Philip Cushman
Executive Director
Veterans for Due Process, Inc.
P.O. Box 68237
Portland, Oregon 97268
Email Address: vetdueproc@aol.com
Websites: www.truth-in-recruiting.info
www.vdpi.org


July 28, 2005

Mr. Richard Dunham, President
National Press Club                                     CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT
529 14th Street NW                                                7005 0390 0005 4366 0277
Washington, DC 20045

 SUBJECT:  URGENT HEALTH WARNING FOR ALL GULF WAR JOURNALISTS

Dear Mr. Dunham:

        Veterans for Due Process, Inc. (VDP), an Oregon based non-profit corporation since 1982 and national leader in the
field of veterans rights, hope that in 2005, you can make your prestigious National Press Club an indispensable place to go for
intellectual discourse on vital nation issues of  importance to journalists. This letter which focuses upon DEPLETED
URANIUM 
(DU) concerns just such a vital issue. We also applaud your stated intent to defend press freedom against
misguided or malicious attempts by government to keep public information a secret.

“US Iraq Military Vets "are on DU death row, waiting to die”—

Are you, the National Press Club and the hundreds of  “embedded reporters” who have been assigned to cover the Gulf
Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., aware that:

“ . . . over 200,000 US troops who returned from the 1991 {Gulf} war are now invalided out with ailments officially attributed to service in Iraq - that's 1 in 3.” [1]

Additionally, other credible news reports  [2] clarify this burgeoning global toxic nightmare, as follows:

“Terry Jemison of the Department of Veterans Affairs {VA} reported . . . 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. Last 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. . . 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.  . . . 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.” 

                                                                                          {emphasis added}

The genetic/DNA devastation and cancers caused by breathing radioactive DU aerosols, or the chemical/toxicological related
kidney problems caused by DU ingestion, now substantially impacting America’s Gulf War armies since 1991, are clarified by
the following:

U.S. soldiers, and coalition troops will pay the price for generations in chronic illness, widespread cancers, long-term disabilities and genetic birth defects. . . .  put simply, DU is a prolonged latent kiss of death that genetically keeps on embracing for generations to come. . . . Are George Bush and his Pentagon guilty of war crimes against the people of Iraq? By unleashing this most deadly of weapons of mass destruction, are they demonstrating reckless disregard for the health and safety of American troops?  . . . ” [3]              {emphasis added}

Also very significant concerning such genetic/DNA devastation and cancers caused by radioactive DU,  and other related
severe health problems, is the following:

 “The four members of the 442nd who tested positive all say they have met soldiers from other units during their medical treatment who complain of similar ailments, and fear that they too may have been exposed. "It's bad enough being sent out there knowing you could be killed in combat," Raymond Ramos says. "But people are at risk of bringing something back that might kill them slowly. That's not right. . . . . In 2002 the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights declared that depleted uranium was a weapon of mass destruction, and its use a breach of international law. But the difference between DU and the W.M.D. that formed the rationale for the Iraqi invasion is that depleted uranium may have a boomerang effect, afflicting the soldiers of the army that fires it as well as the enemy victims of "lethality overmatch." [4]                                                  {emphasis added}

Hundreds of journalists and photographers — including Pentagon “Embedded Reporters” 
unknowingly are being exposed to the “most toxic battlefields on earth.” They should be WARNED—and seek unbiased medical testing for toxic uranium.

     Many Americans are aware that journalists have been killed in Iraq, etc., some by American gunfire (such as ITN’s Terry
Lloyd near Basra), and that the Pentagon prefers to use  embedded reporters (who have been asked about their loyalty) and whose stories must be vetted   {{“subject to thorough examination or evaluation” by the military - - -  see: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=vetted}}. The Pentagon has, by now, likely used more than 1,000 such reporters,
who do their jobs in a dangerous and harsh environment, while under the protective wing of the US military.  Should that
“protective wing” have been extended by our government/Pentagon to  WARN  such reporters about the severely toxic
and lethal DU environment to which they would be exposed each day in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc?                             

British troops (unlike continuously deceived American troops) were WARNED by their government about the toxic “depleted uranium” environment to which they were exposed, and related need for unbiased medical testing for toxic uranium.

     Appearing immediately below is a true copy of the Depleted Uranium WARNING  card [5] which the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued to British troops deployed to Iraq.  Should patriotic American youngsters in the military also have received a similar warning from Uncle Sam?  Should patriotic American soldiers now being deployed to Iraq and Afganistan be WARNED about DU?   Should our government have also provided a similar warning (full disclosure) to all  “embedded reporters” prior to exposure to what it knew to be the most toxic battlefields on earth?  Did our government have a legal duty to WARN  unsuspecting journalists of severe DU risks?

               

BACK OF BRITISH WARNING CARD:

                  

How long has our government been aware of the toxicity and danger of exposure to radioactive
aerosols such as Depleted Uranium oxides, etc?

A62 YEARS AND COUNTING:   The following excerpt from a scientific BRIEF [6]  presented to the Uranium
Weapons Conference during 2003, evidences the fact that our government has very clearly understood the toxic potential
of such radioactive weapons, dating back to a now declassified
1943 Manhattan Project {Atomic Bomb
development} government document
[7] 

“The concept of toxic-radioactive warfare dates back to World War II when air attacks with uranium oxide aerosols were considered a realistic threat. The military recognized the potential of uranium smoke (aerosol) as a terrain contaminant and an instrument of gas warfare that kills and incapacitates troops and civilians and denies territory to enemy. US War Department‘s Manhattan Project considered development of uranium aerosol weapons, as is documented in a 1943 memo to General Groves.”

Please also find attached hereto, a complete copy of the October 30, 1943, Memorandum to General Groves, marked:  “EXHIBIT A” - - - as it appears at footnote 7.

B.  21 YEARS AGO:   Additionally, on December 20, 1984 {7 years PRIOR  to Gulf War #1},  the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued “Advisory Circular” [8]  (AC No: 20-123)  entitled:  

“AVOIDING OR MINIMIZING ENCOUNTERS WITH AIRCRAFT EQUIPPED WITH DEPLETED URANIUM BALANCE WEIGHTS DURING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS”

Which cautioned all FAA crash scene investigators concerning the DU danger, in part, as follows:

“3.  . . .  it is to be handled with caution.  The main hazard associated with depleted uranium is the harmful effect the
material could have if it enters the body. If particles are inhaled or digested, they can be chemically toxic and
cause a significant and long-lasting irradiation of internal tissue

d.  Gloves, wrapping material, wiping cloths, respirator filters, or any other articles used in the handling of damaged
balance weights should be discarded and appropriately labeled as radioactive waste and disposed of
accordingly
.”        {emphasis added} 

Please find attached hereto, a complete copy of  FAA Advisory Circular #20-123, dated: December 20, 1984, marked:  “EXHIBIT B” - -  as it appears at footnote #8.

C.  21 YEARS AGO:   Additionally, on May 14, 1984  {also 7 years PRIOR  to Gulf War #1},  a U.S. Navy document[9]  entitled: “HAZARDOUS COMPONENT SAFETY DATA STATEMENT”   specifically provided the following warnings:  

8.  Should DU be handled in powdered form [DU munitions create a fine powder when fired due to their pyrophoric nature] or should a DU penetrator oxidize resulting from a penetrator's involvement in an accident such as a fire, then the intake of DU aerosol or ash via inhalation, ingestion or absorption presents an internal radiation  hazard

9. Depending on the solubility of the particular DU compound in body fluids, it may also be toxic, particular to the kidney."                   {emphasis added}

Please also find attached hereto, a complete copy of the U.S. Navy documents, dated: May 14, 1984, marked:  “EXHIBIT C”— as it appears at footnote #9.

D.  15 YEARS AGO:   Additionally, during July 1990  { 1  year  PRIOR  to Gulf War #1} , the following very strong DU warning report [10]   appeared in the July 1990 Science and Applications International Corporation report: “Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environment and Health Considerations” in part, as follows:  

"Aerosol DU (Depleted Uranium) exposures to soldiers on the battlefield could be significant with potential radiological and toxicological effects. [...] Under combat conditions, the most exposed individuals are probably ground troops that re-enter a battlefield following the exchange of armour-piercing munitions. [...] We are simply highlighting the potential for levels of DU exposure to military personnel during combat that would be unacceptable during peacetime operations. [...DU is..]... a low level alpha radiation emitter which is linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage. [...] Short term effects of high doses can result in death, while long term effects of low doses have been linked to cancer. [...] Our conclusion regarding the health and environmental acceptability of DU penetrators assume both controlled use and the presence of excellent health physics management practices. Combat conditions will lead to the uncontrolled release of DU. [...] The conditions of the battlefield, and the long term health risks to natives and combat veterans may become issues in the acceptability of the continued use of DU kinetic penetrators for military applications."            {emphasis added}

The above documentation clearly evidences the fact that our Government/Pentagon was vitally aware of the radioactive and toxicological dangers of Depleted Uranium ammunition/weapons long before the first shots of Gulf War #1 were fired.  While
Uncle Sam may have thought that the honorable and patriotic members of our military were fair game for such a outrageous betrayal of patriotism, was our government wrong when it decided to also keep America’s embedded reporters and other journalists in the dark?

How has the U.S. Government and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responded to the
thousands of DU contaminated and sickened veterans?

    In a Boston Phoenix article [11] which appeared in the April 8-15, 1999, edition, the following significant revelation took place as concerns our Government’s consignment (once again) of its war injured veterans to the status of  “Cannon Fodder”:

 “Dr. Asaf Durakovic, the former head of nuclear medicine for the Veterans Administration hospital in Wilmington,
Delaware, says he began treating Gulf War veterans soon after the conflict for kidney problems and other disorders
that he says are consistent with uranium poisoning. In 1997, he says, he was fired after he refused to stop research
into what he believes was uranium poisoning among his patients. (Hospital officials say he chose to retire after his
position was reduced to part-time.) He calls the Pentagon's dismissal of the effects of DU a political decision.
«No government,» says Durakovic, «wants to admit they are responsible for poisoning their own soldiers.»”              {emphasis added}

It is both highly relevant to this letter and very important for you to understand that nothing has changed as concerns the VA
reality of routinely betraying America’s war injured defenders.  A recent Legal Affairs magazine article entitled:  “Insult
to Injury” - - “The Gov’t  vs  The Vets: At War At Home”
[12], revealed the following truth concerning the
VA system:

“Servicemen and women disabled in the line of duty trust the government will provide for them. But many return home to
find themselves facing a new enemy: the Department of Veterans Affairs
”            
{emphasis added}

 And concluded by emphasizing the following:

“  . . . most important, the board {of Veterans Appeals} and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims {non Judicial Branch/Article 3}  should be eliminated because their decisions have become suspect.”                  
{emphasis added}

Major recent unreported ongoing indictment in Iraq, which evidences our government’s clear understanding concerning the toxicity of DU—

In a very significant news article [13] which appeared in the April 27, 2004, edition of the Tehran Times, the following information was reported:

“ . . . U.S. troops have recently begun removing contaminated topsoil in Iraq, taking it to an unknown location. . .
. . The most disturbing circumstance was observed in the U.S. occupied base in southwestern Baghdad in the Auweirj
district. It is close to the international airport and hosts one of the largest coalition bases around Baghdad, occupying the
operational headquarters of the Iraqi Special Republican Guard. The area was subject to considerable aerial bombing and
rocket fire prior to the coalition ground forces' arrival followed by several ground skirmishes along the main routes to the
international airport and western entrances to the city.
Departing the coalition-occupied base was a long, a steady stream of tandem-axle dump trucks carrying full 
loads of sand, heading south away from the city. Returning from the south was a second stream of fully
loaded dump trucks waiting to enter the base. As the team passed the base’s main entrance, the gates were
opened to reveal bulldozers spreading soil while front-end loaders were filling the trucks that had just emptied
their loads of soil (silt and sand). The arriving trucks were delivering loads of sand into the base while the
departing trucks were hauling away the base’s topsoil
.
The method of topsoil removal and replacement at U.S.-occupied bases, living facilities, and administrative buildings is
mechanically resuspending tons of potentially contaminated particulate. The dust clouds are lofting above and spreading
over the entire area -- 5,000,000 residents in Baghdad alone. It is also exposing thousands of U.S. military personnel
and the many frequent foreign visitors including NGO staff, reconstruction crews, business and trade delegates, and
diplomatic and foreign service employees.
It’s not just UMRC that has reported the high level of radiation in Iraq, many American journalists and researchers 
have also confirmed the reports. . . “  {emphasis added}

Absent Public Trust - - - America’s  Democracy Cannot Survive - - - same fate as concerns unreported willful governmental deception of  “We the People . . . ”

    As concerns this urgent and vital appeal to you and your National Press Club to safeguard America’s Gulf War embedded and other reporters because of our government’s willful deception of them regarding their unavoidable exposure to highly toxic Depleted Uranium aerosol radiation and DU chemical toxins, I would be remiss if I did not also make you aware of the recent: “Presentation to the European Parliament[14] on June 23, 2005, by Dr. Keith Baverstock with the Department of Environmental Sciences in Finland, who emphasized the following point relevant to any and all life forms on this planet who are interested in a meaningful (not simply an appearance like ours) democratic form of government:

" . . . . politics has poisoned the well from which democracy must drink." By this I mean that political expediency has all but eliminated truly independent research and along with that went PUBLIC TRUST. Without public TRUST democracy cannot work                {emphasis added}

There exists no doubt that the same can be said as concerns independent/truth oriented “unvetted” news reporting concerning the ongoing war in Iraq.  Perhaps the best argument for such fair and impartial (truth oriented) reporting, appears in the landmark “PENTAGON PAPERS” decision  [15]  by the U.S. Supreme Court, in part, as follows:

“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly. In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam war, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.”                                       {emphasis added}

Please identify all American reporters (embedded and otherwise), as well journalists, photographers, etc., and WARN  them about their DU exposure:

Given the facts herein presented to you, VDP urges you to immediately initiate a process whereby  ALL  American reporters (embedded and otherwise), will now be identified and made aware of their exposure to toxic and deadly DU, and the resultant need for them to seek out  objective  medical testing to ascertain the extent of any DU contamination to their bodies.  Although Uncle Sam may have required all such embedded reporters/journalists to sign liability waiver contracts, any such waivers absent full Depleted Uranium disclosure, should be VOID under contract law and unenforceable as a matter of law because such vital withheld health information was unconscionable and would amount to a huge surprise  and should have been specifically disclosed in any such liability waiver agreements.  This situation is very similar to the alleged “Military Enlistment “Contract” [16] (DD 4) which is no less “unconscionable” by reason of the fact that the government can (and  now is  under “stop loss”) turning voluntary military enlistments of a fixed duration into an involuntary service of unlimited duration” [17]  Fairness demands that any such provisions should be specifically identified and provide clear notice that any such military enlistment contracts might become indefinite. The DD-4 is also totally SILENT as concerns the legal status of any war injuries suffered defending America, with no mention of any enforceable legal right to continuing VA medical care and/or disability compensation. Should any such injured veterans later sue our government in order to attempt to enforce any such erroneously perceived  “legal rights”, our government and court’s will simply determine that: “VA benefits involve no agreement of the parties . . .[18]  Significantly, in that profoundly relevant Levy v. Brown case,  the involved alleged “court” cited as legal authority the 1934 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lynch v. U.S., thereby once again affirming the archaic but continuing mentality that any such VA benefits are nothing more than “gratuities(unearned gifts from Uncle Sam) with no enforceable legal rights nor legal status.  What would be the reaction of America’s patriotic, naïve and trusting youngsters (or their parents) being recruited into the military today, if our government/military recruiters told them the truth and ended the ongoing unconscionable “contract” deception?

Because of the government’s willful DU deception of embedded journalists, etc.,  they should DEMAND (perhaps as a group) that the government pay for all such medical testing and medical care needs which may be necessary because of toxic DU exposure. 

Thank you and please advise.



Sincerely  and  Semper Fi
_____________________________________

Philip Cushman

PEC/ath - R

Attachments – Exhibits

UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

TRACK AND CONFIRM

Track & Confirm

Search Results

Label/Receipt Number: 7005 0390 0005 4366 0277
Status: Delivered

Your item was delivered at 10:36 am on August 02, 2005 in WASHINGTON, DC 20045.

 

Green Card did not arrive in VDP P.O. Box until September 12, 2005

NOTE:  AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2005,  THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB HAS  NOT  RESPONDED TO THE ABOVE LETTER.



[1]   URL:   http://www.vivelecanada.ca/article.php/20050429121615724 

 James Denver, Horror of USA's Depleted Uranium in Iraq Threatens World: American use of DU is "A crime against humanity which may, in the eyes of historians, rank with the worst atrocities of all time." US Iraq Military Vets "are on DU death row, waiting to die”,  Vive le Canada.  April 29, 2005

[2]   URL:   http://www.onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/082504Moret/082504moret.html

Leuren Moret, Depleted uranium: Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets: A death sentence here and abroad, Online Journal Guest Writer. August 18, 2004.

[3]  URL:   http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0405/S00032.htm

Vincent L. Guarisco. The Truth About Depleted Uranium Weaponry: The Only Thing Depleting is Human Life  May 5, 2004

[4]   URL:  http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/printables/041115roco04?print=true

       David Rose. Weapons of Self-Destruction: Is Gulf War syndrome – possibly caused by Pentagon ammunition – taking its toll on GI’s in Iraq?”.   Vanity Fair.  November 2004.

[5]   URL:  http://traprockpeace.org/du_mod_warning_cards.html

      British Ministry of Defense (MoD)  “DU Information Card” introduced March 2003, document “F Med 1018.  

[6]  URL:  http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/speakers/bein_coverups.pdf

Piotr Bein, PhD, Uranium Weapons Cover-ups in Our Midst, brief invited to World Uranium Weapons Conference,  Hamburg, October 16-19, 2003

[7]   URL: http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Groves-Memo-Manhattan30oct43.htm

     Manhattan Project document  MEMORANDUM to General Groves, dated October 30, 1943

[8]   URL:     http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/fed21da1a772d8d9862569af006aadbf/$FILE/AC20-123.pdf     FAA Advisory Circular, dated December 20, 1984.

[9]  URL: http://traprockpeace.org/depleted_uranium_milner.html

    U.S. Navy:  “Hazardous Component Safety Data Statement”, dated May 14, 1984.

[10]  URL: http://www.firethistime.org/du.htm

   July 1990 Science and Applications International Corporation report: ' Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environment and Health Considerations', as included in Appenix D - US Army Armaments, Munitions and Chemical Command report: 'Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July 1990'

[11]   URL: http://www.bostonphoenix.com/archive/features/99/04/08/UNFRIENDLY_FIRE.html

Ben Geman.  Boston Phoenix article:  “Loose Cannons:  NATO wants to protect Kososvo’s Albanians.  But are its planes sowing their farmlands with toxic bullets?”  April 8-15, 1999.

[12]  URL:  http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/March-April-2005/feature_holding_marapr05.msp

    Reynolds Holding.  “Insult to Injury”.  Legal Affairs.  March/April 2005.

[13]   URL:  http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=4/28/2004&Cat=2&Num=016

    Rick Rozoff.  “U.S. Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons Causes Dangerous Rise in Radiation Level in Iraq.”  Tehran Times.  April 27, 2004.

[14]   URL:  http://www.traprockpeace.org/keith_baverstock_23june05.htm

    Keith Baverstock, PhD; Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.  “Presentation to the European Parliament.”  June 23, 2005.

[15]  URL:   http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=403&invol=713

       New York Times Co.  v. United States, 403 U.S. 713, 717 (1971)

[16]   URL:  http://www.hqmc.usmc.mil/ar/mcefs.nsf/0/405db6c984609d17852569d10049bb05/$FILE/DD+4.pdf

   Military Enlistment “Contract” - -  Department of Defense Form #4 (DD 4) - - an UNCONSCIONABLE  deceptive AMBUSH  for young American patriots.

[17]   URL:  http://appellate.typepad.com/appellate/2005/05/

    Appellate Law & Practice: “9th Circuit holds military stop-loss policy does not violate the terms of enlistment contract or Due Process.”   May 2005. Ref: Santiago v. Rumsfeld, May 13, 2005.

[18]   URL:  http://webisys.vetapp.gov/isysquery/irl3a98/1/doc

      Levy v. Brown, No. 92-1174, United States “Court” of Veterans Appeals.  1993