In a story AP writer Deborah Hastings describes the results of exposure to so-called Depleted Uranium among the troops in the field:
It takes at least 10 minutes and a large glass of orange juice to wash down all the pills morphine, methadone, a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant, a stool softener. Viagra for sexual dysfunction. Valium for his nerves.Read the whole sordid tale and prepare yourself for anger, frustration and disbelief.
Four hours later, Herbert Reed will swallow another 15 mg of morphine to cut the pain clenching every part of his body. He will do it twice more before the day is done.
Since he left a bombed-out train depot in Iraq, his gums bleed. There is more blood in his urine, and still more in his stool. Bright light hurts his eyes. A tumor has been removed from his thyroid. Rashes erupt everywhere, itching so badly they seem to live inside his skin. Migraines cleave his skull. His joints ache, grating like door hinges in need of oil.
A different kind of disbelief than Herbert Reed has faced when he's tried to hold his government -- our government -- accountable for the poisoning of America's troops.
"Depleted" uranium is anything but. It still holds 60% of its original radioactivity, and it's used not only in artillery shells but also in tank armor. On impact it explodes into zillions of microscopic fragments and creates a cloud of toxic dust with a half-life of 4.5 BILLION years.
And we're not only poisoning our own troops, but we are also leaving this radioactive cloud behind us, our legacy to Iraq. Our legacy to generations of Iraqi children yet unborn.
It's a war crime, and somebody needs to be held accountable for it.