By Andrew Walden (Originally published September 7, 2007)
Readers may not have noticed the difference, but Stalinist agit-prop took over the Hawaii media for a week after the Army’s Aug. 19 announcement that a one-pound depleted uranium (DU) “Davy Crockett” spotter round was discovered at the Big Island’s Pohakuloa Training Area. The Davy Crockett system was a tactical nuclear weapon designed to wipe out entire brigades of Warsaw Pact armies in the event of a European ground war. In order to mimic the mass and density of the actual nuclear device, the one-pound depleted uranium spotter round was substituted in training. Because the Davy Crockett system was part of training throughout the 1960s, this will likely be the beginning of a long series of propaganda barrages timed with DU “discoveries” at military training facilities in Hawaii and nationwide.
DU is even being used as an excuse by the anti-Oahuan Superferry protesters who claim that the Superferry will spread DU throughout the islands. They repeat this nonsense in spite of the fact that the Superferry CEO Mike Garibaldi has denied any link to the Stryker brigade; the military does not now use expensive DU ammunition in training; combat operations do not lead U.S. soldiers to become “covered in DU dust” unless they are fired upon by DU weapons; and solid or aerosolized DU is less toxic than lead.
After the discovery of three rounds at Schoefield Barracks, announced earlier this year, activists connected DU with the Davy Crockett system. Figuring that the Davy Crockett had also been trained at Pohakuloa, and would be discovered there soon, anti-American activists on the Big Island began buying “Gamma Scout” Geiger counters. In spite of the fact that DU gamma and beta radiation is 20 times too weak to be read by the Gamma Scout, the activists pretended to record high background readings and then blamed them on depleted uranium -- a physical impossibility, but a well-timed propaganda set up for the eventual Big Island Davy Crockett find.
The International Atomic Energy Administration points out, “DU is 3 million times less radioactive than radium still found in many old luminous watches and 10 million times less radioactive than what is used in fire detectors.” DU is also far less radioactive than the potassium 40 found in the human body. Potassium is a substantial percentage of the dry mass of common Hawaii agricultural crops such as bananas and marijuana. A 2.5 lb bunch of bananas will contain over 100 mg of potassium 40. Gamma detectors are used to detect marijuana smugglers at international borders.
When called on the lie that DU is a radiation danger, the anti-Americans revert to their backup lie -- DU toxicity. As Jim Albertini, head of the mis-named Malu Aina “Peace” Center, says, “Live-fire can result in the further dispersal of DU small particles which are especially hazardous when inhaled.” This is also a fraud. Lead is far more toxic than DU. Why aren’t the anti-Americans talking about lead toxicity from millions of spent bullets on firing ranges? Protesting against lead bullets would make their goals too obvious.
When the Army’s inevitable discovery of the DU rounds at Pohakuloa came, the activists’ agit-prop show took over the so-called mainstream media. The Hawaii Tribune Herald printed the double lie, “Radioactive find at PTA fuels fears” as its Aug. 26 headline. It is wrong on both counts: It is completely false to call DU a “radioactive find” unless it would be correct to call the potassium-40 laden protesters, “radioactive activists.” Secondly the activists are not fearful but utterly thrilled to discover that DU is present on the Big Island. As Albertini said, “This is going to be bigger than Agent Orange.”
Once the propaganda had been properly laundered through the media, Democrats such as Sen. Dan Akaka and Rep Josh Green (D-Kona) jumped on the bandwagon, expressing “concern” and calling for “prompt action.” None of them have expressed the slightest “concern” about the hundreds to thousands of pounds of depleted uranium used as tail weights in commercial aircraft. There is more DU parked on the tarmac of Hilo Airport than will ever be found at Pohakuloa.
Every bit of this is pure fraud. If DU radiation is dangerous, logically activists must also demand a clean up all the far-more-radioactive bananas Hawaiians planted 1,500 years ago? Since DU is less toxic than lead, the environmentalists should publicly thank the Army for replacing a toxic lead round with a less toxic DU round. But neither of these would aid the real goals -- assisting al-Qaeda by denying the Army Stryker brigade proper training facilities at Pohakuloa and forcing the U.S. to dump one its most effective weapons -- armor piercing depleted uranium rounds.
Bananas More Radioactive than Depleted Uranium
Depleted Uranium: Radioactive Propaganda
The Depleted Uranium Scam