by Jay Shaft (8 May 2003)
Coalition For Free Thought In Media 5 May 2003 In three separate interviews a U.S. Special Operations Command Colonel admitted that the U.S. and Great Britain fired 500 tons of D.U. munitions into Iraq.
He has also informed me that the G.B.U.-28 BLU 113 Penetrator Bunker Buster 5000 pound bomb contains D.U. in the warhead. Until now, as far as I know, the materials used to make the warhead of the G.B.U-28 have remained shrouded in mystery.
He also admitted that privately the Pentagon has acknowledged the health hazards of D.U. for years.
He asked to remain unnamed for obviously apparent safety reasons, and so that he may remain a valuable source of information. (I will admit that I will jealously guard his identity to keep him as a source.)
I have verified his identity and that his information is mostly accurate.
Some things I could not verify due to top secret classifications of certain weapons.
The following is a transcript of questions I asked him. I will refer to him as U.S.C. from here on.
J.S.: I understand you are a Colonel in the U.S. military, is that right?
U.S.C.: You are correct; I work for the U.S. Special Operations Command attached to Central Command. My job is to plot coordinates for targets and decide what is the best way to destroy the target.
I have a large network of analysts at my disposal to analyze each target and figure out what weapons would best destroy it.
J.S.: Do you know how much D.U. was just used in Iraq, and what types of munitions were used?
U.S.C.: Yes I am aware of at least 500 tons of D.U. munitions that were used by combined coalition forces. I also know that many cities were heavily bombarded with D.U. munitions.
J.S.: 500 tons? Are you absolutely sure?
U.S.C.: Oh, most sure on that matter. I know it was a little over 500 tons, but you can round off your figures to the nearest hundred tons (chuckles).
J.S.: What about the cities? Did you deliberately use D.U. on them?
U.S.C.: Let's just say that we didn't do anything to avoid using D.U. in cities or heavily populated areas. I know that I selected some D.U. bunker busters because of the fact that they have a high penetration factor. I used D.U. weapons exclusively on some targets so as to ensure maximum damage on those targets. You don't want to just halfway destroy some targets, you want maximum damage
J.S.: Hold on here, I didn't know that the Bunker Busters were D.U. How do you know that? I have to make sure this is for real.
U.S.C.: Well the specs on the B.B.s are top secret, so good luck on verifying it. To answer your question I will ask you one. How do you think they can penetrate a steel hardened bunker with a bomb unit? There has to be D.U. in the warhead or else you wouldn't get the penetration of the target that is buried underground.
J.S.: Oh I see your point. Well can you tell me which of the B.B.s have D.U. warheads?
U.S.C.: Well.......... (long pause) I think I will tell you about one and leave it at that. The G.B.U.-28(guided bomb unit) BLU 113B 5000 pounder is capable of being fitted with a D.U. warhead and dropped. It is not solely a D.U. warhead; they still use them with conventional non-D.U. warheads.
If you were watching T.V. and you saw any bombs hit there was an easy way to tell if it was D.U.
If you saw all those little secondary white fires burning in the air in the blast: that was D.U. burning off. D.U. burns with a whitish orange flame, almost looks like a firework shell burning.
J.S.: Any other B.B.'s using D.U. warheads?
U.S.C.: I don't think I'll answer that, I've already said too much. Next question!
J.S.: Back to the 500 tons of D.U., did the D.O.D. / Pentagon deliberately target civilian areas? And if they did, why?
U.S.C.: I answered that already, but I will tell you that there were a lot of Iraqi armored vehicles in and around most major cities. Our own tanks and vehicles use D.U. penetrator rounds to destroy those enemy vehicles. We are aware that over 100 tons of D.U. munitions were used in and around Baghdad, but a lot more fighting went on around the Northern cities and Basra. We knocked out over 20,000 different types of vehicles in Iraq, and even shelled buildings in downtown Baghdad with D.U.
J.S.: The Pentagon knew this was happening? Did they try to stop it? You know, because of the health risks of D.U. and the fact that we were supposed to be liberating Iraq?
U.S.C.: They wanted complete destruction of any military vehicle in Iraq. That was why you saw our vehicles shooting even the disabled and already shelled vehicles. I have seen pictures of many vehicles with over 20 holes in them. The objective was to make sure that there is no way that any fighting force could ever use those vehicles in any way. We wanted to decimate the Iraqi army and make sure they were never able to fight again. I think we achieved that objective quite well, more so than we had hoped in such a short amount of time.
This took an enormous amount of ammunition, mostly D.U. tipped 25mm, 30mm, and 125mm penetrator rounds.
J.S.: What about the health risks that are associated with D.U.? Or do you deny there are any?
U.S.C.: You are determined to get me to make a statement about the health risks aren? you?
J.S.: If you will, I want to see what the behind the scenes view of D.U. is in the Pentagon.
U.S.C.: Well···(long pause, followed by heavy profanity)· Okay, I?l give you some dirt if that? what you?e looking for. The Pentagon knows there are huge health risks associated with D.U. They know from years of monitoring our own test ranges and manufacturing facilities.
There were parts of Iraq designated as high contamination areas before we ever placed any troops on the ground. The areas around Basra, Jalibah, Talil, most of the southern desert, and various other hot spots were all identified as contaminated before the war. Some of the areas in the southern desert region along the Kuwaiti border are especially radioactive on scans and tests.
One of our test ranges in Saudi Arabia shows over 1000 times the normal background level for radiation. We have test ranges in the U.S. that are extremely contaminated, hell they have been since the 80? and nothing is ever said publicly. Don? ask don? tell is not only applied to gays, it is applied to this matter very heavily.
I know at one time the theory was developed that any soldier exposed to D.U. shells should have to wear full MOP gear (the chemical protective suit). But they realized that just wouldn? be practical and it was never openly discussed again.
J.S.: So the stories that they know D.U. is harmful are true?
U.S.C.: Yes, there is no doubt that most high level commanders who were around during the 80? know about it.
J.S.: So how do you feel about the fact that you exposed your own men to D.U.?
U.S.C.: F· you!! What do you know about my job? I did what I had to do to take out the targets I was given. If it was necessary to use D.U., than I put it in my target analysis reports. I didn? actually fire the rounds myself; I work in a remote office.
J.S.: So you?l never have to worry about being exposed to D.U. huh? Very brave.
U.S.C.: (lot? of profanity) this interview is over with (more profanity, followed by the phone slamming down)
I never did get to finish the third interview, but I think what I got out of the colonel is very telling.
By his own admission, even knowing the dangers of D.U., it was used on major Iraqi cities. Our own troops are being exposed to the areas that have been highly contaminated, with no warning or attempt to protect them.
There were hundreds of tons of D.U. used in major population centers, by troops following orders to completely destroy all Iraqi military vehicles and buildings. This is the first time that D.U. has been used in heavily populated areas.
A whole country was just contaminated again with no regards to the future generations that will live there. The Tigris River irrigates all the crops grown in that area of the world, and most livestock is raised with water and crops irrigated from that river.
How many more babies will be born with birth defects? How many more children will get cancer and die before they can ever live a productive life?
Thousands have been affected by D.U. used in the first Gulf War. Some figures on the rate of cancer in Iraq showed a 300-500% increase in cancer and related illnesses since then. Now the major population areas have been highly contaminated, with no regard to any Iraqi? future health.
We will have to wait and see what the cost of this action will be. It is sure to be extremely high, and result in a huge amount of further suffering and death.