Monday, March 01, 2010

More on DU

Okay, I'm back and "I'm feeling much better now"*.

Turns out that I was suffering from a low-grade and nearly asymptomatic sinus infection. Except for the extreme fatigue. Finally I recognized it for what it was, crawled to my doctor to get some horse-pill antibiotics and slept 14 hours on Saturday night-Sunday morning.

In the meantime a guy named Roger Helbig tried to lure me into a debate over my post from nearly four years ago, "Depleted" Uranium and Sick Veterans:

The only criminals are those who lie about DU and mislead America's veterans and their families, hoping to get them to send them money. DU use never was a crime by any standard, international or otherwise. The liars, though, make a very convincing case and political writers like Fisk are easily duped because it looks politically correct.
There's more. Apparently Roger is on a high horse about the "lies" surrounding the dangers of Depleted Uranium. He also wanted my personal email address so we could exchange ideas... I told him no thanks on that since I prefer not to interact with the external world other than through my blog...

However, I did thank him graciously (well, sort of, for me...) and agreed that there is some controversy over the issue.

To which he replied:
You are buying the "new Agent Orange" claim without any facts to support it. Agent Orange is a man-made chemical; no human being has any naturally occuring Agent Orange or dioxin in their body. Every human being on Earth and all other animals as well has naturally occuring Uranium-238 (aka DU)in their body every day of their lives and ingests an infinitessimally tiny amount every day of that life as well.
As if that is supposed to make me feel better about it. But Roger says it's okay and not at all harmless. Yeah, I think I can remember a guy from Dow Chemical actually drinking a glassful to prove it was safe. I wonder whatever happened to him? I'm sure that the company "disappeared" him when he starting coming down with those classic symptoms, and his birth-defective deformed children were all sold to freakshow carnivals in South America...

Roger is also apparently easily confused. First he starts out by accusing me of saying something my first commenter left:
Farnworth - you and your wife have a lot to learn. You both are doing Saddam Hussein's bidding after he has been moldering in his grave.
And he doesn't seem to quite "get" the function of an indented blockquote:
The following does not sound like the AP reporter's writing - is this your personal commentary or what?
"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."
"Zillions" does not sound like it is out of the AP style book - it is a cartoon like word, not particulary descriptive.
So who is this guy? you ask. Well, he seems to be a professional pentagon-flack gadfly on the subject of DU -- here's a sample of Google hits on his name.

Since he appears to be on a mission to provide the officially-sanctioned "truth" about DU, it makes me wonder why he's just now getting around to my post from way back in 2006.

[* Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2]


Roger Helbig said...

I resent your comments about me. I am not luring anyone. I have been researching this subject for five years and have much to share. You obviously do not care that you have been taken in by professional liars. I am a veteran just like you; pissed off, just like you. I served in the Vietnam Era - I have no idea if you are genuine because it is impossible to verify who you are. I came to your site through either a Google Alert or a search - I found that you had false information posted with even more false information posted in the comments. Now, I don't see my extensive comments, which if you note include international references, not US ones. I have nothing to do with anything official. I am a retiree sitting in my living room on my laptop. Why did I decide to take on what I call the anti-depleted uranium crusade that you have bought into? I knew enough about uranium and radiation to know that some of the lies were just that, lies. Then I personally got smeared by one of the key liars Douglas Lind Rokke (aka Dr Rokke, aka Major Rokke) and I got his records under the Freedom of Information Act, something anyone could have done, but no one else bothered to do. I was able to prove that he does not even factually represent who he is. I post under my own name because that is who I am - I could hide under some pseudonym, but I don't.

Farnsworth68 said...

Go ahead and resent, Roger. I guess the jury is still out on just who and what you are.
Sorry if something I wrote offended you.
And just what "extended comments" are you referring to? The ones posted on my 2006 DU story? Why should I quote the whole thing when I included the link in my new post (i.e. this one)?

Anonymous said...

Some say he's a pentagon spook, some say a sad alcoholic. Who knows who the real Roger Helbig is, he spends all of his dreary days hassling people like you. So sad.
He's been through all of us, here in Hawaii.
Yes, there's uranium in the ground and in our bodies, we can hold it in our hands without danger - but "burnt and inhaled" is a different story.
All we want in Hawaii is independent monitoring of our training ranges, but the military is fighting it tooth and nail. Why?

Nice to meet you brother.

Jae said...

DU and birth defects

Oh yeah, and Roger Helbig is a moron.

Farnsworth68 said...

Thanks, jae. Good to see you back.
Here's a clickable link to the article, BBC News' "Disturbing story of Fallujah's birth defects".
Yeah, DU is sure some kind of "harmless" all right.
--The F Man