Cancer Epidemic Caused by U.S. WMD
M.D. Says Depleted Uranium Definitively Linked
By Christopher Bollyn
A growing number of U.S. military personnel who are serving, or have
served, in Iraq or Afghanistan has become sick and disabled from a
variety of symptoms commonly known as Gulf War Syndrome. Depleted
uranium (DU) weapons have been blamed for many of the symptoms.
war vets are coming down with these symptoms at twice the rate of
vets from previous conflicts," said Barbara A. Goodno from the
of Defense's Deployment Health Support Directorate.
A recent discovery by American Free Press that nearly half the soldiers
in one returned unit have malignant growths has provided the scientific
community with "critical evidence," experts say, to help understand
exactly how DU affects humans.
One of the first published researchers of Gulf War Syndrome, Dr.
András Korényi-Both, told AFP that 27 percent to 28 percent of Gulf
War veterans have suffered chronic health problems, more than five times
the rate of Viet Nam vets and four times the rate of Korean War vets.
Korényi-Both said his son had recently returned from Iraq, where he
had been part of the initial Gulf War II assault from Kuwait to Baghdad.
From his unit of 20 men, eight now have "malignant growths,"
is not an expert on DU but has written extensively about
how the fine desert sand blowing around Iraq and the Arabian peninsula
provides an ideal vehicle for toxins, increasing the range and effect of
atomic, biological and chemical (ABC) agents, such as DU, that attach
themselves to the particles.
described how, during the 1991 Gulf War, he and others
had inhaled large quantities of sand dust that could have been laden
with ABC agents. The dust "destroyed our immune systems," he said.
Fulk, a former nuclear chemical physicist at the Lawrence
Livermore lab, is investigating how DU affects the human body. Fulk said
that eight malignancies out of 20, in 16 months, "is spectacularand
of serious concern."
The high malignancy rate found in this unit appears to have been caused
by battlefield exposure to DU weapons.
According to Fulk, when
DU, consisting mainly of uranium-238, decays, it
transforms into two short-lived and "very hot" isotopes of thorium and
protactinium, then undergoes further decay to another uranium isotope,
giving off high-energy radiation at each stage of the process.
Scientist Leuren Moret said: "We
can expect to see multiple cancers in
one person. These multiple unrelated cancers in the same individual have
been reported in Yugoslavia and Iraq in families that had no history of
any cancer. This is unknown in the previous studies of cancer," she
said, "a new phenomenon."
questioned Korényi-Both's report that eight of 20 recently
returned soldiers from one unit had experienced malignant growths.
Goodno and Korényi-Both did agree, however, that Iraqi ABC agents had
not played a role in the 2003 invasion.
This is significant because three factors have generally
been blamed for
causing Gulf War Syndrome: Iraqi chemical and biological weapons, the
cocktail of vaccinations given to coalition soldiers and DU. The absence
of any detectable Iraqi ABC agents during the 2003 invasion of Iraq
narrows the potential factors for delayed illness or disability among
veterans to prewar vaccinations and DU.
While the number of disabled vets from
previous wars is decreasing by
about 35,000 per year, since the "war on terror" began in 2001, the
total number of disabled vets has grown to some 2.5 million"more than
ever before," Brad Flohr of the Department of Veterans Affairs said.
Asked if there are more disabled vets now than after World War II, Flohr
said he believed so.
Jemison of the Department of Veterans Affairs told AFP that
current statistics indicate that more than half a million veterans of
the 14-year-old Gulf War I era are now receiving disability
compensation. During this period, some 7,035 soldiers are reported
having been wounded in Iraq.
disabled "Gulf War I era veterans" currently receiving
disability compensation, according to Jemison, the number of veterans
disabled after the war is more than 73 times the number of wounded, in
and out of combat, from the entire 14-year conflict with Iraq.
DEPLETED URANIUM WEAPONS
Last December, Dr. Asaf Durakoviae, a nuclear medicine expert who
conducted extensive research on depleted uranium, examined nine soldiers
from the 442nd Military Police Company of New York and found that four
of the men had absorbed or inhaled DU.
Several of the men had traces of
another isotope, U-236, which is only
produced in a nuclear reactor.
men were almost certainly exposed to radioactive weapons on the
battlefield," Durakovae said.
"Due to the current proliferation of DU weaponry,
the battlefields of
the future will be unlike any battlefields in history," Durakovae, then
chief of Nuclear Medicine for the Veterans Administration, said after
Gulf War I, in which he served.
Since 1991, the U.S.
military has used DU in munitions as penetrating
rods, which destroy enemy tanks and their occupants, and as armor
plating on U.S. tanks. When DU penetrating rods strike a hard target
some of the radioactive and toxic uranium is vaporized into ultra-fine
particles that are easily inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
According to a survey of 10,051 Gulf War I veterans, conducted
1991 and 1995 by Vic Sylvester and the Operation Desert Shield/Desert
Storm Association, 82 percent of veterans reported having entered
captured Iraqi vehicles. "This would suggest that 123,000 soldiers have
been directly exposed to DU," Durakovae said.
"Since the effects of contamination
by uranium cannot be directed or
contained, uranium's chemical and radiological toxicity will create
environments that are hostile not only to the health of enemy forces but
of one's own forces as well," Durakovae said.
of the chemical and radiological toxicity of DU, the small
number of particles trapped in the lungs, kidneys and bone greatly
increase the risk of cancer and all other illnesses over time," said
Durakovae, an expert of internal contamination of radioisotopes.
According to Durakovae, other symptoms associated with DU poisoning are:
emotional and mental deterioration, fatigue, loss of bowel and bladder
control, and numerous forms of cancer. Such symptoms are increasingly
showing up in Iraq's children and among Gulf War I veterans and their
offspring, he said.
"Although I personally served in
Operation Desert Shield as unit
commander," Durakovae said, "my expertise of internal contamination was
never used because we were never informed of the intended use of DU
prior to or during the war."
numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get
worse," Robert C. Koehler of the Chicago-based Tribune Media Services
wrote in his March 25 article on DU weapons, "Silent Genocide."
dust does more than wreak havoc on the immune systems of those who
breathe it or touch it; the substance also alters one's genetic code,"
Koehler wrote. "The Pentagon's response to such charges is denial,
denial, denial. And the American media is its moral co-conspirator."
© American Free Press 2004