Part II: Sleight Of Nuke

willthomasonline.net exclusive

Founded by Caliph Omar in 636 AD, the ancient city of Basra stands astride the main road into Iran. In early 1991, the fabled home of Sinbad the Sailor was targeted by American commanders keen to stop a stream of WMD slipping over that border into Iran.

Armed with chemical agents delivered by Hussein Kemal Hassan, a dissident Shiite commander in Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led army, as well as the computer software and “yellow cake” needed to enhance its nuclear weapons program, Iran could ruin the Pentagon’s plans for a mechanized blitzkrieg if Teheran decided to intervene. [answers.com ; Bringing The War Home by William Thomas ]

As Saddam’s trusted military-industrial chief, Kamal had no trouble ordering a convoy of six military transport trucks loaded with “yellow cake” at the heavily guarded al-Jesira factory near Mosul. Mined nearby, yellow cake is used in the difficult technical task of turning low-grade uranium into highly enriched, weapons-grade material.

Also included in this first clandestine WMD transfer to Iran were an advanced Hewlett Packard computer and a Linatron X-ray machines used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Traveling blacked out, the nighttime convoy comprising two red-and-white Scania transport vans, two orange-and-red Scanias, an orange 1975 MAC truck and a brown-and- white Volvo truck wended south to a second loading dock in Baghdad before proceeding to the Iranian border, where civilian Iranian drivers and trucks were waiting.

According to a U.S. intelligence report declassified in May 1995, the Iranians drove their cargo to the town of Hamadan, where Revolutionary Guards took over the convoy. Following the road between the towns of Shariyar and Robate Karim, the Guards delivered their special freight to the Shahid Mostafa Khomeini Revolutionary Corps Barracks at Pasdaran, located roughly 30 kilometers southwest of Teheran. Used by the Guards as a military training facility, the barracks included storage rooms and warehouses.

The yellow cake was sent on to the Fasa/Rudan Research Center to manufacture enriched uranium fuel rods for civilian reactors.

Or nuclear bombs.

A follow-up convoy consisting of two Volvos, two Scanias and a Mac truck also transferred chemical-bioweapons materials into Iran. [SUBJ: “TRANSFER OF NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL (NBC) MATERIEL DURING DESERT STORM” U.S. Defense Department Report: IIR 2 201 0744 91/Filename:22010744.91rMessage SERIAL: (U) IIR 2 201 0744 91]

Alarmed by IIR 2 201 0744 91 and similar intelligence reports, U.S. military commanders placed high priority on interdicting this clandestine WMD supply route, while serving notice on the mullahs in Teheran not to interfere with the coming U.S. attacks on their Shiite brethren in Iraq.

Would fuel-air bombs achieve both mission objectives? As a bonus, the giant BLU-82s could be used to clear Iraqi minefields and intimidate terrified barefoot conscripts into surrendering. When General Schwarzkopf suggested using BLUs, Colonel George Gray, Commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing enthused, “Everybody within three miles of the drop will be bleeding from every orifice of his body.”

General Calvin Waller reportedly ad-libbed with a big grin, “Oh God, how many do we have?”

At least 11 BLU-82s would be dropped on Iraqi positions. [psywarrior.com]

Hank was with the American invasion force heading into Kuwait. “Our guys got told left and right that if things got a little cranky and stupid, we could end up in a short shooting war – but we had a bigger bullet. We had stuff that could come off the navy ships or could be dropped,” he said.

That “stuff” he later learned, included a “Klick 5” – a 5-kiloton nuclear bomb.

Interdicting WMD shipments and intimidating Teheran with a nuclear attack on the main road passing from Basra into Iran seemed like a perfect field test for America’s new generation of nuclear weapons. The Electromagnetic Pulse resulting from an underground nuclear blast would also fry the local electrical grid, creating a “blind zone” in Iraq’s key southern defenses.

As Hank explained the Pentagon’s strategy: “You have to do it where you can get away with it. It has to be something out in the hinterlands, and still be worth being discovered [by Teheran]. Baghdad – nooo. Salman Pak producing and storing biological stuff – nooo. Basra, which was the direct [WMD] pipeline between Iran and Iraq – yeah!

“This was a really good spot to make a point to everybody, far enough from Saddam that he would not respond with NBC,” Hank continued, referring to known stocks of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons or materials the dictator had received from the United States.

The message to Teheran would be equally clear: “If we see a human-wave, or even a Ryder truck coming our way, this is what you’re going to get,” Hank noted. “Carry on cranky, and we’re going to give you a really bad day.”

Still, it was risky. If Saddam learned that a nuclear attack had taken place, he might respond by blowing up the key Darbandikhan dam located near the ill-fated town of Halabja. If he did, Israel would go thirsty. And U.S. forces would need rubber rafts if they chose to occupy Baghdad.

Who gave the order to go nuclear?

Under the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1995, using nuclear weapons preemptively against weapons of mass destruction or “to demonstrate U.S. intent and capability to use nuclear weapons to deter adversary use of WMD” must first be authorized by the National Command Authority. The NCA is comprised of two individuals: the Secretary of Defense and the President.

Rumsfeld, Cheney and other war planners “were taking a heckuva chance,” Hank charged. If those truckloads of yellow cake were “excited” by a nearby nuclear detonation – or if a rumored “way station” laboratory really was in the Basra area – the resulting blast could be amplified beyond “low-yield”.

“Can you say cook-off?” Hank asked.

As a preliminary to the first nuclear attack since the incineration of Nagasaki, at least one 15,000 pound fuel-air bomb was dropped in the Basra district on February 7, 1991. The resulting fireball covered two square miles. Outside the blast zone, oxygen consumed by what was essentially a gigantic gas explosion collapsed the lungs of all living creatures.
One website warned: “Usage of the BLU-82 is the precursor to the next weapon that may be used… the bunker-busting nuclear weapons.”

Around this time, a British Special Air Service (SAS) team on a secret reconnaissance mission sighted a signature mushroom cloud from 110 miles away. The commandos radioed back to headquarters, “Sir, the blokes have just nuked Kuwait.”
[indymedia.nl; psywarrior.com]

unker-busting nuclear weapons.” [casi.org.uk]

Around this time, a British Special Air Service (SAS) team on a secret reconnaissance mission sighted a signature mushroom cloud from 110 miles away. The commandos radioed back to headquarters, “Sir, the blokes have just nuked Kuwait.”
[indymedia.nl; psywarrior.com]

In fact, the blokes had just nuked Iraq. According to U.S. military sources, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon against another country since 1945 took place approximately 11 miles east of Basra, sometime between February 2 and February 5, 1991.

By then, Iraq’s former capitol had been declared a “free fire zone” – open to carpet-bombing by high-flying formations of eight-engine B-52s. “Basra is a military town in the true sense,” military spokesman General Richard Neal told the press. “The infrastructure, military infrastructure, is closely interwoven within the city of Basra itself.”

Though the soon-to-be fired General Neal claimed there were no civilians left in Basra, the city was actually sheltering some 800,000 terrified residents. In direct violation of Article 51 of the Geneva Protocols, which prohibits area bombing, the B-52s commenced saturation grid-bombing of the city. Mixing fuel-air bombs with shrapnel-spraying cluster bombs, the bombers leveled entire city blocks, the Los Angeles Times reported, leaving “bomb craters the size of football fields, and an untold number of casualties.” [Washington Post Feb 2/91; Los Angeles Times Feb 5/91]

With the city of Basra resounding to gigantic explosions, and engulfed in “a hellish nighttime of fires and smoke so dense that witnesses say the sun hasn’t been clearly visible for several days at a time,” a 5-kiloton GB-400 nuclear bomb exploding 11 miles away under the desert attracted no notice. [deoxy.org; Los Angeles Times Feb 5/91]

According to Hank’s GI informants, about “400 to 500 meters” of terrain were “cleaned out” of any bystanders and vehicles. The seismic disturbance radiating out a half mile to a mile from ground zero was “pretty devastating,” Hank learned. Besides flipping vehicles over, causing alarms to go off, and knocking people off their feet at that distance, the earth-shaking blast detonated every mine in the area.

Regarding Washington’s intent to halt the WMD transfers and deter Iran – “It made their point,” he says.

At the time of the subsurface detonation in hard-packed sand, Iraq’s sharkay daytime wind was blowing from northwest to southeast, away from Basra toward Iran. But the shamal shifts 180-degrees during the night, “so everybody gets a taste,” as Hank put it. “We had FOX [NBC ‘sniffer’] vehicles sitting on the Kuwaiti side of the border to make sure the thing went the way it was supposed to.” [“Israeli Nuclear Strike On Iran Turned Back By USAF by William Thomas willthomas.net Jan 22/07]

The immediate “spike” in airborne radiation would drop quickly, Hank stated. A Desert Storm scheduled to assault Kuwait on February 25, should have left coalition forces on the other side of the border in the clear.

But the Union of Concerned Scientists is less certain subsurface low-yield detonations can be contained. The nuclear experts point to atomic detonations at the Nevada Test Site showing that “the minimum burial depth to ensure containment… is roughly 100-meters for a one-kiloton explosion.” [ucsusa.org May/05]

Even in sand, bunker busters cannot penetrate anywhere near this depth. As Harper’s Phelan discovered, “Even a 1-kiloton bunker buster – a relative firecracker detonated at 50-feet underground – could eject about 1,000,000 cubic meters of radioactive soil. [Harper’s Dec 1/04]

The bomb detonated near Basra was five-times more powerful.

Given time, the resulting sandy fallout will “spread out and cover everybody with a low dose – instead of a few somebodies with a high dose,” Hank said.

Just like DU.

There is nothing “depleted” about a speck of anything that can kill any organism that ingests or inhales it over the next 4.5 billion years. [Daily Star (Beirut) Sept 14/04; Tribune Media Services June 29/06]

“Basically, it’s like smoking crack,” says former Lawrence Livermore nuclear lab scientist, Leuren Moret regarding uranium dust. “Only you’re inhaling radioactive crack – and it won’t get you high. It will get you dead. It goes right in your nose. It crosses the olfactory bulb into your brain. It’s a systemic poison. It goes everywhere.”

Borne around the globe on high-level winds, radioactive nanoparticles 100-times smaller than a white blood cell go “straight into the blood stream,” Moret continues. “It’s carried all throughout the body into the bones, the bone marrow, the brain. It goes into the fetus. [It] gets picked up in the lipids and probably the cholesterol and go right through the cell membranes of the cell. They screw up the cell processes. They screw up the signaling between the cells because the cells all talk to each other and coordinate what they’re doing. It messes up brain function.” [Project Censored Feb 21/05;
iconoclast-texas.com May 9/05]

And because radioactive particles are not soluble, they cannot be excreted from the body.

Alpha particles tend to bind with phosphate in human bones and DNA. Just one gram of U-238 lodged in the body from a Depleted Uranium round – or a nuclear detonation – emits 12,000 alpha particles per second. [American Free Press Aug 27/04]

According to Eric Wright, Professor of Experimental Hematology at Dundee University, even a cell that seems unharmed by radiation can produce cells with diverse mutations several cell generations later to cause cancer and birth defects. Pentagon studies prior to Desert Storm found that aerosol uranium exposure could lead to cancers of the lung and bone, kidney damage, non-malignant lung disease, neurocognitive disorders, chromosomal damage and birth defects.
[San Francisco Chronicle Oct 10/02]

Another Pentagon-funded study concluded: “Fetal exposure to uranium during critical prenatal development may adversely impact the future behavioral and neurological development of offspring.”
[Vanity Fair Nov/04]

Another problem, Hank reiterated: “You can get secondary cook-off. You can get stuff on the ground to react in ways it never would.” Around Basra, this radioactive blow-back from the February 1991 nuclear detonation included Depleted Uranium dust from previous American attacks, as well as radon bubbling up from underground pools of petroleum back-pressured toward the surface by the shutdown of one of Iraq’s three biggest oilfields.

“If your immune system was brought down by DU, and shutting down the oil [production] made an oil pool under the city and started gassing them with radon – bad!” Hank exclaimed. “The radiation would make them more susceptible to DU, and the DU would make them more susceptible to the radon.”

Add the electromagnetic radiation from high-powered American radios, radars and jammers to all the radioactive sand later churned by military trucks and tracked vehicles, Hank continued. “The U.S. gave the Iraqi people a one-two-three punch… The word, ‘catastrophic’ does not even come close.”

But this was only the beginning of an undeclared nuclear disaster that will poison people and wildlife in southern Iraq until the Earth ends. As Hank went on to point out, a bunker buster that explodes anywhere from 20 feet to 160 feet underground “is more than enough to contaminate every water source in the region. The aquifer would be contaminated. And that wouldn’t go away in a week.”

In fact, U.S. Army training manuals require anyone coming within 25 yards of DU-contaminated homes, equipment or terrain to wear respiratory and skin protection. Otherwise, the manuals warn, “contamination will make food and water unsafe for consumption.” [San Francisco Chronicle Oct 10/02]

“Any significant [radioactive] contamination is likely to migrate by air and water to wider and more populated areas,” confirmed a European Union report. [European Parliament Verbatim Report of Proceedings Apr 9/02]

Or Geiger counters. In the heart of Baghdad, Christian Science Monitor reporter Scott Peterson waved a radiation-detecting wand over a small pile of jet-black dirt near a group of playing children – only to jump back in alarm when the instrument registered 1,900 times the normal background radiation.
[Christian Science Monitor May 15/03; The Daily Star (Beirut) Sept 14/04; WSWS May 10/05]

More than 200 uranium-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from U.S. ships and submarines during the first bombardment on Iraq. Hundreds more would follow. In addition, more than 3,000 bombs were dropped on metropolitan Baghdad – and the homes of six million people.

Nearly a quarter-million bombs were dropped by allied forces during Desert Storm. With DU dust blowing everywhere, and and U.S. airstrikes continuing at least weekly for another 16 years, the legacy of permanent low-level radioactivity spread throughout Iraq can only be called genocide. [deoxy.org]

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, was put in charge of Nuclear Medicine Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. After finding unusually high radiation levels in American veterans, as well as birth defects in the offspring of their spouses, he had became convinced that not only that was DU slowly killing them, but also that it was causing changes in the human gene pool that would ravage future generations in the USA and Iraq. Asked to stop his research by the U.S. government, he refused.

In 2006, soil samples in Iraq showed radiation levels 17-times higher than any readings that might be remotely acceptable – threatening, in , Dr. Durakovic’s words, environmental “catastrophe.” This DU doctor believes that radioactive dust contamination from the 1991 war may have exposed the entire Gulf population. [Depleted Uranium Radioactive Contamination In Iraq Aug/06]

The estimated 300-800 tons of nuclear waste dumped on the people and ecologies of Iraq during Desert Storm were concentrated in the Baghdad region. Far to the south, Iraq’s former capitol “is some 200 kilometres away from sites where large numbers of DU shells were fired,” reported David Rose. Yet, nearly every family tested in Basra experienced extreme symptoms from low level radiation exposure.
[Tribune Media Services June 29/06; byronchild.com; Vanity Fair Nov/04]

Six years after the 1991 Gulf War, a cancer study found Iraqi soldiers who fought in the Basra area to be stricken with “a statistically significant increase in the rate at which they were stricken with lymphomas, leukaemia, and lung, brain, gastrointestinal, bone and liver cancers, as compared to personnel who had not fought in the south.”
[WSWS May 10/05]

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before,” testified Dr. Jawad Al-Ali before the 2003-2004 Citizen’s Tribunal in Japan. “The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with two cancers-one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney-he had three different cancer types.

“The second is the clustering of cancer in families,” the British-educated MD continued. “We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr. Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr. Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer.” [Tribune Media Services June 29/06; WSWS May 10/05]

While interviewing Dr. Jawad al-Ali, Director of the Talimi Oncology Center at Basra’s biggest hospital, concerning his research into the effects of radiation and cancer cases “in Iraq’s radioactive governorate of Basra,” Ewa Jasiewicz learned that hospital staff were also dying from radiation poisoning at rates rivaling emergency responders at Chernobyl. “Thirteen doctors and nurses at Talimi have contracted cancer since 1990 – breast, testicular and lymphoma,” this reporter wrote.

With cancer rates “skyrocketing” from a 300% increase in airborne radiation above background levels, Dr. Jawad added that water and food remain the primary contaminated sources. Another big problem is the “re-suspension” of radioactive particles through strong winds, digging, or vehicles driving over radioactive sands.

Iraq‘s second largest city is home to as many as three million people.

“The rate of cancer here has multiplied 15-times since the last Gulf war,” Dr. Jawad stated.

“For Dr. Jawad, the constant cancer cases (many of which go unreported, he stresses) are a spiraling emergency,” Ewa Jasiewicz noted. [“Uranium in Your Koolaid” Occupation Watch Jan 26/04]

Based on their experience in southern Iraq hospitals, MDs Ahmad, Abdul-Hafidh and al-Khazraji found that anyone exposed to nuclear contamination there can expect… “A considerable increase in infectious diseases caused by most severe immunodeficiencies in a great part of the population; frequent occurrence of massive herpes and zoster afflictions in adults and children; AIDS-like syndrome; a hitherto unknown syndrome caused by renal and hepatic dysfunctions; leukemia, elaptic anemia and malignant neoplasms; congenital deformities caused by genetic defects – also to be found in animals, Down’s syndrome, skeletal and chromosomal abnormalities, hair loss, rare skin diseases, severe vertigo accompanied by nausea and loss of balance, distorted vision and loss of sight, severe migraine, sterility among both sexes, and an increase in the incidence of miscarriages and of still, premature and difficult births.”
[Further Evidence on Relation between Depleted Uranium, Incidence of Malignancies among Children in Basra, Southern Iraq Dr. Alim Yacoup; Dr. Imad al-Sa’ doun; Dr. Genan G. Hassan College of Medicine, Basra University]

Does anyone in America understand the word, karma?

With more than half of all cancers in Iraq occurring among children under the age of five, Dr. Jawad al-Ali warned that children are especially susceptible to permanent radioactive fallout. “Children in particular are susceptible to Depleted Uranium poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most. However, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common,” he said. [Lifeboatnews.com May 27/03; Tribune Media Services June 29/06; americanchronicle.com]

Doctors Ahmad Hardan, Abdul-Hafidh and al-Khazraji were also seeing “escalating numbers” of children wasting away from leukemia, lymphomas and Hodgkin’s disease. Child leukemia in southern Iraq has leaped 400% since 1990.
[Junge Welt Oct 24/00; Further Evidence on Relation between Depleted Uranium, Incidence of Malignancies among Children in Basra]

When the Japanese began studying radiation effects in the southern Iraq during the summer of 2003, their Geiger counter went “off the scale on many occasions. During their vista local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day.”
[envirosagainstwar.org; americanchronicle.com Apr 17/06; WSWS May 10/05]

Six-hundred sick children every day?

Breast cancer in young women, age 30 and under is also “many times higher”, and ovarian cancer in women has increased by 1,600%. [Southern Iraq College of Medicine, Basra University]

“After the Gulf War, they had maybe one baby a week born with birth defects in the hospitals in Basra. Now they are having 10-12 a day,” laments Leuren Moret. “The levels of uranium are increasing in the population every year. Every day, people are eating and drinking while the whole environment is contaminated. There are more babies born with birth defects, and the birth defects are getting more and more severe.”

In Afghanistan and Iraq, women who should be overjoyed by their pregnancies call their condition “jelly belly”. So many babies are being born with stubby limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be-or with a single Cyclopean eye, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads-new mothers no longer ask, “Is it a girl or a boy?”

Instead, they anxiously inquire, “Is it normal, doctor?”

In March 2004 the Tokyo Citizen’s Tribunal found George Bush and his administration “guilty of war crimes” for using illegal weapons against the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. [Depleted Uranium Radioactive Contamination In Iraq: An Overview by Dr. Souad al-Azzawi Aug/06 Hiroshima]

Basra’s beleaguered doctors were not alone in realizing they faced something extreme. Before her death from sudden-onset cancer, beloved Iraqi artist and Baghdad Diaries author, Nuha al-Radi wrote, “The carnage takes place in apocalyptic proportions… Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia… “

Photo Captions/Credits

Part 2
1. B61-11 nuclear bomb telegraph.co.uk
2. Bush Sr. todaysgolfer.co.uk
3. MOAB mushroom cloud usatoday.com
4. Basra survivors flee American bombing ccmep.org
5. Baghdad hit by huge bombs abc.net.au
6. al-Rasheed military facility hit in southeast Baghdad AFP
7. B52D bomber defensetech.org
8. Basra before it was blown up fromthewilderness.com