2ND BATTALION 94TH ARTILLERY
AGENT ORANGE DISCUSSION
Revision Date: 04-05-04
I was turned down for a VA claim filed in 2002 for gastrointestinal issues that started my fifth month in country and chronic polyneuropathy starting around 1979. Before I had submitted the claim I had done research to make sure my claim was valid, logical, and made medical sense. After the denial because of statements by the VA that a law, they themselves wrote, overrode my medical evidence and logical progression (as well as comparisons to the Marine and Army Veterans I served with) I decided to research the medical issues on Agent Orange and find the why the government took so long in doing anything and how they can override, what I find now is, universal scientific opinions that agree with my logic. The only two entities that say no to that; is the VA and the National Academy of Science that is contracted by the government. They legally have that right as the congress and the president have given this federal agency the power to do or behave anyway it wants to, to cover-up, deny, stall, and limit veterans justifiable compensations to a rate of 4% a year. No matter how egregious the actions against the Veterans. The Veterans have no legal right under the constitution or the laws of the land - they have been stripped away by unscrupulous presidents and what seems to be a willing and cooperative congress.
I researched this issue for the better part of two years.
I found this tragedy in history should have been declared a NATIONAL DISASTER with the U.S. Government as not only the perpetrator but did so with carelessness and callousness towards the Veterans.
What I found has made me so angry, not for myself but my guys and my Marines, that I have put together a book which I am in second edit updates now. I hope to have it released soon, so the world will know what has happened. I have no excuse for the U.S. Government in this issue. Our past, present, and future Veterans must know how corrupt and conspiratorial our government is when it comes to our Veterans.
I found total bias and corruption by the VA, The White House, and the Congress. I found planned strategies to block legitimate claims for damages, not pain and suffering had this been a civilian event. I found the Veterans constitutional rights taken away. I found many medical issues that are not listed that are not listed because of fraudulent and covert activity by the very government that did this to the Veterans. I found stalling in the pronouncement of associations for almost 40 years and still continues today.
In addition, the government, in what seems to be a strategic move has not and will not consider those medical issues associated with Agent White and its chemical components nor Agent Blue and its chemical components. Each with its own sets of medical problems for the Veterans and the Veterans offspring.
Outline of events, corruption, and a conspiracy by our own government
against our Veterans and their offspring.
By 1968, scientists, health officials, politicians, other federal agencies, and the military itself began to express concerns about the potential toxicity of Agent Orange and its contaminant dioxin to humans. Yet nothing stopped the spraying of the Veterans.
Other federal agencies by 1968 had banned the use of Agent Orange due to increased health problems found in the surrounding areas of usage. Yet, the Veterans were sprayed until 1972.
1. The VA with no medical analysis or research or testing at all in 1968 denied and publicly stated there was no damage from Agent Orange. The VA, with the AO issue, became a Veterans Adversary rather than Veterans Advocate.
2. The VA was given the task of researching and evaluating the Agent Orange issue even though they had publicly stated there was no problem. They stalled for over 10 years in even attempting to do any studies while continuing to publicly deny any associations. (While Veterans died or became disabled and continued to have miscarriages, stillborns, and handicapped children (physically and mentally.)
3. The congress, feigning a tiring of the VA stalling and growing weary of the Veterans complaints, then assigned the AO studies to the CDC. After spending 63 million dollars and four years worth of research the CDC concluded they could not ascertain any conclusion.
3a. After reviewing the protocols used; even the former head of the environmental hazards section at the CDC indicated that the research, being done at the behest of the Veterans, should be investigated due to the lack of objective protocols and research. Even to the point of changing study protocols to introduce more errors. Thereby indicating that political influence had been used on the CDC. (While more Veterans died or became disabled and continued to have miscarriages, stillborns, and handicapped children (physically and mentally.)
We now find that HR 101-672 released in 1990 by our own congress identifies that the Reagan/Bush White House did indeed interfere with these CDC studies, as they had decided not to support the Veterans in this National Disaster.
In 1990, charges of a White House cover-up have been substantiated by report, HR 101- 672, from the House Government Operations Committee. That report, released August 9, 1990, charges that officials in the Reagan administration purposely "controlled and obstructed" a federal Agent Orange study in 1987 because it did not want to admit government liability in cases involving the toxic herbicides. (HR 101-672 “The Agent Orange cover-up: a case of flawed science and political manipulation.”) Still nothing was done or is being done!
(As a comment here this does not excuse the previous administrations. They had stalled the testing, while allowing the VA and the chemical companies to spin their propaganda nationally and internationally. When it came down to actually showing proof of damages by the scientific studies the Reagan/Bush White House directly interfered with this evidence.)
At the very same time the White House was interfering with the CDC studies the following took place.
***Within the last three months of the above date a lady that served in the Air Force in Korea sent me to a webpage with an interview with Admiral Zumwalt who was a member of the Joint Chief of Staffs. He concluded and stated that not only was there direct government intervention in the AO issues but that the following also had occurred:
...that the White
House Bureau of Budget directed all federal agencies not to find a
correlation between Agent Orange and health affects; stating that it would
be most unfortunate for two reasons:
A) the cost of supporting the veterans and
B) the court liability to which corporations would be exposed.
It also seems they put the
chemical companies themselves ahead of the Veterans! So there was a deal
cut there to try and protect them from monetary damages. While I consider
this a government issue and not a chemical company issue.
I now understand the connections and vague references to AO regarding the budget folks in the interference of studies and associations. I had found in researching this issue references to the Bureau of Budget but could not find what their involvement was in this government effort to cover-up these AO issues.
Now in the language above by any legal definition by that statement by the White House; does not that mean a Government Conspiracy was and is still being perpetrated against the Veterans?
4. The original intent of the Agent Orange spray is even in question. Some military scientists indicate these herbicides were to deny the enemy soldier food supply in his own homeland. Not in the areas of friendly troops.
5. In 1979 to 1991 the VACEH is commissioned to assist in Agent Orange associations. It is discovered after almost 12 years many of the scientist that were selected already had a publicly stated opinion that there was no damage by dioxin (TCDD). In addition, many of them were former chemical company employees and may have participated in the first law suit against the Veterans. Scathing reviews by scientific peer reviews on the processes and even accusations of blatant Veterans bias eventually disbanded this "so called impartial committee" in 1991. This committee was referred to as a Kangaroo Court set up only to deny Veterans rights to include statements that their recommendations were not scientifically sound and should not be used to determine anything. (While more Veterans died or became disabled and continued to have miscarriages, stillborns, and handicapped children (physically and mentally.)
6. During this time the White House directed the EPA to enhance and allow the chemical company propaganda. When honest EPA PhD's put out scathing reports of this issue they were punished, suspended, or reassigned. Their reports would be classified and shelved. When one EPA scientist involved in a civilian law suit reported the data had been changed by the chemical company and the court evidence had been tampered with she was suspended and given a meaningless job later on. She had reported this evidence on three studies that the chemical companies had been fraudulent and presented her evidence to the enforcement branch of the EPA. This also was covered up. Later she would be exonerated after the heat from outside scientific sources was put on the EPA for their blatant inference and scientific lies in the truth. Even the reports that were covered up would make its way out in the so called "reassessment of dioxin" by the EPA. Reports that should have been made public years before instead of being covered up.
Even the media was involved to some degree: Somehow this got out to the media;
In 1983, "EPA CALLS DIOXIN MOST POTENT MATERIAL”, the headline in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The story continues with the fact that EPA scientists have concluded that dioxin, found in the air, water and soil, is the most potent substance they have ever studied. It presents an unacceptable cancer risk when found in water in parts per quadrillion. The story disappeared after two days. How nice!
Now remember the government at this exact same time is still saying this stuff is like Orange Juice and good for you at least when it comes to Veterans.
Yet, during this same time the government bought 801 homes in Times Beach, MO for parts per billion contamination.
Times Beach, families received a letter on December 23, 1982; what is now called Christmas message. "If you are in town it is advisable for you to leave and if your are out of town do not go back."
The government went out and quietly bought the homes in Times Beach, MO (801 homes) because of a presence of at 2 ppb [parts per billion]. At the very same exact time the government is denying any and all associations with the many medical issues the Veterans were having, the slow deaths from cancers the Veterans were having, the miscarriages the Veterans were having, etc from exposures in the parts per million not parts per billion!
The government should have issued the same jungle fatigues that the Veterans were wearing in Vietnam. With this government-logic, those toxin environmentally proof jungle fatigues should have protected everyone in Times Beach, MO from any dioxins, picloram, and cacodylic acid at any rate of exposure. Given the fact that they should also drink copious amounts of grape Kool-aid as a back up for environmental toxin protection. According to the White House and our government that is all the Vietnam Veterans needed.
7. Veterans were sprayed and exposed at a dose rate of 4x to 25x of what the recommended mixture was recommended by the original manufacturers.
8. The government allowed the manufactures to change the manufacturing process to cheapen the cost to the government. This allowed a higher concentration of TCDD in the formula. Manufactures state that when the TCDD goes above the normal formula it causes medical issues shown by their own tests; especially in birth defects. Yet this was allowed.
9. For all practical purposes the Veterans now become guinea pigs with the increased mixture rates and the increase in TCDD in the actual formula. While originally those showing harm had to prove they were contact sprayed; the government had sprayed to the point of contaminating any water supply that was available to the Veterans. Common sense should have prevailed here. 2002 study showed water, fish, fowl, and beef were still at unacceptable levels.
10. In 1982 the Air Force launches a taxpayer paid 140 million dollar 25 year study that is suppose to be an independent study on the fellows that handled the toxic agents. This study is called the Ranch Hand Study. Protocol is established that no management and no White House officials should be involved in study. The study, at least as it was presented and as many understood, was to study those that were to have known exposures and then have some data to correlate to medical issues across the board to all Vietnam Veterans. Because of the disastrous results concluded from this study even that original premise has been changed by the government. It is no longer a tool to be used in anything other than to track 1300 sick Veterans. SEE 21 below.
In 1984 the first study results were drafted by Air Force Scientists.
The first Ranch Hand study draft is released but unfortunately the White House Committee on Agent Orange changes the draft to suit their own premise. Leaving out many things including a health matrix that showed the Ranch Handers themselves were in bad shape by a margin of 5 to 1 over the study group with a 50% increase in birth defects. Unfortunately as I said, this data was compromised by our Government to once again show no real medical damages.
Air Force scientists admit in 1987 to Senator Daschle on the Ranch Hand update that the birth defects in the Ranch Handers were not as insignificant as portrayed by the 1984 White House modified study conclusions.
Air Force scientists eventually admit that Air Force management and the White House were involved at every turn, including scientific decisions during the evaluations.
11. 1990 Ranch Hand report update does show Ranch Handers are suffering from many medical problems including: all cancers; skin and systemic combined, both verified and suspected; skin cancers alone; hereditary and *degenerative neurological diseases, debilitating chronic fatigue, and other problems.
*Degenerative neurological diseases, which can be parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Lou Gehrig's disease, etc and they never bothered to tell anyone! They never told any Veterans about these diseases or the documented cancers.
Air Force management team is allowed to makes statement that: as they do not always show a "dose-response" relationship; particularly since the exposure index used in the data analysis "is not a good measure of actual Dioxin exposure. They do not know how to apply this to the Veterans. Weasel words!
Note: The EPA has concluded in 1992 that; *Data indicates that there may not be a threshold for certain responses to Dioxin.
With this conclusion, the Air Force for the first time officially acknowledged that the conclusions reached in its original 1984 Ranch Hand study are not simply moot. That the Ranch Hand study is not, at that date, and never has been an Agent Orange study at all since Dioxin exposure could not be determined reliably in the first place.
In other words, the Air Force could just as easily have concluded that the health problems associated with the Ranch Handers were not necessarily related to eating beer nuts!
12. 1984, the congress unsure of the impact of Agent Orange directed the VA to give the Veterans the benefit of the doubt. We know were that went!
In fact this bogus directive was issued twice to the VA. As above and in the Dioxin act of 1984.
In addition, a California court ruled that the VA was not giving the Veterans the Benefit of the Doubt and ruled that they must IAW with the US Policy. The then secretary of the VA decided not to challenge the courts rulings as indeed there was no proof of this compliance of even the first directive.
12a. The VA at this time, in an unprecedented move, chose a path here-to-fore never used in determining damages for the Veterans. While it had been the policy of the U.S. Government and the VA before Agent Orange that statistical knowledge was all that was required in any compensations for the Veterans. They then chose a "cause and effect" method which is 100 times more stringent than ever used before. This type of proof is not even required in our U.S. federal courts system for damages.
13. (More bias by the VA) 1985, The Director, Office of Environmental Medicine, Veterans Health Services and Research Administration, claims that TCDD ‘presents no threat from the exposures experienced by the veterans and the public at large," and virtually accuses scientists who find that such health effects do exist to be nothing more than witch doctors. See ‘Dioxin and Witchcraft" presented at the 5th International Symposium on Chlorinated Dioxins and Related Compounds (September 1985).
14. 1988, as more Veterans are making headway in the federal courts and the government seeing the onslaught coming. The VA with the help of congress establishes this trumped up "Veterans Court of Appeals" thereby taking away the Veterans constitutional rights and totally out of any justifiable compensations. This court even has a rumored no more than 4% a year claims can be approved.
14a. To go along with this trumped up court of appeals the VA and the government rewrote 38 CFR that now states, "statistical and sound scientific and medical evidence does not constitute causations of Agent Orange." That only the court of appeals and the VA have the right to pronounce associations. Again, this type of proof is not required by any court in the free world regarding an unknown cause of damages to the cell structures themselves. Statistical proof is normally all that is required, especially in the case were scientists do not know how the cells are effected or what the real causations are that modified the cells that are related.
14b. In order to close the entire loop around the Veterans the congress then selected the former chief counselor for the VA as the trumped up court of appeals chief judge. His statement at his confirmation hearing (coronation) was, "Veterans compensations are nothing more than gifts!" The congress had selected the right man for the job to deny legitimate claims.
15. 1988, the VA and the congress get together and provide federal free-bees to the National Military Service Organizations that have been challenging all of these covert activities against the Veterans. They give them free office space, free utilities, free computers, free supplies, and most of all tax-exempt status. This federal free bee while had it been a law would have been OK. Instead of law all of these gifts are at the discretion of the Secretary of the VA only! So now the Veterans stand alone in this fight for justice. The National Military Service Organizations can now whisper in protest but they have too much at stake to put up any concerted efforts against the government and the VA.
16. 1989, the government issues a study for toxins do be done by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). The OTA reaches a consensus opinion of medical issues. Information provided to the VA which was ignored and disregarded.
16a. Two key consensus opinions were: that nerve damages such as neuropathy should not have a time limit on it with rational and that the VA should include central nervous system damages with rational. These are key to the neurological issues in the brain and spinal chord as the dioxin damage crosses the blood barrier.
16b. In 1989 the former Secretary of the VA announced with great fanfare our first real medical issue other than Acne. He announced in late 1989 that the Hodgkin's diseases were being added. 20 years after this was known. My issue is he announced it with a dollar figure of 16.9 million dollars. I would suggest if this is about money, a congressman farts hard and soils his pants he would charge the taxpayer a couple of million in clothes "lost in the line of duty".
It is time Veterans asked themselves: If this 16.9 million had been 4 times that amount, 8 times that amount, 20 times that amount would the cover-up on that medical issue still be going on? How much egregious and callous treatment of the Veterans worth. What is the real worth of a Veteran to this government once he has sacrificed and risked everything, doing nothing wrong, yet damaged by our government.
17. Once again the statements are put out that the VA should give the benefit of the doubt to Veterans. Again, the VA rather than agree to that seems to purposefully make it harder for the Veterans to obtain justifiable compensations. By even looking for a dose rate response to individual to medical issue.
This is impossible; since every Veteran 's hereditary is different, his health at time of exposure, his health at time of manifestation, how the Veteran is aging, other calamities in his life, how was he exposed (acute, chronic, or in my case both). Even stated is the predisposition of some Veterans by their hereditary to what is called autoimmune hepatitis of the liver from environmental toxins.
18. Office policies are changed at the local VA level to give performance reviews based on denials. Cash bonuses are paid for denials.
19. 1992, our own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states:
* Cancer may not be the most sensitive toxic response resulting from Dioxin Exposure. Immunotoxicity and Reproductive effects appear to occur at body burdens that are approximately 100 times lower than those associated with cancer.
*Data indicates that there may not be a threshold for certain responses to Dioxin.
Now that logic alone in the EPA statements should say to someone:
We have some cancers listed and no autoimmune diseases when the threshold is so much smaller for the autoimmune disease.
If there was exposure at all; do we now say that only the cancer will develop which would require a much higher dose when it should be more common that the lesser dose rate medical issues would be seen?
This does not make any sense! But according to the VA and the NAS it does.
Just mind boggling!
20. The VA now contracts with the NAS to do medical associations and pronounce every two years these determined associations. (Built in stalling by contract.) NAS announces they study hundreds of other studies each year but then come back and issue the associated statements for Agent Orange are primarily based off of the Ranch Hand studies. Which we now know were not only changed; but Air Force Management and White House management were involved in the actual scientific decisions. Or once again, if they do find something statistically that management does not want pronounced, they simply use the weasel words, "We do not know how to apply to the Veterans in a dose rate response." Just like the Ranch Hand studies.
My question to Veterans would be: They do not know how to apply it because of government direction or because they are stupid?
Again the EPA and common sense indicates this level of proof of causations is not only impossible to scientifically prove but is only used as a tool used to deny justifiable compensations.
21. In 2000 the congress held a review of the Ranch Hand study complaining that the GAO would not even release the updates to them. The owners of the Ranch Hand Study indicated there was no need to since they were not being used for anything and stated that the VA was not using the study to determine associations nor Veterans Compensations. Plus they needed no congressional oversight or help. Which now as I mentioned above, has totally changed the Ranch Hand study premise. Present at this meeting was the head of the environmental hazards section at the VA and she did not say anything to the contrary when questioned.
Since the cost of this study was 140 million dollars to do now what seems to be only to track 1300 sick guys; and that is all and not use the data of known exposures victims as it relates and compares to others. Would not it have been cheaper just to give the 1300 guys a $100,000 a piece and let them send in updates every six month as to how sick they are?
Yet as I indicted in 20. above, the NAS who is contracted to advise and make recommendations to the VA on associations specifies they use the Ranch Hand studies as a primary source of information to pronounce such associations!!!!!!!!!
Splitting of conspiratorial government hairs is more like it!
As Congressman Shays commented in 2000:
"At what level do you think Government should consider compensation? Should we have a no shadow of a doubt?** The reason why I am asking the question is I have come to the conclusion, based on our work that we have done on gulf war illnesses, based on our review of Agent Orange, that I have to be honest with our veterans. By the time we will know the scientific data, you are dead. You will either have died early or you will have died in your old age in pain, but you will not get help from the Federal Government."
I have proof of all that I have stated. There are many more such covert activities that have and are going on but I think you see from the above time lines and information snippets, that the Vietnam Veteran regarding the Agent Orange issue has not been given a fair deal at all. In fact, one could conclude that this activity is criminal and could be charged in associations with the many deaths that are a direct result of these government denials.
Many more cancers should be associated, many more autoimmune diseases should be added, along with many more birth defects should be added.
In 1991 a scathing report was submitted to the VA by the man in charge of medically associating Agent Orange issues. He was an assistant to the Secretary of the VA. This report was then classified and stamped, "Not for Release to the General Public." One of the people helping me in my review ran across a copy.
He also concluded that government interference was the normal in this issue. His conclusions were as follows:
“I have also given considerable thought to which health effects are to be presumed likelier than not to be related to TCDD exposure and therefore service-connected. Any such determination must be made in light of:
1) the review of the scientific literature, including animal studies where human data does not exist or has been manipulated;
2) the inappropriate processes of the Veterans Advisory Committee on Environmental Hazards;
3) the past political manipulations of Ranch Hand and CDC studies;
4) the recent discoveries of manipulation by scientists hired by chemical manufacturers of dioxin contaminants to evaluate the potentially best epidemiological data concerning TCDD’s effects on humans.
My evaluation of the evidence has been made with just such considerations in mind. Additionally, I have conferred with several experts in the field.
After evaluating all the evidence and material of record, I am convinced that there is better than "an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence" on a series of Agent Orange related health effects.”
It can, in my judgment, be concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, that it is at least as likely as not that the following are caused in humans by exposure to TCDD: non-Hodgkin’ s lymphoma, chloracne and other skin disorders, lip cancer, bone cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, birth defects, skin cancer, lung cancer, porphyria cutanea tarda and other liver disorders, Hodgkin’s disease, hematopoietic diseases, multiple myeloma, neurological defects, and autoimmune diseases and disorders.
In addition, I am most comfortable in concluding that it is at least as likely as not that liver cancer, nasal/pharyngeal/esophageal cancers, leukemia, malignant melanoma, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, brain cancer, psychosocial effects, and gastrointestinal disease are service-connected.”
*Notice there is no time limit on these 28 diseases and medical conditions as our wonderful caring government implies. Thereby concluding that medically, it is impossible for a chronic low dose rate ingestion cannot and will not cause the exact same medical issue as an acute exposure. Some how I tend to believe that is not scientifically provable nor probable. Especially, since we are talking about long term chronic damages to begin with!
Another special treat by our government is: even when the medial issue was announced by our wonderful and caring government- NO ONE COULD QUALIFY. Thanks for nothing!
As a note here for comparison: we now have 11 medial issues. 4 of which have time limits. Just a slight disagreement of facts! 7 medical issues instead of 28.
“Such a resolution of the embarrassingly prolonged Agent Orange controversy would be on the order of decisions to compensate U.S. soldiers who contracted cancer after exposure to radiation from atomic tests and U.S. soldiers involved, without their knowledge, in LSD experiments. With the scientific basis now available for it to be stated with confidence that it is at least as likely as not that various health effects are related to wartime exposure to Agent Orange, there is the opportunity finally to right a significant national wrong committed against our Vietnam Veterans.”
In the link below to "diseases and discussions" I shall prove that the DMZ veterans had enough exposures to all three chemicals to cover any stalling exposure index, or dose rate, or any other thing the government or the totally biased NAS can come up with relating to any medical issues and birth defects.
I shall also make a case that had the government indicated two simple blood tests instead of covering up all this stuff. Many Veterans may be alive today and those that were disabled early, may not be disabled or at least disabled later on in life.
This stalling needs to stop. We cannot count on the media nor our so called honorable congressional leaders to assist us. I feel your pain letters are no longer enough! What is the answer I have no idea? Maybe it is just to let our present and future Veterans know that this government and its political leaders are not to be trusted when it comes to Veterans. As one congressmen pointed out this could very well become a national security issue. As the word gets out to the public on how Veterans are actually being treated by this government on the other end.
My personal opinion it is time for these "less than honorable men" to find someone else to screw and lets vote them all out of office. 40 years of this is long enough.
The difference between a republican screwing and the democrat screwing of Veterans seems to be in the size of the grain of sand they use while doing it.
Which may bring proof to the old saying, "There is only a grain of difference"!
The Veterans Party of America has formed and is forming in all of our states just because of this treatment of all Veterans and other Veterans Rights issues. I would suggest you look at any of those candidates as an alternative to voting for the same old, "I feel your pain senators and congressmen".