Friday, July 27, 2007

Depleted Uranium Still in the VA Closet

Is there perhaps another reason for the VA Secretary James Nicholson to get out before it's too late?

Perhaps so.

For two years I've been researching Depleted Uranium, in waves, as time allows, interrupted by such other urgencies as Diebold and the Bush adminstration's usurping of public safety by controlling EPA and OSHA testing and findings under the guise of Homeland Security.

Some central concepts to know about DU:

It goes back to Bush/Cheney. January 1991, Bush Sr. and his Defense Secretary Dick Cheney blasted Iraq with hundreds of tons of Depleted Uranium weaponry.

Depleted Uranium is used because when it strikes, the friction causes it to instantly burn and sharpen, leaving radioactive particles. These particles hang in the air until moved by air or water.

They are available to be inhaled, ingested through food, water, or simple hand-to-mouth exposure, or they can enter a body by landing on an open wound.

Depending on their size and solubility, they may lodge in the nooks and crannies of the brain, the lungs, the bones, the colon, the liver - blasting nearby cells with "low-level" radiation [Note: Low-level does not mean less deadly, it means the range of the the attack is very small - but perfect for whacking the hell out of the local DNA in a human body).

If the particles are small and soluble they may just move swiftly to the kidneys, where the chemical poisoning may end the suffering quickly.

And these particles are predicted to continue to radiate for hundreds of millions of years, contaminating the water and food chains, carried by wind for hundreds of miles (Iraq has some of the greatest wind/dust storms in the world), causing birth defects and suffering for innocent people for generations to come.

(This is why international human rights attorney Karen Parker calls it a war crime and helped a initial report come before a UN Human Rights subcommittee in 2003. Funny how that whole division seemed to suddenly collapse and was further dashed by the formidably nasty neoconservative John Bolton.)

In January 2001, while Cheney was engaged in finding the best lobbyists to fill the Cabinet, news from Europe was bursting with almost hysteria, as the NATO forces that had been a part of the "peace-keeping" missions in the former Yugoslavia were suffering cancer at an alarming rate, with the blame going to the depleted uranium weaponry used by the United States and the UK.

In response to the concerns of the NATO allies, the United Nations assigned its World Health Organization to investigate. If they had then allowed the world to see the report of their senior radiation expert, Dr. Keith Baverstock, the use of DU weaponry could have been stopped. But the report was shelved, presumably under political pressure. Baverstock has since retired and is working elsewhere to get the word out.

Yes, by the way, that was Bill Clinton in charge during the US bombing of Bosnia and Kosovo.

Which is why Hillary should not be elected. She has a legacy to protect.

Which may also be why the Democrats have failed to jump on this.

Because there is a problem of liability. The greatest class action suit in history. And there have always been people who knew this, and squashed it.

So those who speak up about the effects of DU are shot down quickly. The frustration of trying to raise the issue for almost two decades has left some exhausted and cynical. Careers have been destroyed, scientists discredited, articles pulled, journalists stopped. Some activists have turned on each other.

Regardless of all that, the DU is still radiating.

Saddam Hussain tried to get the world to hear the effects it has had on Iraq, especially when sanctions kept hospitals unable to treat the increase in cancer, especially among the most vulnerable, the children.

Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has decried the hypocrisy of the US using DU weapons while taking the world to the brink of another impossibly horrific war over Iran's uranium projects.

Much of the rest of the world knows what has been done in our name.

But we don't. And we don't know why they are all so crazy mad.

Ron Paul was right in the Republican debate. Too bad he didn't go all the way and say what exactly we'd been bombing Iraq with. Not only did Bush 1 and Cheney break their word to the Saudis about staying only long enough to get Iraq out of Kuwait -- they poisoned the entire Middle East for the rest of time.

Oh, well. At least somebody's making money on it, right?

Okay, hopefully, this might inspire a bit of Googling. And sharing.

And if you Google, you just might run into this article, pointing out that Nicholson's predecessor, Anthony Principi, also left rather abruptly and some suspected that increased reported on DU influenced his decision.

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