U.S. VETERAN REVEALS ATOMIC BOMBS DROPPED
ON AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ
NUKING TORA BORA
On Tuesday evening, November 12, 2001, Babrak Khan, a Jalalabad resident and former guard at a nearby base for Islamic militants, saw the distinctly bearded and emaciated Osama bin Laden standing in front of a guesthouse. The next day, Osama and his al-Qaeda and Taliban followers headed into the nearby Tora Bora mastiffs.
American bombing of the region intensified. The 11th day of Ramadan – November 26, 2001 – saw Osama seated deep inside a cave complex with a glass of hot green tea in hand. Mohammed Akram, who occasionally cooked for bin Laden, was fixing dinner in another cave when a huge bomb exploded, blowing him 30-feet backwards. Two of his colleagues were killed, and Mohammed, along with another Saudi and a Kurdish fighter, decided not to hang around.
Osama bin Laden fled Tora Bora around December 1, heading for Pakistan’s Parachinar region. Eastern Afghanistan’s intelligence chief, Pir Baksh Bardiwal was astounded when the Pentagon failed to use convenient helicopter Landing Zones to insert U.S. forces to block the most obvious exit routes.
But the Americans did not know the ailing terror financier had left Tora Bora. When Osama bin Laden phoned back to the enclave on December 10, urging his followers to keep fighting, U.S. intelligence officers picked up his transmission and conclued that Osama bin Laden was still in his caves. [Christian Science Monitor Mar 4/02]
Which might also explain why a USAF C-130 had dropped the heaviest bomb in their conventional inventory – a 15,000 pound “Daisy-Cutter” – against Tora Bora the previous day. [London Times Dec 10/01]
Rushed into production after 9/11, at least eight BLU-118Bs were quickly deployed into the Afghan theater. The Global Security website confirms the first field-test of this new weapon: “On or about March 3, 2002 a single 2,000-pound thermobaric bomb was used for the first time in combat against cave complexes in which al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters had taken refuge in the Gardez region of Afghanistan.” [globalsecurity.org]
Guided by U.S. Special Forces “lasing” cave complexes with invisible laser pointers, the Navy’s new polymer-bonded “thermobaric” bomb would be more accurately termed a “thermobarbaric” terror weapon.
“It works as a combination of a shock wave and a fuel explosion,” explained CENTCOM Commander Matthew Klee. “The first explosion spreads flammable aerosols through the underground complex. Then, the second ignites the fuel” – crushing the internal organs of everyone caught in the blast zone.
“Instead of boom, this bomb goes BOOOOOOOM!” thundered Air Force spokesman Captain Joe Della Vedova. “This thing kills the earthworms.” [Las Vegas Review Jan 21/02]
Over the March 1, 2002 weekend, the Pentagon tested two more “experimental” BLU-118B MOABs during Operation Anaconda. Was this “Mother Of All Bombs” also the Mother Of All Deceptions?
“This sort of cover-story makes it easy for, say, reporters, to believe they have witnessed a fuel-air explosion, when in fact it was a very small, low-yield, nuclear weapon,” George Paxinos pointed out at the Information Clearing House. Why else would “the USA suddenly publicly announce in 2001 and 2002 its intention to use this sort of weapon against the Taliban hiding out in caves, when in war, you do not usually go out and broadcast your intentions… to your enemy?”
And why, Paxinos pondered, would this “intense propaganda effort” to alert Americans and the world to Washington’s new Massive Ordnance Air Burst Weapon emphasize that the resulting blast “produces a fireball and a mushroom-cloud almost indistinguishable from that of a small tactical nuclear weapon?”
And why did CNN, among other networks, parrot Washington’s nonsensical assertions that an air-burst bomb originally designed “to be used against large formations of troops and equipment” would now be deployed against “deeply buried targets”? The network helpfully hinted, “Officials suggest perhaps the Iraqis might even mistake a MOAB blast for a nuclear detonation.” [CNN Mar 11/03]
“This is a cover-story,” Paxinos asserted. We were “being prepared for the pre-emptive use of tactical nuclear weapons.”
DU expert Tedd Weyman points to George Bush’s revised Nuclear Posture Review. Issued in March 2002, the new NPR pledged to test Nuclear Penetrator Missiles. “That’s my hunch,” Weyman believes. “We tested the prototypes there.”
Paxinos and Weyman were right.
According to Hank, under the cover of massive DU-tipped bombs that raised dirty mushroom clouds in thunderous explosions that rained radioactive dust over Jalalabad and nearby villages, the first nuclear bombs dropped since Basra in 1991 were detonated by American forces in Afghanistan beginning in March 2002. Before their field tests were concluded, United States forces would explode four 5-kiloton GBU-400 nuclear bombs in Tora Bora and other mountainous regions of Afghanistan.
In order to obtain a seismographic “snapshot” of a mountain’s internal structure, at least one of these four nuclear detonations took place alongside a craggy karst in the open air.
Hank’s buddies, who were on the scene, told him what happened far from scrutinizing media eyes in the remote mountains of northern Afghanistan. As he paraphrased their reports: “Back our guys away from the general area – ‘Don’t look that way for two or three seconds’ – and oops! we blew that up.”
With shockwaves rippling through the mountains, and fallout spreading through mountain passes, Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters knew that something momentous had occurred. But killing a few of the enemy in collapsing rock and a nuclear fireball actually proved counterproductive, Hank related. “It drove others deeper into less accessible areas. It backfired.”
Wouldn’t seismographic needles jump on distant dials, I asked Hank?
They did, he replied. But pinning down the source of such blasts in nearly impossible.
“You may hear something, but you would not be able to designate it because there was too much else going on. There’s no way you could call it,” Hank explained. A major conventional explosion, such as a huge C-130 or C5 Galaxy transport plane auguring in, “would give you the same seismographical signature.”
Keith Nakanishi and other seismologists at the Lawrence Livermore nuclear bomb labs agree that detecting, locating, and identifying a clandestine nuclear explosion is particularly challenging in the Middle East, where unusual tremors picked up by a few, widely scattered seismic monitoring stations would be drowned out by a large number of earthquakes and mining and oil drilling explosions. Add to this cacophony, waves of cruise missile strikes and massive bombs dropped by American warplanes.
Nevertheless, the Livermore seismologists state that among “thousands of seismic signals annually, some [are] quite similar to the signals that would be generated by a small underground nuclear blast.”
If major megaton-size nuclear weapons tests cause earthquakes, could a “baby nuke” do the same. The U.S. Geological Survey admits that even “deep mining can cause small to moderate quakes, and nuclear testing has caused small earthquakes in the immediate area surrounding the test site.” [earthquake.usgs.gov]
The Livermore scientists also note that a conventional 1,000 pound explosion set off by Israel on the shores of the Dead Sea on November 8, 1999 resulted in a quake of magnitude of 2.6 on the Richter scale. A 2,000-kilogram explosive detonated two days later, caused a 3.5 quake. [llnl.gov]
Each of the four nuclear weapons dropped on Afghanistan set off a bedrock-amplified explosive force of 10,000 tons.
The blasts in Tora Bora were immediately followed by a severe earthquake that “struck northern Afghanistan and was felt as far away as India,” the People’s Weekly World reported. Even in this earthquake-prone region, the long-lasting and powerful tremors were unprecedented, killing 150 people killed and destroying 500 houses.
“It is not unlikely that the use of powerful bombs led to the quake,” one geophysicist said.
Moscow thought so, too. An ITAR-TASS report speculated that the 7.2 Richter-scale ‘quake that struck northern Afghanistan “may have been caused by the powerful fuel-air and bunker-penetrating bombs used in earlier U.S. air strikes in that same region.” [whatmatters.nu]
Reviewing the stresses “induced in the earth’s crust” by powerful explosions, Kamran Ahmed reported from Karachi, “The severe earthquakes that struck Afghanistan in March can be attributed to these bombings.”
But were the quake-triggering blasts nuclear?
Gary Whiteford, Professor of Geography at the University of New Brunswick in Canada is renowned for his exhaustive research correlating nuclear tests and earthquakes. Looking at “killer earthquakes” that kill at least 1,000 people, Dr. Whiteford found that 63% of those earthquakes occurred within one to three days after a nuclear blast test. [dawn.com]
In 50 years before atomic testing began, 68 earthquakes of more than Richter 5.8 occurred every year. When hundreds of atomic bombs started going off in what can only be described as a large-scale nuclear war against the Earth, the quake rate rose “suddenly and dramatically” – nearly doubling to an average 127 major quakes per year.
TheU.S. military attributes the telltale increase to “coincidence.” But Whiteford comments, “The geographical patterns in the data, with a clustering of earthquakes in specific regions matched to specific test dates and sites do not support the easy and comforting explanation of `pure coincidence.’ It is a dangerous coincidence.”
“Abnormal meteorological phenomena, earthquakes and fluctuations of the earth’s axis are related in a direct cause-and-effect to testing of nuclear devices,” concurs Shigeyoshi Matsumae, President of Tokai University, and Yoshio Kato, Head of the University’s Department of Aerospace Science.
As Matsumae and Kato point out: “On June 19, 1992, the United States conducted an underground nuclear bomb test in Nevada. Another test was conducted only four days afterwards. Three days later, a series of heavy earthquakes as high as 7.6 on the Richter scale rocked the Mojave desert 176 miles to the south. They were the biggest earthquakes to hit California this century. Only 22 hours later, an “unrelated” earthquake of 5.6 struck less than 20 miles from the Nevada test site itself. It was the biggest earthquake ever recorded near the test site and caused one-million dollars of damage to buildings in an area designated for permanent disposal of highly radioactive nuclear wastes only fifteen miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.” [ratical.org]
So far, more than one million people have died in earthquakes that could be related to nuclear tests. [ratical.org]
WATCH THE BIRDIES
Meanwhile, Taliban fighters pounded night and day north of Kabul were dying from no visible injuries – except the blood flowing out of their mouths from internal bleeding. Near the Rish-Khor military base in the Afghan northern capitol, birds sat on tree branches with blood running from their beaks. As one eyewitness later recounted, “‘We were amazed to see all these birds sitting quietly on branches. But when we shook the tree the birds fell down and we saw blood coming out of their mouths. Then we climbed the trees to see those that were still stuck on tree branches, all of them had bled from their mouths. Two of the birds appeared to be partly melted into the trees branches’.”
According to PhD Mohammed Daud Miraki, who collected many first-hand accounts on the after-effects of heavy U.S. bombing, “many dead Taliban soldiers had severe discoloration of the skin, orange, without being burned, while others had their rifles melted in their hands.”
A medical doctor named Wazir reported, “Most of the victims have had respiratory problems and internal bleeding for which there is no apparent cause.” [khalifa.com Oct 30/01]
Were these symptoms caused by the massive concussive blasts of fuel-air bombs?
Very likely. When American jets dropped bunker busters at daybreak on the mud homes of Karam, the village was completely destroyed in massive craters. Many residents were killed from what appeared to be internal concussive injuries.
But other victims of American bombing exhibited symptoms of radiation sickness. In describing “another bizarre, yet tragic scene,” Dr, Mohammed continued, “Many Taliban soldiers that survived the bombing in the north have died after returning to their native villages in the south and southeast of the country. They had no physical injury upon their death, however, died from internal bleeding and other bizarre symptoms including uncontrolled vomiting, diarrhea, and blood loss in urine and stool. Their families were shocked with disbelieves.” [Afghan DU & Recovery Fund]
Perplexed by such symptoms, and uniquely “hot” munitions debris, medical teams and technical experts thought they were looking at “enhanced” Non-Depleted Uranium from a new generation of radioactive cannon shells, bomb and missile casings.
In fact, they were very likely looking at severe contamination from actual nuclear weapons.
SOMETHING NEW THIS WAY COMES
By May 2002, many more critics of the indiscriminate bombardment of Afghan cities and villages suspected that new weapons were being tested. That month, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, founder and director of Canada’s Uranium Medical Research Center, sent a team in-country to interview and examine civilians in heavily bombed Nangarhar. This province, the BBC reported, had become “a strategic target zone for the deployment of a new generation of deep-penetrating ‘cave-busting’ and seismic shock warheads.”
The British broadcasters failed to mention that each of these new weapons was tipped with more than one ton of NDU.
Alerted to the “radioactive, toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads used by the coalition forces,” the UMRC team started looking for radiation poisoning. What they found was, in their words, “astonishing” and “astounding”.
Identifying “several hundred people suffering from illnesses and conditions similar to those of Gulf veterans,” the team began administering tests. “Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination,” UMRC reported. But the readings were off the scale of previous known DU exposures: “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.”
A control group three uncontaminated Afghans averaged 9.4 nanograms of uranium per litre of urine. The average for 17 randomly selected patients Jalalabad, Kabul, Tora Bora and Mazar-i-Sharif was 315.5 nanograms. A 12-year-old boy living near Kabul displayed 2,031 nanograms.
The maximum permissible level for members of the American public is 12 nanograms per litre.
A follow-up UMRC visit to Afghanistan in September 2002 bore out the earlier findings. But conditions were much worse, with “a potentially much broader area and larger population of contamination.”
Dr. Durakovic told the BBC he was “stunned” by the results. “I’m certainly not saying Afghanistan was a vast experiment with new uranium weapons. But use your common sense.”
NDU OR NBF? (NUCLEAR BOMB FALLOUT)
The consequences of ingesting radioactive particles were already reaching out to embrace the residents, troops and aid agency staffs in the world’s most impoverished nation – as well as their spouses and subsequent offspring at home.
The baffling problem was, reported Stephanie Hiller, that while hundreds of tested Afghan people presented symptoms resembling those of DU-exposed Gulf War veterans – none of the civilians tested at Nangarhar showed any trace of Depleted Uranium.
The editor of Awakened Woman visited some of the six sites examined by the UMRC team in and around Kabul, where U.S. bunker buster bombs were detonated. With bioassays identifying uranium internal contamination in the Spin Gar (Tora Bora) area, and Kabul up to 2,000% higher than an unexposed population, the UMRC reported: “The isotopic ratios of the uranium contaminant measured in Afghan civilians show that it is not Depleted Uranium (DU). The isotopes of uranium found in the Afghan civilians’ urine is Non-Depleted Uranium.”
Field surveyors found that the bulk of the radioactive contamination occurred in the Tora Bora, Bagram frontline, as well as frontlines north of Kabul, Shaikoot, Paktia, Paktika, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Kunduz – where massive bunker busters and fuel-air bombs were detonated, perhaps in part to mask striking health effects from four nuclear blasts.
Other medical survey teams also reported that in bombardments of the Tora Bora, Shaikoot and Bagram frontline, “large number of antiaircraft weapons and rifles had melted… Many Taliban soldiers were seen with blood coming out from their mouths, noses and ears.” Those who returned to their villages “started to vomit blood and had bloody stools. Subsequently, many have died from their conditions.”
After the bombardment in Khost, public health workers reported seeing skin lesions. In a manner resembling the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Afghan people who developed skin lesions died after their conditions deteriorated.
In Pachir Wa Agam district near Tora Bora, “women started to suffer from a deadly condition. Several months after the bombing, women of the area would become angry by petty things and that anger turns into rage, which subsequently causes the women to collapse and die. My team also reported that many children are born with no limbs, no eyes, or tumors protruding out from their mouths and their eyes,” its leader related.
“Subsequent to the contamination, newborn children have physical deformities, and those that do not have physical deformity are suffering from Mental Retardation. These cases are reported from Paktia, Nangarhar, Bagram, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz,” the UMRC stated.
A man named Assadullah told the team in February 2003 that his wife had given birth to child so badly deformed he hardly resembled an infant. “When I saw my little boy with those monstrous red tumors, I thought to myself, why is it difficult for Americans to understand that they are hated in our country?” Assadullah said. “If I do this to the child of an American family, that family has the right to pull my eyes out of my eye sockets. I like to tell the Americans that they love to live their lives of luxury at the expense of our extermination.” [European Parliament Verbatim Report of Proceedings Apr 9/02]
Zar Ghoon is the father of another victim of U.S. bombing attacks on Kunduz. In December 2002 he told the medical survey team, “My wife was pregnant and we were happily waiting for the moment to see our second child. When the baby was born, it was hardly a human… When my wife saw the baby, she went into shock and died after five hours.”
Speaking with a field volunteers near Tora Bora in April 2003, Sa’yed Gharib lost it. Screaming in grief and rage he shouted, “What else do the Americans want? They killed us, they turned our newborns into horrific deformations, and they turned our farmlands into graveyards and destroyed our homes. On top of all that their planes fly over and spray us with bullets.”
“Tell America, we are not fools. Your words and actions are those of evil. We do not have airplanes like you do, however, we have one thing that you do not have: principles and morals. We will never do anything remotely similar to American children what Americans have done to our children and families,” declared Nurullah Omar-Khail. [Afghan DU & Recovery Fund]
According to Mohammed Daud Miraki’s extensive public health survey, “Most of the people that developed various health problems have died; others suffer from conditions such as kidney disease/failure, confusion, and loss of immunity and painful joints.”
Dr. Durakovic told reporters, “If UMRC’s Nangarhar findings are corroborated in other communities across Afghanistan, the country faces a severe public health disaster… every subsequent generation is at risk.” [BBC May3/03]
By October 2002, Afghan doctors citing rapid deaths from internal ailments were accusing the coalition of using chemical and radioactive weapons. The symptoms they reported (hemorrhaging, pulmonary constriction and vomiting) could have resulted from radiation contamination. [LeMonde Diplomatique Mar/02]
But inhalation, ingestion or wound-contamination by Depleted Uranium particles does not lead to such acute radiation poisoning symptoms immediately after exposure. Nor would “surface water, rice fields and catch-basins adjacent to and surrounding the bombsites have high values of uranium, up to 27 Xs normal,” as the UMRC found.
Hank believes that Afghanistan’s water table contains much more radioacative contamination than can be ascribed to DU and NDU contamination. The effective genetic sterilization of that country’s southern region can also be traced to fallout washing down from the mountains where four American nuclear weapons were detonated. “Rain runs downhill,” he says.
ROUTINE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
If not exactly “routine”, Hank says, the undisclosed use of five nuclear weapons against Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in a dangerous shift in U.S. war fighting. As he put it, “Using tactical nukes is now an acceptable doctrine until otherwise notified.”
Iran and the rest of the world, beware. In calling America a “Nuclear Rogue,” the New York Times warned, “Nuclear weapons are not just another part of the military arsenal. They are different, and lowering the threshold for their use is reckless folly.” [New York Times Mar 11/02]
As Alok O’Brien concludes, “There is no longer time to pretend that everything will be alright, and that all thinking and feeling people need to unite in their hopes and dreams and reclaim the earth and their birthright before it is too late.”
With the countdown continuing on Iran – and any constraints against Washington’s use of nuclear weapons already removed by the detonation of five low-yield nuclear bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan – the time to act is now.
1. Tora Bora blast resembles tactical nuclear detonation cooperativeresearch.org
2. Tora Bora blast (insert) Dec 15/01 photo by Kevin Frayer AP/CP
3. Bagram Airport blast Oct 30/01 september11news.com
4. Geroge Bush must give nuclear strike orders watch.windsofchange.net
5. radiation victim (Iraq) Mar 25/04 mindfully.org
6. radiation victim (Iraq) Mar 25/04 mindfully.org