Friday, October 12, 2007

British Government recognizes Gulf War Syndrome

British Government officially recognizes Gulf War Syndrome as a legitimate medical condition that they will compensate veterans of the first Gulf War for. It has only taken 17 years, almost as long as the US took to recognize Agent Orange.

Lord Drayson said the MoD had written to veterans to tell them they can use the label Gulf War Syndrome and are now working with experts to develop a rehabilitation programme.

Lord Morris said later: "Nobody has ever before now said sorry to those veterans left in broken health and those bereaved after the most toxic war in British history."

Following a landmark ex-serviceman’s pension tribunal appeal in October 2005 the MoD has accepted gulf war syndrome as a "useful umbrella term" for conditions which are linked to the 1990/91 gulf conflict however they do not accept it exists as a separate disease.

An MoD spokesman said: "We have long accepted some veterans of the 1990/91 gulf conflict are ill and some of their ill health is related to their services."

I wonder how long it will take for our own DOD or the VA to recognize the medical problems as the British have done, although we had at least 20 times the amount troops in the war zone as they did, they however are also recognizing troops that never deployed, some are sick that just received vaccinations.

Our government is still funding research, I guess it's cheaper to study the probelms than it is to compensate the ill veterans.

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Did the Government Let It's Veterans Die?

Sat Dec 10, 2005
Did The Government Let Its Veterans Die?

Harlingen, Texas, December 8, 2005: If the report is true, our government has some serious explaining to do. According to a 2003 study, almost every person involved in a secret government test program is either dead or seriously ill. What has Washington told you about this? Absolutely nothing!

Even more surprising is, mainstream media has paid scant attention to the ongoing charges by veterans that they were used as test subjects. These same veterans have been denied official recognition of their participation, medical treatment and disability compensation because the government keeps all information related to the tests classified.

It is an open secret that the Veterans Administration routinely denies treatment to former service personnel because their illnesses cannot be confirmed as being “service connected”. What is seldom mentioned is another reason for denying any responsibility to provide medial care. This is lack of confirmation due to classified records. An Internet search for media coverage of this common practice will produce few documents on the subject.

NBC Television had a fictional presentation of the problem in the December 7, 2005 program E-Ring. In that episode a retired military officer was dying of liver failure due to Hepatitis resulting from a tainted blood transfusion given to him by a government medical team. He was denied VA treatment because his records were sealed due to his participation in classified missions. Thus the VA could not document his illness as being ñservice connectedî.

As for mainstream media coverage of the problem, the latest article a Google search produces appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times on December 3, 2004. Written by Cheryl Reed. The article is on VA benefits for wounded veterans. It addresses the difficulty they have obtaining documentation and getting VA claims approved.

One of the horror tales the article recounts concerns James Gates of Chicago. He joined the Army in 1951 and fought in Korea. He was later a test subject in secret nuclear tests conducted in Nevada. During one such test he was blown out of an uncovered foxhole. Later he lost his teeth and developed lung disease that doctors linked to radiation exposure.

Across the span of years since that time, Gates attempted to get medical treatment and disability payments from the VA. The government answer was always that a review of his records showed he couldn’t prove he served in Korea or participated in the Nevada tests. According the Sun-Times article, “Gates’ fight with the VA was hampered by the military’s own poor record-keeping. Most of his records were destroyed in a 1973 fire at a St Louis VA records warehouse.”

Gates died last year without ever receiving a single penny from the government.

CBS News did a report in the spring of 2000 on 113 separate chemical and biological warfare tests, which were secretly conducted in the 1960s. The Department of Defense responded to that television report saying everyone was fully briefed before those tests were conducted and that no personnel had been exposed to harmful substances. Veteran’s organizations disagree, saying a few people may have been briefed, but the vast number of individuals involved claim they were never told a thing either before or after the tests. These same veterans also have a variety of illnesses, which could be related to chemical or biological exposure.

More than 1,000 service personnel were eventually identified as test participants, but the government verification of these veterans’ claims and examination of documents to prove they meet VA treatment requirements is still ongoing. Many veterans charge the government is purposely moving at a snails-pace on the matter, knowing these former military personnel are aging, in poor health and will go to their final reward before any liability is determined.

Though the government seems to avoid responsibility for the care of many veterans based upon the “secret” status of their records, some of its most questionable actions involve the denial of veteran claims based solely on complete distortion of facts, denial of hazards involved, no record of participation dates, or non-availability of records.

All of these things seem to be the rule, rather than the exception when it comes to documenting participation of veterans in the chemical weapons and drug research by the United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency from 1955 until 1975 at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. During those years, 7120 soldiers ranging from 17 to about 20 years of age were participants in secret tests that involved a wide variety of chemicals and other agents ranging from DDT to LSD, along with the ingredients that make up mustard gas, Saran and other lethal products.

An Institute of Medicine report published in 2003 by Dr. William Page stated that the only long term health problems that test veterans showed were higher rates of brain tumors and sleep disorders. This conflicts with a 1994 report by the National Institute of Health that shows long term health effects from exposure to Chemical Warfare agents GA, GB and VX include pulmonary problems, gastrointestinal ailments and delayed onset cardiac disease.

But, even these two reports to not touch all of the health problems faced by the Test Veterans. Of those 7120 soldiers, a 1985 report shows 385 deceased. By the year 2000, just 15 years later, that death figure appears to have multiplied to 3098 veterans. Forty percent of the Test Veterans were dead before reaching age 65. Another 2200 of these participants, or 54% of the Test Veterans are in very poor health or totally disabled. Still, more than 30 years after the tests were concluded, the United States Government has not released the names of the personnel involved or admitted to the health damage this test program caused.

Georgia veteran Mike G. Bailey volunteered for the Edgewood test project. He was classified a Level A test subject for the use of Psychochemical experiments. On June 13, 1974 he was placed in a padded room at Madigan Army Hospital experiencing a “bad trip” from LSD. Minor health concerns continued until 1992 when he experienced a stroke. In 1994 he had his first heart attack. In 1997 there was a blood clot, and later that year and artery collapsed, requiring bypass surgery. In November of the same year another bypass was attempted and failed. In February 1998 he was placed on a heart pump for four days. That same year he had another heart attack. By June 2002 a heart test was performed which revealed two collapsed bypasses. No surgery could be done. There was no transplant option. Added to all of this he had autoimmune disorders, skin abnormalities, emphysema and other ailments.

For the past three years Mike Bailey has been battling the military establishment and the VA in an attempt to file claims related to his disability. Though he has official records proving he was in the chemical test program from June 24 until August 22, 1974, the VA claims he did volunteer for the medical test program, but got sick and was sent home before it started. All of his claims have been denied.

Like so many programs involving test volunteers, the government continues to claim records were destroyed, lost, or just cannot be located. The Department of Defense refuses to release information or the names of test subjects and veterans continue to claim the VA lies about their case histories or endlessly delays responding to their requests. In the case of those Edgewood tests, the government claims more than 3,000 of the volunteers cannot even be located.

The years are adding up as these veterans keep getting older and face more medical concerns. Everyone knows the government is slow to react to anything, but to many veterans it seems as if the denials and delays are part of a plan for them to die before there is any resolution of their claims.

Is our government really as disorganized and bumbling as it appeared to be during recent disasters? Or is it really attempting to purposely stall and let our own veterans die?

Posted by: Tom on Dec 10, 05 | 3:00 pm | Profile

I was given permission by Tom Segel to repost this material in 2005

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