‘What Have They Done to the Rain?’
By Leuren Moret
“Did the use of uranium weapons in Gulf War II result in contamination of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK,” shows such contamination, reported the Sunday Times Online [February 5] in a shocking scientific study authored by British scientists Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan.
The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain were transported on air currents from the Middle East and Central Asia. Of special significance were those from the Tora Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001 and the “shock and awe” bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003.
Out of concern for the public, the official British government air monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment, at Aldermaston, was established years ago to measure radioactive emissions from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities.
The British government facility was taken over three years ago by Halliburton, which refused at first to release air-monitoring data to Dr. Busby, as required by law.
An international expert on low level radiation, Busby serves as an official advisor on several British government committees. He co-authored an independent report on low-level radiation with 45 scientists from the European Committee on Radiation Risk for the European Parliament. He was able to get Aldermaston air monitoring data from Halliburton AWE by filing a Freedom of Information request using a new British law which became effective Jan. 1, 2005; but the data for 2003 was missing. He obtained the 2003 data from the Defense Procurement Agency.
The fact that the air monitoring data was circulated by Halliburton AWE to the Defense Procurement Agency implies that it was considered to be relevant and that Dr. Busby was stonewalled because Halliburton AWE clearly recognized that it was a serious enough matter to justify a government interpretation of the results and official decisions had to be made about what the data would show and its political implications for the military.
In a similar circumstance in 1992, Major Doug Rokke, the director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Cleanup Project after Gulf War I was ordered by a U.S. Army general officer to write a no-bid contract, “Depleted Uranium, Contaminated Equipment and Facilities Recovery Plan Outline,” describing the procedures for cleaning up Kuwait, including depleted uranium, for Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.
The contract proposal was passed through Madeleine Albright, then U.S. secretary of state, to the Emirate of Kuwait, who considered the terms and then hired KBR for the cleanup.
Aldermaston is one of many nuclear facilities throughout Europe that regularly monitor atmospheric radiation transported by atmospheric sand and dust storms, or air currents, from radiation sources in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
After the “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq in 2003, very fine particles of depleted uranium were captured with larger sand and dust particles in filters in Britain. These particles traveled in seven to nine days from Iraqi battlefields as far as 2,400 miles away.
The radiation measured in the atmosphere quadrupled within a few weeks after the beginning of the 2003 campaign, and, at one of the five monitoring locations, the levels twice required an official alert to the British Environment Agency. In addition to depleted uranium data gathered in previous studies on Kosovo and Bosnia by Dr. Busby, the Aldermaston air monitoring data provided a continuous record of depleted uranium levels in Britain from the other recent wars.
Extensive video news footage of the 2003 Iraq war, including Fallujah in 2004, provided irrefutable documented evidence that the U.S. has unethically and illegally used depleted uranium munitions on cities and other civilian populations. These military actions are in direct violation of not only the international conventions, but they also violate U.S. military law because the U.S. is a signatory to The Hague and Geneva Conventions and the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol.
Depleted uranium weaponry meets the definition of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in two out of three categories under U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 40, Section 2302.
After-action mandates have also been violated, such as U.S. Army Regulation AR 700-48 and TB 9-1300-278, which require treatment of radiation poisoning for all casualties, including enemy soldiers and civilians, and remediation.
Dr. Busby’s request for this data through Halliburton from AWE and subsequently provided by the Defense Procurement Agency was necessary to establish verification of Iraq’s 2003 depleted uranium levels in the atmosphere.
These facts demonstrate why Halliburton refused to release the 2003 data to him and it obviously establishes that weaponized depleted uranium is an indiscriminate weapon being distributed all over the world in a very short period of time, immediately after its use.
The recent documentary film Beyond Treason details the horrific effects of depleted uranium exposure on American troops and Iraqi civilians in the Gulf region in 1991, not to speak of those civilians continuing to live in permanently contaminated and thus uninhabitable regions.
Global increases since 1991 of melanoma, infant mortality and frog die-offs can only be explained by an environmental contaminant. Alarming global increases in diabetes, with high correlation to depleted uranium wars in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, demonstrate that diabetes is a sensitive indicator and a rapid response to internal depleted uranium exposure.
In 2003, Americans reported visiting Iraqi relatives in Baghdad who were suffering from an epidemic of diabetes. After returning to the U.S. following two to three weeks in Iraq, they discovered within a few months that they too had diabetes.
Japanese human shields and journalists who worked in Iraq during the 2003 war are also sick and now have symptoms typical of depleted uranium exposure. Likewise, after the U.S. Navy moved depleted uranium bombing and gunnery ranges several years ago from Vieques Island in Puerto Rico to Australia, health effects there are already being reported.
The documentary film Blowin’ in the Wind includes an interview with a family with two healthy teenage daughters living near the bombing range where depleted uranium weaponry is now being used. The parents showed photos of their baby born recently with severe birth defects. The baby resembled Iraqi deformed babies and like many of the Iraqi babies, died five days after birth.
Other than anonymous British government officials denying that Iraq was the source of the depleted uranium measured at Aldermaston by AWE and some unnamed “establishment scientists” blaming it on local sources or natural uranium in the Iraq environment, there is no one, as of this writing, willing to lend his name or office to refute this damning evidence reported by Dr. Busby.
All of the anonymous statements used by the media thus far are contradicted by the factual evidence found in the filters. All of it was transported from the same region.
The natural abundance of uranium in the crust of the earth is 2.4 parts per million, which would not become concentrated to the high levels measured in Britain during the long journey from the Middle East. These particles traveling over thousands of miles would dilute the concentration rather than increase it.
The fact that there are no known natural uranium deposits in Iraq make it impossible for these anonymous claims to have scientific credibility. Unnamed government sources blamed local sources in Britain, such as nuclear power plants for the contamination; however, that would also leave evidence in the filters of fission products, which were not in evidence. The lowest levels measured at monitoring stations around Aldermaston were at the facility, which means it could not be a possible source.
Atomic weapons facilities would be more likely to produce plutonium contamination, also not reported as a co-contaminant at Aldermaston. In other words, all factual evidence considered, the question must be asked, what were the media’s anonymous experts and government officials basing their claims on?
Dr. Keith Baverstock exposed a World Health Organization cover-up on depleted uranium in an Al Jazeera article, “Washington’s Secret Nuclear War,” posted on Sept. 14, 2004. It was the most popular article ever posted on the Al Jazeera English language website.
Baverstock leaked an official WHO report that he wrote to the media several years ago after the WHO refused to publish it. He warned in the report about the mobility of, and environmental contamination from, tiny depleted uranium particles formed from U.S. munitions.
Busby’s ECRR (European Committee on Radiation Risk) report challenged the International Committee on Radiation Protection standards for radiation risk and reported that the mutagenic effects of radiation determined by Chernobyl studies are actually 1,000 times higher than the ICRP risk model predicts.
The ECRR report also establishes that the ICRP risk model, based on external exposure of Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims, and the ECRR risk model, based on internal exposure, are mutually exclusive models. In other words, the ICRP risk model based on external exposure cannot be used to estimate internal exposure risk.
The report also states that a separate study is needed for depleted uranium exposure risks, because it may be far more toxic than nuclear weapons or nuclear power plant exposures. In July of 2005, the National Academy of Sciences reported in their new Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII report on low level radiation that there is “no safe level of exposure.”
The BEIR VII report also finally admitted that very low levels are more harmful per unit of radiation than higher levels of exposure, also known as the “supralinear” effect.
This information on low level radiation risk is extremely alarming, since the AWE data from Aldermaston confirms that rapid global transport of depleted uranium dust is occurring.
Dr. Katsuma Yagasaki, a Japanese physicist at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, has estimated that the atomicity equivalent of at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs has been released into the global atmosphere since 1991 from the use of depleted uranium munitions. It is completely mixed in the atmosphere in one year. The “smog of war” from Gulf War I was found in glaciers and ice sheets globally a year later.
Even more alarming is the non-specific catalytic or enzyme effect from internal exposures to nanoparticles of depleted uranium. Soldiers on depleted uranium battlefields have reported that after noticing a metallic taste in their mouths, within 24-48 hours of exposure, they became sick with Gulf War syndrome symptoms.
Who is profiting from this global uranium nightmare? Dr. Jay Gould revealed in his book, The Enemy Within, that the British royal family privately owns investments in uranium holdings worth over $6 billion through Rio Tinto Mines.
The mining company was formed for the British royal family in the late 1950s by Roland Walter “Tiny” Rowland, the Queen’s buccaneer.
Born in 1917 of illegitimate German parentage, and before changing his name, Roland Walter Fuhrhop was a passionate member of the Nazi youth movement by 1933. A classmate described him as “an ardent supporter of Hitler and an arrogant, nasty piece of work to boot.”
His meteoric rise and protection by intel agencies and the British Crown are an indication of what an asset he has been for decades to the Queen, as Africa’s most powerful Western businessman.
Africa and Australia are two of the main sources of uranium in the world. The Rothschilds control uranium supplies and prices globally, and one serves as the Queen’s business manager.
Filmmaker David Bradbury made Blowin’ in the Wind to expose depleted uranium bombing and gunnery range activities contaminating pristine areas of eastern Australia and to expose plans to extract over $36 billion in uranium from mines in the interior over the next six years. Halliburton has finished construction of a 1,000-mile railway from the mining area to a port on the north coast of Australia to transport the ore.
The queen’s favorite American buccaneers, Cheney, Halliburton and the Bush family, are tied to her through uranium mining and the shared use of illegal depleted uranium munitions in the Middle East, Central Asia and Kosovo and Bosnia.
The major roles that such diverse individuals and groups as the Carlyle Group, George Herbert Walker Bush, former Carlyle CEO Frank Carlucci, the University of California managed nuclear weapons labs at Los Alamos and Livermore, and U.S. and international pension fund investments have played in proliferating depleted uranium weapons is not well known or in most instances even recognized, inside or outside the country.
God save the Queen from the guilt of her complicity in turning planet Earth into a death star.
Leuren Moret is president of Scientists for Indigenous People, a City of Berkeley environmental commissioner and past president of the Association for Women Geoscientists. Email her at email@example.com.
—San Francisco Bayview, February 8, 2006
1 “What Have They Done to the Rain? Written by Malvina Reynolds and made famous in the 1960s by singer Joan Baez.