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Monday, April 5, 2004

  • Broadcast Exclusive: U.S. Soldiers Contaminated With Depleted Uranium Speak Out

    Dusoldiers

    A special investigation by Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News has found four of nine soldiers of the 442nd Military Police Company of the New York Army National Guard returning from Iraq tested positive for depleted uranium contamination. They are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

    After repeatedly being denied testing for depleted uranium from Army doctors, the soldiers contacted The News who paid to have them tested as part of their investigation.

    Testing for uranium isotopes in 24 hours’ worth of urine samples can cost as much as $1,000 each.

    In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, three of the contaminated soldiers speak out.

    Army officials at Fort Dix and Walter Reed Army Medical Center are now rushing to test all returning members of the 442nd. More than a dozen members are back in the U.S. but the rest of the company, mostly comprised of New York City cops, firefighters and correction officers, is not due to return from Iraq until later this month.

    After learning of The News’ investigation, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) blasted Pentagon officials yesterday for not properly screening soldiers returning from Iraq.

    Clinton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she will write to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding answers and soon will introduce legislation to require health screenings for all returning troops.