps within our movement apart, and could be very effective towards our goal, may be to pursue enforcement of established standards for allowable radioactive doses. The way that the establishment has been able to disregard the international and national permitted dose levels, both occupational and civilian standards, is symptomatic of the complex’s grip on radiological safety. It indictates to our and related movements the need to press this issue legally. Perhaps the jurists and experienced activists should focus more on this avenue. The Nuclear Workers Compensation program in the US may spark more ideas.
The leaders of our movement have advanced their appreciation of information warfare in uranium weapon disinformation: from a reluctant acceptance of my paper to Manchester 2000, to an invitation to speak at this conference. The movement comprises diverse interest and pressure groups: medical and physical scientists; veterans and families; jurists; anti-war, environmental and anti-nuclear groups; journalists; and, independent individuals. The latter do not associate with any group, but profess the common cause. Unlike the rigid, disciplined, and money-and-power motivated military, government and industry structures that are prone to group-think and reward loyalty with a paycheck, our movement is unstructured, diversified and largely idealistic – strengths when it comes to survival and creativity, but weaknesses relative to potential manipulation and deception.
If we leave the allegations, presumptions and speculations unanswered, the less informed audience will become a victim of deception. Propaganda preys on intellectual laziness. Provocations and diversionary tactics ride it. The average consumer of information uses simplistic clues to judge information. Therefore de-bunking of propaganda and exposing of manipulations should receive higher attention in the movement than before.
The movement is guilty of propaganda, too. Some journalists, activists, and even those with scientific and nuclear background misrepresent some facts, giving the adversary good reasons to attack the intentions and methods of the whole movement. While researchers cannot possibly guard against abuses of their work, the rest of us should react whenever misrepresentations are made by well-meaning people in the movement and outside. Texts and statements originating from units in our movement should ideally be vetted through our specialists in relevant disciplines. We have no control over publications from other sincere sources, but usually a follow-up email helps the person understand the details and, hopefully, not repeat the same fallacy.
Incriminating information against individuals in the complex was often held close to the chest of some individuals and groups of the movement. When wider dissemination finally took place, it was sometimes cryptic and disorderly. Publication of legally acquired information is not a crime, there is no need to fear. When you possess incriminating information and the adversary knows it, you are a potential target, whether you disseminate it or not. It is better to share the material publically. Then the public will also know why you were assaulted, and will defend you better. Complex’s assaults have so far strengthened our cause and the security of persons concerned. Therefore, individuals and groups should:
- Gather intelligence, verify, and channel it to appropriate segments of the movement without delays.
- Disclose incriminating information about the adversary’s diversionary activities.
- Identify persons responsible for manipulations and demand accountability with help of appropriate groups of the movement.
We will continue to respond to hostile, aggressive acts of infiltration and manipulation with peaceful means, using our numbers in intractable networking, and intellectual power in cracking open and publicizing manipulations. The complex will get a war, but not on psycho-terms they invented to the detriment of humanity. They hide behind faceless “institutions”, bureaucratic offices and mountains of “documents”, but their hierarchy and rigidity make them predictable. We are genuine and sincere, responding spontaneously to adversary’s actions, like the life itself to unfriendly stimuli. Our weapon is truth, law and supporting scientific fact. Theirs is deceptive fiction that spells “downfall”. We are bound to win the Information War with our determination, because we stand for the good of humankind. The complex calls us “special interest groups”. Our interest is special indeed; we defend the right of every life creation (including the perpetrators of uranium weapons and nuclear power) to contribute to the gene pool of its species, unaltered and healthy. They – defend their power and status.
Shield and build
The scale, tools and pervasiveness of information warfare regarding radiation weaponry indicate substantial resources invested from our taxes. Debunking the propaganda feels like a struggle with a Goliath, but we achieved great strides with modest means. Nevertheless, the establishment managed to marginalize some frontline warriors in our movement. We need to intervene for our own good, but without infringing on constraints that govern activities of our “special squads” and guarantee their survival, such as non-involvement of scientists in political issues, and related policies to protect the supply of funding for independent research.
The membership should get familiar with the instruments of misinformation warfare, suppression of intelligence, the histories of intrigue, and the tactics of recruitment and handling of agent provacateurs. It is human nature to pursue material wealth, excel and become recognized by peer groups and the public. A sincere anti-uranium member could succumb to manipulation because the adversary knows how to exploit human weakness. Information War centres employ psychologists. PsyOps are based on psychology for a reason, too. Ambition, arrogance and the desire for fame are weak points used to manipulate our thrusts in sensitive areas. Pursuing fame and promotion, some journalists rush to radioactive battlefields to measure radioactivity levels without technical expertise and knowledge to measure radioisotopes. They look for DU bullets while a bigger danger looms undetectable to them: the residue from other munitions containing uranium and transuranics.
Our groups are also vulnerable. They need funding, so they may be lured into initiatives that look like anti-uranium, but in reality may be manipulations by the complex on the promise of money. Same goes for academics and researchers in juristic and scientific fields.
Science can provide proofs required by courts, so independent science groups and individuals are the prime target of cover-up operations. The movement will be ineffective without scientific evidence. No legal effort will be able to make a change if the published scientific work and peer reviewed science is not completed and accepted widely. Epidemiological studies are disputable, while there is too much armchair research and not enough hard science and clinical studies. Photos of malformed children are speculative as to cause. They give the complex an ammunition against the movement, unless we have scientific substantiations at nano-level, and clinical proofs in the radiological cause-effect chain leading from contamination of the mother to the effects on the fetus. In this context, Dr. Gatti’s method of nano-analysis, when used on the samples and cases in custody of independent groups like UMRC, would provide the needed link.
Equally strategic are legal initiatives. The UN Sub-Commission case in Dr. Parker’s presentation to this conference shows that appropriate disciplines from our movement should participate in specialized actions to assure objectivity is preserved. In a vacuum, our adversary will take advantage and distort the processes to own advantage. Generally, the more sophisticated and high-level an action is, the more room exists for manipulation of institutions, processes and documents. It follows that grassroots initiatives such as citizens tribunals and individual liability cases before courts have the best chance of raising public awareness to the uranium problems. These actions build on public dissent with the wars and, by fortifying negative publicity for the complex, have a best chance to change present policies.
The legal prong of anti-uranium weapons movement is gaining importance as a target of the adversary, since the complex starts to lose on the science front.
A few conclusions follow for the movement:
- Give a high priority to shielding of science and legal groups and persons, against injurious propaganda and manipulations.
- By demanding accountability, take to task those in the complex who are responsible for manipulations and lying.
- Prevent extremist polarization that may keep us neutralized and isolated.
- Build liability cases under the health and safety/occupational/employment laws.
The liability cases would be a chance to avoid polarization and hit the defence departments and industry squarely in the pocket book and regulatory legislation.
He who pays the piper…
One set of proofs of uranium weapon use that the movement can control – and requires for further actions – is on the battlefields. Independent scientific groups are taking care of that. The other set of proofs is in the bodies of veterans of radiological wars and civilian victims of the contamination left behind. Being a potential and actual prey of the cover-ups, they should ask the sponsors of testing programmes technical questions, and examine the details provided.
They should ask the following questions:
- Does the testing programme employ physicians with radiation medicine expertise and credibility, to make evaluation of the lab results or get it published. Which lab methods, procedures and equipment will be used. Do the assessment professionals have a track record of peer-reviewed publications, reports to the benefit of veterans and adherence to professional ethics.
- Who has access to the data and who controls the use of their results. Is there a legal agreement to report all results to study participants.
- Who will own results funded by the authorities. Non-clinical labs have no obligation for confidentiality and do not need to adhere to the code of ethics of patient management.
- Who is in charge of the clinical analysis and dose calculations.
- How will the kidney disfunction due to uranium chemotoxicity be accounted for in case of results showing apparently acceptable levels of radiotoxic contamination, and which ICRP and national standards will be used to determine a benchmark.
- Which models will be applied to reconstruct the dose received by a veteran.
The contaminated civilians and veterans will need help from independent scientists who would provide an opinion on the above information once received. To select an independent scientist or group, ask similar questions as above, and also:
- Which scientific and medical studies they support, the original research they have contributed to scientifically or otherwise.
- How many veterans and civilians they organized for urine analysis, or diagnostic, or lung and bone biopsies or nano-pathology studies.
- How they contributed to the development of the occupational litigation process, organized veterans for dose reconstruction, filed claims and class actions against departments of veterans and defence, prepared case research for the UN or international court.
- How many public health field surveys, specimen collection and bomb site inspection trips they have conducted on radiological battlefields.
- Which journals, film documentaries, or newspapers published their work. Ask for copies of the publications, examine who the co-authors and sponsors are.
Think and act globally and locally
Shift of the globalistic interests and military presence – to Central and Eastern Europe and toward Russian and Chinese borders – will challenge local activism and existing anti-uranium activities in North America, Japan and Western Europe. US and NATO political and military structures are incorporating new countries into the North Atlantic Pact and Partnership for Peace. The consequence for our movement will likely be a repetition of disinformation operations regarding uranium weapon activities in those countries and abroad.
We should embrace existing and new groups in the areas of military expansion and new radiological conflicts, to further fortify our ranks. Geographic diversification, however, creates security threats to our movement. New conflict areas and re-structuring economies under US umbrella are either under authoritarian rule or subject to American political influence if not control. In both cases the institutions in those countries or territories would be prone to propaganda pulling in a biased direction. Information operations would gradually reveal allegiances but we could mitigate beforehand with the following measures:
- Educate the groups in those regions about cover-ups and manipulations, so that sincere members of the groups are aware of potential threats in their geographical and organizational domains.
- Stay vigilant against infiltration and manipulation or mistaken people from these groups when they attempt to corrupt the rest of the movement. A potential for this is realistic with groups apparently domiciled in areas hardest hit by radiological wars, because being a victim arouses human feelings of empathy and trust of others.
- Maintain close relations, so that local actions of these groups are publicized globally, serving the movement’s global goals.
Military expansion and increasing likelihood of armed conflicts between the global power seekers and their adversaries may lead to the use of uranium weapons by states other than the US and UK. The movement should monitor military developments in the other countries as well, and act accordingly if required.
Fourth generation nuclear weapons that satisfy the provisions of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will be the next concern for our movement. Nuclear powers, but especially present non-nuclear states, will likely produce and deploy these low-level radiation polluters in the near future..
I am thankful to many who provided ideas and source material in confidence. All information was checked and cross-checked by Inspector Angus Hopper-Chopper, who received specialty training in “doing his business” only in designated places.
Please post documentation of cover-ups, deceptions and manipulations to your networks. Publish success stories of de-bunking and exposure of manipulations. If you prefer anonymity, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to the du-watch list by first subscribing to
email@example.com. The list is self-moderated and one of a few remaining uncensored on the subject. You can unsubscribe and subscribe any time.
Inspector Angus will chop up fakes with his incisors and use in his litter box. The same tools applied to the telephone cable will sever nuisance calls. My assistant Angus is a French lop rabbit.
P. Bein and K. Parker, Uranium Weapons Cover-ups – a Crime against Humankind, paper prepared in January 2003, for a monograph Politics and Environmental Policy in the 21st Century, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/du-watch/files/Beograd6.rtf
P. Bein and P. Zorić, Propaganda for Depleted Uranium – a Crime against Humankind, International Conference Facts on Depleted Uranium, Praha, November 24-25, 2001, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/du-watch/files/DUPraha.doc
P. Bein, NATO (Mis)Information to the Public: Why We Must Not Trust NATO on DU, CADU International Conference Against Uranium Weapons, Manchester, November 4-5, 2000, similar version http://www.stopnato.org.uk/du-watch/bein/psyops.htm
A. Durakovic, Undiagnosed Illnesses and Radioactive Warfare, Croatian Medical Journal CMJ, October 2003; Vol 44, No 5, pp. 520-532, abstract http://www.cmj.hr/index.php?P=3013, full text http://www.cmj.hr/index.php?D=/44/5/520
European Committee on Radiation Risk, Recommendations of the ECRR: Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes, Green Audit, Brussels, 2003
A. Gsponer, Depleted-Uranium Weapons: the Whys and Wherefores, Postface to a book to be published by the Bertrand Russell Foundation, Independent Scientific Research Institute report number ISRI-03-03, May 8, 2003, http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0301059
Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-6: Information Operations, USGPO, Washington DC, 27 August 1996
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, JCS Publication 1, Glossary Department of Defense Military and Associated Terms, 1987
Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Publication 3-53, Joint Doctrine for Psychological Operations, USGPO, Washington DC, 10 July 1996
Uranium Medical Research Centre, UMRC’s preliminary findings from Afghanistan & Operation Enduring Freedom, undated, http://www.umrc.net/AfghanistanOEF.asp
T. Weyman, 12 Years Too Late? How Canadian and U.S. Defense Departments reveal veterans’ post-conflict follow-up programs are not capable of detecting Depleted Uranium, Uranium Medical Research Centre, March 2003, http://www.umrc.net/12yearsNotTooLate.asp
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