After the 1991 Gulf War, many U.S. soldiers came home with what came to be called Gulf War Syndrome. No cause for the debilitating condition has ever been proven, although guesses have included chemical weapons, smoke from burning oil wells, vaccinations and pesticides. Now researchers think it’s caused by uranium dust from U.S. weapons, because a group of Afghan civilians who have the same symptoms have “astonishing” levels of uranium in their urine.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), is a former U.S. army colonel who is now a professor of medicine. He says that in 2000 he found “significant” DU levels in two-thirds of the 17 Gulf veterans he tested. In May 2002. he sent a team to Afghanistan to examine civilians there and found similarly high levels of uranium. However, no traces of depleted uranium (DU) from weapons have been found in Afghanistan, leading scientists to conclude that a new kind of radioactive weapon may have been used there. Durakovic says, “Independent monitoring of the weapon types and delivery systems indicate that radioactive, toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads were being used by the coalition forces.” He thinks much of this came from the new generation of “cave-busting” and seismic shock warheads.

The UMRC sent urine specimens from 17 Afghans to an independent lab in the U.K for analysis. The results: “Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination. The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999. If UMRC’s?findings are corroborated in other communities across Afghanistan, the country faces a severe public health disaster…Every subsequent generation is at risk.” Gulf War Syndrome may produce genetic changes that lead to birth defects in the children of the victims. Troops that fought there, as well as the staff of aid agencies, are at risk as well.

Durakovic is “stunned” by the results, and says, “In Afghanistan there were no oil fires, no pesticides, nobody had been vaccinated?all explanations suggested for the Gulf veterans’ condition. But people had exactly the same symptoms. I’m certainly not saying Afghanistan was a vast experiment with new uranium weapons. But use your common sense.” A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense says DU weapons were not used in Afghanistan.

But if they WERE used there, they were probably used in Iraq as well, contaminating that population just as dangerously.

Why are so many important things kept secret? Maybe it’s because it only SEEMS like we’re running things.

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