DU Rod has two ends: US Expert reports evidence from the field
by Peter Eyre on 26 Aug 2009 0 Comment

Doug Rokke earned his B.S. in Physics at Western Illinois University followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics and technology education at the University of Illinois. His military career has spanned 4 decades to include combat duty during the Vietnam War and Gulf War 1.

Doug served as a member of the 3rd US Army Medical Command’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) teaching, medical response, and special operations team, the 3rd US Army captured equipment project team, and with the 3rd US Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team during Gulf War 1 (Operation Desert Storm). He was the US Army’s Depleted Uranium Project director from 1994-95. He developed the congressionally mandated education and training materials and wrote US Army Regulation 700-48, the US Army PAM 700-48, and the US Army’s common task for DU incidents.

Dr. Rokke serves or has served as an advisor with the US Centers of Disease Control; US Department of Defense; US National Academy of Sciences; US Institute of Medicine; US Senate; US House of Representatives; US Department of Transportation; US Federal Aviation Administration; US Department of Defense; US General Accounting Office; US Department of Veterans Affairs; British Royal Society; British House of Lords and House of Commons; United Nations; US President William J. Clinton’s Presidential Special Oversight Board; and local, state, and federal law enforcement, fire, and medical agencies

In 1991, he served in the Gulf. His work involved helping casualties and cleaning equipment contaminated with depleted uranium (DU), used in the war in tank-busting weapons because of its high density. Some comments were made to the BBC during an interview “The shell would hit an armoured vehicle;” “The uranium would catch fire and split into burning fragments”. About 70% of the round vaporised into dust, as fine as talcum powder. “When we climbed into vehicles after they’d been hit, no matter what time of day or night it was, you couldn’t see three feet in front of you. You breathed in that dust.”

Chemically toxic

Dr Rokke once quoted “That the term ‘depleted’ implies it isn’t particularly dangerous; in fact, this waste product of the nuclear industry is ‘conveniently’ disposed of by producing deadly weapons. Depleted uranium is chemically toxic. It is an extremely dense, hard metal, and can cause chemical poisoning to the body in the same way as can lead or any other heavy metal. However, depleted uranium is also radiologically hazardous, as it spontaneously burns on impact, creating tiny aerosolised glass particles which are small enough to be inhaled. These uranium oxide particles emit all types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, and can be carried in the air over long distances. Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and the presence of depleted uranium ceramic aerosols can pose a long term threat to human health and the environment”.

Doug has taught nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, hazardous materials, and emergency medicine for over 20 years to both civilian and military personnel.

Although the British Ministry of Defence and the Pentagon insist that DU weapons pose no special risk, Dr Rokke and some other veterans believe the munitions have made them ill, and that they also threaten civilians. He wrote the following paper which was an updated version that was given to the British House of Commons, London, England on 16 December 1999, part of which is contained below:

What Adverse Health Effects Have Been Observed, Recognized, Treated, And Documented?

The answer to this question is difficult. Deliberate denial and delay of medical screening and consequent medical care of not only US friendly fire casualties who inhaled, ingested, and had wound contamination, but all others with verified or suspected internalized exposure, makes actually knowing what has occurred difficult. Although I, physicians, scientists, and other medical personnel recommended immediate medical care during March, April, and May of 1991 and many times since then, the United States Department of Defense, the British Ministry of Defense, and consequently the United States Department of Veterans Affairs are still reluctant to provide thorough medical screening and necessary medical care.

Dr. Bernard Rostker wrote to me in a letter dated March 1, 1999 that physicians and health physicists at the completion of the ground war decided that medical screening and care for uranium exposures was not required. Actual documents refute this! Today, individuals are sick and others are dead who were denied medical care, even though I requested it in a letter dated May 21, 1997, which was sent to the Office of Surgeon US Army Materiel Command and forwarded to Dr. Rostker by Dr. (LTC) Kelsey.

Verified adverse health effects from personal experience, physicians, and from personal reports from individuals with known DU exposures include:
- Reactive airway disease
- Neurological abnormalities
- Kidney stones and chronic kidney pain
- Rashes
- Vision degradation and night vision losses
- Gum tissue problems
- Lymphoma
- Various forms of skin and organ cancer
- Neuro-psychological disorders
- Uranium in semen
- Sexual dysfunction, and
- Birth defects in offspring.

As further evidence to conclude the Depleted Uranium (DU) story I would like to enter Dr Rokke entire report dated 23 July 2007 as follows:

Depleted Radioactive Waste from Iraq Wars Dumped in US
Dr. Doug Rokke, Major, retired, US Army former Director, US Army Depleted Uranium project 8 August 2008

During the summer of 1991, the United States military had collected artillery, tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, conventional and unconventional munitions, trucks, etc at Camp Doha in Kuwait.

As a result of carelessness, this weapons depot caught fire with consequent catastrophic explosions resulting in death, injury, illness and extensive environmental contamination from depleted uranium and conventional explosives.

Recently, the emirate of Kuwait required the US Department of Defense to remove the contamination. Consequently, over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil, sand and other residue was collected and shipped back to the United States for burial by American Ecology at Boise, Idaho.

When Bob Nichols, an investigative journalist, and I contacted American Ecology we found out that they had absolutely no knowledge of US Army regulations and all of the medical orders dealing with depleted uranium contamination, environmental remediation procedures, safety and medical care.

They had never heard of Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for dealing with hazardous waste such as radioactive materials and conventional explosives by-products.

The trans-shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho, not only endanger the residents of these areas, but pose a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes etc. foreign to our nation.

Sadly, the known adverse health and environmental hazards from uranium weapons contamination are in our own backyard. The EPA has listed the former Nuclear Metals-Starmet uranium weapons manufacturing site in Concord, Mass. on the EPA’s Superfund National Priority List because it poses a significant risk to public health and the environment.

Consequently, the community in which our nation was born on April 18, 1775, is now the location of America’s own closed dirty bomb factory that will endanger the health and safety of the descendants of the Minutemen.

The previous delivery of at least 100 GBU 28 bunker buster bombs containing depleted uranium warheads by the United States and their use by Israel against Lebanese targets has resulted in additional radioactive and chemical toxic contamination with consequent adverse health and environmental effects throughout the Middle East. Israeli tank gunners are also using depleted uranium tank rounds, as photographs verify.

Today, US, British, and now Israeli military personnel are using illegal uranium munitions — America’s and England’s own “dirty bombs.” The US Army, Department of Energy, Department of Defense and British Ministry of Defense officials deny that there are any adverse health and environmental effects as a consequence of the manufacture, testing and/or use of uranium munitions. They do so to avoid liability for the wilful and illegal dispersal of a radioactive toxic material — depleted uranium.

The use of uranium weapons is a crime against humanity. All governments must force cessation of uranium weapons use. Israel should provide medical care to all DU casualties in Lebanon and clean up all DU contamination.

US and British officials have arrogantly refused to comply with their own regulations, orders and directives that require US Department of Defense officials to provide prompt and effective medical care to all exposed individuals. They also refuse to clean up dispersed radioactive contamination as required by Army regulations.

In closing my report on DU, I would like to thank those critics who remain so badly informed and no doubt have some other hidden agenda or reason for carrying out what can only be described as a very personal attack on me. For those that have read my many articles and seen me on TV, I thank you sincerely for your kind words, support and your own courage in standing up against the establishment. We all know the truth and we all know that the manufacturing and use of DU weaponry will be stopped, but it just takes time.

One of those attacks came from within a large NGO. I can only assume that it is receiving funds that must be protected and does not want people like me to rock the boat. To that person I say “you had better start swimming”. The other two that have been extremely critical throughout my campaign are Roger Helbig and Nigel Lamb. To these propaganda machines I say your day will come.

Peter Eyre, a former British Naval officer, worked at NATO headquarters in cryptology, and spent a lot of time in the Middle East and South East Asia as a petroleum consultant; he lives in the UK and writes regularly for the Palestine Telegraph


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