[Hpn] Stats for possible 64% rate of disability in Gulf War Vets: per request
Sat, 05 Aug 2000 05:45:01 -0400
Can Cheney Come Clean?
Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome Disabled Veterans During
His Watch as Secretary of the Department of Defense
Richard Bruce (Dick) Cheney served as Secretary of the Department of
Appointed by President George H. W. Bush
Cheney helped formulate military strategy of the U.S. during the Persian
January 30, 1991:
Agent Orange Vietnam veterans finally recognized by Congress in long
Cheney dragged heels on this recognition for 2 years as Secretary of the
from 1989 up to January 1991.
Also, first ground battle of Persian Gulf War began on this date. Within
days, participating veterans presented with serious symptoms later named
Note that during much of Cheney's watch as the Secretary of DOD, neither
Agent Orange vets or Gulf War Syndrome vets got the recognition and
help they needed.
Sources of GWS in 1991:
Not admitted by DOD during Cheney's time:
Up to 100,000 U.S. troops exposed to low-levels of warfare agents
included: sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gases
More than 250,000 U.S. troops received investigational new drug,
pyridostigmine I (PB Pills).
800,000 U.S. troops received investigational new botulinum toxoid (Bot
150,000 U.S. troops received hotly debated anthrax vaccine.
436,000 U.S. troops entered or lived for months within areas contaminated
315 tons of depleted uranium radioactive toxic waste possibly also laced
radioactive Plutonium and Neptunium. The DOD admitted (after Cheney's
that U.S. troops in these areas received almost no training, education,
equipment or medical evaluations involving these highly radioactive
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops lived outdoors for months near more
700 burning oil well with no protective equipment or training.
As early as March of 1991:
Gulf War vets began reporting symptoms that included:
fatigue, rashes, muscle and joint pain, headaches, memory loss, shortness
reath, sleep disturbances, diarrhea and coughs.
By June 1991, 17,248 U.S. GW vets were reporting the above symptoms.
The DOD, still under Cheney at this time, began to officially and
attribute these symptoms to:
previous injury and surgery, normal rashes found in the general civilian
population, poor dental care, teeth grinding, male patterned baldness and
Source for much the above:
"Diagnosis Unknown: Gulf War Syndrome: Triumphant in the Desert, Striken
Home," by David Brown, THE WASHINGTON POST, July 24, 1994.
By the end of 1991 (still Cheney watch):
the DOD still officially denied any U.S. troops exposed to any chemical
biological agents. The DOD also claimed at time that only about 250 of
Gulf War vets had any unexplained symptoms.
Well respected veterans' support groups and several House members said at
time that "250" figure was actually thousands of affected GW veterans.
The DOD buried early reporting by Czech troops that troops were exposed
chemical agents. DOD will not admit seeing this report in 1991 until
VA physicians prohibited from exploring possibility of chemical and
biological agent exposure due to DOD denial that they were used,
Dr. Robert Roswell, chief of staff of the VA Medical Center in
Alabama. He did not feel safe enough to go to the media with that 1991
prohibition until the 1993 change in administrations.
Hester Adcock, of Ocala, Florida was the mother of son, Michael, a Gulf
veteran. Michael Adcock died 11 months after returning from the Gulf due
cancer of the heart, lungs, spleen, kidney and brain.
At the time of his death, Mrs. Adcock said:
"The Department of Defense needs to come clean with all of us. There is
doubt in my mind that my son died as a result of chemical and biological
warfare while serving in the Gulf."
"Gulf War Vets Say U.S. Ignored Chemical Role in Illnesses," SAN
CHRONICLE Wire Services, January 10, 1993.
"Pentagon Says Nerve Gas Dtected During Gulf War," Dave Parks, BIRMINGHAM
(Alabama) NEWS, October 29, 1993.
"VA Doctor Says Denials Blocked Probe," Michael Brumas, BIRMINGHAM
NEWS, November 3, 1993.
"Pentagon Got Czech Report Early in War," Michael Brumas, BIRMINGHAM
(Alabama) NEWS, November 5, 1993.
Still 1991 (still Cheney watch):
The U.S. Military measurement of the Gulf oil fires smoke incomplete.
DOD did not smoke-track during March and April of 1991, the period
the arrival of the Shamal winds which blow from northeast to southwest
between May and September each year.
Anthony Principi, #2 in the Veteran's Affairs Department and a Vietnam
himself, wanted to open registry for Gulf War vets similar to Agent
registry to track future health problems. He was told no and even
for puting the idea in a trackable memo. The VA's reason was that the DOD
themselves could not afford the number of Gulf vets who might register
The VA/DOD argument over what diagnostic code might apply to sick Gulf
began behind closed doors.
"Diagnosis Unknown: Gulf War Syndrome: The Search for Causes," David
THE WASHINGTON POST, Sunday, July 24, 1994
(still Cheney watch):
The DOD reported to Congress on conduct of Persian Gulf War, April 1992:
"In the beginning of the deployment, the services were not adequately
prepared to deal withthe full range of CW (chemical warfare)/BW
warfare). There were limitations in most area, including drug
protection, detection, decontamination, prophylaxis, and therapy."
The DOD still did not admit at this time that U.S. troops were actually
exposed to chemical and biological agents during the war.
Dr. Charles Jackson, Tuskegee, Alabama Veteran's Administration hospital:
" (The) Pentagon (is) unwilling to acknowledge even the presence of
and biological agents in the Persian Gulf..."
Nick Roberts, Phoenix, Alabama, Gulf War vet who has since died from Gulf
"...they kept feeding us this line of bull that nothing was wrong with
"Dying for Their Country," Mary A. Fischer, GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY, May
Cheney returned to private life with the swearing in of President
The new administration had to immediately begin playing catch-up with GWS
vets' historically unmet and unrecognized needs, but not before these
events during the last of Cheney's watch:
-The Army Surgeon General acknowledged in a memo that "when soldiers
or ingest depleted Uranium dust, they incur a potential increase in
risk." The Pentagon admitted Gulf War U.S. troops weren't trained in
handling of depleted Uranium.
-A report to the National Academy of Sciences by U.S. Army Major Richard
Haines admitted the following: of GWS vets studied to date:
6 out of 6 (100%) showed central nervous system damage in SPECT brain
13 out of 13 (100%) who took batteries of neuropsychchiatric tests showed
central nervous system and vision damage.
43 out of 46 (93%) checked for toxic metallic levels showed high levels
lead and cadmium in hair samples.
27 out of 28 (96%) of those given low level chemical challenges had
multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) to low levels of many common
-In another study involving 79 Gulf War veterans with GWS symptoms:
71% had extreme fatigue
57 % has severe sleep disturbance
54% had significant joint pain
43% had difficulty concentrating
37% had constant and severe headaches.
October 29, 1993
-Low level of chemical warfare agents were actually detected in the air
during the Persian Guld War
-Czech report of chemical agent use and exposure given to U.S. military
leadership early in war. The DOD discounted that information.
As of March 1994:
An average 1,000 Gulf War vets a month were signing up on the Department
Veteran's Affairs hotline asking for needed medical help for symptoms
experienced since 1991.
Many Americans learn for the first time that the Bush administration had
secretly and illegally supplied many of the chemical and biological
Iraq's weapons arsenal before the Persian Gulf War.
That revelation meant that, as a country, we may have contributed to the
death and disability of thousands of our own troops.
Many pundits share belief that fact of our own contribution may have been
heart of the government's snail-slow recognition of Gulf War Syndrome.
(using the most current statistics from the Department of Veterans'
696,628 U.S. troops served in the Gulf War between August 2, 1990 and
All are considered "Gulf War Conflict" veterans by the VA.
575,978 (83%) of those were eligible for VA benefits.
263,000 (45%) of those sought medical care at VA facilities for Gulf War
Of the remaining 312,978 (575,978 less 263,000), 183,629 (32%) filed
for service-related medical disabilities.
Of those 183,629 disability claims, 136,031 (74%) were approved in whole
19,976 have been approved for partial disability payments.
As of October 1999, there were still 27,622 unresolved Gulf War Syndrome
claims pending with the VA.
Bottom Line: At least 64% of all U.S. troops who served during the
Gulf War were (and still are) at high risk of developing the symptoms and
disabilities of Gulf War Syndrome.
Finally, it is estimated that 9,600 Gulf War Syndrome veterans have died
their symptoms since their Persian Gulf War service. The lack of speed in
recognition and treatment; and also in Department of Defense funded
independent research during Cheney's watch from 1989-1993 means we will
have an accurate figure for those veterans whose military service killed
once they returned to their homes.
A Partial Bibliography on the Gulf War Syndrome Veterans Story While
was the Secretary of the Department of Defense (1989-1993):
"Agent Orange Compensation," President's Committee on Employment of
with Disabilities," WASHINGTON FAX, vol. 2,#2, November/December 1993.
"VA Establishes Persian Gulf Registry," Ibid., October 1993.
"Gulf War Vets Need Your Input!," THE NEW REACTOR, Environmental Health
Network, vol.2,#2, September/October 1992.
"Rockerfeller Wins Passage of New Law to Help Veterans with Persian Gulf
'Mystery' Illness," SENATE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS NEWS RELEASE,
November 22, 1993.
"Is It Agent Orange Revisited?," SOUTH BEND (Indiana) TRIBUNE, November
"Gulf Vets Say U.S. Ignored Chemical Role in Illness," SAN FRANCISCO
CHRONICLE, November 10, 1993.
"House Votes to Assist Gulf War Veterans," Ibid., August 3, 1993.
"Hospital Prepares for Influx of Veterans," OAKLAND (California) TRIBUNE,
August 9, 1993.
"The Gulf Gas Mystery," TIME MAGAZINE, November 1993.
"Agent Orange Compensation," Ibid., October 11, 1993.
There are many fine articles in the archives of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS in
Alabama. The reason is twofold.
First, Alabama sent more soldiers to the Gulf War than any other state.
the state had more Gulf War Syndrome vets with disabilities than any
state, too. Second, their medical and military reporting on this story
1991 on was, and still is, outstanding. The below is only a bit of the
paper's great coverage.:
"Many Units Didn't Have Reliable Detection Gear, Specialist Says,"
"Marine Officer: Detected a Gas During Gulf War," November 16, 1993.
"Information Raises Questions About Pentagon Stance," November 11, 1993.
"Browder Accuses Pentagon of 'Stonewalling' on Report," November 9, 1993.
"Pentagon Got Czech Report Early in War." November 5, 1993.
"Congressmen Seek Nerve-Gas Facts," October 30, 1993.
"Senate Reports Iraqis Probably Used Chemicals," September 9, 1993.
"Something Did Happen to Sick Vets," July 1, 1993.
"Gulf Veterans' Ills Called 'Agent Orange Revisited," June 9, 1993.
"Gulf Vets Complain VA Too Slow with Benefits," May 19, 1993.
"Report Says Toxic Agents Caused Gulf Illness," May 9, 1993.
"Healing the Gulf Veterans," November 29, 1992.
"Battling an Unseen Foe," October 18, 1992.
Rev. Rus Cooper-Dowda
Compiled, Edited and Updated July 2000
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