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DU-Rokke * Pile of Tricks * Kucinich Evolutionary Politics

04 January 2003

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

- Mark Twain

1) Doug Rokke - Depleted Uranium - War Hazard
2) 2003-1984 Politics [Pile of tricks]
3) Evolutionary Politics: Representative Dennis J. Kucinich

Editor's Notes:

The story of Dr. Doug Rokke tops the items in this first 2003 issue for Flyby News. As war preparations go into full gear, this story should not be dismissed. Dr. Rokke was put in charge of the Army's effort to clean up depleted uranium (DU) after the Persian Gulf War. "In the past decade, Rokke said 30 men out of 100 who were closely involved in these operations dropped dead. Rokke's lungs and kidneys are damaged. He believes that uranium oxide dust is permanently trapped inside his lungs. He has lesions on his brain, pustules on his skin. He suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. He has reactive airway disease, which means he can't stop wheezing and coughing, and experiences a loss of breath when he exercises. He also has fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic pain in his muscles, ligaments and tendons." The good doctor is truly a patriot and warrior, and fighting to expose the dangers of a coming war where safeguarding life by the US is not the prime objective.

Item 2 reports on the Bush plan for Internet surveillance, coming to an ISP near you; and this item includes a link on a report on the CIA using philanthropic foundations to channel large sums of money. Item 3 is from an address by the ever hopeful, self empowering, honest, freedom-loving individual, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, on the evolutionary nature of politics. It will not be a moment too soon for people to rise up and support a person with such integrity to make it possible for democracy to be reclaimed.

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

- Mohandas Gandhi

1) Major Rokke - Depleted Uranium - War Hazard

Depleted uranium: war hazard?
Disaster News Network

BALTIMORE (December 28, 2002) —

Dr. Doug Rokke has a disturbing habit of laughing when he should probably be crying.

He laughs when he talks about battlefields contaminated with radioactive waste. He can't stop laughing when he talks about what he claims is a massive government cover-up. And he keeps laughing when he talks about his health problems, which he attributes to deliberate Army negligence, and which will likely kill him.

Talking to Rokke on the telephone is disturbing enough without him laughing about such horrors. A strange echo accompanies every utterance. When this bizarre sound is pointed out to him, Rokke says he isn't surprised: he claims his phone has been tapped for years.

It may be tempting to dismiss Rokke as a crank or a conspiracy theorist, but Rokke is 35-year-veteran of the U.S. Army, and he isn't just a disgruntled grunt. Rokke ran the U.S. Army's depleted uranium project in the mid-90s, and he was in charge of the Army's effort to clean up depleted uranium after the Persian Gulf War. And he directed the Edwin R. Bradley Radiological Laboratories at Fort McClellan, Ala.

Yet if you type Rokke's name into a search engine on any military website, you will draw a blank, as if he doesn't exist.

If you read through hundreds of pages of government documents and transcriptions of countless government hearings regarding the military use of depleted uranium, not once will you come across his name.

That is more than a little unusual, since Rokke and his team were at the forefront of trying to understand the potential health and environmental hazards posed by the use of depleted uranium, or DU, on the battlefield.

"We were the best they ever had," Rokke claims. He's not bragging. He's laughing again.

The use of DU in combat is a fairly new innovation. It was used for the first time in the Persian Gulf War as the crucial component of armor-piercing, tank-busting munitions.

These munitions are tipped with DU darts that ignite after being fired. The shells are so heavy and hot that they easily rip through steel.

"It's like taking a pencil and pushing it through paper," Rokke said.

This uranium "pencil" then explodes inside its target, creating a deadly "firestorm."

As an anti-tank weapon, "these things are great," Rokke said. They enable U.S. troops to quickly take out enemy tanks at long-range.

According to the Web site of the Deployment Health Support Directorate, DU is "a by-product of the process by which uranium is enriched to produce reactor fuel and nuclear weapons components."

In other words, DU is low-level nuclear waste. According to the same Web site, DU can also contain trace amounts of "neptunium, plutonium, americium, technitium-99 and uranium-236."

A total of 320 tons of DU munitions were fired during the Gulf War. Rokke's job was to figure out how to clean up U.S. tanks, the unfortunate victims of "friendly fire," which had been blown apart by DU rounds.

After years of this kind of this work—in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and on practice ranges in the U.S.—Rokke reached a conclusion in 1996.

He told the Army brass that DU was so dangerous that it had to be banned from combat immediately.

That conclusion, Rokke said, cost him his career.

'Contamination was all over'

Burning tanks, burning oil fields, charred bodies.

This was Kuwait after the Gulf War. Rokke had a mission—clean up U.S. tanks contaminated with DU.

What Rokke found terrified him.

"Oh my God is the only way to describe it," Rokke said. "Contamination was all over."

Rokke and his crew were measuring significant levels of radiation up to 50 meters away from affected tanks: up to 300 millirems an hour in beta and gamma radiation, and alpha radiation from the thousands to the millions in counts per minute (CPM) on a Geiger counter.

"That whole area is still trashed," he said. "It's hotter than heck over there still. This stuff doesn't go away."

His team took three months to clean up 24 tanks for transport back to the U.S.

The Army, Rokke said, took another three years to fully decontaminate the same 24 tanks.

But the contaminated tanks weren't the only problem.

Within 72 hours of their inspections, Rokke and his crew started getting sick.

But they continued with their work. They went back to the U.S. to perform tests on Army bases. They deliberately blew up tanks with DU rounds, then ran over and jumped on the tanks while they were still burning. They videotaped the uranium-oxide clouds pouring out, and they measured the radiation being thrown off.

In the past decade, Rokke said 30 men out of 100 who were closely involved in these operations dropped dead.

Rokke's lungs and kidneys are damaged. He believes that uranium oxide dust is permanently trapped inside his lungs. He has lesions on his brain, pustules on his skin. He suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. He has reactive airway disease, which means he can't stop wheezing and coughing, and experiences a loss of breath when he exercises. He also has fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic pain in his muscles, ligaments and tendons.

The VA tested Rokke for uranium levels in his body in 1994. He got the results back two and a half years later. His urine had 5000 times the amount of permissible uranium.

After years of fighting with the VA, Rokke said he managed to get a 40 percent disability, but there is no official acknowledgment that his illnesses were caused by his work with DU.

The Army and the Pentagon continue to insist that DU is safe. Rokke says they know better, because he gave them the proof. He said they can't find evidence of DU's dangers because "they're looking for the wrong stuff, and they're using the wrong procedures."

The problem with DU, he said, is the stuff that's given off when a round is fired. The projectile begins burning immediately, and up to 70 percent of it oxidizes. This aerosolized power—uranium oxide—is the really dangerous stuff, Rokke said, particularly when it is inhaled.

Rokke insists that he and his men were wearing protective equipment—or equipment they thought would protect them. But their face masks were capable of straining out particles of 10 microns or larger. That's as big as the DU particles get, according to the Army and the Pentagon.

Rokke, however, insists that he has measured particles as small as .3 microns, and that scientists at the Livermore laboratories have measured them as small as .1 micron.

Thus these safety precautions, which are still in place now, are utterly useless, he said.

'I'm a warrior and a patriot'

About one quarter of the 700,000 troops sent to the Persian Gulf War have reported some sort of Gulf War-related illness, and Rokke is convinced that DU has something to do with it, along with the host of other chemicals to which troops were exposed, including low levels of sarin gas, smoke from oil fires, countless pesticides as well as anti-nerve gas tablets which troops were required to ingest.

If Rokke is right about the dangers of DU, why does the Department of Defense continue to use it and insist that it is safe?

"When you go to war, your purpose is to kill," Rokke said, "and DU is the best killing thing we got."

Rokke believes that the U.S. military is putting more emphasis on firepower than on the health and safety of its own troops. He received a memo in the early 90s he says proves his theory. Dated March 1, 1991, the memo was written by Lt. Col. M.V. Ziehmn at the Los Alamos Laboratories in New Mexico.

"There has been and continues to be a concern regarding the impact of dU [sic] on the environment. Therefore, if no one makes a case for the effectiveness of dU on the battlefield, dU rounds may become politically unacceptable and thus, be deleted from the arsenal," the memo reads. "If dU penetrators proved their worth during our recent combat activities, then we should assure their future existence (until something better is developed) through Service/DoD proponency. If proponency is not garnered, it is possible that we stand to lose a valuable combat capability. I believe we should keep this sensitive issue at mind when after action reports [sic] are written."

The meaning of this memo is quite clear, Rokke said. Since DU munitions are so effective, they must continue to be used in combat, regardless of the environmental or health consequences.

The other issue is financial, he said. If the true effects of DU were known, cleanup costs would be absolutely staggering.

DU contaminated areas extend much farther than the Persian Gulf battlefields. Rokke said DU is regularly used in practice maneuvers in the U.S., namely in Indiana, Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Maryland and Puerto Rico. Then there's Kosovo, where DU rounds were used to take out Serbian tanks.

As the U.S. stands on the brink of another war with Iraq, Rokke said he wants to make sure the American public fully understands that this war will be far worse that the last one, and that numbers of troops sickened by DU is likely to be much higher.

Rokke insists he is no pacifist.

"I'm a warrior and a patriot," he said. Given a verifiable threat against the U.S., "I would go to war in a heartbeat."

But he said that he is speaking out for the good of American troops, and for anyone, including Iraqi troops and civilians, who could be exposed to DU.

"Am I pushing for peace today? Yes, I am," he said.

Before a war with Iraq can even be contemplated, Rokke said, DU has to be removed from every arsenal in the world.

In order for that to happen, however, the Pentagon would have to admit that Doug Rokke is right, and that would come at a price that no one has even imagined. But money can't restore the lives of those that Rokke says have died from DU, and money isn't going to get the uranium oxide out of his lungs. There are people at the Pentagon who understand all this, Rokke claims, and that he
deems unconscionable.

"I hope God slam-dunks their butts, because this is absolutely criminal," he said.

Posted December 30, 2002

2) 2003-1984 Politics [Pile of tricks]

Bush to propose requiring ISP's to monitor Net
Posted on Thu, Dec. 19, 2002
By John Markoff and John Schwartz
New York Times

The Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users.

The proposal is part of a final version of a report, ``The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace,'' set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report. It is a component of the effort to increase national security after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

For the complete article, see:

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The Ford Foundation and the CIA:
A documented case of philanthropic collaboration with the Secret Police
by James Petras


The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source. From the early 1950s to the present the CIA's intrusion into the foundation field was and is huge. A U.S. Congressional investigation in 1976 revealed that nearly 50% of the 700 grants in the field of international activities by the principal foundations were funded by the CIA (Who Paid the Piper?

..We will proceed by examining the historical links between the Ford Foundation and the CIA during the Cold War, by examining the Presidents of the Foundation, their joint projects and goals as well as their common efforts in various cultural areas."

For the complete report, see:

3) Evolutionary Politics: Representative Dennis J. Kucinich

The following text was originally printed in the latest issue of Timeline Magazine- a bimonthly publication of the Foundation for Global Community.

An Address by Representative Dennis Kucinich

Last month, as debates began in Congress about authorizing the President to go to war against Iraq, Representative Dennis Kucinich, (D-OH) visited the Global Community offices in Palo Alto to address a standing-room-only audience. Kucinich noted that the world view which allows us to consider such actions as attacking Iraq dominates our current thinking. But this world view is obsolete, he said, and needs to be replaced by a more realistic view.

"We are in a period of chaos," Kucinich said, "which is driven by fear, by control, by power, by secrecy, mistrust, fragmentation, isolation, and by policies which use the lexicon of unilateralism and of preemption.

"But he world view - that system - cannot stand. That system is falling apart - we're seeing its last gasp right now. We are in the midst of an evolution in politics. We're not seeing the beginning of a new empire because that's ridiculous. What we are seeing is this old energy playing itself out in the world. And with its disintegration we will see a new integration; chaos will yield to harmony."

Kucinich believes that this political evolution can occur fairly rapidly. He noted that biological evolution throughout history has not always taken place at a steady rate, and quoted Bela Banathy from his book, Guided Evolution of Society: A Systems View: "Fossil records show that evolution has been static for most of the time, but the state of equilibrium is punctuated by rapid change that occurs suddenly over a brief period of time. Discontinuity between two generations has far-reaching consequences for conscious evolution and for societal change. When an evolutionary stage reaches its limitations and begins to decline, it creates disruption, chaos, and social disorder. In the decline state, an evolutionary system cannot change incrementally, it has to transform into a new evolutionary entity by conscious evolution."

One such rapid transformation, Kucinich noted, was the birth of America in 1776. It was not just an American revolution, he pointed out, but an evolution in human consciousness, an event that created a new form of government for this country, and for the world. We need to imagine and work for such a sudden shift today. One way to help bring about the change, he said , is to talk with others about the world we envision, to bring others together to dialogue, to bring back the kind of community that as a nation we've known in the past. Our words will help create the kind of world we want, Kucinch believes.

"It's a conscious effort. We have to call it forward. that's the power of consciousness - to call it forward. The world is multidimensional. The new vision is an holistic one that understands the power of intention and the power of cooperation, of mutuality, of trust, of seeing the world as one. That vision then becomes our outer reality. Ours is the ability, through our consciousness, to create peace, to create love. The organ of transformation is the human heart because there is nothing - no weapon ever made - that is more powerful than a human heart."

"Our founders, and those who followed is that spirit, had an understanding of America's connection to something transcendent. We need to recreate the America of our dreams, an America that is a country of peace, a country that stands for human rights, that works for total nuclear disarmament, that leads the way to abolish biological and chemical weapons, that works to achieve cooperation in protecting our global environment, that works to achieve cooperation in international law through an inter-national criminal court, that works to abolish all land mines, that works for a small-arms treaty. We need to confirm America's purpose through cooperating with a community of nations, with the understanding that our country's role always has been to be a light to the world.

Conflict and Change

When asked a question regarding the inevitability of conflict, Kucinich replied: "Some people in Washington today buy into that theory. The danger there is one of a self-fulfilling prophecy because if you put your consciousness in the direction of conflict, you're quite likely to get that conflict. Instead, we need to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society for domestic as well as international policy. Internationally, we need to focus on intervention and mediation, and celebrate what Franklin D Roosevelt called 'the science of human relationships.'

"One view of history is that events happen and we're just bystanders - these forces somehow don't yield to human involvement. Another view is that we can intervene - that's why we're here. We can change things. Through knowledge and love, we create the world anew every day. The cold, flat, and often dead dictums of history need to be given an infusion of compassion and energy to create new possibilities."

Dealing with Anger

When asked if he experiences anger when working for peace, and if so how he handles it, Kucinich responded: "When you're involved in political action, there is always a conflict in experiencing negativity at the same time you're trying to do something positive. All of us have that experience. The difference is not being angry, because negativity is really an intent that somehow gets embedded in anger. It's hard not to be angry: Our country is about to wage an immoral war in Iraq. But if we can avoid getting hooked by the anger - try not to judge the individuals involved, but keep our eyes focused on creating that world that we desire - then there's hope. You bring that hope to the moment because you are claiming the essence of your own humanity. Each of us has the power to change someone else's thinking, and as we approach that moment - inspired and with compassion - chances are we may well change peoples' thinking."

The System and Power

When asked about his reaction to being in Washington, Kucinich said:; "One of the surprises I had when I first got to Congress was about my stereotypes about Washington. I found that there are a lot of thoughtful men and women in Washington. They're very skilled and very bright and very caring. The problem is the system; it's something that can be almost overwhelming. You get into Washington and you become part of the system. You see this huge bureaucracy, the structure of the buildings; everything says, I'm here, I'm part of the system. "That system has almost a specific gravity and you can get caught in it - particularly with respect to power. In Washington people are sometimes confused by the power that's embedded in the structure of government. If you come to Washington seeking power, you're in trouble because you have to have that sense of power before you get there. It's confusing when people are elected to an office by a process which seemingly confers power on them, then find that winning that office didn't give them power. Then they feel powerless - powerless to stop even a war. That's the paradox. So there are many good people in Washington and it's just the system."

Local Politics

"The work that I do as a practical matter in politics begins with going to people's homes, going door-to-door - either myself or having others do it - and talking to people. We need to start a new conversation in this country. In some ways we've lost that capacity. Our politics removed itself from the grassroots years ago when federal campaigns began relying on TV to communicate the message. Activities that were aimed at going directly to people began to change and the emphasis was 'raise the money so you can get on TV."

"In its terminal stage, it's reflected in members of Congress spending four days a week on the phone at the party headquarters in Washington and not having time to participate in the debates. Because they're raising money so they can get on TV. And they seldom see their own constituents. I repeat: They're good people - it's a bad system. So we need to go back to door-to-door, talk to our neighbors, have that conversation over the fence, reach out to each other again. that's how you do it. People talking to people. People on the phones calling about something that's going on in the community, it registers."

Building Community

Kucinich continued: "Today we have the electronic Town Hall - Web chats, Web pages, e-mails - that enable us to connect with each other. That's a real power today. And if you extend the old grassroots campaigning to the Web, you have a national campaign on almost anything. That helps build a sense of community, which is some of what we've lost in this so-called modern society where people bowl alone, and eat alone, and watch movies alone, and do their banking alone. It's by capturing that sense of community that we become empowered, that we become once again 'We the People' as a conscious, collective expression of our hopes and aspirations. As we reconnect as a community, that's when we start to affirm some of our basic rights. What is the right to assemble? We have to celebrate it by coming together. What is freedom of speech, except that someone stands up and expresses a point of view in a community meeting. We have to exercise those freedom muscles again, and then we strengthen our country.

"How it works out depends on our own willingness, our own belief, our faith in ourselves that we can make a difference. We lose that at times. We see these big institutions and think they're impenetrable, not accessible, we can't move them: 'I can't do anything about that. I make a phone call and it goes into the wastebasket - nobody cares. 'Not so. You can change anything. There is no institution in a democratic society that is beyond our reach. If we have faith in ourselves, then we can have faith in our country."

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For one of the best resources on the web on Dennis "K",
see Flyby News' updated page:
Dennis J. Kucinich for US President in 2004!.,43210,m

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