U.S. VETERAN REVEALS ATOMIC BOMBS DROPPED ON AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ
“Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear. The word has been around for decades, and for the longest time, was at the center of American foreign policy and the deepest fears of the American people. Nuclear brinkmanship. Nuclear winter. Nuclear holocaust. Etc. It's a great, big, fat, important, and serious word. Its very existence has changed the face of the planet.” -William Rivers Pitt [truthout.com May 5/06]
Despite a just-released U.S. national intelligence consensus that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, apocalyptic fundamentalists George Bush and Dick Cheney remain intent on ordering an all-out attack against one of the world's oldest (and best armed) civilizations. As governments and citizenry protest this folly, an overriding question torments many minds: Will the architects of more than one-million civilian corpses in Iraq choose to go “go nuclear” against Iran?
Many believe they will not dare. If the inhibition against killing is one of the strongest human impulses (just ask a returning veteran), the ethical revulsion and international prohibitions against using nuclear weapons seem strong enough to rule out their first aggressive use since America's atomic attack on Nagasaki.
But what if the post-WWII nuclear Rubicon has already been crossed? According to a U.S. Army veteran with extensive boots-on-the-ground connections, the United States Government has dropped five nuclear weapons on Afghanistan and Iraq.
And gotten away with it.
Shortly after the terror attacks of 9/11, Lt. Colonel Eric Sepp of the USAF Air War College lamented that going after Osama bin Laden's granite redoubts in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan presented “one of the more difficult operational challenges to confront U.S. military forces.”
While precision-guided weapons doom above-ground buildings (and any civilians inside or nearby), deeply buried bunkers can be used as “an effective sanctuary,” declared the USAF Air War College, “to manufacture and store weapons of mass destruction.” As the Air Force Times pointed out, Osama's “difficult to locate” mountain bunkers “are often beyond the reach of most conventional weapons unable to survive passing through tens of meters of rock and concrete.” [Deeply Buried Facilities Implications for Military Operations USAF Center for Strategy and Technology Air War College May 2000; Air Force Times Apr 14/97]
But it wasn't for lack of trying. In 1972, Melvin Cook, a professor of metallurgy at the University of Utah and an author of works on explosives and Creationism, had sought to undo God's handiwork by developing the ultimate chemical bomb. Professor Cook borrowed aluminized slurries used in mining to fracture, heat and pulverize extremely hard rock. [workingforchange.com Nov 8/01; globalsecurity.org]
Extensively field tested during the Vietnam War, where they raised havoc with the peoples and ecology of Vietnam and Cambodia - and later deployed against terrified Iraqi conscripts and cast-off Soviet armor during the 1991 Gulf war - giant 15,000 pound BLU-82 bombs dubbed “Daisy-Cutters” were next dropped in pallets rolled out the back of C-130 transport planes to seal cave entrances in Tora Bora.
London Daily Mail reporter David Williams witnessed one of those "Daisy Cutter" attacks: "The sound split the air. It was like a thunder clap directly overhead at the height of a ferocious storm. I could see the massive oily black cloud of the explosion as it rolled across the hillside, a mixture of thick smoke, chunks of earth and debris." [www.workingforchange.com Nov 8/01; www.commondreams.org]
“The effect of the BLU-82 is astonishing, and rare film shows a detonation, shock wave and subsequent mushroom cloud very similar to a small nuclear weapon,” writes Paul Rogers in The Mother Of All Bombs. “Journalists who visited areas where the bomb had been dropped reported scenes of extraordinary devastation” from a firestorm that sucked all the oxygen from the air, crushed human organs and incinerated an area the size of five football fields in a single mighty blast. [openDemocracy.net Mar 7/03]
By December 13, 2001 the U.S. Air Force had dropped at least four 17-foot-long "Daisy Cutter" bombs on tunnel complexes and Taliban concentrations in Afghanistan. [globalsecurity.org; commondreams.org]
They also began dropping two-and-a-half-ton GBU-28 "dense metal" penetrators from B-52s and B-1 Stealth bombers. Exploding deep underground, the bomb's explosive energy “coupled” with bedrock under immense pressure from the weight bearing down on it. The resulting seismic shock wave could crush an underground bunker - or the internal organs of anyone caught in the “overpressure” from a blast wave 20-times stronger than the bomb blast itself. [ucsusa.org May/05]
In order to penetrate rock and concrete, each “Great Big Uranium” bomb is shaped like a spear tipped with tons of radioactive Uranium-238 nearly twice as dense as lead. Using nuclear waste left over from making atomic bombs and reactor fuel, the amount of radioactive Depleted Uranium (DU) particles spread by each GBU “dirty bomb” eclipsed any terrorist's fantasy - one-and-a-half metric tons of aerosolized particles capable of causing genetic mutations and death for the next four billion years! [Le Monde March 2002]
The similarities of BLU and GBU detonations to nuclear blasts was not lost on U.S. war planners, who realized that the blast effects and resulting radioactive fallout from conventional bunker-busters could mask the detonation of so-called “low-yield” B61-11 tactical nuclear bombs.
The Bush administration's first U.S. Nuclear Posture Review had already called for fast-track development of new tactical nuclear weapons, a resumption of nuclear tests, and more "flexible, adaptable strike plans" - including "options for variable and reduced yields.” Submitted to Congress on December 31, 2001, the neocon's follow-up CONPLAN 8022 would reverse the decades-old U.S. policy against “first use” of nuclear weapons by authorizing their rapid deployment to destroy 'time-urgent targets' anywhere in the world. [ People's Weekly World Newspaper Mar 16/02]
As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists jumped the minute hand of their Doomsday Clock forward two minutes to seven minutes to midnight, White House fundamentalists eagerly sought ways to test their new “baby nukes” against real-world targets. Proponents insisted, "Many buried targets could be attacked using a weapon with a much lower yield than would be required with a surface burst." [smh.com.au
Those buried nuclear targets were specifically located in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki of the Afghan DU & Recovery Fund observed, “The White House and US-DOD spoke frequently about the development and use of fission, low-yield and non-fission, seismic bunker- and cave-busters,” “The US Strategic Military Plan and US Nuclear Posture Review expresses intentions to use new classes of weapons in Afghanistan and other states. This program was known to be accelerating its weapons development and experiments in readiness for a possible Iraqi incursion.” [Afghan DU & Recovery Fund]
Soon after commencing aerial bombardment against Afghanistan, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld told the press “he did not rule out the eventual use of nuclear weapons." [Houston Chronicle Oct 20/01]
Still reeling from the relentlessly televised images of September 11, the American public was told that only nuclear blasts could safely vaporize caches of chemical, nuclear or biological weapons not authorized by Washington, which retained its own banned stockpiles of biological weapons, along with more than five-thousand nuclear warheads. [AP June 11/07]
As I was told by an extremely well-connected Desert Storm veteran, whom I have to call “Hank” during our 15-year collaboration, pursuing al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters across Afghanistan's “wide flat open spaces” is like target shooting. But the “hills that crop out of nowhere” in this desolate region “are craggy and rocky with holes in them that we can't detect. We know they had access to the Russian biologicals. They could have it in the cave. The container could be open…”
For this reason, “in caves 75 to 89 percent of the time, our guys are wearing an NBC (Nuclear, Chemical, Biological) suit as a precaution,” he went on. “You never know what these guys might have in there - Taliban and Al Qaeda. We knew categorically that they had captured a lot of Soviet munitions, so we knew that whatever these guys fielded they captured: last ditch stuff.”
But blowing up chemical-biological munitions is a really bad idea - as Hank and other coalition forces posted downwind of Iraq's detonated CBW stockpiles at Khamisiyah learned to their cost following the first Persian Gulf War. As Benjamin Phelan pointed out in Harper's, “A well-designed granite bunker could with-stand four times the shock produced by [a conventional bunker buster]. If the bunker housed weapons of mass destruction, studies have shown that a canister of, say, mustard gas could be insulated from the heat of the blast by a few meters of earth, and thereby escape being vaporized… In the likely event that a canister is ruptured but not destroyed, the chemical agent… would be blasted up into the air, carried away in the fallout cloud.” [Harper's Dec 1/04]
Another risk, Hank cautioned, “If you nuke something that's already [fissionable], you'll get a cook off you didn't expect.” Even doing “a flash bang” over stockpiled yellow cake, or Depleted Uranium debris “could cause those pieces to reciprocate” by absorbing and then reflecting incoming Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and X-rays from a supposedly low-yield detonation.
Risks are compounded when countries facing America's willingness to use nuclear weapons against them respond by developing their own 4th generation, low-yield nuclear bombs. "The concern is that countries are starting to see these weapons as useable, whereas during the Cold War they were seen as a deterrent," warns Ian Anthony, a nuclear expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. [AP June 11/07]
Recognizing that "low-yield nuclear weapons blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war,” a 1994 law banned research and development on nuclear weapons of less than 5-kilotons in the United States.
But Bush's 2001 Defense Authorization Bill passed by a Republican Congress overturned these earlier restrictions. Just as “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were rushed to the Pacific Theater in time to be tested on the starving Japanese citizenry before the emperor's surrender pleas leaked to the press, the nuclear version of the bunker-busting GBU-28 was rushed to Afghanistan to conduct remote field tests before the Taliban surrendered.
POINT TOWARD ENEMY
The nuclear version of the GBU-28 bunker buster is the B61-11. When American forces targeted Tora Bora in 2001, there were 150 B61-11s in the U.S. arsenal. Featuring nuclear warheads that could be dialed from 0.3 to 340 kilotons - equivalent of 300 to 340,000 tons of radioactive TNT - these new Earth Penetrating Weapons were, according to atomic scientists, capable of "destroying the deepest and most hardened of underground bunkers, which the conventional warheads are not capable of doing." [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 1997; Wired Oct 8/01]
“When a bunker buster burrows in, the blast is directed downward,” Hank explained. “It's a lens and it's focused straight down instead of outward.”
Designed to penetrate deep into the earth before detonating, the shaped warhead directs a blast hotter than a thousand suns in a shock-coupled seismic shockwave that shakes several hundred meters of bedrock. “Even a short penetration distance accomplishes this goal of 'coupling' the energy of the explosion to the ground,” notes the Union of Concerned Scientists. ”Penetration of a few meters increases the underground destructive effects by more than a factor of twenty.” [Defense News Mar 2/97; [ucsusa.org May/05]
Stripping away the numbers, Hank summarized the effects of dropping an earth-penetrating nuclear bomb with typical GI directness: “Do an overpressure wave in a cave, everything in there is squished.”
With the resulting hard radiation supposedly sequestered underground, the 1,200-pound B61 was enthusiastically hailed by Bush and his backers as a “relatively safe” atomic bomb that would not kill too many innocent bystanders. [Philadelphia Inquirer Oct 16/00]
Or freak out the world.
Nuclear explosions are also handy for locating buried bunkers. Ground Penetrating Radar can “see” through only about 15 feet of sand. But in a process called “echo-ranging”, oil prospectors hoping to detect underground deposits at depths greater than 300-feet routinely bounce shockwaves from small explosions to reveal underground objects and cavities. Recorded by sensors fitted with precise Global Positioning Satellite locators, reverberating echoes can be computer-plotted to create precise, three-dimensional maps of deeply buried features, similar to a submarine “pinging” a target. [USAF Air War College May 2000]
Except in this case, each “ping” is a nuclear detonation.
“You get a 3-D map of the area,” Hank confirmed. After a nuclear blast “rings the mountains like a bell, you know where the holes are; where the people are.”
But the air force was worried. In June 2001, its study on using even the smallest nuclear bombs concluded: “The political repercussions of employing nuclear weapon may be greater than the United States would want to contemplate, and the environmental consequences of potentially spreading a warehouse full of potentially deadly biological or chemical agents would be unacceptable.” [USAF Air War College May 2000]
The political fallout could be as bad as the “large area of lethal fallout" scientists warned would follow " the large amount of radioactive dirt thrown out in the explosion” from a weapon as “small” as 5-kilotons. [Philadelphia Inquirer Oct 16/00]
This dust would be deadly. In Yugoslavia, where 30,000 radioactive uranium projectiles fired by NATO warplanes had released thousands of tons of easily inhaled or ingested microscopic particles, medical doctors were already reporting “multiple unrelated cancers” in families with no previous history of cancer, who lived in highly contaminated areas.
A previously unknown phenomenon, these “very rare and unusual cancers and birth defects have also been reported to be increasing, not only in war torn countries, but also in neighbouring countries from transboundary contamination,” the European Parliament found. [ Global Research July 8/04; American Free Press Aug 27/04; European Parliament Verbatim Report of Proceedings Apr 9/02; Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft Nov 8/05]
The tonnages of radioactive Uranium-238 and toxic heavy metals detonated in hundreds of cruise missiles fired into neighborhoods in Afghanistan and Iraq was never tabulated. But after conducting extensive research on DU weapons, former Naval officer Daniel Fahey declared, “You're talking about something that should be stored as a radioactive waste, and [instead they're] spreading it around other countries. [Mother
Just as veterans of Desert Storm came to call their mysterious maladies “Gulf War Syndrome,” soldiers posted to Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s began referring to the “Balkans Syndrome.” By January 2001, more than a quarter of the more than 1,400 Greek troops stationed in Kosovo were demanding to depart due to the increased risk of cancer.
United States law and U.S. Army Regulations AR 700-48 and TB 9-1300-278 require the army to "Clean and Treat" all persons affected and all areas contaminated by the radioactive uranium munitions. But Lt. Col. Mike Milord confirmed that the Pentagon had zero plans to clean up radioactive contamination in Kosovo - or anywhere else . [Vanity Fair Nov/04; Daily Telegraph Jan 15/01]
The ability of Depleted Uranium missiles and shells to burn through the densest concrete and armor made these weapons too useful to give up. DU attacks could also be used to mask the cancers and leukemia incurred downwind of a low-yield nuclear detonation.
If the “Depleted Uranium explanation” somehow failed in the Tora Bora region, Hank told me, “we could blame radiation on the terrorists.”
Why not? The United States of America had already dropped a nuclear bomb on Iraq.
SLEIGH OF NUKES
Founded by Caliph Omar in 636 AD, the ancient city of Basra stands astride the main road into Iran. In early 1991, the fabled home of Sinbad the Sailor was targeted by American commanders keen to stop a stream of WMD slipping over that border into Iran.
Armed with chemical agents delivered by Hussein Kemal Hassan, a dissident Shiite commander in Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led army, as well as the computer software and “yellow cake” needed to enhance its nuclear weapons program, Iran could ruin the Pentagon's plans for a mechanized blitzkrieg if Teheran decided to intervene. [answers.com
As Saddam's trusted military-industrial chief, Kamal had no trouble ordering a convoy of six military transport trucks loaded with “yellow cake” at the heavily guarded al-Jesira factory near Mosul. Mined nearby, yellow cake is used in the difficult technical task of turning low-grade uranium into highly enriched, weapons-grade material.
Also included in this first clandestine WMD transfer to Iran were an advanced Hewlett Packard computer and a Linatron X-ray machines used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Traveling blacked out, the nighttime convoy comprising two red-and-white Scania transport vans, two orange-and-red Scanias, an orange 1975 MAC truck and a brown-and- white Volvo truck wended south to a second loading dock in Baghdad before proceeding to the Iranian border, where civilian Iranian drivers and trucks were waiting.
According to a U.S. intelligence report declassified in May 1995, the Iranians drove their cargo to the town of Hamadan, where Revolutionary Guards took over the convoy. Following the road between the towns of Shariyar and Robate Karim, the Guards delivered their special freight to the Shahid Mostafa Khomeini Revolutionary Corps Barracks at Pasdaran, located roughly 30 kilometers southwest of Teheran. Used by the Guards as a military training facility, the barracks included storage rooms and warehouses.
The yellow cake was sent on to the Fasa/Rudan Research Center to manufacture enriched uranium fuel rods for civilian reactors.
Or nuclear bombs.
A follow-up convoy consisting of two Volvos, two Scanias and a Mac truck also transferred chemical-bioweapons materials into Iran. [SUBJ: “TRANSFER OF NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL (NBC) MATERIEL DURING DESERT STORM” U.S. Defense Department Report: IIR 2 201 0744 91/Filename:22010744.91rMessage SERIAL: (U) IIR 2 201 0744 91]
Alarmed by IIR 2 201 0744 91 and similar intelligence reports, U.S. military commanders placed high priority on interdicting this clandestine WMD supply route, while serving notice on the mullahs in Teheran not to interfere with the coming U.S. attacks on their Shiite brethren in Iraq.
Would fuel-air bombs achieve both mission objectives? As a bonus, the giant BLU-82s could be used to clear Iraqi minefields and intimidate terrified barefoot conscripts into surrendering. When General Schwarzkopf suggested using BLUs, Colonel George Gray, Commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing enthused, “Everybody within three miles of the drop will be bleeding from every orifice of his body.”
General Calvin Waller reportedly ad-libbed with a big grin, “Oh God, how many do we have?”
At least 11 BLU-82s would be dropped on Iraqi positions. [psywarrior.com]
Hank was with the American invasion force heading into Kuwait. “Our guys got told left and right that if things got a little cranky and stupid, we could end up in a short shooting war - but we had a bigger bullet. We had stuff that could come off the navy ships or could be dropped,” he said.
That “stuff” he later learned, included a “Klick 5” - a 5-kiloton nuclear bomb.
Interdicting WMD shipments and intimidating Teheran with a nuclear attack on the main road passing from Basra into Iran seemed like a perfect field test for America's new generation of nuclear weapons. The Electromagnetic Pulse resulting from an underground nuclear blast would also fry the local electrical grid, creating a “blind zone” in Iraq's key southern defenses.
As Hank explained the Pentagon's strategy: “You have to do it where you can get away with it. It has to be something out in the hinterlands, and still be worth being discovered [by Teheran]. Baghdad - nooo. Salman Pak producing and storing biological stuff - nooo. Basra, which was the direct [WMD] pipeline between Iran and Iraq - yeah!
“This was a really good spot to make a point to everybody, far enough from Saddam that he would not respond with NBC,” Hank continued, referring to known stocks of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons or materials the dictator had received from the United States.
The message to Teheran would be equally clear: “If we see a human-wave, or even a Ryder truck coming our way, this is what you're going to get,” Hank noted. “Carry on cranky, and we're going to give you a really bad day.”
Still, it was risky. If Saddam learned that a nuclear attack had taken place, he might respond by blowing up the key Darbandikhan dam located near the ill-fated town of Halabja. If he did, Israel would go thirsty. And U.S. forces would need rubber rafts if they chose to occupy Baghdad.
Who gave the order to go nuclear?
Under the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1995, using nuclear weapons preemptively against weapons of mass destruction or “to demonstrate U.S. intent and capability to use nuclear weapons to deter adversary use of WMD” must first be authorized by the National Command Authority. The NCA is comprised of two individuals: the Secretary of Defense and the President.
Rumsfeld, Cheney and other war planners “were taking a heckuva chance,” Hank charged. If those truckloads of yellow cake were “excited” by a nearby nuclear detonation - or if a rumored “way station” laboratory really was in the Basra area - the resulting blast could be amplified beyond “low-yield”.
“Can you say cook-off?” Hank asked.As a preliminary to the first nuclear attack since the incineration of Nagasaki, at least one 15,000 pound fuel-air bomb was dropped in the Basra district on February 7, 1991. The resulting fireball covered two square miles. Outside the blast zone, oxygen consumed by what was essentially a gigantic gas explosion collapsed the lungs of all living creatures.
One website warned: “Usage of the BLU-82 is the precursor to the next weapon that may be used... the bunker-busting nuclear weapons.” [casi.org.uk]
Around this time, a British Special Air Service (SAS) team on a secret reconnaissance mission sighted a signature mushroom cloud from 110 miles away. The commandos radioed back to headquarters, “Sir, the blokes have just nuked Kuwait.” [indymedia.nl; psywarrior.com]
In fact, the blokes had just nuked Iraq. According to U.S. military sources, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon against another country since 1945 took place approximately 11 miles east of Basra, sometime between February 2 and February 5, 1991.
By then, Iraq's former capitol had been declared a "free fire zone" - open to carpet-bombing by high-flying formations of eight-engine B-52s. "Basra is a military town in the true sense,” military spokesman General Richard Neal told the press. “The infrastructure, military infrastructure, is closely interwoven within the city of Basra itself."
Though the soon-to-be fired General Neal claimed there were no civilians left in Basra, the city was actually sheltering some 800,000 terrified residents. In direct violation of Article 51 of the Geneva Protocols, which prohibits area bombing, the B-52s commenced saturation grid-bombing of the city. Mixing fuel-air bombs with shrapnel-spraying cluster bombs, the bombers leveled entire city blocks, the Los Angeles Times reported, leaving “bomb craters the size of football fields, and an untold number of casualties." [Washington Post Feb 2/91; Los Angeles Times Feb 5/91]
With the city of Basra resounding to gigantic explosions, and engulfed in "a hellish nighttime of fires and smoke so dense that witnesses say the sun hasn't been clearly visible for several days at a time,” a 5-kiloton GB-400 nuclear bomb exploding 11 miles away under the desert attracted no notice. [deoxy.org; Los Angeles Times Feb 5/91]
According to Hank's GI informants, about “400 to 500 meters” of terrain were “cleaned out” of any bystanders and vehicles. The seismic disturbance radiating out a half mile to a mile from ground zero was “pretty devastating,” Hank learned. Besides flipping vehicles over, causing alarms to go off, and knocking people off their feet at that distance, the earth-shaking blast detonated every mine in the area.
At the time of the subsurface detonation in hard-packed sand, Iraq's sharkay daytime wind was blowing from northwest to southeast, away from Basra toward Iran. But the shamal shifts 180-degrees during the night, “so everybody gets a taste,” as Hank put it. “We had FOX [NBC 'sniffer'] vehicles sitting on the Kuwaiti side of the border to make sure the thing went the way it was supposed to.” [“Israeli Nuclear Strike On Iran Turned Back By USAF by William Thomas willthomas.net
The immediate “spike” in airborne radiation would drop quickly, Hank stated. A Desert Storm scheduled to assault Kuwait on February 25, should have left coalition forces on the other side of the border in the clear.
But the Union of Concerned Scientists is less certain subsurface low-yield detonations can be contained. The nuclear experts point to atomic detonations at the Nevada Test Site showing that “the minimum burial depth to ensure containment… is roughly 100-meters for a one-kiloton explosion.” [ucsusa.org May/05]
Even in sand, bunker busters cannot penetrate anywhere near this depth. As Harper's Phelan discovered, “Even a 1-kiloton bunker buster - a relative firecracker detonated at 50-feet underground - could eject about 1,000,000 cubic meters of radioactive soil. [Harper's Dec 1/04]
The bomb detonated near Basra was five-times more powerful.
Given time, the resulting sandy fallout will “spread out and cover everybody with a low dose - instead of a few somebodies with a high dose,” Hank said.
Just like DU.
There is nothing “depleted” about a speck of anything that can kill any organism that ingests or inhales it over the next 4.5 billion years. [Daily Star (Beirut) Sept 14/04; Tribune Media Services June 29/06]
“Basically, it's like smoking crack,” says former Lawrence Livermore nuclear lab scientist, Leuren Moret regarding uranium dust. “Only you're inhaling radioactive crack - and it won't get you high. It will get you dead. It goes right in your nose. It crosses the olfactory bulb into your brain. It's a systemic poison. It goes everywhere.”
Borne around the globe on high-level winds, radioactive nanoparticles 100-times smaller than a white blood cell go “straight into the blood stream,” Moret continues. “It's carried all throughout the body into the bones, the bone marrow, the brain. It goes into the fetus. [It] gets picked up in the lipids and probably the cholesterol and go right through the cell membranes of the cell. They screw up the cell processes. They screw up the signaling between the cells because the cells all talk to each other and coordinate what they're doing. It messes up brain function.” [Project Censored Feb 21/05;
And because radioactive particles are not soluble, they cannot be excreted from the body.
Alpha particles tend to bind with phosphate in human bones and DNA. Just one gram of U-238 lodged in the body from a Depleted Uranium round - or a nuclear detonation - emits 12,000 alpha particles per second. [American Free Press Aug 27/04]
According to Eric Wright, Professor of Experimental Hematology at Dundee University, even a cell that seems unharmed by radiation can produce cells with diverse mutations several cell generations later to cause cancer and birth defects. Pentagon studies prior to Desert Storm found that aerosol uranium exposure could lead to cancers of the lung and bone, kidney damage, non-malignant lung disease, neurocognitive disorders, chromosomal damage and birth defects. [San Francisco Chronicle Oct 10/02]
Another Pentagon-funded study concluded: "Fetal exposure to uranium during critical prenatal development may adversely impact the future behavioral and neurological development of offspring." [Vanity Fair Nov/04]
Another problem, Hank reiterated: “You can get secondary cook-off. You can get stuff on the ground to react in ways it never would.” Around Basra, this radioactive blow-back from the February 1991 nuclear detonation included Depleted Uranium dust from previous American attacks, as well as radon bubbling up from underground pools of petroleum back-pressured toward the surface by the shutdown of one of Iraq's three biggest oilfields.
“If your immune system was brought down by DU, and shutting down the oil [production] made an oil pool under the city and started gassing them with radon - bad!” Hank exclaimed. “The radiation would make them more susceptible to DU, and the DU would make them more susceptible to the radon.”
Add the electromagnetic radiation from high-powered American radios, radars and jammers to all the radioactive sand later churned by military trucks and tracked vehicles, Hank continued. “The U.S. gave the Iraqi people a one-two-three punch… The word, 'catastrophic' does not even come close.”
But this was only the beginning of an undeclared nuclear disaster that will poison people and wildlife in southern Iraq until the Earth ends. As Hank went on to point out, a bunker buster that explodes anywhere from 20 feet to 160 feet underground “is more than enough to contaminate every water source in the region. The aquifer would be contaminated. And that wouldn't go away in a week.”
In fact, U.S. Army training manuals require anyone coming within 25 yards of DU-contaminated homes, equipment or terrain to wear respiratory and skin protection. Otherwise, the manuals warn, "contamination will make food and water unsafe for consumption." [San Francisco Chronicle Oct 10/02]
“Any significant [radioactive] contamination is likely to migrate by air and water to wider and more populated areas,” confirmed a European Union report. [European Parliament Verbatim Report of Proceedings Apr 9/02]
Hank charged that those who gave the order to drop a nuclear bomb on Iraq knew that “ground contamination on the surface will make it to the water supply and make it undrinkable. But they considered it 'low level' radiation - no big deal.”
Except for everyone using that water for the rest of their lives. And pregnancies.“Everything you do, from washing dishes to taking a shower - everything you do…” Hank's voice trailed off as we considered how much water we use every day. “You can't filter this out if you don't know it's there,” he resumed. “And you don't see a lot of people running around over there with a Brita.”
Or Geiger counters. In the heart of Baghdad, Christian Science Monitor reporter Scott Peterson waved a radiation-detecting wand over a small pile of jet-black dirt near a group of playing children - only to jump back in alarm when the instrument registered 1,900 times the normal background radiation. [Christian Science Monitor May 15/03; The Daily Star (Beirut) Sept 14/04; WSWS May 10/05]
More than 200 uranium-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from U.S. ships and submarines during the first bombardment on Iraq. Hundreds more would follow. In addition, more than 3,000 bombs were dropped on metropolitan Baghdad - and the homes of six million people.
Nearly a quarter-million bombs were dropped by allied forces during Desert Storm. With DU dust blowing everywhere, and and U.S. airstrikes continuing at least weekly for another 16 years, the legacy of permanent low-level radioactivity spread throughout Iraq can only be called genocide. [deoxy.org]
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, was put in charge of Nuclear Medicine Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. After finding unusually high radiation levels in American veterans, as well as birth defects in the offspring of their spouses, he had became convinced that not only that was DU slowly killing them, but also that it was causing changes in the human gene pool that would ravage future generations in the USA and Iraq. Asked to stop his research by the U.S. government, he refused.
In 2006, soil samples in Iraq showed radiation levels 17-times higher than any readings that might be remotely acceptable - threatening, in , Dr. Durakovic's words, environmental "catastrophe." This DU doctor believes that radioactive dust contamination from the 1991 war may have exposed the entire Gulf population. [Depleted Uranium Radioactive Contamination In Iraq Aug/06]
WHAT HAPPENED IN BASRA?
The estimated 300-800 tons of nuclear waste dumped on the people and ecologies of Iraq during Desert Storm were concentrated in the Baghdad region. Far to the south, Iraq's formed capitol “is some 200 kilometres away from sites where large numbers of DU shells were fired,” reported David Rose. Yet, nearly every family tested in Basra experienced extreme symptoms from low level radiation exposure. [Tribune Media Services June 29/06; byronchild.com; Vanity Fair Nov/04]
Six years after the 1991 Gulf War, a cancer study found Iraqi soldiers who fought in the Basra area to be stricken with “a statistically significant increase in the rate at which they were stricken with lymphomas, leukaemia, and lung, brain, gastrointestinal, bone and liver cancers, as compared to personnel who had not fought in the south.” [WSWS May 10/05]
"Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before,” testified Dr. Jawad Al-Ali before the 2003-2004 Citizen's Tribunal in Japan. “The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with two cancers-one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney-he had three different cancer types.
“The second is the clustering of cancer in families,” the British-educated MD continued. “We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr. Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer." [Tribune Media Services June 29/06; WSWS May 10/05]
While interviewing Dr. Jawad al-Ali, Director of Oncology Center at Basra's biggest hospital, concerning his research into the effects of radiation and cancer cases “in Iraq's radioactive governorate of Basra,” Ewa Jasiewicz learned that hospital staff were also dying from radiation poisoning at rates rivaling emergency responders at Chernobyl. “Thirteen doctors and nurses at Talimi have contracted cancer since 1990 - breast, testicular and lymphoma,” this reporter wrote.
With cancer rates “skyrocketing” from a 300% increase in airborne radiation above background levels, Dr. Jawad added that water and food remain the primary contaminated sources. Another big problem is the “re-suspension” of radioactive particles through strong winds, digging, or vehicles driving over radioactive sands.
Iraq's second largest city is home to as many as three million people.
“The rate of cancer here has multiplied 15-times since the last Gulf war,” Dr. Jawad stated.
“For Dr. Jawad, the constant cancer cases (many of which go unreported, he stresses) are a spiraling emergency,” Ewa Jasiewicz noted. [“Uranium in Your Koolaid” Occupation Watch Jan 26/04]
Based on their experience in southern Iraq hospitals, MDs Ahmad, Abdul-Hafidh and al-Khazraji found that anyone exposed to nuclear contamination there can expect… “A considerable increase in infectious diseases caused by most severe immunodeficiencies in a great part of the population; frequent occurrence of massive herpes and zoster afflictions in adults and children; AIDS-like syndrome; a hitherto unknown syndrome caused by renal and hepatic dysfunctions; leukemia, elaptic anemia and malignant neoplasms; congenital deformities caused by genetic defects - also to be found in animals, Down's syndrome, skeletal and chromosomal abnormalities, hair loss, rare skin diseases, severe vertigo accompanied by nausea and loss of balance, distorted vision and loss of sight, severe migraine, sterility among both sexes, and an increase in the incidence of miscarriages and of still, premature and difficult births.” [Further Evidence on Relation between Depleted Uranium, Incidence of Malignancies among Children in Basra, Southern Iraq Dr. Alim Yacoup; Dr. Imad al-Sa' doun; Dr. Genan G. Hassan College of Medicine, Basra University]
Does anyone in America understand the word, karma?
Doctors Ahmad Hardan, Abdul-Hafidh and al-Khazraji were also seeing “escalating numbers” of children wasting away from leukemia, lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease. Child leukemia in southern Iraq has leaped 400% since 1990. [Junge Welt Oct 24/00; Further Evidence on Relation between Depleted Uranium, Incidence of Malignancies among Children in Basra]
When the Japanese began studying radiation effects in the southern Iraq during the summer of 2003, their Geiger counter went “off the scale on many occasions. During their vista local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day.”
[envirosagainstwar.org; americanchronicle.com Apr 17/06; WSWS May 10/05]
Six-hundred sick children every day?
Breast cancer in young women, age 30 and under is also “many times higher”, and ovarian cancer in women has increased by 1,600%. [Southern Iraq College of Medicine, Basra University]
“After the Gulf War, they had maybe one baby a week born with birth defects in the hospitals in Basra. Now they are having 10-12 a day,” laments Leuren Moret. “The levels of uranium are increasing in the population every year. Every day, people are eating and drinking while the whole environment is contaminated. There are more babies born with birth defects, and the birth defects are getting more and more severe.”
In Afghanistan and Iraq, women who should be overjoyed by their pregnancies call their condition “jelly belly”. So many babies are being born with stubby limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be-or with a single Cyclopean eye, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads-new mothers no longer ask, “Is it a girl or a boy?”
Instead, they anxiously inquire, “Is it normal, doctor?”
In March 2004 the Tokyo Citizen's Tribunal found George Bush and his administration “guilty of war crimes” for using illegal weapons against the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. [Depleted Uranium Radioactive Contamination In Iraq: An Overview by Dr. Souad al-Azzawi Aug/06 Hiroshima]
Basra's beleaguered doctors were not alone in realizing they faced something extreme. Before her death from sudden-onset cancer, beloved Iraqi artist and Baghdad Diaries author, Nuha al-Radi wrote, “The carnage takes place in apocalyptic proportions… Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia... “ [envirosagainstwar.org]
“Before her death in Beirut, Nuha “believed her leukemia could have been caused by DU,” wrote Dr. Souad al-Azzawi. “And if not DU, then something else to which Iraqis were knowingly exposed.” [Depleted Uranium Radioactive Contamination In Iraq: An Overview Aug/06 Hiroshima]
Was that “something else” an undisclosed atomic blast?
“It's just a slow death sentence,” says Marion Falk. As the retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than two decades at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory goes on to explain, “DNA does not repair itself… Once mutation is caused in DNA, that damage is passed on to future generations of that affected person or animal or plant.” [iconoclast-texas.com
The result, Lauren Moret reminds us, is a “Silent Genocide” that permanently contaminates entire regions, “slowly destroying the genetic future of those populations.” [Journal of International Issues July 1/04]
A decade before another 3,000 tons of America's nuclear waste would be explosively directed against the most densely populated centers of a ruined nation, the UK Atomic Energy Authority estimated that the DU contamination left by the first Gulf War could cause "500,000 potential deaths" in Iraq. Posted in a confidential April 30, 1991 memo to the munitions company, Royal Ordnance, the AEA's calculation did not include deaths from fallout and water permanently poisoned by the “nuclear device” detonated east of Basra in early 1991. [globalresearch.ca; envirosagainstwar.org
As Ewa Jasiewicz saw with her own eyes: “War casualties continue to be hospitalized, expire… and pile up in the graveyards of Basra. Some of the alive are slowly dying already, from the first breath of heavily radiated air… Others are set to bring deformed babies into the world, with crownless skulls or fused fingers, while whole families watch listlessly as taut bed-bound members reel from the violence of the poison in their veins, in their flesh.
Less than a decade after Washington dropped a nuclear bomb on Iraq, four more would be dropped on Afghanistan.
On Tuesday evening, November 12, 2001, Babrak Khan, a Jalalabad resident and former guard at a nearby base for Islamic militants, saw the distinctly bearded and emaciated Osama bin Laden standing in front of a guesthouse. The next day, Osama and his al-Qaeda and Taliban followers headed into the nearby Tora Bora mastiffs.
American bombing of the region intensified. The 11th day of Ramadan - November 26, 2001 - saw Osama seated deep inside a cave complex with a glass of hot green tea in hand. Mohammed Akram, who occasionally cooked for bin Laden, was fixing dinner in another cave when a huge bomb exploded, blowing him 30-feet backwards. Two of his colleagues were killed, and Mohammed, along with another Saudi and a Kurdish fighter, decided not to hang around.
Osama bin Laden fled Tora Bora around December 1, heading for Pakistan's Parachinar region. Eastern Afghanistan's intelligence chief, Pir Baksh Bardiwal was astounded when the Pentagon failed to use convenient helicopter Landing Zones to insert U.S. forces to block the most obvious exit routes.
But the Americans did not know the ailing terror financier had left Tora Bora. When Osama bin Laden phoned back to the enclave on December 10, urging his followers to keep fighting, U.S. intelligence officers picked up his transmission and conclued that Osama bin Laden was still in his caves. [Christian Science Monitor Mar 4/02]
Which might also explain why a USAF C-130 had dropped the heaviest bomb in their conventional inventory - a 15,000 pound “Daisy-Cutter” - against Tora Bora the previous day. [London Times Dec 10/01]
Rushed into production after 9/11, at least eight BLU-118Bs were quickly deployed into the Afghan theater. The Global Security website confirms the first field-test of this new weapon: “On or about March 3, 2002 a single 2,000-pound thermobaric bomb was used for the first time in combat against cave complexes in which al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters had taken refuge in the Gardez region of Afghanistan.” [globalsecurity.org]
Guided by U.S. Special Forces “lasing” cave complexes with invisible laser pointers, the Navy's new polymer-bonded “thermobaric” bomb would be more accurately termed a “thermobarbaric” terror weapon.
"It works as a combination of a shock wave and a fuel explosion," explained CENTCOM Commander Matthew Klee. "The first explosion spreads flammable aerosols through the underground complex. Then, the second ignites the fuel” - crushing the internal organs of everyone caught in the blast zone.
“Instead of boom, this bomb goes BOOOOOOOM!” thundered Air Force spokesman Captain Joe Della Vedova. “This thing kills the earthworms.” [Las Vegas Review Jan 21/02]
Over the March 1, 2002 weekend, the Pentagon tested two more “experimental” BLU-118B MOABs during Operation Anaconda. Was this “Mother Of All Bombs” also the Mother Of All Deceptions?
“This sort of cover-story makes it easy for, say, reporters, to believe they have witnessed a fuel-air explosion, when in fact it was a very small, low-yield, nuclear weapon,” George Paxinos pointed out at the Information Clearing House. Why else would “the USA suddenly publicly announce in 2001 and 2002 its intention to use this sort of weapon against the Taliban hiding out in caves, when in war, you do not usually go out and broadcast your intentions… to your enemy?”
And why, Paxinos pondered, would this “intense propaganda effort” to alert Americans and the world to Washington's new Massive Ordnance Air Burst Weapon emphasize that the resulting blast “produces a fireball and a mushroom-cloud almost indistinguishable from that of a small tactical nuclear weapon?”
And why did CNN, among other networks, parrot Washington's nonsensical assertions that an air-burst bomb originally designed “to be used against large formations of troops and equipment” would now be deployed against “deeply buried targets"? The network helpfully hinted, “Officials suggest perhaps the Iraqis might even mistake a MOAB blast for a nuclear detonation." [CNN Mar 11/03]
“This is a cover-story,” Paxinos asserted. We were “being prepared for the pre-emptive use of tactical nuclear weapons.”
DU expert Tedd Weyman points to George Bush's revised Nuclear Posture Review. Issued in March 2002, the new NPR pledged to test Nuclear Penetrator Missiles. “That's my hunch,” Weyman believes. “We tested the prototypes there.”
Paxinos and Weyman were right.
According to Hank, under the cover of massive DU-tipped bombs that raised dirty mushroom clouds in thunderous explosions that rained radioactive dust over Jalalabad and nearby villages, the first nuclear bombs dropped since Basra in 1991 were detonated by American forces in Afghanistan beginning in March 2002. Before their field tests were concluded, United States forces would explode four 5-kiloton GBU-400 nuclear bombs in Tora Bora and other mountainous regions of Afghanistan.
In order to obtain a seismographic “snapshot” of a mountain's internal structure, at least one of these four nuclear detonations took place alongside a craggy karst in the open air.
Hank's buddies, who were on the scene, told him what happened far from scrutinizing media eyes in the remote mountains of northern Afghanistan. As he paraphrased their reports: “Back our guys away from the general area - 'Don't look that way for two or three seconds' - and oops! we blew that up.”
With shockwaves rippling through the mountains, and fallout spreading through mountain passes, Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters knew that something momentous had occurred. But killing a few of the enemy in collapsing rock and a nuclear fireball actually proved counterproductive, Hank related. “It drove others deeper into less accessible areas. It backfired.”
Wouldn't seismographic needles jump on distant dials, I asked Hank?
They did, he replied. But pinning down the source of such blasts in nearly impossible.
“You may hear something, but you would not be able to designate it because there was too much else going on. There's no way you could call it,” Hank explained. A major conventional explosion, such as a huge C-130 or C5 Galaxy transport plane auguring in, “would give you the same seismographical signature.”
Keith Nakanishi and other seismologists at the Lawrence Livermore nuclear bomb labs agree that detecting, locating, and identifying a clandestine nuclear explosion is particularly challenging in the Middle East, where unusual tremors picked up by a few, widely scattered seismic monitoring stations would be drowned out by a large number of earthquakes and mining and oil drilling explosions. Add to this cacophony, waves of cruise missile strikes and massive bombs dropped by American warplanes.
Nevertheless, the Livermore seismologists state that among “thousands of seismic signals annually, some [are] quite similar to the signals that would be generated by a small underground nuclear blast.”
If major megaton-size nuclear weapons tests cause earthquakes, could a “baby nuke” do the same. The U.S. Geological Survey admits that even “deep mining can cause small to moderate quakes, and nuclear testing has caused small earthquakes in the immediate area surrounding the test site.” [earthquake.usgs.gov]
The Livermore scientists also note that a conventional 1,000 pound explosion set off by Israel on the shores of the Dead Sea on November 8, 1999 resulted in a quake of magnitude of 2.6 on the Richter scale. A 2,000-kilogram explosive detonated two days later, caused a 3.5 quake. [llnl.gov]
Each of the four nuclear weapons dropped on Afghanistan set off a bedrock-amplified explosive force of 10,000 tons.
The blasts in Tora Bora were immediately followed by a severe earthquake that “struck northern Afghanistan and was felt as far away as India,” the People's Weekly World reported. Even in this earthquake-prone region, the long-lasting and powerful tremors were unprecedented, killing 150 people killed and destroying 500 houses.
“It is not unlikely that the use of powerful bombs led to the quake,” one geophysicist said.
Moscow thought so, too. An ITAR-TASS report speculated that the 7.2 Richter-scale 'quake that struck northern Afghanistan “may have been caused by the powerful fuel-air and bunker-penetrating bombs used in earlier U.S. air strikes in that same region.” [whatmatters.nu]
Reviewing the stresses “induced in the earth's crust” by powerful explosions, Kamran Ahmed reported from Karachi, “The severe earthquakes that struck Afghanistan in March can be attributed to these bombings.”
But were the quake-triggering blasts nuclear?
Gary Whiteford, Professor of Geography at the University of New Brunswick in Canada is renowned for his exhaustive research correlating nuclear tests and earthquakes. Looking at “killer earthquakes” that kill at least 1,000 people, Dr. Whiteford found that 63% of those earthquakes occurred within one to three days after a nuclear blast test. [dawn.com]
In 50 years before atomic testing began, 68 earthquakes of more than Richter 5.8 occurred every year. When hundreds of atomic bombs started going off in what can only be described as a large-scale nuclear war against the Earth, the quake rate rose "suddenly and dramatically" - nearly doubling to an average 127 major quakes per year.
TheU.S. military attributes the telltale increase to "coincidence." But Whiteford comments, "The geographical patterns in the data, with a clustering of earthquakes in specific regions matched to specific test dates and sites do not support the easy and comforting explanation of `pure coincidence.' It is a dangerous coincidence."
“Abnormal meteorological phenomena, earthquakes and fluctuations of the earth's axis are related in a direct cause-and-effect to testing of nuclear devices,” concurs Shigeyoshi Matsumae, President of Tokai University, and Yoshio Kato, Head of the University's Department of Aerospace Science.
As Matsumae and Kato point out: “On June 19, 1992, the United States conducted an underground nuclear bomb test in Nevada. Another test was conducted only four days afterwards. Three days later, a series of heavy earthquakes as high as 7.6 on the Richter scale rocked the Mojave desert 176 miles to the south. They were the biggest earthquakes to hit California this century. Only 22 hours later, an "unrelated" earthquake of 5.6 struck less than 20 miles from the Nevada test site itself. It was the biggest earthquake ever recorded near the test site and caused one-million dollars of damage to buildings in an area designated for permanent disposal of highly radioactive nuclear wastes only fifteen miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.” [ratical.org]
So far, more than one million people have died in earthquakes that could be related to nuclear tests. [ratical.org]
WATCH THE BIRDIES
Meanwhile, Taliban fighters pounded night and day north of Kabul were dying from no visible injuries - except the blood flowing out of their mouths from internal bleeding. Near the Rish-Khor military base in the Afghan northern capitol, birds sat on tree branches with blood running from their beaks. As one eyewitness later recounted, "'We were amazed to see all these birds sitting quietly on branches. But when we shook the tree the birds fell down and we saw blood coming out of their mouths. Then we climbed the trees to see those that were still stuck on tree branches, all of them had bled from their mouths. Two of the birds appeared to be partly melted into the trees branches'."
According to PhD Mohammed Daud Miraki, who collected many first-hand accounts on the after-effects of heavy U.S. bombing, “many dead Taliban soldiers had severe discoloration of the skin, orange, without being burned, while others had their rifles melted in their hands.”
A medical doctor named Wazir reported, "Most of the victims have had respiratory problems and internal bleeding for which there is no apparent cause." [khalifa.com Oct 30/01]
Were these symptoms caused by the massive concussive blasts of fuel-air bombs?
Very likely. When American jets dropped bunker busters at daybreak on the mud homes of Karam, the village was completely destroyed in massive craters. Many residents were killed from what appeared to be internal concussive injuries.
But other victims of American bombing exhibited symptoms of radiation sickness. In describing “another bizarre, yet tragic scene,” Dr, Mohammed continued, “Many Taliban soldiers that survived the bombing in the north have died after returning to their native villages in the south and southeast of the country. They had no physical injury upon their death, however, died from internal bleeding and other bizarre symptoms including uncontrolled vomiting, diarrhea, and blood loss in urine and stool. Their families were shocked with disbelieves.” [Afghan DU & Recovery Fund]
Perplexed by such symptoms, and uniquely “hot” munitions debris, medical teams and technical experts thought they were looking at “enhanced” Non-Depleted Uranium from a new generation of radioactive cannon shells, bomb and missile casings.
In fact, they were very likely looking at severe contamination from actual nuclear weapons.
SOMETHING NEW THIS WAY COMES
By May 2002, many more critics of the indiscriminate bombardment of Afghan cities and villages suspected that new weapons were being tested. That month, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, founder and director of Canada's Uranium Medical Research Center, sent a team in-country to interview and examine civilians in heavily bombed Nangarhar. This province, the BBC reported, had become “a strategic target zone for the deployment of a new generation of deep-penetrating 'cave-busting' and seismic shock warheads.”
Alerted to the “radioactive, toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads used by the coalition forces," the UMRC team started looking for radiation poisoning. What they found was, in their words, “astonishing” and “astounding”.
Identifying “several hundred people suffering from illnesses and conditions similar to those of Gulf veterans,” the team began administering tests. "Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination,” UMRC reported. But the readings were off the scale of previous known DU exposures: "The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999.”
A control group three uncontaminated Afghans averaged 9.4 nanograms of uranium per litre of urine. The average for 17 randomly selected patients Jalalabad, Kabul, Tora Bora and Mazar-i-Sharif was 315.5 nanograms. A 12-year-old boy living near Kabul displayed 2,031 nanograms.
The maximum permissible level for members of the American public is 12 nanograms per litre.
A follow-up UMRC visit to Afghanistan in September 2002 bore out the earlier findings. But conditions were much worse, with "a potentially much broader area and larger population of contamination."
Dr. Durakovic told the BBC he was "stunned" by the results. “I'm certainly not saying Afghanistan was a vast experiment with new uranium weapons. But use your common sense."
NDU OR NBF? (NUCLEAR BOMB FALLOUT)
The consequences of ingesting radioactive particles were already reaching out to embrace the residents, troops and aid agency staffs in the world's most impoverished nation - as well as their spouses and subsequent offspring at home.
The baffling problem was, reported Stephanie Hiller, that while hundreds of tested Afghan people presented symptoms resembling those of DU-exposed Gulf War veterans - none of the civilians tested at Nangarhar showed any trace of Depleted Uranium.
The editor of Awakened Woman visited some of the six sites examined by the UMRC team in and around Kabul, where U.S. bunker buster bombs were detonated. With bioassays identifying uranium internal contamination in the Spin Gar (Tora Bora) area, and Kabul up to 2,000% higher than an unexposed population, the UMRC reported: "The isotopic ratios of the uranium contaminant measured in Afghan civilians show that it is not Depleted Uranium (DU). The isotopes of uranium found in the Afghan civilians' urine is Non-Depleted Uranium."
Field surveyors found that the bulk of the radioactive contamination occurred in the Tora Bora, Bagram frontline, as well as frontlines north of Kabul, Shaikoot, Paktia, Paktika, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Kunduz - where massive bunker busters and fuel-air bombs were detonated, perhaps in part to mask striking health effects from four nuclear blasts.
Other medical survey teams also reported that in bombardments of the Tora Bora, Shaikoot and Bagram frontline, “large number of antiaircraft weapons and rifles had melted… Many Taliban soldiers were seen with blood coming out from their mouths, noses and ears.” Those who returned to their villages “started to vomit blood and had bloody stools. Subsequently, many have died from their conditions.”
After the bombardment in Khost, public health workers reported seeing skin lesions. In a manner resembling the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Afghan people who developed skin lesions died after their conditions deteriorated.
In Pachir Wa Agam district near Tora Bora, “women started to suffer from a deadly condition. Several months after the bombing, women of the area would become angry by petty things and that anger turns into rage, which subsequently causes the women to collapse and die. My team also reported that many children are born with no limbs, no eyes, or tumors protruding out from their mouths and their eyes,” its leader related.
“Subsequent to the contamination, newborn children have physical deformities, and those that do not have physical deformity are suffering from Mental Retardation. These cases are reported from Paktia, Nangarhar, Bagram, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz,” the UMRC stated.
A man named Assadullah told the team in February 2003 that his wife had given birth to child so badly deformed he hardly resembled an infant. "When I saw my little boy with those monstrous red tumors, I thought to myself, why is it difficult for Americans to understand that they are hated in our country?” Assadullah said. “If I do this to the child of an American family, that family has the right to pull my eyes out of my eye sockets. I like to tell the Americans that they love to live their lives of luxury at the expense of our extermination." [European Parliament Verbatim Report of Proceedings Apr 9/02]
Zar Ghoon is the father of another victim of U.S. bombing attacks on Kunduz. In December 2002 he told the medical survey team, "My wife was pregnant and we were happily waiting for the moment to see our second child. When the baby was born, it was hardly a human… When my wife saw the baby, she went into shock and died after five hours."
Speaking with a field volunteers near Tora Bora in April 2003, Sa'yed Gharib lost it. Screaming in grief and rage he shouted, "What else do the Americans want? They killed us, they turned our newborns into horrific deformations, and they turned our farmlands into graveyards and destroyed our homes. On top of all that their planes fly over and spray us with bullets.”"Tell America, we are not fools. Your words and actions are those of evil. We do not have airplanes like you do, however, we have one thing that you do not have: principles and morals. We will never do anything remotely similar to American children what Americans have done to our children and families," declared Nurullah Omar-Khail. [Afghan DU & Recovery Fund]
According to Mohammed Daud Miraki's extensive public health survey, “Most of the people that developed various health problems have died; others suffer from conditions such as kidney disease/failure, confusion, and loss of immunity and painful joints.”
Dr. Durakovic told reporters, "If UMRC's Nangarhar findings are corroborated in other communities across Afghanistan, the country faces a severe public health disaster... every subsequent generation is at risk." [BBC May3/03]
By October 2002, Afghan doctors citing rapid deaths from internal ailments were accusing the coalition of using chemical and radioactive weapons. The symptoms they reported (hemorrhaging, pulmonary constriction and vomiting) could have resulted from radiation contamination. [LeMonde Diplomatique Mar/02]
But inhalation, ingestion or wound-contamination by Depleted Uranium particles does not lead to such acute radiation poisoning symptoms immediately after exposure. Nor would “surface water, rice fields and catch-basins adjacent to and surrounding the bombsites have high values of uranium, up to 27 Xs normal,” as the UMRC found.
ROUTINE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
If not exactly “routine”, Hank says, the undisclosed use of five nuclear weapons against Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in a dangerous shift in U.S. war fighting. As he put it, “Using tactical nukes is now an acceptable doctrine until otherwise notified.”
Iran and the rest of the world, beware. In calling America a “Nuclear Rogue,” the New York Times warned, “Nuclear weapons are not just another part of the military arsenal. They are different, and lowering the threshold for their use is reckless folly.” [New York Times Mar 11/02]
As Alok O'Brien concludes, “There is no longer time to pretend that everything will be alright, and that all thinking and feeling people need to unite in their hopes and dreams and reclaim the earth and their birthright before it is too late.”
With the countdown continuing on Iran - and any constraints against Washington's use of nuclear weapons already removed by the detonation of five low-yield nuclear bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan - the time to act is now.
1. B2 drops B61-11 nuclear bomb casing wired.com
2. Daisy Cutter nd.edu
1. B61-11 nuclear bomb telegraph.co.uk
2. Bush Sr. todaysgolfer.co.uk
3. MOAB mushroom cloud usatoday.com
4. Basra survivors flee American bombing ccmep.org
5. Baghdad hit by huge bombs abc.net.au
6. al-Rasheed military facility hit in southeast Baghdad AFP
7. B52D bomber defensetech.org
8. Basra before it was blown up fromthewilderness.com
1. Tora Bora blast resembles tactical nuclear detonation cooperativeresearch.org
2. Tora Bora blast (insert) Dec 15/01 photo by Kevin Frayer AP/CP
3. Bagram Airport blast Oct 30/01 september11news.com
4. Geroge Bush must give nuclear strike orders watch.windsofchange.net
5. radiation victim (Iraq) Mar 25/04 mindfully.org
6. radiation victim (Iraq) Mar 25/04 mindfully.org