For many weeks I have been writing about the U.S. government’s battlefield testing of chalkboard theory and laboratory developed weaponry, which have proven their worth against enemies of the U.S. military; however the toll that has been and is still being paid by our own troops borders on criminal negligence. In previous articles I have directed those facing AO and DU related illnesses to my WEBSITE to discover research being done using biological response modifiers (BRM’s) and avenues they can take to improve their quality of life. It is not an ideal situation for those who have stepped to the plate to do their duty to now have to face life-threatening illness on the home front, but folks….following military duty, you now have to fight our government to do what is right.
The distinction between recklessness and criminal negligence on behalf of the government lies in the presence or absence of foresight as to the prohibited consequences. Recklessness is usually described as a ‘malfeasance’ where the perpetrators knowingly expose others to the risk of injury, such as killing the enemy combatants, while exposing our own troops unknowingly to health risks and even death.
The fault of the U.S. government lies in being willing to run the risk. Criminal negligence on the other hand is omission of the U.S. government to provide adequate protection of our troops and/or getting their pre-approval to be used as guinea pigs while on the field of battle. The fault lies squarely in the failure to foresee the health hazards posed by depleted uranium just as it was for those exposed to Dioxin from Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
Between 2000 and 2003, Dr Alexandra Miller of AFFRI (Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute) was at the forefront of U.S. Government sponsored research into DU’s chemical toxicity and radioactivity. Through a series of peer-reviewed papers, Dr Miller and her colleagues demonstrated for the first time that internalized DU oxides could result in “a significant enhancement of urinary mutagenicity (being able to induce genetic mutations)”, that can transform human cells into cells capable of producing cancerous tumors in mice with suppressed immune systems and that DU was capable of inducing DNA damage in the absence of significant radioactive decay through its chemical toxicity alone.
In short, DU itself is a chemically toxic and radioactive compound, which is used in armor piercing munitions because of its very high density. It is 1.7 times denser than lead, giving DU weapons increased range and penetrative power. They belong to a class of weapons called kinetic energy penetrators. The part of the weapon that is made of DU is called a penetrator. This is a long dart weighing more than four kilograms in the largest examples: it is neither a tip nor a coating. The penetrator is usually an alloy of DU and a small amount of another metal such as titanium and molybdenum. These give it extra strength and resistance to corrosion.
In addition to armor-piercing penetrators, DU is used as armor in US M1A1 and M1A2 battle tanks and in small amounts in some types of landmines (M86 PDM and ADAM), both types contain 0.101g of DU in the resin cases of the individual mines. 432 ADAM antipersonnel landmine howitzer shells were used on the Kuwaiti battlefields during the 1991 Gulf War. Both M86 PDM and ADAM mines remain in U.S. stockpiles. Patents exist for the use of a ‘dense metal’ as ballast in large ‘bunker busting’ bombs; such weapons have been deployed but it is unclear whether they contain DU, tungsten or a third high density substance, as their contents remain classified.
To the layperson sitting at home comfortably in his easy chair watching football all weekend, I am sure they think “this is pretty cool”, giving our troops an outright edge against those out to kill we the infidels. Unless you are “military” most of the specifics go over your head, but just how much thought has gone into thinking about the long-term effect on civilian and innocent populations from using such weapons, let alone our troops and other “friendlies” within the area of weapon deployment, my guess is that it has been close to ZERO.
It’s one thing being the biggest bad-ass on the block as surely the American military is, but it is another to have the ability to take on all comers only to return home and live the rest of their lives fighting life-threatening illnesses. With all our technology one would think there must be better ways to deal with the enemy we meet on the battlefield.
One might suggest that if depleted uranium gives our troop such a battlefield advantage, the risks to our troops just comes with the territory, after all we do have an all-volunteer military. I have no problem with that train of thought if in fact our troops were to be given “full discloser” about the risks before they signed on the dotted line of their enlistment papers, but that would never happen and those standing in line to join would surely disappear. There’s still close to 900,000 Vietnam Veterans fighting to be compensated over their exposure to Dioxin from the use of Agent Orange.
What makes DU so dangerous? Uranium has been shown to cause oxidative damage to DNA. In humans our genetic make-up allows for certain abnormalities to occur in what is called “the DNA replication process” which occurs every 24-hours or so in our bodies. To protect the body from these abnormalities we have a remarkable recovery system consisting of DNA repair and tumor suppressor genes which keep the system intact. Recent studies in hamsters found that when exposed to uranium, DNA-uranium bonds (called adducts) were formed making it more likely that the DNA will be repaired incorrectly and that the DNA repair and tumor repairs genes will no longer protect the genetic replication system.
Adducts can lead to genetic mutations that may now be replicated leading to carcinogensis (cancinogenisis, oncogenesis or tumorigenesis is literally the creation of cancer. It is a process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells). Additionally, in mice, uranium has been shown to irreparably damage white blood cells. White blood cells (WBCs) are a part of the immune system that helps fight infection and defend the body against viral, bacterial, and fungal infection and diseases cause by other non-self foreign materials altering gene expression. In a 2007 study of DU compounds, DU was shown to damage experimental human lung cells and disrupt DNA repair.
Other findings suggest that not only is DU highly toxic, but that its toxicity and radioactivity may combine to create a synergistic effect amplifying each other, and thereby increasing the damage caused to cellular structures and mechanisms – which in turn can express themselves as tumors or a range of whole-body symptoms… rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, anaphylaxis, etc).
“The numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get worse,” Robert C. Koehler of the Chicago-based Tribune Media Services wrote in an article about DU weapons entitled Silent Genocide. “DU 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. The American Mainstreet media is its moral co-conspirator.”
The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent. DU is harmful in three ways, according to Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist and former scientist with the Manhattan Project and the National Laboratory at Livermore, Calif… “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”
Internalized DU particles, according to Fulk, act as a non-specific catalyst in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU particles cause many, many diseases including severe birth defects. When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain. Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.
Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium areas after the first Gulf War claims “Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity.” When the government’s initial reaction to DU mimics the comments early-on about dioxin and AO, but the statistic just don’t lie. Rokke’s own clean-up crew of a hundred or more employees was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. He stated, “When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy”, but after performing clean-up operations (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others, including Rokke himself, developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems.
The Department of Defense was warned in 1991 after the Gulf War that their arrogance was beyond comprehension, yet the D.O.D still insists today that such ingestion of DU is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”
The benefits of so much research into the diseases cause by deplete uranium, is an accelerated focus on finding safer, more effective and ultimately cures of which will help society as a whole. Although that isn’t an adequate trade-off for using DU in the first place, if the government was more forthcoming, we might be much further along in solving the overall problem DU has forced upon our own military, civilians, and our allies. It also wouldn’t be so difficult for those affected to get the compensation they deserve.
Hopefully other writers will join me in continuing to beat the drum for all Veterans put in harm’s way by the government’s pattern of shooting our troops in the back (philosophically). My commitment is to make myself available to any Veteran who needs an advocate to stay up on the latest treatment protocols. I can be easily reached through my website at http://docmattson.com.