Pentagon Slanders Vets suffering DU poisoning in Hearing

International Action Center (iacenter@iacenter.org)
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 14:00:04 -0500


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Depleted Uranium Education Project A Project of the International Action Center 39 W. 14th St. #206, NY, NY 10011 Ph: (212) 633-6646, Fx: (212) 633-2889 email: iacenter@iacenter.org, http:\\www.iacenter.org Chairperson, Ramsey Clark

For Immediate Release: Press Contact: (212) 633-6646 July 3, 1997 Frank Alexander, Sara Flounders

Congressional Hearings on the use of Depleted Uranium Weapons and Gulf War Syndrome Put Pentagon and the VA on the Defensive

Pentagon slanders Vets suffering DU poisoning

On June 26th, as a result of the efforts of grassroots organizations around the country, the Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight held a hearing on Gulf War Syndrome which addressed the question of the use of depleted uranium weapons. Testimony was heard from exposed Gulf Veterans exposed to DU; Leonard Dietz, nuclear physicist from Knolls Atomic Laboratory, and Dr. Asaf Durakovic; formerly of the VA where he was in charge of studying imbedded DU fragments in Gulf vets. Members of the Pentagon, specifically Dr. Bernard Rotsker, and the VA also testified to defend the use of radioactive and highly toxic depleted uranium weapons during the Gulf War.

Congress and the Pentagon have been faced with an increasing number of accounts of Gulf veterans exposed to Depleted Uranium oxides whose health has suffered and to a growing body of scientific evidence exposing the drastic health and environmental effects of DU weapons. In response to these charges, Dr. Rotsker slandered the Veteran's testimony and the scientific evidence as an Iraqi government "disinformation campaign .... wherein Iraqi diplomats were directed to initiate publicity campaign to depict DU as posing a severe health and environmental threat to Iraq." (Congressional record, Subcommittee on Human Resources hearing, June 26) Dr. Rotsker of the Pentagon and members of the VA only added insult to injury by lauding the military effectiveness of these weapons and presenting no evidence that these radioactive weapons are not extremely hazardous to the health of soldiers and civilians alike. These explosive remarks were not challenged by any of the Congressional members on the committee

This weak defense of the use of Depleted Uranium weapons as highly militarily effective and an Iraqi disinformation campaign has outraged the growing international movement to ban depleted uranium. The Depleted Uranium Education Project demands that a complete and independent investigation into the toxicological and radiological effects of the use of depleted uranium weapons during the Persian Gulf War begin immediately. All concealed government documents must be released to the public and the use of these weapons banned from all future conflicts.

In his testimony, Dr. Rotsker quoted from the book, METAL OF DISHONOR- How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers and Civilians with Depleted Uranium Weapons. The DU Education Project has documented DU exposures in this recently published book which is available by calling 1-800-247-6553 or by contacting the above address.

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