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Why Has America Forsaken These Veterans

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   2 comments
Message Michael G Bailey
As a disabled American veteran, who has become disabled due to policies approved in 1974 and 1975 under the Ford Administration. I find it to be very ironic that Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney are at the very head of the table demanding accountability from Saddam Hussein for using chemical weapons on his own people the "Kurds".

None of the other excuses for going to war with Iraq panned out, so they fell back on the excuse " he used WMD's on his own people" we had to overthrow his government.

To me this excuse falls on deaf ears, I am in a VA issued power chair due to severe heart disease, COPD, skin abnormalities, emphysema, two herniated disks at L4 and L5, that the Surgeons refuse to operate on due to the shape of my heart, a failed triple bypass, 2 of the bypasses have closed off and I have an ejection fraction of 25%. I do get excellent health care from the VA hospital.

The claims process for myself and the other chemical weapons and drug subjects has been anything but easy, impossible, stonewalled, lied to, lied about, ignored, is the beggining of how to describe DOD and the VA's assistance in the 2300 men of Fort Detrick from 1952 thru 1972 biological weapons experiments and the 7120 men of the Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Weapons and drugs experiments that lasted from 1952 thru 1975.

The tests were stopped by first President Nixon and Congress ratifying the Bioological Weapons Treaty of 1972, then the drug and Chemical Weapons experiments at Edgewood Arsenal were stopped in 1975, when the Congress learned of the Department of the Army's Inspector General Report of 1975 located here is a summary in a National Academies of Science/Institute of Medicine Report These tests were not stopped when the Ford Administration inherited them from President Nixon, Donald Rumsfeld first as Chief of Staff of the White House and Dick Cheney as his right hand man approved the continued use of enlisted soldiers in these tests. Then when Donald Rumsfeld was nominated to be the Secretary of Defense in 1975, he was then funding the program at Edgewood in conjunction with the CIA. Dick Cheney then gained his own seat at the Ntational Security Council when he replaced Rumsfeld as Chief of Staff at the White House.

These men did not object to the test program due to the illegality of it, the fact that it violated the "Nuremberg Codes of 1947" any one of them coulld have said no, stop this now, it is wrong. Instead they played "sheeple" and followed the herd mentality.

The program was stopped when the report became public knowledge and the American public started to complain to their elected officials, Congressmen and Senators. The Secretary of the Army stopped the program voluntarily, then the investigations started, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, the Church Commission led by Senator Church, then there was a NAS/IOM report called the "Veterans at Risk" report of 1993.

The VA had a represenattive at a congressional hearing on March 10,1993. Doctor Susan Mathers who promised a congressional panel that had Congressman Billirakis of Florida on it among others, and she told them, that the VA would find the "test subjects" and get them medical care and or compensation, if they deserved it. Acting Secretary of the VA Anthony Principi, never followed up on that promise.

In 1994 Senator John D Rockefeller D West Virginia condcuted another investigation into human experimentation, radiological, nuclear, chemical weapons, biological and the drug experiments conducted all over the world by the DOD, CIA and other government entities.

In FY 2000, in response to investigations into the first gulf war veterans problems. The government looked for a group of men that had been exposed to low level Sarin exposures, the only group that met theiur criteria was the Edgewood Arsenal test veterans from 1952 thru 1975. They used IRA, VA and Social Security Records to find these 7120 men.

They were only able to locate 4022 surviving men, one can only surmise that 40% of the men or 2098 were already deceased. Of the 4022 men they did find 54% or 2200 men were disabled by that year, for a combined rate of 74.43% death and disability, yet when the IOM gathered this information, DOD never attempted to find these men, why? This is the March 2003 IOM report by Doctor William Page

In October 2003 the Veterans Affairs Administration finally issued a manual for their health care providers, so they could comprehend the chemical weapons, drugs, and radiological and biological injuries from the aging veterans, they would be able to comprehend what they were seeing, for the previous twenty eight years, the VA doctors and nurses knew nothing about these men who had been used in these experiments. Many of the veterans were referred to mental health for treatment. The manual did not contain any of the information from Doctor Page's March 2003 IOM report, again why?

This GAO report from 2004 a year after the release of the March 2003 IOM report that DOD had commissioned for the long term health data for the First Gulf War Veterans and paid nearly one million dollars for, so I assume they were presented with the data before it became publicly available. Shows that DOD informed the GAO personnel that they would NOT be able to identify any veterans exposed to hazardous materials other than Operation SHAD/112 veterans before 2009. Why, Rick Erdtman of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) telephone number 202-334-1925 has stated that as soon as DOD, (Donald Rumsfeld) authorizes him to release the information to the VA, he will give them the names and addresses of all of the Edgewood Arsenal Human test subjects. Why won't Rumsfeld authorize the release, is it that hard to make a phone call, or is it the fact that he doesn't want this story coming out, since he and Dick Cheney authorized and approved the use of these men in the chemical weapons and drug experiments.

Given that the Bush Administration wants Saddam tried and executed, it makes it a double standard for them to have done this 30 plus years ago, to their own soldiers.

What really appalls me is that in order to keep this from becoming a story, they are depriving 2098 possible widows from obtaining the benefits they should have been receiving if their husbands had died from any of the medical complications from the exposures at Edgewood Arsenal. They are also depriving at least 2200 disabled veterans from obtaining the medical care and compensation they deserve if their medical conditions can be linked to the chemical weapons or drug tests at Edgewood.

The environmental exposures at Edgewood Arsenal appear to be far more hazardous than the actual experiments were, most soldiers were exposed to two or three "test" substances, here is a list of the known toxins found by the EPA at Edgewood Arsenal in the drinking water wells, ground water and the soil of Edgewood Arsenal, approximately 100 known toxins. The EPA ordered the water wells for the town of Edgewood and the Army base at Edgewood capped and water piped in by the federal government immediately in 1977.

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totally disabled veteran Nam Era and Gulf War one
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