|While the scientific jury is still out on that issue, the instant bestseller, "Depleted Uranium: The Invisible War" [Uranium appauvri: la guerre invisible] released in France on January 23, reveals that, in fact, "safe" depleted uranium in U.S. bombs had been contaminated at least six years ago by highly radioactive waste, probably in the munitions plant in Paducah, Kentucky. The U.S. was aware of the problem, but used them, anyway.|
The charges of contamination by "Depleted Uranium"
authors, Martin Meissonnier, Frederic Loore and
Roger Trilling, were confirmed by researchers at a
Swiss government laboratory, which analyzed spent
U.S. munitions from Kosovo. The lab found that the
shells did contain traces of an isotope of uranium
which occurs only in nuclear waste. Four other
European labs are also analyzing data from samples
of soil, water, and spent shells from Kosovo, and
their findings are due to be released in March.
Puerto Ricans may be the beneficiaries as Europeans
continue to investigate. The Puerto Rican legislature
just passed a unanimous resolution asking to be
included in any future investigations by NATO,
individual countries, and the World Health
Organization (WHO). The new revelations may help
evict the Navy from Vieques, and bolster the lawsuit
filed by the Mississippi-based law firm, John Arthur
Eaves, on behalf of 3,600 sick Vieques residents.
The firm, which specializes in class action lawsuits
involving industrial pollution, will be claiming more
than $100 million in damages from the US Navy.
The lawsuit is being closely watched by Europeans
critical of NATO's use of DU shells, and by the
stricken NATO soldiers and their supporters. If the
Vieques people win, an avalanche of European
lawsuits against NATO and their home governments
may follow. Conversely, any lawsuit against a
European NATO member will strengthen the
Vieques lawsuit in the U.S.