Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Torching the Truth

By       Message John Kiriakou       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Valuable 3   Must Read 2   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 3/9/16

Author 503310
Become a Fan
  (40 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Other Words

The Pentagon is trying to cover up the toxic effects of its deadly burn pits.

(Image by Wikipedia)   Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

America's military adventures -- and, just as often, its misadventures -- have inspired thousands upon thousands of books. But the military isn't just in the business of inspiring books: Sometimes it bans them, too.

The Pentagon recently announced that it was refusing to carry a new book by journalist (and veteran) Joseph Hickman in the stores on U.S. military bases. It's called The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America's Soldiers.

Burn pits, NPR reports, are "acres-wide mounds of waste near bases" containing "everything from batteries to vehicle scraps to amputated body parts." These refuse piles, once set aflame with jet fuel, can burn for 24 hours a day. They expose our troops and other personnel to deadly toxic fumes.

- Advertisement -

Banning books is bad enough. But there's a bigger issue here: Why does the Pentagon expose our soldiers to deadly poisons and then pretend it hasn't happened?

Hickman's Burn Pits exposes a link between military service near burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and serious maladies, including everything from respiratory illnesses to rare brain cancers. Indeed, Hickman says, Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau died of one of these rare brain cancers after serving in Iraq.

The Pentagon's ban comes despite the fact that the book is an Amazon bestseller and has been reviewed favorably in media around the world. So it seems like a sure bet that the brass doesn't intend to change its policy of exposing our soldiers to these deadly toxins. By officially sticking their heads in the sand, they're hoping the problem will go away.

The problem won't go away, though. Agent Orange didn't go away after Vietnam. Gulf War Syndrome didn't go away after Desert Storm. And now brave men and women who wanted nothing more than to serve their country are dying prematurely.

The effects on families are devastating. Just ask Joe Biden.

Or ask Tammy McCracken. Her husband David was one of my best friends. We were nearly inseparable since the age of 15.

- Advertisement -

David's father was a highly decorated hero from World War II. David wanted nothing more than to follow in his dad's footsteps. All through high school he talked only about joining the army. He was commissioned as a lieutenant after college and eventually rose to the rank of full colonel.

David had a degree in environmental engineering, so the army assigned him to manage garbage collection in Iraq early in the war. Our friends and I used to jokingly call him the "Garbage King of Iraq."

None of us knew that the Pentagon's policy of burning garbage -- all of it, no matter what it is -- was going to kill our friend.

But it did. In 2011, David developed a very rare form of brain cancer. He was diagnosed only days after running a marathon. Eight months later, he was dead.

He was just 47.

The burn pits were operated largely by KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton -- the military contractor once helmed by Dick Cheney. It was KBR that decided to burn the garbage, with Pentagon approval. Instead of burying the garbage, KBR just bulldozed it into pits and set it on fire.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Valuable 3   Must Read 2   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Forcing the Innocent to Plead Guilty, an American Disgrace

An Incompetent FBI Dropped the Ball on Syed Farook

If Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass on Espionage From President Obama, So Should Whistleblowers

The US Postal Service Is Spying On Us

Kathleen Kane: Another Whistleblower Goes to Prison in America

I Went to Prison for Disclosing CIA Torture. Gina Haspel Helped Cover It Up.