Is military research hazardous to veterans health?
Lessons spanning a half century.
(Now at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_warfare#United_States_Senate_Report)
Excerpts: Staff Report prepared for the commitee on veterans' affairs
December 8, 1994 John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia, Chairman
For at least 50 years, the Department of Defense has knowingly exposed military personnel to potentially dangerous substances, often in secret.
The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report on September 28, 1994, which stated that between 1940 and 1974, DOD and other national security agencies studied hundreds of thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances.Mustard gas and lewisite
...approximately 60,000 military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940's to test two chemical agents, mustard gas and lewisite. Most of these subjects were not informed of the nature of the experiments and never received medical followup after their participation in the research. (Note 14) Additionally, some of these human subjects were threatened with imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth if they discussed these experiments with anyone, including their wives, parents, and family doctors. (Note 15) For decades, the Pentagon denied that the research had taken place, resulting in decades of suffering for many veterans who became ill after the secret testing....
... Many experiments that tested various biological agents on human subjects, referred to as Operation Whitecoat, were carried out at Fort Detrick, MD, in the 1950's. The human subjects originally consisted of volunteer enlisted men. However, after the enlisted men staged a sitdown strike to obtain more information about the dangers of the biological tests, Seventh-Day Adventists who were conscientious objectors were recruited for the studies...
Dugway Proving Ground
... Dugway Proving Ground is a military testing facility located approximately 80 miles from Salt Lake City. For several decades, Dugway has been the site of testing for various chemical and biological agents. From 1951 through 1969, hundreds, perhaps thousands of open-air tests using bacteria and viruses that cause disease in human, animals, and plants were conducted at Dugway... It is unknown how many people in the surrounding vicinity were also exposed to potentially harmful agents used in open-air tests at Dugway
... Data obtained on some military personnel who were exposed to radioactive fallout were collected after these men were unintentionally exposed. However, some atomic veterans believe they were used as guinea pigs to determine the effects of radiation from various distances, including those at ground zero, on human subjects. Their suspicions are supported by a 1951 document from the Joint Panel on the Medical Aspects of Atomic Warfare, Research and Development Board, Department of Defense, which identified general criteria for bomb test-related "experiments" and identified 29 "specific problems" as "legitimate basis for biomedical participation."...
... To assist in identifying those people who may have been harmed by secret experiments utilizing ionizing radiation, the Clinton administration solicited complaints from possible victims by installing several telephone hotlines. As of September 1994, 86 percent of the 21,996 callers to the radiation hotline were veterans who believed they had participated in various radiation "experiments."....
... Working with the CIA, the Department of Defense gave hallucinogenic drugs to thousands of "volunteer" soldiers in the 1950's and 1960's. In addition to LSD, the Army also tested quinuclidinyl benzilate, a hallucinogen code-named BZ. (Note 37) Many of these tests were conducted under the so-called MKULTRA program, established to counter perceived Soviet and Chinese advances in brainwashing techniques. Between 1953 and 1964, the program consisted of 149 projects involving drug testing and other studies on unwitting human subjects...
You CANNOT sue the Military
... The U.S. Supreme Court has [ruled] that soldiers "injured in the course of activity incident to service" may not sue the Government for compensation.
James Stanley, an Army serviceman...[without his knowledge, he] received LSD as part of an Army study to determine the effects of the drug on humans. Although Stanley suffered from periods of incoherence and memory loss for years, he only learned in 1975 that he had participated in the LSD study when the Army solicited his cooperation in a followup study. Having been denied compensation for injury by the Army, Stanley filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion for the Court [prohibiting Stanley from suing].
Full report: Amazon.com 474 pages: Is military research hazardous to veterans' health?: Lessons from World War II, the Persian Gulf, and today : hearing before the Committee on Veterans
GI Rights Hotline
American Friends Service Committee
United for Peace and Justice: Counter Recruitment Campaign
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
The Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft
Counter-Recruitment Books, Videos
Project YANO: The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities
Paper Tiger: Military Myths Downloads
Veterans for Peace
DUTY, HONOR, BETRAYAL:
How the U.S. gased 70,000 WWII soliders
November 10, 2004
See the full 3 article report, with photos of the chemical tests: Detroit Free Press
...This is the story of patriots deceived -- not once but three times: first as young recruits, conned into entering chambers of lethal gas during World War II; then as war-hardened soldiers, shipped home with no warning of the time bombs lurking in their bodies; and finally as aging veterans, misled by a government that promised to find them, wherever they lived, and compensate those who were harmed.
By the end of World War II, the military had exposed more than 70,000 Army and Navy recruits to poison gases in various forms -- from swabs of mustard agent on their arms, to the more than 4,000 servicemen who marched into chambers or through fields soaked with chemicals. The mission was noble: to develop protective gear and ointments that would insulate troops from enemy chemical attack. The means were not: Officers deceived the men about the health risks and intimidated those who balked.
The recruits, many still teenagers, were sworn to secrecy. In the decades that followed, some of these veterans sought benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for illnesses linked to the tests. But the military had a ready reply: The tests never happened. Not until 1991, when four Navy vets swayed an influential congressman to their cause, did the Pentagon acknowledge the secret program and apologize. The government, at long last, vowed to make amends.
But the Free Press has found that Washington broke its promise. The VA, which pledged a painstaking effort to track down and compensate the men, contacted nobody. Not one letter. Not a single phone call -- even after the Pentagon turned over lists of thousands of potential victims. The VA relied mainly on unpaid public service ads in veterans magazines, even though the agency was aware that most veterans don't see those publications.
In recent years, a few veterans who did press claims were rebuffed -- often with form letters, and even when it was clear they had diseases linked to the wartime experiments.
Of the 700,000 U.S. troops sent to the Persian Gulf, Department of Veteran Affairs statistics indicate that almost 10,000 have died since the first Gulf War, almost 200,000 have filed claims for medical and compensation benefits and more than 150,000 were granted service-connected benefits.
Maimi Herald: Our Servicemen's Health in Danger
Bring them home magnet