What if they started a nuclear war and
never told you?
When they said that depleted uranium was the US empire's weapon of
choice, they lied. That word 'depleted' is a public relations spin.
It makes it sound like the nuclear material is worn out. It's not.
It's Uranium. Let's just call it Uranium.
It's a nuclear warhead of solid uranium
238 in a bullet or a shell. It minimizes casualties among US forces.
Casualties that would be hard to sell to domestic opinion. Instead,
the casualties are transferred to the future.
The Uranium babies of toxic Kosovo, or Iraq will die
from it - whatever the name. In
Yugoslavia, as in Iraq,
uranium dioxide dust contaminates the environment. The future
casualties of modern US warfare are unborn babies. Which makes the
US abortion debates look rather hypocritical.
if they announced future babies deaths in time of war?
Nightly News might go like this:
"Coalition forces today captured a
key enemy stronghold. Thirty terrorists were killed and 150
babies horribly malformed. President Bush says it proves
that US strategy is working. In a statement, Mr. Bush
said that only 75,000 more
deformed babies could secure
the capital for the US.
Ed Carnage reports from
The Uranium Babies will be with
us for a very long time. For billions of years to come, Iraq, Kosovo
and uranium test firing ranges in the USA, will be lands with a
poison harvest. So will all theaters of this slow, hidden nuclear
Uranium nuclear war is a crime against humanity. Stop it.
Dr. Doug Rokke,
former head of the Pentagon's Depleted Uranium Project Recorded At:
Producer: Mike McCormick
"Gulf War Casualties & Depleted Uranium".
"Depleted uranium rounds destroy everything and anything they hit.
It's a most effective weapon. A completely and extremely effective
"Each individual tank round is ten pounds of solid uranium 238,
contaminated with with plutonium, and other material."
"They should never use depleted uranium munitions again. The use of
depleted uranium munitions is a crime against God, it's a crime
Dr. Doug Rokke has a disturbing habit of laughing when he
should probably be crying. He laughs when he talks about
battlefields contaminated with radioactive waste. He can't stop
laughing when he talks about what he claims is a massive government
cover-up. And he keeps laughing when he talks about his health
problems, which he attributes to deliberate Army negligence, and
which will likely kill him.
Talking to Rokke on the telephone is disturbing enough
without him laughing about such horrors. A strange echo accompanies
every utterance. When this bizarre sound is pointed out to him,
Rokke says he isn't surprised: he claims his phone has been
tapped for years.
It may be tempting to dismiss Rokke as a crank or a
conspiracy theorist, but Rokke is 35-year-veteran of the U.S.
Army, and he isn't just a disgruntled grunt. Rokke ran the US
Army's depleted uranium project in the mid-90s, and he was in
charge of the Army's effort to clean up depleted uranium after the
Persian Gulf War. And he directed the Edwin R. Bradley
Radiological Laboratories at Fort McClellan, Ala.
Yet if you type Rokke's name into a search engine on any military
website, you will draw a blank, as if he doesn't exist.
If you read through hundreds of pages of government documents and
transcriptions of countless government hearings regarding the
military use of depleted uranium, not once will you come
across his name.
That is more than a little unusual, since Rokke and his team
were at the forefront of trying to understand the potential health
and environmental hazards posed by the use of depleted uranium,
or DU, on the battlefield.
"We were the best they ever had,"
Rokke claims. He's not bragging. He's laughing again.
The use of DU in combat is a
fairly new innovation. It was used for the first time in the Persian
Gulf War as the crucial component of armor-piercing, tank-busting
These munitions are tipped with DU darts that ignite after
being fired. The shells are so heavy and hot that they easily rip
"It's like taking a pencil and
pushing it through paper," Rokke said.
This uranium "pencil" then explodes
inside its target, creating a deadly "firestorm." As an anti-tank
weapon, "these things are great," Rokke said. They enable
U.S. troops to quickly take out enemy tanks at long-range. According
to the Web site of the Deployment Health Support Directorate,
DU is "a by-product of the process by which uranium is
enriched to produce reactor fuel and nuclear weapons components."
In other words, DU is low-level nuclear waste.
According to the same Web site, DU can also contain trace
amounts of "neptunium, plutonium, americium, technitium-99 and
A total of 320 tons of DU munitions were fired during the
Gulf War. Rokke's job was to figure out how to clean up US tanks,
the unfortunate victims of "friendly fire," which had been blown
apart by DU rounds.
After years of this kind of this work in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,
and on practice ranges in the US Rokke reached a conclusion
in 1996. He told the Army brass that DU was so dangerous that
it had to be banned from combat immediately. That conclusion,
Rokke said, cost him his career.
'Contamination was all over'
Burning tanks, burning oil fields,
charred bodies. This was Kuwait after the Gulf War. Rokke had a
mission clean up US tanks contaminated with DU. What Rokke
found terrified him.
"Oh my God is the only way to
describe it," Rokke said. "Contamination was all over."
Rokke and his crew were measuring
significant levels of radiation up to 50 meters away from affected
tanks: up to 300 millirems an hour in beta and gamma radiation, and
alpha radiation from the thousands to the millions in counts per
minute (CPM) on a Geiger counter.
"That whole area is still trashed,"
he said. "It's hotter than heck over there still. This stuff
doesn't go away."
His team took three months to clean up
24 tanks for transport back to the US. The Army, Rokke said,
took another three years to fully decontaminate the same 24 tanks.
But the contaminated tanks weren't the only problem. Within 72 hours
of their inspections, Rokke and his crew started getting
But they continued with their work. They went back to the US to
perform tests on Army bases. They deliberately blew up tanks with DU
rounds, then ran over and jumped on the tanks while they were still
burning. They videotaped the uranium-oxide clouds pouring out, and
they measured the radiation being thrown off.
In the past decade, Rokke said 30 men out of 100 who were
closely involved in these operations dropped dead.
Rokke's lungs and kidneys are damaged. He believes that uranium
oxide dust is permanently trapped inside his lungs. He has lesions
on his brain, pustules on his skin. He suffers from chronic fatigue
syndrome. He has reactive airway disease, which means he can't stop
wheezing and coughing, and experiences a loss of breath when he
exercises. He also has fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic
pain in his muscles, ligaments and tendons.
The VA tested Rokke for uranium levels in his body in 1994.
He got the results back two and a half years later. His urine
had 5000 times the amount of permissible uranium. After years of
fighting with the VA, Rokke said he managed to get a 40
percent disability, but there is no official acknowledgment that his
illnesses were caused by his work with DU.
The Army and the Pentagoncontinue to insist that
DU is safe. Rokke says they know better, because he gave
them the proof. He said they can't find evidence of DU's dangers
because "they're looking for the wrong stuff, and they're using the
wrong procedures." The problem with DU, he said, is the stuff
that's given off when a round is fired. The projectile begins
burning immediately, and up to 70 percent of it oxidizes. This
aerosolized power uranium oxide is the really dangerous stuff,
Rokke said, particularly when it is inhaled.
Rokke insists that he and his men were wearing protective
equipment or equipment they thought would protect them. But their
face masks were capable of straining out particles of 10 microns or
larger. That's as big as the DU particles get, according to the Army
and the Pentagon. Rokke, however, insists that he has measured
particles as small as 0.3 microns, and that scientists at the
Livermore laboratories have measured them as small as 0.1 micron.
Thus these safety precautions, which are still in place now, are
utterly useless, he said.
'I'm a warrior and a patriot'
About one quarter of the 700,000 troops
sent to the Persian Gulf War have reported some sort of Gulf
War-related illness, and Rokke is convinced that DU
has something to do with it, along with the host of other chemicals
to which troops were exposed, including low levels of sarin gas,
smoke from oil fires, countless pesticides as well as anti-nerve gas
tablets which troops were required to ingest.
If Rokke is right about the dangers of DU, why does
the Department of Defense continue to use it and insist that it is
"When you go to war, your purpose is
to kill," Rokke said, "and DU is the best killing thing we got."
Rokke believes that the US
military is putting more emphasis on firepower than on the health
and safety of its own troops. He received a memo in the early 90s he
says proves his theory.
Dated March 1, 1991, the memo was written by Lt. Col. M.V. Ziehmn
at the Los Alamos Laboratories in New Mexico.
"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," the memo reads.
"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 [sic] are written."
The meaning of this memo is quite clear,
Rokke said. Since DU munitions are so effective, they
must continue to be used in combat, regardless of the environmental
or health consequences. The other issue is financial, he said. If
the true effects of DU were known, cleanup costs would be absolutely
DU contaminated areas extend much farther than the Persian
Gulf battlefields. Rokke said DU is regularly used in
practice maneuvers in the US, namely in Indiana, Florida, New
Mexico, Massachusetts, Maryland and Puerto Rico. Then there's
Kosovo, where DU rounds were used to take out Serbian tanks.
As the US stands on the brink of another war with Iraq, Rokke
said he wants to make sure the American public fully understands
that this war will be far worse that the last one, and that numbers
of troops sickened by DU is likely to be much higher.
Rokke insists he is no pacifist.
"I'm a warrior and a patriot," he
said. Given a verifiable threat against the US, I would go to
war in a heartbeat."
But he said that he is speaking out for
the good of American troops, and for anyone, including Iraqi troops
and civilians, who could be exposed to DU.
"Am I pushing for peace today? Yes,
I am," he said.
Before a war with Iraq can even
be contemplated, Rokke said, DU has to be removed from
every arsenal in the world.
In order for that to happen, however, the Pentagon would have
to admit that Doug Rokkeis right, and that would come
at a price that no one has even imagined. But money can't restore
the lives of those that Rokke says have died from DU, and money
isn't going to get the uranium oxide out of his lungs. There are
people at the Pentagon who understand all this, Rokke claims, and
that he deems unconscionable.
"I hope God slam-dunks their butts,
because this is absolutely criminal," he said.
Dr. Doug Rokke Major Medical Service Corps,
WMFO FM Nov 13, 2002
Miller] "What kinds of retaliation have you experienced?
Wasn't there a firing range [in Aniston, Alabama] that
included many kinds of exposures -including depleted uranium.
And you recommended that the Army be responsible for
environmental cleanup, and healthcare of exposed civilians. What
happened after that recommendation?"
[Dr. Rokke] "I lost my job as Director at the US Army Chemical
"You made your recommendation on a Friday."
"And I was gone on the Monday."
"I've had senior officers[...] come up to me and say" 'Stop.
You're supposed to stop.'"
"When you don't stop, [...] they go
back to your house and they shoot at you. Then they file IRS
things against you..."
"When have you been shot at?"
"Back when I was working on depleted uranium and Monsanto PCB
contamination... I'm on the phone with individuals working on
Monsanto PCB issues, literally at my house, and all of a sudden
bullets come right through my window."
"There are three kinds of files that have been disappearing?"
"That's correct. ...The chemical and biological logs. The
medical records. Individual medical records that I personally
wrote have been destroyed. We also know that the detail work in
person files have disappeared. Including my own personnel file."
When questions were asked in the British parliament a year ago about
whether depleted uranium (DU) weapons had been used in the
military strikes on Afghanistan,
"It is not being used at present"
was defense minister Geoff Hoon's reply.
A few days earlier, Hoon had been
similarly vague on the issue, assuring us that:
"No British forces currently engaged
in operations around Afghanistan are armed with depleted uranium
ammunition. However, we do not rule out the use of depleted
uranium ammunition in Afghanistan, should its penetrative
capability be judged necessary in the future."
The defense minister played his cards
close to his chest, no doubt having been informed that DU or other
uranium weapons were being used by the United States (and no doubt
British) forces to penetrate the caverns of Tora Bora and other
targets (including civilian ones), especially in the vicinity of
The refusal of the Ministry of Defense to fully admit that
dangerous uranium weapons may have been used in Afghanistan
and the conflicts in the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosova), when
evidence shows the contrary, illustrates just how sensitive the
government is to the possibility that its use, or its collusion in
the use, of weapons of mass destruction may be discovered.
This is not just because thousands of innocent civilians will suffer
due to radiological (and heavy metal) poisoning, but also because
the government is prepared to send British troops and aid workers,
possibly for a long occupation of the war zones, ill-equipped and
vulnerable to contamination.
When the Afghan crisis began, many of us believed that a great
amount of DU/dirty uranium would be used to achieve the US-British
campaign objectives, both to penetrate the opposition's hideouts in
rocky terrain and to test new weapons systems (dirty uranium
or dirty DU contains radioactive contaminants, such as
plutonium isotopes, derived from spent fuel from power reactors).
The amount used in Afghanistan might have exceeded the several
hundred ton's of DU/dirty uranium used in the 1990-91 Gulf
War and the Balkans conflicts.
Startling report A startling new report based on research in Afghanistan indicates
that our worst fears have been realized. The study, produced
by the Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC), points
to the likelihood of large numbers of the population being exposed
to uranium dust and debris.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine and
radiology and a former science adviser to the US military, who
set-up the independent UMRC, has been testing US, British, and
Canadian troops and civilians for DU and uranium poisoning
over the past few years. His findings confirm significant amounts in
the subjects' urine as much as nine years after exposure.
Two scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan in the aftermath
of the conflict in 2001-02. The first arrived in June 2002,
concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four
months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul,
which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself
contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during
Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the
vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined.
It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium
would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the
research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings,
which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was possibly
causing the high levels of illness but also high concentrations of
non-depleted uranium. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad
subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal
populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian
Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision
bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with
uranium exposure and with some types of chemical or
biological weaponry. These included pains in joints, back/kidney
pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and
disorientation. Many of these symptoms are found in Gulf War and
Balkans veterans and civilians. Those exposed to the bombing
report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and
The study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their
stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months. The team also
conducted a preliminary sample examination of new-born infants,
discovering that at least 25% may be suffering from congenital and
post-natal health problems that could be associated with uranium
contamination. These include undeveloped muscles, large head in
comparison to body size, skin rashes and infant lethargy.
Considering that the children had access to sufficient levels of
nutrition, the symptoms could not be due to malnourishment.
Durakovic and his team have searched for possible alternative
causes, such as geological or industrial sources, or the likelihood
of Al Qaeda having uranium reserves. But the uranium found is
not consistent with the "dirty bomb" scenario proposed by the US (in
which stores of radioactive materials might explain the findings),
nor is it connected to DU, or an enriched uranium-type
dust that has been found in Iraq and Kosova.
The only conclusion is that the allied forces are now possibly
usingmilled uranium ore in their warheads to maximize
the effectiveness and strength of their weapons, as well as to
mask the uranium, hoping that it may be discounted as part of
any local natural deposits.
However, marked differences between natural uranium and the
uranium used in the metal fragments found in Afghanistan was
uncovered with the use of an electron microscope, which revealed the
presence of small ceramic particles produced by the high
temperatures created on impact. This method of disguising uranium
would benefit governments that are under pressure! from the growing
Repeated warnings of this possible contamination was sent to both
the British and Afghan governments in April by scientific researcher
Dai Williams in her report, "Mystery Metal in Afghanistan".
Warning were also sent to the UN Environment Program, the
World Health Organization and Oxfam. All have ignored
them and failed to conduct their own investigations.
Present information and studies stressing the growing mortality
rates amongst young children, especially the new born, indicate that
malnutrition and other social causes cannot be the only attributable
source of this phenomenon. This is confirmed by health specialists,
international observers and a few brave officials from local
hospitals who are convinced that this rise in illnesses and
malformation are due to uranium/DU weapons.
In October, Durakovic spoke on al Jazeera television,
claiming that the amount of DU/uranium used in Afghanistan
far exceeded that of past conflicts. He also warned that if the
scale of the attacks in Afghanistan was matched or exceeded in a
forthcoming war in Iraq, then the consequences would be of appalling
proportions for both civilians and military forces alike.
This scenario has substance, if the $393 billion defense
authorization bill that Congress approved recently is taken into
account. More than $15 million was assigned to modifying bunker
busters bombs to nuclear capable, quite apart from uranium being
added to conventional and bunker buster systems. Money was also
invested in other weapons of mass destruction, including
thermobaric and electromagnetic weapons.
The anti-war movement must oppose radiological and other weapons, as
well as research and access to the source materials. Many of us have
seen the heart-wrenching pictures of deformity and death in Iraq,
and know of the growing cancer wards in Bosnia and Kosova, not to
mention the 80,000 American, 15,000 Canadian and thousands of
British, Australian, French and other troops! who are suffering a
painful existence from Gulf War Syndrome — plus the growing
number suffering from a Balkans equivalent.