Archive for May, 2013

Speak Up Now!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Military Radiation

from Pohakuloa:



Blowing in the Wind?



     Military radiation contamination at the 133,000-acre Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) in the center of Hawaii Island will be the subject of a meeting on Thursday, May 30, 2013. The meeting is NOT being held where it should be – on Hawaii Island. Instead, it is being held in Maryland from 8:30 – 11:30 AM Hawaii time in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) offices between NRC staff and the Army. The public can participate by phoning toll free 1-877-521-2306 with the passcode 9744768.


      The issue is a draft license for the Army to possess Depleted Uranium (DU) which was confirmed in Hawaii at Pohakuloa and Schofield Barracks in 2007. The NRC has issued a “Notice of Violation” to the Army for the presence of DU in Hawaii. After years of denial, the military now admits to using DU radiation weapons in Hawaii as early as 1961 in the form of spotting rounds for the secret Davy Crockett nuclear weapon system. How much DU has been used in Hawaii over the years is in question. But since the Army says that DU was only banned in training in 1996 the amount of DU radiation contamination could be extensive. Radiation can be spread by ongoing bombing, the frequent high winds in the area, occasional heavy rains and flash flooding. Less than 1% of Pohakuloa has been surveyed for DU contamination and that with a questionable methodology contracted by the offender – the Army. Citizen radiation monitors have detected elevated radiation off base, including Mauna Kea State Park. The Army admits DU has been fired on ranges approximately one mile from the park.


      The Army license to possess would cover 16 installations and up to 8.8 tons of DU. That’s just for the Davy Crockett DU spotting rounds used and does not include possible additional DU from many other DU weapons systems, past and present in the U.S. arsenal.


      The major public health danger of DU radiation is inhalation of small alpha particles. Hawaii retired Army MD and MPH Dr. Lorrin W. Pangsaid “alpha particle emitters within your body is the most deadly form of radiation of all. It is stopped by your skin, but in your body it will mutate your DNA, more than any other type of radiation.” Doug Rokke Ph.D.; Major, retired/disabled; U.S. Army former Director, U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project said “once DU is released into the environment… it will never be safe at all no matter what is done.” According to Dr. Rokke, “DOD documents confirm that potential health effects, include:  lung cancer, respiratory, eye, skin, and genetic abnormalities.” 


     The Army commander at PTA says DU is not a problem at PTA.Dr. Pang said “A lot of people… consider DU a weapon of mass destruction. Why would you have a guy (the Army) with a conflict of interest, doing his own quality assurance?” (See for more info on DU)


      In July 2008, the Hawaii County Council, by a vote of 8-1 passed resolution 639-08 that called for a halt to all bombing and live-fire at PTA and seven other actions out of concern about DU.According to Dr. Rokke, who wrote Army regulation 700-48 on DU, the Army is required to abide by local government actions, yet the bombing continues. Why?


Stop the Bombing!  

ShutDown Pohakuloa!


1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone(808) 966-7622.

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 24, 2013– 609th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Correction to prior post

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I have been informed that the article about military domestic action  is bogus – originating with the rightwing and probably planted to stoke the fires of the rightwing conspiracy theorists who also charge that Obama has a plan to lock up all gun owners who don’t turn in or register their arms.

Sorry for having posted it – and I’m glad it is a piece of inflammatory fiction rather than fact.

From Michael

Military grants itself policing powers in the U.S.

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

[Welcome to post-constitutional America.  Deposit your rights at the door, get in line and keep your mouth shut!]

AlterNet / By Jed Morey

Military Quietly Grants Itself the Power to Police the Streets Without Local or State Consent

The lines between the military and law enforcement have blurred even further.
May 15, 2013

The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “war on drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.

The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule: “Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”

Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military.” He says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”

A defense official who declined to be named takes a different view of the rule, claiming, “The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy.” Moreover, he insists the Pentagon doesn’t “want to get involved in civilian law enforcement. It’s one of those red lines that the military hasn’t signed up for.” Nevertheless, he says, “every person in the military swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

One of the more disturbing aspects of the new procedures that govern military command on the ground in the event of a civil disturbance relates to authority. Not only does it fail to define what circumstances would be so severe that the president’s authorization is “impossible,” it grants full presidential authority to “Federal military commanders.” According to the defense official, a commander is defined as follows: “Somebody who’s in the position of command, has the title commander. And most of the time they are centrally selected by a board, they’ve gone through additional schooling to exercise command authority.”

As it is written, this “commander” has the same power to authorize military force as the president in the event the president is somehow unable to access a telephone. (The rule doesn’t address the statutory chain of authority that already exists in the event a sitting president is unavailable.) In doing so, this commander must exercise judgment in determining what constitutes, “wanton destruction of property,” “adequate protection for Federal property,” “domestic violence,” or “conspiracy that hinders the execution of State or Federal law,” as these are the circumstances that might be considered an “emergency.”

“These phrases don’t have any legal meaning,” says Afran. “It’s no different than the emergency powers clause in the Weimar constitution [of the German Reich]. It’s a grant of emergency power to the military to rule over parts of the country at their own discretion.”

Afran also expresses apprehension over the government’s authority “to engage temporarily in activities necessary to quell large-scale disturbances.”

“Governments never like to give up power when they get it,” says Afran. “They still think after twelve years they can get intelligence out of people in Guantanamo. Temporary is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why in statutes we have definitions. All of these statutes have one thing in common and that is that they have no definitions. How long is temporary? There’s none here. The definitions are absurdly broad.”

The U.S. military is prohibited from intervening in domestic affairs except where provided under Article IV of the Constitution in cases of domestic violence that threaten the government of a state or the application of federal law. This provision was further clarified both by the Insurrection Act of 1807 and a post-Reconstruction law known as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (PCA). The Insurrection Act specifies the circumstances under which the president may convene the armed forces to suppress an insurrection against any state or the federal government. Furthermore, where an individual state is concerned, consent of the governor must be obtained prior to the deployment of troops. The PCA­passed in response to federal troops that enforced local laws and oversaw elections during Reconstruction­made unauthorized employment of federal troops a punishable offense, thereby giving teeth to the Insurrection Act.

Together, these laws limit executive authority over domestic military action. Yet Monday’s official regulatory changes issued unilaterally by the Department of Defense is a game-changer.

The stated purpose of the updated rule is “support in Accordance With the Posse Comitatus Act,” but in reality it undermines the Insurrection Act and PCA in significant and alarming ways. The most substantial change is the notion of “civil disturbance” as one of the few “domestic emergencies” that would allow for the deployment of military assets on American soil.

To wit, the relatively few instances that federal troops have been deployed for domestic support have produced a wide range of results. Situations have included responding to natural disasters and protecting demonstrators during the Civil Rights era to, disastrously, the Kent State student massacre and the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee.

Michael German, senior policy counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), noted in a 2009 Daily Kos article that, “there is no doubt that the military is very good at many things. But recent history shows that restraint in their newfound domestic role is not one of them.”

At the time German was referring to the military’s expanded surveillance techniques and hostile interventions related to border control and the war on drugs. And in fact, many have argued that these actions have already upended the PCA in a significant way. Even before this most recent rule change, the ACLU was vocal in its opposition to the Department of Defense (DoD) request to expand domestic military authority “in the event of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high yield explosive (CBRNE) incidents.” The ACLU’s position is that civilian agencies are more than equipped to handle such emergencies since 9/11. (ACLU spokespersons in Washington D.C. declined to be interviewed for this story.)

But while outcomes of military interventions have varied, the protocol by which the president works cooperatively with state governments has remained the same. The president is only allowed to deploy troops to a state upon request of its governor. Even then, the military­specifically the National Guard­is there to provide support for local law enforcement and is prohibited from engaging in any activities that are outside of this scope, such as the power to arrest.

Eric Freedman, a constitutional law professor from Hofstra University, also calls the ruling “an unauthorized power grab.” According to Freedman, “The Department of Defense does not have the authority to grant itself by regulation any more authority than Congress has granted it by statute.” Yet that’s precisely what it did. This wasn’t, however, the Pentagon’s first attempt to expand its authority domestically in the last decade.

Déjà vu

During the Bush Administration, Congress passed the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill that included language similar in scope to the current regulatory change. It specifically amended the Insurrection Act to expand the president’s ability to deploy troops domestically under certain conditions including health epidemics, natural disasters and terrorist activities, though it stopped short of including civil disturbances. But the following year this language was repealed under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 via a bill authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who cited the “useful friction” between the Insurrection and Posse Comitatus Acts in limiting executive authority.

According to the DoD, the repeal of this language had more to do with procedure and that it was never supposed to amend the Insurrection Act. “When it was actually passed,” says the defense official, “Congress elected to amend the Insurrection Act and put things in the Insurrection Act that were not insurrection, like the support for disasters and emergencies and endemic influenza. Our intent,” he says, “was to give the president and the secretary access to the reserve components. It includes the National Guard and, rightfully so, the governors were pretty upset because they were not consulted.”

Senator Leahy’s office did not have a statement at press time, but a spokesperson said the senator had made an inquiry with the DoD in response to our questions. The defense official confirmed that he was indeed being called in to discuss the senator’s concerns in a meeting scheduled for today. But he downplayed any concern, saying, “Congress at any time can say ‘we don’t like your interpretation of that law and how you’ve interpreted it in making policy’­and so they can call us to the Hill and ask us to justify why we’re doing something.”

Last year, Bruce Afran and another civil liberties attorney, Carl Mayer, filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration on behalf of a group of journalists and activists led by former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges. They filed suit over the inclusion of a bill in the NDAA 2012 that, according to the plaintiffs, expanded executive authority over domestic affairs by unilaterally granting the executive branch to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without due process. The case has garnered international attention and invited vigorous defense from the Obama administration. Even Afran goes so far as to say this current rule change is, “another NDAA. It’s even worse, to be honest.”

For Hedges and the other plaintiffs, including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the government’s ever-expanding authority over civilian affairs has a “chilling effect” on First Amendment activities such as free speech and the right to assemble. First District Court Judge Katherine Forrest agreed with the plaintiffs and handed Hedges et al. a resounding victory prompting the Department of Justice to immediately file an injunction and an appeal. The appellate court is expected to rule on the matter within the next few months.

Another of the plaintiffs in the Hedges suit is Alexa O’Brien, a journalist and organizer who joined the lawsuit after she discovered a Wikileaks cable showing government officials attempting to link her efforts to terrorist activities. For activists such as O’Brien, the new DoD regulatory change is frightening because it creates, “an environment of fear when people cannot associate with one another.” Like Afran and Freedman, she calls the move, “another grab for power under the rubric of the war on terror, to the detriment of citizens.”

“This is a complete erosion of the rule of law,” says O’Brien. Knowing these sweeping powers were granted under a rule change and not by Congress is even more harrowing to activists. “That anything can be made legal,” says O’Brien, “is fundamentally antithetical to good governance.”

As far as what might qualify as a civil disturbance, Afran notes, “In the ’60s, all of the Vietnam protests would meet this description. We saw Kent State. This would legalize Kent State.”

But the focus on the DoD regulatory change obscures the creeping militarization that has already occurred in police departments across the nation. Even prior to the NDAA lawsuit, journalist Chris Hedges was critical of domestic law enforcement agencies saying, “The widening use of militarized police units effectively nullifies the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.”

This de facto nullification isn’t lost on the DoD.

The DoD official even referred to the Boston bombing suspects manhunt saying, “Like most major police departments, if you didn’t know they were a police department you would think they were the military.” According to this official there has purposely been a “large transfer of technology so that the military doesn’t have to get involved.” Moreover, he says the military has learned from past events, such as the siege at Waco, where ATF officials mishandled military equipment. “We have transferred the technology so we don’t have to loan it,” he states.

But if the transfer of military training and technology has been so thorough, it boggles the imagination as to what kind of disturbance would be so overwhelming that it would require the suspension of centuries-old law and precedent to grant military complete authority on the ground. The DoD official admits not being able to “envision that happening,” adding, “but I’m not a Hollywood screenwriter.”

Afran, for one, isn’t buying the logic. For him, the distinction is simple.

“Remember, the police operate under civilian control,” he says. “They are used to thinking in a civilian way so the comparison that they may have some assault weapons doesn’t change this in any way. And they can be removed from power. You can’t remove the military from power.”

Despite protestations from figures such as Afran and O’Brien and past admonitions from groups like the ACLU, for the first time in our history the military has granted itself authority to quell a civil disturbance. Changing this rule now requires congressional or judicial intervention.

“This is where journalism comes in,” says Freedman. “Calling attention to an unauthorized power grab in the hope that it embarrasses the administration.”

Afran is considering amending his NDAA complaint currently in front of the court to include this regulatory change.

As we witnessed during the Boston bombing manhunt, it’s already difficult to discern between military and police. In the future it might be impossible, because there may be no difference.

Jed Morey is publisher of The Long Island Press.

Hawaii Dept. of Health Draft Fact Sheet on DU in Hawaii

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Hawaii DOH DU Fact Sheet 05-8-13

Press Release on Depleted Uranium in Hawaii

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Press Release May 16, 2013


Re: Depleted Uranium in Hawaii


further contact: Jim Albertini 966-7622


Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action


P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622





The Facts about Depleted Uranium (DU) in



The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) draft brochure “The Facts about Depleted Uranium in Hawaii” has come undercriticism, with some constructive suggestions from community and technical resource people. (The DOH draft brochure is attached to this email.) Below is a summary of a community commentary. The full length commentaries from people have been sent directly to the DOH.


Retired Ph.D. Geologist, Michael Reimer, of Kona said “When the length of the commentary exceeds the length of the original document for review, something is wrong.” Doctor Reimer, offered some suggestions to correct some inaccuracies and misleading statements. For example: DOH statement “Depleted uranium has 40% less radioactivity than natural uranium.” Dr. Reimer: “This is misleading.  It has 40 percent less radioactivity at the time it is separated but daughters continue to grow and radioactivity increases.  In 50 years, the time since the use of DU at PTA, radiation has increased another 20 percent.”


Another example — DOH: “Is the public exposed to DU? It is unlikely that the general public is inhaling small particles of DU.”


Dr. Reimer: “This section might be better titled “How is the public exposed to DU?… How DU is aerosolized becomes the relevant question. At PTA, there are several mechanisms. The most likely is that spotting rounds have become pulverized when explosives strike on or near a spotting round.  The aerosol can form mechanically (the shock and friction), physically, (heat and pressure generation), or chemically (conversion to an oxide that is easily friable). DU has been found over 25 miles from its source in a study in New York State.  Aerosols move in the wind and once deposited can be resuspended and move again. Very little energy is needed to resuspend the aerosol.  Buried DU fragments, more likely to be oxidized, can be aerosolized when struck with an explosive device such as a mortar, howitzer or rocket shell or even vehicular traffic.


Dr. Reimer stated in an earlier section:


Regarding radiation, one should not ignore the US EPA holding that all unnecessary radiation should be avoided.  They base this in the theory that radiation risk is linear related to dose and has no threshold.”


Dr. Reimer said, “As a concluding statement, I do not understand why the Army in cooperation with the Hawai`i Department of Health does not design and conduct a study to resolve the DU issue.  There is no need to speculate if DU aerosols are or are not present.  Establish adequate measurement protocols and make the measurements.  It is clear that the previous measurements of aerosols requested by the Army were insufficient to resolve whether the uranium detected was DU or natural U.


Engage the active community in this study.  Develop a program that will address the transport fate and the distribution, if any, of depleted uranium from PTA.  This makes it a win-win-win situation.  The Army, the State, and the residents of the Big Island.  It is so simple to configure, the costs are moderate, and you will have resolved this issue.  Remove this issue from speculation and into reality.”


Others offering comment:


Retired Army MD and MPH Dr. Lorrin W. Pang said: To bring in new agencies now, like CDC without the publics chance to raise issues with them is not fair…”


In a newly released video entitle “Pohakuloa: Now that you know. Do you care?” which can be viewed at Dr. Pang states: “DU explodes on impact at 3000 degrees, half settles to the ground, half goes into the air –aerosolized uranium. DU in and of itself is not that dangerous. But alpha particle emitters within your body is the most deadly form of radiation of all. It is stopped by your skin,but in your body it will mutate your DNA, more than any other type of radiation.”


…”A lot of people, except the U.S. and UK which have a conflict of interest, consider DU a weapon of mass destruction. Why would you have a guy (the Army) with a conflict of interest, doing his own quality assurance?”


Cory Harden, a member of the Sierra Club said If DU is so safe, how come the Army doesn’t use it any more (in training)?” An Army spokesperson said it was banned from being used in training since 1996.


Kona resident, Doug Fox said : Don’t look, don’t find, don’t tell.   Uranium is not primarily a gamma emitter (it’s alpha) so that to test a range by helicopter for gamma emission is inadequate methodology.   Only one per cent of the site was ever tested by them using the wrong methodology.”


The DOH statement that “The health effects of uranium are due to its chemical toxicity, rather than radiation” is not true. “Inhaled DU alpha particles are one of the most powerful mutagens known to science.”


DOH said: “It is not known whether  uranium is harmful to an unborn child”  Fox retorts: “This is willful ignorance.   Birth defects have been vividly portrayed in Life magazine showing armless children of US vets exposed to DU munitions smoke.” An “Epidemiological study by Dr. Chris Busby of the UK showed the impact of DU munitions on Fallujah, Iraq was higher than radiation exposures at Hiroshima.”

DOH: “It is unlikely that the general public is inhaling small particles of DU”.   Fox: “This is another smokescreen.  The truth is it is very likely that travelers through the Mauna Kea State Park area have been exposed in the past.  I personally witnessed a big spike in radiation detection from a dust devil coming off the old Range 11 in May 2007.   Range 11 is where anti tank penetrator munitions have been tested.”  


Doug Rokke Ph.D.; Major, retired/disabled; U.S. Army former Director, U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project had this to say about the DOH DU draft brochure:


As the former director of the United States Army Depleted Uranium Project, former 3rd U.S. Army DU team health physicist and team medic during Operation Desert Storm, and confirmed DU casualty I AM UPSET AND HORRIFIED at the amount of misinformation – down-right wrong information  contained in your DU fact paper that negates- ignores actual health and environmental effects. .. false information… is required by direct written DOD- Army orders per the 1991 Los Alamos memo ( see ) in order to sustain the use of uranium weapons while avoiding all liability for the known serious adverse health and environmental effects as were specified in the March 1991 Defense Nuclear agency memo  and thousands of pages of other reports.As to radiological measurements-any effective measurement: that is detection and quantification requires very specialized equipment (AN PDR 77 with RPO kit) and techniques that I and my team developed and validated for the US Army during the DU project burn and impact tests. .. once du is released into the environment… it will never be safe at all no matter what is done. THE REGION AND EQUIPMENT- STRUCTURES-TERRAIN- FOOD- WATER – VEGETATION  WITHIN THE DANGER ZONE EXTENDING OUT  DOZENS OF MILES ACTUALLY HUNDREDS OF MILESREMAIN A HAZARD FOR ETERNITY.”


According to Dr. Rokke, “DOD documents confirm that potential health effects, including:  lung cancer, respiratory, eye, skin, and genetic abnormalities.  The VA reports DU causing:  sleep problems, mood swings, upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms, neuropsychological symptoms (including memory loss), chronic fatigue and immune system dysfunction, skin rashes and unusual hair loss, aching joints, headaches, abdominal pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, menstrual disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, nervous disorders (such as numbness of a limb), multiple chemical sensitivity, birth defects in children whose parents were exposed.”


Points raised by Hawaii peace activist Jim Albertini


1.  A New York State DU factory study showed DU dispersed more than 25 miles away.
2.  My understanding is the Army was only prohibited from using DU in training in 1996. It was first used at PTA in 1961 according to the Army. What does that tell you? It tells me that if it was not prohibited in training, it was likely used in training. What about other military branches and foreign countries that have trained at PTA?
3.  No mention of other possible DU use than Davy Crockett. Cluster bombs and a wide range of other weapons have been used at PTA, many of which may have involved DU.
4.  What does the DOH “ambient background surveys” consist — monitor on for 5 minutes once a month?
5.  Offer 24 hour urine tests for PTA and DLNR  long term workers in or around PTA, Mauna Kea Park, etc.
6   My understanding is The Waiki’i sample did not rule out the presence of DU
7.  Less than 1% of PTA has been tested for DU
8.  My radiation monitor Digilert-50, picked up 2 spikes of over 30CPM at Mauna Kea park on Sunday 4/28/13 when background readings were between 5-20 for 3 hours.  The wind was coming from the south where DU had been confirmed fired approximately 1 mile from Mauna Kea Park.
9.  No mention that spotting rounds bombed for 50 years with high explosives likely would burn the DU.  If not where are all the large fragments –unaccounted for, missing?
10. No mention of the horrendous health problems of Fallujah Iraq which was heavily bombed with DU by the U.S. Birth defects, cancers, etc.

11. No mention is made of the Saddle Rd as a possible avenue of exposure to DU. For 50 years the old Saddle Rd came within ½ mile of ranges where DU was used. Signs along the old Saddle Rd read “Live Fire Overhead.” The New Saddle Rd. has resulted in increased traffic which risks exposing more people to DU and transporting DU around the island in the same way little fire ants, cocqui frogs, and weed seeds are transported by vehicles.
12. Uranium in urine: I know of 3 Hilo MDs and a naturopathic doctor who have patients with elevated uranium in their urine found by 24 hour urine tests for heavy metals. Recently I asked the PTA commander as an act of good faith to the community to offer 24 hour urine tests to long-term PTA employees to see if any have elevated uranium readings as well. The commander refused. I’ve asked the DOH to offer similar test to state workers at Mauna Kea park and others who work in the area or travel the Saddel Rd regularly. I am still waiting for a response.

13. Has DU been used at Makua military reservation? Kaho’olawe island and other present or former military ranges in Hawaii? What other ranges are being investigated for possible exposure to DU and what is the status of the investigations?

In July 2008, the Hawaii County Council, by a vote of 8-1 passed resolution 639-08. That resolution called for the military to take 8 actions to address the potential hazard of DU, including “a complete halt to B-2 bombing missions and to all live-firing exercises and other activities at the Pohakuloa Training Area that create dust until there is an assessment and clean up of the depleted uranium already present.” The seven other actions called for establishing a permanent high tech monitoring system to ensure air quality control; citizen monitoring system to work with the military to assure transparency and community confidence; host quarterly meetings to update and inform the public; ensure permanent funds are available for the monitoring programs; provide a liaison to the County of Hawaii to facilitate communication; provide semiannual reports to the County summarizing DU monitoring , detection, and mitigation efforts; the military shall conduct a search of all records for firing DU at PTA and other Hawaii state military sites and release the information to the public.

To date, it does not appear that any of the actions requested of the military by the Hawaii County Council in July 2008 have been taken by the military.  Why?


   Additional comments by Hawaii Public Health Doctor/researcher, Carol Murry, DrPH:  “the information in the draft brochure concerning the discovery of the use of DU in Hawai’i ignored the fact that the military denied its use for several years.   Despite statements that the Department of Health has no responsibility concerning DU, the DOH is responsible for the health of its citizens and, thus, does have a duty to be involved.  The areas surrounding the military sites where DU was used are vulnerable to exposure and some of the landhas been leased to the military by the state. It appears that the DOH has shared its monitoring methods and results with the NRC and Army, but not its citizens, leading to mistrust.  The section on health effects of DU appears to ignore known health issues and to misstate that the only effect is due to chemical toxicity rather than radiation.  The section on studies done in Hawai’i doesn’t address the issues of those working at Pohakuloa, those traveling the saddle Rd, or downwind vs. the general population of the Big Island.  The section on exposure discusses dust, soil and sediment testing, but not monitoring radiation in the air.  Many will not believe or trust the DOH until it works in partnership with concerned citizens, rather than solely in partnership with the military and the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry).”


DOH brochure statement: “Given the nature of the spotting rounds, the environmental data indicating a low potential for DU to become airborne, and the distance to populated areas, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR), a federal health agency, concluded that the general population around PTA is not exposed to DU. The Hawaii Department of Health concurs with ATSDR’s conclusion.”


Conclusion of Malu Aina:


ATSDR and the DOH have not presented credible evidence and good science to support the above statement. More research and testing are needed to determine the amount of DU used at Pohakuloa, its dispersal, and possible health impacts to troops, residents, and visitors alike.


Show the community good faith, transparency, credible evidence, good science, respect, and partnership. To date all are lacking.




Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email