Imprès des de Indymedia Barcelona : http://barcelona.indymedia.org/
Independent Media Center
Notícies :: guerra
Government DU-Plicity
28 feb 2004
The article examines the level of cover-up and double-standards used by the US and British governments over depleted uranium, as well the new grass-roots initiatives that are challenging them.
http://www.unobserver.com/index.php?pagina=layout4.php&id=1487&blz=1


GOVERNMENT DU-PLICITY
By Susan Riordon & Davey Garland

Great liars are also great magicians" - Adolf Hitler.

IT IS appropriate to quote from someone so despicable,
about those who have created a despicable act, and
have lied and covered up their crimes for over 12
years. The wall of silence or dis-information over
Depleted Uranium held by the US and UK government has
been near impregnable. But cracks have now emerged, be
it from veterans, or scientists, over a decade of
collating, researching and painstaking âdiggingâ? by
activists and academics which may rock or even ruin
some government Ministers and officials. The last
months have seen a number of incidents which has seen
the tight DU ship of lies spring a number of leaks.

It hit choppy waters first at the World Uranium
Weapons Conference held in Hamburg in October, 2003,
at which the global DU movement came together
pro-actively for the first time, with activists,
veterans, scientists and lawyers agreeing on solid,
cohesive means of action. The Conference called for
the abolition of all uranium weapons and confirmed
acceptance of the United Nations Sub-commission on the
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights finding, that
Depleted Uranium weapons are illegal. Accordingly, the
Hamburg officially called for the abolition of the use
of and halt to the proliferation of these weapons.

The Hamburg Conference concluded: âThe evidence from
scientists, medical professionals and legal experts at
this conference is clear: DU is causing significant
health effects worldwide... is illegal under existing
International Law and Conventionsâ? The Conference also
called for the cessation of the manufacture testing,
or use of these weapons. This was the final and
unanimous agreement of Conference.


âRubbing in the Saltâ?
A recent DU milestone was that of Kenny Duncan, who
brought the U.K. Ministry of Defence to an Edinburgh
based Pension Appeal Tribunal in January, claiming DU
contamination from active service during Gulf war 1.
The Tribunal ruled for DU contamination from dust from
burnt out tanks. However, showing its own confusion
and duplicity in the affair, the MoD and Government
managed to turn down an appeal by over 2000 Gulf
veterans, over Gulf War Syndrome, while at the same
time, agreeing to commission an independent
investigation into the causes of GWS, based at the
Cambridge Centre. Many involved with the DU question
regard this as another empty gesture. This particular
unit, is infamous for its research on ME, which it
opined mainly a psychological problem and may well
conclude the same regarding GWS, given the track
record of previous government investigation into the
debilitating health problems.

The Ministry of Defence, however has opened itself to
attack should it deny DU is a threat, since soldiers
in Iraq have been issued with Medical card âF Med
1018â? in which the MoD states:

âYou have been deployed to a theatre where Depleted
Uranium (DU) Munitions have been used. DU is weakly
radioactive heavy metal, which has the potential to
cause ill health. You may have been exposed to dust
containing DU during you deployment.â?

The card continues to advise soldiers to check with
their medical officer on return to their home base.
They even gave out a Website:
http://www.mod.uk/issuesdepleted_uranium/index.htm

The British government and its military forces,
however, largely continue to reinforce an
international policy which has continued since the
dawn of the nuclear age, in concert with pro-nuclear
institutions such as the International Atomic Energy
Authority (IAEA) actively suppressing reports and
documents which link DU/Uranium weapons and
ill-health.

A recent example is a Report commissioned by the World
Health Organisation (WHO) on the effects of DU amongst
the civilian populations of Iraq. Professor Keith
Braverstock who completed the study in 2001 believes
that the WHO purposely suppressed the findings, and
that if the Report had been published it would have
seriously affected public support for any new war in
Iraq. Braverstock and two other radiation experts Mike
Thorne AND Carmel McMaster, reinforced the already
accepted view by authorative opponents of DU, that the
chemically toxic and radioactive dust emanating from
such weapons can cause cancer and other severe
ailments. This might also explain why the United
Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has been
refused permission by the US authorities to enter Iraq
and make environmental impact assessments and monitor
DU related health effects since the latest US/UK
attack. No doubt anyway, its mandate would be as
woefully and duplicitously restricted as it was in
Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan!

We are dealing with a war on information, a
determination there be a lack of it. âInformation
warfareâ? is term that has been increasingly used by
the military to undermine its opponents. However,
historically, it has been more often used against it
own people, particularly in the United States and
Britain, through the FBIâs Cointelpro and the MI5
respectively, which on numerous occasions have
targeted informed progressive movements. This murky
world of censorship, hyped paranoia and attack on free
speech has been recently updated in the US (and
Britain also) with the introduction of the Patriot
Act.

When they are not successful through smear campaigns
and infiltration, then they resort to intimidation and
even assassination. The anti-nuclear (including the
anti-DU groups) movement being a prime witness to
these tactics with threats, arrests, murders, offices
broken into, records, computers and data removed. But
determined opposition will not crumble and in recent
years, many committed activists have brought about a
global alert and awareness. Much of the general public
now knows of the dangers of DU and other uranium
weapons, but has realised that terrifyingly, five
âradioactiveâ? wars have been fought since 1991.

To highlight just a few of the now numerous campaigns:

US Gulf Veteran and radiation expert, former Pentagon
advisor, Dr Doug Rokke â himself severely sick from DU
- ex-Major, turned whistle-blower after being sent to
Iraq following the first Gulf War, to estimate the
dangers of DU for the US Department of Defence (DoD),
He, and other gravely ill soldiers and civilian
victims travel the world relentlessly alerting
audiences to the justice and health care that
sufferers so vitally need. Rokke's unique expertise
and recommendations on the clean-up possibilities and
unique dangers of DU have been scrupulously ignored,
because of combat needs on the ground and the fact
that this lethal weapon has another unique property â
it is radioactive redundancy from the nuclear fuel
cycle, so the military gets it free of charge, since
no one wants it in their back yard, - and it costs a
fortune to keep in a safe and stable environment.
Thus, dropping it on a hospital, mosque, kindergarten,
or government building is a cheap method of disposal
and ensures maximum destruction. It also remains
polluting, poisoning and radiating for four and a half
billion years.

The tireless work of Dr. Asaf Durakovic and his
independent team of scientists from the Uranium
Medical Research Centre have tested and found positive
many DU contaminated veterans. Im addition to this -
at great health risk to themselves - the team has
visited the world's radiological battle zones, testing
the local population and environment. Their work has
proven the direct link between uranium weapons and
radioactive contamination of these countries. The
UMRC'S findings contradict starkly the official
governments' âscientific evaluationâ?, both of the
countries and the amount of uranium weapons used. They
remain unwavering in their determination to expose the
toxicity of uranium weapons and present and future
damage to the populations of Iraq, the Balkans and
Afghanistan, despite all efforts to demean their
expertise and threats to their very existence.

The Afghan DU Relief Fund is operated and privately
financed by an Afghan exile, US based, Dr Mohammed
Miraki. Like the country that has disappeared from our
view, so has the continued suffering and hardship of
the people. But Dr Miraki travels on his own finances
to raise further funds and to not alone relate the
suffering, but to attempt to ensure sufficient relief
and health care to treat the terrible illnesses that
the population is now encountering. "They have turned
my sweet Afghanistan into a poisoned burial groundâ?
comments Miraki.

It is not alone the veterans, but also their families
or remaining partners who crave and fight for justice.
Susan Riordon is the widow of Captain Terry Riordon,
late of the Canadian army, who was the worldâs first
veteran to be officially diagnosed as dieing with Gulf
War Syndrome. Terry had served his country for 23
years and convinced that he was contaminated with DU,
asked his wife to use his body to prove that DU was
the cause. He donated his body to research for his
fellow veterans. His death certificate records: "Cause
of death: Gulf War Syndromeâ?.

DU was the proven âKillerâ?. It had invaded virtually
every tissue and organ of his body. Dead five years,
Terry speaks to Science. A dead man standing for the
veterans, for DU's âDead and Dyingâ?. His wife now
relentlessly challenges the Canadian government to
accept her husbandâs diagnosis and to support those
other veterans who are going down with GWS.

Richard âNibbyâ? David, in the UK, illustrates how
DU/uranium reaches not only military but civilian
levels. David is taking one of the worldâs biggest
multi-nationals to court, to prove his contamination
from uranium metal while working in the aerospace
industry - and to prove its proliferation into a whole
variety of civilian products. This is a modern âDavid
&Goliathâ? battle, with a DU victim prepared to
sacrifice everything to prove both the cause of his
own illness and to more widely expose how these metals
are seeping into our environment, our workplaces and
our homes.

Terry Riordon, Doug Rokke, Richard David, one dead,
two dying, all victims of the emotional and financial
rape of their families. They are the few. Countless
others struggle financially and physically to raise
their voices in the political wilderness. DU is
banned; it kills - and one microscopic particle is
enough. As in Iraq and other âtestingâ? grounds, it
leads to omnicide, poisoning humanity, the new born,
the unborn, fauna, flora and water supply leaving
nothing unscathed or unpolluted - for all time

Never has this dynamic movementâs grass-roots
expertise, commitment and resilience been more needed.
With every small victory, such as Kenny Duncanâs and
the courage of Professor Braverstock to speak out over
the WHOâs partisanship, the movement will be that much
closer to eliminating this uniquely shameful and
lethal scourge on humanity and everything living
thing.

But more of those with power and influence must also
speak out. In the US, it is election year, and so far,
in the Democratic Party primaries, only Dennis
Kucinich has spoken for the need to abolish DU. Will
Kerry, one wonder, have the guts to address DU as he
did Agent Orange and the health of Vietnam veterans?

The Hamburg Conference demonstrated the empowerment of
unity, with world experts and committed activists from
all corners of the globe sharing knowledge, strategies
and ideas. That unity is now needed in the wider
public arena to reinforce the illegality of these
weapons and to force their abolition on governments.

Karen Parker, the lawyer responsible for determining
the UN rule on Depleted Uranium Weapons being illegal,
asked if she sees DU as a nuclear weapon, responded:
âI think so. The UN has condemned the use of them.
They are illegal weapons, and they are illegal for
more reasons than the depleted uranium. Theyâre just
indiscriminate weaponsâ?.

Susan Riordan is the widow of Captain Terry Riordon,
and Atlantic Director, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans
Association and Davey Garland is organiser for the
Pandora DU Research Project and a Tutor in Radical
Media Studies. Both are part of the International
grass-roots initiative to abolish DU and all
radioactive weapons.

Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association:
http://members.shaw.ca/cpva/

Pandora DU Research Project:
http://www.pandoraproject.org

Suggested Sites to look at in regard some of the real
shakers and movers in publicising the case over
DU/uranium weapons/products

Beatrice Boctor and her environmental work for Iraq:
http://www.desertconcerns.org

Dai Williams: http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/du2012.htm

Doug Rokke:
http://traprockpeace.org/RokkePressConf23July03.html

Karen Parker:
http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/speakers/parker_illegality.pdf


Low Level Radiation Campaign: http://www.llrc.org/

Dr Miraki Afghan DU Recovery Fund:
http://www.afghandufund.org/

Dr Leuren Moret: What does the US government know
about DU:
http://traprockpeace.org/moret_25nov03.pdf

âNibby Davidâ? Campaign article:
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/westcountry/2003/11/282063.html


Uranium Medical Research Centre: http://www.umrc.net/

& for Spanish readers:
Coalición Internacional para la Abolición de las Armas
Radiactivas and the work of Alfredo Embid:
http://www.amcmh.org/

All information from the Uranium Weapons Conference
can be found at:
http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de
Mira també:
http://www.unobserver.com
Sindicat Terrassa