Monday, July 2, 2007

Please forward this to Robert Fisk

Earlier, I posted a FRONT PAGE report on Robert Fisk stating as fact that Israel had used depleted uranium (DU) weaponry in Lebanon (read that post here: Robert Fisk's Secrets and Lies). Well, Fisk's claims turned out to be false, but Fisk, not to mention his "source" for this misinformation, Chris Busby, the "technology spokesman" for the UK Green Party, have yet to acknowledge, explain or correct their error. Here's a link to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) evaluation of that claim, which I found via LAKA, a Dutch group that archives scientific data on nuclear-related issues ( | UNEP: No U-weapons in Lebanon).

Quoting from the UNEP report:
No use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU)

UNEP investigated a number of sites with underground facilities with the highest probability of having been attacked with deep-penetrating ammunition. The typical signs pointing to the use of ‘bunker buster’ munitions include collapsed buildings with minimal lateral damage and, usually, little or no evidence of burning. Smear sampling of undisturbed surfaces is one of the most precise methods for detecting depleted uranium. In UNEP’s experience, this method can detect the impact of as little as two 30 mm DU penetrators of 300 g each and clearly confirm the presence of DU within 300 m from the target. Given the high sensitivity of the method, the impact on a hard surface of a ‘bunker buster’ containing a DU penetrator weighing approximately 200 kg, which would generate 5 - 25 per cent of its mass in DU dust, would be detected at a distance even greater than 300 m with the highest probability.

The analysis results show no evidence of the use of DU-containing penetrators or metal products. In addition, no DU shrapnel or other radioactive residue was found at the sites investigated. The analysis of all smear samples taken did not detect DU, enriched uranium, or higher than natural uranium content. After an extensive investigation, including of sites rumoured to have been hit by DU weapons, it can be stated that the ‘bunker buster’ ammunition used by the IDF in the conflict did not contain DU, natural uranium or any other uranium isotope.

If you know how to contact them, please forward the above information to Robert Fisk and to the UK Green Party. We know how anxious they must be to correct the record.

UPDATE (July 2, 2007 4:30 pm): Turns out the Independent, which publishes Fisk, published the following paragraphs on Nov. 8, 2006 concerning the false claim of Israeli use of DU in a small article concerning UNEP's findings that Israel used white phosphorus -- an article buried somewhere in the inner pages. It said:
"Achim Steiner, under-secretary general and executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said that samples taken by scientists had confirmed the use of white phosphorus in artillery and mortar ammunition.

"Mr Steiner also said that the scientific analysis found no evidence of penetrators or other metallic bomb components made of depleted or enriched uranium, as claimed by two British activists in a report last month.

"The samples taken by the UN for analysis were collected between 30 September and 21 October. Three independent laboratories in Europe undertook the tests on behalf of the UN.

"The findings conflict with a report by Chris Busby, a Green Party activist, and his colleague Dai Williams, an occupational psychologist, who claimed to have found evidence of enriched uranium in a sample collected from a bomb site in southern Lebanon."
However, the Independent didn't mention the fact that they had earlier touted that very claim as accurate.

Here's what it says on the website of the Low Level Radiation Campaign, Busby's organization, concerning UNEP's findings:

LLRC and Green Audit predicted this. The Independent 8th November 2006 reported Chris Busby's statement: We are concerned that UNEP don't know what they are doing. Earlier [in 2001] they were useless at finding depleted Uranium in Kosovo due to wrong choice of instrumentation."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The November 8th article had nothing to do with Fisk. He didn;t write it, nor was he quoted in it. He has yet to offer a word in defence of his false claims


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