by Irving Wesley HallGIs, Beware Radioactive Showers!Mon May 15, 2006 03:32
GIs, Beware Radioactive Showers!
by Irving Wesley Hall
Bush’s impending, insane nuclear attack on Iran has provoked an unprecedented rebellion within the top leadership of the United States military. At the same time, depleted uranium (DU) is steadily taking down our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s time for the soldiers to follow the lead of their commanders in order to end the war.
Was Army Sgt. Michael Lee Tosto the first American victim of the Bush administration’s March 2003 “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq? The 24-year-old North Carolina tank operator died “mysteriously” in Baghdad on June 17, 2003.
The Iraqi capital was saturated with radioactive dust from the initial explosions of 1,500 American bombs and missiles, many of them made from solid depleted uranium. After the saturation bombing, the city was the scene of street battles with M-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, A-10 Warthog attack jets and Apache helicopters firing DU munitions.
The army told Sgt. Tosto’s family that he died from pulmonary edema and pericardial effusion, or cardiac failure, after showing flu-like symptoms.
Young Michael Tosto believed George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice. He believed he had been deployed to Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein from nuking the United States. Michael died before we all learned that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are nuking the world.
Michael Tosto died, young and innocent, when they nuked him.
After Michael’s funeral, a fellow soldier contacted Michael’s wife Stephanie and told her that his buddy started coughing up blood and his lips turned blue and was dead within 48 hours after the first symptoms.
According to Tom Flocco, upon whose story this account is based, “. . . the Tostos say their GI was in excellent health — in his prime of life. And Stephanie Tosto told United Press International, ‘When my husband died, the casualty officer asked me, “Is it possible that Michael had heart problems?” Michael did not have heart problems. One other time they asked me if he had asthma. He was never sick.’ ”
Inhaling depleted uranium causes pulmonary edema. Symptoms include bleeding lungs, bronchial pneumonia and vomited blood. Pericardial effusion is a common cause of death among leukemia patients. Michael’s mother, Janet Tosto, reported that military officials told her that her son Michael’s military autopsy exhibited elevated levels of white blood cells. Exposure to depleted uranium can cause lymphocytic leukemia.
Tom Flocco consulted Dr. Garth Nicolson of the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Huntington Beach, California who said, “Just one microscopic particle — let alone thousands — trapped in a soldier’s pulmonary system for one year can result in 272 times the annual whole body radiation dose permitted U.S. radiation workers.”
Gulf War Illness: the Sequel
It is happening again to a new generation of veterans. Some of today’s soldiers were in day care centers in 1991 when Dick Cheney first authorized the wholesale use of radioactive munitions. It is happening again despite the fact that a large number of Gulf War I veterans are on medical disability 15 years after the end of the first war against Saddam Hussein.
We are witnessing the same symptoms of radioactive poisoning today as 15 years ago. We are hearing the same denial of reality from Donald Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense (DoD).
The government spokesman in Michael’s death claimed, “We don’t think depleted uranium has anything to do with it.”
After the publication of “Depleted Uranium For Dummies” last month, a reader emailed me with a demand. “You claim that half million soldiers are sick because of the tons of depleted uranium used in 1991. I’d like to hear the government’s side of the story.”
Well, the Department of Defense’s estimate, as you might expect, is lower.
According to the Pentagon, depleted uranium hasn’t caused even one GI’s illness or a single veteran’s death.
If you still believe that the Bush Administration doesn’t lie to its citizens or Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense doesn’t lie to the troops, please click to another Web site. I don’t want to be the first to break the news to you.
Soon you might begin to doubt Condoleezza Rice’s warning about Saddam Hussein’s imminent nuclear attack on America or Dick Cheney’s claim that Hussein was responsible for taking down the Twin Towers. You might question why on 9/11 acting Commander-in-Chief Dick Cheney couldn’t find one available U.S. fighter jet to send aloft during the hour that, allegedly, nineteen Saudis and Egyptians with box cutters were crisscrossing the East Coast in hijacked commercial airliners!
These are the stories Sgt. Tosto took to his grave. But no one ever told him that the depleted uranium munitions packed into his tank could kill him.
That’s right. As far as the Department of Defense is concerned, depleted uranium is “40 percent less radioactive than natural uranium,” is “not a serious external radiation hazard,” and thus is not considered dangerous.
According to the military’s pamphlet, “Depleted Uranium Information for Clinicians” revised Sept. 17, 2004, a year and a half after Michael Tosto’s death, “Findings have shown no kidney damage, leukemia, bone or lung cancer, or other uranium-related adverse health outcomes.”
The Pentagon commissioned several studies in the ’90s as hundreds of thousands of Gulf War vets were becoming “mysteriously” sick. One published in 2000, concluded that DU “could pose a chemical hazard” but that Gulf War veterans “did not experience intakes high enough to affect their health.”
According to Pentagon spokesman Austin Camacho, the only soldiers meriting the military’s concern are those wounded by depleted uranium shrapnel or who were inside tanks during an explosion, and “studies of about 70 such cases from the first Gulf War showed no long-term health problems.”
This stupefying — vets call it criminal — DoD denial helps explain the military’s reaction to Michael Tosto’s death. They would not allow Stephanie Tosto to see her husband’s body until after the autopsy in Germany and after he was packed in a casket for burial.
Dan Tosto, the dead soldier’s father, wondered why Michael was wearing white gloves, appropriate for dress blues but not for Michael’s green burial uniform. At the funeral, Stephanie reached under a glove and found Michael’s wedding ring missing. The army later explained that the dead soldier’s belongings were possibly contaminated.
Wedding Ring Contaminated With What?
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