The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
>===== Original Message From Piotr Bein <firstname.lastname@example.org> ===== [disseminate to your networks, watch for next parts] www.umrc.net/downloads/Iraq_report_1.doc Abu Khasib to Al Ah’qaf: Iraq Gulf War II Field Investigations Report © Uranium Medical Research Centre November 2003 Tedd Weyman Iraq Field Team Lead Deputy Director Uranium Medical Research Centre TWeyman@umrc.net Part 1 of Installment 1 ************************************************************* British Ministry of Defence on the Cleaning-up of Iraq - 2003: “A nation which has fired DU in conflict is under no legal obligation per se to return to the region to clean up any DU that remains”. Operation Telic Middle East DU Brief British Ministry of Defence ********************************************************************** US Department of Defense on Kinetic Energy Weapon (KEW) Systems - 2002: “High-density KE cannon-launched penetrators have been, and will continue to be a mainstay of U.S. anti-armor capabilities. The most advanced (and most lethal) manifestation of the technology are the modern U.S. depleted-uranium (DU) 120-mm tank-gun armour- piercing, fin-stabalized, discard sabot (APFSDS) rounds. “The DU alloy has been state of the art … since 1970, and improvements in metallurgy and processing have yielded continual advances in … [the] performance of U.S. rounds. Alternative developing technologies include composite rods (typically DU reinforced with higher strength structural elements), and efforts to duplicate the performance of DU in tungsten alloys. “The primary impetus for looking at tungsten alloy has been to obtain commonality with NATO allies, many whom will not deploy DU rounds because of environmental concern. However, since the break-up of the FSU [Former Soviet Union], the United States and its allies have been less focused on planning for conventional land war against numerically superior Warsaw Pact armoured forces, and indications are that other countries have eased their stance on the use of DU. Military Critical Technologies, Defense Technologies Information Center, Defense Information Systems Agency U.S. Department of Defense, July 2002. ***************** Table of Contents 1. Installment - Iraq field trip report: · Preface · Introduction · Order of investigations · Objectives and summary of accomplishments · Overall impressions · Conditions in Iraq · Coalition clean-up and soil replacement activities 2. Future installments to be posted on UMRC.net will include: · Radiation survey of battlefields and bombsites - Rapid Dominance - Shock and Awe · Public health and clinical research program · Ballistic and target effects · Types of radioactive weapons · Mechanisms of contaminant transport 3. Summary tables of radiation survey findings: · Radiation baselines, controls and reference levels · "Rapid Dominance" battlefields · "Shock and Awe" bombsites Note: Photos, tables, and illustrations, bibliography and references will be included in final instalment. Special acknowledgement: UMRC notes the special contribution of Dr. M. A. Shaickly, Professor of Nuclear Medicine, for his leadership, consultations and guidance during the 13 days of investigations. In addition to procuring critical resources in Iraq, Dr. Shaickly and his associate risked their personal safety in the presence of unexploded ordnance, cluster munitions, mines, collapsing buildings and nervous Coalition security patrols. ******* Preface The unfortunate fate of Iraqi civilians and Coalition veterans … case studies in the investigations of the effects of radiation dispersion weapons… The international anti-terrorism/anti-WMD (weapons of mass destruction) Coalition’s admission of its deployment of uranium munitions in yet another conflict was first confirmed by physical evidence collected by the Japanese, No War-No DU science team (September 2003). The team identified artificial radionuclides in tanks and wide scale elevations of radioactivity in Iraq’s environment. Earlier, Christian Science Monitor staff reporter, Scott Peterson, revealed the results of his independent radiation survey of Baghdad battlefields, detecting radioactivity in tanks 1,900 X’s background levels (August 2003). Pre-Gulf War II radiation surveys by Iraqi scientists had already detected elevated readings of ionising radiation associated with the Operation Desert Storm legacy. In 1992, Dr S. Horst Gunther collected field evidence in the form of a fragment of a tank penetrator, later confirmed in the laboratory to be Depleted Uranium. Dr. Gunther’s work, including his disclosure that Germany had fielded uranium penetrators since WW II, led to his arrest and conviction for importing “dangerous radioactive materials”, under the country’s atomic energy control regulations. Indigenous studies statistically correlating cancer, birth defects, premature death and leukaemia trends in Iraq established epidemiological certainties in areas subject to Gulf War I bombing campaigns where uranium was used in combat and may have been used throughout the 1990’s in US-led Operations Desert Fox and Desert Strike. With the exception of the Uranium Medical Research Centre’s studies of Gulf War I veterans’ urine and body tissue specimens, no independent clinical radiological studies have been published in science or medical journals that demonstrate human contamination by inhalation of battlefield uranium by-products dispersed in Iraq. Physical evidence of contamination attributed to retained DU shrapnel accompanied by elevated urine uranium levels in US Gulf War I veterans was reported in published studies by associates of the US Gulf War Clinical Follow-up and Surveillance Programs. The US DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) and DoD (Department of Defence) physicians take a position that retained shrapnel constitutes the only battlefield uranium exposure condition placing armed forces personnel at risk. Claims that elevated urine uranium levels in veterans is due to retained DU shrapnel remain metabolically questionable. Inhalation is the primary pathway by which veterans and civilians are contaminated by battlefield uranium and is therefore likely to have been coincidental with shrapnel wounding. DoD and the DVA have not permitted lung or lymph node studies in this small group of veterans – preventing the obvious examinations to determine inhalational exposure. Although US-led Coalition-members’ and NATO defence departments acknowledge battlefield uranium by-products, if inhaled, could be a biological hazard, they do not attribute any significance to their findings of DU in those veterans who do not have DU shrapnel wounds. German, Australian, Danish, Canadian and British defence department studies for example, identified abnormally high concentrations of uranium in urine (some finding DU isotopes) of Balkan and/or Gulf veterans. They dismiss the findings by explaining that veterans’ urine uranium levels do not exceed the US DoD’s expressed reference point: 50 ng (nanograms) of uranium per litre of urine for unexposed populations. They claim the veterans exhibit “normal distributions”. Dismissing elevated urine uranium values in Canadian and European armed forces based on a threshold limit value of 50 ng/litre reveals these counties are ignoring international and domestic occupational and civilian public health regulations. The US public health regulatory baseline for biological background levels of uranium in urine is actually 8 ng/litre; a significant variation from the DoD standard and a distinction they all fail to report to veterans and political oversight committees. UMRC’s control sampling shows normal European populations excrete uranium in urine at a rate of 2 to 11 ng/litre. By not comparing veterans urine uranium values to the US Center for Disease Control’s 8 ng/l average for normal populations, EU, Canadian and NATO states’ defence departments are ignoring uranium contamination ~6 X’s the norm. Misrepresenting clinical and environmental facts allows defence departments to persist at avoiding what they know is the most important step in DU research and clinical follow-up: dose reconstruction by “retroactive differential decay analysis”. Dose reconstruction is legislated as the means to determining worker eligibility for health benefits for diseases resulting from exposure to industrial and commercial uranium in the US nuclear sector. Using retroactive differential decay analysis, UMRC has published data showing some Canadian, British and American Gulf War I veterans, whose urine contains trace amounts of DU ten years after exposure, inhaled sufficient quantities of battlefield uranium to receive an internal dose exceeding the legally permitted radiation dose levels for civilians. External doses at these levels would be unusual and short-lived events, ceasing when the subject departs the source of exposure. Incorporation of uranium by inhalation presents internal radioactive “hot-spots”, permanently contaminating organ tissues and bones, and assaulting the chromosomal structure of the DNA. This is clinically established as a condition which can never be escaped and for which there is no known medical treatment. Defence departments’ official policy is to protect their personnel with the same standard as civilians. If they were to reconstruct the dose levels in properly tested veterans with battlefield uranium exposure, they would have to admit to uranium contamination exceeding civilian protection standards -- facing litigation by veterans and political pressures to desist from using uranium munitions. If instead, they choose to adopt the more tolerant, “occupational” dose limits, they would become subject to “nuclear employer status with onerous occupational health and safety regimes and pressures to extend radiation protection and exposure control into the battlefield. Controlling battlefield exposure to uranium munitions’ by-products would be impossible without eliminating uranium altogether. This would likely launch them down the slippery slope of accountability for civilian effects in foreign conflict areas. As indicated in this report’s opening quotes (page 2), the DoD and its Coalition partners intend to expand the inventory and more widely deploy uranium munitions now that warfare is intended only to be conducted outside the European theatre. So far, defence departments have been allowed to fail to explain undiagnosed illnesses and pathologies in exposed civilians and armed forces in every conflict where uranium munitions were deployed (i.e. Gulf War Illness, etc). Uranium weapons remain the only common variable (see UMRC’s paper, Unexplained Illnesses and Radiological Warfare, Croatian Medical Journal, October 2003). Once again, Iraq has become the unfortunate laboratory for radiological and medical research into the effects of radiation dispersion weapons. Early research in Iraq and with Coalition veterans must produce works suitable for professional publication, focusing on the scientific and medical fundamentals of contamination by battlefield uranium: · The biochemistry and nanopathology of ultra-fine, ceramic uranium oxide particles and uranium-rich compounds produced in the battlefield. · The conflict and post-conflict atmospheric entrainment, transport, and environmental exposure mechanisms. · The unique contamination pathway of inhaled uranium particulate via lungs to the lymph and blood circulatory systems. · The metabolic life cycle, organ and tissue incorporation, long-lived retention and recirculation of low-soluble to insoluble ceramic uranium. · Radiological and chemical toxicity – at cellular levels with systemic effects of long term individual and multigenerational genetic and congenital pathologies -- due to dose-effects unique to internally incorporated contamination. Tedd Weyman UMRC - Canada November 2003 ************************************************************************** Abu Khasib to Al Ahqaf: Radioactive warfare in Iraq – Field Investigations Report Uranium Medical Research Centre ************* Introduction On September 27, 2003, UMRC sent a field research team to Iraq in its first phase of radiological and clinical studies on the scale and effects of uranium dispersed by air-delivered munitions and ground combat weapons deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operations Telic and James (British) and Operation Falconer (Australia). UMRC conducted a 13-day survey throughout the primary conflict zones in urban and rural areas of central and southern Iraq (Fig 1). The team performed radiation surveys, nuclide analysis, interviewed civilians and community leaders, collected biological and field samples, and investigated the possible health effects of radiological weapons on Iraqi civilians. The types of locations investigated include: · Ground-zero of acquired targets of the air bombing campaign. · Disabled Iraqi armoured assets and their defensive positions. · Suburban, inner-city and agricultural areas that served as battlefields. · Locations subject to both aerial bombing and ground combat. · Collateral damage sites. · Military facilities, airforce bases and the perimeters of Coalition occupied bases. · Down-wind and wide-area environments potentially subject to atmospheric, surface soil and ground water contamination. *************************** The order of investigations UMRC’s field survey, bombsite and battlefield investigations, and sample collection activities were conducted in central and southern Iraq, corresponding to the major areas of engagement. Under the dictates of the Powel Doctrine of “overwhelming force” and “total demoralisation”, Operation Iraqi Freedom executed two operational programs: “Rapid Dominance” and “Shock and Awe”; each was investigated by UMRC (Figure 1). · “Rapid Dominance”: the mechanised ground and air cavalry advance The team traversed Iraq from the south to the north, beginning at the Persian Gulf, Al Fau peninsula, and Coalition entry points at the port of Umm Qasr and the UN Demilitarised Zone at the Kuwaiti border adjacent to Az Zubair. The investigations proceeded northerly along the Shaat al Arabi corridor to sites of engagement led by the British approaching the city of Al Basra – known in European press as the “Battle for Basra”. Investigations continued north to An Nasiriyah where the US mechanised main column divided its forces into three: north-easterly along the Tigris River, north-westerly along the Euphrates River and centrally through the uplands of Mesopotamia1. 1 “Mesopotamia” – The land between the two rivers. Although referred to as the uplands, the converging and eventual confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers below Baghdad, southern Iraq (the “source”), forms a massive river delta composed of fine clay-based silt deposits. This region is geographically unusual in that much of the area adjacent to and between the two rivers is at a lower elevation than the rivers themselves. Battlefields were surveyed along each route, westerly through As Samawah to An Najf, centrally through Karbala and As Suweirah, and easterly through Al Kuts and Al Hillah. UMRC investigated a major combat area not reported during the war in the fertile plain of the As Suweirah agricultural area (60 kilometres south of Baghdad). The team also concentrated efforts at the southerly approach-point to Baghdad where the main northbound highways from the east and west converge at Baghdad Gate. · Shock and Awe”: the air-delivered and ship- and submarine-launched bombing campaign. The field team investigated radiation levels at some of the highly publicised strategic military and civilian demoralisation targets in Baghdad, where the explosions of ship-launched weapons such as the TLAM – Tomahawk Land Attack Munition, and the air-delivered, precision guided bombs - primarily the CALCM – Conventional Air launched Cruise Missile, J-DAM – Joint Direct Attack Munitions, JSOW – Joint Stand-off Weapons, and the newly deployed British bunker-buster called the Storm Shadow - were seen around the world on network television. The team took radiation readings and collected laboratory samples from urban bombsites acquired by a variety of bombs, including bunker-busters, earth-penetrating ordnance, thermobaric and combined-effects (high-explosive, incendiary and fragmentation) munitions. Locations investigated include the Mansour District, the site of the famous April 7th leadership decapitation strike2, Baath Party HQ, the Central Telephone Exchange (Sadaam Tower), and the Baghdad Central Market and International Centre. Although not permitted access to Coalition-occupied bases, UMRC was able to survey the combat areas and down-wind communities on the perimeter of the International Airport. 2 The team found that the target of the April 7th decapitation strike, instead of a restaurant with an underground bunker, was a residence around the corner from Ramadan Avenue. This strike by four precision guided 2000 pound (or 3000 pound, depending on reports) bunker busters vaporised a large upper-class home, left a 60 foot crater, and killed members of three families. The nextdoor neighbours found the leg of the 15 year old daughter on their balcony and the grandmother’s head was found on the roof of the house across the street. US Special Forces arrived 10 days after the bombing to take DNA samples off the walls of the neighbours’ houses, removed all soil in the crater and back-filled the crater with fresh soil trucked in to the neighbourhood. The tactical effectiveness of the bunker busters was evident by the great depth acquired prior to detonation. This ballistic feature allowed total destruction of the target without demolishing the neighbouring houses. The seismic effects cracked the walls and floors of all surrounding homes. The Special Forces were helpful by using their heavy equipment to remove large 500-pound clumps of solidified mud from the neighbour’s roof. Witnesses living next to the airport report 3,000 civilians were incinerated by one morning’s attack from aerial bursts of thermobaric and fuel air bombs. Since the cessation of the main phase of battle, several of the Baghdad area battlefields, collateral damage sites, urban combat areas, decapitation strikes, and bunker buster bomb sites had been cleaned up, back-filled with fresh soil and landscaped by the US forces and Iraqi contractors, thus preventing a thorough examination. Figure 1 Bomb sites, battlefields and communities surveyed and investigated by UMRCSeptember 30 to Oct 13, 2003 [see webpage for unscrambled table] ***************************************** Objectives and summary of accomplishments The UMRC field team concentrated its effort on the collection of three types of field data: (1) Detection and measurement of ionising radiation (radioactivity) emissions from munitions deployed during the Rapid Dominance ground force operations, including tactical combat aircraft bomb sites, armoured assets and their battlefield defensive positions; and, surveying and sample collection from the Shock and Awe air-delivered, heavy weight strategic ordnance and demoralisation targets and surrounding environments. (2) Nuclide identification where the quantities of ballistic source material was sufficient for analysis by portable field equipment. (3) Civilian exposure and conflict history interviews of selected populations: · those living adjacent to the battlefields and bombsites · persons present during ground force engagements · persons retrieving the wounded and conducting body recovery and burials · children frequenting battlefields and playing in craters, disabled tanks and bombed buildings · adults and children salvaging and recycling hardware, mechanical equipment and diesel engines from military assets positively identified as radioactive. The team collected three types of field samples and specimens for laboratory analysis and post-field examination: (1) Water, soil, wind-blown and deposited dust and ballistically ejected compounds. (2) Human biological specimens from conflict-exposed and post-conflict exposed civilians. (3) Battlefield artefacts such as clothing, incinerated and oxidised target materials, ordnance by-products, ballistic debris and ballistic residues. One hundred (100) inorganic field samples, biological specimens, bomb-crater and battlefield artefacts were collected, logged and delivered to UMRC’s laboratories. These materials are scheduled for radiological and radiochemical analysis of any incorporated isotopes, their concentrations and ratios, nuclide species and comparative radioactive heavy metal profiles. The team collected radiation spectra data of both positively identified and the field-unidentifiable nuclides. Spectra data of the field-unidentifiable radiological substances were logged manually and electronically and have been delivered to the laboratory for corroboration of the field readings and further analysis. The UMRC’s portable MCA (Multi Channel Nuclide Analyser) was pre-calibrated for the identification of 25 radionuclides, including naturally occurring species of uranium isotopes, artificial isotopes and transuranics (e.g. fission-activation and spent fuel waste products). Where nuclides were identified and radioactivity measurements taken from source materials were not coded into the MCA’s library, spectra data was sent to the laboratory for identification by the Master Library. [installment 1 to be continued] ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~--> Buy Ink Cartridges or Refill Kits for your HP, Epson, Canon or Lexmark Printer at MyInks.com. Free s/h on orders $50 or more to the US & Canada. http://www.c1tracking.com/l.asp?cid=5511 http://us.click.yahoo.com/mOAaAA/3exGAA/qnsNAA/9rHolB/TM ---------------------------------------------------------------------~-> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: email@example.com Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk