The DU Attacks Keep Coming
Recently an article I posted again raised controversy. My Main and Only Issue is to get help for Gulf War Veterans by means of answers, the best diagnosis, the best treatment, and the best research to find further diagnostic tools, biomarkers, and treatment. I hold firm that the illnesses are due to a combination of hazardous exposures as I have recently reviewed here on line.
The damage done is to multiple body systems! Our Gulf War veterans from 1990-91 are ill and need all out help and speedy resolutions to their claims for compensation at the VA. The veterans are ill and the impact on their families and their economic survival is at stake! I have many in the hospital this week that I am tracking and keeping in touch with by phone and helping them in any way possible.
I am disgusted with the attacks on officers that have tried to stand up and do the right moral and ethical thing! These officers served in theater with us! Two of them I know personally that have taken this on and have had their careers and livelihood threatened. One of them is recovering from Cervical disc surgery ie his disc were collapsing and leading to episode of paralysis that thank god was brief.
His myelin sheath around the spinal cord is also showing health effects according to his doctors and surgeons. Demylinating!!! re Autoimmune type attack on system. He is rated by the VA and had fee based surgery. Then VA failed to get rehabilitation going and he had to get fee basis to get that provided by civilian institute that had done his surgery.
Today after many of his teeth breaking off without trauma etc…he had to have the rest of his teeth removed because they could not be saved…let me clarify here it was his upper teeth that were removed. Now the VA did not do this since he is not yet 100%! He had to go to a civilian dentist. I want to emphasis that many, many gulf war veterans are having the same dental problems but yet no coverage at the VA Dental of this issue unless the patient is rated 100%. And not one dentist has step up to research and document this happenning to us Gulf War Veterans! And not one Research Study for our Dental and vision problems which are significant. Believe me I have brought up these issues over and over again on the hill, to the RAC GWI, and to the VA advisory committee on Gulf War Veterans.
I am tired of the attacks and have been provided the following information. I am posting this information from two of the journalist that have done articles on DU and had to also experience attacks on them and their articles. This highlights what is going on in detail. I will continue to post in order to be completely fair and open!
This is a copy of an email I am sending today to Ed Battle. You have my permission to forward it where you will. I suggest you might like to start with the radsafe list!
Dear Ed Battle,
Thank you for letter dated November 27, 2004 to Vanity Fair concerning my article about depleted uranium. I thought I should reply personally and in detail to your criticisms.
Your letter accuses me of a "lack of veracity," and claims that my piece "contained two serious omissions: (1) journalistic ethics and (2) truth." You make further serious allegations against Doug Rokke. However, the accusations you make are not sustainable.
I have been shown copies of correspondence about my article on the Radsafe email listserver. On November 15, it carried an intense discussion as to how its contributors should respond to my piece, and in particular whether a letter to the magazine should be sent on behalf of its members. It was led
by Bob Cherry, long an antagonist of Dr Rokke. He wrote:
"My DOD friends and I have briefly conferred on this article. They essentially told me that the author apparently had no intention to be objective."
Thus from Mr Cherry’s own words: his and Radsafe’s opinion of me and the piece was based on conversations with his "friends" in the Pentagon – by which I must assume he means Michael Kilpatrick, the only senior Pentagon official who agreed to meet me. His view that I had "no intention to be
objective" doesn’t surprise me, but then the article shows that Dr Kilpatrick has uttered misleading statements to me and other journalists.
Mr Cherry initially did not favor a letter to VF. Another Radsafe member, Doug Aitken, strongly disagreed, saying:
"Maybe a letter to the editor from an expert in the field is called for? I know that Vanity Fair is an extremely Œliberal¹ magazine, but it has a pretty wide readership."
Mr Aitken signs himself in his emails as an engineer for the oil drilling firm Schlumberger. As you know, this corporation holds several patents for DU-based technology. In 2003, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the corporation $90,000 for failing to monitor 13 workers¹ exposure to radiation
arising from DU.
My point is that the origins of a letter partly inspired by a partisan email list, together with input from a Schlumberger engineeer and a retired colonel who freely volunteers an account of his conversations about my piece with the Pentagon, cannot be separated from its text. I suggest that to publish any part of it without making these connections clear would not have been fair to our readers.
How can I be sure that you took account of Radsafe when you wrote your letter? Because on the very day you sent the letter to Vanity Fair, you also posted the following email to the Radsafe members:
"From: RadSafeInst [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 8:46 PM
Subject: Rebuttal of Vanity Fair Article on DU
With help and encouragement from Bob Cherry, I wrote a letter of rebuttal to the Editor of Vanity Fair concerning their article on DU by David Rose on page 204 of their Dec edition (don’t buy it: it’s not
worth the price).
If anyone is following all of this DU trivia, contact me off line (to save bandwidth and members’ time) and I’ll e-mail you a copy of my letter (I don’t want to violate a copyright by sending you the article itself. Besides, it’s not worth the time it takes to read it).
Just send me an e-mail with "Vanity Fair" in the subject line.
Holiday Wishes, Ed"
However, the provenance of your letter is not our only difficulty. Your main charge, that Doug Rokke is not a credible witness, and has lied about his work with the depleted uranium project, is not ustainable. The best evidence to refute this is the citation you wrote and signed in 1995. Possibly you are unaware that I have a copy of this (and many other) documents. In any event, it is indeed a comprehensive rebuttal of Dr Kilpatrick’s assertions that Rokke merely helped him to develop "some elementary training material" on DU, that he "was never in charge of anything," and that he only observed the Nevada tests, and did not participate in them.
Before I quote your words at greater length, it’s worth noting that the training part of this mission and the live Nevada tests were part and parcel of the same project. They can’t be separated. A memorandum from Gen. Shinseki dated 19 August 1993 which established the DU Project makes clear
that TRADOC would be in charge of it, and that it had to submit reports of "plans actions and milestones" as the work developed. The overall aim was to develop training methods which would make soldiers safer (as my piece makes clear). As time went on, it became apparent that to do this needed more data – hence the Nevada tests. They may indeed have been organized through a contractor. But Dr Rokke was deeply involved. Not only are there the documents from his service record, there is the video footage he shot of the tests, which I have seen.
On June 30, 1995, you wrote and signed Dr Rokke’s commendation for the Army Commendation medal and the Meritorious service medal. You state at the outset that Dr Rokke’s job title was "the depleted uranium project manager."
His "Achievement no. 1,² you continue, was: "Researched, identified, and staffed radiological research data requirements for the live fire test."
Achievement No. 2 was: "Participated in live fire lethality test as a radiological and battle damage assessment analysts."
Achievement No. 3 was: "Performed research and data collection duties under hazardous conditions."
Achievement No. 4 was: "Provided exceptional technical assistance and guidance to all team members during all test phase [sic]."
You proposed citation read: "For exceptionally meritorious achievement while performing radiological research and battle damage assessment and repair procedure validation under hazardous conditions during the live fire lethality test at the Department of Energy test site. Your performance of duty reflects great credit upon yourself and the United States Army."
When you wrote this Rokke was not, as your letter implies, a "new hire" but had been working for you for 12 months, and the project was almost finished. Indeed, on 2 June, four weeks earlier, your superior officer, Brig. Gen. Ralph G. Wooten, wrote a memo (I have a copy) for TRADOC, requesting that Dr Rokke’s assignment to the project be extended. This letter says that Dr Rokke is needed to participate in further tests in Nevada, of which Dr Rokke "designed major components".
It adds: "The excellent quality of current products has been the direct result of the work of Cpt. Rokke, who is… The only individual with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure successful project completion… The loss of Cpt Rokke would jeapordize Department of the Army compliance with
In October 1995, Brian Butler cited Dr Rokke for another medal, saying he had "provided leadership and direction in the depleted uranium project," had written, directed and produced the training video,
"the best one" the army had made that year. Overall, he had given "meritorious service as the depleted uranium project leader" which would have a "vast payoff" in protecting soldiers from future harm.
These quotations arte from copies of genuine documents. They are simply irreconcilable with the claims in your letter to the magazine.
In addition, I must point out that Dr Rokke worked at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana as a staff physicist for 17 years. His service documents describing his work in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm state under "Position/title" that he was assigned as a "health physicist". As far as the Army was concerned, Dr Rokke WAS a health physicist. By the way, Dr Rokke has never claimed to be a colonel to me or imagined himself to be his antagonist Bob Cherry.
Other than that, my article states very clearly that DU is harmless unless inhaled. It also makes clear that DU gives the Army a big advantage (lethality overmatch) and hence the US has suffered fewer combat casualties than if other materials had been used for shells. And our pictures are not
"fraudulent". There may be no need to wear a gas mask testing an unused DU round. But the picture shows a man testing a casing on a battlefield where rounds have been exploded and where there may well therefore be DU dust. To wear a respirator in such circumstances merely complies with General
Shinseki’s Army Regulation 700-48 governing the disposal of radiologically contaminated equipment. The geiger counter next to the DU round showing high levels of radioactivity shows what it shows. A radiac placed next to an alpha particle emitter such as a DU projectile will show a high reading, and
I have seen videos of this taking place.
I am copying this to Dr Rokke. I hope you and your friends will now cease your personal attacks on him, however much you may disagree with his opinions.
Contributing editor, Vanity Fair
Subj: Slanderous crap from (Col) Helbig
Date: 10/2/05 10:25:46 PM Central Daylight Time
From: (Dave Lindorff)
Helbig, who works for the Pentagon at discrediting stories about Depleted Uranium, but doesn’t admit his official role, or even give his military title, has been slandering both one of my sources for an In These Times article, Capt. Doug Rokke, and myself.
First, his slander of me, who he disses as "just an internet journalist, not
Helbig accuses me of saying that poor Sgt. Gerard Matthews’ baby daughter, who was born with a deformed hand, was a victim of his confirmed DU poisoning. I never said that. I said that her deformity was spotted when he had his pregnant wife get a sonogram after he learned of his toxicity. The
deformity, I and he were told by medical experts, was consistent with genetic damage in the womb during the developmental stage (because it was nyt symetrical on both hands). No one can PROVE it was damage caused by uranium. That’s the nasty thing about uranium poisoning.
But helbig’s libel about my not doing any research or fact checking is just bullshit. As is his stupid comment about "only an internet journalist, not a journalist." First of all, if he were honest or literate, he’d know that at this point, some of the best journalism in the U.S. Is being done on the
internet, at Salon (for which I write), Mother Jones, Slate, and, yet, In These Times. Besides that, if Helbig had done HIS research, he’d know I’m a veteran journalist with a record of award-winning work going back to 1973, well before there even WAS an internet, and that even now, in the Internet
age, I’m in print as much as I’m on line.
Now as to Rokke, Helbig keeps trying to make Rokke out to be a fraud. First, he keeps calling him Lt. Rokke, but I have Rokke’s US Army officer evaluationreport from July 30, 1994, referring to him as Capt. Rokke, Signed by Senior Rater , Col Richard K. Weiner. It refers to Capt. Rokke as "Project Director" and says his duties were to "Plan, coordinate, supervise and implement the U.S. Army Chemical School’s depleted uranium training development project as directed by HQ DA and JQ TRADOC." It goes on to say Rokke "serves as primary techinical expert and liaison between U.S. Army
major commands, the U.S. Army Chemical School, and contractors during the training development, preparation and test implementation.
It rates him as: "a) totally dedicated to the mission, b)Loyalto to command and subordinates is unsurpassed, and c:Moral standards are above reproach."
The rating report goes on to say:
"Captain Rokke has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to function well above his current rank and is as effective as any I have known. After being called to active duty for a special task with no precedent, he immediately took charge and began to break new ground. He maarshalled all of the Army’s
experts on the biological effects of Depleted Uranium and turned them into a smoothly functioning team. Most of this he accomplished by telepphone and e-mail, saving precious travel funds for absolutely essential trips, like his participating in two extremely crucial tests at the Nevada Atomic Test
Site. His accomplishments have been widely praised by senior personnel from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, DA, H! AMC, ARDEC and the Armor, Infantry and Ordnance Schools. His achievements during this reporting period have been absolutely phenomenal."
In the comments section of the report, Intermediate rater Major Brian A. Butler goes on:
"Cpt. Rokke has served as the Army’s subject matter expert on the effects of Depleted Uranium on the battlefield. Through his efforts, he has authored a training and i8mplementation program that will benefit our troops on battlefields of the future. CPT Rokke is an outstnading officer who consistently performs at the field grade level. Promote immediately and continue to challenge with the toughest assignments.
Finally under Comments, Senior Rater Col. Weiner says:
"Outstanding performance, outstanding potential. Diusplays indomitable spirit and boundless energy. Accomplished more than a platoon of action officers. An absolute must for promotion."
I’ve also got in my possession a recommendation letter for Rokke’s commendation medal and meritorious service medal. Dated June 30, 1995, and signed by Ed L. Battle, Director of Radiation Lab at Ft. McClellan, it says Rokke is "Depleted Uranium Project Manager" (Helbig has repeatedly claimed
Rokke never managed anything), "researched, identified and staffed radiological research data requirements for the live fire test, participated in live fire lethality test as a radiological and battle damage assessment and repari analysit, performed research and data collection duties under
hazardous conditions, and provided exceptional techniocal assistanca and guidance to all team members during all test phase."
Under the section "proposed citation," it says:
"For exceptionally meritorious achievement while performing radiological research and battle damage assessment and repair procedure validation under hazardous conditions during the live fire lethality test at the Department of Energy Nevada Test Site. Your performance of duty reflects credit upon
yourself and the United States Army."
This is the man that Col Helbig and his gang of disinformants is trying to destroy now through lies, inuendo and repetition of same.
As far as I’m concerned, these slimy weasels deserve to be ignored or sued.
Internet journalist and proud of it.