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DU Settles * Pentagon Plan for Terror * Citizens Rights

30 April 2003

"Depleted uranium may be far more dangerous than previously thought -
and we could be dealing with the fallout for many generations to come."

-- Ian Sample and Nic Fleming report in the Guardian (UK)

1) Kucinich on Military Spending
- - Kucinich: The Peoples Choice and Opportunity
2) The Man from Vermont is Not Green
3) The mirage of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction
- - Hans Blix vs the US: 'I was undermined'
4) When the Depleted Uranium dust settles
5) Northwoods: A Pentagon Plan for Terror to Justify War against Cuba

- - Statement of a widow of a 9/11 victim to 9/11 Commission
6) ACLU Action Alerts - Rights of Privacy and Reproductive Freedom

Editor's Notes:

Where Are The Activists?

Dennis Kucinich's candidacy for US President provides an opportunity for each of us to help transform the US government. Look at the issues, the actions, the qualified ability to take leadership in international affairs. What's more, Kucinich is independent (without corporate-takers). Kucinich has already taken the role of world leader with his introduction of legislation to ban space-based weapons. He was against Yucca Mountain transport bonanza. He works in opposition to NAFTA, and other trade issues that sacrifice workers' well-being, and that of the environment. His actions speak louder than words. Yet where are the activists in supporting him? We need to multiply and engage our organizations to realize the time is now! We can transform the US Government in 2004, but not if we wait too long in 2003!

Item 2 is a "Meet Howard Dean" (February 22, 2003) CounterPunch article by fellow Vermonter, Michael Colby. Colby states that ‘the man from Vermont is not Green and not Liberal.' Item 3 is on the ‘mirage of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction' by Imad Khadduri, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist now living in Canada. This item also includes an article by Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, accusing the Bush administration of undermining his efforts ‘to hunt down Iraq's banned weapons.'

Item 4 is on the Depleted Uranium issue and how this could be incredibly more harmful to humankind than previously realized! Item 5 goes back to the 1960's and a Pentagon plan to engage terror to justify an invasion and occupation of Cuba. This report comes from The that believes that the US ‘instigated 9-11, just as the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed instigating fake attacks on Americans in 1962 - to create a climate where military action seems justified.' This again shows the relevance of the film produced by Frank Dorrel, "What I've Learned About US Foreign Policy: The War on the Third World." And the relevance of going all the way behind a Dennis Kucinich nomination for President in the Democratic Party. This is a practical approach with a qualified individual to make a transformation happen. The only area that Kucinich received criticism from the progressive network was for his voting record for pro-life legislation. He never opposed a woman's right to choose, but now admits to expanding his vision to become an avid supporter of the US Constitutional right for choice, while not denying actions of mutual interests that can reduce unwanted pregnancies. There is a place where pro-life and pro-choice meet, where conservatives and progressives stand together. Item 6 is from the ACLU, making it easy to send a fax to voice support for rights of privacy issues and reproductive freedom.

Kucinich in 2004 - The Revolution Within US!

For Items 1-3 - see:
K-Revolution WithinUS * GreenDean? * BlixUndermined

4) When the Depleted Uranium dust settles

When the dust settles

Depleted uranium may be far more dangerous than previously thought - and we could be dealing with the fallout for many generations to come.
Ian Sample and Nic Fleming report.

Thursday April 17, 2003
The Guardian

The change in wording seems innocuous at first. During the 1991 Gulf war, US army guidelines recommended surgeons do their best to remove fragments of depleted uranium (DU) shrapnel from soldiers struck by flying chunks of metal from armour-piercing shells. In practice, that meant smaller bits of shrapnel were rarely removed. Getting those out just caused more damage to surrounding muscle and other tissue. Today, the guidelines are different: surgeons should be "aggressive" in removing any fragments of depleted uranium.

The small change betrays a big leap in understanding the threat posed by depleted uranium. Evidence is building that DU causes more genetic damage than scientists suspected - even at levels deemed so low as to be non-toxic.

Depleted uranium shells are designed to be lethal: the metal is so dense it can crash through the heavy armour of a modern battle tank. But those who escape the intended effect face other risks. When the depleted uranium rod inside an armour-piercing shell disintegrates, it showers toxic and weakly radioactive dust and fragments over a wide area.

It is not just soldiers who risk exposure. In Iraq, land where people once lived, and will doubtless return to, is now littered with the stuff. In 1991, armour-piercing shells containing around 340 tonnes of DU were fired at targets too tough to take out with standard shells. Hundreds more tonnes have been added to that during the past four weeks. People returning to places where the shells were used breathe in the dust as it is churned up by wind and traffic. The metal can also seep into water supplies, contaminating them for years.

Alexandra Miller at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, is due to complete an investigation into DU for the US department of defence next year. Already she has some insight into the damage it can do. Last year she showed that depleted uranium from pellets implanted in rats dispersed all over the animals' bodies, turning up in bones, muscles, kidneys and liver. Rats breeding six months later had fewer offspring than normal.

Her latest study reveals something even more unusual. When human bone cells are exposed to DU, some suffer immediate genetic damage. The type of damage varies but often fragments break off chromosomes, the strings of genes in almost every cell, and form tiny rings of genetic material. This much was expected. But as other cells evidently undamaged by the depleted uranium started to divide, creating new cells, Miller noticed the genes in some of these new cells were damaged. More than a month after the DU was removed, new cells were forming with broken chromosomes or other genetic damage. The DU was having a delayed effect.

More intriguing still is Miller's latest suspicion that DU punches above its weight in terms of the damage it does to genes. She knew that depleted uranium could damage genes not only by emitting radiation, but by its chemical make up - like nickel, it can switch on cancer genes by its sheer toxicity. But she found that tiny amounts of DU, too small to be toxic and only mildly radioactive, cause more genetic damage in cells than either the toxicity or radiation could explain. Her latest results suggest that the toxicity and radioactivity of DU reinforce one another, causing more damage than the two just added together. It's no small difference either. "You can get more than an eight-fold greater effect than you'd expect," she says. In other words, more than eight times as many cells suffer genetic damage than predicted. Without taking the effect into account, the health risk of DU could be grossly underestimated.

"People have always assumed low doses are not much of a problem, but they can cause more damage than people think," says Miller. It may be some time before the risk of DU is revised though. "None of these studies has yet impacted on the regulations."

Opinion among scientists is divided about the dangers of the genetic damage caused by DU. "There's a debate in the field. It looks like DNA damage in cells will make them weaker and more susceptible to becoming cancerous. But some say this could just be the cells adapting to the radiation," says Miller.

One person who is convinced DU-induced genetic damage causes real health problems is Albrecht Schott, a biochemist who recently retired from the Free University of Berlin. The day before the start of this Gulf war, he published a study carried out with scientists at the University of Bremen. The study, the first of its kind, looked at genetic damage in the white blood cells of 16 former soldiers who believed they had been exposed to DU in the 1991 Gulf war or in the Balkans. They found that damage to chromosomes in the white blood cells was on average five-and-a-half times higher in the veterans than the rest of the population.

Kenny Duncan, one of the soldiers tested, was 21 when he served with the Royal Corps of Transport, helping to shift Iraqi tanks destroyed by DU shells in the 1991 Gulf war. He believes his exposure to DU has left his family with a painful legacy. His eight-year-old son suffers constant headaches and has deformed ears and toes. His two other children also have deformed toes and both suffer bowel and bladder problems. One is also partially deaf.

The reason is likely to be down to DU, says Schott. "The high levels of genetic damage we observed do not occur naturally. I believe alpha radiation from DU to be the cause of these
chromosome aberrations.

"Uranium molecules in the blood can travel to every part of the body, including the areas where sperm and eggs are. This, and the presence of chromosome aberrations, increases the probability of cancer and other genetic conditions significantly. They lead to a higher probability of genetic damage in the person's babies and then damage can be passed on to the children's children."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence dismisses the study. "We consider the tests undertaken in Germany neither well thought out nor scientifically sound," he says.

Miller also has doubts about the Bremen study. The soldiers suspected they had been exposed to DU, but how could they be sure? "How do they know they weren't exposed to something else, like weapons cleaning fluid?" she asks.

Virginia Murray who heads the chemical incident response service at Guy's hospital, London, and contributed to the Royal Society's investigation into DU last year says the effects of DU on people can only be assessed accurately if the amount they were exposed to is known precisely. The society's report recommended that in any future conflict when DU was used, levels of uranium should be regularly monitored in soldiers exposed to the metal and their kidney function checked to ensure it is not impaired.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence says soldiers who believe they have been exposed to DU in Iraq can have their urine tested on their return. If they test positive for DU, they can have follow-up checks on their kidneys.

Next week, the United Nations environment programme will publish a study into the environmental dangers posed by the war on Iraq, including those from DU. Pekka Haavisto, chair of Unep's Iraq task force said scientists would take soil, water and air samples and test them for traces of DU. "Based on previous experience, we have seen that in targeted areas, this type of ammunition poses possible environmental and health risks. We found that DU can corrode in the soil and exist for a long time in the dust." Without a clean up, and the Pentagon says they have no plans for one, people returning to DU hotspots might find themselves unwitting volunteers in testing just what effects depleted uranium really has.

Further reading

The health hazards of depleted uranium munitions Part 1,
Royal Society, May 2001 ISBN0854033540
The health hazards of depleted uranium munitions Part 2,
Royal Society March 2002 ISBN0854035745
Royal Society report

For links to references and original posting of this article, see:,13026,937902,00.html

5) Northwoods: A Pentagon Plan for Terror to Justify War against Cuba
- - Statement of a widow of a 9/11 victim to 9/11 Commission


Comments by Jared Israel

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The Northwoods plan for staging phony attacks on the U.S. to justify invading Cuba was developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962. It was never implemented, perhaps due to fear of Soviet retaliation. The Northwoods document was obtained by the National Security Archive which is attached to George Washington University and describes itself as:

" independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals."

The Emperor's Clothes summary of evidence, "Guilty for 9-11," charges that the Bush Administration staged the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The purpose: to justify a U.S. military crusade, an eternal War Against Terror, starting with the invasion of Afghanistan. (1)

But the attack on Afghanistan is not intended to fight terrorism. Rather than crushing terrorism, the U.S. Establishment hopes to create a new, more subservient terrorist apparatus in Afghanistan, including elements of both the Northern Alliance and 'moderate' Taliban.

The goal of the current protracted war against a weak foe - indeed, against a foe largely created by the U.S. and its client states, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - is to position the U.S. military-intelligence apparatus firmly in Central Asia.

From that strategic position, Washington hopes to complete the dismemberment of the states of the former Soviet Union.

U.S. military and intelligence operatives will cultivate quislings like Mr. Putin, penetrate military defense structures and political groups in the former Soviet States, instigate terrorist attacks to destabilize the area, and build or take control of powerful military bases. These will be used to stage direct military assaults when, as is sure to happen, some of the former Soviet Republics resist. Thus this strategy risks nuclear war.

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* Could U.S. Leaders Be Capable
Of Instigating The Horrors Of 9-11? *
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Many people believe that the Bush administration took advantage of 9-11 in order to launch the war and impose repressive measures at home. In reality Washington did not just take advantage of 9-11. Rather, it instigated 9-11, just as the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed instigating fake attacks on Americans in 1962 - to create a climate where military action seems justified.

As for the campaign of repression at home - with its nightmarish Homeland Security, its assault on legal guarantees, and its star chamber Military Tribunals - this campaign is in part intended to silence the millions of people who suspect that Bush and other top leaders were involved in some way in making 9-11 happen.

Some people ask us: how can you believe that our leaders are capable of such cynicism, murderous cruelty, ruthlessness and dishonesty?

That is why Operation Northwoods is so important. For we now know that in 1962 the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed staging phony attacks to destroy U.S. property, killing Cuban refugees and U.S. citizens, in order to create a wave of indignation and rage, to justify an invasion of Cuba that could have killed hundreds of thousands of people and possibly led to nuclear war.

The complete article with references and links is posted:

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For a related article:

"The statement of a widow of a 9/11 victim to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States," see:

6) ACLU Action Alerts - Rights of Privacy and Reproductive Freedom

From: Matt Howes, National Internet Organizer, ACLU
To: ACLU Action Network Members
Date: April 29, 2003

A) Support proper solutions to national security issues!

Congress will soon be voting on legislation that would significantly infringe on privacy rights without making us any safer from terrorism. The Congressional investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees into the September 11 attacks uncovered a number of serious, structural breakdowns in the intelligence community.

But instead of taking action to address the real failures in the national intelligence services, several Members of Congress have proposed legislation that would give the government new, unprecedented spying powers and significantly infringe on the privacy rights protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Congress needs to address the real national security issues -- not adopt false solutions that violate Constitutional rights.

Take Action! Click here to get more information and to send a free fax to your Members of Congress.

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B) Stop the Assault on Reproductive Rights!

Congress continues its assault on reproductive rights. Next week the House of Representatives will vote on the so-called "partial birth abortion" ban, a misguided piece of legislation that has already passed the Senate. Your letters and faxes to Congress have raised awareness about this unconstitutional and dangerous bill -- it is critical that we keep up the pressure.

This bill must be stopped. It bans an array of safe and common abortion procedures and lacks a required exception to protect women's health. It also eliminates doctors' discretion to choose the best medical procedures for their patients.

Take Action! Click here to get more information and send a free fax to your Representative.

For more information on other issues and the latest news, please visit

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