- If we can cast our minds back to the Gulf War and Afghanistan
War we can see from my previous story that contamination was not only restricted
to the Middle East Region but also had the ability to travel vast distances.
The fact that in only a period of 7-9 days this same DU contamination had
planted its seeds in the atmosphere and soil of the United Kingdom. No
one could have imagined that this silent killer was free to roam the planet
once it had entered the earth's atmosphere. It didn't have to purchase
an airline ticket but simply hitched a free ride on the back of whatever
pressure system happened to be around at the time (high or low pressure).
Once this carcinogenic had wrapped itself around the many vortices of the
world's weather its final lethal destination remained unknown.
- Chris Busby in his- Occasional Paper 2006/1 January 2006
explained how Uranium contamination reached the shores of England. He stated
there was a southerly flow of air from Africa to Europe "Thus at minimum,
the atmospheric conditions do not oppose the conclusion that the uranium
at Aldermaston was from the Iraq bombing" He went on to say that that
sufficient air from Iraq arrived in Europe to cause increased levels in
the filters. This detailed report gave some very alarming figures when
he quoted "Over the period of the excession, the mean offsite level
of uranium in the air over the six weeks was 650nBq/m3""there
was an excess of uranium in air of some 500nBq/m3"
- He concluded by calculating the amount of uranium that
one could possible inhale during the six weeks of elevated readings. His
findings were alarming to say the least when he estimated that each person
would have inhaled about 23 million particles. He said "These particles
would have rapidly transferred through the lungs and into the lymphatic
system where they would have access to all tissues"
- Chris Busby and Dai Williams have both worked tirelessly
on the issues of Depleted Uranium and Enriched Uranium and after studying
their respective reports I have found their contents faultless. My research
also involved studies carried out by Leuren Moret an Environmental Scientist
who worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and 2 years at the Livermore
Nuclear Weapons Establishment. She has dedicated her life to revealing
and understanding the actual health effects of radiation exposure, Dr Rosalie
Bertell, Ph.D,. GNSH, Canadian Epidemiologist who has contributed so much
research in this area and finally Dr Doug Rokke, former head of the Pentagon's
Depleted Uranium Project who himself is suffering from DU contamination.
The world owes so much to these dedicated experts.
- Leuren Moret gave such a wonderful example in the DU
story: For years the question has been raised what would we do with the
waste from nuclear power plants. The half life of the uranium is four billion
years and exposure to the depleted uranium is potentially as hazardous
as exposure to the uranium itself. Apparently we have found a "solution"
to the problem of waste from nuclear power plants. Depleted uranium can
be added to weapons. She further revealed the contents of a Memorandum:
- Atomic Test
- To: Brigadier General L. R. Groves
- From: Drs. Conant, Compton, and Urey
- War Department United States Engineer Office Manhattan
- Oak Ridge Tennessee
- October 30, 1943 Declassified June 5, 1974
- A memo prepared October 30, 1943 stated that the material
used in the atomic bomb could be "ground into particles of microscopic
size to form dust and smoke and distributed by a ground-fired projectile,
land vehicles, or aerial bombs. In this form it would be inhaled by personnel.
The amount necessary to cause death to a person inhaling the material
is extremely small. It has been estimated that one millionth of a gram
accumulating in a person's body would be fatal.
- There are no known methods of treatment for such a casualty.
- Two factors appear to increase the effectiveness of radioactive
dust or smoke as a weapon. These are:
- (1) It cannot be detected by the senses;
- (2) It can be distributed in a dust or smoke form so
finely powdered that it will permeate a standard gas mask filter in quantities
large enough to be extremely damaging.
- An off-setting factor in its effectiveness as a weapon
is that in a dust or smoke form the material is so finely pulverized that
it takes on the characteristic of a quickly dissipating gas and is therefore
subject to all the factors (such as wind) working against maintenance of
high concentrations for more than a few minutes over a given area.
- Commenting on this memo Ms. Moret said:
- "In this memo, I was just astounded to read
it because it's actually a blueprint for depleted uranium. This is in
1943, before they'd even dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And
actually, the three physicists who wrote the memo were the top physicists
on the Manhattan Project-Conant, Urey, and Compton"
- Leuren went on to say "And what they recommended
to General Groves was that he develops radioactive materials, including
depleted uranium, into a military weapon that could be used on the battlefield.
In the details of their memos they described grinding it to up to 0.1µ
[1/10 of micron], which is very, very fine particles.
- This is smaller than bacteria. It would behave like a
gas. It diffuses into the lungs and gets into the blood. It completely
contaminates the environment and denies access to both the enemy and friendly
forces without being exposed. It also said that it goes through gas masks.
It goes through filters-air filters. It's impossible to filter out-the
very fine particles. And there is no protective clothing that can be designed
to protect you from exposure.
- So now the scene was set to mass produce DU weaponry
that are now used extensively around the world. One would not have long
to wait to see the DU medical pattern emerge in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- In more recent times I want to play particular attention
to the Israeli Lebanese conflict in 2006 followed by the most recent
conflict in the Israeli Gaza conflict 2008/9 in which an array of
weapons were used. I would even go further and say that Gaza became a testing
laboratory for US and IDF weaponry.
- On the left we see a large plume of smoke above the town
of Khiam, in Southern Lebanon (25th July 2006).
- This bomb was dropped by the Israeli Air force
- A Preliminary report by Chris Busby and Dai Williams
revealed evidence that this was no ordinary bomb but rather a dirty bomb
containing Enriched Uranium.
- Khiam Bomb Photo by AP
- As the report said samples from this crater (obtained
by Dai Williams himself) showed elevated levels of radiation (these samples
tested positive at Harwell Laboratory in Oxfordshire). The use of such
weapons in Southern Lebanon also managed to contaminate the Northern part
of Israel within approximately one hour. Rain eventually came to the region
where is then entered the food chain.
- From 2007 onwards I started to study many issues relating
to Gaza, covering especially the potential exploitation of the Gaza Marine
Area by Israel. This research further extended into maritime international
borders, Oslo Accord failures, collapse of the Gaza's fishing industry,
war crimes and the array of illegal weapons used before, during and after
Israel's attack on Gaza.
- Ms. Moret asks "What happens when these particles
get into the blood?"
- "After uranium metal burns...and depleted uranium
is pyrophoric - it burns when it heats to 170° C. So, as soon as they
shoot them, and the surface of the weapon heats up to 170° C, it starts
burning. And you can see them. They look like tracers going through the
air on the battlefield"
- "They are creating billions and billions and billions
of superfine particles. These do not settle out by gravity. Gravitational
forces do not pull them out of the air. They stay suspended. They act like
a radioactive gas".
- "And we know- I work with 8 independent scientists-
- measured depleted uranium, which after it burns, is very
very insoluble. It forms oxides that will almost not dissolve. And because
they will not dissolve, they will not become body fluids and so, the body
cannot excrete them through the kidneys in the urine."
- Ms Moret description of these evil weapons continued
"These particles are like fairy dust. They go everywhere that a
red blood cell or a white blood cell will go. And they stay in the body-millions
and billions of them. These alpha particles tear through the cell. They
tear through the membrane, which damages the immune system. They tear through
the mitochondria, which is your energy system. They tear through the DNA,
causing mutations. And then, the energy that they dump in the cell along
that path, disturbs the hormones, the molecules in the compounds, the signaling
system that helps the cells communicate with each other because they're
in a cooperative system"
- The world should indeed thank Leuren Moret for her dedicated
work and her inner strength that allows her to educate those that do not
know. She has been attacked and criticised by many and yet still manages
to display a beautiful smile and such a pleasant outlook on life, despite
the burden she carries in her heart.
- On a more personal level I would like to thank Leuren
for her concerns for my safety during my stay in Larnaca and for the trip
to Gaza that I had hoped to continue. She briefed me for some considerable
time and instilled in me that same spirit and strength that is rarely seen
- It was as a result of all these horrible findings that
I decided to accept an invitation to travel by boat on the "Free Gaza"
to break the blockade. My main and only purpose was to raise awareness
to the local government and the people of Gaza. It was to have been a brief
on all the many issues relating to Oil/Gas, Fishing, and International
Border Clarification, War Crimes, Weapons used and the aftermath of the
contamination by both Depleted Uranium and Enriched Uranium weapons.
- I had grave concern for the safety of the residents of
Gaza especially those that daily rummage through the contaminated sights
recycling materials etc. I was particularly concerned at children that
also play at such locations. It was important for me to discuss with the
Minister for Health and also Minister for Construction the many problems
that existed in Gaza and how to help alleviate the secondary contamination
at such locations.
- Having the ability to carry out this vital brief would
obviously cut down the high risks associated with radiation contamination
and at the same time save lives. Unfortunately only one boat managed to
sail under a cloud of political bureaucracy and mismanagement. The organisation
did not consider my purpose to be important enough to make the journey,
despite the fact I was initially allocated a position as crew. I have much
sea going experience with additional qualifications in navigation, search
and rescue. However, having said that we all have our own agenda and purpose
in life and one has to accept the final decision.
- I did have on my possession some very sensitive files
that could have made life a little difficult for me had I made the journey
and been arrested with the rest of the crew. In that regard I am somewhat
relieved. Circumstances prior to the departure indicated that someone was
watching me which I will discuss in the next chapter. I had also been advised
by an American Scientist not to go and certainly not to attempt to take
any radioactive samples. I remember the comment "you are more useful
alive than dead"
- Peter Eyre
- Middle East Consultant