DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN OF DND
Forces medical officer dismisses depleted uranium concerns as 'fantasy'
By MURRAY BREWSTER
HALIFAX,13 April 2003 (CP) -- ONE OF THE highest-ranking medical officers in the Canadian Forces has dismissed as a "fantasy" a series of media reports linking the use of radioactive weapons with a wide range of illnesses suffered by some Gulf War veterans.
In a memo to military brass, Col. Ken Scott says reports about depleted uranium munitions are an overblown fiction.
"The appetite of our journalists for media friendly fantasy fed to them by special interest groups . . . will unfortunately perpetuate the mythology currently in existence concerning the illnesses in Gulf War veterans," Scott wrote in a 1999 memo.
The document was obtained under the Access to Information Act.
Depleted uranium -- a waste product from nuclear reactors -- is used to coat munitions used for piercing heavy armour.
When they explode, the coated shells release a fine dust that poses an extreme health hazard if inhaled, critics say.
As a result, the use of such weapons may be responsible for many serious ailments among troops from the United States, Canada, Britain and other NATO countries, some reports have said.
In a recent interview, Scott, who runs the military's Gulf War clinic in Ottawa, stood by his earlier comments, saying media coverage of the topic in Canada is aimed at spreading fear.
"There has been a loss of balance in the reporting of this issue," said Scott. "The coverage has not only been oriented towards generating fear in soldiers, but in the Canadian public in general."
Stephen Kimber, a journalism professor at the University of Kings College in Halifax, said the military is blaming journalists for its failure to communicate its side of the story.
"The coverage has been fair, from what I've seen," he said. "Journalists have tried to get a balance. When they haven't succeeded, it doesn't seem to me that they've been caught the fantasies of special interests. It's because they haven't gotten substantive responses from the military."
Kimber noted there are credible scientists and medical officials who have come forward to raise concerns about these weapons, and the media have a responsibility to report what they have said.
A Nova Scotia woman, whose husband served in the Gulf War and died with depleted uranium in his bones, said that far from being duped, the media hasn't been aggressive enough in reporting on the issue.
"I would like the media to challenge the spin doctors and the military more. I think they should push a little harder," said Sue Riordon, widow of Capt. Terry Riordon.
Scott said sensational stories highlighting unexplained illnesses and cancers in soldiers who served in the first Gulf War and the Balkans are always given prominent attention by the mainstream media.
When scientific investigation or scholarly papers disavow any connection, he said, the media give it little or no attention.
"There is a disconnect between the reports you will see in the scientific literature and what you will see in the (mainstream) press," Scott said.
Many journalists who've covered the topic don't have science backgrounds and don't take the time to understand the issue, he said.
Voice of The People
Same old rant
It was with disgust that I, again, read the rantings of Col. Ken Scott, and his opinion of depleted uranium in your April 14th edition.
His 1999 rantings pretty well resemble his 2003 rantings, with the only difference being that, most other Countries involved in the Gulf War and Kosovo have acknowledged the problem and are dealing with the treatment of their Veterans- the US, Belgium, France, the UK and most other NATO Countries.
But not Ken Scott- no sir, he can't be wrong. Those countries are wrong , not Ken. This individual, through the use of his position with the military, is responsible for the disgraceful treatment Veterans receive at the hands of the Military, and Veterans Affairs Canada, when they complain of anything remotely related to depleted uranium.
His lack of belief in the potential of U-238 uranium, and his lack of objectivity when dealing with depleted uranium complaints, directly impact injured Soldiers and their Families.
All Veterans shall continue the fight to be helped and eventually, Ken Scott, and those of his ilk, will be gone and more reasonable, objective and professional medical specialist will replace him.
N. B. Kelloway,
Suan H. Riordan responds
Please note that while the DU/Kenny Boy/Riordon article ran , in the A section, many papers did in fact leave one sentence out. If you have not seen that last sentence here it is:
"Knowledge of Science in Canada and United States isn't very good and sometimes that would make journalists susceptible to advocacy groups and pseudo-science" stated Ken Scott.
Kenny Boy (aka Col. Ken Scott -- Director of Persian Gulf) states his disregard fairly well. My opinion of course is that this man has violated the Military Code of Ethic's, department many years ago from "Officer and Gentleman". But then again -- Kenny clinically diagnosed Terry (dead 4 years this month on the 29) with "Gulf War Syndrome".
Very quietly I have been advised that I am the "advocate" that spurs on this loss of common courtesy and sense and decency from this Military Man. That is fine -- his comments on and of Terry are now coming to the forefront -- with documentation Kenny forgot. He also did not count on me -- or vastly underestimated my still watching over Terry.
Some items that have happened since Terry's death (yes, GWS and DU) are an authored article Kenny wrote for a Gulf War Veterans newsletter -- which is on the internet, was in paper form at all Royal Canadian Legions and all Military Bases, as well as Military Support Centres, -- Kenny mocked the "junk science" -- denied Terry even having an opportunity of having "DU that would have had to chase him around the world", as well belittled Terrys work within the Persian Gulf -- saying flatly and strongly -- Terry was not an Intel Officer. He is also quoted n the St. John Times Columnist as "I would rub my hands with glee if I had to testify (in Country regarding Terry)", also "A potato, specifically one from Saskatchewan has more uranium than any Persian Gulf Veteran". So speaks the man of Al things Gulf -- and now it appears "All things Riordon".
First Terry's clearance was "Cosmic". That is a high Security Clearance -- which means I also was investigated. Terry died out of the Military -- But under Canada's "National Secrets Act" -- this is the only death penalty in Canada -- violation of National Secrets is "Treason" which is punishable by Death. Terry Military evaluation, the "sanitized version", states Terry operated, ran his "own" Intel and Counter Intel with local and coalition members. This rates a high standard for valuable information from a "Medium to High" risk area. DND documented. Appears Kenny got carried away with his own "fiction". It also avoids the error in medical treatment Terry obtained from this person. This man, so it appears -- wrote a directive for DND/VAC DU urine testing -- the direction have Terry's own name in them -- leading Military Members and Veterans to believe an untruth. I did not, nor have I ever supported the DND/VAC testing of urine and hair samples. But the use of Terry's name lead some to think the validity of these tests were in co-operation with myself and they did them. The Kenny Boy -- forgot again, the labs were not sensitive enough and he stated that in a Scientific Document.
Also Kenny takes exception to Dr. A. Durakovic -- perhaps because Dr. Durakovic has a C.V. over 50 pages and not once has Kenny produced, shown or stated his own C.V. This would lead anyone to think that Kenny would not come to the same level of knowledge that Dr. A. Durakovic has, 5 medical degrees and a valid licence to experiment.
The Bottom Line:
Ken Scott has been misleading for so very long -- he is now uncertain of any facts.
Ken Scott -- in my opinion, is sadly misleading our ill, and dying Veterans -- the Truth is too costly for Government. However, I was under the impression that even a Military Dr. has a moral and ethical oath to , at the very least "do no harm". I find that this even appears in vain. God help him when he has to answer to a high authority that humans.
Susan H. Riordon
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