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more comfortable.” And the FBI definitely is targeting Arabs who are non-citizens. Markardt says that among the interviewees are 3,000 Iraqi “overstays” people who have overstayed or are nearing the end of their visas. Although no FBI official would reveal where the bureau got its larger lists of Middle Easterners, Markardt did acknowledge that the list of Iraqis came from the INS, which is also part of the U.S. Justice Department. The Austin woman, noting that she had been in the country more than 20 years, was surprised when the agent questioned her husband’s immigration status. “He mentioned the INS. I said my husband was a resident alien, a green-card holder, and he seemed very surprised. He was checking on aliens who’d outstayed their visa, he said, and seemed surprised that my husband was here legally.” The implications of interrogation during wartime extend beyond the “intelligence base” kept in FBI files. Jamin Raskin writes in the February 4 issue of The Nation that in 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the government internment of Japanese-Americans, declaring that internment did not violate internees’ constitutional rights. Some 112,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans, 70,000 of them citizens, were detained in camps after President Roosevelt’s executive order of February 19, 1942. In Korematsu v. United States, the minority opinion argued that the internment was racially motivated, and not clearly connected to issues of national security. Regardless of these objections, however, the decision made in 1944 still stands. “Korematsu is no dead letter,” wrote Raskin. “The decision is generally condemned, but it has not been overruled. It is a dismal precedent.” “Muslims are an integral part of American society,” said Dr. Karam. “We would really like Americans to feel a sense of peace and security. Islam means peace. It is un-Islamic to attack civilians. Saddam is not acting in an Islamic manner. We would like to join with the other religions here in peace.” Nuclear Bullets BY JAMES RIDGEWAY Washington, D.C. HEN AMERICAN forces meet the Iraqis head-on in what some military experts believe will be the biggest tank battle in the history of warfare, they will depend on a tactical nuclear weapon to clear the field of Saddam’s armored divisions. The U.S. Army is equipped with high-tech munitions made from nuclear wastes that can melt through the layers of armor protecting the Iraqi crews, burning them alive. Not coincidentally, those same tankkilling shells will probably turn the Iraqi desert into a permanently toxic hellhole for generations to come. These bullets represent an ingenious solution to the nuclear industry’s paralyzing problem of what to do about nuclear wastes. The current plan is to bury it in deep storage in a hollowed-out Nevada mesa. But turning spent uranium into bullets that can be splattered around the battlefields of the world is another, some might say thriftier, answer. they are known, can be fired from tanks or artillery pieces, or rained down from 30-millimeter Gatling guns mounted on the A-10 ground support attack plane, which is used against tanks. They can also be encased in warheads and fired from missiles parachuted in clusters onto enemy positions. DU penetrator bullets are about the size of a cigar and weigh up to eight pounds. When fired, the uranium bursts into flame and all but liquifies, searing through steel armor like a white-hot flare. The shell’s heat causes any diesel fuel vapors in the enemy tank to explode, and the crew inside is burned alive. Depleted uranium is the slag left over from the uranium enrichment process after U-235 has been extracted to make atomic weapons James Ridgeway writesfor the Village Voice, where this article first appeared. or fuel rods for nuclear power plants. Ammo makers get the waste free, an added incentive, and it is extremely hard, an important characteristic of armor-piercing projectiles. In fact, DU is harder than tungsten, a very hard metal the United States must import at additional cost. Depleted uranium has the strategic advantage of being homegrown. The government insists the uranium in the bullets is not radioactive enough to be classed as a “radiological weapon.” As for soldiers under attack, the Army has said “the chemical and radiological exposure of crew personnel under attack by depleted uranium will not hamper operations.” If a tank were hit by a DU penetrator, and anyone in the crew were left alive, radiation levels wouldn’t be sufficient. to cause radiation sickness. “Depleted uranium is very, very mildly radioactive,” a Pentagon spokesman told a 1979 House Appropriations Committee hearing. It does not present a health hazard in itself. It hasn’t been in a reactor.” In a March 1978 article, the Washington Star said officials acknowledged they could have substituted a nonradiative heavy metal, like tungsten. But a Navy spokesperson explained, “Depleted uranium is preferred because it is available in excess and is therefore inexpensive. Tungsten has to be imported.” The Food and Drug Administration has said tank crews could receive the equivalent of one chest x-ray every 20 or 30 hours a dosage permissible, but not desirable under current radiological health standards for civilians. Development of the DU penetrator occasioned considerable controversy. In Minnesota, questions were raised about groundwater toxicity near a test range. Efforts by Honeywell, the manufacturer, to establish a test site in the Black Hills of South Dakota resulted in fierce community reaction, with Sioux Indians and ranchers joining to fight the proposal. In New Mexico, where the ammunition is routinely fired to test production standards, there have been questions about groundwater poisoning. In 1986 James Parker, associate director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, testifying in Congress about a proposed use of public lands for testing DU penetrators in Socorro County, New Mexico, warned: “The proposed use of the lands for weapons testing could result in the permanent contamination of the land.” A report to the governor of Indiana in April 1989, by the state department of environmental management, discussed the difficulties of cleaning up the Jefferson Proving Grounds where DU penetrators, among other types of ammunition, were fired: “The DU penetrators generally remain intact after firing, though some’ do break into large chunks on impact. Because they are fired at a high velocity, the penetrators also tend to skip and ricochet when they hit the ground causing them to continue further downrange than expected. The DU penetrators do oxidize in the air forming uranium oxide that can flake off the penetrators and remain in the soil after the penetrators are removed. If the DU is present in very small particles, it is pyrophonic, that is, it can combust spontaneously on contact with air or water.” The report continued, “Over 60,000 kg of DU penetrators have been fired to date. Currently, the DU impact area is cleaned up on a cleanup, a group of 8 to 10 workers, on foot with Geiger counters, walk along the firing lanes and through the areas where penetrators are most likely to be found. The penetrators, many of which have fragmented, are picked up one piece at a time and removed from the area. Only penetrators on the surface are recovered. Reportedly only 10 percent of penetrators fired are typically recovered whelming majority of the penetrators remain in the impact area.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9 4`. ir011.0**0.10.1,