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Top Secret: The Cancer Missiles

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Autor: Razvan Belciuganu Diana Rucinschi 26 Iul 2005 - 00:00

Holland has tried in the past 8 years to sell its junk, the "Hawk" missile system. The secret of the negotiations with the Romanians has been hidden by the Dutch Government, even from their own Parliament Members.

THE INVESTIGATION Holland has tried in the past 8 years to sell its junk, the "Hawk" missile system. The secret of the negotiations with the Romanians has been hidden by the Dutch Government, even from their own Parliament Members. The reason is the fact that the Dutch soldiers complained about the high level of radiations emitted by this equipment. The cancer appears at more and more people that worked with the "Hawk" system.

All this time, the Dutch government guaranteed the Parliament Members that Romania knows about these problems, and that the authorities in Bucharest are thrilled about such a purchase. The officers of the Romanian secret services say that the Dutch have actually invoked the missiles unconditionally, in a context in which Holland was the President of the European Union. In exchange, Romania would have had all the support for the accelerating of the calendar of the European integration and closing the negotiations with the EU. This is what really happened. This way, on the 17th of December, the European Council in Brussels, presided by Holland, was recommending the signing of the adherence treaty in April 2005 and the effective adherence on the 1st of January 2007.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT There weren’t much discussions on the transaction with Romania in Holland either. Until March. Of course that, unofficially, the Dutch politicians knew that our country was interested in such an acquisition. So, on the 9th of March 2005, the Dutch Parliament had been officially announced by the Government about the sale of the "Hawk" equipments, by the letter 29.800X no.65. Laconically, the politicians in Amsterdam were finding out that "on the 4th of December 2004, Romania bought 8 PIP III "Hawk" systems and 78 DAF YA-5442 vehicles". Therefore, in a very mysterious way, the missiles are bought with 23.5 million euros, right after the general elections and before the presidential round in Bucharest. Exactly when no one cared about the acquisition methods. This is why the agreement between Holland and Romania had to be "top secret".

CANCER The Dutch missiles’ odyssey is an old one. For eight years, the Government wanted to get rid of the Hawk system and had been looking for interested buyers. At the beginning, Turkey was considered a "pretender". But the Turks have finally given up. And why wouldn’t the Dutch want to get rid of the anti-aircraft defense system, since Hawk is very controversial in Holland. The flaw more and more invoked is the radiations emitted by the radar. In the 90s, many soldiers forwarded complaints after they had worked with these systems and got some rare and serious diseases. For example, the statistics show that cancer, and leukemia especially, appeared more than usually at the people that worked with these systems. In 1998, the Dutch Ministry of Defense had requested the beginning of an investigation. The case had been investigated before once, but without any clear results. The Dutch Ministry of Defense had stated that there weren’t enough scientific proofs to connect the personnel’s cancer to the "Hawk" system. The Socialist Party asked for a serious epidemiological analysis.

THE CASES One article published in De Telegraaf, on the 29th of January 2005, presents the story of Thomas, an officer that had worked with this system for years in a row and had died by a mysterious form of cancer. On the 1st of February, following this article, the Dutch Parliament asked for the status of the complaints and the type of each of them. The Parliament had also requested a medical investigation regarding the connection between the diseases of the military personnel and the missile system. The Dutch Government told the Parliament there were 212 complaints. 72 of them have cancer, 48 other diseases, and 91 of cases haven’t been diagnosed. New complaints arrive every day. On the 15th of May, TNO, a Dutch institute for medical and biological research, has started to analyze the problem. The results will appear on the 1st of October. Their report will also include the results of similar investigations in the USA, Spain and Germany.

THE INVESTIGATION Tweede Kamer, the Inferior Chamber of the Dutch Parliament has requested a serious investigation last month. Now, the Dutch Government is waiting for the results from Belgium, where there are also some "Hawk" systems, and where a thorough investigation started ever since 2001. It seems that there is a Belgian report, which is yet to be made public. Some officials in Amsterdam say there are clues that the Government had already been informed, but they don’t want to present the conclusion before it is printed in a science magazine. The "Euromil" union of the military personnel has also requested the Government to change some of the political orientations. This is a much discussed issue in the USA, Germany, Belgium and Holland.

THE PARLIAMENT The parliamentary debate of the Inferior Chamber on the 1st of February saw Krista van Velzen - Parliament Member of the Socialist Party - interpellating the State’s Defense Secretary Vand der Knaap: "Taking into consideration Romania’s purchase of the "Hawk" missile systems, I would like to know if the state Secretary informed the authorities in Bucharest about the health problems in Holland and about the connection between them and the "Hawk" system. Wouldn’t it be better for the system to be stopped here and closed to stop the spreading of these problems in other states as well?" Van der Knaap’s answer is hallucinating, at least for us, the Romanians: "The discussions in Holland are known in Romania, of course. The Romanians are very interested in buying the "Hawk" system. We don’t want to make them change their mind, because this is an excellent system. The Romanians are pleased as well as we are of being able to sell the product to them. This is all for now. The discussions generated by the "Hawk" system in Holland are well known in Romania". During the debate on the 30th of June, Krista van Velzen discussed again about this issue and said it was unacceptable for these systems to be sold to Romania. She wanted to know about the acquisition procedure. She asked whether the Dutch are prepared of taking responsibility for the Romanian soldiers’ diseases and if they would accept the recasting of the system. Van der Knaap’s answer was again trenchantt: "the State Secretary doesn’t take into consideration offering Romania the opportunity of recasting this system".

DANGER. RADIATIONS The missiles of the "Hawk" system are semi-actively self-directed from a radio location. If one holds a light bulb near a radio location, it turns on. In the case of this system, the equipment is not covered. Therefore, in a real-combat situation, the soldiers can be exposed to the enemy, say some military experts. First, the soldiers are exposed to the high radiations of the research and control station. This station has the role of directing the missile towards the target, and a characteristic of this class of missiles being that they are based on the "Doppler" effect. The missile cannot leave the launch ramp if the target is mobile.
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