URANIUM MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER, January 2003
Title: “UMRC’s Preliminary Findings from Afghanistan & Operation Enduring Freedom”
“Afghan Field Trip #2 Report: Precision Destruction- Indiscriminate Effects”
Author: Tedd Weyman, UMRC Research Team
AWAKENED WOMAN, January 2004
Title: “Scientists Uncover Radioactive Trail in Afghanistan”
Author: Stephanie Hiller
DISSIDENT VOICE, March 2004
Title: “There Are No Words…Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs”
Author: Bob Nichols
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 5,2004
Author: Juan Gonzalez
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE, March 2004
Title: “International Criminal Tribune For Afghanistan At Tokyo, The People vs. George Bush”
Author: Professor Ms Niloufer Bhagwat J.
Evaluator: Jennifer Lillig, Ph.D.
Student Researcher: Kenny Crosbie
Civilian populations in Afghanistan and Iraq and occupying troops have been contaminated with astounding levels of radioactive depleted and non-depleted uranium as a result of post-9/11 United States’ use of tons of uranium munitions. Researchers say surrounding countries are bound to feel the effects as well.
In 2003 scientists from the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) studied urine samples of Afghan civilians and found that 100% of the samples taken had levels of non-depleted uranium (NDU) 400% to 2000% higher than normal levels. The UMRC research team studied six sites, two in Kabul and others in the Jalalabad area. The civilians were tested four months after the attacks in Afghanistan by the United States and its allies.
NDU is more radioactive than depleted uranium (DU), which itself is charged with causing many cancers and severe birth defects in the Iraqi population-especially children-over the past ten years. Four million pounds of radioactive uranium was dropped on Iraq in 2003 alone. Uranium dust will be in the bodies of our returning armed forces. Nine soldiers from the 442nd Military Police serving in Iraq were tested for DU contamination in December 2003. Conducted at the request of The News, as the U.S. government considers the cost of $1,000 per affected soldier prohibitive, the test found that four of the nine men were contaminated with high levels of DU, likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. Several of the men had traces of another uranium isotope, U-236, that are produced only in a nuclear reaction process.
Most American weapons (missiles, smart bombs, dumb bombs, bullets, tank shells, cruise missiles, etc.) contain high amounts of radioactive uranium. Depleted or non-depleted, these types of weapons, on detonation, release a radioactive dust which, when inhaled, goes into the body and stays there. It has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Basically, it’s a permanently available contaminant, distributed in the environment, where dust storms or any water nearby can disperse it. Once ingested, it releases subatomic particles that slice through DNA.
UMRC’s Field Team found several hundred Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.
At the Uranium Weapons Conference held October 2003 in Hamburg, Germany, independent scientists from around the world testified to a huge increase in birth deformities and cancers wherever NDU and DU had been used. Professor Katsuma Yagasaki, a scientist at the Ryukyus University, Okinawa calculated that the 800 tons of DU used in Afghanistan is the radioactive equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The amount of DU used in Iraq is equivalent to 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.
At the Uranium Weapons Conference, a demonstration by British-trained oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali showed photographs of the kinds of birth deformities and tumors he had observed at the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra just before the 2003 war. Cancer rates had increased dramatically over the previous fifteen years. In 1989 there were 11 abnormalities per 100,000 births; in 2001 there were 116 per 100,000-an increase of over a thousand percent. In 1989 34 people died of cancer; in 2001 there were 603 cancer deaths. The 2003 war has increased these figures exponentially.
At a meeting of the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan held December 2003 in Tokyo, the U.S. was indicted for multiple war crimes in Afghanistan, among them the use of DU. Leuren Moret, President of Scientists for Indigenous People and Environmental Commissioner for the City of Berkeley, testified that because radioactive contaminants from uranium weapons travel through air, water, and food sources, the effects of U.S. deployment in Afghanistan will be felt in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China and India. Countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in Iraq include Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, and Iran.
UPDATE BY BOB NICHOLS: (Oklahoma City) Throughout the world people are familiar with the “smoking gun” solution so prized by murder mystery writers. Many think that once the smoking gun in any mystery is discovered, it is time for the “bad guys” to give up. Wish it were only so.
The smoking guns are Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone from New York’s 442nd Guard Unit-they are the first confirmed cases of inhaled uranium oxide exposure from the current Iraq conflict. Dr. Asaf Durokovic, professor of Nuclear Medicine at the Uranium Medical Research Centrehttp://www.umrc.net/ conducted the diagnostic tests. The story was released April 3, 2004 in the New York Daily News. There is no treatment and there is no cure. http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/180333p-156685c.html
Leuren Moret reports, “In my research on depleted uranium during the past 5 years, the most disturbing information concerns the impact on the unborn children and future generations for both soldiers serving in the depleted uranium wars, and for the civilians who must live in the permanently radioactive contaminated regions. Today, more than 240,000 Gulf War veterans are on permanent medical disability and more than 11,000 are dead. They have been denied testing, medical care, and compensation for depleted uranium exposure and related illnesses since 1991.”
Moret continues “Even worse, they brought it home in their bodies. In some families, the children born before the Gulf War are the only healthy members. Wives and female partners of Gulf War veterans have reported a condition known as burning semen syndrome, and are now internally contaminated from depleted uranium carried in the semen of exposed veterans. Many are reporting reproductive illnesses such as endometriosis. In a U.S. government study, conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs on post-Gulf War babies, 67% were found to have serious birth defects or serious illnesses. They were born without eyes (anophthalmos), ears, had missing organs, missing legs and arms, fused fingers, thyroid or other organ malformations.”
Moret concludes, “In Iraq it is even worse where babies are born without brains, organs are outside the body, or women give birth to pieces of flesh. In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births. Takashi MORIZUMI’s photos: in http://www.savewarchildren.org/ record the tragedy in Iraq.”
For more information on the American President’s continuing campaign of contaminating the land, check the World Uranium Weapons Conference, http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/ ,
Check the Uranium Medical Research Center and Dr. Asaf Durakovic at http://www.umrc.net/ ,
and for updates on the related Nuclear Power Plants see Russell Hoffman’s website at:http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hotwords/index.htm .
Write Leuren Moret, Independent Scientist and radiation specialist, City of Berkeley Environmental Commissioner, Past President, Association for Women Geoscientists: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War” by Leuren Moret, World Affairs Journal, July, 2004.http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm
These YahooGroups host discussions about uranium munitions:
Read Bob Nichols at: http://www.dissidentvoice.org .
UPDATE BY TEDD WEYMAN: UMRC found artificial uranium in bomb craters, surrounding watercourses and the bodies of civilians exposed to US Coalition bombing in Afghanistan. Civilians surveyed presented with the classical symptoms of internal contamination by uranium, which began after exposure to the bombing. The presence of artificial uranium in environmental and biological samples indicates that the bunker buster warheads used in Afghanistan are made of uranium.
Uranium is a chemically and radiologically toxic element, clinically proven to be a cause of various types of cancer and congenital malformations (birth defects). Internal contamination of uranium is responsible for variety of systemic and organ system problems, which has never been considered or studied by the Defense Department or Veterans health programs as possible cause of Gulf War Illness. The symptoms of internal contamination by uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan civilians are identical to the symptoms of US and Coalition veterans complaining of Gulf War Illness.
The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC’s ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC’s scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC’s scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians.
The United States and several of its Coalition partners and NATO allies have been deploying in battlefield and experimenting with chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metals in various types of bullets, bombs and warheads since the early 1970s. Uranium powder is taken from the nuclear fuel reprocessing cycle, after it has been mixed with nuclear reactor waste products and spent fuel, to supply the non-fissile weapons’ manufacturing industry.
Uranium is preferred over all other “ballistic” metals (e.g. lead, iron, tungsten) because it offers a set of unique metallurgical properties: it is extremely dense yet ductile metal (not brittle); it is pyrophoric (uranium dust burns spontaneously at room temperature); and, solid metal uranium is autoigniting at 170° F. Uranium metal has a very unusual property not available in any other metal; it is “self-sharpening”, meaning that when it hits a target at high velocities (1 km/sec) it erodes and breaks in such a way as to continuously re-sharpen its point – the leading points of all other warhead metals flatten or mushroom under these conditions. These properties give uranium a superior performance as a penetrating warhead alloy capable of breaching the hardest and thickest armor plating, retaining penetration capabilities at 15 % greater distances and lower speeds than the most common alternative metal, tungsten. Burning uranium is hard to extinguish, and if doused with water, it will explode. Uranium used in specially designed high velocity liquid metal penetrators can bore through 20 feet of super-reinforced concrete bunkers in classified weapons called “shaped charges” and “explosively formed penetrators”. The hard (dense), resilient (ductile) and heavy (sustaining momentum) characteristics of uranium also make its optimal in the warhead of robust earth-penetrating bombs to carry them into buried targets and caves.
The mainstream press in the US and Canada does not show any general interest in the story, let alone an investigative interest. European mainstream press is more interested and follows key developments. The NY Daily News April 5, 2004 has covered Gulf War II results by UMRC’s studies of US veterans. DoD has lied and misled the public and the veterans in an attempt to undermine the significance of the story. There is significant alternative press and internet press coverage. The technique for coverage is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).
UPDATE BY STEPHANIE HILLER: This is a shocking story since it suggests that experimental nuclear bombs were dropped around Kabul at the end of the war Operation Enduring Freedom. (Did they mean enduring radiation?) And what have they dropped on Iraq?
Continued research shows that we have all been irradiated here in the United States, at an enormous cost to the public health. Cancer rates alone show that genetic mutation has been rapidly increasing since the first bomb was tested in Almorgordo, NM in 1945. But the effects of low-level radiation have been systematically hidden from public view!
In April after sick vets from the current war got no help from the Pentagon, the mother of one of the soldiers went to the papers. Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News launched an investigation. The News paid for nine men to be tested by Asaf Durakovic. He found that four of them were contaminated with uranium. The News got the attention of New York Senator Hilary Clinton. She held a teleconference- but Durakovic was not allowed to participate!
Amy Goodman interviewed Durakovic later the same month on Democracy Now!- don’t know if it was thanks to my story. AlterNet rejected the story because their source on depleted uranium, John Fahey, did not agree with it.
I don’t know of any mainstream media that has picked up the story, and I don’t find any references to the Gonzalez piece either. The BBC and the Seattle Post Intelligencer covered it before me.
To learn more about uranium weapons search the web! It’s a huge topic. Start with the world Uranium Weapons Conference held last October in Hamburg: The Power Point by Dr. Ali shows the most excruciating consequences of Persian Gulf One—deformed babies. Also, Join WBW! Women for a Better World has begun an information campaign to educate the public about depleted uranium, especially young people who might be called to join the military and their families, regarding the contamination of Central Eurasia. Come to our web site for more information, flyers, and to sign a petition opposing the draft for the same reason.