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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

June, 2005


What Is Depleted Uranium?
BY Iconoclast

CRAWFORD The Lone Star Iconoclast last week conducted a test by asking 20 Texans, representing all walks of life and from different territories of the state, “What are your views on depleted uranium?”
Nineteen had no clue what the interviewer was talking about.
One offered, "Isn't that the stuff that's hauled away from nuclear power plants?"
None knew that depleted uranium (DU) is radioactive material being used in military ammunition and none knew that the U.S. military is utilizing weapons to launch these nuclear DU projectiles in Iraq.
Likewise, not one of the queried Texans was aware that DU poses significant health threats not only to Iraqis, but to Americans as well, for the radioactivity spreads from continent to continent through the atmosphere and is brought home through soldiers to their families and associates.
Uranium is one of the heaviest elements found in nature and increases in radioactivity as it decays. After enriched uranium which is to be used for nuclear fuel is extracted from natural uranium, the leftover nuclear waste, commonly known as depleted uranium, is stored in steel cylinders for public protection.
Depleted uranium is heavy, cheap, abundant, and is provided free of charge to arms manufacturers as a way of disposing of the material.
DU rounds are used in a variety of high intensity weapons and is used in a variety of forms. Since the projectiles are so powerful, the DU gets hot and oxides into aerosol-like particles that can be less than 10 microns or smaller than a white blood cell and are, therefore, easily inhalable.
According to a study conducted by Iliya Pesic in a paper entitled “Depleted Uranium — Ethics of the Silver Bullet” , there are serious long-term effects of DU in Iraq.
“In regions heavily hit by DU, studies have shown that numerous civilians have extensive problems with their immune systems, malignant cancers (such as ludicrously high leukemia rates), heart problems, and bizarre abnormal birth defects (such as children born without eyes, ears, tongue, etc.). In some regions, leukemia has become one of the main forms of cancer-related death.”
Pesic continues, “Contaminated agriculture and water supplies help spread the DU dust which continues to hurt people in diferent regions where DU ammo was not used.”
Pesic notes that veterans and civilians exposed to DU have experienced extensive irreversible damage to kidney and partial kidney failure. “Cancers related to one’s blood, bone, and immune system become common. There are also various other biological effects claimed from DU, such as chronic fatigue, respiratory problems, heart problems, digestive organ damage (e.g. liver failure and severe rectal bleeding), etc.”
For this edition, The Iconoclast contacted some of the top experts in the field of depleted uranium, who agreed to be interviewed:
• Leuren Moret, a Berkeley-based geo-scientist with expertise in atmospheric dust.
• Dr. Doug Rokke, Ph.D., Major (retired) United States Army Reserve, former Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project.
• Melissa Sterry, a Gulf War veteran who is surviving the effects of depleted uranium.
The interviews are presented in these formats: A Military Perspective, A Scientific Perspective, and A Survivor’s Perspective.
On the same subject, The Iconoclast is publishing an editorial encouraging the Texas Legislature to provide DU testing for soldiers who are returning from overseas, so that if problems exist, they can be addressed.

A Scientific Perspective
Interview with Leuren Moret, Geo-Scientist
A Military Perspective
Interview with Dr. Doug Rokke, Ph.D, former Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project
A Survivor's Perpsective
Interview with Melissa Sterry, Gulf War Veteran who is surviving the effects of depleted uranium
Copyright ©2004 The Lone Star Iconoclast
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