Letter of support to do away with the NAS/IOM

pertaining to Veterans Affairs

 

09-20-05

 

To:  Ray Wilbur, VA Benefits Commissioner and all members of the Veterans Disability Commission.

 

Subject:  Letter of support regarding the opposition to using the NAS or the NAS/IOM in anything associated with the “Veterans of this Nation” submitted by Sue Fraser, USA Veteran.

 

Members of the Commission,

 

It is hard to know who is most responsible for the deaths and disabling of our Nations Vietnam Veterans.  More wounded and dead by the hands of our own government corruption and collaboration than the enemy killed and maimed on the battlefield.  Yet, this government tyranny continues for the sake of politics and money.

 

While White House after White House denied any effects of these toxic chemicals (plural) until the mid 1980’s.  At that time, the Reagan/Bush White House made the decision that they wanted no liability.  Meaning it was OK for federal agencies to allow Veterans to die or become disabled as a reward for their honorable service to what use to be an honorable government or Veterans would like to think at some point it was as honorable as they are.  

 

1980’s  “A deliberate, orchestrated effort sanctioned by the Reagan/Bush White House and led by the Center for Disease Control suggests that there is little in dioxin to worry about.”

 

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.”) 

 

The Veterans Administration is certainly complicit in this death and disabling of our nations Veterans.  It makes no difference if you are a federal agency.  If an individual is aware of what the ramifications are and fails to come forward, regardless if they are being directed or not, is still criminal.  Lawsuits against “those individuals” who participate in these nefarious government undertakings have started and are going to continue, as the sorted details are uncovered.

 

This federal agency can no longer be allowed to kill and disable our own Veterans because of White House after White House philosophy.

 

The Ranch Hand studies when I was there on September 15th and 16th I submitted just a partial amount of the evidence I have gathered in what has to be a crime against Veterans.  In my opinion some of those scientists should be also charged.

 

In 2000 at the Congressional Hearings Dr. Trewyn, a member of this study also stated that Congress has to take some responsibility for this lack of valid data given to our nations Veterans that may have saved them.  I would include the lack of notification to our nation’s doctors as well.

 

Prior to the NAS/IOM taking over the recommendations for categories and compensations the VA and its Committee on Environmental Hazards operated from 1979 to 1991 in this role.  When it was finally exposed as to what this so called committee was actually doing in 1989; the words were, “That nothing this committee is doing should be used for anything much less any Veterans’ Affairs.”   

 

At the meeting on the morning of September 16th, 2005, the NAS presenter to the commission, and I have no other words for this, just out and out lied to the commission.  Lied with regard to specific questions asked by Commissioner Grady.

 

I went up during the break and pointed many of these out including using the name of Dr. Stellman at Columbia University.  Which she herself has publicly stated: “The only way to do a successful health study is work hand in hand …not to manipulate the findings…”

 

I guess our government considers all Veterans dumb and as the State Department likes to conclude are nothing but dumb stupid animals.  Even a dumb stupid animal learns and we are learning. 

 

We are learning that we can no longer trust the President(s), the Congress, and we have no access to any legal rights except some corrupt system set up by the VA and the Congress.  And we certainly can no longer trust the Department of the Veterans Affairs and those individuals who carry out what has to be considered criminal and immoral acts against humanity; regardless if we are United States Veterans or not and you think you have that omnipotent power.

 

At this point after listening to the commission question the less than truthful NAS presenter it is obvious to me this commission is ignorant of many issues, including government collaborations, which includes the NAS/IOM.

 

One commissioner spoke up about how the NAS/IOM was going to do peer reviews and such and how that would legitimize the issues.  Bunk!

 

The Ranch Hand also had peer reviews and actually crafted data for peer review and publication; not the real found medical facts!  In fact, they had seven-year peer reviews while more of us died or became disabled with no government help.

 

Review my charges I submitted “with evidence” against this very fact and that command influence was used in even changing medical conclusions that were found.  Many issues at a 50% increase or more are not reported.

 

In any peer review garbage in =’s garbage out!

 

Then the NAS/IOM presenter keep saying they did not know where everyone was but they had finally finished the Ranch Hand Herbicide tapes.  He had nothing to do with that it was Dr. Stellman at Columbia that completed that study that everyone including the CDC has used as an excuse to deny compensations and the medical effects.  Christ our government for forty years has stated it was impossible including the VA.  Yet, when someone independent completes the study now it is we do not know where everyone was.  We are not deciding individual cases here only presumptive generalities.

 

Since he was so knowledgeable of Dr. Stellman he certainly did not bring out the fact that when they completed the Herbicide tapes they found and I quote: “they discovered a far more deadly dioxin” used than had ever been previously known or admitted.” 

 

The facts are the presumptive is that anyone that set foot in Vietnam was exposed.  So why would this NAS/IOM want to know where we were at some point in time.  Just more excuses operating at the behest of our Secretaries of Veterans Affairs who also can no longer be trusted.

 

Even if it was not presumptive, the data is there as I plotted everyone in my battalion (3500 strong) from 1966 to 1972 to where they were in what battery to within 1000 meters.  Since the actual designated Ranch Hand spray area consisted of a 4.8-mile radius with a drift rate of 11.2 miles, I think that is certainly close enough for this NAS/IOM presenter.  This is just another excuse and a very poor one at that.

 

When Commissioner ­Grady asked him if they reviewed the Ranch Hand study he was vague and again in my opinion lied.  The NAS/IOM actually states they primarily use this Ranch Hand study in their reviews.  Therefore, the Ranch Hand lies and then the NAS/IOM swear to it.

 

Case in point.  I read in the American Legion Magazine where the NAS/IOM was looking for Veterans to testify before them on studies they had found or where concerned about.  I called and asked for an hour to testify and bring up many found issues.  I was to drive 17 hours and would be allowed 15 minutes.  The only one that was given an hour was?  You guessed it, the Ranch Hand presenter.  So much for requesting Veterans input.

 

The reason was they said they had to get back to work.  Plenty of time to hear Ranch Hand lies but no time to hear our concerns and valid data from other studies.

 

Dr. Linda Schwartz of Yale concluded that the NAS/IOM was not getting the proper data from the Ranch Hand study.  In my contact with the NAS/IOM, I did not find that plausible unless they are giving out PhDs in Cracker Jack boxes these days.

 

Dr. Linda Schwartz also testified in 2000 she had just returned from Vietnam and found through the Hatfield Corporation that the water in Quang Tri Province were my guys and my Marines lived and fought was still at 65 ppt of dioxin alone.  Christ there is no telling how toxic that swill was when were there 37 years prior.

 

One commissioner, a former infantryman, talked about covering themselves with ponchos, as they were drenched.  What should have been brought out that the toxicity of that particular spray depending on soil conditions did not just go away.  It did not reach half strength (half-life) until seven to ten years later.  This stuff did not just magically go away or all of sudden become totally inert.

 

Then we have this incessant focus on one form of dioxin, TCDD.  When it was stated in 1989:

 

1989 - Dr. Daniel Teitelbaum, MD., one of the world’s foremost toxicology experts in 1989 in a letter to Admiral Zumwalt stated below:

 

“What I do think...may bear on the Agent Orange issue, is the fact that in review of Dow’s 2,4-D documentation I found that there are significant concentrations of potentially carcinogenic materials present in 2,4-D which have never been made known to the EPA, FDA, or to any other agency.  Thus, in addition to the problem of the TCDD which, more likely than not, was present in the 2,4,5-T component of Agent Orange, the finding of other dioxins and closely related furans and xanthones in the 2,4-D formulation was of compelling interest to me.”

 

Not known because of Dow proprietary issues by the EPA, the FDA, or any other federal agency. 

 

In other words for every 13.8 pounds of 2,4,5 T with the dioxin TCDD used there was 12 pounds of 2,4-D used that no one knows what in the hell was in it, other than other forms of dioxins, furans, and xanthones.  The dose rate of spray was 6 to 25 times that of what was recommended for commercial applications of even single toxic chemical.    

 

What kind of government would do this to its own men and then cover it up for politics and money?

 

Questions that should have been asked by the commissioners to this less than truthful member of the NAS who sounded more like a program manager looking for employment.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency covers toxicology for our nation and its civilians.  Why is it the government thinks that Veterans must be mandated outside of those that are already tasked with the job of not only environmental protection but also characterization of toxicity?  Perhaps controlled, manipulated, and corrupted VA studies are the answer?

 

I had to laugh at this NOM presenter when he said they slept well at night because some one had paid them to do a study and they did not like the results.  The question should have been asked at what level of proof were looking for.  VA proof or real significant proof.  There is a difference.

 

The next question should have been since the EPA has concluded the morphology of the dioxin TCDD is more complex than they thought it was 20 years ago and is actually changing cell DNA has the NAS/IOM actually found out the exact morphology of this dioxin TCDD since the government wants to only focus on this one element.  If not then how can they be conclusive of anything unless it is “increased risk of incidence” or a “statistical increase.”

 

Especially since the EPA has concluded that for some medical disorders there does not seemed to be a linear dose rate per individual and that for immunotoxicity the threshold is 100 times less than that of a cancer.  Yet, the NAS/IOM does not believe in immunotoxicity caused by TCDD or any other form of dioxin.

 

Instead, they just say we just do not know how to apply to the Vietnam Veterans.  A little truth and honesty would be an excellent start!

 

While I pointed out the Ranch Hand study is still looking for cause and effect in this unknown toxic chemical morphology issue, which is absurd to begin with.  The NAS/IOM is doing the same thing.

 

Are these linear dose responses or cause and effect required to show relationship by our own congressional mandates?  The answer is no.

 

Unfortunately, for Veterans, congress gave this sole absolute power to the corrupt DVA operating at the behest of White House after White house.

 

What are the requirements for presumptive disabilities?

 

In recognition of the uncertain state of scientific evidence and the inability to make an absolute causal connection between exposure to herbicides containing dioxin and affliction with various rare cancer diseases, Congress mandated that the VA Administrator resolve any doubt in favor of the veteran seeking compensation.  As stated in the Dioxin Standards Act of 1984:

 

It has always been the policy of the Veterans Administration and is the policy of the United States, with respect to individual claims for service connection of diseases and disabilities.  That when, after consideration of all the evidence and material of record, there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding the merits of an issue material to the determination of a claim, the benefit of the doubt in resolving each such issue “shall be given” to the claimant.

 

Yet, this command by the congress to the VA is a joke!  While the word, “shall” denotes a command and an auditable trail.  To this day, the VA does not give the Veterans the benefit of the doubt and further more can show no evidence of this fact or where in the processes it is given.

 

Example: 

 

Citation Nr: 0317458          

Decision Date: 07/24/03   

Archive Date: 07/31/03

 

In this BVA review, everyone agreed there was a 50/50 chance this Marine’s medical issue was caused by his exposures to TCDD.  Yet, the BVA then stated they give more weight to the NAS/IOM and the Secretary of the VA.  Case denied!

 

This Marines case was decided in 1984 not in 2003 by the corrupt BVA.

 

Obviously, the congress itself could care less that a “congressional mandate” is treated by the VA and its leaders as a joke!

 

Despite Congressional intent to give the veteran the benefit of the doubt, and in direct opposition to the stated purpose of the Dioxin Standards Act to provide disability compensation to Vietnam Veterans suffering who were exposed to Agent Orange and several other toxic chemicals that have never been studied.  The VA continues to deny compensation improperly.  In fact, in promulgating the rules specified by Dioxin Standards Act, the VA not only confounded the intent of the Congress, but also directly contradicted its’ own established practice of granting compensable service-connection status for diseases on the lesser showing of a statistical association, promulgating instead the more stringent requirement that compensation depends on establishing a cause and effect relationship.

 

You do not deny 500,000 Veterans to keep 50 from getting a benefit from something they might have developed anyway.

 

Of course, this new VA philosophy is coming out of White House after White House.

 

In fact in when VA wrote 38 C.F.R. 1 3.311(d) sound scientific and medical evidence does not establish a cause and effect relationship between dioxin exposure" and any diseases…  Cause and effect has never been the requirement!

 

I wonder how many men would sign up today to serve in our Military knowing that “sound scientific and medical evidence” for “Veterans only” is not good enough to prove service disability?  Especially in a toxic chemical that no one can say how it does what it does or where it does what it does; or how many systems can be impacted.

 

In Nehmer v. U.S. Veterans Admin., 712 F. Supp. 1404, 1408. (N.D. Cal. (1989). wherein the court found after reviewing the legislative history of the Act "that Congress intended service connection to be granted on the basis of "increased risk of incidence" or a "significant correlation" between dioxin and various diseases," rather than on the basis of a casual relationship.

 

The court ordered the VA to amend its rules; and further ordered that the Advisory Committee reassess its recommendations in light of the court’s order.  Of course, this committee that was proven totally biased and anti-veteran, was disbanded, and in stepped the NAS/IOM.

 

Yet, the VA did not challenge this ruling.  One would wonder why?

 

The significance of the distinction between a statistical association and a cause and effect relationship is in the burden of proof that the veteran must satisfy in order to be granted benefits.  A statistical association "means that the observed coincidence in variations between exposure to the toxic substance and the adverse health effects is unlikely to be a chance occurrence or happenstance," whereas the cause and effect relationship "describes a much stronger relationship between exposure to a particular toxic substance and the development of a particular disease than ‘statistically significant association’ does.”  Nehmer, 712 F.Supp. at 1416.

 

Obviously, veterans and their widows have meet this “increase risk of incidence” or “statistical association” many times over in many disorders.  Yet, we are still denied death and disability benefits by a federal agency operating as nothing more than a gauntlet for the White House and maybe even our own congress.

 

While Ms Frasier, discussed the ACE gene that may be affected by environmental exposures of many types.  Any genetic defect that is dormant can be set off by T-cell dysregulation.  This B and T cell dysregulation was found “proof positive” by using three sets of cohorts in the Korean study of Immunotoxicological Effects of Agent Orange Exposures also peered reviewed since the one commissioner seemed to take great stock in that fact.

 

Yet, this dysregulation or the disruption of the homeostasis of B and T cells, which can create many many autoimmune disorder symptoms of varying degrees, which may or may not lead to a cancer, is still denied by the NAS/IOM and the VA.  This includes disorders associated with IgA, IgG, and IgE antibodies.  Disorders, which are not defined by the ICD codes and may overlap known autoimmune disorders and diseases with various symptoms from each and may even approach the classification of a syndrome.

 

The concern is that even the gastrointestinal issues caused by a lymphocyte is the same lymphocyte that becomes malignant and then creates the lymphoma cancers.  Is this a coincidence that many veterans probably have this lymphocyte in the small intestines preventing mineral and vitamin absorption?  The longer they have this antibody the more likely they are to develop the lymphoma cancers already associated.

 

Then we have these one-year time limits put on Veterans, which is spurious at best.

 

That would conclude that dioxin has an antigenic response like a spider bite or eating a plant that creates an antigenic response.  Dioxin according the EPA creates no (zero) antigenic responses.  Therefore, unless the NAS/IOM has by some miracle of science discovered this direct antigenic morphology of TCDD then any time limit is bogus and the VA knows this.

 

While it is obvious from the various studies, that dioxin modifies cells, which then create an antigenic response to the modified cells that are no longer recognized as body but foreign to the body.  Once this happens it is called autoimmune.  This may indeed lead to a cancer but not necessarily create the conditions required for the cell maturation to a malignant cancer in everyone that has the same autoimmune condition.  To say that everyone that gets a specific dose will develop some form of cancer is just absurd.  It is safe to say that any cell derangement would “more than likely” create an autoimmune condition.  That is a fact of medical science and our body’s immune system.  That is what it does!

 

I whole-heartedly agree with Veteran Sue Frasier that the NAS/IOM can also no longer be trusted in deciding the fate of Vietnam Veterans or their offspring.

 

See over 500 pages of submitted evidence previously hand carried to the commission.

 

I will be submitting papers also on some of the issues I saw being questioned at the commission meetings, which I know you are just thrilled to hear.

 

Mr. Ray Wilbur of the VA, please “make sure” that all the commissioners get a copy of this, submitted paper of statements and referenced data.

 

 

Charles Kelley

DMZ 67-68

 

 

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