“Tortured” veterans to sue Donald Rumsfeld

August 9 2011

Two American men can go ahead with civil lawsuit over allegations they were tortured in Iraq at the hands of US forces.
A lawyer representing Rumsfeld said the appeals court decision was a blow to the US military

Donald Rumsfeld, the former US secretary of defence, must face a lawsuit filed against him by two American men claiming they were wrongfully held and tortured by US forces in Iraq.

The US Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling last year allowing the men, Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, to pursue claims that Rumsfeld and unnamed others should be found personally liable for their treatment – despite efforts by the former Bush and current Obama administration to get the case dismissed.

The two men worked for a private security company in Iraq in 2006 and said they became concerned the firm was engaging in illegal bribery or other corruption activities. They notified US authorities and began co-operating with them.

Emotional abuse

In early 2006, they were taken into custody by US military forces and eventually taken to Camp Cropper near Baghdad’s airport. Vance and Ertel claimed they were subjected to harsh interrogations and physical and emotional abuse.

Months later they said they were unceremoniously dropped at the airport and never charged with a crime.

They sued, seeking unspecified damages and saying their constitutional rights had been violated and US officials knew they were innocent.

The appeals court ruled that while it may have been unusual for Rumsfeld to be personally responsible for the treatment of detainees, the two men had sufficiently argued that the decisions were made at the highest levels of government.

We agree with the district court that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to show that Secretary Rumsfeld personally established the relevant policies that caused the alleged violations of their constitutional rights during detention,” the court ruled in a split decision.

The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to affirm the lower court ruling. Judge Daniel Manion dissented, saying Congress has yet to decide whether courts should have a role in deciding whether such claims against the US military can be pursued.

A lawyer representing Rumsfeld said the appeals court decision was a blow to the US military.

“Having judges second guess the decisions made by the armed forces halfway around the world is no way to wage a war,” attorney David Rivkin said in a statement on Monday.

“It saps the effectiveness of the military, puts American soldiers at risk, and shackles federal officials who have a constitutional duty to protect America.”

A spokesman for the US Justice Department, which has been representing the former defense secretary, had no immediate comment. The Justice Department could appeal to the full appeals court or to the US Supreme Court.

There have been other lawsuits against Rumsfeld and the US government over allegations of abuse and torture overseas, but most involved foreigners, not US citizens, so federal courts have typically dismissed those cases.

A district judge in Washington last week allowed a similar case to proceed involving an American translator who worked in Iraq with the US military and who said he was later detained and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques and abuse.

Source

I hope Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel win their case.

Recent

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: High Radiation Levels In America! Oklahoma City

Israel’s middle class launches mass protest at rising cost of living

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 6:03 am  Comments Off on “Tortured” veterans to sue Donald Rumsfeld  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The real terrorist was me

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us- Mike Prysner

TRANSCRIPT
I tried hard to be proud of my service
but all I can feel is shame
The racism you can not master the reality of the occupation
it's the people it's the human beings
I seem I claim by guilt every time I see
an elderly man like the one that couldn't walk
and we brought by the stretcher and we called the Iraq's Police to take him away
I feel guilt every time I see a mother with her children like the one who cried hysterically
and screaming that we are worst than Saddam, as we forced her from her home.
I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.
We are told we are fighting terrorists;
the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is in this occupation.
Racism within the military has long been an important tool
to justify the destruction and occupation of another country.
It's long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people.
Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government.
It's a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship.
It's more destructive than an artillery shell or a bunker buster, or a Tom Hawk Missile.
While all those weapons are created and owned by this government,
they are harmless without people willing to use them.
Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger, or lab a mortal round.
They don't have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war.
They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers in the harms way.
They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question.
They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon,
when the ranks of the military are willing to follow orders to use it.
They can send every last soldier anywhere on earth,
but there'll only be a war, as soldiers are willing to fight.
And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering
care only about expending their wealth controlling the world economy.
Understand that their power lies only in their ability
to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest.
They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability
to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country.
And, convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability
to make us think that we are somehow superior.
Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen,
have nothing to gain from this occupation.
The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation.
In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain,
but we suffer more because of it.
We lose wings, and bear trauma and give our lives
Our families have to watch flag draped coffins rolling into the earth.
Millions in this country without health care, jobs or access to education,
just watch over this government squander of a $ 450 million a day in this occupation.
Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in other country and make the rich richer
without racism we realize that we have more common with the Iraq people than we have with billionaires that send us to war
We need to wake up and realize
that our real enemy is not the ones living in a distant land
the people whose names we don't know
and cultures we don't understand
The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify
The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable
the enemy is the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable,
the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable,
the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable.
Our enemies are not five thousands miles away
the are right here home
but if we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers
we can stop this war we can stop this government and we can create a better world
If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign ennemy...
The loss of Liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger
real or imagined from abroad..."
- James Madison -
Edité par Phaedrus
Related
Racism not just in the Military but in America itself.
Recent
Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 3:55 am  Comments Off on The real terrorist was me  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mental illness rising among US troops

July 25 2010
America’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan are taking a toll on US soldiers, as the latest statistics show one out of every nine American soldiers leaves the army on a medical discharge due to a mental disorder.

“We have 100,000 troops and a third of them suffer some sort of mental health disease and half of those suffer multiple health disease,” Paul Martin from Peace Action told Press TV’s correspondent.

The army alone saw a 64 percent increase in those forced out due to mental illness between 2005 and 2009, the numbers equal to one in nine of all medical discharges.

According to army statistics, last year alone 1,224 soldiers suffering from mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, received a medical discharge.

According to Mental health experts there is a growing emotional toll on the US military which has been fighting for seven years in Iraq and nine years in Afghanistan, and there is a clear relationship between multiple deployments and increased symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Some experts say age is also a factor.

“We are talking young people — 18 to 24-year-olds, who are seeing the horrors of war,” Martin said.

Analysts are concerned that with budget cuts looming, military medical programs will be the first on the chopping block.

The soldiers who are discharged for having both a mental and physical disability increased by 174% during the last 5 years from a little under 1,400 in 2005, to more than 3,800 in 2009, according to army statistics.

The suicide rate among US soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan has escalated to a record high, with an average of one suicide per day in June.

According to US Army statistics, a total of 32 soldiers took their own lives last month, making it the worst month on record for Army suicides. Twenty-one were on active duty, with the rest being among National Guards or Army Reserves in an inactive status, CNN reported earlier in July. Source

Related
Recent
Published in: on July 25, 2010 at 6:03 am  Comments Off on Mental illness rising among US troops  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

April 3 2010

Written by Mel Frykberg

Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news site ‘Walla’, was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret Israeli Defence Force (IDF) documents during her compulsory military service.

These documents outlined how Israeli assassination squads would plan the killing of Palestinian political leaders and fighters months beforehand and then pass their deaths off as ”mishaps” during ”failed” attempts to arrest them.

Uri Blau, a reporter from the daily ‘Haaretz’, then wrote a piece on the copied documents and is refusing to return to Israel from Britain fearing that Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, will arrest him if he does.

Due to a military gag order the news has remained suppressed even as Israeli journalists fight the suppression order in court.

The news was broken several days ago by Donald McIntyre from Britain’s ‘Independent’.

The controversy has highlighted Israel’s extra-judicial killings which violate international law and have caused death and injury to thousands of Palestinian civilian bystanders despite the country having no death penalty.

Israel’s judiciary has approved ”targeted killings” but only of militants who were allegedly involved in carrying out or planning armed attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians both within the Palestinian occupied territories and in Israel proper.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza says that during the period September 2000 to March 2008, 500 Palestinians suspected of being involved in military resistance to the Israeli occupation were executed.

However, the ”collateral damage” during the assassinations included another 228 civilian bystanders – 77 of them children. Eleven Palestinians have been assassinated in the last two years.

”Israel is using disproportionate force. Civilians are paying the price. In the overwhelming majority of cases the targeted individuals could have been arrested and brought to trial without being killed. Many of them have been killed in cold blood,” Jaber Wishah from PCHR told IPS.

”International law’s right to life says that state authorities are obliged to follow due process when they are in a position to arrest individuals,” says Michael Kerney from the Ramallah-based rights organisation Al Haq which researched and documented many of the killings.

”Everybody is entitled to a fair trial and no state can dismiss this,” Kerney told IPS.

Some of those targeted have included individuals who were ”pardoned” by the Israelis after having agreed to give up armed resistance to the occupation.

Last December three pardoned members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a military offshoot of the Palestinian Authority (PA)-affiliated Fatah movement, were shot dead in Nablus in the northern West Bank following the death of an Israeli settler.

According to their families and the subsequent investigations of human rights organisations they had already surrendered and were unarmed despite Israeli claims that they had refused to surrender.

”By failing to produce any evidence linking the targeted individuals to attacks allegedly committed by members of the Palestinian resistance, as well as failing to utilise peaceful means in order to arrest and detain suspects, the soldiers assumed the role of both judge and executioner,” reported Al Haq.

Furthermore, unarmed Palestinians, who have not been involved either politically or militarily in resisting the occupation, also continue to die in what some have called deliberate premeditated murder.

Several weeks ago four Palestinian teenagers were shot dead amidst dubious circumstances in two separate incidents in the villages of Awarta and Iraq Burin near Nablus.

According to medical reports they were shot at close range with live ammunition after clashes between Palestinian youngsters and Israeli soldiers had broken out.

However, the individuals concerned had not been involved in the clashes according to several investigations carried out by Al Haq, PCHR and Israeli rights group B’tselem.

One was shot in the back and another had a bullet lodged in the back of his skull despite Israeli soldiers saying they had only used non-lethal ammunition.

The Israeli military police declared they would investigate the incidents following contradictory testimony given by the soldiers involved.

However, when IPS visited one of the sites a week later with family members, approximately 20 spent cartridge cases, bloodied gloves, a saline solution kit and other bits of evidence lay on the ground undisturbed.

None of this is new. Israel has a history of assassinating political opponents predating its official establishment.

In 1944, the Israeli terrorist group, the Stern gang, assassinated Britain’s Lord Moyne, the military governor of Egypt, accusing him of interfering with Jewish migration to Palestine.

In 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte – a Swedish diplomat who had secured the release of 15,000 inmates from Nazi concentration camps while he was vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross  was also murdered by the Stern gang.

Stern gang members believed Bernadotte, as the U.N.’s Palestine mediator, to be too sympathetic to the Arabs. Yitzhak Shamir, later to become an Israeli prime minister, was one of the Stern gang’s leaders.

”Since the outbreak of the second Intifada, Israel has increasingly avoided accountability for the serious violations of the human rights of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for which it is responsible,” says B’tselem.

”This avoidance is seen, in part, in its policy not to open criminal investigations in cases of killing or wounding of Palestinians who were not taking part in the hostilities, except in exceptional cases, and in its enactment of legislation denying, almost completely, the right of Palestinians who were harmed as a result of illegal acts by Israeli security forces to sue for compensation for the damages they suffered.”

Source

Journalist on the run from Israel is hiding in Britain

‘Haaretz’ writer fled to London fearing charges over exposé on Palestinian’s killing

April 2 2010

By Kim Sengupta

An Israeli journalist is in hiding in Britain, The Independent can reveal, over fears that he may face charges in the Jewish state in connection with his investigation into the killing of a Palestinian in the West Bank.

Uri Blau, a reporter at Israel’s liberal newspaper, Haaretz, left town three months ago for Asia and is now in London. Haaretz is understood to be negotiating the terms of his return to Israel with prosecutors, according to an Israeli source, who declined to be identified, because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The news of Mr Blau’s extended absence comes just days after it emerged that another Israeli journalist, Anat Kam, has been held under house arrest for the last three months on charges that she leaked classified documents to the press while completing her military service.

Although no media outlet or journalist has been specifically named as the recipient of the classified information, there is speculation on Israeli blogs that Ms Kam gave documents to Mr Blau that formed the basis of a story he wrote in November 2008.

In his article for Haaretz, Mr Blau reported that one of two Islamic Jihad militants killed in Jenin in June 2007 had been targeted for assassination in apparent violation of a ruling issued six months earlier by Israel’s supreme court. While not outlawing assassinations in the West Bank altogether, the ruling heavily restricted the circumstances in which they were permissible, effectively saying that they should not take place if arrest was possible.

In an unusual move, Israel has placed a gagging order on national media, preventing them from reporting any aspect of the Kam case. Israel’s Channel Ten and Haaretz are expected to challenge this order on 12 April.

According to the court order, Ms Kam, 23, is being held on “espionage” charges. It alleges that she passed classified documents to a male journalist while working as a clerk in the Israel Defence Forces Central Command during her military service.

She was arrested more than a year after Mr Blau’s report, which was cleared by military censors at the time of publication, when she was working for the news service Walla, until recently owned by Haaretz.

Ms Kam denies all the charges. Her trial has reportedly been set for 14 April and she could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Mr Blau did not respond to requests for comment; his friends and colleagues refused to discuss the case in detail.

Dov Alfon, Haaretz’s editor-in-chief, said in an emailed statement: “Haaretz has a 90-year-long tradition of protecting its reporters from government pressures, and Uri Blau is getting all the help we can provide him with.”

The move to gag Israel-based media has sparked fevered debate on Jewish blogs, which have freely reported the story. Bloggers have railed against the blackout, saying it represents a critical challenge to the freedom of the press.

“I do not believe that a citizen can be arrested and tried for suspected security offences right under our noses without anyone knowing anything about it,” wrote former Haaretz editor Hanoch Marmari in an eloquent cri de coeur on the Seventh Eye website.

“Trials do not take place here in darkened dungeons, nor do we have show trials behind glass or chicken wire. I have no doubt that such a strange, terrible and baseless scenario cannot take place in such a sophisticated democracy as our own.” Source

Well Israel never really does an investigation even when settlers kill a Palestinian.  They say they do, but in actuality they do not. That is not new at all. That is standard proceedure.

Israel kills anyone they feel like killing anyone no matter if it is a child or and adult. They kill people quit often.

As a matter of fact they have been killing for years so again this is not new. It is old hat.

As we well know they even go to other countries and kill people. They as we all know use fake passports. That to is standard procedure.

There is no real justice for Palestinians under Israeli law.

Even reporters or others who have been killed in Gaza or the West Bank, do not get a real investigation into their deaths by Israel.  They never have.

Deaths of Palestinians or outsiders are usually swept under the carpet.

Some Democracy. More like no Democracy.

Related

License to kill

By Uri Blau

December 4 2008
The announcement made by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman on June 20, 2007 was standard: “Two armed terrorists belonging to the Islamic Jihad terror organization were killed last night during the course of a joint activity of the IDF and a special force of the Border Police in Kafr Dan, northwest of Jenin. The two terrorists, Ziad Subahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Latif Abed, opened fire at the force during its activity. In response the force fired at them, killing the terrorists. On their bodies two M-16 rifles, a pistol and ammunition were found. It was also discovered that the terrorists were involved in planning suicide attacks against the Israeli home front, including the attempt in Rishon Letzion last February.”

The laconic announcement ignores one important detail: Malaisha was a target for assassination. His fate had been decided several months earlier, in the office of then head of Central Command, Yair Naveh. As far as the public was concerned, on the other hand, the last declared assassination carried out by the IDF in the West Bank took place in August 2006; at the end of that year the High Court of Justice set strict criteria regarding the policy of assassinations in the territories.

A Haaretz Magazine investigation reveals for the first time operational discussions in which the fate of wanted men and innocent people was decided, in apparent disregard of the High Court decision. Thus it was revealed that the IDF approved assassination plans in the West Bank even when it would probably have been possible to arrest the wanted men – in contradiction to the State’s statement to the High Court – and that in cold military terminology the most senior IDF echelons approve, in advance and in writing, the harming of innocent Palestinians during the course of assassination operations. Moreover, it turns out that the assassination of a target the defense establishment called part of a “ticking infrastructure” was postponed, because it had been scheduled to take place during the visit of a senior U.S. official.

Leading legal experts who were asked to react to the documents say that the IDF is operating in contradiction to a High Court ruling. “Morality is a very difficult issue,” Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer of Hebrew Univeristy said. “The thought that there are people who sit behind a desk and determine that someone is fated to die is a frightening thought.”

Another two killings

(at most)

The IDF spokesman refuses to provide precise figures about the number of targeted assassinations carried out since the start of the intifada in 2000: “The subject of preventive strikes is concentrated in the hands of the Shin Bet [security service].” A spokesman for the Shin Bet stated that the organization “does not publish data of this kind.” According to the human-rights organization B’Tselem, the IDF assassinated 232 Palestinians between the start of the intifada and the end of October 2008, in operations that also killed 154 non-targeted civilians.

The most common code names for assassination operations are the acronyms Pa’amon (peula mona’at – preventive action) and Sakum (sikul mimukad – targeted assassination). During the past two and a half years the IDF has not announced the carrying out of assassinations in the West Bank, and when wanted men were killed there, the official reports stated that these were “arrest operations” or “exchanges of fire.” This was also reported in regard to the killing of Abed and Malaisha – who has now been revealed as a previous target for assassination.

On March 28, 2007 a representative of the Shin Bet, a representative of the Special Police Unit Yamam and several officers from Central Command convened in Naveh’s office. On the agenda was the Two Towers operation (the strike at Malaisha). “The mission” said the head of the command, “is arrest,” but “in case identification is made of one of the leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Walid Obeidi, Ziad Malaisha, Adham Yunis, there is permission for the force to intercept them, and that is according to the situation assessment in the course of carrying out the mission.” Naveh did not allow an assassination if there were women or children near the wanted man, and explained that, “in the event that there are women and children in the vehicle, the method is arrest.”

On April 12 Naveh convened another meeting about Malaisha. This time he decided that permission would be granted to carry out the assassination of the target and “another two people at most.” On the day of the meeting in Naveh’s office another discussion took place, chaired by the head of the Operations Directorate, Brig. Gen. Sami Turjeman. At the meeting, the plans for a preventive operation against Malaisha were presented, and the head of the Operations Directorate explained that “a preventive strike in Ayush [Judea and Samaria] is an exceptional sight … It could be seen as an attempt to damage the attempts to stabilize, which means that it requires sensitivity to causing a minimum of collateral damage. Everything possible must be done to prevent harm to those who are uninvolved.” The target of the operation, he added “leads a ‘ticking’ infrastructure and meets the required criteria for a preventive strike.”

At this point Turjeman spelled out the conditions of Malaisha’s incrimination, and ruled that only if they existed would the targeted assassination get a green light. He added that no more than five people (including the driver) should be assassinated in the operation. Turjeman approved the operation even if there should be one unidentified person in the car. Regarding the matter of timing, he said that “in light of the anticipated diplomatic events, the prime minister’s meeting with Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, I recommend … implementation afterward.” In the discussion Turjeman also referred to the High Court ruling about appointing a committee whose job would be to examine targeted assassinations after the fact, and said that in light of the High Court instructions on the matter, the operation should be documented.

The next day the operation was brought up for the approval of Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. A limited number of senior officers convened in his office, including his deputy, the head of the Operations Directorate, the head of the Operations Brigade, the chief military prosecutor, a representative of Central Command and a representative of the Shin Bet. The paper summing up the meeting says that Ashkenazi “emphasized that due to the High Court orders regarding the establishment of a professional committee on targeted assassinations, the composition of the committee should be agreed on with the Shin Bet as soon as possible.”

Although Malaisha was defined as part of a “ticking infrastructure,” Ashkenazi too was disturbed by the timing of the action and said that “in light of the diplomatic meetings anticipated during the course of the week, the date of implementation should be reconsidered.” Ashkenazi prohibited attacking the vehicle in which Malaisha was traveling if it was discovered that there was “more than one unidentified passenger” in it.

Two months after the Two Towers plan was approved, and long after the diplomatic visits and meetings that took place in the second week of April 2007, came the operation in which Malaisha was killed in the Jenin area.

Legal approval

At the beginning of 2002, attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard petitioned the High Court of Justice against the policy of targeted assassinations on behalf of the Public Committee against Torture in Israel and the Al-Haq organization. Almost five years later, on December 14, 2006, the president of the Supreme Court at the time, Justice Aharon Barak, issued his decision. Barak, with the concurrence of Justices Dorit Beinisch (now the president of the Supreme Court) and Eliezer Rivlin, rejected the petition and did not rule out the legality of targeted assassinations in the territories.

“We cannot determine that every targeted preemption strike is forbidden under international law, just as we cannot determine that every targeted preemption is permissible under international law,” Barak wrote in the last judgment he published in his 28 years on the Supreme Court.

According to the High Court ruling, well-founded and convincing information is necessary in order to classify a civilian as being part of a group of civilians who are carrying out hostile acts; a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to use less damaging methods against him; and he should not be harmed more than necessary for security needs. In other words, a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to arrest him, interrogate him and indict him. However, if the arrest involves serious danger to the lives of the soldiers, there is no need to use this means; after every assassination a thorough and independent examination must be conducted regarding the degree of precision, the identity of the man as a terror activist, and in the case of mistaken identity, the payment of compensation should be considered; harm to innocent civilians should be avoided as much as possible during an assassination, and “harm to innocent civilians will be legal only if it meets the demands of proportionality,” ruled Barak.

In this context, Barak gave an example according to which “it is possible to fire at a terrorist who is firing from the balcony of his home at soldiers or civilians, even if as a result an innocent bystander is liable to be hit. Such a strike at an innocent civilian will meet the demands of proportionality. That is not the case if the house is bombed from the air and dozens of its residents and bystanders are hit.”

Barak stated that, “The struggle against terror has turned our democracy into a ‘defensive democracy’ or a ‘fighting democracy.’ However, this struggle must not overturn the democratic nature of our regime.”

According to B’Tselem, since the ruling regarding targeted assassinations was handed down, 19 Palestinians who were targets of assassination have been killed in the territories, and 36 Palestinians who were close to the targets were hit in the course of IDF operations, all of them in the Gaza Strip.

“It turns out that in total contradiction to the High Court ruling, there are cases in which there is an order to assassinate someone when it is possible to arrest him,” says David Kretchmer, a professor of international law. “Advance approval to kill civilians who do not take part in hostile activities makes things even worse. The principle of proportionality, to the effect that if one strikes at a military target an accompanying strike against civilians will not be illegal, does not apply in a case when the attack itself is illegal – for example, in a case where there is an obligation, according to the High Court ruling, to arrest the suspect.”

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer: “According to the High Court ruling it is clear that where it is possible to carry out an arrest, we must carry out an arrest and avoid what is called a ‘targeted assassination’ and which I call ‘preventive killing.’ A substantial part of Judea and Samaria is under the effective rule of the IDF, and in my opinion, in such an area preventive killing must be ruled out. The limited interpretation that I am suggesting for the international law is that an attack must take place in the course of that person’s participation in a dangerous action, because then you are in effect acting in self-defense based on the situation taking place.”

Legal commentator Moshe Negbi: “‘Unidentified people’ can also be totally innocent and you are ostensibly giving a license to kill here. The problem is previous knowledge, because usually when we refer to collateral damage we are referring to ‘after the fact,’ but here this is almost certain foreknowledge. It is very problematic that permission is given to execute an innocent man deliberately. The question is whether it is proportional. I think that the High Court was referring to a situation where perhaps among a mass of people there is one who is innocent, but here it is one on one. It is very grave to grant permission when you know ahead of time that 50 percent of those you are hitting are innocent. Such a thing must certainly be discussed at the level of the attorney general and it certainly must be known to the public and undergo public criticism, if only so that anyone who thinks it is patently illegal can turn to the High Court.”

Regarding the fact that assassinations can wait until the conclusion of diplomatic meetings, Kretchmer says: “Postponing an operation for diplomatic reasons is unequivocal proof of the fact that this is not a ‘ticking bomb’ situation.” Kremnitzer adds: “According to my legal understanding, these cases [targeted assassinations] must be cases in which you must act immediately, and if it is not a matter of an immediate need, in my opinion it is against the law.”

Although almost two years have passed since the High Court ruling, a committee to examine the assassinations after the fact has yet to be appointed. Last week Aviad Glickman published on Ynet (the website of the mass circulation paper Yedioth Ahronoth) that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz had turned to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demanding the establishment of such a committee as soon as possible. “This step must be completed without further delay,” wrote Mazuz, “for fear that a continued delay is liable to constitute contempt of court.”

The bad guys

Yair Naveh, who served as head of Central Command from 2005 to 2007, confirms that occasionally, there is no genuine attempt to arrest wanted men. “If the guy doesn’t put his hands up we don’t get into stories, we immediately establish contact. I don’t want to have people hurt for no reason. If I know that the guy is armed and is a ticking bomb, then I want him to be hit immediately without fooling around. It’s not the preventive action procedure, it’s an entirely different story.

“In my time there were no targeted assassinations. Not a single one, as far as I recall. In principle, there were no targeted assassinations in Central Command and none were approved. What I did have was an ability to reach all of [the wanted men]; therefore there is no reason for a targeted assassination. It is relevant only when you can’t reach someone, but if you can reach him and arrest him at night or have an exchange of fire with him, then it is not a targeted assassination.”

Is it possible that programs were approved and in the end were not carried out?

“No. In principle there was no such thing during my time, because in every operation there were special forces that had to arrive and arrest the guy. To tell the truth, in some places we knew a priori that there would be firing. If you know that you are operating against Islamic Jihad or against Hamasniks or even against some of the jokers who were in the Casbah, then it was clear to me that there would be engagement.”

In the approval of the March 2007 plan regarding Ziad Malaisha you said the mission was arrest, but if one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad was identified, the force had permission to carry out interception. What is that if not targeted assassination?

“Those are guys for whom we received basic confirmation that they are ticking bombs. Those are guys that if we had contact with them, because we knew in advance that they were armed, the default choice was not to start calling on them to halt and then to see whether or not they fled, but right from the start, if they didn’t put up their hands and throw away their weapons, then we engaged with them. That’s not because they had to be killed. It’s also because they are both ticking bombs and armed. That’s the assumption.”

That is semantics. You gave permission to fire at them from the moment they were identified.

“If they don’t put up their hands right at the start. You arrive, shout ‘IDF, hands up!’ You surround them. If the guys don’t put up their hands, then you don’t wait to close in on them, to make a declaration. If you receive confirmation that the guys have received all the relevant approvals, then we say, ‘Friends, I don’t want you to get into a pressure cooker here’ [methods used by the IDF to make someone give himself up]. If they don’t surrender immediately then you immediately engage them, so that you won’t be hurt. That’s the story. It’s not a targeted assassination, where you are approving their execution even if they put up their hands.”

The approval you gave the forces states that if there are women and children, there is to be an arrest. In other words, it would have been possible to arrest them.

“That means that if there are women and children we assume another risk and tell the guys that if they fire at you and begin to flee you don’t begin to exchange fire, but you try to stop the vehicle by shooting at the tires.”

The Operations Directorate approval in the case of Malaisha states that this is a preventive action operation.

“If it was approved as preventive action, that is, as a target for assassination, it’s a different story.”

But then it contradicts the High Court orders to the effect that Israel controls the area and approval of the plan includes the option of arrest.

“Don’t bother me with the High Court orders, I don’t know when there were High Court orders and when there weren’t. I know that a targeted assassination is approved and there is a preventive action procedure and I receive instructions from the Operations Directorate.”

What is the difference between the preventive action procedure and people that you give permission to fire at if they are identified?

“The difference is language. You say ‘Hands up. If not, I’m opening fire,’ and here I don’t say anything and drop a bomb from a plane.”

In the instructions there is no mention of the arrest option, and permission is given to fire if there is identification of a wanted man.

“I’m not familiar with such a document.”

Why in the approvals for targeted assassination is permission given in advance to harm unidentified people?

“Weren’t there people in the Shahadeh case? [Fatah leader Mohammed Shahadeh was assassinated by Hamas in October 2006]. But those aren’t questions that you should ask me. What is approved as preventive action goes through approvals all the way to the prime minister, and what is decided is decided. Usually these guys hung around with bad guys, not good guys.”

Linguistic innovations

In the State’s reply to the High Court, prior to its ruling, it was claimed that carrying out a targeted assassination is “an exceptional step” that is taken “only when there is no other, less severe way of implementing it … In the context of these strict instructions it was decided that when there are realistic alternatives to the action, such as arrest, these alternatives should be used.”

But the most noticeable thing the High Court ruling changed regarding the assassinations is the language used by the IDF in planning them. On December 13, 2006, a day before the High Court ruling was handed down, wanted man Muhammed Ramaha was killed in the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp in the Nablus area. According to the IDF spokesman’s report to the media at the time, Ramaha was killed in the course of a joint “arrest operation” of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Yamam police unit.

Now it turns out that Ramaha’s fate had been sealed a month earlier, when the Central Command conducted a discussion on an operation planned by the IDF’s Maglan special operations unit in the Nablus area. Those in attendance were presented with orders from Maj. Gen. Naveh, who ruled that the armed men walking around the area were connected to Mohammed Ramaha’s unit and “should be attacked.” There was no option offered of trying to arrest the members of the squad, and conditions for opening fire were the identification of two armed men, “conspiratorial” activity involving at least one armed man, or “when an indication is given” of the presence of Ramaha in the squad. As mentioned, a month after the discussion Ramaha was killed.

The Maglan soldiers were also the ones who carried out an operation on November 8, 2006 that ended in the killing of five Palestinians, two of them unarmed. The IDF, as usual, did not present it as an assassination mission, but it turns out that the force’s assignment was “to sneak into the center of the village, up to the observation point overlooking the killing area that had been designated in advance, to lie in ambush for armed terrorists and to hit them at short range.”

Another example: At the end of September 2006 the then head of the Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot (today GOC Northern Command), conducted a discussion in which approval was given to assassinate a Fatah member – an expert on the production of explosives belts – in the Nablus area. “The Time For Chaos Has Arrived” was the name of this operation, in which the major general approved attacking the man “in the context of the procedure of targeted assassination of important figures in light of the fact that he is a ‘ticking bomb.'” As opposed to operations planned after the High Court ruling, where there are specific instructions regarding conditions in which the action should not be carried out, in this case the only instructions were “to try to refrain insofar as possible from harming innocent people.”

“Apparently what happened in the wake of the High Court ruling is mainly ‘word laundering,'” says Kretchmer. “In other words, the use of words referring to arrest when in fact there is no real intention of carrying out an arrest, but the reference is to assassination.” Sfard says that, “whoever gave the IDF a permit to execute civilians without trial should not be surprised when the death squads it has created do not adhere to the few restrictions imposed on this policy. It’s a natural, logical and inevitable process of moral deterioration involved in assassinations.”

A military source said that the first years of the intifada were “a period lacking order. They fired at just about anything that moved.” He says that in recent years, especially after the High Court ruling, the procedure in Central Command and the Operations Directorate is somewhat different, one reason being that representatives of the Military Prosecutor’s Office “are breathing down their necks.” As for the importance attributed by the army to the country’s image and to the timing of its activity, the source said, not without a degree of cynicism, that “the criteria for a ‘ticking bomb’ change if Condoleezza Rice is in the country.”

An investigation by Haaretz indicates that IDF operations that are defined in advance as arrest operations rather than assassination operations do for the most part end in arrest. However, there is something disturbing about the fact that when it comes to the plan to arrest a Palestinian, the commander in charge of the operation sometimes feels a need to explain that this is not an assassination assignment and that the wanted man should be brought back alive. For example, in an operation planned last May for the arrest of a Fatah activist in Bethlehem, the GOC Central Command explained to the commander of the Duvdevan undercover commando unit that “the mission is arrest rather than killing.” And in fact, that activist was arrested alive. In the same operation, incidentally, it was explained to the forces that “there is no permission to behave aggressively toward foreign media crews.”

When Naveh was asked why he occasionally told the forces that the wanted men be brought back alive, which should ostensibly be obvious, he explained: “That means that I am exposing our forces to additional risk, and even if he opens fire, they do not kill him immediately but try nevertheless to arrest him.” It also turns out that the presence of children is not always an excuse to cancel military operations. At the end of March 2007, the chief of staff allowed Duvdevan to carry out the arrest of a wanted man during the birthday party of one of his children. The name chosen by the IDF for this action was Kindergarten Party.

Source

Israeli journalists on ice for report on Israeli assassinations

Other Israeli crimes . There are many.

Fake Al Qaeda, Fake Passports, Fake planes

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest as well as the Mossad agents

Recent

Israel bombards Gaza – and threatens worse

Update April 2 2010: Disease Threatens Haitian Children

Canada and the European Union: Advancing theTransatlantic Agenda

Foreign control of large swathes of the Sinai Peninsula obtained through fraud and Israeli involvement

Mossad using Spanish passport Arrested in Algeria

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Tony Blair’s attempt to keep his Iraqi Oil Profits a secret

Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

Soldiers, Mental illness, Drugs and Suicide

Dallas Contact Crisis Line forum to raise awareness of military suicides
March 25, 2010
By DAVID TARRANT

After eight years of war marked by repeated deployments, military families have endured great sacrifices – but few as much as Maj. Gen. Mark Graham.

In June 2003, his 21-year-old son, Kevin, a promising ROTC cadet at the University of Kentucky, killed himself. He had been diagnosed with depression. Eight months later, the general’s oldest son, Jeff, died in Iraq when a bomb exploded while he led a foot patrol.

Graham and his wife, Carol, mourned privately for several years. But as the military struggled with an increase in suicides, the Army couple began telling their story to raise awareness about depression.

“All I knew was that Kevin’s death did not need to be in vain,” Graham said in a telephone interview joined by his wife. “Carol and I both would never want this ever to happen to anyone else.”

Graham is scheduled to speak about military suicides at a luncheon today in Dallas. Contact Crisis Line, the nonprofit 24-hour suicide prevention hotline, is sponsoring the forum at the Hilton Anatole. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff, is also scheduled to speak.

Defense Department figures show that 160 active-duty Army personnel committed suicide in 2009 – up from 140 in 2008 and more than double the 77 suicides reported in 2003. The Army suicide rate is now higher than that of civilians. There is no single explanation, Pentagon officials say, but the wear and tear of repeated deployments appears to be a major factor.

“Soldiers are hurting, families are hurting, and it’s a tough time in the Army,” said Graham, deputy chief of staff of Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga. “Being in a war eight-plus years – it’s tough.”

Young veterans leaving military service remain at risk. The Veterans Affairs Department said recently that suicides among 18- to 29-year-old veterans have increased considerably – up 26 percent from 2005 to 2007.

In 2005, the suicide rate per 100,000 veterans among men ages 18 to 29 was 44.99, compared with 56.77 in 2007, the VA said.

“Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, fully 20 percent of them are acts by veterans,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said at a suicide prevention conference in January. “That means on average, 18 veterans commit suicide each day. Five of those veterans are under our care at VA.”

Graham said: “People need to know that you can die from depression. You can die from untreated depression.”

The VA has expanded mental health services to veterans and added 6,000 new mental health professionals since 2005. A 24-hour suicide prevention hotline that started in July 2007 has received 225,000 calls from veterans, active-duty personnel and family members.

But too many soldiers are reluctant to seek help for depression and anxiety because of the stigma attached to mental illness, Graham said. “One of the things we’ve tried to do is to make it clear that it’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to come forward and ask for help.”

In 2003, Kevin Graham was attending school while sharing an apartment with his siblings, Jeff and Melanie. His parents were living in South Korea, where the general was assigned.

Kevin was a “tender-hearted” child who wanted to be a doctor, said Carol Graham. At his older brother’s graduation from the University of Kentucky in May, Kevin looked in great physical condition, she said. He was exercising and getting ready for an advanced ROTC camp.

But at some point around then, he stopped taking his medication, apparently too embarrassed to admit to the military that he needed it. “He had told no one in ROTC” that he was taking Prozac, his mother said.

The Grahams feel guilt-ridden over Kevin’s death to this day. “I knew Kevin had been having problems,” Mark Graham said. “But it never even entered my mind that he could die from [depression].”

Painful as it is, the Grahams plan to continue to tell their story.

“It’s hard. It’d be easier to just curl up in a corner and do nothing,” Graham said. “But if it helps just one person not die by suicide, then it’s worth it.”

Source

Medicating the military

Use of psychiatric drugs has spiked; concerns surface about suicide, other dangers
By Andrew Tilghman and Brendan McGarry
March 17, 2010

At least one in six service members is on some form of psychiatric drug.

And many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily “cocktails” — for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches — despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations.

The drugs come with serious side effects: They can impair motor skills, reduce reaction times and generally make a war fighter less effective. Some double the risk for suicide, prompting doctors — and Congress — to question whether these drugs are connected to the rising rate of military suicides.

“It’s really a large-scale experiment. We are experimenting with changing people’s cognition and behavior,” said Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist.

A Military Times investigation of electronic records obtained from the Defense Logistics Agency shows DLA spent $1.1 billion on common psychiatric and pain medications from 2001 to 2009. It also shows that use of psychiatric medications has increased dramatically — about 76 percent overall, with some drug types more than doubling — since the start of the current wars.

THE FULL INVESTIGATION:

Could meds be responsible for suicides?

Downrange: ‘Any soldier can deploy on anything’

How drugs enter the war zone

Troops and military health care providers also told Military Times that these medications are being prescribed, consumed, shared and traded in combat zones — despite some restrictions on the deployment of troops using those drugs.

The investigation also shows that drugs originally developed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are now commonly used to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as headaches, nightmares, nervousness and fits of anger.

Such “off-label” use — prescribing medications to treat conditions for which the drugs were not formally approved by the FDA — is legal and even common. But experts say the lack of proof that these treatments work for other purposes, without fully understanding side effects, raises serious concerns about whether the treatments are safe and effective.

The DLA records detail the range of drugs being prescribed to the military community and the spending on them:

• Antipsychotic medications, including Seroquel and Risperdal, spiked most dramatically — orders jumped by more than 200 percent, and annual spending more than quadrupled, from $4 million to $16 million.

• Use of anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives such as Valium and Ambien also rose substantially; orders increased 170 percent, while spending nearly tripled, from $6 million to about $17 million.

• Antiepileptic drugs, also known as anticonvulsants, were among the most commonly used psychiatric medications. Annual orders for these drugs increased about 70 percent, while spending more than doubled, from $16 million to $35 million.

• Antidepressants had a comparatively modest 40 percent gain in orders, but it was the only drug group to show an overall decrease in spending, from $49 million in 2001 to $41 million in 2009, a drop of 16 percent. The debut in recent years of cheaper generic versions of these drugs is likely responsible for driving down costs.

Antidepressants and anticonvulsants are the most common mental health medications prescribed to service members. Seventeen percent of the active-duty force, and as much as 6 percent of deployed troops, are on antidepressants, Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, the Army’s highest-ranking psychiatrist, told Congress on Feb. 24.

In contrast, about 10 percent of all Americans take antidepressants, according to a 2009 Columbia University study.

Suicide risks

Many of the newest psychiatric drugs come with strong warnings about an increased risk for suicide, suicidal behavior and suicidal thoughts.

Doctors — and, more recently, lawmakers — are questioning whether the drugs could be responsible for the spike in military suicides during the past several years, an upward trend that roughly parallels the rise in psychiatric drug use.

From 2001 to 2009, the Army’s suicide rate increased more than 150 percent, from 9 per 100,000 soldiers to 23 per 100,000. The Marine Corps suicide rate is up about 50 percent, from 16.7 per 100,000 Marines in 2001 to 24 per 100,000 last year. Orders for psychiatric drugs in the analysis rose 76 percent over the same period.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the newer antidepressants commonly prescribed by the military can cause or worsen suicidal tendancys, aggression and other dangerous mental states,” said Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who testified at the same Feb. 24 congressional hearing at which Sutton appeared.

Other side effects — increased irritability, aggressiveness and hostility — also could pose a risk.

“Imagine causing that in men and women who are heavily armed and under a great deal of stress,” Breggin said.

He cited dozens of clinical studies conducted by drug companies and submitted to federal regulators, including one among veterans that showed “completed suicide rates were approximately twice the base rate following antidepressant starts in VA clinical settings.”

But many military doctors say the risks are overstated and argue that the greater risk would be to fail to fully treat depressed troops.

For suicide, “depression is a big risk factor,” too, said Army Reserve Col. (Dr.) Thomas Hicklin, who teaches clinical psychiatry at the University of Southern California. “To withhold the medications can be a huge problem.”

Nevertheless, Hicklin said the risks demand strict oversight. “The access to weapons is a very big concern with someone who is feeling suicidal,” he said. “It has to be monitored very carefully because side effects can occur.”

Defense officials repeatedly have denied requests by Military Times for copies of autopsy reports that would show the prevalence of such drugs in suicide toxicology reports.

‘Then it’s over’

Spc. Mike Kern enlisted in 2006 and spent a year deployed in 2008 with the 4th Infantry Division as an armor crewman, running patrols out of southwest Baghdad.

Kern went to the mental health clinic suffering from nervousness, sleep problems and depression. He was given Paxil, an antidepressant that carries a warning label about increased risk for suicide.

A few days later, while patrolling the streets in the gunner’s turret of a Humvee, he said he began having serious thoughts of suicide for the first time in his life.

“I had three weapons: a pistol, my rifle and a machine gun,” Kern said. “I started to think, ‘I could just do this and then it’s over.’ That’s where my brain was: ‘I can just put this gun right here and pull the trigger and I’m done. All my problems will be gone.’”

Kern said the incident scared him, and he did not take any more drugs during that deployment. But since his return, he has been diagnosed with PTSD and currently takes a variety of psychotropic medications.

Other side effects cited by troops who used such drugs in the war zones include slowed reaction times, impaired motor skills, and attention and memory problems.

One 35-year-old Army sergeant first class said he was prescribed the anticonvulsant Topamax to prevent the onset of debilitating migraines. But the drug left him feeling mentally sluggish, and he stopped taking it.

“Some people call it ‘Stupamax’ because it makes you stupid,” said the sergeant, who asked not to be identified because he said using such medication carries a social stigma in the military.

Being slow — or even “stupid” — might not be a critical problem for some civilians. But it can be deadly for troops working with weapons or patrolling dangerous areas in a war zone, said Dr. John Newcomer, a psychiatry professor at Washington University in St. Louis and a former fellow at the American Psychiatric Association.

“A drug that is really effective and it makes you feel happy and calm and sleepy … might be a great medication for the general population,” Newcomer said, “but that might not make sense for an infantryman in a combat arena.

“If it turns out that people on a certain combo are getting shot twice as often, you would start to worry if they were as ‘heads up’ as they should have been,” Newcomer said. “There is so much on the line, you’d really like to have more specific military data to inform the prescribing.”

Military doctors say they take a service member’s mission into consideration before prescribing.

“Obviously, one would be concerned about what the person does,” said Col. C.J. Diebold, chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. “If they have a desk job, that may factor in what medication you may be recommending for the patient [compared with] if they are out there and they have to be moving around and reacting fairly quickly.”

Off-label use

Little hard research has been done on such unique aspects of psychiatric drug usage in the military, particularly off-label usage.

A 2009 VA study found that 60 percent of veterans receiving antipsychotics were taking them for problems for which the drugs are not officially approved. For example, only two are approved for treating PTSD — Paxil and Zoloft, according to the Food and Drug Administration. But in actuality, doctors prescribe a range of drugs to treat PTSD symptoms.

To win FDA approval, drug makers must prove efficacy through rigorous and costly clinical trials. But approval determines only how a drug can be marketed; once a drug is approved for sale, doctors legally can prescribe it for any reason they feel appropriate.

Such off-label use comes with some risk, experts say.

“Patients may be exposed to drugs that have problematic side effects without deriving any benefit,” said Dr. Robert Rosenheck, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University who studied off-label drug use among veterans. “We just don’t know. There haven’t been very many studies.”

Some military psychiatrists are reluctant to prescribe off-label.

“It’s a slippery slope,” said Hicklin, the Army psychiatrist. “Medication can be overused. We need to use medication when indicated and we hope that we are all on the same page … with that.”

Combination’s of drugs pose another risk. Doctors note that most drugs are tested as a single treatment, not as one ingredient in a mixture of medications.

“In the case of poly-drug use – the ‘cocktail’ — where you are combining an antidepressant, an anticonvulsant, an antipsychotic, and maybe a stimulant to keep this guy awake — that has never been tested,” Breggin said.

Newcomer agreed. “When we go to the literature and try to find support for these complex cocktails, we’re not going to find it,” he said. “As the number of medications goes up, the probability of adverse events like hospitalization or death goes up exponentially.”

Looking for answers

Pinpointing the reasons for broad shifts in the military’s drug use today is difficult. Each doctor prescribes medications for the patient’s individual needs.

Nevertheless, many doctors in and outside the military point to several variables — some unique to the military, some not.

A close look at the data shows that use of the antipsychotic and anticonvulsant drugs, also known as “mood stabilizers,” are growing much faster than antidepressants. That may correlate to the challenges that deployed troops face when they arrive back home and begin to readjust to civilian social norms and family life.

“The ultimate effect of both of these drugs is to take the heightened arousal — the hypervigilance and all the emotions that served you once you were deployed — and help to turn that back down,” said Dr. Frank Ochberg, former associate director for the National Institute of Mental Health and a psychiatry professor at Michigan State University who reviewed the Military Times analysis.

Dr. Harry Holloway, a retired Army colonel and a psychiatry professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., said the increased use of these medications is simply another sign of deployment stress on the force.

“For a long time, the ops tempo has been completely unrelieved and unrestrained,” Holloway said. “When you have an increased ops tempo, and you have certain scheduling that will make it hard for everyone, you will produce a more symptomatic force. Most commanders understand that and they understand the tradeoffs.” Source

This is a long list. It is an accumulations of things that happen to ordinary people on drugs. Soldiers would have many of the same problems.

There are over 2,000 entries. They include

Suicides, Murders, Robberies, Hostage situations And other health related side affects.

4.8 Million Person Increase in Bipolar Disorder in Last 11 Years: Majority Due to SSRI Use

200,000 a Year Enter Hospital Due to Antidepressant- Induced Mania/ Psychosis: FDA Testimony

A few thousand reasons not to take Drugs

After you read it you may think twice about taking  meds.

Don’t Let the DEA Ban Recommending Medical Marijuana for Veterans

The DEA is preventing doctors at veteran’s hospitals from recommending medical marijuana to patients — even in the 14 states where medical marijuana is legal.

The Veterans Administration is taking advice from the DEA based on the federal government’s assertion that marijuana has no medicinal value. This especially tragic because of the widespread evidence that marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for post traumatic stress disorder which is all too common among our veterans.

In fact, in New Mexico for example, PTSD is the most common affliction for patients enrolled in the state’s strictly regulated medical marijuana program.

But veterans who could benefit from medical marijuana, regardless of the legality in their own states, have to go outside the VA system and find new doctors just to learn about and try a potentially helpful medicine.

Sign this petition and tell the Obama administration that our veterans deserve better. They deserve to have doctors who practice medicine, not politics. Source

Give them Medical marijuana, it is much safer then pharmaceutical drugs.

Govt Knew Since 1974 Pot Could Cure Cancer


Pot Shows Promise Cure For Cancer


Who profits from WAR?

How Criminals Profit From War

Erroneous Reports Deny our Veterans Benefits

Another Gulf War Syndrome? Burn Pits

Recent

Destroying Educational Institutions or Using Them For Military Purposes Is A War Crime

Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture

Warning Facebook Strikes again, this time a Virus

American Civil Rights Org Fights Against Israeli Desecration of Ancient Cemetery

Britain expelled Israeli diplomat over fake passports used in Dubai

Canada: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy

Attempted Citizen’s Arrest of Alleged War Criminal George W. Bush in a Canadian Court

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end: Kenny
September 20, 2009

Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says politicians are too afraid of offending soldiers and their families by questioning Canada’s role in Afghanistan, but it’s important to have an honest debate about the mission.

“The issue is we’ve got to do something to get Canadians away from the hush,” Kenny said Sunday on CTV’s Question Period.

“There’s a hush in the country and it’s out of respect for the families, it’s out of respect for the soldiers. Nobody wants to say anything that could possibly upset the families or the soldiers, and so we don’t have a debate.”

In a recent op-ed column in the Ottawa Citizen, Kenny called Afghanistan Canada’s Vietnam, a war that lasted for more than a decade and left nearly 60,000 U.S. dead.

Kenny, who is also Chairman of the Senate National Defence Security Committee, says his criticism may seem “offensive,” but Canadians deserve to know what the government hopes to achieve in Afghanistan before the mission ends in 2011.

Violence in Afghanistan’s volatile south has increased in recent weeks, particularly since a U.S. troop surge and a highly contentious presidential election.

Kenny said the increase in violence makes it clear that Canada’s strategy to clear, hold and develop former Taliban strongholds is not working.

“Triple D was the answer to things for a while: defence, diplomacy, development. We hear from the government about different innovations, and after a while you’re saying, ‘I’m sorry, you don’t have any credibility,'” Kenny said. “We don’t have clear goals in Afghanistan. One of the overwhelming things that comes in my mail is people saying, ‘Why doesn’t the government tell us what they want to achieve there?'”

Retired Maj. Gen. Lewis Mackenzie responded to Kenny’s remarks by saying the increase in violence is in fact a sign that Canadian troops are doing valuable work in Afghanistan.

According to Mackenzie, the influx of American soldiers has allowed the Canadians to concentrate on a smaller area in their fight against the Taliban.

“Violence is increasing dramatically in the south for one reason and one reason only,” Mackenzie told Question Period. “That’s because we’re out there kicking a hornet’s nest with additional resources. That’s going to happen.”

He said Canada’s strategy has been hampered by the fact that NATO failed “to provide the resources necessary to take this thing to a proper conclusion early on.”

But Mackenzie said with the American surge and President Barack Obama’s renewed focus on combating the Taliban in Afghanistan, the new commander of the International Security Assistance Force, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, will adopt Canada’s clear, hold and develop strategy.

But Kenny pointed to widespread allegations of voter fraud in last month’s presidential election, a thriving drug trade in Helmand and Kandahar provinces and the recent passage of a law that allows for marital rape as signs that the mission in Afghanistan needs to be reevaluated.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nothing we can do for the 131 (soldiers) that have died except mourn them, respect them, support their families,” he said. “And there is something we can do for the next 130 and that is have a really good look at whether what we’re doing over there is worthwhile, and maybe get out.”

Source

Well it’s about time someone in Canada woke up?

The Silence has been,  pure neglect as far as I am concerned.

This I am sure many have long forgotten.

by Doug Westerman
May 3, 2006
FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study’s purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. “We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill.

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

“The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium.”

In Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, UMRC lab results indicated high concentrations of NON-DEPLETED URANIUM, with the concentrations being much higher than in DU victims from Iraq. Afghanistan was used as a testing ground for a new generation of “bunker buster” bombs containing high concentrations of other uranium alloys.

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

————————————

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states “The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium”. Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing “in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers”.

There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC’s ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC’s scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC’s scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : “I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals,” Fujita said. “As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years.”

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo Citizen’s Tribunal that “convicted” President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons: (This court was a citizen’s court with no binding legal authority)

1.   Their use has indiscriminate effects;

2.   Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;

3.   Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;

4.   Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.

Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court’s statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

CONCLUSIONS:

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases and birth defects over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning. At least under Saddam, the Iraqi people could stay healthy and conceive normal children. Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.

There is more information on Iraq at the link below as well.

Source

Related Articles

Pipelines in the Middle East Afghanistan included/ Maps as well

Afghanistan’s hidden toll: Injured Troops/Statistics

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Victims’ families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan

Has Usama Bin Ladin been dead for seven years – and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?

Troops

(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 11:30 pm  Comments Off on ‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

US Raided Afghan Hospital

Swedish Charity: US Raided Afghan Hospital
American Army Troops Allegedly Stormed Facility, Tied Up Staff in Reported Violation of NATO Agreement
September 7 2009

A Swedish charity accused American troops Monday of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants. The U.S. military said it was investigating.

The allegation that soldiers violated the neutrality of a medical facility follows the reported deaths of Afghan civilians in a U.S. air strike in the country’s north last week.

Nearly eight years after the U.S.-led coalition invaded to oust the Taliban, foreign forces are working to persuade the population to support the Afghan government. But civilian deaths and intrusive searches of homes have bred resentment.

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan said the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division entered the charity’s hospital without permission to look for insurgents in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, according to the charity’s country director, Anders Fange.

“This is simply not acceptable,” he said.

The U.S. troops came to the hospital looking for Taliban insurgents late at night last Wednesday, Fange said. He said they kicked in doors, tied up four hospital employees and two family members of patients, and forced patients out of beds during their search.

When they left two hours later, the unit ordered hospital staff to inform coalition forces if any wounded militants were admitted, and the military would decide if they could be treated, Fange said.

The staff refused, he said. “That would put our staff at risk and make the hospital a target.”

The charity said on its Web site that the troops actions were not only a violation of humanitarian principles but also went against an agreement between NATO forces and charities working in the area.

“We demand guarantees … that such violations will not be repeated and that this is made clear to commanders in the field,” a statement said.

Navy public affairs officer Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker confirmed that the hospital was searched last week but had no other details. She said the military was looking into the incident.

“We are investigating and we take allegations like this seriously,” she said. “Complaints like this are rare.”

Violence has surged across much of Afghanistan since President Barack Obama ordered 21,000 more U.S. troops to the country this year. Two foreign troops were killed Sunday when their patrol hit a roadside bomb in the country’s south, NATO said without giving their nationalities. Three civilians also died in a militant rocket attack on the capital.

NATO was also investigating reported civilian deaths in a U.S. air strike last week. Afghan officials said up to 70 people were killed in the early morning air strike Friday in the northern province of Kunduz after the Taliban hijacked two fuel tanker. After the trucks became stuck in the mud on the banks of a river, villagers came to siphon off gas and some were reported killed when an American jet dropped two bombs on the stolen tankers.

The increasingly violent Taliban have killed more Afghan civilians in bombings and other attacks. On Monday, the government said three insurgent rockets landed in the capital, Kabul, killing three people when one of them hit a house.

A United Nations report in July said the number of civilians killed in conflict in Afghanistan has jumped 24 per cent this year, with bombings by insurgent and air strikes by international forces the biggest single killers. The report said that 1,013 civilians were killed in the first half of 2009, 59 per cent in insurgent attacks and 30.5 per cent by foreign and Afghan government forces. The rest were undetermined.

Source

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 6:27 am  Comments Off on US Raided Afghan Hospital  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

(Afghanistan 8) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

AfghanistanIn this handout image released by U.S. army, Infantry Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team carry a wounded Stryker Soldier on a litter to be medically evacuated (MEDEVAC) after rolling over an anti-tank mine in Zabul  Province, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug 21, 2009. The MEDEVAC support team based near the same province is from Company C “DUSTOFF”, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. The team was able to respond to the evacuation of the Soldier within 15 minutes of the incident. The Soldier suffered minor injuries to his back.(AP Photo/US Army)

AfghanistanCanadian soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) stand outside the provincial council office following suicide attacks in Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. Three Taliban suicide bombers disguised in army uniforms stormed a government office in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday after a fourth detonated a car bomb, officials said. At least 17 people, including the four assailants, died. (AP Photo)

Fallen British SoldierBritish Soldiers grieving their fallen comrade

r3075342284

030128-O-9999J-012

soldiers-cp-10613942

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 6:04 pm  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 8) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

84577858_PB0013BLAST.JPGKABUL, AFGHANISTAN -February 01:  Afghan and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) troops examine the scene after a suicide car bomber hit a convoy of foreign troops on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, wounding two Afghan civilians and a French soldier, according to Afghan officials, February 1, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Independent Election Commission has postponed the country’s presidential election until August 20th, from late April, for security reasons.  (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

AfghanistanThe wrapped body parts of a lawmaker Dad Mohammad Khan and others who were with him are seen in a blanket on the back of a police vehicle following a roadside bomb in Helmand province south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, March 19, 2009. The lawmaker who was a vocal Taliban critic in Afghanistan’s insurgency-plagued south was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb, family and officials said. (AP Photo)

AFGHANISTAN ISAF Canadian soldiers of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) inspect the wreckage of a vehicle used in a suicide car bomb attack targeting a Canadian military convoy in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, 12 March 2008. A suicide attacker detonated his explosives-filled vehicle targeted at a Canadian military convoy killing an Afghan civilian and wounding four others, including a Canadian soldier, officials said. Around 2, 500 Canadian forces are stationed in the southern province of Kandahar, a strong-hold for Taliban militants, whose government was toppled in late 2001.  EPA/HUMAYOUN SHIAB

Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers inspect near the wrecker of a car used by a suicide bomber in Chaparhar district of eastern Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 21, 2009. A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up at a police checkpoint in Chaparhar district of eastern Nangarhar province where officers were searching cars, killing six people, including five civilians and one policeman, said police spokesman Gafor Khan. The blast also wounded four civilians and a policeman, he said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

18afghan01-650

7

6

4

3

2

1

Pakistan

Rows of destroyed Humvees and military trucks are seen at the Portward Logistic Terminal in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008. Militants blasted their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan on Sunday and torched more than 160 vehicles destined for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital military supply line. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

900 people killed in Philippines by ‘mysterious death squads’

Peasant leaders, environmental campaigners and student activists in the Philippines are being murdered by mysterious death squads who appear to have close links to the army.

By Thomas Bell, South East Asia Correspondent
January 19 2009

Since President Gloria Arroyo came to power in 2001, campaigners say over 900 people have been extra-judicially executed and 200 more have “disappeared”.

A United Nations report in 2007 blamed the army for most of the killings, but no action has been taken and the unexplained murders continue.

One of the most dangerous areas is the Compostela Valley, on the southern island of Mindanao. It is a place of great natural beauty as well as rural poverty which is home to several foreign owned gold mines and a long-standing communist insurgency. In the final few weeks of 2008, five apparently peaceful, law-abiding men were mysteriously shot dead in the area.

The first victim was Danilo Qualbar, a 48-year-old activist for the Left-wing People First party, who was shot on November 6. Human rights researchers said there was no autopsy and no investigation – the police did not even interview the victim’s family.

According to Mr Qualbar’s widow, a group of soldiers called out “that one” as her husband passed through a military checkpoint a week before his murder.

The next victim was 4 days later when Rolando Antolihao, 39 – a banana plantation worker and People First party member – was shot dead in front of his wife and 2-year-old daughter. There was a small army post 50 metres away but according to reports the soldiers on duty did respond to the shooting.

In the following weeks two more activists were shot.

Finally, two days before Christmas Fernando Sarmiento, a 39-year-old environmentalist who argued that a local gold mine was damaging the interests of local people, was killed by assassins fitting the same description.

Mr Sarmiento’s friends said he was arrested by the army in July and accused of being a communist guerrilla.

Witnesses noted that the killers in the Compostela Valley usually arrived on a red Honda motorcycle and used a .45 pistol. At the top of the list of suspects are soldiers from local army camps, but there has been no official investigation into the shootings, or whether the deaths are even in any way connected.

Human rights campaigners claim that the killings are part of an offensive launched by President Arroyo in an attempt to defeat Maoist guerrillas called the New People’s Army (NPA) by 2010.

Although they deny the murders, senior army officers claim that legal parties such People First and other activist groups which most of the victims belong to are fronts for the communists.

Instead, the army frequently claims, the deaths are a result of feuds and purges within the communist party.

According to Lt Col Ernesto Torres, an army spokesman the “security forces are convenient scapegoats” for the killings and he claims allegations against the army are made by “groups who want to bring down the government and replace it with their own brand of government”.

Yet, according to Alan Davies, director of the Philippine Human Rights Project, “No agency, either international or local, is trying to properly investigate and map these killings to see how they are linked”.

One woman who knows the pain this official silence causes is Erlinda Cadapan. Her daughter Sherlyn was a 29-year-old university student campaigning for peasant rights when she was abducted along with a friend by suspected soldiers in 2006.

A witness, who claims he met the two women in army custody, has testified that he saw them raped and tortured by soldiers and that soldiers told him they were later killed.

Mrs Cadapan has written to President Arroyo but received no response.

In September a court ruled that, if they were still alive, the women must be released.

“That makes me really angry because in spite of the ruling no one from the government is willing to help me. They are trying to protect the armed forces,” said Mrs Cadapan.

“There is some rumour that my daughter is still alive so we are hoping and praying fro that,” she said. “But still they deny everything.”

President Arroyo has remained mostly silent on the 900 killings and 200 “disappearances” on her watch, the army denies any role and no-one has ever been prosecuted.

Source

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on 900 people killed in Philippines by ‘mysterious death squads’  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Luxury for generals but hovels for the soldiers

Millions spent on top officers’ homes while lower ranks miss out

By Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady
December 21 2008

Millions of pounds are being spent annually on dozens of luxurious homes complete with domestic staff, including cooks, cleaners and gardeners, for Army top brass. More than £4.4m was spent on “official service residences” last year, according to new figures disclosed by the Ministry of Defence under Freedom of Information rules.

The figures have provoked anger among politicians and campaigners who called the amounts “horrendous” last night and contrasted them with “appalling” accommodation conditions faced by most ordinary soldiers.

Bob Russell, the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, said many rank-and-file troops were returning from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to “sub-standard” housing. “Married soldiers are coming home to find their families living in conditions that are not up to acceptable standards,” he said.

Julie McCarthy, chief executive of the Army Families Federation, condemned the millions spent. “The amount of money is horrendous,” she said. “We’ve got units coming back from overseas and we don’t have sufficient houses in the right area, so have people being spread to the four winds.”

The Liberal Democrat Defence spokesman Nick Harvey said: “The Government is quite creative in describing the amounts it is spending on housing, as the lion’s share is going on the running costs of existing accommodation. What they are providing for the top brass shows a clear difference in how they regard the different ranks.”

Referring to accommodation issues in his Christmas message to troops this year, General Sir David Richards, Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces, admitted there is “much more still to do” and assured soldiers “we will maintain firm pressure to deliver in this area”.

But while many soldiers face spending years in crumbling homes badly in need of repair, the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt benefits from living in a residence that could cost up to £256,000 a year to run. Sir Richard has the use of the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s former apartment at Kensington Palace in London while his successor-in-waiting, General Sir David Richards, enjoys the trappings of Bulford Manor.

“Occupants of official service residences hold posts that require them to entertain and accommodate guests,” the MoD said in a statement. “Expenditure is kept under close scrutiny and tight control.”

The MoD refused to disclose detailed figures for individual officers but it is understood the maximum senior officers are expected to contribute towards their accommodation is less than £9,000 a year. Even senior officers who do not live in an official residence can still live in expensive properties at little cost. The Assistant Chief of the General Staff pays just £100 towards a rent bill of more than £1,400 a month, it was revealed last year. By contrast, an average soldier living in a three-bed semi-detached house has to pay around £400 in rent and council tax each month.

Thousands of soldiers are living in poor quality accommodation, and low-paid troops are near the “UK definition of poverty”, according to military sources. Opening new barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire, last month, the Defence minister Kevan Jones said there had been a “legacy of under-funding in Armed Forces housing”.

Source

I think the top brass shoud have to reveal all they get. No secrets allowed there. The public has thr right to know.  So the excuse is they need the residents for entertaining. I bet the tax payer pays for those wonderful parties as well. I bet they have fabulous retirement parties for the top brass too. Like they are just so special. Oh yes the top Brass get treated like kings and the  soldiers get treated like dirt.

I have a few opinions on this  but Cursing and Swearing is not my typical style.

But I am thinking…………………and believe me, they are  not nice thoughts. Lets just say I am not impressed. Seems to me someone needs a few good smacks up the side of the head.

Fallen Canadian and British Soldiers Come Home

December 18 2008
By Matthew Hickley

UK

The  trees were strung with festive lights and the streets thronged with shoppers.

But Christmas was put on hold in Wootton Bassett today as five young men came home from war.

One thousand people stood silently on the streets to honour the soldiers killed in Afghanistan as their coffins, draped in Union Flags, were driven through the town after arriving at nearby RAF Lyneham.

Funeral

Thousands stood silently in honour of the five dead marines’ funeral took place in Wootton Bassett

Graphic

As those in the crowd clutched parcels and shopping bags, their thoughts were with the men’s families who will endure this Christmas in a haze of grief.

And for ever more, the season of goodwill will be just another reminder of the loved ones lost.

Today’s  tribute honoured five commandos killed in Helmand province in the past week.

Repatriation

The body of Lt Aaron Lewis of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery being repatriated at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire


Repatriation

The body of Lt Marine Damian Davies of Commando Logistics Regiment, Chivenor, North Devon, being repatriated

Royal Marines Damian Davies, 27, Sgt John Manuel, 38, and Corporal Marc Birch, 26, were killed in an apparent suicide bomb attack by a 13-year-old Afghan boy last Friday, close to the town of Sangin.

An hour earlier Marine Lance Corporal Steven Fellows, 28, was killed in a roadside bomb attack a few miles away.

And on Monday, Lt Aaron Lewis, 26, a soldier from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, died near the town of Gereshk when the gun battery he was commanding came under enemy fire.

Repatriation

Coffin

A coffin draped with regimental tie and scarf

Earlier, the men’s families watched as the coffins were unloaded at RAF Lyneham, with full military honours. They were driven through Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire en route to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The town came to a standstill, with shops closing and members of the public, including many veterans, standing in solemn silence.

Crowds paying respects

Crowds gather to pay their respects as the funeral cortege pass through Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

Many were in tears as the procession moved through, pausing for a minute’s silence at the town’s war memorial.

Jo Carpenter, 63, a retired civil servant, said: ‘My heart goes out to the families of those young men, especially at this time of year.’

Onlookers

Many onlookers were overcome with emotion

Onlookers

The town centre came to a standstill

A British soldier was killed in Afghanistan after being hit by enemy gunfire. His is the fifth death in three days

This comes as a British officer has warned that it will be ‘business as usual’ over the Christmas period for troops in Afghanistan, where 13 UK personnel have been killed in Helmand Province since the beginning of October .

Lieutenant Colonel Alan Richmond, commander officer of the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, currently operating around the town of Garmsir in southern Helmand, said: ‘We are all prepared for there to be no let up.

‘It doesn’t take that many people to mount the asymmetric threat, such as suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices.

‘We are all prepared for this continuing and it will be business as usual for us over the Christmas period.’

Source

UK casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq Names and Pictures

As of today 133 casualties  in Afghanistan

Three fallen soldiers return to a hero’s welcome

December 16 2008

Canada

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Corporal Thomas James Hamilton at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont.

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Private John Michael Roy Curwin at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont.

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Private Justin Peter Jones at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont.

Supporters stand on a bridge in Whitby, Ont., as the hearses carrying fallen soldiers pass along the Highway of Heroes

The bodies of three more Canadian soldiers slain in Afghanistan have been returned to Canadian soil.

A military aircraft carrying Cpl. Thomas Hamilton, Pte. John Curwin and Pte. Justin Jones touched down at CFB Trenton at about noon on Tuesday. All three served with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, RCR based in Gagetown, New Brunswick.

A motorcade transported their caskets along the Highway of Heroes into Toronto for a standard post-mortem event.

They arrived on the eastern outreaches of Scarborough around 3 p.m. ET. People greeted the motorcade with Canadian flags and yellow ribbons. Some stood silently, and other applauded as the motorcade passed.

The OPP put out a news release Tuesday morning urging people not to pull over to the side of the 401 when they see the motorcade pass.

“Cars parked on the shoulder and people standing on the side of the road are a hazard to traffic on the road and to those who have stopped,” it said.

Instead, they want motorists to pull right off the highway.

Having Canadians gather on the overpasses to show respect for returning fallen soldiers is a growing tradition — one last exercised about a week ago when three other soldiers died.

Cpl. Mark Robert McLaren, Warrant Officer Robert John Wilson and Pte. Demetrios Diplaros, were from the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, based out of Petawawa, Ont. They died on Dec. 5. Their deaths brought Canada’s military death toll in Afghanistan to 100 since 2002. The toll is now 103.

In both incidents, the soldiers died as a result of roadside bombs.

On Tuesday morning in Afghanistan, Lt.-Gen. Michel Gauthier told reporters that two insurgents had been killed while trying to plant roadside bombs on the same stretch of highway that claimed the six Canadian lives.

Source

To Date Canada has 103 Casualties names and Pictures of Fallen

Memorial to fallen Canadians an ‘oasis of peace’

Home is where the healing occurs for these soldiers

By KATE WILTROUT
December 8, 2008

VIRGINIA BEACH
Spc. Edward Bennett helped detect and detonate roadside bombs in Iraq for almost a year before he realized something was wrong.

Dizzy spells. Memory lapses. Slight coordination problems.

A brain scan revealed that Bennett suffered from traumatic brain injury, one of the signature combat wounds of the Iraq war.

Bennett, a member of the Virginia National Guard’s 237th Engineer Battalion, was flown to Germany in June for treatment, then spent two months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Now, even though he’s still on active duty and getting treatment, Bennett, 22, is once again living at home with his wife in Virginia Beach.

He is assigned to one of the Army’s eight community-based warrior transition units. Bennett happens to live within a few miles of Camp Pendleton, a state military reservation that’s home to one of the units. Most of the 200 other soldiers assigned to the unit live hours away in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Soldiers are required to check in daily by phone with their platoon sergeant and weekly with their case worker to make sure their recovery is on track.

“I see this as a common-sense approach,” said Col. Chris Jones, the unit’s chief medical officer. “We’ve allowed soldiers to come home to get their care. When someone is with their family and friends, they’re going to get better quicker.”

The Army created the community-based transition units in 2004 and ’05 to deal with a surge of patients at military hospitals. In addition to easing overcrowding, the program reunites National Guard and reserve soldiers with their families.

Not all of the soldiers have combat wounds. Some were injured — or, say, suffered a heart attack — while training for an overseas deployment.

Soldiers typically spend a few months to a year in the transition unit. Those who recover fully rejoin their previous units. Those with chronic medical conditions that make them unfit to serve are processed out.

Before they go home, soldiers spend about three days at Camp Pendleton. Jones, a physician, meets with each soldier, examines his or her medical history and recommends a care plan.

He sometimes hooks patients up with university hospitals or specialists outside the military medical system, and works to get Tricare, the military insurance program, to cover the tab.

The incoming soldiers also meet with Patricia Bischoff, a licensed clinical social worker.

“Some people are coming through intact,” Bischoff said. “Some people are coming through with a lot, a lot, a lot of problems. A lot of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The biggest priority for soldiers in the program is keeping their medical appointments. They also are assigned to work at a National Guard armory or a reserve center near their home.

Bennett works at Camp Pendleton, doing filing and administrative work for the transition unit. He goes to occupational therapy twice a week at Oceana Naval Air Station’s medical clinic.

He also has appointments with specialists at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center at least once a week.

Bennett is confident about his future. He hopes to return in January to Old Dominion University, where he was studying engineering. He plans to re-enter its ROTC program and earn his commission.

Source
Traumatic brain injuries the signature wound of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

Recession Means Recruiting Boom For Army

In downtown Dallas Friday, new recruits pledged to protect and defend their country.

They’re just part of a growing number who found that in uncertain times, patriotism pays,

“Unemployment rates are [skyrocketing], and when you are looking at how bad unemployment rates are going, I think you find yourself going, ‘What do I do now?”‘ said Army recruit James Stabile.

The troubled economy has even become part of the recruiters’ arsenal. And the pitch may be paying off. The Army led all four branches of the military, exceeding recruiting goals.

And it’s not just new recruits. The Army also surpassed its goal for retaining men and women already serving by 14 percent.

Kevin Bonds signed his re-enlistment papers Friday. The Sgt. First Class could have retired tomorrow after 20 years in the Illinois National Guard.

“Until the economy changes and turns turn around, I’m in for the long run,” he said.

Sgt. Mathew Steen has also re-signed. He says patriotism means more than a paycheck, but admits the Army is a great place to prepare for any career.

“You’ve got good benefits, your medical, you’ve got your dental, and you’re getting the skills to lead people,” Steen said.

The military says the economic downturn is too recent to be the sole reason behind the recruiting surge – but acknowledges that it helps.

“What difficult economic times give us, I think, is an opening to make our case to people we might not otherwise have,” said Undersecretary of Defense David Chu. “And if we make our case, I think we can be successful.”

That success comes at a critical time for a military stretched between two wars, and for soldiers hoping to security their country – and their own economic futures.

Source

Well that will keep the warmongering, profiteers thrilled I am sure.

The thought of it makes me rather sad.

Considering how many have died.

Many for all the wrong reasons.

Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 12:27 pm  Comments Off on Recession Means Recruiting Boom For Army  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Canadian Forces not tracking incidence of brain injuries, hearing loss

HALIFAX, N.S. — The Canadian Forces is not tracking how many of its soldiers are suffering from service-related hearing loss and traumatic brain trauma, two of the so-called signature injuries of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Defence Department doesn’t have the systems working or in place to record the number of people returning from tours overseas who have identified hearing loss or brain injuries, giving them little sense as to the extent of what are thought to be rising problems in the ranks.

Unlike the British and American militaries, which have better means of tracking conditions affecting their troops, the Canadian Forces has yet to implement computerized programs that can digitally compile information and point to any trends for certain injuries.

“We have no way to systematically collect that data,” Steve Tsekrekos, an occupational medicine specialist with Force Health Protection, said from Ottawa.

“There’s much room for improvement compared to what we’re currently doing. It’s a question of continually to push that this is an issue that we need to address.”

Forces members are examined for a variety of possible injuries in theatre and when they return from a deployment, but the data in most cases is contained in a paper record that goes into individual files.

It’s also up to soldiers to indicate in questionnaires if they suspect they have sustained certain injuries.

To test for hearing loss at home, military doctors have to rely on antiquated 1970s-vintage audiometres for which replacement parts are not being made and can produce only a paper document.

The absence of any condensed data on injuries has left the Forces without a global, detailed picture of the injuries affecting soldiers serving in environments characterized by bomb blasts, gunfire and loud equipment.

“The usefulness of that sort of data is to provide us with a track record as to changes in the patterns of injuries or illnesses,” says Bryan Garber, a deployment health specialist with the Canadian Forces health services group in Ottawa.

“We don’t actually have any current numbers on the incidence of mild traumatic brain injury in the Canadian Forces population serving in Afghanistan.”

Statistics and studies coming out of the U.S. indicate one in four soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan have damaged hearing, caused largely by blasts from improvised explosive devices, suicide bomb explosions and prolonged exposure to noisy vehicles.

According to Veterans Affairs Canada, close to 320 military personnel who served in Afghanistan since 2001 are now receiving disability benefits linked to hearing loss.

Of the total number of Canadian veterans receiving benefits, roughly half are due to a hearing impairment.

“There are a lot we do in the military that are very damaging to hearing and that has always been so,” said Maj. Sandra West, a base surgeon at the Ottawa military clinic who spent seven months in Afghanistan earlier this year.

“It’s very hard to protect your hearing all the time just because of the sorts of things we do.”

In 2001, Veterans Affairs had 37,374 clients in receipt of treatment benefits for their hearing loss with total expenditures of $22.6 million.

By this March, that number had risen to 47,347 clients at a cost of $38.5 million.

“This is a huge problem,” said Tsekrekos. “Hearing loss is the biggest occupational health issue in the Canadian Forces.”

More than seven years after troops have been on the ground in Afghanistan, the Forces are in the process of trying to implement systems to collect data on brain injuries and hearing loss.

Tsekrekos says they plan on introducing new computerized audiometres possibly in the next few years that will create a digital record and help produce a Force-wide picture of hearing loss.

The military is also implementing a system to collect information on brain injuries used by the United States called the Joint Theatre Trauma Registry. Garber said the system should be up and running sometime next year.

He estimates that the numbers of troops indicating mild traumatic brain injuries could range up to 20 per cent, but that most wouldn’t likely have long-term problems.

“It should be providing more stable statistics on the incidence of this and what the recovery looks like,” he said.

A recent study by the U.S. RAND Corp. found that 320,000 former serving members sustained mild traumatic brain injuries, but that the majority had no persistent symptoms.

Garber said reports on brain injuries among international troops have overstated the extent of the problem and fail to explain that the bulk of people who experience mild brain injuries recover spontaneously within weeks or months.

Source

Elusive threats boost PTSD risk in Afghanistan

Coalition divided on Dutch Congo role


November 7 2008

The coalition parties are divided on the position foreign affairs minister Maxine Verhagen should take on sending European troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo where thousands have fled their homes fearing violence from rebel militias.

Labour and the orthodox Christian CU party want the minister to push for European troops to be deployed as part of the UN mission in Congo, reports ANP news service. But the senior coalition Christian Democrats feel the Netherlands should not get involved if it is not prepared to provide troops itself.

The Netherlands cannot offer military support for Congo as it already has soldiers serving in Chad and Afghanistan, says ANP.

Source

Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 5:36 am  Comments Off on Coalition divided on Dutch Congo role  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In memory those who gave their lives

War is a Nightmare.

Being a soldier is:

Seeing death, destruction and your fellow soldiers dying. It is more difficult then one could ever imagine.

Every day one wakes up not knowing, if they would still be alive at the end of the day.

Soldiers should be remembered with the greatest of respect.

They give their lives, as many around the world have done for each and every war.

There have been too many wars, too much death. They never seem to stop.

The losses because of war are ongoing.

Every day there is a loss of life whether it be soldier or civilian.

When will we ever learn, war is not the answer. Prevention is.

Many wars could be prevented and the political will seems to be weak in the prevention.

Too often it is used to gain wealth, power and control over another nation.

Lives are sacrificed because of lies and propaganda when in reality the problems could and should have been solved in other ways.

To often people jump on the band wagon of war as a solution, not realizing the impact of what war really means.

It means death of many innocent people, destruction of countries, and ongoing hate for years to come.

It means the loss of families, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, children, parents and friends.

It means future generations must live with the consequences of the pollution left by deadly weapons, that destroy for years to come.

It means that the one person who may have found the cure for cancer or other incurable diseases may have been killed and hence the cure is lost in the past forever.

Each person has a gift of one sort or another and with each death is lost a gift.

We have lost over the years the potential of millions of gifts.

Close your Eyes and :

Imagine if you can, if John Lennon had been killed in a war, how much we would have lost from his life’s gift to us all. How he has inspired millions around the world. The gift he left us, is wonderful. “Give Peace a Chance”.  John was a warrior a warrior for Peace.

Imagine if you can if James Blunt had died in the war in Kosovo.  We would not have “No Bravery” a heartfelt song about war. His gift of song is beautiful.

Imagine if you can if Cliff Hudson had died,  he wrote the song “Send My Love” for his wife while stationed in Ramadi, Iraq.  He has a special gift. 

It’s hard for many to realize how hard it is for someone when they are in a war zone, but Cliff expresses it so well.

Imagine the children who’s parents came home, how fortunate they are, but what if they didn’t?

Imagine if your son or daughter was lost forever because of war.

What are the gifts they held in their hearts?

What could they have done?  They would have had a future. They could been many things.

Unfortunately their futures were stolen from them and we will never known. 

Imagine the Doctors and Nurses who died because of war. How many lives would they have saved had they not died?

Imagine if you will, that my father had died in the war and I was not here today to share this with you.

Imagine you died because of a war. Think of how many lives you have touched and the simple things that may have changed the life of another. Whether we know it or not, sometimes it is the simplest things that we do, that can change another persons perspective in life for the better.

Be it a poem that touches your heart or a smile to brighten someone’s day.

There are so many ways to impact another life.

I wrote this some time ago for a friend of mine.  He wanted people to know how he saw the children of war.  So he talked about things he saw and how he felt. This I wrote from his memory.  He was my inspiration.

He was a most beautiful man. He had a heart of gold and memories of great sorrow.

There is no glory in war.

Through the eye of children he saw their suffering.

Through his eyes came a child’s cry.

He helped me understand how hard it is to be a soldier.

So in memory of him I will share this with you.

A Child’s Cry

Can you imagine how I see life?

Can you understand what it feels like?

Can you know the agony?

Can you know how often I cry?

Is it so much to want to be happy?

Is it so much to want peace?

Is it so much to ask for love?

Is it so much trouble?

My friends have died.

My life is hopeless.

My relatives are sick.

My home is gone.

I am just a little kid.

I am so scared.

I am not who you think I am.

I am not bad.

Can you imagine how I feel?

Can you understand what I say?

Can you now see why I need help?

Can I tell you I am afraid? I am.

Is it so hard for you to understand?

Is it that I am different?

Is it my religion?

Is it I don’t count?

My memories scare me.

My thoughts are all sad.

My future is short.

My mother always has tears in her eyes.

I am just a little kid.

I am dying.

I am not who you think I am.

I am only kid.

Can you stop the bombs from coming down?

Can you stop the guns?

Can you help my mommy stop crying?

Can you take care of my friends?

It is hard to leave them knowing they are so sad.

It is not my fault.

It is not me who started this.

It is not easy to be a kid sometimes.


He was a Warrior

He was fighting for peace

I can’t find the word just the tear.

When I reached out my hand to you.

You reached back and took mind in yours.

We shared Our happy and sad moments

Your were truly a Special Gift to The World.

Now you are with the Angles.

I Miss you.

I will always “Remember” what you taught me.

It was an honor to know you.

I know you are in Heaven.

Know I am thinking of you.

People come into our lives for many reasons.

Some for a short time, others for life time.

Remember those who died with love and understanding.

Be thankful for those who somehow survive.

They give a gift to each of us, in their own special way.

May we someday find peace.

Let Love be our guide.

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 12:25 pm  Comments Off on In memory those who gave their lives  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On this Remembrance Sunday In Britain

White crosses bearing poppies and personal messages to the fallen fill the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, London, yesterday

JASON ALDEN

White crosses bearing poppies and personal messages to the fallen fill the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, London, yesterday

So, what are we fighting for today?
By Cole Moreton

November 9 2008

On this Remembrance Sunday, British soldiers standing in dusty battle fatigues in Afghanistan will remember a friend whose death was so recent that the feelings are still raw.

Yubraj Rai was shot during an ambush by the Taliban. Medics tried to save him, but they couldn’t. The 28-year-old died in a land where the poppy does not mean remembrance. It means opium, money and power. And death.

His mates have spoken about a man with a ready smile that hid how “brave, strong and hard” he was. Yubraj used his pay from the Royal Gurkha Rifles to support a mother, sister and three brothers back home in Nepal. “We are proud of you,” said one of his closest comrades, “and what you did for us, your family and for the Queen.”

His death in a skirmish south of the town of Musa Qala may well have passed you by. It wasn’t much of a news event. A kind of media battle weariness has set in, as the number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan has continued to rise. Rifleman Rai was the 228th British Army soldier to die in those countries since 2001. It happened on Tuesday, as the world watched America vote for a new president.

Barack Obama has already said that Afghanistan will be his number one foreign policy priority, and it needs to be. As Americans prepared to vote, their missiles were killing 40 people at a wedding party in southern Kandahar. Seven years after the attack on New York, the US is fighting an indefatigable enemy in Afghanistan. But why? That is the question Barack Obama needs to answer, and that British leaders also face today.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London this morning, in the company of the Queen and more than 8,000 veterans. It is 90 years since the end of the First World War. But as the casualties are remembered, and the folly of Iraq seems to be coming to an end with talk of withdrawals by the US and Britain, there is mounting anxiety within the military about the potentially deadly lack of focus in Afghanistan.

The operation is seen as “half-cocked”, “overstretched” and “confused”. Senior military figures and soldiers recently returned from the field speak of a “failure of leadership” that amounts to “a betrayal”. The strongest words come today from a major who lost men in some of the fiercest fighting of modern times, and who uses an exclusive interview with the IoS to launch a scathing attack on the command structure he describes as “farcical” and political decision-makers he sees as “irresponsible”. Major Will Pike says soldiers need to be given a much clearer sense of who is in charge and what they are supposed to be trying to achieve – as well as the resources to do the job, instead of just fighting for their own survival.

Major Pike led a company of the Parachute Regiment’s third battalion during the vicious battle of Sangin in 2006, but resigned from the army altogether last year after a spell in Whitehall. Rare as it is for a commander to criticise his masters on the record so soon after leaving the battlefield, distinguished military figures have lined up behind his attack. “There has been a failure of leadership in Afghanistan,” agreed Colonel Bob Stewart, former UN commander of British troops in Bosnia. “We’ve forgotten the lessons of British military history. When we were in Malaya we created safe areas and held them. We are not doing that in Afghanistan. We go into a town but we don’t have the resources to hold it so the Taliban come back.”

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, writing in the IoS today, also agrees. He describes the lack of a clear strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan as “a betrayal” of the soldiers there.

British casualties have slowed in Iraq, with only two this year, but there have been 36 deaths in Afghanistan. Barack Obama has spoken of winding down the US presence in Iraq and sending 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan instead. He must also decide whether or not to negotiate with the Taliban. Yesterday Douglas Alexander, the Secretary for International Development, said Britain also intended a “significant drawdown” of its 4,000 troops in Iraq. Military experts hope that will at last give the overtaxed military a chance to finish what it started in Afghanistan, if command structures can be put right.

Major-General Patrick Cordingley, leader of the Desert Rats in the first Gulf War, said: “At the low level, the Army is doing well and fighting bravely in a difficult war. What we’re not getting right is co-ordinating the Foreign Office, NGOs and the military in a way that can create a sense of security – and that’s to do with so few troops on the ground.” Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP and former commander of the Sherwood Foresters, said a very senior serving officer had “expressed grave doubts” to him about progress, for the same reasons: a lack of resources, co-ordination and planning. “There is no point in building a school and then pulling out so the Taliban come and burn the school down.”

Major Will Pike said the command structure during his action in southern Afghanistan in 2006 was “farcical”, with the military and British government agencies following “rival agendas” that left troops isolated and overstretched. Resources were “pathetic”, with not nearly enough troops, helicopters or radio training and Land-Rovers that were “disgraceful”.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said the Armed Forces were working “incredibly hard in difficult and challenging circumstances but we are making progress. UK Commanders in Afghanistan have said that deployed brigades are now the best equipped they have ever been”.

However, an SAS commander quit last week over kit issues. And Major Pike said the biggest continuing problem was a command failure at the top. “Who is in charge of the campaign? Is it the Secretary of State for Defence? Is it the Foreign Secretary? Is it the Minister for International Development? Who is it? That’s not clear.”

Nor was the mission. Soldiers had been told they were preparing the way for the country to be rebuilt, but NGOs were reluctant to work with them. “We go into these things half-cocked, relying on the military to do it all. That is never going to work.”

Afghanistan’s nightmare: Taliban resurgent, opium booming and famine stalking the land

Civilian casualties At least 1,000 non-combatant Afghans have been killed this year.

Kabul in chaos Suicide bombers and assassins are increasingly active, spreading terror among government and aid workers.

Taliban on the march Large parts of the south and east again under control of those “defeated” seven years ago.

Soldiers dying 70,000 troops from 40 nations have now poured in, but the risks rise as resistance stiffens.

Conflict spreading Over the border, more than 100 people have been killed by US drones, stretching relations with Pakistan to breaking point.

Bumper opium crops UK-occupied Helmand has become world’s heroin hub.

Spectre of famine More than eight million Afghans face severe hunger this winter.

Civil liberties Things seem to be slipping backwards in tribal areas.

Source

The Road to Peace is needed.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 11:02 am  Comments Off on On this Remembrance Sunday In Britain  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Elusive threats boost PTSD risk in Afghanistan

A Canadian soldier stands guard at the side of a suicide attack in the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008. (AP / Allauddin Khan)

A Canadian soldier stands guard at the side of a suicide

attack in the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan on

Sept. 11, 2008. (AP / Allauddin Khan)

A Canadian soldier carries an improvised explosive device out of the grape field in which Taliban fighters had hidden it, on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008 in Nakoney, Afghanistan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Bob Weber)

A Canadian soldier carries an improvised explosive device

out of the grape field in which Taliban fighters had hidden it, on

Oct. 8, 2008 in Nakoney, Afghanistan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Bob Weber)

November 8 2008

Stefania Moretti

Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan are up against two dangerous adversaries. The first, the elusive enemy; the second, the less-tangible threat of mental breakdown.

Indeed, new studies suggest soldiers deployed to Afghanistan are more likely to suffer from mental illness because of the high degree of uncertainty that characterizes the NATO-led mission.

Traditionally, wars have been fought on the front lines of the battlefield with an identifiable enemy in uniform. But in Afghanistan, the enemy is “elusive,” said one mental health expert. Threat can come from anywhere.

Afghanistan has been described as a 360-degree war with virtually no safe zone. Suicide bombers dressed in civilian garb, improvised explosive devices strewn across the treacherous “Highway of Death” connecting Kabul and Kandahar and entire communities surrounded by deadly land mines means soldiers face around-the-clock danger.

As a result, Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are likely at higher risk of developing post-traumatic disorder than their comrades serving in other missions, Dr. Alain Brunet, of the Douglas Research Centre and McGill University, recently told CTV.ca in a telephone interview from Montreal.

British troops sent to Afghanistan last year were nine times more likely to suffer from PTSD, according to that country’s Ministry of Defence in a study released this month. Most British troops are stationed in Helmand province — a less volatile region than Canadians stationed in the Taliban hotbed of Kandahar province.

Veterans Affairs Canada pegs the number of Canadian war vets who will experience PTSD as high as 10 per cent.

But the figure only represents former soldiers, and does not reflect soldiers currently on duty in Afghanistan, where the risk of PTSD is likely much different, Brunet said.

As many as 28 per cent of troops come back from armed combat with one or more mental health issues, according to data complied by the head of the Canadian military’s deployment health section last year. Of those:

  • seventeen per cent exhibited signs of high-risk drinking
  • five per cent showed symptoms of PTSD
  • five per cent had signs of serious depression

Since the mission in Afghanistan began in 2002, the number of Veterans Affairs members with a PTSD condition has more than tripled, up from roughly 1,800 to 6,500, according to a Veterans Affairs briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press in March. Veterans Affairs expect the numbers will continue to climb with troops scheduled to stay until at least 2011.

In 2007, the number of suicides among regular and reserve members of the Canadian Forces rose to 36, the highest in more than a decade, military police records from earlier this year show.

There is a sense that there has been a recent surge in PTSD, and it can be attributed to a number of factors, Brunet said.

The spike in military PTSD cases may also stem from fewer cases going unreported, thanks to education and screening programs implemented by the army in recent years.

Within two months of returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan soldiers undergo a mandatory PTSD assessment followed by several weeks off and counseling.

Brunet, whose research focuses on the risk and remission factors associated with the disorder, said an officer with PTSD symptoms should not be re-deployed because the risks are “cumulative.”

“The more you go (to Afghanistan) the more likely you are to develop the disease,” he said, adding the diagnosis of PTSD in the army is “amazingly important.”

Dozens of soldiers have already completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and some could face a third if the mission is extended.

But significant barriers preventing PTSD diagnoses among soldiers remain, despite efforts made by the Canadian Armed Forces to educate soldiers about the disease.

Having PTSD can be a career-ender for a soldier, Brunet said.

A combination of this fear of dismissal from duty and the “macho culture” that permeates the force makes officers hesitate to disclose their problems, Brunet said. “We are sending mixed messages.”

The “hallmark” of PTSD is persistent nightmares, but symptoms can also include, flashbacks, gaps in memory, detachment from loved ones, little control over impulses, problems concentrating, anger and irritability.

Although it’s natural to experience any or all of these symptoms after witnessing a traumatic event, PTSD sufferers become incapacitated by their frequency and severity.

“Personally, I wouldn’t want to have a comrade working with me and to have to rely on someone with PTSD,” Brunet said.

Source

Afghan veterans more likely to suffer from mental illness

Romanian and Bulgaria To Withdraw Troops From Iraq

Romanian minister says 500 troops to leave Iraq


BUCHAREST,

November 6 2008

Romania’s defense minister says the country’s 501 peacekeepers in Iraq will all leave by the end of the year.

Teodor Melescanu said some Romanian military personnel will work in 2009 as counselors to local authorities and supporting the civilian population.

Speaking Thursday in the western city of Arad, Melescanu he said was awaiting clarification of their new role from the Iraqi government.

He says Iraq “will call for a substantial reduction in foreign military troops and a change in (their) mission.”

The moves must be formally approved by Romania‘s Supreme Defense Council.

Two Romanian soldiers have died in Iraq since 2003. Romania is member of NATO and also has 644 soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Source

Bulgaria To Withdraw Soldiers From Iraq At Year-end


SOFIA,

November 6 2008

Bulgaria plans to withdraw its 155-strong military contingent in Iraq when its mandate expires at the end of this year, government officials said in newspaper interviews Thursday.

“We are evaluating our presence there (in Iraq), but we estimate that we have to a great extent fulfilled our mission,” Foreign Affairs Minister Ivaylo Kalfin told the daily 24 Hours.

The announcement came after U.S. Democratic party candidate Barack Obama won the presidential elections Tuesday. Obama has vowed to withdraw the majority of U.S. troops from Iraq by mid-2010.

Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Nikolay Tsonev told Trud newspaper that the Bulgarian contingent stationed near the capital Baghdad “will be withdrawn before Dec. 31,” when the parliamentary mandate expires.

Parliament has the final say over whether to extend the troops’ mandate or bring them home.

But Kalfin said Thursday that Bulgaria would continue contributing to peace and stability in Iraq by sending instructors to train the Iraqi security forces.

After joining the U.S.-led coalition in the country in 2003, Bulgaria lost 13 soldiers and six civilians.

The country’s center-left government withdrew its 360-strong military contingent from Iraq in 2005 in a move to meet its pre-election pledges.

But three months later it dispatched a 155-strong contingent on a ” peacekeeping and humanitarian mission” to guard the Ashraf refugee camp at the border with Iran.

Source

Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 6:56 am  Comments Off on Romanian and Bulgaria To Withdraw Troops From Iraq  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

MoD should ‘hang heads in shame’ over corporal’s death

A photograph issued by the MoD of Corporal Mark Wright

A photograph issued by the MoD of Corporal Mark Wright

October 17 2008

A coroner today blamed the death of soldier in a minefield in Afghanistan on a lack of equipment and said those responsible “should hang their heads in shame”.

A catalogue of serious failures contributed to the death of Corporal Mark Wright, 27, who was killed by a blast as a Chinook helicopter attempted to rescue a platoon of Paras, coroner Andrew Walker said.

Recording a narrative verdict following the conclusion of a two-week inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court, Mr Walker said the lack of resources “was simply about money”.

He highlighted three factors that caused Cpl Wright’s death – the lack of appropriate UK helicopters in Afghanistan fitted with a winch, the downwash from the Chinook sent to the minefield, and the administrative delay in sending a suitable helicopter.

Cpl Wright, from Edinburgh, was posthumously awarded a George Cross medal – the highest military honour for actions which are not in the face of the enemy.

Six others were hurt, including three who lost limbs, during the incident in the region of Kajaki in Helmand Province on September 6 2006.

Two American Blackhawk helicopters, fitted with winches, were eventually sent to rescue the soldiers – three and a half hours after the first explosion was reported.

Following the inquest his father Bob told reporters that he was proud of the courage his son showed in serving his country.

Reading a statement on behalf of him and his wife Jem he said: “We are satisfied that Mark did not cause his own death or contribute to it in any way. This will give us some peace of mind.

“As to the how, it has been painful to listen to the catalogue of errors that led to Mark’s death.

“However, the coroner has made recommendations that must be followed. Jem and I don’t want any other families to experience the loss of their child in similar circumstances.”

The inquest had heard that the Chinook had been sent in to rescue troops from the Parachute Regiment’s 3rd Battalion who had been injured by explosions after a sniper strayed into the unmarked danger zone.

The marooned soldiers had requested that a helicopter with a winch be sent to extract the sniper, whose leg had been blown off, but were told none was available.

Instead the Chinook, which was not fitted with a winch, was dispatched but was waved away for fear of causing further explosions as it tried to land.

As it took off, a mine exploded, causing Cpl Wright, who was trying to help injured comrades, severe shrapnel wounds from which he later died.

Mr Walker described Cpl Wright as an “exceptional soldier” and one of the “rare breeds” who act with “unhesitating courage in the most desperate circumstances”.

He said: “This selfless courage forms part of a tradition within our armed forces and Cpl Wright will continue to be an inspiration for those who follow.

“That a brave soldier is lost in battle is always a matter of deep sadness but when that life is lost where it need not have been because of a lack of equipment and assets, those responsible should hang their heads in shame.

“This tragedy has its roots in the expectation that a small force of dedicated professional soldiers would be expected to extend the scope and number of their operations without the necessary support.”

Mr Walker said there were a number of serious failures that contributed to the death of Cpl Wright.

He said the fact that there were insufficient batteries for radios at observation posts leaving soldiers having to resort to firing shots in the air to attract their colleagues “simply beggars belief”.

He also criticised the teaching methods used to train soldiers to locate and mark mines and said training failed to take account of the technology that was available to better address the detection of mines.

Another failure was the fact no assessment of the mine threat at Kajaki was made until an expert visited the area following Cpl Wright’s death, said Mr Walker.

Other criticisms included the individual failure of the officer responsible for passing updated information about the mine threat being unable to interpret the maps and that local knowledge had been ignored.

Source

Published in: on October 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm  Comments Off on MoD should ‘hang heads in shame’ over corporal’s death  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War

Stephen Harper hid the cost of the war


As you may have seen from reports in yesterday and today’s morning newspapers, the cost of the war in Afghanistan will reach $18 billion by the end of 2011, according to a new report released by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

The report, by Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, does not even include the salaries of the 2500 soldiers in Afghanistan, and is still much higher than the $8 billion estimated cost provided by the Conservative government, which included salaries.

I attended the press conference yesterday in Ottawa, and during the announcement of the investigation, Page noted that this study is incomplete because he did not receive full co-operation from government departments, including the military. Even worse, those departments may not realize how much they are spending on the war because of sloppy accounting.

This the first public costing of the war completed by a government office or department. The study was produced at the request of NDP MP for Ottawa Centre Paul Dewar.

Earlier this week, David Macdonald and I released our own costing of the war in Afghanistan called The Cost of the War and the End of Peacekeeping: The Impact of Extending the Afghanistan Mission.

Based on our calculations, the cost of the war to the government coffers, including the salaries of the troops, will be $21 billion. Add to that the financial loss felt by families and communities from so many young men and women injured or killed, and the impact reaches $28 billion.

I was astounded to see that the Parliamentary Budget Office’s findings, when adjusted to use comparable methodologies, are actually much higher than our own results. Therefore the real cost is higher than anyone imagines.

Our report went a step further to look at our military’s contribution to peacekeeping, and we learned that it has dropped by more than 80 per cent since the beginning of the Afghanistan war. This year the military will spend a paltry $15 million for the entire year on UN peacekeeping, the equivalent of what we spend on the war in just two or three days. We contribute only 63 soldiers for UN peacekeeping operations – they could all fit into a school bus!

Yesterday we were busy discussing the cost of the war to Canadians through the national news media, in both Quebec and the rest of Canada. Here you can watch interviews on CTV Newsnet, CBC Radio, CBC TV, GlobalTV, and Business News Network. We also received coverage in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and elsewhere.

Our message was this:

• The $18 billion estimate for the cost of the Afghanistan war provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office is very large – the largest anyone has seen. It is welcome information and should serve as a basis for further reporting.

• The number is likely too low, because the office did not receive full co-operation from the departments involved, including the military. The Prime Minister should have instructed departments to co-operate fully.

• It is appalling that Conservative and Liberal MPs voted to extend the war by three years, to December 2011, without even knowing that they were approving the expenditure of an additional $7 billion over the $11 billion already spent.

• With financial storm clouds gathering on the horizon and no large budget surpluses to rely upon, will the government cut social programs to fund the war and avoid tax increases or a deficit?

I would like to hear from you. Do you think the Afghanistan war has been worth the cost?

Source

Stephen Harper hid the cost of the war

Sparks fly over Afghan mission cost

Budget officer admits $18.1B estimate likely low

Mike Blanchfield , Canwest News Service

Published: Thursday, October 09, 2008

OTTAWA – Opposition leaders attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday for hiding the full cost of the Afghanistan mission after the Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page said a lack of “transparency” meant his projection of up to $18.1 billion was on the low side.

The eagerly awaited report of the cost of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan catapulted the mission back to the centre of the federal election with five days left in the campaign.

Page took pains to present his office’s analysis – sparked by a request from a frustrated NDP MP – as apolitical.

The cost of the war in Afghanistan, from the time it began until it is scheduled to end in 2011, will cost each and every Canadian household $1,500.

But Page’s criticism of a confused bureaucracy that didn’t have its numbers straight placed Harper on the defensive when the Liberals, NDP and the Bloc Quebecois piled on criticism.

Page’s report cites a cost in the range of $13.9 billion to $18.1 billion to 2011. But several relevant departments – including Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Agency, the military’s two main partners in Afghanistan – refused to give his office additional figures beyond what they had already posted on their websites.

Page’s estimate means each household is contributing $1,500 to support the deployment. But because of inconsistent government bookkeeping, that figure would be significantly higher because departments “have not met any appropriate standard or best practice,” said Page, who called on Treasury Board to implement a streamlined practice.

“Budget transparency for parliamentarians and Canadians needs to be improved,” Page said. “When compared with international experience, Canada appears to lag behind the best practices of other jurisdictions.”

Page did not spare the previous Liberal government, which first sent Canadian troops to Afghanistan, when he said: “Although Canada is in the seventh year of the mission, Parliament has not been provided with estimates by successive governments on the fiscal costs incurred by all relevant departments.”

Paul Dewar, the NDP MP for Ottawa Centre who requested Page’s investigation, said knowing the true cost of the mission would have radically changed the House of Commons debate earlier this year that extended the Afghanistan mission by two years to 2011.

“The reason I asked the Parliamentary Budget Officer for this study is because the government would not answer my questions in the House nor at committee nor through order paper question. So Canadians were never given the facts,” Dewar said. “This is the tip of the iceberg as you’ve heard today.”

Dewar argued Page’s finding showed Harper could not be trusted and he reiterated his party’s stand that Canada’s 2,500 troops should be withdrawn within months.

Page’s estimate is still significantly higher than the original $8 billion that has been publicly cited, said Dewar.

The Canwest News Service first reported that figure in April based on an Access to Information request made by the NDP.

“The debate is not that the numbers are wrong. It’s a debate about what to include and what not to include. This is something that governments of both stripes have been supporting for a decade,” the prime minister said.

“One can go back and debate, ‘Should we have made this commitment in 2002, should we have gone into Kandahar in 2005?’ These are interesting questions. But the fact is the commitment was made, and this government has no option but to respect its obligations.”

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion accused Harper failing to provide Canadians with an accurate year-to-year account of spending.

“It is the false transparency that is the problem,” said Dion.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said the Conservatives were not being “transparent and honest” with Canadians.

“In presenting numbers that were grossly erroneous on the cost of the mission in Afghanistan, Harper wanted to mislead the population,” Duceppe said.

Page was supposed to report to Parliament last month, but it was dissolved when Harper called an election.

Page then said he would be willing to release his figures before Canadians went to the polls on Oct. 14 if all major party leaders agreed. They did.

The report said that CIDA’s departmental performance reports “do not provide annual spending in Afghanistan for individual projects.”

The Canadian government has earmarked $1.9 billion between 2001-2011 for development spending in Afghanistan.

“VAC (Veterans Affairs Canada) does not report basic financial data specific to the Afghanistan mission, although Canada’s involvement in the Afghanistan mission is a major project and the death, disability, medical and stress related payments are fiscally material,” the report said.

So far, 97 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan, while hundreds more have been injured.

The military also does not provide “mission specific details” to parliament, the report found.

“For example, it is impossible to determine how many reservists were deployed for each year of the mission; how much fuel was consumed; or the level of expenditure on equipment reset and betterment, for all Afghanistan related operations.”

Page backed away from publicly criticizing the various government departments after the report’s release, saying he wanted to build bridges with the bureaucracy.

His new oversight office was created this past spring, and is a largely unknown entity in Ottawa, he said, but is determined to bring better “fiscal transparency” to the federal government.

“It’s important for me to be diplomatic,” Page said, while also making clear he’s not worried about being kicked out of a job if he ruffles a few feathers.

“Do I look afraid? I promise you I’m not afraid.”

Source

Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 2:29 am  Comments Off on Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Depleated Uranium Information

Depleted uranium: Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets
A death sentence here and abroad

Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” – Henry Kissinger, quoted in “Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW’s in Vietnam”Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation.

And what about our soldiers? Terry Jemison of the Department of Veterans Affairs reported this week to the American Free Press that “Gulf-era veterans” now on medical disability since 1991 number 518,739, with only 7,035 reported wounded in Iraq in that same 14-year period.

This week the American Free Press dropped a “dirty bomb” on the Pentagon by reporting that eight out of 20 men who served in one unit in the 2003 U.S. military offensive in Iraq now have malignancies. That means that 40 percent of the soldiers in that unit have developed malignancies in just 16 months.

Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only, this is strong evidence for researchers and scientists working on this issue, that DU is the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Vaccines are not known to cause cancer. One of the first published researchers on Gulf War Syndrome, who also served in 1991 in Iraq, Dr. Andras Korényi-Both, is in agreement with Barbara Goodno from the Department of Defense’s Deployment Health Support Directorate, that in this war soldiers were not exposed to chemicals, pesticides, bioagents or other suspect causes this time to confuse the issue.

This powerful new evidence is blowing holes in the cover-up perpetrated by the Pentagon and three presidential administrations ever since DU was first used in 1991 in the Persian Gulf War. Fourteen years after the introduction of DU on the battlefield in 1991, the long-term effects have revealed that DU is a death sentence and very nasty stuff.

Scientists studying the biological effects of uranium in the 1960s reported that it targets the DNA. Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist retired from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and formerly involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in soldiers from the 2003 war as “spectacular … and a matter of concern.”

This evidence shows that of the three effects which DU has on biological systems – radiation, chemical and particulate – the particulate effect from nano-size particles is the most dominant one immediately after exposure and targets the Master Code in the DNA. This is bad news, but it explains why DU causes a myriad of diseases which are difficult to define.

In simple words, DU “trashes the body.” When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Fulk was more specific: “I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.”

Soldiers developing malignancies so quickly since 2003 can be expected to develop multiple cancers from independent causes. This phenomenon has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the U.S. military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure.

Just 467 U.S. personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served now have medical problems.

The number of disabled vets reported up to 2000 has been increasing by 43,000 every year. Brad Flohr of the Department of Veterans Affairs told American Free Press that he believes there are more disabled vets now than even after World War II.They brought it home

Not only were soldiers exposed to DU on and off the battlefields, but they brought it home. DU in the semen of soldiers internally contaminated their wives, partners and girlfriends. Tragically, some women in their 20s and 30s who were sexual partners of exposed soldiers developed endometriosis and were forced to have hysterectomies because of health problems.

In a group of 251 soldiers from a study group in Mississippi who had all had normal babies before the Gulf War, 67 percent of their post-war babies were born with severe birth defects. They were born with missing legs, arms, organs or eyes or had immune system and blood diseases. In some veterans’ families now, the only normal or healthy members of the family are the children born before the war.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that they do not keep records of birth defects occurring in families of veterans. How did they hide it?

Before a new weapons system can be used, it must be fully tested. The blueprint for depleted uranium weapons is a 1943 declassified document from the Manhattan Project.

Harvard President and physicist James B. Conant, who developed poison gas in World War I, was brought into the Manhattan Project by the father of presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry’s father served at a high level in the Manhattan Project and was a CIA agent.

Conant was chair of the S-1 Poison Gas Committee, which recommended developing poison gas weapons from the radioactive trash of the atomic bomb project in World War II. At that time, it was known that radioactive materials dispersed in bombs from the air, from land vehicles or on the battlefield produced very fine radioactive dust which would penetrate all protective clothing, any gas mask or filter or the skin. By contaminating the lungs and blood, it could kill or cause illness very quickly.

They also recommended it as a permanent terrain contaminant, which could be used to destroy populations by contaminating water supplies and agricultural land with the radioactive dust.

The first DU weapons system was developed for the Navy in 1968, and DU weapons were given to and used by Israel in 1973 under U.S. supervision in the Yom Kippur war against the Arabs.

The Phalanx weapons system, using DU, was tested on the USS Bigelow out of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1977, and DU weapons have been sold by the U.S. to 29 countries.

Military research report summaries detail the testing of DU from 1974-1999 at military testing grounds, bombing and gunnery ranges and at civilian labs under contract. Today 42 states are contaminated with DU from manufacture, testing and deployment.

Women living around these facilities have reported increases in endometriosis, birth defects in babies, leukemia in children and cancers and other diseases in adults. Thousands of tons of DU weapons tested for decades by the Navy on four bombing and gunnery ranges around Fallon, Nevada, is no doubt the cause of the fastest growing leukemia cluster in the U.S. over the past decade. The military denies that DU is the cause.

The medical profession has been active in the cover-up – just as they were in hiding the effects from the American public – of low level radiation from atmospheric testing and nuclear power plants. A medical doctor in Northern California reported being trained by the Pentagon with other doctors, months before the 2003 war started, to diagnose and treat soldiers returning from the 2003 war for mental problems only.

Medical professionals in hospitals and facilities treating returning soldiers were threatened with $10,000 fines if they talked about the soldiers or their medical problems. They were also threatened with jail.

Reporters have also been prevented access to more than 14,000 medically evacuated soldiers flown nightly since the 2003 war in C-150s from Germany who are brought to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert Gould, former president of the Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), has contacted three medical doctors since February 2004, after I had been invited to speak about DU. Dr. Katharine Thomasson, president of the Oregon chapter of the PSR, informed me that Dr. Gould had contacted her and tried to convince her to cancel her invitation for me to speak about DU at Portland State University on April 12. Although I was able to do a presentation, Dr. Thomasson told me I could only talk about DU in Oregon “and nothing overseas … nothing political.”

Dr. Gould also contacted and discouraged Dr. Ross Wilcox in Toronto, Canada, from inviting me to speak to Physicians for Global Survival (PGS), the Canadian equivalent of PSR, several months later. When that didn’t work, he contacted Dr. Allan Connoly, the Canadian national president of PGS, who was able to cancel my invitation and nearly succeeded in preventing Dr. Wilcox, his own member, from showing photos and presenting details on civilians suffering from DU exposure and cancer provided to him by doctors in southern Iraq.

Dr. Janette Sherman, a former and long-standing member of PSR, reported that she finally quit some time after being invited to lunch by a new PSR executive administrator. After the woman had pumped Dr. Sherman for information all through lunch about her position on key issues, the woman informed Dr. Sherman that her last job had been with the CIA.

How was the truth about DU hidden from military personnel serving in successive DU wars? Before his tragic death, Sen. Paul Wellstone informed Joyce Riley, R.N., B.S.N., executive director of the American Gulf War Veterans Association, that 95 percent of Gulf War veterans had been recycled out of the military by 1995. Any of those continuing in military service were isolated from each other, preventing critical information being transferred to new troops. The “next DU war” had already been planned, and those planning it wanted “no skunk at the garden party.”The US has a dirty (DU) little (CIA) secret

A new book just published at the American Free Press by Michael Collins Piper, “The High Priests of War: The Secret History of How America’s Neo-Conservative Trotskyites Came to Power and Orchestrated the War Against Iraq as the First Step in Their Drive for Global Empire,” details the early plans for a war against the Arab world by Henry Kissinger and the neo-cons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That just happens to coincide with getting the DU “show on the road” and the oil crisis in the Middle East, which caused concern not only to President Nixon. The British had been plotting and scheming for control of the oil in Iraq for decades since first using poison gas on the Iraqis and Kurds in 1912.

The book details the creation of the neo-cons by their “godfather” and Trotsky lover Irving Kristol, who pushed for a “war against terrorism” long before 9/11 and was lavishly funded for years by the CIA. His son, William Kristol, is one of the most influential men in the United States.

Both are public relations men for the Israeli lobby’s neo-conservative network, with strong ties to Rupert Murdoch. Kissinger also has ties to this network and the Carlyle Group, who, one could say, have facilitated these omnicidal wars beginning from the time former President Bush took office. It would be easy to say that we are recycling World Wars I and II, with the same faces.

When I asked Vietnam Special Ops Green Beret Capt. John McCarthy, who could have devised this omnicidal plan to use DU to destroy the genetic code and genetic future of large populations of Arabs and Moslems in the Middle East and Central Asia – just coincidentally the areas where most of the world’s oil deposits are located – he replied: “It has all the handprints of Henry Kissinger.”

In Zbignew Brzezinski’s book “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” the map of the Eurasian chessboard includes four regions strategic to U.S. foreign policy. The “South” region corresponds precisely to the regions now contaminated permanently with radiation from U.S. bombs, missiles and bullets made with thousands of tons of DU.

A Japanese professor, Dr. K. Yagasaki, has calculated that 800 tons of DU is the atomicity equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The U.S. has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. Four nuclear wars indeed, and 10 times the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere from atmospheric testing!

No wonder our soldiers, their families and the people of the Middle East, Yugoslavia and Central Asia are sick. But as Henry Kissinger said after Vietnam when our soldiers came home ill from Agent Orange, “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used for foreign policy.”

Unfortunately, more and more of those soldiers are men and women with brown skin. And unfortunately, the DU radioactive dust will be carried around the world and deposited in our environments just as the “smog of war” from the 1991 Gulf War was found in deposits in South America, the Himalayas and Hawaii.

In June 2003, the World Health Organization announced in a press release that global cancer rates will increase 50 percent by 2020. What else do they know that they aren’t telling us? I know that depleted uranium is a death sentence … for all of us. We will all die in silent ways.

Sources used in this story that readers are encouraged to consult:

American Free Press four-part series on DU by

Christopher Bollyn.

Part I: “Depleted Uranium: U.S. Commits War Crime

Against Iraq, Humanity,”

Part II: “Cancer Epidemic Caused by U.S. WMD: MD Says

Depleted Uranium Definitively

Part III: “DU Syndrome Stricken Vets Denied Care:

Pentagon Hides DU Dangers to Deny Medical Care to

Vets”,

Part IV: “Pentagon Brass Suppresses Truth About Toxic

Weapons: Poisonous Uranium Munitions Threaten World”,

August 2004 World Affairs Journal. Leuren Moret:

“Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,”

August 2004 Coastal Post Online. Carol Sterrit: “Marin

Depleted Uranium Resolution Heats Up – GI’s Will Come

Home To A Slow Death,”

World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference, Hamburg, Germany, October 16-19, 2004:

International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan.

Written opinion of Judge Niloufer Baghwat:

Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Nuclear War”

by Akira Tashiro, foreword by Leuren Moret,

DU Information

DU The Human Cost

WHO

Radiation causes cancer and heart problems as many of us know. What Happened In Iraq. How it affected children.

Bring Them Home Now

International Petition to Ban Uranium Weapons
Uranium weapons, often called ‘depleted’ uranium (DU) weapons,
are manufactured from radioactive waste materials produced during the nuclear fuel chain and the production of nuclear weapons. They cause widespread and long lasting radioactive contamination of the environment. These weapon systems are radiologically and chemically toxic.

Many people – innocent civilians especially children, military veterans, industry workers – have illnesses and medical problems, which may be due to their exposure to ‘depleted’ uranium. In areas such as southern Iraq, where uranium munitions were used by the US and the UK, there have been reports of increases in cancers, leukemia and birth defects.

At least 18 countries possess these weapons, the use of which is contrary to existing humanitarian law.

We, the people, need to let governments and the United Nations know that these weapons can have no part in a humane and caring world. Every signature counts!

Horror Of US Depleted
Uranium In Iraq Threatens World

The Fourth International Day of Action: 4th – 6th November 2005
November 6th has been set by theUN as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. ICBUW is therefore asking all groups and individuals to organise actions to ban uranium weapons. Just having a small-scale study meeting or doing a one-person petition on the street will contribute a lot to gathering momentum for the international campaign. So please join us!

There are planned events in Glasgow, Manchester and London, if you’d like to organise something in your own area, or join in with one of the three events mentioned already, please get in touch.

CADU have a wide range of campaign resouces available – posters, leaflets and information packs, contact us for bulk purchases on the cheap..

One Million Reason To Bring Them Home. Write Your Opinion And Reasons To Bring The Soldiers Home

Depleted Uranium Kills Edit Page Title

LEUREN MORET: CONNECTING THE DOTS

You really have to watch these. Radiation impairs your intelligence. Among other things. Connecting the Dots is a wealth of information.
6 video series on Du, Nuclear, and Gulf War Syndrome.
The Planet cannot sustain this type of pollution any longer. They go on for an eternity that cigarettes cause cancer. Well Radiation causes a whole lot more. The wind blows and it goes. There is a cancer epidemic on the planet and this is the major cause along with pesticides and other assorted things. But this is truly one of the worst. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it and it is around you every day because it doesn’t go away.

US DU AND Experiments on the American people Gulf War Illness

DEPLETED URANIUM ALERT
! Invisible War,
This is also a six part series but one seems to be missing.

POISON DUST tells the story of young soldiers who thought they came home safely from the war, but didn’t. Of a veteran’s young daughter … all » whose birth defect is strikingly similar to birth defects suffered by many Iraqi children. Of thousands of young vets who are suffering from the symptoms of uranium poisoning, and the thousands more who are likely to find themselves with these ailments in the years to come. Of a government unwilling to admit there might be a problem here. Filmmaker Sue Harris skillfully weaves the stories of these young veterans with scientific explanations of the nature of “DU” and its dangers, including interviews with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, New York Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez, noted physicist Michio Kaku, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Dr. Helen Caldicott and Major Doug Rokke- the former U.S. Army DU Project head.

Every American who cares about our troops should watch this film. Everyone who cares about the innocent civilians who live in the countries where these weapons are used should watch this film. And everyone who cares about the hatred of Americans that may result from the effects of our government’s actions in using these weapons, should watch this film. Is there a cover-up?

They also use their military bases around the world for testing their weapons. This video shows a few of their testing grounds I have to wonder out of the over 737 how many more are used for such tests. They are contaminating the world with Radiation. I think it’s time the people of the world all stood up and said no more DU or any other radioactive materials. The US has created more illness around the world then you could ever imagine.

Video Depleted Uranium used in Afganistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia!
Which means our soldiers will come home sick or get sick and many will die. AGAIN

DU Contaminates Europe

This is about how Radiation DU can travel and how it did to the UK because of the War in Iraq. A rather interesting read. Seems the wind blows and it goes. Like one needs to be a rocket scientists to figure that one out. It also travels anywhere else the wind blows. Seems a lot of Europe is now contaminated. I am guessing Bush knew this but like everything else Lied. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out either.


Bunker Busters
This is an animation of a Bunker Buster. It also give an idea of how radiation is easily spread. At this point have apparently been scraped.

Union of Concerned Scientists

Recent reports suggest that the Bush administration is considering
using nuclear weapons against Iran. The very fact that nuclear weapon
use is being discussed as an option—against a state that does not have
nuclear weapons and does not represent a direct or imminent threat to
the United States—illustrates the extent to which the Bush
administration has changed U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

“The Bush administration has explicitly rejected the basic precept
that the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons should be to deter the
use of nuclear weapons. It has assigned a new, and provocative, mission
to U.S. nuclear weapons: to dissuade or prevent other countries from
undertaking military programs that could threaten U.S. interests in the
future. A ‘preventive’ nuclear attack on Iran would fall into this
category. It has also blurred the line between nuclear and conventional
weapons by declaring that nuclear weapons can be used as part of
military operations.

“This nuclear policy increases the likelihood that nuclear weapons
will be used, and ultimately decreases U.S. as well as international
security. Instead, the United States should commit itself to strengthen
the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons that has developed over
the past 60 years.

“Plans to use nuclear weapons against Iran also fail to recognize
the immediate dangers inherent in the use of nuclear weapons. The
administration is reportedly considering using the B61-11 nuclear
‘bunker buster’ against an underground facility near Natanz, Iran. The
use of such a weapon would create massive clouds of radioactive fallout
that could spread far from the site of the attack, including to other
nations. Even if used in remote, lightly populated areas, the number of
casualties could range up to more than a hundred thousand, depending on
the weapon yield and weather conditions.

“Threatening to use nuclear weapons against Iran provides the
strongest of incentives for nuclear proliferation, since it would send
the message that the only way for a country to deter nuclear attack is
to acquire its own nuclear arsenal. The administration cannot have its
cake and eat it, too—it cannot have a viable nuclear non-proliferation
policy while continually expanding the roles for its own nuclear
weapons.”

Edit Text

Depleted Uranium For Dummies

Everything you need to know about depleted uranium. Every day our troops remain in Iraq increases the chances that they will come home sick, produce children with birth defects, and die prematurely.
Edit Text

DU *IS* considered a WMD,

I really didn’t want to look at this page again, but here’s what I’m talking about.
[Warning: heartbreakingly, mindnumbingly, soulscreamingly graphic photos!]
THAT is why DU *IS* considered a WMD, illegal under international law – a full-blown Crime Against Humanity!

In Russia I believe it was after bomb testing near a town these same things happened. I remember a documentary I watched on it. The doctors documented all the cases. Right down to children being born with no eyes. There were tons of cases of deformities. Also mentally challenged children being born. Life expectancy was extremely short as well. Cancer rates etc were over whelming. Those pictures reminded me of that Documentary. Exactly the same thing.

Soviet nuclear testing, August 29, 1949-October 24, 1990

US Nuclear testing

Impact of testing Nuclear Bombs

Triggering of Landslides, Tsunamis and Earthquakes
At least one major test-related landslide and consequent Tsunami in Moruroa, on July 25, 1979. Apparently, the 120kiloton weapon, which was supposed to be lowered into a shaft of 800 meters, got stuck at a depth of 400 meters and could not be dislodged. The French authorities decided to explode the device anyway. This explosion resulted in a major underwater landslide of at least one million cubic meters of coral and rock and created a cavity, probably 140 meters in diameter. The underwater landslide produced a major tidal wave comparable to a tsunami, which spread through the Tuamotu Archipelago and injured

“Hiroshima, 70 Times Over. ”
hey folks, this is, uh, intelligent??
“Hiroshima, 70 Times Over. That is what ONE
so-called “Bunker Buster” bomb would unleash.
Calling this a “Bunker Buster” is like calling the bomb
used on Hiroshima” a few fireworks. ” The US Government decided not to use them right after the recent Earth Quake in Pakistan, Afganistan and India.

Link to another article claiming 11,000 GI’s dead from DU exposure.

Link to article by UK radiation expert.

Link to news on DU exposure

DESERT STORM
Deadlier than Vietnam?

Desert Storm fatalities could surpass those from Vietnam, if present trends
continue

ArmyIn Vietnam, between 1964 and 1975, 47,410 Americans died in combat,
while another 10,788 died from other causes, a total of 58,198.1 During
Operation Desert Storm, the reported combat deaths were 148, with another
235 dying from other causes.2

Veterans’ advocates say statistics from Desert Storm should be much higher,
however, reflecting the impact of Gulf War Illness.

Former U.S. Air Force Captain Joyce Riley, for example, expects that in the
next 10 years – or 22 years after the conflict – deaths among the veterans
deployed to the Persian Gulf will rise to between 80,000 and 100,000.

49,783 – 69,783 Deaths* Gulf War (1990-1991)
47,410 Battle Deaths Vietnam War (1964-1975)
385 Battle Deaths Spanish-American War (1898-1902)
1,733 Battle Deaths Mexican War (1846-1848)
2,260 Battle Deaths War of 1812 (1812-1815)
4,435 Battle Deaths American Revolution (1775-1783)

* Projected range of Gulf War veterans’ deaths attributable to Gulf War
Illness by 2013, if present trends continue.

Source for battle deaths: “America’s Wars Fact Sheet,” Department of
Veterans Affairs, May 2001.The Atrocities of DU Upon the Unborn and Newborn – Exposure Wednesday, 5:09 PM

These are some of the atrocities that are caused by the DU weapons used in the Middle East since the first Gulf War. The effects of DU are taking their tolls on civilians, as well as U.S. servicemen and their new born children.

The Great Depleted Uranium Cover-Up

Early Knowledge
The Pentagon Memos
The UKAEA Warning
The Cleanup Team – Dying To Decontaminate The Battlefield
Plutonium Contamination
Disinformation and Sophistry in Collusion

OSAGWI Investigations

UK Royal Society

Canadian DU Researchers Pay The Price

Dirty Tricks


While the use of DU in the 1991 Gulf War was not denied, it is striking that amid all the post-war hype over the success of expensive, high tech weaponry, DU weapons received surprisingly little public praise from Pentagon and US defence industry officials, in the wake of the war.
The US and other NATO governments have always refused to admit to any serious health risks from DU, or to acknowledge the so-called Gulf War Syndrome illnesses suffered by their former soldiers (let alone the “enemy” victims), and the US has consistently refused to even test its Gulf vets.
However, it is abundantly clear that the US authorities have always been aware of DU’s lethal properties, and their silence and refusal to countenance any ill effects from DU, is motivated by a desire to keep on using it, as well as the fear of a flood of compensation claims from their own soldiers (let alone reparations from their victims). The parallels with Agent Orange in Vietnam are all too clear, but the stakes are far higher this time.

Early Knowledge

As early as October 30th 1943, senior scientists from the Manhattan Project (the American WW2 drive to develop the atomic bomb) sent a letter to their director, General Leslie Groves, actually discussing the use of DU as a terrain contaminant, a gas warfare instrument for inhalation and ingestion (“gas” probably refers to the aerosol clouds), and a contaminator of the environment. They predicted (with, as we can now see, great accuracy) that uranium inhalation would lead to:
bronchial irritation coming on in a few hours to a few days … Beta emitting products could get into the gastrointestinal tract from polluted water, or food, or air. From the air, they would get on the mucus of the nose, throat bronchi, etc and be swallowed.
This proposed usage of DU was not pursued, because its effects were deemed too drastic and longlasting, for the sensibilities of the wartime Allied leaders.
Sources: Dr Doug Rokke and Dr Helen Caldicott

In the late 1950s, the Tennesse senator Al Gore Senior (father of the failed 2000 US presidential candidate), proposed dousing the demilitarized zone in Korea with uranium as a cheap safeguard against an attack from the North Koreans.

The Pentagon Memos

Given all the evidence that they were always aware of the dangers, it may seem surprising that no action has so far been taken by any western government to halt the use of DU munitions, or properly investigate its impact on civilians and soldiers.
The reason why they are so protective of their silver bullet is probably encapsulated in the now infamous March 1991 memo from Lt. Colonel Ziehmn of Los Alamos National Laboratory (one of the Pentagon’s main nuclear research centres), stating:
There has been and continues to be a concern regarding the impact of DU 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 be deleted from the arsenal.
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.
<!– The memo ends:
I believe we should keep this sensitive issue at mind, when, after action, reports are written. –>Source: Canada’s CBC TV – image of original memo
Translation: DU is militarily useful, so don’t make a fuss about the dangers

At about the same time, Greg Lyle at the US Defence Nuclear Agency sent this memo to Dr Doug Rokke (head of the US cleanup team in the Gulf), indicating their awareness of the dangers:
Alpha particles (uranium oxide dust) from expended rounds is a health concern but, Beta particles from fragments and intact rounds is a serious health threat, with possible exposure rates of 200 millirads per hour on contact.
Source: Canada’s CBC TV – feature on DU
NB: Levels of 200 millirads/hour and more were subsequently measured in the Gulf War battlefields, thus exceeding in 30 mins, the recommended US annual radiation dose of 100 millirads.

An eerily prescient July 1990 US Army report (ie. the month before Saddam invaded Kuwait), called Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environmental and Health Considerations, had already predicted that large amounts of DU oxides could be inhaled, with “potential radiological and toxicological effects”, and had warned that public knowledge of the dangers of DU could lead to pressure to ban it. The report also acknowledged that:
Assuming US regulatory standards and health physics practices are followed, it is likely that some form of remedial action will be required in a DU post-combat environment.
However, after the scale and cost of cleaning up the DU residue in the post-war Persian Gulf region became clear, the US Army Environmental Policy Institute informed American policymakers in a June 1995 report (Health and Consequences of Depleted Uranium use in the US army), that:
no international law, treaty, regulation, or custom requires the United States to remediate the Persian Gulf War battlefields.
Source: Fahey report, Depleted Uranium Weapons – Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War (Lesson 5)

Despite their denials, the Pentagon obviously knew well that DU was dangerous. The June 1995 US Army report referred to above, also stated that:
Depleted uranium is a low-level radioactive waste and, therefore, must be be desposed of in a licensed repository.
As the journalist Felicity Arbuthnot remarked, the report does not advise disposing of it on a school, hospital, TV station or Chinese embassy.

The UKAEA Warning

Back in the UK, Mr Bartholomew, Business Development Manager at UKAEA, sent a classified paper to the Royal Ordnance on 30 April 1991 (ie. 2 months after Gulf War), warning of a health and environmental catastrophe in Iraq and Kuwait. The UKAEA had calculated that if 50 tonnes of DU dust were inhaled, half a million deaths from cancer would potentially result within 10 years, and his covering letter added:
The whole subject of the contamination of Kuwait is emotive and thus must be dealt with in a sensitive manner. It is necessary to inform the Kuwait government of the problem in a useful way.
This memo’s existence was disclosed on 2nd March 1998, by UK Armed Forces Minister Lord Gilbert, in response to information tabled in the House of Lords, but was then downplayed by both the British government and media.
In fact, Gilbert’s reply that day shows a breathtaking level of ignorance (or more likely, dishonesty) of the facts about DU. Furthermore, the UKAEA paper itself relied on the ICRP’s radiation guidelines, which anti-radiation campaigners such as the LLRC bitterly dispute.
Source: Lords Hansard, 02 March 1998 (includes UKAEA paper and Bartholomew’s covering letter)
Also reported by Felicity Arbuthnot, in the Sunday Herald, 14 January 2001

The Cleanup Team – Dying To Decontaminate The Battlefield

During the Gulf War, the physicist Dr Doug Rokke was recalled to active duty 20 years after serving in Vietnam, and he served with the US Army Preventive Medicine Command, helping to prepare for nuclear/chemical/biological exposures.
After the war, he led the Theatre Depleted Uranium Assessment Team (a handful of officers and civilians), cleaning up contaminated American vehicles that had been hit by DU rounds, and in 1994 he was recalled again, as Director of the army’s Depleted Uranium Project.

In accordance with his directives, Dr Rokke compiled training manuals and videos for assessing, containing and cleaning up DU munitions, and caring for contaminated casualties. His team also made several explicit recommendations: the immediate clean-up of all affected sites, medical screening for anyone possibly exposed to DU, strict use of protective and detection equipment, and prevention of recycling of any materials possibly contaminated.
However, the US military declined to disseminate these instructional materials amongst the US and Allied forces, or to the civilian medical personnel treating affected populations. Nor did the US military comply with any of his recommendations. Rokke asserts that this is motivated by financial concerns, and fears of massive settlements and war reparations.
Dr Rokke now calls for a permanent ban on DU (including on the recycling of it for use in civilian products) and for the US to shoulder the cleanup and medical costs of using DU in Iraq.

At the time of their cleanup operation in the Gulf, Rokke and his team were not equipped with protective gear, or given training about what to expect. They only wore surgical masks rather than gas masks (which might have kept out the DU particles, but then again, they had never been advised to wear them), due to the desert heat.
They measured radioactive emissions inside destroyed vehicles at 2.6 to 10 mSv/hour. The maximum permissible radiation dose to members of the public is 1 mSv per year, so Iraqis (and the many US vets) who entered these vehicles received this in less than an hour.
Dr Rokke’s team also discovered that DU projectiles fragmented in the same way when fired at wooden targets, contradicting official claims that the uranium oxide dust would only result from impact with the most heavily armoured Iraqi tanks. The implications of this, are that there are much larger quantities of DU oxide floating around southern Iraq.
Within weeks of returning to the US, Rokke’s cleanup team began to fall ill. Over 20 of the 100-strong team died in the following 8 years (so said Dr Rokke at the November 1999 CASI conference, where he summarised his findings in the Gulf as “Oh my God !” – Rokke’s presentation is Session 6), and virtually all the rest are ill. Rokke himself suffers from several ailments, including short-term memory loss, breathing difficulties and vision problems.
He reports a catalogue of obstruction, interference, deception and the discarding/destruction of evidence, by US officials. He describes how one 1994 checkup revealed that he had 5,000 times the permissible level of uranium in his body, but he was not told for another two and a half years (thus preventing correlation of symptons with this known exposure – a common experience of sick Gulf War vets).
If Rokke’s experience in the Gulf demonstrates one thing, it is that the cleanup cost is incalculable – if indeed it’s still physically possible. His team took three months to clean up 24 tanks for transport back to the US. The army then took another three years to fully decontaminate them, in a purpose-built vacuum-sealed plant in South Carolina.
Dr Rokke addresses US Senate, 10 November 2000
Hansard, 15 December 1999 – Dr Rokke gives evidence to UK Parliament’s Select Committee on Defence
Disaster News Network interview with Dr Rokke, 28 December 2002 – updates the number of subsequent deaths on his 100-strong cleanup team to 30.

Plutonium Contamination

The January 2001 book, Depleted Uranium: The Invisible War by Martin Meissonnier, Federic Loore and Roger Trilling (published by Robert Laffont, France), was among the first to report that uranium at the US plants which process DU was contaminated with transuranics – highly radioactive elements including plutonium. The plants were meant to process natural uranium, but in the 1950s, without notifying the workers or surrounding communities, the US Department of Energy decided to reprocess spent fuel from military nuclear reactors.
In other words, the many hundreds of tonnes of DU fired in the Gulf and in the Balkans contained elements many thousands of times more dangerous than U238. It was in response to a 17th January 2001 question from Roger Trilling, that the Pentagon (in the the shape of spokesman, Kenneth Bacon) first acknowledged the plutonium contamination which independent scientists began to suspect in the early 1990s.
Lara Marlowe – Irish Times, 1st February 2001

On 20th January 2000, the US Energy Secretery revealed in a written response to Tara Thornton of the MTP that:
One would have to assume depleted uranium includes traces of plutonium.
Der Spiegel – 23rd January 2001

Traces of U236 (a highly radioactive man-made isotope of uranium), plutonium and other transuranics have since been found in American DU munitions. DU produced by other countries such as Russia and Pakistan may be even “dirtier” than the US stockpile. Indeed, depleted uranium should perhaps be better known as uranium-plus.

See The Fire This Time’s plutonium page, for more information on the plutonium contamination.

Disinformation and Sophistry in Collusion

In a brazen illustration of the power of the nuclear industry to evade inspection, the WHO is bound by a 1959 agreement with its fellow UN agency, the IAEA, which gives the unequivocally pro-nuclear IAEA a veto over any attempts by the WHO to research the effects of radiation.
As if to reinforce the point, the US Government, supported by some 40 countries including the UK, voted to cancel a WHO study into the effects of DU on civilians in Iraq in November 2001 – even if the WHO limited itself to the toxicological effects. However, the UN Sub-Committee on Minorities and Human Rights has charged three times that DU is a weapon of mass destruction.

Which is not to say there’s no official research going into the effects of DU. The Olin Corporation is the main US manufacturer of DU anti-tank rounds, and its foundation is generous in funding DU research – “research” which purports to show that DU has no harmful effects …

In December 1984, the FAA issued Advisory Circular 20-123 – Avoiding or Minimizing Encounters With Aircraft Equipped With Depleted Uranium Balance Weights During Accident Investigations.
It is still in effect, and states:
If particles are inhaled or digested, they can be chemically toxic and cause a significant and long-lasting irradiation of internal tissue.
It advises investigators to wear protective clothing at crash sites, and dispose of them afterwards as radioactive waste.
Source: From The Wilderness – November 2001
So the FAA didn’t and doesn’t think DU is safe either !

Bill Mesler writes in the The Nation, 13 May 1997, about how the Pentagon covered up the test-firing of DU in its bases on allied territory.
Pentagon Poison: The Great Radioactive Ammo Cover-Up
But why would they want to conceal such a perfectly harmless activity ?

OSAGWI Investigations
In 1997 the Pentagon established OSAGWI, and after 5 years it had spent nearly $150 million without ever publishing one medical research report or offering a single treatment program for ill Gulf War veterans.
In fact, as of 1998, only 24 GWS victims had ever been examined for uranium in their lungs – and that was prior to OSAGWI’s establishment. Using old insensitive equipment, Dr Belton Burroughs and Dr David Slingerland of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Boston, were able to identify 14 of the 24 as having measurable amounts of DU in their lungs.
Their testing was then ordered to stop, and all their records were subsequently “lost”. Some urine samples were sent to the US Army Radiochemistry Laboratory in Maryland, for testing. Some of them never reached the laboratory, and the results of those that did were supposedly “lost”. After Dr Asaf Durakovic, an internationally recognized expert in internal radioactive contamination, testified about this to the US Congress, he subsequently lost his job with the VA (a Pentagon agency) in 1997.
from Dr Bertell’s 7th May 1998 address at University of Toronto

As concern over GWS and the disaster in Iraq began to grow, an OSAGWI-funded RAND report, A Review of the Scientific Literature as it Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses, Volume 7: Depleted Uranium, was issued in April 1999 and (in contradiction of all the prior official reports and memos I’ve already quoted) repeated officialdom’s public denials that DU was harmful. It also employed a recurring trick, by obfuscating the meaning of the term “natural” uranium, eg. at one point they state that DU is less radioactive than natural uranium (which can only be true if by “natural”, they mean the post-mining but pre-enrichment metal), and then they go on to state that the natural level of uranium concentrations in our water have never done us any harm (but this type of “natural” uranium is millions of times more diffuse than the refined metal – in fact, uranium does not even exist as a solid metal in nature).
Dan Fahey (Gulf War vet who served as a naval officer, and is now an anti-DU and veterans-rights activist with the NGWRC, MTP and Swords to Plowshares) responded with a series of four reports: Dod Analysis I in April 1999, Dod Analysis II: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in June 1999, A Fear of Falling in August 1999 and Don’t Look, Don’t Find in March 2000.
Fahey attacked the RAND report as biased and incomplete, charging that it made no reference to over 100 relevant information sources, and ignored known studies which demonstrated a clear relationship between DU and harm to human health – for example, those carried out by the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. He demonstrated that the RAND authors (one of whom was a member of OSAGWI staff) were clearly ignorant of much existing literature about DU hazards and previous experiments (literature which the RAND report claimed to have reviewed) and they had also based their conclusions on faulty DU exposure estimates provided by the Pentagon. Furthermore, significant information from OSAGWI interviews was also missing from the body of the RAND report.

In a broader critique of the Pentagon’s track record, he points out that not one of the US friendly-fire casualties hit by DU munitions was even tested till the DU Program was established in 1993, and then only a handful were monitored. Even when one of that handful later developed a tumour, the RAND report didn’t mention that, and in fact when VA doctors removed the tumour, they refused to release it to the patient, for independent testing.
In A Fear of Falling, Fahey damns the Pentagon thus:
US military leaders are trying to ensure the unrestricted future use and proliferation of depleted uranium weapons, while attempting to conceal their past failures to prevent DU exposures. Through public relations campaigns disguised as investigations, military leaders promote the illusion of the ‘clean’ war where no one dies, and no one gets sick.

In Don’t Look Don’t Find, Fahey brings up the issue of plutonium contamination, and refers to a 1963 study that showed plutonium levels in the DU stockpile to be hundreds of times above established limits. He concludes that the burden of proof is on the Pentagon, as to whether DU ammunition contained high levels, or merely trace amounts, of plutonium and other transuranics.
Some earlier DU papers by Dan Fahey include:

September 1996: Collateral Damage: How US Troops Were Exposed to Depleted Uranium During the Persian Gulf War
(link is an excerpt only – full report is in the IAC book, Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonour)

March 1997: The Stone Unturned – A Report on Exposures of Persian Gulf War Veterans and Others to Depleted Uranium Contamination

September 1998: Case Narrative – DU Exposures (3rd Edition)

May 1999 Depleted Uranium Weapons – Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War

UK Royal Society
In May 2001, the UK Royal Society – an establishment body, manned by a cosy self-congratulatory coterie of the great and good in waiting for their knighthoods – got in on the denial game, by publishing its own report on DU, Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions. This report was based on a review of existing literature, rather than any new investigations of their own, and contained the astounding claim that a soldier inside any vehicle struck by a DU penetrator – the most dangerous scenario – has only a slightly increased risk of lung cancer.
Their report was derided by the LLRC, which described their findings as “absolute nonsense” and “lying” and also criticised their methodology, for not taking into account the specific hazards of internal radiation sources.
The Laka Foundation’s June 2001 review gave the Royal Society credit for at least allowing Dr Chris Busby of the LLRC to address them, but was otherwise no kinder to their report.
Dr Malcolm Hooper, advisor to the British Gulf War vets, also criticised their report, on 14 June 2001.

In March 2002, the Royal Society produced a follow-up report on the health effects of DU, concentrating on the chemical and long-term environmental risks. It concluded that even for soldiers on the battlefield, exposure levels would be too low to have any adverse effect on any organ. Dr Chris Busby of the LLRC made a series of suggestions to the report’s draft copy all of which were ignored in the final copy, and which led him to conclude that:
There was no real intention to research the area except in ways that were guaranteed not to find anything.
Similarly Malcolm Hooper, Chief Medical advisor to the British Gulf War Veterans commented that:
This is an attempt to give a scientific imprimatur to the stance of the government, which is unacceptable.
See CADU and NRPB comments on the Royal Society’s work.

Canadian DU Researchers Pay The Price – The Case Of Sharma And Horan
In April 1999, Dr Hari Sharma, a nuclear chemist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, found DU traces in the urine of 14 British vets, out of a group of 30 who had send him their samples. Based on his findings, he predicted 1,500 to 10,500 extra cancers among the UK cohort of 53,000 vets.
Soon after, he was sent soil and urine samples by some Wolverhampton prison officers after a fire at a neighbouring DU factory (see Featherstone fire, on UK page), but was sacked from his 30-year university post before they arrived. The samples then went “missing”.
Patricia Horan, a geochemist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, later backed up Dr Sharma’s results for the British vets, using more sensitive equipment. She worked on DU from 1999, but was forced out of her job in July 2002 (and her assistant was dismissed on the same day), having already experienced break-ins and burglaries, and harrassment by her new boss. In August 2002, she co-published her findings with Dietz and Durakovic of the UMRC.
BBC, 27 August 1999

Dirty Tricks
The references to the handling of GWS on the other pages of this site, provide many more examples of the official obstruction of any investigations.
Indeed, they often went beyond that, into intimidation and coercion. The 7th September 2001 Big Issue even reported that Dr Doug Rokke had been shot at, the journalist Felicity Arbuthnot rammed off the road on the A11 in Cambridgeshire by an unmarked car, and British vet Ray Bristow’s DU research stolen in a burglary.
However, I have been unable to find alternative corroboration of any of these stories, apart from Ray Bristow’s burglary (which was actually a raid by MoD police, and is documented in Arbuthnot’s September 1999 New Internationalist article, Poisoned Legacy). This undated Squall article gives a bit more detail, but appears to be based on the same source.
There are also reports of unknown authenticity, that Dr Guenther was seriously injured by a drive-by shooting in Germany.

Source

Plans underway to “Microchip” Newborns in U.S. and Europe

January 2008

Doctor alleges plans underway to “Microchip” Newborns in U.S. and Europe

Compiled by Lucien Desjardins
http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2007/01/08/01290.html

Regarding plans to microchip newborns, Dr. Kilde said the U.S. has been moving in this direction “in secrecy.”

She added that in Sweden, Prime Minister Olof Palme gave permission in 1973 to implant prisoners, and Data Inspection’s ex-Director General Jan Freese revealed that nursing-home patients were implanted in the mid-1980s. The technology is revealed in the 1972:47 Swedish state report, Statens Officiella Utradninger.

Are you prepared to live in a world in which every newborn baby is micro-chipped? And finally are you ready to have your every move tracked, recorded and placed in Big Brother’s data bank? According to the Finnish article, distributed to doctors and medical students, time is running out for changing the direction of military medicine and mind control technology, ensuring the future of human freedom.

“Implanted human beings can be followed anywhere. Their brain functions can be remotely monitored by supercomputers and even altered through the changing of frequencies,” wrote Dr. Kilde. “Guinea pigs in secret experiments have included prisoners, soldiers, mental patients,handicapped children, deaf and blind people, homosexuals, single women, the elderly, school children, and any group of people considered “marginal” by the elite experimenters. The published experiences of prisoners in Utah State Prison, for example, are shocking to the conscience.

“Today’s microchips operate by means of low-frequency radio waves that target them. With the help of satellites, the implanted person can be tracked anywhere on the globe. Such a technique was among a number tested in the Iraq war, according to Dr. Carl Sanders, who invented the intelligence-manned interface (IMI) biotic, which is injected into people. (Earlier during the Vietnam War, soldiers were injected with the Rambo chip, designed to increase adrenaline flow into the bloodstream.) The 20-billion-bit/second supercomputers at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) could now “see and hear” what soldiers experience in the battlefield with a remote monitoring system (RMS).

“When a 5-micromillimeter microchip (the diameter of a strand of hair is 50 micromillimeters) is placed into optical nerve of the eye,”, Dr. Kilde indicates “it draws neuro-impulses from the brain that embody the experiences, smells, sights, and voice of the implanted person. Once transferred and stored in a computer, these neuro-impulses can be projected back to the person’s brain via the microchip to be re-experienced. Using a RMS, a land-based computer operator can send electromagnetic messages (encoded as signals) to the nervous system, affecting the target’s performance. With RMS, healthy persons can be induced to see hallucinations and to hear voices in their heads. ”

“Every thought, reaction, hearing, and visual observation causes a certain neurological potential, spikes, and patterns in the brain and its electromagnetic fields, which can now be decoded into thoughts, pictures, and voices, ” Dr. Kilde adds. “Electromagnetic stimulation can therefore change a person’s brainwaves and affect muscular activity, causing painful muscular cramps experienced as torture.”

Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006
Also a lot of of other information. At this site as well.
http://www.spychips.com/
The below are just a few of the links at the site there are many more.
What is RFID?

How “spychips” pose a threat to your privacy

What should be done?
CASPIAN’s Proposed Legislation would require labeling on products containing RFID
CASPIAN’s Joint Position Statement requests limits on business and government use of RFID

Stop RFIDs in California IDs Tell Your Lawmakers to Vote “YES” to SB 768
California residents, click here to find out more.

CASPIAN Launches Worldwide Tesco Boycott!
Consumers react as retailer flaunts expanding use of RFID

Business Week Article:
“Industry is finally getting the message: RFID is fine for pallets of goods in a warehouse, but not for people.”

CIO Magazine Article:
Customers to Retailers: “Take us Seriously”
Privacy Advocates Turn up the Pressure

Scandals

DHS Wants Beefed up RFID To Silently ID People 25 Feet Away

The VeriChip Can be Cloned, May Not Work When Needed

Ex-HHS Head Puts Off Being Chipped Despite July Promise

Ex-Bush cabinet member praises & recommends VeriChip

CASPIAN uncovers Government RFID Promotion Scheme

Mexican Chipping Overstated (CASPIAN reveals 18 officials chipped, not 160)

FDA letter outlines serious health risks from VeriChip human implants

Censored! CASPIAN told to remove incriminating RFID tagging photos

Photos of chipped CVS products, Kleenex, Huggies baby wipes

Calvin Klein and other clothing labels with hidden RFID tags

Mexican Attorney General and staff take RFID implants

Wal-Mart is RFID tagging in Texas! Call 1-800-Wal-Mart to complain!

Industry Attempt to Smear RFID Activist Katherine Albrecht
Grocery Manufacturers of America and Gillette CEO asked to explain

CASPIAN finds embarrassing confidential RFID documents
Talk of “pacifying” consumers, hoping for “apathy,” and bringing lawmakers into the “inner circle.”

CASPIAN asks “How can we trust these people with our personal data?”

Metro “Future Store” hides RFID in shopper cards
Protest and backlash force a recall
Wal-Mart, P&G Caught in Secret RFID Test
Consumers used as guinea pigs for controversial technology