Dioxin in the News


Veterans need media help in their fight against a corrupt Veteran’s Administration and our own government.


The chemical contaminant “dioxin” has made its way into the mass media recently with the attempted poisoning of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko.


The doctors of our nation have gone on the national news media shows, discussing liver damages and the many systemic disorders this toxin can cause in the human body, short-term as well as long-term. 


While Yushchenko, may not live long enough to see the long-term damages as we did as 18-25 year old dioxin and other herbicides such as Agent White and Agent Blue exposure victims.  Nor will he feel the sting of miscarriages, stillbirths, and deformed and/or mentally handicapped children.


These doctors talk of the many damages that result from this dioxin contamination on not only liver damage but of heart, lung, and kidney damage.  In addition to destroying or modifying the immune system and the results of that from many diseases and disorders including developed cancers.  Yet, our corrupt VA and VA secretaries deny this same involvement in our own veterans and have done so for 40 years now.


Ironically, the Vietnam Veterans of this nation and our brother allies have been saying this for four decades now.  While our respective governments continually deny such medical associations using fraudulent chemical company studies, U.S government controlled and corrupted dioxin studies, and totally disregarding the findings of our own independent prestigious research centers, research scientists, and EPA toxicologists.


Not only was dioxin contained in the herbicide Agent Orange involved in our toxin legacy but exposures to other toxins of other herbicides such as Agent White and Agent Blue now equals an arsenal of toxins of mass destruction with amplifying effects of not only toxicity but medical outcomes. 


These herbicides were used as offensive and defensive weapons in our toxin war even though over 2,000 scientists of this nation told President Johnson to stop this madness.  Our government did not and Vietnam Veterans have been paying the price in death, disablement, and lost and/or damaged children ever since.  Veterans are going uncompensated in death and disablement by the direct fraudulent and criminal actions by our own government and its long arm of denial, the Secretary of the VA.


Scientists associated with these government studies, the Ranch Hand dioxin study, actually admitted in 2000 before a congressional oversight committee that for 20 years these studies have never told the truth regarding; birth defects, some cancers, heart disease, vascular disease, neurological ailments, endocrine disturbances, and hematological difficulties.  I would point out that the study this scientist was talking about was a study done on those Veterans that were primarily exposed by skin contact.  Not those Veterans in the bush or on the remote firebases that drank contaminated water, bathed, and cooked in contaminated water for over a year.  When it comes to toxins, methods of ingestion do make a difference as to the medical outcomes.


Here is just “one typical” medical issue denied Veterans for 40 years now and associated with dioxin; much less, the other toxins that are known to cause these medical disorders that Veterans were exposed to in great quantity.


This is a disabling nerve disorder called “polyneuropathy” that involves the destruction of the peripheral nerves.


In reviewing the 140 million dollar taxpayer paid for scientific transcripts of the Ranch Hand study meetings, not the government redacted and Air Force controlled published reports.  I found the following issues: 


In the October of 1999 transcripts, I found a discovered dioxin dose response in neuropathy; and in the October of 2000 study, it was noted that a significant and adverse relationship between peripheral neuropathy and dioxin body burden ratios had been found.


In 2003, the totally unbiased Korean dioxin impact study, using real medical doctors, found a dioxin connection to a significant statistical level of 96.1 percent.  They found the statistical level of associations of peripheral neuropathy between Vietnam veterans and Non-Vietnam veterans was an amazing 99.58 percent positive association to military service in Vietnam.


In my research going back to 1949, I found case after case of dioxin workers and chemical company accidents that showed the same medical anomaly.


I found Dow Chemical stating that exposure to dioxin could cause “destruction of nerve fibers and nerve sheaths” which equals neuropathy.


Then the Secretary of the VA in May of 2003 stated that a positive association “did not exist” between specifically “dioxin and peripheral neuropathies”.  This statement was based on the totally anti-veteran biased NAS/IOM contracted by the congress to establish recommendations for death and disablement compensations.  The NAS/IOM replaced the defunct Veterans Affairs Committee on Environmental Hazards (VACEH) that operated from 1979 to 1991 denying anything associated with dioxin as most of the members had represented chemical companies in the past.  In researching this issue, the VA for forty years now has always found scientists to represent them in this issue whose previous professional scientific job it had been “NOT TO FIND” any associations to dioxin and any medical disorder and to disprove these already found facts.    


This statement by the obviously anti-Veteran secretary has been used in the “government trumped up” Veterans Court of Appeals time after time to deny legitimate and justifiable compensations for this medical disorder.


A recent article in the Charlotte Observer December 17, 2004:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it will begin contacting veterans exposed to dangerous levels of chemicals during World War II and will invite them to apply for benefits if they were harmed.”


This is just a government and VA publicity stunt.  How much energy do these former warriors , now in their 80's and even 90's, have left to fight through a totally "adversarial Veterans Administration".  Think about it!  They count on us as disabled and dying 50 to 60 year old toxin victims to give up with their continual adversarial policies and VA and government lies and stalling and denial after denial based on government corrupted data. 


Nice touch by Bush White House but Veterans and their families see through this totally disingenuous; the most publicity for the least amount of dollars expended.  It is time the whole Veterans Administration was reorganized from the top down with some honesty and integrity mandated.


This would mean that the government would make this same announcement, finally admitting guilt, for Vietnam Veterans in the year 2037.  This planned White House philosophy is typical of our government and the VA when it comes to veterans they have harmed.  Allowing the majority to die off first before any admission of guilt or remorse.


This polyneuropathy is just an example of one disorder that is being denied and many more exist with proven dose rates, including end-stage disorders for our Vietnam Veterans.  The government has done the same thing for our sick, dying, and dead Gulf War Veterans.


For Vietnam Veterans this has been the plan all along directed by the Reagan/Bush White House.  Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr. (deceased) a former member of the JCS, tried to bring attention to this government corruption and collaborations when he uncovered a white house memo.  This memo stated the following:


The White House Office of Bureau of the Budget had ordered all the agencies of government in essence 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.


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.”


Veterans and their widows of this nation need to ask President Bush and our congress which indeed do they really support.  Chemical companies, their own pocket books, or the most noble of all citizens of this country.  I think it is obvious “it is not the Veterans” by using the corrupt power of the secretary of the VA to deny, deny, deny until we are all dead.


Veterans need media help with this issue, NOW!  We have gathered the data that should put some politicians and those that corrupted reports in prison, especially those Air Force personnel that changed "cleared for publication medical findings".  If this were a civilian enterprise then some individuals would now presently be in prison for holding back medical information that may have saved lives.  That is the only way to stop this government corruption.  The price must be too high for criminal actions against the veterans of this nation.


Unfortunately our congress, being the Veteran supporters they really are not, implemented the Feres Doctrine in the 1950’s after the Radiation veterans that leaves we Veterans totally powerless under the constitution with no rights to that constitution and any from of justice.


While our president’s and our congress’s continual rhetoric is; they support Veterans.  Past history in the Radiation Veterans, LSD Veterans, Project 112 Veterans, SHAD testing Veterans, our own Vietnam toxin legacy, and more recent the Gulf War Veterans whose studies also seemed to be less that truthful, show the direct opposite of that rhetoric.


Instead, they use the ”old VA” or what is now the “Department of Veterans Affairs” as the long arm of government denials and mandated Veterans’ budget constraints; no matter how egregious the government action done to our own Veterans.  Some of these VA actions border on the criminal while Veterans are powerless to stop it.  


Our politicians learned long ago that supporting “yesterdays expendable government assets – our nation’s Veterans” there is not much return on investment when they count on at least a 60/40 split at the voting booth.  That is all they are concerned with; their own self-being and reelection.


Constitutional justice that is even afforded to the convicted criminal, the prisoner of war, or the illegal is now denied the Veteran.  This travesty of justice continues to this day in many issues and not just our continually denied toxin  legacy issues.


It sickens me to see this president or any president standing before our active duty combat veterans while these men cheer these politicians who have little integrity, if any.  Then have the guts to talk about God and justice as if it really meant something to them.  Shear unadulterated hypocrisy on the part of the presidents!  When the treatment of our veterans by the omnipotent VA is disgusting and immoral behavior and borders on the criminal.


Our politicians and presidents have learned that by “creating the veteran”, and implementing the Feres Doctrine; they then indeed did and do “put aside the citizen” and any rights that the most “noble of all citizens” has to any truth, fairness, and constitutional justice in our nation.


It is time that past, present, and future Veterans know exactly what our presidents and our congress think of them “as fact”; not reelection rhetoric.


We need media help now as well as the support of our nations citizens in what is obviously government collaboration against the nations warriors.  Otherwise, others need to pick up a rifle and stand the post.


Survive the enemy’s best attempt at killing you, perform in a valorous and honorable manner; only to be killed and/or disabled by the “medical information void” created on purpose by your own government. 


Probably a good reason “not to sign on the dotted line” and realize not only is your recruiter and/or your retention NCO  lying to you; the entire government of the United States including the president is also lying to its most noble of all citizens.    


Charles Kelley

2nd Battalion 94th Artillery USA

DMZ 1967-1968


Click to return Battalion Links


Click to return to 2/94th