The RAD ALERT Conference: Nuclear Dollars versus the Common Good was held in Columbus on Sept. 25th complete with national and international level speakers. It seemed to be of a greater relative interest to the domestic psyops corps of the US Military. The central intent of the conference was to provide the necessary information to understand several current nuclear issues.

What I am most interested in here is the coverage given to the conference by the Columbus Dispatch. It actually provides several insights into the motivations of its editorial staff in its effort to provide what they tell us is "news." It is true that the subject matter of the conference had a strong technical element. It is also true that typical journalism graduates tend toward the liberal arts range of preferences and less toward the technical side of issues. This indicates a deficiency in our educational expectations. It is also true that corporate filtered news tend toward the bland and the pretense of fairness, rather than the substance

In case you didn't see the article published on sunday September 26th, in response to facts and documents provided by Dr. Doug Rokke, health physicist, former Army Medical Corps, and former head of a team to clean-up uranium weapon damaged equipment, at the RAD. ALERT conference the Dispatch contacted a Robert G. Williscroft a former Navy submarine officer who supposedly specialized in nuclear weapons. Without a doubt this contact was through a referral by the US Department of Defense. Checking Williscroft's personal website, most of his Navy experience was with submarine patrols in the Artic. Not to diminish officer capacites, but the submarine portion of the Navy particularly in the Artic doesn't have much experience with the use or the effects of uranium weapons. It is difficult to rationally compare Williscroft's experience with Rokke's field combat physics experience in Iraq.

The material from Williscroft immediately attacked Rokke's character and accused Rokke of "lying through his teeth." Williscroft's material also attempted to dismiss the hazards of uranium weapons by saying that "uranium is abundant in the Earth's crust and is not harmful to soldiers or their families. He's (Rokke) absolutely lying through his teeth when he says it will hurt children, cause cancers and deformities," Williscroft said. "That's total malarkey. It's not dangerous,and no credible scientist would admit to it." Agent Williscroft's statements are startling simply by the number of lies per linear inch, all presented between accusations of someone else lying. Apparently Williscroft was out being a Navy Seal during the science instruction part of his training or this is clear evidence of compliance with the little known Los Alamos memorandum of 1991 which instructs military personnel to preserve the credibility of using uranium weapons at all costs.

Ask any competent geologist or physicist, not in the pay of the US nuclear industry or the US military, and they will tell you that although uranium is found in the earth's crust it is way down the list in terms of its relative abundance. Further, if it was abundant, why does the material mined from areas of relatively high concentration have to discard 99 parts out of every 100 to even collect the unprocessed uranium ore. Further, uranium is an unstable element that is found primarily in three different isotopes emitting different types of radiation as part of their atomic decay process toward becoming lead.

Ask any objective bio-chemist or physiologist and they will tell you that uranium shares characteristics with lead and arsenic. Once it is in living tissue it binds itself and poisons the body. Reading Williscroft I would expect that he would also advise that eating lead paint chips or consuming arsenic would be safe choices as well. Simply the ever more common experience of cancer patients who have received radiation therapy, demonstrates that the therapeutic use of radioactive material is a strategy to kill malignant tissues with the emitted radiation and causes side effects of burns, rashes, and the interruption of hair growth.

The DOD wants very much to continue using uranium weapons, and to deny emphatically any liability for their use which would establish that they are routinely committing crimes against humanity and the rest of the community of life. Please, also remember that the US has just recently sold Israel $153 million dollars worth of “depleted” uranium weapons, some known as “Bunker Busters,” to be apparently used against the Palestineans and Iranians.

The question now turns to the Columbus Dispatch as a willing participant in a blatant disinformation campaign. In effect the Dispatch became a willing co-conspirator in the commission of crimes against humanity near and far, against our own troops, and against the civilian populations where uranium weapons have been used. The controversy of the use of so called "depleted" uranium weapons is in the denial of the long term effects of exposure to their dust, not in the well established science. Posing a disinformation specialist such as Williscroft to Rokke's facts and documents might also indicate a higher priority being placed upon the political implications, rather than the physics involved both in a controlled laboratory or in a combat field situation. Using an Artic submarine officer to present an opposing opinion on the effects of uranium weapons would be laughable, if the real world implications weren't profoundly grim.

The disinformation campaign is largely based upon the ease by which people allow themselves to be confused and by the general ignorance of supposedly educated citizens relative to particle physics. Razzle dazzle the rubes, deny, deny, and deny, and before the truth will be widely known most of the victims will be dead of cancer, radiation sicknesses, and poisoning. Oh, well, more collateral damage for corporate profits. Further, the use of such weapons in areas remote from the daily western consumerism and corporate media becomes even more than weapons of mass destruction but also genocidal weapons of depopulation.

The only case where the US military has shown concern about the toxic and radioactive contamination resulting in Iraq by its use of uranium weapons was in issuing a command to provide Cheney's Halliburton with a strategy to more safely extract profits from the Iraq invasions in one of its many no bid, mega million dollar contracts. Contrast that with the continuing denial of the VA administration in recognizes the claims by US soldiers who have been medically harmed by their exposure to “depleted” uranium weapon contamination, have contributed to medical harm to their partners, and have by their contamination experienced among their children a high level of genetic birth defects. Contrast that with the enormous increase in leukemia, other cancers, and birth defects among the civilians in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq and among US military combat personnel who served in those areas.

The term "depleted" applied to uranium weapons is conspicuously spin friendly for disinformation specialists. The word “depleted” is a result of uranium 238 being produced as a waste product from the enrichment process which produces the fissionable material for nuclear bombs and nuclear reactors. Uranium 238 in its 4.5 billion year half life of decay toward lead produces a series of sister elements which are also radioactive in different ways. Uranium 238 is what is described as an alpha particle emitter. An alpha particle is a proton and neutron pair which is also the equivalent of a helium nucleus. Alpha particle radiation is the slowest and weakest in terms of the distance these particles are able to be projected, compared to beta and gamma forms of radiation. This makes it more difficult to detect unless the Geiger counter is very close to the source. However, if uranium 238 is turned to a fine dust which is then inhaled or penetrates through open wounds, when the particles are embedded in living tissue it can do considerable damage the adjacent cells and their molecular components including the genetic codes of the nucleic acids which will release cancers and cause birth defects. The military tests for determining uranium poisoning are intentionally poorly conceived because they have known for decades that there is no known way to successfully treat a person for uranium dust exposure.

So called “depleted” uranium is being used in civilian life as ballast for airplanes and ships, in the heads of certain golf clubs, in certain types of concrete. It has been suggested for the production of eating flatware and dental fillings. It has to be wondered what planet and physical universe these people live in, because it bears little similarity to established knowledge about the physical universe that I live in. As such it represents a certifiable social psychosis. One property that make it attractive to the US military is that it is pyrophorric. This means that it ignites on use and burns through most hard materials and projectiles made from it are “self sharpening.” Another attraction is that as an uranium enrichment process by product it is relatively inexpensive to produce, particularly when there is no responsibility taken for the very long lterm contamination of the environment or the very long term damage to the health of the people manufacturing these weapons, or for our combat troops, and or for civilian occupying the invaded territories.

The even more grim truth is that most people would rather believe a bold lie which allows them to maintain their comfortable ignorance, prejudices, and imagined privileges than being obliged to admit that their government has been, in their name, knowingly using weapons which will depopulate and churn into chaos nations which would otherwise control important geo-political territories or scarce resources such as oil, and deplete the lives of ordinary working people in their great game of geopolitical chess. The cynicism behind these policies and in the use of uranium weapons is deadly in itself. Openly questioning these policies and priorities has to begin with getting educated about the related issues. Until then the willingly ignorant will occupy themselves with trying to put their Humpty Dumpty guarantees back together again alongside their illusions of safety and consumer comfort.